Warning: This list containers spoilers from Episodes 1 and 2 of HBO Max’s And Just Like That…
The return to the world of Carrie Bradshaw has been among the most-anticipated reboots of the year. It’s been 17 (nearly 18!) years since Sex and the City ended, and though we got a taste of the beloved quartet of NYC women back in 2010 for Sex and the City 2, stepping back into television just feels right.
And Just Like That… sees Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte sans Samantha taking on, once again, love, careers and friendships, but this time in their 50s. As they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same— and boy, did things change. Whether you’re looking to process all that was thrown at you in the premiere or you’re just curious about what went down, here are all the surprises and revelations from the first two episodes.
The series writers clearly wanted to get this one out of the way. Within the first few minutes of the opening scene, Charlotte fumbles an explanation about Samantha’s whereabouts during a happenstance run-in with Bitsy von Muffling. “She’s no longer with us,” she says, making Samantha seem dead, but they go on to clarify that the best SATC character fled to London for work. Later, in a conversation between Carrie and Miranda, we learn that the dissolution of their friendship really came when Carrie had to fire Samantha as her publicist. The publishing industry these days just isn’t what it once was!
Keeping up with the times as a media careerist, Carrie is part of a podcast hosted by Che Diaz, on which they discuss gender and sexuality. Carrie spent the ‘90s and early aughts writing away for her sex column, but let’s face it: it really was mostly about navigating relationships and dating (which involves sex, but isn’t really about sex. For that, we really had to look to Samantha). And yes, Carrie is able to make a joke about anal sex during the taping, but the second Che brings up masturbation, Carrie is completely flabbergasted and too flummoxed and embarrassed to partake in the conversation.
Ditching corporate law, Miranda is heading back to school to earn her master’s degree so that she can be a human rights lawyer. It’s a noble life change and makes sense for the kind of badass Miranda has always been: straight-laced, but caring. However, this Gen X lady clearly has been caught up in the white upper class lifestyle and missed out on the substantial, authentic discourse and literature about identity, politics, gender and race from the last ten years. Self-conscious about her age, Miranda fumbles her way through the first day of school and offends the professor and likely the other students. As the episodes continue, she basically just keeps putting her foot in mouth.
Brady is seventeen, smokes weed and had the most sex out of everyone in the first two episodes. He’s not a burnout or jock (this description would’ve definitely indicated so if it were 20 years ago). He’s just an upper class NYC teen.
Remember that heart problem Big has? Well, I certainly forgot about it until Carrie made a passing joke about his emergency nitroglycerin pill, a medication that helps with blood flow. The couple also had a cute moment before Carrie departed to go watch Charlotte’s daughter’s piano recital, which, at the time, felt like the acknowledgement that their relationship was strong and lovely after all the years of messiness (and all the years we didn’t get to see).
I was very wrong.
Later, while Carrie's out, Big starts riding his Peloton. The sequence is intermixed with Lily’s (stellar) piano playing, and the music is intense, so it’s clear something bad is about to happen. For Big, it’s just another day of his favorite work out, but then his arm goes limp and he falls. Eventually, Carrie comes home to find he had a Peloton-induced heart attack and he dies in her arms. (Note: Before Big takes his last breath, Carrie runs in wearing the iconic royal blue Manolo Blahnik heels. They get soaked and ruined in the running shower, signaling their marriage is done.)
According to Buzzfeed News, Peloton was aware HBO Max would be using their bike and that one of their instructors would play a fictionalized version of themselves. They just didn’t know about the plotline.
SATC and its offshoots often highlight a reality many of us don’t live in. That’s ok! That’s why we love it! However, it still does a good job at presenting clear truths about life, especially friendship. With the devastating, sudden passing of Big, And Just Like That… nails on the head just how weird people can be about death. At the funeral, person after person reveal how their inability to cope results in self-centeredness. For example, Bitsy von Muffling reappears to repeatedly tell Carrie how she knows how she feels because her husband also recently died.
The worst of them all is Charlotte, who has a breakdown while trying to help Carrie find a place to hold the service. She has several others thereafter because she’s convinced Carrie is mad at her for making her come to Lily’s recital instead of being with Big. Because Charlotte is so consumed by guilt and overwhelmed by grief, she can’t see past herself and realize Carrie is just mad that her time with Big was cut short.
Actually, aside from Miranda, the best reaction came from “Samantha.” After many unanswered phone calls and texts, she sent flowers to the funeral— the only ones Carrie allowed at the entire event.
We have yet to see the apartment, but we know it’s coming because Stanford, after the recital, asks to sleep there after having another fight with Mario. Carrie and Big’s place is gorgeous and there’s no doubt she’ll want to treasure the space they shared a life in. However, when your world crashes into a million, obliterating pieces, there’s really no place like home.
Photography by: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max