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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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the writers have officialy destroyed chuck's character. i hate them for this
the bachelorette party was fun i'm not gonna see the promo not to take the excitement out

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you chair fans really seriously need to get a life the show is not resolve around borig chair i pity you guys bcuz you are acting like 12 year old grow up the show is fiction dare will happen get over it dan is blairs other half she even said so herself it's like he peered into my soul dair forever.

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Ah poor Russell Thorpe looks like everyone forgot about him lol

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There was an African American guy on the show allllll last season. The one who wanted to take over Chuck's business. Remember?

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Wow didn't take Chuck long to regress back to his conniving ways. Making deals with a priest to ruin Blair's wedding!! Nice one Chuck. Stalking Blair around the city like a creep. Why did he let her go at the end of season 4 if he was just gonna humiliate her in front of everyone she knows and ruin her big day??

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I love you for saying Schwartz&Savage need to come back.The show was way better than it is now. The storylines are a joke, and the characters actions don't make any sense. Blair staying away from Chuck because of a pact with God. C'mon. Couldn't they have used her being upset because she just lost her baby, and was mourning. The fact that they couldn't come up with something better than this worries me. It really upsets me that Safran wrote the 100th episode. It's obvious from the writing this season and the interviews that he has no understanding of his audience. People just want to see Chuck and Blair together. Instead in the 100th,the fans are being "rewarded" with Blair marrying a guest star no one cares about. This far into the show,loyal fans that are left want to see Chuck and Blair get married or engaged. That would be a reward. Instead we are now starting a love square between C/B/L/D. Really? We're almost to the end of the series.

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I think Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savgae have to immediately come back to GG and save this show. Ä°ts a mess this year even worse than last year. Everything feels so much contrived and forced I can't evn recognise the characters I once loved.I especially hate how they chaanged Queen B to a weak girl who can't make decisions by her own and Humphrey is just everywhere. what is GG s obsession with Dan Humphs? I am bored of him and his useless fool thoughts. He can take his ugly hair and go to Barcelona live with Vanessa.

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@ Anne How is Dan being immature he is protecting his friendship with Blair . Why would he admit his feelings when Chuck and Serena have basically told him he has no shot. Dan knows how much she loves Chuck and that Louis is her second choice thanks to her stupid pact. Why potentially ruin his closest friendship by revealing his feelings if he thinks she doesn't feel the same. Like he said she doesn't need his confession she needs his help. How is that immature??

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I am the rare Chair/Dair fan. I love them both, though C/B more as I started watching this show for them. Seasons 1 and 2 with clear characters (i.e. Queen B, Dark Knight, Lonely Boy etc.)were the easiest to follow. The writers CAN write as they have proven with the snark and development of Dair, but maybe some weeks there is too much xanax being taken in the writers room. Last weeks episode is an example of that!!! It was so bizarre. In this week's episode at least we got some Blair back and it was fun. Leighton, still rocking it as Blair!
But until last weeks episode I really had been enjoying the season, except for Louis, especially Mr. Chuck's Wild Ride to Personal Enlightenment. Admittedly there was too much Charlie/Ivy, but for the most part it felt more coherent than last year.

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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. LOL understatement of the year LOL. I swear this season has been a hot mess in terms of consistency. Its almost as if the writers of one episode dont watch or read the script ffrom the writer of a previous episode. None of the characters feel consistent and like we have clear through line on their pov and motivation. And to top it off we have a show (ruiner)runner who openly admits, like its a talent, that he writes without plans or endings in mind and that he believes its perfectly acceptable for people to change and do 180's in an istant. So yes please Josh and Stephanie COME BAAAAAACCCCCK!