Staff WriterI know I’ve been saying this for the past few episodes now but this week’s The Carrie Diaries was so, so good! I’m very pleased by the way it has blossomed not only into a really entertaining hour of television but into a show that manages to address sensitive issues in a subtle yet effective way. While “The Safety Dance” delivered racy and hilarious sex proposals, courtesy of Samantha and Larissa, it also touched on the subject of teenage pregnancy and the importance of being in a relationship that makes you feel empowered instead of depreciated. It had its ups and downs but at the end it proved thatCarrie Diaries still has a lot to offer when it comes to plot with substance. If this show doesn’t get picked up for a third season, I’m going to be sorely disappointed.
Before the sex and before the city...
The cutest couple on the show—Walt and Bennett—finally became exclusive. Maggie visited Sebastian only to find out he’d had a sleepover with Vicky. Carrie lost her virginity to Weaver and decided it was time to cut all ties with Sebastian. And Maggie once again sought some much needed attention from the worst guy ever on the show, Simon.
“The Safety Dance” begins with Carrie emptying her closet—it’s time for Fall cleaning. She expresses her feelings about how some things make a person feel warm and safe, even if it’s just a fuzzy sweater. Sebastian’s jacket pops up in her belongings and she sets it aside, realizing there’s nothing “safe” about it. Later, Carrie talks to Weaver about an essay she has to do for her writing class. Weaver, being a writer, tells her not to freak out if she can’t figure out what to write about right away; writer’s block is a good thing. When Carrie asks him how he handles it, he tells her he likes to take long showers or have sex. She panics at the mention of sex while in public but decides to take Weaver up on his offer to “procrastinate” with him. After they have sex, Weaver’s advice is to write about something that scares her.
Meanwhile is Castlebury, West and Mouse are talking about college plans. She refuses to apply to any safety schools because she’s sure she’s going to Harvard. West thinks she’s making a bad decision by not applying to at least one other school.
We go to the ghettos of New York where Walt is helping Bennett move into his new apartment. Bennett doesn’t think it’s too bad since the loiterers are “mainly harmless crack addicts.” There’s another mention of Stanford, who apparently has moved to Aviza for a year which forced Bennett to look for a new place. In another part of town, Carrie and Mouse talk about their issues while walking through the aisles of a store. As Carrie mentions that she can’t think of anything that makes her feel unsafe, she averts her eyes from the boxes of condoms sitting on the shelf. “I don’t make eye contact with condoms,” she tells Mouse after she questions her strange behavior. We find out they’re at the store to pick up Carrie’s birth control. As they’re waiting for the pharmacist, Maggie strolls by and they have a brief and awkward conversation. Afterwards, Carrie realizes that what she’s afraid of is talking about sex; she’s found the topic of her essay.
Carrie holds a meeting with Larissa and Samantha at Interview since they’re the most “confident and perverted” women she knows. They question her about sex with Weaver and Larissa tells her she’s still seeing Harlan. Things get too overwhelming for Carrie and she ends up leaving before getting any useful information for her essay. Larissa’s strangely offended by Samantha’s shoes and offers to give her something more “beautiful” so she doesn’t have to look at the “ghastly” ones she’s wearing. Harlan comes into the office to drop off some flowers for Larissa. Samantha flirts with him before finding out he’s the man she was talking about with Carrie. Larissa wants to show Harlan how much she appreciates him, so she asks Samantha to engage in a threesome with them. Oh sorry, Larissa doesn’t have threesomes, she has “menage a trois.”
Back at the high school, Maggie runs into Sebastian in the hall. He tells her that he broke things off with Vicky so there’s no need for her to tell Carrie about it. Maggie tells Sebastian that Carrie is dating a writer from Manhattan so she’s not going to care anyway. She lets Sebastian know that she has no college plans and has accepted the idea of being a housewife like her mother. She starts feeling sick and leaves, running to the nearest trashcan to throw up—uh oh. We find out she was at the store to buy a pregnancy test. Later that day, her worst nightmare comes true when the test comes out positive. Things only get worse when she tells Simon about it and he questions if it’s even his. Maggie thinks he should leave his fiancee and be with her but he reminds her that she was aware of how their flings worked. Simon hints at the possibility of an abortion.
Meanwhile in Manhattan, Carrie is ready to start writing her essay and tells Weaver that she’s decided to write about sex. He doesn’t seem too thrilled with her decision and tells her that it’s kind of a cheap score. He compares it to things that Carrie actually likes and she gets a bit offended. Weaver doesn’t think she should write about sex for a prestigious class essay because it’s a big deal. He makes her feel insecure about her decision by scaring her into thinking that she’ll ruin her chances if she decides to go with that topic. Carrie starts feeling the pressure when he begins throwing ideas at her as part of his writers bootcamp.
The next day at school, Bennett tells Carrie and Mouse that he’s deathly afraid of going back to Bennett’s new neighborhood. Mouse tells him he needs to be armed and prepared because “safety is the most important thing.” Walt brings up the fact that she’s ignoring her own advice by not applying to a second school and Carrie shares with them Weaver’s idea of writers bootcamp. They notice she seems very tense and anxious but she assures them that’s a good thing. Later, she attempts to write her essay in school but the ideas just aren’t coming to her. Sebastian walks into the room and Carrie tells him she got into the writing school in Manhattan but she’s having a hard time coming up with a topic. Sebastian thinks that what makes her special is the unique way she has of looking at life. He tells Carrie to stop worrying and write about something that makes her smile, so she does.
Later, Carrie informs Weaver that she turned in her essay and decided to write about sex after all. She gets cold and he offers her his coat. Weaver says he respects her decision and she explains that there are weird things about sex that she’s noticed and that’s what was in the paper. Carrie says she’s glad she didn’t listen to him but kind of wishes he hadn’t filled her with self-doubt. Weaver tells her it’s part of the writing process but Carrie wishes it wasn’t him who had to do it. She wants him to be the person who makes her feel safe. Weaver assures her that she can’t be comfortable and good at writing if she plans on writing about things that really matter. Ouch. Carrie realizes that Weaver makes her feel uncomfortable in her own skin.
Meanwhile, Maggie once again shows up at Sebastian’s house determined to forget all about her problems. They drink even though she knows she’s pregnant, and she tells him that they’re both lonely people who somehow always end up together. “Maybe it’s us against the world,” he says. “I like the sound of us,” Maggie replies, making it perfectly clear that she’s attracted to him. They kiss but Sebastian puts an end to things and questions what is happening with her. Maggie tells him that she’s pregnant and that Simon wants nothing to do with her or the baby. Sebastian asks her to spend the night and worry about things the next day.
In the city, dominatrix Samantha is ready for some three-way fun with Larissa and Harlan but the man in question is nowhere in sight. He calls Larissa to tell her that he’s stuck in traffic. Samantha says it’s probably a good thing because Larissa wouldn’t have been able to handle her. Larissa takes this as a challenge and in between insults they start making out. When Samantha questions whether Harlan will mind them having sex without him, Larissa pulls out a video camera so he’ll have a memento of the whole thing.
Somewhere in the ghetto, Walt decides to join Bennett for dinner at his new place but is really nervous about running into trouble. He’s holding a can of pepper spray in front of him so he can defend himself from any possible attacks but it backfires on him when he hears a gun shot. He accidentally sprays it on his face and even though it looks painful, it’s pretty funny. Bennett finds out how scared Walt is of his neighborhood and tells him they’ll figure out a way to see each other without him having to come back. Walt tells him it’s fine because he feels safe with him. They declare their love for each other and it’s the sweetest thing ever.
We get back to Carrie and Weaver, who are seated on the doorsteps of his Manhattan apartment. She returns his coat and tells him that she’d rather be cold than be in something that doesn’t feel right. Weaver realizes that Carrie doesn’t want to in a relationship with him anymore. She tells him she doesn’t want things to be uncomfortable and doesn’t think that being unsafe is part of being in a good relationship. Weaver brings up the fact that Carrie’s been comparing their relationship with what she had with Sebastian. Turns out he ended up reading a bit more of her journal than he initially led on. He knows that Carrie doesn’t think their relationship is better.
Later, Carrie goes back home and Tom advices her not to throw all her clothes away because she might regret it. He tells her that it’s not a bad thing to keep some things from her past. Carrie puts on Sebastian’s jacket and decides to go to his house to return it. When she shows up at his house she sees Maggie sleeping on the couch through the window and decides not to knock. She takes off the jacket and leaves it on Sebastian’s doorstep. He comes out just in time to see her drive away.
The next morning, Mouse comes over to the Bradshaw residence and talks to Carrie about Sebastian and Maggie. Carrie says her heart is broken once again but she doesn’t regret taking a leap at Sebastian and she definitely doesn’t regret breaking up with Weaver. Mouse then realizes that she was wrong about not having a safety school and decides to apply to NYU. Meanwhile, Sebastian has a talk with Maggie and tells her that he’s going to help her figure things out. When she asks why he’s doing it, he says it’s because they’re friends and they care about each other. Maggie thinks it will hurt his chances of getting Carrie back but Sebastian doesn’t think it will matter. And in the city, Walt and Bennett are returning to his apartment after a bagel run when they realize they won’t be able to finish all of them by themselves. Walt gives one to a homeless guy but he promptly throws it back because he doesn’t like cream cheese. Cue laughter.
Back at home, Carrie knows that taking risks is just part of living. She can’t always do the safe things because that doesn’t give her a chance to experience new things and learn from them. We see that she got a B+ on her essay and is happy that she went with her gut. She tosses out her birth control and the episode ends with her saying that she doesn’t know enough about the city or about sex to ever write about them again.
So, what did you guys think of “The Safety Dance?” If the internet is to be believed, Maggie is the most hated character on the show after this episode and I totally get it. The girl is going through some really bad times but her way of handling things just makes things worse. I was bummed that Weaver’s character turned out to be essentially another Berger but I had a feeling the relationship wasn’t going to have a long run. However, I’m glad it as Carrie who made the decision to end it. I wonder how long it will take for her to get back with Sebastian. Leave us a comment below and share your reactions to this week’s episode.
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