And Just Like That
Carrie’s hip is all fixed up, she is back in heels where she belongs, and she is beginning to move forward with her life. But change is hard, even when you know it’s the right thing. The process of pressing on after a loss can really be a whole “two steps forward, one step back” type of thing, and that seems to be where we find her these days. She knows she needs to buy a new apartment, but she also rejects 46 of them for various unimportant reasons and then lands on one that she doesn’t like all that much just to get it over with. She knows she needs to go through her storage unit and take out things to bring to her new place, but is understandably caught off guard when she opens a box and is faced with all of Big’s record albums. Major life changes can be complex and emotional, okay? Moving into a new chapter of her life is much healthier than living in the past, but that doesn’t mean Carrie should completely forget that past, and it takes one very special trip to the plastic surgeon to help her realize that, because of course it does.
Carrie isn’t willingly going to the plastic surgeon; she winds up in Dr. Paul David’s office as Anthony’s wingwoman to make sure he doesn’t do anything too drastic — but eventually she can’t help but be curious as to some of her options to “refresh.” It seems Carrie and Anthony have become best buds since Stanford took off for Tokyo: He’s “helping” her with her new apartment; she’s attending his facelift consultation so that he can get his face back to “hot, slightly older guy” status. What can I say? I’m into this pairing! It turns this hellish consultation — staring at a 3-D rendering of your face and being told what’s wrong with it sounds like a true nightmare — into a real hoot. Jonathan Groff is perfectly charming as Dr. David, walking that line of “I want you to feel your best” and “Here are all of your flaws” so well. Honestly, I’d let him do whatever the hell he wants to my face and I didn’t even come here today looking to get spruced up. My elevens are just fine, but this man is very good at his job.
Anthony is told he’s hot, although a little Botox wouldn’t hurt, but Carrie, dear Carrie, learns that “Mother Nature and Instagram are much harder on women,” and the doctor unloads a whole laundry list of improvements to make to her face. He tells her that he can basically make the past 15 years of her life completely disappear. And that’s the thing that sticks. It’s a tempting proposition for so many reasons. For the past few months, Carrie has been hiding from the past 15 years of her life — or keeping them in a storage unit, as it were. The grief makes them hard to face, but the prospect of letting them go altogether is even harder, because as Carrie notes, she loved the past 15 years of her life. And so she’s not getting a facelift, but she is unloading that storage unit, Big’s record albums and all. She even dons one of Big’s tuxedo jackets and heads out into the world. She is facing the changes in her life head-on, partly because she has no choice and partly because she knows she’s strong enough to do it. Carrie’s going to be just fine, guys.
She’s not the only one who comes around to embrace the changes in her life that are out of her control. It is, unsurprisingly, not the smoothest of sailing at the Goldenblatt apartment. Now that Rock is out to their parents — although I don’t think Charlotte could bring herself to use the name Rock once in this episode — they also want to make changes to their bedroom to reflect who they really are. This includes cutting their hair short, getting rid of Charlotte’s doll collection, and painting over the floral mural at the head of their bed. These seem like small changes, but it’s a lot for Charlotte to process. The stress of it all begins to come out in interesting ways, mainly by way of her screaming at Miranda to dye her hair in the middle of a crowded park on a gorgeous summer day. Ah, change!
You see, gal pals Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte are sharing a gorgeous spread and nonalcoholic bubbly outside of Carrie’s apartment, gabbing about how society makes women feel bad about aging and that people should be allowed to do or not do what they want to their face without judgment, when Miranda announces that she has “replaced too much drinking with obsessive masturbation.” Picnics are the best.
You can tell Miranda is warming up the conversation to let Charlotte in on the Che situation. When she talks about fantasizing about Che, Charlotte, surprisingly, completely gets it. Che is “cool” and “charismatic,” and even she has a sex dream about them on a ferry. (Is this a subtle Grey’s Anatomy reference, or do I just only see the world in Grey’s Anatomy references?) Fantasies, Charlotte gets. It’s when Miranda admits that it’s more than just a fantasy that Charlotte’s brain explodes. Here’s the thing: Miranda gets all upset that Charlotte has a “huge reaction” to the news of Miranda and Che’s kitchen escapades, but shouldn’t she be allowed to have some type of emotional response to learning that one of her best friends is cheating on her husband?? That’s big news! Now is Charlotte’s whole “you’re not progressive enough for this” over the line? Sure. Miranda is trying to explain that she’s never felt this way before in her life, and Charlotte simply doesn’t want to hear it. Thankfully, Carrie offers a coolheaded perspective (can you even believe Carrie, our Carrie?) and tells Miranda that they’ve “already lost Samantha,” so she can’t just walk away; they need to talk this out. It’s a good thing, too, because it becomes quite clear that Charlotte’s outburst about Miranda having a midlife crisis is only partly about Miranda and mostly about the changes going on in her house. “What is wrong with people just staying who they were?” Charlotte asks, almost in tears. But as Carrie points out (again, Carrie!), change is a part of life, and most of the time people don’t have any choice about it. The friends make up, and back at home, Charlotte puts away the doll collection in her kids’ bedroom, lets Rock cut their hair, and, yes, even covers up that hand-painted mural. It all seems like such healthy growth — are we watching the right show?
This and That
• This week, Carrie Bradshaw learns about Diwali! As Seema explains, Diwali is a celebration of “light triumphing over dark” (something Carrie needs in her life) and also another excuse for Seema’s parents to get on her back about getting married — something Carrie is more than willing to be a buffer for. At Seema’s family party, Carrie learns about this festival of lights, and she also learns Seema has an imaginary boyfriend named Dennis. Seema seems genuinely happy with her life but doesn’t enjoy being hounded by her parents about being single at 53, so Dennis from Doctors Without Borders is the best solution.
• Although Seema’s parents have a very successful arranged marriage, Seema isn’t interested in learning to love someone. She isn’t going to settle. And I guess we’re comparing Seema’s love life to Carrie’s apartment shopping, which is A Choice, but in the end, when Carrie admits she doesn’t quite love her new apartment, Seema says the fix is easy: They’ll sell it and find something she really wants. “You have to love where you are,” she tells Carrie.
• Nya gets a few quick but nice beats added to her story: She is anxious about going out with her husband Andre’s best friend and his wife, Fertile Myrtle, because she’s had two babies in three years, and babies and Nya’s IVF attempts are all she ever wants to talk about. Dinner is definitely awkward, but Nya and Andre’s sex afterward is definitely not. Finally she opens up to her husband about her trepidation over doing another round of IVF, and he’s very understanding and sweet about it. More of these two!
• I’m sorry, did that man say the sentence “A couple like you, you gotta have babies” to two people dealing with fertility issues??? NO, SIR. NO.
• Miranda DMs Che to hang out again, so I think we can officially call this an affair now.
• Okay, so we’re really sticking with the whole Rambo nickname, huh?
• The way “my Madame Alexander international doll collection?!” just rolls off Charlotte’s tongue is still making me laugh.