The Lady Vanished is the 14th episode of the third season and the 57th overall.
Get up and go at it, Upper East Side. I hear Little J is having foreign relations with a handsome attache. We always knew she had friends in high places, but how low will she go?
Rufus and Lily grow more angry and suspect of Jenny's relationship with Damien in which Jenny decides to rebel by revealing Damien's drug dealing profession. Meanwhile, Chuck confides in Blair, Serena, and Nate about his investigation into the mysterious Elizabeth Fisher, who may or may not be his mother. Elsewhere, Dan and Vanessa struggle through the awkwardness of dating other people when they attend a college beach party with their respective dates. Also, Serena makes a decision regarding finding her father after having a talk with a surprising acquaintance.
The episode begins with Damien surprising Jenny in her room at the VDW's, asking if they were still on for that night. Jenny suggests they go out for dinner, but he tells her that they have a lot of deliveries to make and wants to keep the drugs at her place for the day. She hesitantly agrees, and Damien goes to kiss her. Before he can, his phone rings and finds his father on the other end. He tells him that he has plans with a friend that evening, and Jenny gets offended, as she thought they were more than that. At The Empire, Nate makes toaster waffles for him and Serena, but doesn't get far before they have sex in the kitchen. After they're done, Blair begins screaming from Chuck's room. The phone rings and Nate is surprised to find Chuck on the other end, asking him to grab his cell phone from his bedroom because now isn't a good time for Blair to be snooping. After they hang up, it's revealed Chuck is at the hotel Elizabeth Fisher is staying at and that he paid off an employee for a key to her room. Back at The Empire, Serena enters Chuck's room and finds Blair in there reading a magazine. Serena asks if she's trying to prove a point, and Blair says that she was and she's glad she recently got the couch scotch guarded. Serena climbs onto the bed with her and asks what's going on. Blair admits she and Chuck aren't really connecting, both sexually and emotionally, and he isn't sharing anything with her. She tells Serena that he recently went through something traumatic and she just wants him to understand that he can always talk to her about whatever is wrong. At NYU, Dan meets a girl named Melissa, who offers him a pair of board shorts. He declines, and goes to Vanessa's room. He tells her he knows he screwed up, and he only meant he loved her as a friend. She says he doesn't have to explain himself, and he suggests they hang out to be normal. Vanessa explains the the dorm is throwing a beach themed party and she's going with Paul. Dan offers to come and bring the girl he's seeing, named Melissa. She skeptically agrees to hang out together and he leaves. On his way out, he asks a random passerby in the hall if she happens to know someone named Melissa. At Elizabeth's hotel, Chuck enters her room after seeing her leave and begins to go through her things. In her suitcase, he finds a small trinket wrapped in a napkin.
At The Empire, Nate goes into Chuck's room and grabs the phone. Serena remembers that Chuck asked him to grab his phone, and Blair immediately orders it to hand it over. She looks through it, and finds a lot of missed calls from a number she doesn't recognize and a new message. At the VDW's, Lily enters Jenny's room to find her inside with Damien. Jenny begs her not to tell Rufus, but Lily tells them both to come out to the living and room. Back at The Empire, Blair debates whether or not to listen to the message. Serena advises her to put the phone down and just talk to Chuck when he gets home. Nate looks at the number, and says it's the same number Chuck called him from that morning. Blair grabs the phone and plays the message. It's revealed Elizabeth left the message, saying she's still at The Algonquin and there are things he needs to know so he should call her back. Blair says that she knows Elizabeth was at that hotel, and Serena asks who Elizabeth is. Chuck enters the apartment, and explains that her name used to be Evelyn and she is his mother. Serena thinks it's great, saying he now has a second chance to find out what really happened. Chuck tells her that she came back for a reason, likely money, and instructs Blair to throw the locket away. He then leaves to go down and have a drink. Nate assures Serena that he'll be fine but she is adamant that she hear the woman out. Blair replies that Chuck was devastated when he got turned away by her and if he doesn't want to talk to her, he doesn't have to and everyone needs to respect that.
At the VDW's, Damien tells Jenny he wants to leave before anything happens with Lily, saying he doesn't want to be the scared boyfriend. She flatly replies that no one is asking him to be the boyfriend. At that moment, Rufus arrives in the apartment and sees Jenny with Damien on the couch while Lily explains they should probably talk about what happened. Meanwhile, Dan and Melissa and Vanessa and Paul hang out at the dorm party. Melissa asks Vanessa how long they've known each other, and Dan mistakes her for asking how long he's know Vanessa. She explains that she and Paul met at a fairy tale cabaret, then asks where she and Dan met. Melissa says they met in the hallway but Dan quickly jumps in to say he was lost. He then takes her to play beachball, and Paul asks Vanessa what's really going on but she goes off to get more drinks. Back at The Empire bar, Blair comes down to see Chuck. She apologizes for everything that has happened and Chuck tells her that even if she is his mother, she isn't, because she never wanted a relationship with him. Blair suggests they go back to Bart's grave, leave the locket, and never look back; and Chuck agrees that would be what's best. Back at the VDW's, Rufus blames Lily for letting Jenny have a boy overnight, saying Jenny isn't Serena and that children need boundaries. He then orders Jenny to pack her bags because she's moving back to Brooklyn, and she angrily goes off to do it. When she's gone, he tells Lily he's going to get the rest of his stuff as she begs him to stay so they can talk through things. Back at the party, Dan and Vanessa try to talk, but she says there's some weird pressure going on with them. He suggests they do something normal, like take a photo with the photo cutout together. As they head back to get in position, they realize the area is very tight and they make out briefly. Afterwards, they do take the photo backwards. At The Empire bar, Nate and Serena come down and announce they made reservations at Kellari for lunch. Chuck and Blair agree to go and they walk outside. When they're gone, Nate asks Serena if she's sure they're doing the right thing. Serena replies that Chuck just needs a little push and it will be fine.
At lunch, Blair notices Serena and Nate acting suspiciously. They all then see Elizabeth enter the restaurant, and Blair quickly says it wasn't her. Nate explains that they called her because he's making a big mistake by not taking to her. Serena tells Chuck to just hear her out because it's better than wondering for the rest of his life. He thinks it over quickly and decides to go over to talk. Back at the party, Dan and Vanessa find Paul and Melissa waiting for them. They explain that they got to talking and realized Dan only met her that morning right before Vanessa called Paul waiting to get back together. They walk off, telling them to either get together or don't but to leave normal people out of whatever is going on with them. Back at Kellari, Chuck tells Elizabeth he was brought there under false pretenses and that he wants to skip to the end of the talk, as he begins writing her a check. She tries telling him she doesn't want money, but he gives her the check anyway. He tells her he doesn't judge her for taking the money, and the only string attached is that she'll leave and never come back. She apologizes and leaves the restaurant with the money. He returns to the table and tells Serena she was wrong. Back at the VDW's, Jenny is packing when Damien comes to her room to see her to say goodbye. She tells him she heard him call her a friend to his dad, and she's mad over being exiled to Brooklyn over a nonexistent relationship. Damien says that since she's still in high school, Rufus isn't being totally out of line. He goes to the elevator but Jenny stops him before he can leave. She tells him that she isn't immature and definitely not afraid to stand up to her dad. Rufus comes downstairs and to show Damien she isn't afraid, takes the pills and reveals them to Rufus.
She tells him he can explain, and Rufus asks Lily if she knew about them. She denies knowing anything, as Damien asks Jenny what she's doing. She replies that she told him she wasn't afraid and they all go back to the living room. Rufus asks if she's taking them or selling them, and she says they're holding them for a friend. Lily reiterates how serious it is and Jenny just asks what her punishment will be. Rufus tells her that this goes way beyond just punishment as he doesn't recognize her anymore. Damien jumps in then, telling Rufus and Lily that the drugs are his, or actually, his father's. Meanwhile outside, Serena tries to catch up with Chuck and Blair outside the restaurant. He tells her to leave him alone and walks off. Blair tells Serena she knows why she did what she and that it has nothing to do with Chuck. Serena admits that that is the reason and gets in a cab. When she's gone, Nate asks what Blair what she meant by it having nothing to do with Chuck but Blair just apologizes and walks away. At the dorm party, Dan tells Vanessa they need to talk about their kiss. He asks why she lied about dating Paul, and she explains she didn't want to make things awkward. Dan says he just wanted things to feel kind of normal again but Vanessa replies that that stopped being an option they minute he revealed his feelings. Back at the VDW's, Damien explains the story with his father. He says that when his mother left, his father went on drug binges, sometimes for days at a time. One time he was gone for two days before returning home filthy and with a broken arm, but that he got sober after that incident. At least until he found the pills in his house, and that's when he came over to see Jenny. He explains that Jenny has been a good friend to him and that he didn't spend the night, she was just trying to distract them. Rufus asks why he brought the drugs over and Damien says it was stupid but he wanted to get the pills away from his dad. At The Empire, Chuck goes to lie down and Blair follows, asking if he wants to talk. He says no, and they have sex. Back at the VDW's, Jenny and Damien sit in the dining room and she tells him how Rufus and Lily totally bought his story. He admits it was all true, except for the part where his dad got sober. She says she had no idea and he replies that no one does. Rufus comes down, saying he flushed the pills and it's time for Damien to go. He tells Jenny to be thankful she has a father who cares what she does and leave. She thanks Rufus sarcastically for ruining things with Damien, but he replies that she'll get over it.
Meanwhile, Serena tracks down Elizabeth at her hotel and sees her checking out. She asks if she can have a moment of her time, not for Chuck, but for her. They sit down, and Serena explains that her dad left years ago and wants to know why she left. Elizabeth explains that she was 19 when she got pregnant and her and Bart decided to give the baby up for adoption. Serena says that she must have a had a hard time, which explains the locket. Elizabeth replies that no, Bart was the one who couldn't do it because when he saw Chuck for the first time, he fell in love. She continues that he even asked her to marry him but she didn't because she didn't love him. Serena reasons that she must have been blackmailed by Bart then to make sure she never came back, but Elizabeth says it was her idea for Chuck to be told that she was dead so he would never come looking for her. Serena asks if she had regrets, and Elizabeth says Bart sent her money every year but she never wanted it because she never doubted her decision. She finishes by saying Chuck wants to hate her and she doesn't blame him. Serena replies that she's known Chuck her whole life and he's good at masking his emotions but that there's no child who doesn't want to know their parent. She then leaves.
Back at the party, Vanessa finds Dan and asks to talk. She says that she does have feelings for him but she's scared to act on them. She suggests they throw down and find what happens, and they kiss. At the VDW's, Jenny apologizes to Rufus and asks if Damien can have visitation rights. Rufus says no, that since she lied to protect him and he's mixed up with drugs it's just an all around bad scene. Lily comes in, and Jenny pleads with her to help. Lily takes Rufus' side, which Jenny says is only because of their fight. Rufus says it has nothing to do with their fight and Jenny reveals that Lily is sleeping until noon every day, he's hiding out at the loft, and just because they've finally found common ground it doesn't mean they're right. She walks out of the room to go downstairs and wait for Rufus to leave. Lily makes a final plea to Rufus not to leave, but he says that Jenny needs to have her feet on solid ground and he needs that too, at least for awhile. At The Empire, Chuck apologizes to Blair for not telling her about Elizabeth. He admits he wanted to find out why she came back without finding out why she did what she did. He also says writing the check was a test and he wanted her to pass by not taking it, but she failed. The phone rings, and Chuck answers to find Elizabeth is down at the front desk wanting to come up. Back at the VDW's, Rufus comes downstairs to find Jenny already gone. At the Waldorf's, Serena arrives home to find Nate waiting for her in the front room. She tells him that she went to see Chuck's mother because of her dad and her need to find out why he left. She explains everything that's happened with her dad recently, including that he didn't see her because he was with Lily. She admits she finally realized after her talk with Elizabeth that he probably doesn't want to be found. Nate tells her that he wants to be the person she can bring anything too, and Serena says she wants that too. He asks that if that's how her father feels, than maybe he isn't even worth finding. She doesn't reply and just hugs him.
At The Empire, Elizabeth finishes telling her story and Chuck isn't amused. She returns the check, saying she now thinks it's better if he knows her and she will wait in New York until he decides otherwise. She goes to leave, and Chuck asks her to stay for a drink. At the NYU dorms, Dan and Vanessa have sex and find they are amazing together. She then says the reason she was freaked out was because with them everything is so fast tracked so they need to take things one day at a time. Dan agrees, and they kiss. Meanwhile outside, Jenny catches up to Damien and brings him some pills she found in Lily's medicine cabinet. She hands them over, saying Lily gets headaches sometimes, and Damien notes that they're heavy duty pills for a headache. He suggests they skip the party and kisses her. At the VDW's, Vanya comes into the penthouse and brings Rufus' scarf to Lily. He tells her that Holland turned it in, and said he left it at her apartment. Lily thanks Vanya and continues drinking her wine. At the Waldorf's, Serena calls her father one final time to say she isn't looking for him anymore. In The Empire bar, Blair says goodbye to Chuck as he goes to sit down and talk with Elizabeth. He promises to call her the next day, and she listens as he asks Elizabeth what she wants to know, and smiles as she hears Elizabeth say happily that she wants to know everything.
- 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
- Kevin Zegers as Damien Dalgaard
- Aaron Schwartz as Vanya
- Laura Harring as Elizabeth Fisher
- Erich Bergen as Paul Hoffman
- Carrie MacLemore as Melissa
- Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine
- Out of the Blue by Julian Casablancas
- Secrets by OneRepublic
- Left & Right In The Dark by Julian Casablancas
- 11th Dimension by Julian Casablancas
- Ludlow St by Julian Casablancas
- She's On The Move by Far East Movement
Nate: Honestly, I didn't even know we had a fridge until this morning.
Blair (screaming from Chuck's room): OH GOD.
Serena: Oh, god. Of course. Not to be outdone.
Nate: God forbid.
Blair: YES THAT'S IT. GOD. YES. OH DON'T STOP, GOD, CHUCK, OH GOD THAT'S IT, YEAH.
Chuck: Hey, it's me.
Vanessa: Actually, my dorm is throwing this huge South Beach Party today.
Dan: Great, I love parties.
Vanessa: And I'm going with Paul.
Dan: I love Paul.
Blair: Oh, god, I miss that.
Blair: Dating somebody who is a horrible liar. SO much easier. Chuck didn't want me to see his phone. Hand it over, Archibald.
Chuck (on Bart's lies): He also told me kids wore suits to kindergarten and that blue chip stocks are great for birthday gifts. He told me what he wanted me to believe.
Chuck: A Blair Waldorf apology without a caveat. Sounds serious.
Jenny (to Damien): I might be a bitch, but I'm not a little bitch.
Chuck (to Serena): If you're looking for a fairytale ending, next time rent a movie. Leave me out of it.
Elizabeth: I know it's probably not the story you wanted to hear but I wanted you to know the truth.
Chuck: And I thought my father was the heartless one.
Serena *voicemail to her father*: Hey, it's me, Serena. I still don't know if this is your number but I wanted you to know I'm not looking for you anymore. I thought maybe you wanted to know me... but now it's me that doesn't want to know you. I'm done.
- The episode title is based off the movie The Lady Vanishes.