Gossip Girl: Hey Upper East Siders, it’s that time of year again. When the mere act of descending a staircase means you’re a woman. That’s right: Debutante season. And from what we hear, there’s been some changes to the lineup.
Blair: I’m actually glad I’m going with Prince Theodore instead of Nate. The further we get from the breakup, the more self-involved I see he was. Always so brooding, so tortured. Ugh. A girl wants Romeo, not Hamlet.
Serena: Romeo died.
Blair: Yeah, but he died for something exciting. And I want my debutante ball to be something to die for.
Nate: So has Blair mentioned who’s escorting her?
Chuck: Why? Are you having remorse sex fantasies about your ex?
Nate: What? No.
Chuck: Don’t fuck with a fucker. I know that look.
Nate: No man. It’s just every time I see her lately something’s different. You know? She’s lighter, she’s happier… Ah, she’s just less Blair.
Chuck: She does have a certain glow about her, doesn’t she?
Jenny: I don’t know why you don’t get this, okay? A debutante ball is all a girl could ask for. It’s gorgeous and formal and totally legendary.
Dan: Don’t forget out of touch and totally classist.
Jenny: And if that’s how you feel then why are you going?
Dan: I’m not going. And neither is Serena, actually. I’m just going to meet her grandmother, make a good impression, and, uh, take off before I put my foot in my mouth like I usually do.
Lily: Well if you don’t listen to me you’re going to hear it from her. And I promise you don’t want that to happen. The brands I listed are the key to her happiness. And that includes Tanqueray.
Lily: Hello Mother.
Celia “CeCe” Rhodes (Caroline Lagerfelt): Is there a bar in this place?
Dan: Cotillion’s just seem antiquated to me. A remnant of a different age.
CeCe: Well. Do go on.
Dan: People spend all this money to have their daughters basically dance in front of others for attention. When if you asked Serena I bet she’d do that for you right now. Free of charge.
CeCe: Dan… Humphrey, was it?
Lily: Yes mother.
Chuck: You looked pretty hot on Prince Theodore’s arm today.
Blair: Is that what I am to you, just an accessory?
Chuck: Next to him, yes. On me you’d be so much more.
Blair: Yes, but I can’t be on you, remember? ‘Cause you don’t want Nate to find out.
Blair: Nate, after what you pulled on my birthday the only thing we should be doing together is moving on.
Nate: Yeah, I know. Look, I haven’t worn this sweater in like forever and I just pulled it out today and I found this.
Blair: It’s my pin. I sewed it there so you’d always have my heart on your sleeve.
Nate: I know. You know I figured you might need it back or something, if…
Blair: No. It was a gift. The prince will understand. Maybe we should go to the ball together. As friends.
Blair: But only as friends.
Nate: Just friends.
Rufus: I sense a favor about to be asked.
Jenny: Well, turns out I got a volunteer position at a charity.
Rufus: That’s great! When is it?
Jenny: Sunday night. And I know it’s mom’s opening and I know it’s really important but I can do both.
Rufus: As a family we support each other. And when one of us has something important we all show up for it. Maybe you can volunteer next year.
Alison (Susan Misner): Volunteer for what?
Jenny: Nothing. Doesn’t matter ’cause dad said I can’t go.
Lily: Well I know you must not be happy, Mother. I remember how unhappy you were when I didn’t go. And I imagine you came all this way to change Serena’s mind but she is intractable on this.
CeCe: That’s not the reason I came.
Lily: Everything okay?
CeCe: Lily, my darling, the, uh, doctors think they found something.
Lily: Something? What something?
CeCe: Something in my lungs.
Lily: Oh no. Mom—
CeCe: Well they’re running tests but they said that it might not be good.
Gossip Girl: Serena van der Woodsen, looks like your invitation just arrived. With strings attached. Come out, come out, wherever you are.
GG: Spotted: Nate Archibald learning you don’t know a good thing ’til it’s gone, and found someone else.
Lily: You know what, it is so nice of you to let Jenny come to our little event. You know cotillion’s really are instructive. They teach young girls good social graces—
Alison: Well then I’m sure she’ll learn a lot. I’m gonna go.
Jenny: I’ll come with you.
Alison: No need. I’ll see you later.
Serena: Thank you so much for being so understanding.
Dan: Oh c’mon, I would do anything for an ill grandparent. And besides, my mom has her art opening so we’re both doing things for our families.
Serena: Well my thing isn’t without conditions, believe me. I had a long talk with my mom and I said if I’m going to do this then I’m going to be myself in every possible way.
Dan: Well then can you promise me that when you’re being yourself as they auction you off that you won’t go for anything less than a million dollars?
Serena: Okay, did you get that out of your system?
Dan: Yeah, I think I’m good.
CeCe: I don’t like my ice to get lonely, dear.
Maid: Of course, ma’am.
Serena: I think Dubai is overrated.
Alison: Look, I know that my coming back has been rocky. But I can’t keep being afraid that if I act more like your mother and less like your friend that I’m gonna lose you.
Jenny: If you were still in Hudson I’d be able to go.
Alison: Well I am not there. I am here. And I don’t really care if that makes you happy or unhappy. I’m still your mother. You can come to my show tomorrow and then you are grounded for a week.
Celia: Do you like it here, Mr. Humphrey?
Dan: Well it’s a little bit like a museum, a little cold. Although the water pressure is unparalleled.
GG: This just in: We hear there’s a cold war brewing between Lonely Boy and a certain Blue Blood. We never thought we’d say this ourselves —
Serena: There you are. What’s going on?
Dan: I’ll tell you what’s going on. I just became your escort for the ball.
But our money’s on Brooklyn for the win.
Blair: Nate is a gentleman. He would never cause a scene.
Chuck: Never get your blood going, either.
Blair: Speaking of going, that’s what you should do. Carter Baizen is on his way here right now.
Chuck: What the hell are you doing with Carter Baizen?
Blair: He left his jacket here yesterday and I’d rather you be gone when he got here. There’s been enough scenes for today.
CeCe: So I see it’s true what they say about the apple and the tree.
Rufus: Hello Celia. I’d say it’s nice to see you but I know you hate dishonesty.
CeCe: It appears that your son is taking my granddaughter to the ball tonight.
Rufus: He is?
CeCe: I’d rather see that not happen. There’s no point in being presented if it’s improperly and your Daniel is not a proper companion for a girl like Serena. He’s a temporary distraction. I need her to focus on her future.
Rufus: Hers or yours?
Rufus: Your money was no good for me then and it’s still no good with me now. And you can rest assured that like me, my son can’t be bought.
CeCe: And I can assure you, just like her mother my granddaughter can be.
Rufus: What do you mean?
CeCe: All those years ago I told Lily to choose between you and her inheritance. I’d tell you the end of that story but I think you know it by heart.
Dan: What’s going on here, Dad? You’re doing that thing again where you’re acting really weird for no reason. It’s kind of freaking me out.
CeCe: If Serena’s doing this for me she has to do it right. Besides, it took me years to restore our family name after your exploits. Trust me, you don’t want to do the same.
Dan: I don’t think your grandmother is who you think she is.
Serena: What are you talking about?
Dan: I know she’s got the whole “free spirit” act perfected, but I don’t think she has your best interests at heart.
Serena: Where are you going with this, Dan?
Dan: She came by my dad’s gallery today.
Serena: Well she probably just wanted to see your mom’s art.
Dan: No, she was trying to buy him off so I wouldn’t go with you tonight.
Serena: No. She wouldn’t do something like that.
Dan: Serena, that’s what I’m trying to tell you. That woman is the most manipulative person I have ever met. She makes your mother look like Gandhi.
Nate: Carter Baizen’s dating Blair?
Chuck: He’s got everyone fooled, Blair thinks he’s reformed. He’s obviously just toying with her to get at you.
Nate: Yeah, well it’s working.
Chuck: We just need to wait until we can get him in a public place. Everyone who thinks he’s changed will see the truth. Then we can get him back for everything he’s done to you, and everything he’s doing to Blair.
Nate: Yeah, when’s that going to happen, huh?
Chuck: I have a feeling it may be sooner than you think.
Blair: If you don’t pull it together I’m gonna go Naomi Campbell on you.
Carter Baizen (Sebastian Stan): Nate,. Look, I was hoping to see you. I wanted to apologize. Put the past in the past.
Nate: You don’t get to say what goes on here. I’m on to you.
Carter: What are you talking about?
“Ms. van der Woodsen hopes to bed as many billionaires as she can before settling down to—” Oh my god!
Carter to Blair: And now for someone with only one left foot.
Chuck to Nate: He just told her what he’s going to do to her later.
Nate: You might not know who you are, but I sure as hell haven’t forgotten.
Lily: You make a fool of the presenter and then you start a brawl. I mean, what’s next, Serena? Girls Gone Wild?
Serena: All you care about when people look at me is what they think of you.
Serena: I’m so sorry. I know this is not what you signed up for.
Carter: That’s okay. It doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as waking up that morning in Santorini and finding you’d jumped on a boat.
Serena: Yeah, um, that night wasn’t exactly what I signed up for either. The whole thing caught me a bit by surprise.
Carter: No, I get it. Which is why I was surprised when your grandma called me last week.
Serena: Wait, last week? I wasn’t even going to Cotillion last week.
Carter: Yeah, but Cece said she thought you’d change your mind.
Lily: Please listen to me and don’t interrupt because what I’m about to say… is hard for me.
Lily: When I was your age I would have been lucky to find a guy like you. And I kind of did. But when it came down to it, I thought my mother knew who I was much better than I knew myself. I’m not sure exactly who my daughter was, but I know who she’s become since she met you. She returns home every night at a reasonable hour. She doesn’t drink, she doesn’t do drugs. I don’t know if you’re responsible for that, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence. You belong with my daughter and I think everyone should know that. Will you come with me?
Dan: Yes, Mrs. van der Woodsen, I would love to.
Lily: Good. And it’s Lily.
Blair: I know that look. It’s a look when your plan falls into place. You’re enjoying this.
Blair: You make me sick. This thing between us, it’s over. For good.
Serena: Things aren’t the way they were when you were young, Grandma.
CeCe: You may be right about that.
GG: Spotted: Chuck Bass losing something no one knew he had to begin with. His heart.
Alison to Jenny: Rather than apologizing to me, you need to look at yourself and ask if you like the person you’re becoming.
Lily: We’re not supposed to talk, remember?
Rufus: I had to. Your mother came to see me and she mentioned something about why you left me all those years ago.
Lily: Oh. Yes well. She made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. And I wasn’t strong enough then.
Rufus: Why didn’t you tell me?
Lily: Oh come on, you never would have understood.
Rufus: But if I had known you hadn’t actually left me for him, I mean maybe—
Lily: Listen, don’t— Don’t say it. Don’t even think it.
Rufus: I can’t help myself. I never should have let you let me go.
Gossip Girl: It’s often said that, no matter the truth, people see what they want to see. Some people might take a step back and find out they were looking at the same big picture all along. Some people might see that their lies have almost caught up to them.
Chauffeur: Where to, Mr. Bass?
Chuck: The airport.
And as for me, I can see clearly now. XOXO —Gossip Girl.