The CW's Gossip Girl seems to have raised the stakes this season. Long gone are the high schools days of the show's first two years, and here to stay seem to be adult consequences for the decisions the characters face. Luckily, almost all of them have matured enough to handle it. Notice, I say almost.
The past few episodes have followed Juliet Sharp (Kate Cassidy, the Melrose Place reboot) as she enacts her mission of revenge against Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively). Why Juliet hates Serena is still unknown, though it seems to have something to do with her brother, Ben (David Call, Mercy, Rescue Me), who is in jail. However, after Juliet teams up with Vanessa (Jessica Szohr) and Jenny (Taylor Momsen) to alienate Serena, Juliet goes up a step further and druggs her enemy, leaving her in a motel room surrounded by pills. Even Ben is shocked at how far Juliet has gone, leaving our main cast with quite a conundrum.
Perhaps most impacted by Serena's supposed actions, is her mother Lily (Kelly Rutherford), who doesn't seem to know how to handle Serena's slide. Though Serena insists that she doesn't remember what happened, and has not returned to the mistakes of her youth, her mother doesn't believe her. But an interesting confrontation between Lily and Dan (Penn Badgley) in last night's episode, "Gaslit," seems to imply that Lily's reticence to deal with Serena may be more about herself than her daughter. It's hard to argue that Lily has been a better than average mother, and shutting Serena up against her will in rehab is just one more bad idea. Lily is turning more into her own mother each season, and that's not a good thing.
The question now is, how will Serena possibly clear her name? She has suffered so much recently, as Juliet has sabotaged her school career, her love life, and her friend and family relations, that it may take Serena a long time to claw back to what she worked so hard for. Dan is fully on Serena's side, being the only one who is willing to believe her unlikely claims of innocence. After a confession from Jenny, it looks like Serena's best friend Blair (Leighton Meester) is climbing onto the revenge train. But Juliet has fled town, and with Gossip Girl (Kristen Bell) having trashed Serena so hard publicly, it will not be an easy time. I'm not so much worried about her personal life, as I don't see Columbia accepting her back as a student, even if her name is cleared.