It's hardly a secret that this has been a rough year on poor Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford), what with Daddy dumping him and mommy, absconding with the family fortunes. So he's not exactly thrilled when he's invited to come to the family reunion to make nice with his Grandfather Vanderbilt. After all, Grandpa didn't exactly come running to his rescue when times were tough. But with a nudge from gal-pal Vanessa (Jessica Szohr), who urges him to mend fences, old Nate takes the plunge into the Kennedy-esque setting. It's a move Vanessa is going to come to regret, in more ways than one!
Meanwhile, pitiful Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), having been soundly rejected from Yale for her hazing of a teacher, is out to kill -- and her target for assassination is none other than Blair Waldorf! "By the end of tonight, the old Blair Waldorf will be dead and buried with no chance of resurrection," she vows at the Vanderbilt party, after a day of drinking with the incorrigible Carter Baizen (Sebastian Stan) and a little "discount shopping" with an aghast Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively). It's a social suicide of the highest order, as Meester delivers some of her most engrossing scenes of Gossip Girl to date.
Where's Waldorf? Serena and Chuck race to rescue Blair
-- but are they already too late?
Determined to save Blair from herself, Serena finds herself allied with none other than Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick), who has been trying to reach out to Blair without success. When Serena explains how Blair lost her Yale opportunity, understanding finally dawns on Chuck about Blair's new careless attitude. "The only thing she wanted more than me," he muses. "That would be painful." Together, this new dynamic duo race to save Blair from herself -- but she may just have a different savior than they planned.
The grownups aren't going to be left out of the fun in this episode, either, as Serena's mom, Lily (Kelly Rutherford) continues to hook up with Rufus Humphrey (Matthew Settle). But when she discovers that her own art supplier is one of Rufus's old flings, she challenges Rufus to compare lists of previous conquests. "This has disaster written all over it," Rufus warns -- and he's right; there's no way his postcard can stand up to the Yellow Pages that must be Lily van der Woodsen's journal of conquests!
I Scream... Blake Lively and Leighton Meester
grace an upcoming Rolling Stone cover.
The Humphrey children -- Dan (Penn Badgley) and Jenny (Taylor Momsen) -- aren't taking a total back seat this episode, but they don't really contribute a whole bunch, other than providing moral support for Vanessa when she learns what the future holds for Nate. And, by the way, who butchered Jenny's hair? I mean, seriously -- that feral look just doesn't convey the image Little J had last season at all.
This episode gets back to all the juicy scandal that drives Gossip Girl fans into a frenzy. You'll have to see it to believe it when Blair offers Chuck the one thing she knows he can't possibly refuse -- and as the final credits prepare to queue up, the chat lines will be clogging the Internets with the biggest GG-inspired OMG this year! You know you want to watch it!
Gossip Girl, "The Grandfather" airs Monday night, March 23 on the CW, 8pm / 7pm CT.