It's back! It's back! We didn't even realize how much scandal and scheming our lives were missing this past month until Gossip Girl returned tonight. But that plague of niceness is no more. Join us as we linger lovingly over every lie, betrayal, and double cross in Season 4, Episode 12, “The Kids Are Not All Right.”
Credit: Giovanni Rufino/The CW © 2010 The CW Network, LLC. Photo: Chuck in Season 4, Episode 12: "The Kids Are Not All Right"

It's a new year, and every GG mainstay is trying to make a fresh start. Blair and Dan are both trying to ignore their time together during winter break, during which they definitely saw a movie and may have had a torrid affair. To move on, both pursue internships. Blair decides to hitch her wagon to Indra Nooyi's star, the sixth most powerful woman in the world. Not so pleased to hear this? Fellow powerful woman Eleanor Waldorf — especially when B tries to jack her mom's appointment with Indra. Eleanor has all Blair's aptitude for sneaking and many more years to hone it, so she easily manages to sneak-block her daughter. Hurt feelings abound until Mama W suddenly realizes that B couldn't follow in her footsteps anyway, since she's not a designer. They agree that she will be the next Anna Wintour.

Dan's subplot is a little pathetic. He pursues an internship with a publishing house, but keeps skipping his interviews to hang out with Serena — or rather, tries to hang out with Serena while she blows him off again and again. To be fair, it's hard to be punctual while you're trying to blackmail your mother and free an innocent man from prison. S teams up with Chuck to fight Lily. They first attempt to blackmail her with a copy of the forged affidavit that imprisoned Ben, but Lily manages to temporarily talk Chuck down by explaining that she's actually selling Bass Industries to save it. Rather, it's in financial trouble and she's met a buyer who has promised not to break it apart. Chuck believes she's talking about Russell Thorpe, an old friend of his father's who's back in town, alluring daughter Raina in tow.

Unfortunately,Thorpe's not the buyer, but he carries a grudge against Chuck's dad, so when he learns of the sale he manages to torpedo it in order to strip Bass Industries for parts. On the bright side, the lovely Raina propositions Chuck. Of course she does. He’s Chuck Bass.

Credit: Giovanni Rufino/The CW © 2010 The CW Network, LLC.c Photo: Raina and Russell Thorpe in Season 4, Episode 12: "The Kids Are Not All Right"
Nate is an increasingly exasperated babysitter to his just-released father, who doesn’t want to do anything but party, play video games, and skip his court-ordered job interviews. In the end, he does land a sweet job offer. Unfortunately, it’s with the duplicitous Thorpe.

Serena, as usual, fails utterly at scheming. But also as usual, someone else gets what she wants for her: Lily has bribed Ben's judge to release him early. Serena invites him for coffee, because she only knows how to apologize with sex.

So in the end, Serena spends her evening with Ben, she and Dan are over before they began, and Dan and Blair somehow end up heading to another movie together. That's not going to blow up horribly in their faces or anything.