I feel like I've seen a million made-for-TV movies about Jackie Kennedy where she accompanies Jack to his family's get-together in Hyannis Port for the first time and it becomes very clear that her future father-in-law will stop at nothing to build an American dynasty.
Apparently, I'm not the only one watching Lifetime movies, because this week's episode of Gossip Girl seems to have been inspired by something similar. We watch Nate's grandpa Vanderbilt (on his mom's side) embrace him despite his father's public scandal. Poor Vanessa (and by "poor" I mean "couldn't be more annoying!") turns out to have way less control over her boyfriend now that the all-powerful family is back in his life.
After last week's disappointing return, I'm happier with this episode, which also includes Blair's existential crisis and lots and lots of Chuck! Let's dig in — just
- In the middle of Vanessa and Nate discussing their Spring break trip to Eastern Europe, a Vanderbilt cousin named Trip (insert Palin family joke here) pops up to tell Nate that the family loves him and misses him, especially gramps.
- Nate's all, whatever, there's basketball to watch, but Vanessa swoops in with Control Nate's Life Speech No. 1 and tells him to get over to that family reunion. Ugh, let the man watch basketball!
- Once they (Vanessa, Nate, and Dan — why?) all get to the family reunion, which takes place in a magic Vanderbilt castle, Trip informs them that grandpa will be landing via helicopter! And when he does, he actually says: "Nathaniel! I'm so delighted you're here! My boy!" And then the whole family claps for the prodigal son's return.
- Serena tells Chuck that Blair didn't get into Yale, hence the weird behavior of late. Chuck: "The only thing she wanted more than me. That would be painful."
- I thought the Carter thing with Blair would be longer, but he basically just sleeps with her. Chuck and Serena get rid of him fast, blackmailing him with some secret involving time in Santorini? That'll come up again.
- Blair is in crisis because she didn't get into Yale and is tired of being a schemer: "Do you know how exhausting it has been being Blair Waldorf for the past 18 years?"
- Then Serena and Chuck become overly concerned Blair's going to do something really nuts like, oh, say, offer herself up as a prostitute to an exclusive gentleman's club, because that's what rich girls who self-destruct do. (No they don't. They do drugs.)
- I love the scene where they pester Dorota to tell them where the heck Blair is: "Yes it is old Miss Blair and then new Miss Blair and then it's old Miss Serena and then new Miss Serena — very hard to keep track!"
- Oh, and note to self: Never attempt to buy Dorota off.
- I know old-money WASP families tend to have bonkers traditions, but really? A speech when someone lands an internship?
- In Control Nate's Life Speech No. 2, Vanessa is now peeved that Nate has ambition ("The only thing Nate's ever voted for was American Idol") and lectures him about turning into Trip in five years. She is so condescending! She's basically telling Nate he's a simpleton who should never change, because that's a good plan for a 17-year-old.
- In the end Nate chooses a future that's, like, ambitious and stuff over flitting around Europe with his high-school girlfriend, leaving Vanessa to sob in Brooklyn to Dan and Jenny ("Why do rich people insist on tiny food?!"). Call the waambulance.
- Nate and Blair have quite the touching moment in the castle's special empty room. And then they have an even more special moment in Blair's room, with Chuck piecing it together in her foyer.
- Finally, Serena "b*tch slaps" Dan for having sex with the teacher. Man, that felt good, and I didn't even get to do it.
I much prefer Nate being groomed for the White House (you know, mayor's intern one day, president the next) to him hanging out with Dan and Vanessa in Brooklyn. I'm also OK with Blair taking her place beside him for the moment.
Also: Really, Rufus? First of all, Lily's list isn't all that long (the woman is how old?), and second of all, how is he surprised? She was a groupie and has been married like a million times, of course she's been around the block.
How did you feel about this episode?
Photos courtesy of The CW