Gossip Girl: Daddy Issues

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Gossip Girl S05E21: "Despicable B"

Last night's episode of Gossip Girl was all about Daddy Issues: Daddy Doesn't Love Me, Daddy Is My Uncle, Daddy Is a Baldwin Who Is Also My Uncle...no wonder these kids are so screwed up.

But before we get to those, let’s talk about a mommy issue: Nate and Chuck’s quest to find out more about Diana Payne hit an early roadblock this week when they discovered they could find no trace of a person with that name existing before 2009. If only they had thought to bust out an old VHS copy of the 1999 film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me—in which it is revealed, within the first five minutes, that Elizabeth Hurley is, in fact, a fembot. They could have saved themselves a lot of time and private investigator’s fees.

Nate did manage to swipe Diana’s day planner from her skivvies drawer, and the book seemed to imply she was somehow in league with Chuck’s nefarious Uncle Jack, which was, of course, super suspicious. Apart from that revelation, he was just kind of spinning his wheels.

UNTIL, in a final Hail Mary, Nate decided to reach out to Elizabeth Fisher, the woman we thought was dead, then alive and Chuck’s mother, then alive and not Chuck’s mother, and now, still alive and maybe also Chuck’s mother. He wanted to determine, once and for all: Was she Chuck’s mother?

In response to his frantic voicemail, Elizabeth emailed Nate the most abominably Photoshopped picture ever of a pregnant woman who, I guess, was meant to represent her (how weird that production allocated so many Photoshop resources to the picture and didn’t bother to make the face look like a character we’d recognize). Also present in the image: a disembodied male arm prominently displaying an awful '90s tribal tattoo.

The accompanying message from Elizabeth read, “I’m tired of all the lies,” and, oh, that is rich. That’s something people on this show say constantly and never actually mean. “I’m invigorated by all the lies,” maybe.

Anyway. As clues piled on top of clues, it really did start to seem like, maybe, Diana wasn’t Chuck’s mother after all. But then why was she in the hospital on the night of his accident, when Elizabeth wasn’t?

Detective Nate was on the case.

Meanwhile, across town, Serena Veedeedubs, understanding full well that, when you play the game of thrones, you either win or you die, begrudgingly agreed to do her mother’s bidding and invite both her father and her newly estranged cousin Lola to a fake-happy family [and invited press]-only dinner, to celebrate the Rhodes gals’ triumph over Poison Ivy in The Battle for Cece’s Jewels.

Daddy van der Woodsen informed his greatest disappointment via telephone that he would be unable to attend the soirée as he was already out of town, which, hmm, too bad—nothing makes a party like a Baldwin. Even a lesser Baldwin.

But then! Serena happened to catch sight of her father through a restaurant window, not only very much in town, but, in fact, treating her cousinemesis Lola to brunch!

Something primal in Serena snapped, in that moment, and it was all she could do not to rip off her top for the Girls Gone Wild cameras then and there, screaming “PAY ATTENTION TO ME, DADDYYYYY!”

In the end, she just huffed away, very poutily.

And why, exactly, was Mr. van der Baldwin entertaining his young guest with all manner of lunch/breakfast hybrids? He was doling out paternity secrets, of course. Lola was surprisingly (confusingly—almost lobotomizably) chill when she learned the truth about her mom and her uncle-father. Then, immediately afterward, she did what any of us would have done: went to hang out at the office where her ex-boyfriend worked.

Nate, gossip lover that he is (is Nate Gossip Girl?), listened patiently to Lola’s story of a father found, then turned around and blabbed it to Serena the first chance he got (incidentally, about a minute after Lola had left the building). Nate didn’t know the detail about Lola’s dad being Serena’s Baldwin, but S was able to put that together on her own. Serena, in turn, told Lily—who, in a chilling Harold Zidler moment, intoned deeply that The Show Must Go On. In other words: They would continue with their family dinner as though they were unaware of this development, then talk things over for realsies once the press had cleared out of their dining room.

That turned out later to have been a great big van der Trick. In the end, Lily not only confronted her sister and ex-husband at the family (and press!) dinner; she also had her sister arrested AT THE TABLE before the first course had been served.

Lily’s cray.

Ain’t she, Jay?

Rufusuicide Watch: Lily lied to Rufus about the family dinner, telling him it had been canceled when what she really meant was, “Your invitation to it has been canceled.” Later, after Rufus confronted her about this and hinted he’d like a divorce, she cruelly and accurately pointed out that he wouldn’t be able to find another Upper East Side lady willing to take care of him to the extent that she had, sugarlips. Where you gonna run, Rufus? Who’s gonna help a broke, washed-up, kept boy like you? Could the warm embrace of sweet, sweet death be the answer?

The Dan and Blair plotline also plodded boringly along this week. Everyone was in a tizzy over New York Magazine’s Approval Matrix. Blair lost sight of herself. Dan helped open her eyes. Blah, whatever, we get it, we’re done.

In classic Gossip Girl style, the biggest moments were packed into the final 20 seconds of show time:

– Lily gave Poison Ivy a check for one million dollars in exchange for ratting out Carol Rhodes’ fraud. Poison Ivy tore up the check in an elevator.

– Lola stole a note card bearing the Gossip Girl username and password from Serena’s room.

– William van der Woodsen convinced Carol to sign over her half of the inheritance to him, on the condition he use it to take care of Lola, then jetted off with the money to destinations unknown instead.

– Chuck revealed that the horrible tribal tattoo in the Photoshopped pregnancy picture was the very one permanently marring the flesh of his Uncle Jack, raising the possibility that Jack is, in fact, Chuck’s father. (Meanwhile, I continue to hold out hope that Bart Bass faked his car-accident death those many seasons ago.)


QUESTIONS

1. Now that Lola has the GG password, is a Gossip Girl/van der Rhodes alliance in the cards at last? Or will she continue to operate the site rogue, as Serena has?

2. Has William van der Woodsen changed his mind about taking care of Lola already? Or is he just confident Lily won’t turn her out on the street, even without the other half of the inheritance?

3. What was up with Poison Ivy tearing up that check? Is she gone for good or coming back for blood?

4. If Jack is Chuck’s father and Elizabeth is Chuck’s mother, how did Bart Bass get involved?

5. WHO THE HELL IS DIANA PAYNE?


And, finally, in the background of our scenes, at the forefront of our thoughts, here are the three best extras from this week’s Gossip Girl:


1. The failed prima ballerina who was committed to maintaining third position with her feet throughout an animated conversation.


2. The party guest who slid into frame via the most obvious sideways slink I have ever seen in the history of Gossip Girl.


3. Victor the Corrupt Doorman, who let Nate into Diana Payne’s room illegally. What secrets does his shady past contain?


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