Title: The Carrie Diaries S1.E03 “Read Before Use”
Released: 2013

Previous episode: “Lie With Me”

I highly doubt the creators of The Carrie Diaries are pandering to my specific interests–I guess if they were this show would just be slow-mo Austin Butler montages, Maggie being a drama queen and Dorrit wearing a lot of eyeliner and listening to The Smiths in her bedroom.

Sorry Carrie.

Even though Carrie’s dad told her she couldn’t see Sebastian, she still really wants to which is reinforced by a bunch of slow-mo Austin Butler montages. Carrie turns to Larissa for advice who tells her the most basic and universal of truths: we want what we can’t have. And more specifically, the clearly troubled bad boy who we know is terrible for us. Larissa has also had an affair with her father’s best friend, so I guess she would know?

Carrie takes this advice to heart and after her and Sebastian share a moment listening to the new The Cars tape together with one pair of headphones! To which Carrie’s voice over describes as “we had a connection, literally.”  But instead of just sneaking off with Sebastian, which seems like the reasonable thing to do, she decides to try to confront her father who reveals that his reasoning for not allowing Carrie to see Sebastian is because Sebastian was a former client of his. To be completely honest, I completely forgot that Carrie’s dad was a lawyer, so that was a surprise for me!

Carrie, thank god, goes and reads her dad’s case files to see what kind of terrible thing Sebastian did. Played a prank that went awry on a teacher? Got in a sexy shirtless fistfight? Smoked pot under the bleachers?

None of the above.

Sebastian, in classic Dawson’s Creek fashion, slept with his art history teacher. ESCANDALO. Carrie, however, immediately forgets that she got this information from her dad’s private files and asks her friends for advice. Mouse thinks this makes Sebastian unsuitable boyfriend material, Maggie the opposite.

Carrie goes on her park date with Sebastian anyways, which he very considerately brought a bag of chips to and an extra set of headphones so they can listen to The Cars together. This is also known as make-out bait. After many lingering kisses later, Carrie freaks out and leaves after she asks him where he learned to kiss like that. I’m sure you can guess his response.

Carrie runs away to Manhattan to go to a performance art exhibit with Mouse and Larissa at Franklin Furnace. The performance artist is former porn star, Monica Penny, which focuses on her taking her vagina back–owning it if you will (Side note: the vagina heavy portion of the episode begins now). If you put a penny in the jar, Monica Penny will show you her vagina, which Carrie at first views as porn. After Mouse chickens out saying, “I don’t want to see her vagina. I’m sure it’s very nice,” it’s up to Carrie to take one for the team. So she sees Monica Penny’s vagina describing it as looking like the one in her biology textbook.

Monica Penny recognizes something in Carrie (maybe her future as a sex columnist?!) and gives a pretty epic feminist speech about power, vaginas and not letting a man make your decisions for you. This culminates in the obvious–Monica Penny declaring that Carrie, in an act of power, show her vagina to the good people at the exhibit because why not?

Carrie declines to which Larissa is at first taken aback by because I guess if Carrie didn’t show her vagina, her future of being on the side of a bus can’t happen? I’m unsure on Larissa’s train of thought but Carrie tells her that it’s her own way of wielding power and all is fine. But not showing her vagina to a crowd of strangers taught Carrie a valuable lesson, that she needs to go for what she wants or someone else would.

Guess what it is that she wants?

Duh. Even after she tells her dad that she is basically going to ignore his anti-Sebastian rule, Carrie kills things (for now) when she tells Sebastian she knows all about and told all her friends about his tryst with his teacher. In typical 16/17 (and 24, 28, 30) year old dude fashion, he shuts everything down saying that Carrie analyzes everything too much, there’s too much talking and it’s all too complicated. Poor Carrie.

We don’t see Walt at all this week, mainly because of post-Maggie breakup fallout I assume. But Mouse and Maggie have enough problems as well.

Mouse is supposed to meet pseudo ex-boyfriend Seth in New York. She wants to get ice cream at Serendipity, but Carrie and Maggie tell her that it isn’t nearly casual or sexy enough. Maggie also tries to get Mouse into something “super slutty in a good way” but Mouse ends up in a Peter Pan collar. Mouse, however does cave to a change of venue from ice cream parlor, so Seth meets her and Carrie at the art gallery. You guys! Seth is super cute. Good for Mouse. After Mouse’s vagina-related freak out, the two go and get ice cream and discuss their relationship, where Seth calls her his girlfriend and they kiss.

Maggie is in post-breakup freak out mode, although she’s determined not be a “drama queen” about it. Personally, I think it’s fair for Maggie to have a freak out. She was dating Walt for 2 years. Well I guess she doesn’t know he’s gay yet, so maybe let’s wait on that one. Mid-packing up Walt-centric mementos, Maggie basically stabs a stuffed bear he won for her to death. It was epic and cemented Maggie on my favorites list.

In Dorrit is amazing/best eyeliner ever/deserves all the ripped black pants section of these recaps, Dorrit’s shoplifting skills were put to the test this week. She gets a gold star because she stole a hamster, which seems to be a difficult thing to steal. She steals the hamster mainly because they have a soul-connection, her mother had told her she could eventual get one and she was pissed that her dad didn’t understand what Stouffer’s French Bread Pizza meant. She obviously names her hamster, Morrissey,  who as she bitchily explains to Carrie “is the lead singer of The Smiths.” Love you Dorrit. Also, love The Clash poster you have in your bedroom. In a predictable and cheesily terrible twist, Morrissey escapes from his shoe box home! Dorrit can’t find him and freaks out. She tries to lure him with bologna.

The only good part of this “storyline” is that it brings Maggie and Dorrit together, which is my new The Carrie Diaries spin-off idea. Maggie is freaking out since she stabbed that bear to death and come to Carrie for help. She instead finds Dorrit, who as we know from the pilot, has a storied history with cutting apart stuffed animals. Dorrit helps Maggie stitch (in the most punk-rock stitching ever) up the bear and Maggie helps look for Morrissey. Morrissey, however, is later found by their dad, but Dorrit gets to keep him, so all works out. And he got her the Stouffer’s French Bread pizzas, but they have pepperoni which doesn’t work for Dorrit since she’s been a vegetarian for a week. Baby steps!

Things of Note/Hilarity/WTF

  • There were so many patterned clothes in the 80s.

  • Let’s not deal with the Dad sexing up/being single storyline because I can’t with it. And apparently dudes, if you are a widow, it’ll get you laid? At least in the 80s anyways. But Carrie’s dad is above using that to meet women. Let’s see how he feels in a couple episodes. Also, let’s get rid of the dad’s grossly sexist friend.

  • Loved Carrie’s dress at the art exhibit.

  • Best Carrie pun of episode: “While someone was about to show their box, another one was being decorated.”  This is in the context of Morrissey’s hamster home, but she could have been talking about vajazzling, if that was a thing then too? P.S. Let’s stop having vajazzling be a thing. Jennifer Love Hewitt, I’m talking to YOU.

  • Best conversation after Carrie refused to flash her vagina at the art opening:

Art Patron 1: “When did people get so precious about their genitalia?”

Art Patron 2: “I would show my vagina, but I still got a penis.”

Next week: Carrie and Walt go to a costume party in New York? Walt explores his sexuality!

About the Contributor:

Kerensa Cadenas is a writer living in Los Angeles. She grew up on binge reading Sweet Valley High and watching Saved by the Bell at a very young age. Hence, she is now unable to grow out of this life-long phase. She loves terrible teen television, young adult novels and probably listens to One Direction more than she should. She also enjoys more adult things like margaritas on patios and dance parties. A Marcus Flutie/Nate Archibald man-hybrid remains her ideal.


This post was written by a guest writer or former contributor for Forever Young Adult.