Gossip Girl Review: Building the Perfect Serena

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We didn't know Serena van der Woodsen had it in her. Getting half-naked on aircraft carriers, sure. But full-on subterfuge? Then sabotaging her half-sister-cousin when that doesn't work out? That's cold, S.

One minute, she's so against all that Gossip Girl stands for that she'll do anything to get out from under the microscope, even shepherding a (seemingly) unsuspecting Lola to take her place as It Girl.

The next minute, now that the seemingly perfectly constructed Serena 2.0 played her with her own agenda, she's going to feel the wrath. No one messes with It Girl to end all It Girls! That spotlight is HERS!

The girl clearly has no clue who she is anymore - something that could be said for Gossip Girl as a whole, but that's a topic for another time, or the comments - making for an interesting character study.

Girl spends her entire life as the center of attention. Girl often laments this but really doesn't wish for it to stop. Girl senses it slipping away and now attempts to cement her status through social media.

From a logistical standpoint, after the events of "It Girl, Interrupted," where does S go with this?

Does she possess the pure narcissism, and the brainpower, to act the part of and report on the life and times of It Girl, despite countless lies she'll have to tell and feelings she'll have to hurt along the way?

GG 3.0

That's questionable at best, but more significantly, what's Serena's deal? Emotionally, what does she hope to see come of this? Does she even know the answer to that at this point? Do the writers?

The fact that we have to ask is problematic, but such is life in Gossip Girl's fifth season. The characters we've grown to love have become confused at best, completely unrecognizable at worst.

The show is also plagued by a general lack of direction many times. There are so many plot lines unfolding concurrently, and some of them are interesting, but what are we tuning in for overall?

It's just muddled at times, even if it's hard to put your finger on why. Hopefully things build toward a more unifying story next month and heading into the final season, giving Gossip Girl the send-off it deserves.

In the nearer term, it's evident that Serena is reaching the point of no return with her G.G. site takeover, and that it can't last forever. The only question is what the consequences will be when it all unravels.

How Lola responds to S' latest salvo remains to be seen as well. Ditto her reaction to Nate's secretary telling her he's with Diana at the end. Did he really hit that? Is he so naive as to trust her again?

We'll find out, and admittedly I'm still intrigued about all things Serena, Nate and Lola, even if my patience wears thin at times. Elsewhere, plenty of other things (slowly) began to play out, namely ...

Chuck paid the dowry. What a guy. It was hard not to feel bad for him after this was initially received poorly by Blair, because it really feels like it was a selfless act, and a financially significant one at that.

If Chuck couldn't invest in the Spectator because of this dowry, that must have been some dowry! We knew it was enough to bankrupt Eleanor, but wow. Chuck taking a financial hit? Now we've seen everything.

He must really care for Blair ... not that we didn't know that 100 times over. Unfortunately for those longing for a Chair reconciliation, however, the news didn't send Blair running into his arms. Instead ...

Dan and Blair Kiss!

Blair thanked him for setting her free ... to be with Dan. After giving her Muppet the runaround, and even after learning about Chuck's monumental sacrifice, she and Dan made a public showing of their love.

The dowry wasn't even her hangup with the divorce papers at first, it was the fact that she just couldn't let go of her princess fantasy. Sigh. It's one thing to have second thoughts about Chuck, but really B?

In any case, Dan was sweet to let her live it out for one more camera-phone-filled moment. A nice moment for the Dair fan base, but Chuck made major inroads this week and remains omnipresent.

Next week comes Dan and Blair's official public debut as a couple, and you can expect fireworks ... on the show and on TV Fanatic. As for the reason Chuck sought Blair's advice in the first place ...

Elizabeth is not his mother and did not give him blood. Not a surprise at all. So who did? The smart money's still on Diana somehow, but very little happened tonight as far as this mystery advancing.

What was a bit of a shocker, on the other hand, was ...

Lily going behind Rufus' back to screw over Ivy. Maybe S' actions make more sense now, because Lily clearly has some manipulative, cold-hearted genes. Even if Ivy had it coming, that was still brutal.

Rufus was clearly left reeling by this, not just by the fact that his wife would throw Ivy out on the street, but that she lied to his face about it, after he put the wheels in motion to work out a compromise no less.

Thus, the separation has begun. There's supposedly a big breakup coming up this spring and these two look like prime candidates. It's sad, but Rufus might deserve someone better to make waffles for at this point.

Slightly less emotional, but more contentious, was for ...

Diana in a Blue Dress

The battle for the Spectator. Nate really couldn't get an investor other than Diana? Really? The plot to videotape her with Lola's useless friend was cool, as was the fact that L pulled one over on S.

Nevertheless, I'm losing interest in Diana, whose reappearance feels forced. Nate and Lola make a cute couple and it'd be nice to see them give it a go. He's also a good editor-in-chief, even if ad sales are down.

The entire Nola conflict was a bit cobbled together. They're from different worlds, we get it. But that's what they initially liked so much about one another, no? Not an impediment to their relationship?

Whatever. Diana clearly has an agenda, one we might even learn about one of these months. Truthfully, she was only there to create tension between the two lovers and draw further attention to the fact that ...

There was a really expensive lingerie party. Someone who lives in NYC and has knowledge of UES social circles, please enlighten us: Do all these crazy parties actually exist in real life, and where do I get tickets?

Not the most exciting episode overall, but it had its moments. I'm very curious to hear what you all thought and what you think about the show's overall direction (or lack thereof) these days.

What keeps you watching? What was your favorite part of tonight, and your least favorite part? Before we turn it over to your comments, here's next week's promo for "Salon of the Dead" ...

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


Editor Rating: 3.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (806 Votes)

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


It's ok I wasn't offended but the British Royal Family are the monarchy for the whole of the UK including Scotland. The last main Scottish dynasty, the Stuarts, fell from grace in the 18th century. I like Braveheart too but just to stress Mel Gibson stretched the truth there and then some. Here endeth the history lesson....;-)


@ Kookakicha
Are you nervous! Accept that this is a victory for Chuck in this episode. Chuck has done a good deed and nothing more and nothing less. Nothing he is asked for in return. But you fans of Dan and Blair seem to fear that Blair could still come back to Chuck. What will be the end of the season we will see. The fact remains that this episode was of Chuck!


@Zoran ah ok! I understand your comment now, I think it was the first line that threw me off. I know what you mean, none of the characters are particularly virtuous. Chuck paying the dowry was a very kind gesture, I agree, but he is not a heroic character. Personally, I found he was a lot worse to Blair than Blair ever was to him in their relationship. 95% of Chuck's actions are invariably out of self gain, and I find it hard to believe that it's a coincidence that Chuck would suddenly 'need' Blair against moments after he's paid her dowry for her.


The fact that Dan and Blair have in common is not enough to be lovers, but friends. As you say, out of every couple who have common interests (music, film, art) should become lovers. It is a little strange. What about friendship? Does friends must become lovers? As for Chuck and Jenny from season 3, the two had voluntary sex. Chuck, Jenny and Blair were in the wrong place then. No more wasting so many lies - Chuck did not use drunk Blair! Regarding the conflict between Chuck and Dan, to the Dan itself is to blame. Dan has used Chuck to snatched Blair from him! If I were Chuck I would place one book he stole deleted!


Actually the fact that there was very little plot this week, aside from the Spectator stuff, probably helped considering how irrational the plots have been this year. Maybe the big problem with this year was the wedding. TPTB were DETERMINED to have it and couldn't create a plausible emotional arc to get there or to get rid of it. I really enjoyed the first few episodes of this season, and then the wheels just came off. TPTB shouldn't have messed with Blair. Blair is NOT wishy-washy. Oh well. I watch from habit I suppose at this point.


I'm sorry Sophie. You said that Chuck thinks that Blair is his property. I think he has to part with their selfless denied. Paying dowry did not ask anything. The gift is a gift. Chuck gave Blair the freedom to be with anyone. Chuck was not anything worse under Blair than it was for him. Both plots were made, both are attacking each other. But in the end still stayed together. None of the characters in the series is not as clean as a tear, and can not be attributed to Chuck all the negativity. To repeat, Chuck is a hero in this episode.


Pls tell me if the girl that plays lola is a series regular I'm really hoping NOT bc I want serena & nate back 2gether


I'm sorry Scots. Accidentally occurred to me, I like Brave Heart movie. British royal house is busy, and France is a republic. Minor monarchy is not exactly famous in the series. But really not a bad idea and opens up many possibilities.


@Zoran I'm happy to debate with you but your comment makes no sense. 'It's good to have hit you in a chord. I see how you're nervous.'? What are you on about? Nothing you mentioned had anything to do with what I wrote in my first comment. @Kookakicha I completely agree with you. This fandom is nuts.


Dan understands Blair deeply without having to buy her, nor to sell her, for that matter. Their relationship seems so much more honest, mature and lovely than her lying schemes with Chuck.

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