Gossip Girl Review: "The Empire Strikes Jack"

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One day you're on top. The next? Out in the street. Poor Chuck Bass learned this lesson all too well on Monday night's Gossip Girl, fittingly entitled "The Empire Strikes Jack."

But how will the saga end?

That was just part of the Upper East Side drama unfolding last night, which also saw Blair bribe prostitutes, Dan and Vanessa try role-playing, and Jenny get drugged by an old rival.

Intrigued yet? Let's get started! We begin our review with ...

The Battle of the Basses. This episode takes its name from the best film in either Star Wars trilogy and it is certainly shaping up to be an epic conflict between Chuck and his uncle.

Chuck learns quickly what we already knew. He got played. Jack and Elizabeth promptly have him kicked out of the hotel, prompting Charles to confront his mother about this later.

Ed Westwick and ...

PLAYED: Chuck Bass certainly was ... and he can't believe the reason.

Chuck asks for his hotel back, but Elizabeth explains that she can’t do it because she loves Jack. Yes, she is IN LOVE with Jack. Chuck tries to tell her that she’s going to get hurt.

He was right. Elizabeth winds up getting her heart broken after she gives Jack an ultimatum and says he needs to take her or the hotel - and stunningly Jack chooses the Empire.

Elizabeth tells Chuck she signed the hotel over to Jack and she's leaving town. Oh, and she's not actually his mother, which he believes, as what mother would do this to her son.

Only she is his mother. That doesn’t stop them from going their separate ways for now, but we know the truth. Is it just a matter of time before he does? What is his next move?

Certainly this episode answered as many if not more questions than it answered, as it ends with Chuck ends the episode in the arms of Blair, vowing to get his revenge on Jack.

Will he get his hotel back - and have we seen the last of Elizabeth? Did both her arrival, the ease of their scheme and her departure seem a little too convenient to anyone else?

Jack Bass wasn't the only Season 2 fixture returning to harass one of our Upper East Siders last night. Jenny got back in the fashion game, thanks to Eleanor Waldorf, but so did ...

Agnes. That's right, Willa Holland's crazy model character, who must have said the word "bitch" 40 times, is supposedly sober now and she and Jenny quickly become BFFs again.

Until Agnes decides to bitterly take J down again, that is.

When J maturely shoots down Agnes' plot for revenge against Damien, Agnes bogarts his drug stash (which J somehow still had?), gives the models some pills and slips J some.

Soon, Jenny can’t see straight or stand up on her own.

Agnes puts Jenny in a cab and drops her off at a random bar, but luckily, her knight in shining man-bangs, Nate, arrives to rescue her. Gotta get him into the episode somehow!

In a sweet scene, Nate gives her a pep talk, and right after he does, Jenny gets a call from Eleanor offering her a job. So things are looking up for Jenny ... but for how long?!

It was great to have Eleanor back and Dorota featured prominently this week, which brings us to Blair's story line, a parallel component of the fashion show her mother put on.

When her mother tells Blair she needs her help winning over the head of Cromwell retail stores, the younger Waldorf sets out to recruit "All-American girls" from NYU she's friends with.

For Blair Waldorf, that means paying hookers to be her friends.

New Fashion Foray

DON'T EFF WITH AN EFFER: Blair is one of the best.

That goes awry when the head of Cromwell recognizes them, though, but Blair's best defense is a good offense. Her go-to working girl, Brandeis, gives her all the details on Cromwell.

He knows Julian, a gay prostitute that she invited to attend the show, and now that she has some leverage, Blair cajoles him into carrying Eleanor’s line in all his stores. B-Dubs FTW!

Ultimately, Eleanor pulls the plug on the deal because it wasn't true to herself, a lesson Blair could learn, and one they shared over some adorable mother-daughter bonding. It's sweet.

We love that amidst all the scheming, sex and over-the-top drama, Gossip Girl can still be so heartwarming at times. It's a rare trait that really helps one grow attached to characters.

Even sweeter for B? Being approached by girls from Columbia who know who she is (!) and fawn over her (!!) - hmm, might a transfer to the upper half of Manhattan be in the works?

Finally, we have Vanessa and Dan, who have taken their relationship public, thanks to Serena and Nate. V worries they are stuck in a rut, though, so N encourages a little role playing.

In an attempt to recreate one of Dan’s favorite films, Vanessa dresses up and simulates a dinner scene from Rear Window. Dan, being Dan, would rather just hang out like old times.

Later, Dan goes to visit Vanessa and explains that he will give her the most romantic second first date that she’s ever had - in other words, perogies in the dorm and just chilling.

When Vanessa seems unconvinced about the romantic elements, Dan explains that he’s just happy that they can do the same things they always did, but this time, couple style.

Hey, they are true to themselves. They are who they are, and it's cute. Fans not be as nuts about Danessa as they are about Chair or Serenate, but you have to give them that.

All in all, a solid episode, with Agnes causing big drama, and terrific Jenny and Blair stories to make up for what may be perhaps a bit satttered with Chuck, Jack and Elizabeth.

Don't get us wrong, we love the scheming between Chuck and Jack, and can't wait to see how it plays out. But the character of Elizabeth seemed a bit off, and pieced together.

Maybe that's by design, of course. What did you think of last night's Gossip Girl? Vote in our survey and comment on "The Empire Strikes Jack" below ...


Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (42 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


I really thought the episode was totally the best episode since the beginning of season 3. I loved it and I don't think Vanessa understood what Serena meant by 'Role Play.' So, I don't blame Dan!!!!!!!!!! Naughty Nurse trumps a character from Rear Window anytime lol. I've gotta say though I think Gossip Girl is back to its season 1 & 2's awesomeness


I am not going to hate Chuck about the bad thing he will do because anybody in his depressing mood would do the same.He is full of revenge and he will be also paranoic.but Jack deserves to be send to the bottom of hell.CHAÄ°R is always the best...


ED is an amazing actor and he deserves an EMMY AWARD.He acted like he really has lost his hotel and mommy.I cried while watching him.He is the best actor on gg so writes give him the most emotional stories because only he can handle it.


I found yesterday's episode really entertaining. I must say that, except from The hurt locket (real crap), all the new episodes have been pretty good, and I believe they will keep being good because, for what I've seen in the promo, next episode will be surprising. I loved seeing Blair returning to her old days, at least for a moment. I hope she goes to Columbia and starts a new reign, she clearly doesn't fit in NYU, it's to... bohemian? It's is perfect for Dan and Vanessa but not for Blair. And I can't wait for her to wear new wonderful headbands too! Who doesn't miss them? I also loved Chuck, and the way Ed played him, I almost burst into tears, he seemed so heartbroken. I like the good Chuck but I kinda miss the old (and wicked) Chuck, he's character is too likable now, and he was supposed to embody the evil. Let's hope he goes back to basics, but with moderation. I mean, there's no way I want him to do that thing everybody thinks he's going to do to Blair, this is way too evil. What I didn't like were Serenate (the golden couple WTF?) and their eagerness to plotting something and Danessa, just boring. It's curious, both of these couples have just started dating and they already bore me to death. Thank God Jenny is there to spice things up, I'm not a big Nenny fan but I'd like to see them together, though I don't want Jenny to steal him from Serena, that's mean.


I think Serenate plotting is kinda cute especially with no success^^ hope they'll stick




Ed is a freaking amazing actor, I thought I was going to cry. Would Serena and Nate PLEASE stop plotting? I mean is it a new obsession with them or something? Episode 14, 15 and 16 they schemed, but it backfires everytime! Leave it to the pros *cough CHUCK AND BLAIR cough* I loooved Blair this episode, she is getting very mature and the Queen B is back :D I also liked the Jenny storyline, love her or hate her - there is nooo doubt that she is one of the most interesting characters on the show. Face it, it would be no fun without her. I hope Nate and Jenny get together, but I know thats not gonna happen. I also want Serena and Carter together, but again; no gonna happen. I like Dan and Vanessa, and Chuck and Blairs final scene completely pwned the whole episode. Next week looks scary! I hope the add was misleading.


1. I love that Jenny is going back to her roots and getting back into fashion. Finally, she's not acting like a complete head case.
2. Nate needs a better storyline. He can't play knight in shining armor forever.
3. Blair ftw.

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Gossip Girl Season 3 Episode 16 Quotes

As hard as it is for me to believe, there's something more important in life than waffles. I'm not going to let you sit one more day cooped up in that apartment.


[on Cromwell's] Where Bristol Palin shops?