Gossip Girl Review: "The Kids Are Not All Right"

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Gossip Girl has always been unrealistic but entertaining, however, there's a thin line between that successful formula and shenanigans that seem straightforwardly ridiculous.

Personally, when the plot wasn't downright obvious - identical manila folders, come on - it felt like a bit of a bore to me, lacking the humor, sordidness and scandals we love.

To be fair, it's nice they didn't simply gloss over the issues lingering over the winter break. Everybody is battling hard and still struggling mightily for what they want.

"The Kids Are Not All Right" certainly lived up to its title.

Russell and Raina

Important, non-white Gossip Girl characters?! Awesome!

The relationship of Dair, flirtations between Chuck and Raina, reconnection of Serena and the just-freed Ben, revelation of the history between Lily and Russell Thorpe (Raina’s father), and mysterious buyer(s) of Bass Industries are all intriguing.

The problem is that relatively little was revealed on each front, while the action unfolding felt forced and dull at times. I'll give Gossip Girl a pass in that stories do take time to develop and I'm excited about these, but I wasn't a huge fan last night.

Maybe it's just that the episode revolved heavily around Lily.

Everyone's mad at her and for good reason. Stunningly, Serena couldn’t find the judge to get Ben's conviction thrown out after her mother let him rot in the slammer.

Chuck, who seemed more like a Chuck caricature with those chicks in the limo, couldn't find Jack but thinks his father’s old friend can help thwart Bart's conniving widow.

Nate is babysitting his paroled pop. Dan and Blair don't know what to make of Dan and Blair either. The first Humphrey-VDW family brunch of the year is hella awkward.

Rufus and Lily try to smooth things over with Serena, Dan and Eric, but it's not happening. Then Lily calls the judge and tells him he can come back from hiding (!?).

Chuck discovers the Bass Industries sale will be done in 24 hours and plans a major take-down of Lily at the big party thrown by Bart's old associate Russell Thorpe.

Lily admits to Chuck that the company is effed, and she HAD to broker a deal with this private bidder where she can control the sale, rather than letting it go under.

She promises Serena will see the light, too. Chuck sort of buys it. Meanwhile, Serena blows off Dan for the 378th time, and he misses his internship interview. Nice.

Chuck assumed - and Lily lied through omission - that Thorpe was the buyer. He's not, but wishes he were, so he could sell it off piece by piece. Dude hates Bart.

Meester Charles

Can Chuck win back control of the company?

Just as Chuck and S prepare to slam L into backing off the sale, the manila folder switcheroo is revealed. Forged affidavits are blackmail worthy. Dan's resume, not so much.

But, lo and behold, the buyer is scared off by this family drama (?!) and Thorpe steps in to buy Bass Industries after all - with none other than The Captain at the financial helm!

That was an interesting twist, we'll admit. Nate's dad, who seemed content to sit around, play Wii and chase skirts all day, is shaping up to be one of the crew's adversaries.

Meanwhile, Dan misses another interview because of Serena. Blair, scheming to become the right-hand woman of Indra Nooyi, is trying to con her own mom. It doesn't work.

This story line seemed designed almost to give Ms. Waldorf something to do, rather than to lead anywhere. Come on, the Queen would be way better than this. You know she would.

The episode ends with Dan and Blair going to another movie, while Serena heads to visit Ben in jail only to discover he’s been set free by the same judge. It's a little confusing.

Did Lily end up springing him after all by getting the judge to grant parole? Hard to tell, but Ben happened to be lurking outside the jail at least, so that was convenient for S.

Where do you think things are going for Dair? Will Serena and Ben forge a relationship? Will Chuck's plan to use Raina help him win back the company at last? Do you care?

What did you think of last night's Gossip Girl? Discuss!


Editor Rating: 2.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (354 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


Actually I liked Serena and Chuck interactions better than Dair, but I will admit that Dair didn't have bad scenes, although their chemistry for me works only as friends, you don't feel the magnetic tension that you feel with Chuck and Blair. I will say that Blair is the one with the infatuation in the head, Dan was nowhere near that state of mind regarding Blair, but she was practically sulking after him in the party like a little girl, that was before they had the talk about her scheme with Eleanor, she was more calmed after that. Lily is an idiot and Serena obviously got her brains from Lily, I mean how could she think Chuck will calmly accept that Thorpe was the buyer? What surprised me was how come Chuck didn't think either that the affidavit could land Lily in jail if it was published? He was the one who told Serena to give the document to the Post reporter. BTW, Rufus is a mess. Ironically, he though that Dan did the exchange of the manila envelopes on purpose, when actually it was an accident. Nate was really sweet trying to watch over his dad, practically parenting him. But the guy is an idiot, if anyone wonders where Nate got his brains it was from his dad, Grandfather actually was right regarding that dude (2x19). Thorpe has chosen him because he knows The Captain can be manipulated. This episode feels subpar because there where many plot holes and crazy behaviors from the characters beyond usual. Chuck couldn't play hard to get for 1 minute before going after Raina? Dorota is cleaning Blair's scheme board with Eleanor still in the house, how dumb is she?! Ben is released overnight and is incredibly cool when he sees Serena? Ben should at least said "I was just released on parole! Did you have anything to do with it? Thank you!" or something like that. And Serena gets to try to visit him like it was an hotel? This the best jail in the world (considering his texting with Juliet). BTW, the USA justice system came out looking badly from this episode, luckily die hard fans know this is hightened reality, but still.


The only interesting thing this episode was dair.


What a lack lustre episode, but at least I didn't have to see Vanessa.


Okay, it wasn't the best episode, but after the long withdrawal, I liked it anyway.
And it served its purpose in setting up the next storylines. Since the writers have kept me entertained for 3 years now, I have faith that there's some good stuff coming up ;-) Btw: Dair was awesome!
I liked the idea before, but the scenes from this ep were the only ones that really had me hooked. I so hope they follow through with their relationship!!!!!!


Could somebody please resume this episode for me? I didn't get it AT ALL.
thnx. PS: I LOVE DAIR.


Dair saved the EP Like am a Chair fan but Damn they have so much chemistry I wish we get to see more Dair


this episode was pretty meh


i hate the way its like chair never existed, all that drama and angst and excitement from episodes 7-9 has just vanished *poof!*
chuck's in his limo with two floozies, chuck's getting turned on by serena pretending to be his mum, chuck wants to see lily's arty nude photos, chuck's running off to sleep with a woman he's know for 5 minutes, YAWN! i never thought id say this either but dan, i welcome you to come on and romance blair, chuck's AN ASS!

Kimberly anne

I am sorry to say but this episode was a miss for me. The storylines in it were too adult-like for me. Freeing an innocent man, buying back a corporation, finding a judge? Come on, this show needs to lighten up. I want it to go back to season two where there was more fun in the scheming.
I did like very much that when Serena, dressed as Lily went with Chuck to check out her files. That was funny.
And I can’t believe Serena actually went to get coffee with a guy that just out of prison like two seconds ago and was in there because of his mom. Yeah, that sounds like a nice guy to hang out with in the middle of the night.
Ugh! I cannot stand the new family. I hope Chuck take them down and win back Bass Industry for good. But I find it hard to believe that even though Chuck was head of Bass Industry when he came back from Europe, he must have known that it wasn’t doing well. There was no way he was kept out in the dark until now. Also, we never found out who the secret buyer was. Did the writers just forget or something?
Nate and his dad were very pointless in this episode. They weren’t even there are humor because I did not find them funny. They were kind of pointless. How can that guy invest with Harold? Does he not know that he is on probation?
The idea of Dair is giving me a lot of mixed feelings because on one side I am a complete Chair Fan all the way, but right now I know they won’t be getting together, so I want to see a new pair. I would have liked to know more what happened with them at the movies in the beginning. They both acted like something happened when Serena asks yet it was never mention again. The scene of them at the party was pretty cute. I do see chemistry there, I have to admit.
Overall the episode wasn’t all that exciting, especially after such a long break.


boring episode - dair saved it!

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Gossip Girl Season 4 Episode 12 Quotes

Here's my advice. Have a little faith, and if that doesn't work, have a lot of mimosas.


Serena: Just take me away from my problems, please. Tell me, what did you do over the break?
Blair: Why? What did you hear?