‘Gossip Girl’: Vanessa joins the Dark Side

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I knew she had it in her. Vanessa showed her potential for treachery last season when she lied to Jenny in order to keep Nate. But last night, she unleashed enough tools of trickery to elevate her to Blair Waldorf status, which, we must admit, is no small feat.

Blair herself was in top form. Determined to win the honor of giving the freshman toast, she was ready and willing to take down her only known competition, Vanessa. After learning that Olivia, NYU’s original choice to give the toast, had decided to accept the offer, Blair saw the perfect opportunity to eliminate both players. At first, it looked as though B’s manipulative charm would work. Vanessa’s buttons were pushed and soon she was lying to BFF Dan and Olivia in order to play Blair’s game and further her own agenda. However, when B offered her beloved Chuck as the sacrificial lamb to sleazy alumni Josh Ellis, I knew she was in over her head. The guys’ kiss barely caused a stir, but her act of deception sent shock waves throughout their relationship.

Though Vanessa did end up check-mating Blair in the end (the hidden mike trick never fails!), she still remained the loser. The small taste of power led her to lie to the two most genuine people in her life as well as forsake her own mother, all for a speech that was never hers to give. V may have it, but the whole evil back-stabbing bitch act just isn’t a good look for her. There was never any fire in her eyes, any courage in her convictions or any pep in her step when she asserted her dark gifts. We should have known that the spawn of anyone who wears bangle bracelets and overuses agave would never take joy out of a good hit in the jugular. I am, however, interested in what Vanessa and Blair’s friendship would be like if they choose to pursue it. Could it be a case of opposites attracting or are we in for another new set of frenemies?

Serena also stood on the losing end in this episode. In her efforts to vindicate Carter from his debtors, she got played by Nate and didn’t even get a thank you from her man. Fistfuls of cash and tight dresses may be the keys to solving your problems, S, but they don’t always work for others. Serena can commiserate with stepbro Chuck, who looked truly bent out of shape over Blair’s betrayal. B will need to do major damage control to get herself back in his good graces, and Chuck isn’t going to make it easy. This may mark an end to the couple’s lovey-dovey era ... for now, at least.
Though Chuck and Blair hit a bump in their relationship, Dan and Olivia look to be flourishing. Olivia’s minor Hollywood moment was, in Dan’s words, ‘annoying’ but it was all an act. I knew she’d eventually charm the pants off Rufus and Lily, who, by the way, are getting cuter with each episode. Lily’s chat with Blair immediately after the toast debacle was brief but priceless (Blair to Lily: ‘Where did you learn to give a pep talk? Guantanamo?’) and I don’t even want to start with the ‘Welcome Back, Kotter’ mugs.


Time for your thoughts, readers. What did you think of the episode? Do you think Vanessa got what she deserved? Is Blair’s deception forgivable or is the beginning of the end for Blair and Chuck? Feel free to share in the comments!


--Enid Portuguez