This week on Gossip Girl
, love and heartbreak are in the air as our favorite Upper East-siders celebrate Valentine's Day. And what better way to celebrate a day custom built on unrealistic expectations than to go back to high school?
Back in the halcyon days the gang spent at Constance Billard- St. Jude, could anyone have imagined Blair would be trapped in a loveless marriage pining for Dan or that Nate would be running a newspaper or that Serena would have stopped flashing her cleavage rhombus to sport shirts barely covering her booty? Things were so simple back in season one, when Serena and Dan were in mad puppy love and the only things to worry about were the occasional upturned yogurt containers and snuff films.
Alas, this is season five and things are infinitely more complicated. On the bright side, however, we still have Georgina Sparks and if there's one thing that is my Gossip Girl constant it is my love for her. She and husband/minion Philip were particularly amazing this episode plotting and scheming and changing babies. I officially want to be adopted by the Sparks or possibly just watch a spinoff where they murder people and then go to Mommy and Me classes.
Despite the abruptness of Blair's feelings for Dan going from friendship to romance in the span of one kiss, this was one of the best episodes of Gossip Girl in ages. Perhaps it's because it relied on some good old fashion scheming, thanks in large part to the deliciously evil Georgina. It was an episode with a lot of moving parts, some great Serena and Blair interaction and the return of Chuck's signature scarf. It makes me sad that Blair Waldorf has been relegated to perpetual scheme victim instead of victimizer but at least we have Georgina to take the place of our once reigning scheme Queen B.
Will the Real Charlie Rhodes Please Stand Up?
Charlie Rhodes, meet Charlie Rhodes! Have you met my good friend Charlie Rhodes? Nice to meet you Charlie Rhodes! Sadly that's not exactly how the scene went, but close enough! The fake Charlie (our good friend Ivy Dickens) met her former acting classmate and catering aficionado the real Charlie Rhodes at Nate's Empire bash.
Luckily for Ivy, she managed to sneak out of the party in her search to track down Lily before Nate could explain her identity. Watching Nate laugh hilariously at Lola's confusion over the Ivy/Charlie situation was particularly hilarious. He was like "Oh you silly poor person! This nonsense happens all the time around here! You've met Georgina right? She once pretended to be a girl named Sarah to drive Serena insane about this snuff film they made one time. Why are you walking away from me? What about that story wasn't relatable?"
Because Nate hasn't had a guest star girlfriend in at least two episodes, he is going insane. It's not like he's busy with other things, like running a newspaper or trying not to get murdered by relatives. All he can think about is how he's single on Valentine's Day and how much he wants to see Blair's wedding caterer Lola again. It's increasingly hilarious how much Nate is turning into the sad Bridget Jones' Diary woman clichÃ©. Next episode he will be talking about dying alone surrounded by cats and singing along to "All By Myself" with a tub of ice cream in one hand.
Chuck, no big fan of Valentine's Day himself, agrees to host the Gossip Girl created high school party at the Empire instead of the Spectator in order to trick Lola into working it. Chuck is really the best wingman. Now that Lola has heard the Charlie Rhodes/Ivy Dickens tale, she's finding out about what's really going on the only way most twenty-somethings would. Through Facebook. She really made the wrong choice befriending Nate instead of Chuck; she could have had a private detective on retainer.
Meanwhile the big secret that Ivy was so desperate to tell Lily was that Cece is about to leave us all in Gossip Girl land for the big gin bar in the sky. I refuse to loose Cece. She is a treasure. Frankly, she looks more youthful than half of the cast at this point so I don't really buy her being ill. But mostly, I cannot loose Cece before she and Dan act on the beautiful sexual tension they've had since the first season.
Crazy Little Thing Called Georgina
Georgina wants to drop the bomb of who really sent her the Blair/Chuck wedding day love confession video. Turns out it was Dan, which the writers cleverly told us last episode by dramatically zooming into him peering around a corner like an axe murderer. He had the exact facial expression Chuck always used to have before he was about to do something nefarious.
The problem is that being Gossip Girl is hard work and even with her amazingly incredible husband to do double duty as both au pair and minion, she's having a hard time with it. This is why she's set up her own spy network throughout the Upper East Side, including Nate's awesome assistant. I knew there was a reason I was in love with Nate's assistant, besides the fact that she rolls her eyes at everything Nate says.
Georgina's evil plan is to drop the Dan-blast bomb at a central location where everyone is, just like they used to do in high school. Except Georgina barely even went to their high school and these rich jerkfaces go to a giant social event every week. In the one non-romance plot twist of the episode that was more eye rolling than delightful, Dan handily figures out Georgina is Gossip Girl. Why? Because Georgina forgot to turn off her phone ringer when getting Gossip Girl text messages. That is a TOTAL amateur mistake I'm not willing to believe Georgina would ever make.
Dan threatens Georgina with outing her as Gossip Girl if she outs him as Blair's royal wedding ruiner. And clearly Georgina (and the show) is having too much fun with her playing our resident gossip queen for her to take the fall just yet. After getting a picture of Dan and Blair smooching, Georgina decides to wait it out instead of posting what she knows. After all, we all know that a scandal as big as Blair going within fifty feet of the sentient creature living atop Dan's head can't stay secret for too long. Dear Georgina, please never leave. - XOXO this recapper.
Blair's plan to play cupid for Serena and Dan dramatically backfires on her when she decides to make out with Dan instead. Remind me never to ask Blair to set me up with anyone, lest she might decide she doesn't have enough with three suitors on her plate. Thus, Blair's slow descent into becoming a less enjoyable version of Serena is complete.
I think one of my major issues with the show this season is this Serena-Blair power imbalance. The show used to be based on the fact that Blair wanted the thing and tried harder than anyone in the entire universe but Serena would always get the thing without trying. This season, Blair is surrounded at all times by a harem of men without any effort while Serena finds herself forever alone. The tables have turned. Except the thing that used to make Blair so likeable and root-able, even when she was doing great evil, was that she was the underdog. Take that fighter nature away from Blair Waldorf and this season's Blair is what you get. A girl swinging in the breeze of indecision, who doesn't fight an absurd pre-nup despite having two lawyer fathers, who never schemes anymore and who makes bargains with God like the big guy in the sky is a magic 8 ball. I miss the Blair Waldorf who got kicked down by life and then would kick back just as hard.
Serena and Chuck, meanwhile, usually the people murdering people and burying them in shallow graves come out looking downright pitiable. They did, however, both look straight up bonkers fantastic this episode. Actually, everyone did. It's like Gossip Girl got its twisty plot back and the magic of hair and makeup returned. It was especially nice to see Serena in her old loose cardigan and necktie boho style. Don't even get me started on seeing Chuck's signature scarf and bowtie combo. When the two chatted on the phone early in the episode about how rough Valentine's Day was going to be this year, I remembered how much I love their relationship. Hopefully we get more Chuck and Serena scenes coming up down the line, especially as Dan and Blair have alienated themselves.
Blair's original idea is to get Dan and Serena back together by any means necessary. If that means cancelling both of their lunch meetings, serving them "complimentary" Dom (which should have been the tip off!) and hiring old people actors, well that's what she was going to do. Serena, for some reason continually refused to pick up the terrible attitude coming off Dan in all of these instances. This of course is because Dan is into the currently unavailable Upper East Side princess not throwing herself at him.
Blackmailed into bringing Blair to the party, Blair then lists for Dan all the things he's helped her with this season. This includes pregnancy, paternity results, secret pacts with God and escaping a wedding. My notes say 'Wow, Blair's storylines have been incredibly stupid this year'. As she repeats all the insane things he's done for her in an effort to make him realize he's a good catch for Serena you can literally see her realizing that all that stuff is not within the normal friend zone. Later, she asks Dan to tell her what he wants and he does. With his lips. I'll give them one thing; it was a pretty passionate kiss. I mean, you do have to sort of forget that the video in question that Dan is being blackmailed with is Blair confessing her love to Chuck on her wedding day. If the show was really going to toy with the Dan and Blair relationship, I wish they had done it when Blair's dance card was less packed with suitors.
Because this is Gossip Girl
Georgina snaps a picture and Serena sees the whole liplock happen. In Chuck's bedroom no less. This makes Blair and Dan sort of the worst people in the episode. Serena gets rightly mad at Blair, because only she is allowed to steal other people's boyfriends and Blair should know that by now. So while it is much later than usual due to lack of screen time and while it is over Dan Humphrey, we finally have our Blair and Serena fight of the season. I really hope someone gets tossed into a fountain or face-smashed into a cake.
Meanwhile Chuck is trying to turn his new leaf by walking his dog and just listening to St. Vincent and being cool. Which is when Georgina shows him the picture of Dan and Blair macking in his bedroom. So he immediately goes to hook up with Dan's desperate book agent. This cannot mean good things for Dan, but Chuck on the warpath is always fun to watch. I hope he's trained Monkey to bite those in need of a haircut. If so, Dan is toast.
So what did you think of tonight's episode? Are you loving Dan and Blair? Mourning Blair and Chuck? Or just excited to see the girls looking like they'd used a hair brush this week? Sound off in the comments!
(Image courtesy of The CW)