This week on Gossip Girl, we have to deal with a lot of Vanessa, but the payoff makes it more than worth it. Plus, Dan is surprisingly likable and I get the recap posted at reasonable speed.
All together now, Chair ‘shippers: “EEEEK!”
We open at a Bass-VDW breakfast with Bart announcing he’s actually going to be sticking around for a while, including for his and Lily’s big housewarming party. Eric hesitantly asks if he can bring a friend, and that coupled with the previouslies focusing on his homosexuality suggests to be that Eric may finally be getting some luvin! Let’s see if Lily can be an even worse mother this time around than when she first found out he’s gay. Lily wants Serena to wear a conservative suit to the party — in other words, shirts cut down to her nipples are a no-no this week — and Bart segues that into a discussion on the new family guidelines, such as group dinners, weekend curfews, and no going out on weeknights. Like those will ever happen, even though they are totally normal parental rules. Serena, who usually is on her best behavior around parents, gets uncharacteristically defiant and snotty, but neither Chuck nor Eric are too pleased with this turn of events, either. Wah, wah.
In the ghetto, Vanessa is yet again pathetically hanging around Dan’s place early on a school day, this time yapping about getting some building landmark status. She gives an anti-establishment rant because she’s “hip” and “alternative” or some shit, and asks Dan to gather signatures from the guilty rich at school for her petition. When Dan protests that Constance and St. Judes have the rich but not guilty, Vanessa snidely suggests that maybe their mommies and daddies would like a new bullshit cause. Umm, what exactly do you think your involvement with this landmark status is, V? Pot, meet kettle. Vanessa and Jenny then spy a soccer ball in Dan’s bag, and Dan uncomfortably admits the school whore gave half the soccer team mono, and Nate’s asked him to fill in as an alternate — after the paraplegic kid turned him down. As Vanessa looks more like she’s been kicked in the face than normal, Dan obliviously heads for school, with V and her dumbass petition in tow.
Eric and Serena are now walking to school, with Serena continuing to throw a shit fit over the new rules, predicting that taking away TV privileges will be next and arguing that they are all Bart’s ideas that Lily is deferring to. Eric hilariously mentions that no one actually watches TV on TV anymore (the CW’s mantra for explaining GG’s buzz factor yet low ratings), while trying to interject that Serena is overreacting and Lily is not Bart’s puppet the way S thinks she is. Serena’s being a total brat, but she’s definitely right about Lily — we all know that woman mentally checks out and lets her vagina lead her to the largest bank account it can find. At Eric’s urging, Serena agrees to relax but darkly promises she won’t let Bart run her life if he tries. In other news, Eric’s hair has once again taken a turn for the worse.
“Thank God at least she didn’t end up with Rufus! Can you imagine those rules? I would not look good in plaid flannel, and mentally undressing members of the opposite sex half my age gives me the creeps. I mean, I might as well be Michael Jackson.”
At school, Nate and Dan are talking soccer when Chuck approaches, grasps Nate by the shoulder and suggests that it’s time he ended his bromance with Dan. Nate’s brow furrows in confusion, seeing as though Chuck’s the one grabbing at him, not Dan, and when he wakes up from spending the night partying with Dan, he doesn’t get memory flashes days later that make him feel shameful and in the need of a hot shower. Nate chooses to ignore Chuck and walks away, motioning for Dan to follow. But Chuck’s not alone for long as Blair, who witnessed that exchange, strolls up to twist that knife a little deeper just like the girl we love.
After tolerating her jabs for a moment, Chuck brings the conversation to his favorite topic — having sex with her and their inevitability. Seeming entirely at ease, Blair laughs and informs him she’s been decontaminated and it won’t happen again, despite any lingering physical attraction. I give it two episodes. Less if I’m lucky. With that, she flounces off for a disciplinary hearing — of the newest minion, Kelsey, the blonde who offered to whore out her brother a few weeks ago. And what did Miss Kelsey do to earn herself a stern lecture from Is and Penelope? Decided that a pair of tights can totally double for a pair of pants. Looks like offering up her brother isn’t the only kind of whoring she does.
As Blair’s winding up for a crushing set down, Vanessa — whose pants may also be tights judging by that camel toe — arrives and pulls her aside. She hands Blair one of her stupid flyers, and Blair crumbles it up immediately in disgust. Undaunted, Vanessa resorts to her backup plan — she whips out her cell phone and flashes Blair the picture of Cougar Catherine and JaMarcus making out, blackmailing Blair into getting 1,000 signatures for her petition. How charitable of you, V. Silently, Blair accepts the clipboard as Vanessa smirks and leaves. Enjoy that victory while it lasts, Vanessa. Has anyone ever tangled with Blair and come away in one piece? Idiot.
“Unless this is a petition to get Vanessa killed off, I don’t see how I’m going to get 1,000 signatures in 6 hours.”
Back at the Bass-VDW residence, Serena’s pouting but staying in on a weekend night when Chuck drops by to reveal Bart’s motivation in setting the rules is to trick some executives into thinking he has good family values and close a deal. Specifically, Serena’s recent exploits on Page 6 have worried Bart, and he wants to reign in his headline-grabbing stepdaughter before she hurts his business. And how does Serena take this news? By dressing up in one of her sluttiest outfits yet, then taunting Bart to his face that she plans to put on a show for the paparazzi– including showing off her Britney, sans-underwear. Ick, ick, do not talk to your stepfather about your beave, S.
Chuck arrives at Blair’s, where she is waiting for him with a martini and a proposition. Sadly, I do not think it’s the one both me and him are hoping for. She begins talking about how “that little troll Vanessa” has been pissing her off lately — with Chuck hilariously interjecting “You had me until ‘troll’” — and how she wants Chuck to seduce and destroy Vanessa. Chuck asks what’s in it for him, and Blair makes two valid points — he’d be stealing Dan’s best friend like Dan stole his, and it will be a huge challenge given that the one person Vanessa loathes more than Blair is Chuck. He agrees, and with a seductive kiss on Blair’s cheek that affects her more than she’d ever admit, he sets off to complete his mission.
The next morning, Serena and Blair are dining when S totally catches B smiling slightly and genuinely at the mention of Chuck’s name. Serena calls her out on it, and Blair quickly and defensively exclaims that the thought of him makes her lose her appetite. Spying Eric winding through the restaurant towards them, Blair seizes on a change in topic and flags him down. But Eric’s not alone — and he introduces his new boyfriend, Jonathan, to the girls! Yay! Both girls warmly welcome him, and Eric confirms he will be bringing Jonathan to the housewarming party. Hmm, I wonder if Bart knows Eric’s gay?
OMG Eric is dating Rufus Humphrey, circa 1982.
In the ghetto, Dan is bragging about his questionable soccer prowess when Jenny totally busts him for never having had any guy friends before. I think your sister just called you gay, Dan. Insulted, Dan asks Rufus to back him up, but dude your dad doesn’t count. A sentiment Jenny echos seconds after I typed that. The best Rufus can come up with is Dan’s Cabbage Patch Doll, Cedric, and that’s when Dan should just give himself papercuts with his writing samples until he bleeds to death. Dan’ll be dead and his writing samples will be illegible. Everybody wins. Determined now to prove he has friends, Dan calls Nate in front of Jenny and Rufus and makes plans to meet up, dropping every cliched frat boy-ism in the book. Sweet, bro. Hanging up, Dan smirks in triumph — until Jenny asks if Cedric’s going to go too. Rufus admonishes her, but just as Dan is about to thank his father, Rufus reminds Jenny that Cedric can’t go because then he’d get dirty, and Dan would have the bathe him, and it’d be this whole production. Haha. Humphreys being likable and amusing. I’d forgotten what this feels like. Better enjoy it while it lasts.
Elsewhere in Brooklyn, Vanessa and her 10 supporters (mirroring real life) are hanging outside the building she’s trying to save when Chuck rolls up to begin the seduction. She angrily swoops down on him, scoffing at his interest in helping by declaring that he will not be buying the building and turning it into another bar. He insists he wants to help return the historic building to its former glory, and just as she begins weakening, one of her classy comrades pelts Chuck with something gross and wet while tauntingly yelling “rich boy!” Vanessa cracks up and enjoys it because she’s heinous while Chuck clenches his jaw and drives off.
Serena’s at home and finds Lily to learn what her punishment is for going out the other night without her underwear or dignity. Lily removes some god-awful spectacles and orders S to stop being childish, and they bicker about Bart’s rules, Serena’s irresponsibility, and that Lily’s collection of ex-husbands could start its own MLB expansion team. Both wind up hurt and angry, and Serena declares that she’s going to ditch the housewarming party. That is, until she realizes it’s the perfect venue to piss Bart and Lily off, of course.
“A MLB expansion team? Really, Serena. I’ve told you how I feel about football.”
With Cedric stowed safely away in his blankey, Dan heads over to Nate’s house instead of the park as planned for their playdate. But when he arrives, he finds paperwork outside Nate’s house indicating the government has seized the property. Good work, Vanessa. Dan makes his way inside and finds a sleeping bag and other basic amenities just as Nate calls him, wondering why Dan isn’t at the park. Dan lies and claims he got held up and is on his way while he stares in shock at the proof that, in the words of GG, poor Nate is actually — yuck — poor. As for CrazyEyes Archibald, there’s no sign of her. She’s probably in a padded room by now.
Chuck arrives at Blair’s to announce their deal is off since there isn’t enough in it for him. Desperate and perhaps unwilling to admit what she really wants, Blair steps forwards seductively and offers to sweeten the deal for him. Chuck instantly agrees to the new terms, slowly undoing her robe to stare at her sexy lingerie underneath before leaving with newfound determination and Mr. Chuckie raring to go. How very Cruel Intentions, yet I love anything that puts these two together.
Later on, Vanessa is at Chuck’s, begrudgingly admitting that his lawyer confirmed everything and more that Chuck promised her. He lets her insult him a few times, then asks if that’s the only reason she came over — because if that is, there’s a website for that. LOL. Blair probably is the webmaster of motherchucker.com. Vanessa admits that the manager of the building wants to meet him, and Chuck agrees to come along, somehow making the act of swallowing a sip of his drink sensual while Vanessa stares in confusion. Oh, pathetic Vanessa, you couldn’t make this any easier if you had no friends and a habit for falling for guys who don’t give a shit about you. Oh, wait.
“Will you be my boyfriend? Pretty please? How could anyone resist this fa– umm, nevermind.”
Serena’s at Blair’s, still bitching away about Lily’s string of exes — including two different dudes named Klaus which I find very impressive — while Blair gets dressed and reminisces over some of her favorites. Once Blair’s finished, Serena compliments her dress, and Blair off-handedly reveals that Chuck gave it to her at the end of last season when they were going to go to Europe together. Serena raises her eyebrows and smiles, but Blair scampers out of the room before S can let her have it with the teasing. Returning home, Serena runs into Jonathan, who reveals he won’t be attending the housewarming party after all — since Bart told him it’s family only. Okay, so Bart must know Eric’s gay — but he plans on sweeping the boyfriend under the rug. Serena, of course, is furious. Man would I love for her to convince Jonathan and Eric to show up at that party in outfits that would put participants in the Gay Pride parade to shame.
Nate and Dan are bonding in the park, where Nate blithely talks about how he’s going to hang out and watch a movie at him that night. He’d invite Dan over, but the place is a mess since it’s the maid’s week off. And/or because the rats keep crapping all over the floor. Nate reveals that CrazyEyes is holed up in the Hamptons, talking lovingly to her flower garden one minute, before laughing hysterically and shredding everything with a weed wacker the next. Dan keeps his mouth shut for once and lets Nate lie without objection. I give that 10 minutes, tops. Nate walks away for a minute to grab a drink, and Dan wastes no time calling Jenny and giving her the lowdown on their homeless friend. Jenny advises that Dan bring Nate over for dinner, and then carefully try to convince him to stay. AKA an ambush. He hangs up as Nate approaches, and quickly and subtly convinces Nate to come over for dinner.
“Yeah okay, I’ll get him over there. How’s Cedric doing? Tell him I’ll be home soon.”
Vanessa and Chuck have arrived at the building. The manager comes out and greets Chuck with a bear hug, while Chuck fights down the urge to dust himself off for ticks. But against the odds, they quickly bond while Vanessa carves “VA + CB 4-eva” in the bar. Afterwards on the street out front, Vanessa sincerely apologizes for doubting him while Chuck looks uncomfortable with the seduction plan now that he seems to legitimately want to help save the building. It seems like he’s just about to admit the truth to V when Blair texts, asking for an update. Newly resolved, Chuck’s hesitancy vanishes and he invites Vanessa to the housewarming party, who of course accepts because she has nothing else to do but stand around either Dan’s apartment or the gallery, being useless.
Sidenote: I love the new Gossip Girl promos featuring Chuck and “Womanizer.” Gossip Girl and Britney Spears — two of my guiltiest pleasures combined. Throw in some Chipotle and I’d be in heaven.
The housewarming party has begun, and Serena has decided to attend and wear the suit Lily picked out for her — albeit without a shirt underneath. Bart quickly approaches her, but instead of scolding her about her lack of top, he merely thanks her for joining them. Serena stiffly smiles and clarifies that she was allowed to invite friends, and it’s not a family-only party. He agrees, confirming her anti-Jonathan suspicions. As he tries to walk away, she confronts him about Jonathan, and Bart claims the decision was Eric’s, not his. Serena doesn’t believe that for a second, and flounces off angrily for the 1,623 time this episode.
You can see why Bart wants to keep her out of the public eye…
Blair finds Chuck at the party, and smiles prettily while asking for an update. Dude, she so wants to get laid at this point. It’s not even about Vanessa anymore — it’s about giving herself an excuse to give in to what she wants. Chuck barely pays attention to her, revealing that he’s planning on buying that building either way because it’s a good investment, and then ditching Blair immediately when Vanessa enters the room. Bart quickly pulls him away from Vanessa, but not before Blair sees why he abandoned her so quickly. Left standing alone, Vanessa looks at Blair and smirks while Blair narrows her eyes and seethes. Umm, B, this is entirely your fault, my dear. But don’t let that stop you from killing Vanessa. Just had to point it out.
In the kitchen, Bart and Chuck are discussing Chuck’s decision to buy that building, and Bart is none too happy about it, despite not having bothered to read the proposal. Chuck presents a calm, intelligent and savvy argument for while Bass Industries should acquire the property, which Vanessa partially overhears and partially swoons over. She’s going to have to move up that appointment to get his initials tattooed on her butt. But Bart is unaffected, and declares that the purchase will not happen. Chuck quietly protests that he gave his word, but Bart cruelly informs him that since Chuck’s forte is letting people down (like when you killed your mother, you little piece of shit), this will hardly matter or surprise anyone. What an asshole — and a stupid one at that, given he’s making uniformed and ignorant business decisions.
In the ghetto, Nate’s dinner with the Humphreys has gone well despite Dan asshatting himself a few times by acting bizarre each time someone brought up Nate’s parents or living arrangements. After dinner, Nate tries to leave while Dan tries to convince him to stay with about the same finesse I expect from the guys I meet at the bars. Finally, Dan blurts out that he knows all about the seizure and that he and Jenny want to help. Okay, Dan’s got good intentions here but horrible execution. It’s like me every time I try to do karaoke. And revealing Jenny knows what’s going on too was the kiss of death. Sure enough, Nate storms out and Dan ruins another shot at a bromance. Nice work.
“Look, we’ll just watch a movie. I promise. Best behavior.”
Back at the party, Chuck is licking his wounds when Vanessa approaches to console him and tell him he didn’t deserve what Bart said to him. Chuck sadly insists that Bart’s had a lifetime of knowing him to form such opinions, then reaches out and takes Vanessa’s hand, asking her to stay with him. Unfortunately, this happens just as Blair steps into the room, and she freezes in horror as she sees what’s clearly a personal and private moment. Again, B — your own damn fault. You can only push things away and manipulate for so long before it bites you in the ass of the dress he bought you.
Elsewhere in the party, Serena is busy telling Eric what Bart said about Jonathan’s exclusion being Eric’s idea. Eric again takes the mature route and tells Serena that Bart meant well, and warned Eric that with the press coverage at the party, Jonathan’s presence would result in Eric coming out to the national media. Incredulous, Serena is about to snap out a denial of Bart’s motives when a reporter approaches to interview them about what a “close-knit” family they are, per Lily’s statements. Serena grins wickedly and begins accurately but horribly painting Lily as a selfish, absentee parent while Lily rushes over and tries to stop her. After one story about an ex-husband leaving cocaine all over their apartment when Serena and Eric were in grade school, Serena has the epiphany that the problem isn’t Bart, but Lily herself, and storms out the door. Again.
Chuck has now left his sanctuary with Vanessa, and Blair follows him and declares the game over. She claims it’s because she’s bored, but she’s clearly terrified by the real connection she sees developing between Chuck and Vanessa. He stares her down, trying to read her mind, and inaccurately concludes that Blair thinks he’s about to succeed in seducing Vanessa, and Blair wants to call things off before she has to uphold her end of the bargain. “I’m not worried — about… that,” Blair snaps before realizing how much that simple sentence could reveal. She gurgles on her own spit for a moment and retreats, with Chuck staring after her in confusion.
“You’re worried about… all those headbands giving you a bald spot? Is that it?”
Lily has cornered Eric, and asks him if the stories Serena told the reporter were true. He looks her in the eye and confirms it, admitting that Serena pretty much raised him rather than Lily. Embarrassed and deflated, Lily accepts that and Eric gently tells her that she needs to take it slow rather than suddenly foisting these old-fashioned, suburban family values on them. For example, no cocaine on weeknights is much more reasonable than no cocaine at all. Baby steps.
Dan’s busy whining to Rufus about Nate, and Rufus gives Dan the Friendship 101 lecture that Dan evidently missed in kindergarten when he was too busy informing the kid next to him that his cotton-ball snowman was better. Rufus advises that Dan not give up on Nate, and give him what he needs rather than he wants right now. Or Dan can go back to browsing cabbagepatchkids.com for a girlfriend for Cedric.
Vanessa’s trying to leave the party, but she can’t find her bag. Okay I know this is a rich-people party where it’d hardly be likely someone would rob you, but what kind of idiot leaves their bag unattended, regardless of venue? Well Vanessa’s gonna pay for that mistake, as Blair is the one with her bag — and her cell phone, now picture-free. As Blair gloats that Vanessa no longer has anything on her, she can’t resist the urge to deliver one last fatal blow — by revealing Chuck never had any interest in Vanessa, and were merely opening up to her as part of a bet between him and Blair. Vanessa refuses to believe it, and manages to get one jab in at Blair by saying Blair can’t stand it that Chuck may actually be a good person when not with Blair. No, I don’t think that’s true. I think it’s that Blair can’t admit she truly wants Chuck for herself, but can’t stand the thought of him with anyone else. And I do think he has some legitimate interest in Vanessa (although not quite as much as we’re supposed to believe, that’s just too fast).
“I knew it was yours because it smelled faintly of espresso beans, Petite Nate bath spray and Dan Hunphrey’s jockstrap.”
B laughs that off as Chuck rapidly approaches, correctly guessing that B is up to no good. But when he arrives, he stands by uncomfortably while Blair continues mocking Vanessa by repeating Vanessa was merely a pawn and Blair is the Queen. Both girls wait anxiously for Chuck to break his silence, but when he doesn’t, Blair takes it as victory. Vanessa finally leaves, and Blair turns to Chuck and is the most gracious loser ever as she announces that he can come claim his prize in an hour. After Blair flounces off, it’s clear Chuck is not reacting well to any of this — who wants to bet he goes after Vanessa instead? Which is barforama, but looking likely.
Serena is sitting outside pouting when Dan walks by, presumably on his way to Nate’s hovel. He turns and tries to leave without her noticing, but she sees him and calls out. After a quick exchange of insults (including a classic holier-than-thou Danism or two), Dan lowers himself, literally and figuratively, to sit next to Serena on the steps. He encourages her to open up to him after she mentions she has no one to talk to, and then they psychoanalyze Lily together. It’s boring as hell and and suggests there’s still a chance for these two, so it’s a double whammy of suckitude. Just as Serena and Dan are finally forgiving each other and clearing the air (agggh), Bart arrives to take Serena home, after learning from Eric where she’d be. Thank God. Do not taunt me like that, show.
Chuck has arrived at the building Vanessa was trying to save, but his former BFF tells him nicely to go fuck himself and get the hell out. Chuck tries to insist that he will save the place no matter what his father said, but the manager wants none of it, and continues telling Chuck that Chuck isn’t who he said he was until Chuck finally leaves. Once he’s gone, Vanessa steps forward and removes the gag from her mouth — the only thing keeping her from professing her undying love the second Chuck walked in. First Dan, then Nate, now Chuck. I swear, all a guy needs to do with that girl is ask her what time it is, and she’s enamored.
“It’s 11:24, my darling. My thighs are officially open for business.”
Serena and Bart get back to the Bass-VDW joint, and the place is spotless and all is forgiven and they’re one big happy family (well, Lily, Serena, Eric and Bart are. Mother-killer Chuck is MIA). On top of that, Bart got someone to kill the story Serena gave to that reporter, meaning the reporter’s body will wash up in 2-3 days. Other happy endings are occurring in Brooklyn, as we see Dan and Nate arrive in the ghetto, with Nate carrying all his belongings (two suitcases filled with polo shirts and tubes of hair gel) for an extended stay.
And finally, for the scene we’ve been waiting for. For someone on a losing side of a bet, Blair has set a pitch-perfect scene for romance, complete with burning candles and amazing lingerie. Chuck enters, and she softly asks what took him so long — to which he replies, “If you thought that was long, you have no idea what you’re in for.” Heh. They begin making out, and it’s as hot as we’ve come to expect from these two. But Chuck has finally figured out Blair’s true game this episode, and he quickly pulls away to whisper that she “say it.” Blair feigns confusion, but he brutally repeats her speech to him from the season premiere — “Say those three words you wanted me to say. Eight letters. Three syllables. Say them and I’m yours.” When she refuses, he accurately accuses her of not being able to say the exact thing she demanded from him. She declares that she’s now prepared to settle before trying to drag him back down, but he pulls away again and whispers, “Maybe I’m not.” Blair drops the pretense and tells him she will never say those words to him, and he replies that she’ll never have him. Standing up and adjusting his clothing, he fairly states that he’s chased her for long enough — and now it’s time for her to chase him. With that, he walks out, leaving Blair in stunned silence. Wow.
So that’s it for this week! What did you think of the episode? Did you see through Blair from the beginning? Did Chuck? Do Jessica Szohr and Ed Westwick have chemistry together, and do you think Chuck actually is interested in Vanessa? Besides that awful scene with Serena, was Dan closer to the likable guy he was early last season? Do you like Dan and Nate as buddies? What do you think about Jonathan? And what the hell happens to Jenny next week?
To answer my own questions, I really enjoyed this episode despite the strong focus on Vanessa. There was enough Blair and Chuck to make up for it. I saw through Blair right away (I recap as I watch, so my opinions/views are “unspoiled”, which is why I’m sometimes completely wrong on things that happen early on!), but I don’t think Chuck figured it out until he saw Blair taunting Vanessa at the end. I do think Jessica Szohr and Ed Westwick have chemistry, and I think Chuck is slightly interested in Vanessa and could wind up pursuing that if Blair doesn’t swallow her pride soon. I did like Dan this episode and found him charming, with the exception of the Serena scene. I also like him and Nate as friends, mostly because it gives Dan something else to do other than be with Serena. I think Jonathan seems like a nice guy and I’m excited the writers are going to address Eric’s homosexuality by giving him a boyfriend, but the Rufus-vibe from the kid squicks me out a bit. As for Jenny… maybe she discovers all that blow evidently lying around the VDW joint. Until next time!