It was the battle of the diva guest stars in Season 3, Episode 4, "Dan de Fleurette," but an unlikely victor ended up stealing the show.
Dan and Olivia walk the streets of NYC
The episode opens on the first day of school at Constance Billard as Jenny Humphrey prepares to usher in a new era of fairness and equality for all. Things don't get off to the start she expected, however, when girls flock to her like moths to fake hair extensions. Jenny tries hard to restrain herself from ordering her new minions around with a natural flair as if she'd been practicing the royal wave all summer long. Despite J's inability to see her noblesse oblige for what it is, Eric gets immense joy from J's predicament and cluelessness. It's great to see so much of Jenny and Eric from the get-go, and this special episode only gets better from here.
Meanwhile, Blair's tickled to get summoned to Constance by Celeste, one of Jenny's new minions, to quell an uprising by performing a rock n' roll fashion intervention and reclaim her Queen B title, despite the fact that she's not even a student at Constance anymore. Ruffles: check. Pearls: check. Headbands: check, check, check. All is right again in the UES world when stars and wardrobes align. Life is back to normal in 3...2...
Aaaannnnd, Lily's back! But that's not necessarily a good thing for Serena. She's dreading telling Lily the truth about not going to Brown and she enlists Rufus' help in breaking the news to the elder van der Woodsen. Of course, no matter how Serena delivers the news, Lily's not going to be amused--it's just not in her WASP-y genetic makeup.
Lily tells S that "finding yourself" is not a reason to defer college, because college is actually the place where people go to find themselves, and, by the way, wasn't that what Serena's whole summer in Europe was all about anyway? S replies, "If it takes me getting a job for you to believe that I'm serious [about getting a job?], then I'll do it." Way to go with the child psychology, Lily!
Dan lost his big, fat wallet (sorry, Vanessa, but face it: Dan's loaded and you're not!), so a mystery co-ed named "Kate" buys his coffee. They start talking and sparks fly, but Dan's oblivious to Kate's true identity as mega movie star Olivia Burke. Back at the coffee shop later in the day (don't these college kids ever have an actual class to attend?), Nate recognizes Olivia from her starring role in the super-successful medieval vampire movie franchise, Endless Knights. Nate decides to keep this minor fact to himself and he's absolutely freakin' floored when still-clueless Dan moves in for the kill and asks Kate and her fedora out on a date.
We were all ready to high-five Dan until he blows it when he takes Kate/Olivia out for pizza and tells her that he only wants a relaxed relationship with a "refreshingly normal" girl. She knows that normal is definitely not what she is and walks out, leaving Dan confused and in the dust. Just another day in the life of Dan Humphrey, clueless playa!
Vanessa is delighted to learn that she's rooming with none other than Olivia Burke, but the honeymoon's over before it even begins when Olivia's publicist makes everyone on the floor sign a confidentiality agreement. Olivia flips out because she just wants to be a "refreshingly normal" girl and eat her pizza in peace (except when Dan Humphrey's at the table?). We just hope that Olivia doesn't ever raid Vanessa's closet... her career would be O.V.E.R. and then she'd just be a refreshingly fugly normal girl at NYU.
Serena overhears Olivia's argument with her publicist, K.C., and tells Olivia how to slip out the back of the restaurant to avoid the paparazzi. K.C.'s impressed with Serena's celebutante skills ("You're like the diva whisperer.") and offers her a job as a publicist. Gee, that was easy. We bet that Serena will still get to wear her '80s music video vixen outfits to work, too. And life starts to get abnormal again in 3...2...
...enter, Tyra Banks. Technically, Tyra's character is Ursula Nyquist, a diva of the highest order who Serena's assigned to babysit before the premiere of Ursula and Olivia's new WWII spy flick, Fleur. But let's be honest: this is Tyra Banks, starring as Tyra Banks, playing Tyra Banks in Fleur. Tyra's every bit as crazy in GG as she is in real life, and it's quite obvious that T's ever-changing hair is the true standout guest star of this episode.
When Dan calls Vanessa to complain about getting dumped (After one slice of pizza? Really, Dan?), Vanessa invites him to the premiere, because all the girls in Olivia's dorm got invitations. Chuck finds out that Blair is too busy living in the past by grooming a new generation of her Constance Billard army to attend the premiere, so he devises a plan to snap her out of it by using her invitation to take Jenny Humphrey instead. It becomes a true family affair when Rufus convinces Lily to go, too. Awww, it's just like a Norman Rockwell painting. With sequins and pink bow ties.
Fast forward to the Fleur premiere. Dan runs into Kate, and, genius that he is, finally figures out that she's actually Olivia. It's OK, Dan: at least you're purdy. He pouts for a while and then Olivia explains that she just wants a regular college experience and they agree to be friends. Who don't eat pizza together ever again because that would be a date and they're definitely NOT dating!
Ursula's favorite scene in the film is cut and she creates an even bigger scene of her own at the premiere, all to the delight of her puppet-master publicist. Serena intervenes and advises Ursula to behave professionally in front of the press (um, didn't Serena drop her top in front of the paps just a few weeks ago?), which does not amuse the publicity-seeking, uh, publicist, who promptly fires Serena. Gee, that was easy, too.
Blair gets a blast from Gossip Girl letting everyone know that Chuck's at the premiere with J (quelle horreur!), so Blair books it to the event only to learn that she was foiled yet again by Chuck's plan to get her to abandon her hostile takeover of Constance and refocus on her present life at NYU. Who knew Chuck was such a sage?
The next day, a lot goes down in a very short amount of time: Serena decides to move out to "find herself" and Lily fumes. Ursula gets Serena her revolving-door job back, Scott blows off Vanessa for Georgina, and the 24-hour on-again, off-again relationship between Dan and Olivia is back ON. After a rollercoaster ride, life in the UES is again back to normal as Blair follows her instinct and starts her own Mean Girls club at NYU, while Jenny gives in to the call of the wild and claims her Queen B throne at Constance. First order of business? Get the new Queen a yogurt, stat!