Gossip Girl recap: War at the Roses

Forget Versailles, or Lisbon, or even the Sykes-Picot agreement. There’s a new peace treaty in town, and it’s ever so well dressed.

 Fed up with the War of the Over-privileged Teens, Nate and Serena initiate an official amnesty, complete with court stenographer for witness. Blair and Chuck are officially in peacetime, and to celebrate, Blair readies herself for her 20th birthday soiree.

 Like every normal 20 –year-old, she thinks the perfect party would include the entire faculty, and of course everyone else who has ever set foot on the Gossip Girl set.

 Because she’s “not fighting with Mr Chuck,” she’s fighting with everybody else, raging at the staff for gladiolas and poor couture choices. Still, the party seems to be going swimmingly, until that is a bizarre video of Blair doing bad karaoke shows up.

 Who is behind it? Well, continuing with the war metaphor, Eric has apparently left Switzerland. He’s planning a peacetime stealth attack to take down Chair for the demolition of Little J.

 Enlisting Dan as his cavalry; they plan to bring out Jack Bass as their secret weapon. It’s all very adorable, but their eager-schemer routine, complete with furious typing and self-congratulatory plotting reeks not of Blair Waldorf but of the rather less devious Buffy Summers and the Scooby Gang.

 It doesn’t work, because Blair and Chuck, with their ability to see into the future and whatnot, outsmart him. But Dan manages to get his hands on the treaty after Nate leaves it within full view of him.

Were it not for the fact that this is exactly the sort of dumb-jock behaviour expected of Mr Archibald, it would be a gratingly annoying plot device.

 He finds a clause involving the embarrassing karaoke tape, and plays it at the party. As plots go, it’s pretty tame.

Blair automatically rails on Chuck for breaking the terms of the treaty, but Dan, chuffed with himself for being so Machiavellian, confesses, just in time for Rufus to show up an be disappointed Dan is “one of them.” Honestly, how can he be disappointed with either Dan or Jenny these days?

By Season Two they’d already earned themselves a place in the treachery Hall of Fame.  

 The upshot is that the treaty is dead in the water, making this the perfect time for the long-awaited Chuck and Blair hook-up-out-of-anger. It’s a piano, not a limo, but it’s clear they’ve still got the classic Chair chemistry.

Meanwhile Serena, who tells Juliette with a straight face that she “would never put her academic future at risk”, is obviously doing exactly that for Professor Pervy. Nate comments on how happy she’s looking, shrewdly picking up on why: “Well, if I know you,” says Nate, “There’s a guy at the end of that story.”

Aware that she can’t go near him for six weeks, but also astonishingly aware of her inability to control her urges, she appoints Nate as buffer. Briefly, it’s fine, but Nate gets distracted by Juliette – who he suspects is also studying with Professor Pervy (as insinuated last episode). Actually, he’s her sugar uncle, a cousin  paying for her to go to college. But it looks like he’s about to become collateral damage in her mission to take down Serena.

 Sidepoint. If you’re going to make the effort to introduce the show with a witty comment about the season change, why dress your characters as if they are going clubbing on an equatorial beach? Serena has a hole in her dress, for heaven’s sake, and with that much flesh – front and back – on show, she’d be bedridden with pneumonia if this genuinely was autumn.

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