“XOXO” for the Last Time

When it comes to Gossip Girl, I have been a fan since the 6th grade, or age 11. That’s when I bought and began reading the very first book. I carried it around school hidden within my binder because I didn’t want the teachers to see. That’s because the books were filled with sex, something at age 11 I knew was extremely inappropriate. Honestly, that’s kind of what made me like them so much. It was fun to be reading something that wasn’t meant for my age, and I felt cool understanding them enough to keep up with the series. Back in the days of simply the book series, Blair and Nate were meant to be together, Jenny was a curly-haired brunette with huge boobs, Dan was an emo writer with long brown hair, and Vanessa was a rebel with a shaved head and combat boots. Serena was pretty much the same as she is now, and as I began reading I pictured her in my head as the tall, blonde actress who played Bridget in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (catch the irony there? It’s completely true, by the way).

Fast-forward about four years. I had finished (more like devoured) all eleven books, had educated myself on several things I really shouldn’t have learned about at the time (the same thing happened when I was eight and read Judy Blume’s Are the There God? It’s Me, Margaret), and was mourning the not-so-recent ending of my all time favorite show, The O.C., when news came out that Josh Schwartz (creator of The O.C.) was going to be the executive producer of a new show based on the popular book series; Gossip Girl. Oh, and that Blake Lively (known for portraying Bridget in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies (get it now?) would play the famous Serena Van der Woodsen.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the show over the past six years. Sure, it went through lulls when I wondered what the hell the writers were thinking, but it also made a fairly entertaining and successful six seasons while deviating almost completely from the book. The show mirrored the book exactly in the first episode and somehow veered off complete after that. It’s almost hard to even compare the books and the show because only the names and the setting of the Upper East Side is similar, but nevertheless I tuned into the CW every Monday night to catch up on the craziness that was B, S, Lonely Boy, and the rest of New York City.

This season has definitely been interesting. Though I will never understand exactly why Chuck and Blair couldn’t be together until he took down Bart, I went with it, and the season proved entertaining enough. I was extremely curious to see where the plot was headed, and how it would all come together in the finale. The hour-long finale was preceded by an hour-long sort of recap of the past six seasons, with interviews from the cast and crew, behind the scenes footage, and, of course, flashbacks to remind us exactly why we grew to love the show so much.

Before the show begins: my prediction for Gossip Girl (in the show) is either Dorota or Dan. Dorota is always there, has access to all the information, and is a supporting character with a life we rarely see, making ot not totally impossible for her to blog about the spoiled New York socialites she sees on a daily basis. I also think it could be Dan, especially because of this book he is currently writing with every chapter based on a different character being published weekly in Vanity Fair; very Gossip Girl-esque. His background as somewhat of a loner and his talents as a writer don’t completely negate this, either.

SPOILER ALERT(S) AHEAD!

Bart Bass Dies: Part II. Or so we are supposed to believe as the episode begins. The rendition of Bonnie and Clyde in the background definitely sets the mood (alluding to Blair and Chuck, perhaps?), which is very somber and mysterious. Dan is seen, alone, in his empty apartment, texting about his final chapter, and Serena is sitting on an airplane reading the “romantic” version of the Serena chapter that Dan slipped in her bag. It is then confirmed via television that Bart Bass has, indeed, died (again). The police are questioning Bart’s limousine driver, who hasn’t seen him, but we then see a very frightened Chuck and Blair hidden in what I assumed was the limo trunk.

The next morning, Chuck and Blair are revealed to be in a hotel, when Chuck is told Bart has been confirmed dead, and also learns that he is being searched for throughout the city and the police. Serena, in a very The Notebook manner, realizes thru Dan’s penmanship that she still loves him, and confronts him as to which chapter is true; the patronizing one that makes her out to be a spoiled, manipulative socialite, or the very romantic, sweet one that paints his feelings for her. Jack Bass returns to convince Chuck not only to not come forward (using lack of security cameras and no witnesses as reasoning), but also to marry Blair so she won’t be forced to testify against him (way to fast track that marriage in a somewhat believable manner, Gossip Girl writers). The reason Chuck gets on one-knee minutes later to propose? So they won’t be “boring.” How romantic.

The cast reunion continues with William Van der Woodsen, who happens to be in a romantic relationship with Ivy (whose call he ignores while comforting the newly widowed (again) Lily. We are then shown an adorable flashback (which takes place the first time Dan saw Serena; we haven’t seen this before, it’s brand new and it’s the most nostalgic and cutest encounter ever) while Dan is explaining to Serena in present-day about the romantic Serena chapter and how his infatuation with her began. Of course Serena doesn’t remember this encounter at all, but it’s a nice glimpse for us into what existed before Serena returned to the Upper East Side six years ago.

Chuck and Blair are sitting in a courthouse (once again, the romance is just too much at this point) when Jack brings the marriage license and the two go to see the Justice of the Peace. Blaire insists she has already had her “princess wedding,” and doesn’t need a big affair this time, while Chuck admits he “doesn’t want to start the rest of our lives this way,” and the two leave, unmarried. I can’t even keep track of how many times the tow have broken up and reconciled. Out of all the television couples to be off and on (Ross and Rachel, Ryan and Marissa, Ted and Robin (and Robin and Barney)…) they take the cake (times ten). It’s insane.

William is now acting like he doesn’t know whom Ivy is (while continuing to comfort Lily), while Ivy is trying to tell Lily not only that the two are in love, but also that they have been plotting against the Bass’s for months. Of course Lily refuses to believe this, and William keeps up the charade, admitting to Ivy he has always been in love with Lily and now has the opportunity to get everything he’s wanted by being with her. About twenty minutes in, we are sort of given a hint as to who Gossip Girl is (Serena says something about how Dan came home one day and told Jenny about Serena and Gossip Girl was formed…I was confused as to if this meant Jenny was Gossip Girl or just a tangent to put us on for a while), but I was still confused so I sort of blew it off (I was still waiting for the “last ten minutes” that I “needed” to see, according to the interview shown prior to the episode). Jack is now enlisting Nate, Georgina, Sage, Serena, and Dan for some sort of mission set to “Time to Begin.” Eleanor and Cyrus show up, meeting Lily and Chuck, and the suspense (confusion) continues to build until we find out this is an impromptu wedding for Chuck and Blair (the romance begins to actually exist, thank goodness), and some on looking high school girls decide to text this fabulous information to Gossip Girl.

Dan overhears the bride and her best friend discussing the possibility of Serena and Dan getting back together. Blair claims “Serena will never end up with a powerless striver,” prompting Dan to leave to take care of some mysterious errand. He gives Nate his final chapter, about Gossip Girl, to have him publish in The Spectator (too little, too late in my opinion after all the crap Dan has done, but apparently this is like the greatest chapter of all time because Nate forgives and forgets pretty darn quickly and looks pretty happy to me). Nate claims this information will change all of their lives, and in the meantime, Gossip Girl hasn’t blasted the tip on Chuck and Blair’s wedding, prompting the high school girls to inform the police of Chuck’s whereabouts. And then, the wedding we’ve been hoping for for almost six years finally begins, surrounded by the sound of police cars, as the ceremony is hurried to get the two wed before Chuck’s arrest. Cyrus marries the two, and they share their first kiss and man and wife as the NYPD escorts them away and as The Spectator publishes the final and most intriguing chapter of Dan’s book.

Right now, 45 minutes into the episode, I’m thinking it should be renamed “A Whole Bunch of Foreshadowing Maybe followed By a Surprise in the Last Ten Seconds.” Not only has nothing been revealed, but we’ve been going in circles with possible, maybe, what-if clues that just provide tangents. Nothing has happened! The last ten minutes better be the most epic ten minutes of television because at this rate, the action is nonexistent. And if I see one more sneak peek of The Carrie Diaries, I may scream.

Now we are seeing clips of all past characters reading their phones with what we assume is the revealing of Gossip Girl. In the ultimate peak of confusion, we see Kristen Bell and Summer Roberts (Rachel Bilson) auditioning for what I think is the movie/TV show version of Dan’s book. I am so lost at this point I don’t really know what to think and am really afraid to assume or try to figure out anything. Dan is narrating the final chapter amongst a montage of past episodes and clips from the show. And finally, it all kind of came together in an epiphany. Dan is Gossip Girl (side note: I was completely right!). It isn’t the last ten minutes of the episode yet, so the fact that even more can happen is just making me anxious. The revealing of Gossip Girl was a little anticlimactic in my opinion (or maybe the confusion just kind of threw me off), but I’m still trying to process it as I’m watching Dan explain to Rufus why he would trash his own sister on the website.

Chuck and Blair return and are allegedly free due to lack of evidence. The gang all sits down to discuss the newly found identity of the Upper East Side’s main form of gossip (Blair claims they all thought it was Dorota). Blair revels in that “it’s all over now,” and they can all can finally grow up, with Dan revealing, “Gossip Girl is dead.” Honestly, the reaction was (once again) extremely anti-climactic. I mean, this people have been tormented by, idolizing, fearing, and feeding information to this mysterious blogger for the past six years (or more), and they finally found out it is one of their close friends with whom they have trusted and shared information with, and not only does nobody freak out, but after a few minutes of sitting down and discussing it everybody is completely fine with it? That’s the most unrealistic thing ever. I mean, a little emotion, please. We’ve watched these characters freak out over almost nothing, plot elaborate schemes that seem very overrated, and continue to act dramatic and emotional, and the calmest revelation in the show is the revealing of Gossip Girl? In the voice of Seth Meyers, REALLY?!

I really loved the finale of The O.C.. It brought everything to a close. Sandy and Kirsten moved back to their old house with their new daughter, Seth and Summer got there happily ever after, and Ryan not only got a fresh start at Berkeley, but came full circle in the most emotional moment of the series when, years later, he or it was assumed that he) took in an troubled kid the same way Sandy took him in years before. It even paid homage to Marissa, and reminded all of us of why we loved the show so much. Gossip Girl tried to do something similar. The last five minutes showcased five years later; Nate was successful businessman thanks to The Spectator, Chuck and Blair were living out their happily ever after with a son, Eric and Jenny returned, and the entire cast of characters we’ve grown to know, love, hate, and admire came together for another moment we’ve all been waiting for; the wedding of Lonely Boy and S. Something we never got to after eleven books was witnessed, and though I don’t understand Serena’s choice of a gold wedding dress, I did thoroughly enjoy the ending. Gossip Girl narrates the last few minutes, presenting herself as a sort of presence, representing someone always trying to look for a way in, and as Kristen Bell’s voice signs off, “xoxo, Gossip Girl,” for the last time, we are left with some form of closure as the lights dim on the Upper East Side.

xoxo, Wendi

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About Wendi

Welcome to my little, personalized, and (mostly) fun corner of the internet. Whether you're here to read about Broadway, entertainment, or the laughable struggles of a recent college graduate making it out in corporate America, you've come to the right place. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin (hook 'em!) with dual degrees in broadcast journalism and theatre, and currently work full time as Director of Regional Marketing for Broadway Across America. My weaknesses are chips and queso, Dance Moms, romantic comedies, photo booths, and show tunes. Resume, writing samples (more serious ones...), and my life story can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendireichstein/.
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2 Responses to “XOXO” for the Last Time

  1. Stacy says:

    I have a question who was sitting next to Rufus and William on couch and was Rufus with lily at end or that girl?

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