It looks like no one bothered to tell Cece Rhodes that Wakes aren’t typically the kind of “party” for which one sends out invitations . . .
Character development . . . it’s what savvy TV viewers expect from their favorite long-running shows. If a viewer has been watching the same television show for four or more years, there’s a good chance that she’s grown and changed quite a bit, since the pilot episode aired. Therefore, she naturally expects her favorite television characters to have evolved during that time as well.
The way I see it, there are four essential elements to solid character development in a television series: (1) believability; (2) subtlety; (3) consistency; (4) and maintenance of the essential characteristics that helped viewers fall in love with the characters, in the first place.
Clearly, there’s a significant portion of the GG fanbase (myself included) who have been frustrated with the show of late. Those who are satisfied with the show, in its current incarnation, will tend to blame OUR dissatisfaction on the fact that we are Chair fans, and our ship currently isn’t on “top”, storyline-wise. That’s true. 🙂
However, I also think such a summation over-simplifies the issue a bit. I would argue that, as GG fans generally, and Chair fans specifically, our main gripe with the show has less to do with the fact that Chuck and Blair are “broken up” right now (We are used to that. :)), and more to do with issues related to “character development.”
On a more positive note, I will say that, as a whole, I found “The Princess Dowry”
though admittedly a bit predictable in some of its so-called “plot twists” to be markedly more enjoyable than the two episodes that preceded it. Interestingly enough, much of the credit to that goes to a character that spent the entire episode in a mahogany box. That Grandma Cece! She sure knows how to throw one hell of a wake (no pun intended). . .
Let’s review, shall we?
Where there’s a will, there’s a wake . . .
We begin our story at the office of an anonymous funeral director. Lily thanks him for seeing her on such short notice. So, Funeral Director Guy jokes that in his business, there tends to be little in the way of “advance notice.” (Ahhhh . .. nothing like a little DEAD PEOPLE humor to put you in the mood for a GG episode . . .)
Interestingly enough, Funeral Director Guy’s not particularly funny joke actually doesn’t apply to Cece. As a matter of fact, Grandma has known of her inevitable demise long enough to plan a funeral with as much flare and gusto as most women put into their weddings! She even scheduled her own wake . . . to occur at Lily’s house . . . the morning immediately following her death . . . which is . . . wait for it . . . RIGHT NOW.
Talk about getting the last laugh! Grandma Cece really is the best Master Manipulator on this show. Please GG writers, have her haunt the characters from beyond the grave, this season. I can think of a few characters in particular that could use a good haunting . . .
Meanwhile, over at the Empire Hotel, Lola and Nate are engaged in a post-coital morning cuddle. (Well, that was fast. She’ll fit RIGHT in, here on the Upper East Side.)
(Screencaps for this recap have been provided by Home of the Nutty.)
Nate casually slips in that he took the day off from work to be with Lola. This reminded me that Nate actually seems to be the only Upper East Sider who’s currently gainfully employed. (I guess Chuck’s employed too. But the only kind of work I can actually picture him doing, is taking Monkey for a walk, and occasionally rolling around on his bed amidst massive piles of his own money
. . . with Blair . . . naked.)
Nate is clearly one of those guys who interrupts sex to ask you about your “feelings.” He wants Lola to “talk” to him about this new family she recently discovered that she had. But Lola doesn’t want to talk about her “feelings” or her “family.” In fact, she thinks her new family sucks monkey balls. She’d like to go back to having sex, thank you very much. Unfortunately . . .
“RING, RING, RING”
Serena: “Hi, New Family Member. I hope I’m not interrupting anything.”
Lola: “Nope. Just boning one of your many ex-boyfriends.”
Serena: “It was bound to happen sometime! Listen, I know you said you don’t want anything to do with your new family, and stuff. That’s cool. I just called to invite you to hang out with me today . . . at my house . . . where our grandma’s wake is . . . I absolutely promise you there will be no family members at our grandma’s wake. P.S. I always lie.”
Lola: “OK, I’ll come, but only because the plot requires me to be a total idiot, and not think things through AT ALL.”
Serena: “Welcome to my world!”
Out in the kitchen, Chuck is helping Nate make espresso. (Don’t they have servants for that?)
Because this isn’t homoerotic at all . . .
He’s super excited, because he now knows that Dan sent that video to Gossip Girl that ruined Blair’s royal wedding. Chuck knows that trust is super important to Blair. So, he figures that once Blair knows Dan for the trust betraying, scheming, Donut that he is, she won’t let him eat her face, anymore.
Seems like a pretty fail safe plan, right? WRONG! But for now, let’s just allow poor Chuck the only happy moment he experiences in the entire episode . . .
Speaking of scheming, trust betraying, face-eating, donuts with no sense of style, Humpty Humphrey arrives at Blair’s house to kidnap her for another “fun date” . . .
one that will likely be spent watching the kind of dull, pretentious, films that people only pretend to like, when they want others to think they are intelligent. Blair promptly declines the invitation (Golly gee, I wonder why?). She then informs the Donut that she has to stay home and wash her hair / fantasize about sex with Chuck wait for her step dad to call about a possible loophole in her prenuptial agreement with Louis-bot.
“Psst telemarketer. I really want this annoying Donut to leave my house. So, if you pretend to be my stepdad, while I talk to you in French for a few minutes, I promise to buy your entire month’s quota worth of Pajama Jeans.”
Having had to compete with the likes of Sexy Studly Chuck, Pretty Nate, and scores of richer, more attractive, guest stars for five seasons, Donut Dan is certainly no stranger to rejection. It’s just another day in Humphreyland! No big deal! Besides, now that he’s dateless, he can go check out that Super Cool Wake, he’s heard so much about . . .
“I love wakes and funerals. Whenever I go to them, I’m always the life of the party.”
Hurricane Georgina rides again
Dan isn’t the only one eager for Dawn of the Dead: Upper East Side Edition. Georgina Sparks is also psyched to go to the hottest wake in town. After all, spending hours in front of the computer as Gossip Girl, has put a major crimp in her social life /world domination plans, of late. (“I’m beginning to feel like a stay-at-home mom,” moans the teenage mommy.)
Interestingly enough, Georgina’s gripes about the “job” in question actually offer a surprisingly big clue as to who the real Gossip Girl might be. Being a 24-hour a day, seven day a week gossip columnist takes TIME, and patience. Clearly, Gossip Girl is not one of these Upper East Siders, who spends all their time partying with the main characters of the show. Rather, this person likely spends most of their time alone in front of their computer, reading countless e-mails from people who wouldn’t give her the time of day, if they passed her on the street.
Just some food for thought . . .
Anywhoo, even though Georgina might be “so over” being Gossip Girl, she clearly cares enough about the position to not want to leave it unattended, while she’s off wake crashing. And so, Georgina decides to leave GG responsibilities to her adorable oaf of a husband, Rufus 2.0. Looking back, Georgina’s instructions to her house boy on how to be Gossip Girl might have been a bit oversimplified. When she told the guy to post any e-mailed tips he found interesting, she wrongly assumed he’d know to paraphrase them . . . or, at the very least, remove the e-mail address from which they were sent before posting them.
Here’s hoping Baby Milo gets his mother’s brains, otherwise he’s going to have to be one of those kids who spends his entire life wearing a helmet, because he can’t stop walking into walls . . .
Interestingly enough, Georgina’s date for the wake is none other than Faux Charlie / Ivy / Call Me Serena, herself. Apparently, the latter has kept that damn napkin with Georgina’s phone number printed on the back for over a Season. Now, that’s just unsanitary . . .
Then again, so is this . . .
Anyway, something tells me this female duo won’t be winning Prom King and Queen at this wake . . .
Wakey, Wakey . . .
Now, I’m not Irish. But, if I ever had a wake, I think I’d probably like it to look something like Cece’s, with bagpipes, and the band, and everyone chugging beer, and shots of whiskey.
“OK, here’s how you play the Cece’s Wake Drinking Game. Take a shot everytime someone says the words, ‘You should leave.’“
It’s not at all the kind of “Goodbye Party,” I would have expected from the Rhodes Matriarch. And yet, that’s precisely what makes it so much fun. Actually, that’s not true. What makes it so much fun, is how utterly uncomfortable the entire affair makes the stuffy, straight-laced, Lily.
Somewhere up in Heaven, Cece Rhodes is already laughing her ass off . . . and the party is just getting started . . .
All hail, Chuck Bass. He has arrived at the wake ready to win back his lady love. (You know, because funerals and wakes are great places to pick up chicks, just ask Will Ferrell’s character in Wedding Crashers.) Once Chuck learns that Blair might have found a way out of her prenup, and into the flanneled arms of that soggy stale Donut Dan, he quickly sends Gossip Girl an e-mail encouraging the latter to out Dan for his little excursion into documentary film making.
You would think, by now, these people would learn to contact Gossip Girl using anonymous e-mail addresses, or at least be smart enough not to SIGN the blasts. Of course, most days, this doesn’t matter, since the REAL Gossip Girl, and even Georgina were both smart enough to know how to redact personal identifiers from GG blasts. Not Rufus 2.0 though. Dim Bulb simply copies the entire contents of Chuck’s e-mail (e-mail address included), and publishes it on Gossip Girl. (In Rufus 2.0’s defense, he might not actually know how to read.)
Chaos erupts amidst a wake, which is already filled with Rhodes’ bickering over silverware and antiques. Blair (who I guess decided not to stay home, after all . . . sorry Donut Dan) is already stomping over to Chuck, demanding an explanation. She doesn’t believe what she’s reading. Not Humpty Humphrey! He wouldn’t do something so awful, would he?
(That would require him to have a personality.) Ah, but he HAS done it. And he’s willing to admit it too. At this point in the story, I’m leaning forward in my chair, eagerly awaiting a long overdue Dan Humphrey Smackdown. Then, two minutes later, I’m slumping back in that same chair, having already tossed my pillow at the television screen in disgust.
SHE FORGAVE HIM? JUST LIKE THAT??? REALLY? Is there no justice in this world?
While the dull pair is having their not-so-argument, Georgina takes this opportunity to steal Dan’s phone. Does the fact that part of me was hoping she’d slather said phone with Ebola Virus, instead of just stuffing it in her purse make me a bad person?
A Tale of Two Charlies
Meanwhile, Lola has arrived on the scene. and she is super pissed about having been tricked into attending her grandmother’s wake. (Damn those inconsiderate dead family members, for interrupting Lola’s sex life!) There’s a bit of a running gag, during which, every time Serena tries to introduce Lola to her “nice, down-to-Earth” family, they do and say something even more ridiculously greedy and money grubbing.
That said, Lola’s perpetual pussface does little to redeem the character in my eyes. We have enough self-righteous, judgmental folks on this show, thank you very much . . .
What does endear Lola to me, a little bit, is the surprisingly understanding way in which she handles the presence of Charlie/Ivy/Call Me Serena. While the rest of the VDW/Rhodes’ shun the red head, repeatedly asking her to leave, Lola willingly allies herself with her former imposter, in hopes that together, the two of them can finally figure out, why Lola’s AWFUL mother would go through so much trouble and expense, to hide Lola from the rest of her ostentatious and snobby family.
Take that 1%ers!
Answers may come for Lola, sooner than she thinks. Not long after she arrives, Dr. VDW enters the building. As it turns out, Cece chose Lily’s first of many ex husbands as the executor of her will. Go figure.
“Hey Cece! Good to see ya. You’ve never looked better!”
For a guy who was willing to play fast and loose enough with his medical license to convince his ex wife she was dying of cancer, Dr. VDW sure seems to be a stickler for the rules of trusts and estates. When Faux Charlie comes to sit in on the precedings, and the rest of the family wants her out, Dr. VDW insists that she stay, because “it’s what Cece wanted.”
“I swear! Just ask her . . . oh, wait . . . nevermind.”
Dr. VDW also doesn’t bat an eyelash, when he reads the provision of the will that provides that Cece more or less left her ENTIRE fortune (save for a few antiques and lame ass trinkets) to . . . wait for it . . . IVY DICKENS.
That’s right, boys and girls. Grandma Cece knew all this time, that Ivy was an imposter, who weaseled her way into the Rhodes family, intially for money, but ultimately for acceptance. And Cece LEFT HER EVERYTHING ANYWAY. Wow, she must really hate her family, A LOT!
Like I said in the title of this blog, if you learn anything from this ridiculous episode of Gossip Girl, let it be this: respect your elders. After all, you never know when they might be filthy rich, and willing to write you into their will . . .
Part of me wishes Cece was a bit more descriptive in her will, regarding why she chose to do what she did. For one thing, the fact that she left no explanation for her actions, whatsoever, makes her will a whole lot easier for the VDW/ Rhodes to contest legally. For another, part of me is just really curious, what happened between these two women from disparate generations (Ivy and Cece), during those last crucial few months, that made Cece experience such a drastic change of heart.
Perhaps it was the gin talking . . .
I mean, sure, Ivy needed the money far more than the VDW clan. But that’s not a good enough reason to do what Cece did. I’m hoping we get another flashback to flesh this storyline out a little more. But I’m thinking we probably won’t . . .
Whatever Cece’s reasons for so royally screwing over her family, I can’t IMAGINE she suspected that Ivy would end up unceremoniously evicting Lily from her OWN house, on the day of the wake, claiming that the property now belonged to her. Really? Charlie/Ivy / Call Me Serena? THESE are the actions of a woman who “fell in love with the Rhodes” family? I know they were mean to you, when they found out the truth, Ivy-kins, but still . .. that’s a pretty darn evil thing to do.
My guess is that Ivy won’t actually end up doing it. And that the gesture was just her way of asserting authority against the Rhodes. But hey, what the heck do I know?
In other news, Dr. VDW, who apparently never met a Rhodes he didn’t wanna f*&k, just learned that he’s actually Lola’s father, and will owe a crap load of money in back child support payments, if he doesn’t become Carol Rhodes’ b*tch . . . again. That makes Lola, more than just Serena’s cousin . . . She’s also her HALF SISTER.
Predictable. Shocking, I know . . .
“Is there anyone on this show I’m NOT related to?”
“ME! Well, at least I hope I’m not related to you . . . It certainly wouldn’t be the first time someone committed incest on this show.”
“You are the only good thing in my life,” Lola pouts to Nate. . . the man she met just one episode ago, as the two head back to the Empire to make up for lost sex time. How’s that for pathetic? But Lola might just find that she’s very wrong, indeed, about that assessment. Toward the end of the episode, Dr. VDW calls his long lost daughter, to take her up on her offer that he help her investigate her family secrets. However, something tells me that HIS particular paternity secret, will be one he won’t offer up so freely . . .
Don’t do it, Blair . . .
Have you ever watched a horror movie at home, and spent half the time screaming the following things at your television: “DON’T GO IN THERE!” “LOCK THE DOOR!” “HE’S GOING to CHOP YOUR HEAD OFF.” “DON’T JUST STAND THERE, LOOKING SCARED, RUN, YOU MORON.”
Well, that’s kind of how I felt, watching Blair in “The Princess Dowry.” Throughout the entire hour, I watched her move ever closer, to a Donuty Doom. I knew it was coming. And I dreaded it like the plague. But no matter how loud I screamed at the television screen, I couldn’t protect Blair from acting like a brainwashed Stepford Wife . . . It was quite frustrating, really.
Anywhoo . . . when we last left our Queen B, she had just forgiven Donut Dan for trying to ruin her wedding and her life, with that video. Enter Blair’s Minder with a convenient way out of this mess of a wedding. As we learned from last week, this French twit is actually in LOVE with Louis-bot . . .
“See Blayerrrrgh, evaan roboths geth layeeed.” (Translation: See Blair, even robots get laid.)
. . . making it in her best interest to see this wedding annuled.
Elsie the Minder’s theory, is that Blair is such a public relations disaster, that any other prospective wife (even a fellow robot like Elsie the Minder) would look good to the press, by comparison. Therefore, provided Blair agrees to not speak to the press about the annulment, Elise the Minder suggests that the Grimaldis will just let her out of the contract.
“Even though I am lying through my teeth, you believe every word I say, because my British accent makes me sound more trustworthy than I actually am.”
Well now, that certainly doesn’t sound the Grimaldi’s I met this summer . . .
Rhymes with Ditch . . .
Nonetheless, Blair blindly and stupidly agrees to this, never once considering the possibility that she might be getting setup. And setup, she ultimately is, when Chuck and Georgina send “Gossip Girl” i.e. Rufus 2.0 a picture of Dan raping Blair’s face on Valentine’s Day, in complete violation of Elsie the Minder’s
so fake “annulment settlement terms.”
“AHHHH! He’s suffocating me! Make it stop!”
OK, so let me get this straight. Chuck did this to KEEP Blair married to Louis-bot and/or potentially bankrupt her . . . just because he doesn’t want her to be with Donut Dan? I don’t buy it. After all, wasn’t Chuck the one who offered to pay off the entire dowry, in the first place, because he knew Blair’s family couldn’t afford its exhorbitant sum?
Anyway, it takes next to no time for Blair to learn that the photograph in question came from Chuck and Georgina, not from Dan. At the same time, Minder chick informs her that there was never really a settlment position on the table, in the first place. (SURPRISE!) Now, Blair doesn’t know WHO to believe. So, Chuck digs the knife in, even deeper, by accusing Donut Dan of repeatedly keeping him away from Blair, so that the Donut could have her all to himself. It’s an accusation which Dan readily accepts!
And when Blair finds out, she’s so incredibly hurt and betrayed that she says. . . NOTHING? Again, what the heck is wrong with this girl, lately? The REAL Blair Waldorf wouldn’t have taken ANY of these injustices lying down. But this one just pouts and walks away. Come on, Blair, even Nate could have done better than that . . .
Toward the end of the wake, Blair sadly tells Chuck Bass that she LOVES him, but isn’t IN love with him . . . a sure sign that Blair has clearly lost her marbles, this season. Here we are, finally, with no obstacles between these two individuals. But Blair is inexplicably throwing in the towel on her own. No me gusta.
Speaking of Chuck, he seeks out Lily for comfort shortly after his dumping. “It’s different this time. She’s had her brain devoured by Zombie Dan changed,” remarks Chuck sadly.
Well, that’s the understatement of the century! Unfortunately, Lily has little intel to impart on the subject of Stepford-Blair Waldorf. However, she does manage to offer up some other fairly pertinent information. It turns out, as many of us suspected, Jack Bass was the one who actually saved Chuck’s life, by ensuring that the Dark Knight received a blood transfusion, following his car accident with Blair.
The question is, was it actually Jack who made the pertinent donation . . . or was it Diana, who we all know Jack called just moments after Chuck was admitted to the hospital,
and who many (myself included) have speculated is Chuck’s REAL bio mom . . .
In other news, Georgina calls somewhat of a truce with Blair, agreeing to fly to Monaco to end Blair’s sham of a cyborg marriage (using blackmail intel she learned during her Gossip Girl days, naturally), in exchange for a favor from Blair to be announced at a later time. Blair mindlessly agrees, a decision
(like the one in which she STUPIDLY chose Dan over Chuck ) that I am sure she will come to regret in a few weeks. Oh, and did I mention that, before she left, Georgina shipped her entire GG laptop to SERENA, of all people?
Serena as Gossip Girl . . . again? Gahhhh . . . is this a repeat episode of Gossip Girl?
Toward the end of the episode, Blair goes to the Donut’s loft, determined to start what will undoubtedly be an incredibly boring, unfulfilling relationship, characterized by abysmal sex. Hooray!
“Please don’t make me kiss him again. Last time, my lips bled for hours afterward . . .”
Then, they eat eachother’s faces, for a while, and in between mouthfuls, Donut Dan explains how excited he is that Blair actually used his real name, for the first time since they met.
Yes, Donut Dan. She knows your name. Now, if that’s not the foundation for a successful relationship, I don’t know what is . . .
And that was “The Princess Dowry,” in a nutshell. When Gossip Girl returns in April, we will learn why Donut Dan is such a slug in the sack . . . not that this is much of a surprise . . . After all, the guy can’t even manage to walk to the nearest Supercuts to fix that awful hair of his. How can we possibly expect him to navigate the delicate contours of a woman’s body.
Slug or Stud? You decide . . .
That said, the sex-pisode in question, actually looks kind of humorous (especially if you enjoy making fun of Donut Dan, as much as I do). You can check out the trailer for the episode, here . . .
Somewhere on the Upper East Side, Chuck Bass is pumping his fist in triumph.
Until next time!