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.


I really think it was Louis who sent that blast... or Georgina herself. Also do I think that Dan will be the one who might be using it for blackmailing Louis.


I know that this may sound crazy but I think Louis sent the blast. Remembre Georgina tried to seduce him but Rufus and Lily got their before he did. Maybe he did that so that the world would know what kind of woman he was marrying and thus earn public sympathy when they get divorce. IT IS NOT THE FIRST TIME HE SENT OUT A BLAST.

Dr hollis

As a Chair fan, I want Dair to be given a chance because I want it put to the test. Will Dan and Blair stand by each other through anything? Will they become each other's family? Will they always love each other? Time will tell. I think Dair has the potential to be light, cute, and easy... uncomplicated. I actually think it's where B might be right now as a character. However, unless the show's doing a total retcon, I don't care what Blair's intellectual and artistic tastes are... she is absolutely complicated. Dan couldn't deal with Serena's complexity in Season 1 and got angry about the Georgina situation. I don't think, in the end, Dan will be able to handle the parts of B's personality that he doesn't get. But I'm willing to be wrong.

Dr hollis

It's interesting that some Dair fans admit they haven't watched the entire series. I've never met a Chair fan who says that. I think that anyone can ship anything just because it's their preference, but it's difficult for people to comment on a ship they don't like (Chair) if they don't know the whole story. Our ship isn't just the subtext or the slow build, it's one of the main stories that we think GG is telling. We're not just cute, light, and sweet. Then again, GG, for you new viewers, was never going for cute, light, and sweet. This is not Dawson's Creek. It's a completely different world, with different characters and character motivations. And I disagree that the UES relationships and families are supposed to be like our middle class worlds. I hear Dair justified bc "it's the most realistic" but nothing about GG is realism.


the possibility of dan/blair was always in the back of my mind, but i stopped watching since S3 and only was back in S5 because of the dair thing in S4, and i went back and watched their scenes that i missed, and oh how my dair heart beats happily.
i want them to happen. chair doesnt have to be endgame (i know i wanted to, not anymore), for this is tv, fiction, soapy even. pure entertainment. anything can happen. so let dair happen. hey, they can even be endgame. why not, eh? they're cute now, just as chair was cute all those years ago when they were teenagers. hail dair! :) :) :)


i used to love chair soo much, esp. s1 and to a degree S2, when they were young love, passionate, innocent, and all that. but it got tired. and i got tired watching them.
i was always wondering about blair and dan after their hallway(?) soul baring talk. never like derena, they were boring, and serena gets even boring with each season. i thought dan's character was boring esp in S1, but slowly penn badgley managed to improve it (by improving his acting?).


I've grown to really dislike Blair's character. She treats everyone around her like shit. She lies to her husbend (I know it's not an excuse for his behaviour but look what she has put him through the past year, cheating and more), is rude to her best friend and runs away with him even though she knows that he's in love with her and that her other "best friend" is in love with him, she doesn't seem to care about Chuck's feelings at all plus she is whiny and childish. Now that I've mentioned it, the writers makes her seem very cold an deatached when she for starters doesn't mention her child at all and forgets about her misscarrige after like 5 seconds .


Also, I realised it seemed like I didn't think CHAIR had the 'more than just passion' - I think anyone who's watched Seasons 1 through to now will agree with me that that's clearly not true! I just think that the passion element should be played up on screen possibly more than in real life- and for that, you're going to want CHAIR, not DAIR. Even the idea of Dan and Blair kissing etc just seems a bit awkward, or quaint, not even close to 1x07 hot or piano sex hot ;)


I actually want DAIR to happen, just so everyone can see that these two will never work as the couple everyone thinks they will :P I think they have great oneliners and really funny scenes together; but that's all in a platonic sense!! There's no heat between the two of them, they're funny and sweet and that's exactly what the show needs, a good friendship- the lack of focus on Blerena and Chate/Date has made the show worse IMO. However for a good COUPLE, you'd need them to have an element that I've never ever felt with them, that of desire and passion. Obviously in real life you need more than just passion but this is a tv show and if I'm going to watch dates and couple scenes, I'd rather it be CHAIR heat-infused incounter than cutesy banter which I could see anyway through their friendship. Just saying, I hope the writers do explore DAIR. Then we can get back on track to CHAIR for the series finale :)

Strawberry fields

Rufus kept the secret from Sophie, which was the most important thing. Messing with Eleanor on the other hand is definitely the worst idea ever. The Grimaldi family doesn't know it yet, but forcing Blair to stay with Louis was a huge mistake. The Woldorf women will make their lives hell. Payback time, girls. Georgina as not-the-real-GG is a major relief. That's it. The blast was not sent by Dan. Otherwise I will never watch this show again. Lola seems clueless, but years of GG history filled up with twist and turns seriously damaged me and now I'm constantly suspicious. Favourite quote - with so many great one-liners from basically everyone, it's hard to choose. I'd say it's a toss-up. Dorota: "He said he wants to find Miss Blair and get her the help she needs, which in the romance novels means locking her forever in tall tower". Dair exchange at the airport - Dan: "Relax, they're staring at you because you're wearing a wedding dress", Blair: "Yes, right, you have a point".

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