Television Review: Gossip Girl, "The Age of Dissonance"
by R.J. Carter
Published: March 16, 2009
Everything new is old again as we rejoin our trendy creme de la creme high schoolers as they put together the senior class play, "The Age of Innocence." It's a scandalous period piece, and if there's one thing our players know first-hand, it's scandal.
Bringing up the rear of the drama is Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick), who's normally right out in front of things. These days, sly Chuck is found in the untenable position of wanting to help someone -- a girl, of course -- who may have fallen on the wrong side of a secret society to which Chuck's father seems to have been a member. Does danger lurk in the shadows? Is intrigue about to take a deadly turn? Maybe, but this particular little drama seems more like a tempest in a teapot compared to Chuck's previous adventures.
Serena (Blake Lively) is crushing on the play's effete director, Julian (Harmon Walsh). Unfortunately, photo-maven Vanessa (Jessica Szohr) has more in common with the classic film-buff than does Serena. However, Serena has a plan that she's sure will work, with Vanessa's help. Ever seen "Cyrano?" Ah, but that's just the first domino that sends Vanessa's boyfriend Nate (Chace Crawford) into a freefall of jealousy that boils over at the most inappropriate moment.
Blair (Leighton Meester) has her own issues (when doesn't she?) to deal with, as she finds a sudden kinship with her tortured character in the play as the rug is yanked out from beneath her life's plans twice by a mysterious person who seems to know all her secrets -- or, at least, her more recent ones. Of course this drives another wedge between S and B, even as B's elementary level detective work leads her to cast her scorn on beleaguered Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley).
Dan seems to have taken a page from Nate's book, by the way, and that book would seemingly be titled "Sex and the Older Woman." Although Dan's flame isn't particularly that much older, Rachel (Laura Breckenridge) has another strike against her that makes the relationship all the more taboo: she's a teacher! Having already been outed to the community at large, will Dan and Rachel stay apart, or will they come up with a clandestine way to strike more sparks? Well, this is Gossip Girl after all -- what do you think?
Gossip Girl, "The Age of Dissonance" airs Monday night, March 16 on the CW, 8pm / 7pm CT.