The Backup Dan is the 14th episode of fifth season and the 101st episode overall.
Everyone wants their wedding to be perfect but on the Upper East Side, perfect isn't good enough. Although some disasters can't be avoided.
Blair must make a difficult decision about her future, the consequences of which could hurt those she loves most. Serena takes blame for an incident with Gossip Girl in order to protect someone she loves. Georgina smells the scent of scandal and decides to follow its trail.
The episode begins at Blair and Louis' wedding reception. Serena is desperately trying to find Blair, who is nowhere to be found. She asks Eleanor, who in turn asks Serena if she thinks Blair is truly happy. Serena says yes, and once it sinks it that she's a real life princess, she'll be over the moon. She then runs into Louis and asks him where Blair is. He says she might be in the restroom and Serena goes off to check. At Georgina's house, she explains to Philip how Blair confessing her love for Chuck is the best thing to happen to Gossip Girl in years. She realizes Blair left the reception early and that probably means something is wrong. She heads off to find out what it is. Back at the reception, Serena informs Chuck that she can't find Blair anywhere in the building. While she's mentioning that Blair had her keep her phone, Chuck gets a call from The Empire security; who tell him Blair is waiting for him in his suite.
Meanwhile, Nate is helping Lola (the real Charlie Rhodes) load her catering van after the reception in an attempt to flirt with her. Serena and Chuck then walk into the garage, preparing to go find Blair. They ask Nate what he's doing and then fill him in on the latest with Blair. Chuck remarks that he called for his car awhile ago, and Lola mentions that with all the paparazzi waiting for Blair and Louis' exit, traffic is a mess but her van lets out onto a side street. Serena asks if she can give them a ride, and Lola agrees to help right away. Inside, Louis gets a call from Sophie. She instructs him to keep smiling and pretend things are fine but that he needs to find Blair right away. Louis confesses that Blair may have left because he told her that she will be his wife in name only. Sophie tells him he messed up and that she's off to see if Eleanor knows where Blair is. At The Empire, Serena, Chuck, Nate, and Lola arrive in the penthouse to find Georgina waiting for them. She explains she told the dumbest member of hotel security that she was Blair and she needed to get their attention somehow because she saw Blair leave the reception and was the last one to see her. Elsewhere, Blair and Dan discuss her next steps. Blair says she wants to go to the Dominican Republic to get a divorce, and that there may be a loophole there where she can do it without Louis' consent. Dan says he can't believe Chuck released the video, but Blair says her wanting out is more about Louis becoming a different person after the video came out. Dan then takes her to JFK, where they're told that she might get a seat on a flight with a layover in Orlando. Blair tells Dan that she needs the quickest flight out because with one phone call to the Dominican Republic from the Grimaldi's, they can make sure she doesn't get her divorce. She stops a random girl to ask to borrow some clothes, but the girl begins to freak out when she realizes it's Blair. Blair quickly lies that she and Dan are decoys of the real royal couple to distract everyone. She asks for Dan's credit card to buy some clothes that will help her blend in and goes off. While she's gone, Dan gets a call from Serena. She says she spilt red wine on her dress and had to go home to change and is headed back now. She asks if he knows where Blair is, and Dan lies that she left with Louis a few minutes ago and that she shouldn't come back because it's kinda over. Serena asks if he has anything to say to her in response to what she said earlier, but Dan deflects the question and says he'll call her back later. At The Empire, Serena comes back in to the room after hanging up with Dan and says he said she left with Louis. Georgina replies that Dan is lying.
Back at the airport, Blair is decked out in I Heart New York merchandise to avoid drawing attention to herself. When it comes time to issue the ticket, the woman asks for Blair's passport. Blair tries to prove her identity with a newspaper featuring her and Louis on the cover but before the woman can say yes or no, the same girl from earlier comes up and announces Blair is a decoy for the real Blair. While Dan escorts her away, Blair decides to call Dorota and have her bring the passport to her. At The Empire, Serena says there is no way she's believing Georgina over Dan. Georgina asks why she assumes she's lying and that she just wants to help. Chuck then calls security to have her escorted out. While he's on the phone, Georgina gets a text from Philip that Dorota just entered the Waldorf building. She quickly leaves the hotel to head over there. Serena then apologizes to Chuck that Blair wasn't there, and he says he needs to make peace with the fact that the video release killed whatever chance he had with her. Blair's phone goes off and Serena sees a text from Louis demanding that she return. At the VDW's, Lily, Rufus, Eleanor, and Sophie arrive after the reception. Lily heads upstairs to change into flats while Rufus gets some wine. Sophie suggests they invite Blair and Louis to have a drink with them before they leave, but Eleanor says they probably want some time alone and have probably already left. Eleanor says she should go home but Sophie asks her to stay for one drink to celebrate. Rufus then receives a call from Dan, who informs him all about Blair's situation. Rufus remarks that he doesn't think Blair should be dragging him into it, but Dan says he needs to help her because she's scared. Rufus agrees to stall Sophie from looking anymore. Blair tells him that the Grimaldi's don't mess around and she needs to resolve this as quickly as possible to avoid any real danger. Dan assures her that no one who knows will tell. At the Waldorf's, Dorota is putting together a small suitcase for Blair when Georgina walks in. Dorota lies that with Blair on her honeymoon, she's taking a vacation too. Georgina reminds her of the time she and Vanya tricked her into going to Russia (in Rufus Getting Married) and announces it's payback time.
At the VDW's, Eleanor unsuccessfully tries to reach Blair. Sophie changes her demeanor and accuses Eleanor of lying. She explains that Blair is missing and unless they can find her, they'll reinstate the dowry. Eleanor says they cannot be forced to pay it, but Sophie says that it's all in the prenuptial agreement. Rufus and Lily then enter the room. To defuse the situation, Rufus says he's having the catering company send over some of the beautiful flower arrangements from the wedding. Sophie then leaves, but not before warning Eleanor that she has other ways of finding Blair's location. Back at The Empire, Nate and Lola are hanging out. She says her boss offered her another job but she told him to find someone else. Nate offers her a drink but she asks for a beer instead. While he's gone, Lola's mother calls. Nate overhears her lie about whispering because she's studying at a library. He asks who it was and she lies that it was her boss. Nate then says he really is exhausted and she decides to take the extra job. At the airport, Blair is napping when Dan sees a press conference Louis is giving on TV asking for the public's help in finding Blair. People then begin to take pictures of her and Dan suggests they go to a hotel and have Dorota meet them there to avoid being so exposed. Meanwhile, Serena and Chuck arrive at the Waldorf's. They see suitcases on Blair's bed and then notice her closet is tied shut. They open it to find Dorota inside trying on Blair's shoes. Dorota tells them Georgina locked her inside and is desperate to find Blair, and also that Blair needs her passport because she needs to get away very fast. Serena pieces together that Blair wants a divorce. Dorota also mentions that Louis keeps calling and saying he wants to find Blair and get her the help she needs. Chuck grabs the passport and heads off trailed by Serena. They get into his limo and leave. Unbeknownst to them, Georgina is waiting in a different car and has her driver follow them.
Meanwhile, Louis tells Sophie their plan worked and photos of Blair at the airport are all over the internet and she left twenty minutes ago. Sophie admits that Eleanor knew nothing but she now knows they will pay if Blair keeps hiding. Louis then gets a message from Gossip Girl. At the hotel, Dan and Blair check into a room. Blair is annoyed that she's lost everything and complains. Dan asks if it would kill her to be just the tiniest bit appreciative for what he's done for her. Blair argues that she's not having fun and Dan yelling at her is just making things worth. Dan decides to leave but before he can, there's a knock at the door and Blair realizes it can't be Dorota. At the VDW's, Eleanor has explained everything to Rufus and Lily. Rufus finally breaks down and tells that Blair is with Dan. Back at the airport hotel, Dan opens the door to find Chuck and Serena. Blair emerges and asks how they found her. Serena says Dorota told them and they have her passport. Dan explains that he was leaving and Serena asks why he lied about where he was earlier. He goes to leave and opens the door to find Georgina, who instantly takes a group photo of everyone. Startled, Serena drops her bag and her phone and Georgina's camera falls out of it. After she takes another picture, Georgina follows Dan's lead and leaves. Back at the VDW's, Lily assures Rufus that telling Eleanor was the right thing to do. While they talk, Lola arrives with the flower arrangements. They recognize each other and Lola lets it slip that she met Nate and the minute she showed any interest, he lost his. She leaves and Lily decides to call Nate herself. At the hotel, Blair is bewildered that Serena sent the video in. Serena lies and says she did it for her and Chuck. Serena says that she never meant to hurt Blair and she's sorry she did, but her running away with Dan and lying about it hurt too. She then leaves. Chuck offers to charter a plane and have them in the Dominican Republic by sunrise but before she can answer, Sophie arrives and Blair won't go anywhere unless it's with Louis. Sophie reminds Blair about the dowry, and says that in order to pay it, Eleanor will more than likely have to sell her company. She tells Blair the choice is hers and leaves. Downstairs, Dan says the only reason he lied was to help Blair. Serena says that he saw this as his chance to be her only savior and he meant to take advantage of that. Dan asks if Serena is really mad about the Blair thing or about his not replying to what she said earlier. Serena replies that he just did and walks off. Upstairs, Blair apologizes to Chuck for thinking he sent the video in. Chuck begs her not to leave with Louis, and he'll pay her dowry no matter the cost. Blair refuses, and asks him to let her handle it on her own because when they end up together, it has to be as equals. She says she's sorry and leaves. Downstairs, she sits with Dan and apologizes for earlier. She says she also knows Dan wrote Louis' vows and she knows he cares way more about her than Louis and that she cares about him too, despite her odd ways of showing it. She thanks him for helping her and apologizes again for maxing out his credit card and not reading his book. He promises to always be there for her and the two hug.
At the St. Regis, Nate comes looking for Lola. He says Lily called and he knows he owes her an explanation. He admits that when he heard her lying to her mom, it reminded him of his other lying exes and turned him off. She explains that her mom never supported her being an actress and said New York would destroy her soul, and so she pretends to attend Michigan State to derail her from knowing where she really is. Nate admits that what went down recently with Tripp and William has caused him to have no family either. He offers her a do over but she says his world is more fun to hear about than to actually participate in. He thanks her for being honest and she leaves. At the Waldorf's, Eleanor arrives to find Louis waiting in the foyer. She announces she knows where Blair is and won't tell them. She continues that when she finds her, she's going to tell her that she doesn't have to go with Louis and to stay as far away from him as possible. She warns him that the Grimaldi's cannot control them. Blair then comes downstairs and says that they can. She tells Louis that her bags are in the car downstairs and she's ready to leave. She explains to Eleanor that she doesn't believe in saving herself and ruining their family at the same time and it's just a year she has to pretend. Dan then arrives with Blair's wedding gown in a bag. Blair thanks him again and Louis says they need to go. Downstairs, Louis and Blair kiss for the photographers. At Georgina's, Philip asks why she's posting a video of the kiss when she has the hotel photo. Georgina explains the photo is irrelevant now that Blair and Louis are together. She reminds him that she knows who sent in the video in the first place, and that she has something else planned as to use it besides revealing it. She then remarks that she's doing her civic duty taking on Gossip Girl after it was abandoned; proving she isn't the real Gossip Girl. At The Empire, Serena and Chuck arrive. He sees the blast of Blair and Louis and asks sadly why she chose Louis. Serena says he shouldn't have sent in the video, and Chuck confusedly says he didn't. Serena says she took the fall because it would be worth it if they could be together, but that she swears she didn't do it. Chuck swears he didn't either, and Serena asks who did it then. The scene then changes to Dan jealously watching Blair and Louis leave, proving he sent the video in.
- Blake Lively as Serena van der Woodsen
- Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf
- Penn Badgley as Dan Humphrey
- Chace Crawford as Nate Archibald
- Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass
- Kaylee DeFer as Ivy Dickens (Credit only as she does not appear in the episode)
- Kelly Rutherford as Lily van der Woodsen
- Matthew Settle as Rufus Humphrey
- Michelle Trachtenberg as Georgina Sparks
- Margaret Colin as Eleanor Waldorf
- Zuzanna Szadkowski as Dorota Kishlovsky
- Hugo Becker as Louis Grimaldi
- Ella Rae Peck as Lola Rhodes
- Joanne Whalley as Sophie Grimaldi
- Nick Cornish as Philip Becker
- Like A Virgin by Madonna
- Wait by M83
- Future This by The Big Pink
- Try by Joanna James
Serena: I even had security look on the roof!
Chuck: Why would she be on the roof?
Serena: I don't know, maybe I've seen The Hangover too many times.
Nate (to Lola): This is Georgina Sparks. She's pretty much the worst person you'll ever meet so just avoid eye contact at all times.
Georgina: Cross my heart and hope to die.
Nate: Here's hoping.
Dan (to Blair): Was researching divorce law part of your wedding prep? Because that should have been your first sign.
Blair (on the Dominican Republic's divorce laws): I there's a loophole in the law where you don't need the groom. Or maybe they just take bribes. Either way I'll figure it out when I get there!
Blair: It is going to be Bieber Fever in here in about one minute.
Random Girl (to Blair): Now that I get a better look, you're not nearly as pretty as Blair Waldorf.
Georgina (to Serena and Chuck): No need for security! The jig is up! Ahh you caught me, I have been lying! I don't know what to say, I'm bored and my DVR is empty. I can normally keep this up for hours but I have a kid now and his Mommy & Me group is way more fun to mess with than you guys, bye!
Serena: Wow, seriously? What is her problem?
Blair: You told Rufus?? That goody goody will squeal the first chance he gets!
Dan: Oh, you trust Dorota?
Blair: I pay her to stay loyal. Rufus is always "doing the right thing". I'm sure he's already told my mother which means everyone will instantly know that she knows. She refuses to get Botox. Her face is an emoticon.
Dorota: Before I was locked in closet, Mr. Louis was calling and calling and calling. He say he want to get Miss Blair the help she needs which in romance novels means locking her forever in tall tower! I need to get Miss Blair her passport so she can get away very fast!
Blair: In just a few short hours I went from being a princess with a private jet and a palace to flying coach and hiding out in an airport hotel with Dan Humphrey, what have I done to deserve this?
Blair: In case you haven't noticed, I'm not exactly having fun either. This was supposed to be the best day of my life and now it's a big mess and now you don't need to be yelling at me on top of it!
Dan: In case you haven't noticed, I've been helping you the entire time and YOU'RE the one who's yelling! Alright, now I'm yelling too but you're the one who started it!
Blair: I HOPE SOMEONE YELLS AT YOU ON YOUR BIG DAY SO YOU KNOW HOW IT FEELS!
Dan: You already did! You remember the day my book came out? You blamed me for creating all your problems with Louis, AND you never even read it!
Blair: I read THE MOST IMPORTANT PART... THE PART THAT NEVER HAPPENED!
Chuck: Hey, don't worry. I'll protect you from Louis and whatever his mother threatens, if there's a dowry I'll pay it.
Blair: I can't let you buy my freedom.
Chuck: If it means getting rid of them, it's worth whatever the cost. I'd do anything for you.
Blair: No.. not like this. I made a promise and I need to keep it.
Chuck: To God? Please. You broke that promise when you left Louis. And look, I'm still standing.
Blair: Chuck, I need you to let me handle this on my own. What kind of chance do we have if our fresh start is you buying me from Louis? When and if we end up together, it has to be as equals, with nothing over our heads. That's the only shot we have.
Chuck: I can't stand the thought of you with anyone else, I don't care what it costs or where we have to go. I just want to be with you.
Blair: Louis won't lay a hand on me. I promise. I'm sorry. This is how it has to be.
Eleanor (to Louis): And for future reference, the Waldorfs do not give into threats. Your family cannot control mine.
- The episode title is based off the movie The Back-Up Plan.
- This episode marks the last appearance of Louis and Sophie Grimaldi.