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'Gossip Girl': What goes around...

March 31, 2009 |  1:43 am

Gossipgirl_NateBlairkiss Blair Waldorf, I feel your pain. Just as B had impatiently waited for sparks to fly with Nate on last night's "Gossip Girl," I, as a viewer, felt as if I had to endure a forehead kiss before getting the satisfaction of a snowy Central Park make-out session. Jenny's Sweet 16 debacle was entertaining and all, but the good stuff really occurred within the last quarter of the episode.

Those last 15 minutes were a doozy. First we meet Serena's future love interest, Gabriel, the international playboy who clearly has met old Serena during one of her mysterious European adventures. He starts out dating her socialite friend Poppy Lifton, who could have reentered the scene without the hideous bob. Throughout the episode, Serena is desperate to get her groove back. She uses Jenny's 16th birthday as an excuse to throw a party that will prove she's still got social muscle. The plan backfires when Jenny, enraged that S ignored her wishes of spending a quiet game night with the fam, alerts Gossip Girl of the party and thus invites the unhip masses. This is the last straw for S, who spontaneously jets off to Spain with Poppy and Gabriel because that is clearly where she'll find her lost mojo.

Those last few minutes also reopened the case of Baby Van Der Humphrey, which I must say threw me for a loop. Dan receives his first piece of fan mail for the story he wrote in the New Yorker. Flattered, he gives the guy a call, and lo and behold, fanboy turns out to be Lily and Rufus' long-lost son. Maybe I was distracted by the show's vain attempts to hide Kelly Rutherford's pregnancy or Eric's nifty new haircut, but I didn't see that coming. For that, it gets the night's award for best twist.

Not so surprising was Take 2 of Blair and Nate. I'm glad his profession of love for Blair didn't come so easily, but I also wanted to see more concrete proof that her and Nate's friendship was blossoming into something more. While their kiss was great, it would have been more satisfying had the tension been prolonged, especially since Nate has grown so wise in these last two episodes. Examples of how they rediscovered their feelings for each other would have added a deeper layer of complication in the Nate-Blair-Chuck triangle.

I suppose the Vanessa factor is enough complication for now. It's only Season 2, but "Gossip Girl" is already venturing into territory that even iconic teen dramas such as "Beverly Hills, 90210" took years to explore. In its decade-long run, "90210" romantically paired any lead character who wasn't related (the relationships involving Kelly Taylor and Dylan McKay alone covered most of the show's main players). But the show's longevity justified the pairings -- a tight-knit group of friends are bound to double-dip in the span of 10 years. Romantic musical chairs has undoubtedly become part of the teen drama formula, but I was surprised that "Gossip Girl" went that route so soon. Pairing Vanessa with Chuck was too cliche. It'll obviously be a flash in the pan before Chuck gives in to his feelings for Blair, but by then, it'll be too late. After his affair with Vanessa, the only couple left to hook up is Blair and Dan and we all know that would just be wrong.

What did you think of the episode? Will Blair stick with Nate for long? Do you like the idea of Vanessa hooking up with Chuck?

-- Enid Portuguez

Photo: The CW