Gossip Girl closed out its fifth season with the veteran CW drama answering several key questions for the Upper East Siders.
[Warning: If you haven't watched Monday's season closer, do not proceed. Major spoilers ahead.]
1. Who does Blair (Leighton Meester) choose? The decision was relatively simple for the Waldorf when given the choice between Dan (Penn Badgley) or Chuck (Ed Westwick). In the end, it was all about the one that got away: Chuck Bass. But the journey to get to that place wasn't easy, as both suitors saw one of Blair's diary entries that seemed to point in Chuck's favor. "With Chuck, I'm vulnerable," Blair says while rehashing the pros and cons between the two men in her life. Even though she chooses Chuck, he rejects Blair on the outset.
For the writers, there was never any doubt as to whether Chuck and Blair would reunite. "I don't know if it was ever a question in the season," executive producer Stephanie Savage told reporters Monday evening. "It was a matter of arcing out their relationship." The last scene sees Blair going all in with her relationship with Chuck, but is he ultimately going to take the bait? "We crafted the last act to set us in a certain direction next year," Savage teased. Poor Lonely Boy, but is he really lonely? (See below.)
2. Are Dan and Serena (Blake Lively) really back together -- and what does it mean? Not really. That one-time fling, harkening back to season one with Nate (Chace Crawford) and Serena, is just a hook-up -- and nothing more. So much so that once Dan realizes he wouldn't be winning Blair back any time soon, he enlists the help of one Georgina Sparks (Michelle Trachtenberg) to exact his revenge on the Upper East Side.
Serena, meanwhile, reverts to her old habits (i.e. taking drugs and and that signature train shot, one that's been featured at pivotal moments during the series, comes back at the end of the episode.) "It's a signature of the show to do echoes of previous episodes," Savage says. Serena's "lost Blair, she's lost Dan, she's all by herself again [and it] will put herself in a precarious situation."
3. Did Lily (Kelly Rutherford) go back to Bart (Robert John Burke) or stick with Rufus (Matthew Settle)? In a surprising move, Lily opts to give it another go with the newly resurrected Bart, kicking husband Rufus to the curb in the form of an annulment -- since she had to, you know, pick which marriage to honor. Kind of a horrible thing to do, wouldn't you say?
"That's something that's exciting for season six is to see how that's going to shape up," Savage says of the Rufus-Lily-Bart triangle. "[The Rufus-Lily relationship] has been relatively stable [up until recently and] certain aspects of her personality that we're all aware of" are coming to light.
4. Is it a happy Bass family now that Bart's back? Again, not so much. Bart may have won back the heart of Lily but he Bass-blocked his son and Jack (Desmond Harrington) from being a firmly ingrained in Bart Industries. (Shocker!) Bart's reasoning for publicly banishing his son from his duties with the company: Because Chuck's decisions were/are so deeply rooted in his love and desire to chase after Blair. "You've never grown up, maybe you can start now," Bart says rather matter-of-factly.
5. Did we just see Gossip Girl? Proving forever useful even while she's away, Diana Payne (Elizabeth Hurley) sends a big clue that revelas a person on a tape that could eventually be the all-knowing Gossip Girl. It seems a too good to be true, but Nate's new breakthrough may be key in the unveiling of the person responsible for the gossip site. Savage was coy when asked whether the identity will be revealed by the end of the series, referencing the Gossip Girl franchise as a whole, which includes a book series: There would have to be conversations with a slew of people.
6. How many episodes will the sixth and final season entail? Though she wouldn't confirm, Savage says: "Right now, they're saying 10 episodes and a retrospective." But nothing has been made official.
7. No more Lola in season six? It doesn't look like aspiring actress Lola will be sticking around next season as a continuing love interest for Nate as actress Ella Rae Peck was cast in NBC's new series Infamous. She "may not be available for next season," Savage says.
When the new season kicks off, more attention will be paid to the main characters that were featured in the last moments of the finale -- and the writers, who returned to work about a week and a half ago are already breaking down stories for the final chapters.
"We're definitely focusing on our core characters," Savage says. "The gang that you see in the final act will be our main players."
As to whether the writers are aware of how everything will wrap up, the producer was coy but did tease this: "We know a lot of things."
Gossip Girl returns for season six later this year.