The Kids Are Not Alright is the 12th episode of the fourth season and the 77th overall.
It's a cold new year, Upper East Siders. Time to donate that fall wardrobe to the help and to present the world with a better version of you: which could mean facing your future and forgetting past mistakes... or finally settling on a brand new path. But a new year doesn't wipe away old problems.
A former associate of Chuck’s father, fellow businessman Russell Thorpe, along with his crafty and headstrong daughter Raina, return to Manhattan with some unfinished business concerning Bass Industries. Serena and Chuck unite against Lily. Meanwhile, Blair realizes that her mother, Eleanor, may be her key to becoming a future CEO. Also, Nate worries that his father, The Captain, is having a little too much fun after his release from prison and is not taking his parole seriously.
The episode begins with Dan and Blair both throwing away their tickets to the film Nanette and Serena arriving back from her mission trip. She tells Blair how unsuccessful her trip was, especially considering Judge Stevens was out of town and unable to see her. Blair denies doing anything exciting over the break, and announces she has decided to intern with Indra Nooyi but has three days to convince her to hire her. Meanwhile, Chuck has arrived home from New Zealand and learns from Nate that Howard isn't doing anything to better his future and is only partying. Chuck explains that Bart's old associate Russell Thorpe is in town and throwing a party, and that he hopes he can go see him beforehand. Before family brunch, Dan and Serena meet up. Dan is vague about what he did over the break, and Serena fills him in on her trip failures. He mentions that he has an interview with Writer's House later to help him get an internship, and they arrive at the restaurant. However, Serena is unpleasantly surprised when Lily is inside waiting, with Rufus and Eric.At the Waldorf's, Blair is frustrated at Penelope and Jessica for failing to get her five minutes alone with Indra to plead her case. While they discuss, Eleanor arrives home and invites Blair to intern with her. Blair declines, saying she has no desire to build a career around fashion. At that moment, Eleanor's itinerary comes in and Blair learns that she is dressing Indra for a party later that afternoon. At Russell Thorpe's office, Chuck meets a woman who he assumes is his assistant and demands a meeting. She refuses, and he attempts to get in by telling her about the sale of Bass Industries. Again, she refuses and tells him that he hasn't yet landed from Chicago and that there's a deal regarding the sale of Bass Industries that is set to close in 24 hours. Meanwhile at brunch, things become awkward very quickly and Serena, Eric, and Dan leave soon after it begins. Rufus goes to get the check and while he does so, Lily makes a call to Judge Stevens and tells him that it's safe for him to return to his ranch now. Outside, Serena and Dan discuss the Ben situation. They're about to go somewhere to sit and talk when Chuck pulls up and asks for Serena's help to save Bass Industries. She agrees to help him, and she makes plans with Dan to meet up before his interview. At The Empire, Chuck suggests to Serena that if they break into her safe at the bank, they can blackmail Lily into cancelling the sale and saving Ben. In the park, Nate and Howard go for a run and he cautiously suggests Howard go on a job interview. He explains that his PO has an interview set up for that afternoon and they make plans to go for a celebratory dinner after. At the Waldorf's, Dan arrives to wait for Serena. Eleanor enters the room and Blair lies that she changed her mind about interning with her. Eleanor gives her the task of styling Patti Blagojevich, even after Blair asks to dress Indra Nooyi. After Eleanor leaves, Blair instructs her minions to tell Indra's entourage that her Waldorf Designs fitting has been moved up a half hour. Meanwhile at the bank, Serena, dressed as Lily and accompanied by Chuck, successfully break into Lily's safe. Back at the Waldorf's, Dan notices the time and calls the office to ask if he can reschedule. However, they tell him that today was the day they were choosing an intern and that he lost his opportunity. At the bank, Serena and Chuck sift through the files, and eventually find a copy of the affidavit with her forged signature. At the VDW's, Lily arrives home and finds Chuck waiting for her. She sits him down and explains that Bass Industries is in deep financial trouble, and has been for awhile. Continuing, she says that his disappearance was the final nail in the coffin but that if they sell now, they can control the sale; and that she has found a private buyer who will keep the company and Bart's legacy intact. Chuck realizes Lily is making the right call, and she promises that in 24 hours he will see that she's right. At the Waldorf's, Serena arrives and Blair tells her that Dan left a long time ago. She warns Serena to treat Dan better because he is always willing to put himself on the line for her, but is interrupted when Chuck calls. He tells Serena that he thinks Lily is doing the right thing and their blackmail will have to wait. She agrees to wait one more day before doing anything drastic. At the VDW's, Rufus and Lily leave for Russell's party, but Lily is annoyed when Eric refuses to go. Right after they leave, the house phone rings and Eric answers. It's The Palace Hotel concierge, and he learns that Lily was putting Judge Stevens up in the hotel. At the Waldorf's, Eleanor discovers that Blair switched dresses and her plan to win Indra over. Meanwhile, Blair has arrived at Indra's hotel and convinces an employee to let her into the room. However, when she enters, she discovers Indra is gone and only a note from Eleanor telling her she knows what she did remains. At the loft, Serena arrives to see Dan and apologizes for being late. He explains that he's going to a James Franco reading at Writer's House that the agent will be at, and he's going to try to get an internship despite missing the interview. Serena invites herself to go, and Dan agrees to let her. Before they can leave, Eric calls Serena to tell her where Judge Stevens was. Looking at the affidavit, she decides to bypass Chuck and blackmail Lily anyway, telling Dan they're making a stop before the party. At the party, Blair is trying to avoid Eleanor. Nate arrives and tells Dan that Howard skipped his interview that afternoon, then spots him enjoying himself at the party. Chuck sees the girl from earlier, who introduces herself as Raina Thorpe. Russell is with her, and formally introduces himself and Raina as his daughter. Chuck tells him he knows about the Bass Industries, but Russell denies buying the company and then explains that he hates the company after Bart stole it and kicked him out of the city. He continues that if he knew it was for sale, he would have bought it cheap and dismantled it for parts. Elsewhere, Lily runs into Dan and he lets it slip about Eric calling. At that moment, Eric arrives and explains that he knows she was hiding Judge Stevens. Lily asks Dan to stop Serena from whatever she's planning to save their family. Meanwhile, Eleanor confronts Blair about what she did. She fires her from interning with her. At the bar, Serena runs into Chuck, who explains that Lily misled him about the buyer of Bass Industries. Serena fills him in on Lily putting up Judge Stevens, and they agree to go through with their plan, however Chuck tells her to give the affidavit to a journalist at the party. Dan comes up and asks if they can leave yet, but Serena asks for more time. He takes the folder containing the affidavit from her, and asks if she's going to choose her plan or leaving with him. She takes the folder back, and apologizes before walking away. She heads upstairs and gives the file to the journalist, and Lily asks what she just did. Chuck tells her to cancel the sale and Serena adds that she has to get Ben out of jail too, or she'll tell the press about there signature. The reporter comes up, and tells them that while he's flattered at Dan trying to get a job from him, he doesn't have the power to hire anyone. Serena realizes Dan switched the envelopes. Lily tells Serena that if the information about what she did ever got out, she would be arrested by the DA and charged with forgery, and can never get out. Downstairs, Nate confronts Howard about missing his interview. Howard explains that he went to the interview, but felt terrible about himself for trying to beg for a janitor's job. He promises to make Nate proud, but Nate reminds him that he's said that before. Meanwhile, Blair sits with Dan and they explain their failure of a day. She tells him about her fight with Eleanor, and he tells her that she shouldn't deny being a dictator of taste just because it's what her mother does. Upstairs, Lily talks to Chuck about the sale, and admits she misled him to give the deal time to close. She tells him that the buyer just called and said he's backing out of the sale after hearing her fight with her children. Chuck realizes his father's life work is up for auction, and Lily tells him to pray it doesn't go to someone who chops it up. At that moment, Russell begins his introductory speech and announces that he and Raina are moving to New York, and that he's planning to buy Bass Industries. After the party at the Waldorf's, Blair apologizes to Eleanor, who takes responsibility for Blair's bad qualities. While they talk, they realize that an ideal career for Blair is an editor of a fashion magazine. Upstairs, Dan goes to see Serena. He gives her back the affidavit, and she tries to apologize for the day's disappointments. After talking, they decide that if they ever get back together, it will be their last chance and it will either succeed or fail forever. Dan kisses her cheek afterwards, and leaves. At The Empire, Nate calls Howard and tells him again to get a job. Howard claims to be at an interview, but Nate thinks he's lying and hangs up. Meanwhile, Howard is indeed at an interview: with Russell himself, looking for someone with connections to the inside. Back at the Waldorf's, Dan is heading out when he runs into Blair. He tells her that he's off to see a movie, and Blair subtly suggests she wants to go to. He agrees to wait for her while she changes to come. Serena goes to see Ben in prison but finds that he was released earlier that evening since Judge Stevens moved up his parole a few days ago; proving that Lily really was planning to make things right. At the VDW's, Rufus tells Lily that he remembered Russell's name from the time they made lists of who they slept with. At a bar, Raina goes to see Chuck and apologizes for earlier. She tells him that Russell told the buyer about the family fight to ruin the deal, and she offers to wait for him outside for five minutes in her car; promising to never bring it up again if he doesn't come. After she goes outside, he finishes his drink and follows her. Outside the prison, Serena runs into Ben, who is waiting for the bus. She asks if he's free for coffee and he replies that he's free for anything.
- 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
- Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey (Credit only, as she does not appear in the episode)
- Jessica Szohr as Vanessa Abrams (Credit only, as she does not appear in the episode)
- Kelly Rutherford as Lily van der Woodsen
- Matthew Settle as Rufus Humphrey
Recurring/Guest Cast Edit
- Zuzanna Szadkowski as Dorota Kishlovsky
- Margaret Colin as Eleanor Waldorf
- Amanda Setton as Penelope Shafai
- Connor Paolo as Eric van der Woodsen
- Michael Boatman as Russell Thorpe
- Tika Sumpter as Raina Thorpe
- Alice Callahan as Jessica Leitenberg
- David Call as Ben Donovan
- Sam Robards as Howard 'The Captain' Archibald
- Bang Bang Bang by Mark Ronson & The Business Intl
- Ghosts by The Hundred In The Hands
- For All Your Sins by The Dig
- Elephants by Warpaint
Memorable Quotes Edit
Blair (to Serena): Have a little faith and if that doesn't work, a lot of mimosas.
Howard (while playing the Wii): Hey Nate! Need one more for a foursome, you in dude?
Nate (on the phone with Chuck): That is not what it sounded like.
Penelope: Do you know how many girls would kill to intern with your mother?
Blair: Yes, and they're the Jenny Humphreys of the world.
Dan: You do know that "powerful woman" is not actually a career, right?
Blair: And neither is Serena van der Woodsen but ten bucks says that you'll miss your interview waiting for her, yet again.
Dan: Ten bucks whatever harebrained scheme you're cooking up blows up in your face, as per usual.
Blair: Loitering lounge is upstairs!
Dan: Already there, sister.
Serena: And what are we going to say, you're my son?
Chuck: Is it weird hearing you say that actually turns me on?
Blair: I have to take my future into my own hands. Otherwise-
Eleanor: Otherwise what? You'll be forced to follow in my footsteps? No, that's fine, dear. Now that I realize your childish games are actually who you are and not a phase, I wouldn't want someone like you wanting to be like me. And you are fired.
Dan: You care about fashion more than most people care about, well, um, anything. You used to send girls home crying from Constance for wearing tights as pants.
Blair: Well, somebody had to. It was for the greater good. Just like I suggest you take off that tie and shove it in your pocket.
Dan: You're an evil dictator of taste, Blair. Why deny that just because it's what your mother does?
Dan: It's not your fault that I seem to drop everything just to make myself available to you.
Serena: I don't mean to take you for granted.. It's just, if we're being completely honest-
Dan: We are.
Serena: I think that maybe sometimes I test you. You know, I keep thinking that if things get too hard, you'll give up on me but you never do.
Dan: And I never will. If you really need me, ever, I'm there, but I think there's a reason you didn't insist I come with you over break.
Serena: And why you didn't try and make me stay.
Dan: So where does that leave us?
Serena: One last shot... If we ever do jump in again, that'll be it. We either sink or swim, we won't get another chance.
Dan: So when that time comes, we better make damn sure we're ready.
- The episode title is based off the movie The Kids are All Right.
- Blair's phone number is (212) 555 - 0135 as shown on her resume. Her experiences include being a member of Hamilton House ("Since this is an elite members only club, I cannot divulge my responsibilities or duties about the elusive organization"), interning at Rose, Gerstein & Block (Cyrus' law firm; "Duties included taking notes during important depositions, assisting entertainment lawyers in everyday assignments and trying to stay clear of paralegals and their smelly lunches"). Her charity work included NYC Fights Homeless and Save The Peregrine Falcons of Central Park.
- The supposed incident between Serena and Ben happened March 24, 2007.
- Dan's resume experience includes his catering experience in Seder Anything ("Set the table for a lavish Passover Seder, distributed food for said seder, cleaned up after previously mentioned seder", and when he interned for Jeremiah Harris ("Keeping Mr. Harris' schedule, doing research and taking notes).