Thursday, January 10, 2008

"I command myself not to be pregnant.": Gossip Girl

If the writers strike annihilates the rest of the 2007-2008 television season like it is so cruelly threatening to do, then last night's episode ("A Thin Line Between Chuck & Nate," which: genius) was a damn fine way for Gossip Girl to end a surprisingly great freshman year. Yes, the idea of a pregnancy scare storyline is more than tired, but by mining it for everything it's worth and having the repercussions affect each major cast member in some way, they managed to lift a common plot point into something much more compelling. Add to that Blair's devastating fall from grace and her vow to seek revenge on everyone who wronged her, and we have a blueprint for what promises to be a glorious season two.

Let's start with Blair and the aforementioned pregnancy scare, because who are we kidding: everything on this show starts and ends with Blair Waldorf. After the news of Serena being spotted buying several pregnancy tests hits the Gossip Girl site, the whole Upper East Side is buzzing about her potential pregnancy. Jenny spots the blog post but when confronted by Dan and Rufus can't pull off a believable lie, so the boys see the news and freak out, as boys do. Dan, because he is good and honorable and never does anything wrong ever, tells Serena he will be there for her because he loves her (the first time he's trotted out the old "I love you" card) only to learn that it was a false alarm.

Or was it? It seems that dear Serena was buying the tests for Blair, whose period is late but is in denial and refusing to find out why. This frustrates Serena, who angrily leaves Blair to deal with the problem herself. At a romantic dinner with Dan, though, she spills the news that the pregnancy tests were for Blair and that the potential father is Satan himself, Chuck. Sneaky Jenny hears the whole confession, unbeknown to poor Serena and Dan. Seeing she has no other choice, Serena goes to Chuck to tell him that he's potentially a Baby Daddy. Chuck confronts Blair, who continues her shame-filled (and longing-filled, methinks) tirade on Chuck by being cruel, which compels him to immediately text Gossip Girl and tell her about Blair's dalliance with two boys in the span of one week. Mean, but delicious!

While Blair is celebrating her negative test results in her amazing bathroom that I covet, the whole school is buzzing about Blair's supposed slut spiral, including Nate. Unluckily for Blair, Nate runs into Jenny right after he finds out the news and she vindictively confirms that it's true, and that the third leg in this vicious triangle is Chuck. After an amazing boyfight on the streets witnessed by several classmates, the jig is up and the gruesome threesome is exposed for the whole school to see. Sensing a chance to make her move, snake-like lackey Hazel immediately turns Blair's minions against her and takes over as the new Queen Bee of Constance, taking the scarily remorseless Jenny along with her. I said it in a previous recap: Blair might be a manipulative bitch but Jenny is the one who truly scares me. Her naked opportunism is frightening. Of course, since she's the girl Blair is the only one in the triangle to suffer any real social consequences for daring to - gasp! - have sex. Punishing the girl, hooray! It's comforting to see nothing has changed since I left high school so many years ago.

A beaten-down Blair goes to Nate to try to reconcile, but Judgy McDoesn'tHaveALegToStandOnBecauseHeCheatedOnBlairWithSerena Judgerson kicks her out of his life for good. People in glass houses, Nate. Look it up. Blair then continues on her path of life destruction by shaming Serena and accusing her of being the cause of all of her problems by telling Dan. As a last resort, Blair goes to Chuck and tells him "he's all she has left," which is exactly what someone wants to hear, that you're only being friendly with him out of pure necessity! Chuck will have none of it, and savagely ruins Blair's last hope of a friend in New York by telling her he's done with her for good, citing her virginity being his only interest in her and even calling her "rode hard and put away wet," a slogan which has brought some humor to my life in the past but used here nearly wrecked me. I know Chuck is doing it out of hurt and pride and his warped love for Blair, but damn. That was harsh. My strange crush on Chuck has diminished by at least 25%.

Sensing that her life on the UES is pretty much over, Blair asks to live with her father for a semester and her bewildered mother agrees. As she is preparing to go, Serena receives a welcome, real "I love you" from Dan and his speech to her about how super-awesome she is makes her realize that she needs to mend her friendship with Blair. Where were the boyfriends that gave speeches like that when I was in high school? Oh yeah. On TV. Serena catches Blair at the heliport (She's taking a helicopter! To JFK! Man, my life is terrible.) and convinces Blair that she should stay and they will be friends and face the world, or at least the school, together.

As a closing note on an awesome chapter in my TV life ends, Gossip Girl assures us that Blair is not going down without a fight. She's taking everyone down! Man, I hope Jenny is the first to fall. Destruction by Blair Waldorf sounds like a pretty sweet way to go to me.


Myles said...

Kudos, Carrie, on taking the bolder route in dealing with the utterly pointless Rufus storyline - I chose a small endnote, but you chose to efface it entirely. I salute you.

Great episode, strong build to the second portion of the season, lingering problems could still come to bite them on this one. I think I've discovered the problem: there's no Julie. Julie Cooper was a parent who could be as outrageous as her children, which gave them the chance to get in on the fun (Or at least react to said fun).

Bianca Reagan said...

Speaking of pots and kettles, what about Chuck? Talk about "rode hard and put away wet." Or in his case, "put away in a gay closet." What Pandora's Box of STDs is that boy dragging around in his pants?

Carrie said...

Hahahahaha, Bianca. Pandora's Box of STDs. I'm totally stealing that.

Myles, I feel like every time I mention the parents it's to bitch, and you know what our mothers always say when you can't say something nice...

Anonymous said...

can anyone quote the reasons why dan loves serena? i really wanna steal them hahaha