Gossip Girl Is Where We Belong

By
Photo: Courtesy of the CW
Episode Title
The Magnificent Archibalds
Season
2
Episode
11

It's Thanksgiving already! We kind of leaped forward in time, which is weird because we've become accustomed to Gossip Girl's holidays coinciding with ours. But like many of the characters in this episode, we will try to set aside small, petty, material grievances and instead focus on the many things there were to be thankful for in this episode. Among them: Dorota's ringtone, a random reference to Fassbinder, the annoying familiarity of Aaron Rose, and the long, lovely moments the camera spends lingering pornographically over Blair's dad's Famous Pie from last year, which he presents to her in gayest ever picnic basket, and which harkens us back to last year's Barfsgiving episode and reminds us, as we enter the holiday season, of the fact that Gossip Girl has been in our lives for an entire year. And will be, we hope, for many more years to come.

Amen.

Now, on to our weekly reality index!

Realer Than Chuck's "Sexual Awakening" With the Italian Au Pair
• Blair is appalled that she was invited by Cyrus's family to shop at Century 21. Plus 2 (though we haven't forgotten all those Bluefly.com bags, B!).
• Blair: "He's just like Bill Paxton, only younger, and with scruff." Yes! Bill Paxton, the ultimate film douche. Plus 5.
• Serena: "You can't get the prize if you don't go deep."
Blair: "There are so many things wrong with that sentence." Touchdown, Waldorf. Plus 2.
• Dan is looking for Eric to help him find Jenny but can't find him because, DUH, Eric hasn't existed for like three whole episodes. Plus 2.
• Vanessa's family is spending Thanksgiving at a Washoe Indian Reservation for a protest. Plus 10.
• Rufus is in Lily's cell phone as "R." The code means the love! Plus 2.
• In an amazing trifecta, in one episode, Lily wears a Kelly, an ostrich Birkin, and yet another Hermès bag. Plus 5.
• "You don't know how he's been," Jenny says to Lily, as though Rufus has been making really unreasonable demands by insisting she go to school and not act like whore. Plus 2, because to a delinquent teenage girl, those are unreasonable demands.
• Aaron blackmails Serena into not drinking in exchange for him not hooking up with other chicks. So typical. Plus 3.
• Of course Blair would describe Serena and Aaron's relationship as a "nonstarter." It's so 11-going-on-60! Plus 2.
• Jessica has finally figured out the type of guy that Aaron Rose is. To explain we have to go back to the first time she encountered such a character, one summer when she was a hostess in a restaurant in Martha's Vineyard. Dan, as he was called, worked in the kitchen and was scruffly with strong hands that were adept at opening oysters. He was cute in a ruddy, New England–ish way, but he was obviously not as cute or as interesting or as smart or as cool as Jessica, and so she frankly assumed that he worshiped her. So when she found that he was sleeping with this waitress from the Salty Nail, or something we can't remember the exact name, she was more bemused than angry. Didn't he know how lucky he was? Like, what was he thinking? But Dan insisted that it didn't mean anything, that it was an ex-girlfriend and he had been like, consoling her, and he was so sorry and wrote this note on the back of a menu full of misspellings, and he made direct eye contact, and so she believed him. Then one night, not long after, she walked into a party and found him, ironically and still unbelievably, entwined with a cheerleader from her own high school. It was because, he later said, several hours after her dramatic exit when he finally showed up at her gross share house, he was on Ecstasy and he didn't know what he was doing, and why was Jessica so uptight? Did Jessica learn her lesson this time? No. That wouldn't come until she got a terrible UTI from Dirty Dick Dan, as he came to be known, after which she found out he was also sleeping with the 17-year-old busgirl and the pastry chef and probably also the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker. And much, much later, when the shame had at last subsided, she realized that pretty much every girl experiences a guy like DDD, or an Aaron Rose, a man who is completely and unequivocally undeserving of your attentions but at the same time unfathomably, and somewhat attractively, not into you, at least enough that it drives you insane. This man takes many shapes and forms, but from now on, let us call all men with these tendencies "Aaron Roses". Plus 10, now can he please go away?
• Does the Captain have the same facial hair as Aaron? So subtle, so right! Plus 1.
• The Captain is using plays from the Aaron Rose playbook. Instead of being apologetic for being a huge coke-addicted felon, he says. "I can't turn back the clock!" Plus 5.
• Did anyone else freeze and throw their hands in the air in shock when Bart said to Eric, "You might want to ask Jonathan what he was doing Monday night?" BEST. LINE. OF. THE. EPISODE. Especially because presumably Bart has a folder with pictures of what Eric's boyfriend was "doing" that night. Plus 8. (And can we see the pictures of Jonathan and the swim captain, please? Come on, we've earned it.)
• Chuck: "My plans for the evening just got hung up in Customs." Notice he said "plans." Foreign! Twins! Again! Plus 4.
• It's so Guy of Dan to just kind of casually drop into conversation with Vanessa that Nate and Jenny aren't seeing each other anymore, and for her to not care even though she has obviously been obsessing over it forever. Plus 1.
• It looks like Dan, Rufus, and Aaron are shopping at Union Market. While we fully applaud the fact that they are at least definitely in Brooklyn — and the fact that we see Gorilla coffee in the background! — we have to give minus points because Rufus would obviously belong to the Co-op. Even.
• Eleanor, to Blair, regarding the boyfriend her daughter just met in the past episode: "This is your family now, get with the program and fast." Plus 2.
• They kind of overdid it this episode, but it feels really right that Blair is obsessed with traditions. She's got nothing else stable in her life. Certainly not on the inside. Plus 2.
• Holy hell, gold bars in the safe? And a satellite phone? Eric's line says it all:
"It's like the end of every heist movie ever made." Plus 5.
• Dorota's ring for Eleanor is Britney Spears's "I'm a Slave 4 U." Plus 25.
• When Rufus and Lily stare up the stairs at Jenny in shock, it's not because they have the emancipation papers. It's because they're looking up her two-inch dress. Plus 4.
• When Jenny sees Eleanor Waldorf behind Blair, she gapes, and Blair says, "What, is it my hair?" Plus 2, because she wasn't wearing a headband, and of course she'd be hairanoid.
• Eleanor is nice to Jenny, which would be unrealistic given their last parting, but then she gave that "Ugh, I'm an actual adult in a city of children" sigh, and you remember that sometimes people are reasonable and nice. Sometimes. Plus 4.
• Nate says that he can get back with Vanessa because he "hasn't heard from Jenny in weeks." Classic. Plus 4.
• How cute is Dorota in the background of the Blair surprise scene?? Plus 2.
• Jenny's raccoon makeup is symbolically gone in the last scene. It's like how Eric got rid of his highlights when he finally came out! Plus 2.
• Anyone notice that when the candles are being lit at the Humphrey Thanksgiving table, Eric has his own little lighter? Secret smoker! Plus 1.
• Serena and Dan are totally going to do it again. Plus 4.

Faker Than a New York Thanksgiving With Leaves on the Trees
• We've never seen the cartoonish "Excelsior, Integrity, Knowledge, Honor" logo of St. Jude's and Constance Billard before. The words are right, but the crest looks like it was designed by Keith Haring in 1988. Even if the schools were new, the insignias would be made to look old. And they'd have weird things like bees and tigers on them. Minus 3.
• Nate went away for a couple of weeks to be with his mom and then just showed up at school? You can't just ditch for no reason and miss half a semester. They'd have that spot filled by some wait-listed Tisch half-wit after three days. Minus 4.
• Eric is pretty wise, we learn in this episode. It comes from his inner torture — you know, like Matilda. He probably would have cautioned Jenny out of emancipating herself and not shown up at the courthouse with her. Minus 2.
• Bart buttons both buttons on his exquisitely tailored two-button suit. Chuck would take him down with a blowgun before letting him go out of the house like that. Minus 5.
• Jenny was staying in Lily's apartment and the army of servants and private investigators didn't find out? What? What do they pay these people for? Minus 3.
• If the Captain has been living "the way he always has," per the FBI agent, then why is he sporting that weird, gross mustache? Minus 3. Because if Nate's mom gave him that sweater, you'd think she'd lend him a razor, too.
• Okay, even though Rufus smoked half his brain away with the Spin Doctors in 1994, he would still have taken less than a week to freak out about his missing daughter. Minus only 3, because we still have a soft spot for "Two Princes."
• Lily couldn't keep Jenny away from Rufus. Like, legally, she couldn't. Minus 2.
Gramercy Tavern wouldn't be Blair's favorite restaurant, it would be Nobu, and they wouldn't go that far below 42nd on a holiday. Minus 3.
• Speaking of which, Eleanor wouldn't make the call herself and confirm a reservation. What is Dorota doing all day? Making pies and giggling in the background? Because if so, can we please have that job? Minus 3.
• Also, sorry, why is every holiday Blair's favorite holiday? Minus 3.
• Holy. Fucking. Fishnets. Serena's Thanksgiving dress makes her ass look like a soggy, flat apricot. A slutty apricot. Minus 5.
• In general, people resolve issues in person on this show much more than any New Yorkers ever do. Nobody explains anything on the phone if they can't get in a limo and talk about it 30 minutes later in person. And nobody says "come meet me," they always pick people up. This isn't L.A., for traffic's sake. Minus 3.
• There was an Observer on Bart's desk again. Come on, the prop department couldn't fine one Wall Street Journal? It comes out every day! Minus 3.
• That was it? Lily's big secret was that she was in an institution? Serena killed someone. This is a letdown. Minus 3.
• Chuck's mother's birthday is 8/7/69?!??!?! Minus 10 , not just because we're kind of old but because, honestly, no one on the Upper East Side has kids that young anymore. You have them when you are 50 with chemicals.
• Everyone has started calling Eric "E" all of a sudden. What, did they think we wouldn't notice? Minus 1.
• The FBI agent goes, "I'll let the three of you talk it over." Sure, that happens. Minus 3.
• Vanessa has absolutely no idea what Berlin Alexanderplatz is. She can't even say it. Minus 2, because you would actually have to be a split personality to sustain an interest in both the films of Fassbinder and fucking Nate.

You know the drill. Put your own reality points in the comments!