The Upper East Side’s bendable space-time continuum — which usually affords Blair the opportunity to pop out Williamsburg to threaten a Humphrey, over to The Hamptons to pick up some pastries, back to Central Park to feed her ducks, and over to Constance-Billiard for class, all before breakfast — is apparently no longer in play. And if she can’t speed-up and slow-down time at her will, she’s going to have to learn to ride the subway to see Nate at Columbia, and sleep all night in the back of Chuck’s limo at the Jesus Camp compound to save Serena — but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Nate is worried that when he and Blair go off to college at opposite ends of the city, he won’t be able to see her. And by “see her” I mean “keep her away from Chuck.” She refuses his subway-riding lesson on principle (“Rats go underground. Not Waldorfs!”), so Nate appeals to his BFF to stay away from Blair. Chuck’s like, “You have nothing to worry about, because I offered myself and she chose you, presumably because I am, at this exact moment, wearing a velour track suit. So, barring an incident in which Serena marries a scalawag who tries to steal money from the Bass der Woodsen co-op, you have nothing to worry about.”
Rather than sit around and try to calculate the probability of such a thing happening, Nate decides to buy an apartment so he and Blair can move in together.
It’s emotional chow-chow at the palace, where Blair tells Serena she chose Nate because Chuck won’t hold her hand or something, and Serena tells Blair that her new boyfriend Gabriel is perfect, perfect, perfect. Except for the way he keeps running off every fifteen minutes to do those secret business things business people do. Blair, who senses nefariousness the way sharks sense blood, offers up a girl’s night with surveillance equipment and Dorota. Serena laughs it off, but you know Blair’s going through with it.
Meanwhile, several rungs down the socio-economic ladder, Rufus has taken his children to an antique shop. He taps his fingers together, then slings his arms wide. “Soon,” he says. “We will be rich beyond even your delusional Humphrey imaginings! All this will be ours!” Jenny and Dan survey the bricka brack, and Rufus offers to buy Dan a World War I steamer trunk to take with him to college. He also spies a horrific topaz ring in a jewelry case, but has to take a phone call before he can examine it properly.
Jenny’s like, “I guess he’s so happy because of Lily? And maybe we should pool our life savings and buy him this ring? Because it can’t be worth more than a quarter, right?”
Rufus’ dreams of knick knack domination don’t last long, though. He finds out that his gallery is kinda jank. No one wants to buy it, which means that like him, his children are bound for a life of misery and destitution. Rufus bears his soul to Vanessa, because nothing shouts “confidante!” like your teenage son’s best friend. If only there was a quick way he could triple his money, so he could send Dan to college!
Serena introduces Gabriel to her mom and Rufus, and oh, they are charmed. They invite him to stay for a movie night, but he receives a cryptic text and has to jet. Serena doesn’t understand what could be more important than watching DVDs with Lily and Rufus — even though I can think of two dozen things right off the top of my head — so she pulls a face exponentially more pouty than her regular face, which, frankly, I didn’t know was possible. Gabriel apologizes and rushes out into the secret, waiting arms of Poppy Lifton. Only, not so much a secret at all, because Blair and Chuck are outside casing his every move.
Blair tells Serena, who asks Gabriel, who explains he’s just using Poppy to get rich, and at the end of the week, he’ll be Serena’s one true love. Serena, inexplicably, is fine with it. Blair, obviously, is not.
Vanessa is waiting for Dan when he gets home, hoping to play a game of “I Never” at 4:00 in the afternoon. “I never slept with Chuck Bass,” she blurts out, guzzling half a bottle of beer. “I never slept with Chuck Bass twice,” she says, downing the rest. Dan doesn’t judge her, because that’s his new thing: not being priggish. Instead, they get drunk on obscure beer from South America — because while they are growing as people, they’re still Vanessa and Dan — and she lets slip that he’s not going to college.
At the Bass der Woodsen co-op, Chuck and Blair concoct a Poppy/Serena/Gabriel meeting, in which Gabriel chooses love over money, and then proceeds to hit up Serena’s mom and friends for millions of dollars so that starving kids in Rwanda can use the computers they don’t have with the free Wi-Fi he’s going to provide to look at pictures of food. Check it: Wi-Fi for The Poors; triple money for The Rich! The co-op was savvy enough to reject Madoff for five years, but has no qualms that a grown-ass man who dates high school students might be in the in the Taking Advantage of People business.
The only people not bewitched by Gabriel’s luscious eyelashes are Blair and Chuck. The entire crux of their argument lies in contradicting Gabriel’s story about the night he met Serena, and the only way to do that is to entreat one, Miss Georgia Sparks. Awesomely, she is at church camp.
Chuck and Blair spend the night in his limo, outside Georgina’s Jesus Camp compound. They wake up holding hands, but immediately break apart to fix their hair/makeup. Chuck advises Blair to stay in the car because Georgina hates her guts.
Back in the UES, Rufus shows up at Gabriel’s door to deliver his life-savings in person.
At church camp, Georgina is putting on a passion play. She’s reformed; she met Jesus; she told him all her sins. “That must have been a long conversation,” says Chuck.
Georgina cannot corroborate Gabriel’s story about the night he met Serena, but too little too late. Just as Chuck is putting the pieces together, Serena calls (Georgina: “Oh, is that Serena? Tell her hello! I have so much love in my heart for that girl!”) to tell Chuck that Gabriel has skipped town with everyone’s money. Chuck is all, “Hang tight, I’ll be there just as soon as — dammit, Blair stole my limo!”
Georgina’s eyes flash when Chuck says Blair’s name. She repeats it, even her hair crackles. As Chuck and Georgina drive away in a taxi, Gossip Girl is like, “Need more proof Blair Waldorf is God? You just saw a resurrection.”