Thursday, December 4, 2008

How the Ball Bounces

This week's "unmissable" Gossip Girl turned out to be, if not missable, then slightly underwhelming. For one thing, I can't imagine there was a single viewer who hadn't figured out that Bart was going to die at the end, so no surprises there. Not that the hour wasn't entertaining. After all, any episode that features even one scene of Blair and Dorota bantering is worth its weight in gold these days. (The interplay between that duo is quickly becoming a show highlight; "Shouldn't you be polishing something?" was Blair's latest snappish remark.) First things first: Bart. In his final episode, he's trying to make amends for the whole "private investigator" fiasco, claiming that his snooping days are over. Lily isn't convinced, and when she finds out he is, in fact, still seeing his PI, she tells his assistant he's uninvited from the Snowflake Ball. Yes, that's right-- the Snowflake Ball. Now, Josh Schwartz's last show, The OC, had plenty of dumb party names-- "the SnowC," anyone?-- but "the Snowflake Ball"? Really? Gag me. Anyhoo, Bart's uninvited, which gives Lily the perfect chance to cozy up to Rufus (yet again). You just know these two are made for each other, but between the whole Serena/Dan thing (Serena didn't want them to become Greg and Marcia, and who could blame her?) and her marriage to Bart, there have been myriad obstacles in their way. Chuck spots them having an intimate chat, and immediately calls Papa Bass to tell him to get to the ball, pronto. He also confronts Lily and Rufus, and tells Lily to 'splain herself when Bart arrives. (Speaking of Chuck and Bart, I was bemused when Bart angrily told Chuck, "Don't think I don't know who opened that safe [with the dossiers inside]; I know you know the combination." For one thing, if he knew Chuck had the combination, why didn't he change the friggin' lock? And is it really Chuck's fault Lily's pissed at him? The issue is that he had the dossiers made in the first place.) Of course, before Bart can get there-- but not before we see him conversing with the PI in his limo, where it's announced that there's juicy new dirt on Lily-- he has a car accident and dies, as reported by Lily near episode's end. But enough about the grownups-- onto the craaaazy kids! First up: Serena and Dan, another clearly-meant-to-be pair. Aaron's ex Lexie shows up and promptly flummoxes Serena; Serena walks in on Lexie ranking on the photos of her and writing her off as a blond airhead. The three unite with Dan for an awkward walking tour of Brooklyn, where Dan and Lexie hit it off immediately (much to Serena's chagrin). It only gets worse when Aaron lets it slip that Lexie is, as they say, "fast." He couldn't incite Serena's jealousy more if he tried, although he seems utterly oblivious to the effect this casual revelation will have on her. Serena turns to Blair for advice, admitting that she and Aaron haven't done the deed yet; Blair encourages her to do so, while the rest of us scream "No! Who knows what diseases that skanky boy is carrying! You can do so much better, Serena! *SO MUCH BETTER!*" (Okay, maybe that was just me.) At the ball, Serena manages to tell Dan everything she shouldn't, i.e. "your date is gonna try and get into your pants tonight" and "I'm gonna have sex with Aaron myself." When Dan doesn't act horrified, Serena gets all self righteous and says, "I thought sex meant more to you than that." S, ppplease. Like Dan's gonna be horrified that his date puts out; besides, you told him you were doing the nasty yourself with Rat Boy-- er, Aaron! Luckily, Serena comes to her senses and apologizes, and the two agree that their first time was one of the best nights of their lives. Rumor has it they're getting back together this season; it's not hard to imagine based on this episode. Besides, as my roommate commented, they're the heart of the show's franchise-- "they're Tom Brady." Meanwhile, the Jenny/Nate/Vanessa triangle comes to a head. Vanessa admits she stole the letter from Nate and Jenny is understandably pissed. When Blair's trio of ex-Mean Girl BFFs approach Jenny about designing Penelope's dress for the ball, Jenny agrees in exchange for good pay-- and when she lets it slip that Nate and Vanessa are an item, the girls hatch a scheme for revenge. My first thought was pig's blood, but that's not what they have in mind; instead, Jenny presents Vanessa with a dress as a seeming peace offering, only it's undetectably sheer. At the crucial moment, the girls have a spotlight shine on Vanessa, embarrassing her in front of the whole school. Jenny immediately regrets it, having just witnessed Vanessa break things off with Nate in deference to their friendship. Unfortunately, she's too late to stop the stunt, and both Vanessa and Nate give her the cold shoulder. Nate says the feelings he expressed in the letter no longer apply; "You're not the person I thought you were." At least Jenny tells off the girls, whose attempts to intimidate her fall flat; she's no longer the scared little girl in need of approval. In Chuck and Blair land, their storyline was mildly amusing, but didn't really break any new ground. The two make a bet: they'll each select dates for each other. If Chuck likes his, Blair gets his limo for a week; if Blair likes hers, Chuck gets Dorota. (Poor Dorota. Bandied about like a piece of property!) But the two dates, "doppelgangers" for Chuck and Blair, fall for each other and exclude the twosome. Personally, I think they could have gone further with the resemblances; "Chuck 2" didn't even talk through his nose! But anyhow. Blair and Chuck have another one of their "we're made for each other but can't be together for some vague reason" talks and then decide they at least "have tonight" and dance. Yawn. I love them, but at some point they need to stop playing games and actually make another play at a relationship. In any case, nothing earth-shattering really happened besides the announcement of Bart's death. Next week's show, which promises to reveal more "secrets"-- and Lily slapping Chuck!-- should be more interesting.

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