Duplicity was the word of the hour on tonight's Gossip Girl, an uneven installment at times, but one which nevertheless contained some new twists and potentially major teases for the coming weeks.
On the heels of last week's "Memoirs of an Invisible Dan," one of the better episodes in recent memory, "The Fasting and the Furious" didn't quite find its footing until the end due to various plot holes.
Why would one story on Gossip Girl derail the Spectator, run by so-called mogul Diana? How was everybody at the Waldorfs so conveniently? How did Diana and Beatrice's convoluted plot work flawlessly?
It feels silly to nitpick, because it's Gossip Girl and we love it regardless, knowing that some suspension of reality is necessary. But when the stretches become numerous, it detracts from the experience.
All that said, there were some emotional scenes and events that will keep us guessing for the next two weeks (the show takes a week off before returning with "I Am Number Nine" November 7), namely:
Louis has the envelope. Blair and Louis began the episode with a joint announcement to their families, who reacted as one might expect, with both joy and trepidation. Then it devolved into a giant mess.
The Grimaldis insisted that B reside in Monaco. The Waldorfs have other ideas. This kind of tension, albeit on a smaller scale, plagues many couples. But the way the conflict was resolved was ridiculous.
First of all, the Yom Kippur feast uniting the characters midway through the night felt very thrown together. Second, it needed more Wallace Shawn, even if we can be grateful to see Cyrus at all.
Beatrice sure concocts roundabout ways of undermining her brother, with Diana's involvement even harder to believe. But that's all very secondary right now considering LOUIS HAS THE ENVELOPE.
If he opened it and learned that Blair's baby was indeed his, he wouldn't have picked up the phone, right? I'd have to guess not, but perhaps he would still be irate that she even had such a test done.
Either way, we'll have to wait and see how a certain psychologist fits into this.
Side note: How special was the scene between Blair and Eleanor? If that's any indication of how wonderful these strong Waldorf women can be, Blair has a great role model in the parenting department.
Someday in about half a year. Blair Waldorf is going to be a mother. That knowledge hasn't had a chance to sink in yet, but when she told her mom and Cyrus, it became very real - for better or worse.
I find myself increasingly concerned for Blair, because as much as she's to blame for her own problems, I feel she legitimately tries to do the right thing. But her decisions may come back to haunt her.
How will Louis react if he learns the baby his not his? What if his family - or Diana - finds out and leaks the story? Or even just reports that there was even a test? Blair will be crushed, one way or another.
Expect her to land on her feet eventually, though. She's a Waldorf, after all.
Despite the unplanned nature of the pregnancy, Blair is going to be an amazing mom. The question is who will raise it with her, which brings us back to Louis, Eliza Barnes, and our next subject ...
Chuck needs help. After meeting Dr. Barnes, one and the same, at the dog park with Monkey (and briefly Dan, in another classic too-brief scene at the beginning), Chuck realizes he is a lost soul.
She shot him down and dressed him down hard, and you have to like that the show's writers are introducing a believable instrument of change for Chuck. Getting him ready to be a father, perhaps?
Sure, no doctor would psychoanalyze someone like that on the street, and the idea that this woman is also connected to Louis seems far-fetched. But for Mr. Bass, this was a long time coming.
If we assume Chuck got Blair pregnant - and tonight's events seemed to hint at that, indirectly - will they find their happily ever after? How will they get to that point? Chuck needs to fix himself.
His late night phone call was the first step, although clearly Louis isn't going away quietly. What does he know, and will Chuck get the help he needs before his downward spiral ends catastrophically?
The return of Derena? That certainly came out of nowhere, didn't it? Just a week ago, Dan was pining for Blair as hard as we'd ever seen it. Now, he may be back in Serena's arms before long.
"You were the love of my life. I thought I was yours too." Gossip Girl would certainly come full circle if this storybook romance were rekindled, and if Serena has her say, it might happen. Soon.
Can you ever recall Serena van der Woodsen being more sure of what she wants, even if admitting it scared her and made her so vulnerable? Her apology to Blair was heartfelt and harsh - to herself.
She was jealous of Blair, not for reasons, but because Dan's feelings for her were so profound. Seeing that Blair and Dan aren't on speaking terms, and he and Serena will be working together ...
Just saying. That door was reopened tonight. Whether Derena ever becomes a full-fledged couple again remains to be seen, but she's back on Team Humphrey, and not just for the movie rights.
Which she got by pulling a ballsy move, it's worth noting. Falsely telling a movie news site that her boss had the option? Shady, but bold. Who said S never worked hard or put herself out there?
Do you think this officially marks the beginning of a new, romantic chapter between Dan and Serena - and the end of any hope Dan and Blair had of a romantic future? Or do more twists lie ahead?
What is Diana hiding?! Honestly, I was starting to get bored with Diana until her last-second shadiness with Bart Bass' files, but now the stakes are higher again. Who is she and what does she know?
For a woman who relentlessly hunts down scandals, she sure looked like she wanted to hide one at the end. Ms. Payne clearly knows more than she's letting on about Bart ... possibly Chuck, who knows.
That I did not see coming. She blackmailed Ivy into getting her some UES gossip, which Ivy in turned manipulated Nate to get, but which Diana led to her believe was useless, only it apparently wasn't.
What did she set fire to, and what is her endgame in all of this? If she's motivated by something other than taking down Gossip Girl and making the Spectator a force ... that would make more sense.
It's been hard to buy Diana's storyline, but perhaps that's because there's more to it than we know. Does anyone get the feeling that when this hits the fan, whatever it may be, it's going to be epic?
That's all for now. Hit the comments and tell us what you thought of tonight and what you think/hope will happen next! Then come back tomorrow for news, promos and our Round Table! And vote ...
Who makes the better couple on Gossip Girl?