Recapping “Gossip Girl”: Southern Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Last night paired up Blair and Chuck once again as a duo willing to stoop low to achieve a high goal: save their girl Serena from heartbreak at the hands of a sociopath. Only this time, their route actually finds them seeking help from last season’s worst character, Georgina. In fact, I was so enraged at Michelle Trachtenberg’s presence on the show that I coined the term “to Trachtenburgle,” i.e. to appear on a formerly great show and ruin it (by way of historical reference, see her performance as Dawn “The Key” Summers on “Buffy”). And I’ve held it against MT ever since. But this season, it looks like she gets to play Georgina for laughs, and oddly enough, she’s good at it. In other news, Blair and Nate are back together. Granted, Nate is boring, but I do think Chace Crawford is—dare I say it?—growing as an actor. Meaning, y’know, he acts now. And it’s funny to see him get all pissy and glower at Chuck with his beautiful perfect eyes every time Chuck speaks to Blair.

Third, we’ve got a pair of villains to hate who are wholly separate from the sacred tribe of Van der Bassphreydorf. This gives us a chance to root for our favorite teen crime-busting squad without reservations…

The episode opens with Blair expressing terror of the subway as her boyfriend Nate tries to explain NYU’s neighborhood to her. For you see, her stepfather Cyrus, leveraged his Vietnam connections to welcome Blair Waldorf to that fine institution since she isn’t going to Yale.

Nate, being a man of the people, randomly knows everything about the West Village, such as its finest pizza joints and its most glorious bookshops. In a fine bit of exposition, Nate patiently explains Manhattan geography to native Manhattanite Blair, who is aghast to learn that Columbia University (where Nate is attending next year) is far away from NYU.

Later, Nate plays basketball downtown with Chuckles who is wearing a Juicy tracksuit in purple with a popped collar—nice touch.

Cut to Serena and her accent-less “Southern” boyfriend, Gabriel, who looks like a Ken doll. On the upside, Serena’s hair looks princessy and fluffy. On the downside, Gabriel is one marble-mouthed tobacco heir, and he doesn’t want to make it a Blockbuster night with Lilly and Rufus, so he bounces, Serena pouts, and sneaky Blair catches Gabriel running straight into the arms of Poppy the socialite—the ex-girlfriend he supposedly broke up with in Spain for Serena. Chuck comes upon Blair playing “Harriet the Spy,” and notes her beret, which is indeed fetching.

Blair sports an adorable pink and black dress with cutesy little cap sleeves when she tells Serena what she’s seen, but oh no, Gabriel has an explanation. He tells Serena that—just for one week!—he has to pretend to love Poppy so that she won’t tell his investors to vamoose. Serena buys it because she is Serena. Also, Gabriel has a fake tan. And then he calls her exquisite. Eeeeuuuuuuwwww.

In Brooklyn, Vanessa is wearing fun lime green and is acting morose. Except she boringly reveals to Dan later that she was just feeling ashamed of humping Chuck. In yet another coup for the blondes on this show, Jenny’s hair looks amazing.

Rufus is stressed because of money. He lies to the kids and says he’s sold the gallery, but he’s so lying. No one wants to buy the Lincoln Hawk House of Fingerpaints ‘N’ Espressachino. Inexplicably, someone actually does want to buy the Lincoln Hawk song catalog. Because who wouldn’t want to own exclusive rights to lines like “Oh it seems I’m walking right to your door/With my heart still resting, looking for something more?” This is just like when Michael Jackson bought all the Beatles’ songs. It’s seriously that big of a deal, you guys.

Blair and Serena go shopping, and Serena gets needlessly bitchy in a royal blue one-shoulder dress. Blair is oddly mature in her response and seems to actually want to protect Serena from her shady dude. I like when Blair gets protective. It’s kind of adorable.

Nate invites Chuck to the new apartment he bought in the Murray Hill —a neighborhood in NYC—then tells Chuck to stay away from Blair. Nate is wearing royal blue plaid, because royal blue is the color of bitchy hotties in this episode.

Then Blair and Chuck decide to make Poppy and Gabriel admit their folly, but o noez, P and G are on to them and put on a fakely fake show. Gabriel turns on the charm and convinces everyone at Lily’s fancy party to buy hoverboards for Congolese children, promising that it will somehow result in wealth for all. But Chuck is on to his game, because Gabriel claims to have met Serena one night at a restaurant when she she had been roofied by Georgina, but the restaurant was so not even open that night!

Blair and Chuck take the limo upstate to find Georgina, who will be able to tell them once and for all whether Gabriel introduced himself to Serena the fateful roofie night.

Then Georgina is very happy as a Christian convert, but Chuck senses the evil that still lays within. C’mon, she’s a sociopath—she may even believe that she’s changed, but she hasn’t. And Chuck decides to use that to his advantage. He mentions Blair’s name, and Georgina visibly cowers, which is wonderful to behold. And then, because she says she misses New York City, Georgina volunteers to head back to Manhattan with Chuckles.

It’s been awhile since I could say this with sincerity, but I mean it this time: I’m looking forward to next week’s show.