After yet another horrible breakup with Big, Carrie and the girls start the New Year fresh by heading to Staten Island to judge the annual firefighters calender competition. There, Carrie meets fellow judge and aspiring politician, Bill (aka ROGER FREAKING STERLING), who tries to pick her up despite Carrie’s low mood. Samantha nails a hot fireman, only to discover later that the fantasy doesn’t always live up to reality. Charlotte utters the classic SATC line “I’ve been dating since fifteen. WHERE IS HE?” and subsequently attacks the New York singles scene like it’s The Hunger Games, only to find a Cato, when she’s really looking for a Peeta. Miranda refuses to believe being in a relationship is better than being single, even when Steve is freaking adorable and takes care of her after her Lasik surgery. Finally, the most important question of all: will Carrie stay stuck on Big or move on with Roger Sterling?

 

Some of the most fun SATC episodes happen when the girls step out of their comfort zones — i.e., when Carrie and Samantha take the train to LA, when the girls go to the baby shower in Connecticut, etc. In the season three opener, Carrie and Co. not only leave Manhattan, they take the ferry to Staten Island so Bradshaw can judge the Firemen Calender Contest. As you do. The “contest” consists of hot men stripping their clothes off and the emcee saying very awesome, very dirty puns. Pretty much the pinnacle of everything ever on SATC.

BAM. You’re freaking welcome. I feel like I could just drop my microphone and stop the recap there, but there’s more Staten Island-inspired fashion to slog through, so let’s get cracking.


The group rocks some pretty killer outerwear on the ferry.

Observe: big 80’s hair and pastel makeup. I guess Carrie’s trying to blend in with the natives?

 

Charlotte dons a more typical, more restrained pastel.

 

While Samantha goes for (surprise, surprise), red.

I’m afraid this goes a little too Tickle Me Elmo for my tastes. If you’re going to wear fur, it shouldn’t ever be a primary color.

 

No, fur should remain a natural color, as seen on Miranda. This is so unlike her, especially for these first seasons. Please, Miranda, never again with the awful overalls I’ve had to recap at least once.

Carrie wears a very…interesting getup for the contest.

From the front, this seems criminally simple for our favorite weirdo dresser. But of course, Carrie puts her own spin on the normal shirt-and-pants combo.

Yeah, I’m not sure what this is, either. It looks like one of those towels you could button over your oven door handle. You know, the ones that your grandmother used to knit and are permanent garage sale staples? When someone uses the phrase “garage sale” in a description of your garments, that’s never a good sign.

 

But apparently Roger Sterling, aka Bill the Hot Politican, isn’t deterred.

A fellow judge in the contest, he buys Carrie a beer and tries the whole “oh, what’s your address for you know, political reasons.” Roger, Carrie’s been around the block a time or two — you’re going to have to work a little harder for her vote. But he gets mine for his light blue shirt and dark maroon tie, an underrated combination that he works to perfection. Plus, patriotic! So good for marketing!

 

As the party gets cranking, Miranda takes off her bitchin’ coat, only to reveal a whole bunch of snore underneath.

Black pants, black top. A little bling with the dangly gold necklace, but if I’m more interested in her purse strap than her actual clothing. Miranda, I’m going to have to send you back to the “doesn’t care what she wears” corner.

 

Charlotte gets wasted on Staten Island iced teas, which are apparently pure booze.

Here’s wild, crazy, drunk Charlotte. Yes, she is still wearing a white zip up type of jacket that is neither wild, crazy, nor (unfortunately) drunk.

 

Samantha is typically over-dressed.

Of course, it’s Samantha. She probably feels over-dressed anytime she’s not naked. Honestly I don’t really love this green top; it does kind of unpleasant things to her bust, but the bronze skirt fits her well and has got a great texture to it. I’m pretending not to notice the weird red cuff or the gold bangle she’s wearing around her bicep. This ain’t a toga party, Sam.

 

Of course, it could be a toga party, and these two geniuses wouldn’t know the difference.

The fireman Samantha approaches makes Bill the Hot Politican look like George W, but he’s got killer biceps and apparently rocks her world that night. To each her own, right?

The next morning, the group meets to break down Samantha’s wild and fiery night. Amusingly, it’s Carrie who looks like she got her world rocked the night before.

Girl, you’re doing the hobo chic thing a little too much. Tone it down.

 

Perhaps she should have gone home with Hot Politician, because apparently in the SATC universe, sex has restorative powers. Samantha is drop dead gorgeous.

Seriously, I can’t remember her ever looking more beautiful on this show. Goes to show that she doesn’t need those overly complicated outfits — just a crisp white shirt and some retro bombshell curls. And Hot Fireman.

 

Miranda is back in another boring outfit, but at least her hair’s got great body?

Well, maybe I’m a being a bit harsh. That turquoise looks fantastic on her and does great things for her eyes.

 

Anyway, we’re now at the scene of Charlotte’s aforementioned famous line: “I’ve been dating since I was fifteen, where is he?” In my humble opinion, the definitive scene in Sex and the City, where the girls debate if they need a man to rescue them, or if they’re supposed to rescue themselves. This discussion isn’t resolved in this episode because we’ve all seen the series and we know that there will be three more seasons, a decent movie, a shitty movie, several prequel books, and a now-canceled prequel TV series.

So yeah, they’re going to keep debating this point. Also: if I looked like this hungover, I’d be drunk every day of my life.

Charlotte is very definitely in the “need a man to rescue me” camp, and goes on a fierce manhunt for her white knight. Of course, on a search this important you need a great wingman, and Carrie fills in.

She even does great wingman duty by dressing down. Also by pinning a huge brown flower to her pleather jacket. Charlotte’s super grateful, Carrie.

 

Not that Char is a slouch by any means. This dress is killer and Charlotte’s hair is so good I think she must have sacrificed some bump-its to the hair gods.

 

Unfortunately, all Charlotte does is attract negative attention, before she is literally rescued by Arthur, who punches out a rival, overly-aggresive suitor.

This is Arthur. He’s supposed to be some hot investment banker. I think the ladies and I have a very different definition of hot. He’s…alright? I guess? In his defense, blonds aren’t typically my thing, but I’m finding it hard to believe he’s anyone’s thing.

 

Charlotte, on the other hand, is naturally smitten and they go on their first date.

Yeah, that’s still a no. He’s borrowing one too many of Nate’s blue sweaters from Gossip Girl.

 

It’s no matter to Charlotte, who presses on in this cute, gray top with flirty, ruffled sleeves and neckline. A flawless first date choice. However, Arthur isn’t a flawless first date. Turns out his rescue tendencies aren’t a result of his gentlemanly honor, but more of an anger-problem type scenario.

See ya, Arthur.

Miranda, being Miranda, decides to rescue herself, and makes a Lasik appointment. Did we know Miranda had bad eyes? Did she ever wear glasses before this episode?

All business, that Miranda. Also one step forward, two steps back. I understand lawyers are serious people and dress accordingly, but does her work attire have to be so snooze-worthy?

Steve — you know, the cute-as-a-button bartender who’s been hanging around like an adorable puppy? — offers to help Miranda after her surgery, and even after she turns him down, shows up to help her anyway.

Seriously a winner. Anyone who rocks a jean jacket this decisively couldn’t be anything else.

 

So while Miranda’s leaning on Steve, Samantha is vicariously living her fireman fantasy. Time for Chapter 2: Rockin’ The Fire Engine!

Yeah, blue leopard print, topped with a Muppet, is exactly what I’d wear to a firehouse too. Samantha, don’t ever change.

 

Naturally, this whole encounter goes badly. Starting with this:

Moving on to this…

And ending with Samantha naked and alone in the firehouse, as the firemen race off to an actual fire. See ya, Hot Fireman.

And what of Carrie and Hot Politician? It seems Bill won’t take Carrie’s no for an answer, and shows up at her doorstep. For political reasons, of course.

Sporting some hot blue-on-blue action. Go get it, Roger Sterling.

 

That is some fur coat. It’s impressive, and I know it’s one of her signature pieces, but it falls a little too far to the tacky end of the spectrum for my taste. Carrie definitely took her turn with the Charlotte’s gods though, because that’s a seriously great bun she’s got. She actually looks really pretty here, despite the fur coat.

 

So Bill the Hot Politician wants Carrie to go out with him, specifically to a schmoozing dinner at the Capri restaurant back on Staten Island. She says no, he says he’ll come by anyway, she still says no, but of course, she ends up dressing up anyway. Because despite her bad breakup with Big, we all know she’s dying to go. I mean, it’s Roger Sterling! Of COURSE wants to go!

Carrie’s wearing a pretty subdued dress for the occasion. I’d like to point out to Samantha that she’s wearing a bracelet as a bracelet. And she tops it off with this dreamy white coat, seen earlier on the ferry. I think those are feathers?

Seriously, how many statement coats does this girl own?

 

So does she end up meeting Hot Bill?

She does! You know you can’t say no to that face. But maybe to that tie.

And so begins Roger’s mini-arc. See ya next episode, Hot Politician!