Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 5, Episode 12 of The CW's "Gossip Girl," entitled "Father and the Bride."
Last week, "Gossip Girl" swung for a too-literal pastiche of "The End of the Affair" and missed the mark completely, clumsily trying to cram our characters into incongruous situations simply to service the borrowed plot. This week, the writers (mostly) went back to coming up with their own narrative, although the impact of Blair's baffling "pact with God" continued to reverberate infuriatingly across the Upper East Side.
Though the title was more reminiscent of Steve Martin, the episode certainly had a drop of "The Hangover" in its cocktail, chronicling Blair's hilarious drunken escapades brought about by Beatrice's boozy bachelorette party. Read on for my five most memorable moments from this week's installment.
1. In Vino (Or Tequila) Veritas
Perhaps my favorite moment from the episode -- or at least my favorite moment that didn't involve a penis joke -- came when Blair and Beatrice had a surprisingly heartfelt conversation about Blair's feelings for Chuck. While Louis' linguistically-challenged sister intended for their conversation to be an incriminating admission of Blair's guilt, our once and future Queen B was admirably eloquent, considering her level of intoxication.
She pointed out that while you can't choose who you love, you can choose how you love them, and that "there are some people you can only love by not being with them." Of course, it would've been better if that perceptive statement wasn't driven by Blair's fear that God might strike Chuck down if she became intimate with him again, but beggars can't be choosers. Blair and Chuck's on-again-off-again romance was certainly far more realistic way back when Blair decided that they brought out the worst in each other and weren't ready to be together, and this observation would've fit in well with Blair's resolute resistance to Chuck's charms in those days. Sadly, this new Catholic contrivance continues to be as ridiculous in practice as it looks on paper, and I really hope we'll see the end of it in next week's wedding episode.
2. New York's Finest
So, about that penis joke ... Officer Weiner was way too obvious, but a drunk Blair is definitely the best Blair. Whether she was getting up close and personal with handsy bridge and tunnel types, mistaking cops for strippers or downing shots like Snooki, Blair's ditzy drunk routine was utterly hilarious, and played perfectly by Leighton Meester. Her oblivious exclamation that, "This game is kickin' my ass!" as the other girls conspired to get her wasted was a particular high point.
3. Forgive Me, Father ...
"Gossip Girl" seems determined to convince us that every person who lives in Monaco is mustache-twirling evil, and members of the clergy are apparently no exception. While it seems improbable that Blair would mistake a French accent for an Irish one when the Grimaldi family priest impersonated Father Smythe, this show never lets logic get in the way of a good scheme. Apparently, Father Carvallia has delusions of grandeur and has been fooling around with sneaky Princess Beatrice. But even after the sovereign sister belatedly developed a conscience, (so, comforting her future sister-in-law in the wake of a miscarriage wasn't enough to get her on Blair's side, but a mistaken arrest was?) Carvallia was still determined to keep Blair out of the royal family. And who better to turn to than the king of sabotage himself, Chuck Bass? It's fairly obvious that the wedding is going to fall apart next week, but it's a strange narrative turn that the priest wants to get in on the action when it's likely that Louis will self-destruct anyway, no? Or perhaps the writers are trying to frame Blair's inevitable disillusionment with the church as a reason for her to reconcile with Chuck?
4. Dan Humphrey Is ... "Ghost Writer!"
Okay, Nicolas Cage, he ain't, and if you're aware of the various spoilers that have been floating around the interwebs for weeks, you were likely already aware that Dan was the one who wrote Louis' touching wedding vows. It's probably enough to get Dair fans dancing for joy, but I wonder whether the writers will reveal it as soon as next week, or if they will want to draw it out over a few more episodes for maximum drama. Clearly, his feelings for Blair haven't diminished at all, and since B was so touched by "Louis'" piercing insight into the deepest recesses of her soul, chances are she'll start to look at Lonely Boy in a new light when she realizes how well he understands her. I'm guessing that Serena won't be too thrilled by the revelation, since she went out of her way to lie that Blair wanted her and Dan to continue fake-dating (fating?) until the wedding. Dan didn't seem overly enthusiastic about the charade (even though she's still way out of his league), and I suspect that this will all end in tears for poor Serena "I make terrible life choices" van der Woodsen before the season is out.
5. The House That Vanderbilt
Forgive my terrible puns, but I'm sure they're only marginally more painful than the conclusion of Nate's almost-storyline (two whole episodes of intrigue!) as he tried to uncover the truth behind Blair and Chuck's crash in the limo that was meant for him. Sadly, it ended with a whimper instead of a bang. Quelle surprise: The culprit was "Gossip Girl's" resident car crash expert, Tripp Vanderbilt, the guy who almost killed Serena and abandoned her in a wrecked car so as to escape a political scandal a couple of seasons ago. Such gentlemen, these rich boys. Even more tragic, Tripp's whole motive for trying to maim his cousin? Jealousy, naturally, since their grandfather loves Nate more than Tripp. I've never been able to summon up much enthusiasm for the Vanderbilts and their meddling, so I was disappointed that such a promising storyline culminated with such a lackluster conclusion. Still, Chace Crawford is attractive, and so is poor, misused Aaron Tveit (Tripp), so that's something.
Next week is "Gossip Girl's" 100th episode, which will partially demonstrate what an Upper East Side Royal Wedding looks like. Do you think that Chuck and Blair will end up together in the final moments?
"Gossip Girl" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.
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