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Gossip Girl Review: Unlikely Alliances

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Monday's Gossip Girl was the 99th installment since the show's debut (all the way back in September 2007) and the final one before the royal wedding / 100th episode spectacular we've had circled on our calendars forever.

The question, especially after "The End of the Affair" last week, was whether "Father and the Bride" would be mostly light-hearted filler or raise the stakes with any dramatic developments leading into next week.

In terms of the central storyline, not a lot changed. Chuck came into tonight determined to find out why Blair is shutting him out. He got nowhere until the closing moments, when an unlikely ally joined his side.

Nate formed an unexpected partnership of his own discovered the truth about the accident courtesy of a quid pro quo with Gossip Girl. After one fake firing of Serena and a little subterfuge, Trip was outed as the perp.

Blair, meanwhile, was manipulated by Beatrice, got absolutely plastered with the bridge and tunnel people of N.Y., ended up in a Sixth Precinct holding cell, but ended the night on a happy note ... for the wrong reasons.

Yes, Louis and his ghostwriter Dan may be the most surprising duo of all.

Blair's Bachelorette Party

CELEBRATE! It took 99 episodes, but an African-American guy was spotted on Gossip Girl!

While the episode certainly kept us guessing, had its share of comedic moments and did a reasonable job of advancing the stories, it still stretched the limits of believability and was rather uneven at times.

The motives of Father Cavallia are the hardest to believe/understand. It's not that a corrupt priest is implausible, but he wants to sabotage the wedding to ... maintain his spot on the royal court? Really? We care why?

Shows work best when you get to know characters over time - at least long enough to understand how they operate and why, so they don't have to rush an explanation of their actions in 30 seconds of thrown-together dialogue.

Cavallia and Beatrice's scheme to stop the nuptials came out of left field and felt forced as a result. I know Blair needed a push to get tanked and Chuck needed a conduit for information, but this was very spotty writing.

The bachelorette party was a fun time, don't get me wrong.

How can you not love Blair Waldorf reminiscing about her exes, slurring in her outdoor voice, dropping her guard and uncomfortably grinding on a bunch of dudes better suited for Jersey Shore than Gossip Girl?

This could've been accomplished without Beatrice's goal of getting Blair to humiliate herself, though. Why not let her have a real bachelorette party with Serena in tow, minus the unnecessary - and ultimately ineffectual - plotting?

All very strange. Entertaining, but strange. Heading into the wedding, we're pretty much right where we started this evening, save for Chuck becoming the priest's new apprentice and Louis enlisting ... Dan!

Typical Humphrey, confessing his true feelings for Blair in such a way that he doesn't have to own them. Come on Dan. Hopefully before Louis reads any of those heartfelt vows, their true author is revealed.

Presumably, Blair is somewhat familiar with Dan's writing, and clearly she and Louis don't share the connection she has with Dan. Or Chuck. Wouldn't she be the slightest bit suspicious?

Maybe I'm nitpicking. In any case, as much as I enjoy Chuck creeping around Blair and pretending to shop for velour track pants, I can't wait to see things come to a head next Monday.

Chuck Creepin'

CREEPIN': Charles doesn't stand out whatsoever as he lurks by the Juicy Couture store.

On a (slightly) less confusing note, Nate made a deal with the devil herself and came out on top. We talked last week in our Round Table about how we love take-charge, CEO Nate, and he stepped up again tonight.

Despite being born rich, handsome and charming, it's not easy being Archibald. Who knew he had it in him, now only going toe-to-toe with GG and outwitting Trip, but standing up to The Grandfather?

Breaking out of his family's shadow has been huge for him, and hopefully it continues. With enough investor capital, he may be able to buy his freedom, so to speak, from the influence of his relatives.

Even if "S By S" was disappointing as a column name, Serena proved she brings plenty to the table as Nate's right-hand woman, with her writing (!) and other attributes. I'm loving this duo. Professionally that is.

Intertwined with Nate's mission to expose Trip was her fake relationship with Dan, which he wanted to end so publishers would be interested in having him write something else besides a sequel to Inside.

Which was the book that put him on the map in the first place. Just saying.

You might as well just embrace it for one more book if you're the Hump. Serena proved at the end that she's not letting her faux beau go anytime soon. Besides, his other book ideas sounded pretty bad.

Finally, we have Gossip Girl, the titular never-seen, always-heard force.

With the Upper East Side event of a lifetime on tap, she make an appearance at long last, or at least make her presence felt like never before, now that Nate gave her a lifeline? Will he come to rue the day?

I was glad to see her "relationship" with Nate evolve tonight (if only over text and email), with the promise of more to come. That and Blair letting loose were the highlights of the week for me.

A brief rundown of what else we learned tonight ...

  • Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage need to actually work on this show again. No offensive to Joshua Safran, but some of the plot lines this season have been beyond convoluted.
  • Nate's email is natearchibald (at) nyspectator (dot) com. You're welcome ladies. It also never gets old how the Spectator uses a basic Gmail interface and the identical Gossip Girl font.
  • Brooklyn coffee is half as expensive and tastes better. This is actually true.
  • Rufus reads Serena's blog. Apparently. And got a nice new iPad.

Before we turn it over to your comments, here's next week's promo ...

What did you think of Monday night's Gossip Girl? Discuss below!

Review

Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.0 / 5.0 (394 Votes)

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

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Dont get me wrong, the Chuck and Blair story was great, funny and a bit cute but now? It seems as Chuck is more in love with the idea of being in love with Blair. He is kinda obsessed on a bad scale.
I am pro Dan and Blair since its the only "true" romantic twist in the show, everything else has been kinda shallow and more "action" love then true love. I would really like to see a happy ending for Blair since the character really deserve a "fairy tale" happy ending with true love. Blair has truly been the true star in this show in which all others circle arround as planets, some bigger then others but still just planets :)
I fear the worst but I consider myself to be an average optimist so I still hope that there will be a true romantic love story in the show that has captivated us all for so many episodes.

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chuck reminds me of the goat and blair is the washcloth in the episode "the goat" on how i met your mother because each time ted took the washcloth away from the goat, somehow the goat always seen to get it back. No matter what happens chuck is so obsessed with blair that he WILL do anything to get her back (maybe even killing someone).

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man all the chair fans are treating chuck like he is their god. lol they can't say anything bad about him or chair as a couple.

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@Vanillalatte it wouldn't waste the writers time because they will get what they been wanting.... viewers because how many viewers gossip girl gets the more money they are making.

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i keep on reading people bashing on dan by calling him a creep. i found that so funny, I feel sorry for those people who actually believe that but yet they dating or married a guy who is like dan because dan is the most normal person in the whole show and i bet you that they won't date a guy like chuck.

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this is to all of those who want the old blair back. I want to know is why do you want her back? do you want her to be the high school girl again? when she was in high school she was immature, spoiled little girl.

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@leila it seems to me that you want gossip girl to be only about blair and chuck.

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@Dr. Holland all man is a jackass and all women is a little psycho.

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I think its an HP Touchpad, i know their killed off now but it looked exactly like one and HP does advertise on their show so.... yeah. Nate was nate this episode, his personal storyline has been bad as of late (A certain cougar comes to mind) so i understand why we're only seeing his professional side. Serena has been a filler lately, i wanna see more of her loving of dan. Dan stop being such a girl, man up! His character is beginning to irk me. Chuck wasn't seen much of and he's reverting to his old self and for some reason this should have been more of a big deal. Blair was awkward at the bar it was just weird to see her like that, i loved her and beatrice's interactions, and i like the fact she is now genuine. The priest is the priest i dont care for him much. I really want something to come up with the chuck/diana situation she got called and what the hell happend!! Is he related to her or what! The nate/trip situation i totally knew it i called it out perfectly

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..So here's to hoping we get Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage back and get the Gossip Girl we know and love and the CB we know and love back on the air before it's too late to save the show! ...
Because if you look at just about any poll CHAIR beat any other couple by 1000's of votes :) Just sayinnn