Well friends, we’ve finally reached the end of this 10-episode journey through the updated lives of Carrie and Co. Things have been so bleak and fairly uneventful on this show that I don’t know if I had high hopes for the finale, but it would have been nice to get some kind of closure past Carrie dumping Big’s ashes off a Parisian bridge. I’m also “woo woo” when it comes to stuff like that, so reducing Big to a reading lamp worked for me, plotwise, as did Carrie realizing that the first date you go out on as a newly single person probably isn’t going to be the best one.
But Carrie’s return to romance pales when compared to how this show outright massacred the character of Miranda Hobbes. The way things wound up for her in this episode has me absolutely fuming. Sure, toss your nice husband, kick-start a new relationship, but completely derail your career? Coming from the one person in the original four that was absolutely the most career-focused? I just can’t wrap my head around it. When your college professor and best friend are both telling you that perhaps you’re making a huge mistake, someone as smart as Miranda would be likely to listen. Instead, she’s flying off to L.A. to go sit and clap in Che’s audience some more. It is a complete role reversal from Miranda trying to talk Carrie out of jetting off to Paris with Mikhail Baryshnikov at the end of the series—and look how that relationship turned out.
Look. Marriages end, and Miranda is in love and appears to be happier than she’s been in a long time, yay for her. But the show so oddly framed it as her giving up this prestigious, impossible-to-get internship doing important work with a with a human rights group just to go sit poolside in California with Che. What is that saying about the choices women make for love? It just feels like a devastating, disappointing turn for the character. At least she’s a redhead again.
Charlotte will always be Charlotte, and at least she got a nice final moment with Lisa about the constant fear of failure that comes along with motherhood, especially mothering teens (I definitely hear you on that one, Charlotte.) Would have been nice if Rock could have spoken up before the 130 challahs had arrived, but it’s nice that we go out with a perfect snapshot of the Goldenblatt family. Nya’s future, unsurprisingly, is more up-in-arms, and Seema is locked down in a sex quarantine. And Just Like That… did manage to introduce some wonderful new characters; it’s too bad the show couldn’t have fleshed them out a bit more.
Unless… there is a season two? I mentioned in our speculation roundtable that I would not be surprised at all if there was one, as the just-dropped AJLT documentary alludes to all the behind the scenes moments of “season one.” Since I won’t be writing about it for this site, I wonder if I’d even watch it at this point. I can see why Michael Patrick King et al. would want to do a better job than they did on this season, which leaves us as a chronicle of failed opportunities for these beloved characters. But these 10 episodes don’t really bode well for the show’s future, sorry to say. Let’s face it; without Samantha, the show doesn’t really work.
Worst episode: Have to go with “Tragically Hip,” as the show decided to craft an entire episode around Carrie’s hip surgery, squeezed in a sex scene so heinous I still have trouble shaking it, and wound it all up with some fat-shaming.
Best episode: Big’s funeral, which had some nice moments (especially Samantha’s flowers) back when we still had some hope for this show.
Season grade: C-
Finale grade: C
- Stray observation from my first And Just Like That… review: “There were so many shots of the cute podcast producer laughing that he is destined to become one of Carrie’s suitors at some point.” Nailed it!
- Yes, Carrie, we all know your husband is dead, but wouldn’t Berger’s post-it note been a much better breakup story for the podcast?
- Man, you can totally tell where the Chris Noth part got cut in the dream sequence.
- Final best outfit: I recently talked to Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago, the costume designers for this series, because even with all the plot derailments, for the most part I really like the clothes on this series. I asked them about their own favorite outfits on the show, and Danny mentioned that there was one in the finale that he was super-excited about, and I am 100% certain that he was talking about the orange dress and pink gloves that Carrie wears on the bridge. I love it because it’s super-dramatic, and almost wedding-like, as dumping the ashes is certainly a ceremony (that could have used at least a few words, in my opinion). Plus we already saw a bright wedding gown earlier in the episode with Jackie and Storm. Anyway, well done, Danny and Molly, the effect is stunning. It was also fun to talk to them about how yes, most of the outfits in the series are complete fantasy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t skim some of that style sense for our own wardrobes. I’ll have you know that I paired my snow boots with two different dresses this week!
- Final worst outfit: All that said, the pink monstrosity Charlotte wore to the they mitzvah was just horrendous, especially after all of her stellar ensembles this season. Like a combination of the worst bridesmaid dress and the worst mother of the bride dress in the world. Frumpy, plain, did nothing for her. As Anthony would say, “Hated it!”
- Can Rabbi Jen get her own show please? Because she was straight-up amazing.
- Final thoughts: You guys, I just can’t believe this is likely my last-ever A.V. Club TV weekly review. One of the first things I ever did on the site (in 2013!) was to do weekly reviews of Broadchurch, which was so fun. When I got hired here full-time, I was so excited that I wound up doing three different reviews every Sunday night: Once Upon A Time, The Affair, and The Family (at least The Affair had screeners). The Mindy Project. Masters Of Sex. Scandal (including my only F grade!). Even Modern Family for a while. I really loved the camaraderie that comes from the weekly review community (as we have seen on this show!), even when I stopped by and subbed on other series (was Under The Dome the most fun I ever had writing a TV review? Probably?)
Anyway, I always say this when I wrap up a season, but this time these words have more resonance than ever: Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting, for reaching out to me on Twitter, for understanding that what this show did to Steve is a travesty. It literally means the world to me. This has been such a great gig, it’s almost ridiculous to call it a job. My sadness right now is fortunately being edged out by overwhelming gratitude. Catch you all on the flip side.