Sex and the City
The Ick Factor

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The One When Samantha Gets Cancer

Cha cha! Splashy bus.

We pan across a New York City sidewalk cafe, uptown-stylee. Pete's, it's called. Carrie VOs that New Yorkers "treat every beautiful fall day as if it were their last." Because the weather on September 11th was really very beautiful. Blue sky, balmy weather. One of those gorgeous days.

Miranda and Steve are drinking in the afternoon. Love it. They're at the bottom of their mugs of beer, in jolly moods. A bickering old couple walks by them, and they stare. Steve is all, "That'll be us in thirty years!" Mir asks Steve to remind her not to end up like that. Then she asks, "Anything else you don't want?" Yeah. Steve doesn't want to pay for the beers. Or slack off, like he used to. Miranda doesn't "want to be so moody. This is fun!" Hee. Optimistic drunken planning is fun. It's way better than drunken fighting. Steve says the most important one for him is that he doesn't want to lose her again. She agrees, not wanting to lose him again. They beam at each other radiantly, like in an UltraBrite or Newport ad. Then, she drops the bomb: Will Steve marry her? I think I heard screams. She's really over the moon for this guy! She's really serious! Cynical, hard-bitten Miranda! PROPOSED! She is so fucking modern and unapologetic, I love it. Steve laughs, then gets all tender on her. "Are you sewious?" She is. He accepts. "HELL yes!" Oh my god!

Aleksandr's apartment. He's tinkling on a piano. I mean, pee-yanny. Tinkling on a pee-yanny. Carrie, in a god-awful sweater coat (sing to the tune of "Lollipop," "Sweater coat, sweater coat, oh sweater sweater coat! Sweater coat! Barf. Ba dum dum dum...."), likes what he's playing. She goes over, forgets her drink, goes back and gets it, then joins him on the pee-yanny bench. It's a little ditty. A tune-sicle. He wrote it for her. She's all, really? Yeah. He calls it, en francais, "The Girl With the Luminous, Shining, Sparkling Eyes." Carrie kvells. Then he feeds her a cherry with whipped cream on it. A leetle dab of cream stays on her upper lip, and he kisses if off for her. Holy field of buttercups, where's Fabio? I think I hear a bodice ripping.

Over breakfast, Carrie recalls the misty, Jackie Collins-flavored evening. Miranda says she's never heard anything so cheesy, and "Ick!" Seriously. I too hate those barf-worthy early months of a relationship, when the bloom is fully on the rose and you end up being mushier than some overcooked Velveeta Shells and Cheese. It makes your friends hate you. Carrie admits she's too embarrassed to even look at her friends right now, but she will tell them one more disgusting detail. About the little jingle Aleksandr wrote on the pee-yanny. And the title. Char gushes that it sounds "very Old World, very eighteenth-century Russia" to her. Carrie says that she lives in New York City, circa now. Don't worry, in like a minute this show will seem as dated as eighteenth-century Russia. It always does. This show ages faster than microwave popcorn. It's tasty when you first open it up, but in a few hours, Styrofoam city. That's okay, flowers don't live forever either. It's all about moments and transition. Fuck permanence.

Carrie continues that she thinks it's romantic when someone offers her a seat on the subway, and Mir concurs. Char says, "We are just starved for romance, and that is the sad truth." Samantha says she's not starved for romance, because Smith has been in L.A. all week and he calls every night. Carrie says, "Phone sex doesn't count." But Sam's had a glass of wine as they do it! Sigh. Carrie reveals Alek's song title, prefacing it as "the ick heard 'round the world." Sam asks, "What's French for ick?" Mir says, "Eecque." Carrie said she floated up out of her body as he was playing the song for her. Char says Alek was just "expressing emotion in an old-fashioned way." Yeah, and for a follow-up, he made ice cream with snow and real maple syrup. Boy, was that ever delicious. Then they sat around and read the bible and knitted shoe cozies until the whale-fat-burning lamp burned out. Mir says she loathes all that phony sentimental crap, which is why she proposed to Steve over three-dollar beers. Everyone looks at Mir like she just grew a second head. She...what? Proposed...marriage? Mir slams down her fork and knife and says it's not a big deal, she's not "engaged," and she's not doing the whole big white-poofy-dress circus thing. "I hate all that shit." Char says, "Every bride has to find their own style." Mir doesn't want a big thing, she only wants to be with Steve. Char bubbles over with emotion, which blackens Mir's mood like a bubbled-over lasagna burns the bottom of the oven. "Oh, Miranda!" Mir snaps that this is exactly what she didn't want. No tears! Carrie sobs that she can't believe it. Sam's misty too. Mir gets up and throws a crumpled bill on the table. She has only one thing to say: "Samantha, I expected more from you."

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