Recap: This episode begins with footage of various couples, canoodlingly ambling around Manhattan as Carrie voice-overs about how the worst thing about not being in a relationship is when your job is to write about being in a relationship. That's interesting...I thought her job was to sum up whatever raunchy sexploits she and the gigolas were experiencing throughout the episode. The camera then pans over to Carrie, who's sitting at her desk, staring blankly at her blank computer screen.
At the next brunch summit, Carrie asks the gals if they remember a guy she briefly doinked who she dubbed "Randall the sandal guy" ... and when they're all, "Wuh? Who?" she admits she's been scraping the bottom of the raunch writing barrel lately. Case in point: last week her column topic was 'my search for the perfect French fry'. Charlotte chirps, "I saw that. It was cute!" and when Carrie asks Samantha what she thought of the pointless drivel, Samantha is forced to admit that she doesn't always have time (or the slightest interest) in reading her shittastic column. Carrie self-piteously says that even her friends find her irrelevant, moans about being in a dating desert, and reports that her editor's been trying to get in touch with her...most likely 'cause he's cancelling her column and laying her off. If only. When Samantha assures her that she's not getting laid off, Carrie reminds her how hard the economy currently sucks and that people with real jobs are getting laid off. She's been so desperate to generate content for her weekly nonsense that she started writing about her sock drawer...and Charlotte's all, "Ack!" and suggests they troll for men together in order to get her raunch writing juicing flowing again. When the waitress comes by to take their orders, Samantha says, "I'll have the fruit plate...and I'm back with Richard." The gals are all, "Wha-a?!" so she explains that after leaving her dozens of I'm sorry phone messages, she finally agreed to hear him out. His official excuse is that he got scared of being in a monogamous relationship - but Charlotte and Miranda look unimpressed and say that it doesn't adequately explain or excuse his cheating. Samantha says that being scared isn't an easy thing for a cowardly douche like Richard to admit, and that she's choosing to believe he's sorry and that from now on will do his darnedest to stay faithful. Carrie says they should all respect her decision, then cheekily announces that her next column will focus on "desperate women who will believe anything". Heh.
Miranda and Steve are baby-proofing her apartment when Steve suggests they get little Brady baptized. Miranda laughs heartily and reminds him that neither of them goes to church, so Steve says that everyone in his family has been baptized and that it would mean a lot to his maaaa. Miranda snaps, "Your maaaa?!" and points out that he never had a maaaa the entire time they were dating. Steve says that baptizing a baby ensures he won't end up in a bodiless state of limbo if something tragic were to happen, and Miranda jokes about how that's something they definitely need to worry about...then says it's stupid to go through the trouble of a baptism purely for the sake of making his maaaa happy. Steve just shrugs and says it's actually nice, 'cause their loved ones gather together to see the baby and eat cake...and that all the actual baptism amounts to is a priest putting a little water on their kid's head.
Samantha tells Richard that her gal pals don't believe he's sincere about never cheating on her again, and Richard says he doesn't give a rat's ass what those slutbags think, then presents her with a ring box. When Samantha looks alarmed that he's about to propose, he tells her it's not for that finger, but rather her middle finger...so that when she's flipping him off, he has something shiny and expensive staring back at him. Samantha opens the box and finds a ginormous canary diamond ring. She squeals happily, slides it on her middle finger, and flips him off. And then the two start going at it, which...blech. For some reason, these two really creep me out whenever they're in bed together.
Carrie is struggling to come up with something remotely interesting for her column and thinks that writing about the socks in her sock drawer could actually get the job done.
Later, Carrie and Charlotte hang out at an outdoor cafe, playing a game where they track the number of men (who walk by) they'd be willing to go to bed with. Charlotte has approved over half a dozen men, while Carrie keeps her score at zero...'cause, yeah, it's real believable that she'd be this picky about the men she's willing to bed-hop with. Charlotte tells her she's becoming too cynical, then invites her to attend a kooky self-help seminar she registered for that's being run by a kooky sounding Dr. Cheryl Grayson. Carrie makes a face, but then gives in when Charlotte points out that she could probably get a column out of it.
Charlotte suddenly spots a balding, big-headed man ambling towards them and remarks that no way would she ever hit the sheets with the likes of him...then looks panicked and says, "OMG! He's coming over here! Don't look up!" The balding, big-headed man turns out to be Gabe, Carrie's raunch column editor. He admonishes Carrie for not returning his many phone calls, and she hastily tells him that she's in the process of doing some research for her next column...and by research, she explains that she and Charlotte are keeping track of how many men who walk by they'd be willing to do the horizontal mambo with. Gabe rolls his eyes derisively and tells her they're a just weekly tabloid, and that no one's asking her [or has ever expected her] to fuck every man in the city in order to create column content. He then tells her the reason he's been trying to get a hold of her: an editor from Clearwater Press is interested in turning her columns into a book. The fuckety fuck? Carrie stares at him in stunned silence for a few seconds as that implausible news sinks in, then squeals, "Oooooh!" and beams up at him happily.
Carrie meets with two Clearwater Press editors - Lilly and Courtney - who both seem far too excited to be hanging out with a raunch writer of Carrie's sewage level calibre. They wank her about what big fans of her column they are and predict that the book will be a HUGE success 'cause of all the single women out there who are somehow desperate to keep up with all the sexcapades of Carrie and her oversexed friends. The editors would like to fast-track the book, but tell Carrie she's free to pick and choose the columns she'd like to include in the compilation. They add that they're also going to need her to write an introduction that ties her shittily written schlock together...then pause to ask what her view of love is, bearing in mind the various train wrecks and disappointments she's experienced throughout Seasons 1-4. Carrie stares blankly into space for a few seconds, then mutters something about how she's hopeful for love. Sorta.
Samantha's thrilled when Carrie tells her about the publishing of her book...and Carrie's about to retort when she's momentarily blinded by Samantha's ginormous canary diamond ring. Samantha explains that Richard gave it to her to expensively express his remorse for cheating on her.
Carrie's sitting on her bed, sorting through her columns and trying to think of a theme that's deeper than just "here's a random collection of my raunch-filled musings" for the introduction of her book.
Charlotte is at home chanting her daily affirmations, then writes "I believe in love" with lipstick on her bathroom mirror. Why she's so rabid about quickly hooking up with another man, I don't get. Didn't she just break up with Trey a couple of months ago? Chillax, girl.
Miranda is waiting for Steve at the church...and when he climbs out of a cab, she snarks, "I'm waiting in the rainnnn!" - but then quickly puts a lid on her bitchitude when she sees that Steve brought his maaaa along. Ma Brady is visibly disappointed that Miranda doesn't have Brady with her, and pulls out the tiny baby photo of him she likes to carry around and show to people. She tells Miranda she's grateful to be included in the baptism, natters about happy she is that her grandson isn't going to burn in hell, then ambles toward the priest when he emerges from the church. When she sourly informs him, "They're not getting married", Miranda shoots Steve the stink-eye and asks him if his maaaa has been drinking.
Inside the church, Miranda negotiates with the priest the terms of the baptism ceremony: no mention of being Catholic, no reference to original sin, or the renouncing of Satan. The priest is OK with it, 'cause (as Carrie voice-overs) the church had become like a desperate, thirty-six year old single woman that "was willing to settle for anything it can get".
Miranda takes Carrie with her to pick out a christening gown. Carrie remarks on what an odd tradition baptism is, then changes the topic to herself and babbles that in order to write up an introduction for her book, she needs to figure out if she's a pessimist or an optimist about the notion of love. Miranda shifts the conversation back to herself and says she only agreed to the baptism for Steve's sake, and describes Ma Brady as "Steve in a wig, drunk". She then asks Carrie if she would please do her the honor of becoming her son's godmother so she has someone to roll her at eyes at during the ceremony...and Carrie's like, "Er, OK."
Charlotte and Carrie arrive Dr. Cheryl Grayson's positive affirmation seminar...and everyone takes a written affirmation out a glass jar. Charlotte happily reads hers - I believe in the good in people - while Carrie jokingly says that hers reads I believe this is hooey, which fails to amuse Charlotte. When Carrie mentions that she helped pick out a christening gown for little Brady 'cause she's just been appointed godmother, Charlotte looks miffed at being passed over for the job. As Charlotte quietly sulks, Carrie glances around the auditorium and jokes about how the two of them look like they might be the only normal people at the seminar, then says, "I believe in the good of Charlotte." Charlotte suspends her sulking to ask Carrie what the christening gown looks like. White with a longish bottom part would be my guess.
Samantha and Richard are out dining at a swanky restaurant, where he's making it a point to refrain from brazenly checking out every hot woman who's sexily sashaying past their table. Samantha tells him he'll have to escort her to Miranda's baby baptism on Sunday, and he says he's A-OK with that 'cause of how much he loooooves her.
Dr. Cheryl Grayson is nattering about love, and how "it will come to you when you believe you deserve it". A woman in the audience stands up and says her affirmations have been so effective that she fell in love last week and now knows she deserves it. Please. She's either shamelessly wanking the instructor or was paid to get up and say that. Charlotte takes the mic and asks the doctor how long it's going to take her to find soulmate #2, then says she's been doing her affirmations every day, but yet nothing is happening...so she's becoming doubtful it ever will. Dr. Grayson chides her for her fear and doubt, then breezily tells her to continue repeating her affirmations and attending her for-profit seminars...and eventually her love life will magically sort itself out. Charlotte is dissatisfied with that answer and gives a brief synopsis of meeting Trey, rushing head-first into an ill-advised marriage, then accuses her ex of taking away her ability to believe in love. She insists she puts herself out there, but feels hopeless about finding someone before the ink on her divorce papers dries. Dr. Grayson suggests she's not really putting herself out there or is trying very hard - and an irked Carrie grabs the mic and barks, "Believe me. She's out there" and Charlotte shoots her a grateful smile for coming to her defence.
Carrie arrives at church on Baptism Sunday wearing a pink flower thing on her head that looks exactly like the shower sponge that's hanging in my bathroom. She meets Brady's godfather-to-be, a dork named Patrick, who kisses her hand and suggests they hook up after the baptism...and I'm genuinely surprised when Carrie doesn't seriously consider the icky offer. Miranda swoops in to rescue her from Patrick's smarmy clutches, and Carrie pulls her aside and points out the obvious: that she's clearly not godmother material, and that Charlotte would have been a waaaaay better choice. Miranda disagrees, says she loves that she's not maternal...and that while she doesn't believe in any of the religious stuff, she believes in their friendship and really really wants her to be Brady's godmother.
During the baptism, Charlotte tiptoes toward the front of the church to take photos of Carrie holding Brady...and a leering Patrick photobombs a few of the shots. As the priest performs the ceremony, Ma Brady and Magda look on with undisguised delight, while Samantha jokes to Richard that there's not enough holy water in the world to cleanse him. As the two chuckle about his extracurricular pussy munching in the Season 4 finale, Carrie voice-overs that she hoped the water would wash away her "original cynicism".
As everyone files out of the church, Richard needlessly tells Miranda he really did get scared of being exclusive with Samantha...and Miranda gives him a look that says 'why in blazes would you bother telling me this?' then breezily says, "OK, whatever. Thanks for coming." She grumbles to Carrie and Charlotte about what a slimy player he is, but Charlotte gazes dreamily into space and chirps, "I dunno. Maybe things will work out between them."
Back at Casa Bradshaw, Carrie dedicates her book to "hopeful, cynical women everywhere", in particular Charlotte: the eternal optimist who's desperately on the hunt for rich husband #2.