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Salon of the Dead - Recap

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The episode begins and, it’s morning on the Upper East Side, and each main character of the show is focused on; Blair is wearing a floral dress while sipping tea in unison with her husband, Dan Humphrey, who at the moment is taking care of the household. Serena meanwhile, is typing on her laptop and responding to Gossip Girl emails. Nate is still seemingly in a deep slumber, but his slumber is interrupted by his girlfriend, Lola Charlie Rhodes, who calls to gush about how “this It Girl thing has it perks.” Apparently she’s got an audition with the guy who made Kirsten Dunst relevant again: Lars Von Trier, and hence she is barely able to contain her excitement.

Meanwhile Dorota, beams over Blair and Dan while serving them breakfast, and won’t stop calling Humphrey “Lonely Boy.” Blair continues to harp at Dan about how they need to plan their first public outing as a couple, she drives home the fact that it is a big deal. Meanwhile, Serena and Lola are trying clothes on together. Serena hands Lola a few of her dresses and tries to sound offhand while observing: “The only person who’s not writing about you is Gossip Girl.” Lola is not fazed by this weird comment from Serena, and barely gives any reaction. Back in Brooklyn, Dan is wearing a tie; Rufus provides some stark contrast by wearing a handyman belt full of tools. Rufus doles out some parenting advice about how he and Lily are a metaphor for Dan and Blair in the future. Rufus thinks he and Lily have stopped being honest with each other and then leads into this gem: “I became a plus one for galas and her life, but in the process, I lost myself.”

In the meanwhile, Nate has finally awoken and is looking professional while also wearing a messenger bag. Diana walks in to his office. Nate lists his many anxieties, at the top of which is Chuck Bass’ mission to find his birth mom. Diana feigns concern for Nate but then brusquely walks into the hallway to call Jack; looking visibly concerned. “Just heard from Nate that Chuck’s still on the hunt. We have to stop him,” Diana whispers furtively into the phone; with urgency and purpose in her voice. Diana gets a text message from the real Gossip Girl in the meanwhile and looks visibly worried about it; she’s pissed Serena won’t turn the reins back over and makes it very clear through her massage. GG threatens to tell the world Diana’s secret if she doesn’t turn in the reins soon — the secret is the one “that made you afraid of me in the first place.”

Lola shows up at her audition for Mr. Von Trier and is promptly told she’s no longer needed — as the Gossip Girl blast about Lola’s “diva” behavior has already hit iPhones across Manhattan. Serena is sitting on her bed, twirling her hair and eating grapes, making the gossip puppets dance in the meanwhile. Lola calls Serena and asks her if she mentioned the conversation to anyone, at which a montage of lying happens as the girls pretend they don’t know the other’s secret, despite the fact that they virtually know everything. Dan and Blair walk into a Brooklyn eatery. Dan admits he really wanted to stop in at the spot next door because his “friend is covering it for McSweeney’s.” Then Dan and Blair run into Julian Tepper and Jenna Gribbon, the proprietors of the Oracle Club, who Blair appropriately anoints the “Brangelina of the five boroughs,” and they manage to convince Dair that cross-borough living is a wave of the future, and they too should try it.

Nate and Lola are making out in his office, and then Lola launches into her theory about how Serena is Gossip Girl, all of a sudden. Nate is shocked by this sudden reaction from Lola. Nate is pissed and tells Lola she’s reached her quirky quotient for the day. Diana goes to confront Serena about the whole Gossip Girl thing and tries to play both sides, persuasively urging Serena to keep the GG reins because it’s best for both of them. “I am a woman who has lived,” Diana explains “I have plenty to hide.” Meanwhile, Dan is pushing for Mason jars at their big “coming out” party while Blair thinks “pub food” includes foie gras. “We both love Radiohead,” Dan concedes, at which point Blair announces the theme is “London Calling” — and she only wants “influencers” there. Like Diana Payne. She also wants Dan to announce his second book at their big soiree as it the perfect occasion to do so— a fact Lola overhears and sends directly to Gossip Girl in an attempt to prove that she is GG.

Lily gets a call from the Soho Grand, at which point she realizes Rufus has been paying for Ivy’s absence from the apartment. And she’s livid on knowing this. The salon is happening and it has lots of exposed brick, Union Jack flags, and prints of “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Serena and Lola crash the party, sitting triumphantly across from each other. Diana shows up and grabs Serena, at which point Lola grabs Serena’s phone and livestreams the Serena/Diana confrontation straight to the Gossip Girl site, as she feels it’s a confrontation worth streaming. Serena asks a bunch of leading questions until Diana admits she’s Chuck Bass’ real mother, much to Serena’s shock. At this point, everyone at the party gets the Gossip Girl blast, much to their surprise.

Diana tries to creep out of the room unnoticed on realizing what has just happened, but Chuck is sitting at a nearby table. “Is it true?” he yells, brow furrowed, clearly angry at what has just transpired. Blair is furious this happened at her party, as the party has turned out to be a fiasco. Julian and Jenna sneak out, sneering as they seem to be enjoying every moment of it, “this wouldn’t have happened at The Oracle Club.” Blair exclaims, “This wasn’t uptown, or downtown, it was a bloody mess!” Diana shows up at Nate’s apartment looking for Chuck, who furrows his brow again and says: “I may be angry but I want to know the truth”, he clearly seems to mean business, and will have nothing but the truth, from the looks of it.

So Diana spills it, all of it — how she had an affair with his father, Bart Bass, when they were both married to other people, and how she only returned after Bart died to try to watch over Chuck “from afar.” Then Chuck asks, “So what does it all mean?” Diana says: “That’s for you to decide”, as she has revealed all that she could, and wants Chuck to make his own judgment. As night falls on the failed salon, Dan and Blair are arguing about the relevance of Damien Hirst. And Lola tells Serena her GG secret is safe with her, for now. “Luck is a funny thing,” Gossip Girl narrates in the background. “It’s easy to accept it when it goes your way. But when it doesn’t, call it injustice, call it treachery.” The episode ends on this note.

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Warning: Gossip Girl season 5 episode 20 guide may contain spoilers
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