Gossip Girl Recap: Queen B. vs. The Duchess

Gossip Girl Recap: Queen B. vs. The Duchess
Eric Liebowitz/The CW

09/09/2008 AT 12:00 AM EDT

The summer has finally come to an end for our favorite prep scholars, but before going back to school there are still a few discoveries to be made.

Oh, My Lord! After learning James is actually British Lord Marcus Beaton (Patrick Heusinger), Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) is dedicated to making things work with him and getting rid of Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) for good. But it won't be easy. Operation "Get Blair Back" is set in motion when Chuck invites Marcus to a game of squash. Chuck tricks Marcus into giving him his home number, calls and invites his hard-to-impress stepmother, Duchess Beaton (Madchen Amick), to Blair's party.

Without realizing who she is, Blair's rage takes hold when she spots Chuck crashing her party with an older woman. When Chuck wants to introduce her, Blair quips, "Why? So she could warn me of the effects of too much Botox?" Blair is mortified when she realizes that Chuck's new friend is actually Duchess Beaton, whom she needs to impress for the sake of her relationship with Marcus. To start over, Blair quickly finds the Duchess to apologize and takes back her insult by turning it into a compliment, saying, "Your work is flawless."

But the Duchess wasn't about to let her off so easily. "Despite your best efforts -- which are totally transparent by the way -- Marcus is never going to end up with a lowly Waldorf."

Defeated, Blair turns to Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively). "She made Waldorf rhyme with Spears," Blair cried. "I might as well have gone commando and held my party at Nyla's Burger Basket."

In her attempt to be "the best girlfriend ever," Blair is determined to prove herself and goes searching for the Duchess. The tides quickly change when Blair finds her rolling around the library floor with her "adolescent ex" -- Nate Archibald (Chase Crawford).

Making Up or Hooking Up? After spending the night together on the beach, Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) and Serena agree that they need to slow down and think before getting back together. They promise to control themselves on the Jitney ride back to the city. But that proves difficult on the bumpy bus ride with Serena eating chocolate-covered strawberries in short-shorts, and the exes end up getting it on in the bus' bathroom.

Party's Over Poor Nate! As his family's fortune is frozen until his dad returns to face the music, Nate has no one (his age) to turn to: Blair is trying to become royalty and Serena is contemplating a life back with Dan. What's a guy to do? Nate calls another old flame, Vanessa (Jessica Szohr). Over coffee, Nate realizes that he misses her, but with his family in a financial crisis, Nate has no choice but to turn to Catherine.

Best Blonde Moment While introducing Dan to Marcus, Blair brings up Dan's passion for soccer. "Dan is a huge Chelsea fan!" she says. Then, Serena joins in the conversation with, "Me too, I just love the Balenciaga store." -- Andrea DeSimone

Tell us: Will Blair be able to keep Marcus despite her rift with the Duchess? Will Dan and Serena get back together? Are Nate and Vanessa a good match?Eric Liebowitz/The CW

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