With our return to the upper echelons of Manhattan’s youthful society hitting televisions this week, it’s time to recap what happened over the course of season 2. For those of you that want a more in-depth look at the events of last year, our beloved FSR editors haven’t thrown away last year’s reviews quite yet, so feel free to catch up that way. However, for those that want the quickfire version, stick around! There’s plenty to see and learn right here:
Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgeley) : Good guy from the wrong side of the wealth line, in serious L.O.V.E with Serena van der Woodsen. At the end of season 1, Dan and Serena parted ways, only to reunite several times over the course of season 2. His college dreams of attending Yale were thwarted due to a lack of funds, sending him towards NYU and matriculation with his former classmates. Dan’s biggest twist this season was the scandalous relationship with a teacher at Constance Billard, breaking Serena’s heart. Though the two weren’t a couple when rumours began about the pair, a spark caught and relations were had. However, all good things must end and the object of his affection hopped a bus back to the midlands where she will be forever labeled as the teacher that slept with a student. Hope it was at least good sex.
Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) : Former bad girl with a love of guys with a good heart, now step-sister to Chuck Bass. Slept with her best friend’s boyfriend during her wilder days. Other than breaking up and making up with Dan a handful of times over the course of the season, Serena’s storylines mainly involved her climb back to the top of the social ladder and her relations with some wishy-washy partners. Another major strand to her story arc involved falling victim to a complex con (fake marriage, fake investments, fake beau) enacted by a supposed friend and created a somewhat interesting plot line for the usually lovestruck girl. Of particular interest in that arc was the return of Georgina Sparks (the wonderfully evil Michelle Trachtenberg) to the realm of Gossip Girl, first as born-again goody-two-shoes and then as the vicious bitch we know and love.
Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) : Queen bitch of her school, with a love of Audrey Hepburn and Chuck Bass. Heavy (one-sided) rivalry with bff Serena, along with some residual issues over boyfriend-related events. Blair began the season furious with Chuck for his desertion and dangling her new-found love in his face. Humiliation soon followed, when her Lordly beau ran off with his step-mother (who just happened to be Nate’s older lady friend). Blair’s love life continued down the messy path, with Chuck playing a major role in the games. Unfortunately, it also featured Chuck’s uncle, a fact which almost split the pair as they finally found happiness together. Happily, Chuck had grown beyond the point of letting her slip away, and the couple became official in the final moments of the season. On the non-romantic side of the street, Blair’s dreams of attending Yale sputtered when her jealousy of Serena turned nasty, then died when she focused her wrath on a new teacher, earning blemish after blemish on her previously sparkling record. With the loss of her chance at Yale, she tried to lose the rest of her identity, but eventually realised that she still had something to live for, even if it is at NYU.
Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) : Playboy of Manhattan’s (youthful) elite and in lust/love with Blair. Has severe daddy issues and believes all women want him. Chuck started season two feeling guilty and heartbroken over his treatment of Blair, a theme which continued throughout the season. Rivalry between the couple reached new heights, with declarations of love and twisted game-playing featuring heavily. In the end, Chuck’s predictions over the couple’s doomed destiny seem false, as he finished the season standing with Blair and presenting her gifts from all over the world. Sadly, season two wasn’t all happiness, with the death of his father hitting the young man hard. Added to this was the betrayal by his trusted uncle, who attempted to steal the Bass empire from under Chuck’s nose. Luckily, his step-mother rescued his company and offered him a place to live. What a lady.
Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford) : childhood sweetheart of Blair Waldorf until he cheated on her with bff Serena. Turned his dad in for drug possession and broke his mother’s heart. Nate began the season in a precarious situation, with no money and an older woman handing him wads of cash to satisfy her. After that particular relationship goes up in smoke, along with his official one with Vanessa, Nate is left living the life of a squatter in his old digs. Eventually things look up, all it takes is an attempted extortion and his father going to jail. Further family matters play merry havoc with his newly repaired relationship with Vanessa, but that’s ok because he was meant to be with Blair anyway, sacrificing any remaining friendship with Chuck by doing so. Except Blair and Nate weren’t meant to be, with the pair breaking up after a perfect prom. Nate’s storyline this year was pretty circular, with the long and the short of it being his cutting of ties with Chuck and his decision to attend NYU.
Jenny Humphrey (Taylor Momsen) : sister to Dan and former devotee/current target of Blair and her coven. Has a flair for designing clothing and a hatred of all things Chuck. Started the season working in the Waldorf fashion house as an intern before working her way up to integral and under-appreciated designer. After a few episodes of a friend’s whispering in her ear of fortune and fame, little J. decided to quit school, start her own fashion line, attempt emancipation and don as much eyeliner as she could get out of one pencil. Eventually she woke up to the idea of a life without a real future and settled back to life at school, and, through Blair’s intervention, was eventually crowned as the new Queen of Constance Billard.
Vanessa Abrams (Jessica Szohr) : Best friend to Dan and current girlfriend of Nate. Bohemian attitude to life and wants to make movies rather than go to college. Belongs on staff here at FSR. Vanessa began season two as Nate’s girlfriend, with the relationship going through one hell of a ride over the course of the season. Her liaisons with Chuck, his cheating with a significantly older woman (for cash), his relations with little Jenny Humphrey, his reunion with Blair. So much to choose from, and most of it was Nate’s fault. Happily, everything worked out for the best. At the end of the season, the pair were due to set off backpacking around Europe for the summer, as friends. Wonder how long that lasted.
Lily van der Woodsen (Kelly Rutherford) : Mother of Serena and wife of Chuck’s father, Bart Bass. Rich and powerful, with a long-forgotten but recently-resurfaced love for Rufus Humphrey. Intolerant of her daughter’s wilder side due to her own past. Lily started the season as the new Mrs Bass, despite her feelings for a certain Mr. Humphrey. By midway through the season was a widow, but this wasn’t enough to get those crazy cats back together. A secret from her past in the form of a son given up for adoption caused a rift between the pair, along with many tears upon being informed of his death. Good intentions went wildly awry as she tried to keep Serena on the right path and keep Rufus out of the red when both fell prey to a con artist, but it all worked out alright in the end. Except for the sad news that the spin off following her life as a teenager in the Valley wasn’t being picked up.
Rufus Humphrey (Matthew Settle) : Father of Dan and Jenny. Fronted a rock band in the 80s, during which time he fell head over heels for Lily. Still head over heels for Lily, but has more issues now. After professing his love to a married woman (Lily) and having her admit she loved him back, Rufus was elated, but this was not to last. Discovering that Lily had fallen pregnant, had his son and given him away without even informing him drove a wedge between the newly formed couple. Worse still was the revelation by the adoptive parents that his son had died years earlier, meaning he’d never get to know the lad. Rufus rallied eventually and even fell back in love with Lily, despite a worrying time where money threatened to come between them. Happily, disaster was averted and he proposed, beginning the combining of the Humphrey and van der Woodsen households forever.
What’s next for Gossip Girl?
At the end of season two, we saw Georgina Sparks return to her nastier ways, swearing vengeance against a certain ex-Queen B. We’re not quite sure whether it was the constant put downs or the loss of the Church’s money that shook Georgie out of her sweet and forgiving altered persona, but the damage is done and Blair is going to pay. Somehow, despite her seeming disdain for attending school, Georgie has made it to NYU and is up for some mischief at Blair’s expense. Her big eyes and sweet charm convinced the college housing authorities to pair them for next year’s accommodation, guaranteeing wacky fun times ahead.
Of course, with she and Chuck newly coupled, it’s possible that no one could knock Blair off her own personal cloud 9, not even missing out on Yale. It was a long road for the pair, but Chuck’s admission of love and tokens of affection from around the world would make any girl swoon. He’ll be busy learning to run the Bass empire and keep it safe from evil uncles and takeover threats, but there’s no doubt that he’ll make time for his favourite girl.
Meanwhile, Serena has more on her mind than mere romance as she heads off into the horizon to locate daddy dearest. She should really be more concerned with a threat far closer to home, as her supposedly dead half-brother begins to cosy up to Dan and the gang. Lily and Rufus have just gotten things back on track, with a very sweet proposal thrown in for good measure, but will their relationship weather the coming storm? A child coming back from the grave should be a joyous occasion, but will it stir up old issues over giving him away in the first place? Not to mention how it will affect Dan and Serena and their Ross ‘n’ Rachel dance?
The only way to find out how all this will sort itself out is to watch the season premiere, “Reversals of Fortune”, coming this Monday night (Sept 14th) at 8/7c on The CW. Til then – XOXO, GG fans.