Nate isn't too thrilled about working with Gossip Girl, but when she sends him a picture of Max exiting the Empire hotel with an envelope of cash, he can't resist the bait. In return, Gossip Girl asks him to delete Serena's column, so he does. When Serena goes into Nate's office later that day to wait for him, she finds his exchange with Gossip Girl and becomes furious. He fires her and tells her it's Trip who caused the car accident.
Serena tells Trip about Nate's accusation and asks him to meet her at the apartment. When he arrives and tries to throw Maureen under the bus, Nate and his grandfather emerge from behind a wall, Serena stands beside them, and the three force Trip to confess the truth — that he was angry at his grandfather for choosing Nate over him for the Spectator job, so he paid Max to drain the car's brake fluid. When Max flaked, Trip did it himself, hoping to ruin Nate's weekend, "not his life." Turns out, he ruined his own.