It might be December, but this week’s Gossip Girl episode was about Valentine’s Day. As always, there’s a lot of mess to sort through, and everything went down at the Kiss on the Lips party this time. Viewers of the original show will enjoy this nod to the past since that’s the same party that Blair (Leighton Meester) was so excited about throwing in the pilot episode. Now it’s Monet’s (Savannah Lee Smith) turn to take up the mantle of host, so let’s recap the biggest moments of the episode.
Last week I posed the question of when will Shan (Grace Duah) admit to Zoya (Whitney Peak) that she knows that Nick (Johnathan Fernandez) isn’t being honest about how they were able to keep their apartment. Keeping this secret from her friend is clearly eating away at her, and in turn, it causes her to make some bad decisions. First off, she asks quite a few probing questions about the Lotts’ finances, which doesn’t win her any points in Nick’s book and makes Zoya suspicious.
In what seems like a good faith attempt to get Zoya’s mind off things with her dad, Shan suggests that Zoya needs a date for Valentine’s Day, specifically Terrell (Jens Austin Astrup), a boy that Zoya met while Julien (Jordan Alexander) was preparing for the debutante ball. It’s clear Zoya has a crush on him, and Shan encourages Zoya that she should act on it. Of course, it does require convincing Monet to invite him to the Kiss on the Lips party, which she does not agree to do. Terrell still receives the invite after Shan craftily messages him from Monet’s phone (the exact type of shenanigans I like to see on a teen show like this). Unfortunately for Zoya, she doesn’t get to spend any time with Terrell at the party because she catches him making out with Shan. Ladies, this is not the move to pull when you’re trying to get back into your friend’s good graces! When Zoya confronts her about it, Shan finally admits that she knows Davis (Luke Kirby) bought the apartment. Of course, since Kate (Tavi Gevinson) is also in attendance at the Kiss on the Lips party, Gossip Girl is quick to post about this, exposing the secret to the masses. It puts Nick in an even worse position, and I don’t foresee him and Zoya making up any time soon.
A party on this show always signals dirty laundry being aired out to the public, and that’s exactly what happens for Obie (Eli Brown) and his girlfriend Grace (Anna Van Patten). Last episode, we learned that Grace is two-timing Obie with her ex-boyfriend Matias (Javier Reyes Sanchez), a guy who Grace’s mother (Elizabeth Stanley) disapproves of. Meanwhile, Obie is wholly unaware, thinking that Grace’s frequent trips away are to support her mom’s senate campaign. He even hopes to convince her to stick around long enough to transfer to Constance. In an attempt to win Obie back as a friend, Julien hopes to help Obie discover this information, but she realizes she won’t be believed if she tells him. It’s her word against his, and she doesn’t want to look like a jealous ex. After confronting Grace about it on a pre-Valentine’s girls’ spa trip, Julien manages to break into Grace’s phone and send herself Matias’s phone number.
Julien brings Matias as her date to the Kiss on the Lips party, but Grace is quick to brush him off as though she doesn’t know him. Unfortunately, Matias has been stewing on being Grace’s secret for so long, that he confronts her later on, just at the moment that Grace’s mother and brother Jake (Zander Pacella) arrive. Senator Byron immediately remembers Matias, especially since he spat on her as they arrived at the Guggenheim. She obviously doesn’t take kindly to seeing him, and she doesn’t appreciate that she was actually with Matias all the times Grace said she was spending time with Obie. To add to the confusion, there is another clandestine meeting that not even Matias can account for, which is then exposed as Grace and her brother secretly meeting. This would have gone over my head were it not for Luna’s (Zión Moreno) quip about “twincest” right after the Byrons make a swift exit from the party. This is a detail I will continue to gloss over in my memory, as I thought I was safe from more incest on an HBO show, seeing as I don’t watch Game of Thrones or House of the Dragon. And unfortunately for Obie and Matias, it seems as though their relationships with Grace have crumbled to dust with as much confusion as I felt when watching this scene play out.
Now onto the episode’s other highlights: Monet ponders whether it is better to be loved or feared. However, after being chewed out by her mother (Amanda Warren) in public for almost exposing what she thought was an affair, but was actually a mutual arrangement with her parents and a third party, she decides she would rather be hated. Even though she’s down in the dumps, it seems as though she has Luna back in her corner, so as much as Monet may say she doesn’t want love, it seems she’ll accept whatever Luna has to offer. Meanwhile, Kate and Shubin (Pico Alexander) plan an anti-Valentine’s Day date that hooks up. When Shubin goes into the other room to get water, Kate notices an iMessage exchange on his computer where someone says they need Gossip Girl’s identity or their deal is off. She realizes she’s being played and falls right into the trap. Here’s to seeing what she does to try and get herself out of this mess she made when she let her guard down.