Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 5, Episode 17 of The CW's "Gossip Girl," entitled "The Princess Dowry."
Greetings, Gossips -- it was another highly improbable week on the Upper East Side, and apparently there's no better time for "Gossip Girl" to double-down on lunacy than before a four-week hiatus. The show tossed us plenty of twists to tide us over until its return, but not many of them made sense or had much emotional impact -- which is par for the course this season.
Blair definitively decided which corner of her current love quadrangle she wanted to occupy; the con-artist formerly known as Chivy (now, once again, known as Ivy) got a Rhodes windfall; and we discovered exactly why Carol went to such great lengths to keep the real Charlie (the artist currently known as Lola) away from her loopy relatives. Check out our Top 5 OMG moments from "The Princess Dowry."
1. All's Blair in Love and War
The episode's main plot was chiefly concerned with trying to get Blair out of her totally worthless marriage, even though the threat of her gargantuan dowry has thus far, failed to prevent her from making out with Dan all over Manhattan, and hasn't actually required her to spend any time with her husband. In short, it's had absolutely zero bearing on the plot whatsoever, except to provide Blair an opportunity to hand-wring and let everyone else in her life solve the problem for her. Empowerment! First, it seemed as though her stepfather, Cyrus, would use his legal mojo to find a loophole in Blair's prenup, then Blair's English (and thus, totally evil) royal liaison, Estee, offered her a flimsy exit strategy that would end with the Brit hooking up with Louis. Finally, Georgina declared that she could solve Blair's problem in a snap, thanks to all the scoop she received while posing as Gossip Girl.
Chuck, meanwhile, is back to being a Basshole purely because the script requires it of him, and this week, he went to great lengths to thwart all of Blair's attempts to escape her marriage, just to stop her from hooking up with Dan. This plan was pretty much the definition of cutting off his nose to spite his face, because as long as Blair is still married, she supposedly can't be with anyone apart from Louis, including Chuck himself (though she seems to have forgotten that). But "Gossip Girl" never lets logic get in the way of a good scheme. Since the writers seem to be high on the Dan/Blair Kool-Aid right now, it would appear that the only way they can justify Blair's complete personality 180 is to turn Chuck back into a monster, and toss away all the character progression he's made this season. Personally, I couldn't care less who Blair ends up with, as long as he can properly pronounce his R's, but it seems lazy in the extreme to completely backtrack on 15 weeks of story just to make another suitor look more appealing in comparison.
Regardless of my grumbling, Blair arbitrarily decided that she loved Chuck, but was no longer "in love" with him, despite the fact that she was declaring him her soulmate and making pacts with God to protect him just a few short weeks ago. Instead, she opted to slum it with Humphrey, whom she finally addressed as "Dan" in a breathless and supposedly meaningful manner, before attempting to grope his tonsils with her tongue.
2. What the Dickens?
While Blair was busy putting all her eggs in Brooklyn's basket, the Rhodes clan and their affiliates were gathered at a lively Irish wake for CeCe, including the terminally dishonest Carol, her fake daughter, and her real one. Turns out that Serena's father, William van der Woodsen (one of the interchangeable Baldwins), had a deep and enduring friendship with CeCe that has never been mentioned before and will never be referred to again; but for the purposes of this episode, he was made the executor of his ex-mother-in-law's will. And since Ivy was the only one who knew about CeCe's illness and bothered to chillax with her during her dying days, she was named the sole beneficiary of all the Rhodes matriarch's stocks, bonds and holdings, including Lily's swanky loft. Even better, CeCe apparently knew Ivy's true identity, because the will listed her as Ivy Dickens and not Charlotte Rhodes, making it much harder to contest.
Naturally, this didn't go down well with Lily, Carol or Serena, who were outraged that their beloved mother/grandmother couldn't express her love for them in a more financially demonstrative manner, immediately accusing Ivy of "hastening her demise." Poor, unwitting Lola, who had been lured to the wake under false pretenses by Serena, was thoroughly disgusted with her family (but apparently not by Nate's creepy, swollen lip). She astutely told Serena that all the Rhodes family seemed to do was "lie to each other and argue about money," insisting that she empathized far more with Ivy than any of them. Ivy got the last laugh, however, proving particularly malevolent by throwing Lily and Rufus out of "her" loft once the wake wound down.
3. Got (van der) Wood(sen)?
Thanks to a little well-timed nudging from Georgina, Lola decided that Carol must have kept her identity a secret for reasons that were more than simply financial, and surprisingly, for "Gossip Girl," we had discovered what those reasons were by the end of the episode. Apparently, Willie has a definite weakness for Rhodes women, because he and Carol were hooking up while he was married to Lily. So either Lola is his biological daughter as well as his niece (only on the UES), or Carol is even more manipulative than we gave her credit for. Because of the secret affair -- and Dr. VDW's position as CeCe's executor -- Carol intends to use him to make sure she becomes the winner of inheritance game, which means that Ivy should probably watch her back in coming weeks. I wonder if Serena will be so desperate to become BFFs with her cousin once she discovers that Lola is also her half-sister?
4. Where There's Sparks, There's Fire
Once Georgina realized that she was spending far too much time in front of the computer and not enough time ruining social events, the novelty of being Gossip Girl appeared to be wearing off for her this week. To combat this, Goergina left her hapless husband, Phillip, to man the blog while she accompanied Ivy to the wake, and true to her word, much ruining ensued! At first, it seemed as though she'd driven a wedge between Blair and Dan by pretending that he'd leaked a compromising photo of them to Gossip Girl, but Blair bafflingly forgave her new beau a few minutes later. Still, she stirred up plenty of drama by encouraging Lola to quiz William on her mother's secrets, and now, she's headed to Monaco, apparently to get Blair out of her marriage in exchange for an incriminating piece of information she'll be able to hold over Queen B's head. Who wants to bet that she'll just try to kill Louis (and who would care)?
5. Serena van der Woodsen and the Laptop o' Doom!
Before Georgina jetted off to Monaco, she imparted one last piece of wisdom to an unlikely recipient: poor, pouting Serena, who was giving herself frown lines because she feels like she's constantly saying goodbye to things -- jobs, boys
and hairbrushes. To perk her up -- or perhaps because she wants to incite a real war between Serena and Gossip Girl -- Georgina sent S a laptop full of secrets, offering her a cornucopia of tips with which to destroy her enemies or protect her friends. Will she use her newfound gossip powers for good or for evil? It probably all depends on whether she can truly get over Blair and Dan becoming a couple. I'm kind of hoping it's the latter -- we haven't seen a real takedown for way too long.
What was your favorite moment from this week's "Gossip Girl"? Are you pleased to see Dan and Blair making it official? Share your reactions below!
"Gossip Girl" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW. New episodes return on April 2.