was quite possibly the most ludicrous yet (and yes, I know that is a bold statement): not only did not one but two characters find themselves homeless by the end of the episode – separately! and for different reasons! – but some guy thought that he was too good for Serena Van Der Woodsen. And he went to RISD. Come on, show. Suspension of disbelief is all well and good but look at him! Now look at her! Thank you.
Rufus makes pasta sauce (which will, presumably, be poured over waffles) while Dan wonders at his father’s calmness in the face of losing the lone remaining female Humphrey. Rufus exposits that he has met Agnes and Agnes’ mother, with whom Jenny is staying for the time being. Dan runs out the door to meet with Noah Shapiro, who loved Dan’s Charlie Trout story and is planning on writing him a Yale recommendation: Rufus is predictably torn between Humphrey-judgmental and really, really jealous about the fact that his kids are well on their way to being more famous than he ever was. Blair, Serena and the Headbands begin planning Blair’s 18th birthday party, and Blair begs off for the night to meet Eleanor’s new boyfriend at dinner. (Side note: how awesome would it be if everyone Eleanor ever dates on this show is blatantly, obviously gay to everyone except Eleanor? Doesn’t she seem like one of those women?) Serena smirks that Aaron has been sending her maps to romantic places, since they are apparently now dating, even though he’s clearly slimy. She follows the map to Times Square, and she sees herself on the Jumbotron, and the Kings of Leon kick up, and Aaron kisses her in the middle of the street as she agrees to pose for him. Which, when there are YouTube videos of you not only having sex but killing some poor schlub, isn’t that big a deal.
Jenny and Agnes meet with a business manager, and Jenny is irked when Agnes begins to take more and more credit for the clothing line. They are thrown out of the office – apparently a fairly common occurrence lately – as Little J begins to realize that perhaps relying on the professionalism of a teen model who models herself on Cory Kennedy was a poor business decision. Meanwhile, Blair prepares to meet Cyrus, who she is excited to make her new stepfather; however, Wallace Shawn steps out of the elevator. She exclaims, “inconceivable!” (Ok, maybe I made that last part up.) Eleanor flirts and flutters and looks all like a teenager and introduces him as “Cyrus Rose”, which just has to mean that he’s Aaron’s father, no? Chuck buys his father season hockey tickets as an gift celebrating the 20th anniversary of Bass Industries, which Bart predictably rejects. Dan shows up at some seedy dive to pick up his letter from Noah Shapiro, who introduces him to the senior editor of New York Magazine. He is very interested in Dan’s piece; however, he’s only interested in it in that he wants Dan to do an anonymous expose of Bart Bass and Bass Industries. And if he does, he’ll commission another piece from him.
Blair complains to Serena about Cyrus while Serena ignores her to run off to pose for Aaron. Dan interviews Bart to ask him about “future business opportunities”, and Bart agrees to let him tail him twice a week: “anything for a friend of Serena’s.” Chuck walks in to hear Bart invite Dan to a hockey game. Whoops. Jenny comes shrieking at a hungover Agnes, who is drinking VITAMINWATER! NOTE THE VITAMINWATER! God, the product placement on this show is clumsy. While Agnes pukes in the bathroom, Jenny surreptitiously calls the business manager they met with yesterday; when she meets with him, she tells him that she has severed all ties with Agnes, and that her parents will sign the incorporation papers. Blair tries to act grown-up in the face of Cyrus complaining about the price of flowers for her birthday party (peonies! In November!) but loses her cool when Eleanor and Cyrus make plans to skip the party for a Cyndi Lauper concert.
Serena is a total nerd and can’t relax for greasy Aaron and his greasy camera. He needs a shower. Ew. Chuck follows Dan to NY Magazine and finds out that he is meeting with the senior editor. The next morning, Serena brings Aaron bagels and finds moving images of herself all over the walls; she’s flattered and touched until his next appointment shows up. “I’m doing a series,” he says. Oy. Dan receives an email from “lovelace2” to meet for some information about Bart Bass. Heh. You KNOW it’s Chuck with a handle like that. Dan meets with Lovelace, who tells him that Bart burned down a building for insurance money in 1987. Eleanor shows up with breakfast, glowing, which drives Blair up the wall. Blair tells Dorota she needs a scheme to get rid of Cyrus; she asks him to lunch. He admits to having fallen in love with a Vietnamese woman while fighting the war; however, while he was admitting the relationship to his wife, his Vietnamese lover was killed. He says that was the only time he knew true love until he met Eleanor. Blair melts. Serena calls Aaron to ask him to lunch but he says he’s still hanging out with another model.
Blair is confronted by Eleanor while getting ready for the party; Eleanor is furious that Blair asked Cyrus to lunch. Blair, in return, tells Eleanor that Cyrus cheated on his first wife which – while true – is sort of not the point. The business manager’s secretary accidentally calls Agnes instead of Jenny and reveals that Jenny is incorporating under her own name. Later, Serena pouts on the couch at Blair’s seemingly boring black-and-white party. (Blair, for those of you keeping track, is wearing an Edwardian ruff with no shirt to celebrate this momentous occasion.) Cyrus introduces himself to Serena as Aaron’s father just as Eleanor confronts him about the affair; he admits it, and she asks him to leave. However, Cyndi Lauper gets out of the elevator and says that Cyrus had bought out her entire show so that she could play Blair’s birthday. Blair melts more and feels almost as terrible as a human being would: “I wanted a Harry Winston choker for my necklace and I got a conscience instead.” She chases Cyrus outside and chastises him for giving up so easily; when he claims that he hasn’t given up, Blair realizes with mounting glee that he has outmaneuvered her. Jenny arrives at Agnes’ apartment to learn that firstly, Rufus had been there looking for Jenny, having heard about the incorporation paperwork, and secondly, that Agnes has had a complete psychotic break and set all of Jenny’s dresses on fire.
Chuck overheads Dan fishing for information about the fire; he steps in right after Bart admits the arson and that OMFG someone died in the fire! Chuck reveals Dan as a journalist, and Bart asks Dan what it will cost to make the story disappear. Dan decides that this is a good time to find that holier-than-thou Humphrey glory he lost only a few short days ago and stomps off into the elevator, chased by a threatening Chuck. Dan leaves the story down at the concierge for Bart, tape recordings included, with a note saying that he’s sorry. Bart begins to read as we realize that this is the story about Bart’s mistreatment of Chuck after his wife’s death. Serena shows up at Aaron’s studio to a condescending lecture about dating more than one person at once; she says that’s not her thing, and leaves. Jenny arrives at home and tells Rufus that she will move back in if he signs the incorporation papers. Her acting has gotten really quite good, hasn’t it? He refuses, and she leaves, collapsing on a pile of packing crates, sobbing.
The next morning, the sun rises on Brooklyn as Jenny calls her business manager, who recommends that she file an emancipation suit. Bart walks into Chuck’s room and apologizes, saying that he never blamed him for his mother’s death: Chuck just reminds him so much of his dead wife that it’s hard to look at him sometimes. Dan tells Rufus that he needs to stop being stubborn and let Jenny win. Serena, in her nth negligee this season, complains on the phone to Blair, who is horrified to see that Cyrus is moving in. Aaron appears in the Van Der Bass foyer and tells her that he’s afraid of her Upper-East-Sideness, and essentially challenges her freespiritedness. She rises to the challenge by throwing a coat on over her negligee – for reals – and following him out of the house. She looks like Little Edie Beale. This cannot be good.
Next week: Archibald Family Thanksgiving!
Ok, I cannot in good conscience keep my mouth shut any longer. Why do they hate Blake Lively this season? Her wardrobe is incredibly unflattering, they make her kiss greasy costars, and they’re slathering so much makeup on her that her face cracks every time she speaks. Am I being overly harsh? Or does someone have it out for our lovely Serena?