That was quite the episode, right?

Gossip Girl (2021) Season 1 Episode 5 played with many different plots and revealed shocking details about some of the characters.

TV Fanatics Laura Nowak, Meaghan Frey, and Whitney Evans discuss those big reveals, what should happen next, and more!

Gossip Girl Rount Table

Rafa's true colors have finally come out to play. React!

Laura: I’m not overly surprised, but I feel for Max. This is not what he needs amidst his family drama. I’m really glad Aki sleuthed and got to the truth, but is it going to come back and bite him?

I was also concerned when Rafa grabbed Max’s arm when he wanted to be with his friends.  He really enjoys having a hold over him, and I hope they can find a way to arrest him for “grooming.”

Meaghan: I am equal parts ecstatic and livid. While I am THRILLED that the writers didn't turn their relationship into a love story for the ages, I feel absolutely terrible for Max.

Max is dealing with so much in his personal life right now, and the last thing he needed is a trusted authority figure to groom him and take advantage of his current state of mind. I am praying that Kate does one good thing with Gossip Girl and takes that predator down! 

Whitney: I knew there was something off about him! He's taking advantage of Max, and I would hope this would be the end of things, but I'm sure it won't be. 

That's a great idea, Meaghan. I would actually love for Gossip Girl to bring him down because it's what he deserves. He has no business being around children. 

What are your thoughts on Audrey's actions?

Laura: Mother and daughter relationships are never easy, but Audrey obviously feels like she’s been the caretaker looking after her addict mom.

So many teens yell they hate their mom in the heat of the moment. Audrey obviously felt like she was losing her support in NYC. I get it, and she’s now suffering guilt from her mom’s suicide attempt. I hope we see them make real progress now.

Meaghan: As terrible as I felt for her mom at that moment, Audrey is a kid.

As Laura said, many teens have that moment with their moms at some point. Add in the fact that Audrey has to parent her most of the time, and her mom is trying to rip her away from her true support system, and its easy to see why Audrey might snap.

Audrey's mom clearly has been in desperate need of help with her mental health struggles for a long time, so I guess -- as unfortunate as the means to get there was -- her suicide attempt will get her the help she needs. 

Whitney: Audrey was throwing up a hail Mary, and it failed spectacularly, but I understood what she was trying to do. She is the definition of tired at this point, and her life and friendships in NYC is probably one of the only things she feels like she has control over, so she doesn't want to let that go. 

As the others said, they have the chance now to make some progress in their relationship, and Audrey's mom has the chance to get some real help with Audrey right by her side. 

Nelly Yuki is back. What did you think of her stopping by?

Laura: I was never a huge Nelly Yuki fan, but I appreciated the throwback. She also was right in warning Obie that Gossip Girl thrives on drama.

Meaghan: Like Laura, I was never a huge Nelly fan, but she was the perfect throwback. It didn't take anything away from the new cast by having her pop up, and it was done so that it didn't feel contrived like some cameos end up feeling in reboots. 

Whitney: That was a great callback to the original! And I liked how she was used.

It was more than just a cameo, which was nice. She was a part of a story, and I liked that better than if she'd just happened to be at the party and got a few throwaway lines. 

Zoya has proven to be one of the most observant characters, but she failed to realize she was being played by the new man in her life. Thoughts?

Laura: I think Zoya really wanted a new friend that wasn’t connected to the “core” group or Obie. This desire may have diminished her usual observant nature.

Meaghan: Zoya may be part of the inner circle now, but that doesn't stop her from still feeling like an outsider. Simon and his very Dan Humphrey vibe felt like a kindred spirit for her. Of course, she wasn't going to want to see through his charade.

However, once he started poking and prodding about Gossip Girl, my sirens off, and it was immediately clear he was a reporter, so I'm not sure how she missed it at that point. 

Whitney: Poor Zoya! I actually felt terrible for her because it's clear she latched onto Simon because she felt like he understood her better than the people she's constantly around.

She felt like she could be herself around him, and she let her guard down. Hopefully, this was a bit of a wake-up call for her, though. Because in this world, you have to keep your eyes open at all times. 

What did you think of the teens dressing as Chuck, Blair, Dan, and Serena?

Laura: I loved those costumes! It was such a fun throwback to the original. I appreciated Julien’s attitude that if they weren’t going to win the costume contest, they were going to join them.

Meaghan: I was completely obsessed. While I wish they had gone with the Serena cotillion look to go with Blair's versus her wedding dress, it was still perfect! 

When I say I screamed when Zoya said, "I'm Chuck Bass," it's an understatement. Iconic! I will say, though, Julien had way more natural swag in her pinky than Dan Humphrey has in her entire body. 

Whitney: Oh, I absolutely loved it! It is just perfect all around. And even if they didn't "win," I'm sure that's what everyone was talking about the next day. 

Was Obie jealous, or do you think he was concerned about Zoya? Laura: A little of both. I think it started off as jealousy, but I believe he does care about Zoya and doesn’t want her hurt.

I think he may care and expect too much. She’s only 15, and she wants to still have her own life too.

Meaghan: Jealous. He had no reason to be concerned when he started digging more into Simon. Sure, he ended up stumbling upon a shady secret, but what if he hadn't? That would have been a terrible look for him. 

I feel like every single week, Obie is actually regressing. I'm wondering if his good guy exterior is just a front. I can't say I'd be mad if we got a Gossip Girl Season 2, Serena, reclaiming her Queen B status bad boy makeover to Obie's personality. 

Whitney: He was definitely jealous. Obie could sense there was something off with them and then see Zoya and this guy hanging out definitely grated on him.

Though, I do wonder if actually looking into Simon came from more a place of concern than anything else. 

He knows how things work and that people are out to take and get something from all of them. And I do think he cares about Zoya a lot and didn't want her to get taken advantage of. 

Is it game over for Monet after defecting to help the kids from the other school?

Laura: Part of me hopes so. So far, all we know about Monet is that she’s motivated by social standings, and that makes her look bitchy.

We have no reference to why she, Luna, and Julien were even really friends. Without any backstory, I’m sorry to say, I don’t really care about her.

Meaghan: Absolutely not. Now that she has some new clients under her belt, she is going to try to bring about Julien's demise. If we learned nothing else from Serena and Blair's power struggle, it is that there is only room at the top for one It Girl. 

Whitney: Yeah, it's a shame we don't know much about Monet.

It would help a lot if we knew what motivated her more because right now, she just seems like a bad friend, but we know nothing beyond that. But it being game over for her?

Doubtful. I think she will eventually come back, but how much damage is done before that happens remains to be seen. 

What are your thoughts on everything happening?

Hit the comments.

Catch the midseason finale Thursday, August 12, on HBO Max.



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