This episode is probably in my top 5 of all SATC episodes. Not just because Carrie gets told off/yelled at and is a Nina Katz Face Victim at least three times, but because of what Samantha does for Miranda and Trey does for Charlotte. (Special mention to Kendall from 4D who we never see again but brings Miranda that vibrating baby chair that finally calms Brady down.)
Carrie and Stanford are at a Broadway Review of Chicago to support Marcus. Well, Stanford is there to support Marcus and Carrie is more concerned with her upcoming book review in the New York Times by Michiko Kakutani (MK). Of course, because she’s the worst, she also makes a snide comment about how she now understands the three drink minimum.
Here are other reasons she’s the worst:
#1 – She goes to the bathroom and inserts herself into a conversation between two women complaining about how the only men at this event are gay. Big mistake, Bradshaw. It turns out one of the women is Nina Katz, booker for SNL and first girlfriend of Aidan after Carrie. Yikes. That would explain this look.
Carrie’s look in response to this is some sort of confusion, as if she wasn’t responsible for ripping Aidan’s beating heart out of his chest. This look is the look of someone who thinks they are blameless when ending an engagement that never should have happened in the first place. Although I guess technically Aidan ended it but you get my point.
#2 – The next morning at brunch with the girls, she really kicks the self-involvement up a notch. She calls her encounter with Nina a “face and run” (sure).
Then this happens:
Okay, but where is the lie?
To recap, he was madly in love with her when she told him (ON THE MORNING OF CHARLOTTE’S WEDDING) that she cheated on him with Big. Then she badgered him into getting back together, shits on him for still being mad about and jealous of Big, accepts his marriage proposal and then drives him away because she’s “not ready” and he’s “pushing” her. So yeah – he would be messed up after that, wouldn’t he? Luckily this episode gives me about 900 more times to rage about how delusional she is.
#3 – Poor Miranda is exhausted because Brady cries all the time and doesn’t sleep. (Not cool that Samantha takes this cue to confirm her appointment with John Mandy at the John Mandy Salon but she makes up for it later). Charlotte offers to go home with her and help and also mentions she is meeting with a divorce lawyer on Monday and wants to pick her brain. Carrie interjects with the following critically important and relevant question: “Ask him if I could get an injunction to stop a face.” The way Charlotte just ignores that and moves on is amazing.
SIDEBAR: The fact that Charlotte ditches her hot lawyer for Harry so she can be herself and then ends up falling in love with him is epic.
#4 – Carrie gets up early to get a copy of the Times so she can read her review. Totally fine. Not totally fine? Calling Miranda to read it to her. Miranda is stressed and running on a single hour of sleep and the last thing she needs is this bitch reading a book review to her while she is trying to get ready for work. MK’s book review ends on the sentiment that Carrie finds men disposable (or at least writes that way). Instead of focusing on the rest of the positive review, she hones in on the last three words (men are disposable) and launches herself onto Obsession Island.
#5 – An exhausted Miranda has to listen to Carrie blather on about whether or not MK thinks she is a good person. One misconception I had about a part of this conversation is when Miranda accidentally falls asleep.
Carrie: So, yes, some of the men in the book are maybe a little disposable, but this makes it sound like I think men are disposable in life. What? What’s with the pause?
Miranda: I’m sorry. I fell asleep for a second.
Carrie: That’s a terrible thing to think about me. Oh, my God, that’s what the face meant. Do you think that Aidan thinks that I think he was disposable?SATC Transcripts
For the LONGEST time, I thought Carrie was saying it was terrible of Miranda to think she was boring enough that one could fall asleep on the phone with her. But no. She ignored that whole part and was still focused on the meaning of Nina’s face and whether or not MK thinks she disposes of men. If I were Miranda I would have hung up on her ass by now.
#6 – Carrie then assumes Aidan told Nina and Steve that Carrie disposed of him and now Steve hates her because she never sees him anymore. (She doesn’t see him because of his complicated relationship with Miranda – go figure).
As the spiral continues, Miranda finally loses it.
Carrie: I worked very hard at taking care of Aidan’s feelings. Will you mention that to Steve? Because if Aidan told Steve…
Miranda: Carrie, you know what? Maybe you should call your girlfriend Samantha. She has all kinds of time to talk about this kind of stuff. I know it’s me and I’m jealous of her free time and all, but if she could maybe just once acknowledge the fact that I’ve had a baby… It’s not enough I’ve alienated my neighbor. Now I’m alienating my friends.SATC Transcripts
But DID she work hard to take care of Aidan’s feelings? Because it seemed like it was all about her. She wasn’t ready to get married and unwilling to compromise, therefore….yeah sure, she definitely took Aidan’s feelings into consideration here. And also, she KNEW it hurt his feelings that she started wearing her engagement ring on a necklace but continued to do it anyway. Bang up job all around.
#7 – Carrie and Samantha are meeting for lunch when Carrie asks for a favor – for once, not a selfish one. She wants Samantha to acknowledge Miranda has a baby and try to be a bit more supportive. This is all ruined, of course, when she runs into a colleague, Julia, from Vogue who happens to be meeting Nina Katz for lunch.
Nina is trying to be polite but we get this from Carrie:
Now, I will say she makes this face AFTER Julia asks Nina how she and Carrie know each other and Nina says she will explain over lunch. But INITIALLY when Nina is being nice, Carrie can’t even fake not being shell shocked. Even worse for Carrie, Samantha knows Nina because she is the booker for SNL. Carrie’s main concern, of course, is that Nina is going to tell Julia how Carrie sucks ass and now everyone at Vogue and SNL will think so too.
SIDEBAR 2: Samantha Jones is a national treasure.
After this, she goes to Miranda’s to send her to the hair appointment with John Mandy while Samantha watches Brady. I love this so much because Samantha is not a baby person at all but she loves Miranda enough to be “Mary Fuckin’ Poppins” for a few hours. And Miranda is SO grateful, it is such a sweet moment and gesture.
#8 – While Samantha is trying to figure out why Brady is crying, Carrie calls her to obsess more about Nina (prompted by watching an SNL rerun and seeing her name in the credits). She specifically wants to know whether or not Samantha thinks Nina is trashing her to random celebrity hosts. Then she hears Brady screaming in the background and asks if she is at a zoo. Once it is established that Samantha is in fact NOT at a zoo, she shuts down Carrie’s attempt to bring the conversation back to Nina and before she hangs up on her, tells her to call Charlotte instead.
SIDEBAR 3: THIS ENTIRE SCENE WARMS MY HEART:
As Harry says, DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD. Shove it, Bunny! Also, Trey gets extra points for going against what was apparently an iron clad prenup.
#9 – Carrie can’t stop obsessing about Nina so decides it would be a good idea to call Steve and be as vague as possible when asking him to come meet up with her. As they sit on the stoop of her apartment, poor Steve thinks Carrie summoned him there to tell him Miranda doesn’t want him calling so much.
First of all, I love Steve and it’s adorable he thinks 1) Miranda wouldn’t just tell him that herself and would instead have Carrie do her dirty work and 2) doesn’t immediately know it has to be something else because Carrie is so selfish. Anyway, Carrie takes this opportunity to ask Steve how Aidan feels about her. Steve is rightfully horrified that this question might mean she’s going to try to get back together with him…AGAIN.
#10 – She then asks if Aidan hates her. Steve tells her he doesn’t but that it got pretty bad. As in, after the SECOND SOUL SUCKING BREAKUP, Aidan couldn’t get out of bed for a month. He lost his ability to open up and trust women – something he would never tell Steve, but DID tell Nina and Nina told Steve.
#11 – So NOW we come to the part where Carrie tracks Nina down at the Village Square Market where she trolls the hot pretzel vendors. Before we get to that, let’s discuss the Birkin. The gals at Every Outfit on SATC summed it up pretty nicely for us: “It was just a year previous that Carrie gaslit Charlotte into hawking her engagement ring so Carrie could buy her apartment back.”
Also, I love her heels but I could never pull that off and would be wearing flip flops instead.
#12 – Carrie has dragged Stanford with her on this mission and is shut down a THIRD time in this episode. Stanford asks her what she thinks of Marcus. She says he’s nice and then gets right back to her obsession over Nina’s judgement of her and Aidan’s breakup. Stanford straight up tells her to stop.
Okay, stop. I am done. I’ve listened to you talk about Aidan, for what…ten blocks, and two years? And I’ve been a wonderful audience. And I ask you about my Marcus, and all I get is “nice”?
The second they switch over to Stanford’s relationship they run into Nina and Heather Graham. Heather makes the FACE at her after introductions so Carrie asks for a moment alone with Nina. Stanford asks Heather if he can buy her a pretzel.
#13 – Carrie’s speech to Nina is dumb AF.
I get the sense that you have a sort of feeling about what happened with Aidan, and I just want to clear something up. Breakups are awful, and they are private. And they are not necessarily symptomatic of what two people had together. I loved Aidan very much. And I would never, ever have done anything to deliberately hurt him.
Nina’s face seems to reflect my assessment.
Carrie FINALLY realizes the critic she is most worried about is herself? That doesn’t make sense. She only started to doubt the obviously stellar way she handled Aidan’s feelings when Nina threw the FACE at her. In fact, when Steve tells her that Aidan is great NOW, she looks relieved because being great NOW couldn’t POSSIBLY mean he wasn’t great this whole time. We never hear about this again so I guess Carrie is satisfied with her own speech and then walks off with Stanford as they discuss how they ran into Heather Graham.
The main reasons this is one of my favorite episodes is mostly because of the Samantha/Miranda and Charlotte/Trey/Bunny stories. As I watched it again, I realized another thing – not ONE person actually told Carrie she handled things with Aidan well. The closest we get is Miranda admitting she didn’t “throw Aidan away,” which, while might be technically true, is also bullshit, and hopefully Miranda just said that to get Carrie to shut up. Sadly, it didn’t work. Everyone else wants to know why she even cares what Nina thinks. No one, at any point, gives her the validation she is looking for. That should happen more often.
6 thoughts on “Season 5, Episode 6: Critical Condition”
It’s amazing how Carrie was able to keep her friends. They had far more pressing issues- divorce, fertility struggles, single motherhood. All trampled over in her down payment heels because someone gave her nasty and well deserved look.
Curious. If Carrie were your friend (at the start of the series), when do you think you would have tapped out and either officially ended the friendship (or ghosted her)?
I personally would have after the second Big breakup when her friends send her to a therapist.
When she had the affair with Big and totally victimized herself. I would not have enabled that
Both of those are good! I think, if I were Charlotte, it would definitely be when she tried to make me feel bad for not volunteering thousands of dollars towards buying her new apartment. If not at that moment, definitely when I saw her frittering away money on MORE shoes and bags without bothering to pay me back or work out a payment plan.
I love how you keep bringing that up! Yeah, maybe Charlotte doesn’t “need” the money– but who does that to a friend?!?!
I hate how she can’t confront people and has to obsess instead. Go up to that Nina bitch and ask her WTF that face is about. Simple. Can I have my 40 minutes back now?