Serena's daddy issues and Rufus-William tension took up more time than we'd necessarily like last night, but "It's a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World" was surprisingly complex.
The multi-layered involvement of Dr. van der Woodsen in everyone's lives led to quality scenes from many characters and is building to what looks like a great conclusion.
There were flashes of old school Gossip Girl, too, with Blair perpetrating a scheme, Jenny and Serena full-on feuding, and Chuck being the drunk with a heart of gold.
Just go to Haiti! Go, go, go!
That's what hundreds of thousands of fans were probably thinking when they heard of Vanessa's internship possibility, one of the things off-limits for discussion with Dan.
Only Dan and Vanessa would agree to keep secrets from each other to avoid another situation like the Tisch drama, which arose after they kept secrets from each other.
After going back and forth, it appears V will indeed take the CNN gig in Haiti for the next three months (yesssss) which probably means she'll be back in ... September.
Hey, maybe a permanent position will open up and she'll get it!
Sisterhood of the traveling rants
Boy, was Serena on her high horse this week. Plenty of shots of Blake Lively in skin tight dresses (or Ace bandages passing for dresses) helped, but still ... seriously, S?
Inviting mom's ex-husband to breakfast with her family? Wow. Telling Rufus that J is the problem? Double wow. Reclaiming her old room without asking? Are you 12?
Granted, Serena has matured, and Jenny has been a meddling mess. She has a right to be upset, yet it seems a little out of place, as does her instant love for William.
Eric, as always, is the voice of reason, telling him how it is - "I'm gay, and I hate you" - when Serena and Lily blindly accept his reemergence in their lives. Way to go, E!
A big twist comes when Rufus blocks Will from getting a place in their building and Serena takes his side, then Rufus' possible mistress outs their dalliances to Serena.
Rufus therefore becomes ostracized within his own family. Even Eric starts coming around to Will a little after he arranged for a private date with Elliot. Team William?
Not so fast. Fittingly, it's Jenny who makes an alarming discovery ...A former "client" of J's complains that she was given antibiotics instead of the Oxycontin she wanted. That prompts Jenny to research - on Bing, natch - Lily's medication.
Is William drugging Lily for his own selfish reasons? That's the implication J makes when she enlists Chuck's help. Jenny and Chuck teaming up? This ought to be good!
What's impressive about the story line is how many issues were in play - unsolved mysteries, who's lying, who's mad at who for what reason - and how they intertwine.
We're looking forward to seeing Will's evil ways exposed, but will it be too late for Rufus and Lily? And will Serena continue to self-righteously take her father's side?
Together, they're apart
Last night's developments on the Chuck and Blair front were terrific, even with the couple broken up. Other hot couples come and go, but how can anyone not love Chair?
He's been binging on call girls and booze, but Blair still made an effort to help Chuck and convince him to visit Lily in her time of need. Because she cares. And it worked.
That would have been awesome enough for one week, but it wasn't even all. Blair struggled mightily with her desire to fit in at Columbia ... while still enrolled at NYU.
When Nate calls you out on your scheme, you know you're off your game. Blair was, pretending to be a student 100-plus blocks from where she's actually matriculating.
Nate busts Blair's ill-fated attempt to pose as a Columbia student.
Amazingly, we later learn that Chuck applied on her behalf, in secret, for a transfer to Columbia, because he knew she'd be too stubborn to herself, and it was accepted.
OMG. Blair Waldorf is an Ivy League girl at last!
Basically, it was perfect, setting the stage for a dramatic reunion in the coming weeks, while also giving us a dose of the backstabbing, manipulative, childish side of Blair.
Which, let's face it, is pretty darn entertaining.
Another strong episode in our opinion, hopefully with an even better payoff awaiting us next. What did you think of last night's Gossip Girl? Comment away!