After accepting the reality that her ex-boyfriend is now dating her younger half-sister, Julien must move on… To someone else. In an effort to replace Obie, the “Prince of New York,” she goes on an “international manhunt” with princes from all over the world.
But, she doesn’t like any of them.
A misunderstood Julien is determined to find and feel like herself again. Max, overhears this and decides to help her with a night on the town — Max edition. What that means is partying, alcohol, and lots of drugs — all to be photographed, so that everyone (mostly Obie), knows she is having a good time.
However, this night out goes askew, and with a strange twist of events, the two end up finding out more about their parents than themselves.
Throughout the episode, Zoya’s phone and social media accounts keep blowing up. But not with new followers or good press releases. Instead, with memes and hashtags mocking her and comparing her to obscene things.
She tries to ignore them, but she cannot stop refreshing her feed to see what people are saying. Eventually, she cracks and turns to someone unexpected for help in putting a stop to all of it.
Luna Lu to the rescue.
Zoya calls Luna not only to discover that she was the one who started the hashtag #Zugly, but also to ask for help with revamping her image to stop people from making fun of her on the internet.
Minions to the rescue.
After many attempts to help Julien reclaim her fame and a new boyfriend, the two are at a loss and can feel their assistant role diminishing.
Desperate and seemingly bored, Luna Lu sees an opportunity when Zoya asks for help. Zoya’s new role as Obie, “the Prince of New York’s” might be the perfect opportunity to build her “publicist” resume.
“If Julien falls, we aren’t going down with her. Might as well get in with the new world order,” says Luna upon agreeing to help Zoya.
The two meet up at the school library and Luna begins to offer her words of wisdom.
Rule #1: Never speak in public
Rule #2: Never look directly at a camera. Never look directly anywhere. And to help with that, super strength contacts to blur your vision so that you don’t know where to look.
Rule #3: Never sweat. And here are some botox injections to prevent it.
Rule #4: Know your side… for the camera, of course.
The list goes on and an overwhelmed Zoya listens, taking each direction in and preparing for her for a public appearance with Obie to an opening night at the theatre.
Obie finally gets the honor of enjoying a sit-down dinner with Zoya and her father, heightened with the pressure of getting “dad’s” approval.
The three sit, conversing about social issues and more — Obie’s specialty and shared interest with Zoya. But obviously, Zoya remains distracted by her phone.
He tries to tell Zoya to stay off social media, but it goes in one ear and out the other. And how could it not, when everyone in the world is hashtagging your name.
Obie is unaware of Zoya’s goal to change her public appearance so that she is worthy to be seen in the arms of “the Prince of New York.”
Audrey, Aki, and Max.
Throughout the episode, Audrey is haunted by the guilt of cheating on Aki with Max. But, little does she know that Aki also cheated on Audrey… with Max.
While Max is completely unbothered, the couple is stressed hiding this secret from one another and facing the consequences of their actions.
There is a sense of awkwardness between Audrey and Aki as they do not know how to admit the truth to one another. Tension rises, even more, when Gossip Girl puts out a very ambiguous post that seems to be aimed at the couple and their cheating.
But with no names revealed in the post, it remains a mystery, and Audrey and Aki are left stressed. Both of them think Max could be the source of the imminent truth, and after individually approaching him he blows them off, insisting that he did nothing.
The Sins of Our Fathers.
Here we go, the first plot against parents in the episode. This is similar to the original Gossip Girl when there was continual drama between Rufus and Lily. It’s nice to see the parent drama has made its way into the reboot.
While Julien and Max are enjoying their night out on the town, they unveil a few secrets about their respective fathers.
In her intoxicated state, Julien begins talking to a woman in the bathroom. The two are ranting about their boy problems, where the woman named Lola, tells Julien about her sneaky boyfriend of a year who never brings her out in public. Julien proceeds to join in on the slander against him as well as tell her about her boy troubles with Obie.
The two bond over this experience. I mean, that is what the women’s bathroom at a club is for. Hyping each other up and complaining about boys. This is nothing new.
When Julien leaves the bathroom and her eyes spot Lola, she sees her sitting down with someone she is very familiar with — her father, Davis Calloway.
At the same time, Max is scrolling through a gay dating app when he stumbles upon a familiar profile — his father, Roy Wolfe, who he thought was happily loyal to his husband, and Max’s other father, Gideon Wolfe.
Both Julien and Max are at a loss for words for what they discovered and in their typical fashion, they decide to plot against their fathers and expose their secrets.
It’s the start of the school day, and the teachers are called in for an emergency staff meeting. Ms. Kellar and the rest of her Gossip Girl gang are anxious to find out what the meeting will be about.
As soon as they sit down, the headmistress begins immediately discussing Gossip Girl. She describes it as a plague that must be stopped and in order to stop it, they have hired “Black Cube,” an intelligence unit highly skilled to reveal the person behind the account.
The teachers leave in a panic, however, with the help of one of their members, the computer science teacher, they are able to set up a firewall that they hope will protect them from being exposed.
However, the uncertainties of whether or not the firewall will work leaves the teachers wondering if it’s even worth it to continue the account. Ms. Kellar and the others rally to keep the account, however, one of the others, Reema, begins to pull away in fear.
Max and his dads.
Max has a loving relationship with his fathers. In a scene where they are all enjoying dinner, they discuss plans to attend the opening night at the theatre together.
One thing to note in the dinner scene is that Roy begins to get particular about Gideon’s appearance. Gideon has long hair and a blowout along with an extravagant dress with Lady Gaga-esque shoulder pads. It is truly a sight to see. But Roy seems a tad bit disapproving.
That evening and after the club night with Julien, Max holds the secrets of his father’s assumed infidelity. Later, he works up a catfish plan and uses the guise of Rafa, a young lean school teacher (who Max has tried to make moves on) to plot against his dad.
Max makes an account using Rafa’s picture as the profile and then proceeds to message Roy with “what does ‘newly single’ mean?” in reference to Roy’s bio. The two, catfish Rafa and Roy exchange flirty messages. Now, Max has a start in his plot. Now, all he has to do is get Rafa tickets to the opening night and make sure his dad makes contact with him. As for Rafa, he has no knowledge about this devising scheme.
Julien’s plot to expose her father will also take place on opening night at the theatre. This is going to be quite the event!
Similar, yet not so similar to Max, she finds a way to get a ticket to Lola. Julien sends Lola flowers under her dad’s name with the ticket attached. And of course, Lola is going to show up! It’s the first time her “boyfriend” is taking her out in public and it’s a highly acclaimed play.
Now all Julien has to do is catch them together…And have her father see it.
Alas, the main event! This is where the drama plays out and all the drama comes full circle.
Here is the setup, Julien is there with her dad. However, she leaves him for a bit until she sees Lola run up to him. Julien’s father is surprised to see her and uncertain as to how she got a ticket. But Lola is there now, and Davis must entertain as Julien’s plot goes underway.
Zoya shows up in a fancy new dress, make-up done, AND in a private car. Obie is surprised yet in awe of her. Little does he know that she is following Luna Lu’s rules of being in the public eye. Throughout the play, Obie tries to talk to Zoya, no response. He offers her food and she rejects it. Zoya is focused on the rules, and nothing else (mostly because she has the contacts in and can’t see.)
And ah yes, all fathers are there without any knowledge of what their kids are up to. But, with a few ticket switches between Julien and Max, they are able to create the perfect, and most awkward seating arrangements.
Here it is:
In one row it’s Rafa, Roy, and Gideon.
In another row, it’s Audrey, Max, and Aki.
In another row it’s Julien.
And right in front of that row are Zoya and Obie.
So awkward… and as the twisted, artsy, typical “New York,” play commences, another one works up between the kids, parents, and, for those at home, the teachers.
The curtain call.
Now for the outcomes.
Julien makes contact with her dad and his “secret girlfriend” at the play. Eventually, an upset Julien goes home but once she’s there, so is her father. He apologizes for his actions, and in a peaceful reconciliation the two hug. The next day, Julien decides to take a reprieve. She leaves her phone at home and steps out of the public image for the day. The minions aren’t too thrilled about it, but Julien is.
Max calls out Roy’s infidelity at the play afterparty, with both Rafa and Gideon in the conversation. Tension rises for all of them as the two husbands proceed in a serious conversation. An upset Max copes with his feelings to this situation with drugs and alcohol. Once the party disperses, Max ends up at the stairs of Rafa’s apartment crying. You can see the sincere pain in his eyes or Thomas Doherty is just a great actor. Rafa embraces Max and offers him to sleep on his couch. Max accepts.
The next morning, Roy leaves the house and Gideon stays. The two separate for the time being.
Also, at the afterparty, intoxicated and already outraged Max, exposes Aki and Audrey to each other.
“You slept with me (Audrey) and you wanted to sleep with me (Aki)” Max screams. And just like that, the couple faces the truth to one another.
A confused Obie confronts Zoya about her behavior throughout the evening. She finally confesses to him that she wanted to change her appearance so that she would look good next to him. Obie is upset by this, and in classic heartthrob style, he tells her that he likes her just the way she is. Wow! Shout out to the scriptwriters for the originality! Totally didn’t see this one coming. LOL.
The teachers, who did not attend the play, spent their evening hashing out the details of plans for the Gossip Girl account. Ms. Kellar and the others notice Reema’s removal from the situation. In order to keep them and the Gossip Girl account safe, they set her up. They tell her to post something the next day at school, with the supposed safety of the firewall. But right when she does, the computer teacher takes down the firewall (temporarily.) And just like that, Black Cube has found their perpetrator — Reema.
One teacher bites the dust.
The minions who are dissatisfied with their insignificant roles in the plots, think of ways to join the schemes. By the end of the episode, they decide to continue in their plot by ruining Zoya’s image with dirty gossip. Luna shares the secret with her partner in crime and the episode ends there.
Wow! Well, that was a lot of plotting with both good and strangely unsettling endings.
That’s all for Gossip Girl episode 3. Until next time! If you haven’t already watched it, head over to Netflix and give it a look!
XOXO, Gossip Girl.