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!


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.


I would have liked to see Dair get out of the country to annul the marriage, and not have this whole dowry thing come up. The dowry is a ridiculous plot device. Don't you think Blair would have thought about this whole "my mother and i will go broke if i annul this marriage" thing BEFORE the trip to the airport? And why wouldn't she call Dorota ahead of time, like while they were in the car? I get she was desperate, but you'd think Blair would have this all organized. She WAS about to go on her honeymoon after the wedding, so she should have been packed with a passport ready to go...
However, going back to the fundamental problem here, I still don't get why Louis even married her. You'd think he would look worse and the family would be more embarrassed because he married a woman who professed her love for another man right before the wedding... he would look worse to me marrying her than leaving her at the alter and retaining his dignity...


@LelaRose Blair chose to marry him after cheating/lying behind his back and she only wanted to be a princess, not love. She deserves to face the consequences for her actions. Louis isn't really locking her away, he just wants her to stay at his side for show and Blair chose to comply. @Marian and @Meep Dawson's Creek had better writing than Gossip Girl, the Gossip Girl writers aren't capable of that so that's why they're in this mess. @Kay Serena has been nothing but selfish because the attention isn't on her and there aren't guys throwing themselves at her like they did in the past.


I hate Blair & Dan together. I'm over the love triangle. Serena is my favorite character and I feel like she's been treated like crap for to long. I can't wait to see what happens with Nate and the real Charlie. I'm excited to see how that plays out. As for Blair and Louis, I kind of seen that coming. You can only mess with someone for so long until they've had it. I hope chuck will come to his senses soon too. Maybe the writers should give him another long term girl in his life.


Disclaimer: This all happened off-screen, so it's pointless to speculate. The director obviously wants us to think Dan sent the video, but since I'm desperate to believe otherwise, here are some alternatives: Rufus: He was actually in the same room with Chuck after Georgina handed off the camera. Nate: As the only one of the crew never to have sent a blast, he could be the "least likely" choice GG's commentary was referring to. Louis' Mom/Sister: Could be that it was all an elaborate plot to swindle the Waldorfs out of their fortune. It's not unheard of for royalty to go broke. Eleanor: No idea how she could have discovered the video, but after bringing in Chuck, it was evident she would have done anything to stop the farce of a wedding. Georgina: She can't live up to Gossip Girl's chaos for chaos' sake due to her vested interest in ruining the UES gang's lives, so she could have sent the video to pit them against each other.


Also if Louis was going to lock her away, then why would she be free to attend a valentine's day party in New York with the man she ran off with after her wedding and the man she was publicly caught confessing her eternal love too?


, Blair is MARRIED to some psychotic royalty...Seriously, if I were from Monaco I'd be pissed that my country's leaders were being dragged in the mud. Even if Sophie and Louis aren't real, they've made references to the real royals. Blair is married to some evil prince while being in love with Chuck, although she keeps coming up with bullshit reasons for not being with him and running off with Dan. It would take a simpleton not to know that he's in love with her and I didn't think Blair was a simpleton. Blair, pick Dan or Chuck, this is nonsense.


I have to agree with what a lot of people are saying... Blair, pick someone. I'm tired of all these love triangles. The original Nate and Chuck one made sense. Nate was her long time boyfriend while Chuck was an unexpected passion. Then Blair dated Marcus to get back at Chuck for hurting her, there was no contest there, it was about revenge. Same with Carter. Going back to Nate made no sense to me the time but at least they explained that Blair always wanted to to prom with him. The picture perfect evening. Now its messed up


@Marian...doubt it


You never know it might end up like dawson's creek blair and dan being together like joey chose pacey lol

Kimberly anne

So Dan is the one who sent the video??? Wow didn't really see that coming.
Nate and the new girl...boring.
I love the Chair scene. It was definitely the best one of the night for me.
Overall this episode was bad because it:
-shows Louis and his freaking family will stay around longer
-Chair will not be getting together anytime soon
-Dair is yet be to over and done with.
No wonder why this episode was bad, it was mostly about Blair and Louis, had more Dair scenes, and just not enough of Chair in general.

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