'Gossip Girl': "Say You Need Me"

Michelletrachtenberg_z_paleyfest08_In Gossip Girl's triumphant return, the boys and girls of Constance Billard/St. Jude lied, stole, cheated, snuck out and turned pimp - and that was only Little J's list of sins for the week! Blair and Jenny began a dangerous game of brinksmanship, Chuck showed Eric some brotherly love (and a wee bit of vulnerability), Serena got blackmailed by a mysterious "G", and everyone spent an inordinate amount of time either going or NOT going to Butter.

Good morning, Upper East Siders! It's SAT prep time, and our gorgeous fivesome are wearing incredible quantities of necklaces and quaffing coffee (!) - not even the Irish variety - as they cram with their friends, lovers, and faithful housemaids. Well, four of them are, at least - Chuck Bass has provided a ringer with a fake ID to take his test for him. So incorrigible, that Chuck! While Dan reveals himself to be a "choker" under pressure  - poor Serena - Rufus attempts to walk a humiliated Jenny to school. At Constance, Serena and Blair tally up their scores. Sigh. Remember when 1600 was the highest score possible? Yeah, I'm old too. Blair frets that her score will be lower than Yale-hopeful rival Nelly Yuki, and repeats her full name seven times until Serena finally snaps her out of it. (Which I love, because we all know someone who, for whatever reason, is always referred to by their first and last names.) Chuck's bright orange trench coat kicks Blair's insane yellow blazer off the bench to tell Serena that Georgina Sparks - the mysterious G - is safely ensconced in Switzerland, dating the Prince of Balfour. Relieved, Serena is almost nice to Chuck while rebuffing his advances. Jenny offers the Headbands a place to cram, complete with Humphrey lasagna, but Blair tops her with a full-service spa featuring SAT tutors. Jenny curtseys at herself, alone in the hallway, as the Headbands once again troop behind their Queen B.

Dan! Serena! Fingerless gloves! Brain...melting...they say cute things at each other but I can't stop staring at Serena's hands, so let's continue. Michelle Trachtenberg - the elusive Georgina - makes an amazing, hyper-camp entrance in three shades of eyeliner, a Chuck scarf, four necklaces and face-devouring sunglasses. She looks like she fed on the blood of an Olsen, and it's fabulous. She immediately invites Serena for a cocktail to catch up, and warns Serena not to make her angry. She's the Devil! Serena, who has apparently forgotten that she had a drink with her stepbrother just last night, hesitates but eventually acquiesces. Meanwhile, Little J conspires with Elise to find herself a boyfriend. She meets cute with a floppy-haired dog-walking hottie, but writes him off as "just a dog-walker." I wonder if he's really wealthy and popular?....Nah.

Chacecrawford4_gossipgirl_240_2 The beautiful void that is Nate appears at Vanessa's coffee shop to give Dan all of his old SAT prep materials - in his quest to attend USC he has sneakily taken the test early, and no longer needs his prep books. Vanessa refuses to see this as a friendly gesture, and calls it charity, because she will for her whole life point fingers and accuse people of patronizing her every time anyone treats her like anything other than garbage, because clearly that's all she feels she deserves. Either that or she and Nate are about to get busy. One of the two. She pulls a handwritten sheet out of one of the books and begins to read. At a club that I'm sure I should recognize, S and G meet for drinks. Awww, cosmos! They ARE in high school! Serena very huffily pushes her untouched drink at Georgina and reminds her that she's not the Serena she used to be, and Georgina says something to the extent of "get over yourself and where is your personality and just one drink never hurt anyone!" And then she rubbed her hands together and cackled. Or maybe not that last part.

The Headbands - minus Elise, who is presumably combing the St. Jude's yearbook for Jenny's next boyfriend - arrive Chez Waldorf to find no tutors, no masseuses, and one seriously bow-bloused B. She tells Penelope, Iz and Hazel that in order to get back into her good graces, they have to help her destroy Nelly Yuki, her Yale competition. Back at the bar, S and G slur at each other and toss their extensions furiously, using faux accents on some bar patrons pitching woo. Serena answers G's phone to find a drug dealer on the other hand, and freaks. Serena stalks out and calls her stepbrother Chuck for help. Chuck asks just one thing - "say you need me." She screams his name, and he assures her that that's payment enough for his help. He calls Dan to make excuses for Serena's absence at study group. At school, Dan confronts Chuck, thinking that he is the reason behind Serena's change in attitude. Serena approaches and OMG she's wearing another pair of fingerless gloves! It's like Patricia Field and Karl Lagerfeld had a baby, and that baby became a wardrobe stylist and went to work on 'Gossip Girl'. Amazing. But Dan gets on his high horse, and gets in Serena's face, and walks away from her. The Headbands try to lure Nelly Yuki into their group, but she's having none of it: all she wants is "to be alone and never listen to Flo Rida ever again." Oh, sister, you and me both. But Nelly Yuki isn't put off by crappy rhymes - she's down because her boyfriend dumped her at a Flo Rida concert.

Taylormomsen4_gossipgirl_240 Elise and Jenny spy dog boy crawling into a Bentley, and a pink-tighted Little J skips over to claim her prize. Blair "accidentally" walks by Yuki, Flo Rida on blast, in order to lure her over into the Waldorf web that evening. Vanessa waits in a coffee shop for Nate, scolding him for his tardiness, when he reveals that he was visiting his father. In rehab. In Brooklyn. And Vanessa almost drops her Jockeys. She tells Nate that she read his practice essay, left in his prep book, and wanted to apologize for judging him. Georgina, wearing those godawful shiny pleather leggings from American Apparel, calls Serena to apologize. She talks S into meeting her for dinner that night - the night before the SATs! - and makes a big evil face into the phone. Subtle, Trachtenberg, subtle. At the Loft of the Poors, Jenny does her homework and is rewarded with a sewing machine, while Dan studies for the SATS and judges everyone. Jenny is still grounded and thus will miss her lunch date tomorrow with Bentley Boy. Nelly Yuki partakes in a massage Chez Waldorf, but when she attempts to leave, her ex arrives in the elevator. He invites Nelly Yuki to come "work things out" in private, and while she giggles her acquiescence, B toasts the ex with her smoothie. Oh, B, you unrivaled bitch.

On the streets of Brooklyn, Nate and Vanessa cute awkwardly at each other over his love of lesbian punk. Nate is totally floored by Vanessa's view of college as optional, and kisses her at the door of her coffee shop. They stagger inside to make out, and ew, Blair, please do not take him back, ever. Over dinner, S and G quaff Diet Cokes, and Serena talks about how happy she is with Dan. She excuses herself to call him while Georgina drops a vial of liquid in Serena's drink. Unless Georgina and Serena were a lesbian couple, by the way, there is absolutely no motivation for this level of bitchery. I mean, Blair is a bitch, but she never slipped Chuck a roofie. (That we know of.)

Serena wakes up the next morning hungover and confused, and G tells her that she got wasted on Patron and made out with - noooooooooo - a mustached hipster! Nate shows up at Vanessa's coffee shop and kidnaps her, taking her to take the SAT that she has been helping Dan study for. In Williamsburg, or DUMBO, or Brooklyn, or wherever they live today, Jenny and Rufus eat awkward waffles.  She begs him to let her meet "Asher" - OMG Judaism makes its first appearance on the Upper East Side of this show! - and he is furious that she hasn't already canceled. Blair, in Balenciaga, accosts a distraught Nelly Yuki, who stayed up all night crying and fighting with the ex. As Blair swipes the batteries from Nelly's calculator, she reveals to Iz that she has promised the ex, ah, connubial bliss with Iz as a reward for his role in this charade. Pimping on the Upper East Side - it's not just for Little J anymore! And Dan watches, confused, as a redhead with a fake ID signs in under the name "Serena van der Woodsen," courtesy of Chuck Bass.

Ed Post-test, Blair and Dan commiserate as they both spy Nate and Vanessa canoodling at his car. Dan goes to confront Serena, who attempts to lie again to Dan about her whereabouts. Of course, Serena had no idea that Chuck had paid someone to take the test for her. Serena is so embarrassed about her past misdeeds that she won't even talk to him, and puts him off for another day. And here is what Chuck is wearing: neon yellow jeans, a bright purple Mr. Rogers cardigan, and a multi-colored gingham patchwork shirt. He looks like a Teletubby on acid. And Serena won't even tell him what sway Georgina has over her. She arrives at Georgina's hotel, warning her that if G talks, S will too. Asher arrives at the Humphrey's loft bearing hot dogs, and not even Rufus can turn him away. And G, wielding a fake name and a borrowed dog, comes on to Dan in Central Park.

Next week: sex tapes and gay bombs OMFG!

Honestly, there was so much deliciousness in tonight's episode I can hardly sort it out. Blair's back on top, Jenny once again tops her by snagging a trust fund, Nate and Vanessa are gross and I can't handle it, and Dan's constant judging of everything has finally driven a real wedge between him and Serena. Plus, fingerless gloves!! But I need to know your thoughts...xoxo...

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