January 16, 2012 6:01pm PT by Philiana Ng
'Gossip Girl' EP Reveals Details of Blair's Spiritual Dilemma, Nate's Surprising Team-Up and the Real Rhodes Girl
So that happened.
[Warning: If you have not watched Monday's episode, please do not read further. Major spoilers ahead.]
Back from holiday break, Gossip Girl kept things in high gear for the Upper East Siders in its winter return. Not only was the aftermath of Blair and Chuck's explosive car crash finally revealed, but the fate of Blair's baby (gone), her impending wedding to Louis (still on), Chuck's death (and subsequent resurrection) and the identity of the accident's true target, Nate, all came to a boil -- the latter prompting a potential team-up with Gossip Girl of past.
The episode, "The End of the Affair?," also introduced the real Charlotte Rhodes into the picture, something Gossip Girl executive producer Josh Safran teased to The Hollywood Reporter in October would happen eventually, saw Dan working on a second book and thrust Serena as New York City's new Gossip Girl. Also, Dan and Serena -- and heck, Dan and Blair -- found themselves in familiar territory.
Safran gave THR the lowdown on what Blair, Serena, Chuck, Nate, Dan and the rest of the gang should expect in the coming weeks after Monday's tide-turning episode.
The Hollywood Reporter: Blair seems to be entering into a new phase, especially with her spirituality. How long will that last?
Josh Safran: Blair very much believes that this pact she has made with the powers responsible for saving Chuck, she will move forward with that belief undeterred. When we started the season, we talked very much about works that were meaningful to us and inspired us and some of the works that came out of that conservation were The Talented Mr. Ripley and The End of the Affair. We knew from the very beginning we were going to tell a story much like the Charlie/Ivy story has been inspired by The Talented Mr. Ripley. Blair's always had faith, in all different ways, whether it's faith that someday my prince will come or faith that she went to confession in season 1. The sacrifice she's making is for the greater good of the man that she loves.
THR: But it's more significant than in previous episodes or seasons ...
Safran: Belief is a very powerful thing. When people have it, it's very strong and very deep. This is definitely that for Blair.
THR: The episode revealed that Nate was possibly the target in the car accident that hospitalized Blair and Chuck. How will that resolve itself?
Safran: That will actually play out in the next episode actually, believe it or not. Nate will discover just why he was a target. It definitely is a culmination of a major story for Nate and sends him off in a new direction.
THR: The real Charlotte Rhodes (aka Charlie) is revealed at the end of the episode. How will her presence affect the Charlie imposter Ivy and everyone connected?
Safran: The real Charlotte Rhodes is unaware, obviously, of Lily and Rufus. The three of them don't understand what's happening, but the real Charlotte Rhodes will continue to be on the outskirts of this world, sort of unknowingly, for the foreseeable future.
THR: Dan and Blair pulled one over their friends, who thought there might have been something going on. Any meat to that in coming episodes?
Safran: The first half of the season was a romantic triangle between Chuck, Blair and Louis. That triangle definitely becomes a square: Dan firmly plants himself on the battlefield. [In regards to Dan writing the wedding vows, it] doesn't mean Blair finds that out.
THR: Dan is working on a second book. Anything to be gleaned from that?
Safran: The second book is a primary part of the second part of the season. The book that Dan is going to write next is harder for him to discover than the last one. Someone intervenes in an unlikely fashion.
THR: There was a period of time that passed after the accident. Will Blair still deal with the loss of her baby throughout the season?
Safran: We were conscious of course to give a time jump in the episode. Obviously Blair very much mourns in that episode and she will continue to mourn, but we wanted to get a little bit of distance from the actual event. What Blair is going through is very, very painful and to watch that is also very, very painful. She's also trying to come to grips with it. She might let loose a little more than she normally would at her bachelorette party -- and someone might take advantage.
THR: Serena and Dan embark on their pretend relationship. What's their future?
Safran: That fake relationship may come to mean more, not be fake, to at least one of them. If not, both.
THR: Gossip Girl isn't heard from until the very end. What does this mean for Serena, who was unofficially anointed the replacement, and the Spectator?
Safran: With the absence of Gossip Girl, Diana (Elizabeth Hurley) got what she wanted. She got rid of Gossip Girl. In her absence, Serena is becoming a new version of Gossip Girl. Now that Gossip Girl is trying to come back, the question is: Is there room for two in the Upper East Side world?
THR: What's next for the gang?
Safran: Georgina Sparks (Michelle Trachtenberg) is coming up in future episodes. She begins in the 100th but she's around for a while. Having Georgina is always fun; this time, you have her husband and her son, so it's Georgina in her Machiavellian ways pushing a stroller -- or rather having her husband push the stroller. It kicks everything up into a higher gear. There's a Valentine's Day episode coming with a unique, fun party. There's also an event in the episode following that that's comic but also emotional for our characters. And then after that, we have probably our most monumental, life-changing event in the second half of the season. Not only does the event in the 100th episode change everything, but they're changed forever again in episode 17.
Gossip Girl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on the CW.