What we’ve always loved about Gossip Girl is the guilty pleasure factor. With “Where The Vile Things Are,” the show finally embraced the reason why we’ve chosen to follow these characters for several years. We love how scheming and manipulative our favorite Upper East Siders can get. We love how awful they can be to one another and we love watching them make up time and time again. This is the final season, though. If growing up meant ditching the deviance, how interesting would the last few episodes be to watch? I’m torn between wanting these people to progress after six seasons and wanting them to be even more terrible to one another! Lucky for me, Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) found a loophole, and Serena Van Der Woodsen (Blake Lively) got back to basics. The key is in embracing the dark side and Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley).
The episode opened with Blair rallying her minions in an attempt to fool her mother into thinking she had a grip on things at Waldorf Designs. At the same time, she attempted damage control on the recent piece Dan published in Vanity Fair pegging her as nothing more than a twenty-something high school girl. In the moment Eleanor arrived on the scene, I realized how much I’d missed her over the past few weeks.
Eleanor: “What is this Downtown Abbey? Everyone back to work.”
Blair’s attempt at fooling her mother bared little effect. Eleanor knew exactly what she wanted to say when they stepped into her office. Blair’s dark side will be the ruin of Waldorf Designs. It isn’t about rotten luck or awful coincidences at this point. Blair needs to squash her deviant half if she wants to run her mother’s company. How many times has Blair Waldorf attempted to change her ways over the course of this series? Seriously, it’s been the quintessential underlying story arc since season one. Can Blair’s Grace Kelly ever defeat her Grace Jones? Thankfully, the answer is a rousing “absolutely not” because that’s why we love her. Blair had been fixing burned bridges bit by bit, or rather, donation by donation. Still, Eleanor wanted her good name cleared via another uncomfortable rendezvous with Nelly Yuki (Yin Chang).
For a girl who wasn’t born and bred on the Upper East Side, Ivy Dickens (Kaylee Defer) has been outmaneuvering the best of the best. After profusely apologizing to Rufus (Matthew Settle) over hiding the fact that she has a boatload of cash, she helped him gear up for his gallery opening. Finally, right? They’ve been talking about this gallery since the premiere. Unfortunately, nobody else gave a crap. The RSVP list was in, and anyone who’s anyone decided that they would rather tune in to reruns of Gallery Girls on Bravo than hang out with Lily’s (Kelly Rutherford) ex-husband. In actuality, it was Lily who caused the problem. All of Rufus’ art world connections ended up agreeing to attend Lily’s art benefit event instead. Ivy decided the best way to overcome Lily’s alleged attempt to rain on Rufus’ parade was to buy the party out from under her.
The creepy couple skipped on down to the venue of Lily’s event; some art world appreciation club/ museum/ place rich people love. Ivy agreed to buy all of the artwork that was to be displayed at Lily’s event for a few hundred thousand dollars. Question; how much money do you think these families actually have? Infinity? Infinity x’s two? Still, according to the man managing things at the venue, the show had to go on. They couldn’t cancel a charity event at the last minute, but with a very recent dire need for art to display, Rufus and Ivy would have to co-host with Lily using the artists he planned on showing at his opening.
After putting up with Nelly’s interminably boring story about nonsense and boys and nothingness, Blair played the blackmail card. Gasp… a picture of Nelly in a fat suit. As if that would actually ruin someone’s career in fashion, Blair. Instead of letting herself get humiliated ever so slightly embarrassed, Nelly tattled. Eleanor was upset with Blair, even going as far as to say the piece Dan had published on her was accurate. She’d been running her company like she was still the meanest girl in high school. Therefore, Eleanor demoted Blair and resumed the presidency herself. Now, doesn’t this make perfect sense? Why would a mother running a multimillion-dollar fashion brand leave the entire company to her daughter before even seeing if the girl was at all capable? Blair should be relieved.
Amidst the crumbling of companies and the ruinous plotting, Dan and Serena reconnected over Vespas and real estate. Dan was still couch surfing when his first paycheck arrived. Serena agreed to help him search for a new place, but the two ended up ditching the apartment hunt for billiards and boozing once they realized their newly released sex tape generated paparazzi buzz. Serena is such a conniving liar. She’s actually an excellent pool player!
Once Gossip Girl blew their location to the paps, Serena bolted out the back early, leaving Dan vulnerable to a covert attack from Blair. Blair used Gossip Girl’s tracking device to pinpoint Dan’s location. That seems kind of illegal to me, Gossip Girl. Blair had it out for Dan ever since her mother agreed with him. In an attempt to bully Dan into changing his opinion regarding her being a bully publicly, Blair even went as far as to threaten to heave Vanessa Abrams out from whatever bridge she’s been slumming it under. Dan called her a bully, so she lost. Out of desperation, Blair made another call to Nelly Yuki (my favorite name to type out).
After she had caught wind that Rufus and Ivy were janking up her event, Lily rushed to meet them at her venue. In an attempt to outdo their scheme, Lily agreed to co-host and to donate her prized possession; “Spectrum,” the famous rainbow lady painting from her stairwell. No! Anything but her, Lily! Your heart and soul are in that painting!
Well, not exactly, but something of value was indeed inside. Chuck (Ed Westwick) and Nate (Chace Crawford) spent their screen time this week (you guessed it) attempting to ruin Bart Bass. After going through security tape Chuck bribed off of Bart’s security guard, Chuck discovered that another man carried the infamous envelope prior to handing it off to Bart the day Ivy noticed him obsessively guarding it.
Nate attempted to fool the business man into thinking he wanted management advice. He hired two hussies and poured some expensive champagne. The perv was more interested in canoodling than squawking about Bart’s finances, though, so Nathaniel had to steal his phone. Smooth, Nate. After navigating through a series of ridiculously obscure hints, they discovered that one of Bart’s paintings most likely had his envelope stored in its backing. Not the rainbow woman! Leave her out of this!
Amidst Nate’s snooping around, he bumped into Serena and they chatted about Dan. Nate advised her to avoid reconciling and rekindling things with Dan, as he isn’t the guy they used to know. Serena reluctantly agreed, and Dan, of course, overheard everything, leaving a box of chocolate covered strawberries behind before storming away. After having it out about how both feel the other has acted impossibly awful towards everyone around them over the past five or so seasons, the two ended up trapped in the elevator together. Doesn’t this look familiar? I actually don’t mind that this show is recycling some of its more memorable moments in its final season, especially not Serena/ Dan moments because Serena is at her best when she’s with Dan.
After being trapped for what seemed like an eternity but for what was probably more like a good twenty minutes, Dan and Serena started admitting the truth. Both of them had been acting out against each other in an attempt to not admit their true feelings. In order to protect themselves from getting hurt again, they repelled one another. Serena made herself agree with Nate about Dan’s alleged changed ways in order to prevent herself from falling for him again. Everyone knows Lonely Boy has always pined for Serena Van Der Woodsen. That one’s a given! Just like that, Dair fans around the country lost all hope. Who’s Blair? Magic! The elevator started up again just as they opened up to one another. More Magic!
Lily: “You can pretend to be Lola. You can pretend to be Serena. But you can never be me.”
Ivy and Lily butted heads from the moment they arrived at the art benefit. With Lily’s painting poised as the star of the show, the two knew it would come down to the live auction. Meanwhile Blair, Nelly, and her mother met at a little round table. Why was Nelly invited? To shut up and bare witness to Blair’s apology to her mother. Blair confessed her fears of being all pretense and no talent. Even Jenny Humprey had talent! After admitting that her mother was right, Blair resigned.
The auction began and Ivy, Lily, and Chuck bid on that painting like their lives depended on it or worse even, their Upper East Side reputations! In the end, their bickering over who was the best ended up distracting them all from winning. Rufus won the prize with a bid of about a million dollars… of Ivy’s money. Bart’s text warning Lily not to put the painting up for auction came a few seconds too late.
In an attempt to cover her own ass, Lily did a little groveling in an plea to have Ivy sell her back the painting due to her unexpected “emotional attachment.” Ivy refused, explaining that she wanted Lily to feel just as she made Ivy feel; like nothing. Rufus backed Ivy.
Lily: “And you remain a kept man.”
Wow, that was the shade of the season and it felt so good!
In the end, Chuck reasoned with Ivy better than Lily had. If Bart is destroyed, Lily will fall soon after. After asking for double, Ivy sold the painting.
Knowing exactly where she’d be, Nelly Yuki found Blair mourning her loss on the steps of the Met. After thanking her for the exclusive, Nelly fired off a bunch of shade of her own. I kind of expected a pep talk here, to be honest. Nelly’s mother always knew Blair would peak in high school, yet Nelly still sat below Blair on the steps. Blair got what she needed from Nelly’s gloating. If she wants to succeed, she has to go back to high school. After meeting her mother in her office, Blair apologized for her rash decision and offered up what I thought was an excellent idea. If Marc Jacobs can have Marc by Marc Jacobs, Waldorf Designs could have B by Waldorf Designs. Blair’s idea was more specifically to create a line of high-end clothes inspired by her school uniform. I admired Blair for taking herself down a few notches. That showed real world growth and promise. Blair’s Grace Kelly got her straight A’s and boys. Blair’s Grace Jones made her the star of the Upper East Side. She is her dark side.
Serena’s promise came from a newfound start with Dan. In my opinion, Serena was never a more winning character than when she was with Dan. If the show wants to end with us loving its main character, they should make this happen as realistically as possible. This all made sense to me. Dan stayed the night and kissing happened; kissing and more, to be precise. Strawberry fields forever!
Lastly, after inspecting the painting Chuck bought for about two million, he and Nate discovered that the backing had been emptied. Ivy got there first. I have to say, had I not remembered what went down last season surrounding Ivy, I probably wouldn’t like her; however, I’m really impressed by her scheming this season. She just made a million dollars out of thin air and she has her silver bullet. How much longer can she keep up the guise with Rufus? Is Lola coming back? I’m more concerned with Lily mending fences with Chuck than with Rufus, at this point. That relationship is more important to me.
What did you all think of the episode? Are you impressed with the final season? Are you happy that Blair has finally found her way? Do you like Serena with Dan? Are you rooting for Ivy? Do you think Chuck will find what he is looking for? Remember Vanessa What’s-Her-Face?