It’s the holiday season, and on GOSSIP GIRL that means it’s time for the Senior Snowflake Ball, which means everyone’s atwitter over getting a date. When Aaron’s ex, Lexie, disses Serena, the queen bee maneuvers him into escorting her to the Snowflake. Of course Lexie easily finagles Dan into escorting her. A jealous Serena called the arrangement When Harry Met Crazy. S. got off an even better line when Aaron told her that Lexie likes to sleep with a guy on the first date as a political statement against traditional male hegemony: “Can’t she just vote?” There was also plenty of drama surrounding the Vanessa/Jenny sitch — especially after Gossip Girl circulated a snap of V. and Nate sucking face in the street. That set in motion Little J.’s plan to put her mad fashion skillz to work exposing the “real” Vanessa underneath it all. But the real story was the contest between Chuck and Blair to see who could fix up the other with a better date. Blair set Chuck up with Justine, a brunette who looked just like her, while Chuck rustled up a strutting peacock imitation of himself. Could anyone be surprised; it’s so obvious how perfect they are for each other. (I’m thinking the specific problem last night might have been that Chuck wore a more glittery outfit to the Snowflake Ball. Dude, normally, you’re one of my TV idols, but that jacket… I mean, where were your ice skates?) At least B. and Bass copped to their mutual attraction, and he actually asked her to dance. Vanessa never got the chance to dance, but she did get to apologize to Little J. and confess to Nate that she intercepted his letter intended for Jenny. But by then it was too late for Jenny to call off her little prank, because she already gave Vanessa a dress make of sheer material that turned transparent under a spotlight. Vanessa’s…assets were exposed, leaving her humiliated, and Nate’s heart broken by Jenny’s revenge, because he expected Little J. to be bigger than that. At least Dan and Serena were big enough to admit that the first time they made love was the best night of their lives.
BTW, how funny is it that Bart’s secretary is named “Mrs. Landingham”? So veryWEST WING. Of course it wasn’t funny that Bart was in a car accident, making him the front-runner in the “Who’s Gonna Die?” pool. But c’mon: The guy was clearly a speedbump for Lily and Rufus. Especially after Rufus admitted that he regretted not stopping her from marrying the blue-blood. And once she admitted she’s dumping her nosy husband, his days were numbered. There really wasn’t anyone else in the cast to target. (Dorota is practically being groomed for a sequel.)
HEROES could do with a little housecleaning itself. Last night picked up the story from last week, with the super-ability-sucking eclipse leaving everyone powerless. Yep, that eclipse sure was something special — unlike a normal eclipse, it could be seen from Haiti to New Jersey to Kansas to California simultaneously, and it lasted quite a while. I looked it up, and “totality,” that period when the sun is completely blocked by the moon, can never exceed 7 minutes and 31 seconds. The blotted-out sun was almost as annoying as the mountains depicted outside Lawrence, Kan.! SMALLVILLE notwithstanding, there are no mountains in Kansas, people — there aren’t even any hills! Last week the producers spent the money to create a background shot of endless flat cornfields, but it was only used once. I think it was Truman Capote who wrote about how the vastness of the flatlands could drive a man insane, but HRG didn’t have that excuse for getting overanxious and blowing his shot at shooting Sylar and Elle. Sylar fought HRG, who indulged his rage and beat up powerless Sylar instead of immediately shooting him the head. Sure, Noah got his act together and slit Sylar’s throat with a box-cutter, but then he turned dumb again and left the villain for dead instead of making sure. In his defense, he was probably worried about Claire, who was in a hospital with her entire abdomen sliced open (evoking her first-season autopsy). The good thing about this plotline: Hayden Panettiere got a chance to do some real acting as the feverish Claire, who was happy to be able to feel pain again, but not so thrilled to be dying.
The bad thing about this plot was the way powerless Peter was out to prove himself. (Doesn’t he remember Ireland?) Pete and the Haitian wanted to make his brother, Baron Samedi, bleed in order to prove he wasn’t a god, but Pete’s brother Nathan ended up proving himself a clod. When Pete sprung big bro from a dungeon, he insisted that since Nathan is a senator he’s more important and thus should flee while Peter covered his escape — and Nathan fled! Dude, never leave your little brother behind! That yellow move made it no surprise when the elder Petrelli decided there was wisdom to big daddy Arthur’s plan to give everyone superpowers.
Eventually Claire died. But then that lingering eclipse cleared up and she got better. So did everyone else, whose powers returned. Which meant Sylar came back to life, too. And he was back to being a pure baddie. Hiro, however, needed help finding himself, so two workers in a comic-book shop helped him figure things out using the9th Wonders! comic book. In fact, when Sam (played by Seth Green) made an inspirational speech that restored Hiro’s faith in the value of heroes as symbols of hope, Sam seemed to be giving a kind of mission statement for rebooting the series heading into the second half of the season. But can they do it? Sylar is once again the clear antagonist, and HRG never stopped being made of awesome (He provoked Sylar by suggesting Arthur and Angela are lying about being Gabriel/Sylar’s parents). But time travel is still prominent, as the episode ended with Hiro spiriting Claire 16 years into the past to witness Kaito entrusting her infant self to HRG. That can’t be good…