Episode Synopsis: Gossip Girl’s annual Thanksgiving episodes are usually good (the flashback to drunken-needing-to-be-saved-by-Stranger-Dan Serena in Season 1), the middling (Season 2’s Archibald family drama part deux), to the hideously bad (yes, I know, you permanently removed the painful memory of Season 3’s Serena-Tripp love connection and the revelation of Blair’s millionth self-esteem issue). If you thought there was a pattern there, think again, because the Thanksgiving episode is back with a vengeance — and a few nitpicky caveats...
• Juliet is even crazier than Georgina Sparks, and thankfully less fertile.
•The Serena-has-yet-another-drug-problem storyline, if only because everyone seemed to have forgotten she used to be even more of a mess.
•Blair and Chuck taking the mature, less is more, long term love over short term lust.
•The return of Harold’s fabulous pumpkin pie.
•Blair finally bringing up her eating disorder, a storyline I’d thought had fallen off the face of the planet.
•Dan sticking up for his um. . .step-sister. . .love interest. . .Serena.
•Eric actually getting more than one line!
•Rufus completing the final transition into Upper East Side Stepford Wife—Martha Stewart called and she wants her tablescape back.
•Everyone conveniently avoiding the Flowers-in-the-Attic elephant in the room: that Dan and Serena are step-sibs . . .ew.
•The fact that Blair only remembers she has bulimia on Thanksgiving.
•Anne belatedly recalling she is still married to a conniving, embezzling, drug-addled convict.
•Nate for being downright shocked that his frigid judgmental bitch of a mother wants a divorce. Bless him.
•Vanessa existing at all.
•Ditto for Jenny.
•Most shocking of all, everyone keeping the same clothes the entire episode! Thus, we only have one post...
Despite the fact that he’s changed everything he represents to marry Lily, I thought Rufus actually stayed kind of true to his roots this episdoe. The sweater he was wearing was structured like a tailored sweatshirt, and the shirt underneath it was a muted plaid (of course). Despite the Botox he seems to have gone wild on, he looked good—and oh so biddable.
Even the gray jeans are nice, but still have a hint of rock ‘n roll.
But really, who wants to talk about Rufus’ clothes, when we can discuss how well he’s learned to entertain?
How far the mighty ex-rockstar has fallen.
But then, we look at a shot like this:
And why we were rooting for Rufus and Lily to get married comes roaring back.
Naturally, Lily looks fabulous. I feel like a broken record saying it, but it’s almost always true.
Very simple back shift, not too short or tight—fits her flawlessly in fact. Attention Vanessa: simplicity in wardrobe is how Lily gets away with wearing that big funky green necklace. I want to think the green stones are emeralds and since we’ve clearly passed over into the realm of fantasy, we’ll call them emeralds.
Even though Lily almost always wears her hair back, she still manages to keep it interesting. Perhaps that’s how she’s convinced Rufus to become the Next Food Network Star—keeping things inventive and fresh. The complicated twist bun is beautiful and I couldn’t help but lament my own hair that would never consent to behave this nicely.
The accessories junkie in me lusts after this brown snakeskin bag the way that Blair lusts after pie. Or Chuck.
In any case, it’s perfectly accented by that gorgeous camel coat. It’s almost a little ridiculous how almost every episode, Lily, who’s supposed to be matronly, leaves all the younger girls in the dust when it comes to her oh-so-put-together look.
I’m personally giving thanks that this episode finally brought the return of Eric, and the return of some lines for Eric.
I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of this ensemble, but then again, he doesn’t look bad either, which is a plus considering his sartorial choices as of late.
However, I am more than a little concerned over his recent obsession with plaid. Clearly having Rufus as a father figure (even if Eric isn’t ever around) is beginning to rub off on him. The camel sweater is nice though, and clearly expensive. If I could touch it through my computer screen, I’d declare that it was cashmere.
I swear to God we’ve seen this exactly same jacket on Nate at least once before. It’s blue and it’s slightly structured, which fits all the requirements Nate seems to have for clothes. Whether Eric borrowed it or not, it looks good on him, and ties the rest of his ensemble together so well that he looks better with it than without it.
So some of you (the three of you who’ve read my writer bio), know that me and @_stephau host the @ggwatchalong during every live Gossip Girl episode. We’ll post snarky Blair lines, comments on clothing, general quips (like “wow, I can’t believe Nate is really this dumb,” or “can Chuck get naked now?”) and the occasional wish fulfillment fantasy. Occasionally we’ll also gather together in a group chat and discuss the episode real-time as it airs. This Monday, we had an awesome friend, @bakingbarrister, who joined us and when Vanessa arrived in this truly hideous jacket:
complete with hideous tassles, she was instantly reminded of one of her own personal photos.
I think Vanessa’s doppelganger is a classy, elegant broad, don’t you?
So we’ve seen the Jacket of Patterned Horror. What else was Vanessa wearing this episode? I keep saying she can’t get worse but then she showed up in this atrocity:
I think this is one of those times (after having compared her to a llama) that I don’t think words are really necessary . . .
Who am I kidding? As if I’d pass up an opportunity to tear this apart thread by thread.
Despite the Navajo patterned blanket masquerading as a jacket, and the lumberjack tunic, and the gray tights paired with those bizarre brown booties—and nevermind the necklaces and those massive arrowhead earrings—her makeup is understated and I actually like her hair.
And yes, out an entire outfit—and let’s face it, Vanessa generally wears more items than the rest of the cast put together—that’s the only positive thing I can say.
As for Vanessa’s compatriot in suffering, she also has a spirit animal she’s clearly imitating.
Jenny’s also wearing earrings the size of wagon wheels, but when they’re overshadowed by about ten pounds of ratty fake extensions, they aren’t nearly as noticeable as Vanessa’s.
I do like the necklace, kind of a lanyard chain, but the rest is just. . .
No. I hated the plaid carpeting she was wearing as a jacket—it appears the Humphrey Plaid Plague is incredibly contagious, even way up in Hudson. I couldn’t tell if there was actually a skirt or any other type of bottom-covering garment, but even if there is, if you can’t see it, that’s a problem. In college, we had names for girls who strutted around wearing sweaters as dresses. I won’t use it here, since I’ve already called Jenny’s spirit animal a raccoon.
However, I will leave you with this final haunting image.
Is it a bird? A plane? A raccoon, perhaps? A bag lady streetwalker?
Actually, none of the above. It’s our sweet, still-only seventeen Jennifer Humphrey, thigh high boots and all.
Jenny and Vanessa’s third partner in crime (and their ultimate betrayer), Juliet, continued on her merry way as both the most boring dresser on the entire show—even beating Dan, Nate, and Rufus for this honor—and the most psychotic nutjob since Georgina flounced off with baby Milo in her arms.
The draped neckline is alright, though I have to wonder why the dress she’s wearing is backless.
Especially after she knows she’ll be visiting a prison. You don’t want to let the convicts near that much skin after so long. There might be riots.
Juliet does redeem herself by choosing this gorgeous (I can’t believe I just typed that word in relation to Juliet) crimson coat, with military epaulets and smart tailoring.
It’s such a beautiful color, and even prettier color on her.
It seems unfortunate that her storyline is finishing up just as she’s begun to figure out how to dress.
What wasn’t truly shocking this episode wasn’t the lack of outfit changes, but that Dan Humphrey, King of Plaid, eschewed his favorite fabric of all time in order to squire Serena through Brooklyn after her overdose and subsequent incarceration in the Ostroff Center.
He actually looks good—I love this leather hoody, which I think we’ve seen on him before—and the green henley is too simple to actually screw up. His hair is in need of a trim, but for Dan Humphrey, this is all progress.
That is, until you see him from the backside and you want to ask him if he spends a lot of time shopping at the girl’s section in Forever 21. Dan’s always been a Brooklyn hipster, but this is a new low.
Men’s jeans should, simply put, never be this form-fitting.
Serena is the central storyline this episode that both brings everyone together, and grabs the lion’s share of attention on the holiday.
That’s because she wakes up, looking like this:
Not Serena’s finest moment. Though Blake Lively has agreed to go ugly for her art before (make sure you see The Town, it proves once and for all that Blake is not Serena Van der Woodsen), it’s nice to see her making the sacrifice again.
I read a recap commenting about how Serena truly doesn't look like she’s ODed in this episode. Here, she does. Skin that gunky is not an accident, people.
However, this is not the face of a girl who just experienced a drug overdose and was in the emergency room only a few hours earlier.
Serena might have good genes and fantastic skin, but nobody could look that good after what she’s apparently just been through.
It is a very appropriate outfit though. This is as dressed down as we’ve seen Serena in ages and it suits her better than all the skimpy cocktail dresses and cleavage-baring tops.
I don’t like the weird insert in the skinny jeans she’s wearing, but the green sweater looks so cozy I want to wrap myself in it.
The tunic works with the outfit so I won’t even mention that it’s plaid—but it is.
Side Rant: Clearly Eric Daman is in cahoots with some plaid weaver because no other show that I have ever watched has this much plaid. Nearly everyone wears it, even Blair and Chuck. This is supposed to be a show about rich people—let’s face it, the only ones not rich at this point are Vanessa and Juliet—and rich, stylish people simply do not wear this much plaid, ever.
Speaking of plaid, yes, they even got Blair in it this episode.
This dress has been pretty polarizing. I honestly spent a lot of the episode trying to decide if I loved it or hated it.
In the end, I couldn’t help but love it. A lot of it is Leighton Meester—she honestly wears clothes so well, she can pull a lot of things off. Another reason I finally succumbed to loving plaid on Blair is the rest of the outfit. The accessories are pitch perfect, and suit the dress so well. Final reason? It’s such a Thanksgiving dress. You look at it and just instantly think Thanksgiving.
Really, I think it was this charming necklace that won me over to the dress's good points. It’s so Blair, and really elevates a plaid dress to a higher echelon of style.
Blair’s outerwear, is, as usual, gorgeous. She almost never wears a bad coat, and this one is no exception. The dark hunter green pairs flawlessly with the fall colors of the plaid, and the light brown hose she’s wearing. The muted yellow bag is the perfect choice for an ensemble that could have been dark, plus there’s the tiniest bit of yellow in the plaid.
I guess if you’re Blair Waldorf and you’re going to wear one outfit all day, you’ve got to nail it, and she does.
I also saw a lot of divisive posts on Chuck’s Thanksgiving attire.
But in my opinion, this is the perfect combination of colors. There’s purple (of course) in the shirt, a dark green tie, and this stunning plaid wool blazer with navy blue velvet collar.
And I didn’t even mention the mulberry trench he’s sporting. Jen called it out as the Best Outfit of the episode in her Mini-Recap and I can’t help but agree with her, even though I’m terribly partial to Blair’s dress. Nobody else could wear a mulberry trench coat and pull it off, but this is Chuck Bass we're talking about. A mulberry trench coat is amateur hour for him.
I also have to point out that Eric Daman has finally figured out how to meld Chuck’s younger, much more fanciful, colorful style with the businessman Chuck that we were forced to endure all through Season 3. You feel like he’s growing up, finding his true style, and just basically maturing. Could you ever imagine Chuck of the past forgoing short term pleasure for long term happiness? If I hadn’t seen it myself, I wouldn’t have believed it.
Plaid is apparently the Thanksgiving fabric of choice, seeing as Nate’s sporting a plaid shirt as well.
Remember how I said earlier that Eric’s jacket was surprisingly Nate-like?
I was so right. Nate’s jacket is almost an exact copy of Eric’s.
Really the only thing I found interesting in Nate’s ensemble was the bottom half—because let’s face it, other than those demon eyebrows he’s sporting, the top half isn’t anything we haven’t seen a million times over four seasons.
Those chic brown loafers are so something I could see Chuck wearing, while on vacation during the summer—if he ever managed to relax for long enough. Maybe finally some of style is beginning to wear off on Nate.
I couldn’t get a close enough look at the pants, but they appear to be this really neat stonewashed grey. Note to Dan: that’s the right fit for men’s jeans. Too tight and it looks like you're shrink-wrapped and too baggy and it looks like you might be joining the Crips.
One other aside: when did Nate decide that it was hot to wear his hair so unbelievably messy? It doesn’t even look like bedhead—it looks like he went through a wind tunnel instead. Not very attractive.
Anne makes her second appearance in as many episodes, and she still hasn’t figured out how to dress.
High-waisted pants that look like something my grandmother wore when she was over 80. Not good. Anne needs to take some pointers from Lily, who manages to dress chic and elegant, but never look old. This whole outfit of Anne’s nearly relegates her to the deathbed. The blue shirt is a nice color on her, and I do like the contrast with the dark crimson cardigan, but those big pearl earrings look cheap rather than expensive, and at this point, I’d love to see her wear any other kind of jewelry other than that pearl necklace.
However, I do love her camel fitted jacket she wears to visit the Captain in prison.
Not a total redemption for Anne, but a step in the right direction. Without seeing the pants or the cardigan or the string of pearls, she looks about fifteen years younger.