In The Realm of the Basses is the 14th episode of the second season and the 32nd overall.
Gossip Girl here welcoming you to the New Year, when Manhattanites who flew south for the sun return to their Park Avenue perches; which means I have a lot of catching up to do. Word is Serena van der Woodsen tangoed in the New Year in the plazas of Buenos Aires. Guess that means Lonely Boy was all alone when the clock tolled twelve. And what of Little J? Rumor is she's trading runways for hallways. So long high fashion, hello high school. Blair Waldorf has been spotted making inroads at the Colony Club. With high school nearing it's end, has Queen B found a new social ladder to climb? So the only real question remaining: where in the world is Chuck Bass? And is he ever coming back?
Chuck's uncle Jack arrives on the Upper East Side to assist him with picking up the messy pieces of his father's passing. Trying her best to forget her last painful exchange with Chuck, Blair focuses her attention on being accepted into the most prestigious ladies club in the city. Jenny returns to Constance Billard and immediately takes on Penelope and her posse of mean girls. Meanwhile, Serena and Dan make a decision about their future.
At the beginning of school after winter break, Jenny and Eric walk to school together; as she decided to return to Constance. Jenny asks if they've heard from Chuck at all, but Eric says he's been missing since the funeral. He adds that Bart's younger brother, Jack Bass, has been looking for him. At the Waldorf's, Blair receives a letter from The Colony Club, the most prestigious ladies club in New York City, saying they're considering offering her membership. At the loft, Dan runs into Rufus; who has returned from a mysterious trip to find an artist. They hug and Rufus offers to escort Dan to school so they can catch up. Back at the Waldorf's, Blair explains to Dorota what The Colony Club is. She also says that it's her first step to building a life for herself without a certain person, alluding to Chuck. However, she then gets a text from Jack saying that he found Chuck and that they're headed back to the VDW's. At Constance, Eric asks Jenny if she's nervous about facing Penelope and the other mean girls. She admits she's a little nervous, but is then approached by Nelly, who is beyond ecstatic to see Jenny back. Penelope also comes over and orders Nelly to stay away from Jenny. Hazel notes that Nelly didn't bring her a coffee and says they'll need to punish her. Jenny asks if they always treat her like that and Nelly says that if she ever disobeyed them, her life would become hell. She hurries after the girls and Eric mentions that Nelly has turned into the old Jenny.
Meanwhile, Blair and Dorota arrive outside the VDW's building just as Jack pulls up in the Bass limo. He greets Blair, who is only interested in seeing Chuck. Jack returns to the limo and pulls out Chuck, who is clearly intoxicated, unclean, and disheveled. Jack tells Blair to tell Chuck's teachers that he's taking a personal day before helping him inside. Blair, suddenly noticing Dorota next to her, tells her to return home and get ready for her party. Meanwhile, Rufus and Dan arrive to St. Jude's. When Dan goes into school, Rufus gets a call from someone at yet another adoption agency in Boston. She informs him that they have no record of any adoption and that it was most likely a private one, so his best option is to check with the mother who gave him up. Inside the school, Dan runs into Serena. She tells him that she just returned from Buenos Aires that day and that she broke up with Aaron on the plane there. She also says that when she landed, she got an email from Lily saying that she and Rufus will never be together. Dan asks why she didn't call or text while she was gone and she answers that she wanted to make sure that he felt the same once the dust settled. They then share a kiss in the hallway. Later that afternoon, Blair tells Serena that she told Chuck she loved him. Serena is happy for her until Blair shares that he didn't say it back and then ran away. Serena assures her that Chuck will say it back and then she announces that she and Dan are back together. Uninterested, Blair walks away and Dan asks her to spend the afternoon with him.
At the art gallery, Lily arrives to see Rufus. He demands to know where his child is and Lily lets it slip that the baby was a boy. Rufus tells her that being a father is who he is and she can't take that away from him. She says she's sorry but she can't help him. He replies that he'll find him without her help and walks away. At Pinkberry, Jenny and Eric watch as Penelope, Hazel, and Isabel abuse and overwork Nelly. When Jenny sees Penelope ask Nelly to clean her shoe, she decides enough is enough and goes over. She asks for a word alone with Penelope and asks her to be nicer to Nelly. Penelope says she will, then accidentally on purpose drops a spoonful of frozen yogurt on her shoe. She orders Nelly to clean it off, which she attempts to do by using a napkin. Isabel says that will make it smudge and to use her finger. As she's about to, Jenny grabs Nelly by the wrist and escorts her out. Back at Constance, Blair sees Chuck lighting up a joint in the courtyard. She tells him to put it out, but he ignores her. She looks into his eyes and orders him to look at her but when he does, she's shocked by what she sees. She asks who he is but before he can respond, Headmistress Queller appears and notices the joint. At the loft, Rufus arrives home to find Dan and Serena making out. They reveal that they're back together and all he says is that it's time for her to go home. At Constance, Blair, Jack, and Chuck sit down with Headmistress Queller to discuss Chuck's punishment. Blair argues that Chuck has been through an ordeal and that he can't be held responsible for his actions due to his past month. The headmistress considers it and asks Chuck if he can promise it will never happen again. Chuck sarcastically says he would do anything for the headmistress and lights up as he leaves the room.
At the loft the next day, Dan comes to breakfast and ignores Rufus. He tells Jenny that he doesn't want him dating Serena, and Jenny is confused, as she didn't know they were back together. Rufus says he doesn't want to talk about it and Dan says it has to do with what happened between him and Lily before Christmas. Again, Jenny is confused and tries to play catch up. Rufus tells them to mind their own business and to leave for school. At Constance, Jenny argues with Blair, Penelope, Hazel, and Isabel on Nelly's behalf. They all look to Blair for a final decision on whether Nelly can leave or if she has to stay, but Blair informs them that she doesn't care either way because she has enough going on. She leaves, and the girls wonder if they were just abandoned by their queen. Inside, Serena tells Dan that originally Lily acted like she and Rufus were finally getting their happily ever after but then it was over three hours later. She suggests that they do something about finding out what happened and then Blair comes up. She asks Serena if she's seen Chuck or if he came home the night before. Serena says she doesn't know and asks what's wrong. Blair explains about the meeting with Headmistress Queller and she's worried because when she looked in his eyes, she couldn't see him anymore. Concerned, Serena says that if he doesn't show up by that night, she'll help Blair find him. Once Serena walks away, Blair calls Dorota to ask if everything for her party is done. She informs her that she has one errand to run before she is coming home. At Pinkberry, Penelope, Hazel, and Isabel arrive to find Jenny, Eric, and Nelly sitting at their table. While they order them to leave, a bunch of students from school come bursting into the place and begin sitting at all the tables. Penelope tells Jenny that she'll pay for this and on her way out, calls her dad to tell him to inform Headmistress Queller that she's being bullied.
Meanwhile, Blair goes to Victrola to see if Chuck is there. She finds him sitting with two women kissing him while he drinks. He asks the women for a moment alone and Blair remarks that she thought he sold the club. He says he bought it back the night before and she tells him to go home to the VDW's. He reminds her that they are not is family and that he is throwing a party at the club that night. Blair tells him that all of this isn't him, but he says that Bart saw him better than anyone and all he is doing is living up to his potential. He suggests she let go of any fantasy she might have of them being together and then rudely asks if she's going to leave or tell him she loves him again. At the loft, Dan and Serena arrive to find the loft empty. They start looking for anything that ties back to Lily and Serena finds an engagement ring. She suggests that he proposed and Lily said no, but Dan says that Alison gave the ring back before the holidays. Afterwards, she gets a text from Blair saying she needs her now. She decides to go to her and tells Dan to keep looking while she's gone. When she leaves, Dan goes through the bag Rufus took with him out of town. He finds a map of Boston with several locations marked along with a phone number. He dials the number and is shocked when he learns it's the number of an adoption agency. At the Waldorf's, Blair arrives home and heads upstairs, where she sits and cries in front of her mirror.
Back at Constance, Jenny meets with Headmistress Queller, as she's been accused of bullying Penelope, Hazel, and Isabel. Afterwards, Jenny asks Nelly why Penelope is making such a big deal over not letting her quit. Nelly reasons that maybe she's afraid that she'll spill all their secrets once she's out and Jenny has a brainstorm. At the gallery, Dan arrives to see Rufus. He demands to know what he was looking for in Boston and Rufus asks if Chuck said anything to him. Dan asks why Chuck knows something about their life that he doesn't and Rufus walks away, saying he can't talk about it. Rufus asks for a day and then they can all talk about it the right way. Dan says they are way past that and leaves. At the Waldorf's, Serena arrives and Blair tells her about what happened with Chuck. The Colony Club ladies arrive and Serena says that if Chuck is really in trouble, they need to help him. Blair tells her that Chuck doesn't want her help and goes to greet the women. Serena then leaves the apartment. Meanwhile, Dan goes to Chuck's party at Victrola to find out what he knows. Chuck says that while he was going to keep Lily's secret, he'll tell Dan to make them even after Dan killed the arson story on Bart. He informs him that Lily had Rufus' baby before giving it up for adoption, all with CeCe's help. He continues that Serena is the other person who should know but once she finds out, their relationship is over. Back at the Waldorf's, one of the Colony Club ladies asks Blair if that was Serena van der Woodsen who was there. They make some rude comments about her, and Blair says that Serena is an ex friend, as she can't approve of her lifestyle. The women begin talking meanly about Bart and Lily, before moving onto Chuck. They ask if Blair has anything to do with Chuck, and she hesitates before standing up and saying that she has to go save Chuck. She adds that Serena and Lily are wonderful and kind people before leaving the women behind.
Back at Victrola, Eric comes up to Chuck and welcomes him back. He asks him to come home, but Chuck only says he's going to the roof before telling Eric it was nice having him as a little brother. Eric then gets a text from Jenny, asking where he is. He walks outside to find Penelope, Hazel, and Isabel looking for Jenny. They ask where she is and she promptly walks up with Nelly. She explains that she just wrote a Gossip Girl post that contains all their secrets; and that she's going to send it unless they leave her and Nelly alone. Penelope admits that she wins and they begin to regard her as their new queen. Confused, Jenny asks if they thought she did all this to become queen. They say yes, and Penelope asks if she just did it as a good deed before going inside with Hazel and Isabel. Nelly confesses that she assumed that Jenny would want to be queen when she returned, so she did so in an attempt to move higher in the ranks past the other girls. Jenny is shocked that Nelly played her and Nelly apologizes before running after the other girls. Jenny notes that nothing changed but Eric adds that she did. They agree to ditch the party in favor of getting hot chocolate together. At the VDW's, Rufus arrives to see Lily. He tells her that Dan knows about the child and that he will probably tell Serena. Lily worriedly asks what she'll do if Serena and Eric hate her, since she knows Rufus hates her too. She admits that when she got pregnant she wasn't ready to be a mother, as she was young, scared, and heartbroken over him. Rufus says he understands why she gave him up but that he's mad because she never told him. He continues that he doesn't hate her, and neither will her kids, but he needs time to process what she's had twenty years to process herself. Back at Victrola, Dan and Serena see each other and say they're both there to see Chuck. Dan asks Serena for a moment to talk privately and she agrees. Meanwhile, Blair runs into Jack, who is drunk. Eric walks by and Blair asks if he's seen Chuck. He says he has and Blair quickly deducts that he's on the roof. On the roof, Chuck dances alone by himself on the edge before dropping his bottle of alcohol all the way to the street, where it shatters.
Blair and Jack go up to the rooftop, where they find Chuck. Jack tells him to come down and go back to the party, and that Bart wouldn't want that for him. Chuck replies that he knows that Bart never wanted him. He yells into the night that no one cares, and Blair comes forward and says she does and always will. She reaches out her hand and helps him down from the edge. Once he's down, he collapses into her arms as she hold and comforts him. Downstairs, Dan is about to tell Serena when he gets a call from Rufus, who informs him that he and Lily are leaving for Boston that night to find their son. He asks Dan not to tell Serena, as Lily wants to tell her kids herself. Dan agrees and they hang up. In the front, Jack puts Chuck into a limo and tells Blair that he's better at keeping an eye on him than she is. She reminds him that Chuck can't ever find out what happened between them on New Year's, and Jack then leaves with Chuck. Meanwhile, Dan tells Serena that their parents are going away together for a couple day and she promises they'll be okay. Back at the VDW building, Rufus and Lily get into a car and leave together.
- Blake Lively as Serena van der Woodsen
- Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf
- Penn Badgley as Dan Humphrey
- Chace Crawford as Nate Archibald (Credit only, as he does not appear in the episode)
- Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass
- Jessica Szohr as Vanessa Abrams (Credit only, as she does not appear in the episode)
- Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey
- Kelly Rutherford as Lily van der Woodsen
- Matthew Settle as Rufus Humphrey
- Zuzanna Szadkowski as Dorota Kishlovsky
- Connor Paolo as Eric van der Woodsen
- Desmond Harrington as Jack Bass
- Amanda Setton as Penelope Shafai
- Dreama Walker as Hazel Williams
- Yin Chang as Nelly Yuki
- Nicole Fiscella as Isabel Coates
- Linda Emond as Headmistress Queller
- No One Does It Like You by Department of Eagles
- Who's Crying by The Temporary Thing
- Like a Spoke On a Wheel by The Little Ones
- Will Scarlet by Magic Bullets
- I'm Not Cool by Sohodolls
- May Day by Unkle (feat. The Duke Spirit)
- Ricochet! by Shiny Toy Guns
- My Crown by The Sugar Migration
- E.S.T. by White Lies
Blair: S, I have to tell you something. I did something so stupid.
Serena: B, what is it?
Blair: I told Chuck I loved him.
Serena: Oh my gosh, that's great!
Blair: Great? No, it's awful! Not only did he not say it back but he disappeared. For a month. If I could just go back and strangle myself as the words come out.
Blair (on seeing Dan and Serena back together): A postcard would have been fine. I'm really happy for you. I'm gonna go vomit now.
Lily (on their lovechild): I also gave up the right to go looking for him. And I'm not going to allow you to bulldoze into his life. It's not fair.
Rufus: How is that fair to me? When was I asked if I was okay with it? This is just you not wanting anyone to find out.
Lily: I've given up on that. Charles already knows, although I actually believe he won't say anything.
Rufus: I have a right to know my son.
Lily: And he has the right to his own life. Just like you've had yours.
Rufus: I was gonna be a rockstar. Instead, I had two kids. And I was there to take them to school every morning and talk about their days at night. And if someone came to me and said I could trade that for the life I wanted when I was 19, I wouldn't. Being a father is who I am. Don't take that away.
Hazel: Do you know what you're doing, Little J?
Jenny: I'm not Little J anymore.
Headmistress Queller: I found Charles smoking marijuana on school property.
Chuck: It was hash, actually. I've found it gives a softer high.
Blair: I thought I was leaving high school behind but I guess you never do.
Chuck: I'M CHUCK BASS! No one cares.
Blair: I do! Don't you understand? I'll always be here. I don't want you going anywhere. I couldn't bear it. So whatever you want to do yourself... please don't to that to me. Please.
- The episode title is based off the movie Ai No Corrida (In the Realm of the Senses).
- Serena's Flickr username is "ServdW."
- This is the first appearance of Jack Bass.