Gossip Girl Review: The Redemption of Bart Bass

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Last week's Gossip Girl was one of the best episodes of the fifth season, mostly because it featured the gang urgently but humorously scheming together like old times, but also due to the bombshell in the closing moments.

The question was whether "The Fugitives" would build upon "Raiders of the Lost Art" and generate serious momentum heading into the season finale, or sweep everything under the rug in 2-3 lines of dialogue.

With Gossip Girl, you never know anymore, but despite a couple of plot holes bigger than the ones on Serena's top, tonight was by and large a success, keeping us on our toes and setting the stage for next Monday.

The biggest difference between tonight and the aftermath of the 100th episode, when Georgina was revealed as Gossip Girl, only to later unmasked as a mere stand-in, is the far-reaching consequences for the characters.

Bart Bass was not only redeemed somewhat - at least to the extent a person who fakes his own death and abandons his own family can be - he is returning to face the music now. That alone deserves due credit.

Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass Pic

Staging his own demise to protect Lily and Chuck from his business rival, whose hatchet man was none other than Chuck's PI Andrew Tyler? Logistically implausible and haphazardly written. Yet it still worked.

Bart was and is not an ideal father figure by any stretch of the imagination, but he's all Chuck has ... and before last Monday he had nothing. There's still a chance for a relationship now, which counts for something.

Dying/undying relatives seem to bring out Ed Westwick's acting chops, perhaps even more than Chuck's hilarious lost weekends and periods of unabashed hedonism. He was particularly good this evening.

Life works in mysterious ways, and perhaps Chuck stepping up to save his old man will be the catalyst for the old man finally appreciating his only son. As for breaking the news to Lily, good luck on that one Bart.

The elder Bass is right that he and Lily were on the outs at the time of his "death," but the interesting thing is that she and Rufus happen to be in a similarly rocky place right now. So all bets are off.

In addition to reuniting the Basses, Bart's resurrection also brought Ivy and Lola back into the fold. Wow. A threesome featuring those two leggy blondes would've felt incestuous, even if genetically ...

Never mind. Awkwardness aside, it would've been fun to see if the faux and real Rhodes could tag-team this seduce-and-destroy mission, especially since the way the storyline actually unraveled was a copout.

What's next for each of these would-be call girls open question, but as B said, in order to be back in the gang, you would've had to be in the gang at some point. So don't hold your breath, Ivy.

Lola may have a better shot at permanent scheme team membership, given her strengthening relationship with Nate ... who Chuck really should've told about Bart and Diana at the onset, honestly.

Once Chuck discovered Diana's connection to Bart and made the "deal" to ship her out of town in exchange for incredibly valuable information, wouldn't you think he'd tell Nate, vendetta or not?

A minor criticism, really, in an episode that did much more right than wrong. Nate also did the right thing, eventually, by letting Diana walk and hopefully closing this chapter of Gossip Girl for good.

Perhaps most significantly, the second coming of Bart brought Chuck closer to Blair, who enlisted Serena's help as she continued to be there (and struggle with her feelings for) Dan, who invited her to Rome.

Serena Under Fire

Blair has a lot on her plate (everything but gelato, it seems), and from the ending scene tonight - nearly as shocking as last week's, albeit in a different way - her relationship with S is about to take a very dark turn.

Gossip Girl certainly returned with a bang, didn't she? Did anyone else miss her a little?

Serena sending in Blair's diary page was a BRUTAL move, leaving Waldorf and surely many viewers stunned. What did she write after the bit about Dan? Will the blacked-out portions be posted next week?

It would've been a surprise even if the two had been at each other's throats, but Blair and Serena's fun ruse tonight - S even wore a headband as her stand-in! - made the ensuing bombshell even more shocking.

The scene in which S did B a major solid in salvaging Dair's trip to Italy (props for Dorota's hilarious last-minute save) upon Eleanor's return, could also be the undoing of their lifelong friendship. Amazing.

Apparently Serena's jealousy, incredulity at B for not reciprocating Dan's love, and general lack of direction in life reached critical mass when she got a little too excited playing Dan's girlfriend again.

There will likely be extensive debate over her actions in selling out Blair - if she in fact did, as you can never rule out a frame job on this show - but no one will accuse her of being boring certainly.

When B's claws also come out, this could be a cat fight for the ages.

All the Gossip Girl spoilers we've posted up until now have been more or less on point. Blair must make a choice between Chuck and Dan, with Serena possibly throwing a wrench into her plans.

The two men in B's life are polar opposites, but each has captured her heart in their own way. From the looks of the season finale promos, though, her BFF may have her sights on one of them.

Blair says she's not ready to say "I love you" back to Dan, because she wants it to mean forever. Will that moment come soon, if ever, for Dair? Will those 270 meals in Rome possibly take place?

In the Great 'Ship War 2012, it all comes down to next week.

Upper East Side vs. Brooklyn. Mogul vs. Author. Dark Knight vs. Muppet (how unreal was his hair after getting out of the shower?). Who will B choose, and will her friendship with S ever survive it?

Who knows, but kudos to the show on two solid installments that set up the cliffhanger without feeling like filler. Season 5 has been uneven at times, but its conclusion is clearly not to be missed.

Before we turn it over to you, here's the CW's first tease of "The Return of the Ring" and the longer, better Canadian promo as well. Check them both out and see what you think:

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

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.0 / 5.0 (774 Votes)

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

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After the blast Dair relation worsen.Blair was angry at Serena.S try to fix her mistake but lose it when her feelings for Dan become stronger when she knew B actually still in love with C.Dan lose confident in their relationship,Serena was with him and they had it.B found out and want revenge on S with Chuck help.B go out with Chuck to get his help but Chuck refuse being use by Blair.Chuck gave her the ring back and tell Blair he want to move on and forget her.Bart want his hotel & company back without realizing how much Chuck change and grow in the past years he's gone leaving Chuck aside.They fought and Chuck left,dissapear again.Dair was over by the time and Blair realize she wants Chuck by her side unfortunately Chuck already left and Blair would need to chase after Chuck.

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i've been reading this comment forum for a while and its very interesting so i would like to share my thought on it too...as much as i'm a chair fan i dont want chuck and blair get together by the finale s5.its too soon,how can blair just change her feeling after 2 ep?and if chair really got back together i really want them in s6..i want blair to choose chuck because she's madly in love of him not because of her rltionship with dan on the rock..it terrible to chuck knowing Blair choose him as 2nd choice..Chuck is not a 2nd choice!As for Serena its not her fault completely,yes she did read Blair diary but maybe she wants to know how much Blair loves Dan coz she love dan and she's Blair bbf so she don't want to meddle openly in their relation.Don't forget about Nate-Lola involvement.They deliberately working with GG which ultimately cause Blair's secret to leak out.For Bart and Chuck relationship i really looking forward to it.It was really good to see their father-son relationship good after long time.Perhaps GG would go like this.........

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i've been reading this comment forum for a while and its very interesting so i would like to share my thought on it too...as much as i'm a chair fan i dont want chuck and blair get together by the finale s5.its too soon,how can blair just change her feeling after 2 ep?and if chair really got back together i really want them in s6..i want blair to choose chuck because she's madly in love of him not because of her relationship with dan on the rock..it would be terrible to chuck knowing the fact Blair choose him as second choice..Chuck is not a second choice!As for Serena its not her fault completely,yes she did read Blair diary but maybe she wants to know how much Blair loves Dan coz she love dan and she's Blair bbf so she don't want to meddle openly in their relation.Don't forget about Nate-Lola involvement.They deliberately working with GG which ultimately cause Blair's secret to leak out.For Bart and Chuck relationship i really looking forward to it.It was really good to see their father-son relationship good after long time.Perhaps GG would go like this.........

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i've been reading this comment forum for a while and its very interesting so i would like to share my thought on it too...as much as i'm a chair fan i dont want chuck and blair get together by the finale s5.its too soon,how can blair just change her feeling after 2 ep?and if chair really got back together i really want them in s6..i want blair to choose chuck because she's madly in love of him not because of her relationship with dan on the rock..it would be terrible to chuck knowing the fact Blair choose him as second choice..Chuck is not a second choice!As for Serena its not her fault completely,yes she did read Blair diary but maybe she wants to know how much Blair loves Dan coz she love dan and she's Blair bbf so she don't want to meddle openly in their relation.Don't forget about Nate-Lola involvement.They deliberately working with GG which ultimately cause Blair's secret to leak out.For Bart and Chuck relationship i really looking forward to it.It was really good to see their father-son relationship good after long time.Perhaps GG would go like this.........
After the blast Dair relation worsen.Blair was angry at Serena.S try to fix her mistake but lose it when her feelings for Dan become stronger when she knew B actually still in love with C.Dan lose confident in their relationship,Serena was with him and they had it.B found out and want revenge on S with Chuck help.B go out with Chuck to get his help but Chuck refuse being use by Blair.Chuck gave her the ring back and tell Blair he want to move on and forget her.Bart want his hotel & company back without realizing how much Chuck change and grow in the past years he's gone leaving Chuck aside.They fought and Chuck left,dissapear again.Dair was over by the time and Blair realize she wants Chuck by her side unfortunately Chuck already left and Blair would need to chase after Chuck.

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I hope in this finale we are finally getting the couples who are meant to be: Chair, Derena, Rufly.
I think, it would be ridiculous if they don't end up together.
Actually, since season one we know who are meant to be together. It sucks, that the writers permanent put some rocks in their ways. I want it to be a good ending!

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@ lyla, @meg
Serena is scanned Blair diary. But she did not want to get it GG. She had no intention of hurting Blair. Georgina shows to Dan image of GG. The reaction of Dan is that he seems to know that is. Based on Dan reaction I think that's his mother Alison. Georgina and Dan move to capture the GG! Alison and Lily were friends until they clashed about Rufus! Probably is why the main target for GG was always Serena. It seems that history repeats itself. This resembles the relationship between Blair and Serena and Dan.

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@meg: I hope not. It would be clearly a ridiculous last minute made up thing. But giving what they have done to Bart, everything is possible, so I doubt not. I bet they'd explain it by saying that Dorota has a multiple personality disorder.
Regarding the episode and Blair's diary leaking to Gossip Girl, I don't think Serena sent it. After all, nate and lola did handled her computer to GG with all her files in it, so it's only logical what GG has done.

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why do i have the feeling that dorota is gossip girl?

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@jade, nice theory, but I really can't imagine Chuck and Blair marring in Las Vegas... lol! @Zoran, I thought you were happy because of the scene, but in the other promo, you get quite disappointed, since Dan yells at Serena two times...
As far as Blair is concerned, she has to be pushed and really face the risk of being with Chuck, and not to continue with the "safest choice" mentality, because it's quite immature and coward. @down with dair, yes, you might have a point, but why choose them now if they don't end up together? They could have chosen more popular actors... I mean they aren't they only two characters related to that brand, are they?
And as far as of the spoilers given by the promos, you can see that the Canadian one is not so pro Chair...
By the way, I'm still quite convinced that they will reunite, so fingers crossed!

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the writers could also be teasing us as in the return of (bart bass) and the ring he gave to lily? because nothing is ever what it seems. it seems like they are building us up to a chair reunion and we nearly got them every season then something bad happens. and leigh and ed could have promoted hw because of season 4. i will hate this show if she choses dan. also georgina fits in somewhere and remember blair owes her one. spoliers always lead us down the wrong path.