'Gossip Girl' recap: Blair regresses as 'High Infidelity' covers familiar ground

gossip-girl-602-serena-nate-coffee.jpgTwo down, eight to go. " Gossip Girl's" second episode of the final season, "High Infidelity," was a bit better than the premiere thanks to a surprising twist. Now, if you aren't quite up to speed, you can read the angsty tale of my love-hate relationship with "Gossip Girl" right here. Are you all caught up? Good. Let's get on with our weekly dose of grumpiness and blind hope.

"High Infidelity" tread some familiar ground, which was both fun (with the returns of Nelly Yuki and the minions) and really boring (with Serena and Nate jumping to absurd conclusions in their romantic lives). All in all, the biggest problem in the show continues to be Bart Bass. Unfortunately, he's dragging Chuck's storyline down with him.

LOW: We still don't care about Bart Bass, or his money, or his various sexual partners, or his fake death. It's all too convoluted -- plus, I get it. He's a Bad Guy. My complete disinterest in the dastardly deeds of the Bass patriarch means that Chuck's entire storyline right now is a total snore. It's the final season -- our favorite characters should be interacting with each other. Not with their douchey dad's boring mistresses.

HIGH: Dorota's redesign of Waldorf Designs. First of all, I now want Dorota to redecorate my apartment. Second of all, the old photos of Serena and Blair on the wall -- from way back in Season 1 -- warmed my cold black heart. That scene was such an iconic moment in their friendship, and the fact that Blair didn't flinch at the pics hanging in her form-and-function office offers some hope for a genuine reconciliation by season's end.

HIGH: Georgina in general. Listen, I'm pretty mad at Dan for trusting her and confiding in her and all that, but while she's here, I might as well enjoy her crazy. She gets the best, dirtiest lines, and I refuse to deny myself the pleasure of laughing at them just because I'm mad that she's still around.

LOW: Blair in general. This episode was a perfect showcase of the fact that Blair has not grown, at all, since Season 1. I thought she was learning to respect herself more, but it looks like that was just narcissism rearing its well-coiffed head. Blair -- who was even wearing a headband -- was pretty repellent in this episode. Rude to Dorota, who clearly deserves a promotion at this point? Check. Bossing minions around? Check. Happy to steamroll over other people's hard work in order to save her own butt? Check. (Even if it is Poppy, it's still irritating.)

It was all so tiresome, I should have been glad when it blew up in her face at the end, but instead, I was just bored. We've seen the Blair-schemes-and-it-backfires plotline too many times. Time for some character growth, which means it's time for Blair to stop trampling over people in her quest for... power? Chuck? Whatever else she wants this week? There's got to be a way for Blair to stop treating people like crap and to still maintain her Blair-ness. Perhaps I'm holding her to too high a standard now that only a few episodes remain -- after all, she is waiting around for Chuck, who famously treats people poorly. Still, we're getting down to the wire, and I want to see these characters grow up, not just get older.

HIGH: Nelly Yuki's return!
"Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night shouting, 'Tights are not pants.'" The return of Nelly Yuki was a welcome plot twist -- particularly because she's thriving without the pressure of living in fear of Blair's yogurt bombs. It's fun to check in on familiar faces as the series winds to a close. Plus... did I see a spark between Nelly and Dan? (I just really don't want Dan Humphrey to die alone, even if he is being shady this season. I'm invested.)

LOW: Nate and Serena jumping to conclusions. I'm not just referring to Nate's completely clunky "Millionaire Matchmaker" quote, though that did make me sympathize with Chace Crawford's claim that the first thing he's going to do when "Gossip Girl" wraps is reclaim his dignity. I'm talking about them seeing Steven and Sage together and immediately assuming they're dating. With the complete lack of sexual chemistry between the two, and Nate and Serena's history of weird things happening, you'd think they'd be adults and ask actual questions. After all, they were hanging out. If Steven had spotted Serena with Nate, would he have immediately assumed Serena was cheating? Probably not.

gossip-girl-602-dan.jpgHIGH: Steven and Sage's twist. That explains why they cast someone so much older than Serena's usual flings to play Steven -- he's got a daughter, who is just (barely) old enough to be dating Nate. This was actually a surprise, and I didn't think "Gossip Girl" could shock me this far in. Plus, it reintroduces Constance Billard, which adds a nice nostalgic touch for the final season. That said, I still can't see Steven or Sage being the "endgame" romances for Serena and Nate. Even though Nate is supposed to be barely

HIGH: Dan and Nate = bromance forever. Dan is pretty much determined to lose everyone he loves by exposing them... and now Nate is facilitating that. I can't imagine anyone will be too happy with either of them once Dan's first piece is published, but I kind of like the whole "Dan and Nate against the world" vibe they've got going on.

LOW: The Jenny Issue. I love a good Jenny reference on this show, but Dan ranting that his friends drove Jenny out of town was too little, too late. That happened years ago, and it wasn't his "friends" who made Jenny leave Manhattan, it was Blair -- the girl he's been pining for and/or dating for a year. Jenny was banished for sleeping with Chuck (who was not banished, for the record) and the fact that her big brother is only just now realizing the injustice of that -- now that it's convenient and gives him an excuse to trash everyone he knows in exchange for money and notoriety -- is not cool. If Dan wants to defend Jenny, he's had plenty of opportunity to do it without cashing in.

LOW: No follow-up on the Ivy/Rufus grossness? Really? I want to know what she has up her sleeve and then I want her to hit the road.

The highs and lows were even this week -- though, the highs were definitely less important than the lows. Still, this week's episode was more fun to watch than the premiere (unless you only watch for Chuck/Blair stuff, which I most certainly don't). Your turn, "Gossip Girl" fans. What worked for you? What didn't? Were you surprised to find out that Steven was Sage's dad? Were you bummed that there were no Blair/Chuck scenes? Weigh in below in the comments section.
Photo/Video credit: The CW
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