Welcome Home, Upper East-Siders: GG Recap #2

Only two episodes deep into Gossip Girl’s sophomore season, and already the plot is taking more twists and turns than my wine corkscrew on a nightly basis.

Who would have thought that Nate’s mistress from last week, Catherine, could also be the stepmother of Blair’s new man, Marcus “Suprise! I’m not boring, I’m a British Lord” Beaton? If you missed last night’s GG episode, yes, you read that correctly. Catherine is Marcus’ stepmother. And she’s still jonesing for some young Archibald lovin’.

Am I getting ahead of myself? I’m sorry, but so far this season I feel like the Serena/Dan drama takes a backseat to the follies of the other socialites. Last week, we left Serena and Dan in the middle of a romantic cliche – beach, bonfire, fireworks, everything that will never happen when I’m alone with a dude – and this week, Serena wakes up on the beach and tells Dan that they can’t just jump back into their relationship. Umm, why not? No matter, this is Serena Van der Woodsen we’re talking about, and two minutes later she’s boning Dan in the bathroom of the NYC-bound bus.

Now that we’ve cleared up Serena’s life, back to Blair. She’s been hinting to Marcus that she wants to meet the duchess (obvi), and Marcus seems a bit withheld. Blair Waldorf, not worthy of meeting someone’s parents? What has a summer in the Hamptons done to this world? Of course, this is all snowballing into the pinnacle that is every GG episode: the lavish party where all the real drams goes down. Fearing the duchess won’t be impressed by her Waldorfiness, Blair throws together a bash, which gives Chuck and excuse to wear a dapper red blazer and pink shirt enemble, and Blake Lively the chance to remind us why, even though her storyline is a little bland right now, she still owns the show. Her dress for Blair’s party was amazing.

If you’ve seen the previews for this week’s episode, then you already saw Blair put her foot in her mouth when Chuck somehow wrangles the duchess into being his date, which prompts Blair to make a crude Botox joke, only to retract it when Catherine announces that she’s Duchess Beaton. Oops. I saw that commercial, so I was waiting for Blair’s slip-up, but I definitely did not put it together that the duchess is also Nate’s lover, Catherine. That part still sort of blows my mind.

I guess it blows Nate’s mind too, because the next thing you know, he’s in the library with Catherine, whining that he can’t be his ex-girlfriend’s stepfather. Woah, slow down, young pup. She’s obviously just using you for your Chace Crawford eyes, smile, and abs. Aren’t you supposedly still in high school? I don’t think you’ll be walking down the aisle just yet.

Speaking of husbands and families and step-scenarios, remember Nate’s dad? Well, since he’s MIA, apparently the FBI wants to take all of Nate’s mother’s assets. Because when the core group of characters on a television show is filthy stinkin’ rich, it adds suspense to threaten their extravagantly cozy existences. And because we need to give Chuck one more glimmer of humanity by letting him loan money to Mrs. Archibald. In other family news, Dan and Jenny’s dad returns from touring with band, and we are treated to a sentimental little montage of the three “poor people” of the show. How cute.

Remember last week, when Catherine tried to end things with Nate, and then Nate made Catherine jealous, so she practically jumped him at the White Party? Well, it seems that Catherine’s still quite the seductress, and she and Nate start fooling around in the library, which is the perfect time for Blair to walk in on them and discover the little secret. The scriptwriting is particularly fantastic here, as Blair’s response is simply, “Oh my effing God!”

Nate scampers off, and with Blair alone with Catherine, she’s able to apologize for her earlier comment, insist that she truly cares for Marcus, and ask for Catherine’s pity. All of this is served with a side of blackmail, of course, because it’s Blair effing Waldorf we’re talking about.

As the last few minutes are ticking away, GG gives us the Humphrey family reunion, a brief interlude between the Blair/Nate/Catherine drama and the Blair/Chuck drama that will end the show and leave us salivating for next week’s ep. A girly slumber party for Serena and Blair grants the token girls-in-lingerie shot, as well as the token Blair-runs-into-Chuck-in-the-kitchen shot. I love the sexual tension that’s building between Chuck and Blair, and can’t wait for them to get it on again. In the meantime, Blair asserts that Chuck lost and that the Duchess does like Blair, because she saw herself in Blair… or rather, “I recognized someone in her.”

Line of the night, hands down.

As the episode closes, Nate blows off Vanessa (who I really didn’t miss in this episode), and Catherine hands him a package, presumably some cash for Mommy Archibald.

The kids are now officially ready to head back to school, and this season of Gossip Girl is already promising more sex, deceit, and revenge than ever. Bring it on, GG. I’m ready.

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