And just like that, we’re back. Listen, I’m not going to apologize for that joke, and I’m also not going to promise I won’t make it again. It’s my coping mechanism. Anyway, I hate to be the one to have to remind you, but if somehow you’ve forgotten — perhaps you’ve suffered amnesia of some kind? — Big is dead. Real dead. And you can vent all you want about whether Carrie should’ve called 911 (yes, she should’ve) and if she’s a murderer because the fact is that Big remains dead. That’s the world we’re living in with And Just Like That …
Perhaps living is the wrong word because Carrie isn’t really doing much living. She’s grieving. And walking. And podcasting. So, so much podcasting. But living? Not really. I’m hoping at some point we get even the smallest time jump a few months into the future because a full ten episodes of a bereft Carrie Bradshaw would be tough to swallow. And Just Like That … is clearly trying to set itself apart from its predecessor — I mean, they gave it a completely new title — and while I’m on board for a tonal change, if we’re steeped in all this new grief, it seems like we’re losing some of the lightness and joy that might come from hanging out with your old pals after being away from them for so long. We need at least a hint that there is some lightness on the horizon. Or, like, one good blow job joke.
Back to the walking and the grieving. At the start of the episode, Carrie actually seems like she’s hanging in there. She thinks it’s because she is about to close out the “death trifecta” that includes the “awful night” Big died, his funeral, and finally, the reading of his will. It also doesn’t hurt that, as Carrie explains to Che at one point, she and Big were the happiest they had ever been before he died. Their love story ended on a high note. It’s “a happy sad” she says as she tries to explain what she’s feeling.
Unfortunately for Carrie and her adorable dreams of just moving forward, Big had other plans. I know we’re mourning Big here, and yes, I was so happy these crazy kids finally got together and made a lovely life, but this does not change the fact that Big was a huge dick to Carrie (she is not innocent, of course) like so, so many times. And his final dick move is bequeathing $1 million to his second ex-wife Natasha and never mentioning it or explaining his reasoning for it to his current wife. Was he just assuming Carrie would die first?!
The news puts Carrie in a tailspin. She’s not worried about the money, she’s upset because this was something Big was keeping from her. What else could he have been hiding? And was he in touch with Natasha all this time?
Our girl Car goes off the deep end. She’s trying to get into Big’s computer and phone, she’s searching for clues in his pockets and wallet, but she comes up empty. Well, actually, she finds a picture of a dog named Gogi in his wallet who she had never heard of, only adding to her ire. Finally, she decides the only way to stop her meltdown is to talk to Natasha face-to-face. She emails her. When Natasha doesn’t respond within hours of Carrie sending it, she decides to DM her on Instagram. Natasha instantly blocks her. While Cynthia Nixon’s line reading of “Okay, she’s a fucking bitch” is perfect after Carrie tells her what happened, anyone with even a fuzzy memory of what went down between Carrie, Big, and Natasha in Sex and the City knows that isn’t exactly what’s happening here. Natasha has every right to hate Carrie, the woman who had an affair with her husband, tried to run away when she got caught, causing Natasha to trip down the steps and be forced to get what I can only imagine was some pretty gruesome dental surgery. Who cares if she’s in mourning, Carrie deserves to be blocked.
But, as Carrie says, “the sixth stage of grief is stalking,” and so she — with support from Miranda and Charlotte — decides to go find Natasha at her place of work. It goes poorly. The ladies watch Natasha walk into the office (her teeth look great), so they know she’s there, but once Carrie asks to see her, she’s told Natasha is in Rome. Clearly, this assistant should be fired because why make a lie that big. Go small, tell a lie you can handle should you need to go further into detail. This is assistant 101. Anyway, as Carrie is raging about it out in the street to Miranda and Charlotte and wildly pointing directly up at Natasha’s office window, Natasha sees her and they make direct, awful eye contact. The ladies make a run for it. Carrie looks like a lunatic, and she knows it. You know what? Her husband just died, so she’s allowed to be the looniest tooniest person you ever met right now, but also it makes total sense for Natasha to be outraged by Carrie’s sudden reappearance in her life.
There is no closure for Carrie, and she still cannot sleep. Her apartment is haunted by Big and Natasha and her guilt and her grief. So, she walks. Somehow, after decades of living in New York, she finds herself surprised by the fact that people jog and walk dogs in Central Park at 6 a.m. I just … you know, I don’t have time for that. She continues walking on a whimsical journey behind a basset hound and its owner (Carrie is so into stalking now) and eventually walks her way to the steps outside of Miranda’s class. Miranda gets her friend to cut through the crap and admit what she’s really feeling. It’s anger. Carrie is angry at Big for surprising her with this. She’s angry at him for even making her consider that he could have been cheating on her. She’s angry at him for making her revisit all of her insecurities from when they were first dating and she never felt like enough for him. She’s angry that he’s ruined their “happy sad ending.” And there’s not much you can do about any of that since the guy’s dead, so she keeps walking.
Eventually, Carrie, a human woman, needs to pee. She stops at a coffee shop, proceeds to order a coffee so she can use the bathroom, and then she walks in on Natasha peeing. It’s a real “of all the coffee shop toilets in all the world” sort of situation. Listen, New York is certainly a city where you happen to run into people you weren’t expecting to all the time, but this is a stretch. Nevertheless, it forces the conversation they need to have.
Natasha wants to tell Carrie to fuck off, which is her right, but Natasha is not a monster, no matter how much Carrie wanted her to be one back in the day. She sees that Carrie has burned her hands from her coffee and fixes her a little ice pack. She also explains that she isn’t going to accept Big’s money and has no idea why he left it for her because the two of them haven’t spoken since their divorce. So, Big was not cheating on his wife with his ex-wife. Mostly, he was hiding the immense guilt he must have felt for what he did to Natasha. Once Carrie realizes that, it is enough to put the whole situation to rest. It’s not perfect closure, but it is something. May these two women never meet again!
This and That
• Miranda has a big ol’ crush on Che Diaz. She is giddy any time Che is mentioned, she willingly listens to a podcast for Che, and she can barely contain herself while in the audience during the taping of Che’s Netflix comedy special. Inspired by Che’s whole “If you’re sad, change things” message, she then secretly attends the after-party where she calls Che a “comedy prophet” and lets them shotgun a joint into her mouth. We know Miranda and Steve haven’t had sex in years (WTF?!), and Miranda looks super turned on in this moment.
• Che’s comedy special is very much about nonbinary representation in the media, and like Miranda, Charlotte leaves the event inspired, although for a different reason. Rose has just told her that she doesn’t want to be referred to as a girl anymore — she doesn’t feel like one. Charlotte is so worried about mishandling the situation and saying the wrong thing, but Che’s story about coming out and how their parents, although still confused, have been nothing but supportive, makes her realize that’s the important part. Outside of the show, Charlotte calls Rose just to say “I love you” and, you know, that seems like a pretty decent start.
• Charlotte, who finds some empty mini Tito’s bottles in Miranda’s backpack, is concerned Miranda might have a drinking problem and brings it up to Carrie. Carrie completely dismisses it as another instance of Charlotte overreacting. I know Carrie gets some leeway here because she is going through it, but this seems like it warranted a much longer conversation.
• Oof, XY and Me seems like an insufferable podcast, doesn’t it? Miranda describes it as “a nice blend of polemics and farts,” so do with that what you will.
• By the end of the episode, Carrie still can’t shake the feeling that she’ll never be able to sleep again in her and Big’s apartment, so she winds up back at her old place. Like, I get that the place feels haunted by Big — and probably Gogi, too — but have you seen the kitchen in there?
• Stanford versus Charlotte is a delight, and I would love even the smallest glimpse into his therapy sessions in which he is railing against her. What a thing to behold!
• “Chia seeds are bullshit.” Bless you, Steve.
More From This Series
- I Object! … to Whatever’s Going on With Legally Blonde 3
- The Fundamental Flaw in And Just Like That …
- What Would Samantha Jones Do?