“Reversals of Fortune”: After picking up Bree on the plane ride home from Europe, he discovers that she’s a Buckley (an evil Republican family, natural enemy to the Van Der Bilts). Chuck encourages him to date her and piss off Grandfather while he’s at it. So Nate takes Bree to the polo match but, as it turns out, she’s not too keen on further alienating her own family. Her cousin was stood up at the altar (important detail for later!) and Bree couldn’t be there for her. Sad times. Grandfather says he just wants Nate to be happy, but after that nice speech he calls up Tripp to tell him there may be Buckley-payback opportunity arising.
“The Freshmen”: Is Nate taking any classes at Columbia? Who knows. He decides to spend his first week of college shacked up with Bree to fastforward through the getting-to-know-you part and find out if they actually like each other. (They do.) Bree’s mom finds out about their secret relationship, but Bree doesn’t care anymore — have you seen Nate Archibald?
“The Lost Boy”: Nate and Bree decide they are ready for a “public debut” and head to the auction. Bree sees Carter Baizen there, and plots to use him as ammunition to get back in with her family. She gets in one scary-ass line to Carter, telling him he can run if he wants: “You know how much Daddy likes to hunt.” Nate is blissfully unaware of this.
“Dan de Fleurette”: Nate asks Dan to read his Hawthorne paper. Aw. He recognizes Olivia immediately but has a little fun sending Dan after “Kate,” and gives Dan some Nate Wisdom Regarding Women. Love Nate in a good mood.
“Rufus Getting Married”: Nate brings Bree to brunch with Chuck and Blair, and Blair turns up the bitch: “I know women and none of us are that nice.” Turns out B is right, as Bree has motives that Nate doesn’t know about. He finds out she used him to get to Carter (at the Rufly wedding) and breaks up with her. Thank you!
“Enough About Eve”: Helping Tripp Van Der Bilt on his campaign, Nate decides to use Serena’s affection for Carter to get a fraudulent photo into the hands of the Buckleys (during a high-stakes poker game, as one does), then out them as the fraudsters by revealing the real bong-free photo, and spin the Congressional election in Tripp’s favor. Wasn’t Nate the one who disapproved of using people just one episode ago? Grandfather can be such a bad influence. Serena finds out about Nate’s deception and ain’t too pleased.
“How to Succeed in Bassness”: Turns out Nate Archibald reads Endless Knights blogs. This episode he mainly pals around with Dan and Chuck, maintains his high level of animosity with Serena (giving her a serious dis as she works the door at the Prohibition party), looks seriously handsome and smirky and when did I fall in love with Nate?
“The Grandfather, Part II”: A big Nate episode. On Tripp’s election day, Nate witnesses the Hudson Hero moment and thinks Grandfather’s been up to his old tricks again. He refuses Serena an invite to the election party, but Tripp is happy to have her there. (Hmmm.) When Vanessa tells him what her footage shows, he decides to emulate his grandfather to protect his cousin, deceiving V into handing the tape over to someone in his employ to hide the evidence. “What happened to your moral compass?” asks V. Nate decides to take the fall for the Hudson Hero scandal, saying he set it up, and telling Tripp not to worry about it — “You’re the only honest man in our family.” Nate considers himself morally compromised, and he’s putting his hope in the young Congressman-elect.
“They Shoot Humphreys, Don’t They”: Nate moves in with Chuck! Lost weekend! He shows up at the cotillion to deliver a message from Chuck to Blair, and happens to save Jenny Humphrey from a total nightmare debut. “Nate Archibald is epic.” Hells yes.
“Last Days of Disco Stick”: Buzzkill Nate educates Dan on the ways of a threesome, and then turns into Serena’s therapist when she comes to him with her Tripp problem. (He will always be there for her, even if they’re fighting.) Nate and Serena spend the day together, being super cute, then they get drunk alone together for the first time since the fateful Shepherd wedding. Love.it. Just after Nate confesses how he once loved her and all the feelings he still has for her, stupid Tripp arrives and ruins the moment. And Serena leaves with Tripp, now that the Hudson Hero villain has been revealed to be Maureen. Nate’s left alone at the bar.
“Treasure of the Serena Madre”: Still advising Dan in the ways of love, Nate changes his Thanksgiving plans to hang out with Serena at the VDW when she asks him. Because he loves her. He finds out about the Empire Hotel security tape make-out footage and ill-advisedly decides to use it to break up Tripp and Serena for good, and with the help of Maureen. Seriously bad plan. It explodes at the dinner table with Maureen unable to watch S and Tripp smirk at each other any longer. Chuck is minorly pissed that Nate stole the footage but tells him to go after Serena and tell her how he feels. He does, asking her, “Stay here with me.” And what does Serena do? Leaves with Tripp. Ouch.
“The Debarted”: Nate helps Dan in the ladies department again, encouraging him to go for Willa if he isn’t going to fight for Vanessa. Talking to Serena who’s shacked up with Tripp, he realizes Tripp’s lying to her and heads out to Nassau Country to be with her. Thank the Gossip Gods he does, because he comes across Serena being carted into an ambulance, Tripp nowhere to be found. At the hospital, Nate gives Tripp a good punch in the face (“You were the good guy.” Bam!) and then returns to tend to Serena, falling asleep in the totally uncomfortable hospital chair. Cuz he loves her.
I think Nate’s really come into his own this season — he’s funny, charming, complex; he can be the good guy, the bad guy, the awesome friend. With the exception of the Bree plotline, he’s been great to watch this season so far. I’m curious to see how the Nate/Serena relationship plays out. Very, very curious.