We start with Blair, who's having dreams of Chuck. She's convinced he's just as bad as always, despite his public philanthropy and his recent apology. But Louis is away in Italy, so she's going to have a relaxing, Chuck-free week - beginning at the duck pond.
Chuck, meanwhile, is trying his hardest to remain on the straight and narrow - and all this charity is helping to keep him busy. Unfortunately, this leads to him running into Blair at the duck pond (he's, um, helping a duck. Right.) Anyway, Blair takes this as evidence that Chuck's trying to convince her he's a good person so she'll think twice about choosing Louis. This calls for a scheme - she must prove he's the old, naughty Chuck he always was.
Elsewhere, Serena's worried about writing a blog for Diana, so Charlie/Ivy suggests getting deliberately caught on Gossip Girl so that she can then write her side of the story. Meanwhile, Nate's fed up with his relationship with Diana, and Diana is insisting to mysterious-person-on-the-phone that she won't lose Nate or Serena.
At the Spectator office, Nate's trying to hit on Charlie/Ivy, but she doesn't want to steal her boss' boyfriend (understandably). She ends up telling Diana to loosen up a little, and promises that she would not do anything to jeopardise where she is now - especially for a guy. Later, Diana tells Nate that maybe they should have an open relationship - if that's what he wants.
Outside, Serena bumps into a guy - it's only Charlie/Ivy's ex-boyfriend Max! He's in town for a job interview at a posh restaurant, and he's looking for Ivy (who, of course, Serena doesn't know). She offers to take him to the restaurant, though - mainly because she thinks it will land her on Gossip Girl. But when Charlie/Ivy hears that she's found a guy, she urges Serena to take him to lunch instead.
Serena does just that, but soon starts to feel guilty and gives Max directions to the restaurant - she doesn't want him to be late. Oh, and she gives him a tip about the chef's penchant for apricots. As Max walks off, though, Nate and Charlie/Ivy begin arguing about what Diana thinks is going on between them. And when Charlie/Ivy sees Max, she panics and kisses Nate.
Diana is not impressed when a photo eventually ends up on Gossip Girl, but Charlie/Ivy explains herself and Diana agrees to take care of Max - if Charlie/Ivy makes Nate see that she will never be romantically interested in him. Weirdly, she suggests that Charlie/Ivy does this by asking him out on a date... This will not end well.
But where could they possibly go? Well, luckily Chuck is hosting a benefit - a special performance of Sleep No More. So Charlie/Ivy invites Nate to that. Meanwhile, Serena's urging Blair to leave Chuck to battle his own demons, but that doesn't sound very Waldorf-y. Sure enough, when she hears about Chuck's benefit she decides to get a ticket - but Dorota overhears her phone call.
Serena goes to see Diana to announce she won't blog for her after all - she felt bad about almost hurting Max. But what's this? Max shows up! He wanted to thank Serena for her apricot tip, apparently - he got a second interview. And Diana decides to play matchmaker and suggests they go to Sleep No More together. She promises to give Max all the details while Serena goes home to change. And they trust her?
At Sleep No More, Blair ensures she ends up in the same room as Chuck - as does Dorota. But when Dorota confronts her, Blair is insistent - she wants to reveal Chuck's 'true' self. So she finds him in a bar, and in a properly sensual, tension-crackling scene, she goads him until he snaps and kisses her (as Dorota watches on).
Blair slaps Chuck, saying she knew he was still the same guy and she was right to choose Louis. Chuck lets her go, but later Dorota texts him to say thank you. Yes, he kissed Blair on purpose so that she would move on. Chuck really has changed.
Elsewhere, Charlie/Ivy's feeling bad about stringing Nate along, but Diana still refuses to reveal her plan. Maybe it's because she now has Max to play with - when he arrives, she sends him after a masked Charlie/Ivy, pretending it's Serena. And when Serena gets there, she claims Max hasn't even arrived yet. Diana heads into the show, handing someone money as a bribe as she goes...
Nate sees Diana and goes to see her. She claims that Charlie has a boyfriend, though Nate thinks Charlie was making that up. Diana sows the seed, though, and later she tells Charlie/Ivy to go and kiss Nate. Charlie/Ivy does so, but it's not Nate at all - it's MAX! And Nate sees the whole thing.
There's more for Diana to do, though. That bribed woman takes a photo of Serena all alone and sends it to Gossip Girl. Diana then goes to see Serena, saying how mean Gossip Girl is. But Serena has a thick skin, and she's not going to take down Gossip Girl because of that. Diana won't be thrown for long, though.
She goes to see Nate, who's upset about Charlie/Ivy, and explains that she likes him a lot - she just didn't want to scare him off, or something. Meanwhile, Charlie/Ivy is rushing outside with Max, getting him as far from everyone as possible. But when she hears he's there to meet Serena, she's thrown. She tries to pretend she wants Max back, but it's not happening - he won't drop everything for her. She walked out on him, after all.
Charlie/Ivy confronts Diana, who set her up to kiss Max so Nate would know she was the wrong choice. Diana looks after herself - she wasn't going to get rid of Max. Oh, and let's pour more problems onto Charlie/Ivy - a) she's fired, and b) she's about to become the subject of a Gossip Girl blast. Smile, Charlie/Ivy!
As if that wasn't enough, we find out who Diana's been working for - it's only Nate's grandfather William van der Bilt! Still, what Nate doesn't know won't hurt him - and Nate is getting back with Diana, kisses and all. Yikes.
Meanwhile, Charlie/Ivy's feeling a bit nervous about her Gossip Girl blast - which just says she's off her meds again. Serena comforts her and urges her to stay in the city. But she's feeling bad for her thin-skinned 'cousin', so she calls Diana and promises to help her bring down Gossip Girl. But it might be too late for Charlie/Ivy - Max has been googling Serena and has just found the Gossip Girl blast, naming 'Charlie' as Serena's cousin... Oh dear! XOXO...
- "He was behaving like a perfect gentleman. It makes him even more chilling."
- Still loving Chuck and Monkey.
- Couldn't really fit it into the main recap, but we got a little Dan this week - he was skipping his book tour because his novel's a failure. But after a pep talk from Rufus - who has his own experience of rubbish tours - he seems to be cheered up. Mind you, at the end of the episode he still seems to be in the loft. Perk up, Dan. Stop being so grumpy.
- "Don't try to fool me with your puppy dog eyes."
- Blair draws Venn diagrams of Old Chuck and New Chuck with a compass. Blair, I love you.
- "I simply cannot have Chuck Chucking with my head."
- I find it bizarre that everyone knows Diana is a scheming good-for-nothing as she's trying to take down Gossip Girl, and yet they still somehow believe everything she says.
- I love Blair, but she was really quite awful in this episode. Jeopardising Chuck's recovery? Forcing him to kiss her then turning on him? Basically forgetting all about Louis? Get back to fun-scheming, Blair. You can bring the Venn diagrams.
- The guy at the beginning of Sleep No More tells everyone to keep their masks on at all times. So of course they take their masks off about every 30 seconds.
- Charlie/Ivy isn't a great actress, is she (not Kaylee DeFer, who's good, but the character herself)? Her sudden switch from fear and horror at Max's disappearance merging into sudden love and adoration for him was laughable.
- Diana really needs to grow a moustache so she can twirl it.