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Gossip Girl – Season 6 Episode 5 – Recap and Review – Monstrous Ball

What would the final season of Gossip Girl be without forcing a bunch of twenty-somethings to endure another cotillion ceremony? “Monstrous Ball” brought the nostalgia. Why were they so excited to go to another one of these awful debutante balls? They always end up humiliated by the end of them! I’m so glad Cablevision struck a deal with Pix11!

Chair fans… look:

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The episode opened with Blair (Leighton Meester) preparing some hack she found on the street for the debutante “coming out” ball better known as cotillion. In an attempt to regain her fashion credibility after Sage live stripped at her show, Blair fitted the poor girl in what Dan (Penn Badgley) described as what old ladies wore to school. He suggested embracing her provocative side.

Blair: “Don’t let her touch anything.”

Georgina Sparks (Michelle Trachtenberg) arrived just in time to put some pressure on Dan, who’d been dodging her since shacking up with B. Apparently living in Serena’s bedroom has sapped his work ethic and rendered him a diva. That, or he’s avoiding publishing his piece on Blair. After Georgina left the Waldorf’s, Dorota ran to Dan upset that Blair had left her “lucky charm” necklace a.k.a. her engagement ring. Would Dorota really think to enlist Dan’s help on that one? Realizing she’d screwed up, Dorota scurried away and left Dan to call Vanity Fair. It was time to publish his piece on Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick)!

Sage hates Serena (Blake Lively) again! When did that happen? Can we just nip this Sage/ Stephen storyline in the bud already? This is the final season, and we don’t need any new characters! Gossip Girl herself is growing tired with the cast that actually matters. Sage was preparing for her cotillion. Stephen (Matt Camden Barry Watson) hadn’t talked to his much younger girlfriend, Serena, much over the past week. He hadn’t even thought to invite her to Sage’s ball, until she made things awkward.

Sage was no more thrilled to see Blair, though. Blair had offered her services as a designer to Sage, who was set on wearing vintage flown in from Paris. You know, slang for old used clothes. She turned down Blair after reading that her line got a skanky review.

What could possibly change Sage’s mind? After drawing a blank as to why Stephen had been avoiding her, Serena ran to Nate (Chace Crawford). Nate accidentally suggested snooping through Stephen’s phone and emails. Serena, of course, took it seriously because she never really left high school. After doing some detective work, Serena stumbled upon a massive engagement ring in Stephen’s laptop case. Did anyone else find it ridiculous that the man hid the ring case there; in an open laptop case sporting a massive mountainous bulge? He’s the one who gets mad at our Upper East Side buddies for acting like babies, and that was the worst hiding place ever. Sage found the ring, too. Needless to say, she spiraled into a panic and called the one person she knew could take down Serena Van Der Woodsen. Guess who?

Nate also spent some time helping Chuck figure out how to nail Bart Bass to a cross. Maybe The Captain’s blood does run through Archie’s veins because Nate was quick to suggest digging through Bart’s personal accounts and not worrying so much about how accurate Chuck’s data ended up being. Fudging financial records… No big! This is Gossip Girl. Remember when Nate was a gigolo?

Meanwhile, Ivy Dickens (Kaylee Defer) needed to think fast as her plan to ruin Lily’s life had stalled following Rufus’ purging of belongings last episode. Lucky for her, she happened to catch Chuck confronting Lily on the street about joining forces. After Lily refused to link with Chuck in destroying her husband, Ivy offered her services instead. Chuck sneered his signature sneer and walked away. Ivy isn’t a sociopath but she’s cool with breaking and entering. Ah, the fine line between actress and con artist!

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After convincing Chuck to listen, Ivy suggested a pretty stellar plan to stage a fake post-plotting scene in Lily’s apartment. Chuck can’t access it himself, but Ivy still has a keycard to the building. She offered to break in and plant props that suggested Chuck and Lily had secretly met. She planted a copy of Bart’s will, sprayed Chuck’s cologne… she even had time to booze it up! Bart, however, arrived home early, leaving Ivy looking like a cute little scheming deer caught in the headlights of an awful business tycoon’s limo. Ivy is a pretty good actress. Her “maid’s daughter” improv session worked on Bart fine enough. She knew just where to glance and what to touch to make Bart question why Lily would hire her to “clean up.” Job well done, Ivy! Lola gets her own NBC show, and all you get is this lousy family fortune from a family that isn’t yours.

Stephen could care less that his daughter was incredibly uncomfortable with the idea of him marrying a much younger woman after such a short amount of time. Sage had no choice (Lots of choices, but no other choice for a Gossip Girl character) but to team up with Blair to take down Serena. At her studio, Blair agreed to do her part to stall the engagement, but not to ruin Serena’s life. Sage isn’t such a master manipulator on her own, is she? Well, we’ll see. In return for her help, Sage agreed to wear a more provocative dress designed by Blair to garner her positive exposure.

Dan also stopped by Blair’s studio to bring over some coffee. They mostly chatted about the Chuck chapter he’d just published. Blair’s old minion, old as in old-age, loved the writing. Blair was immediately concerned, until she heard that her name was absent entirely, to which she reacted with a mix of shock and befuddlement. Dan chose to focus on the war between Chuck and his father. Allegedly, Chuck came off like a superhero.

Serena sat down with Lily to talk her impending engagement. Lily seemed hesitant, yet supportive. Lily and Sage seemed to be on the same page with regards to the time frame of the relationship and how young Serena is. Haven’t you heard? Her plot this season is that she’s a real live grown-up, Lily! Lily hinted that she’d like to see Serena end up with Dan now that Rufus is out of the picture, but gave her blessing. Shortly afterwards, Lily was set to meet with Stephen for lunch. Prior to that, Blair called Lily to plant some seeds. Apparently, if Blair even hints at Serena needing rescuing, Lily pulls the plug on the situation. Remember when she sent that guy to jail for a few years over nothing? Also, Blair listed off a whole bunch of Serena’s past male mistakes, and I recognized maybe half of the names. Sage was responsible for the “backup plan.”

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Dan agreed to escort Blair to cotillion, just as Serena received a text from Stephen uninviting her. The text came coupled with a Gossip Girl blast featuring Stephen apparently returning her engagement ring.

The sh*t hit the fan at the debutante ball, as things usually do when this awful high society “coming out” party goes down on this show. Georgina confronted Dan about neglecting to send her his piece on Blair. In an attempt to stop him from fawning over Waldorf, Georgina threatened exposing his sex-tape with Serena. Blair, apparently, doesn’t know Dan and Serena slept together while she was deciding between Dan and Chuck. Georgina uses the tape as porn! She loves Gossip Girl so much. Too bad, that little troll Sage stole Georgina’s Lady Gaga phone before she knew it.

Just when Dair fans thought they’d have one nice moment, Chuck Bass showed up Adele-style; out of the blue, uninvited. More so, he was “unexpected” to Blair and “uninvited” to Dan. He was really just there to witness Bart confronting Lily regarding his setup in hopes that Lily would see how aggressive Bart is. Did he really think he’d come out looking like a winner in this situation? The only one who truly won was Ivy… for a time.

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Serena showed up around this time. A blonde bombshell ready to detonate, as usual, Serena confronted Lily regarding how she ruined her engagement. Apparently, Lily didn’t actually give Stephen her true blessing. She expressed her woes and cited Blair’s call as an example.

Lily: “You don’t have boyfriends, you have life rafts.”

Serena: “That you keep taking from me and leaving me to drown!”

I mean, doesn’t that say it all. That says absolutely everything about Serena’s arc over five and a half seasons. Five episodes left… fix this, Serena! It wasn’t Lily who was responsible for the blast and text, though. Sage had her father resize a ring of hers and “borrowed” his phone to text Serena. It looked as though he was calling off the proposal, but he wasn’t planning on it.

Long story short, Chuck’s plan blew up in his face, as predicted. Lily realized Ivy was a part of the scheme. The housekeeper’s daughter is four. Bart was smug; playing the single parent card and gloating about how marriage overrides Chuck’s adoption by Lily. Can he die for real by the finale? Thus, Lily wouldn’t back Chuck.

As always with regards to cotillion, once the ceremony commenced everything went haywire. Sage took off what I first assumed was Blair’s design, an ill-fitting, lilac, bedazzled smock and revealed a hot dress. The only issue was the sex tape Sage streamed in the background while she strutted her stuff. Again, in taking down Serena and side-swiping Blair in the process, she’s making herself look like a slut.

Blair had just made nice with Serena, explaining that the ploy was merely to delay the engagement to make right what was wronged by Serena’s antics at her fashion show. She also warned her about how Sage was ready to go off the rails prior to the tape airing. Blair actually fully supports Serena’s relationship and is incredibly excited for her. Serena understood entirely. Blair is going to be a bridesmaid! BFF again! Right? Wrong. A sex-tape featuring Dan and Serena on the same bar Serena had seduced Nate on turned Blair off for good. Two boyfriends, both seduced by her best friend maliciously.

The tape played to the crowd’s delight. Blair slapped Dan, Serena attempted to convince Stephen that this was Sage’s doing, and Georgina commended Sage by offering her a future position as a henchman.  Once Nate caught wind that Sage was behind the scandal, he left her on the dance floor. Hopefully, he left her for good. Having said that, I had no sympathy for him regarding his “this is too high school for me” excuse. She’s seventeen, and you run a publication. Dan reminded Blair that the feud between Chuck and his father is like ancient myth. In that, the fighting will go on forever. She will be waiting forever. Blair claimed she’d rather be alone than with Dan. She made the right choice for her.

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In the aftermath, Stephen called Serena to break things off. Dan was there to cushion the fall with diner burgers, fries, shakes, now I’m hungry, etc. Chemisty sensed? This is what they should be doing for the final season. Eliminate the side stories.

Rufus realized that a piece of art sold by the gallery which ended up paying for renovations was actually purchased by Ivy, who he believed was broke. She explained the situation with Lola, but not that she’s working to destroy Lily, of course. Just that Lola gave her back the portion of the estate CeCe fairly left to her. Rufus suddenly felt at ease. Vacation, all he ever wanted.

Blair ran to Chuck’s hotel, expecting his feud with Bart to be over after his latest ploy. Unfortunately for her, she’d be waiting longer. Good things come to those who wait? You have five episodes, Bass! Get your act together! Lastly, Ivy spoke with Chuck on the phone and the two realized that another secret is in Bart’s apartment. Ivy noticed him favoring an envelope. Bart confessed his oil dealings to Lily, but claimed no one was hurt. Lies, Bart! Lies!

Finally, Dorota called Blair home with good news and bad news. The good news; buyers are interested in Blair’s sexy design. The bad news; Eleanor Waldorf is not.

Hey, Chair fans. Look again:

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What did you all think of the episode? With five episodes left, can the series end on a high note? Who do you want to see end up together? Were you happy to see Ivy in a more flattering light this week? Do you think we’ve seen the last of Stephen and Sage? (Hope so). How many burgers can one Serena eat?

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