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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This episode kind of remains me of One Tree Hill. What Locus writhe about themselves. They all like it, und actually want to make a movie about it. I never thought that Dan really think about Serena that way, we all knew that Serena isn’t a bad Person in her life. I actually loved Derena in Season one.

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But even straying in that territoru... Was Betrayal**

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I love Dair.. I seriously love it I wait breathlessly (literally) for Tuesday noons so I can watch it online in Kuwait
I laugh for no reason coz of Dair and I squeal like a lil girl whenever I see something that shows what Blair might be feeling (FOR INSTANCE THE SADNESS ON HER FACE AND THE WAY HER SMILE QUICKLY VANISHED AND SHE LOOKED DOWN WHEN S SAID THE EVERY GIRL NEEDS TO COME DOWN HER PEDASTAL THINGY) But at this moment I can't help but feel despair.. Its not like Blair to be impulsive and a drama queen ( a real one like we are accustomed to, other than stuff like Constance Queen, bday parties and stuff..) She's actually subdued and serious in matters of love, the writers probably won't give us an episode of her professin her love to Dan after being so resistant to it which is just plain depressing. They are instead makin Chuck grow which makes me feel like someone here said, they are gonna recreate Chuck and then recreate Chair. I think the only truly hurtful thing about Dan's book was Rufus' portrayal, he probably never thought that, but even straying in that territory about his father whose always been good as far as we've seen to him, was portrayal. And to think he never meant to show this to anyone! So I think the literary lisence crap is stupid. Blair neeeeeeeds to come clean either about Chuck or Dan! Damn I love her character so much but the lies and wanna be fairy tale has been going on for 8 episodes, nearly half a season! Errrrrrrrr Louis looked really cute today and I'm glad he finally acted like a man today as opposed to a smitten head over heels girls -_- kinda remiscent of Dan for Serena in old days. As someone cleverly put it, CHILLY! Is too good. Love that mother son relationship :)

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I think everyone has a right to be mad at Dan but stay mad? No! Even if everything Dan says is true that doesn't mean having your personal problems told to the world is all nice. I think Blair will get over it, she always has a dramatic reaction to stuff and gets over things fairly quickly even for stuff she shouldn't forgive. Chuck just made me sad this episode, I really like where they are going with his character this season, I never felt he properly mourned losing Blair and finally we are seeing that he really did care! Nate, this is the most interesting thing that has happened to him, he should just get over it. Rufus thing sucked, but I think kids of divorced parents always feel some sort of resentment especially since it seemed that Rufus was always in love with Lily even when he was with his mother so I am not surprised Dan might hold some unresolved bitterness towards his dad. As for Serena, I personally think she is actually the most selfish person on the show. But she just covers it up with charm and niceness. If you really think about her she is only nice and caring when its easy, when it takes effort or some sacrifice on her part she doesn't step up to the plate.

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I am on Team Dan on this one.
First, Serena, I NEVER liked her, and I more or less agree with Dan portrayal. Ok, she can be mad because she "claims" not to be that person anymore: okay.
But haven't we been told by the extract we heard from the book that Dan places the events when they occured: in highschool or after. I don't think he's even denying Serena's growth but just exposes facts. But she really could uses a mirror. In my eyes, she is a self-center girl. She just doesn't want to face it. And now she has to make friend again wih Dan for that movie, and she will justify this because he hurts her! Come on! For 5 years, she's been the one to use him! AArrgh! I have never been on Derena's board but for me, their relationship really ended when dear Serena couldn't choose between Dan and Nate! How is that not selfish? To lead them both on.
Please please please, don't make Dan Serena's pet again! Well according to this episode it doesn't seems to lead that way but you never know.
On Blair's account, I love her, and yes the consequences may have been more important on her life, but I think she took it hard on Dan, knowing that it wasn't true but that it was showing Dan's feelings, when she is the one who really endanger her relationship with Louis when she slept with Chuck. And she's putting on the blame on Dan when he's been the one for her all that time. Don't make Dair a couple, ok, but don't destroy their friendship!
I'm sorry to tell you guys, but all that time, Dan's been a real friend for Blair, not Serena, who think she can come back, give Blair a hug a proclaim to be her BFF!
I also felt bad for Chuck, who's been the one reacting with maturity. I hope to see more Dan & Chuck scenes in the future. It's funny how you don't know what you like before it's put under your eyes. I never imagime them as a pairing (friendship) but they are great!
As for Nate, it was funny but I think he took it too seriously, that's why I was so sad for Dan at the end, being all alone.
Come on! After all the Upper-East sidders had done wrong in their life, I can't believe they will dismissed one of their friend just for writing a book!

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I found this so frustrating! Especially with Rufus, you've got Nate and Eric being the same person and a dead Chuck, why the hel would you believe any of it.
The stuff about Serena was harsh but true she
did most of those things. The only people I feel sorry for is Blair, even though she has cheated on Louis, he should at least take Dans word for it. And Chuck for obvious reasons, the rest need a reality check.

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I liked the episode because of the cast integration and Dan's book showing all the characters faults and areas of needed growth (with the exception of Blair of course who he writes in a totally positive light.) They may be angry at Dan now but I bet they end up thanking him later. We've already seen how Chuck is benefitting from it. Speaking of, Chuck was the best part of last night's episode for me. I loved him so much. I cannot wait until they finally start rebuilding Chuck and Blair but they need to rebuild Chuck first obviously.

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Chuck & Dan were definitely the best characters in this episode. Both of them are now alone. Serena was acting completely selfish, I wonder where I've seen that before? I'm so glad Dan isn't following her around like a little puppy anymore, we've got a real puppy on the show now. The only one he betrayed in his book was Rufus and possibly Blair. Nate totally overreacted, I don't think he realizes how close Dan is with Eric. They've had some cute scenes together. I like Dair, but I prefer them as best friends to be honest. Chuck & Blair, couple & Dan to be best friends with both of them. Need to bring another love interest on the show for Dan, he's had no one for ages? Also, more Lily & Chuck scenes would be fantastic, she is the only one apart from Blair that he has a real connection with. She just gets him, more than her own children, I believe.
In conclusion:
Serena is a drama queen, who cares about no one but herself. (As tonight proved, Dan has followed her around, sacrificing for her for 5 years and she thinks he's being unreasonable? Ridiculous.)
Blair needs to dump Louis and get back together with Chuck & repair her relationship with Dan.
Nate needs to be killed off the show? Most pointless character ever.
Dan & Chuck need to become best friends, now that Dan & Nate aren't friends. I just feel Dan & Chuck would be great friends.
Lily and Rufus need to be involved in the show more again, mainly Lily.
Eric needs to come back!

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I don't see why everybody hates Dan. Don't they get that it's a story, it's only based on people. I write alot too and have done alot of short stories based on people around me. To make a great story you have do overdo it a little. If someone irl is a little slow you make them super stupid, if they're a little mean someimes you make them meaner. That's just for the story.

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It really annoys me when Blair complains about Louis not trusting her. He has no reason to,she cheated on him the same week of their engagement. Their whole relationship is based on lies, Blair pretending that everything's okay and Louis pretending to be oblivious and plus they've only known eachother for what like 5 months?? gaah

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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