Carrie wishes for privacy and solitude in a world (high school) where she always seems to run into Sebastian, who she almost dated for a hot minute. Halloween offers even less privacy than usual, because the hallways are so crammed with decorations there's limited walking space. Sebastian is throwing a Halloween party without costumes, which basically means he and his buddies will be getting drunk like any other Friday night. Carrie is taking Walt to Larissa's Halloween party at her loft in Manhattan.
Mouse and Maggie go to Sebastian's party to check in on Sebastian and confirm that he is a jerk. Sebastian is not a total jerk, challenging Mouse to a game of Pac-Man and getting her high, but he is rich and dumb and almost gets everyone in trouble for throwing such an open party with underage drinking in a diner.
Dorrit is rude to her dad, but after getting scared watching Poltergeist alone, decides Dad is not so bad after all.
At the main event, Larissa's party, everyone is taking ecstasy. Carrie does not take hers and ends up taking care of everyone who did. Walt and Carrie meet Bennett, who is hot but obviously gay. It is obvious to everyone except Carrie, who obsesses over the best way to shake responsibility and flirt with him all night. But she has to keep Larissa from falling down and jumping off the roof and getting "taken advantage of" asleep in her bed.
Larissa evolves as a more interesting character in this episode, as she is being taken advantage of in more ways than one. She has all these people at her party, but only her weird high school friend will actually talk to her or take care of her when she has taken and mixed too many substances. Larissa notes, high in her bed, that every man is an island in Manhattan, which Carrie writes off with her own philosophizing about how great it would be to be able to get away from her high school drama. Then, Carrie stops a guy dressed up like Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats (or one of them, anyway) from raping Larissa and feels kind of bad about leaving her to flirt with Bennett.
Bennett had other flirting on the brain, though, tossing out DHVs for Walt, who isn't so sure about city life. Outside the loft, Walt has Bennett feel his beating heart and they kiss. Walt leaps up in a fit of denial, calls Bennett the other f-word, and re-convinces himself he's not gay. As if it mattered.
Carrie leaves Bennett to take care of Larissa (then realizes that Bennett is gay because of the way he was folding the blankets or something; or maybe seeing your friend almost get raped is particularly sobering), as she goes back home with Walt. Walt goes to Maggie's to have sex with her, because it's easier than being honest with yourself in high school. Carrie sees Sebastian taking care of Mouse and decides maybe he isn't so bad and it's good to have friends instead of being fabulous and alone and almost-raped in the city. To this episode's credit, it's the first time the city was anything less than magical and perfect for Carrie. To this episode's discredit, everyone acted way more high than they should have been.
I am pleased that this week's episode is a Halloween episode because at least now we can have some fun. Plus, Donna LeDonna and the Jens might do something Plastics-esque, if this show is smart enough to emulate Mean Girls. We know it's a Halloween episode because Carrie is walking through the highly-decorated hallways of her school, where many students are dressed in full costume and face paint. People get really into Halloween week in Connecticut, we can only assume.
And who put the effort into decorating the shit out of these hallways? Some over-zealous pagan teacher? The Patty Simcox of the 1980s? Anyway, no mountain of Halloween decorations can hide Carrie nor keep her from running into Sebastian between these classes they never go to. Sebastian is pretty good at avoiding eye contact and pretending that Carrie and her gorgeous, voluminous head of hair don't exist. Walt tries to relate to Carrie because he just went through a breakup, but I bet in his head he's thinking how annoying she's being about this guy she was barely dating for a couple weeks.
Carrie is already treating Walt like her gay bestie, even if he's not out yet, because she admits she's so excited she gets to have him for Larissa's party that night. Walt doesn't seem to question Carrie's intentions, and Carrie doesn't question whether she is breaking girl code by taking her friend's ex-boyfriend to a party. No one questions anything. Not ever, and certainly not on Halloween.
In the hallway, the ubiquitous Sebastian is telling some uncredited extra, "lots of liquor, no costumes." He is obviously planning on a party, or at least nakedly getting drunk with some dudes. Sebastian calls her over, with nothing in particular to say, leaving Carrie wide open to stupidly ask him if she has plans tonight. Is it high school where we learn to ask questions we already know the answer to?
Carrie says she is surprised Sebastian didn't invite her, and Sebastian speaks honestly, telling her it wouldn't have been polite, it would have been awkward, especially since 1984 Carrie Bradshaw is a big wet blanket. Her makeup looks so pretty, though, you'd think her Day Costume was Helen of Troy. Yes, Day Costume.
At the diner, which is apparently the cool hangout where these kids spend all of their disposable income, Carrie laments that Sebastian didn't even tell her about the party. Maggie and Mouse agree, but Walt brings up a very good point.
"You guys don't even feel a little bad for Sebastian?" Walt asks, "because Carrie snooped through all his private legal files and told all of us that he slept with his teacher?" Something is happening. I feel like... this show... it's... becoming self-aware?
This moment is quickly nipped at the bud by Maggie, the least successful Carrie Diaries character, and I am including the dad whose name is apparently Tom. Carrie is sad because Sebastian wouldn't even talk things to death, but she's happy because she doesn't have to keep Dorrit out of trouble. That sub-plot will be left to Tommmm? ...?
Carrie tells her friend that her costume is "to die for," and she meant it as a pun because she's going as Princess Di(ana), and Walt is going as Prince Charles in a VERY elaborate costume. I guess he is gay, though, so I'll let it slide. Back to that "costume to die for" joke, though. Do you think that it was appropriate, writing that joke in hindsight, knowing that Princess Diana was tragically killed in a car crash 13 years later? I am over-thinking this show's historical provenience.
After some small talk about how Dad Bradshaw dresses up like Chewbacca every year to hand out candy, Dorrit walks in. Dad invites her to get in on the photo so he can get everyone in their Halloween costumes because for the sake of this joke, Dorrit is back to wearing heavy eye makeup and dark lipstick. She declares that Halloween is for losers.
Thanks to Carrie tattling because she is the little princess, Dorrit gets busted with spray paint and toilet paper and who knows what else in a prank-centric duffle bag. Dad says she's staying home, which means that no one will know how Dorrit really feels about Halloween, but we will probably learn that it's a good opportunity to bond with your dad.
Carrie arrives on the scene of Larissa's Halloween party wearing far too much costume. Everyone in the City is doing Halloween as we all know it today: as little clothing as possible, but maximum glitter. I'm not sure any of these are identifiable costumes, but I am pretty sure this will all turn into some weird sex thing a few hours after Carrie and Walt leave.
Carrie's gaydar isn't as good as we thought because she identifies the fop dressed as Alex from A Clockwork Orange as "Prince Charming." His name is Bennett Wilcox ("Bennett Wilcox, Anglophile and Stanley Kubrick fan") and he and Walt bond over their mutual adoration of Bennett. He writes some column for Interview Magazine. I can understand his surprise when Walt recognizes him by name. It's probably like if someone recognized me for writing idiot shit about The Carrie Diaries.
Larissa enters the party carried by four men like it was her Super Sweet Sixteen, then immediately ditches her moment to hang out with her high school friends. Bennett leaves, and Carrie notes that he is gorgeous. Larissa says he's a triple threat, "gorgeous, talented, and... something else." G-g-g-GAY, but we want to save the surprise, don't we? Larissa applauds their "ironic" costumes, and gossips about marriages of convenience and alludes to Camilla Parker-Bowles. Then, Larissa gives them some ecstasy. Now things can get interesting.
Walt takes it, Carrie throws it on the floor. They notice that the pill seems to be making Larissa more happy (never mind that she is putting her hands all over someone's face and costume). Carrie regrets not taking hers, but I bet she could find another one real easy. Carrie wants to find Bennett again because she is only used to one person in her life being gay at a time.
Oh god, now we have to see what Mouse and Maggie are doing? They are going to Sebastian's party to spy for Carrie because they don't have interests independent of hers. Sebastian lets them in, obviously drunk, and tells them where all the alcohol is hidden.
Back at the party in the city, where people keep spray painting nothing onto graffiti that is already there, Bennett is just as much of an insufferable douche as you might have thought. He's philosophizing about graffiti and "the act of creation." Larissa, who is rolling like the river, invites Carrie to dance with her and Carrie acts bitchy and dumb.
"Why are you sweaty? Have you been dancing?" Carrie asks Larissa, at her party filled with illicit substances. Then Carrie tosses Larissa aside, as always, to talk to Bennett, who asks Carrie to tell him more about herself. I am so annoyed with Carrie. This boring conversation is interrupted by Larissa pecking at the wall, then falling down because, you know, drugs.
Carrie is the only person fully clothed enough to help Larissa, apparently, so she asks Bennett to keep an eye on Walt, who is high and watching the fake spray painters while she gets Larissa a cup of water. Bennett, misleadingly, says he will miss Carrie. On their way to an elusive cup of water, Larissa mentions that she took two tabs of ecstasy, had a little champagne, and washed it all down with "a little piece of paper." Carrie's guesses ("tissue paper? Construction paper?") are all wrong and annoying. It was acid, Larissa tells Carrie and the dullest of us at home.
Carrie realizes that she's the only person sober or caring enough to help Larissa. But her way of "helping" is to lamely follow Larissa all the way up to the roof, Larissa telling Carrie she wants to fly and be free. Larissa is on the edge of the roof, and Carrie tries to help by yelling "no." But at least she's sort of keeping someone from killing themselves at their own Halloween party. Does Larissa have any real friends?