TV Fanatic Works Better with Prime Instant Video
40,000 other titles are available to watch now.

Gossip Girl Review: "The Kids Stay in the Picture"

by at . Comments

Gossip Girl returned from hiatus tonight with an episode that set the stage for the next four. While "The Kids Stay in the Picture" was necessary, it wasn't an exciting installment.

It was fine, just not edge-of-your-seat material. New characters were introduced and story lines we left in February were fleshed out a bit. But the big drama is still to come.

Those hoping for some romantic fireworks or major developments in the three-way battle for Blair Waldorf's love were probably disappointed. Unless you're on Team Louis.

Long Live the Queen of the UES

In typical Gossip Girl fashion, B's royal suitor appeared in New York as the credits rolled. After an episode that saw Dair and Chair futures plummet, his arrival was intriguing.

The way the plot unfolded between Blair, Dan and Chuck disappointed me a bit. Both guys' actions disappointed me. They left the door open for Prince Louis, that's for sure.

When Blair said kissing Dan changed her, that doesn't mean it meant nothing. She may have (or have had) legitimate feelings for Dan, but sees Chuck as her soulmate.

This I get. What I didn't get was Chuck resorting to an old scheme to try to prove a point instead of just laying it all on the line, and Dan not stepping up to fight for her.

Blair defended Dan, saying that he's more mature than Chuck will ever be. This seemed like Dan's opening to confess to her what he made obvious to Eric: He loves her!

So does Chuck, of course, and had he expressed this in a way that didn't involve humiliating Dan and making him look inferior, maybe I'd feel bad for him. But not here.

Perhaps they don't mesh together like Chair, but there's genuine emotion with Dair as well. And while he doesn't make hearts race like Chuck, Dan really is a standup guy.

It's hard to put my finger on it, but as a fan of both Dair AND Chair, I just felt a little let down. Maybe that epic trailer overhyped it. Maybe things will pick up next week.

One thing is for sure - Blair is done being pushed around. Whether she ends up with a Prince, a Bass or a Labrador Retriever, the downtrodden Queen B will rise again.

Chuck could sense that she's off her game, but perhaps this is just what she needs to find herself again and truly go after what she wants. I can't wait to watch, either.

Meanwhile, the rest of "The Kids Stay in the Picture" centered around an awkward Rhodes / van der Woodsen family reunion and photo shoot (see clever episode title).

Serena and Charlie

There were a few subplots unraveling simultaneously, from Rufus' distrust of William, Charlie's conflict with Carol, to Carol being just as big a liar as Lily, apparently.

All in all, not that interesting. At least not yet. Its not that the new characters were lame or that it wasn't fun to watch, it's just that nothing felt all that important.

In fact, the biggest moment involving Lily's family left us hanging. A phone call likely offering insight into her legal fate went to voicemail during the family photo.

It was tough to get invested in a character we barely know, although I did like Charlie okay (her facial resemblance to Leighton Meester throws me off, however).

As for Carol, she and Lily definitely have a believable sibling rapport. Lots of deeper issues, but even more unconditional love. Watching them had its moments.

The Rufus-William relationship picked up where it left off last season, but they came to an understanding. It looks like the family is circling the wagons after all.

What do you think? Too much Lily drama or just right? Where do you think this is headed? Will Lily really go to jail, and what can we expect next from Charlie?

Bottom line, this episode probably didn't knock any socks off. But that's typical following a long break. Stories take time to develop, and that's fine. Until next week ...

Other occurrences and observations worth mentioning:

  • Nate and Raina are still an item, and he's encouraging her to find the truth about her mother. Hopefully this gives Nate something interesting to do.
  • Vanessa is back, creepin' hard core and acting shady, spying on Dan and Blair and telling someone on the phone about their SHOCKING kiss. Sigh.
  • Interesting mention of Jack Bass by Blair, given that he's rumored to be coming back. Yet Chuck was all alone in the photo. Very symbolic and sad.
  • This episode was a fashion lover's dream.
  • Dorota quotes were epic as always.
  • Great Lily mug shot on TMZ.

What did you think of the return of Gossip Girl? A bit of a letdown or as good as ever? Hard to judge without seeing the next four episodes? Discuss!

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
  • 3.5 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (255 Votes)

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

Tags: ,
Avatar

I was very disappointed but since the trailer looked excited I kinda felt it would be good but wrong. I think the story surrounding all characters were flat and undeveloped. I liked Dair thing kinda different for same old things but they killed it. I was tired of Chair game, one time blair wants him and chuck does not and then switch. it was getting so boring and predictable. write new and exciting stuff please..:)

Avatar

new cousin will single white female on dan. but that's next season. you could keep this thing with dan and Blair going for a long time as friends with a side order of loving. they are very funny together how ever you pair them up.

Avatar

I seem to be in the minority but I liked it. Of course Blair and Chuck can't get together yet, it's too soon and they had to set up the story for Blouis and all the drama that entails. I feel like all the build-up for Dair ended exactly how it should, they are friends and really, I hope, a catalyst for Derena. I can't wait for next week and I can't wait to watch Blair get swept off her feet by Louis. Finally it will be all about her.

Jeca

Is Charlie bipolar drug addited or what

Avatar

I just noticed that if ruffus and william are ok, and lilly, carol and their mom are ok, and vanessa is hated by everybody and jenny is not there and serena has no romantic interest there is little place for any thing not blair-chuck-louis-dan exept maybe chairlies crazy amd rainas mom thing.

Jeca

And jenny ???? Even rufud cant remember someone is missing in the family photo

Postergirl

i dunno what kinda episode this was.

Avatar

CB girl, are you the one that made a kick ass analysis in the Zap2it article?

Achelle

PS. I was suprised Chuck didn't tell Serena about Dan & Blair himself just to cause trouble for them .. maybe this is a sign of him trying to "mature" *crosses fingers & hopes it could be*

Achelle

Blair/Dan - i dont think the Dair story is over. Dan def has some feelings for Blair. You could tell when he was talking to Eric it was so cute when he said something along the lines of "she does smell nice tho" hahaha. Also he looked sad when he realized that when Blair said "life changing" she didn't mean that she wanted to be with him. The little part where Dan told Blair her prince was still out there was nice, I hope if they aren't going to date they stay good friends! Also, I wasn't sure how to take that glance he gave Serena when Blair told him his princess was there when he was ready. Does he want Blair or Serena as his princess ? hmmmm! Blair/Chuck- I think it was too soon for Blair to decide she wanted to be back with Chuck. But she did the right thing by telling him he needed to mature. I LOVED that he had wanted Blair to be in the photo with him and got her Princess Diana's dress. I miss the old Chair before he tried to sell her. Blah. Serena/Lily/Charlie - That crazy ass family lol. I don't know whats up with Charlie there is definitly something off about the girl. Maybe she is going to try to become Serena 2.0??? Also how messed up was it that Chuck didn't get included in the family photo? That made me sad especially when they showed his picture alone. Overall, not the best episode but I think it was intended to set up the storylines for the rest of the season. I'm excited to see what happens when the Prince comes and finds Blair. But i do not want to see her with him. As much of a Chair fan as I am I kind of want this season to end with Dair. Then S5 Serena & Chuck can actually have to TRY for once to win their loves back. Yes i overanalyze lol.

Gossip Girl Season 4 Episode 18 Quotes

Nate: You okay?
Raina: It's surreal. Everything happening to Lily is because of my dad, and I kind of feel like it's all my fault.
Nate: Look. It probably woulda happened sooner or later anyway.

Blair: Turn that off! And leave me alone, Dorota. I've taken to my bed.
Dorota: I thought hearing someone has life worse than yours would help.
Blair: Well your job isn't to think, it's to serve. So if I need your help I'll ring the bell.