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It’s off to the races, ladies and gentlemen — and by ‘races,’ we mean Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford)’s pre-brunch existential life crises. Where would we be without feelings and Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick)’s throaty dulcet tones? Not on the Upper East Side.

CHUCK AND BLAIR

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Yet again, Chuck and Blair (Leighton Meester) have the only functional relationship — which is a disorienting statement, given their rocky history. Turns out, the dysfunctional smoke has cleared to reveal a glistening castle of unity, if only they can finally uncover the last of Bart Bass’s deepest darkest secrets and get back to that heady limo sex. Bart’s latest secret? Buying horses to disguise the fact that he is illegally trading foreign oil. Turns out, Lady Alexander is actually a horse — and Bart’s been buying up his friend’s daughter’s horses as an elaborate cover up. Seabiscuit this is not. Chuck and Blair journey to Brooklyn, strap on jodhpurs, distract Lily with royalty... All to see a man about a horse.
Best moment: Blair marches up to Iman, calls her “Princess Jasmine,” and tells her all her precious horses went to “the glue factory.” Basically, Blair is a wolf in Saddle Club clothing.

DAN AND HIS FEELINGS

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Georgina (Michelle Trachtenberg)’s evil plot now centers around getting Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) a PYT to sleep with (because tabloid BRANDING, obviously), but the only problem is... Dan Humphrey can’t fake feelings. He even tries to give Serena (Blake Lively) the cold shoulder, only to fall back on his own self-deprecating sword. Dan insists he’s not exposing their steamy years-ago night at the apartment, but promises her that “there’s gonna be some pretty good stuff” in her chapter. Uhm, you are not F. Scott Fitzgerald, Humphrey. Georgina quickly puts Dan in his place: “Oh, suck it up, Humphrey. They have pills for that.”
Best moment: Dan walks into Blair’s with his tail between his legs, telling her he misses his friend. Are we getting our sensitive Lonely Boy back — or is he masterminding a scheme that goes far and above our expectations?

SERENA AND STEVEN

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Serena and Steven Spence (Barry Watson) engage in a battle of Who Has the Most Sordid Past. The winner? Barry Watson’s career. Steven is uncomfy with the idea that his daughter is now dating his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend. Steven learned of this connection from a printout of The Internet, which is apparently how the olds get their news. See also: Barry Watson is old and now has Russell Crowe’s hairline (Matt Camden, where art thou?). But Serena isn’t the only one harboring a borderline incestual connection; turns out, Steven slept with Lily way back when she had a different last name and he was on a lot of pain pills. SIGH, the ‘90s.
Best moment: All of the times we mourn Barry Watson’s 7th Heaven haircut, none of the times he nuzzles Serena’s neck.

SAGE AND NATE

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Nate (Chace Crawford) is still trying to make The Spectator relevant, which means he falls into league with Gossip Girl, sending out a blast about Serena’s shared sex life with... Her mom. Nate’s girlfriend Sage is livid with her boyfriend about the fact that he totally exposed her dad’s ‘90s sex life, but she forgives Nate after he confesses that he’s just trying to save the one job he’s had after college.
Best moment: Nate stands up to Bart, turning down $$ to publish fluff stories. Are we suddenly protective of Nate and his principles? WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN!?

LILY AND BART

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Like any functional marriage, Bart and Lily (Kelly Rutherford) are on opposite sides of The Psychopath Test. Bart wants to burn his son’s life to the ground through tabloid fodder (and complicated sinister manipulation), while Lily just wants her eggs cooked delicately and for Princess Ann to say hi to her at the stables.
Best moment: “Are the eggs overcooked again?” #firstworldproblems.

IVY AND RUFUS

Rufus unpacks his stuff in front of an exposed brick wall in Brooklyn zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Best moment: All of the time NOT spent on this placeholder relationship.

BURNING QUESTIONS

- Is Dan using Blair?
- Why does Ed Westwick sound like Bill Paxton in Titanic?
- Will Lily heed Bart’s threat and stay away from her beloved stepson?
- When will Serena break up with Steven and get with Dan?
- WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO THE HORSES?

Credit: Perez Hilton Photo: Gossip Girl Promo for Season 6, Episode 5, "Monstrous Ball": Who's Teaming Up With Sage? (VIDEO)