How the mighty have fallen! Gossip Girl is finally going old school at school, and I, for one, am ready for the dress-code violations handed out left and right by Tweedledee and Tweedledum. No, I haven’t learned the names of Monet’s minions yet. Maybe when they get to Nelly Yuki status, I’ll stick around.
Let’s start at the top of the morning. Zoya sneaking out merely to spend breakfast with another family is maybe the saddest thing Gossip Girl has ever seen. At least sneak out for a late-night rendezvous at the Empire Hotel! But, as the founding member of the Nick Hater Club, I get it. Her dad is annoying as shit! He hates the one percent in a self-righteous, eye-rolling way, not in a bohemian-Bernie-Rufus-Humphrey way. Be serious! You’re no better than them! In fact, you’re taking money from one of the richest of them all! His performance at Shan’s house is embarrassing. You’re a grown man and a father. Do you know how rare it is for parents to get to know the parents of their teenage friends? Stop huffing and puffing and making jabs about butlers, or the lack thereof, and get to know the people your daughter has been spending all her time with. Save your insecurity — and pistachio milk — for someone who cares!
Zoya’s not the only one dealing with parental problems. Poor Max is probably the only person on earth who is even more fed up than we are with how long his dads’ divorce is dragging out. Can the writers figure out their split already? The teachers and the triad are already getting too much airtime … and now we must do the will-they-won’t-they dance with the parents? At least Gideon and Roy and their wigs are better than salty ol’ Nick!
Speaking of salty, Obie finally decides to make an appearance with his Republican royalty girlfriend! Grace Byron is a Stay At Home Girlfriend in training, even dropping Obie off at school and promising to pick him up after. Do you know how rich you have to be to refer to your therapist as an analyst? She’s desperate to get in with his crowd and be with some real people after growing up in a family of political appearances. His friends are a novelty, and probably the most exciting thing either of these two has going for them. I am sure Audrey, Aki, and Max’s triad is blowing her mind — and she gets a front-row seat to it at the dinner-slash-orgy-gone-wrong at the Wolfe residence.
Gideon is too good to Roy for entertaining his Gilded Age cosplay. I still don’t know how I feel about the kumbaya that comes about at the end of the dinner, nor do I believe that Max wouldn’t have heard Gideon walk through the door mere minutes before he heads upstairs, but I’ll suspend disbelief for the culture. After Grace connects Roy and Iris (played by the divine Lois Smith), she crashes their dinner with her boring boyfriend in tow. Roy tries, and fails, to sell himself to Iris and nab the job of renovating Gramercy Park, but seems to win something far more valuable instead. Perhaps he and Gideon are back on?
Meanwhile, Max fails to get it up at his ho-hum hook-up upstairs, leading his playmates to head downstairs in the nude and shock poor Iris. At least this wanna-bacchanal leads to Audrey, Aki, and Max finally announcing their relationship, much to the dismay of old conservative Iris. Kiki supports her daughter and her boyfriends and asks a very motherly question about how exactly it all works. We know Gideon and Roy are on board. I don’t think I want to know what Roger Menzies’s reaction will be. I do love these three characters. I love how Aki is the human embodiment of no thoughts, just vibes, but I don’t know how much more I can handle the back-and-forth of their triad. Here’s to hoping they iron out the logistics before we get bored.
But back to the battleground: Julien has officially decided to fight back for her rightful place on the Constance throne by undermining Monet’s spread in Spectator (spotted: Hunter Harris writing the profile). Monet’s hot pink flyers — and self-comparison to North Korea, a choice — are the final straw. I don’t even know if Blair Waldorf herself would have snatched someone’s Cartier pin right off their uniform. Unfortunately, Julien is outmaneuvered by Monet, who has been secretly documenting Julien’s attempts at subversion. See, this is exactly what she wants. She needs Julien to play ball; she won’t stop until she has a worthy competitor. I’ve got to give her credit where it’s due: That fountain push move was straight out of Blair Waldorf’s playbook. But, in an admission that shocks even myself, I am kind of rooting for Julien? But their duel is not the only one worth watching. Yes, I’m referring to what I reckon will be a war between Mike and Kate after Kate rats out the headmistress to Gossip Girl. I see an enemies-to-lovers storyline in our future, I fear.
To be clear, Kate is an idiot for giving up the gossip about the headmistress so easily. She’s being fueled by her own insecurities. She didn’t make it as a New Yorker writer, but she can make it as Gossip Girl. And all it took was one write-up calling her out. So pathetic. Imagine being this invested in the lives of children! And for the love of god, she needs to let this beef with CDH go. I agree with Mike when he says that, like Hydra, if they cut off the headmistress’s head, two will grow in its place. They have bigger fish to fry; the headmistress is simply a pawn for the parents. She accepts bribes, yes, but anyone in her position has to — “has to” being the operative words. There was a smarter way to go about this, but Kate, per usual, couldn’t resist. It’s only a matter of time until Mike finds her out, and judging by his strategy, him holding that information won’t be pretty.
I am also counting down the minutes until Zoya finds out that her dad has been lying to her and Julien about his promotion. This discovery will be a goldmine for Zoya’s favorite argument of hypocrisy. I know, I know, parents make the rules. But it’s rich to lambast your daughter for lying left and right while you yourself are lying through your teeth.
• “I’ll make that note …” says Hunter Harris with a side-eye that could kill.
• “It will make The Spectator look like a Substack,” says Kate about the future of GG.
• “It’s a wig … from when Annette Bening made everyone come as her to her 60th,” says Gideon explaining his new do.
Spotted: Gideon’s The Eagle x Coach leather tote and celebrity chef Carla Hall.