Recap: Two years ago, Carrie's nutty friend, Susan-Sharon [why does a person need two first names?], married an abusive dickwad named Richard. To demonstrate exactly how abusive a dickwad Richard is, the camera pans over to their apartment, where we see him berating his wife for putting a CD in the wrong CD case. Carrie voice-overs that lately she only sees Susan-Sharon a couple of times a year, and it's usually when Richard is out of town. Well, d'yuh. This episode, however, starts on the eve of Carrie's birthday, and she and Susan-Sharon have just spent a night out on the town together. Susan-Sharon tells Carrie she has a birthday gift for her and invites her up to her apartment...and as soon as they enter the apartment, she warns Carrie to keep the noise level down 'cause she doesn't want to wake her ogre husband, who has turned in for the night. She then presents Carrie with her gift - a lovely cashmere scarf - and Carrie exclaims, "You shouldn't have!" then promptly asks her if she'd mind it if she returned it in exchange for cash, which I thought was pretty fucking rude. Susan-Sharon breezily waves her hand in the air and goes, "Fine" then quips, "Why do you think they call it cash mere?" and the two start cackling. The cackling wakes up Richard, who storms into the living room in his robe and pajamas and barks, "What the hell is going on?!" and reminds his wife about their agreement to not to have people over after 9pm. Susan-Sharon tries to explain that it's Carrie's birthday, but he cuts her off and bellows, "I'm on London time! I gotta be up in three hours! When the markets open!!" then sarcastically says he'd really appreciate it if they could take the fucking noise somewhere else. Carrie quickly gathers her stuff, hugs Susan-Sharon goodbye, and tip-toes toward the door...and Richard glares hatefully at her and yells, "Get the fuck outa my house!!"
When Carrie arrives home, she ponders, "Could Susan-Sharon's marriage be that bad? [um, clearly] Or was their fighting just a form of foreplay? [if by foreplay, you mean verbal abuse, then yes] Was I the catalyst to get things going? [the fuck are you talking about?]" A few seconds later, Carrie gets a call from an embarrassed Susan-Sharon, apologizing for Richard's bitchitude, but Carrie brushes it off and says he was probably just cranky and tired. Susan-Sharon bitterly says it was "classic Richard": tyrannical, and emotionally abusive. She wails, "I don't know what to do anymore!" so Carrie weakly suggests that maybe his shitty behavior tonight was an anomaly because of special circumstances. Susan-Sharon concedes that he works really hard and is often sleep deprived, but then blurts out, "I don't give a shit!" and asks Carrie if she'd leave the marriage if she found herself trapped in a loveless union with a domineering fuckbag. Carrie wishy-washily replies, "Well...if things didn't change" and Susan-Sharon says they likely won't, then abruptly hangs up the phone when she hears Richard stir in the bedroom. Carrie laments about how she's just been put in a classic no-win situation because somehow her hapless friend's marital problems are all about her.
The next day, Carrie lunches with the gals and tells them about Richard's outburst. Miranda says that advising a friend to leave her husband is something one should never do, and Samantha says her friendship with Susan-Sharon is probably screwed, then pronounces that all relationships are founded in lies and deception. Case in point: her and James. She pretends to not notice that he has a teeny tiny penis, and he pretends not to notice they haven't had sex in three weeks. Miranda then chimes in, but only to shift the topic of conversation to her new beau, Aaron Pottymouth.
Aaron likes to talk dirty in bed, and we get some grisly footage of him and Miranda going at it while he gabbles about her "wet pussy" and "beautiful tits". Miranda looks uncomfortable with the descriptors of her body parts and can only bring herself to grunt one syllable replies. Charlotte suggests complimenting his "big cock" and explains that sometimes men just need to hear a little encouragement. Miranda says she's not one to chitchat during sex, except to give an orgasm alert, but Charlotte gives her a disapproving look and says that if she likes Aaron, she's going to have to start talking dirty in bed. Since when is this Stepford wife wannabe such an advocate of raunchy sex talk? That seems way more up Samantha's alley.
Carrie's in her apartment, tapping away on her computer. She thinks about what Miranda said at lunch, then types, "Are there still certain things in a relationship one should never say?" The question then segue ways into several testimonials from random people on the street, but I cannot stand these moronic testimonials that the show mercifully phased out at some point during Season 2, so I'm just going to pretend like they never happened and move on..
Susan-Sharon tells Carrie she told her abusive dickwad husband she can't spend another day with a gigantic asshole such as himself...and apparently this opened the floodgates of their dysfunctional marriage, and they had a terrible fight and said horrible things to each other. Richard said he'd pity her if they split up, since he'll be remarried within a year, while she'll be single for the rest of her life. Carrie didn't want to say it, but considering what a pathetic doormat of a loser Susan-Sharon is, it was probably a true statement. Susan-Sharon gushes to Carrie about how she owes her so much now that she's suddenly free...then asks her if she can crash at her apartment until she's ready to go crawling back to Fuckbag.
Charlotte arrives home to the new male in her life. As she stares at herself in the mirror and sexily fluffs up her hair, Carrie voice-overs, "Fed up with lonely mornings and cuddle-less nights, she took matters into her own hands." Charlotte then heads over to her bedroom door and says in a sultry voice, "Henry. I'm home" and opens the door...and atop her bed is a cute little white dog. Apparently, he's a stand-in until she finds the perfect man. As a pet owner/extreme dog lover, I found this storyline obnoxious, and it really made me want to smack the Sex and the City writers.
At bedtime, James asks Samantha why she's become so distant lately, and she fibs and insists she's not upset about anything, just tired. He says he'd like them to go to a counselor to work out their "intimacy issues", and she doesn't look thrilled, but agrees to go. As she rolls over and attempts to get some sleep, Carrie voice-overs about how much "Samantha missed the emotional unavailability and hot one night stands." It remains unclear why Samantha doesn't just dump Slim Dick and sniff out the nearest orgy.
Miranda and her talkative-in-bed beau are going at it again. Miranda forces herself to take Charlotte's advice and reciprocates the dirty talk, referring to Aaron's cock as hot, big, hard, rock. Somehow this turns him on, and he urges her to continue, so she strings together a sentence with the one syllable words: "Your cock is a big hard rock."
Carrie takes Susan-Sharon over to Charlotte's apartment to meet Henry, who's already falling short of Charlotte's high expectations. After a few minutes, an antsy Susan-Sharon tells Carrie she wants to head back to her apartment in case Richard calls. Carrie's like, "Aren't you leaving him?" and Susan-Sharon explains that she wants to be there to personally tell him she doesn't want to talk to him. Charlotte tut tuts her for being passive-aggressive and says she should only speak to Richard if she has something to say, but Susan-Sharon ignores that advice and grumbles, "I can't believe the prick hasn't called." She then gets a dreamy expression on her face and says the douchebag does have a sweet side, then leans toward Henry and asks him if she did the right thing. Henry retorts by baring his teeth and growling at her, and Charlotte irritably chides Susan-Sharon by saying, "He's a dog, not an oracle."
The next morning, Carrie receives a unexpected delivery from Mr. Big: a bouquet of red roses and a card that reads, "Best wishes on your birthday." She quickly assembles an emergency summit with the gals to over-analyze the gesture and decide what she should do next. [Nothing. Put the roses in water, then go about your life.] Miranda orders her to rip up the card, while Charlotte thinks it's a grand gesture and that she should reconsider their breakup. Samantha looks unimpressed with the measly flower delivery and says if it had been jewelry, it would be another story. Carrie scrunches her horsey face and agonizes, "Is the ball in my court?" and both Miranda and Samantha agree that Big is being selfish by muddying the post breakup waters.
Carrie's in her apartment, puffing on a cigarette and continuing to overthink the flower delivery. When she can stand it no more, she phones him up to thank him for his thoughtfulness. Big answers the call on his cell phone while he's ambling around Manhattan and looks perplexed to hear that she received a flower delivery from him, then remembers that it's on his secretary's annual "to do" list, 'cause apparently he didn't give her the memo that he and Carrie broke up. Haha! Big asks Carrie what she's doing on her special day, and she tells him that Stanford has invited her and her friends to have dinner at Layla's, a Moroccan restaurant. She blurts out, "You should come!" and he mulls that over for a few seconds and says that maybe he'll stop by, then adds that he'd like to bring someone. Carrie does her best to sound breezy and gracious as she reacts to that disturbing tidbit, then collapses on her bed after she hangs up.
James and Samantha are in a therapy session with an older, gray haired woman, who asks the two how long it's been since they doinked. They tell her a month, so she chuckles and tells them not to take it so seriously and try to have fun with their sexuality. She suggests playing erotic games, but Samantha shakes her head and says, "I'm just not feeling very sexual these days." James is all, "Wuh?" and says he caught her masturbating the other day, then assumes she has intimacy issues. Samantha insists she doesn't, then clams up and says she doesn't want to talk about it anymore. The therapist congratulates them on their "hard work" and says she'd like to schedule a second appointment - and Samantha looks so aghast at the thought of enduring another awkward session of trying to avoid blurting out the reason for their sexlessness that she turns to James and blurts out, "Your penis is too small!" and that it's incapable of pleasuring her. A mortified James snaps back, "Maybe your vagina is too big!" then gets up and storms out. The therapist shoots Samantha a sympathetic smile and agrees that she too prefers a large ding-dong.
Miranda's in bed with Aaron, cuddling naked with him and chanting, "Cock cock cock cock." She so emboldened by her dirty talk that she starts telling him what she likes in bed, then unwittingly oversteps when she playfully remarks, "You really like it when I slip my finger in your ass." Aaron's all, "Wuh? Excuse me!" and looks totally icked out. And just like that, their meaningless hookup is over.
At Carrie's Moroccan themed birthday dinner, Miranda discusses to all the party guests how her finger-up-the-ass remark appalled Aaron so much that they're no longer seeing each other. Stanford makes a face and says he doesn't like anything up his ass...and when everyone just stares at him in incredulity, he adds, "I realize this comes as a surprise." Classy dinner talk, as usual. Carrie's doing her best to get liquored up, in order to psyche herself up for the arrival of Mr. Big and his date. He arrives a few seconds later, grins at Carrie in his schmaltzy way and makes his voice sound gravelly as he says, "Happy birthday, baby." He introduces her to his friend, Jack, who Carrie soon realizes is his "date". Delighted by the lack of female competition for Big's affection, she jumps up, hugs Jack, and asks how he's doing...and he makes a face and grumbles about the bitch who broke his heart.
Miranda leans toward Carrie and asks what her ex is doing at her birthday dinner...and then the camera pans over to Mr. Big, who's tipping one of the belly dancers. Susan-Sharon, meanwhile, is attempting to flirt with Jack by prattling endlessly about how she's newly single. Jack, who's clearly not into the nitwit, blurts out, "Do you ever shut the fuck up?!" and a red-faced Susan-Sharon stares off in the distance, suddenly realizing how desperately she misses being verbally abused by her douchewad of a husband.
Charlotte comes home to an unpleasant surprise: Henry has crapped on the floor, and is in the process of chewing up her pillows. Heh. He's probably rebelling against being locked up in her bedroom all day. Charlotte decided that they had to part ways, so she fobs him off on Susan-Sharon and Richard, and somehow the poor pooch becomes "the glue" that keeps their dysfunctionally shitty marriage together. Cue Henry, who leaps into their living room, then onto their laps and barks, and Richard yells, "Shut the fuck up!" while Susan-Sharon vapidly smiles and pets him. Carrie voice-overs, "Neither could admit that a dog saved their marriage." (There's no mention of who's going to save Henry from all the emotional abuse he has coming.)
After the dinner party, Carrie and Mr. Big stroll down the street together. He offers to give her a ride home, but she declines, then stares after him longingly as he walks over to his town car and climbs in. As he drives off, she voice-overs, "The one thing I couldn't say to him was: I'm still not over you" and sadly shuffles off.