It's Really Complicted is the 8th episode of the sixth season and 119th episode overall.
Gobble, gobble, Upper East Siders. That's right, it's Thanksgiving again, and I hope you all bought your appetites because today's the one day a year you're supposed to count your blessings, not your calories. I don't care whether you're sick to your stomach, or simply on a liquid diet. This turkey day, I'm going to make sure everyone eats their hearts out.
Serena and Dan decide to throw their first Thanksgiving together, inviting only their closest friends, but everyone seems to have their own agenda once there. Feeling defeated by his father, Chuck begins a downward spiral, leaving Blair to find a solution to his problems. Meanwhile, Dan has written his latest exposé, but he must make a tough decision whether to publish it, knowing it could destroy a close friendship.
The episode begins with Dan and Serena in bed watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Dan receives a text from Georgina asking about the Serena chapter, and he replies that it's done. At The Empire, Nate sorts through papers as he watches Monkey cry for Chuck outside his bedroom door. Inside his room, Chuck is drinking in bed. At the loft, Rufus reads a flyer for a concert held by Lisa Loeb and at the Waldorf's, Blair is preparing to leave for Paris. Dorota asks if she's okay with leaving Chuck behind, and Blair explains that if she just let's him be, he'll be better eventually. She then asks if she's okay with leaving Dan and Serena, and Blair answers that she just needs to let their relationship run it's course. At the VDW's, Dan and Serena are planning their Thanksgiving dinner and Bart and Lily are preparing to head for the Turks and Caicos. Serena suggests they invite Rufus, Chuck, Nate, and Blair to their dinner. Dan agrees to invite Rufus if Serena invites everyone else, and she also decides to pick up the turkey. At The Empire, Nate apologizes again for betraying Chuck and says he's working on finding a way out of the whole thing. Chuck dismisses the information, saying Nate is just wasting his time. At the Waldorf's, Blair is about to leave when Serena arrives to invite her for dinner. Dorota reminds her that Eleanor is expecting her, but Blair decides to go to the dinner. Serena asks her to invite Chuck, and Blair says she will. When Serena is gone, Dorota asks what happened to her vow of no meddling. Blair assures her that she's doing it to save Serena. She calls Sage and proposes to help her get Nate back if she helps her dad get back together with Serena. Sage skeptically agrees to help her out.
Elsewhere outside, Dan meets Georgina at the park and tells her he sent the draft in to the publisher already. Georgina demands to know why, then reasons that Dan probably wrote a nice chapter to her to make her fall for him so the negative chapter was for not. Dan tells her to wait until the chapter comes out and leaves. When he's gone, Georgina calls Philip to tell him to find the address of Dan's editor's assistant. Meanwhile, Serena is grocery shopping when she runs right into Sage and Steven. At The Empire, Nate bursts into Chuck's room to inform him that Bruce Caplan; the Bass business manager is dead, and happened to fall off the Bass Enterprises yacht just a few days after they saw him last. Chuck is uninterested, saying that even if Bart had it done, he got rid of the evidence. Downstairs, Blair tries to enter the hotel and discovers that Chuck had her banned. At the store, Sage tells Serena that Steven is doing terribly without her. Sage apologizes for Cotillion, saying she knows now Steven loved them both. Steven explains they were supposed to be in Amsterdam, but Sage didn't finish her college applications. Sage sadly stares at Serena's turkey, and Serena invites them to the dinner. Outside The Empire, Blair meets with Nate. He tells her how badly Chuck is doing and that Bruce Caplan is dead. Blair suggests they find a way to tie both Bruce and the Shekih's deaths together or find a way to show Lily who Bart really is. She suddenly has an idea.
At the loft, Dan invites Rufus to their dinner but Rufus says he's going to spend the holiday at a benefit concert. Rufus reminds him that van der Woodsen women will never take them seriously, and they will always choose the Bart Bass' of the world. Dan replies that the trick is to become Bart Bass, but Rufus says that's a good thing that they can't. He leaves, and Dan calls Daphne, his editor's assistant. Elsewhere outside, Georgina tracks Daphne down and she accidentally lets it slip that Dan wrote two Serena chapters, and he just sent over a new one. At The Empire, Blair goes to see Chuck disguised as a Pocahontas stripper. She invites him to the dinner, promising that Bart and Lily won't be there. After a little prodding, he agrees to go. At the VDW's, Bart and Lily arrive back due to their flight being delayed. Serena, Steven, and Sage also arrive. Sage whispers to Dorota that Blair's plan worked perfectly, and Dan receives a text from Daphne asking which chapter he wants posted. Dan becomes annoyed that Serena asked Steven, but she says she only invited them because they had nowhere to go. Blair and Chuck arrive, and Blair worriedly asks Serena what Bart and Lily are doing there. Serena explains about the tropical storm, and Blair quickly texts Nate telling him they're still in town. Lily approaches Chuck and asks if he's there to apologize to Bart. He says no and walks off. Nate arrives and is immediately stopped by Sage, asking if they can talk. He begins to say no until he sees Bart coming over, then tells her that they can. Meanwhile, Steven tells Dan that Serena has no real interest in him and is only using him as a rebound. Dan replies that Steven knows nothing about her, and Steven just says he knows Serena needs someone to take care of her and Dan can't.
At the same time, Blair is pleased that her plan is working with Steven but then notices Chuck about to leave. She runs over to stop him, and pleads that they don't need a smoking gun to shoot Bart; they just need a tie to bind the two deaths together. Chuck realizes that that information is in the open, but the feds won't take a theory. Blair reasons that the only one they need to convince is Lily, and that she had Jack get the passwords and Nate is trying them all upstairs. When they're done talking, Georgina walks into the apartment. Dan tells her he won't show her either chapter, and she tells him that he needs to be careful what one he chooses to post. Serena then announces dinner is ready, and Dan calls Daphne to tell her what chapter to post. While getting food, Blair lets it slip to Lily about Bruce's death. Meanwhile, Steven pulls Serena aside and tells her he's concerned about her and Dan. Serena says they've both made mistakes, but they're happy, and Steven reveals he's still in love with her. Serena rejects him; saying Dan is her first love. Steven realizes he got it right at Cotillion and leaves. Upstairs, Nate and Chuck log into Bart's computer. Sage is also in the room and after they log in, she and Nate begin to make out. Nate is about to tell Sage what he did when Chuck finds something. Downstairs, Lily asks Bart about Bruce. Bart hesitates, then says it was tragic news. While he's asking Lily who told her, Chuck interrupts saying Bruce dropped like a rock; similar to the ones tied to his ankles. He mentions Bruce was on the Bass Industries yacht, and that the Sheikh died in a Bass issued car that burst into flames. Chuck shows he has evidence with the leasing agreement, and then mentions how weird it is that the only men who knew Bart's secret ended up being killed in Bass issued transportation. Lily excuses herself, and Bart follows. Dorota then whispers to Blair that Steven left.
She finds Serena, and she tells her Steven tried to get her back. Blair finally lets out that Dan is not the one for Serena, and that he is a self promoting hipster weasel, and she doesn't want Serena to be hurt. Serena promises that she's wrong about him and goes to sit down. Upstairs, Lily confronts Bart about lying that no one got hurt. Bart tells her it was all a coincidence, and she wonders if she should begin questioning him since he lied. Becoming angry, Bart suddenly grabs her and says no one got hurt. Lily quietly replies that he's hurting her now, and he responds by saying Chuck is responsible for all this and he won't stop until he's forced to. Downstairs, Serena makes a toast thanking everyone for coming. After she's done, Georgina announces that Dan's newest serial is out: the one about Serena. Blair reads that it's titled "A Faux Love Story", and Serena heads to her room to read it. Dan follows and Serena is devastated at the things Dan wrote about her. She asks why, and Dan says that it doesn't matter when he wrote it; because it is the truth. He also reveals that he set up everything that happened to them recently, and Serena argues that she let him into her home, and her world. Dan replies that that is the issue; it was always her world and she always considered him a visitor. She breaks up with him, leaving him alone in her room. Meanwhile, Lily comes downstairs and begins to act apologetic to Chuck and tells him she knows the truth now. Bart then comes down, and Lily quickly says she was apologizing for trying to force a reconciliation. Frustrated, Chuck walks off. He sits down with Blair, Nate, Serena, and Sage. Dan emerges with his bags, and Nate stops him, punches him in the face, then tells him that's from everyone. At the elevator, Bart tells Dan that he was impressed with the article and to call him if he ever needs anything. Georgina catches the elevator with Dan, and tells him that they now fear him.
After everyone is gone, Lily tells Bart she's going to the spa for a few days. He calls Nate, who is with Sage. He admits to her that he forged The Spectator finances, and now Bart is blackmailing him to turn him against Chuck. Sage decides not to leave, telling Nate she isn't going anywhere. At the loft, Dan arrives to find Rufus alone. He says he saw the Serena piece, but Dan says he told the truth and did what he had to do. He explains that what he wants isn't in Brooklyn, and he's just following his plan that he's had the whole time. At The Empire, Lily calls Chuck and apologizes for trusting Bart, and that that is what she was trying to say when Bart interrupted. She tells him that she's headed out of town for a week because she's scared to be around him, and she's worried he's coming after him, too. She also reveals that she read each film with CeCe's jewelers loop and will send him everything she can remember. She tells him to be safe. In Nate's room, Bart calls Nate and tells him to be at his office in the morning or wake up to the feds. Nate promises to be there. At the VDW's, Serena calls Steven, who sends her call to voicemail while reading Dan's chapter about her. At The Empire, Blair arrives to see Chuck, who is waiting with champagne. He tells her Lily has seen the light, and asks her to go to war. She immediately agrees and they toast. At the loft, Dan begins to type the final chapter.
- Blake Lively as Serena van der Woodsen
- Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf
- Penn Badgley as Dan Humphrey
- Chace Crawford as Nate Archibald
- Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass
- Kaylee DeFer as Ivy Dickens (Credit only, as she does not appear in the episode)
- Kelly Rutherford as Lily van der Woodsen
- Matthew Settle as Rufus Humphrey
- Michelle Trachtenberg as Georgina Sparks
- Zuzanna Szadkowski as Dorota Kishlovsky
- Sofia Black D'Elia as Sage Spence
- Barry Watson as Steven Spence
- Robert John Burke as Bart Bass
- Tunnels by The Hundred in The Hands
- For You by Wolf Rider
- Pomelos by Mechanical River
- Silent Machine by Cat Power
Chuck: Where's Monkey? I found his crying at my door comforting.
Nate: I had Ivan from housekeeping take him for a walk
Chuck: Why? Cause you were too busy reading up on new ways to betray your best friend?
Chuck (on how to handle the Bart situation): My advice is to lie back and think of England.
Nate: Yeah, thanks for the help.
Chuck: If I could defeat my father, do you think I'd be here drinking alone unable to be with the woman I love? Maybe you should do some research into finding a hot tub time machine so you could go back and undo your creative accounting.
Blair: Four major holidays stand between now and Serena being a June bride. Measures must be taken.
Sage (to Serena on how Steven has been without her): He's been terrible.
Steven: Okay, that's embarrassing, but maybe a little true.
Nate: All he does now is drink in bed and argue with Monkey.
Blair: I had no idea it was that bad!
Nate: Yeah, it's bad. He's even given up on defeating Bart.
Blair: Well, that can't happen, we can't let Bart win. We need to reinspire him!
Nate: Chuck didn't even care when I told him Bruce Caplan mysteriously drowned.
Blair: His dentist?
Nate: No, that's Brad Caplan. Bruce is the Bass business manager.
Sage (to Nate): Can we talk? Don't worry, I'm not pregnant, I just miss you.
Georgina: Do you want to win? Or do you just want to win Serena?
Dan: There is no winning without Serena.
Serena: You were supposed to be different.
Dan: I used to be. Got me nowhere. So now I'm the same.
Georgina (to Dan): They fear you. Welcome to the Upper East Side.
Chuck (to Blair): Will you go to war with me?
- The episode title is based off the movie It's Complicated.
- Bart's computer password is "ParkAve740".
Serena van der Woodsen - The Golden Girl's Fall From Grace: A Faux Love Story
Everyone's read about Serena van der Woodsen in the tabloids and fashion magazines and she sounds like the girl who has everything. But that's not the truth. The truth is much sadder. It's emptier. Because the truth is-
Serena is nothing. She's a golden shell. Give her love and she'll do anything you want. Well, with daddy issues like these, it's not hard to push the right buttons. And once you do, the most powerful girl on the Upper East Side has no power at all.
She lets her worth be determined by what she wears, or how many people are talking about her. She has decided that the messed up world she lives in is the world she wants. And who can blame her, once you consider how she grew up?
What does a kid want more than anything in the world? Not a chateau in the Swiss Alps or private jets chartered for vacations in Tahiti. A kid wants structure and stability, and those are two words that never described Serena's childhood. So she learned to embrace the chaos, and her name became synonymous with drama and trouble.