TV Recap: Gossip Girl - In The Realm Of Basses

”I’m not Little J anymore.”

Oh, yes you are. Over break, Little J decided that she wanted to be fifteen again, so she deigned to re-enroll in school. Unfortunately, even though she thinks she’s changed so much, high school has remained the same. Now Nelly Yuki is the new old Jenny Humphrey, which means that between making her get them drinks and clean their shoes, Penelope and the rest of the mean girls are busy making her life miserable.

Jenny decides that this simply cannot be, so she decides to make it right. After taking Nelly under her wing and stealing the girls’ table at Pinkberry, Penelope has her dad call the headmistress and tell her that Jenny is bullying her. Luckily, Jenny finds out that the girls stupidly told Nelly a bunch of awkward secrets, such as Penelope sleeping with her father’s junior partner and Hazel hooking up with her cousin. This whole part struck me as pretty unbelievable, because why would they tell Nelly these incriminating facts? But they thought they had complete control over her, so why not?

Jenny wins Nelly’s independence by threatening to post all of these secrets to Gossip Girl, but it turns out that Nelly played Little J: she was just trying to get in good with Jenny so she could have a higher place in the event of a regime change.

I’m not really sure what the point of all this was, other than to give Eric some screen time and to show that Jenny isn’t a complete spoiled brat? Maybe? Anyway, Eric should be more than Jenny’s lap dog. His dynamic with Chuck was interesting. The show should focus more on that and less on his, “oh, here we go again” looks in regards to Jenny.

“Now was that it, or were you going to tell me you loved me again?”

Of course the big deal in this episode is Chuck and Blair. Chuck apparently spent the holidays in the late 19th century at an actual opium den in Bangkok with some lovely Thai “ladies of the night.” Blair spent her holidays trying to track him down—which she accomplished, with the aid of his uncle Jack. How exactly she enlisted Jack’s help is something that is only hinted at at the end of the episode, but if I had to guess, I would say it probably looked a little like what was going on onstage at Victrola.

So Chuck makes it back to Manhattan, in body if not in spirit, and celebrates by smoking hash on school grounds. Blair nearly manages to get him out of trouble, citing grief, but Chuck undoes her hard work by smoking hash on the way out of their meeting. Oops.

Chuck continues his self-destructive tear, smoking and drinking his way through the city and pushing Blair away as hard as he can. Blair, meanwhile, tries to drown her sorrows not in booze, but in society women. Heh. that sounded way dirtier than I meant it to sound. Okay, go write your slash fic, I’ll be here when you get back.

Finished? Good. Anyway, Blair is trying to join Colony Club, which is some sort of Ladies Club in which older women dress in argyle sweaters and bitchily gossip. Throw in a few margaritas and change the setting to Chili’s and you have every teacher’s get-together ever. However, this is much more refined. In any case, they badmouthed Chuck, so Blair decided she couldn’t roll with them.

After she ditches the ladies to try one last time to pull Chuck out of his pit, she finds that he’s literally closer to the edge than she thought. He’s teetering on the roof of Victrola, and it’s kind of hilarious, what with the overly-dramatic camera angles and the slow-motion of the liquor bottle crashing on the sidewalk.

Jack doesn’t help when he yells for Chuck, which startles him and nearly causes him to plunge straight down into the street. Blair manages to take a gentler tack, telling him once again that she’ll always be here for him. Chuck finally agrees to come down from the ledge, where he collapses in Blair’s arms and tells her he’s sorry. It’s a sweet scene, which definitely means something bad is going to happen to them next week.

“Chuck Bass knows something about our life that I don’t?”

Isn’t Dan supposed to be smart? Seriously. He knows that Rufus and Lily dated years ago, that they’re still in love and wanted to run away together, that Rufus and Lily had a falling out, and that Rufus has been looking at adoption agencies ever since. Despite knowing all of these things, Dan is utterly unable to put together that Rufus and Lily had a baby together. He has to go to Chuck who spells it out for him—and he still seems confused!

As ridiculous as that is, it’s only slightly more annoying than the fact that Dan and Serena are back together. Not that I don’t like them together, but it seems like the writers only made them a couple again so they can tear them apart when Serena finally finds out the big secret. Apparently sharing a sibling is a big deal to these people.

Dan is sad about the news and is about to tell Serena when he hears from his dad who begs him not to, since Lily wants to tell her and Eric herself. Dan agrees, mainly so that on top of the weirdness of sharing a brother with Dan, Serena will have the added bonus of “you kept this from me!” indignation that will further drive their contrived relationship apart.

But, hey. Rufus and Lily are on the case of the missing brother. Maybe it’ll turn out to be Josh Lucas like it was on 90210!