Monday, September 27, 2021

‘Gossip Girl’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 6 “Parentsite”

Warning: This Gossip Girl recap mentions mature themes, including sexual content.

Whether it’s delicate calligraphy or the unidentifiable runoff of odd-pairing initials, influencers have gotten used to writing their signatures: bank checks, autographs, and un-canceling statements. Birth certificates, on the other hand, are the exceptions. Scrawled by their fashionable mothers and deep-pocketed daddies, their ornate penmanship tells the police who to call once the illicit paper red cup shindig meets its dampened end. 

For instance, like a watchful eagle helping their eaglet leave the nest to tend to their girlfriend, Aki’s mother, Jody, provides unnecessary tips on which clothes to pack for his hospital visit. Otto’s stark of any, lingering in bed with an unsent text to Zoya — don’t fret! Zoya backspaced him, too. It gives him more time to walk downstairs naked, grabbing the nearest lounge rug to wrap himself in. His mother’s making the untimely visit in an hour. So, where’s the third part in our its-not-a-love-triangle, Julien? She’s platonically deep scrolling Otto’s Instagram account. 

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Davis may be an indie artist globetrotter, but he still wants his daughter to excel in school; it entirely depends on what her major is, though, as she’s planning to graduate with a filter. They strike up a deal: retake the PST, and they’ll have a business meeting. Nick’s texting Kate, Zoya notices sitting beside him. It’s the least she can do to take her mind off the itsy problem of Otto not telling her about his mother. Audrey’s helicoptering Kiki, Aki and Max are helicoptering her; clothed in a stealable, patched varsity jacket, one of them is avoiding Rafa. Max tells Aki he was right about him. 

HBO Max

Kate has crafted a pink sticky note folder to bring in new features for the teacher’s Gossip Girl account. First up, there’s a timetable diligence of tasks; spotting hours interweave into Constance Billard and St Jude’s brats’ spare time usage while combing through their mentions spring up the nostalgic #FlashbackFriday. Then, holding her phone tightly to her chest so no inspector eyes can read its pixelated text, Kate announces Nick’s asked her out for dinner after her tutor session with Zoya. “You said yes just to get dirt, right?” Jordan asks shakily. There’s an uncomfortable pause. The sort that lingers when someone who definitely has feelings and clearly an ethical clash zips their mouth shut, while the other gawky boy who was never on the romance radar but desperately wanted to get on pesters for the dirt. Their high school architecture makes for the perfect impromptu photoshoot as Julien arches her back on top of its gate’s railing. It may be enough to have a few talk-worthy, verified accounts patrol her posts, but if she wants to impress her dad, a collab must brew!

Rafa’s waiting for Max. It sounds kinda predatory, just like their conversation. Whatever they had between them is so far done! Possibly spotting a theme here — remember the cutely bookish scene from episodes ago where Otto and Zoya traded heart-lit eyes? Well, he’s now sharing a table with her sister. Julien’s growing, sparking parts of who she was before with a maturable twist, and Otto’s noticed; enough to blow off Zoya. Or are there any other stirrable reasons? One seems to be his mother. Julien has met her. Actually, she introduced herself since Otto was too scared to. Um, Audrey’s escaping school. Not to flash someone else’s black card at the shopping mall (her mother’s broke), but to visit said mother over at the hospital. 

“All good,” is the fast reply to Rafa’s offer in helping run Gossip Girl. His elevator pitch involves the fact that he’s not one to secretly watch the students in stormy downpours, rather, he’s there on the inside of colorful clubs; its glass-stained liquor bottles being the background for his selfie shots, too. He’ll start small. There’s another chandelier hanging in a mostly white room, hints of beige revealing a wall mirror with Otto’s mother’s reflection bouncing back at Zoya. Confusion harbors between them at first, she’s seemingly living in the before, thinking Julien is still Otto’s girlfriend. 

HBO Max
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However, despite the digital age’s images sometimes having the masterful act of manipulation, Zobiestan’s photo spread sports as evidence. Ever the polite German, Otto’s mother apologizes. Wordly and hangout-wise; the act of getting onto Zoya’s good side is the toast at tonight’s dinner, though the high schooler declines. The same lady who let her into the styling gates takes a photo, blasting it off to Gossip Girl. Over the phone, with the city’s bridge reflective in the car window, Julien makes it a point of cheerleading Zoya into going to the dinner. Keg stands are for football games, but what preppy teenagers seemingly share with Europeans is no matter where the clock’s hand sits, there could just be alcohol in theirs. The same goes for dinner. So, there’s definitely still time for Zoya to meet them. 

The elevator chimes; Julien and her dad walk out of it. Luna’s missing the notable staff of the PR team, our double-crossing Monet. Nick’s filling Kate in on the gaps of his romantic history, thinking she’s the missing puzzle for its future. Zoya chooses then to walk down the stairs, a classic stairway runway moment if any. She’ll go to dinner with Otto and his mother, Nick will dine with Kate. Audrey’s a tad stressed out. Tell the doctor her main symptom is arguing with the nurse staff. Meanwhile, Max should get checked in himself! Rafa’s dropped the incorrect diagnosis that Max has an STI. Oh, here’s the doctor … coming up to Aki …. to remove Audrey from the hospital. 

This dinner’s etiquette involves tossing phones into a basket. At first, fresh to the high society’s perks, Zoya believes they’re actually getting new ones. Otto’s German accent seems to breathe life when he’s around his mother, greeting her before shaking Aki’s dad, Roger’s hand. Audrey saddles in next to Zoya. She’s already setting the tone, switching the conversation back onto Roger; someone whose LinkedIn header most likely reads: Trump-supporting, business mogul provoking controversial headlines through several owned news outlets. 

HBO Max

Over with Julien, a gallery of business opportunities sit before her, trying to nudge her influence over to their side. Subtly, the kind where you’d miss it if the episode were acting as background noise, a white woman jumps in over an about-to-speak-up Black woman when Julien makes it known she wants to cater to those of color. Zoya cares a lot about humanitarian work, too, shifting the dinner’s topics back to how morally corrupt Roger is at every chance she gets. It’s quite a round table of alphas who enjoy clapping back. Otto doesn’t, though. Instead, he shrinks into his chair when asked to declare his opinions. Nobel Prince sea hexed with Ariel’s lack of a voice. 

Max is in Rafa’s apartment. His voice is probably heard from the neighbors below, trying to edit himself away from having an STI. He’s getting nowhere. Rafa opens up that Grinder knock-off app, clicking onto a photo of Roy. Kate’s giving her anti-hero speech. You know, the one mostly seen in DC movies where the jokester who’s about to blow up a football stadium delivers a tearjerker, spark notes version of the moments leading them here. Our bullet point: self-entitlement. Her Clark Kent is Meryl (kinda like Streep) — a writer she played the comparison game with. After meeting her, any hope of becoming famous was stuffed into the bylines of her work hidden in a journal for one. Thankfully, the Black woman who is a representative for Sephora has nabbed her time with Julien, crafting a stellar point of being the youngest influencer the brand has ever worked with. 

Turns out, the right-winger has a pending lawsuit. In short, a homosexual man feels as if he would’ve been dealt with differently if he were hetrosexual; obviously, something falling into Aki’s sexual orientation, clutching Audrey’s hand. He slips out of the room. Accidentally, Audrey outs him! Letting the hand dryer cancel out a vicious scream, she loses her shit. Zoya’s fast on her heels, providing the reassuring hand by telling her the one way to fix (or shatter) the situation — tell everyone what happened. Yeah, Audrey definitely doesn’t want to do that. Any other ideas? Nick opens the taxi door for Kate, while it’s a rather short evening for them, the next time will involve a steaming dish. 

HBO Max

We were right. Jordan’s fits into the love-revenge creep bracket, like the kind who uploads an anti post on their crush solely because there aren’t mutual feelings. He waves his phone from the sidewalk. Scattering from the dinner scene, Zoya calls out to Otto. She’s a relatively bright girl, meaning she’s clued into his still lingering feelings for Julien even if he’s not openly admitting them, causing a short-tempered fight. A pair who are also arguing is bizarro Jordan and Kate; he’s hellbent on ending her blooming relationship, either for the point of Gossip Girl’s objectivity or so he can have another shot. Davis and Julien are having ice cream. Just in front of them is Otto, set to Bleachers’ cover of “Burn Your Life Down,” a track sung initially by Tegan and Sara; he finally admits he’s no longer happy, but there’s a casting of something more, something magnetic between the two of them. Rafa has sent Max a story of one-half of his fathers, Roy. There’s a protest going on. Julien’s caught sight of it, scrambling to it herself. So, too, Zoya. 

Jody is back to standing in the corner of his room. This time, it seems to be of the concerned variety, taking us back to her finding out he’s not-so-closeted sexuality. He’s not in the mood. Audrey and Kiki are making up; there’s no lack of love between them. Max and Roy are sitting at a diner’s table. The conversation has drifted off to who exactly Rafa is to the high schooler. However, there doesn’t seem to be a need for explanation, having already been clued in, as identifying subtext tends to do that. The thing about this moment is for the first time; Max looks his age, shy and a tad broken, no ounce of the cocky exterior he’s so quick to lunge into heavy on his shoulders. He tells him he’s going to stay away, but he needs his fathers to look out for each other, no matter their relationship status. 

Over at the protest, Otto’s shocked to see Julien. Zoya stands in the crowd, going to leave once realizing she’s not needed by either of the two. Otto’s not the one to run after her; it’s her sister. Poor Aki, his dad uses his sexuality as the winnable court evidence, announcing it to a new’s crew. Zoya asks Julien about her feelings for Otto. At first, she denies it before caving. Meanwhile, he’s finally standing up to his mother, fading into the unruly crowd. Max is sending a video over to Gossip Girl! Although she is seemingly losing her brand deal, Julien knows her political POV is more important than any pot of gold, choosing to stay at the protest. 

HBO Max

Kate tells Nick they’ve gotta stay platonic. A word no longer available in Audrey, Aki, and Max’s vocabulary, teased out over a trois dinner. Wendy’s calling in, the video sitting in Gossip Girl’s DMs tells the scandalous tale of Max and Rafa having sex in close-up detail. Oopsies, it’s been deleted — yanked from cyberspace by Rafa’s hands. The question is … does he know they saw it? Audrey reaches for Max’s hand, pulling him in by his fingertips, mouths grazing until her fingers play with the tufts of the boys’ hairs, them sharing a kiss of their own. Our darling mid-season finale cliffhanger isn’t that, though, rather a phone call by Roger. So, what exactly had Julien done to present such a warning? You know, besides kissing Otto against a warehouse with pinkish grenades blasting off in the background. 

Gossip Girl will be back on our screens sometime in November. 

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Rachel
Joining the Nerds and Beyond team back in February 2019, Rachel Finucane graduated university with a Bachelor of Arts (Humanities) majoring in Screen Arts. She’s been passionate about all things television and film-related since penning her first Neighbours fanfiction aged twelve, before inevitably taking that pen to dabble in fashion, sports, and music. She can be spotted on Twitter at @rachelfinucane_.

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