Recap: Carrie is sitting in a bar, waiting for her blind date (Ted) to arrive. A couple of guys enter the bar, check Carrie out when she blushingly smiles and then stares at them expectantly, but none of them admits to being Ted. Assuming that Ted even bothered to show up.
At brunch the next day, Carrie tells the gals about the humiliation of getting stood up on a blind date she lowered herself to go on in the first place. Charlotte asks her if she's absolutely sure she was stood up, and Carrie says that the options are that:
a) Ted didn't show up
b) Ted got a good look at her horsey face and ran for the hills (the likeliest outcome)
She can't decide which is more insulting...though I'm pretty sure that being rejected at first glance is infinitely more insulting than just being stood up. Samantha tells Carrie it's beneath her to be going out on blind dates, and Carrie concurs and declares that she's done with dating altogether, especially since she's guaranteed of having a fun time whenever she spends the evening with one or more of them. Charlotte makes a yeech face and urges her to keep plugging away at the dating game and continue to take risks - otherwise she might end up an old maid. Egads!
Carrie changes the topic to Charlotte's thirty-sixth birthday and wants to discuss how and where they will be celebrating this milestone - but Charlotte hangs her head in shame and says her life isn't at all what she thought it would be by this point and pronounces that she's "sticking" at thirty-five. Miranda tells her to buck up like the rest of them when they had to turn thirty-six, but Samantha tells her to let Charlotte be and that lying about her age is the smartest thing she's done in years. She then tells the gals she can't make the birthday party, 'cause Richard has a poker game in Atlantic City on the weekend, so they're both flying there on his private jet...and Carrie sulks about it being total bullshit that the four of them can't get together to celebrate Charlotte's thirty-faux birthday.
At Casa Bradshaw, Carrie continues to mutter, "This is bullshit", then gets on the horn with Samantha for a last ditch effort to sort out a way for the four of them to get together to celebrate Charlotte's birthday. Samantha pauses the call to ask Richard if he'd mind terribly if she skipped going to Atlantic City with him 'cause of how badly Carrie wants the four of them to get together this weekend, and he offers to book a few suites at the Atlantic City hotel for the slutbags and adds that there's plenty of room for them on his private jet. Carrie excitedly shrieks, "Yessss!!" over the phone.
Carrie arrives at Miranda's apartment so they can head to the airport together. Miranda answers the door with her sad face on and tells her she's not ready to be separated from her baby - then flashes a smile and goes, "Just kidding!" and giddily says she's been freeeeee ever since Steve left with their bundle of joy two hours ago.
Speaking of Steve...
A few seconds later, Steve appears on Miranda's doorstep with a wigged out expression on his face. He says, "I can't do this" and tells Miranda he's terrified to be alone with Brady in case he accidentally kills him. A deflated Miranda tells Carrie she'd better go 'cause otherwise she'll miss the private jet, but Carrie refuses and insists that they'll figure something out.
Charlotte enters Richard's private jet and looks less than thrilled when she sees that only Richard and Samantha are aboard...and that they're ickily entwined in each other's arms. Samantha explains that Carrie and Miranda had a problem with the baby, blah blah, and that they'll meet them in Atlantic City. Charlotte spots a wrapped gift on one of the seats, assumes it's a birthday gift from Samantha, and happily unwraps it...and is confused when it's a string of pearls attached to a piece of material. Richard's like, "Oops" and explains that it's a pearl thong he bought for Samantha...and Samantha cackles with delight and gives him a thank you smooch. Charlotte takes her knitting out of her purse and remarks on how much the hobby calms her nerves (thought I'm not sure what she'd be stressed about since she has no job and lives in the luxurious Park Avenue apartment she snagged from Trey), but Samantha and Richard are too focused on their dry-humping to even grunt any kind of reply.
Miranda is sniping at Steve for abdicating his responsibility in caring for Brady this weekend. Carrie confers privately with Magda, then rushes back over to Miranda and tells her that Magda has generously offered to help Steve take care of the baby this weekend. After a few seconds of hemming and hawing, Miranda agrees, but then says, "We've already missed the jet. How would we even get there?" ... and in the next scene, the two are climbing aboard the old lady express bus. Miranda pulls out a stack of magazines and says she's been wanting some alone time with these lovelies - but Carrie looks put out and reminds her that they have to put the time in to invest in their friendship...then glances around at all the elderly women and quietly remarks, "At the end of the line, it's just going to be us ladies riding a bus."
When the gals converge at the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, an energized Carrie urges them to take it all in...then takes a few deep breaths and sighs wistfully about how much she's missed the stench of stale cigarette smoke. She then offers to take "my ladies" out for dinner, and they all perk up and look thrilled to share yet another meal together.
In the restaurant, Miranda hands Charlotte a birthday present...and when Charlotte anxiously reminds her that she's not celebrating this year 'cause she's sticking at thirty-five, Miranda tells her it's just something silly she bought in the hotel gift shop for $3.99. Charlotte unwraps the gift, which is a deck of Old Maid cards, so she shoots Miranda the stink-eye and snaps, "Is this supposed to be funny?!" and Miranda's like, "Well duh. Look in a mirror. You're the furthest thing from an old maid." Richard stops by their table to smarmily say hey and announce that his poker game is about to start...and a few seconds later, a busty waitress sashays over to flirtily greet Richard and escort him to the game. Samantha glares after them and grumbles, "Who picked this breastaurant?" and decides she's far too insecure to let Richard play a game of poker without her hovering over him every second.
The gals (sans Samantha) are having a fun time gambling when some random guy asks Carrie to blow on his dice for luck. She declines and urges him to ask Charlotte, who for some reason is dressed in a Victorian Era schoolmarm ensemble. The random guy's friend makes a blech face and says, "No, get the hot one" [despite the fact that Charlotte would be the hot one in this scenario if she simply unbuttoned her high collar and released her lustrous hair from the severe ponytail she's currently sporting]. The random guy shrugs and tells Carrie he wants her to blow on his dice 'cause she's his lucky blonde, and she gigglingly indulges...and a few seconds later, the random guy wins $12,000. As everyone woots and cheers, he tosses a $1,000 chip at Carrie and urges her to get in the game and have some fun. Charlotte, meanwhile, stares daggers at him and mutters to herself about how sexist [and clearly demented] he proved himself to be when he referred to Carrie as "the hot one". Carrie suggests they all go see ZZ Top in the Magic Carpet Room, but Miranda says she's ready to call it a night, and heads up to her room. A miffed Carrie screeches after her, "You can't leave! In five minutes, Charlotte turns thirty-five again!" and Charlotte snaps at her to shut it, then storms off to her room.
Carrie is sitting on her hotel room bed, studying the $1,000 chip she got from the random guy. She can't help but wonder why people gamble if the house always wins...then scrunches her face as if she's thinking deep thoughts while staring mutely into space.
The next morning, Samantha tells Richard she'll probably hang with her gal pals all day, and he says he's not yet sure what his plans are. A sexy maid enters the room, flirtily greets Richard, then gets introduced to Samantha as Terry...and Samantha snidely says, "That oughta be easy to remember. Terry with her terrycloth towels" and bitchily ushers her out of the room. She glares at Richard, who tells her it's silly and immature to be jealous of a casino cleaning lady - but since Samantha decides that silly and immature is the direction in which she wants to take this relationship, she goes on the offensive by unbuttoning her shirt and dropping to her knees to give Richard a blow job so he won't be tempted to get one elsewhere.
Charlotte stands in front of her bathroom mirror thinking about what an old maid she looks like, which...well duh, since in this scene, Pat Field has decked her out in an old lady floral bathrobe and vintage shower cap. Considering Charlotte's fashion savvy and the gorgeous clothes we've seen her wear in every other episode of SATC, it's hard to believe she'd even own a vintage shower cap, much less pack it for a weekend trip to Atlantic City.
Carrie and Miranda are playing the slot machines when an exhausted looking Samantha appears and reports that she just finished a three hour romp with Richard and is pretty sure "he's fucked out now". She explains that it was a necessary act of defensive fucking 'cause of all the cheap looking whores flying at him from every direction.
And speaking of cheap looking whores...
The three are suddenly startled by the sight of Charlotte strutting toward them in a skimpy, cleavage-baring dress. She tells the gals she didn't like the schoolmarm clothes she somehow thought would be fun to wear in Atlantic City, so she went and bought this dress in the hotel gift shop. Carrie jokes that these kinds of dresses are for women who have lost all their money and have to turn tricks...but Charlotte just giggles at her renewed hotness, and the gals go off to gamble.
Samantha laments tagging along with her cheating beau to "Atlantic Titty", then complains about how her pearl thong is chafing her nether regions. Miranda loses big at the blackjack table and asks Carrie for her $1,000 chip...but Carrie isn't ready to part with it, and the two get into a bickerfest. A chubby, impatient guy who's been waiting to play blackjack glares in their direction and snarks, "Hey, Red, move your fat ass!" and the room falls silent as the gigolas stare back at him in shocked disgust. When Samantha asks him who the hell he thinks he is, he's all, "Ah, fuck you" and Charlotte gets all in his face and explains that Miranda's ass isn't normally this big - and Miranda kind of perks up at that and says, "Yes, thank you...I almost forgot. My ass is fat because I just had a baby. You asshole!" Samantha and Carrie get in on that action and shriek, "What's your excuse? You having triplets?!" and as Chubbo hangs his head in well-deserved shame, the gals strut off proudly, high-fiving each other. A mortified Miranda says she wants to go back to her room and feel bad about her fatness...then ambles off, ensuring sure that her ample behind is adequately covered by her long cardigan sweater.
Samantha gets a call from Richard on her cell phone, informing her that he just scheduled a conference call. Naturally, Samantha assumes it's code for 'I'm fucking the hotel maid', and makes a run for the elevator. When one isn't immediately available, she races to the stairwell (instead of just waiting a few seconds for the next elevator) and struggles up each flight of stairs to get to her floor, removing the torturous pearl thong in the process. When she bursts into the suite, out of breath and clutching the pearl thong in one hand, she finds Richard sitting alone on the couch, calmly wrapping up his conference call. She glances around, amazed to not find a naked woman strutting around, and exclaims, "No one's here!" and says she was certain he'd be fucking someone right now. Richard assures her he's doing his best to not hurt her again and insists he loves her...and she says she loves him too, but adds, "I love me more." She takes off the giant canary diamond ring he gave her during the previous episode, and lays that and the pearl thong on the table in front of Richard before walking out of the room and out of this creepy relationship forever. As she ambles down the hall, she passes maid Terry, who smirks knowingly in her direction...and apparently this helps validate Samantha's decision to break things off.
Charlotte wants to flirt with a couple of cute men in the bar, but Carrie says she'd much prefer to spend some one-on-one gal pal time with her on the boardwalk. Eventually, the men get tired of waiting around for them to decide if they want free drinks and look for booty elsewhere.
As Carrie and Charlotte ride around on a boardwalk trolley bus, Carrie suggests they just skip the drama of men altogether and spend the rest of their lives enjoying each other's company. Charlotte makes a yeech face and says she doesn't want to skip the drama of men, since drama is life, aka marriage and kids. Two things she's been desperately seeking since the pilot. Carrie sadly mulls that over and decides to amble off alone...then finds a park bench where she can wistfully contemplate the train wreck her life has turned into ever since her disastrous decision to cut Aidan loose.
Back at the casino, Carrie decides to gamble her $1,000 chip and places a bet...and promptly loses. Haha!
The gals are on the old lady express bus, heading back to Manhattan. Miranda is annoyed at Carrie for squandering the $1,000 chip, since it would have afforded them a more comfortable mode of transportation. Carrie says she assumed they were taking the jet back, then irritably asks Samantha why she couldn't have broken up with Richard one day later. Charlotte pulls out her deck of Old Maid cards and suggests a game to pass the time...and when everyone chirps, "I'm in!", Carrie decides it's a moment they'll all want to remember and asks the woman sitting across the aisle to snap their picture.