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GOSSIP GIRL-- "Save the Last Chance"-- Pictured (L-R): Blake Lively as Serena Van Der Woodsen and Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf GOSSIP GIRL-- "Save the Last Chance"-- Pictured (L-R): Blake Lively as Serena Van Der Woodsen and Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf

the greatest show of our time

Gossip Girl: A Farewell Ode to the Craziness

It's hard to believe there's only one more episode of Gossip Girl. Not just because of the treasured place it holds in our hearts but also because so much has happened, and yet, so little has. Season one brought us Chuck and Blair gazing lustily at each other, Dan writing (or trying to write) exposés about his elite friends, Georgina making trouble, Lily and Bart being together despite the existence of Rufus — and that's pretty much where we still are, plus a sex tape or two. But we took a crazy route to get here.

It wasn't so long ago that Chuck was attempting to date-rape Little J. Or that Georgina roofied Serena so she'd miss the SATs. Or that Nate's father was bankrupting their family, or that Dan was dating one of his high school teachers. The show has always toed the line between soapy and ridiculous, and as the seasons wore on, that line got crossed more and more.

There was the endless line of summer love interests, who'd make trouble for a few episodes and then generally fade. Marcus, Blair's first royal boyfriend. Catherine, Nate's first much-older girlfriend. Bree, Juliet, Eva, Louis, Steve — all discovered in the lush romantic world known as Not New York. And all trouble. There were bonkers love interests along the way, too. Tripp, Nate's married cousin whom Serena fell for, and who was running for Congress when his grandfather paid someone to "fall" into the Hudson River so that Tripp could show off his heroic side and save him. Except it wasn't his grandfather after all, it was Tripp's wife who paid the river-faller, and was trying to frame Tripp and Nate's grandfather. Also Tripp crashed his car with Serena in the passenger seat and he fled the scene, because of adultery and being terrible. There was Diana, Nate's cougar boss who was just as immature as the rest of the GG-ers, who still operate under the idea that doing things to make other people jealous is a completely normal and predictable way to be. The less said about this season's Sage, the better.

There was Olivia, Dan's college girlfriend with whom he had a threesome with Vanessa.

Oh yeah, Vanessa. Ah, Vanessa. Self-righteous Vanessa, never far from making a documentary about something — rich kids, Tripp, Haiti. Always sneaking into and out of the Humphrey loft. Always stealing other people's written materials (letters, novels).

GG is a show about excess, a show about scandals, and fashion, and fighting, which is why Blair is mostly getting a pass in this ode to Bananatown. (Though … how many times can someone sabotage or be sabotaged at a fashion show before they think, "You know what? No more fashion shows"?) But let's not forget about Uncle Jack. Or the time Lady Gaga performed at Blair's behest. Or the time Blair read out loud at UCB.

Bart Bass died. Bart Bass came back from the dead. Bart Bass died again.

And that brings us to Little J, possibly the looniest looney tune in the lineup. Jenny's stories started out vaguely triumphant — Brooklyn ragamuffin beats rich kids at their own game; wears headband. But then there she was, enmeshed in a Belgian drug-smuggling ring, designing drug-smuggling jackets with pills hidden in the drug-smuggling buttons.

We'll miss the romance and bed-hopping, the elaborate breakfast spreads, the hats, the name-dropping, the unbelievably gala-heavy social events calendars. But the audacious craziness of some of these story lines? We'll miss you most of all.

Photo: Giovanni Rufino/CW