So it's been four months and suddenly everybody on the show realizes that Serena is missing. Like they actually, I'm not exaggerating, they actually have conversations about, "Did she really just slip our minds for four entire months? That is so Serena." Which, to be fair.
Chuck's in Dubai with his father's translator, some lady who knows some kind of secret that Bart pays her $10M to keep even though she doesn't know what it is. Nate is in town, chattin' it up with Gossip Girl and operating some kind of business that is a website or a newspaper or possibly it is an App. Blair is in France with her PR director, another of her beautiful French randoms who sometimes books transatlantic flights for her when he feels like she should go away, and with whom she takes her tea in Versailles or something? Very little about Blair's life ever makes sense, really.
But even less believably: Bart and Lily have taken a yacht around the world in order to reverse their aging processes, while Rufus is now roomies with Ivy because nobody else will have her, everybody is sick of him and his jacked-up face, and because he's the only person too dumb to even question why she is on this show. Oh, and Dan and Georgina are in Italy or something doing God knows what. Making coats out of puppies or angling after King Triton's trident, presumably. Stealing little brothers for the Goblin King like they do.
(This is all coming off the finale, in which Serena taped herself fucking Dan on the bar at the Apartment and caused Dan and Blair to excommunicate her, which caused her to become a drug ho and eventually OD on the train. What else... Bart took Lily back from Rufus because he is marginally less of a choad, Chuck was pissed about something, Charlie and Ivy dressed up like hookers at one point? I think? Dan and Georgina are writing this tell-all that basically just seems like The Inside with the names written back in. Blair and Chuck met up in Monte Carlo and are in love but are refusing to date until everything is perfect, just like Dan and Serena did years ago, which turned out well. And Ivy took away all of Lily's money, but then Lily took it back, and then I think Ivy took it back-back, but Lily won I think. Well, considering one of them now lives with Rufus, I guess for sure she won that round.)
So once they remember that Serena exists, all of them at the same time -- even the same time of day, despite being in varied global places, because fuck time zones on this show, that's nothin' new -- oh but they do all come rushing right home. Except for Nate, who was already there, and who has traded in his Lip Thing for a whole other new Lip Thing that is even more distracting, and who has traded in his various cougar loves for a tiny little slip of an intern.
Bart menaces Chuck's random lady he's dragging everywhere, Chuck menaces the pretty little French fella that Blair drags everywhere, everybody is mean to Dan to because his hair is more embarrassing than ever before and he's being dragged everywhere by Georgina, and nobody can find Serena. Damian Dalgaard sends them to Poughkeepsie, where Georgina presumes Serena has found her way into a mental hospital at last, but no. It is much worse.
Because, you see, in four months Serena has: Come literally back to life, changed her name to "Sabrina," invented a new Wisconsinian background and Vassar education for herself, snagged a holistic pharmaceutical entrepreneur played by Barry Watson, and ingratiated herself with the Upstate Gays -- her people, I buy that part -- such that she's a groomsmaid in a big gay wedding.
Which is where the NJBC, plus D+G, with the help of DD and GG, find her. Presuming she is getting married and intent on ruining whatever happiness she's managed to cobble together, they crash the gay wedding and make dicks of themselves*, at which point Serena, wisely, turns their asses out.
*(Often in this lazy and truly mortifying, stair-stepping von Trapp/Three Stooges sequence, where they each deliver one painful line of dialogue, down the line -- Bitchy comment, quirky nonsense, old-school zinger, incomprehensible growling, stoned real talk -- over and over and over, until you feel like you're going bonkers. I'm talking, like, sub-Hart Of Dixie bullshit.)
Back in the city, Chuck and his translator lady do some kind of Bass Industries mustache-twirling, but the real story is Ivy, who exposits that Charlie is off on an NBC show now (so meta!) and that she is doing unthinkable manipulations to poor dumb Rufus for some reason of Lily hate. By the end of the hour, she takes that shit one step further, and finally fulfills the promise of intergenerational Rufus-boning that Vanessa Abrams made us so very long ago. Which is what Dan walks in on -- his father, I'm saying, fucking the girl who once forced him to fingerbang her while calling her "Serena" for what turned out to be just kicks, like, solely because she thought it would be weird, so she did it -- and sneaks quietly away from, in way the most interesting part of the entire episode.
Blair and Chuck profess their love for one another several thousand times and whatever, Georgina has become a non sequitur-spouting nonsense fountain, Nate proves as useful as he ever has, and Ivy's continued presence remains unearned. But on the other hand, Serena is happy and healthy and comfortably nestled just across the Park from PRADA with a rich dude, so I'd say it comes out about even.
Next week: I really can't tell. I've watched the trailer several times and I can't put it together. Nate's intern is a minor, somebody is attacked on the face by pantyhose, Dan's hair continues to suck a quart of taints, and presumably Blair will stop at nothing to fuck up Serena's day accidentally while Ivy continues to do whatever madness and Bart's luggage face opens and closes with a creaking. Nine more episodes and you know what, I'm actually very excited. XOXO.
Gossip Girl stole herself back from Serena, giving Nate a meaningless clue to her identity which -- for lack of anything better to do -- he is now using in a game of cat-and-mouse that involves bitchy late-night chats with her. Dan was summoned to a Roman writers' retreat, and after Serena lost her mind completely he took Georgina along the better to ruin lives. As is his wont. Ivy and Lola put together some sort of plan to take down Lily Rhodes-van der Woodsen-variable number of Somethings-Bass-Humphrey-Bass, who has left Rufus for Bart, the father of her only real child, who has returned from the dead due to the mysterious magics of Elizabeth Hurley. Blair and Chuck hooked up in Monte Carlo, where the horse-beatings continue in grand fashion, while Serena has returned to her previous incarnation as a common coke whore/murderess.
LESS PREVIOUSLY BUT STILL PREVIOUSLY
The first of the structural gimmicks in the episode appears immediately: A form of enjambment in which the lines from one scene inform the action of the next. Sounds fun in theory, but the whole thing is so silly and repetitive that it's much less enjoyable in practice. Repeat several times, interpolating between absolutely every line of dialogue, forever:
Person: "[Double entendre regarding Blair and Chuck, fucking.]"
Blair & Chuck: [(Fucking.)]
Dan: "This is the worst my hair has ever looked."
Georgina: "Keep striving, though. Listen, we're Under A Tuscan Sun! Literally! But also figuratively, as I'm a pointless middle-aged mom in her second adolescence, and you are a gay dude."
Dan: "Except I don't remember how any of this happened. Could you exposit at length, until I'm sore and exhausted and sick inside?"
Blair & Chuck: [(Fucking.)]
Georgina: "Sure. Once we got to Rome, I decided that you should just skip the retreat and sit in some kind of ruins, typing on a very old typewriter."
Dan: "That sounds remarkably unpleasant and sweaty."
Blair & Chuck: [(Fucking.)]
Georgina: "Well, nobody can hack an old black typewriter."
Dan: "Look who you're talking to."
Georgina: "Anyway, let's rewrite the same book you already wrote and pretend it's interesting."
Blair & Chuck: [(Fucking.)]
Gossip Girl: "My literary technique for this episode will be talking about how this is the last season of this show, and but also how I will finally be exposed in the finale. It's all very subtle."