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Gossip Girl Season Premiere Review: Six Weeks Later ...

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The question heading into Season Five of Gossip Girl is whether the show will return to what made it great - humor, heart and a healthy dose of scandal - or continue on the path last season went down, with convoluted, over-the-top stories and, worse yet, our beloved characters not even acting like themselves.

So, did tonight offer fans reason for hope? Yes is most definitely the word.

Between the pregnancy reveal - so surprising I really didn't think Gossip Girl of all shows would go there - the tie-in with Daniel's novel, Nate's latest liaison and Chuck channeling his inner James Dean, "Yes, Then Zero" was a resounding success. We can only hope future episodes build on this and don't fizzle out.

Chuck Rolls Up

"People like me don't write books, we're written about." - Chuck

When we first saw Mr. Bass tonight, adored in his ascot and roaring up to his newly-obtained yacht on his motorcycle, his change in attitude was apparent (even as his taste for the finer things remains the same).

Part cowboy philosopher, part rebel without a cause (unless you can consider going balls to the wall and saying yes to anything a cause), he's happy for the first time in awhile. Or at least doing a good job faking it.

But, as always with Chuck, there's a darkness lurking within. Witness his reaction to the crash, and his apparent unwillingness to seek help or dial back his adrenaline meter even after sustaining a pretty severe injury.

At some point, he's bound to take it too far, but it's fun to see him leap off buildings and some knowledge on Nate and Serena right now. Just seeing those three hang out and enjoy laughs as friends again was a welcome treat.

Chuck's two-headed sidekick was a bit boring at times, but that was almost the point. Both Nate and Serena seemed to acknowledge that they'd lost their way and don't even know who they are anymore (I blame the writers).

While Marshall's ploy to get Serena fired felt lame, considering she was kind of a model employee almost trying too hard not to step on toes, it's great that S was rewarded in the end for applying herself and doing legit work.

L.A. fashion clearly works on SoCal native Blake Lively, too. Not surprising.

On a side note, how funny was it to see Patrick Roberts, Olivia's old vampire co-star, in his Hollywood element? This little creative touch wasn't essential to the plot, but was surely appreciated by many fans.

UES Meets LA

Of course, this is still Gossip Girl and in the closing moments, Serena happened to bump into non-cousin Charlie in a city of 20 million people. Ivy apparently headed west with her boyfriend after her "acting" gig last spring.

What's she planning next? Does anyone care? The jury's still out now. We'll see what Charlie/Ivy has planned next week, and whether it will connect Serena's story arc with the rest of the gang back in New York.

If you've read any Gossip Girl spoilers this summer, you know Elizabeth Hurley's character, Diana Payne, is a media mogul whose manipulations of Nate, whatever they might be, ultimately involve Gossip Girl herself.

Once Nate started taking Chuck's advice and becoming the ultimate "yes" man, another notch on his bedpost was an inevitability. Only he was also being played by Diana, who was excited to have "made contact" with him.

Much as we all enjoy his usual displays of concern for Chuck, pot expertise and skill with the ladies, hopefully Nate will play a more substantive role this fall. Clearly he's being targeted for some role by Ms. Payne.

Hurley makes a sexy and intriguing villain for the Upper East Siders, and I'm dying to know what she's up to. There's something about her that makes the stakes feel heightened ... 10 times more so than with Russell Thorpe.

Back in New York, the dueling drama of Dan's story and Blair's wedding planning - with Louis caught in the middle of each - dovetailed brilliantly, revealing just enough at all the right moments to pique your interest.

It also ended with perhaps the biggest OMFG moment since we learned Serena killed someone.

However unrealistic the circumstances of its publication, Inside by Anonymous, a.k.a. Dillon Hunter, is apparently some book! The excerpt that was to run in Vanity Fair made it abundantly clear who the focal point was, too.

Dair Picture

The future Princess of Monaco, Blair Waldorf, spent so much time fretting over typical Blair Waldorf things that by the time the wedding planner called her out - and she didn't deny it - her pregnancy secret was truly shocking.

Dorota did a great job fooling Eleanor and likely more than a few viewers, too, in covering for her BFF. But her body does not lie. I guess. Leighton Meester actually looks thinner than ever to me. But give it a few weeks!

Dan's behavior this week was truly eye-opening. His mannerisms and cryptic comments certainly made it out to seem like he and Blair did more than kiss. Like a lot more. More importantly, he's obviously IN LOVE WITH HER.

Even though he knew precisely what Louis was doing when he stood Blair up and why, Dan was prepared to let her skip town, with him, and leave her fairy tale behind. That's one whopper of a lie by omission, Lonely Boy.

You don't do that for someone you're not head over heels for. Dair is very much alive ... at least as far as the feelings on one side are concerned, and possibly an unborn child is concerned. Can you imagine if it's Dan's?

Penn Badgley is certainly looking the part of the unkempt writer, yearning for his past lover. I'm glad the writers didn't torpedo Dan's feelings for Blair altogether, which would've made so much of last season feel trite.

What happens between now and November 26 - save the date!! - will be interesting to say the least. Will Blair keep the baby? If so, will she start to show? Will Dan pursue her in earnest? Will Chuck, despite his motivational speech?

And obviously, the ten trillion dollar question: Who's the father?!

All in all, a strong beginning to Gossip Girl's fifth season, and one that should give you plenty to discuss with TV Fanatic as you hit the comments below! Come back tomorrow for news, promos and our Round Table!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (431 Votes)

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

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Wow, I did not even realize that those were little signs that something may have happened between Dan and Blair when I was watching. Now it all makes sense! This makes me sooooooooo freaking happy. I used to be a Chair fan but they lost me somewhere along all their OTT drama. I'm now totally on team Dair!

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@CrAZychicke - Most people on YouTube are insane so don't listen to them. Truth is, there are crazy shippers of all sort. One's that take it so far as to rip on Penn, Ed, Blake, etc. which is just screwed up. So don't let those people get to you. All the non-insane, non-hateful shippers can coincide with a little friendly debate here and there. By the way, I've always thought Chuck and Serena (and Chuck and Jenny for that matter) have had an interesting chemistry and if their pairing didn't screw with S and B then I'd root for S/C (Shuck?) Bombshell possibilities indeed! I don't know that I'd say I'm a shipper. Yea, I admit I like Chuck / Blair the most of any of the pairs but I'm not going to let it get in the way of my enjoyment of the show. I trust the actors and the first episode of season 5 was a good step in the right direction as far as writing/production goes (gah, except for the Blair and Louis crap). Hopefully we're over the guest stars, Bass industries and mommy/daddy issues takeover.

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p.s dair fans!! check out the lovely comments here by the hating chair fans.. agree or disagree or don't care? http://youtu.be/DssqHPVWTRQ

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oh i forgot to add - did anyone see the possible chuck & serena pairing that could happen this season or was i seeing things!!! hahahahahahahaha oh the BOMBSHELL possibilities..

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WOAH just reading some of the comments where ppl want blair to have an abortion or miscarriage so she can be with chuck and live happily ever after!! i actually hope this doesn't happen. They did it in OTH with Naley and it worked but as far as i know with 90210 i don't think they followed thru with naomi - i think this storyline could really mature blair - she's the most mature apart from dan anyway... i think we should just think of the what ifs though regarding blair keeping the baby if that's a possibility i think it would be really cool storyline. Also BLAIR is my favourite character and the on/off going chair debate is seriously tiresome. as a DAIR lover i'm hoping for more moving scenes between them. As for all those haters out there, just respect our difference of opinion please. i was actually quite intrigued with the louis storyline and blair's support for a fairytale before she gave it all up to sleep with chuck AGAIN!!! it's strange because i don't think that really fit with her character and it annoyed me too because it seems chuck doesn't allow her to move on without his consent and then chooses to leave her with louis on his terms!!! that kind of love doesn't seem like love to me - it's more like posession and manipulation... anyways that aside - i'll sit through the drama and pray for something different this season. has anyone thought of the fact that blair might choose to raise the baby (if she does) alone as a single mother?! Nate's storyline since jenny left has been utterly boring - i just hope they can expand his character more and as for dan's book - i really like this storyline. i also hope we see more of rufus actually doing something with his life and as much as i hate her i'm liking charlie just a smidgen over S. Now THAT certainly says something about how we are manipulated by the writers!!!

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I LOVED Blair's Moschino Cheap and Chic jewel print dress in this episode! It was so her. I think they even tailored it by making it sleeveless and shortening the hemline. Good move!

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@ Anna: nobody has forgotten anything, and I recommend that you read the TWOP recap of this chapter, pages 21 to 23, where a professional recaper explains to all of us "children", the difference between a TV show and real life situations such as abuse and how it is perceived by the victims of abuse.

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it's really scary that there are those who think that Dan was selfish in the loft scene. He loves Blair and she never said that it was this evening excuse from Louis who did it.
Do you denial/forget all the crap that Chuck done to her during their "epic" love as you call it.
He admitted the truth to her immediately, grow up children......please

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@ALF I am with you on your post completely. LA was the best part from Chuck to Serena. yes, Serena, and I can't believe I even said that.She seems to be coming out as the stronger female character this year and good for her. I like Chuck's story because it shows he's hiding that pain and loss just as Blair does when she's upset. He's pretending everything is fine when it's clearly not.
Blair, sadly, had a bad s/l. Between Louis and Dan I thought her story would never end this episode and ,sadly, it will continue this way next week. It's not the season on liking Blair's journey, I guess.Blouis was boring and artificial and Dair lacked chemistry or spark. When they aren't snarking it's just not interesting. Her only interesting piece came at the end with the baby. Who's is it? Probably Chuck's and I'm rooting for it to be.

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@xoxo i agree with what ur saying! :)

Gossip Girl Season 5 Episode 1 Quotes

Dan: It's Blair's Save the Date.
Rufus: You're not happy. You guys are still friends, right?
Dan: Yeah. Friends. I wonder if she invited Chuck.
Rufus: If he's anywhere that FedEx can reach.

Dan: Dad! What are you doing here? I thought you'd still be in London helping Jenny set up St. Martin's.
Rufus: She and Eric kicked me out when I didn't know who Sierra Burton was, so I came back here early and thought I'd spend some time with you.

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