Are we forever haunted by the spirits of relationships past?
It's bad enough that Miranda pays $7.50 for coffee and a muffin first thing in the morning. It's even nastier when her ex Steve shows up out of nowhere, startles her and she burns her tongue on the boiling, over-priced swill. He asks her what's new and she says nothing, boring. Steve guesses that she didn't get the invitation yet. Gulp. What's the first thing you think? The "W" word right? Nope, he's opening his own bar and she's invited. Miranda is amazed and of course she'll come. Steve's girlfriend Jessica joins him out on the sidewalk. She says, "We'd LOVE you to come."
Carrie's still sleeping when Miranda calls and wakes her up with a crisis. Steve's girlfriend "We'd" her. She doesn't think she's go to the opening. Especially since it was her idea in the first place. Back when they were together, Miranda did everything possible to inspire Steve up off his ass. She trained him and somebody else gets the prize. Maybe, Carrie suggests, Miranda inspired him and he named the bar after her. Ah, no. He named it after his dog, Scout. No way is Miranda going to this thing. But she and Steve are friends, right? That's what friends do. Really? Miranda wants Carrie to go with her. Absolutely, that's what friends are for.
Coffee shop time and Carrie slams the invite down on the table. Forget it, not going. Guess who's co-owner of Steve's bar? Aidan Shaw. He's the silent partner. No way in hell is Carrie going. She can't figure out why Steve and Aidan are even friends. Charlotte thinks she should go, Aidan wouldn't have invited her if he didn't want to be friends. Nope, still not going. Samantha agrees to go with Miranda who's more than happy to spend a night out with her good friend and her lesbian lover. Samantha doesn't want to invite Maria. She needs a night out without the "old ball and chain." All they ever do is lie around, take baths together and talk about feelings. That's Charlotte's definition of a relationship. Samantha doesn't get how "you people" can do that. All the "emotional chow-chow" is exhausting. Miranda just hates that too. Carrie rolls her eyes and sneers, "women."
Samantha convinces Maria to got out to a bar for a change. As they walk in, Maria doesn't understand why she wants to be out in this crowd with all this smoke when they could be home relaxing together. The minute they sit down, the bartender recognizes Samantha and buys them their first round. They turn around and BOOM there's a guy named Sean Sullivan oozing lust all over Samantha. He wants to know what she's doing next Saturday. Maria gets territorial and tells him that they already have plans. Sean leans over and asks for a "late-run" instead. He says he'll call her and leaves. Maria wants to know what this late-run is. Samantha says that it doesn't translate. Nice save.
Samantha already has plans (Steve and Aidan's bar opening) next Saturday with the girls. But Maria's a girl, why can't she go too? Oh, because she doesn't like being out and BOOM the bartender is back with the Mohitas and tells Samantha that he gets off at four. Maria is not having a good time.
Charlotte is at a department store waiting for Trey. They're shopping for a new bed. BOOM Trey's mother Bunny (ack) is there too. As soon as Trey told her that they were bed shopping she was so excited to help. She likes firm mattresses and dust ruffles so that's what they are going to sleep on thank you very much. Besides, it's unsightly not to have a dust ruffle. Harumph. (The damn bow that lives n Bunny's hair drives me up a wall.) Bunny lays down on her ideal bed when Trey shows up. She wants Trey to join him and he does. Trey wants Charlotte to get in the bed with them but she's more interested in the bed over there. Bunny snaps at her and Charlotte obeys for like a second. It's just too weird.
I'm hoping this next bit serves some purpose in the future. Charlotte thinks she hears a ghost above her apartment. She has the super check upstairs but nobody lives there. Charlotte and Samantha agree that you're supposed to confront the ghost, acknowledge it's presence and then ask it to leave. Everybody knows that. I guess it matches the title and it's a vehicle for Carrie to come over and comfort her in the middle of the night. Stay tuned.
Wow, Samantha wasn't kidding. She and Maria are in the tub surrounded by candles. While she washes Samantha's back, Maria wants to know why she didn't introduce her to that Sean or the bartender man. Oh they were just nobodies, guys that Samantha used to fuck. Since Samantha's with a somebody now, why doesn't she tell all these nobodies about it? Samantha says, "Well what am I supposed to say, 'hi this is my lesbian lover and p.s. I'm done with dick?'" Maria never said anything about dick, she was talking about their relationship. Samantha pulls a popeye when she says, "of course you were." This prompts Maria to go into full baby-talk mode (ACK!) and asks Samantha if she misses the dick, is that what this is all about? Samantha is visibly puked as was I. Maria assures her that it's okay but they should talk about this. With the best fake smile she can muster, Samantha let's "oh great, more talking" fall out of her mouth. Maria goes offense and wants to know how many men Samantha's been with. Nah-ah, how about how many women Maria's been with? Twelve. Erp. Has Samantha been with more than twelve men? I think we established the triple-digit factor two seasons ago but Samantha refuses to answer the question. Maria accuses Samantha of always pulling away. Oh contraire, Samantha's trying to get closer and tries to kiss her. Maria pushes her off, not like that, not with sex. She can't just turn it on and off, she's not a man. Straw breaks back time. Samantha is damn clean enough and launches out of the bathtub. Ya know what? Samantha's not a man either. It's not a gender thing, it's a computability thing.
After watching this scene I thought, "Oh my GOD! Do women do that? Have I done that!?" Hold please. The writer's brain is experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by. Nasty mirror.
At home with Trey, Charlotte realizes that Bunny decorated the entire apartment. Wooden Mallard ducks, dust ruffles, plaid, muted greens, PANELING. The entire place looks a bunch of over-cooked broccoli. Trey confirms it. His mother does all their houses. If they're really serious about starting over, Charlotte feels that their house should reflect their tastes, not Bunny's. Trey admits that he clearly has none. Well then, Charlotte's will have to do for both of them. But his mother spent a lot of time and money on this place. Maybe Charlotte should have a talk with her, she is his wife after all. No no no no, Trey will talk to her tomorrow when she comes over for brunch, it might go easier that way.
Next morning, Bunny arrives to find Trey laid up in bed with a cold and sore throat. She imposes on them by telling Charlotte to call her house and have her overnight bag brought 'round. She's staying the night to take care of her boy. Then Bunny notices one of the Mallards on the night stand. She hands it to Charlotte who's holding the dreaded dust ruffle that Bunny planted in her arms upon arrival. That duck lives in the study silly girl. Charlotte squeaks, "Yes Bunny" and slumps away.
Since Carrie isn't going to the bar opening, she makes a friendly gesture of showing up during the day with a gift. A Mulberry bush with a bow on it, the street that the bar is on. Aidan was brave enough to invite her, it's the least she could do. The entire bar exudes Aidan. Rich, warm, touchable wood. Steve comes out of the back to say hi. He wants to know if Miranda is with her. Carrie explains that she can't make it on Saturday night and that's why she's here now with the plant. To thank Aidan for inviting her. In the nicest way possible, Steve tells her that he invited her, not Aidan. He thought it would be more comfortable for Miranda if she was there too. Carrie is floored. Then Aidan calls out for Steve from the back room. Carrie shoves the plant at Steve and runs like hell.
As previously mentioned, Carrie heads over to Miranda's, pajama party style, to help her deal with the ghost upstairs.
Charlotte wakes up in the middle of the night to find Bunny massaging Vicks into Trey's gorgeous chest, while SHE'S in bed with him! I bet this bitch never knocked on a door in her life. Charlotte tries to take control but Bunny is abusive. She tells Charlotte that she doesn't know how to rub Vicks into her husband's chest. Charlotte counters that she's being very inappropriate. Dodge, parry, ha-ha! Bunny sticks her nose in the air, covers her son back up and walks out of the room. Charlotte goes after her. There can be only one lady of the house and she's it. Not according to Bunny, she's been here longer and she's gonna be here forever so deal.
Samantha and Maria are awakened by pounding on the door. It's that guy Sean from the bar. Translation: late-run. Samantha tries to close the door but he got hard just walking up the stairs, he's not giving up that easy. Flick, the lights behind Samantha come on. Does she have another guy in here? Maria makes her presence known and drops her girlfriend title. I was waiting for her to piss around the perimeter of the room. Sean congratulates Samantha and asks if maybe he can come in and they can make him a sandwich. Harf, snicker, snicker. Maria doesn't like that remark too much. Samantha finally closes the door on him when he continues to knock. Maria screams, "YOU GET AWAY FROM THE DOOR MOTHERFUCKER OR I'LL CALL THE COPS" and she loses it. Samantha's past is everywhere. On the answering machine, at the bar, at the door in the middle of the night. She can't get over Samantha letting a guy come over just for sex. Samantha reminds her that she used to have sex with men and a lot it before she got into this relationship. Maria asks, "You call this a relationship?" Samantha replies, "Well it's tedious and the sex is dwindling so from what I've heard, yes." Maria wants to know what she's really trying to say. NOTHING! The talking in the relationship has replaced the fucking in their fucking relationship! Samantha doesn't want talk she wants passion, she wants fireworks! I've never seen Samantha so angry but that ain't shit compared to Maria's anger level. She wants fireworks, she's got 'em. Maria smashes a plate and when it hits the floor yells, "BOOOOOM!" She breaks three more and by now Samantha is hiding in her curtains, whatever the hell that's gonna do. Maria grabs a salad plate and asks, "You want a little firework," smashes it on the floor and goes, "ping." Samantha hides in the corner clutching the curtains to her heart.
Back at Miranda's, Carrie's annoyed that she didn't leave a card with the Mulberry bush. Now Aidan won't know what it meant. She "plant-bombed" him. Miranda's trying to be happy for Steve. He has his own life, bar and Jessica and she's still here. Same apartment, same job, same life. I don't get it. Miranda is in a place that most of us never see and what, because by holding herself up to Steve's new direction in life, lack of movement makes her a failure by comparison? What is that? Carrie tries to cheer her up with the fact that she has a ghost and Steve doesn't. Miranda remembers that Carrie has two. Yeah at least Big is a friendly ghost. She fears that how she hurt Aidan will haunt her forever and there's nothing she can do about it. Sure there is, come to the party with Miranda. She can't, she wasn't invited. Miranda disagrees because Steve's a good guy. He wouldn't have invited her if it wasn't okay with Aidan. Then they have the "do you still have feelings for him" talk. Miranda says no for Steve. Carrie doesn't know concerning Aidan.
Carrie goes home and cleans the clutter off of the chair she bought from Aidan. Mmmmmm, you can feel it when she sinks into that rich, Aidenesque leather and thick, dark, polished wood. It's so hopelessly indulgent, but I know just how she feels.
Next day, Trey and his penis are aaaaaall better. They're having some delicious morning sex when Bunny the anti-knocker barges into the room with some home made muffins. They freeze and Bunny stutters. FINALLY she manages to get the hell out, stuttering to herself with every step. Was it the fact that they were doing it on a bed without a dust ruffle or their "sexercism?" As a result, formal invitations and knocking are now a part of Mommy Dearest's repertoire.
Downtown, Samantha finds an apologetic Maria bearing gifts on the other side of her door. It better be dishes. They haven't spoken in two days. Maria bought her a strap-on. Samantha decides to give it the ole college try despite the fact that she knows she can't do the relationship thing.
That night, Miranda and Samantha manage to drag Carrie's ass to the opening of Scout. Carrie orders them to start looking for Aidan when she notices Samantha moving kinda strange. She threw her back out fucking Maria with a strap on. She had no idea men had to work so hard. Miranda wants to know how the whole strap-on thing works but Carrie tells them to stop, she can't handle the strap-on conversation right now. Brat. Miranda tries one more time to find out when Carrie snarls, "hey, what did I say?" Triple-dog brat. Samantha tells her that it doesn't work, they broke up. Maria thinks that Samantha has intimacy issues and didn't she tell her from the start that she wasn't a relationship person? Her friends reassure her that off course she did.
Just then, the hairs on the back of Carrie's neck stand up. Slowly she turns, the crowd parts and a shinier, healthier, short-haired Aidan appears in the distance. They lock eyes and Carrie mouths the word hi. Aidan drops his head down with a seemingly forced smile and the crowd makes him disappear again. Ouch. Carrie doesn't know what that was. Miranda and Samantha don't even know who that was. Samantha wonders if it's because he looks better or she's been with a woman too long. Carrie wants to curl up and die, outta here, go home. Miranda won't let her. She's gonna buy them a drinky.
Samantha and Carrie leave Miranda to say hello to Steve. He's so glad that she came and wants to know what she thinks. She tells him that he did good. He confesses that he couldn't have done it without her. Miranda disagrees. Steve acknowledges that it was her idea in the first place. He never thought he had it in him until she came along. So Carrie was right, Miranda inspired him. She looks deep into his eyes and sincerely reiterates, "you did good." Steve takes her off to get drunk.
An hour later, Carrie steps outside to enjoy a slice of cake in peace. She closes the door to find Aidan sitting on a fence behind it, smoking a cigar. She's nothing but innuendo and contrivance. He's nothing but innuendo and scar-tissue. I'm not saying that I could or would have handled it any better but it's the moments when you're real that healing and magic are possible. The opportunity is here but all she can do is play the sex kitten which I found so disappointing. She pulverized this man yet still feels the need play the retreating/come and get me, passive aggressive game. Aidan is very well guarded but the hole in his heart deceives him and no matter how frosty he stays, it's all over his face. Steve breaks it up when he comes out to get Aidan for the toast. Aidan's can hardly speak and as he leaves, tells her that it was good to see her.
The door shuts and Carrie's alone on the sidewalk. She slowly starts to disintegrate into a big puddle of need and regret.
Patty Opinion: She called after the previews.
Samantha: Well what am I supposed to say, "Hi this is my lesbian lover and p.s. I'm done with dick?"
Charlotte referring to Bunny's decorating: It's like we live in the museum of natural ugliness!"
Maria: You call this a relationship?
Samantha: Well it's tedious and the sex is dwindling so from what I've heard, yes.
Samantha: Would it be bad to have a martini with my muscle relaxant or bad in a good way?"