Once upon a time, on New York’s wealthiest and bitchiest side, the Upper East, there lived princes and princesses who floundered around the city in fabulous attire, attending exclusive soirees and biting into unpronounceable delicacies. One day, however, these royals found themselves void of fairies, wearing drab outfits, going to dull events and being too busy tracking down the deceased or getting tied up and possibly set on fire to eat anything. Oh, the events that can transpire over the course of one season of Gossip Girl.
The season finale, “The Wrong Goodbye,” airs tonight, and although we have the comfort (or threat) of knowing that Gossip Girl has been renewed for a fifth season, it already feels like we’ve said goodbye to the characters we loved to hate, au revoir to the gorgeous city lights, adieu to storylines that made any semblance of sense. Kiss Gossip Girl goodbye, say hello to the latest nighttime soap opera.
But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. Maybe, by some sheer act of God or Georgina Sparks, this show can be salvaged. With just one episode left, perhaps the characters can rise above the ashes (quite possibly speaking in literal terms, here) and be resurrected as the fabulous, dramatic, lovably loathsome individuals they once were (instead of just plain loathsome). That being said, there were some stand-out moments of greatness this season. Let’s look back on those, shall we?
15) Summer in Paris
As soon as Gossip Girl returned in September — in Paris, no less — we were blessed with outrageous excitement. The show felt fresh in a new atmosphere — everyone was tanner, cattier and dressed much more expensively. Any vacation that features Chuck Bass as a waiter and Serena being pushed into a fountain is a good one. Not to mention, Blair and Chuck’s tearful goodbye at the train station will go down as one of the most beautiful Chair scenes in recent history (not that there are many to choose from.)
“It takes more than even you to destroy Blair Waldorf.”
Blair, on her indestructibility and general badassery
14) Trying to prove the characters actually attend college
It was adorable when the writers struggled in trying to prove that anyone went to college, especially since the only justifications they had in showing a college campus were when Serena was sneaking around with her professor or Dan was getting tested for an STD.
“I mean who would lie to Gossip Girl about something like that?”
“Do you really want a list? Because I don’t know if I have that kind of time.”
Serena and Blair, discussing the likely endless list of suspects who want to take Serena down a peg
13) Siblings join forces to bring down … their mother
Well, who can even tell whether or not Serena and Chuck are siblings anymore, but watching Serena dress up as Lily (in what is no doubt the most conservative outfit she’s worn all her life) and hearing Chuck’s inappropriate jokes about how arousing he found the entire ordeal, made their attempt to take down Lily one of the most hilarious moments of the season.
“All I have in my pile are divorce papers, jewelry and artful nudes of my mother in her groupie days.”
Chuck to Serena, proving he really has no qualms when it comes to his incest fantasies
12) The amount of psychopaths running around Manhattan
Remember when our naive New Yorkers had to worry about the Georgina Sparkses, Poppy Liftons and Bree Buckleys of the world? Well this season, the guest stars have really upped the Crazy Meter to full-fledged pill-popping insanity, causing the cast to be more flustered and befuddled than you were when you first read ‘Bree Buckley’ and had no idea who I was referring to. Now, instead of having to deal with simple social-climbing or boyfriend-stealing, the Upper East Siders have to worry about being drugged at masquerade balls or having their identities stolen by crazy cousins. Sure, the plotlines are outrageous, but at least they’re more entertaining than the Is-My-Mother-Dead-Or-Not game that Chuck and Raina are so fond of.
“You didn’t need to have your cousin make me look like a crazy, jealous bitch to Dan.”
“Oh, you don’t need any help with that.”
Vanessa and Serena, proving that the arrival of psychos really brings out the inner-insanity
11) Georgina pregnant with Lonely Boy’s baby!
Well not really, of course, because in the end it all just happened to be one of Georgina’s twisted web of lies, but at least we got to see the Queen of Deception one more time before she skulked away, only to undoubtedly strike again in the season finale. This storyline also reminded us that Dan indeed has a heart, as he refused to believe the baby wasn’t his — until he tearfully watched as Milo was taken away from him.
“I know you think I’m crazy — that I’m a schemer and a liar and pathologically selfish, and that’s true! Or it was until Milo was born.”
Georgina Sparks, using her baby as a last-ditch attempt to get people to believe here
10) Flashbacks to Serena’s oft-mentioned boarding school shenanigans
Downing absinthe, manipulating nerds into doing her homework and trying to seduce her boarding school professor was all in a day’s work for Flashback Serena – who is twice as entertaining as Current Serena. Sure, she might not have had the strongest moral compass, but peeking into the dangerous side Serena’s always trying to keep under wraps actually made me enjoy her character more. The cherry on top was that the person exposing these salacious stories was Damien Dalgaard — the very nerd she was manipulating in boarding school to begin with.
“Look, I think I figured it out. OK, Serena had an affair with her teacher because, let’s face it, it’s Serena and what else is there to do in Connecticut? Then she came to her senses and discarded him like last season’s Chanel booties. Then he became a crazy stalker and Serena pressed charges.”
Blair, coming up with a logical summary of the life of Serena van der Woodsen
9) Jenny returning more mischievous than ever
After a brutal showdown with Blair and getting deflowered by Chuck, Jenny fled the city to pursue her former self — the less angsty girl she once was, whose eyes used to be visible beneath all that eye shadow. But when she returned to New York, supposedly reformed, Blair pushed her further over the edge than ever before, causing “Gothic Barbie” to unwittingly assist in Juliet’s demented plan of drugging Serena and leaving her for dead. At least Little J got to leave with the satisfaction of knowing she’s morally superior to Chuck and Blair. Those Humphreys learn pretension so quickly!
“I thought I could change and I didn’t. So I think the best thing for me to do is go. And stay gone.”
Jenny Humphrey, speaking in favor of the majority of Gossip Girl fans
8) Juliet finally getting taken down
Juliet may have been one of the most manipulative, dangerous, and destructive villains Gossip Girl has ever seen, so we felt relieved when everyone finally saw her for the fraud she really was and decided to turn on her at the ballet. What made the victory even sweeter was that the Non-Judging Breakfast Club circled around her like vultures as they banished her from Columbia and threatened her if she ever returned.
“How would I ever believe anything you say again?”
“Well you can believe the part where she does her own hair.”
Nate and Blair, finally voicing what everyone had been thinking since Juliet arrived
7) Damien Dalgaard. In general.
Everything about this frustrating and enigmatic recurring character seems to leave the audience wanting more, whether he’s forcing innocent men behind bars, selling drugs to preppies, pretending to date Eric van der Woodsen, attempting to deflower high school girls, or confessing his father’s drug problems. None of the Upper East Siders know if they can trust him, and frankly we don’t either. What exactly is behind his mischievous smirk? How did he go from boarding school nerd to bad boy prince in just a few years? Hopefully the writers bring him back — at least for a while — to give us another glimpse into the fascinating and confusing life of Damien Dalgaard.
“You say potato, judge says pedophile.”
Damien, reciting what should be a new tagline for the show
6) Chuck creating a fake identity instead of working through his issues
How realistic is it that once a New Yorker realizes the life he’s leading is a reckless one, instead of actually improving his personality and powering through his issues, he creates an entire fake identity to try and cover up who he is. It was certainly entertaining to watch Chuck roam Paris dressed like Ryan Atwood, serving wine out of barrels and calling himself Henry, but we’re glad he came to his senses. Purple looks much better on him than sweat, and at least accepting himself as none other than Chuck Bass let him apologize properly to Blair.
“I’d rather have nothing than be Chuck Bass.”
Chuck, boo-hooing about the miserable life of a twenty-year-old millionaire
5) Rachel Zoe getting doused in chocolate
Anyone who knows anything about the fashion industry probably knows who Rachel Zoe is — and if you know who she is, you probably couldn’t help laughing out loud when she accidentally covered herself in a fountain of chocolate at Blair’s infamous party. Don’t worry, though, Rachel didn’t actually consume any of it — obviously.
“It’s Blair’s 20th birthday, and I’m still acting like an eighth grader.”
Dan, describing the lives of literally every character on the show
4) The Dan and Nate Bromance
Despite their relentless issues in the past (class warfare, love triangles, hooking up with certain under-aged siblings), Dan and Nate’s ‘friendship’ — wherein they played videogames, wore matching outfits, and ditched their girlfriends to hang out with each other — really blossomed into full-on chemistry this season. Step aside Eric, there are new gays in town and they’re taking over – not to mention, they look better in flannel!
“Yeah yeah, I missed you too … no hugs.”
Nate Archibald to Dan, on homosexuality and his severe case of denial
3) Serena and Blair realize that all B deserves is happiness
It was a touching moment when Blair lectured Serena for taking Chuck’s side after everything he put her through, and it was even more touching when Blair admitted that all she wanted was to be happy – to escape the never-ending misery she became accustomed to when she was with Chuck. Serena later apologized sincerely and realized that all she wants is for her best friend to be happy. And just like that, the two are besties again, fighting for each other, against all odds… Well, at least for now.
“Oh! Yes! Because all this elation was nearly meaningless without being able to talk to you about it!”
Blair, on the real reason she wants to be with Prince Louis: to rub it in her best friend’s face
2) Dan and Nate make Serena’s choice for her
After having the boys wrapped around her finger all summer while she was off gallivanting with numerous French suitors, Serena returned to the city thinking she had the liberty of choosing between Nate and Dan, as if they’d wait around for her all summer. And even though they sort of did wait around for her all summer, at least they stuck it to her by diving into other relationships. For once, the girl who was used to getting everything didn’t get the guy(s) in the end.
“It’s like choosing between Ã©clairs and Napoleons, they’re both delicious!”
“Except Humphrey’s a doughnut.”
Serena and Blair, comparing tasty boys with tasty foods they stopped eating a long time ago
Now I know this is up for (a much-heated) debate, and I’m not saying Dan and Blair make the perfect couple or that they’re destined to be together. In fact, come series finale, I could care less whether or not they end up together. But you know what they do have together? Fun. Watching them trade insults, bicker back and forth, grin playfully at each other from across the room – it made me actually want to tune in every week just to see where their friendship was going. Gossip Girl felt fresh, the dialogue was witty, and the actors seemed rejuvenated … which is why I really hope the writers revisit the what-could-have-been relationship between Dan and Blair and give them more time to at least snark about how much they loathe each other. And even if the writers leave Dair behind, a forgotten relic and just another trashed storyline, at least we’ll have one reason to re-watch season four.
Do you agree? Disagree? Tell me in the comments below what you miss most about the show. What do you still love about it? And what were your favorite moments?
(Image courtesy of the CW)