Does it get much better than a Gossip Girl episode mostly centered around Chuck? I think not. The guy is entertaining, especially when he's sparring with Blair. This week, the two of them play a little seduce-and-destroy game that reminded me of Cruel Intentions, only to find that messing with other innocent, well intentioned people only seems to exacerbate their own insecurities.
Yes, in the world of GG, it's not easy being a filthy rich kid. In addition to the Chuck and Blair angst, this episode also reveals the family stress Serena and Eric have endured over the years and poor Nate's sad spiral downward as his family collapses into financial ruin. Ready to chat about it? Just read more.
- First and foremost, let's talk about Vanessa saving the speakeasy. For someone who hates to interact with Dan's wealthy schoolmates, it was strange that she'd force her way onto campus to hand out fliers. Really? There's nowhere else you could hand out fliers?
- Also, why would Vanessa head straight over to Blair and decide to blackmail her with video footage of the Duke that no one would really care about? Vanessa is supposed to be above all that and dismayed by the dirty tricks these rich kids play — so why would she herself blackmail anyone? And why mess with Blair? ("I own you now.") That's just insane.
- Eric has a boyfriend! That's all I really have to say about that.
- Blair and her girl squad hold a "hearing" for an underclassman who's committed the terrible crime of wearing leggings. While seeing the poor girl in tears while the others viciously tear into her was disturbing, I have to say I was excited to see someone take a stand against those which are not pants.
- Bart's back in the picture, big time, and Serena is not having any of it. When he hints that her image might hurt his business, she puts on a pretty skimpy dress, saunters by him, and tells him that she's headed "anywhere we can find some paparazzi" and then exclaims, "Oh! I forgot to put on underwear."
- Sometimes Chuck and Blair are cute/sexy together. But last night, I found myself squirming when they interacted. Like when Blair first tells him to have sex with Vanessa and his reward will be to have sex with her. Ew. That's a lot of swapping sex for deeds. Plus Blair basically taunts Chuck by reminding him he has "mechanical problems." Yuck.
- I love when Jenny and Rufus point out to Dan that he never really hangs out with guys. And he proves them wrong with a call to his new bff Nate and throws in a lot of "Sweet"s and "Bro!"s and "I got my boy waiting for me"s.
- I also liked how cute Dan gets while explaining to Jenny the fun of soccer: "So then the ball came to me. And he kicked it to another guy and then he kicked it to another guy!"
- So Vanessa sees the good in Chuck, and Chuck acts nicer when anyone makes him feel human. Which means Bart must enter the picture and cut him down to size with a scathing line or two about what a colossal disappointment he is. Getting a little predictable, no?
- And then things get really nonsensical: Blair tells Vanessa it was all a game when she thinks Chuck likes Vanessa or something . . . and then declares Chuck the winner and tells him to "claim your prize," which gives way to another cringe-worthy Chuck and Blair sex scene with odd stop-motion cinematography.
- Chuck then flips the script, asking Blair to say those three little words — which she vows never to say to the likes of Chuck Bass.
- Meanwhile, at the housewarming, Serena realizes Lily, not Bart, is responsible for all the new house rules and goes on a rampage against her mom. She tells the press she once wanted snow for Christmas, so it was a good thing one of Lily's exes left "blow" all over the shinny surfaces. She later apologizes during a sweet family moment with Bart ("I’m sorry I embarrassed you in front of a national magazine").
I really liked the little truce on the steps between Serena and Dan, and it's hilarious and sweet that the Humphrey family has taken Nate in (where's his mom again? Is she really in the Hamptons?). I don't know how I feel about Blair and Chuck, though. I like them maneuvering around each other, but the sex games stuff is weird, and right now they don't even seem to like each other. What do you think?
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Photos courtesy of The CW