'Gossip Girl': Serena's affair ends in a car crash

blakelively_gossipgirl_290.jpgTonight on "Gossip Girl," Serena finally got a clue -- but not before she wound up in the hospital after a car crash with Trip.

The episode opened with a flash-forward of the accident, which seems unnecessary in retrospect. Serena -- wearing an excellent hat -- is fighting with Trip, who tells her he loves her. She does the first smart thing she's done in several episodes by telling him it's too late and that everything is already ruined. He looks back at the road just in time to see three coyotes (insert Taylor Lautner joke here) blocking the way, swerves to avoid them, and crashes into the guardrail.

Lily, whose hair is very attractively un-bunned, tears apart the coat closet, looking for the letter from Serena's father. She sends Rufus off to the co-op board meeting in her place, all the while fuming over Serena's behavior, "acting like some teenage Rielle Hunter."

So Serena and Trip go off to the Van Der Bilt country house, where Serena proceeds to lounge around in a negligee while Trip talks to Barney Frank about serving on the finance subcommittee. Understandably shaky about when the story blows up, he goes into town, telling Serena that he's meeting his grandfather, but in fact he's really meeting with Maureen. Let's stop and take stock for a minute: He's a freshman congressman with a 19-year-old mistress -- those facts are just way too creepy to contemplate and make me wonder if the writers have forgotten that all of these former Constance yahoos are still teenagers. Because the nonsense that Serena is spouting about "starting over" when things blow up is straight out of a romance novel -- no real-life mistress would be that naive.

While Serena whines to Trip on the phone about leaving her alone, Maureen tells him that she's going to make a personal appeal, woman to woman, to fix the situation. It's hard to believe that (a) Maureen isn't the one who ran for office, and (b) that she keeps fighting for this mope like he's some kind of catch aside from the ginormous family fortune.

Serena calls Nate to chat when the heat goes out, and when she stands up it suddenly becomes clear why she's cold: on the bottom, she's wearing normal jodhpurs, but on top she's wearing a sweater that literally plunges to her navel. Hello, Big Boobs McGee. She's wearing this charming ensemble when Maureen busts in, breaks the news that she and Trip aren't divorcing, and relegates Serena to mistress: "I'm Jackie and you're Marilyn." Maureen's evil and she plays the letter from Serena's father as her trump card to try to blackmail Serena, but her coat's a beautiful color and I'm loving her swirly hat.

chacecrawford2_gossipgirl_290.jpgOnce again Serena calls Nate, who tells her about Trip lying about their grandfather, and she finally snaps out of her adulterous haze and packs to leave, calling her mother on the way out the door. Trip finally comes home and insists that he just wants to be with Serena, and she reluctantly takes the ride home -- big mistake. Nate, on the way to the cottage, stops at the car wreck.  The paramedics take Serena, her head bleeding from hitting the windshield (does no one wear seat belts?), to the hospital, with Nate close behind. Trip, who called Maureen after the crash, has disappeared. At the hospital, Maureen tells Nate that she's Trip's alibi, Trip mealy-mouths something about wanting to see Serena, and Nate decks him. It's awesome to see Trip sprawled on the ground.

Everyone comes to the hospital, though poor Chuck struggles through flashbacks to a year ago when his father died, and Dan finally mans up and blurts to Vanessa that he loves her. Which she completely either doesn't get or blows off, telling him that people say things they don't really mean when they're under emotional stress.  Nate, meanwhile, keeps vigil at Serena's bedside. And before Rufus can get to the hospital, Maureen visits him at the loft and shows him the letter, which apparently only talks about Lily and Serena's father getting together -- at this point it doesn't necessarily seem that incriminating, unless Maureen's right that Lily cheated on Rufus.


Everything else, quickly:

Bart Bass has been dead a year, and Chuck is having a very hard time with it, even though he's drinking too much and swearing he's fine. He's buying the building where a homeless shelter is located to convert to loft apartments, and all the while Bart's ghost is haunting him, Hamlet-like, telling him what a loser he is. Blair shows such remarkable maturity by understanding what he's going through and being supportive. It's almost like watching an adult. She finally makes Chuck feel better about the person he's become -- i.e., one with emotions -- and he manages to shake the ghost a little bit and goes to visit his father's grave -- where he runs into someone who appears to be his late mother.

Dan talks himself out of going after Serena Vanessa because she likes this Paul guy, who Nate proclaims a douche. Fantastic. Vanessa and her friend Willow are going to Willow's country house, and Dan, goaded by Nate, decides to join. He ends up making out with Willow, then stopping both because he loves Vanessa and because he finds out about Serena's car accident.

Eric and Kira are trying to outmaneuver Jenny with her mean girls, whose attire makes them resemble nothing as much as a giant blueberry and a giant grape. There's some drama over some insanely expensive handbags, and she and Eric end up calling a truce at the hospital, which is clearly fake. Long story short: Jenny got the money to buy the bags because she's helping Diplomatic Damian deal drugs (say that three times fast). This won't end well.


Thoughts and quotes:
  • It's fantastic to see Nate getting to do something. More, please. Even though now I think he's way too good for Serena.
  • After the past couple of weeks, the sight of an SUV with a messed up front end is a little too familiar.
  • Nate, to Dan on hooking up with Willow: "She's really cute, and she's a drama major. Actresses are crazy!"
  • Co-op woman to Rufus, who's just explained that he's not a house husband: "It's OK. We all sacrifice our independence for love. At first it seems totally worth it. It's just later, after you've given everything up, that you realize you have nothing to offer. That's when your husband starts banging his yoga teacher."
  • Serena to Nate on Trip: "I risked everything to be with him. I have to have faith."  Oh brother.

What did you think? Will Serena manage to make a decent decision for once? Will Rufus be gone for good after Lily tells him about going to see Serena's father? Do you care about Jenny's reign as evil queen and her drug dealing on the side? Is the wait for new episodes just too long, or will you be glad for a Christmas break?


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Photo credit: The CW

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