Thursday, January 08, 2009
Gossip Girl: 2.14, In the Realm of the Basses.
Chuck has been missing since his father's funeral and his Uncle Jack arrives on the Upper East Side to find and help him. Blair’s last words to Chuck were that she loved him, to which he did not return the compliment, and, in trying to blur out memories of that conversation, Blair focuses on what she does best: social climbing into the prestigious women’s society, the Colony Club. Meanwhile, Dan uncovers more than he was looking for when he discovers that his dad Rufus and Serena’s mum Lily had, 20 years ago, had a love child, that had been put up for adoption. Jenny returns to Constance Billard and witnesses the dowdy Penelope being played in the same way that she had initially been by Blair by some girls and she seeks to rescue her friend.
As deliciously entertaining and wicked as ever, this episode of Gossip Girl teeters on the edge of caricature in its depiction of the cruel things that the group of Blair-lites make Penelope do (I wouldn’t clean anybody’s shoes, ever), which prevents us from really hating them, but instead, laughing at them. Ed Westwick puts in a good performance, showing the torment experienced by his character post-death of his father, Blake Lively smiles prettily and Taylor Momsen looks as bemused as ever. But as usual, it is Leighton Meester that steals the show. In one episode she goes from bitchy, to excitable, to desperate, and, in particular, her breakdown in front of the mirror is particularly moving.