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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@Zoran
I mean those weird literary people they invited to the party (I don't know much about them, I skipped through the Ban scenes). Blair is also friends with Chuck.

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I'm happy Chuck is processing this shocking news without having a total meltdown. He is truly growing up. I'm glad he is coping without turning to Blair after the way she treated him during the last episode. I hope that in the upcoming episodes, she's the one who seeks him out, and not him begging for her help. That would really piss me off!

Chrys

This was the first GG episode i watched after ''Backup Dan''. I didn't plan to watch until the finale but the GGwriters will have to thank the chair community for reminding me how awesome this show used to be so i felt kind of nostalgic.Especially after reading Dr Hollands' (Pomp and Circumstance) i just need it me some Chuck and Nate right away! So there were some good parts in this episode: 1) Lola auditioning for a Lars Von Trier movie! Lololol! Cause clearly the manic depressive director spends his free time checking GG and was mesmerised by the upcoming ItGirl 2) Chuck's heartbreaking performance at the salon.The mother SL is pretty stupid but Ed really was the highlight of this episode 3) Serena crashing the party like a boss and i think i wouldn't mind her being GG for a while longer. It's working very well for her character and for moving certain SLs.

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@ Kramer439 i was thinking the same thing, bart must be alive. you always have to question whether someone actually died or not when you dont see the accident or a body and i remember we never saw bart die just saw lily getting a phone call! as for @ zoran i really dont think the writers will go down the path of incest, shes already sleeping with her sons roommate

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Nate's grandfather could be Gossip Girl... I know it's crazy lol I don't think that the secret that Diana hides is that Jack is Chuck's father. She didn't tell Chuck that she is his mother and look the consequences, I doubt that she would lie to him again.

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Dan & Serena are not related they don't share blood.
They just have the same brother.

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Was there any Chair scenes? I can't stomach dair.
If there's chair scenes Ill watch! Plmk thanks

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Prediction. bart is alive and thats the secret gg has on diana. bart being alive automatically makes rufus and lily's marriage invalid and they will no longer be married and since theyre fighting they probably will keep it that way for however long the writers see fit. boom

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Has anyone find the chemistry between Dan and Blair already?
Cause I definitely haven't.
But I loved the episode though ;)

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@adge
As for incest between Serena and Dan, this is not true two of them have no blood ties. Incest would be if Serena was with Scott, her and Dan half brother . I think it very strange that now Bart is alive. It is less surprising that Diana was a distant relative of Nate by his grandfather. Nate grandpa and Diane they know long time ago. But the great secret that hides Diana, would simply be that Jack's father of Chuck. That's not a secret we all have that presume. Of course to me has still interesting hypothesis which I pronounced that Chuck's mother - Diana, was princess or noble birth.

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