Gossip Girl (2021) season 1 Finale explained: What’s next in season 2?

The first season of Gossip Girl (2021) took viewers on a rollercoaster ride just like its predecessor, but with an awareness to the gender, racial, sexual, social, and cultural politics of the society that its Gen Z characters are coming of age in.

The show is a teen soap opera first and foremost. One that navigates clumsily through some of its storylines and brilliantly through others. When we last left the Constance St. Jude’s crew in episode 9, Julien had been dealt a hard blow.

Her father, Davis, wasn’t innocent of the sexual assault allegations lodged against him by the manager of the famous artist, Riley. While her manager wasn’t the one who had a drunken night with him when he was fully sober, Riley had been and Julien intended to help her.

She brought Zoya’s dad, Nick, into explain why Riley had to wait to come forward about what Davis did to her. But Julien had been unaware that Kate had been filming her on Gossip Girl’s Instagram account. Kate ended the video right when Julien was telling Riley she couldn’t say anything which gave the impression the teen was trying to silence one of her dad’s accusers.

The social media firestorm came wild and quick for Julien. Concerned with her image, she regressed back to the girl she was before and even pushed Obie away when he’d finally told her that he was still in love with her.

Julien immediately regretted her actions but, by the time she tried to make amends in the season 1 finale “Gossip Girl, Gone,” it was too late.

What happened in the Gossip Girl (2021) season 1 finale?

Part 2 of Gossip Girl (2021) season 1 ended the same way as it began, with the characters celebrating a holiday. This time around it was New Year’s.

After convincing her grandmother to let her stay in New York, Julien went apartment looking with Zoya and Nick. The father-daughter duo have stepped up to take care of for her since Davis fled the city. Nick, however, doesn’t make the kind of bank as a lawyer as Davis does as a music producer, so they’re in Queens.

It’s a downgrade for Julien who’s used to living in the Upper East Side, but she puts on a brave face about it even as Audrey and her look wearily on at the size of her potential new living quarters.

As it’s Julien’s favorite time of the year, she’s determined not to let anything get her down. Plus, the group have their annual trip to Hudson where they’ll lounge around Aki’s father’s house and throw a big end of the year party.

She’s excited about it and looking forward to rekindling things with Obie. The problem is, he’s not answering his text messages though she doesn’t let that deter her. When Monet and Luna list off strategies for how Julien can reclaim her throne, she nixes all of them but the plan to bring Jobie 2.0 into existence.

With their blessing, and her mind set on being Queen and King of the UES again, Julien sweeps into Obie’s apartment in a slinky dress and a bottle in hand. It’s too bad, she ends up walking right into her ex’s makeshift holiday love nest with his new girl, Grace.

Julien, Obie, and Grace aka a last minute Gossip Girl (2021) love triangle

It’s doubtful anyone thought Gossip Girl (2021) would squeeze in one more triangle before the season’s end let alone one in the finale, but that’s exactly what the writers did.

Instead of the group’s New Year’s plans being about reflecting on the past year and what they’d like to do next, time is mostly spent on Julien trying to sabotage Obie’s relationship with Grace. It’s one last hair-brained, shenanigan filled, bad romance plan for the road, we guess.

After brainstorming with Luna and Monet in a panic over what to do, Julien invites Obie and Grace to the Hudson house. It’s a friendly gesture that disguises her intent. She means to show Obie what he’s missing by highlighting all of Grace’s flaws and reminding him of her own best qualities.

The plan backfires spectacularly. Not only is Grace kind to everyone she meets, she’s also humble, modest, and incredibly friendly. While she does have a competitive streak, it’s not one frenzied or ramped up enough for Julien to exploit.

Grace’s one Achilles’ heel is her drinking. She’s volatile when liquored up. The last time she was drunk, her belligerence had been caught on camera to the embarrassment of the senator’s daughter. The news cycle from that one was likely brutal, and she’s sworn off drinking ever since.

However, Grace has a tendency to be too accommodating for her own good. When the group goes out to the local bar in town, she’s plied with alcohol by Julien and Monet who convince her that it’s okay for her to drink around them because they’ll take care of her.

With one too many shots in her system, Grace makes a scene which ruins the bubble of fun the group had conjured while dancing to a Coldplay song. For a shining moment, Julien and Obie had a spark of something as they sung and danced to the song. But, like a coke-filled wrecking ball, Grace ended their night on a sour note.

She admitted while intoxicated that she knew Julien was messing with her and she wouldn’t let her win. It was clear, however, that at least for this night that Julien had.

All of Grace’s perfection went out the window. It was because of this that she thought Obie would make his way back to her, but he still remained concerned about Grace and upset that she’d chosen to leave Hudson the morning after her terrible scene.

Though Julien does tell Obie that she loves him, it’s ultimately not enough. He wants to figure out who he is outside of her. They don’t get back together though we’ve likely not seen the end of their romance even if it is in stasis by the end of the season.

Obie’s with Grace, thanks to Julien fixing what she broke between them, and Julien stays single.

Gossip Girl (2021)

Aki + Audrey + Max = Gossip Girl’s first triad

The biggest “will they, won’t they” of Gossip Girl (2021) season 1 was definitely Aki, Audrey, and Max. The midseason finale, “Parentsite,” ended with the three hooking up.

For six episodes, the writers had been leaving breadcrumbs and anvil-sized hints that the trio would sleep together. However, it wasn’t as clear that the show would take the leap and truly explore having a triad relationship in the series.

The Thanksgiving episode, “Once Upon a Time in the Upper West,” showed Max being fondly amused by his best friends’ awkwardness around each other after their threesome. But he was firm about Aki and Audrey reaffirming their connection with each other without him before he’d sleep with them again.

It seemed like that would be the end of it, but then Max unexpectedly caught feelings while Aki and Audrey were oblivious. Gossip Girl (2021) fans were left heartbroken for the Wolfe of the UES when the couple said they weren’t interested in a third.

Granted, the two made that claim unaware that Max had arrived to tell them that he was falling for them, but it was sad nonetheless.

Aki and Audrey took the long way round to realizing that they wanted to be in a relationship with Max, but they did get there after some unsatisfactory sex with people who weren’t Max and a therapy session that switched the light bulb on for the two.

In “Gossip Girl, Gone,” after they find Max in his home which reeks of the orgy he’d thrown, A+A confess that they want to see where a romance with Max could go. But he, still reeling from his parents’ divorce and A+A’s inadvertent rejection, is scared.

Max has tried drink, drugging, and sleeping the two out of his system and nothing has worked. For him, being with Aki and Audrey is the scariest thing he could possibly do. They’ve been together for so long and they could tire of him or realize that he’s a novelty to them and leave him high and dry while they carry on with their relationship like he was a stop in the road.

Aki and Audrey, however, refuse to give up. In what’s possibly the cutest attempt at courting in the entire season, the two try to show Max he’s important to them. Their intent is to use their Hudson trip as a means of convincing him to give them a try.

When he arrives at the house, clearly hungover, they ask if he’d like to take a walk with them. He chooses a nap instead. When he comes to lunch, and they realize they forgot his sangria, they immediately call for wine. They show up at his room with a tablet in tow and hint, hint, wink, wink about hooking up via asking to watch a movie.

Max reminds them that he’s a person with real fears about this which throws Aki and Audrey for a loop because they know that, so they go back to the drawing board.

They coax Max into dancing with them to the Coldplay song playing in the local bar because he loves a cheesy moment. The two even come up with a schedule for how they plan to divvy up their time with Max. It also include days when all three of them will hang out, but all it serves to do is remind him about his parents’ divorce and how he’ll be dividing time between them, too.

Still, Aki and Audrey keep fighting for Max. In a last ditch effort, they put it all on the line. They tell him the next morning that they both want to be in a relationship with him. They confess that their relationship doesn’t work without him and they don’t want it, too.

To reassure him about their sincerity, the two tell Max that they want to be a triad. All sides of their relationship will be equal like a triangle, and if their relationship as a trio doesn’t work out then they’ll all break-up. It won’t just be them breaking up with him, they’ll break-up with each other as well.

By the time Julien’s party starts, Max makes a decision. He wants to be all in with Aki and Audrey, and so the three enter into a triad together.

Julien vs. Gossip Girl

The final moments of Gossip Girl (2021) are rather confusing but luckily, showrunner Josua Safran broke down what exactly Julien’s playing at by baiting Gossip Girl into a battle for the ages. He told Newsweek:

The season began with Kate (Tavi Gevinson) having a mission statement and we see that mission statement kind of erode and be challenged. What was designed from the beginning with the writers was the idea that as Kate lost steam on this mission, Julian would slowly begin to see what that mission was and realize its merits. So they kind of switch places in a weird way. Moving forward, it’s Julian, the number one target for Gossip Girl that actually restarts Gossip Girl. So it was sort of just like that, full circle.

We’re not sure Julien resuscitating Gossip Girl, after the teachers leaked every tip they’d ever been sent and who sent it, was the way to go but it’s certainly going to cause a storm between her and Zoya if her sister finds out.

The same can be said for her group of friends as well. Though she said she passed on information that was true and false about everyone she knows, it seems like all Julien did was set herself up to be the hero if she can stop Gossip Girl before she can publish anything real.

It’s a manufactured game she’s created that’ll have serious consequences going into season 2.

What’s next in Gossip Girl (2021) season 2?

Gossip Girl (2021)

Monet’s coming for that number one spot

It’s no coincidence that we were introduced to Monet’s mom in “Gossip Girl, Gone.” Monet had an epiphany after Julien once again defied her plans to put the former queen of the UES back on her throne. Why does it have to be Julien? Why couldn’t it be her?

Julien’s going to have to watch her back, but Monet will have to watch hers, too. Her mother made an enemy of Kate thanks to her lecture on Kate’s entitlement that stems from her being white and middle class. It was a layered shot that struck at the heart of Kate’s need to be special but also skipped right past the de Haans’ own privilege as the upper echelon of New York City.

Kate had the de Haans’ business pulled up mighty quick once Julien granted her the keys to some shady information that may or may not be true. As Gossip Girl, the teacher can exercise power that she doesn’t have in her regular day-to-day life. Clearly, she plans to use it to take the de Haans’ down more than a few pegs.

We wonder where Luna will fit in all this considering Monet’s closer to her than anyone else. While Luna did split her time between her random Hudson boo and Max as they both figured out their respective romances, we doubt she’ll be left out of the loop in season 2.

Whether these two best friends will be at war or scheming together is anyone’s guess, but we hope it adds some depth to the characters and their development.

Will Blair Waldorf make her Gossip Girl (2021) debut?

When Part 1 of Gossip Girl (2021) season 1 dropped during the summer, there’d been much buzz about which OG characters would make an appearance. Safran quieted the chatter in and interview with The Daily Beast:

We made a decision early on—and I was nervous about this decision, but definitely came to believe it was right—that the audience would never accept these characters if they were in the shadow of the original characters…If Blair showed up for two scenes, you’d say, “I want more Blair.”

The decision was: Let’s get Season 1 under our belt, and should we get Season 2, we’ll have the chance to bring in cameos that are more than glorified cameos but actually give them storylines. Hopefully we’ll get there and will reach out to the cast if that time comes and see if they’ll want to come. There are some cameos in Season 1 from people on the original show, but not the series regulars.

But now that season 2 is in the works, our minds are once again on which members of the OG main cast will make an appearance. We think it’ll be Blair who shows up.

Out of all the OG characters mentioned over the course of season 1, Blair has the most narrative presence. Her picture was even on display in Milo Spark’s study.

A connection was established through Audrey and Max due to the Wolfe’s standing invite to the annual Waldorf-Rose Hanukkah dinner. Eleanor, Cyrus, Dorota, and Vanya made cameo appearances in “Final Cancellation.” We also received some backstory on Blair. She’s currently in Paris but now runs the business side of Waldorf Designs.

There’s room for Eleanor to become Katherine Hope’s mentor or revisit granting her a CFDA grant since she’s the head of the organization.

While there’s been no word on whether Blair will be in season 2 of Gossip Girl (2021), we wouldn’t rule it out. There’s just far too much story potential for her not to show up at some point. Otherwise, why would she be spotlighted so much in the revival’s freshman season?

More season 2 storylines

  • Nick took Davis’ money so he could stay in the Upper West Side apartment he, Zoya, and now Julien have been living in. That’s clearly going to come back to bite him especially since Kate knows and Davis’ scandal hasn’t gone away.
  • Zoya is holding onto her spot at Constance by a thread, and she’s coming to see that maybe she doesn’t want to be so intertwined with her sister’s social life and friends. The introduction of her new friend, Shan, may put the teen on a different path than she expected.
  • Aki, Audrey, and Max will be exploring their romance. Safran told Newsweek: “We’re going to go into more even deeper places than it has gone before.”
  • Kate, as Gossip Girl, agreed to Julien’s game, but she did so with one condition. The episode ended without that condition being disclosed. Could she be planning to make contingency plans in case her identity is revealed? We can’t wait to find out!

By Sabrina Reed

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