The troubled Ms. van der Woodsen had been practicing with Rufus how she was going to break it to her mom that she deferred from Brown, but when Lily returns, her plan instantly falls apart.
Lily is far from pleased and doesn't want to hear about it. Serena says she's not going to Brown, she's going to find herself first, and she's even willing to get a job (gasp!) in order to prove it.
After interviewing all around NYC, Serena gets shot down time and again. But when she goes to treat herself to a fancy lunch to feel better, she runs into movie star Olivia Burke (guest star Hilary Duff).
S gives her a tip on how to evade the paparazzi by exiting the restaurant via the kitchen. This catches the eye of Olivia's publicist, who offers S a job and assigns her to manage Olivia's co-star.
That would be Ursula Nyquist (guest star Tyra Banks). Ursula and Olivia are starring in a new movie called Fleur. The premiere is the next night in NYC. Ursula is a bit crazy but she and S hit it off.
Speaking of Olivia Burke, Dan bumps into her by a hot dog cart on the street. She gives him some change when he's a little short. He has absolutely no clue she is a big star and she likes that.
Olivia is rooming with Vanessa at NYU. Vanessa totally knows her from the vampire movies she's starred in, but now Olivia is breaking into serious roles like in Fleur, set in France during WWII.
Olivia just wants to have the normal college experience at NYU. She seems cool and pretty down-to-earth, despite her publicist nagging at her to go take an appearance on Larry King, etc.
Cut to Nate and Dan studying at NYU. Olivia - who introduced herself to Dan as Kate earlier - walks in. Nate knows who she is but refrains from telling Dan, who he encourages to ask her out.
Dan walks up, oblivious, flirts with her and asks her to go out for pizza. Nate watches in disbelief. Dan and "Kate" really hit it off, until he makes a comment about how refreshingly normal she is.
He mentions that his previous girlfriend was never out of the spotlight and that was hard on him. "Kate" leaves and says she has to work tonight, and perhaps she's not the girl he's looking for.
She says he'll see why.
Little J is greeted at school by a group of underlings who emulate her punk rock preppy style and await her word on what to do, how to act, etc. Jenny decides the whole hierarchy thing isn't for her.
She makes an announcement on the steps that a new era of freedom has begun. The girls applaud Jenny's decree of egalitarianism ... then text Blair to let her know that Jenny is ruining everything.
The news about Jenny is just what Blair needs ... or thinks she needs. She is having a terrible go of it at NYU, with no one caring or even knowing who she is. She longs for her high school days.
Things made sense then. Blair decides to help some mean girls stage a coup and restore order to the steps, then host her annual sleepover at her apartment instead of attending Olivia's movie premiere along with the rest of her NYU dorm-mates.
She denies this at first, but Chuck figures out what she's up to and calls her out on it. Nevertheless, she goes forward with the sleepover, hands Chuck her premiere invite and tells her he can go alone.
Chuck plots with J about how to bring Blair back down to Earth and how to restore order at Constance, where he wants her to claim the role of queen. He suggests that Jenny be his date to ...
THE MOVIE PREMIERE
Jenny shows up with Chuck and Blair's slumber party immediately hears about it via Gossip Girl. Mortified, Blair heads down there and confronts tears Jenny a new one. Chuck says it was all his idea.
He humiliated her because he thinks she is selling herself short and needs to remember she's Blair Waldorf. If she can make Chuck Bass admit he loves her, she can win over NYU. In time. Awesome moment.
As Blair leaves, a member of the paparazzi asks if he can take her picture. She's Blair Waldorf, right? Smiling, Blair obliges. She's got her mojo back. We later learn that Chuck paid the guy. Even more awesome moment.
Back at NYU, Blair recruits a trio of fellow freshmen from elite high schools who she believes can help her take over the school and shape it to their liking. They're in. Chuck sends her a note that says he needs "private tutoring." Hot.
As for the stars of the movie, they're dealing with drama. Ursula's big scene was cut just before production but the publicist wants to keep it a secret and makes sure Serena does too. Why? Ursula will flip out and that will be great publicity.
After Ursula learns her scene was cut during the premiere of the film, she retreats to her dressing room in humiliation. The publicist encourages her to throw a fit. Serena talks her down and says to handle this personal crisis with class.
Serena gets fired on the spot. Still, she tells Lily she's not going to Brown.
Meanwhile, Dan decided to attend the premiere as Vanessa's date. Only after he saw her on the red carpet did he learn Olivia Burke is ... Olivia Burke. Poor Dan. Always the last to know.
Back in their dorm room, Vanessa tells Olivia that she dated a guy once who never let people see the real him. She also tells Olivia that Dan is an amazing guy. Aww.
As the episode winds down, Blair begins to plot her takeover of NYU with her newly-enlisted minions, while Jenny embraces the role of queen and begins (politely) bossing around her own.
Ursula tells Serena she called KC's firm and said if Serena's not with that firm, neither is she. Olivia meets Dan in a coffee shop and asks if he wants to get to know the real her (he does).
Inspired by her talk with Olivia, Vanessa calls Scott in Boston to say she really misses him, but he gets another call from ... Georgina! He's meeting her at a restaurant in a few minutes.