What an absolutely outstanding episode! Literary, wise and funny, playing with time and margins in a way that blends fantasy and fact to reveal greater truths. Great stuff, with several truly touching moments of meditation on both the show and by the characters within it. One of the smartest, most finely tuned and compassionate episodes in a long while, and one of the first in the last couple years with a truly long view of the season and its place in the wider series. Plus, you get Lily dressed like an insane person, and recapper-fave Sloane Crosley’s adorable little face.
Nate: In the book he’s been conflated with Eric and named Derek. This bothers him not because he’s gay — he’s fine with that, as long as he’s got game — but because Dan doesn’t love him enough to make him a stand-alone character. In real life, he enlists Ivy’s help in finding “Ivy,” putting her in Diana’s clutches at the Spectator and eventually getting her pressed into playing Diana’s UES mole.
Serena: In the book she’s a flighty slutty mess — so there’s that — but after a (fantastic!) new coworker sabotages a big career move, Jane presses her to forgive Dan and get the film rights to the book. (If you were wondering why Michael Michele was cast before now, now we know.) In addition to the adorably sneaky little coworker, she also nearly meet-cutes some dude I’m sure we’ll be seeing again, but this week all that matters is her no-nonsense attempt to pout herself into Dark Phoenix completely under her own steam, and the startling intensity of her showdown with Dan.
Blair: Couldn’t care less about Dan’s book, until Louis’ trust in her is chipped away first by a stray GG post putting her back with Chuck and then with Clair’s role in the book as Dan’s true love. It takes Louis longer than usual to calm down — long enough for B to admit her pregnancy to Serena — but he comes around in the end. Her relationship with Dan, though, is left in a pretty ugly place. Which is funny, considering how much she secretly enjoyed the book…