This week on Gossip Girl, all’s fair in love, war and fashion shows. Serena and Dan are obsessed with making amends like they are going through a jerk 12-step process. The first step is admitting that you are a jerk and I’m hoping step 12 involves a haircut.

While Serena and Dan are busy making amends, everyone else is busy scheming and double-crossing at an almost amazing speed.

Chuck is still trying to take down Bart, with minimal luck. Ivy manages to hit an old guy trifecta by officially showing her boobs to every gentleman over 40 on this show.

Blair and Serena combine their scheming abilities to hack the perfect plan to make Blair’s fashion line a success. As you would imagine with any Serena plan, it backfires immediately but does so in a way that actually ends up as a win for everyone. I wish Serena would plan everything in the universe; I think we’d all be riding unicorns to work by now.

The thing we always thought we wanted, however, isn’t always the magic bullet that will solve all our problems. Blair thinks becoming a powerful “Designing Teenagers” woman will make her life better, but she just realizes it’s bittersweet without Chuck’s sulky, Batman growl at her side. Chuck thinks taking down his father will make his life magically better but doesn’t count on losing his only real mother in the process. (Seriously, though, who is his actual mother? Evelyn? Elizabeth Hurley? Lady Alexander the horse? Can someone just ask Bart already?)

And poor, sweet Serena thinks she can finally be happy with her first love Dan. But it turns out Dan might have an ulterior motive up his sleeve, as he tells Georgina on the phone that he’s planning a Serena chapter. Unless it’s about how well she organizes berries or how she is the only person on earth who can rock a cleavage rhombus without looking like a porn space alien, I doubt it’s going to be good.

Does Dan really turn over a new leaf or is his leaf still on the rotten side we’ve been watching all season? I guess we’ll have to wait until next week to find out.

Reunited By Fashion

At least the girls finally repair their friendship in vintage Blair and Serena fashion: by scheming. Serena shows up to make nice with Blair in one of the stupidest outfits Serena has ever worn on her tenure on this show. It is a bright yellow shirt with a visible black bra underneath. It’s like Serena skinned Tweety Bird to make herself a sweater. You can tell Blair is stressed about her pop-up fashion show because she appears to have picked as many patterns as possible, couldn’t decide which to wear and then just decided to wear them all.

Instead of commiserating about their inability to dress like normal humans, Blair lashes out at Serena about the sex tape. But Serena has an idea which will make Blair’s fashion show a huge success. She’ll send a picture of her and Steven to Gossip Girl, making Sage believe the two are back together, and making her vulnerable for Blair to use to get a leg up with the teen set.

At first, it works like a charm. Sage does her weird, clopping linebacker walk right into Blair’s atelier because doors are a thing that just don’t exist on the Upper East Side.

From there, Blair goes to talk to the Manhattan high school royalty, who are now calling themselves the mafia and referring to each other as the “Don” of their individual schools. They are also all wearing some form of stupid hat, so I guess Sage’s ever-present fedora has finally been explained. This is all as stupid as it sounds, by the way. Kids these days! Apparently, the Katniss Everdeen generation has been watching a lot of The Sopranos reruns and The Godfather movie marathons.

But Sage soon figures out that Barry Watson isn’t just crying because of all those years on 7th Heaven, but because he and Serena really are broken up. So the “Dons” show up to Blair’s fashion show in really hideous outfits and no hats (plot twist!) to sabotage the pop-up. But fashion trumps scheming and soon they all fall for Blair’s preppy clothes. If it involves Dorota in an adorable bee pin, I can totally understand.

Blair forgives Serena for sleeping with yet another of her boyfriends at the Campbell Apartments the way you would forgive someone who had spilled something on a very expensive sweater, which is hilariously in keeping with their relationship. Just like the girl’s first fashion foray back in season 1, Serena gives Blair the confidence to believe in herself and realize her own worth. Blair realizes she didn’t need a scheme or the approval of some weirdly-hatted moppets for her fashion line. She was brilliant all on her own.

In their best moments, this is the strength Serena gives to Blair just by the power of her belief in Blair being awesome. It’s why Blair will always love Serena, despite her predilection for accidentally boning Blair’s boyfriends on counter tops. And it’s why I’m glad they’ve finally buried the hatchet in this shortened season, admitted they love each other and decided to go out to eat a single berry for breakfast together.

Lots of Daddy Issues

We know Serena and Chuck have huge daddy issues, but with the amount of older gentlemen Ivy is servicing, I’m going out on a limb and saying she might have some issues herself. It turns out Rufus and his waffles are not actually her one true old man love.

No, this belongs to the person she’s been scheming with on the phone all season: William van der Woodsen! Oh sure, Ivy, it’s all fun and games until William gives you fake cancer.

Ivy and William drop a lot of exposition while being gross with each other, all about how Lola bequeathed this money to them from the big NBC pilot in the sky or wherever she went off to. Lola’s last wish before ending up on some cancelled sitcom airing after Whitney was that Ivy and William destroy Lily because … I don’t know. Let’s just go with it.

There are only three episodes left and I’m tired, you guys. I’m so tired of trying to keep track of what Ivy is up to. She’s insane, she’s Serena, she’s Lola, she’s into Nate, no she’s not, she’s in love with Cece, she’s in love with Lily’s penthouse, she’s in love with Rufus, she’s in love with William, she’s in love with lamp. I can’t even track what’s happening with Ivy anymore. I give up. The only thing I know for sure about Ivy is that her Batman voice is even more gravelly than Chuck’s, and that after a few weeks with Rufus she does a full-body shudder when she mentions waffles.

She’s got the microfilm and is guarding it by having it stick obviously out of her purse whenever possible. By the way, this episode is the most play microfilm has gotten in probably decades. Microfilm! Let’s all say it together until this storyline makes sense.

Let’s all jump on the back of Lady Alexander and ride this stupid storyline straight to hell, where Bart Bass is Satan and dogs growl at him when he enters rooms. Bart has gotten so evil that next week I expect him to grow an old-timey mustache and tie Lily to some train tracks.

On Bart Bass’ Mystery Tour of Evil, he stops by Nate’s to blackmail him into helping with his evil scheme. Nate is desperate and we know this because he’s literally running after loan officers in his little business suit. I bet Nate longs for the days when cougars took care of all the thinking for him. 

How Rufus Got His Groove Back

Lily goes to Rufus to ask for the microfilm but Rufus, having experienced what it feels like to have a spine, is unable to let go of this fleeting feeling. No worries, Rufus, it won’t last!

Because soon he sees Ivy kissing William after their lunch date and realizes Ivy is cheating on him. Ivy is like, “Oh no … whoops,” and Rufus tells her to leave. On the way out the door, she beams like someone just freed from a prison of waffles and listening to the same sad guitar song over and over.

Ivy continues trying to pit Bart and Chuck against Lily. Chuck tries to lure Ivy to the fashion show to get Bart taken down with the evidence by the feds, but Bart uses Nate to kill the plan.

Chuck shows up to tell Blair she is a falcon who must spread her wings and soar or some other weird platitude that is oddly not sexual. Then he bounces off to continue on his Scooby Doo quest for justice.

At a bar, Chuck bumps into Nate, who is feeling actual emotions besides confusion for possibly the first time ever. “What did my father do to you?” Chuck asks. “Show me on the doll where Bart touched you.” It’s touching to see how upset Nate is that he was forced to betray Chuck. He was willing to give up the Spectator to save his friendship, but he knows for a fact jail wouldn’t be his scene. There are no cougars there at all, and orange really plays havoc with his complexion.

Upstairs, Ivy pops off her shirt to stage some pictures with Bart to embarrass Lily, in addition to the divorce he promises to get. Ivy is excited because if she bangs one more old dude, she gets the next aging guest star for free!

In all of Ivy’s righteous indignation over the evils of Lily, she’s certainly in a huge rush to pick up Lily’s sloppy seconds. Ivy is only a few statement earrings away from Single White Female-ing Lily at this point.

Elsewhere, Rufus proves that his backbone is still there somewhere under layers and layers of chunky sweaters and waffles when he gives the pilfered microfilm back to Lily. I mean, imagine a con woman conning him! Who could have seen that coming?

They have a nice moment where Rufus admits that while they might not get back together, he still cares about her. Dan comes in on this sweet moment for entirely no reason that I can remember, but does manage to text Chuck to let him know the microfilm is with Lily.

Into the Fire

God bless Gossip Girl; no one just shreds anything on this show. No, instead they throw things dramatically into the fire. That’s what Lily does with the microfilm, even though Chuck explains that at this very moment Ivy is still shirtless with Bart wearing a weird robe like she is one part boxer, three parts hooker. But Lily refuses to believe this and tells Chuck she is over the shenanigans.

Blair runs into Chuck at the bar, deliriously happy that her fashion show went off without a hitch, and she is finally the powerful woman she always wanted to be. “How about you? Did you take down your father and become a powerful woman yet?” she asks Chuck.

But Chuck is in a bad mood and throws a rather subdued Chuck temper tantrum about how they can never be together because of Bart and because it’s not the series finale yet. Really, he’s upset he’s been rejected by Lily, the only person besides Blair who has consistently cared about him even when he was on coke benders in Thailand. This has to be hard for Lily, too, though we all know Chuck is the only one of her children she even likes.

Poor Blair looks on sadly, trying to figure out why Chuck can’t just buy a yacht and charge it to his dad’s credit card like a normal rich douchebag. Like, seriously, though, why can’t Chuck just dry the tears from his daddy issues on his giant pile of cash and move on? Why does he have to send Bart to jail again?

Just take your money, call it a day and go into business with Tom Haverford from Parks and Recreation or something. I could totally see Chuck being a great partner in a venture like Rent a Swag. Think of all the pre-teen boys who are looking for argyle knee socks, Chuck! That market is untapped potential.

But Chuck isn’t the only one who might not have put the past behind him. Dan and Serena agree that they are back together and playing for keeps. While Serena goes to get the champagne glasses to toast the occasion, Dan takes a call from Georgina and says he’s working on his Serena chapter.

Serena should have learned from the wisdom of a little show called Felicity: it’s not a fresh start unless someone gets a haircut. And Dan’s untamed jungle of hair is still packed to the brim with secrets.

Next week is Thanksgiving on Gossip Girl, where Blair dresses up like a sexy Pocahontas and sings to Chuck about painting with all the colors of the wind, Nate finally fulfills his purpose on the show and punches someone in the face, and everyone looks at a beautifully prepared dinner and refuses to eat it.

What did you think of the episode? What do you think Dan is up to? Will Chuck ever win over Bart? Do you actually care? What’s William “Fake Cancer is Hilarious” van der Woodsen up to? Share your theories in the comments!

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(Image courtesy of The CW)

Morgan Glennon

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV