Serena's back from Spain with a new secret, Blair fights her nature to stay with Nate, and Cyrus and Eleanor host their first Passover seder together

By Tim Stack
Updated April 21, 2009 at 04:00 PM EDT
Giovanni Rufino/The CW
S2 E21
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Best. Episode. This. Year. At least so far. And what a great way to kick off the last remaining episodes of the season and build drama. The best part about the episode was undoubtedly all of the humor. Gossip Girl sometimes takes itself a little too seriously and can often feel a little too icy. But this episode was warm (Cyrus is the best — Wallace Shawn should become a regular) and funny (Blair was on fire but even Dan and Serena felt less stiff).

My one complaint is that I need a reprieve from the Audrey Hepburn dream sequences. They just always feel too cheesy. True, Leighton Meester delivered a solid cockney accent, and I’m a sucker for a lady in a big, floppy hat, but I still vote to eighty-six the Hepburn fantasies.

Of course, the center of attention was Blair, attempting a Plan B now that Yale seems out of the question. Sadly though, the back-up plan is to become a socialite, something that makes Eleanor none too pleased. While we’re on the subject of Blair’s folks, it was so nice to have Eleanor and Cyrus back on the show. They’re such a charming couple; GG can use more of that. (And I’m OBSESSED with Cyrus’ ”Schmutz happens…” apron. Too perfect.) But back to Blair, her dialogue — actually everyone’s dialogue — was so tart and amusing. Case in point, when Cyrus offers to get her an interview at NYU, Blair’s response was, ”Just because I lost Yale does not mean I’m wasting my time at a non-Ivy reading Beloved six times and experimenting with lesbianism.”

Blair decided to worm her way into the Vanderbilt family, befriend Tripp’s fiancée and land a spot on a committee at the Whitney. Blair would undoubtedly make a great lady-who-lunches but you get the sense she’s someone who would always yearn for more; shopping at Bergdorf’s everyday would probably tire her. Also, I don’t get the sense she would be big on volunteerism especially when she refers to people as ”commoners;” it’s sort of a faux pas to dish out that kind of language at the local soup kitchen.

The negotiation scene between Blair and Nate’s grandfather was pretty delicious. I loved the look on Blair’s face as she slowly realized that his desire to manipulate Nate into going to Yale could be her ticket to redemption. It was further proof of Meester’s skills as an actress. And it was highly amusing that this plan of manipulation and deceit all took place in a church.

Also, we learned that it was Nate’s grandfather who turned in the Captain to the authorities. Grandpa Vanderbilt apologized and explained himself, but I still think the old dude is not to be trusted. And, frankly, I was more interested in that amazing dress Blair wore to the rehearsal dinner.

NEXT: Serena’s Spanish inquisition

The night’s other big story was the return of Serena from her impromptu holiday in Spain. From the looks of Serena’s hair, she got into some kind of European brawl while abroad. Her hair was crazy in the last episode too. It’s like homegirl does not own a brush. She should realize that she needs to be a good hair role model for the young, impressionable, and horribly hair-styled Jenny. Serena, you’re her only hope. Take thyself to Target and pick up a bag of combs or something. It’s not that hard. And I’m sure Isaac Mizrahi even makes some cute designer ones. (I am willing to let this bad hairdo slide since she was wearing a sparkly cardigan for much of the episode.)

Anyways, S. came back from Spain and revealed that she thought she got married to Poppy’s boyfriend, Gabriel. The unsure aspect was due to quite a few bottles of Spanish wine. Did anyone else think it was weird that Serena went to Cyrus for help with this, especially since she used to date his son? Although, I do enjoy scenes with Serena and Cyrus in the same shot, because it looks like a sequel to My Giant. Frankly, I’m not sure why Serena wouldn’t want to be married to Gabriel — he’s the hottest thing she’s dated in a helluva long time, especially considering her last big romance was the ambassador of greasy hair, Aaron Rose.

While we’re on the subject of people with bad hair who I don’t like, let’s discuss Jenny’s new pseudo boyfriend Elliot. He has bad hair and I don’t like him. Okay, I think we’re done.

It was a little weird that Jenny finally confronted Chuck about the Kiss on the Lips attempted rape thing. But I guess attempted rape is something that should be discussed before two families start cohabitating. If not, Thanksgiving could be awkward.

Chuck only had a few moments in this episode but I really like the growth shown with him. He’s usually so debaucherous but it felt appropriate that he would eventually realize how empty it all was. You can tell he really does still want Blair, despite the stream of flexible ballerinas going through the revolving door that is his bedroom. And I like that this story is moving to a full-fledged love triangle between Chuck, Blair, and Nate. That could be really good.

NEXT: On a wing and a prayer

One of the highlights of the episode had to be the central seder, thrown by Eleanor and Cyrus. It played out like a farce with Dan showing up to cater waiter the event, Serena on site to talk with Cyrus, and Lily and Rufus attending so that Rufus could do some art-world schmoozing. Love the fact that Cyrus’ mother hates Eleanor and Eleanor tells everyone this fact repeatedly. And the dinner table scene with Serena pretending that she and Dan were still dating and everyone interrupting Cyrus’ seder was really entertaining. Dan taking Elijah’s empty chair was hilarious. Plus, I loved Rufus and Lily being totally annoyed that their respective children were once again dating.

So by the end of this episode we sort of have some idea of where the GG kids could be going to college. Nate is determined to attend Columbia. Blair finally apologized to Cyrus and asked for the interview at NYU. And Serena got into Brown. I just wonder if things will stay this way. I sorta doubt it, especially Serena trekking off to Brown. I’m having bad, Vietnam-like flashbacks to Summer going to Brown on The OC.

Also, Dorota and Vanya are in love! What do you think they do on their days off? I need to see them in street clothes. I don’t think I would even recognize Dorota if her hair was down and she wasn’t wearing that little doily thing on her head.

Poor Vanessa, was all I could think when Rufus announced he was planning on selling the gallery. Where will that girl brew her coffee? I hope they show him breaking the news to her on camera. I sense a 90210/Emily Valentine style breakdown could be imminent. And what was it that Chuck said about a ”detour with a boho barista”?

The capper to the episode was that it looked like Poppy and Gabriel are still together and plotting something against Serena. If you read Michael Ausiello’s blog, you probably know what’s in store for Serena so I won’t spoil it for you readers who are still in the dark. But I think this is going to deliver some great drama in the next couple of weeks.

What did you think of last night’s Gossip Girl? Will Nate and Blair stay together? What’s going on with Poppy and Gabriel? What is Rufus’ next career move?

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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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