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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uhhhh i liked the episode but i just dont like dan. and this whole episode was about dan. yeah he deserved and episdoe just for him, like most the other characters have had, but honestly this episode just makes me hate dan more.
and please, dan deserves to be yelled at by blair. he deserves it. @Gia hahah chuck hiring someone to strangle dan with a scarf.... (lol) so funny!

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i also agree with the point that people are trying to force a dan and blair relationship, its really anoyying. nothing is there to explore. just my opinion.

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even if the book was fiction he still gave off the imnpression that thats what he thought about everyone. so i do not let him off the book just because he said his book is fictional. dan deserves what he gets, and i hope he gets punched in the face because honestly his character is sooo anoyying. god.
well chucks storylines are always awesome! keep them coming writers! ed is a fantastic actor
i felt really bad for serena also. that was harsh dan.
blair and dan. wow their scenes just make me laugh, honestly i find them pathetic together, and they have no chemistry whatsoever
it honestly was an intresting episdoe, but it being all about dan was really boring.
cant wait for the next episode! let there be chair scenes :)

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This was a great episode. Dan's books are not the characters, but highly exaggerated versions of them. Dan probably wrote it as escapism, like when you're angry at someone and you wish them harm in your head, but it's of course not real. Blair going all WTF "there's nothing between us and it never will" made me think it was yet another overexaggeration as well. Then I noticed, that's denial as its finest. Good episode.

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It was probably the most emotional episode of the season up til now. I like the conversations and how it brought the real feelings these characters had for each other. as far as nate is concerned this book somehow reflected what his character is on the show. i really hope he has GAME this time. Damn Dan couldn't really enjoy the dream he had had for years. who knew it would turn out to be a nightmare. well at least he did. Now, is it me or is Ed Westwick a damn good actor. the way he portrayed his emotions without really saying much was commendable. especially the scene in the end where he is sitting all alone. will this lead to a character metamorphosis for chuck or will he become more alone, more irrelevant. as for the mystery surrounding Blair's pregnancy i think there's more to it then they are letting on right now. and yeah i did feel the part concerning Serena was a bit too much. like why would DDl really care? or he may. who knows how these Hollywood people think. all in all a good episode. i am looking forward to more and trust me we are in for a lot of heart breaks and scandals.

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@Maribells Dan decided to take credit because unlike the rest of the characters he actually takes responsibility for all of his actions, unlike everyone else who at the most only take credit for things when it suits them. Not only that but it was better for him to go ahead and take credit, rather then let someone like Vanessa or Chuck, who would know exactly who wrote the book use it try and blackmail him down the line. Sure Dan also wanted fame but it is fame that he deserves for actually accomplishing something in his life, something I can not same the same for the rest of the characters. my main point though is Dan did not sell out his friends, Vanessa did stole Dan own private work that was no where near finished and decided to publish it.

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Funny Blair calling Dan unimaginative. for all I know, he wrote a book which got published. What did the others achieve?

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i love of like the Dan and Chuck bromance! and now that he's exiled from everyone, i feel like Chuck is the only one that'll accept him since Chuck has been exiled himself (after selling Blair). But like everyone eventually came around to Chuck it'll be the same for Dan. I'm excited to see more Dan and Chuck seens tho. it makes sense that they'd be friends, Dan and Blair are so similar, Chuck loves Blair so he'll probably like Dan too. For the longest Chuck has been Blair's bad side and Dan has been Blair's good side. think about it. I wish Louis had more screen time. what do we really know about him except that he's nice and he's a prince? i guess we know that he loves Blair..but who doesnt? i feel like he doesnt have enough depth to be with Blair. the preview showing him finding the letter i think will be the final straw

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One thing I agree with from the other comments is that it's wonderful to finally get Chuck and Serena's POV this season, because it's been so incredibly lacking before. We finally get to see Chuck hurting (and maturing) and Serena working hard, screwing up, and then pulling herself up and moving on. I think the end point of these storylines is that Blair and Dan will see that they were wrong about Chuck and Serena, respectively. It's definitely leading back to Chuck/Blair and possibly Dan/Serena as well, although he was way harsh on her in that scene. As for feeling bad for Dan because he never wanted the book published? Well, he had a choice to let it be published anonymously and not take the credit, at which point no one would've known who the characters in the book were. But he wanted the success and the fame, so he chose to sell out his friends and family. I don't blame him for making that choice, but he does deserve the cold shoulder he's getting now. And re: Blair being a bitch to Dan? OF COURSE she was a bitch to Dan, this is Blair we're talking about. This is yet another example of why trying to force them into a romantic relationship doesn't work for her character. I do think that Dan has put her on a pedestal, much like he did with Serena, and he's going to realize sooner or later that she doesn't belong up there. She's been using him and his friendship, and while I don't particularly care for Dan, I don't really think he deserves that.

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I feel like fucking crying!!! My heart bleads for Chuck. I mean actually I and all Chair fans should be happy that this whole Louis and Blair (no they don't deserve a nickname) inteactions are happening at the beginning of this season. This is GG. No way that they are starting with a couple and let them still be together at the end. But in the meantime I feel so bad for Chuck. Have you seen his face when he once again tried to save Blair's relationship? And later with Lilly... (Ed is so amazing!!) I need for Blair to hug him! And Louis needs to leave! Can't see his face anymore. But I slowly fear that this baby is really Louis'. Blair coudn't lie to his face this much, could she? Arrrgh so frustrating! I want Chaiiiiir *cry*

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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