“New York, I Love You XOXO” gave Gossip Girl fans exactly what they’d been waiting for since the show’s premiere. The two-hour series finale special tied up the loose ends surrounding its final season and quickly got right to the heart of things. Who’s marrying who? Who’s banished to the swamps of Florida? Where does Lisa Loeb fit into all of this? Who is Gossip Girl?! It’s probably exactly who you expected her to be. The explanation surrounding why so-and-so created their super-villainess alter ego proved much more entertaining and profound. Oh, and Taylor Momsen showed up for, like, thirty seconds to literally skulk past Lily. Plus, a new couple was born out of the hellfire of Mordor a.k.a. the Upper East Side and this new duo could be my personal favorite over the course of the entire show.
The first hour of the finale served as a look back on the show’s success and infamy. Basically, we got a look into the rise and shine of the show’s cast. What I took away? Chace Crawford is surprisingly funny, and I believe he calls his grandma Nammy. Nammy didn’t like his cougar sex storyline from season four. Also, Blake Lively actually seemed like she enjoyed filming this show, possibly more so than any of her cast mates. That surprised me, well enough. In the end, Gossip Girl wasn’t about ratings. It became a cultural phenomenon that christened a new era in social media and controversial television. Things got convoluted along the way, but its legacy stands firm. They made headbands happen again! I think that mattered to girls. They created Georgina Sparks! That mattered to me.
Surprisingly, this recap and review will probably serve more as a discussion in the end. The plot moved rapidly, and much of the finale centered on conversations and settling down. Basically, we got an hour of growing up for characters we’ve followed for about six years. These characters have talked about growing into adulthood all season long, so this made sense. They’d been wearing adulthood like a pair of Christian Louboutin heels that were a half-size too big.
The episode opened a millisecond after the episode prior ended. Blair (Leighton Meester) and Chuck (Ed Westwick) fled the scene of the rooftop debacle and made their way into the hands of Chuck’s trusty limo driver. Immediately, the security team alerted the cops, and the police showed up to shut down the show. For a while, no one knew who, more specifically which Bass, laid in liquid form on the street in front of the event. In a moment of panic, Blair enlisted Georgina (Michelle Trachtenberg) for help. The Queen of Scheme, I’m assuming, is the one who suggested Chuck and Blair hide out in the trunk of the limo while the cops searched the scene. She probably just thought it would be funny.
Once Bart was identified and news broke through the press, word spread like wildfire. Someone told Ivy (Kaylee Defer), and then Nate (Chace Crawford) and Sage (Sophia Black D’Elia) found out, Lily feigned shock and sadness, and all Hell broke loose. Nate had to postpone piecing together the Gossip Girl puzzle for a few minutes to deal with a real jerk of a police officer. Over at the Waldorf’s, Dorota, Eleanor, and Cyrus dealt with their own shakedown. No one blabbed, but once the officers left empty handed, Dorota kind of relented and got to thinking that B and C had probably become the new Bonnie and Clyde. Another B and C! I mean, they kind of were responsible for not saving Bart, at least.
Meanwhile, Dan (Penn Badgely) and Serena (Blake Lively) were left completely out of the loop because, well, why would anyone bother to tell those two? Serena was aboard a private jet when she found Dan’s draft shoved amongst her fashion mags. What a nice luxury to be able to postpone takeoff at the drop of a hat! As it turned out, Dan’s last card to play worked its magic, and Serena got off the plane. She got off the plane, everyone! Imagine if the writers had just written her out right there. Left more confused than ever, Serena and Dan holed up in his new apartment for the majority of the finale. Dan had one last chance to explain his feelings for her. Through the power of TV, we got to relive it all via flashback! Basically, Dan was mistakenly invited to his first party with the Upper East Side “inside” crowd. No one paid any attention to Lonely Boy. That is, except for Serena, who was already kind of plastered. The first known banter between S and Dan set his quest for love into motion. Such a vivid and colorful daydream, Dan! If Serena had been the one retelling the tale all we would have seen was about five minutes of dead air, white noise, and blackness.
That flashback reminded me of one thing. You couldn’t pay me enough to go back to high school.
I wonder if Chuck and Blair rolled the entire way to Wyndham via trunk. The next morning, Uncle Jack Bass (Desmond Harrington) showed up out of the blue to… help? Seriously, he had a tracking device implanted in Chuck’s limo back when he hated his guts and wanted to ruin him. Once he saw the car vanish from Manhattan, he decided to tail them. Basically, Bart’s dead forever this time, so why not join in on the fun? Blair was quick to throw her entire life away to go on the run with Chuck. Chuck was less concerned with moving to a desert island and more concerned with whether or not he was actually guilty. There was a scuffle, both men got pushed and punched, and Bart ended up dead. In the end, nobody feels bad, so who cares? After following that goose chase all season long, I was more upset that Bart would never actually be exposed for how awful he was.
Once Chuck sort of sorted out his feelings, Jack came up with the brilliant plan to save Chuck’s ass. Basically, Blair, being the only witness, would not be forced to testify against Chuck, regardless of his guilt, if the two were married. Blair was ready to consummate things on the spot, but Chuck wasn’t happy with the idea of throwing away her dream wedding. I guess, there isn’t much romance in marrying to avoid incarceration for murder. I don’t know, Bonnie and Clyde kept things hot enough. After some minor convincing, Chuck officially proposed.
Back in Manhattan, Lily found herself swarmed by the paparazzi, and found William (Billy Baldwin) waiting for her in the lobby of her building to offer his condolences. With Bart dead, he was free to return to NYC without repercussions. That is, until Ivy barged in ready to rain on Lily’s “Bart’s dead again” parade. Admitting her love for William, and hoping he’d do the same, Ivy was made a fool. William acted like he hadn’t seen her since CeCe’s funeral, pushing Ivy into hysterics before the police got rid of her. Before Ivy would vanish from our screens for all eternity, William banished her back to the tar pit known as southern Florida with Lola’s trust fund. It was Lily he wanted all along.
Okay, some of this didn’t really make perfect sense to me. I understand that the show wouldn’t want Lily to end up alone, and I never for a second thought William wanted Ivy, but I also never truly came to see Ivy as a villainess. I actually liked her very much, at times. I really thought the point of keeping her around was for her to make amends with the Van Der Woodsens. She wanted their acceptance, not their money. Plus, she was the only one who actually honored and respected CeCe enough to warrant her inheritance. Acting like a bitch for a few moments during the finale didn’t warrant her termination. If we had to follow and relate to her for two and a half seasons, we deserved better here, too. Plus, wasn’t Lola her partner in crime? Maybe she was just helping William? I don’t buy it. Lola gave away her trust fund in confidence. I’ll explain what I think should have happened after the big Gossip Girl reveal.
At the courthouse, Jack managed to swipe the marriage license needed to make things happen. Chuck wasn’t ready to give up on the idea of a wedding before turning himself in, though. He wanted Blair’s mother and loved ones there. How would they make this happen? Uncle Jack took to the streets in search of Georgina Sparks, ultimate antihero and… the female Jack Bass! This was seriously a match made in Hell. I give major credit to whoever came up with the idea of these two joining the ranks and shacking up. In a quick montage of sorts, Georgina and Jack rallied the troops together in preparation for the wedding, which was to be held in the park. The whole tribe gathered in the lobby of the Met.
Prior to Georgina’s arrival, Dan and Serena spent twelve hours completely in the dark regarding the death of Bart. Dan continued his plea to win Serena’s respect back with another trip down memory lane. Only, the show didn’t bother flashing us back for this one. Dan told a story about Serena getting wet and wild in a white dress, and how the chatter he witnessed surrounding the shenanigans taught him that “you’re nothing unless you’re talked about.”
Jack bought some rings in the gift shop of the Met. Eleanor managed to scrounge up a dress for Blair to toss on. Lastly, Serena and Blair got one more moment together before Blair would leave her single lady days behind her. Only, the moment kind of got ruined when Blair took a turn for the unlikable and trashed the concept of giving Dan another shot. Later, I understood why this lambasting was necessary, but we’ve also invested a ton of time in the Dan/ Blair relationship. We’ve invested enough time that I wanted them to truly end things on positive terms. Instead, they used Blair as a jumping off point for the infamous “Final Chapter.” Dan had to overhear it.
With Bart left as super-rich road kill, the loan for The Spectator was left entirely in Nate’s name. All he would have to do to save his career would be to pay his debts. Perfect timing, because if Dan couldn’t set things straight with Blair, he sure as hell needed to rescue his bromance with Nate. Going over Georgina’s head, Dan delivered his last piece to Nate instead of Vanity Fair. Nate passed the writing off to Sage to post while he attended the Chair nuptials. *Bro Hug* Thanks for being a good bro, bro!
Meanwhile, catty little high school scrubs got tired of waiting for Gossip Girl to post their tips about the wedding so they called the cops instead. Everybody, ruuuuun! Cyrus rushed his way through the proceedings just barely necessary to marry Chuck and Blair, and the two kissed just as cops rushed in on the proceedings. Their wedding photographer was Serena via Instagram. Had there been a season seven, we now know what her new “passion” would have been.
The Gossip Girl blast to end all Gossip Girl blasts! Everyone from Vanessa to Juliet, from Mayor Bloomberg to Thea from Arrow (who I think played a bad influence on Jenny one season a thousand years ago) reacted with flabbergasted awe at the big reveal. Hey, Katie Cassidy is on Arrow, too. The CW loves her! The best reaction probably came from Kristen Bell and Rachel Bilson, who had been practicing reading lines for the Inside feature film. Gossip Girl is real?
Dan Humphrey is Gossip Girl!
The reveal wasn’t as monumental of a moment for us, as we’ve been privy to a lot of the goings-on in Dan’s head over the past few episodes. We knew he had a final,
Earth Upper East Side shattering piece to publish. I had always assumed it was on himself. Also, he’s a writer, simply put. I think Serena kind of gave it away a few episodes ago when she said something along the lines of, “you’re worse than Gossip Girl! At least she has a conscience!”
In that is our explanation. This is why the finale needed a moment where Blair cast Dan from their circle forever. Had he not overheard Serena and Blair chatting in the park, he wouldn’t have had to prove why he created Gossip Girl. Dan Humphrey made them! Serena was his muse. He even blacked out the site when Chuck and Blair suffered the accident that almost killed Chuck and caused Blair to miscarry. Still, he made them relevant stars within their own world. Nobody on the Upper East Side had more power than Dan Humphrey, especially not after his own personal success story.
Gathered at the makeshift reception for Chuck and Blair, the gang reacted to Dan’s revelation. Mostly, the whole lot of them found it pretty damn hilarious, Serena included. Chuck and Blair found themselves conveniently off the hook with the murder case considering the fact that no one knew they were even on the roof. Bart’s death was ruled an accident. Rufus flew in fuming mad and ready to chastise Dan. Only, in retrospect Gossip Girl’s posts didn’t really seem all that bad or important. Apparently, Jenny was in the know and would use Gossip Girl to her own advantage, so Rufus couldn’t fault him for that. Serena put it pretty well when she called the entire Gossip Girl project a “love letter” to them from Dan. Most people, Blair included, thought it was Dorota, who took to chugging vodka.
Five years flew by in the blink of an eye, guys! Of course they did. Why would we need to use our imaginations? Nate Archibald stepped off a private jet as a self-made(?) success. As it turned out, he found himself to be the Frontrunner in the race for mayor of New York. I mean, come on… Sage was nowhere in sight, by the way. Thanks for re-typing Dan’s piece, Sage! See you never! It seemed as though we only needed to spend a few moments one-on-one with Nate because everyone else seemed to actually find a partner by the series’ end. Strange, considering the fact that Nate’s primary story arc throughout the show centered on finding a true love. Well, a private jet will do.
Seriously though, did the show have to underhand pitch the “Gossip Girl Reveal” storyline to Nate, only to have Humphrey hand him the answer? Was it enough to know he had compiled the evidence to sift through and that he could have been the one to unmask Dan? Nate could have used a little self-validation, if you ask me.
Blair and Chuck settled into a new home with a new kid! Yes, Henry Bass acted like a toddler and got spoiled by Eleanor. I thought Chuck and Blair’s place was just kind-of-okay. Honestly, and please don’t hate me after you read this, I could have done without the introduction of a child, too. Two weddings would be enough! That’s right, we found ourselves at the wedding of Dan Humphrey and Serena Van Der Woodsen. Jenny walked by at one point and I think she muttered something. Lily ended up with William, Georgina ended up with Jack (Yes!), and Rufus ended up with glasses and… Lisa Loeb? That was kind of hilarious but also kind of ridiculous. We got to know Rufus over six seasons, but just like that, it was all too much! Congratulations, Lonely Boy and S! I guess Serena’s fulfillment did indeed come from finding love.
The show closed with an unnamed new “Dan Humphrey” skulking around the streets of the Upper East Side unnoticed by his high school peers. That is, until a new “Serena Van Der Woodsen” tosses him just the right glace. Just like that, Gossip Girl was reborn, but who is she now?
Overall, I enjoyed Gossip Girl as a series. The earlier seasons were obviously stronger, but I’ve always found myself entertained by this self-aware guilty pleasure. I’m happy to see Dan with Serena and Chuck with Blair. Although, I would have liked a true blue Dair moment on this final episode. I’m referring to a moment of friendship. Also, I think it’s very fitting that Chuck ends up with Jack Bass as a true blood-bound family member. As Chuck matured, he became a lot more like Jack than Bart. Jack’s more of an antihero than a villain. I know Ivy was made less likable this season, but I still think she deserved more than money and a nasty ship-off from William, who was never a very well-liked or winning character in the slightest. Well, happiness is the best revenge. I’m assuming writing a play about her life starring Lola and Hilary Duff was a nice F-you to William, especially because he’s Lola’s father. (I had to do a rewind to catch all that!) To see Lily with him was a very “meh” moment for me. My initial guess was that Ivy would be the one who took up writing as Gossip Girl, until we learned that it was a brand spanking new “anonymous” Kristen Bell vocalist.
It was the last time we’d ever hear Gossip Girl slur through her opening lines… “Where has she beenserena… That’s one secret I’ll never tell.” Oh, she’s in her apartment.
Don’t let my lame-o twenty-something dude opinions get in the way of yours, teen girls! Sound off in the comments! What did you all think of the Gossip Girl series finale? Are you happy with how things turned out for your favorite Upper East Siders? What would you have changed? Are you happy with the unmasking of Gossip Girl as Dan? Was Taylor Momsen that disgusted with the idea of filming a return?
It’s been a pleasure to review the final season of a Gossip Girl, a show I’ve followed since I was eighteen, for you all and for better or worse! Thank you for keeping up with my recaps and reviews over the past few months! Goodbye, Gossip Girl! XOXO