This week on Gossip Girl, we find out the incredibly sketchy story behind Bart Bass’ apparent death while the Non-Judging Breakfast Club reunites for another scheme. Everyone says things are life and death a whole bunch, in a super serious soap opera voice and it is wonderful.

Also after an entire season of nary a scene between the two former besties, Serena and Blair shockingly exist in the same space at the same time. I was beginning to think this would undo the laws of physics or that Serena and Blair were secretly the same person, like Superman and Clark Kent. But of course Serena and Blair had to reconnect, because next week they’re going to be in the mother of all fights from the looks of things. It would have had a sum total of zero impact if they hadn’t at least spoken once in the last five episodes. I’m sorry, that probably sounds bitter. I have many feelings on this subject.

Elsewhere in non-rant land, Dan relents and accepts the offer to Rome if he can take Blair with him. Blair helps Chuck concoct an elaborate plan involving strippers. If anyone actually went to college anymore on this show I’m pretty sure “Plots Involving Strippers” would be all of their majors.  Serena has no idea what’s happening for 99% of the episode, as usual, and then wears a headband. Nate can’t decide if he’s really irrationally mad at Diana, or secretly wants to bone her again. Lola ruins everything like usual and everyone thinks Ivy’s still a blonde, even though she looks like the Little Mermaid tripping on uppers.

It wasn’t exactly the slam dunk last episode was, but it gained points in my book for having the characters interact and scheme together.

Photo AlbumGossip Girl – 5.23 “The Fugitives”

Will She Roam in Rome?

That is the question indeed as Blair convinces Dan to take the prestigious fellowship in Rome. Blair finds out about the offer by accident when Alexandra calls while Dan is showering. Dan comes out of the shower and….and I don’t know if I’m emotionally equipped to describe what happened next. You guys, I can’t. It’s like his gigantic curly moppet obscured the rest of the scene. I just kept yelling “It’s ALIVE! Blair run, run for your very life!” at my television. Dan’s hair is basically a sentient creature at this point and I’m pretty sure it has a plan, like the cylons on Battlestar Galatica.

While Blair is putting out fires and dealing with van der Woodsen (both real and fake) hookers, Dan is trying to get both he and Blair to Paris. It’s no easy feat, as it turns out. Sure the Rome program agrees to let him take Blair along, but she’s hesitating. I mean clearly she has so much to do in New York. Like school…wait. Or her internship at W…no, wait. Or ok how about…nope, I have nothing. Blair literally has no excuse at all not to go to Rome for the whole summer. Her life is just as sad as Serena’s this season, only she does a lot less pouting with berries so it’s sometimes easy to forget.

When Blair gets called back into the scheme she sends Serena in her place to the interview with Dan. It turns out the Rome program wants to vet all couples just to make sure they don’t have another Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie situation on their hands. Serena is so great in this interview with Dan, it’s amazing. She is totally unglued, like an actual crazy person, so basically she’s doing the best Blair that anyone has ever done. No wonder the interviewer is instantly in love with her.

Dan tells Serena bout Blair ducking the ‘I Love You’ even though that’s a totally inappropriate thing to discuss with your girlfriend’s best friend who is also your ex who you also know is in love with you. Of course this is a show with like multiple levels of incest at any one time, so I’m not sure why I’m even questioning this. Serena tells Dan that Blair really cares about him but he remains unconvinced with Chuck in the picture.

When Serena talks to Blair about the three little words she didn’t say, Blair explains that she’s not there yet. She hopes the next time say drops the L bomb will be the last time. Wait what? How old are these kids again? 21? Maybe 22? Why is everyone on this show so eager to get married and have babies and pair off FOREVER and ever? Is this normal behavior for super rich, super attractive people?

While Blair looks happy to be going off to Rome, there seems to be a hesitation there. Is it Chuck? Or something else? Perhaps it’s all her nonexistent commitments in New York she’ll have to give up? Only time will tell.

Bart Bass Continues to Live!

Meanwhile, the real meat of the story this week is finding out the mystery behind Bart Bass’ alleged death. It turns out that Bart Bass was being menaced by some shadowy criminal business competitor who had made it quite clear that he wanted to off not only Bart, but also Lily and Chuck. Man, Bart’s off screen life is so interesting. Remember when they wanted to do that Gossip Girl in the 80s spinoff? Who wouldn’t watch a ‘Bart Bass travels the world, shares with world that one facial expression’ spinoff? I would be in so fast. Have your people call my people The CW.

If you’re wondering what more there was to the Bart faking his own death story, it’s time to stop thinking because while it’s the main storyline of this episode, it’s mostly just summed up in quick speeches between father-son hugs and/or father-son building ejections. The (even) shorter version is that Bart faked his own death and went on an all-expenses paid trip around the world. In my head, Bart spent most of his time in Disney World, scaring children at Magic Kingdom and continually riding Magic Mountain. Please feel free to make up your own Bart Bass Adventures (TM pending).

“What did we bury in that coffin?” Chuck demands. Bart practically laughs in his face without changing facial expressions. I kept waiting for him to say “Jack is totally right, you really are such a drama queen.” I totally forgot how deep and gravely Bart’s voice is, like you just expect every sentence to be preceded by a plume of smoke. He sounds like Batman with throat cancer, which really explains so much about Chuck’s voice.

Chuck decides he needs to save his father from leaving by outing this shadowy unseen family man mobster with the help of Diana Payne. He also bumps into Blair on the street and hatches a vast scheme in order to save his father. “Do you have anything better to do?” Chuck asks Blair. “Oh just pretend to care about Dan’s things. So no,” Blair basically replies. Serena and Nate both come in around this point to be confused and nearly ruin the scheme, respectively.

In Diana’s secret life as a madam, she’s apparently gotten to know shady random business thug and knows he’s a big family man in addition to his penchant for twins. So essentially he’s Chuck’s future. They hatch a plot, nearly destroyed by Nate and Lola, to use Diana’s girls to get blackmail material on this shady Neevins character. Why does blackmailing a known murderer seem like a good idea?

When Diana’s girls drop out, it’s Lola and Ivy to the rescue. Everyone is like “Oh sure, Ivy and Lola look totally alike because they’re both blondes…and that’s it.” No wonder Ivy got away with that particular deception for like 9 months. I’m amazed anyone ever found her out. Also how is anyone not noticing that Ivy’s hair is basically just full out red now? And lastly, the plan was to provide shady McMurderer with the twins he liked. So wouldn’t it make more sense to have Serena stand in with Lola since they are flesh and blood sister-cousins and therefore would tend to resemble each other more strongly than two complete strangers? This feels like a plan that Nate would come up with while high watching the Matrix with Chuck.

Hooking for Justice

For once, Nate isn’t the hooker in his relationship! This time around it’s Lola, who goes with Ivy to be blackmail bait. While there Ivy and Lola have an intensely hilarious and weird conversation about how when they went to acting school they never imagined eventually turning into hookers. No one does lady. One day you just wake up and you’re doing porn, that’s how the acting industry works. If Gossip Girl makes it to season 10 or something, look forward to that being an exciting Lola plotline.

Then suddenly Andrew Tyler turns up, after turning down Chuck’s offer to look more into his father’s death earlier in the episode. He has the girls take him to Bart’s location. Luckily, Lola thinks for once and texts the group and they plan a stealthy little ambush. It turns out that Bart had Andrew Tyler looking into Tony Soprano or whoever this guy really is. Andrew Tyler was threatened and so he turned and set up Bart’s accident, which Bart survived because he’s mostly bionic at this point anyway because no human being blinks that little.

This is maybe my favorite thing to happen in the entire episode. Andrew Tyler, the worst private investigator and conversely the only private investigator in all of Manhattan was actually important! Holy OMFG! They took a minor background character we mostly liked to make fun of and they tied him into the main storyline in a way that made a frightening amount of sense. I mean Gossip Girl sense, but still. Props will be given where they are deserved.
“Surprised to see me?” Bart says as he pops up in the Haunted Sex Mansion. “Because my face can never register surprise,” is the rest of the sentence left unsaid. I love Bart so much. Never leave us again.

As the police lead Andrew Tyler away after confessing to the whole sorry situation, Blair, Chuck and Papa Bass look on in pride. Bart explains that he’s proud of the man Chuck has become. Chuck gets some digs in about Bart’s parenting, proving that as soon as kids interact with their parents they automatically revert to sullen teenagers. I can’t wait to read the entry about this in Chuck’s Lisa Frank glitter diary. Chuck suggests that maybe next time they just get therapy and Bart laughs because next time he’ll just make sure he’s never found.

Meanwhile we find out Nate let Diana get out of dodge before the madam stuff came home to roost, possibly because of feelings reasons. If anyone understands hooker stuff, it’s Nate. Poor unquestioning Lola curls up against Nate in that one button down shirt he gets all his conquests to wear and thinks things are finally settling down.

Also I guess Lily is a polygamist now, like that dude from Big Love only her thing is having husbands with unmoving faces.

The Revenge of GG

Serena finally comes clean about Gossip Girl to Blair, who thinks that Serena’s tenure would have been more awesome if she had shared the power with Blair and they could have used it for even more evil. Gossip Girl, however, doesn’t agree. As the episode ends and Blair and Serena tell each other how much they love one another, you can feel the storm coming.  
The howling winds and lightning strike just as Serena begins to feel she has friends of the non-berry variety. For it is Gossip Girl herself, mad as hell at the meddling with her site, going after her two greatest sources of power and strife: S and B.

Gossip Girl leaks a portion of Blair’s diary on the site and says there’s more to come. The portion we see says the following:  “I feel Dan is about to tell me he loves me and if he does-” GG says more is on the way. How did she come by Blair’s diary? Her best friend, Serena. I’m no psychic but I see catfights in the future.

Next week Serena has sex on a bar, which is her default setting for coping with unpleasant situations. Blair plans to decapitate Serena like Ned Stark. Rufus and Bart have an emote-off but no one can judge it. And Blair finally makes her romantic choice.

What did you think of the episode? Are you just happy to see Bart Bass alive? Are you excited to see S and B square off? Sound off in the comments.

Best Quotes from the Episode

Morgan Glennon
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of The CW)

Morgan Glennon

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV