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Gossip Girl Season 3 Episode 12: The Debarted

GOSSIP GIRLThings start off several hours into the future as Serena and Tripp are both wearing gender-appropriate stupid hats in Tripp’s philanderer-mobile as he declares his love for her.  Things turn all sorts of Chappaquiddick-flavored as Tripp swerves to avoid hitting a family of wolves who have escaped from Twilight and hits a guardrail, compacting the front end of his car and knocking Serena unconscious with a head wound. From there, the episode shifts back several hours into the time-space continuum to tell the story of how things got that way. By the end of the episode, things become further complicated for all of the Upper East Side crew, only resolved for a select few before Gossip Girl goes on winter break. 

At Casa de Van der Humphrey, Lily is reorganizing her closet obsessive compulsively, as most of the females on this show do in times of crisis.  Since Serena hasn’t been returning her phone calls, Lily is all verklempt, to the point of missing a condo association meeting, sending Rufus as her stand-in for him. Rufus obliges like a good little hubby and meets with Holland Campbell, a condo board meeting head who makes with the insta-TMI, divulging that “We all sacrifice ourselves for love,” particularly when your husband was nailing  your yoga teacher. 

Speaking of banging, Serena is shacking up and playing house with Tripp, going all goo-goo eyed over Tripp and his crazed Medusa stare.  Tripp, meanwhile, ponders when the poop will hit the fan and his political career will be affected and secretly calls Maureen.  He lies to Serena and says he’s calling Grandpa Van der Bilt for advice – a fact that Nate later refutes when he tells Serena that Grandpa is in Bermuda.  Serena starts to realize something is up when she’s alone in Tripp’s other home and Maureen pays her a visit, clutching the letter from Papa Van der Woodsen as blackmail.  The kicker is, she has realized that it’s in her best interest to allow Tripp to cheat and make Serena the Marilyn and her the Jackie O.  Maureen has deemed it’s okay for Tripp to have his fling, keep his career, and their marriage because it helps to allow them both to have a dream that neither is willing to let go of.  It’ll only be a matter of time before Tripp comes back to her and Serena is just another hump n’ dump.

The real twist is that Maureen says unless Serena does as she says, or she spills the beans to Rufus that Lily may have extended her stay with CeCe to hit the skins with Papa Van der Woodsen for one last romp.  Rufus would not be pleased if he knows this.  Serena calls Van der Mommy to tell her how wrong she was about Tripp and to give her a heads up on Maureen’s blackmail plans.  Lily vows to tell Rufus what really happened, but never gets a chance thanks to Serena’s accident and drama with Chuck.  Regardless, Maureen delivers the letter to Rufus who ends up hanging out in a bar with condo association divorcee, Holland Campbell. Wow.  That was a quick rebound, Rufus! Way to actually talk to your wife and see what really happened, chief! Maybe Holland will appreciate your stupid Bolognese!

Meanwhile, Serena is furious that Tripp lied to her about the divorce and his status with Maureen.  She demands to go home and Tripp offers to drive her.  The scenario with the wolves, bad hats, and the car crash from the beginning of the episode ensues.  Serena hits her head on dashboard and Tripp takes advantage of the situation.  Nate, who has been in constant contact with Serena and reeks of eau du desperate, arrives on the scene as Serena is being loaded into the ambulance.  She asks how Tripp is and Nate tells her he’s not there. Which is funny, considering that Tripp moved Serena to the driver’s side and then left her inside the car.  At the hospital, Tripp is waiting outside and is all sorts of concerned to Nate. Maureen then says that Grandpa is on her side and will corroborate her story that Tripp was with her all night, discrediting Serena’s story.  Given her track record with booze, drugs, and guys, Serena will look like a fool if she tells the truth.  Nate then punches out Tripp in a satisfying moment. 

In other stories this episode, Queen Jenny and Eric end up calling a truce after Eric’s plan involving Ugly Duckling-turned-(semi)-Swan Kira and another of Queen J’s coordinating beret and leather jacketed minions trying to out-fashionista Jenny with a new YSL bag.  Jenny trumps them all by providing the exclusive YSL bags for everyone in her crew, all but declaring “Am I not merciful!?” while looking fabulous.  Eric’s attempt to make Queen J look like a tyrant backfires and he decides to call it a day and allow her to be queen.  Either way, Queen J may be up for a  fall since Hot Belgian Drug Dealer is back in the picture and Jenny is earning money for those bags by helping him unload his wares. 

Dan has a cheesy story this time around and ends up with yet another bland, not really attractive redhead that the Gossip Girl casting directors have a thing for this season.  Dan makes out with Willa the Drama Major and then tells Vanessa that he really, really cares about her.  Vanessa is totally nonplussed by this revelation.

And in the other big storyline of the ep, Chuck Bass finds himself on the one year anniversary of his father, Bart’s death.  Not just that, but in true Ebenezer Scrooge fashion, Chuck is haunted by Bart’s ghost who alternately insults him and urges him to “do the right thing” as Chuck contemplates buying a building and displacing its homeless denizens into the street for profit. 

Blair notices Chuck’s lack of emotion and calls him out on his deliberate lack of mourning.  At a loss, she goes to Lily for help, telling her Chuck won’t visit Bart’s grave and that Bart never told him where his own mother was buried, deeming it too morbid for a kid to know.  Although she’s concerned about her former step-son’s well being, Lily was completely oblivious that it was the first anniversary of Bart’s death. 

Lily eventually shows up to talk to Chuck, bearing a bunch of wild flowers.  He responds that the best way to honor Bart is to work. When she leaves, he Chuck chucks the flowers in the trash, noting that they should be yellow roses, his mother’s favorite.

Things come to a head with Serena’s accident when most of the main players find themselves in the hospital to visit her, check on her well-being, and say “I told you so” about getting involved with Tripp… Except Nate who ends up sleeping in the hospital room to show his love for Serena.  Awww….

While visiting Serena at the hospital, a rather shaken Chuck gives pause to think about his father’s death that day and possibly could of having lost a friend/former step-sister this year.  Blair shows support for Serena and Chuck, coming to the hospital in her very classy pajamas.  (Seriously, though… Her pajamas were probably classier than some stuff most people wear in public!)

The hospital brings back uncomfortable memories for Chuck.  He tells Blair that his father thought he was weak and he believes his father was right.  He couldn’t be there as Bart died and was taken off life support, as we see in a flashback. Blair tells Chuck that it wasn’t a weakness to not be able to handle death, but rather it was because he couldn’t handle feelings.  Since that day one year ago, he’s changed and has made Blair a better person and has grown as a man so much.  She brings him past the room where Bart died and allows him to say goodbye in his own way.

Chuck takes a more active action in mourning his father that night and arrives alone at the grave site for his mother and Bart, bearing yellow roses.  He sees a sobbing woman at the grave who runs off after calling Chuck by name.  She leaves behind a locket with Bart’s picture in it. 

Looks like we’ll be meeting the infamous Chuck Bass’s supposedly-dead mother in 2010 when Gossip Girl returns!

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