Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 1, Episode 10 of The CW's "The Carrie Diaries," titled "The Long And Winding Road Not Taken."
Carrie and Sebastian were in full force in tonight's episode of "The Carrie Diaries." The episode opened with Carrie declaring that all roads led to Sebastian -- well, to Sebastian's lips, to be exact.
Carrie was back interning at Interview magazine, dating Sebastian and getting along with her dad so well that he planned to give her a credit card for her birthday. Walt took some responsibility for the disaster of a relationship he had with Maggie, while Mouse angled to get into Harvard by courting Stacy, a Castlebury High alum who went to college "in Cambridge."
At Interview, Larissa forced Carrie to work the door check at a Bret Easton Ellis book party, which fell on her birthday. The scheduling conflict didn't stop Carrie from attending.
While Sebastian and Carrie stood lip-locked in the hall, Donna asked the Interview magazine intern if she could get her the Coach duffle bag in red, a request that seemed to outrage both Carrie and Sebastian.
In search for a birthday gift, Dorrit went to a record store to buy a Phil Collins record for Carrie but got locked in a closet for shoplifting instead. The semi-cute teenage guy in the record store said he didn't' call the cops on Dorrit because he liked her taste in music, a move that only seemed to further frustrate the angry teen.
Carrie took Walt to the book party instead of Sebastian (who had to have dinner with his mom), where Larissa clarified that Carrie was not meant to work the door or the coat check, only the room.
As Carrie fluttered about, Walt ran into Bennett, the Interview magazine staffer he made out with on Halloween. Walt was basically on an amends tour this episode, apologizing to Maggie for not loving her the way she needed and to Bennett for calling him a "f*g." Though Walt didn't admit to being gay, he did take another step down the road to self-discovery and asked if he could see Bennett again. I think we are one, maybe two episodes out from Walt fully coming out of the closet.
Meanwhile, Carrie entertained a circle of writers and publishers, pontificating about the "coming of age" book she was writing about a virgin whose friends teach her that "sex is like putting a hotdog in a keyhole." I guess we are meant to believe here that this idea is the genesis of Carrie's later New York Star column about sex, but her whole pitch seemed pretty juvenile. But right as a young adult publisher seemed to demonstrate interest, Sebastian arrived and blew up the whole moment. He then proceeded to drink himself into a stupor in less than 10 minutes.
"Lesson learned," Carrie said as she escorted a drunk Sebastian out of the party. "When you find your future at a party, don't let it leave without you."
Back in Castlebury, Dorrit headed to the record store to get the record for Carrie she left behind. The semi-cute teenage boy hit on her and shared her first kiss among punk cassette tapes. At this point, I was enjoying Dorrit's cheesy storyline more than Carrie's book party-hopping experiences.
Carrie drove Sebastian's car home from the city and planned to stay the night at his place, but just when I thought Carrie was going to lose her virginity to Sebastian (they are getting pretty close), his mom walked in. Faced with the dilemma of taking care of her drunk boyfriend or chasing after the publisher who showed interest in her hotdog-keyhole sex book, Carrie ended the episode by mulling over the perennial question, "Can women have it all?"
Carrie snagged the red Coach duffle bag from Interview and gave it to Donna for being a good friend to Walt in last week's episode. Carrie and Donna seemed to share a moment where they both acknowledged what they suspected about Walt's sexuality without saying anything. Donna happily accepted the purse.
The episode ended with Carrie celebrating her birthday over lunch at the diner with Dorrit, Mouse, Maggie, Walt and Sebastian. More than fancy book parties or steamy sleepovers, Carrie seemed to prefer celebrating her birthday with her closet friends, boyfriend and sister. "Wish granted," she said after she blew out the candle on her pink cupcake.
Though the episodes focus on different themes, the ending reminded me of the last scene of the "Sex and the City" episode "Cock-a-Doodle-Do," where roosters keep Carrie up all night and transvestites disturb Samantha's slumber. During a "kiss-and-make-up-party" on Samantha's roof, Carrie closes the episode by saying of her and her friends, "Don't worry. They have a very lovely life." They do, indeed.
"The Carrie Diaries" airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. on the CW.
Follow Rebecca Shapiro on Twitter: www.twitter.com/rebeccashap