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November 12, 2010

Gossip Girl Episode 4.8 Recap

This Week on Gossip Girl: Blair eats a lot of macaroons.

Gossip Girl is not, at its core, a fluffy little show about rich teenagers banging each other.* It transcends that genre, despite being the paragon of it—it is simply too sprawling, too absurd, too disconnected from reality and at times too positively Machiavellian to be written off as generic trash. The characters are all borderline-delusional and quite possibly all have major personality disorders, and parade around the Upper East Side in four-inch heels or pastel bow ties (depending on gender), getting involved in situations that to any ordinary person would seem completely insane—a fact that goes unnoticed by even the characters who are supposed to be "normal".

So trapped are the writers in this world that they've created that to them it seems entirely acceptable to, say, write a full-blown conspiracy into the show, in which a nineteen-year-old girl is stealthily insinuating herself into the lives of the main characters and building creepy stalker-collages on her wall, under orders from her mysterious convict brother, and to have the end-goal of this evil plot be to get Serena expelled from college. Have they run out of characters to pair up? How did we go from the biggest drama of an episode being about who spilled yogurt on whom on the front steps of school to massive conspiracies, amnesia, and Russian mob babies? Why has no one pointed out that one of Serena's main love interests is technically her stepbrother, or that Blair's exile of Jenny Humphrey from Manhattan implies that Blair, a second-year college student, has some kind of actual authoritative power over the city of New York?

But to narrow our focus to the episode at hand, there's really only one point to Juliet Doesn't Live Here Anymore, because no one really cares about Serena's codependant man-hopping, or Vanessa being angry about everything. Within the intricate absurdity of the Gossip Girl world, there are in truth only two things we (I) care about: one is Chuck, and the other is Blair. Serena can take this episode to struggle all she wants in choosing between a now-indeterminate number of men (which she does**), Juliet can continue to be an inexplicable stalker (which she does), and Dan can bumble around New York not really knowing what's going on (which he does), but what really matters is that in Juliet Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Chuck and Blair finally stop hating and scheming against one another and start hating and scheming against one another and also sleeping together. (Again.) And really, that's all that matters. Everything else is incidental nonsense.

*This is not to say that it isn't a) fluffy or b) full of rich teenagers banging each other.

** Struggle, that is. Not choose.

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