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Gossip Girl: “Bonfire of the Vanity”

November 13, 2008

Warning: Spoilers for Gossip Girl episode aired 11/10/08!

          I didn’t have a chance to write about last week’s episode, "There Might Be Blood", so I’ll mention a few things about that first.  As always, I loved the Blair and Chuck parts.  Blair wore the most fabulous red dress ever. From start to finish, Blair was her usual fabulous blend of manipulative, bitchy, vulnerable, insightful, brave, and awesome.  At any moment she might destroy the world, save it, or burst into tears  She remains my favorite character on television.   I loved the interaction between Chuck and the little tween girl: "I’ve heard about you! You’re the devil!"  Classic.  The Serena-Aaron storyline was just so-so.  In the words of Blair,  "The guy gave you a ring-pop when you were 6, get over it!"  My hatred for Jenny reached new heights last week, and I wish Lilly had not thwarted Rufus’s attempt to throw his daughter in jail.  That girl is a rude ungrateful idiot who could use some perspective.  Jenny and her entire storyline got even worse this week, so from now on I will not be mentioning anything that involves her in my recaps.  This is my happy show, and she threatens to ruin that.
          On to "Bonfire of the Vanity."  This was a Blair-centric episode (as they all should be), so I was thrilled.  I knew about this whole storyline from the books, so I wasn’t surprised, but I loved it anyways.  The episode began with Blair super-excited about meeting her mom’s new boyfriend.  She’s expecting Cary Grant, but instead, it turns out that Vizzini is Eleanor’s new boyfriend.  Inconceivable!  This is the best guest casting yet on this show.  I adored Wallace Shawn in Princess Bride and Clueless, and he is just perfect as Cyrus Rose.  Blair disgustedly tells Serena: "He’s five feet tall, he has a catch phrase, and he’s a hugger!"  Hee.  Serena advises Blair to be gracious, reminding her best friend that she had always planned to be an elegant woman, like Grace Kelly, when she turned 18.  That is such a Blair-like thing to plan.  Blair tries to live up to her ideals, but that does not last long.  B decides to pump Cyrus for incriminating information, and learns that Cyrus cheated on his first wife.  However, the story he tells her about falling in love with Kim Lee, a beautiful Vietnemese girl who died tragically, is so romantic that even Blair was moved.  Her expression was quite comic and adorable as Cyrus waxed poetic about his lost love, and how much he now loves Eleanor.  Unfortunately, Blair is a consummate schemer, and proceeds to tell her mom that Cyrus is a cheater–ommitting all the extenuating circumstances.  Eleanor is heart-broken.  Her marriage to Blair’s father ended due to cheating, so she breaks things off with Cyrus. Sigh.  Luckily, Cindy Lauper arrives at Blair’s birthday party to save the day.  Yes, that’s right people, Cindy Lauper.  "I come home in the morning light, my mother says ‘When you gonna live your life right?’ O mother dear, we’re not the fortunate ones, but girls just wanna have fun … when the working day is done, oh girls, they wanna have fun … they just wanna, they just wanna-ha-ha, ah ha ha, girls just wanna have fu-un."  My hero.  As Blair explains, "I wanted a Harry Winston choker for my birthday, but instead I got a conscience."  Aawwww.  Blair goes to Cyrus to try to undo her dastardly deed, and realizes that Cyrus  totally out-maneuvered her.  Blair admits that he’s a genius.  Well played, sir.  Well played.
          Meanwhile, Dan goes to the dark-side and sells his soul for a magazine by-line.  He cozies up to Bart Bass to get the scoop on Bass Enterprises (I think that’s his company’s name), and Chuck get uber-jealous.  Chuck is not as dumb as Dan though, so he catches on to the ruse, and warns his dad.  In the end, Dan’s heart grows a couple of sizes, and instead of turning in the expose, he gives Bart the story about Chuck from a few weeks ago.  Bart reads it and is moved.  He apologizes to Chuck, and explains that he does not blame him for his mother’s death.  He claims he wants a relationship with his son, and the scene ends on a happy and sentimental note.  Any bets on how long that will last? I say things will start to fall apart next episode.   It’s nice while it lasts though.
          While all this important stuff is going on, Serena spends most of the episode contemplating her relationship with loser-Aaron.  When S is hurt that he’s seeing lots of other girls, he feeds her some crap about rejecting his parents’ world and being a free-spirit.  Despite Blair’s awesome advice (there’s a fabulous exchange between the two girls in which they discuss how conventional they are), S decides to throw caution to the wind and go walking in the park with Aaron, wearing her pajamas.  Of course for Serena, pajamas mean a sexy little slip which pretty much covers as much as all her other clothes do.  The risky part involves going out with Aaron, and I don’t think he will turn out to be worth it.  Scratch that, I know he won’t.
          Next week, a Thanksgiving episode!  I’m looking forward to the Waldorf-Rose and Van der Woodsen-Bass family celebrations!  My guess is that by the time dinner begins there won’t be much thanking going on. 

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