Spotted: The Magnificient Archibalds

B: “Remember: Serena doesn’t share.”
S: “And Blair should learn to.”

Thanksgiving is Blair’s favorite holiday and it’s also mine. Especially in the Gossip world. “The Magnificent Archibalds” managed to have that very special episode feel without being at all corny. Well, a bit corny. (Corn: grain of the future.) I liked the references to last year’s thanksgiving: Gossip Girl doesn’t blog over the holiday, Serena will miss Rufus’s mashed potatoes but not everyone over 30 acting weird, B bakes her dad’s pie in an attempt to keep up the Waldorf traditions. . . .

Before we start in on the awesome, the sad, the ludicrous, and the heartwarming, let’s talk GG fashion. Wait, the clothes are all those things and more. Jenny’s red plaid dress? Adore it. (InStyle says it’s D&G.) Serena’s Thanksgiving outfit? HORRIDly horrible lamesauce. That skirt (Porter Grey) is doing her no favors. It is painful. The only good part about it is it shows off a LOT of her tights (which should not serve as pants), and her tights are lovely. Points to Serena’s earlier outfit at school — I like the leather jacket/vest thing and once again her tights: perfection.

B’s green thanksgiving dress was, of course, perfect — the back in particular. And let’s give a special thanksgiving thanks to the hair & makeup department for making Connor Paolo’s hair normal this season. On to the family dynasties!

The Formerly Magnificent Archibalds
: Poor “Nate the Not So Great.” He really tugged at the old heartstrings this episode, making impossible choices with his craptastic father. Really, Captain A? You’re going to take your wife and son to Dominica and ransom them to your parents-in-law? Bad bad bad plan. So cruel to dangle the prospect of a happy family life in front of his son. His “I’ve been living in the Caribbean” facial hair was too much. Skeezy. Poor Nate was not looking his finest in this episode, but hat’s off to Chace Crawford for all his emoting — happy Nate, surprised Nate, conflicted Nate, sad Nate, flirty Nate, happy to be besties with Chuck again Nate. We got ’em all. And he totally made me well up when he talked his dad into being carted off by the FBI. (Teary moment tally: 1.) I am sure that is an accurate depiction of FBI investigations. Talk to teenagers.

Two Dads and Two Mums — Thanksgiving at the Waldorfs: Eleanor Waldorf just can’t win. If she had told Blair that Harold was coming, the gods (read: the writers) would have kept him away. If she keeps it a secret, B will kidnap substitute mom Derota and pout whilst feeding the ducks. Our second episode in a row that featured amazing Derota moments. When her phone rang and the ringtone was Britney’s “Slave 4 U”? Fell off the couch. Glorious. And when Derota tries to keep a secret from B on that back servant stairway? And B’s all, “Who do you work for?” I love these two. (Have we seen that back of the kitchen stairway before?)

B’s fortuitous run-in with height-of-misery Little J followed by Eleanor’s arrival, shawl for J and maternal love for B on hand — love, love, loved it. (Teary moment: 2.) And it was only made better by the surprise of Harold. (Teary moment: 3.) As for second dad Cyrus, I’m sure he means well with the dinner at B’s favorite restaurant and all, but eating the sacred pie! No! And dissing the cinnamon/nutmeg ratio? How can a ratio simply be “not enough”?

Over the Humphreys: Jenny, accompanied by BFF and roomie Eric vdW, learn that to go ahead with the emancipation from her parents (1) they’re going to find out about it (duh), (2) there will be an investigation to find proof of neglect. Shit. That is serious times. Poor Little J is in way over her head, but luckily Eric isn’t the only van der Woodsen who has her back. Lily is awesome with Jenny and so good at managing Rufus. Gods bless Lily.

R: “Marshmallows. She likes them on her sweet potatoes.” (Teary moment: 4.) It’s kind of surprising how uninvolved in this whole situation Dan has been. Remember back in the pilot when Jenny was being molested or needed fashion advice? She texted Dan. :( I hope their relationship gets mo’ better. As predictable as it was, when Dan and Rufus arrive home to the loft, both hoping that J will be there and realizing she’s not, and then! she walks out of her room? Teary moment: 5. And the Humphrey Hug. Aw.

The van der Woodsens realize Bart is a Basstard: Chuck’s relationship with Eric continues to warm the cockles of my heart; I love that he would open his father’s safe for his stepbrother. That scene was hilarious. (But as if the combination would be the mom’s birthday. The most obvious combo possible.) Of course Bart Bass would have his staff P.I. follow Serena and Eric as well as Lily. (thank you, prop department, for clearly labeling the files so I know how many Ls there are in Lily. Just the one.) The dangled secret from Lily’s past from a few episodes ago promised to bring havoc into this household but I didn’t see it playing out this way. Love that Lily put her kids before Bart and got the eff out of there…

L: How did you get so wise?
E: The nanny.
Teary moment number 100. Eric and Lily at the restaurant barely eating their fries and Eric revealing Lily’s secret sanitorium past. And where does Lily turn to salvage the holiday? To the place that feels most like home, the Humphrey Loft. Hurrahza, Rufus and Lily together again. Rufly for life.

While I know I’m getting ahead of myself, I’m just glad to have one budding romance to root for. Aaron is not cool, at all (“He’s just like Bill Paxton, but younger and with facial hair.”) and his wall of Serena photos is creepy, not “artistic.” Serena is acting all lamesauce around Aaron. She is way less herself than when she was with Dan. She’s not so self-assured and is lying about her partying past again. (The black dress she wore to dinner at A’s house was killer tho. Her hair, notsomuch. And the hair braid on thanksgiving!) I hope Aaron’s arc wraps up soon. And that Serena never ever hever gives a boy a File Full of her Secrets again. Ever. You put your File Full of Secrets straight into the crackling thanksgiving fire.

Dan and Serena seem to be getting along better than ever… When they have problems, they talk that shit through. With the whole Aaron he said/she said/he said thing, they apologized for what they each did wrong and were over it in record time! Hope for the future! The extra episodes at the end of the season? Dan & Serena and Rufus & Lily going on double dates.

And finally: When will Vanessa learn that she sucks at being devious? She sneaks off into another room and then reads J’s letter in front of a mirror. Le grand sigh. She needs to put her wannabe-Blair tactics to rest, take off some of that jewelry and make-up, and move on. But at least her deviant behavior led to one of Gossip Girl’s best sign-offs yet: Signed, stealed and delivered, I’m yours.

The preview for the next episode looks encroyable. A fancy dress party. (I was thinking we’re overdue for the whole cast in the same room in costumes.) Chuck and Blair. Rufus and Lily. Dan and Serena. Nate and the Jenny or Vanessa conundrum. And the event that’s been spoilered all over the internets. ZOMG I can’t wait two weeks, CW. I just can’t wait. (I’ll link to the trailer when it’s up.)

I thought this was an excellent episode. Feel good, funny, loads happened. So much that I can’t cover all the glory in one post. What were your favorite parts, lines, outfits?

** The promo!

8 thoughts on “Spotted: The Magnificient Archibalds

  1. Sadly, I was less than impressed with the thanksgiving episode. Sure, it had its moments, but mostly I just thought there wasn’t enough *stuff* happening and those touching family moments were just too cornball for me to take seriously. I’m hoping that the-event-we’ve-all-been-waiting-for will shake things up a bit.

  2. The thanksgiving outfit grew on me. No wonder aaron decided to be exclusive! Delightfully inappropriate and one of my top OMG moments.

  3. Your GG posts are so much more detailed and complete than mine! I only started my site recently, but I’ve been posting strictly about the fashion at for several months.

  4. thanks Kimberly! i have the Canadian advantage of watching the ep on Sunday night, and then again when the CW broadcasts it on Monday night. can’t wait to read your GG style posts; that is one arena where my knowledge is tres limited.adela p: i bet the next episode will make up for the slow-build previous episodes!

  5. Serena’s awful, awful, awful skirt distracted me with its awfulness. And when she sat down I was concerned that it had turned itself into a belt and that the gusset of her tights might be showing. Nobody needs to see the gusset.I was also a little confused about how nice everyone was being to everyone else. Didn’t Little J storm out of Eleanor’s atelier in a huffy teenage moment of entitlement? Isn’t Eleanor’s entire livelyhood floundering without the au courant fashion eye of Little J? Why the shawl and the ride home? And wouldn’t B normally revel in schadenfraude at Little J’s anguish?It was just okay for me. I didn’t like the Nate and Vanessa thing being picked up again, but then the letter said it all. And that’s exciting!What’s the big spoiler? Excuse me, I need to go and google it.

  6. i seem to be the only one who unabashedly loved this episode! tammy, i agree that there was definitely some extra good behavior happening with the Waldorf ladies, but B has shown kindness before, even to little J and more of late since she is 18 now and therefore a grown-up. And Eleanor Waldorf? Why she’s in love! And people in love are way more forgiving. She doesn’t care enough to be mad at J.

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