Wednesday, October 10, 2012

GOSSIP GIRL 6x1: "Gone Maybe Gone"

In its very last season premiere, Gossip Girl kicks off the end of an era with a drug overdose, a wedding, and a return to inappropriate sexual partnering. The more things change, the more they stay the same...which is both a blessing and curse on the Upper East Side. The sixth and final season is now underway!

Our favorite socialite schemers from the Upper East Side are back for one more season, and The CW has given the series only 10 episodes to end the 6-year saga that is Gossip Girl. As a faithful viewer since day one, I found it only fitting that I help send them off in style...with weekly recaps! In addition to the usual commentary and photocaps, I'll also be keeping track of the characters that are 'Gone But Not Forgotten' with an infographic showing a running score of how many times they're mentioned. Time is short, so let's do this!

We open 4 months ago, with clever editing showing us what the gang is up to. Blair and Chuck are fucking their brains out in Monte Carlo (I guess when Blair said "all in" it was more of a request than a statement, amiright?). Dan and Georgina are in Italy, with Ms. Sparks giving him the push of crazy he needs to write his real tell-all of the Upper East Side...this time without fake names. Nate is hard at work at the Spectator, zooming-and-enhancing the video of a hoodie'd Gossip Girl that Diana sent him. Last but certainly not least, the one-woman shit show known as Serena Van der Woodsen is discovered coked/passed out on the train we saw her leaving NYC on just before Summer.

We jump ahead to today, with Lily and Bart returning from their Summer in the Hamptons. In all the hustle and bustle of having their vows renewed and visiting Eric (!) off the African Coast, Lily forgot to call, text, or otherwise engage her only daughter for 4 months. In case you need me to clarify: Lily is still the worst. She had a couple of seasons where she calmed down and was almost nice, but now she's back to being a UES power cu-- well, you get the idea. I still can't fathom how she was able to flip a switch from being in love with Rufus to being back in love with the dastardly Bart, but in this instance I don't think it's lazy writing. These women exist.

Realizing that something is amiss when they see all the mail Serena didn't handle (sort? alphabetize?) - coupled with the fact that Vanya hasn't seen or heard from Miss Serena all Summer - Lily finally starts to express some concern. Not that you'd be able to tell it from her face. Zing! She inexplicably calls Nate first (?), interrupting his dreadfully tedious conversation with a college journalism student named Sage. She's like a young Vanessa, if Vanessa had started out glamorous and annoying instead of bohemian and insufferable. This activates the emergency phone tree of Serena's nearest and dearest, which also happens to be the group of people who pretty much hate her the most. 

So from points across the globe, all roads now lead back to Manhattan. Blair has been running Eleanor Waldorf Designs from Paris, with the help of a very handsome PR minion named Jean-Pierre. Picture a hotter Louis, without the lisp. Chuck has been in Dubai, digging up dirt on his father with the help of Amira, Bart's former translator. Georgina convinces Dan to leave Italy, so they can be the first to find Serena in a gutter - which is somehow a perfect ending for his new book. Nate blackmails Gossip Girl with the surveillance footage (which is a threat to her because why?), in hopes that she'll give up Serena's location. She does just that, and the gang hops into Chuck's limo. Destination: Poughkeepsie.

After getting cut off at the pass by Dan and Georgina in their minivan, the entire gang reluctantly reunites to see what kind of backwoods trouble S has gotten herself into this time. Confusion runs rampant when they arrive at a well-to-do house upstate, where there just so happens to be a FANCY PARTY in full swing. It's here that they find Serena - going by Sabrina - happily coupled with a man named Steven Spence (Teaching Mrs. Tingle's Barry Watson), pretending that she grew up in Wisconsin and went to Vassar. [Pause for uproarious laughter at the idea of Serena actually attending and/or graduating college.]

While trying to get to the bottom of things, Dan learns that Blair and Chuck (whom she chose over Lonely Boy) aren't even together...yet. They made a pact to get their houses in order before committing to each other. S is none too pleased to see her friends/enemies crashing her new life, and does her best to avoid them. This only fuels the fire of worst case scenarios, when Blair assumes that the wedding setup in the backyard is for Serena and Steven. The inevitable hilarity ensues (infinite points to Georgina for "That's right! She's got a rap sheet and a snuff film!"), where it's revealed that the wedding they just tried to stop was actually for a couple of gay guys in matching powder blue tuxes and stupid hats. No, I can't even talk about it.

Once everything is out in the open, Serena makes it very clear that she was looking for a fresh start (for the 940th time) and wants nothing to do with them OR her life on the Upper East Side. Until everyone leaves and she does the complete opposite, bringing Steven back to PRADA and vowing that no one will ruin their happiness. Obviously she didn't get the memo that Georgina is sticking around for these final 10 episodes.

In storylines that make me want to vomit, Ivy has been crashing with Rufus at the loft and helping him find a new gallery space. Of course she's manipulating him, per her agreement with Lola (who was written off, mercifully) to take down Lily. This includes making Lily jealous, as well as SEDUCING RUFUS OH GOD MAKE IT STOP IT HURTS US. 

I'll admit to being a little let down by this premiere. Maybe it's because the element of danger in Serena disappearing is all but gone after 5 years. Maybe it's because the episodes wherein the gang leaves the Upper East Side are dodgy, at best. And while it's exciting that we get Georgina Sparks for the whole season, I hope she gets some better material. Most of her quips were gold, but the rest were pretty incoherent. Overall, maybe we needed a whole episode of setup before the real fun begins. Gossip Girl has had rough seasons patches, but they've always managed to bring me back (even though I've never left). Now that everyone's back in Manhattan, it's time to turn up the crazy and go out with a bang. They've got 9 episodes left.

  • I have to admit, I wasn't expecting to get both Eric AND Jenny references, in one episode!
  • Hopefully we'll get some Vanessa comparisons when the rest of the gang meets Sage. 
  • Given the current state of Rufus and Lily's relationship, I'd say it's either a sure sign that we'll never hear about/see Scott again...or we'll be hearing about/seeing him very soon. 

Bonus Quotes

"You shouldn't be creating in a workshop, you're not an elf." - Georgina to Dan

"You forget that I've known S since 9th grade. And whenever she hits a road bump in life, inevitably she reaches for a bump of a different kind." - Georgina  to Dan

Next week, on Gossip Girl:

Trying to prove herself in adult society, Serena hosts the Central Park Conservancy’s big gala, of which she is now the newest Board Member, and she and Nate both learn something shocking about their significant others. Blair prepares to debut her new fashion line, but a rival from her past holds the key to her future. With the help of Georgina, Dan lands some meetings with publishers, but he must decide if he is willing to sacrifice his integrity in order to get his work published. Meanwhile, Chuck tries to persuade Amira to help him look into his father’s past, even if it means jeopardizing Lily and Bart’s relationship.

"High Infidelity" airs October 15th at 9pm. Recap posts October 17th. 

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