Oh no, Upper East Siders! Your power went out tonight for exactly 40 minutes -- which is just long enough for everything to go to hell, and reconfigure itself once again. Eleanor Waldorf catches Jenny critiquing a Waldorf Design in front of a model, and takes away her internshipâ€¦ Only to reconsider when the blackout locks her in a room with Jenny's keen eye for fashion and slightly scary manic smile. She then sends Rufus and his new girlfriend PJ Harvey out for sandwiches, showing even an absentee Eleanor knows what Rufus is good for. Hopefully this leads directly into my master plan of having Jenny replace Blair in that dusty corner of what Eleanor calls a heart.
Dan and Serena get locked in an elevator, but it turns out Dan's moral superiority swells in crowded spaces so and they break up again ("permanently"), leading into what we're hoping is the all-time greatest slut spiral Serena New or Old ever could have imagined. And, God willing, Dan experiencing life at St. Jude's without Serena having his back. "Oh, you hate me for being rich and popular? Guess what? I'm rich and popular. Prepare to be nothing on a whole new level than the nothing you've always been." (It would seem to be God's will, and ours, that Serena become an unrecognizable bitch. At least for a week or two.)
Blair and the Duchess team up to get rid of Vanessa by inviting her to a Back To School Party which both Cougar and Tadpole will attend. Nate hems and haws between Vanessa and the Duchess a bit, but just as he's agreeing to dump Catherine, the Big D shows up for a private meeting -- in the dark -- with Vanessa. Whatever she tells her causes V to run off into the night, ordering Nate to stay with Catherine at all costs. He's confused, but also: he's Nate.
And then this part is hard to talk about, but basically Vanessa ends the episode in tears, admitting to Dan that if Nate leaves her, the Duchess will turn his father over to the FBI. Which kind of makes Vanessa neat, the new Nate, sympathetic and coolâ€¦ while still preserving her willingness to get all up in people's shit. Well done, Gossip Girl. Did not see that coming.
The Lord Marcus & Blair & Chuck Bass thing goes as follows. Blair and Chuck are both dying of horny, but Lord Marcus won't fuck Blair, and Chuck can't get it up for anybody but Blair. Duchess Catherine tells Blair that Lord Marcus will never fuck her -- which is coincidentally her problem with the Duke, which is why she's all over Nate's jock; I guess this is because being British runs in the family -- and Blair begs to differ, telling Marcus to meet her upstairs. In the darkness, Chuck takes his place, and Blair proceeds to basically assist him in raping her.
The lights come back on, Marcus catches them kissing, dares Blair to lie and say she got them confused -- which is too implausible even for this storyline -- and dumps Blair. She ups the ante by telling Lord Marcus that if he doesn't bone her, she'll dump him right back. So then he kisses her in front of everybody, so somehow Chuck lost, nobody got laid, and Lord Marcus is still around. Things are sillier when he's around, but hey, this season is teaching us that silly is the mothereffing way to go on this show -- and besides, as long as it means the Duchess is in play, I'll keep Marcus around for the rest of the season.
Over shots of the usual NYC summer fun -- water hydrants, ice cream, being outdoors when you should not be outdoors, Al Gore applying SPF a billion -- GG offers some "simple tips to beat the heat." Parasols, fanning of oneself, etc. "One: drink plenty of fluids." Chuck Bass slurps down straight scotch. "Two: stay out of the sun." Jenny wrestles bolts of fabric and her purse down the sidewalk, apologizing to all and sundry. "Three: Limit all physical activity..." Dan and Serena make out in a doorway. "...That is, within reason." Blair drags Lord Marcus through her house, trying to make out all over him. "I thought you wanted my help with this party you're hosting," Marcus whines. "A back-to-school party for seniors and their parents? It can wait." Marcus isn't sure he agrees -- and what if somebody walks in, like Dorota? "So? Didn't you see Atonement? That scene in the library when they're discovered?" It was hot. Lord Marcus hates hot. "No. No, Blair, that's not you. You're a delicate little flower. Nothing like that tart Keira Knightley."
All of this is news to Blair, who thinks of herself as quite Continental, not to mention being bored of riding bikes and skipping gaily through sun-dappled parks. It's time to get down: "It's just, we've been dating a while, and I thought..." Marcus lies that he feels the same way. "You're very special to me. I want the moment to equal it." He kisses her forehead, and just in case you thought this wasn't a British issue, he immediately and awkwardly protests that the tea is getting cold. He scampers off, and Blair stares after him like he's a bewildering turkey leg hallucination; Gossip Girl is loving it. "And if the heat's still too much, there's always a cold shower."
Jenny grunts and groans and picks shit up off the sidewalk while talking to Vanessa about Nate and his whole push-me-pull-you issue. "What was I saying? Oh, right, right: You like him, he likes you, so just call him." You know who I'm going to call to get relationship advice from before I go running to Jenny -- or anybody surnamed "Humphrey"? Literally everybody in the whole world. I would get Kim Jong Il's dating input first. I would also follow it first.
Vanessa points out that Nate stood her up, and Jenny applies some Humphrey logic to the situation: "He just made you wait a really long time and then called to cancel! That's completely different." I'm starting to see how Jenny could have dated that gay dude for so long without noticing what was up. "And besides, he only did that to spare you his family drama, which is just more proof that he likes you." Or, you know, finds you as pointless and unnecessary as everybody else in the world does. "And calling him won't look desperate?" Because, and I hate to keep harping on this, nobody knows how to avoid the appearance of desperation quite like a Humphrey. Case in point: "It might. It will. It will, but in a cute, romantic way."