Season 2, Episode 10: The Caste System

Okay I immediately have issues with this episode, so let’s not waste time exploring why Carrie Bradshaw is the worst.

#1 – In Carrie’s voice-over at the beginning of the episode she says, “It’s easy for me to say I love you New York. It’s not so easy to say I love you Mr. Big. The first time I realized I actually loved Big was over toast and coffee one morning.” Really? That’s the first time? After you told him to tell you that you were “the one” like a year ago? But you didn’t realize you loved him yet?

#2 – He takes her to the ballet and she wants to tell him she loves him because he hates the ballet so he’s obviously doing this for her. But instead, she says she loves his hair. When she actually says I love you, it is because he gives her some hideous duck purse and she says that instead of “I hate this.” Big of course doesn’t say it back and just says some version of, “You’re welcome and I will wait for you outside.” Here is the purse that triggered the meltdown.

#3 – At lunch, she tells the girls if he doesn’t say it back in a week or so she’ll have to break up with him. “I love you” is not something you should say unless you know it is going to be reciprocated.

#4 – While the girls are all getting pedicures, they have a discussion about money (Miranda feels bad for making more than Steve and doesn’t want it to bother him). Carrie chimes in after Charlotte makes a rude comment about how anyone can be serious about someone who is JUST a bartender.

Wait a minute, rich men date not so rich women all the time. Look at me and Big. It’s not about money. It’s about compatibility.

I’m not saying Carrie is completely a gold digger but she does tend to shift her efforts towards men who can inadvertently support her shopping habit. Although maybe that’s a tad unfair. She did basically ditch out on a free trip to St. Bart’s because Big wouldn’t tell her she was The One. On the other hand, if you look at her dating patterns, she puts up with more shit from guys with money than guys like 20-something Sam. Here is a brief overview:

  • Big is loaded. He strings her along for all six seasons and most of the first movie and yet she keeps going back. After he won’t tell her she’s the one, after he moves to France, after he marries someone else, after he says he made a mistake, gets her to cheat on Aidan, gets jealous of the jazz player. I could go on forever. I’m sure it isn’t JUST the money that makes him such a catch (in her eyes) but it definitely plays a role.
  • 70-year old ballerina Aleksandr Petrovsky treats her (AND HER FRIENDS) like shit both before and in Paris. BUT HE HAS THE WHOLE FLOOR OF HIS BUILDING TO HIMSELF YOU GUYS.
  • Keith, her LA fling, who woos her with VIP rooms and dates at restaurants she can’t get into. (But turns out to be Carrie Fisher’s assistant.)
  • And just some of the dudes who never stood a chance: 20-something Sam, Wade, the dude who lived with his parents, Sean, who she essentially dumped for being bisexual, just to name a few.
  • Here is a comprehensive ranking of her boyfriends from Entertainment Weekly.

#5 – Big takes her out to dinner and she’s sure he’s finally going to say I love you back because he says there is something he’s been meaning to tell her since the night he gave her the purse. Instead of saying I love you, he tells her she can return the duck. And she looks like she will literally murder him.

#6 – Later, at a cocktail party on Park Avenue, Carrie realizes Big doesn’t love her because he brings her where she feels out of place (she did bring the duck purse though). She makes a couple of snide comments and Big tells her not to be a bitch.

When the woman hosting the party tells her she can’t smoke inside, Carrie is banished to the terrace. She runs into Jeremiah, a performance artist slash caterer working at the party. He shows her his new below the belt tattoo and Serena, the hostess, catches them and tells Big that Carrie was giving Jeremiah a blow job, which she obviously wasn’t. Big confronts her and tells her she is embarrassing him. She’s offended (trigger meltdown). She gets hammered with Jeremiah (because he was obviously fired) and brings him home and they make out a bunch but don’t sleep together.

#7 – That morning, Big calls and says he knows why she’s really angry, blah blah, he has to do it in his own time, blah blah, and when Carrie remains silent he says, “Well I fucking love you. You know I do.” He says it’s a tough thing for him to say because he always gets in trouble when he says it (maybe because he says it when he never means it).

In the final voice-over, Carrie says she felt like the lowest of the low (due to her little sleepover) but that, “Everything before I love you just doesn’t count.” Is that true? Or did she just get that from Convenient Theories for You Monthly (copyright Miranda Hobbes, season 5, I think).

SIDEBAR: I hate this Miranda and Steve break up. He should have just let her buy him the suit. He says he didn’t feel good about himself for not being able to afford a nice suit and inadvertently makes her feel like shit. They break up over a suit. I hate it.

2 thoughts on “Season 2, Episode 10: The Caste System

  1. ok i decided this Miranda & Steve breakup doesn’t even really count. it’s just shoehorned into the plot because the writers like to have EVERY character experience the theme of the episode (in this case, caste system blahblah)

    i think those two characters would have actually reached some sort of compromise (UH RENT A SUIT??) because they are actually more or less reasonable humans. compared to some.


  2. I think the Charlotte subplot is implausible. The Samantha storyline was really problematic. I do wonder would Miranda and Steve really have worked out in real life. What do they have in common? I guess they experienced a lot together, Miranda’s eye surgery, Steve’s health crisis, and a child. Maybe that was enough. However, I felt like when Miranda was eating the pizza she was almost condescending and inauthentic.


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