Tonight, Gossip Girl returns with an all-new episode after what seems like an eternity — but apparently gossip was slow over the break, because for once it returns right where we left off.

Unlike 90210, which featured outlandishly bland plotlines, such as monkey bites and more lessons as to Why Drugs Are Bad, “The Kids Stay in the Picture” actually offers a few twists and tricks. Although by now, are we really supposed to expect much less?

Kiss With A Fist

Blair and Dan wildly pace around their penthouses and lofts, reflecting upon that ‘experimental kiss’ they shared last time we saw them. You can tell they’re both pretty frazzled about the entire ordeal because Dan has let his sideburns grow to monumental lengths and Blair has done the same with her eyebrows. However, as the two are pacing, we the audience are left to decipher their true feelings on our own — which is unusual seeing as Blair is usually loudly confessing her innermost feelings to Dorota, and Dan is usually word-vomiting all over the nearest non-deaf person. Meanwhile, Blair is re-hired by Epperly to work an upper-class photo shoot, and Dan is summoned by Epperly to the same photo shoot under the pretense of being an ‘up-and-comer’ (which is apparently a non-sexual term, by the way).

Lawyers, Guns and Money

Lily’s indiscretions with the law have finally caught up with her — and just in time for that Modern Royalty photo shoot! While awaiting the details of her prison sentence, Lily is swarmed by the ghost of fanny packs past, as her sister Carol, ex-husband William and mother CeCe all arrive in a cloud of unresolved tension to get their photo taken. And who else is in town? Carol’s daughter, Charlie, who happens to be just as wary of the Upper East Side as her mother.

Once Glamorous Cousin Serena tosses jewelry and dresses her way, however, Charlie starts singing a different tune and tells her mom she never wants to leave Manhattan! Oh, and she starts wearing Serena’s perfume and shoes too. Hypocritical Carol leaves town once Lily & Co. discover she’s been accepting money from CeCe all this time just to support her family. Looks like William will be sticking around for a while, though, and so will his receding hairline, much to Rufus’ chagrin. Or perhaps glee? It’s hard to tell with so much botox in just one room.

Prince Louis and Cousin Charlie: Yay or Nay?

The Road Goes on Forever

Chuck has decided to love Blair again, letting Nate take his spot in Raina’s heart (which is going to break once she finds out her mother’s dead — it’s seriously Chuck from season 3 all over again, only we care even less this time around). When Chuck discovers that Blair kissed Dan, he pulls on Epperly’s strings — which is the real reason Blair was re-hired and Dan was mistaken for ‘royalty.’

But the joke’s on Chuck, because Blair loved Chuck all along, and her kiss with Dan only reinforced that notion! Only, not anymore, because she loved Chuck for thinking he’d changed, and since he set Dan up for humiliation he obviously hasn’t! Oh but Dan really did have feelings for Blair! But maybe he has some for Serena again because he looked at her at the photo shoot!

We’re All Winners

In the episode’s requisite closing montage over which Gossip Girl speaks gibberish, Prince Louis returns with Blair’s discarded high heel, Vanessa leaves a message on Serena’s phone informing her of Dan and Blair’s tongue-session and New Girl Charlie is definitely New Crazy Blonde … although I really don’t think she can take Jenny’s place in that role. But I can totally imagine Jenny returning in the finale, eying Charlie up and down and saying, “I worked my way up the social ladder, you just got everything handed to you on a silver platter. I’ll be taking my room back now.” And boom! Epicness ensues! How did you feel about tonight’s return? Sound off in the comments below!>

(Image courtesy of the CW)


Contributing Writer, BuddyTV