The much-buzzed-about Gossip Girl has become the latest series to run out of fresh episodes, and they finished with a pretty strong one, making their anti-heroine Blair more sympathetic than ever while at the same time whetting appetites for what will surely be some sweet revenge once the show comes back. Let's hope everyone in the cast doesn't look 36 when that finally happens.
In last night's episode, Serena was spotted buying a home pregnancy test, and the cell phone photos were zapped to everyone within seconds. Dan's father saw the photos and told his son he was ruining his life; Dan said he would go along with whatever Serena wanted to do. Serena told Dan she wasn't pregnant, and then rushed off to meet Blair. Jenny's attempts to join Blair's clique were still falling on deaf ears. Serena, and it turned out, had bought the test for Blair and urged her not to avoid the issue. Nate asked Blair to visit the Captain in rehab; she was smooching him while Chuck watched.
Dan told his dad that he mistakenly told Serena he loved her because he thought there was a baby coming. Dan and Serena had dinner together; Jenny interrupted for bratty little sister reasons. With Jenny eavesdropping, Serena told Dan that she bought the test for Blair, and Dan figured out it couldn't be Nate's baby because they just got back together; Serena then told Dan about Chuck sleeping with Blair. Dan wondered if Chuck could persuade Blair to take the test. A woman came by and flirted with Rufus, asking him out the next night. Chuck said he was going to leave Blair alone; Serena confided in Chuck--the test was for Blair, not her. Chuck said he had used a condom and the father, if there was one, had to be Nate. Rufus asked Dan what he thought of him going out, and he gave his blessing, more or less.
Serena confronted Blair about her sleeping with Nate ahead of the time when everyone thought she had. Blair's mom said she had heard her vomiting, and thought the eating disorder might be back. Blair took the test and called Serena with an apology -- and to say she wasn't pregnant. Blair told Chuck she wasn't pregnant and told him to get lost. Chuck made a vague warning of revenge. Chuck told Gossip Girl about Serena covering for Blair, and that Blair slept with two guys in one week. Nate got the word about Blair's two guys; Blair flew into a panic. Nate told Jenny it had to be a lie; Jenny, saying Blair wasn't really her friend, spilled the beans. Nate confronted Chuck and he admitted it, saying it had happened when they were broken up. Nate ordered Chuck to stay away from him. Nate told Blair they had nothing to talk about and threw her out.
Brynn came by on a dare to ask Rufus out; when his date showed up, she split in anger. Blair accused Serena of telling Jenny about what happened and she denied it, but she had to admit that she had told Dan. Blair accused Serena of trying to destroy her because her own reputation had vanished long ago. Blair's former clique called her a hypocrite for trying to ostracize Jenny, and said she was dethroned. Blair told Jenny she would ruin her if she joined the others, and Jenny blew it off as an idle threat. Rufus called the date and tried to make amends. Dan told Serena he didn't spill to Jenny, and hoped his word was enough. He told her he loved her and was upset at her blase response. Serena's brother suggested that maybe Jenny had listened in.
Blair came by to tell Chuck he had ruined all her relationships. Chuck told Blair she was now damaged goods for him, and probably for everyone else. Blair asked for permission to go abroad for a semester, and her mom reluctantly went along with it. Jenny was having trouble adjusting to her new power and having wannabes doing favors for her. Rufus's date came by the gallery again, and he explained that he had little experience with dating after a long marriage. Serena wanted Dan to tell her why he loved her. He was sincere and she was touched. Serena came by the airport to confront Blair as she was leaving, and asked her not to run. Blair said she would stay. [42 Inch Television]
My guiltiest of guilty pleasures is already half finished! Mindy emerged from the talent competition with an injured knee, and missing Jill and Nicole. The room of evil people celebrated that their numbers remained intact once more. They once again listened in on intercom as their rivals, especially Hollis, trashed them. Linnea introduced the teams to a Miss California functionary, who was going to teach them how to do a competition-ready smile. Apparently, there are six kinds of smile one can use in a pageant, all of which look exactly alike.
The competition called for the teams to stand on a rotating pedestal and keep smiling, while everyone else tried to get them to break their composure. Angela was the best heckler of the bunch, but Hollis and Gina said they wouldn't rip the other girls. Moya/Jenileigh and Mindy/Rachelle followed suit. After getting slammed during her own turn, Jenileigh joined in heckling when the evil teams took their turns; she later cried at her failure to live up to her high standards. Mindy considered whether she needed medical attention for her knee; told she had a sprain, she said it was nothing compared to needing a new kidney.
The Miss California guy named Moya and Jenileigh as the winners of the competition. For their prize, they chose the box holding corsages. The elimination competition called on the pairs to create an Internet vlog with the goal of selling an image for their team. Laura blew up at Patty's inability to learn her lines, while Brenda and Heather decided to go to the comedy well again. Mindy appeared too groggy from her painkillers to assist her daughter much, and Rachelle got impatient. Angela and Tenia aimed at doing an issues-based video. Gina and Hollis tried to present an upbeat image. Jenileigh and Moya had trouble deciding what to include and what to leave out. Ada became the first person to (at least on camera) call her daughter a bitch, as she and Christan fought over their script.
The final seven arrived at the theater for their presentation to the judges; Shanna Moakler seemed to get intense pleasure out of saying the word vlog. Blessed Beauties Ada and Christan did some deadpan comedy, but Cynthia Garrett said the message was muddled. Tenia/Angela were praised for putting across a message while also displaying personality. Brenda and Heather fell flat with a presentation that was so jokey they weren't able to display any other attributes. Laura and Patty were a bit madcap and scattery, and the sound quality was way off. Laura blew up at Patty for stepping in to answer the judges' concerns. Moya and Jenileigh did their vlog outside, and were upfront about the struggles in their lives. Shanna was blunt in saying that tragedy wouldn't be a winner for them without anything else to back it up. Mindy and Rachelle got praised for a solid message, but Cynthia said they came across as boring. Gina and Hollis were perky, but Cynthia and Shanna wondered where the message was. Gina teared up when she said she was on the show to do something for her family, and the judges said that was the sort of thing she should have put on tape.
Angela and Tenia were judged to have won the competition, and the de-sashing came down to either Patty/Laura or Brenda/Heather. In the end, Goal Driven Gals Brenda and Heather were sent back home to Almost Heaven. I thought the judges' belief that the eventual winners of Crowned would have some sort of public role once this show is over to be sweet in its naivete, and a little bit insane. [Ice Barrel]
The Flynn family was completely laid back and almost rule-free, while the Orris family was highly regimented, and mom Mishelle sniffed her kids' armpits to make sure they were clean. Michelle Flynn referred to her husband Patrick the third kid who liked to curse a lot. The Flynn residence looked "lived in," and Michelle did almost all the chores even though Patrick worked fewer hours. Mishelle Orris was a screamer who demanded instant response from her two children. The kids had continual chores, and underwent military style drills for punishment. Son Justin was sometimes sullen due to rebellion against his stepfather Terry.
Mishelle hoped to bring structure and oral hygiene to the Flynns. She immediately noticed the weeds in their yards. Michelle Flynn noted how clean the Orris house was and hoped the whistle she saw was for the dog (it wasn't). The moms, as always, read the rules of their new homes and were mutually horrified. Mishelle almost began to cry. The moms met their new families; Mishelle was irritated at the way the 5 year-old boy misbehaved. Justin noted his new mom appeared to have poor teeth. Mishelle thought her husband was a slob with uncouth friends. Michelle saw the Orris kids punished with military training. Mishelle sat by quietly while her new kids went about their un-brushed-teeth lives. Michelle was awoken with a whistle by Terry, something that never happened at her own home where she was allowed to sleep in. Terry was pleased that Michelle seemed to be going along with the program.
Mishelle wasn't getting any help from her new family despite the massive amount of chores. The Orris kids were pleased to see their chores slowly being cut back, but Terry insisted that the program be followed. The Flynn kids and dad ran all over the house covered in chocolate, which Mishelle could scarcely stand to watch. Patrick said he felt Mishelle was "demeanering" him by pointing out how filthy the house was. He unloaded on Mishelle with insults like "Sasquatch."
The Orrises went on a fishing trip that was rained out because their chores were done late; Terry pointed out that had things been done on schedule, they would have been able to fish. As the second week started, the wives changed the rules; neither husband was polite as the new ways of doing things were explained. Michelle Flynn told Terry that she and the kids would be pulling pranks on him. Patrick was told his party days were over for the week, and he would be expected to enforce discipline on the children; both Mishelle and Patrick called each other fat a lot. Mishelle woke up the Flynn kids with a whistle and put them through their toothbrush paces. Terry was infuriated at the deteriorating condition of his house; Michelle had to order the Orris kids to not do normal cleaning duties. The Orris kids got to "decorate" the house, which got messy. Justin began to get upset at Michelle's immaturity and was refusing to be ordered to have fun. Patrick disappeared to a neighbor's backyard party, but Mishelle chased him down and made him do push-ups as his friends catcalled. When Terry got home and saw the disorderly house, he exploded. Terry said he wanted to balance fun with responsibility.
Patrick continued to insist that housework was for moms and not for kids and husbands. Justin was still sullen about the new rules, so Michelle asked him if he was still too worried about pleasing Terry. Justin said he felt better now, and put a rubber snake in the washing machine to prank Terry. Patrick began doing all the housework to spare the kids, and began to realize how much Michelle did. He admitted he's been lazy. Terry saw the pranks the kids had pulled, and after some initial anger he actually laughed. Patrick apologized to Mishelle for his angry words and said he now thought it was a good idea for the kids to at least keep their rooms clean. Terry told Justin he wanted a good relationship with him and that he would try to lighten up some.
The families were reunited, with both wives describing their culture shock. Terry asked if expecting the kids to take pride in their home was a bad thing, and they defended their assignment of chores. For her part, Michelle thought that her children might get a sense of accomplishment from giving her a hand, and Patrick said he would help too. Since the swap, the Orrises have dialed it back a little; Terry and Justin have an improved relationship; and the family makes more time for play as a group. As for the Flynns, Patrick is now helping to fold laundry. Well, isn't he a mensch? [Snark This]
Law & Order:
A pipe bomb explosion severely wounded a security guard named Lori as she was taking packages up an elevator. Lori was pregnant, but the fetus survived. The woman's husband, Ryan, admitted she had not come home for a couple of weeks, due to the couple's money troubles. Our cops wondered if someone else was the intended victim. One of the offices in the building did genetic testing: a fetus had been aborted based on faulty info that it would be born with Down's Syndrome. The couple had sued and settled recently, and they had an alibi for the previous day. Green admitted a personal crisis in his past influenced his opinion on abortion.The detectives looked into why Dr. Hoffman, the head of the company, had left his university post, and found he had been doing research on genetic causes of homosexuality. Hoffman said he was no longer doing that sort of research. A young man who had sent a threat to Hoffman told the detectives said he was now doing good works for his faith. Green and Lupo were told a doctor who has offices near where the bomb had been picked up had called to ask about Hoffman; the doctor denied it, but Lupo had the chance to grab his Blackberry and checked out his patient list. Ryan's brother Dean had a regular appointment there. When they discover Ryan's and Dean's father had missing nitroglycerin pills, Dean was arrested for the bombing.
The Blackberry incident came up in pretrial wrangling, with Cutter arguing it was in plain sight, but the judge tossed it. With further detective work now needed, it was found that Lori had been in the building on her day off, visiting Hoffman's office. Hoffman said it was for research on Lori's baby; since homosexuality ran in Ryan's family, and Dean himself was gay, did the baby carry the "gay gene?" Dean said his father had never really acknowledged his being gay.
At the trial, Hoffman said he was under fire for the prospect of a test for a gay gene for babies. He said he had no political motives for his work, and added that Lori's baby did have the gay gene. Ryan said he loved his brother and didn't believe he could send a bomb even if he disagreed with Hoffman's work. Cutter got him to admit that Dean had been in the same office where the bomb had been picked up by a courier, getting the previously suppressed evidence in. Lori's father now announced he had an alibi for Dean. Cutter found that Lori was going to the obstetric ICU, with the pregnancy to be terminated to give her a small chance at survival, even though the baby was healthy.
McCoy asked the judge to allow the abortion, but the judge denied the application. Dean and Ryan were brought together so Dean could be told about the abortion: Ryan said it was about keeping Lori alive and him out of jail. Cutter told Dean he could step up and stop it if he confessed. Dean admitted he set the bomb and now told Ryan there was no reason for the abortion or for their father to lie for him. Ryan said he didn't want his child to grow up gay based on the sort of life Dean had had.
Rami believed as the first two-time winner, he had a leg up on the others. The next challenge was to make an outfit for one of the most important days of a woman's life: the prom. Everyone giggled as some high school girls came in to serve as the models. Christian was less than excited. The girls chose who they wanted to work with based on everyone's portfolios. Tim told them before the meetings with the models that the girls would certainly have ideas of their own, but that they needed to assert themselves as well. Kit said she wanted to tame her tendency to be outrageous because these gowns would be going on teenage girls. Kevin said he knew what a New Jersey prom was like and would work accordingly.
As the episode went on, we heard some prom memories from the designers, complete with photos of the way they were (for Christian, this was just in 2004). Sweet P's girl said she wanted her dress to be ivory, as if it would be a wedding. Christian thought his girl wanted too many tacky elements; he said all the requests were making him feel "not fierce." Ricky called his mother and talked about how great if would be to win -- foreshadowing? Sweet P said she had to amend a lot of what the client wanted because it wasn't going to work, and she wasn't going to put her fate in the hands of a teenager. Christian agreed: he wasn't going to let a 17-year-old tell him what to do. He decided to add details such as bead work and lace. Victorya made a late change on the silhouette.
Tim dropped in and told the designers that the girls and their mothers would be in for a preliminary fitting. The mother of Kevin's model had some concerns. Victorya's model was OK with her changes. The mother of Sweet P's model was a huge fan of what she had done, but Christian's model was very uneasy. Christian complained that he wasn't a dressmaker and said he really didn't know what to do. Tim said Rami's dress looked like it might be better suited for a mother, but Rami said he was encouraged to take a risk based on his immunity this week. Tim thought Christian seemed depressed and defeated, and encouraged him to pull it together. Chris noticed hat Kevin had not hemmed his dress, and worried that might hurt him with the judges. Christian struggled to deal with his sassy model.
At the runway, Kevin was criticized for making his model look too old, and the lack of a hem was bothersome. Christian was told that he should have reined in his model's wishes for a lot of bells and whistles. Rami was told his look was too sophisticated, but he said he couldn't work any other way. Only Sweet P and Victorya got especially high marks, with Victorya, the last designer picked by the models, being named the winner. In the end, Kevin, a very strong performer till now, was voted out for making his model look "cheap and unflattering." The self-proclaimed only straight man in Season Four, Kevin said that at least he got to hug Heidi Klum. [Fashionista]
Mia moved into her new office, after a montage showing her getting ready for the big day. Zoe dropped her son off for school for a change and felt judged by another mom, who she also took to be positively judging her husband Eric. Caitlin continued to flirt with Alicia and accepted a date with her. Juliet and Davis were in counseling; Davis attacked her for being an "ice queen," with the implication that he cheated because he needed attention elsewhere. The Mafia suggested new lovers for Juliet; Caitlin admitted she's now dating a woman.
Mia's Murdoch-like superior orders her to fire the company's director of marketing, Grant, who is her best gay friend at the company. Caitlin tried to prepare Juliet for her big night of cheating by providing her with a makeover. Zoe went to pick her kids up from the mom she had chatted with earlier; the kids had spent the time making a build-a-bear to represent Zoe, a bear who was on the phone all the time. Caitlin called Juliet's prospective lover, an old business school boyfriend, when Juliet balked. Davis tried to schedule time for a serious talk with Juliet, who informed him she had a date. Mia told her boss she absolutely couldn't fire Grant, but he said Grant was coasting and needed to go. At the dinner Zoe had arranged with the other mom and her husband, Eric and the mom got there before the other spouses; the mom used the opportunity to suggest an affair. Zoe arrived just in time to break up a potentially intimate moment. Juliet met Bobby, the old boyfriend, who had arrived at the restaurant under the pretense that it was an old reunion of classmates. The night ended with Juliet promising she'd call him if she wanted to go through with the fling. The mom asked Eric if he would be interested in renovating her kitchen; Eric said he would do it despite Zoe's obvious discomfort. Later at home, Zoe ordered Eric to turn down the job, but Eric was thinking ahead to what sort of professional opportunity it would be. Eric admitted she made a pass, but swore Zoe had nothing to fear.
An old boyfriend of Caitlin's interrupted her date with Alicia; when Caitlin issued an embarrassed denial she was dating women now, Alicia left in a fury. At an art gallery to make a deal with a photographer, Mia realized Grant had screwed up, giving her the opening to fire him. He created a public scene during which he called Mia out as disloyal, which got her into all the media gossip columns. Mia was charmed when a young employee asked to her to mentor him. Juliet received dueling floral bouquets at the office from Davis and Bobby. Caitlin apologized to Alicia, saying she was confused at this early stage. Zoe one-upped the mom by hiring a double-decker bus for the class field trip, and informed her she was to stop her little games with both her husband and her kids. [South Dakota Dark]