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A Midwinter Night’s Dream – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “It Girl Happened One Night”

BLAIR:  Is that my soulmate acting like he’s madly in love with the personality-free Special Guest Star?

DAN: I’m afraid so . . . Is that MY soulmate, acting like she’s totally cool with spending Valentine’s Day drinking cheap beer at a sleazy bar, with the ex-con waiter, who very well may be a sociopath?

BLAIR:  Sure is!

DAN:  I feel like locking myself in my room, and watching a horror movie.

BLAIR:   I think we’re already watching one . . .

Did you read Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream?  You know, the one where there’s a big party in the forest.  And the evil King makes the Big Gay Fairy put spells on all the couples, so that they fall madly in love with all the WRONG people, for all the wrong reasons.  If I recall correctly, someone even falls in love with a DONKEY’S ASS . . .

“Hee-Haw!”

Yeah, that’s kind of how I felt about this week’s Gossip Girl Valentine’s Day Addition.  (Don’t worry, Dair fans.  I’m not here to attack your ship, today.  My wrath, instead, is directed at two new so-called couples that I think we ALL can agree SUCK ROYALLY.)  Specifically, I’m referring to the BIZARRO pairings of Serena/Ben and Chuck/Raina, and how each of the aforementioned Gruesome Twosomes behaved, during this wild and wacky hour. 

Seriously, GG writers, I haven’t been this confused by two members of the Non-Judging Breakfast Club, since Chuck boned the Raccoon Zombie . . .

 . . . and Serena dated the odious Aaron Rose . .  .

Remember THIS douchebag? 

Because, here’s the thing.  As teen drama fans, we inherently accept the notion that the couples we worship can’t ALWAYS be together.  TV watching probably wouldn’t be much fun, if they were.  After all, sometimes the “getting together” and “getting BACK together” of our favorites ships is the best part of the show! 

And, for that reason, we put up with the random Special Guest Star, who plays the Love Interest, for three or four episodes, before going back into the Anonymous Hole from which he or she came.  Correction, we put up with it . . . WHEN IT’S CONSISTENT WITH CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. 

Here’s looking at YOU, Miss Duff!

So, for Serena, we accepted her dalliances with Carter, Trip, Professor Hotpants, and yes, even the odious Adam Rose.  Because these were individuals who had things in common with Serena, and reflected the life path she was on, at the point during which she dated them.  And we (sort of) accepted Chuck’s relationship with the BLAND Eva, because we knew he was in pain, after all that happened with Blair, and being shot in Prague.  We knew that Chuck chose Eva, dull as she was, in attempt to shun everything about his life that had caused him such heartache, during the prior season.

But I CANNOT, for the life of me, understand what would possess Serena to fall in love with CREEPY BEN, who’s CREEPY SISTER, ruined Serena’s life, and nearly killed her, AT HIS BEHEST.  And I CANNOT fathom how Chuck (a guy who took SEASONS to finally tell Blair he loved her) could fall SO completely head-over-heels for the lackluster Raina Thorpe within TWO episodes, that he would be willing to build her a Creepy Loveshack Room in one of his party halls, or betray his entire family, to try and please her Evil Dick of a Dad.

But like the strange happenings in Midsummer Night’s Dream, I chose to chalk all this weirdness up to a Big Gay Fairy, and some Black Valentine’s Day Magic . . .

So, with that being said, let’s get on with the recap, shall we?

Damn the Man!  Save the Empire!

When the episode begins, Chuck has scheduled a meeting with the Eeeevil Russell Thorpe.  He wishes to make one last valiant attempt to save Bass Industries by . . . you guessed it . . .  THROWING A BIG PARTY.  Coincidentally, here are some other problems Chuck Bass would likely solve by Throwing a Big Party:  (1) He had a bad day.  (2) He had a good day.  (3) He lost his favorite shoe.  (4) He lost his favorite bathrobe.   (5) He lost his favorite bong.  (6)  He lost his favorite Blair.

*clears throat*

Chuck feel that the Bass name has equity.  And he somehow believes that throwing yet ANOTHER big party (cause he hasn’t done THAT in about a week!) will show Russell that this is true.  Chuck also REALLY wants to get laid on Valentine’s Day.  So, Eeevill Russell (who likes to boogie, as much as any mid 40-something Hotel Tycoon) agrees to refrain from killing Chuck’s company for 36 hours, while the latter plans the Best Valentine’s Day Bash EVER!  *insert Cupid eyeroll*

Meanwhile, over at the offices for W Magazine . . .

Have It-Girl, Will Travel

Blair, who has VERY REALISTICALLY risen from stapler-grabbing intern to Second-in-Command at W Magazine in about TWO days, is brainstorming with her “staff” as to which “It Girl” the magazine should follow around on Valentine’s Day for an “Expose Article.”  Since the Hiltons, the Kardashians, and every other socialite with a sextape is busy that day, someone suggests Serena van der Woodsen.  But Blair has an even more boring better idea.   Why doesn’t the magazine cover Raina Thorpe?

I mean this girl is SO THRILLING to watch on television!  So you can imagine how RIVETING she would be on paper! Zzzzzzzzzzz

Of course, as per usual, Blair has ulterior motives for selecting Raina as the subject of the magazine piece.  After all, she knows that Chuck has been wooing Raina, as part of his Master Plan to save Bass Industries. And, seeing as she still luuuuuuves him, doing this piece will conveniently allow Blair to keep tabs on her man, during Valentine’s Day. 

In a classic game of Telephone, Blair mentions her devious plan to Serena, who inexplicably tells Chuck.  Chuck then tells Serena that he actually does LOVE Raina, and as of five minutes ago is no longer “faking it,” as Blair had initially suspected.  *cough bullsh*t cough*

So, of course, rather than immediately confronting her bestie, BLAIR, about this recent development, Serena makes the incredibly stupid wise move of telling Raina, who had already agreed to do the publicity piece, that she should back out of it.   Violating EVERY GIRL CODE IN THE BOOK, Serena blabs to Raina about how much Blair still loves Chuck, and how seeing Raina and Chuck together on Valentine’s Day would break Queen B’s heart . . .

With that Stupid Love Stuffout of the way, Serena and Raina can talk about more important matters . . . like which Overpriced Dress they should each wear to Chuck’s party

“Does this dress make me look like a Total Slut?”

“Isn’t that what all clothing dresses are for?”

When Raina calls Blair up to cancel the Expose, just moments after she has just finished hanging out with Serena, Blair puts two and two together, and realizes that she’s been sabotaged by her bestie.  You know what that means right?  It’s time for the Blair Waldorf Weekly Revenge Special!

Meanwhile, back in Brooklyn . . .

Dan the Man to the Rescue!

“This is my ‘I’m Hitting on You’ Face .  . . Coincidentally, it is also my ‘I Just Sucked on a Lemon’ Face”

Wanna know the definition of awkward?  How about being forced to be roommates with your ex-girlfriend’s Creepy Ex Con Boyfriend, and having to listen to him yammer on about his LAME-O (i.e. nonexistent) Valentine’s Day plans with the girl who’s supposed to be YOUR Valentine?  And yet, Dan still manages to be a pal to Creepo Ben.  When he finds out the dude is unemployed, Dan refers him to a catering job that HE used to have.  (You know . . . before his dad started boning Lily van der Woodsen, and he became filthy rich . . . like everybody else on this show.) 

Now, of course, Ben LIES to Serena about how he plans to spend Valentine’s Day, telling her that he is “tutoring” a student that night (because that’s what we call a “Convenient Plot Device”).  Now, personally, if I was Serena, I would feel better about my former teacher boyfriend, who had a crush on ME, back when I was underage, catering on Valentine’s Day, than “TUTORING,” if you catch my drift.  But no one ever said Serena was the sharpest tool in the shed . . .

“I did NOT have sexual relations with that student (but I thought about doing it A LOT).”

Having successfully set Ben’s and Serena’s moronic plotline into motion, Dan dashes off to W Magazine.  If you recall, a couple weeks back, the now-LONG GONE Epperley had promised Dan that SHE would pass his article on to Details magazine.  Now that she’s left the building, Dan wishes to seek the same treatment from the “new Epperley.”  And I bet you all can’t guess who THAT is? 

It’s Blair.  SURPRISE!

At least, initially, Blair doesn’t seem all that interested in helping Dan get his article published.  After all, she’s still a tad pissed at him for initially getting her fired from her internship, before he, ultimately, got her rehired.  She’s also pretty insistent on the fact that her and Dan are “not friends.”  And yet, considering that her “friend” Serena has just ROYALLY screwed her over, Blair may want to start rethinking who earns that title.

Speaking of Serena, Dan casually mentions to Blair that he gave Ben his catering job.  You can almost see the wheels turning in Blair’s head, as she calls up the catering company to make certain that Ben will be working Chuck’s Valentine’s Day Bash.  She then slyly convinces Serena to attend the party as well.  (As if we believed, for a SECOND, that Serena would EVER be capable of staying home on Valentine’s Day!)

“I was thinking of wearing THIS to the party?  Do you like it?”

Back in Boring Corporate Storyline Land . . .

All Hail the Captain (Well . . . maybe not)

Nate’s Less Than Proud Papa sort of redeemed himself, by telling Chuck that (1) even though he continued to work for Thorpe, he ethically recused himself from all matters relating to the takeover of Bass Industries; and (2) despite this, he had “accidentally” become privy to information about the company.  According to the Captain, Bass Industries would be worth more if it were kept whole, than if it were broken down, and sold for parts.  So, WHY was Russell Thorpe intent on destroying it?  And WHY had he lied about giving Chuck a 36 hour reprieve before takeover proceedings were to begin, when that was clearly not the case?

It had a little something to do with this Little Tartlet . . .

My LORD!  Lily slept with RUSSELL THORPE TOO?  And she left him for BART BASS?  But wasn’t she boinking RUFUS right before she started dating Bart?  Geez!  I feel like I need an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of  all of Lily’s conquests . . . Like mother, like daughter, I guess!

Without pausing for a single second to ponder how all this information so conveniently landed in his lap RIGHT when he needed it, the normally much more clever, Chuck Bass calls an impromptu board meeting Valentine’s Day morning to fire Lily from the Board of Bass Industries, due to a “Conflict of Interest.”  Upon hearing this, Lily is understandably pissed, and vows to give Chuck a piece of her mind at . . . you guessed it, the Bass Valentine’s Day Bash . . .

Smile, Serena!  You’re on Date-a-Waiter Camera

At the party, a vengeful Blair accosts her new It-girl Serena, flanked by reporters, to interview her for her W Magazine piece.  “Who’s your Valentine?”  Blair inquires, in a voice that is sickeningly sweet.

“Ummm .  . . hummun . .. uh . . .” Serena responds eloquently.

That’s when Blair lets the other shoe drop, by pointing Serena toward Ben, in his waiter outfit, and joyously announcing his EX-CON status to the world, as the cameras catch every cringe-inducing moment of this Valentine’s Day Couple’s reunion.  Ben, of course, runs out of the party, crying like a b*tch, as he is wont to do.  Serena, meanwhile, angrily confronts Blair for her vindictiveness, FINALLY explaining to her, why she “sabotaged” the Raina Interview, in the first place.  “Chuck really loves [Raina].  It’s not just about the business,” Serena admits to a disbelieving Blair .  . .

But Blair refuses to believe Serena.  After all, it is so utterly unbelievable that Chuck could start loving this random Guest Star, after only having boned her for a week.  Right?  RIGHT?

So, Blair stalks off, with a dogged Dan on her heels, whose still trying to get her to publish his damn story in the magazine.  Dude is nothing, if not persistent . . .

Voyeurism at it Most Heartbreaking .  . .

Wandering the party, Blair and Dan come upon the Creepy Love Den, Chuck has supposedly “built for Raina.”  (Those architects must work FAST!) Fortunately, Blair missed THIS “lovely” sight.  (Dan saw it THOUGH!)

I’ve never even DATED Chuck Bass, and this image had me vomiting in my mouth.

What Blair did witness, however, was far worse.  Lily storms in to call Chuck out on firing her from the company, after all she had done for him, by adopting him, and helping to save Bass Industries with him.  Upon hearing what Chuck has done to his step mother, Raina stalks out in disgust.  Enter Russell Thorpe, to glibly tell Chuck that, without Lily on the board, nothing stands in the way of him dismantling Bass Industries.  “Now you have nothing.  No family.   No company.  And, from the looks of it, no girl.   I think you know how much family means to Raina.  And now she knows how LITTLE it means to you,” monologues Russell, before letting out a maniacal laugh.

“I’ll get you, My Pretty, and you’re Creepy Little Love Shack too!”

(Well, this guy ended up being a real two-dimensional villain, didn’t he?  Thorpe makes Mr. Burns look like Maggie Simpson.)

“If it were me, I would have least let him finish screwing my daughter one last time, BEFORE, I ruined his life.”

It should surprise precisely NO ONE that Thorpe had TOTALLY planned for the Captain to find that information about Bass Industries and leak it to Chuck, so that the latter could dig his own grave . . .

As Blair watches sadly, Chuck chases after Raina, and tries in vain to salvage their relationship . . .

Chuck really starts laying it on thick here, telling Raina how SACRED she is to him (barf), how much he luuuuuuuuves her (gag), and how their relationship has changed him for the better (puke).   But Raina ain’t buying what he’s selling.  So she leaves his ass at his own party. 

Still, Dan is impressed by the drama of it all.  “Oh he’s goooooood,” Lonely Boy notes with amusement.

But Blair sees some bad plot devices truth behind Chuck’s words.  And she can’t deny the pain in Chuck’s eyes over the loss of his of-the-minute “true love,” Raina.  And so, she dashes off to a nearby couch to sob, over what will likely go down in history as her WORST VALENTINE’S DAY EVER!

Sympathizing with the intense pain his friend is obviously suffering, having gone through the same thing with Serena just a week prior, Dan gently grabs for a distraught Blair’s hand.  But Blair is not yet ready to accept his sympathies.  So, she yanks her hand away, and staunchly refuses to look at his Puppy Dog Eyes . . .

Good Riddens to Valentine’s Day!

Back at La Casa de Waldorf, Blair attempts to apologize to Serena, who, after all was “worried about [her] heart, not [her] job” (and rightly so), by giving her a box of chocolates.  (Really Blair?  Does Serena look like the kind of girl who eats chocolates . . . or any food besides lettuce and liquor, for that matter?)  The “Besties” then kiss and make up.  

So of course, rather than stay and comfort her CLEARLY depressed supposed-best friend, who is OBVIOUSLY suffering from a broken heart, Serena rushes off to send the last few moments of her LAME Valentine’s Day at a LAME Bar, with her LAME boyfriend, Creepo Ben.

As for Blair, she gets a text from Dan, that he plans to keep sending her drafts of his article, until she agrees to submit it to Details.  But, wonder of wonders, Blair has actually ALREADY read it . . . and submitted it to Vanity Fair.  She calls him, to inform him of the good news.

“Yippee . . . I’m the NEXT Hemingway!  Well . . . except for all that suicide stuff.” 

Then, in a sweet, if slightly uncharacteristic (for Blair, at least) final scene, the newfound pair of lonely, Type-A personality, buddies decide to watch the decidedly UN-Valentinesy film, Rosemary’s Baby, on their laptops, in their respective beds, as they cleverly snark about the film, over the phone.

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Do these two actually have the SAME bed sheets?  Or is it just me?

In other news . . .

Drug Dealing Damien (who was looking FRIGHTENINGLY orange this week, by the way) is manipulating Mini VDW (a.k.a. Eric)  to do his dirty work again.  His weapon of choice, this time?   BLACKMAIL.

Also, the Captain, before being unceremoniously fired from Thorpe’s company, managed to retain all his key cards to the office.  I smell WATERGATE 2011!

I’m going to be GREAT at Breaking and Entering.  I got the high score in Grant Theft Auto TWICE!”

And that’s all I’ve got for this week’s installment of Gossip Girl.  Next week, things really get intense when Blair . . . FAILS TO MATCH HER WARDROBE!

The HORROR!

You can check out the promo for next week’s episode of Gossip Girl, “While You Weren’t Sleeping,” right here:

Until then!  XOXO!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Things That Make You Go “HUH?” – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “The New Normal”

This week on Pretty Little Liars new relationships sizzled, arguments fizzled, new enemies presented themselves, and an old, terrifying, villain reemerged in Rosewood . . .

Yes, boys and girls, “Blind” Jenna’s CANE OF DESTRUCTION has returned, after enjoying a long and restful vacation in HELL!  And when “Blind” Jenna has her CANE OF DESTRUCTION by her side, we know that evil is truly afoot.  Be afraid, my Pretties.  Be VERY AFRAID!

Hanna’s “Infestation Problem”

So, Hanna and Caleb are continuing to play “house” in Hanna’s basement.   And Caleb is just having a fine old time.  After all, he’s living rent free, and having the Girl of his Dreams serve him breakfast in the morning, at no cost.  What could be better?

Caleb says he plans to leave, having received offers to leech off of OTHER families in Nebraska, or Nevada, or somewhere else that’s not Rosewood.  But we all know THAT’S not really going to happen — not when he’s coming closer, and closer to getting laid each week things are going so well for him here.

“Oh Hanna, would you mind getting me a towel?  I can’t find any here in the bathroom. because I’ve hidden them.  Did I mention, I REALLY, REALLY want you to see me naked?

Talk about a sweet deal!  Not only does Caleb get free room and board at Hanna’s house, Hanna has even kindly offered to wash his hat collection, which, let’s face it, was starting to smell like ass . . .

Sure, Hanna may have STARTED to wash the hat, so her mom wouldn’t realize that Caleb had left it in the kitchen that morning, but the result was the same, nonetheless.  Then, the next morning, the usually clever Hanna, gets the “bright” idea to hand Caleb his hat at school, SO ALL THE PLL’S CAN SEE HER DO IT.

GOTCHA, Secret Hat Sharers!

Now, don’t get me wrong.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a girl returning a hat to a boy.  But was it ABSOLUTELY necessary for Hanna to do this at school, when the boy lives IN HER BASEMENT?  I mean, did he really need the hat so badly, that this couldn’t have waited until he got home to wear it?  Is the bald spot really that noticeable, Caleb?

Nonetheless, the fact that Hanna and Caleb “hatted” eachother, ended up being a good thing.  You see, it prompted Aria, who’s a BIG FAN of Secret Inappropriate Relationships, to forgive Hanna for almost ruining her life, by nearly outing Aria and Fitz’s relationship to Aria’s mother.  You know . . . because no two PLL girls can stay angry at one another for more than half an episode, no matter what terrible things they do to one another . . .

“I’m glad we are friends again, Hanna.  Because I have some hats that could really use washing.  For example, that Where’s Waldo one I wore a few weeks back.”

Truth be told, Hanna is going to need all the friends she can get, now that her mom is being stalked by this CREEPO . . .

It all started when Hanna’s mom decided to return what was LEFT of the cash she had stolen from Dead Miss Potter’s safety deposit box.  Conveniently enough, before she could do it, some guy named James Leland, who to be Miss Potter’s only living relative, requested the contents of the box.  Remembering that Miss Potter had said that she had no living relatives Mommy wouldn’t have been stupid enough to snatch her cash, if she did Hanna’s mom asks this mysterious man for appropriate identification.  He provides it promptly.   And everything seems to check out.

Then Creepo Mr. Leland asks Hanna’s mom out on a date.   And since slutty Hanna’s mom would go out with a FERRET, if he asked nicely, she agrees.  That nigh,t the doorbell rings, and everyone assumes its Creepo Mr. Leland.  But it ends up being someone WAY more pleasant to look at . . .

 

Ever the pro at Breaking and Entering, Caleb wisely figures that if Hanna’s mom meets him first, she won’t be so surprised, when he knocks up Hanna if she ever sees him hanging around the house.  Hanna’s mom is concerned that Hanna seems to be rebounding from Sean, by having strange boys over at her house.  And yet, since Hanna’s mom has strange boys over at the house all the time, she really has no grounds to judge . . .

Strange Boy #1

When Creepo Leland actually arrives, it’s Caleb who first greets him.  “I’m the Guy Who Opens the Door,” snarks Caleb when Creeop Leland wants to know who the heck he is, if not a relative of Hanna’s mom.

Before they can leave for their date, Hanna’s mom has Mr. Leland sign a bank document.  This action prompts suspicion from Caleb because . . . wait for it . . . Mr. Leland USES A CHEAP PEN!

Because, clearly, anybody who uses a Blue Bic MUST be a serial killer, right?  After Hanna tells Caleb that Mr. Leland is supposedly an architect of some sort, Caleb astutely notes because he lived in an architect’s bathroom for a month once that architects tend to carry around nice pens.  Then Caleb takes it upon himself to do some background research on Mr. Leland.  And I begin to wonder whether he is the long lost brother Spencer and her Investigation Face never knew they had . . .

Now that you mention it, I do kind of see a resemblance . . .

What Caleb learns from his research is actually quite interesting.  As it turns out, the REAL James Leland WAS an architect, and he WAS related to Miss Potter.  But he was also MASSIVELY OLD, and is now MASSIVELY DEAD.  Hanna shares these findings with her mother, who blows them off, because “blowing things” is what she does best. 

But Hanna’s mom becomes suspicious of Creepo Mr. Leland too, when he (1) balks at the small amount of money leftover in Miss Potter’s account . . . almost as if he KNEW how much was supposed to be in there; (2) starts asking suspicious questions about who had access to the dead woman’s safety deposit box; and (3) seems unwilling to provide any information about where in “Syracuse” he supposedly does his banking . . .

Back at home, Hanna and Caleb share a sexy Almost Kiss Moment, before Caleb skulks back down to the basement to jerk off go to bed . . .

Moments later, there is a knock at the door.  Hanna answers it.  In doing so, she is greeted by what I think is the most HILARIOUS “A” taunt to date . . .

“Are you A?”  Asks the Funny Lookin’ Old Dude in the Weird Blue Jumper.  “Because I got a call from an A about an infestation in your basement?”

Haha!  Get it?   “A” just called Hanna’s new love interest a RODENT!  Fitz, apparently, thinks its funny too.

But be careful, Hanna!  If you keep eye f*&king Caleb, in public,  I suspect SOMEONE will see too it that you have a REAL infestation problem in your basement very soon . . .

“You better stop messing with my girl, Caleb.   Or I’ll stick my pet rat right up your ass!”

In the last few moments of the episode, SOMEONE leaves flowers on Miss Potter’s grave.  And I’m willing to bet that it’s NOT that Creepo Fake James Leland . . .

Could the FAKE Leland have MURDERED the Real Miss Potter for her money?  Does this storyline have ANYTHING to do with “A” or Ali’s death?  Only time will tell . . .

Aria’s Papa Don’t Teach

This week’s episode of PLL was a bit “parent-heavy.”  Don’t you think?  Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for stories about Hanna’s mom, because she’s a Dumb Slutty Felon, who amuses me.  And Emily’s interaction with her mother this week (more on that later) was truly touching.  But PLEASE PLL writers, let’s lay off on the Aria’s Parents’ Storylines, shall we? 

GO AWAY!

These two just bug the heck out of me.  And this is the THIRD week in a row, where their drama took up a major portion of the episode.  It all started with Aria’s mom DROOLING over Fitzy, as he singlehandedly saved the high school lunch room, from Paige’s Evil Father (more on that later). 

 (Apparently, the teachers eat lunch with the students at this school.  Now that HAS to suck for everybody involved.)

Fitzy then invites some of the teachers, Aria’s mom included, to go to some silent auction / book signing by an author that Aria’s mom secretly hates.  Aria’s mom agrees to attend the event because she really wants to get into Fitzy’s pants it’s for a good cause.

“Mrs. Montgomery, are you trying to seduce me?”

Cut to Aria’s parents roaming the halls of the school.  Aria’s mom wants Aria’s dad to meet Aria’s English teacher, Mr. Fitz, because their daughter is boning him because he is just SOOOOOOOO Dreamy.

“He’s smart, attractive, and sensitive,” coos Aria’s mom.

“Does he play the guitar too?”  Aria’s dad snarks.  (I swear, this is the only funny thing he’s said all season.)

So, of course, Aria’s dad immediately becomes convinced that Fitzy is screwing Aria’s mom.  So, when it comes time for the parent teacher conference, Aria’s dad is a TOTAL AND COMPLETE dick to Fitzy.

This rough treatment, of course, has Fitzy peeing in his pants, because he’s convinced that Aria’s dad hates him.  “Your dad hates me, or is crazy!”  Fitzy insists poutily.

  But Aria is not concerned.  “No ONE could hate my Fitzy!  IMPOSSIBLE!”  She assures him.  “And everyone already knows my dad’s crazy so . . .”

But then, when Aria actually questions her father, she learns, to her chagrin, that her dad DOES hate Fitzy.  “There’s just not a lot of depth there.  And he uses that boyish smile too much,” says Aria’s dad mopily.

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I have no idea what he’s talking about.

But when Aria explains that LOTS of teachers will be attending the event Aria’s mom is attending with Fitzy, and that’s it’s for a good cause, Papa Montgomery seems to change his tune about the English Teacher.  (Coincidentally, I’m not really sure what would piss Aria’s dad off more.  The idea of Fitzy boiking his wife, or his daughter?)

Anyway . . .

Aria and Fitzy are busy macking on the couch in Fitzy’s apartment, one evening . . .

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 . . . when Fitzy gets a message on his answering machine.  It’s Aria’s dad.  He’s sorry about his bad behavior at the Parent Teacher Conference, and wants to take Fitzy out for a drink (or ten). 

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MY LORD!  Does the ENTIRE Montgomery family want to BONE this guy?

Emily Gets “Special Treatment”

Poor Emily!  She can’t catch a break!  First her lover gets shipped off to De-Gaying Camp.  Now her teammate, Little Orphan Butchy’s, crackpot dad is shouting across the school lunch room that Emily is getting special treatment on the swimteam, just because she’s a lesbian.  (Yeah, because that makes a lot of sense!  And by “a lot” I mean “none at all.”)

“Man, my dad is such a DOUCHE!  Now, I wish I really was a Little Orphan, instead of just having a Little Orphan haircut.”

Emily keeps the pain of this experience to herself.  And doesn’t tell her mom about it, out of fear of upsetting her.  But count on Aria’s mom to SPILL THE BEANS. 

“Hi, my name is Big Mouth Montgomery.  What’s yours?”

(Seriously?  I know it ended up working out for the best.  But that was a TOTALLY inappropriate thing for Aria’s mom to do . . . Then again, making out in the school library after hours, and hitting on your daughter’s English teacher, are also inappropriate things to do.  So, at least, her character is consistent.)

Later, at the Parent Teacher Conferences, Emily’s mom confronts Emily about what Little Orphan Butchy’s dad said about her in the lunchroom. 

When Emily reluctantly admits to witnessing the event, Emily’s mom takes big steps toward redeeming herself in my eyes, by calling out Little Orphan Butchy’s dad for constantly blaming other’s for his own daughter’s shortcomings.  When it’s all over, Emily’s mom turns to Emily, and gives her a speech, that I must admit, made me go all mushy inside.  (I may have even shed a tear or two.  Shhh!  Don’t tell anyone!)

“I still don’t understand [your sexuality].  But I love you.  You are my child.  And nobody hurts my child.  I’m sorry if I [was a homophobic biatch who got your girlfriend shipped off to De-Gaying Camp] . .  .” says Emily’s mom tearfully.

Then they hug . . .

*sniffle sniffle*

That night, Emily walks to her car.  But before she can put her key in the ignition, an uninvited SOMEONE piles into her passenger seat.  (Because that’s not rude or scary, at all!)

Pouty Paige wrongly assumes that, because Emily’s mom stuck up for her against Paige’s dad, Emily’s mom is tolerant of her “lifestyle.”  “Why is everything so easy for you?”  Paige whines.  (Ughhh!  I despise this girl!  Can’t they put a COOL Lesbian onto this show, for Emily’s sake?  Tea from Skins, perhaps?)

“I’m single!”

Emily begins to explain to Paige just how NOT easy life is for her.  Upon hearing this, Paige shocks Emily, by planting a Big Fat Wet one on her lips . ..

“Don’t tell,” says Paige when it’s all over, dashing from the car, as quickly as she came . . .

“W .  . . T . . . F!”

OK . . . Did anyone NOT see this little “twist” coming, a mile away .  . . aside from Emily, of course? 

Don’t worry, Emily.  You are not alone.  Kurt from Glee feels your pain.

Spencer’s New Sidekick

When the episode opens, we see Spencer and the rest of the girls trying to decipher the braille note that Toby supposedly found hidden in Jenna’s room . . .

Using the internet, Spencer is able to translate the code, by matching the braille to corresponding letters . . .

This is the message she decodes . . .

Aside from being a song by Michael Jackson, it means precisely nothing.  The other girls are convinced that Toby has “punked” them, because he doesn’t trust them.  This, of course, would be completely understandable, considering they all, more or less, accused him of being Ali’s killer, just a few weeks back.  But Spencer, who has seemingly fallen in LOVE with the guy over the course of two weeks (It’s amazing what a little French kissing tutoring can do for your love life.), can’t IMAGINE that Creepy Toby would do such a thing to her.

So, Spencer calls Toby to make sure he hasn’t punked her ass, Ashton Kutcher style.  He tells her he hasn’t.  She’s just reading the code wrong.  Spencer later figures out that the braille marks also represent numbers.  So, the code, in addition to saying “Bad,” also says “214.” 

When Spencer meets up with Toby later, while “Blind” Jenna is away at “flute practice, he tells her, that “Blind” Jenna wrote the note, after talking about Spencer on the phone.  He claims that “Blind” Jenna is afraid of all the PLL girls involved in the accident, but Spencer, most of all.  Toby asks Spencer if the numbers have any significance to her. “Aside from being the date this episode is airing?  They don’t . . .

But thanks to the producers, we are later shown that 214 is motel room number.  And guess who’s staying at that motel?

YIPPPEE!  It’s Wren!  He’s back!  He’s back!  YAY!

Or . . . maybe not . . .  You see, I was SO excited about the prospect of my Wren returning to PLL, that I took the liberty of rewatching the Motel Kiss that occurred between Spencer and Wren during episode 4.  And, unfortunately, unless he changed rooms (please, please let him have changed rooms), he wasn’t staying in 214 . . .

Room 103?

So, “Blind” Jenna’s cryptic note remains a mystery.  You know what else remains a mystery, why “Blind” Jenna was shopping for a lace dress, (“He loves lace,” she says creepily to the store clerk.).  Also, why was she LOOKING AT HERSELF IN THE MIRROR while she was trying it on?

If you recall, this is the SECOND time we’ve seen “Blind” Jenna look at herself in the mirror.  THIS was the first . . .

So, who was Jenna getting all dolled up for?  Stepbrother Toby would be the most obvious choice (EWWWW! EWWW! EWWW!).  After all, he had just received some very good news (more on that in a moment), and would, perhaps, be in the mood to screw “celebrate.”  And Spencer did receive THIS cryptic message from “A,” when she agreed to meet up with Toby again.

But perhaps, Jenna has another lover we don’t know about.  Maybe it’s Pedo Ian  (He seems to like them young!), or maybe it’s Ali’s killer?  Unfortunately, this is yet another mystery that we will have to wait to solve.

Less of a mystery is Creepy Toby’s guilt, or lack thereof.  When Spencer arrives at Toby’s house, the two share a moment.  Their hands brushing against one another, as they both fondle one of Jenna’s snowglobes.  During that Moment, Toby shares his good news with Spencer.  I am STD Free!  The District Attorney has dropped the case against him for Ali’s murder, because the blood evidence on Ali’s coat was “corrupted.”

Spencer offers to bring Toby down to the police station to have his House Arrest leg bracelet removed, and Toby agrees.   But then, once the new couple step outside, Jenna is there with her CANE OF DESTRUCTION!  She wants Toby in her cab, and she’s not about to take no for an answer . . .

SPENCER: “Awwww, crap!  She’s gonna hit us with that thing, isn’t she?”

TOBY: “It actually feels kind of good, when she does it right.”

SPENCER: “I just vomited in my mouth, hearing you say that.”

TOBY:  “Breath mint?”

“Hope you brought a helmet!”

Though “Blind” Jenna worked the whole “blind” angle, by calling Spencer “Emily,” I don’t buy for a second that Jenna didn’t know EXACTLY who was in the process of stealing her man.  Jenna briskly tells Spencer that her services are no longer required.  Her CAB can take Toby to the police station.  “I’m going with Spencer,” says Toby firmly.

That’s when Jenna’s head starts spinning around in circles, and she begins spewing green goo out of her mouth . . . just kidding!  But she certainly wasn’t a Happy Camper. 

During their road trip to the pokey, Spencer and Toby bond a bit.  And the sexual tension between them becomes increasingly evident . . .

TOBY:  “Everyone else on this show makes out in cars.  Are you sure you don’t want to try it?  It’ll be fun.”

SPENCER: “I generally only kiss boys who are dating my sister, or hit on my mom.”

TOBY:  “I can do that.”

Toby notes that he is ready to make changes in his life.  I suspect it’s only a matter of time before those “changes in his life,” include a nice long trip inside Spencer’s pants . . .

“Ready or not, I’m coming in!”

And that was “The New Normal” in a nutshell.  It wasn’t exactly the most eventful episode we’ve seen, so far.  But at least it paved the way for plenty of Hot Hookups in the future (Hanna/LucasCaleb, Spencer/Toby, Emily/Yucky Paige, ME/Wren) . . . 

How about you?  Did you enjoy “The New Normal?”  Are you liking any of these new pairings?  What’s the deal with “Blind” Jenna and that Leland creep?  What are your thoughts on the number 214, and how it relates to the PLL mysteries?  And finally, how excited are you about the Naked Caleb featured in the promos for next week’s episode?

Speaking of the promo, you can watch IT, and a sneak peek from next week’s episode, RIGHT HERE!

See ya next week, my Pretties!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

The Not-So-Suite Life – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “Panic Roommate”

Chuck:  “It was nice to FINALLY get scenes with you again this week, Blair.  For a while there, I was worried that the writers were AFRAID to have us interact, out of fear of showing the world just how much our CURRENT so-called relationships PALE in comparison to what you and I have together.”

Blair:  “Tell me about it!  You have about as much romantic chemistry with that Raina chick, as I have with Raccoon Zombie, Little J!”

Chuck:  “Good point . . . but what about Dan?  Do you think YOU have romantic chemistry with him?”

Blair:  “Who?”

Chuck:  “Exactly.”

 I like to think of this week’s installment of Gossip Girl as the “Special Guest Episode.”  Now, I’m not saying that the episode was particularly “special” or even all that good, for that matter.  I’m simply referring to the fact that, during this episode, our favorite Upper East Siders spent the majority of the hour interacting with and talking about special guests characters, most of whom we all KNOW won’t be around in about three or four episodes, anyway.  In fact, TWO of these special guest characters “peaced out,” even before the final XOXO . . .

Screw Little J!  If Gossip Girl ever does go off the air, I, personally think THIS guy has the most spinoff potential.  In fact, I can picture the title of his new series now:  “High Times with Drug-Dealing Damien.”  (Zac Efron would co-star, as his younger, straight-edge brother, Troy Bolton Ramien!)

So, what are we waiting for?  Let’s go find out what the characters we do care about are saying about those we don’t.

Good Vibrations (or the lack thereof)

Is it just me, or does EVERY single Chuck / Raina sex scene on Gossip Girl look exactly the same (i.e. dull and colorless)?  In fact, not only do Chuck/Raina sex scenes not titillate me, they actually have the adverse effect of making me incredibly depressed. 

Why?  You ask . . .

Well, you see, everytime I watch Chuck and Raina power through one of their Five-Minute Missionary Position Lunch Break Lays, I can’t help but think of what I could be watching instead . . .

When Chuck and Blair have sex it’s a Contact Sport, one in which the competitors get extra points for creativity.  When Chuck and Raina do it, it’s an item on the To Do List, right underneath “Confirm Client Meeting” and “Make Sure the Maid Washes My Underwear.”

Anywhoo . . . the episode opens with Chuck and Raina doing it zzzzzzzzzzz.  Don’t feel bad if they are boring you, because Chuck’s bored too.  So, bored in fact, that when Raina’s cell phone vibrates, Chuck suggests she bring it into bed with her to up Arousal Factor.  (Note:  If this were Chuck and Blair in bed, they’d be going at it so aggressively, that not only would no one PICK UP the cell phone, it would probably get literally crushed beneath the sheer magnitude of the couple’s grinding backsides love.)

Raina, however, ignores Chuck’s advice, opting to pick up her phone, rather than use it as a Sex Toy.  In hindsight, that was probably a good decision, especially considering that the person calling Raina was HER FATHER . . .

The Awkward Moment when you are using your cell phone as a vibrator, and your DAD’S FACE appears on its screen . . .

Speaking of Chuck and Raina . . .  zzzzzzzzzzzz . . . 

(OK, I’m up!  I’m up!) 

What’s their ship name, anyway?  Ruck?  Chaina?  Is it even worth the effort of making one up?  Do any fans ACTUALLY ship these two as a couple?  I didn’t think so . . .

Always at Daddy’s beck and call, Raina exits the premises, leaving Chuck to nurse THESE . . .

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the Upper East Side . . .

Epperley Needs a Date (Wait . . . who the f*&k is Epperley?)

At W Magazine, Blair is finding herself in a very unique situation, one she has NEVER experienced in all her time on Gossip Girl:  She has to work . . . hard.

“Surely, this is the first sign of Show Cancellation Shark Jumping the Apocalypse!”

As luck would have it, Blair’s new boss, Epperley, is completely stressed out about the Plot Device Party Upcoming W Magazine event, and is working Poor Blair’s little french manicured fingers to the bone, as a result.  This, of course, is completely unacceptable to Blair.  No self-respecting woman should willingly busy herself with menial office tasks (That’s what DOROTA is for!).  In fact, according to Blair, any woman who DOES work hard in a career setting, MUST be hard up for loving! 

Sorry . . . I just couldn’t help myself . . .

Fear not, Upper East Siders.  Blair Waldorf has A PLAN!

Blair and Chuck Put their Heads Together (Unfortunately, no other body parts touch, in the process.)

After work (or before . . . or during . . . Annoying and inconsequential things like TIME, never seem to matter all that much to the ridiculously rich.), Blair (with Epperley in tow) heads over to La Casa de Chuck and Nate to screw Chuck’s brains out request a favor of her soulmate former beau.

Isn’t this picture SO much better, when taken completely out of the lame context of this episode?

The stated reason for the visit is that Blair wants to host the W Magazine function on Chuck’s property.  Of course, we all KNOW that Chuck could have probably agreed to host Blair’s event over the phone, thereby saving her and her boss the commute.  I SMELL A SCHEME!

Of course, we are not at all surprised, when Blair requests that Nate give Epperley a tour of the place, leaving Blair and Chuck alone to screw like bunny rabbits talk. 

As it turns out, both Blair and Chuck have favors to ask one another.  Chuck goes first.  He wants Blair to tell him how he can win Raina’s heart (blech!), so that she can convince her father not to sell Bass Industries out from under him.  (Ummm yeah . . . because asking your EX girlfriend, who you are CLEARLY still in love with, how to seduce your current one is not inappropriate AT ALL!) 

Improprieties aside, Blair actually offers Chuck some pretty helpful advice.  Contrary to what Chuck might think, hours and hours of sex (particularly the boring kind of sex he has with Raina) do not make a woman fall in love with a man.  Rather, Chuck will probably have to find some commonality between him and Raina that he can exploit, in order to make her feel connected to him.

“You mean I actually have to TALK to her?  I’m bored already . . .”

For Blair’s part, she wants Chuck to seduce Epperley, so that she doesn’t make Blair work so hard.  (Ummmm yeah . . . because asking your EX Boyfriend, who you are CLEARLY still in love with to have sex with your boss, so that he can sleep YOUR way to the top, is not inappropriate AT ALL!)  Unfortunately for Blair, Chuck declines her request.  Don’t get him wrong, it’s not that Chuck is AVERSE to having multiple sex partners at one time . . .

. . . it’s just that this whole “talking to Raina” thing is going to be using up all his excess mental energy, not to mention his patience.  So, there is simply not enough Chuck left over for Epperley. 

No bother!  If Blair can’t have Chuck, she’ll take the Next Best Thing . . .

Source

OMG!  It’s Gossip Girl, Season 1, all over again!

So, Blair wants NATE to seduce Epperley now.   But she wants him to be a more “generous” lover with Epperley than he was with HER.  (Who knew Little Nate Archibald was such a glutton in the sack?)  Slutty as he may be, however, Nate is going to need a bit of convincing, before he lets Blair pimp him out. 

And so, when Chuck calls, while Blair is still with Nate, Blair pretends he’s Epperley, and starts talking to “her” about how “she” [Epperley] thinks Nate is a majorly Hot Piece of Ass, who she desperately wants to bone at the W party.

“Epperley” and I can agree on this point.

You’re overselling.  Wrap it up,” Chuck kindly advices his Lady Love, immediately understanding EXACTLY what she is trying to do.

Then, when Chuck notices Raina and her RIDICULOUS hat looming in the distance,  he starts playing the SAME game — casually telling Blair what a DEEP connection he and Raina share together . . .

“Legend has it, if you look at my hat for too long, you can turn to stone . . .”

Chuck and Raina Play Hotel Hide and Seek

Knowing that Raina’s dad’s company will vote on the buyout of Bass Industries in just a few short hours,  Chuck really turns on the charm.  He takes Raina out to lunch at his hotel, and sweet talks every busboy or waiter that passes him by.  When Raina notes that all this “Kindness for the Poor” stuff Chuck is doing seems like a Big Ole Crock of Sh&t, Chuck starts waxing poetic about his young days growing up on the Disney Show the Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Chuck on hotel property. And, wouldn’t you know it?  RAINA GREW UP in a hotel TOO!

You mean to tell me kids who’s Fathers Own HOTELS spend a lot of time in HOTELS?  I’M SHOCKED!

The two Children of Hotel Barons even shared the same Childhood Hiding Place!  This must be Lame True Love, right?  Recognizing that he has Raina in his clutches, Chuck allows the other shoe to drop, by inviting Raina to attend Blair’s W party event, thereby missing  the vote to take over Bass Industries, which, conveniently enough, must be unanimous in order to pass.  Raina accepts!

“I am SO GOOD!”

And yet, neither Chuck, nor Raina counted on Raina’s Kill Joy Dad crashing the party.  Thorpe quickly informs Raina that the Little Bass-tard knew all about the timing of the vote, and was only using her to save his company.  Raina asks Chuck if this is true.  He admits that it is, but assures her that, in the process of manipulating Raina, he eventually grew to “really care about her” and blah, blah, blah *cough . . . bullsh*t . . . cough*

“Nothing can make me trust you again,” pouts Raina, before stalking off.

“I’m MAD AS HELL.   And I’m not going to take it . . . for the next five minutes, at least!”

Apparently, when Raina said that “nothing” would make her trust Chuck again, she might have been exaggerating just a little bit.  Because all it takes is an itty bitty phone call from Blair telling her how much Chuck REALLY cares about her, for Raina to wind herself right back into Chuck’s bed.  (Wow!  She must REALLY like Boring Missionary Sex!)

Blair to Shark:  “Consider yourself JUMPED.”

Speaking of Meaningless Sex, Blair has finally managed to convince Epperley to attend the W event, so that she can screw Nate there, and, hopefully, start being nicer to Blair, as a result.  On the night of the event, when Nate starts getting cold feet about essentially being Blair’s Man Whore, our Queen B gets a little handsy . . .

Source

Later that night,  W Magazine enters into a bit of a crisis situation (Apparently, it had something to do with gift bags, or something else equally unimportant).  Unfortunately, for Blair, her boss, Epperley, is nowhere to be found.  Nate is there, however . . .

Nate explains to Blair that he struck out in his manwhoring with Epperley, when some dude with a British accent hit on her, causing her to go off with him.  Blair then commandeers Nate to help her fix the Gift Bag Crisis, by threatening him to reveal his favorite musical to everyone, if he doesn’t help.   Apparently, Nate thinks that The Sound of Music is the Bees Knees, because it has “guns and Nazis, and Julie Andrews was hot.”

Who knew?

With the help of the apparently Nazi-loving Nate, Blair does manage to singlehandedly SAVE W Magazine from the horror that is having a party with NO gift bags.  So, when Blair arrives at the office the next morning, she is surprised to learn that Epperley has been in the Editor’s office for OVER AN HOUR.  (“What could they POSSIBLY be talking about?”  She wonders.)

When Epperley emerges from the office, she gives Blair the news.  Apparently, Epperley’s British One-Night Stand ended up being a LONG TIME ex-beau, who wanted to take her to Bali so the pair could do yoga together, or something.  So, Epperley decided to QUIT her much coveted, insanely prestigious, job.

“You are leaving the magazine for ‘Eat, Pray, Love’?”  Blair inquires, confused by Epperley’s plot device change of heart.

As it turns out, not only did Epperley quit the magazine, but she has requested that Blair, an INTERN and COLLEGE SOPHOMORE / FULL TIME STUDENT, who she knew for MAYBE A WEEK, and who, during that time, GOT INTO A WRESTLING MATCH AT A HIGH PROFILE COMPANY EVENT, to be her replacement . . .

“Well . . . on a positive note . . . this will make me feel successful enough in my own right to start dating Chuck again!”

In other news . . .

He’s Baaaaack!

Ugh!  Ben . . . again!  When is this guy going to GO AWAY, already?  Isn’t it bad enough we had to cope with HIS EVIL PSYCHO SISTER for half a season? 

Now, I know Drug Dealing Damien is a “Bad Guy” who “Tried to Date Rape Raccoon Zombie” and “Hurt Eric’s Feelings,” but still . . . was any one else, besides me, actually ROOTING FOR HIM, this week?

Did I mention he’s REALLY hot?

Anyway, as you might recall from last week, Rufus took Serena advice (at the SECRET behest of Lily), and offered Ben the opportunity to live out the remainder of his parole at DAN’S APARTMENT.  He did this, mind you, without asking DAN whether it would be OK. 

“W . . . T . . . F!”

To make matters worse, Ben is an AWFUL ROOMMATE.  For starters, he PUTS THE SALAD BOWLS BACK ON THE WRONG SHELF!  (The horror!)  Ben also constantly eyef*&ks Dan’s ex girlfriend, EATS her out SUSHI with her, and agrees to attend W Magazine events with her . . .

NOT COOL, BRO!

Fortunately for Dan, help is on the way, in the form of Drug Dealing Damien, and Friendless Eric.  Honestly, I had to laugh when Damien started going into that ridiculously fake sob story, about how Ben threatened to tell his parents on him for DEALING DRUGS, and how Damien is SO VERY SCARED of Ben, and Eric ACTUALLY BELIEVED HIM! 

(Seriously, Eric?  Have years and years of being FRIENDS with Raccoon Zombie Little J, a step-sibling to Chuck Bass, and a son to your Lying Manipulative B*tch of a Mother taught you NOTHING?)

“So, I come off as gullible and mentally deficient in this episode.   So, what?  At least they gave me a PLOTLINE, for a change!”

Together, Damien and Eric come to Dan for help with Operation Make Ben Look Crazy so his Parole Officer will Cart him Back to Jail.  At the W party, Damien tries to provoke Ben into a fight, but fails.

Not willing to give up, Damien then has ERIC punch him in the face.  He then has Dan invite Ben’s parole officer to the party, so that the latter can see Damien’s smushed face, and think Ben did it.  (That’s A LOT of trouble to go through for some guy you just “don’t like very much.”  Isn’t it, Damien?)

When Serena arrives at the party, to find Ben being dragged away by his parole officer, she is not a Happy Camper . . .

“I am NOT a Happy Camper.”

Serena does not believe for ONE SECOND that Ben would willingly hurt Drug Dealing Damien at a public event.   And yet, when she confronts Ben about it, he doesn’t deny it, or try to defend himself because he is such a Boring Loser.   Later, Eric tries hitting on his “new friend” Drug Dealing Damien again.  However, this time, the latter admits to, more or less, just using him to get back at Ben, and wants nothing more to do with him.  As a result of this rejection, a heartbroken, and incredibly guilty-feeling, Baby VDW comes clean to Rufus, about what he and Drug Dealing Damien did (with Dan’s help, of course).  Then, Dan and Eric rat Drug Dealing Damien out to his Mommy and Daddy for being a drug dealer, and make him cry . . .

Ultimately, Ben is cleared of all charges.  He is also eventually allowed to move back into Dan’s place . . . and Serena’s pants.

“Welcome Ben, prepare to boldly go where every male (and some inanimate objects) on this show have already been . . .”

And that was “Panic Roommate” in a nutshell, Upper East Siders!   Until next time . . .XOXO!

[www.juliekushner.com] [Fangirls Forever]

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The French Connections – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Je Suis Un Amie”

Oh, Creepy Toby!  How we missed those big blue eyes and that Serial Killer Facial Expression, of yours!

“Je Suis Un Amie,” this week’s episode title, when translated into English, means, literally, “I Am A  Friend.”  Get it?  A Friend . . . as an “A?”  Pretty darn clever, huh? 

Given the title of the episode, it’s kind of fitting that this latest installment of the series (1) featured lots of French influences — from French tutoring, to Spencer’s ridiculous French-inspired wardrobe (Seriously, who is DRESSING her, lately?),  to a French language version of Catcher in the Rye; and (2)  may very well have brought us closer than ever before to finding out “A’s” true identity.  (I’ll give you a hint.  Based on the evidence we learned this week, all fingers seem to point to a girl who’s name rhymes with . . . LINED . . . HENNA.)

So, what are we waiting for?  Let’s start digging for clues!

Turning the Paige . . .

I am going to start with the LEAST exciting storyline first, to get it out of the way . . .

Sorry, Em!  But you KNOW it’s true!

It’s a few days before the Big Swim Meet.  Emily and her new rival Paige, or, as I like to call her, Little Orphan Butchy, are still at odds with one another.  Except now, instead of MERELY competing for the role of Team Captain, Emily and Paige are now also in competition to determine who gets to swim the much-coveted anchor leg of the relay race.

Since the girls’ respective personal best times are identical, the coach decides to have the at-odds pair compete in a Swim Off against one another.  Emily, once again, tries to be friendly to her rival, by offering her a few words of encouragement.  But Little Orphan Butchy is not having it.  She responds to Emily’s efforts by, more or less, growling and snarling, like the rabid dog she may very well be, underneath that ridiculous wig of hers.

That night, Emily awakens to a knock at her door . . .

And, wouldn’t you know it . . . it’s a WET DOG!

Little Orphan Butchy is COMPLETELY soaked through with rain (or is it sweat?).   She’s also blubbering and crying, and looks half way toward catching pneumonia.   But does Emily let Butchy into her house?  Nope.  (GOOD GIRL!)

All joking aside, Little Orphan Butchy evokes just a smidgeon of my sympathy, when she starts sobbing out apologies to Emily, while standing on her porch.  “I’m sorry,” she snivels.  “I just wanted you to know that.  You have every reason to hate me.”

(Yes, she SURE does!)

With those brief words, Little Orphan Butchy dashes off on her bike, right into the storm, leaving a still half-asleep Emily completely confused.  Now, while I’ll admit I felt a little bad for Little Orphan Butchy, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the Evil Homophobe was apologizing for something more than just a few nasty comments, and that time she almost drowned her . . .

Could Little Orphan Butchy have done something AWFUL to Emily to sabatoge her ability to compete in the upcoming Swim Meet?

Understandably, I fear for Emily’s safety, when she arrives at the swim team locker room, the following day, prepared for her little race against Little Orphan Butchy.  As it turns out, however, my worries are unfounded.  Because Wet Dog Paige DOESN’T show up to practice!  Coach claims she was HURT on her bike the night before.  Her absence results in Emily getting the opportunity to swim the anchor position in the relay, by default!

HUH?

Well . . . surely it is Little Orphan Butchy’s intention then to sabotage Emily at the MEET, itself.   Right?  

The day of the meet comes.  And once again, I am EXTREMELY worried for Emily’s safety.  As she waits on the platform, I watch her for signs of poisoning and sudden illness.   When she steps onto the diving bored, I fear that Paige may have greased it with butter, causing Emily to slip and break her head.  When Paige HERSELF arrives on the scene, I find myself entirely convinced that she’s some kind of witch/wizard, planning to put a spell on Emily to make her perform poorly, during the race.  (Yes, I read Harry Potter too much.)

But then the race ends, and Emily WINS IT FOR HER TEAM!

“Fooled ya, didn’t I?”

After the meet, Emily finds Paige alone at the pool.  Paige admits that she wasn’t hurt,  but WISHES she had been.  As it turns out, she has gotten so caught up in the pressure and competitiveness of winning, that she just doesn’t enjoy swimming anymore.  Emily, of course, can relate to this feeling, having experienced it herself, just a few months earlier, when she had temporarily quit the swim team.

“How did you get over it?”  Paige wants to know.

“I stopped swimming for everyone else, and started swimming just for me,” explains Emily.  “When was the last time you swam just for fun?”  Emily inquires, with a wink.

Then, suddenly Emily and Paige are “having fun” in the pool together, with Cheesy Girl Power music playing in the background.  Emily is giving Paige some “looks,” if you catch my drift.  And these LOOKS worry me.  (Please LORD don’t make these two a couple, PLL Writers!  Emily can do SOOOOO much better than Little Orphan Butchy . . . just sayin!)

Just keep swimming, Emily!  There are MANY other (better) fish in the sea!

Source

Aria’s Not So Shocking Discovery

Hanna:  “Ewww, Aria, why are your mom and dad making monkey in our school library?  That’s REALLY nasty!”

Aria:  “Shut the f*&k up, Hanna.  At least my mom doesn’t screw Deputy Douchey, or steal money from old ladies!”

If you recall, last week’s PLL installment ended with the completely lame and entirely predictable cliffhanger of whether or not Aria’s mom ACTUALLY saw Aria and Fitzy necking on their clandestine “date” at the Philadelphia museum . . .

When the episode begins, Aria is digging for money in her dad’s jacket pocket, when she comes upon some VERY interesting contraband . . .

When Aria inquires as to what her dad is doing with the SAME ticket to the SAME museum event that she secretly attended with Fitzy, Aria’s dad mumbles something about  Aria’s mom, and then proceeds to become even more socially awkward and incoherent than usual.  Aria gets even MORE concerned that she’s been found out, when her mom acts equally bizarre, when questioned about whether SHE attended the event.

“Ummm . . . ummmm . . . ummmm . . . I’m boinking your dad again, and have inexplicably decided to keep it a secret from you so that you will spend the entire first half of the episode worried that I found out about you having Hot Limo Sex with your much older teacher boyfriendI’m sorry.  Could you repeat the question?”

Aria is ultimately relieved to learn that her mom’s car broke down, thus making her, ultimately, unable to attend the museum art exhibit.  And yet, much to Hanna’s chagrin, Aria has caught Spencer’s Veronica Mars Disease, and is still intent on finding out why her parents have been acting so friggin bizarre lately.  And so, Aria and Hanna tail Aria’s dad’s car one night.  Of course, they are surprised, when he ends up parking it at their high school.

Hanna:  “Hey Aria, maybe your dad has lost his memory, and thinks he’s 16 years old again, and still looks like THIS . . .”

Oh yeah, that’s TOTALLY a pre-drugged out Charlie Sheen next to him, by the way.  It’s AMAZING what you can find on the internet! 

Still waiting in the car, Aria calls her mother from her cell phone.  As a result of that call, we are treated to this image . . .

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little . . .

Now, don’t get me wrong.  It’s not that I’m ageist, or anything.  In fact, there are PLENTY of 40 and 50 somethings that I would be PERFECTLY cool with seeing hook up.  (For starters, I could watch George Clooney hump a TREE, and I’d still be happy!)  It’s not even that Holly Marie Combs and Chad Lowe are unattractive.  On the contrary, they are both VERY good looking people.  It’s just that these two have NO CHEMISTRY WHATSOEVER!  So watching them makeout, and rub up on eachother, is about as romantic as watching two slugs mate . . .

Anywhoo . . . Aria is concerned by her mom’s weirdness on the phone, and knows that her parents are DEFINITELY up to something.  (Oh, they are up to SOMETHING all right!)   After some cajoling and puppy-dog eye giving, Aria ultimately convinces Hanna to go into the school with her, so the pair can stalk Aria’s dad.  Good times!

Hanna’s and Aria’s investigation ultimately leads them to the library, where they encounter THIS . . .

Nope . . . still not sexy . . .

(Of course, the girls find OTHER things in the library too, which I will get to in just a bit, when we tackle Hanna’s storyline.) 

The next day, a now emotionally-scarred Aria gets a text from A, that says THIS . . .

Oh, HANNA!  You’ve got some ‘splaining to do!

Hanna (temporarily) loses a friend . . . but gains a new boy toy and housemate

Welcome to The Dating Game, Hanna!  So far, we’ve met Bachelor Number One, Sean, and Bachelor Number Two, Lucas.  Allow us to introduce you to Bachelor Number 3, Caleb.  Caleb is homeless, has no family, and is probably a drug dealer.  But he’s very attractive, and can break into anything even your pants!  Needless to say, your mother will LOVE HIM!

Lucas has been gone for two whole weeks now, and Hanna seems to have a VERY short attention span.  For this reason, she spends most of the episode eye f*&king Resident Bad Boy Caleb.  You see, Hanna owes Caleb for that “little favor” he did for her, by wrecking Aria’s mom’s car, so she couldn’t get to the museum where Aria and Fitzy were screwing enjoying their date.  And Caleb wants to COLLECT on this favor . . .

Now, if this were a show on ANY channel, aside from ABC Family, we all KNOW EXACTLY how Caleb would expect Hanna to “repay him” for the “favor” he did her.  (Hint:  It rhymes with “lex.”)  But this IS ABC Family, so Caleb merely wants Hanna to go on a “date” with him.  Caleb believes that dating a popular and “clean cut” girl like Hanna will give him the “Street Cred” he needs to push drugs and alcohol on Hanna’s rich friends.

Hanna kindly obliges, even going as far as to point out which of her friends are the wealthiest, sluttiest, and most drug addicted.  She does this, in exchange for information regarding Caleb’s Sick Sad Life as a foster child.   Once Caleb has enough gullible marks for his Con Artist game, him and Hanna attend Emily’s swim meet, and eye f*&k eachother some more . . .

That night, while she is stalking Aria’s parents, Hanna finds an air vent, filled with cell phones, dark clothing, and a wad of cash, all of which she immediately assumes belongs to “A.”  Hanna promptly pockets the cash, explaining to Aria, that “A” owes her for the medical bills she incurred when “A” ran her over with the car.  (Of course, she neglects to mention to Aria the whole “Felony Blackmail thing,” or that “A” also “owes Hanna” for doing her bidding, by trying to sabotage Aria’s date with Ezra.)

The moment Hanna steals  borrows takes an Unauthorized Loan of the cash,  however,  her and Aria are startled by a loud crash, and frightened by the sight of a dark figure looming before them, in the distance . . .

Aria and Hanna try to outrun their assailant, but he is WAY faster than them, and catches up quickly.  At one point, Hanna tries to put more space between her and Aria and their potential attacker, by overturning a trashcan in front of him.   But the dude leaps over it SO effortlessly, I start to wonder whether “A” (if that’s who he ends up being) might, in fact, be Spiderman . . .

Eventually, however, the hooded figure backs Aria and Hanna into a corner.  Out of options, Hanna cleverly improvizes, by spraying hairspray in her assailant’s face.  Blinded, he removes his mask.  And the girls’ assailant IS . . . (drum roll, please) . . . THIS GUY!

Yes, boys and girls, Caleb lives in the LIBRARY, where the books are free, and the nighttime teacher makeout sessions are a plenty!  He does this, because he doesn’t want to end up in yet another foster home.  Hearing this, understandably, makes Hanna and Aria feel guilty for complaining about their own, not nearly as crappy, lives.  So, Hanna reluctantly returns Caleb’s money.  Then, the girls leave the library, and let Caleb go back to reading Wuthering Heights for the 325th time . . .

The next day, school board officials find Caleb’s personal belongings stashed in the heating vent, and toss them in the trash.  “My Eviction Notice,” notes Caleb to Hanna morosely, as he digs his food-stained shirts out of a nearby garbage pail.

“Well, this place has very little closet space,” remarks Hanna,  trying to keep things light.

Recognizing how terrified her new Bad Boy Buddy is about returning to the foster care system, Hanna invites Caleb to live in her basement.  “My mom is so self-absorbed, and oblivious to every aspect of my life, she will NEVER EVEN KNOW YOU ARE THERE!”  Hanna says, more or less.  “Besides, she’s out hooking most of the night, and sleeps all day in a drug-induced stupor.”

In hindsight, it’s kind of a good thing that Hanna has a new housemate.  Because she’s going to need all the friends she can get, now!  When Aria first receives that cryptic text from “A” alluding to Hanna’s part in her almost getting caught with Fitzy by her mom, she immediately confronts Hanna with it, not believing the content of the message at all.  “A’s really gone off the deep end now.  She’s trying to turn us against eachother!  I can’t believe it,” insists Aria, infuriated.

(Well . . . that’s true, Aria.  Just not exactly in the way you think.)

Though Hanna could have just blown off the text message, thereby preserving her friendship with Aria, guilt ultimately overcomes her.   So, Hanna comes clean to her bestie, about sending Aria’s mother the museum tickets.  “A has something on ME,” Hanna insists, by way of explanation for her massive betrayal.

“A has something on ALL OF US,” argues Aria, “But nothing A said could make me do that to you!”

And, with that, a rightfully furious Aria stalks off, leaving a dejected Hanna alone to lick her wounds.

That night, Hanna is sobbing on the staircase, as she makes yet another apologetic phonecall to Aria that goes unanswered.  Caleb is there, talking about showers, and towels.  So, I start to think that maybe we will get to see him shirtless tonight . . .

We don’t . . .

But we do get to see him sit next to Hanna and sweetly comfort her, which is nice . . .

And yet . . .  given that Caleb has spent weeks living in the school library, I’m not entirely sure his decision to FORGO a much needed shower, for Hanna’s sake, is a particularly hygenic (or good-smelling) one.

Here, I would  like to note that the Lucas has not missed a single shower since he was two-years old.  Just sayin’

And finally, the storyline you’ve all been waiting for . . .

Spencer and Toby do French . . . but not in the way you think . . .

Last week, I mocked Spencer a bit, for the Indiana Jones costume she wore, while investigating Ali’s hot shirtless brother Jason out on the field.  This week, Spencer entertained us, by wearing yet another Halloween costume.  This time she dressed up like her favorite American Girl doll  . . .

Blue Beret sold separately!

Maintaining her French wardrobe theme for the evening, Spencer’s second ensemble was a cross between French Maid, French Clown, and French Poodle . . .

Given Spencer’s newfound love of French Couture, it was, perhaps, fitting that she had decided to tutor Creepy Toby (who was now being homeschooled, as a result of all the bullying he was receiving, on account of being the main police’s suspect in Ali’s murder) in French.

Spencer’s reasoning for deciding to tutor Toby is three-fold:  (1) She feels guilty for being TOTALLY convinced he murdered Ali, during the early months of her murder investigation.  And she sees this as a good an opportunity as any to apologize for being such a b*tch to him.  (2) Seeing as people keep blowing up his mailbox, there’s no way Toby’s ever going to get those Rosetta Stone CD’s he ordered from Amazon.com, in time for finals . . .

(3) Now that Spencer TOO has been somewhat accused of being responsible for Ali’s death (Remember that Crazy Bead Selling Lady, suggested that Spencer had ordered Ali’s Death Bracelet, last week?),  the Veronica Mars Disease in Spencer has somehow convinced her that Toby can be her Logan Echolls (or, at least, her Wallace).  Together, Spencer feels that she and Toby can figure out WHO is framing them and why.  And THIS, she figures, might actually lead them to “A” and Ali’s killer.

After taking the advertisement off the wall, so no one else could volunteer for the job not that anyone else would want it, Spencer nervously heads over to Boo Radley’s Creepy Toby’s and Blind Jenna’s house, after school . . .

When she eventually finds the courage to ring the doorbell, Creepy Toby answers.

 Toby is clearly leery of Spencer, and isn’t quite sure what her true intentions are.   He’s also concerned that, if Blind Jenna knows that Spencer is in the house with him, she will rape Toby again freak out.  Of course, Creepy Toby would absolutely LOVE to study with Spencer someplace away from home, where he would feel more comfortable (like a cemetery, or bat cave, perhaps), however his darn House Arrest Bracelet, won’t let him leave his property.  So, Spencer suggests that the pair study on the porch instead.  Toby reluctantly agrees . . .

Initially, Spencer tries to butter Toby up, by giving him a French version of a book she KNOWS he enjoys, namely, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.  Spencer wisely notes that reading a book in French that he has already read in English will help him become fluent in the language.  But Toby is not so easily bought.  He wants to know why Spencer is really there.

The two eventually warm to one another a bit, and get to talking, about how much it sucks to be framed for Ali’s murder.  Spencer wonders out loud how the jacket Toby gave Ali on the night of her murder, ended up back in his house, after she died. Before he can answer her question, however, Toby notices the rustling of a nearby window, and quickly bids Spencer adieu.  Obviously, Blind Jenna has come out to play! 

(OK.  If Jenna is BLIND why is she “LOOKING” out the window at Spencer and Toby?   Weird!)

That afternoon, Spencer already seems totally smitten with Toby, which is odd considering that she used to make out with SUPER HOT Wren that just a few episodes ago, she hated his guts.  “He seems . . . hornydifferent,” Spencer notes dreamily to Emily, as the latter tries not to laugh hysterically at her friend’s MAJOR change of heart.

*sigh*  “Creepy Toby is sooooo dreamy.   Do you think he likes me?  You know, when Toby and I get married, Blind Jenna will be my sister-in-law.  That’s going to suck SO BAD!”

When Spencer is not sleuthing, or dressing French, or dreaming about Toby, this week, she spends the rest of her time, glaring at her new brother-in-law Pedo Ian, and quitting the hockey team, because he’s it’s coach . . .

Ian feigns offense at Spencer’s obvious rejection of him.  He insists that he just wants to make peace with his wife’s little sister.  However, Spencer isn’t buying it.  Big Sis Meliss tries to intervene, and let Spencer know what a FABULOUS person Pedo Ian is . . .

“Is THAT why he’s hitting on a 13-year old now?  Because that’s what FABULOUS adults do?”  Spencer notes wryly (more or less), as she motions toward a little kiddy that Pedo Ian seems to be grooming for his special Lolita collection.  

Spencer insists that Melissa ask her new husband about his various rendezvouse with Ali before she died.  But Melissa retorts that, since Spencer has been spending time with Creepy Toby, he must be poisoning her little sister’s mind against her new husband.  “You just always want what I HAVE,” remarks Melissa.  “You need help!”

Correction, Melissa:  Spencer wants what you HAD . . . not HAVE.  There’s a BIG distinction.

Speaking of Wren, he gets a SHOUT OUT, in Melissa’s next line, “I’ve already lost one relationship because of you, you will not ruin my marriage too!”  Melissa huffs, before storming out. 

(Well, at least SOMEONE, besides me, remembers that Gorgeous Hunk of Man!)

Later, Melissa approaches Spencer again to apologize for her earlier behavior.  Apparently, Pedo Ian has finally come clean to his wife about making out with Spencer, while the pair were broken up, but she’s totally cool with it (NEVER MIND THAT SPENCER WAS 14, AT THE TIME).  Then, Melissa decides to drop a couple of bombshells on Spencer, by revealing (1) that SHE proposed to Pedo Ian, not the other way around; and (2) that she’s pregnant with Pedo Ian’s Evil Spawn!

For once, Spencer, that face is TOTALLY justified.

Later that day, Spencer comes back to visit Creepy Toby again, and is totally caught off guard, when he dumps her as his French tutor.  “This isn’t going to work out,” says Toby brusquely.  “We can’t help eachother.  You have to go,” he concludes, handing Spencer back her book, as he dashes back inside his Haunted House. 

(By the way, did you notice the DARK GLASSES on the outside table, during this scene? Do you think they were Blind Jenna’s?  If so, what exactly does that mean?)

You’ve got some ‘splaining to do, Blind Jenna!

When Spencer gets home from Creepy Toby’s house, and puts the French Catcher in the Rye book on her bed, a slip of paper falls out of it.  It’s a message from Creepy Toby . . .

“I found this in Jenna’s bedroom.   I think you may be right!”

Below Toby’s handwritten message is a pencil rubbing done of some characters, which were clearly typed in braille.  The question is:  What exactly does it SAY?

In the final moments of the episode, we are treated to the CREEPY sounds of a record (SERIOUSLY A RECORD?  What is this, 1975?), which boasts that it can teach a person French easily.  All they have to do is listen.  As the voice on the record repeatedly utters “Je Suis Un Amie,” the camera pans over a number of suspicious items:  (1) laptop, (2) a knife, (3) some rope, (4) a wrench, and (5) THIS . . .

What the F*&K is THAT supposed to be?

What exactly all this signifies is still a mystery . . . to me, anyway.  After all, TOBY would seem to be the most likely candidate to own a record like this.  After all, he needs to learn French, and he just ditched his tutor.  So, it would make sense for him to practice the language using an instructional record (possibly originally by one of his parents’)? 

And yet, up to this point, all signs have pointed to JENNA being the mysterious “A.”  Certainly, JENNA would have access to Toby’s room, during this scene.  She may even play his French record out of curiousity, and manipulate his belongings, in order to throw fans off track frame him for Ali’s murder. 

And yet, would the solution  that Blind Jenna is “A” be too obvious?  Could “A” have been Toby all along?  Or is the person featured at the end of this episode someone else entirely . . . one of Toby’s and Jenna’s parents, perhaps?

I guess we will have to wait until next week to find out . . . See you then!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

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]

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Well, THAT’S Convenient! – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “If At First You Don’t Succeed, Lie, Lie Again”

SMILE!  You’re on a Creepy Stalker’s Camera!

Welcome back, my Pretties!  This was a pretty productive episode, wasn’t it?  We met a new enemy (specifically, Emily’s Swim Teammate, Paige, or as I like to call her, Little Orphan B*tchie).

Seriously?  That hair?  Those clothes?  No . . . just . . . no.

We got to know a new friend with benefits? a little bit better . . .

“Hi!  My name is Stereotypical Bad Boy Love Interest.  What’s yours?”

We welcomed back a new suspect (who’s been SERIOUSLY hitting the steroids HARD eating his Wheaties, since we saw him last).

A few couples heated things up (one of which we ACTUALLY cared about!).

Mmmm!  That looks like it tastes good . . .

Meh . . .

An old lady died (RIP Old Lady!).  And another Old Lady told SOMEONE (A?  Ali’s Killer?) that she (or he, though it definitely seemed more like a she) had nice eyes . . .

“Why thank you, Old Lady, and you have nice .  . . teacups.”

And finally, Spencer FINALLY revealed why she’s been acting so Cuckoo Bananas, everytime she gets anywhere near that picture of Ali that was taken the night she died . . .

But we still haven’t figured out why she always makes that weird face . . .

Let’s review, shall we?

Questionable Judgment (and even more questionable hats)

Clearly, all these months of being tortured by “A,” making out with inappropriate men (and women), and not sleeping, have started to take their toll on the girls.  We see the first signs of this, when the typically stylish Aria arrives at Spencer’s house inexplicably dressed like Where’s Waldo?

(Hanna, of course, had another analogy for Aria’s bizarro appearance.  She compared her to a Strung Out Powder Puff Girl.  This, to me, seemed kind of redundant, as the Powder Puff Girls ALWAYS look strung out, as far as I’m concerned . . .)

Sorry, Buttercup!

And yet, we can’t really blame Aria for not looking her best this morning.  After all, she’s been up all night, dreaming about the next public restroom she and Fitzy can screw in, McDonalds?  Wendy’s? studying Ali’s morbid final moments caught on film.  And during these hours of restless study, she has come to two conclusions: (1) there is a shadow of a second person in the film, who is clearly following Ali toward wherever she is going; (2) the photograph was taken from Ali’s bedroom window.  This new information causes Hanna and Emily to begin speculation as to who could possibly be the second person caught on film.  And it causes Spencer to . . . make That Face again . . .

Sometimes, my jaw and eyebrows get tired, just watching her do this . . . I’m starting to think she might have inadvertently swallowed her “ex”-boyfriend, Wren . . .

 . . . and Alex, for that matter . . .

In terms of who has taken the Extremely Morbid Picture, the girls rationally assume that it had to be Ali’s brother, Jason.  If you recall, Jason is the same creepy brother who TOTALLY took over Ali’s memorial service, and basically, accused all the girls (but, mostly, Spencer) of knowing more than they claimed about Ali’s death.  None of the girls seem to have any desire to talk to Jason again.  But Spencer JUMPS RIGHT ON THAT OPPORTUNITY!

Gee!  I wonder WHY?  (That Spencer . .. such a Maneater!)

Clad in her best approximation of an Indiana Jones Halloween costume (all she’s missing is the whip), Spencer heads off to the track to find Ali’s brother, Jason, sans shirt.  (Correct me if I’m wrong, but is this the first shirtless male we’ve seen on PLL?  Thanks, ABC Fam!  It was much appreciated.  TRUST ME!) 

Of course, he HAS to be running stairs when we first see him!  Because, otherwise, there seems to be absolutely NO EXPLANATION as to how this guy nearly DOUBLED in size (and hotness), since we last saw him . . .

He also seems to have dyed his hair . . . not that I spent all that much time focusing on anything above his neck . . . 😉

Jason initially denies taking the picture.  When asked who he thinks might have taken it, he informs Spencer that it could have been anyone.  After all, plenty of  insensitive people have tried to send him fake photographs of Ali, since her untimely demise. 

All doubts aside, Jason takes the picture, anyway (not sure where he put it though . . . his pants, perhaps?), and promises to have his private investigator take a look at it.  Jason then apologizes for being such a douche to Spencer, during Ali’s memorial.  To this Spencer mumbles her assent unenthusiastically, and rushes off.  Now, I suspect our girl Spence would have been more gracious about accepting Jason’s apology, if she weren’t so mesmerized by his six pack and bulging sweaty chest . . .

See, in THIS context, The Face makes PERFECT SENSE!

But Jason isn’t the only one getting some exercise this morning.  Emily is in the pool, working on some strokes (no pun intended).

The Battle of the Breast(stroke)

If you recall, Emily was quite the swimmer, back in the day.  But after everything went down with Ali, she took some time off from the sport, to get her head together.  Now, Emily is back, and kicking butt!

But SOMEONE isn’t happy about it . . .

Little Orphan B*tchie doesn’t appear to be quite the swimming phenom that Emily is.  But what she lacks in talent, she makes up for in sheer annoyingness, and cheesiness.  This is evidenced by her deciding to use the team’s Locker Room Change Time to give everyone on the team dorky “Go Sharks” bracelets . . .

Does that Ugly Bracelet look familiar to you?  It sure looks familiar to EMILY!

Of course, Emily immediately assumes that the “friendship bracelets” they got from Ali, back when she was alive, the DUPLICATE one that “A” gave them, and the ones that Paige had made, all come from he same place.  (Really?  Because I’ve probably seen about 100 ugly friendship bracelets that look just like those, in my time.  You can usually buy them for 50 cents in those toy dispenser machines they keep in front of grocery stores . . .)

Paranoid Paige, who immediately assumes that Emily is back on the team, only to take the coveted Swim Team Captain job away from her, not-so-subtly threatens to “out” Emily to the rest of the team, should she compete against Paige for the position.

Paige does this by making an extremely unfunny Breast-stroke joke.  (Why do I have a feeling this is going to end up being a Kurt versus Karofsky from Glee situation, all over again?)

Emily holds her own, however.  She tells Paige, in no uncertain terms, that if she really wants to be Swim Team Captain, she should stop sucking so much at .  . . you know . . . swimming.  But Paige’s homophobic comments still irk Emily enough to complain about them to Aria and Spencer at lunch.  These complaints prompt Spencer, unbeknownst to Emily, to rat Paige out to the swim coach.  (This, by the way, eventually causes a pretty intense fight between Spencer and Emily.  But they make up by the end of the episode.  So, it didn’t really seem worth mentioning.)

The swim coach keeps Emily and Paige, after practice, to discuss Paige’s derogatory statements.  She even offers to throw Paige off the team, for what she said to Emily.  Emily, however, tells her that won’t be necessary.

Now, you would think that Emily’s act of EXTREME kindness, in the face of TOTAL douchebaggery, would merit some appreciation on Paige’s part.  But NO.  Paige instead tries to DROWN Emily in the pool . . .

Paige claims she did THIS, because she was pissed that she ended up being replaced by Emily on the relay team for an upcoming meet.  But I just think that BIATCH is CRA-ZY!

“Are YOU talkin’ to me?”

As for those ugly bracelets, the girls later did some investigation as to where they were purchased, and learned that they were made by some old lady, who worked out of her home.  When Spencer (of course, it would be SPENCER doing the investigating, AGAIN!) arrives at the lady’s house, however, the old biddy tells her that both Emily’s bracelet, and “A’s” bracelet, were both purchased by . . .  wait for it . . . SPENCER HASTINGS!

But just when I think that this was going to devolve into one of those Split Personality Lifetime-type movies . . . you know, the ones where the victim ALSO ends up being the torturer . . . we are treated to a final scene, in which an unknown person, who, apparently has NICE EYES, visits the old biddy.  And the Old Biddy says to HER, “I did exactly what you said [lie].”

That, of course, immediately made me think of THIS flashback  scene, from the episode “Please, Do Talk About Me When I’m Gone.”

And with that, “Blind” Jenna just moved up a notch on my Suspects List.  After all, we never did figure out how she was able to put on that lipstick using the MIRROR . . .

But enough about Little Miss Swimfan, and Blind Jenna’s “beautiful eyes,” let’s talk a bit about Aria and Fitzy, and their Hot Date . . .

NO!  Not that one . ..  the one at the MUSEUM!

Night at the Museum

(NOTE:  Animated GIFS in this section of the recap have been “borrowed” from the Aria and Ezra Tumblr.  So, special thanks to the folks over there!  Readers, if this is your “SHIP,” definitely check them out!)

Up until this point in their relationship, Aria’s and Ezra’s “dates” have included (1) a quickie in a public restroom; (2) some hot tongue action in cars; (3) blink and you’ll miss it, romps in Ezra’s Swingin’ Bachelor Pad; (4) school dances; (5) and a trip to the movies with Aria’s MOM.  So, you can imagine how THRILLED Aria was, when Spencer got her and her Secret Boyfriend tickets to an art opening at a museum in Philadelphia . . .

As Spencer put it, Aria was willing to give her TONGUE for those tickets.  (Hmmmm .  . . wonder how Emily would have felt about that.)  In Philadephia, Aria and Ezra will be FREE to swap spit in public!  YAY!  (Well . . . people will still probably notice that Ezra was macking an underage girl, but at least they won’t know she’s his HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT.)

For me, the BEST part of the entire episode, was when Aria approached Ezra, while he was proctoring an exam, to give him the tickets (hidden in a writing notebook), and inform him that he should “dress formally” for their date . . .

For a second there, I was seriously concerned that Fitzy’s eyes were going to fall right out of his head!

Unfortunately, for Ezra (along with the two straight male fans of this show on the entire planet), Aria wasn’t exactly naked under there . . .

There are, of course, a lot of X-rated ways in which this “note” could be interpreted, but I’m pretty sure she’s just telling him to wear a tie . . . unfortunately.

That night, when Aria arrives at Ezra’s apartment for their date, he surprises her by picking her up in a stretch limo, Mr. Big from Sex and the City– style . . .

And in my dirty mind, on the WAY to the museum, the pair got it on, Chuck and Blair-style . . .

Even though the artist they were SUPPOSED to see ended up canceling the event, Aria and Ezra still had an amazing time . . .

 . . . which is a relief, considering how close they came to having the WORST TIME EVER!  (I’m looking at YOU, Hanna!)

If you are REALLY happy that some one died (because it will prevent you from going to prison), does that make you a bad person?

Probably . . . but we still love you, Hanna (and so does Lucas .  . . and maybe that Caleb guy too).

Hanna’s family hits yet another rough patch, when the old biddy who Hanna’s mom took the “unauthorized loan” from inexplicably made an appointment to meet with Hanna’s mom.  And although Mommy Felon tried to put a brave face on things, you could tell she knew she was TOTALLY up Sh*t’s Creek, without a paddle . . .

“I am SO f&*ked!”

Later that day, Hanna gets notice from “A” that she can make some extra cash, by ratting Aria out to her mom.   The note comes with a ticket to the museum event Aria and Ezra will be attending.  Obviously, this is a TOTALLY crappy thing to do to your supposed best friend.  But, then again, letting your mom get 15-to-life for trying to pay your medical bills is also a kind of crappy thing to do. 

So, Hanna leaves the tickets in an envelope in Aria’s mom’s mailbox at school (apparently, she teaches there, who knew?).  However, immediately after making the delivery, Hanna has second thoughts.  So, she tries to put a stop to things, by convincing Aria not to go on the date.

Whatchu talkin’ about, Girl Who’s NOT Dating a Hot 20-Something?”

But that doesn’t work.  Then she tries to talk Aria’s mom out of going to the museum . . . but that doesn’t work either.  Finally, she tries to steal back the envelope, but ends up getting detention for skipping gym class.  (I’m glad SOMEONE noticed that one week, Hanna had a CAST on from being RUN OVER BYA CAR.  And the next, she was dancing with Lucas for SIX HOURS at a school event.) 

In detention, the seemingly omnipresent Caleb starts flirting with Hanna, hardcore . . .

“Hey Hanna, I may be a Bad Boy, but I’m Real Good in the Sack . . .”

As for Hanna, she’s either so desperately in love with Lucas that she doesn’t notice any other boys (YAY!), or she has NO game, whatsoever.  Because Hanna actually responds to Caleb’s flirtation by . . . wait for it . . . talking about how much she loves Justin Bieber.

Hanna’s got the Bieber Fever.  Side Effects:  Never getting laid . . . EVER!

(OK . . . now, I GET that ABC Family was trying to do a whole Cross Promotional Thing with the Bieber Documentary Movie, but this whole scene was just lame, with a capital “L.”)

And yet, Bieberery Slips aside, Hanna apparently still charms the pants off Caleb.  Because the dude actually goes out and BREAKSAria’s mom’s car, so she can’t get to the museum.  Now, how’s THAT for dedication?

Hanna, of course, offers to PAY Caleb for his trouble.  But he doesn’t seem to want any money.  He’d much prefer to get inside Hanna’s pants . . .

Don’t you worry about it, Lucas!  He’s a strong contender.  But we still think you can take him!

But what about Hanna’s mom, and the felony??  Well . . . the good news is we aren’t going to have to worry about that for a little while at least, until the Old Crone’s will finishes going through probate, which could take months.  The bad news is, this is because the “unauthorized lender” . . . DIED.

Tears of sadness, or tears of joy?  You be the judge.

The Part About Aria’s Parents — Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

“Hey, Aria’s mom!  Just because I recently got under the hood of one of my students (Sound familiar?), doesn’t mean I can’t still pop YOUR hood?”

So, remember when I told you that Caleb broke Aria’s mom’s car, so she couldn’t go to the museum opening?  Well, it turns out she REALLY wanted to go.  So much so, in fact, that she was willing to call her Cheating Louse of Husband to fix the damage, which, of course, he couldn’t.  The pair bicker a bit, and it’s supposed to be cute, I guess.  But it isn’t, because we don’t really care about Aria’s parents (no offense), and the actors playing them have no chemistry with one another, whatsoever.

Long story – short, Aria’s dad ends up driving Aria’s mom to the museum in his car, and they end up making out in the front seat.  (Apparently, the “Making Out in Cars” gene runs in this family.)  Since we didn’t see what happened after the two started necking (THANK THE LORD!), we can’t be too sure, whether Aria’s mom, in fact, SAW Aria and Ezra on their “date.”  And yet, Aria’s mom is acting MIGHTY weird, when she tells Aria they need to “talk” the following day at school .  . .

“Why does SHE get to make out with the hot guy, and I get the Wanker?  Damn you, Aria!”

Personally, I’m pretty sure Aria’s mom DIDN’T see Aria and Ezra.  I’m thinking she wants to tell her daughter that “Mommy and Daddy are getting back together.”  After all, thinking about someone’s life, other than her own, doesn’t exactly seem to be Aria’s mom’s strong suit.  Then again, I could be wrong . . .

Spencer’s Big Secret

When Spencer arrives home from school that day, she is surprised to find that Hot Jason (now wearing clothes, unfortunately) has let himself into her house.

Clearly, not much for small talk, Jason spills a wealth of information to Spencer, in just a few short moments.  Here’s what Jason tells Spencer:  (1) The picture she gave him of Ali is Real.  (2) Jason may have taken it himself.  (3) Jason can’t remember whether he took the picture or not, because he was drugged out of his gourd the entire month before Ali died.  (Fortunately, Jason doesn’t drugs, anymore . . . well, aside from the steroids of course.) (4) Creepy Ian was Jason’s good pal, and a fellow drug addict.  He often spent time at Jason (and Ali’s house), and was probably there the night Ali died.  (That last part, of course, we already knew.)

This last bit of information prompts Spencer to recall the fight she had with Ali the night of her death.

During the fight, Ali (who, unbeknownst to Spencer, was boning Ian, and probably just wanted him for herself) threatened Spencer that if she didn’t tell her sister that she (Spencer) and Ian had kissed, Ali would spill the beans for her.  This prompted Spencer to tell Ali that she was done being friends with her.  And eventually, if she had her way,  the other PLL’s would ditch her ass too.  “You are dead to me already,” concludes Spencer

This outburst prompts the normally unflappable Ali to storm out of the house, and Spencer to sneakily follow after her.  (See, some things NEVER change!)

In Real Time, the rest of the PLL’s confort Spencer, as she tells them about the fight, and admits that SHE was the second shadow in the photograph of Ali sent to them by “A.”  The girl’s are very supportive of Spencer, and tell her, that she has nothing to feel guilty about.  The love fest is interrupted, however, when the girls spy Hot-But-Now-Seeming-Kind-of-Creepy-Again Jason leering at them from a nearby window.

“Damn him!  Why is he STILL wearing his shirt!”

And that’s all I’ve got, My Pretties!  SO, now it’s your turn!  Feel free to sound off in the comment section, and tell me what you thought of tonight’s PLL installment.  I’ll even leave you with some questions to get those wheels turning: 

Do you think “Blind” Jenna is behind those ugly bracelets? 

Did Aria’s mom see Aria and Fitzy getting up close in personal in front of the museum?  Or is all of this just about Aria’s SUPER BORING Dad? 

Are you Team Lucas or Team Caleb?  (Notice I’m completely leaving out Team Sean.  Because that’s not even an option as far as I’m concerned?)

What the heck is up with Jason’s new bod?

And, finally, do you understand “The Bieb” as well as Hanna does?

See ya, next time . . .

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

It’s All “Relative” – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “The Kids Are Not All Right”

Welcome Back, GGers!  I’ve MISSED you!  Heck, I’ve missed ALL my favorite Upper East Siders!  It’s definitely been a long and dark December, without a hint of gossip, a dollop of scandal, or a heaping helping of Limosine Sex, to keep me warm . . .

And, honestly, I think it’s BECAUSE I missed this show, and these characters, so much, that I had such a great deal of trouble sitting down to write this recap.  You see, I really, REALLY wanted to kick off the second half of the fourth season of Gossip Girl, by writing an energetic, fun, and, above all, extremely positive, recap, of which I could truly be proud.  But then, I watched this episode . . . and . . . well . . .

 . . . Suffice it to say, I had some “less than positive” things to say about it.

OK . . . I know what you’re thinking!  I can practically feel you rolling your eyes at me from your computer screen . . .

Your thinking to yourself, of course SHE didn’t like the episode!  SHE is a crazed, unapologetically biased, Chair Fan.  And “The Kids Are Not All Right,” not only featured virtually NO interaction between Chuck and Blair whatsoever, it also depicted both characters getting “friendly” with other members of the opposite sex, from OTHER “Ships.”

Good point!  But it’s not ALL about that!  REALLY!  I mean, surely, I’ve enjoyed at least SOME GG episodes that didn’t feature solid Chuck and Blair scenes in them. 

I mean . . . I can’t really think of any right now.  But I’m willing to bet they exist! 🙂

In all seriousness, it was the STORYLINES of “The Kids Are Not All Right” that really bugged me:  Another “Battle for Bass Industries” . . . 

 

 . . . another situation, where Blair schemes to get some “prestigious” internship with some fancy One-Week-Wonder Guest Star, only to have it ultimately blow up in her face . . .

 .  .  another storyline where Dan fumbles a “great” opportunity, because he’s too busy following Serena around like a puppy dog to care about his own life . . .  

 . . . another Nate’s Deadbeat Dad storyline . . . COME ON, Gossip Girl!  These aren’t the fun, sexy, and uniquely scandalous storylines that have kept us coming back, week after week, for FOUR YEARS NOW!

That being said . . . I thought a lot about how I could write this recap, and keep it “positive.”  I explored a lot of options.  I even considered MAKING UP STUFF, and pretending that it happened in the episode — thereby, turning this “recap” into what would essentially be a glorified Chair fanfiction . . .

Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

And that’s when it hit me .  . .

I don’t NEED to insert any fake Chair scenes into this episode, because this episode is ALREADY ALL about Chair . . . and (unfortunately, for me, because I’m a Serenate fan) Derena.  Specifically, “The Kids Are All Right” is about how these two seemingly volatile couples are both essentially DESTINED to be the “Endgame” in Gossip Girl world! 

(Suddenly, I’m liking this episode a WHOLE lot better . . .)

Confused?  Allow me to help you examine “The Kids Are Not All Right” from what I’d like to call the “Chair Perspective.”  (Oh, and for those of you who aren’t Chair fans, you may want to skip down to the words THE END at the bottom of this VERY Chair-full recap section.  I don’t want to make you any madder at me, than you probably already are. ;))

The Chair Perspective – Blair’s Path to Greatness

Remember “The Witches of Bushwick” episode?  If so, then you probably recall how Chuck and Blair FINALLY mutually confessed their love for one another, only to break up outside the Empire Hotel, moments later, so that Blair could try and “find herself.”  Here are some of the “highlights” of that heartbreaking scene:

BLAIR:  “I followed my heart all last year, and it got me no where.  Now I need to follow my head . . . I have to be Blair Waldorf, before I can be Chuck Bass’ Girlfriend.

CHUCK:  “I love you.”

BLAIR:  “I love you too . . . I don’t expect you to wait.”

CHUCK: “If two people are meant to be together, eventually they will find their way back.”

A pointless breakup of two soulmates, you say?  ABSOLUTELY!  🙂  And yet, the above scene is very meaningful, in terms of this episode!  You see, Blair always knew she didn’t want to simply follow in her mother’s footsteps, or live off her family’s wealth. 

Blair wants to chart her own path, and be a successful, powerful woman, in her own right.  But, up until this point, she had NO CLUE what that path was!  That’s why she always got her ideas for internships and extracurriculars activity ideas out of Forbes Magazine, as opposed to by picking her own brain.  Yet, this week, with the help of her new buddy, Dan (Yes, I said Dan . . . and “buddy,” of course) as well as the support of her mother, Blair, for lack of a better term, finally figured out what she “wants to be when she grows up.” 

Chair Fans, Blair Waldorf is destined to be the next Anna Wintour!   

She’s the editor of Vogue, in case you were wondering.

And once Blair is confident that she can successfully achieve that goal, she will be ready to begin the lifelong relationship with Chuck that we all know she is destined to have.  In real life, “finding yourself” can take years, maybe even a lifetime!  But in TV land, it takes approximately “four episodes” . . . 

“If two people are meant to be together, they will find their way back [to eachother],” says Chuck Bass. 

And, if my predictions are correct, Blair should be “back” to Chuck in four-to-six episodes . . .  Sound good?

But What About Chuck?

Chuck may not have been as adamant about it as Blair was, but he also needs to find himself, before he can enter into a livelong relationship with Blair.  Unlike his soulmate, who has spent her whole life striving for success, Chuck merely allowed it to be handed to him.  The Chuck Bass we met during Seasons 1 and 2, cared little about academics, and only slightly more about his father’s business and finances.  He was much more interested in booze and sex. 

Chuck inherited Bass Industries.  He never had to work for it.  And in the first few months of his ownership of the company, he squandered his wealth and the company’s good name.  So, his stepmother, Lily had to step in, and take the reigns for him. 

Now Chuck is at risk to lose Bass Industries once again.  And this time, Lily can’t help him.  This time, Chuck must prove to himself, (and to rest of New York City) that HE is not just the slacker son of a Real Estate Magnate, but a force to be reckoned with — an adult, who is capable of running a successful Empire (and Empire Hotel, of course).  Only when Chuck has accomplished this, will he feel truly worthy of Blair, or at least, of the strong powerful business woman that she is destined to become.

This is why this whole (admittedly snoozy) Bass Industries storyline, is essential to the Chair Endgame.  It is forcing Chuck to prove himself, in a professional way, and on his own merits, without his parents, step-parents, or his slimy older brother to lift him up, if he falls.

So what’s the deal with Dair?  (And why are Chuck and Serena getting so pal-y all the sudden?  Because, that’s just creepy!)

Watching Dan interact with Serena this week, proved to me that he and Blair are in effectively the same place, in terms of their respective relationships.  Both Dan and Blair are more studious, and hardworking than their counterparts.  And yet, they also tend to sacrifice more of their own success and happiness for that of their significant others, due to their generally giving (albeit, slightly judgmental) natures.  Blair mentioned in “The Witches of Bushwick” that she followed her heart for a year, and it got her nowhere.  Dan might have said the same thing, if he had more lines, during that episode . . .

No less than THREE times, during this episode, Dan gave up his own plans, and even a JOB INTERVIEW, to cater to Serena’s whim.  And each time, she DITCHED HIS ass!  To echo Blair’s now-iconic words, Dan REALLY needs to become Dan Humphrey, before he can become Serena van der Woodsen’s boyfriend!  And who better to help him chart that path (platonically, I hope!), than the one woman who wants to achieve the exact same thing, for herself?

We know that Dan helped Blair out this week, by letting her know that she was a “Dictator of Taste,” someone who let people know, in no uncertain terms, that “tights are NOT pants” (Nice Season 1 reference, Humphrey!)  This, of course, helped Blair to figure out that she wanted to one day become the Editor (Editrix?) of a Fashion Magazine

But Blair helped Dan too!   She told Serena, that she couldn’t keep stringing her poor dopey dog of a boyfriend on such a short leash, and just expect him to roll over and play dead for her, forever.  And it was this conversation between the two besties, that ultimately allowed Serena to see the sh*tty way she was treating Dan.  Basically, it convinced her to break things off with him now, so the pair could get back together, later.  (Sound familiar?)

In essence, Serena’s breakup with Dan this week, almost perfectly mirrored Chuck’s with Blair, in “The Witches of Bushwick,” in that both pairs needed to find themselves, individually, in the short term, to salvage their relationships, in the long term.  “We either sink or swim.  We won’t get another chance,” Serena tells Dan.  “So, when we try again, we better be ready.”

This brings us to Serena and Chuck.  (YES!  They are related . . . in more ways than one. :))

Like Chuck, Serena has never been exactly what you would call, “ambitious.”  Both Upper East Siders have reputations for being hard partiers, and more than a bit slutty . . . *cough the Raccoon Zombie Sex Incident cough*  Up to this point, both Chuck and Serena have gotten where they are in life, through a mix of good luck, and unadulterated nepotism. 

So, while Chuck needs to break free from Lily, to prove to himself he can run Bass Industries on his own, Serena needs to break free from her mother too, to prove to herself that she’s more than just the van der Woodsen heiress getting wasted on page 6 of the Post, she’s her own Slutty  Person!  So, Chuck and Serena can help one another achieve their goals, in the same way that Dan and Blair can help one another achieve their’s.

And when that’s all said and done (hopefully, in approximately four episodes), . . .

 .  . . everything will be exactly how it’s supposed to be.  (Well, unless you prefer Serena with Nate, like I do.  But we can’t have EVERYTHING we want, can we?)

THE END(GAME)!

And now, for those other storylines I mentioned earlier. . .

Nate’s Dad is The Captain (of a Sinking Ship)

This question is specifically directed to those of you who have spent time in prison.  (Don’t worry, I won’t ask for names!)  Remember when Nate’s dad, “The Captain” looked like THIS?

Well, what the heck HAPPENED to him in the pokey, that he now looks like Uncle Fester, from the Addams Family?

You might have just assumed that the ACTOR (Sam Robards) who plays “The Captain” has merely lost his hair, and put on a few pounds, since we last saw him.  But, really, FOUR YEARS is NOT THAT LONG!  I think the costume department suggested this “new look” for Howard Archibald.  My question is, “Why?” 

I always thought folks in TOUGH High Security Prisons (where “wrongly accused” teachers got other inmates to beat the crap out of you, just to “teach their baby sister a lesson)” did nothing all day, but lift weights, do push ups, run laps around the track, and try not to drop the soap in the communal shower.  But apparently, I was mistaken.  Is prison food really THAT good?  Just saying . . .

So, anyway, The Captain is living with Nate, and has basically become a total leech, and waste of life.  Rather than abide by the conditions of his parole, and get a job, “The Captain” prefers instead to boink the help (who are helpfully clad in French Maid Halloween costumes, just in case we couldn’t figure out what they did for a living), and play Nate’s Wii in his hotel apartment. 

The Captain later tells Nate that this is because he’s “too good” for janitor work.  Nate, understandably doesn’t buy it.

 

And yet, “The Captain” seems to catch a TOTALLY undeserved career break, when the EEEEEVVVILL Russell Thorpe hires him to do . . . well . . .  heck if I KNOW!  Whatever it is, I strongly suspect that “The Captain’s” undoubtedly job description will end up making janitors look like Mother Theresa, by comparison . . .  (I don’t buy for a second, that Russell didn’t know about The Captain’s incarceration, just because he used to live in Chicago, instead of NYC.  Do you?)

Speaking of Bass Industries (and Russell Thorpe) . . .

Upon learning that Lily has designs on selling his company out from under Chuck’s nose, Chuck seeks out the help of a man who used to be business associates with his father, a Chicago Tycoon, named Russell Thorpe.

What Chuck doesn’t know, at least, until the end of the episode, is that Lily was actually selling the business to a benevolent third party, who would keep the Bass name in tact, and prevent the now-financially destitute company from going up on the auction block.  Oh, and that “friend” of Bart Bass, Russell Thorpe?  He actually HATED Chuck’s dad with a passion!  (Who didn’t, right?)  So, of course, upon learning from Chuck that Bass Industries is being sold, Thorpe blocks the sale, so that HE can buy the company at auction price, and sell it for parts, as a form of revenge against the dearly departed (Debarted?) Bart.

How does Chuck respond to this total threat to his financial health, and good name, you ask?  Well, by SCREWING Russell’s daughter, Raina, of course! 

Screwing people, after all, IS what Chuck Bass does best!  (Just ask Blair!)

But Chuck Bass isn’t the only one, who has seemingly misread Lily van der Woodsen’s intentions.   Serena screwed up as well.  With Chuck’s help (and armed with Lily’s Glamour Shots-looking passport) . . .

(Seriously, who’s passport photo actually LOOKS like this?  Mine is so scary looking, it actually breaks MIRRORS, when I leave it to close to them!)

  . . . Serena somehow convinces a clearly BLIND bank manager that she is her 40-something year old mother, and that Chuck is her SON!

Way to keep the storylines plausible, Writers!

This allows Serena and Chuck to go digging through Lily’s safety deposit box at the bank.   And, lo and behold, in there they find the fake affidavit that Lily signed on Serena’s behalf,  to put Juliet’s brother Professor Ben away for a sex act he didn’t commit.  (Actually, Professor Ben may be the ONLY man on the East coast who HASN’T slept with Serena . . .)

Chuck and Serena plan to show this affidavit to the judge who originally signed off on it, and prove to him that it’s a fraud, thereby ensuring Ben’s release.  And yet, the Judge seems to have flown the coop .  . . or has he?  With Little Eric van der Woodsen’s help, Serena learns that the Judge had been staying at the Empire at Lily’s behest, but has now left town.  Could Lily have been paying the judge off, to stay hidden, so that her daughter couldn’t FIND HIM?

THE HORROR!

When Serena confronts Lily with the incriminating affidavit, at the episode’s Fancy Party of the Week, Lily balks at the idea that she has done anything wrong.  And yet the argument, causes a stir among the partygoers, illustrating publicly the unrest that exists between the Bass-van der Woodsen families.  And it is this unrest that Russell Thorpe is ultimately able to capitalize on, when he is making a play for Bass Industries . . .

And yet, as it turns out, Lily ends up not being as BIG of an A**HOLE as we once thought she was!  Because, at the end of the episode, when Serena goes back to the jail to visit Ben, she learns that Judge in question has already released him from jail, thanks to the presumably well-intentioned efforts of Lily, herself.

But, you know, Serena!  This girl is absolutely incapable of ending an episode, without doing something self-destructive and stupid.  And so, she meets up with former-convict Ben (who is creepily waiting for her outside the jail, even though he was released HOURS ago), and invites him for sex coffee.  Need I remind you that this is the same guy who “hired” his baby sister to ruin Serena’s life, not to mention, the same guy who had The Captain ground to a pulp, by his fellow inmates, just to keep that same baby sister in line, when she started to develop a conscience?

Oh, Serena!  You SURE know how to pick ’em! 

Until next time, folks . . . XOXO!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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