“Gossip Girl” mini-cap: Family affairs


I thought that we have been watching “Chuck In Real Life,” dating back to last season. Turns out we haven’t. This week we see Chuck’s vulnerable awesomeness shine so brightly that it even blinds Vanessa for a while and acts as a shimmering beacon of lust to Blair. Can it be that Chuck in real life might actually care what people think of him?

The newly blended Bass-van der Woodsen family is set to host a housewarming extravaganza. It’ll be a family coming out party complete with perfect children and wonderful parents! But where are they going to find such children and parents so quickly?

At breakfast, Lily and Bart dole out a few new family rules. On the surface, curfews and no martini drinking on school nights seem to be perfectly fine rules for the under 18 crowd but Serena bristles at the idea not because its not appropriate but because she’s convinced it’s Bart’s idea and that Lily is yet again drinking some new husband’s kool-aid.

Eric (who has a new boyfriend — yay!) tries to convince Serena that Bart and Lily seem sincere about wanting what’s best for the family. Eric asks Serena to play nice. Chuck shatters the peace when he tells Serena that he assumes the rules are a way for his image and business conscious father to rein in Serena’s unflattering (to Mr. Bass) tabloid celebrity. Chuck’s take on the new family rules re-ignites Serena’s overt rebellion to following them. Did you see that dress she wore on her way out the door to break a little curfew?

Over in Brooklyn, Vanessa’s leading a petition drive attempting to save an old building from being bought by developers and renovated into another soulless gentrified trendy nightspot. Since she’s home schooled and apparently has no friends other than Dan and Jenny she decides to go to Constance Billard and bark up Blair’s tree for some help in getting signatures of the well-to-do.

Vanessa always seemed like an intelligent young woman but jeez, she does one of the dumbest things ever. She tries to strong-arm Blair? She tells Blair she’ll show the world the Marcus/step-MILF make-out picture unless Blair helps her? OMG, Vanessa has lost her mind!

Blair’s so annoyed by Vanessa’s audacity that she enlists Chuck’s help to humiliate Vanessa by seducing her for sport. Blair hopes that the challenge itself and the taking of Dan’s best friend like Dan has taken Chuck’s (Nate) would be enough of a motivation for Chuck.

Yes, Dan does have a new boyfriend and it’s Nate! What’s a cutesy combo name for them? Date? Nan? Humphreybald? Anyway, Dan and Nate have continued their male bonding from their weekend at Yale. Dan even tries out for the soccer team at Nate’s request.

Dan’s soccer excitement brings some ribbing from Jenny and Rufus about Dan’s lack of male friends. Dan proves that he does know how to be buddies with guys by inviting Nate to practice soccer at the park. But there’s a mix up regarding the rendezvous point. Dan arrives at Nate’s house only to discover that it has been seized by the feds and Nate’s camping out in a sleeping bag on his living room floor.

Dan, of course, withholds the truth that he knows about Nate from Nate but tells Jenny all about it and invites Nate to his house for dinner with Jenny and Rufus for later that evening. (Isn’t withholding the truth one of the moral indictments Dan tried to hang Serena with?)

Meanwhile, Chuck takes Blair up on her offer and goes slumming over to Brooklyn. Vanessa and other protesters rebuff Chuck and his business proposal and some one does a drive by fruit smoothie toss on his Savile Row menswear. He revisits Blair to tell her that the deal they made is off because there’s not enough in it for him. She ups the ante by offering herself as the reward if he can seduce Vanessa only to spurn and burn her. Deal!

Chuck returns to Brooklyn and meets with Vanessa and a grandfatherly type whom also wants to save the building. The old man drops stories about how cool the building and club used to be back in the day and then says some kind words about Chuck being classy and having style and Chuck sops up the guy’s sincerity like a love deprived lad.

Chuck, glowing from being thought of as a decent guy, invites Vanessa to his family’s housewarming. (I think he was being “real” with Vanessa at that time? Anyone else agree?) Vanessa thinks that maybe she really has misread Chuck and accepts the invitation.

Later, at the housewarming, Bart chastises Chucks for attempting to make the real estate deal behind his back. But Chuck wasn’t being secretive he just wanted to have all of his ducks in a row before pitching the idea to Bart. Chuck continues to try to sell Bart on the deal and tells his father that he gave the folks in Brooklyn his word. Bart throws the idea of Chuck’s word right back in Chuck’s face.

Vanessa over hears the conversation and finds Chuck and tells him he didn’t deserve that. Chuck, stinging from his father’s harsh criticism, tries to play it off like his father knows best. She begins to leave but Chuck asks her to stay. Now it’s Blair’s turn to over hear a Chuck Bass personal conversation!

Blair’s concerned that Chuck actually likes Vanessa. To quash that possibility Blair happily tells Vanessa that Chuck was playing her as a bet and that he wasn’t being genuine in his interest in her. Ah, a successful humiliation. Blair then tells Chuck he wins and to visit her in an hour.

At the party, Serena’s mood is lousy and she doesn’t care who knows. As a matter of fact she wants all of NYC to know. She tells reporters how awful her mother has been as a parent and how Lily has always picked her men over her kids. Ouch.

Dan finally tells Nate that he knows what’s up and that he wants to help. Nate’s horrified at being the Humphreys’ charity case and he flees. Serena leaves her party and heads over to Nate’s but he’s not there. As she waits, Dan shows up looking for Nate, too. Dan and Serena share more “I’m sorrys” and “lets be friends.” Serena goes home and apologizes and so does Lily for not being there for her kids. Dan does ultimately find Nate and brings him back with bags in hand to live at the Humphrey’s for a while.

Chuck travels to Brooklyn to let the old guy know that he hasn’t given up on trying to make a deal happen, but the guy isn’t hearing it. He tells Chuck that he was wrong about Chuck’s style and class and good character and kicks him out.

Chuck finally arrives at Blair’s for his reward. As he rests atop the sexually ravenous Blair, he asks her to say the magic three words she demanded of him. Blair asks, “Are you kidding?” as the three. Heh. But he’s not kidding. She tells him that she will never say those words to him… because she is saving them for Serena? (OK, fine I added that last part.) Chuck backs off and tells Blair that he has chased her long enough and now she must chase him.

Hmm, so will Blair rush out and buy a new pair of running shoes? Did we see Chuck in real life or was this thoughtful guy with style and caring an aberration?

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