When last we saw our beloved Gossip Girl, all of these beautiful people were spinning dangerously off their axes: Dan taking Ecstasy and/or Viagra and winding up in jail, Serena pushing over Blair for old socialites with high-fashion hairdon’ts, Jenny stealing fabric and ideas and everyone else’s thunder, and Chuck Bass hanging out with poor people.
Good morning, Upper East Siders! And welcome to another Audrey Hepburn Fever Dream, courtesy of Blair: she sits in Eliza Doolittle flower-seller drag (which, to be perfectly frank, I didn’t even realize for a second, if that gives you any clue how insane the costuming has been this season) while some unknown older man Henry Higginses at her. Serena appears in the Ascot hat to steal her thunder, all the while wearing that hideously unflattering keyhole neckline I thought we had retired at Lily’s wedding. Apparently, we did not. Blair awakens with a shudder to find Dorota bearing grapes (of course – there is a thesis to be written about the role of grapes in Blair Waldorf’s eating disorder, if anyone is casting wide for a topic.) The two merrily discuss Blair’s Yale interview later that day, and Dorota maternally tells Blair how proud she is of her. Lily frowns as Serena discards her handwritten (mwahaahaahahaha oh they’re serious) initiation to interview at Yale in order to pursue her dream of attending Brown; the discussion is discarded when two Eleanor Waldorf designs appear in a garment bag for the Van Der Bass ladies’ approval. Lily is slightly rankled when she sees that the dress she prefers is intended for her daughter. Wherever poor people hang out, Dan is boring and dressed like an extra on "Hogan’s Heroes." Nate prepares for his interview for Yale – his safety school – while Chuck intends to choose his college based solely upon its secret societies. Blair tells Serena that she isn’t smart enough to get into Yale; all of a sudden, we all know where this episode is going.
Wait, does this hyperextended commercial imply that the audiences for this show and "High School Musical" intersect?? Because wow, that’s really inappropriate.
Poor people eat waffles, and Vanessa and Jenny pitch Rufus on the concept of home-schooling. They pressure him into shadowing Jenny at the Waldorf atelier for a day in order to see how much she is learning there. In New Haven, Dan tells the Dean of Admissions that he has something to say. Oh lord, Dan, just because you’re talking doesn’t mean you have anything to say. Oh, the Dean is Henry Higgins. That makes sense. Dan is short a letter of recommendation – Not-McInerney is in a drunken stupor, or chasing around after Bret Easton Ellis, or something, and Noah Shapiro flat-out refused after the jail incident. The Dean suggests that Dan find a member of the Yale Lit department to read his stories and write him a letter. Because that’s the way things work at Yale. High school students just approach tenured professors like some sort of demented high-IQ Big Brothers and Sisters of America supplicants.
Nate and Chuck loll about in the grass while Chuck awaits a member of Skull and Bones to find him. Nate’s head is turned by a fetching brunette on a campus tour and he chases after her. Chuck is immediately abducted by a group of black-clad males. The Dean and Serena kiss-kiss as she leaves his office and Blair enters, thrown off by Serena’s fairy-dust twinkle. She is unable to tell the Dean anything interesting or spontaneous about herself. Nate flirts with his brunette – oh her name is Jordan! – until someone mentions the Captain; then, thrown off by the references to his father’s criminal activities, Nate introduces himself to Jordan as "Dan Humphrey." Ew! In a dark basement somewhere, Chuck strives to impress the Skull and Bones. Blair confronts Serena about coming to Yale to show her up, and Serena admits that while that was originally true, she now really is interested in Yale; just then, the two girls are interrupted when Serena gets a phone call from the Dean inviting her to a party at his house tonight.
At the Waldorf atelier, Rufus is impressed despite himself at Jenny’s apparent influence; he asks Eleanor, parent-to-parent , to fire Jenny for her own good. Eleanor, of course, refuses. Chuck gloats quietly when he learns that his sister got an invite to the party over Blair; he even tells her to steal Blair’s answer to the question of "which person living or dead would you want to have dinner with," which is George Sand, about whom Serena knows nothing, including gender. Nate and Jordan make out (where?! whose dorm room is this?!) until she stumps him with a question about Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The actual Dan arrives at the door and oh dear lord, Jordan isn’t on a college tour, she works in the English department and Dan wants her to read his stories. He busts Nate and Nate points out the enormous chip on Dan’s shoulder. Blair approaches the Dean’s secretary; she has put a pair of cat figurines on hold at Christie’s in exchange for an invite to the reception.
At the end of the evening, Rufus admits that Jenny is clearly valued at the atelier, but that he wants her to go back to school. She tears up but agrees with him, which means that she must be plotting something behind his back, and asks him to take her on one last work errand before they go home. At the Dean’s house, Blair and Serena snipe at each other while in the background someone plays Muse’s "Time is Running Out" on the cello. Heh. I love you, show. Serena writes ‘George Sand’ as her answer to the Dean’s question while Blair slowly goes insane, wearing an enormous bow headband. The girls follow each other around the party, attempting to hamstring each other. Chuck throws a party for the Skull and Bones featuring three prostitutes per member; however, they want him to bring them Nate so that they can punish him for his father’s misappropriation of their fathers’ funds. Chuck calls Nate to meet him at Mike’s Bar, but he instead gives them Dan. Blair has changed Serena’s answer on her questionnaire to the name of the man she killed. Ok, that’s going too far, Blair. Serena gently attempts to fend off the question and steer Blair outside. The girls begin shoving and screaming, and Serena rips the headband right off Blair’s head. Score!
At home, Lily puts on Serena’s daringly bare dress, only to be interrupted by Rufus and Jenny, dropping off an invoice from Eleanor. Jenny compliments Lily in the dress and runs upstairs to pick her out a different pair of shoes, while Rufus attempts to not look directly at Lily. Lily reveals to Rufus that the dress is his daughter’s design and creation. Nate sits at the bar, where Skull and Bones enters bragging about having tied Nate Archibald – Dan – to a statue in his boxers. Nate punches a few of them before going to rescue Dan. Jordan appears to giggle and untie Dan. Serena and Blair admit to each other that they can’t be friends, because they always feel like they’re letting the other one down.
The next morning, in Brooklyn, Rufus and Vanessa tell Jenny that Vanessa is going to help homeschool Jenny. Serena wears a horribly unflattering dress, and Blair an adorable little cloche, as the girls realize that they each just told the Dean to admit the other one into Yale. Serena thinks that the only reason they fought was because they were worried about separating in college. Jordan and Nate kiss, and she tells Dan she will have someone in the English department read his stories. Chuck shows the Skull and Bones members incriminating photos of them with the girls, and blackmails them one and all. Nate is horrified at Chuck’s treatment of Dan, and decides to take the train with his new friend Dan rather than ride back with Chuck. And the Dean, surrounded by Serena’s press clippings, tells her that she will be an early admission acceptance, and that he’d like to issue a press release; she hangs up on him. Serena tells Blair she won’t go unless Blair is accepted as well.
Next week: Blair and Chuck go all "Cruel Intentions" on Vanessa’s ass.
Well, well, well. I must say my college tour of Yale wasn’t nearly so…eventful. I mean, really, they were in New Haven and nobody went for pizza? Regardless, I find Serena’s complete and utter selflessness despite everything Blair has done to her to be difficult to swallow at this point.