***Warning: This blog post contains spoilers for episode two of the HBOMax series, And Just Like That…***
So since the creators of AJLT released two episodes to start us off, my jaw is still on the floor and confusion and sadness are clouding my brain as episode 2 begins… with Brady’s girlfriend riding him cowgirl-style, while Miranda and Steve talk about it on the other side of the wall.
All I can say is, it took my mind off Big’s death for 10 seconds, I’ll give them that.
But then the phone rings and we’re brought right back down to the stark reality of what just happened as Miranda shows up at a visibly grief-stricken Carrie’s door. We see some EMTs/coroners in the background and Carrie chokes out “What do I do now?” to which Miranda, taking it literally, says “Well… I think they take the body away ….” and Carrie says, “No, I mean me. What do I do NOW?!”
What do WE do now, show creators?! Jeebus.
From here, my mind goes back to Carrie and Big’s breakup in the first movie, as we again see her friends taking shifts looking after her, spending the night, bringing her things and helping her plan the funeral.
First, Charlotte accompanies Carrie to a funeral home and proceeds to break down, saying she feels responsible for Big’s death in part because she made Carrie go to the recital.
Which brings me to one of my favorite Twitter reactions to this show thus far:
Carrie, however, stays strong and tells Charlotte, “It was a heart attack.” But Charlotte is so distraught they have to leave — also because Carrie has determined the funeral home package just isn’t Big — and Carrie sends her home in a cab. She also drops her first “It’s not you… it’s me,” since being widowed, to the funeral liaison. (Too soon?!)
Charlotte, girl… you need to pull it together.
We also see Stanford and Anthony make up in the face of this horrible news… we’ll see if it lasts.
Next, Miranda has another cringey encounter with her professor, Dr. Nya Wallace, played by Karen Pittman, in which Nya can’t find her ID to get into the building for class. When given pushback by the security guard, Miranda freaks out a bit assuming it’s a racial profiling issue. Nya finds her badge and tells Miranda to chill a bit on the white savior complex she seems to have.
Later, however, Miranda legit helps her out when she gets mugged on the subway. Maybe these two will become friends after all? I think Miranda could use some guidance, that’s for sure!
Soon it’s time for Big’s funeral. Cue ALL the emotion. Carrie walks in flanked by Anthony and Stanford, looking appropriately widow-chic as we would expect. Big has been cremated, but she got a casket for the service, and there is a gorgeous display of white flowers. At first Carrie is upset — she said no flowers — but it is then revealed that the flowers came from Samantha, so they stay.
Now, I have to say, in reality? Samantha would absolutely be there. There’s just no way she doesn’t show up after everything. But, of course, they can’t just make Kim Cattrall appear. So we have to make due with a card that simply says, “Love, Samantha.”
Miranda is set to give the eulogy (beautifully written by Carrie), but not before slinking off to the bar to try to cram a glass of Chablis in at whatever morning hour this is. Now, on the one hand, it’s a funeral, she has to speak — give the woman some booze! On the other hand, at this point, it’s clear the writers are trying to establish that Miranda may have a drinking problem. While this scenario seems understandable, it gets a little desperate when the bartender tells Miranda they’re not serving until after the service and she pulls the “My husband supplied all of this booze” card. She then just asks for a quick nip of liquor. This, plus the purse wine, plus another scene in episode one where she goes to a bar before class, is definitely adding up to be a THING.
Also making an appearance is “Step your pussy up” podcast host Che Diaz, played by Sara Ramirez, who assures Carrie they can bounce people if things get out of control. What — it’s a funeral?! — but then that doesn’t seem to be totally out of line when Big’s secretary (“she prefers to be called that”) breaks down in ugly tears during the service, and afterward, Susan Sharon (yes!) and Bitsy von Muffling more or less accost Carrie with their own personal agendas.
Where’s Che? Oh — they’re outside getting high with Brady. BRADY — what are you doing to your mother?! While Miranda apparently has no problem with her son keeping her up at night banging his girlfriend in their house, she DOES have a problem with him toking up with strangers. She gets right in Che’s face — having no idea their connection to Carrie or the gathering — and threatens to rip their head off. Yikes — is she drunk? It’s just a little pot, lady…. She then tells Brady “No Luisa (girlfriend) for a week.” Heh — we’ll see about that.
Back inside, Carrie officially introduces Miranda and Che, and Miranda is understandably embarrassed about her reaction outside, but Che seems to think it was legit.
I feel something happening here. Hmmm….
A day or so later, Carrie gets a delivery and as she nonchalantly brings it inside, it hits her — it’s Big’s ashes. She calls Miranda and Stanford to come cheer her up but leaves Crybaby Charlotte out. Unfortunately, Charlotte shows up unannounced, leading to a hallway blow-up in which Carrie finally shows some real emotion when she exclaims she doesn’t blame Charlotte, but herself, for not leaving for the Hamptons “LIKE I WANTED TO.” It’s good to see some of this coming out. I don’t really think it’s her fault, Charlotte’s fault, Lily’s fault OR Peloton’s fault but…. this sucks.
That night, as Miranda is on friend duty, Carrie asks for another sleeping pill. Miranda tells her she can’t have another one for 5 hours.
“And just like that… I learned how long 5 hours can be.” End of episode.
Woof. I’m still processing. But I did watch the trailer for the rest of the season and it looks like some interesting, possibly more light-hearted (thank god!) things are in store (Natasha?!). Stay tuned.