Happy belated Thanksgiving from the Upper East Side, everyone! Can you guess what our favorite Manhattanites had dialed up this year for their Turkey Day celebration? Secrets, of course! They’re the gifts that will keep on giving, all the way to Christmas.
Really, this show would be nothing without its secrets, machinations, and dastardly plots. Once a round of them has been exposed and resolved, it’s out with another round to keep the narrative wheels turning. If everyone on this show suddenly started being honest, there would be no Gossip Girl of which to speak. It would be the End Times.
So lie they did – they lied their little 19-year-old hearts out. Some of the grownups lied too, but I don’t think you can blame Trip since he’s a politician and that’s part of his job. Or Lily, because she’s a socialite and WASPs don’t discuss family problems. Even with other members of the family.
Speaking of Trip, how much further can the writers go with the “Serena is a skank, LOL” meme after she’s already transgressed with a married congressman? Are we at the end of our Serena skankitude? It seems like we’ve peaked early. Unless she’s going to start murdering women in order to sleep with their men. Actually, that wouldn’t be a bad plotline…
Anyway, Thanksgiving. Through plot machinations that I care not to rehash, everyone ended up having the turkey festivities at Van Der Woodsen Acres. And by everyone, I do mean everyone: Rufus, Jenny, Eric, Dan, Dan’s awkward new love for Vanessa, Vanessa, Vanessa’s self-righteous hippie mother with great hair, Serena, Trip, Trip’s Cold and Calculating Wife, Nate, Nate’s Manbangs, Nate’s Awkward Feelings for Serena, A Video of Serena and Trip Making Out In an Elevator, Chuck, Blair, Blair’s Maybe-Pregnant Mom, Blair’s Actually-Pregnant Dorota, Lily, Lily’s Letter From Serena’s Dad, CeCe, CeCe’s Gin, and Two Identical Coats Worn by Lily and Trip’s Wife.
That’s right: Serena, Trip and Trip’s wife were all expected to sit down with each other. What makes it more interesting is that Lily was the one that invited them – she ran into the wife on the street and mentioned that Trip and Serena had been “working such long hours” and that they should come over for some turkey in order to force Serena to spend the day with her family. Because Trip’s wife (what’s her name, anyway? Maureen, I think? We’ll call her Maureen) knows deception when she sees it, the affair becomes clear in that instant and she agrees to attend Thanksgiving in order to see her husband and his mistress together and know for sure. Not a bad choice by her, since she has nothing else to lose – Trip has already asked her for a divorce, supposedly on the grounds that she orchestrated that whole Hudson Hero thing that he conveniently forgets helped him win the election.
In the real world, Lily would have never bumped into Maureen on the street for several reasons: she didn’t recognize Maureen at first and wouldn’t talk to a stranger just because they were wearing the same coat, she would be taking car service everywhere anyway, and if she wanted to order a Thanksgiving meal, she would have just called the restaurant. Or better yet, had an assistant call them. In Manhattan, rich ladies don’t have to walk all over creation and do their own catering arrangements. I can suspend disbelief for this show, but not THAT far.
Because this is Gossip Girl, however, Serena/Trip/Maureen/Nate weren’t the only people that were trying to fess up to their feelings for each other (those feelings being either love or hatred, depending on which two people we’re talking about). Nope, Dan and Vanessa have some uneasy post-threesome, post-Hilary Duff issues to deal with. Except Vanessa doesn’t know that they have them; they weigh on Dan alone. Well, actually, not true: Vanessa’s mom knows, because that’s just the kind of dynamic that mothers can pick out when it comes to their children and friends. Mine definitely can, and whoa, that’s uncomfortable.
While we’re at it, add Lily and Rufus to the pile of people with uncomfortable secret feelings that are spilling out all over the place. Actually, in this case, it’s mostly Lily – Rufus is too flat of a character to have many skeletons in the closet (besides his illegitimate stalker son, with whom we’ve already dispensed). On the other hand, Lily has four ex-husbands, a skanky daughter that’s breaking of a congressman’s marriage, a previously suicidal gay son, a meddling mother, and a secret summer trip to go with her secret letter from her children’s father, the contents of which we have yet to find out.
In the face of all that, Lily is still trying to do everything she can to keep order on the surface (which is her natural predilection, as a WASP). She has a heart-to-heart with Serena about how much it hurts to be left by your husband and how unlikely it is that Trip’s affection for her will be anything but momentary (she is, after all, still a teenager and he’s a grown congressman. Blair already pointed this out as well), but since Serena is thick-skulled in her best moments, she tromps off with Trip anyway (and oddly enough, with Blair’s support) when he tells her that he has decided to continue with his divorce, despite the threatened release of a video that shows them making out in an elevator.
The video was supplied by Nate in a less-feeble-than-expected attempt to preserve Trip’s marriage and snag Serena for himself, but it didn’t work because since when does a heterosexual affair with a consenting adult EVER end a politician’s career, and neither did his last-ditch attempt to win her affections outside of Trip’s car. Although based on the look on Serena’s face as they drove away, she seems to be growing bored of this whole thing already. After next week’s car crash, I’m sure she’ll be ready to bail and bang someone else. Maybe Nate’s next in line!
But then there’s that pesky little problem of the letter. Serena read it before ditching everyone for Trip, Lily stuffed it hastily into the wrong jacket pocket when she was found with it and a giant glass of booze in the freaking coat closet, and now Maureen has it. And what will she do with it? I don’t know, but if she’s the person that planted a drowning man in a river to win a congressional election, I CANNOT WAIT TO FIND OUT. The woman has skills, and she just got dumped in front of a bunch of loud-mouthed teenagers – whatever happens will be glorious.
All of that will be all well and good, but I’ve got to admit a little something. My favorite part from this episode wasn’t any of the stuff that I’ve discussed in the previous 1100 words – it was the wonderful storyline about Dorota and Vanya having a baby. It warmed the cockles of my little grinchy heart.
The next episode looks oh-so-intense, although the last time Josh Schwartz wrote a car crash into a series, it ruined the entire thing. Let’s hope he does a better job this time.