On last night's episode of what we Americans get instead of Downton Abbey because we don't deserve nice things, truths were unburied, passions were enflamed, and accounts were settled.
You might remember that there was this whole business going on with business. In that Chuck, a 20-year-old, runs a large empire of darkly lit sensual hotels and he is trying to do something to help the company because it's in money danger or some such rigmarole. Plus there's this guy from the show Spin City who's trying to kill Chuck's company or something and Lily is helping Chuck protect it and last week they did something that was good and Chuck is all "We're saved!" and everyone's happy (except Spin City obviously). But then last night Lily got her dry-cleaning delivered by Vanya the houseboy and mixed in with her clothing was an orange prison jumpsuit and a note that said "Maybe you should wear this tonight. Because you are going to jail. Or being blackmailed. Sincerely, the blackmailer." It was a pretty literal note, if I recall. "You are in trouble. Yours, a bad guy." Scary stuff!
So Lily's all worried and she figures that Ben must have spilled the beans to someone about how, many years ago, Lily had Javert take Jean ValBen to prison for fake reasons or something and now he's pissed. The trouble is her daughter Serena is dating Ben so everything's complicated. Of course all of this Ben stuff affects Chuck and her mother, but Serena keeps dating Ben, because I guess she is horrible and selfish? I mean, of all the boys in all the world, you have to date the one guy who could send your mom to jail and maybe ruin your stepbrother's company? It's like she lives her life solely to create dramatic tension that gets resolved in a weekly cycles or something. It's so weird! But whatever, that is what Serena is doing and now it is a problem because what if Ben has decided to put her mom in jail, as is the only way to clear his name once and for all. Plus then Ben's mom is in town and Serena is like "Oh, we should be friends." Because sure.
This means Lily's skulking around trying to figure out who's blackmailing her and Serena's willowing around her mansion trying to impress Ben's mom with pizzapie and Ben's mom is all "I'm lactose intolerant" and it's a good thing Ben is both a good son and a good boyfriend and told Serena about that before Serena had them over for lunch. Ben is great! I totally get why someone would fall so in love with him that it wouldn't matter that he might send your mom to jail. I get it completely. At the awkward pizzapie (well, salad for ol' Lactaid over there) lunch, Serena steps out for a second and overhears Ben's mom saying "You lose either way. Either you hurt her by turning her mom in and clearing your name, or you don't clear your name and you're screwed for life." Lactaid had a good point! But it is not what Ben or Serena wanted to hear. Then Lactaid was like "I'm leaving. But, let me go get my purse upstairs........" HMMMM. What a funny thing for Lactaid to say, isn't it???? Wonder why the writers gave her that unnecessary line.......
Well! Later on Serena is talking to Lily and she's like "I overheard this convo and I think you're right, I think Ben did it, luckily I still have that affidavit that proves everything" and Lily's like "The fuck? Why didn't you burn that shit?" and Serena said she thought it would be good to have on hand. For what, Serena? Record keeping? "I keep all of the family's illegal doings here in this well-protected underwear drawer that— OH HOLY SHIT, MOTHER OF FUCK IT'S GONE." Yup. Serena went looking in her super secret hiding place, and the smoking gun, the thing that will put Lily in the clink for sure (wealthy white women often go to jail for telling lies these days), was gone. Ben must have taken it! So Serena would have to confront him at a party. Chuck was having a party to celebrate everything being perfect, precarious but perfect, which is always a great time to have a party, it's a good idea to preemptively celebrate when you have everything to lose. These people are thinkers, man. Real thinkers. But yeah, that's where Serena decided she would confront Ben, because better to do that kind of thing indiscreetly in public than somewhere quiet where your shit won't be in everyone's face.
Also going to the party were Blair and Dan, who were in their own sort of pickle. Mainly that Blair kind of wants to play with Dan's pickle and maybe he wants that too. Yikes! They were still just doing the friend thing this episode, all stealthy and whatever, but tension was ratcheting up. Dorota found out that Dan was Blair's secret friend (in like the most plot Dorota's had in a long while, so that was fun) and was like "You are having sex affair!" and Blair was horrified. But then Dan was talking vaguely to Rufus about his secret friend, not by name, and Rufus was like "Are you smooshing this person?" and Dan was horrified. Why did people keep assuming that they were doing the Humphrey Hump? This made them uncomfortable, so they both independently decided to stand the other up for a friend date, but then they ran into each other while standing each other up and it was like "We gotta figure this out."
But then it was time for the party and it was too late, because major crap went down. Right before the party Serena was visited by a terrible demon that some folks call "Vanessa," the spirit of a long-dead cavewoman that is now a knotty tangle of bad juju and magicks. The Vanessa came to tell Serena what she had overheard — that Ben had done dastardly things in prison and whatnot. Like he'd had Nate's dad beat up or something. Whatever. The point is, this further shook Serena's confidence in Ben, so at the party she was really ready to talk to him about the affidavit and get mad or sad or something. But when she confronted him he was like "The hell you talking about?" and meanwhile Lily was upstairs talking to Lactaid, Ben's mom, because of course Chuck would invite this random woman no one's ever met before to his big "What Could Go Wrong?" party. Of course. Then it was discovered that of course the mom had been the one to take the affidavit while "getting her purse upstairs" (see???), though it was not explained how she knew where it was or even that it was there at all. I guess Ben told her? "I was rifling through Serena's underpants and there it was. This is good mom/son conversation, isn't it?" "Prison has changed you, son."
So oooooops, Serena! It wasn't Ben! But of course now Ben is sad that Serena doesn't trust him, so he ran away to cry and be alone for a while and Serena felt like poop. And then a bunch of shit happened with Chuck. There was this weird plan to get Spin City's daughter, whose doing weird things with Nate, to not like Spin City anymore by hearing about the blackmail that he's doing. Yeah, because Ben's mom was in cahoots with Spin City and now they have the affidavit and now it's all over or going to be unless something happens. So Chuck goes into a room to talk about all this with Spin City while, I guess, Raina (his daughter) stands in the wall looking into the room through the eyes of a portrait. And all goes according to plan: Spin City offers a blackmail, then Lily is like "Fuck it, Ima turn myself in anyway," and the Raina tears through the wall and is like "You're awful, daddy. Awful!" and Chuck laughs and laughs in a mwahahaha kind of way and, again, what could possibly go wrong? A lot, apparently!
After everyone else leaves, Spin City turns to Chuck and says "Well, ya got me. Say, do you know why I really hate Bass Industries?" and Chuck says "Yeah, because my dad stole Lily from you." Spin City shakes his head and says "No. It's because your dad burnt down my wife." WHAAT? Chuck's eyes went googly. Spin City nodded. "Yeah many years ago she was in a Bass hotel and it burnt down and she died so I hate your dad and by extension you." Clearly the wife lives up in the attic and Chuck is Jane Eyre or something, but for now, yeah, Chuck thinks that his dad's legacy is all a lie, because his dad lied to him about burning a lady up one time. So Chuck runs downstairs and yells "Get outtttt!!!!!" to everyone at the party (well, actually, he has Serena do that for him), and he starts drinking. Blair and Dan observe all this and then have a conversation about how Serena is upset about Ben breaking up with her (I think he's gone forever? Oh god how I hope he's gone forever) and Chuck is upset because his dad killed a lady with fire once. They figure that Chuck and Serena are really going to need Dan and Blair to comfort them right now, so maybe it's not the best time to be doing clandestine friend dates with each other. They're both sad, clearly, but what can you do?
Serena and Chuck are moping at the bar and Chuck moans "I have to talk to Blair, she's the only one who will understand." and Serena is worried about him because he's been drinking so she says "OK, I'll go with you." So they're both on their way to Blair's house which is scary because at that very moment, Dan is AT Blair's house. Yup, he showed up and said to Blair with his lips all quivering, "Here's how we'll know if we like each other as more than secret friends. We kiss once. If we feel something, then there it is." Blair, ever the pragmatist, agrees to this. Dan hesitates, and Blair says "Oh for Pete's sake," and grabs Dan by the scruff and pulls him in for a wet one. Then the screen freezes and the episode is over! Yup! Just like that.
Will Dan and Blair be a thing? Of course they'll be a thing! I think they'd be a good thing to end the show on. Full circle, in a way. The Brooklyn boy ends up with the UES princess. You know, whatever that literary device is. And then after they're together for a while, Chuck's dad comes back and burns them all up in a fire. A fire so hot it burns bright bright white and everyone screams and wails but it's too late, our friends are gone. But it's OK, because they were finished. So very, very finished.
I forgot to talk much about this whole plotline with Nate and Raina, but honestly who cares? At one point Raina said to Nate "You're smarter than you look" and it was supposed to be funny but mostly it was just sad for poor Chace Crawford. Oh and Billy Baldwin came back to torment Lily and Rufus, not in an actual sex dungeon torment kind of way unfortunately, but emotionally and businessly. He's stirring pots, basically. And Erik was nowhere to be seen this episode. I guess he was off hiding in the bushes staring at Vanya the houseboy again, trying to get a handle on the pickle. The pickle of being in unrequited love! Guys, don't be gross.