This week on Gossip Girl, the crew returns to school, and even with minimal Blair-Chuck interaction, we have the best episode of the season thus far!
“You know, I’m getting really sick of how strict the dresscode is here, Dan.”
It’s the first day of senior year for our favorite UESiders, and GG tells us that the newly-single Serena is on top of the world. I would be too if I’d finally gotten rid of sad-sack Humphrey. We join her, Eric, and Lily eating breakfast, where Lily’s gushing about how Bart Bass wore flip-flops on their honeymoon and never suspected that she banged Rufus the morning of their wedding. It’s so romantic!
Chuck quickly joins them, and delights in breaking the Serena/Dan breakup news to Lily, while telling Serena that it’s time to stop letting Dan hold her back and claim her throne as queen. Not if Blair has anything to say about it, I’m thinking. Somewhat inaccurately calling Chuck a eunuch (flaccid would be better), Serena insists she has no intention of usurping that title, which of course means it’s only a matter of time until she does.
Chuck and Eric leave for mimosas in the limo, while Lily lightly grills Serena for the breakup details. She says she’ll be okay, but is worried about seeing Dan every damn day now with school. Speaking of, Dan’s in the ghetto, also worried about the post-breakup awkwardness. But not too worried to give Rufus shit about the Vanessa-ringer he’s dating sneaking out that morning. Klassy. Jenny joins them and half-heartedly tries to convince Rufus to let her ditch school, since it’s “draft day” — where Blair & the minions determine which girls have potential and will be “projects”, and which girls are total losers and will be “victims”. As a former failed project, Little J is not looking forward to another draft, but Rufus ships her off to school anyway.
“Can’t I just stay here and pretend not to hear you having sex with Vanessa look-alikes? It’s just slightly less emotionally scarring.”
We head over to school, where draft day is already awesomely in swing. Blair & the minions are holding court on the steps as girls approach for evaluations — complete with resumes and interviews. Conspicuously missing is the midget, Hazel. In watching applicants crash and burn, we learn two no-nos for getting drafted — don’t have season tickets to the Knicks, and don’t wear last season’s designer flats. What does work is plopping a gigantic, hideous bow in your hair and offering to whore out your brother and his friends.
Chuck’s taking full advantage of draft day by getting his hands on the applicants’ dossiers and determining which lucky ladies will get to try to get Mr. Chuckie to stand at attention. He drops one off with Blair personally, explaining it’s for a new transfer student. She taunts him about how she and JaMarcus are better than ever, which Chuck barely responds to. Odd. Maybe he’s too busy wondering if the Living Doll that should arrive today will do the trick. He sent them a picture of Blair and everything.
Nate tracks down Vanessa — wearing a purple shirt, red leggings/jeans, and mounds of tacky gold jewelry — in Brooklyn, and tries to figure out why she ran out on him at the party last episode. It’s Nate, so this could take at least a couple of seasons. Vanessa doesn’t budge, and tells him they were never even friends before running off to catch the Fraggle Rock rerun about to start.
“You’re blowing me off for a show about muppets that live in a cave?”
Back at school, Dan is skulking at Jenny’s beautiful wood-paneled locker, looking for Serena in the girls’ hallway. Not knowing that Serena had spotted him earlier and avoided him, he whines about not running into her while Jenny freaks out when the minions walk by and completely ignore her. Realizing they both suck at life, the Humphreys separate, and Dan heads over to the boys’ part of the building. But before he can get very far, he literally bumps into a dowdy brunette with some very unfortunate blunt-cut bangs and an annoying voice. She introduces herself as Amanda — the transfer student Chuck was telling Blair about.
As Dan and Amanda chit chat — she’s reading a book by that author who canned Dan’s ass in the premiere, a fact he leaves out when bragging about interning for the guy — Serena and Blair stroll the hallways, B advising S that whomever dates first wins, and it’s totally going to be Serena because Dan is well, Dan. That is until they turn the corner and see Dan and Amanda getting cozy. Serena is understandably upset, despite Amanda’s round head and blank, wide-eyed expression making her look like a Cabbage Patch doll.
“Would you like to adopt me?”
Blair gets ahold of Amanda’s dossier, and determines that Amanda is “Dan with boobs.” Oh dear God, get her off my TV NOW! Blair wants to move Amanda to the front of the draft day line, while Serena insists she’s fine and doesn’t care in a fakely chipper voice. Other than when she’s with Chuck, I like Blair the best when she’s busy destroying stupid twits. Let the massacre begin!
Vanessa’s standing around the gallery, being useless as always, when cougar Catherine shows up to thank her for “respecting their agreement” when Nate tried to talk to her that morning. Damn, cougar. If there’s one thing more pathetic than a woman your age banging a high school boy, it’s a woman your age stalking a high school boy. Vanessa tells her sweetly to get the fuck out and Catherine does — but not before dropping off a check for $5k to guarantee Vanessa’s continued silence. Wow. V should demand $10k instead, and move on to a boy who can count to 20 without using all his fingers and toes.
I know you’re all 80s trashtastic, V, but shoulder pads are bad enough when they’re on the inside of your shirt.
At school, Dan and Serena finally run into each other and engage in an extremely awkward chat while Chuck watches from a distance. They decide to go the friend route, but when Serena suggests they eat lunch together, Cabbage Patch yelps Dan’s name and we learn he already made plans to eat lunch with her. Serena quickly escapes with as much pride left in tact as possible, passing Chuck who mocks her and asks if he heard something about a lunch. Upset, she stalks off as Chuck takes a picture of Dan and Cabbage Patch and sends it to GG. This of course gets back to Blair, who quickly shoves her Cabbage Patch plan into overdrive.
Back in Brooklyn, Lily goes to visit Rufus, perhaps for some post-wedding sex to bookend the pre-wedding sex. Despite the fact that she’s married, used him for an orgasm, and he’s got hos spending the night while his kids are only a few feet away, they decide to go to a concert together.
Blair & the minions are now changed for gym class, and have tracked down Cabbage Patch. I immediately notice that the blonde with the manwhore brother is with them, and still no sign of the midget. I hope the actress hasn’t left the show — I’d miss her stunted ass. Anyway, Blair invites Cabbage Patch to join them for lunch, and when CP tries to refuse, Penelope and Blair warn that pissing them off could be hazardous for her health — socially, mentally, and physically. Oh man, I hope we get another gym class thrown down like between B and S last season.
“Cancel your lunch date or I ram this stick up your cornhole.”
Serena arrives and demands to know what’s going on. Blair quickly tells her it’s for her own good, because lunch with Dan will surely lead to a Dan-CP wedding next week. Those would be some bizarre, round-headed, gap-toothed children.
Vanessa has made her way to Catherine’s to return the $5k check. Vanessa, is there anything you don’t suck at? But as she’s on her way to leave, she hears Catherine indistinctly laughing in the next room. Annoyed, Vanessa decides to tell Catherine to go fuck herself personally, and enters the room — to find Catherine and JaMarcus playing a naughty game of bad stepmommy! WOW! In retrospect, I should have totally called that one, but I didn’t see it coming! Stunned, Vanessa whips out her camera phone and records the evidence, while trying not to gag/ask Catherine if there are any teenage boys in the tristate area she’s not currently banging.
“I’m about to pluck your delicate flower right now, Mommy.”
Dan’s standing around, waiting for Cabbage Patch to show for their lunch date, when Chuck approaches and breaks the bad news about CP’s defection. Dan’s confused why Blair would want anything to do with CP’s loserness, and Chuck spells it out for him — if CP joins the inner circle, girl code prevents her from dating an ex of Serena’s. Dan insists Serena wouldn’t do that, and Chuck dares him to prove him wrong. Chuck bails before Dan can get too self-righteous, and an emergency call from Vanessa prevents us from having to deal with that, either. For once I’m thankful to her.
Blair, Serena, CP & the minions are eating lunch, and Blair wastes no time informing CP about Dan & Serena, and how Dan is therefore unavailable to her. Cabbage Patch responds somewhat snottily, telling Blair that she “pretty much” gets that. Enraged, Blair leans in for the kill, only to be stopped by Serena, who informs B she will not be a part of this and is going to find Dan to apologize. God, even when broken up, Serena feels the need to apologize to Humphrey for things she didn’t do.
Dan has gone to meet Vanessa, and is busy looking at the incestuous, photographic proof of Catherine and JaMarcus. Vanessa doesn’t want to get directly involved (since it could result in Catherine telling the feds where Cappy McDouche is hiding), but knows she has to do something besides sitting around a coffee shop and ordering old Hypercolor t-shirts off Ebay. After thinking for a moment, Dan suggests she go to Blair, since if you google “revenge” you get “BlairWaldorf.com.” V’s not thrilled with the idea, but Dan thinks it’s the best option to show Blair the picture while wearing protective clothing. He then excuses himself to go talk to Serena, telling Vanessa that “we’ll see” when she asks if everything’s okay. Prepare yourself, S. Self-righteous lecture at 2 o’clock.
“I’m thinking if I play my cards right, I can get her to apologize for global warming, gas prices, and this year’s Emmys.”
Since lunch lasts 4 hours at their school, Dan has now returned from Brooklyn to find Serena at Constance. He immediately begins his bullshit, ignoring her attempts to explain that it was all Blair and that she wanted no part of it and left. “So… you were part of it, then had second thoughts?” Aggh, I wish I could reach through my TV and strangle this douche! He then condescendingly lectures her about how she needs to stop turning things into a competition. As I’m starting to lose all my respect for Serena yet again, she finds those balls she grew last week and lets Dan know that if there was a competition for who could move on first, she’d run circles around him. She could be half blind and only have one leg, and that’d still be true. Serena flounces off — hopefully to have a lot of sex and be interesting again — and Cabbage Patch replaces her, asking Dan what they’re doing tonight. That is, besides sitting around talking about how great he is and how flat-irons are just a fad.
Vanessa has decided to take Dan’s advice, and is now showing the picture to Blair (who looks amazing in this scene). Tearfully, Blair first threatens that Vanessa and Dan better keep their mouths shut, and then insists she will take care of it. And I cannot wait to see how… looks like kitty might be getting declawed.
Later that night, Dan and Cabbage Patch have shown up at a trendy restaurant/bar for their date. Dan takes one look around and realizes that not only can he not afford this place, but odds are B, S, or someone from their crew will be there. CP rolls her eyes (I think, there’s too much bangage) and insists that it’s “time to send a message!” STFU, CP, you’ve been here, what, 29 minutes? As he expected, they’re spotted — and photographed — within seconds by Penelope and Isabel, who are not only pissed that Dan’s out with CP, but view him bringing her to this kind of place a declaration of war. As GG tells us, “sound the trumpets, strumpets.” Love. It.
“The director better get this in 1 take, because I sure as hell am not eating twice.”
Dan is woken up the next morning by Jenny clubbing him in the head with a pillow. Next time use the lamp, or why not a brick, Little J. She’s seen the pictures of him and Cabbage Patch on GG, and is pissed that not only is he committing social suicide, but he’s being a douchebag to boot. He whines that Serena started it — very mature — while Jenny looks disgusted and insists he talk to Serena. Yeah, because we all want to deal with that again.
Meanwhile, Serena is also being rudely awoken, but by Chuck, who’s sitting in her bed. “Boundaries!” she exclaims. I have a feeling this is how most of Serena’s mornings start off. Although she should be glad it’s only a flower he’s putting in her ear this time. He’s brought her breakfast, and her phone, so she can see the Dan/CP news. What a sweetheart. What is he up to?
A while later, Jenny arrives at school to find Vanessa skulking around, looking for Blair instead of stalking Dan and/or Nate for once. Evidently Blair won’t return V’s calls, so she begs Jenny to find Blair for her. Reluctantly, Jenny agrees, and asks Penelope and Isabel, who tell her Blair took the morning off to have brunch. After offering that little tidbit, they reassure her they haven’t forgotten her failure status, and will be sure to make her life miserable shortly. Jenny is thrilled.
“This is worse than when that grinch stole Christmas a couple years ago.”
Serena and Dan are also both at school, and she quickly finds him to bitch him out about humiliating her with Cabbage Patch. He takes it for about, oh, 2 seconds, before arguing that she tried to coerce CP not to go out with him in the first place. Perhaps realizing it’s pointless to argue with his stubborn ass, she insists that the three of them should go out that night. Dan and I both think this is a splendid idea.
Hearing from Jenny where Blair’s having brunch, Vanessa stalks Blair and finds her dining with JaMarcus. Without approaching, Vanessa observes Blair and JaMarcus looking cozy and romantic, so she leaves in a snap-judgy huff. No wonder she and Humphrey are BFF. We then get to hear what is actually going on at that table — and see that Blair was seconds away from confronting JaMarcus on his mommy issues. “And I thought my family was twisted, but you people take the cake!” Haha. He claims it’s only happened a few times, then lies to her face that it hasn’t happened since he met Blair. Needless to say, she’s not buying it or his fake accent any longer.
While JaMarcus begins sputtering about trying to make things work, cougar Catherine arrives and snottily announces she got Blair’s message. Without tipping her hand, Blair merely forwards the naughty picture to Catherine, who sees it and slinks into her chair silently. Good kitty. When Catherine demands to know what Blair wants, B merely replies, “Let’s talk about your exit strategy.” But before we can celebrate getting rid of these two idiots, we see that one of our permanent idiots, Vanessa, has decided to rat out mommy & son to daddy himself.
“Oh bullocks, these delicate flowers have thorns!”
Dan, Serena, and Cabbage Patch are at dinner, where Dan is telling scintillating literature anecdotes, and CP is snidely mocking Serena for not knowing who some of the writers they’re talking about are. Dan, of course, does nothing to make this less awkward for her. Serena excuses herself to get wasted on martinis at the bar, and is quickly approached by Penelope and Isabel (who has gotten more lines tonight than the entire first season). They’ve brought Serena some presents — cute Dalton lacrosse boys. S debates only for a second before agreeing to let one buy her a drink, when she’s finished with the 1/3 full one the bartender just gave her. Game on, Humphrey.
Serena leads one of the lacrosse boys back to their table, where he regales the group with sports stories almost as interesting as Dan’s literature ones. After a few painful moments, Cabbage Patch excuses herself to the bathroom, and Serena quickly bails to go back to the bar. Left alone, Lacrosse Boy tells Dan that Serena is “smoking hot” and Dan immediately runs away without another word. Ha.
Dan finds Serena at the bar, and gives her shit — AGAIN — for her “great peace plan” and for picking such a winner. Annoyed, she tells Dan that Lacrosse Boy is fun and not neurotic — which she figured would be a nice change. Then — THEN — he has the nerve to say, “that’s real classy, Serena, thanks.” Everytime I think my Dan hate cannot increase, I watch another episode and am proven wrong. She tearfully tells him that it fucking hurt when he asked out CP the first damn day of school, and that she can’t just turn off her feelings because they’re over. This finally shuts him up for a few minutes, and he suggests they stay away from each other. She agrees, and tells him to get the fuck out, since they’re surrounded by her friends and it’s not his kind of place. Haha, awesome. If she keeps this up, I may like her again.
“Umm, I’m still waiting on that Emmys apology. Did you SEE the opening monologue?”
Pissed, Dan agrees to leave, but before he can pay his tab, Chuck strolls up, wearing an outrageous outfit, even for him. Dan tells Chuck he should wear a bell, but I don’t know any damn cat who would wear a purple silk suit. Chuck seems like he may take the suggestion to hear, but probably won’t tie it around the same thing Dan was thinking of. Chuck advises him not to leave, since he’s finally about to see the real Serena. Glancing over at S chugging martinis, Dan declares he’s seen enough and starts to head out.
Meanwhile, Blair has found Nate, and breaks the good news — Catherine and JaMarcus are gone, and in exchange for Blair’s silence, Catherine has agreed to pay off Cappy’s restitution debts. No more having sex with hot, experienced women for money! Thank god, Nate’s been saved from a fate worse than death. As Nate tries to form words into a sentence, Blair gets a call from Catherine — and learns Vanessa’s stupid trap has now ruined everything and the deal is off. Dear Vanessa, please drown yourself in a vat of espresso. Love, LoLo.
Chuck approaches Penelope and Isabel and tells them that instead of focusing on Dan, they should be attacking Cabbage Patch instead. Penelope wants to know what he has in mind, and surprisingly, it’s not date rape. Yay, progress! No, instead he takes out a little bottle and fills a martini glass with blue goo, asking Penny if she still knows how to serve — what sounds like — a Nairtini. Umm, are they trying to just torture or actually kill this girl? Not like I’d care, really. But still.
“The first meeting of the Horrifically Dressed Club is officially called to order. As the wearer of this striped shirt, I believe I should be president.”
In the ghetto, Lily has arrived at Rufus’s with a bottle of wine, a DVD, and an economy-sized box of condoms. When Rufus asks her what’s up with her being married and sniffing around his crotch, she explains that she’s lonely and needs a friend. Who will occasionally bang her. Rufus gently tells her that they cannot be friends, and he cannot be her safety blanket anymore, even if Bart can’t get it up at his age. As Lily struggles to accept that, Rufus’s klassy Vanessa-ringer shows herself and deals the final blow to Lily’s ego. Poor Lily. Now she’ll just have to comfort herself with Bart’s billions of dollars. It’s a rough life. She and Nate should commiserate about how bad they’ve got it. And then maybe she can bang him, since we know he likes it that way. Win-win!
Vanessa is back to haunting the gallery when Blair flies in, pissed as hell, screaming that she told Vanessa she would handle it. Vanessa brags that Catherine’s husband promised to keep Cappy’s whereabouts a secret, and Blair verbally (unfortunately, just verbally) bitchslaps Vanessa that Catherine would have paid off all of the Archibald debts had Vanessa not interfered. So now Nate isn’t getting paid for sex, won’t have Catherine covering the debt, and officially will start dumpster diving. I, for one, think that sounds amazing. I’m sure he can also find a few other customers to sell his services to, as long as he’s not picky about that whole vagina/penis thing.
Back at the restaurant, it’s time to see that Nairtini in action. Turns out it’s not for Cabbage Patch to drink — it’s for Penelope to throw in her hair and make her go bald. What a horrible bitchy thing to do, and I LOVE it. CP’s hair begins coming out immediately (which is really false advertising if you’ve ever used Nair and had to sit there, stinking up your bathroom, just for it not to get even half the hair off), and she runs off crying when Dan tries to stop her. Seeing this happen, Serena rushes up to apologize (OF COURSE), and Dan completely blames her (OF COURSE). Shocked, Serena asks him if that’s really what he thinks of her and he says it is, then encourages her to own up to it. Hey, if this’ll get us the Serena we’ve seen in flashbacks, then I’ll agree with the dickwad.
After Dan leaves, Serena take a few moments to compose herself before confronting the minions. Instead of yelling at them like I expected, she simply says, “Never again. From now on, everything goes through me.” YES. I wonder how Blair’s going to react to that?
“Starting with your wardrobe. What the FUCK are you wearing?”
The next morning, Vanessa has successfully stalked Nate in Manhattan to apologize for being a complete retard and ruining everything. Turns out he’s not mad about losing the money — well not yet at least, let’s see how a few paid handjobs affect that tune — but instead he’s upset she lied to him last episode when she ran out of the party, and then turned and confided in Dan and Blair instead. When he tries to leave, she asks if this means they can’t even be friends, and he throws her earlier words — “we were never really friends” back in her face. Oh Nate, you’re still boring and can’t act worth shit, but that was pretty sweet.
Jenny’s at school early, doing her best to avoid the minions, when that same exact thing happens. I didn’t really expect Penelope and Isabel to be such early risers. You’d think they’d need hours to drape the 30 strands of pearls around their necks. Well, they’ve decided the Jenny torture can now begin since Cabbage Patch is dealt with, and they grab her purse and dump its contents on the ground. Oh… snap? Even Jenny is unimpressed, but the minions warn her that their juvenile tricks will be effective when continued over a long period of time. Kind of like an upper decker. They flounce off, and Jenny quickly packs up her entire locker and flees. C’mon, Little J, buck up.
As Dan’s leaving another apology message for Cabbage Patch, we see why she’s not answering her phone — she’s dining with Chuck, discussing how she was a plant all along — one designed to piss Serena off enough to usurp Blair as Queen Bee. Wow, I definitely did not see that one coming, and it’s fucking awesome!!! I’m not sure exactly how dethroning Blair fits in with Chuck’s plans, but I’m now 100% confident he has one. I love how Chuck is neither black nor white — what he’s doing is clearly going to hurt Blair, but I’m assuming the rationale in his mind has to do with his conviction they belong together. How Machiavellian of him.
“They may have burned off my hair, but at least I still have these bitchin’ bangs!”
Blair arrives at school and approaches the minions just as Serena pops up — and B is startled by the warm reception S gets compared to her own. When Serena asks Blair why B wasn’t answering her calls yesterday, Blair mutters she wasn’t feeling well. Serena responds by oddly petting Blair like a sick poodle, playing with her hair and tying her head scarf around Blair’s neck. Okay, was the old Serena a lesbian? There’s no reason for her to be patronizing Blair here. Bizarre. As confused as I am, Blair walks away, only to be intercepted by Chuck, who pretty much tells her he was behind Serena’s return to power. Bewildered and untrusting, Blair merely stares at him and keeps going.
Dan arrives at school, and realizes everyone is staring at him like a circus freak. He asks two orange girls if they’ve seen Serena, and they smirk and walk away without answering. Even the other dudes don’t want to talk to him, which is fantastic. Congratulations, Humphrey, you just entered high school hell. And from the look Serena gives him as she passes by, it’s clear she’ll be playing Satan.
Wow. I thought this was a great episode. Definitely the best this season, and one of my favorites overall. Maybe y’all are more perceptive than me, but I definitely did not see either the JaMarcus/Catherine or the Chuck/Cabbage Patch twist. So what did you think? Did you call those plot twists? Are you happy or sad to see the guest stars’ storylines resolved? What do you think Chuck’s ultimate plan is? Can Jenny avoid the minions forever? And are you excited about them reviving the Blair vs. Serena plotline from early last season? I definitely am, and can’t wait for next week! See you then!