There’s more scheming and more lies coming this season of “Gossip Girl.” In last night’s episode ‘Beauty and the Feast,’ the villain was introduced, and she’s already stirring up some drama. Serena is still in Los Angeles, spending time with her non-cousin Charlie/Ivy, seeing past all her shadiness. Dan brings the laughs when he reconnects with Chuck, who’s twice found in a back alley. And, Blair reveals some life-changing news that’s going to make Season 5 of “Gossip Girl” one to remember.

The Players:

Episode: “Yes, Then Zero”

Nate reconnects unexpectedly with Diana (Elizabeth Hurley), who offers him an exciting opportunity. Serena forces Charlie to decide which world she wants to embrace. Dan seeks out Chuck’s help to stop the publication of his book, but discovers it is Chuck who needs the help. Blair’s future sister-in-law, Beatrice, arrives from Monaco, but her motives with Blair may be more than just to get acquainted.

The Good:

  • Typical Serena: Oh Serena, always so oblivious to everything around you. Serena meets up with Charlie/Ivy. She’s eager to make catch up, but she’s totally unaware that Charlie isn’t really her cousin. We don’t blame her. Charlie had us all fooled when we first met her. Still, Serena is so unsuspecting of Charlie’s shady behavior. The girl can’t take a hint. It’s a character flaw Serena can’t seem to shake.
  • Blair’s Morning Sickness (SPOILER!): This isn’t much of a surprise (or spoiler), but let’s get it out there – Blair Waldorf is pregnant. During last week’s premiere episode, it was exhausted that Blair was with child, but it was never really confirmed. Now that the news is out, Blair has to play the part. Right now, she’s going through the morning sickness phase and everything (food, perfume) gets her to purge. Her facial expressions are hilarious. And eventually her morning sickness gets her into a bit of trouble.
  • Dan and Chuck: It turns out Chuck isn’t seeking thrill and adventure, he’s in search of pain. He’s numb. He can’t feel anything anymore and all of his actions are attempts to feel pain. This time he resorts to back alley fights, but Dan steps in to save the day (not that Chuck wants him to). Chuck and Dan have always had a strange relationship. They’ve never called each other friends, but they have been there for each other. In last night’s episode, Dan comes to Chuck for some help with his book-publishing dilemma, but finds out that Chuck is the one in need of help. Dan offers to help, but like always, Chuck refuses by making jokes about Dan’s relationship with Serena.
  • Dan and Blair: Does Dan just bring out the best in people or what? Dan and Blair (or Dair) are back to being friends (it’s purely platonic). These two have a very strong and special bond right now. Dan is Blair’s shoulder to lean on, her confidant. He keeps her grounded. They share a touching scene at the end where Dan tells her, “You’ll always have me.” It’s very cheesy, but cute.

The Bad

  • Blair’s Sister-in-Law Beatrice: Prince Louis sister comes to visit. She comes to the Upper East Side to meet Blair, but she’s also got other plans. Basically, Beatrice is this season’s villain. Her plans are to sabotage Blair and Louis. Even during this episode, she tries to wreck the royal relationship by telling Louis that Blair is bulimic. So far, she’s not making a very good villain. She’s not making a good impression with anyone, and even though she says it a couple of times, it’s unclear what she wants.
  • Nate and Diana: Nate has become such a boring character over the years. He’s nothing more than a good looking sidekick now. Still, the writers keep him around, but only to feature him in steamy sex scenes. Seriously, all we’ve seen him do is have sex. During last night’s episode he’s on the hunt for the cougar he met in Los Angeles (Elizabeth Hurley). Eventually, he finds her. No offense to Ms. Hurley, but this storyline seems to be going no where.
  • Charlie/Ivy Leaves Los Angeles (SPOILER!): It’s hard to believe that a schemer like Charlie can’t figure out a way to get rid of Serena. It’s even harder to believe that Charlie would agree to live with Serena and dump her lovely boyfriend. And even harder to believe is that she would move back to New York with Serena, at the snap of a finger. We get that Charlie is a part of the show now, but there were too many plot holes in this storyline. Also, when the woman you love tells you she’s leaving you, you don’t just stand there, you chase her out the house to see where she’s going, right? The “Gossip Girl” writers made some serious mistakes.

Overall:

There were a few horrible, eye-rolling moments, but that’s “Gossip Girl.” If you’re a fan, those moments don’t matter because the characters are what’s important.

Rating: 7/10

Watch “Gossip Girl” Monday nights at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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What did you think of last night’s episode?