Recap: Carrie has chopped off several inches of her ratty, over-processed hair (though it doesn't make much of an improvement in her overall skankitude) and is purposefully strutting down the street in a navy pin-striped suit while voice-overing that she's on her way to Vogue after having submitted her first freelance article to the editor. When she arrives at the meeting, the unimpressed editor, played by Candice Bergen, stares with horrified incredulity at Carrie's article, then shakes her head and mutters, "This isn't Vogue." Her flunky assistant (or whoever), Julian, tries to soften the harshness of her words, but Candice Bergen insists she absolutely really does hate Carrie's shittastic writing style...and when she flips over to the second page, we see the many edits she made in red ink. She reminds a stupefied looking Carrie that she was supposed to write about accessories, not men, and that it's clear she doesn't have a clue about either. She adds that the article seems no different from her usual raunch, and that she's merely inserted the word style where the word sex used to appear. She says that no one cares about her agenda or her incessant I couldn't help but wonder-isms and that she wants to see "less Carrie Bradshaw and more 'carry this bag with these shoes'". Bwahahahaha! That scene was pure awesome.
After Candice Bergen heads out for a lunch date, Julian hangs with Carrie in his office. He calls her cookie and warns her that working in the publishing world requires a tough hide and a dry martini, then pours each of them a glass. He gushes about how much he loooooves her column, says she has vision, and thought she'd be a natural for Vogue. He's mad as a hatter, this flunky. A little while later, Carrie has gotten drunk on her dry martini and blames her low alcohol tolerance on her no-breakfast regimen and being a teeny tiny size 2. She rails about how cocky she was when she was hired as a Vogue freelancer and arrogantly thought she knew it all...then waves an arm in the air for dramatic effect, which results in her spilling her dry martini everywhere. She contorts her horsey face into an expression of exaggerated sheepishness and whispers, "I spilled at Vogue" and Julian tells her it's probably time she went home now. He escorts her to the nearest exit, but is unable to keep the nitwit from tripping over her own feet and making a drunken spectacle of herself in front of at least a dozen Vogue employees.
Samantha and Richard are dining together at a swanky restaurant. She asks him what he'd like for his birthday...and when he says he's not really into celebrating it, she tells him it'd be fun for him to want something decadent and naughty. Cue Alexa, the hot blonde waitress, who comes by their table to tell them she took the liberty of pre-ordering them a chocolate soufflé in case they're in the mood for something sweet, then wanks them about how they're the most attractive couple in the restaurant. Richard chews on that compliment for a few seconds, then tells Samantha he just thought of what he'd like for his birthday: an all night, non-stop, championship fuckfest with her...and Alexa. Samantha pretends that his birthday request isn't a devastating blow to her fragile ego and promises to get right on it.
At brunch, Samantha asks Carrie and Charlotte if a three-way with a twenty-one year old blonde hottie would be a bad idea for Richard's birthday...and when Carrie and Charlotte just stare back at her in appalled horror, she says if she declines the three-way, Richard will just cheat on her on his own. Miranda rushes in late and tells the gals she was out shopping for a stroller, then complains about how overwhelmed she is with all the baby stuff she has to buy before her spawn is born during the season finale. Charlotte says that the most efficient way to get all the baby stuff she needs would be to have a baby shower, then offers to throw her one in her Park Avenue pad. Miranda asks her if she'd really want to do that after all of her (failed) rabid babymaking attempts with Trey, but Charlotte insists it'd be good for her. Miranda asks who would even attend (besides the four of them) and Samantha snarks, "All the bitches that made you go to theirs" which got a genuine snicker out of me...'cause, yep, when it comes to attending baby showers, turnabout is definitely fair play. Miranda reluctantly agrees to the shower, but sternly decrees that there not be anything cutesy or storky associated with it, and that the snacks include fried chicken.
In preparation of the shower, Charlotte hires a team of painters to come by her apartment and paint over the cloud mural in the spare room formerly known as the nursery.
Carrie meets up with Julian for dinner to tell him she's decided to not finish her article for Vogue, now that she's been called out by Candice Bergen for the talentless raunch writer she is. Julian says he can't let her quit and asks her what her father would say 'bout that, so she sadly tells him that her father quit her and her mother when she was a little girl. Julian remarks on how interesting it is that her father left without answers, and she now spends her life writing sex-centric dreck for a tabloid rag - I mean asking questions about men. He then offers to arrange things at Vogue so that she only deals with him (and not Candice Bergen) and Carrie mulls that over and agrees to give it a go.
Back in her apartment, Carrie ponders the notion of fatherhood and stares at an old black and white photo of herself and her deadbeat dad. After babbling some voice-overed nonsense that my brain involuntarily tuned out, she taps on her computer: how much does a father figure figure?
Miranda is on a conference call when she gets beeped by her secretary to tell her that Charlotte York is calling with an emergency...and Charlotte's "emergency" is that she (Miranda) forgot to include a bunch of important stuff on her baby shower registry, like a Manhattan whoozit, peek ball, and marzipan baby carriage with an edible baby. Mmm...marzipan. Miranda snaps that she's on a conference call, sternly reminds Charlotte that she's forbidden from including anything cutesy or stork-themed in her shower, and irritably hangs up on her so she can get back to her lawyering.
Samantha returns to the restaurant where she and Richard had dined to invite Alexa to guest star in hers and Richard's three-way...and Alexa perks up and somehow looks into hitting the sheets with the creepy older couple.
Charlotte drops by Miranda's apartment to discuss baby proofing and the placement of all the baby furniture and paraphernalia she's soon going to have. Miranda gets irked at her for pointing out all the things she's doing badly, and Charlotte chides her for not being more willing to let people help her. She then breaks the news that there won't be any fried chicken at the shower 'cause she (Miranda) was the only one who wanted all that breading. (She knows this how? Did she poll the invitees?) Miranda is dismayed by the chicken-free menu, then is even more dismayed when she hears about the Fiji mum stork centerpiece that Charlotte ordered. When she threatens to boycott the dumb thing altogether, Charlotte shoots her the stink-eye and tells her she'd better show up and not leave her stuck entertaining Carrie, Samantha, and a bunch of boring lawyers.
Miranda goes over to Carrie's apartment to commiserate about what a terrible mother she's going to be - well duh - and tells her the sad tale about when she was thirteen and dropped her niece on her head 'cause she got bored with babysitting. Plus, she currently works fifty hours a week and has no father figure to offer the poor spawn. Carrie shifts the conversation back to herself to ask if she's always going to be so hopelessly screwed up about men 'cause her dad walked out on her, but Miranda points out that her that her dad faithfully came home for dinner every night, but she's just as hopelessly screwed up about men as Carrie. Which is saying a lot.
Miranda shows up for her baby shower in a grumpy mood, but perks up when she sees the big plate of fried chicken that Charlotte broke down and ordered for her. A few minutes later, Samantha and Carrie arrive lugging a four tiered baby cake made entirely of diapers.
Later, when Miranda's lawyer friends are all in attendance at the shower, Samantha chooses that moment to tell Carrie she can fuck Alexa under the table and boasts, "I have tricks she hasn't even seen" ... and instead of reminding her that they're at a fucking baby shower with a large group of Miranda's professional work colleagues, Carrie chuckles and quips, "Those Trix aren't for kids." One of the mothers has to pee, so she hands Miranda her baby in order to give her a preview of baby-minding...but Miranda quickly bores of keeping an eye on him and sets him down on the couch, from which he would have slipped and fallen on his head were it not for Carrie catching him in time. Miranda opens one of her gifts, which turns out to be a silver rattle...and Charlotte tears up and says it looks just like the rattle Trey gave to her when they were trying to have a baby, then bursts into tears and runs out of the room. A few seconds later, Miranda enters her bedroom to remind her that she has twenty guests in her living room and therefore should probably buck up and resume her hostessing duties, then coos at her about how she's going to need her expert help once the baby arrives. As the two chat about all the little extras that are included with the diaper cake, Carrie enters the room with the baby she prevented from sliding off the couch and tells Miranda she's going to need to use one of her diaper cake diapers to change the wet little gaffer. A few seconds later, Samantha enters the room and says they need to hurry up and cut the cake 'cause she has a three-way to get to.
Over at Casa Wright, Samantha lectures Alexa about how she needs to fully grasp that tonight is purely about sex, not love. She tells her that kissing Richard on the mouth is off limits - just as a shirtless Richard enters the room and suggestively asks, "Who's up for champagne?" Alexa says she's up for anything and strips off her top, and Samantha looks put out by her youthful counterpart's hotness and defiantly strips off her top.
As the three-way gets underway, Samantha monopolizes Richard and repeatedly shoves Alexa off of the bed, making her fall hard onto the floor. Richard chuckles in amusement at the display of catty jealousy and coos, "Easy, there's enough of me to go around." Alexa poutishly retorts, "You tell her, daddy" which immediately puts Richard off 'cause he doesn't take kindly to women half his age (who he's about to doink) making him feel old on his birthday. He mutters to Samantha to get rid of the young tart, and she's like, "I'm on it" and continues to shove Alexa off of the bed. It remains unclear why Alexa doesn't just get dressed and make a run for it.
As Samantha and Richard bask in the afterglow of the thwarted three-way, she asks him if there's anything else he'd like for his birthday. He says no, and that he's satisfied enough just doinking her...so much so that from now on he'd like their relationship to be monogamous. She happily chirps, "OK!"
Over at Vogue, Carrie and Julian are celebrating the completion of Carrie's first article...and when he asks her how she usually celebrates the publication of her work, she tells him she likes to blow all of her earnings on shoes and purses. Which explains how she ended up broke and needed to pawn Charlotte's engagement ring in order to avoid homelessness. Julian offers to sneak her into the Vogue accessories closet...and Carrie squeals with joy when she sees the racks of designer shoes and cries, "This is too much! How can this beeeee?!" She picks up a pair of black shoes, stares at them in wonderment, and tells Julian they're Manolo Mary Janes she thought were an urban shoe myth. Julian says he's off to pillage the men's section...and after a few minutes he calls her over to check him out in his Versace briefs. Carrie rushes over to where he's standing with his pants pulled down around his ankles, is all, "Wha-a?", and tells him to please put his pants back on. He refuses and just stands there pantsless as he sadly relays the news that his wife is having an affair...and that she (Carrie) has some serious man issues, and that an older man - such as himself - could help her work through her daddy issues. Carrie makes it clear she's not interested and snaps, "Pants up! Show some respect. This is Vogue."
Carrie decides to go back to working directly with Candice Bergen, who's now complaining that her writing positively reeks of her. Bwahahaha! She asks Carrie what the hell she knows about shoes, and Carrie stops her and concedes that while she may know absolutely nothing about men, when it comes to overpriced designer shoes she can barely afford on her meager salary, that she does know. Candice Bergen laughs heartily as Carrie toddles behind her and voice-overs about how smugly pleased with herself she is that she didn't quit her implausibly lucrative freelance job.