So here's what's been going on: Serena and Blair are in Paris, still. Serena has been sleeping her way through most of the labor class, while Blair has become intellectually pretentious and apparently kicked the shit out of her bulimia. Blair and Lily are both wearing some Ramona Flowers-height shoulder pads that make them look like they're in a Weird Old Lady Army, while Serena's hair and confusion about what constitutes clothes have grown to unimaginable magnitude during her time overseas.
Blair stares at that one Manet painting everybody likes, and eventually meets a cute boy who turns out to be Monaco royalty, of course, pulling some kind of Thoroughly Modern Millie/Roman Holiday scheme, of course. B doesn't figure that out Serena has secretly collegiately cockblocked B for like the fifth time, changing her application to Brown. For these and so many other reasons, Blair pushes her in a great big fountain, like getting soaking wet is going to make Serena less hot.
Meanwhile on the UES -- in which time moves strangely, as ever, sometimes matching Paris time and sometimes six hours behind -- Vanessa returns with more clever patter than a Daria soundboard and a freakout re: Dan, who is shacked up in DUMBO with Georgina and their son Milo, who is obviously not their son. Nobody knows where Chuck is, which worries Lily but is fine with Rufus, who is now wearing the too-tight polo shirts that trophy husbands have been wearing since marriage began.
Nate's worked his way down to the T's in the Chuck Bass Book of Whores when he meets Katie Cassidy, who is absolute perfection as usual. This Juliet gives Nate the full Barbara Stanwyck and then runs over to Eleanor's basecamp at PRADA, because apparently she "volunteers" at pretend charity events from inside Anna Wintour's mind, such as Fashion's Night Out. After some judging and patter and meet-cute and fake-problems, they totally fall in love or something.
Dan has lost weight while his hair has gone mad, and Nate has gained weight while his hair has relatively calmed down, and they both look fabulous. So Georgina crashes the pre-event event carrying Milo's birth certificate, probably in an attempt to sell the Empire Hotel to Russian gangsters or something. Lily kicks everybody out, irritating Eleanor, and gets her heartstrings yanked by Georgina, who produces paternity results and gets Dan's signature. While Vanessa prepares to go to war to save Dan's girlish figure from destruction, Georgina and Juliet do mysterious shit and act all weird.
In the end, we're left with two unlikely teases -- Is Juliet Gossip Girl? Is Chuck really dead? -- before a quick look back at the many rapes and near-death experiences of Mr. Bass. Turns out he was saved from death by the tender ministrations of that Veela girl from Harry Potter... And then (in a fairly lovely sequence, from a cinematic episode full of them) decided to give himself amnesia! Meet Henry and Eva. Meet Season Four, and approve. So happy to be back! XOXO.
Blair dumped Chuck after he literally turned her ass out, so he gave her an inappropriate ultimatum which she failed, so he finally decided to finish raping Jenny and then proposed marriage to Blair about ten minutes later. It was a hot mess. Then they both ran off to Europe, and Chuck was shot dead by street toughs.
Serena was supposed to decide between Nate and Dan, but nobody actually cared, including and especially the three of them, and the second she went to Paris they all got distracted anyway.
Nate chose whores.
Vanessa and Dan decided to "throw down," but then Georgina showed up mysterious and pregnant. Then Vanessa took her shit to Haiti, ran for President and started beef with Pras. Or Nas. Whichever. She started beef with Haiti, all of it. And the goblin-looking Moldy Peaches, because she thought they were the Dirty Projectors, because even her best effort still only counts as barely even trying.
So there's two episodes about Paris and this is the first one. Serena and Blair have been living it up on the Left and Right Banks. Serena is, of course, taking up portraiture as her latest imaginary talent, and mostly what she likes to draw is naked French fellas from the service industry, and when she's not doing that she is fucking them, because Serena is awesome. Blair is not doing anything worth mentioning, because she is still very sad about Chuck and also just sort of sad, like a sad person, these days.
Serena isn't buying Blair's Fat Best Friend routine, because that never works and nobody ever buys it, because it's only a plea for attention from the bottom of your insecurity, which are two things that are repellent. In fact, all kinds of guys have been hitting on B. She'd simply rather wait around for somebody that doesn't exist to come along and be doing her same pretentious French activities like reading Colette and gazing at clichéd paintings and endlessly shopping.
I'm so glad they could travel six time zones away to do the exact same shit as usual with even less accountability. Maybe in France Blair can actually accomplish her life goal of somehow making a relationship with a gay man work. But probably she's looking at Gossip Girl, in contravention of the agreement with Serena that happened last spring. She guiltily reads only the least anti-B sentiment to Serena, who pretends like she doesn't totally want to hear about herself on GG: "Oh la la! Paris is burning, and Serena and Blair lit the match!" And as for Chuck? MIA since he was murdered to death in Prague, surrounded by prostitutes and rough trade just like he always dreamed. Only his Nathaniel could have made the scene complete.