The Aftermath: Gossip Girl Producer Speaks on Chuck Meltdown

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Chuck Bass' outburst at the end of Monday's Gossip Girl was extreme even by his standards, leaving him at rock bottom and close to irredeemable for some fans.

Intentionally or not, Chuck lost control and he hurt Blair. Physically.

The emotional toll this took on B was likely far worse, too. Executive producer Josh Safran tells E! of the shocking ending to "The Princesses and the Frog":

Big Chair Scene

"We feel it's very important to know that she is not scared - if anything, she is scared for Chuck, and what he might do to himself - but she is never afraid of what he might do to her."

"Leighton (Meester) and I were very clear about that."

Moreover, Chuck is due for a "reckoning," just as soon as he comes to his senses, which will take in the midst of the "thrilling" and "uplifting" two-part finale.

Curious as to what that entails? Here's Josh's full Q&A with E! ...

I thought it was interesting that Chuck actually grabbed her and that the consequence of that fight was Blair had the most perfect, beautiful, dainty injury, which are two symbolically significant things. Did this moment verge on abuse? What was going on in this scene?

The way we viewed it, I think it's very clear that Blair is not afraid in those moments, for herself. They have a volatile relationship, they always have, but I do not believe—or I should say we do not believe—that it is abuse when it's the two of them. Chuck does not try to hurt Blair. He punches the glass because he has rage, but he has never, and will never, hurt Blair. He knows it and she knows it, and I feel it's very important to know that she is not scared—if anything, she is scared for Chuck—and what he might do to himself, but she is never afraid of what he might do to her. Leighton and I were very clear about that.

Chuck is usually defined by his cold, emotional distance, but here he's out of control and slobbering drunk. What is he doing?

This whole season has been a struggle for Chuck to understand who he is... He opens the season as Henry Prince, because he did not want to be Chuck Bass anymore. Even when he got surer footing, and he was like, "OK, I can be Chuck Bass again," he was dealt another curve ball, the story with his father and the Thorpes, and looking at, "What am I born from?" The conflict for the year for Chuck has been "Who am I? What am I?" And you have to hit rock bottom before you can rise up again. That is our trajectory for Chuck, right now, and for this season.

Is this rock bottom, or is there further to go?

I would like to say "Wait and see," but I would be hard-pressed to think that there is any more rock bottom than this. And by the way, it was a conscious decision to make the rock bottom episode 20 and not 22, so that there's still room to go.

So at the moment Chuck is sort of a basket case?

He needed to go out of control - sometimes you have to go out of control to take stock and look at yourself and realize who you are.

I have to imagine that the morning after he's also going to look at Blair and see that he caused the world's most picturesque wound and react to that accordingly. Where do you go in the next two episodes in terms of Chuck's emotional arc?

There is definitely a reckoning.

"Reckoning" could mean a lot of things. Is Chuck going to be in a gunfight?

I can't say, but you saw who Raina called at the end of the episode. There's two things that we've shown that can touch Chuck's Achilles' heel, and they are Blair and Jack Bass. And to have both of them in the same episode, what's that gonna be?

Ah, Chuck…He's such a classic romantic hero, like Rhett Butler, sort of strong enough that you can stretch him pretty far.

Sure, we talk about these classic movies all the time, and sometimes the audience just likes it better when it's The Philadelphia Story, or Breakfast at Tiffany's, but you have to talk about these other movies as well. Each character can't just be in romantic comedies all the time.

He's always had that Gothic thing, and those guys are always imbued with a dark side in addition to their vulnerability about their girlfriends. Would you say that the next two episodes are a time of strength for Chuck or a time of weakness?

All I will say is that I'm sure you've seen the picture of Chair on chairs. That's not a dream sequence; they're smiling, and you know…How about that?

Where's Blair, emotionally, at this point? She's with her prince, but Chuck said to her face that we all knew she wasn't going to get with him—plus, he's just a guest star. What is she telling herself at the end of this episode?

Blair's always believed in fairy tales, and she even opens this season talking about fairy tales. It was always our intention to let Blair have a fairy tale, but the rose in a fairy tale still has thorns on it. Chuck may be - in last night's episode - the thorns for that rose; but Blair is moving towards accepting that she can have a fairy tale.

I'm hearing a lot of, "If you go back to the beginning of the season, you'll see that we did some stuff here." Can we assume that as fans that if we went back to the first part of the season, we'd see the seeds planted that are going to come to fruition in the finale?

Absolutely, it is very, very much of a piece, this season. We just made that choice and stuck with it.

As for the finale, do you like to end things on cliffhangers? Do you like to tie things up in bows?

The next episode is actually a two-parter, episodes 21 and 22 [are one story and] take place in a little more than one night. And then there's little bit more jumping ahead like we have in the past. There are definitely cliffhangers. I'm trying to think, do we tie stuff up in bows? Well, every bow has a string that someone can pull, some I'm not entirely sure if we tied up anything, but I feel like this year, more than ever before, the map of the next season will become very clear in the finale. So even when there are cliffhangers in this finale, they very much tell a story of where we are going, as opposed to shooting Chuck and not knowing if he's alive.

In that two-part, what one scene or moment are you most excited for people to see?

There's never one moment. You're asking the wrong person, because I'm proud of and stand by every storylines, even the ones that people don't love and the ones that don't get accepted the way we hope they will. I have to stand by both "the good and the bad." I really love both episode 21 and 22. Coming to the end of the season is always really fun for us, because we really do get to look back and tie things together... the only thing I'm sad about is that I wish they were airing on the same night, because I do think that 21 and 22 - because they're the first time we've ever done a two-parter - are really complementary. At the same time, I would love to just be an audience member watching, because 21 ends on a cliffhanger. Watching and waiting a whole week could be superfun; we don't get that luxury because we know what's going to happen. There's lovely moments and thrilling moments in both parts, and I think it's really going to feel like a ride. Last year's finale felt like a descent into despair, because that's what was happening with Chuck and Jenny; this one feels more like a thrill ride with happy uplifting moments and happy scary moments, but not necessarily despair.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


I guess my point is, these are fictional characters living fictional lives, it was not supposed to be considered abuse in their fictional world, so to me, it's not.


Just because the writers say so, it does not mean it was not abuse. It very much looked like abuse. I would not want to see a guy who treated me like that ever again, even less talk about him as the love of my life.


LULU, you are so right.


We're observers in all of this, we can't say what's wrong or right in their world technically, if Blair forgives Chuck, and they have their own unique relationship, and the writers are saying he wasn't trying to physically hurt her, then it's all true, we can't change that, and that's who they've written the characters out to be


@pty,nice remind me why i'm a regal king and queen shipper..


People, think carefully about this for one moment:
1. There is nothing wrong with depicting a strange or unhealthy relationship.
2. There is something wrong with pretending that it is not strange or unhealthy. Do we see how both 1 and 2 can be true at the same time? Good. So that should eliminate about 40% of the idiotic commentary here, and yet, of course, it won't.


10. They both have one enemy around their age (around their age because Jack's is Chuck's worst enemy): Blair antagonizes Georgina (which may or may not have been happening since before Serena's drama in 1x17, certainly Georgina referred to Blair as "Snow White" in 1x16, which sounded sarcastic and expressed dislike from her part in my opinion). Chuck antagonizes Carter (which also seems to be from before the show, the mere fact that Carter showed up uninvited and with hobo looks to The Lost Weekend seems too weak as a reason). Carter is a couple of years older than all these people and Georgina could be too (their ages are never mentioned in the show but Carter being older is implicit in Nate's comment in 1x4 where Nate said that they hadn't seen Carter since he graduated high school, and in Season 1 our characters were in Junior year). Chuck and Blair also seemed to feel at one point that Carter and Georgina were influencing or stealing their BFF Nate and Serena (1x4 story between the 3 boys, and the story arc from 1x14 to 1x18 shows there was a bond between Serena and Georgina to which the rest of the NJBC probably wasn't privy, specially Blair, and the way Blair expresses herself about Georgina could indicate resentment towards Georgina, maybe due to Serena? some like to think is due to Chuck, based on Blair's virginity comment in 1x17 but I don't know). The idea that Blair could resent Georgina because unconciously she was upset that Chuck lost his virginity to G in sixth grade links with the fact that Chuck bedded Blair's enemy (Georgina) and Blair bedded Chuck's enemy (Carter in 2x19). Of course there is the argument that both have bedded each others enemies (Chuck sleeping with Vanessa and Jenny, considered by part of the fandom as Blair's enemies, Blair making the New Years Eve mistake with Jack, who is certainly Chuck's enemy), but the original enemies were Carter and Georgina.


9. They have similar tastes and interest: not that the NJBC is careless about their looks but we have seen more displays about this matter from C & B (though this is the season where I've seen S more times in front of a mirror finishing her makeup). But there's the time when we saw that both C & B have beauty kits (2x22), the pedicure thing (4x19, btw sorry to say it, these are not my favorite Chuck features, but they are facts nontheless). Besides concern for their looks, they both have dreams related to old movies. Before you jump on me because movies are a Dair bond that can't be denied, hear me out. Dair bonded over French movies from the Novelle Vague (that lead to other cultural bonds). Chuck and Blair like old movies. Blair is self explanatory, her main focus is Audrey but she has mentioned Grace Kelly and there was the All About Eva dream in 3x6 where she was the Bette Davis character. The first time we saw Chuck having personal attachments with movies was his guilt dream at the beginning of 3x18 (apparently based on 50's film noir movies). Other proof of his movie knowledge is the Camille reference in 4x18 (during the phone conversation with Serena at the beginning) which btw was missunderstood by the Reality Index guys, he was talking about a 1930's movie starring Greta Garbo as a woman who dies of consumption (the plot is based on the XIX century French novel The Camellias Lady by Alexandre Dumas Jr.), and the reference and its correctness were further confirmed by Blair later in the episode when she says to Dorota that she has consumption. They both like fashion (4x7, the treaty negotiation when they talk about Paris and Milan fashion weeks). They don't dress like kids of their age (Blair has weared pants in less than 10 ocassions, and before his suits which btw don't bother me, Chuck's clothes were already unusual). I could go into the matching clothes thing noticed by many fans but this is more a show's thing so I'll leave it there.


7. They both like to scheme: And before you jump and say Blair doesn't like to scheme, she likes to scheme. One thing is that she likes to scheme and the other one is that she wants to leave it behind. Sometimes we like things but we shouldn't do them, have them, eat them, feel them, etc., because they are bad for us and our peers. This is what Blair is realizing and she is trying to leave it behind. She may never completely leave it behind but she at least could only use it against hers and others enemies. Chuck still needs to reach this phase and nobody knows what's going to happen to him so we have to wait and see. But this is something that they both have in common. 8. Things tend to happen to both in parallel: This is more a show kind of thing. When Blair and Serena have a fight or 2 in a given season Chuck and Nate have at least one, either a small one (season 3, sorry but Nate's indignation over the hotel thing lasted little), or a big one (the one we are going to see tomorrow, though with only 2 episodes left is not going to be long). S and B fought in 2x5, N and C started fighting in the next episode, 2x6. In the same way, sometimes their interactions with the Humphrey brothers come in parallel (Blair fights Jenny in 2x5, Dan and Chuck ended in a sorta fight in the same episode, in both cases C and B being more mad about the thing and Dan and Jenny). Chuck has a downward spiral in Season 2 (caused by Bart's death), Blair has a downward spiral in Season 2 (caused by Yale, shorter and for a less strong reason than Chuck's, but not unimportant). For some a parallel exist in Season 3 (Blair exchanges Chuck for the speach in 3x6, Chuck exchanges Blair for the Empire in 3x17), but in light of recent events in 4x20, I will leave that to your criteria. Another parallel are again the Humphries (Chuck and Jenny stupidity in 3x22, Dair difficult to classify interactions from 4x12 onwards). It's like if something happened to one of them it has to happen to the other, like if Chuck and Jenny went to bed, even if they didn't loved or liked each other and weren't in a relationship, now it seems Blair has to have a thing with Dan of some level because she has to have something with a Humphrey, because Chuck had something with a Humphrey. Another season 4 parallel: dating Frech people (Chuck with Eva, Blair with Louis), who also happen to be wonderful (Frenchs can be proud that they are being represented in such good light, even if Eva had a past she wasn't a bad person and even if Louis has some agenda or delussion regarding Blair I don't think he's a bad person).


5. Both Chuck and Blair have ended up with stepbrothers in their late teens: Chuck's stepbrothers originally were Serena and Eric. After Bart's death the relationship could have been broken but the adoption make Serena and Eric his adoptive brothers (I guess Scott also sorta counts). Lily's marriage to Rufus has created a strange situation where Dan and Jenny ended up related to Chuck in a way that can barely be described with words (his step-stepbrothers? I don't know). Blair stepbrother is Aaron, granted Aaron is never there and barely (or never, I can't remember right now) mentioned and probably won't return because the fandom can't stand the actor (funny considering the character had more relevance in the books, to the point he either wanted date Blair or dated her, maybe is from this that the writers believe is ok that everybody is related to each other and they date), but still Aaron is her stepbrother. 5. They both had one parent that remarried: In Blair's case both her mother and father remarried, in Chuck's case Bart remarried. Some people would like to count Lily as Chuck's parent to say that she remarried with Rufus, I'll leave that to your criteria.

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