Credit: The CW

Good morning, Upper East Siders! Time for some quippy one-liners, throaty smoldering from one Mr. Chuck Bass (finally), and major feminist flip-flopping by Serena (Blake Lively). Oh, Chair, we missed you — and while Gossip Girl Season 6, Episode 3: “Dirty Rotten Scandals” didn’t fully get our scheming bandits back together, it sweetly hinted at some epic teaming up to come. Also of note: Steven (Barry Watson) is horrible and badly in need of a tie.

It’s morning, which means Blair (Leighton Meester) is parading around , barking orders at her French-accented minions. “The devil is in the details and I’m about to start worshipping Satan!” Turns out, the It Girl — Charlotte — has bailed on our fair queen and she needs to find a replacement, STAT. Dorota (Zuzanna Szadkowski) tries to calm Blair down with a kale shake (this is not Los Angeles), but Blair quickly comes up with a new plan. Who better to work the Waldorf runway than her leggy ex-BFF, Serena van der Woodsen?

Credit: The CW

Across town Park Avenue, Serena is shacked up with Stevvvvven (Lauren Conrad will forever utter that name in our minds) at his rustic reclaimed wood dining table. Joining them? None other than his evil spawn, Sage (Sophia Black-D’Elia). (Sidebar: It’s really weird to watch Barry Watson have a 17-year-old daughter and even weirder to hear him call her “sweetie.”) Sage isn’t picking up what Serena’s putting down and storms off in an adolescent huff. Steven then takes this moment to think, hey, maybe I shouldn’t be dating someone close to my daughter’s age and suggests that he and Serena take a break. “I should focus on Sage, you know, get her back on track.” Serena takes a page from the Anti Feminist Junior Stepmoms League and persuades him not to break up with her, instead offering to talk to Sage. “I know how to relate to girls like Sage because I was a girl like Sage.” Erhm, correction, S: You are a girl like Sage.

Onto our beloved chiseled-jaw holy trinity: Chuck (Ed Westwick) is attempting to debrief Nate (Chace Crawford) on His Family’s Epic Dallas-esque Drama when a haggard-looking Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) strolls into Nate’s kitchen for coffee. Surprise! Nate is now living with James Franco, horrible Henleys and all. Chuck looks aghast and beckons Monkey away from the Brooklyn-born heathen but not before quipping to Nate, “I may be negotiating with terrorists, but you’re harboring a fugitive.”

The awkward pairings continue across town in the borough of Brooklyn, where Rufus is holed up with none other than Ivy Dickens (Kaylee DeFer). Rufus (Matthew Settle) is understandably reticent about going public with his relationship with Public Enemy No. 1, but then Ivy spots Dan’s essay on the front page of The Spectator and their argument is moot: They’ve been outed by none other than Rufus’s own blood.

Serena attempts to counsel Sage, which basically entails strolling down the street together and uttering platitudes while wearing sparkles. So this is motherhood! Sage isn’t having any of it and surreptitiously placates Serena. “It’s cool to talk to someone my own age who finally gets it. I promise to turn over a new life.” We haven’t seen this kind of breed of wolf on the Upper East Side in years. Predictably, Sage ditches Serena, who has to choose between telling her boyfriend the truth or lying to him — so of course she lies to Steven, cooing coy things like “it’s like looking in a mirror.” Yeah, Sage is totally Snow White in this equation.

Credit: The CW

Blair, faced with a looming fashion show — and what must be an empty Xanax bottle — calls Serena to ask her to walk the runway. Serena has somehow found the one riderless High Horse on the UES and scathingly tells Blair off: “I found a new family, maybe you should find a new one, too.” Serena, we say you stick with the family who didn’t try to break up with you earlier this morning. Just a THOUGHT.

Then things get weird. Namely: Blair faints and has to be put on bed rest (which means wrapped in a floral silk robe and fed Dom Perignon, but more on that later). Dorota’s final words to Blair before her toppling: “We all want you to be Blair Waldorf Bass.”

Serena runs to Nate’s office and collapses in his chair, sighing about her stepmom duties.  Nate insists Sage is “wise beyond her years,” and Serena sighs and says she’s just going to have to admit defeat to Steven and — subsequently — lose her boyfriend because she couldn’t con his daughter into loving her. Totally functional stuff, you guys!

Sage isn’t the only spawn attempting to ruin their father; Dan Humphrey and his legion of Henleys are fast at work at pursuing both fame and  “the truth” (whatever that means, James Franco). But then Dan gets a Gossip Girl blast: Turns out, his and Nate’s plan to scoop GG ended up biting them in the ass and Rufus plans to sue not only Dan, but Nate and The Spectator as well. It’s like watching AARP try to out-maneuver preeminent gossip girl Bonnie Fuller.

Credit: The CW

Blair is lounging in her floral silk robe barking orders at Dorota and skyping with Pierre (her compulsion for control knows no bounds). “I just want someone who can read my mind. Is that too much to ask?” Before we could eek out “YES,” Chuck struts in and even his horrendous shaved-bowl cut is forgiven.

Serena returns to Steven’s apartment to be bested at her own game. Sage is sitting on the couch doing her best “I didn’t just pull that Amanda Bynes thing” impression. Sage and Serena than have what is basically a tepid heart-to-heart before Sage pulls her Trump card and corners Serena into getting her a spot on the runway during Blair’s show. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Nate, faced with a lawsuit at his first-ever job, is reading up on successful defamation defense case law. Now we know how you spend your time, Archibald! Dan is lounging on the couch looking super ambivalent and also sure that his father is really just bluffing. He counsels Nate, “just take a deep breath and maybe a Xanax or two.”

Credit: The CW

The fashion show is an absolute disaster, starting with Serena’s “clothes are important” speech and ending with the clothes themselves, which look like a cross between Lily Pulitzer and Marc Jacobs circa early 2000s. Blair sits Serena in the front row but doesn’t leave room for Steeeeevvvveeennn (who already expressed his opinion that fashion is dumb and unsmart) — so naturally Serena gets irrationally irate. We’ve jumped the shark from first world problems to one percenter problems. Blair tells her “only share your nice opinions” and we can all see that trainwreck strutting down the runway in the form of Sage, who decides to strip down to her underwear in front of her father. Serena, in an attempt to save face in front of Steven, trashes Blair’s line in front of Nelly Yuki (“this is exploitation and it’s embarrassing”), and all hell breaks loose in the form of a mass exit from the show. Pussy Riot this is not.

All’s well that ends in mass realization of veiled motives! Serena and Blair, both thinking the other had set Sage up to get naked onstage, realize it was Sage herself who decided to disrobe. Nelly Yuki, meanwhile, applauds Lonely Boy on escaping the iron-clad grip of the UES’s power game — but is then ditched for a chestnut-haired bombshell in a cleavage-baring dress.

It’s Blair and Chuck who restore our faith in humanity  fictional tempestuous love. Chuck walks in to find his lady clothed in something out of Victoria Grayson’s closet. “Save the Dom, Chuck!” Blair yells (we’re bookmarking that line for future use). Chuck coaxes Blair into her silk-lined bed with more than half a bottle of champagne, debriefing her (it’s his thing) on the most recent Bart Bass info. Turns out, he found a guy who used to work as a bodyguard who once drove Bart to meet someone named Lady Alexander (oh, hello Episode 4 title...). Blair says, “We will find her. I’m all yours, mind, body, and scheme.”

Here’s to hoping that line makes it into their wedding vows.

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