If you missed the earlier refresher posts: read up on Dan, Vanessa, Nate, Serena, Rufus and Lily, and Jenny‘s season so far; the last post — on Ms. Blair Cornelia Waldorf — will be up tonight. We will be oh-so-well prepared for tomorrow’s all new Gossip Girl.
“Reversals of Fortune”: Done living in his father’s shadow, Chuck is on the hunt for a new place to live and he’s happy to let Lily continue running Bass Industries. Though he enjoys playing sex games with Blair, he’s also willing to give them up in a heartbeat to make her happy. After all, as he replies to Blair’s “But you’re Chuck Bass”: “I’m not Chuck Bass without you.”
“The Freshmen”: “A college degree is an accessory for people like us,” says Chuck to Serena who’s decided to bail on Brown. Letting S stay with him proves to be a mistake when she drunkenly ruins his business meeting. He’s trying to open a speakeasy in the vault of a closed bank (an “homage to the last time the market crashed,” Serena observes) and wants to turn a profit in his career by the age of 21, to best Bart Bass’s 22. Chuck talks to Rufus about Serena, out of concern not in an act of sabotage, but Serena seems to be less mature than her stepbrother and uses Carter to sabotage another of C’s meetings. Chuck also warns Blair about the potential idiocy of her plan to rule NYU, and though he’s right, he’s a total class act about the whole thing, being a sweetheart at the end of the episode. Chuck Bass, the decent, stand-up boyfriend and stepbrother. Who would’ve guessed.
“The Lost Boy”: Chuck is all-business, and Blair ain’t pleased when he turns down her offer for a midday romp. Chuck and Blair both need to buy the same photograph — Blair for the Table Elitaire, Chuck to impress a club owner to get himself taken seriously. The two face off in Blair’s dorm room, each trying to seduce the other to keep them away from the auction. (My favorite lines: Chuck: “I came to apologize.” Blair: “So apologize.” Chuck: “That was it.”) Blair steals Chuck’s shoes; they both bid at the auction but lose the photo to Serena. They happily admit to her that they’ve been sabotaging Carter. After Chuck finds out that Georgina was behind the “get the photograph” plot, he tells the club mogul to blame his assistant (G’s friend) when he buys the Empire. Chuck cashes his shares out of Bass Industries to risk it all on the Empire Hotel. Why only buy a club when you can start your very own empire?
“Dan de Fleurette”:Watching Blair go Colonel Kurtz on the Constance students, Chuck approaches Jenny with a plan to get J back on top and get Blair back to college. He takes Jenny to the Fleur movie premiere, and the Gossip Girl blast about their “date” breaks up Blair’s sleepover. He questions Blair on her “strategic retreat” in the NYU war and throws out this genius, genius line: “I’m Chuck Bass. And you’re saying that I’m easier to win over than a bunch of pseudo intellectual homesick malcontents? . . . Remember I’m Chuck Bass and I love you.” Next day, he sends Blair a Constance uniform for a little one-on-one tutoring (meow), and we see him paying off the photographer who took Blair’s photo as she left the premiere. Why did he do that? “Dumbo could always fly; he just needed a magic feather.”
“Rufus Getting Married”: Chuck takes an interest in Bree’s plot against Carter. (“Any enemy of Carter’s is a friend of mine.”) Chuck confronts Carter at the Waldorf penthouse, telling him he has two choices: cut and run (with plane ticket provided) or tell the truth and face the consequences. When Carter chooses option B, Chuck follows with his own classy move, telling Serena that Carter had a choice and he made the right one.
“Enough About Eve”: Blair asks Chuck to play one of their old seduction games, and he’s in, thinking it’s for revenge. Chuck seduces B’s target in a snap but when she doesn’t arrive in time he ends up actually kissing Josh Ellis. (Which is verboten in their games.) Chuck isn’t upset because he kissed a boy; he’s upset that he kissed someone who wasn’t Blair. (“Did you really think I’d never kissed a guy before?”) At the freshmen toast, he hears Blair reveal her plot. He knows how little Blair respects the people she manipulates. Chuck needs some time alone.
“How to Succeed in Bassness”: Chuck is concerned about the occupancy at his hotel (this is why I stayed there on my last trip…), and wants to prove to the world that he’s more than just Bart Bass’s son. Resolving to do business his own way (i.e., not in a shady way), he asks Serena for help in opening the speakeasy-themed club (Gimlet) on Halloween. He’s not fighting with Blair; he’s experiencing “detached distrust,” as he explains to Nate. Aiming for “victory without deceit” he doesn’t want to bribe his way into getting a liquor license, but one is magically approved. He finds out Blair used Jack Bass to get the liquor license; he uninvites her from the party. After he realizes the liquor license is a fake, he and Blair are back working together, calling the cops to bust up his own party and grab some headlines. Chuck asks Blair to focus her duplicity on others. He plans to keep the doors of the club locked and run an actual exclusive speakeasy (this idea kinda goes nowhere).
“The Grandfather, Part II”: Chuck moves into the Empire penthouse, and runs damage control during the Van Der Bilt party, keeping drunken Patrick Roberts from embarrassing him while C’s interviewed by the press. He has wise words for Serena who’s fighting with Blair (again): they’re not kids anymore and can’t just make up on the Met steps the day after their fight. One day one of these fights will be the end of their friendship. At the end of the night, Chuck and Blair cuddle.
“They Shoot Humphreys, Don’t They”: Lost weekend! Nate is moving into the suite with Chuck and to celebrate they are having a few ladies over and some serious binge drinking. (It seems weird that it’s only the two of them and presumably Chuck can’t touch the girls. So he’s just going to watch Nate? WTF.) Chuck encourages Blair to participate in cotillion and, anticipating a high-level Blair Waldorf freak-out, he takes Blair’s phone, texts Serena an apology, and arranges for the girls to meet — then traps them in an elevator until they talk out their problems. A successful manipulation!
“Last Days of Disco Stick”: Chuck has to spend the day entertaining the son of an ambassador, but he pawns Damien off on Jenny. Oopsy, Damien is a drug dealer. Chuck arrives at the club where Jenny’s literally in the middle of a deal, and gets her out of there. Best line? “Dude, I’m Chuck Bass. Even Europeans must know what that means.” Back at the VDW, he warns Jenny about the dangers of falling down the rabbit hole and tells her to watch out for Eurotrash on the way to the kitchen.
“Treasure of the Serena Madre”: Chuck catches Serena and Tripp making out in the elevator on his hotel security cameras, and warns them if they ever do that again S will be staying at the airport Marriott. He’s a little bit pissy with Nate for stealing that footage, and putting his business at risk. He encourages Nate to go after S and tell her how he feels. After Serena chooses Tripp, Chuck opts out of his trip with Blair to Paris and stays behind to be besties with Nate, taking him drinking. I know New Chuck Bass is a little bit boring, but OMG he’s a charmer.
“The Debarted”: If you feel like crying, watch this episode. Chuck isn’t sleeping well, and pushes Blair away, focusing on business instead of mourning his father on the anniversary of his death. He brings Blair along to see the building he wants to buy: a homeless shelter. Even Blair thinks it’s a bad idea. He puts her in the limo, promising to meet her for lunch, and who should show up? The Ghost of Bart Bass, mocking his son and calling him soft. Chuck drinks heavily in his suite and misses lunch with B. He pushes her away again, telling her he’s honoring his father’s memory by working, and she turns to Lily (we find out he’s never seen his mother’s grave). Lily doesn’t have any luck with Chuck either. On his way to sign the paperwork for the building, Chuck gets the call about Serena and heads there, despite the Ghost of Bart Bass mocking him. Chuck is freaking out and cracking up. At the hospital, he flashes back to the night Bart was in his car accident, and crumples to the floor. Blair finds him there and, in a beautiful scene, Chuck admits he was too weak to be at his father’s side when he died. Blair tells him that she doesn’t think he was afraid of death but that he was afraid of emotions. And now he carries so many people and is more of a man than his father ever was. At the end of the episode, Chuck visits his father’s grave with yellow roses (his mother’s favorite) and finds a mysterious woman there, also placing yellow roses on the grave. As she dashes away, she drops a locket that contains a photo of Bart and the initial “E.”
That locket is, of course, where “The Hurt Locket” gets its name (well, that plus The Hurt Locker) and with Gossip Girl‘s return tomorrow, we’ll be finding out more about that mysterious lady — is it Chuck’s long-thought-dead mother? Is she a plant by the evil Jack Bass? Josh and Stephanie have promised that “Chuck will get a huge storyline. Super emotional. Ed’s best work to date!”