Gossip Girl Episode Recap: “It’s a Wonderful Lie”

Gossip Girl

By Jordan Hudson

Two weeks ago, we all gave thanks for a very emotional episode of Gossip Girl, with the possible exception of Vanessa, who you know is vegan and doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving because of the oppression of zzzzzzzz I’m sorry, what? Oh, right. Thanksgiving has come and gone and now we have even more to be thankful for: some sort of Christmas cotillion! I hope everyone wears masks again.

New York is a winter wonderland, and the girls are planning a high school charity ball, because of course. Blair has a file of potential dates, Chuck vetoes them all, and Serena has on her Liza-With-A-Z makeup, which can’t be a good sign. Although Serena has gotten Aaron a first-edition Rilke for Hanukkah, he will not be attending the Snowflake Ball. Serena and Dan decide to not go together, but to each go alone, together, to the ball. Meanwhile, in the world where people are not enrolled in school, Jenny bitches to Vanessa about how bored she is with no schooling and no fashion career. She admits to Vanessa that she doesn’t know what went wrong with Nate, and somehow Vanessa neglects to mention that she stole that letter last week, as Nate buzzes through on V’s cell. Penelope arrives to commission a Snowflake dress from Jenny, who tells her she’s very expensive. Rufus and Lily chair the decorating committee of the Snowflake, and Lily asks him to save her a dance; however, Bart arrives and tells his wife that they need to talk. Lily essentially tells him that she can’t stop him from talking, and he tells her that he has fired his PI, and that he’s sorry. I believe him not an iota. He says he’ll be back from his Miami trip in time for the ball, and says that he would love to escort her.

Lexi, Aaron’s ex, bitches about his pictures of Serena just as S and Dan walk through the door of Aaron’s studio. Serena tries to be a good sport, eventually blackmailing Aaron into taking her to the Snowflake, while Lexi hones in on the chiseled cheekbones and blank stare of Dan Humphrey. Eeewww ew ew ew ew ew Nate and Vanessa kiss in close-up and please stop that. Gross. Ew. She is such a bitch! Nate asks V to be his date to the Snowflake, but she begs off because of Jenny; he persuades her with lots more gross kissing, while some wee shutterbug snaps a pic. Back in Brooklyn, Penelope asks Jenny what happened with her and Nate, just as GG publishes the photo of Nate and Vanessa kissing. Again: ew. Vanessa arrives at the loft to find Little J with a seam-ripper. Jenny shrieks, and Vanessa tells her that she will be attending the Snowflake as Nate’s date. Burn!

Chuck, in camelhair, plays the Waldorf piano (not a euphemism) until Blair walks in dressed in a beautiful Mondrian-inspired dress; the two decide to pick each other’s dates. If Chuck likes the date Blair chooses for him, she gets his limo for a month; if Blair likes her date, Chuck gets…DOROTA! Say it ain’t so! Oh, that’s spectacular. Aaron, Serena, Dan and Lexi awkwardly walk around Brooklyn, while awkwardness awkwardly ensues, ending in Lexi angling for an invitation to the ball. Aaron reveals that Lexi enjoys, ah, getting close on a first date. Serena makes the ew face that I, too, am currently making. Jenny delivers Penelope’s dress to a jealous Penelope and Hazel, who warm to her when they learn that she and V are no longer friends. Iz prances out in a dress that turns, to her chagrin, entirely sheer under the lights: Jenny and the Headbands conspire to loan Vanessa the see-through dress for the ball. Jenny tells V she couldn’t sleep and gives her the dress that she “stayed up all night” making. V tries to confess to J about the letter-thievery of Thanksgiving; Jenny scampers off before she can, and Vanessa tells Nate over the phone that she has a confession for him as well.

Serena boredly lacquers her nails while Blair natters on about her (absolutely killer) Louboutin peeptoes and her chosen date for Chuck. Serena worries about Dan and Lexi sleeping together before Aaron and Serena; she’s “not rushing into anything”, which…thank God, he’s disgusting. Dan calls Serena to make sure she’s ok with him taking Lexi to the ball, which she pretends to be. Of course, she propositions Aaron as soon as she gets off the phone. Dorota is culling possible Bass dates from her Facebook groups. Mom, Dad, if you read this, could I PLEASE have Dorota for Christmas? Thanks. Blair tries to describe Chuck’s perfect woman to Dorota, and ends up inevitably describing herself. Lily calls her husband’s secretary and learns that Bart is in a meeting with his PI. She tells the secretary that Bart should not come meet her at the ball.

Snowflake Ball! Teenagers wear rented tuxes and drink well drinks, and Little J’s custom dress for Penelope looks like a bad Jessica McClintock, which is saying something. Chuck (in a rhinestone-encrusted velvet tuxedo jacket) and Blair introduce their dates to each other to discover that they have brought manques of themselves; the Chuck wannabe is even wearing a scarf. Lexi tells Dan that Serena and Aaron are going to share a sleeping bag tonight, and Dan chokes a lot. A beautiful Lily approaches Rufus and tells him that she’s leaving Bart, and asks him for a dance. They hold each other, and more than Chuck and Blair, this is the love story that this show is most invested in, and by extension the love story that we most root for. Serena, beautiful in a sequinned nude dress with layers of tulle, moves into Dan’s arms, and they try to negotiate their friendship, their exes, their currents, and their sex lives while holding each other close. Serena blanches when she learns that Dan will most likely be sleeping with Lexi later, because she assumed that Dan placed more value on sex than that. (Um, he’s a 17-year-old boy, Serena.) Vanessa tells Jenny that she’s breaking up with Nate in order to preserve her friendship with J. She then reveals to Nate that she took his letter to Jenny, then walks away. The Headbands turn a spotlight on Vanessa, and she stands there in her underwear while everyone laughs. Jenny chases after her with a wrap, but Vanessa leaves the ball.

Nate tells Jenny that Vanessa didn’t deserve her public humiliation, and gives J the letter he sent. He tells her that those feelings he once had are no longer valid after her treatment of Vanessa. Chuck and Blair come across their respective doubles, kissing, having decided that they were meant for each other. Lily and Rufus sit outside in the snow and twinkle at each other. She asks Rufus to “tell her something he shouldn’t.” He hems and haws and come ON, Rufus! He tells her he let her marry Bart because he was afraid he couldn’t give her what she needed; Chuck sees the two holding hands. He calls and tells his father, who is being accompanied from the airport by his PI, whom he did indeed fire: the PI tells him that he wants to tell him what he found out about Lily. At the ball, Chuck confronts Lily and tells her that his father is on his way, and that she owes Bart an explanation. Nate catches Vanessa at a cab (ha! she’s a subway taker) and tells her that despite everything, he wants to be with her. They kiss as she cries, outside in the cold. Jenny watches them drive away.

Jenny is approached by the Headbands, whom she tells that Vanessa is twice the person that each of them are. Blair mournfully watches the dancers as Chuck asks her to dance; she asks him what the point is, what they even are to each other anymore. He tells her that they have tonight, and leads her out to the floor. Lily’s phone rings with a restricted number and her face freezes. Dan tries to avoid being left along with Lexi: Serena asks if she can speak with him briefly. She apologizes for being so jealous, and the two of them really don’t want to go home with their respective dates. He stops her and tells her that their first time together was the greatest night of his life; Lily rushes up frantic, looking for Chuck, and tells Serena that Bart has been in an accident.

Next week: blackmail, and Bart’s funeral? OMFG.

Well, that was…hmmm. I can’t help but feel like they’re working awfully hard to keep throwing Dan and Serena together, and like they’re working awfully hard to keep Chuck and Blair apart. And does anyone want to see Vanessa with Nate? Because ew, right? Discuss.

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