Last night, on a very special episode of Gossip Girl, things got real. Messy, sloppy feelings were had about a messy, sloppy overdose that everyone thought was a suicide attempt, an impending divorce and the continued saga of Chuck, Blair and our perpetual need to be the third party in their complicated, tortured, beautiful relationship. Why can’t we just step back and give them some space, huh?!
Ahem. I’m sorry. I’m not used to Gossip Girl making me feel any feelings other than rage at Jenny’s weave issues or confusion over reed-thin plots, but some genuinely sad, serious stuff happened last night and it has me all verklempt and maybe a little nervous. Gossip Girl totally harshed my mellow last night, ladies.
Last we saw our Upper East Siders, Juliet and Jenny had gone about ruining Serena’s life and turning everyone against her, and now no one knows where she is and no one appears to care. Blair thought she was holed up at Van Der Humphrey Acres in order to avoid her Blair-ly wrath, Lily thought she was hiding at Blair’s to personally punish her for being a saintly, doting mother, the dean continued to believe that it’s ok to allow someone to withdraw from college via text message. Ok, so we didn’t find out about that part, but I’m taking the show’s silence on the issue as a tacit indication that the writers are sticking by that story line.
It’s unclear exactly how much time has passed since the party, but I don’t think that Chuck would have chosen to host a massive, boozy costume ball the night before Thanksgiving, so I’m going to assume it was at least a couple of days. Dorota’s insistence that Blair deliver a pie to the Van Der Humphreys before she skipped town to spend the holiday in France with her gay dad caused a three-way Chuck/Blair/Lily meet-up in which everyone realized that no one had seen Serena since the party.
Despite all the smack that had been talked about Serena and her dramatic, self-destructive ways in the previous scenes, everyone started to panic, just like they should have been doing already if they weren’t all incredibly spoiled and narcissistic. Instead, they all stood around and had the, “Oh crap, we’ve misplaced an heiress,” realization together while the help set the table for Thanksgiving in the background.
Serena, for her part, was right where we left her – in some nasty motel room in Queens (Side note: how did Juliet get a cab driver to go all the way to Queens in the middle of the night?! Don’t they perform some sort of evasive maneuver to throw you out of the car if that’s where you want to go?), surrounded by booze and pills, still in her Carolina Herrera dress from the masquerade ball. She finally woke up enough to call 911, and since that bedroom in particular is the last place on Earth that has a normal landline phone (she didn’t have to dial 9 to get an outside line or anything!), the EMTs were even able to find her.
Back in the Upper East Side, Nate intercepted some “important, time sensitive” papers from his mom’s lawyer that we all knew were divorce papers a mile away, and honestly, I had assumed that Mommy Vanderbilt and The Captain had quietly filed season ago. I mean, dude’s in jail, he clocked his son on a street corner, and he created a very fancy, expensive scandal that caused pearl-clutching across the UES. How did they not already get a divorce? Nate realized what was going on and reached out to his best dudebro Dan for advice, but Dan couldn’t be of much help since his stepsister/ex-girlfriend/possible future-girlfriend had been taken to the hospital at that very moment.
Blair, Chuck and the entire family showed up at the hospital to see Serena, and eventually word made its way to Jenny and Vanessa that the whole thing had gone awry and Serena could have died. Jenny seemed genuinely concerned that someone had been physically hurt in the process of her scheme, but Vanessa seemed oddly cold for a girl who obviously has lots of high-minded ethical beliefs about things like vegetable farming. Organic pumpkins? Very important. Not killing people? Eh. If they’re rich and boys like them more than they like you, it’s not such a big deal.
While everyone was milling around the hospital, TVs started playing Serena’s 911 call and news vans appeared outside like a young heiress ODing in New York was some sort of real, actual news event instead of something that probably happens with decent regularity and is always swept safely under the rug. Also, the emergency services department wouldn’t have released the tapes of Serena’s call, and if they had, it wouldn’t have been that quickly. But if we give the writers the benefit of doubt on this, as with everything else, I guess we can move on.
Lily and Blair then decided to have Serena involuntarily committed to the same place that her brother went after his suicide attempt (shout-out to Season 1!), and while the group bickered over whether she needed to go to the loony bin, Juliet was in her crappy apartment, threatening Jenny and Vanessa (separately) so that they wouldn’t blab to Serena and any interested authorities about the group’s wrongdoings. Neither Jenny nor Vanessa seemed to realize that Serena’s overdose was a direct result of Juliet’s magic poison mask (I still call shenanigans on poisoning someone with a mask, but whatever), and Vanessa scurried down to the hospital to blab to Rufus first and blame the entire scheme on Jenny. There really is no such thing as honor among thieves.
I’m not sure why anyone believed Vanessa when she said it, since it’s only been a few short days (in Gossip Girl time) since everyone caught Vanessa and Juliet trying to ruin Serena’s life at the ballet, but these characters all have very short memories and even less impressive abilities to connect logical dots. Dan had an inkling that something might be up but Nate tried to talk him out of it, although I’m not sure that Nate could talk anyone out of anything except maybe a girl out of her panties. I’m sure that Dan knows about his abilities in that department all too well.
Instead of heeding Nate’s advice, Dan marched straight down to the rehab center and jailbroke Serena, took her back to Brooklyn and planned for them to take a bus to…who knows where. They didn’t get that far because Lily and Blair realized that Serena and flown the coop and went directly to Brooklyn to intervene. Lily cornered Dan and accused him on meddling in her parental duties, but Dan reminded her that she’s never acted like a parent for half a second in her kids’ entire lives, and Lily couldn’t even get mad about it because of the statement’s utter and complete truthiness.
Everything would have been fine, except Juliet had taken some pictures of herself snorting a cocaine-reminiscent substance in her Serena costume and sent them to Gossip Girl, and the blast was released just as everyone was ready to kiss and make up. Serena saw the photos, immediately assumed that they must have been her and she had forgotten snorting a bunch of coke (How has she not realized that there was someone impersonating her at the party?), and let her mom haul her straight back to rehab. The scene also included a very cute moment between Blair and Serena that again alluded to Blair’s nebulous past eating disorder, which may have been the only time in the entire series that those two actually seemed like teenagers.
After the pictures had been circulated and the damage was done, Juliet, feeling triumphant, went to visit her brother in prison and share the good news. Sometime between last night and the last time we talked to him, Big Brother grew a conscience, possibly as part of some sort of jailhouse medical experimentation program. He freaked out at Juliet for poisoning Serena and potentially inflicting physical harm, apparently because he had expected Juliet to ruin her life in any way possible, so long as it didn’t muss Serena’s hair or chip her manicure or anything. Juliet stormed out of jail just in time to see Nate and his mother visiting the Admiral or whatever that douchebag called himself, which was some sort of straw that broke the camels back, for reasons that weren’t entirely clear. Also unclear: why Juliet wore a short, backless dress and Louboutin stilettos into a prison. She decided then and there to flee town.
And not a moment too soon, either. After being rebuffed by her family for the millionth time and told to go back to Hudson, Jenny ran straight to Blair to spill the beans about the Brooklyn Triumvirate of Bad Hair and its plot to take down Serena. She had found the extra mask in Juliet’s empty apartment earlier the night and put all the pieces together while squatting in the dark like the troll that we all knew she was. I would have assumed that all of her extensions and peroxide must have surely short-circuited her brain, but somehow, she figured out what none of our other characters, for all their experience in scheming and plotting, could see.
Hearing news of the mostly successful takedown, Blair sprang into action and…sprang into Brooklyn? Dan has never struck me as a particularly talented revenge artist, but he does tend to focus fairly well and he’s easy to manipulate, so perhaps he has a place as a cog in the well-oiled Blair retribution machine after all. I guess we’ll have to wait until next week to find out, but for now, everyone is back to liking Serena, and Juliet, Vanessa and Jenny have all decided to high-tail it out of town, although Juliet didn’t leave without picking up her last silence check from Lily.
Before we can end this, though, there’s the little problem of Chuck and Blair. They ended the last episode on kind of a happy note, even if the conclusion was that they would merely be friends. Or at least that’s what I remember it being, because the Chuck/Blair storyline in this episode made me wonder if I had misinterpreted what had happened. They were awkward around each other, but they tried to play it off, and then Blair tried to hold Chuck’s hand in the limo and he told her that he was only there for Serena, and then Blair sent him a pie and a note about being friends but not being able to be friends? I don’t think my sense of drama is subtle enough for these two. So…what are they? Or are we going to save that storyline for later?