Due to popular demand, I’m giving the season finale of Gossip Girl another look, this time with a better Internet connection and a little more time to think about the episode. You asked for a real recap, so you’re going to get it. For those of you who are waiting to read about Real Housewives of New Jersey, check back tomorrow and I’ll see what I can do. Although I would like to go on the record as saying that when Bravo does a 90-minute episode, it really messes up my mojo. Do you hear me, Andy Cohen?
Anyway, back to the Upper East Side. Our New Yorkers got together to do their best impression of the Scooby Doo gang on Monday night – they solved mysteries, fought crime and took pregnancy tests. I’m pretty sure that Velma never got knocked up on Scooby Doo, but the times, they are a-changing.
We started literally where we had left off in the previous week’s show, with Serena and Vanessa bickering in the back of a cab while on their way to warn Dan of Charlie’s insanity while Dan and Nate exchanged some conveniently expository lines of dialog about Charlie’s request to be called “Serena” during sex and Chuck’s red herring non-trip to rehab. You know, in case any of us had forgotten. Speaking of Chuck, he conveniently popped up to ask Eleanor if she had seen Blair, which she hadn’t because Blair was confined in a Brooklyn building with a gas leak and a desperate man with a lighter.
Serena and Vanessa also showed up right on time and in search of Charlie, and once again the entire gang was reunited in improbable fashion to wrap up a bunch of loose ends for a season finale. These are always my favorite episodes; they’re like a metaphor for world peace. Serena and Vanessa, working together for a common good. (Namely, ensuring that they stop Dan from sleeping with another girl, which they would both probably want to stop even if she weren’t an off-her-meds crazy Alaskan hell-bent on killing Serena and assuming her identity. She’ll need a pair of fake boobs for that.)
At some point in the conversation, though, everyone realized that no one knew where the hell Blair had gone. They ran through a list of all the places she could have been but wasn’t while Serena and Vanessa both tried to insist that finding Charlie was more important (In what world could Missing Charlie be more important than Missing Blair? No world I want to live in, that’s for sure.), and Chuck finally settled on checking at the Empire with Nate trailing behind him, trying to confess to Chuck that he had been unable to resist spilling everything he knew about Avery Thorpe’s death because Raina made a frowny-face at him.
Speaking of Raina, she was waiting at the Empire when they both arrived, at which point Chuck received a secretive phone call from Blair. Obviously she had seen one of those after school specials about what to do if you’re abducted by a tweaker while you walk home from school and she dialed Chuck’s number with her phone in her pocket so that she could yell lots of expository things at Russell Thorpe while he drank himself into an arsontastic stupor and Chuck and half of the Scooby gang listened in to find her location. Chuck’s building, third floor. Got it!
While Chuck, Nate and Raina were en route to Brooklyn from the Upper East Side, Dan was still at the Constance Billard party running into none other than Georgina Sparks. She had married a guy (apparently not her Russian mobster baby daddy) out of convenience (and for money, duh) and fallen on a boring life of Diaper Genies and stuffy cocktail parties, and predictably, she was raring to go when she realized that Dan and the Scooby Gang were up to something. Naturally, she was rebuffed, even though the “takes one to know one” theory would seem to indicate that Georgina would be the perfect person to track down Crazy Cousin Charlie.
Except that finding Charlie wasn’t actually all that hard. She was on the dance floor, swilling straight from a bottle of vodka (Was that Stoli? Eww.) and shaking her groove thang (Did I just write that? I’m pretty sure that somewhere in Athens, Georgia, my journalism degree is being revoked.) with some old guy who was probably a board member or something. When confronted by Dan, Charlie used a cater waiter as a human shield to ensure that she and her bottle of vodka would live on to create havoc elsewhere at the party.
Meanwhile, Serena was being upbraided by Headmistress Queller about her inability to escape the orbit of New York City, and then by two random high-schoolers for her inability to beat Blair Waldorf at…life. Yep, Blair’s marrying a prince and Serena’s getting ready to register for psych 201 at Columbia. Blair does win, despite her nagging Serena inferiority complex.
In order to finish winning, though, someone had to get Blair out of the grasp of Russell Thorpe, which was probably a lot easier than it should have been. It was like Gossip Girl‘s writers got bored with wrapping up that storyline halfway through and merely decided that Nate, Chuck and Raina would rescue Blair from Raina’s drunk daddy with nary a hitch, despite the fact that he was intoxicated and wielding a lighter in a building with a noticeable gas leak. And then, inexplicably, Blair and Chuck crashed a bar mitzvah, wrote the kid a big check and then hooked up for one final (oh, who am I kidding, it’ll happen again) time in the next room. That sounds like I made it up, doesn’t it? I don’t know why they chose a bar mitzvah instead of, say, a dive bar if they wanted to be anonymous, but then again, I don’t understand half of the choices this show makes.
The entire resolution to Blair’s stint with Russell Thorpe was all just a little bit too neat and tidy for my taste, and definitely a waste of all the drama that had been built up. Chuck just…runs in and saves her? And the police follow closely behind? And then they go to a bar mitzvah? Couldn’t Russell have pushed Blair out of the window, only for her to be saved by bouncing off of a fortuitously placed awning or something?
Speaking of window-related almost-death, the remainder of the Scooby gang had reconvened at the Constance party to check and make sure that none of them still had any idea where Charlie was. Yep, they were all still clueless! While Georgina threw out some tried-and-true scheme ideas to find her, the rest of the group received a melodramatic goodbye text from Charlie that prompted them to split up to search for her. Serena, naturally, was the one who found her. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. Georgina found her first and told her which window to jump out off. Always there to help, that Georgina.
On an aesthetic level, the image of Charlie in Serena’s gold dress against the New York night sky was a nice one, and I’m generally ok with fictional characters killing themselves off so long as they do it artfully. Charlie didn’t jump to her death, though. Obviously. Instead, Serena and Charlie stood around and argued about whether it not it sucks to be Serena van der Woodsen, and even though it objectively does not suck at all, Serena seemed convinced of it. I’m Team Charlie on this one, even though she brought the Dan vs. Nate choice back up and I’d appreciate it if that plot line could die forever. If Serena can’t choose, she obviously doesn’t love either of them enough. Although with Raina and Charlie both headed back to their hometowns, I guess Dan and Nate are both single again.
Also single again is Chuck, who slept with Blair and decided that they wanted to be a couple again, but when Blair went to tell Louis, Chuck blew up her spot and cut her off to tell him that they had his blessing and he was pleased to see them getting married. Wait, what was that we just saw? Chuck making a mature decision and realizing that he only makes Blair unhappy? As much as Chuck and Blair are made for each other, and as much as I think that Blair will definitely not be getting married to Louis, I’m glad Chuck managed to realize that he’s not the man she needs right now. Plus, that gives Chuck and Nate the opportunity to rekindle their bromance over a summer abroad.
Meanwhile, after Serena had talked Charlie out of the window and summoned both Nate and Dan to apologize, Charlie wandered off to get a final cocktail and was intercepted by Georgina, who knows a grifter when she sees one. (See? I told you that she would have been the perfect person to look for Charlie earlier.) Sensing that Charlie had never been on meds in the first place and was instead pulling some sort of con, Georgina sensed a golden opportunity to slip Charlie her phone number for future scheming. I’m sure it’ll be well-used.
We then jumped to three weeks after the party, which found Charlie packing up to leave the city and Chuck being circumspect about Blair and who brings out the best in her. (Hint: He knows it’s not him.) Blair, meanwhile, was heading to Europe with her prince for the summer and Serena was headed to the West Coast to hang out with her grandma and drink gin out of tea cups. Dan, for some reason, was going to head to the super-trendy Hamptons to “write” and hang out with Eric. It’s so cute that they thing it matters what they give to Eric to do over the summer.
Also adorable: That the writers want us to think Serena reads. When she arrived in California, she happened upon a cute production assistant reading The Beautiful and The Damned, which is supposedly her favorite book. And then a famous director walked by and gave her a job, there, on the spot. And actually, I guess that’s sort of how Hollywood works – the success stories are picked at random based on who is in the right place at the right time. And of course, based on who is pretty enough to catch the boss’ eye. I guess that’s why we know who Blake Lively is in the first place.
What was more interesting was what was happening in a publisher’s office in New York. While looking for Charlie earlier in the episode, Vanessa had happened upon Dan’s satirical novel of Upper East Side life in his loft, and when she confronted him about it, he told her to put it away and forget about it. Because Vanessa is an awful, meddling, can’t-leave-well-enough-alone weave monster, she stole the manuscript and took it directly to an editor, who bought it for publication under the guise that Vanessa was acting as the reclusive author’s agent. Also, she made sure that any checks be forwarded to her in Spain, where she is going to be studying abroad. Stealing Dan’s book AND his money after giving him an incredibly smug and annoying speech about how one creates and does not create good art? Please die in a fire, Vanessa.
The most intriguing bits of plot were left for the very end, though. We next saw Charlie (“Charlie”) getting off of a bus in Miami to meet her “mother,” who handed her a fistful of cash in exchange for the checks from her trust fund, thanked her for doing good work, bid her adieu and expressed relief that no one would ever come looking for her real daughter. Little did she know, though, that Fake Charlie was armed with some stolen trust fund checks and Georgina’s phone number, so it surely won’t be the last we see of her. And I wonder what happened to the real Charlie – did mom knife her and bury her in the backyard? Did she eat too many carbs and wake up one morning to find herself chained to a radiator until she’s appropriately skinny again? Both of those options seem equally likely.
But just as the Scooby Doo gang was ready to scatter to the edges of the Earth, one more little detail came up. Dorota, emptying trash cans in the Waldorf house, exposed a positive pregnancy test in one of the bathrooms. Is it Serena’s? Is it Blair’s? Is it Eleanor’s? Did someone break in to take a pregnancy test? I guess we’ll have to wait until next season to find out. XOXO, ladies.