Gossip Girl returned from its hurricane-related hiatus this evening with an episode that ... well let's just say that if Hurricane Sandy had prevented you from seeing it last week, you wouldn't have missed all that much.
The hour continued the separate, intertwining storylines of Dan, Serena, Nate, Chuck and Blair, bringing us slightly closer to the grand finale (now pushed back to December 17) but without too many big developments.
There were some memorable lines and scenes, at least compared to the previous two episodes, yet the continued presence of Steven and Sage, plus Chuck's convoluted quest to take down Bart, still dragged at times.
In "Portrait of a Lady Alexander," Chuck's continued investigation into his dad's dealings led him to an unlikely high society event - a horse show where he hoped to find the person who can help him uncover the truth.
After a few dead ends, some surprising twists and a big assist from Blair, who played sidekick to her once-and-future love tonight, the younger Bass finally learned what the resurrected patriarch has been hiding.
Bart apparently bought foreign oil from Sudanese nationals in violation of an international trade embargo. It would take a lot to drive Bart Bass to such great lengths; a potential federal prison term probably qualifies.
Chuck's going to need hard evidence of this, of course, in order to make his move ... and who knows what that will even be. This storyline is a slow burner, but at least we now have a plausible explanation for Bart's "death."
Blair and Chuck sure do make a great scheme team. Drawn out as the together-but-apart arrangement may be, they've managed to share some quality moments these last two weeks as the other's respective sidekick.
Speaking of right hand women, has there ever been a more ridiculous and awesome literary agent than Georgina Sparks? Pimping out celebutantes for Dan to have sex with? Amazing. Hijacking S' sex tape? Masterful.
Sure, she's certifiably insane and devoid of any discernible human emotion, but someone's gotta keep the show interesting. Especially with Dan at last dismounting from his high horse (pun intended) at the end.
Rediscovering his moral compass somewhat after an epic verbal trashing of Serena, Lonely Boy realized that being a player isn't all it's cracked up to be, and that he longed for some genuine human companionship.
Crazy thought. Who did he seek out? None other than Blair Waldorf. Classy move on B's part to let him crash with her, and perhaps a long overdue, albeit minor consolation to Dair fans. Hey, at least they can be friends?
Maybe next week he can bring up the green headband thing. Yikes, B.
Despite burning bridges with reckless abandon, it looks like we'll see how well Dan can repair them. That SVDW sex tape is potentially the Hurricane Sandy of gossip bombshells, though. How and when will G leak it?
Whenever that happens, one can only imagine how Serena van der Woodsen will react. Ditto Sage and Steven Spence, who continued to occupy major screen time tonight and apparently will next week as well.
It's not that they're terrible characters, per se, it's just that with a limited, 10-episode final season run, every scene is potentially critical, and a lot of theirs come at the expense of others' and aren't particularly interesting.
S and S' decision to share their pasts was fairly predictable in that neither actually did so, and changed nothing as they're still together. Even the Lily revelation didn't feel all that significant - or surprising at all.
Heck, it was more shocking that he's seen the Kate Upton Cat Daddy video.
That's Season 6 in a nutshell. There are good lines and there's potential beneath the surface, with a chance we'll be rewarded with a terrific series finale, but at certain points, we're sort of limping our way to the glue factory.
Nate also knows a thing or two about being screwed over by Dan, and the truth hurt; his paper is going under and he was willing to take extreme measures to save it. Just not taking money from Bartholomew Bass.
Of course, it appears the Bass Industries chief is underwriting the line of credit Nate got anyway, but he's not aware of that at this time. Golden Boy believes he saved the Spectator on the strength of content alone.
Thanks to boxes of Rufus' old stuff sent over by Lily - one included his waffle iron, which has to bring back the memories of the good old days - Ivy had all the ammo she needed to stir up trouble for reasons unknown.
Why does she exist on the show? To seduce people with her hot, raspy voice and serve as a plot device for sending blasts and seeking vengeance on whomever she's upset with that day. That about sums it up.
In any case, Golden Boy can't catch a break at work, and his bad luck is set to continue if Bart controls the cash flow. If this helps align Nate with Chair in the master plan to vanquish King Bass, then so be it.
Before we turn it over to you, here's next week's promo for "Monstrous Ball" ...
And, four episodes in, how are you liking Gossip Girl Season 6 so far?
What did you think of tonight? Share your comments below!