Is it just me, or are the Gossip Girl recaps at the beginning of each episode waaaaay too long and detailed? For a second there, I thought I was watching a rerun. Luckily, this week’s episode was all new and delved into the evil machinations behind Ivy Week.

Spoilers ahead, sprinkled with a good dose of academic elitism.

Let me just start by giving major props to Erik (Connor Paolo), Serena’s little bro who was the only real MAN in the whole series on Wednesday’s (Oct. 3) episode. Yes, he made a huge mistake trying to take his own life, but he exhibited wisdom and cojones beyond his years a couple times this episode. Not only did he find a way to appease both his mom and Serena, but he really put Blair in her place, letting her know just how hurtful she was.

But I get ahead of myself. Ivy Week is a big deal for the girls at Constance Billard and the guys at St. Jude because it means lots of maneuvering and looking important for the Ivy League reps visiting. Poor Dan is overlooked as an usher for the Dartmouth rep, and Nate, who really wants to slum it and go to USC, is tapped instead, much to his dad’s delight.

At the Ivy shindig, where Dan gets in as part of the refreshment committee, all hell breaks loose (don’t let those Supernatural guys let you think otherwise). Serena horns in on Blair’s Yale action, Blair retaliates by outing Serena as a drug addict (even though she’s not), Nate allows Dan to romance the Dartmouth rep with talk of Loraxes, Erik and Jenny feel a connection and Chuck is still Chuck.

In the end, Dan made a good impression, Nate still hasn’t escaped the Dartmouth noose and Archibald destiny, Blair and Serena have called a temporary truce, Erik and Jenny make nice and Chuck gets laid.

Other highlights:

– The prim and proper Constance Billard girls singing Fergie’s "Glamorous."

– The whole field hockey scene. It should have been much longer. Not only do you have girls in short skirts checking each other, getting down and dirty, but Blair was also wonderfully accessorized with a chunky belt. It almost made me forget that she didn’t wear a gift bow this episode. Almost. šŸ˜¦
– Chuck’s interview about why he should be an Ivy League usher: "I’m Chuck Bass." This is a sound argument for anything really.
– The delicious evil partnership between Chuck and Blair, especially when he tells her "You don’t get enough credit for your wit." Blair needs to just dump the hand-wringing Nate and get it on with Chuck.
– Nan Zhang (Kati), who is brilliant in real life, gets to show off her smarts in a scene where she’s impressing an Ivy League rep.
– The rehab facility is called The Ostroff Center. For those who care, Dawn Ostroff is The CW’s president of entertainment.

Lowlights:

– Dan isn’t nearly as funny as he thinks he is. "I think Dartmouth has been dreaming of me." Ugh. He’s also a whiny, judgmental baby for most of the episode.
– Blair’s drab chignon, mustard blouse and too-large blue blazer just had me in misery. What a frump. Her character’s signature color seems to be red, and this would have suited her much better at the Ivy mixer.
– Why is Nate always sleeping on Chuck’s couch? I get that he doesn’t get along with his dad, but if Chuck is always hooking up, then that’s just gross.
– Nate’s dad is a major pain, Navy or no Navy.
– Dr. Seuss and Faulkner? This Dartmouth dude sounds lame.

Your thoughts on any of this? Who’s your hero in this episode?

Posted by:Hanh Nguyen