Whether you love her or hate her (and many Gossip Girl fans would likely pick the latter), Jenny Humphrey's return to the Upper East Side certainly lived up to the hype.
The aptly-titled "Easy J" saw everybody's favorite, banished raccoon make her way to New York for an interview with Tim Gunn, in hopes of being admitted to Parsons.
It was all part of Chuck's master plan, of course, as the raspy-voiced puppet master played Jenny and Blair like dueling pianos. That is, until J went rogue on everyone.
Once Jenny realized Chuck was involved, everything changed.
Knowing Blair would absolutely lose it, Chuck made sure J was spotted all over the island she was forever barred from, and a desperate, borderline-psycho B responded in kind.
Her five-letter, scarlet letter sabotage of Jenny's interview was harsh, even by Blair and minion standards, but J refused to go down without a fight. Also just as Chuck planned.
This being Gossip Girl, things finally boiled over at a high-society event with all the characters present - always convenient - when a fed up J blasted her own damning secret.
This was what Chuck had hoped for: A revealing the tryst that Blair felt would ruin her, without his direct involvement. But Jenny's kiss-off line to both made him regret it.Give Jenny credit for the ballsy move of sending that blast, then for peacing out of NYC after putting Chuck and Blair in their place a bit. Mutually assured destruction, indeed.
Chuck's right. They're hanging onto the pain. It's time to sign a peace treaty and get on with the hate sex, are we right? That looks to be the direction Chair is headed next.
Their final scene was so terrific mostly for what was not said. After all the schemes and supposed hatred, there are clearly still feelings there, however unspoken (for now).
Ed Westwick and Leighton Meester are both excellent, especially with the rapport they have together. On a related note, is it just us or is J morphing into Taylor Momsen a bit?
Maybe she's just jaded and cynical now, but Jenny was always a sweet girl deep down. Was. Looks like that's long gone. Instead we saw a confident, almost brash J last night.
We're exposed to a lot amount of Taylor (perhaps too much) these days, so it's admittedly hard to view Jenny objectively. But they're starting to look like one and the same.
She's gone for now, again, after her righteous exit. What do you think brings her back for good this winter? We can't believe we're saying this, but we can't wait to find out.
Colin does a good job keeping his intentions secret. And not staring down.
Elsewhere, the show peeled back another layer to the mystery that is Juliet, and while it might seem frustrating how slowly this is unraveling, you have to love this latest twist.
Colin is somehow in on her plot to ruin Serena? That caught us off guard almost as much as seeing her imprisoned brother the first time. What the heck are these people up to?
We did not see the Colin-Juliet connection coming, as the writers did a nice job of setting up a Serena-oriented plot line/love interest that would have made sense independently.
Whatever they're up to, it had better be good. From how complicated this is becoming, you have to assume we're building toward major drama, with far-reaching consequences.
Your theories are as good as ours at this point. What is Colin writing Juliet checks for? Has he been involved since the beginning? Are his feelings for Serena at all genuine?
What's becoming clearer is that Juliet's grand plan to destroy Serena may be compromised by how much she likes Nate. The facade has shown a few signs of cracking already.
We'd still watch our back if we were S, however (not that her oblivious self has a clue what's going on). If Colin can avoid staring at that cleavage in public, the guy's got game.
We're starting to feel really bad for Nate in all of this. He really likes Juliet, can't see that he's being lied to constantly and now his dad catches a beating in the slammer too?
That last detail led to a sweet father-son scene. Nate's family is almost forgotten about these days, and it was nice to see them together, albeit in far from ideal circumstances.
Not Gossip Girl's finest episode, but a pretty strong one just the same, keeping us entertained throughout the hour and advancing both ongoing story lines significantly.
"Love the Way You Lie" was an appropriate musical choice for the closing montage, both as it relates to Chair and Serena and Nate being used by lovers (or would-be lovers).
Will they learn the truth - and where will the Upper East Siders go from here?
Tell us, what did you think of last night's Gossip Girl, and what will happen next? Comment below with your thoughts on "Easy J" and all things GG!