It’s Yale day, the day the school notifies those who have been accepted through the early admissions process. Via email? Uh, OK. Anyway, Blair’s gay Yalie alum dad has traveled from Europe with his boyfriend to celebrate her admission. Well, hopefully. He’s so optimistic he even gives her an actual bulldog, which is the school’s mascot. (Good thing Princeton, Brown and Columbia weren’t her first choices.) The triumphant day will culminate in an evening at the opera. Now, if only Yale will comply with these Waldorf plans.
At school Blair anxiously awaits her fate. She instructs her cronies to anxiously await her fate as well. Serena seems rather subdued. Serena sees her new favorite teacher, Rachel Carr, and introduces her to Dan. Ms. Carr is a recent arrival to NYC and looks to be the same age as many of the students. Being new and young-looking is a recipe for problems, right?
Blair’s not the only one who dreams of Yale. Dan’s excited both for himself and Serena because Serena doesn’t seem all that excited. Dan comes to Serena’s home in the morning to walk her to school. Embarrassingly, though, he stumbles into his dad who spent the night with Lily. Rufus, the super-est dad ever, is spending a ton of time with Lily, apparently leaving his own underage children at home overnight alone and engaging in premarital sex. Cool!
After the awkward moment between parents and teen children, Rufus and Lily seem relieved the kids caught them so they can stop sneaking around and move forward in their coming-out process. By the looks on their faces and their less-than-enthused reactions, Dan, Serena and Eric would rather padlock their parents inside the closet. Lily feels so liberated, she invites Rufus to the evening’s grand social event, the opera, as their coming-out moment.
Chuck is still licking his wounds over losing the company to his uncle. Jack pays Chuck a visit just to let him know he’s on to all of Chuck’s attempts to discredit him and that it’s not going to work. Chuck realizes he is overmatched and seeks out Lily for help.
Now that Nate is back to being richly endowed, he worries that his return of social status might be too overwhelming for plain-girl Vanessa. He seeks advice from plain-guy Dan on whether he should invite Vanessa to sit in his box seats at the opera because he knows she enjoys opera. Later in the day, Vanessa surprises Nate with nosebleed section tickets to the opera that she paid for with her hard-earned cash. Nate decides not to tell her of his box seats. Inter-socioeconomic dating is so complicated.
At last, the Yale email notifications come through. Dan gets in as well as Serena but poor Blair is wait-listed. When Dan asks Serena if she has gotten in, Serena (standing within earshot of Blair), lies and says that she too was wait-listed. Telling the truth never seems to be an option with these people.
Blair runs to the dean, who helps to calm her down but Blair learns that another Constance Billard student got in. Blair assumes it’s Nelly Yuki. Wrong. As the Yale acceptance sinks in, Serena mentions her ambivalence about it to her new favorite teacher. Serena doesn’t want to hurt Blair but her ambivalence is bigger than that.
Lily agrees with Chuck that Jack will probably ruin the company. She makes it clear to Chuck that it’s Chuck whom she really cares about, not the company, but she’ll speak with the head of the board to see if she can persuade him to see her side since she does own 20 percent of the company.
Lily meets with the board member, and it’s clear that he too is very concerned about Jack’s influence on the company, but there’s nothing that can be done about Jack at this point. Jack walks in on their meeting and the board guy leaves. Jack, who Lily believes to be coked up, gets instantly creepy with Lily. He lets her know that he doesn’t like her and her gold-digging ways and doesn’t trust her. The feelings are mutual. Finally! Some honesty!
Lily takes the news that nothing official can be done back to Chuck, and they brainstorm what to do next. They look to be making headway in mending their relationship when Lily gets a call from Rufus. She gets all schoolgirl crush on the phone and it makes Chuck angry and disgusted all over again.
Blair’s day gets progressively worse after she receives a B from Ms. Carr. Blair tries to get Ms. Carr to change the grade but is rebuffed. Blair knows that this grade can end up being detrimental to her chances of being offered admission into Yale. Blair’s so upset that it inspires her loving friend Serena to call Yale and decline her admission, effectively allowing Blair to take her spot.
As Blair and her cronies plot revenge on Ms. Carr, Serena tells Blair that she has declined admission and that Yale should be contacting Blair soon. Blair’s stunned because what idiot would turn down Yale? Upon hearing this, Dan is even more stunned because what idiot would turn down an opportunity to go to college with him?
Even though Blair has now been accepted, she still decides to prank Ms. Carr just to teach her a lesson. She invites Ms. Carr to the opera as her guest and then stands her up in a park alone at night in the big city. Not nice — and not too smart.
At the opera, Rufus feels like a fish out of water, Nate feels altitude sickness from the cheap seats with Vanessa, Dan and Serena feel sick from having to watch the PDA of their parents, and Blair feels guilty when she learns from the school counselor that Ms. Carr was still willing to give Blair an A for the class. Oops.
Blair rushes out to the park to find Ms. Carr. Blair feels awful and is sincere when she explains that she’s trying to learn how not to lash out at people when she’s wounded by them. Ms. Carr accepts the apology but still calls the school to let them know what happened because, well, Blair’s crazy antics are just that. Crazy.
Lily is approached by Bart’s family lawyer about documents Bart had signed right before his death but Lily had yet to sign. Turns out they were in the process of adopting one another’s children to be a real family. Lily has the documents faxed over and explains the scenario to Chuck, who gladly signs the papers, making Lily his mother and thus his true legal guardian. (Boy, that Lily is becoming quite the expert in adoptions, isn’t she?)
Chuck bathes in the misery of his uncle. But being outwitted and outplayed by Lily makes creepy Jack turn into angry-near-rapist Jack after he corners Lily in the bathroom at the opera. Chuck and security bust in, and Chuck punches his uncle in the nose. Well, guess Jack will have to smoke his cocaine for a day or two.
Chuck comes over to Lily’s the next morning. She tells him that Jack is on his way back to Australia. That was quick. She also explains to Chuck that she did all of this for him and that she has no interest whatsoever in running the company. She wants him to run it, and when he turns 18, she will turn it all over to him. Chuck asks Lily if he can move back in.
Ms. Carr finds her way out to Brooklyn to Rufus’ gallery. She tells Dan to call her Rachel. Good lord — boundaries, people! Boundaries! Blair is called into the counselor’s office and learns that the school notified Yale of Blair’s prank and Blair’s acceptance is on hold until she meets the terms of Constance Billard’s detention (probably probation). Dorota is frightened by the look on Blair’s face when she leaves the dean’s office because it means one thing: War.
Is something more than coffee brewing with Dan and Teacher? Are Dan and Serena finally drifting apart? Any guesses as to where the end of the season will land?