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Gossip Girl goes off "Riding In Town Cars With Boys"

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Written by : published Tuesday 6th December 2011

     "Riding In Town Cars With Boys" brings everything together for the CW's Gossip Girl. Dan (Penn Badgley) lets Blair (Leighton Meester) hide out at his place as she tries to decide whether to marry Louis (Hugo Becker), or leave the prince for Chuck (Ed Westwick). Nate (Chace Crawford) leanrs his grandfather, William (James Naughton), mainpulated many recent events in Nate's life. Serena (Blake Lively) decides she would like to be with Dan again, and fearing that Dan is going to make a play for Blair, helps Louis track the two down. Ivy (Kaylee DeFer) worries a determined Max (Brian J. Smith) might expose her. But Ivy's attempts to stop Max lead to Blair and Chuck getting into a horrible car wreck, and so she leaves town on her own.

     "Riding In Town Cars With Boys" has a lot going for it, except the ending. The scene with the motorcycles chasing the town car, which Nate just accidentally happens to be behind because of a mistake, is contrived and phony. Even worse, Blair and Chuck are "seriously" injured during the low speed chase and a wreck that cannot possibly be all that horrific. Really? It feels like a convenient way for Blair to lose Louis's baby so that she can have a clean slate with Chuck. The development that Chuck is not doing well and might die rings false, as it is very unlikely Gossip Girl will kill off such an interesting, polarizing, important character. As such, suspense is low.

     Backing up, though, Blair and Chuck's reunion is handled with considerable skill. It takes real talent to stretch out such personal drama this long, and still keep the story engaging enough that viewers will care passionately. Louis is everything that Blair always says she wants, making him a perfect diversion. Yet, her connection to Chuck is strong and permanent. Chuck has risen to the occasion of being a better man for Blair, and both have matured to the point where they can finally be together and have a happy ending. "Riding In Town Cars With Boys" is a culmination of a lot of work. Which is another reason that Chuck cannot die.

     In recent episodes, a groundswell of support for a Dan and Blair pairing has been rising, this author among the proponents. In "Riding In Town Cars With Boys," Serena realizes that she cares for Dan, and this spurs her to help Louis win back Blair, removing her main rival for Dan's heart. However, Dan's decision not to confess adoration to Blair has nothing to do with Serena, and everything to do with how well he knows Blair, and cares about her happiness. The women in Gossip Girl can be manipulative and evil, but it features a really noble, kind, heroic trio of guys.

     Nate's dilemma is a complicated one. He works very, very hard to make his new job a success, even though his rise is unrealistically fast. Even with his family connections, Nate becomes the "it" guy way too easily. However, now that he's arrived, he has a decision to make. Should he continue to try to build his own reputation with the tools he has, or start from scratch to avoid being manipulated by Grandpa William? Everything Nate is right now is tainted because of William's influence. But it feels so good to Nate, and he has a platform he can do something with, so why give it up? Even a truly good guy like Nate is in Gossip Girl may find it impossible to turn his back on his life under these circumstances.

     Somehow, Gossip Girl manages, over time, to make the duplicitous Ivy a sympathetic character. Though she comes into the Van Der Woodsen family under false pretenses, her desire to be a part of a warm, loving clan endears her viewers' hearts. Her guilt for her hand in the car crash, and decision to leave New York, only make her look better. It isn't her fault that the paparazzi scum are overly aggressive, and no one will blame Ivy but herself. The question is, will everyone still be so willing to help her financially, since her motives are not malicious?

     Oh, and is Diana (Elizabeth Hurley) Chuck's biological mom? It seems so, as the mid-season finale draws to a close.

     Gossip Girl will return to the CW in January.

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Article first published as TV Review: Gossip Girl - "Riding In Town Cars With Boys" on Blogcritics.

About the author JeromeWetzelTV


Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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