'Gossip Girl': Serena's secret is out...and so is Eric
Well, they finally did it. After weeks of speculation, "Gossip Girl" dropped the gay bomb and outed little Eric Van Der Woodsen. The bigger bomb, however, was who the high school freshman was caught canoodling with: Jenny's new boyfriend, Asher! Poor Little J just can't catch herself a break. She was so consumed by her ambition to top Blair that she didn't realize that her dreamboat accessory was actually wearing her. It was enough for her to wave the white flag and surrender to Queen B.
But back to Eric's outing, which happens at the dinner table no less. Naturally, the bearer of the big news is perennial party crasher Georgina, whose fake earnestness becomes more maddening with each scene she appears in. Lily is flummoxed by the news. How could she not know her son was gay, she later asks Rufus (Hello? He has highlights!). The only person unaffected by it all is Eric. The boy has attempted suicide and spent time in a mental institution -- anything after that is a cakewalk. Exuding confidence beyond his years, he shows up to Jenny's party and bravely announces his sexuality (and Asher's) to his peers. You forget for a moment that Eric is f15 and even in these progressive times, not many teenagers would be quick to proclaim their homosexuality in front of their classmates like that.
Just as the show is quick to blithely name-check people from Manhattan's current dialogue (Gov. Elliot Spitzer and socialite Tinsley Mortimer got shout-outs last night), that same nonchalance is applied when addressing popular teen issues such as eating disorders and homosexuality. In a post-"Will & Grace" world, introducing a gay character is now as common as the wacky neighbor or the long-lost illegitimate son (heck, someone was outed on "Grey's Anatomy" last week). Last night's episode conveyed that coming out can still be a mortifying experience for some, but in the end, family members and society are always far more accepting than one would think. In fact, Jenny's friends didn't bat an eyelash at the news that her boyfriend was gay; her lying about losing her virginity to him, however, was deemed unforgivable. Sex is still a big issue. Sexuality? Not so much.
Since Eric's gay bomb didn't leave so much as a baby mushroom cloud in its wake, news of Serena's secret certainly did. Murder! As much as I held it as a possibility, I truly didn't think GG's writers would go there. But am I glad they did! Turns out I should have added another option to last week's poll: All of the above. There could be a dead body and a sex scandal in that video. Who are Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd and how do they know Serena? More important, what could have happened that could lead S to kill someone? The suspense of it all is killing me!