The Carrie Diaries does a phenomenal job at getting your hopes way up and then crushing them all at once, doesn’t it? I’ve been rooting for Carrie and Sebastian since this whole thing started—and still am—but this week just wasn’t a good one for them. We also saw the return of Larissa, who didn’t quite click with Samantha, as well as the familiar faces of Tom’s BFF, Harlan and that jerk cop, Simon. While Carrie struggled to find her zen, the universe seemed inclined to give her more than she could handle—in the form of pucker-lipped Sebastian Kydd. Let’s break down what transpired in this week’s episode.
Before the sex and before the city...
Maggie found out Walt was gay and she immediately told him how disgusted she was with him. Walt became interested in Bennett after he met him at Interview Magazine. Carrie made a new friend, Samantha, and she crashed with her and Walt for a few weeks. Sebastian attempted to talk with Carrie and she admitted that he broke her heart but still loved him.
“Strings Attached” picks up with Carrie and Walt packing their things as they prepare to return to Castlebury. They complain about the high crime rate in Manhattan and yet they feel safer there than they do back in school. Larissa is finally back from Japan, where apparently she gained a new appreciation for sake and the art of meditation and being zen. She explains to Carrie and Walt what that means and tells them that she uses a special mantra to help her keep calm and relaxed. Carrie realizes that’s exactly what she needs in order to be unaffected by Sebastian back at school. After the zen talk, Carrie updates her on her new friendship with Samantha, and Walt tells her about Bennett. Larissa makes plans to take them to a Japanese festival in Manhattan and tells Carrie to invite Samantha.
Back in Castlebury, Mouse is trying to help Maggie with her college applications but she doesn’t seem very interested in the prospect of going to school anymore. I almost feel like she only wanted to go because she thought it was impossible, but now that she knows there’s a way, she’s starting to change her mind. Mouse tells Maggie how much she’s going to have to pay on fees and Maggie wonders if there’s any way she can get financial aide without going to college. Yes Maggie, it’s called welfare.
Tom meets with Harlan in his Manhattan office, where they’re talking about a charity event. Harlan tries to persuade him to come back to the firm but Tom insists that he’s happy with the practice he has in Castlebury. He’s afraid of not spending enough time with Carrie and Dorrit, so he turns down his offer. Later, back at the Bradshaw residence, Sebastian pays Dorrit and visit and asks for her help with Carrie.
The day of the Japanese festival comes around and Walt, Bennett and Carrie join Larissa for the event. Carrie becomes transfixed with a gardenia sitting in a glass box, she wishes that her life was just as simple and tranquil as the flower. While she “finds her zen,” Larissa goes looking for sake and Walt and Bennett have a talk about him going back to school. Walt’s afraid that his high school year will be hell if people find out he’s gay. Bennett tells him to be a ninja and get in and out of school without being noticed. Samantha suddenly joins them and notices Carrie at the other side of the garden. She starts yelling and disrupting the peacefulness of the place, to which Larissa responds unfavorably.
After having a talk with Mouse about college, Maggie is walking to the library when Simon pulls up next to her in his cop car. He teases her about wanting to go to further her knowledge and convinces her to put off her application and join him instead. She agrees and gets in the car with him. Maggie makes me so mad sometimes. Meanwhile, at the Bradshaw residence, Deb and Tom are talking about the charity event when he tells her about the job offer Harlan made him. Deb tells him to consider it—she thinks he will be happier working for the firm than he is with his small practice. At the town’s diner, Sebastian runs into Mrs. Donovan (guest star Molly Sims), who’s acting all kind of Mrs. Robinson with him. She wants Sebastian to give her golf lesson—uh huh—but then admits she wants to have some no-strings-attached fun. He turns her down, saying it’s not his thing.
Back at the Japanese festival, Larissa is talking fashion with Carrie but Samantha compares the outfit to pajamas and insults Larissa’s fashion sense. Carrie realizes that Samantha and Larissa are complete opposites and that she was foolish to think they’d get along. As they’re arguing, Samantha gets distracted by one of the ninjas performing outside and decides to walk away. She ends up sleeping with him but gets really disappointed when he takes off his mask the next day. He tries to get to know her better but she wants nothing to do with him.
It’s finally the first day of school and Carrie is trying to remain calm as Dorrit hogs the bathroom. She begins chanting her mantra to help her stay in a detached state. Carrie tells her sister that if she ever needs help in school with anything, she can come to her. This gives Dorrit an idea—sneaky, sneaky. Meanwhile, in Manhattan, Tom accepts Harlan’s offer to return to the firm but he has a few conditions; he wants to make his own hours, be home for dinner at least three nights a week and free season tickets to the Rangers. Harlan tells Tom he might be ruining Carrie and Dorrit by giving them too much attention. According to him, they’ll end up having unrealistic expectations about men. Harlan Silver, ladies and gentlemen.
Back at school, Walt attempts to come off straight by wearing a Jets jersey. As Carrie tells them how she’s been practicing staying zen, Dorrit approaches her and tells her she needs help switching English teachers. As she leaves, Maggie runs into Mouse and Walt. He tries to make conversation with her but she doesn’t want to hear it. Two football jocks ask Walt about his jersey and it’s obvious he knows nothing about football. Mouse quickly takes him away and prevents him from embarrassing himself further. Meanwhile, Carrie and Dorrit walk into a classroom and Dorrit admits she lied about wanting to switch classes. She actually brought her there so she could talk with Sebastian, who’s already waiting inside. Carrie’s effort to remain relaxed and calm fails miserably when he gets close to her. They start making out over a desk and clothes start coming undone, before the teacher walks in the room and catches them in the act.
Mouse and Maggie talk about her college application and Mouse asks her to try harder and take responsibility for what she does. Maggie is still upset over Walt but Mouse tells her he’s having just as hard of a time trying to figure himself out. She wants Maggie to be more aware of other people’s problems, not just her own. Later, the football jocks approach Walt in the school hallway and tease him about his jersey. Donna is the one to save him this time. She tries to help him and starts kissing him in front of everyone without realizing one of the football guys is the one she’s dating. Walt ends up getting punched in the eye.
At Interview, Samantha goes looking for Carrie but Larissa tells her she’s in school. She tells Larissa that she wanted to talk to Carrie about her ninja encounter. Larissa deduces that Samantha is afraid of commitment and in an effort to prove her wrong, Samantha asks for the address where she met the ninja. She plans to talk to him and attempt to form a connection. When she finds the ninja, she tells him she wants to get to know him better but it turns out to be a different guy.
At the principal’s office, Carrie and Sebastian argue about their situation. She tells him it’s going to be his fault if she gets suspended and loses her internship—luckily, she only gets after school detention for a week. Sebastian admits that not being with her is ripping him apart. Carrie tells him about the gardenia she saw in the city and how she wishes she could be just like it. But she knows that she could never be that way as long as she’s with him. Later that day, she asks Dorrit why she helped Sebastian. She tells Carrie to go after what she wants and stop thinking about it too much.
That evening at the Diner, Maggie finds a black-eyed Walt and Donna sitting at a table and asks to speak with him in private. She apologizes for not realizing the difficult situation he is in. Walt tells her that he loves her and even though it’s not in the way she’d like, she can’t blame herself for that. They make amends and patch up their friendship. When she’s heading home, Simon once again pulls up next to her and attempts to lure her back in his car. Walt’s words seemed to have made an effect on her because she turns him down. She wants to be with someone who deserves her.
Meanwhile, at the Bradshaw residence, Carrie receives a visit from Sebastian. She had been asking for a sign to help her decide what to do and took it as such. Carrie is about to tell him that she wants to give their relationship another go but Sebastian apologizes for everything he’s done. He knows he brings chaos to her life and in order for her to have the simple life she wants, he’s going to let her go. Carrie realizes that maybe it’s the best for them at the moment. He decides to use Mrs. Donovan as a rebound and ends up sleeping with her. The next day, Carrie receives the boxed gardenia as a gift from Larissa. The episode ends with Carrie staring at it longingly.
I’m happy that Maggie has finally started to realize that Simon is bad news but I’m really hoping it’s something that lasts. It’s already happened before and she still ends up going back to him for one reason or another. Mouse and Walt are both back to being her friends, so I’m wondering if a reconciliation with Carrie is just around the corner. As for Carrie and Sebastian, maybe he’ll be her Mr. Big until Carrie gets older. He might be the guy who is always there even if they’re not together. What did you guys think of this week’s episode? Still have hope for Kyddshaw?