Gossip Girl Review: A Princess in Peril

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Gossip Girl closed out 2011 with a wild episode tonight, a dark installment that kept us on the edge of our collective seat throughout even as one of its central storylines came to a tragic, predictable end.

The title, "Riding In Town Cars With Boys," alluded to the accident that left Blair and Chuck fighting for their lives after an episode that saw the Princess-to-B battling paparazzi and conflicting emotions surrounding her baby and future. Just as Blair found the fairy tale ending so many viewers have longed for, it all came crashing down.

The baby will almost certainly not survive. But will the love of her life?

Nice to Meet You, I'm Chuck Bass ...

On one hand, it's a cheap cop out for Blair to suffer a miscarriage and the slate to be wiped clean after all this time. It's lazy writing (as is having key conversations happen in public ALL THE TIME).

On the flip side, the tension escalated (relatively) believably for the last hour and for the past 10 weeks as a whole, with some surprising twists and new wrinkles thrown in to complicate matters.

There were so many in the last 15 minutes tonight, where to begin?

We'll discuss Chuck's fate shortly, but first, a word about Dan. Those who worship the Muppet may have wished he'd been sharing that getaway kiss with Blair, but it wasn't to be. Instead, he put his own feelings aside to help the girl he worships so much that he could unflinchingly love another man's baby just to be with her.

And for that, how can you not love Dan?

Ironically, tonight marked watershed moments for both Dair and Chair. Both men proved their love for B, even if only one came out and said it. Dan's actions deserve praise, even if he didn't get the girl.

While some people think only of advancing their own interests, even if that means putting others' lives at risk (cough, Chivy), Lonely Boy would rather be lonely than see someone he cares about unhappy.

This selfless realization spurred him to reunite Chair for good. He did the right thing for his new best friend and for the woman he loves, even if it most likely dimmed the hopes of a Dair romance for good.

Dan Blindfolds Blair

So is Chuck ... no. He can't die. He just can't. He has more lives than we can count at this point, but he's got to have one more left in him. Especially after these last few weeks, his loss would be catastrophic to the show.

When Gossip Girl returns January 16, he will fight for his life. It will be tense, drawn out and painful, but Chuck Bass will rise again. The question is where he and Blair Waldorf will stand when he does.

The royal wedding is still on for January 30, although it's unclear how much of a time jump will be involved between now and then. My prediction: Blair leaves Louis at the altar for Chuck on that date.

One thing tonight's Gossip Girl did that many episodes don't is tie the storylines together in an intriguing way that doesn't feel convoluted and forced. Okay, everything about Chivy is forced, but even so.

Max threatened to expose Chivy as a white trash fraud (he loves to call her W.T.), so she sent a blast to Gossip Girl, which in turn drew hordes of celebrity gossip media to the impostor's debutante ball.

Blair and Chuck were at the party because Dan chose it as the place to bring them together (maybe not the best spot in retrospect - hindsight is 20/20, D). Then Chair fled, with paparazzi in hot pursuit.

The fact that Chivy tipped them off was the straw the broke the camel's back for her, as she confessed to Rufus of all people that she's a giant fraud ... only to have his attention diverted at the hospital.

Max, meanwhile, got paid (somehow) and Jack Bass, Diana, Trip and the Grandfather all could be implicated in the crash that nearly killed Chair, with their tangential connections and varying motives.

Nate the Journalist

There are many theories with limitless potential, which made for a great ending to the first half of the season, even if it was a devastating one for Blair that still felt inevitable. She wasn't having the baby.

Can you see Blair raising a child at 21, whoever the father actually is? The show wasn't going to go there and decided to go the Princess Diana route with the Upper East Side version of Kate Middleton.

Making Blair pregnant was a major OMG moment, but the pregnancy was swept under the rug in recent weeks, only to be given a sense of urgency tonight. Very disjointed, but it did open some new doors.

What was perhaps Gossip Girl's greatest scandal has been replaced by another. Who is Gossip Girl, and how far will Nate, Serena & Co. go to take her down? What enemies (or allies) will they make?

With GG now the target of the NJBC, you have to wonder if the royal wedding / 100th episode will mark something major on that front as well. Will she try to crash the thing? Again, infinite possibilities!

Hopefully, Nate and Serena play expanded roles this spring. They're Blair and Chuck's best friends (okay, Dan can tag along too now), and they now have a common enemy ... maybe even multiple.

He may be manipulated easily, but Nate has been kind of the man these past few weeks, and I'm glad he doesn't look like he's about to be pushed around - or have his plot buried for the 20th time.

Chace Crawford may have even acted a little bit this evening (crazy, I know), and Leighton Meester deserves a special nod for her performance as well. Such a range of emotions conveyed in one night.

Tonight's episode and the fall season overall were good despite some flaws. The show has improved greatly upon last year with some coherent and compelling storylines (the wedding, the book, the pregnancy, the love quadrangle, and now GG / The Spectator) focused on the main characters. Mostly. Plenty to build on in 2012.

I now turn it over to your comments, but first, our first glimpse at the show's return!

Looks like Chuck is in serious trouble. Check out the promo for January 16 episode ...

Will Chuck make it?

 

What did you think of the Gossip Girl midseason finale? Discuss!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (631 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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    194 Comments New Comment Subscribe

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    As it happens, they seem to have buired it quite poorly, Radio 4 had it as a headline every hour for a bit, I've not really had time to read news sites yet so it's been my main source of info.But yeah, interesting times

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    I'm sympathetic to your iidglooecal position, but to call this election a "victory" for Tony Blair is to significantly misread how British politics work. He almost certainly won't last more than a few months before being replaced by Gordon Brown as PM.This really, really was not the result he was hoping for.

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    Holly J - This is beautifully wrettin, Becca! You had me so abosrbed in this, Josh didn't know what I was reading. :) I love that you followed your dream big inspiration to me! AND love the ornament tradition we do the same!

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    I just rewatched this episode to fill my gossip girl withdrawls and did you guys notice that Max stares down Nate's car as it's pulling away, then after the party tells Ivy that he just got some money to get out of there. Do you think Trip paid him to cut the breaks on Nate's car?!?!?!?!

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    Marina, it's not true! She did open the envelope. She was with Dan then. It happened before Dan admitted he was the real author of the "Inside". She did it.

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    i'll be pissed if the whole royal wedding and run away bride thing happens in chuck's dream while he was in coma , just like in BONES brenen and booth were married in booth's dream while he was in coma.

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    chuck wont die - in an interview Ed said that chuck will definitely be at the wedding, and also there is a video of him on youtube filming the wedding scene.

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xSNLjjMYGs&feature=related

    SEE IT YOURSELF. THAT ENVELOPE WASN'T EVER OPENED.

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    At the end of the episode in which Blair tells Louis they are going to have a baby, at the very end, Blair saves the CLOSED ENVELOPE. She never opened it, she DOES NOT KNOW WHO THE BABY'S FATHER IS! I swear that happened, but it seems like no one else saw that!
    SO, I THINK THE BABY IS CHUCK'S.

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    I feel like we haven't seen the last of Ivy because Georgina's back and she said she would be seeing her around.
    There may be a possibility of the family forgiving her after such a trying time? The girl does deserve a family.. :/

    I hate how they're killing chuck again. It just wasn't fun. Plus my sister ruined it for me by telling me beforehand. It would be too cliche for him to wake up just when Blair's about to say I do but that doesn't mean it won't happen. Since Georgina's about to do something unexpected, could it be that she is the reason Blair's running through the NYC streets.. possibly towards a hospital?

    Why isn't Blair wearing her mother-in-law to be's wedding dress? If we didn't know I would have assumed she wasn't marrying Louis.

    It's not fair that even when the show comes back we'll be waiting for the dec 30th episode, oh god.

    The next episode should just be filled with depressing news of Chuck.
    After ALL THIS, selling her for a hotel and what not, they deserve their happy ending. But it's gossip girl and I'm afraid he might just die.

    I feel like she'll even marry Dan but not Louis, otherwise there was no point to this whole storyline of him becoming dark etc.

    I'm disappointed in Serena. She needs to let go of Dan, didn't she see how selfless he was? She needs to learn from him.




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