Then Miranda arrives at her apartment. Carrie VO's that she invited Steve over so they could make up. He greets her and she walks in with grocery bags, explaining that she was late because of work. Her explanation gets more and more hysterical until she accidentally drops and shatters a bottle of marinara sauce on the floor. She throws down the grocery bags and explains that she can't let Steve move in because she "drops things" and she's "stubborn" and she's a poor housekeeper (what happened to the cleaning lady in the last episode?) and Steve will "see all that" and she's "scared." She doesn't want to lose him. Steve hugs her and tells her he's not going anywhere. Miranda cries on his shoulder, just like "a woman." Carrie VO's that Steve moved in a week later.
Then Carrie's voice-over segues to Charlotte's apartment, where Charlotte is "moving her 'man' into her place." Cut to the picture of Charles-lotte hanging on the wall. Charlotte appraises her male visage, as Carrie VO's that Charlotte never saw Barrett again after they macked, because she was "too embarrassed" about her aggressive, masculine behavior during his seduction. This fits Charlotte's character, but doesn't explain how she got the print from the photographer if she never had contact with him after they knocked boots. Whatever.
Cut to a stairwell. Carrie and Shawn are walking up five flights to a downtown party. Carrie whines about her need for vodka. Shawn tells her to take it easy. Carrie patronizes him by calling him "dude." I think that Shawn's bisexuality is the least of the problems in their relationship. They walk into the party. Carrie takes off her jacket to show off her ensemble: a black pleather Wilma (tm Wing Chun) dress with a big white silk flower (ugh!) pinned to the shoulder, and scrunchy gold go-go boots. Very Barbarella-goes-to-the-prom, no? Shawn tells Carrie that the party is for his ex-boyfriend Mark's new boyfriend's birthday. Carrie tries to pretend that this isn't a problem, but we all know better. Shawn introduces Carrie to Mark, who frankly isn't all that and certainly isn't even any competition for the likes of Carrie, and Mark's new significant other, Garth. Garth isn't all that either, and loses even more points from me for whining about not being introduced as Mark's partner. And Mark loses even more points for carrying around his and Garth's infant in a baby pouch (at this loud, smoky party) and telling Carrie that the baby's name is "Isabell, two l's, no 'e'," like Carrie was going to be engraving her name on jewelry in the near future or writing a check to her that night or something. Pretentious, much? Then M&G introduce Dawn and Grace, a couple of women who "just got married in Hawaii." Dawn is played by Alanis Morissette. Alanis walks to Carrie's side and expositions that her recent marriage ceremony was better than her first; she had been married to Garth. Garth explains that they were married for a year, and were "high on E for most of it." Dude, you were married to Alanis! Of course we assumed hallucinogenic drugs played a major role. Then Garth introduces Carrie to the gang's "token straight friend, Joel." Ah, but even Joel isn't all that straight because the first words out of his mouth to Carrie are, "Are you wearing pleather?" Carrie thanks him "for noticing." Um, why didn't he ask, "What's up with that big fugly flower?"