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All Pomp and No Circumstance: An Advance Review of the "Gossip Girl" Season Finale

Gossip Girl unmasked? Could it be?

I had the opportunity last week to see tonight's season finale of the CW's Gossip Girl ("Goodbye Gossip Girl"), in which all signs point to the elusive trash talker being, well, trashed herself after the muckraking maven unveils a series of shocking scandals at the graduation commencement ceremony.

Just who could be behind the juicy blasts? Well, that would be telling but this wouldn't be Gossip Girl without several plot twists being involved. (Hell, I'm not even saying whether Gossip Girl is even really unmasked.)

It's an intriguing storyline that pays homage to the role that the never-seen GG has played on the eponymous series. Her blasts--and ubiquitous narration--have provided no end of groan-inducing pun-based wordplay on the series but there's no way that Kristin Bell, who voices the elusive blogger, would turn up in the flesh on Gossip Girl proper, so don't hold your breath waiting for Bell to walk into the Oak Bar or similar.

What else can I tell you about tonight's episode? It features resolutions to some of the season's romantic storylines, with several twists in store for Lily and Rufus, Chuck and Blair, and Nate and Vanessa. Just who will end up together and who will be torn asunder? You'll have to watch to find out.

Meanwhile, there's a subplot that involves Eric's boyfriend Jonathan and Blair selecting her heir to the throne at Constance Billard School for Girls. To whom will Blair pass her scepter and tiara? That would be telling but look for there to be much in-fighting between Jenny and Mean Girls Penelope, Nelly Yuki, and Hazel as they each set about to win the right to choose Blair's successor for a variety of reasons.

And Georgina Sparks makes a decision that could have major consequences for several characters on the series but it's not quite what you might expect. (One fly in the ointment, however, is that Michelle Trachtenberg's NBC medical drama Mercy was ordered to series, so I don't know how much time Trachtenberg will have come next season.)

Plus, the gang graduates in one of the most unimpressive and unimportant graduating scenes ever to air on television. But given this group's interest in gossip rather than (caps and) gowns, is it really a surprise that the series would downplay this rite of passage? Serena braiding her tassel into her hair rather than wear a traditional mortarboard? Really? Where were the yearbooks, the photographs, the excitement and nerves of graduation? Sure, these kids are oh-so sophisticated but it is the end of an era, an important stepping stone on the path to adulthood.

Basically, I was hoping for a bit more fun here (even if not pomp and circumstance) and for anything of interest to happen to characters like Dan, Vanessa (hiss!), and Jenny. There's a rather intriguing subplot involving Serena that I won't spoil here and the set-up for a major confrontation in Season Three with a mystery figure but overall I wanted the series to rediscover its way a little and recapture the frothy fun and exuberant spirit of excess that defined its first season. One can't help but hope that the summer allows both Gossip Girls' characters--and its writing staff--the opportunity to recharge their batteries.

As it is, the road to college would seem to be just more of the same for these Upper East Siders. Let's hope that it winds up being the blank slate that Serena and Company (and Schwartz and Savage) need in spades.

Gossip Girl returns with a third season this fall on the CW.


Bella Spruce said…
"Serena braiding her tassel into her hair rather than wear a traditional mortarboard?"


That is hilarious! And I think it pretty much sums up what the show has become--just a silly fad without any real substance.
Anonymous said…
another subplot during the finale to be played out next season is the mysterious guy at the coffee shop who feigned a particular interest in Dan and had a newspaper clipping of Lily and Rufus ... hmmmmm ...

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