Well, that's that, eh? Gossip Girl's dizzying, dismaying, frustrating, and fabulous first season came to a breezy, sun-soaked end last night. I thought it was pretty good. Sure the last ten or so minutes may have been a bit overstuffed with plot developments, but that was kind of refreshing for a show that can be a bit slack, plus it was the finale. They're allowed to set up cliffhangers and new possibilities for next season. As we look down the barrel of a summer TV landscape populated by American Gladiators and Last Comic Standing, let's take a look at where our fakest New York friends ended up, and where they might be headed.

Serena and Dan are no longer, thank the gods. Their relationship had become stuffy and boring before Serena's Georgina-related freakout, and it was time for them to, in true teen-soap tradition, turn to other friends in their immediate circle. Imagine the incestuous knot they'll have woven by the time the show reaches season four (God willing)! Dan ended it because, well, it was just all too much for even the wisest of seventeen year old boys. Serena cried in her enormous yellow vacuum bag dress and probably so did a few thirteen year olds. But don't worry, things are looking cozy and peasanty with Brooklyn buddies Dan and Vanessa again, and Serena and the newly (and somewhat stiltedly) Vanessa-free Nate have made plans to be "alone together" during the summer. Oh, exciting. Though, Dan and Vanessa are a bit cutesy and cloying. They actually might be the worst-written characters on the show. (Nate is just under-written.) Ah well. See you around Brooklyn, friends.

Lesser characters like Georgina and Rufus and Jenny all ended up on journeys of their own. The wicked Georgie was sent, in a grand set-up by Blair and (gasp!) Dan, off to reformatory school by her glaring parents (and an ominous looking valet of some sort.) Rufus tried to stop Lily from marrying Bart, but in the end she went ahead and entered into the icy, loveless, money-drenched union. Rufus went on tour with his silly band, and young (cue Grams from Dawson's Creek) Jennifffeerrr ended up with a Pratt Institute Parsons fashion design internship...with Blair's mom. Oops! So, some dangling threads there and whatnot. I don't imagine Lily and Bart will last all that long, and I doubt it's the last we'll see of Georgina Sparks. Though, hopefully she'll have "gotten some work done" and they'll cast Willa "Kaitlin Cooper" Holland as a replacement for ol' Trachtenberg. That would be satisfying. And Jenny? Well who knows/really cares. Maybe they'll Grace her up with a Will, in Erik van der Woodsen form. By the way, where the hell is that kid? He's been mostly missing since he stumbled out of the closet. A mystery for next season, I suppose.

Obviously, I've saved the best for last. Dear, sweet, shin-kicking, scarf-during-sex-wearing Blair and Chuck. I will admit to being a bit yucked out by Chuck being so nice, mostly because it was a change that seemed to happen inorganically fast. One minute he's scheming and fucking around, the next he's a concerned and (reasonably) pious best friend and lovelorn Romeo. But I can forgive it, mostly because Ed Westwick sells it well. Blair, happily, has remained a consistent, though evolving, Blair. The shin kick, the collar grab, the door slam. All wonderful bits of physical acting by the immensely likable Leighton Meester. The big question at the end for these two was, of course, if their whirlwind, Europe-going romance would hit the skids sooner or later. It looks as though sooner won out.

After an "I'm proud of you son" speech from Papa Bass, Chuck got a little panicked about this new, vanilla boy he was supposed to become. So, deus ex machina and all, who should enter but an alarmingly skinny assistant or decorator or something played (barely) by none other than Lydia Hearst. Chuck got his smirk back and it was off a' courtin'. Meanwhile on a helipad somewhere, Blair waited for Chuck and met cute with a young swain from the Bass company (who, it should be noted, was played by Zack Conroy, a young actor who played Pip/Theo in a production of Three Days of Rain that I stage managed back at old Boston College. Hello Zack!) Eventually getting a no-show from Chuck, Blair decided what the hell, and hopped aboard with the briefcase boy, off for a ten hour (really?) flight to Italy. Is this the end of Chuck and Blair? In the words of a famous Massachusetts furniture commercial: I doubt it.

So that's where we are. Everyone's off to places either new and far-flung (physically and emotionally) or comforting and familiar (ditto.) My favorite thing about the very end of the episode was how it managed to capture that giddy sense of possibility and excitement that only the beginning of summer can bring. "What will happen?" "I could just disappear!" All those exciting feelings. Thankfully, this show doesn't appear to be going anywhere for longer than a summer. I've been a bit hard on it at times, but I truly enjoy this series, and look forward to a hopefully savvier and smarter second season. Enjoy your summers everyone! (Except, you know, I'll still be here.)

Well? What did you think?