Zoya and Julien are maternal half-sisters, as they share the same mother but different fathers. They were never in each other's lives growing up due to their fathers' rivalry. The two girls eventually connected online and hatched a successful plan to move Zoya to New York on a scholarship to Constance Billard St. Jude's School, unaware of the drama it would cause.
In "Just Another Girl on the MTA", the series begins with Zoya arriving for her first day at Constance Billard St. Jude's School. She sees her half-sister Julien Calloway sitting at a table with a group of friends. The sisters reunite in private in the school bathroom, where they excitedly reveal that they planned Zoya's arrival at the school. Julien constructed a plan to introduce Zoya to her friend group and initiate her, which pleases Zoya as she can't wait to get to know her sister better. They had been chatting for two-years online but this would be there first time hanging out in person. As Julien begins to plant the seeds of Zoya being inducted into the inner circle, her other friends, particularly Monet de Haan, Audrey Hope, and Luna La, are less inclined to trust the newcomer.
Zoyaasks to go out that night with a girl from school, but Nick gives her a curfew of nine-o'clock. She excitedly texts Julien that her father is okay with her going out. Julien directs her to the front desk where she delivered a package, which is revealed to be a beautiful silver dress and shoes for her to wear to the party. That night, Zoya arrives at an exclusive club wearing the dress gifted to her by Julien.
The night goes fairly well until the elusive Gossip Girl sends out another blast. This time, she outs that Julien bought Zoya's scholarship to Constance and helped orchestrate her arrival. Zoya is hurt by the revelations and leaves the party with Obie, though they are caught in the rain and decide to wait it out at Obie's penthouse. While they change in the windows, one of Gossip Girl's minions snaps a photo of the pair and sends it in as a tip.
The blast releases the next morning and shakes the upper East sides social scene as everyone labels Zoya and Obie, now known as #Zobie, as cheaters. Zoya is quick to tell Julien that things aren't as they seem, with Julien understanding as Gossip Girl wants to take her down and Zoya is caught in the crosshairs. However, when the student body begins to turn on Julien and she loses followers which Zoya gains, Julien plots to take back the power in a public display. She tells Zoya of her plan not to add her to the fashion shows afterparty guest list, which would make Zoya cause a scene. Zoya agrees to the plan and attends the fashion show, though Monet and Luna have a plan of their own. They swipe Zoya's phone, Luna snaps a photo of Max Wolfe's balls, and then Monet shares it with everyone in attendance using the Bluetooth sharing feature. This leaves Zoya humiliated as she realizes what Monet and Luna did.She is escorted out of the fashion show while Julien does nothing to stop the scene from unfolding. They sisters faceoff after the show, with Zoya hurt that Julien did nothing to stop what happened and let her be humiliated. As they argue, it becomes clear that the division Gossip Girl worked to create is coming to fruition. They cease their friendship while Zoya goes home