Finding yourself was an overriding theme on this week's episode of Gossip Girl. While Jenny, Serena, and new NYU student Olivia Burke (Hilary Duff) sought to make this happen through changes, Blair hoped to do this by clinging to the past.
The Movie Star
Vanessa got a new roommate: actress Olivia Burke, star of Twilight — oops! I mean star of Vampire Knights (a vampire series set during the King Arthur era). Olivia was hoping to escape the glare of Hollywood and just be a "normal" college student. At first this was easy because she met Dan, who's clueless about pop culture and had no idea who she was. Dan and "Kate" (she used just her middle name with him) hit it off, but soon Olivia's other life caught up with her. Her publicist was redecorating her room, passing out confidentiality agreements to her dorm mates and reminding her about interviews. Olivia couldn't keep blowing off work to be with Dan, and shortly after he arrived at the star-studded premiere of Olivia's new movie (Fleur) where he was meeting Vanessa, Dan caught on (OK, it took him a couple minutes to catch on after he got there).
This was of course after Dan praised Kate for being "refreshingly normal." Following his discovery that Kate was really Olivia Burke, Dan lamented how there was "so much drama" in his last few relationships and he implied he didn't want that again. Such whiny and pessimistic behavior shouldn't have earned him a second chance with Olivia, but lucky for him, he got one.
The Working Girl
While Dan was getting to know Olivia, Serena was bonding with Olivia's costar, Ursula (Tyra Banks), as part of her job. Yes, job — Serena got a job for the first time in her life! This was after Lily came home a little earlier than expected, interrupting Rufus' very amusing role-playing skit with Serena (Rufus pretended to be Lily as Serena practiced telling her about Brown). Lily was not at all happy, expressing her disappointment in Serena and blaming Rufus for everything. She tried to force Serena to go to Brown, but Serena insisted she just wasn't ready for college this year. Then Serena explained she was going to be productive and get a job. The interviews didn't go well, even after Serena offered to work for free. In a case of being in the right place at the right time, Serena helped Olivia out and got hired by Olivia's publicist, Casey.
So it was Serena's job to deal with high maintenance Ursula, and Serena knew just the right things to do and say to calm the diva down. All was going well until Serena was confronted with a moral dilemma at work: Should she tell Ursula that her favorite scene was cut from the movie, or should she follow Casey's orders and keep quiet? Lily told her to be a good friend, but Serena chose to be a good employee, and Ursula got hurt. Then Serena defied Casey and told Ursula not to throw a public tantrum, but to act with dignity instead. Serena got fired for this. However, Ursula couldn't have been more appreciative, and in the end, she told Casey to hire Serena back. Serena also realized that she couldn't "find herself" while living with Lily's constant disapproval, so she packed her things and moved out (well, she moved to Blair's house).
The Constance Girl
After misunderstanding NYU's Masters of the Universe club, Blair was spending more time at home and less at the dorm. She did this because she felt the Constance girls were in trouble under Jenny's reign (at least that was her rationalization for doing this). Blair answered a call for help from a student after Jenny left her headband at home and decided to issue in "a new era of sunlight and fairness" at Constance. The new mean girls readily dressed like Jenny clones, but they were not willing to abandon their school's established social hierarchy.
Blair told Chuck she was helping the Constance girls with a cram session, but he saw right through her lie and knew it was the annual Waldorf sleepover. Chuck went to Jenny (it was nice seeing those two share an actual pleasant conversation) and convinced her to fight back and reclaim the queen bee leadership it took her years to earn. As he pointed out, Jenny Humphrey was a Brooklyn girl who managed to earn Blair Waldorf's respect.
Convincing Blair to abandon Constance proved to be more challenging. He had to use a little trickery: He brought Jenny to the movie premiere to get Blair jealous, and he paid a paparazzi photographer to boast Blair's confidence. Though it wasn't easy, he mocked Blair's "little teenybopper sleepover" and told her exactly what she needed to hear: "NYU's hard, but Blair Waldorf does not give up...You're saying I'm easier to win over [then the students at NYU]? You'd really insult me like this?...The next time you forget you're Blair Waldorf, remember I'm Chuck Bass, and I love you." And then he kissed her and let her clean up her own mess. Who would've thought Chuck Bass would be the world's best boyfriend? Last season was so often about Blair being there for Chuck when he was struggling, so it's nice to see things flipped this year and witness him really being there for her.
Blair finally found some people just like her — three pearl-wearing prep-school grads who were lost lambs at NYU like herself. So she's started a little club with them, and perhaps with these followers she'll make some headway at her new school.
The Boston Boy
Setting things up for next week, Vanessa called Scott in Boston, and though he seemed happy to hear from her, he had to hang up because he had another call coming in...from Georgina.
So, what did you think of Tyra Banks' and Hilary Duff's performances? Was Banks over the top or just right as a temperamental diva? Duff will be around for a few more weeks, and there's a fresh-faced quality to her character — but hopefully the writers won't go overboard with this and give her any more lines such as, "We're like, real roommates. That's like totally awesome."
Finding yourself was an overriding theme on this week's episode of Gossip Girl
. While Jenny, Serena, and new NYU student Olivia Burke (Hilary Duff
) sought to make this happen through changes, Blair hoped to do this by clinging to the past.