The Treasure of Serena Madre

It’s a rare Gossip Girl episode where Blair and Chuck come out at the end looking like the lest devious and morally bankrupt characters. But it was Thanksgiving last week in Manhattan, so we should all raise a glass in appreciation of an episode that started out as frankly dire but came out as actually very enjoyable.

But as I said. It didn’t start well, because the scriptwriters decided to go for that most awkward of plot devices, contriving to get EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER in the same room for the same meal. So we had Thanksgiving at the VdW’s, including cancer patient CeCe, Eleanor Waldorf (but inexplicably and tragically no Cyrus), Tripp and the wife he was apparently divorcing, Vanessa’s hideous hippy mother, plus all the normal members of this gang of well coiffed stragglers.

Not that any of them were much in the festive spirit. Vanessa was fighting with her mum, while a lovestruck Dan tried to play peacemaker using diplomatic skills honed in the Sylvio Berlusconi school of tact. Happily by the end the two were getting along again, but not before mummy gave Dan one of those “if you hurt my precious daughter ,you evil male I will hunt you down and kill you,” lectures.

Which would have perhaps rung truer had we not just learnt that Vanessa’s mum had once abandoned her at a play to spend time with a homeless guy. (Though I guess anyone is preferable to Vanessa…)

While that was going on Jenny and Eric were having some juvenile spat over who backstabbed the other more. The details were confusing and largely peripheral to the wider question; why is perfect Eric being dragged down into Jenny’s despicable Mean Girls territory.

Tut Tut. Eric is supposed to be the moral conscience of the show, dontchya know!

But they were a minor distraction to the more exciting point…what exactly was Lily hiding? The ‘previously on’ pretty much gave a way that the episode would have something to do with the mysterious Daddy VdW, yet it was still a bit of a shocker when CeCe (looking rather glowing for a cancer survivor…apparantly money really can buy health, or at least a good make up artist) kept putting her foot in it. Lily LIED to Rufus about where she was last summer (that the actress was on maternity leave was perhaps not a good cover story). And not just the once either.

But now Trip’s nasty wife has an incriminating letter, so the sparks should be flying next week…

Like mother like daughter really. In between deceiving her 438th hubbie, Lily had some motherly advice to dispense to her darling little homewrecker. Yes, Serena was still having her ‘political moment’ with Tripp, secure in the belief that he was leaving his wife for what Blair astutely described as an “eighteen year old coincidence”.

Oh Serena. If you read a newspaper any time, instead of just browsing through Perez Hilton’s headlines, you would know that politicians never leave their wives for their mistress.

Haven’t you heard of Monica Lewinsky, you fool?

But Serena made her choice, breaking poor Nate’s heart in the process. I give it one episode before the scandal gets found out, possibly by some enterprising journalist getting their hands on the video footage of her and Tripp playing what Chuck called “grab ass in the elevator”.

It was left to Blair to provide some comic relief and some heart to the story. Smelling a rat with her mother back in town, Blair finds a pregnancy test, does the maths and decides her years of only child-dom are over.

But being Blair, she can’t just ask her mum for the truth. So she tries to tease it out, using in no particular order her mum’s fave champagne and unpasteurized cheese. When that foolproof strategy flops she just blurts it out. Subtle.

Turns out Eleanor is not pregnant, she is just moving to Paris permanently. Well yes. Obviously.

Because if you were the mother of a borderline psychotic teenager, you’d also think that leaving her alone in a big city was a sound idea.

But of course, someone is pregnant on the show. None of the likely culprits though; it turns out Blair might need a new maid / slave. Yes, Dorota is expecting. Not that she’s so chuffed. She’s been ignoring Vanya through every different social networking tool, afraid that when her parents find out she is knocked up they ‘start new Soviet-Polish war’.

Wonder how the scriptwriters would absurdly contrive to get all the characters involved in that particular storyline too?

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