In short: It’s the episode in which every single character realizes what they want and what’s standing in their way. Unfortunately, this also means someone must die. But more on that later...
Blair untangles herself from her murderous subconscious and finds Chuck, then the two head over to Serena’s apartment, in matching strides and coordinating outfits. (Confidential to Eric Daman: Is aubergine the new black?) Serena, who is packing for Los Angeles, plays it off like she’s “purging her closet” — the only kind of bulimia to which we subscribe.
Blair tells Serena that they must befriend Ivy (Kaylee DeFer), because the smoky-voiced van der Wannabe is the key to toppling Bart Bass. Serena immediately calls Ivy, who then proves she’s the most gullible grifter in the history of sociopaths and agrees to meet Serena for brunch.
The next few scenes involve a complicated but predictable scheme: Ivy calls Bart, who thinks she’s back in town to scheme with him; Nate gives Bart a fake phone under the guise of avoiding jail time; and Blair and Serena get the girl gang back together to hijack Bart’s ‘Man of the Year’ party. The one dude who’s seemingly not been invited to this reunion? Dan Humphrey, who approaches Bart because he needs a reference for his new apartment and ends up agreeing to profile Bart for his ‘Man of the Year’ award. Oh, and then Nate’s arrested... for like twenty minutes.
Meanwhile, in the world’s most heavy-handed storyline (just wait for the Star Wars music), Bart tells Chuck he must either move to Russia (specifically, Moscow) or lose EVERYTHING (you know, like Blair... and his freedom). To ensure the safety of everyone Chuck loves, Bart insists that his son live in exile “forever.” Chuck agrees to this goodbye-everyone-forever plan, black car-ing it (the helicopter was in the shop) to the tarmac to meet the Bass Industries jet.
Blair, catching wind that the love of her life might soon be taking flight, ambushes him and pleads with him to stay. “Just have faith in me, this one last time,” Chuck tells her, holding her face. “My father would never try to kill his own son.” Then they have an epic makeout sesh and he boards the plane.
Dan attempts to make his love story with Serena equally epic but falls far short of Gone with the Wind status. He only published that really mean chapter because he wanted to show her he’s not scared of her... You know? Like people do? (Hello?) Serena isn’t buying any of his schtick, and has a surprising amount of zingers this episode. “Excuse me but I need to be... Anywhere but here.” Serena’s decided she’s moving to L.A., that she’s had enough of New York. Goodbye to all that (who are you, Leighton Meester?).
Meanwhile, Blair and Serena circle their minion wagons at the ‘Man of the Year’ gala. Blair, determined to steamroll herself into the Bass World War, makes Ivy serve vodka drinks and pretend she has copies of the precious microfilm. As the scheming girls and stiff drinks circle the room, Blair’s attention is suddenly interrupted by a news broadcast: the Bart Industries jet has gone down, killing all onboard.
In perhaps the most shocking scene of the night (final death scene included), Dan takes the podium to introduce Bart and instead introduces Chuck — who is not only not dead but also suddenly vindicated and immediately accuses his father of having him killed. (Note to writers: If you build a promo completely on someone’s death, maybe give it five minutes in the actual episode to knock the point home...)
While the boys are fighting, the girls are making up. Blair, who’s learned of her former-present-future BFF’s possible move to the West Coast from their shared ex, Dan Humphrey, confronts Serena on the stairs. Serena explains she’s anxious to escape from her own shadow. “In Los Angeles, no one cares if I date the wrong guy.” Our flaxen-haired heiress is dead-set on moving to L.A., but Blair pleads (once again) with her to consider staying — and moving cross-town instead of cross-country.
Chuck finds his father on the roof, and the two have a fist-fight about what it means to be a man (no, really). Chuck: “A man accepts responsibility for his actions, a man takes care of his family, a man doesn’t pay a woman to abandon her family and then tell his son his mother was killed.” Yeah, okay, that’s an oddly specific definition. Blair finds Chuck watching his father hang from the side of the building, and then they both watch Bart fall to his death while weird Batman/Star Wars music plays and three words flash on screen: “to be continued...”
What do you think? Is Bart really dead or does this dude have a life for every billion in the bank?