There is nothing that the CW’s “Gossip Girl” does better than a finale, and nothing worse than an opener. As the first episode for the shows 7th and last season, ‘Gone Maybe Gone’ was, in a way, the opener to the grand finale. However, in order to assess what promise the future holds for our favourite espresso chugging, Prada shopping, beret wearing Manhattan megalomaniacs, one really ought to look at this season’s second offering too: ‘High Infidelity’. While ‘Gone Maybe Gone’ answered a few of the questions season 6 left hanging in the Upper East Side air, ‘High Infidelity’ posed a whole new set. And, buried deep among them is: will this once glorious show end with a bang, or is this going to be another interminable season of half-baked plot-lines saved only by Serena’s magnificent and highly visible cleavage?
At the end of season 6 we were where we’d been a thousand times before, each character going their own way for the summer; Blair pursuing Chuck, Chuck pursuing his father’s legacy, Serena spiraling out of control and Dan sporting the hair of a much, much cooler person. Bring on Season 7 and the gang re-unites, with lovable bad-girl Georgina in tow, as so often before, in the search for missing Serena. However, part of “Gossip Girl”‘s charm is its strict adherence to its own traditions; so what ‘High Infidelity’ brought to the fore was an indication of new factors that might shape the show’s progression. All of which are coalesced around the various relationships being torn down and rebuilt.
On one hand we have Blair and Serena– not besties anymore, but not all up in each other’s respective grills either. Could it be that our trust-fund babies are handling themselves like young trust-fund ladies now? Highly unlikely. In fact, like many of the choices behind the relationship dynamics for the season, Serena and Blair’s feud makes barely any sense. After years of saying unconscionable things to each other, and more than one fight that would put the Real Housewives of New Jersey to shame, it seems highly improbable that ‘I never want to see you again’ was the straw that broke the Serena-Blair camel’s back.
Same thing applies to the bizarre pact between Chuck and Blair. There is no earthly reason why Chuck and Blair cannot be together. Indeed, all obstacles have been taken care of: Louis, Dan, the unborn heir assumptive of Monaco. However, instead of each episode beginning with Limo-sex and La Perla, the writers of “Gossip Girl” have decided that Chuck and Blair have to find themselves before they find each other — the implication being that they will eventually do just that, and end the show collapsing into an Iranian cushion of young love and light bondage. For the viewer, it’s the tantric sex of prime-time television (Chuck and Blair would approve).
Last but not least, Dan and Georgina are together and up to no good. Throughout the show, Dan Humphrey has prided himself on being the only moral character in a society that would make Patrick Bateman shiver in his over-shined dress shoes. Sure, at times Dan’s great morass of moral superiority manifested itself in twisted ways and his aborted relationship with Blair undoubtedly left him in a fragile state. But never in his wildest dreams would Dan Humphrey be keeping prolonged and voluntary company with a girl whose idea of a fun night out involves a sex-tape and a bit of light murder. After she destroyed his relationship, fake-carried his child and almost ended his budding literary career, it’s safe to say that beneath all that rakishly curled hair, even Dan would know better than to hop on the Georgina train again.
So there we have it, three sets of inexplicably feeble relationships defining the narrative arc of the grand finale season of what was once called the defining show of our generation. It seems “Gossip Girl”‘s writers were faced with a decision: to create plausible TV, or make TV as juicy as possible. If we’ve learned one thing from the first two episodes of the season, it’s that the choice has been made.