The 30-Year-Old Man’s Guide To Gossip Girl: The Big Sleep No More

Judging by this episode’s title, I assume the black and white dream sequence that opens episode seven is a tribute to the classic Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall movie The Big Sleep. I can’t tell you that for sure because I’ve never seen the movie, but here’s what I do know: Bogart and Bacall had one of Hollywood’s great love affairs, and when we see Blair and Chuck (presumably) take those classic roles, it’s fitting and proof their story isn’t over yet.

Manipulation has been a recurring story this season, and it was central in the events of this episode. In her lust to overthrow Gossip Girl, Diana orchestrates a con so complex it could serve as the plot for Ocean’s 14 (Admit it, Soderbergh. You’re intrigued). I half expected Brad Pitt to appear at some point, wearing a $5,000 dollar suit, all smarmy grins and relaxed charm. Unfortunately, he never arrived. Instead we were left to watch Charlie suffer Diana’s wrath, and Serena unwittingly play the pawn.

Blair’s scheming again, this time using her knowledge of Chuck against him in an attempt to prove his newfound sense of charity is a ploy to regain her heart. But a seemingly revitalized Chuck concocts a scheme of his own, with Dorota of all people, to help Blair finally move on and focus on her future with the Prince. Oh, and Dan’s sad about his book. Other random thoughts:

• Blair treats Dorota like shit! I know their relationship is based in humor, and that ultimately they care about each other very much, but if this was the real world and Blair was pulling that kind of abusive Naomi Campbell garbage, Dorota would either sue her for emotional distress, or stab her to death with one of her hair bands.

• Diana gives Nate permission to step out on her while she’s traveling in Paris, and Nate reacts with glee. Wasn’t it just last week that this guy was pissed because Diana was seeing another guy? I guess dating 70-year-olds isn’t as awesome as he was hoping.

• I don’t know what Dan was expecting out on his book tour, but authors just don’t draw the crowds anymore. So instead of hiding behind his enormous headphones and wallowing in self-pity, he should cheer up and BE THANKFUL HE GOT HIS NOVEL PUBLISHED AT ALL!!

• I’ve never lived in New York, but I hear it’s crowded. Twice in this episode characters run into each other on the street? Does this actually happen? Compared to New York, I live in a small town and I can go months without seeing somebody I know. Unless they’re all ducking around corners when they see me coming. Hadn’t considered that…

• That “At the Table of Macbeth” thing Chuck was putting on was one Sydney Pollack cameo away from turning into Eyes Wide Shut.

• Max is a good-looking guy, there’s no doubt about that, and I’m glad he’s getting a bit of revenge against Charlie/Ivy, but his delivery is flatter than Taylor Momsen’s ass. Seriously man, Meisner technique. Wiki it.

• Another layer of deceit is revealed when we find out Diana is working in collusion with Nate’s grandfather in some kind of bizarre scheme to repair Nate’s image. Is all this really necessary, gramps? Wouldn’t it be easier to just buy him a senate seat in 10 years?

There must be something personal between Diana and Gossip Girl; all this effort can’t just be about money or prestige. Maybe it’s related to the mysterious photos she removed from the Bass family safe. One thing’s for sure, with all the carnage she’s inflicting, when Diana finally meets her end, it will be fantastic. Knowing Gossip Girl, it will probably all go down next week.

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