The Carrie Diaries Season 2 Review “The Second Time Around”

The Second Time Around

Festive Christmas episodes of teen dramas are often just gag-inducing excuses for series to forget everything that’s happened in favor of some syrupy message about good will and family unity. But The Carrie Diaries made a good effort to avoid these annoyances in favor of an actual episode that progressed the story and brought the characters together in an organic way. With Carrie and Sebastian back together, it makes sense that she would be thinking about second chances, and that theme reverberated around the rest of the cast, too.

It was lovely to watch Sebastian support Carrie in achieving her dreams and, despite the wrinkle of Sebastian having to move to Laguna after being expelled, it looks as if the two of them are finally coming together as equals. Carrie isn’t paranoid about Sebastian being a bad boy and he has, in turn, accepted those parts of her that might interfere with their relationship from time to time. I don’t know what the show intends to do with Sebastian now that he’s moved out of Castlebury, but I hope this doesn’t mean he’s out of the picture for good. Carrie’s chance at an article in Interview might have been the last one, but she proved that you can make it work no matter how high the stakes.

Walt’s storyline was, as expected, really quite heartbreaking. I love that he’s now living with the Bradshaws indefinitely, since his cohabitation with Carrie in New York was one of the things that made those early episodes work so well. It was also great that his scenes in this episode would be with Tom, who started the episode feeling uncomfortable with the fact that Walt is gay, rather than one of his friends who has supported him from day one. Far too many shows gloss over the issue of approval from friends and family when they deal with coming out storylines, but Walt’s struggles with Maggie, and then his parents, has felt very honest.

And he’s even found a new family outside of his blood – a nice message to give to the young audience watching and learning from shows like The Carrie Diaries. The series has really excelled at this during its second season, as I thought both Walt’s rejection and Maggie’s discussion of abortion as a viable option were both wonderful things to address. It never comes across as a lecture, and when you’ve got shows like Glee shoving their black and white messages in your face every week, it’s refreshing to see a different perspective.

The same thing occurred to me with the treatment of Mouse and West’s breakup, as we were able to finish for Christmas with the image of her ultimately being happy that she could have Harvard over the guy who thought he was better than her. Their romance started with a little healthy competition, but he ultimately revealed his true colors when he decided to ‘let her’ have Harvard by not applying. It’s lovely that Sebastian was able to put his relationship with his father above his need to live near Carrie, Carrie could be happy about her article despite their separation and Mouse was allowed to enjoy her success.

What did you think of the episode? Did you like Tom’s shrouded Sex and the City reference? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.