Spotted: Bonfire of the Vanity

Now let me level with you: this was not my favorite episode of Gossip Girl ever. Perhaps because Chuck and Blair shared no screen time, Nate was AWOL (I miss Nate?), and I’m tired of Rufus being all boring-parent chasing after his petulant teenager and never hot-90s-rocker-guy chasing after his one true love.

So what happened? Things are still amiss at the Humphrey loft. Jenny is off Agnesing, Dan is selling his soul for Yale, and Rufus is Judgey McJudgerson.

Blair chooses blood orange martinis for her 18th birthday party and Hazel really wants a boyfriend. Is that what I sound like when I say that? Lovely.

Agnes and Jenny have a meeting with Mr. Smith. A colossal meeting fail. I’m watching season two of The O.C. and that was nearly as bad as Seth, Zach and Summer’s meeting with the comic book people.

What I did LOVE about this episode: Derota! Derota had major moments in this episode. For example, as she sets the table for Cyrus’s imminent arrival:

B: Derota! Are you insane?
Derota: I don’t know.

And then: Miss Eleanor has a glow like a Chinese lantern!

Excellent casting, Gossip Girl. Wallace Shawn a.k.a. Vizzini from Princess Bride is perfect for the Cyrus Rose character: in one moment you can see exactly why Eleanor loves him and why B is disgusted by him.

In other parental trauma plotlines, it’s the 20th anniversary of Bass Industries. Chuck makes a “nice gesture but misguided as usual.” Bartholomew Bass doesn’t “have time for hockey games.” (Is that what it sounds like when I say I don’t have time for horses?) Grumble grumble, Bart Bass. What happened to the happy family eating cake from a few episodes back? I knew you were fake cake eating.

So apparently Dan Humphrey has both chops and has grown a pair! Lovely talk, Writerly Types. Senior Editor at New York magazine (a “quality publication”) says: “If your reporting is as good as your fiction…” to Dan. Ha! Dan’s fiction is reporting! He just changes up the names (sometimes) and chronicles his and his classmates’ adventures. Lonely Boy needs to start a new tradition for his story titles. Plz not the date every single time. It is old.

But I cannot wait until I can pause this episode and read his Charlie Troutt story! It will be so epically Dan, judging by the two sentences I could skim over Bart’s shoulder. and speaking of Dan and Bart… Top Betrayal of the Episode goes to Dan Humphrey. AS IF Dan disses his father and his life’s work in front of Bart Bass. For shame.

I’ve cooled on Aaron and the whole Aaron and Serena plot is not doing much for me. Plus it weirds me out to see Gossip Girl characters in Times Square? weird! but points for a grand romantic gesture to that perfectly appropriate song by the perfectly popular kings of leon. And without Serena and Aaron, Blair Waldorf would have had no extended Picasso analogy. Genius. Particularly the ending ’cause before you know it ... it’s some other girl’s eye coming out of her forehead.

The A+S+RandomModels plot was also inadvertantly responsible for the BEST MOMENT IN THE EPISODE: B squishing onto the couch next to Serena, pushing Isabel and Penelope out of the way. And then giving Nelly Yuki the Blair Death Stare when she pipes in.

Plotline that Got Draggy Fast has to be Jenny and Her Fashion Adventures with Crazytown Agnes. That coffee shop scene was un petit peu boring. all i cared about was: have i tried that flavor of vitamin water? (yes.) Then in the big climax when Agnes lights Jenny’s dresses on fire, why why why doesn’t Jenny stop her? With her arms! her hands! Not just by shreiking, “Don’t don’t! Give me my dresses! What are you doing?” She could have just taken the dresses out of the garbage can. Or hit Agnes or something. We haven’t had a rumble in a few episodes, have we? Not since B and S.

ALL CHUCK DOES IN THIS EPISODE IS LURK. Chuck Bass the Super Spy! Calling Gillian the Intern at NYMag. Peering and eavesdropping from behind pillars. I love how Bart and Chuck both have a signature snarl face. The Bass Snarl. Dan is a brave boy to withstand a two-pronged Bass attack.

And why doesn’t Chuck go to B’s party? Remember last season’s bday party for B? illicit encounters and extravagant jewels.

Blair versus Cyrus Rose: I kinda dug that plot. Probably because she always has excellent outfits and dialogue. Blair listens to Cyrus’s true love story in a gorgeous outfit. I probably need that? I totally fell for the set-up and pay off with Cyrus outmaneouvring Blair. And how!

Cyndi Lauper! Somehow I missed her name in the opening credits and didn’t realize we were *actually* going to see her. So my reaction was pretty much identical to Blair Waldorf’s. Cyndi Lauper! And Derota loves Cyndi. The Cyndi song at the beginning of B’s party, “Echo,” is kinda super awesome. thank you Gossip Girl, for reintroducing me to her glory.

I didn’t catch (the first time) that Jenny crashes at the gallery and not on some random blue couch. That makes sense. I just hope Vanessa doesn’t find her there!

The most Touchingly Implausible Scene was definitely Bart and Chuck having their first honest talk ever. The Bass boys will go to a hockey game. It’s more unlikely than the cake-eating, but so sweet that it brings a tear to my eye.

What are we left with…?

  • Will Little J divorce her parents right when Rufus is about to cave?
  • Will B go bananas with Cyrus living at the Waldorfs?
  • Is Serena really as conventional as Blair and will she tire of tripping through Central Park in a slip with Aaron?
  • Will the Rangers win the hockey game?

Next week it’s Thanksgiving on the Upper East Side and it looks like our young Archibald is threatening to leave for good. (I’ll post the promo when I can find it online.)

Don’t leave, Nate. I was just starting to like you.

9 thoughts on “Spotted: Bonfire of the Vanity

  1. I believe this is the second time that S has entertained Cyrus in the briefest of night clothes. I would have died of embarrassment should any boy (other than my brother) have seen me in my over-sized nightshirt bearing a brightly coloured dinosaur in a spandex outfit and headband with the word “Aerobasaurus” under it. Perhaps if my teenage years had included lingerie from La Perla, I might have felt differently. But I doubt it.I can’t believe we didn’t get to see Cindy sing! If you’re having a renaissance, I highly recommend her acoustic version of “True Colors.” Achingly beautiful.

  2. totally! Serena and Blair are ALWAYS chilling at home in lingerie waiting for people to pop by unannounced. that is the complete opposite of my life.i hope you still have the Aerobasaurus shirt ’cause it sounds unbelievably awesomesauce!

  3. You should totally be naming designer names for the outfits in each episode in your chapters.If the show opens *one more time* with Mr. Rogers-Humphrey chopping shit on a cutting board while casually sporting a dish towel, I shall barf all over his menu du jour.

  4. chapati kid: ha! you are hilarious. it is overdone, isn’t it? but i do love mornings (and afternoons) at the humphrey loft. quite the litmus test for the state of that family. no one wants rufus’s spaghetti sauce. :(

  5. Rufus is constantly cooking. What is he trying to compensate for?Sadly I am no longer in possesion of the Aerobasaurus nightshirt. That’s what happens when you live in a family of purgers. (Not bulemics, you understand…)

  6. Awesome post as usual!!Tammy: Aerobasaurus shirt = SO awesome.I too was a little meh on this episode, but this show never fails to entertain, regardless. I need more Chuck. WAY more Chuck. And I also thought Cyndi was going to sing (I did see her name in the opening credits so I figured we’d either see Cyrus and Eleanor at the concert — not likely — or Cyndi would make a surprise appearance at Blair’s party… et voila).LOVED Cyrus. Was anyone else waiting for him to say, “INconCEIVable!!” Oh, and I would help Rufus chop vegetables ANY day. Any. Day.

  7. So did you ever go back and pause his essay, or write about it in your book? Because I for one am dumbfounded that a prospective Yale student would randomly capitalize the word "birthday" five times in the middle of his sentences.

    I'm no English professor or grammar expert, but if "Bernie must have thought." is not a sentence fragment it's at *least* boring. Actually the whole thing is embarrassing, I'd spell-check that before sending it to an important media tycoon, let alone an Ivy League university. IMHO.

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