Pretty great. Eleanor Waldorf, now played by Sebastian Cole's mom, chooses Blair to be the face of Waldorf Designs for a new Bendel's line. Blair's obsession with Audrey Hepburn finally makes an appearance...as does her stiff and poised perfection, which scares the photog something fierce. Contrast, of course, the wild free whatever of coltish Serena, who -- in a very sweet scene -- tries to get Blair to loosen up on a test shoot. Lots of secret shit goes down such that Eleanor chooses Serena over Blair, but doesn't tell Blair this, so there is total fashion meltdown à gogo when she arrives at the shoot itself to see Serena, looking if possible even more fabulous than usual, stealing yet one more thing.
The real gold is the Nate/Chuck story, in which Nate goes on a date with a Hobbit, causing Chuck to become too gay to function, breaking up with him outside an Irish-themed pub. Chuck also acts out by dressing like a gay breakdancer from the 1980s, which is so excellent. The Hobbit turns out to be a con man, and Chuck saves Nate. From what? Oh, the fact that his dad totally wiped his trust -- gives that whole prostitute angle a much more intense vibe, doesn't it?
Meanwhile, Serena is trying desperately to have a real live non-vigilante date with Dan Humphrey, whose father accidentally sells Lily van der Woodsen a painting by his estranged wife Allison through a sexy cute buyer named Bex, and it's all even more boring than it sounds. No Jenny this week, but that sweet circumstance will apparently be remedied next week when Blair begins The Quickening. Dan spends the whole time running around getting dissed for Blair, which suits Blair just fine, but in the end they reach a détente, as do Serena and Blair, who steal all the fashions and do their own shoot on the streets of NYC.
To repeat: Dan, Blair, and Serena are all friends at the same time at the end of the episode! Bet that lasts forever.
"Moon River" plays as a taxi pulls up outside Henri Bendel. Yes! Finally the Audrey Hepburn thing! In the books, Blair is obsessed with Audrey Hepburn. It is one of the bizarrely numerous things we share. Like, did you know she grew up in Nazi-occupied Belgium and danced in secret for money for the Dutch Resistance? And the reason for her weird body was that she spent the first half of her life eating shit and garbage and thus had no nutrition, and always felt weird about it? So she's a fashion icon because she's weird-looking; she deserves to be a fashion icon because she took what her body handed her and made sexy lemonade out of it. So it's Bendel's and not Tiffany, but whatever, you know she's wearing the LBD and diamonds and a tiara when she hops out of that car. In the shop window, Serena is sitting at an ice cream table, dressed provocatively and attended by Kati and Iz, laughing uproariously at a secret joke. She tries to get in and the cute doorman is like, "Not so fast! Not on the list!" and she protests that it's her dream. Your dream is to have a creepy Halloween party in the window at Bendel's? ...Yeah, actually, okay. It's Blair. The guy tells her it's not her dream anymore, but he's talking in Eleanor's voice.
Blair wakes up and dashes off her sleep mask, hearing Serena laughing downstairs. Gossip Girl tells us that her mom Eleanor came back from Paris (in a whole other person's body, having switched actresses) and is now brunching with Serena. Blair says hi to them from the landing and her mom tells her to shut up, then tells her the awesome news that Bendel's is going to do a Waldorf line. Blair sits with them and takes a croissant identical to the one Serena's big old teeth are tearing into, and congratulates her mother, the queen of mixed messages. She's like, "Isn't it awesome! I love you! You're a fat whore!" Blair puts down her croissant and tells her mom she lost two pounds since Eleanor left. "You look marvelous! I mean it! But the gravitational pull from your enormous ass is giving me a facelift! But you're gorgeous!" Serena escapes from the gravity and starts going through the clothes, admiring them. They look like...clothes. Eleanor somehow forces her way past her daughter's horrifying bulk and kisses Serena's ass some more, then invites Serena to give her thoughts on the collection later. "You do have such great personal style," she...quips? I mean, Serena always looks great, but I wasn't aware that Serena's "Hogwarts-meets-Petticoat Junction" look was so in demand. Serena's like, "Love to, but I have a date with Blair." Not even Blair is aware of this, but Serena has decided to take the relationship into her own hands before Blair decides she's ruining her life in some new way.