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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What is it not to hate about this ep? First of all, Serena has become such a b****!! Being so mean to Lola, and she didn´t even apologize. In the end she even was rude to Lola saying "haven´t you caused enough trouble for today"! Well, Serena was the one causing trouble, just because se couldn´t stand not being the only it-girl. Jeez, she is so getting on my nerve. And Blair and Dan is so not working for me. They are like a mini-Lily/Rufus trying to combine the "to worlds". Blair didn´t even think about talking to Chuck after he got the big news about his mother, or wondering how he was. I really don´t think Blair deserves Chuck anymore. She has ruined their whole relationship. Another bad thing about this ep was how Nate acted towards Lola. Like she was out of it, and as he said "He had her hands full with her". Like she is some kind of troubled child! Gossip girl as a whole has turned to a nightmare, I have actually come to hate almost all of the characters (not Chuck however, cause he is about the only one who is true to his character). Really bad writing, and at least for Blair and Dan: BAD acting. The acting does not make their relationship believable...

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well i like dan and blair but as friends with her calling him humphrey an making fun of his hair ,but in this episode they were so boring !,and i find it weird they didn't show blair's reaction to what happened to chuck !,i mean it's chuck !i thought she would hear and just leave dan and go running to support him !
Also chuck's reaction to diana being his mother was so emotional ,it's been a long time since i 've seen a well acted and affecting scene on gossip girl like this one

Snow-not-so-white

Serena is such a bitch... She was, still is and always will be. Every time when I start to sympathize her a bit, she prove me how terrible person she is. And about her friendship with Blair, if you ask me, that friendship is ruined long time ago. I could never be friends with someone like Serena or this new pathetic Blair, they are so disgusting... All of them. I'm so angry... Once, this was a great show. =(

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I was actually hoping that Serena herself would be the mysterious blood donor.
I've suspected for a long time that Bart was her real father.

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@Zoran, well, whatever it will happen, I just wish that it won't sound too much like a soap opera! To prove me that GG isn't a becoming an awful show, the writers must have written the storyline very, very, very well!
Ooh yess, usually when two people have been holding grudges for a long time, be sure that the war will break out!

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@Elisa
Excellent understanding. Both a very like of our favorite heroes. As for Diana secret I think you're right. It seems likely that the second possibility - that Diana was somehow connected with Nate family. I see you remembered the conversation with Diana and Nate grandfather. Discovery of Nate will be very interesting. Now comes to my mind, what if both possibilities are correct. Only such a secret would be worth discovering - Bart alive and Diane is the further cousin of Nate! It would have rocked the UES, the real drama that was not long ago been in a GG. As for the showdown between Serena and Blair, looking forward. It will be an epic clash between two best friends. Guess who I cheer for? And I know who you cheer for!

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@Zoran, I really appreciate that you understood how much I love Chair. But, to be honest with you, I think you are veeeery fond of Derena too! Really, sometimes I can't even recall all the scenes you are referring to, although I'm a huge fan of GG since the very beginning!
As far as the other Diana's secret is concerned, I think that it can be 1) Bart has really been alive for all this time or 2) it is connected with Nate's family. (remember when Nate's grandfather suggested Diana to leave before someone could know her secret?). In both cases, it will be quite weird... I mean, could you imagine if Nate and Chuck are related in some strange way?
Uh, and I also read that Serena is going to post Blair's diary on GG and because of that there will be a huge stir between the two of them...

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@korina
In the final episode of this season comes the showdown between Serena and Blair. The main reason is of course Dan. Blair chooses Dan instead of her friend Serena. The friendship between Serena and Blair is destroyed. Each goes his own way. I think the producers and writers are trying to kill the character Serena, as they did with Jenny and Vanessa. Serena probably will not return next season in the permanent cast. Perhaps to be featured in several episodes.

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what will happen to serena and blair? is it the end of their friendship?

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I'm trying to like Dair, they talk about a real relationship that's built on friendship as well as lust but something's just lacking with these two. The passion really isn't there. I'm all for talking in bed but doesn't that usually happen post-coital? They were a mile apart, like two kids on a sleepover, not lovers sharing ideas. Every time Blair talks to Dan, she has this horrible whine in her voice. And every time she talks about Louis I want to smack her, he was loving to her right up until the wedding. When she revealed to another man that she loved him instead. Louis may have been as interesting as dry toast but he put with a lot from Blair. Maybe I don't like Dan and Blair because of Blair. I'm all for a genuine, sweet relationship but this isn't it. I miss Derena, I miss old Chair, and I miss Nate with random, cougars. Diana and Nate leave a sick taste in my mouth after Monday's revelation.

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