Previously on Gossip Girl
, Blair's (Leighton Meester
) father left her mother for another man, mom and dad Humphrey had marital problems complicated by Lily van der Woodsen (Kelly Rutherford
), Blair hooked up with Chuck (Ed Westwick
), who fled to the airport once he found out she wants to go back to Nate (Chace Crawford
It's Christmas Eve in New York on Gossip Girl
tonight. Serena (Blake Lively
) and Dan (Penn Badgley
) are at the Constance Billard-St. Jude's bazaar, where Jenny (Taylor Momsen) performs "Santa Baby" with her a cappella group. (By the way, this whole episode of Gossip Girl
has been brought to you by Victoria's Secret, even using the song from the Heidi Klum commercial.) Vanessa (Jessica Szohr) crashes to give him a present. She submitted one of his stories to The New Yorker
, which will be published in the summer fiction issue. The story is called "10/8/05." Serena asks what the significance of the date is, but Dan ignores her and tells Vanessa that this is the best present ever.
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Rufus (Matthew Settle
) and Alison run into Lily and Bart Bass, and it is awk! ward! Bart is pissy that Lily doesn't want to go public with their relationship yet. Blair finds out from Bart that Chuck is in Monaco, and spends the rest of the episode texting him to ask him not to tell anyone about their hookups.
Blair is excited because her father is coming back to New York for Christmas. She comes home to find him, and he gives his Blair Bear a hug. Is this a Clair Bear shoutout? Unfortunately, he's also brought Roman (pronounced ro-MAWN) to New York too, which doesn't please either Blair or Eleanor. The Waldorfs plus Roman take a stroll to go ice skating in Central Park, during which Eleanor gets hit on by a silver fox. Blair is disappointed to find out that her father and Roman have bought a chateau in France. The skating does not go well. Roman can't stay upright on his skates and as he's headed over to Blair, she sticks out her skate and trips him. Afterwards, Blair gets some inside scoop on Roman's past love life from Eleanor about a certain man name Freddy, who remains something of a sore spot between Roman and Harold, whom Blair will no doubt use to put Roman in a bad light.
The Humphreys are celebrating Dan's publication and opening Christmas cards when he accidentally opens a letter from Alex. Alex is Alison's lover, who asks to meet soon. Alison insists that her affair is over and she isn't going to meet him.
Rufus goes to meet Alex to tell him to leave Alison alone. But apparently, Alison has been talking to him lately. Rufus comes back to tell Alison about what he did. They realize that instead of Alex or Lily being the problem, the problem is between the two of them. No matter how hard they try, it's not working.
Serena finds Dan at the coffee shop where Vanessa works to give him his Christmas present early. It's an expensive watch, and he can't accept it because it's too extravant. Because he's poor, geddit? They set some rules on their gift exchange: they have until tomorrow morning to get each other a gift, spending no more than 50 bucks. Serena brushes off help from Vanessa.
Serena helps Blair log into a model agency's website to set her snare for Freddy. Meanwhile, Serena is stressing out that she doesn't have a gift for Dan yet and asks Blair what 50 dollars can buy these days. Blair says, "I don't know, three-quarters of a DVD box set?" I love Blair!
At the Waldorfs' Christmas party. Lily is in attendance, and gets a call from Rufus, who is hanging out on his fire escape. They dance around the question of why Rufus called. He ultimately chickens out, and in response, Lily lies that she's flying to Anguilla with Bart. Roman has invited the silver fox who was flirting with Eleanor at the skating rink to the party, but only after googling him and finding out that his name is Jack and he's a prominent owner of a hedge fund. Eleanor and Roman have a very interesting relationship. They were probably fag-hags back in the day before Harold got between them.
Serena finally asks Vanessa for help with Dan's present. Serena says that the only thing Dan wants for Christmas is snow, which gives Vanessa an idea. They get working on it in Blair's bedroom during the Waldorf party. Blair gets Vanessa alone and, while threateningly holding a pair of scissors, tells her to stay away from Dan. Vanessa hightails it out of there. Then Lily comes in and tells Serena and Eric (Connor Paolo) to inform the kids that she's seeing Bart Bass. This news is most certainly not well-received.
Jack flirts with Eleanor something fierce, but is interrupted by Freddy's arrival. Freddy thinks that Roman invited him. Things are about to come to blows when Eleanor realizes that Blair orchestrated the whole thing and kicks Freddy out. Eleanor tells Harold that Blair did all of this because she was hurt that she didn't get her daddy all to herself. She actually knows her daughter pretty well after all. Eventually, Harold asks Blair to forgive him and asks her to spend the summer with them at the chateau, and things are patched up between father and daughter.
Dan has decided to get a Christmas tree for Serena, to make her hotel room more homey. Jenny helps him haul the tree down the street, and has a mini-breakdown about her parents' deteriorating marriage. The two siblings finally make it to the Palace, but they don't know how to get the tree past Dexter the concierge and into the elevator. Lily walks by and decides to help them, suggesting that they use the service elevator.
Vanessa has helps Serena set up her present at the Humphrey art gallery. Serena is very gracious and wants to give Vanessa credit, but V books it out of there before Dan gets there, heeding Blair's threat. When Dan arrives, he finds Serena sitting on a pile of blankets in the middle of the gallery. Images of a snowstorm in a forest are projected onto the walls, while pieces of white confetti fall from the ceiling. He has a gift for her too. He hands her a wad of papers, the story he wrote, which is about the first time he met Serena. Serena is so touched that she just has to give him another gift so she shows him her bra. They fall on the pillows, kissing, while through the skylight in the ceiling, we see that it's really starting to snow outside. Sex is magical like that.
The next morning, Dan and Serena wake up, covered in confetti. Eleanor had a fun night too. You go, girl! As she and Jack walk downstairs, Harold and Roman walk in from the elevator. All the flights back to Paris have been canceled so they have come back. Eleanor, clearly in a good mood after finally gettin' some, invites them to stay. Blair scampers downstairs and is happy to see that her father is back and will spend Christmas with them. She warms up to Roman and invites him to join in the Waldorf family festivities.
The Humphreys try to eke out a pleasant Christmas morning, but it's hard to do that when Rufus decides to leave to go call his long-lost lady love, Lily, having found out from Dan that she's not actually in Anguilla. The kids realize that their parents are splitting up again.
The van der Woodsens plus Bart open presents under the tree. Just as Lily's cell phone starts to ring, Bart gets down on one knee and proposes to Lily. She's definitely caught off-guard, and also doesn't know that it's Rufus calling to tell her that he wants her back. No! She can't say yes to Bart! I cannot believe we have to wait until 2008 to find out what she says!
The episode ends with Blair getting a text message from Chuck, implying that he might have already told Nate about their secret hookups.
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of The CW)