The battle for Queen Bee of Constance continues, unbeknownst to Monet (Savannah Lee Smith). Episode three begins with Monet figuring out how to keep her reign interesting if Julien (Jordan Alexander) refuses to give in to the petty drama. Her minions suggest that she date someone to convey a power couple image to the masses, and Monet sets her sights on Tiff Myers (Ana Yi Puig), the Queen Bee of Exeter, and a girl she’s had a crush on from afar for years. The only issue is that Tiff is best friends with Grace Byron (Anna Van Patten), Obie’s (Eli Brown) girlfriend, who Monet and Julien attempted to sabotage on New Year’s Eve. She has to get back into Grace’s favor if she wants an introduction.
Julien is also working to earn Grace’s trust so that she can get back in Obie’s good graces. She understands that she and Obie can’t be together but misses her friend. This leads to both Julien and Monet insisting on taking Grace for an afternoon outing to make up for their past mistakes and get to know her better. It’s a polite battle for Grace’s attention as Julien attempts to keep her irritation toward Monet under wraps. Monet can bring up her objective of asking Grace about Tiff, but Grace declines to introduce the two, saying that she doesn’t get involved in other people’s relationships. She’ll need to find another way to meet Tiff, so she goes over Grace’s head and asks Obie for an introduction at a charity event at the Guggenheim.
When Monet finally meets Tiff, they click right away, and both agree it would be advantageous for their brands to be seen as a power couple. Someone even tips off their meeting to Gossip Girl. After staging a few pictures of them kissing, Monet seems keen to continue, but Tiff admits that she’s not actually gay. People assumed, it helped her brand, and she never corrected anybody. She even has a boyfriend. Monet, an actual lesbian, takes offense to this, but Tiff attempts to smooth things over, reminding her how good this will be for both of them. In the end, Monet deletes the photos, wanting to be true to herself, and sends in a tip to Gossip Girl, exposing Tiff’s lie. Julien even comes to her aid once Tiff finds out, making for an unexpected team-up that seemingly solidifies their alliance. However, Luna (Zión Moreno) sees a chance for Julien to get her old power back when a trending TikTok that Julien and Monet do goes viral, particularly Julien’s phrase “Stop the Story.” They might need the leverage to get Julien back on top.
Meanwhile, Zoya (Whitney Peak) and her dad Nick (Johnathan Fernandez) are at odds. She’s grounded for sneaking out to spend time with her new friend Shan (Grace Duah), so she’s working to win back his trust, but Nick is keeping too many secrets, and Zoya can tell he’s not being truthful. The biggest of those secrets is that Julien’s dad Davis (Luke Kirby), bought their apartment so that Nick, Zoya, and Julien could stay there after discovering that Nick and Zoya weren’t actually on the lease. Nick is currently looking for a new job to make more money to buy the apartment back. Zoya credits them being able to stay in the apartment to her dad’s “big promotion” that has kept him busy with lots of new cases. Shan, however, is aware of Nick’s deal with Davis, after overhearing their conversation when Zoya left her phone on FaceTime before leaving the room. Whether or not she’ll inform Zoya of this is yet to be seen, but after Nick’s disastrous meeting with Shan’s family, it seems that perhaps she wants not to poke the bear any further.
Zoya eventually gets the truth out of her father about one thing, which costs him a job. She finds Greyson de Haan’s (Rick Worthy) business card in her dad’s wallet and wants to urge him not to take a job with him. She confronts him at the Guggenheim event in front of the woman from another company with whom he was using Greyson to leverage an offer. Though he loses out on that job, Greyson admires that Nick would use him in that manner and offers him a job, which Nick accepts. Zoya is dumbfounded as she sees her father heading down a path that is quite the opposite of what he’s always told her to do. She resents that he seems to be going against his morals, which will only further the growing rift between them.
A lot happens in this episode, and it’s difficult to fit it into one recap, but here are some other highlights! Obie meets Grace’s mother, Charlotte (Elizabeth Stanley), a prominent conservative senator who is in the midst of campaigning and can’t have drama surrounding her or her family. Charlotte doesn’t want to forbid Grace from seeing Obie, but she tells Obie that he must cut ties with Julien, and it seems that Obie chooses Grace over Julien in this situation. Now that Max (Thomas Doherty) is publicly dating Audrey (Emily Alyn Lind) and Aki (Evan Mock), he worries that he’s lost his credibility as a debaucherous individual. Audrey and Aki help him to realize that even though he’s in a relationship now, he still knows how to party. And Max comes to the conclusion that he’d rather spend time with Audrey and Aki anyway. Kate (Tavi Gevinson) bonds with Mike (Pico Alexander) after she was worried that he didn’t want to speak to her after she tipped Gossip Girl off about Headmistress Burton (Donna Murphy) taking bribes. He even goes so far as to ask her out, though we learn his intentions aren’t so sincere. He’s using Kate to figure out Gossip Girl’s identity, which means he might get an answer much sooner than he thinks.