Gossip Girl season 1 episode 4 review: Happy birthday, mother-killer

Spotted:  This week’s episode of Gossip Girl seems to be picking up the pace. Could the reboot finally be hitting its stride?

“Fire Walks With Z” primarily focuses on Zoya’s fifteenth birthday and the impending drama that is sure to ensue. While Julien and Zoya had struck a tentative peace, outside forces are determined to keep the sisters apart.

A lot happened in this week’s episode, including a weirdly homophobic storyline with Audrey and Aki following the aftermath of Max’s truthbomb, and Max himself missing in action. But the main story this week finally gave us some true, classic Gossip Girl drama.

First, there’s Monet and Luna, who are so thinly drawn they are almost incomprehensible. All we know about them at this point is they are the epitome of social climbers, yet hate Zoya for (allegedly) being one in turn.

As Julien’s lackeys, they hate Zoya for seemingly taking Julien’s place in their tiny, vapid world and threatening their own status as a result. Unlike the previous iteration of these characters like Penelope and Isabel, they remain loyal to Julien rather than jumping ship and following Zoya.

However, they don’t really follow Julien either. Julien wants to maintain the peace with her sister until she’s manipulated by the two into believing that Zoya is provoking a war.

Meanwhile, we learn that, while it’s Zoya’s birthday, it’s not a happy one since her mother died giving birth to her. Zoya comes out guns blazing, blaming the Gossip Girl leak about her birthday on Julien while completely ignoring that it’s the anniversary of her mother’s death, too.

Emotions flare fast as Julien decides to throw a competing party. While Zoya turns to Obie for help, the laidback and completely emotionless Greenpeace granola man has no interest in Zoya when she expresses emotions in turn.

Enter a surprising cameo–Milo Sparks. For fans of the original series, Milo is Georgina’s child who Dan briefly helped raise as a baby. Milo decides to help Zoya simply for the love of the game.

It’s the show’s first real connection to its predecessor beyond simply referencing the characters in dialogue. While it’s a bit odd and feels sort of like a soap opera introducing a character’s kid out of nowhere, it’s a fun and inventive way to link the two shows, and hopefully is the first of many cameos.

Once their dads learn about the brewing war between their daughters, they force Zoya and Julien to combine the parties and the war reaches a fever pitch as Julien uses the biggest weapon in her arsenal–a video of Zoya being bullied at her old school and called “mother killer.”

Julien apologizes and encourages the audience to record her as she admits to being a bully for herself before making up with Zoya again. It’s the most dramatic Gossip Girl-esque moment of the reboot thus far, and hopefully, the show can keep up this new emotional tenor.

How long will their truce last, who knows? Until next week, XOXO.

What did you think of this week’s episode of Gossip Girl? Make sure to tell us in the comments below!