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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gossip Girl - Empire of the Son review

Well, they had to give us something to tide us over the break.

Lily turned herself into the DA to stop Russell from forcing Chuck to choose his business over her. Or to stop Chuck from losing his business, if you don’t want to look at it cynically. She told the DA that it was because she hadn’t seen her kids smile at her for years. This can’t be true. That has to be physically impossible. We are trained to let off smiles, if only polite ones.

This was the episode centered around parents’ concern for their children and children being proud of their parents. Serena was proud of her mother, and we think Ben should be proud of his, too. Ben’s mother stole the affidavit from the van der Woodsen loft to clear her son’s name. We think that’s a good mom. Ben was ruining his life for Serena and her slimy family. Ben and Serena broke up, because we guess Ben has to go find himself and only liked Serena because she reminded him of his time as a teacher. Good. And we hope he stays gone. Once again: Not hot, not interesting. Serena kissed him goodbye, but didn’t chase after him. He did have Nate’s dad beat up, after all. Oh yeah, that came out via Vanessa, who made a cameo before she was chased off by Serena.

People who weren’t proud of their parents include Raina and Chuck. Raina saw her dad blackmailing Lily to get Chuck to sign over Bass industries. She thought this was dirty and wrong. He left Chicago, and she didn’t go with him. There was a nice moment where he told Raina that he was proud of her. He also said that she looked more like her mother every day (which should not have sat well on her ears since he lied to Raina and told her that her mom abandoned them for another man, but whatever. The audience knew it was sweet.) With her father gone, we guess she is going to keep hanging around with Nate. Before we start commenting on the good stuff, we would like to point out that we really liked Blair and Lily's party dresses this episode. Ok, back to the review.

As for Chuck, remember how his dad’s building caught on fire and killed a security guard? Yeah, we had forgotten too. It has been two years. But the big bomb Russell Thorpe dropped on Chuck involved this. After being beaten, Russell Thorpe decided to monologue like a classic villain about the reason for his revenge plan. He was even pouring himself a drink as he introduced the confession. He said that Raina’s mother had died in that fire. He also implied that Bart had killed her intentionally. Chuck took it like a boy with daddy issues, whining in denial, saying, “My dad and I had reached a good place before he died; you’re just trying to take that away from me!” Then he shut down the party he had held to celebrate his keeping his father’s legacy intact and sat at the bar, taking shots. Serena found him and told him to take his drunk ass to bed. He moaned that only Blair would understand how he felt. He jumped up to find her. GOOD. It’s about time he went crawling back to her, all yearning and whatnot.

Serena’s other parent rolled into town before the end of the hour and announced that grandma CeCe would be coming in too. They are there to protect Lily in her hour of legal need. How they are going to do that remains unknown. Meanwhile, Dan and Blair have been adorably hanging out and then avoiding each other. Both Dorota and Rufus let their charges know that “Dair” might have feelings for each other that they were afraid to explore. Dan showed up at Blair’s apartment the night after the party and said that they should test the theory with a kiss. This is actually a scientifically sound test: (see #3). The frame froze when Blair kissed Dan, and we were MAD. We wanted both Chuck and Serena to walk in and catch them. Now THAT would have been a cliffhanger.

Still, Episode Grade: A-

Gossip Girl returns on April 18th.

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