Gossip Girl Review: Backup Dan the Man

by at . Comments

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
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
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.

Tags: ,
Like Us On Facebook

Want more Gossip Girl?

Sign up for our daily newsletter and receive the latest tv news delivered to your inbox for free!

More From TV Fanatic

A-new-ally

The Bridge Review: Going After the Beast

On tonight's The Bridge, Marco is made an offer that he initially refuses. Will he agree to go after Fausto?
The-island

Extant Review: Captured

Things go from bad to worse for Molly on Extant as she tries to escape the prying eyes of the ISEA but chooses the worst place for safety. Read on for a full review.
Crossing-boundaries

Graceland Review: Entanglements

Mike is on a war path on Graceland... but is he headed in the right direction? Read our review of "Los Malos" now to find out!
Confident-harvey

Suits Review: Truth Hurts

On Suits, Rachel tells Mike about the kiss. Where did it go from there? Find out now!

Avatar

I agree with the reviewer, I love how Dan and Blair found each other, in the beginning they just seemed so different and now look how they like and respect each other although Blair could be nicer to him.

Avatar

Finally Blair thanked Dan for being there. She treated him so badly in the past. I liked their banter, it saved the episode for me. But Blair has gotten so unrecognizable and childish, it is hard to imagine why Dan would still be into her.

Avatar

@Emily Serena is the one who alienated her since she wants everything to be about her again. Don't you know that making up crappy excuses and spouting off horribly cliched dialogue is 'epic' love/romance? Apparently the writers think so. @MSC, @MrsDexterhaven, @Amanda, and @Rogue Yeah, because trading Blair for a hotel to Jack Bass like a property and almost punching/humiliating Blair at the end of last season is just so saintly.

Avatar

Hating on Dan so hard right now. Even if he didn't end up sending the video, he is the reason Blair is so alienated from Serena right now, and he keeps trying to make Chuck look bad in Blair's eyes. Not that it matters, because Blair's amazing at coming up with ridiculous reasons to shoot Chuck down all on her own.

Avatar

And, yeah, kick Dan in teh face. Also anyone who doesn't think Chair is endgame - you clearly are not watching nor have never watched a tv show. Get real. folks.

Avatar

The episode wasn't great. DB fighting like two little girls was not amusing and Dan so sent that video and blamed Chuck. Creeper alert. Dan needs to fix his hair and jump off a bridge. I loved Chuck and Blair but stop with the obstacles and Serena rocked

Avatar

I support Dan being kicked in the face! He deserves it!

Avatar

I just think Dan is so yucky. Like, he is a raging doucheball and gets away with everything. Always has. Waiting for the inevitable day when both Serena and Blair tell him to fuck off. He's a manipulative loser.

Avatar

poor s poor c
the show pretty much sucks right now
i wish c and s would hook up and dair would commit suicide

Avatar

What you've argued STEVE doesn't justify why you rated the episode 2 1/2!!!
At the very least it should have been 3 1/2 if not 4.