Gossip Girl kicked off the home stretch of its fifth season tonight with an episode that picked up about a month after we left the gang in February and set a lot of different things in motion for the spring run.
Perhaps most significantly, Dair happened. Sexually. It took awhile, and a lot of booze, but it's on.
This actually wasn't a hugely Dair-centric episode, but the new lovebirds did have their drunken moments, and whichever side you're on in the Great Ship War 2012, these events likely didn't change your opinion.
Dan and Blair detractors will point to the fact that they used alcohol as a crutch to work through their initial intimacy jitters, and argue that they lack the natural chemistry that will sustain this long-term.
Supporters will note, just as accurately, that every relationship has growing pains, but they worked through those jitters through honest communication (vodka and whiskey-induced, but nevertheless).
Regardless of how believable you find Blair and Dan having elevator sex, these two are a hoot. Their drunken chats with each other, and Dorota and Nate, respectively, were some of the night's lightest, best moments.
With Chuck nowhere to be found in their storyline, and barely a mention of the stupid dowry, B & D were free to explore their feelings out in the open, mostly, for the first time, and it was a lot of fun.
Will it last? Who the heck knows. But the next chapter should be entertaining to say the least.
While they offered some sexy and comedic highlights, Dair was mostly in B-plot land tonight. The other intertwining storylines were more significant in advancing the season's overall narrative(s). Let's examine:
Ivy, the titular "Con Heir," found herself blackballed, which is hilarious in that she has (or had) all the money. That's Lily for you. It's not just money, it's who you know, and Ivy's the ultimate outsider.
It speaks to the kind of show Gossip Girl has become, but it was actually quasi-believable that William attempted to play both sides, securing blackmail money and jeopardizing Ivy's status as beneficiary.
That was quite a scheme. Chuck would be proud.
For now, no one but Carol knows he's Lola's dad, but that's destined to change, and soon. He almost told her tonight it felt like. You could tell he genuinely felt bad. For a bona fide sleaze, he's just so nice!
In any case, what we witnessed in "Con Heir" was only the opening salvo in this war. Ivy's assets are frozen and she's stuck with a $31,000 catering bill, but if this girl's proven anything, it's that she's got gumption.
Whether or not she manipulated CeCe or did anything illegal to secure her place in the will is an open question, but having come this far and tasted the Upper East Side life, she's not about to roll over now.
Rufus and Lily are clearly in it to the end. Think she's going to settle into that loft? Think again. Lola isn't going anywhere, either. After coming around to the idea that this is her family, she's an outsider no more.
It's more than a bit convoluted, but holding my attention for now at least.
Serena is Gossip Girl 3.0. Blame it on the situation - Ivy tormenting her family, S feeling ostracized - but she is going to a dark, dark place. As soon as she opened that laptop, you could see it in her eyes.
It's been too long since Serena was the center of attention ... for viewers and for Serena herself. You know she's been itching for a reason to get her hands dirty, and with everything going on, well ...
The dam is about to burst, and I love it. On the outs at the Spectator, and having been slapped down by her own fake cousin, what can't she undermine if given the chance? Say hello to the puppet master!
Whether she can hang in this presumed new role is debatable, though ... her first foray was pretty weak. Why not just draft the blast and make it live as soon as William had the check in hand?!
Crazily, that wasn't even the biggest plot hole in the Gossip Girl/Serena storyline. When S opened the computer, a month later, from G singular, she received the one, and only, password to the infamous blog.
That's right, Gossip Girl doesn't even have Gossip Girl's password and can't even get into her own site! Are you kidding me with this? I guess that's the price you pay when you let Georgina Sparks fill in.
Chuck totally didn't get a blood transfusion from Jack, and his alleged mom, Elizabeth Fisher, probably didn't do the honors either. Is anyone not thinking Diana Payne is the mystery donor/Chuck family member?
With a little help from the Spectator's crack research staff, and a final push from a non-crippled youth actor, Chuck ascertained that there's no way Jack could've donated his heavily, frequently compromised blood.
As cover stories go, that wasn't too well thought out. The elder Bass didn't even try to fight the lie by the end. If nothing else, it was an excuse to visit his nephew, take a lot of drugs and entertain us.
His appearance was merely a conduit to a deepening mystery for Chuck, but it was great to see Desmond Harrington back this week. When he's not flagrantly at war with Chuck, their rapport is priceless.
Implying that he contracted the disease from Pamela Anderson, then proclaiming himself the Magic Johnson of Hepatitis C in the same sentence? That's a first ballot Hall of Fame line by Uncle Jackass.
Nate nearly secured a big investor, lost control of his big Ivy exclusive, then lost the investor, then fired Serena over it, then found himself facing the prospect of firing his staff or crawling back to Diana.
Hey, at least he presumably got it on with Lola after he got off the phone.
We won't know until May 14 whether the payoffs will be worth it, but this was a pretty good start to the spring. Before we turn it over to your comments, here's next week's promo for "It Girl, Interrupted":
What did you think of tonight's Gossip Girl? Will Ivy eventually taken down by the gang? Will Lola learn the truth? What will Serena do as the new G.G.? Who saved Chuck? Will Dair last? Tell us below!