Highlights: Serena returns with lots of whispered gossip; Eric goes shopping and disappears; the Humphreys are poor; ChuckSlime gets rapy; Nate is boring but pretty; Captain has the stupidest name in the world
The Upper East Side of NYC is the place for rich kids and rich parents, trend setters and jet setters, high society that carries on the traditions of Old New York.
It’s also the place for mischief, addictions, and lies. Welcome to the world of Gossip Girl. Gossip Girl is the blogger who blogs all about the lives of a group of rich kids who got problems and issues. The kind of issues that the kids on 90210 and The OC had. Only, these kids are richer. And that’s why we care, right?
Our pilot episode starts off with Gossip Girl voicing over that the hottest scoop in town is that Serena van der Woodsen is back in NYC! Some girl at a train station, Melanie 91, took a picture and sent it to the gossip blogger who is all about spreadin the Serena scoop. Meanwhile, that annoying whistling song is playing in the background. Now I won’t be able to get it out of my head. Serena’s face is the definition of lost sadness and relief to be home. She’s back after disappearing for “boarding school.”
In the SAME STATION at the SAME TIME, Rufus, who is poor by Upper East Side standards, meets up with his kids, also poor, and asks them how their mom is. They say fine and he completely overanalyzes it as any 13 year old girl would. They shuffle uncomfortably because it’s never okay to ask your kids to analyze your marriage but in his mind it’s normal.
LonelyBoy Dan sees Serena in the station and is so happy but she doesn’t know him and is currently talking to some old man.
Texts are blowin up all across the city that Serena is back. Blaire, her supposed best friend, should be on high alert because her boyfriend may have had a thing for Serena. But she can’t worry about that right now because she needs to make time for her nasty designer mom who wears ugly clothes to criticize her.
At Blaire’s NastyMom’s party, Nate, Blaire’s boyfriend, is chatting over drinks with old white guys in suits. Nate isn’t 21, is he? I thought they were all in high school. Did we learn nothing from Dylan on 90210? Nate wants to check out schools in the west but Captain, Nate’s dad, wants him to go to Dartmouth. Oh, sorry, Nate wasn’t drinking. He will, though. They always do. And, by the way, Captain? Seriously? Who would actually call someone that as their name? Blaire pulls Nate away.
She drags him into the bedroom with the party going on outside the door and starts ripping off clothes because she wants to do it! Nate is shocked and way too pretty to be straight. He’s confused about why she wants to do it now and thought she wanted to wait. Apparently, she waited long enough and now to feel better about herself after her mom tearing her down and with Serena back in town, she’d better seal the deal before Nate knows any of it.
On the couch, ChuckSlime and the Chickadees are brooding and get the text that Serena was spotted at Grand Central. Slime is happy because things have been dull.
Blaire declares her love for Nate. He says he loves her too with very little believability. Serena arrives at the party because why go home first when you have to cockblock? NastyMom knocks on the door to announce Serena’s arrival and Nate’s all, Serena!? in a much more passionate way than he proclaimed his love for Blaire. Blaire tries to keep going and Nate jumps out of the bed to say hey. That’s his word, not mine.
Lots of people are whispering about Serena as she walks through. Rehab. Pregnant. She looks gooooood. She finds her mom at the party and her mom is so happy to see her. She calls her darling. Serena asks where “he” is and her mom doesn’t want to discuss it. We have no idea who “he” is. That’s what they call “suspense” in Hollywood.
Blaire comes out and hugs Serena (where did Nate go?) and gushes a lot and Serena says she doesn’t feel well and has to go. She’s gonna be at school tomorrow though! GossipGirl points out that Serena didn’t have even one lemon cello. But she’s in high school so she shouldn’t. But wait, she’s an upper east sider so she can get smashed and it’s all okay.
Serena arrives at some hospital/rehab place and tells the receptionist/nurse that she needs to be there even though it’s not visiting hours. Her brother’s there. So that’s who the “he” is. Her brother, Eric, has his wrists wrapped and wakes Serena up the next day. She says she’s been a terrible sister. He thinks that there are probably a lot of rumors about her being back. Maybe Eric is Gossip Girl. Serena wants to take Eric to breakfast but Mrs. Lily All I Care About Is Reputation van der Woodsen doesn’t want him to see the light of day. Serena scolds her for not caring about her son who tried to commit suicide. Mrs. Reputation says that Serena has no idea what it’s been like and storms away on an elevator.
Over on the poor side of town, Uncool Rufus shows Lonely Dan the concert poster for Rufus’ band. Jenny calls out Dan for reading up on Gossip Girl’s blog the night before to check out the news of Serena being back in town. Jenny is addressing invitations to the Kiss On The Lips Party and if she finishes them, some girl said she could have one. Jen talks way too fast. Something about Rufus making them go to private schools. He tells Jen that she should go to the party if she wants.
Nate is waiting outside the hotel that Serena is staying at as Serena arrives home. He wants to talk to her and she says that she didn’t come back for him. Ouch. He’s all upset and puzzled. She says that he’s Blaire’s boyfriend and Blaire loves him and he loves Blaire and that’s it. I don’t think that’s it at all.
Poverty-stricken Dan is running for a bus. He overhears a conversation between ChuckSlime and Boring Nate—why are they on a bus? Shouldn’t they be taking a car service somewhere? ChuckSlime tells BoringNate to get with Serena and BoringNate doesn’t want to because he likes being boring. Chuck asks Dan if he’s following them and Dan says, I go to your school—the identical uniforms. They walk away and Dan says they should have lunch together. Heehee. I like sarcasm. I like Dan even though he’s destitute.
Jenny delivers the invitations to Blaire on the steps of the Met. Blaire gives Jen her invitation. Serena shows up and wants to know when the party is but Blaire says that since she was gone and no one knew when she was coming back, Jenny used all the invites and no one has paper or markers or sparkles to make another one. Blaire and the Chickadees leave so Serena can finish her yogurt alone. Serena wants them to meet later to talk but Blaire is doing something with Nate. Serena doesn’t care because she knows Nate will show Blaire a boring time because he’s always boring without Serena so Serena insists they meet up. Gossip Girl calls it a power struggle. Cat fight. Raaaarrrr.
A bit later on, Rufus the has been rocker is posting flyers all over town. Dan is telling him to use MySpace instead and then gets a text from Jen saying it’s an emergency. Dan asks Rufus if he’ll be okay if Dan leaves. Rufus says that Dan’s mother will come around soon. Awkward. He wasn’t talking about being okay in life in general—he was talking about posting flyers. So awkward.
Serena goes back to Eric and steals him away after he’s taken pills and tests. They go shopping, exactly what every teenage boy wants to do. Dan finds Jenny in the same store and Jen’s emergency was finding a dress. He tells her she looks good and it’s semi-incestuous. Jen doesn’t plan on buying the dress but can make one like it. Oh, just like Molly Ringwald in Pretty In Pink.
Serena shows up and says hi to Jenny and introduces her to Eric who calls himself Serena’s personal shopper. LowlyBoyDan is hiding behind a rack of dresses. Jen gives Serena an invitation to the party that she made during free period. Serena tells Jen to get the dress in black. Dan stays in the dresses.
ChuckSlime and Nate take a romantic stroll through Central Park, pondering when Nate will finally sleep with Blaire. ChuckSlime offers him viagra. Why would a growing boy need that? Maybe cause he’s gay and can’t get aroused by a girl? Nate bemoans that his life is planned out and he may wind up like his parents. ChuckSlime says that he should smoke up and tap Blaire’s ass because happiness is not part of the equation. Chuck should write a Chicken Soup for the Soul book.
Blaire meets up with Serena at Palace Hotel to catch up on what she missed. And to drink alcoholic beverages because they are above the law. Blaire’s parents are divorcing and bad things have happened and Blaire’s pissed because Serena left without saying goodbye. Serena said that she had to go and Blaire needs to trust her. Blaire is still chompin on the bitter pills and Serena wants it all to go back to the way it was like when they were sisters. Serena says they need each other. Blaire gives in a little and then leaves to meet Nate because they have something special planned. Like doin it. B & S say they love each other and Blaire leaves. After the chat, Serena downs a martini because she’s underage but rich and slightly guilty but we don’t know why yet.
Over at the poor house, Jen tells Dan that Serena is nice and would probably like Dan. Dan is ashamed of his lack of glitz and glamour. Rufus left them money for dinner so Jen wants to get Indian. Dan wants to go out because he wants to stalk Serena.
ChuckSlime arrives at the Palace—it’s his parents’ hotel. Serena calls him a pig. He says he prefers girls who aren’t talking and suggests they get naked. She says she’s drinking on an empty stomach and he offers to make her a grilled cheese with truffle oil, which isn’t on the menu but he’s got major truffle connections. She goes into the kitchen with him and lets him make it for her because she’s a truffle whore.
Meanwhile, Blaire’s got her seduction of Nate all set up. Nate’s response to seeing her all tarted up? An uncomfortable Wow. A boring wow. They kiss but it’s a boring kiss and he tells her that he needs to tell her something. Oh, it’s so coming out.
At the hotel kitchen where Chuck has sent the chefs on their merry way, Serena is gushing over ChuckSlime’s sandwich and he wants her to sleep with him for payment. He asks if she’s worried if Nate will find out and she’s all I don’t know what you’re talking about. But ChuckSlime knows all. Is HE Gossip Girl? Maybe.
Flashback time. Wedding. A year ago, right before Serena disappeared. It’s her. It’s Nate and he’s not as boring as he usually is. It’s them in a cloudy, dreamy sequence, unbuckling and unbuttoning clothes. They laugh. They drink champagne. They kiss. Ooooh! Cheating.
ChuckSlime tells Serena that a best friend and a boyfriend isn’t classy. Serena says she’s changed since then. ChuckSlime tries to get her to succumb to his slimy kisses but she hits him and pushes him off.
Cut to Blaire asking Nate if they just kissed. Nope, it wasn’t just kissing. They totally did it. On a bar stool. Which is impressive considering the balance that takes.
Blaire yells at Nate that she knew it all along and tells him to get out. She cries and cries.
Serena hits ChuckSlime in the balls and escapes from the kitchen, unraped. She runs into Dan who is stalking her and he apologizes for her running into him. He asks if she’s okay but she doesn’t answer and runs off. He stares after her, mesmerized, and then sees that her cell phone is lying on the ground. He snatches it up, possibly to make a shrine to her.
Boring Nate and Captain Ahab go for a run in Central Park. Nate tells Capt that he and Blaire got into a fight. Capt tells Nate to buy her a lot of crap and then says that Blaire is a great girl and they have to be together forever since they’ve been dating since kindergarten. Taking a break is not an option because he has a deal with Blaire’s mom in the works that could cost him a fortune. That’s right, Capt, whore out your son! Nate stares at him with a slightly boring look.
Poor Dan Humphrey from the wrong side of town arrives at Serena’s home/hotel and awkwardly tries to return Serena’s cell phone and even the security guard is getting all judgy. He’s all like, You KNOW her? Then, perfect timing, she walks in. The guard goes, You know him, Serena? Dan, knowing his lowly place in the world offers, No, she doesn’t, no one knows me. Heehee. Way to be, Dan, way to be.
Serena recognizes him and is grateful that he’s returning her sidekick. He’s mesmerized and can’t believe that she remembers his face. Then in walks Ms. I’m All About Reputation van der Woodsen who has bought Serena a dress for Blaire’s Kiss On The Lips Party. Serena says she’s not going and Ms. I’m All About Reputation van der Woodsen doesn’t understand why she wouldn’t go to Blaire’s party. Serena can’t tell her that something happened between her and Blaire’s boring boyfriend, so she lies and said that she got the invitation late and already had plans.
With whom? She lies, “my friend,” and points to Lowly Boy Dan. Dan offers his name and says they’re going to a concert. Ms. I’m All About Reputation van der Woodsen is miffed. Serena says she’s a huge fan of the band. Heeheee. Big lie. Serena thanks her new friend Dan when Lily leaves. Dan goes to leave too and Serena calls to him to pick her up at 8. He’s shocked and doesn’t understand why she would go out with him so he does a happy dance on the way out. It’s a rather manly happy dance.
Later on, Nate and Blaire eat sushi. He swears to not even talk to Serena again. She says she’s over what happened and there’s nothing to talk about and she overreacting and she believes him when he says it’s in the past. However, if I were Nate, I’d watch out for those chopsticks. Blaire feels bad for Serena because she probably misses him. This is the most boring scene ever.
Ms. Reputation Lily van der Woodsen arrives at Rocker Rufus’ art gallery and he’s poor. Lily wants to know why her daughter is going to one of his concerts and he says his band is awesome. Lily adds, with your son, and Rufus can’t believe that LowlyBoy Dan scored a date with the rich and pretty Serena. No one can. Lily asks if it’s a ploy for Rufus to get to Lily now that his wife has left. He thinks that she’s using her daughter to get close to him. Then he recalls finding her in the back of a tour bus with the guy from NIN and judges her for switching out rock stars for billionaires. He tells her to stay out of her life. He says nothing and hangs his head in poverty-stricken shame.
Over at the Humphrey house, Jen gushes that she’s going to a hip party and Dan’s going on a hot date. RockerRufus comes home and can’t believe his daughter is a woman. He tells her she looks like her mother. Bow chicka bow wow! Oh, wait, that’s crossing a line. Nevermind.
NastyMom comes into Blaire’s bedroom and criticizes the dress she’s wearing because it’s not elegant enough. Blaire wonders why she cares so much and NastyMom says it’s because she loves Blaire. And cares about reputation of course. Then she tells Blaire her hair is crappy too. Nice bonding moment.
Blaire, the Chickaddes, ChuckSlime, and Nate climb into a limo all dressed up to go to the party. They’re drinking champagne because they’re cool like dat. Nate is the only one not joining in the laughter and toasting. He’s lying back brooding next to Blaire because he’s stuck with her and not Serena. And he’s now boring again. They get out of the limo and head into the huge gala under blacklights. Jen’s there pretty much alone and ChuckSlime sees her. He loves freshmen. Nothing about her on Gossip Girl yet. I think the show has officially met its quota of saying it’s own title.
ChuckSlime introduces himself to Jen. She’s all bashful and mesmerized as he grabs her hand and massages it. Ew.
Poor Dan Humphrey picks up Serena. She feels too dressed up. Dan introduces her to the guy he knows in the band. It’s RockinRufus. Who introduces a first date to a dad? That’s so weird. He says her name and then laughs uncomfortably. Perv. Rufus says they’re early and Dan says he over-budgeted the time. Rufus leaves to tune a guitar because he’s a rocker and that’s what rockers do.
Serena questions why she met his dad on a date and Dan makes clear that this is officially a date and says something about loafers.
Meanwhile, ChuckSlime wants to talk to Jenny. He takes her into a hallway with a bottle of champagne so he can molest her. He compliments her on her hair and tries to kiss her. Jenny wants to talk because that’s what he said he wanted to do. He keeps kissing her instead. Then he apologizes for kissing her and says that it’s cool if she doesn’t want to do anything. He wants to start over by getting her all liquored up. As he pours, she slyly texts a cry for help.
Poor Dan and Rich Serena get coffee and then they talk about how he talked about her to his sister. He gets the SOS from Jenny. Serena tells Dan that she knows who Chuck is. Duh—he just tried to rape her in a kitchen. So Serena wants to go with him to stop any raping that may or may not be occurring.
Lowly Boy and S arrive at Kiss On The Lips. Girls gossip about Serena being there and do lots of texting. Blaire runs to kick her out and boring Nate tries to stop Blaire. She asks if he invited Serena and he says no. Blaire warns him not to talk to her and Nate claims he was going for a walk. Instead of yelling, S & B have a stare down that has little to no effect on Serena.
Up on the roof, Chuck is in the first stage of raping Jenny.
Serena takes Dan to the stairs. Dan says it’s pointless because no one will be up there. But then? Serena finds ChuckSlime’s scarf! Dan says, Oh God, and they take the steps two at a time. Does Serena know her rape scenes or what?
The two sleuths in training arrive on the rooftop where ChuckSlime is in the process of raping Jen. Serena and LowlyBoy Dan cockblock Chuck and pull Jen away. ChuckSlime explains that it’s a party and things happen. Things like rape. He asks Dan who he is and Dan explains again that they’re in the same class. Dan punches him in the nose and runs away. Serena tells Chuck to never go near Jenny again. She too flees the scene.
Downstairs, Dan asks Serena if he can get a second date. She says maybe. They pile into a cab for a quick getaway as Blaire looks on, ChuckSlime coming up behind her with his nose in shambles. Boring Nate stands by in an alley, drinking by himself. Even his brooding is boring.
Blaire says she hopes Serena never shows her face. Chuck hopes she will.Dan cuddles his sister in the cab. Bow chicka bow wow. Serena stares dreamily out the window. Gossip Girl says that Serena made a heroic exit from the party but too bad there’s school on Monday.
That makes no sense. Which is fitting because that’s what we’re in for for the rest of the season.