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Gossip Girl Review: Despicably High-Brow

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"Maybe you've been so busy worried about what everyone thinks that you forgot who you actually are. Which is a shame, because you should see what I see." - Dan

It's all about appearances, right? This week's Gossip Girl was all about the upper crust of the UES behaving badly - despicably if you will - in the name of getting what they want, for the sake of their respective reputations.

Meanwhile, the Humphrey men struggled to make sense of it all.

In a sense, "Despicable B" was like old times on Gossip Girl, with various stories of social scheming, though certain characters have arguably lost their way to the point where their actions cease to be believable.

Blair clearly has lost her way, somewhere between being traded for a hotel and selling out for a tiara. At least she admits as much, and has perhaps realizes at last that she can start being happy without preconditions.

Dair detractors may lament the couple's banality or lack of intense physical chemistry, but their connection runs deeper than the superficial. Going back to their days at W, Dan has loved Blair Waldorf for ... Blair Waldorf.

A Dair Picture

Dan always does his part. Whether or not you're a card-carrying member of Team Dair, you have to respect the genuine compassion, communication and respect between them. They are an equal partnership.

Fun as it was to see her so incredulous over Dan outshining her on the N.Y. Magazine Approval Matrix (a real, hilarious thing, even if Kim Kardashian's marriage lasting longer than B's isn't actually on it), our girl needs to regain her mojo. Strategizing to out-high-brow Dan at his own high-brow affair? Totally low-brow and beneath vintage B.

Dair's storyline had some wonderful moments - their heart-to-heart at the end, her botched attempt to generate interest from FIT, Dorota insisting B is still royalty to me! (FTW!) - but let's hope it marks a turning point.

She's got to know herself again, for real, and it'll be very interesting to see if Daniel Humphrey is by her side when she does. Who is the real B? Do any of us even know anymore? Just pray she tries to find her.

NOTE: It looks like B adopts an entirely different persona next week (see promo below).

Speaking of people unrecognizable from Season One ... when did Lily get so evil? Yes, she's always been materialistic, selfish and one to put on airs to a degree, but this level of vindictiveness is unprecedented.

If the whole plan all along was to nail Carol for fraud, well, kudos on the execution and all, but she'd already secured 50 percent of the estate, so what was the point? And why invite a reporter? To enhance her "image"? This is a woman who's been IN JAIL and married FIVE times. Pretty sure the reputation ship sailed long ago.

Notice she didn't deny paying off the nurse to sell out Ivy, either. That's just cold, Lil. Fortunately, Ivy proved her own goodness and/or naivete by tearing up the check at the end. Poor girl just wants a FAMILY! Not money!

Idiot. Did you see the zeroes on that thing?!

Rufus has clearly had it being lied to, and it's hard to blame the guy. He was always the trophy husband, but at least she was nice and they enjoyed each other's company. Now? Who knows who he's married to.

The problem with Lily's storyline was that unlike Blair's, it's just too complicated. Who can even keep track of all the lies and the reasons behind them, and at this point, are we emotionally invested in any of them?

Serena, Lily Pic

You know it's bad when William seems like a genuinely good guy just trying to do right by the four crazy women in his life. You almost feel bad for the guy. Maybe he'll figure out a way to leave all the money to Lola now.

Stranger things have happened ... on Gossip Girl.

Serena? She's just aimless at this point, a girl without a family, a real job, a boyfriend or much of a social life. It's sad, really, and makes you fear how low she'll go for attention in the next three weeks.

Perhaps the most significant (and most dubious) developments of the night came in the closing montage. First, Serena left the Gossip Girl server login info hanging out of her notebook! And Lola ganked it!

Week after week, characters one-up each other for biggest secret left out in the open. The people on this show need serious lessons in hiding sensitive information, because they make things too easy on lazy writers.

It's called a safe. Or a real doorman. Or a password on your iPhone. Or your pocket.

Okay, rant over. What do you think Lola will do with that info is the real debate. Give it back to the real G.G.? Become G.G. 4.0? Sell it back to Serena for her cut of the trust fund? Infinite, absurd possibilities.

Finally, Chuck Bass has been through about as many paternity twists as Gossip Girl has identity crises. Thanks to the busiest P.I. in the city and some (sexy!) mind games from Nate, we know Diana's a fraud.

You gotta love Nate going to bat for his friend and his company, while treating female fans to some gratuitous shirtless action to boot. Well played, Mr. Archibald ... and those who guessed Jack is Chuck's dad.

In real life, Desmond Harrington is 35 and Ed Westwick 24, BTW. A bit of a stretch. But if Chuck graduated high school just three years ago and Jack is around 40 ... we'll buy. Again, this is Gossip Girl people.

It STILL doesn't explain what Diana's angle is, though, and it starts to lose some of its punch when a huge bombshell is simply negated the following week. On a routine basis. Oh, yeah. That was a lie. Great.

Think he's actually Chuck's dad? And Elizabeth the mother after all? If so, why all the subterfuge? What's really going on here, and will the ultimate resolution to this ongoing saga finally be worth it?

We have our doubts, but here's hoping. Before we turn it over to your comments, here's next week's promo:

What did you think of tonight's Gossip Girl? Sound off now!

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (789 Votes)

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

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@Zoran, I totally agree with your last comment.
Well, you immediately understood that I am very angry at the moment, just because I really can't stand this situation at all. It's not just because of Dair itself (even though my dislike for Dan helps a little), but what the writers did to make it. And all these expextations about this "pure and simple love" are actually blown out in less than an episode. I mean, I don't know if the writers meant it to be this way (which I actually hope), but this couple has just so many problems and even Blair admitted twice that maybe they shouldn't be together.
I don't know what to think anymore, so I just keep my fingers crossed, maybe something (of course not everything, since there are just 3 episodes left) will actually change. I'm very hopeful about next episode (the promo sounds very interesting and I can see a glimpse of the old Blair)and, moreover, about those Chair pictures at the casino...

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Also - why is there SUCH inconsistency in the way Dan treats Blair and the way he treated Serena? He never gave Serena the true trust and acceptance as he's given Blair. It seems like Dan doesn't REALLY accept Blair for who she is, he just knows that at the moment she's this weak version of herself. Therefore, if she tries to reclaim herself and do something sneaky or slightly bitchy, he can just scold her and 'forgive her' for being her true self - and then she, being so weak and alone, apologises and goes back to being that part of her. I'm hoping that next week, Blair embraces this side properly and doesn't allow Dan to stop her. And if he magically decides that he likes the devious side of her, then it makes NO SENSE how he completely judged Serena over and over for the same things! I'm really not a Dan hater, I've just found these inconsistencies irritating, including the way he encourages Blair to be this person that no one else wants her to be. The fact that he helps her to doubt Chuck's intentions and that she speaks to no one other than Dan and Dorota shows how broken her character has become! Queen B to Lonely B!

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Let's be honest here; Dair are the right couple at the moment because Blair has no idea what on earth she's doing and needs someone to lean on, who in turn likes to play the hero.
While we've seen Dan's feelings grow from dislike to tolerance to like to love, we haven't seen any of this growth from Blair. We've literally seen her go from liking him as a friend, to her telling him (and the audience) that she's with him romantically - without us being shown this journey. Therefore I'm very skeptical about how true these feelings really are; it seems more like Blair is enamored with Dan's ability to sit by her and forgive her anything, then for HIM as a three-dimensional purpose. So for now Dair is good; Blair has a comfort figure, who she likes but never has to feel frightened by the strength of her love for him, and hopefully this will be the support she needs to 'find herself'. Atm, Blair doesn't deserve to get Chuck back - as wonderfully explained by Elise, Chuck has apologised and grown.

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Really that's enough. When you mention the characters in the series, there was always someone to prove that the characters have become mature people. Our heroes have progressed from high school, but in that they become other people with the same names as our heroes! By millionth time, they can not changed characters without losing the base character that they had at the beginning of the series. Now our heroes have no connection with those of the pre season 2-3.

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I always thought of Blair and Dan like Jackie and Eric from That 70's Show. Dan and Eric are the boyfriend (ex-boyfriend) of Jackie and Blair best friends. Always hated each other, spoke alone about a few times. And no one ever thought they'd date, just like Dan and Blair, cause it's just wrong. Now imagine Jackie and Eric dating. How gross is that? That's exactly Dan and Blair. But clearly the writers on That 70's Show were much more intelligent and didn't ruin the show like the Gossip Girl writers did by making them get together. Anyone else agree?

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@carda name one reason why you say blair has grown up? she is still insecure, she doesnt even know who she is..she is beyond pathethic now..which is a shame she used to be my fav character..but now she is just iritating to watch. She said last night in between being traded for a hotel and selling out for a tiara she lost her self..thats not growth that imature for not taking responsabilty for her own choices. She put her self in those situations and now she cant even find herself with out the help of a man? wow! they really messed her up.

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@Brian
Lecturing for free, what happened happened. Dan and Blair can have sex, except when they discuss about the books, only when they drunk whiskey and vodka. And since then there is no mention of sex. So that is about friends with no sex! They satisfy enough with books, because they have 70 years!

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For cripes can we stop with the let's go back to the golden age of S1/S2. The show was excellent then - no disputing of that fact but we are at S5 and if these characters hadn't changed and moved on from high school I would've stopped watching a long time ago. If you're comparing Dair to the drama of Chair then of course it's going to be pale in comparison but they have completely different dynamics and I quite like the touching sweetness of Dair for the moment. The ship rants are getting so old and no one can come up with a rational deconstruction without bashing characters and other fans. It's a real shame.

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Since when are Dan and Blair an "equal" partnership while Chuck and Blair were not?? I think the writer of this article meant to say that the "new" Blair is in an equal partnership with Dan. The "old" Blair was also in an equal partnership with Chuck. The real Blair loves her UES life, her money, her superficial friends and all that goes with it, including Chuck Bass!!! Now, will those idiot GG writers pleeeaaase go back to reality and give us back our real characters, with the real firey romance (Chair) and all the bells and whistles that come with it, already!!!

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@Zoran "barrel of whiskey" - That would fit Chuck's alcoholic way better, doesn't it? Didn't Blair appear in a robe together with Dan at the beginning? Why don't you google the word "subtext" and get back to me on that sex remark.

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