You've Got Yale! is the 16th episode of the second season and the 34th overall.
True love and betrayal. Revenge and more revenge. A heroine with an impossible goal. If only Mozart had lived on the Upper East Side. But you can keep your magic flute, Amadeus. All this queen wants is a golden ticket to Yale.
It's that time of year when Constance Billard and St. Jude's students find out who is and isn't worthy of early admission to Yale University. Serena bonds with her new teacher, Rachel Carr, who quickly becomes an enemy of Blair's. Meanwhile, Chuck pairs up with an unlikely ally in his war with Jack over Bass Industries while Nate and Vanessa have a romantic night at the opera.
At the Waldorf's, Blair comes downstairs to find Harold and Roman waiting for her to celebrate Yale Day: the day where she hopefully receives early acceptance to the school. They surprise her with a breakfast consisting of blue foods and a bulldog, which they named Handsome Dan. She drops the Dan part of the name but decides to keep the dog. Roman reminds her that the opera is that night and they'll also celebrate there with champagne. Harold asks if Chuck will be joining them but she says she doesn't know because he's dead to her now. At the VDW's, Dan brings Serena coffee before school to commemorate Yale Day. Dan worries that he won't be accepted while Serena wonders what will happen if she gets accepted and Blair doesn't. She decides that everything will be fine, even though the whole lovechild thing brought Rufus and Lily closer together. Dan agrees but she mentions that it's good that their parents are keeping their relationship on the down low. However, as she's saying that, Rufus and Lily come downstairs after having spent the night together. Lily says that now that the awkward run in is over, they can stop sneaking around. Dan and Serena leave for school and Lily takes the opportunity to invite Rufus to the opera that night. He tries to get out of it, since he's not a fan of opera, but Lily convinces him to go anyway so they can make their official debut as a couple.
At The Palace, Chuck tries to come up with new ways to get Jack axed from Bass Industries. Jack arrives and asks him if he's going to the opera that night, since the entire Bass board is going and he's still the public face of the company. He also mentions that their stock might take a dip since he's still learning the job. Chuck is unamused and tells him that he doesn't know what he's doing. Jack reminds him that it's his company and leaves the suite. At Constance, Serena introduces Dan to her Shakespeare teacher, Rachel Carr. She explains that she's from Des Moines, Iowa, and that New York is very different from there. Serena tells her that The Palace Hotel lobby is really nice and quiet while Dan suggests Rufus' art gallery in Brooklyn. Outside, Blair has her minions consistently refresh her email while looking for the acceptance one from Yale. She notices Nelly isn't doing as she's told, and Nelly explains that she's waiting for her acceptance as well. Blair orders her to go back to refreshing her email as they head into school. Inside, Nate asks Dan if he's going to the opera. Dan says Serena is taking him and Nate confesses that he wants to invite Vanessa to sit in his family box with him. Dan encourages him to do so and as they talk, his phone rings with a new email. Back at the VDW's, Lily is in the middle of choosing a gown for the opera but is interrupted by Chuck's arrival. He asks for her help in a scheme and she decides to hear him out. Back at Constance, Serena sees Blair's minions refreshing her email. She asks what they're doing but Blair tells her not to distract them. Their phones then go off with a new email. So does Serena's, and she reads that she was accepted. Meanwhile, Blair says that the font on her phone is too small and she needs to check it on a real computer. Nelly snatches her phone away and reads that it says waitlisted in bold. Dan then runs outside and excitedly tells Serena that he was accepted. Seeing Blair's crushed face, Serena lies and says that she was waitlisted too. Dan assures her that she will be accepted in the spring so she shouldn't worry. Blair then yells at her minions to get her a meeting with Headmistress Queller right away.
At the VDW's, Chuck explains to Lily that he has been unsuccessful at getting Jack out and that he's worried Bart's legacy will be ruined because Jack is inexperienced. Lily replies that her concern is for Chuck and not for Bass Industries. She asks him to consider moving back in but he isn't interested and asks if she is willing to help or not. She agrees to talk to the board and see what she can do but only if Chuck agrees to stop trying to blackball Jack with bad attempts to get him out. They make plans to meet back up at two that afternoon. Back at Constance, Headmistress Queller tells Blair that when she spoke with Dean Berube that morning he told her that if the student they accepted declines, she will be given the spot. Blair assumes it's Dan and tells Queller that Dan will never pass up his acceptance. Queller responds that she wasn't speaking about Dan and that she is most likely going to get in so all she has to do is keep up her perfect transcript. She then shows Blair out of her office and she leaves. Elsewhere, Serena confides in Rachel about her acceptance. Rachel advises her that choosing the right college is a personal decision and it's important to make the right one. Serena admits that she isn't even sure she wants to go to Yale because her interest was stemmed by other people, not herself. Blair comes up and tells Serena that she thinks Nelly is the one Constance student who was accepted. Rachel takes the opportunity to give Blair a graded essay back and excuses herself. Once she's gone, Blair mentions to Serena that she's surprised Yale passed up accepting her for the publicity. Serena mumbles that they didn't want her for her like Blair said and Blair replies that Dan's probably mad. She glances at the essay Rachel handed her and then tells Serena she has to go. Serena's phone rings and she finds Shirley, Dean Berube's receptionist, on the other end. She asks Serena if the school can issue a press release that she'll be attending in the fall but Serena says she'll have to call back before hanging up.
At Bass Industries, Lily meets with Pete Holmberg. He tells her that they wish she had been left at the helm but that Chuck left them no choice but to give Jack the job. Pete also reminds her that Bart's will clearly stated that Chuck's legal guardian is to be left in control and all they can do is try to temper Jack's actions. Jack then enters the room and Pete leaves. He tries to hit on Lily, but she instead hands him a handkerchief for his nose; which has residue from cocaine. After he takes it, he tells her that the board won't dare get rid of him because he's preferable over a woman with her reputation. Back at Constance, Blair confronts Rachel for giving her a B on her essay. She tries to explain that second semester seniors get a free pass so that the students can get into the best colleges. Rachel says that maybe she'll get in trouble for not inflating grades but until then she'll grade like she always has. Blair pleads with her, saying she has to keep her GPA perfect so she can get into Yale but Rachel is unmoved. She walks away while Blair goes to Serena and tearfully tells her that she just lost Yale. Serena asks for a moment alone so she can return a phone call. At the VDW's, Lily tells Chuck that she's ready to play dirty. He gives her a list of ideas on how to take Jack down but she insists on doing something that is not illegal. While they talk, she receives a call from Rufus. When she hangs up, Chuck says that he can't believe she's going out with Rufus so soon after Bart's death. He tells her that she should have some tact and respect for her dead husband but that he's not surprised because she thinks of herself first. He then leaves the apartment.
Back at Constance, Blair, Penelope, Hazel, and Isabel plan to humiliate Rachel in exchange for giving Blair a B on her essay. Dan comes up to Serena and suggests that they go to Yale for the weekend to maybe get her excited about going there. Serena notices the girls and goes over to tell them she knows they're up to no good. Blair doesn't deny anything and says she can't risk not getting into Yale. Serena then explains that Blair did get into Yale because she declined her acceptance. Shocked, Dan notes that she did get in but then asks why she turned it down. He asks her if she wants to go there and she confesses that she doesn't. He leaves and asks her not to follow him. Serena asks Blair if she's still going to go after Rachel but she says no. Elsewhere, Nate and Vanessa take a walk. As he's about to invite her to go to the opera with him, she interrupts and says she bought them nosebleed seats to the opera. Seeing how proud she is of having bought the tickets herself, Nate doesn't say anything about the box seats and accepts her invitation to go. At the loft, Eric tries to show Rufus how to behave at the opera and act like he knows what he's talking about. Jenny tells Rufus that Lily loves him because he isn't one of those guys who pretends and Rufus admits he just wants to do right by her. Eric continues with his lesson. At the Waldorf's, Blair has Penelope and Isabel give her pros and cons on whether she should mess with Rachel. She decides that she should and calls her. Rachel is surprised to hear from her and Blair apologizes for how she behaved that day. She then invites Rachel to have dinner with her and her family that night before they all attend the opera. Rachel is skeptical at first but finally agrees to go. Blair is pleased and they make plans to meet at a restaurant that night. When they hang up, Blair, Penelope, and Isabel laugh menacingly at what just happened.
At the opera, Rufus and Lily talk to Dan and Serena about potential road trips to visit them at Yale and Brown, respectively. However, Dan and Serena aren't interested in the conversation and Dan excuses himself. Meanwhile, Nate and Vanessa arrive at the theatre. They run into Dan, who tells them about the conversation he just had with Rufus and Lily. Dan mentions the box seats but Nate quickly stops him and says they're in the third tier. Vanessa asks what's going on and Nate admits there might be some other seats available to them. Elsewhere, Rufus and Lily are photographed before running into Jack and his date, Pauletta, a rep from Bass Industries who is there to keep an eye on him. Jack tells them to ponder why they thought going together was a good idea and walks away. Pauletta tells them to enjoy the show and follows close behind. After they reach the top of the staircase, Rufus and Lily run into the Bass family lawyer, Bruce Caplan. He asks Lily what she wants him to do about a particular set of documents and she realizes that the solution to the Jack problem is very simple. She asks the two men to wait and talk while she finds Chuck. She does and says she found a solution, which she will share with him if he meets her back there in fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, Nate and Vanessa sit in their seats. Nate makes jokes about how far up they are, but Vanessa defensively says that the show will probably be great from up there. After a minute, two elderly ladies sit down next to them and one begins coughing loudly and excessively. Back downstairs, Dan finds Serena sitting alone. He admits that he's not mad that she's not going to the same school as him but that she lied for so long about wanting to go there. She explains that she didn't figure it out until that day and that Brown really is a better fit for her. They discuss the future of their relationship with Rufus and Lily also having a relationship and decide the best option is to just let it happen on it's own. They agree that their parent's relationship probably won't last and they walk off together, hand in hand. Meanwhile, Rufus tells Lily that he studied the wrong opera in the hopes of impressing her and her friends but she thinks it was sweet of him to try. They kiss, which Serena and Dan walk in on. They excuse themselves to go to their seats and Lily asks Rufus to go with them while she goes to see Chuck.
Elsewhere, Blair goes to her seat with Harold and Roman. On her way, she receives a call from Headmistress Queller who informs her that she spoke with Rachel about the grade and that she made sure Blair would end the course with an A. Blair, realizing she messed up when she chose to mess with Rachel, thanks the headmistress for calling. When she hangs up, she tells Harold that she has to go and fix something before she can enjoy the show. She leaves the theatre, unknowingly running past Chuck, who is waiting for Lily. Afterwards, Lily comes over to Chuck with Bruce Caplan. He explains that before Bart died, he was in the middle of legally adopting Serena and Eric while Lily was about to legally adopt Chuck. He adds that Lily had the papers faxed to the box office and if Chuck signs them, Lily will become his legal guardian and the new head of Bass Industries. Chuck immediately signs them but Jack comes over once he's done. He says that Chuck can't sign anything without his consent but Chuck just cooly replies that he just lost Jack the company. In Central Park, Blair goes to find Rachel. She finds her on her way out, and Rachel reveals that Blair sent her to a closed restaurant and lied about the curtain time. Blair explains that she was just trying to teach her a lesson but Rachel says that's not the way it works; that it's supposed to be the other way around. Blair admits that she's still growing up and can't not act out against people. She offers to help Rachel find a ticket but Rachel just says she'll see her Monday. Blair gets into her car and leaves but once she's gone, Rachel calls Headmistress Queller. Back at the opera, Nate and Vanessa move to his box seats and they begin to enjoy themselves and the privacy.
Meanwhile, Lily goes into the restroom to reapply her lipstick but is followed by Jack; who locks the door. Lily informs him that the adoption is what Bart wanted but Jack doesn't listen. Lily tells him that he's high and isn't thinking about the repercussions of what he's doing. She tries to leave but he blocks her way. Outside, the show lets out for intermission. Rufus asks Dan if he's seen Lily, but he says he hasn't. He goes to ask Chuck, who says that Lily was going to the powder room; but upon noticing the line of women building up outside the restroom, realizes she said that awhile ago. He goes over to try and open the door but notices it's locked. A woman at the front of the line asks what he's doing and he asks why it's locked. She shrugs and he walks away. Inside the restroom, Jack grabs her forcefully and yells that she can't force him out of his job. He then kisses her roughly and attempts to rape her. She screams for help just as Chuck and a security guard break into the room. They grab Jack and Chuck takes the opportunity to punch him in the face. Rufus goes to Lily, who tearfully thanks Chuck for saving her.
The next day, Rufus and Lily review their photo in the newspaper and laugh about it. He asks her if she's sure she's okay and she says she is. Chuck then arrives and Rufus decides to leave, but shakes Chuck's hand on the way out. Lily tells Chuck that Jack is on his way back to Australia and that she didn't press charges because she just wanted him gone. She also tells him that on his 18th birthday she is going to give him the company back, just like Bart wanted; but that she wants him as a part of her family. Chuck admits that he knows what happened to his father was an accident and that he wants to move back in. She says she would love that and they make up. At the Waldorf's, Blair talks on the phone with Serena while she gets ready to meet Headmistress Queller at Constance. They make plans to meet up afterward and once they hang up, Serena stares at the photo of her and Dan at from the Cotillion (Hi, Society) and calls him. At the gallery, Dan sees her calling but ignores the call. Right after, Rachel shows up and tells him that she decided to take his advice to come to Brooklyn. He makes her a coffee and they begin to talk. At Constance, Headmistress Queller tells Blair that she knows what she did to Rachel. She informs her that she has detention as punishment and Yale has put her acceptance on hold until she completes satisfactory detention. After the meeting, Blair tells Dorota that she is going to war with Rachel: but this time, she won't be caught.
- 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
- Desmond Harrington as Jack Bass
- Zuzanna Szadkowski as Dorota Kishlovsky
- Amanda Setton as Penelope Shafai
- Dreama Walker as Hazel Williams
- Yin Chang as Nelly Yuki
- Nicole Fiscella as Isabel Coates
- John Shea as Harold Waldorf
- William Abadie as Roman Garrel
- Linda Emond as Headmistress Queller
- Laura Breckenridge as Rachel Carr
- John Bolton as Bruce Caplan
- The Double by We Fell To Earth
- Mexican Dogs by Cold War Kids
- Against Privacy by Cold War Kids
- Der Hölle Rache Kocht in meinem Herzen by Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Serena (on getting into Yale): Forget you, what if I do and Blair doesn't?
Dan: Fire and brimstone and a lot of bitchy asides, death by Dorota.
Eric (to Rufus and Lily): I would say "get a room" but yours is right above mine. Please try to remember that.
Blair: Dan Humphrey? He's like a cafeteria lady who won the lottery. You couldn't pry that acceptance from him with the jaws of life.
Blair: Witch hunts are my Valium.
Lily: Look, I understand why you're trying to do these things, but we have got to do something that is not illegal. I've put calls in to Jack's business associates in Australia: he's not the most upstanding citizen. I am sure we will find something. You know, I thought I lost you the day of the funeral and I'm sorry that Jack's the one to bring us back together but I'm glad we're doing this.
Chuck: If your people don't come up with anything, maybe we can try number 26.
Lily *reading*: "Crash Jack in plane." The Bass jet is kind of expensive, Charles.
Chuck: There's insurance.
Chuck (to Lily): You think of yourself. Your kids and my dead father are proof of that.
Blair (to Rachel): As much as I wish I wasn't, I'm still learning. It's like you not inflating your grades, I can't not act out against people.
Rufus: I'm beginning to get these society people. It's all a big game, pretending like you know what you're talking about.
Dorota: What happen, Miss Blair?
Blair: It's what's going to happen that you should worry about.
- The episode title is based off the movie You've Got Mail.
- Blair's essay was written on January 23, 2009 and cites common attributes between Marta (from The Works of James Joyce) and Holly Golightly (from Breakfast at Tiffany's).
- Bruce Caplan is introduced as the Bass family lawyer but he later reappears as the Bass business manager.