In Episode 3 of The Carrie Diaries, Carrie comments life is easier if you read the labels; even people have labels such as ‘stoner’ or ‘class clown’ – Sebastian is labeled “boy of her dreams.” She asks her New York friend Larissa if it’s okay to go out with a guy whom her dad considers “poison” or a “bad boy.” Larissa says that going out with a “bad boy” is rule #1.
Sure bad boys are nice to look at and every gurl wants one, but over and over again those are the boys that hurt gurls and Carrie needs to be aware of that.
Carrie’s dad is shopping at the grocery store trying to pick out the right tampons for his daughters. He meets a lady named Celia who aids him in picking them out, writing her number on the box once she finds out he is a widower. Carrie’s dad switches the box with another box, clearly not ready for taking other women’s numbers since his wife’s death.
Sebastian saves Carrie a seat in class, where they listen to one of his favorite bands on a walkman. When Carrie sees her dad again she tries to convince him that Sebastian is a great guy and asks why he won’t let her see him. Her dad won’t tell her the reason and Carrie suspects that since he is a lawyer, he must have been one of his clients that he cannot say anything about. Later Carrie goes into her dad’s private files and finds a legal file on Sebastian. She discovers that he had sex with his art history teacher at his last school.
Dorrit takes off to the pet store and steals herself a hamster when her dad doesn’t buy her the pizza she usually eats. Maggie is trying to clear her room of stuff relating to Walt. She tries to lend Mouse a dress to go out with Seth. When they cannot find a dress that fits Mouse well, they call Carrie who, while searching for a shiny blue dress, finds Dorrit’s new pet hamster. She tells her that if she’s going to have a hamster she needs to take care of it and get the hamster a cage with food and some water. Carrie tries to make Dorrit take it back, who bargains with Carrie and gets to keep the Hamster when she finds out she’s going to have dinner with Sebastian.
I like the relationship between Carrie and Dorrit. They are cute and supportive sisters. I don’t think Carrie should go to dinner with Sebastian, but at least Dorrit has her back with their dad.
Carrie’s date with Sebastian goes well. She is not really hungry so they don’t eat, but Sebastian buys Carrie her own set of headphones so she can listen to his walkman with him together; they kiss and all the bad opinions Carrie has heard about Sebastian slips away until she comments on what a good kisser he is. When Sebastian mentions “he had a good teacher” Carrie takes off to go to an art exhibit with Larissa, along with Carrie’s friend Mouse and her date Seth. It’s difficult to hide secrets, and sometimes they eat you alive. I think Carrie hearing that Sebastian has lots of experience from a teacher at an old school bothers her more than she lets on.
In the funniest scenes from this show, Larissa takes Carrie to an art exhibit created by a former porn star named Monica Penny. Monica Penny does performance art now, and her new exhibit is called Taking Back Her Vagina. Everyone at the party can put money in a jar on a throne where Monica Penny sits and she will show the person her vagina. When it comes to Mouse’s turn, she can’t do it, but when Carrie puts in her coin she’s a little shocked when Monica takes a microphone and tells her to “never let any man make her decisions” and to take back her own vagina by showing it off.
Carrie passes on seeing Monica’s vagina and Larissa says she has misjudged Carrie,; she thought Carrie was going to be something. Carrie tells Larissa by choosing not to show her vagina Carrie is “owning her own power.” Larissa and Carrie make up and promise to have lunch soon. Carrie comments that Monica Penny saw something in her and that she has to define her own self. She wants Sebastian despite her dad’s rules. I believe Carrie is really trying be authentic here, not someone with a label. She is not going to do something she doesn’t want to do and that decision empowers her as a young women.
Meanwhile Dorrit has lost her hamster and Jessie comes to Carrie’s house after stabbing the stuffing out of Bear Bear and cutting off his head. Bear Bear was a stuffed animal symbolizing Maggie and Walt’s first kiss. Dorrit is able to fix Bear Bear, although Maggie cannot help her find her hamster. After Mouse left the Art Exhibit with Seth, she finds Seth is happy to be away from the body art and he and Mouse go for ice cream which is what she wanted to do in the first place. Seth calls Mouse is his girlfriend, who is thrilled with her new label. Maggie lets go of her old label as girlfriend and holds onto a new one: Drama queen.
While Carrie is at the art exhibit and Dorrit fixes Maggie’s bear, their dad goes to a singles bar with his friend. Being a widower seems to be the perfect pick up line, as a woman gives him her number on a cocktail napkin after he says his wife died. His friend from work asks him what the worst thing is that could happen if he calls – he says losing his wife was the worst thing that could have happened and is not ready for dating just yet. At home, Carrie talks her dad about Sebastian and tells him she read his private file and that everyone makes mistakes. Carrie’s dad is furious and says she’s not the Carrie Bradshaw he knows. Her dad also finds Dorrit’s hamster and allows her to keep it because her mom wanted her to have one.
Carrie goes to meet with Sebastian again and is a little bit nervous because Sebastian has more sexual experience then her. She tells him it’s okay about his teacher and Sebastian flips. He says that he never even knew there was a file on that and that he and Carrie are not going to happen. Carrie says that Sebastian should have come with a label saying “contents under pressure, handle with care” but that labels are hardly ever what anyone thinks they are. In the end, she makes up with her dad and tells him that it’s not an option for her to see Sebastian anymore. She says her own label is “heartbroken XL” but that labels only matter if you let them stick.
In the end I think Carrie says we may stereotype people, and people stereotype themselves, but she just needs to be in control of her own life – of her own label, whatever she wants that to be. I am disappointed she and Sebastian didn’t work out, but like I said, I never really trusted the guy to begin with. This chapter may be ending, but it is a good way for the show to introduce a new one into her life. Hopefully it includes a guy who has a better past.