Gossip Girl Season 3, Episode 8: "The Grandfather, Part II" - Recap

It was election night on Gossip Girl, but that meant so much more than a possible Vanderbilt victory party at Chuck's hotel. Olivia hurt Dan's pride, Blair unknowingly befriended a prostitute and Nate got involved with some dirty politics.

The Jimmy Fallon Appearance

With so many intense plots going on in this episode, Dan and Olivia had a comic-relief story line. Olivia appeared on Jimmy Fallon's talk show without coaching from a publicist for the first time, and she was a little too open. She told a story about her first date with Dan and him coming back from the bathroom with his shirt on inside out. This led to Dan getting the embarrassing nickname "Bathroom Boy." However, Dan had no idea why people were calling him this because Olivia desperately tried to keep Dan from seeing the interview. The girl even spent five hours playing board games with Rufus, Lily and a sick Jenny, but in the end, Dan stumbled onto the interview online.

And ultimately, Dan wasn't upset. He was mad at himself for not remembering their one-month anniversary, and he remedied that with a nice candlelight surprise. And so all was right with Dan and Olivia...and even Jimmy, who apologized to Dan on the air.

Call Girls and Cat Fights

If only Blair and Serena could have taken a cue from them. Instead, this situation ended very differently. Initially, Serena ran into Blair in the dorm hallway and wanted to put everything from Chuck's club opening behind them. She felt they were even now, while Blair felt like she deserved an apology. When Blair didn't get one, things started to get ugly. S referred to B's new minions as "knockoffs." B then demanded to one those minions, "I need a friend. Stat!" Then she explained that the underling herself could not fulfill this position because, "I'm not friends with staff."

With relatively little effort, Blair bonded with a girl named Brandise in the NYU coffee shop over a shared love of designer handbags and shoes. What Blair didn't know was that in addition to being a psych major, Brandise was paying her way through school by being a call girl. Serena's fake boyfriend, Patrick, outed Blair's new BFF to S at the election party. This happened after Blair spotted a very drunk Patrick peeing in some greenery at the party and had him escorted out. Serena then had Brandise escorted out, and Blair, thinking this was simply a case of tit for tat, was not happy. She refused to believe that Brandise was a prostitute, and instead called Serena one since she was getting paid to date Patrick. Blair can get really mean with her words - but that's nothing new, it's typical of Blair. Yet this time it set Serena off, to the point where Serena smashed Blair's face into the red, white and blue election cake.

That was indeed funny - but also very childish, as Chuck rightfully pointed out. Chuck ran after Serena following this little incident and basically told her to wise the hell up or she would lose Blair as a friend forever. When she got defensive about what Blair had said, he responded, "She misses you. Don't tell me after 18 years, you can't read Waldorf subtext?" (How great was Chuck in that scene?) So S did eventually make her way back to B as B was picking bits of icing out of her hair. S apologized for the cake-in-her-face fiasco, but in her next breath she chided Blair for not being a "real friend" and not coming to her with her problems. Then Blair (in her sincere mode, not her bitchy mode) brought up the issue that's at the core of all their fights: Serena being number one and Blair being in Serena's shadow. B explained that things were different now: While B has college and a real relationship, S is floundering, has drifted away from her family, and has lost Nate, one of her oldest friends. And by the end of that conversation, she had lost Blair, too.

Politics as Usual

Serena's and Blair's friendship was not the only bond that took a hit this week: Nate's friendship with Vanessa also hit a snag when he "lost his moral compass" according to V. Things were fine at the outset of election day as Vanessa continued to work on her documentary on Trip's congressional campaign. The race was close, and Grandfather Vanderbilt wished for a "miracle" to help them. Straight-arrow Trip, however, wanted none of Grandpa's shady help - he would rather lose than resort to underhanded tactics. Before long, a miracle occurred on election morning: A man was drowning in the Hudson River, and Trip jumped in and saved him.

Delusional Trip couldn't connect the dots, but Nate had a feeling Grandpa was pulling the strings behind this rescue story. And Nate didn't problem with that. Then Nate went a step further when V closely examined her footage and saw that the man jumped in. Vanessa told Nate she was selling this footage to a news station, and Nate arranged for someone to pretend to be the reporter she was selling the footage to. That was low, Nate. Grandpa would be proud, but Vanessa was pissed - as well as disappointed in her friend. Eventually, news of the hoax broke and Trip was ready to pull out of the election. Instead, Nate made a speech and took the blame for the whole thing. Of course, he thought he was taking the blame for Grandpa, when really it was Trip's wife who set everything up. She confessed this to William as she explained to him that he underestimated her, and this was her way of getting his controlling influence out of their life.

So Maureen, William and Nate all showed they were willing to play dirty in the interest of helping the family. Election winner Trip appeared to be a boy scout in comparison to them, and Nate seemed truly influenced by his cousin's high moral stance. And then in the closing scene, a tired Trip made his way to the bar, where he started chatting and charming a down-in-the-dumps Serena, who had just lost her best friend and quit her job. They ordered drinks, and they seemed very chummy. Leaving us to wonder if there are some moral lines Trip may be willing to cross...

So, do you think anything will really happen between Serena and Trip? Was Vanessa being overly self-righteous as usual, or do you think she was right to report the hoax? And have you flipped sides in the Blair and Serena battle of '09, or are you more firmly entrenched with Team Blair or Team Serena than you were before?

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