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‘And Just Like That’ Recap, Episode 3: Big Is Still Big

Season 1, Episode 3: ‘When in Rome’ It turns out Miranda doesn’t need red hair to be spicy. If you picked up on a bit of flirtation between her …

‘And Just Like That’ Recap, Episode 3: Big Is Still Big
16.12.2021 18:41
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Season 1, Episode 3: ‘When in Rome’

It turns out Miranda doesn’t need red hair to be spicy.

If you picked up on a bit of flirtation between her and Che right after their decidedly uncute meet in Episode 2, you might have been onto something. At the very end of Episode 3, after she, Carrie and Charlotte take in the live comedy set Che is recording for Netflix, Miranda fibs to her pals that she’s headed home but instead sneaks back in to see her new friend at the after party.

Showing a bit of nerves, Miranda is a chatterbox and can’t keep herself from fawning over Che, who tells her to breathe. Oh, Miranda breathes. In a sexy, showstopping move, Che shotguns a drag of weed smoke into Miranda’s mouth, nearly kissing her, and quite possibly shaking her to the core.

How did we get here?

Well, Miranda told us long ago, in the original “Sex and the City” series, that her husband Steve Brady (David Eigenberg) isn’t a “core-shaker.” He and Miranda were more congenial than amorous, and in “And Just Like That,” this still seems to be the case.

Miranda and Steve haven’t had sex in years, she reveals to Charlotte over coffee, somewhat casually. She wonders if they’re even still a couple, or just “roommates with ice cream and a kid.”

Che’s act offers an exciting counterpoint to such humdrum domesticity. It is a raucous, LGBTQ+-centered party filled with jokes that feel more like rallying cries, with the comedian telling the crowd that confusion is a good thing — a notion Miranda realizes she relates to — and that if there’s something they don’t like, whether it’s their shirt or maybe even their identity, they can change it. Could Miranda be ready to upset her settled life in favor of a personal revolution? And if so, might it alleviate the need she feels to carry mini bottles of vodka around in her backpack?

The ‘Sex and the City’ Universe

The sprawling franchise revolutionized how women were portrayed on the screen. And the show isn’t over yet.

  •  A New Series: Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte return for another strut down the premium cable runway in “And Just Like That,” streaming on HBO.
  •  Off Broadway: Candace Bushnell, whose writing gave birth to the “Sex and the City” universe, stars in her one-woman show based on her life.
  •  In Carrie’s Footsteps: “Sex and the City” painted a seductive vision of Manhattan, inspiring many young women to move to the city.
  •  The Origins: For the show’s 20th anniversary in 2018, Bushnell shared how a collection of essays turned into a pathbreaking series.

The wisdom layered within Che’s rowdy, raunchy set isn’t lost on Charlotte either, who takes mental notes between chuckles on how the message relates to her own life. Rose, her youngest, has just confessed that she doesn’t always feel like a girl. Charlotte isn’t quite sure how seriously to take this at first, nor is her best friend Anthony, who basically tells her to ignore it.

But during Che’s show, the vibe of acceptance and self-love pulsing through the crowd encourages Charlotte to follow her instincts and ensure that Rose feels supported. She calls Rose after the performance just to say “I love you.” Like a typical teen, Rose just wants to go back to playing Mario Kart.

For Carrie, Che’s event is mostly an escape from a week otherwise filled with heartache and humiliation. Natasha Naginsky (Bridget Moynahan), a.k.a. the “idiot stick figure with no soul,” reappears and, to my own personal delight, so then does nutty, neurotic Carrie.

Early on in the episode, in the reading of Big’s will, Carrie finds out that her late husband has left a cool million to Natasha, his ex-wife. Carrie can’t help but wonder — no, completely obsess over — why.

Carrie spirals (classic Carrie) and becomes convinced that Big and Natasha were still in touch before his death — perhaps they even were having an affair.

She roots through her and Big’s apartment for clues and is taunted by a photo she finds in his wallet of Gogi, an old dog she never knew about. What else doesn’t she know? It’s an urgent question that seems to have only one answer: that Natasha was really the love of Big’s life, and he regretted choosing Carrie over her.

Despite Miranda and Charlotte’s reassurances, Carrie has to hear from the woman herself whether this is true. She emails Natasha but gets stonewalled. She messages her on Instagram but gets blocked. So Carrie concludes that the logical next step is to show up unannounced at Natasha’s office.

In a demoralizing sequence of events, Natasha’s assistant lies to Carrie’s face, saying Natasha is in Rome as a means of shooing her out of the lobby, only for Carrie to see Natasha moments later in her office window. Worse, Natasha sees Carrie on the sidewalk, pointing up at her like a deranged stalker. As if that weren’t mortifying enough, a few days later Carrie walks in on Natasha using the bathroom at a coffee shop.

They are both so startled that Carrie spills her hot drink and badly burns her hand. Despite not wanting to engage with Carrie, Natasha takes pity on her in a scene that harkens back to the moment in the original series when she caught Carrie sneaking out of her and Big’s marital abode.

During that scene, Natasha injures herself, and Carrie takes care of her. Now it is Carrie who needs the first-aid, and Natasha owes her one. She gives Carrie ice and some desperately needed closure, telling her that she and Big haven’t been in contact since their divorce. Natasha has no idea why he would leave her money, and she doesn’t want it. There was no affair, and no love lingering between her and her ex-husband.

Carrie reasons that the gift was probably Big’s way of apologizing to Natasha, something Carrie feels compelled to do as well. They part ways cordially with a promise not to bother each other on social media.

Big not alerting his wife to the loaded line item in his will was wildly inconsiderate, which happens to be his signature trait. Even from beyond the grave, he still has the power to knock Carrie off balance and worse, make her feel like she isn’t enough.

Which is to say that Big is still classic Big, even when he’s dead. .

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