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.

Gossip Girl recap: Goodbye, Columbia

Serena is late. For class. The fact that college is about academic study, and not based around the brimming social calender of a Manhattan party girl, has apparently escaped her notice.

“If only there were a device of some kind to keep the time,” riffs Blair.

Nate and Dan are friends again, in that “put all the issues behind them” way that women are incapable of. But Nate reveals that he and Juliette have only made it to the “scrabble and talking” stage of the relationship.

In prison, we learn more about Juliette’s plot to take Serena down (we now know shaved-head-dude has some kind of vendetta against her).

Presumably Juliette is the one behind the SvDW STD rumour. And the resulting Serena-lurgy check that Nate heads over to the student health clinic. Although even if Serena is lurgy-free, one imagines Chuck’s Little Black Book has less to recommend it.

Said trip ends with Dan papped in the clinic and Vanessa in a degree one freak out.

Nate, by now thinking entirely with something other than his brain, agrees to steal Blair’s phone (with the help of a panicky V, whose morals apparently don’t apply when it comes to her love life). The big email fakeout leads to an email to angry-lecturer (from Serena) offering sex for grades. Obviously, Juliette is behind it.

Although, thinking about it, it’s not entirely improbable to imagine Serena sending such a missive.

Juliette (who should really be in the CIA, she’s such a capable crazy) manages to frame Vanessa. The scandal, Blair notes, will only raise her social status. Anyway, Vanessa is off to stay with her parents (Hello? College? Classes?) And Dan and her appear to be over, at least for now.

Blair, meanwhile, is having course trouble. In the ridiculous world of fake-Columbia, Chuck, who you’ll recall declared war on her, has managed to block her from a key class on powerful women. He even becomes the assistant to her favourite lecturer.

HELLO. He doesn’t even go to Columbia. This takes implausible to the next level.

So Blair counters by playing Yentl. Only Chuck enlists one of her minions, beckoned over to the dark side, to take her down and the blind date has better taste in scarves than most intellectual property lawyers.

However in bragging about who can out Blair the other, the lecturer quits. “These students are psychotic” she complains. Uh, because the previous favours they did for you didn’t point to that.

Oh, and Serena is about to have a fling with weird taxi-dude from Mad Men.

Gossip Girl recap: It’s a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World

According to my extensive research, waffles are ‘batter or dough based cakes cooked in a waffle iron’ and they can be eaten as both desserts and breakfasts.

Gossip grub (photo: Kitchen1000)

But, I digress. On this week’s Gossip Girl, it wasn’t just that tasty batter that was weighing on everybody’s minds (and stomachs).

First up, Serena. Having sparred with Jenny last week, blondie has become quite the littel schemer. Eager to play out her version of ‘happy families’ with her returned-from-the-ether father, she conspires to banish Rufus back to Brooklyn.

Before that, she has to bond with her estranged old man, and what follows is one of the most edited-out autobiographies known to the non-Stalinist world.

Sample: “I won a hot chocolate drinking” competition, dad, aren’t I wholesome and exactly what you’d wish your 18 year old daughter to be like. Ignore the Julia Roberts pre-Rodeo drive makeover look – it ‘really is all about the education’.

Yep. Normally I hate the she-devil in a mini skirt known as Jenny, but I did enjoy her innocent query over the teacher and the bed & breakfast. I’m sure it was educational, Jenny riffs, wide eyed.

It doesn’t matter, because Serena soon confesses that she’s been ‘a part of more than one scandal’ (more than one, as used in the context of, Tiger Woods has had ‘more than one’ affair). We also learn that it wasn’t a hot chocolate contest, but an absinthe drinking one.

Which just adds some unintended hilarity to the family cocoa session later.

Family, of course, as in the van der Woodsens. It seems Rufus is out and William is in, what with him trying to buy the apartment below and confessing his undying love for Lily to an entire university. Something tells me it’s not going to last, because resident pharmaceutical knowitall Jenny (whose druggie past has come back to haunt her), googles cancer and realises two plus two equal ‘if you look that good, you’re probably not suffering from an incurable malady’.

Downtown, Danessa have mounted a detente. But then Vanessa gets offered a three month internship in Haiti (because after a devastating earthquake, that’s exactly who you’d want around), which puts a spanner in the relationship.

Obviously Dan gets mad, Vanessa says she’ll sacrifice it but then doesn’t. All very emotional, but enough to make me want to throw a chair at my laptop. Since when do CNN just hand out internships. In Haiti.

Most media interns spend three months rewriting press releases, not on the front line. And with those hair extensions, she wouldn’t last a day.

Speaking of implausible – here’s Blair Waldorf. If she’s anything to go by, it seems you can pretend something into being real. Here she is, telling some mean girls she goes to Colombia. And then, abracadabra, she does. So, from now on, I’m going to write things like: I own six pairs of Christian Loboutins and a private jet. And then, obviously, I will.

Definitely a filler episode; we’re two away from the season finale so it’s all about the dramatic set ups. But also, shout out to the great coats seen on Blair etc this week.

That yellow one made her look like she was in an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, about to go singing in the hills at some Nazis, or over the Rainbow with some munchkins.

But then, if Blair was involved, those musicals would probably have had very different storylines.