Gossip Girl Thanksgiving
Written by Duana
I actually had to check myself in my excitement over this episode. More than once while making dinner I found myself checking the clock to see if it was on yet. I am that excited about what happens to Serena this week.
Also, and this should speak to those who think I’m a curmudgeon who finds no joy in anything – I found myself defending this show today while in a really rather vulnerable position in the spa. I feel as though that’s not the first time I’ve disclosed something like that on this blog, which leads me to concede NOT that I overshare, but that Lainey’s talking about her poop has rubbed off on me.
(Lainey: it’s POO Duana. You can’t even say it right!)
Thank you, thank you to all of you who contribute to the ongoing enigma wrapped in a riddle that is Blake Lively’s mammaries, and thank you for your emails and I’m so, so excited!
Previously on Gossip Girl, Blair was all ‘I Choose Me’, and Chuck looked sad. Nate’s Dad got shanked in prison, Juliette hated Sabrina, pulled Jenny into her web of creepily chloroforming Serena, and all Lily was mad about was that Serena finally withdrew from college. S is passed out in a cab.
Macy’s day parade! Doesn’t mean much to a Canadian but man, doesn’t New York look pretty in late November? It’s like they preserve the leaves on purpose.
Blair totally ignores Dorota’s adorable baby, whom she has slung in a Bjorn in order to work, and swans in in adorable plaid dress. Also, she mouths off to Blair! Who knew?
Blair is going to Paris for Thanksgiving. Seems counterintuitive. Dorota made a pie for the Van der Woodsens. Blair pretends like she’s still mad at Serena, and half-heartedly lists the bad things Serena ‘did’ last week.
Van Der Woodsen’s. Rufus, beleaguered, sets table. He and Eric remark on how sad their lives now are. Lily swans in all “I don’t have a daughter.” She is kind of hilariously manic and it makes me think of how close she is, at these homey times, to Kitty Foreman. Better hair, same panic.
Dan and Vanessa are platonically (?) shopping for Thanksgiving food at a fancy store. Vanessa’s Navajo jacket – do I even need to tell you that it’s eye-searing or do you have your own frame of reference to go back to where Vanessa is concerned?
Dan says Vanessa is the reason his friendship with Nate is saved. Or something? She talks about tofu. To quote Sasha in a completely different context this weekend: “Well, I mean, if you want to completely chop off the guy’s boner, then yeah, go ahead.” I’d like it if Sasha and Vanessa met.
Nate is going to go visit jail. Anyone think that’s going to go smoothly? Dad wants Mom to come. He intercepts some papers and you can TELL that even the lawyer delivering them knows he doesn’t know what to do after that. You already know they’re divorce papers, because you’ve watched TV before.
Van der Woodsen’s. Blair shows up in an uncharacteristic Louis Vuitton embossed patent bag which drags me out of the scene. Blair makes awkward with Chuck, makes incidental with Lily, and we find out that Serena is in fact missing. Lily: Mothering by 8 minutes in!
Serena is in a wobbly-motel room, on purple, cheap-looking sheets. I’m sorry if these are your sheets. She seems to have gone on a pill and vodka binge and you guys, she has to use a CORDED PHONE to call 911! Vintage!
Nate and Dan do that thing where they hug each other with their eyes while petting each other on the arm about how divorce hurts. I am a child of divorce so don’t take this the wrong way, but it’s so funny when grown people on TV get pouty about this as though it just occurred to him. They laugh ruefully at one another and ruffle each other’s hair.
Rufus calls Dan. Serena’s in the hospital. Holiday festivity!
Blair is angstily snapping at the nurse, which gives me warm holiday feelings. She heads off with Eric, so she’s not too emotional to snub Chuck.
Not warm? Lily, in a sleeveless shift. She’s taking a break from mothering so Rufus can say that Serena was found in a motel in Queens. Lily looks disgusted, but that’s because Rufus looks like Hermione cuts his hair.
Rufus phones Jenny, who didn’t bother to arrive for Thanksgiving, ‘cause that’s not suspicious. She is apparently surprised that this happened? The black-rose lipstick doesn’t do a lot for her emoting.
If you’re Vanessa and insecure, you know what’s worse? When everyone runs off to the hospital without you and doesn’t bother to tell you about it. Dorota’s there, and Vanessa finds out that, according to Jenny “We screwed up”. Unlike Jenny or anyone else in the world, she doesn’t know enough to check her own gaping fish jaw.
Dan storms into the hospital and Blair shares her true emotions with him, giving rise to my theory that these two are united through their love for Serena. Do you know those people like that, who you don’t like so much as you, together, love someone else?
Dan says Serena wouldn’t do this; Blair tells Dan he’s a newb and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Dr. Keller says Serena overdosed on painkillers, sleeping pills, and some antidepressants that could make the cocktail fatal. Dr. pushes for rehab, Lily’s in denial. Heavily so.
Nate is still the only oblivious one, yelling at his mom like a tween about her divorce. She is so bland that I think they recast this actress somewhere along the way and I’m not sure we noticed. Nate swears that his father is a changed man, and his mother doesn’t care. She says he can’t go to prison to see his Daddy.
Lily and Rufus fudge that Serena needs to get some help to the rest of the assembled group of pretend-and-real stepbrothers - and then the doctor NOSILY bustles up and is all “Time’s a ticking, y’all”, as though they don’t have enough money to keep her in the hospital for AGES.
Lainey and I joked about this being a Lohan-type scenario, but as they stand in a circle, debating admitting Serena to a facility against her will, it becomes much more of a Lovato scenario to me.
Okay, digression ahead, skip over if you don’t need a rant in your life - but what IS this? I have only recently become aware of my newest TV addiction, Intervention, and so I know that residential-treatment language has become much more par for the course. But, though I don’t often think that Gossip Girl is astute enough to remark on society in general, there’s something in this. A young woman does something bad, possibly dangerous to herself or others, and maybe it’s the first time it’s seemed “serious” but she’s probably been doing such things as part of her personality for years, and so the very first time it’s public enough to be embarrassing, she gets packed off to the facility? What happened to a good old parental strip-ripping? The fact that New York has tons of residential treatments aside, the trip to the airport to be sent to rehab is nowhere near long enough for that lecture. I can’t remember who it was who said that not only did her parents’ lectures go on for weeks, they were everywhere – leaking from the toothpaste tube, floating up from the piano…(if you remember this, email me). But this just seems so reactionary and ridiculous, to think rehab at the first sign of something amiss is better than making your (arguably adult) child accountable for the crap they’ve just pulled, and I worry about what it is a harbinger of.
Because when Dan Humphrey is the voice of reason, there’s a problem.
Okay, back to our show! Serena’s story is on the news, complete with 911 call. So I guess that answers whether or not they can safely bring her home. Lily, with the ice face of an angel, commits Serena involuntarily to rehab. Dina would NEVER have done that.
Ostroff Centre. Remember this establisher from Season 1? When Eric was blonde? Speaking of whom, he and Mommy dearest show up. Serena is mad, but is cute in new jodphurs.
Serena accurately points out that Lily could have oh, called the police, or asked if Serena was OK. She did make sure S had a new comfy ‘rehab’ sweater though, apparently.
Lily actually points out that having Serena in rehab is not ‘convenient’ for her and then pretends that it’s for S’s own good. Eric and Serena talk as though Lily can’t hear them. Eric basically tells S she has a drug problem.
Dan and Nate! These two bro-ing down like Jerry and George all the time is fast becoming my favourite part of the show. They basically ‘aw shucks’ each other. Dan remains the only person who doesn’t think Serena is lying, creepy, and crazy. Nate says he cares a lot about Serena, but what he means is “I care about you, Dan, don’t get hurt by this crazy b*tch.” I’m telling you, it’s not even subtext.
Juliet’s dirty apartment. Jenny and her bloaty face show up and want Juliet to confess. Juliet is still trying to play it like the overdose was Serena’s alone. Jenny is too tired to think about whether her stepsister would do something like this. Juliet sends a pic of Serena barfing/snorting? in her mask, that could be anyone at anytime, so I’m not going to bother you with it.
Serena in a sweater is so compelling! I want her to stay in rehab so she can wear more slouchies. Dan comes in, S promises she came to the party to kiss him. In fact, that’s all she remembers. He responds with ‘get your stuff’. FINALLY.
Vanessa. *$. (? That’s my new macro for “Vanessa, whose outfit is f*cking insane.”) Juliet calls and tells *$ to keep her damn mouth shut about what happened that night. *$ looks worried. J tells her to let Jenny go down alone if at all, and packs.
Blair and Chuck look so sweetly at one another when they’re worrying about crazy the Blonde. But just then Jenny totters into the treatment centre and I SWEAR to you that actual horror music plays. It’s delicious. I have goosebumps.
*$ had the sense to tell Rufus what Jenny did, Blair looks mildly interested, but Serena is gone!
Penitentiary. Nate’s there. Mom too. She even says the cliché line ‘you weren’t one of our marriage’s mistakes’. I mean, given that Nate has the mental capacity of an eight year old it’s acceptable, but really?
Serena and Dan are running away together from the loft. Which is fun until Serena doesn’t want to take an actual bus. I’m not going to lie, they look cute in their earthy colours. Remember these two at sixteen?
Caught by Blair and Lily! A bit awkward, really.
Rufus yells at Jenny out of doors. Jenny, keeping with tonight’s theme, acts like a six-year-old when she’s like “It’s not just me!” Rufus tells her she’s exiled, and with that, Taylor Momsen is pretty much on hiatus. You wanna book her for something?
Serena and Dan vs. Lily and Blair. Serena won’t go back unless it’s a straitjacket. Lily chooses to yell at Dan, who decides to call Lily a bad mother. She takes that hit, and tells him to help her. She neglects to tell him that he’s her stepbrother, so – that’s apparently a low-level problem right now.
Okay, this is SO LONG, but Dan is the voice of reason again when he accurately points out that Lily is sending Serena away (again ) so she doesn’t have to talk to her (again) and because this is TV, Lily volunteers that it’s because she’s afraid of what Serena might say. I know this is Thanksgiving conflict done the UES way, but let me assure any of you who are young and innocent that this is not actually, ever , the way family conflict goes down even in the most restrained of families. Then Lily utters the words “cry for help” and I’m rolling my eyes.
Hey, though, Blair’s talking to S and we get a reference to her old bulimia, and how supportive Serena was.
Blair calls S crazy, which is par for the course, the pics of Serena come out on Gossip Girl, this time with a new photoshopped bg on them, and apparently that’s enough for her to think she should go back to Rehab.
You should know that the international sign for “Serena is sad” is that her hair is relatively straight and unstyled. So now S thinks she does have a problem, Dan still loves her, but everyone just pretty much assumes she’s a basket case. They kiss.
Rufus watches them all file out. He and Dan hug, and you’d think they’d talk more about what a bad seed Jenny is. Dan says he needs to be alone and Rufus walks off.
Again, is American Thanksgiving less about being forced to be near the people with whom you share blood, or is this just a TV foible?
Juliet’s in jail, smarming at her brother about why they should be thankful. She tells Ben all about how many bad things she did, including drugging her. He seems vaguely worried and also a GIANT NERD. Juliet implies she has her own axe to grind about S. Like yeah, no kidding.
Blair motormouths in a limo with surly, mute Chuck. She uses Serena’s potential illness to get close to him again. Not to make it about Blair or anything. But Chuck shuts her down. He can’t be her friend. He is that incredible type of person who can wound you while actually swearing what a good friend he is. Inimitable.
Jail, and oh, a little Eminem for atmosphere. Juliet apologizes when she bumps into Nate’s Dad. They have doinky T’sgiving in his prison breeches. She throws away her visitor pass and says she’s going away for a bit.
Jenny is at Juliet’s but the cupboard is bare. Everything’s gone, except for the dirty mask that SingleWhiteFemaled Serena. Bonus points if you were thinking of when Elizabeth Wakefield got chloroformed too….
So much jail! Nate’s mom is like “I almost divorced your dad, but one crap meal at a picnic table taught me differently!”
Van der Woodsen palace – their bird looks really pink and undercooked. Rufus confesses Jenny basically set Serena up, and Lily BRUSHES IT OFF.
But she does take the responsibility for all the stuff she didn’t do when Serena was a teen, so this isn’t exactly a Lohan episode, it’s like an alternate-universe Lohan episode. Lily doesn’t, of course, say this in front of any actual children who could benefit from it.
Rufus meanwhile is all “parenting is overrated, my kid is a beast”. He wants to go take Thanksgiving to rehab. Lily begs off for a moment…
Jenny. Blair’s house. Blair makes a joke about Courtney Love. Jenny confesses to what happened at the party, in so many words. I could be imagining it, but I think being in a scene with Leighton makes Taylor Momsen pick up her socks that much more.
Blair offers her to be a ‘double agent’ and who doesn’t pick up on that offer? Jenny rolls her eyes, refuses, and this time I think she’s out for good.
Juliet and Lily meet at a bar. Lily pays her off. Juliet says she’ll expect the checks to keep coming each month. A quick freezeframe tells me it’s fifteen thou. A month? It might be OK since J’s not going to be paying Manhattan rent…
Gossip Girl says you can try to change but it’s basically futile. The only people of colour on this show ever tell Nate his dad’s getting parole.
Chuck gets a note from Blair. “Just because we can’t be friends, doesn’t mean we aren’t”. And a pie. Huh?
*$ gets a text saying Jenny effed her over. But she told the truth to Blair, not Rufus. *$ calls “Mom” and says she’s coming home after all. She’s getting on a train.
Rehab. Rufus, Lily, and her two children. NEITHER of his. Is there nothing wrong with this picture? Eating fries, however, is a very very right one.
Blair, in Brooklyn. With the purse again. Blair asks Dan to be her wingman in ‘extracting a confession’from Juliet. Blair puts my theory of people who are friends because of who they love into words, and the last line of the episode is ‘frontier justice’.
I think I would have loved this episode before Thanksgiving…but still. Delicious.
Attached – Leighton Meester in a cute suit at the Gotham Awards last night.
Photos from ST/Splashnewsonline.com