Gossip Girl Meet Georgina Sparks
Despite the arrival of the brunette bad girl, this episode wasn't nearly as fun as last week's Blair/Jenny showdown. And that's probably because most of the characters spent a lot of time engaging in an activity we don't see much of on this show -- studying. The SATs were on the horizon, and everyone had a different method of coping with the stress. Dan freaked out, Chuck hired a stand-in, and Blair devoted her energy to crushing the competition. It turns out only one Constance Billard girl per year has a shot at getting into Yale, and when Blair realized her grades and extracurriculars couldn't compete with those of nerdy Nelly Yuki, our newly reinstated Queen B dispatched her minions (whom she won back over from Jenny with spa-style study parties) to find a way to break the poor girl's concentration on the eve of the big test. The solution came in the form of Nelly's ex-boyfriend, Todd, whom Blair invited over to toy with her heart. And just in case that didn't work, Blair stole the batteries out of Nelly's calculator. This storyline felt like a waste of Blair's talents to me. I'd rather see her reserve her wrath for a more deserving enemy, like Jenny or Chuck.
Where Blair really could've been put to better use in this episode was teaching her friend Serena how to tell a convincing lie. S was oddly panicked by the reappearance of her old friend Georgina, a character so scandalous Serena didn't feel she could tell Dan of her existence. Instead, she enlisted the help of her future stepbrother Chuck to make excuses to Dan while she caught up with Georgina. Right. That wouldn't make Dan suspicious at all!
Against her better judgment, Serena met her old friend for a drink and soon got caught up in memories of flashing bartenders and faking Russian accents. But Serena left when things started to get wild, and Georgina realized it was going to take more than a Cosmopolitan to bring the old S out of hiding. Upon their next meeting, after pretending that Serena's reformation was an 'inspiration' to her, Georgina drugged her friend's Diet Coke and let the good times roll. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see those good times (which is a real shame, considering how much fun drunk Serena was in the Thanksgiving episode), because the next scene began with Serena waking up in Georgina's apartment, with no memory of the prior night, and no chance of making it to the SATs. Again, it was Chuck to the rescue, sending in a redheaded Serena substitute to take the test.
Dan spotted the fake Serena at the test and was on his way to find out what happened when he spotted another unusual sight -- Vanessa getting into a limo with new study buddy, Nate. This out-of-nowhere romance began earlier in the episode, when Vanessa read a practice essay Nate had left in a book he'd lent Dan, and she fell for his poor little (pretty) rich-boy routine a little too effortlessly. When she called him into her coffee shop to apologize for reading the essay, an 'apology latte' turned into a date, which turned into a moonlit stroll where V confided that she wasn't taking the SATs because no one in her family had gone to college (apparently artists don't feel the need for higher education) and she didn't want to be the first to break the family tradition.
But Nate saw through her, and arrived in front of her work the next morning with a limo, prepared to steal her away to take the test (which she was conveniently prepared for, having spent lots of time helping Dan study). I was extremely surprised by this (too) sudden turn of events. What about all that time he'd spent building a friendship with Jenny? Does this mean we're not going to get to see Queen B and the wannabe fight to the death over King N? As happy as I am that Vanessa finally has a distraction to keep her from pining over Dan, I have to say I'm in mourning over the much more vicious catfight that could've been.
Putting another nail in the coffin of my dream love triangle was the arrival of Asher Hornsby, the dog-loving prospective suitor of Little J. She was on a mission to score a rich boyfriend to help raise her social status, and Asher (once it was determined that he was a dog owner and not a dog walker), fit the bill perfectly. The only thing standing in her way was Rufus, who'd decided to ground her until she turned back into the sweet little girl he used to know. Rufus caved when Asher showed up at the door with a bag of hot dogs, managing to charm both father and daughter. But Asher's obviously rehearsed good boy routine left me feeling assured that the battle for Jenny's soul is far from over.
But big brother Dan was too busy worrying about Serena to get involved in the Humphrey family drama this week. He showed up at The Palace hotel in full-on supportive boyfriend mode, looking to find out what was going on with Serena. But she stuck with Chuck's lame food poisoning story (which she'd already flubbed) and promised to call him tomorrow. But before making that call, she paid one last visit to Georgina, telling the party girl to stay away from her. This was when the conversation alluded to a dark secret that Georgina is holding over Serena's head, but S ran away before we could find out what she and G have to hide.
But just because Serena wants Georgina out of her life doesn't mean Georgina won't stay away from Serena's friends. The episode ended in the park, where Georgina used her golden retriever to make friends with a lonely Dan and she introduced herself as Sara. Looks like next week we'll get to the good stuff.
So what did you think of this episode? Does Georgina add a layer of intrigue to the Upper East Side? And is anyone rooting for Nate and Vanessa to make it as a couple?