This week on the final season premiere of Gossip Girl, the gang bands together like a rich, bratty version of The Avengers for an extended version of Where’s Serena? It’s like Where’s Waldo? only instead of striped shirts and hats, you’re mostly looking for gorgeous hair and the cleavage rhombus.

Serena should have known she could only hide her light under a bushel, or officiate gay weddings, or whatever it was she was doing for so long. Mostly because at some point, her mother would have to remember she had children, and that usually happens on about a four-month cycle.

Previously On Gossip Girl

In case you’ve forgotten, here’s where we left off with our favorite Upper East Side schemers: Dan and Georgina were writing the book Dan should have written the first time. So it’s like if instead of publishing The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling had instead called her new book Parry Hotter.

Nate remembered that he occasionally gets storylines around the beginning and end of the season and saw Gossip Girl herself in a hoodie steal back her computer. Also, because of evil things with Grandfather and how his whole family is constantly trying to murder someone, he decided to run the Spectator with no investor support. Shortly after the finale, he went out and bought a dictionary to find out what these crazy “investors” were, and was really bummed to find out they were the magical money fairies that allowed him to randomly open newspapers whenever he felt like it.  

Rufus and Lily had broken up due to the oily charms of Bart Bass, since all Lily’s really been looking for is a giant pile of a money and a husband who can double as a leather purse.

And Blair and Chuck? Blair had finally made the decision to throw aside Dan and be with Chuck for good. She tracked him down to Monte Carlo to tell him she was all in.

All these mysteries are solved within at least the first episode of Gossip Girl‘s final season. I was less than kind about last season of the show, what with all the dowry nonsense, and the fake cousins and that pact with God. Don’t even get me started on that pact with God. As soon as Chuck mentioned having a pact with Blair in the limo this week, I felt myself have a full body shudder in response.

If this episode is any indication, Gossip Girl is ready to right the SS OMFG and sail into the sunset strong. The episode got all the characters together interacting in a way that was both organic to the story and really, really fun. Not only did all the characters remember they’re friends and/or know each other, but each individual character already has an established storyline heading into this final stretch of episodes.

From Monte Carlo to Limos

When Blair made her decision to be with Chuck last season, it was a welcome relief after all the back and forth with her many suitors. Remember Louis and his heavy lisp? Don’t worry, I choose not to as well.

So it’s a welcome relief when the show dives right into Blair and Chuck, getting in some much need sexy time in Monte Carlo. “Do. That. Again,” indeed!  Then we’re whisked away to four months later, and the two are separated.

Blair is chatting with another Frenchman, which is bringing back some kind of Gossip Girl-related PTSD where I start rocking back and forth, muttering about dowries. Meanwhile, Chuck is hanging out with some woman named Amira in Dubai, stalking his undead father’s past movements. Which is not as fun and Walking Dead as it sounds, although Bart would make a terrifying zombie.

When they get called back into action by Lily, Blair shows up in an adorable polka dot outfit, and Chuck shows up in a weird plaid suit and a bow-tie, like the best dressed 80-year-old in the retirement home. It’s so good to see Chuck in a bow-tie; it feels like a quality barometer on this show.

They seem a bit jealous, but in the way that Chuck and Blair are where they just constantly make sex puns at each other. Since Blair and Chuck have never talked to each other like normal people, I’m not sure why I thought they would start now. Blair is all about setting up Waldorf Designs by herself as a strong, independent woman in a beanie, while Chuck is all about winning back his empire using pretty ladies and glaring. So basically, it’s status quo for these two.

Later, Dan stands in for every viewer in the universe when he’s like, “So wait, you two are together, but you’re not together? I don’t even understand. Is God involved in this somehow?” And Blair just shrugs and is like, “You know the writers, Dan. You know the writers.”

In the limo after finding Serena, Chuck and Blair reminisce about all the times they’ve defiled his limo over the years. “Please, God, not again,” Chuck’s limo driver silently cries. Chuck explains that he can’t be with her just yet because she’s a distraction and he would be willing to give up his whole Empire for her. Then he pulls out the Harry Winston ring she’s been wearing on a mostly concealed necklace and gives it a sweet kiss. So they’re engaged to be engaged? That is such a Chuck thing to do.

Then he gets out of the limo to walk off his sexual tension, while Blair stares at the giant Harry Winston ring. That diamond has been through so much.

Hello, Sabrina

Meanwhile, Lily gets back from a lovely summer vacation with Bart to find out that Serena never returned home. “I guess I thought it was weird that I literally didn’t hear from my child for four months and she didn’t bother showing up for my vow renewal ceremony, but you know…I’m a terrible mother,” Lily shrugs by way of explanation. On any other show, this would be an immense and inconceivable plot hole. On Gossip Girl, it’s probably the most realistic thing in the episode.

So Lily calls up the Non-Judging Breakfast Club, and the Avengers assemble to New York post-haste. Nate uses his blackmail material with Gossip Girl to find out where Serena is, thus destroying the exclusive that could have kept the Spectator afloat. Wait, his big story was a picture of Gossip Girl’s hands? That was his trump card? Oh Nate, honey. It’s a good thing he’s still pretty.

While the Upper East Side gang strains credulity by stopping at convenience stores (they would never), Georgina and Dan are also on the hunt for Serena. Set to finish his new tell-more expose (can it be a tell-all if he already basically told it all?) Dan needs an ending. Georgina thinks that finding Serena in a mental asylum, drug stupor and/or cult would be just the thing to end the book on the right note. Also, she wouldn’t mind that sex tape Serena recorded, because we all know Georgina’s personal love for secretly recorded sex tapes.

Georgina and Dan are such a wonderful pair. They’ve always been a good combination, but in this episode they’re particularly strong. Georgina is on fire, just dreaming of uncovering something gigantic and dramatic. Dan’s reaction shots to her insanity make it all the funnier. So Dan, Georgina and the sentient being still living atop Dan’s head, waiting for its moment, head off in search of Serena as well.

Blair Objects!

Clearly, they were bound to bump into the Upper East Siders. They all head down to what looks like a wedding and, of course, jump to the conclusion that Serena is getting married. This gives us our first party of the season and also the wonderful gift of Dan being slapped in the face by both Serena and Blair. It’s a Dan-slapping party and everyone is invited!

Of course, it’s not Serena’s wedding but the gay wedding of two dapperly dressed gentlemen named David. The Davids look none too happy when Blair storms up the aisle yelling that Serena can’t get married, like every cliche romantic comedy in existence.

So “Sabrina” explains to new holistic health titan Steven that she’s actually not from Wisconsin and that she was trying to run away from her problems after a very bad bottoming out on a train. Steven’s just like, “Eh, it happens,” which is hilarious. Seriously, is it just me or did we totally miss his reaction to finding out his girlfriend had lied about literally every detail about herself? The cleavage rhombus makes you forgive some big stuff.

Blair catches up with Serena and apologizes for all the mean things she’s said. Serena conveniently forgets about banging Dan on a bar and creating a sex tape and just seems over it. Blair explains that best friends forever means that they are in love and friend-married and they can never leave each other, but Serena doesn’t agree.

She says she doesn’t want to be “stuck” with Blair but wants to move on with Steven. Serena literally just compared her friendship with Blair to her relationship with her new boyfriend. I’m not saying Blair and Serena should run away together and get married, but Gossip Girl thinks so, too.

Poison Ivy

Meanwhile, in the hands-down funniest storyline in the whole episode, Rufus and Ivy are living together. Just because! I’m assuming Ivy came over one day with a waffle iron and one thing just lead to another. Ivy is definitely conning Rufus, but for what is still unclear.

She does manage to get him into bed with her by complimenting him a whole bunch and then making out with his completely unmoving face, which is just the best. It’s like the writers are trying to make it up to us loyal viewers who waited in vain for that Vanessa/Rufus hookup that never happened. It’s not Vufus, but I’ll take it.

The absolute best moment in the episode happens when Dan walks in, sees Rufus and Ivy and slowly backs out of the apartment in shock. Man, this is going to be such good material for Earth to Rufus, his solo project of songs about waffles and love.

Next week, Rufus and Ivy open an art gallery composed of artistic shots of breakfast foods. Dan finishes Outside by just rearranging a bunch of kitchen word magnets. Blair and Chuck take over the world in weird outfits. And Nate continues staring mournfully at the printer, wondering how that magical creature vomits pictures on demand.

What did you think of the season premiere? Looking forward to the final season? Do you like Serena’s new plotline? And are you over the latest Blair and Chuck obstacle or do you like that they’re sort of together? Sound off in the comments.

(Image courtesy of The CW)

Morgan Glennon

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV