(an outing! a sham relationship! amurder confession!) left us with high hopes for Monday night’s episode ofGossip Girl, but the results were definitely a mixed bag. The showstarts with an unexpected mystery: on the night after her bigrevelation, Serena has fallen off the grid. She’s not answering herphone, and no one knows where she is: Not Georgina, whose CruelIntentions shtick is getting a little old; not Dan, who makes a quickstop at home to tease Rufus about his upcoming “Top 10 Forgotten Bandsof the ’90s” concert; and certainly not Serena’s mom, who’s too busyplanning her wedding (which now has its own reality-blurring website at lilyandbart.weddingwindow.com) to even care. But then Blair summons Nate andChuck to her home, where the three of them nurse a well-sauced Serenaback to consciousness and finally extract her secret. At this point, theplot’s already moving a little too fast for its own good, but there’s abrilliant moment in which Nate, Chuck, and Blair stage an impromptu badbehavior contest to convince Serena that whatever she’s done can’tpossibly be worse than things they’ve done in the past. Blair: “I hadsex with [Chuck] in the back of a limo.” Nate: “I had sex with [Serena]at a wedding while I was [Blair’s] date.” Chuck: “I’m Chuck Bass.”Game, set, and match, sir.
And now, finally, the scoop on Serena’s huge, monster, mind-blowing,life-changing secret. On the night when Serena hooked up with Nate, sheheaded back to a hotel room with Georgina, where some guy tried toforce himself on her before fatally ODing on drugs. Aaaaand that’s it.Serena called 911 before leaving the scene with Georgina (who wasafraid of getting caught with blow), and then felt so guilty about thewhole thing that she told her mom to send her to boarding school.Excuse me? THIS is what Serena meant when she said she “killedsomeone”? After all that build up, I was expecting to see somethingmore along the lines of Serena strangling the guy with her lustrousmane. And sadly, things only go downhill from there as Serena developsa severe case of Lazy Writer Syndrome (symptoms include unmotivateddecisions, rash behavior, and out-of-character antics) and lies to Danabout the whole thing for no good reason. Was I the only one havingflashbacks of late-period O.C. here?
addCredit(“Lisa Loeb: Patrick Harbron”)
Thankfully, the show takes a break from the main plot for a goofy jauntto Oldsville, where Rufus is hanging out with none other than Lisa (pictured)at their concert. Yes, the “Stay” songstress makes an actualappearance. Pointless? Absolutely. But I’ll take a Loeb cameo any day Ican get it. (I think “#1 Single” may still be buried somewhere inthe Series Record list on my DVR…) It’s a short-but-sweet bit ofrelief before the the rest of the episode rushes by in a blur. Lily(who found the snuff tape after rifling through her daughter’s clothes)makes Serena apologize to the parents of the guy who died, but we don’teven get to see the moment when Serena must have confessed to her.Georgina is forced by Vanessa to reveal her true identity to Dan, whototally buys it when she says she changed her name to escape a crazyex. Lily kisses Rufus. And then Georgina seduces Dan, just to spite Serena. None of theseevents has any real weight, and it feels a bit like the last 15 minuteswere edited down from what could have been a whole show right there.Packing a lot of action into each episode has always been one of GossipGirl‘s strength, but it doesn’t work when you feel like the charactersare just along for the ride.
What do you think, PopWatchers? Was theepisode overstuffed? Was Serena’s secret a letdown? Is Georgina alreadyoverstaying her welcome? And isn’t it time for a bit more of Chuck andNate?