“Despite the fact that there are over eight million people on the island of Manhattan, there are times where you still feel shipwrecked and alone,” Carrie voice-overs. She is sitting nervously in her apartment, possibly unnerved by the frenetic African drum music playing over the action. She stares at the telephone, vexed. “Times when even the most resourceful survivor feels the need to put a message in a bottle -- or an answering machine,” her narration continues. Carrie nibbles on her cordless phone’s antenna and wishes it were part of Aidan. She suddenly dials frantically and, as the African music crescendos, she gets his machine. She hangs up on it and screams, because her ears are bleeding from the tom-toms.
Cut to the cacophony’s source -- a band in some sort of African-themed jazzercise class. “Ah yes, earth to heaven, yes! Strong arms! Remember, every movement has a meaning,” shouts the euphoric instructor, swaying to the rhythm. Crowds part to reveal Carrie and Charlotte in the back of the room, and I must say, Carrie is certainly going for bag-lady chic today, holding onto her Stupidest Dresser Alive crown. To a cardio-funk class, she has worn a black-and-white knit scarf wrapped around her head, like she’s trying to go incognito, and tinted aviator sunglasses. That’s dumb enough. But the worst part is the flimsy white/pink/beige transparent fabric thing doubling as Carrie’s skirt. It looks like she got her period in the middle of class, ruined her pants, popped a Mentos, and -- bing! -- yanked an old curtain from the wall and tied it around her waist, solving her problem because she’s fresh and full of life. Pardon the period joke -- I don’t usually do girly shows and I’m used to recapping Making the Band -- no, wait, they’re girly, too. So much for that excuse. Moving on. Carrie voice-overs that she can’t help wondering why she wants to talk to her ex-boyfriend, because it takes a rocket scientist to figure that one out. “I’ve been making faux calls to Aidan,” she whispers to Charlotte, then explains that a “faux” call means calling and hoping desperately to get the answering machine because if he answers you have nothing planned to say. “It’s emotional Russian roulette,” she finishes. Charlotte sums it up: “You call and hang up.” Carrie nods. “I don’t know why I’m telling you,” she says. “Don’t tell anybody else.” Then, back with the class, they jump gamely -- or is that lamely? Both.
At dinner with the quad, Charlotte immediately says, “Carrie, tell them what you told me.” Annoyed, Carrie fires back, “What, that I’m not going to your African dance class any more?” Her single horseshoe pendant swings. Charlotte reveals Carrie has been calling Aidan -- “Chris in the Morning,” or CIM, as we know him here. “And hanging up!” Carrie adds defensively, as if that makes it all normal and okay. Miranda and Samantha are shocked, because they’re not really sure which season of the show this is. Choking on her words, Carrie admits she might want CIM back. “How do I do this?” she implores Miranda, who is the wrong person to ask, at least lately. Miranda suggests that CIM might not want to hear it, but Carrie doesn’t care and wants to try anyway. “One word, honey: granola. So not you,” Samantha interjects. Charlotte disagrees. “Aidan is perfect! He stripped her floor!” she exclaims. Dork. But then she admits he needs to lose the tummy and the turquoise rings. Carrie says the tummy is gone and CIM looked frighteningly awesome when she saw him at the opening of his new bar. “The new, improved Aidan,” Miranda sums up, but Samantha goes one better: “Low-fat granola.” I really feel for John Corbett here. I’m certain the writers aren’t foresighted enough to have had him bulk up in season three just so he could return in a blaze of physical glory this time around; meaning, now that he’s thin, the writers are all finally admitting that they spent last year joking about how he was a big flabby daddy. Bastards.