This week Gossip Girl let its daddy issues out to play. William is here to stay, and he's dividing the Upper East Side into camps: those who support the return of the van der Woodsen patriarch, those waving the Humphrey flag, and those who don't care. Let's look at the lineup.
William makes up for a 15-year absence by suddenly being everywhere, whether he's wanted or not. He's moving into the van der Woodsens' building, palpating Lily's throat, stealing Serena's easily-stolen heart, and — gasp! — crashing brunch. If Lily ever wants to act sick more convincingly, she just needs to look at Rufus's face as William shoves his way into R's family, home, and waffles. Because yes, William is after Lily, as he fully admits to a crowd of hundreds at a gala in his honor. And still, somehow, everyone acts like Rufus is unreasonable for suggesting that maybe he could find someplace else to live. Rufus coaxes Holland into getting Daddy van der W denied from the building, and Serena and Lily find out and accuse Rufus of being jealous. Holland, of course, goes on to tell Serena all about Rufus's visits to her apartment while Lily was away, driving Serena to start plotting to get her old family back together. The family that doesn't include Rufus.
It's not just Rufus who's thrown into a tizzy by William's arrival. Jenny and Serena were already on thin ice after last week's attempted boyfriend-napping and between her mom's health and her dad's return, S decides to move back in — and to push Little J out. With a little old-school Blairing, J's drug-dealing ways end up on Gossip Girl and reach Rufus's ears. But never underestimate a girl with a working knowledge of pharmacology — by the end, Jenny and Chuck, playing for Team Voice of Reason, realize that something's deeply wonked about Lily's meds. And, by extension, her "illness." Duh. How could William be the best doctor for whatever Lily has if he's spent a decade grubbing around third world countries treating the poors? Does Lily have hookworms?
Speaking of Team Rufus: Eric is back! He has a cute BF! He stands by Rufus! He bitchily throws his suicide attempt in his dad's face! Never leave us again, Eric.
Poor miserable Blair hates NYU so much she just has to be queen for a day again. She runs into those two would-be minions from Columbia and pretends that she's transferring there next year. Of course her little white lie ends up on Gossip Girl and her two new BFFs turn on her faster than you can say "ivy." But the joke's on them: Seems Chuck forged a transfer application for her months before. B's a newly-minted Columbia girl. See, just when you think a guy's no good, you find out he committed fraud for you. True love.
Team Shut Up