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!


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.


Ok. Great that there are those who think like me! If we assume that Diana told Chuck the truth, then Jack is not his father. But the fact remains that Jack always helped Chuck when he was in trouble - after Bart's death, about Thorpe, and now after the car accident. I think Jack is trying to protect Chuck, on the little clumsy and strange way. Dianes secret it looks has a connection with Nate and his family. For as it is announced, Nate revealing secret of Diana gets very surprised? Nate may be very surprised if it has to do with him or his family.


Dude, I was kidding about Serena and Dan being incestuous, that's right I wrote joking cause I loved Derena so much!
I also would be soooo mad that Jack is Chucks real dad that's just weird. I hope the secret has nothing to do with Chuck, he's been through enough this season :(


I got it. Thank you for explained. You really are a big fan of Chuck and Blair, perhaps more than I am fan of Serena and Dan. But really, the relationship of Dan and Blair, in particular in 20x5 episode was anything but a love of two young people. Dan and Blair from 20-21 years, lying in bed together and what they do, they talk of the book - a huge rubbish. Comes to my mind of scene from season 4, when Chuck was in bed with Blair and Serena came in and sat on the bed. So much passion, love and lust, and laughter at the expense of Serena, and everything in one scene with Chuck and Blair. This is how doing the young and in love! Or one of my favorite scenes from season 1, when Serena and Dan together show affection in her bed, and Chuck come to call them to dinner.


@Zoran, I was talking about the scenes that Chuck and Blair shared in 5x19. Especially the one when they met at the elevator. In my opinion, that glance screamed passion, love and frustration everywhere. And all the other scenes (when they talked about Chuck's mom and then about the dowry) made me really emotional!


Serena is simpler compared to Blair. Also, Serena has more passion than Dan, and their love relationship is like a crash fire and water. Of course Serena is a fire, a Dan is water. Collision of these two elements leads to the explosion of pleasure. Serena and Dan are the ideal combination to complement and understand. On the other hand, Chuck is described Blair as - on the outside the ice and inside the fire. That is why their relationship was passionate. However, Dan and Blair are a different story. Dan can not start the fire at Blair, and therefore their relationship is boring. Except when they are drunk with vodka and whiskey! I think you're wrong about episode 5x19? Explain!


I miss the Serena whose eyes light up with love and laughter.... She has been missing for more then a season now! And BTW was so ridiculous she didn't have a lock on her phone on tonight's episode... c'mon! I think it's funny that of all of them, Nate seems to be the only one who keeps up some basic semblance of having a job on GG lately. How unlikely! It was nice to see Rufus with a few cajones at the start of the episode for a change... I think some time apart for this couple would make both their characters a little more relvant again....


Blair and Dan boring, please give me a break.
When Blair and Chuck were dating all I saw was a 20s version of Donald Trump and what's her name he is married to. Last episode and this episode I saw honesty and their fondness for each other and a real man that apologizes for his assumptions with Chuck and the dowry to Blair. Didn't took Chuck over 4 seasons to apologize for all he has put her through?


@Zoran, you're right. I think that Serena has always been simpler than Blair.
I also guess that, if people really want a simple and pure relationship, Derena might be the only couple that can actually meet with these requirements. I mean, they are simple, but yet there's still something that heats the things up (I liked more Serenate, actually, but I don't think that the writers will redo this storyline). Derena are the counterpart of the passionate Chair. (really, their eyes radiate passion and love every time they look at each other! Even when they're not talking I can hear them screaming: "I love you so much! I want to be with you!". Those scenes in 5x19 made me actually emotional!)


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oh, and I still can't see Dan and Blair together, this has to end!!

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