This week on the fifth season premiere of Gossip Girl
, Serena, Chuck and Nate live it up in sunny Los Angeles while back in the cement jungle of New York Blair and Dan try to put out fires of their own making.
The episode ends with Serena, Nate and Chuck learning some dubious lessons about reinvention and responsibility. What do Dan and Blair learn? Well they learn that no matter how hard they try, some secrets are too big to keep forever. It seems like in a few months, or should we say trimesters, all will be revealed. It's a bright, fun opening which picks up storyline mysteries from last season while avoiding the more dour melodrama of last year. Also, there was Elizabeth Hurley in leopard print!
Remember that book by Danny Wallace that later became a movie starring Jim Carrey and professionally adorable actress Zooey Deschanel? It was called Yes Man
and the title character said yes to everything offered to him by life. Well apparently sometime between last season and the premiere, Chuck watched that movie approximately 3,000 times.
His new philosophy is to say "yes" to everything whether that means twins (they find him) or motorcycle racing. He's also wearing a version of the sexy Newsies outfit he was sporting in Paris last season, which is a clear indication that he is going through some sort of emotional crisis. As we all know by now, Chuck Bass dressing like a normal human being is a huge cry for help. As even Serena notes, there is definitely something wrong when Chuck's Cheshire cat grin is more happy than creepy.
Still, when Serena bumps into Nate and Chuck on the boat he won from Allegra Versace he imparts the wisdom of his new philosophy. And since Nate and Serena are probably the only two people on this show enthusiastic yet simple enough to take Chuck seriously, they decide to say a little yes to life themselves.
Blair, meanwhile, has just returned from Monaco with Prince Louis and wants to know that he's willing to stick up for her. As it turns out, planning a royal wedding is actually a lot of work and, more painfully for Blair Waldorf, a lot of compromise. Just ask Kate Middleton.
Blair is overjoyed when it turns out she's going to be in an issue of Vogue Paris while Eleanor basically climbs up and down Louis' mother in excitement. That is, until it turns out she'll be in the fashion mag wearing his mother's old wedding dress. And if we know one thing about Blair Waldorf, it's that she doesn't wear hand-me-downs. Ever.
A cute east coast-west coast conversation with Serena calms Blair down when Serena suggests she wear the dress for the photoshoot so she can use it for leverage to wear her own dress later. But there's still the matter of the peonies she wants to carry and the UN General Assembly Gala she's not allowed to attend. Blair is getting tired of being second place to Louis' mother and that exhaustion has seemingly carried all the way to her hair, which was more flat and frizzy and less fabulous than usual.
Someone who doesn't have to worry about flat hair is Dan Humphrey, whose hair is now big enough to hide all his secrets. The most important secret Dan needs to hide is a story excerpt about to be published in Vanity Fair. It's an excerpt from the book Vanessa stole and it has something to do with Blair. It's definitely Dan's story, despite the author being anonymous, because Dan continued his original system of name all his characters completely obvious pseudonyms. For example, this tale about Blair also stars Dylan Hunter, an obvious Daniel Humphrey stand in.
Unable to get Vanity Fair to pull the story, Dan calls upon Louis, who then stands up Blair for the General Assembly Gala. This causes Blair to turn to Dan, the only person left in New York at the moment, for consolation. Instead of telling Blair the truth, Dan goes along with her plan to leave Louis because of the other secret he's harboring in his feelings fro: the fact that he loves Blair. The most important part of this scene, however, is the fact that Dan is staying at Cece's Hampton's house. I know there are a lot of disagreements about Dan/Blair and Dan/Serena and Chuck/Blair but can we all just admit that the real pairing of this show is Dan/Cece? Just me? Ok.
Of course Louis shows up, revealing Dan's knowledge of his whereabouts and driving a wedge between Dan and Blair again. And that's not the worst of the terrible, no good day of Dylan Hunter. Because Vanessa has sent a book payment and mocking letter all the way from off-screen Barcelona to let him know it'll be any day now that his book is published and we can find all about the exploits of Claire Walden and Selena Van der Goodsen.
The Beautiful and the Damned
The Beautiful and the Damned might be the movie that Serena is working on, but it also describes all the characters this week. While Serena desperately tries to not be a drunken screw-up, her boss Marshall is continually trying to get in her way. After Chuck convinces her to stand up for herself, Marshall sends her on a mission to get film star (and running Robert Pattinson joke) Patrick Roberts some medical marijuana. (It's the good stuff, according to Nate. And Nate would know!)
The problem, of course, is that Roberts needs to be sober or the movie falls apart due to insurance issues. When all is revealed, Serena allows the axe to fall on her after Marshall yells at her about how easily things fall into her lap. No matter how hard she works, it's impossible to turn off being Serena van der Woodsen.
Meanwhile Nate is off saying yes to everything, which includes giving a beautiful woman, played by professional beautiful woman Elizabeth Hurley, a tour of his fake house. They sleep together, of course, because Nate can always be counted upon to sleep with all the female guest stars. But it seems like this was all part of Diana Payne's nefarious scheme, of which I'm sure we'll learn more about this season. Still, ensnaring Nate is not actually that much of a challenge so I'm not sure how dangerous we're supposed to think Hurley's character is.
As Serena learns responsibility and Nate learns how to pretend to be famous, Chuck takes to risk taking. He jumps off buildings, he crashes motorcycles and gets terrible looking brush burns on his side. All of this is undoubtedly to dull the pain of losing the one thing he's ever really cared about, besides ascots: Blair.
Happily Ever After?
All's well that ends well for our favorite Upper East Siders ... or is it? Chuck says they've all learned important lessons about responsibility which leads to an adorable group hug between the three. "Don't be shy!" Nate says adorably as they squash Chuck between them.
But it looks like Serena might not be returning. Jane, the production woman rooting for her all along, offers her a more permanent position. So Chuck and Nate pop champagne bottles while back in the city that never sleeps Dorota announces she's pregnant again. It's likely she's just taking the hit for Blair, who according to the nosy wedding dress seamstress is about six weeks along. But with whose baby exactly?
Who is the father of Blair's baby? Will Serena return back to New York or stay in sunny LA? And who should Blair walk down the aisle to meet: Louis, Dan or Chuck? Sound off in the comments!
(Image courtesy of The CW)