Jan 30, 2012

Gossip Girl: 100 Episodes, 1 Billion Plot Twists

Serena and Blair's hair is full of secrets
Gossip Girl celebrated its 100th episode last night, and it was not short on revelations and plot twists. But that’s what we have come to expect from a program that New York Magazine routinely calls 'The Greatest Show of Our Time.' On the day of Blair's wedding, everyone has come together to celebrate the show's momentous occasion (including Wallace Shawn!) with several looks back and a huge step forward.  It was a pretty spectacular episode, which is saying something given the somewhat lackluster episodes that preceded it. Before we delve into the best parts of the episode, we should mention that major spoilers follow, so be prepared.

In preparation for episode 100, we looked back at the pilot, sure that there would be many callbacks to the show's first hurrah. And though we were spared seeing Chuck attempt to rape someone (which he did in the pilot - twice) and Jenny and Eric did not make an appearance, there were quite a few moments that were a delightful nod back. Peter, Bjorn, and John's 'Young Folks', the first song featured on the show, made a somewhat re-mixed reappearance. Also back was Gossip Girl's opening monologue - almost as if she realizes that she's on a show and that there needs to be a callback.  She's not the only one getting nostalgic - tons of characters reminisce about occurrences in the pilot, including Eleanor Waldorf, which is kind of hilarious given that she was played by a different actress at the time.

But who am I kidding. Nobody gives a flying fish about any of that. We don't care about Blair's wedding to her boring groom (except that it features a lot of nobility-worthy hats) or Serena's sad attempts to woo back Dan (except that it features Blake Lively doing a lot of hair acting).  We're not even going to get into the opening moments of the show that featured one of the show's signature (and boring) dream sequences where people dream about being famous people, except to say that it definitively proves that Blair is running this show, not Boobs McGee.

No, none of that matters because, at the end of the episode, the true identity of Gossip Girl was revealed, and it isn't, as was previously suspected, a balding, middle-aged creepazoid with way too much time on his hands and way too many antique dolls. No, it was none other than everyone's favorite bitch-in-heels Georgina Sparks! Now, this doesn't really make sense - at different points in time she was actually living with other characters on the show, which would make it extremely difficult to pull off a secret identity. Plus, Georgina is often one of Gossip Girl's targets (maybe that was just misdirection). I'm sure there will be some amount of back-pedaling, and Georgina is probably just the newest in a long line of Gossip Girls (like the Dread Pirate Roberts), but this show has never been afraid of huge plot twists with gaping holes in continuity (hello, CC's fake cancer). And with the strange war that everyone is waging against Gossip Girl, which was previously spearheaded by the show's stupidest characters Nate and Serena, it certainly seems like we haven't seen the last of Georgina Sparks.

Which is all for the better. From her ridiculous hat in the beginning of this episode, her continued disregard for her baby, and her delusional self-confidence, Georgina is the shot in the arm this somewhat Dullsville season needs. Michelle Trachtenberg certainly livened up the show in its forgotten foray into college life, and Georgina's maybe-Dan's-baby plot-line was worth a few laughs. Unlike so many of the characters on this show, Georgina actually seems to understand that everything that happens to these people is ridiculous - her complete acceptance of (and revelry in) that makes her one of the most exciting characters.

Unfortunately, all story lines on Gossip Girl that are about Gossip Girl tend to be incredibly boring. First the characters want to know her identity, then they want to take her down, then they want to help her, then they want to take her down again. The writers haven't seemed to notice that nobody watching cares. Maybe Georgina will change that. I'm sure Gossip Girl herself would make some comment about 'Sparks' flying and starting a blaze, but we'll leave terrible puns up to her. We're just happy to maybe have a reason to watch the show again.

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