Tonight We’re Gonna Party Like It’s 1899
Highlights: Nate breaks up with Carter Basin; Serena’s Granny is more judgy than Lily; Jenny chooses rich over poor so Alison chooses Dan over Jenny; Rufus chooses Lily over Alison; Nate and Blair finally do it; almost everyone loves Dubai
Debutante balls are not for Southern belles alone. No, no, my friends, they are also for Upper East Siders who have something to prove. That something being riches. Speaking of rich, all the rich kids are taking walks in NYC.
Blair tells Serena she’s happy she’s going to the ball with a prince because Nate is so boring and brooding like Hamlet. Serena says that Romeo died. That’s our lesson in Shakespeare for the season.
Boring Nate asks ChuckSlime if he knows who Blair is going to the ball with and Chuck tells him not to F with an F’er. Nate says that Blair is happier now and less Blair. Chuck says Blair is glowing all the time.
The poor kids are also walking around. Jenny is excited about the ball and Dan tells Jenny that it’s classist and sexist. He’s going to meets Serena’s grandma and then they’re going to leave.
Blair tells Serena she’s going to be a story in the NY Times.
Nate tells Chuck that he misses Blair. Chuck says no he doesn’t and Nate agrees because he doesn’t think for himself.
Serena and Blair arrive at a dance studio to meet up with Serena’s grandmother. Nate and Chuck are dancing with Blair and the other boys and girls. Jenny and Dan arrive and are immediately ignored. Serena spots them and runs over all happy to see them.
Judgy Lily arrives and is talking on the phone about Tanqueray. She greets the Humphreys with psuedo-joy and Serena tells them that Lily is now on the committee with her grandma. Lily suggests that Jenny volunteers and Jen says that she and Blair are on the outs and didn’t ask. Lily asks though and says that it’s on Sunday. Jenny says she’ll call Lily and leaves.
Serena’s grandmother arrives and Lily semi-snubs her. Granny asks where the bar is and then meets Daniel. Dan says his name is Dan. She asks if Dan is excited that Serena decided not to participate at the ball. Dan calls it classist and a waste of money. Granny says that the dance teaches good graces. Serena calls her Granny ungraceful.
Granny asks Lily about Dan HUMPHREY. Lily says, Yes mother.
Later on, ChuckSlime and Blair mack it. He calls her an accessory. She tells him to behave himself. Nate arrives at her house and they have to stop mackin it so she can go be mean to him.
Nate tells her that he couldn’t stop thinking about her after rehearsal because they’ve talked about doing the ball together forever. He’s jealous of the Prince’s dance moves and wants her to go with her for old time’s sake. Blair says he needs to move on after not calling on her birthday. He shows her the pin she sewed on the sweater he’s wearing and offers to give it back. She won’t take it back and says that the Prince will understand if they go to the ball together as friends. That’s all he wants to be.
At the Poor Art Gallery, Jenny asks Rockin Rufus if she can volunteer at a charity on Sunday night even though it’s the same day as Alison’s art opening. He says no because they do things as a family. Alison shows Jenny some black vintage pumps that she can wear to the opnening and Jenny says she can’t walk in someone else’s shoes. Literally, not figuratively.
Over at Casa de Judgment, Judgy Lily tells Granny that she can’t change Serena’s mind about not going to the dance. Granny says that the doctors found something in her lungs and it might not be good. She doesn’t want to be a burden but she does want to see Serena make a debut the way she did and Lily did not. They hug it out and Serena comes in with pictures from her summer abroad. Lily tells her that she’s going to the ball whether she likes it or not.
Boring Nate gets a suit and Blair is late. He talks about getting dessert and Blair ignores him while she texts ChuckSlime. Nate asks who’s texting her and she says it’s Serena and she has to go to see Serena and Nate should never stop by ever. He asks who she is and she says she forgot how handsome he is in a suit. The suit is kinda ugly but he’s still pretty.
Judgy Lily meets up with Jenny in a shoe store and Lily asks if her mom minds about being at the ball with her. Alison is there too! Lily says it’s nice of Alison to let Jenny come to the ball, which teaches social graces. Alison is sure Jenny will learn a lot and then she leaves. Jenny then spots the same pair of shoes that Alison bought but this pair is better because it’s way more expensive even though it’s the exact same thing.
Serena and Dan touch each other in an elevator and she thanks Dan for coming to the ball with her even though they both don’t want to do it. They arrive at some party and Granny introduces her to Carter Basin who will escort her to the ball. Is that the guy who duped Nate out of money or is it a similar looking guy who Nate could possibly also have a crush on? Granny introduces Carter to Serena’s friend Daniel. Dan says his name is Dan. Serena says he’s her boyfriend. Granny says that Dan is unavailable for the ball so Carter needs to escort her.
They all sit down for tea and Granny says it’s nice that Carter is back. The Chickadees explain that Gossip Girl had up a Where In The World Is Carter Basin map when he ditched his parents and went abroad. Hey, I think it is the same guy from the poker game. Carter says he went out of balance but is happy his parents are giving him a second chance. Granny calls him a phoenix rising from the ashes. Blair loves Dubai. Serena thinks Dubai is overrated. Carter shot pheasant there.
In the poor house, Jenny tries on expensive dress in the mirror and Alison says she doesn’t want to be afraid to act like a mother. Jenny says that if Alison were still in Hudson, Jenny could go. Alison tells her she has to go to her art opening and then she’s grounded forever. For. Ev. Er. Dun dun DUN.
Nate is agonizing over how Blair didn’t appreciate his getting a tie to match her dress. Chuck tells him that Blair’s just not into him. Nate is hell-bent on finding out if she’s seeing someone and asks Chuck to find out for him.
Dan scopes out the tea party and Granny asks if he likes it there. He jokes about the water pressure and she says that the way he feels will never go away. He’ll never use the right fork and will always feel underdressed and won’t be understandable because he speaks ghetto and is Serena’s charity case. Girls like Serena don’t end up with Dans. Dans wind up as anecdotes. She suggests he give it up before he gets too hurt. Dan, in his Beetlejuice cardigan, swallows hard and then tells Serena he’s going to escort her to the ball. Take that, Granny. But now we know where Lily gets her judgment from.
The guy from the NY Times is finishing up with Blair when Chuck walks in and Blair steps on his foot. She doesn’t trust Chuck and Nate is a gentleman. Carter Basin is on his way over to Blair’s and she tells Chuck to leave before he makes another scene.
Granny arrives at the poor gallery to ask if Rufus’ son is taking her granddaughter to the ball. She says that Dan is a distraction, an improper companion for Serena. She offers to buy all the paintings for Rufus to convince his son not to go. Rufus says that her money was no good back then and not now and Dan can’t be bought like Rufus. She says that Serena can be bought just like her mother could; he explains that she made Lily choose between Rufus and her inheritance. She doesn’t tell him the end of the story but he knows it already. Lily chose the money and now Rufus is poor.
Rufus finds Dan getting ready and he gushes that Dan looks so great and he needs to show Granny what a man he is.
Granny asks Judgy Lily why Serena’s statement mentions charity work. Granny explains that she took years to restore the family name after Lily slummed it with the band and so Lily needs to make sure she doesn’t have to do the same for Serena.
Serena calls Jenny and asks where she is. Jenny says she’s not coming. Serena asks if she wants to see her brother in a tux. Jenny can’t believe that Dan is going so she goes too because her mom can’t hold a double standard.
ChuckSlime waits for Carter to show up at Blair’s and takes a picture to make it look like Carter and Blair are dating. Slimy.
Dan shows up at Serena’s and they mack it. Lowly Dan needs to talk. He tells Serena that Granny isn’t who Serena thinks she is. She doesn’t have Serena’s best interests at heart and explains how Granny tried to buy the Humphreys. He calls Granny manipulative. Serena loves Granny. She tells Dan they can’t do this and she’ll talk to him later. He couldn’t have waited? That’s a crappy thing to do. Granny suggests they call Carter.
Chuck shows Nate the film of Carter showing up at Blair’s. Chuck suggests they get him in a public place to get him back for everything he did to Nate and everything he’s doing to Blair. They spot Carter coming in through the gates at the ball and it’s all gonna go down soon.
At the ball, Jenny shows Serena the statement that she didn’t write and Blair threatens to act like Naomi Campbell. Nate finds Carter and Carter apologizes and puts the past behind. Nate says that Carter doesn’t get to say what goes on here and he’s onto him. In his very ugly suit.
The ball begins and the girls are introduced along with their escorts. Blair is second and is escorted by Nate. Blair plans to go to Yale and will summer in Southampton and help the poor children of the world. Serena is next escorted by Carter. Serena hopes to bed as many billionaires as she can before settling down. Nice one, Serena. Judgy Lily and Granny are mortified. Nice!!!
Dan makes it to the art opening and tells Rufus that Granny won. Alison asks where Jenny is and thinks she’s upset with her for trying to teach her a lesson. Dan kisses up to his mom for brownie points which will work against Jenny later on. Remember how Brandon was always the golden child and Brenda always got the short end of the un-lubed stick? Yeah, well, Jenny is the poor man’s Brenda. Seriously, the Walshes were richer than the Humphreys are.
At the ball, the rich kids dance and Jenny stays on the sidelines. Nate keeps staring at Carter. Chuck stares at Blair. They twirl and switch partners. Chuck whispers sweet nothings in Nate’s ear and Nate proceeds to punch out Carter on the dance floor. Blair’s dress rips and they ask Jenny to help but she needs to go to her mom’s but if she stays, they’ll love her so she stays because friends are more important than Alison. Granny and Lily are appalled.
Lily yells at Serena for tarnishing their name and Serena scorns her for not letting Serena be herself like she promises. Serena says that all Lily thinks about is how Serena’s actions will reflect on the family name. BTW—where the hell is Eric? Judgy Lily says she accepts Serena but really she doesn’t. Serena says she would accept her children and their dates no matter what and storms away.
Serena holds up a glass of alcohol to Carter’s face. He says it doesn’t hurt as bad as the morning he woke up and found Serena had jumped on a boat. He was surprised when Granny called him last week. Serena wasn’t even going to the dance back then. Hmmm. The plot thickens.
Dan finds Judgy Lily on the street. She says that she would’ve been lucky to find a guy like him when she was his age and she almost did and she thought her mother knew her better than she knew herself. She knows that her daughter is better now that Dan is in her life and asks him to go with her and makes him call her Lily.
Blair asks Chuck where Nate is. He takes that as an invitation to dance. Blair recognizes his look as one of his plan falling into place. She accuses him of ruining her ball on purpose and says he doesn’t care about her and makes her sick and it’s all over between them. He calls out after her to no avail.
Serena drinks and Granny tells her she’s messy but she’ll clean it up. Serena says she stood up for Granny to Dan and Granny wants to talk about it later and Serena doesn’t want to talk at all. Granny isn’t even ill although she smokes and drinks. Serena doesn’t understands Granny’s world of creating rules. Granny doesn’t understand that it’s the new millennium. Dan appears and pulls Serena away to dance. They mack it on the dance floor.
Chuck runs all over looking for Blair who is at the top of the stairs, mackin it with Nate. She tells Nate he’s hot because he punched Carter out. Nate sees Chuck and winks at him because part of Nate still thinks Chuck is quite a hunk. Chuck is disgusted.
Jenny arrives at the poor gallery too late. Alison is there alone. Jenny apologizes for missing the opening. Alison accepts the apology and says that it doesn’t make it okay. Every choice defines Jenny so Jenny needs to figure out if she likes herself.
Rufus calls Judgy Lily and he has to tell her about Granny telling him why Lily left. Lily says she wasn’t strong enough then. Rufus says that if he had known that she left him for money and not for a guy, it would’ve been different and he shouldn’t have let her let him go. He hangs up all dramatic like.
Serena and Dan mack it at the bottom of the stairs as Lily looks on. Dan picks her up and Serena looks up and sees her mom and they smile at each other. That’s slightly creepy. Dan carries Serena out the door.
Granny packs up her meds and swallows a handful of em.
Blair and Nate rip off all their clothes. Nate looks a lot better without the ugly suit on. He thinks he’s deflowering Blair who’s already slept with ChuckSlime but that doesn’t really count because, well, because she doesn’t want it to. Dude, they mack it forever.
ChuckSlime goes home and packs his bags, throws himself into a limo, and heads to the airport when he sees a picture of Nate and Blair on the cover of the Times. Which came out rather quickly. Like five minutes after the picture was taken. That’s why NY Times is the premier paper in NY. They report news almost before it happens.