In 'The Witches of Bushwick,' Vanessa, Jenny, and Juliet play wicked games at Serena's expense

By Sandra Gonzalez
November 16, 2010 at 02:36 PM EST
Giovanni Rufino/The CW
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Over four seasons, we’ve seen Serena elude many things: responsibility, laws of indecent exposure, a litany of sexually transmitted diseases, and — most of all — the consequences of her actions. Whether dealing with her friends or her mom or the Gods of inequality, she has always moved on after her wrongdoings, with no real repercussions in the aftermath. Last night, someone finally decided to do something about it.

Okay, if we’re getting technical, three people decided to do something about it. But let’s face it: Jenny Humphrey, Vanessa, and Juliet are all only thirds of actual human beings, so my assessment is accurate. The good news is the trifecta of second-rate schemers proved that, when combined, they can pull off something deliciously evil — and extremely fun to watch.

We opened this week with Eric and Elliot (E2) attempting to bring logic to Serena’s love debacle using a Venn diagram, not realizing that a less Herculean task might have been making a Mayan Pyramid out of popsicle sticks and the excess oils from Jenny’s hair. Nonetheless, the boys were right about one thing: A decision had to be made — if not for Serena’s sake, for the sake of Dan and Nate, whose world of mutual love had been thrown into turmoil by the lady’s indecision.

Luckily, Vanessa stepped in and told Dan and Nate that nothing — not concubines nor love quarrels — should come between their special relationship. They agreed and made up, and while they played with balls, they decided that it was best if they acted as lovers gentleman. “May the best man win.” (Recap poll: Should we forever until the end of time refer to Nate as Mrs. Nate Humphrey? One vote for yes.)

Their reconnection turned out to be exactly what Vanessa & Co. wanted. They needed Dan and Nate united so that when the sky began to rain revenge, they could huddle together under the umbrella of mutual Serena disdain. And all was going well in the revenge department. Our dastardly trio had fed a slightly embellished story to Page Six about Serena’s fling with Colin that caused the Dean at Columbia to request a meeting with Serena and Mommy Warbucks.

In said meeting, the Dean invited Serena to leave the school, citing her negative effect on the learning environment. Then, Lily surprised us all by revealing that she’d been hiding a hefty set of balls underneath her chunky knit-wrap sweaters. She told the Dean that she would have the New York Times write an article about horny professors and their slutty students — or something like that. It was enough to make the Dean back down slightly.

Meanwhile, post-coital Blair and Chuck were preparing for meetings of their own. Chuck was eagerly anticipating his black and white bore of a ball (Blair would later talk him into a masquerade!) and Blair was excited about her talk with Anne Archibald, who was going to be offering her a spot at the head of a foundation. But things would not go as planned for either of them in their quests to become masters of their given universes.

NEXT: Somebody goes and utters the blasted ‘L’ word.

Chuck’s P.R. she-devil would tell him that Blair’s neutering effect on him was bad for the hotel. People visited the Empire to live the Chuck Bass fantasy life of endless women and wealth — not for happily ever after. In her meeting with Mrs. Archibald, Blair would learn that Chuck reflected poorly on her reputation, and that if she wanted the Board’s support, she’d need to ditch the Bass. Of course, they both immediately bent to the pressure of their egos. “Trust me, a relationship with Blair is the furtherest thing from my mind,” Chuck said. Too bad the same couldn’t be said for the thoughts being filtered through his other head.

For sake of business and personal gain, however, the ruse would continue — with both of them accepting the other’s respective decision to not do public appearances. That didn’t mean they couldn’t have private fun, though. But fun turned very serious when Chuck had a premature slip that is much worse than what your corrupted mind is thinking now. Amid an intense pre-sex makeout session, he uttered to her passionately, “I love you.” Ever the classy woman, Blair acted as though she didn’t hear, but she very much did. The implications and lingering questions resulting from the statement would follow them for the rest of the episode.

Back at van der Woodsen HQ, Jenny had arrived back in town, and she came with a peace offering in the form of information. She told Lily that Juliet was the one who had planted the story about Serena in Page Six, and that she was out to get Serena. And if you believed for a moment that her intentions were pure, you probably also believe that unicorns exist and poop rainbows or that Rufus will one day hold down a real job again.

With her parents not 20 feet away, Jenny immediately called up her accomplices to let them know all was in place, but not before pulling a magical SIM card out of God knows where and replacing Serena’s so they could have control of her communications. Step 1 of Operation Ample Destruction: complete.

Step two involved the newly rekindled Nate and Dan, who themselves were trying to figure out how to deal with Serena. Whilst taking a stroll together, they concluded that it would be best if they each invited her out on a date and let her decide which to attend. Truth be told, both dates were rather similar: Feed her (and probably do her). So they sent the invites via text (R.I.P., chivalry), which they didn’t realize were actually being fielded by the boney zombie hands of evil. As a result, both gents received affirmative responses — but obviously, Serena would not be showing up to either date, leaving them angry and hurt. Before walking away from the situation, though, they gave her one last chance: She had to decide by midnight, or they’d both walk away forever. It was yet another win for Team Brooklyn, and another was on the way.

NEXT: Serena suffers another indignity.

After learning about Juliet’s involvement with the libelous newspaper story, Lily had arranged a meeting with Juliet, which in olden times would have ended with Juliet keeled over from poison tea. (I miss those days.) But no bodies dropped — only secrets did. Juliet revealed to Lily that she knew of Serena’s first teacher scandal. (And though it wasn’t said outright, we all agree that Juliet was talking about her brother Ben, right?) Knowing she was between a rock and a bitch, Lily coughed up some loot to shut Juliet up. This didn’t go over well with Serena later, who accused her mom of “always thinking the worst” of her. If Serena had given her brain time to process her words before they exited her mumbly mouth, she probably would’ve seen that her mom had every right to worry.

Nearby, Blair prepped for the arrival of the Board with food courtesy of Chuck. It would all have to wait, though, because all it took was a few parallels from The Time Traveler’s Wife to get her out the door and on her way to the party to go “straight to hell with all the other sinners.” Dorota was told to keep the Board there until she returned, but Blair’s absence also turned out to be the perfect opportunity for one more Serena sabotage. Blair had been worried about Serena seeking the position as head of the foundation, and the Bra-gade submitted Serena’s resume for the spot, knowing that if Blair ever found out, there would be fireworks. And there were. Lots of them.

At the masquerade, Juliet and Jenny dressed in the same costume as Serena (which they had seen on Gossip Girl). While Jenny set out on one mission (more on that in a bit), Juliet tricked Dan and Nate into thinking they were the Chosen One by giving them both a masked kiss. When the confusion came to a head, the boys were dejected and fed up. After Dan declared he was done trying, Serena turned to Nate hoping he’d be the voice of reason, but he fired back: “I’m with him. So goodbye Serena.” And they took off…together.

On the balcony, Blair approached Chuck about the words he’d uttered in bed.

Chuck: Do you want me to have meant them?

Blair: If they were true, I’d want to know. [Long pause] Of course, people do lose their rational thought during sex. They bark and scream out for God and their mothers, I should get back…

Chuck: I meant it Blair. With all my heart.

Their happiness didn’t last long, however, because Jenny (posing as Serena) outed them as a couple in front of everyone, including the Board (who had switched locales with a little help from Vanessa). The move ended up costing Blair the position. When Blair approached her about the incident (and about applying for the position) harsh words were exchanged, and Serena took off in anger. But as she left, with her mask in place, she began to feel the effects of the drug Juliet had smeared on the inside. Before she could fall on her face, Juliet grabbed her and hauled her into a cab. (Rats! I wanted to see her fall on her face.) When we last saw Serena, she was passed out on a bed, and Juliet was presumably preparing to go all Annie Wilkes on her ass. Creepy.

NEXT: The best zingers from this week’s episode.

Outside the party, the Chair drama continued, with Blair telling Chuck that her relationship with him would always hold her back and that she needed her own identity. “I followed my heart all last year and it got me nowhere. Now I need to follow my head,” Blair said. Chuck tried to argue, but ultimately agreed, saying “When two people are meant to be together, eventually they’ll find their way back.”

Blair: Do you really believe that?

Chuck: I do.

Blair: [Softly] So do I.

Clothes, schemes and quips aside, this is why Blair is one of the best female characters on TV. She’s independent, intelligent, learns from her mistakes, and has goals that extend beyond romance. It’s easy to see why she’s the perfect yin to Serena’s tragically underachieving yang.

Great episode, Gossipers! Kudos to those who called the Ben situation many weeks ago! But where do we go from here? We have two weeks to ponder many important questions, among them: What the hell is Juliet going to do to Serena? Will Dan and Nate ever take the plunge? And who will be the one to piece together this mystery?

Also, less importantly: Do you think that without a visual aid, Serena probably would have thought a “protractor” a sex toy? Did you find it hilarious that Jenny wore less makeup to the masquerade (aka, the one place a mask is totally acceptable) than she wears in everyday life? And I know this is from last week, but hearing it again during the “previously on” segment still got me chuckling, so I have to ask: Which word sounds more ridiculous coming out of Serena’s mouth? “Academic” or “career”?

QUOTABLES

“I just wanted to let you know that Brooklyn is a great place to avoid nasty looks — unless you throw your recycling in the regular trash or try to open a giant chain store with questionable labor practices.” –Dan to Serena’s voicemail

Dan: “Don’t think this means I’ve been calling out your name in my sleep.”

Nate: “It’s not like I’ve been writing ‘Mrs. Nate Humphrey’ in my notebook.”

Chuck: “With your glow, Anne Archibald will beg you to be the face of her new foundation.”

Blair: “It’s a hormonal response to orgasm. Nothing more.”

Chuck: “What else could it be?”

“While I love to delay your gratification, I can curb your cravings if you care to join me there before my party” –Chuck

“I have a whole new appreciation for Big Love.” –Serena

“Lists are for kids. Dilemmas like these require a meditative state. I find mine by watching Dorota feed the ducks. You can borrow her as long as she’s back by dinner.” –Blair

“Dan versus Nate was hard enough. I’m not touching good versus bad Serena.” –Eric

“Relax, man. Girls know that when you say that during sex, it doesn’t mean ‘I love you’; it means ‘I love having sex with you.'” –Nate

“What say we go up in flames together?” – Chuck

“As long as I’m with you I’m Hilary in the White House and I want to be Hilary Secretary of State with better hair.” –Blair

“Look at Brad and Angelina, they take turns on top.” –Chuck

More Gossip Girl: @EWSandraG

Related: ‘Gossip Girl’: 15 Fashion Hits and Misses

EVER WISH EW.COM HAD A RADIO STATION? Quit living in the past, man or lady! In this week’s TV Insiders podcast, Annie Barrett, Dalton Ross, and Michael Slezak grade the first week of Conan, pick the funniest Modern Family character, and discuss the trouble with the Survivor: Nicaragua cast and Bristol Palin’s improbable run on Dancing With the Stars. Click here to download the TV Insiders podcast to your MP3 player, or listen to an embedded version below!

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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