We come to the end of what has been a very long sophomore season for GG, one that began last August and grew to 25 episodes. This year saw the show lose a bit of the shiny cultural cachet (and a few hundred thousand viewers) it picked up in its first season and become a sort of low-key cause celebre among bloggers amd cultural commentators who can't be bothered to get a subscription to Town and Country or Vanity Fair. I've been up and down on the show this year, but tonight's finale managed to pack in an admirable amount of plot while resetting things for Season 3. Oh, and don't let me forget the what would be the lead in a recap for most shows - the title character almost got killed off!!
Most shows set in high school would end a season finale with a graduation, but the writers of GG know that you don't care if Nate was in the French Club. Graduation day at Constance Billard is refreshingly brief; everyone sort of mills around and then files into an auditorium for an address from the headmistress. No one marches across the stage either, at the very moment the class is asked to stand everyone's phone blares with an incoming missive from Gossip Girl herself. GG is determined to assert her power one last time; all the major characters are included though GG holds her fire as to specifics.
Serena is the center of show's social activity and in GG's mind the reason for everyone else's infamy. S. vows Gossip Girl's destruction, but how? It's clever of the writers to call into question the show's very narrative structure since GG serves as a sort of God's eye surrogate for the viewers; one who has the ability to influence the plot and delay narrative gratification. At a post-graduation party Serena sends out a threatening message to the site - whose phone goes off? It's Jonathan, the little-seen boyfriend of Serena's brother. Don't get excited though, it's the old "I hacked into their server" bait-and-switch. Jonathan and Eric have a list of all the tips that GG has received including some that haven't been made public and others about students at other schools, like those surviviors wandering around in the background on Lost. (I love how they speculate that GG may not have used the info due to lack of corroboration, like GG is the Wall St. Journal or something) GG proves that it's best not to make her mad. At Nate's party she unleashes a season's worth of indiscretions including but not limited to Dan's affair with his teacher and Chuck's fling with Vanessa. In addition to keeping Chuck and Blair apart a little while longer, the mass reveal empties the store of plot twists for next season. Our gang will have to find new ways to scandalize New York next fall.
If there's a message to tonight's episode it's that the things that unite the GGers are stronger than the gossip that divides them. Serena's call for a tete-a-tete with GG at the Oak Room brings the entire cast, who have all received the same email. In the end GG has literally brought everyone together, and it's time for old divisions to be put away.
A few thoughts:
Thanks to Todd for letting me run wild in this space for the last few months, and remember to check out his podcast TV on the Internet. I'll be back just as soon as I find a new guilty pleasure, so until then your DVD collection will have to do....