Recap: Carrie voice-overs - while simultaneously tapping out the words on her computer - that her friend Miranda is currently doinking a dork named Thomas John Anderson, an up and coming playwright. (I wonder how Carrie's friends and their fuck buddies feel about their sexual exploits being exploited every week in Carrie's shittastic column.) The camera pans over to Thomas John's bedroom, where he and Miranda are going at it. We get a close-up of his face as he moans, "Oh God! Oh God!" and after he climaxes, Miranda purrs, "That was wonderful." Thomas John springs out of bed and runs into the bathroom and showers, which apparently he does every time they have sex. And just in case we needed proof of his post-doink routine, we get footage of various other times he's doinked Miranda and then rushed into the bathroom to hose off his genitals. One day, Miranda decided to confront him about it and asks, "What's with the showers? I feel like it's me." Thomas John assures her it isn't her, then explains that he grew up Catholic and the nuns told him that having sex was a sin...and so he's chosen to remain an emotionally stunted schoolboy and insists on cleansing himself every time he has sex. Miranda comes to the alarming realization that she's dating Catholic Guy.
As Miranda and Carrie stroll along a Manhattan street, Miranda says she never would have gone out with Thomas John if she knew he was Catholic. She says he's rational and logical in every respect - except for the showering after sex thing.
Back in her apartment, Carrie taps on her computer: Is religion the relationship of the 90s? As she ponders this previously unexplored [on Sex and the City] territory, she gets up early one Sunday, puts on a sweat suit and sneakers, and strolls over to a nearby church to view religious people in their natural habitat. She's impressed that everyone seems to be decked out in designer wear (it is the Upper East Side, so duh) and rhetorically asks, "What is it about God and fashion that goes so well together?" She's startled when she spots Mr. Big in an Armani suit escorting a woman out of the church and putting her into a cab. As he's doing that, he spots Carrie staring over at him then crosses the street to ask her whassup. She explains that she's doing research on closet Presbyterians for her next column...and by doing research, she means she's standing uselessly on the street and staring over at a group of people leaving church. She tries her best to sound breezy when she asks, "Who's the mystery woman?" and Big tells her she's his mother and that he takes her to church every Sunday. As Carrie lets out a huge sigh of relief, Big invites her to grab a cup of coffee with him, but she declines 'cause she has to finish this week's instalment of her shittastic column before the deadline.
That evening, the gals gather in a bar to gabble about Mr. Big's churchgoing. Miranda says it can't possibly be a good thing that Big takes his mother to church every week, but Charlotte argues that a man who cares about his mother will probably make a wonderful husband. Carrie calls it sweet and says she really really wants to meet Mama Big, and Charlotte nods approvingly and says that getting on the good side of a boyfriend's mother is an important part of "closing the deal". Samantha arrives late and tells the girls she just had a five hour lunch with her new beau, James, and that she's fallen in love with him. The gals are all, "Wha-a?!" so Samantha recounts the love story..
A couple of weeks ago, Samantha was treating herself to a night of live jazz when a handsome lawyer named James came over to her table and told her how beautiful she looked as she swayed to the music. He asked if he could join her, and she said OK, and...blah blah, they ended up closing the jazz bar. After that, they walked and talked for blocks...and when they reached her building, she shook his hand and thanked him - which was shocking 'cause normally when she meets men in bars, she's fucking them in the men's room five minutes later. She and James gush to each other about the wonderful time they had and agree to see each other again. And just like that, Samantha became a convert and jumped head-first into a relationship. She credits her metamorphosis to Charlotte, who's always nattering about the importance of not sleeping with men so quickly. She says she doesn't know where she and James would be if they had hit the sheets, and a shocked Miranda goes, "You haven't had sex yet?" and Samantha gets a dreamy expression on her face and says, "I think he's someone I could actually marry." Charlotte suddenly looks troubled by the humiliation of Samantha beating her to the altar, so she quickly takes matters into her own hands and books an appointment with her psychic to find out exactly when she's getting married. The psychic lays out a bunch of tarot cards and tells her that they reveal a strong, independent woman who will have great success - but no husband. Charlotte gets upset and storms out.
Carrie asks Mr. Big if she can tag along to church with him and his mother, and Big tries his best not to look horrified by the thought and says he didn't think she was the churchgoing type, but rather "the beautiful and intelligent type". (Nice pivot, Big.) Carrie says she's open to all religions, then asks, "How about this Sunday?" Big tells her that church is a private thing that he and his mother do, then pivots again and asks, "But how'd you like to fly to the Caribbean for a vacation?!" Carrie mumbles that she can't afford it, so he promises to pay for it.
Miranda is in bed with Thomas John again...and after he blows his load, she puts her arms around him and coos, "Isn't this nice? Us together?" but Thomas John can't bear to lay atop her while his genitals are unclean and rushes toward the bathroom. Miranda irritably tells him there's nothing sinful about sex, and he shoots her the stink-eye and says, "That's a relief" and jokes that he's miraculously healed now. He sarcastically thanks her for saving his immortal soul, then orders her to get the hell out of his apartment. Haha!
Samantha and James have finally decided to hit the sheets. After they declare their love for each other, Samantha hops onto her bed and orders him to "unzip and get over here" - so James unzips and mounts her. She excitedly says, "OK, I'm ready. Put it in" and James says, "It is in" and starts thrusting his tiny member. Samantha looks confused, then hopeful he was kidding...then finally just stares into space, looking puzzled and dismayed.
The following Sunday, Carrie and Miranda put on fancy clothes, gloves, and stupid looking hats and sneak into Mr. Big's church and seat themselves in the balcony. When Carrie sees Mr. Big arrive and seat himself beside Mama Big, she voice-overs about how "respectful, tall, and proud he looked", which made her fall a little more in love with him. As everyone stands for the first hymn, Carrie accidentally loses her grip on her bible, and it flies off the balcony and lands on the floor with a loud thud. Mr. Big turns around, sees Carrie and Miranda sitting in the balcony, and shoots Carrie an irritable WTF? look.
After the service, Carrie waits for Big and Mama Big near the exit. When they make their way over, Carrie puts on her best suck up face and says, "Good morning. Lovely church" and Big warily introduces her to his mother by saying, "This is my friend, Carrie." Carrie searches Mama Big's face for any flicker of recognition - but there's none. Carrie then tries to get across to the woman that she's the skank her son is currently boning and says, "Carrie Carrie" but Mama Big remains oblivious, pleasantly shakes her hand, and says, "It was lovely meeting you", then ambles off to chat with the pastor. Once she's out of earshot, Carrie glares at Big and mimics, "My friend, Carrie..?" and Big snarks at her for showing up at his church after he asked her not to, then asks, "What are you trying to do? Test me?" Carrie asks him if his mother has ever even heard of her, and Big replies, "My mother doesn't need to meet another girlfriend." Ouch...and haha! Carrie dejectedly stares at the floor and murmurs, "Oh" and Big explains that he needs to do "this thing" on his time-table. Carrie reminds him they've been dating for months, so he says, "We'll get there. Just have faith" then says he needs to get his mother home. Carrie pretends to be all breezy as she says, "Go...it's fine" then despondently stares into space.
Carrie stays behind to mope in a pew, and Miranda returns, sits down beside her and remarks, "You didn't seem fine." Carrie tells her that Mr. Big introduced her to his mom as his friend, and that it was clear she had never heard of her...which can't be a good sign. She scrunches her horsey face in misery and wails, "I can't get inside!"
That evening, Stanford hosts a party at the Limelight (Manhattan's church-turned-nightclub) to celebrate a new fragrance. Apparently, his boyfriend du jour, Allanne, was the perfume bottle designer. Stanford gushes to Carrie about how delighted he is with his new lover, but Carrie doesn't give a rat's ass about her friend's happiness and bellyaches about how Mr. Big refuses to introduce her to his mother. She then complains that she's not looking forward to their Caribbean vacation, and glumly refers to it as "a consolation prize for not really being in his life".
Miranda runs into Skipper at the party...and instead of fleeing like his inner voice is probably begging him to, he tells Miranda that he's been thinking about her ever since they broke up. For some reason, this man really seems to get off on torturing himself. They tell each other they look great, then eye each other appreciatively.
The gals track down Samantha in the ladies room to get the latest dish on her and James. A distraught looking Samantha says that she and James bumped uglies, refers to it as nice...then bursts into tears and runs into one of the stalls. The gals are all, "Wha-a?" and when they press her for the details, she says, "James has a small dick." Carrie assures her that one small dick does not the end of the world make, but Samantha argues, "It's really small." Carrie says that size isn't everything, but Samantha snaps, "It's three inches. Hard" and Carrie involuntarily gasps. Charlotte asks if he's a good kisser, and Samantha growls, "Who the fuck cares? His dick is like a gherkin." She then shakes her head and moans, "Listen to me. I'm a bad person" (bad, wretched, appalling, loathsome, shallow, coldhearted, etc. etc.). As the girls try to cheer her up, she cries harder, then wails about her vagina's strong preference for more generously sized pickles.
Charlotte schedules an appointment with another psychic to find out when she's getting married. The psychic, who has a caged chicken in the room, cracks an egg, solemnly says, "No yolk" and tells Charlotte she's cursed and will never be married. However, if she's willing to shell out an additional $100, she can arrange for the curse to be removed. Charlotte glares at her and storms out.
Back at the Limelight, Miranda asks Skipper if he wants to spend the night at her apartment, and he grins and says, "I knew we'd get back together!" and the two head for the exit. What a dumb sap.
James and a tearful Samantha are going at it in the sack again. James asks her what's wrong, and she fibs and tells him she's crying 'cause she's sooo happy. It's interesting that he doesn't seem to be aware of how teeny tiny his penis is.
Carrie's pacing in her apartment, voice-overing that she stayed up all night, stewing about Big's reluctance to fully integrate her into his life. Big arrives a few seconds later to pick her up for the airport and tells her they're running late and have to leave, like pronto, but Carrie tells him to stop, then says, "I need a sign. I'm losing faith in our relationship." Big's all, "Wha-a?" and asks her if she's expecting to hear a voice from above, so she says, "Just tell me I'm the one." Big shifts around uneasily, unable or unwilling to lie to her face as she stares at him expectantly with her beady little eyes. After a long, awkward silence, she throws in the towel and says, "I can't do this." He urges her to get into the car, but she cries, "I love you - but I can't!" Big stares back at her incredulously and goes, "So that's it?" and Carrie nods and casts her eyes down. Big mulls that over for a few seconds, looks thoroughly relieved (though maybe that's just me, projecting), then climbs into his town car and drives off, leaving Carrie and her luggage on the sidewalk.
Carrie voice-overs that after Mr. Big left, she cried for a week - but then realized she had faith in herself, as well as in the certainty that one day she would meet someone who would be sure she was the one. Who, weirdly enough, ends up being Mr. Big in the series finale. Full circle and all that..