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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    how could you NOT want Dair to happen after this episode!? i felt so bad for Dan!! i always thought that Chair would (Unfortunately) be end game but... i really hope now that its going to be Dair.

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    lol scab is spamming here too i guess :))))) go on dummies! cbcbcbccbcbc
    so threatened.

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    Great episode, it's a definite improvement from past two seasons in lightness and glamour. And yay Chuck discovered colour again! = ). Reallly hope no baby happens though. I want to watch parties, schemesand romance, not oh great, we're pregnant so lets get hitched and then spend our lives chained to each other even though we haven't worked on all our issues (if it is chuck's baby that's how I think it would go for both Chuck and Blair. They need to grow more as people and come together, if they do, naturally, not because their hand is forced. They already have one billion commitment issues, they don't need regret added on) Besides no offence to babies, but I'm not a fan. I am the age of the characters, and changing napies and screaming isn't my idea of a good time. I know it happens in real life, but this is a show based on scandal and good clothes, I want to see glamour not reality please! Like epic angsty romances, or princes proposing not realistic lets talk about our relationship and date for months if not years before getting engaged lol. I want to see them enjoy their life and discover themselves before they have to take care of anyone else. Besides i've found babies on generally teen shows tend to ruin them, for me anyway, because the characterrs have to undergo dramatic change in attitude and just become too responsible. Their lives stop revolving around them and start revolving around the baby (as they should) not really TV gold though if Blair stops her wild schemes because she has to stay in and look after junior. I want to see character growth, but not that fast. Figuring out their careers or who they really want would be a good start lol. Honestly now though I think Blair and Chuck need to be single right now and independent and figure out their issues (what happened to Blair being the ruler rather then the ruled? A fighter rather then the damsel in distress?) it would be interesting if they dealed with Chuck's whole potential alcohol thing too. Seriously dude you crash on a motorbike and your first thought is you need a drink? Lol. not in an overly angsty over depressing dark suits way though, I think the tail end of last season gave us enough over angsty depression to last lol. I hope they have a good explanation for why he can't feel, not some lame excuse. And also why is Dan's book still getting published if Louis supposedly stopped it? All in all a good episode, and I loved Blair's gown (drools)!

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    aside from the awesome DB scene Nate is the one who was remotely memorable
    & Die Chuck die oh well dont die, Ed actually looked presh esp without his usual suit

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    I was one of the people who said there was no way that Blair or Serena would be pregnant--that they would know better. While I was wrong, at this point, I still do NOT see Blair having this child. Whether she aborts or miscarries, a child born to a child simply does NOT belong on this show. It's not a likely progression to her relationship with ANY of the three young men she's been involved with, especially that--as of now--there is doubt as to who the father could be. Blair isn't really looking to settle down and be a soccer mom at 20. She's deluding herself, right now, and that will pass. Dan looked quite fit in this episode. I don't know if it was that his face has matured some or that he's thinned out or what, but he looked good in his scenes with Blair. I could easily believe he was in love with her, and would cast aside everything to just run away with her, damn the consequences.

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    Dan and Blair just do not have what it takes to carry this show. I think the writers expected them to carry the emotional, dramatic burden that Chuck and Blair, Serena and Blair or Dan and Serena back in S1 once carried. But sorry. DB look so weak compared to those other pairings. The writers need to go back to the frenemies vibe they used to have because that loft scene fell very flat for me. It's not the actors either because both Leight and Penn are good but their chemistry isn't half as compelling as the chemistry between Ed and Leight, Blake and Leight or Blake and Penn back in S1. The lighter scenes were much better. (Frankly, that's where Dan and Blair really shine as a relationship - light funny scenes where they banter. Not dramatic ones.) I enjoyed the LA scenes and Chuck, Nate and Serena's dynamic. It actually had me smiling. Nate and Serena were cute as can be. Happy Serena is no longer being a flake. I hope Nate really does get a good story this season (you promised Safran). I was surprised by how much I loved Chuck's scenes in the premiere. I thought the whole "no ability to feel" stuff would be corny and overly melodramatic but it was kind of fun and well done. I like the pregnancy surprise. I have no doubt it's Chuck's baby. Blair and Chuck let one another go but the writers don't want to sever that connection. So there ya go: Baby Bass

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    The only part I liked was the CSN parts and we finding out Blair is pregnant. Anything else? Boring. Tired and sick of Dan/Blair

    Aries93

    I hope that when Chuck does find out it's his baby, he throws $600.00 at Blair and tells her to enjoy the abortion.

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    Chuck and Blair are having a kid! I am so happy about that! It almost makes up for the boring hour of tv Gossip Girl gave us yesterday. I like the LA stuff with Chuck but Blair, OMG, so boring with Louis and creepy "I need to eat something" Humphrey. Chuck and Blair baby!

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    I can't with this show anymore. Blair being pregnant is ridiculous. And even worse if it is Chuck's baby. It sickens me how people can honestly think that it's healthy or "true love" for Blair and Chuck to be together. If abusive relationships is something that the Gossip Girl writers are trying to promote then I can't watch this mess anymore.