Only one more episode to go in Gossip Girl Season 4, and all the pieces are being put into place for the big season finale. The Thorpes’ attack on Bass Industries is narrowly averted, but is the stage set for an even worse loss for Chuck (Ed Westwick)? Will Blair (Leighton Meester) let the crown slip through her fingers? And most pressingly: WTF, Charlie (Kaylee DeFer)? For all those burning questions and more, read on.

Credit: Giovanni Rufino/The CW ©2011 Warner Brothers. All Rights Reserved. Photo: Prince Louis and Blair Have a Heart-to-Heart in Gossip Girl Season 4, Episode 21: “Shattered Bass”

Blair is still on a grim march toward romantic bliss with Louis (Hugo Becker). Ignoring Chuck’s violent outburst, she pushes forward with her campaign to win over Louis’s disapproving maman. But while the princess may not be an Upper East Sider, she knows a trick or two: She has Blair followed, and then tells Louis about B’s rendezvous with Chuck. Louis grows suspicious of Blair’s secrecy — and a visit to Chuck does nothing to allay those fears.

Chuck has troubles of his own. He’s opening a new hotel over in Brooklyn, which, wow, not the way to win back Blair. What’s worse, his old uncle/nemesis is back in town and consorting with the enemy. First Jack (Desmond  Harrington) meets with Raina (Tika Sumpter), who ropes him into a scheme to bring Chuck down, but Uncle J decides to go after a bigger fish and talks to Russell himself. Russell is glad to help, on one condition: He wants the tapes of the fire Chuck got from his private detective.

Credit: Giovanni Rufino/The CW ©2011 Warner Brothers. All Rights Reserved. Photo: Chuck and Blair Share a Moment in Gossip Girl Season 4, Episode 21: “Shattered Bass”

Charlie has snagged herself a Dan (Penn Badgley), though he seems about as attached to her as a puppy he’d been asked to babysit. Serena (Blake Lively) initially claims to be okay with their romance, but signs are gathering that Cousin Charlie’s more trouble than she appears — Vanessa (Jessica Szohr) calls to tell Serena about how Charlie shafted her, and Rufus (Matthew Settle) finds her medication (for some unspecified mental ailment, sounds like bipolar disorder) in the trash. Serena finally realizes something’s up when Charlie shows up in Serena drag at the Constance Alumni ball. You guys realize she’s the third person this year to dress up as Serena? Come on. No one else on this show has the boobs to pull that off.

Charlie pulls Dan away to sex him up on Headmistress Queller’s desk. But what seems like a bit of sexy, bad-girl fun takes a turn for the Single White Female when Charlie asks Dan to call her Serena while they’re doing it. Girl, you’ve got to wait till at least the fourth date to expose that level of crazy.

Credit: Giovanni Rufino/The CW ©2011 Warner Brothers. All Rights Reserved. Photo: Charlie and Dan Eat Candy in Gossip Girl Season 4, Episode 21: “Shattered Bass”

Jack has Chuck dragged away by the men in white coats, and Russell Thorpe triumphs — or so he thinks. Turns out Jack, Chuck, and Nate (Chace Crawford) were working together to figure out what Russell was up to. After watching that sought-after tape, it turns out Russell was the one who set the fire and killed his wife, because she was going to leave him for Bart Bass. Chuck boots him back to the Second City, generously promising not to tell Raina that Russell killed her mom if he never shows his face around City Numero Uno again. But Nate can’t keep a secret like that from his boo. When Raina insists on going after Chuck, Nate reveals that it was really Russell who killed her mother, and she calls dear ol’ pops to cut him out of her life for good.

Credit: Giovanni Rufino/The CW ©2011 Warner Brothers. All Rights Reserved. Photo: Chuck Accuses Jack in Gossip Girl Season 4, Episode 21: “Shattered Bass”

Louis’s suspicions begin to make him pull away from Blair, and he demands total honesty from her if they’re going to get married. Blair seems ready to acquiesce, but a text from a desperate Chuck sends her flying up to the roof to beg him not to jump.

But the text isn’t from Chuck at all. It’s Russell. Now that he’s lost everything, he thinks Chuck’s responsible, and he’s got Blair trapped on the roof of a skyscraper. Blair’s dress may be trimmed with feathers, but that doesn’t mean she can fly...

Will Blair find a happy ending? Not before enduring a little bit of hell:

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