'Gossip Girl' Recap: Sayonara Bart Bass
'Gossip Girl' Recap: Sayonara Bart Bass
Morgan Glennon
Morgan Glennon
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
In the penultimate episode of Gossip Girl, Chuck finally wins in his never-ending battle against Bart, but the consequences turn out to be deadly.

Meanwhile Serena decides it's about that time in her cycle of turning a new leaf when she runs away. As Dan wisely points out, it's not like she doesn't always end up back on the Upper East Side eventually. She'll just go to LA, kill a dude by accident, sleep with her professor or her boss or a married senator, get nearly killed by wolves, and then head back to the Palace. This is pretty much Serena's circle of life.

Dan keeps telling Serena that he humiliated her, played her, and satirized her for her own benefit. God Serena, stop being so selfish and just live up to my standards already!

Like Blair and Chuck before him, Dan has realized that being a jerk is pretty much the only way to become the power woman he needs to become to be with Serena as equals. It goes without saying, but why is everyone on this show obsessed with power in such an overt, unsubtle way? They are like the Donald Trump of powerful people.

Meanwhile Nate and the Captain bond over cooking books and how this is not a thing which you should deserve to go to jail for. Listen, I'm on your side Nate but you can't exactly look at Bart and say you don't deserve to be in jail when you actually, you know, committed the crime. I know that remembering the things you do between weed breaks and making out with inappropriately aged love interests is hard, but you actually did do the crime. Oh Nate, my most special little snowflake. 

It's the Circle of Life

If you like your episodes of Gossip Girl full of nuance and subtlety, perhaps the penultimate episode of the series wasn't quite for you. If, however, you like your episodes of Gossip Girl to have the drama of a Lifetime movie, the background music of a B-grade film noir, and the general plot of a much darker version of The Lion King, than this was certainly your episode.

What more fitting end to a Bass man than being Mufasa'd off his own building? We know Bass men love to take their drama up high, much like the Batman they pattern their vocal stylings after. This time, however, didn't end with some drunken name calling and a hand down. Chuck and Blair basically just watched as Bart fell to his death, begging for help the whole time.

Obviously, it's hard to feel any sympathy for a once-human character that has been turned over the years into a one-dimensional cartoon villain. Last week he basically told Chuck that he would get him and his little dog too. But it was still rough to see our protagonists watch a man fall to his death and do nothing, even belatedly, to help.

As the music went crazy and Bart fell, I kept waiting to hear "I'm Bart Bass!" fading into the distance. Even if it was ridiculously over-stylized and insanely soap operatic, this was a dark moment for Gossip Girl.

Serena says to Dan that she doesn't want to live in a world that could turn a generally good Lonely Boy into the hirsute jerk face he is today. Perhaps Serena is right, maybe there really is something in the Upper East Side water that makes it's residents into generally terrible people. But would we love them any other way? I know I certainly love Georgina more when she has super villain spikes erupting from her shoulder like she is Queen of the Damned.

And what repercussions will Bart's shocking demise have on our favorite Manhattan royalty? (Other than making Lily even richer than ever before. Get your guitar a-strumming Rufus, Lily now has the ability to keep you in an endless supply of leather chokers and waffle irons!)

Who is Gossip Girl?

We'll have to wait until the series finale next week to find out what happens to all our favorite characters and to find out the true identity of Gossip Girl herself. It's never mattered much to me who Gossip Girl actually is. Gossip Girl was more about the surveillance culture we all take part in, the glossy magazines we buy to watch stars take out their trash, and the instant gratification of knowing the latest dirt, than it was about an individual blogger.

Nate, with some prompting from Sage and nothing left to lose, is back on the trail of Gossip Girl in order to save the Spectator. Because there's nothing all of New York cares about more than uncovering a gossip blogger who only really harasses like four people, none of them all that famous.

Since the show has decided to uncover our favorite gossip monger I only hope they had the good sense to chose a character that will actually make sense in hindsight.

Anyone want to place bets now? Like, what if it was Scott? Remember Scott? No? Neither do Lily or Rufus, so you're in good company.

A Pain in the Bass

It's these kind of Bass puns we'll all be missing most of all after next Monday.

This episode saw the culmination of the 'Bart Bass is the most evil person in all of recorded history' storyline that has run through the whole season. You like horses? Bart likes to turn them into glue. You like microfilm? So does Bart Bass, because he is three hundred years old. You like killing dudes on yatchets? Man, does Bart have a funny story to tell you about Bruce Caplan.

Once upon a time in season one, Bart Bass used to be a fairly human character. He was still scary and he still had only one facial expression, but he mostly just wanted Chuck to stop trying to grill cheese roofie people and not open strip clubs and maybe just do his homework occasionally.

Six seasons later, Bart Bass is imprisoning Nate, doing Batman gravel voice-offs with Ivy and Chuck, and trying to kill his own son in airplane accidents. But do not fret, for Chuck can not be La Bamba'd that easily. As a person who dies at least once or twice a year, Chuck can read the writing on the wall and knew enough not to take that one-way ticket to Moscow.

At first, however, the Non-Judging Breakfast Club gathers together to form a take down plan for Bart. Unfortunately, and this was a real rookie move, they hinged part of their plan on Nate outsmarting Bart. As I'm fairly sure Monkey the dog has outsmarted Nate on several occasions, I'm not sure how they thought this was a good idea.

Nate ends up in jail, where Sage wisely calls another Archibald who is very familiar with the pokey: The Captain. The Captain is like "sup bra? What are you doing behind bars man?" And Nate is like "The same thing you did, like the literal exact same thing that I punched you in the face for doing for like years and years, I decided it would be a good idea to do that too. Because my short term memory is terrible, who did you say you were again?"

And Nate and the Captain have some touching moments about how being a white collar criminal sucks and how jail is horrible. Plus we all know Nate isn't an autumn, so the jumpsuits are just going to play havoc with his complexion.

The League of Extraordinary Bitches

Bart threatens Blair and Nate, and so Chuck decides to take his offer to go to Moscow. Blair meets him on the tarmac and begs him not to go. "Have faith in me, this one last time," Chuck says. The two kiss and it is sweeping and romantic and as Casablanca-like you'd imagine.

With Chuck presumably gone, Blair calls down the League of Extraordinary Bitches: Serena, the beautiful dumb one! Sage, the one that doesn't respect authority! Georgina, the legally insane one! And Ivy, the one who can presumably act or something I guess! Man, they would make a really killer girl group wouldn't they? I would totally watch them Spice World it up.

At Bart Bass' man of the year award ceremony, they stage what is by far the most eleborate and yet lamest scheme of all time to get him to break. It involves all the Bart Bass Mystery Bingo chips we've collected all season so there were horses, and Sheiks, and Sudanese oil and old photos and poor departed Bruce Caplan. How did Sage get Bruce Caplan's phone anyway? Did she swim to to the bottom of the Hudson?

But Bart is like "Playa, please" when Blair confronts him. At that very moment a news bulletin comes up on screen saying Chuck's plane has gone missing. Blair is shell shocked and Leighton Meester does a masterful job with her surprise and grief. But a few minutes later Dan introduces Chuck instead of Bart at the gala, where Chuck tells the gathered assemblage that his dad is a murderer.

"How does it feel to have someone fake die on you now dad?! Not so great huh?" Bart just nods solemnly like "I need to go work out my emotions and my single facial expression up on the roof, where we Bass men take our feelings to murder them."

Upstairs, Chuck yells about all the terrible things Bart has done to him and it's like a recap just in case you had forgotten how convoluted all the Chuck and Bart stuff had gotten. The music goes absolutely insane, like you are watching a Lifetime movie made in the 1930s and scored by a melodramatic tone-deaf person.

Chuck and Bart grapple and Bart falls off the roof. Before you can say "everything the light touches is your kingdom", Chuck Mufasa's Bart right off the building and just watches him die. That was way harsh, Chuck.

I Only Insult You Because I Love You

After a few episodes of Humphrey-related insanity, Serena finally remembers that Dan has in fact written numerous mean things about her and is therefore unworthy of her time. Even after he teams up with Chuck to drama embarrass Bart at the gala, Serena is still fairly unimpressed. I guess helping out Chuck doesn't take back all the times you've implied Serena is a shallow, air-headed moron with daddy issues. Who knew!?

Serena has decided that it's officially time to pack her bags and leave for sunny LA to go wrangle Tyra Banks and have another fake relationship with R.Patz. With her stellar show biz resume, I'm actually sure Serena would get a job in no time. Serena has a long history of dealing effectively with crazy egomaniacs, she would be perfect for a career in Hollywood.

Dan lets slip to Blair that Serena is leaving, and Blair declares she will never forgive Dan if Serena actually leaves for the west coast. As usual, you mess with Serena and Blair Waldorf will straight up murder you.

Out in the lobby, Blair manages to catch up to Serena and begs her not to go. Serena says she needs a fresh start, because all of her other fresh starts haven't taken but obviously this time will be different! Oh Serena, you beautiful blonde idiot, I love you the most.

 Blair tells her not to leave, that the scandal always passes--Serena taught her that. "Reinvention is for starlets who want to be you," Blair declares. But Serena is firm that she needs to go and start over.

She points out that Blair once said things worked better when they were both apart. Blair doesn't feel that way anymore though, she says there's room for them both to shine. This might be the saddest and greatest scene of the episode.

Once a upon a time, on a helipad six seasons ago, Serena told Blair to stay and fight. Blair is saying the same thing to Serena now, but Serena doesn't have the strength left in her. Because what Serena really needs to fight are her own demons.

This is something Dan says to her when he bumps into her in the building lobby, having bought a place in Serena's building like the stalker he is fast becoming. He tells her that she needs to stop apologizing for being powerful and for using that power. Serena's always been afraid of her own power, that sort of Serena ability she has to get herself out of situations without even trying.

It's ironic that Dan is the one to tell Serena she shouldn't be ashamed of who she is, since he's spent the better part of their entire relationship trying to make her feel bad about who she is and how she gets things dropped directly into her lap. But not anymore apparently. Dan tells Bart releasing the Serena chapter was about putting them on an equal playing field.

Serena, having located her backbone between last week's turkey dinner and this week's murder gala, is having none of it. "I won't be psychoanalyzed by my evil biographer," Serena scoffs, and takes off for LA anyway. But not before Dan slips an envelope into her bag.

What does it contain? Is it about the mysterious identity of Gossip Girl or just his love story about Serena? And could Dan actually be the bloggeress shimself? We'll have to wait until next week's series finale to find out.

Next week on the Gossip Girl series finale: Bart rises from the dead to start a zombie plague upon the houses of the Upper East Side, Chuck and Blair go on the run like Bonnie and Clyde if they hid out exclusively in limos, everyone gets married and then divorced and then dies and then meets up in the sideways universe. Gossip Girl turns out to be the smoke monster. The end.

What did you think of the penultimate episode? Was the ending too melodramatic for you, or just soapy enough? Are you glad Bart is dunzo or do you wish it had gone another way? Will Nate remember where he left his research or will he spend the entire finale looking in all his weed stashes? Share your theories in the comments!

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(Image courtesy of The CW)