After Gossip Girl dared to Dair last Monday, would it raise the stakes even higher tonight?
"Cross Rhodes" picked up after the kiss-heard-round-the-Upper East Side, with just about every relationship on the show affected by it in some day. Dair, obviously, but also Chair ... and Derena. And Blerena and even Duck.
Overuse of cheesy couple names aside, Dan and Blair hooking up has been great for the show. Everything is in flux now, from Blair's emotions to the battle between Chuck and Dan. After tonight, who is really winning?
It's premature to make any endgame predictions, but if you thought Dair was a flash in the pan, you thought wrong. Especially after Blair filled in for Lola in the Upright Citizens Brigade's rendition of Inside.
Watching B's face as Sabrina talked about Dylan's true feelings for Claire was a poignant moment - the moment Dan and Blair truly became one in the sense that their mutual attraction was realized and proclaimed.
Some people still say they have no chemistry in the romantic sense. I used to be one of them, but every week I come around a little bit more. Their courtship may be complicated and unorthodox, but it's real.
Leighton Meester, as always, portrayed Blair as a Type A control freak one instant, and a vulnerable maiden in distress the next. It's not the Blair we once knew, and she's not perfect, but such is her life nowadays.
Louis. The prenup. Chuck. These remain formidable obstacles for Dan and Blair (more so the latter ... I sense a vintage Gossip Girl unraveling of the dowry in two sentences of dialogue next week) to say the least.
Serena was right about one thing, though. When Blair is head over heels for a guy, nothing else in the world matters. There's no rationalizing it or explaining it away, and tonight, her walls came down at last.
The mixed emotions of feeling forbidden to do such a thing but at the same time wanting it SO badly shone brightly tonight as Blair kissed Dan not once but twice - once passionately, once lovingly, both memorably.
Is their relationship on firmer ground than it was a week ago? Absolutely. That's the good news. The bad is that moments after Chuck called off his character assassination mission, Gossip Girl dropped the bombshell.
Humphrey, you bastard ...
Dan may be winning, or at least giving Chuck all he can handle in the quest for Blair's heart, yet the Basshole was in rare form with his traditional, sex-based subterfuge. He may be just getting started, too.
Swapping out the manuscript and painting Dan as a plagiarist (while a bit dubious logistically) was cold and calculated. Even if you're rooting for Dan, it was fun to watch the "old" Chuck come out and play a bit.
Yes, using women as objects for pleasure and revenge is not being a good person ... as someone helpfully pointed out. Chuck had been through a lot, though, and he did ultimately listen to B's advice, so we'll allow it.
It seemed he learned his lesson following Blair's directive, until he learned Dan tipped off G.G. Now all bets are off. Dan's the man in many respects, but when it comes to undermining schemes, Chuck may be peerless.
His next move will be very interesting. How far will he go against Blair's order to leave Dan alone? How badly will Dan be hurt when Blair eventually finds out her Muppet prince charming was behind the blast?
Your guess is as good as mine. Blair's love life is very much a blank page, an open book just beginning, with the rest still unwritten (yes, I just quoted The Hills theme song), and I can't wait for the next chapter.
Hey, that book sure sounds more interesting than Dan's next one. Zzzzzzz.
I could go on ad nauseam about the virtues of Dan, the redeeming qualities of Chuck, and the case both can make to put a ring on Blair's finger one day, but we actually have a lot more to cover from "Cross Rhodes."
Namely the fact that ... they did cross. The Rhodes girls, that is.
Finally. After nearly a YEAR as the UES' most infamous impostor, ChIvy was outed at last as she came face-to-face with Charlie Rhodes ... and Carol, Lily and Serena. It was a good, deceitful and confusing run.
Cece's failing health was the nail in the coffin (too soon?) for her. ChIvy should have just bailed in the Hamptons, but she wouldn't abandon her faux grandmother, even if it meant having her trail of lies exposed.
I've been bored by ChIvy for some time. That said, it was great to see her go down. She might be better off if she just split, but it appears she may seek revenge as Georgina's henchwoman next. Good luck with that?
The other silver lining to what looks like Cece's certain demise is that it brought Blair and Serena back together. An evening that began with a major frenemy feud ended on the best of terms, with the two like sisters.
One person who won't be getting in Dair's way is S, who in a moment of reflection, loyalty and surprising maturity, agreed to support her BFF, no matter what. Aww. At least that's one feud we can cross off.
Blair staying with S at the end was a sweet gesture as well. As fun as it is to watch those two bicker and fight in their snarky way, it's only enjoyable when you know they'll come around in the end. And they do.
Will Cece's passing bring the fractured Rhodes clan closer together, or drive a wedge between them? Conventional wisdom says the former, but ... Carol paid Ivy to impersonate Charlie and now they know this.
Not your average dysfunctional family in other words. A few more odds and ends from this episode, which started off slowly but converged in a rather emotional and dramatic way by the end of the hour:
- Don't know quite what it is, but is everyone loving Nola as a couple as much as me?
- You know Lola's an outsider because she's beyond bad at Facebook/phone stalking.
- Did anyone else catch the Dorota and Jenny Inside characters in the background?
- How appropriate is it that Rufus still hides his old clothes from Lily in Brooklyn?
- Great scarves tonight - both on Blair and Alessandra. Chuck has good taste.
- Was Lily just wearing jeans for the first time ever?
- R.I.P. Cece. You were great.
Before we turn it over to your comments, as always, here's next week's promo for "The Princess Dowry." Looks like Hurricane Georgina (absent tonight) is forming and taking dead aim at the Upper East Side ...
What did you think of this evening's Gossip Girl? Discuss below!
Who do you think should be with Blair?