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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@francine
I did not thought of incest! I think Diane and Nate grandfather have some relationship. Is it family or business will see. But it is important that Nate discovers a secret that keeps Diana. I understand that Nate gets surprised when he discovers a secret. Perhaps the secret kept by Diana had something to do with Nate family.

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Dair made me want to puke. Their pseudo-intellectual babble is not witty. It's name dropping. And totally boring. It's something you do with platonic friends, when totally drunk, to see if you can think straight enough to show off how well-read, au currant, or educated you are. Great romances, even if based on intellectual attraction, are not pretentious brag-fests. Dair is just two people who are pleased with the novelty of having found someone who appreciates their esoteric allusions and references. Maybe it's a bit of an egotistical thing too, to feel smart and validated when reciting knowledge that others don't posses. I hope the writer's put this doomed relationship out of its misery fast.

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Not so crazy for the episode, don't care about Blair and Dan there boring. I do like that selena is not so nice. Just get her and chuck together as a couple. i like the storyline with Chuck and new mom. i say they put more time in on selena and chuck. they have nothing else going on

Ninasmileface

This was probably the best episode in recent memory. I really enjoyed almost all of the story lines. Serena is back, and meaner than ever which is really fun to watch, but I do feel bad for Lola. Oh well, it is her own fault, she should have just stood up for herself. Chuck was awesome as usual and I'm glad they decided not to stretch out the Diana possibly being Chuck's mother for too long. The only sl I didn't enjoy was Dair's stupid salon. It was boring and so were they. I just don't see any chemistry with those two. Blair always seems so fake around him and Dan is just turning into Rufus. I couldn't care less about their story line at the moment.

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One spoiler out there stated that Diana's other secret has been referenced on Gossip Girl in the past...wonder what that means.

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I can't stand DAIR they make me sick. So I've quit watching. However what I did do was look up any CHAIR scenes on You tube and only watched those. I refuse to watch a complete episode of pure nonsense with DAIR. Because it's CHAIR always & forever

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All I cared for is Dair. Thank you.

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Blair to Dan: "but if you don't like my world and I don't like yours, what do we have left?" Answer = nothing (except your brains and that's not enough to last) because you are not meant to be together... and btw, Georgina was a better GG ^^

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Poor Lola. I liked her a lot with Nate but he's too blind not to believe Serena is GG. He preferred to trust her over his girlfriend =S I hope he's going to miss her! She might come back since she's Serena's half sister... =) Serena is so miserable right now. She doesn't have a life so she needs to screw others lives and more, her cousin's... I like her sense of family! >_<
The reveal of Chuck's mother wasn't surprising at all. 2 seasons ago when he learned her mother was still alive and might be it was Elizabeth, well that was a shock! Ed Westwick is such a good actor as Chuck. Even though he had less screentime, his lines were great!
DAIR was boooooring. Lily and Rufus need to stay together. Lily is so dumb to be mad at Ivy. OK, she let people think she was Charlie but as she said, she has no one and she made a good deed by staying at CeCe's bed.

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@Francine We did see Bart dead..remember when Serena was in the hospital and chuck came to see he in the Hampton's..he had a flashback of when he saw him in his hospital bed!

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