'The Carrie Diaries' recap: Sex and the suburbs

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"The Carrie Diaries" -- "Dangerous Territory"
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Let's get straight to the most awesome thing in the episode, which obviously is Walt and Mouse watching an instructional sex video together. See, Mouse and Seth haven't had sex since getting back together, so Mouse is freaking out about it, and Maggie bragged about how great Walt is in bed -- which, henh? Is he…thinking about Jack Wagner or something? -- so Mouse asks Walt for advice, because her parents are going out of town and she wants to blow Seth's mind.

After a hilarious convo in which Walt counsels her to, er, approach Seth's equipment like she's swinging a golf club ("loose, but with control") and Mouse reveals that she, um, grips the club so hard she gets blisters, Walt invites her over to watch the sex video HE watched when sex with Maggie wasn't going so well. Right. Because lack of experience was totally the problem there, and not that she's, you know, a she.


The tape (which Walt watches for the dozenth time while eating popcorn, hee) does the job, possibly because Mouse took notes -- with a three-color pen, no less. (Later, we see the "Student of the Year" plaque over her bed. Heh.) Alas, the chuckles that come from Mouse having to remove her clarinet from under the covers segues into a silly PSA about double standards and whether it's cool that Seth had sex with other girls while they were broken up, but not cool that Mouse slept with other dudes. (She didn't, but she doesn't want to confess to watching the tape, so she claims she Did It with Walt.) Seth almost fights Walt in the diner, Walt and Mouse are both mortified by the tape revelation, but everything turns out fine.

Second most awesome moment: Maggie getting into a physical showdown over "their" booth at the diner when Donna LaDonna and the Jens stake out the diner as their new turf. (And smugly order salads, with the dressing on the side. It's a diner, ladies.) (Donna does admit to a weakness for their grilled cheese, though, so she's not all bad.) (Provided she gets it with tomato.) Donna has also staked out Sebastian as her turf, and despite Maggie's warning that she has two brothers and isn't "afraid to bite," Donna won't back down. Finally, Maggie has to inform Sebastian that the diner is Carrie's "safe place," so if he could just…not with Donna, that would be great. Sebastian isn't an asshat, so he tells Donna that he likes her in spite of her being a bitch, not in spite of it, so knock it off. Donna notes that nobody's ever called her a bitch before. Sebastian's eyebrow: "Um?" "Not to my face," she adds. Snerk. We like Sebastian more and more.

What does Twitter think of him?



We also like Barbara, even though she's sometimes rude to Carrie, and she's pretty rad in "Dangerous Territory," helping Carrie shop for the right dress for a socialite party. The socialite's son, George, has invited Carrie to a jewel-themed party; Barbara, impressed that Carrie isn't the airhead she expected but knowing that the socialite, Kick Silver, kind of is, gives Carrie the lay of the land.

Pun not intended, by the way, although she and George have a meet-cute at the office. It turns out they've met before, as kids, and that the pretentious and controlling Kick and her ex-husband (Dad Bradshaw's sleazoid friend from a few episodes ago) used to hang out with the Bradshaws. Kick changes from dismissive to warm in a heartbeat when she finds out Carrie is Grace's daughter, but before that happens, Carrie has to contend with feeling suburban and out of place at the "soiree"; having to explain to rich kids who have drivers what the DMV is; and not knowing either Basquiat or what "couture" means. (We have to throw a flag on both those plays. She reads "Interview"; that mag was published by Andy Warhol, who worked with Jean-Michel Basquiat and featured him constantly in the mag, and the book also had constant fashion coverage. No way does she not know what haute couture is.)

But George sticks up for her, going after her when she overhears Kick tearing her down and leaves the party -- and Kick gives us some origin story when she pins a flower in Carrie's coat lapel and says her mother always used to wear one. (Remember those dreadful huge posies Carrie wore constantly on "Sex and the City"?) It looks hopeful for Carrie in the moving-on department, even though she still misses Sebastian and she'd rather not play games with pretending to have a new guy, as Maggie advises. Just do what she says, Carrie. She bites, remember?

Carrie has already almost run over Sebastian and Donna. During her driver's test, she's trying to parallel park when she spots them frenching in the rearview and runs up on the curb. The conversation that ensues is why we like this show: it feels genuine, and nobody acts like an idiot. Sebastian apologizes that she found out this way, and Carrie babbles a little, but manages to joke that it looks like it's going well. The fact that they're kind to each other isn't the way most shows would play their relationship; it's neat.


It's less neat that we spent the C plot on Dad losing his wedding ring at the gym, getting so distracted by it that he backs into a pedestrian at the train station, and has a meet-cute with her when he drives her to her mom's house in town, especially since Dorrit is AWOL in the episode, but you can't have everything.

And we end on Carrie passing her driver's test on the second try, then teaching George to drive.

Next time: Turkey on fire!

Totally awesome '80s


References to Basquiat and Pat Buckley in one sentence.

Kick complains at one point that a debate is getting hostile between two of the guests about whether caviar should still be imported. A nicely subtle reference to the Cold War that seemed to dominate everything back then.

Anachronisms


One overprivileged teen refers to summering "in Ibiza," which we don't think was a thing back then.

In the Century 21 dressing room, Carrie's wearing platforms.

And here's a listing of the tunes from tonight's show:
Melanie, "Love To Lose Again"
Men At Work, "Overkill"
Violent Femmes, "Gone Daddy Gone"

Austin "Sebastian" Butler talks to "Access Hollywood" about his character:


"The Carrie Diaries" airs Mondays at 8 PM on The CW.
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