Previously on Gossip Girl, Rufus (Matthew Settle) and Alison broke up for good. Rufus wants to get back together with Lily (Kelly Rutherford), but Bart Bass proposed to her before Rufus could do anything about it. Blair (Leighton Meester) warned Vanessa (Jessica Szor) not to interfere with Serena (Blake Lively) and Dan’s (Penn Badgley) relationship. Blair had sex with Chuck (Ed Westwick) and doesn’t want anyone to know about it.
The CW’s promo guy has been promising us for weeks that tonight’s Gossip Girl is the first of the best two episodes of Gossip Girl yet. I really hope he doesn’t disappoint!
The episode begins with the students of St. Jude’s and Constance Billard sneaking into the school pool. They have a party, with drugs and everything! Nate (Chace Crawford) finds Blair and asks why she’s been avoiding him, but she remains coy. She tells Chuck to stop blackmailing her, but he’s still holding their secret tryst over her head. By the way, Chuck is wearing a ridiculous red-striped tanktop and patterned swim shorts. I do not approve!
Vanessa and Dan are not at the pool party. Instead, they are hanging out at the Williamsburg Humphrey pad, and Vanessa is filming him for a documentary. Dan gets a call from Serena, who is wearing a ridiculously middle-aged-looking bathing suit, so the two book it over to the pool. There’s a lot of drinking going on, which leads to two boys getting into a scuffle. A fight at the beginning of the episode? This is absolutely redonkulous! The boy hits his head on the wall and falls into the pool. Nate dives in and rescues him. Serena calls 911, as everyone takes their booze and drugs and clears the place. Unfortunately, someone left behind a cell phone. The pictures on the cell phone are enough for the school administration to ID almost everyone present at the party. The new headmistress, Ms. Queller, tells them sternly that each trespasser must write a 10,000-word essay on how he or she came to be on school property illegally. The ringleader will be expelled, but if no one comes forward, they will all be expelled.
Blair, Serena, Nate, Chuck and Dan all agree to keep everything a secret. As Chuck says, if nobody talks, then nobody will get in trouble. Dan, however, is not too sure about it all.
Outside the school, Chuck happens upon Nate, who is hard at work writing a heart-felt letter to Blair. Chuck is none too pleased because we all know that he wants Blair all to himself.
Rufus calls Dan and tells him that he should cooperate with the administration. He wants his son to look out for himself because his classmates will most certainly do the same. Lily shows up at the gallery to tell Rufus that she is planning on saying yes to Bart. Rufus is hurt because he thought he put his heart on the line in the last episode, but Lily is hurt that he can’t plan anything. They bicker and she leaves.
Blair is hosting an essay-writing party, and Vanessa and Dan arrive together. In the elevator up, Vanessa shows him footage of Chuck at the pool, taking the stolen key that got them inside in the first place. At the party, Blair warns Serena that Vanessa is trying to interfere with her relationship with Dan, and Dan confronts Chuck about the pool key, which he has brought to the party. Chuck smarms that Dan is poor so he’ll probably be the fall-guy for everyone else. And plus, he only took the key at the pool to hide from the authorities.
Dan realizes that Chuck has a point, and tells Serena that he is not going to be party to her band of brothers. He also susses out that Serena knows who the culprit is, but is protecting his or her identity. Watch the clip.
Chuck then tells Blair that he’s going to tell Nate about their tryst. Blair bitches that Nate isn’t going to believe him because Chuck is a man-slut, but conveniently, Vanessa has caught their entire conversation on tape. Chuck tries to take her camera, but she won’t let him. Dan steps in and threatens to give him a black eye.
Nate goes up to Blair’s room to give her his love letter, but she acts dismissively. He snoops around in Blair’s drawer and finds the pool key, sans keychain.
The next day, Rufus goes to Lily and tells her that he’s still in love with her and wants to get back together. He pleads with her to claim her life back from her mother and choose him. He gives her a kiss and walks out the door, and my heart just melts.
Nate tells Ms. Queller that he was the one who broke into the school. She doesn’t believe him, though, even though he shows her the key. He can’t give any details about how he got it, or even where the key is. Doh! Nate can’t do anything right, can he?
On the steps of the Met, Blair demands that Vanessa hand over the incriminating tape. Vanessa refuses, and a second later, Chuck offers her a wad of cash in exchange for the tape. This time, Vanessa accepts.
Lily is having a boring lunch with Bart Bass, when Bart leaves the table to take a business call. This gives her pause, and reaches for her cell phone to call Rufus and tells him that she wants them to be together. Oh yay! They make plans to go away for the weekend.
Ms. Queller assembles all the revelers once more to announce that Nate Archibald will be suspended, and the suspension will go on his permanent record, for confessing to the crime that he didn’t commit. She means business, but frankly, I think this is what Nate was gunning for when he confessed. Now, he doesn’t have to go to school for a while, and it’ll jeopardize his chances of getting into Dartmouth. After the meeting, Dan asks Serena to give up the name of the instigator. She says that it was she who broke in to the pool. She didn’t tell him because she didn’t want to put him in the position of choosing between her and protecting himself. She can’t confess to Queller because she’s unlikely to get into another school if she gets expelled due to her less than stellar record. At that moment, Queller calls Dan into her office.
Nate finds Blair and tells her that he confessed to protect her, because he thought she was the guilty one, and that he loves her. She says that that was the most romantic thing that he could have done for her, but that they can’t be together right now because she doesn’t want him.
Serena goes home to find Lily packing for a weekend away. Rufus calls Lily’s cell and Serena spies the caller ID. She realizes that Lily is getting back together with Rufus and begs her mom not do it because she cares about Dan more than anything—she would rather be Chuck’s step-sister than Dan’s. She realizes suddenly that she has to turn herself in, for Dan’s sake, so she immediately leaves to go to school. She interrupts Dan’s meeting with Ms. Queller and confesses to everything. Fortunately for her, she gets off with a slap on the wrist. As if there were any doubt. Dan isn’t surprised.
Vanessa goes over to Blair’s to give her the incriminating tape and some boy advice. The tape she gave Chuck was blank (go Vanessa!). Later on, Blair tells Vanessa that she went to her Ikea-furnishes shoebox and paid her rent for a year. She doesn’t want to be indebted to anyone, and wants to go back to snarking on her. They have a bonding moment, though, when Vanessa says that she used Chuck’s money to set up a fund for teens with genital herpes in his name. Oh, I would so love for Vanessa and Blair to become BFFs!
Lily accepts Bart’s proposal. Um, she didn’t have to marry the guy. She doesn’t even tell Rufus the real reason she isn’t getting back together with him. You might argue that she doesn’t want to keep hope alive in any of them because that would just be too tempting and heartbreaking for the both of them. But on the other hand, Dan and Serena are teenagers and their romance probably won’t last forever. Lily should have broken up with Bart, and kept Rufus around until the kids break up.
At the engagement party, Bart whispers to Serena that he made some calls on her behalf and made a donation toward the new van der Woodsen-Bass library to get her off the hook. She leaves the party immediately to tell Dan that he was right all along. Then, they snuggle in for a cozy night of studying.
Blair asks Nate to forgive and forget. She says I love you, and they kiss and make up.
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of The CW)