Billy Baldwin and Kelly Rutherford
Leave it to Billy Baldwin's William van der Woodsen to throw himself in the middle of a Gossip Girl mess.
"[He] can't help himself," Baldwin tells TVGuide.com. "He can't get out of town without doing something to rock the apple cart."
When the show returns on Monday, Lily (Kelly Rutherford) is staring at a possible jail sentence for forging her daughter's signature and therefore landing an innocent man in jail. Matriarch Celia (Caroline Lagerfelt) and ex-husband William (Billy Baldwin) come to town for moral support.
"He's coming back to help the family circle the wagons to protect Lily's reputation, much like she was attempting to do with Serena's. That's how we found ourselves in this mess in the first place," Baldwin says. "They're bringing William in because they know when it comes to the very unique brand of Van der Woodsen dysfunction, he knows precisely where the bodies are buried."
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Lily may find comfort in having more family around, but her husband Rufus (Matthew Settle) isn't thrilled. Baldwin says his character's return creates further tension between the two. "Rufus is the man of the house," Baldwin says. "I think he interprets [William's return]as being fairly emasculating."
Although Baldwin believes the two men can co-exist, Rufus will always be bothered by the fact that William is Lilly's ex-husband and father of her children. But let's face it, William doesn't mind doing a little something extra to ruffle some feathers.
"Right now it's mostly about trying to salvage this whole situation with Lily and prevent her from being incarcerated," Baldwin says. "Is it 100 percent about that? Of course not. It never can be with William Van der Woodsen."
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Although much of this season's remaining story will focus on whether Lily is incarcerated, Baldwin says he'd like to see the dynamic between William and his son Eric (Connor Paolo) explored in the future. In particular, Baldwin wants to see Eric work past his feelings of neglect and "thaw and bit and warm to him."
"He's my biological son, but he's clearly in the Rufus camp," Baldwin says. "[William] doesn't want to lose. Serena welcomed him back with open arms after not having seen him for 15 years. She really needed her daddy in her life, and I would really love for Eric to need his daddy in his life a little bit more."
Gossip Girl airs Mondays at 9/8c on CW.