So far, so good. There's no doubt that Gossip Girl's fifth season could easily go flying off the rails in a matter of weeks, but the first two episodes have provided plenty of laughs, scandals and topics for debate.
Sure, "Beauty and the Feast" had its share of genuinely horrible acting and eye-rolling plot holes. But hey, that's Gossip Girl for you. If you care about the characters and their adventures, it still works.
I definitely do care, especially about Blair. Poor, pregnant, hilarious Blair.
Leighton Meester is always at her best when her character is scrambling, and boy, was that the case tonight. Thanks to her big secret and Princess Beatrice's bid to ruin Louis' future bride, B was on the ropes!
Meester conveys a range of emotions with such ease. You can't help but feel for Blair and wonder how the heck she's going to wrangle herself out of this one, while enjoying watching her squirm just the same.
I enjoyed the continuity aspect of this episode. Blair's bulimic tendencies resurfaced (as did Nate's pot ingesting and Serena's inability to see through obvious lies), even if she's no longer binging and purging.
Not willingly, anyway. The spawn of either Chuck or Louis is wreaking havoc in there, but because of her past eating disorder, Beatrice was convinced something was amiss. It was a nice, oddly realistic touch.
As realistic as a vindictive sister's plot to sabotage a royal wedding could be, at least. The strange thing? Finding out the real reason for Blair's frequent visits to les toilettes was actually a letdown for Beatrice!
Having realized that Blair is expecting a future heir(ess), she decided that's not a deal breaker for her family. But rest assured, Beatrice vowed as she mauled the priest in the limo (?!), the throne will be HERS.
It's all a bit roundabout. Then again, her courtship with Louis has felt that way fro the start, so whatever, I'll buy it. Ridiculous make-out session and ulterior motives aside, Beatrice proved a formidable foe.
Best of all, though, were Blair's exchanges with Dorota about their respective pregnancies. Absolutely priceless, as were her increasingly awkward efforts to hide it from everyone else. Blair made this episode.
The fact that Dan emerged as her confidant was special as well. Odds are he's not the father, unless they both conveniently neglected to tell us something. Still, she and Humphrey have a bond all their own.
You'll always have me. No matter where you fall on the Chair/Dair/Blouis romantic spectrum, you have to admit that Blair and Dan have the strongest connection right now, even if it's strictly platonic.
While it's unlikely Dan and Blair did the deed at some point (we would've heard about it here), she and Chuck did. Louis' virility can only increase the probability so much. We see a DNA test in her future.
Chuck, of course, doesn't know this. Think the possibility of becoming a father would cure his mental block and allow him feel something again? A pregnancy has to carry the weight of 20 back alley fights.
For now, he's resigned to the latter, however. What we saw in last week's Season 5 premiere was an act. He's become numb to the world since he let Blair go, trying anything and everything to feel alive.
Dan, Nate and some random doctor weren't able to cure Chuck, but they did help him diagnose his condition in the end. Whether he'll dial it back or keep pushing his limits even further remains uncertain.
Speaking of continuity, how hilarious was Chuck name-dropping his old literary alter ego Charlie Trout when Dan brought up his predicament? Having seen every episode, I always appreciate such references.
Mr. Bass' explanation for coming around - "Just because I no longer feel doesn't mean everyone else should bear the humiliation" - was also choice. Typical Chuck. Despite his issues, he's a loyal friend!
His partner in crime Archibald is a loyal guy, too, but aside from getting naked with every new character (outdoors, no less!) and turning down prestigious internships, he's perpetual Gossip Girl pawn.
Whatever Diana Payne is up to, it can't be good, and Nate obviously doesn't see it coming. He's simply blinded by pot brownies, sex and man bangs. We all love him for it, but it does get a little stale.
Maybe we'll be surprised and Nate's storyline will actually be substantive. Most likely not. Regardless, it likely entails hot cougar sex and Elizabeth Hurley's character trying to take down Gossip Girl. Nice.
Equally, if not more gullible than Nathaniel is Serena, who wants SO DESPERATELY to be BFFs with non-cousin Charlie that she overlooks her overtly shady behavior approximately every 30 seconds.
The L.A. scenes were definitely the weak point of this episode, both in terms of plot and character investment. Why doesn't Serena take a hint? Why couldn't Ivy successfully ditch her? Does anyone care?
Hopefully, Serena and Charlie/Ivy will be woven into the broader narrative this fall in a clever way, because tonight didn't do it for me. It's early yet, at least. Plenty of time for her to forget her meds.
That's all for now, but "Beauty and the Feast" should give you plenty discuss with TV Fanatic as you hit the comments below! Come back tomorrow for news, promos and our Round Table! Finally, tonight's poll:
Who is the father of Blair's baby?