This is the first installment in the exciting drama called “Julien (Jordan Alexander) Single-handedly Ruins Her Own Life.” It seems no matter what she does in an attempt to fix things. Everything becomes far worse than it was to begin with. We all know a person like that, but watching it play out in this particular scenario proves to be incredibly frustrating. Anyway, let’s dive in.
The episode starts with a lovely Eleanor Waldorf (Margaret Colin) cameo as she helps Audrey’s mom Kiki (Laura Benanti), prepare to unveil her new collection at a foundation fundraiser. Audrey (Emily Alyn Lind) wants nothing more than to focus on making sure her mom’s comeback launch goes smoothly, so she decides not to tell Kiki that her dad Richard (Dash Mihok) is visiting with Jessica (Johanna Braddy), his girlfriend and Kiki’s former assistant.
So where does Julien fit into this? Audrey brings her along with Max (Thomas Doherty) and Aki (Evan Mock) to breakfast with Richard and Jessica, where Julien doesn’t seem to be buying Audrey’s dad’s attempt to make nice. While Richard admits he’d like to propose to Jessica, along with Max working far too hard to impress him, Jessica asks Julien for a favor. She says she is a massive fan of Julien’s Stop the Story series and asks to be on the show to set the record straight about what really happened with the Hopes’ separation so that she and Kiki can go back to being friends.
This leads to the further disagreement between Audrey and Julien, which becomes fodder for a Gossip Girl feud. This dispute comes complete with supposedly-fabricated emails that Julien sent to her dad, which admit that she saw Richard and Jessica out on a “date” long before Audrey’s parents were divorced. Jessica appeals to Julien again, asking if she can make it up to her and set the record straight on Stop the Story. Julien gives in and goes to Jessica’s hotel to record, but she abruptly stops the interview when Jessica claims Kiki stole her designs. It turns out Jessica has her own video evidence of the halted interview that she sends to Gossip Girl.
Julien continues her quest to make things better with Audrey and volunteers to wear Kiki’s design to the fundraiser luncheon everyone is attending. Unfortunately, Jessica shows up wearing the same dress, and in an attempt to stop Julien from unveiling the design, Audrey rips the dress in the process. It causes a commotion, and Jessica quickly steps in and takes credit for “The Julien.”
What was initially a feud made up for clicks that Kate (Tavi Gevinson) and Wendy (Megan Ferguson) create to appease Georgina (Michelle Tratchenberg) becomes real as Audrey and Julien have it out at the luncheon. Audrey declares that Julien is always at the center of problems she causes trying to fix things, and she’s too toxic to be around. By the end of the episode, it seems the only person who really wants to be around Julien is Obie (Eli Brown) as they go back to his place and hook up for the first time since their second breakup. But if you think things look bad now, wait until they get worse in the next episode.
Other episode highlights: Monet’s mom (Amanda Warren) continues to prove that she’s the worst woman alive by pretending to take an interest in Zoya (Whitney Peak) to make Monet (Savannah Lee Smith) jealous. To her credit, Monet tries to warn Zoya, but unfortunately, Zoya falls for it. The teachers also had an eventful episode as they worked to outsmart Georgina. It ends with Kate and Jordan (Adam Chanler-Berat) sharing a kiss, but when Kate confesses her feelings, Georgina informs her that she slept with Jordan, which puts Kate off her original mission, at least for now.