Welcome back, GGers. We may have been biting our nails for months, but in Gossip Girl world, it’s been just days since the events of the last episode, “Empire of the Son.” That means Lily (Kelly Rutherford) just confessed to a felony, William Van Der Woodsen (Billy Baldwin) just swung back into town, and oh yeah, Dan (Penn Badgley) and Blair (Leighton Meester) just kissed. Where will it all land? Read on!
The power of Dan’s smooch has left Blair bedbound — she’s been malingering for days because of his “life-changing” kiss. But there’s one thing that could rouse Blair from a good wallow in romantic angst: The chance to boss people around. Epperly (remember her?) calls Blair and asks her to help coordinate a photo shoot of “American royalty.” (B doesn’t seem at all put out that no one asked her to be in the book. Maybe some Humphrey really did rub off on her.) But it turns out that Epperly only hired Blair at Chuck’s (Ed Westwick) request. He is in the photo shoot and he’s hoping to log some face time with Blair, having tired of waiting for her to become Anna Wintour before they can bone again.
Who else is in the photo shoot? Some ever-changing quantity of van der Woodsen-Humphrey-Rhodeses. Lily tries desperately to distract herself from her upcoming sentencing by basking in the photo shoot with Serena (Blake Lively) and CeCe (Caroline Lagerfelt). Complication 1: Lily’s estranged (and super judgy) sister Carol (Sheila Kelley) and her daughter Charlie (Kaylee DeFer) show up. Complication 2: Her photo shoot is cancelled because of her felonious ways. True royalty would never send an innocent man to prison. They would straight up lop off his head.
After some tipoffs from Epperly, Chuck tracks down Dan to ask him who Blair kissed. Dan is like, “Beats me! But it was probably someone awesome and handsome and nice.” Chuck, no idiot, is like, “Yeah, it’s you, dude,” and sends him a fake invite to the photo shoot to humiliate him. Blair reveals to Dorota (Zuzanna Szadkowski) that the big kiss-prompted revelation was that she wished it was with Chuck. But when she witnesses Chuck’s nasty prank on Dan, she realizes he hasn’t grown up at all. She dumps him in a way that actually feels like a dumping — and she has never seemed more over him. Sadface! Then she points Dan toward Serena without even trying to make out with him again. Double sadface!
Naive Charlie doesn’t think being rich would suck as much as her mom claims. She’s soon palling around with Serena, snapping up designer clothes like she’s, well, a Rhodes. Which is fair. Carol doesn’t think so — she tries to haul Charlie on a plane back to their houseboat, but once Charlie learns that contrary to her rebel stance, Carol has been taking money from CeCe for years, Charlie digs her heels in and decides to stay in NYC.
Raina (Tika Sumpter) spends the day lounging around in a bathrobe in Nate’s (Chace Crawford) apartment, moping about her dad, who also wants her to be in the American Royalty photo shoot. Shouldn’t something with “royalty” in the title be a little more exclusive? Anyway, Raina’s estrangement from her dad has her mulling over her mom. She decides to try to track her down. Psst, Raina: Your boyfriend’s roommate’s dad killed her! That’s gonna make things awkward around the breakfast table.
Lily and her extensive clan end up taking their own private family photo as the phone rings to voicemail with Lily’s sentencing. Dan and Charlie seem to share a moment, which visibly worries Carol, who alludes to some dark incident that made Charlie drop out of college. She says, “She needs to be watched constantly.” Don’t worry, Carol. The Ostroff Center is a rite of passage for young van der Woodsens.
In the midst of all this family and relationship drama, Blair once more takes to bed, wondering why Kate Middleton gets a fairytale and she doesn’t. Don’t look now, B, but there’s a handsome prince carrying a single shoe stepping out of a cab on Madison Avenue. Yep, Blair’s Parisian prince is back in town. Step aside, Chair and Dair: It’s time for Louair. Or Blouis? Never mind, let’s just go with Blair and Louis.
What do you think, Gossip Girl fans: Did tonight’s episode make up for the six-week hiatus?
Don’t miss next week’s all-new episode, “Petty in Pink”: