Gossip Girl Review: Rhodes to Nowhere

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For a fleeting moment tonight, it looked like after six months of raspy-voiced lies, ulterior motives, convoluted story lines and plot twists, Ivy's deception would finally reach critical mass on Gossip Girl.

Not the case.

Instead of being exposed for the WT wannabe impostor she is, Charlie/Ivy (known to some TV Fanatic staffers as Chivy) somehow slithered out of her biggest jam yet, and came out smelling like roses. Ugh.

It's never a good sign when you find yourself cracking a smile at a scene meant to be deathly serious, but that's where I found myself as she defended herself against Max's "lies" with Carol's help.

I could spend hours ranting about the screen time Chivy takes up with relatively little advancement of the storyline, and surely some of you will in the comments. So I'll try to focus on the positives:

Cece and Charlie

"Rhodes to Perdition" is the night she became a Rhodes, because all the poor girl wants is a family. Sucks that she got paid to act like a member of this dysfunctional crew, but they're better than nothing.

It's hard not to feel a little bad for Chivy after what Max revealed, and so callously at that. Sure, she's a manipulative liar leading a double life and probably guilty of fraud, but she just wants to be loved!

If nothing else, all this set up the vengeance of Max, who is now infuriated and off the rails. Surely he'll be coming after Chivy again, no matter how "untouchable" she feels she is with her new surname.

No last name stops a bus from running you over, Chives. Just saying.

More significantly, there's a mystery surrounding the real Charlie Rhodes, and apparently Carol wants to keep that under wraps. So look for that character to be cast sometime this spring most likely.

All in all, not a great use of the episode's primary storyline, even if the Studio 54 theme did lead to the return of Serena's cleavage after an absence of several weeks. There's always a silver lining, right?

What also stood out about "Rhodes to Perdition", besides the fact that the bulk of the past hour was spent building up to a major confrontation that fizzled out, were the distinct B, C and D storylines.

I actually didn't mean the characters' initials, but if you read it that way, there was an N story too, and an intriguing one, as ol' Man Bangs slicked back his hair and rolled up his sleeves as Editor-in-Chief.

Whether you'd call him naive or virtuous, or something in between, Nate is a man who stays true to his convictions. He never tipped off Gossip Girl and he wouldn't bite at the first hint of a big scandal.

He has no interest in running a celebrity gossip site (his loss). Salacious stories are all well and good, as long as they're legit. Give the newly-appointed honcho credit for not being played by Trip's wife.

Unless he still is, and doesn't even know the extent of it yet.

Was the Grandfather behind it as part of his plan to rebuild Nate's reputation? What will become of the cheating scandal that wasn't? Will Maureen still try to plant the story elsewhere? This can't be over.

Regardless of what lies ahead, it was fun to see Nate at the helm and handling his role with aplomb. If only he didn't have to balance classes at Columbia with this job! Oh, wait, Gossip Girl dropped that.

A Lovely Lady in Red

While Nathaniel was digging for answers at the Spectator, Blair was doing some searching of her own. Convinced that Chuck held the key to turning Louis around, she accompanied her ex to therapy.

That led to easily the most noteworthy exchange of the entire night, as a depressed B openly wondered if she was in fact the reason Chuck - and now Louis - plunged into seemingly eternal darkness.

Chuck insists she wasn't, and he's correct. His self-destructive tendencies were caused by a fear of losing her, and only he is to blame. But their connection is one that clearly provokes intense passion.

[SIDE NOTE: What the heck happened after the closing scene last week? That was shaping up to be a pretty major Chair moment, no? Then it's just completely forgotten about ... major pet peeve.]

Together, Chair can be very combustible. We've seen them at their best and, individually, at moments they would rather forget. Now the question is whether by letting her go, Chuck lost her for good.

I'm betting not. With Louis out of the picture for two episodes and the (former?) Basshole's stock rising by the hour, there's no way she's marrying the prince. The Chuck-Blair tension will soon boil over.

Just pray that the playoff is worth it ... and don't ask me where Dan fits in.

Don't expect Humphrey to let his feelings for her go easily, based on what's been teased so far. Think there's any chance she'll reciprocate his feelings, or will she spurn him in favor of her dark knight?

One person who's been down on Dan in a different way turned out to be his agent, Alessandra, although she was only trying to help his book by generating social media buzz under a nom de plume.

This was pretty much filler, although I like that the show hasn't simply abandoned Dan's writing aspirations like they have other things ... such as the fact that the characters were in college once.

Maybe Rufus' words and Alessandra's clandestine mission will give Dan the gumption to go after what he wants in life, and I don't mean literary success. Well, I don't mean only literary success.

I'm talking about Blair, people. Don't count Humphrey out yet.

Also, give the show credit for creating a real ihatehumphrey Twitter account (and HumphreyLove ... although I don't expect Katy Perry will be re-Tweeting either to her 12,505,321 followers tonight).

Kind of a slow episode overall, but not altogether bad, and hopefully, next week will make up for it. From the looks of the promos for "Riding in Town Cars With Boys," 2011 will go out with a bang.

One that may hint at the fate of Blair's baby ...

What did you think of this week's Gossip Girl? Looking ahead to next week, will Dan and/or Chuck confess their feelings for Blair? Will she call off the wedding? Comment below!

Review

Editor Rating: 3.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.2 / 5.0 (325 Votes)

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

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was anyone else completely aroused by Working Nate this week? more of that please! there's no denying the kid is damn fine in a suit and a few brain cells to match. also, i don't want to be abused but i'm really sick of the chair bashing. do people not see that the characters are growing together and apart? one of the very few things chuck has been honest about with himself is his irrevocable love for blair waldorf. I don't like when past relationships (eva and raina) are dragged into the scheme of things just to prove a point. was he truly inlove with those other girls? probably not. we all now the one true love chuck bass has ever had is blair waldorf, and he even told us himself tonight. all this 'chuck's love for blair isn't special' is like saying dan can't be inlove with blair because he's been inlove with hundreds of girls on the show. anyway, loved chair this week, next week looks so interesting i cant WAIT!!! but to be honest i hope max BURRIES Ivy as soon as possible, the girl needs a reality check. and, one other thing, is there anyway we can get some brain cells into the rhodes family? i wouldn't be surprised if the came up with a scandal about chivy putting something in their drinking water.

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@LuckyBastarda Thanks :), I just needed to get that out I suppose.

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Boring episode. I hate Charlie's croaky voice but I appreciated Nate's close ups. The best scenes were those with Chair of course!

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lol. I hope that the guys on the bikes aren't the press, that would be hilarious.

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Ivy took up too much of this episode and it was pretty darn boring. And Wow i didnt expect there to a full on Chair so soon. I like them but they should have their own storylines. I wanted them to be apart for a while. And how does Dair factor into it? Ah this show sucks now anyway so who course what happens?

Luckybastarda

BTW: @Miss Mars, LOVED YOU!

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@bimboboop whoa, you said everything I wanted to say and more, in a very clear and concise post! what made Chair exciting in S1, S2, and even a little in S3 is gone. after Chuck declared his affections for Eva and Raina in S4 his one and only love for Blair didn't seem as special. add temper, anger, and abusive tendencies...and it just became too much.
my biggest problem is even when Chair aren't together....they're together. there's no break. the characters aren't allowed to step away from each other to grow. Blair is supposed to be getting married to Louis, and yet she finds a reason to go see Chuck at the drop of a hat. it defies logic. these characters were conceived as much smarter than this.
only holding on for Dair

Luckybastarda

PS: By the way, I'm sorry of the typos and all. I'm just very tired XD. Also, when I say "He witnesses the whole accident orquestated by LOUIS, but without him knowing that BLAIR was also on the limo. He will have the scoop and the whole story" I meant so say that LOUIS doesn't know about the whereabouts of B. Nate of course knows all this, just because he did follow CHAIR on the limo.

Luckybastarda

So... the promos show a great episode. But TOO predictable. DAN will listen to BLAIR whine about her uncertainty. There's a party and DAN will kidnap CHUCK into a room, then he will bring a blindfolded BLAIR so CHAIR can work things out. DAN just wants BLAIR to be happy it seems, and he sees that with CHUCK. By the way, BLAIR came to this party with LOUIS who, when BLAIR is away, will talk to SERENA about "wanting Blair back". SERENA, being the endeless fountain if dumbness she is, will say probably something like "Oh, but Chuck the love of her life", triggering into LOUIS' mind that he has to get rid of CHUCK so that BLAIR can be his. He calls someone on the phone, perhaps some bikers?... CHUCK and BLAIR will sneak out of the party and get on CHUCK's limo (*so vintage GG*) then we'll see the whole CHAIR interaction blah blah. On the other side NATE will want the trughfull scoop on the royal wedding, so he will find BLAIR leaving with CHUCK and decides to follow them. He witnesses the whole accident orquestated by LOUIS, but without him knowing that BLAIR was also on the limo. He will have the scoop and the whole story. CHUCK may or may not be hurt, tough BLAIR probably looses the baby. I think that CHUCK will be hurt just because of that scene on the trailer with Lily, Chivy and CeeCee? I mean, I know they love B, but she is CHUCK's stepmother after all, right? Maybe he is not that bad and we get to have some well deserved CHILLY moments? BLAIR will surely loose the baby, but no one will know how it happened. Only NATE, who will of course, run the story. No one is thinking about LOUIS, but NATE will want to get to the very bottom of it. So, on January we will get the overbuzzed TIME JUMP, BLAIR'S wedding dream, who should she choose? She might feel guilt after the whole "leaving with Chuck and loosing the baby" and feel like she owes it to the Prince, somehow. But... on the very WEDDING DAY, either NATE or somehow GEORGINA will out LOUIS, causing her to run off, maybe unwed or maybe actually married. Off to CHUCK of course. That's it ppl, that's what's going to happen pretty much. GG is soo Telenovela. This ep was OK, enjoyed it, but still forgetfull.

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@Chuck They are the best thing about the show for sure and it's why I don't quit watching..yet. The writers really should figure out a way of putting Chuck and Blair together and quit all the tragedy. I know that's where it's headed next week but it doesn't mean I'll stop shipping them. They're Chuck and Blair, they're meant to be.

Gossip Girl Season 5 Episode 9 Quotes

Charlie: I've never seen so much lamé before. Grandma actually wore this?
Lily: Yes. And looked fabulous riding in on an elephant in it. Which is why the Studio 54 anniversary party is in her honor. And Bianca Jagger's, but we won't mention that to her when she arrives.

On the Upper East Side, staying alive isn't as easy as it appears. And after last week's security breach leading to no new tips, it looks like I might be dancing by myself.

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