Two mismatched pairs of gumshoes beg Blair for her sneaky, snatchy help in solving the mystery of Will van der Woodsen. In one corner you got Charles and Jennifer, who just want to save their stepmommy from a fate worse than Illness by figuring out the mysterious medicine... At least until their private agendas -- to ruin Blair's date with cute Cameron and escape back to DUMBO with her Daddy forever -- threaten to bring it all down. On the other hand, Dan and Nate are worried that Serena's gone completely round the bend, given her idiotic belief that Rufus owns one quarter of the balls necessary to cheat on Lily in her own building. Meanwhile Eric just keeps asking whether or not his mother actually has cancer every six minutes like somebody put a nickel in him, and Rufus whines like he has never whined before.
And so it goes. Everybody ends up at a benefit for the NY Library, including Holland Kemble, who -- let me see if I've got this straight -- for some reason has been writing prescriptions for Lily that say they're Oxy when really they're antibiotics, even though she is a psychiatrist, and additionally lied about cheating with Rufus, because she owes Will a favor for some reason, and all of this is because Will did actually cure Lily of her Illness back in Santorini, which is when he fell back in love with her and 1) Sent Serena that letter that Maureen intercepted, 2) Made Holland seduce Rufus into the Cult of the Rooftop Garden Co-op, and 3) Made Holland write fake prescriptions under the guise of writing other fake prescriptions with the specific aim of giving Lily cancer-like symptoms so that Will could go on curing her indefinitely.
That may all be bullshit, but I think that's essentially what happened. This episode was a glorious hot mess that never stopped moving. Like, there is not a single scene that doesn't include somebody going "Are you gonna tell her, or should I?" But in practice -- when the characters aren't sitting around explaining what happened with this mess of a plot, which they do about 80% of the episode -- what goes down is that everybody hides from S the entire episode so she won't find them doing all these snoopings and schemings, and the whole time Jenny is secretly undermining everything, and there's a part where Chuck and Blair get to play a little postmodern roulette themselves -- demanding couples therapy from Holland while pretending to be stalling Holland by demanding couples therapy from Holland -- and then everybody ends up back at PRADA where it usually happens, whatever it is.
What happens this time is that Will offers to go get "papers" that prove the case built by the NJBC is completely false, and actually 23-skidoos out from under S's nose. She follows him to the helipad and eventually gives him leave to leave before the cops arrive, so I guess she's at least the manager of her Daddy Issues now. The Postmistress General, if you will. Then she soft-dumps Nate for siccing the cops on Will before they left, and gratefully leans on stepbrother Dan the whole time in a way that better fucking mean nothing.
Eric, appalled at Jenny's senseless and unending attempts to destroy their entire family, politely asks her to leave PRADA for hell, but she stops halfway, deciding to go live with brother-rapist Chuck -- but he's with Blair, hatching some retarded Affair To Remember plan that ends with the immortally embarrassing, "Or I'll close my heart to you forever." Who's there instead, when Jenny arrives at the Empire? One Nate Archibald, drunk and crazy and looking just about ready for that v-card which, like Chekov's Gun, has been staring us in the face all season. Well, either way, letting Jenny anywhere near Chuck or Nate without S or B to regulate will probably mean multiple deaths in the finale next week. And that's before seeing good old Georgina in the previews. Hallelujah!
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Seems like this happened in Season One, with the strike: A variable number of episodes meant a sort of summing-up right before the finale, because the numbers kept getting rejiggered. You had a normal story, told in normal ways, that got stretched and tinyfied all over the place, with the big Come to Jesus so the finale would still be awesome. And I can't even remember right now if that happened this year (25 to 22? Am I making this up?), but I can say that's exactly what it feels like.
In which case you have a lot of options, because all this episode has to do, like any episode of any show, is get from A to B. In this case, the A-to-B is about explaining the entire season, vanderwise: Where Lily was and why Serena is crazy this year. And one option -- the one they went with -- is to have everybody sit around awkwardly explaining the entire season to each other in various locales.
Now, on the one hand that's embarrassing, because there are literally infinite ways to do this without making everybody Nate talking to Nate. But on the other hand, at least they gave it to the best director the show's got, who can shine some shinola real pretty, in the desperate attempt to make it an actual story instead of essentially Gossip Girl & The Deathly Hallows: A friend's account of the Cliff's Notes version of the story we could actually just be watching. Not a silk purse, not the tailor's fault.
I almost wanted to write this whole recap as a conversation about what the recap might be about, could be about, should be about, will be about, but I thought no, that would be really fucking annoying. The difference is that I love you, and I would actually think about things like that. And if I did it, I would at least know that I was doing it, instead of turning it in last minute like a term paper for a gimme class, which is what this script is. But instead, we're going to get this over with as quickly as possible, because there's not a whole lot to talk about here.
On paper, bare bones, this idea is amazing: Two teams, Chuck/Jenny (which let's talk about years of tension, sexual and otherwise) and Dan/Nate (which let's talk about mostly sexual tension) both maneuver their way around the entire UES and Lily's useless ass in order to solve a mystery, and of course in both cases the only thing they need is Blair. That is genius, and right on the money. Especially because the other major player, Miss Serena, is so wacked out on Will -- and so dangerous generally, should she so choose -- that they can't even let her find out Thing One about what they're trying to do.