Recap: Carrie latest stupid pronouncement is that the most powerful woman in Manhattan is the hostess at Balzac - a trendy restaurant that overnight became the only restaurant that mattered to people for whom such things actually matter. Samantha is indignant that they've been waiting for a table for forty-five minutes and says, "Doesn't she know who we are?!" and Carrie stares back at her blankly and goes, "Who are we?" so Samantha reminds her that she owns her own PR firm, and that she (Carrie) writes a weekly sex column for a tabloid rag. Samantha storms over to the hostess to complain about the long wait, tells her that she and her friend are "actual somebodies" and that they need to be seated right now. The hostess, who correctly assumes that Samantha and Carrie are just a couple of slutty nobodies, shrugs indifferently...so Samantha storms back over to Carrie and asks her if she has $20 so she can bribe the hostess into seating them. When Carrie shoots her a look of incredulity, Samantha wonders if maybe they should slip her $50. Carrie says she refuses to reward the hostess for her rudeness, and the two finally throw in the towel and decide to eat elsewhere.
Outside, Samantha rails to Carrie that she was that woman ten years ago - but she always wielded her power in a benevolent manner. Somehow I find that hard to believe. She then declares that if the hostess had been a man, they'd be seated right now, enjoying their complimentary drinks.
After being forced to eat lunch in a less trendy restaurant, Carrie heads over to the nearest Dolce & Gabbana boutique to shoe shop. She decides on a pair of fugly, purple feathered heels - but when she tries to pay for them, the salesman informs her that her credit card is maxed out and that he's been ordered by the credit card company to cut it in half. Haha! Before he can adequately shame her for being an irresponsible consumer, a dark haired European woman appears out of nowhere and offers to pay for the shoes. Carrie's like, "OMG! Amalita!" and Amalita is all, "Keddy! You look fantastic!" Carrie pretends like she still has a scrap of pride and tells Amalita she can't possibly let her pay for the fugly shoes...but Amalita insists, cackles, "You can pay me back nevaah!" and points at her boyfriend Carlo, who's browsing a clothing rack across the room, and says the shoes are actually a gift from him. She tells Carrie she's been with him for two months, and that he's fabulously wealthy but has a teeny tiny penis. She gushes to Carrie about how she's like a sister to her - and as the two hug, Carrie stares vapidly into the camera and tells viewers she's only ever hung out with Amalita a few times and says in a weirdly smug tone, "Most people would classify Amalita as Eurotrash. I thought she was fun." After the two finish cackling over each other's beauty and awesomeness, Amalita once again insists to Carrie that she take the fugly shoes...and Carrie takes them - 'cause...well, d'yuh - and Amalita tells her to keep in touch and that she and Carlo are staying at the Four Seasons.
Carrie's in her apartment, looking over a stack of past due bills and throws them in the trash 'cause yeah that's a mature and responsible way to deal with outstanding household expenses. She starts tapping away on her computer, voice-overing about Amalita's fabulous life of exploiting her dazzling sexual power in lieu of having a job. She then stares into the camera and challenges viewers with this moral mind-twister: "Where's the line between professional girlfriend and just plain professional?"
A few hours later, the girls are gathered at Carrie's pad, playing poker. Samantha makes another of her stupid pronouncements when she insists that women have the right to use every means at their disposal to achieve power. Miranda says, "Short of sleeping their way to the top" but Samantha argues, "Not if that's what it takes to compete." Charlotte looks troubled and wails, "But that's exploitation!" and Samantha counters with, "Of men. Which is perfectly legal." Carrie wants to clarify the bullcack she just heard, so she asks, "Women can use their sexuality to get ahead whenever possible, but men aren't allowed to take advantage of it..?" and Samantha condescendingly explains, "Men and women are equal opportunity exploiters." Charlotte asks what you should do when you realize that someone is giving you a professional advantage because they find you charming...and then Carrie voice-overs about how the famous painter, Neville Morgan, recently dropped by Charlotte's gallery to see what was new and hot on the New York art scene...and found it in Charlotte. Apparently, he was so charmed by her that he invited her to his farm upstate to view his latest work. Charlotte really really wants to display his work at the gallery, but is worried he'll want her to put out in exchange. Miranda assures her they'll sue him if he suggests such a thing...and then to please Samantha's anti-male/decency sensibilities, she adds, "That's the only proper way to trade sex for power." Skipper arrives to pick up Miranda - and when she bitches at him for being an hour early, he sheepishly offers to wait for her in the hall. Miranda snarks and huffs about his early arrival for a few more seconds, then decides to leave with him. OMFG - someone please explain to me why these two are still dating.
Later, Carrie's reading in bed when she gets a call from Amalita, inviting her out to Balzac. Carrie declines and says she's trying to cut back on her wild spending, but Amalita bellows, "You are craaaazzzzy, you know that?!" and urges Carrie to come to Balzac and be her fabulous self. Carrie gives in and nonsensically reasons that her fugly new feathered shoes shouldn't have to stay in just 'cause she has no ability to budget.
Carrie dolls herself up with eye makeup and clownishly round rouge spots on her cheeks and heads over to Balzac. Amalita shows her the bracelet Carlo bought for her this afternoon and cackles about how it costed him $12,000. She then steers Carrie over to her table and introduces her to her set - including Gilles, a handsome divorced architect from Paris. He looks smitten with Carrie, and the two flirt while Amalita orders a bottle of wine.
Afterward, Gilles and Carrie walk along the street together. He tells her she's far too beautiful to be a writer (blech, Gilles), and that she should give up her life in America to move with him to Paris. She "jokes" that she's so broke, she might take him up on the offer so she can save on rent. He furrows his brows and asks, "Writing does not pay well?" and she says it does, but that she has a "substance abuse problem" - and when he looks aghast that she might be a cokehead, she hastily explains that she has a penchant for buying ugly and expensive footwear. He looks down at her feathered shoes and chuckles, then asks if he can take her out tomorrow night...and she accepts, and then strolls off by herself as he stares after. She voice-overs, "Sure I saw some red flags: divorce, French, handsome. But I felt like I was floating on air.."
The next morning, Carrie faces "the eternal puzzle": a closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear. As she tries to sort out her wardrobe conundrum, Skipper comes over to complain about how Miranda has him "totally wacked", meaning he's become completely obsessed with her, and knows it's turning her off...not to mention how blech it is for viewers to have to fathom his intense attraction to a woman who treats him like something stuck to the bottom of her shoe. He tells Carrie that the sex is so awesome it's all he can think about...but they mostly have sex in the afternoons 'cause she doesn't want him spending the night. Carrie suggests convincing Miranda to let him spend the night and then try to abstain from sex, but he thinks that would be way too hard. Carrie voice-overs that she was worried Miranda's sexuality was overpowering Skipper. I'm more worried that the dude's going to cut off his own balls and insist that Miranda carry them around in her purse.
Carrie spends a romantic day with Gilles, and as they stroll around Central Park, French music somehow plays in the background. A few hours later, they end up in his hotel room - and she pretends as though she has a rule against sleeping with men she's only known a day. Gilles says, "I see" and starts smooching her in earnest, and - shock of shocks - she gives in and the two quickly hit the sheets.
Early the next morning, Gilles kisses Carrie awake and tells her he has a plane to catch. She offers to get up with him, but he urges her to stay in bed, order room service, and enjoy herself. He says, "I'll call you" and heads out...and a few seconds later, it dawns on Carrie that neither of them have each other's phone number. Gilles did, however, leave her with a polite thanks for the doink note and $1000 cash.
Carrie invites Miranda and Samantha to the hotel suite for breakfast. She tells them she's having trouble reconciling the amazing connection she and Gilles had with the money for services rendered he left on the night stand. She looks genuinely perplexed and asks, "What exactly about me screams whore?" and Miranda wryly asks, "Besides the thousand dollars on the end table?" [Heh...and to answer your question, Carrie, everything about you screams, nay shrieks whore: the frizzled hair mess, the blotchy makeup, the tacky fur coat and tasteless wardrobe - but most of all, it's your unclassy, brazen willingness to jump into the sack with men you barely know and who don't give a shit about you.] Samantha doesn't get why she's so bent out of shape about the $1000 and says, "Money is power, sex is power. Exchanging sex for money is an exchange of sex for power. Men give and women receive." Miranda's like, "Are you sure you really want to be saying that?" (I'm quite sure she does) and Carrie says she doesn't know if she should feel insulted or flattered by the money (insulted, probably) and Samantha urges her to just take the money. Miranda asks her if Amalita is pulling her into a ring of high class hookers, and Carrie insists that Amalita isn't an actual hooker, but rather an international party girl. She then decides to write the whole thing off as "a bad date with a cash bonus". Whatever, floozy.
Charlotte arrives at Neville Morgan's farm and gushes about how meeting him has been the high point of her career. He ushers her into his barn and describes his latest work as "the closest I've ever come to universal God force" and unveils a bunch of paintings he openly refers to as The Cunt. Charlotte looks over the odd renderings and mumbles, "Oh my. They're very powerful." He gabbles about how it's the most powerful force in the universe, and the source of all life, pleasure, and beauty. His wife, meanwhile, enters the barn to bring them some refreshments. Neville tells Charlotte that each painting is the cunt of a woman who has touched his life in some way. He asks Charlotte if she'd consider posing for him sometime, and she looks a combination of flattered and mortified. He proposes sketching her this afternoon, and the wife gives her an appreciate once-over and says, "I'll bet you have a beautiful cunt, dear." Charlotte somehow refrains from fleeing the farm and mulls over the intimate request as she sips from a glass of lemonade.
With her hooker money still burning a hole in her pocket, Carrie invites Samantha to go to Balzac with her...but when they arrive, the hostess still won't let them in. Carrie announces she's going to the bathroom - and suggests they find a restaurant where they can actually get seated. On her way upstairs, she runs into Amalita, who urges her to join her at her table. She introduces Carrie to her to her newest set of rich and fabulous friends, including a creepy Italian man who gets all flirty and grab-handsy with her. As he fondles her buttocks, he invites her to fly with him to Italy and see Venice...and Carrie jokes that Venice is sinking, then voice-overs that she admits to being tempted into leveraging herself "like the human equivalent of a sexy junk bond". Good grief. She mulls over using the $1000 she earned by doinking Gilles to travel to Venice and sleep with the Italian, and use that hookup as a springboard to score some jewelry, a rich husband, and then a profitable divorce. Carrie decides to walk away from the opportunity she just concocted in her head and tells Amalita she has a friend waiting for her by the bar. Amalita coos, "Vat a pity!" and tells Carrie she's staying at the Carlyle with Peter (as in, not Carlo). Carrie proudly struts away, voice-overing, "Just 'cause Venice was sinking, didn't mean my morals had to go down along with it." You don't have morals, Carrie.
In the bathroom, Carrie decides that she's going to keep the $1000 'cause there's nothing that can be done about the fact that she exchanged sex for money like a common street hooker...and she matter-of-factly states, "I had just established my rate for a one night stand." No duh. The hostess suddenly emerges from one of the stalls and sheepishly asks Carrie if she has a tampon, and Carrie's like, "Sure!" and hands her one. A few minutes later, the hostess seats Carrie and Samantha...and Carrie proudly voice-overs after that she never had a problem getting a table at Balzac. Well, until the restaurant hires a different hostess, I guess.
Gallery opening! The girls are at Charlotte's gallery, looking over the exhibition of Neville Morgan's cuntastic collection. Miranda, Carrie, and Samantha all try to guess which of the paintings is Charlotte's nether regions, and when she finally points out hers, they all stare at it, speechless. Even though all the paintings look pretty much the same.