‘Gossip Girl’ Season 2 Episode 8: Julien Single-handedly Ruins Her Life Pt. 2 (RECAP)

In today’s installment of, Julien (Jordan Alexander) single-handedly ruins her life; she attempts to do damage control after her fight with Audrey (Emily Alyn Lind), which leads to Jessica (Johanna Braddy) taking credit for Audrey’s mother’s (Laura Benanti) design while Julien was wearing it. Audrey seemingly wants nothing to do with Julien, especially as her mother’s sobriety hangs on by a thread in Gossip Girl

In an attempt to extend an olive branch, Julien tells Audrey that she’ll stay away from Jessica and Audrey’s dad (Dash Mihok). However, Jessica immediately sours that by sending a tip to Gossip Girl, Julien will be the guest of honor at her pop-up shop. Julien is adamant that Jessica is lying, but Audrey clearly doesn’t believe anything that Julien says and with good reason. Even if Julien’s intentions are good, everything that has happened between the two of them is because Julien doesn’t often think about how her actions will affect anyone but herself.

Julien confronts Jessica about the situation, which is also leaked to Gossip Girl, courtesy of Audrey’s father. Tired of all the drama, Obie (Eli Brown) arranges a meeting between Audrey and Julien to air their grievances and try to move on. Audrey explains that she wants Julien to attend Jessica’s pop-up so she can clear Kiki’s name. Unbeknownst to Julien, though, this is actually a plan that Audrey and Max (Thomas Doherty) have cooked up to take Julien down instead. Since Julien is unaware of this, she messages Kiki, asking her to please attend the pop-up so she can be there when her name is cleared. She believes a public interview with Kiki will help to settle the story, and Jessica can admit that Kiki’s designs, nothing more, inspired her.

Jordan Alexander as Julien and Emily Alyn Lind as Audrey (COURTESY: Barbara Nitke/Max)

As expected, the pop-up goes wrong, thanks to carefully placed Instagram influencers and protestors chanting “Fast fashion kills,” who splatter red paint on both Julien and Jessica. When Julien confronts Audrey, she parrots off her usual refrain of only trying to help. Audrey doesn’t accept this, saying, “You cannot fix everyone’s families just because yours is unfixable.” This gives Julien pause, given the assault allegations against her father (Luke Kirby), but I do think it’s perhaps something she needed to hear. In a similar way, it’s something that Audrey needs to learn for herself. She’s spent much of the episode attempting to do everything to keep her mother out of harm’s way, all for Kiki to admit that she’s had a relapse after all and has decided to go back to rehab. Audrey feels this is all her fault, when it really isn’t. As much as you may want to help your loved ones, sometimes there’s only so much you can do to be there for them.

Meanwhile, most of the other characters are preoccupied with the Tribeca Film Festival, particularly Luna (Zion Moreno), who is given the opportunity to style Julia Fox for the premiere of her new film (no, there is no Julia Fox cameo). She’s excited to show off her skills, but that excitement is immediately dimmed when she peruses IMDb and finds out that her mother, Delores de la Cruz (Fernanda Urrejola), is also in the movie. It’s immediately clear that Luna and her mother have a tense relationship; Delores doesn’t even alert Luna that she is in town. Luna and Monet (Savannah Lee Smith) go to visit Delores, and when Monet brags about Luna’s accomplishment, Delores asks Luna to style her instead of Julia Fox. Luna jumps at the opportunity to get the chance to style her mother and completely pivots, thinking this is finally the chance she’s been waiting for to earn her mother’s approval.

Unfortunately, Delores does not keep good on her word, and when Luna and Monet arrive the night of the premiere, Delores is already there with her actual stylist. She had no real intention of letting Luna actually style her. Monet tells a very dejected Luna that she has to stand up for herself and stop dimming her light to make her mom feel better. Later on, on the premiere’s red carpet, Luna outshines her mom, which is Delores’s worst nightmare. When Luna finally confronts Delores about mistreating her over the years and leaving her behind as if she didn’t exist, Delores basically admits that she feels threatened by other women, particularly Luna. In the end, Luna realizes she can’t win with her mother and sends a tip to Gossip Girl that puts a huge dent in what Delores values most: her career. All these years, she’s claimed that she is a Latina from Mexico, but as it turns out, she’s actually from Spain. Her entire image is based on a lie, and Luna knew how to hit her mother where it would hurt most.

Savannah Lee Smith as Monet and Zion Moreno as Luna (COURTESY: Cara Howe/Max)

Since season one, I’ve been craving more Luna-centric storylines, so I was excited to watch this episode. I wish the show had utilized both her and Monet better from the beginning, as there’s a lot more to them than just being “Julien’s team,” as we learned this season. It’s something I would have loved even more exploration if this show had been granted another season, but I guess we’ll never know where Luna’s story could have gone.

A few other notable moments from the other characters: Since Audrey and Max were so busy with their scheming against Julien, they fully neglected Aki (Evan Mock), who only wanted them to come to spend time with him at Tribeca Film Festival, especially since he got the chance to moderate a panel. By the end of the episode, he seems a bit confused about the state of their relationship, especially since his usher friend Ingrid (Abigail Choi Arader) confessed her feelings for him and kissed him. Kate (Tavi Gevinson) is approached by Monet’s mother (Amanda Warren) and asks the Constance teachers to send tips into Gossip Girl, after she’s seen how the blog has instilled some respect in Monet. And finally, the episode ends with Obie getting mugged. What more could possibly go wrong?

Rating: 8/10

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