I feel vindicated: Even Serena is bored with her story line! She’s so bored with her mundane life that she throws a massive, yet unwelcome, sweet 16 party for her almost-but-not-quite little sister Jenny.
Yes, little Jenny is getting all growed up! Remember last year, when Jenny’s 15th birthday party was a fiasco? She was stealing dresses, pretending to be uptown (OK, not too far up) rather than Brook-town and generally being insufferable. Well, the insufferable part is still open for discussion but she has divorced herself from any scheming ascension to the social throne at Constance.
Lily and Rufus seem to be headed in the Brady Bunch direction by contemplating a merger of the Humphrey, Bass, and van der Woodsens. (Humbawoodsens?) Lily invites the Humphreys over for breakfast so that she and Serena can surprise Jenny with their offer of having a great birthday party on their dime, at their place: Caterer, DJ, the right guest list. But Jenny’s in a downsizing mood and gives them a thanks but no thanks reaction. This year Jenny likes being on the outs of the in crowd and wants a quiet, family only event for her birthday.
Serena’s disappointed that Jenny wants a night with family rather than a trendy party that would land on Page 6. Serena saw Poppy Lifton earlier that morning and was looking forward to spicing up her social life. She wants to let the Upper East Side she’s still a player in the social game but Lil J wants board games.
Dan’s floating on cloud nine having received an actual fan letter for the article he wrote for the New Yorker. What Dan doesn’t know is that his financial aid letter from Yale also arrived and he doesn’t qualify for aid. Oops. Looks like he and Blair may be jockeying for a seat in one of Manhattan’s local community colleges.
Before heading to Lily’s for breakfast, Vanessa worries to Dan that it’s been a week since she last spoke with Nate. Dan reminds her she bailed on Nate’s coming out party the previous week at the Vanderbilt’s. On cue, Vanessa receives an email from Nate to meet over at his house in 30 minutes. I love coincidences!
When Vanessa arrives, she watches as Blair leaves Nate’s house. Nate and Blair have sweet, carefree smiles on their faces and that can only mean one thing — cheater! As Vanessa watches in horror, Chuck rolls up in the limo. He hacked Nate’s e-mail to lure Vanessa there. He lets her know that he, too, feels her pain and when she’s ready to dole out some pain of her own on Nate and Blair, she knows where to find him.
Later at school, Chuck (who is apparently re-enrolled) approaches Blair to tell her he’s aware of her dalliances with Nate. Blair admits to spending oodles of time with Nate but swears it’s platonic. She claims she only brings him breakfast each morning. Chuck plants the seed of doubt that of course it’s platonic because there’s no spark, no chemistry between Blair and Nate. Plus, he drops the reality that Nate and Vanessa are not broken up.
Nate seems sincere in his desire to be friends with Blair. He lets her know that he’s having dinner with Vanessa that night and that he’s sure Vanessa wants out, as well. He gives no indication that he’s breaking things off with an ulterior plan to be with Blair, which means that Blair’s hopeful that he is.
While Nate and Vanessa break up, clearly not what Vanessa wants, she asks him to come clean about the reasons and asks if there’s some one else. He assures her that there is no one else. Oh, silly Nate. When your ex brings you breakfast and coffee every morning for a week she instantly becomes the some one else that your current girlfriend needs to know about.
Poppy and Serena take Jenny shopping for a party dress — really a "stay at home and play board games with family and eat Rufus’s homemade chili" dress. Poppy convinces Serena that Jenny really does want the cool soirée that was previously planned and that Serena should oblige. So, Serena re-hires the caterer and makes a few phone calls and theSuper Sweet (soon to be sour) 16 party is on.
On the day of the party, Jenny still thinks it’s family and close friends night and gathers her board games and wears her fabulous new dress. On their way out the door, Dan answers a call and learns of Rufus’s plan to possibly sell the loft. Dan doesn’t know that it’s to secure funding for Yale rather than just Lily and Rufus being in a rush to play house together.
Over the phone, Blair gives Serena the run down on all that’s going on with Nate and Vanessa and Serena jokingly asks if Blair has dumped her for Vanessa. Blair says no and that she’s getting her info from Nate and that she’s accepted that Nate is her destiny. (No, Blair, Serena is your destiny! Why won’t these two cooperate in my story arc pitch?) Serena also mentions the safety of Nate versus Chuck and Nate’s drama free which translates into no spark and dull to Blair’s ears.
Jenny and Dan arrive at the party. The party is cool, it’s sophisticated, it’s being covered by the celebrity press. The Mean Girls are in attendance so you know it’s the right place to be. Jenny confronts Serena to let her know how unhappy it all makes her and Serena sees Jenny’s reaction as ungrateful. Jenny then posts an open invitation to the party on Gossip Girl.
Before the throngs of uncivilized heathens arrive to trash Lily’s home, Chuck and Vanessa walk in and come face to face with Blair and Nate. Vanessa, not sure what to do, kisses Chuck in a way that leaves no doubt that there’s sexual energy between the two. (I know. I saw it.) Nate tells Vanessa that he and Blair are only friends and suggests she watch out for Chuck. Vanessa makes it clear that what ever happens with her and Chuck it will be her choice. Nate and Blair disappear for a while and Vanessa worries that by kissing Chuck she might have actually propelled Nate and Blair together.
Blair traps Nate in Chuck’s bedroom to seduce him. Nate babbles on about being friends and Blair says that she’s never wanted to kiss her friend so much. (Liar!) Nate makes it clear that he’s enjoying getting to know Blair as a friend and that not being friends is probably why they broke up to begin with. Man, what’s with these knucklehead dudes turning Blair down week in and week out? Anyway, on his way out of the party Nate tells Vanessa that her antics where right up there with Blair’s most tacky schemes and hopes she’s proud of herself.
Now the house is completely trashed. Poppy left due to the juvenile rift raft that invaded the event.
People are stealing Lily’s clothes and having sex on Serena’s bed. It’s Risky Business Upper East Side style. Serena, Eric, Dan and Jenny rush downstairs and see that the doorman of the building has called the police on the unrulies that are still trying to get in. At that moment Mike and Carol Brady come back home to see Greg, Marcia, Peter and Jan looking really guilty and dumb in the lobby.
Lily lays the blame for the disaster on Serena. It takes Jenny quite a while to admit that she put the blast on Gossip Girl turning the entire evening into a nightmare. She makes some speech about wanting to remain a Humphrey rather than blending families and social class status.
Serena catches up with Poppy and is upset that her mother blamed her for the evening and Poppy convinces her that she should fly off to Spain with her and her new boyfriend Gabriel. Turns out that Serena and Gabriel had previously met while Serena was using an alias in another country. Yay! At last, some Serena intrigue.
Chuck and Vanessa spend the night together and decide that they dig each other in a purely carnal way and want to continue to have a sexual relationship with no emotional connection. You know, Chuck buddies. Guess Vanessa thinks Chuck’s a fine piece of Bass.
Dan finally calls his one and only fan and leaves a message for him with the father. The father is the man Lily and Rufus met in Boston regarding their adopted son. Uh oh. Well, it does prove that only family members can truly appreciate Dan’s writing talents.
At last Blair and Nate move their friendship from platonic to romantic with a lovely kiss in the middle of Central Park.
Things have suddenly gotten a lot more interesting or am I alone in thinking that? Any thoughts of the Nate, Blair, Chuck, Vanessa switch up?