Dirty Rotten Scandals is the third episode of the sixth season and 114th episode overall.
Manhattan has weathered her share of storms: heatwaves, hurricanes, even an earthquake. But these days, it looks like a new force of nature is taking shape on the Upper East Side.
Feeling the pressure to make her first fashion show a success, a stressed out Blair must rely on help from an unlikely source, but some unexpected scheming causes a scandal on the runway. Meanwhile, Serena discovers that befriending Steven's disapproving daughter, Sage, is trickier than she thought. Nate publishes Dan's first serialized article in The Spectator, producing a serious threat to both Nate's paper and Dan's well being. Elsewhere, Chuck begins to look into the clue that Amira left behind, which may help uncover what his father is hiding.
The episode begins with Blair reminding everyone at the atelier that her debut collection must be perfect. She is pleased when Jean-Pierre informs her that Charlotte Casiraghi agreed to be the center model in the show, and adds that everyone takes style cues from real life It-Girl's anyway. He leaves to confirm Charlotte's flight and Dorota arrives to bring Blair a health shake, as she hasn't had time to properly eat or sleep in days. Jean Michele then runs back in and tells Blair that Charlotte dropped out of the show due to a conflict with another endorsement. However, Blair remains calm and replies that she has it under control. At Steven's, Serena is having breakfast with him and Sage, who is constantly ignoring both of them until Steven calls her out on it. Sage doesn't say anything until Steven brings up Nate, and she then yells at Steven that he needs to stop pretending to be a good dad to show off to Serena. She then takes a call from Nate and leaves the room. After she's gone, Steven admits to Serena that he may have introduced them too soon and suggests that they take a break so he can help get Sage back on track. Serena offers to talk to Sage, and Steven agrees to let her give it a try.
At The Empire, Chuck tells Nate that Jack has people in Dubai helping to track down the man in Amira's photo, but hasn't found anything yet. Dan then emerges and Chuck walks away. Nate announces to Dan that The Spectator is finally ready to post his first serial. He asks Dan if he wants to warn the subject before he publishes, but Dan says he doesn't. Dan tells him to post it, and he does. Meanwhile at the loft, Ivy suggests Rufus take her as his date to their art opening. Rufus says before they become public, his kids have to approve. He mentions that Jenny sent her blessing but he hasn't told Dan yet. Ivy then gets a notification about Dan's serial upload. Upon reading the headline, she tells Rufus that Dan won't give his blessing and shows him the article. At the atelier, Jean-Pierre says that they can't find a new It-Girl in their contacts and suggests they use Serena. Elsewhere outside, Serena is walking Sage to school. She fills her in on her experience with step-parents and asks her to go easy on her dad, and to stay focused on school. Sage promises to turn over a new leaf, and Serena takes a phone call from Blair. While talking, she wanders area while Sage talks to some people. Blair asks her to be in the fashion show, but Serena declines, saying Sage and Steven are her family now. She hangs up just in time to see Sage hop in a cab and leave. Back at the atelier, Blair begins rambling to Dorota about needing to succeed and meeting Eleanor's expectations and ends up fainting. Meanwhile, Serena uses Gossip Girl to track down Sage. But by the time she gets to the restaurant, Sage is gone and is told by the waiter that she left her the check. She then gets a call from Steven, and she lies that everything with Sage is going good. At the atelier, a doctor is looking over Blair. He tells her that she is severely dehydrated and can't go anywhere as she needs bedrest and IV fluids. Blair attempts to stand up but when she can't, agrees to rest. At The Spectator, Serena arrives to look for Sage. She walks in on Nate redressing himself and learns that she just missed Sage again. Nate suggests she give up the chase and Serena replies that Sage is succeeding in ruining her relationship with Steven. Nate encourages her to come clean and admit defeat, and Serena sulkily agrees and leaves as Dan is arriving. At the loft, Dan is stressed over Dan finding out before he had a chance to say anything. Ivy reminds Rufus that what Dan did was slander and against the law. At The Spectator, Nate is pleased with the response from the Rufus article. While they're talking about how Gossip Girl can't undermine the story, she sends out a blast saying that Rufus is planning to sue Dan, Nate, and The Spectator.
Back at the atelier, Blair is hooked up to an IV and attempting to direct set up for the show over Skype. She spots Nelly Yuki in the background and instructs Jean-Pierre to stall her from writing anything. After she hangs up, she vents to Dorotea that she has no one left to call since the minions are on probation and Dan is mad at her. She's asking for someone who can read her mind when Chuck strolls in. At Steven's, Serena comes home to find Sage sitting with him inside. Sage announces her gratitude to Serena for getting her into Blair's fashion show. Not wanting to disappoint Steven, she plays along and acts like she was happy to do it. Steven gets up to leave, and thanks Serena. After he's done, Sage tells Serena that she isn't in Blair's show yet but will be once Serena makes it happen. Serena explains getting her in won't be easy, but Sage replies that if she doesn't get her in, she'll tell Steven that she found her true calling and Serena ruined it. At the atelier, Dorota tells Blair that she called Chuck. He offers to help Blair set up her show, and then says he knows exactly what she needs done and how she likes it. He suddenly leaves and Blair calls Dorota back in, saying she's feverish. At The Spectator, Nate is citing all kind of lawsuits where the prosecution won, then reminds Dan that he told him to talk to Rufus. Dan replies that he doesn't think Rufus will actually sue and probably just wants to give him a lecture, then offers to go talk to him himself.
Meanwhile, Blair arrives as the fashion show venue and is blown away by what Chuck prepared. He greets her but they haven't been talking long when he receives a text from Jack, saying they have a lead on the man in the photo. Blair encourages him to go, and he does. The second he's gone, Blair spots Serena walking in. She apologizes for their conversation earlier and asks for Sage to be in the fashion show. Blair replies that Sage is still in high school and therefore ineligible to participate. Serena begs her, and she finally agrees to let her in the show; so long as Serena sits in the front row and gush about how fabulous the line is. Serena agrees and introduces Sage to Blair, who is impressed with how pretty Sage is. Sage remarks that the evening will be very memorable. At the show, Serena walks the red carpet with Steven while Blair tells reporters that Eleanor won't be at the show because she trusts Blair completely. Steven and Serena toast to a happy future together and he admits that modeling wasn't exactly what he had in mind when Serena offered to redirect Sage. She assures him that the other models in the show are activists, actresses, and businesswomen. Blair comes up and meets Steven. After he walks off to greet Anderson Cooper, Blair shows Serena her seat. However, Serena quickly notices that the seat is singular and Steven is somewhere a few rows back. She becomes upset and accuses Blair of not being respectful of her relationship, and while she's talking, Nelly takes her seat. Serena asks why Blair needed her to give fake opinions since she's already having Nelly write a fake story but Nelly insists she's a real reporter. Serena decides to sit next to Nelly and give her all her real opinions. At the loft, Dan apologizes for writing the article and Rufus apologizes for Dan finding out the way he did. Dan reminds Rufus that Ivy is a con artist and tried to have sex with him, but Rufus says that he's way out of line, judging her. Dan then says that the truth is a defense against being liable so he doesn't have a case. Rufus replies that he doesn't want a case just an honest conversation with Dan, who leaves to have a meeting with Georgina. Ivy emerges from the back, and Rufus asks if she's the one who leaked the lawsuit story.
Back at the show, Nate goes backstage and wishes Sage luck. Once he goes to take his seat, Blair pulls Sage aside and tells her she has a different outfit for her that Serena might like better. In the audience, Nate goes to take his seat when he runs into Erica Winograd, one of his advertisers. After talking with her, he discovers that Dan sold the next installment to Vanity Fair. Nate excuses himself to leave as the show begins. During Sage's turn to walk, she goes down the runway and once she reaches the top, takes off her dress and reveals her lingerie underneath. Serena stands up and announces that what Sage is wearing isn't fashion, it's exploitation, then leaves. Soon after, most of the audience also stands and leaves. Back at the loft, Ivy explains that she only spread the rumor to protect Rufus and make The Spectator retract the article. Rufus says she shouldn't get involved with issues between him and Dan, and she apologizes. They make up, and Rufus invites her to the art opening as his date. At a bar, Nate confronts Dan, who admits that he did sell the next installment to Vanity Fair. He reasons that he needed more power and will get it by selling to Vanity Fair, and Nate kicks him out of The Empire. Meanwhile, Chuck heads to a boxing gym and meets with the man in the photo; who turns out to be Bart's old body guard. The man says that he had to sign an NDA and can't talk about Bart. Chuck presents him with a sack full of cash and asks if he would like to own the gym. Outside the fashion show venue, Blair yells at Serena for telling Sage to sabotage the show just because she wouldn't give Steven a seat. Serena yells back that she didn't, and Blair told Sage to sabotage the show to ruin her relationship with Steven. They argue about who told her to take the dress off when Sage walks up and announces she did it on her own. She is closely followed by Steven, who immediately gets in a car with her, while telling Serena he'll see her later.
Back at Steven's, Serena apologizes profusely and Steven tells Sage he knows she set Serena up. He tells her to apologize, and she does so sarcastically. He warns her to do it properly, and she apologizes for real. After she's done, he goes to make some tea. Once he's gone, Sage tells Serena she didn't mean a word of it. Serena replies that she doesn't care and that no matter what she does, her and Steven will be together. At the Waldorf's, Blair is depressed after the bad press on her show and that not one buyer has called to place an order. Dorota encourages her to keep her head up but Blair begins worrying what Eleanor will say. Chuck walks in, holding champagne and two bottles. He tells her that she needs to be celebrated and hugs her. At Steven's, he tells Serena that she handled the hysterics of the evening with true grace. At The Empire, Sage arrives and Nate says he had an awful day with The Spectator, to which she replies she had an awful day with the Serena. They begin to make out. At the bar, Dan is approached to Nelly Yuki who congratulates him on selling to Vanity Fair. She offers to let him stay with her if he has nowhere to go but before he can reply, another woman approaches and offers to buy him a drink. He accepts and walks off with her, disappointing Nelly. Back at the Waldorf's, Chuck explains to Blair that the man, Dave, worked as a bodyguard and drove Bart to a meeting with someone named Lady Alexander. Blair promises that they will find her, and asks him to forget their deal for one night so they can be together. He tells her that he will make an exception so they can combine their power to achieve their goals sooner. She agrees, and they go to sleep together.
- 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
- Kaylee DeFer as Ivy Dickens
- Kelly Rutherford as Lily van der Woodsen (Credit only as she does not appear in the episode)
- Matthew Settle as Rufus Humphrey
- Zuzanna Szadkowski as Dorota Kishlovsky
- Sofia Black D'Elia as Sage Spence
- Barry Watson as Steven Spence
- Yin Chang as Nelly Yuki
- Roby Schinasi as Jean-Pierre
- Alexa Chung as Herself
- We Are Girls by Rebecca & Fiona
- Let Go by The Japanese Popstars
- U.B.C.L. by MNDR
- I Go Away by MNDR
- The Riot's Gone by Santigold
- We Are So Alive Tonight by Wild Future
- Tense Bossa by Shawn Lee's Pin Pong Orchestra
Blair (on clothes in the collection): The devil is in the details and I'm about to start worshipping Satan.
Serena (to Steven): I know how to relate to girls like Sage because I was a girl like Sage not too long ago.
Chuck (to Nate on Dan staying there): I may be negotiating with terrorists but you're harboring a fugitive.
Blair (on her show): My back is up against a wall and not in a hot Chuck Bass kind of way.
Dorota: We all root for you to be Blair Waldorf Bass.
Dan: You here on one of your famous blackmail missions?
Serena: Suck it, Humphrey.
Dan (to Nate): If I know my dad, all he'll want to do is give me a lecture from his perch on Mount Holier Than Thou.
Blair: You read me like tea leaves, Chuck Bass.
Blair: So what you're saying is that you want to use me, your non family, to make a good impression on your new, real family.
Ivy (to Rufus): Dan might have been an innocent Brooklyn Boy once but when you weren't looking, he became as ruthless as any Park Avenue Prince.
Nate (on Dan selling his article to Vanity Fair): I thought we were in this together.
Dan: We were. Until something better came along.
Nate: Okay, now I know I want to hit you.
Blair: Once again, I have been defeated by the hand of Serena van der Woodsen. She is the double edged sword of my very existence.
Blair (to Chuck): I'm all yours. Mind, body, and scheme.
- The episode title is based off the movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
- James Franco, Lena Dunham, Richard Phillips, Henry Joost, and Ariel Schulman were all invited to Rufus and Ivy's art opening.
RUFUS HUMPHREY'S GLASS LOFT: MORALITY MAN SHACKS UP WITH A CON ARTIST
Until recently, when Rufus Humphrey began sleeping with con artist and all around nut Ivy Dickens, he had been the opposite of what you might expect from a moderately successful musician-father. Instead of ego, the so called "art temperament" and the inability to connect to anyone or anything, he was endlessly levelheaded, all about "sense of responsibility", and "family loyalty".
But now he's shacked up with Ivy Dickens and he's doing it in the house where I grew up. The house where, until recently, I was living. So I feel justified, ultimately, in sharing this story with a broad audience because if my father is no longer adhering to his own standards of responsibility and commitment, then he'll have to excuse me if I've got little interest in doing it either.
Ivy's a name you might recognize, Ivy and I have "history" (she once memorably insisted I call her "Serena" during foreplay). She lied about her identity, feigned madness, and - depending on who you ask - conned the Rhodes family out of a fortune. All of which Rufus is well aware.