Gossip Girl: Just the Tip

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Gossip Girl S05E18: "Con-Heir"

This week’s episode of Gossip Girl picked up about a month after the last one left off, both in real-life time (the show was on hiatus all through February—did you miss it?) and in the time-skewed Gossip Girl universe, where characters bop from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side and back again just for a quick “What’s up?” but FedEx packages take 30 days to travel from one part of the city to another.

Yes, Serena has finally received the hallowed Laptop Full of Secrets Georgina mailed to her at the end of the last episode, and its inbox is full of grade-A primo gossip, like Guess Who Got Her Nose Done and Guess Who Got Her Period in Gym Class and Invitation to Important Contemporary Artists of Latvia Gallery Opening – Please RSVP. It’ll take Serena a while to sort through all that spam on her clunky HP computer, so, in the meantime, let’s check in with some more interesting characters. (All the brunettes!)

Blair and Dan and the Portuguese water dog Dan skinned and stapled to his head in a somewhat hair-like fashion finally had sex for the first time this week, after a full moon cycle of having their would-be trysts interrupted by parents and roommates and maids of the non-sexy, non-French variety. Blair was careful to remove her wedding ring before toppling into the sack, which was a nice touch, though it was somewhat negated by the fact she served her kept boy champagne out of glasses she’d received as a wedding present.

The deed itself was more of a dud—a nice early win for Chuck/Blair purists hoping for a return to the halcyon days of cab sex and mind games. Unfortunately for those viewers, all it took was eight liters of vodka (Blair) and a couple tumblers of scotch (Dan) for the new lovebirds to get into their groove. And bump their groove things they did—first in an elevator on the way to a cancer benefit, which they subsequently skipped (more on that later), then in the bathroom of a Brooklyn bar (God, Blair), then in the alleyway next to the bathroom of a Brooklyn bar (GOD, BLAIR).

So, yeah, it looks like the Dan-Blair thing is going to be happening for a while. Certainly through next week, because Chuck will be too wrapped up in baby mama drama to plot the destruction of that unholy union. Don’t worry—bowtied gadabout Charlie Trout hasn’t gotten anyone pregnant (that we know of); he’s just trying to track down the family member who saved his life the night of his car accident with a last-minute blood donation. Chuck seems pretty sure the mystery donor is Elizabeth Fisher, the woman who either is or is not his mother, depending on what time of day you ask. For us viewers, the hints have been more obviously skewed toward shagadelic British sex kitten Diana Payne, who will make an appearance in next week’s episode. I’m still holding out hope that Bart Bass faked his death those many seasons ago and has been waiting in the wings ever since, to make his grand re-entrance.

The only person who, we can be certain, didn’t give Chuck blood is everyone’s favorite sleazy uncle, Jack Bass, who returned this week to take naps with beautiful models and have all the best lines.

Turns out Jack couldn’t have been the donor, first of all because he “spent more than three months in the U.K. from 1980 to 1996” (which, funnily enough, would also bar Ed Westwick from donating blood in the United States, meaning that even Chuck Bass couldn’t give Chuck Bass his blood) and, secondly, because he tested positive for Hepatitis C. (In case you’re wondering, Jack attributed this diagnosis to a night of passion with Canada’s sweetheart Pamela Anderson, then went on to describe himself as “The Magic Johnson of Hep C.” Never change, old friend.)

While Chuck investigated his own bloodline, Poison Ivy Dickens found herself frozen out of New York society, courtesy of Grandma Cece's. It seems Lily and Serena made some calls, and now no decorator, personal shopper, or show-er of fabrics for money (?) will do business with her, despite her recent windfall. Luckily, the Upper East Side’s #1 Jack Donaghy impersonator, William Van der Woodsen, was able to offer some helpful advice: Throw a freaking rager, girl.

Or, anyway, a classy party to benefit the Celia Rhodes Cancer Foundation, a charity invented some 45 minutes before the event held to support it. Of course, Daddy Van der Woodsen don’t come cheap. He made Poison Ivy promise to cut him a check for his party-planning services. The plot kicked into high gear after the perpetually cagey Lola overheard the two loudly discussing their nefarious plans in a hotel lobby. Because she has nothing else going on in her life right now, Lola immediately ran to spill the news to Nate.

For his part, young Mr. Archibald was busy holding court at The Spectator, a newsrag he runs just so he’ll have an excuse to amble around an office in a suit all day, making requests that people ignore and offering pearls of unhelpful, wholly unsolicited advice. So that Nate could have a plotline this week, The Spectator is suddenly suffering from great financial trouble and is in dire need of investors.

One easily impressed, deep-pocketed gentleman seemed poised to contribute after catching sight of Serena (“I’ve seen her in the society pages”) hunting and pecking away at her keyboard, hard at work on her boring gossip column, "S by S" (sample lines: “It looks like spring has finally sprung and lucky for us one thing that hasn’t yet popped up is Gossip Girl. Hopefully my family’s unfortunate exile to Brooklyn will pass quietly and with dignity”). Unfortunately, the offer fell through after Gossip Girl scooped The Spectator with news of Poison Ivy’s plan to bribe William van der Woodsen. (Just so we’re clear, this was a big no-no because, number one: desperate; number two: he’s the executor of Cece’s will, of which Ivy was a major beneficiary, rendering their shady business partnership totally illegal.)

Of course, it wasn’t Gossip Girl at all who scooped The Spectator. It was Serena, herself a member of The Spectator’s staff. Gossip Girl is Serena is The Spectator is Soylent Green is People. She posted the tip in spite, after Nate took her off a story she was writing about Ivy’s involvement with her family (evidently, the only subject ever explored by Serena the Journalist is her own family) because he felt she was “too close to it.”

Oddly, this closeness had served as Nate’s major selling point only a few scenes prior, when he told his potential investor, “We don’t just follow the news; we’re involved in it, so we get the stories and perspectives no one has access to.” (Bizarre, then, that the paper is named The Spectator, rather than, say, The Insider, but, then again, neither details nor, indeed, the big picture, have ever been Nate’s strong suit.)

Serena-as-Gossip-Girl’s Spectator scooping got her canned from her friend’s monthly newsletter, the eight-hundredth job she’s held since dropping out of Brown, what... four months ago? She was pouty about that development, but it probably won’t affect her too greatly; people with jobs and people without jobs have equal (which is to say: boundless) amounts of free time in world of Gossip Girl.

Worse than the black spot on Serena’s résumé is that her jump-the-gun tip also threatened to royally screw over her family. It turns out that William van der Woodsen only offered to accept money from Ivy so that Lily would have evidence of the girl’s illegal actions, making it possible for Cece’s heirs to contest the will and boot that “Florida trash” (Lily’s words) back to the Sunshine State once and for all. But GossipSerena’s blast went live before Ivy handed over the check, meaning there’s no proof she acted out of order.

Except! Good ol’ caterwaiter Lola Rhodes at long last stepped forward to take her rightful place in the sun, the sun that shines only slightly less brightly than the golden Viking tresses of the Van der Woodsen-Rhodes women, to establish, once and for all, that, yes, she too is a part of this horrible family. Lola will testify that she saw Ivy conspiring to pay off her father-uncle William Van der Donaghy. Lola will tentatively accept Serena’s clumsy, over-eager attempts at best friendship. Lola will be invited to many frosty breakfasts at the newly reclaimed van der Manor, once gardeners have taken care of that nasty Poison Ivy infestation.

Oh, and the real Gossip Girl is back now, and she wants her password, Serena.


Questions:

1. Will Serena hand over that password? Potentially relationship-destroying gaffes aside, she seems to enjoy the power she wields as Gossip Girl, and she’s just gotten fired from her extremely easy blogging job, meaning she’s got nothing better to do than update a free gossip website. Will Serena turn into a Gossip Gollum, guarding her precious password all through the cavernous mines of Moria?

2. Rufusuicide Watch: How do you think it’s going? He seems happy, in a hollow way, to be back in his beautiful Brooklyn loft, but Lily acts like the place is a scabies-infested crackden flophouse. He went to a Magnetic Fields concert alone the night of the cancer benefit, and William van der Woodsen is spending a lot of time privately scheming with his ex-wife to help her reclaim her inheritance. Is a trial separation imminent?

3. What kind of catering company serves red wine at a cocktail party? Do you think Ivy requested it specifically? How odd.

4. What was your favorite Uncle Jack line this episode? The whole exchange with the non-handicapped child actor was gold, but “Sorry kid, but let’s face it; you’re crippled,” was a real home run.