Stephanie Savage, where have you been all these years?!
Gossip Girl returned for its sixth season tonight, and the premiere, written by Savage and co-executive producer Josh Schwartz, conjured up memories of the show's glory days, while setting the stage for this final chapter.
"Gone Maybe Gone," the first episode under new show-runner Sara Goodman and the first written by Savage since 2010, revived the entire series in 42 minutes and raised expectations for Gossip Girl going out on top.
If we're placing our bets, the next nine weeks look bright.
Ironically, Gossip Girl's decline over Seasons 4 and 5 may help produce the conclusion its fans are pininv for (if the show builds on the premiere, of course). With just 10 episodes to go, its focus has sharpened.
There's only one story arc remaining for each character, and it's going to be the best the producers can come up with. It might still disappoint, but if the premiere was any indication, Season 6 will be a fitting sendoff.
The opening song was even "Hang It Up" by the Ting Tings. Fitting. From Gossip Girl's references to this being her last season, classic inside jokes and anything coming out of Georgina's mouth, the spark was back.
"Gone Maybe Gone" was what we always hope Gossip Girl will be, pushing the characters' boundaries while uniting them in a common goal - or at least plot, as Dan and Georgina's motives weren't exactly in line with hte NJBC's.
There were some OMG moments (one in particular, which we'll discuss shortly), some new mysteries introduced and too many hilarious lines to count. When was the last time you laughed so hard during a CW drama?
The episode began in the immediate aftermath of the Season 5 finale, treating fans to one of the all-time Chair sex scenes and a gross visual of Serena OD'ing before jumping ahead four months to the present day.
So much transpired over this entertaining installment that it's tough to keep it all straight. Let's break down where we've been and where (we think) we're going in the next nine weeks by character/couple:
Chuck and Blair are together, but apart. In some ways, this is a weaksauce way of dragging out the inevitable, but they did a pretty good job selling us on the sincerity of the "pact" in the limo at the end.
Perhaps they truly do need to establish themselves as individuals before investing in the relationship full time, given their history of breakups and heartbreak. One can understand Dan's POV here though.
The combination of being dumped with no closure in May, then learning Blair and Chuck are kind of not together was too much for our favorite Muppet, and he let his one-time lover have it in Poughkeepsie.
Even if you're a card-carrying member of Team Chair, and acknowledge that Dan can be a pretentious douche at times, it was hard not to nod along with some of his points. Who wouldn't be bitter over that?
She followed her heart, though, and that was always with Chuck Bass. Their heart-to-heart showed how badly they're all in, even if it requires frustration, patience and walking it off in the interim.
Soon enough, that ring will be on her finger. It's just a matter of time.
The episode gave us only a brief glimpse of Blair's role with Waldorf Designs, while Chuck's quest to expose/topple Bart was a greater focal point and introduced us to an intriguing new character in Amira.
Does she really have no idea what Bart's deal is/was? Despite him paying the Dubai native $10 million to keep quiet? And will Chuck avenge his humiliating demotion last season by dethroning Bart once and for all?
As long as Amira remains a business accomplice and that's it, we can't wait to find out. Taking Bart down won't be easy (we're hoping Jack gets in on it), but it's great to see Chuck positioned as the underdog.
Nate also made a new acquaintance this week in Sage, an ambitious young student profiling his role with the Spectator. Big surprise, it looks like Nate's streak of dating cute girl on the show will continue.
Despite trading the video of Gossip Girl in exchange for Serena's whereabouts, his quest to unmask her (him?) is far from over. But it begs the question: How did GG know where she was in the first place?
Dan and Georgina began the night under the Tuscan sun, and the banter between the bitter novelist and his slave-driving co-conspirator was priceless. Even Dan can't believe how crazy this chick is.
Thanks to her sleuthing, they picked up Serena's trail and joined the rest of the gang, though their objective was quite different. At least hers was. Deep down, some part of Dan still cares for S. G? Not so much.
The references she made to the Serena sex tape were significant foreshadowing. Even if it is Fifty Shades of Boring, that video could cause all sorts of trouble when it's revealed. The only question is how and when.
Watching Blair go off on/get rattled by Georgina is awesome too. Forget the presidential debates. Sparks vs. Waldorf is a far more entertaining war of words, one we surely haven't seen the last of. Thank goodness.
Serena, or Sabrina if you will, has completely reinvented herself after hitting rock bottom. Whatever her past faults, she seems happy and healthy in her new life ... even if she's operating under an alias.
You knew she wasn't actually getting married, and you also know there's a twist coming with Steven. It makes sens that she would seek comfort in an older, established man, given her obvious daddy issues.
We just hope she doesn't get hurt, or that if she does, her estranged BFF has ber back. The Blair and Serena friendship has been central to the show from the start, and it's not in a good place now.
With S back in NYC, hopefully repairs can be made, and the NJBC can have one last fall full of joint adventures. When things inevitably fall apart with Steven, will Dan or Nate be there to break her fall?
Dan totally deserved that slap, but don't rule out a Derena reconciliation once he comes to his senses. Those pulling for a Nate-Serena reunion have a case to make as well, even if it's a long shot.
Lily and Bart are officially back together, leaving her other husband on the outs. Like father, like son. Lily's not winning any awards for parent or spouse of the year. Speaking of which, that brings us to ...
Rufus and Ivy. Yeah, that happened. Creepy as it was for obvious reasons, you almost can't blame Rufus for being flattered. Someone was actually nice to him! How could he not be moved by this rare occurrence?
If Lily and Rufus are to patch things up by the end of the season, there will certainly be obstacles. Such as when she finds out he really is nailing Lily's fake-impostor-niece girl. How old is Ivy exactly?
The real question here - as it has been since she first showed up on the UES - is what Ivy's deal is. The voicemail she left for Lola (filming an NBC pilot, wink) proved there's a plot at work. But what?
All in all, a strong start to the final chapter. Here's next week's promo:
What did you think of this week's Gossip Girl? Discuss below!