GIOVANNI RUFINO/THE CW
GIOVANNI RUFINO/THE CW
It's back and more dramatic than ever!
Gossip Girl finally returned tonight and answered fans' most burning questions: What happened to Chuck (Ed Westwick) and Blair (Leighton Meester) after the car crash? Is Blair's baby OK? And who did Blair finally decide to be with: Chuck or Prince Louis (Hugo Becker)?
If that's not enough, we have exclusive scoop from executive producer Josh Safran who tells us that a certain love triangle is becoming a love square "in a major way" and reveals whether Dan (Penn Badgley) and Serena (Blake Lively) will be giving their romance another shot. Plus, he dishes on the night's biggest reveal: the appearance of a much-talked about, but never before seen character...
SPOILER ALERT: Don't read on unless you've already watched the episode!
Blair's Secret Is Revealed: The episode begins "a few months" after Blair and Chuck's car crash and we learn that Blair lost her baby. We also learn that she is still engaged to Louis and hasn't spoken to Chuck since the accident. She's been ignoring Chuck, who is desperate to know why Blair's pushing him away. Chuck isn't the only one Blair's been distant from. She's barely speaking to Serena and Louis, who is convinced she's having an affair. Eventually, he and Chuck believe she's secretly seeing Dan.
After several red herrings with Dan and Blair, she finally comes clean to Serena and tells her why she's ignoring Chuck: she made a deal with God after the accident. "You have my baby. You can't take Chuck, too. Let him live. I'll do anything. I promise I'll keep my vow to marry Louis and never be with him again," Blair promises God in the hospital's church, right before the nurse comes in to tell her Chuck has woken up and is asking for her. Yes, that is why Blair won't be with Chuck: She thinks she's protecting him." Just because we can't be together doesn't mean I won't love you," a heartbroken Blair tells Chuck.
So no, Blair is not having an affair with Dan, he's just been going to church with her to help her figure out her feelings. When Blair considers breaking off her engagement because she's still in love with Chuck, she looks out the window to see Chuck almost being hit by a cab. "If anything ever happened to Chuck I would feel like it's my fault," Blair tells Serena.
Still, all of this leads to the big scene between Chuck and Blair. First off, let's describe how sad it made us to see Chuck believe Blair was there because she wanted to be with him. Sad panda. Blair was just there to tell Chuck she's proud of the person he's become and hopes that her choosing to be with Louis doesn't change that. Understandably, Chuck wants an explanation and he deserves one. He refuses to let this go and promises to use his power to find out what went wrong. We hope this doesn't ruin all of the progress Chuck made in the first half of the season, but Westwick did tell us Chuck "wants at any cost to find a way to be with her and that's what he's doing for the rest of the reason, is trying, trying and trying. Of course, when something's like that, sometimes you try bad methods, you try bad approaches."
So why the time jump? Safran explains that "we didn't want three months to pass by in our normal customary summer because we wanted Blair to not be that far along in her pregnancy so we could tell more stories without having her to have a baby bump." The writers decided to use the winter hiatus as the vehicle to get the show's timing back on track. Another reason for the time jump was to give Blair time to mourn the loss of her child offscreen. "It would be very, very painful to watch her mourn so much onscreen," Safran says. "She still mourns obviously, but we didn't want to dwell on it every single episode."
GIOVANNI RUFINO/THE CW
Serena Makes Her Move: On Dan and Gossip Girl's turf! First, Serena comes to Dan's rescue when he's corned by Chuck and Louis about his "affair" with Blair. Unable to tell them the reason he's been hanging out with Blair, Serena steps in and says they've secretly been dating and Blair's been protecting them. Obviously, Serena is more than happy to do this for two reasons: She still has feelings for her ex and she's protecting her BFF. Everyone wins! Including Derena fans, who got to see their favorite couple kiss at the strike of midnight on New Year's Eve.
As for Gossip Girl, she's been silent since Blair and Chuck's car accident and Serena has taken over the UES blogosphere. With Gossip Girl gone, people have been sending their tips to Serena, who refuses to do anything with them...until she realizes they could actually help people rather than hurt people. Too bad that Nate, who was pushing her to use them, might have a change of heart thanks to a certain blogger's tips about the accident...like the fact that he was supposed to be in the car that crashed that night.
Will the Real Charlie Rhodes Please Stand Up: She's here, she's finally here! The much-talked about Charlie Rhodes (Ella Rae Peck) finally appeared on the show after Ivy (Kaylee Defer) has been using her name for almost a year. Lily (Kelly Rutherford) had hired a private investigator to find her niece, but thought he had found the wrong Charlie. We thought he had too...until the end of the episode where it was reveealed she's the real deal.
"I really am proud that that reveal did not get out. I love it," Safran tells us. "It's so funny because just Tuesday shots got out of Ella and Chace and I was like, 'F-ck!' People started writing online, 'I wonder if this is the real Charlie,' but they didn't know for sure. We got so far because she's been shooting since, I don't know. That was episode 11 and we're shooting episode 18." Yes, the real Charlie is sticking around for some time. Color us intrigued!
Dan Become a Contender: Make way for Dan, Chuck and Louis, because he's becoming a viable contender in the fight for Blair's love. "What I said at the top of the season was this was pretty much going to be a romantic love triangle between Chuck, Louis and Blair and that Dan was going to be more a friend of Blair," Safran explains. "This second half of the season, that triangle absolutely becomes a square in a major way. That is where that story is going." Dair fans: Rejoice! Chuck/Blouis fans: React!
As for that spoiler about Dan writing Louis' vows, Safran says he was a bit peeved about that leaking out because the "reveal is in the last five minutes of the episode." He would tell us that "just because the audience finds out Dan wrote the vows doesn't mean Blair finds out."
A Rocky Road: While some Chuck and Blair fans may be growing tired of the obstacles thrown in their favorite couple's way, Safran says, "I'm hoping fans agree that the struggles Chuck and Blair keep coming up against are good struggles." He also tells us those struggles are always going to be the relationship's core problem "It's like just when they think they've conquered one aspect that was keeping them apart, another one pops up. I believe that is always going to be Chuck and Blair's issue with each other," Safran says. "They just can't seem to get it right. The thing is can Chuck and Blair ever be in a place where they can meet each other eye to eye or will one always a few steps ahead of the other? That's never boring to me."
Derena Part...We've Lost Count: Dan and Serena will continue fake-dating in the coming episodes to protect Blair, and Safran tells us, "The fake dating starts out meaning more to Serena than it does to Dan." But will Dan possibly fall for his ex-girlfriend/step-sister again? "You'll have to watch and see," he teases. "Old patterns die hard!"
Gossip Girl Threatened: Considering Serena finally caved and decided to start looking through the blasts being sent to her just as Nate found out Gossip Girl was the mystery person texting clues about the car crash, it's safe to say things are about to get extremely complicated in the UES' blogosphere. "Not only is it about to get complicated, but I don't think Gossip Girl has ever seen anyone go head-to-head with her before," Safran says. "She's always been head and shoulders above the rest, so now the idea what Serena might challenge her reign is definitely going to ratchet up the tension."