The Wife:

Everything about Miss Carr generally makes me roll my eyes and scoff, so imagine how happy I was to hear that she was fired . . . and then how suddenly unhappy I was to hear that Headmistress Queller decided to rehire her for fear of a wrongful termination lawsuit. Miss Carr is actually a pretty terrible teacher. She may be bright, as far as empty literary references and intelligent-sounding commentary about the writing process the showrunners can shove into her mouth are concerned, but she’s pretty fucking dumb about professional conduct for a teacher. The school has a pretty fair case to fire her simply for fraternizing with the students without authorization because, by meeting Dan and Serena for coffee and breakfast to discuss their work outside school grounds, she’s setting herself up to be slandered. That’s just not appropriate conduct for a teacher. If she were their moderator for an after school activity, like, say, a newspaper or a literary magazine, neither of which Constance-St. Jude’s seems to have, and she needed to meet with her students off school grounds, permission slips would need to be signed. Why wouldn’t she just meet Dan in the school courtyard or library or have a meeting in her classroom to discuss his work? This isn’t college where you can treat your students like the adults that they are and meet with them outside of school and be their friend as much as their teacher. This is high school. They’re minors. Rules have to be followed. And clearly, Rachel Carr, with her extra-campus meetings and insistence on letting only Dan and Serena call her Rachel, doesn’t understand a damn thing about decorum. Rufus Humphrey seems to be the only person in the GG universe who understands the impropriety of Miss Carr even meeting innocently with students outside of school grounds. I’m pretty sure that a picture proving that she was meeting with students off-campus is enough to at least have her transferred to another school, or a brief suspension from the classroom. Whatever. I guess it doesn’t really matter, because as soon as people find out that she actually has slept with Dan, she’ll be gone. Sadly, I’ll have to put up with her idiocy and Laura Beckinridge’s dead, cold eyes until then.

My hatred of that character aside, Blair’s takedown plot was actually pretty awesome. Miss Carr had already stupidly given Blair so much to work with, that even working on a contraband cell phone couldn’t stop Blair from spreading the rumor that Miss Carr was having an inappropriate relationship with a student. After hearing about the rumor, Miss Carr finds out (from Dan, no less) to put the squeeze on Nelly Yuki, who gives up Blair as the GG tipster.

You've crossed me for the last time, Nelly Yuki.

You've crossed me for the last time, Nelly Yuki.

Blair’s punishment for this crime? Expulsion, which is far worse than her detention with the Preservation Society. (Of the two times I had detention, I vastly preferred helping out with the school’s can drive to sitting in a room doing homework for a half hour. How, exactly, is being given 30 minutes to do your homework quietly or read a book any kind of punishment?) Her expulsion, of course, means her much-contested Yale admission will be immediately revoked. Blair’s father comes to his daughter’s aid and asks her point blank why she would spread a rumor like that, to which Blair replies that she wasn’t saying anything that wasn’t true. (I agree on that vague statement that, indeed, Miss Carr’s relationship with Dan is inappropriate.) He drags his lawyers to a parent’s board meeting with the school to discuss the nature of the Gossip Girl website and its pernicious rumormongering, as well as the nature of Miss Carr’s relationship with her students. And it is here, after Serena’s strange inferiority complex led her to snap a photo of Miss Carr with Dan, that Blair bursts in with evidence of the claim she made, displaying the picture of Dan caressing Miss Carr’s face for the entire school board to see. This action gets Miss Carr fired, and Blair readmitted to Constance. Hooray! Problems solved! Until Blair’s father overhears her admit that she had initially lied, and just got lucky that her lie turned out to be true.

Nothing hurts Blair more than not being the apple of daddy’s eye, and she tries to apologize to him by appealing to his Yalie pride. He responds that Yale doesn’t matter to him at all. “What matters to me is not what college you go to, but what kind of person you grow up to be,” he says, admitting his disappointment with the lying, deceitful side of his perfect little girl.

Meanwhile, Dan goes off to apologize to Miss Carr . . . or something . . . about the way this whole situation went down, and they end up majorly boning to some scary-sounding music, just as Lily and Rufus get the news that, fearing a wrongful termination suit on dodgy evidence, Miss Carr will resume her teaching duties on Monday. Oops! I wager that the newfound sexual component to their relationship will finally get Miss Carr off my fucking TV set. Sweet statutory, I hate that character.

I do think this episode gave us something interesting to think about, though, in the discussion of the GG website during the parent’s board meeting. It is harmless, yes, and well within their rights of freedom of speech for teenagers to gossip on the internet, but free speech is always called into question when someone’s character is defamed. This happens numerous times where celebrities and other public figures of that sort get angry about things said of them in the media, but there is legal precedent in New York Times v. Sullivan that states that a public figure has to prove that the statement was said with actual malice, and that the publisher/author of the statement knew it at the time to be false and printed it solely with the intent to harm. It is usually very hard to prove that in a defamation case. On the GG scale, it’s very easy to prove that a statement is libelous. (Dear GG writers: please learn the difference between libel and slander. Everyone kept calling this slander, but it was published on the internet, thus written, thus making it libel. Slander is spoken. Libel is written. It’s really easy.) Blair even admits that she made the claim without knowing it to be true, and certainly did so with the intent to harm the affected parties. Indeed, the Waldorf family should have feared a libel suit, but Miss Carr has definitely erased any chances of filing that claim now that she’s schtooping Dan Humphrey.

Here's my paper. Appropriately, it's about hot dogs.

Here's my paper. Appropriately, it's about hot dogs.

As for Chuck Bass, he apparently had the best night of his life, but can’t remember it, and spends the entire episode trying to find out what happened the night before, with Nate and Vanessa in tow, for no apparent reason other than that someone felt they should make an appearance in this episode. He finds the house he went to after receiving a mysterious invitation, and gets a realtor to show him around and give him the name of the seller, whom he calls when he recognizes one of the women in the photographs on the piano. The woman, Elle, turns out to be the seller’s nanny, who moonlights as some kind of billionaire prostitute. Elle tracks Chuck down and tells him that she sent the invitation to him in error. She had taken over another girl’s client list and sent the invite before realizing that Bart Bass had passed. So, to keep Chuck from finding out what his father had been involved in, she drugged him and checked him into a hotel, hoping he wouldn’t remember anything he saw. Later, Chuck finds out that Elle has gone missing (goodbye, The L Word‘s Nikki Stevens!) and discovers a whole bunch of old invitations to these secret billionaire sex clubs stored in Bart Bass’ vault. I’m hoping that Bart Bass was actually involved in a secret hunting club where every now and again he would get together with sexy prostitutes and kill them in myriad fantasy ways, like, say, eating their legs while they’re still alive or lying naked in a tub while one is suspended above him so he can bathe in her blood. Just like Hostel, but with more sex.

The Husband:

Aside from some of my wife’s feelings about student-teacher relationships – I had breakfast/coffee with a teacher every once in a while in high school, and don’t see as much of a problem with it as she does – I also have to protest about Carr being a bad teacher. We haven’t seen any of her actual educational style (this is GG, and we have yet to actually see a class in progress yet over the show’s two seasons), but from what we’ve gathered I appreciate a more down-to-earth and relatable teacher such as this. My wife and I had pretty different high school experiences, despite both of our schools being in the same diocese, so I guess I really have to chalk it up to what kind of teachers we liked. I also don’t give a crap that Carr gave up doing Teach For America to come work at Constance-St. Jude’s. Knowing this show, something horrible may have happened to Ms. Carr there, and since this is GG I’m just going to assume the worst. I can only judge a person based on what’s given to me, just as a viewer is only truly supposed to apply the logic given to them by a particular show or movie in critiquing said show or movie. (i.e. Prison Break established itself in the first episode as existing in a universe of crazy coincidences, so stop complaining when things just happen to work out in certain ways to the characters.)

Really, though, the episode was pretty scattershot, especially Chuck Bass’ story, but I happened to love Blair’s plot. I think I just love it when she gets her comeuppance in any way or form, and having her father finally understand who the true conniving Blair really is goes down as a great GG moment.

(“Comeuppance.” That’s a word that I loved to use, but it is forever tainted to me now. When I worked at my college newspaper as A&E Editor and critic, a copy editor made a red mark next to that word and then wrote “huh?” This, along with this person’s confusion re: “compliment” vs. “complement” soured me on copy editors forever. ‘Tis the plight of a scorned writer. Still, try typing out the word. It’s surprisingly fun.)

So what’s Blair’s next bit of revenge going to be? Surely Nelly Yuki’s squealing will not go unpunished. Or is losing daddy’s love enough to alter Blair’s brain so that she realizes that vengeance is a vicious circle?

Good times. Orgies and statutory rape and Shakespeare. My kind of show.