“Gossip Girl” mini-cap: Summer and scandal outside of the city

Oh, boy! Oh, boy! I mean, oh, guurl! They are back. If you have to ask, “Who’s ‘they’?” then where ya’ been? They are the most lesbian-subtextually-obvious-pairing-that-will-probably-never-get-together-on-TV-because-TV-screens-would-explode couple in teen drama history, that’s who. Gossip Girl has returned along with my smile and the hyperbole! (OK, so, it wasn’t the most OMG to infinity episode ever aired but it sure felt nice to have Blair and Serena back being all Blair and Serena-y. Blake Lively and Leighton Meester bring the show its life.)

The episode, “Summer, Kind of Wonderful,” showed the Upper East Siders venturing even further up and east in the Hamptons. The episode gets us all caught up on the summer happenings.

Serena spent the summer with Nate (solely as friends, thank goodness), wandering aimlessly around the beach trying to figure out why Dan wasn’t as happy as she was that she really didn’t kill anyone. I mean that is good news, right? Dan Humphreys are really hard to please.

Dan spent the summer being a playboy. (I know, huh?) It seems that the best way to get over Serena van der Woodsen is by dating girls that wouldn’t have given your broke no name behind the time of day if you hadn’t ever dated Serena van der Woodsen. For some reason, he seemed perfectly fine with this good fortune, though it’s a fortune that he would have pilloried any other person for engaging in. Dan was also being mentored by a well-known writer and had a chance to be published again, but he suffered from writers block because he couldn’t write the ending to his break up story.

Chuck Bass spent the summer being Chuck Ass because he was missing the B. B was in Europe licking her wounds like a kicked puppy. During the summer, Chuck had his flings and his romps but as soon as he read a text from Gossip Girl that B was arriving in the Hamptons, Chuck threw on his smirk, gathered some flowers and was waiting to make amends. Of course, B didn’t come alone. She would never do that.

Blair went to Europe, finally meeting up with her Dad and his boyfriend (yay for gay dads!) but only after waiting in vain for Chuck to meet her in Tuscany, as he had promised. Actually, he had promised to meet her at the airport for the flight over to Tuscany and that sort of didn’t work out either. But in the spirit of making lemonade when a bucket of lemons crashes on your ego, Blair had the gang and Chuck believing she had met a super-smart, well-connected American college hunk while in Europe. But, man, was that dude boring, and bless Blair’s heart, she told him she played him just to get to Chuck. Turns out he had his own little secret — he’s a British Lord! It got instantly less boring.

Nate has a MILF! Come to think of it, I don’t know if she’s a MILF. I know she’s clearly a 35-year-old-plus grown woman. I know she’s married to a guy who looks 45-plus, but I don’t know if she has children. So, maybe I should say Nate has a cougar! The real question is, when did it become a requirement for youthful TV hunks like Nate to hook up with women old enough to be their mama? Seriously, are MILFs now the little toy surprises kids find in boxes of breakfast cereal? Cougars in Cocoa Puffs? Are Frosted Lucky Charms MILFishly delicious? Dang, I used to get cheap rings and bad 3-D glasses.

Yes, I love Jenny, kill me. She interned all summer at Blair’s mother’s sweatshop the Waldorf design studio. Jenny being Jenny, she really thinks that people are going to be interested in her 15-year-old design concepts. They aren’t. But she manipulated her way into making them think they were interested. She gets Eric to invite her to a big party to show off her dress and impress her awful boss by proving she is in the “in” crowd. Jenny would make a good Blair, you know, if Blair weren’t already an excellent Blair.

Rufus spent the summer touring around with his revival band on a bus. I’m assuming he’s coming home now that school is starting. Lily is still on her honeymoon with Bart Bass, but why do I have a feeling that Lily is going to throw Bart under Rufus’ bus?

The early season story lines began to turn when Dan, missing Serena so much, crashed a big party in the Hamptons only to see Serena kissing Nate, trying to make Nate’s new lady friend jealous. Dan accuses Serena of always having a story to tell and for never being 100 percent on the up-and-up, and while he says this, two girls he had played called him on his two-timing ways. Even he had to laugh at his hypocrisy. He and Serena end up kissing and continue to be confused as to why they split up. I say, get in line! I’m confused, too.

The other main story, for the early part of the season at least, seems to be the fall out of Chuck and Blair. Leighton Meester looked so adorable when her Blair asked Chuck to say the magic phrase of “I love you” to stop her from leaving the party with the British dude. Chuck couldn’t say it (How could he not say it? I bet some of you were saying it!).

I hope the season (23 more episodes) isn’t solely centered on will they/won’t they between Chuck and Blair or Serena and Dan. (I know, good luck with that.) I also hope to see more emotion or intensity in the Blair and Serena exchanges and interactions. If the writers aren’t going to hook them up or have them profess their undying eternal love for each other, then I’d love to see some friction or higher stakes infused into the relationship.

So what did you all think? Good to have them back? Was it a good first episode or did it leave you really wanting more? Any story lines you hope for?