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9 December 2008

Déjà Adieu

"There's an opposite to déjà vu," opines the narrator of the narrator of Chuck Palahniuk's Choke. "They call it jamais vu. It's when you meet the same people or visit places, again and again, but each time is the first. Everybody is always a stranger. Nothing is ever familiar."

There is no danger of jamais vu in Gossip Girl, especially not if you have also seen The O.C. It was bad enough last season when I kept getting confused because the GG characters of Bart Bass and Lily van der Woodsen (yes, really), reminded me an awful lot of Kirsten and Caleb in The O.C. Only, while Bart and Lily are husband and wife, Caleb and Kirsten are father and daughter. Bart and Caleb are both rich, important property developers who are the kings of their respective empires (well, Caleb owned most of Newport Beach and Bart's domain seemed to cover a lot of Manhattan). They're both often antagonistic to the other characters (and hence the viewers, who didn't really mind too much about the deaths). They also both get killed off in the big death of season two, having not first taken the trouble to resolve feuds with Lily and Kirsten. The only difference is that because Caleb was really Jim from Neighbours (from the brief period when even I watched it), I found it hard to take him seriously as a sometimes-baddie.

Anyway, this death has been foretold since the start of the season when the clues revealed in the spoilers basically meant that unless the network was being really sneaky, it had to be Bart that died. His death was supposed to clear the way for another couple but, of course, on network television, the course of true love never did run smoothly--especially not when there's still half a season to go. This week, many hearts were broken (good choice of Slow Show by The National as the background choon for the Montage of Much Misery), even Blair's after finally saying those words Chuck had been waiting to hear (of course, Bart was his father and so he was way too busy getting wasted, getting angry and getting even to appreciate them), and there are still all sorts of messy relationships involving a mother (Lily) and her daughter (Serena) in one family loving the father (Rufus) and his son (Dan), respectively, in another (it's not like it's illegal given that no one is blood related--right?).

Now that the show is on hiatus until after Christmas, the writers had to leave a fat, juicy cliffhanger: Lily and Rufus meet at Grand Central in a most-cliched manner so that they can finally run away somewhere and be happy together (they said Cornwall but I assume they mean Cornwall, Connecticut, rather than say, Cornwall, Texas, or, maybe, Cornwall, England, though you never can tell in GG Land). Except Lily's conniving mother picks this moment to reveal something to Rufus about Lily that he never found out all those years ago when they were a couple and he's not happy. 

"I just have one question," he sneers. "Was it a boy or a girl?" Fade to black, cue the lights. Find out more in 2009. As long as Rufus doesn't end up being Serena's father (I know GG likes to push the boundaries on complicated love entanglements, but that's probably going a tad too far given that Serena's mother was therefore encouraging her to sleep with her half-brother), it seems like it's going to be an interesting twist. Only, all those shots of walks in Central Park and SoHo, just make me crave NYC again--not that that takes very much.


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