The Kids Stay in the Picture is the 18th episode of the fourth season and the 83rd overall.
Walking down the primrose path, you risk finding hell instead of happily ever after. As with any journey, who you travel with can be more important than your destination. You never know who you'll encounter along the way... Who knows, maybe fairy tales come true after all.
Lily's mother and sister, CeCe and Carol, come to New York to support Lily as she awaits the consequences of turning herself in. Carol's daughter, Charlie, who has been raised away from the glamour of the Upper East Side, follows her mother to the city to meet the rest of her family. Meanwhile, Dan and Blair deal with the aftermath of their kiss, and Chuck realizes he wants to win Blair back.
The episode begins with everyone watching the news coverage of Lily's arrest. Dan waits for a message from Blair that isn't coming, Blair has taken to her bed, Nate and Raina hang out after spending the night together, and Serena heads over to the VDW's. On her way in, she receives a call from Chuck and she says that her father and CeCe will be at family brunch as well. Chuck wonders why Blair has completely cut him out of her life, but Serena promises she isn't seeing anyone and is probably mourning her powerful woman pause. Upstairs, Rufus and William are tense while Lily reads press coverage about herself. CeCe tells them to stop arguing, and compliments how nice Lily looks in her mugshot. She mentions the Modern Royalty book photoshoot which is that day, then Serena arrives. At the loft, Eric is hiding out with Dan for awhile. After Eric suspects something is up with Dan, he admits he kissed Blair and that he has a crush on her. At the Waldorf's, Blair tells Dorota that she thinks she has consumption or any other disease. Dorota reminds her that she still has time to become a powerful woman, but Blair admits she's hiding out to avoid dealing with a certain revelation that determined her future. While they talk, Epperly calls Blair to ask her to help out at the Modern Royalty photoshoot and she agrees. After they hang up, it's revealed Epperly is at The Empire and asked Blair to help after Chuck asked her to. He explains that Blair needs to feel powerful again before they can get back together.
At the VDW's, Lily is angry that CeCe invited Carol to come over and attend the shoot. While everyone talks about it, Carol walks into the apartment and she greets them. Right after, the phone rings and Serena finds out that the book cancelled their photo because of the scandal. Downstairs, Serena is leaving when she's stopped by a blonde, who introduces herself as her cousin Charlie Rhodes. She mentions that her mom doesn't know she's there and asks if they can go somewhere to talk, and Serena agrees. Upstairs, William says he's friends with the book's editor and he can try to get the photo back on. Eric says Lily would like that, and Rufus decides to go along with it. At a coffee shop, Serena and Charlie talk about why Carol kept her away from the UES world. She explains that she wanted to see for herself what she was hiding from her, and Serena offers to show her her world and then Charlie can decide for herself what she thinks of it. Back at the VDW's, Lily is looking through old photo albums when Carol comes in. They reminisce a little on the past, and plan their own photo shoot centered around a favorite shared memory. At the photoshoot, Epperly fills Blair in on arrangements for the photos, including that Chuck will be shot alone. Blair admits to her that she recently had a life changing kiss but doesn't explain anything more. After they talk, Epperly texts Blair the update. Blair then spots Vanessa and demands to know why she's there. Vanessa says the job was posted at NYU and she didn't know the VDW's were going to be there. Meanwhile, Serena and Charlie shop, and Serena gives her a locket that's a family heirloom. Charlie is grateful, and thanks her for the day. While they shop, Lily gets a call from Rufus telling her the shoot is back on. She promises to be right home but before they can leave the store, the two spot Serena and Charlie. At the loft, Chuck drops by to see Dan and fishes for any information regarding Blair's kiss. After he drops that it was life changing, Dan tells him not to mess with it and Chuck takes his advice. When he leaves, he tells Epperly that he knows who Blair kissed and needs one more favor.
Back at the store, Carol berates Charlie for coming to New York, and tells her to return all the clothes she bought; then takes the family heirloom necklace. On the way back into the VDW building, Carol tells Serena and Lily that she isn't staying and only came back to say goodbye to CeCe. She heads back upstairs and tells Serena she doesn't have to come up. After they round the corner, Carol and CeCe start arguing. CeCe says since she sends her money every month, she better stay for the shoot. Carol says it wasn't part of the deal and leaves; but unbeknownst to them, Serena overhears the conversation. At the loft, Dan calls Eric to say he's being included in the Modern Royalty section as an Up and Comer. Eric suspects it's fake and mentions that Blair is working the shoot so maybe she got him in. He asks if Serena knows about the kiss or his crush, but Dan promises that there is nothing to know. After they hang up, Eric gets a call telling him to be at the shoot. Back at the shoot, Dorota brings a night bag for Blair including lingerie, and she explains that she is finally going to reveal her true feelings and needs to be prepared. Dorota mutters that Dan won't know the difference, but Blair is confused and says the kiss made her realize she wanted to be with Chuck. At Intermix, Charlie is returning her clothes when Serena shows up and tells her what she learned. Back at the shoot, Eric arrives and an assistant tells him they need to start setting up for him, Serena, and William. Rufus assumes William set it up for himself, and CeCe begins directing orders to fix things before Lily finds out. At The Empire, Raina tells Nate that her and Russell were requested to be in the Modern Royalty shoot. But when she said no, they asked if she could take it with her mom, and she realized how alone she is.
Back at the shoot, Dan arrives to get his picture taken, but Blair is confused about why is there. Dan says that Epperly called to tell him he was in the shoot, and Blair still wonders why it happened. However, she catches sight of Chuck and realizes he set it up because he knows about the kiss. In the dressing room, Lily thanks Serena for coming and apologizes for letting her down so many times. Carol then barges and demands to know what they did to Charlie. Serena tells her that Charlie probably ran away because she learned about the money, and Lily is surprised at the revelation. Serena goes off to find Charlie, and Lily says she was foolish to ever think Carol would come because she cared. Out in the main part, Blair and Dan confront Chuck. He says that he just wanted Blair to see that Dan is not a part of their world, but she says she already knew that and the kiss meant nothing; other than telling her she wanted to be with Chuck. Meanwhile, Rufus and Eric confront William about sabotaging the picture. William denies doing it, and Lily and CeCe then walk in, with Serena close behind. William denies doing anything and after Lily asks if anyone even wants to be in the photo, Charlie enters and says she does. Carol comes in and Epperly announces it's the VDW photo not the Rhodes photo. William, mad at not being believed, walks away. In a dressing room, Chuck tells Blair he wanted her to be in the photo with him, and that they can build their futures together. However, she said she now knows he isn't ready to be in a real relationship. She says she's sorry and leaves. Downstairs, William tells Lily that he didn't sabotage the photo. She confesses that she couldn't believe she though having herself, Carol, and CeCe together was a good idea. Rufus comes in and says that the editor was traveling, and that William had nothing to do with the mixup. Lily stands, and tells them both it's time to go home. Upstairs, Blair asks Dan what he wanted to talk about earlier, and he reaffirms that the kiss meant nothing to him. He reminds her that her real prince is waiting for her somewhere, and she replies that his princess is waiting for him too. Meanwhile, Charlie confronts Carol about taking the money. Carol says she only wanted was best for her, but Charlie doesn't believe her and leaves. She asks what Serena would do in her situation, and they meet up with Blair to get gelato. Before they leave, Blair sees Chuck getting his photo taken alone.
The next day, Charlie wakes up before Blair and Serena and explores their bedrooms. At the VDW's, Lily reads about Martha Stewart when Carol asks if she's heard about the sentencing. Lily tells her that Serena and Charlie had a nice girls' night, and Carol admits that she lied because she couldn't believe what her life became and only took the money because it was her last resort. They hug and make up. Meanwhile, Serena and Charlie arrive back in the building. Serena tells her to just tell her mom about her intentions, and not ask for permission. While they head up, Vanessa calls but she ignores it. She leaves a voicemail telling her that she overheard Blair and Dan talking about their kiss, and she swears she isn't lying. Upstairs, Charlie tells Carol that she wants to stay in New York in Serena's old room. Lily thinks it's a good idea, but Carol is more cautious. Serena takes Charlie to show her the room, and Carol tells Lily that there was an incident a few months ago, and someone needs to watch her closely at all times. At The Empire, Raina tells Nate about her intentions to look for her mom, since she's not sure Russell told her the real truth about what happened. Back at the VDW's, Rufus brings out photographer Lori Simmons and they begin to set up for a family photo. Dan introduces himself to Charlie. As they take the final shot, the phone rings to tell about the sentencing but they ignore it to take the photo. At The Empire, Chuck sadly looks at the proofs of his photo alone and at the Waldorf's, Blair vents to Dorota about not having a fairytale happen to her. Dorota promises that destiny is full of surprises, and right after, a car pulls up and Louis exits it: carrying the shoe Blair left him.
Main Cast Edit
- 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
- Jessica Szohr as Vanessa Abrams
- Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey (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
- Connor Paolo as Eric van der Woodsen
- William Baldwin as William van der Woodsen
- Kaylee DeFer as Ivy Dickens
- Caroline Lagerfelt as CeCe Rhodes
- Zuzanna Szadkowski as Dorota Kishlovsky
- Sheila Kelley as Carol Rhodes
- Caitlin FitzGerald as Epperly
- Tika Sumpter as Raina Thorpe
- Hugo Becker as Louis Grimaldi
- The Sun by The Naked and Famous
- King of Hush by Sola Rosa
- The Deep End by Hurricane Bells
- Prayer by Electric Sunset
- Selfmachine by I Blame Coco
- Del Ray by Sola Rosa
Memorable Quotes Edit
Rufus (to William): Lily and I were just talking about moving on. What was the subject of that conversation? Oh yeah, you.
CeCe (to Lily): It was smart of you to turn yourself in so you could make sure your hair was done.
William: Well, Rufus does make a point. For once.
Charlie: So you and your brother didn't both end up going to a mental hospital, and your dad didn't give your mom fake cancer, and your mom didn't send an innocent man to prison just to get you back into private school?
Serena: Yeah when you put it that way, maybe we should be quarantined.
Dorota (on Dan): Humphrey more labrador than toad.
Blair: This looks like the dress Diana wore the day after she became princess.
Chuck: Yes. I wanted you to wear it in the photo with me. I had no idea I could just ask. It's not too late. You don't have to be powerful on your own first, we can build our futures together.
Blair: The saddest part is that I'd come to the same conclusion. But now that I know I'm ready, I realize you're not. I thought that everything you went through: Prague, Eva, Russell, that maybe you'd changed. But.. who was I kidding.
Chuck: Don't say that.
Blair: You have years before you're capable of a real relationship, if you ever will be. I'm sorry, Chuck.
Dan: Blair, your prince is out there waiting for you. It might not be me or Chuck, but he's out there.
Carol: Turning yourself in? Not giving a damn what people think? That's my Lily.
- The episode title is based off the movie The Kids Stay in the Picture.
- This episode marks the first onscreen appearance of Lily's sister Carol Rhodes, despite several earlier onscreen mentions.