Bart takes the podium, after a sweet introduction from his son; Dan and Serena fuck on the bar at the Shepherd divorce; Blair's in a car -- going where? -- to tell her final choice who she wants. Who will it be? I hope we don't have to wait too...
Ah. Blair arrives -- at the press conference! -- just in time to see Bart assume control of Bass Industries, and watch Chuck's whole lovely face just fall apart. Goodness.
I mean, I don't want Dan or Chuck to be unhappy, exactly, but everything is happening in such a scummy way that the surprise -- Blair seems to have actually chosen Chuck -- is buried under a lot of different feelings. You know? The trick to moving your chess pieces around is to do so much, so quickly and simultaneously, and with so much meaning behind every move, that you stop even seeing it as chesspiece-moving. I was thinking at the beginning of the episode that it would really benefit from a Sixties-style splitscreen situation, which was in vogue for a while with TV directors and then went away again, but I feel like I'm going nuts just because it's all happening: What if it was really all happening?
UPSTAIRS @ EMPIRE
Chuck: "So you took away my business? This is our new family partnership?"
Bart: "I am making the right call. My death meant a child inherited my company."
Chuck: "Which is thriving, thanks to me. And no thanks to your widow, or the Thorpes."
Bart: "I'm going to awkwardly make this about Blair somehow now."
Chuck: "Give it a shot."
Swing and a miss, but it's a soap opera so it makes sense to do this, but his final point actually is valid to the discussion:
Bart: "Not to mention going nearly bankrupt buying out her marriage from the Grimaldis. The engagement ring was just the final test, and you took it."
Chuck: "You handed it to me and encouraged me to make gestures. And I didn't even make the gestures! She dropped by twice today in the middle of her other storyline, that's it! I was too busy being a good son and not even waiting for this obvious other shoe to drop!"
Bart: "That was dumb, wasn't it. I'm the worst."
Bart very carefully rescinds every approving statement and loving thing he's done and said since returning from the dead -- for which he no longer thanks Chuck -- and even makes fun of the Empire before he's done. Final score, Chuck is still a boy and not a man, and only a Real Man can run Bass Industries.