May 20, 2008By Joe Diliberto Posted: May 20, 2008
The season finale of GOSSIP GIRL began with Lily waking up in Rufus' bed on the day of her wedding to Bart. Chuck woke up (fully dressed) in Blair's bed, much to her horror. Serena discovered that Georgina had spent the night at Dan's place. She flipped out and confessed the whole "I thought I killed some guy and you'd hate me so it was better you thought I slept with two strange men" thing. Bart and Lily had a coded conversation about revisiting "things" they loved when they were young — and how they should be let things — old buildings or old boyfriends — go.
With Dan's help, Blair delivered the killing blow to Georgina by delivering the spawn of Satan to the only power she fears: the parental units. As good as Leighton Meester (Blair) is at acting the cat who swallowed the canary, Matthew Settle (Rufus) is even better at playing thunderstruck. Witness his expression when Dan told him Lily's wedding was going forward. Rufus looked at Lily with such adoration in his eyes. After 20 years, they still make each other nervous. Nevertheless, he sent her off down the aisle. Serena wasn't the one getting married, but she looked so seasick she may as well have been. That was because Dan told her he didn't sleep with Georgina, "but I may as well have." He was angry at Serena lying to him, not at the one big lie she thought he'd be mad about. Still, they left it with "Have a nice summer; see ya back at school."
Of course they weren't the only couple not getting along. Chuck and Nate butted heads over Blair — can you believe Chuck admitted "I was in love with Blair"? Chuck tossed his notes and addressed his best man toast to Blair — which may have been a romantic gesture, but made for a lousy speech, since it was all about him. Still, it worked on Blair: He got a dance. And a kiss. Chuck arranged to give Blair a lift to Europe, and everything looked cool — until Bart scared his son with a speech about how having a "real" girlfriend would mature him. I could see the wheels turning behind the panic in his eyes. All too conveniently, Lily arrived with a cute assistant, and Chuck immediately hit on her, leaving an oblivious Blair to fly to Europe with a handsome stranger. I have to admit that I was heartened to hear him deliver what I call his Bass line: "I'm Chuck Bass." I have enjoyed the evolution of Chuck season. As personified by Ed Westwick, it felt like I was watching the birth of a supervillain; all the drama and travails (all the more tragic for being self-inflicted) were hardening his heart and strangling his soul. I half expect him to don Dr. Doom armor and set out to conquer the world — hey, SMALLVILLE needs a new Big Bad next season. When evil is an option, who wants to see a "nice" Chuck Bass? Not this observer. Tossing Blair aside to nail some random chippie was perfectly Chuck. And the perfect note to lead into the gang's summer hiatus. No cliff-hanger needed to attract viewers this fall.
ONE TREE HILL's season's finale picked up the thread of Lucas drinking away his days and nights, trying to drown his memories of Lindsay. At some point he engaged a hairstylist to give him a Mohawk. Now, some of you might think little Jamie modeled his faux-hawk on his Uncle Luke's look, but he actually stole it from my 7-year-old nephew, who wore a faux-hawk all last summer — and I have the photographs to prove it. Anyway, Luke was not the only one clinging stubbornly to the past: Brooke resisted letting Angie go home — going so far as to ask Dr. Eyebrows (better known as TV's Chris Beetem — ex Tate, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) to find a medical excuse to keep her in the country. Peyton became a mad water-bomber. And Nate's private basketball practices with Quentin deteriorated to the point where the younger man blasted him for playing scared. It's easier to have a dream taken away than to try it and fail. Finally, Jamie has refused to venture into the pool ever since he fell in. He told his father it was okay if he never played hoops again. Yes: Even a 5-year-old could see the parallels between his being afraid to literally dive into an actual pool and his father's reluctance to get back in the (basketball) game. The writing is that anvilicious.
But everything began to change when Lindsay visited Lucas. She kind of wanted to tell him his book was finished except for the dedication, but she kind of wanted to stomp on his heart in person. Then, to the tune of Boston's "The Man I'll Never Be," Jamie mustered the courage (and donned the water wings) to take the plunge. And things started to change. Brooke gave up Angie, and a newly-shorn Lucas was there to support her. Meanwhile, Dan willed a minister named Howard Carter to die and cede him the top spot on the heart-transplant list. (I know what you were thinking: Wasn't Howard Carter the famous Egyptologist who discovered Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922? Why, yes, he was.) Peyton decided to write "I will always love you" on the playground basketball court as a message to Lucas. Luckily, Haley was there to help Lucas hold it together.
Lucas texted Lindsay the following dedication for his book: "To all those lost souls who have forgotten to believe in the immensity of love." Of course, that instantly melted her heart, and she immediately called him, sobbing into his voicemail that she forgot the immensity of his love. (Wait — kids, don't read that last sentence; it's not what it sounds like). "Of course I miss you," she cried. "It's all I do." But Lucas was busy trying to come to terms with Peyton. Let me ask: Why does Peyton act like Lucas owes her an apology? She blew him off. (Wait — kids, don't read that last sentence; it's not what it sounds like). She rejected him; his sin was trying to move on. Like I said, everything changed. Nathan suddenly discovered the ability to not only take the rock to the hole but dunk on Q. Howard Carter died (was it the Curse of the Pharaohs?), and while Dan was rejoicing he actually helped a little old man with a cane. So, of course he got run down in the street by a speeding car. Then his beeper went off. Now that's a curse! With only a handful of seconds left, it was time to reprise the promotional spots: Lucas sat at the airport and dialed someone. The three women in his life, Peyton, Lindsay and Brooke, all coincidentally answered their phones, and he appeared to ask one of them to fly to Las Vegas with him and get married tonight. Then the screen faded to black without resolution. (C'mon, you didn't really believe that they would reveal whom he was talking to, did you?) And Journey wasn't even playing.
Hmmm, is the season premiere of THE BACHELORETTE a fair representation of what it's like out there in the dating pool? If so, I think I've let my novelty skill-set atrophy. I cannot knock a lemon off another dude's skull with a roundhouse kick; I don't have rock-hard abs of steel; and I don't own a duck call or a clown suit. Then again, those qualities were not necessarily winners last night either. DeAnna Pappas, who lost out on last November's edition of THE BACHELOR when Brad Womack didn't choose anyone (way to validate that no-commitment stereotype, dude), climbed into the dating driver's seat to distribute roses to 15 out of 25 would-be suitors who strutted and preened like peacocks at the forest watering hole. An enterprising fellow wrote DeAnna's name on the back of his swim trunks. This is what women want?
I want to call it a day for Night Shift…