Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 5, Episode 18 of The CW's "Gossip Girl," entitled "Con Heir."
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and in the case of this week's "Gossip Girl," I actually found that old adage to be true. While recent episodes have stumbled blindly from one plot contrivance to the next with little logic to connect them, the show's April 2 return, "Con Heir," seemed shockingly coherent. True to form, there were schemes, lies and highly public familial spats, which is pretty much 90 percent of what we tune in for, no?
Of course, your overall enjoyment of the episode may have hinged on whether you're wholly invested in seeing the Dan/Blair love affair play out after years of delayed gratification, or whether their copious attempts to copulate had you tossing your Chuck/Blair-loving cookies in a fit of rage. If you fall into the latter category, I have a feeling that "Gossip Girl" has started down a path that will have you loathing the rest of the season, so it might be time to grin and Dair it, or jump ship while there are still lifeboats remaining. In any case, read on for our Top 5 OMG Moments from "Gossip Girl's" "Con Heir."
1. Livin' It Up When I'm Goin' Down
Chuck fans may have felt some small sense of satisfaction when Dan and Blair experienced a failure to launch during their initial attempt to seal the deal -- never has the word "wow" been used with such little enthusiasm. But while the pair seemed destined to fizzle between the sheets, it turned out that all they needed to turn the temperature up to "sizzle" was plenty of liquor and an awkward elevator ride. Blair's penchant for sex in public places still seems to be alive and well, and though it was no piano tryst, it seemed as though the "wows" would be a little more genuine following that particular trip downstairs. Apparently, after years of build up, the couple's problems were all mental; but thanks to Dorota and Nate's wise counsel and plenty of over-drinking, the over-thinking didn't last too long. I loved Dan and Nate's "Be Like Don Draper" pact, and Dorota's speculation about why Lonely Boy might've been so lonely for all these years; in fact, there was actually quite a lot of wit in this episode, and I'm glad the writers have managed to pull themselves out of their rut and recover a little of the sharpness we saw in earlier seasons.
2. Blood Is Thicker Than Water -- But Pretty Easy To Fake
Now that Chuck's path has diverged from Blair's, however briefly, he has a new mystery to occupy his time: Who donated the blood that saved his life? Thanks to a filthy night with Pamela Anderson and a dose of Hep C, we now know it wasn't Jack (thank god for easily accessible medical records). While Chuck seems certain that the elusive Elizabeth is his real mother (since Jack did nothing to dissuade him) I feel like we're all fairly certain it's a different Elizabeth (of the Hurley variety) AKA Diana Payne, who is Chuck's Mommy Dearest, right? Since she's likely heading back to town to reinvest in the ailing Spectator with Nate, and since Jack was yet again on the phone with a mystery caller who he urged to come back, I think it's only a matter of time before those storylines converge. Bonus points to Jack for his shameless insult to a "crippled" kid -- who thankfully wasn't sick -- and for his pitch-perfect rejoinder to Chuck's "I just had an interesting conversation with Nate" statement: "It's about time he confessed his true feelings for you." Yes, Jack, yes it is.
3. XOXO, SvdW
Though Serena's been trying her best to be a good person this season (and, as a result, has been fairly boring), karma's still being kind of a bitch to her. Her BFF and her ex are shamelessly hooking up -- in her family's elevator, no less -- while her mom's lavish apartment is currently being occupied by a grubby 99 percenter, and her hair is nowhere near as fabulous as it was in Season 2. Then, when she finally decided to quit being everyone's doormat and use the laptop and password Georgina bequeathed her to get what she wanted the Gossip Girl way, she almost sabotaged her family's attempt to discredit Ivy, and got fired from the Spectator as a result. Who says being rich, young and blonde makes life easier? Still, now that Serena's got a taste of power -- and the ability to spread dirt to practically every phone in Manhattan at the push of a button -- will she be able to put the sword back in the stone? She knows that the real Gossip Girl is back and watching her every move, but is that incentive to stop, or even more of a lure to continue?
This week's most jaw-dropping moment for Nate was undoubtedly his decision to fire Serena ... although given how often these kids break up and make up, she'll probably be back at her desk next week. It's sweet that the writers are still trying to eke out a decent storyline for Nate -- even if they're still failing miserably -- but really, Nate's true power lies in sprawling around his office, Don Draper-style, dispensing wisdom and alcohol for his recalcitrant friends and being the butt of many a gay joke (pun intended). Even with the lip injury, Chace Crawford is still easy on the eyes, so as admirable as their attempts at relevance may be, the writers should probably just have him shut up and take off his shirt. I'm not sure that his relationship with Lola (or, in the grand tradition of Chivy, Chola?) is going to add much more depth to either of them, and even less so when Diana comes back to cougar his pants off, but I appreciate the effort, nonetheless.
5. Little Lola Lost
Speaking of Lola, the lost Rhodes cousin finally made herself useful this week, inadvertently overhearing a conversation about money between William and Ivy and, in grand "Gossip Girl" tradition, taking it completely out of context in order to further fuel a dispute. In this case, it worked out in Lily, William and Serena's favor, so I'm not as annoyed by it as I should be. While I actually do believe that CeCe legitimately could've left her fortune to Ivy, given how heinous her real family is, I just find Ivy so irritating that I want to see the Rhodes clan take her down. This is through no fault of Kaylee DeFer's own as an actress, mind you, just the way the writers have portrayed her. Too whiny and self-righteous. Yes, everyone on the Upper East Side is manipulative and greedy, but stealing someone's identity for months and then gleefully evicting someone from their home is no position from which to take the moral high ground. Here's hoping Lola helps knock her down a peg or two, and that she finds out the truth about naughty William and his propensity towards Rhodes sisters in the next couple of episodes.
What did you think of "Con Heir"? Were you pleased to see Dan and Blair finally seal the deal, or were you hoping the awkwardness would lead to a speedy break-up? Do you think Diana is Chuck's real mom? Weigh in below!
"Gossip Girl" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.