In Season Three of HBO's hit comedy series, Carrie begins a relationship with a handsome furniture designer named Aidan--even as the newly married Big reenters the picture.
Carrie and her posse venture across the river to Staten Island for the New York City Fire Department's "Calendar Contest." It's not long before Samantha locks eyes with her dream hunk, Ricky, and even less time before she finds out just how hot he is. But on a surprise visit to the firehouse, Samantha's red-hot fantasy is shattered when she encounters a back room of average men eating popcorn in front of the TV and even worse, when her romp with Ricky is cut short by a real fire, leaving her naked and aghast. Meanwhile, Bill Kelley, an older local politician, makes the moves on Carrie, but doesn't get very far. Drunk on the ferry ride home, Charlotte declares that this is the year she will get married. Rehashing the night over brunch, Charlotte blurts out that the reason firemen are so hot is because they fulfill women's fantasy of being rescued. But Miranda refuses to be rescued, and when her doctor says she needs someone to take her home after her laser vision surgery, she tries to manage on her own. Steve insists, showing Miranda that being rescued isn't always a sign of weakness. Charlotte goes on a date with Arthur, her latest prince charming. But after Arthur gets into a few fist fights, Charlotte realizes he's a bully, not a prince. Politician Bill campaigns for Carrie's attention, and eventually she gives in to a coat room kiss, but not more...
It's been three wonderful weeks on the campaign trail for Carrie and Bill when their romance is brought to a deeper level, twice. Charlotte moves ahead with her own campaign -- to be elected wife by year's end. She decides to throw a used date party, which seems to be going well until her new-found interest starts making out with his ex. Meanwhile, Miranda is pushed to confront her ambivalence when Steve says he wants to see her exclusively. She wonders: what if someone better comes along? Samantha is also deeply conflicted about her latest man: he's a munchkin who shops in the boys department at Bloomingdale's, but he's got a great sense of humor and he's a powerhouse in bed. Carrie gets nervous on the campaign trail when Bill asks her to pee on him, and Bill's response is to call it quits, saying it's a bad political move to date a sex columnist. Carrie gets the last word though, titling her latest column, "To Pee or Not to Pee?"
A laid back Sunday brunch is ruined when Carrie sees Big and Natasha's wedding announcement in the New York Times. Twenty five, tall, beautiful, and married, Natasha brings out Carrie's worst insecurities. When Carrie bumps into Natasha in the dressing room of a clothing boutique, Carrie wonders: Are there women in New York City who live for the sole purpose of making other women feel bad about themselves? To relieve some stress, Samantha takes the girls out for a day at the spa. Charlotte however, can't seem to let go of her body image issues and get naked in the steam room. Samantha gets a tip that Kevin, one of the massage therapists, performs sexual favors, but when he doesn't deliver, Samantha makes her own move and grabs his crotch. The spa bans Samantha, but she gets Kevin fired. Charlotte returns to the spa and nervously bares it all; she's validated when another woman compliments her breasts. Meanwhile, Miranda's new Ukranian housekeeper takes cleaning up Miranda's life too far -- with lectures about marriage and herbal teas. When she replaces the vibrator in Miranda's "goodie drawer" with a statue of the Virgin Mary, Miranda puts her in her place. Carrie tries to impress Natasha by looking fabulous at a high society luncheon. But it's all for naught because Natasha doesn't show up. After trying too hard and buying clothes she couldn't really afford, Carrie feels like a loser -- until she gets Natasha's thank you note featuring an embarrassing spelling error.
Discuss this episode in the Sex and the City Bulletin Board.
Charlotte invites the girls to a gallery opening for an artist who photographs drag kings (women dressed as men). Charlotte meets the photographer, Baird, and he asks if she'd be willing to pose for him sometime. Meanwhile, Carrie and her new twentysomething boy Sean are having a good time bar-hopping and ice skating until Carrie is thrown for a loop when she learns Sean has dated both men and women. Carrie is confused about who he's really attracted to, but they end up in the sack anyway. Samantha's new and cute assistant, Matt, is also confused -- about who's the boss. Samantha tries to put him in his place, but he ignores her, and Samantha is forced to fire and then sleep with him. Miranda feels suffocated when she gets home from work and finds Steve in her bed eating crackers, with a pile of his dirty clothes on the floor. She asserts her need for space, and Steve storms out. But the next day when Miranda comes home to an empty nest, she's lonely and invites Steve to move in, full-time. After resisting for a while, Charlotte poses for Baird, and looks so fabulous that she and Baird end up getting busy. Things get too busy for Carrie at a party with Sean where it seems everyone is bisexual. During a round of spin the bottle, Carrie kisses another woman, and then leaves, realizing she's too old fashioned for this scene.
Charlotte's first date with Brad is going spectacularly, until it comes time for the "kiss" at the doorway which is more like a series of sloppy licks from a Great Dane. Charlotte tries to give some emergency kissing lessons, but he's just beyond repair. Carrie is also pursuing a new prospect -- Aidan the furniture designer. To impress him, Carrie buys one of his leather chairs. Aidan is bedazzled with Carrie, until she takes out a cigarette and he lays down the law: he just can't date a smoker. Carrie tries to go cold turkey, but Aidan catches her sneaking a cigarette after their date. Determined to give the relationship a shot, Carrie says goodbye Marlboro, hello Nicoderm. Stanford scores Marty, a nice guy who turns out to have a an extensive doll collection, which is fine until Stanford breaks a doll during sex. Samantha also has a new man -- Chivon, a sexy African-American. Things are steaming along until Chivon's sister interferes and tells Samantha she's got the wrong color skin for her brother. Samantha fights for her right to date anyone and everyone, but Chivon ultimately gives in to his sister's demands. Meanwhile, Steve wins the chance to win one million dollars if he scores a basket from center court. Steve asks Miranda to watch him practice a few shots on the basketball court, but she's too busy which infuriates him. Finally, Miranda learns she needs to be more supportive.
After a week and a half of romantic dates but no sex, Carrie wonders why her new man still doesn't want to get into bed. Even after sharing a candlelit bath together, Aidan forgoes sex. Charlotte is having sex, but the issue is that her new boy is compelled to verbally degrade her as he approaches orgasm. Meanwhile Miranda learns her exploits have won her chlamydia and she's forced to compile a list of her ex-conquests and let them know they may be infected. The residents at Samantha's apartment building are shaken by a robber who attacks a tenant at gunpoint. When the security video reveals that the robber snuck in behind Samantha's late-night sex guest, the residents shun her and she is forced to move to a more seedy neighborhood. Carrie realizes that she's become used to skipping over romance and heading straight for sex, and that's why Aidan's slow and deliberate ways seems so strange. Finally though, when the moment is right, Aidan and Carrie consummate their lust.
Three weeks into her relationship with Aidan, Carrie begins to freak because everything seems so perfect. When Aidan asks Carrie to meet his parents, she can't deal and finds herself saying no. Meanwhile, Charlotte presses on in her mission to be married by year's end. Her latest tactic involves forcing her married friends to hook her up with single men they know. Charlotte's first date using the new strategy ends up being a married friend who professes his love for her. But after storming out of that date, Charlotte falls down on the street and meets Trey - the chemistry is instantaneous. Miranda continues to settle into her secure life with Steve, pretty much without incident (except for the "skid marks" in his underwear). Samantha sleeps with a doctor named Mark, who doesn't "need" Viagra, but takes it to spice things up in bed. Intoxicated by the idea of an even more thrilling sexual experience, Samantha pops a pill or two. After a few trysts, Mark suggests they try it without the aid of medical enhancers, but Samantha refuses. Nervous she may get cut off, Samantha asks Mark to write her a prescription for her own supply. While at the opera with Charlotte, Carrie spots Big and Natasha in the balcony and leaves. Big sees her and tries to catch her, but Carrie's long gone. Carrie realizes that in her relationship with Aidan, she's been behaving like Big, and he's been acting like the sensitive and available guy she always wanted Big to be. In a rush to try and undue any damage done, Carrie shows up at breakfast with Aidan and the family.
Charlotte started out the year with what seemed like mission impossible - finding a husband by year's end, but now things with Trey are looking very promising. In bed, Charlotte is holding out though, hoping she can be "re-virginized" if she doesn't have sex for a while. Meanwhile, Samantha is worried she may be "drying up," and in a moment of desperation, she agrees to go on a date with Len, an older man in her building. During sex with him, Samantha's flow makes an appearance on Len's expensive sheets, which freaks him out, but leaves Samantha overflowing with joy. Unfortunately, things aren't so joyful for Steve and Miranda. Miranda is having trouble living with Steve and his childlike personality, and when he suggests they have a kid, Miranda realizes she already has one, and she is tired of being the "mean mom" in their relationship. Steve asks Miranda if she's just going to throw it all away, and she says she's tried not to, but it just isn't going to work. While at a party, Carrie unexpectedly bumps into Big. They exchange short and cold conversation, then she walks away. Later that day, just as Aidan has stepped out for coffee, Big shows up at Carrie's door to tell her he can't stop thinking about her. The timing couldn't be worse.
While he continues to try and find an apartment in New York City's overpriced real estate market, Steve has taken up residency on Miranda's couch. Despite his lack of an apartment, Steve finds a new romantic interest, which saddens Miranda and makes her wonder what she's doing wrong. Charlotte is mixed with bittersweet feelings herself: she's now engaged to Trey, but it didn't happen the way she envisioned. Charlotte ended up proposing to Trey, whose response was "alrighty!" Charlotte is rather devastated, until a few days later when Trey spontaneously suggests they go to Tiffany's to buy the most beautiful engagement ring they can find. Samantha's latest sexy professional, Adam, is great except for the "funky tasting spunk." When she refuses to go down there on a future date, Adam gets annoyed, and Samantha is forced to spell it out for him. Adam thinks she's just making excuses, so Samantha challenges him to taste it for himself. Meanwhile, Carrie bumps into a drunk Big at a furniture show. He blurts out that he and Natasha are not working out. If that wasn't enough, he calls Carrie several times, and learns from Aidan she's working on a deadline at a hotel next door. Big shows up at the hotel, and drops the bomb: he says he's made a mistake, and he really loves Carrie. Carrie runs for the elevators, but Big pushes his way in, which leads to the bedroom, which ends with sharing a cigarette in bed.
Samantha throws a self-congratulatory soiree at her new apartment where she tries to convince the girls that they have it all -- great friends, good jobs, and plenty of sex. Carrie tries to play along, but her fling with Big eats away at her. Deciding she just can't hold it in anymore, Carrie reveals her scarlet letter to Samantha in private. Carrie wonders if she's trying to have it all: the reliable, committed Aidan, and the wild, exciting Mr. Big. Meanwhile, Samantha, who has long thought she did have it all, comes down with a bad case of the flu, and learns all the men in her life are unwilling to take care of her when she needs them. On the Charlotte front, Trey lays down a pre-nuptial agreement which has Charlotte worth a measly half a mill. On Miranda's advice, Charlotte plays hardball with Trey's mother Bunny and successfully negotiates for a million. Meanwhile Miranda meets her first man post-Steve. George is a cute yuppie from out of town who turns Miranda onto the wonders of phone sex. But Miranda becomes suspicious of George's dexterity over the phone and dumps him when she realizes he's phone-sexing other women too. Carrie knows all about playing on more than one field too. While Aidan is away on a business trip, she hooks up with Big in her apartment again. He tells Carrie he's leaving Natasha, but Carrie tells him not to. When Aidan returns, he sense something is up with Carrie and asks if she's been cheating -- on her pledge to quit smoking. Carrie confesses she's been cheating, and reaffirms her vow to quit.
As Carrie's affair with Big goes into its third week, the scene turns from ultra-sexy to slightly seedy. In search of some chastising, Carrie turns to the one friend she knows will lay down the law, Miranda. Miranda tells Carrie that she has to stop the affair. Meanwhile, guilt-free Samantha meets her sexual match in Tom Reymi. Tom is ready to strap Samantha into his leather "swing" and go at it, but not before he is assured that Samantha has had an AIDS test, which she hasn't. Samantha is terrified to take the test, but the girls encourage her to do it. Meanwhile, Charlotte is obsessed with finding the perfect wedding gown and hires a no-nonsense stylist to help her through the process. After her recent romp with Big, Carrie is unable to relax in bed with Aidan. Still conflicted, Carrie returns to the out-of-the-way hotel where she's been sleeping with Big. As she's walking out, she runs smack into Charlotte, who sees Big and sees exactly what's going on. Later, a horrified Charlotte gives Carrie a firm talking to about the hurtfulness of having an affair with a married man. Samantha has the AIDs test, which comes back negative, and she and Tom take a erotic ride on his swing. Despite everything Carrie's been told, she breaks all rules and has sex with Big in his conjugal bed. Big leaves and tells Carrie to let herself out. Natasha returns early from the Hamptons and catches Carrie desperately trying to sneak out the back door. Natasha screams at Carrie saying she knew they were having an affair and then she trips down the stairs, smashing her lip and losing a tooth. Carrie gets her to an emergency room and waits for Big to show up. When he does, she tells him "We're so over." Big says nothing and Carrie walks out. She goes home to find Aidan faithfully waiting in her apartment.
Frustrated with being single and only being hit on by talking sandwiches, Miranda tries out multi-dating where she learns being a corporate lawyer isn't doing any favors for her sex appeal. When she pretends to be an airline stewardess though, she catches a date with Harris, an emergency room doctor. The morning after one of her spark-filled nights with Harris, Miranda cuts her finger, only to learn that Harris isn't a doctor after all. Instead of fessing up to her own impersonations, Miranda acts disgusted and tells Harris to leave. Meanwhile, the girls go out on the eve of the Charlotte's wedding, for her last night as a single woman. Everyone is totally stunned by Charlotte's admission that she and Trey haven't had sex yet. But after more drinks than she can handle, Charlotte shows up at Trey's place ready to get busy. Unfortunately though, things don't work out in bed for Trey, and Charlotte gets a little nervous. Carrie's nerves are also getting the best of her as she considers whether to tell Aidan about her affair with Big. Just minutes before Charlotte's wedding, Carrie drops the bomb. Aidan is devastated and walks off. At the wedding, Charlotte gets last minute jitters about Trey's sexual under-performance, but Carrie calms her down with a white lie, and Charlotte walks down the aisle. Aidan shows up after the wedding and says he loves Carrie, but knows he will never be able to let go of the fact that Carrie cheated. Carrie breaks down crying, but takes some comfort in knowing that at least she has three friends who love her no matter what she does.
In a spur of the moment mad dash, the girls (minus Charlotte) head to Los Angeles in search of the care-free life. Within minutes, Samantha meets Garth, a model -- a dildo model that is. "Mr. Dildo" invites the girls to a party for his new product. Carrie and Miranda find the celebration revolting, but Samantha enjoys it and ends up going home with the guest of honor. At his apartment, Garth reads Samantha poetry and wants to get to know her, but she's focused on sampling the goods. Meanwhile, Carrie meets with Hollywood producer Matthew McConaughey who is interested in making a movie based on her sex columns. McConaughey makes tasteless remarks about Carrie and Big's relationship and then gets skeevy with Carrie, intimating they should sleep together. Carrie leaves in disgust. These days, Miranda wishes someone would see her as a sex object. After feeling invisible to men for too long, Miranda takes a wild ride on a mechanical bull, determined to unleash her inner sex goddess. And after a sexless honeymoon in Bermuda, Charlotte resolves to get to the bottom of Trey's sexual underperformance. She devises a little experiment and discovers Trey's issues are not physical.
Still away from New York, the girls embark on week two of their Los Angeles adventure. Hoping to get away from the happy superficiality of LA and reconnect with her neurotic roots, Miranda gets together with Lou, an old New York friend. But instead of trashing LA as Miranda hoped, Lou says the city has taught him to let go of his toxic anger. Meanwhile, Carrie and Samantha try to live the quintessential LA. scene by going to a movie screening party - but they're rejected at the door. Luckily, Carrie meets Keith, who gets them into the party. Wowed by Keith's status, Carrie goes on a date with him and ends up in bed at his fabulous home...until Keith's boss comes in the house and lets the cat out of the bag -- Keith isn't a television mogul; he's a personal assistant. Back home, after another failed attempt to have sex with Trey, Charlotte decides she misses her friends and hops on a plane to LA. Over lunch, Charlotte breaks the news that her marriage is fake, and they're not having sex -- the girls are stunned. And in a last ditch effort to be LA women, the girls all head to Hugh Hefner's Playboy mansion for a pool party. Charlotte meets a charming older man, who offers to buy her a boob job, and Samantha gets them all kicked out for accusing one of the bunnies of stealing her fake Fendi bag.
Samantha is hired as the publicist for Jenny Bryer's A-list Bat Mitzvah. Jenny and her galpals are so New York, and so over-sexed that Samantha starts to wonder whether there's any difference between Jenny at 13 and Samantha at 34. Miranda's new braces also have her feeling like a teenager these days. After a new date fears he'll get caught in her jaws, she dumps the braces. Charlotte scours the internet in a desperate search for a solution to Trey's sexual problem. When she suggests they discuss options, Trey gets angry and asks Charlotte to accept that he's just not that sexual of a guy. Finding this unacceptable, Charlotte demands they see a sex therapist whose first suggestion is they name their private parts, Rebecca and Schooner respectively. Meanwhile, Carrie meets her latest man, Wade, at a comic store. She falls in love with his amazing Manhattan apartment, until Wade's mom comes home. Carrie plays along with her mama's boy, accepting fresh-baked cookies and all, until Wade's mom busts Carrie and Wade for smoking pot. But Carrie isn't the only one busted. Charlotte wakes up in the middle of the night to find Trey masturbating in the bathroom to Juggs magazine.
Just when things were looking lively for Miranda, her new date Will fails to show up for three hours. Determined to fight back against the injustice of this "illegal dumping," she calls Will's home number and finds out that he is never going to show up -- he died last night. Stunned, Miranda agrees to pay her respects at the wake where she finds a very cute, but very dead Will. But all hope is not lost. At the wake, Miranda hits it off with Jim, one of Carrie's ex-boyfriends from years past. Carrie warns her that he's a jerk, but Miranda agrees to meet him for a date anyway, only to find out for herself that he really is a jerk. Carrie teaches a seminar about meeting men to a packed crowd of incredibly cynical and frustrated New York women. After a few pointed questions from the audience ("Have you ever been married?"), the class realizes Carrie may have written a lot about men and relationships, but she's still as clueless as the rest of them. Charlotte and Trey work on bringing "Schooner" and "Rebecca" into the harbor, but the wind never gets going. Over brunch the next morning, Charlotte tells the girls about her problems, and Samantha dishes out some raw sex advice which Charlotte finds offensive, but secretly useful. Meanwhile, while shopping for pashmina, Samantha finds her sexy, feisty clone, Claire Anne. They go out for a drink and meet two cute guys, but Claire Anne takes the sexual forwardness too far even for Samantha when she crawls under the table to get busy with one of the men. Meanwhile, on Samantha's advice, Charlotte makes herself more sexy for Trey by wearing revealing lingerie and touching herself -- it works! And for her second class, Carrie finds most of her students have dropped out. Instead of lecturing them, she decides to hit the bars and give them some real experience in the field.
Increasingly depressed by Trey's lack of libido, Charlotte finds some relief when she stumbles into the studly sweaty gardener at the McDougal country house. Carrie's guilty conscience takes a beating when she's rudely snubbed by Natasha in a restaurant. To top things off, Carrie gets mugged, losing her favorite pair of Manolo Blahniks. Carrie wonders if it isn't all karma. Detective Stevens handles Carrie's case but when Miranda shows up at the police station, the good-looking detective focuses all his attentions on Miranda. Meanwhile, Samantha tells Carrie that Natasha has left Big, causing Carrie to feel even more guilty and more determined to apologize to Natasha for wrecking their marriage. Samantha drags Carrie to a party given by a certain "Sam Jones" -- only to find out it's a dorm party and this "Sam Jones" is a college-aged virgin lad. Sam Jones falls hard for the more experienced Samantha and before Samantha knows it, she has made Sam a real man. Unfortunately, the enamored Sam becomes completely obsessed with Samantha, ultimately causing her to change her phone number. Back in the suburbs, on Charlotte's second encounter with the gardener, the two share a secret kiss, unaware that Charlotte's sister-in-law witnessed the embrace. Later that evening, the sister-in-law spills the beans to the whole McDougal clan. Trey says it's acceptable for the two of them to lead separate lives while being married. Outraged, Charlotte says they should separate for a while and Trey responds, "Alrighty." Miranda, nervous that she isn't good-looking enough for her detective date, gets drunker and drunker as the night goes on. She seduces the detective back in her apartment, but when she wakes up the next morning, she finds a note recommending she call her local AA. Carrie finally tracks down Natasha in a restaurant and expresses how deeply sorry she is about what she did. Natasha tells Carrie that not only has she ruined her marriage, she's now ruined her lunch. Charlotte returns to the city and to her old apartment as a single woman.
Samantha and Carrie are having trouble getting their beauty sleep. Samantha is bothered by the late-night cackling and ranting of the transsexual prostitutes outside her window, while Carrie is awakened a tad too early by roosters crowing on a nearby rooftop. Carrie and Miranda spot Steve and Aidan and their dogs at an outdoor cafe. They decide they can't avoid interaction and approach their exes, only to discover they have new girlfriends. Carrie wonders if maybe everything isn't the man's fault, if maybe the problem is them. Carrie gets an even bigger wake-up call when Big rings her up and asks her to lunch at the Boathouse in Central Park. Carrie agrees to go and when she confides in Miranda, the friends have their first big fight. Miranda tells Carrie that it's a huge mistake to see Big again and Carrie calls Miranda "judgmental." Miranda, who feels like she's in a life rut, runs into Steve at her local Chinese restaurant. They have a nice friendly exchange, and Steve allays some of Miranda's fears. Meanwhile, Charlotte, in her new-old single-girl apartment gets a 4am visit from Trey, who turns on the heat and manages to keep his Schooner going with Rebecca. After their sexy session, the couple has a real heart-to-heart about their marriage, but no decisions are made. Carrie calls Miranda before she meets Big and the girls make up. At the Boathouse, Carrie and Big fall into the pond and go back to Big's place to dry off. Carrie says the two are like "war buddies." Big hints that Carrie can stay a while, but Carrie says "It's a good idea in theory, but somehow it doesn't quite work." She leaves. After some serious cat-fighting with the transsexuals, Samantha ends up inviting them, plus Carrie, Miranda, and Samantha, over for a roof party. The girls all get down, drink Flirtinis and try to stop obsessing.