Last night was not the Gossip Girl that we’ve come to expect. No no, PurseBloggers, this was a Gossip Girl of a different color. Instead of the quippy one-liners and pop culture zingers, we had references to Hemingway and political scandal, undead zombie fathers, and old Range Rovers dodging packs of wolves (really, wolves? Are there wolves on Long Island? Have the writers never heard of deer?) Things were decidedly dour for the happy holidays.
But then again, some things don’t change: yet another bag played a vital part in a dastardly plot, Lily forgot the death anniversary of one of her gaggle of ex-husbands, and all Rufus could think to do was make a giant pot of spaghetti sauce.
Most of all, though, Nate grew a backbone, Trip got what was coming to him, Chuck had a moment on the floor of a hospital, and I got a little verklempt. This episode? It had a heart. A heart with big, messy feelings leaking out all over the place.
First: Holy crispity crap, CHUCK’S MOM IS ALIVE!!! I had heard people posit that perhaps Chuck’s dad had faked his death for one reason or another, but it looks like he is now spending his afterlife undermining Chuck, which sort of reminded me of Harry from Dexter. And let’s just say that that’s not my favorite part of Dexter…
Anyway, we’ll get to that. First, we have to visit the fallout of the secrets revealed in last week’s episode, namely Serena’s decision to abscond to the woods of Nassau County with a married congressman instead of staying in Manhattan to make sweet, manbang’d love to Nate. Note to all: Manhattan is the better island and Nate is the better Vanderbilt. Serena? She chose incorrectly. Of course she did. She’s Serena.
But she rides with him in his rickety old Range Rover (really? He’d have a Sport and it would be black) deep into the woods of Strong Island, and then he just leaves her there, in a house with no cable or internet or heat (but with a book full o’ Nate’s pot) and goes to rendezvous with his wife, whom he is not divorcing because she continues to make it completely clear that she is the PERFECT political wife. She’ll keep up appearances and go to all the boring events while he gets to bang an Amazonian blond 18-year-old with bionic boobs on the side? WHY WOULD HE EVER DIVORCE HER??? In fact, Tiger Woods is wishing he was married to her right now. And he’s also probably trying to find Blake Lively’s number.
Meanwhile, back in the city, still more people are unhappy with their decisions. By now, Lily has realized that she misplaced the letter from Papa Van Der Woodsen, and she continues to frantically search her closet, over and over again, in order to try an find it. The problem with that, though, is that Rufus doesn’t have a job or any hobbies except puttering around the house wearing plaid, so he keeps finding her rifling through all the coats and can’t figure out why. Too bad for Lily, though, that it’s actually Maureen that has the letter, and she knows an opportunity when she sees it.
While Trip is still out “talking with his grandpa,” Maureen drops by the ramshackle lean-to at which Trip ditched Serena and tries to blackmail her into playing Marilyn to her Jackie O. Apparently the letter explains that while Lily was supposed to be attending to CeCe’s cancer treatments over the summer, she had actually absconded to Europe to see Papa VDW and perhaps cheat on Rufus with him, and Maureen will show it to Rufus if Serena doesn’t agree to a lifelong role as the Other Woman. Serena, trusting as she is, thinks this is all something that Trip will get under control posthaste, but duh, he’s the one that sent Maureen to make the indecent proposal. She finally realizes that when she calls The Manbang’d One to vent her frustrations (didn’t she just ditch Nate to go with Trip last week? Shouldn’t he be mad? Or is he not capable of having that emotion?) and he tells her that Grandfather is actually in Bermuda, so he can’t be having a man-to-man chat with Trip in town, as he claims.
Side note about Nate: how great is it that he has turned into everyone’s dating adviser? I love this new Nate. He has a semblance of a personality and at least two distinct facial expressions. When Dan inquires about his awkward love for Vanessa, Nate tells him that he’s either gotta fess up or bed a theater major as a sexual palate cleanser and move on, and, uh, yes (if you’re a chick, you bed a personal trainer instead). EXACTLY. Nate is an idiot savant when it comes to this stuff. I bet this is how he got into Columbia. The Dean of Admissions was having problems with his wife, and Nate fixed them.
Now if only he could fix Chuck, who is languishing in sadness and insecurity on the anniversary of his father’s death. Not only that, but The Ghost of Bart Bass has made a reappearance to be an enormous douche, tell Chuck that he’s weak, and make fun of him for wearing purple. In an apparent attempt to prove something to his dead father, Chuck thinks about buying a homeless shelter to turn into lofts and kicks Blair out of his apartment in favor of the sort of loneliness that his father always preferred.
But all of that doesn’t go on for long. Serena confronts Trip about his wife and his lack of a potential divorce, and when she finds that he’s been lying to her all day, she demands that he take her back to the city. On the way, they encounter the aforementioned wolves and swerve into a fence to avoid them, thereby sending Serena’s head barreling in to the windshield. Trip retained consciousness and then channeled Ted Kennedy by calling his wife to deal with the problem of the passed-out mistress in his car before he called the police and fled the scene.
Serena was taken to the hospital and everyone had a Come to Jesus moment when they realized that perhaps they aren’t as immortal as they all had imagined. Chuck, Nate, Blair, Dan and Vanessa all ditched everything to get themselves to Long Island, and Things Got Real when they all arrived. Nate decked Trip in the parking lot for leaving Serena in a wrecked car by herself, Chuck was forced to deal with the death of his father on the floor of the hospital with Blair by his side (I got a little emotional over this part, even upon a second viewing), and Dan confessed his feelings to Vanessa, who didn’t believe him. Awkward. Or maybe she did believe him, and she simply prefers to pretend like it’s not happening. After one Thanksgiving on the Upper East Side, Vanessa has turned into a complete WASP.
Ultimately, though, nothing turned out perfectly, despite the fact that our Upper East Siders were feeling lots of feelings and letting them be known all over the place. Maureen still gave the letter to Rufus, who rebounded by going out for drinks with a woman from the co-op board. Jenny met up with the Belgian drug dealer from a few weeks back, and we found out that she had helped him sell drugs in order to earn the money that she spent buying YSL Roadys for her minions. Most of all, though, Chuck finally went to the grave of his father and when he got there, he saw a woman that is, in all likelihood, the mother that he though had died while giving birth to him. Dun dun DUN!
And then, in place of the preview for next week’s episode, we simply got a promise that new episodes were “coming soon.” Ugh. I hate a hiatus. Until next time – xoxo.
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