Gossip Girl Threesome: Hot or Just Disappointing?

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By this time last week, word had gotten around that last night’s Gossip Girl would feature a delightfully scandalous “3some.” As if on cue, the Parents Television Council fired off a lengthy missive to CW affiliates urging them to avoid becoming “complicit in establishing a precedent and expectation that teenagers should engage in behaviors heretofore associated primarily with adult films,” and reminding them that, should the show violate any decency laws, they’d face a hefty FCC fine. (Never mind that the last time PTC accused Gossip Girl of being “mind-blowingly inappropriate,” the CW proudly pasted the quote on an ad.)

Here at Flavorpill, we had different concerns about the threesome: Which trio of Upper East Siders would be jumping into bed together? Would it involve Chuck Bass? Could the scene in question possibly be as steamy as the CW promised? And, most importantly, could we drink to it? We answer all these questions — and more — under the cut.

It’s easy to see why the CW was hell-bent on ramping up the controversy surrounding this week’s episode: Truth be told, as a die-hard Gossip Girl fan, I found the story lines (like many this season) unusually yawn-worthy. Uptown, Jenny and her minions are primping for Cotillion and scheming to hook Little J up with a sexy escort. When Eric tries thwart her by suggesting she go with his boyfriend, Jonathan, the Queen Bee throws a public temper tantrum and dumps Blair as her mentor. (In a particularly cold move, Jenny even snarks on B’s signature headbands.) Of course, Eric and Blair join forces to bring Little J down, setting her up for embarrassment at Cotillion and grooming a mousy pretender to her throne. But Jenny gets the last throaty chuckle, when she appears at the ball with none other than Nate Archibald on her arm.

Elsewhere in the city, Nate’s cousin, newly-elected congressman Trip van der Bilt, hires Serena to work in his office, and the sexual tension soars to fever pitch. Meanwhile, Chuck takes a break from his “lost weekend” to use his crafty powers for good: He brings B and S together in a trapped-in-the-elevator scene straight out of a ’70s sitcom… and guess what? They make up. Still, we know it’s only a matter of time before the frenemies are back at each other’s porcelain throats. In short, the episode doesn’t give us much we haven’t seen before.

So, what about that threesome? If Nate, Chuck, Blair, Serena and Jenny are all accounted for, then that leaves… the increasingly boring Brooklyn crew? Vanessa, Dan and Dan’s movie-star girlfriend Olivia (Hilary Duff, in a high-profile recurring role) start out the episode in typically tedious fashion. In anticipation of Olivia’s upcoming departure (Hollywood calls!), the trio rushes to complete every item on a list of 15 essential college experiences. Three-quarters of the way through the show, they’ve eaten falafel, slurped Jell-o shots and done a whole lot of other unremarkable NYU-freshman things. Only one task remains. That’s right: the notorious ménage à trois. Olivia kisses Dan; then she smooches Vanessa; then Dan and Vanessa swap spit. (If you missed it, check out the clip below.) A few scenes later, we see all three asleep in bed together, as Olivia’s phone lights up with a text message that the movie’s off. Let the Dan Humphrey love triangle begin!

Was it disappointing? Hell, yeah, it was. Listen, I know the point was to choose the three people we’d least expect. And sure, there was something thrilling about watching squeaky-clean Duff tongue-kiss another lady. But I think I speak for all the women and gay men who make up Gossip Girl‘s core audience when I ask, “Where the eff were Chuck and Nate?” Personally, I trace the show’s recent slump to Chuck’s domestication. His gay kiss would have been an excellent setup for a walk on the wild side, and a return of the nasty Bass we love to hate. We may never have believed that prime-time, network TV would get truly raunchy… but couldn’t the CW have at least given us a chaste version of the sweet boy-on-boy love we so desperately crave?