I hope that all of you know that last night, Gossip Girl lied to you for a full hour about how you play the game “Assassin.” The entire thing was a complete and utter distortion of the truth, and it distracted me from one of the episode’s major plots enough that I find myself totally not caring why Nate was late to his surprise party or why Jenny kissed him at the end (or what she thought she’d accomplish by doing that).

In other news about plots that need some editing (and by editing, I mean complete removal from the show), Dan and Vanessa made each other read their crappy one-act plays and then both lied about whether or not they thought they were crappy, and America yawned in response. All of that is forgiven though, because last night, we got the full-on Blair/Chuck/Jack money shot – indecent proposals were made, Matthew Williamson dresses were bought, and Chuck got his hotel back – but at what expense?

I know that the game was supposed to serve as a heavy-handed metaphor demonstrating the complicated, incestuous world of dating on the Upper East Side, but for real y’all, that’s not how you play Assassin. You don’t all gather together and run around the block after random people. You’re assigned a target, the game is played over the course of days or weeks, and you have to stalk your target around town (or, more popularly, around campus) until you can tag them (sometimes with a Nerf or water gun) and then take their target.

I’m assuming that our Gossip Girl writing staff went to college, and therefore they should know how to play this game properly. After a particularly rousing game involving several hundred people during my freshman year at the University of Georgia, my dorm was actually banned from playing it because someone jumped down an emergency stairwell and cracked his head open while trying to avoid being “killed.” Assassin is not something to trifle with, and it doesn’t involve sad approximation of burglar clothes (really, lose the knit caps).

Anyway, the game of glorified tag came about because it was Nate’s birthday and he apparently loves it, so Serena threw him a surprise party. Instead of having a normal day of celebration and just faking him out at the end, however, she decided to let him think all day that she was just blowing him off and didn’t care, which just seems kind of mean to me. Serena would probably think it was brilliant, however, so I’m not entirely surprised.

When Jenny finds out about Serena’s plan (from Eric! He lives!), she takes it upon herself to put a rudimentary plan of her own into action to win Nate over by…taking him to lunch? I’m not sure what Jenny’s endgame is in all of this, even after seeing the entire episode twice, but to lunch they go and Nate is sad about Serena but enjoying his time with Jenny, and she manages to get him to agree to a movie as well so that no one will be able to reach him by phone when he’s late for the “Frick benefit” that he thinks he and Serena are going to later.

He’s an hour late when he strides into the surprise party with Jenny on his arm and Serena knows that something is up, but Jenny continues to play the “woe is me, I got roofie’d” card and Nate goes along with it. Eventually, after some stumbling and bumbling (including Eric crashing in to Vanya while he’s proposing to Dorota!!!), Jenny and Nate are the only two assassins still in the game, and they tumble through a very expensive restaurant and lock themselves in the back room.

Therein, Jenny plants one on Nate and steals his Polaroid (no one plays this game with Polaroids), making herself the winner and forcing Nate to make his confused expression (which also doubles as his angry expression). Nate tells Jenny they’re just friends, Jenny rolls her eyes and acts bored with the whole situation. Did she seriously think that Nate was going to let go of Serena just because she got the rules to Assassin wrong? I mean, that’s a big deal, but not big enough to make Sir Manbangs forget about the girl that took his virginity on a bar stool.

Also at the party are Dan and Vanessa, who don’t actually care about the game but care immensely about their respective screenplays. See, both of them are trying to get into the Tisch writing program (Dan admits it, Vanessa is doing it in secret), and they’re trying to get notes from each other on the work that they’re going to submit.

They’re both completely humorless about their work, however, and they both know that they’d look down on each other if their plays weren’t perfect. Which they aren’t. They both kind of suck, which is not surprising to anyone but them, because they both think they’re the 19-year-old reincarnations of Truman Capote. Fill in the appropriate relationship strife here.

Going on in the background of all this petty drama, we actually have the real problems that plague the pretty lives of Chuck and Blair. Jack has taken over the Empire and set about removing all of Chuck’s possessions from the penthouse when Chuck arrives to declare that he’ll do anything to get his business back. I know that Chuck is feeling desperate, but his willingness to show that desperation to Jack rubbed me the wrong way. He would know that the declaration that he’d do anything to recover the hotel would be showing his cards way too soon, and that it would also guarantee that he’ll have to do the worst thing that Jack can think of. And that’s exactly what happened.

Instead of just telling Blair that he needed her to have sex with Jack to get the hotel back, Chuck set her up. He sent Jack to the Matthew Williamson store to tell her how she could help her boyfriend, and she refused, but continued to consider the possibility. She sought Serena’s advice about living with yourself after you do something terrible (Serena didn’t have any advice because she doesn’t worry about such mundane things), and when a dress from Williamson’s store showed up in her bedroom, she decided to put it on and go do the nasty to help her boyfriend.

She thought that she was doing it secretly, however. She wasn’t – Chuck had paid for the dress and set her up because he knew that she was devoted to him in every way and that she’d do it. Jack didn’t have sex with Blair, he only kissed her, and then he dropped the bomb on her that Chuck had consented to all of this and not told her that he was in on it. I’m still not exactly sure why that is – Chuck said it was because she’d be too eager when Jack came to her if she knew he was going to, but why would Jack care if she was eager or not? Why did he care if Blair knew in advance?

Maybe because he had arranged the whole thing from the beginning to tear Chuck away from what he loves most – Blair. But does he love Blair or the hotel more? He seemed to pick the hotel. All of these thoughts are crowding up my mind a little bit, and it makes me nostalgic for the high school shenanigans of yore. Blair and Chuck are now broken, perhaps irreversibly, and we have to wait and see if they manage to mend fences and get together again. Finally, this show has found a storyline that makes me want to tune back in. I just wish they hadn’t made human sacrifices out of Chuck and Blair to do it.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • janis

    amanda, you are going to recap the christian siriano show right?!?!?!?!?!??!?! i’m sure you will. i’ll be waiting

  • spoiled_brat

    “…forcing Nate to make his confused expression (which also doubles as his angry expression)”

    This seriously made me LOL… Thanks, Amanda!

    • An4

      me too, love that part!
      I usually lol when I read Amanda’s recaps, she doesn’t fail me even when the show does.
      I still think chuck and blair should have been a team working against jack, it would have been much more interesting and it could go on for a few episodes. this triangle didn’t make much sense.

  • justa9url

    AHH…this episode was so intense. CHUCK AND BLAIR!!! =( Jack Bass is a jackass.

  • Kate W.

    I mean, that’s a big deal, but not big enough to make Sir Manbangs forget about the girl that took his virginity on a bar stool.’…this line is PURE BRILLIANCE!

  • Paulina

    I feel so bad for Blair.

  • bunny

    so sad! i HATE gossip girl season 3, in my country it came out like, 6 months later than america, so i ended up being influenced by amanda’s writings…and ended up hating the season 3.

    SO weird and disjointed, the storyline..and the ONLY thing that kept me watching was blair and chuck’s relationship…was sweet to the point of being diabetic, yet there is a bitter and sour taste to it too. loves!

    and now they’ve broken up. shit.

    HEY CHUCK FORGAVE BLAIR when BLAIR set HIM up to kiss the dean of her college! and that was because of a MEASLY speech, not a HOTEL! so WHY can’t she forgive him now?

    ok sleeping is much worse but in the end she didnt right? only kissed, which was the same thing. but then again. sigh.

    • Well don’t let me influence you too much – I love this show even when it’s terrible, and I think this season is better than the last. I also don’t think that Blair and Chuck will stay broken up. I was thinking about the setup you mentioned while I was watching, but had forgotten about it by the time I wrote the recap, but I think they’re fairly analogous – because of that, I’m hoping that it means the breakup won’t last forever.

  • Ashley

    I too, found the total destruction of Assassins ridiculous. During our schools Assassins game this year someone flew from NYC to New Orleans over Spring Break to kill their target…. a 1 block radius with polaroids and skullcaps doesn’t cut it.

  • Camille

    Chuck and Blair were so intense and wonderful this episode. Them being dark and twisted is them at their very best. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

  • alexjohn

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  • Relli

    The acting on this show is sooooo bad, either that or script quality is down. I don’t know but either way I have completely lost interest in this show this season. And please cover Blake up once in awhile.

    • What really stands out to me is that the guy who plays Jack Bass is also one of the main characters on Dexter (another of my favorite shows), and he is GREAT on Dexter. Not so great here. I think that some of the dialogue on this show is kind of forced and stilted because they want to get in as many quips and soundbites as possible, and they end up making the characters say things during conversation that no one would say in real life. I don’t mind it because I think it’s sort of part of the show’s campy, kitschy fun, but even then, I still cringe once or twice per episode.

  • MissMo

    Love Blair’s dress… Any info on the clutch that she wore with Matthew Williamson’s dress when she was meeting Jack?

  • Candace

    First things first , i CANNOT stand jenny … she always seems so devious …. i’m kinda happy after this episode tho as i hated the chuck/Blair relationship , so i’m hoping she doesn’t go back …. loved your thoughts too ! (fb) :)

  • Lizzie

    I used to watch this show, but not anymore. Is it any good??

    • Well, that’s a complicated question. It’s not great, but I find it really entertaining and fun to watch, even when it’s bad. You have to be willing to suspend disbelief, but it’s a pretty tasty piece of fluff if you can manage it.

  • Bex

    Omg poor Blair! I knew this would happen with Chuck. I feel sooo bad!!! How cute is Nate everyone? ‘(fb)’

  • Assiya

    Oh, I loved couple Blair&Chuck, really sad after what happened, hope they will be back together (fb)

  • Rosanna

    I only really watched GG for Chuck and Blair and I’m so sad! LOL, a friend and I were watching it together and she got teary-eyed. (fb)

  • joana

    i just finished watching this episode. Dorota is my girl! :) (fb)

  • Maria

    Blair & Chuck were my fav…I’ve loved Chuck since season 1, but now I’m just pissed at him >< (fb)

  • Lydia

    Dan and Vanessa=BORING. I think that their characters do belong together (And I mean wedding bells kind of belong together) but their storyline needs more FLAVOUR! They live in Brooklyn for goodness sakes. Make something happen! (fb)

  • Ashia

    Nice recap! I did LOL at Nate’s confused face doubling as his angry face.

    I do have one wonder, though, why is Chuck all of a sudden such a wuss? I loved him in the first two seasons because he was so deliciously cunning and could be cruel when it served him. It seems like the folks at Gossip Girl are trying to soften him up but it’s taking away his edge. I was hoping to see some true Cruel Intentions type of collaborations with Chuck and Blair the power couple, but they don’t seem to work well together now that they openly love each other.

    I’m hoping we will get the cold, cunning Chuck back. I’m fine with him being vulnerable with Blair, but no one else.

    Thanks for the recap! Now I know where to go if I miss a show and forget to catch it online. (fb)

  • Jocelyn

    Hm… interesting post! (fb)

  • Jenny

    i didnt like this episode.. jenny is being so stupid (lol not me) (fb)

  • Tamee

    Just can’t get into this show! I know, sorry!! But maybe if I turn the volume off and just look at the fashions…maybe… (fb)

  • Tiff Chao

    Love Gossip Girl but I agree with this past week’s episode. But always a great fan of their clothes and bag. Love the Chanel bag Blair was carrying. (fb)

  • Jessica

    I admit I haven’t really been keeping up on gossip girl this season…it’s gotten a bit boring but I do want to see how they screw up assassin (fb)

  • abitnerdy

    Amanda! I loooove this review! I love it! I was really baffled by their version of Assassin LOL and that Matthew Williamson dress? GORGEOUS GORGEOUS! Leighston Meester pulls off the look so well, ok i guess who wouldnt with wardrobe choices of Gossip Girl but still. No matter what happens, i love watching Gossip Girl just to look at their clothes, shoes, accesorries, bags bags and bags!

  • abitnerdy

    erm.. i got over excited forgot to add an (fb) to the post above ermm.. belated (fb) :(

  • Joy

    blake lively is prettyyy :P

    random! sorry :/


  • madz

    i hate jenny on this episode…. i really do. i feel for chuck, more so for blair. sorry, but even with such acting, i still love nate archibald! (fb)

  • Pat

    Love this show…it’s one of my guilty pleasures. (fb)

  • ad

    loving the mattew williamson dress. oh my oh my, it is sooo freaking gorgeous! (fb)

  • Kate

    Jenny brings life to this show. If there was no Jenny it would be pretty damn boring because she causes a lot of the drama.

  • Clarky


    You are a fool… You’ve never played a game that wasn’t played exactly the same as a similar game?… Control freak…

  • Zoe

    Thanks for letting us know I just finished watching the last season and I didn’t even notice but I think I would actually rather through a Gossip Girl version assassin party!