What Happened at the End of 'Gossip Girl' Season 1? Showrunner Breaks Down That Finale

It's a bittersweet day for fans of the Gossip Girl reboot, the last three episodes of the season are streaming on HBO Max now, including the show's highly-anticipated finale.

In the latter half of the season, our favorite students at Constance Billard have celebrated (if you can say that), Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas together. If you haven't already guessed the occasion for the finale, Max (played by Thomas Doherty), Aki (Evan Mock), JC (Jordan Alexander), Audrey (Emily Alyn Lind), Obie (Eli Brown), Zoya (Whitney Peak), Luna (Zión Moreno) and Monet (Savannah Smith) are celebrating New Year's at Aki's father's mansion in Hudson (because why not).

The finale begins with the kids of the Upper East Side reacting terribly to #tipgate. At the end of Episode 11, Gossip Girl (A.K.A Kate Keller) in a bid to make the world safe from teens again) made a spreadsheet public which detailed all the tips she had ever received, as well as when and who sent them in.

Whilst "world war teen" breaks out in the streets, Max, Aki, JC, Audrey, Obie, Zoya, Luna, and Monet do not seem too phased by Gossip Girl's blast and in particular, JC, Luna, and Monet look ahead to starting some drama of their own.

Here's has a full recap of what happened in the Gossip Girl finale, with the help of Showrunner Joshua Safran who broke down the season finale exclusively to Newsweek.

Gossip Girl Finale Recap: Julien Goes For The Crown

Luna and Monet have been trying to get Julien back on top since the beginning of time and they finally convince her the only way to do this is to have her ex-boyfriend Obie by her side. As they pack for their annual trip to Hudson, Luna and Monet convince JC that Obie is the love of her life and she should stop at nothing to get him back.

We all know Obie may be JC's love but unfortunately, things have (once again) changed on Obie's side. We knew things were going wrong in Obie's world when he deleted Julian's messages, you know, after being rejected in the penultimate episode.

Poor JC, she even turns up at Obie's apartment with a bottle of champagne to celebrate pre-New Year's, but he is preoccupied, with a girl named Grace Byron, the daughter of a U.S. politician.

Obie even brings Grace to Hudson for New Year's Eve (on JC's invitation) and she seems perfectly nice, which is, of course, a problem for JC and her minions, Luna and Monet.

Following Gossip Girl tradition, Luna and Monet turn up the sabotage volume to 100% and try to bring Grace down. They get her absolutely wasted after learning of her party-girl past and embarrass her at a local bar.

Sweet, sweet Obie could not care about Grace's behavior or her past and is devastated to learn she left Hudson the following morning without saying goodbye.

With Grace gone, JC thinks Obie will come crawling back into her arms and she could not be more wrong. Obie is furious, he knows she was behind Grace's drunk episode and her departure. He is pretty cold and seriously detached, JC's "I love you" is rejected and Obie even begs JC to let him go, with a very serious "please" attached at the end.

Obie's rejection leads to JC having a reckoning. If she didn't know she was selfish before, she does now. "I keep promising that I'll do better, but the first chance I get to take something for myself, I grab it" she admits to Obie and Zoya before she makes her final shot at making any amends with the two people who care about her the most.

For Obie's sake, JC somehow managed to talk to Grace and has arranged for Obie to meet her at his house back in the city to bring in the New Year. She also arranged for Zoya's new BFF Shan to come and pick her up and take her to the party she really wants to go to, after Zoya, quite rightly gave JC some sisterly advice and told her to stop living in the past.

JC isn't done there. She reaches out an olive branch to Gossip Girl, promising to send her "everything" about everyone she knows. However, there is a catch. Not everything JC will send Gossip Girl will be true.

As part of JC's plan to be on top, Gossip Girl will post everything JC sends but on the outside, JC will try to uncover who the real GG is and put a stop to her.

"No more kindness, it's time for chaos. That's how you change the world. You take the gloves off...Mutually assured destruction, from one b**** to another. You know I hate you, but I know you love me." JC signs off her message to GG.

JC Gossip GIrl Finale
JC makes a deal with Gossip Girl in the Season 1 finale Karolina Wojtasik/HBO Max

Gossip Girl replies, but she has one condition in response to Julian's demands, but we will have to wait until Season 2 to find out exactly what Gossip Girl has in mind.

Speaking about JC's character arc and her decision to effectively "restart" Gossip Girl, showrunner Joshua Safran explained: "The season began with Kate (Tavi Gevinson) having a mission statement and we see that mission statement kind of erode and be challenged.

"What was designed from the beginning with the writers was the idea that as Kate lost steam on this mission, Julian would slowly begin to see what that mission was and realize its merits. So they kind of switch places in a weird way. Moving forward, it's Julian, the number one target for Gossip Girl that actually restarts Gossip Girl. So it was sort of just like that, full circle."

As for Obie, who semi-redeems himself in the finale by standing up for what is right, Safran believes Obie "gets knocked down the most because he has the most pure heart."

He continued: "He really is at a reckoning by the end of the season one was not really knowing who he is. I think he started season one thinking that he knew exactly who he was and at the end of season One being like 'Wait, do I have any idea who I am?'"

Watch Out For Monet

With JC playing angel all of a sudden, well at least in her eyes, Monet spots an opening for the spot of Mean Queen Bee. "Why did it have to be her? Anyone could of been IT, even me." She whines. Is Monet set to be JC's rival in Season 2?

Safran teased: "I would say Monet very much sick of being in the passenger seat and is very much going to try her best to steal that driver's seat. You shouldn't trust Monet, there is a war coming. It's not Just Julian versus Gossip Girl against the world, it's Monet against Julian and it's coming pretty fast."

Monet Gossip Girl
Monet is not somebody to be trusted going forward Karolina Wojtasik/HBO Max

Aki, Audrey, and Max Are Happening

And finally, we have to acknowledge the relationship that is finally happening between Aki Audrey and Max.

At the beginning of the episode, Max is "drugged up and f***** out" trying to numb the pain of his parent's divorce and his feelings for Audrey and Max. But thankfully,
who would have known what would get Max talking to Audrey and Aki again would be dancing too Coldplay's "Higher Power"?

However, when Max came down from his Coldplay-infused high and rejected Aki and Audrey's 10984854 attempt at offering to make their triad relationship work, he finally came to his senses.

Max, terrified of commitment and being hurt after watching his parent's marriage fall apart, agrees to give things a go with Aki and Audrey on the grounds it's "all for all and none for none".

Safran shared why he wanted to explore Aki, Audrey, and Max's relationship and why it was important to wait until the finale to see them come together.

He explained: "The first day I pitched this show to Warner Bro's and HBO Max, like two years ago, or two and a half years, whatever it was, I said want to explore a triad relationship where three partners are equal, it's not actually thruple like we've seen in Elite and other shows where it's sort of like, titillating, this is actually about, romance and feelings. Can three people engage in a romance together? You know, it's that sort of breaking down the world of societal norms, and binaries so not only does it look at sort of a new type of couple, but it also looks at the breaking down of these norms for these characters in the world they live.

"It was really, really fun to slow burn, I hate to say slow burn, it's definitely not a slow burn, a lot happens in every episode but that isn't a story [Max, Audrey, and Aki], just for one episode.

Max Aki Audrey Gossip Girl
Aki, Max and Audrey make it official in the Gossip Girl finale Karolina Wojtasik/HBO Max

"The first Gossip Girl, the only threesome that we had, was a threesome for a plot reason in one episode and then it sort of reverberated a little bit but it wasn't an actual exploration of that [relationship], because that's not the way that show worked.

"Here, it's been really great to take 12 episodes to really look at all of the dynamics from each of those parties and of course, the actors are just having such a great time and they have such trust in each other and such faith in the story of the show. It has been a dream to navigate that with them."

Safran teased more Aki, Max, and Audrey content going forward in Season 2, sharing "We're going to go into more even deeper places than it has gone before."

'Till next time,


Gossip Girl is streaming on HBO Max now.