Gossip Girl "The Revengers" Review: Chuck Bass, Batman Wannabe

Gossip Girl S6E09: “The Revengers”

This one almost broke me, folks. All season, I’ve been working under the assumption that Gossip Girl will conclude in spectacularly bad fashion, but “The Revengers” presented some of the worst minutes aired on television this year. Hell, this episode was absolutely the worst thing I’ve seen on TV in 2012, but of course I only saw a few minutes of Work It!. I strongly considered just typing LOL in 72-point font and calling it a day, but alas, I am a (semi) professional. Let’s run it back so I can go wash out this out of my brain.


1. Thanks for clearing that up, Daniel

Just in case there was any confusion about Dan’s feelings for Serena: They were fake, but are now real. He meant everything he said in “Inside Out,” but still loves her nonetheless. Dan sure knows how to charm a lady (and/or brain-dead humanoid), doesn’t he? The sad thing about Dan’s eleventh-hour crusade to win Serena back is that this show is so miserable, the Dan/Serena storyline is really the only thing that makes even a lick of real sense. Is it stupid? Absolutely. Does it make Dan, Serena, the writing staff, and the audience look like fools? You bet. But does it follow this show’s warped concept of True, Epic Love? Of course it does. Gossip Girl is what it is at this point, so I can at least admit that, following what are basically fantasy world rules, Dan’s re-re-re-re-discovered feelings for Dead Eyes are believable.


2. Good plan, S

I love when this show points out, either purposefully or accidentally (and probably accidentally), that a character’s present-day choice is dumb because they’ve made that choice 183 times before and it didn’t work out. Never does this rule apply more than in the case of Serena’s random decision to move to Los Angeles because she can never really reinvent herself in the public eye of the Upper East Side. I was literally pounding my head against my desk when she first announced this move because Serena has run away from the UES more times than I’ve run in my life, period. And I don’t live a completely sedentary lifestyle. Dan, at his most romantic, thankfully pointed this out to Serena (well, not the part about me, but you get it), and even went as far to list the countless locations she’s sprinted off to every time he said he didn’t love her anymore.

Here’s an idea, Serena: Grow up. Here’s another one: Get professional help. And one more: For once in your life, recognize that you can’t just run away from your “problems” all the time and that maybe it’s not the location that has caused them, it’s your terrible choices, egocentrism, and general existence that has. At least Dan admits that he’s a bit of a scumbag who just wants to live excessively lucky life with the person he love-hates. But Serena is always on a pedestal, blaming everyone else for her problems. Go to L.A., or don’t. Just shut up already.



3. Who is the villain again?

I’m not going to even pretend that Bart is an “admirable” or “good” person; he’s not. But here, his villainy went to new levels, so much so that he managed to threaten most every character on the show into some kind of hiding. It was silly.

Even still, Bart deserves his comeuppance, I guess. That's the story Gossip Girl is telling. However, as I’ve said before, I have trouble getting behind the show’s crooked moral universe when it wants me to root for the likes of Blair, Ivy, Sage, Serena, and Georgina to take down Bart, mostly so that Blair and Chuck can drop their pretenses and have sex. Not only has GG done a horrible job this season of convincing me that Blair and Chuck should be together (or that he even wants to be with her at all), but that group is chock-full of annoying, deplorable misfits. Georgina is probably the “worst” of them, and she’s the only one I like because the show’s actually kept her character consistent all these years.

See, that’s my problem with Gossip Girl above all else. The show can ultimately pair up whomever it wants, even if the result is hackneyed, and it can ultimately tell me that I should root for sociopaths, criminals, and trust-fund brats. I understand that's just how Gossip Girl's world works. What bothers me is that the show has dissembled most of the character growth, good or bad, that has happened over the past few seasons. In the last two seasons, Blair wasn’t this immature, mindlessly lovesick, or frankly, as hateful a person as she’s become in the final season. Dan wasn’t quite as delusional. And the show had started to embrace the reality that Chuck and Serena were pretty dysfunctional, borderline terrible people.

But now, Blair and Dan are shells of their former selves, while Serena and Chuck are basically the same, but the show has re-contextualized their actions in an attempt to make them seem sympathetic, and in Chuck’s case, heroic. The stories are bad enough on their own, but who Gossip Girl asks us to care about undercuts a lot of what came before this final season, and that calibration really pushes these episodes into all-time garbage territory.

Thus, it was no surprise that at this episode’s end, Chuck, the “hero” of this story (remember, Nate told us so), let his father fall off a skyscraper. I thought this whole story has been about Chuck defeating his father and becoming a man? I guess pulling a Batman and “not killing, but also not helping” is one way to defeat someone. Nevertheless, the entire season has built to Chuck outsmarting or outthinking his father, only to strip him of growth that so he could watch, like a child, while his father tumbled to his death. He didn’t even do anything. AND THIS IS THE PERSON WE’RE SUPPOSED TO SIDE WITH. Commit to your own warped universe, show.



4. Well, at least it looked different

For whatever reason, perhaps because "The Revengers" was the penultimate episode of the series and or perhaps because the production team realized that they had some leftover money that they just forgot to give Barry Watson, but this episode mixed up the show’s aesthetic a little, and that was nice. Director Patrick Norris, clearly in on the joke that is Gossip Girl’s existence, decided to shoot a number of the scenes like this was actually a superhero movie. The camera moved a lot more than it typically does, there were some diverse angles, and even in on-location scenes, the episode wasn’t over-reliant on super-tight closeups like it usually is. Gossip Girl's visual palette has grown so stale over the years that it was nice to be reminded that the lighting and locations actually can add up to a nice image or two.

Of course, the show managed to undercut the strength of the visuals with some truly ridiculous music. It seemed like anytime that Bart was on screen, a license-free version of “The Imperial March” came blaring into the mix. The final scene with Bart falling off the building was especially poor in this regard. I get it, show, this is “serious.”


5. Wait, how did Nate get out of jail?

Or should I say the “Correction Department?” But seriously, how is Nate just brushing the dirt off his shoulders and moving on after being arrested for legitimate accounting fraud? Just because Bart has (whoops, had) police connections and wanted to see Nate squirm? Doesn’t Nate’s crime impact more than just a guy who secretly signed a loan? There I go, thinking about this again.

GOOD NEWS, THOUGH: Nate’s going to find Gossip Girl after all. He’s an American hero.

Until next week, folks. You’re going to need alcohol. All of it.


Comments (46)
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lol. Love the review!! Watching the show was like eating lays potato chips, you can't eat just one. I was a Dan and Serena fan but this season made that impossible to root for the stupid couple, because they're both idiots. Dan should have got some balls and moved on long ago because Serena definitely doesn't deserve him. Serena, well she's all sorts of mixed nuts. The only person I felt bad for was Nate. What happened to his character? In Season 1 he was at least a stud, cream of the crop. I bought into the fact that Serena and Blair wanted him. Now he's a borderline pedophile sketchy business man? WTH? Shame on the writers for wasting such a pretty face.
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has this show always been this bad??
i think it's a silly show that started taking itself too seriously, that's where it went wrong...
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Hahahahaha, this episode gave me a laugh at least! The last scene I was actually LOL-ing, with the crazy music and the 80's movie fight. I'm ashamed i'm still really really liking Gossip Girl, but it's just too funny to not watch!
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What did people expect from an OMG show? I know that the last ep was crazy but I think the sanity boat sailed way back when Safran wanted to make GG into the Dan show, S3 onward. This last season has been all about damage control and they are managing to pull GG back from the brink right at the last minute.
I LOVED the episode and all its heightened melodrama. I have come to terms with the fact that is what GG is about. I am sure I WILL LOVE the next episode even more. GG was always at its best when it used what worked and there is no doubting it was primarlily Ed/Leighton Chuck/Blair.
GG from the beginning was a show of extremes, which polarized its fans. I am just thankful love seems to have won in the end. I LOVE CHAIR SO I LOVE GG. “Just do one thing for me, kiss me Chuck Bass”.
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I'd rather watch Dan Humphrey and his muppet hair ALL season than subject myself to one more second of Chuck and his flaring nostrils, creepy whispers and borderline rapey ways. This show sucks ass...and has since it became the Chair show.
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Although I was skeptical just like everyone else, I actually was enjoying this season until now. How could they have thought that this was a good ending?! It should have ended with everyone hating Serena, Dan getting the girl of his dreams - Blair - and Chuck defeating his father (but in a plausible way). Jenny could have come back to be with Nate and Sage should just die. Lily should have lost everything and Rufus, well, he should just continue being Rufus. Instead, we got THIS. What a rip-off!
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I just never thought that Bart was this evil... I mean killing his son that is cold
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Yup. Sums up everything. You would think the ending of a series would be exciting to watch? The writers usually make it great, but not Gossip Girl. I'm only excited for it to be OVER.
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Can the writers refund my time invested in anything produced after season 4? this show is just ridiculous!! and the music at the end of last night's ep!! wowwwww
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I feel the same way except for season 5.. it was one of my favorite seasons.
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Completely agree with everything you said. It's like the writers start every episode by saying "what's the worst thing we can come up with today?" I'm legit believing they're in on the joke and just want this show to die.
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The music at the very end of the episode was just ridiculous
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i was very surprised the Captain bailed nate out of jail. i was like, "hold the phone! the show is acknowledging nate has parents?!" even when he was allegedly dead, bart bass still had a bigger role than anyone related to nate.
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I have watched every ep of GG up til now, and this one would have been enough to finally make me give up- if the next one weren't its finale. It rather makes me dread next week, though.
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I actually enjoyed GG up until the end of Season #4. All the characters seemed to have learned things about themselves, realised things and in general it was a show I could watch just to relax and not have to really think it over. These past two seasons totally destroyed my opinion about the writers. It was never the smartest or funniest - or whatever - show, but for the love of God people!!! Seriously? A sort of Beverly Hills 90210 for the Upper East Side turned to espionage and murder?!?!?!?! Hell to the NO! Unfortunately I 'll be watching the final episode as well just to say "XOXO, Gossip Girl..."
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I don't think that the last scene was real, because the last two season are bad, this episode was very bad and that scene (if it was real) was the cherry on the pie. In that case, their is not way they could have a good ending.
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I didn't expect the show to get better now but...This episode actually managed to make the show even worst. I mean nothing in this episode made sense, characters kept changing personalities and teaming up with each other just because the writer felt like it and I didn't understand why Nate went, then went out of jail.
Idea to make the show even worse than it actually managed to be : ending with an "it was all a dream" sequence. Since the writers are obviously trying to make the worst possible season ever, that's the best worst end they can come up with.
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The personality-changing stuff was never more apparent then when Blair said to Dan. "Thanks for doing the right thing" and followed it with "actually I hate you and Serena leaving town is completely and totally your fault, she has nothing to do with this horrible decision. You're basically drugging her and carrying her to LA it is that much your fault. Goodbye sir"
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That's true. I don't know how I missed that!
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Was that last scene real ? It looked and sounded like one of Blair's old movie dreams. The acting was a bit over the top and the music was too dramatic, so maybe it was a dream sequence ?
And also, this episode had a lot of old movies references, Casablanca with the plane, obviously the first scene with Blair dreaming she's Audrey Hepburn,...

Oh and the "to be continued" also looked a bit too over the top.

Just a theory...
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I would loooove for that last scene to be a dream sequence. But I don't think it is.
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It is so sad that Chair ends this way. The writers are just throwing things together. I feel badly for the actors.
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I remembered when Chuck almost committed suicide due to his father's death. Blair was there to talk him down. That was a great season. Now the show ends with Chuck and Blair not helping Bart live. This is a total turnaround. Did they not care anymore about this show? The writers and showrunner should be ashamed of themselves.
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I don't. They're getting paid to do this crap. I wish I was being paid to watch it. If only the next episode wasn't the last, I honestly would stop.
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Also, when Bart was holding on to the side of the building, I think I saw a balcony or some kind of ledge just a few storeys below, so we might not have seen the last of Bart.
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I also never understood why Chuck felt so entitled to the Empire. Even though Bart is a douche, he built his company from the ground up, and Chuck did nothing. Maybe this is why Chuck also has no respect for Blair or any other woman's autonomy because he can't even separate his sense of entitlement from the way he behaves towards anyone
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The Empire was Chuck's. He bought it in season 3, after Bart "died."

Why Chuck felt so entitled to allll of Bass Industries is the issue. He ran the company since his father's "death," and I understand how he felt betrayed when his dad took it back - but it's not like Bart took The Empire and left Chuck with no money. Chuck had that stuff. Chuck is 21, he should have spent his time building another business and went to "war" against his father in the business world. Instead they made Bart evil.

PS- Chuck respects Blair.
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Maybe you haven't watched the show from the beginning. Chuck has really fought for the empire. Back when he thought his father had died and his uncle tried to take it from him etc... At one point he even saved it from bankruptcy...
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Well done mate. I totally agree with you, this time. Especially about the Dan part. And I really like your Batman comparison and couldn't agree more that this episode, but especially this scene, was the worst I have seen in a long long time!
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How utterly ridiculous was that music during the rooftop scene? I felt like I was watching that old, campy Batman show from the 1960's. The only thing missing was flashes of words like "Pow!", "Ooof!", "Zap!!" during fight scene. So corny.
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The best part of the episode was the beginning, and that's only because it was a reenactment of a scene from 'Charade' with A. Hepburn. Other than that, I laughed at every "dramatic" scene.
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The rooftop scene at the end seemed like another reference to `Charade'....
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Decided to give it a go last night. This is arguably the worst television show of the NMR era.
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Best part of "The Revengers": the last scene. Was it comedy? Tragedy? I really don't know...between the absurd music and the RIDICULOUS "hanging off the building" scene I wasn't sure if it was really happening.

I honestly didn't hate this episode as much as others this season. At least things were happening after several stale episodes and I've accepted that the characters are lost forever.
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If you should that final scene to an alien, they'd have no clue what the purpose was.
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considering the guest stars in the finale.... I would suggest that Gossip Girl was actually Jenny all along. HAHAHA
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we all know gossip girl is kristen bell
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lol that would be great. If she just shows up and everyone is like WTFRU?
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Kristen Bell IS Jenny IS Gossip Girl.
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I thought Bart could have been Gossip Girl. There's still a small chance!
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I seriously feel sorry for you for having to do this (GG recaps)! SO glad its almost over! Total CRAP!
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Well,I always agree with what you say. I guess the issue with this show is you aren't supposed to think about it and just let them tell you how to interpret everything. If you aren't an extreme shipper or an idiot than this was obviously not the show to get involved with.

Like you said I hate the way they have changed the context of everything to make these couples fit, I can literally feel the pains they are taking to bend the story to what they want than allowing anything to organically take them somewhere. I think Blairs story is the most blatant in terms of the uturn they took to put her back with Chuck. Since he pimped her they made a point to tell us how he didn't make her happy, made her weak and she wanted someone to love her for her, enter Dan. In exposition they even had her say in S5 he loved her for her, then all of a sudden Chuck makes her happy and she was sooooo wrong to not go all in with him and must now fight for him. Like wtf, her problem has always been that she loses herself with him. It is a disservice to Blair as a character bc it changes the meaning behind moving away from Chuck, like it wasn't right. It honestly makes no sense why they did it the way they did if they were going to have to bend it so much to get her back with him. Even the narrative is about Chucks journey, his family, what he wants, how he has changed etc, its nothing about Blair as a character and she is the LEAD. They dedicated an episode to her success (that she couldn't enjoy), and BAM back to Chucks problems. Let's not even go into Serena, these female leads are merely there to service the males storylines, and should be oh so happy they get their men, eff everything else. That was the whole point of GG, for Chuck to conquer his demons, Blair to end with Chuck now that he is fixed, and Dan with Serena.

Anyways, I have thought to much about this show, but it is just fascinating to me that a teen show is so hard to understand, with so many unanswered plot holes and, layers of denial on every character. Like why does Blair hate Dan more than anything for the S thing if she never loved him? Why is she allowed to hate him so much when the implication is she used him from the moment she said she wasn't in love with Chuck anymore (it was a lie)? Why does Bart want to kill Chuck when he saved his life in S5? Why does Chuck want a company he willing gave up numerous times? And so on and so on.

I hope to never hear about this show again once its gone.
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*hugs you*
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I actually stood up and applauded this review because it laid out everything that thoroughly made me so angry about this episode. Never have I felt so stupid for continuing to watch a show limp to its conclusion (and i've seen every episode of One Tree Hill).

There are so many things I could say but I am just going to say the one thing that proved the greatest offense to me (and there were many!)... but Chuck and Blair both just WATCHED Bart get Mufasa'd off that roof. I'm sorry, no matter how bad someone is... you would think that someone ANYONE would have made a move to save his life. Like this was his LIFE. Shouldnt the writers have tried to show how Chuck was above it all by at least ATTEMPTING to save his FATHERS life. I'm astounded by the way this episode went out. Chuck is not a hero.

Also, Blair has essentially spent this whole season staring at a ring that means absolutely nothing.

Oh how far the might have fallen. Or whatever.
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Nah that comedy villain deserved to die.
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I just saw an episode of the Sopranos and saw Dorota was a Polish maid in Tony's house as well. Oh, Dorota. Using your mafia connections to be Gossip Girl I reckon. How else could you know everyone's location all the time.
Anyway, the music... the references to B-movies.. the .. oh boy was this a bad episode. It was so bad I wasn't actually frustrated anymore. I just felt as if I had devoured a whole spacecake and could not stop laughing. It was a REALLY amusing episode. That it was.
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