Victor Victrola is the 7th episode of the first season and the 7th overall.
Have you heard, Upper East Siders? Burlesque is all the rage again and sometimes a little raging is exactly what you need. And as always, Chuck's aiming to be ahead of the curve. But let's not get ahead of ourselves...
After surviving the on-again/off-again nature of their new relationship, Serena and Dan finally acknowledge they are crazy about each other. Chuck contemplates investing in a burlesque club in the hopes of making his hard-to-please father, Bart, proud of him. Meanwhile, Nate confronts his father about the drugs he found in the house and Jenny discovers a secret Rufus, and her mother, Alison, have been keeping from her. Finally, Blair is devastated by Nate's actions after she finds out what really happened at the masked ball.
The episode begins with a clip of Blair dancing onstage at a burlesque club while Chuck watches from the audience. However, it's revealed that this has yet to happen and it backdates to two days earlier.
Blair goes to see Chuck at a burlesque club named Victrola. He explains that he wants Bart to invest in the place and he wants it to make it a place of escape. She is pleased with his plan and assures him that Bart will love the proposal. She goes to leave and he invites her to a victory party the next night, which she agrees to go to. At the Archibald's, Anne and Howard present Nate with several brochures for rehab facilities. She reminds him of their dinner at the Waldorf's the next night and Howard asks for a moment to talk to Nate alone. When she's gone, Howard promises that he won't have to go to rehab and says he will talk to Anne himself about it. He explains that work has been extra stressful lately and a coworker offered him a bump, which he took but didn't like. He swears that he'll flush the bag of cocaine right away and invites Nate to get drinks with him after he's off work. At the loft, Jenny is on the phone with Vanessa and panicking about not being able to find the bracelet the shopkeeper lent her. She goes to ask Rufus if he's seen it but hears him arguing with Alison on the phone. He asks who she's talking to and she opens the door to reveal it's Vanessa. At Constance, Dan and Serena make out and she suggests that they need to wait for a time when their parents are gone so they can truly be alone. After Kati and Is take photos of them together, she says that they need to talk about consummating their relationship at some point. Dan agrees and goes off to class. Inside, Jenny runs into Nate; who references his mix up at the ball. He says he didn't mean what he said about having feelings for Serena and she tells him that she doesn't care, but other people, namely Dan and Blair, would care. He tries to hand her a box of chocolates to bribe her to keep the secret but Blair overhears him asking Jenny to promise him. She asks what he's getting her to promise him and he lies that he's trying to come up with a better apology than the box of chocolates, which he hands to her. Jenny gets up to leave while Blair thanks Nate, but she follows and shows Jenny that she has the bracelet. She informs her that she hates secrets more than anything and that since they're friends, they shouldn't keep secrets from each other.
At Bart's office, he asks Lily when they can go public. She replies that her kids have to know first and they kiss as Chuck enters. She pretends she was there to discuss parent-teacher business, gets her stuff, and leaves. Once she's gone, Bart tells Chuck not to say anything to anyone and Chuck realizes he's serious about her. He takes the opportunity to show Bart his business proposal for buying Victrola, and Bart is beyond happy that Chuck is finally taking an interest in something other than partying. Bart says he has time to see the place after some meeting and Chuck accepts the offer. Back at Constance, Blair and Serena discuss how far she's gone with Dan. She wonders aloud why Dan would want to slow things down, and Blair can't come up with any reasonable reasons why. At the loft, Dan has a dream about finally having sex with Serena; but being graded by Kati and Is afterwards. He wakes up to hear Rufus on the phone demanding to know if Alison slept with someone. They hang up and Rufus apologizes for him hearing their argument. Dan says that she is having an affair, which explains why she isn't wanting to come home. At that moment, Jenny arrives home and asks what's going on. Rufus says nothing and leaves to get groceries. She tries asking Dan but he lies that he has a lot of homework and goes back to his room. Elsewhere, Nate calls Howard to say he's close to their meeting place for drinks. However, Howard cancels and claims he has business to take care of; an excuse Nate doesn't buy. At Victrola, Chuck is flirting with a woman when he notices Bart looming over him. Bart tells him that he only came because he was proud of the effort he made, but regrets it now and that he should focus on getting more As or a job. Hurt, Chuck tries to follow him out of the club but finds him helping an attractive Asian woman into his car. At the Waldorf's, Eleanor shows Blair the dress she picked for her to wear at the Archibald dinner, and casually mentions that Anne showed her the van der Bilt ring that Blair will eventually receive. Blair excitedly asks if that means Nate talked about their future to his parents and asked for the family ring, which Eleanor says yes to. Meanwhile, Nate goes to his dad's office to see if he's really working: but witnesses him buying a bag of cocaine.
At the loft, Dan and Serena make out on his bed since Rufus and Jenny are gone. As they start to take their clothes off, they're interrupted by Vanessa climbing through Dan's window. Dan escorts her out, and encourages her to use the door instead of the window. He goes back to his room and Vanessa cracks the loft door open to see him close his bedroom door for privacy. Inside his room, Serena asks if they should talk about sex. However, they decide not to talk about it and begin to make out again; just as Rufus and Jenny return home. At The Palace, Chuck drunkenly leaves Nate a message saying that while Bart didn't go for his business plan, he's still going to have his party at Victrola. After he hangs up, Lily spots him and realizes Bart didn't go for his proposal. She offers to help him and Chuck vents that if Bart wants him to build a life for himself with nothing, he should take it away. Lily replies that no parent wants to see their child go without and Chuck sadly says that he did the work but ended up with nothing, and that Bart is being hypocritical by saying he can't commit when he's cheating on Lily. He mentions the girl from the day before, which Lily doesn't disbelieve. She excuses herself and goes back inside. At the Archibald's, Nate sits down with Anne and tells her that the drugs were Howard's. He explains how he promised to flush the coke but bought more instead and he's worried. Anne initially accuses him of trying to lie to get out of trouble, but slowly realizes that Nate is telling the truth. However, she reasons that Howard is under pressure, mainly because of Nate's problems with Dartmouth and Blair, and leaves to not discuss it any further. At the loft, Dan watches Art Cinema sex scene when Vanessa enters. She asks why he's watching porn and says that from what she saw, he doesn't need help. She also reminds him that he used to say that sex is meaningful, like art, and that you don't rush art. He answers that he thought that back when he was young and before any girl wanted to have sex with him. She makes a crack about Serena having lots of sexual experience and he tries to escort her out. On the way, she advises him to hide Cedric, replace the football sheets, and get candles. At the Waldorf's, Jenny thanks Blair for paying for the broke clasp on the bracelet. Blair excitedly tells her about Nate asking his mother for the family ring, but Jenny is hesitant in her excitement for Blair; who notices. She asks her why she isn't happy for her and Jenny lies that she's stressing about her parents. However, Blair doesn't buy it and asks again what she's hiding. She finally admits what happened at the masked ball, including Nate's revelation about Serena and his kissing her. Shocked, Blair tells Jenny that she's dismissed for good and she leaves in tears.
That night, Blair overhears the Archibald's arrive and tries to pull herself together, despite being tearstained. She goes downstairs, where Nate kindly greets her and asks if anything is on her mind. She says no, then asks if there's anything he wants say, but he answers no. Meanwhile, Dan dreams more about how to impress Serena in bed. He's awakened by Rufus knocking on his door, saying he's headed to the gallery for the next 24 hours to watch a new display; along with Jenny and Vanessa. He invites Dan to come along but he declines. Rufus realizes he might stay alone at home with Serena and advises him to be safe and to take their time. At the gallery, Vanessa assures Jenny that she did the right thing by telling Blair. They discuss what they would do if the one they loved betrayed them and Vanessa wonders if they're talking specifically about Nate and Blair. Jenny says yes and Vanessa mentions that they could also be talking about her parents, accidentally revealing to her about Alison's affair. Back at the Waldorf's, Howard announces to everyone how fabulous Eleanor and her company are, then about how beautiful Nate and Blair make as a couple. He orders Anne to hand over her ring to Blair to try on, even after Blair says she doesn't want to. She does, and everyone marvels at how it looks. She gives it back and Nate suggests to Howard that they go outside to smoke their cigars. At Victrola, Chuck is surprised by the arrival of Bart and the woman from the day before. He introduces her as Pauletta Cho, and says he's helping her with a career change. He explains that he gave Chuck's proposal to her as a test and after hearing her thoughts, realized he judged the idea too quickly. He shakes hands with Chuck and gives him a quick hug. She suggests they take a full tour but before he goes, Bart admits he hasn't been able to get ahold of Lily for awhile. Chuck admits that there's something he needs to tell him about that. Back at the Waldorf's, Nate confronts Howard outside about sabotaging his own deal. Howard orders him to stop telling him what to do and tries to go back inside. Nate grabs his arm to stop him and Howard punches him in the face to make him let go. However, the doorman flags down a passing police car and they pull over. The cops ask Nate if everything is okay and he tells Howard that he needs help before telling the cops to check his pockets. They immediately find the cocaine and place Howard under arrest. On his way back inside, Nate slips the doorman some cash and tells him that if anyone asks, his father went home sick. Unbeknownst to all, Blair watches the whole scene from her window.
Back at Victrola, Bart tells Chuck that he can't believe what he did. Chuck says he's sure Lily will take him back once he explains, but Bart isn't so sure. Chuck continues that if she doesn't, it's not his fault because there's a reason she was so quick to believe Bart cheated on her. Bart tells Pauletta and Chuck to set a meeting to see what Victrola could maybe become and leaves to find Lily. Outside the Waldorf's, Blair tells Nate that she saw Howard get arrested. She asks why he didn't come to her and he admits that he tried but something else always had her attention, such as the masked ball. She tells him she knows what he did at the masked ball, and he says it's not her fault. Finally, she asks if he loves her but he says nothing in return. Tearfully, she tells him to deal with his father because he needs him and she doesn't. She gets into a car and takes off. At the loft, Dan brings Serena into his room: which has clean sheets, no Cedric, and candles everywhere. She smiles that it's perfect and he shuts his door. Meanwhile, Blair arrives at Victrola. She's met outside by Chuck, who asks where Nate is. Blair replies that they just broke up and she needs to escape. They enter the club and Chuck gets her a drink. He says she knows she doesn't want to talk about the breakup but she admits she feels relieved. She watches the dancers onstage and remarks that she has moves. Chuck suggests that she goes up there, then says he knows she never would. She asks him to hold her drink and goes onstage; where she takes off her dress to reveal her slip. Chuck watches her in awe and when someone asks who she is, he admits he has no idea.
At the gallery, Lily arrives to see Rufus. He asks what she's doing there, then corrects himself to say that she probably broke up with Bart again. After realizing how rude he was, he apologizes and confesses he doesn't know what's happening with Alison or her showing up randomly. Hurt, Lily goes to leave but Rufus asks her to stay and keep him company to see the installation. Back at the loft, Dan and Serena cuddle after the fact. She confesses to him that she's scared because no guy has ever looked at her the way he does. He kisses her deeply and holds her close. At the Archibald's, Nate arrives home to find Anne hanging up the phone. He asks what's going on and she says she's headed to the police station, where she'll meet her lawyers and someone from the DA's office. Confused, Nate asks why they can't just pay his bail because it wasn't that much coke. Anne says that his bail is set at a million dollars, because the DA has been building a case against him for embezzlement and fraud; so he's facing multiple charges. Back at the gallery, Rufus and Lily enjoy watching the installation together. In Hudson, Jenny goes to Alison's house and tells her that it's time for her to come home. Elsewhere, Chuck takes Blair home after the party. He tells her she was amazing onstage and she moves closer to him. He asks if she's sure, and they begin to make out before having sex.
- 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
- Kelly Rutherford as Lily van der Woodsen
- Matthew Settle as Rufus Humphrey
- Jessica Szohr as Vanessa Abrams
- Margaret Colin as Eleanor Waldorf
- Zuzanna Szadkowski as Dorota Kishlovsky
- Nan Zhang as Kati Farkas
- Robert John Burke as Bart Bass
- Sam Robards as Howard 'The Captain' Archibald
- Francie Swift as Anne Archibald
- Nicole Fiscella as Isabel Coates
- Jessalyn Wanlim as Pauletta Cho
- Stripper by SohoDolls
- Ballad of an Easy by David McConnell
- So They Say (featured in Gossip Girl) by Classic
- Release (featured in Gossip Girl) by Miss Eighty 6
- Second Hand Lovers by John Ralston
- Just Love by Harry Warren
- Photograph by Air
- Girl I Told Ya by Valeria
- Whatever (Folk Song in C) by Elliot Smith
- With Me by Sum 41
Blair: Chuck Bass! I do believe all your years of underage boozing and womanizing have finally paid off. Truly, I am proud.
Chuck: And you are my toughest critic.
Jenny: Dad, have you seen a bracelet? Silverish, sparkly...
Rufus: Yeah, I saw that next to that ambiguous vague thing next to the non descriptive place.
Serena: Is it possible for a guy to want to slow things down?
Blair: Only the guys we like.
Rufus: Yes, Alison, I encouraged you to do your paintings, not the next door neighbor.
Eleanor (while showing Blair a dress): You need to look elegant for the Archibald dinner tomorrow night. So what do you think?
Blair: Yes, it would be very nice if I was sailing up on the Mayflower.
Jenny: Thanks for helping with the bracelet. Who knew a broken clasp could cost so much?
Blair: It was my pleasure. Oh, wait, no it wasn't.
Blair (on Nate): I remember the first time I ever saw him. Maybe we were just little kids but I knew... he's the one I want to marry. And now it seems like he feels the same way too.
Blair: I saw your father get arrested! Why didn't you come to me? I would have listened.
Nate: I've tried, Blair. But every time I try, something's got your attention. A dinner party, you know, a masked ball.
Blair: Yeah, let's talk about that masked ball. Let's talk about how I was waiting for you to find me so that we could finally be together, you were confessing your feelings and kissing Serena. I thought I was doing everything right.
Nate: It's not your fault.
Blair: Do you love me? (is met by silence) You should deal with your father. He needs you. You know what? I don't.
Blair: You know, I've got moves.
Chuck: Really? Then why don't you get up there?
Blair: I'm just saying, I have moves.
Chuck: Come on, you're ten times hotter than any of those girls.
Blair: I know what you're doing, Bass... You really don't think I'd go up there.
Chuck: I know you won't do it.
Blair: Guard my drink.
Rufus: The, uh, art piece projects onto the ceiling.
Lily: Ah, still doing anything to get a girl on her back, huh?
Dan (after they have sex): I'm really happy to be here with you, right now.
Dan: What? What, did I do something wrong? I knew the hair thing was too much.
Serena: No, no. It's just, um...
Dan: Um? Um is never good. What?
Serena: I'm scared.
Dan: Of me?
Serena: No, well, yes, but... I was just, I never-
Dan: You've never... You're not...
Serena: No, no, I wish. It's just... nobody's ever looked at me the way you just did. In fact I don't think they looked at me at all.
- The episode title is based off the movie Victor Victoria.
- This is one of two episodes (the other being The Debarted) of Gossip Girl where the opening scene takes place in the future and the majority of the episode takes place with the events leading up to that point.
- Vanessa mentions that Serena has sexual experience with her "boarding school professor" and it can be assumed that she's referring to Ben Donovan, despite the story never having gotten out.
- The woman Bart is with, Pauletta Cho, is seen again in You've Got Yale! when she attends the opera with Jack Bass