Blake Lively Blake Lively

Oh, mommy! After a lengthy winter break, Gossip Girl is back and out for revenge tonight (9/8c, The CW). "Lily has a lot of people very angry at her," says exec producer Stephanie Savage, adding that Mama Van der Woodsen's role in the wrongful imprisonment of her daughter's former teacher and attempted sale of Bass Industries will drive stepsiblings Serena (Blake Lively) and Chuck (Ed Westwick) to unite tonight for some payback. But fret not, Blair fans. "This alliance is more strategic than romantic," says coexec producer Joshua Safran.

And even though Ms. Waldorf (Leighton Meester) was last spotted hanging out with Dan (Penn Badgley) — "We'll see how they spent the holidays," is all Safran will say — he assures us that "Chuck and Blair will always be connected."

Speaking of connected, this week's ep also introduces Michael Boatman (Spin City) and Tika Sumpter (One Life to Live) as hotelier Russell Thorpe and his daughter, Raina, the Donald and Ivanka of Chicago, who are set to stir up trouble for our Upper East Siders. "They come to town with some secrets," says Savage. We'd expect nothing less!

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