Gossip Girl Review: Partners in Crime

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Gossip Girl finally found a little bit of its groove again with the aptly-named "Monstrous Ball."

After a strong premiere, Gossip Girl Season 6 quickly lost steam. The characters have felt like they're through the motions at times in the buildup to the finale. There are always fun moments, but overall, it's been slow.

Hopefully tonight signified the momentum building once again as we head into the back half of this abbreviated final chapter in anticipation of a conclusion that can at least send the show into retirement on a high note.

Tonight's Cotillion-themed episode was all about alliances past, present and future, with the characters jockeying for position and trying desperately to take the reins in life, even if it was at the expense of their peers.

In almost every case, best laid plans blew up in their faces.

Blair and Chuck Love

Convoluted as the plot was at times, at least some things happened that reverberated throughout the Upper East Side and altered the trajectory of the season a bit, which hasn't been the case in previous weeks.

Blair and Sage were determined to make the former's company a success with the latter's Cotillion attire making for one provocative coming out party and offering her a chance to dethrone her dad's big proposal.

Serena was concerned about Steven’s attitude, but after some sleuthing, found out why. Sadly, or perhaps for the best in retrospect, his daughter's undermining derailed any hope of Serena and Steven getting engaged.

After stealing G's phone in the least believable run-in/misplaced electronic device Gossip Girl has ever thrown at us, the girl in the sex dress treated us to a screening of the Dan-Serena sex tape from the Season 5 finale.

Dan and Georgina ... okay, that's not even really a tandem at this point. G is just a crazy literary agent and pot-stirrer gone rogue. A true wild card with the night's most memorable quotes, but nobody's ally.

Georgina was impressed with Sage's gumption. Steven was irate with his daughter, but also upset with his would-be fiancee's actions. B was crushed by the tape; S was devastated that B and Sage were in cahoots.

Fans were probably just hoping that this marked the last of the Spences on GG.

The sex tape's long-awaited release certainly didn't lack for collateral damage. PG-rated as it was, no one came away clean. Dan came away with some phone numbers; he was as close to a winner as there was.

Sage and Georgina

Perhaps the most upsetting facet of tonight was yet another setback to the Blair and Serena's relationship that has been a cornerstone of GG since the pilot. As she said, it's been a long time since they were friends.

If they're going to find their way back to each other by December 17, the clock's ticking. The pursuit of a common enemy might help them mend fences, but it's sad to see how wide the rift between them has grown.

Ironically, if any relationships were strengthened tonight, they were Blair and Chuck - which Dan spent a good portion of the evening trying to unravel - and Dan and Serena, who wallowed in their mutual humiliation.

The surviving members of Dair Nation may have briefly felt a tingle up their collective leg, but it was clear by the end that no matter how ridiculous the Chair pact may sound, they are committed to it wholly.

Even as Chuck and Ivy's plan hit a roadblock when they couldn't turn Lily and Bart against each other (at least for the time being), and when Dan hoped to ruin Chuck in his true love's eyes, Chair didn't break.

The Chuck chapter of Dan's novel didn't have the desired effect. Nor did his efforts to worm his way back into the emotional opening he saw between that necklace and her ring finger. Lonely Boy got the heave-ho.

Hey, maybe there's a Derena reconciliation on the horizon. The diner scene definitely hinted that we're headed in that direction going forward. Wonder if missionary works for her ... in the fashion sense, that is.

Meanwhile, Nate and Sage and Rufus and Ivy continued to vie for the honor of least appropriate (and sadly, useful) couple. Poor Rufus. So maligned by his ex-wife and the show's writers simultaneously.

Overall, better, Gossip Girl. Not great, but better to say the least. Let's keep it going and see what happens heading into the final month of episodes and give this once-great series the sendoff it deserves.

Before we turn it over to your comments, here's next week's CW promo:

What did you think of this very "Monstrous Ball"? Sound off below ...

Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.2 / 5.0 (879 Votes)

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

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To the people who keep saying "why do we keep watching?" You better be thankful that were are watching because the ratings for GG have been flopping so hard. I wish frank ocean performed in the show!

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@j Thank you for pointing that out!!!! "In order to claim date rape, you have to say no." - Whoever let this line slip deserves to be fired. "I'd rather end up with no one than be with you." - That's great, Blair. Why didn't you say this back in season 5 when you consciously got together with Dan but still emotionally cheated on him with Chuck. How mighty do you feel on that horse? "Thank you for not sleeping with Serena." - Thank you for instead attempting to rape Jenny, sleeping with Jenny, sexually harassing Serena, selling Blair out for a hotel, etc. Because Blair Waldorf is only complete when she can feel superior to Serena VDW. Blair: the worst character on TV.

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FINALLY some progression, I am so glad it set way for Derena to get back together before the show ends, I've always rooted for them so Dair for me was a complete mistake lol. The sexual tension between Chair is also killing me, why is it pact of their pact?? Did anyone else get the feeling that Lily will actually help Chuck after all? Just something about the way she spoke to Bart after he told her the whole truth about his illegal dealings. Thank God Sage and Steven are out of the picture now, the worst addition to GG ever, they got way too much screen time. I now just wonder who Nate's gonna end up with?!

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I am a fan of this show but I hate how careless the writers are with the topic of rape. I feel like they trivialise it when it is a terrible, serious thing. For victims of this heinous act it's really disturbing to see.

Runlikemad

The only good thing about this episode was the Frank Ocean playing in the background. Hopefully this is the last of Page and her dad. Such boring, pointless characters.

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@j
I actually thought the "I'd rather be with no one than with you" encapsulated Blair's attitude towards Dan perfectly. After all, she's not technically with Chuck right now, and she *still* doesn't want Dan, does she? She couldn't seem less interested in him if she tried. Sucks to be Dan, I guess. I am truly sorry that your ship sunk though- it couldn't have happened to a lovelier group of fans. If only there were some way to have seen this whole scenario coming, like, two years ago...

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@Erik
Are you really comparing Serena dating Nate to Blair dating Dan? Because when Serena first came back in S1, she turned Nate away, telling him that her friendship with Blair came first. She didn't actually date him for another 2 and a half years, when Blair was totally fine with it- she had happily moved on with Chuck and no longer had any romantic feelings for Nate. Blair dated Dan knowing Serena was still in love with him. That's the difference. As far as the rest of your post goes, Serena did NOT ruin Blair's chances to get into Yale- in fact, she gave up her spot FOR Blair, and then Blair effed it up entirely on her own. Serena pushed her into a cake after Blair called her a prostitute, FYI. And what on earth did Serena do to threaten Blair's relationship with Eleanor? That was all Blair's insecurities. Seriously, are you just making this stuff up?

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After seeing this travesty for a show it's safe to say to say that the Chair fans are the stupidest fanbase in the world and shit you not - It's really laughable to read about your logic. "Thank you for not sleeping with Serena" - And Chuck responded to that, really? The same guy trying to force himself on her in the very first episode and gave gave her sexual indecent remarks to her. And the fact she is his sibbling sibling by Lily adopting him. *Sigh, dear lord "I'd rather be with no one than with you" - Too bad that she didn't felt this way during her "loving" relationship with Chuck, it would be so much believable. And the worst statement: "In order to claim date rape, you have to say no" - Bringing in that heinous word and the meaning of it, I'm lost for words really. R.I.P Blair Waldorf - The worst pathetic weak female character ever - Nicely done writers

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@nancy: Are you even kidding? Serena slept with Nate when he was the ONLY thing in Blair's universe and THEN turned around and dated him afterwards!!! She pushed her face into a cake, she ruined Blair's chance to get into Yale, she's threatened Blair's relationship with her mother, basically called Blair inferior to her during that whole Jenny mess -- Serena has never been a good friend to Blair. Blair isn't perfect, she's snarky and scheming and all that, but Serena is a hypocrite. She says one thing, does another and puts herself before any and everyone else. Does anyone remember when she also stole Poppy's boyfriend (yes, she was getting caught up in a scheme but she didn't know that at the time -- all she knew was that she was getting involved with someone else's boyfriend). Should Blair have dated Dan? Why the hell not? Serena didn't bother to not date Nate giving the discomfort of their past. She didn't bother to not sleep with him and take his virginity when she knew her best friend was head over heels with him. Serena is a worthless whore and never deserved Blair as a friend. I remember hope this situation is the nail in the coffin of their uneven, one sided "friendship." Serena is trash.

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I agree that it was the best episode so far this season, and I think it was a combination of a good writer, a good director, and things actually happening in the episode. Unfortunately, none of those things involved Chuck and Blair boning each other, but I'm trying to be patient on that front. Their almost-kiss-nuzzle-thing was still pretty hot on its own, but I just can't understand why their pact forbids sex. If anything, the lack of sex seems to be distracting them more than actual sex would.... Also, all of the Blair/Chuck/Dan stuff was glorious. I got Blair forgetting Dan was even in the room the second Chuck walked in, Blair slapping Dan, Blair telling Dan "I'd rather be with no one than with you", and Blair reassuring Chuck that "there's no one better for me than you." And I didn't even get you anything, GGWriters.

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