We just celebrated Valentine’s Day last Thursday but in this week’s episode of The Carrie Diaries, Carrie was a busy bee with what she called ‘Operation: Perfect Thanksgiving’. We saw her run around the kitchen like a madwoman trying to cook a turkey and at the same time trying to keep Dorrit from revealing any of her juicy secrets to her new boyfriend, George–she was terrified that Dorrit would tell him about the time she peed on Chip and Dale’s lap, okay! We also got a glimpse of Sebastian’s super depressing life and Maggie’s attempt to fit in with Walt’s family.
Okay, let’s get on with the show!
The episode picked up with a memory of a very young Carrie trying to help her mother while she cooked a Thanksgiving meal. It’s adorable that the only thing we see is the back of Carrie’s head but the big curly hair makes her unmistakeable. In a voiceover, she tells us that this is her mother’s favorite holiday and all she wants now is to keep it alive. So naturally, all Carrie can do in the days leading up to the holiday is think and talk about what she’s going to cook for the special day.
We cut to George trying to make out with her during one of their dates, but it’s obvious that the only thing in Carrie’s mind is cranberry sauce and her mother’s ambrosia salad. When George mentions that none of the girls he went out with ever cooked, Carrie says it will be her grandma who will be doing most of the cooking; she will just be helping.
Back at school, Mouse and Maggie find it very hard to believe Carrie will actually attempt to cook a whole meal by herself and Carrie once again mentions that she will only be helping her grandma. I’m sure everything will go as planned and her grandma will end up preparing a delicious dinner. There’s no way Carrie will get stuck doing all the work.
After Walt tells the girls that Sebastian is going to be spending Thanksgiving with his mom, Carrie says she’s happy to know he’s spending some time with his family. We then see the blue-eyed heartthrob walk past them and he wishes Carrie a ‘Happy Turkey Day’ as he proceeds to give her his signature pouty smirk. Now, I might be completely wrong here but I think Carrie might have forgotten all about George at that moment. I know I did.
Back at home, Carrie shows up from the grocery store carrying everything she needs for the meal but her dad greets her with a bit of bad news. Turns out a big storm in Florida has caused all the flights to be cancelled, which means her grandparents won’t be able to make it. While Carrie isn’t freaking out yet, the news that he has invited Harlan and George for dinner causes her to panic. Apparently she’s not ready for her boyfriend to see “suburban Carrie” just yet.
Thanksgiving Day arrives and Carrie is frantically clearing her room of anything that George might consider “uncool”, including her Hello Kitty merchandise and an 8x10 framed picture of Shaun Cassidy. Yes, an 8x10 framed picture of her celebrity crush. Was this a popular thing to do in the 80’s? Did people frame pictures like that and put them on display in their homes? I can’t imagine framing a picture of any of my celebrity crushes nowadays–mainly because I’d probably run out of room to put them all–so I found this particularly funny. Of course leave it up to Dorrit to mess with her sister, she takes the photo and props it up on a side table right by the entrance, just in time for the arrival of George and Harlan. Carrie’s face when she sees it is absolutely priceless.
In another part of town, Maggie is on her way to Walt’s home, all dressed up like she’s going to an office job interview. I now the 80’s weren’t the best decade for fashion, but the girl looks like she raided her grandma’s closet. She runs into Simon–the young cop she’d been having a fling with–and she tells him she’s going to be spending Thanksgiving with her boyfriend, Walt, and his family.
After Carrie finds out that all the recipes are ruined and her mom’s cookbooks are gone, she calls Mouse who shows up at her house with more cookbooks in hand and ready to help her prep the dinner. After some grueling moments of them trying to remove the giblets–the camera’s point of view didn’t help, by the way–they finally put the turkey in the oven, only to find out it doesn’t fit. It takes a few shoves and pushes but Carrie finally closes the oven door. I loved how Harlan pointed out how good the turkey smelled, just a few seconds after Carrie had started the timer. That must be one magic oven.
Back at the Kydd residence, a sad and lonely Sebastian sits on the couch watching the football game when he’s informed that his mom “changed her plans”, which means he will be spending Thanksgiving alone. Poor Sebastian, he looks like he needs a hug.
Meanwhile, at Walt’s, Maggie has a hard time impressing his parents. The fact that she admits to not having any college plans even though she’s a Junior, doesn’t help her case. After dinner, the two have a talk about the future. At first she’s upset that Walt goes along with everything his parents say but then realizes no one cares about her future plans the way Walt’s parents do about his. When she returns home, she talks to her brother about going to college. He tells her she’s a girl and doesn’t have a need for it; she can just “marry Walt.” Later, Simon tries to come on to her but she tells him to leave instead, realizing she can’t keep doing things without thinking of who she’ll affect in the process.
Carrie figures out that Dorrit hid the cookbooks and ruined the recipes on purpose. Dorrit on the other hand, accuses Carrie of trying to take her mom’s place. She later locks herself in her room, blasts her music, and starts smoking pot. While Carrie tries to reason with her, Mouse comes running upstairs and tells her they have a problem. Turns out Dorrit wasn’t the only one smoking in the house, so was the oven. The whole family walks into the kitchen just in time for it to explode and catch on fire, causing the fuses to blow out and leaving everyone in the dark.
Carrie and Dorrit have a moment alone, in which her sister admits that she just wanted to forget the whole day because her mom wasn’t there. Tom later tells Harlan that it should’ve been him, not Carrie, doing all the work because he’s the responsible one now. After Harlan passes out, George decides it’s time for them to go home. He comforts Carrie by telling her that his family’s Thanksgivings are always bad, recounting the time his mom accidentally hit Liza Minnelli with a turkey leg–I knew Kick Silver was a wild one! After George leaves, Maggie shows up to spend time with Carrie and Mouse. Their girl time is interrupted by an unexpected guest at the door. Carrie opens it to find Sebastian and his denim furry-collared jacket staring back at her.
The two talk on the porch and Sebastian tells her that he’s always loved Thanksgiving but his mother doesn’t care about it anymore. She realizes how lonely he is and invites him inside. After Tom gives his approval, they all sit at the table and have a candlelit dinner together.