Season 1, Episode 9, “Unconditional”

David Eigenberg, Sarah Jessica Parker

David Eigenberg, Sarah Jessica Parker
Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max

Transitions can be terrifying. Sometimes taking the next step seems impossible. As I contemplate my final months of employment here at The audiovisual club, I find I eat under stress like someone with a tapeworm the size of a garden hose. Seriously, I feel like I’m more likely to eat than not eat at any given time. I haven’t felt any real hunger pangs for days. We become so comfortable/complacent where we are, what is there to compel us to take the next step, even though we may end up in a better place eventually?

For Lily, finally stepping into the world of tampons means she can go to a pool party in the Hamptons. For Carrie, clinging to Big’s wedding ring means she rejects a date with Jon Tenney’s Peter, who seems like a pretty nice guy. Steve’s clinging to his now dead marriage prevents him from being able to move on with anyone else. André and Nya’s inability to agree on what the next phase of their lives will be could cause an irreparable tear in their marriage.

And sometimes we rush into the next step when we really shouldn’t, as our once confident and capable Miranda becomes a giggling, stuttering schoolgirl in her relationship with Che. This staircase scene was probably the worst in a series of endless humiliations for Miranda related to her obsession with Che. When Che comments, “It won’t work,” Miranda becomes downright unhinged. A few weeks ago I quoted a Voice article who postulated that And just like that…seems to be to humiliate these beloved characters as much as possible. Like when Charlotte, who killed herself in the first movie, now has a menstrual mishap in the shiniest white jumpsuit imaginable. But Miranda, the woman who coined the phrase “He’s just not into you” (even turned into a terrible movie!) shouldn’t cower at Che’s doorstep. Again, I’m almost mad at this show for making Che relatable, when they, like everyone watching, want to know what’s going on here. This Miranda is almost unrecognizable from the sardonic redhead we once loved.

Cathy Ang, Kristin Davis

Cathy Ang, Kristin Davis
Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max

Charlotte’s transition into full-fledged mommy mode is far less surprising, and I loved Cathy Ang’s teenage panic attacks as Lily struggled with the tampon issue. (I scoured a whole box of Playtex to find out myself, while my best friend coached me over the phone, then freaked out when one of the applicators seemed to be missing, convinced it was floating somewhere in my womb.)

But honestly, my favorite moments in this penultimate episode belong to Carrie and Steve. Have we ever seen these two interact alone before? (I feel like at some point Steve asked Carrie to please leave his friend Aidan alone because it was obviously never going to work out between them. But that’s all that comes to mind for me. ‘mind.) Nonetheless, they’re characters with decades of history between them. , and both in mourning. Carrie pointing out to Steve that he’s a wonderful, wonderful person who deserves to be with someone who loves him was way overdue, but at least someone said it! It transpired that Steve’s inability to move on, as Miss Havisham, is what ultimately spurred Carrie into action. You can’t waste the rest of your life wishing things were different.

That’s what change hopefully brings us after all, isn’t it? A new happiness to replace our fading old one. We just have to be strong enough to move on. As a 50-year-old like Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte, that’s what I’m counting on, anyway. As soon as I put down the Ben & Jerry’s pint that I have for breakfast.

Spurious observations

  • The best outfits: Hard to believe Carrie and Seema couldn’t get into the club, with Carrie’s jaw-dropping rose-patterned change and Seem happily stepping out of her monotonous earthy hues for a sapphire blue dress that looked simply stunning on her.
  • Worst outfit: Charlotte cord blouse from the Prairie collection by American Girl.
  • The worst accessories: Why would someone wear high heels like that to a painting event? Or lace-up thigh high boots for that matter.
  • If you want to see Cynthia Nixon in a less boring role, I highly recommend HBO’s new one. Golden age. It’s like Downton Abbey but in New York, and a few decades before (although creator Julian Fellowes said it existed in the same AD universe). Some reviewers call it out for style rather than substance, but I found it immediately addicting and yes, the dresses are to die for. And Nixon and Christine Baranski as a pair of virgin aunts are extremely fun to watch.
  • Wouldn’t Anthony, owner of a bakery, bring the bread to dinner? Nonetheless, he was delightful as always and his immediate “Get out!” to Holocaust denier made me lol. I guess this guy definitely reads the wrong books.
  • It was fun to see almost all of the AJLT’The new characters interact at the paint level. Personally I want to see a trio of Nya, Lisa and Seema, they are all so powerful.
  • Cue Seema and the club owner connect in 3, 2, 1…
  • I know most women have had one, but I had a menstrual crash in eighth grade that still haunts me to this day.
  • Seriously, someone as fabulous as Seema doesn’t have a ton of friends to hang out with on their birthday?
  • What happened to the black diamond that Big bought from Carrie at the end of the second film; wasn’t that their engagement ring? I don’t understand these plot holes, do they think we won’t remember?
  • Next week: The finale, y’all. We have lots of fun things to come: I spoke to AJLT costume designers Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago explain how they revisited Sex and the city’fashion sense for this new series, and frankly asked for advice on how to break out of my own stretchy pants wardrobe. Saloni Gajjar, who once called Sarita Choudhury as the underutilized MVP of the series, has an interview with the actor also running next week. We’ll also be speculating what might happen in this possibly final episode. And look for an article on the Che character on the site later today.
    And will there be a season 2? Strange things have happened, after all. Have a great week, stay warm, and we’ll see you then.

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