Blair underestimates her new teacher and jeopardizes her dream of going to Yale, while Chuck joins forces with Lily to take on his diabolical uncle

By Tim Stack
January 20, 2009 at 05:00 AM EST
The CW
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‘Gossip Girl’ recap: Oh, it’s on now

Attention Emmy voters: Leighton Meester deserves to be nominated for Best Actress in a Drama. This episode of Gossip Girl was definitely a chance to watch her shine, and there’s nothing like Yale to reveal her not-so-inner bitch. And nothing makes Blair more fun to watch than a worthy opponent, and last night that was the new teacher, Rachel Carr (played by Laura Breckenridge). Blair schooling this newcomer on the ways at Constance Billard was wonderfully entertaining (”Second semester seniors get a free pass, like pregnant ladies or 14-year-old Chinese gymnasts.”) But the evening was full of classic Blair lines. ”Time to shuck the corn!” ”Cancel the Nelly Yuki Project now!” There was no better moment than when Blair left the Headmistress’ office after being told that she was given detention and her Yale acceptance was put on notice. She (along with Dorota, obvs.) sauntered down the hall, preparing for war. ”I need to wait for my moment, but then I’m going Black Ops. Off the radar. No accountability. This war I’m going to win.” Brilliant. I can’t wait.

This new teacher is definitely not as innocent as she seems. Cornfields do not necessarily yield good things. If you don’t believe me, may I suggest Netflixing a little film called Children of the Corn. And I’ll bet she’s got some skeletons in those cornfields. Plus, is she going all Catherine the Cougar on us and going after Dan Humphrey? That’s certainly what it seemed like at the end of the episode. I mean she even wore a pink Western shirt, which was a clear attempt to bond with the Humphrey family’s love of cowboy wear.

College acceptance is probably one of the most stressful times in a high schoolers life. But that being said, it sure makes for a fun time on Gossip Girl. It was so sweet that her father and his boyfriend came all the way from Europe to celebrate her acceptance. I also appreciate the Gilmore Girls/Yale reference. Where were Mama Waldorf and Cyrus? Perhaps they’re still on their honeymoon?

It’s hard to tell whether or not Serena actually cares about going to Yale or not. During the entire episode she seemed so out of it and confused. I mean it’s understandable given that her boyfriend could end up her step-brother in the near future. But still. I do like that she and Dan are both realizing that the relationship just isn’t working. Also, are we really going to have all these kids going to different schools? I’m not sure I like this plan. As unrealistic as 90210 was in its college years, it was a nice transition that they all went to the same university. Dawson’s Creek didn’t work. And Gilmore Girls struggled with the whole college thing too. And, um, hello, The OC? The whole Summer/Brown situation was not good.

I’m actually surprised that Serena would give up her spot at Yale so easily for Blair, especially when Blair was being so mean. Blair completely insulted Serena by saying Yale ”had better taste” than she thought by not accepting her. That’s the moment when I would have speed dialed Yale’s office and accepted simply to spite her. Also, would Yale really send out a press release announcing a socialite’s acceptance? That felt a little ridiculous.

NEXT: Chuck’s homecoming

Lily and Rufus aren’t wasting much time in celebrating their love. And, unfortunately for Serena and Eric, the apartment has thin walls. Poor Eric apparently heard a little more than he should have. That is weird that parents and siblings are dating. Um, also, Kelly Rutherford’s real-life pregnancy is totally starting to show, so they’re gonna have to start making her carry some laundry baskets. Or, more realistically, have one of her servants carry a laundry basket in front of her. It’s so cute seeing Rufus trying to learn opera and try to become a better fit in Lily’s world. Also, Eric has never seemed more gay than when trying to explain The Magic Flute to Rufus.

Apparently everyone on the Upper East Side goes to the opera on the same exact night. Also, how boring are Nate and Vanessa? Snoozeville. Can they get a more exciting story line? Literally, this episode the big drama they dealt with was a congested senior citizen. And side note: I fully believe Nate has no idea what A Clockwork Orange is, despite looking like he was just making a joke. He probably thinks it’s a Jamba Juice flavor. Loved, loved Blair’s dress for the opera and its coat. Ruffles are hard to pull off but she looked fabulous. Not sure about Serena’s dress. It felt kinda liked Blake Lively’s Golden Globes gown in the sense that it didn’t really seem to fit properly. And who knew there were so many stairs at the opera? I feel like there were at least three scenes of Rufus and Lily WALKING up stairs. Were they sitting on the roof? Mercy.

It was actually fun to see Lily and Chuck working together to defeat Jack. I love Chuck’s laundry list of attempts to dirty Jack’s image: buying anthrax, transvestite hookers. And it was nice to see Lily do something outside of Rufus and her kids. Plus, these two had some genuinely sweet moments. I’m not really sure that I buy Jack’s transformation from cokey douchebag into violent rapist. Tonally, I thought that scene was the most off of the night. But then it led to some really sweet moments between Lily and Chuck. I can’t believe she adopted him. That was quite a surprise. It didn’t really ever seem like Lily liked Chuck but I guess that’s not the case. It also adds another interesting development to this whole Lily-Rufus blended family.

Interestingly, this episode was very Lily-centric and it aired the same week that The CW announced their much-rumored Gossip Girl spin-off pilot, featuring a younger Lily. I’m guessing we’re going to be seeing a lot more of Lily in the coming months, to build on the anticipation for this new series and to hint at her checkered past. Notice Jack kept bringing up her history in this episode and just last week Serena mentioned that Lily had dated French president Sarkozy.

What did you think of last night’s Gossip Girl? Will Blair end up going to Yale? Are Rufus and Lily meant to be?

Episode Recaps

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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