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Redemption, Thy Name is Chuck Bass (Charlie, Thy Name is Ivy?) – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s Season Finale “The Wrong Goodbye”

CHUCK:  ‘So, Blair (other half of “Chair”), maybe you could explain to me how, even though we crashed this Bar Mitzvah, somehow you and I end up the stars of the Chair Dance, an honor typically only bestowed on the Bar Mitzvah boy and his parents?”

BLAIR:  “Maybe it’s supposed to foreshadow something?”

CHUCK: “Like the Super Hot Sex we are about to have  in the conveniently-located private room, right outside the reception hall?”

BLAIR: “Like the fact that we are about to become parents.”

CHUCK: “You know, they should really start handing out condoms at Bar Mitzvahs, given the whole ‘boy turning into a man’ theme, and all . . .”

We wanted it, and we got it, Chair fans: The Redemption of Chuck Bass!  After weeks of agonizing and hand-wringing over the whole “pretending to love Raina” thing, and the “drunkenly breaking glass on Blair’s face” thing, Team Chuck was finally rewarded.  This week, fans got the opportunity to hear our King Bass say to his Queen B. everything we have wanted him to say to her, since the couple’s devastating breakup at the end of “The Witches of Bushwick.”

Chuck Bass rescued Blair Waldorf tonight, and not just from Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, Russell Thorpoop either . . .

“Yes, I’ll admit it.  I’m an adult who likes to play with fire.   How else did you think I ended up bald?”

Through his eloquent words, Chuck rescued Blair from her fear that she was not a successful enough woman, in her own right, to be coupled with a powerful man.  He also rescued her from her belief that love and happiness were two mutually exclusive emotions.  And, perhaps, most importantly, he rescued her from those pesky panties she was wearing . . .

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This is NOT your mother’s Chairytale!

And though things didn’t end quite the way we had hoped for Chuck and Blair in “The Wrong Goodbye” (an apt title, if ever there was one), the growth Chuck has undergone as a character this season, coupled with the personal sacrifices he made for the happiness of the woman he loves, this week, have proven, without a doubt, that Chuck Bass deserves to be with Blair Waldorf.  And he will be with her . . . eventually.

Patience, my dear Waldorf!  There’s always Season 5!

But this Season Finale wasn’t ALL about Chair (about 98% of it was), “The Wrong Goodbye” also treated us to some Crazy Charlie(?) shenanigans, a bit of Georgina hilarity, and a few dryly humorous meta-references, courtesy of the Three Kings of Snark, Dan Humphrey, Nate Archibald, and Eric van der Woodsen . . .

So, what are we waiting for, Upper East Siders, let’s get on with the recap?

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

MANESSA:  “I can’t believe this is my last episode of Gossip Girl, EVER!  I’m really going to miss you guys!  But, hey, maybe I can come back for a few guest appearances next season?”

SERENA:  “I doubt it.   They’ve already converted your trailer into a gym for the rest of the cast.”

In a scene that would absolutely NEVER happen under normal GG circumstances (and is ONLY happening because it is Jessica Szohr’s last appearance on the show, and the writers want to throw her a bone, by giving her some lines, and a teensy bit of character redemption), Serena and Manessa are riding to Constance Prep together, in search of an off-her-meds, wacked-out Charlie.  Manessa explains that Charlie, had to leave college after “Single White Female-ing” her roommate.  And now, evidently, she is doing the same thing to Serena.  (“Thanks for the explanation, Manessa!  We would NEVER have figured that out, otherwise,” The Recapper says sarcastically.)

For the record, the only time I EVER want to be watching the inside of a limo on Gossip Girl, is when THIS is happening inside of it . . .


Meanwhile, in Bromantic Buddy News . . .

. . . Dan and Nate are getting gossipy at the bar over at Constance Prep.  Dan “Screw and Tell” Humphrey is overly eager to fill Nate in on his Principal Office sexcapades with Belongs in a Strait-Jacket Barbie.

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Initially, Nate, not surprisingly, reacts the same way most of us fans did when we heard Charlie utter “Call me Serena” during sex, by laughing hysterically at the poor girl’s expense.

“Apparently, ‘Call me Serena,’ is the New ‘What’s My Name, B*tch?'”

But, of course, Nate is DUDE.  And for most dudes, a little schizophrenia CERTAINLY isn’t going to get in the way of a good lay!  “Just tell her ‘That’s not necessary,’ and get back to doing whatever it is you were going to do,” instructs Nate.

THIS . . . coming from the guy who once thought Raccoon Zombie, Little J was a “great catch.”

Nate, I love you to pieces.  But it’s characters like you that always die first in horror movies.  Just sayin’.

The GG writers continue to laugh at their own absurdity, when Dan sees Chuck entering the party, and wonders why the dude isn’t in rehab, like Gossip Girl said he was.

For the record, I would totally watch a show in which GG’s Alcoholic Chuck, got together TVD’s resident alcoholics, Damon and Alaric,  and entered into some kind of CW Character rehab .  . .

Speaking of Chuck, he’s just found Mama Waldorf (who’s new haircut is SO not cute, by the way), and is inquiring about Blair’s whereabouts . . .

“You know, sometimes I get bored hooking up with the dude who played the nerdy teacher in Clueless.  So, if you are ever in the market for a ‘mature and experienced’ woman . . .”

Clearly, tired of Chuck playing paddleball with her daughter’s emotions, Eleanor Waldorf really goes for the jugular, telling Chuck that he should let Blair go, and calling him, among other things, a “Fantasy Destroyer,” and “The Big Bad Wolf.”  When I heard the latter name being used to describe Chuck, part of me expected him to do something like this . . .

But, instead, he just walks away.  LAME.

Then, Serena and Vanessa arrive at the party, causing the entire Scooby Gang, except Blair, to unite, for a not particularly subtle recap of the season’s current dangling plot threads . . .

“Previously . . . on Gossip Girl . . .”

More self-referential humor abounds, when Eric agrees to help the group with whatever scheme they have cooking, provided it doesn’t require, among other things, stopping a wedding, running a Ponzi scheme, or giving anybody Fake Cancer.

“I take pride in knowing that I am the only character on this show who recognizes how ridiculous we all are.”

Then Blair’s old high school minions pop by, wondering when Eric VDW got so hot.  (It’s called puberty, girls.  You should try it sometime.)  Though Eric gently reminds the minions that he is “still gay,” they are not discouraged.  “That means you CAN dance!”  They exclaim. 

Ahh . . . gay stereotypes . . . We truly ARE back in high school, aren’t we?

“Those darn, meddling kids!”

Chuck and Nate then head to the roof of the school (probably to snort coke, or something).  And, Raina magically appears.  Apologies abound, as Nate apologizes to Chuck for spilling the beans to Raina about her father “accidentally” murdering her mother. Raina apologizes to Chuck for telling her wackadoo dad she doesn’t love him anymore, thereby sending Pops off the deep end.  And Chuck apologizes to Raina for getting her involved in the most uninteresting relationship on Gossip Girl, since Serena and Ben, and ANYBODY and Vanessa . . .

This lovefest is interrupted by the ringing of Chuck’s cell phone . . .

“No, I’m not interested in joining the Steak of the Month Club!  Stupid Telemarketers!”

As you might recall from last week, Lex Luthor-wannabe Russell Thorpoop, having been “fingered”  (It sounds so dirty!) in the murder of his wife, by his own daughter, has somehow decided that REPEATING the crime that got him in trouble in the first place (namely, burning down a new hotel, with a Bass’ lover in side of it), will solve all his problems.  Talk about not learning from past mistakes!

“It was either this, or reorganizing my doll collection.”

With her life on the line, Blair means to call 911.  But since three numbers are SO hard to remember, she calls Chuck instead.  (HE’S Number 1 on her Speed Dial!  Take that Prince Louis . . . and Serena . . . and Dorota!)  Wanting to give Chuck an idea of where she is, without cluing Russell in to the fact that she is making the call, Blair employs the MOST OBVIOUS DIALOGUE EVER!  “Why are you doing this to me.  . . You brought me to the rooftop of Chuck’s new hotel in Brooklyn, by pretending Chuck was in trouble, and are now threatening to kill me!”  Blair emotes comically.

“There you go, Blair!  That’s exactly what people sound like when they are talking to their prospective killers!  Russell will never suspect a thing.”

Chuck hears this on the other end of his cell phone, and SOMEHOW pieces together what is happening to Blair.  (The man is a GENIUS!)  Little Bass then rushes to his new hotel site with Nate and Raina, hot on his heels.  At some point during all this, our rescue gang calls 911.  Interestingly enough, even though I’m sure there are, in fact, cops in Brooklyn, and Chuck and Co., traveling ALL THE WAY FROM MANHATTAN,  the trio miraculously arrives on the scene before the NYPD.  And yet I will not complain about such petty details, because the cop’s ineptitude gave me THIS . . .

Awwww!

Like every dumb comic book villain, Russell Thorpoop chooses to blather on about how he’s going to screw Chuck over by killing Blair, rather than actually DOING IT.  While the camera is focused on Russell, Chuck and Blair have time to have a little rooftop sex session, with Nate watching of course.  (At least that’s what they are doing in my head.) 

Then Raina comes forward and tells her dad that he is going to prison for life, and that she is never visiting him!  Honestly, I haven’t liked Raina THIS much, since her character smoked pot for the first time, and beat Nate at “Dance, Dance, Revolution.”

“This bud’s for YOU!”

Of course, after the whole ordeal,  Raina decides she wants to leave the show Manhattan for good.  And Nate pretends to be genuinely upset.  But we know secretly, he’s thrilled to have a chance at a GOOD storyline, with a love interest who’s actually a MAIN CHARACTER, for a change.

“Memories . . . like the corners of my mind.  Misty, water-colored, memories . . of the way we were.”

Meanwhile, back at Constance .  .  .

Step Aside, Amateurs!  Because NO ONE does crazy, like Georgia Sparks!

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Georgina Sparks is back in town.  As it turns out, being a Baby Mama / Real Housewife of Westchester County isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  So, when Georgina hears that the Scooby Gang is banding together to “rescue” Charlie from her own insanity, Georgina is eager to help them come up with a plan.  And she offers her services to LITERALLY everybody in the cast, whether or not they ask for it.

Man, I miss Georgina!  None of GG’s villains (with the exception, of perhaps, Jack Bass) have ever even came close to the level of naughty fun and hilarity she added to the show.  Aside from having some of the best one-liners ever,  (“I’m going to go get drunk enough to find you interesting.”), Georgina always stood out from the rest of baddies.  After all, when she wasn’t busy making the other character’s lives miserable, she really WAS one of the gang, playing a key role in many of the gang’s most successful schemes.

“I miss you!  You really GET ME!”  Georgina calls out to Serena, after being once again rebuffed by her frienemy.

In fact, we feel Georgina’s pain when she wonders (along with the rest of us) why ON EARTH Manessa got to be part of the Rescue Charlie games that night, while Georgina was left out in the cold.  And, of course, it was GEORGINA, Queen of Scams, who figured out IMMEDIATELY that Charlie wasn’t exactly who she said she was, and gave the girl her number, written on a napkin.  Crazy “Charlie” and Crazier Georgina . . . something tells me these two are going to be quite the Scary Pair in Season 5.

Speaking of “Call Me Serena” . . .

Lamest Suicide Attempt Ever!

“Oh, would you just JUMP already!  I’m missing American Idol for this!”

So, Crazy Charlie is supposedly all sad about Dan rejecting her for her Serena Sex Fetish.  So, she starts getting all self-destructive and drinking liquor RIGHT OUT OF THE BOTTLE . . . at a Glorified HIGH SCHOOL DANCE!

“Hey, Headmistress!  Maybe you should spend less time telling your old students how disappointed you are in their life choices, and more time CHAPERONING the UNDERAGE BOOZE INTAKE!”

Then, after texting Serena “Goodbye”  (Suicide Texts are SO last season!), Charlie finds a window and pretends to jump out of it, by half-assedly dangling one leg outside of it.  Surprise!  Serena gets there just in time.  So, Charlie starts boo hooing about how nobody looooooveeesss her, and everybody haaaaaates her, and Serena is so much beeeeetttter. 

Remembering Mistress Queller’s thinly-veiled insults about her decision to stay in New York, and the Mini Mes’ criticisms about her inability to choose between Dan and Nate (She chose the “guy who tried to kill [her] instead”) . . .

“For a pedophile, attempted murderer, that Ben guy SURE WAS BORING!”

 . . . Serena explains to Charlie that she’s not nearly as cool as no one everyone thinks she is.  After all, her whole life she has never made any real decisions for herself.  Somehow, hearing what a loser Serena is brings Charlie back from “Brink of Death,” which I guess I would be more excited about, if I gave two craps about her character . . .

“See you in Season 5, Bitches!”

Nonetheless, Charlie decides the Upper East Side is not for her.  So, she heads back to Florida, where she feels she belongs.  And . . . here comes the twist.

When “Charlie” gets off the bus in Florida, and meets with Carol Rhodes, we learn that she is not really “Charlie” at all.  Rather, she is “Ivy,” an actress hired by Carol to impresonate “Charlie” and gain access to Charlie’s trust account, left to her by her grandmother. 

Ivy returns a series of trust account check books to Carol, prompting Carol to say that now the van der Woodsens will never be tempted to find the REAL Charlie.  (Why Carol, what did you do, eat her?)  Of course, after the pair of near-strangers part ways, we learn that Ivy has kept one of the trust account check books for herself.  In Ivy’s final moments, we see her dig out Georgina’s number from her bag, and stare at it intently.  I smell trouble, Upper East Siders!

Speaking of storylines, I didn’t care too much for, until their final moments . . .

Adios, Manessa!  Don’t let la puerta hit you, where Dios split you!

Manessa’s new address in Spain, i.e. the place where you should start forwarding all your hate mail . . .

So, after pretending to care about Charlie and her suicide, Manessa, surprise, surprise, takes it upon herself to start stalking Dan’s apartment, and rifling through his papers, while he’s not home.  (Note to Dan:  GET A RESTRAINING ORDER!)  Manessa “miraculously” comes upon a manuscript Dan has apparently been working on for five years, which, to me seems like it’s probably Books 1 through 5 of the Gossip Girl Series.  The novel is called “Inside.”   Manessa, of course, assumes that if she can get Dan to publish it, then his friends (most of whom are portrayed like shallow a$$holes in it) will all abandon him, so, she can get back INSIDE his pants . . .

“Can’t blame a girl for trying!”

Manessa calls Dan and babbles on about how Ahhh-mazing his writing is!  She then scolds him for spending his whole life wanting so desperately to be part of the in-crowd, and warns him not to let his desire for popularity get in the way of his “art.”  (Well, one thing can be said about Manessa, SHE doesn’t let popularity get in the way of anything!  Then again, since everybody despises her, she doesn’t have to!) 

Manessa also hints that some people, other than Serena, will really like the way they are portrayed in the book.  And I can’t tell whether she’s referring to herself or Blair. 

“I wrote nice things about Manessa?” Clearly, I was on drugs.”

However, whether or not Dan had fond feelings toward Manessa, when he first started writing the manuscript five years ago, he certainly doesn’t have them now.  “When are you going to realize that it’s better to be a Great Man, than a Good Boy?”  Manessa demands.

“And when are you going to realize that I had a better life, before you climbed up my fire escape four years ago!”  Dan replies.

NEVER in the entire history of Gossip Girl have I been more proud of DAN HUMPTY DUMPTY than I am RIGHT NOW!  High five, Dan!

Any realism that was created by this scene is IMMEDIATELY destroyed when Manessa just randomly happens to appear at a publishing office.  The HEAD of publishing then READS the anonymous manuscript given to him by NOBODY Manessa, immediately touts the author as the next Jonathan Safran Foer, and agrees to publish the book, while sending Manessa royalty checks at her new address in Spain.

OK, as someone who has spent YEARS of her life trying to get books published, SCREW YOU, GOSSIP GIRL!  I understand the plot point.  And I applaud you for ridding us of Manessa, but this was just plain MEAN!

*takes deep breath*

OK . . . I think I’ve calmed down.  On to bigger and better storylines . . .

“The Best Loves are the Crazy Ones”

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Back in Brooklyn, having disposed of Crazy Russell Thorpoop, Blair suddenly remembers that she has to meet Louis at Constance Prep and prove to him that she still loves him.  Chuck offers to drive her there.  But since Blair doesn’t really seem to love Louis all that much, she promptly agrees to keep her “future husband” waiting just a little longer, so that she can crash a random Bar Mitzvah with Chuck.  (You can’t beat an open bar, right?)

Freed from the constraints of being stalked by Gossip Girl, and the pressures of their day-to-day lives, Chuck and Blair let loose in ways we’ve never seen them do in their entire time on the show.  This involves a bit of laughter, a whole lot of smiling, and, yes, some REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY BAD dancing to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.”

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It’s nice to see that Chuck and Blair have the ability to have fun together and enjoy one another’s company, even when they are doing other things besides scheming, and having amazing sex . . .

Speaking of sex, after Chuck and Blair ride the chairs together (sounds kinky!), and leave a nice fat check with the Bar Mitzvah Boy, they head off into the nearest semi private room and  . . . um . . . roll in the deep together . . .

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When these Chairs are rockin’, don’t come a knockin!

Well, there’s nothing like good sex to spark a life-changing epiphany!  Blair realizes immediately after experiencing innumerable “O’s” with Chuck, that there is no way she can go back to life with the Prince.  “You love him, don’t you?”  Chuck asks.

“But not like I love you.   His love is lighter.  Our love is intense.  It always pulls us in.  What’s real happiness in the face of that?”  Blair replies. 

And while what she is saying is clearly true, in terms of the Chair relationship . . .  it does sound like an odd endorsement for love, especially coming right after all the bad dancing and happy humping, in which she and Chuck had engaged just moments earlier. 

I don’t know!  They look pretty happy to me!

Nonetheless, Chuck again offers to drive Blair to Constance to confront Louis.  Given that the dance has long since ended, Chuck and Blair are actually shocked to find Louis still waiting alone for Blair’s arrival.  “I knew you’d come,” says Louis, upon seeing her appear, not seeming the least bit concerned that Chuck is by her side. 

AWKWARD!

Just when Blair is about to let the Prince down easy, Chuck intervenes.  “You have my blessing,” he says, shaking Louis’ hand graciously.  “I couldn’t be more happy you two are getting married.”

Shocked, Blair pulls Chuck aside, wanting to know why the HELL he did that!  (You and me BOTH, Blair!  You and me, both!)

And Chuck’s explanation as to why he is sacrificing the love of his life and his own happiness, to save Blair’s, is more beautiful and poignant than anything viewers could have anticipated.  And yet, it is also heartbreakingly sad.  Just when Chuck has finally proven to Blair, and to us fans, that he CAN make Blair happy, that he IS a good enough person, and a strong enough man, to give her everything she needs in a mate, THIS is the moment when he decides that he must let her go, for her own good.

Sound familiar, TVD fans?

I’m going to post the dialogue in its entirety here, before discussing it more in detail:

Fans of Veronica Mars, will undoubtedly remember the speech that Logan made to Veronica, during Season 2, about their love story being EPIC, “spanning years and continents, lives ruined, and bloodshed . . . They don’t write love songs about the ones that come easy,” he told her.

And I couldn’t help but wonder whether Blair Waldorf was a Veronica Mars fan, when she made that comment about the Great Loves, being the Crazy Ones.  She even made a similar argument to Logan that literature, sonnets and music tended to be written more about the CRAZY and EPIC love stories, than about the mundane and easy ones.  And, honestly, these two TV couples share a lot in common with one another.  Both Logan and Chuck are dark and tortured souls, who, each in their own way, are difficult to love.  And yet they love harder than any bright and sunny person on the planet.

Another notable line during this exchange was Chuck’s reference to the fact that, back in Season 3, he had waited only two minutes on top of the Empire State Building for Blair to meet him and accept his marriage proposal, before leaving to sleep with the Raccoon Zombie, whereas Louis waited all night . . .

Of course, to me, this says less about the extent of Chuck’s love for Blair, and more about his lack of faith in himself.  Unlike Chuck, Louis seemed certain that Blair would return to him.  But, had Chuck not intervened, he would have been WRONG!  How important is faith in love?  This is something Blair will have to figure out for herself, in the coming months . . .

And, finally, I loved Chuck’s insistence that Blair recognize how powerful she is.  After all, the initial reason that Blair had broken up with Chuck, earlier this seaso,n is that she felt she needed to prove herself a powerful and successful woman, before she could align herself with a powerful and successful man.  But Blair has always been a powerhouse, in her own right, a woman who has time, and time, again shown her strength and intelligence.  And I suspect she will continue to do so, with or without a man at her side . . .

In the end, just like during their last break up, Blair and Chuck conclude their relationship by telling one another that they will always love eachother.  On one hand, it’s a depressing, and totally ass backward, way to end a relationship.  In another way, it is uplifting, and provides hope that these two will someday (hopefully sooner, rather than later) find their way back to one another once again. 

But, for now, Blair is walking off into the sunset with Prince Charming, just like in the fairytales.  But will they live Happily Ever After?  Knowing the GG writers, probably not.

Epilogue

We cut to a few weeks later, and learn that Blair will be spending the summer in Monaco with Louis.  She is also planning a November wedding, to which the entire Upper East Side Crew is invited . . .

Chuck comes to VDW mansion to see her off, and the two kiss one another wistfully, as “friends.”  And though they are both being all nice and mature, we, of course, don’t believe any of it, not even for a second . . .

Speaking of Chuck, he and Nate plan to spend the summer months traveling the world together, just as Blair and Serena did the summer before . . .

 . . . while Dan goes to the Hamptons to “write.”  Meanwhile, Serena spends time alone on the beach, where, miraculously, some young screenwriter and producer, just so happen to be adapting the ONE BOOK SHE HAS EVER READ THAT DOESN’T HAVE PICTURES IN IT, (appropriately titled “The Beautiful Damned” . . . just like her) into a film, and EQUALLY MIRACULOUSLY require her help to do so . . .

(Oh, you go right ahead, GG!  Just keep digging that knife deeper into aspiring writers’ chests.  It’s nice to know that it is SO easy for “brilliant” people like Serena and Dan to find success in the literary world.)

OH . . . and I almost forgot to mention, SOMEONE left THIS in the wastebasket of Blair Waldorf’s bedroom . . .

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Could there be a little Bass-tard on it’s way? 

So, that’s where the gang left off for the summer . . . each on their separate journies, which, of course, are destined to intertwine in innumerable ways, as the Summer comes to a close.  But, for now, the Summer is just beginning, both for the Upper East Siders, and for US!  So, enjoy it, Gossip Girl fans!  XOXO!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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