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
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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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Dan and Blair need to rubber up. We don't need anymore piss smelling moppy haired sluts running around!

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Blair is a slut! She is probably rotting with STDs. Ewwww. Dan needs to rubber up.

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Someone make Blair wear a chastity belt. Lock up that vag stat!

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Penn smells like piss in real life

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Dan is ugly

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Kookakicha Much love for Leighton and Penn, such good timing! But that was the only good part. My other posts mostly hate on the writing of GG. Ok, ok, I admit I make fun of hardcore shippers (ALL of them though: Dairs, Chairs, Derenas).The actors have "saved" dialogue on GG for a long time so nothing new here. Of course you and others are entitled to an opinion. So am I. and in MY opinion it sucked balls, to be frank, because of writing and production (it looks cheap! Budget cuts??). English is not my 1st OR 2nd language so i come off more harsh maybe? Sorry! YOU can take the ship goggles off but some can't or won't and thats idiotic to me.
@Anonymous Thats the most irritating part of the show and iss made worse because I looked at the Chair banter from other seasons w much fondness. That all was BJC (Before Josh Safran) though... sigh..

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@gg Chair used to have a fun banter when they had that 'Cruel Intentions'-esque relationship, now it's just a bunch of stale, repetitive, cheesy 'I love you' speeches almost every time they're on screen together if Blair isn't making up 1 ridiculous excuse after another.

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The Dair banter might not be that witty if someone takes it literally but we love it nonetheless because of the way Penn and Leighton act it out. I mean they have got some serious chemistry together and they manage to make it hilarious and enjoyable everytime. That is me talking without my Dair goggles. This episode had a lot of people enjoying the Leighton scenes including the reviewers, people who aren't Dair or Chair or Derena shippers either. Granted we're not all intellectual geniuses possessing great literary knowledge on how banter should be written, but I believe we are entitled to enjoy a scene when it is good. And a scene is more than the dialogue, it's also the acting and the way the actors interact with their space.

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as for thé last post .. et désolé anglais n'est pas ma première langue! Et Francais.

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You're right Anonymous. Dair's "banter" is better written than the rest and it is different for GG at least.I mean in comparison its lame. 'Mediocre' is a good descriptor And Different doesn't = better. All of the writing is terrible,just Dair's stuff is to a lesser degree. Moral of the stor: don't listen to shippers. They see everything thru ship googles and instantly any scene between Dair/Chair/Derena become EPIC instantly. The "hilarious" "banter"/"Dan" is the most perfect-ess boyfriend to evahh boyfriend, EVAAHHH!" steam pile is the new "epic"/""Chhuck is soooo dreamyyyy" crap! Dair fans are now throwing around ENDGAME! Here I thought they were the more sophisticated, above it all ship so it's pretty darn hilarious they're so hypocriticall! LOL. Note: all the actors themselves are dreamy even if their characters aren't

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