'Gossip Girl' Recap: Family Matters
'Gossip Girl' Recap: Family Matters
This week on Gossip Girl, everyone has overly complicated family drama that involves multiple fake parents, con artists, and jail. It's like every episode you've ever seen of the Maury Povich show only everyone is just yelling about money and betrayal instead of DNA tests and baby daddies. It's amazing.

It is, in my nonscientific estimation, the best episode of the entire season. Now, granted, the bar this season has been pretty low. But this week's outing is such an amazing kaleidoscope of crazy, evil, scheming ridiculousness that right now everything is just perfect.

Blair goes off the deep end when New York Magazine refers to her in the same breath as Kim Kardashian, which is a valid reaction. It's like what happens when you call Serena irrelevant, only it's much more of an insult. Rufus sits in his sadness corner in the loft and strums his guitar while Lily tells him he's useless. Serena finally figures out that her dad is a useless pile of Baldwin and inappropriate glances.

Lola extends the olive branch to get her mom out of the pokey but Serena isn't biting. Lily becomes both the greatest and the worst person to ever exist in the history of the world. And Nate whores himself out for justice to get to the bottom of Chuck's never-ending family mystery, only for it to get even more mysterious.

Dan, Imma Let You Finish

As per usual of late, Blair and Dan were off on their own show while the rest of the Upper East Side was exploding. It's like you tune into Gossip Girl and it's half a show about evilly lovable rich people and half a show about people who wear lots of skinny scarves and smoke clove cigarettes. At least this week the Blair and Dan of it all was crazy amusing, so I'll give it a pass. No one drank out of mason jars, as far as I could tell, so it was automatically better than last week's non-storyline already.

Dorota tries to hide New York Magazine from Blair because Blair has made their reality index--in the lowbrow despicable column. Dan, however, has made the column as well, in the highbrow brilliant column. There are so many things about this that are both delightful and absolutely false it's kind of incredible.

First off, I love Gossip Girl's continual love affair with New York Magazine, considering how obsessive their coverage still continues to be of the former 'Greatest Show of Our Time'.  Anytime Gossip Girl name-checks New York Magazine, it's probably going to be a good episode. Unfortunately, Dan would never make the highbrow brilliant section of the reality matrix. We've heard portions of his book. It is like what would happen if you mashed a high school diary together with A Thousand Shades of Gray. So I call malarkey on that.

Blair decides that all the best people are on the highbrow despicable section of the matrix anyway so she will just steal Dan's thunder for herself. It's ironic that Blair is going through a personality crisis in this episode, as this is the closest we've seen to Blair's actual personality since last season. Man did I miss Blair scheming. Even when her schemes are as badly thought out as this one, it's just delightful to watch her screw someone over for her own benefit.

So Blair puts on her best formal evening attire and then totally Kanye West's Dan's admittedly already boring award acceptance speech. Dan gives Blair a whole speech about how they're supposed to be equals and partners unlike all her other relationships but I was on such a scheming high I just kept yelling "push him down the stairs! You'll definitely get on the matrix then!" so I might have missed something touching.

I did not miss, however, when Dan told Blair that he didn't even care about the award because I practically choked. The only person who cares more about what other people think than Blair (and Serena) is Daniel Humphrey. He went through a crisis when his not-even-meant-to-be-published novel fell off the bestseller list and started a twitter account to defend himself. These are not the actions of someone who does not crave outside validation.

Blair admits that she cares too much what other people think about her and that she hasn't had a decent personality for a while. She seems to trace it back to season three, but I've been watching the last few years pretty obsessively. It's only really this season that she's been the worst. Dan tells her a bunch of ways that she is awesome and they hug and it's very cute. Meanwhile atop his head, watching, waiting for its moment to strike, Dan's hair plots to destroy us all.

Hooking for a Cause

Nate, meanwhile, is on a very special mission of sex and subterfuge. Nate, by the way, is only good at one of those things. I'll let you guess which it is.

He makes it his mission to figure out the truth behind Diana's relationship to Chuck. Frankly, I think he just really wants to confirm whether or not he can still have sex with Diana while abiding by the bro code. He enlists the services of Andrew Tyler, worst private investigator in the entire world and ironically the only private investigator that exists in New York City. Since Andrew Tyler clearly isn't going to find anything out, Nate bribes his way into Diana's apartment to search for clues.

This is of course when Diana comes in. So Nate pops off his shirt and starts hooking like the pro he is. The way he takes his shirt off is so funny, he's just resigned like "well, I guess this is happening again. Hooker once more!" Nate being a prostitute at least once per season is the only thing consistent about this show. Thanks for never letting me down there Gossip Girl.
He manages to run out of Diana's apartment with some sort of portfolio of Diana's. Later he tells Chuck that he's uncovered a picture of Elizabeth pregnant around the time Chuck was born. So Elizabeth Fisher really is his mother again? How many mothers can one person actually have? Chuck notices the tattoo of the male arm in the picture belongs to a certain rapey uncle. So now it looks like Jack Bass might be Chuck's father. So that means that Nate maybe didn't sleep with Chuck's mother...but Blair slept with his father!

Money and Jail

Speaking of hillbilly-like family relationships, Serena and her new sister-cousin Lola are still on the outs. That's because Serena finally learns the truth about William being her father-uncle and doesn't take it super well. Poor Serena. This might be the worst year she's ever had and that's in completion with the year that she made a snuff film and the year that she was drugged and left in a hotel in Queens and then convinced she had a nonexistent drug problem. Yet this year is still probably the worst, because at least back then she still had friends.

Serena is upset, understandably, because after an entire lifetime she is beginning to slowly come to the conclusion that her father might not be so great. She finds out about Lola and William through Nate, the Upper East Side's resident secrets pinata. Serena doesn't even really need to poke him. She just walks up to him and he's like "Lola met her dad this morning at that brunch you saw so that means her dad is your dad! I've got some hooking to do and then later I'm going to tell Chuck some family secrets too! Bye!" When Serena figures out the truth she has the best look on her face I have maybe ever seen.

Meanwhile, Lily is trying desperately to come off in the press like she's not a money hungry person destroying her family, while being a money hungry badass destroying her family. I know Lily was terrible in this episode, but I was totally in love with her. Everything she did was just so evil, at some point I expected her to start petting a cat or tie Carol to the train tracks or something. In an attempt to garner some positive media attention, she decides to throw a party to celebrate taking Ivy down and getting the will overturned.

Except when Serena tells her about Lola being her sister-cousin, Lily goes nuts. It's like telling Serena she's irrelevant or calling Blair a Kardashian only a million times worse. So Lily spends the rest of the episode kicking people in the face and making a coat out of 101 Dalmatians. She's basically a Disney villainess only with a better wardrobe.

She invites Carol, Lola, William and Serena to a dinner, along with a reporter to take down all the gory details. Only first she tells Serena to play nice and not tell anyone the truth. Then she calls Ivy and they form a crazy lady league of evil. I would watch a spinoff that was just Lily and Ivy, counting giant stacks of money and then beating people with it.

You can tell dinner is going to be ridiculous, because Serena is wearing a dress with some kind of weird cleavage cut-out. Stuff always goes down when Serena sports a cleavage rhombus. Like Nate and hooking, this is just an immutable rule of the Gossip Girl universe.
So Lily outs the whole situation at dinner and then has Carol thrown into jail for fraud with the help of Ivy. Lola tries to get Serena onto her side with the weirdest "hey there sister-cousin!" banter but Serena wants none of it. On her way out the door, Lola notices the very obvious piece of paper with Serena's Gossip Girl login and steals it.

If everyone else wasn't so distracted being disgusting or solving stupid family mysteries right now, Serena would have gotten found out as Gossip Girl about five seconds into her tenure. She basically has business cards printed up that say: "Serena van der Woodsen. Good Hair, Many Jobs, Currently Gossip Girl. (That's a secret, please don't tell!)"

A Kept Man

Rufus is still in the midst of remembering when he used to have a purpose and be totally indignant about the world all the time. Man, those were the days! Now he just sits in his Brooklyn loft (that I believe Lily bought for him) and strums his guitar sadly in front of the giant wall of pictures of the children who don't want to ever talk to him. Even Dan is desperately trying to avoid spending any time with him. Most people would want their parents at an important award ceremony. Dan just wants him to go back to Manhattan and stop playing that same Lincoln Hawk song over and over.

Rufus finally confronts Lily about her money grubbing ways and how she's imprisoning her family members and Lily is amazing. She's the coldest we've ever seen her. She asks Rufus who he'll find to keep him in the style to which he is accustomed if he divorces her. Even then he's like "Well I guess we'll take that break then. Not a divorce, a break. Because I can't go back to using a normal waffle press after I got used to the best!" I don't know why he's so shocked she would put her sister in jail, just last year he found out she had an innocent man put in jail for like three years for no reason. How is this a shocking development at all?

But Lily's tour of evil and money grubbing is not even nearly over. She pays Ivy off with a million but Ivy just wants to be part of her world, like The Little Mermaid her hair is currently channeling. She's barking up the wrong tree though, because Lily's heart is just a lump of very well put together ice topped off with a statement necklace. Ivy tears up the check in the elevator, which means that she'll soon be doing something crazy. It's all in the eyes and Ivy's eyes have always been just chock full of insanity.

Lily also convinces William to get Carol to sign over her money to him. He is then going to sign over the money to Lily to make it right with her. I'm assuming that once Lily gets all the money, she's going to fill up a giant swimming pool and just dive into it like Scrooge McDuck. But William has a change of heart when he realizes that Lily will probably throw Lola in front of a train before giving her any money.

Next week, people who are supposed to be friends have actual scenes together when Nate and Chuck enlist the scheming master to get to the bottom of the Bass family mystery: one Blair Waldorf.

Best Quotes from the Episode

Morgan Glennon
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of The CW)