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Just Another Girl on the MTA is the series premiere of the Gossip Girl revival, the first episode of Season 1, and the first episode overall. It debuts on July 8, 2021, on HBO Max, and the following day as a special encore presentation on The CW.[1] On July 20, 2021, the episode became available on Snapchat Mini for Snapchatters of an appropriate age demographic.[2]

Synopsis[]

The start of a new school year at the Upper East Side’s elite Constance St. Jude’s ushers in the arrival of a newcomer, who soon finds herself thrust into a blinding spotlight. While other students cling to their comfortable, glamorous lives, a mysterious presence threatens to upend the status quo.

Plot[]

SPOILERS AHEAD

Welcome back Upper East Siders, to a new chapter covering the scandalous lives of Manhattan's latest elite. The early morning sun shines on the city, and inside a train car, Kate Keller looks out the window before checking Julien Calloway's Instagram stories. She shuts her phone off with a jealous eyeroll to boot.

Elsewhere, the influencer herself snaps a pic of a piece of jewelry she might wear, and sends it to her best friends Monet de Haan and Luna La. Monet reminds her she used it before and now everyone's wearing it, Luna jokes she melt it. Julien's father Davis comes in saying he'll be recording in L.A., and wishes her a good first day of school. Before leaving, she presses a kiss on a photograph of her mother. Max Wolfe is also wished well by his fathers. Obie Bergmann IV is seen handing out breakfast at a protest. Aki Menzies and Audrey Hope are having a little moment in bed, but she can't seem to finish much to his disappointment.

Finally, Zoya Lott fishes out a hidden shoe box in her modest bedroom, staring at the same photograph Julien had before. Walking out into the dining room, her father Nick teasingly greets his now freshman daughter. Zoya says it's nothing - but states Constance Billard is one of the top 10 private schools with one of the best arts programs. Nick mutters it's full of kids he tried to protect her form, but Zoya is firm in her belief kids are bad all over. Zoya insists her college choices will be better, good enough to get into Yale. Nick also begins to say she is also a student there, her half-sister. Zoya tells him she probably doesn't know she exists, and isn't inclined to meet her. Father and daughter bid each other goodbye, but not before Nick's sharp eye catches a new pair of Adidas on her. Zoya brushes it off as a gift from a friend in Buffalo.

At Constance, Luna opens up Julien's brand new Louis Vuitton purse, dismissing Monet's question about the backdrop of her photo. Julien is briefly entranced buying an expensive new dress as she's getting a finishing touch on her make up. Monet recoils from the brushing of an incoming teacher, rhetorically asking if they had their own entrance. Julien prepares to pose for her photograph, until she's accidentally bumped into by Ms. Keller. Julien apologizes, but Monet insists her friend's not to blame for the almost-destruction of the Capucine. She snidely notes it'll take her entire month's salary to replace it, much to Ms. Keller's shock. Luna adds on that Rayon gives her nosebleeds. Another teacher comes to Ms. Keller's rescue, and as she leaves Luna remarks they have install a no-Zara rule at school.

Inside, Kate confides in the other teacher, Martine, she still doesn't know why she expected them to be nice to her, after a year of Zoom classes. Another faculty member, Wendy, appears before them and glumly tells Martine the headmistress wants to speak with her. Inside the teacher lounge, Kate tries to brush off the stain in her jacket. She bemoans to her colleagues that it took an hour for her to choose an outfit she thought they wouldn't make fun of, but it took all but a second for her to be proven wrong. Another teacher remarks if Julien wore that, Urban Outfitters would be producing knockoffs within third period. Another teacher remarks they belittle the teachers because they can, and it's futile to fail them. Kate says the school produced great people, among them Nate Archibald. From the corner, a woman named Rebecca declares she was in the class of '09 with Nate. She shares that they can't be controlled because teachers ceased to matter, now that they can be famous for putting makeup on. She shares the story of how students more than a decade ago lived in constant threat, scared straight of Gossip Girl. Her fellow faculty peers are shocked novelist Dan Humphrey used to be it, and as Rebecca leaves, the group rushes to the computer and investigate the shadow of the blog it used to be.

Monet tells off a couple of kids snapping shots of Julien, as Max arrives at the courtyard followed by Obie. The latter shares a passionate kiss with Julien, who notes he looks rumpled and sweaty. Julien reminds him he was supposed to do her story, much to their friends' irritation. Obie apologizes, stating he brought breakfast to the Navy Yard strike line but saved a treat for Julien. Max asks if that's his parents' development, which Obie confirms. He thought the strikers deserved donuts at the least, and promises to clean up during first period. Aki and Audrey arrive at that point, the latter excitedly embracing Julien. The seven friends excitedly catch up - Aki compliments Max, Max makes a flirtatious move at Audrey while Obie watches, and Monet encourages a distracted Julien to pose. Audrey tells them Julien is looking for her sister. The latter tries to deny it, but Audrey insists it's a big deal that shouldn't be pretended otherwise. She proceeds to state how her half-sister moved here and enrolled like a stalker, and how they were close to not knowing. Obie comments that their dads hate each other. Max remembers this was when Julien's mom left her and her dad. Julien insists it's no big deal and she doesn't even know her, saying she has everyone she needs here with her. Max loudly declares family drama isn't his thing.

Zoya nervously marches up the front steps of Constance, and inadvertently makes eye contact with her half-sister, who smiles slightly at finally getting to see her in person. Audrey asks if that's her. Monet wonders if they should throw their lattes on her, while Luna interjects that she can't see freshmen. Zoya looks around and walks away - Julien pipes up that she likes her shoes.

Back in the teacher's lounge, Kate cannot believe the Gossip Girl posts about the Blair–Chuck relationship, while the other teachers themselves remark on the milestones of past students. One male faculty member is dismissive, renouncing the school as a breeding ground for the worst kinds of people. Kate, however, claims it isn't their fault they were born with power and influence and don't know how not to abuse it. Another woman is shocked she's defending them, but Kate claims they're the students' last hope of becoming Barack Obamas instead of Brett Kavanuaghs. Just then, Martine bursts in crying and announces she was fired as the bell rings, much to their shock. An earlier female colleague shows them her phone with a "Gossip Girl 2.0" Twitter account, announcing they can have power. As the students walk through the hallways, Kate's colleagues gather around her as she sends out the first tweet, wondering if this might get their attention.

In the bathroom, girls mingle about around Julien and Zoya, and when they're finally left alone, the sisters happily embrace one another. They excitedly share their matching tattoos - Julien compliments that Zoya's is better but the latter disagrees. Julien is overjoyed that Zoya's physically here with her, and the two quickly assure each other their fathers are in the dark. The two tease each other with their full names. Julien can't believe she's finally here. Zoya agrees, herself shocked they pulled this off but Julien elaborates that she still can't believe Zoya is here. She dreamily says she looks like their mom. The two hug once more. Julien tells her of the plan to incorporate Zoya into the friend group, using the excuse of Zoya's shoes to call her over. She reminds her to come to the MET steps at 11, and bruises off Zoya's worries about not being able to leave the campus for lunch, saying they own the school.

Spotted at the steps of the MET, our seven elite lounge while Max reminds them to come to Dumbo Hall for fashion week. Obie answers that he will be late, and reminds Aki he will join him stuffing envelopes. Max asks how its for the light as Zoya appears in the corner. Julien answers that she isn't from here. Monet remarks that a "secret sister" spolsh video would trend faster than a fall fashion fail. Zoya sits down the steps, and Julien identifying her shoes as Bey Superstars. She asks for a picture, saying that just because their dads hate each other doesn't mean they have to. Monet questions Julien on what she's doing, insulting Zoya's headband. The latter corrects her that it's a scarf - their mom's scarf. Julien chanels Serena van der Woodsen and wraps the scarf around her neck. Zoya recognizes a pin on Obie as a Right to the City Alliance, where Obie explains he's a volunteer. Zoya herself offers to help. Julien asks if she's ever heard of the guilty rich - that's Obie, whose the guiltiest and richest. Monet reluctantly snaps a picture of the two sisters. Julien asks for her Insta handle, noting she'll rack up a lot of new followers. Finally, she invites Zoya to Dumbo Hall, much to Zoya's nervousness and the others' exasperation. Max says she's cute enough. Monet, annoyed, asserts they need someone to run errands. Audrey politely says sure. Obie welcomes her to the group.

The students return to school. Kate and her colleagues are upset the tweet hasn't garnered not even on like - one of them asks if anyone under 30 is even on Twitter. Another preaches that retaliation never works - just ask her ex-wives (she's not a lesbian apparently). Kate, Jordan, and other female teacher walk beside Julien, Luna, and Monet, who whispers which one she should get fired next. Stunned, Kate swerves and demands she repeat what she just said. Unbothered, Monet defiantly states she wasn't talking to her - at her, though, depending on her behavior. She shrugs nonchalantly, and with a final smirk she turns around. Kate tells her friends to meet her at her house tonight, and briskly walks away.

At home, Zoya and her father discuss her day. Addressing the pink elephant in the room, Zoya lies that she only saw Julien once in the courtyard and nothing else happened. She mentions she meet some new people, one who innovated her out for gelato.... tonight. Nick isn't sure since it's a school night, but relents as long as she home by 9. He adds on that, if she proves to be responsible, he might let her stay out longer. Zoya promptly texts Julien, who replies to check with her doorman and receives a present from her sister.

At Kate's home, Jordan declares Twitter to be filled of conspiracy theories and memes. If they want their attention, they need to side Instagram. Wendy adds on that they need to write in a catty tone. Jordan says they end to tag people, with Wendy clarifying the popular kids only, like the Serenas, Blairs, Nates and Chucks. Kate realizes that the rivalry with Blair and Serena launched Gossip Girl's infamy. Wendy suggests Monet's hatred of everyone else, but Kate says Monet is already the villain and whose actions no one cares about. What they need is someone that could level Serena and Blair's relationship, Kate reasons, and suggests Julien. However, she has no rival, until Wendy recommends Zoya, whom they know to be Julien's sister. Kate was on her admissions panel and doesn't recall anything about Zoya, until Wendy reveals the true reason of her acceptance into Constance, shocking her peers. Kate says the old Gossip Girl knew how to tease things out - drawing their attention and going in for the kill. She recommends they wait on this, before committing their intent to gain the power one more, and therefore doing good and saving the future. Everyone votes to continue their plans, and Kate sends out the first post.

Our one and only source for the truth behind the scandalous lies of New York's elite makes her grand return, as the teenagers get ready and head to the Dumbo Hotel for their soirée all while receiving the first notifications. Julien steps out of the elevator and greets Luna and Monet, the latter who immediately asks her about the post they're tagged in. The trio dismiss the account, belittling it while Julien thinks it to be a strip mall party store offering her a sponsorship. Max thinks it's some tween looking to boost his TikTok. Zoya enters the elevator to go up, with Obie barely making it behind her. The two awkwardly stand before Obie says he didn't recognize her - she looked like Julien in that moment. She asks if that's a compliment.

Sitting on the couch, Audrey lectures Julien, calling her too trusting and open. She says that's why people follow her, think that they know her and are entitled to her life which they are not. Julien says Zoya isn't a stalker, but Audrey offers a counterpoint that she is still a stranger who has found herself in her school, in her friend group, and, as Zoya and Obie exit the elevator, her boyfriend. Audrey excuses herself to get another round. Before they meet up with Julien and Aki, Obie offers Zoya a pin of the volunteer group they connected over with. He fumbles and says it might not go with her dress, but Zoya is touched. Julien kisses her boyfriend, promising he only needs to stay 1 hour and shell come to his next rally. She explains to Zoya he hates it - Obie wonders the amount one tenth of the people in here who could donate to a charity of their choice. Max appears, declaring they are the charity of their choice and explains they drink to forget people like Obie. Audrey appears and tells him off about getting laid, as Max is led away. She tries to go sit with Aki but Zoya is standing in her way. She dryly points out Zoya's dress is a hand-me-down. Julien corrects her that it was a gift, the first of many. She offers Zoya a drink, who dislikes the first sip. Julien says they won't peer pressure her, supported by Aki and Monet who takes the glass. Julien starts to explain how to play Constance with occasional commentary from Luna and Monet, but it all overlaps. Julien also mentions to not bother forming a relationship with a teacher, since they're always out the door (whether they want to or not, adds Monet). Zoya, however, points to the fact private school teachers are paid significantly less than public. The girls are surprised at this fact, which apparently explains so much. Julien remarks Ms. Keller would be happier working at Madewell, but is rebuked by Obie. Julien suddenly asks for Zoya's number. Audrey, bothered, declares she's going to find her boyfriend to no one's interest.

She finds Max making out with both a guy and a girl. Max calls her married and monogamous at 16, but Audrey refuses to be insulted. She asks why, out of all the people in the room, he chooses to spend his energy on her. Max remarks that she and Aki seem different. Audrey wants to know if it's in the good way. Max answers the best way. He replies in the best way, daring to get close to her. He says it wasn't on his plan tonight, but sensually asks if she wants to take it, an ecstasy pill on his tongue. Audrey, flustered, shakes her head no and runs off to find Aki. Finding him near the bathrooms, she roughly grabs his arm despite his protests and drags him behind a curtain. He asks her what's going on, but she simply touches her finger to her lips, and lifts up her dress. She grabs his head and forces him to go down on her, as while staring at Max whose across the room.

Suddenly, they're interrupted by the ringing of their phones - Gossip Girl has sent out her first blast. She not only exposes Julien and Zoya as sisters for all to see, but the scholarship Zoya received was actually gifted money from Julien. Zoya demands to know if she won her scholarship by herself. Julien backtracks and says the funds her father gives the school are also put in the art scholarship. Zoya thinks someone else deserved it more than her, while the rest of the inner circle are upset Julien already knew Zoya. Obie mentions her fathers must already have found out, but Zoya says her father isn't on Instagram and Julien says her own doesn't manages his account. Julien tries to explain herself but Zoya concludes Julien wanted to know if Zoya was cool enough to get to know. Julien reiterates no one cares, but a tired Obie announces he's going to go, but not before agreeing to do her story. He leaves, but not before telling Julien she could have told him. A tearful Zoya accompanies him. Audrey and Aki likewise disappear.

Walking outside in the rain, Obie comforts Zoya and says it's just a game, but Zoya remarks it's a lot of trouble for one. Obie wistfully notes that if you have someone people want, you have something to lose, and people will try to bring you down. Zoya's dress is becoming too wet and she doesn't know if she needs to return it - Obie recommends stopping by his place to wait it out and dry it out. Zoya agrees as she can make it within her curfew.

Inside Obie's home, who apparently owns the whole building, tells Zoya to take off her dress and he'll hang it at the sun to dry. However, he says if they get the floors wet his mom will kill him. Zoya agrees to strip but they do so behind each other's backs.

Unbeknownst to them, Jordan Glassberg is standing outside on the rain and takes several pictures of them undressing.

Now dressed in more comfortable clothes, Zoya apologizes for Julien not mentioing her existence. Obie confides him in her that he's not surprised - lately he feels they're not even dating anymore. He sadly remembers the the beginning of their relationship, and how different she was before she began her brand, how she used to want to make her mark on the world like him but now essentially tells him what to do, wear, say. Technically she is still making her mark, but turned it into her world. Zoya herself reveals two years ago Julien reached out to her two years and they've been talking ever since. But she has to say, Julien turned out to be different than what she thought, but perhaps she's still in there. They both compliment the other's kindness. Zoya's phone then beeps - Obie says he should get her dress now.

A soaked Jordan bangs on Kate's door and exclaims he feels grossed out and should get arrested, to Kate's bewilderment. Kate tells him anyone could have seen them through the open window, if at that moment it was only Jordan. He asks if she's going to use them. She says she doesn't, but either they're in or they're not.

Zoya arrives home, but not before stopping at the starwall to hide the clothing she wore in a bag. Her father Nick is still up - she is about to apologize for being late but he embraces her instead, having arrived home before 9.

Getting ready to go to bed, Zoya is about to send a text to the group chat Julien added her in, but Luna and Moment leave the conservation. She retires for the night. In the morning, the ringing of her phone awakens her - Gossip Girl has tagged her in a post, revealing Zoya's half-nakedness with Obie. In the bathroom, Zoya discreetly calls Julien and says the post isn't true. To her surprise, her half-sister nonchalantly believes her. In Julien's mind, Zoya is collateral and Gossip Girl is out for her, but she isn't going to let them win. Zoya asks if they went about this the wrong way, but her reply is that their plan needed to be strategic but they just weren't careful enough. She tells Zoya to act like a jealous freshman is trying to stir shit that isn't there, and that she'll see her in the courtyard. As a final insult, Max has left the group chat.

Obie receives a cold welcome at school, the students under Gossip Girl's impression that he cheated on Julien. Aki comes running to him, saying he's been defending Obie's honor all day but isn't himself happy about what Obie did, to the latter's denial. Monet tries to convince Julien losing is bad for business, and that she needs to destroy Zoya. However, the latter insists nobody's going to believe in the gossip just as they arrive at school. One student whispers Zoya stole her mom and now her man as another volunteers as a rebound against #Zobie. Monet and Luna are incredulous - Julien decides to text Zoya a meet up place.

Inside a Lyft

Cast[]

Starring[]

Guest Starring[]

  • John Benjamin Hickey as Roy Sachs
  • Megan Ferguson as Wendy
  • Rana Roy as Rima
  • Carla Hall as Rocky
  • America Olivo as Martine
  • Luke Kirby as Davis Calloway

Co-Starring[]

  • Sarash Baskin as Rebecca Sherman
  • Bruce Faulk as Jimmy
  • Samiyyah El Amin Turner and Victoria Lily Robertson as Sophomore Girls
  • Brennan Gomillion as Student
  • John Dibbins as Freshman
  • Candice Lam as Female Model
  • Pablo Kaestli as Male Model
  • Frenie Acoba as Vape Girl
  • Anthony Michael Bertram as Murray the Union Striker
  • Kristen Maxwell as Zoya Lott Double
  • Christopher John Rogers as Himself
  • Lindsay Peoples Wagner as Herself
  • Kelsey Lu as Themself
  • Antwuan Sargent as Himself
  • Mel Ottenberg as Himself

Soundtrack[]

GGR Soundtrack Promo.jpg
  • "All My Girls Like to Fight" by Hope Tala
  • "Super Rich Kids" by Frank Ocean
  • "Take Me Where Your Heart Is" by Q
  • "Positions" by Ariana Grande
  • "Drinks" by Cyn
  • "Steam" by Exmiranda
  • "Runaway" by Rei Ami
  • "Therefore I Am" by Billie Eilish
  • "Rascal" by Tinashe
  • "Just Checking In" by KLLO
  • "Spiders" by Junglepussy
  • "A Palé" by Rosalía
  • "I Can't Stay The Same" by Vanessa Carlton

Memorable Quotes[]

Rebecca: When I was a student, we lived under constant threat. People like Nate Archibald were scared straight. It was this thing that started freshman year, called itself Gossip Girl. Kind of like an Orwellian Big Sister that kept tabs on the students it deemed important. If she knew your secrets, and she always did, she told them. She kept us all accountable. People thought it was me, but it was actually one of my classmates, Dan Humphrey. It was ridiculous. I wouldn’t even read it.

Gossip Girl: Hello, followers. Gossip Girl here. Your one and only source for the truth behind the scandalous lies of New York's elite. Been a minute. Did you miss me? I know I've missed you. Though you're probably going to wish I'd stayed away when I'm done. Because I can see you. Not the you you've oh-so-carefully curated. The real you. The one hiding just outside the edge of frame. Well, it's time to reframe that picture. You've gotten away with everything a little too long. Now that I'm back, I'm gonna feature your finstas, surface those subtweets, and crack your caches. You can't hide from me. Never could. And to prove it? There's a big secret amongst the ruling class at Constance Billard. And as you will soon come to know, no good secret goes unpublished. Watch this space. Or don't. You'll hear about it soon enough either way. Till then, XOXO, Gossip Girl.

Gossip Girl: Ahh, New York. Is there anything more romantic than a walk in the fall rain? Only what happens after behind closed doors, or open windows. Hey, JC. Looks like DNA isn’t all you and your sister share.

Gossip Girl: Spotted: Some Upper East Side sibling rivalry. It may look like Z was trying to steal the light, but she was unaware of Julien and her callow ways. It's a long drop from A-list to Z, but everything is back where it's meant to be. Still, I'd watch out JC. You bought what you needed, but now you'll pay the price.

Gossip Girl: We started off painting on cave walls. Representations of what we saw and knew to be true. That bear, the sun, ourselves. But very soon, facts of family and fire turned into fables. That bear, vanquished. The sun, a god. And us? Anything we wanted to be. And we've never gone back. There's a reason we call the act of relating something, "telling a story." We say it even when it's true. We also say it when it's a lie. "Ooh, have I got a story for you." "Do you wanna hear something crazy?" "You will not believe what I'm about to tell you." Which is how we got to today. It's all a story now. And we love to tell it. It doesn't matter if it's real. It doesn't matter if it happened to you or if you did it. It only matters if I say you did. Because what they realized then is still true now. The only thing that makes a story interesting is how it's told and who's telling it. I told you you couldn't hide from me. I told you I saw you. But if there's one thing you can hold as true, then as now, it's this. It may take some time, it may hurt a little bit, but I know you'll love me. XOXO, Gossip Girl.

Trivia[]

  • On June 24, 2021, it was announced that the series would return to The CW after its premiere episode. The Gossip Girl series premiere had a special broadcast on The CW Network on Friday, July 9 (8:00-9:30pm ET/PT), one day after its debut on HBO Max (Thursday, July 8). Following its broadcast on The CW, the episode is available to stream on The CW’s free digital platforms (The CW app and CWTV.com).[1]
    • The episode aired its entire 90 minute premiere for the TV network, a first for The CW, as previous HBO Max series' were trimmed to fit a 60-minute time frame. However, select scenes that were deemed too racy for the network had to be either cut or trimmed. Joshua Safran noted this was a difficult process. If he would have known that The CW planned to air the pilot, he would have shot alternative footage.
  • This episodes title references the 1992 film, "Just Another Girl on the IRT".
    • The film's plot revolves around an African-American teenage girl from Brooklyn striving to achieve her goals and dreams of becoming successful in life, rejecting the status quo of her low-income socio-economical background. This interludes Zoya Lott, a girl of a similar description who finds herself entering a social scene way beyond her league.
  • Serena van der Woodsen, Blair Waldorf, Nate Archibald, and Chuck Bass are all mentioned. Moreover, multiple references were made to them being the first Gossip Girl victims.
  • A blast from the cotillion episode of the original Gossip Girl is read aloud, "Spotted, Chuck Bass losing something no one knew he had to begin with...his heart."
  • Nate Archibald is mentioned to have gone on to be very successful in his career, and is a notable alum of Constance Billiard and St. Jude's.
  • The tumultuous relationship between Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass is mentioned.
  • Blair marrying a Prince is mentioned.
  • Dan having a book published in his senior year of high school is mentioned.
  • During its CW debut, Gossip Girl had 290,000 views and a 0.1 demographic.[3]
  • During its HBO Max debut, Gossip Girl debuted to 555,000 households. It saw record viewership over the first four days of availability. Beyond HBO Max, Gossip Girl took over Twitter and slid into the number one trending spot on the platform. It stayed in the top five trends through mid-day. On TikTok, the series garnered about 15 billion impressions of content inspired by the series.[4]
  • Rebecca Sherman is seen in person for the first time. She was briefly mentioned in the original Gossip Girl with a high school photo being shown. She was a peer of the Non-Judging Breakfast Club. According to her, people thought she might have been Gossip Girl.
  • Monet de Haan's blatant disliking for Zoya Lott's headband is a callback to the original series, in which all the it-girls wore headbands. This style faded out of the show when Blair went to college and the fashion world evolved.

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