Had the “someone dies” spoiler not been leaked months ago, the end of the episode would have had way more punch and I wouldn’t have said to myself throughout the show, That’s the last thing Bart will ever say to Chuck. That’s the last time Bart will stare daggers at Rufus. That’s the last limo ride Bart will ever take…. Maybe he’s not really dead! There is a chance it’s all a ruse related to Lily’s Mysterious Trip to the Sanatorium (and if it is, it would firmly place GG in the soap opera category). Until I see our not-so-beloved billionaire laid to rest, I won’t believe it entirely.
Let’s get what drove me coco-bananas out of the way first. The sin of the Gossip Girl writers in this episode lay in the implausible Vanessa Is Nude At the Ball plot. I don’t care if you are an artistic type who puts a dress on in a gallery in Brooklyn, there are mirrors and you look in one if you are about to go to a ball with your true lurve. Or you look down and notice that you can see london and france or your lack of underpants. The basic idea of having Jenny temporarily team up against Vanessa with the “Three Evil Stepsisters” is a good one, but the execution was crap. Particularly the slo-mo crowd shots of hysterical laughter. Boo. And I am still reluctant to believe that Vanessa is so crazy in love with Nate. I thought she loved Dan and was a vegetarian. Clearly: not. Props to Jessica Szohr though; all her crying and upset this ep was believable. (90210 girls, take note.)
I do love a Gossip Girl party and the Snowflake Ball seemed like a promising event in the first half: B trying to find a “ringer” to go as her date, and Chuck expertly knocking out his competition with one trait sure to make B crazy. Dan and Serena’s friendly but flirty catch-up and remember-when in the hallway was charming. V lying to Little J followed by Penelope and V’s excellently brief interaction —
Penelope: Hello, Weird Documentary Girl.
Vanessa: Bye, Sad Blair Wannabe.
— was the perfect set up for the tensions of the rest of the episode. Lily’s Marital Do-Not-Disturb sign opening the door for a Rufus+Lily reboot whilst Bart lurks in the background. Excellent!
But the Aaron-Serena-Dan-Lexy love quadrangle was tiresome before it even began, and both girls were being complete tools, particularly Serena and her faux-friendliness. On a positive note, at least Lexy’s pompous talk of exotic cat coffee got Humphrey to reveal the location of the cat we saw in the loft in the pilot ep of GG: it’s in Florida with Grandma. One loose end all tied up! Not to be out-pompous-ed, Dan regails the group with stories of sitting on benches writing, overlooking the river and thinking about knocking on Mailer’s door. Help me, I am having secondary embarrassment overload. Serena’s “Can’t she just vote?” to Aaron’s overshare that Lexy sleeps with guys on the first date “as a political statement against the male dominated sexual hypocrisy” was really annoying. In a one-two punch, it mocked feminism with Lexy’s over-the-top attitude and belittled the serious inequalities that exist between the genders with S’s comment. Argh! But onward to my favorite non-couple: Chuck and Blair.
Let’s have a moment for Little J who must be totally completely gutted to have superhot Nate Archibald tell her that he’s glad she didn’t get the letter ’cause she’s not who he thought she was. Sad times for J! And maybe Vanessa did feel *so* bad about stealing the letter, but it was at least a week before she fessed up about it, while J felt instantly bad about the whole dress fandango. But Lurky J seems to get some wind in her sails again and I’m guessing next week she’ll return to Constance to do battle with the senior girls.
So was Bart Bass’s apology to Lily in earnest? He did fire the P.I. so it looks like he was trying to reform his assface tendencies. But only in relation to Lily: blaming Chuck for opening a safe full of secrets Bart shouldn’t have been keeping is a low, low move. And Chuck still had his pops’ back, giving him the head’s up on the return of Rufly and having a frank conversation with Lily . . . if you can call that a conversation when one person talks and the other just nods.
Here’s what I hope happens: Jenny returns to Constance and does battle with the Mean Girls and gets an age-appropriate bf, Blair becomes a real girlfriend to Chuck as he mourns for his father, Lily tries to keep her sanatorium secret from Rufus while they try to make a relationship work, Dan or Serena decides to make the grand gesture and they reunite, Eric gets more screen time, Derota gets even more screen time, Nate and Vanessa finally show us why the heck they’re in love with each other ’cause even tho I want them to be happy, I ain’t buying them together. Oh, and that we get a very Gossip Girl chrimbo and more Humphrey/van der Woodsen epic conversations. Dan/Serena, Rufus/Lily, it don’t matter because those kids know how to talk love.
holy smokes the trailer for next week looks amazing: Chuck goes after Lily’s secrets and it looks like everything goes to hell in a handbasket. zomg.
UPDATE: low-res promo!