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'Gossip Girl': All angst, all the time

May 11, 2010 |  8:04 am
Gossipgirl_JennyMay10 You know you're nearing the end of a "Gossip Girl" season when you suddenly feel dizzy, disoriented and at a loss for words. No, it's not out of anguish at the thought of an entire summer without our beloved show; they're the side effects of yet another overwhelmingly busy penultimate episode. At this point during Season One, we were embroiled in Georgina's plot to reveal Serena's "killer" secret, and Season Two's next-to-last took us back to Lily's '80s past -- both involved digesting multiple schemes and playing the game of character connect-the-dots, but neither elicited as much annoyance as Monday night's episode.

The irksome evening began with Jenny, whose "all angst, all the time" act hasn't charmed anyone. After spearheading the plot to expose Will's scheme, she realized that ruining Rufus and Lily's marriage, not saving it, would serve her better. With her father's marriage in the dumps, Jenny could leave all her uptown drama behind and live happily ever after back in Brooklyn. She attempted to foil the gang's plans by alerting Will of the ambush, but while it gave him a head start in his escape, it still wasn't enough to keep Rufus and Lily apart. Jenny's intentions, albeit selfish, come from a sympathetic place, yet her methods of implementing them make it difficult to stand by her side. She's so consumed with trying to burn her current life down that it hasn't dawned on her that she's the one who needs to change. These events are setting us up for Taylor Momsen's sabbatical from the show early next season, so I hope when she returns, she brings back a more evolved, tolerable and considerably more natural looking Jenny Humphrey.

When I wasn't gritting my teeth over Jenny's behavior, I was fuming at Serena's. Like Jenny, I want to have sympathy for her issues, but her refusal to acknowledge anyone who doesn't promote her agenda makes it difficult to do so. She has a concerned boyfriend who merely wanted her to view all sides to Rufus and Lily's situation, but she continued to shoot him down. She has little respect for adults and can't see beyond her desperate need for validation. It's getting harder and harder to remember her redeeming qualities. I want to see the lighter side of Serena again, the Serena who charmed us with her little-kid laugh and love for spontaneity. We haven't seen her like that since she was with Dan, whom I'd fully support reuniting with if it weren't for the super-creepy fact that they're step-siblings now. Really, "Gossip Girl"? Are you really going there?

Jenny's and Serena's dysfunctions aside, I still wasn't completely satisfied with the episode's events. Will's grand scheme, when unfolded, sounded so preposterous. Were we supposed to believe that he cured Lily's lymphoma and a "favor" owed was enough to convince a licensed psychiatrist like Holland to seduce Rufus and prescribe bogus pills?  I'm still shaking my head at him for curing her cancer in the span of a summer! I was also disappointed that William Baldwin's role felt so fleeting and rushed; we never got to see him flex his own talent for angst. It would be great for the show to bring him back with intentions not centered on winning Lily back.

The only bright spot in the storyline was seeing Chuck, Blair, Dan and Nate team up for some sleuthing, and even that could have benefited from a few more comedic elements. I love that Chuck knew a good scheme was the key to Blair's heart and that he could have sealed the deal if he didn't propose she give him a final answer atop the Empire State Building. Her reply was fitting: "Don't try to 'Affair to Remember' me!" Our sentiments exactly. We'll support anything that calls for more Chuck and Blair, "Gossip Girl." You don't have to come up with a gimmick in order to sell us on the idea.

It's your turn, readers. How did you feel about the episode? Are you over Jenny and Serena as I am? Should Serena get back with Dan? Should Blair meet Chuck on top of the Empire State Building? Comment away!


--Enid Portuguez

Photo: Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey on "Gossip Girl." Credit: Giovanni Rufino/The CW.