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Gossip Girl: When Irish Eyes Are Crying

Gossip Girl S05E17: "The Princess Dowry"

Typhoid Mary must have hooked up with everyone over Spring Break, because, this week, the Upper East Side is collectively suffering from a bad case of Irish Fever.

All of the episode’s revelations (and, hoo boy, there are a lot of them) emerge while our troop of merry morons is cooped up at the van der Woodsen penthouse for the surprise-Irish surprise-wake of Grandma Cece Rhodes, who died last week surrounded by the family she hated.

The wake, which was somehow completely arranged, catered, set up, and raging in the living room of Lily’s home without her noticing, is but the first in a long line of rigor-mortised middle fingers Cece throws in the faces of her children post-mortem.

From the moment she opens her front door and sees the over-sized party tray that is her mother’s coffin dominating the apartment, Lily opts to cope, in true Irish fashion, by getting totally bombed. Little does she know: There aren’t enough redheaded sluts in the world to help her stumble through the horrible parade that will be the day’s events.

Crashing the wake (well, technically she was invited, back before everyone discovered she was a sociopathic con-artist) is Poison Ivy, the irritating rash of a character who only becomes further inflamed the more you try to scratch her out of existence. And because wakes are the new weddings (graveyards: this year’s hottest honeymoon destination), Ivy brings along as her “plus one” the universally despised Georgina Sparks. And this is how the secrets come tumbling out.

In order that GossipGeorgina might focus all her bad juju vibes on ruining a private family memorial service, she leaves her daily blogging duties in the incapable hands of her husband, Phillip.

Phillip, a 1950s department store mannequin come to life, but only barely; Phillip, the most wooden character on a show where basically everyone is a picture of a beautifully symmetrical human face taped to a Popsicle stick; Phillip, a man so lacking in complexity that he exists not as a two-dimensional or even one-dimensional representation of a human, but rather simply as a point in mathematical space; Phillip is the one who takes the EpiPen of a plot device and stabs it one hundred, no, one thousand times into the heart of this season’s storylines.

Things kick off when Phillip posts an “anonymous” Gossip Girl tip and—d’oh!—totally credits Chuck!

And then makes this ghastly face!

Within seconds, the blast, regarding Dan’s starring role in Blair’s Wedding: The Ruining, has made its way around the wake. Everyone is angry with everyone. Everyone can’t believe you would do such a thing, how could you. Everyone is sporting tacky exposed-zipper dresses at this most formal of occasions.

Also present at the ceremony is Lola, the Upper East Side’s most dangerous game. This time, the person stalking her is her cousin Serena, who is convinced that the recent death of a crotchety old woman Lola had never met will move her to take an interest in her horrible new family. Lola, for her part, does her usual, tired song and dance of “I’m not like you people / I can’t stand you people / I can’t understand you people / I wish I knew how to quit you people” and is on the verge of threatening to maybemaybemaybe bail for the eighth time when in strolls Boston’s finest: Jack Donaghy.

Or, rather, Billy Baldwin doing his best impression of Jack Donaghy, as William van der Woodsen, Serena’s father and Lily’s ex. He’s here to execute Cece’s will and, hopefully—for the good of mankind—ninety percent of the party guests as well.

Early on in the will-reading, it seems her mother’s death has wrought nothing but benefits for Lily: a new collection of Faberge eggs, an assortment of early British watercolors, a renewed sense of smug superiority with regard to her tragic she-devil sister, Carol.

Then, Jack Donaghy, or rather, Cece Rhodes via Jack Donaghy, drops the bomb: Virtually all of the matriarch’s estate, the very penthouse in which they sit included, has been left to Poison Ivy. Not “Charlie Rhodes,” which would, after last week’s revelations, indicate Lola. Nope. It says right there on the page: Poison “Ivy Dickens.”

Naturally, Cece’s family screams out a collective “Oh hell no!” at this news, though there’s nothing they can do about it for the time being.

As a great last hurrah, we are treated to a hilarious scene in which Poison Ivy demands, literally over Cece’s dead body, that Lily and Rufus vacate “her” apartment at once.

And, with that, Gossip Girl the blog and Gossip Girl the show take a month-long vacation until Monday, April 2.


Elsewhere in the episode:

– Blair’s stepfather Cyrus believes he may be able to get her out of her prenuptial agreement. Unfortunately, Blair’s conniving royal minder, whom we would all hate the way we’re supposed to if she had had more than four minutes of total screen time spread out across three episodes, steps in and sabotages the plans, ruining the Waldorfs' finances while she’s at it. Don’t worry, though; Georgina’s got her own plan for dealing with the royals.

– Carol Rhodes reveals that Lola’s father is none other than William van der Woodsen, making her daughter not only Serena’s cousin, but her half-sister as well. Sadly for Lola, being revealed as a main character’s sibling is often the kiss of death on Gossip Girl. (See: Eric; Jenny; Rufus and Lily’s son, Scott.)

– Eric update! He’s in the Democratic Republic of Congo, not in the fitting rooms at the Republic of Banana, as previously believed.

– The very best exchange:

Serena: I know what your mom thinks about us. How all we care about is money...
Lola: ... And the things you can buy.

As opposed to caring about money in the literal sense of appreciating the beauty of green paper rectangles, shiny round coins, and white and purple quahog wampum beads? Come on, girl—why did you have to interject with that?


QUESTIONS:

– So what exactly is up with Grandma Cece leaving all her swag to Poison Ivy? She can’t have known her secret identity, as Ivy claimed she did, right? Could it be that she thought Carol had legally changed her granddaughter’s name to Ivy Dickens?

– Is Georgina out of the Gossip Girl game for good? What’s Serena going to do with that Laptop Full of Secrets?

– Was anyone else surprised to discover the flaxen-haired Norse demigods of the house of van der Woodsen are, in fact, Irish?

Comments (20)
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Did you see how Rufus lit up when he got to say the "yeah, we do"-line about having another apartment. I am guessing it must be the greatest thing ever for him to have company back in his old place. Maybe that will keep him going for a while... Also: "Where are we supposed to go? It's not like we have another apartment in the city." Really? Seriously? I would imagine that's exactly what these people have. Like several. Second, did Lily just forget that her husband still owns a place? I guess they rarely talk these days.
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I love this show just a little too much given that I am a fully grown man and that there is absolutely no redeeming value to any of the characters or their storylines. That said, Irish?? Seriously? Though I do love Irish tuneage. I do love the Blair-Dan thing, though. Now all we need is Serena to hook up with Chuck, and I think that completes the every-main-character-has-slept-with-every-other-main-character circle. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
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I personally loved it when Serena told her dad that the Democratic Republic of Congo was no longer called that... Oh Serena, you did it again!
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So this season was actually very good until this episode. Dan and Blair need to end next episode and she just needs to pick chuck because the whole back and forth between chuck and blair is annoying.

Regardless of how Ivy got Cece to leave her everything (even thought from Cece's last appearance she was getting along with her kids), how was the Penthouse Cece's? Lilly moved into the Penthouse with Bart. Any reasonable person would assume that Bart bought the place when he and Lilly got married. Besides the fact that Lilly has on numerous occasions kicked Cece out of the Penthouse. Now all of a sudden Cece owns the Penthouse just so that Ivy can throw Lily and Rufus out?

I get why Lilly is mad that Ivy got all of Cece's money and whatnot, but it's not exactly like Lilly is hurting for money after all of her divorces, her Rhodes trust fund, not to mention owning 20% of bass industries.

Only thing that is making me mad this season is Nate's story line. He's 20 and a junior in college and all of a sudden he dropped out? and owns a newspaper? WTF? (Not to mention that none of them seem to be in college this season). Back to Nate, the whole thing with his cousin trying to kill him is just odd. After the accident Jack called Diana to tell her about the accident and I was expecting her to return as well as Jack, but apparently not. That whole story line makes no sense. Why is he calling Diana to tell her about Chuck's accident unless one of them was behind it? Obviously Diana knew Jack and Bart (because of the pic she burned from Bart file that one episode). Is she gonna end up being Chuck's Mother? I hope they bring her and Jack back for the last few episodes of the season so we can all figure out what the hell is going on with that. Especially since Diana left town a little too easily.
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is it just me or is phillip just a younger version of rufus? I mean they look alike, wear the same horrible jumpers and no use in the show.

Also you've completely failed to mention the whole plot line with blair, dan and chuck. You did this last week as well, I mean you don't have to like it but I would've thought you'd at least mock it as much as you do with serena and co. Last week you spent paragraphs rightly mocking rufus but blair gets no mention?
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... People still watch GG? Man, I quit on that show midway through last season.



The pointlessness that a lot of people are talking about here, well I felt it big time when Chuck p*ssied-out of his marriage to that French girl for no apparent reason. The show introduced a kinda interesting storyline just to go 'MULLIGAN!' on it 2 episodes later... so weak.



Seriously, GG should have been gone a long time ago... but, since it's on the CW, I actually do not expect it to disappear until 2018. And that's a conservative estimation.
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This show is getting to be pointless. I am officially quitting this show. Dan and Chair are not compatible. Serena and the real Charlie are 1/2 siblings. Please end this show now. I feel bad for the actors having to work with bad materials.
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If 6th season is going to be the last season, then I think this episode did fine. Sure it kind of progresses the same air of backstabbing and conniving and while having some resolution, it also bring up new secrets and lies. The most important thing i think this episode did is lay the ground work for the ending by having Blair and Lonely Boy getting together. Otherwise, you have the whole tension between Blair and Chuck that got old two season ago and Gossip Girl trumps up enough shallow values that they don't need the "Good Guy" to lose... again...
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I loved how much of a complete idiot Phillip was and he is 10 times more entertaining than anything else going on on GG. Does it not make anyone else gag when Dan and Blair get together, I want to stop watching because of it but I can't stop watching knowing they are still together either!
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at this point even if B & C end up together (which will only happen as a last ditch attempt to please fans) who cares.... after all the twists and turns they've tried to do... the notion that they can sell this romance has been long lost! ive lost count of how many times they've declared their love and then gone back on it and the lies and bakstabbing its all so freakin old
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Reading this recap made me realise that maybe I didn't quit this show quite in time, I am glad to have missed this one. These days I only care about how Blair's story will wrap up - I can't even bring myself to love hating Ivy, I just hate her.

CeCe is quite a righteous b-, so I would not put it past her that she knew all along about Ivy, although considering the Van der Woodsen are losing their appartment, Ivy could have scammed the whole will.
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about the money comment... I found your review very much in the spirt of gossip girl... she said "the things you can buy" to emphasize the materialistic aspect.. DUH!!!



"the beauty of green paper rectangles, shiny round coins," . WHAT?!?! oh boy .. you know money serves other purposes specially to those who dont have it... like providing financial security, helping others, paying for college, giving to charity.. money is not for just BUYING THINGS !!! what the hell? you've been watching way too much gossip girl... the show long with these reviews are getting increasingly pointless!
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Well said!!
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this show just keeps getting more and more ridiculous... end this crap already! i love how carol just reveals THE BIG SECRET while casually sitting at the bar with everyone (and georgina) around them... these writers are terrible... sick of these insipid, vapid characters
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Hum you know you can just stop watching it right?
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I feel the same way about GG its like a horrible addaiction and I honestly cannot stop watching no matter how much I hate it! (not trying to be dramatic but its true!)
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Hum you know you can provide some counterpoints to actually defend the show right?
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Well for me it's pretty simple, if you think a show is crap and you're sick of its characters then you just stop watching. Otherwise you stop complaining. But that's just me I guess.
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you bet its just you... just take a long look at the comments on this board!
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i miss eric and jenny on gossip girl! although i wouldnt say that lola being revealed as serena;s half sis is the "kiss of death" because jenny and eric were a part of the show for three/four years. and without them, (and as close as gossip girl ever had to sanity) the show is hurting very very badly
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