Monday, November 03, 2008

"There Might Be Blood" - Gossip Girl, episode 2.9

I don't know what was funniest about "There Might Be Blood." Was it Jenny's "guerrilla" fashion show at a gala event honoring Lily and Bart Bass or the fact that Nate has a driver's license? Actually it was neither, but rather the sight of Blair, Serena, and Chuck unexpectedly teamed up to save a young woman with an unusual goal for her first night on the Manhattan club scene. All of this added up to one of the busiest and loosest GG's of the season, an episode that closed with the hint of dark times to come.

We pick up where last week's "Pret-A-Poor-J" left off, with Jenny having left Eleanor Waldorf's employ and determined to strike out on her own. It isn't clear at first what Jenny and her model friend Agnes are up to as Jenny grinds away on the sewing machine in the Humphrey's Brooklyn loft, but Jenny doesn't want her Dad or Dan to find out about it. That Nate-Jenny kiss at the end of last week's episode hasn't made home life any easier; Nate doesn't know what to say to Jenny and seems to have been reduced to lurking around acting worried about Jenny's behavior. Is it just me, or has Chace Crawford been the least well used of any cast member this season? I'll say one thing: Jenny seems to be the only GGer who isn't caught up in the show's world of class, parties, and who's going to what college. She knows what she wants and she's going after it, with little regard for who gets left behind along the way.

Jenny's actual plan is to disrupt a gala event with her model friends and attract financial support from Manhattan hoi polloi for her fashion designs. When she realizes the event is in honor of Lily and Bart there's a brief twinge of regret, but only a twinge. The actual execution of the fashion show feels entirely fantastical, with Jenny and Agnes figuring out a way to turn out the lights and commandeer the video screens (the models cavort in what looks like a Bangles video) without anyone being the wiser. And yes, she's a hit. We leave Jenny this week after she's bailed on Rufus and the apartment and seems to be wandering the streets with her belongings in tow. If "There Might Be Blood" has a theme it's the level to which people are willing to go to achieve their ambitions, and Jenny definitely takes the prize.

The other half of this week's GG is one of my favorite types of GG stories; that is, one where we get to see a different side of Blair. If you remember that disastrous visit to Yale a few weeks ago than no doubt you remember the uptight Dean who seemed ready to follow Serena around if she'd only agree to move to New Haven. Blair hasn't given up, and tonight finds her trying to win over a big Yale donor (Patricia Kalember) who again pays more attention to Serena. In a desperate move, Blair agrees to babysit the woman's daughter who (after Mommy is out the door) declares her intention not only to hit the clubs but to lose her virginity while under Blair's watch. (With luck the word "lacrosstitute" will now enter the vernacular) Blair clearly sees something of herself int he would-be party girl, and chase through the Manhattan night (aided by a low-key Chuck and Serena) leads to a rare GG moment in which a character actually empathizes with another person. Blair knows that mothers sometimes stink and sex isn't as disposable as it's made out to be, and it's her connection with the daughter that secures her admission to Yale rather than the mother's recommendation. Again, everyone seems to be discovering themselves this week and it's pleasant to see a warmer side of Blair (and of Leighton Meester) Blair's decision not to use a damning photo of the mother kissing another man wouldn't have happened a year ago.

Here some math homework for next week. Serena + the artist = zzzzzzzzzzzzzz (Camp sweethearts? really?) and Dan + the short story about Chuck = trouble. Next week's promos suggest Dan is enlisted to write some sort of investigative expose of Bart; there appears to be no limit to the lengths the writers will go to pit Chuck and Dan against each other.

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