We open on Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) piling books and magazines and an old package in front of her ring light so that she can do a Sunday morning Zoom call with an influencer about her book. Unfortunately, said influencer did not read the book and pivots hard once she learns it’s about Big’s death. “So girl, what lipstick shades are you absolutely loving right now?” Carrie is saved from answering this by the laptop falling off her precarious stack. This little scene is almost relatable in that who among us hasn’t been on a terrible Zoom call? And Just Like That… turned all of our ladies into true one-percenters, but it might have been fun to explore what Carrie’s life had looked like if Big’s money wasn’t always there to prevent her from struggling financially.
Rock’s (Alexa Swinton) Ralph Lauren ad came out and everyone is acting like this kid did something truly remarkable. Lily (Cathy Ang), meanwhile, is whining because in all the excitement, Charlotte (Kristin Davis) forgot to call Nobu to snag her a lunch reservation. “Boo hoo, you’re 17 years old,” teases Anthony (Mario Cantone). “Go to Shake Shack and call it a day.” When did Anthony become the true voice of reason on this show? But no, Lily can’t go to Shake Shack because the Nobu reservation was step one in her plan for a perfect day to lose her virginity, and she announces this to the room that includes her mother, her father, her mother’s best friend, and her younger sibling. “Why would she just announce something like that?” Harry (Evan Handler) says as she stomps off.
The reason, we learn, is because Charlotte is aggressively sex positive. She visits Lily’s room for a little follow-up chat to reinforce the importance of condoms and tell her daughter that she should focus on her own pleasure as much as her boyfriend’s pleasure. “You’ve gone from sex positive to sex annoying,” Lily whines, and I have to agree.
Carrie, meanwhile, has a supposedly better opportunity to plug her book than Zooming with influencers: Widow Con. Her agent has got her the keynote speech at the convention for grieving women, and after Carrie reluctantly agrees to go, she enlists Che (Sara Ramirez) to come with her. Because they’re brave? I don’t know; the reasoning was a little shoddy here, but it’s good timing because Che hasn’t left the apartment in weeks following the cancellation of their TV pilot.
Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) absolutely loses it when Che doesn’t want to cuddle but instead record Cameos for fans to help pay the rent. “I’m sorry I’m not climbing out of my deep depression fast enough for you,” Che says, and I do have to wonder how these two fell into such a serious relationship. I get that Miranda broke up her marriage for Che, but Che seems like the kind of person who would bounce at the first sign of things not being a good time. When Carrie asks Che to come to Widow Con, they agree because “My mommy said I have to leave the house sometime this week.” Everyone—from Carrie to Che to the audience—realizes this is very icky. If you’re with someone who treats you like they’re your mommy, or if you’re with someone who makes you feel like you have to act like their mommy, it’s probably time to cut and run!
The whole episode builds toward a giant snowpocalypse that threatens Carrie’s reading at Widow Con, Herbert’s (Chris Jackson) campaign event, Lisa’s (Nicola Ari Parker) talk at MOMA and…Lily’s virginity loss day. Lisa is being honored as a Black filmmaker at the museum, but her car is canceled. Herbert offers to drop her off on the way to his event, but she tells him she does not need to be rescued. I think this is to make a point after he suggested she skip her event to come to his earlier in the episode, but I have to point out that accepting a ride from your husband in a blizzard is not a betrayal of feminism. Even so, Lisa looks fierce as fuck trudging through the snow, and then Herbert shows up to listen to her talk anyway. I think these two kids are going to make it work.
Meanwhile, Lily calls from her boyfriend’s house to admit to her mom that they actually did forget the condoms and, because they are too embarrassed to go buy some, could Charlotte please drop some off? When Charlotte refuses, Lily says they’ll do the pull-out method, so then you know our favorite Jewish WASP is out there in the snow banging on the door of every drugstore in Manhattan. When will the women of AJLT learn that being sex positive doesn’t mean you have to let your kids walk all over you? Charlotte eventually delivers the condoms and is rewarded with a rare hug from Lily. The parenting on this show is deranged.
Carrie and Che show up at Widow Con to find the woman onstage before Carrie is delivering a tight ten of widow humor. Carrie didn’t realize death could be funny and panics at the thought of following this act with so much sadness. Che comes up with a vibrator joke on the spot, but of course Carrie butchers it. In the end, her reading moves the crowd anyway, including Che: “You don’t move on because you’re ready to. You move on because you’ve outgrown who you used to be.” They part with Che cheered up, and I couldn’t help but wonder why Che is so much less annoying as a scene partner with Carrie than they are with Miranda.
But the episode’s big emotional gut punch doesn’t come from Carrie. It’s finally Miranda’s turn. Off the back of Carrie sharing that Steve doesn’t plan to move on from their marriage, Miranda shows up to have a conversation with Steve (David Eigenberg). What follows is the most brutal fight I can ever remember happening in the Sex And The City universe. She asks him when he’s going to move out, like he said he would in therapy. He says he has no plans to and that he lied about that before. “This is my house,” Steve says, to which Miranda replies, “Really? You should tell that to the mortgage that has only my name on it.” Steve explodes. He built the kitchen! The bookshelves! Everything! Miranda never wanted to come to Brooklyn. She never wanted him. She never wanted Brady.
At this, Miranda understandably breaks into sobs and tries to leave the house. Steve, distraught at what he’s said and worried about her, begs her to stay until she calms down. The lay in bed together, him the big spoon as she stares into space. She does seem calmer, until she sees the condom wrapper on the bed and realizes Steve has moved on, at least in some capacity. She accuses him of acting like a victim, and he says that’s all in her head. It’s a double dose of sadness and rage in the Hobbes-Brady household.
And then the kicker: Miranda returns to Che’s apartment, fuming about Steve and sad that she doesn’t see a future where they could be friends. Che, fresh off their revelation about moving on from Carrie’s reading, says they think things aren’t going to get better between them, and that maybe it’s time to end things. The thing is, after the seismic fight with Steve, it feels impossible to mourn this split. One relationship ended with a whimper, and the other with a bang.
- I don’t really like Lily, but it is extremely on-brand for a Type A teenager to have a very detailed plan for losing her virginity.
- What did Seema (Sarita Choudhury) have to do this episode? Just a recurring joke about her and Carrie renting a house together for the Hamptons come the summer. Sarita Choudhury steals every single scene she’s in, and I’m begging the writers to give her something more to do than be Carrie’s much cooler sidekick.
- The event planner Carrie has to work with for Widow Con is a writing partner from her past…played by Rachel Dratch! I love Dratch, but her brand of humor bounces really strangely off Sarah Jessica Parker’s. This felt like a waste of her.
- In her talk, Lisa uses the term “unsung sheroes,” and I feel like Lisa is too cool to say this.
- Nya (Karen Pittman), Miranda, Charlotte, and Carrie have dinner at Nya’s place and begin discussing exes. This gives Miranda a chance to bitch about Steve, Nya to explain the complicated dynamic with Andre, Charlotte to mention Trey, and Carrie the opportunity to brief us about Aidan. Her internet sleuthing has revealed he divorced five years ago…and the episode ends with Carrie sending Aidan an email.
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