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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Thirtysomethinggglover

I really feel like the writers missed a great opportunity with this car crash storyline. One thing I have always loved on GG is when the NJBC + Dan get together to tackle a problem. In the past, its usually something with Serena, but this time they could have all worked together to figure out and frame whoever tried to KILL Nate! Nate would be motivated b/c this is his life, Chuck would have been motivated b/c whoever did this put him in the hospital and ended up destroying his rekindled relationship with Blair and hurt her, Blair would have been motivated b/c this person KILLED her baby and also wrecked her reunion with Chuck, Serena would have been motivated b/c these are her friends/family and she could have gotten back at Tripp for the past, and Dan would also have been motivated b/c these are his friends and because of his feelings for Blair. But no, they didn't even involve Blair or Dan (I think Chuck was involved peripherally).

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Safran should be on his knees daily in thanks for his cast. Leighton and Ed were fabulous as usual. Penn almost made an expression-TWICE! Blake sold me on Serena's reignited flame (Despite my couch coaching Serena to let him and his condescension go). Chace, often not particularly strong, was entertaining. (I think Nate and Serena have shown lovely chemistry this season.) But the plot itself was just more of the same treading water. But, hey! Blair marries the most boring prince in the world next week! Now we can move on...right?

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If Schwartz and Savage can clean up the hot mess that Gossip Girl has become, I might actually beg them to come back. I appreciated the call back to Blair substituting macarons for Chuck, but 30 seconds of CB and 1.5 minutes of Serena and Blair just don't cut it. Especially as the lead in to the 100th. I find it astounding that they treaded water for pretty much 13 episodes, just so they could bill the 100th as "Gossip Girl's Royal Wedding [that no one wants to see]".

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i actually really loved this week's episode but that's probably because last week's episode was beyond horrible!!! le sigh*

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Ok I dont think Chuck is being a CRAZY STALKING NUT CASE, I think he is a man that is desperate because he is losing his soul mate the love of his life and trying to figure out why. I mean in one show there running off together and the next she will not have anything to do with him, so I think the role he is playing at this time is well done. Chair fans we have a long road ahead of us, Writers PLEASE make it worth the wait, we have been it for the long haul!!!! CHAIR!

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Meh episode is meh. Chuck went straight back to lurking, stalking, obsessive and demeaning Chuck ("until you crack...you always do."') I LOVE Blair reading Louis' vows not realizing that her real soulmate Dan wrote them. CANNOT. WAIT. FOR THE DAIR. On a different note, Nate without a dating storyline is fun and awesome. The grandfather stuff is tired, but I super love Nate on his own.

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I so agree we need Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage back to fix some of this nonsense. I mean seriously why would Louis need Dan of all people to write his vows? Ridiculous and convoluted to push a story that the majority of people do not want to see.
This God pact and the blatant misunderstanding of the Catholic Church. I mean I realize its jokes but c'mon, some realism would be good if they intend to go on with this story. A visting priest doesnt just walk around a Church that isnt his and you cant just appoint US priests to other places. A little research goes a long way in saving you from looking stupid. Glad to see though that Blair doesnt really get it, since its ridiculous all around.
Please just stop the stupid plot points and delays to keep Chuck and Blair apart. Its repetitive and tired when most people just want them back together.
It IS possible to write a happy couple, and considering this show is almost wrapping up, just do it!!

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Chuck and Blair need to get back together and soon! I think Donut needs to be lit on fire.

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eeeeeeeeeeeeeeehm.. did you guys (TV Fanatic auhtors) see last season of gossip girl? did you notice the African-American leading man and woman aka the Thorpes?
so much about the first pictures cation..

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SO MUCH WORD about Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage needing to come back to the show. This is getting ridiculous. Nate/Serena being smart and Chuck stalking were the best things about last night for me. Everything else? Boring. I guess Blair's party was fun, but like you said, the scheme was completely unnecessary and robbed us of what could have been some great Blair/Serena scenes. Oh! Not to mention that BLAIR DIDN'T EVEN KNOW OR CARE THAT TRIPP IS THE REASON HER BABY IS DEAD. Are you serious, writers? WTF.

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