Posted by: April on May 18, 2011
Remember last year when Gossip Girl finally learned how to do a finale right? This year, with Monday night’s “The Wrong Goodbye,” they went us one better: not only was Georgina on the scene to wreak adorably unhinged havoc, she sniffed out a kindred in a matter of minutes. Attagirl. Otherwise, Serena and Dan finally admit the truth, Blair gets her fairytale, and Chuck and his beloved get back together in style. AND my prediction that Ed Westwick would make up for last week’s dearth of exquisitely expressive faces proves so right I may have to get a swooning couch.
Not unless the thing was twisted and nasty, in which case my help could prove invaluable.
Vanessa and Serena have teamed up to find Charlie. Vanessa doesn’t know that Serena’s a certified crime fighter, so she’s boo-hooing all Serena’s ideas and generally being Vanessa up in this cab. Serena finally shuts the bickering down and decides that they should just work together until they know the status of the currently unfolding murder-suicide they’ve imagined. Also, as suspected, Charlie Single White Female-d her roommate in college. That was her bugaboo.
Looks like Nate finally made it to the Party Everyone Ends Up At! I have no idea why, as we left him comforting Raina in the back of a limo, but okay. At the bar, Dan tells Nate about the whole “call me Serena” thing, and Nate asks, “Are you sure that isn't what you wanted to hear?” Hee! Glad to see these two crazy kids back together. Now just admit your total gay love for each other, and this show will be perfect. Sigh.
Chuck finally makes his way up all those stairs, looking for his great love Blair, and he runs over to the crush of people that now includes Dan (“What's Chuck doing here? Gossip Girl said he was going to rehab”), Nate, Serena, Vanessa, Georgina, and Eric. Georgina, you see, married some dude who needed a pretty wife to get ahead in business because she wanted his money and Yale legacy for Milo. Aw, that’s sweet and so Georgie. She keeps trying to insert herself into whatever’s afoot, and she keeps getting brushed off. Poor thing. As she points out, her help is invaluable in situations where things are twisted and nasty. Hired! Anyway, in a hilarious bit of meta, everyone is demanding to talk to everyone without anyone specifying the deal, so Dan has to take charge and decide who is going to talk to whom after admitting that he’s been wandering around the party like the Lonely Boy he is and thus can speak with authority on the absence of both Charlie and Blair. Even so, Nate’s pressing business comes first, so he and Chuck take off, while Dan, Serena, and Vanessa go to comb the party for Charlie. Georgie, despite never having been so bored since she believed in Jesus, is cut out. Iz and Kati are still there, and they're kidnapping Eric, who got cute and must be a good dancer due to the gay. So sweet. Meanwhile, I can’t believe, cannot believe, how much I like Dan this episode. When did this happen?
On Chuck’s way out the door, he’s accosted by Eleanor. No idea why she’s there, but, hey, why miss out on a Party Everyone Ends Up At while you’re in town? Eleanor makes Chuck out to be the Big Bad Wolf of Blair’s fairytale. Mrs. Rose, don’t you watch the CW promos? He’s the Dark Knight. Right then Louis and the Princess arrive, which Eleanor sees as a triumphant told ya so, so Chuck is forced to drop it like it’s on: “Do you really think she'd miss an opportunity to enter her old stomping grounds on the arm of a prince?” Eleanor has no retort, and she should probably prepare herself, as Chuck drops truth like that all episode long. This episode is one long reminder of all the things that make Chuck Bass one of the greatest characters on television today.
Empire. Why did they go all the way back to Empire for this talk? So Raina could walk in dramatically, I guess. Right so, Chuck is pretty pissed that Nate went ahead and told Raina the truth about her dad after Chuck “specifically asked him not to” (more like brokered a peace treaty which Nate then completely ignored) (aw, remember when Nate and Serena brokered a disarmament agreement between Chuck and Blair? That was earlier this season! ), and Nate’s only excuse is that he, you know, felt bad for Raina or some such. Raina dramatically walks in, as she was basically at loose ends after . . . dropping Nate off at the party (still not following this). Chuck is sort of like, “Regardless of your familial drama, I must find Blair.”
Blair gives an insanely expository talk about how she is at Charles Place with Russell, and he is keeping her there, and what does he want her to do, jump out the third story window? I briefly think this little recap is offensive to the viewers until it turns out she secretly called Chuck. "Smart girl," Chuck remarks. Dark Knight to the rescue!
Eric, Rufus, and Lily are caught in some crazy product placement, and Lily is still the worst mom. She doesn’t want them to cause too much trouble searching for Charlie, as Charlie will only be embarrassed. Charlie should be embarrassed, as she’s drunkly swigging vodka directly from the bottle. She didn’t even remove the pour spout! Dan tries to be all, “I overreacted before! Let’s go talk!” but even Charlie sees through that. She shoves a waiter into Dan and a bunch of other dudes and uses the mêlée to sneak off. I love her sneaky ways.
Serena must have gotten confused about what they were doing because she’s just standing in some hallway looking at an old photo of her and Blair from Season 1 (I think). DoppelQueller comes up and asks how Serena’s doing in Providence, which is Serena’s cue to give her an abbreviated version of how and why she ended up at Columbia. Now, you might think that DoppelQueller would recognize that Columbia is a good school, too, and leave it at that, but no dice. Headmistress may have been hard on Serena while she was at Constance, but she honestly thought Serena would make something of herself once she got away from her crazy friends and her crazy life. I think the wolves would follow her anywhere, but Serena seems to be taking DoppelQueller’s words seriously. DoppelQueller leaves, and Mini Blair and Mini Serena appear to dis Serena anew. Seems that one of them bet on Dan and one of the bet on Nate in GG’s “Who will Serena end up with?” poll, and now they are both losers. Did she end up with the billionaire? The guy who tried to kill her? (I honestly can’t tell if that’s a reference to Tripp or Ben.) Instead, Serena ended up with no one, so Mini Serena now wants to be Blair. For her troubles, Serena literally shoos her away. Darling Georgina then walks up to complain about how she’s become a “Bedford wife” and begs to get to conspire. Instead, Dan and Vanessa report back with their complete lack of findings, giving Georgie the opportunity to take serious offense when Vanessa gets to be involved. I’m with Georgina on this one. Vanessa is a useless fool, as she will prove in a matter of minutes. ANYway, they split up: Dan to Prada Mafia, Vanessa to the loft, and Serena at the party. Charlie, of course, has overheard all this and makes a show of asking Georgina were she can find a window that isn’t nailed shut to “get some air.” Georgina looks at her quizzically then directs her to the third floor. Third floor? Coincidence? I think not.
Chuck, Nate, and Raina are racing up to CP’s third floor when Raina smells gas. Yup, that was Russell’s plan. He created a gas leak and has been flicking a lighter all night, waiting for enough gas to build to blow them both to kingdom come. When Blair realizes this, she starts to insist that she doesn’t mean enough to Chuck for this to be the devastating blow Russell believes it will be. Chuck reaches the door just in time to overhear things like, “He ended up treating me like something he owned instead of something he earned, and it destroyed me.” Nevertheless, Chuck bursts in and, uh, holds Blair while Raina and Nate rush in. Raina talks her dad down by tearfully proclaiming that she doesn’t want two dead parents, they can work it out, etc. No sooner has Russell handed over the lighter than Raina’s eyes dry, and she goes cold. All she really wants is for her dad to be alive long enough to get arrested. Bait and switch from Super Truth! Oh, that’s nice.
Outside, while the police take Nate and Raina’s statements, Chuck tries to get Blair to go to the hospital and get checked out. When she refuses, he asks why she called him. Blair explains that she couldn’t see the buttons on her phone, but Chuck is still on her speed dial. All she had to do was press 1. The way Chuck quietly repeats, “All you had to do was press 1,” gives me little flutters of hope. Yes, I know everything I said last week about this show’s icky sexual politics, but y’all know I’m a Chair ‘shipper in the end, right? Chuck takes it one step further, offering, “How 'bout a drink to calm you down and then we return to your prince as steady as ever?” Blair nods in agreement, and they hope into Chuck’s limo. Oh, girl, we all know what happens in the back of Chuck's limo. Just admit it.
Meanwhile, Raina wants to go home, by which she means Chi-town. No surprise there.
For their drink, Chuck has decided that they need to go somewhere no one knows them, and that means crashing a bar mitzvah. Blair being Blair, she almost immediately goes along with this plan, picking out a couple from the table name cards and walking off. Next thing you know, Blair's dancing and clapping off beat in the cutest way, and Chuck and Blair are being hoisted up in chairs like they just got married. Ed Westwick’s exquisitely expressive face looks like he’s never had more fun in his life. Given Chuck’s life, that’s probably true. Finally, Chuck shakes the guest of honour’s hand while handing over what’s probably a huge cheque. Early contender for Song of the Summer “Rolling in the Deep” kicks up as Blair wordlessly leads Chuck into an antechamber to get it on. At one point, Chuck pulls back from Blair before another kiss, and Ed Westwick’s exquisitely expressive face causes me to cover my mouth and whisper, “She’d better not break his heart.” He’s doomed.
Also part of this montage: Vanessa discovers that Dan has turned her room into an office, realizing for the millionth time how little she means to him. That doesn’t stop her from snooping around and finding Dan’s manuscript for his autobiographical novel Inside. Oh, dear. Princess Sofia tries to convince Louis that Blair has chosen Chuck, but Louis refuses to leave. And Serena learns from Georgina that Charlie is up on the third floor, hanging out a window. As Serena walks away, Georgie calls out, “See, you get me! I’ve missed you!” Heh.
Upstairs, Serena would like Charlie to come on down out of that window. Well, sure. Charlie is upset that everyone thinks she’s crazy now, but Serena counters that, “We think you have a condition that can be helped.” She does not add that going to the Ostroff Centre is a rite of passage among Rhodes offspring. Charlie admits that she wanted to SFW Serena because Serena’s so awesome, but all those talking-tos have gotten to our Golden Gal. Serena explains that her life’s pretty suck-o, but not for all the obvious reasons we could dredge up from the last four seasons. No, it’s suck-o because she never makes any choices, and now her life is a mess. So Charlie climbs down and embraces her, all, “I’ll be there for you.” Yes, Serena just talked someone down from a suicide attempt by being needier. She is my hero. Back on the ground, Charlie asks Serena whom she would have chosen, Nate or Dan, and Serena whips out her phone. Pfft, she needs to choose herself, Kelly Taylor-style.
There’s a Difference between Great Love and the Right Love
Dan’s on the stairs at Prada Mafia when Vanessa rings through. He’s pretty pissed when it’s not about Charlie and even more so when it’s about Inside. Judging from the pile, Vanessa’s at least 30 pages into the book. On the Charlie Trout front: Serena becomes Sabrina. Oh, look who thinks he’s Clever Dan. Vanessa’s singing the praises of Dan’s work, which Dan absolutely cannot hear until Vanessa remarks that far more than Jenny, it was Lonely Boy who wanted to be “inside” the UES. Dan’s curled up in the fetal position on the stairs, holding on to the phone for dear life, and he looks alternately queasy to have had Vanessa essentially crack open his journal and relived that someone finally knows his secret. Too bad that Vanessa can’t read the room to save her life: she insists that Dan publish, and Dan insists with great fervour that he will do no such thing. Not only will his secret love of the UES become public knowledge, but he will hurt the people who have gone on to become his friends and family in the process. Vanessa spouts some serious bullshit about how great art can’t be created from the inside, but Dan pretty much thinks she can go blow. Vanessa finally spits that Dan’s life would have been a whole lot better if he had never asked Serena out four years ago. Dan has HAD. IT. He spits right back, “When are you going to realize that I had a better life until you climbed up my fire escape four years ago?” BURN. THIRD DEGREE BURN. He hangs up, and Vanessa makes a serious Abrams face. Oh, she is going to Abrams that shit so hardcore. It’s the New Yorker all over again.
Penn Badgley, you just rocked that scene.
Outside the bar mitzvah, Blair and Chuck are walking toward the limo with space and weirdness between them. Chuck is trying delicately not to get his heartbroken while also ascertaining where Blair stands and at length simply asks Blair if she loves Louis. Blair: “Yes, but not like I love you. What we have is a great love. It's complicated, intense, all consuming.” Blair admits that whatever she has with Louis, she’ll never be able to resist the magnetic pull of Chuck and Blair. She’ll break it off with Louis. Blair gets into the limo. Chuck pauses for a minute and smiles to himself, and Ed Westwick’s exquisitely expressive face registers a kind of surprise that also surprises the audience: Chuck really believed that he had lost her for good until that very moment.
Chuck walks into the Party That Everyone Ends Up At, Now Deserted Edition, and finds Louis . . . still waiting for Blair. Oh, man. Chuck wonders what Louis is still doing here, as surely Blair’s choice is obvious. Louis: “Because I love her, and, just as important, I believe in her.” Craziness: I totally believe him. Not just in a silly fairytale way, but for reals. How did this happen? I . . . like Louis now? Show, what are you doing to me? Chuck’s still taking this in when Blair appears with his coat (I have no idea why, especially given that she isn’t wearing hers) and finds Chuck with Louis. Blair sort of fumbles and stutters in explaining to Louis that she is a cheater who is breaking off their engagement, so Chuck clears his throat and utters something totally amazing: “What she's trying to say is you have my blessing. I couldn't be more happy the two of you are getting married.” Blair is breathless while Chuck shakes Louis hand and walks away.
Upstairs, Serena has called in Dan and Nate to apologize for never choosing and instead expecting them to wait around for her. I don’t entirely agree, inasmuch as Nate totally broke up with her and then they were both with other girls, but it’s true in principle. They both immediately, and sweetly, accept her apology. Nate offers that they already forgave her, and Dan adds that it’s still nice to hear. Somehow, he does this without irritating me. Aw. Charlie, for her part, plans to de-crazy. First, though, she’s going to call her mom and let her know she’s alright.
Except! Charlie calls up and very coolly says, “Hey, it's me. I thought you should know it went perfectly.” Georgina alone overhears this. Game recognizes game: Georgina knows that Charlie’s brand of crazy is not of the “I went off my pills” variety. In fact, Georgie suspects Charlie was never on any pills. Before Charlie can object, Georgina offers her a napkin with her digits and tells her to call if she’s ever back in town and wants to stir up some real trouble. Somewhere, Serena shivers and has no idea why.
At the bottom of that insane staircase, Blair catches up with Chuck. And . . . I can’t do this scene justice, and you really need to hear Chuck’s speech verbatim. Let’s watch:
Ed Westwick’s exquisitely expressive face looks so proud of himself and Blair for being able to let go despite the heartache. And in those final seconds before he walks out that door, he manages a look that reads as that moment after you’ve been cut with something so sharp you didn’t even feel it go in, and just now the pain is starting to hit. I’m dying a little here. Chair is a killer, you guys.
No New Yorker Ever Summers in New York
Three weeks later, the Bass Van der Humphreys are gathered at Prada Mafia for tea or brunch or something. Even Chuck’s invited! He exposits that Russell got 20 years (to life?), and everyone nods like that’s a good thing, even though in the interim you know at least Nate forgot who Russell even is.
Blair arrives to say her goodbyes before her summer on the Crown Prince’s yacht (an invite which Rufus turned down, hilariously), and Chuck immediately jumps up to go. He’s wearing a summer suit (and my heart). They say goodbye, warmly if hesitantly, and Nate and Chuck take their leave.
Blair moves on to her erstwhile paramour Dan, and it’s pretty obvious (but not too obvious. Way to go, Badgley!) that he’s still pining away for her. Blair cracks wise about Dan getting invited to a royal wedding (just like he’s secretly always wanted!), and Dan very kindly tells Blair that he’s just a plane ride away if she’s in need of a movie buddy. Turns out she copied his Netflix queue, and they are set for their first transatlantic movie date on Monday. Aw. That’s really sweet. Be friends, you two! Meanwhile, Charlie pretends that she is going to take the bus back to Florida and get her head back together before maybe someday coming back to the big city. Before she leaves, Dan and Charlie agree that they really did like each other. Did they? Oh, shit, Marlins Jersey! I’ve just realized that this entire Florida thing is a scheme! Clever, clever show.
Empire. Nate is day-drinking while Chuck stays sober. Nate not only notices but realizes things must be REALLY bad with Chuck if even he knows that single malt won’t dull the pain. Chuck acknowledges this but also that it’s for the best: “When she's with Louis, she shines. That's the Blair I love.” YES! I knew he did! Scheming and burlesque and sex games Blair, too, but all the Blairs at once. He’s the only one who ever has. Chuck goes to refill Nate’s empty glass – this doesn’t mean that they both have to be sober – as Nate produces a globe. Seems that they chose the variety of exotic locales for their very gay adventures in high school by doing that spin and point thing, which lands most of us in the Pacific Ocean, but whatever. Given the state of their lives, they do the very same now, smiling at each other over wherever Chuck’s finger landed (all I caught was the Northern Hemisphere) (also: dirty!).
Chez Waldorf. Blair and Serena are individually packing, although not both for Blair’s cruise. Serena has declined the offer in favour of heading to Montecito to summer with CeCe, trading boys and bars for beach blankets and books. She even says, “I choose me.” How did you know, show? Blair babbles about strolling in the Jardin Exotique, and, since I’ve never been to New York and have no ability to comment on the locations and reality thereof and the lack of a time/space continuum in the UES, let me just say this: You don't really stroll in the Jardin Exotique. Like pretty much everything else in Monaco, it’s carved into a mountain. It takes ever so slightly more work than your average stroll. Also, Blair is planning a November sweeps wedding. Can’t wait!
Prada Mafia. Dan disappointedly learns that Rufus plans to stay in this summer with his house-arrested wife, so, with Serena and CeCe in California, the Hamptons house will be empty. Even Rufus catches on to the fact that Dan’s upside down smile is brought on by more than just a lack of vacation and wonders if it’s Charlie or Serena he will be missing, but Eric was keen enough to observe the truth: Dan is sad about Blair. Fortunately, Sarah Lawrence-bound Eric (so gay! And just up the road!) will take the hit for his brother in plaid. They’re off to the Hamptons together. Rufus hopes that this will inspire Dan to write, but Dan suggests that he’s sworn off writing forever. I . . . guh . . . huh? Who the hell is Dan if not a writer? No, seriously, will he switch majors? Whatever, it’s all supposed to be part of an ironic segue to . . .
Impossibly located publisher’s ground floor office. Here’s how New Yorker/Abrams Vanessa got on this thing: she sold (sold!) the manuscript to a publisher, representing herself as the anonymous author’s agent. The publisher blows smoke up Dan’s ass some more (Imaginary scenelet: Prada Mafia. Dan: “Eric, was that you?”), all but demanding that Vanessa take him to the author so he can blow him right now, while Vanessa demurs that the author “will have to” come forward once the book comes out, and everyone loves it/him. You fucking bitch. In the meantime, the publisher can send the author’s cheques this address scrawled on a post-it: Vanessa in Barcelona. YOU FUCKING BITCH. I hope you get Upper East Side murdered for this.
Strolling along the boardwalk, Serena spies a guy in a distinctly UES uniform (jacket, plaid shirt) reading her favourite book, The Beautiful and the Damned. NICE callback! Her interest is piqued, as it’s not the average beach read, but it turns out the guy is working on a film adaptation. He’s supposed to give comments and feedback comparing the screenplay to the original, and he’s panicking as he hasn’t gotten nearly far enough. Serena, of course, agrees to help in the service of a great novel, which is exactly when writer-director David O. Russell strolls up. And Serena recognizes him. You know what? Magic things like this happen to Serena. I accept. Serena quotes the book to Russell, so he fires the other guy and hires Serena in his stead. HA! Of course, part of me thinks, “Run, Serena! He’s crazy!” but whatever. Serena will either rock that shit hard or quit after four hours. Either way, it’s going to be great.
Charlie gets off the NYC to Miami bus to find her mom waiting. Huh, I guess she really was taking the bus back to Florida. Carol greets “Ivy” (!) with a notable lack of warmth (!!) and asks if she got it done (!!!). Ivy turns over Charlie’s trust fund cheques in exchange for an envelope filled with dirty, wrinkled bills (you just know if Chuck or Blair were paying someone off, those bills would be freshly minted). Carol notes that now she and Charlie are set without ever having to deal with those crazy Rhodes women (holy fuck!). She takes a moment to wonder if Ivy will be okay after having gotten a taste of the good life. Ivy will be alright. After Carol leaves, Ivy shows us the trust fund cheques she held back at the bottom of her purse, Georgie’s digits in her wallet, and glances back at the NYC bus meaningfully. Oh, wow. This is going to be AMAZING.
No, wait, it already is: the camera snakes through all the empty UES locations until it settles upon Dorota picking up the trash out of Blair’s room. Just before she does, the camera shows us a discarded pregnancy test. It was negative, but, just as Dorota swooshes it up in the bag, the little minus sign changes to a plus. BASS BABY! XOXO, world!
In other news:
- What the hell is this GG narrated X-Men commercial?
- Other than that, I think I put it all in the recap, which makes sense, as it’s my longest . . . ever.
- Oh, wait, Serena’s dress that she wears for most the episode is ugly and ill-fitting. Love the colour, though.
- There was some live band, and we were supposed to care, but I totally didn’t.
Next time: How should I know? That’s months from now. I will say that I totally buy that Dan’s big shameful secret is how truly envious he always was. His class warfare stuff make a hell of a lot more sense in that light than it ever did before. AND I like that Serena finally making her own choice leads to a HUGE break. That sounds about right. As for the continued Louis-Blair-Chuck triangle, you didn’t really think that this show was going to split off to Monaco, did you?
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