Gossip Girl Season 1 Episode 3 Review: Lies Wide Shut

Television

We’re finally getting somewhere!

Gossip Girl (2021) Season 1 Episode 3 was a marked improvement from the first two episodes of the reboot, complete with character development, shocks, and some good old consequences.

We’ll start with the teachers, who are probably the most problematic characters on TV at this stage. It was inevitable the school would want to smoke out the person behind the account, so extreme measures were necessary to keep up the ruse.

Kate and the other two knew fine well that Reema wouldn’t be able to resist posting the scoop. In their quest to make people take accountability, they’ve gotten the person least involved in the plot fired and probably barred from teaching students in her life.

I’m struggling with whether that’s bad writing or just three people realizing they can mess with the lives of the many for their own satisfaction.

There was growth for Kate on Gossip Girl (2021) Season 1 Episode 2 when she deleted the photo, but this latest act has propelled the three remaining teachers at the wheel of the account to full villain status.

Rafa is not my favorite character, but the fact they were prepared for him to take the fall for the account when he had nothing to do with it was very telling. It’s a shame Reema didn’t recognize she was ultimately used as the fall guy.

I’m unsure why she allowed the other three to get off with it when she was so very clearly set up. Might there be a big hook down the line in which it’s revealed she confessed and that the school is waiting to strike when it has enough evidence against Kate and her minions?

Luna: Is this an amber alert?
Woman: Your phone is ringing.

It would make more sense. On top of that, Reema’s career has been dunked by this insanity, so it’s hard to believe she would allow the trio to continue with their sordid plans.

Widening the scope of Gossip Girl to put every school in New York under surveillance is not a bad idea, but it could make the concept of the show more complicated than it needs to be.

Yes, some of the teens are horrible here and shouldn’t be followed, but unless any of the characters are headed to another school, do we really need to follow them?

It would be easier to believe if this series was billed as an anthology to move to a new location every season. There has to come a point the power is usurped by someone omniscient figure that refocuses on the teens we kicked off Gossip Girl (2021) Season 1 Episode 1 with.

As things stand, Kate and her minions need to go. They’re adversaries, and there’s no chance I’d ever be able to think of them otherwise.

Max’s plan to mess with Rafa was a typical Max move. He likes to start fires and then sit back and watch the world burn. He’s the best type of character because he has no qualms about ruining lives.

Using Aki to pose as Rafa was out there, but if the show wants to shine a light on what people are doing on their phones, it works.

There have obviously been issues in Max’s parent’s relationship for some time, and it’s not uncommon. If they were together 20 years, some relationships become stale because of a wide array of factors.

If he’s not going to fuck me, I’m going to fuck with him.

Max

Now that Max has made his big power play, he’s actually helped them recognize there is an issue in the relationship that is not salvageable.

Something tells me Max is going to continue to self-destruct in the coming episodes. His pursuit of Rafa has been concerning, but at least Rafa was there when he needed him the most.

As long as this stays strictly platonic, I might be able to get on board with Rafa helping Max work through his issues. This being Gossip Girl, I don’t suspect that will last for long.

Max may have finally pushed Aki and Audrey away from him, and that’s a cause for concern.

Audrey and Aki also have deeply rooted issues in their relationship, and if they don’t confront them soon, they won’t stand the test of time. The chaos surrounding them as they each thought the blind item on Gossip Girl was perfect and highlighted just how well Gossip Girl thrives when rumors are being spread about the characters.

Zoya turning to Luna was the biggest mistake she could ever make, but Luna is the type of character who will go wherever the power does, so it was right on-brand for her to entertain the possibility of giving Little Z a glow-up of epic proportions.

Zoya was naive to think Luna wouldn’t use anything she told her against her because the bomb surrounding Z and Nick residing in the grandmother’s rent-controlled apartment is going to come back to bite them faster than you can say “XOXO, Gossip Girl.”

Having the two sisters stop the fighting has actually made me enjoy the series more, but with Luna and Mona scheming to drive a wedge between them, it will be fun to see how Julien reacts to her friends acting like reality TV producers.

Kate: We need a fall guy.
Rebecca: What about a fall gay?

Julien’s scheming to find out what her father was hiding was perfectly executed. Julien is a multi-layered character that people wrongly associate as being a villain, and I appreciate the writers making her be understanding her father’s relationship with Lola.

Transparency matters, and if Davis is lying to his daughter, how will she ever be able to trust anything he says?

Lola being a singer-songwriter is mildly concerning because it makes me think she could be wanting to go public with Davis because of what it could do for her career.

On top of that, I don’t believe Lola didn’t know who Julien was at the bar. Surely she’d have searched everything there is to know about his life when they first got together.

Julien is an influencer, and with her being a regular on Daily Mail, her likeness will be everywhere.

“Lies Wide Shut” was the first time I thought the series could be a worthy successor to the original series. Setting itself apart is the best foot forward, and if we could get rid of the pesky teachers, the show would be much better for it.

What are your thoughts on Reema’s firing?

Are you tired of Kate’s scheming?

What are your thoughts on Lola?

Catch a new episode of Gossip Girl Thursdays on HBO Max.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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