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Be still, my heart: in a season first, we Gossip Girl fans actually got to see Blair act like an adult (even if it only lasted for a nanosecond). After wiping some celebratory white frosting off her refreshingly unmade-up mug (and more on her face-plant into that congressional confection later), Blair wrapped up tonight’s episode by revealing the root of her anger toward her former BFF Serena; she doesn’t approve of the way her blonde buddy has been leading her sorry life! First, Serena pulls away from Dan and his clan, and then unexpectedly turns her back on (the highly distrustful) Nate. If that doesn’t take the, um, cake, now Serena’s working for a ruthless publicist who demands her young charge play girlfriend to a boozy actor who dreams of making a Leaving Las Vegas remake opposite Miley Cyrus! C’est terrible!

Fortunately, Serena soon realizes the error of her ways; she pulls out her trusty Sharpee and writes her former boss a big `I quit’ note on the aforementioned actor before sending him on his not-so-merry way. But did she quit in time to save her friendship or this otherwise lousy episode? Tune in next week when we’ll get treated to some sort of slot machine-type threesome!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First up, a note about the absense of Tim Stack, your trusty GG recapper; he spent the evening out celebrating his 30th birthday at some underground NY speak-easy, so this mouse was given the privilege of filling in while the cat was away. If only the cheese in tonight’s episode was the kind I craved. Poor Hilary Duff; the ex-Disney ingenue really looks better than ever but her Olivia gets more and more boring because the writers have absolutely no idea where to take her and Dan (this week, she panics that a snoozer of an anecdote she told on Jimmy Fallon’s late night talk show will ruin her one-month-old relationship!) At least one good thing came out of this sleepy C-story that ended with those two back in bed; Fallon got some much-needed exposure on one of the CW’s hottest dramas.

But Nate didn’t appreciate the brand of exposure that Vanessa was offering his cousin’s run for Congress. While videotaping Trip Van Der Bilt’s campaign (because if she isn’t out fighting for someone – anyone’s – love, she’s busy videotaping something!), Vanessa watched how Trip’s unexpected rescue of a drowning passerby in the Hudson River was actually staged. She told Nate that she planned to take it public, but since Nate, like his granddad, has the corrupt Van Der Bilt blood pulsing through his veins, he managed to thwart her plan and keep the campaign on track. Trip ends up winning, of course, but not without Nate finally realizing the error in his family’s dirty ways; he goes on camera to take the blame for the staged rescue (he secretly blames grandpa) and calls Trip the real honest member of the family. He probably is, though his formerly demure wife is turning out to be the real piece of work here (she was the one to blame for the fake drowning).

Meanwhile, Serena was so busy trying to get Patrick some much-needed exposure at Trip’s victory party at Chuck’s hotel that she failed to notice that A) he was totally blowing his shot at a Michael Mann political film, or as Blair so aptly put, “he’s drunker than Paula Abdul during Hollywood Week ” and B) her old pal Blair was really quite sad to be without her. Blair showed her disdain for S. by banishing Patrick to an upstairs hotel room to sleep off the booze, and S. returned the favor by shoving Blair’s face into a cake. Really? That kind of behavior seems so second season, even if it resulted in a rare flash of maturity on Blair’s part (“After 18 years of this, I actually feel sorry for you,” she says to Serena). I, too, believe Serena is as lost as ever, but does Blair have to first act like a total baby to get the point across? Did she really have to recruit a Valentino-loving call girl to sub as her new BFF? Why must Chuck seem like the oldest guy in the room this season?

And now, my wish list before we prepare for next week’s episode: I wish we could revisit the gay kiss Chuck participated in a few weeks ago to see if he enjoyed the encounter more than he (and Blair) would like. I wish Dan would up and decide he hates the movies so he’ll end his relationship with Olivia. I wish we could see more of Jenny’s downward spiral into she-devil territory and her step-brother’s growing disdain for her superficiality. I hope S. doesn’t suddenly become – gulp! – a congressional aide. What about you, GG fans? What’s your wish as the drama heads into the all-important November sweeps?

Episode Recaps

Gossip Girl
Spotted: Serena, Dan, Blair, Chuck, Vanessa, and Nate — hooking up, breaking up, and freaking out. You know you love it! Xoxo!
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