After someone dies on a TV series, not many show the details of what happens afterward, give or take a Six Feet Under. (I’ve been through this with two parents, so believe me, I know). I was not really expecting And Just Like That…, of all things, to depict a heartbreakingly real picture of the aftermath of death, but that is exactly what episode two manages to pull off.
We pick up almost exactly where we left episode one, with Miranda comforting a grief-stricken Carrie who is dumbfounded as to what she’s supposed to do now. Charlotte accompanies her to the fancy funeral home (Those places are rarely comfortable. Was it the arm-chair covers that turned Carrie off for good? Probably?) but is too overcome with her guilt over making Carrie attend Lily’s recital to be of much help. Words of wisdom that we can glean here: People! Your friend’s grief is not about you. Get over yourself! Like, if your grandma dies, sure, you’re probably sad, but it’s your mom or dad that you should really be worried about. When my dad died, before I could recognize my own grief, I had switch over to taking care of my mom immediately. In Charlotte’s case, she should recognize that her status as friend of the deceased’s wife falls far below the widow herself.
As Charlotte tells her girls, death is an important part of life, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not one of the most difficult ones to get through. You’d think that would be enough for her to pull herself together, but you would unfortunately be wrong. In Charlotte’s gilded life, apparently, something like Big’s fatal heart attack was too much to process. I know Carrie likes to make herself the center of every situation, but this time, she deserves it.
I honestly thought I was going to be okay until Carrie asked who the flowers were from and then I absolutely gasped. When I saw Samantha’s name on the card, I just bawled. Yes, it’s terrible that Kim Cattrall is not on this series and yes, there is no way in real life that Samantha wouldn’t be there for her best friend, but… well done, show. You got me (commence immediate sobbing).
If that hadn’t kicked off the waterworks, just watching Sarah Jessica Parker’s performance sitting in the memorial crowd would have done it. Wordlessly, she feels her own self starting to lose it, tries to pull it together, until she realizes that she just can’t anymore. I feel like SJP is wildly underrated as an actress, especially throughout Sex And The City’s run, and that scene was just yet another example of how emotionally open she is. It’s nearly impossible not to empathize with her.
With Big’s funeral taking up most of the episode, we’re not left with much else. Miranda continues to humiliate herself in front of law professor Dr. Nya Wallace (played by Karen Pittman). We are supposed to believe that Miranda is an intelligent person—a lawyer who has frequently made partner—who lives in a major metropolitan ares. How is it that she appears to never have interacted with a person of color before? The whole incident with her professor and the missing ID was yet another long example of cringe, as Miranda thinks that just her saying that the professor should be let into the building should be enough to get her inside. Why would Nya even want to hang out with this overprivileged, wanna-be-woke white woman who needs her to explain why escalating a situation for no reason is bad? (One of the episode’s best lines: “This isn’t To Kill A Mockingbird.”) I know they’re fated for friendship, but I have no idea what Nya will possibly get out of it.
Compared to that incident, Miranda’s unleashing on Che (Sara Ramirez) after catching them smoking weed with her son almost made sense. (Again, maybe it was the bourbon talking?) Not to the extent that Che absolved her for it, but again, the incident certainly shows how this version of Miranda seems loosely wound to say the least (at this point, suspecting possible menopausal hormones. They are no joke!).
No matter: This was not Miranda’s episode anyway. It was rough, but I’m glad AJLT didn’t fast-forward six moths or something and instead stuck around to give Big—the longest running love interest of the series—a proper sendoff. As Carrie’s speech, delivered by Miranda, conveyed, they were all lucky to even know him. Carrie can appreciate that, and commiserate with her friends, and recognize the loss of Big in her life—but she’s not quite out of the woods just yet.
- Anybody remember why Susan Sharon got so mad at Carrie? Really was hoping that Che was going to step up and do their job of keeping annoying people away from Carrie at the funeral.
- Oh my gosh, Miranda has a drinking problem, we get it. If Carrie gets addicted to pills as well this show is headed toward a really dark Valley Of The Dolls kind of place (but I don’t think that it is).
- Honestly, it was pretty horrible of Stanford not to let Big’s secretary (the great Brenda Vaccaro!) sit in the front row.
- If Carrie is selling the apartment, does that mean that she’s headed for her old homestead, which, according to last week’s episode, she still owns?
- Favorite outfit: Have to give it up for Carrie’s memorial ensemble. She said she really wanted to do it up proud for Big, and she succeeded.
- I know this show has always been inconsistent about the girls’ family members, but it seems odd that only Big’s brother would show up for the funeral. And neither of his ex-wives, for example.
- The images of younger Chris Noth throughout the episode were just heartbreaking. Hard to believe that someone that beautiful could ever really die.
- Next week: Big is gone, so why is Natasha back? Will she and Carrie finally commiserate via grief?