After six seasons of secrets, scandals and surprises, Gossip Girl‘s identity was finally revealed during the series finale Dec. 17.
In the episode, titled “XOXO, Gossip Girl,” Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) decided to give the final chapter of his book to Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford) to publish on his flailing news site, The Spectator. Before viewers learned who was behind the notorious blog, famous faces from the show’s history — including Jessica Szohr, Katie Cassidy, Willa Holland and Ella Rae Peck — discovered who had been tormenting them via a Spectator e-blast. (New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and actresses Kristen Bell and Rachel Bilson also made cameos.)
Then, using Gossip Girl‘s signature voiceover, viewers heard Dan’s voice say, “I wasn’t born into this world, maybe I could write myself into it … And when Serena came back from boarding school, I wrote my first post about me: Lonely Boy, the outsider. The underdog. I might’ve been a joke, but at least people were talking about me.”
Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) didn’t seem too surprised by the revelation and even defended her ex-boyfriend and former stepbrother. Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) and Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) — who got married earlier in the episode — eventually decided to forgive the Brooklyn-based author.
Dan also revealed that his little sister, Jenny Humphrey (Taylor Momsen), had known about his secret identity for years and even used the Gossip Girl site to inflate her own profile at the Constance Billard School for Girls.
“Gossip Girl is dead,” Dan told his friends and family.
The episode then flashed forward five years, giving fans insight into the fates of their favorite Upper East Siders. With Nate considering a mayoral run and Chuck and Blair living happily with a son, Henry, the wealthy Manhattanites gathered for Dan and Serena’s wedding.
Momsen and Connor Paolo reprised their roles as Jenny and Erik van der Woodsen, respectively, and Georgina Sparks (Michelle Trachtenberg) was seen romancing Chuck’s uncle, Jack Bass (Desmond Harrington). Former spouses Rufus Humphrey (Matthew Settle) and Lily van der Woodsen (Kelly Rutherford) appeared to be cordial and even shared a warm embrace. In a cameo appearance, ’90s singer Lisa Loeb showed up as Rufus’ date.
The intertwined socialites then watched with pride as Serena descended down the stairs in a gold and white Georges Chakra Couture wedding gown as Florence + the Machine‘s “You’ve Got the Love” played. Shortly after she and Dan exchanged vows, however, Gossip Girl‘s narrative voice returned as the camera panned to a new crop of high school students.
“You may be rid of Dan Humphrey, but you’ll never be rid of me,” the narrator (Bell) said. “There’s always someone on the outside. . . Who am I now? That’s one secret I’ll never tell.”
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