The Townie is the 11th episode of the fourth season and the 76th overall.
Spotted: Dan and Blair exiting Sant Ambroeus with espresso doppio for two. But we hear it's not the caffeine that's got them talking a mile a minute. It's a mission.
Blair and Dan team up with Damien to find Juliet in her Connecticut hometown. When Juliet spots the trio in her town, she decides to return to New York to finish what she started with Serena once and for all. Meanwhile, Nate struggles with allowing his father back into his life when the Captain announces that his parole has been granted. Also, Rufus and Chuck learn Lily is planning to sell Bass Industries.
The episode begins with Blair and Dan summarizing Juliet's work trying to find a motive for ruining Serena's life while on the way to The Ostroff Center. Blair thinks that her motive may be retribution for something they don't know. Meanwhile, Eric tells Serena that Lily and Chuck are meeting with a reporter from The New York Post for a Bass Industries profile. She asks him to keep Lily honest about where she is, and he agrees to make sure that she does. In the lobby, Dan and Blair find that Serena isn't allowed visitors. After talking with the receptionist, they find out from Eric that Serena has entered treatment that includes a 72 hour no contact with anyone in the outside world. Dan and Blair try and explain that she doesn't need to be there, but Eric tells them to leave it alone because she's finally getting the help she's needed for a long time. At the Archibald's, Anne tells Nate that she's being disinvited from all holiday parties because of Howard. Nate admits to her that he found out that Howard asked about leasing a house outside the city, but he told the family business manager not to mention anything. Anne is unsurprised, and Nate says he really thought he had changed, then offers to tell him about the divorce himself. At the Waldorf's, Blair and Dan discuss next steps to finding Juliet. He suggests they ask Gossip Girl, and Blair skeptically agrees. Meanwhile, Juliet arrives in her hometown, which turns out to be a small town accessible from New York by bus. Back at the Waldorf's, Dan and Blair hear back from Gossip Girl, who gives them an address to a house in Cornwall, Connecticut.
At the center, Serena begins her therapy session by telling the whole story about her party girl past.
A flashback montage shows her sleeping with Nate, her witnessing Pete Fairman's death, and leaving town for Cornwall, Connecticut.
On the road, Dan and Blair arrive in Cornwall. At the VDW's, Chuck and Lily finish their interview. He mentions her stumbling around the question about when he can take back Bass Industries, but Lily promises that he will definitely have it back one day. She tells Chuck that the caterers for her party will be showing up soon, and he takes off. In Cornwall, Blair and Dan arrive at the address; which turns out to be a large house with lots of cars outside. They enter to find a rager inside, and they begin looking for any clues connecting them to Juliet. After wandering around, they find Damien Dalgaard sitting on a couch. In prison, Nate tells Howard that Anne found out about the house. Howard explains that when they were first married, they vacationed there and she said it was her dream house and he wanted to surprise her so they could reconnect away from the city. Nate apologizes for jumping to conclusions, and promises to fix it but Howard tells him no. He admits that their marriage has been over for a long time, and that he'll be released to a halfway house instead. They decide to watch the game together. In Cornwall, Damien explains to Blair and Dan that he's working, as Connecticut suburbs buy a lot of drugs during holiday breaks. He mentions The Knightley Boarding School, and Blair realizes this is the town Serena ran away to when she went to boarding school. Dan asks if he knows Juliet, and then they explain about the overdose. Damien tells them that a few weeks ago Juliet bought all kinds of drugs, including a modern day roofie, but he just assumed she was throwing a sorority party. The three group up to find Juliet. In front of the house, Juliet passes by and sees them together getting into their car.
In a flashback, Serena is seen making a drink at boarding school in her dorm for a bunch of kids. On the floor, Damien does her homework and asks what grade she wants. While drunk, she kisses him.
Blair, Damien, and Dan arrive at Juliet's mother's house to see her. Her mother explains that Juliet is out running errands, and they invite themselves in. Mrs. Sharp goes to make tea, and asks how they know her. Blair explains that she knows her from Columbia, and Damien says he met her while he was going to Knightley. Mrs. Sharp asks if he knew Ben, but he isn't sure who she's talking about until she explains that his last name is Donovan and he sees a photo of him and Juliet. He tells Blair and Dan that Mr. Donovan was fired for sleeping with a student after Serena went back to Manhattan, and everyone was sure it was her. Meanwhile, Serena continues her story in therapy, continuing with her living her same party lifestyle at school:
In a flashback, Serena meets with Ben outside a cafe and gives him a coffee, then asks for his help with studying Abor Imagery In The Poems of Sylvia Plath, and he agrees to help her. A voiceover explains that she and Ben started spending more and more time together.
In present day, Damien explains to Blair and Dan how at school, Serena suddenly started staying in and not partying. He explains what made him believe the rumors about her and Ben, beginning with him having dinner with his aunt in Poughkeepsie:
Serena and Ben arrive at an inn, completely soaked, talking about what bad luck it was to have their car break down in the rain. They mention how the trip to the library wasn't worth it, then he says he's going to fix the tire right then. She suggests they get a room, then tells him that she knows he's thought about it too. He rejects her advances, then heads out to fix the tire.
In therapy, Serena admits that he was the only guy to ever say no to her and that she was in love with him. She also says that after that day, they never really spoke again, but now she realizes Ben was a great guy. Meanwhile in prison, Ben calls Juliet to find where she is. She explains that she's in New York to finally finish this scheme once and for all. Ben starts panicking and begs her not to go after Serena. After they hang up, Ben sees Nate enter the prison. He tells her to make sure Serena is okay but before he can explain, security takes him away. Nate calls Dan and asks if he's talked to Serena, but learns she's still at Ostroff. He passes on Ben's warning, but find none of them are around to check on her but plan on meeting at the VDW's. At Ostroff, Serena enters her room to find Juliet inside waiting for her.
On the way back to the city, Blair tells Dan he's just like Mr. Donovan and has given everything up for her. Meanwhile at the Ostroff, Juliet explains everything she did, and that she did it because she ruined her brother's life. Serena asks who her brother is, and Juliet tells her. She asks what she ever did to him and learns the whole story:
Ben meets with a lawyer, along with Juliet and his mother to be charged with statutory rape and transporting a minor across state lines. The lawyer gives him an affidavit signed by Serena, and then advises against going to trial because the prosecution has a witness. He continues that her family pressured the DA into offering a plea bargain, where Ben serves time but isn't forced to register as a sex offender.
Juliet explains to Serena that thanks to her, Ben is serving a five year sentence. Serena swear she never signed the paper, then realizes only one person could have. At the VDW's, Lily and Rufus are hosting their party. Nate arrives and sees Anne also at the party. He tries to tell her about Howard and the house, but she says it doesn't change anything and her social life matter to her more than her husband, then walks off to speak to Minnie. Chuck begins to toast Lily and the company when Serena and Juliet arrive. Serena heads up to the front as Blair, Damien, and Dan arrive. They all watch as Serena publicly outs Lily for being a selfish liar. Lily tries to regain control of her guests, and Rufus talks with one as he's preparing to leave. He mentions the upcoming sale of Bass Industries, which catches Rufus completely off guard. Meanwhile, everyone follows Serena to her room and demand to know what's going on. Serena promises to get Ben out of prison and lets Juliet go. After she's gone, Serena goes out to confront Lily about Ben. She explains what happened to everyone, including Lily signing the affidavit illegally. Lily confesses that when Serena wanted to come home, no decent school in the city would accept her so she went to Knightley to talk to the administration. While she was there, she heard girls gossiping about her and Ben and used it it to her advantage to secure a transfer; but realized it was too late to take it back after she was contacted by the DA. She promises that she did it to save her future, and Serena is adamant when she says Ben never touched her. Chuck jumps in and explains that in every big choice, there's collateral damage but Rufus tells him it's not easy when you're the collateral damage. He gives Lily an opportunity to tell Chuck what she's doing and when she doesn't take it, he reveals she's planning on selling Bass Industries. Alarmed, Chuck tells her he wants it back right away but Lily tells him the board will never give it back since he just disappeared for three months. After the revelation, everyone leaves Lily alone in the apartment.
A week later, Serena, Blair, Chuck, Nate, and Dan celebrate Christmas at The Empire. Chuck prepares to leave for New Zealand to celebrate. Serena asks Dan to come with her on a road trip to find the judge who ruled on her case, but he tells her that it's really something she needs to do on her own. Outside, Nate is on the phone with Howard and tells him that he gave his address at The Empire for him to report to. Upstairs, Dan and Blair clean up dinner. They realize they're the only ones who will be in the city, and that they'll both be seeing Nanette at Film Forum. Meanwhile, Serena goes to see Ben in prison.
- 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 (Credit only, as she does not appear in the episode)
- Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey (Credit only, as she does not appear in the episode)
- Kelly Rutherford as Lily van der Woodsen
- Matthew Settle as Rufus Humphrey
- Connor Paolo as Eric van der Woodsen
- Katie Cassidy as Juliet Sharp
- Kevin Zegers as Damien Dalgaard
- David Call as Ben Donovan
- Sam Robards as Howard 'The Captain' Archibald
- Francie Swift as Anne Archibald
- Marsha Dietlin as Cynthia Sharp
- AM/FM Sound by Matt & Kim
- State Of Our Affairs by Mt. Desolation
- Just A Dream by Nelly
- Crank That by Soulja Boy
- Architect 10.20 Mix by Twilight Sleep
- Oh It's Christmas by The Rosebuds
- Coming Home by Diddy
Blair: Well, you can't show up at a masked ball and not expect at least one social climbing doppleganger to try and impersonate you.
Dan (to The Ostroff Center receptionist): Look, I'm family, I'm Serena's brother. Well, step-brother technically, which I do mostly try and put out of my mind considering we dated pretty seriously-
Blair: Humphrey! They treat people in here for less serious complexes than that. Do you want to get committed?
Dan (to Blair): I'd tell you to stop being such a backseat driver but how can you be one when you don't even know how to drive!
Blair (to Dan): Never to be realized literary aspirations, check. Townie, you're from Brooklyn, so check. And giving up everything to become Serena van der Woodsen's stalker, check. Face it Humphrey, you are one knitted tie away from Mr. Donovan territory.
Serena: And then you just left me for dead in a motel room? Why, because of Nate? Or Colin?
Juliet: No, you stupid bitch, because you destroyed my brother's life!
Eric: What, have you come to recruit another virgin to be your drug mule?
Damien: I would say "why, are you available?" but I'm leaving.
Serena (to Lily's guests): Hi, I'm Serena, I'm Lily's daughter. I wasn't gonna be able to make it tonight because I'm actually at The Ostroff Center but if it was up to my mother, she would have you believe I'm at Canyon Ranch. That's because having a daughter who's in a mental hospital threatens her carefully protected image. She wants you all to think she's the perfect host and mother and wife, but the truth is that she's a selfish liar who will destroy anyone who stands in her way.
Lily: I didn't want to hurt anyone Rufus, I really thought I was helping-
Rufus: I'm sorry, Lily, but I don't know if I believe that anymore.
Ben: Serena, what are you doing here?
Serena: I had to come see you.
Ben: I don't know what to say.
Serena: Neither do I, but I feel like I should start.
- The episode title is based off the movie The Town.