'Carrie Diaries' Boss on the Sebastian Saga, a 'Sex and the City' Intro and Explosive Finale
Series star Austin Butler weighs in on the dysfunctional Carrie-Sebastian romance and what to expect for the season one finale.
[Warning: Spoilers from Monday's episode, "A First Time for Everything."]
The Carrie Diaries is winding down and after the events of the penultimate episode, Carrie Bradshaw (AnnaSophia Robb) and Sebastian Kydd (Austin Butler) are off – yet again.
Where does this leave Carrie as the junior prom approaches in the season one closer next week? “Carrie always needs too much judge and ‘I want to be in the VIP room,’ ” executive producer Amy B. Harris tells reporters. “She cares about it more than she should. That’s why he (Sebastian) was so upset.”
When the prom does come in the season finale, “a lot explodes at the beginning of the episode which means a lot of people aren’t going to be so happy to be going to prom together,” Harris hints.
The Carrie Diaries is a precursor to adult Carrie on Sex and the City, and after 12 episodes of winks and nods, there will be a tangible connection when a character from the HBO series comes into the fray. Unfortunately he or she won’t be seen – at least not yet.
“We won’t see [them] but we’ll get an introduction to one of the Sex and the City characters,” Harris says. “We have a little nod to one of the characters who we might meet over the summer.” (And for those who have read Candace Bushnell’s Carrie Diaries novel, it’s not the same character mentioned at the end of the book.) She adds later, “We’re excited about the idea of starting to introduce other people from the Sex and the City world for season two.”
Viewers will also see Carrie using another “mechanism” for her writing by season’s end, something slightly more high-tech than a journal. “We’re moving her forward in New York street scenes that are reminiscent,” Harris hints.
THR rounds out the eight things to look out for ahead of the finale – and a possible season two (Harris is “optimistic” about the future).
A slight time jump to the finale: “It’s a few weeks later,” Harris says of the April 8 episode, which sees Carrie and Sebastian in a state of limbo as junior prom approaches. “That’s a big debate: What will happen to [Carrie] at prom? Where are they? I think they’re at a surprising place at the end of the breakup. .. This one is sad for both of them.”
How “Like a Virgin” became crucial to the story: It was important for the writers to incorporate events of the 1980s to infuse a sense of context for the story. For Harris, she came across the story of Billy Steinberg, co-writer of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.” “His story was great. Nobody wanted that song to happen, they didn’t like the lyrics, they kept trying to make it a slow song at first before they made it with a poppier edge – suddenly it made sense to everybody,” Harris recalls. When she gave him the script to sign off on his portrayal, the line was “True love makes you feel like you’re being touched for the very first time.” Steinberg came back with only one note: “ ‘I don’t think it’s true love, I think it’s new love.’ And I was like ‘Great!’ ”
The Carrie and Sebastian saga continues: The two aren’t in a good place at the end of Monday’s hour and by the finale, things get real for the “are they-aren’t they” lovers. “It gets revealed in the next episode how he feels,” Butler says. “It’s one of those breakups, those explosions, that neither side really wants but feels like there’s no other option. What else could you do? You still have these feelings but it can’t work somehow.” Harris adds: “At the end he was super pissed off at her that she hadn’t said ‘I love you’ and it really came down to he knew she felt that. … It’s something about her personality that she doesn’t want to just say it and that’s a big part of their relationship and what Carrie goes through in general.”
The “surprising” junior prom: To put it simply, the events of the finale – reliant on the junior prom – are “surprising for a lot of people,” Harris says. “It actually might not be prom for a lot of people.” She adds an intriguing tease: “[The finale] is more iconic for its New York experiences than the prom.” Mouse’s (Ellen Wong) dress, especially, is a standout out: “It’s a big, floral, poofy Laura Ashley-looking extravaganza.” Harris adds: “Not everyone’s in their prom best.”
Walt will come to grips with his identity: “Walt (Brendan Dooling) is going to be forced to face his choices a lot sooner than I think he wanted to,” Harris says of his coming out, “and it’s going to have some pretty dramatic effects on everybody when it happens.” It’s still 1984 so when news of Walt’s sexuality comes out, “a few people are going to be quite shocked .. and be very upset.” For the Walt-Bennett fans, Harris revealed that Walt turns 18 during the summer – does this mean a romance between the two is in store?
Mouse’s romantic forecast: While Maggie (Katie Findlay) struggles to right the ship post-Walt and Carrie deals with the Sebastian of it all, Mouse may be headed in a good direction. “I like that Mouse might have met someone who will allow her to have both [the academic and the romantic],” Harris says.
Dorrit’s romance brings out a “softer” side: “At first we thought [Miller, played by Evan Crooks] was manipulating her to control her, but the more we started talking about it, it felt like meeting someone like Miller would sort of open her up and make her want to take off her armor,” Harris says of the younger Bradshaw’s physical transformation. “I like that she’s like, ‘Eh, I only actually wear all this to piss my dad off and it’s not working anymore.’ It was shocking to Tom (Matt Letscher) when he saw her without her makeup. We thought she would be darker, and I liked that she ended up meeting someone who brings out a softer part of her.” Make no mistake, Dorrit (Stefania Owen) isn’t ready to have her cherry popped. If there was any question, Harris emphasized that she and Miller “were laughing and talking” in the bedroom. “That journey is for another episode,” she says.
Season two plans: Though Carrie Diaries has yet to be renewed, Harris is already plotting out broad strokes should a season two be ordered. “What I really wanted to do was blow up a lot of stuff so that season two would be super exciting,” Harris says. “So that when we come back, we can see where those chips fall.” The new season will see Carrie, Mouse, Maggie and Walt approaching the world differently after going through their own respective betrayals. Harris is hoping to see characters like Sebastian “on the loose in Manhattan without Carrie,” for instance, and “opening up the world” a bit. (The core group will also head into their senior year, with the beginning of the season likely taking place in the summer months.)
The Carrie Diaries airs its season finale at 8 p.m. Monday on The CW.