By Jase Peeples
Originally published on Advocate.com January 10 2014 12:33 PM ET
The story of Carrie Bradshaw’s gay best friend, Walt, will take a frightening turn in tonight’s new episode of The Carrie Diaries, “Date Expectations.”
The Sex and the City prequel series will begin to explore the impact the AIDS epidemic had on the New York City gay community of the mid-’80s after Walt discovers an ex of Bennett, his current boyfriend, has been diagnosed with AIDS and is dying.
"We felt a huge responsibility having the show set in the ’80s in New York, in a world that has a very present gay community, that we [would] explore what that would mean," executive producer Amy B. Harris told Zap2it. "We felt like it was the right time to really talk about how different the gay life was in 1986 than today where having kids, marriage, the white picket fence, was not something that was even considered a possibility."
The episode’s storyline is a heartbreaking look back at the struggles gay people faced at a time when education about HIV and AIDS was scarce and fear surrounding the disease was acute.
"What I love about doing this show is that we've been able to tell bigger and more impactful stories about that time in history," Harris also told Zap2it. "And I hope we've done it in a way that doesn't feel like anything more than just good storytelling. I like that we're able to reveal things from that time period."
Harris also promises this is only the beginning of the journey for Walt and Bennett as the two together overcome the fear of getting tested, but their individual results will take the characters in different directions.
Watch an exclusive clip of tonight’s episode below.
The Carrie Diaries airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on the CW.