In the penultimate episode of this series, we see that no matter how hard Julien (Jordan Alexander) tries, she is no Olivia Pope. Her attempts to fix everything and save her relationships with her friends only prove to further alienate her from everyone she knows. This remains true as Julien continues on her quest to take down Gossip Girl, this time without Zoya’s (Whitney Peak) help. Nick (Johnathan Fernandez) is about to quit his job with the de Haans and start his own law firm, and Zoya doesn’t want to do anything that could hinder her dad’s goal.
Meanwhile, Kate (Tavi Gevinson) has big plans for Gossip Girl’s future, hoping that taking down the rich parents who enable their children to act poorly will lead to more notoriety for the account. She’s still sitting on Obie’s (Eli Brown) tip about his mother’s shady business dealings in Jakarta until Helena (Lyne Renée) is back in the United States. Jordan (Adam Chanler-Berat) implores Kate to reconsider this path, knowing it’s a bad idea to have every powerful person in Manhattan actively praying for her downfall. One of those people seems to be Monet’s father, Greyson de Haan (Rick Worthy). He warns Gossip Girl not to post again; if she does, he’s offering $1 million to whoever can find her identity. With the bounty out on the account’s head, Kate can no longer post the tip like she promised Obie, which means that his sister Heidi’s (Kathryn Gallagher) plan to have Obie mugged to get their mother back in the country might turn out to be for nothing.
Kate now must take other measures to maintain the account, so she goes to Camille (Amanda Warren). Camille doesn’t agree with the bounty her husband has put out since she believes that Gossip Girl has helped to keep Monet in line. Kate offers to help Monet get her grades up in an attempt to be on the de Haans’ good side. Camille relents and invites Kate to be Monet’s tutor during a weekend away at the Rhinebeck Summit, where all of New York’s 1% convene each year. Later on that evening, Kate gets a message from Camille on the Gossip Girl account, asking her to attend as well, because she has some information that she thinks might be of use to her.
After a failed attempt to try and get her friends to see that Gossip Girl is the enemy, Julien has lost everyone’s trust, including Luna’s (Zión Moreno) and Zoya’s after she divulged information that they told her in confidence about Audrey (Emily Alyn Lind), Aki (Evan Mock), and Max’s (Thomas Doherty) relationship. The only person that wants anything to do with her is Monet (Savannah Lee Smith) even though she’s upset Julien never included her in her plan to take Gossip Girl down. She extends an olive branch, telling her to come to the Rhinebeck Summit because she knows her mother has invited Gossip Girl there.
Of course, with everyone at the Summit, things blow up in a monumental way. Julien listens in on Camille’s phone call with Gossip Girl which eventually gets cut short when Camille divulges that their company’s lawyer has the document that she planned to give to Gossip Girl. Kate is able to swipe the flash drive that contains evidence that Greyson was preventing his employees from unionizing. With that bombshell dropped Kate is free to wreak havoc once again and posts tips she’s received since being silenced. These include the information about Obie’s mother, as well as the fact that Aki kissed Ingrid (Abigail Choi Arader) and Audrey knew, meaning Max was left in the dark.
As one would expect from the episode before a finale, everyone’s lives blow up. After hearing through the grapevine that Nick applied for a business license, Greyson gets back at him by placing the blame for stopping the workers from unionizing with him, effectively ruining his chances at starting his new law firm. Max is upset with Audrey and Aki for keeping secrets from him, especially after he went out on a limb and told them he loves them. Now the fate of their relationship is in flux. Obie finds out that his mother has been covering for Heidi this entire time since their company’s mistakes in Jakarta were actually her doing. Monet realizes her parents are evil, and tells Julien that they orchestrated this entire plan. As for Gossip Girl, though Kate is momentarily on top of the world, she has fallen right into the de Haans’ trap, seeing as they now know that whoever runs Gossip Girl is one of the guests from the Rhinebeck Summit.
There are a lot of threads left to wrap up for what is unfortunately about to serve as a series finale. I’m sure it will prove to be chaotic, though I would expect nothing less from Gossip Girl, which in both iterations has always been at its best in the midst of chaos.