The Serena Also Rises is the 5th episode of the second season and the 23rd overall.
When the white tents blossom in Bryant Park it can only mean one thing: Fashion Week. The time of year when any Park Ave princess would trade her last Prada Pochette for front row seats to the best shows. And we hear the seating chart for Eleanor Waldorf's show is being made by our very own B...
In the midst of Fashion Week, a furious Blair learns that her mother, Eleanor, at the suggestion of her protégé Jenny, has given Serena and her new socialite friend, Poppy Lifton, front row seats to the Eleanor Waldorf show. Hurt once again by Serena's popularity and her mother's betrayal, Blair decides to sabotage the show. Meanwhile, Dan starts hanging out with Chuck, but a walk on the dark side always has its risks and Dan learns that the hard way. Lily learns a secret that her new husband Bart has been keeping from her.
At Waldorf Designs, Blair fills Eleanor in on her seating chart for the fashion show. Eleanor asks if she and Serena will be sitting backstage with her like they do every year and Blair confirms that they will be before mentioning that she sat her minions up front. Meanwhile, Dan and Jenny walk to school. He tells her how he's now planning on go to Dartmouth and is meeting with an author, Noah Shapiro, that afternoon to get a letter of recommendation. Afterwards, Dan heads to class and doesn't notice Jenny hail a taxi and call Laurel to tell her she's on her way into the atelier. At the VDW's, Lily is being shown the new artwork in the penthouse by her art collector, Bex. Serena comes downstairs and compliments the new pieces. Lily asks about her coming in late the night before and Serene explains that she and Poppy Lifton had an event at MOMA. Bex asks if she means the socialite Poppy and Lily says that she and Serena met recently and became fast friends. Lily and Bex then move into the front room, and Lily mentions that there is going to be a piece by Maple Thorpe coming up for auction soon. Serena asks if that's the guy that took all the pictures of the naked guys, and Lily explains that at one point, she too, modeled for Maple Thorpe.
At Constance, Chuck stops Blair on her way into school and offers his help in making sure Serena doesn't become the new queen. Blair is unamused and declines his offer, saying her crown isn't in jeopardy and that her VIP access to fashion week is exactly what she needs to secure her place on top. She then surprises Penelope, Hazel, Isabel, and Nelly with the tickets to Eleanor's show. However, the excitement is short lived due to Hazel noticing that Serena and Poppy are featured in Women's Wear Daily. Serena arrives at that moment and is bombarded by everyone asking about Poppy. Annoyed, Blair leaves and tells Serena she's going to leave her to her fans. On her way out, she runs into Chuck, who baits her by saying watching her fail makes him happy. She retorts that he makes everyone miserable and everyone dislikes him because he isn't even human. Elsewhere, Dan meets with Noah Shapiro, who informs him that all of his stories are boring and one and the same. He encourages him to get out of his comfort zone and do something different with his life to get good material. At Waldorf Designs, Eleanor is panicking over preparations for the show and begins to increase Jenny's workload. Laurel approaches and tells Eleanor that the seating chart is weak and everyone who matters isn't expected to be there. Jenny overhears the conversation, then notices Serena's photo in WWD. She shows the paper to Eleanor and suggests that she might be able to help, with her new socialite friends.
At the VDW's, Dan arrives to see Chuck. He explains that he needs to get out of his comfort zone and that he thinks Chuck is the perfect person to help him. Chuck hesitantly agrees and instructs him to get in the elevator. At the Waldorf's, Blair complains about her day to Dorota. She then grabs the seating chart and realizes that someone changed it. Dorota says that Eleanor said that Jenny changed the chart and Blair notes that Jenny never learned her lesson. Eleanor then arrives in the penthouse and Blair confronts her about the change. Blair also mentions that Serena would never agree to sitting upfront since she's always backstage with Blair, but Eleanor answers that Lily accepted the offer for Serena; who did agree. She also explains that Jenny has shouldered most of the work at the atelier over the past few weeks and Blair wonders why. Eleanor replies that she has an independent study, which Blair quickly deducts as a lie. On her way out of the apartment, she runs into Laurel and Jenny. She whispers to Jenny that she never learns and accuses her of ruining the chart. Jenny apologizes and says she didn't know, but Blair replies that she does now. Meanwhile, Chuck and Dan go to a bar and Chuck orders a round of shots. He tells Dan to take a few shots to chase down two mysterious pills. Dan tries to say no, but Chuck tells him to either do it or leave. Dan decides to take a risk and downs the pills. At the VDW's, Lily has dinner with Serena and Poppy. During dinner, Lily explains about Eleanor's invitation to sit up front but Serena doesn't think it's a good idea due to her tradition with Blair. Poppy suggests that they sit up front for Eleanor's show and that they invite Blair to Marc Jacobs' after party to makeup for it. Serena thinks Blair might be okay with that, and Lily excuses herself to take a phone call from Bex; who informs her that the Maple Thorpe was sold before the auction. Lily instructs her to find out who bought it and make them a better offer.
At the loft, Blair arrives and tells Rufus that she brought Jenny some soup, since she heard she's been sick. Confused, Rufus says she has the wrong information and Blair explains that Headmistress Queller told her that Jenny has been absent from school due to a bad case of mono. She then offers her phone to Rufus so he can call the headmistress and confirm the story for himself. Elsewhere, Dan and Chuck ride in Chuck's limo while Dan is very high from the pills. He talks about being hot and Chuck suggests he take his shoes off. Dan does so and Chuck then pulls the limo aside and orders him to get out. Dan does so, without his shoes. At Waldorf Designs, Rufus arrives to pick Jenny up and informs her that her fashion duties are over due to her lying about skipping school. On her way out, Jenny sees Blair and realizes who tipped Rufus off.
The next day, Jenny tries to explain that she had girls emailing her assignments and she just wanted to get through Fashion Week. However, Rufus isn't interested in her explanation and tells her that he made an appointment for her to see Headmistress Queller that afternoon to prove she's worthy of not being expelled. At the Waldorf's, Serena arrives to see Blair. They argue about Serena's decision to attend Eleanor's show with Poppy, which only ends with Serena informing Blair that she's going to attend the show no matter what. Elsewhere, Dan gives another story to Noah Shapiro, who is still unimpressed. However, he likes the character Charlie Trout, who is modeled after Chuck. Noah tells him to write from that point of view and he would have a great story. His final instruction is for Dan to find out Charlie's secret and to bring him back a story with teeth. At Constance, Jenny dodges calls and texts from Laurel before going in to meet with Headmistress Queller.
That night at the VDW's, Bex comes to see Lily. She tells her that Bart is the one who bought her Maple Thorpe and that he probably bought it for her as a gift. Lily is happy with this news. At Eleanor's show, Serena and Poppy arrive to find that there is no longer a seat for Serena up front. She pulls aside a woman wearing a headset and tells her about the problem. Before she can go check, Blair comes over and says there is no mistake because Serena is supposed to be sitting in the back. Jenny then walks over and tells the woman to put Serena's name card on the right seat. Eleanor approaches at that moment and fixes the situation. Afterwards, she berates Blair and tells her to spare them all the dramatics for one night. She then happily acknowledges Jenny and brings her backstage. At a bar, Chuck calls Bart; who isn't happy to be bothered by his son. He tells him that he's tired, jet lagged, and too busy for him. Unbeknownst to him, Dan overhears this phone conversation before sitting down with him and asks for another chance. Back at the show, Jenny gives her dress to a fellow volunteer and asks her to set it aside for the after party. Blair then talks to the volunteer and asks what Jenny's job is and learns that Jenny's job is to get the models to the runway. Back at the bar, Dan tries to converse with Chuck, especially about his father. However, Chuck isn't interested and leaves to talk to a woman he assumes is a hooker. He quickly realizes his mistake when the woman is offended at his proposition, and the woman then tells her boyfriend. He comes over and shoves Chuck and Dan gets in the middle of it. Before things get out of hand, Dan punches the guy in the face. At the loft, Rufus arrives back after being out to find the place empty. He finds a message from Headmistress Queller informing him that the situation with Jenny has escalated and that they should talk immediately.
Back at the show, Laurel and Jenny are excited about the show and glad that things seem to be running smoothly. Jenny then receives a call from Rufus, which she ignores. However, when she goes backstage, she finds all the models gone and only Blair remaining. Blair tells her that the models may have gotten the idea that they were overbooked so they all went home. Laurel then comes back wondering about where the models are and Jenny tells her the problem before looking at Serena and Poppy and musing that she has an idea. Meanwhile, Chuck and Dan are arrested for brawling in public. While in jail, Chuck notes that Bart won't care that he's been arrested other than being annoyed that he has to call his lawyer. Dan presses him a little bit and Chuck admits that Bart has hated him since he was born since his mother died giving birth to him. An officer then unlocks the cell and says that Chuck's being released. On his way out, Chuck offers to have Dan released into his lawyer's custody before Rufus can hear. Dan thanks him and the two shake hands. At the VDW's, Bart arrives home and tells Lily he has a gift for her. Thinking it's the painting, Lily is excited but her excitement fades when he gives her a brand new necklace. Seeing her disappointment, he asks if she wants to exchange it but she says no. She then asks if he bought a painting recently and when he says yes, she says she knew he bought it as a gift for her and asks when she can see it. He answers that she can't and that no one can ever see it. He explains that he's a powerful man and that makes his family targets, so it's up to him to destroy anything that can be used against them. Confused, she asks how he even knew about the painting and half jokingly asks if he has a Lily Bass dossier. When he doesn't deny it, she demands to see it.
Back at the show, Eleanor is angry that the models were lost. However, she begins to calm down when she sees multiple socialites dressed to model and is pleased that the dresses fit them. The show then begins with all the socialites attending the show modeling the clothes. Backstage, Serena confesses to Poppy that she can't model due to not wanting to hurt Blair's feelings. Poppy encourages her not to make herself into a lesser version of herself because of Blair and Serena decides to take her advice. She yells for Eleanor to bring her her dress and Blair hurries over with a garment bag, saying that she's going to wear the finale dress. Serena asks if it's okay and Blair smiles and says it's fine. Afterwards, Serena saunters onstage into the dress while Jenny asks Blair where she is because she has her dress. Blair says that she's onstage, and Jenny quickly realizes that Serena is wearing the dress she brought for the after party. Eleanor also notices and yelps that that is not her dress. Jenny quietly says it's her dress and Eleanor is shocked. Jenny takes Blair aside and asks why she can't just leave her alone. However, she realizes that Blair is messing with her due to not knowing how to deal with the spotlight on Serena. Back at the jail, Chuck is accidentally given Dan's bag of things and he finds the story Dan was writing on him. At the VDW's, Lily is angry at Bart over the files he has on her. She tells him that while she may have hidden parts of herself in the past, she isn't trying to anymore; especially from her kids. Bart then hands her an envelope and asks if that's something she wants her kids to know. She opens it, then tearfully asks who gave it to him.
Meanwhile, after reading the story, Chuck tells Dan that he knows what he did and that he needs to watch his back. He also lies that the story he told him was a lie and that his mother died in a plane crash in the Andes when he was six. Back at the show, Eleanor accuses Jenny of sabotaging the show on purpose. She threatens to expose what she did to ruin her future but is interrupted by Laurel, who says that Andre Leon Talley loved the finale dress. Blair overhears and comes over. They all encourage Eleanor to take credit for the dress and to take her walk. Blair backs Jenny up and then smiles at her as Eleanor goes out to the runway. Jenny is then approached by the woman from earlier and is told that a man is claiming to be her father and trying to get in. Jenny lies that her father is out of town and there must be a mistake. Meanwhile, Noah Shapiro bails Dan out of jail and Dan tells him about Chuck's secret. However, Dan confesses that he doesn't want to exploit people to be a good writer and disappointed, Noah retorts that Jeremiah Harris was right to cut Dan loose. He leaves and Dan goes home. Back at the show, Eleanor gives Jenny a toast for saving the show; which Blair seconds. But out of the corner of her eye, Jenny sees Rufus watching the whole thing. Blair then goes to try and talk to Serena, but Serena isn't interested in hearing it. She blows her off and says she is no longer going to bend over backwards to protect Blair's feelings. Elsewhere, Jenny tells Rufus that he can't make her give up her job with Eleanor. Rufus tells her that he doesn't want his kids giving up their future to chase a passion that may or may not take off and she has to go to school. Jenny replies that school isn't the path she wants and that she told Headmistress Queller that she isn't returning to Constance. At the VDW's, Chuck rereads the story Dan wrote and Bart helps Lily put on her new necklace. At the loft, Dan works on a new story that doesn't exploit anyone and Jenny sits satisfied with her dress. Outside the fashion show venue, Blair watches jealously as Serena and Poppy are photographed by paparazzi.
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 (Credit only, as he does not appear in the episode)
- Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass
- Jessica Szohr as Vanessa Abrams (Credit only, as she does not appear in the episode)
- Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey
- Kelly Rutherford as Lily van der Woodsen
- Matthew Settle as Rufus Humphrey
Recurring/Guest Cast Edit
- Margaret Colin as Eleanor Waldorf
- Tamara Feldman as Poppy Lifton
- Amanda Setton as Penelope Shafai
- Zuzanna Szadkowski as Dorota Kishlovsky
- Robert John Burke as Bart Bass
- Yin Chang as Nelly Yuki
- Nicole Fiscella as Isabel Coates
- Dreama Walker as Hazel Williams
- David Patrick Kelly as Noah Shapiro
- Jill Flint as Bex
- Michelle Hurd as Laurel
- Michael Kors as Himself
- Tinsley Mortimer as Herself
- Raise the Dead by Phantom Planet
- Made Concrete by The Republic Tigers
- NYC - Gone, Gone by Conor Oberst
- Poker Face by Lady GaGa
- Fille Atomique by Nous Non Plusl
- The Ship Was Built To Last by Duke Spirit
Memorable Quotes Edit
Dan: Ah, school. Another day of reading, writing, and aristocrats.
Chuck: Watching you fail spectacularly gives me so much joy.
Blair: And you know what you give to everyone, Chuck? Misery. There's a reason you're always out here alone.
Chuck: Nate just happens to be away at his grandparents.
Blair: Nate's only friends with you out of habit! The only person with fewer friends than you is Dan Humphrey and at least his lame nineties dad likes him. And that's because he's something you'll never be: a human being.
Noah Shapiro: When I was young, Bukowski put a shot glass on my head and blew it off with a pistol. Find your Bukoswki.
Dan: I know we don't like each other, you think I'm a boring sheltered nobody-
Chuck: I don't think of you.
Dan: Oh, right, of course you don't. But, uh, but I've been thinking of me and I've come to the conclusion that I need to get out of my comfort zone. I need to experience new things.
Chuck: Are you gay?
Blair: Don't ever go to high school, Dorota! The girls are spoiled, stupid and ungrateful. One snapshot with the socialite and it's all "Serena, Serena, Serena"!
Dan: What's your father like?
Chuck: Me... only older. And meaner.
Chuck: For what it's worth, Humphrey, you had my back. I never thought I'd say this but thanks.
Jenny: You might be privileged, Blair, but you've worked for every single thing you've achieved. Like me.
- This is the first appearance of the rainbow lady painting by Richard Phillips that plays a big part in season six.
- This is Kelly Rutherford's first appearance as Lily van der Woodsen during the second season.
- Eleanor's fashion show is sponsored by Vitamin Water, who also sponsored The White Party (Summer Kind of Wonderful).
Cultural References Edit
- André Leon Talley - This famous fashion icon and former editor of Vogue praised Jenny's dress
- Charles Bukowski - Noah mentions this deceased poet and short story author
- Elmgreen and Dragset - Painters that made the PRADA artwork in the Van der Woodsen's penthouse
- Eve Harrington - Eleanor compares Jenny to this character from the film " All About Eve"
- Kiki Smith - A famous american painter that's artwork is displayed in the Van der Woodsen's penthouse
- Kirsten Dunst - Laurel says that this american actress and model is " so 2007"
- Marilyn Monroe - Eleanor mentions this 50's actress and model
- Marc Jacobs - Eleanor mentions this luxury fashion designer
- Mephistopheles - a demon featured in German folklore that Noah compares to Chuck
- P.E.T.A - Blair mentions this American animal rights organisation
- Prada Pochette - An iconic clutch bag made by the luxury fashion company Prada
- Readers Digest - Noah mentions this american magazine
- Richard Phillips - An american painter that made artwork displayed in the Van der Woodsen penthouse
- Robert Mapplethorpe - Lily mentions this american photographer who she's modelled for
- Ryan Mcginley - An american photographer whose work is displayed in the Van der Woodsen's penthouse
- Ritalin - Eleanor mentions her publicist got sent into rehab from overdosing on this drug which is used to treat ADHD
- Sotheby's - This fine art auction company is mentioned
- Truman Capote - Noah mentions this american author,actor, and playwright
- Vanity Fair - Blair mentions this fashion magazine
- Womens Wear Daily - Serena is featured in this newspaper magazine
- Andes - a mountain range in South America
- Bryant Park - A privately managed public park in Manhattan where Fashion Week is hosted
- Luxembourg - A country in Europe where Bart is currently staying
- Museum of Modern Art - Serena mentions she had to go to an event here
Food & Drink Edit
- Chicken Soup - Blair brings a container of the soup over to Rufus because Jenny is "sick"