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Gossip Girl Review: Growing Pains

Love. It’s so difficult to figure out. I appreciate the moves made on Gossip Girl this week, even as they shattered my taped together heart into tiny fragments.

Okay, fine. That’s a tad melodramatic. We are talking about Gossip Girl, but the Chuck (Ed Westwick) and Blair (Leighton Meester) characters do not get enough credit for how well they are written and executed. They’re still drawn to each other, in spite of the fiery death of their love affair at the end of last season. This year we’ve seen them go from fake friendship, to hate sex, to real friendship, and finally, this week, to forgiveness and acceptance.

There’s only one problem.

Apparently, being with each other is bad for business. Chuck’s PR lady believes his business is suffering because he’s lost his bad boy image as a result of his love for Blair. Blair is trying to achieve another powerful woman in society type position, and the interviewer (the long missing Anne Archibald (Francie Swift)), suggests her relationship with Chuck paints her in a less than powerful light. Unable to stay away from one another, they make a silent agreement to keep their relationship a secret. The poo sort of hits the fan when Chuck utters the words “I love you” while in a compromising position. All of the sudden, things get very real, and Blair wants to know if he meant what he said. If he did, is love worth flinging her future to the wind?

Meanwhile, back in the land of Subplots I Hate, The Antichrist (Taylor Momsen), Juliet (Katie Cassidy), and Vanessa (Jessica Szohr) have pooled their dim wits, bad fashion, and unattractive envy and come up with a plan to take down Serena (Blake Lively). Again, I’m not sure how Jenny goes from her high and mighty ‘I’m too good for this BS’ speech from like, two weeks ago, to being immersed in the old evil, but we have no choice but to follow the writers where they take us. Jenny steals Serena’s phone and replaces the SIM card, which gives the evil triumvirate access to all of her texts throughout the day. They find out a way to come between her and Blair, and put into action a plan to make both Dan (Penn Badgley) and Nate (Chace Crawford) hate her forever.

Everyone (of course) ends up at Chuck’s masquerade ball, including Blair in nothing but red and black lingerie. Juliet dresses in the same dress Serena is wearing, and manages to lock lips with both Dan and Nate – making them both think she’s chosen them. The guys have made a bromance pact to still be friends no matter what happens, and when Gossip Girl (Kristen Bell) posts photos of Serena making out with them both, they tell her they’ve had enough. End of that story, at least for now.

Meanwhile, Juliet (still dressed as S) reveals Chuck and Blair together at the party. They’ve just had a touching conversation in which Chuck tells Blair he did, in fact, mean what he said. Deciding to go down in flames together, they have a tearful reunion in front of the crowd.

Seriously. The happiest five minutes of my week. I’m aware of how sad that admission is.

Then Anne Archibald lets Blair know, in no uncertain terms, that her being with Chuck will cost her the society clout she craves. Adversely, Chuck’s PR assistant changes her tune, now believing that Blair softens Chuck just enough and wants to set up some photographs of Chuck Bass’ girlfriend.

I knew, the minute the woman referred to Blair as Chuck Bass’ girlfriend, that things were over.

I’m sad, but proud of Blair. She tells Chuck that before she can be his girlfriend, she needs to find her way as Blair Waldorf. They confess their love for one another. She tells him she doesn’t expect him to wait. He believes that if they’re meant to be together, she’ll find her way back.

Really, for an often goofy show on the CW, this is an achingly sad, beautifully executed scene. I might have teared up.

Oh yeah. The girls somehow drugged Serena, sent a text message to the Dean of Columbia (because who doesn’t text the Dean of their University?) withdrawing from school, and kidnapped her in a taxi.

I cannot wait until Vanessa and the Antichrist get theirs. Until that day. XOXO.

Season 4, Episode 9: The Witches of Bushwick (originally aired November 15, 2010)

Mondays at 9/8C, The CW

Photographs courtesy of The CW.

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