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Gossip Girl Round Table: "The End of the Affair"

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Welcome to our weekly Gossip Girl Round Table discussion! Below, our panel breaks down the winter premiere (see our official review from last night) of our favorite show in even greater detail.

Below, TVF shot-caller Eric Hochberger (Gossip Guy) and editor Steve Marsi (Mister Meester) join writers Courtney Morrison, Christina Tran and Leigh Raines to discuss "The End of the Affair."

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 episode?

Courtney: I really enjoyed the Dair scene at Vera Wang. These two have really grown to be great friends and it feels real and natural. The next best thing to a Dair hookup is a Dair = BFF. I'll settle and continue to enjoy their bickering ways.

Christina: Blair: "Just because we can't be together, doesn't mean I don't love you." At both times, it was perfectly poetic.

Leigh: I enjoyed the best friend conversation between Blair and Serena in the bathroom. They really are the core relationship of the show. Plus, Serena actually sounded smarter for once!

Steve: I'm with Christina and the final Blair-Chuck scene (video below). Ed and Leighton are legitimately convincing and did an admirable job of compensating for the episode's script writing to that point.

Eric: Chuck describing Dan. The only thing I love more than Dan himself  is Chuck making fun of the Muppet.

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2. Which "couple" was the episode a greater disservice to, Chair or Dair?

Courtney: Definitely more Chair. We had this big buildup of B and Chuck getting back together, and although they told us why through flashbacks, it's all gone now. Blair still spent time with Dan and their relationship continued as it has been going for a while. It just feels like like they are pulling Blair and Chuck away from each other so they can have a big romantic moment at the wedding.

Christina: I certainly felt for both “couples”, but definitely more for Chair. Seriously, what was the point of all of those poignant flashbacks? Sure, Blair has been through a lot, but can’t she see what she’s doing to Chuck?!

Leigh: Let's put it this way, anyone Blair is involved with is getting the shaft. Obviously as a Chuck Bass fan I got all misty eyed and brokenhearted for him, but I actually feel worse for Dan. He loves this girl and she's using him as a crutch and dragging his ass to dress fittings. It's better to be cut off completely than kept around and getting teased.

Steve: Dair. Even if you don't want Dan and Blair to get together, this was a big letdown. The show totally made us think that they had been hooking up, or that perhaps - this was my guess for the first 30 minutes - that the baby was somehow Dan's! In any case, the creative jaw-dropping possibilities were endless, and then it turned out he was just escorting her to the most hidden church in the Western Hemisphere. Great. Dan's feelings for Blair were also completely glossed over.

Eric: Chair for sure. After their kiss, she'll never see him as gain because of her pact with God!? Seriously, what else can you try to do to keep these apart. Dair got at least got some good screen time together. Even if it was just as friends and a ploy to get Derena back together.

3. Bigger copout: Blair's pregnancy being addressed and forgotten in 30 seconds, or her "pact with God" in general.

Courtney: I had a gut feeling all season that Blair was going to lose her baby so I wasn't really surprised at it. It definitely was a copout to not address it after she lost it, but it is Gossip Girl. The bigger copout definitely belongs to the "pact." Kinda hard to believe that Blair would be heading to church every day to try and make peace with her situation of Chuck vs. Louis. Honestly at this point, I wouldn't even care if Chuck and B didn't get back together right now. We just need something to get rid of Louis... he seriously has to go.

Christina: The former was slightly believable for me simply because I couldn’t recall Blair ever talking about the gender of the baby, baby names or even baby clothes. As for the latter, I guess you could say the writers were thinking totally out of the box... or universe.

Leigh: I expected Blair would lose the baby, as sad as it is. Her pact with God is, for lack of a better word, dumb. Sure it can be great to have faith, but Blair is actually letting superstition control her life. She needs a psychologist not a priest.

Steve: Blair convincing herself she somehow cannot be with Chuck is silly, but at least from her perspective, it could be a visceral reaction to the trauma she's been through on multiple fronts. That's the character's flaw. The mishandling of pregnancy, by contrast, falls on the producers. It quickly went from being the biggest GG scandal ever to an afterthought, and now but a distant memory in a matter of months. Weak.

Eric: Pregnancy. The show could have done some real trauma for Blair using one of the strongest actresses on the show dealing with a very real issue. Instead, it was simply like so much else on Gossip Girl: built up for a half a season, then erased in one sentence.

4. Bigger surprise: The real Charlie Rhodes, or real Rufus-Lily dialogue?

Courtney: Rufus-Lily dialogue! The real CR was bound to make an appearance at some point so this wasn't too surprising. The parents of the show got to have some real adult talk and then settled in for some NYE karaoke. Probably their most fulfilling episode this season.

Christina: I, too, expected the real (I almost typed Slim Shady) Charlie Rhodes would show up, but was surprised to see her so soon. As for actual Rufus-Lily dialogue… plus karaoke?! Who could have really predicted that?

Leigh: The real Charlie Rhodes! The producers flat out stated that we wouldn't meet her. And why on earth would her at Juilliard be some crazy secret?

Steve: I'm always surprised Rufus is still on the show, let alone dishing out semi-meaningful lines. But not as surprised as when something as big as Charlie's arrival eludes even our Gossip Girl spoilers page.

Eric: The real Charlie Rhodes! I've been asking when we're getting her all season. Goodbye Chivy and hello Charlie and more family drama! Besides, I mostly ignore the adults when they talk anyway. If I wanted that, I'd talk to my friends.

5. Who is after Nate and why? And how cool is he these days?

Courtney: I'm going with Tripp because Nate is the official new Golden Boy OR his grandfather who always seems to be up to something (i.e. Diana Payne). Archibald has always been super cool, and amazingly gorgeous, but now he has a point on the show and that is making him even better. He's no longer the pal or the side story, but has wedged himself into the main parts of the show. I'll take Chace Crawford in a suit bossing people around any day.

Christina: It’s Tripp, of course. He’s obviously jealous of his super gorgeous and ravishing cousin, Nathaniel. And Nate has always been cool. As for the whole editor-in-chief and all about integrity new role, it’s all just icing on the cake for our deliciously handsome Nate!

Leigh: Duh his skinny little weasel cousin Tripp! Max got paid to cut those brake lines! Sorry what was part two of the question? I was busy drooling over this sexy powerful guy named Nate.

Steve: Tripp and Max obviously had means and motive, as Leigh notes. But what about Diana, Jack and the Grandfather's role in this whole saga? Hopefully Nate, his random assistant, Serena and Gossip Girl have the smarts and the intel to get to the bottom of this. Nate and Serena, successful schemers? Sounds crazy, but never say never.

Eric: Gossip Girl. You do not take her down without retribution. And Nate is finally as cool as he is pretty. Translation? Extremely.

The Maid of Honor

6. Would you send gossip to Serena?

Courtney: Definitely not! As sweet as she has been lately, I still wouldn't trust her to "do good with the gossip."

Christina: No, never, and absolutely NOT.

Leigh: Hell no, wouldn't trust her with my secrets! Serena breaks pretty easily.

Steve: Much as I applaud her efforts, I think I'll probably pass. Using her position to shoot down false rumors is one thing, but what is she going to do when someone sends her a big scandal that's entire factual? Can she even process that scenario? I'll stick with my usual celebrity gossip source, thankyouverymuch.

Eric: Absolutely. Unfortunately most of my gossip would involve cheesy, creepy lines that read like teenage text spam. Guess who has a crush on you? 

7. Will the real Gossip Girl reveal herself?

Courtney: I'm thinking... no. She'll probably get close enough to Nate to where he thinks he knows who it is but I'm guessing the big reveal won't go down until the end of the series.

Christina: I highly doubt it. That huge reveal couldn’t possibly happen anytime soon.

Leigh: Never.

Steve: The 100th episode is titled "G.G." Maybe a Kristen Bell sighting is wishful thinking, but I bet Gossip Girl's role on the show peaks at that moment. Perhaps she somehow learns of Blair's "pact" and blasts it to the masses, breaking off the wedding at the last second and getting her mojo back in the process?

Eric: I hope so. Kristen Bell is going to need a gig after her horrendously horrible House of Lies tanks.

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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I think Gossip Girl took the "End of the Affair" reference a little too far. I mean... seriously? Of course, in the film (The End of the Affair), it made sense because the whole story line was built on it But for Gossip Girl? It's too much and too dark. It was like a lame Scary Movie attempt. You guys have to watch The End of the Affair to understand me. (Starring Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore)

Chrys

Q1: Definately Blair's '' Just because we can't be together it doesn't mean i don't love you''... You're killing him girl!
Q2: Chair...obviously! Seriously the last scene broke my heart! Seeing Chuck feeling relieved in the start when Blair entered the appartment and then totally confused and shattered was maybe one of the most cruel scenes in GG!
Q3: The deal with God of course since it was obvious from the beginning that the pregnancy wouldn't be dealt as a serious aspect of Blair's life. But this deal...omg...Just another one of Saphran's sadistic ways of torturing the Chair fans.
Q4:Charlie! I thought sth horrible had happened to her!
Q5:Tripp! His carreer and marriage are going down the hill and he needs hid grandpa's support!
Q6:Hell yeah!
Q7:Yes...I believe she'll be Nate's new romanticc interest!

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Some close ups were uncomfortable, specially one with Louis in his scene with Chuck and Serena in the Spectator hallway, where it looked like he was staring directly at the camera. Jack and Diana MIA in this episode was another plot hole. Nate's assistant, who looked better in her first scene than in the party, was refreshing to watch. GG was missed as narrator. The best scene hands down is the final one between Chuck and Blair, where the actors managed to said all that with voices and facial expressions incredibly real considering how ridiculous the storyline sounds. Post traumatic stress disorder regarding the misscarriage might explain why Blair is clinging to the idea that God accepted her offer of such a deal to keep Chuck alive, but if that's the case the show is poorly reflecting that.

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In terms of the episode, I found Nate and Serena adorable, Serena really was the most in character although I found Nate, Dan and Chuck delivered their lines as always, which is conforting. It wasn't that Blair said her lines badly, but the things coming out of her mouth were so ludicrous that it's hard to take her seriously. Rufus and Lily were ok. The real Charlie has more physical resemblance with Serena than the fake one. Like some have said, Dorota and Blair's parents abscense in flashbacks and the episode was a low point. Mentions of Jenny and Eric were appreciated. The priest failed big time in helping Blair or seem logical, seemed to me he was trying to wash his hands in all this mess. The opening scene, including its dialogue, was a rip off of the original movie the episode is based.

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Denial! That is where I am right now. I am busy sitting on my happy Chair in pink cloud land where Blair does not behave like a zombified fraction of the Blair we all know and love. It is calm here, and I can pretend that the writers of GOSSIP GIRL in some desperate bid to avoid actually PLOTTING the show are not going to send Blair on a voyage of exploration to Catholicland. (Catholicland is a strange place where 21st century writers of little imagination go when they are updating their resumes.) ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME!!!! Lord knows GG is not Truffaut, but a little effort wouldn't hurt!

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The ratings are going downhill and all these supposed new plots, characters and twists (and writers) that the producers have brought in the last 2 seasons have done nothing to reverse that trend. Their weekly recaps show them speaking enthusiastically about the show yet the fandom in general is unhappy, regardless of shipping preferences and wars. Considering their track record with The O.C. and past interviews, the only theory that's left to explain why we are suffering through bad writing, incredible (and not in a good way) storylines and huge plot holes (and characteres forgotten, like Scott, for which even the Internet recappers are wondering about) is that they want to sink the ratings so the CW (a network notorious for keeping shows alive even after all critical aclaim and significant ratings have dissapeared) has no other choice to let the show go after the cast contracts expire at the end of season 6.

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Reading all the reviews and recaps before seeing the episode made me endure far more than if I have seen it live. That being said, it wasn't good, and I have a friend that did see it live and she's outraged, she has liked every episode of the season so far but this was over the line for her. I'm just overall sad for the show. I have a theory as of why this is going on. As mentioned before, these people were behind The O.C., and they destroyed it. They belive in "die young, leave a beautiful corpse behind" for TV shows as they said in a Rolling Stone interview in 2009. So I think they purposely trying to ensure the show won't pass the sixth season, in order words they are sabotagging their own show to make sure the network won't try to keep it in the air, due to bad ratings.

Tfv168

6. HELL NO!
7. I'll wager my tax refund that Lola is the real Gossip Girl. You know, the website obsessed with Serena Van der Woodsen, her cousin? And Lola was looking very Serena-esque. The real question is 'How long before Nate trys to "tap that ass" and "seal the deal"'?

Tfv168

1. The only "favorite" anything I had is Blair's red dress at the New Year's Eve party.
2. Chair, because at least Dair has some sort of relationship going.
3. The miscarriage was written all over the wall at the beginning of the season. Blair's Pact With God is even more ridiculous! Let's take this lameness a step or two further and call it Karmic Retribution for being an Evil Bitch all these years. Blair must now undergo The Vow To Become A Better Person before she and Chuck can safely be togethor again.
4. So The Real Charlie Rhodes has been on the same island with these people presumably this whole time? And TRCR doesn't recognize Lily, and Lily doesn't recognize The Real Charlie? Mmmkay.
5. I'm still puzzling over the apparent personality transplants all of the main characters seemed to undergo during the time jump! Apparently Nate's came with a brain, a spine and a set of balls.

Leigh r

For the person who asked "where is Josh Schwartz?" I TOTALLY AGREE. From what I hear, he really only cares about Chuck or new projects. Remember what happened with The OC? Seasons 1 and 2 were awesome and then a total cop-out. He's bored of Gossip Girl and I would say this to his face. They hired new writers this year. Some are new, some are old, but I believe that's what contributes to a lot of the messy storylines.