Carrie has given herself the task of preparing and executing the perfect Thanksgiving. It needs to be perfect because it was her mother's favorite holiday, and Carrie wants to do it so well that no one will even notice her mom died. Because Dorrit has to ruin anything good Carrie has in her life, or as I like to call it, grieving differently, everything goes wrong.
The first thing to go wrong is, admittedly, not Dorrit's fault. Their grandmother can't make it to Thanksgiving because there is a big storm grounding all the flights out. Grandma Bradshaw was going to do most of the cooking, but now Carrie has decided she will do it. For the record, everyone offered to help but Carrie said no. Then, Carrie finds out her boyfriend and his dad (who is her dad's friend) will be coming over for dinner. This puts her at a level of stress that makes her almost unbearable for the rest of the episode.
Speaking of the rest of the episode, Maggie goes to dinner at Walt's house and his parents are such stereotypical waspy snobs that she and Walt get into a fight about being true to themselves. Maggie felt uncomfortable at dinner and realizes it's because she's not a well-developed character with hopes, dreams, and motives of her own.
Carrie brings Mouse over to help her cook dinner, all the while trying to appear perfect to George and intercept Dorrit's attempts to ruin her day by smoking pot and placing a photo of Shaun Cassidy in plain sight. For whatever reason, be it poor planning, a failure to understand how ovens work, or spending too much time yelling at Dorrit, the turkey explodes in the oven and all the fuses blow out. Also, Tom will probably need to buy a new oven. I hope he makes enough money.
With the lack of power, both literally and figuratively, Carrie and Dorrit are able to come together to talk about how they have come to view Thanksgiving in the vein of their mother's death. George, thanks to lots of New York City therapy, is very patient and forgiving with Carrie, then takes his drunk dad home. Tom took his teenage daughter's angry rant to heart, and blames himself entirely for the day's events.
Maggie comes over for her third Thanksgiving of the day, and then Sebastian shows up on Carrie's doorstep. He was supposed to spend Thanksgiving with his mom, but like all other characters no one had time to think about, she was behaving like a despicable stereotype. Carrie convinces her dad to let Sebastian stay for their makeshift dinner, since he was left alone on Thanksgiving and showed up with a bottle of Scotch. Sebastian hints that he regrets getting overwhelmed by Carrie's neuroses and dumping her, but Carrie won't give in so easily. The framed Shaun Cassidy photo is not mentioned again, but just in case you forgot, it is the '80s.
To catch you up to speed if you just started watching (why did you just start watching? All of a sudden you've taken an interest in the exploits of young, barely-recognizable Carrie Bradshaw? Someone misinformed you that they'll be killing off the Maggie character in the next three episodes?), Carrie is dating this guy George now. He's rich, and they suck faces a lot harder than she ever got to with Sebastian, who we are still being asked to care about even though he is dating a girl he straight up knows is a bitch. Teens.
Carrie is preoccupied with Thanksgiving plans, which puts us in November. Carrie's mom used to put on a perfect Thanksgiving dinner for everyone and Carrie hopes to do the same. She even muses about cranberry sauce while making out with George, which he seems to find cute/sexy, rather than annoying. He keeps telling her how sexy she is, which makes him even more off-putting to me.
"Is it hot out here or is it just me?" Carrie asks George. George sees it as another opportunity to tell Carrie how hot she is, but I think we're all hoping Carrie has a fever, which she will give to everyone by cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Why is Carrie always making out in parks? This time it's Central Park, so that George can prove to her that he is really a rich city boy. He also flaunts how few cousins he has and his knowledge of the term "sous chef."
Back in high school where no one learns anything academic, everyone is speculating about Sebastian's Thanksgiving plans. Walt heard Sebastian is spending it with his mom. Sebastian wishes Carrie a "happy turkey day," and Maggie tells Carrie that Sebastian can "suck it." Was the phrase "suck it" around in the '80s? What about pairing flannel shirts over long-sleeved thermals? Maggie is decidedly in the wrong decade, and I wish nothing more than for her to be written out of it.
Carrie's friends, who are obsessed with Carrie, laugh at the notion of her cooking Thanksgiving dinner. She is, evidently, terrible in the kitchen. This is a bad omen. Also, Carrie keeps talking about how her grandma is going to be doing most of the cooking, so we know she's not showing up.
"Yup, no grandparents," Dorrit tells Carrie, as if on cue. There's a "big storm" and all the flights are canceled. Since Grandma can't make it, Tom Bradshaw's grand idea is to invite Harlan and George over (how is that a solution?). Carrie worries that she will look like a country bumpkin, or at least a suburbanite. Also, she will undoubtedly ruin Thanksgiving. Tom offers that they can order takeout, but Carrie insists she cook. Without help.