Gossip Girl Review: What Does it All Mean?

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Gossip Girl's many storylines reached a confluence of sorts tonight at Dair's coming out party. Surprisingly for the controversial couple, their newly-public romance was probably the most uneventful thing at the big event.

"Salon of the Dead" featured several big bombshells, with the biggest being that our long-theorized belief in Diana's blood relation to Chuck was finally revealed. She is, in fact, the mother of Mr. Charles Bass.

It was surprising and yet not. Chuck had begun to piece it together over the course of the past few weeks, and her ties to Jack were revealed as far back as December. So it was really more about the details:

How would he find out, and what was the backstory?

Chuck and Diana

The manner in which Chuck learned his mother's true identity dovetailed with Lola's quest to unmask Serena as the least subtle Gossip Girl fill-in of all time. The story of Bart, Diana and Elizabeth was perfectly believable as she told it (at least by Gossip Girl standards), but it felt lacking somehow, like there had to be more to it.

As Chuck asked, what does it all mean? Where is this all headed?

So Diana Payne gave birth to Chuck Bass, gave him up to Bart and Elizabeth, who each went to great lengths to hide the truth which he now knows. Where does that leave our man going forward?

Does he have the closure he needs to put this to bed once and for all? Will he pursue a relationship with his mother, and if so, what will it consist of? Did anyone else feel a general response of "eh" after the reveal?

Ed Westwick, who shows great acting chops when called upon, was as strong as ever in his emotional scenes, yet even they were still part been-there-done-that, part what's-the-real-story.

Gossip Girl's text at the end told us a lot. Diana's got another secret, otherwise you know this one wouldn't have come out with relative ease. But does it relate to Chuck, or is it something entirely different?

In that respect, this episode asked more questions than it answered, strangely enough. The same was true of Lola's plot line. She successfully outed Serena, only to keep that secret between them and peace out?

The manner in which Lola learned about Dan's potential book excerpt AND recorded Diana's confession with Serena's phone was eye-rolling material - no show should entail multiple overheard phone calls and iPhones left on tables, week in and week out, even on the CW - but the fact that she pushed the envelope so far was a genuine surprise.

There was clandestine creeping, sitting on the secret and using it later. For Lola, who simply posted the live feed of Diana and Serena to Gossip Girl without thinking it through, there would be no going back.

Lola is scheduled to be back next week, according to the synopsis for "Despicable B," so she's not out of the picture for good. Whether she can bounce back from the remarkable betrayal of Chuck is another story.

She was a fun character because she was blissfully unaware of the madness she was getting into, and seemed above the fray. Perhaps this botched effort will help her reclaim that innocence ... or lose even more of it.

If there's a silver lining, it's that she spared both Nate and Serena further humiliation, and her cousin-sister certainly owes her one. She still has Serena's secret in her back pocket, too, so this is far from over.

Charlotte Rhodes Photo

As for Serena and her blogging days, did she learn a lesson tonight? One that will prompt her to relinquish her new career and return the show's eponymous blog to its rightful owner as requested?

Not likely. It was interesting, however, that she admitted how lost she is and that GG is all she has. Sad, but undeniably true, and a commendable admission from someone not prone to self-awareness.

Putting aside how hilariously bad she is at her job, and the lack of reasoning behind her desperation to sabotage Lola, the stretch run of Season 5 has become an intriguing character study on the directionless S.

S is headed down a dark path with this, and it remains to be seen if she'll find her moral compass and right this ship before many more people get hurt. With Serena's decision making, it's hard to be confident.

Elsewhere, down in the 718, the Humphrey men both struggled to find their identities as they navigated between worlds, and through the often-choppy waters of relationships with Upper East Side women.

Blair and Dan officially became a couple tonight. No longer just literature lovers lounging around Brooklyn or occasional drunken elevator sex partners or, but a full-on, out-in-the-open, high society pair.

Their British-themed salon was, clearly, an unmitigated disaster. Just not for Dair.

These two clearly come from separate backgrounds, but is there any doubt that despite their differences, they genuinely love each other's company? And that unlike Rufus and Lily, there's no deception involved?

That's what it's all about in the end, and with the exception of a brief freak-out after the salon went south through no fault of their own, Dair seemed to find their footing through shared interests and companionship.

Maybe you see them as endgame and maybe you don't, but it's certainly not a superficial relationship. Dan and Blair didn't need press, a fancy salon or the perfect first impression on this night. Just one another.

Rufus and Lily may not be so lucky. His support of Ivy may have been well-intentioned, and was definitely a good deed, but represented exactly the kind of behavior he chastised his wife for in the first place.

Not a good sign that these two go behind each other's backs to get their way because they deem resolving their differences through communication impossible. Maybe they should take a page from Dair's book?

Overall, not a bad episode. Gossip Girl may not be what it once was, but you at least got the sense that it tried this week. Before we turn it over to your comments, here's a look at next week's promo:

What did you think of this evening's Gossip Girl? Discuss!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (683 Votes)

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

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@Elisa
You're right, as usual, I agree with you. Dan and Blair should be just friends. It is the only reasonable solution for the entire UES. As we all know Dan loves girls in trouble. So far, Blair was in trouble, but what will happen when Blair stand on her feet? When she again start to become the Queen B. Sooner or later it will happen, and Dan will be turn out, as usual. Dan has a problem to understand the girl with whom he is related. He always has to be right. And never completely trust the person with whom is related, except one (Serena). But he always had related with the girls that are stronger personalities than him - Serena, Vanessa, Blair. And has always failed. The only person that Dan has complete trust is Serena, and vice versa. I think Dan was wrong that he has not subverted girl who is worth it (Serena). This is similar from his father, the apple does not fall far from the tree.

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And I highly doubt Dianna is related to Nate somehow. That's reallllly disgusting. Gossip Girl has had so many outrageous story lines but that would be way too much. They've already had some incest with Dan and Serena sharing a sibling. (LOL totally joking Derena for life)

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so quickly? Badly done, B. Badly done.

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I actually want Louis to come back. That's how much I despise Dan and Blair together.

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I can't even describe how boring Dair is. Seriously, they ran out of fuel just as they hit the road. Sure, they have connection, but even this episode showed that Dan is more of a girlfriend to Blair, rather than anything else, with all these long conversations, pj parties and sexlessness. There's just no passion, zero, nada. And Blair? She's become like the most self-absorbed character in this show, she's worse than Serena. And even with all these stupid actions, I can't reallly bitch on S. I mean, she lost her job, Dan doesn't care about her at all, her grandma died and her supposedly best friend is not only dating the love of her life (which S actually was pretty understanding about) but has ditched her completely. No wonder girl's lost.
As for Blair, I can't believe she acts like this. It's like she turned back on all her friends. How can she not be there for Chuck in a moment like this? How can she come from 'I will always love you' crap to 'I'm not sure what do you want from me' so quickly? Badly done, B. Badly done.

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I hope the writters won't ruin all the characters as they did with Blair. I loved her and now I just feel sorry about her. She doesn't even know who she is. Don't know how they try to develop her character if they just brought her into the darkness and it doesn't even matter if she is or not in the show, just an object...

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@Jeca@michelle
You are right. Maybe Jack is, and maybe is not Chuck's father. But the secret that will be discover by Nate has more to do with him. My opinion is that Diana is in a kind of related to Nate over his grandfather. We should remember, who joined Diana and Nate - Nate grandfather.

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All I hope is that Jack isn't Chuck's father, if GG was talking about this kind of secret, because this would be just TOO harsh....I just can't imagine Chuck handelling this and moreover without Blair....
P.S: please stop the Blair-Dan cheep soup opera.

Jeca

blair and her little bubble call humphrey, where she doesnt care that her bf is on a bad sad time,chuck too,nate loosing his site,rufly in the edge of divorse and she didnt noticed any of this ....she got new friends who give a shi. about her and her party
i like that lola is the smartest of all rhodes, she gave serena a lesson, and at least diana was honest with chuck, i didnt love her till now

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Uh, I forgot to say something. If really Blair should change, she should absolutely stop this "safest choice" mentality. It's very immature of her thinking every time: "well, if I choose Chuck, I might get hurt. What is the safest choice for me? The tree outside my house? Good, I guess I have feelings for that tree." Ok, it sounds quite exaggerated, but it's basically what she's been doing since the very beginning - at first with Nate, then with Louis and finally with Dan.
The other thing she had to change was her snobby behaviour, which she actually changed by putting aside her judments about Dan. But that doesn't mean that they have to be together. It would have been very balanced and great, if she could be close friends with Dan and finally take the risk of being with Chuck. This way, I'm sure that season 5 would have made more sense...

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