If we know anything about Carrie Bradshaw (Annasophia Robb), it’s that she can’t resist a tempting tumultuous love triangle. While we know she won’t end up with either Sebastian (Austin Butler) or new fling George (Richard Kohnke) when push comes to shove (and she hits her forties), The Carrie Diaries planted the seeds for what is sure to be “Dangerous Territory” for Bradshaw’s curly teen heart.
The episode opened with Carrie sorting through stacks and stacks of files at her internship just before bumping into Upper East Side socialite George. After a bit of chitchat, the two realized they’d met before. Well, Carrie was four, and the boy purposely gave her poison ivy, so needless to say, it wasn’t exactly love at first site. Carrie’s boss appeared fond of rich boy George right off the bat. As it turned out, he was the boss’s son. Smitten with a now teenage Bradshaw, George invited her to a socialite only soirée. You have to call parties soirées when you’re talking about rich people; rules are rules.
Back in her life as a Connecticut bumpkin, Carrie was set to ace her driving test. In fact, it was the perfect excuse to turn down George for that date. In truth, Carrie was still holding out for a rekindling with Sebastian. Maggie (Katie Findlay) and Mouse (Ellen Wong), of course, had their own opinions. Having hit it off while getting high as a kite with Sebastian, Mouse understood the intrigue. Maggie, on the other hand, couldn’t believe Carrie’s refusal of a invite from a loaded college boy.
Still, Carrie remained resolute in her private pining. That is, until she completely tanked her driving test. Bradshaw saw her confidence shattered when she caught a glimpse of Sebastian sucking face with Donna LaDonna (Chloe Bridges) in her rearview mirror. Seriously, what the hell were they doing standing behind her car to begin with, let alone making out? Carrie’s parallel park was a total disaster, and Donna cried attempted murder. Sebastian, having banished Donna to go wait wherever, kind of sorted things out with Carrie. Obviously, Carrie had to lie through her teeth for fear of looking like a pathetic single person. How about that date, George? One woman’s mega-rich trash is that same woman’s only option in a pickle!
Carrie would have to think fast if she wanted to impress George’s socialite ice queen of a mom. Kick, yes Kick, was known for her cutthroat taste in caviar and scary artwork. Carrie would need help in the form of her boss to make things work. You can’t wear plain old navy to a party requesting Sapphire, Bradshaw! The Jewel Party was the event of the season. Guests were requested to wear jewel colored dresses, while Kick dressed in all white and draped herself in actual jewels. Carrie managed to find a cocktail dress that worked just fine, and after dressing it up with some costume jewelry from the previous year’s party, I don’t think Annasophia Robb ever looked better on this show.
Why did her tough yet awesome boss suddenly take a liking to her? She has a soft spot for George, who ends up constantly dragged into his parents’ sticky divorce situation. Carrie is a hard worker, and George could use an actual work ethic. Everything was going swimmingly, until George showed up in a tuxedo, having totally forgotten to mention to Carrie that the party had been upgraded from cocktail wear to a formal dress code. Really, man? That counts as at least two strikes in girl world if you ask me. That’s just awful. Telling Carrie to merely wear “blue” was bad enough.
Meanwhile, Mouse had gotten it stuck in her head that she was bad in bed. Well, she only slept with her on again/ off again beau Seth once, and not since they’d gotten back together. She turned to none other than Walt (Brendan Dooling) for help. Walt has, of course, become a sexpert between last episode’s desperate attempt at “straightening” out his sexuality by using Maggie and now. I’m not really buying Walt’s explanation that all a guy needs is absolutely anything to get off. I understand being confused about one’s sexuality in high school, but I don’t understand going from closeted gay virgin to faux-straight sexual aficionado overnight. Walt’s excuse was that he watched a sex how-to tape. He decided to share his almost-sex tape secret with Mouse. Mouse is a smart girl. She’d be a good student. She had, what, a few hours before Seth arrived?
Maggie, in the mean time, spent the entirety of the episode standing off with self-proclaimed “bitch” Donna Ladonna at the diner. The diner is Carrie’s territory, and Maggie wasn’t about to let this girl steal Sebastian and the best grilled cheese spot in town. Things even got a little physical at one point. The two were smashed into one booth, pressed against one another, hoping to knock each other out. It looked kind of like what happens when someone too big sits in the wrong part of the seat on that spinning Himalaya ride at the boardwalk. Everybody ends up on top of each other in agony until the ride ends. Donna eventually gave in.
Maggie: “What do you want, world domination? It’s a diner.”
Basically, Donna wasn’t satisfied with simply having Sebastian, she needed to rub it in Carrie’s face. Carrie was busy gallivanting around Manhattan, though, so Sebastian had some time to fix things. Unfortunately, Maggie learned that Sebastian’s feelings for Donna are real. He likes her in spite of her being a bitch, not because she’s a bitch. Sorry, Bradshaw.
Carrie borrowed a tutu from her boss’s daughter and, there you have it, a cocktail dress became couture. Carrie didn’t know the meaning of the word “couture,” but couldn’t she have faked it a little better? George’s mom seemed pleasant enough, until she informed George that she’d invited his ex-girlfriend Blithe, fresh out of rehab! What a treat that would be! Blithe strutted into the party wearing ruby red because, well, she’s a villain, and all bad people wear red!
Dinner was a bit of a disaster. Blithe and her blond buddy chatted about jet setting and limo rides, but we knew talk would eventually turn to roasting Carrie. Seriously, why would George make that “how was rehab” comment to his obviously awful ex at the dinner table? Carrie brought up her pitiful showing at the DMV, only to receive in return a bunch of perplexed and pretentious glares. Joke’s on them; driving rules, obviously! You can control the radio!
In an attempt to salvage her night, Carrie called Mouse from a golden phone in the “powder room.” Mouse was concise in her pep talk. You’re not dating the mom. Blithe sucks. Enough said. Carrie seemed sufficiently pepped, only to subsequently overhear George and his mother discussing how she doesn’t fit into their world. Carrie, quite literally, ran the hell out of that stuffy soirée. George followed, attempting to explain that he’d been disagreeing with his mother. He likes Carrie because she’s not a part of their world. He wants something “real.” Did anyone else find it funny when he talked about how he sometimes finds himself sitting at dinners, like this one, only to think, “how did I get hear?” It’s called being born, dude.
As it turned out, Mouse was indeed a quick study. She knocked her boyfriends socks off after going over Walt’s tape. Seth was so impressed that he got to wondering how she got so much better than she was during the perfectly pleasant first sexual encounter they’d had. Jumping to conclusions, Seth assumed she slept with another guy while they were split and admitted to sleeping with two other girls during that time. Mouse, embarrassed to admit the truth for fear of feeling inadequate, let him think what he wanted. Still, I was impressed with Mouse for standing up against double standards regarding slutting it up. Seth freaked but expected her to accept his escapades because he’s a boy. Mouse, in desperation, named Walt as her “teacher.” Watch out, Walt!
It took me the majority of the episode to realize that George’s father is Carrie’s father Tom’s (Matt Letscher) best friend Harlan (Scott Cohen). Tom had been dealing with his own problem, having lost his wedding ring at the gym. Harlan had been advising him to take it as a sign from the Universe to move on and get back out there. Tom refused to see things that way, until he nearly ran a woman over with his car while distracted. Offering the limping woman a lift home, the two apparently hit it off. Unwilling to let her slip away so easily, they exchanged numbers, whether he’s ready to actually date again or not. A ring is not a marriage, in any case.
Back at the party, Kick fake cried in an attempt to win George over. The heart of her plea was true, I guess. She is all alone, save for her son, after her marriage to a regular old normal person, like Carrie, failed. Eventually, Carrie let it slip that she was a Bradshaw, and Kick’s entire opinion changed like the flip of a coin. In truth, she and Carrie’s mother were great friends. Carrie’s mother, Grace, brought the best out of her. She was fun and loved the city. She got drunk. Carrie couldn’t believe her ears, having remembered her mother gardening as opposed to rubbing elbows with Upper East Siders. According to Kick, Tom dragged her mother kicking and screaming from New York to start a family in the suburbs. Before letting Carrie get back to George, she pinned the first of Carrie Bradshaw’s signature flowers to her jacket. Her mother always did the same. That was a nice little homage to Sex and the City. Carrie thanked Kick for “giving her a piece of her mom.”
The episode closed with Carrie retaking (and nailing) her driving test. At the diner, Walt narrowly escaped Seth’s rage, before Mouse stepped in and admitted the truth. Seth would have to respect her as a girl if they were going to work. Carrie arrived just in time for celebratory hugs with her pals. We got one last shot of her teaching George how to drive. Maybe they can work after all.
What did you all think of The Carrie Diaries Season 1 Episode 5, “Dangerous Territory”? Are you feeling the new love triangle? Do you buy Walt’s sudden sexual prowess? Did you like the nod to Sex and the City?
Thanks for reading my Recap and Review of The Carrie Diaries Season 1 Episode 5, “Dangerous Territory”!