Gossip Girl Round Table: "The End of the Affair"
Welcome to our weekly Gossip Girl Round Table discussion! Below, our panel breaks down the winter premiere (see our official review from last night) of our favorite show in even greater detail.
Below, TVF shot-caller Eric Hochberger (Gossip Guy) and editor Steve Marsi (Mister Meester) join writers Courtney Morrison, Christina Tran and Leigh Raines to discuss "The End of the Affair."
Weigh in with your take on the following topics after reading ours!
1. What was your favorite quote or scene from the episode?
Courtney: I really enjoyed the Dair scene at Vera Wang. These two have really grown to be great friends and it feels real and natural. The next best thing to a Dair hookup is a Dair = BFF. I'll settle and continue to enjoy their bickering ways.
Christina: Blair: "Just because we can't be together, doesn't mean I don't love you." At both times, it was perfectly poetic.
Leigh: I enjoyed the best friend conversation between Blair and Serena in the bathroom. They really are the core relationship of the show. Plus, Serena actually sounded smarter for once!
Steve: I'm with Christina and the final Blair-Chuck scene (video below). Ed and Leighton are legitimately convincing and did an admirable job of compensating for the episode's script writing to that point.
Eric: Chuck describing Dan. The only thing I love more than Dan himself is Chuck making fun of the Muppet.
2. Which "couple" was the episode a greater disservice to, Chair or Dair?
Courtney: Definitely more Chair. We had this big buildup of B and Chuck getting back together, and although they told us why through flashbacks, it's all gone now. Blair still spent time with Dan and their relationship continued as it has been going for a while. It just feels like like they are pulling Blair and Chuck away from each other so they can have a big romantic moment at the wedding.
Christina: I certainly felt for both “couples”, but definitely more for Chair. Seriously, what was the point of all of those poignant flashbacks? Sure, Blair has been through a lot, but can’t she see what she’s doing to Chuck?!
Leigh: Let's put it this way, anyone Blair is involved with is getting the shaft. Obviously as a Chuck Bass fan I got all misty eyed and brokenhearted for him, but I actually feel worse for Dan. He loves this girl and she's using him as a crutch and dragging his ass to dress fittings. It's better to be cut off completely than kept around and getting teased.
Steve: Dair. Even if you don't want Dan and Blair to get together, this was a big letdown. The show totally made us think that they had been hooking up, or that perhaps - this was my guess for the first 30 minutes - that the baby was somehow Dan's! In any case, the creative jaw-dropping possibilities were endless, and then it turned out he was just escorting her to the most hidden church in the Western Hemisphere. Great. Dan's feelings for Blair were also completely glossed over.
Eric: Chair for sure. After their kiss, she'll never see him as gain because of her pact with God!? Seriously, what else can you try to do to keep these apart. Dair got at least got some good screen time together. Even if it was just as friends and a ploy to get Derena back together.
3. Bigger copout: Blair's pregnancy being addressed and forgotten in 30 seconds, or her "pact with God" in general.
Courtney: I had a gut feeling all season that Blair was going to lose her baby so I wasn't really surprised at it. It definitely was a copout to not address it after she lost it, but it is Gossip Girl. The bigger copout definitely belongs to the "pact." Kinda hard to believe that Blair would be heading to church every day to try and make peace with her situation of Chuck vs. Louis. Honestly at this point, I wouldn't even care if Chuck and B didn't get back together right now. We just need something to get rid of Louis... he seriously has to go.
Christina: The former was slightly believable for me simply because I couldn’t recall Blair ever talking about the gender of the baby, baby names or even baby clothes. As for the latter, I guess you could say the writers were thinking totally out of the box... or universe.
Leigh: I expected Blair would lose the baby, as sad as it is. Her pact with God is, for lack of a better word, dumb. Sure it can be great to have faith, but Blair is actually letting superstition control her life. She needs a psychologist not a priest.
Steve: Blair convincing herself she somehow cannot be with Chuck is silly, but at least from her perspective, it could be a visceral reaction to the trauma she's been through on multiple fronts. That's the character's flaw. The mishandling of pregnancy, by contrast, falls on the producers. It quickly went from being the biggest GG scandal ever to an afterthought, and now but a distant memory in a matter of months. Weak.
Eric: Pregnancy. The show could have done some real trauma for Blair using one of the strongest actresses on the show dealing with a very real issue. Instead, it was simply like so much else on Gossip Girl: built up for a half a season, then erased in one sentence.
4. Bigger surprise: The real Charlie Rhodes, or real Rufus-Lily dialogue?
Courtney: Rufus-Lily dialogue! The real CR was bound to make an appearance at some point so this wasn't too surprising. The parents of the show got to have some real adult talk and then settled in for some NYE karaoke. Probably their most fulfilling episode this season.
Christina: I, too, expected the real (I almost typed Slim Shady) Charlie Rhodes would show up, but was surprised to see her so soon. As for actual Rufus-Lily dialogue… plus karaoke?! Who could have really predicted that?
Leigh: The real Charlie Rhodes! The producers flat out stated that we wouldn't meet her. And why on earth would her at Juilliard be some crazy secret?
Steve: I'm always surprised Rufus is still on the show, let alone dishing out semi-meaningful lines. But not as surprised as when something as big as Charlie's arrival eludes even our Gossip Girl spoilers page.
Eric: The real Charlie Rhodes! I've been asking when we're getting her all season. Goodbye Chivy and hello Charlie and more family drama! Besides, I mostly ignore the adults when they talk anyway. If I wanted that, I'd talk to my friends.
5. Who is after Nate and why? And how cool is he these days?
Courtney: I'm going with Tripp because Nate is the official new Golden Boy OR his grandfather who always seems to be up to something (i.e. Diana Payne). Archibald has always been super cool, and amazingly gorgeous, but now he has a point on the show and that is making him even better. He's no longer the pal or the side story, but has wedged himself into the main parts of the show. I'll take Chace Crawford in a suit bossing people around any day.
Christina: It’s Tripp, of course. He’s obviously jealous of his super gorgeous and ravishing cousin, Nathaniel. And Nate has always been cool. As for the whole editor-in-chief and all about integrity new role, it’s all just icing on the cake for our deliciously handsome Nate!
Leigh: Duh his skinny little weasel cousin Tripp! Max got paid to cut those brake lines! Sorry what was part two of the question? I was busy drooling over this sexy powerful guy named Nate.
Steve: Tripp and Max obviously had means and motive, as Leigh notes. But what about Diana, Jack and the Grandfather's role in this whole saga? Hopefully Nate, his random assistant, Serena and Gossip Girl have the smarts and the intel to get to the bottom of this. Nate and Serena, successful schemers? Sounds crazy, but never say never.
Eric: Gossip Girl. You do not take her down without retribution. And Nate is finally as cool as he is pretty. Translation? Extremely.
6. Would you send gossip to Serena?
Courtney: Definitely not! As sweet as she has been lately, I still wouldn't trust her to "do good with the gossip."
Christina: No, never, and absolutely NOT.
Leigh: Hell no, wouldn't trust her with my secrets! Serena breaks pretty easily.
Steve: Much as I applaud her efforts, I think I'll probably pass. Using her position to shoot down false rumors is one thing, but what is she going to do when someone sends her a big scandal that's entire factual? Can she even process that scenario? I'll stick with my usual celebrity gossip source, thankyouverymuch.
Eric: Absolutely. Unfortunately most of my gossip would involve cheesy, creepy lines that read like teenage text spam. Guess who has a crush on you?
7. Will the real Gossip Girl reveal herself?
Courtney: I'm thinking... no. She'll probably get close enough to Nate to where he thinks he knows who it is but I'm guessing the big reveal won't go down until the end of the series.
Christina: I highly doubt it. That huge reveal couldn’t possibly happen anytime soon.
Steve: The 100th episode is titled "G.G." Maybe a Kristen Bell sighting is wishful thinking, but I bet Gossip Girl's role on the show peaks at that moment. Perhaps she somehow learns of Blair's "pact" and blasts it to the masses, breaking off the wedding at the last second and getting her mojo back in the process?
Eric: I hope so. Kristen Bell is going to need a gig after her horrendously horrible House of Lies tanks.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments!