Gossip Girl Review: From the Inside, On the Outs

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Gossip Girl has strayed far from the books that spawned the series in four-plus seasons, but this week's episode served as an homage of sorts to the Upper East Side novels that started it all.

"Memoirs of an Invisible Dan" may be the best episode title to date. The play on words is great, but it's also appropriate. Thanks to his memoir, Lonely Boy is ... well, a really Lonely Boy now.

Save for the reenacted Dan-Blair scene from Inside, which threw gasoline on the fire of Dair soulmate talk, the episode didn't feature any OMG moments, scandals or surprising plot twists.

It was, however, one of the more emotionally heavy and introspective installments to date.

Dearest Daniel

It remains to be seen how Inside shifts the Gossip Girl Season Five narrative, but it may have forever altered the Upper East Siders' opinions of the author, and perspectives of themselves.

Dan's novel certainly hit close to home for his friends (if we can call them that now) and directly affected his relationships with everyone else on the show. The episode felt slow at times, but it was told in a thoughtful, convincing manner. The characters reacted honestly and at times harshly to Humphrey's work, artistic license be damned.

Let's break down how Dan portrayed/slandered each and where they're headed now:

Blair. The good news for Dair fans is that he wrote that they had sex, and that they definitely kissed on screen tonight. The bad news? That kiss, and almost certainly the sex, did not occur.

From his actions this season and last, I think we all knew Dan wishes he could have gone there with Blair and probably would this minute if given the chance. But it was not and is not to be.

Of all the characters, the book had the most direct impact on Blair, who was convinced it was more or less factual and that she did not have to read it as a result ... until Louis beat her to it.

Her royal fiancee believed it was true, and why wouldn't he, given how Blair told him it was, and Dan had him kill the Vanity Fair excerpt. But he came around, thanks to a little help from ...

Chuck. For most of the night, he was the only one unfazed by the book. The return of Charlie Trout was far less of a big deal to him any anyone else, and unlike Blair, he'd actually read it.

But then he stopped to think about it.

You see, Charlie Trout offs himself in Inside. While Chuck tried not to care, he couldn't help but ponder his place in the world and why Dan penned such a sad ending for his bad boy alter ego.

He didn't blame Dan as much as he questioned his own self-worth - it was both fascinating and depressing to see Chuck so vulnerable. It was this soul-searching that led him to reunite Blair and Louis - the second time he's brought their relationship back from the precipice. But is Blair really gone to him for good?

Somehow I doubt it. Especially after their scene on the street.

A Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick Picture

Nate. Poor Nate. So handsome. So maligned. So irrelevant that he and Eric were merged into one character, Derek. Not unlike the show itself in a way. It's like art imitating life ... that is also art.

Fortunately, he's got his job to focus on now ... and will likely be even more easily manipulated by Diana given his disillusionment with ex-friend Dan. This could turn out very badly for both.

Rufus. Almost as an afterthought, we learned in one of the more surprising exchanges of the night that Dan sold out his own dad, calling him a washed up singer turned trophy husband.

Wow, D. That's just cold. How do you even bounce back from that?

Serena. If anything felt out of place tonight, it was the fact that the actions of Serena's fictional character, Sabrina, caused Daniel Day-Lewis to back out of a role he'd agreed to with S' boss.

Come on, writers. It had been like one day, first of all, and for us to believe that DDL's manager would read, care about and punish real-life Serena for this work of fiction is just ridiculous.

That said, the confrontation between Serena and Dan told us a lot about each. She felt wronged by his portrayal of her; His defense about being the truly pathetic character didn't satisfy her.

Did Dan offer a one-dimensional caricature of Serena that made her look particularly flaky? Yes. Is she entitled to be a little upset? Yes. Did he basically call it like it happened? Definitely.

Dan calling her out for thinking everything is about her when he had just ruined Blair's engagement was a telling line. The book may not be entirely non-fiction, but it's rooted in truth.

The truth hurts, and is likely to become even more painful for S now that she's tasked with acquiring the movie rights to Inside. Maybe she should start by shipping him a crate of champagne.

Side note: Dan may have no friends left, but his wallet is certainly benefiting from early reviews and sales ... so much so that he can probably afford his own UES residence before long!

Serena Cleavage

The only side plot was that of Ivy's phone. After Charlie learned it was in Nate's hands and hatched a poorly-acted plot to swipe it back, Diana busted her and has now enlisted her services.

For what, we shall see, but thanks to Diana, Ivy now has fresh motivation to stick around, masquerade as someone else and probably make out with Nate more. Which is ... good I guess?

Diana's endgame is still a mystery. The big potential scandal still out there is B's pregnancy and the envelope she hasn't thrown out. With her claws in Ivy, will she get her hands on that dirt?

Overall, what the episode lacked in excitement, it made up for with emotion, "meta" references, long overdue interactions between characters, and setting up bigger things to come.

That's all for now, but "Memoirs of an Invisible Dan" should give you plenty discuss with TV Fanatic as you hit the comments! Come back tomorrow for news, promos and our Round Table!

Who did Dan sell out hardest?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (316 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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I liked the episode but wht i didnt like was Nate Charlie Ivy then Charlie again oh i forgot Diana!!
I love dair anywhere anytime ;) Chair scene was amazing
I dnt want B to marry Lious

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Gossip Girl is just not as good as it was its first season, lately I'd rather be reading Dan's book than watching the real thing. At least in Inside Nate, Serena and Rufus have an actual character! P.S. I can't stand Diana! She's so annoying and not even pretty! She has manly arms and looks all plastic-surgery-like.

Jeca

I still don't get what's Diana up to, this character came is a very sutil way and looks like nobody has a guess of what she really wants, she looks looks like a gossipy woman trying to make her own page six but I'm guessing she is here for more, at least I hope so, otherwise this has no point ,

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@crAZychicke Lol no, I didn't notice Nate give Chuck a look when he climbed over the puppy gate :D or even that he had a puppy gate at all! I rewatched that scene to see what you were talking about and I'm glad you pointed it out, can't believe I missed it xD

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did everyone see nate rolling his eyes when he had to climb over the puppy gate chuck had in his kitchen!!! best decision ever!!! team chuck and monkey!! ROFL and Team Chuck/Lily someone said something about chuck avoiding rufus.. i never realised that.. was that all because chuck slept with jenny? ARE YOU SERIOUS RUFUS! That was ages ago and they both made mistakes - actually i think the writer's screwed that mistake up the most... and not because of blair but because chuck was jenny's steo brother and his character could have totally been so much better by not doing that and just being a brother/type - stupid storyline. p.s nate and jenny belonged together - now that she's gone nate is useless unless ivy can save him.

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I totally understand about school. I had to stay up to study and then remembered about Gossip Girl which made me feel a little more motivated to finish my homework so I could watch it as a reward:-)
But about Vanessa, I'm not hating on her at all. Just saying that she was the catalyst in this story. She made the whole publishing thing happen. I was just saying that it isn't primarily Dan's fault. Of course he became tempted for recognition and I can't blame him. He has always been wanting that and when it came to the point where it was going to be published anyways, it was more tempting to choose glory. I am happy and sad for him because it came at a price.
I grant you the whole publishing story is ridiculous but when has anything made sense in Gossip Girl haha? You remember Blair and her temporary job at W? Or Serena and her actual job that she got to by having read a book lol (which actually is even more suprising).

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I am fine... you know school is a bitch!
As for Vanessa... was she wrong for taking it? Yes. Is it her fault for the hate? No! As I said before no one knew Dan wrote it and it could have been left at that and frankly Vanessa can not force a publisher to do squat as she has not clout like Noah does (which is why some people find Dan being published ridiculous as if anyone knows the publishing game... Inside wouldn't get published so quickly and also Dan would had to sign his rights to the books as most new writers have to until contract negotiations). and he could have left it anonymous because no one knows who Dan Humphrey, even Serena's co-worker didn't know she was Sabrina until she said she knew the writer.

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@whateva
I'm doing fine and you?
But he never wanted it to be published, why would he have told them? Which is why to me, it feels like he was venting his feelings through that story more than anything else.He was writing it for himself. And he did try to stop it from being published which I think shows that he initially never intended for it to be more than what it was. It's not scapegoating Vanessa because it is what it is. She forced the manuscript to be published and it was going to be anyways.
Also he made the names pretty similar to what their actual names are so someone among them would find out about the book even if it remained anonymous (because we're talking of the GG world where those kids are so popular and everyone cares about them and we also got Gossip Girl herself preying over information and juicy bits). Dan owned to it because for once, he received the proper attention for his work and I would do that to. He's always dreamed of that! Yet, he did try to stop it before but at one point, it was unstoppable.
I didn't complain about Chuck in this episode. He was brilliant. He's made for Bromance.
And I'm not making it about endgames either. I KNOW it's Chair. I'm just defending Dan because I like him. It's like, many expect the UES characters to be flawed and just accept that (for example Blair is pretty horrible when it comes to her flaws). When someone who isn't rich and loaded,like Dan does something bad, he gets much more hate. Just like Vanessa used to.
In the end everyone is flawed, but I feel that Dan doesn't really deserve all that hate in the show.

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@Kookakicha
Hello darling, how are you today.
I am going to come say that scapegoating Vanessa for Dan's receiving hate is just a cop out. If Dan wasn't such an attention whore, he wouldn't be in this mess. Dan didn't have to acknowledge the book as his and no one in his circle and the world would have known who hell he was talking about. As I said before he should have told them he was writing about them while it was fiction (for some parts) he highly exaggerated them and painted them in a unfair light and what he said to Serena prove he was like his character without him realizing it, as while Serena is a flake, she has never been towards Blair unless in extreme circumstances (IMO if I was to choose another endgame for Blair, I would want Serena/Blair). Also I am not surprised Chuck was the only one out of his friends to rage at Dan as he has never been judgmental like everyone else. The only reason Chuck bitch about Charlie Trout in season 2, is because Dan wrote something very very personal about Chuck without asking permission and he got it in a shady manner. I also noticed Dan had Charlie killed in his book... cause I think that the only way Blair and him could be in the book. Also anyone who thinks the Dair kiss scene would ever go down like that is high as I know what. Think about it would Dan and Blair really talk like that to each other... oh i love soap cheesiness.

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The book was satire btw. The only person who has a right to feel angry is Rufus, in my opinion.
Nate was sort of the guy bouncing around with nothing to do so it's no surprise he wasn't included. Serena did indeed do all those things and from what I see, she hasn't changed much (ending of the episode with her boss). Remember, SATIRE rhymes with exaggeration and what Dan had in season 1,2,3 was great material to write a satire because let's be honest, the drama was ridiculously intense.
And, it's Vanessa's fault for the fact that it's published. Sure he took credit for it but it was going to be published anyways so why not just own it? I wouldn't be surprised that he wrote those things. Dan was always excluded (season 1 when Serena didn't want to see him but only let Chuck/Nate/Blair in) and that was his way of coping. He never meant it for it to be published. It's like a diary.

Gossip Girl Season 5 Episode 4 Quotes

Alessandra: They're coming tonight, right?
Dan: To the book party? No. I haven't exactly mentioned it to them yet. But I'd have to tell them the book exists first.
Alessandra: They don't know? Not any of them?
Dan: No. I'm not sure they're going to like it when they find out.
Alessandra: If they're really your friends they'll be happy to see your star rise. And they should be at the soirée tonight. When everybody learns that Anonymous is actually Daniel Humphrey.

Dan: Quick question: how big can my head get before it explodes?

Gossip Girl Season 5 Episode 4 Music

  Song Artist
Quite-nice-people Quite Nice People Ida Maria iTunes
Ghost-in-your-bed Ghost In Your Bed My Gold Mask iTunes
Song Jacksons Morning Brush Carlin Music
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