What really defines a relationship?
Surprise, surprise. Big and Carrie are out and having a good old time at Monkey Bar. There's a flirtatiousness to their encounter, almost as if they never dated before. He does a magic trick with a cigarette and Carrie's impressed. "The ladies enjoy a slight of hand," he brags. I dunno, I like Big I really do, but sometimes he's too damn snakey. It doesn't seem to bother Carrie at all.
Charlotte and Trey attend Winky and Bob's cocktail party (feh) and all Trey (more surprises) can talk about is how nice Charlotte's ass looks in her dress. She heads to the bedroom to get their coats so they can go home where her "ass will be damn fine there too," when Trey follows her in. He wants her right there, right now and they go off on top of a pile of coats.
Big drops Carrie off at her place and wants to walk her up. His eyebrows are full of innuendo, he really wants to come up. She's having no part of it. So Big lets her know that she's the boss and that he's always available for what his fluctuating eyebrows symbolize.
At our favorite coffee shop in the morning, Charlotte asks the gang if they've ever done it in a restaurant bathroom. They all have. Okay, how about a coat room? All but Miranda, she's out. Carrie wonders if these are hypothetical questions. Nope, joy of joys, Trey's living up to his looks. But they thought he couldn't... well apparently he can. All over Manhattan. The girls are happy for Charlotte except for Charlotte. They're supposed to be getting to know each other all over again, not fucking up against hair dryers. She wants to define the relationship because now it's all blurry. Samantha wants her to shut up and enjoy it, why define anything? Because they're defined by marriage. Charlotte has had enough for today and asks what Carrie did this weekend. She spills it that she was out with Big. The girls are worried. Charlotte asks if they really are friends. Miranda doesn't like it at all and thinks Carrie should define her Big deal. Carrie remembers that Charlotte didn't have to define her relationship and Miranda reminds her that Charlotte married the guy. Big and Carrie are undefinable and just hanging out. No pressure and having fun. Samantha warns her to have fun but don't have amnesia. Charlotte asks if she's even thinking about sleeping with him. Definitive no.
Miranda has some damn fine sex with Doug, a cartoonist who she's been dating for a month. That night, she lets him stay over for the first time. While brushing her teeth, he comes into the bathroom and takes a leak. This is a first time experience for Miranda and when the girls meet up at Charlotte's gallery it's all she can talk about. The gallery show is a new one by Maria Diega Reyes from Brazil. (Played to the hilt by Sonia Braga. You might remember her as three characters in Kiss of the Spider Woman.) Miranda can't get over how Doug just whipped it out and started to pee. Charlotte feels that that behavior is reserved for boyfriends only. Miranda begs to differ. It's never okay to do that. Shut the door, do your business and get out. Carrie chuckles, "Oh this is perfect, Ms. Boundaries has found Mr. No Boundaries."
Maria the artist spies Samantha viewing one of her paintings and introduces herself. Samantha is miffed because everything she wanted to buy has already been sold. Maria assures her there are plenty more where they came from back at her loft. Samantha changes the subject and wants to know where all the hot guys are. Before Maria can answer, her ex-girlfriend stops by to congratulate her on her show. After she leaves, Maria explains that that was her ex. Oh and by the by, as far as the hot guys go, no hot guys. Samantha thinks that's just great for Maria but what's in it for her?
The next night, Big takes Carrie to a hot jazz club in the East Village. Big is tipsy and suddenly not so hot compared to the bass player (Played by Craig Bierko who starred in "The Thirteenth Floor.") that Carrie's lusting over. Big asks her if she wants another drink and when his back is turned, the bass player slips her a note. It reads, "is that your boyfriend?" She sheepishly shakes her head no. Later on at the bar, the bass player passes by them. Big compliments him and tries to buy him a drink. He declines since he owns the club. Carrie compliments him as well and he introduces himself to her as Ray King. Here comes that trick of the show to never find out Big's real name. After Carrie introduces herself and Big notices that she's flirting with him, she apologizes and starts to introduce them. It goes like this: "Oh sorry, this is..." Ray cuts her off by looking at Big and says, "hey, you're running low," and tells the bartender to get him another Glenlivet. Dammit! I know that I should be used to this by now, it's a congenital plot point of the show but I really really wanna know what the fuck his name is already!
Ray owns two clubs and Carrie's suddenly a tiny bit uncomfortable. She says that she's gonna go. Ray wants to know if she's headed uptown. Yes. Oh wow, so's he surprise surprise. He's gonna go call a cab when Big announces that he'll get his car. At this time of night? Cabs are lined up outside. So, face pointing at Ray, Carrie agrees that they'll take a cab. Big's all smiles and he's taking the cab with them. Gulp. How does he do that? I feel that Carrie was a total bitch here. A lot of people disagree with me. I know that she and Big are not together anymore but she IS out with him. Friend or no friend, get the guy's number, finish the night with who you came out with and call the new guy later. Can you imagine what Carrie would do if the roles were reversed? Shit, she'd whine about it for at least two episodes.
What a creepy cab ride. Carrie's the cream between the cookies. Big remarks how bullshit cabs are which somehow prompts Ray to ask Carrie for her number. The look on Big's face is priceless. Total shock. But what's he gonna do? I'll tell you what he's gonna do. He's gonna give her a pen when she can't find one in her bag and say ever so whimsically, "no problem" when she jerkily thanks him. Bwahahahaha. Then when she stalls from not remembering the last four digits of her phone number, he does that for her too. Teehee. The cab pulls up in front of her place, Ray gets out so she can and they say goodbye. As she closes the door and the cab drives off, Carrie is startled to find Big standing there with her. What is he doing? Ray's gonna think that they're together! Big says, "What you like the porkpie hat?" which sends Carrie up on the sidewalk. Big also comments on his bad breath that Carrie denies noticing. Enough already, she wants to define this thing. What are they? Big says friends. What kinda friends? Friends who like jazz, eat pizza and do the eyebrow dance every once in awhile. Oh nah-nah-no and with that, they go their separate ways. Big has an interesting sense of humor about it all. He walks down the street doing a comic-book jazz imitation and then laughs his ass off. Hmmm.
After Carrie gets out of the shower, her phone rings and slinky jazz melts out over the phone. Ray's calling her for a date next Saturday night. But before he can ask, the call waiting kicks in. Guess who? Big guesses that she can't talk because "porkpie" is on the other line and he's right. Carrie hangs up on him. Ray asks her not to bring the angry guy on their date. She says yes and hangs up. Before she can blink, it rings again. Guess who? Big wants to know what she sees in that guy. She says, "he knows when to say goodbye" and hangs up. Hot damn, you've come a long way baby.
The next morning, Miranda plays with the idea of letting down her guard by leaving the bathroom door open while she pees. Doug marches right in on her to grab some toilet paper, ask for bagels, blow his nose and walk out. Miranda doesn't like it but tries deal anyway until he inquires from the kitchen about coffee filters. She screams to him where they are and slams the door shut. Bad idea.
Samantha stops by Maria's apartment to buy a painting but Maria has her making a painting. It's a Brazilian thing. In the kitchen, Samantha starts to wash the paint off her hands when Maria helps her by sensually caressing her hands. Samantha wants to know if they need to talk about this and they do. She's done the girl thing once or twice usually involving a guy and a couple qualuudes and it was nice but Samantha's not a relationship person. But Samantha thinks that Maria is really something so can't they be friends? Only if Samantha buys a lot of Maria's art. Mmm, hmm.
The girls are out shopping when Carrie notices a hickey on Charlotte's neck. She and Trey made out in the movies AND she gave him a blowjob. Once she stopped trying to define everything, their troubles evaporated. Samantha congratulates her on the new health of her relationship. Charlotte realizes that if Samantha defines it as healthy, she has one sick relationship and is suddenly not so proud of her hickey.
The next day, Trey mauls Charlotte in a cab when they're only five blocks from his apartment. She stops him and screams when she asks what's wrong with them? What, if they go to their own bed he'll have the same problems as before? Trey gets all snooty and demands that she not discuss this in front of the driver. Sheesh. He was ready to have sex in front of the driver which sends Charlotte storming out of the cab. When she gets home, Trey calls and offers up a trade, he'll do it in the bed if she maybe does it in the cab one day. Alrighty then.
Next morning, Miranda is making coffee when we are assaulted by some vicious ass sounds. The idiot Doug leaves the bathroom door open as he shits up a storm, launching her cat dumb quick outta the bathroom. Miranda stomps to the door, slams it shut and dumps him.
Tao, the latest and greatest new restaurant opens tonight and that's exactly where Ray and Carrie are going on their first official date. This place is beautiful and exotic. There's a huge Buddha statue in the middle of the room and between the music, atmosphere and lighting it's a sultry, dream that screams foreplay. As Carrie and Ray walk in, guess who else is there on a date? Big and a girl named Shaw(?), the "y" is silent. Anyone figure this out yet or are we not supposed to? Big throws a "man" into the end of his greeting to Ray when Samantha runs up to announce to Carrie that their table is ready. Shaw says "great" and follows them in. Big rolls his eyes at Carrie. Egads.
There they are, Carrie, the Jazz Guy, Big, The Model, The Lesbian and her friend Samantha. Carrie quietly comments on Big's date's name and he replies by saying that she's a supermodel. Carrie says, "super for you," and guzzles down her wine. She then asks if there's any more wine in the bottle. Ray and (MAJOR faux pas) Big reach for it. Big gets there first and pours Carrie a glass. Carrie, Samantha and Ray notice it. He says he'll be back and Ray leaves the table. Big does his cheesy jazz imitation. Carrie heads out to find Ray sitting at the bar with an appetizer. The atmosphere is saturating. Ray hopes she doesn't mind if he camps out at the bar for awhile, that table is bad. Carrie imitates Big by saying, "yeah man."
Back at the table, I think Big is tipsy again which means he's getting belligerent, again. Shaw excuses herself to go to the bathroom. I'm gonna give you this verbatim. Samantha says, "So, just to, you know, get things straight, you and Carrie are just friends now right? You're available?" With a very sexy nod, Big replies, "Yes Maam." Samantha asks, "So if you're just friends, what exactly do you think you're doing? Because that girl might come off like she's all strong and over it but she's fragile and she's my best friend. So I suggest you back off." Big says, "Can't we all just get along?" Samantha excuses herself without another word. The look on his face is confusing. It looks like Samantha actually got through but at the same time, like his ego is pissed off. With a glare made specially for Big, Maria gets up from the table and follows Samantha into the fire engine read bathroom lobby. It's interesting watching Big all alone at the table. Does he even realize that he pushed every single person that was sitting there away? At this moment, he's not such hot shit anymore.
Samantha is visibly upset by her brave confrontation. Maria finds her and asks if she's alright. Samantha apologizes and reassures Maria that she's fine. It's just that that guy is not good for her friend Carrie. Maria decides that she's gonna go. Samantha promises that they'll get another table. That's not it. Maria lied. She can't just be Samantha's friend. What she saw Samantha do back there was magnificent. She sees where this is going and Samantha doesn't do relationships and it would be really bad for Maria. No they can't even be friends. Maria tells Samantha that she's going into the bathroom and that Samantha should go back to the table. Then she tells Samantha that she's really something. Sonia Braga should get an award for this scene. The way she says it and the way her face looks is beyond real. I don't care if you're Gay or Straight, at that moment, you feel her bittersweet pain. Apparently so did Samantha. It doesn't take long for her to decide that it's time for a relationship. She follows Maria in, slams her up against a wall and plants a face crushing kiss on her.
In the other bathroom, Carrie walks in on a few lines of coke going up Shaw's perfect nose. Carrie tries to duck out but Shaw invites her in and offers her some. Carrie declines and Shaw sits down to pee. As she pulls some lingering coke off of her nose and rubs it into her teeth, she tells Carrie that Big talks about her. Then she asks if they used to date or something. Something like that. Carrie excuses herself and Shaw waves goodbye who I thought was a truly sweet and nice person.
Carrie bumps into Big in the hallway and he's got his coat on. He says that they're gonna go. Carrie tries to keep it light by joking that she and Ray were gonna go first. Big doesn't even grin. Looks like Samantha hit him in the right place. Carrie is confused.
Ray walks her home and compares the sounds of the city to jazz riffs. Carrie tries to chime in but her lack of jazz experience shows enough for him to nail her on it. I like them together. He scats to her what he thinks she sounds like and a brilliant kiss ensues. So to answer her question, what ultimately defines a relationship, is another relationship.
I don't know how I feel about that. My first reaction is, bullshit. Each and every one them no matter how serious or casual should stand on their own. But it does seems like we do a lot of comparing. Whenever you're in a new thing and you look back on an old thing you always seems to think, "Oh that thing was shit. I thought I was in love, but that wasn't love. I didn't know anything. Now I'm REALLY in love." How can we possibly compare them when each person we meet is so different? The only common thread is ourselves, so as usual, it's mirror time.
Patty Opinion: She didn't call.