Gossip Girl just delivered its second major cameo after Milo Sparks. And this time around it was cushioned by a truly wild callback. Episode 5 “Hope Sinks” saw the return of none other than former minion turned ace reporter Nelly Yuki (Yin Chang). If that wasn’t enough nostalgia, there was also a Serena, Blair, Dan, and Chuck costume contest. Let us explain. Spoilers ahead for Gossip Girl Episode 5.
Remember how Julien (Jordan Alexander) made a very public plea to be friends with her sister, Zoya (Whitney Peak)? Episode 5 sees her putting her money where her mouth is. Against the wishes of Luna (Zion Moreno) and Monet (Savannah Smith), Julien invites Zoya to Huluween. No, that’s not a Hulu sponsored party. It’s a Halloween extravaganza the requires the attendance of New York’s biggest and brightest starlings. And because this is such a huge deal, it requires an incredible couples costume.
Julien and Zoya decide to go as another pair of famous dueling sisters: Beyonce and Solange Knowles. But when they arrive at the party, it seems that everyone had the same idea. Team Julien has a leak, and they sabotaged our sisters’ big debut. Making matters worse, Julien’s rivals from another school, Pipa and Bianca, have completely nailed the prompt, dressing up as the most fabulous New York legends around: Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf. In case you were wondering, they copied Serena’s wedding day dress and Blair’s cotillion dress from Season 1, two looks that never appeared together, but whatever.
Knowing that they were poised to be socially shamed, Julien swept into action. Stealing some suits from the guys and convincing Zoya to keep her shaggy wig, the two sisters quickly changed. When they emerged they immediately jumped into their rivals’ photos, claiming to be Dan Humphrey and Chuck Bass, Serena and Blair’s dates. Smooth save, Julien.
That explains the Serena and Blair callbacks. But what about Nelly Yuki?
Early in “Hope Sinks” Zoya meets Simon (Mason Vershaw) on the bus. Initially Simon seems like a nice enough guy. He doesn’t use a smartphone or read Gossip Girl, which is a little weird, but hey, live and let live, right? Wrong. After Zoya and Simon have a couple of flirty conversations Obie (Eli Brown) gets jealous and does some digging. That’s how he uncovers that Simon isn’t a kid from a rival school but an undercover reporter trying to figure out who Gossip Girl actually is. You knew this was coming. Nice people don’t actually appear on this show.
Obie exposes Simon’s deceit to his boss, Nelly Yuki, which is when things get interesting. In early seasons of the original Gossip Girl, Nelly Yuki was the sweetest and most academically focused of Blair’s minions. Blair was always terrible to all of her followers, but she was especially cruel to Nelly Yuki, sabotaging her academically and assigning her the most demeaning tasks. But Nelly Yuki got her revenge in Season 6. That’s when she returned as a reporter for Women’s Wear Daily who was assigned to cover Blair’s takeover of Waldorf designs. And she held nothing back.
In the intervening years it seems that Nelly Yuki has done well for herself. She’s currently the head of New York Magazine and knows Instagram’s director of fashion partnerships Eva Chen enough to impersonate her on Halloween. Sure, she had to rely on another Constance teen to get her into the “it” party of the season, but it’s lovely to know that Nelly Yuki is still slaying.