Before I say anything else, it's kind of a relief to know that Blair is nice to her maid. The conversation Blair has with Dorota at the top of "New Haven Can Wait" is a nice pickup off of where we last saw Blair, watching as Serena was fawned over after the fashion show at the end of the last episode. As her friendship with Serena has (apparently) crumbled, we've seen a more vulnerable side of Blair. She needs a friend just like anybody else and she's looking at the trip to Yale as the beginning of the next chapter. Don't worry though, before the weekend is over we get to see plenty of old school Blair.
Taking characters out of their natural habitat can be dangerous for a show - see last week's Mad Men. Gossip Girl seems a better fit for a road trip though, since Blair and all the other characters are still trying to figure out who they are. How will their Manhattan personalities play in the Ivy League? It's made clear early on that Blair hasn't been keeping up with what has been going on at Yale. Serena, who had been destined for Brown, decides to pay Yale a visit after she and Blair have another spat. Serena charms the Dean during her interview; the Dean seems particularly impressed that Serena is a regular in the NYC tabloids gossip pages. (Yale is trying to change it image, or so it seems)Blair on the other hand has put all of her best self into her application, she may be the kind of applicant who actually has too many extracurricular activities. It's made clear that Blair is the more qualified of the two, but Serena's notoriety and killer smile suddenly threaten Blair's Ivy League dream. Events build to a perhaps slightly too predictable conclusion, a catfight during a private reception at the Dean's house. Reconciliation follows soon after. If I had to guess I'd say that neither Blair nor Serena will be attending Yale next year, they're too complementary to each other to ever be separated.
Speaking of trying out new personalities, if there's one GGer who might want to try out a new identity it's Nate. An overheard conversation reveals that Nate's father and his financial indiscretions have blackened the family name on campus. When Nate picks up a coed for an afternoon tryst he gives Dan's name in an attempt to protect himself. Meanwhile Dan is looking for a faculty member to write a letter of recommendation after he learns that neither of the writers whom he interned with have submitted recommendation letters. When Nate's "girlfriend" turns out to work in the English Department, Nate's deception is revealed.
I haven't written much about Nate in these recaps because he's incidental to most of the season so far. (Oh, and he's kind of boring) Even his illicit relationship with Catherine just served as a setup for Blair-Chuck craziness. Because of the "Captain," Nate is the one character whose comfortable life if genuinely threatened. I'm not saying Nate will get a spin off series in which he movies to the Bronx and gets a job in a community center, but there's a reason why Nate seems to be clicking with Dan and Vanessa more than Chuck lately. And what of Mr. Bass? This week finds him collecting blackmail material on the members of Yale's super secret Skull and Bones and setting Dan up for a prank as revenge for Dan's attempt to jump start a short story by writing about him. Ho-hum. Next week looks more promising for Chuck, since the promos suggest we're right back to sexual intrigue and a manipulative Blair.
I still think Jenny's story arc is tonally off from the rest of the show, but now that Rufus has Ok'd homeschooling and allowed Jenny to keep working "in the atelier" as an assistant to Eleanor Waldorf that means Taylor Momsen will at least have something to do. Here's a bet that Blair and Jenny will find themselves at cross-purposes once again. Any thoughts? Rest up for what should be a considerably saucier hour next Monday night.
Fun stuff: Blair using the word "semiotics," a Yale coed interrupting a makeout session to ask, "What do you think of Marquez?", and of course Blair's hat.