Are we surprised? No. Are we delighted? Yes.
After a rather disappointing episode four (you can read all about it’s clunkiness here), we’ve finally returned to the drama, the emotion, the real-life awkward moments and the steamy sex that we’ve been missing from And Just Like That… in episode five. Phew!
Our girls are back: Carrie, with her infuriating ability to make absolutely everything about herself (we hate how much we love her for it), Charlotte and her incessant need to do the right thing in every moment and Miranda, who finally seems to have her grit back. We even have a little more of Samantha back, with a text exchange between her and Carrie (yes, Samantha actually replied) reminiscing about a vagina moment. It was good to have her back, even only in text form.
There’s a lot to cover this episode, so buckle up babes.
We open the episode with Carrie, showing Seema — her new realtor-turned-friend — her brownstone apartment and hobbling up her stairs due to “old lady back” as per the internet — of course Carrie Googles her symptoms (I feel seen!). Seema, being way more put together and adult, books Carrie in to see her cousin who is an orthopaedic. While on the phone booking the appointment, she also points to a mould stain on Carrie’s ceiling and says “I can have a crew here to take care of that tomorrow”. Who is this woman!? I need one of her in my life. A gorgeous glowing fairy godmother who wears cream silk flowy pants and metallic shoes to perfection.
Seema is the type of woman who goes after what she wants unapologetically. She is, without a doubt, the new Samantha. But perhaps a more refined, classy version, which I like more than I thought I would. She berates her cousin for taking so long to get to Carrie, which is iconic, seeing as she literally only made the appointment an hour ago. A woman who is used to getting her way; we love to see it. Anyway, it turns out that Carrie has something called a congenital birth defect and has to have a surgery. It seems a bit far fetched TBH, seeing as birth defects don’t often go unnoticed… but we’ll go with it.
Carrie is delighted that she’s “not an old lady” and shrieks about it at brunch with Miranda, Charlotte and Anthony. Yes, Anthony was invited to brunch. Apparently this is his first-ever solo dining experience with the girls, which at this point seems like it’s every middle-aged gay man’s dream and you can’t blame them. The girls were always very exclusive with their brunches — it was always only the four of them — but with Samantha gone, it seems that they only feel comfortable with four people at the table. I kinda like it, honestly. I’m glad Anthony is finally getting included, especially now with Standford out of the picture (we’re still not over it).
Miranda wants to get champagne to celebrate Anthony’s first solo outing with the girls and that Carrie isn’t an old lady, but Charlotte is not impressed with the suggestion of alcohol before 12:30. I can’t tell if she’s being totally reasonable and looking out for her friend or if she’s being a wet blanket. I guess it’s quite Charlotte of her, but somehow it was endearing when she was young and doe-eyed because she had this understandable naivety about her. Now it kinda just feels a bit beige. Champagne is always a good idea, Charlotte!
Then we see Charlotte, in the most Charlotte circumstance ever; wearing a floral apron making snacks for her kids in the kitchen, while on a Zoom call with her mum’s group. I rolled my eyes without thinking. But then, she finds out that her daughter Rose, has officially changed their name to Rock and is using they/them pronouns. It’s a pretty big moment. When she confronts them in the living room, Rock tells her that they came out via TikTok and assumed Charlotte and Harry had seen it. Honestly, Harry in this moment is not a vibe. He just doesn’t get it — which is understandable — but he isn’t cute and dorky about it like you’d expect. He seems a bit offbeat, like his humour and his ignorance are just annoying now, instead of cute and likeable. IDK what’s going on with the character of Harry Goldenblatt, but I’m not loving it.
Meanwhile, Miranda receives a book about quitting drinking from Charlotte called Quit Like a Woman. We know Charlotte loves a self-help book — circa the Trey divorce era — but Miranda does not appreciate it. She also opens a package of Brady’s, which contains sweat socks and strawberry-flavoured lube. She makes a very cool-mum joke about it to Brady’s girlfriend.
I think we can glaze over the next little bit because it’s all cute and banter-y but not super significant. Carrie goes to have surgery. Charlotte impressively lifts Carrie up to help her pee post-op, showing that surprising depth we love (and have missed) about Charlotte, and Che comes to visit but Carrie doesn’t want them to see her like this. Miranda has lunch with Che instead. Sparks fly.
Carrie is taken home by Anthony, in his sourdough business’s truck and is carried up the stairs by one of the very handsome sourdough delivery men. It’s a vibe. I can only hope that if I never need to be carried anywhere at any age, that there’ll be a hot sourdough delivery driver at my service.
Charlotte and Harry go to Rock’s school to chat to their teacher about this name and gender transition. It’s a very important scene — hats off to Michael Patrick King — as it really highlights the importance of schools becoming a safe space for kids to identify how they wish. It also highlights Charlotte and Harry’s ignorance, which is actually extremely understandable and very real and shows a side to trans youth that we don’t often see; the parent’s struggle.
Next, we have the scene of the episode. It’s our first queer sex scene and it’s between Miranda and Che (we saw it coming, but we were struck just the same).
This was a gripping scene. Not only because the sex between Che and Miranda in Carrie’s kitchen is, quite frankly, super horny and steamy and believable, but because Miranda thought Carrie was asleep… and she wasn’t. We’ll get to that.
Che turns up with a bottle of tequila for Carrie. Miranda answers the door. They do shots in the kitchen. Che says she has to go and Miranda says “if you weren’t in such a hurry, I’d ask you to shotgun me again” and of course, Che obliges. This turns sexual pretty quickly and OMG, Cynthia Nixon is brilliant. She delivers the most believable sex scene I have seen in a long time. Those orgasms! Those facials! Carrie wakes up because she needs to pee, hears Miranda moaning and then spots Miranda and Che’s reflection in a mirror. Carrie is witnessing something extremely big in her friend’s life, but it feels uncomfortable and cringe-y in all the right ways.
I mean, this episode (and season so far TBH) is really turning out to be totally Miranda’s. When Carrie tells Miranda that she saw the whole thing and tries to make it about herself, Miranda apologises and brushes it off, but ends up admitting to Carrie that she’s unhappy with her life. She says she’s been unhappy in her marriage for a long time, and that she feels trapped and wants more out of life. Again, Cynthia Nixon is incredible. She is emotional and real and I honestly had tears in my eyes during this scene. Not only have I been in Miranda’s position — having sex with a woman for the first time and it changing my life — but also feeling trapped and wanting to be something different. It’s relatable to people of any age, any gender, any identity… but it’s so especially powerful that it’s coming from middle aged, queer woman. Best scene of And Just Like That… so far, hands down.
Miranda admits she has to do something about her drinking but that she doesn’t want to give up “the activity in the kitchen”, as Carrie puts it. Whether that means specifically Che, or having sex with women, or generally exploring her sexuality, we don’t know, but I love where this storyline is headed.
The episode wraps up with Charlotte talking to Carrie about Rock in the waiting room of Carrie’s physical therapy. Ultimately, Charlotte understands that she just needs to listen and follow Rock’s lead. But Charlotte admits that she finds it hard to call them by their chosen name, because she named them Rose. It’s an understandable emotion, and not one we talk about enough. Carrie says “just remember; a Rose by any other name, would smell as sweet”, which I really liked. Go Carrie, saying the right thing at the right time.
By the end of the episode, Carrie can wear heels again. Thank the heavens!