Cha, cha cha, cha cha. Cha, cha cha, cha cha. Blow, sultry saxophone, blow. The third-to-last episode, she is here.
As a preamble, I just want to say that this was probably my favorite episode of S&TC ever. Ev. Er. So when I bust on it, please know that I do it with love. In past years when I busted on the show, I was coming from another place. But now, somehow, I've transitioned into a space where I find the show and its characters have grown, as if without me seeing it. A very gradual process. In this episode in particular, Carrie has really changed. I see Carrie as being part of a couple, which even with Aidan she never seemed to be. I see her standing up to her friends, when before she whined to them and pleaded for their advice. Most importantly, she stops questioning, gives up a big part of her sort-of inconsequential life, and takes a big risk without her usual support system in place. It was the least fluffy and least "whatever" episode ever. So god help me as I try to recap it. Because recapping is a lot easier when you hate a show. Even grudging acceptance is an okay spot to occupy. But liking a show? Lord, hear my prayer.
Carrie is wearing yet another goddamn oversize knit rasta hat, this time in gradations of earth tones, as if Fraggles got in a turf war with Smurfs and wrestled away all the bright colors and demanded that now, under their rule, all large cartoonish hats mimic the colors of the earth, because everyone knows Fraggles are pagan and Smurfs ravers so respect it, yo. She spins through a revolving door with the confidence and aplomb a cartoonishly dressed woman doesn't usually possess. You know, with all the goofy shit Carrie wears, why has she never carried a bindle? Or worn a wimple? I mean, it's not too far from the realm of possibility. Bindles would make revolting doors tricky to navigate. But a wimple? Come on. She's so close. Just give in to it.
The dreaded VO begins: In NYC, it's hard to stay in vogue, so when Enid, Carrie's old Vogue editor, calls, Carrie says "how high" and meets her for lunch. Hey, remember Candy Bergen? She of the many neck scarves? Well, she's back.
While the menus are still open, Enid asks Carrie for a favor. Carrie smirks and waits for it: Enid is throwing a party for two documentary filmmaker friends of hers, and wants Carrie to come. With her boyfriend, the famous artist. And to bring a man for Enid. Now, please. Because, if you haven't looked at her neck lately, the clock, she is a-ticking for old Enid. You don't even need to cut her open and count the rings, just look at her neck. Well, Candy Bergen's neck hasn't been visible since before her undergraduate days at Penn, when she first discovered how great turtlenecks are for camouflaging hickeys. These days, Hermes can't crank out scarves quickly enough, and minks can't be turned into stoles fast enough, to provide the miles of coverage needed to hide that crepey thing holding Enid's head up. Anyway, Enid wonders if someone in Alek's "crowd" would be right for her, since everyone else is a part of a couple and she's not. The waiter comes, and she orders dorado. The waiter advises her that the dorado is a very large fish and they recommend that two people order it. Enid gets all crease-y and whines, "See? You even have to be part of a couple to order lunch in this town!" Carrie asks for the dorado as well. Enid whines, "Do you even like dorado? Because if this is a pity dorado, I can have crab cakes!" Heh. Carrie closes her menu and expresses concern over whether Alek is a "let's-set-people-up kinda guy." Enid says warningly, "I got you a job. You get me a man." Care to spell it out, Enid? I'm not reading you loudly or clearly enough.
Pre-dinner party, Alek cooks up a storm as Carrie loiters nearby in yet another fabulous party dress. Amazing, beautiful, strapless, white with black polka dots and sequins. I'm guessing it's Oscar de la Renta again. Alek asks if her friends like red wine. She says, "My friends like all wine." Heh. Jug? Box? Cooler? Bring it. Unparticular people are the best. Carrie begins: "Heeey? Uh. Do you have any single male friends?" Alek asks if she's tired of him already. No, but the audience is. Carrie explains it's for Enid, and he says he knows a food critic. Then he says, "Ees this really how you find luhv?" Shut up, Alek. People find love in all sorts of places. Someone as old as you should know that, Mister I Cruise Art Galleries and Take What I Want. Now, Alek has a question for her: Does she want to come to Paris with him? Not for a few weeks. Not for a few months. For indefinitely. Because he's going next week and not sure when he'll come back. So will she come and "be" with him? Carrie stammers and waffles and VOs that while a man leaving her for Paris isn't foreign to her, this was. Then the doorbell rings and Alek, in his best impression of the Continental yet, says, "Ah! The cawiar!" Wow. Wow. Wowee wow wow wow! Wow!