The Wife:

So, Bart Bass is definitely dead. He didn’t even get the chance to be in a coma for awhile while the other characters hovered around him, wondering what to do with his life, fighting over his will and haggling with his PI for that final piece of information. Nope. The Gossip Girl universe just decided that it would be better if he died outright, off-screen, with all the dignity befitting the richest and most prickly character on the Upper East Side. Bart’s death has affected the Upper East Siders in a variety of ways:

  • Lily Bass Der Woodsen, although she was about to leave Bart, appears to be in a state of shock. She can barely navigate putting together the funeral, which makes it extremely lucky that her mother, CeCe, has showed up to help her daughter in her time of need. All Lily knows for certain is that she still wants to be with Rufus Humphrey, who promises her that he will wait for her as long as she needs him to.
  • Chuck Bass is now an orphan and set to become the richest kid in Manhattan, even with some of Bart’s money passing to his wife, Lily. Upset at losing the man he tried so hard to love, Chuck has holed himself up at the Palace Hotel and gone on a drunken bender. He is disheveled and broken down and, frankly, has never looked hotter. He also refuses to associate the Van Der Woodsens and the Humphreys, blaming Lily and Rufus for his father’s death.
  • Chuck’s admonishment of his family makes Eric Van Der Woodsen really sad.
  • The untimely demise of Bart Bass makes Cyrus Rose not want to spend another day not married to Eleanor Waldorf.

So the whole of the Upper East Side heads to Bart’s funeral, where a doting Blair and Nate escort drunken Chuck, while Dan and Aaron Rose accompany grieving Serena. Chuck throws Dan out of the funeral, accusing Rufus of indirectly killing Bart. Not wanting to cause further embarrassment to Chuck, Dan agrees to leave.

“Chuck is Bart’s son. He doesn’t have to make sense today.” – CeCe Van Der Woodsen

At the Humphrey loft, Rufus tells his freshly-kicked-out-of-the-funeral son that he thought Dan and Serena might have been rekindling their relationship since Bart’s demise, but Dan insists he’s just being a good friend. Rufus continues to sit around in a cozy sweater, playing “Everytime,” which he obviously wrote for Lily, and pining away for her. At Bart’s wake, Cyrus proposes to Eleanor that they get married the following day, and opportunistic Jenny Humphrey offers to make Eleanor’s wedding jacket overnight in order to make amends for being such a snotty little bitch to her former mentor. Aaron Rose proposes to Serena that they head off to Argentina for the holidays so that she can take a break from grief. When Serena insists that she has to stay with her family, Aaron, ever the tactless douchebag, accuses Serena of wanting to stay in town because of Dan. Meanwhile, an enraged Chuck storms out of the wake to go meet with PI Andrew Taylor, who has contacted both him and Lily trying to sell the final bit of information he told Bart before he died, which Bart intimated on his final voicemail to Lily: he knows why she spent some time in a sanatorium in France when she was 19. CeCe offers to negotiate with Andrew Taylor about Lily’s secret in her stead.

Ill get you, Rufus Humphrey, and your little Dan, too!

I'll get you, Rufus Humphrey, and your little Dan, too!

Blair tries to talk some sense into Chuck and let him know that he doesn’t have to mourn alone, finally saying the three words that she said she’d never say to him. As she professes her love and tells him that she’ll always be by his side, he gets into his limo and tells her, “Well, that’s too bad,” speeding off to bid for the secret of the woman he blames for his father’s death. As Cyrus Rose sets up for his wedding to Eleanor the next day, he tells Blair how happy he is to have her in his family, an admission so genuine that it causes Blair to break down in tears, telling her new father that she finally told Chuck she loved him and that he rejected her. Cyrus takes her in his arms and assures her that Chuck would be a fool not to love her back and that he’ll come around, once he’s no longer blinded by grief and rage. I actually loved seeing our fierce Blair break down and show her vulnerable side. It’s a nice reminder that our favorite queen bee is human on the inside, despite the frosty exterior she may present.

“Only a masochist could ever love such a narcissist.” – Blair

Serena and Dan discuss their relationship in light of her possibly going on a sexcation with Aaron Rose. Again, I don’t know why this conversation happened, but I guess Dan and Serena didn’t get to sleep with Lexi and Aaron, respectively, after the Snowflake Ball because of Bart’s accident. So now Dan will never sleep with Lexi and it still doesn’t matter if Serena sleeps with Aaron or not. Serena returns home after this conversation to walk in on her mother admitting to CeCe that she still loves Rufus Humphrey. Hearing this, Serena tells Lily that she’s going to Argentina with Aaron because she’s not with Dan anymore. Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, Little J somehow convinces Dan to get Serena back and keep her from going to Argentina with Aaron. She facilitates this Aaron-tervention by asking Dan to carry the garment bag to the wedding at Chez Waldorf.

I absolutely have nothing to wear to my own wedding. I sure hope on opportunistic street urchin shows up to save the day!

I absolutely have nothing to wear to my own wedding. I sure hope on opportunistic street urchin shows up to save the day!

Believing that CeCe has handsomely paid to keep her secret at bay, Lily calls Rufus and begs him to run away with her. Ah, but CeCe has betrayed her daughter and not bid on the information at all, giving it freely to Chuck Bass. At the Waldorf estate, Serena and Dan continue to discuss their relationship, but Serena insists on going to Argentina with Aaron, spilling the beans about Lily and Rufus and insisting that she doesn’t want to take a third chance with Dan because it would be weird to date the son of the person her mom is dating. (With which I kind of agree, actually.)

“You’re going to give all this up because of your mom?” – Dan

Cyrus and Eleanor marry in a lovely, small ceremony in the Waldorf foyer and everyone wears beautiful dresses – especially Dorota, who must have been so happy to get out of her maid’s outfit for a day and wear something lovely. (I think she borrowed Rose from Privileged‘s swarovski crystal headband, actually.) After vows are exchanged, Dorota tells Blair to go upstairs where she finds a contrite Chuck Bass who has come to cry on her shoulder after burning Lily’s secret that he paid so dearly for. Sad Chuck snuggles up tight to Blair’s gorgeous white fan-adorned dress and they fall asleep together. Meanwhile, CeCe heads over to Brooklyn to tell Rufus what her daughter should have all those years ago, under the guise of “giving them a chance for their relationship to actually succeed.” Dan returns home to find that his father’s mood has suddenly changed for happy packing-for-a-trip Rufus to sullen and stern Rufus, who announces that he can never be with Lily Van Der Woodsen.

In their limo to the airport, Aaron Rose delivers some creepy double entendres to Serena about how sleeping on the plane will be the first time they’ve actually slept together. I don’t know why she’s with this guy. I don’t know why he wants to go to Argentina. And I don’t know why he’s so fucking creepy. How could someone as awesome as Cyrus spawn someone so unawesome as Aaron? It’s inconceivable, I tell you. Inconceivable.

Please, dear lord, will someone poison this man with iocane powder? Im certain he hasnt built up an immunity.

Please, dear lord, will someone poison this man with iocane powder? I'm certain he hasn't built up an immunity.

Blair wakes up to find that Chuck has left, leaving in his place a note that tells her that she deserves better than him. And finally, Rufus Humphrey confronts Lily in Grand Central Station, hitting her with the loaded question:

“Just tell me one thing: is it a boy or a girl?”

So Lily’s big secret is that she had a bastard love child with someone far below her station. Which is pretty much what I thought was going to go down. However, I had a dream about this episode last night in which Rufus and Lily continued this conversation, wherein Rufus discussed how weird it is for this to be Lily’s big secret. (Don’t ask me why. I can’t explain why I dream about pop culture. But I have had Lincoln Hawk’s “Everytime” stuck in my head all day, thanks to this episode.) I understand that Lily loves Rufus very much, but at 19, pregnant with a child she knew she couldn’t keep because of the scandal it would cause in polite society – why would she have kept that child at all? Just because it’s Rufus’ child? That she wouldn’t be able to raise it, with or without him? That makes no sense. As a very wealthy person, wouldn’t an abortion have been the better way to go? There would be no risk to her reputation for having an illegitimate child with a man far below her station. No risk of that child ever finding his biological parents and causing a scandal. No need to go to a sanatorium in France to have the baby. No need to be whisked away to do so and leave the love of her life in the process. Lily actually having that child just doesn’t make sense to me. At all. The only reason I can see for her decision to keep that child and give it up for adoption would be that she wanted something of Rufus’ for the rest of her life, and somehow knowing that she’d had his child would be enough. That or CeCe made her keep the baby because CeCe is weird like that and makes strange decisions on other people’s behalf.

Rufus had a right to know about the child either way, abortion or adoption. And I hope that this storyline, this strange decision to keep that bastard love child, takes us to a place where Rufus actively seeks out the son or daughter he never knew he had, because otherwise, I’m just going to find it a confusing choice for the remainder of the season. Although, it does imbue the lyrics of “Everytime” with an entirely new meaning now, doesn’t it?

“Everytime you walk away or run away you take a piece of me with you.”

The Husband:

Big drama. Big emotions. Big plot points. Nary a sliver of the snark and pomp that usually defines this show.

Yep, Gossip Girl just threw a great hour of television right up there on the boob tube, and I hope you were paying attention. It’s too bad that Dirty Sexy Money has already filmed their final episode and will not be getting a third season, because this episode is a great lesson in how to deal with the histrionics of the rich New York elite, even when confronted with such big scenarios as funerals and weddings (things that have also recently happened on DSM.) Aside from the Aaron story, everything worked beautifully for this episode, slingshotting us from emotion to emotion and revealing some big information to tide us over the show’s hiatus.

  • You want some major pathos? Behold Chuck’s complete collapse, a rare instance from such a collected character, rendering him completely sympathetic despite his utter contempt for everyone around him.
  • You want some soapy secrets without dealing with ridiculous musical stings and an over-the-top shouting match? Behold the final moments when Rufus confront Lily at Grand Central.
  • You want some mind games? Behold CeCe’s brilliant handling of the PI situation.
  • You want some great joy? Behold the Cyrus/Eleanor wedding that brings everyone together.
  • Just to make things feel a bit more regular-size GG, you want some confusing, inexplicable romantic gobbledegook that really makes no sense when you think about it? Behold Dan’s entire story this week.

This is all just in one jam-packed episode.

So why aren’t you watching?