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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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Enjoyed the episode. Chuck was great, Chair was sweet and Derena was surprisingly emotional. Louis just needs to go already!

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This is one of the best episodes in a while. Dan's book and its reaction did a lot to define and redefine the main characters in the series, something that has been long overdue for a while, in my opinion. The contrast of the one-dimensional assessments of the characters in Dan's satire with the real life reactions of the characters, was an excellent way to accomplish that. The details of the story were fictional, but Dan was spot on, although incomplete, with most of his character assessments. I love the irony. Before this episode, Dan was clearly defined as everyone's friend, but everyone else's relationships with each other were less clear. Now, the other freindships/relationships are more clearly defined (Blair and Serena, Blair and Louis, Chuck with himself/his family, etc.) and Dan's relationship to everyone is unsettled and a little ambiguous, since we don't know how or if the issues will be resolved. Excellent, excellent episode. Dan's getting a lot of flack from fans for his 'betrayal', but to his credit, he had never planned to publish the book, and he even tried to stop the publication. The only reason he came forward was because he thought someone else was stealing his work. From what I can tell, the book was meant as a personal journey, to figure out who he, and everyone else in his life, was. It was never meant to be read. Like he said, he sold out himself worst of all. Sure, it very selfish and probably wrong on some levels, but I think people are being too hard on him. He's not the Devil. Yes, his friends and family have a right to be upset, but the fans should be more objective. It's not like THEY were outed in Dan's book. Besides, look at what a great thing it did for the plot and character development in the series (see my first comment). Comments on the Season so far:
I like Ivy. I hope that journalist lady doesn't ruin her. She should come clean to Serena and ask
I also like Louis-- not because he's been so fantastic, but because he COULD be fantastic if the writers would develop him more. He seems like a foil so far, but he's been patient with Blair and understanding of her past, so he deserves better than that. Whether or not he and Blair end up together, his character deserves a solid development.
I like the direction they're taking with Chuck. He's changing into a better character without it seeming contrived-- while still being Chuck. Impressive. Actually, Serena is also maturing believably-- another impressive accomplishment. Kudos, writers. Chuck has been one of my favorites since the beginning, and it's nice to see him not so tortured. This Chuck could actually be happy one day...
I like Serena single. She's a better person with no one to lie to and hide things from. She can actually be herself. And she's definitely getting less flaky and more responsible. She's best as Blair's best friend.
I'm really looking forward to finding out how Dan's situation will affect him. He's going to change, but which direction his character will go is a point of great interest to me. I'm very very happy that Dan is finally writing again. FINALLY. He was away from it for far too long.
Blair is finally happy-- well, for the most part. She deserves a prince. If the writers decide to take Louis away from her, they darn well better give her a good guy-- whether it's a safe Chuck, a repentant Dan, or some other prince somewhere-- and they darn well better not torture her in the transition process.

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I find the poll offensive. Dan sold out no one. It is not his fault that Vanessa decided to publish his book.

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Dear Seren,
the "Principato de Monaco" is a little bigger than e small avarage US city, not properly a Country :) I guess Blair's governance at the Constance high school was much powerful than Monaco ...

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i think i am the only one who prefer the prince for blair but its just because i really really want her to become a princess,so i can see her have power and govern a whole country!:P Iam not a dair fun and i dont ever like dan but i believe its not fair that everyone is against to him...he just wrote a novel which is based on imaginary facts,he didnt write their bios or his true feelings about them,he is just an author who does a good work...

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I rest my case :) DAIR...............

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Yes cicci! Thankyou ! :D

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did you see blair:s face when serena thought that she was going to be idolized in Dans book

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Folks,
anybody is with me in considering one of the sweetest scene of the episode the one where Chuck was prepering the lunch for Monkey? Priceless Television moment!

Eneci

It was a little funny story! I really enjoyed the whole episode it was really an Inside out game!
Nate! I liked he stepped up his game a little bit! But Hope he becomes more than a ManDoll! He reacted really cool on being G but childish for being Dereck!
Serena! I like her being confident and hardworking she showed she is someone who can work up her! But I hated the losing the job part! and i love the stepping up part!
Blair! I like lying baby happy Blair! She loves where she stands and is doing it well! Queen B going real royal! Luise is getting on my nervs he shouldn't get this Queen!
Chuck . . .Dan,Chuck and the dog! nice interaction! I like them having a real Bromance!
Dan! Playing the innocent boy who just wanted to be accepted !!! But i love the part on HIm being the jerk in his book and predicting what his "friends" will do to him.
Charlie and Diana boringggggggggggggggggggggggggg!
Rufus ! OMG what a disappointment!
And Lonely boy really become lonely boy!

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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