Gossip Girl recap: the Witches of Bushwick

So Serena is back where she belongs, the sordid details of her sleazy love live splashed all over the tabloids.

Last year it was wild summer escapades, this year it is her extra-curricular activities that are raising eyebrows – and Lily’s blood pressure. It’s fine, it seems, for her socialite daughter to date inappropriately, but heaven forbid anyone talk about it! Serena’s defence, by the by, is fabulous.

She whines about doing time “for something I didn’t do”, showing a Bill Clinton-like predilection for the get-out-of-jail-free technicality in every scandal.

But despite Lily’s generous offer of an “endowment” – upper east side for “bribe”, the dean asks Serena to get the hell out of Columbia.

Meanwhile Dan and Mrs Nate Humphrey are squabbling petulantly over who ‘gets’ Serena. Like she’s such a prize. Everyone knows that with her it’s short term ownership anyway, then the gloss wears off and a refund is in order. But Vanessa brokers a boy-ceasefire and they settle on a “may the best lovesick shmuck win” competition.

Unfortunately, Serena’s phone is in the hands of the women formerly known as Macbeth’s three witches, so the whole date-off goes awry and at the end of the day neither are any closer.

Fittingly, in an episode with “witches” in the title, Little J is back. Last we saw she was in cahoots with the Evil Juliette – but was she bluffing? She spills EJ’s bribery plans to Lily…but then, phew, this is Jenny we’re dealing with – it turns out it’s all an elaborate three-way takedown, featuring the delightful divas of V, EJ and LJ.

Remember when Vanessa had a soul? Watching her with the evil blonde duo, gleefully scheming about how to destroy the lives of her erstwhile friends, it’s easy to forget she was once Gossip Girl’s moral compass.

Albeit an intensely grating one with ratty hair extensions.

Juliette’s scheme seems to involve dredging up Serena’s slutty boarding school past. Lily tries to pay her off, which goes down swimmingly with Serena, and they have their bi-weekly battle over approval and atrocious choices.

After destroying Serena’s chances with Dan and Nate, she effectively kidnaps blondie, gets her to drop out of Columbia, and then? Well, it’s not quite clear yet, but what is obvious is that Serena is in something of a pickle. Great, then, that Lily should choose this moment to give up on her daughter.

Chuck and Blair are still enjoying the dangerous tightrope of their animosity-fuelled passion.

Lobster dinners, morning small talk. It’s a recipe for disaster.

First, though, she has to secure her place as the face of Nate’s mum’s foundation. And it appears Mrs Archibald aint to chuffed with Blair’s choice of consort. Ergo, power and position, or lurvvve.

Chuck’s also making a choice – Blair, or keeping his reputation up so gazillions of wannabe Chuck Bass dandy boy’s flock to the Empire Hotel.

Inevitably, they can’t keep apart. But then Chuck goes and ups the drama by telling Blair he loves her. – well, by “blurting it out at the height of passion.”

“Empowered woman” Blair tries to ignore it, but can’t quite. Juliette exposes them, but it’s something of an anticlimax as they are quite clearly so besotted they forfeit this week’s aspirations (until Blair realises that she is to Chuck what pre-senate Hillary is to Bill).

Where Juliette does succeed is in making Blair think (again) that Serena is a backstabbing biatch. Should last a good few episodes, that.

Also, completely off the point, but LOVE that when the doorman asks Serena for ID she stares at him blankly, having never had to comprehend a world where people don’t know who she is. And top marks for using Little J’s Pretty Reckless album as background music for this week’s episode of The ballad of Chuck and Blair.

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