Previously on Gossip Girl, Nate (Chace Crawford) was duped out of a lot of money by Carter Basin at a high-stakes poker game, Jenny (Taylor Momsen) wants nothing more than to join Blair’s (Leighton Meester) posse, but Blair dismisses Little J, Rufus’ (Matthew Settle) wife Alison is back, Blair broke up with Nate and slept with Chuck (Ed Westwick).
You know you love me. XOXO, Gossip Girl.
Tonight’s Gossip Girl begins in the middle of debutante season. Blair tells Serena (Blake Lively) that she’s glad she’s going to the Debutante Ball with Prince Theodore somebody, instead of Nate. But poor widdle Nate is sad because he misses Blair. Serena has chosen not to be presented at the ball because that’s not her bag anymore. I am so excited about the Debutante Ball, y’all, because you know that someone is going to get punched out at it!
All the young socialites must attend Debutante Ball classes in which they learn how to group dance in the style of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Serena’s grandmother CeCe (guest star Caroline Lagerfelt) has been the chairwoman for the event forever and now Lily (Kelly Rutherford) is on the committee. Lily asks Jenny to help out with the ball, who jumps at the opportunity despite being on the outs with Blair. CeCe is not pleased with Dan, who unself-consciously gives his honest opinion of cotillions. Cece is not pleased to discover that Dan is none other than the son of the man Lily once almost threw her life away for. Caroline Lagerfelt is awesome in this role. On the surface, she’s all honey and roses, but underneath, you know that her bitchiness would run circles around Trix Gilmore’s.
Cece tells Lily that she might have lung cancer and her only wish is to see her granddaughter be presented at the Debutante Ball. Lily buys it, hook, line, and sinker, and orders Serena to go to that ball.
Jenny asks Rufus if she can volunteer for this charity (yeah, right) event on Sunday, but that’s the same night as Alison’s art opening so she can’t. In comes Alison to show Jenny all of her thrift store finds, but Jenny just snits that she can’t go around wearing someone’s old shoes when her classmates are shopping at Saks and Bendel’s. Later on, Jenny lies to Lily that she has permission from her parents to attend the ball, and they go shoe shopping for the event together. They bump into Alison, who is hurt to find out her daughter is consorting with the enemy. Alison grounds her and forbids her from going to the ball.
Dan goes to a tea for Serena’s grandmum that Blair’s family is having and finds out that CeCe has already set up Carter Basin to be Serena’s date to the cotillion. To add insult to injury, Dan feels totally left out because of the rich-people talk everyone engages in around him. Cece tells Dan in a supremely bitchy yet still sugar-sweet manner that he will always feel like an outsider because he’s po’. In retaliation, Dan announces that he will be Serena’s escort to the ball. There’s a lot of attacking and counter-attacking going on here. CeCe’s next move is to go to Rufus and offer to buy every single painting in his gallery in exchange for convincing Dan not to go with Serena. Rufus tells her to take her money and put it you-know-where. Not one to leave with her tail between her legs, CeCe reveals that, years ago, she told Lily to choose between Rufus and her inheritance. And obviously, Lily chose her inheritance. Rufus tattles on grandmum to Dan.
Meanwhile, Blair and Chuck are still hooking up, but keeping it a secret from Nate. Nate comes over, interrupting their latest bout of nooky, to ask Blair to go to the ball with him for old-time’s sake. He’s wearing the green sweater that Blair had given to him, in which she had sewn a tiny gold heart on the inside of the sleeve so that he’d always wear her heart on his sleeve. She’s into romantic gestures like that, so she finally relents and agrees to go, but just as friends. Nate excitedly gets fitted for a tux, but when Blair comes by to give her approval, she’s distracted by Chuck’s constant sext messages. Nate is confused by her behavior, and suspects that she may be seeing someone. He asks Chuck about it, but Chuck is jealous that Blair might be getting back together with her ex. He expresses his jealousy the only way he knows how: by talking smack about Nate in front of a New York Times reporter who is writing a piece on “A Night Out With Blair Waldorf.”
Realizing that he needs to be more underhanded, Chuck snaps a picture of Carter Basin going over to Blair’s (he’s really there to pick up a jacket he left at the tea) and sends it to Gossip Girl, with the scoop that he may be Blair’s new love interest. Then, Chuck whispers sweet nothings into Nate’s ear that Carter is probably banging the girl he wants.
Right before the ball, Dan tattles on CeCe to Serena, calling her the most manipulative person he’s ever met. Serena doesn’t buy it, though, because she can’t see past CeCe’s candy-coated exterior, so she asks Dan not to be her escort. CeCe steps in immediately to offer Carter as a date as soon as Dan’s out of the picture.
At the ball, all the lovely ladies walk down the stairs, escorted by their handsome young gentlemen, as a red-headed old lady reads their presentation statements. Oh my, Blair’s dress has a big bow on the left shoulder. Um. Serena secretly switches her grandmother-approved statement to a scandalous one about banging all the eligible gentlemen on the Upper East Side, horrifying her mother and grandmother.
Chuck whispers into Nate’s ear that Carter is going to make a move on her, so Nate punches Carter out. Yay, fisticuffs! The scuffle tears Blair’s dress, so Jenny, who ungrounded herself to attend the ball, is called upon to repair it in exchange for being allowed back into Blair’s good graces.
Lily scolds Serena for making a fool out of the presenter and for starting a brawl. But Serena throws it back in Lily’s face that all her mother cares about is their family image. Lily has a change of heart and apologizes to Dan. She tells him that he belongs with her daughter, and asks him back to the ball.
Serena finds out that CeCe does not have cancer after all, and orchestrated the entire cotillion, including Carter Basin as Serena’s date. CeCe silently admits defeat by going home alone to her pills. Serena goes off to dance with Dan, who dances the sloppy dance that only the poor and unrehearsed can dance.
Blair comes back to the ball after the dress is fixed. Chuck tries to step in, but Blair figures out that he tipped off Gossip Girl about Carter going to her house. She breaks up with him and runs off to make out with Nate. She’s newly hot and bothered over Nate’s ability to punch guys out. Chuck watches their makeout session, his heart breaking. Nate and Blair take their little party home where are finally ready to do the deed. Wow. It’s hot. Chuck packs his little bags and asks his driver to take him to the airport.
Jenny comes back to the art gallery after everything is over. She apologizes to Alison. Alison passive-aggressively tells Jenny that she doesn’t like the person she’s growing up into.
Rufus calls Lily and asks her why she left him all those years ago. Lily comes clean about it choosing money over him, saying she wasn’t strong enough back then. Rufus, with an emotional catch in his throat, tells her that he never should have let her go.
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of The CW)