God, this show has never been better. I'm cryin' over here. In ascending order of fabulousness:
Olivia told this pointless story on Jimmy Fallon and then gets Serena and a virus inside Jenny's body to pointlessly hide it from Dan. The story was that on their first date he came back from the bathroom with his shirt inside-out, and then... Nothing, that's the whole story. It's totally dumb. It's also the only time we see Rufus and Lily, but Rufus continues to act like an inbred golden retriever, so it's actually kind of fun. The awesome part is that Dan doesn't even have a problem with the story -- because it's totally dumb and Olivia's being paranoid again -- so the only reason he acts weird once he finds out is that he's remembered it's their one-month anniversary. Then they are cute some more.
Bonus: Hilary Duff and Chace Crawford totally rock in this episode, as does the hot fucking art in the Empire Hotel, which deserves its own webisode.
So Vanessa's been documenting Tripp's congressional campaign, which means she's on hand when a dude falls in the Hudson and Tripp saves his life. I think there's something magical about the Hudson, because Tripp spends the rest of the episode being smoking hot. When reviewing the footage, Vanessa sees the guy totally jump in the river, and assumes naturally that Grandfather is responsible. Nate tells her to sit on it, then sets her up with a fake news producer in an attempt to quash, which of course violates Vanessa's entire being.
Eventually Nate and Tripp confront Grandfather, who claims he's not to blame. At the party -- held at the Empire -- Nate takes the podium and claims he was the mastermind, clearing Tripp's name and winning him the campaign... But it's only after the party's over that Grandfather learns the true culprit: Maureen, Tripp's wife (we met her last year, she warned Vanessa not to marry into the van der Bilts), whose entire goal is to get Grandfather out of their lives forever.
But OMG Blair and Serena. S goes over Nate's head to get her and ~♥~RPATTZ~♥~ invites to the party, because she's friends with Tripp. B, meanwhile, tries to prove that she doesn't need Serena by making friends with hot blonde fashionista Brandeis and taking her to the party. Things escalate, of course, and eventually Blair has ~♥~RPATTZ~♥~ thrown out, which leads to him telling S that Brandeis is actually a high-class hooker, which is why she's so cool. S tries to warn Blair, then has Brandeis escorted out, so Blair calls S a whore and S shoves B's face into a cake.
Chuck takes Serena aside and tells her to grow up because B is almost done being insane, and Serena agrees that their friendship is not that big a deal. Also, she kind of feels like a whore because ~♥~RPATTZ~♥~ smells like pee and she's dating him for money. It's too bad that she has to break up with him, because he's a lot cooler when he's naked. So she quits working for KC and tries to make up, but B acts insane some more, and then Brandeis admits that she's a hooker, and only used B to find new politico clients. B, fearing she went too far with Serena, can't apologize, so she once again crawls into bed with Chuck and pretends the world doesn't exist. But S, still stinging from both Chuck and Blair calling her out on being fake and sort of irrelevant, decides to confide in the only friend she's got left: Tripp van der Bilt, whose eyes now appear to have stars in them.
Next week: The big threesome, about which I have a few ideas, even though it'll probably = Maureen + Tripp + Brandeis, or like Bex + Alison Humphrey + Lord Marcus, or something like that. Georgina, Asher and Jonathan! That would rule. Serena's been there already, and Jenny's got Cotillion to worry about, and I can't see anything coming into Blair's relationship with Chuck, so... Sigh. I guess Chuck/Blair/Nate is still a season or so away...
While "I Could Rob You" by the upcoming Plastiscines [sic] plays (their lead singer looks like the unholy love child of Serena and Jenny), we see Serena in the Bleecker proudly gazing down at a headline calling her ~♥~RPATTZ~♥~'s It Girl as GG explains her very complex semiotic situation for this episode, which is how political parties and the fun kind of parties are similar. Which they are not.
"I can rob you if I want to/ I can rob you if I try/ I can rob you if I need to," goes the song, as we see Dan and Olivia safely in bed, levitating nowhere; Chuck getting everything together for the Empire's first major political function; Nate arriving as some kind of teenage aide-de-camp for Tripp; and Blair walking up behind him like they've never met before she gets bitchy with some poor bellhop, snapping her fingers in front of his face when he doesn't hop to quickly enough. So, once again, Chuck is the only sane person.
Apparently ~♥~RPATTZ~♥~ has received not just an offer, but a great one: A Michael Mann political thriller. (Here's hoping it's more like the Aviator, Insider, Mohicans Mann, and less like -- let's say -- the Mann of Hancock and Miami Vice, although I must admit I never saw Hancock or Miami Vice and they may well be awesome.) KC's stomping about her office with those neon pink gerbera bud vases everywhere, and they talk about how it's down to ~♥~RPATTZ~♥~ and Ryan Phillippe. Serena points out the salient point that Sebastian V lost his mojo right around the time Reese left him for Jake, and KC hilariously goes, "Don't 'Jake" me, Serena! This is serious!"
So the thing is that Serena now has to get herself and ~♥~RPATTZ~♥~ invited to the Tripp election party that night, so he can learn to act like a politico. Which will be hard, because Nate finally located his nuts or they finally dropped or he had them shipped from overseas or wherever his junk has been for the last eighteen years. Maybe Bree found them in Tejas and brought them here. Anyway, KC is not interested in once again hearing about Serena's interpersonal UES bullshit, and informs her to suck it up. What's PR Rule #1? "My only value is my social network."
(You know, my favorite line in any song -- besides that "Something Happened On The Way To Heaven" line I'm always quoting -- comes from Sheena Easton's song "Strut," which is basically about Serena's life. You might be forgiven for assuming that because it sounds kind of crappy and Prince-lite (which is what it is), but it's awesome: The whole song is the internal monologue of a fashion model who is way smarter than not only her photographer but the entire Male Gaze, and the greatest line of all music comes about halfway through: "All this fascination with leather and lace/ Is just smoke from another fire." If you take everything I've ever written about teenage girls and gay kids in these recaps and put it in a single document, you'd probably break your computer, but really it just comes down to that: "All this fascination with leather and lace is just smoke from another fire." Be the Blonde or don't, be a hooker or don't, complain about being a five-foot mirror for the door in every ladykiller, but either way you're really just carrying somebody else's bullshit on your back. It's not actually about you, because you're just smoke.)