It's Carrie's birthday — will she learn the truth at seventeen? The truth being that her birthday is not, in fact, a national holiday or even a day of rest? Carrie's birthday, like everything else on The Carrie Diaries falls on a Friday night. Of course, Interview Magazine is having a fabulous party on Friday night and Larissa needs Carrie to work the door. Carrie pushes her own wants aside, for the first time of many in this episode, and cancels her birthday plans.
Tom asks Dorrit to get Carrie a record for her birthday, but while she has successfully stolen a hamster from a pet store, Dorrit is unable to steal a tape from a record store without getting caught. The record store employee who catches her is cute, and they share edgy/cool musical taste. He locks her in the back room to teach her a lesson and Dorrit forgets to get Carrie's record.
Of Mouse and Maggie: Mouse is meeting with a Harvard graduate to talk about planning for college because she loves planning. Maggie is convinced Walt wants to get back together. Walt does not want to get back together, because he is exploring the very real possibility of his homosexuality. Stacy, Mouse's friend from Harvard, is too interested in West, her new nemesis, to do a sister a solid.
Sebastian has mommy issues so he has to cancel on going to Carrie's work party with her. Carrie brings Walt, and is promptly asked to mingle and network because Larissa forgot she asked her to work the party at all. Walt reconnects with Bennett, who gave him his first sexually confusing kiss, and Carrie meets Tripp Ramsey, a publisher famous for poaching young authors. It seems like Carrie is about to get a book deal (The Carrie Diaries: A show based on a book about a girl getting a book deal for a book about a girl getting a book deal. And sex.) when Sebastian crashes into the party drunk. The publisher is scared off, and Sebastian asks to leave the party. Everyone (no one) is glad Sebastian showed up.
Carrie obliges, and pretends not to care about some stupid writing career because she's just a girl and girls can't be writers, and takes Sebastian home. She agrees to stay the night, then Sebastian's mom shows up with more issues than Sebastian. It must run in the family: bursting into scenes and asking that everyone pay attention to your problems. Carrie's night/birthday is a bust.
The night is not a bust for Mouse, who discovers that her love of organizing things can lead to a position as the basketball team manager, or Dorrit, who goes back for the record and gets to kiss the cute boy at the record store. Everyone else's wishes on Carrie's birthday came true, including mine, which was not to see the character Harlan at all in this episode.
At the diner, Mouse, Maggie and Carrie catch us up on what we missed when we fell asleep with our eyes open during last week's Carrie Diaries. Is it consoling or horrifying to know that your brain saw the images of the world's most expected "Rubik's Cube-off" training montage and recorded them while you were unconscious? Maggie cheated on Walt and is still not forgiven. Mouse is no longer number one in the class, that black guy Wes is. Carrie's life is basically perfect because she's with Sebastian, Dorrit hasn't run away this week, she works at Interview magazine and she still weighs under 100 pounds so she can't donate blood. To top it all off, it's Carrie's birthday.
Donna LaDonna is upset and this is just the icing on the birthday cake. She's not mad about Sebastian dating Carrie or Walt -- she's upset about a bag. The purse she wants is all sold out. Donna deploys The Jens to get her the purse; figuring out how is their problem. Another riveting plotline is born.
Mouse is meeting Stacy, a graduate of Harvard and fellow Asian. Mouse shows her around, but Stacy is soon distracted by a trophy in the trophy case of none other than Thomas West, whose name I thought was Wes because in the last episode they kept calling him Wes. Apparently they were saying "West" and his actual name is Thomas, but no one goes by the real or first names at this school.
Then Stacy starts flirting with West, because female Harvard grads have been so busy hitting the books they forgot to notice the important thing: boys! West is charming, Mouse feels inadequate because second place is the first loser, as Abby Lee Miller would say. West invites Stacy (if that is her real name) to Spirit Night. Mouse is now obligated to tag along.
Outside of school, Maggie catches up with Walt, who is willing to talk to her. Walt speaks candidly with her and admits that Maggie probably cheated on him, because she wasn't feeling loved. Wheeee, easiest breakup ever.
Tom and Dorrit discuss Carrie's birthday. Dorrit hates Carrie again, and points out all the ways Carrie has failed as a daughter when Tom mentions he wants to give Carrie a credit card. Yeah, she could open a tab at Limelight. Tom gives Dorrit money to buy Carrie a record and Dorrit sulks about it.
At Interview, everyone is fawning over that same bag Donna wants: a red leather Coach duffel. Larissa grabs it to make sure we see it's the bag Donna wanted, and then we move on with job stuff. Interview is hosting a hot party, the "literary event of the year" and it's on the same night as Carrie's birthday. Larissa asks Carrie to work the door, Carrie says she has plans, and then backs away from it because work is more important than birthdays. Now is as good a time as any to learn that you will still be expected to work on your birthday in the real world.