Wallace Shawn, Leighton Meester, John Shea
[WARNING: The following story contains major spoilers from Monday's episode for Gossip Girl, "The Princess Bride." Read at your own risk.]
She did it. She got married and became a princess. And now the avalanche of questions...
Is Gossip Girl really going to make Dan and Blair happen? Did new media magnate Nate just fall for another pretty girl (who happens to be the real Charlie Rhodes)? Would the reformed Chuck have sent that video to Gossip Girl? Will he and Serena decide to put themselves out of their misery when they find out Blair ran off with LonelyBoy? Did the royal lapdog Prince Louis actually grow a pair? Is Georgina the real Dread Pirate Roberts Gossip Girl?
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So many burning questions lingering about Monday's 100th episode of Gossip Girl, written by executive producer Josh Safran and fittingly titled, "The Princess Bride." Fortunately, Safran and fellow series boss Stephanie Savage were on hand last week to tease and tantalize reporters who got an early peek at the episode about everything that is to come. Get cozy — they had a lot to say! (And for the record, we're so sticking with the theory that Georgina is not Gossip Girl.)
Are you really going to cave to fans who want Dan and Blair together?
Josh Safran: Cave to fans -- I don't think we view it as caving to fans but you know that story is going to go in an interesting direction, sure.
Is it a story you weren't planning to tell until you saw the fan reaction to the two of them?
Stephanie Savage: No. I think from the beginning we always felt like there was a really strong connection between the two of them. Actually, the first episode Josh ever wrote for us had one of my favorite scenes of the series that was a Dan-Blair scene where she's confiding in [him] her feelings about her mother and [there was] the idea that these two people who -- one is Queen B, one LonelyBoy -- actually have a lot in common. Compared to their other friends, they had this sense of intellectual curiosity, they were interested in things outside their own world... We always knew they were going to become friends, but there was a question if there was ever going to be more than that.
Safran: And I think that question still remains, but we definitely are going with that story. We knew last year, too, when we got them connected in a new way. We knew we were going to plan to come back to that connection... It was always like, that's a weird thing to do, to go to that place you thought you'd never go with kind of at one point your sworn enemy. I think that's why they pulled back but they still have been thinking about it ever since.
What are Blair's feelings toward Dan at this point — she just found out he wrote these vows and yet she keeps calling him any time anything goes wrong in her life.
Safran: I think Dan probably feels the same way you think he does, and at a certain point he probably won't be able to stand feeling that anymore and force Blair to not treat him that way — or not treat him at all, basically.
Where did Dan and Blair go? She's fled the country before...
Safran: You will learn that at the top of the next episode... They go some place we've never shot before, but have always wanted to shoot and it was really complicated but a super-fun, big, great set piece. And it also has, in my mind, some of the best comedy we've ever done. The next episode is very funny.
What does this mean for Chuck and Blair?
Safran: Chuck and Blair are never over. There's always been a thorn in the side of Chuck somewhere, maybe it'll be Dan, maybe it'll be someone else.
But how much can a man take? Chuck should walk away at some point, right?
Safran: I don't know if it's "how much can a man take?" It's a very tortured relationship for both of them. And I think in a weird way some people love that torture and sometimes people can't stand that torture. That's gonna be sort of the balance for what happens [next].
Will Chuck become a bad boy again?
Safran: Anytime anyone reforms, it's tested. But we were very conscious to make sure that Chuck did not slide back after Episode 12. We do believe that Chuck has learned, and is still continuing to learn, that his evolution is real, that it's not so easily lost or so easily gained. Although he will continue to be tested, I definitely think he approaches these tests now from, "I really don't want to slide back," as opposed to, "Oh, it's so easy to slide back, I'm just going to go do it."
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Can you talk about Chuck and Serena's reactions to Blair and Dan running off together? What's their next step?
Safran: The next episode is a direct pick-up and is the same night. The reactions are very much immediate... You're going to see them learn, you're going to see what they do about it, how it impacts them. Definitely the story of that next episode is Chuck and Serena together dealing with Blair and Dan together.
What's going to happen now that Serena has professed her love for Dan?
Safran: Obviously, it's going to rankle Serena when she discovers what's happening between Blair and Dan. But also these characters are growing up; you don't necessarily go to Defcon 4 when you find these things out. You try to deal with them maybe in more of a rational, direct, honest manner. But that doesn't mean you can't also go to Defcon 4 after that.
Given Serena's dream in the beginning of the episode, seeing Dan choose Blair, did she already know on some level that Dan didn't love her back?
Safran: I wouldn't say it's about Dan not loving her back, but I would say Serena feels like she might be losing things in her world right now to other things. If in your dreams everything isn't exactly representational, just the idea that the ground is shifting under Serena...
Louis just became really interesting! Did you know you wanted him to take this turn?
Safran: No, but we knew Blair was going to test him -- just being Blair would test anyone.
Savage: And him being in our Upper East Side world would test him.
Safran: We definitely always knew it would be him getting darker because the closer you're around to all this scheming, all these people, the more it starts to infect you. What we liked was that Blair and Louis were ultimately able to reconnect and look at each other from a good place and yet, this was just the final straw... For her to go to that place on their wedding day, it was just too much.
Is Blair still moving forward with being concerned over this pact with God now that Louie has turned on her?
Safran: In the next episode, that will be answered.
How will Blair's parents help out now, since they were such a big part of this episode?
Safran: They're definitely involved in her story. They're dealing also with what's happened and in future episodes Blair seeks the counsel of her parents.
So Georgina is behind this new Gossip Girl site — are we going to see retaliation from the original Gossip Girl?
Safran: Georgina is behind this new Gossip Girl site -- is it a new Gossip Girl site? I don't know how to answer that question, sorry. How can I say if it's the old Gossip Girl if Georgina is Gossip Girl? We will not answer that question.
Georgina, whether or not she's the old or new Gossip Girl, is going to try and take over this role then?
Safran: I mean, she has this role! Now that you see she has this role you're invited into this process that for years you haven't seen. Seeing that process of just how Gossip Girl gets her tips and what she does to get her tips I think is really fun.
Savage: You get to go behind the curtain with the wizard and see.
Did Georgina upload the video of Blair?
Safran: That is a major plot point that runs for a couple [of episodes].
Is she the one who texted with Nate in previous episodes?
Safran: I'm not going to answer that question.
Who will Georgina target next?
Safran: Georgina will set her sights on everybody always. Georgina would take herself down if it got the biggest explosion.
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Are you nervous about fan reaction to Georgina being Gossip Girl?
Safran: Totally. You're always nervous, but we still feel confident about that.
Savage: And where the story is going.
Safran: Like Stephanie said, the curtain has been lifted so now you're going to see more. When you see more, the picture will become clearer.
What are Georgina's motives? Is she just evil?
Savage: More entertainment than evil. Entertaining herself.
Safran: Maximum damage just makes her laugh, so the more she can laugh, the better.
Are Nate and Serena still going after Gossip Girl?
Safran: The Gossip Girl storyline continues the whole year. A plot with Gossip Girl will continue [next season], but whether this arc with Gossip Girl concludes or not, I will not say.
Are you going to develop more for the real Charlie Rhodes?
Where is Ivy hiding?
Safran: That's a really good question and the fact that you asked that question, there's an answer in that.
Does Nate have yet another new love on the horizon?
Safran: Nate has had so many problems with his family that when he meets somebody else who is probably dealing with similar things, he's actually in a position where he can help them and use what he's learned... The love on the horizon is a really interesting story for him and really allows him to emotionally mature.
What can you say about the return of Elizabeth Hurley?
Safran: Elizabeth is coming back. She comes back in a very delicious fashion. She'll give us sort of — the way she always does — a shot in the arm in the last third of the season. When she comes back, the Chuck Bass story and the Nate story will converge with Diana.
What about Jack Bass?
Safran: He comes back also in service of that same story.
Did you think about bringing Eric back for the 100th episode?
Safran: It's hard with Connor because his show shoots in Los Angeles and he's a regular. As much as we'd love to, there were so many moving pieces for a 100th episode that took place at a wedding, with hundreds of extras. To fit in another moving piece like that would be very difficult. Taylor is on tour. We had so many logistics to overcome, that that would've just added even more.
Speaking of Little J, do you still think of storylines involving Jenny or Vanessa?
Savage: Those characters are still very much out in the universe doing things. We still have a great relationship with both of those actresses. It would just be a matter of figuring out what the story is and then how to get them here. Literally, when we were talking about having Jenny come to Blair's wedding, Taylor was opening for Guns 'N Roses in Iceland.
Safran: We also know, as writers, where they are. We could tell you right now where Jenny is. We keep alive the story of what they're doing. If we were able to get Taylor, maybe she would've made Blair's dress instead of Vera Wang. We would've had to know that months earlier. She's at fashion school in London.
Savage: She's doing great.
Safran: You'll hear where Eric is coming up.
Have you had conversations with The CW about whether you'll be doing another season of Gossip Girl?
Savage: Well, we're not writing a series finale this year.
Has the network actually said you're safe, or are you just hoping?
Savage: We've checked in with our bosses to make sure we're not shooting ourselves in the foot.
Safran: They know we're not writing a series finale.
What does reaching 100 episodes mean to you?
Savage: It's a big deal. It's emotional. It's very, very hard to get to 100 episodes. The O.C. got to 93 episodes, Chuck got to a heartbreaking 91 episodes. One hundred episodes in our industry is considered the standard of success, of achievement. To be able to get there, especially on a serial drama, especially on a show about young people, especially on a cycle where there was a writers strike, it's a big deal.
Safran: I kept saying from Day 1, we're going to get to 100. This will totally make it there.
Additional reporting by Natalie Abrams.