Recap of episode 19, The Grandfather, courtesy of Buddy TV:
I’m still stuffed but not satisfied from all the flat-out filler we got last week on Gossip Girl, but we’ve been promised lots of actual secrets and scandal tonight during tonight’s episode, “The Grandfather,” so let’s get to it!
Vanessa tells Dan how excited she is for summer Europe trip with Nate, when they’ll travel the whole continent, just the two of them. Vanessa and Dan are heading over to Nate’s to watch college basketball, and they run into him outside with his cousin, Tripp. Tripp invites Nate to make an appearance at the Vanderbilt family reunion at their estate that weekend, saying their grandfather wants to see him. He also tells Nate that he just got engaged. Nate doesn’t want to attend the reunion, saying he won’t pretend to bond with the people who shut him out when dad got busted. Tripp leaves, and V encourages him to reconnect with his family, who seem to be finally making an effort, and he shouldn’t pretend he doesn’t care.
Meanwhile, Chuck tells Serena that Blair isn’t answering his calls, and when he went by last week she never came home that night. He knows something bad is going on. Serena tells Chuck that Blair got rejected from Yale, and he manages to make even that information about him: “The only thing she wanted more than me.” They decide to work together to help her.
Over at the van der Woodsen home, Lily, while wearing some hipster white eyeglasses that I’m pretty sure don’t have lenses in them, learns that her art dealer and Rufus used to date. The art dealer is all, “He told you, right?” and Lily is all, “Of course! BTW, I’m a horrible liar.” Lily goes over and tells Rufus how humiliated she was, and that of course leads her to decide that they should each make lists of everyone they’ve ever kissed, because they’re adults and that’s what adults do. There’s no way this can end badly for the woman who has macked on so many random guys that she’s getting her own spin-off to tell about it.
Nate drives up to his grandfather’s mansion, bringing along Dan and Vanessa, his middle-class support system. When he gets there, he learns that his grandfather wasn’t the one who thought he should come. But when ol’ granddad lands in his private helicopter, he’s delighted to see Nate, and welcomes him with a hug. Everyone claps, because that’s what families do when other family members hug. They clap. Well, dude’s got a helicopter. I’d probably clap, too. (And now I see where the episode title came from! The Godfather. Brilliant.)
Back in the city, Chuck goes to see Blair, and… what is she wearing?! Is that a slutty dress, not-so-slutty-lingerie, or a 1950s bathing suit? Whatever it is, it’s not study wear. And she’s drinking scotch? Oh, Blair. Chuck is shocked to see her this way, when half-dressed-Carter walks up behind and kisses her cheek. Chuck tells her to stay away from Carter, but Blair brushes him off, saying he couldn’t be any worse than Chuck. Bizarro Blair is having the time of her life, and Chuck leaves in disgust.
Over at the estate, Grandfather Vanderbilt shows his guests the distinguished Vanderbilt portrait gallery and brags about his family’s important roots. He and Nate end up having a heart-to-heart, and he tells Nate that he was proud of him for standing by his mother and compelling his father to turn himself in. Tripp interrupts to offer some touch football.
After showering the Baizen off of her, Blair meets S for some shopping. Blair explains that being the anxious over-achiever was leading her to an early grave, and she’s decided to throw all caution to the wind, and do everything she never would have done before. She starts by shoplifting a pair of sunglasses. Blair walks out, and Serena calls Chuck, blaming Carter for the change. Chuck says he is trying to track dirt on Baizen, but hasn’t found anything. She tells him to set up a meeting with Carter and she’ll do the rest.
On her way to blackmail Carter, Serena sees Lily’s Santa-esque list of bad decisions, and tells her it’s a bad idea to show that to her current boyfriend, because DUH. Lily says she “already agreed” to the list-thing, which is apparently code for: it was entirely her idea, and she bullied Rufus into it. Serena says that if she’s going to do it, which she shouldn’t, she should at least edit it down to be on par with Rufus’s list. The man was once married for 18 years, so… we can guess what that list looks like.
Over at the Vanderbilt estate, Vanessa watches as Tripp and Nate get their expensive sweaters muddy playing touch football. Tripp’s fiancée, Maureen, comes up to Vanessa and tells her not to “fret.” In more evidence that she is some sort of terrifying ghost from the 1930’s, Maureen tells Vanessa that Grandfather has planned out Tripp’s entire life, and will groom Nate similarly into a life of politics and public service. And like Maureen, Vanessa can become a Vanderbilt arm-trophy! Isn’t life grand?
Chuck meets with Carter, who rubs all Blair’s indiscretions in his face, and calls it a game. Serena walks in, and she blackmails Carter, threatening to tell the cops about whatever happened between them in Santorini if he doesn’t leave town ASAP. Her plan works, but Carter warns that he’s not to blame for Blair’s unraveling. Getting rid of him won’t get their friend back.
Lily and Rufus meet for their dinner date, and Rufus hands over his index card with about a dozen names on it. Lily, clearly screwed, reaches into her bag and hands over half her list. Rufus says he’s relieved that they’re in the same ballpark. Later, looking through Lily’s purse for some take-out money, Rufus finds the other half of the list and confronts her with it. She gets mad at him for being relieved when he saw her condensed version, and he gets mad that she lied (and is also a floozy) and leaves. He later returns with a new list of everything he knows Lily loves—the only list he needs to know. They make up. And that’s how our mature grown-ups on Gossip Girl spent their week.
Back to the real story. Dan and Vanessa come home from the estate, and Vanessa worries that Nate will have his life laid out for him, but she doesn’t want to say anything to keep him from reconnecting with his family. Dan tells her to just tell him.
Meanwhile, Blair sneaks off to an unknown house, and Serena and Chuck go to Blair’s and convince Dorota to tell them where she is. They think she’s at some dangerous party.
Vanessa tells Nate about her concerns, and he comforts her with thoughts of their impending Europe adventure. Tripp calls to invite Nate out with the family, and Vanessa tells him to go. He resists leaving her at first, but then leaves.
Chuck and Serena go to find Blair at the mysterious house, and they find out that Blair’s gone to beg admission to Sarah Lawrence from the college’s dean. He insists that he can’t do anything for her because of the hazing incident, and Blair leaves in tears. Doubly embarrassed to have debased herself for a lesser school and had an audience, Blair tells them to leave her alone, and vows that the old Blair is dead.
Everyone meets up at Nate’s family reunion part 2. Chuck and Serena are there to find Blair. Blair is there to ruin her reputation by insulting every high-powered socialite in the room. She also tells Serena that Dan slept with Rachel in the costume closet. Dan and Vanessa show up to support Nate. (Why must Lonely Boy wear plaid with everything, even his suit?)
Tripp comes over to give Vanessa an awkward side-hug and to intentionally let it slip that Grandfather hooked up Nate with an internship at the Mayor’s office. V didn’t know, and says there must be a misunderstanding. She confronts Nate, who admits that it’s an amazing opportunity, and will probably set him up for a future better than their Euro-pierogi tour would. He’s torn between Vanessa and his Grandfather, and who each of them wants him to be.
B walks up to a group of uppercrusts and calls out each of their infidelities and substance abuses. Chuck grabs her and takes her around the corner, asking what she’s doing. Blair tries to seduce him, telling him to take her now. He says it’s not the real her, but she says it’s the same real her that he saw give a striptease at Vitrola. Chuck says she’s not the Blair he wants, and she says she never will be again, and leaves.
Nate finds Blair alone in an abandoned room, and he sits next to her. Blair is upset that nothing turned out the way she imagined when they were young. They both feel lost. Nate reminds her of how when they first started dating, she used to make him watch the same movies over and over because she liked to know how things would end. He tells her that he’s finally realizing that you can’t fight who you are, and she’s Blair Waldorf, which will never change. Blair is impressed with Nate’s new direction, and she seems to feel better after reminiscing with him. He gets up and goes back inside.
Back in the party, Serena slaps Dan for sleeping with her ment-whore not 20 feet away during the play. He says he deserves that. She ends up smiling from the “invigorating” physical abuse. She apologizes and they go to get him some ice.
Vanessa tells Nate that she believes in him, too—right before his grandfather pulls him up for a speech. Nate accepts the internship in the mayor’s office that summer. Vanessa leaves, crying.
Serena asks Chuck what happened with Blair. He says he’s losing her, and Serena compels him to fight for her. She’s lost, and he needs to make her feel safe. Encouraged by her pep talk, he goes over to her house again to tell her how he feels.
Vanessa gets some comfort in the form of pizza and her best girlfriends (Jenny and Dan). She’s not sure if she and Nate just broke up, but it was bad, whatever it was. The Humphreys tell her to just give him space and he’ll come around.
Chuck goes to Blair’s again, very late. Dorota tells him to leave, and she’ll deliver the message that he stopped by. Chuck then sees Nate’s jacket in the foyer. Upstairs, Nate was just seeing Blair home safe, but as he leaves, she grabs his hand and asks him to stay. Chuck gazes up the stairs with a look of ultimate disgust.