You know, for someone whose mother has been married four times, you would think Serena would know the ins and outs of the marriage process, but in this episode, I learned that she’s really stupid. Too stupid to get into Yale on her own merits and certainly too stupid to get into Brown. As funny as this comedy of errors Seder was, it was never really dramatic because the tension upon which it was built was actually non-existent. And I knew it, and I can only hope that other viewers knew it, too. Just because you get drunk in a foreign country and wake up a priest and ask to be married doesn’t mean you’re married. You have to get a license for that, and the signed license makes it real and legal, not whatever some dude says in a church or synagogue or whatever. And because Serena is too dumb to figure out simple process analysis (having been at, like, at least one of her mom’s marriages), she ruins Cyrus and Eleanor’s first Seder though a series of lies and entanglements.
1. Thinking she’s married, she calls Cyrus for legal advice on a quickie annulment.
2. Dan, taking a catering job to help pay for college without his dad’s knowledge, overhears, as he is playing cater waiter at this very Seder.
3. When Lily and Rufus show up for Seder, Serena pretends she came because Blair invited her, which Eleanor thinks is really weird because Blair made it absolutely clear she’d be off doing her own Blair shit. (Which was an actual plot, and thus will be discussed later.)
4. Gabriel shows up unannounced at the Seder, and Serena pretends that Dan is her boyfriend and the reason she left Spain unexpectedly. She has really got to stop using Dan as a relationship crutch. It’s just confusing and, actually, kind of mean to Dan. Serena and Dan spend the rest of the dinner pretending their together, leading Eleanor to think that Dan is officially the worst cater waiter in the world, and also making Rufus and Lily question their children’s involvement. My favorite bit about this ridiculous detail was that Gossip Girl announced Gabriel’s arrival with a rallying cry of “Baruch ha ta ai dios mio!” If my husband ever decides to become more Jewish than he is and I ever have to host a Seder, I’m totally starting it by saying that. Best. Thing. Ever.
5. After much confusion at what was either the best or worst Seder ever, Serena tells everyone that she was pretending to be Dan’s girlfriend so that Rufus wouldn’t find out he was playing cater waiter.
6. Lily calls Serena on her shit for ruining the Seder: “You could have thrown in a couple of boys from the lacrosse team and it would have been the Constance mother-daughter luncheon all over again.” And then tells Serena she got into Brown. Surrrre she did.
7. Rufus makes an art sale during Seder dinner and then announces that he’s going to sell the gallery, thus Dan doesn’t have to be a cater waiter anymore. You know, unless Dan wants to work and earn his own money and have honest life experiences that he can write about. Because those totally aren’t useful, like, at all.
8. After dinner, Gabriel tells Serena they’re not married. Which was totally moot at this point because there was no way they could have been. Thus, nothing actually happened except Serena totally ruining Passover. (Although, gentile Eleanor helped, too, by continually seating guests in the empty chair left for Elijah, which is, for the record, inconceivable! Haha! Yes! Wallace Shawn is back and I can make Princess Bride jokes!)
In Blair Land, she’s continuing to have major anxieties and actual real problems by losing her spot at Yale. I love that these anxieties express themselves as dreams about Eliza Doolittle, because they’re supremely entertaining to me. She is instead spending all of her time fawning over Nate, who asks her to meet him at Cousin Tripp’s rehearsal dinner because he has a surprise for her. She believes that the surprise will be her admission to the Jr. Committee at the Whitney, as her new non-collegiate avenue of choice is to become a professional socialite, doing charity work and other such things that make the rich and bored feel good about themselves. But when she arrives, Nate’s surprise is his admission to Columbia, which is only made worse when Tripp’s bride-to-be tells Blair that she was rejected from the Whitney committee. Grandpa Vanderbildt sidles up to Blair and convinces her to get Nate’s ear by offering her a position on the Whitney committee, as well as a bridesmaid’s position in Tripp’s wedding if she can get him to stay Yale-bound.
But Blair ultimately fails at this endeavor, as Nate stands up to toast at Tripp’s rehearsal dinner to announce that Gramps Vanderbildt was the man who had the Captain investigated. Gramps Vanderbildt tells Nate after his outburst that he only turned the Captain in after personally confronting him and giving him a chance to change, in the interest of preserving Nate’s family. But the Captain refused, thus sealing his fate. Nate, however, is tired of lying, and he wonders aloud why Gramps never mentioned this before. Seeing how tired Nate is of lies, Gramps tells his prodigal grandson about what’s been going on with Blair. Nate then turns on her and refuses to hear any explanation she may have. This right here is probably Nate’s best line ever, so revel in it:
“You sold me out for a picture in the style section.”
Post confrontation, Blair finds her way back to Serena for some much-needed girl bonding time, while Nate makes his way back to his best friend Chuck, who was having a strange feud with Jenny during this episode as well as repeat sex with a Russian ballerina (and as Chuck Bass does not repeat sexual partners, this was a very disappointing revelation for him). Chuck tells Nate that he’s a fool to want Blair to be anything other than she is, and so he shows up at Chez Waldorf. Blair heads downstairs to apologize to Cyrus for missing the Seder and to accept his offer to help her get into NYU. How much do I love Wallace Shawn? This much:
Blair: Can you forgive me?
Cyrus: That’s why God invented Yom Kippur.
Word. From around the corner, Nate muses that it looks like he and Blair will both be in NYC next year, and the two share apologies for being dicks toward each other. Hugs and kisses all around. As usual, I’d much rather have Blair with Chuck, but that time will come. I know it will. And when it does, it will be glorious.
Also, Gabriel is still with Poppy and they may be playing some mean dirty trick on Serena. And I don’t care.
- I may have hated the genesis (Husband Note: or “exodus,” nyuk nyuk nyuk…) for that comedy of errors at the Seder table, but I was pretty amused by it. I just really hate Serena and her problems that aren’t actually problems ever at all. (Remember when she killed that guy, but actually didn’t kill him at all? Yeah, like that.)
- “Last night’s entertainment. She’s a synchronized swimmer. She can hold her breath for 5 minutes.” – Chuck
- “No, I’m furious. First, you trash the apartment. Then you run away to Spain.” – Lily, who should be thankful that her daughter runs away to places with such culture! And not to some trashy model’s apartment like where Jenny ran away to!
- “You’re the wife of the landed gentry and I’m a cater waiter at a Seder.” – Dan, who should become a children’s book author if all else fails, because although he clearly didn’t think about the obviously legality issue of Serena’s marriage, either, he sure can rhyme good! I am poetry!
To be fair, the show doesn’t expect us to know anything about how marriage is done in Spain, or if it’s done differently in different regions of the country. A tiny bit of research would show that, yes, you need to do a whole lot more than say “Si” to a priest, and it’s along the same lines as the marriage process in any Western first world country.
Hell, maybe she did, in fact, sign something, but was too drunk to remember. I can find no info in regards to marriage under-the-influence rules in Spain, but if my recent viewing of the film Donkey Punch is any indication, laws are kind of screwy in that thar España.
But since the show is pretending that we know nothing about Spanish marriage laws, it’s not a mean trick Gabriel and Poppy are playing on Serena – they are, as I proclaimed way before the final scene, trying to embezzle a fuckload of money out of Serena and her ridiculously rich divorcée/widow of a mother, which would indicate that Serena and Gabriel are, in fact, married. And as the season is coming to a close, and the creators were talking about doing a Anne Hathaway-inspired story about a boyfriend embezzling money for the end of the season, which would in turn bring back Michelle Trachtenberg’s Georgina to take care of the mess (after, you know, trying to ruin 17 Again), then I think we’re going to have to stay in the GG fantasy world of unlawful-but-lawful marriages. (Wife’s Note: By the way, embezzlement is definitely a mean trick in my book.)
Fuckin’ Armie Hammer.
The last few episodes have been a blast to watch as far as entertainment quotient is concerned, but I’m starting to drift away from these characters emotionally. Why? I think that, right now, the stakes aren’t high enough, and right now we’re mostly watching rich people having minor problems that could be easily fixed. The show works best, in my opinion, when it really backs its characters up against the wall until they do something either extremely cunning or terribly…terrible. Even Chuck is just kind of dicking around being all mopey and lovestruck. (And goddamn it, Jenny, don’t end your episode’s story by making googly-eyes at the man who tried to rape you when you were 14. I’m not sure if I’m interested in you and Blair competing for the same man.)
And yeah. What were Jenny and her lab partner doing at the Hump Der Woodsen home?