In the back half of the episode, we tease season two: Nate and Serena flirt, Dan and Vanessa flirt, Jenny gets her internship, Chuck meets and eye-bangs Lydia Hearst.
We learn Nate has been bedding strangers all summer, Serena and Blair have been shopping, Cyrus and Eleanor have been taking care of baby Anastasia, Dan and Georgina have been taking care of baby Milo, and Chuck has been MIA.
Blair and Chuck use Vanessa as a sexual pawn, Dan and Jenny are being nice to little teddy bear Nate, Serena's a mess just to piss off her parents, plus there's Jonathan, Erik’s only good boyfriend.
Blair and Vanessa are at war over the NYU “freshman toast,” a thing that does not exist. (It should! ) Nate and Serena and Carter and the Buckleys are fun in a scheme-y way, but it’s never clear exactly what the stakes are.
Chuck traps Serena and Blair in an elevator so they can work their problems out, both of which (trapped in an elevator; locking Blair and Serena in a room together to figure their problems out) have been done before on this show and on every other show.
But as fun, funny, and structurally impressive as the first GG episode is, the thing we really have to talk about is: This is the episode where Chuck tries to rape Jenny. And Serena, actually.
As with the first season finale, we wrap all this up fairly quickly with a non-answer to our central question (Who is GG? Everybody! ), and then time jump a bit ahead to tease the next season: The kid who wrote Dan a letter and also is Dan’s half-brother just transferred to NYU, Carter found Serena’s dad, Georgina is going to Gallatin (LOL), and Chuck is back with presents and love for Blair.
What gets overlooked here, because it's such a strong episode for the couples, is the father-son plots: Nate taking care of his drug-addict father by getting him arrested and Chuck trying to impress Bart but accidentally screwing up his relationship with Lily.
So many of the schemes in this episode are “I’ll threaten to tell someone something about you,” which is not my favorite kind of scheme. (My favorite, if you're wondering, is when someone tricks someone else into either publicly embarrassing themselves, making a decision that’s against their interest, or doing the trickster's dirty work. ) I'm glad they developed Raina’s character, as well as her relationship with Chuck, for two reasons: It’s better storytelling, and there is no diversity on this show.
Some good things: Eric and his love of “kick-ass Arias,” everyone’s outfits, Lily adopting Chuck, Vanessa and Nate having a disagreement that doesn’t turn into a fight, which is a rarity for couples on this show.
Dan’s in Tuscany, Blair and Chuck are in Monte Carlo, Serena is coked out, and Nate’s running the Spectator and has a swollen lip, but that’s not part of the plot.
Nate and Serena make Chuck and Blair sign a peace treaty. A literal treaty.
Lily tries to fix things with money, Blair and Serena with manipulation, and Chuck with lies and intel.
For the first 22 minutes, we wrap up season one: Lily gets married, Dan and Serena break up, Nate’s dad skips town, and Blair makes Georgina disappear.
Nate making fun of Blair for taking such good care of Chuck is precious, though I take issue with Blair saying, "We can’t let anyone see him like this” as she shoves Chuck toward a church full of everyone he knows.
And even though Blair decided just an episode ago that she prefers Chuck to Dan, now she prefers the prince to them both and has to stage a kiss with Dan to help the prince, natch. There is way too much talk of kissing and crushes.
There’s an episode in here somewhere that just takes place at the Waldorfs’ place as they argue, Twelve Angry Men-style, about what to do in the face of possible expulsion. Wouldn’t that be good? (Another idea I had is an episode titled "Blair Me Up Buttercup. Schemes!
This is clearly the episode when the writers realized Blair was more interesting than Serena.
We start with a flash-forward wherein Serena and Tripp, literally dressed as Bonnie and Clyde, get into a car accident. (It's not the first or the last on this show. No one can drive. ) Cut to 12 hours earlier: On the anniversary of his father’s death, Chuck is having hallucinatory conversations with Bart as he decides whether to buy a building that’s currently a homeless shelter and kick out all the residents just before Christmastime.
Meanwhile, Juliet's camera catches Serena kissing her professor/Juliet’s cousin, while another camera has captured Blair singing to Chuck.
Blair (wearing the necklace Chuck gave her for her birthday) and Serena look like the goddamn moon and the mother-freaking sun, respectively.
There are fashion schemes by Jenny and the mean girls, a bet between Chuck and Blair, some weird slut-shaming of Aaron and his artist friend Lexi (reminds one of Bex from season one, no? ).
Raina wants revenge on her father for her mother’s death (fair) and is willing to give Jack Bass control of Bass Industries in exchange. (Raina, team up with literally anyone else. ) Blair figures this out and races off to tell Chuck in person because this is a world in which no one has a cell phone.
It’s his mom, uncle, and lawyer, and they want his hotel—but it’s OK because Chuck has Blair and Lily and a new sense of emotional openness.
It seems once per season, there’s a fashion-related episode that involves Blair declaring that she, unlike other daughters of the elite, gets things on her own.
Blair, Chuck, and Jack are acting out the plot of Indecent Proposal, but with a hotel and just the first part where they break up. It’s weird and sad.
Final thought: Please go back and watch the little arm squeeze that Vanessa gives Chuck after they talk to Nate at the end of the episode.
We get a coked-out Serena, a meddling Dorota, “Everytime” by Lincoln Hawk, Lisa Loeb, the UES Justice League (whom Blair describes as “the non-judgmental Breakfast Club,” which forces me to point out that the original Breakfast Club wasn’t particularly judgmental either but that’s a minor quibble).
Blair thinks Vanessa is being duplicitous in helping Serena, but none of them do anything about it.
More importantly, this is the episode where Chuck and Blair bone.
The episode, though, belongs to Chuck and Blair.
Life will never be the same. XOXO. https://t.co/EBrUspP2VN— Glamour (@glamourmag) November 28, 2019