I’ve grudgingly accepted the Samantha-lessness and inured myself to the casual evening walks through Midtown, the most flaccid neighborhood in New York. But the lack of sex on And Just Like That… has left me wanting more since episode one. Carrie watching Big half-heartedly masturbate in bed, only to die mere scenes later…not exactly hot. A sexual drought seemed to plague the series, with Carrie in mourning, Charlotte more interested in courting LTW than Harry, and Miranda and Steve’s bleak roommate status. The rare exception was Miranda’s sexual encounter with Che Diaz (Sara Ramirez) in Carrie’s kitchen. I’m thrilled to report, however, that the sex—and some shenanigans—returned to the Sex and the City metaverse on this week’s episode of And Just Like That…, aptly titled: “Glimmer of Hope.”
The remaining threesome seems to have come alive again, and there is no shortage of puns to that effect: “I guess I’ll have to file that away as a crazy one-off,” Miranda says of her hookup with Che, “and resign myself to having a dead sex life.” Carrie relates (as the two stroll through Midtown, naturally). “But Big is actually dead,” she quips. “Maybe your sex life with Steve is just in a deep coma.” Miranda’s subsequent attempt to have Steve simulate Che’s hand down her pants in her own kitchen fails to light sparks, but bad, fumbling sex has always been part of the SATC journey. (Props to the writers and director Cynthia Nixon for finally depicting it and giving Steve more than another cursory couch scene.) Charlotte and Harry still aren’t doing it, onscreen anyway, but their tennis-doubles plot at least served up a sense of playfulness and marital banter that had been missing.
The main carnal event of the episode, though, comes when Che and Miranda finally, at long last, turn sexual tension into action. Che—who has conveniently been roped into doing a set at Charlotte’s daughters’ private-school benefit—says: “I want to go someplace with you and take off all your clothes.” Miranda’s queer awakening—a matter of fan speculation and desire for the character for ages—continues in bed, where we find her, post-orgasmic, telling Che, “I’ve never felt anything so intense in my life” and spontaneously declaring her love for them. Ever sage, Che replies: “You’re in love with you, with me,” a loaded response that raises all manner of questions about this relationship: Is Miranda doomed to fall in love with someone who will never love her back? Will their sexual exploration be precisely what she needs regardless? Also, what about her husband? Color me properly invested.
Meanwhile, Carrie is writing a memoir, Loved & Lost— her version of Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking (isn’t it hilarious how books are born on television: a furious bout of typing in the rain!)—and is nudged by her editor into dating for the sake of uplifting epilogue copy. Enter Peter (Jon Tenney), a silver fox and perfectly inoffensive rebound with whom Carrie gets drunk at downtown gastropub Au Cheval. Is Peter the name of literally every male suitor in 99% of rom-coms? Of course. Does he unceremoniously puke outside the restaurant, potentially splattering her shoes? Indeed, but these two widows are nevertheless getting back out there and for dramatic television purposes, and we love to see it. Big died so Carrie could be single again, and now it’s game on. Peter later buys Carrie at the aforementioned charity auction (it’s sweeter than it sounds), gently coaxes her into a second date, and even texts her when she gets home.
No matter that there was no actual sex between Carrie and Peter, but the sexiness that bubbles back up again—the sight of Carrie in that stunning Norma Kamali Diana dress, strolling down Cortlandt Alley, the sense of hope and discovery—was enough. Billie Eilish’s “Billie Bossa Nova” was the perfect song to play over the credits: “Love when it comes without a warning / ’Cause waiting for it gets so boring.”