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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And, in my opinion
Serenate is endgame, the golden couple, plus they were soooper cute too!
Soo... Dan isn't gonna be with Serena when it all ends.
Coz, the outta control trust fund gal with a down to earth dreamy guy story was completed with Lufus. And Derena would be too repetitive of that. Chair has been shown enough for 3 SEASONS. Counting the messin around in s1 n s4. Dair, something new, something different, something very understandable, and something to go off with a BANG! As this might be the last season of GG. Chuck Chuck Chuck Chuck... I have no idea what will happen with you, lol since I refuse to believe writers will be so unimaginative to bring it back to right where it started. Maybe you'll adopt a kid or two and meet someone like Eva again :D

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@kris kris
"This whole classist...lap dog" LOL! Right on :)

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@kris kris awesomely summarised!! totally agree. if blair doesn't want him i'll have him. Team DAN

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And yeah, the only one who should be sort of offended by the book is Rufus because he raised Dan, and it must be hurtful for your son to think that of you. ALTHOUGH, it's true. Nate being conflated kinda sucks for him, too. As for Serena and Blair, they need to STFU. Serena is sweet, but has her head up her butt, and the psychotic bossy way she forced her "cousin" to move back to NY was an example of how she only sees what she wants to see. As for Blair, she's my girl, but stop being so mean to Dan just to prove a point. Every time she has a problem, she needs him, but then her insecurities cause her to be mean to him again just to put him in his place. Has anyone been to NYC, lately? This whole classist UES, Brooklyn, nonsense is so archaic. Blair is becoming redundant to me, and I usually love her and her assessments about the different NYC neighborhoods, but it's getting old. Bottom line, you cheated girl, and with Chuck which is so much worse. So stop taking it out on your lap dog.

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Blair can end up with Chuck or Dan and I'd be happy either way. And just because Penn says Dair are "soulmates" does not mean it's romantic in any way. They truly are soulmates in that they are a great team together. They love each other in a way that best friends do. Sure there is more there than just the friend issue, but the fact is they ARE soulmates whether she ends up with him or not. And Chuck is her romantic perfect match. They have amazing chemistry she's never had with anyone else. I just wish they would get rid of Louis already. He brings nothing to the table. I never liked him from day one. And for some reason I am always waiting for his evil side to come out! I don't know why but the whole perfect man angle makes me think he's hiding something.

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@SuperIdole great review - you totally got it in one!! i agree with all your points.. except i would love dair to happen but of course it's too soon to happen right now but i think it could build up to something other than friendship.. i also enjoyed the chuck and lily scenes and i agree - they are making chuck a better character now.. i was so over the nastiness and the angst between chair..

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Here's the thing about Dair and Chair: They need to fully explore Dair or just leave it alone all together. It is so frustrating that they teased it all second half of last season to rejuvenate their sagging ratings, then abandoned it abruptly for this forced fed "royalty" storyline. It is just insulting at this point. Louis' stupid accent and his annoyingly pointless family are grating. As a fan of both Dair or Chair, there is the real storyline, and seeing as how this season might be its last, we as fans should be treated better than what we're being given right now. Granted, the writing and the acting have been really promising this season, when are we going to start getting somewhere storyline wise, bc we all know Louis is not the endgame.

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All I have to say is the baby is CHUCK'S!
Blair went to Chuck first in order to see his reaction when she told him it was Louis' to see if it meant anything to him. Of course Chuck being Chuck and wanting to protect her was happy for her & Louis (on the outside). Notice how shocked she was at his humanity in keeping Monkey, she expected he would not want a baby to be his.
But Blouis will soon end and Chuck & Blair will be back together where they belong, baby in tow (eventually). I just hope Chuck doesn't self-destruct before then... It's a slippery slope for him...

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I LOVE Blair; but at this moment kind of disappointed of her. why she didn’t tell Luis about her and Chuck. He forgives her for 100th time. I think Luis is actually a nice and god guy- But the way Blair lie to him make me sad. She could tell him everything. I knew this all Show, they want to make a Bomb of her Secret. I have a bad feeling what they would do to this Story line.

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And and I'm gonna go ahead n defend Serena on two things. 1) Ivy/Charlie deal.
Can't blame Serena for missing the "obvious" signs, because we need to remember only we are seeing the story from the both sides!
Serena has no idea, why should she ? The plan was perfectly executed as we remember, this girl was told by her family she has no reason to doubt on such matters, that this was her cousin, then they acted like cousins for what a month ?
How common is it that people pretend to be your cousins to have off your trust funds? Not very, and so its not that retarded that Serena couldn't understand Charlies reluctance.
She probably thought it off as Charlie being scared of the evil mom. And went out of her way to help her - Family - anything wrong with that? I don't think so :D 2) Portrayal in book.
Serena just loved partying and her Gucci and Prada sure, she was a serial dater yes. But was she shallow? No I don't think so.
Throughtout the show we have been shown her struggle with her family, mom and dad alike, her friends, her boyfriends/blair. We have been shown her ups and downs and she hasn't been self indulgent, sure a spoiled child at many points but which Upper East Sider isn't ?
Personally Dan took it a lil far classifying her as that after lovin her like a madman and being all tender and mr I'm here for you for years! He never meant to show it to anybody, meant he knew the consequences, which in turn meant he knew what he wrote was wrong ans hurtful. -_- I love dair, but not feeling too loving about the Dan half of it after last nights episode.

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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