After a promising beginning, a Blair dream sequence in which she's a Dickensian flower girl begging a richer version of herself, the rest of "Seder Anything" felt a little rushed and desultory. We didn't learn very much about anyone, saw some characters repeat themselves, and generally spun our wheel while waiting for what looks like an unmissable episode next week.
It's not looking good for Blair's plans to attend an Ivy League College; there's one last hope, but at what cost? A few episodes ago we met Nate's grandfather, a domineering blueblood played by James Naughton (who isn't breaking a sweat). Grandad has got Nate's future mapped out; there's that internship at the Mayor's office which sealed the fate of Nate's relationship with Vanessa and now it's Nate's college plans that have come under the old man's scrutiny. Nate has applied to Columbia on the sly since he's feeling a little hemmed in by people telling him what to do. Somehow Grandad finds out and approaches Blair with an offer: get Nate to go to Yale and you can be a bridesmaid at a society wedding and have a seat on an uppity committee at the Whitney. (Blair is plotting a non-college career as an busy socialite) What's clearly implied is that if Blair can change Nate's mind about college the doors of New York society will be open. The old Blair would have jumped at this opportunity, but things have changed. Nate's in-your-face toast at the wedding wins her over, but just as it seems all's right Grandad reveals to Nate that Blair almost sold him out for a bridesmaid's dress. If there's one character on GG who is entitled to some trust issues this year it's Nate, and he isn't happy about the revelation.
So much was going on this week that scenes in which key information was given got skipped over. Nate learned that his Grandfather had ratted his Dad out to the Feds in an offscreen scene and we only get an account of Serena's Spanish trip with Gabriel secondhand. It seems that after Poppy left in a huff (or did she?) Serena and Gabriel had something of a fling and may have gotten married. Serena would prefer to forget the whole and enlists Cyrus (a welcome return by Wallace Shawn) to look into an annulment. It all culminates in a rather disastrous seder at the Waldorfs at which is abashedly serving as a waiter to raise tuition money and where Gabriel shows up to reveal the truth about what happened in Spain (not much, or so it seems). It all adds up to another restatement of Serena's central conflict: her desire for independence versus her disdain of being the center of attention. We've been here before.
Oh, and could we please not have anything come of the moment between Chuck and Jenny in which Mr. Bass apologizes for that attempted rape back in the pilot? It's good to see Chuck acknowledge his own bad behavior but this is one relationship we really don't need to develop. This week was kind of a bummer, but next week brings the return of Georgina and the promise of some good old-fashioned GG craziness.