Previously on Gossip Girl, Serena (Blake Lively) got off the train at Grand Central after having sex with Blair’s (Leighton Meester) boyfriend Nate (Chace Crawford) a year ago, Serena and Dan (Penn Badgley) started dating, Nate found his dad’s drugs, at the masked ball, Nate told Jenny (Taylor Momsen), thinking that she was actually Serena, that he’s not over her.
Tonight’s Gossip Girl begins with Veronica Mars informing us that burlesque is all the rage now on the Upper East Side. Indeed, Chuck (Ed Westwick) brings Blair to show her the Victrola, an old-timey burlesque club that Chuck wants to invest in order to impress his father.
Speaking of Bart Bass. He tells Lily (Kelly Rutherford) that he wants to go public about their relationship, but Lily wants to tell her kids first. Chuck walks in on them. Bart tells him to keep the secret from Serena and everyone else. Chuck changes the subject by bringing up his investment idea, and Bart is immediately pleased that Chuck is showing interest in something other than partying. Chuck is like a little boy, basking in the glow of this unaccustomed paternal approval.
Nate’s parents make him check into drug rehab joints. Dartmouth dad says he’ll make sure that Nate won’t let him go to the center, and promises to flush his baggie of coke. We all know that this isn’t going to happen. Dartmouth dad offers to talk about it with him over non-alcoholic drinks after school. At school, Nate finds Jenny to ask her not to tell Blair about what he said at the masked ball because he didn’t really mean it anyway. He gives her a box of chocolates that he promptly gives to Blair when she shows up. Blair outs Jenny for being at the ball and tells her that she hates secrets.
Serena and Dan try to make out by the stairs at school, out in the open. Kati and Isabel, Blair’s multicultural posse, take cell phone videos of them. Serena wants to talk about them eventually having sex.
Blair asks Serena if she’s done the nasty with Dan yet. Serena is worried that Dan might be the one guy in the world who wants to slow things down, but it’s only because he’s a virgin. We learn this because Dan has a nightmare in which his first time fails to satisfy Serena and is judged by Kati and Isabel. Kati gives him an upside four and Isabel gives him a -3. He wakes up from his nightmare and overhears Rufus (Matthew Settle) on the phone, arguing with his mother Allison. Something about Allison having an affair with her neighbor. Jenny walks in and gets upset when she hears her brother and father discussing her mother’s infidelity.
Chuck makes out with a burlesque performer. Bart sees this and immediately goes back to being disappointed. Chuck runs after him and sees that old Bass is pulling the wool over Lily’s eyes with a hot young Asian chick.
Dartmouth dad bails on his after school drink date with Nate because he has to work. Nate spies on his dad and sees him in the act of buying drugs. Nate goes home to tell his mother that the drugs belonged to Dartmouth dad. He begs for her help, but she is firmly in denial. She turns the drug problem around and places the blame on Nate for being such a difficult child and being the one to drive Dartmouth dad to drugs in the first place.
The camera pans across the Brooklyn Bridge, and then we see Dan and Serena home alone in Dan’s bed. Dan accidentally tosses Serena on the floor when Vanessa climbs in unannounced through the window. He escorts Vanessa to the door, but she sneaks back in. Serena wants to talk about Dan about doing it, but they just try again. Then they are interrupted by Rufus. Later on, Dan watches porn alone in his room and is interrupted by Vanessa. He denies that it’s porn, and that it’s actually art cinema. Vanessa gives him good advice about how to cash in his. Dan takes this into consideration and daydreams that he is observing Nate and Serena in the throes of lovemaking atop a bar. He takes notes and interrupts them to ask their opinion of the efficacy of the leg wrap and the hair grab, for example. Rufus walks in and asks if he needs a refresher on “the talk.” Rufus is so Sandy Cohen in this scene!
The next morning, Chuck is drunk off his ass in front of the Palace. Lily sympathizes with him gives him some advice. He spills that Bart had some Asian chick in his limo yesterday, which makes Lily sad.
Blair confides in Jenny that Nate is planning to her an engagement ring with his family diamond. Jenny isn’t overly effusive about it, and Blair sniffs out that there is something she’s hiding. Jenny confesses that Nate said he wasn’t over Serena at the ball, and Blair, devastated, dismisses Little J for good.
At the Waldorf-Archibald dinner, poor Blair, dressed in pearls and lace, asks Nate if there’s anything he wants to say. He says no. Dartmouth dad is really, really over-enthusiastic and bullies Anne to let Blair try on the ginormous engagement ring. Everyone is uncomfortable. Outside, Nate scolds Dartmouth dad for being so embarrassing and nearly ruining his business deal. Dartmouth dad wants to go back inside, but Nate tries to prevent him. They end up having a small scuffle which ends with Dartmouth dad punching Nate and knocking him to the ground. Unfortunately for Dartmouth dad, there is a police cruiser right down the street. Nate tells the cops to check his father’s pockets, and pays the doorman to keep his mouth shut about this. From an upstairs window, Blair has witnessed the entire event. Nate is about to get into a cab, when Blair runs after him. She says that she saw his father being arrested and is disappointed that Nate didn’t come find her to talk about it. Nate begs off that he promised to meet Chuck at Victrola, and says that it’s difficult to talk to her even if he tried. She rips into him that she knows what she said to Jenny at the masked ball. She asks him if he loves her, and when he doesn’t answer, she says that she doesn’t need him anymore, and jumps into his cab.
Chuck is sulking at the Victrola when he is joined by Bart and the Asian chick, who is a reporter for The Observer who is writing a profile on him. Bart finally comes on board with the idea of burlesque and is really proud of his son. Chuck confesses to Bart that he told Lily about the Asian chick. Bart tries to call Lily. He tells Asian chick to set up a meeting with Chuck, and leaves to go fix things with Lily. But Lily goes to find Rufus at the gallery. But Rufus has a short-fuse because he thinks she’s just there because she broke up with Bart again. Which is kind of true. The grown-ups on Gossip Girl are just like teenagers!
Blair goes to Victrola and wants to escape. She doesn’t want to talk about her break-up, but says that she feels relief. Chuck challenges her to go up and dance on the stage, and she does. She starts by taking off her headband, then unzipping her dress. She’s only in a slip now, and shaking her booty. She is good enough to even impress Victrola’s resident drag queen, who is awesome, by the way. Chuck stands at attention during her entire performance. She doesn’t actually take off her slip, though.
Dan brings Serena to his room, where he has lit a whole bunch of candles and his bed no longer has football sheets. She says it’s perfect. They make out on his bed when Serena pauses to say that she’s scared. She says that nobody has ever looked at her the way he just did, and in fact, she thinks that nobody ever looked at her before.
Nate goes home where his mother tells him that Dartmouth dad’s bail is set at a million dollars and he has more than a drug problem. The D.A.’s office has been trying to build a case against him for embezzlement and fraud, and now they’ve got him.
Jenny goes up to her mother’s house in Hudson and asks her to come home. Lily and Rufus create enormous sexual tension while lying on their backs looking up at the ceiling art installation. Dan and Serena snuggle in bed.
Blair and Chuck go home in Chuck’s limo. She thanks him for a wonderful night and leans over to start making out with him.
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of The CW)