Gossip Girl returned last night with 5×18 “Con Heir” — huzzah! To dive right in, here’s an idea: can we get rid of the Van der Woodsens and just make it the Dan and Blair show? Not just because Dan and Blair continue to be the best couple in the universe ever ever ever but also because Serena’s combination of boring and selfish seems to have infected the entire family. Yes, things were spiced up a little when Serena idiotically accepted the role of Gossip Girl (one I doubt she’ll back down from any time soon considering she’s all righteous and whatnot) and I’ll concede that I liked it when Lola initially refused to pick a side in the Ivy scandal but all of those good things broke down quickly and soon enough all of the VDW bits of the episode became very boring and very predictable.
On the other hand, Jack Bass has Hep C and Chuck’s blood donation actually came from his mother.That was a good way to shake things up a bit, writers, if for no reason other than the fact that no-one could have guessed that would happen mainly because everyone had kind of forgotten about Jack as well as about Chuck’s accident. Although Nate continued his generally blah-someone-give-me-an-interesting-storyline-preferably-one-involving-me-without-a-shirt streak, he improved in this editor’s estimation when he fired S for–in a stunning turn of events–putting her interests first and not thinking about anyone else.
It doesn’t take much sleuthing to locate the best parts of this episode: Dan and Blair’s sexcapades. While I admit I’m biased in favour of Penn Badgley’s cheekbones, this was easily the best writing and best acting “Con Heir” had to offer. I particularly loved the back and forth between Nate’s office and Dorota’s house as Dan and Blair knocked back the alcohol. A few best bits:
“I figured you must have something unless you haven’t honoured our Be Like Don Draper pact”
“Does this sudden onset alcoholism have something to do with Blair?”
“It happened to you too? It must be her then. That makes me feel a lot better.”
“Don’t tell me…there…anatomical reason he always so lonely?”
Eventually everything sorted itself out with Blair and LonelyBoy, in the form of drunk elevator sex. As for the other storylines…well… who really cares?
Next week is apparently about Lola being jealous of Liz Hurley. Standard. Check out the promo below and stay close for more, um, critical analysis of contemporary television programmes about excessively wealthy New Yorkers and Brooklynites with really nice cheekbones.
Gossip Girl airs on Mondays at 8/7c on The CW and will be back next week with 5×19: “It Girl, Interrupted”.