The Wife:

As with any good story about a high school, there must be one chapter/episode dedicated entirely to the trials and tribulations of going to a Big Dance, in this case its the Senior Snowflake Charity Ball, organized by Lily Bass Der Woodsen with sound system by Rufus Humphrey.

For the kids of Constance/St. Jude’s, the ball is about seeing and being seen (yet another one of Gossip Girl‘s 18th century traditions), and for Blair it’s particularly important to be seen with the right date. Chuck Bass knows that Blair is the perfect girl for him just as deeply as she knows he’s the perfect guy for her, but they’re both stubborn narcissists, so they can’t go together. Instead, they bet one another that they can find the perfect dates for each other. If Chuck actually likes the date Blair picks for him, she gets his limo for a month. If Blair actually likes the date Chuck picks for her, he gets to borrow her maid, Dorota, for a month. (By the way, Dorota is Polish. I don’t think we knew that before.)

“I can like an intelligent man. He’ll whisper mellifluous nothings in my ear.” – Blair

In Serena land, she tells Dan how much she loves the Snowflake Ball and is a little disheartened that Aaron Rose doesn’t want to go with her because it clashes with his ideals as an impoverished artist. Then Serena meets Aaron’s ex, Lexi, at the gallery, readily making fun of Aaron’s Gap-esque portraits of Serena (which, really, is the only kind of modeling former Gap Kid Serena knows how to do). Immediately, Serena hates Lexi because she has no sense of humor about herself and Lexi is a much more commanding, interesting person than Serena, with her easy charm and mumble mouth, could ever hope to be. Sensing that Serena really dislikes Lexi, Aaron agrees to go to the Snowflake Ball to make her happy, if she promises to give Lexi a chance. And then Lexi starts hitting on Dan, and gets him to invite her to the ball as the two couples share a stroll around the historic Brooklyn waterfront.

Seriously, what does your ex have against the Gap?

Seriously, what does your ex have against the Gap?

Blair tells Serena that it’s ridiculous that she hasn’t slept with Aaron, especially considering the information Aaron gave her about Lexi’s plans for Dan. Lexi, you see, likes to sleep with guys on the first date as part of her feminist agenda (okay?). She doesn’t date many guys, but when she sets her sights on one, she’s going to end up in bed with him. Dan, therefore, is Lexi’s newest conquest.

Jenny and Vanessa are still trying to be friends despite their mutual attraction to the least interesting man in the Gossip Girl universe, Nate Archibald. Jenny is going completely stir crazy and putting all of her energy into cleaning and organizing the Humphrey loft because she just doesn’t know what happened to her and Nate. Vanessa, feeling the slightest bit of guilt about intercepting Nate’s letter, just doesn’t have the heart to tell Jenny about her relationship with Nate. Vanessa won’t even tell Nate about what happened with Jenny’s letter until their kiss gets blasted all over Gossip Girl.

After Vanessa’s departure, Penelope comes to the Brooklyn loft to ask J to make her a custom gown for the Snowflake Ball with only one day of lead time! J agrees to do the dress, even as Penelope grills her about her relationship with Nate, whom all of Penelope’s minions are in love with. (Again, ladies, I ask you why. He’s not interesting. And he’s not even rich anymore. I honestly can’t see why anyone would like him.) They then receive the Gossip Girl text blast, which swiftly changes Jenny’s mood about Vanessa, whom she later confronts in a spectacularly stupid catfight that once again makes me want to remind them that Nate Archibald is Totally Not Worth It. Jenny, still miffed, takes Penelope her dress and notices that the dress Nelly Yuki had made for herself is totally see-through. Penelope, scheming in a way Blair Waldorf would actually disapprove of, suggests that J give Vanessa Nelly’s dress, pretending that she made it as a special “bury the Nate hatchet” gift for Vanessa. At the ball, the other ladies spurned by Nate would blast her with a spotlight and publicly embarrass V. (A see-through dress is only really embarrassing if you’re not wearing underwear, and this is a TV show, so underwear must certainly be worn.)

In the Bass der Woodsen home, Lily has been cold to Bart since the dossier incident at Thanksgiving, and Bart, fearing he’ll lose a woman he actually loves in his own Bart Bass-y way, repents and tells Lily that he’s fired the private investigator. She seems to respond well to this, and makes Bart promise to return from his business trip in enough time to escort her to the Snowflake Ball she’s been working so hard to put together. Bart makes sure to tell his son just how disappointed he is in him for giving the Van Der Woodsens their dossiers just before he leaves for the trip, putting the impetus on Chuck to once again prove that he’s actually a loyal and loving son. Just before the ball, Lily calls Bart to tell him that she’s waiting for him to escort her and finds out that he is in a meeting with his PI, and then she finds a recent invoice, which angers her so much that she calls back to tell Bart that she’s not waiting for him and that she’ll be attending the ball without him. Once there, she tells Rufus that she’s going to leave Bart because he refuses to change.

“There’s something I love about the Snowflake Ball. It’s like Anna Karenina by Anna Wintour.” – Serena

Why do you care who I sleep with? I slept with you and youre from Brooklyn!

Why do you care who I sleep with? I slept with you and you're from Brooklyn!

Serena hints to Aaron that they’ll be sleeping together after the ball, and then Serena and Dan proceed to have a really awkward discussion of the appropriateness of sex on a first date, let alone sex with people other than each other, as both Dan and Serena agree that the times they had sex it was truly special. At the end of the dance, the two parties apologize to each other for criticizing one another’s decisions to have sex, and ultimately decide that they do not have any place telling each other how to lead their sex lives. Honestly, I don’t really understand the point of this plot or this conversation. While I appreciate the fact that Dan and Serena feel that sex should be something special and that neither of them should feel pressured by their dates to have sex before their ready, this is not at all something that should have mattered to Dan and Serena about each other. All that needed to be said was: “Don’t have sex with Aaron/Lexi unless you’re ready and feel it will be special, like it was with us.” That’s it. Enough said. No reason to be angry or offended – especially because Dan and Serena now are just friends looking out for each other. (You know what else makes no sense? That Anna Karenina comparison Serena made. I don’t think she really knows what Anna Karenina is about. And yes, I do realize she just wanted to allude to the fact that Russian winters have many snowflakes.)

Meanwhile, Chuck and Blair unveil the dates they’ve found for each other: a Beta Blair and a Beta Bass, the latter of whom does a perfect Ed Westwick sneer. Realizing that they’ve basically picked each other, but in knock-off variety, Chuck tries to get Blair to admit that they should have just gone together in the first place, but she will not lose her bet . . . until she finds the two clones making out with each other.

“This is the weirdest out-of-body experience ever.” – Blair

Even fake Chuck and fake Blair know that Chuck and Blair should be together, but real Chuck and real Blair insist that they can’t lest that new relationship change their entire strange, competitive friendship. As Blair bemoans this lamentable fate, Chuck Bass drags her on to the dance floor and tells her to shut up, stop worrying so much and just enjoy being his date for the remainder of the night.

Can someone please explain to me why a full length shot of this dress was never actually in last nights episode? Because its fucking amazing.

Can someone please explain to me why a full length shot of this dress was never actually in last night's episode? Because it's fucking amazing.

Little J shows up at the ball and Vanessa, wearing the sheer gown, tells J that she’s going to break up with Nate. V tells Nate that she’s the reason Jenny never got Nate’s letter and leaves him on the dance floor. Jenny, feeling some remorse for what’s about to happen, tries to give Vanessa her stole before Penelope and friends can hit her with the spotlight, buts he arrives to late. Vanessa is publicly humiliated and walks out of the ball in tears. Outside, Nate tells Jenny about Vanessa stealing the letter, but then chastises her for humiliating Vanessa so publicly. Even with Vanessa gone, Nate doesn’t want to be with Jenny: “You’re not the person I thought you were.” Before Vanessa gets in a cab, Nate manages to win her back as a heartbroken Joan Jett-y Little J looks on. Later, Penelope approaches to berate J for helping Vanessa, and she in turn berates the Queen Bitch and walks away.

The Humphrey Der Woodsen Wedding that never was.

The Humphrey Der Woodsen Wedding that never was.

On the roof, Lily and Rufus have a heart-to-heart about her relationship with Bart. When she announces that she’s leaving Mr. Bass, Rufus admits to her that he regrets letting her go on her wedding day. Meanwhile, Bart Bass tries to keep his PI from revealing the details he learned on the project Bart fired him from, until Chuck, desperate to earn his father’s approval, calls to tell Bart that Lily is at the ball with Rufus. Upon hearing this, Bart asks his PI for the dirt on Lily. Chuck, being decent, tells Lily that he called Bart and that she owes Bart at least a conversation before leaving. However, Lily and Bart may never get to have that conversation as the evening ends with Lily receiving a phone call notifying her that Bart Bass has been in an accident.

I knew Bart Bass would be the one to die, because he’s not even in the main cast, but I had sincerely hoped that it would be Nate Achibald, whose only character trait other than being formerly rich and having floppy hair is that he is somehow able to hook up with every girl in the Gossip Girl Universe. I hope that he decides to stick with his first season plan of going to USC instead of his second season plan of gong to Yale, because I’m done with Nate and I don’t want to see him anymore.

Poor Bart Bass. You were a good villain – steely, reserved and sometimes in gross violation of privacy rights, but usually well-intentioned. Well, except towards your own son. Knowing how much you berate your son informs his ill-will toward practically everyone else. Maybe next week you’ll just be in a coma and there’s still plenty of time to kill off Nate!
The Husband:

The manner in which we find out about Bart’s accident – over the phone and directly after us seeing him about to learn something devastating about Lily either in her past or her present – was so anticlimactic that, unfortunately, I doubt he will be the one to die. I’m sure we’ve all been led to believe that this accident is actually a set-up, thus making it an “accident,” quote intended. Then again, maybe the surprise the PI had for Bart was a bullet to the head, but somehow I doubt it.

If he is the one to die, I am conflicted. He is, as mentioned, not in the main cast and really an all-around hated character, but it would sadly leave Chuck an orphan, which is not something I wish on him. This season has, at least to some degree, been about Chuck finding his heart and soul, and having one’s only parent die, no matter how horrible that parent is, will stop this arc in its tracks. The best that can happen is that Lily becomes a guardian to him, a better mother and parent than he has ever known. Lily can battle Chuck over Bart’s wealth, leading to some interesting family dynamics which will be made even more interesting if Lily really starts it up again with Rufus, thus making a Bass-Woodsen-Humphrey free-for-all of sex, money, rock ‘n roll and a lot of sneering.

Despite the fact that I dislike Nate almost as much as my wife does, I was fascinated by the Little J-Vanessa battle over him. While he is absolutely not worth the fuss, he works as a catalyst that makes Vanessa seem actually interesting in comparison and a worthy Little J competitor.

In the realm of pointless points, I find myself strangely drawn to the evil daywalking vampire Hazel (a.k.a. Mini-Blair), even more so now that I’m baffled that the actress playing her, Dreama Walker, is 22 years old, about six years older than she looks. Way to pull that one off, Dreama.

And is GG so pressed for budget that they have to use that same building for every single one of their teen balls? First the party in the show’s pilot, then the costume ball, and now this? I mean, it’s a cool building and seems to have a rooftop that demands drama…but doesn’t it seem strange to anybody else?