There was really no way Gossip Girl's 100th episode, having been hyped for an entire season, while promising romance, tears, scandals, nods to the past and the mother of all shockers, could live up to expectations.
"G.G." didn't lack for drama, however.
In what has come to be sort of a make-or-break episode, Gossip Girl had a golden opportunity to redeem its recent mediocrity and prove itself worthy of all the passion and loyalty we've invested over the years.
While there were some gaping plot holes and disappointments tonight - especially depending on your couple of choice - you can't find fault with the pure number of twists, especially during the last five minutes.
Seriously ... anyone see that coming?!
Georgina Sparks is Gossip Girl. Wow. Talk about saving the best for last. We have approximately eight million unanswered questions regarding how she pulled this off undetected all these years ... but wow.
Who else could it be, though? Michelle Trachtenberg was hands down the best part of this episode, and every one she's been in. No other villain could compare mix it up with the Upper East Siders like Georgina.
From a plot standpoint, it actually made sense that Gossip Georgina was the one to torpedo the royal wedding. Much as she tried to pin it on Chuck, Serena, Dan and Nate, none of them would do that to B.
G? She made clear early on that she had no such reservations. With G.G.'s identity still unknown to all the characters, and Trachtenberg sticking around, it will be very interesting to see if she's unmasked by the gang.
Or if she's not really Gossip Girl. Our Round Table will tackle that tomorrow!
While her latest, greatest act of sabotage came out of left field, that's not exactly out of character for her. Every line out of her mouth was hilarious, but never more so than when she referred to their annual "shindig."
She really does show up without notice, and possesses an unparalleled way of stirring up trouble on a grand scale with seemingly no emotional attachment or conscience. Personality-wise, she's tailor made for the part.
Having been down for the count, Gossip Georgina saw an opportunity for a big comeback and taking down Blair was the prime opportunity. Awful as we all feel for B, you gotta hand it to Evil G for this coup.
Putting aside the logistical impossibility of an entire church full of people reading her blast simultaneously - some of us turn off our phones at weddings, Josh Safran!! - kudos to the show for keeping that under wraps.
The episode wasn't perfect, but it definitely injected the season with some fresh life, thanks to G.G. and the revelation that Louis is worse than a boring, uptight stiff that B doesn't really love. Much, much worse.
We all expected somebody would stop the wedding, and knew Gossip Girl would be involved. But the fact that B went through with it in the end, only to be deceived by her prince, is heartbreaking and surprising.
Where does Mrs. Grimaldi (it hurts to even say it!) go from here?
The final twist of the night came when the runaway bride was rescued not by Chuck, but by Dan. Chuck is clearly not out of the picture, but he wasn't on the other end of her distress call. Nice misdirection there.
From Dair and Chair, to Blouis and Derena, this episode gave fans on every side of the polarizing love square (pentagon?) something to talk about. It's hard to even know where to begin - or guess where we're headed.
Blair found out who wrote Louis' vows, but the author himself didn't spill the beans. Chuck confessed his true feelings for her, only to let her go rather than ruin her wedding. Two great guys she has here.
Call them her knights in shining ... purple suits and Muppet hair? In a way, G.G. may have made it possible for Blair to be with Chuck (or Dan) without the baggage of him having ruined her nuptials to Louis.
The interesting thing now is that Chuck and Dan won't necessarily be pitted against each other yet, but joining forces in helping Blair escape the marriage that shouldn't have been. And then there's Serena.
Oh, S. No one can say this episode contained any filler - the characters put it all out there, from G.G. to Chuck, to Nate and even Serena, who dropped a massive L-bomb on Dan ... and we don't mean lonely.
Serena's been doing a lot of soul searching (as has Nate, thanks to his run-in-with "Lola"), but sadly for her, this confession may not be reciprocated. It appears, at least for now, that his heart is with her best friend.
Funny how dreams can imitate real life, isn't it?
In non-romantic couple news, Serena and Blair's friendship actually played a role for once, and for that we are grateful, as that used to be a central component of the show that has been sorely lacking of late.
We'll see if that lasts, considering Dan's role in both of their lives. It's fitting in a way. It wouldn't be S and B without a heavy dose of conflict interspersed with genuine concern and love for one another.
A brief rundown of what else went down this week ...
Adult Entertainment: Rufus, Lily, Eleanor and Cyrus all stepped up big time. My living room definitely got a little dusty seeing Eleanor's scenes with Blair and Chuck, and Blair's with Harold and Cyrus.
All that heartstring-tugging, while often on the back burner in a show that thrives on scandal, gave this wedding-themed installment a much-needed sense of authenticity. For better or worse, and through thick and thin, family is family ... and tonight made the Gossip Girl parents feel extended family to the fans.
Also, a Princess Bride reference from Cyrus? Too easy ... and too awesome for words.
Many people (including this reviewer) mock Rufus and Lily for their declining relevance on the show, so watching them help salvage the wedding, briefly - and reminisce about their own - was a nice treat.
It Feels Like 2007 Again: The promised homages to the old days were there in spades, and incorporated in ways that actually fit the present-day story. Case in point: A memorable Gossip Girl quote ("I love you, always have, always will") which was spoken to a very different character long ago. Also, the cover of "Young Folks" at the onset was fun.
Louis: This guy sucks. However, while pretty much everyone agrees these two aren't meant to be, he showed a side of himself that at least made the character somewhat interesting for the first time ever. Between Louis and G.G., the show created two all-star villains this evening ... NJBC, unite!
The fashion: It was a feast for the eyes. Look for our style recap this week!
Nate and Charlie: It's gonna happen. Nice.
Ivy: Where the heck did she go? Hello?
All in all, it's hard to complain about tonight, which left us on the edge of our seats and genuinely wondering (and caring) where things are headed going forward for the first time in awhile.
Before we turn it over to your comments, here's next week's promo for "The Backup Dan" ...
What did you think of Monday night's Gossip Girl milestone event? Was it the best ever? Did it suck? Somewhere in between Was the big reveal anything like you expected? Discuss below!