Gossip Girl Review: World War Waldorf

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In the run-up to Gossip Girl's winter finale, we were teased with promises of tensions boiling over between Dan and Chuck, Blair escaping her prenup after all, and another major scandal rocking the Upper East Side.

"The Princess Dowry" delivered on all accounts ... in an episode that was one of the most convoluted in recent memory (even by Gossip Girl standards). Still, it gave us plenty to discuss between now and April 2.

Only Gossip Girl would have Blair attempt to get around a previously airtight prenup, only to be shot down by the royals, only to be helped out by minder Estee, only to have that blow up in her face, in under an hour.

Behind it all was Georgina, who decided she was retiring as GG, but only after she blew the lid off a mega-scandal, then found out about and used an even bigger scandal as potential leverage, again in under an hour.

Meanwhile, Cece's will was read at her wake ... by the executor of her estate, William. All of her assets were left to her fake granddaughter, Ivy, spurning the Rhodes sisters and prompting Carol to drop a bomb ... on William.

While Georgina sauntered by, obviously, at that precise moment.

It was enough to make your head spin, but here's the upshot:

Chuck, Dan and Georgina

- Chair is no more. One week is like an eternity on the Upper East Side these days, so who knows if that will change. "I love you, but I'm not in love with you" seems pretty straightforward, however.

Chuck was not all bad tonight. He fell victim to Georgina's meddling and while it surely would've delighted him to take down Dan, he was also motivated by clearing his own name and protecting Blair.

The look on his face when he realized what he'd done to the Waldorfs financially said it all. He knew he screwed up big time, but it also wasn't his intent. Chuck's not perfect, but he's not a monster.

After Blair "broke up" with him, he immediately knew it even if they were never together and those words were never used. Her heart wasn't with him anymore. Yet he isn't all alone in this world.

Jack gave him the blood transfusion that saved his life, not Blair's pact with God. It's surprising he wasn't told about this earlier, and Jack's return to the show this spring should be very interesting.

- Dair it is. Despite Dan's misdeeds in sending the blast, he has her heart. Dair shared a passionate kiss, and according to the promo for the spring return (below), will soon share A LOT more.

Dan coming clean about sending the infamous blast, and his desire to keep Chuck and Blair apart - even if his hand was forced on both accounts - only served to strengthen Blair's connection to him.

Blair, like Chuck and Dan, is an imperfect character. She's made a lot of suspect decisions this season. Still, it was hard not to feel sympathy tonight when everyone seemed to have it out for her.

Everyone except Dan, who couldn't believe it when she arrived in the loft at the end. Dan (not Humphrey, but Dan) has won the heart of the girl he's longed for, who he never thought would reciprocate.

She's giving him THE look she once gave Chuck, and that kiss was hot, too. Certainly not of the fleeting "I want this but we can't do this" variety. These two are going to full-on maul each other.

Dair. Is. On.

The Princess Bride

- Blair's marriage is over, but the dowry still hangs over B, since she broke her word to her minder and was caught in a scandal 15 minutes after she cut a deal that make little sense to begin with.

This was easily the worst part of the episode. When the writing is this bad, and huge plot points are just undone haphazardly in a few lines of dialogue, it makes it hard to invest in ... well, anything.

I've always loved Georgina, but she was used and abused like a cheap plot device tonight, showing up in exactly the right place at exactly the wrong time to wreak loads of incomprehensible havoc.

Suspension of reality is par for the course while watching CW dramas, but this was way over the top. The plot holes were bigger than the hole smack in the front of her dress ... a classy touch.

There's just no way G could engineered all that. She's like Bonnie on The Vampire Diaries, only at least in Bon-Bon's case, she magically whips up spells. Yes, a witch is more believable than G.

Georgina's still more believable than that Estee chick, however. Seriously, what the heck.

- Anyway, Georgina is off to Monaco, with a promise to have B's dowry waived in exchange for a future "I owe you one" from Queen B, and the contents of her "G.G." laptop mailed off to Serena.

Will S read what's on that machine, and what will she do with it? Will she become the new GG? G-3, if you will? If so, she can only improve upon Phillip's performance. Talk about an epic fail!

- Lola is Serena's half-sister. Or so Carol claimed while demanding he figure out a way to reclaim the inheritance she believes she is entitled to) and the UES just got even more incestuous.

Nate has now hooked up with Serena, her stepsister (Jenny), her fake cousin (ChIvy) and her real cousin slash half-sister (Lola), and of course her BFF Blair. That's quite a feat, even for Nate.

Still, I like Nola together, and know at least one member of our Round Table panel who wouldn't mind seeing Chace Crawford's "I want to talk about feelings face," so I can't bash the guy here.

Serena's Dad is Back

- ChIvy has evicted Lily and Rufus. Geez, that nine-figure inheritance sure went to her head fast. Despite my frequent lampooning of the character, that was a twist that at least gave her some purpose ... and power.

Ballsy move to throw them out like that, Chives. Does she really stand a chance of keeping that money? Was she really Cece's innocent, well-meaning caretaker, or was there something sinister at work?

We were led to believe (mostly by ChIvy herself) that she was just staying with Cece out of the goodness of her heart, but everything she says is untrue by nature, so clearly there's more to this angle.

Between Carol's fake and actual daughters, the family drama ought to be ridiculous going forward. How far will William go to hide paternity? If at all? How will Lily react when that eventually comes out?

It's going to get ugly in any case. Not even Billy Baldwin's smooth-talking raspy voice (despite being an AWOL dad, he's almost charming!) can diffuse what's about to surface in this already fractured family.

Maybe Eric is better off in Zaire, considering the way things are going for the family right now. Even Serena is looking pretty despondent and lost at the moment. And she's the ultimate IT girl!

All in all, it was a pretty crazy episode, one which could've been a lot better, yet provided the requisite OMFG moments and set us up for a fun spring. Hopefully. What do you think will happen next?

Before we turn it over to your comments, as always, here's the Dair sex promo for April 2. It's okay, guys ... late night limo rides notwithstanding, the first time is never as good as you think it will be.

What did you think of this evening's Gossip Girl? Discuss below!

Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (1025 Votes)

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

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@lonely.in.gorgeous Since you're new, it's best if you quit now before things get any worse. The writers made Dan/Serena step siblings and don't get me started on Chuck/Blair's character assassination bonanza for the last 3 or so years. @V That wouldn't be so bad.

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@kavern I wouldn't put too much stock in Blair's 'feelings'/'love'. The writers won't let any of the characters develop/grow, they're constantly regressing back to their old selves. Josh Safran is incompetent and the new slew of writers are getting worse and worse.

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@ Where's Waldorf I understand. I also want to go back to being a silent member of this forum and the FB page. I just had to dedicate a bit of my time in pointing out some home truths to Anonymous. Frankly if need be, I will be back to comment some more. You seem like a lovely person by seeking to make peace even though you were simply airing your views before you got picked on. That is a great attribute and I must commend you for it. Cheers!

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I'm a relatively new Gossip Girl fan, but now I feel I'll be a fast quitter. Chair has always been my endgame couple, and no offense to Dair (I love that Muppet and how much he loves Queen B.), but what the writers have done to it is...horrid. Chuck becoming a better man was a good move--he couldn't stay all-bad forever--but the last beautiful Chair moments this season ever had were the big apology in Blair's apartment and the limo scene pre-crash. THAT was the endgame I knew. THAT was the Chuck I knew existed under all the evil, a Chuck I saw in the Season 4 finale an could therefore believe in. I love Dair, but I feel so bad for Serena I can't support it because to me, Dan and Serena were endgame too. They were the light to balance out Chair's intensity. Them together was...beautiful in a way Dan and Blair never could be.

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@francene Gossip Girl's been that way since Season 3 where it all went downhill. @V No, I'm not instructing/telling people what to do, it's their choice to listen or not. That's my freedom of speech. @anonymous The writers are still stomping all over Chair fans again I see. @Where's Waldorf Actually, he's back to where he's started from, all of that change the writers made him go through went down the drain again, I'm not really surprised, but it's really annoying that they constantly have to do this over and over again.

Kavern

for chair fans, i think there is still hope. but honestly i'm confused as to when did blair gave her heart away.blair said her heart belongs to someone else when did that happen? did i miss something? during 5x16 and this episode she only said to dan that she does have feelings for him but she never really said she loves him did she?

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@V Thanks :) You've made great points. Its just that I don't want to argue anymore, I just want to discuss the show

Kavern

i think the last good episode GG had was 4x11 The townie which was written by stephanie savage. when will they come back to write for the show again. i mean no disrespect to joshua safran but seems to me his ideas were terrible. the characters has no real direction. since season 1 serena used to tell that she wanted to change but 5 seasons has passed and she's still making the same mistakes. chuck been reverting back to his dark side, dan is still the same guy who thinks his on a high horse when in fact he's like everyone else, nate's still irrelevant, blair is fickle. they focused solely on the relationship sides that they fail to develop the characters individuality. the characters depend upon each of their romantic partners to grow. which is totally wrong. a person should grow on their own before sharing themselves to others. the writers should totally ask some pointers to the TVD writers. because over there they really know how to develop a character.

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@Anonymous
Yeah before Bart died, I think he was slowly stepping up. But when Bart died everything changed. All these secrets keep pouring out on him and its not like he could ask Bart about them. Still, it does seem like he's really made progress this season wouldn't you agree? He has taken the high road several times. I think that's whats so interesting about him though. His good side is so delicate. It's like any minute he's going to be bad again. It really makes you pay attention to what he's doing. Blair is very confusing at the moment. She really needs an episode where she comes clean about everything and starts to get her life back together. I don't like seeing her uncharacteristically mushy and pathetic, despite it being understandable considering what she's been through this season.

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@exoticasia You're not alone

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