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
  • 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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Chuckbassissohot

i loved this episode :')
this just shows that chuck and blair are in it togther till the very end. i cant wait till 2012!
and i still laugh at the thought that people think dan and blair can be more than just friends (gag) but what dan did was nice, but i still do not like his character, never have. he is just bland and unintresting. him and serena should get back together, that is the only time i found him slightly amusing.
and jack bass is coming back, yesss! i cant wait :)

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i thought what dan did was nice, but in a friendship way. blair and dan would never work. and what he did was not romantic at all, we all know chuck would have won blair back someday, (and he always will). and i hate the fact that dan says he "loved blair" puke! WHAT THE? they fake kissed once, and had friendhsip talks and hanged out as friends. this just shows that dan is messed up. and i still have reasons to hate him.
i love chair, they will always be endgame. and i would rather have blair with nate than dan, that says something right there! thinking of dan and blair together in a sexual way is repulsive to me.
chair forever

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chair was so epic in this episode. this epsidoe made me love them even more (which i didnt think it was possible)
and i love how dan says he let blair go...... HA. he didnt even had her. the whole dan and blair thing would be gross, i like the as friends. chuck and blair= epic

Ninasmileface

Loved the episode! All the things I wanted happened, well kind of. Dair looks like it is going to remain a friendship which is the way it should be. Dan was really great, but he doesn't belong with Blair. I think he belongs with Serena. They were so great in seasons 1 and 2 and I really hope that the writers give Derena another chance. It looks like Serena finally realized what I've been thinking all along. No one, not even Nate, has been better with her than Dan. I don't think she will ever love anyone as much as she loved him. As for Chair I'm happy because I know Chuck won't die, Blair loses her baby (how boring would mom Blair be?), and she won't go through with the wedding most likely. The thing I am most happy about is Chivy. She finally got what she deserved and it is honestly time for her to leave, well actually way past time for her to leave. No one cares about her and no one ever will. Making her a permanent character on the show was the biggest mistake of the season. She's annoying and wastes screen time. I think that she's finally leaving which is great, or maybe she will leave in a few episodes. I don't think we will be seeing her next season. Overall it was a great episode with exciting twists (Diana/Jack!?). My hopes for the rest of the season: Derena, Chair, Chivy leaves for good, Louis leaves for good, Trip leaves forEVER, Nate keeps his job and has a story line, and we see the real Charlie Rhodes.

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@BL i agree with almost everything you said except that you said Marissa was retarded cause i loved her character and was devastated when she died!!

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it had to have been max who messed with the car. he got paid but we don't know why and the driver was taking Nate to where Chuck and Blair was supposed to be going! Now what i wonder is if the Driver died and if GG's budget is so low that they can't even show the car crashing!!!

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Ok, I love Chuck. Chuck forever. But seriously, if Chuck dies and next season is the last season that could be soooo epic!!! The writing for the next season would have to be skillfully executed with an attention to plot and detail that Gossip Girl usually overlooks and makes up for with drama, scandal and aesthetics, but it could be done. Think Marissa Cooper dying, but so much better (judging it in terms of impact and epicness)! Marissa dying was sad because of the ripple of devastation it sent through the show; all the characters we wrecked in some way by it, even if not particularly close to Marissa. Sure, Marissa herself was missed, but she was kinda of retarded so her actual absence isn't what made it so riveting. Now, with Chuck, we would get the ripple of devastation as characters coped, but what is the Upper East Side without our beloved Basshole??? Unthinkable right?! I think it would be an interesting thing to find out and would give the show new life and purpose in its last season. Maybe the character's actually grow up and stop being stalled-out young adult squatters stuck in the patterns and drama of high school. Also, we could get a final take down of Gossip Girl, or at least some new establishment of order. As much as I love Chuck, it would be so fitting for his character to die young, and so romantically tragic for him to die just as he found love. It would be a tragically perfect end for his character and would set up a potentially jarring entrance of the real world into the pampered sphere of the Upper East Side, setting up the potential for an awesomely epic, purposeful, satisfying end to an amazing series.

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Predictions? the writers always use the mid-season finale to set up the rest of the season.
last year we had Serena going to find Ben and Dan deciding to write instead of going w/ her, Dan/Blair cleaning the dishes after Thanksgiving (signaling their story lines) ...etc. my take: Chuck: Chuck is alive. Contrary to what others are saying, I don't think he'll have memory loss. There's a reason why Jack called Diane. And all the hints of Diane's connection to Chuck through this season: that's either Chuck's mother or half sister...etc. The Chuck/family storyline will probably unravel for the next 12 eppies. Probably more revelations about Bart. That's the same thing the writers did last year with the Raina's mom/Bart having an affair/building fire storyline. Blair: She'll feel guilt over losing Louis and her baby. Him/his family will play on that guilt and Blair will agree to get married to him b/c she'll feel she owes Louis that after losing his baby. Blair may even pray to god to let Chuck survive/wake up and in return she'll give him up. When her prayers are answered, she abandons Chuck, and resumes her wedding plans with Louis. (pics of Blair in wedding dress, getting arrested by a cop at her bridal shower, Chuck and Dan showing up hints to the fact that Chuck hasn't lost his memory if he's trying to save her from herself). Chair: The accident/miscarriage will create distance between them. Blair will do it intentionally. Chuck will accept her decision to marry Louis, stay away from him out of guilt over the tragedy. Dan: I don't think he'll have much of his own story in the upcoming 12 eppies outside of his novel (maybe movie interest again). He'll def. still be helping Blair through her struggles, esp. if she continues on her path to marrying the Prince. Derena: writers put a nail in that coffin by Dan/Serena talking about how Dan loves Blair. Can't see anything happening there until season 6. Dair: there's a reason why Dan didn't reveal his feelings. he could've told Blair, her reject him, and them rebuild a friendship without awkwardness for the rest of the season. romantic Dair would no longer be an option. but that didn't happen. the fact that Blair is still in the dark, while everyone from Rufus to Serena knows how Dan feels is a positive thing for Dair. Serena: The fact that her and Nate want to take down GG screams SereNate next year. Tripp is responsible for the accident that led to Blair/Chuck being in the hospital b/c that car was meant for Nate. And Nate/Serena/Tripp have a history. I think Serena/Nate will find out Tripp was behind the whole thing while they try to take down GG. I also think Charlie will come back w/ Max and give SereNate the info that will lead to them finding out Tripp was responsible. Nate: Family issues/taking down GG/Serena/building the NY Spectator. Charlie: She'll come back to help other story lines...but eventually at the end of this season we'll probably see the truth come out and also find out what happened to the real Charlotte Rhodes. as a Dair fan, I got what I wanted: the door wasn't closed on Dair when it easily could have been.

Ale

I didn't like the whole princess Diana thing so without imagination.
Loved Dan's selfless acts of love to Blair reuniting her with Chuck even thought he loved her.
I felt sorry for Ivy....I did, she really did want just to be a part of the family even though it was wrong the way she did it? anyone think Rufus paid attention to what she said? hahahha? don't think he'll remember.
I HATE Max, where does he get calling Ivy white trash when HE too is white trash as well? wasn't he also living in a DUMP with her in Cali?
OMG trip tried to kill Nathan and backfired? that backless leech I hate him.

Still-love-chuck

The best part of this episode imo was Ed and Leighton. They were amazing and I believed everything coming out of Blair and Chuck's mouth when they said it, lol. I loved all the subtle nuances, Blair's heartbroken face when Chuck didn't answer the way she wanted him to about the baby on the phone, her face telling Dan about it, Chuck telling Blair he would love her baby, kissing her hand, etc. I just love all of their scenes together and apart because they are just that good.