Chace Crawford and Elizabeth Hurley in Gossip Girl's "The Big Sleep No More". Photo courtesy of The CW Network.
The theme of this week’s episode of Gossip Girl was masks, both figuratively and literally. Two characters, Charlie and Diana, finally took off their masks at Chuck’s masquerade benefit. Diana’s true side was revealed as her role in the show was finally made clear in her long and complicated, but ingenious, plan.
This episode was the beginning of the end for Ivy, a.k.a Charlie. Diana is still on her case for kissing Nate, who keeps following her around and trying to talk to her at work. To make matters worse, Ivy spots her ex-boyfriend Max while she’s running errands (with Nate tagging along), and kisses Nate to escape being noticed. Because that’s obviously the first thing that comes into mind when trying to avoid someone. Unfortunately for her, someone posts a picture of her and Nate making out on Gossip Girl. That finally sets Diana off, though her relationship with Nate was not very set in the first place (she had just told Nate that they were not exclusive).
Meanwhile, Serena needs inspiration for her new blog, and Ivy offers her advice: get noticed by Gossip Girl, who would then direct people to her blog. The perfect opportunity arises when Serena bumps into a cute guy and tries to ask him out for lunch. She changes her mind at the last minute out of guilt. As it turns out, that guy is actually Max, who got lost while searching for his job interview location. But Serena does offer him some interview advice, and after Max gets called back for another interview, he tracks Serena down at the NY Spectator office to thank her. Here, Diana’s mind begins to work: she gets Serena to invite Max to Chuck’s benefit that night. Diana also makes Ivy ask Nate to the benefit, seemingly against reason.
The masquerade provides fertile ground for scheming, and Diana’s plan is quite complicated, even rivaling one of Blair’s.
1. She falsely tells Max that Serena in inside, wearing a golden dress. In actuality, Ivy is the one wearing the golden dress, and since she’s has a mask, she looks just like Serena. (Didn’t the exact same thing happen before, except with Jenny instead of Ivy?)
2. She then tells Ivy that the masked Max is actually Nate, and encourages her to kiss him. Ivy unwittingly does as she is told, but after she and Max unmask, she realizes her mistake.
3. She also tells Nate that Ivy still has feelings for her ex-boyfriend, which he believes after he sees them kissing. He returns to Diana.
4. Poor Serena is left outside without a date. Someone takes a picture of her, Gossip Girl calls her a nobody, and Diana convinces her to unite with her to bring Gossip Girl down.
5. She exposes Ivy to Gossip Girl and fires her. Max also leaves her for Serena.
6. At the end, she is on the phone with William Vanderbilt, Nate’s grandfather; apparently, they have something in store for Nate and Serena.
The other characters aren’t up to much this episode. With Louis in Italy, Blair returns to scheming. She refuses to believe that Chuck has changed—in reality, it might be she herself who hasn’t changed, since she thought the exact same thing back when Chuck was with Eva. She tries to tempt him into kissing her at the benefit. He does, and Blair leaves, triumphant. But Chuck later reveals to Nate that he was doing it to “set her free,” which sounds ridiculous conceptually, but highlights how petty Blair now seems next to Chuck.
And then Dan goes on a book tour, gets depressed when no one shows up, ditches his tour to stay in Brooklyn and pretend-Skype Rufus and Lily, gets lectured by Rufus, goes back on tour.
The amount of repetition in this episode from storylines earlier in the series is staggering, but I still have hope for Diana and William’s master plan, especially after Diana’s huge (if unrealistic) scheme in this episode. What would Gossip Girl be, if not for the scheming?
Serena: “I’m so grateful for all your help last week…”
Diana: “Why do I feel you’re about to break up with me?”
Blair (to Chuck): “Looks like we’re stuck. Together. Alone. Amongst the masked and anonymous.”
Chuck: “The only way for Blair to move on is to think I never will.”