Gossip Girl Review: A Princess in Peril

by at . Comments

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
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
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.

Tags: ,
Like Us On Facebook

Want more Gossip Girl?

Sign up for our daily newsletter and receive the latest tv news delivered to your inbox for free!

More From TV Fanatic

A-new-ally

The Bridge Review: Going After the Beast

On tonight's The Bridge, Marco is made an offer that he initially refuses. Will he agree to go after Fausto?
The-island

Extant Review: Captured

Things go from bad to worse for Molly on Extant as she tries to escape the prying eyes of the ISEA but chooses the worst place for safety. Read on for a full review.
Crossing-boundaries

Graceland Review: Entanglements

Mike is on a war path on Graceland... but is he headed in the right direction? Read our review of "Los Malos" now to find out!
Confident-harvey

Suits Review: Truth Hurts

On Suits, Rachel tells Mike about the kiss. Where did it go from there? Find out now!

Avatar

oh god nooo not amnesia and letting chuck falling in love over again in blair, thats just, noo :(

Avatar

OK I just lost 20 minutes of my life writing a post about some things in this episode and TV Fanatic keeps sending my comments to moderation, I'm sick of it. I can't comment everything because I need to watch the episode again but this is the thing: 1) Chuck won't die, there are filming pics of him with Blair, Beatrice and others with Dan, so the most it could happen is a coma and amnesia which I really hope they won't due and I don't think they will because those pics show him talking with all this people. 2) People need to remember the scenes of Max talking with Tripp, then with Nate delaying him and eyeing his car and the one with the pool of liquid on the parking lot floor after the car in which Chuck and Blair where in took off. Everything shows Tripp paid Max to tamper the breaks of the car in Nate was supposed to be. Nobody have any way of knowing that a series of events would lead to an exchange of cars between Nate and Chuck and Blair in an effort of avoiding the papparazis. Tripp wanting to kill his cousin over a family feud Nate is not even aware about is ridicolouis but right now he and Max are the main suspects. The only fishy thing about Louis is his creepy face in the promo and about Jack and Diana is their conversation but these things don't prove anything right now. 3) The show is now officially a soap opera, telenovela or whatever you want to call it. Storylines are being repitted, like Chuck injured, Blair worried about him (some fans wanted the roles to be reversed, no luck there), and a series of unfortunate events separting them once again. 4) I was certain Diana was not blood related to Chuck but now I don't know anymore. If she is his mother the show has gone insane because in 3x16 the Jack and Elizabeth Fisher conversation left clear she was the mother. If Diana is any other type of family we can deal, and if she's not family we can deal but the show should solve this properly unlike they did with Elizabeth Fisher because Diana is now involved with too many main characters and it's too convoluted.

Avatar

I can't stand all these obstacles they put for Chair to get together, I mean it's always something and though I know they will end up together it's like the writers are throwing all they can to make sure we have to wait until the last minute of the finale again! It's overly soap-operaish. Surely Chuck will either have amnesia or he'll be in a coma and then Blair makes some sort of pack with God that if she marries Prince Douchebag Chuck will live. Therefore it will mirror the great sacrifice that Chuck did for her at the end of the last season. Sigh.... can't we just get some Chair happiness?

Avatar

@dwp , I did wonder where the real Charlie was...did she die or what. But it's still annoying that as rich as they might be, no one thought about DNA test or background check ! SERIOUSLY !
@Amayra : the Lady Di car crash was really obvious, they could have done a better job. And Diane being Chuck's mom, well, that one was ON as soon as we ssaw the picture she burned... But then if she truly is, she dated Nate which would be kinda awkward between the two friends. So I prefer to think of Eve as the real mom too. And yes, I still think that he is the father of that baby...

Avatar

@dwp , I did wonder where the real Charlie was...did she die or what. But it's still annoying that as rich as they might be, no one thought about DNA test or background check ! SERIOUSLY !
@Amayra : the Lady Di car crash was really obvious, they could have done a better job. And Diane being Chuck's mom, well, that one was ON as soon as we ssaw the picture she burned... But then if she truly is, she dated Nate which would be kinda awkward between the two friends. So I prefer to think. Of Eve as the real mom too. And yes, I still think that he is the father of that baby...

Avatar

ive been reading amnesia is a possibility.....has anyone on the show had amnesia yet?..... i cannot remember. if not then this a high possibility. It would mean a completely new original idea but that would be asking for too much given the past recycled plot lines.

Aries93

@People who THINK Chuck will die: Chuck will not die. The writers know that killing off Chuck would kill any chance of Chair and the series, as it's what "the viewers" want - unfortunately. The only reason Blair would CONTINUE to marry Louis' is because she is probably going to feel guilty for running off with Chuck, which resulted in her baby dying. The guilt of carrying around the death of her unborn child will result into her wanting to marry Louis. So Dair and Chair fans can rest.

Avatar

i am actually finding all the side stories much more interesting that the main love square btw chair/dair/blouis. the whole ivy thing is really interesting....theres genuine questions to be answered, where is the real charlie, what did carol do to her, how come cece even believed ivy, how max is going to play a role towards the end. nate's storyline is picking up and i think it may take up a big chunck of the 2nd half. speculation that someone in the VDB family tried to kill another family member. etc i miss diana, glad she's back. she was a player in the whole VDB story and somehow has ties to chuck... these plot lines are far more interesting than the yoyo love square thing going on btw blair and co. wanna make her be with chuck do it already....the more they drag it out the more annoyed ppl will get. it also lowers blair stance as a woman...she wants to be this powerful independent woman yet the writers have made her out to be weak girl that make up her mind btw chuck and louis. well i guess she has chosen now but we all know she goes down the aisle in jan so clearly she changes it again. i hope im wrong on this.

Avatar

As soon as I finished the episode, amnesia for Blair crossed my mind,not remembering the car conversation and before that or the after wedding shower until the accident, because I couldn't think of another reason why she would proceed with the wedding. We'll see... Or Chuck being in a coma...

Sanaa185

i LOVED chuck and blair! they were epic! so so epic!!
WHY IS IT NOT POSSIBLE FOR THE WRITERS TO GIVE CHAIR MORE THAN 30 SECONDS OF HAPPINESS AT A TIME?!?!?!