Blair and Chuck reconnect when the lights go out during her party, but it seems like it's time for Serena and Dan to say goodbye
Credit: Giovanni Rufino

‘Gossip Girl’ recap: Going dark

Hottest. Episode. Yet. Literally. It’s only appropriate that an episode featuring a citywide heat wave would showcase the most incendiary kind of chemistry — and lots of fake perspiration. I can just see production assistants running around with water bottles, misting the cast. “We need more moisture! Penn’s chest needs to glisten!”

Poor Jenny was being worked to the bone by Laurel. I guess none of that White Party bonding has helped their relationship. Speaking of the White (Product Placement) Party, did anyone else notice that Vanessa’s coffee shop has a big ol’ Vitamin Water refrigerator? One of my favorite small moments happened in the beginning when she was carrying all those fabric samples and dropped her phone, but no one would help her — very New York. We don’t have time for things like helping people. Besides, it’s probably just a ruse to get us to buy a mix tape or enroll in a stress test. Then, poor little J. had to clean the atelier for Eleanor’s arrival, including the bathrooms. Can’t Eleanor afford a cleaning lady? Loosen the purse strings, Waldorf.

Nate and Catherine continued to put a classy face on male prostitution with trips to Ralph Lauren, and they seemed to be quite the patrons of the Mercer Hotel. You’d think they’d want to go somewhere a little more discreet than a hotel in a major tourist location (SoHo) that is so heavily favored by celebrities. Also, we learned that sex is the best way to get Nate to reveal secrets, since he completely gave away his father’s hideout location (Dominica) to Catherine. But Nate is never cuter than when he’s with Vanessa. Those two have such a nice chemistry.

Dan and Serena continued to hide their relationship from family and friends, with Dan telling his family that he’s meeting up with his friend “Clyde.” The influence of the Gossip Girl blog was more apparent than ever in this episode: The couple’s relationship was outed on the site and some sassy GG readers verbally assaulted them in the park. That was one of the funniest scenes this series has ever produced (“His mouth kissed Georgina’s. Think about that the next time he…”). I love that the pro-Serena girl looked just like her while the haters resembled Blair.

Chuck was having his own troubles, namely with, well, let’s just call him Lil’ Chuckie. Despite around-the-clock visits from anonymous ladies, Chuck (and Lil’ Chuckie) still couldn’t seal the deal, which was most likely due to his lingering love for Blair. Serena had one of the better lines of the night when she said, “You are not using Blair as sexual Drano.”

Not surprisingly, Blair threw yet another soiree. I’m not really clear on the theme of this one, or if it was timed to something (maybe it was a Last Tuesday Before School Starts Fiesta?). This is fast becoming standard Josh Schwartz-Stephanie Savage material: Pretty much every episode of The O.C. revolved around some kind of ball or cotillion. This party, though, was the setting of what I am on record as saying is the most erotic scene in Gossip Girl history. I’m referring to Chuck and Blair’s first interaction at her party. The way he brushed her neck. And kissed her cheek. And when he pleaded with her, “Have sex with me.” I don’t know about you all, but Tim here needed a fan. Or a cold shower. Those two just keep getting better in terms of their chemistry and relationship. You almost don’t want them to become a couple because they’re so good at sparring.

NEXT: Cougar attack

And Vanessa finally got something more exciting to do than make a vanilla latte (although she did still have to haul in some delivery boxes to the café. Time to hire another barista!). She discovered what Nate was doing all those times he flaked on her. Or to put it more literally: She discovered whom he was doing. (“I didn’t sign up for some creepy love triangle with you and someone’s mom!”) Love it. I only wish she would have thrown down a little more with Catherine. Their tame meeting left me cold. Isn’t Vanessa supposed to be all edgy and streetwise since she’s from Brooklyn? With all those horrible accessories, you’d think she could carry around a pair of brass knuckles. It was sweet of her to dump Nate in order to keep Catherine from revealing where his father is, but I have a feeling this information will come out sooner or later. Also, Nate needs to cut the conversation when he’s doing the deed. That seems to be the moral of this story.

While Catherine and Vanessa didn’t bare claws, Catherine and Blair had one of my favorite interactions of the night when the cougar asked Blair if she had seen Nate, to which Blair retorted, “Um, no. It’s a blackout.” Then they really got into it, with Blair slicing into the Duchess. “Hot young guy. Aging beauty enjoying her last hurrah before the surgeries start. It’s called a cliché.” But then we got a better picture of why Catherine even started the affair with Nate: He makes her feel alive. It’s something Blair can relate to. No matter how much she wants to love Marcus, he’ll never make her feel passion the way she did when she was with Chuck. Exhibit A: her little blackout make-out session with Mr. Bass at her party. I found it amusing that Ed Westwick got to use his actual British accent in that scene.

Meanwhile, Serena and Dan stumbled upon the hoariest of clichés, the stuck elevator. But it actually produced some interesting tension between the two, particularly their class differences. I’m just thankful they didn’t add a pregnant woman, about to go into labor, into the mix. Still, it looks like we’ve seen the last of this pairing for a while. The elevator break-up, I have to admit, was pretty touching, especially Serena’s “I love you” after the doors had shut.

Jenny and Eleanor at least had a nice time during the blackout with the two connecting over fashion design. They were actually really fun together. I hope there are more scenes between the two and more of Colin, who is just fantastic. Word that the GG producers had cast Wallace Shawn as Cyrus Rose, who in the books becomes a love interest for Eleanor, is a good sign.

And…Rufus is dating! And getting sandwiches…while on his dates! And he seems to gravitate toward the younger ladies. Or maybe the younger gals just love the elder Humphrey.

What did you think of last night’s Gossip Girl? Will Dan and Serena ever get back together? Can Nate escape Catherine’s clutches?

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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