Recap: The gals are on the Staten Island Ferry, en route to a competition among New York City firemen to be in the latest beefcake calendar. As a minor New York celebrity (with a huge emphasis on minor), Carrie has been invited to be a judge on the panel. Charlotte complains about how far away Staten Island is...and the gals nostalgically stare back at Manhattan as the ferry speeds away. Miranda remarks on how small it looks - but yet is somehow still big enough to house all the various men they've doinked with since the pilot episode.
Sexy firemen are stripping off their shirts, gyrating, and flexing their ripped bods as the panel somehow rates each of them. The "token male" on the panel is Roger Sterling from Mad Men, and he's flirtily consulting with Carrie on how to most accurately score muscular, scantily clad firemen. He introduces himself as a divorced politician who's currently campaigning to become New York City's next Comptroller. Charlotte and Miranda, meanwhile, are drinking Staten Island ice teas (Staten Island bars aren't advanced enough to be making Cosmopolitans) and complaining about the lack of dateable men...and Samantha is salivating over the beefy fireman who's currently strutting across the stage, shirtless.
After the competition, the gals hit the dance floor. Carrie describes Staten Island as "a quaint European country" where the music was twenty years behind, and there were no rules against smoking wherever you liked. Samantha sashays over to the beefy fireman and seductively asks him if there are any Fire Department shirts (like the one he's wearing) available...and it's clear from the doltish look on his face and the rambley answer he gives that he's more than a few clowns short of a circus. Samantha interrupts his nattering and introduces herself, then learns that the oaf's name is Ricky.
Roger Sterling joins Carrie at the bar, bums a smoke, and the two joke about their firemen scoring practices. He asks her what voting district she lives in, and she flippantly retorts, "Whichever one is near Barney's" then admits - without a shred of embarrassment or shame - that she's never actually voted in a New York election. Somehow, Roger Sterling remains intrigued and asks for her phone number, but she rebuffs him by saying she's here with her friends and not interested in dating anyone. He goes, "Ahh. Bad breakup..?" and instead of answering or even nodding in the affirmative, she moodily stares into space with that stupid faraway expression she likes to put on her horsey face.
Carrie tells Miranda she wants to leave asap 'cause "the politician" is getting too persistent. Miranda informs her that Samantha went home with the beefy firefighter - shocker - and a few seconds later they find Charlotte standing in the middle of the dance floor, drunkenly lip synching to disco. In the next scene, the three are on the ferry headed home, and Charlotte is wooting and swinging around on a pole. She drunkenly gabbles about how smart, nice, and pretty she is, and declares that Season 3 is the year she's going to meet the perfect man and get married [yep, spoiler]. She then leans over the railing and shrieks, "I'm getting married this year!" and Miranda wryly tells Carrie that if Charlotte falls overboard, she'll never stop laughing. Heh. Me too.
Samantha's in the sack with Ricky, moaning very loudly...and that's all I'm gonna say 'bout that.
At brunch the next day, Charlotte is in misery with a hangover, and Samantha is gabbling on and on about how wet Ricky got her. She loudly cackles, "Ladies, let me tell you about his cock!" and Charlotte irritably tells her to shut it, and points out that the people at the next table have a child. Samantha makes a face and snarks, "That's their choice" - but Carrie concurs with Charlotte and urges her to "light up on the cock talk until cocktail time". Samantha rolls her eyes and says she merely wanted them to be fully aware that Ricky was every bit the fantasy she had imagined. Charlotte says it's wrong to doink a man just to fulfill a fantasy - which sounded weird coming out of her mouth - but Samantha argues that they pretty much all do that every time they hit the sheets with a man. The gals then start bantering about how irresistible the "hero thing" is, and how sexy firemen always are, blah blah. Charlotte then does a reversal on what she just said five seconds earlier and pronounces, "Women just want to be rescued." They all stare at her in mute faux shock, and she insists it be true...then wails about how exhausted she is from dating losers since the age of fifteen and how ready she is for Mr. Right to stroll into her life, sweep her off her dainty feet, and start financing her much desired luxurious, pampered existence as a rich person's wife. Carrie suggests that perhaps women have to save themselves, and that they're "the white knight"...and Charlotte holds her head in her hands and moans about what a depressing thought that is.
Back in her apartment, Carrie ponders the notion of a fairy tale and can't help but wonder if there's a delicate, fragile princess inside every confident single woman just waiting to be saved. Could Charlotte be right? she wonders bewilderedly, then taps out on her computer: Do women just want to be rescued? Yes, Carrie, I'm sure they do. No doubt every woman in New York is mirroring your friends' current crisis of trying to balance a need for independence with a conflicting need to have a man in her life.
Miranda is getting a consultation about her upcoming laser eye surgery. The doctor tells her she'll need to enlist the help of a friend to pick her up after the surgery and take her home. She is then to take two sleeping pills, sleep for twelve hours, and will wake up to perfect vision. Miranda insists she'll be fine without the aid of a friend, but the doctor insists she'll need someone.
That night, Miranda tells Steve all about the surgery, and he offers to be her aide. She says she's already asked Carrie, and he looks hurt and insists, "But I'm offering." When she invites him up to her apartment, he asks whassup with their doinking, and she answers him by giving him a big smooch.
Carrie and Charlotte are at an upscale bar on the East Side of Manhattan, searching for a white knight. Charlotte spots a preppy looking blonde man and giddily tells Carrie she has to meet him. An annoying, boorish uggo suddenly appears in front of them, ogles Charlotte, and chirps, "Hi beautiful! I'm JJ. Can I buy those sweet lips a drink?" Charlotte says they were just leaving...and then she and Carrie relocate to the opposite end of the bar. When JJ returns a few minutes later and hits on Charlotte again, she outright tells him she's not interested...and the blonde preppy guy overhears the exchange and tells JJ to stop harassing the pretty lady. When JJ persists, the blonde guy punches him and knocks him to the floor. He apologizes to Charlotte for having to witness that unpleasantness, and she stares at him, looking helplessly entranced. When they introduce themselves, she learns that his name is Arthur and that he's an investment banker.
Carrie struts down the street, looking like a cheap hooker in her tacky fur coat, thigh high boots, and mini skirt...voice-overing about how she just maxed out her credit cards buying Jimmy Choo shoes. Considering the pittance she has to be making as a sex columnist for a shitty tabloid rag, she really is an irresponsible moron with money. She finds Roger Sterling waiting on her front steps clutching a voter registration form and snarks, "You're not seriously here." He counters her bitchitude by asking for a favor: accompany him to a fundraising schmoozefest in Staten Island tonight. He says he'll come by around seven...but there's absolutely no pressure if she doesn't want to come.
Carrie has to back out of being Miranda's aide after her laser eye surgery 'cause she suddenly has a deadline (sounds like bad time management skills) - but, for some reason, Miranda still doesn't call Steve to help her out.
Charlotte is out for lunch with Arthur, and the two chat about Harvard, mutual acquaintances, and the importance of well-pedigreed, pretty white people hooking up. Some guy sitting behind Charlotte accidentally bumps her chair, and Arthur confronts him, wigs out, and punches him for his impudence...and then threatens the waitress when she comes over to ask whaddup with him punching another customer. A horrified Charlotte quickly realizes that her white knight is just an off-kilter bully who likes to start fights...and she beats a hasty retreat.
Steve arrives at the doctor's office after Miranda's eye surgery, explains to an irked Miranda that Carrie called him, then takes her home and puts her to bed...and, naturally, she bitchily snaps at him the entire time. Twelve hours later, Miranda wakes up to perfect vision...and the vision of Steve sleeping in bed beside her.
Ricky invites Samantha to hang with him and his firemen buddies at the station, and she flounces over in a ridiculous feathered blue thing over a tacky, skin tight dress. When she makes her grand entrance in the TV room, the firemen all turn around at once and stare at her in weird fascination, then shrug disinterestedly and resume watching their basketball game. Bwahahaha!!! A miffed Samantha soon realizes that this isn't at all the "firehouse fantasy" she had in mind [can't imagine what that would be, exactly]. Ricky appears and invites her have a seat...and as the firemen continue to ignore her, all she could think about was how desperate she was to be rescued from this situation. But apparently not desperate enough to make up an excuse and leave.
Carrie is in her apartment, all dressed up and puffing away on a cigarette. Roger Sterling calls to let her know that he has arrived, but she doesn't answer the phone...and eventually he drives off. She then calls Miranda and wails about how she doesn't know what she's doing, and explains that she's all dressed up to go out with the politician, but didn't have the courtesy to answer the phone when he came by to pick her up. Miranda pretends to give a rat's ass about Carrie's dating angst and correctly guesses that she's terrified of getting hurt again, and Carrie mulls that over and abruptly says, "OK, gotta go!" In the next scene, she's on the Staten Island ferry, thinking about how "burned" she got from Big [even though it was always pretty clear he was never that into her] and is now acting like an annoying drama queen about the prospect of getting into another relationship.
Carrie arrives at the fundraising schmoozefest...and Roger Sterling greets her with a happy grin. She makes it clear that she's merely here as a concerned citizen, aka not as a date. She then admits that, yeah, she did just endure a bad breakup and will need to take things slow.
Fire station. Samantha slides down the fire pole, which amuses doltish Ricky...and in the next scene, they're both naked and frenetically bumping uglies against a fire truck. Afterwards, Samantha slips into a pair of fireman pants and poses sexily for Ricky - just as all hell breaks loose when the alarm suddenly goes off and all the firemen rush downstairs. One of the men yells at Samantha, "Get the fuck outa my fucking gear!" and Samantha hastily slips out of it, carefully covering her privates with her hands as though she's a woman with a single scrap of modesty.
Carrie tells Roger Sterling she wants to leave the schmoozefest, but urges him to stay and do his thing. A few seconds later, the two start smooching in the coat check...and then Carrie rushes out to catch the last ferry, which she ends up just missing. She shrieks, "WAIT!" but the ferry continues to float away. Roger pulls up in his black BMW and asks her if she needs a ride, and she accepts by voice-overing/conceding that "sometimes a woman absolutely has to be rescued". She snappishly clarifies to Roger Sterling that he's just driving her home...and he nods in agreement, then scrunches his face in confusion and asks, "Do you have any idea how the fuck we get off this island?"