The Wife:

Gossip Girl wasted no time in paying off the tease they gave us last week about some unscrupulous activities that Blair was involved in on New Year’s – that unscrupulous activity was hooking up in some capacity with apple-cheeked Uncle Jack. (I am not the only one who wishes to bite the cheeks right off his face.) After successfully turning Opium Zombie Chuck Bass/Drunken Suicidal Robert Pattinson Hair Chuck Bass back into Sneering Everyday Chuck Bass, Blair takes extra precautions not to let Chuck find out what went down between herself and his uncle, inserting herself into every facet of Chuck’s life. She attends the reading of Bart Bass’ will, along with Nate Archibald, who basically had two scenes in this episode and contributed nothing. (Why couldn’t he have died in a freak gasoline fight accident or something? Why?) The only person who cannot attend said reading is Lily Bass Der Woodsen, who is still off in Boston with Rufus Humphrey, looking for the child she gave up.

At the will reading, Chuck is told that he will receive his full inheritance, to be put into a trust until he turns 18, at which time the money is entirely his to do as he pleases. He is also handed a letter, written by Bart Bass before his death. Chuck, satisfied with the influx of cash, doesn’t give a damn about the letter and doesn’t want to read it, fearing it will only recapitulate the string of terrible disappointments he has been to his father, including wearing “so much purple.” Blair, however, encourages Chuck to read the letter, which goes on to glow about Chuck’s potential as a businessman, further explaining that, upon Bart’s death, Chuck Bass should receive the controlling 51% share in Bass Industries – the only thing apple-cheeked Uncle Jack wanted from his brother at all. Chuck proclaims that he doesn’t want any stake in Bass Industries whatsoever and willingly gives up his share to Jack. (For those who give a shit about the business world of GG, Lily received a 20% share in the company, with the remaining 29% being divvied up amongst members of the board.)

Running a company isnt all free booze and hookers, nephew mine.

Running a company isn't all free booze and hookers, nephew mine.

Feeling that Chuck deserves to become the kind of man she knows he can be, Blair encourages Chuck to accept the majority share in Bass Industries. For all his harsh words to his son prior to his death, that cold dead bastard Bart Bass seemed to really believe in Chuck’s business acumen, and Blair believes in it, too. Newly confident, Chuck returns to Uncle Jack and tells him that he wants to take over Bass Industries, fully accepting the responsibilities of his inheritance. I love Uncle Jack, so much, because the exchange between the two younger Bass men in this scene opened with Jack cracking a joke about his relationship with his nephew:

“Well, you noticed that the Thai waitress I was gonna take home the other night had a penis, so . . .”

But all joking aside, Jack is none-too-pleased when Chuck Bass demands that he take over Bass Industries, fulfilling the role his father wanted for him. Immediately, Jack hatches an evil scheme to ruin his nephew. He calls Blair and tells her that he wants to throw a surprise party for Chuck, which Blair opts to help coordinate, even if Chuck’s new responsibilities as head of a company keep him from missing the romantic dinner in that she got all dressed up for in a really cute black and silver cocktail dress. Of course, those “new responsibilities” are actually Uncle Jack baiting Chuck to once again become Opium Zombie Chuck with the promise of good times, drugs and loose women.

Meanwhile, Dan is still avoiding Serena, while Jenny can’t keep the hell away from Eric. Jenny has been spending all of her free time becoming New York’s Most Annoying Fag Hag by constantly being the third wheel on Eric and Jonathan’s dates. This annoys Eric. It should, because it annoys me. Serena tries to assure Dan that their parents are not getting back together, which she assumes is the thing keeping him from being with her, spouting out something about a text message from her mom and a joke about French president Sarkozy not being a good kisser, which Dan remarks is one more thing to be disappointed with. What the fuck, Gossip Girl? That’s a really weird line. Why the fuck does Dan care about politics in France? Is this going to be a new interest of his? Like how being a writer suddenly became a character trait? The Gossip Girl universe has never been concerned with real people unless they are fashion designers or entertainers, so to go out of one’s way to write a line about a foreign politico is really odd.

Anyway, overhearing one of these conversations makes Penelope think that Dan may be cheating on Serena. She puts out a hit on Gossip Girl about him, asking people to dig up information. So far, the worst thing they find is that Dan brown bags his lunch and eats tuna salad sandwiches. (I’m sorry, does Daddy Rufus not have a panini press at home? Jesus, Brooklyn really is the fucking sticks.) That is, until Nelly Yuki spies on a very revealing conversation with Vanessa, during which she manages to steal Dan’s phone as Dan reveals to Vanessa (in a candy shop!) that his father and Lily had a child together. Relying only on information from the last Gossip Girl blast, the icky scary mini tween mean girls (who, despite their addictions to fashion and gossip, actually do, like children, hang out in a candy shop) show up to blast Dan for cheating on Serena and to remind Vanessa that she’s dating up by dating Nate Archibald. Thanks, characters that really frighten me. I think Vanessa already knew that. Later, Serena goes to visit Vanessa, hoping to find out the secret Dan has been keeping from her, but Vanessa will not betray Dan’s confidence.

The next day, at Chuck’s celebratory brunch, Penelope and the mean girls prepare to release the information bomb they found on Dan’s phone: Serena and Dan share a sibling. They ask Blair for her okay to release the information, but she is too distracted by Chuck’s absence to bother with trite high school crap, giving Penelope the okay regardless of the caliber of information. When Jack arrives without Chuck, Blair suspects that something might be wrong. Jack assures her that Chuck is hard at work in his office upstairs, and asks Blair to take a couple of the Bass Industries board members up to meet him. Like the dutiful wife Chuck scorns her for pretending to be, she leads them right into the horrific scene of Chuck cavorting with two scantily clad women and snorting lines off his father’s stately desk, making a truly bad impression on the members of the board, one so scandalous it would make any board demand the resignation of the affected party.

Jenny, stop trying to be part of my relationship. In no way do Jonathan and I want to have sex with you.

Jenny, stop trying to be part of my relationship. In no way do Jonathan and I want to have sex with you.

Downstairs, Jenny and Eric have it out over her fag haggy clinginess and he calls her irritating and conceited, both of which are, in fact, true statements. But then they and the entire party receive the text blast from Gossip Girl, dropping the bomb about the secret Hump Der Woodsen child on the unwitting Serena, Jenny and Eric. The Hump Der Woodsen children exit the party ASAP to cope with this new information. Jenny realizes that it only makes sense for them to share a sibling as all four of them fight like siblings (you know, with the ones that aren’t actually their siblings), but Serena can’t really deal with this information at all. When Dan confirms the truth of the situation, she gives her best (worst?) Garbo and goes off to be alone for a while.

After the party is over and the coke has worn off, Chuck goes to apple-cheeked Uncle Jack and demands to know why he wasn’t told he would be meeting board members. Jack admits to his evil plan to get Chuck so wasted and lie to him so that Jack, Chuck’s legal guardian, would gain the majority share in the company by pointing out the loophole: a morality clause that determined care of the company would go to Chuck’s legal guardian should he act, in any way, unbecoming of the chairman and CEO of a major real estate company. This was a pretty good evil plan, as far as evil plans that don’t involve death go. I thought the threat of nephew-cide was imminent, but apparently Uncle Jack is more of the type to keep his hands clean, yet filled with hookers. (Not that I’d want Chuck to die. I love Chuck and would never want any harm to come to him. I just thought they were going to go the really high drama route of foiled murder attempts.) Realizing the ass he’s been made of and how poorly he treated Blair when she had been nothing but kind and helpful to him, Chuck comes to Chez Waldorf to apologize, a bouquet of ranunculae in hand. But Blair refuses to accept his apology or his flowers, telling him that she can’t stand the emotional abuse anymore as tears well up in her giant brown eyes. To add insult to injury, she throws the flowers at his feet as the elevator doors close on him. I’m terribly sad that Blair and Chuck appear to be falling apart again, but that only sets us up for an arc where we’ll likely see suave Chuck try to win back the only girl who will ever actually love him.

As all of this drama goes down on the Upper East Side, Rufus and Lily wait around in a hotel in Boston for any word on their son. They were able to find the agency that placed him with adoptive parents, but as it was a closed adoption, there is no way for them to meet their son, unless, the adoption agent tells them – sympathizing, perhaps, for the fact that Rufus didn’t even know he had another child until recently – that they might have a chance at seeing their son if they get in touch with the adoptive parents directly. The adoptive parents call and demand that Rufus and Lily never contact them again, denying them a chance to see their son. Then Rufus and Lily reminisce and she admits that she wants to give up trying because every moment she spends in a hotel with Rufus is another moment that she cannot deny the fact that she’s in love with him. Naturally, Rufus takes this as a cue to have sex with her, and they reminisce some more about what I’m pretty sure is the time he impregnated her, after a concert Lincoln Hawk played in Paris.

They then receive a call from the adoptive father, who asks to meet with them privately, under his wife’s radar. When they meet the man, he tells them that he hadn’t wanted to meet with them because their son, Andrew, died last year in a freak sailing accident. All Lily wants to know is that the brief life her son had with his adoptive parents was a happy one, and the adoptive father assures her that it was. Satisfied with the knowledge that they will never meet their son (although, technically, Lily has met Andrew . . . you know . . . on his birthday . . .), Rufus and Lily return home to the Humphrey loft. Lily bemoans the fact that the dead Hump Der Woodsen son means that she and Rufus were, perhaps, never meant to be a family, only to walk in and find the other Hump Der Woodsen children, hanging out in the kitchen eating PB&J after having made up for all of their recent fights, Eric and Jenny mutually apologizing for being bitchy to one another and Dan and Serena deciding to stay together, citing various literary precedents as well as the movie Clueless, in which Cher hooks up with her ex-stepbrother Josh. Indeed, Clueless is, like, totally cultural capitol.

But not to be outdone by the oddly problematic romance of two people who share a sibling, back in Boston, the adoptive mother joins her husband at the table and asks if Lily and Rufus are gone for good. Her husband assures her that they will never call again, to which she states that she’s glad she doesn’t have to face the threat of losing another child. The missing Hump Der Woodsen is very much alive, it seems, and very likely not named Andrew. I hope that, if he should somehow get wind that his birth parents wanted to meet him and he takes a bus down to New York, The Missing Hump Der Woodsen turns out to be way cooler than 90210‘s Secret Brother Sean. That guy was a dick. And not an actual Secret Brother.

The Husband:

A very expository but not very emotionally involving episode, this week’s GG nonetheless hit hard with all of its dangling story threads, putting a remarkable amount of effort into making even the most ridiculous plot twist seem perfectly natural (i.e. the adoptive parents using a newspaper clipping about the drowning of their one son and making it seem as if it was actually about the missing Hump Der Woodsen). Even Uncle Jack’s story has already rocketed through what would take other shows as least six episodes to handle while at the same time making him a more interesting character in a mere two episodes than Nate Archibald has been in two seasons.

I loved the “hidden” morality clause, loved the hookers-and-opium set-up and was very happy that Rufus and Lily hooked up in a manner not so melodramatic but more in tune with their actual loving relationship. How refreshing.

But was I on bated breath about how any of the characters really felt? Not really, and that’s a weird feeling to have. Even when everyone seems to have given up on caring about Dan, I still really relate to him, but I will admit that he’s becoming less interesting this season in comparison to s1.

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