Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gossip Watch: Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving in the Upper East Side, and Gossip Girl served up a heap of drama to go with the turkey and pumpkin pie. (Apologies for all the horrid puns I'm sure to make in this recap.) Blair was in fine form all episode, working herself into a tizzy at the thought that her mom was getting engaged to Cyrus (Wallace Shawn); guess the "truce" didn't last! Her moments with maid Dorota were particularly fun; "Who do you work for?" she amusingly demanded, when Dorota clearly knew more about Eleanor and Cyrus then she was letting on. I also love that Dorota's ring tone is "I'm a Slave 4 U." Blair and Dorota flee the house to boycott Thanksgiving, and when Dorota asks where exactly they're going, Blair snaps, "I don't care if we have to wander the streets all day like characters from a Jane Austen novel, I won't stand for this!" (Only on Gossip Girl do teenagers make so many literary references outside of English class.) Meanwhile, Nate had to deal, once again, with his huge douche bag of a father. Seriously, between the embezzling, cokehead dad and the cold, enabling mother, this kid has the world's worst parents. Daddie Dearest emerges from hiding and asks Nate to come live with them outside of the country. But the FBI is snooping around, asking Vanessa what she knows about Nate, so she enlists Chuck's help (!) to stage an intervention of sorts with their estranged pal. This nicely served as a way to reunite all three characters, and in the end, shockingly, Dad actually did the right thing and turned himself in. Of course Nate had to convince him to do so; it's classic "kids parenting the parents" television. Dan similarly helped his own father see the light regarding wayward Jenny, who began this episode hiding out with Eric at Serena/Lily/Chuck et al's place. In a rather heartfelt storyline, Rufus finally told Jenny how much he loved and missed her, and this softer approach made her see the light at last. "I don't want to not be your daughter," she said, tearing up her emancipation papers and crying. (And, OMG, I totally cried, too.) But before this warm and fuzzy reunion could happen, we had some intriguing dynamics with Eric and Serena's own family. First Bart gives Eric a tip regarding his little-seen boyfriend Jonathan-- implying that he's sleeping with his coach(?!). When Eric asks Chuck about this WTF-worthy comment, Chuck explains that his father retains a private investigator to look into the lives of everyone he knows. Eric thinks this is a little creepy and weird ('cause it is), and Chuck decides to show him Bart's secret safe, filled with all sorts of forbidden goodies. "Are those actual bars of gold?" Eric asks in disbelief. I half expected there to be a girlie mag and a slingshot in with this stash of midlife adolescent escapism. Chuck leaves Eric to pore over the spoils, and he finds three leather bound files on himself, Serena, and Lily. Of course, this is hardly a shock to us, since we know from an earlier episode that Bart had a file on Lily with some sort of Big Shocking Secret in it, but now Eric's even more freaked than before. (Side note: the boy dyed those off-putting blonde locks. I heartily approve.) He brings the files to his mom and Serena, who are suitably aghast. Lily confronts Bart and he simply says he was protecting them, but Lily rejects the excuse and takes the kids out of the house. (Seems like everyone's abandoning Thanksgiving today! Good thing Mickey D's is open.) Of course, the file does serve a function for Serena, who hands it to that icky Aaron character that she's enamored with. (God knows why.) He ran into Dan earlier at Convenient Plot Point Junction-- sorry, the grocery store-- and had his suspicions raised when Dan balked at the comment that "Serena doesn't drink anymore." See, apparently Aaron's sober, and Serena immediately downplayed her hard-partying past to win his approval. (All this for rat-faced stalker boy. Blech.) At least Blair sees the folly in this, urging Serena not to settle for someone who won't put her first to begin with. But Aaron's newfound desire to be exclusive sets Serena's heart aflutter, so she first lies, then admits the truth and hands Aaron the convenient attache case. But he says he doesn't need to look at it; he wants to know everything about her firsthand. ("Fuck that," my friend Patrick commented. "I'd want to read the file!") So, unfortunately, this bit of intrigue hasn't broken them up-- at least, not yet. (Le sigh.) Meanwhile, Lily and Eric visit the same diner where they wound up last year, and we learn a bit about Lily's secret: she was in "a sanitarium," much like Eric was. He's upset his mother didn't tell him this, but she maintains that she wanted to be strong for him. Eric says he looks forward to hearing more about it when she's ready. (Again with the kid parenting.) It's a sweet moment between them. "How did you get to be so wise?" Lily asks. "The nanny," Eric cracks. (Love that kid. Since he and Jonathan appear to be dunzo, I hope he gets another, worthier boyfriend soon-- one who's actually cute!) The pair decide to leave the diner and go to Rufus and Dan's, which also provides a reunion for Vanessa and Jenny. I couldn't remember why exactly Vanessa was even mad at Jenny, but apparently it was because of Nate. He and Vanessa rekindled their flame earlier, with Nate saying he hadn't heard from Jenny "in weeks"; Jenny says the same thing about Nate, and Vanessa insists they shouldn't "let a boy come between us," anyhow. Famous last words: next thing we know, Vanessa's found the letter Nate sent Jenny several episodes back (she's yet to read it since running away from home for two weeks). Vanessa opens and reads it, discovering that Nate felt he "had to stay away" from Jenny because of Dan, but didn't want to-- and couldn't stop thinking about her. The plot thickens; maybe Vanessa will actually turn out to be kind of interesting? (I hope so, because I've pretty much given up on her being the one that dies.) Back in Blair land, the girl's pleasantly surprised to find her gay dad (John Shea) back to visit, with Eleanor insisting she needed his approval for "the man who could become your stepfather" before accepting Cyrus' proposal. What's more, he has his famous pumpkin pie (the one Cyrus horrified her by criticizing earlier) in tow. All together now: Awwwwww. But while there's plenty of bonding going on at the end of the hour, there's the Vanessa bit of intrigue, too, along with Bart creepily idling outside Dan's apartment in his limo. "You know how I said I didn't want to know why Lily was in that sanitarium?" Bart asks someone on the phone (which is very helpful for us viewers). "I changed my mind. I want to know everything." Dum dum dum!!!! (Side note: why does everyone refer to it as "a sanitarium"? All I could think about was the movie Halloween. Was Lily across the hall from Michael Myers?) So concludes another kinda-heartwarming, kinda-dark and weird Gossip Girl Thanksgiving, with previews promising an "unmissable" episode in two weeks. Yep, someone's gonna kick the bucket... and my money's on Bart.

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