‘Gossip Girl’ Episode 4 Recap: “Fire Walks With Z”

It’s Zoya Lott’s fifteenth birthday, however she’s not within the temper to rejoice. Indeed, she’s by no means within the temper to rejoice, not less than not on her birthdate itself. In this revelatory, if form of herky-jerky, episode of Gossip Girl, we study that her mom—who was additionally Julien’s mom and who jilted Julien and her dad for Zoya’s father—died in childbirth. Her boyfriend Obie and her half-sister Julien take some time to catch on, however Zoya’s view of her personal birthday is eternally morbid.

But due to the machinations of Julien’s henchwomen/enablers/handlers/private devils-on-the-shoulder Luna and Monet—who in a throwaway storyline conspire to have Zoya and her dad evicted from her grandma’s condominium (!)—Zoya winds up deciding to throw a celebration anyway. It’s her method to counterprogram the one which the minions have egged Julien into throwing.


The tit-for-tat goes on from there, largely because of a stunning new character: Milo Sparks, the 10-year-old prodigy/espionage-expert offspring of the unique Gossip Girl‘s archvillain Georgina Sparks. Milo digs into Julien’s previous posts in an try to get her canceled. Julien counters by proclaiming that her social gathering is a now a charity fundraiser. When their dads power the women to throw a joint social gathering, Milo doses the cupcakes that Julien’s been consuming; Julien, who very almost misplaced the reserving of her particular visitor Princess Nokia because of Milo’s meddling, prepares to go nuclear by taking part in a video that reveals precisely why Zoya left her previous hometown of Buffalo, supplied to her by Monet and Luna.

Only the video is way worse than she imagined. It begins off innocently sufficient, with Zoya spraypainting “FUCK SCHOOL” in her old fashioned’s hallway on the instigation of different children. But then these children activate her, locking her in a classroom and triggering a panic assault that ends together with her actually lighting the room on fireplace. (Hence the episode’s title, “Fire Walk with Z,” which doubles as a homage to the ep’s director, Jennifer Lynch, daughter of David.) Julien is so stunned by the footage, which she hadn’t seen, that she winds up declaring herself a bully in entrance of the whole social gathering (and anybody watching alongside at house through social media). She and Zoya patch issues up. (Yes, once more—thus far this iteration of Gossip Girl can’t make up its thoughts if these two are associates or enemies for longer than half an episode at a time.)


And what’s the Gossip Girl collective as much as this complete time, you ask? Policing their very own. It appears that Kate, the ringleader of the now-trio of academics chargeable for the GG account, has been permitting it to eat up all her time, stopping her from writing the Great American Novel she’s dreamed of writing ever since she dropped out of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. (Yes, it’s like that storyline from Girls. Yes, they carry this up.) So her colleagues Jordan and Wendy step in, taking on the account and even blocking Kate so she will’t learn it and perseverate when she must be engaged on her ebook. “I’m so turned on!” Wendy exclaims after firing off her first publish; Gossip Girl winds up reporting largely excellent news ultimately, nevertheless it’s good to know there’s a sleazy, attractive aspect to the whole lot.

Some parts of the episode are surprisingly healthful. There’s the detente reached by Zoya and Julien’s dads, for instance, who work collectively to squash the meat and give you the thought for the joint social gathering. The loss of life of the women’ mother little doubt has saved the injuries from their love triangle brisker than they may in any other case be, however at this level it’s been 15 years since she died, and the boys appear to assume it’s time to bury the hatchet.

The identical will be stated for Audrey and Aki. Having each connected with Max—Audrey a bit extra completely than Aki, to be truthful—they now each have large questions on each other. Aki wonders if Audrey has cheated on him with anybody else; Audrey wonders if Aki is homosexual. The solutions, it seems, are “no she hasn’t” and “no he isn’t, though he’s probably bi, but it’s Audrey he’s really into so what difference does it make.” Much of the episode’s very gentle comedy stems from their mutual reluctance to easily ask each other, however as soon as they lastly do, it looks as if they’re again on strong floor.

By far essentially the most attention-grabbing subplot of the episode—and whether or not coincidentally or not, it’s the one which has the least to do with the Julien/Zoya feud—facilities Max, the wild youngster of the bunch. Turns out that since his dad and mom’ marriage hit the skids, in no small half resulting from his personal meddling, he’s been going just a little too wild: lacking college for per week, shedding his cellphone at the Cock, carrying an Altoids tin filled with Hunter S. Thompson’s proverbial whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers downers screamers laughers, rolling deep with a crew from the Mount Sinai Health System for some purpose, you identify it. And because the two children he’s closest to, Audrey and Aki, are busy checking out their very own emotions within the wake of ill-advised hookups with him, he’s on the market on his personal.


Until Mr. Caparros steps in, that’s. Oh, don’t fear, this isn’t some feel-good second by which Max realizes the error of his methods, stops making an attempt to sleep along with his instructor, and begins listening to his recommendation as an alternative. On the opposite, it’s exactly Caparros’s willingness to let Max into his place to crash that results in his resolve towards fucking his college students sporting down fully. Earlier within the episode Caparros confronted down a cross by Max whereas absolutely nude within the showers (“You look like shit,” he tells the clearly inebriated Max; “Oh, you should see the other guys” Max deadpans in return—be aware the plural, lol.) But as soon as Max is inside his condominium, he lastly says “fuck it”—actually, he says “fuck it”—and offers in to sin, as the song says. The plot, and not less than two different issues I can consider, thickens.


Maybe it will give GGv2.0 the excuse it must pivot away from the on-again off-again Zoya/Julien conflict to different issues. But I’ll say this for the Z/J battle: The present is wise in exhibiting how the ultra-rich carry out advantage for the hoi polloi—dredging up previous social posts strictly to punish somebody below a woke smokescreen (wokescreen?), turning the social gathering designed solely to spite somebody right into a fundraiser, denouncing bullying instantly after bullying the shit out of somebody, and so forth. These children find out about privilege, cancel tradition, et cetera solely as a result of they will use it to their benefit. For individuals who have been fearful Gossip Girl could be humanizing its characters by making them extra socially conscious than their predecessors, you’ll be able to cease worrying. It’s simply given them a brand new set of weapons.

Sean T. Collins (@theseantcollins) writes about TV for Rolling Stone, Vulture, The New York Times, and anyplace that will have him, actually. He and his household stay on Long Island.

Watch Gossip Girl Episode 4 (“Fire Walks With Z”) on HBO Max

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