Taylor Momsen, Ed Westwick
In Part 2 of our interview with Chuck and Gossip Girl executive producer Josh Schwartz, we discovered that the big hubbub over the threesome is the least of Gossip's worries. Schwartz tells TVGuide.com that there's another story line that will cause quite a stir when the show returns and it involves one of the people pictured here. Get the scoop on that, the progression of Dan (Penn Badgley) and Vanessa's (Jessica Szohr) relationship, Serena's (Blake Lively) daddy issues and more ...
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TVGuide.com: What are you gearing towards in the season's second half?
Josh Schwartz: You're really going to see a real emotional arc from Chuck [Ed Westwick]. I think Jenny [Taylor Momsen] and Chuck are really going to be driving a lot of story as we move into the back half of the season.
TVGuide.com: Jenny and Eric (Connor Paolo) called a truce in the last episode. Will that actually stick?
Schwartz: They've called a truce with each other, but Jenny's troubles are just beginning. She's still very much a teenage girl, she's grown up with these kids who are older than her and always wanted to be a part of that, but she's going to find out that she's not quite as adult and grown up as she thinks she is.
TVGuide.com: Blair (Leighton Meester) and Chuck's relationship seems to be going smoothly this season.
Schwartz: Yeah, although there was that moment at the end of the episode where Chuck saw that mysterious woman at his father's grave. That's really going to be a big part of it. We really want to move Chuck back into the forefront of the ensemble for a portion of these back episodes. You'll have to watch and see if it's his mother.
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TVGuide.com: Serena seems to be lost this season, with jumping from guy to guy and switching careers.
Schwartz: Well, she was trying to find her dad, and failing that, there's certainly an issue she's been dealing with in finding men in her life that will fill that void. She's lurched from guy to guy as she's trying to make sense of that missing figure in her life.
TVGuide.com: Will she be able to redeem herself?
Schwartz: That is her journey for the rest of the season. It's a journey of redemption and maturity and understanding why she's doing the things she's doing and taking back control of that.
TVGuide.com: Will she continue to mess up along that journey?
Schwartz: Oh yeah, tons. It's Gossip Girl.
TVGuide.com: Are we going to meet Mr. van der Woodsen this season?
Schwartz: We are going to continue to explore Serena's quest for her father. Obviously he resurfaced in Lily's [Kelly Rutherford] life and was in that letter that caused so much controversy at Christmas and Thanksgiving. That has definitely been set up.
Chuck's Josh Schwartz: "It was boy becomes man last year, and this year it's man becomes spy"
TVGuide.com: Why did you decide to pursue the Dan and Vanessa story line this season? It can obviously become very complicated being friends.
Schwartz: Yeah, and that's going to be something that they're going to explore. They've been friends for so long. She had feelings for him awhile ago and then he discovers he has feelings for her. Can they have feelings for each other and still remain friends is going to be a big question that we're going to tackle. I really like them together. I think you can bet on them exploring the complexities of their friendship.
TVGuide.com: There was a lot of controversy surrounding the threesome among Dan, Vanessa and Olivia (Hilary Duff). It wasn't as crazy as people were making it out to be.
Schwartz: We were surprised when it generated as much controversy as it did. Especially in that first episode, it wasn't so outrageous and a shock to the world. I actually really liked it because I thought it felt very, very real and tentative and it had big emotional repercussions for the characters. I like the way the writers designed it and it wasn't just for shock value, but was actually being done to move story and explore these character dynamics.
TVGuide.com: Do you see any futures episodes of plot lines that will cause this kind of controversy again?
Schwartz: Keep your eye on little Jenny Humphrey.