Credit: GIOVANNI RUFINO/©2012 The CW Network, LLC.

Since we first met Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) in the Gossip Girl pilot, we’ve had a complex relationship with him. He was presented to us as a whiskey-soaked relic of over-indulgence and over-sexed privilege. He took advantage of innocence with ease and never seemed to expose any of his vulnerability.

Even his admission to Blair (Leighton Meester) that he felt butterflies about her was hidden under layers of filth. But through time we have gotten to see more of his true heart and have gotten to see why he threw himself into role of the villainous playboy. While pocket scarves still hide his heart, we now love him as a lover, as the counterpart to our delicate and fiery Blair Waldorf.

In the promo for Season 6, Episode 9: "The Revengers," Chuck apparently flies off, despite B’s desperate begging for him not to get on the plane. The two have had a season of frustration, with Blair finally getting to a point in life that would allow her to give the best of herself to a relationship with Chuck. But Chuck’s continued feud with his father has prevented his own growth — and so he finds himself unable to do the same.

It is implied in the promo for Episode 9 that Chuck’s plane disappears, that he will die, and that things will once again never work out for the two. But it can’t be and it should not be. Despite all the frivolity the show has buried itself in, the fact remains that Gossip Girl is, at its core, a love story. It was hard to see at first, with all the tulle and lamé hiding the beating heart of the characters’ vulnerability.

Chuck and Blair are the best hope for happiness viewers have onscreen. Serena (Blake Lively) and Dan (Penn Badgley) have a lot of history between them, but recent events have not given us a compelling reason that they must be together. What Chuck and Blair offer is an honest look at how hard people struggle to be together, even with family, friends, status, pasts, and futures in the way.

If Chuck dies, in such an unceremonious and unreasonable way as a plane crash, the show should not even bother having a finale. That will be the end for the last remaining fans who have stuck around to be sure that the unlikely and deeply-flawed love they have rooted for for all these years, will finally be complete. That is the endgame and any other outcome is unacceptable.

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Credit: YouTube Photo: Gossip Girl Promo for Season 6, Episode 9, "The Revengers": Does Chuck Die?! (VIDEO)