Gossip Girl's Final Season Premiere: The van der Woodsen Identity

Gossip Girl S6E01: “Gone Maybe Gone”

Welcome to the final season of Gossip Girl It-Girls and Lonely Boys. Although I enjoy the show quite a bit, I’m also under no illusions with regard to its existence in the grand scheme of television. I think it's best that we have fun with these reviews, so each week I’ll be discussing the five* biggest points of the episode, almost like those Monday-morning stories you see about the NFL. Nothing like bringing teen soaps and sports together!

* I reserve the right to increase or decrease this number, depending on the episode. But five seems like a good place to start.

So let’s get right into the last season premiere in Gossip Girl history, “Gone Maybe Gone,” which was pretty good.


1. One for all, all for one

I’m all for the main characters having their own things going on but too often, they’re in disparate places for extended periods of time, only stopping to deliver exposition to each other at the beginnings of episodes (see: at least half of Chuck and Nate’s conversations from, like, ever). And really, Gossip Girl thrives when most everyone is together, either in the same space (parties, obviously) or as part of the same story.

That strength was on display in “Gone Maybe Gone” with everyone—Chuck, Blair, Nate, a disgruntled Dan and Georgina—searching for the missing-all-summer Serena. Even though it took a good while for everyone to actually get together, the dueling convoys of Chuck, Blair, and Nate and Dan and Georgina nicely provided differing opinions on what could have happened to S. Plus, the show always does road-trip stories really, really well.

Georgina has grated on me at various points in the GG’s run, but she is always much more enjoyable when paired with Dan’s exasperated straight-man (/tool) act. And once everyone actually arrived at Serena’s location and attempted to break up her “wedding,” the different plans allowed for multiple characters to quickly catch up with one another without the episode seeming too expositionary. Dan being slapped by Blair and Serena within a two-minute period was lovely.


2. I see you, Josh Schwartz... and your little jokes, too

“Gone Maybe Gone” is executive producer/co-creator Josh Schwartz’s first official script credit since the Season 3 finale of Chuck in 2010 and boy, is it nice to have him back. When I compiled my wishlist for this last season, I called for a return of the show’s stronger humor, and it seems that Schwartz had similar thoughts in mind when crafting this premiere with Stephanie Savage. “Gone Maybe Gone” certainly wasn’t a laugh-riot or anything, but it featured a handful of really great comedic moments, many of which were fairly self-reflexive and meta (a strength of Schwartz’s): the aforementioned Humphrey double slap, Chuck’s update that the Ostroff Center (named for former CW president Dawn Ostroff) has now been renamed the Pedowitz Center (named for current CW president Mark Pedowitz), and Blair’s insistence that Serena couldn’t survive in the wilderness because she isn’t “country strong” (an obvious nod to Leighton Meester’s film career).

Gossip Girl needs comedy. Hopefully this continues all season.


3. Sabrina the college-age fraud

After overdosing on the train, Serena did what she does: charmed her way into the life of a successful man (Barry Watson, playing a typically just-fine everyman). Only this time, she ditched the van der Woodsen glamour and pretended to be Sabrina, the Vassar student from Wisconsin. At first, I was ready to shrug and eye-roll my way through another silly “Serena lies to a love interest” story but the episode actually did something smart: It provided legitimate logic for Serena’s decisions.

Her speech to the group about ditching her identity because they kicked her out (Blair), didn’t want to see her again (Dan), and generally didn’t have time for her anyway (Chuck, Nate) made a shockingly high amount of sense. And the “break-up” with Blair felt so real that I can’t wait to be really angry when they’re frenemies again in three episodes.

She’s still a lying fraud, though.


4. The Chair-Dair drama isn’t over, y’all

I have to hand it to Schwartz, Savage and the rest of the Gossip Girl team. Last season, showrunner Josh Safran spent an entire year toying with the idea of Blair and Chuck (part XXXIV) or Blair and Dan or Blair and Louis before ultimately and predictably deciding on the first pairing (again). But even though Safran is oversteering Smash into the watery abyss where it belongs, Gossip Girl has wasted no time coming up with a ridiculous reason to keep epic (fail) lovers Blair and Chuck apart and suggesting that her thing with Dan might not yet be DONE-done.

Again, I sort of like the logic the show put forth for why Chuck can’t give into Blair yet, because it’s true: He can’t be an immature boy forever. However, the fact that he can’t manage his crusade against his father and his feelings for Blair at the same time and the fact that she can’t see how much Dan cares for her (you know, because he only tells her all the time) is baffling. How long before Chuck hooks up with another woman (probably the one from Dubai helping him take down Bart)? Three episodes?

It takes a certain kind of moxie to wipe away the substantial resolution you built to in your previous season finale without really undoing anything. It’s silly but awesome.


5. (Bad) Girls run the world

Despite all their posturing, the show still wants us to view Blair and Serena as inherently good, admirable characters. And outside of Chuck (sometimes), the men are sometimes wet blankets as well. So it’s always good when Gossip Girl allows someone to come in and stir the pot. The diminishing return that is Georgina has started to swing back the other way, but Ivy’s scheming against Lily in this episode was entertaining. Seducing Rufus wasn’t quite OMG- or WTF-worthy, but it accomplished multiple things: 1.) It gave Rufus something (well, someone) tangible to do, 2.) It kicked off Ivy’s anti-Lily campaign with a bang (literally), and 3.) It ruined Dan’s 2012. That’s what we like to call a win-win-win.



What'd you think of the episode? What's on *your* list of the most important moments from "Gone Maybe Gone"?

Gossip Girl "Gone Maybe Gone" Photos

Comments (21)
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serena is the worst
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I hate Serena. GG has been boring for a long time now. I'm glad it's almost done. I just want to see where Blair and Chuck end up!
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I freaking hated the episode except for the funny parts- you're right, I missed that. And Dan saying what I had in mind for so long! (The idea of Chuck, they only have excuses... and so on)
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I was happy to have Gossip Girl back but ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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The final season of The OC was pretty much a comedy, too.
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I think the last season of the OC was the most fun to watch, and by far the best for me ... with awesome Autumn Reeser, showing her likable side and Mischa Barton gone ... Hope that the last season of GG will be as good
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Definitely. They cut out all the depressing stuff and Taylor was a really fun character. GG never had someone like Seth though.
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Does anyone else think that the college student who was interviewing Nate in the beginning of the episode is going to be revealed as the real gossip girl or is it just me?

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That's an interesting theory.
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She seemed very weird and way too interested in Nate ,and that comment about his big story falling through when she was asking him out.And she appeared much more confident and composed the second time around.
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Rufus + Ivy was the worst. They're really running out of people to pair up.
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I was really surprised that he allowed himself to be taken in with her. I thought he was made of better stuff. If anything I was hoping maybe he would begin a jail romance with Lily's sister.
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Uh, I think Blair can see perfectly well how much Dan cares for her, she just doesn't... care? Because she doesn't love him. It's pretty clear she's all about Chuck at this point, and I would bet money that neither of them is going to hook up with anyone else when Blair is already wearing Chuck's ring.



I was surprised by how much I liked Serena's storyline, though. Dan douching out on her, while annoying, was just an obvious setup for him to realize how wrong he was later in the season. Pretty sure we're getting a Derena reunion whether we want one or not. In the meantime, though, I do kinda like her with Steven.
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- Thank Jeebus that they gave Dan a haircut.

- Rufus & Ivy was pretty creepy.
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Anyone else distracted by Dan's hair when he got slapped? Especially when Blair slapped him
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SO distracted. I kept waiting for a racoon to jump out of it. Not joking, I didn't get the intensity of the slap until Serena planted one.
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Interesting episode, if they keep it up it will be one great final season, plot twist and unexpected aliances/pairings are a nice way to say goodbye ( the same way they started in the first season)
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Love this recap, lol!
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All I got to see was Rufus and Ivy kiss.. I appreciate reading this because I can't find the damn episode online yet (without downloading or taking umpteen surveys) . I'm really into the show- I watched all five seasons in three months. Anyway, thank you for the recap and insight. Much appreciated. .
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http://www.sockshare.com/file/DBFD480E3383BAD9
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I thought this episode was better than most of season 5, so it still had its "WTF?" moments. We all know Chuck and Blair are going to end up together whether we like it or not, so them still running around like chickens who just got their heads cut off is so frustrating!

also, nate is about to hook up with a younger girl. considering how many older broads they throw at him, i;m surprised it took the show this long to make that happen.

i was a little saddened serena and blair didn;t get back on track right away, but this is the last year so i have faith that will happen soon.

Also, Rufus and Ivy = really disturbing. I have no idea what Ivy and Lola are doing, but that coupling couldn;t be ickier and Dan;s reaction was perfect.

Also, they mentiond Jenny and Eric! The only thing on my wishlist is they each appear again.
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