“Gossip Girl” mini-cap: Self-love

Little Jenny Humphrey is all grown up — and she dyed her hair and put black circles around her eyes to prove it. She also kisses Nate, tells Eleanor that her designs would be on the sale rack without young, hip Jenny’s eye for fashion, parties till the break of dawn with grown people, dances in her underwear while creepy grown men take her picture, has no job and doesn’t go to school. So take that, all you regular 15-year-old Stepford kids!

If you can’t tell, this episode was all about Jenny.

Surprisingly though, the episode, “Pret-a-Poor-J,” doesn’t start with J at all; it starts with B. Remember how Whitney Houston sang it so beautifully: "Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all." Sing it! Yeah, well, um, Blair was learning to love herself one morning before school when Dorota interrupts Blair’s lesson.

Yes, Blair has Chuck on the brain in a bad way — so bad that, at Serena’s urging, Blair actually listens to advice from Dan, and we all know what an expert Dan is on how to deal with the ladies.

Dan and Serena are giving friendship another go around (I know, right?), and with that comes an uneasy peace between Dan and Blair. He begins to see her humanity and she begins to see his. It’s a weird show-me-yours-and-I’ll-show-you-mine kind of truce.

Dan’s initial advice is for Blair to make herself “unavoidable,” to be wherever Chuck is, enticing him at every turn. Blair follows this advice and Chuck shows interest, but he still insists on hearing the magic three words. Blair’s convinced that if she tells Chuck that she loves him that he’ll win and, apparently, there’s nothing worse than Chuck winning at this particular game.

Jenny has immersed herself in work and it seems to be paying off. Eleanor promised her that she could sit in on a meeting Eleanor was having with a buyer from Bloomingdales. Jenny rushes through a fitting on a model, Agnes, so that she can attend the meeting. But Eleanor orders her to finish up rather than sitting in on the meeting. Bummer.

Nate brings Jenny’s sketchbook to Eleanor’s, causing Agnes to comment on Nate’s interest in Jenny. Jenny blows it off saying that Nate has only big brother interest in her, especially now that he is living with her family. Big brother interest? Silly Jenny. Nate probably likes her because she has a job. (Is that too cynical?)

Later Eleanor does apologize to Jenny and tells Jenny that the Bloomie dude was interested in the dress Jenny was wearing. Of course, it was a dress that Jenny made for herself. Eleanor stammers around and Jenny finally asks if Eleanor wants to use the dress. Eleanor tries to play it off, but relief washes over her face at Jenny’s offer.

Eleanor wants Jenny to remake the dress in Eleanor’s fabrics, which means Jenny has to rip her own dress apart to use it as a pattern and she has less than 24 hours to do it all. Eleanor promises that this type of gullibility, I mean, dedication, will get Jenny into future buyers’ meetings.

Rufus’s gallery is hosting a new artist’s exhibit and he has enlisted Dan’s help with the preparations. Now that Dan and Serena are let’s-be-friends-because-we’re-more-mature-than-we-were-three-weeks-ago, Dan invites Serena over to the gallery.

When Serena arrives, she meets this cute, unassuming guy in the gallery and they sort of flirt in a dorky but really cute way and he turns out to be the artist, Aaron, whose work is being showcased. They hit it off immediately and Dan comes in and buzz kills the feel-good flirting, not on purpose, of course, but just because he’s Dan and that’s what he does: he joy kills.

After work Jenny hangs with Agnes at a club. Agnes loves Jenny’s dress and she drags Jenny into the bathroom to switch clothes so that she can wear it. A little while later, this dude with a camera, Max, walks in. Guess he’s Agnes’ boyfriend? He takes a kazillion pictures of Jenny and Agnes goofing around at the club. Agnes wants to take the party elsewhere and invites Jenny, but Jenny has a dress to make, only Agnes leaves wearing the dress and Jenny is way screwed.

The next day, Agnes shows up with the dress and tells Jenny that she’s a fool for allowing Eleanor to take credit for her work and that Jenny should start her own line. Jenny turns in the crappy dress she made with no pattern to Eleanor. She is unimpressed and tells Jenny that she saw her and Agnes all over the internet. Jenny has hopes of being invited to the buyers’ meeting anyway, but Eleanor tells her to go home. Jenny blows up and calls Eleanor out for being washed up, grabs her ace-in-the-hole green dress from the Fashion Week show and bails.

Serena and Blair drop by the gallery so Serena can flirt some more with Aaron and for Blair to tell Dan that he sucks at knowing what motivates men. He does get Blair to admit that she loves Chuck and tells her to take the risk and to tell Chuck the truth. Blair agrees.

The night of the opening, Aaron asks Serena out but she says she’s not dating. I waited for her to finish, “I’m not dating … men.” Oh, maybe I’m projecting. Anyway, Aaron says he’ll give her a second chance to say yes if she can tell him the fate of Cecil the Caterpillar. WTF?

Chuck waits for Blair on the rooftop of the gallery. Blair’s nervous and excited. In wishing her well, Serena adorably takes Blair’s hand and kisses it. Aw. But Serena you don’t know where her hands have been!

Vanessa tells Dan how badly Blair and Chuck treated her recently (she left out how she used extortion on Blair!), and it upsets Dan. On her way to tell Chuck the truth, Dan tells Blair to be careful and that maybe being honest wasn’t the best advice. When Blair sees Chuck, she can’t say it and insists that they say it together or that Chuck say it first. Chuck sincerely wants to know Blair’s feelings for him. Dan admits to Chuck that he sabotaged the evening and that Blair does love him.

Meanwhile, Agnes and Max know Aaron and attend the opening, but they leave with Jenny for another party. Nate’s suspicious of Max and shows up at Agnes’ while Jenny’s dancing in her bra and being photographed by Max. Nate makes Jenny leave with him and admits that he has feelings for her and they share a kiss.

Serena tells Dan that she wants to date Aaron, and then remembers that she and Aaron knew each other from summer camp as kids! Cute. But by the time Serena goes to look for Aaron, he’s leaving with a girl on the back of his motorcycle.

Chuck goes to Blair’s and they both sadly admit how they feel without saying it directly. Chuck worries that saying it will ruin what they have and that it will be the beginning of the end of the intensity of their feelings. He admits that playing games is what they both enjoy but winning the game might make them both the loser.

So, will the “I love you” happen this season? Who else is happy to see Serena interested in someone other than Dan? What do you think of Jenny’s new look? Jenny and Nate: Why?

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