The Remains of J is the 20th episode of the second season and the 38th overall.
Morning are simply more fun on the Upper East Side. Our favorite things to wake up to? Sunny skies, the Nikkei on the rise, and a wake up call from your latest lover. Or your best friend.
Serena decides to throw Jenny a party for her sixteenth birthday, but things get way out of control when the party is turned into a teenage rager. In a moment of weakness, Vanessa agrees to help Chuck with a scheme having to do with Blair and Nate. Meanwhile, Rufus learns that Dan will not receive financial aid at Yale and tries to figure out another way to cover the cost of his education.
Serena calls Blair to check on her as she goes to pick up pastries for family breakfast. Blair lies that she's at home eating breakfast with Dorota, but panics and hides when she realizes Serena is walking across the street from her. At the loft, Dan announces to Rufus and Jenny that he has received his first fan letter. He also says that his welcome packet from Yale also came in the mail and reminds Rufus to finish filling out the financial aid forms. Dan and Jenny notice that no breakfast is cooking and Rufus explains that they're going to the VDW's to have breakfast. On the way out, they run into Vanessa. She tells Dan that she's worried because she gave Nate a week to call and he hasn't. Dan says that he'll come around eventually and as he's walking away, her phone rings with an email from Nate. She reads that he wants her to meet him at his place in a half hour. Elsewhere, Serena runs into her old friend Poppy Lifton on the street. They briefly catch up and Poppy notes that Serena's life hasn't changed much since they last spoke. Poppy shares that she has a new boyfriend, Gabriel Edwards, and they just returned from Spain but are going back soon. Serena mentions that she's throwing a Sweet Sixteen party for a friend and invites Poppy to come. Poppy hesitates and says she'll check her schedule. They wish each other well and part ways.
At the VDW's, Chuck leaves to go to an appointment as Serena arrives back with the pastries. She and Lily then excitedly tell Jenny that they are planning an elegant Sweet Sixteen party for her. Jenny is taken aback, and thanks them for thinking of her; but admits she would rather do something low-key with just the family. Lily and Serena are surprised with her reaction, but agree to cancel the party and do whatever she wants to do. Lily excuses herself to cancel the caterer while Serena follows. Dan, Jenny, and Eric leave for school and once they're gone, Rufus pulls out the paperwork from Yale. He opens the envelope to find that Dan was denied financial aid. At Constance, Serena asks Eric why Jenny wouldn't want the party. Eric explains that Jenny hasn't made many friends since she came back to school and she's probably worried that no one would show up. Serena is then stopped by Hazel, Nelly, and Isabel. They remark that they knew she would accept defeat gracefully. Confused, Serena asks what they mean, and they explain that Penelope is throwing a party that weekend and now they don't have to pretend to feel bad about missing Serena's. Afterwards, Serena calls Poppy to see if she can help her with party planning. At the Archibald's, Vanessa arrives across the street to see Nate; but gets there just in time to see Blair exit the house and hug Nate tightly as she leaves. Chuck pulls up next to her and explains that he sent the email to Vanessa from Nate's account because he wanted her to see Blair there, since she stops by to see him every morning. He tells her to call him when she's ready to do something about that.
Back at Constance, Chuck confronts Blair about seeing Nate. She swears that they're purely platonic and Chuck eggs her on by saying the two of them never had any sparks. She reminds him that she did fight for him, and that she had sparks with Nate; but if she was with him, she doesn't have a problem with something easy. Chuck informs her that Vanessa and Nate are still together and walks away. At the loft, Rufus and Lily cook together. Dan comes out of his room and asks if he's seen the Yale packet, but Rufus says he left it at the VDW's. Dan goes back to his room and Lily asks why he lied, since the packet is in plain sight. He confesses to her that Dan was denied financial aid and she offers to help him out, financially. Rufus politely declines, saying he has to figure it out himself. She suggests that he sell the loft and move in with her. He asks if she's sure they're ready for that, and she says there's only one way to find out before telling him to talk to a real estate agent. In Central Park, Blair and Nate take a walk. She alludes to him breaking up with Vanessa, and he tells her that Vanessa called a couple of hours ago and they made plans to meet for dinner. He also admits that their relationship feels over and she is most likely going to say the same thing. Blair accepts this and he promises to come over right after they talk. Meanwhile, Serena and Poppy take Jenny shopping so she can have her dream dress for her birthday. Poppy points out a cream colored sequined dress, but Jenny says she isn't have the type of party to wear that to. She chooses a simple black dress and goes to the dressing room. When she's gone, Serena thanks Poppy for coming and says she's in a rut. Poppy advises her to move onto new experiences and people in her life, and to start with the party. Serena explains that Jenny is really set on a small get together but Poppy encourages her to surprise her with the party anyway. Jenny then comes out with the dress on and asks how it looks. Poppy says they like the other one better and she agrees to try it on. When she's out of earshot, Serena calls the caterer to reverse the cancellation and to explain that the party is going to be bigger than anticipated.
Elsewhere, Nate and Vanessa sit down. He tells her that she isn't going to like what he has to say and she shouldn't be surprised, since she left first. She says they can still figure it out but by the look on his face, she realizes they can't. She then says that if there is someone else he can tell her; but he insists that there is no one else. At the Waldorf's, Blair wonders why it took Nate so long to see Vanessa. He arrives and she gives him a hug. He tells her that the break up had nothing to do with anyone else, but he's tired and is going home. He kisses her on the forehead and leaves. Once he's gone, Blair tells Dorota that he kissed her on the forehead like a child. She realizes that Chuck might have been right about there being no sparks between them and goes upstairs with a bottle of champagne. At the VDW's, Vanessa comes by to see Chuck. She says that she can accept being dumped but the fact that he lied about there being no one else was wrong. Chuck replies that he got the "just friends" speech as well, and remarks that Blair and Nate are making fools of them. Vanessa angrily says that they won't anymore.
The next day at the loft, Jenny stacks board games to bring to the VDW's. Dan tells her that Nate and Vanessa broke up the night before and he's expecting her call to see if she's coming to the party. The phone rings and he answers to find a real estate agent on the other end, looking for Rufus. Dan tells them that he'll call back later and hangs up. Jenny asks who it was and Dan just says they should start getting ready. At the VDW's, Serena gets ready while talking to Blair, who fills her in on the Nate/Vanessa drama. Serena asks how she knows about it and Blair admits that she's been spending a lot of time with Nate lately. She explains that maybe she needed to get Chuck out of her system to realize her true fate lay with Nate all along. Serena supports this, saying that she and Nate have no drama, which is good. Offended, Blair says they have plenty of drama and sparks. Eric comes into Serena's room and asks what's going on, and Serena hangs up before telling Eric that Jenny is going to love it. Downstairs, Dan and Jenny arrive and get into the elevator. Jenny explains that she's excited for her birthday and for their blending family, since everyone seems happy with it. Dan comments that things are going too good and tells her about the real estate agent calling. Jenny says that there is no way Rufus would ever move to the UES, and as Humphrey's, they couldn't anyway. They then arrive in the penthouse and find the party in full swing. They're immediately greeted by Penelope, Hazel, Nelly, and Isabel. They congratulate her on the party and say that they're having a great time. Penelope also says that when she heard Poppy was coming the party, she cancelled her own. When they walk away, Jenny wonders why they're there and why there's a huge party. While Dan goes to put away the chili, Jenny goes to Serena, who is with Poppy. Serena explains that Rufus and Lily are at Billy Elliot and the party is her present. Jenny says that she didn't want the party, and Serena says she thought she would be excited when it wasn't a fiasco. Jenny goes over to Jonathan and Eric, and asks them why Serena would think she wanted that. Eric says that she was trying to be nice, but she also wanted to prove she could still throw a good party. Jenny pulls out her phone and furthers Serena's agenda by sending a tip about the open invitation to Gossip Girl.
In the elevator, Chuck and Vanessa discuss ways to get back at Nate and Blair on their way up to the party. They arrive and instantly see the two together. She asks Chuck what they should do, then decides to kiss him where they can see; and they do. Meanwhile, the party begins to get out of control and Poppy decides to leave with her friends, as there's too many rowdy drunken children around. Serena asks Jenny to help get rid of the crashers but Jenny refuses, saying she had her own guest list; not that Serena would care about what she wants. Serena replies that she genuinely thought she would be pleased with the party and if she didn't want it, she should have said something. Jenny reminds her that she did say she didn't want it and while they argue, Eric comes over to tell Serena that there are strangers having sex in her bed. On her way to her room, she takes Dan away from talking to several girls to help her out. Elsewhere, Nate confronts Vanessa about kissing Chuck. He warns her to not let Chuck talk her into anything regretful but she says that at least Chuck is honest, then mentions his lie about there not being anyone else. Nate replies that Blair is his friend and nothing is going on. Blair comes over and backs him up, saying that Nate is a good guy. She tries to say they're about to become something more but Nate hushes her and the two walk away. She brings him to Chuck's room and tries to seduce him. However, he doesn't fall for it and says that maybe their relationship didn't work out because they weren't friends. She agrees and says that since they are friends now, it can work out. She keeps trying to kiss him but he dodges her. Disappointed, she leaves the room. On the staircase, Chuck and Vanessa keep an eye on his bedroom door. She says that maybe they pushed the two closer together, but Chuck says they need to wait it out. Instantly after, they see Blair head for the elevator looking angry and Nate also emerge from the room. Chuck orders Vanessa to intercept him, which she does. He tells her that she got what she wanted: to become more like Blair. He then leaves the apartment.
In Serena's room, Dan helps her change the sheets. Serena admits that maybe the party got out of hand because she was thinking of herself. Dan reminds her that they should still be having fun while in high school and to live in the moment. As they talk, Eric runs in and says there is a problem downstairs. Serena, Dan, Eric, and Jenny all go down to the lobby; where they find Vanya trying to keep out a crowd of kids trying to get in. The police then show up to shut down the party, followed by Rufus and Lily. Afterwards, everyone is sent home and Lily is shocked by the state of the apartment. Lily demands to know what happened, and Serena says that she is responsible for the sophisticated party but that Jenny turned it into a rager. Lily refuses to believe this and Serena leaves, saying she isn't going to clean up someone else's mess. When she's gone, Jenny admits that she's the one who sent the tip to Gossip Girl. She apologizes for what she did but that she did so because she was embarrassed. Lily apologetically says that Serena's party sounded delightful and Jenny responds by saying that at least last year, people celebrated her and her only. She also alludes to Rufus selling the loft and he asks what she means. Dan says that the real estate agent called and Jenny adds that she's not ready to stop being a Humphrey yet. At a bar, Serena vents about her evening to Poppy. Poppy suggests that she come with her and Gabriel to Spain, but Serena says she's probably grounded so she can't go. She then realizes how ridiculous that sounds and agrees to go along.
The next morning, Lily thanks Rufus for letting her stay at the loft while her penthouse is professionally cleaned. They talk, and agree that they aren't ready to move in together yet. Lily asks what he's going to do about Dan and Yale, and Rufus says he'll figure it out. Dan overhears and asks what they need to figure out. Lily excuses herself to get dressed and Rufus breaks the financial aid news to him. Dan begins to worry, and Rufus replies that he never let money get in the way of his education before and won't now. Rufus asks if he ever called the kid who wrote the fan letter back and Dan decides to give him a call. In Central Park, Blair and Dorota take a walk to feed the ducks. Blair admits that she was having a lot of fun with Nate because things were so nice and simple. They arrive at the pond and Blair sees Nate standing there. Dorota whispers that Nate asked where her favorite spot was because he wanted their first kiss to be there. She goes over and he says that last night, she left before he could say that he wants to be with her. They begin to make out in the snow. Meanwhile, Serena arrives at Poppy's hotel but is stopped by a handsome guy. He swears that they met before, at a bar when she was with another girl and calling herself Savannah. Poppy comes over and kisses him, and asks if they introduced themselves. Serena does, and the guy introduces himself as Gabriel; Poppy's boyfriend. At the loft, Dan calls the fan letter boy, Scott. His mother, who is revealed to be Renee Rosson see, sees the call and asks her husband, Chris Rosson, who Scott knows in Brooklyn. Chris answers and Dan asks if he is Scott. Chris replies that Scott can't come to the phone but he can take a message. Dan says to tell him that Daniel Humphrey called for him in response to his letter. Chris promises to pass on the message and hangs up. Afterwards, he worriedly tells Renee that Scott wrote a letter to Rufus Humphrey's son, so he has to know the truth. They decide to delete the call record from the phone. At the VDW's, Lily arrives home to see Eric, Jonathan, and Jenny playing Hungry, Hungry, Hippos together. Pleased with the sight of this, she notices a new message. She opens it and learns that Serena is going to Spain with Poppy for the week. In Chuck's room, he wakes up to find Vanessa dressing herself in the dress from the night before. She says that they both need to pretend that the night they spent together never happened. He says that they can just as easily pretend that they never happened again, and kisses her. She kisses back and gets in bed with him.
- 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
- Jessica Szohr as Vanessa Abrams
- Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey
- Kelly Rutherford as Lily van der Woodsen
- Matthew Settle as Rufus Humphrey
- Connor Paolo as Eric van der Woodsen
- Tamara Feldman as Poppy Lifton
- Zuzanna Szadkowski as Dorota Kishlovsky
- Aaron Schwartz as Vanya
- Amanda Setton as Penelope Shafai
- Dreama Walker as Hazel Williams
- Yin Chang as Nelly Yuki
- Nicole Fiscella as Isabel Coates
- Matt Doyle as Jonathan Whitney
- Armie Hammer as Gabriel Edwards
- Stevie Ray Dallimore as Chris Rosson
- Anne Torsiglieri as Renee Rosson
- Patrick McMullan as Himself
- Money Honey by Lady GaGa
- Lights off by The Dears
- Baby Boombox by The Handcuffs
- Dance Till Dawn by HeartsRevolution
- Sure Can Start by Two Hours Traffic
- The Tricky Part by Two Hours Traffic
Chuck: I have an appointment.
Dan: What does Chuck Bass do at 8:00 AM? It's not like you work out.
Chuck: I do my cardio in the evenings. Morning is for business, of which I am late. So if you'll excuse me...
Eric: Does this feel like a sitcom to anyone else?
Dan: It feels like a reality show.
Chuck: Good, so I can vote you off.
Dan: It would almost be scary if it wasn't wearing plaid.
Blair: Chuck, don't act like I didn't fight for you. I did. Hard. And for a long time. So please, forgive me if now that we're over, I'm exhausted.
Blair: It's 10:30, Dorota, what took him so long?
Dorota: Maybe girl from Brooklyn cry. Mr. Nate nice boy, he wipe tears, he touch her hair, she touch his-
Dorota: Not that this ever happen to me.
Dan (on the book Vanya is reading): "Guilty: Liberal Victims and their Assault on America" by Ann Coulter?
Vanya: Dorota get me. She said "important to know enemy". It's okay, I read to make Dorota happy.
Jenny (on the UES): We can't live up here, we're...
Jenny: Damn straight.
Hazel (to Jenny): Kudos on rising from the social grave.
Nelly (referring to Rufus' chili pot): Speaking of graves, did something die in that pot?
Dan: It's cumin.
Vanessa: I came to you because I wanted to do something besides feel sorry for myself but all it's been is sleazy platitudes and you staring at my boobs!
Chuck: I came up with several excellent ideas but you shot most of them down.
Vanessa: Yeah, because they all involved leaking a Chuck-Vanessa sex tape to the internet.
Chuck: We don't have to release the tape if you don't want to.
Dan (to Rufus): All I did was carry the chili and prevent teenagers from having unprotected sex.
- The episode title is based off the movie The Remains of the Day.
- When Gabriel refers to meeting Serena earlier as Savannah, it's a reference to when Serena and Georgina Sparks would pretend to be named Savannah and Svetlana.
- Patrick McMullan, who takes the photo of Serena and Jenny, is mentioned again in The Lost Boy when one of his photos is sought after by Blair and Chuck.