Gossip Girl used to be good. As a self-proclaimed expert, I can vouch for this. I’ve read all of the books including several from the spin-offs The It Girl and The Carlyles, had weekly first season Gossip Girl viewing parties which led to a weird graduate school Gossip Girl style blog and will always consider Blair Waldorf a spirit animal.
The lovely ladies of FYA have graciously fulfilled one of my personal dreams—to recap Gossip Girl in its final season. And here I’ll be chained to its bitter end.
If this first episode, “Gone Maybe Gone,” is any indication, this is going to be a long, rage inducing final season that not enough whiskey can deal with—although a drinking game to all previous season references will help.
At the end of last season, Serena was ODing on a train, Blair was back with Chuck in Monte Carlo after not really ending her CURRENT relationship with Dan, Nate was being pretty and Bart Bass was alive and Lily decide to stay with him instead of her SOULMATE Rufus. Oh and that whole Ivy/Charlie/Van der Woodsen family dramaz thing.
As I suspected, this episode opens with a flashback to four months ago—mainly pandering to the Chuck and Blair fans with some Monte Carlo sex—during which poker chips come flying out of Chuck’s jacket while he and Blair are rolling around.
Everyone has been abroad-- Dan’s (his pompadour is GLORIOUS) in Italy with Georgina to write his next Upper East Side expose, Chuck is in Dubai trying to find dirt on Bart, Lily renewed her vows with Bart, Blair is in Paris running Eleanor’s fashion empire. Nate is still in NYC and still the Editor in Chief of The Spectator. He’s just hired an intern—who he is clearly going to sleep with—but at least we now know he took one journalism class?
Basically everyone has been too busy to wonder what Serena and her cleavage have been up to all summer. Even Lily doesn’t realize that she hasn’t heard from her own daughter when she and Bart return to their apartment that has a ridiculous amount of packages on their kitchen table.
As always news gets around that Serena is missing—and Georgina is particularly attuned to Serena’s ways of coping—she needs a bump when life gets bumpy. She texts Damien Dalgaard (former love interest of Jenny, UES coke supplier, former nerd: DRINK) who confirms that Serena had been on a bender.
If they hadn’t already assumed (they had) Serena was lying in an alleyway somewhere, they do now. The gang goes on a comedy filled road trip to find Serena!
In boring former rock-star-turned-waffle-cooking-house-husband-now-divorcee news—Rufus has been platonically shacking up with former Charlie Rhodes impersonator Ivy and it’s pretty boring except that Ivy is manipulating Rufus to get back at Lily. As you do after your dead-fake-Grandmother-who-you-actually-cared-for’s fortune has been taken from you.
Nate has traded his information on who Gossip Girl is (I forgot about this) to Gossip Girl for Serena’s location. Instead of being in a crack den in Upstate New York, Serena is in a mansion, looking happy and healthy with cleavage in full force. She’s also dating Barry Watson, who time has not served well. But since Serena seems relatively happy and well-adjusted, as Georgina suggests she’s clearly had a psychotic break, is in a white dress at a champagne filled party (because those NEVER happen on this show) so obviously she’s marrying him! But Barry Watson thinks she’s actually Sabrina, from humble Wisconsin who goes to Vassar.
In their attempts to break up Serena’s wedding, they all focus on their strengths—Chuck calls the Ostroff Center (now the Pedowitz Institution!) to reserve Serena’s old bed, Georgina tries to sleep with the minister (but she does better with Catholics), Nate does nothing and Dan broods and gets slapped a couple times.
Even their attempts at scheming have severely slipped in this final season. However, Blair and Georgina always have a flair for public humiliations and revelations and spill Serena’s identity. And it’s not Serena’s wedding but of David and David, her new gay best friends. Where were these guys SEASONS ago? Serena could have used some advice in the wardrobe, love and drug departments.
Barry Watson is pissed that he doesn’t know what’s going on! And he owns a holistic health care company?! And Chuck has seen him at a TED conference—which is puzzling because why would Chuck ever be at a TED conference?
Serena then goes on a typically self-righteous speech about turning her life around that we’ve all heard at least once a season. Then her and Blair break up for the millionth time—which I guarantee will only last 3-4 episodes at the most. Blair claims Manhattan which is the grown-up Gossip Girl version of the Met steps right?
Dan finally confronts Blair about the end of their relationship—which just makes me sad. Gossip Girl writers! Let’s continue to have Blair pine for an abusive douchebag who sold her for a hotel! Dan is sad that Blair left him for the idea of Chuck—since they aren’t even technically together. Chuck and Blair discuss this in Chuck’s limo—where we find out Blair’s been wearing the engagement ring Chuck got her on a necklace. This is just more pandering I can’t deal with.
The episode ends with IVY AND RUFUS DOING IT! (Stemming from Rufus’s weirdly sexual seeming feelings for Vanessa?) AND DAN SEEING! So that might not be so boring after all. However, general consensus is that season one Blair would not approve of this episode.
Things That Could Be Important Eventually:
• Chuck is becoming a “man” again before he can be with Blair—aka echoing the entirety of their relationship. I’m guessing some sort of abusive rapey thing will get in the way of this.
• Barry Watson is clearly some sort of blackmailing/stalker/generic baddie dude.
• Bart is evil and up to something but he’s boring so I’m not sure I totally care.
Next week, I’m going to need to be much less sober especially because Nate might get a storyline!
Kerensa Cadenas writes for Women and Hollywood, This Was Television and is the Research Editor for Tomorrow magazine. You can find her other published writing at her website. She tweets about watching too much TV, YA literature and places to drink margaritas at in Los Angeles.