It finally happened. Kim Cattrall returned to don a fabulous Samantha Jones outfit and drop zingers, albeit via phone, in And Just Like That...’s season two finale. So far, the Sex And The City sequel series has skirted the issue of her presence by claiming Samantha and Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) had a falling out. However, the two friends slowly reconnected via text in season one. Samantha was barely mentioned in the sophomore run, although fans anticipated Cattrall’s cameo because it was spoiled months ago. So, was it worth the long wait to see her on our screens again?
Below, The A.V. Club’s staffers unpack if AJLT... did justice to the beloved Samantha and Cattrall, what her cameo might mean for season three, and if anything even makes sense on this show anymore.
Drew Gillis: Alright, I’ll start. I know there are no points for recognizing And Just Like That... as bizarre, but that cameo was pretty bizarre.
Saloni Gajjar: First, I just have to say even though I knew I’d be disappointed at how random it is, it was so fucking good to see Samantha. Kim Cattrall, man. She just sat in a cab in a hot red dress and nailed everything about the cameo. But as for the cameo itself, the biggest problem is that they spoiled it. I imagine I would’ve spit out my juice right now if I didn’t know she’d be gracing the screen. But like you said … bizarre.
DG: I guess I liked that it wasn’t played for some big reveal, but, even having it spoiled months in advance, it felt pretty out of left field. I expected there to be some ice between Carrie and Samantha but they greeted each other as they would have in the original series. In season one of AJLT... we saw their relationship gradually warm up over text, but that throughline has been mostly absent this season. Maybe I’m alone in not expecting them to be so chummy already.
SG: No, you’re not. It was partly weird because all of season one had this underlying tension between them. And now we’re expected to believe she’s flying in overnight for a dinner at Carrie’s? It was really abrupt, especially considering Samantha was barely mentioned in season two. I will say, it’s pretty baller of AJLT... to reveal that Samantha would rather get to Manhattan for “The Last Supper” instead of Big’s funeral.
DG: Let’s talk about that.
SG: All Big’s funeral got was crazy-looking white flowers. And I get it, there’s not much to mourn—I’m very anti-Big— so it’s very much in line with Samantha’s attitude too, I guess.
DG: Again, I don’t want to try to apply too much logic to a show that is blissfully unrestrained from reality, but if we’re meant to believe it was that easy for Samantha to come to New York for what’s essentially 12 hours, it feels like there are so many things we could have expected to see her for. How about Rock’s They-mitzvah? Samantha didn’t have any beef with Charlotte, as far as I know, and was there to see the arrival of her kids. I feel like there could have been a better justification for it. That said, I will never complain about seeing Kim Cattrall on screen, even if she seemed more untethered than normal here.
SG: Yeah, they shoehorned her appearance into the episode very poorly. I didn’t think much of her missing Charlotte and Miranda’s major life events, though, I must admit. I guess it’s the real-life events coloring my perception of SATC/AJLT… in terms of their friendships. Although episode 10 could’ve used Samantha heckling Che or something for their stand-up act. Ultimately, I’m glad they put her scene at the beginning and not the end because it would’ve left us guessing if she’ll show up more prominently in the season three premiere.
DG: That’s such a good point because a big reason this has become such a Thing is because of the tabloid fodder between Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall. They wanted to find a way to include Samantha without having her actually be on set, so it had to be a phone call unless they were going to go for some truly horrendous greenscreen work. But the perfect place to include her this season would have been in the last episode when Miranda sees Che mocking their relationship in a standup set, because you know Samantha would not have let Che get away with that.
It makes sense that the events of the show are filtered through Carrie’s POV—she is the main character and pseudo-narrator, after all—but that also robs us of seeing the other women meaningfully hang out with each other without her.
SG: Exactly. Samantha would’ve bitchslapped Che. (Sorry, but it’s the truth!) However, Kim Cattrall already revealed she filmed her cameo in a day, so we knew it was going to be brief as hell. We also know she doesn’t want to spend even one hour not enjoying herself (as is her right). It means she wasn’t on set with Sarah, Cynthia, and Kristin—and that would’ve been the real game-changer.
I think my other issue with this Samantha cameo, and her off-screen storyline so far on AJLT, is that it really discredits who Samantha was as a person and friend.
DG: I’ll ask one last question before we wrap this up: In your professional opinion, do you think the door is open for more Cattrall in this series? Or is it really going to be one-and-done?
SG: I don’t know if it’s a hot take but I actually hope it’s a one-and-done. Samantha will ground the show in a way that AJLT cannot handle. She’ll give reality checks to her friends, and that will kind of rob AJLT of the chaos it’s crafted so far. At this point, two seasons in, I’m used to hate watching it. And I think both Samantha and Cattrall are beyond it.
On the one hand, if she’s seen any of it, Cattrall won’t want to return anyway for the sake of her mental health. On the flip side, in just one scene, I was reminded of how much I miss Samantha’s freewheeling presence. Still … save yourself, Kim Cattrall! What do you think?
DG: That’s fair. Season one was such a mess that I felt like Cattrall definitely made the right decision to skip it. I’ve been genuinely enjoying this season, even beyond a hate-watch, and I feel like Samantha could have had a good spot in it. You’ve pointed out—and I totally agree—that Charlotte is the best part of the show now, and I think it’s because the way she grapples with the decisions she made 20 years ago feels the most real. I think, hypothetically, there could be a place for Samantha in that, but we know she’ll never return in that capacity. I wouldn’t totally count out another appearance like this, but if that’s all we’re going to get, I’d almost rather have nothing.
SG: Season two is definitely an improvement over one. And if Cattrall came for more, I hope it’s to be with her friends physically. I’d love for her to be at brunch with Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Seema at least once. (Unless AJLT... decides to become the new The Good Wife and they greenscreen her into sharing space with the others). Sarita and Kim in a scene could transcend the mess. And we didn’t get to it, but I will admit I loved the season six SATC shoutout with the Annabelle Bornstein reference. I think that bit made me nostalgic, more than anything else.