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Gossip Girl Review: Backup Dan the Man

by at . Comments

With the dust nowhere near settled after last week's 100th episode event, this evening's Gossip Girl picked up right where the wedding left off with a somewhat lighter, equally confusing installment.

"The Backup Dan" featured some highly entertaining scenes thanks to Dan, Blair and Georgina, but was uneven in many respects. Chiefly, the story we were so excited for not really materializing.

Was anyone out there not loving Dan and Blair at the airport, on the run from her life? I'd watch an entire spinoff in which Dair travels the world, trying to stay one step ahead of Louis' henchmen.

Okay, Monaco totally doesn't have henchmen, but you get my point (they do have dowries, apparently, which we'll get to momentarily after we finish discussing the viewing experience that is Dair).

A Dan and Blair Photo

It's no wonder Penn Badgley and Leighton Meester, who play off of each other so brilliantly, have both made comments to the effect that Dan and Blair's relationship has become their favorite on GG.

Not only is it a hoot, frankly, it's the only one written in a way that makes sense! Will "The Backup Dan" ever become the #1 plan for B romantically? Who knows, but it's a lot of fun to watch unfold.

We know Dan harbors strong feelings for Blair, and it's starting to look like she's aware of them - she knows about the vows, after all, and come on, it's obvious - but she hasn't reciprocated. Yet.

Their scene near the end, before she inexplicably left with Louis, was heartwarming. In the same breath, Blair thanked him for being the one who's always been there for her, then bashed his hair.

That's their relationship in a nutshell. An unlikely duo bonded by their joint love of ... each other? There's not a lot these two have in common superficially, yet their personalities mesh wonderfully.

The airport sojourn was classic, with Dan dutifully assisting the runaway bride, doing a terrible job lying to S, begging his dad for help, and being dissed by a star-struck girl. He's definitely the man.

Blair, meanwhile, was desperately trying to remain in control after losing any semblance of it.

She may have a high opinion of herself, but even B isn't delusional to think the New York Post qualifies as a passport. At that moment, though, she was desperate enough that she may well have.

Add in Leighton in I Heart NY tourist garb and you had a recipe for a great episode. One you wished would've involved them successfully fleeing and keeping the banter/adventure going for a bit.

Sadly, they fled JFK and ended up at a Queens hotel, and despite one bright spot - Dan sticking up for himself and leaving with his pride intact - the night went downhill quickly from there.

Blair Post-Wedding

Serena and Chuck (and also Georgina, whose role got a lot less cool tonight despite a number of great one-liners) tracked her down, with S taking the fall for the video and C baring his soul. Again.

And he was shot down, again. Even though Blair said she loves him too, again.

Enter a contrived, confusing and unnecessary plot device: The dowry. Now Blair, and by extension Eleanor, are on the hook for millions if she defaults on her marriage to Louis within one year.

Wouldn't you know it, she's back with Louis at the end! Noticeably sad, but by his side, like nothing ever happened. The "pact" may be over, but there's an equally stupid obstacle in its place now. Terrific.

It's getting harder to take this seriously each week. How many times can Chuck be redeemed in the eyes of viewers and come thisclose to winning Blair's heart forever, only to have it stripped away?

Blair was going to flee to the Dominican Republic to annul the marriage but wouldn't leave with Chuck, who would gladly pay off the Grimaldis, because they ... wouldn't be equals if she did?

Come on, Gossip Girl. You're just jerking Chair around at this point.

They need to get on with it or let it go forever. Same goes for Dair. I'm all for a good love triangle, but not when the barriers thrown between the prospective couples are repetitive and unrealistic.

All we can do is hold out hope that there's a resolution worth waiting for down the line. I wish I had more confidence that were the case and that the actors would stop being wasted, though. Boo.

Chuck and Georgina Pic

What else did we learn this evening? Let's see ...

  • Georgina Sparks is not the Gossip Girl, but stepped up in her absence, as many theorized. While this makes more sense logistically, I'm still disappointed after last week's mega-reveal, and how amateurish she was tonight.
  • G is hilarious, to be sure, and locking Dorota in the closet was cold, but she was almost too obvious. The Georgina I know is a bit less desperate and more sociopathic. Her cover's bound to be blown.
  • Nate Archibald doesn't like girls who lie, which Lola clearly does. But he's willing to overlook that 30 seconds later as long as they're not lying about him, and wear cute catering outfits.
  • Serena loves Dan, but apparently he's all about Blair.
  • Blair's wedding DJ played Tone Loc. That's pretty cool.
  • Do not threaten Eleanor Waldorf. She will end you.
  • Do not tell Rufus Humphrey any secrets. Ever.

Overall, it's hard to feel good about tonight, especially after the wedding episode raised expectations on many fronts. The plus side? Dan maybe actually making a move in the promo for next week!

What do you think Georgina's endgame is? And is Blair really planning on going through with a giant marriage facade? Before we turn it over to your comments, here's the teaser for "Crazy, Cupid Love" ...

What did you think of Monday's Gossip Girl? Was it funny? Disappointing? Baffling? A little of each? Discuss below and share your predictions for next week's Valentine's Day-themed episode!

Review

Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (973 Votes)

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

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I stopped after 5.08 and just caught up. The show got worse? Watching eps back to back make it more evident that Chair are having the same convo but with a new unbelievable obstacle.It's fill in the blank writing. Torturous! They've killed off my interest and I was still for them up until 5.06ish. Progress the story or END IT! Liked the Dair scenes but the situations that surround them are nuts and Blair is unlikable. What is going on with her? D/C/S's motivations are singular but make sense, B's don't. There was a lot left to explore with these characters and yet NOTHING!Maybe Safran wants GG cancelled. Looks like hardcore shippers and fans who can't let go are the only watching.

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I love how Blair and Serena are growing up and acting not selfishly. This is a better episode than the overhyped 100th episode about the wedding.

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I did like Serena trying to cover for Chuck- acting sisterly for once! It's about time. That and both of the girls pointing out the utter lack of respect Dan has for their friendship were the two highlights. The rest of it? Bored now. You say you are all for a good triangle, but the unfortunate thing for Dan is that there is clearly no real competition. Even if they were to date, he is so clearly 2nd (or 3rd) choice...he shouldn't want to.

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oh sorry about that (*than) i meant dan..hehe

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don't really like the ep. i don't think dan and blair will ever be together because blair is aware of serena's feelings for than and aside from chuck serena is one of the most important person in her life and it doesn't seem to me that she'll have relationship with dan because serena will be hurt. also from the promo serena said that true love is just a myth so i guess she's probably moving on but you can't really blame her if she still feels hurt at times. if you put yourself in serena's shoes wherein the one you love ,loves someone else of course it going to hurt.

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@db Georgina will be on gossip girl for 3 or 4 more episodes left.

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@Meep That would explain why Eleanor's been getting more screen time recently.

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@pty It's character assassination, got to make way for the 'epic' couple. None of those characters match up, GG has nothing on GWTW, the writers can try as hard as they want to make these comparisons, it just only makes them look more and more pathetic.

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@rbd32 Serena is just being ridiculous, last season, she couldn't choose between Nate and Dan and ended up with Ben instead and now she realizes it's Dan?

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Georgina: Cross my heart and hope to die
Nate: Here's hoping
-this quote cracks me up as well..LOL

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