Recap after the jump...
Perhaps it's fate that the first episode recap on my new blog is of a show I can't stand. Although, if I can't stand it, why do I keep watching it week after week after week? It must be Stockholm Syndrome. I kind of liked the first season. Since then, it's been a misguided sense of loyalty which has kept me hanging on. Now that my disclaimer is out of the way, let's dig in. I won't go real in-depth. I'll pretty much just point out things I liked and didn't like. People with literature degrees can do the heavy thinking, I'm just an average armchair viewer.
Dan, the only character I can kind of sympathize with, continues to be paired up with Blair, probably my least favorite character at the moment - at least she really grated on me last week and I'm still ticked off at the way she addressed Juliet at the end of 4x08 "Juliet Doesn't Live Here Anymore". This time they've both landed at W magazine chasing an internship with a blonde editor whose name I didn't catch. Dan impresses early with hard work, attentiveness and a surprisingly relevant skill set while Blair is up to her usual tricks and shenanigans, sabotaging her rivals.
It eventually leads to a party being thrown by the magazine where each Blair and Dan have arranged for a writer friend of theirs to meet the editor to highlight their credentials. They've agreed a pact of non-aggression so when their contact sheets are inevitably mixed up, Blair somehow resists the temptation for mischief. Dan however, obviously distrustful of Blair, phones Blair's friend and warns her away from the party. When Blair's writer friend fails to show, but Dan's does, Dan admits what he has done to Blair who ultimately responds by squashing his face with her iron grip. They're both fired for causing a scene, but Dan later calls their boss and convinces her to rehire Blair on account of how it was all her fault.
This being Gossip Girl, I presume the endgame here is a relationship between Dan and Blair, which I think would be a lot healthier for her than rekindling her romance with Chuck (remind me to write a "most overrated canon couples in history" column at some point). They have similar drive and work ethic and could push one another professionally. While she could help him determine the clear focus and goals that he lacks, he could keep her grounded in reality... or at least relatively so. Prolonged exposure to the Upper East Side seems to be taking its toll on poor Dan. The fact that Blair did not sabotage him at least proves she has come to think of him as a true friend rather than merely someone tolerable that she's forced to mix with by association. Hopefully as they spend more time together, that high and mighty attitude of hers will dissipate.
The other plot strands were just not that interesting this week. I'm doing this without having read any other recaps, so my feeling is that an inability to recall details points to weak points within the plot. Serena spent most of the episode either listening to Blair complain about Dan or chasing around ex-teacher Ben. Judging by what happened with Juliet, I presume that will end badly and I'm already rolling my eyes. Her brother Eric met up with ex-boyfriend Jonathan, who I don't recall having been seen since last season's cotillion episode and his presence feels somewhat forced as a result. They arrange a date but at the party, Eric blows him off in favor of spending time with scumbag Damien Dalgaard. The recap at the beginning of the episode indicated they had been talking before which I don't remember at all - the perils of not waiting until the season is over to watch them all in a row. As a result, their storyline made no sense to me whatsoever and predictably, interference from Serena and Dan pushes them closer together in their scheming. Something that really bothered me is the animosity Damien holds for Ben. Maybe it's because I don't remember the previous episodes so well, but it seems to have sprung up from nowhere. When Damien says the line "You say potato, judge says pedophile", I'll freely admit to facepalming.
As far and Nate and Chuck are concerned, nothing that happened with them in this episode ended up making the slightest bit of difference - well I suppose, Nate and his father continue to butt heads. Nate was unhappy with the Captain's new job, what with Thorpe Enterprises' efforts to take over and dismantle Bass Industries and all. Chuck and Nate conspire to somehow get the Captain fired, but by the end of the episode he's been rehired. Chuck and Thorpe's daughter break up in the middle of the episode and she takes up with some Japanese photographer (hooray for random Asian guys who get no lines!) but again, by the end of the episode it seems they'll be back together next time.
This episode was not particularly memorable, a common problem for this series of late. The only highlights were Dan-Blair interplays. I probably wasted time even writing about it.