Blake Lively in Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl, The CW, Airs Monday 8/7c

Episode: The Ex-Files (Season 2, Episode 4)

Synopsis: Chuck’s (Ed Westwick) true skill at manipulation is revealed. Relationships come tumbling down as Vanessa (Jessica Szohr) discovers his Lordship in the arms of Catherine. Nate’s (Chace Crawford) life almost takes a turn for the better. Blaire (Leighton Meester) recruits her new projects for the year. Dan (Penn Badgely) and Serena’s (Blake Lively) post-break-up awkwardness creates a power struggle. Jenny (Taylor Momsen) deals with the aftermath of her attempted coup last year.

Review: Dan and Serena’s love affair may be over but their roller-coaster ride of highs and lows continues. Dan’s interest in the new girl, Amanda, causes Blair and her acolytes to jump into high gear to protect their fallen friend, with stunts ranging from the manipulative to the downright nasty. Though Serena wants no part in their torment and tells them not to do it, Dan immediately assumes she was involved and blames her. One Nair cocktail to Amanda’s hair later, Dan reaches boiling point and Serena is pushed too far, retreating back into the queen bitch shell she fought so hard to escape from the first time around. Trouble’s brewing, Queen B, your best friend could be about to steal your crown.

Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick in Gossip GirlNot that Blair’s life is all moonlight and roses at the moment anyway. When Vanessa sees Catherine hot and heavy in the arms of Lord Marcus, she snaps a couple of shots and scampers. That certainly explains why mommy dearest never liked his previous girlfriends! B is presented with the evidence and knows just what to do, successfully negotiating an exit from the cheating pair and Catherine to pay Nate’s family debts in exchange for her silence. Of course in Gossip Girl world, nothing ever runs that smoothly. Vanessa, knowing nothing of the plan and not understanding Blair’s simple instruction of not to do anything, tells Catherine’s husband, leaving Nate getting screwed by Catherine all over again. Lord Marcus’ exit also leaves B bereft of a boyfriend, and after all that time rubbing Chuck’s nose in it, he’s bound to want to repay the favor. That is, if he’s not too busy engineering the fall of her reign as Queen of the school.

Turns out sweet and innocent Amanda was just a pawn in Chuck’s employ, used only to snap Serena out of the stupor and back to the top of the social circle. Handbags at dawn, ladies? Overall, this episode really kick started the season, with Chuck’s manipulations felt right the way through, but his hand mostly unseen until the end. Other than his terrible fashion sense, the man is a genius and Blair will regret the day she ever tangled with him. Not only do we have that to look forward to, but it looks like Serena’s true Queen potential is about to be unleashed, with Dan really feeling the effects. At the start of the episode, he said he felt invisible. When Serena’s done with him, he’s going to wish he felt that way again. This had me hanging on the edge of my seat and the repercussions definitely shouldn’t be missed.

Up Next Week: “The Serena Also Rises.” Serena’s rise to the top continues and Blair is not going to take it lying down. Dan befriends Chuck, but does he know how dark the dark side truly is? In the parental side story area, Lily finds out about a secret Bart has been keeping from her. Fashion week? May as well be Hell Week from the sound of things.

For more coverage of your favorite shows, check out the Control Freaks Archive.

Did you watch Gossip Girl this week? If so, feel free to discuss below.


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