Gossip Girl Round Table: "The Backup Dan"

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Welcome to our weekly Gossip Girl Round Table discussion! Below, our panelists gather to break down Monday night's episode (see our official Gossip Girl review from last night) in even greater detail.

In a Q&A session below, TVF CEO Eric Hochberger (Gossip Guy) editor Steve Marsi (Mister Meester) and staff writers Courtney Morrison, Christina Tran and Leigh Raines discuss "The Backup Dan."

Weigh in with your take on the following topics after reading ours!


1. What was your favorite quote from the episode?

Courtney: “You think I would be insulted by someone with a Samsonite?” Nailed it, Blair. Nailed it.

Christina: As always, there were so many choices. I’m handing this one to the airport passenger who so frankly said: "Now that I get a better look, you're not nearly as pretty as Blair Waldorf. And he's terrible!" I’ll always love Dan jabs, and the runaway bride hasn’t exactly been the B we once knew.

Leigh: Blair had a lot of good airport one liners. I'd say it's a toss up between Eleanor's face being like an emoticon and saying it was about to get like Bieber fever up in there.

Steve: Dan sarcastically telling Blair he'll be leaving "now that your real friends are here." Ouch. The truth hurts, and B responded, adding a new dimension to their relationship. Who knew D had it in him?

Eric: Blair's entire apology to Dan. Mostly because she still managed to get in a dig at the mop. Best characters ever. More on that shortly...

GG RT Logo

2. How awesome are Dan and Blair?

Courtney: They have become the two most likable characters, especially considering they used to be disliked a lot. They play well off of each other and it just shows how much more intellectual and witty they are than anyone else. Definitely a 10.

Christina: Oh, Dair. I’ve always liked their banter, and it was kind of awesome when B said that she couldn’t have survived the past month without Dan.

LeighI didn't really buy their awesomeness until Dan located his balls last night and they got into the fight in the hotel room. They are a hilarious old married couple.

Steve: As I said in my review, I'm enjoying them more and more each week, and they were the best thing about this episode. Blair's flustered comments and Dan's expressions at the airport were all priceless. I wish they had fled to the D.R. together, and hope that in the coming weeks, they continue to be a focal point.

Eric: They were already at a 12 as far as I'm concerned. I mean, you're pairing the two wittiest characters on the show. Now that Dan finally stood up to Blair forcing her to show an honest side with him? 14.

3. Which Blair excuse for rejecting Chuck is worse, the pact with God or last night's ... whatever that was?

Courtney: Whatever last night was. Like others have said, it’s an excuse to keep them apart until the end. We know they are endgame. Blair can be married to Louis; doesn’t mean she can’t have some fun with the Basshole on the side.

Christina: Blair’s pact. That was just ridiculous on all levels. I actually get that her freedom is not something to be bought. As silly as the dowry plot is, let’s face it: Chair desperately needs a real, fresh start.

Leigh: Blair's pact with God. I understand her not letting Chuck pay for her freedom. She knows it's her mistake and doesn't want to be indebted to anyone or put out the people she loves. 

Steve: Last night. The pact I can chalk up to their near-death experience and the fact that Louis hadn't done anything really wrong at that point. Now he's revealed his true colors, Chuck's offering her an instant way out and she still won't follow her heart? Who cares if you're indebted but the person is your soulmate? Ridiculous.

Eric: Whatever last night was. I'm not here to come between someone and their beliefs. I am here, however, to point out one of the most contrived reasons to keep Chair apart for one more season. Look, I'd be happy if this was about having a real love triangle and giving Dair a real shot. But we know they won't, so stop this silliness Blair. You're not earning your freedom by staying married to a different man. As Chuck said, what century is this?

Blair Post-Wedding

4. Worse idea: Trusting Rufus Humphrey with a secret or threatening Eleanor Waldorf?

Courtney: Threatening Mama Waldorf. The apple does not far from the tree. Plus, she is so much taller than everyone else (besides Serena); it’s totally intimidating.

Christina: I’m going with the latter. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from this show (who am I kidding, we’ve learned a LOT, right?!), you do NOT mess with a Waldorf or family for that matter.

LeighCan I pick both? You can't really blame Rufus at this point. He spills when it's important. And Eleanor... Well I said it last week and I'll say it again: Eleanor Waldorf MVP. Princess Sophie: Step off bitch. No one cares about your antiquated dowries. This is New York.

Steve: Trusting Rufus. You knew that phone call to dad was just a plot device to make sure Blair's whereabouts would eventually be uncovered. Should have kept it to yourself, Dan, no matter how much you love your dad and want to keep him in the loop. Dan lied so well (for him, anyway) to Serena too.

Eric: Threatening Eleanor Waldorf of course. Now we'll never have to wonder where B got it from again.

5. Georgina as not-the-real-Gossip Girl: Major letdown or major relief?

Courtney: Major Relief. The plot holes are entirely too big for her to be the real thing. Plus, I like the idea of thinking GG is someone we see creeping in the background of scenes and may have never noticed.

Christina: It’s a MAJOR relief, for sure. I know I may be in the minority when I say this, but I’ve never cared too much for Georgina. She’s always conveniently at the right place at the wrong time, and I’m hoping the real Gossip Girl shows up soon because I’m asking the same question as Chuck did last night: doesn’t she have some hole to crawl back into?

LeighMajor relief! Love Georgie, but it would have been impossible and a copout.

Steve: Major letdown. This week just cheapened the big 100th episode reveal so much. While there would be 1,000 plot holes involved in making Georgina the real G.G., it would at least be a bold writing step for the show to go there ... but we know they're diametrically opposed to such things these days.

Eric: Major saw-it-coming. I for one would have loved G to actually be GG, but I knew they'd never actually reveal it. That is one secret she'll never tell. Xoxo.

Dearest Daniel

6. Did Dan send the blast? Will that come back to bite him?

Courtney: Nope. Nate would never do it, even Chuck wouldn’t. Serena would so Dan could see he has no chance but she claims she didn’t. Wouldn’t be too surprised if Queen B did it herself.

Christina: Not everything is ever what it appears… especially on Gossip Girl. What if Eleanor was the culprit? She wants nothing but happiness for Blair and a mother does whatever it takes for her daughter.

LeighI'm not sure if he did. Nothing is ever really how it seems on this show.

Steve: As Eric says, don't mistake that shot of Dan brooding during G.G.'s voiceover as proof of anything. Maybe he was just brooding? Also, when would he (or Serena for that matter) have sent it, given the role he played in the wedding? It's got to be someone else altogether who's responsible.

Eric: Oh please, if I fell for a camera pan every time a mystery was meant to be solved on Gossip Girl I'd be kicked off this Round Table.

7. What is Lola's deal?

Courtney: She is now on the radar of Nate the investigator and her aunt. P.S. Who else thought it was kinda strange that Lily called Nate in the first place?? Anyways, it looks like she is really there just for school and will be surprised these people are her family. Her mom really must have messed her up for her to call herself Lola. Personally, I would rather listen to Chivy’s raspy voice then go through this story again.

Christina: It is only a matter of time before Lily and Nate figure out who Lola really is. I also think that she might be honestly clueless and am hoping for a throwdown between her and Chivy.

LeighI think Lola might actually be clueless. I also think I might really like her as an addition to the show.

Steve: Agree with Leigh 100 percent. I'm starting to like her a lot, and if she were truly caught in the crossfire without some shady agenda, that would make her a lot more interesting.

Eric: First off, I'm glad she has a second nickname so I don't have to confuse her with Chivy. Plus, Lola trumps Charlie as a nickname for a girl any day. Nicknames aside, I welcome the real Rhodes to the UES any day. This way Nate can continue the trend of keeping it in our little incestuous family.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments!

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


@ Ilovechair: :) I will too concentrate on Nate, Serena and Chuck. Throw in Jack and Georgina and maybe something awesome will happen! I'm not particulary interested in any of the pairings at the moment. Maybe once it'll be clear who ends up with who I'll pay more attention to the ships.


@Anonymous I guess you're right. It isn't just Dair. But this back and forth with Chair and Dair on top of that is really horrible. If they want to follow the dair romance storyline, that's okay. But I don't understand why they can't give Chuck some other interesting storyline that's not including pining for Blair. They either should let Chair be together and stop with this stupid obstacles, or they should keep them apart for some time and let them both move on and have some interesting storylines. But naturally I want a chair reunion after that;-)


@dover Yes, it's true all of these storylines with Louis, Serena, Chair, Dair, the pact, the pregnancy etc combined are this terrible mess = season 5. I wish the writers would at least now choose one storyline and do that consequently. This back and forth with Chair and then Dair on top of that is really too much for me. I'm going to concentrate on Chuck, Nate and Serena from now on. I really look forward to Jack's return. Chuck and Jack still have the best oneliners on the show!


cont. I still prefer Dair as friends though. But if those two became a couple, the show wouldn't be as bad as it is now I believe.


@ Anonymous: The writers don't want any of the characters to have a real life. Dan is pining after Blair who spends the whole season choosing between the various men in her life, while Chuck pines after her. Add Serena with her unrequited love. This isn't either of the pairings' fault. All the ships, Dair, Chair or Derena, would have worked just fine if the writers had just dropped the nonsense love-pentagon. If Blair chose Dan, Serena and Chuck could go on with their lives. If Blair chose Chuck, Dan could either go back to Serena or evolve as a writer perhaps? And so on and so forth. This "will they or won't they" is sucking the life out of the show, not the ships themselves.


@Ilovechair It's not because of Dair, the writers have made it clear that they're going to continue with Chair on/off for the rest of the series, so expect more pathetic excuses/obstacles. Chuck can be redeemed, but that's not what the writers did, they're constantly reverting his character back so then he can 'change' himself again and again after ruining his character some more. The writers pretty much threw out the 'changed' Chuck and turned him into someone pathetically pining for Blair, I guess the writers don't want Chuck to have a real life anymore outside Blair. How many times must we see Chuck try to get to Blair only for her to make up some pathetic excuse about a pact to God or a dowry?


@ Ilovechair: I don't think Dair is totally impossible. I believe that if the writers would have chosen a clear route and taken their time to properly develop their relationship, then somehow, someday the couple would have a chance to work out. But they just have way too many issues (Chuck, Serena, UES/Brooklyn, their former hate etc.) to deal with in one season and thus they seem so rushed and contrived. And then add the prince and you've got this terrible mess. The writers screwed themselves over by not choosing to take one path with the characters. I agree that they basically destroyed Dan and Blair this season. It really would have been better to let them stay friends, I actually enjoyed that. And I also very much hope for a better storyline for the Bass men! Something fun and happy, please!


So I don't understand why the writers have to destroy two characters just to have a couple which won't be together for too long. Wouldn't it been better to let Dair stay friends, then the writers wouldn't have to destroy the characters.With Chuck losing his friendship to Nate I meant that they weren't friends after that came out with Chuck and Blair in s1 but reconciled in the s1 finale. I think that Chuck can redeem himself and imo he is on a good way. He has made a lot of mistakes but unlike any other of the characters on the show he had to face the consequences of his actions.
@dover I completely agree with your post. Hopefully Jack's return to the show will give Chuck a storyline which doesn't include pining for Blair. So Jack's really my last hope. Although I hope that Chuck doesn't get another mommy storyline. I want Chuck to have some fun.


@Anonymous I agree that the writers are really good at destroying characters and the writing is awful. They turned Blair into that annoying and indecisive version of herself. But this did not happen because of chair but because of Dair. It is too ooc for Dan and Blair to be in a romantic relationship. So in order to do it they had to change the characters completely. Dan did probably send the blast. That is totally ooc for him. He has always been judgemental but he has been the most moral person on the show until this season. Now he is just interested in Blair and does all of that stuff to get closer to her. The writers admitted on twitter that Blair isn't herself this season. The same goes for Dan.


@ Anonymous: But it isn't Chair that ruined Blair's character this season, it is the forced love-triangle. The season was okay until ep 11 when the ridiculous god pact was introduced and it only got worse from there. Had they let Chair get together in ep 10, the rest of the season could have focused on developing all characters and letting them mature. But instead they try to appease all fans and thus the characters are all stagnating and can't move forward. I also think that they did a good job in redeeming Chuck this season. In earlier seasons he may have seemed redeemed when everything was well, but as soon as something terrible happened to him (Bart's death, fake mother, Bart possibly killing someone etc.), he soon went back to his old ways. This season Chuck had plenty of opportunities to become "evil" again, but he always dealt with the issue in a more mature way. This leads me to believe that this change will last, but I wish he'd stop pining for Blair.

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