Gossip Girl Recap of Season 5, Episode 14: “The Backup Dan” — Dan Loves Blair Loves Chuck!
After last week's HUGE, EPIC royal wedding disaster, it was only natural that we'd have to spend some time dealing with the aftermath. Thing is, we kinda figured at the end of the hour, all would be (on its way to) well for our Queen B! (We mean Princess B!) As it turned out... that just wasn't the case. And the long-awaited, sure-to-be-wonderful-and-awesome debut of Dan (Penn Badgley) and Blair (Leighton Meester) as a maybe-couple (DAIR!)... Yeah, that didn't happen either.
What did go down as "The Backup Dan" played out, you ask? Let's recap...
Giovanni Rufino/The CW 2011 The CW Network
The episode started as the completely awful wedding reception was winding down. Nobody's noticed but Serena (Blake Lively) that the bride is nowhere to be found, so she goes on a rampage to alert everyone she shouldn't... She alerts Chuck (Ed Westwick)! She alerts Louis! (And all the while we're left to wonder just how good of friends S and B are when Serena clearrrrrly has no idea how her best friend's brain works........)
Cut to: Dan and Blair hiding out, presumably en route to the airport (are they in the parking garage?). Blair is determined to get to the Dominican Republic so she can divorce her Prince ― some fairy tale, right?! too soon? ― in the same way that Liz Taylor dismissed her fourth husband (apparently, without his signature, which means it's TOTALLY LEGAL... errrr.). Dan is all, "This is the craziest idea but I love you forever and ever, so let's max out my credit card and get you on that plane ― preferably in adorable tourist garb!"
AND THAT'S JUST WHAT HAPPENS, except for actually getting on the plane. B doesn't have her passport! But along the way, there's airport hijinx a-plenty. (Honestly, we could have done with even more!) Blair drops a few great one-liners ― one about Samsonite luggage gets a squee-worthy smile from Danny Boy, another takes a shot at Eleanor's face being like an "emoticon," omg, all of which reinforces that Leighton Meester is just the greatest.ever. ― and the most awkward convo ever on Gossip Girl transpires between Dan and Serena. (We can't even go there.)
Meanwhile, as Serena's search continues, allllllll parental units get involved. First they decide to bro-down at Casa de van der Humphrey over vino, but really that's just a ploy by Louis' Mom to track down Blair, but REALLY it ends up being Rufus against the WORLD as he learns early on where Blair is and tries to keep the wolves at bay for his lovesick sonny. (The Humphrey Men bond, it's air-tight, yo!). Did we mention that Lily and Rufus apparently SHUT DOWN the royal wedding dance floor to "Moves Like Jagger"? BECAUSE YEAH, that happened. (Why were we denied seeing that?! Grrrr!)
Here, let's break to catch up with Nate ― who took one step into the ACTUAL action this week, and then two giant steps back out of it...
Nate (Chace Crawford) was the source of this week’s least-painful interaction, as he continued to fall for Lola, aka the real Charlotte Rhodes, aka the runaway daughter of crazy Carol and cousin of Serena. (Seriously, who else died when Serena begged Lola for a ride in her catering van by saying, "I know you don't know us at all, but..."? OMG, they share DNA!) Lola helps the gang in their quest to find Blair and then she and Nate wind up alone and flirty at the Empire. She takes a phone call from her Mom and Nate catches her lying about it and decides to give her the boot! (You don't understand, he's gotta stick firm to his new modus operandi to keep away liars/meanies/people who may want to kill him some day!)
BUT THEN, Lola (hilariously) is reunited with Lily and Rufus and tells them about Nate ― awkward? ― and Lily calls Nate (Lily has Nate's number in her phone?! We're suspicious...) and they end up back together. Lola confesses that her mother doesn't want her to be in NYC and that she fakes being a student in Michigan to alleviate concern. FOR SOME REASON, Nate decides this isn't as bad as merely lying about talking on the phone ― Note to Nate: THIS IS A MUCH BIGGER LIE ― and decides to go in for the kill. BUT THEN, all of a sudden Lola isn't interested. AWUHHHHH?! (Is it just us, or did the Charlie Rhodes storyline FINALLY get interesting/charming? This new girl is great!) Oh well, we know things get better here. Perhaps on Valentine's Day? Hmm...
Back to reality...
The ep's central storyline also features strange, random involvement by Georgina that, again, like last week, doesn't add up to anything of real substance happening ― our faces mimicked Phillip's when he was, like, "WTF *IS* your plan anyway, you crazy wackadoo?" to Georgina ― and there's a fantastic moment wherein we see Dorota lusting after Blair's shoe collection while locked in her closet (by Georgina!). Oh yeah, and Georgina isn’t the real Gossip Girl... (Duhhh...)
But the real kicker, is the terribly saaad scene between Chuck and Blair that reinforces everything we know about these two ― that they are a freakin' Romeo and Juliet of their time... if Juliet got stuck marrying Paris and then decided to trap herself in a loveless bond for a year to live out her pre-nup/contract-from-hell. Blair ends the ep heading to her honeymoon with a wild-eyed Louis. (Note: it's hella disturbing the way Louis mugs for the cameras while Blair stands, majorly-bummin', at his side, no?)
AND OH YEAH, Blair and Dan admit they have feelings for each other... of friendship. C'mon, Blair! SEE IT, please! And Dan Humphrey, all we have to say to you is, "......$*!(#@&$#)&........" (And also, you sent the vid to Gossip Girl? You KNOW that's gonna bite you in the rear, dude!)