Gossip Girl Review: Backup Dan the Man

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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
  • 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 actually think that serena and chuck would be a good couple ,if they werent brother and sister this would be a good time for them to get together

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@Chrys but dan didn't know anything about the tape and he wasn't in blair's room to get the tape.

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I totally agree with tyluv3, I loved this episode!! I think there are some great twists in the story just like back in the days of the first two seasons. Loved it - good work GG producers!

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Those spoiler Dair pics are just another letdown. As much as i wish they weren't..
I'm willing to bet that is a dream/ fantasy/ drug induced hallucination.. no way, in hell, that it's real.
Coz the writers hate us. That much. Someone here commented that they're trolling us - i second that motion.

Chrys

@kevinI didn't say we have...I just said what i believe and what my perspective of Dan's character has been as of lately. I genouinly think that he could be the one.Obviously, it could be just wishful thinking from side...since i am a Chair fan and all.

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@Chrys we don't have proof that dan did it.

Chrys

Negatives:
-> I really hope Charlie Rhodes is GG or else she's boring with no reason... Seriously...Every scene with her and and Nate i skipped it!
-> A dowry? Seriously? Like ''Ok, Blair... You can just pay your way out of this.It's not like you humiliated us or anything.''
-> After the pact with God, we've got the next great obstacle. Blair doesn't want Chuck to buy her from Louis... I kind of liked the deal with God better. Are the writers mocking us in our face?!!!!
-Dan...I don't know if he sent the blast (he soooooo did!) but blaming Chuck...Seriously?
I know i'm kind of sour here, but if i wanna stay calm during my exams, ranting is the only way... And of course not watching the next GG episodes. My nerves can only take so much!

Bravesirrobins

Everything you said, Steve. Everything.
Dan and Blair were so good this week and they developed so much!
I am ready (since like forever) for Chair to be over. Give me Dair!

Chrys

Wow...First episode that i actually had to skip scenes...Some were boring and some were just too painful to watch.I'll start with the positive aspects of the episode:
-> I liked the Chuck&Serena scenes. I suspect that the next 4-5 episodes are gonna be pretty harsh on both of them so it's good that they'll have a shoulder to cry on....AND then team up with Nate and scheme their ways out of this scenario's mess!
-> I liked Georgina! As most of us expected ,she ain't GG but without her taking over things would be much more boring.
-> Serena's final talk with Dan. Though i was supporting Derena for old times' shake, everything S said was spot on.I think Derena has oficially come to an end.I hope...I can't stand seeing S getting hurt over and over. Hmmm...Good were the times when i could hate S and not feel guilty about it.

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@ms.m- well said!!! finally someone who agrees with me about S's character!! Inside was a definite indication of who dan loves.. S is SO annoying.