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Gossip Girl Round Table: "The Return of the Ring"

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Welcome to our weekly Gossip Girl Round Table discussion! Below, our panelists are here to break down Monday's episode (see our official Gossip Girl season finale review from last night) in even greater detail.

In our Q&A session, TVF President Eric Hochberger (Gossip Guy), editor Steve Marsi (Mister Meester) and staff members Courtney Morrison, Christina Tran and Leigh Raines discuss "The Return of the Ring."

Weigh in with your take on the following topics after reading ours!

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1. What was your favorite quote or scene from "The Return of the Ring"?

Leigh: When it comes down to it, nothing beat Blair's ending monologue. It's time she fights for Chuck. Three simple words, "I'm all in."

Courtney: I have to agree with Leigh. Queen Bee was definitely back in those last few minutes. Also loved her reasoning about Tim Burton not being artwork. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Christina: Call me sappy, but I loved the moments between Blair and Eleanor. Also, I LOL'ed when Eleanor made it clear she didn’t care all too much for Penelope with her line about knocking.

Eric: Maybe mine was less of a scene, but more of the entire premise of Bart, well, still being Bart. Will be great to watch Jack and Chuck team up next season!

Steve: Bart dispatching Chuck from the company in mid-press conference, Lily cutting Rufus loose, and Dan telling Serena "there is no us." None of these were funny moments, or even amazingly quotable lines, but they represented surprising turning points that packed an emotional punch. As did Leigh's obvious choice.

Gossip Girl Round Table Logo 2012

2. How did this Gossip Girl season finale rank with finales past?

Leigh: Redemption. Chair. Dan's book wreaking havoc. Nate finding a new girl. Serena reverting to season one entertaining awesomeness. A Lily takedown. Hopefully a return to former glory. 

Courtney: I liked it! It may not have been the best finale yet, but this wasn't the best season either. It dropped bombshells on us, just the way we like it. It was a pretty solid setup episode for the final season. Plus, it made up for some of the sketchy episodes this season.

Christina: Compared to finales past it was sub-par. In comparison to an entire lackluster season, it was a fitting end and that’s what we needed to set us up for hopefully the best and final season ever.

Eric: Ugh, pretty low. I'm glad the show seems to at least be resetting itself and setting up some better storylines for its final season. But, just not enough OMFGG moments.

Steve: It's hard to compare, as they represent such different eras, but I liked the way it set up Season 6 with the parallels between the last five minutes and the pilot that started it all. Makes you wanna go watch Gossip Girl online and relive the glory days, doesn't it?

3. Did Blair make the right decision?

Leigh: Is the sky blue? Yes finally. But she deserved Chuck to call her out on how fickle she's been. She also should've had enough respect for Dan to break up with him in person like an adult.

Courtney: Absolutely! These two have always been end game. Blair shared a sweet love with Dan this season, but it was much more exciting in the early stages. Chuck and Blair have never lost their spark. I am glad that Chuck didn't just go running back to her though. Bart was a little bit right about this and the Basshole needs to have a backbone if he is doing to stand side by side with Blair Waldorf.

Christina: Yes. Chair FTW!

Eric: To take over her mother's business and finally return to being the former Queen B she once was? Absolutely. Can't wait to see her actually try and be a person again next season? As for Chair? Pff, what is this? 2008?

Steve: She did, but I wish we'd seen her break it off with Dan. Not because I delight in Dan or Dair fans suffering, I just think both deserved some closure there. They had too good a run to go out like that.

4. Derena barstool sex: Hot or not?

Leigh: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but nothing beats the original. Hi Nate.

Courtney: Not. The throwback to the pilot was cool, but nothing is better than watching Nate do his thing. 

Christina: So not. Nate’s been there and done that and he owns sex-with-S-at-Grand-Central-Station.

Eric: Again, as everyone before me has pointed out, how could it compete with the eerily similar Serenate hot sex? Sorry Dan, but Nate you are not.

Steve: Yes, I baited the Nate Archibald fans in the Round Table panel with that one. On merit, it was pretty decent, but it's tough to get into it when you know Dan is being used and abused. Not that he didn't enjoy himself for that 45 seconds, I'm sure, but you know what I mean. Chair does hate sex much better.

5. Will Serena and Blair ever reconcile?

Leigh: In the fictional world of GG, yes, in real life they never would. That was some cold sh!t. Even the NJBC would have a hard time getting passed that.

Courtney: Probably towards the end of next season. Neither of them are innocent in the failed friendship, but the latest stunts that S pulled? She would be dead to me.

Christina: Of course! It’s B and S or BS (because after all that’s been done and said, chances of a reconciliation in real life would be slim to none).

Eric: Let's more worry if Serena and sanity can ever reconcile again. What the hell happened to that girl!?

Steve: Assuming Chair is in fact endgame, and perhaps Derena as well, then possibly. Time heals all wounds, and while B will never be able to forget what happened, she could find it in her heart to forgive. First, of course, we need to get S off the coke. And Damien's henchman.

6. Most surprising: Lola giving Ivy the money and leaving Nate, Lily ditching Rufus, or Serena turning into a cokehead?

Leigh: I'm kinda shocked at Lily. She waited 20 years to be with the love of her life. Bart is a statue, who just screwed over the son who saved his life, what is she thinking?!?

Courtney: Lily and Rufus! They have such a rich history and have loved each other for decades. I don't understand how they both just walked away from that. Doesn't Lily remember her plans to leave Bart for Rufus? I guess being from two different worlds still doesn't work for them. Lil turned into the matriarch and Rufus into a trophy husband. He deserves better.

Christina: How about just Lola leaving Nate? What girl in her right mind would leave a shirtless Nate ALL summer long?! Seriously, that’s dumber than when Ivy ripped her generous check from Lily.

Eric: Oh, thanks for an opportunity to rip on S a little more. WTF? I bought the whole coke binge and sleeping with random guys when the girl was in high school. But now, she's... wait, in college? Oh, way too easy to forget with this show. I guess that's still acceptable. Game on girl.

Steve: Lola giving Ivy the money. I mean, I can see being friends with her if you want, but who donates millions to a known criminal and trusts their agenda? Even if it is funding an epic takedown? Whatever. Although if she dresses up like a prostitute for another scheme, maybe I can be convinced.

Dearest Daniel

7. Is Gossip Girl really Gossip Guy?

Leigh: I kind of hope it is and that it's Eric. Declan isn't a key player in the Hamptons, he could totally come back to guest star. Bring back Jenny and V while you're at it. Damn did I just say that?

Courtney: Nah, can't be. It's got to be one of those girls who are jealous of the others and know too much dirt. If it's a guy, Leigh could be right... or what if it was Jonathan, E's old boyfriend??

Christina: No idea. However, I’m with Leigh on this one if it means Eric and Jenny could possibly return. I still don’t care for V though.

Eric: That's one secret I'll never tell ... You know you love me. XOXO, Gossip Guy.

Steve: I like the Dan theory, as posited in my season-ending burning questions earlier. He was at the mansion that night, sent the infamous royal wedding blast, and was privy to all sorts of other gossip gold. Not sure if the show would really go there, but I love that the CCTV footage made it even a remote possibility. I also love the thought of a bitter Dan and Georgina teaming up to eviscerate the Upper East Siders. Inside was so 2011.

8. Share your predictions for the sixth and final season.

Leigh: Redemption. Chair. Dan's book wreaking havoc. Nate finding a new girl. Serena reverting to season one entertaining awesomeness. A Lily takedown. Hopefully a return to former glory. 

Courtney: Ivy taking down Lily. Dan writing a book that will keep him on the outside for good. Nate and Serena getting back together and becoming the best looking couple on the show. Most importantly, Chair being endgame. These two having an honest and equal relationship, hopefully with another limo rendezvous.

Christina: A season of Chair, Serena finding her way back and maybe a reunion for Serenate, Dan as an outsider permanently, a Rufly comeback… and will the real GG please stand up?

Eric: Okay fine, we can have epic Lily and Bart takedowns. Sure, there will be plenty of Chair limo sex. But please just make it a fun season of bringing back blasts from the past. You got one season left? Make it count and make it a throwback to the show we all loved: Gossip Girl Season 1. Even if that means bringing back She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

Steve: We'll have 11 more Round Tables with which to discuss the show we've loved (and loved to hate at times) for so long. Special thanks to our readers, and looking forward to one last run!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments!

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

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@Zoran
We know you turn your attention to Derena - you don't see past it. Serena cannot just decide who she wants to spend the rest of her life with and expect the other person to fall in line. She may be used to getting everything handed to her on a plate but Dan has free will and the right to choose. I think Serena was a convenient place for him to channel his misery (euphemism!). I don't deny that he still cared about her but I think she's gone a step too far. I think the Humphreys and VDWs are better off apart. I'm tired of them getting trashed by the two blonde bints. Team Humphrey!

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Like I said in other articles, I don't watch this show expecting morality lessons or for it to setup a role model for anybody, and anybody who watches this show expecting that outcome is delusional, even the producers have said they show is not an after school special kind of show in several interviews during all these years. As for some people not getting Blair's POV, maybe you need to consider the phrase "it's better to have loved and lost than to not have loved at all", maybe that's linked or behind her reasoning in choosing Chuck. In another subject, that Gossip Guy xoxo line was the best ever in a Round Table.

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As for Rufus and Lily, it is not the first time that the two disagree, but their relationship was much better until they were married. Maybe in season 6 Lily and Rufus should be reconciled, but not to be married.

Yerdan

She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. ?? Vanessa ??

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@Be real
If you turned your attention to Serena and Dan as I do, you'd know why Dan is the right man for Serena. If you remember in season 1 Serena decided that Dan is the love of her life, and therefore her has asked Lily to marry Bart. By the end of the season 5 Dan was the only guy who was worthy to Serena spends her life with him. Dan did not want her money, or her position, he just simply want her! Dan was always there for Serena, her knight in shining armor! I think the relationship between Lily and Rufus has little to do with events between Serena and Dan. Dan is angry at Serena because she was right when she said that he was in love with an illusion - Blair from the book, not to real Blair. Dan loves that he is always right, and because of that the two of them arguing earlier. But it is undeniable that Dan still has feelings for Serena (sex). As for Rufus and Lily, it is not the first time that the two disagree, but their relationship was much better until they were married. Maybe in season 6 Lily and Rufus should be reconciled, but not to be married.

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On second viewing the episode has grown on me. I do not think it was a great episode because it borrowed too heavily from previous (stronger) episodes. I am grateful it set up many compelling future scenarios.

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And I have a problem with the whole 'Dan owes Serena' crap because she loves him. Why does he? It's ridiculous to think he has to go running back when she wants him. Hes always her fall back guy and deserves better than that.
And after the way Lily has treated Rufus I can understand Dan not wanting to be anywhere the VDWs. That would be lovely for Rufus in the future wouldn't it? His son shacked up with the daughter of the bint that just ditched for the robotic Bart Bass. I hope the Humphreys leave those two blonde slappers to it!

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@anne
Please do not twist my words to suit yourself but hey you do that with the show so what else should I expect. Chuck has done his fair share of lying, spying and sending hurtful blasts to gossip girl. Also let's not forget attempted rape, pimping, violence etc. And the only reason he has monkey is because of dan. You think chuck would've have gone and got a dog himself?
I actually like Chuck despite all those things but I'm not so blinkered that I can't see his faults. In the same way Dan has had some questionable moments and I still like him. My problem is people who choose to be selective in their reasoning. It shows a very limited rationale.

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@Be real
So we are all in the imagination when we look GG on TV! Nothing is not over until it is over Season 6! Also, my comment was related to the sex scene, and not the consequences that it has caused! And as you know this is GG, and everything is possible!

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@be real.
It is about time Blair is "all in" for Chuck. You are right about one thing-Dan is no angel and he will never be in Chuck's league. That is why she picked Chuck. Dan should try to help Serena, who obviously really loves him and seems to be going downhill fast.

Gossip Girl Season 5 Episode 24 Quotes

I don't want to be Mr. Blair Waldorf. I'm Chuck Bass.

Chuck

You say I always bet against you. Not this time. I'm all in.

Blair