Recap: Carrie voice-overs, "Some events come along so rarely that when they do, special attention must be paid." By some events, she means that all four Sex and the City gals are without a relationship at the same time...and by without a relationship, she means that none of them have knocked boots in the last twenty-four hours with a guy they rubbed up against at a party or in a bar. The gals are partying at a downtown salsa club, flailing around on the dance floor...and a sexy man sitting at a nearby table brazenly checks out Samantha, then raises his glass as if to toast her. The gals take a break and head over to the bar to do shots, and Samantha advises anxiety-ridden Charlotte to take a page out of her book: enjoy men, but don't expect them to fill you up (no pun intended). The sexy man who was checking out Samantha comes over and asks her to dance - but she declines and says, "Tonight it's just us girls." He introduces himself as William and says he's one of the club's owners, then leaves her his card. Carrie announces that she's off to go home and get some sleep, 'cause in the morning she's scheduled for a photo shoot for New York Magazine. Apparently, they're doing a profile piece on twenty Manhattan singles called "Single and Skanky"...hee, I mean "Single and Fabulous". She explains that the only reason she was chosen is 'cause Stanford's new boyfriend, Nevin, is the assistant photo editor for the shoot. Makes more sense now. The gals urge her to stay for one more drink, so she does - but then one drink turned into several, and one dance turned into staying out all night...and it isn't until until dawn when she decides it's finally time to drag her ass home.
Carrie's plan was to stay awake until the shoot...but she ends up falling asleep while reading the newspaper and drinking coffee. A little while later, Stanford calls and leaves a panic-stricken message on her machine, telling her she's forty minutes late and that everyone at the shoot is freaking out. The message jolts Carrie into consciousness, and she snatches up the phone and barks, "I'll be there in twenty."
Nevin is pacing the studio floor and looking really pissed off when Carrie bursts into the studio wearing a fugly poncho and puffing on a cigarette. Stanford's like, "Ack!" and tells her she looks even shittier than usual, so she explains that she was up all night and desperately needs a coffee. He introduces her to Nevin, who glares at her and snarls, "Hello. You're about a fucking month late" then hustles her over to the camera so the photographer can take some test shots. She starts snapping photos of Carrie, who continues to puff away on her cigarette and look grisly. Carrie asks the photographer if there's going to be time for hair and makeup, and she murmurs, "Mmm, yeah.." and continues to snap away.
Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte are out power walking in Central Park when Miranda runs into Josh, a cute doctor she knows. He jogs with them for a few minutes and invites Miranda to give him a call, then scampers off. When Carrie asks for the details, Miranda explains, "He's an ophthalmologist I once faked orgasms with." When Carrie's all, "Wha-a?!" Miranda says she slept with him twice, faked orgasms on both occasions, then stopped returning his calls 'cause she strongly feels that not orgasming during intercourse is a relationship deal breaker.
Carrie heads over to her favorite magazine stand to stock up on cigarettes...and as she's doing that, she catches her first glimpse of New York Magazine's latest issue. She's horrified to see her ugly mug on the cover - which was clearly one of the photographer's "test shots" - accompanied by the headline, "Single & Fabulous?" Bwahahahaha!!
Carrie meets up with the gals at a diner to lament her public humiliation. She moans in bewilderment, "Single and fabulous - question mark?" and says she never would have agreed to participate in the photo shoot if she knew there was going to be a question mark at the end of Single & Fabulous. She says she feels set up, and Samantha concurs, "You're single, fabulous...and fucked." Carrie wryly retorts, "After that picture, I won't be." Charlotte leafs through the magazine and asks Miranda if they can sue, but Miranda just scrunches her face in puzzlement and goes, "For what? Mispunctuation?" Charlotte reads aloud bits of the article, which I thoroughly enjoyed..
Single was fun at twenty, but you want to ask these woman how fun will all night club-hopping be at forty.
Charlotte indignantly asks, "Who's out all night?" [Carrie is - as evidenced by the first paragraph of this episode recap] and then Samantha snarks, "Who's forty?" [You were forty-three in 1999, Kim Cattrall. Deal with it.] Miranda gets fed up and snaps, "You know what I say? Fuck them. Exclamation point." She says that this type of article is designed to be a cautionary tale that scares young women into marriage. Charlotte kind of ignores her and continues to read the article aloud..
Filling their lives with an endless parade of decoys and distractions to avoid the painful fact that they’re completely alone.
Miranda grabs the magazine from her and snaps, "How is that helping?" and protests too much that "this trash" has nothing to do with them. Samantha agrees and says, "That's right. We are single and fabulous" and she and Miranda high-five each other. Carrie voice-overs that despite their bravado, she had a sneaking suspicion that her three besties didn't totally believe in their fabulousness...and the camera pans over Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte as they contemplate their chronic dependance on men for validation (despite their haughty insistence to the contrary in every episode), and the general emptiness of their shallow lives.
Carrie's ugly mug on the cover of New York Magazine cover spooked the gals, and within a week:
Carrie taps away at her computer while dressed in nothing but a t-shirt and underwear, which was a visual I could have done without. She remarks that women were no strangers to faking it (e.g. hair color, cup size, fur), but yet she couldn't help but wonder, "Has fear of being alone suddenly raised the bar on faking? Are we faking more than orgasms? Are we faking entire relationships?" She types: is it better to fake it than be alone?
Carrie invites the gals to hang with her at her apartment 'cause she's too afraid to go out with that horrific New York Magazine cover circulating around Manhattan, and worries about being scorned and chased by people with sticks. As well she should be. Miranda says she's still seeing Josh and continuing to fake orgasms. She disdainfully recalls him telling her how much he digs it when she climaxes while they're in mid-doink, then wails, "How can he actually believe that that's all it takes?!" Carrie snaps, "Because you're faking it!" Miranda looks contrite and says he's a nice guy who means well, and that she hates herself right now. As well she should. Samantha announces that she has a date with William later...and judging by the way he dances, she doubts she'll have to fake anything.
As Samantha and William dance together at his salsa club, he starts gabbling about his club in the Hamptons, then tells her he's planning to rent a house there this summer. In the next scene, he's continuing to coo at her while they're in her bed, saying, "We can spend weekends there...we can go sailing...we can walk on the beach." As Samantha dreamily stares into space, Carrie voice-overs how unusual it was for a man to use we so comfortably so early on.
The next day, Samantha calls Carrie and goes, "Guess where I'm spending the summer?" then tells her about how William is renting a house in East Hampton and has asked her to spend the summer with him. Carrie scrunches her face in puzzlement and asks, "Isn't it a little early in the relationship?" and Samantha concurs and says he's been doing the we thing about everything.
Miranda's in bed with Josh, who's moaning, "I'm getting close...come with me" but Miranda just lays beneath him like a skewered fish and stares. Josh deflates and asks her if everything is OK, and she confesses to not climaxing, then says she's pretty much been faking her orgasms all the other times. Josh looks mortified and wonders aloud if every woman he's ever been with was also faking. Miranda tells him that a woman's anatomy is a little complicated, and he perks up and asks her to give him some tips to get her off. She informs him that her clitoris is two inches from where he thinks it is, and he looks shamefaced and moans, "Oh my God.."
Carrie drops by Charlotte’s apartment to check out all the home improvement projects she and Tom have been working on. Apparently, Tom decided not to move to Salt Lake City after all. When he leaves the room to find a tool, Charlotte tells Carrie that when Tom told her he was moving, she suddenly developed feelings for him. She adds that she looooves that he's a strong, masculine guy who can fix stuff around the house. Carrie chuckles and says, "You can't create a relationship with a guy just 'cause he can caulk your tub", but Charlotte nods furiously and insists, "Yes you can!"
As Carrie ambles along the street, she couldn't help but wonder: when did being alone become the modern equivalent of being a leper? [It didn't, Carrie. It's all in your head.] She heads over to her favorite news stand to stock up on cigarettes again, and is dismayed to see that the current issue of New York Magazine is still the one with her ugly mug on the cover. The merchant shoots her a look of pity as he hands her her change, so she snaps, "Yes, it's me!" then two seconds later decides that nothing or no one is going to stop her being who she was: single and fabulous!
That night, Carrie goes out for drinks with Stanford...and to her dismay, he brings along his boyfriend. When she sees Nevin, she snarls, "Hi. I hate you" and Nevin laughs heartily, apologizes for the cover photo, and assures her he had nothing to do with it.
Samantha is in a fancy restaurant, waiting for William. A Pakistani waiter asks her if she wants to order anything, so she tells him she's waiting for someone...but after an hour, she finally realizes that We William wasn't ever going to show up. Apparently, he faked a future to get what he wanted in the present. In her flustered state, Samantha knocks over a glass of red wine and blubbers to the waiter, "I'm so embarrassed!" and hightails it to the ladies room. When she comes out, she finds him waiting for her...and he asks her if she's OK. She tells him he's very sweet and needlessly explains that she fell for some guy's line, then moans, "Sometimes you just need to hear we." The waiter leans in and plants a big smooch on her lips and begs her to take him home, but she sadly shakes her head, hands him a tip, and shuffles out.
Carrie is clubbing and getting very drunk. She spills her drink on some guy sitting next to her, and when she tries to wipe his pants, he irritably says, "It's fine" and shoves her away from him. Haha! She gets insulted and yells, "Fuck you! Exclamation point!" An embarrassed Stanford tells her it's time to go, but she petulantly tells him to go, fluffs her mangy rat's nest, and chirps, "I wanna meet cute guys!" As she pulls out a cigarette, a not-yet-famous Bradley Cooper appears in front of her with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. He asks her if she needs a light, and she gazes up at his loveliness and instantly decides, "He was everything I was looking for that night."
Miranda and Josh are going at it in bed again, but he's still not able to get her off. When he gets dangerously close to blowing his load, Miranda decides to throw him a bone (no pun intended) for all of his hard work and fakes a really fake sounding orgasm by bouncing up and down, shrieking loudly. Another visual I could have done without.
Carrie is dancing drunkenly and falling all over people. When Bradley Cooper invites her to take a ride in his Porsche, she squeals, "Fabulous!" and exits the bar with him. They drive a few blocks to a nearby convenience store so he can buy more smokes, and Carrie suddenly grabs him and gives him a big smooch. She fluffs her hair again and stares at herself in the rear-view mirror, wondering what she was so afraid of all week. She deludedly pronounces, "I was still young, still desirable. I would never wind up alone." Bradley Cooper returns from the store with a copy of the offending New York Magazine and slaps it against the car window and asks, sounding incredulous, "Is that you?!" Carrie whirls around in slo-mo to look at what he's talking about, then stares grimly at the beastly photograph, rhetorically wondering, "Was that me?" She nonsensically decides, "If I went home with that man, it would be the only time I'd ever slept with a man to validate my life" [not counting every other time she's hit the sack with a bare acquaintance for no other reason than to validate her life]. She tells Bradley Cooper she's gotta go, but he says, "No way I'm letting you out" (mmm...that's hot) so Carrie escapes his sexy clutches through the Porsche's open sun roof and defiantly stalks off.
Charlotte and Tom are laying in bed together, and both are fully aware that they've been faking their relationship. Tom says he's decided to move to Salt Lake City after all...and he and Charlotte pretend they'll miss each other while Carrie triumphantly voice-overs, "It was a perfectly timed double-fake!"
After that, things got back to normal:
Carrie, meanwhile, faced being alone head on. And by head on, she means sitting by herself in an outdoor cafe like a lonely dullard with only a glass of wine to keep her company.