'Gossip Girl': All's fair in quasi-friendship and war

dan-blair-darko.jpg

 Best. Episode. Of. The. Season.

Are we right or are we right? "Gossip Girl's" Jan. 31 outing, "Damien Darko," had it all: Romance, drama, "Dair," A Vanessa shout-out, a reference to Rufus' old coffee shop (RIP), a Milo (remember him?!) mention, a little bit of "Chair" and the return (again) of everyone's favorite drug dealer Damien!

A lot happened in the episode, including a storyline for Eric (finally!), more information about Ben (is he really a good guy?) and a whole lot of Dan and Blair action, which we are loving. We understand a lot of people don't like the idea of these two together, but they actually make a lot of sense. They are the most similar characters on the show: They both are extremely intellectual, love French movies, enjoy feeling superior to others and judging people.

What we like best about the unexpected pairing is how much life its breathing into the show. You know a show is doing its job right when people are still arguing over who belongs with who four seasons in. Leighton Meester and Penn Badgley's great chemistry has been hinted at in past episodes, but it really shined in this episode. Both actors seemed to be having a blast, especially Badgley who delivered his lines with wit and a lot of energy, making us fall in love with Dan Humphrey all over again. We're looking forward to seeing how this storyline plays out in future episodes. So yes, we dare to "Dair." (Yes, we hate ourselves a bit for saying that.)

Let's break down "Damien Darko," shall we?

 Dan and Blair

Okay, we are at a loss for why some people don't find this pairing completely charming and refreshing?! We get that Chuck and Blair are the fan favorites, but why not have a little fun on the way to the finish line by shaking things up? While some are looking at a possible Dan and Blair hook-up as the show's true "jump the shark" moment (um, were you guys sleeping when Chuck slept with Jenny? Come on!),  we think they make total sense together. Intellectually, they are extremely compatible and hey, they're pretty easy on the eyes. What? It's The CW.

We learn at the beginning on the episode that D & B have continued their movie outings (they've seen four together so far), but  are still keeping it a secret from everyone. How has Gossip Girl not picked up on this yet? The mind reels. While the two discuss films they bicker like an old married couple and resort to the classic "you're such a boy," "you're such a girl" digs. When they separate to head off to their respective internships (little do they know...) Dan says, "I will see you Sunday at the Morgan. I will wear my most fashionable toe shoes," to which Blair simply responds, "Don't get your hopes up." We have a bad feeling that's a subtle hint from the writers to  fans hoping for a D & B romance. Or maybe we're just reading too much into it. (We've been known to do that on occasion.)

We love their back and forth a lot so imagine our joy when the duo discovered they are both interning at W Magazine together. Blair may have just given Dan her best b*tch face yet. The two spend their first day exactly how they spend any other day: bantering. Our favorite workplace Dan and Blair moment had to be while they were fighting over a stapler and Blair distracts Dan by saying, "Oh look! It's Georgina's baby!" First we died of laughter. Then we paused for a moment of silence for poor Milo, he who was forced to wear a wool hat in the middle of August.

dan-blair-dd-gg-2.jpgLater, Dan and Blair are sitting on the floor filling gift bags when Dan cheekily (and adorably) asks, "So how are you enjoying your first day?" Blair says it has been tainted by "a run-in with Brooklyn's Benedict Arnold." As the two continue to argue over who deserves the internship more, they overhear that the party's author has canceled their appearance. They make a deal that whoever shows up with the superior author gets to stay at W while the other resigns. (Dan makes a motion that the person will also have their head chopped off but we're pretty sure no one is going to die.) Before shaking hands, Dan says, "It's gotta be a clean fight. You understand that as a concept? No sabotage." Blair agrees to repress her natural instincts and the two shake hands and we're pretty sure it's the first time they've ever touched. Baby steps.

Blair considers sabotaging Dan but changes her mind after he brings her lunch. In a moment of maturity, Blair throws out Jeremiah Harris' number and decides to fight fair. Is it bad we totally swooned when he handed her the paper bag? We rescinded our swoon after Dan decides to sabotage Blair by calling and canceling on her selected author. He thinks he's beating Blair at her own game. It's kind of amusing that the two really reversed roles in the situation and tried to play by the other's rules. We never thought we'd see the day where Dan is morally bested by Blair Waldorf. Pigs are probably flying outside right now.

At the party, Blair realizes Dan stabbed her in the back so she confronts the "Williamsburg Weasel." Dan grabs Blair to stop her from telling their adviser what he did and the two literally fall to the floor fighting (more like Blair attacks Dan's face... did she really have to go for the face?!). Obviously they are fired. Blair goes back to hitting Dan's face and we find it all adorably kindergarten-esque.

 Blair and Dan are cleaning out their work spaces at W and Dan feels pretty bad when he learns how hard Blair worked to get the internship. "You wanted an internship. I wanted this one," Blair says and she's right. Dan was settling to work at a fashion magazine when it's what Blair wants to do with her life. Blair twists the knife a bit more by saying, "I stupidly thought this fake friendship might be real." Dan broods.

Dan calls their adviser and says Blair actually brought the author and he staged the wrestling match to make her look bad and gets Blair her internship back.  Blair is back at W in adorable hot pink shorts (What?! They are cute!) and contemplates calling Dan. She tells their adviser, "just so you know, he was never really my friend," but her  face betrays her feelings. Ironically, she just admitted in last week's episode that Dan was her friend.

It'll be interesting to see how the writers develop this storyline now that he's no longer at W. If they actually do start a romance, we can't wait to see how the other characters (namely Chuck and Serena) find out and react. Also, we'd literally bow down to the show if they dedicate an episode to Dan getting Blair to ride the subway. We repeat: We'd literally bow down.

Serena and Ben

Serena and Ben start off the episode at breakfast, where Ben pays as Serena paid last time. Clearly, the two have been spending some QT (quality time, duh) together. When Serena starts talking about spending more time together, he tells her  he's going to move to Ithaca to work on an organic farm. Seriously. Also, this is really weird but we think Ben is cuter in an orange jumpsuit.

Serena wants to spend time with him, but he says he's leaving tomorrow. Serena acts like she's okay and totally fine with it, but her hair falls a bit limper at his words and we know she's disappointed. They hug and he walks outside and stares at a Help Wanted sign. We're pretty sure he's not heading to some farm after all.


Serena arrives home  later and brings up a package from the front desk for Lily. Lily doesn't want to open it in front of everyone so obviously everyone now needs to know what's inside. Why, it's $30,000 dollars and a note that says "Please use this money to start a new life. Far away from me and my family" on stationery that says Lily Humphrey. Subtle, Lily. Real Subtle. Ben sent back the money with his own note (on the back of hers, he probably can't afford paper) that says "I don't need your blood money to stay away. I'll stay away for free." What a guy.

Serena uses the ol' "My mom is ruining his life" excuse as the reason why Ben doesn't seem interested in her. Serena, we know this is a hard concept, but maybe he's just not that into you? Eric walks in and delivers one of the night's best lines: "Mom paid someone off again. We should make this a drinking game." +5 points, E! Lily wants Ben to go away. Serena doesn't. Mother daughter stand-off!

Ben is filling out a job application at a restaurant when Damien walks up with this killer opening: "I heard you went to the pokey for poking a student." Damien, class all the way. (By the way, we LOVE him.) Damien offers him drugs (because why not?) and Ben laughs and makes a reference to "The Wire" which is really a segue to inform Damien that he knows he testified against him. Ben is all "I didn't hook up with her at that quaint B&B," but Damien says "You say potato, judge says pedophile." Little E walks in and Damien stupidly says it's Serena's brother so obviously Ben calls her right away. Rat.

After Ben helps Eric (we'll get into that in a hot minute) Serena runs after Ben and he can see Serena's eyes turning heart-shaped all over again so he tells her "I don't want to be with you. I didn't reciprocate back then and I don't now." Ouch, way harsh Ben. He pauses after walking away and we know he's lying. When do guys ever says no to Serena? Have you seen her boobs brain? T hey're It's huge!

Rufus is feeling all white knight-like so he meets up with Ben and offers him the extra room in Dan's loft! Without even asking said Dan! Ben says he's not sure, but we know he's going to take it. He's probably heard Humphreys make a mean waffle.

Rufus and Serena talk on the phone about Ben and how he's still a good person. So naturally we cut to him pushing Damien up against a wall and threatening him to stay away from Serena and her family. Damien realizes Ben has feelings for Serena "How I feel about Serena is none of your damn business. The only thing you should be worried about is disappearing." What a good person! 

Eric and Damien


We are loving this storyline. Finally, Eric has something to do besides hang out off-camera with his apparently invisible boyfriend Elliot.

Season 3 throwback Alert! Johnathan (Eric's boring ex who hates Jenny almost as much as the viewing public does) returns to let us know he's still alive and spills the beans to Lily that Eric and Elliot broke up. Lily says Eric stayed over Elliot's last night. Cut to Eric hanging at... Damien's! We like how scandalous this all is. I mean, he turned Eric's former BFF (Jenny) into his drug mule and now Eric is basically making moon-eyes at him. Delicious.

Eric walks into the apartment and sees Johnathan and Lily having a cup o' tea and playing "You Don't Know Your Gay Son As Well As You Think You Do." Johnathan and Eric have a heart-to-heart where E reveals that it's been a rough few weeks and that he's missed Johnathan. Johnathan offers to go to the W Magazine party with Eric and we think he's not cute enough for Eric, but he is nice. It's probably bad that we want Eric to hook up with Damien, right? If wanting that is wrong, we don't want to be right.

At the W Magazine Party. Eric blows off Johnathan to hang out with Damien. Is E crushing on Damien and Damien's encouraging it or is E scoring drugs from our favorite druglord? We're dying to know. Serena and Ben bust Damien giving E some pharmaceuticals and Damien covers by stroking Eric's face and calling him "babe." It's totally awkward, but if Damien turns out to actually be gay, we'll be even more in love with the Zac Efron knock-off.


Serena and Ben peer pressure Eric into opening up to them. When Ben start talking, Eric cuts him off with a hilarious: "Who the hell are you?!" Ben is full of jail-induced wisdom and says, "When you do things that betray who you are, it can become really difficult to recognize yourself." As Ben speaks we feel like we mistakenly entered a time machine and ended up back at the original "Beverly Hills 90210."

Eric says he didn't have anyone to talk to so he turned to Damien. He didn't want to feel anything and calls Damien "a good distraction." Amen, brother-friend. Later, Eric tells Rufus he was taking sleeping pills and adderall. Just sayin', that sounds like a lot of our old college friends. (Zap2it does not endorse drug use!) Eric says, "Damien was just there when nobody else would listen," which makes us remember how messed up the kid used to be and we feel like he may be reverting back to that. It's really sad and kind of heartbreaking to watch, but we're glad the writers are revisiting this storyline and giving Eric some much needed attention.

At the end of the episode, Eric agrees to hang out with Damien just as friends. Please become gay lovers. Please become gay lovers. Please become gay lovers.

Chuck and Raina/ Nate and The Captain

The Bass Industries/business aspect of this show always bores us a bit so it sucks that our favorite character, The Chuck Bass, is always involved. Basically, Chuck is hooking up with his arch-nemesis' daughter Raina (because these situations always end well). They decide as long as they keep is clean in business, there's no reason they have to stop seeing each other.

Nate appears on screen to remind us he's still on the show and to hear that The Captain has a job with Russell Thorpe, Chuck's arch-nemesis and Raina's dad (in case you missed the last paragraph). Chuck is not pleased and Nate broods along with him because he's really got nothing better to do since Dan is busy flirting with Blair.

Chuck takes his brood over to Raina's where he b*tches about The Captain working for Russell and claims they are using him to close the deal to buy Bass Industries. Raina says they have no interest in "corporate espionage" and Chuck demands The Captain be fired. Raina is all "get the hell out you arrogant *ss" but in a more cordial way. We're with Raina on this one. You are sleeping with the enemy, Chuckles. We think Nate's ex-con Dad should be allowed to work for them at the very least.

 chuck-raina.jpgChuck walks up to Raina at the W party while she is hanging out with some mute dude who works in the film business. They talk about trust, which we find hysterical considering Chuck doesn't even trust his own shadow. Oh, and they work for rival companies, but we guess that's what happens when 20-year-olds are the head of major corporations.

 Apparently Nate was the only person not invited to the party (poor handsome one-dimensional character!) so he's stuck playing pool by himself and talking to his dad. The Captain is mad that they tried to have him fired and Nate says it's because the Thorpes are just using him. El Capitan says Chuck is sleeping with the enemy because he's "banging Thorpe's daughter" and we're so grossed out by his use of the word "banging" that we kind of miss the rest of the conversation. Basically, The Captain doesn't want to clean toilets and plays the "I was in jail" card to make Nate feel bad. He moves out of the bachelor pad. The Wii is now free!


Later, The Captain and Russell talk about his plans for Bass Industries and The Captain pledges his loyalty to Russell. Dad Of The Year, we're calling it now. Chuck shows up at Raina's place again (desperate!) and she's with the mute from the party. So gross. Chuck doesn't want to stop seeing her, so Raina says maybe when there isn't a naked dude in her bathroom they can hook up again and kisses him. Ew, mute germs! We like that Raina doesn't put up with any of Chuck's crap, but they are kind of boring together, no? We're thinking they are both trying to play each other to get what they want so maybe it will start to get interesting if they develop real feeling for each other.


Other thoughts and musings:

- When Serena makes a crack about Don Draper, it just makes us love the show even more for actually thinking we'll believe Serena watches "Mad Men."

- Dan says he knows the W internship will be "exploitation and espresso runs." Truth.

- Lily: "Everything I do or have ever done is for my children." Pause for maniacal laughter.

Still laughing.

OK, let's continue.

- No one ever runs into someone they know on the streets of New York City yet they always do on this show. We wish we lived in fictional New York City.

- After Blair tells Dan his scarf makes him look like a used car salesman, He says Vanessa bought it for him. That explains everything, Humphrey. 

- Serena continues to act as the show's moral compass and tells Damien that his occupation (super fly drug dealer) hurts people. In unrelated news, Damien's hair looked great in this episode.

- Dan: "I didn't date Serena Van Der Woodsen for two years and come away not knowing that those are Marc Jacobs and they're mustard." Blair is impressed. We're impressed.

- When Dan makes their adviser a delicious cup of coffee, he starts rambling on about Rufus' old coffee shop. We are loving all these old-school "GG" references.

- Blair on Dan: "He makes delicious coffee, never mind the fact that he's not completely horrible looking." We nearly spit out our drink when Blair admitted she found Dan attractive. I mean we always have, but she's Blair and he's "Cabbage Patch." You catch our drift?

- Cute Blair and Chuck moment alert! Chuck walks up to Blair who is working the door and says "Knowing you, you'll be editor by May. Your plan is working." The two share a cute, meaningful look.

- Blair after Dan sabotages her: "I was just poleaxed by a poor person." Hands down, the best lines of the night.

What did you think of "Damien Darko"? Are you down for Dan and Blair romance? Do you think Ben is a nice guy or does he have an ulterior motive? Are you worried for Eric? Can you remember Nate's last name?

Photo/Video credit: The CW