Chuck & Blair – An Analysis Part 6

            So what does the future hold for Blair and Chuck? One of two things, the pattern continues. No matter what happens, another love declaration, another reunion, even if he gets a ring on Blair’s finger their relationship will never change, it’s too engrained now. So Chuck and Blair can’t change? They absolutely can, but that doesn’t mean that they should be together. If Chuck once again becomes ‘good’ and the type of man Blair’s ‘always’ wanted and if Blair finds herself, that’s great. But if they get back together, they will regress, they feed on each other’s worse attributes, I’ve already said this. It will start out small, Blair will make a small sacrifice for Chuck, Chuck will start to crave control in the relationship. It may take a long time considering how long they change, but it will happen. Not to mention that for Chuck and Blair to actually change that much, this would take years and this show just doesn’t have time. And surely the biggest change that could prove it’s genuine this time would be them not actually want to be with each other anymore? Even if the show ends with Chuck and Blair as endgame and happily married, it simply won’t last. So what’s the other outcome? Chuck and Blair actually grow and move on, Blair will take a long time to change and it’s nothing something she can actually do, or something someone can do for her, she just needs to be able to recognise when she’s acting masochistically and not do those things. Not view other people’s problems as her own, not make unnecessary sacrifices for other people, not let people treat her like an object, not make decisions that will bring her pain. Chuck would be in for an even tougher journey, one impossible without therapy and someone actually realizing themselves and getting him to recognise that he is a narcissist. Blair may have enabled him, but not being with her won’t fix her, he unwittingly gravitates towards people who will give him the emotional feed that he needs and that is exactly what won’t help. Giving people with emotional problems and personality disorder love and support may help a lot of people get through their problems, but with narcissists it does not at all. Love may fix a lot of things, but this just will not help at all in this case, read any book on the subject, find any website, ask any psychologist, love will not help. Either way, there is no happy ending for Chuck and Blair, they have a chance of being happy and moving on separately, or they end up together but are eternally caught in their cycles and patterns, bringing them unhappiness that are only sporadically broken up by their ‘honeymoon’ parts of the cycle.

            Most likely without meaning to, the writers have perfectly portrayed narcissistic abuse in a relationship and the patterns that emerge in it. So why does it matter? Simply put, if Chuck and Blair end up together it’s a bad example. I’ve seen this been argued by the fact that there are plenty of examples of things you shouldn’t do in television and that anybody that young to be influenced by this show shouldn’t be watching. It’s really not that simple, I’ve studied media and you don’t just take away from a TV show or film what’s obvious. It’s subliminal, assuming that most the people who have read this whole thing (if anyone has) are young females, like the show is aimed at, let me ask you if you’ve ever brought an outfit similar to one worn by Blair or Serena? With or without realising? Has the show has influenced your style in any way? Have you ever copied a hairstyle? Have you ever copied one of the party themes from the show? Repeated a line from it? It’s sub-conscious. You can’t just say that no one should take life lesson from Gossip Girl, and you would be absolutely right, but that infers that people make the choice to, which they don’t. So why are Chuck and Blair so bad as opposed to when Dan slept with a teacher? Or when Nate whored himself out to Lady Catherine? Or when Serena had an affair with a married congressman? Because Chuck and Blair is not one storyline spread over two or three episodes, people have tuned in week after week for five years and been simultaneously show that their relationship is unhealthy, but that it is also ‘epic’ apparently. It’s been five years, do you really think that they may not have a subliminal effect on some people? I’m sure that plenty of damage has been down to far too many people out there already, but I still think it’s important that the writers acknowledge – in the show, not just in interviews – that Chuck and Blair are not healthy, that they won’t break the cycle and that they shouldn’t end up together. So that’s it, I think I sufficiently made my point that Chuck is a narcissist and Blair is a masochist and their relationship will never succeed. If you’ve read it all, virtual hugs! And maybe you learnt something interesting too, and if you take one thing away from this; never, ever get involved with a narcissist.

 

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Chuck & Blair – An Analysis Part 5

            Season four was pretty terrible, you’d think it would only be uphill from there right? Wrong! You know Chuck must be in real pain when he starts channelling the whiniest most pathetic teenage female in history; Bella Swan. Chuck starts putting himself in dangerous situations in an attempt to ‘feel again’. Apparently he doesn’t feel anything. Much like a psychopath. On no wait, I don’t think that’s what the writers were getting at. But either way there will be absolutely no sympathy from me. Blair’s busying herself with becoming a princess, maybe in attempt of avoiding something. She’s pregnant! Do you care? Neither does Blair, but don’t worry, it will turn out to be just as important as when Chuck got shot. Does the paternity issue intrigue you? No? Good, we’re on the same page, so let’s bypass the build-up and get to the lame climax; it’s Louis’s baby. Despite the miscarriage that occurs later in the season, Chuck cries over this baby more than anyone, sibling rivalry maybe? But hey at least he’s feeling again. Oh and Chuck gets a dog, this dog is way more cared about than Blair’s baby too. Another thing that causes more tears than Blair’s baby? Dan’s book – which also helps Chuck to feel. It makes him feel like he doesn’t want to be alone. I’ll admit it, Chuck is trying to change. There are few windows in a narcissists life where he has a chance to change, this may be Chuck’s. But what can I say, I’m sceptical. Chuck’s had his ‘good’ phases before where he’s ‘changed’ or ‘finally become the person Blair wants him to’. Luckily for me, I have enough self-respect to not allow my scepticism to cause me to get involved in an embarrassing seduction scheme. But we’re not there yet. If he wasn’t trying to bang his psychiatrist, I might be able to take his will to change more seriously. Banging her probably would have been just as helpful to Chuck as actually receiving therapy from her, as she fails to recognise that he is a narcissist. He is a narcissist! God damn it, stupid, stupid psychiatrist. Even for a TV psychiatrist she sucks. She recognises that he is deeply troubled, her skills of perception rivalling…..Chuck’s, who realizes he needs help. This very insightful pair are obviously going to go far in their therapy sessions. I don’t even want to comment on Blair during this stretch of episodes and it’s not important for Chuck and Blair’s relationship anyway, so…..Chuck’s in therapy, you would think that would be good, but she’s being paid by Louis to bring out his dark side. We see the return of that boomerang of an engagement ring, but this time he wants to get rid of it. He’s letting go of Blair, you see? Do you see? Do you get it? Has it happened enough times yet? Do you feel sorry for Chuck yet? Forgotten about those four years of mental abuse? And that instance of physical abuse? Has he made up for it yet? Do you forgive him yet? Me neither. Chuck stumbles across Louis and his psychiatrist lady in that secret dog park where he never walks his dog. I told you she was stupid. Anyway, Chuck figures out Louis was trying to manipulate him and exposes him, causing Blair and Louis to fight, Louis talks about choices and tells her that “Chuck will always be the wrong one”. Making the right choices is another theme that I’ve seen emerge this season, but this season hasn’t ended yet, so I don’t know where that’s going but thought it was worth taking note of. Blair says something smart (relish this, doesn’t happen a lot this season) and tells Louis that Chuck destroys things and will never change. After over four years, she gets it! Now with a brain like that she is more matched to being a princess than a powerful business woman. Oh hang on, apparently a thirty second apology makes up for four years of mental abuse and an instance physical abuse. Blair also adds that she hopes never giving up on people won’t be her downfall; Blair, dear, masochism never proves to be a good trait to have. Chuck tells she’s going to be an amazing mother, and he should know, she’s been his for the last few years. Chuck tells her he’s going to start taking care of himself though, he’s letting her go. Do you get it yet? Is that paired with an apology good enough? That’s right, it’s not even close. Oh and I can hear someone yelling at me through their computer screen that Chuck really has changed, that he may have been a narcissist anymore and clearly has changed because he apologised and narcissists don’t accept fault. Wrong! It is not uncommon for a narcissist to apologise when it will benefit them, like with everything else, they’re serving their own self-interest. Not to say Chuck’s intentions are bad, but he’s not apologising to Blair because he owes it to her or because he genuinely feels guilty, and I don’t think it’s because he’s trying to get Blair back – though he’d have to be an even bigger idiot than his psychiatrist to not see that it would screw with Blair’s head – he apologised so that he could move on. It wasn’t about Blair being able to move on, it wasn’t about Blair at all, it was about Chuck. Blair, maybe having learnt a lesson from the past (probably not) doubts that Chuck has changed. Chuck overdoes it for me, with the ducks and the charity, it’s far too much like when Eva changed him in the beginning of season four. It’s not real, it’s a phase and it will pass. Chuck is who he is, he’s good when it suits him, but when it’s stops suiting him, he reverts to form. And trust me, you will see this very soon. Maybe if he went to a real therapist…..oh no wait, that proves to be an even worse storyline. Blair wants to prove that Chuck is only pretending to be different, now to the people who have been complaining that they miss scheming Blair…..really? I personally get nothing but second-hand embarrassment from this storyline…..and pretty much their whole storyline this season. Chuck and Blair as a couple in fact is pretty embarrassing….wait, I’m going off topic. Chuck knows Blair is scheming and kisses her that she can believe that she was right and move on. He’s letting her go. Do you feel sorry for him yet? Do you buy that he’s changed yet? Even Nate says that’s the most selfless thing he’s ever done and thinks that Chuck has really changed, but Nate saw when Chuck physically assaulted her and is still best friends with him, so his opinion is invalid. Chuck spends the day with Dan and in an attempt to cheer him up buys him some female-shaped left hands. I’m talking about hookers, he’s still buying women, you think he’s changed? Chuck stops Dan from crashing Blair’s show and realizes that Dan is in love with her too, and Chuck informs him that Blair follows her heart and that they both lost. Again, I have to doubt this, she follows her heart about 35% of the time and the rest of the time finds excuses not to. Blair fights with Louis and tells him that they’re caught in a cycle….Blair! Why do you suffer from selective self-awareness? How can you be so smart but so stupid at the same time? Blair finds Chuck putting a blanket over Dan, apparently after the apology, the dog, the charity work, this is what finally proves to her that Chuck really has changed. Blair and Chuck going to therapy together! Finally! Someone who understands psychology and can tell them that they will never work, but that’s not what happens, oh God, Chuck really has bad taste in psychiatrists. The therapist basically just sits back quietly taking it all in, probably taking notes because he wants to write a book about narcissists in relationships (it was me). Blair wants to know how Chuck let her go, he tells her he got rid of her engagement ring and this upsets Blair. Patten. When Blair wants to let go of Chuck, he goes out of his way to push himself into her life and sabotage any other relationship she might form, when Chuck wants to let go of Blair, it brings back all her feelings of being unloved, Chuck’s the one who’s always meant to love her, in a lot of ways he’s her safety net, so when he’s moving on she panics. Blair realizes that she’s the one who brings out Chuck’s dark side, I saw a lot of people getting angry about this, but she did enable him. I’m not victim-blaming, as I don’t think it’s Blair’s fault, her personality type mixes with Chuck’s personality type and all they feed on each other’s worst qualities. That’s just how it goes. Blair’s back to thinking she’s an awful person though, low self-esteem and all that, not thinking that she deserves good things, you know, the same way that a masochist thinks. Blair becoming more and more of an insult to women with every episode that passes, wants Chuck back now that he’s moving on. All the time that she’s sure Chuck still wants her and is trying to get her back, she’s happy to be with Louis, the moment she might stop being his priority in life, she wants him back. This is called self-gratification. Not epic love. Sorry. In her own words In Blair’s own words – Chuck has finally become the person she wants him to be – she said this way back in 3.17 too, again, I find it interesting that Chuck has had to change to be with Blair, when in the early seasons, the characters, the show runners and the fans always said that Blair and Chuck were perfect together because they both have their dark sides. Now Chuck has to be good, doesn’t really make sense, but ok. Blair chooses Louis because he’s the father of her child – did you forget she was pregnant? Yeah, so did everyone else, after this episode you can forget about this baby forever, just like Blair does. But Blair, honey, this is the 21st century! You don’t have to marry the guy who knocks you up, but then again a dowry comes up in a few episodes I can blame her for being confused about what era she’s in. So she chooses Louis, no wait, she chooses Chuck, no wait, Chuck rejects her, she chooses Louis. At least Blair admits that she’s lost and Blair asks Chuck what the right choice is – I don’t really have anything to say about this, but it’s just that ‘choices’ thing coming up again. Oh and Blair just wanting to be happy comes up again, won’t comment. What I will comment on though is that Chuck is in control again, about ten minutes after he tells her to marry Louis, he decides to fight for her. Hey look, he’s not letting her go for once? Chuck makes another grand declaration about how much he loves her, now he’s worthy to raise Blair’s baby. They decide to spend the rest of their lives together and Blair wants to do this anywhere but New York, what’s the matter Blair, are you running out of reasons that you’re relationship with Chuck hasn’t worked before and now are going for geography? The limo crashes, some voiceover about fate, blah blah blah. Time jump.  It’s raining, Chuck and Louis happen to run into each other and make stilted conversation, is this one of Blair’s cheesy movie dreams? It may as well be the whole episode is a rip off of the end of the affair. Let’s go through this quickly shall we? Blair lost the baby and is avoiding Chuck, he’s desperate to find out why and comes to the conclusion that she’s having an affair with Dan. He then schemes to expose her supposed affair to humiliate her and…? What does he want out of this? Just to hurt her? It’s not like he’s never done anything just to hurt her before. Him being good last ten episodes! That’s a personal best, good job Chuck! Like I said earlier though, he’s good when it suits him, then when it doesn’t he changes, really that means he’s never good at all. Blair’s not having an affair with Dan, turns out she made a deal with God, promising to marry Louis and stay by his side for the rest of her life if he lets Chuck live. Basically she’s prepared to marry a man she doesn’t love and be unhappy for the rest of her live for Chuck….what’s the word for that? Masochism. But, I understand it, Chuck’s her only child now. She goes to him one last time and he asks her if she knows what he’s been putting her through. Aren’t you used to it yet? It’s all about Chuck, his pain, what he wants. He really is back on form now. Thank God I’m done talking about that episode, apparently he doesn’t just answer Blair Waldorf’s prayers. Blair really indulges in her own pain, goes to church everyday crying about her sacrifice and how much she loves Chuck, a girl does this and makes no effort to actually deal with her decision, she must love the pain. Chuck starts stalking her again, remember all those times he let her go? I guess it didn’t stick. He then gets his scheming on with a priest to get some alone time with Blair, when Blair gets arrested though he ducks out. Blair actually says something smart this episode, enjoy this, these moments are getting more and more rare; “there might be some loves that seem bigger than others, or more complicated, or harder to let go of, but there’s a reason they’re not meant to be”. Now if she could just realize that God isn’t the reason. Chuck isn’t done though, apparently he learned from Blair not to give up on the people he loves, Chuck, honey, masochism doesn’t suit you. Obsession is really getting old too. After one hundred episodes do you think anything will change? Let’s see, Chuck isn’t going to crash the wedding. He’s letting Blair go. Again. Oh damn, it didn’t stick. You’d think I’d see that coming? Another big declaration, that will fix things, that is what relationships should be built on. Blair loves him more and more every day. Apparently. Wait, what? What does he love about him? She loves him when he’s at his worst, then he’s good so she loves him more, than I get. He loves him more the day he sells her? The day he sleeps with Jenny Humphrey? The day he declares war on her? The day he physically assaults her? The days that she doesn’t even see him. What does she love about him? What is it? Her love is not about him at all, it’s about her. It’s love sprung from her insecurities, from her self-perception of who she is, it’s because of the ways that he has made her a weaker person because of all the things he’s done to her, it’s because of her deluded belief in what Chuck and Blair, Blair and Chuck is. She falls a bit more into her weaknesses every day, that’s what makes her thinks she loves him more. Chuck finds out about the God pact, can’t that storyline die already? Blair says that she knew once she saved her life, he would never stop trying to ruin hers. Maybe his repeated attempts to destroy her is what makes her love him more? Ok, I’ll drop that line now, because it’s stupid. Just like Blair thinking that it’s ok to marry a man that you don’t love, to trap him into an unhappy marriage because of a God pact to save the man you really love. Supposedly more and more every day. Ok, now I’m really moving on from that unfortunate choice of words. Blair marries Louis and quite frankly, gets what’s coming to her. She never once considered Louis in all this, what was fair to him, but hey she might actually love him now that he’s being a dick to her. More and more every day. I’m sorry, I clearly can’t let it go, it’s my Chuck. Blair runs away from Louis, not caring about the God pact anymore, hmm. Oh and where she runs to is significant too, or should I say who? It’s Dan, not Chuck. Blair wants a divorce and not once while she is trying to get out of the country is her God pact mentioned. Chuck is looking for her and when he finally finds her so does Louis’s mom. This is why Louis and Blair would never work out, he already has a mommy who fixes all his problems. Blah, blah, videotape, blah, blah dowry. Blair thinks Serena sent the tape and doesn’t blame Chuck at all, now they can start over, Chuck will pay the dowry. Blair doesn’t want Chuck to buy her freedom, I think each person would have a different response if they were in this situation, some would be ok with Chuck paying the dowry, some wouldn’t, and Blair’s not, so you just have to accept that. She tells him they need to be equals before they end up together. Haven’t we heard that before? Chuck doesn’t want her to be with Louis, blah, blah, this is how it has to be, blah, Blair walks away. So we’re left with, is it really about the dowry? First God, now the dowry, it’s like she just doesn’t want to be with Chuck. Hmmm. Either way, Blair takes responsibility for the situation she’s got herself in, and being the glutton for punishment that she is, is taking the hard way out. Strangely, she seems happier then she’s been in a while, even after an awkward run-in with Chuck. She ends up sharing a kiss with Dan and Chuck sees a picture. Jesus, this is just history repeating itself. Chuck finds out Dan and Blair kissed and plots revenge. He hooks up with Alessandra and attempts to sabotage Dan’s career. Pattern. How many has Chuck acted possessively and manipulated people to hurt them and get his own way? Yep, he’s really grown up in the last five years. That’s why Blair loves him more and more every day. She especially loves him this day, that she spends kissing Humphrey. Chuck, for some reason, takes all his aggression out on Dan, not Blair. Why? Maybe because Chuck could actually lose Blair to Dan. Blair realizes that she has feelings for Dan and calls Chuck to tell him to stop hurting Dan, and it sounds to me that she’s just saying what she needs to say to get Chuck to stop; “if you target him, you’ll only push us closer together”. Blair also tells him that he’s better than that. Pfft. Do you remember when he whored you out to his uncle? Why is Blair repeatedly shocked when Chuck does nasty things?  Chuck lets her go. Until he finds out Dan’s responsible for the tape being released at the wedding. Now, a normal person might tell Blair “hey, I think you don’t really know what kind of guy Dan is, he’s the one who sent the video into Gossip Girl, I don’t think he’s trustworthy” or something like that. Don’t be silly though, honest conversation just doesn’t even cross Chuck’s mind anymore. Scheming, manipulation, humiliation, you know, the usual. And apparently, selective memory too. He bides his time thinking Blair’s trapped for a year, but when he finds out Blair might actually be free to pursue a relationship….well that he just can’t allow. In fairness to Chuck, he doesn’t directly reveal the whole Dan/video issues, it’s actually down to a glitch on Gossip Girl. A glitch called Phillip, someone who I’d like to see interact with Nate. Back on subject, Blair berates Chuck and accuses him of being so scared she’ll find happiness with anyone but him that he’ll spread baseless lies. He tells her she’s right about his motives, but they’re not lies. Blair/happiness comes up again, and Chuck not caring about it. He shows no sympathy at all that she’s hurting, do you think she loves him more today? Chuck further attempts to ruin her and Dan, though he is pushed by Dan, and frames Dan for revealing her infidelity, forcing her family to pay the dowry. Chuck seems to see this as revenge for Dan setting him up and him losing the person he loves because of it. Huh? Dan sent in the video, but he didn’t set Chuck up, everyone assumed it was him. Serena took the fall, and even when she admitted that it wasn’t her, Blair believed that it wasn’t Chuck. This makes no sense. Dan tells Chuck that he’s bankrupted the Waldorf family and Chuck didn’t realize it was that much. Chuck was there were mommy Grimaldi told Blair about the dowry that would bankrupt her family. This makes no sense. Still, I consider myself to be fair, and will blame the writers for this instead of Chuck. Nonetheless, Chuck knew that the cost, whatever it was, was something that Blair was willing to stay in an unhappy marriage for. Obviously it was worth more than Chuck’s life to her, as even her God pact couldn’t make her stay with Louis. Point is, he knew that it was a price Blair wasn’t willing to pay, but he put her through this anyway, not for one second showing concern for her, instead seeming much more interested in ‘defeating’ Dan, Blair just being collateral damage. When he realizes that he’s bankrupted the Waldorf’s he almost shows guilt. No wait, that was the face he makes when he’s coming up with reasons why things aren’t his fault. Apparently Dan forced his hand. Because nothing is ever Chuck’s fault (that’s some grade A narcissism right there). Oh and apparently Chuck lost Blair because of Dan framing him and that Dan has been trying to keep them apart. His memory isn’t selective it’s just downright been replaced with delusions. And let’s face it, framing, trying to isolate Blair and sabotage her relationships, that’s really more Chuck’s style, isn’t it? Blair puts him in his place though, at least I think it was Blair, it looked like her, and she tells him that Dan’s not the reason they’re not together. Neither if the dowry, the God pact. There’s nothing in their way now though, so why aren’t they together, because even though Blair loves him, she’s not in love with him. Finally! I don’t think Blair’s love for Chuck has been about genuine affection for a long time, I don’t see how it possibly could have been considering everything that has happened. After this the pattern seems to be broken, at least for a little while. Chuck leaves Blair to explore her relationship with Dan, and when faced with Daddy issues, he waits a whole week before he runs to Blair for help. Blair shows equal growth by not jumping at the opportunity to help him when he does come to her. It is also revealed that Chuck paid her dowry. That’s nice. By nice, I mean he is once again controlling pretty big aspects of her life without her consent or even her knowledge and even though it’s apparently so that she can be free to be with who she wants, it’s obvious that he wants to be the person that she’s with. Oh and Chuck buys some hookers for Jack too. He’s still into buying women, clearly. When Chuck faces another round of mommy issues (this time, I don’t actually mean Blair when I use the word mommy), Blair once again rush to help him throw it. She’s learning to let him deal with things on his own and not feel like she’s the one who should help. This lasts for a whole week, while Blair deals with her issues and realizes that between getting sold for a hotel and selling out for a tiara, she lost herself. I’m glad she acknowledges that, but she doesn’t see that she’s never been the strongest, most confident girl. She’s always had self-esteem issues, they’ve gone through phases where they’ve got worse and phases where they get better, but she can’t go back, because no one can go back. She can only go forward. But she seems to suffer from the memories replaced with delusions that Chuck had a few weeks ago, she doesn’t remember that she was never a really happy person and that she can’t focus on who she used to be, she has to focus on who she wants to become. Chuck inevitably runs to Blair for help and pushes her ‘old you’ buttons, same old emotional manipulation to get what he wants. Blair agrees and they end up at a brothel, which seems fitting since he used to pimp her out. Blair finds….dun dun dun; Bart Bass! Because that’s what this show needed, more of Chuck on his daddy issues. Right up there with Chuck ruining Blair’s life, getting her back with no apology but instead a love declaration and maybe some flowers, Blair making sacrifices to help him and this cycle continuing until it finally reaches it’s endpoint of a murder/suicide. Blair is worried about Chuck with this new….I don’t want to say twist, because that implies creative writing, but you know what I mean. She sends him inside knowing he’ll find his dad, but more importantly, she lets him do it alone. She worries about him, but continues with her own life, right up until Chuck runs to her for help again. Yawn. She’s happy to help, but she’s a lot less emotionally invested that she has been in a long time and once she gets the opportunity, she leaves and lets Serena take her place. Only when Serena calls her back into it, that Blair gets involved again. The scheme plays out, finishes and Blair goes back home again, back to her life that she is trying to rebuild. So that brings us to where we are now, just a day away from the season finale. I’m not going to comment, I’m not going to speculate, I’m instead going to say how this relationship would realistically play out.

 

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Chuck & Blair – An Analysis Part 4

            And so we’re onto season four, the season for Chuck Bass to be redeemed and earn forgiveness from Blair. Afraid not, things only get worse from here on out. Blair’s not over Chuck, I don’t see how this can be a surprise or how it proves that she will always love him and should be with him. Blair never being able to get over Chuck is a big argument that Chuck and Blair fans make but, how long has Blair ever spent away from Chuck? Three months? That’s nothing, and even though I don’t fully understand why, she did really love him and their breakup wasn’t in anyway amicable, following the IP and the ‘cheating’ (Blair seems to see it as cheating, even if I don’t) three months is not enough time to be expected to get over someone. I don’t want to go into my personal experiences, but I think it takes at least a year to get over someone you really love and if that person is still in your life, it takes even longer. However, Blair isn’t giving up, she’s still trying to move on and with the entrance of a Prince, you’d think it get a bit easier – cue her finding out something bad happening to Chuck so that Blair has to run and help him. As for how Chuck spent his summer vacation, he was shot, he survived and he’s now posing as ‘Henry Prince’ having shacked up with Eva, a girl who he seems very serious about despite not having been with her again – quick with the commitment in true narcissist style and that cycle of idealisation before the devaluation, just like with Blair and Elle. Fast-forward a bit and he’s about to let go of everything to be Henry Prince, Blair finds out about this and that he was shot and of course, it’s her job to help him, just like always. Blair runs to Chuck and convinces him to come home in what is possibly their most heartfelt scene in the entire show, but I also love that Blair tells him that it takes more than him for destroy her – she needs to stop defining herself by who she’s with and what people feel for her, you would think this is a good start, but we have can the Prince storyline coming. Back to New York and Chuck has Eva in tow and seeing them together is another blow to Blair, and it brings out possibly the worst side of her. Chuck even tells Eva about all of Blair’s worst traits (we’re back in the devaluation part of the cycle, which will get worse) and when Blair finally drives Eva away, Chuck declares war on her. Let’s stop to look at Blair’s motives before we go into the war, she was jealous obviously, she didn’t want Chuck to move on, but it’s not about wanting Chuck for herself, it’s about her self-depreciation after seeing Chuck become a better person with someone else. Chuck appears to truly love Eva, he keeps no secrets from her and Eva seems to understand him and accept him in a way Blair always thought she did, in Blair’s eyes this devalues her relationship with Chuck, and by proxy her self-worth, Chuck even says to her; “you just can’t stand to see that someone finally changed me and it wasn’t you”. She needs to know her relationship with Chuck meant more, that someone loved her completely, that to one person in the world she was the most important thing, so she does what she has to to destroy Eva in Chuck’s eyes. Chuck kicks Eva out as a result of Blair’s manipulation and even before he finds out he’s clearly at a point where he doesn’t think very much of Blair; “How could I ever believe someone good would actually love me?”. This is made much worse after he finds out the truth, and the war begins and just like he brought out the worst in her, she brings out the worst in him. Blair hurt him, so he wants to punish her (if I have to remind you that this is narcissistic behaviour, I’m surprised you’re smart enough to still be reading this) and he sets out to destroy her life, starting with taking Columbia away from her and when that fails, he brings Jenny back to humiliate her. Blair is terrible to Jenny, taking out most of her anger and pain on her that she hasn’t been able to take out on Chuck, all the while Chuck sits back and enjoys the show, taking any chance he has to further manipulate Blair into terrorising Jenny. Blair realizes that Chuck is behind the whole thing and is somehow still surprised as to how far he will go – you’d think she’d learn from the IP incident. Jenny gets the last laugh though and defeats both Chuck and Blair, but this makes them realize that they need to call a truce. In one of the most frustrating scenes ever where they make peace, they finally talk about the day of their breakup and decide it was fate. Chuck’s the one to say this of course, because obviously him losing Blair in the first place, issuing her with an ultimatum, then sleeping with Jenny and not telling Blair about it is not his fault at all. This refusal to take responsibility is classic narcissism and Blair agrees once again enabling his worst traits, nothing is Chuck’s fault no; it’s all because of Serena, Dan, Nate, Jenny, Dorota and Dorota’s child. This is followed up with an embarrassing, supposedly sexually charged handshake. Chuck and Blair makes their truce official with a treaty and the two create a strange ruse of being friends. Before this inevitably falls apart, Blair has a nice chat with Eleanor where she talks about how she wants to be a powerful woman, but feels like a weak little girl, another thing to note for future reference. Anyway, Chuck and Blair end the episode with cringey dialogue and over the top hate sex, on a personal note, I was rooting for Chuck and Blair still when this episode first aired, but I lost a lot of respect for Blair at the end of this episode as she clearly respected herself so little, as to sleep with someone who did some terrible things to her and showed no remorse, she lets him treat her like horrifically and punishes him with lots of sex. Those hoping for Chuck’s redemption this season, myself included, instead got Chuck and Blair repeatedly jumping into bed together without resolving their issues at all, sex that isn’t once shown to be all that meaningful. Considering how heartbroken they were after their breakup and the fact that he nearly died, you’d think they’d have one moment showing intimacy whilst in the throes of passion, but no. They decide to be friends , which within moments becomes friends with benefits and soon after Chuck accidentally says that he loves her. This forces them to re-evaluate what their relationship is and Blair ultimately chooses Chuck over another career opportunity. Pattern. Their relationship lasts even less than a week this time, maybe an hour? With awkward and out of place references to celebrity relationships, the two decide to part ways so that Blair can become a powerful woman on her own, but Chuck also tells her that they’ll find their way back. That’s a nice thing to say, but you should know by now that whenever I say something Chuck does is nice, I’m going to poke holes in it. First of all, getting over Chuck was hard enough for Blair already, now with the belief that she’ll end up back with him, she’s not even going to truly try to get over him, she’s just going to be unhappy. Secondly, this could be considered another example of Chuck, even in a moment where he’s ‘letting Blair go’, he is still pretty much saying she’s ultimately his. They also realize that they can’t be friends right now and it’s time to celebrate! They both get individual storylines! Hallelujah! In this time they very clearly are working on achieving their personal goals and focus on their careers, they also end up with new love interests in this time. Chuck meets Raina and what starts as an attempt to manipulate her to further his business plans, they actually fall into a real relationship. Here’s that cycle of idealisation and devaluation again, and he is characteristically quick with the grand gestures and romantic declarations; “I realized how much I do actually care about you”, “look at the ways you inspire me” and “you are sacred to me”. This sends Blair into a panic that once again another girl is getting a better version of Chuck than she did and she is yet again left heartbroken. Raina however proves not be as lenient as Blair, and she quickly gets rid of Chuck. Remember how towards the end of season three, Blair was moving past Chuck by making decisions for herself and not for Chuck? Well now she goes the other way, trying to become a powerful woman so that she can be with him…..oh Blair, please stop embarrassing womankind. Coinciding with this, Chuck has his annual flare up of daddy issues and runs back to mommy for help. But mommy has been a bit busy this time, Blair’s budding friendship with Dan (totally wrote Dad instead of Dan when I first typed this) the two share a kiss. The kiss means nothing to Blair, but when Chuck finds out – despite the fact that he had an actual relationship with Raina – we get to see that oh-so-attractive side of him where he manipulates both Blair and Dan to humiliate them and proclaims Blair as something that belongs to him. Let’s break it down, Blair sends Chuck away when he first goes to her about his daddy issues. Finally! Oh, but don’t get too excited, it doesn’t last long. Chuck suspects she’s seeing someone and quickly enlists anyone he can to spy on her, romantic, isn’t it? Chuck figures out that Blair and Dan kissed, so he sets up a situation where Blair gets a job, Dan shows up to have his picture taken and both are left humiliated. When they confront Chuck about it, Blair’s defence that Chuck has kissed a lot of people is met with; “you’re not supposed to kiss him”. There’s the possessiveness, but it turns out Blair had realized that she was meant to be with Chuck – her belief that she will inevitably end up with Chuck prevents her from takings lots of progressive actions in her life – and that Chuck had grown up an was passed games. I have no idea what could have possibly give her that impression, but I’ll go with it. Blair tells Chuck that he’s not ready and it will be years before his is, if ever – yes! She finally gets one right!  The two part again, just in time for the Prince’s return.

            Blair has no reservations about entering a relationship with Louis at all, while Chuck is kept busy with his daddy issues. As with every other time his daddy issues are brought to the surface, Chuck falls apart and, just like every other time, the people around him decided that Chuck can’t be held responsible for his actions because of what he’s going through. While no one is naïve enough to think that Blair is over Chuck, she is certainly heading in the right direction, as no one can deny that she was genuinely enjoying herself in these early stages of her relationship with Louis. But for contrived reasons I don’t care to explain, Louis has to get engaged and Blair is the obvious choice – Chuck hears about this, and this is when he pulls out his ring. Remember how I said the ring has a habit of showing up when Chuck feels that he is losing Blair? Blair’s about to enter into a serious relationship with someone else, Chuck doesn’t try to propose because he loves her or because it’s the logical next step in their relationship, but because he wants to lock her down. She’s slipping away and he thinks getting that ring on her finger is a way of binding her to him, there’s nothing romantic about it. Chuck is just trying to secure Blair as his. Chuck’s proposal attempt is just as romantic as the last time when he had Jenny’s dried sweats still on his skin, this time he crashes Louis’s party, humiliates Blair in front of everyone and tries to physically force the ring on her finger. Why would he want to humiliate her though when trying to win her hand in marriage? The obvious answer is that he was trying to make it so that Louis wouldn’t want to marry her and Blair would be forced back into Chuck’s arms, similar to when he destroyed her relationship with Nate and all her friends back in season one. This is his way of getting her, by taking away everyone else. This time though it fails and Louis proposes to Blair and Blair decides that she owes it to Chuck to tell him first. Just when you think Chuck can’t get any lower…..I really don’t even want to have to talk about this scene, I really don’t, but the writer’s ignorance of the poignancy of this scene is insulting enough, so I can’t do that. When she first shows up, Chuck thinks that his plan worked and he ruined Blair’s chances with Louis, he’s says he’s sorry, but he’s clearly not, he thinks he’s got what he wanted so why would he be sorry? When Blair tells him that Louis proposed Chuck’s response is; “you’ll never marry anyone else, you’re mine”. This is highly possessive language, he sees Blair as his, he says so himself and he doesn’t think she should have any choice in who she spends her life with and he tells her very clearly that she won’t marry anyone else. This is so wrong I don’t even really know what to say. Unfortunately, it gets worse. He tells her that she’s his again, grabs her and pushes her down onto a sofa, the part that really disturbs me is that we don’t know what he was about to do, was he about to try and have sex with her? Physically intimidate her? He does that anyway, she tries to push him away and he grabs her wrist, holding her in place as she cries for him to stop. She very clearly tells him it’s over and he punches the glass, cutting Blair’s face in the process. There is a lot of disagreement about if Chuck was trying to hit her, so I’m not going to focus on that part so much. The fact is, Chuck swung his fist. And even before that moment his actions had been unacceptable, this is abuse. There is no ifs, ands, or buts about it. He physically grabs her, pushes her down, restrains her and physically intimidates her. His possessive language and swinging fist aside, this relationship has now crossed a line. The follow up interview with the producer makes the whole thing even worse that I can’t even bring myself to comment beyond this; this show is terrible in a lot of ways like most teen dramas, but that a group of adults can portray an abusive relationship and try to tell us and the young females that it is aimed at isn’t abuse is just plain disgusting and shouldn’t even be allowed to air. Chuck isn’t the only one who should face consequences here. But not even Chuck faces consequences, Blair, seemingly suffering from classic battered woman syndrome, lies about the cut on her face to protect Chuck. And when Chuck faces another round with Jack Bass, Blair gets involved. Pattern. When Chuck sees her, he says “look who finally came to her senses”. No remorse, no responsibility. Pattern. Not to mention disgusting. He tries to make her feel guilty about her engagement and tells her that she has no idea what he’s been going through. It’s all about his pain. Pattern. Despite all Chuck’s talk about Blair being the only who can understand his daddy issues and him needing her, he actually fixes all those problems quite promptly without  her. Until next year, Jack Bass! In the meantime, Blair is feeling not worthy of Louis, she’s hiding her dark side, the parts which only Chuck ever loved. But, in her own words, Chuck didn’t see the rest of her. Blair’s masochistic need to help Chuck proves to be the perfect tool for….I’ve forgotten his name, the bad business guy, to entrap her and threaten to kill her. She finds an embarrassingly obvious way to call Chuck for help and while waiting for him to show up, expresses the fact that Chuck pulled her into his darkness, that he treated her like an object, that he destroyed her. This lines were not used by accident, the show does acknowledge the fact that Chuck has not treated Blair right and that their relationship is not healthy. Somehow, following a realization of how badly Chuck treated her and how that treatment degraded her into becoming a weaker person, they end up having sex. How? I don’t know, and I thought Blair showed no self-respect when she had sex with Chuck after his mission to destroy her life, but this really makes me want to have her institutionalized. The deed is done, and Blair returns to the mind-set that her fate lies with Chuck, but she does not sound happy about this for one second. She talks about how their love is one of the crazy ones, that it’s a great love, complicated, intense, all-consuming and it will always pull them in. This is not romantic, those words, along with the other word they’ve used many times; ‘magnetic’, is exactly like the pull an abused women experiences when she fails to leave a relationship that’s bad for her. It’s not love, it’s Blair’s weaknesses, her need to be hurt because she thinks she deserves it, her masochism. She acknowledges that they don’t bring each other happiness and still decides to break things off with Louis, Chuck stops her though and in a moment where I want someone to come along and throw a straightjacket on Blair and take her to the nearest asylum; “happiness is not the most important thing”. She has so little value of herself that she doesn’t care about her own happiness. There is nothing romantic about that, nothing ‘great’ or ‘epic’, it’s just sad. Chuck does something good though and sends her away, back to Louis. That’s nice. Oh, I said ‘nice’, you know what that means. Chuck puts himself in the driver seat again! He’s back in control, making important decisions about Blair’s life, he tells her to be with Louis and she blindly does as he says. He’s spent the last few episodes desperately trying to get her to be with him and the second that she’s willing to be with him again, he rejects her. This is not at all unusual in narcissists, pursuing a relationship only to reject the person once again. I know that wasn’t Chuck’s intentions, but he’s not conscious of this. He probably doesn’t really know why he does this, he certainly doesn’t do this because of her insane theories of being happiness, as he doesn’t walk away until quite a while after this, after he sees that Louis is still waiting for Blair. Either way, season four ends with Chuck letting Blair go. Again. You think it’s getting competitive now, just wait for season five.

 

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Chuck & Blair – An Analysis Part 3

            This time they survive the honeymoon period, the easy part of a relationship and it’s time for the heightened thrill and butterflies to die down. But for some reason, Chuck and Blair are so concerned about being boring (to who though? Each other? The rest of the world?) that they have to keep playing games involving third parties to keep their relationship interesting. Not normal. It also makes you wonder how strong their relationship really is if they think they’ll be nothing left if they take the games away. Rather surprisingly, Serena is the voice of reason and after just one conversation with her, doubts are planted in Blair’s head. I just want to point out that Blair is very impressionable, and after one comment from Serena, Blair’s trust in Chuck quickly fades, just like how Chuck’s influence would make Blair doubt her other relationships – difference is, Serena actually has good intentions. From this we see that Blair doesn’t completely trust Chuck, and trust will be an on-going theme for them this season, but I’ll come back to that later. So let’s move on, Blair’s at NYU and unsurprisingly to everyone but Blair, adults don’t want to be ruled over by a self-proclaimed ‘queen’. This goes back to how Blair’s self-perception is rooted in how other people see her, which just goes to show she’s not that secure ever, she needs other people to tell her how special she is to feel that way. This also coincides with a time when Blair is feeling rejected by Chuck, as her friendship with Serena fades and her popularity is….non-existent, she clings to Chuck more to find assurance there. But Chuck’s busy with his career and Blair is his second priority – another thing that recurs through the season, Blair even says how she is an endless font of do-overs in Chuck’s eyes, he doesn’t have to put her first. They then begin to fight over a photograph, both putting their careers before the others and in the end it’s Blair who sacrifices to help Chuck, now if this was just a one-time thing, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but this episode nicely sets up a lot of what will become between Chuck and Blair later. Blair, having lost her identity, attempts to go back to her high school persona, except she’s not in high school anymore and it’s really just embarrassing. Chuck sees this and instead of just trying to talk to her about it, reason with her, he schemes with Jenny and ‘humiliates’ Blair (Blair uses that word herself), then Chuck turns things around on Blair. He asks her how she could do this to him. What? Blair’s insecurities are somehow an insult to Chuck, because him loving her should give her all the self-esteem in the world. No, no, no. A girl shouldn’t get her value from a man loving her, furthermore, he in a seemingly nice gesture pays a photographer to take pictures of her. Sounds nice doesn’t it? But really this just feeds into her issues, because that small confidence boost is just going to make it harder for her to learn to stop basing her self-value from how the rest of the world sees her. The quick-fix proves to be nothing more, as Blair continues to spiral as her identity fades, to a point where she manipulates Chuck over a speech. I don’t think this should be surprising, Blair has admitted that betrayal in her nature, this is similar to her betraying Nate to get into Yale in my opinion. Chuck is rightfully hurt when the truth comes out, but he reacts like a narcissist would, he punishes her by not talking to her and pushing her out of her business venture – again, I’m not making things up, Blair asks him if he’s done punishing her in the next episode. Chuck also faces some business issues at this time, and Blair’s masochistic tendencies awake as she just can’t help but get involved – once again feeling responsible for fixing Chuck’s problems. Now, as I’ve said before, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to help someone you care about, but Blair’s obsessiveness with fixing Chuck’s problems are not normal and nor are they realistic and once again her attempts to help him actually prove themselves to be the opposite when Jack betrays them. Blair admits to Chuck that she wanted to prove to him that he needs her – you should know by now, this is her insecurity, masochism and desperation to be needed coming out to play. Chuck explains to Blair that neither of them will ever be completely trustworthy, which is true but you trigger warning bells in their heads, but no. Instead they screw over Serena – Chuck’s step-sister and Blair’s best friend – in order to get their happy ending, they really do bring out the best in each other don’t they? Without Serena, Blair spirals even more and Chuck decides to help the two of them out – it seems nice, but he does say that he doesn’t want to have to pick up the pieces once Blair explodes, so it’s not completely selfless. The next obstacle to hit these two is the anniversary of Bart’s death, this means we get overly masochistic Blair trying to fix everything again! Chuck pushes her away, but Blair refuses to bend, she needs him to need her. I just need a moment to express my frustration over all this angst over Bart’s death which is ultimately deemed pointless when they bring him back in season five. One moment worth mentioning during this pointless storyline is when Blair is trying to talk to Chuck and he says to her “I need you to get out of here now” he says this in a very intimidating way, almost threatening what he’ll do if she doesn’t go. Bereavement only excuses so much, this it does not excuse. This also demonstrates how everything is worse for Chuck, how his problems are so much bigger than everyone else’s and no one can understand – exactly the same way that a narcissist thinks. Nonetheless, Chuck and Blair get a nice scene out of this whole thing, but to me it falls short because a lot of what Blair says just isn’t true. Chuck carries people – who? Every now and then he’ll do something nice for Lilly, Serena or Nate, but these times are few and far between. People carry Chuck. Chuck carries Blair – now this is true, too true. Blair is so emotionally attached to Chuck – not in the nice she really loves him way – but that she is clinging to him and gaining self-esteem by identifying herself as Chuck’s girlfriend. Now, just as you breathe a sigh of relief that Chuck’s daddy issues are over, we get his mommy issues! Chuck tries to deal with this privately at first, but Blair craves being involved in his problems and fixing them. Do you notice a pattern emerging yet? We also get Blair making a career sacrifice to be help Chuck and Chuck rejecting Blair sexually. How can you not see a pattern emerging here? And trust issues – that’s four of their negative aspects of their relationship emerging in just one episode. If you don’t see the trust issues, Chuck very clearly lies to Blair about looking for his mother, Blair goes behind his back and looks through his files. Blair immerses herself in Chuck’s family issues and being there for Chuck – even though he pushes her away, which makes her need him to need her even more – which feeds into his perception of his problems being worse than everyone else’s, that his pain is more important that anyone else’s and so this excuses some of the actions that he takes. They feed off each other very negatively in this way and a way that is classic of relationships involving a narcissist. Having said that, I want to gloss over the mommy storyline and move past it because it’s just the same thing over and over (much like Chuck and Blair’s relationship).

            So let’s jump ahead to what has become known as; ‘the IP incident’. Jack has taken Chuck’s hotel and will only give it back if he can spend the night with Blair, Chuck agrees and then helps Jack to manipulate Blair into going through with it. He sends Jack to where Blair is and tells him what buttons to push, Jack tells Blair about how Chuck has opened his heart to Blair and now she’s the only one who can help him.  Also worth noting at this time, is that Blair tells Serena that Chuck has become the kind of person she’s also wanted him to be – this concept of Chuck needing to change will resurface in later seasons, especially with who Blair wants him to be, so keep this in mind. Blair also tells Serena about how hard this is for Chuck because of his daddy issues – Chuck pushes these buttons and moans to her about his father being right about him, he lies about Jack dismantling the company and yells at her about being no other way. Now we’ve already seen many times that Blair feels like it is her responsibility to fix Chuck’s problems and that she will self-sacrifice to try and achieve this, but this really takes it all to another level. She is willing to sleep with Jack to save Chuck’s hotel. Though willing is probably not quite the right word for it. But here’s the bigger issue; Chuck is willing for her to sleep with Jack to get his hotel back. He manipulates her, makes an agreement about her body and it’s not an impulsive decision, he has several chances throughout the day to call it off and change his mind but no, all he does is push her in Jack’s direction. Blair and Chuck both believe that they know each other inside out, but this episode shows that Chuck can manipulate Blair and lie to her without her having an idea. When Blair finds out that Chuck was behind it all she is not only devastated, but in genuine disbelief, she never ever thought Chuck would do something to her; “I never thought that the worst thing you’d ever do would be to me”. Chuck doesn’t even take responsibility though, he thinks Blair is just as much to blame as him, doesn’t show any remorse and thinks that because she loves him and promised to stand by him, she should just get over it. Blair is plunged into her lowest point, she feels ashamed of herself, disgusted even – and she didn’t even sleep with Jack, imagine how much worse it would be if she actually had. This shows the skewed balance in Chuck and Blair’s relationship, she would do anything to spare him from pain, and yet he is willing to put her through this if it means he gets what he wants. He still thinks she did sleep with Jack, explaining partly why he is refusing to take full responsibility and why he is angry at her, but his statement about him thinking their relationship is strong enough to withstand anything but is wrong, is shockingly insightful and indicative to what he will do to her in the future. Basically, he thinks that because he believes they will always come back together and she will still love him, he can do anything. He does the typical narcissistic actions of trying to get her back – flowers and grand gestures, can’t really blame the guy though, it’s worked with Blair every time before. Once Chuck founds out that Blair didn’t actually sleep with Chuck, he’s no longer upset about the situation, but Blair is facing a real crisis of what she wants from a relationship and what kind of person she wants to be. She thinks she’s a terrible person and that no one else would love her after what she’s become, but she accepts they are Blair and Chuck, Chuck and Blair and that she should just accept her fate. But she’s still not happy and at Dorota’s wedding she realizes this. Dorota tells her that she wants real love, pure and simple love for her and Blair realizes that this isn’t what she has with Chuck. Chuck tells her she would be bored – when they themselves were worried they were going to be boring – but she replies better bored, then ashamed of herself. This is a big moment for her, she realizes that she deserves to be happy and she tells him it’s the end. Though hurting deeply, Blair clearly does want to move on, but we all know Chuck never lets her. Chuck reverts to form, banging randoms while keeping tabs on Blair and puts a dating fatwa on her to make sure nobody else will dare to date her – this is practically marking Blair is his ‘territory’, she belongs to him and no one else can have her. Remember possessiveness? I don’t think I’ve mentioned this term yet; ‘narcissistic abuse’. Get used to it because that’s what this is and what it has been for a long time. The manipulation, the degradation, the possessiveness, the controlling, this is all deemed as abuse anyway and some psychologists have said that all abusive partners are narcissists (though I disagree), but in Chuck and Blair’s relationship with the patterns of her enabling him and him using her as an emotional ‘feed’, it’s narcissistic abuse. Back on subject though, Blair ultimately overcomes Chuck’s games this time and doesn’t kiss someone to make Chuck jealous, she wants her decisions and actions to be about herself and not Chuck. Another important realization and big step for our girl Blair, Chuck’s losing her and he knows it, so what does he do? He issues her with an ultimatum. I’m just going to veer off Chuck and Blair for a moment to talk about the other thing Chuck is up to at this point in time. Chuck decides that he wants his best friend back, and is happy to scheme to break up Nate and Serena (knowing that Nate really loves Serena) to achieve this. This is in no way not selfish and it perfectly displays Chuck’s narcissistic personality disorder, he’s wants to manipulate Nate, without any regard for his feelings, just to get his own way. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone bring this up when talking about how Chuck controls Blair, because even though it’s not about Blair, it demonstrates Chuck’s pattern of controlling behaviour. Back to Chuck and Blair, prior to the ultimatum, Blair still can’t help but get involved in Chuck’s family issues this time with Lilly, still singing the same old masochistic tune. The other thing that is revealed during this time is that Blair finds out Chuck got her into Columbia, that’s nice and selfless. But this doesn’t mean that he’s not narcissistic, I’m not trying to twist every nice thing Chuck does into something bad because I think he’s done enough bad things for this to not be necessary, but I do feel like someone might use this event to say that Chuck isn’t a narcissist – so this is how it fits. It’s still controlling as he does it behind her back, he’s making choices about her life which is manipulative and you can also argue that he’s shaping her to be someone more worthy of him. Blair at NYU is a lesser Blair than Blair at Columbia, and Chuck only deserves the best, so he’ll upgrade her. Again, this is something Chuck wouldn’t be conscious of when he did this, and I know a lot of people won’t agree with me, but it fits with narcissistic behaviour. After that we get more of the same that’s we’ve had since the beginning; Chuck does a scheme, runs to mommy, dammit I did it again! I mean Blair, and Blair being Blair, can’t say no. She does at first, because she doesn’t trust Chuck, but when Nate and Dan get involved too, Blair gets involved. The scheme comes to an end and now, despite Chuck being very much in the wrong about the breakup, he’s the one who has the audacity to issue her with the ultimatum (controlling much?). She has to meet him at the top of the Empire State Building and if she doesn’t, he will close his heart to her forever (because there is no worse punishments, Chuck’s love clearly is the best thing a girl could ever hope for), this also fits the grand gestures fixing everything that Chuck has always relied on in the past. Also, Chuck buys an engagement ring, how romantic! Not really, Chuck buys the ring because Blair is slipping away, and every time that ring resurfaces in the future, it is always at a point when he’s losing her. He’s not proposing out of pure love, he’s proposing because he’s nearly lost her and getting married is the closest he can get to securing her as his, so that she can never walk away. If this had happened in the middle of season three when they were ‘happy’, this would be completely different, but that’s not when Chuck decided to propose. He never gets the chance anyway as Blair doesn’t make it to the Empire State Building and so Chuck sleeps with Jenny. I don’t think this is all that bad to be honest, he’s not the first guy to sleep with a girl because he’s hurting and I don’t think he slept with Jenny because she’s Blair’s arch enemy, he slept with Jenny simply because she was the one who was there – I think in comparison to the IP incident and the ultimatum, Chuck sleeping with Jenny really isn’t all that bad. The fact that he covers it up from Blair though does make it a lot shadier and fits in nicely with the trust issues set up in the season premier. They reunite after Blair makes a cringe-inducing speech about following her heart and says that love makes everything simple. Blair really believes this, but this couldn’t be further from the truth, especially when dealing with a narcissist. Blair thinks and has always thought that love could fix Chuck (she first told him when he was grieving for his father), but with a narcissist, loving them and giving them this emotional feed only further ignites their narcissistic mentality and will never, ever help them to change. Completely forgetting Gossip Girl for a moment, if you are ever involved in a narcissist, do not ever believe that you can help because you love them, in all seriousness, it will never work and you’ll only destroy yourself. Back to Gossip Girl, Chuck sleeping with Jenny comes out and Blair is heartbroken, again. She breaks up with Chuck again, lather, rinse, repeat, Chuck gravitates to hookers working out their daddy issues so he can work out his mommy issues. Whoops, I meant Blair issues. Blair is going the healthy way again, she’s not looking for a rebound, she’s not trying to make Chuck jealous or show him what’s she missing, she decides to spend her summer with her best friend just enjoying herself. Oh and Chuck gets shot – this gets one sentence because in the grand scheme of things, Chuck getting shot proved not to make a very big impact after all.

 

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Chuck & Blair – An Analysis Part 2

            Now, back to Blair and Chuck, why don’t we start at the beginning? In season 1, Blair was already exhibiting behaviours of a masochist. She desperately held onto a boyfriend who had little interest in her even forgetting the fact that he slept with her best friend to keep him, she kept people at a distance by having minions instead of real friends and with her eating disorder (despite the fact that it wasn’t really mentioned that much) should prove that she was not only self-hating, but crumbling under her own unhappiness. Nate was not a bad guy, but Blair’s clinging to him and refusal to see their relationship for what it really was shows that even though she was young, she was already choosing relationships that brought her unhappiness. There are so many examples of Chuck’s narcissism too in the first few episodes alone, but I want to keep things short so here’s just a few;

‘I’m Chuck Bass’ – grandiose sense of self-importance

‘The only girls you talk too are the ones that I’ve paid for’ – just one of his many interactions with prostitutes, presenting his view of people as objects and a good deal of misogyny there too

‘Whatever happened to don’t speak until spoken to?’ – Only mixing with those he deems ‘worthy’ of his company

            Also, his perception of his self-important leads him to live above not only above the law, but just generally outside of the rules and expectations of society – a common trait of narcissists. I am already asking myself if I need to give examples of the other traits of narcissism, namely manipulation, but if some people need it spelled out, let’s jump into the relationship that is Chuck and Blair, Blair and Chuck. Blair sleeps with Chuck after breaking up with Nate – this is a classic example of Blair choosing something that will cause her pain later on. Even if you ship Chuck and Blair, I think it was clear at that point that what Blair did was not because she had feelings for Chuck, at that point she couldn’t stand him and the idea of a romantic relationship with him disgusted her. Sleeping with him brought on shame, regret, humiliation and degradation – both in her own opinion of herself but also when it was revealed to everyone else, this is what caused her to ultimately lose Nate as well. Chuck on the other hand, fell for Blair quickly after they slept together and, being aware of her relationship with Nate and the insecurities Blair had with him, was able to shower her with all the attention that she had craved and make her feel special in the way that she was desperate for Nate to do. His gestures are sweet and done because of a genuine affection he had for her, but this does not change the similarities his trying to win her over has with narcissistic courting (showering of gifts, grand gestures, big declarations if you needed a reminder). Chuck is clearly in the stage of idealisation, he truly adores Blair and she finally has someone who truly wants her, this and simple teenage lust leads her to entertain the idea of a relationship with him. But, Nate’s still in the picture, Chuck may be boosting her self-esteem at this point, but Nate is the one Blair wants and when Nate finally seems to want her back, Chuck needs to act to ensure he gets what he wants. And so begins the manipulation, if you haven’t caught up, I’m talking about Cotillion. Chuck sets it up to look like Blair is seeing Carter and tells Nate the same, Nate fights Carter and they both get kicked out, leaving Blair to Chuck. She figures it out though, and she nails it perfectly when she says “you did all this for your own enjoyment and didn’t care what it would do to me”, because that is the bottom line of it. Blair at this point had the upper hand in the relationship as she did not have feelings for Chuck at the time, and this brought out some of his worst traits and he sought to be in control. He blackmailed Blair into staying away from Nate, but when she ends up seeing him anyway he punishes her (narcissists often deem ‘punishment’ necessary when their partner does something they don’t like) by texting Gossip Girl that she had slept with someone who wasn’t Nate and had a pregnancy scare. This destroys Blair, she loses Nate, her minions, and Serena – though the fallout with Serena is not Chuck’s fault, but Blair’s, in classic masochist style Serena is the one trying to help Blair this episode and Blair pushes her away. With no one else, Blair, defeated and dejected, goes to Chuck and this is when we get to see the devaluation part of the cycle; ‘you held a certain fascination when you were beautiful, delicate and untouched. But now, you’re like one of the Arabians my father used to own, rode hard and put away wet’. I hope no one needs to actually be told that this was an unkind thing to say, but Chuck gets what he wanted here; control, he has Blair in the subservient role for once and reacts exactly how a narcissist would – by degrading her. From then the relationship has shifted, the strangest thing about this all is that somehow between that point and the moment they get together in the finale is when Blair develops feelings for Chuck – even though they spend most of that time avoiding each other and he is not remorseful at all. During this time of avoidance, it’s clear that Blair is hurt by Chuck because she avoids him, but he shows no regret at all and at no point does he show that he is pining after her, he is clearly the one in control. Then in the finale, comes the grand gesture, in his wedding speech Chuck talks about ‘true love’, now that sounds like big talk for a guy who slept with his best friends girl then manipulated, blackmailed, humiliated and avoided her, but it works for Blair, she’s a sucker for someone actually being nice to her and just like that all is forgotten and Chuck and Blair are a real couple. For a whole week. They enjoy the good part of the cycle while it lasts, then Chuck ditches her and probably cheats on her, the cheating is questionable because it seems obvious at that moment that the relationship is over in Chuck’s eyes – though not Blair’s, and also he may not have slept with the interior designer, but it was purposely alluded to. Chuck is now very much steering the rudder on the Chuck and Blair titanic, doing something that would be pretty much unforgiveable for most people, but wait its Blair, so we know she’ll come back for more. And so the season of games, self-sacrifice matched with selfishness and power struggles awaits.

            Blair appears to spend the summer trying to force herself to get over Chuck, her desperation to seem like she’s moved on actually does the opposite as she becomes obsessed with how Chuck sees her – I’m mentioning this now as it becomes a pattern for Blair and leads to the disaster that is the Prince Louis storyline. Chuck seems to spend the summer in classic Chuck Bass mode; slutting it up with girls he both paid for and got for free, seemingly without a care in the world. Chuck still wants Blair though and when he hears she’s coming back into town, he’s is actually under the impression that showing up with a bouquet of flowers will have her running back into his arms. Now, this is a classic narcissistic response, thinking that a gesture is all it takes and that the other person should come running back just because he wants her too, this is one of the few times that Blair actually doesn’t fit into his pattern though, as she does not forgive him. Though as we learn later in the episode, it wouldn’t of even taken an apology for her to go back to him, just a love confession – so she probably isn’t as strong as I’d like to think in that episode. She uses Lord Marcus to make Chuck jealous, and Chuck plays his role well, getting his private investigator find out about him – now, there are many things I’m stating that I feel like I shouldn’t have to state and here comes another one; an ex-boyfriend getting a private investigator to dig into the background of your new boyfriend is not good! No, not good at all. It goes back to that controlling, manipulative nature that I was discussing earlier. Blair is thrilled with what is found out though, Lord Marcus is a obviously a British Lord, and Chuck’s knocked down a peg as he knows Marcus won’t simply be a pawn to make him jealous. He asks Blair not to leave him, she needs a reason; three words and eight letters, now I feel like it would be unfair to say Chuck not saying those words is a sign of him being bad for Blair, because Blair shouldn’t force him into that position in the first place and who could blame him for being too scared to say that for the first time when she’s about to leave with someone else? Having played devil’s advocate, I will now add that not saying those words to Blair allows him to maintain in control, he knows she wants those words and that if he does say them, she’s his, as much as she something over him, he has something over her. Regardless, Blair is actually at a point where she could actually be able to move on from Chuck, because she’s not trying to, as wrong as her reasons for being with Lord Marcus are, she’s with him because she wants to be, not to make Chuck jealous, it’s not about Chuck at all. But how long will Chuck leave Blair’s relationship with another man alone? Oh, I think it lasts for the first five minutes of the seconds episode of the season, Chuck gets to work on manipulating Lord Marcus and looking for ways to break him and Blair up. Romantic, isn’t it? Chuck’s plan to break them up fails when Blair conveniently walks in on Nate with a certain evil step-mother, but we all know Chuck won’t give up just like that. Interestingly, this episode portrays what a lot of people like about Chuck and Blair as a couple; the games, and as it seems that they both enjoy it, I think it’s clear that what Blair enjoys is the fact that she was victorious, and the attention that she’s getting. Going back to Nate, the guy that never paid any attention to her at all, then then following the summer where Chuck gave his penis the tour of European vaginas, she finally is getting him to pay attention to her. Yeah, it’s the wrong kind of attention, I think most girls would prefer a ‘you look nice today’ over a jealous ex trying to sabotage your current relationship, but for Blair, who is still very much the insecure girl living in the Serena-shadow, screaming for someone to pay attention to her, she thrives on Chuck’s jealousy and the efforts that he puts into getting her attention. Blair’s happy in her relationship with Marcus though, until sex becomes an issue. Interestingly, it’s not that Lord Marcus can’t satisfy her and only Chuck can scratch her itch, it’s that Lord Marcus just won’t and doesn’t seem to see her as a sexual object. Now for an insecure girl, who’s ex-boyfriend lost his virginity to her best friend and never got excited at the prospect of ‘sealing the deal’ with her, her new boyfriend showing the same lack of interest in her sexually probably stings some old wounds. So this is why, despite the vulgar reasons for Chuck propositioning her, she goes for it. It’s clear in the episode that she’s horny, for lack thereof a better word, but she’s also in need of a confidence boost too, but once the lights come on, it’s Lord Marcus who Blair runs after, leaving Chuck high and dry, and she probably sleeps with him that night too. And so we’re left wondering how long will Chuck leave Blair to enjoy her relationship? Now it’s clear he doesn’t even have to interfere, as Blair’s relationship with Lord Marcus unsurprisingly ends when she finds out he’s cheating on her with his own step-mother, I think it’s important however to note that they don’t break up because of Chuck in any way and secondly that Blair gets cheated on again, just another hit her pride will take due to another ill-chosen love interest. So it seems like Chuck didn’t have to screw with Blair and yet he does anyway, while Blair is distracted with trying to help Nate, Chuck sets up a long and complicated scheme to not only screw with Serena and Dan, but the ultimate endgame is to screw with Blair. This is not even about his jealousy or any romantic relationship of Blair’s, it is simply to hurt her. He dethrones her from queen of the high school and attempts to destroy her relationship with Serena, but why? Now back to that narcissist thing, if a narcissist feels that their partner has acted in a way unacceptable to them, they will punish their partner. That’s what this is, Blair rejected him last week and is in a relationship that Chuck hasn’t been able to destroy, so he punishes her. Not only in a way to hurt her emotionally, but in a way that specifically pushes her inferior to Serena buttons – this severely damages her self-esteem, now if Chuck was a narcissist, he might be doing this purposely to drive her into his arms – hmm, the following episode Chuck tells Blair that she needs him if she wants to take down Serena and resume her rightful place as queen B. She rejects him again however, and when Blair loses a battle to Serena, Chuck is quick to tell her how much pleasure he takes in watching her fail, what a charmer, huh? Thanks to what Chuck puts in motion, Blair and Serena’s friendship soon disintegrates and Blair nearly sabotages Yale because of it – oh but again, Chuck is there to help with this sabotage as he gives Serena what would be Blair’s answer for the dean. Despite Chuck’s worst intentions and best efforts, Serena and Blair’s friendship overcomes the Yale issues, and it’s time for round three between Chuck and Blair. When Vanessa manipulates Blair, Blair being Blair is frantic to get her power back, so she enlists Chuck to seduce and destroy her, his prize being that he gets to sleep with Blair. Let’s not be blind here, Blair wants to kill two birds with one stone, she genuinely wants to humiliate Vanessa and ‘put her in her place’, but she wants to bang Chuck too. Queue bad porn dialogue, deep breathing and ‘sexy’ background music while I load up on caffeine to stop myself from falling asleep. Now, it doesn’t go quite to plan, Chuck begins to actually like Vanessa, not that he would actually date her, but at the least begins to think that maybe someone could view him as a real friend, and this unsurprisingly panics Blair. Blair’s the prize, she set it up that way, but Chuck’s reluctance to destroy Vanessa makes it seem like he doesn’t want the prize, that it’s not worth it, now have I mentioned before that Blair is insecure? Also, remember the last time that Blair made herself a prize for someone to collect? It was with Nate in the Handmaiden’s Tale, Nate showed no interest in his ‘prize’ and instead confessed his feelings to and kissed who he thought was Serena. This brings out an ugly side of Blair’s, she ends the game, making sure to destroy any feelings that Vanessa could have for Chuck in the process so she doesn’t have to worry about that threat or Chuck actually having a chance for a real relationship with another girl. Now here’s a bit of dialogue that comes from this confrontation should not soon be forgotten;

Vanessa: Maybe what’s really going on here is that you can’t stand the fact that he might actually be a good person when he’s not around you.

Blair: I seriously doubt that.

Now what Vanessa says is interesting in itself, but Blair’s reaction is even better. She doesn’t think that Chuck is a good person. So at least we know she’s not completely blinded by a sordid mixture of love, misplaced compulsion and insecurity-driven need quite yet. Still, Blair wants to get laid, Chuck’s happy to oblige, oh but wait, then they’d both be getting what they want and the relationship might be a bit too equal. Don’t worry, Chuck will fix this, he wants to hear those three words, eight letters from Blair and refuses to sleep with her until she does, stating that he’s chased her for long enough and now it’s time for her to chase him. Chuck has firmly got the upper hand by now, he practices this by purposely drawing Blair in, only to reject her, reminding her what she needs to say first. Blair spends most of the episode trying to seduce him and failing, now it’s classic masochistic behaviour for Blair to want Chuck more the more he rejects her, every time he acts like he doesn’t want her, it makes her feel like she needs him more. Blair finally gets to a point where she can admit to herself that she does love Chuck, the reason why she won’t say it though? Because Chuck will win, which she thinks means he’ll be done with her, he’ll have won and that will be it, on to the next. She believes that she can only hold Chuck’s interest through these games and that if she lets him win, she’ll ‘just be another girl to him’, I think this sheds a lot of light on why she acts that way she does when it comes to games with Chuck. Also, allow me to cast you back to the seconds episode of this season when Blair is scheming to get Lord Marcus to like her and she says to Serena; ‘As soon as I knew he liked me, I would’ve have relaxed and dropped the manipulative plotting and devoted myself to being the best girlfriend ever’, so what does that tell you about Blair and why she schemes? Say it with me now; she’s insecure! Blair doesn’t actually want the games and she finds the strength in this episode to move past them and tells Chuck how she feels, but the same guy who gave her the courage then takes it away and what was meant to be Blair’s romantic moment with Chuck turns into a disaster. Blair falters, she reminds Chuck that she’s the one who was abandoned in Tuscany and that she was the one who asked him to say it first, he writes off the Tuscany debacle as ‘ancient history’ and blames her for him not being saying those words when she asked and then blames her for finishing their relationship. Because nothing is Chuck’s fault and everything is Blair’s. However, Chuck does go to Blair at the end of the episode to tell her that they won’t last as a couple because what they really like is the game – though I think it was clearly established in this episode that Blair doesn’t actually play the games because she wants to, but out of insecurity and they really bring her nothing but misery – still Chuck suggests that they wait, Blair being the masochist she is agrees due to the ‘excruciating pleasure’ in that. So the two of them take a step back from each other, and unsurprisingly, to me anyway, they both seem quite happy. Until Blair needs a date to a dance, Chuck may realise that Blair has a right to at least have one date with someone who isn’t him, but it sure does seem creepy to me that he has to be the one to choose her date – he makes this into a game of course. A game that, once again, causes them both to end up disappointed and unhappy, Blair especially. If the writers were really trying to make us think that Blair and Chuck enjoy the games, they really don’t do a good job of it by always making Blair looks miserable about it. Anyway, moving on, Bart Bass dies, now I’m going to do something unexpected and give Chuck free pass over this span of episodes, and instead focus on Blair’s behaviour during this time. This activates Blair’s masochistic need to try and make everything better, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to help someone you care about when they’re going through a bad time, but Blair thinks it’s her responsibility, she is desperate to make everything better and she naively thinks that telling him she loves him will do that. I’m not just interpreting her I-love-you in that way, she says herself to Cyrus ‘I thought that if I could finally say it, everything would change’ – I think this will become another pattern in Chuck and Blair’s relationship, Blair thinks that big speeches and grand gestures will change what’s wrong in their relationship, this year she’s thinks it’s a love confession, in season three she thinks it will be getting close to his mother, in season four she thinks it will be the both of them becoming successful before coming together, in season five, she thinks it’s Chuck ‘changing’ and becoming ‘good’. Anyway, back to mid-season two, Blair takes it upon herself to fix Chuck, she can’t stand to see him unhappy and it doesn’t occur to her that him being unhappy for a while is normal and that she can be there for him in that time, but she can’t take away his pain, only time can. Another thing that happens, that if it were just to happen this one time would be unimportant, is that Blair defends Chuck and states that he can’t be held responsible for his actions because he’s going through something, while I agree that someone who is grieving will say things they don’t mean and act in ways they usually wouldn’t, bereavement can only justify so much. Blair will repeatedly attempt to justify Chuck’s actions in the future due to his daddy issues and whatever reason she can find, but the bottom line is Chuck is responsible for what he does, Blair just can’t see that. Blair thinks that things will magically be ok when Chuck inherits the empire, but what a surprise, Chuck ends up ditching her to do cocaine with prostitutes. Blair tells Chuck she’s done and Chuck doesn’t really seem to care all that much, instead he becomes infatuated with a hooker and appears to get really serious about her really quickly, if you need a refresher, this is normal courting for narcissists. Blair is busy focusing on her future and we once again get to see her scheming, against a teacher this time, but why again? She wants to put the teacher in her place, she even says herself that she wanted to teacher to know who’s in charge around here. The thing about ‘Queen B’, the ‘fierce’ Blair that so many people seem to love and see as her being strong, is that Blair schemes to hold power over people, she needs to be Queen B, she needs to feel like other people are below her to be able to feel good about herself, her self-esteem is linked to how people see her, and she really gets an awakening in this epoch when Nelly Yuki tells her that people aren’t jealous of her, they hate her. This also shows that Blair doesn’t think she can have people’s respect and loyalty by just being who she is and them liking her for who she is, which is why she chooses the Machiavellian route to rule by fear instead of love (she pretty much says so herself in the finale). One more note on how Blair sees herself, that I’m not even going to comment on, I’m just going to quote Blair herself; “I don’t need a stirring speech telling me what a good person I am. I know I’m not.”

            In the meantime, the hooker ditches Chuck, so he runs back to mommy. Whoops, I mean Blair. He actually tries to help her – not out of the kindness of his heart, but because he wants her back, Blair asks him herself where he was when her life was falling apart. That all happened when Chuck still had the hooker, so why would he of helped Blair then? Blair’s masochistic tendencies are turned up at full volume this time, Chuck and Serena are trying to help her so she pushes him away and all she does is back decisions in an attempt to ruin her life even more. She then tells Chuck about the first time that he saw the ‘real Blair’, the last time Blair felt like her life was falling apart, so she got drunk, stripped in front of a room of crowded people and lost her virginity to Chuck, who she thought was vile at the time. Apparently the ‘real Blair’ is the Blair who doesn’t care about her reputation, but that is simply not true, it’s who Blair is to care about what people think about her, the ‘no hang-ups, no frustrations’ is only who Blair is when she’s spiralling. Chuck is worried about Blair, but Serena tells him that he’ll know what to say to help – but it’s Nate who gives Blair a talk and inspires her to start putting her life together again. Unfortunately, what should be a nice friendship moment between two people who grew up together instead becomes the beginnings of a new triangle. Blair starts seeing Nate and Chuck is the first to know because he apparently stalks her and knows that she’s been leaving Nate’s at the same time every morning. This is not normal! It’s not healthy and it is certainly not romantic! Chuck’s possessive/jealous/selfish side that hadn’t had a chance to show itself lately, is very clearly still there. He talks to Blair and screws with her head, plants doubts in her head about Nate – this talk is very clearly not him telling her that he wants to be with her, that he can’t stand to see her with Nate and that he will do anything to show her that he can be trusted this time, it is simply him manipulating her to believe that her relationship with Nate is doomed and that he’s the only one for her. He pushes her buttons and it works, Blair panics about her relationship with Nate and Chuck further tries to manipulate her and ruin yet another of her relationships by scheming with Vanessa to break them up. Things play out the way that Chuck wants, but he still bangs Vanessa which makes you wonder how serious he was about getting Blair back, or if he just didn’t want her to be with someone who wasn’t him. Turns out he failed after all, as Blair and Nate become an official couple. Blair, with Nate at her side, gets back to rebuilding her future, while Chuck sleeps with anyone who can buy. Yes I know, I’m just assuming he’s sleeping with prostitutes, but it’s not without merit, Jenny says that the only human contact he gets that he doesn’t pay for, is with Lilly and family. This hits a nerve with Chuck and gets him pensive enough to give Nate a pseudo pep talk and tell him ‘it’s stupid for you to want her to be anything other than she is’. This is easy for Chuck to say when he’s not the one Blair has lied to, but in the future we will see Chuck react badly when he finds out she lied to him and schemed behind his back in a situation not all that different to the one Nate was facing then. The interesting part about these episodes is that Blair does genuinely care about Nate, and even though she’s not over Chuck, she does want to give it a real shot with him. Blair then gets caught up in a scheme to protect Serena, she is genuinely trying to help her best friend, but Chuck uses this again to plant doubt in her mind about her relationship with Nate and uses the situation to get close to Blair. I mean, are we really meant to believe that Chuck was trying to help Serena? When has he ever done a scheme that isn’t to benefit himself in some way? Blair’s honest about it with Nate, but their relationship is already beginning to crumble, I don’t think that even though Chuck is a factor, the ultimate reason they don’t work out is simply because they don’t work together. Chuck supposedly continues to help Blair out of the goodness of his heart and takes her away for the night when he’s actually better off without her help and she realises this and runs back to Nate. Blair is able to admit to herself that even though she’s enjoying her relationship with Nate, she still wants Chuck more and realises that she needs to dissolve this problem for the good of all three of them. So she pretty much tells Chuck the same, just in a more indirect way, she asks him if he really cares about her or if it’s just a game to him, he tells her it’s just a game and she’s free. We however know he was lying and when asked why, Chuck responds ‘because I love her, but I can’t make her happy’. Now this is a nice thing for Chuck to do, it sets up the whole happiness theme that will recur for Blair’s character, but on the other hand it maintains Chuck having the control in the relationship, you would think with Blair being the one in the middle of the triangle, that she would be the one with the ‘power’, but no, the moment she has a vulnerable moment, Chuck puts himself in charge again, even if it means he loses too. Now, let me explain that I don’t think Chuck is conscious of this, so I’m not saying that he does this in purpose, but I’m just stating that this is the pattern of their relationship, and this situation will repeat itself at the end of season four when Blair chooses Chuck over Louis, but Chuck takes that choice away from her and sends her back to Louis anyway. Back to season two, we’re nearing the end now and it’s prom, another week where Chuck is supposedly selfless and is trying to make Blair happy again, I’m not going to try and distort his intentions, but I’m just going to state that even though Chuck has ‘set Blair free’ he still can’t not interfere in her life and manipulate her. Nate and Blair came to an inevitable end, and I’m assuming that Blair wants to start things up with Chuck because Serena told her that he loves her, because without this I don’t think Blair would be brave enough to put herself out there yet again. Even knowing that he loves her, Blair is struggling to find the courage and this coincides with Gossip Girl labelling them, Blair is labelled ‘weakling’, while Chuck’s branded ‘coward’. Blair’s is undoubtedly true, no matter how many people say that Blair was at her strongest during the high school years, she wasn’t, she just wasn’t forced to face it back then like she was in the college years. Blair wants Chuck to finally tells her that he loves her, he gets so close but Gossip Girl does her duty and continues to try and ruins these kids’ lives in any way she can. She reveals that Blair slept with Chuck’s uncle Jack (example of her masochism then, another choice she made that would ultimately bring her harm) and that Chuck slept with Vanessa. Blair doesn’t really care and she calls Chuck out on just looking for an excuse to not be with her, but he rejects her again anyway and leaves town. I love how Blair reacts afterwards though, she’s clearly hurt but she tells Serena that she’s going to make a fresh start, she recognises that she chased after Nate for years even though he didn’t really want her and she’s clearly showing that she wants to moved passed everything that’s happened. She doesn’t get far though, Chuck shows up, gifts in hand (you know, instead of an apology) and she reminds him that he’s hurt her too many times, he tells her that he can believe her this time and that he loves her – because those words fix everything – and they are finally happy together. Do you think it will last longer than a week this time?

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Chuck & Blair – An Analysis Part 1

If you are sitting down to read this, I want you to prepare yourself, as this will be a long and in depth character study of Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl and the relationship that they share. I have studied English literature extensively and media, so analysing characters and their actions, as well as the overall storyline and the way it is execute is in my nature. Writing my analyses down is also in my nature, it may seem like an insane way to spend my time and some of you are probably questioning why I would take the time to put something like this together, but I don’t see how it is any different to the people who spend hours making fan videos, arts, gifs and spending hours on tumblr. I also see my way of presenting my opinions as lot more constructive then anonymously sending hate messages, trolling forums or rating down videos on youtube. So why stay anonymous myself? Partly because I don’t know what reactions to expect, I am happy to debate with anyone who can present a compelling and well written argument, but unfortunately this is not usually how people react on the internet and I don’t feel like engaging in petty and overly aggressive fights with unreasonable, narrow minded devotees of the Chuck and Blair relationship. I thought a long time about how to write this exploration and decided that even though I would use technical language, I would try to keep it in a chatty and informal manner. I also thought about how in depth I should go psychologically, and by Gossip Girl standards this will be very intensive, but in terms of psychology I will try and keep it simple so that the information is easy to take in.

            Chuck Bass is a narcissist. I don’t think that statement will come as a surprise to many people, it’s even been stated on the show, but there is a big difference between when people casually use that word to describe an arrogant person and someone who has narcissistic personality disorder. Allow me to describe to you the traits of somebody who has narcissistic personality disorder, they tend to; have a sense of self-importance, have a sense of entitlement, manipulate others to achieve their own goals, rarely feel empathy for others and treat most people as objects, only interact with people they deem ‘worthy’, they feel their own problems are much more intense and harder to deal with then the problems other people face. These are just a few traits, but already doesn’t that sound like the writers saw this list somewhere and said ‘let’s make a character like this and call him Chuck?’ If you disagree, I will go on later to show examples of the many times he has exhibited these behaviours. There are also four main types of narcissism that vary in behaviours, but this article is already bound to be far too long, so I will try and keep it generalist. Now, is narcissism necessarily a bad thing? Some people think that on a scale of narcissism, everyone would fall somewhere on the spectrum, which I agree with to an extent, someone with confidence and vanity are nowhere near as likely to inflict emotional damage on the people close to them as someone with this disorder.

            So why are people attracted to narcissist? They sound pretty terrible and I wouldn’t advise anyone to enter into a relationship with one, but as easy as it seems to be spot a narcissist, it can easily be disguised. Many studies have been done on the first impressions people form when they meet a narcissist and there are now several explanations as to why people are so easily drawn to them. First of all, they are confident, their own sense of self-importance leads you to believe that they must be special. Narcissists tend to be very charming, witty and intelligent, they are exhibitionists and tend to dress in a way that demands attention (purple suits or red onesies ring a bell?). Again this is not only why other characters in the Gossip Girl universe are drawn to Chuck, but these are also the reasons Chuck fans give when asked why they love him. Chuck’s confidence and self-assurance is refreshing on a show where so many people are trying to figure out their place in the world of the Upper East Side, his disregard for other people manifests in a laissez faire attitude, he is sharp and has many one-liners often insulting others and people like his personal style. Still, there is a difference between finding a narcissist entertaining and falling in love with one, but there is no set personality type that profiles people susceptible to falling into relationships with narcissists, it happens to all types of people (men and women, despite the fact that narcissists tend to be male) whether they are strong, weak, confident, insecure, rich, poor, successful, unsuccessful, intelligent or unintelligent. There is a cycle known as the idealization and devaluation in narcissistic relationships, where the narcissist ‘targets’ the person they want to be with and initially idealises them, sees them to be perfect and often the only person who is able to understand them and appreciate them, the narcissist is very perceptive and often knows how to give exactly what the object of their affection needs. In the wooing stage, the narcissist showers their target with affection, gifts, promises, they make big gestures early on in the relationship and will often talk about how they feel they are meant to be together. The woman (going with woman for now, but this can also happen to a male) in question often is swept off her feet and feels like she has found the man of their dreams. I’ll come back to the devaluation stage of the cycle later.

            Let’s put on brake on the narcissist talk for a while and instead talk about Blair Waldorf, now where does she fall? Blair has also be labelled as a masochist on the show, and although she does have some personality traits that coincide with characteristics of someone suffering from self-defeating personality disorder, I do not believe that she actually has this disorder. I would however like to talk about this disorder, because I expect some people would disagree and think that she does have this personality syndrome. The self-defeatist hates herself (just going with herself for the sake of the fact that I am talking about Blair), she likes to keep people at a distance to avoid intimacy, she sets herself unrealistic goals and targets, she is self-destructive and chooses paths and partners that she knows will cause her to suffer later on, she punishes herself through self-purging to alleviate built up anxiety and tension (this can be literal purging, or not), she pushes away people who try to help her and she takes actions that lead to humiliation, rejection  and pain as these feelings are familiar to her. Now Blair is a character where the fans tend to see her in one of two ways; strong or weak. I see her as the latter, Blair is weak and she exhibits many of the aforementioned masochistic behaviours; I don’t think this necessarily means something is wrong with her, but that she’s human and just like everyone has personal obstacles that she should learn to overcome. As with Chuck, I will proceed to list examples of when Blair has exhibited these behaviours and how this reflects her masochism.

            At this point it seems obvious why a narcissist and a masochist would be drawn to each other – together, they can feed into all of their destructive behaviours. Someone with self-defeating disorder as I’ve already said consistently choose relationships that are ultimately bad for them. A masochist is also a perfect partner for a narcissist as they are very unlikely to turn away no matter how they are treated and when pushed away, they will always come back when called for. Masochists tend to feel responsible for fixing other people’s problems and will go out of their way to become involved with the personal issues of someone they care about, this works out brilliantly for the narcissist as they believe that their problems are bigger than anyone else’s and the masochist will gladly reinforce this idea. The narcissist also believes that few people can truly ‘understand’ them, their partner being one of the few and the masochist thrives on this feeling of being the only one who could possibly help through an emotional crisis. The masochist will also take responsibility for problems in the relationship which is perfect for the narcissist, as he can do no wrong and nothing is ever his fault anyway. It all seems a macabre kind of perfect doesn’t it? The narcissist and the masochist fit together so well and become so dependent on each other, but they both become worse people because of it. To sum up the relationship between these two personality types, the masochist is the ultimate source of unwavering love, attention and enablement for the narcissist and the masochist’s worse qualities make it close to impossible to get out of the narcissist’s grasp.

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