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Plot By Numbers: Cons, Bibles, and Lilies on "Gossip Girl"

Is it just me or has Gossip Girl become one of the most illogical series ever?

Last night's episode ("The Wrath of Con") featured the gang attempting to enact revenge against Gabriel Serrano (Armie Hammer) and Poppy Lifton (Tamara Feldman) after the duo engineered a scheme to defraud investors--including, of course, Rufus who unwisely invested Dan's college savings--out of their money by using a Madoff-style Ponzi scheme. Serena seems to think that she can handle this imbroglio on her own rather than calling in the police or FBI, a sentiment echoed by Lily but for very different reasons.

Which brings me to my original thought: in what world is it less of a scandal to have your daughter wrongly arrested for theft than for her to be connected to a high society thief, even though she had no involvement in any wrongdoing? I'm not quite sure what the hell Lily was thinking having Serena arrested (in an effort to remove her from the playing field at the Russian Tea Room), other than it's a convenient plot point to echo her own past, which will be played out in glorious 1980s tints in next week's flashback episode (itself a backdoor pilot for a Lily-centric period series).

Surely, even a spun-up Lily would see that landing Serena on the front page of every tabloid newspaper isn't exactly the best spin for this situation? I understand that she wants to teach her daughter a lesson but, by claiming to want to keep Serena's reputation intact, doesn't this rather defeat the purpose? Sure, the charges can be dropped later and Serena has time to cool off while Lily handles the "return" of the stolen funds but really?

Meanwhile, the gang turns for help to Georgina Sparks (Michelle Trachtenberg), the now reformed bad girl who now only has eyes for Jesus and whose behavior is wholly at odds with her former self. I can accept that Georgina would turn to religion for salvation after all of the awful things she did but the writers were lazy with her new characterization, turning her into a pious and pathetic choirgirl that is diametrically opposed to what we've seen of her so far and isn't at all earned. (A better and more believable twist would have been to let Georgina keep her bitchy streak but infuse it with religion, making her the poster girl for a holier-than-thou attitude.)

I can accept that Georgina would go to Manhattan to try to make amends with Blair as part of her need for forgiveness but the ludicrous plot point with the bible camp's money (for Georgina to buy bibles... because her bible camp doesn't already have enough?) rankled me beyond belief. Not sure why any bible camp would entrust this girl with money and I thought that she took off from her camp rather than was given permission to go to New York. Color me confused.

But that's the problem with last night's plot-by-numbers approach: all of the twists in the road can be seen from a mile off. As soon as Rufus made his intention to propose to Lily known, I instantly knew that (A) Lily would have to find a way to secretly pay Rufus' investment back, (B) Rufus would discover what Lily was up to and his pride would be wounded, and (C) he would call off the proposal. Yawn.

And that's just what happened, along with Eric appearing for what might be the first time in half a season, a heaping of Dan stirring up trouble on more than one occasion (really, is Dan perhaps the biggest stick-in-the-mud on television these days?), and the Chuck/Blair/Nate love triangle taking yet another outing to Snoozeville. If the writers can't come up with plausible reasons to keep Chuck and Blair apart, then they might as well put them together because the thought of Blair and Nate as a couple is like televised Ambien to me. (The entire moving-in scenario was completely over the top to me. They've been dating again for how long? Two weeks?)

All in all, I found myself screaming at the television... and not in a good way. Gossip Girl used to be a slick and smart little trifle, a guilty pleasure that showed some well-heeled teens acting like something out of Les Liaisons dangereuse. But now Gossip Girl isn't giving me any pleasure, just making me feel guilty about watching.

What did you think of last night's episode? Has Gossip Girl lost its way and its edge amid barely believable plots and mundane characterization? Discuss.

Next week on Gossip Girl ("Valley Girls"), Lily reminisces on her past as we're treated to a flashback to the 1980s, where 17-year-old Lily Rhodes (Brittany Snow) gets kicked out of boarding school and runs away to Los Angeles, where she reconnects with her black-sheep sister, Carol (Krysten Ritter); Blair and Nate attend prom together, but the evening doesn't go as planned thanks to Chuck; Serena and Lily don't see eye-to-eye over Serena's recent run-in with the law.

Comments

Bella Spruce said…
Gossip Girl has always been unbelievable but at least it used to be fun! Now, the storylines are not only ludicrous but very contrived. I can usually map out an entire storyline as soon as it begins. There are no surprises and none of the wit or charm that originally existed. Even my favorite characters (Blair, Chuck, Lily) are becoming boring.
tony libido said…
It's DADA!

Theatre of the absurd! Cause does not equal effect. "Absurd drama subverts logic. It relishes the unexpected and the logically impossible. According to Sigmund Freud, there is a feeling of freedom we can enjoy when we are able to abandon the straitjacket of logic. In trying to burst the bounds of logic and language the absurd theatre is trying to shatter the enclosing walls of the human condition itself."

It's a mess but somehow I'm still amused.
Heatherette said…
If you want to abandon logic you still have to provide an interesting and engaging story. "No logic" does not give you a free pass on good story/character/plot etc. I don't mind that Gossip Girl doesn't really make sense. I just want it to be interesting!
Ally said…
This episode made me so angry. In fact, I couldn't really concentrate past the first scene. I kept pausing the tivo to bitch.

It's the next morning. Blair is still in the same dress. Which means, this just happened. CALL THE BANKS AND CANCEL THE CHECKS!

A) no bank worth their salt would have even cashed checks for the amounts given by the guests at the party without first calling to confirm.

B) their is no way gabriel/poppy could have cashed the checks so quickly.

C) what? The guests didn't write checks, you say? They all ran out of the party and got money orders? I think not. They weren't wire transfers either, as there was some line about that being too traceable.

This episode was ludicrous and frustrating.

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