And Just Like That
Anyone else unable to get the sound of Carrie screaming “John!” as she runs to hold her dying husband out of their heads? Cool, cool, cool, I guess we’re all just going to be haunted now. It’s what Big would’ve wanted, really. There is no reprieve from the devastating end of And Just Like That …’s premiere — and no, seeing Brady having very loud sex with his girlfriend doesn’t count. (That is not a reprieve; that is a fucking descent into horror.) Instead, we plunge right back into the sadness.
It doesn’t take long for Miranda to show up at Carrie’s door — of course, Carrie still calls Miranda on the landline — and the women are teary-eyed and in shock as they hold each other. It’s hard not to think about “My Motherboard, My Self,” the Sex and the City episode in which Miranda’s mother dies of a heart attack and Carrie rushes to her side when it seems like she might not make it down the aisle by herself. These women hold each other up, and that’s exactly what Carrie’s going to need in the coming months. The first thing she says to Miranda at the door is, “What do I do now?” and she isn’t talking about the immediate — they are literally wheeling Big’s body out of the apartment — but rather for the rest of her life. She had a whole life planned with Big and in a second, that was all gone. Surely, “What do I do now?” is going to be the question Carrie is trying to answer for the entire season.
Carrie is understandably in shock. She can’t sleep because anytime she closes her eyes, she sees Big. At the funeral home she found online (they had a great sizzle reel) the next day with Charlotte, she is so out of it. She was supposed to be happy in the Hamptons with her husband, but instead she is in a funeral-parlor room devastatingly called “the Hampton room” figuring out how to honor her dead husband. She knows immediately that having his funeral in this place would not be honoring him. He would hate it there.
While Carrie doesn’t seem to be displaying any type of emotion at the moment, Charlotte is displaying all of it. It was only a matter of time before someone brought up the fact that if Carrie hadn’t gone to Lily’s recital, Big might still be alive. Obviously, no one knew Big was going to have a heart attack, but Charlotte is shattered by the thought that her insistence Carrie change her plans and not go to the Hamptons is to blame here. She is gutted with guilt and she’s worried Carrie must be unspeakably angry with her. Of course, Carrie isn’t. But maybe she should start to be because now, all of a sudden, Carrie has to manage Charlotte’s feelings. Not to bring up “My Motherboard, My Self” again, but I happened to have watched it this week so it is fresh in my mind, and in that episode we see Charlotte become the rock for the group: She knows what to send as a gift, and she knows what to say to Miranda when no one else does — when it’s Samantha who surprisingly breaks down, she is the one who comforts her. Sure, different deaths affect people differently and there is the guilt factor here, but dang, you’d think Charlotte could pull it together at least a little bit. Which is exactly what Carrie says as she puts her friend into a car and sends her on her way. None of this is helpful.
The show doesn’t waste too much time before getting us to Big’s funeral — we only have ten episodes, people; we need to bravely march forward, you know? When Carrie said she hated that funeral home, she wasn’t lying. Instead, she gives Big a chic funeral with a real minimalistic aesthetic. She doesn’t even want flowers there. But when she walks into the room with Stanford and Anthony at her side, she sees Big’s coffin adorned in a beautiful flower arrangement. You think she’s going to go berserk and rip them off, but they came with a card — they’re from Samantha. There’s no note other than that, but whew, buddy, that’s a meaningful gesture. Later, we’ll see Carrie text Samantha a simple “thank you” but alas, she still gets no response from her former friend. Man, if they don’t get Kim Cattrall onboard for a second season, this whole thing is reeeeally going to be awkward.
Back to the funeral: It’s your basic amount of sad. Miranda reads a poem that Carrie wrote all about how lucky they were to know Big and how sad it is to lose him. It’s … fine? Big’s brother gets up to give a “eulogy,” but it’s like two sentences. They’re really doing Big dirty at this event. Okay, actually, the best part of the whole thing is when Susan Sharon (deep cut!) says to the person next to her, “Am I the only one that remembers what a prick he was to her?” Because it’s true: Big was a huge asshole a lot of the time, and I can both remember that and get misty-eyed at the video slideshow of his life set to that Todd Rundgren song he just serenaded Carrie with in the last episode. People are complicated!!
Aside from Susan Sharon, who forgives Carrie for trespasses that Carrie has absolutely zero recollection of, the other important funeral guest is Gloria, Big’s secretary (a word she prefers to be called, according to Carrie). She gets into it a bit with Stanford when Stanford wants her to adhere to the rules of reserved seats in the front row, then she absolutely loses it during the funeral service and has to be comforted by Che. She tells Carrie there are lots of papers she needs to sign, so I’m assuming we’ll be seeing more of her, but what’s her deal?
The funeral might be over, but the shock has still not worn off. To make it worse, Big’s ashes arrive and Carrie has to wrap her head around the fact that this person she loved has now been reduced to the contents of this small box. Steve says it best when he says “death sucks.” It does. And martinis with Stanford and Miranda won’t make it suck any less. You know what might help a tiny bit? Thanks to Charlotte popping by and making Big’s death about her again and sobbing in front of Carrie about her guilt again, Carrie finally lets some emotion out by screaming that she isn’t mad at Charlotte — she’s mad at herself for changing her plans instead of just going to the Hamptons!! I guess the lesson here is never adjust your plans for your friends.
But even with that cathartic moment, we still find Carrie in bed that night unable to sleep, staring at the box of ashes.
This and That
• Somehow, Miranda has yet another cringey interaction with Nya. This time, Miranda inserts herself into what would be a nonissue when she sees Nya isn’t being allowed in the building because she can’t find her ID. Miranda explains that her “anti-racist training” taught her to be an ally and to say something when she sees injustice. Nya tries to politely explain that this was not the time. At least their other interaction is a little better: A man in a Chucky costume tries to take Nya’s purse on the subway platform and Miranda hits him over the head with her textbooks. They share a nice moment — maybe these two will end up becoming friends?
• Speaking of friends, Che comes to the funeral — what a nice boss! They end up getting into a huge fight with Miranda, who finds Brady outside smoking Che’s weed. Later, when Carrie formally introduces Che and Miranda, they decide to have a do-over and hit it off.
• Brady is … kind of the worst, huh?
• More concerning drinking moments with Miranda; be on alert.
• Oof, that shot of Carrie in Big’s closet holding his blazers is rough stuff. The closet is supposed to be Carrie’s favorite place in the world and NOW IT IS RUINED.
• No one has said “abso-fucking-lutely” yet, but you know it’s coming.