“And who am I?”

That’s one secret that should never have been told. Did I enjoy the Gossip Girl finale? Yes. Does it make one lick of sense that Dan is Gossip Girl? No. Should Gossip Girl’s identity have been a plot point ever in this series? IMHO, no.

I felt that way back when I was writing Spotted, my book on Gossip Girl, and included this sidebar on the potential of revealing GG’s identity toward the end of my season 1 episode guide:

“And who am I?”

While it may be the one secret she’ll never tell, the question “Who is Gossip Girl?” is asked at the beginning of every episode. Her identity was never revealed in the book series, with Cecily von Ziegesar commenting, “Originally the books were going to be this unfolding mystery about figuring out who Gossip Girl is, but then the characters’ stories took over. And that became a behind-the-scenes mystery that didn’t really matter anymore.” Stephanie Savage gave an equally vague response to the question, saying with a laugh, “We are all ‘Gossip Girl.’ We all feed that chain, participating in that circle and circus of information, whether we want to admit it or not.”

From the first episode of the show, it became clear that while Gossip Girl has agency in the plot and affects the lives of these characters (spreading information, encouraging characters to take action, ruining Blair’s birthday party), she’s a narrative device. Period. She has the omniscient ability to see and know things no army of cell-phones-in-hands gossipmongers could tell her.

Exhibit A: in the pilot episode, Gossip Girl instantly knows that Blair and Serena have had a falling out before the girls have even talked to each other — Nate’s told Blair about the Shepherd wedding, and Chuck has confronted S, but the rest of the world has no way of knowing. Ah, but what if one of them is Gossip Girl? On to exhibit B: when Blair and Chuck start making out at the end of “Seventeen Candles,” Gossip Girl calls Chuck “the gift that keeps on giving.” (Ha ha! Ew.) How does she know they’ve hooked up before and are hooking up again? In the next episode’s home page story, she’s back to not knowing (“What did Serena see?”).

Gossip Girl is used well and to the writers’ convenience to provide snarky commentary and truisms, to drive the plot, and to raise the stakes, but let’s all cross our fingers that her identity is never revealed. It would be like asking the audience to pay no attention to the writers behind the curtain.

Ah well. At least crossing my fingers for Kristen Bell to make a cameo worked.


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