Nate reconnects with his absurdly rich family, while Rufus and Lily's latest attempt at honesty disappoints them both

By Tim Stack
Updated March 24, 2009 at 04:00 PM EDT
Credit: Giovanni Rufino/The CW
S2 E19
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There are some sights so special that you just have to stop and take pause. A rainbow. A unicorn. Nate Archibald smiling. A unicorn jumping over a rainbow. But I think seeing young Archibald’s pearly whites takes the cake. How great was it to see him actually happy? I’m guessing since this is Gossip Girl, the happiness won’t last for long and some long lost secret about Nate’s grandpa will pop up or something (maybe gramps and Lily got it on?).

Now, GG has made us suspend our disbelief a time or two. (My favorite was when Serena and Lily just knocked on the door of the parents of the man she ”killed,” apologized, and then left with no problem. Okay, sure.) But I think the biggest leap of faith was that Dan would actually go over to Nate’s to watch basketball. Does Dan even know what a basketball looks like? I feel like he’d show up to a basketball game wearing a cardigan over his jersey. And Vanessa would probably only show up for the National Coffee Bean Grinding Competition.

Is the Vanderbilt estate the same house that they used in Cruel Intentions? The estate where Reese Witherspoon lived? I think it is. Needless to say, I would reunite with my estranged family, too, if it meant that awesome pad. And, of course, the Vanderbilt boys all play football while donning clothes straight outta the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog. That was hilarious. But I have to say this episode didn’t always go for the easy twists. As my coworker Meeta and I were discussing, this outing totally avoided the whole rich kids shun the poor cliché. Vanessa and Dan were welcomed into this family and not judged. Case in point was the football scene when Vanessa watched from the terrace and Tripp’s fiancée welcomed her into the family without question. It was refreshing to expect a certain plot direction and then be pleasantly surprised by its absence.

I cannot believe that Nate and Vanessa had a date at her coffee shop! Does she not have a home? Can we loosen the purse strings on this show to at least build the poor girl a studio apartment? I do have to hand it to the girl, though, she looked really pretty at the Vanderbilt party.

Chuck is back chasing Blair, which is great, but I enjoy the darker, rebellious Blair even more. It is nice to have Carter Baizen out of the picture, though. I still don’t remember him and he’s not dirty sexy like Chuck; he’s more just milquetoast-y. And what the hell happened in Santorini? Did Serena kill ANOTHER dude? I sure hope not. Chuck and Serena interrogating Dorota about Blair’s whereabouts was really amusing, especially when Dorota got angry and her cheeks started shaking! Does anyone know what she said to Chuck?

NEXT: It’s a new love triangle

Blair was at her utmost best, though, at the Vanderbilt party. (I also loved her black and white striped dress — very flattering.) My favorite moment — and one that Josh Schwartz described to me as the ”best Nate-Blair scene yet” — was when the two of them were in the abandoned ballroom. It was sooo beautifully shot and sweetly acted. Chace Crawford doesn’t get a lot of opportunities to show emotion but he played that quite well; very natural. It’s funny to think about Nate and Blair dating when they were kids. Plus, it was nice to get a better sense of Nate. He’s always been somewhat of a cipher but his speech to Blair actually gave him some depth. Also, kudos to the writers for such a well-written scene. So, the big twist then was that Blair and Nate reunited. I gotta say that I’m for this relationship, or at least I like the drama that it will create, like the new love triangle between Nate, Blair, and Chuck. Plus, Nate and Vanessa just never took off.

Loved Serena’s outfit in the first scene, with the bejeweled blouse and tan blazer. Someone got their bedazzler out of storage! But I did not enjoy the dress she wore to Nate’s family’s party; it seemed too summer-y. Also, not diggin’ the straightened hair.

Did we know before that Lily’s art dealer also went out with Rufus? That seemed so random and unnecessary. (Also, how much more art can they fit in this apartment? It’s not like she’s living in the Guggenheim. But they can’t lose the big Prada sign — I love that!) The whole making lists story line though is a little cliché. Offhand, I remember it even being done on an episode of Roseanne when Fred and Jackie compared numbers. Clearly, the GG producers are trying to play up Lily’s past, since that will be the subject of the proposed Gossip Girl spin-off. (Side note: I was on set a couple weeks ago, TV Watchers, and it looks like tons o’ fun. I’m excited about what’s coming up.) But I did love that we learned Lily had not only hooked up with Trent Reznor but also Slash. That’s a mental image to savor. Still, last week we had Rufus picking up a note that Jenny dropped. Now, this week we have him finding Lily’s list in her purse while looking for tip money? Come on, people. And on top of all that, Kelly Rutherford’s pregnancy is starting to get out of control, too. The scene with her on the couch, eating Chinese food with a huge blanket? Not a smooth cover.

Once again, we saw about two minutes of Jenny. She’s still rocking the meth addict look, which I am not happy about. Vanessa looks good now — is it too much to ask that Jenny pull it together?!

Also, where is Eric? The little dude has been MIA for weeks. And clearly he’s not hanging out at home with Mom and Rufus because we’d see him. Here’s hoping he’s out having a gay old time with a new boyfriend.

What did you think of last night’s Gossip Girl? Will Nate and Blair last? Can Rufus deal with Lily’s past?

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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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