When, early on in last night's episode, Serena declares that "the end of high school means the end of me on Gossip Girl," our blood ran cold: We knew, as anyone passingly familiar with Chekhov's gun method of storytelling would, that precisely the opposite would be true, and that, God and CW willing, our omniscient narrator would continue to stalk this Upper East Side princess until her brittle body was Chanel-clad-feet up in the grave. And after this dramatic season finale — in which resolutions were reached, new side boob was exposed, and arch villainess Georgina Sparks vowed to make a dramatic comeback — we can't wait for the next season. Until then, our reality index!
More Real Than a Gay Kid Dreaming About a Waffle Maker "For So Long":
• Was that John John in the graduation montage? Plus 2, because he was the original.
• "Do you know Eric found [the story] in Pravda?" Okay, of course Eric reads Russian and immediately went to Google News. Plus 2.
• "You're famous because you got arrested," Blair says to Serena. "Of course this happened to YOU." She is so jealous. Plus 1 for that, and Plus 1 for when she poses for the paparazzi chasing Serena into the limo.
• Serena and Blair would totally go to Rouge Tomate. As would the Upper East Side D-bags who would think it was cool to see a teenage socialite perp. Plus 1.
• Plus 3 for this series of three lines in a row, in which nobody is listening to anybody else:
Nelly: "What would high school be without hierarchy?"
Jenny: "Bearable? A nice place to spend time?"
Blair: "Ladies, I thought we were matching our headbands under our caps."
• Rufus only slightly awkwardly bungles the double kiss with Eleanor. He's learning! Plus 1.
• Cyrus and Eleanor's awkward matchmaking maneuvers are spot-on. Plus 1.
• "Pomp and Circumstance" is never played once at the Constance Billard and St. Jude's graduation. Plus 5, because the only thing that would have made the Upper East Side moms throw their pearls faster would have been "Pachelbel's Canon in D."
• Ugh, of course Serena braids her tassel into her hair. Plus 2.
• Also, that royal-blue dress reveals so much side boob that we find ourselves missing important plot points. Plus 1, because it was clever for the writers to distract us like that.
• For the first time since Serena agreed to go to the
Kiss on the Lips Masquerade party with Rich Boy IV, two other New York private schools — Spence and Horace Mann — are acknowledged. Plus 1.
• Finally, at least one professor got a text from Gossip Girl. Plus 2, because we can't stop wondering which of the tips we spotted later in the episode belonged to him. (We're betting it's the one about Serena having daddy issues.)
• Of course Nelly Yuki is too drunk too early at the graduation party. Plus 2.
• And of course she's in love from afar with Dan, who is just as dorky as she is. Plus 2.
• Lily was feeling old and sad, so she brought some weed to Rufus's. Plus 1. That she stole from Chuck. Plus 1.
• Rufus covered "How Will I Know"??? Plus 5. Really, the only thing better would have been if Lily had said Ace of Base's "The Sign."
• We love that Rufus and Lily immediately commence eating when they are stoned. Plus 3. And that he proposes with a concert bracelet, which feels so right. Plus 3. And that Eric clearly helped him pick out a tasteful ring and not that horrendous vintage thing he had. Plus 2.
• Of course, Nate went straight back to Vanessa after Blair dumped him. Some men just need a woman, and Man Bangs is one of them. Remember when he was sleeping in a sleeping bag in his basement? Mmm-hmm. Plus 2.
• And of course, Vanessa would take him back, because, please: Brooklyn girl's facing down an army of Aaron Roses out there. Naturally she's going to want to rise through the golden wave of those bangs to another, better place. Plus 1.
• Blair: "That's the thing. You need to be cool to be queen. Anne Boleyn thought only with her heart, and she got her head chopped off. So her daughter Elizabeth made a vow never to marry a man. She married a country. Forget boys. Keep your eye on the prize, Jenny Humphrey. You can't make people love you, but you can make them fear you. For what it's worth, you're my queen. I choose you." First of all, Blair would have clearly read The Other Boleyn Girl and wouldn't have had such a fairy-tale impression of Anne Boleyn. But that is, otherwise, totally a speech she'd give, and have totally thought through as a justification for torturing underclassmen for two years. Plus only 2.
• Blair calls NYU a "glorified state school." Plus 1.
• Dan and Serena's secret half-brother is a gay Ashton Kutcher??? Plus 9.
• As queen, Jenny abolishes headbands! Hooray! Plus 3. But wait — is she going to institute a raccoon-makeup policy instead? We don't know if we can handle that.
• "Honestly, school's finished, and our parents ... that doesn't really look great," Dan says to Serena apropos of nothing, really. "Next year we're going to be in different cities. When you think about it, what's really keeping us together?" At first we thought this random friend breakup was weird and totally unrealistic — in real life, these two would still be hooking up until they each found new people, and Dan wouldn't want to mess that up. But then we remembered that Dan does this all the time. It's like he has a kind of Tourette's and must express whatever emotion he's feeling, even when it makes him sound like a dick. Which is realistic for the character of Dan and for sensitive teenage boys in general. Plus 5.
• Okay, Blair is going way too far on the "Tell me you love me" thing. She knows Chuck loves her, it's in his face, and if she really loved him, that would be enough until she was able to control him with her vagina, and could force him to say it by merely withholding sex. But her lip-quivering is good. And the single tear! And then, when Chuck actually says it, it made it all worthwhile. Plus 3, because by all, we mean two years of watching the show, 456 headbands, and 128 paisley smoking jackets. At this point, Jessica's husband goes, "FINALLY."
Faker Than Eleanor Letting Blair Out of the House Looking Like That:
• Are we to understand from that establishing sky shot that they're graduating in St. Patrick's Cathedral? Minus 1.
• Let's talk about this Daily News cover: "DIAMONDS ARE A GIRL'S WORST FRIEND: JEWELRY MIX-UP LANDS HEIRESS IN JAIL." First of all, the Daily News would have had a white background and black font (Minus 1), and they wouldn't put so much text on the cover (Minus 1). They shoulda gone with the Post on this one.
• Jenny's graduation outfit is just ridiculous. She looks like a slutty Fry Guy. Minus 2.
• Emma, the skanky girl that Blair babysat for last year, is up for Queen Bee already? She was a child who needed to be babysat less than a year ago. Minus only 1, because clearly Blair would try to take her down for not listening to her touching advice at the end of this episode.
• Nate's grandfather took the "I was a male whore" thing awfully well. Too well, in fact, especially the part where he goes: "Go on," when Nate is telling him the juicy details. Minus 3.
• Incidentally, is Nate's party supposed to be at Nate's house? Because the Gainsborough-looking painting on the wall and all the bookshelves lead us to believe yes. But the beaded curtains scream "No!" Wash.
• How come it never occurred to anyone that Gossip Girl could be someone younger who is obsessed with them?
Doesn't that make much more sense? Minus 1.
• That said: Gossip Girl's comment that after high school Serena would be "irrelevant" sounds like the kind of hurtful remark a grown-up would come up with about a teenager, like, "Don't worry, sweetie, after high school those mean popular girls that bully you will be totally irrelevant." And Serena wouldn't have actually been that hurt by it. She would have been like, "Whatever, I don't even know what that means." A real teenage girl would have hit her with the cruel but effective: "Serena van der Woodsen smells like tuna fish." Minus 3.
• When Serena asks Dan how he found her, he says, "I Loopt you," referring to the mobile-social-network site that no one other than tech-geek grown-ups really uses yet. Minus 2.
• What kind of parent, even Rufus, would try to force their kid to go to a debaucherous graduation party, a.k.a. a universally known date-rape circus? Minus 2.
• In the last couple of episodes, the possibility that Dan might not get to go to Yale, the school of his dreams, had reduced Rufus to a clammy-palmed pile of anxiety and caused him to gamble away the family's entire savings. So this whole scene where he's sitting there strumming guitar and talking to Dan about how he's going to NYU instead now is ridiculous. First of all, NYU isn't a state school, no matter what Blair says. So it's not like tuition is less expensive. Minus 2. If we are supposed to believe that Dan got a merit-based scholarship, it seems very hard to believe it would cover substantially more of the tuition than Yale's standard financial aid would. And anyway, no matter how proud Rufus is, there is no way he would ever allow his son not to go to the college of his dreams, and one of the top five schools in the world, when money is so easily available. Minus 8.
• How come no one's phone is ever on vibrate?? Minus 3.
• Owing to Jonathan's clever machinations, we get a look inside Gossip Girl's in-box. The tips therein are as follows:
Neil Gabrielson's family lost all their money to Madoff.
Chuck Bass thinks he killed his mother.
Liz Edwards had to repeat the second grade.
Sarah Monteith steals her little brothers' Ritalin and sells it.
Nate Archibald has a small….
Blair Waldorf hooked up with Jack Bass on New Year's Eve.
Chuck and that Brooklyn Girl had sex. More than once.
Serena van der Woodsen got fake-married in Spain.
Guess who saw Jenny Humphrey with no shirt on? Nate Archibald! And then he kissed her.
Eric van der Woodsen dyes his hair.
Serena van der Woodsen hasn't spoken to her dad in years. No wonder the girl has lots of daddy issues.
Why is Annie Leitenberg so skinny? She takes Alli before every single meal. [Ed: Product placement?]
Dan Humphrey wrote a tell-all article about Chuck Basss's dad Bart. It never got published but still.
Blair Waldorf stole a pair of sunglasses. Can you say klepto?
Nate Archibald was a squatter earlier this school year. He lived in his apartment…
• What happened to the gang? Why did they all turn on Serena immediately, when Gossip Girl blamed the release of the info on her, when obviously they all had something to do with it? What happened to the whole strategy of teaming up to take down their enemies together? Minus 3, because that was just weird.
• Chuck graduated in hues of orange, not purple. Minus 2.
• Nate left his own party for an hour to wait with Serena at the Oak Room? Minus 1, because he'd clearly be looking for a last underclassman hurrah.
• All these teenagers walk into the Oak Room and another teenager buys them all drinks? No. Minus 3.
• Didn't Serena exile Carter to Dubai over what happened in Santorini? Why would he help her? Minus 2.
• It's been a while since we've been to college, but we're pretty sure you can't just show up to the bursar's office and request to be someone's roommate without them at least finding out about it. What's next? A scene in which Blair walks into her dorm room, accompanied by a doorman carrying Louis Vuitton, and gasps, "Georgina! What are you doing here?" Minus 2 for the likely possibility of that scenario.
• New York's Boris Kachka e-mails to point out that Chuck's procurement of "Your favorite macaroons from Pierre Herme," etc. is straight out of Smoove B's handbook. Even, because that's just kind of funny.
So the season finale landed solidly in real territory. Which, given the fact that pretty much everything regarding Dan's college-enrollment scenario, Jenny's ascendance to the throne, and the persecution of Gossip Girl herself was pretty absurd, goes to show how solid the rest of the episode felt. Good job, writers! We'll miss you desperately over the summer. Have fun backpacking/slutting through Europe! As for you, readers, tune in Friday for the recap of the recap, and put your own reality tallies in the comments.