What would Gossip Girl be without its glamorous parties? Everyone gathers at Chuck’s charity gala at the Empire and aside for a few too many overheard conversations, it makes for another solid episode, but not my favorite of the season so far.
It starts strong with Serena and Blair’s agreement to leave their exes alone and move on. “No Blair Waldorfing.” I love it. Neither girl is able to resist getting involved with their exes again, and both fail miserably. Though Serena rather wisely resolves that she doesn’t want Nate or Dan but someone who can provide the best of both. Who wouldn’t want that? Blair, on the other hand, is clearly still in love with Chuck Bass and destroying his relationship with Eva because of how painful it is for her to see them together. To hear him say those kind words about Eva, not Blair.
Is it a Gossip Girl first to have a guest character not be evil in some way? Eva, the nurse/hooker with a heart of gold who makes no distinction between “old Chuck, bad Chuck, new Chuck, good Chuck.” As much as I am in the Chuck-and-Blair-forever camp, I like the effect that Eva had on Chuck — to see him become so unlike the Chuck we knew, to try so hard to be good and be proud of himself — if only because it gives him room to fall. And watching Chuck at the bottom is fun (remember the “I’m Chuck Bass” on the rooftop? classic.) Blair’s scheme takes Eva out of the picture rather easily; Eva doesn’t even defend herself, she just says “I’m sorry” and starts packing. Au revoir, Eva, and hello Evil Chuck Bass.
Blair’s expression when Dorota told her Meester Chuck was downstairs was about as hopeful as mine watching that scene. You just knew we were about to get a classic Chuck and Blair moment. And we did: Chuck asking why she would destroy what he had with Eva and B unable to tell him she loves him. Oh, it’s so season 2. And The National was playing — just like in one of my favorite Chuck/Blair moments in “Oh Brother Where Bart Thou.”
I know Vanessa is technically doing the right thing in trying to get Dan to talk about his feelings but if I were Dan, I would’ve high-tailed it to Serena’s too. (Wait, is this why I’m not in an “adult relationship”??). I love Dan when he’s helping with a Waldorf scheme so thank god he did. He truly does have terrific social espionage skills. While I love some quality Dan/Serena flirtation, I feel like the timing isn’t right on them being together — maybe again in season 5 or 6. (Yes, I’ve started thinking about endgame relationships…) I’m not crazy about him with Vanessa but their scene in that sad empty nursery got me. As did Dan’s line, “losing Milo broke my heart.” Now you’re breaking ours, Humphrey.
The Nate/Juliet storyline didn’t set the world on fire but I like its slow burn. Is the guy she visited in jail really her brother? Calling him “troubled” is a nice way to tell the truth but really mislead someone. And the ruse with her using someone else’s apartment is clever — until you think about it just a little bit. Are someone else’s photographs all over it? Someone else’s mail? No personal belongings of hers whatsoever there is a bit fishy. What will she do when Nate wants to hang out there again? Oh right. It is Nate. He will likely not notice anything amiss.
- Love the opening song — Sleigh Bells‘ “Rill Rill” — and it’s a great Gossip Girl song and great for the “Eva inspires goodness in Chuck Bass” montage.
- “. . . or you’ll die hitting refresh.” Oh Blair. I love you.
- And the show acknowledges the world outside the Bassian bubble is awful. Thank you!
- I’m still not sure about live streaming video on Gossip Girl…
- After Chuck says he and Eva have no secrets: “Blackmailers must be weeping all over town.” Nice recovery, B.
- Dan: “OK, but you may lose me to CSI: Williamsburg.” Yessss.
- “For kids addicted to cell phones, you never seem to use them.” Wise man, that Rufus.
- Nate wears purple pants. And a matching plaid shirt. And somehow manages to not at all look like Chuck Bass.
- Never noticed this before: the pool table in Chuck’s suite has monogrammed balls.
- Did Serena even believe her half-hearted “I feel terrible” about Vanessa overhearing her conversation with Dan?
- There’s something off about the direction in this episode. Those flashing quick pans between scenes have to go.
- While the Eva/Chuck romance didn’t move me this exchange did:
C: “Don’t leave. Everybody leaves.” E: “You’re Chuck Bass and that means something different now.” Aw.
- B and S on the bed together? Beauty and friendship and sadness and perfection. That door closing by itself after we panned out? Almost completely ruined the moment. Is there a spirit haunting the Waldorf apartment closing doors? Was Dorota hiding in there and realized the girls needed some privacy?
Choice outfit: Serena for the win! I love that she can wear a sequined silver skirt on an average day about the city. It makes up for her weird-weird hair at the charity event. And the weird-weird cut-outs in her gown.
Episode title inspired by Touch of Evil (1958, dir. Orson Welles): A film noir classic, the story follows police from both sides of the U.S./Mexico border investigating a car bombing. A Mexican official (Charlton Heston), his new bride (Janet Leigh), a grizzly American detective (Orson Welles), and a cast of cops and thugs inhabit this world of betrayal and revenge. I won’t give away the plot as it’s a must-watch film that fills you with the best kind of anxiety and it’s beautifully filmed. (I could watch the newspapers blow around the deserted bordertown streets for hours.) Like Blair in “Touch of Eva,” the villain in Touch of Evil is willing to go to great lengths to destroy while pretending to be noble and well intentioned.
I know I’m absurdly late blogging on this episode, but if you can cast your mind back and remember what you thought of “Touch of Eva” — comment below!