“Gossip Girl” fans, your prayers have been answered. We finally, finally, finally (did we already say finally?) got answers to what Juliet (Katie Cassidy) and her brother Ben (David Call) had against Serena (Blake Lively). We also got to see a lot of interaction between Dan (Penn Badgley) and Blair (Leighton Meester), seemingly the only couple that hasn’t gotten together in the game of musical chairs that is the relationships on this show.
While last week’s episode “Gaslit” was being called the best offering of this season, we preferred Dec. 6’s “The Townie”, which gave us so much: Flashbacks to Serena’s boarding school days, people actually using common sense, and the return of everyone’s favorite drug dealer Damien (Kevin Zegers)! So let’s get right into it, “GG”-ers and break down all the action.
Dan and Blair
Sharpen those pitchforks, Chuck (Ed Westwick) and Blair fans, because what we’re about to say is going to make you riot in the streets: We are loving the chemistry between D & B. While the two are clearly not the best of friends and are usually only brought together by their mutual devotion to Serena, they have undeniably charming banter. Take for instance their give and take in the car, a Morris Minor, on the way to Cornwall, Connecticut, to find more information on Juliet:
Blair: Is the pedal to the metal? Because I swear if I shoved my feet through the floor I could run faster. At least there’s no radio so I’m sparred your horrid taste in music. I think we were supposed to turn there.
Dan: You know, I’d tell you to stop being such a backseat driver, but how can you be one when you don’t even know how to drive?
This may be blasphemous, but we are getting a total Summer and Seth (“The O.C.”, duh) vibe from these two. I mean D & B in the Morris Minor was like watching Seth and Summer drive to TJ in Season 1. Also, Blair calls Dan by his last name, Humphrey, just like Summer called Seth by his, Cohen. Blair and Dan both have Care Bears, while Summer and Seth had plastic toy horses (What up Captain Oats and Princess Sparkle!). The similarities are undeniable.
Also, anyone else notice how Blair asked Dan, “When was the last time you wrote anything?” and then at the end of the episode Dan tells Serena he is going to start writing something over break? She inspires him! OK, we’re stretching, but Dan and Blair both being interested in the same French documentary and being the only people around on the Upper East Side (“Living my nightmare… trapped in the city with only Blair Waldorf to talk to.”) is not stretching. We see where the writers are going with these two and we love it. It provides conflict with almost everyone on the show and could add a fresh twist.
Serena, Ben and Juliet
Praise Gossip Girl! We finally got flashbacks to Serena’s “crazy” boarding school days — which involved her teaching others how to prepare absinthe, dancing to Soulja Boy’s “Crank That,” and making out with a Justin Bieber-fied Damien, who did her homework for her. S began to change after falling for one of her professors … Ben! Yes, We finally learned that Ben was Serena’s teacher, but it didn’t go down the way you think. You know what happens when you assume.
Serena (who memorized how he likes his coffee in the dining hall … creepy!) wanted to pursue a relationship, but Ben pulled an anti- Mr. Fitz (“Pretty Little Liars'” resident hot teacher) and turned her down. We agree with Serena when she said, “Ben Donovan was a pretty great guy.” We would totally have had a crush on him if he was our professor, too.
Juliet has finally had enough and tells Ben she is going to visit Serena and settle things once and for all. Ben warns her, “Do not go after Serena. If you hurt her…” Here’s our gripe: Hasn’t Ben orchestrated this entire attack on Serena from the beginning? Obviously he didn’t want Juliet to drug Serena, but he did want to destroy her life, but who needs logic when you’re hot? We’ll allow it.
Juliet and Serena hash everything out and we learn that Serena never knew Ben was accused of statutory rape or that he was in jail. Lily (Kelly Rutherford) forged Serena’s signature and sent an innocent man to jail. Lily Van der Woodsen/Bass/Humphrey: Keeping it classy since 2007. While Serena doesn’t forgive Juliet for drugging her, she does let her go even when the others are telling her she should be calling the police. While we wouldn’t be so forgiving, we could see how S would feel a tad responsible for Ben’s current situation. Juliet leaves and promises she won’t do anything to anyone and with that we apparently big adieu to Katie Cassidy. It’s been real, it’s been good, but it ain’t been real good, Juliet. Stay creepy, girl.
Serena calls Lily out at her party, telling the crowd, “She’s a selfish liar that would destroy anyone that would stand in her way.” Lily says she filed the claim against Ben for Serena because no school would take her on the UES and she realized she could use him to her advantage. A lot of people have done a lot of shady things on this show, but we’ve never been more disgusted by one of the people until this episode. Lily, you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Serena invites Dan on a road trip to clear Ben’s name (because calling a judge or lawyer is too easy?), which he declines saying that she needs to do this on her own. They share a chaste kiss. The episode ends with Serena visiting Ben in jail as Gossip Girl says “If you love someone, set them free.” Serena plans on clearing Ben’s name and we wouldn’t be shocked that if/when Ben gets out of jail, these two get together. They do have chemistry and maybe he’d be good for Serena… at least until she decides she loves Nate and Dan again.
Lily and Chuck
This has a lot to do with Bass Industries, so we’ll keep it short and sweet. Lily has been acting as head of the company until Chuck can take it over again. Lily is acting mighty strange when Chuck brings up the issue and acts even more strange when Rufus does. Later, we find out (along with Rufus, Chuck and everyone else) that Lily plans on selling the company.
Lily is left standing alone as the entire group leaves her one by one, even Rufus. Lily has become the one thing she has never wanted to be: An outsider. Chuck, who refuses to loses the company, is on his way to Australia to ask Jack Bass (Desmond Harrington) for help, telling Blair, “A shared enemy makes for unlikely friends.” We like this move. With Juliet’s exit, we need a new villain and Uncle Jack is the perfect candidate. As long as it’s not Georgina (Michelle Tratchenberg).
Poor, poor Nate. He always gets stuck with the-not-as-fun storylines. Basically, Nate finds out his parents are getting divorced even though his father wanted to work things out. Anne Archibald, however, is more interested in her social standing than her husband, telling Nate “I need this more than your father.” Such a yuppie. Nate decides to have his father move in with him when he is paroled so expect to see a lot more of their father/son daily runs, which means seeing more of Crawford’s hair blowing in the wind. It’s not exactly an interesting storyline, but we’ll take it.
Other notes on “The Townie”:
– Blair: What do you mean no visitors? I don’t think you realize who we are,
Dan: Who she thinks she is, is more like it. Look, I’m family. I’m Serena’s brother. Or step-brother technically, which I do mostly try to put out of my mind seeing as we dated pretty seriously…
Blair: Humphrey, They treat people in here for less serious complexes than that. Do you want to get committed?
– Dan: That’s your plan? Disguises and accents?
Blair: I never said anything about accents. Can you do any?
Seriously, we can’t get enough of them. Make it happen, Josh Schwartz. Make it happen.
– Dan would never, ever use Bing. We guarantee he also doesn’t believe in Google. He is that idealistic dreamer who believes in using maps to protect the sanctity of the map-making art form… or something.
– Damien sitting in the backseat of the car while Dan and Blair are up front may be our favorite scene from the episode. He is staring out the window listening to music on his iPod like a sullen teenager forced to go somewhere with his parents. Can you say the words series regular? Because we can!
– Keeping on the Damien train of thought, isn’t Kevin Zegers the perfect hybrid of Zac Efron, Chace Crawford and Ian Somerhalder? OK, back on topic…
– Blair’s look of disgust when Damien says Juliet is “a townie” is so ace.
-Chuck: “Goodbye friends… Dan.” Come on, Chuck. You and Dan got drunk and arrested together once and then he wrote a story about you, giving you the name Charlie Trout. If that doesn’t spell BFF’s, we don’t know what does.
– Um, there is a picture of Lily from the party she is currently hosting on the table… . This show is too much sometimes.
– We adored Dan, Serena, Nate, Blair and Chuck eating a holiday dinner together. The fact that Blair stuck her hand up a turkey’s butt just makes it better.
– Who would you rather have as your mother: Lily or Anne? This episode should be submitted for the Worst Mother of the Year Awards. Serena and Nate never stood a chance.