Welcome back to the weekly TVF Gossip Girl Round Table, where our panel breaks down the previous night's episode (see our review from earlier this morning).
Below, lead Gossip Girl writer Mister Meester joins his esteemed editor-in-chief DANdy and TV Fanatic President Gossip Guy to discuss "Empire of the Son" ...
1. What was your favorite Gossip Girl quote from last night?
Gossip Guy: Since I'd like to try and tie all my answers to the Dair kiss, I'll go with Blair's "Oh for crying out loud, Humphrey" before she grabbed and kissed Dan.
Mister Meester: Vintage Dair ... Dan: "Serena, Eric, Lily, they're gonna need us now more than ever." Blair: "Not us. Dan and Blair. Individual entities. Two nouns separated by a conjunction." Dan: "Or a comma, if mentioned in a list." Blair: "Which is rare."
DANdy: Anything by Dorota last night was pure gold. Side note: Is it just me or is Gossip Girl off her game this year? She's totally phoning it in.
2. Best episode of 2011 so far?
Gossip Guy: Let's see. Bringing the boring Bass Industries storyline to a close, taking Lily down, the return of William, Nate having something (or someone) to do, and a Dair friggin kiss!? Only thing that could've made this perfection: less Vanessa. And more Serena cleavage.
Mister Meester: Big time. One of those classic episodes that brings things together, plants the seeds for more stories and makes you care about the characters. Bravo.
DANdy: I'm not as high on last night as my colleagues, but I liked it, especially the end. It could have been better, but the show is getting back on track after this.3. Was that kiss just the beginning of Dan and Blair as a couple?
Gossip Guy: OMG I hope so. But they better keep up the witty sarcastic banter if the two if them do end up together. I refuse to watch a lovely dovey Dair unless I have Dorota around to clean up my vomit.
Mister Meester: I hope so, but this photo suggests otherwise. Dan and Blair have carried the show in the second half of the season. I hope it doesn't fizzle out from here.
DANdy: No idea, but since the episode ended with a frame of Dan and Blair, I have no choice but to recognize the couple nickname, Dair, that I denounced last week.
PLAUSIBLE DENIABILIY: Dan finally convinced Blair to do away with it.
4. Most random twist - Ben's mom showing up out of nowhere to bail him out, or a Season 2 throwaway Bart scandal resurfacing in the Thorpe takeover storyline?
Gossip Guy: Definitely Ben's mom showing up and somehow being the one to get her hands on the affidavit and hooking up with Thorpe. I mean duh, I saw the Bart scandal coming in a mile away during the "previously on Gossip Girl." On a side note, did you guys see that Dair kiss!?
Mister Meester: Both came out of left field, but Thorpe and Bart at least had past ties (though I'm skeptical how long ago the writers decided to create said ties). Ben's mother's involvement felt abrupt and out of place. Vanessa-esque, except she had an actual impact.
DANdy: The involvement of Ben's mom. That story line went down faster than Nate's pants when he sees Raina. Or Serena, or Blair, or Vanessa, or Jenny, or ...
5: With William back (again), will Lily and Rufus last?
Gossip Guy: Well, unfortunately since Rufus has been relegated to being Lily's purse I'm pretty sure the dude's going out of fashion. Sorry. Way too cheesy. I'll leave the witty lines to Dair. After they're done totally with their epic kiss.
Mister Meester: Last? Don't call it a comeback - Rufus has been here for years. He may be more of an accessory lately, but when the chips are down, he's Lily's rock. He'll be Eric's, too, and a much healther rock than the ones he gets from Damien.
DANdy: I predict his return will cause tension between Rufus and Lily, but Billy will ultimately fall out of favor and leave town. At least that's what happened last year.
6: Rate last night from 1-10 on the Vanessa Uselessness Scale!
Gossip Guy: Her great revelation about Ben changed no one's minds or actions so she easily should earn her standard 10. But I'm in a good mood after that Dair kiss. 9.
Mister Meester: Agree with Gossip Guy. 9. Gotta love V inserting herself into the Ben-Serena scandal but having little or no impact. Sums up the character so well.
DANdy: I think I saw her in the promo, briefly, so maybe she's got some actual role to play when the show comes back. But 9 last night, easily. Make that 9.25.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments!