This is a sensational episode. (Not so the subsequent one Part Deux -- see my review on it.) For this episode, there is a real excitement, especially for a guy to learn something. When tutoring I found it very rewarding when a student got excited that he finally figured it out. So much so that he generated his own examples. Now here, the guy can get excited about his learning, but not in a cognitive way, but in an emoto-cognitive way. I refer to the dialogue between Big and Carrie. The male viewer can really really really understand exactly every word out of Carrie's mouth, why they came out of her mouth, how she feels and how the guy (Big) is missing so much because of the very very deep context Carrie has to which he has only the most superficial dribble of. Sorry ladies if I assumed you all knew this so well already. Hey, if you learned too and were excited by it, I'm equally happy.
Meanwhile on the issue of going to Paris and Carrie's conversation with her friends we see the dialectic battle between the emotion and cognition. The meta-level battle, interestingly, had the cognitive side winning. The meta-level battle was about examination vs action. Decided upon cognitively in favor of action, well that really biased the battle over to go or not to go to Paris.
Then there was of course the superficial and how long it can sustain one. There was the ideal imagnined world vs the real one. These were all well done. Unlike the disaster of episode Deux. But the real gem of the episode had to be how a guy could so totally get VERY PRECISELY where every word Carrie utters to Big is coming from. That was beautiful. There is more on this topic (improbability of similar motivation for a male, etc), but I don't want to spoil the gem that it was with analysis that trivializes it. It was beautiful primarily because it really let a guy into Carrie's EMOTIONAL world, not a cognitive world.