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'Gossip Girl': The good, the bad and the ambivalent

April 21, 2009 |  6:59 am

GossipGirl_SerenaGabrielkiss  You never really know what you're going to get with each episode of "Gossip Girl." Yes, there's usually a healthy dose of scandal, catty behavior and brilliant one-liners, but when it comes to predicting which path a character will take, there are no guarantees. Just when you think you've got Chuck or Blair or Nate figured out, BAM! the show convinces you otherwise. The characters' intentions waver and change as much as their wardrobes, and last night's episode was an exercise in detecting whose were good and whose were bad.

The Good: Unless she's Evil S, Serena's intentions are almost always good and you can't help but blame her actions on external forces. She's simple like that. After she confessed to Dan that she had possibly married a stranger in Spain, you really believed it was the guy's fault. Accidental marriages happen when tequila is involved! Using Dan as the "boyfriend" cover to deflect Gabriel wasn't very nice, but Serena had to think quickly. Gabriel should have called instead of showing up unexpectedly! Her good-hearted nature may charm everyone into forgiveness, but it'll also leave her susceptible to schemes (see the Bad below).

I'm inclined to include Nate in the pile with Serena. He's chosen to attend the college he got into on his own merit as well as follow a path paved in truth with his family. It seems he learns from his mistakes and constantly strives to take the high, virtuous road. He's not exactly the most perceptive when it comes to girls, but there's no doubt Man-bangs is all heart.

Dan is the resident smartass, but his intentions are also usually good. His serving Eleanor Waldorf's Seder dinner was funny yet pretty unbelievable. If the Humphreys represent the not-so-privileged class, wouldn't Dan have an after-school job to begin with?

The Bad: Gabriel, obviously. Those blue eyes can't be trusted. He's in cahoots with Poppy Lifton, which recalls the Marcus-Catherine duo from earlier this season. That couple's scheme was never made clear, so I hope the Gabriel-Poppy partnership blows our minds with intricate plans of deception.

The Ambivalent: Blair and Chuck consistently wear the crown for ambivalence, which is why they are either perfect or poison for each other. Blair saw a clear opportunity to redeem herself socially by sidling up to Grandpapa Vanderbilt. His promise of a Yale acceptance and a socialite standing was too good to pass up — taking advantage of it was the Blair thing to do. But somewhere in between a glass of Champagne and Nate's mortifying toast, B decided it wasn't worth jeopardizing their relationship. She flip-flops more than a pair of Havaianas, but in her situation, it's believable and therefore acceptable.

Chuck, too, constantly struggles to reconcile his self-centered nature with his growing conscience. I loved that Jenny called him out on his issues and received an apology for his attack on her during the Kiss-on-the-Lips party. Chuck's reconciliation with Nate was also insightful. Chuck clearly knows Blair better than Nate, which I think Nate acknowledged.

What did you think of the episode? What do Gabriel and Poppy have up their sleeve? 


— Enid Portuguez

Photo: The CW