Episode 8: It's Really Complicated
By: Carlos Uribe
Gossip Girl is a show about some wealthy people in New York City.
It's Really Complicated is a Thanksgiving episode that airs a couple of weeks after the actual holiday. The episode was originally slated to air a week ago but Hurricane Sandy had pushed it away. An unintended consequence is that it simply felt a bit odd to be watching the characters have a Thanksgiving dinner so long as the holiday has passed. Once you get passed this disconcerting feeling, the episode turns out to be hands-down the best one of th season so far. It honestly felt like an episode that could stack up with other episodes in the first couple seasons of the show. This is because it was all built around the characters coming together for Thanksgiving dinner and the drama that would ensue from that. It isn't even a filler episode as there are some pretty big singificant plot turns. It's Really Complicated is simply a fun episode where the series is building it's mometum towards the series finale. That this is also the first episode where I have an idea that it's actually going to a finale rather than just spinning it's wheels helps to add to the value of this episode. It even helps to somewhat justify Steven and Sage's large role in the first half of the season, albeit it still can't explain to me what they they're doing on the show in the first place.
The Thanksgiving dinner happens when Lily and Bart decide that they're going to spend Thanksgiving away from home. This comes as a surprise to Serena since she doesn't live in a normal family, where vacations are normally planned. Since Serena doesn't want to spend Thanskgiving with just Dan, she decides that she'll invite all of her friends to come for dinner. Even Rufus is invited, but he's content being absent. Serena's invitation convinces Blair to spend the holiday meddling in other people's affairs rather than going to Paris. Blair is able to get Nate and Chuck to come to the dinner while also developing a plan on how to bring down Bart. A plan that only yacht because the business associate that had his phone stolen by Nate ended up drowning after being on a Bass Industries yacht. Blair is also able to manipulate Sage to attend the dinner by having herself and Steven invited. It then turns out that Lily and Bart don't end up leaving town because there's conviently a tropical storm that canceled their flight. Finally, Georgina shows up because she doesn't know which chapter Dan will publish on Serena: the nice one or the cruel one. All in all, this is a perfect recipe for delicious drama with a side of snappy dialogue.
So what happens? Steven tries to win Serena back but she proceeds to burn all bridges with him. Sage disgustingly gets back together with Nate because she's able to seduce him when he needs her as a distraction from Bart. Blair's plan to bring down Bart involves tying the accidental deaths of the business associate and the Saudia oil tycoon. I'm pretty sure that the Saudi oil tycoon had died of health complications but this episode corrects me of that assumption. The tycoon had died when his Bass Industries vehicle burst into fire. The two people who could put Bart in jail have now mysteriously died. Chuck is able to use this information to get Lily to turn on Bart. Her alliegance shift is done subtly because Bart basically threatens to kill his son and he makes the mistake of hurting Lily. It's great to see that the plot is actually moving considering how often it's wheels have spinned this season. This intself would have all been good drama that made the episode exciting but the writers weren't satisfied.
Dan's chapter is published in the middle of dinner. Georgina is delighted to see it's a really cruel piece on Serena. This effectively ends their relationship. Serena is now all alone. Dan moves back in with Brooklyn but he's not going to stay there. Apparently, his master plan was to publish critical pieces on people after they allowed him to live at their place. He provides the episode with a cliff-hanger where he starts to write the final chapter. My theory is that it's going to be on himself. So why has he been doing all of this? It's because he knew that they didn't view him the same way. They saw him as the innocent kid from Brooklyn. He wasn't their equal. His entire mission was to prove to them that he's just as terrible as they are. He has spent a large portion of the series identifying himself as an outsider but now he's trying his best to be one of them. They might hate him at the moment but now they fear and respect him. Why? He has realized that he won't be able to compete romantically if he isn't. His father lost to Bart and he's afraid Serena will leave him for Steven. He claims to be doing this because of his feelings for Serena but consider who he's aspiring to be in this episode. He's not trying to be a Steven or an Arbichald. He's trying to be a Bass. There's every possibilty that he's really doing this because he's still in love with Blair.
It's Really Complicated is simply a great episode of Gossip Girl. It's an episode that revealed to me where exactly Dan's head really is. It's an episode where the Bart story finally seems to have an ending in sight. It's an episode that had a dinner where good old-fashioned drama happened. This really felt like an old episode of Gossip Girl-where it was mostly catfights without the boring stuff. I have really missed that version of the show and I'm happy to have it back for at least one episode. Chuck and Blair are promising a war-here's hoping it's as entertaining as this week.
A small flaw: Blair's logic to manipulate Sage into having Steven and Serena (they're going to reunite regardless) shouldn't have worked.
Steven and Dan's crippling analysis of Serena is right: she's simply desperate to be loved and she'll turn to anyone who proves it to her.
Chuck's refusal to be with Blair because of their pact feels contrived. On the other hand, his mother issues are nicely dealt with in this episode.
The preview reveals only one thing about the penultimate episode: Chuck's plane disappears! DUN! DUN! DUN!