People Can Surprise You – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “Damien Darko”

A WORD OF WARNING, BEFORE WE BEGIN:  I’m a Chair Fan . . . BIG TIME!  Dair Fans, some of this recap might annoy the heck out of you.  Please enter with caution.  And don’t say you weren’t warned . . .

BLAIR:  “Wait a minute!  Why am I FIGHTING with you over a stapler?  I have never stapled anything in my life!  Dorota stapled everything for me from the day I was born until middle school.  After that, my minions took over the job.”

DAN:  “Honestly, I’m not quite sure.  Just like I don’t understand how YOU ended up being the one who ‘worked hard to earn’ this internship, and I got it as a result of my ‘vast connections.’  Not to mention, the silver spoon Lily van der Woodsen has apparently, lodged up my ass, ever since she started boning my father.”

BLAIR:  “Ughhh, does this mean I’m still in that weird Nightmare World, where I suddenly know how to do thinks like ‘wash dishes,’ and rarely ever get to interact with Chuck?

DAN:  “I’m afraid so, Miss Waldorf.   I’m afraid so . . .”

BLAIR:  *closes her eyes and starts clicking her heels together repeatedly*  “There’s no place like home.  There’s no place like home.  There’s no . . .”

Just when you THINK you know a person, he or she can start doing things that are *ahem* COMPLETELY OUT OF CHARACTER.  If there was any theme at all to Gossip Girl’s “Damien Darko” episode, I would say that would be it.  And yet, toward the end of the episode, people returned to acting JUST how you would expect them to act.  Thus, proving that, at the end of even the darkest of tunnels, a bright light will ultimately shine through . . .

“Chuck Bass . . . and no guest.  You may enter my dress.

Let’s review, shall we?

Blair plays nice(?), while Dan plays . .  . with himself

“Ak . . .  and now I’m sitting on a DIRTY FLOOR .  . . IN MY DESIGNER DRESS?  What the heck is WITH this episode?”

When the episode begins, Blair and her roomie Serena are preparing for the day ahead. 

In a rare turn of events, Serena is extremely chatty about her plans for the upcoming week (i.e. “To give my Ex-Con Teacher Friend an “I’m sorry my family TOTALLY ruined your life, but, as it turns out, you kind of deserved it, because you and your sister are ABSOLUTE NUTBAGS, who almost got me killed” F*&k, by Friday.”).  Blair, on the other hand, is alarmingly secretive about her To Do List. 

(OK, since when has Blair EVER kept quiet about her career, and / or plans for Eventual World Domination?  The only time Blair is supposed to be keeping secrets, is when she’s having Mindblowing Sex with Chuck, and doesn’t want anyone else to know about it . . . because they’d be way too jealous.)

“You know you love us  . . . together.  XOXO!”

And yet, it is absolutely essential for this Bizarro Plot of the Week that positively NO ONE, save Blair herself, know about the internship she supposedly worked so hard to secure, sometime between this week’s episode and last.  “I feel like I’m living with Don Draper,” remarks Serena.

No, Serena.   You WISH you were living with Don Draper.  I hear he “Likey The Blondes,” particularly ones that are young, extremely promiscuous, and have low self-esteem, like yourself.

Blair leaves the apartment, and meets up with her New Movie Buddy Dan, who, apparently, she’s been seeing quite a bit of, since their first Holiday Dalliance, during the mid-season finale.  (Somehow, I find it difficult to imagine Blair enjoying herself in a place where Popcorn and Soda in a Plastic Cup are the choicest items on the menu.)  It seems, based on the pair’s exchange, that these two have had plenty to talk about, during their nights out.  Everything from movies, to books, to art is discussed, analyzed, and promptly disagreed upon, in a matter of two minutes. 

And yet, during all this time, NEITHER Blair, nor Dan, has mentioned where he or she is planning to INTERN.  This is despite the fact that these two are SO scholarly and ambitious, that obtaining said internship SHOULD have been the PRIMARY thing on BOTH of their minds, ever since winter break concluded.  (I mean, it’s not like EITHER of them has been getting laid!)  But hey, Plot Devices . . . they are important, right?  So, Blair and Dan part ways, only to find themselves together again, just moments later, in the Copy Room of W Magazine.

“You want me to WHAT?  Collate?  What the hell is that supposed to mean?  You, over there, in the unfashionable suit, get Dorota on the phone and ask her to tell me what ‘collate’ means?”

Now, I find it a bit hard to believe that Blair — a girl, who just last week, memorized the entire biography of a woman on the Forbes list, and literally made a life-sized CHART of her day-to-day schedule, in order to secure an internship with her — wouldn’t even THINK to inquire as to whether there might be OTHER interns working with her at a company as large as the W Magazine.  In fact, the Blair WE know and love, would have probably collected a full dosseir on EACH of the other interns (Dan included), complete with their Deepest Darkest Secrets, and already begun the process of bringing each and every one of them down.  But, like I said, Plot Devices are important . . .

 “Epperly” Blair’s and Dan’s modelesque, but obviously business-minded, boss informs the group that they are all fighting for the same job — which appears to be an “assistant to the editor’s assistant” — sort of deal.  (Lesson to you future employers out there:  If you want to GUARANTEE a toxic environment within your workplace, THIS is how you do it.)  That being said, I actually saw a lot of promise in this storyline . . . intially. 

I pictured Dan and Blair banding together (They are members of the SAME Scooby Gang after all), to cleverly and hilariously weed out the other interns, only to engage one another in heated battle, during the final moments of the episode.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen . . .

“W . . . T . . . F!”

I also expected for a place like W Magazine to engage its potential employees in a series of meaningful, Project Runway for Fashion Writers-esque competitions.  This way,  the “competitors” could truly showcase, which of them was the Best of the Best for the position.  What I got instead was Dan and Blair pretty much ignoring the rest of their competition (to their peril, I might add) and engaging in fundamentally idiotic battles over who made the best lattes, and who got to “handle the stapler.”  (Unfortunately, this is NOT a Euphemism for Sexual Activity).

All complaints aside, one part of GG’s take on The Devil Wears Prada 2:  Electric Boogaloo that I did enjoy, was when Blair distracted Dan from one of his menial office tasks, by shouting to him, “Oh, look!  It’s Georgina’s Baby!”

Do you remember that storyline?  Because Dan Humphrey probably wishes that you would forget it.

But when the interns actually are assigned a GENUINELY competitive task:  Who can get the most prestigious guest to attend Gossip Girl’s Fancy Party of the Week W Magazine’s promotional event?   . . .  well, that’s when things get REALLY bizarre.  As Convenient Plot Devices Luck would have it, both Dan and Blair somehow manage to get a hold of one another’s proposed guest lists.  Yet while Blair stupidly politely throws Dan’s list in the trash, determined to play fairly for once, DAN sabotages her, by preventing her prized guest from attending the event.

On the night of the party, Blair finds herself working the door, when, who should enter, but Chuck Bass.  Thus, begins, what, OF COURSE, was my favorite scene of the entire episode . . .

Source

BLAIR:  “Chuck Bass . . . and no guest.   You may enter.”

CHUCK:  Blair Waldorf . . . working the door.

BLAIR:  “I got an internship at W Magazine.”

CHUCK:  “Knowing you, you’ll be Editor and my wife by May.  Your plan is working.

BLAIR:  “So, it seems to be.”

And in that one small scene — surrounded, as it was, by abyss of woeful Chair-lessness – I found HOPE, for the couple I’ve grown to love over four seasons.  Though admittedly short, the interaction was pulsating with chemistry, sexual tension, longing looks, and above all, an unmatched sweetness.  This unique flavor of sweetness is one that Chuck and Blair reserve exclusively for one another.  Though, on occasion, they can be KIND to others (generous, and self-sacrificing even), never are these two driven, extremely serious, individuals EVER “sweet.”  Unless, of course, they are together, sharing a moment like this one.

Watching this scene, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Chuck’s words to Blair, during their painful breakup, back in “The Witches of Bushwick” episode,  “When two people are meant to be together, eventually they will find their way back.”

That, of course, is “The Plan” to which Chuck refers in the scene.  And that plan IS working.  Because as Blair mentioned during “The Witches of Bushwick,” she needs to chart her own path in life, before she can build a true and everlasting future with Chuck.  Succeeding at this internship, is her first step down that Golden Path . . .

So, of course, Dan has to go and screw it up, by sabatoging Blair’s party list, and, thereby, causing THIS to happen . . .

Source

And then this happens to both Dan and Blair . . .

Blair is NOT amused . . .

 (I would like to note, at this point, that I was searching for a picspam on the Dair tumblr page to insert into this recap.  And the mere act of doing so NEARLY gave me a virus.  My computer started doing all these weird scary things, and I had to unplug it quickly, before any more damage can be done.  I suspect this is either the result of Dair fans wanting revenge against me for my undying devotion to Chair, or the universe trying to tell me something . . .)

Anyway . . .

Back at the W offices, Blair and Dan are packing their things, when Blair reveals to Dan just how big of an ass he REALLY is.  As it turns out, Blair’s mom DIDN’T secure Blair this internship, as Dan (and most of us) assumed.  Instead, she stalked the office, like a crazy person, to get the job . . . creepily bombarding every fax machine in the office with her resume.

Then she KILLED the intern who was ACTUALLY supposed to get the position . . . just kidding!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m loving this “New and Improved” Blair, who’s willing to actually work hard to get what she wants, as opposed to getting there through manipulation and nepotism.   And yet, I find it VERY hard to believe that Eleanor, one of New York’s Premier Designers, couldn’t get Blair an internship at W, by . . . say . . . offering its editor an exclusive peek at her Spring Line.  Nevertheless, I agree with Blair, that, Dan’s career aspirations and talents would be better suited with him working for an enterprise like The New Yorker.  (For the record, Lily got Dan HIS job . . . probably by paying off Epperley, or screwing the director of Human Resources, knowing her.)

“You wanted an internship.  I wanted THIS one,” argues Blair.

Dan then wondered out loud (as most of US wondered) why Blair didn’t sabotage Dan’s efforts to secure a guest for the party.  “Guess I must have an undiagnosed brain injury, because I stupidly thought this fake friendship might be real!”  Blair admits.

“Well, don’t I feel like a Douche!”

Ultimately, Dan redeems himself, by calling Epperley, and admitting that HE was the one who sabatoged Blair’s internship efforts, not the other way around.  He goes one step further, by fibbing that it was BLAIR, and not Dan, who got Dan’s famous guest to arrive at the party.  He even goes as far as to tell his former boss that HE started the knockdown, drag out, fight with Blair, just to make her look bad. 

It WAS a genuinely nice gesture on Dan’s part, I must admit — one that shows that Blair was right.  Her FRIENDSHIP with Dan is a real one.  And yet, I can’t help but notice that, having lost HIS internship already, Dan really had nothing to lose, by calling Epperley, and taking the blame for what had happened at the party.  Now, had only BLAIR been fired, thereby, forcing Dan to GIVE UP the position . . . so that she could have it, in his place . . . THAT would have been a special sacrificial act, indeed. 

(A missed opportunity, Gossip Girl writers!  If you want us Chair Fans to support a Dan and Blair hookup . . . even if it’s only a temporary one, which ultimately ends in a lasting friendship for the pair . . . you are going to have to work WAY harder than that!)

The next morning, Blair is sulking in bed with Serena, when Epperley calls her, to tell her she has her job back.  Blair has 15 minutes to get her butt to the office.  (You can’t get ANYWHERE in 15 minutes, in Manhattan!)  This probably would explain why Blair showed up at work looking like THIS . . .

Looks like SOMEONE raided SERENA’s closet, by accident . . . FISHNET STOCKINGS?  PINK SHORTS?  A GRANNY SWEATER?  SERIOUSLY, B?

In other news . . .

Strange (and boring) bedfellows

Chuck’s been doing the Horizontal Mambo with Raina, in hopes that she will fall so desperately in love with him, that she will convince her father not to buy out Bass Industries.  Riiiiight . . . because THAT always works.  (And by “always,” I mean “never.”)  Chuck, I’m disappointed in you.  Clearly, you need Blair on your side to help you come up with better Diabolical Plans.

Chuck’s eyes are closed, because he’s sleeping through this scene . . . as are most fans.

Chuck’s duller than dishwater scheme hits a bit of a snag, when he learns that Russell Thorpe has hired Nate’s ex-con dad to do his dirty work for him.  So, Chuck stupidly requests that Raina fire him.  Insulted that Chuck would have the GALL to mix business with pleasure (Clearly, this chick has never watched Gossip Girl before.)  Raina kicks Chuck out of her bed . . . for about an hour.  Then she takes him back.  *Yawn*

Speaking of Nate’s Coke addicted loser of a Papa . . . The Captain of Douchebaggery . . .

 . . . he’s positively SHOCKED that his son would even THINK that he, of all people, would sabotage Chuck’s business interests, while working for his corporate enemy.  So, the morally outraged Captain moves out of Nate’s house.  And then . . . wait for it . . . he tells Russell Thorpe that he is willing to sabotage Chuck’s business interests.  SURPRISE!

Eric Finally Gets His Own Plotline!  (YAY!) Too Bad its One That Makes Him Look Like a Gullible Moron (BOO!)

The Awkward Moment when you come home, to find your Ex-Boyfriend and your Mom engaged in an in-depth conversation about your Love Life, or lack thereof . . .

This week, we learn that, even though Eric CLAIMS to have been spending time with his boyfriend, Elliot, they actually broke up weeks ago.  (Way to spill the beans to Mom, LAME-O Ex Beau, Jonathan!)  Instead, Eric has been spending his time filling up on sleeping pills, and hanging out with Drug Dealing Damien — the same guy who (1) almost KILLED Serena, by dealing the drugs Juliet used to knock the poor girl unconscious; AND (2) almost date raped his former bestie, Little J a.k.a. Raccoon Zombie.

He’s still hot though . . . which, come to think of it, may be why Eric likes him so much.

Eric eventually comes clean to his family about what he’s been doing, these past few weeks.  But, alas, Mini van der Woodsen is SO very lonely, that when Drug Dealing Damien calls him, in the last few moments of the episode, with offers to “be his friend,” Eric accepts the invitation without a single moment of questioning or hesitation.  Well, this certainly doesn’t look good . . .

Speaking of Drug Dealing Damien, his Call of Friendship to Eric seems to be in response to a recent threat he received from Ex Con,  Ben (or, as I like to call him, Professor Pedophile) who warned the Triple D to stay away from Serena’s family, even thoughProfessor Pedo claimed earlier in the episode that he had “no romantic feelings for Serena, AT ALL.”

“That’s not really true, Serena.  I dreamed about you in prison . .  .  every single time I dropped the soap.”

Regarding the Happily Now-Of-Age Sort-of / Kind of Couple . . .

Serena is in love AGAIN!  (It must be a Monday!)

It appears that Eric isn’t the only van der Woodsen that’s a Glutton for Punishment.  No matter that Ben had Nate’s dad beat up in prison, and hired his own sister to basically ruin Serena’s life for the entire first half of the season, Serena is positively smitten with Professor Pedo.  And when he tells her that he’s leaving town in a few days to start an Organic Farm in Ithaca (?)  (Oh, Professor, you are SO on the wrong show!), Serena is positively heartbroken.  She’s even more shocked to learn that Professor Pedo isn’t living on his friend’s couch, as he mentioned, but at a Super Seedy Halfway House  . . .

It should, perhaps, be noted that Serena defines a “Super Seedy Halfway House” as anything below 80th street  . . .

At the Gossip Girl Fancy Party of the Week, Serena’s affection for Professor Pedo grows, when he offers some “fatherly” (hint, hint, wink, wink) advice to Eric about staying away from drug dealers like Damien (and ex cons, like himself, and the Captain of Douchebaggery).  Then, Ben actually goes so far as to REJECT Serena’s romantic advances.  This nearly sends the Masochistic, Serial Dumping, S to her knees, with orgasmic pleasure. 

“Yes . . . yes . . . yes!  Reject me!  Say you hate me!  Treat me like crap, and try to have me murdered!  MORE!  MORE!  MORE!”

So, of course, Serena is flabbergasted, though not exactly surprised, to find that Evil Mommy Dearest Lily (who redeemed herself in fans eyes for precisely two seconds, by getting Ben released from jail) had tried, once again, to use her money and influence to keep Professor Pedo out of the van der Woodsen’s lives for good. 

Ben refuses the money, however.  And this prompts Rufus to take him on as a tenant.  Serena is POSITIVELY THRILLED with this new development.  But it just makes me nervous . . . really nervous. 

And that’s all I’ve got on Damien Darko.  But, of course, I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts on the episode!

Until next time . . . XOXO!

[www.juliekushner.com]

6 Comments

Filed under Gossip Girl

6 responses to “People Can Surprise You – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “Damien Darko”

  1. Hilarious review! I agree with everything, but then I am an unabashed Chair fan. This Dair stuff is a waste of time!

    I’ve been reading your reviews for a while now, and I’ve always wondered how you got all your photos? A website? Do you do your own screen captures on a computer? If so, how? Just curious.

    Also, what do you think of the report that both Ed Westwick and Leighton Meester are planning on leaving once their contracts are up? Do you think the show will go on? Do you want it to? Personally, I’d rather it end–with a beautiful Chair reunion.

    • Hi Katherine! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! 🙂 I’m always happy to find other Chair Fans on my site. (To be honest, I was worried I’d get bombared with Dair fan hate mail, after writing this post. So far, not . . . It’s still early though. :)).

      I know there are a lot of Dair fans out there. But I’m generally not big fan of television writers coupling characters, just for the sake of coupling them. And I kind of get the impression that the writers are doing this just to “kill time” before the inevitable Chair endgame. It’s almost as if there is some unwritten rule for teen dramas that says every single girl / boy character combination must bone at some point during the series. (Platonic relationships between males and females HAPPEN, dammit! Why can’t writers understand that?)

      For this reason, and because the actors themselves seem to be making their “readiness” to move on from the show increasingly public, I would be totally OK with the show ending, sooner rather than later. I actually think the storyline has been set up in such a way so that Chuck and Blair are both ready to walk hand and hand into the sunset for the final credit role, possibly even by the end of this season. While I still love the show dearly, I, for one, would be completely satisfied with such a result.

      I fear that if the writers drag things out for too long, we will start to experience more and more redundant plotlines, and senseless couplings. (Serena and Chuck?) (Vanessa and Rufus?) (Nate and some other three-episode guest star?). Gossip Girl would end up fading off into oblivion, as opposed to going out in a blaze of glory. And I wouldn’t want that for a show I’ve more or less enjoyed for four seasons now.

      As for the pictures on my site, they tend to come from a variety of sources. The “pretty and glossy” photo stills are usually from the show’s websites (CWTV.com, Fox.com, ABC.com etc.). The much less pretty, and sometimes very grainy, looking screencaps, I tend to make myself, using a combination of YouTube, MSPaint, and Hulu.com, if I can find the full episode there. Pics and gifs come from various fan sites and tumblrs, and I usually try to give credit to the makers of those in my recap.

      Then, once I’ve recapped a show for a while, I find I have quite a large collection of OLD pics, many of which will come in handy on more than one occasion, as the seasons progress. (As you might have noticed, Shirtless Male Character pictures, and shots of my favorite TV couples “doing it” tend to get a lot of play here. ;))

      You probably didn’t need all that information, so I apologize in advance for “over-sharing.” 🙂 But thanks again for your kind words, and readership. I really do appreciate it.

  2. You know, the sad thing about the Dair connection in this episode is that there was so much wasted potential. I would have loved to see them scheming against each other and the other interns in interest, or introducing a brief detente to knock out some of the other “potentials” (a little Slayer humour for you ;)) before drawing out the claws on one another.

    This might be provocative of me to say so, but I think that even though it would make me vomit in my mouth a little, a Serena/Chuck pairing has the most dramatic potential. They are both regulars we care about; they have significant others and friends who share a loaded history and therefore a ripple effect would be caused once they were inevitably discovered. But I doubt they would ever go there, because that would be the final nail in the coffin of Serena and Blair’s friendship and Chuck’s ability to reunite with Blair at the end of the series. I guess that most of the guest star hook ups feel meaningless, and Serena/Chuck is the one taboo left for Gossip Girl to pillage.

    • Interestingly enough, I think the GG writers WERE actually contemplating a Serena and Chuck pairing sometime around Season 2 (though my mental timeline could be off, in that regard). During that time, Chuck was always being extremely flirtatious with Serena (he and Blair were on one of their many breaks at the time), and the similarities between the two were definitely being highlighted for a reason.

      The problem? FANS REVOLTED. Because, at the time, Lily van der Woodsen was married to Chuck’s now dearly departed dad, Bart Bass. (The fact that Chuck had a nasty little habit of constantly referring to Serena as “sis” certainly didn’t help.) Fans called it incest.

      Of course, Lily and Bart are now no longer. But RUFUS and Lily are going strong AND living together. This would seem to make the Dan and Serena relationship DEFINITIVELY more incestuous than the Chuck and Serena one would be, were they to get together now.

      And yet, for some reason, I STILL would think it incestuous if Chuck and Serena got together. I guess the problem with the couple, for SOME fans at least, is that, while Dan and Serena were an item BEFORE their parents got together, Chuck and Serena never were. So, it would really feel like step-siblings dating.

      Damn, that slutty Lily and her 80,000 NYC husbands! She’s TOTALLY ruining her daughter’s sex life! 😉 Just think about how many more eligible bachelors Serena could have slept with, if Lily stuck to just one husband . . . all of the men in Manhattan, I suspect. 🙂

  3. REGIN

    hahah! I adore your blog,seriously amazing & you make it so funny & interesting because honestly,some episodes or even scenes are too yawn-y for us “chair fans” to handle. I really agree bout what you said that GG should end this season, i mean come on! It should be like what it should be; Blair & Chuck reunite or better: got married., Dan & Serena.. I..uhmm, be together again (coz they really deserve each other back on season1 ..) so in order to do that, Rufus,should die..right? right?? okay. & Nate should like… ,ohh..I really want him to end up with Serena too!,but who knows ayt?

    oh and btw. my friends and I love your blog, we check here once in a while.
    & due some college stuff,we barely see GG anymore 😦 so you are really our saviour! I couldn’t survive without GG, & your blog help me to catch up some episodes I missed.
    so thanks! & keep it up! 🙂
    xoxo.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Regin. I am honored that, of all the Gossip Girl recaps out there, you chose mine to get your GG and Chair fix. Given what we’ve been put through the last few episodes, us Chair fans really do need to stick together, don’t we? 🙂

      Hmmm . . . killing Rufus to ensure a non-incestuous Dan and Serena endgame pairing would be a bit harsh. Maybe we could have Lily kick the bucket instead? 😉 (Just KIDDING . . . sort of.)

      I was always a Nate and Serena fan too. (For one thing Serenate is a WAY COOLER ship name than Derena ;)). But I can definitely see that the writers are setting up Dan and Serena to be one of the “Last Couples Standing.” And as long as the writers give me my HAPPY CHAIR ending, I’d be willing to accept that. (And who knows, maybe Nate can end up coupled with one of Blair’s Minions? Lord knows, those girls could use some loving! 🙂

      Chuck and Blair HAVE to be together by the final XOXO! I honestly can’t imagine another conclusion. All these years of sexually tense makeups and breakups would be for NOTHING, if the show didn’t end that way. And I think the writers know that. I just hope for OUR sakes, it happens sooner rather than later . . .

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