Congrats, all: We’ve made it all the way to the And Just Like That… finale, as episode 10 debuts tomorrow. While we were likely excited to see old Sex And The City pals like Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) again, we never could have expected all the surprises in store: The death of Big (Chris Noth), Miranda’s mysteriously disappearing drinking problem, and the welcome addition of characters like Seema (Sarita Choudhury), Nya (Karen Pittman), and Lisa (Nicole Ari Parker), alongside the unfortunately rise of Che Diaz (Sara Ramirez) and one of the most cringeworthy sex scenes in TV history.
With twists and turns like that, the finale is bound to throw a few curveballs at us, right? We asked our AJLT-devoted A.V. Clubbers to offer a few theories: one grounded, and one a bit more far-fetched. Could Carrie and Steve become a happy couple who go to visit Emily In Paris on their way to saying hi to Samantha in London after Che and Miranda’s wedding? Hey, stranger things have happened on this show (see above).
Samantha Jones may have been absent from season one of AJLT, but she still managed to make her presence felt, whether it was through saucy texts or a spiritual successor. So, despite the icy real-life standoff between her and the rest of the main cast, I’m still holding out for an onscreen appearance from Kim Cattrall in this week’s finale. I can see the moment mirroring the closing of the original series finale, when Carrie’s caller ID revealed Mr. Big’s name for the first time. Only, instead of answering her flip phone, Carrie will open up FaceTime or WhatsApp to see Samantha winking at her from London. It’d be a helluva way to set up a second season—both more intriguing and in-line with the spirit of the original series than many of the developments in this first outing on HBO Max.
That’s actually among the more grounded ideas, though. AJLT has proven eager to play fast and loose with continuity and characters, so it could really throw anything at us in its final installment (for now)—like, say, confirmation that Emily In Paris and SATC/AJLT exist in the same universe, and a man who looks like actor William Abadie quantum-leaps into different bodies/personas (Prada employee Tony and nightclub owner Zed in AJLT, scent impresario Antoine Lambert in EIP)?
Ever since Big’s death, And Just Like That... has understandably focused on Carrie’s difficulties with moving on from her husband of several years. To that end, the show has considerably jumped ahead in time with each passing episode, hoping to soften the blow when Carrie does eventually try to find romance again. She has dealt with her grief by writing a book (so we don’t get to see it play out on screen as much). Her first date with school teacher Peter (Jon Tenney) ended with vomit, but she’s decided to try again despite rejecting him outside the restaurant before the second date. However, for Carrie to finally realize she’s ready to move on, my theory is that AJLT... will bring back Aidan Shaw (John Corbett) in the finale. Yes, her other one true love. Aidan and Carrie weren’t necessarily a good match, but they’ve always been attracted to each other (remember the Abu Dhabi kiss?). It makes sense that bumping into him again is what stirs Carrie’s, um, feelings. This way, the show can also sneak in another SATC cameo.
My second big theory is that Jack Berger (Ron Livingston) is the ex who will return, and he’ll finally apologize for the post-it note. Just kidding! The real theory is that Che and Miranda will go full rom-com and get hitched. Look, no one had Miranda turning into a sappy groupie on their AJLT… bingo card, but here we are. She’s making grand romantic gestures—it’s weird that the show didn’t reveal how her Cleveland surprise went. Miranda shows up with baked goods now because “she’s craving herself some Che,” and in the trailer for the finale, she asks Carrie why she can’t choose love over an internship. Miranda has fallen for Che so fast, it makes sense she’ll be ready to get hitched to them instantly. She’s also softening their stance on relationships, so you never know if the show speeds up Miranda and Steve’s divorce for more wedding bells around the corner.
Although Charlotte and Harry have one of the more stable relationships of the show, I feel like they’re bickering over small things could lead to a larger argument about Charlotte’s lack of apologies and need for control, culminating in a break or separation. In maybe a not so far off land all three of the leading ladies are single again, drinking cosmos at a bar once more. While this definitely seems a little fantastical, a girl can dream.
Another more grounded theory is that in the mess that is Miranda’s life at the moment, she decides she can’t girlboss her way out of alcoholism with a self-help book, so Miranda seeks professional guidance for her drinking. Her issues with drinking could arise again when she and Che inevitably split up, or when some other stressor appears in the midst of her divorce. At least, my hope is she starts seeing a therapist.
My theory is that with Samantha gone (and likely gone for good, as much as I’d want her to come back!), Miranda will be the one in the friend group bringing the sex to the Sex And The City revival. Now that she’s asked Steve for a divorce and hopefully realized her romance with Che isn’t going anywhere, Miranda could be exploring dating around for the first time as a queer woman. While she may be a veteran of the 2000s New York City dating scene, she’s still a “baby queer” and her blunder with Che probably won’t be the only time she’ll get a wakeup call in her newfound singlehood. I can already picture her chronicling her escapades in this new world, and providing us with a cringey scene where she attempts to explain to Charlotte and Carrie what a “U-Haul lesbian” is.
My most outlandish theory is similar to what’s already been said: Samantha will come back. But, I think she’s not in London anymore. Instead, Samantha has been secretly back in New York City, and will eventually bump into someone from the friend group (my money’s on Miranda), who’ll have to choose between keeping it a secret or telling the rest.
Okay, I’m not the only one who saw genuine sparks flying between Carrie and Steve last episode, right? (I know I’m not, because some fellow critic friends and I commiserated on Twitter.) Yes, this plot twist is so outlandish as to be highly improbable, but I would still love it. “Justice for Steve!” has been the unofficial rallying cry of this And Just Like That… season, as this wonderful, kind, helpful man was so unceremoniously dumped by Miranda for bumper-sticker fodder. So the start of a Steve-Carrie romance would be a lovely way to tie the old and new series together, with two grieving and beloved characters who have a long history and genuine affection for each other. And Steve could fix all the broken stuff in Carrie’s apartment without Aidan’s annoying patchouli scent. Bonus: It would make Miranda’s head explode, so everyone wins, really. I would also accept Steve’s hottie girlfriend Debbie returning; guess Debbie really did deserve your tears, Miranda.
A more realistic prediction, and a much more unfortunate one, really, is that this series will return for a second season. Tomorrow, HBO Max will release the And Just Like That… documentary, “a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the first season.” Honestly, the words “first season” were like a little dagger to my heart. I thought we were all in agreement that this series was a failed experiment; it offered a welcome return of these iconic characters (and their fabulous outfits) but didn’t seem to know what to do with them at all. Charlotte is borderline Stepford-y, Miranda is unrecognizable, and Carrie appears to be back in the dating pool, so what else do we really need? If Danette and Tatiana’s Samantha prediction comes true, I may be on board, but failing that, I doubt that a prospective AJLT season two will find room in my packed viewing schedule.