Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Grandpa knows best

After a coulda-been-better return from hiatus, Gossip Girl was back in top form last night. The episode was packed with more goings-on than you can shake a stick at, and that included lots of Chuck and Blair intrigue. (Yay!) About the only truly bad thing I can say about it is that it had Jenny back with the overkill bangs and eye shadow. BOO! The girl needs a new stylist-- and a decent storyline. All she ever does these days is knit things and offer sage advice on other character's problems. As the episode begins, Blair is spiraling after her rejection from Yale. She's spending more and more time with skeezeball Carter and seems determined to eradicate any trace of her old overachieving self. Chuck is sure something's wrong so he comes to Serena, who tells him, "Blair just needs space to lick her wounds." "Or I can lick them for her," Chuck quips to Serena's disgust. (S, honey, you kinda tunneled your way into that one.) Chuck comes by Blair's apartment but is rebuffed by Blair, who is lounging around with Carter and, by the way, looks AMAZING. (Seriously, she was in a black bustier and looked hot. I was really glad my straight friend Ben was watching this episode-- he has a major thing for Leighton Meester.) But eventually Serena concedes that their friend needs help, and they convince Dorota to tell her where she's gone one night-- presumably to some debaucherous party. When Chuck and Serena go to the address, a pre-pubescent girl opens the door, leading to Chuck uttering the night's best line: "I see Roman Polanski's in town." Turns out Blair is begging the dean of Sarah Lawrence to accept her, but the whole hazing-a-teacher thing has ruined her chances there, too. "Why didn't you tell us?" Serena asks. "What, that I was debasing myself to get into *Sarah Lawrence*?" Blair snaps. "Right, like I should've put it on my Facebook page!" (Oh Blair, you're so cute and witty when you're angry.) Meanwhile, Nate finally gets an interesting story in the form of his cousin Trip (incidentally played by one of my friend Amber's theater pals). Trip invites him to the Kennedy compound-- er, Archibald mansion. Nate's wary of seeing his grandfather, who didn't do much to help him and his struggling mom during the whole Deadbeat Cokehead Dad Debacle, but Dan and Vanessa convince him to go. Turns out Grandpa-- who's played by one of those seen-him-a-thousand-times character actors no one knows the name of-- was actually quite proud of how well Nate handled the whole mess. What's more, he's grooming Nate for the family business, politics. Trip's fiance, let's just call her Jackie, tells Vanessa that all Archibald men eventually fall into this sort of thing. Vanessa's all weirded out but tries to be supportive. (Albeit in a really martyred annoyingly self-involved way.) Eventually Nate decides he will intern for the mayor's office rather than spend the summer taking a "perogi tour of Europe" with Vanessa. (Side note: really? A *perogi* tour? Reeeallly???) Guess Vanessa will have to find some new perogi to chew on. (That's right. I went there.) Elsewhere in Adultsville, Lily and Rufus share a contrived but sorta fun storyline in which they quiz each other on past relationships and Lily's list is waaaay longer. (There are references to her dating Trent Reznor and Slash, to which Serena responds, "Slash? REALLY, Mom?") In what should come as a surprise to exactly no one, Rufus ends up being all judge-y when he finds out that Lily only gave him one page of her list for fear of his disapproval. (A fear that was apparently well-founded; as I remarked, "like father, like self righteous son.") Meanwhile, the same Archibald family shindig that sees N and V part ways also features some id-fueled hilarity courtesy of Blair, who decides she will undo her straight-laced public image in as high profile setting as possible. It's kind of like that scene in Caddyshack where Rodney Dangerfield walks into the room and insults everyone in sight. The biggest laugh came courtesy of Chuck, though; after Blair alludes to a socialite's husband having made his fortune off porn, Chuck stops to compliment him: "By the way, love your websites." Chuck gets Blair alone for a sexy-tense clinch in which she offers herself to him... but only because it would be "the worst" possible thing for her to do. Chuck rejects the proposal, and Blair walks off. (The catty narration claims it may be his last chance, but we know better than that, don't we?) She and Nate end up sharing a moment at the party, and when Chuck goes to her apartment later he finds Nate's new Archibald family jacket (which seriously looks like something out of Hogwarts). Blair's invited Nate back into her bed! Dum-dum-DUM! We close with Chuck looking up the stairs all intensely. I'm liking these new developments and look forward to next week with Jenny's sweet 16 party, which looks to have Chuck and Vanessa engaging in revenge nookie (obviously a cute nod to their real life coupling) and Serena getting involved with a new man.

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