And Just Like That . . . We Have Two New Main Characters
Episode 6 starts with what my subtitles call “upbeat music” and Carrie checking out a downtown apartment that a realtor would call “light-drenched”. Change is in the air for our leading lady and according to the boppy music, we should feel good about it.
The theme of change is threaded through this entire episode, not just with the storylines of Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte, but also with the characters who step onto centre stage. To date, Nya and Seema have been periphery characters who pop in and out to tell us something about either Miranda or Carrie. But that changes this episode, as we start to follow their lives away from the core women — and for this, I’m thankful.
As the name of this episode suggests, the story centres on the five-day festival of light, Diwali, as Carrie’s realtor-turned-friend Seema invites her to attend her family’s celebration as a buffer between her parents grilling her on why she isn’t married yet. And after a quick lesson on cultural appropriation versus appreciation, we’re off!
When Carrie heads to the Diwali celebration at Seema’s parents’ house, And Just Like That steps out of the hyper-privileged world it created in the original series (and has only dialled up in this reboot), and into a world of normal people who spend time with family, enjoy the company of people outside their three friends, and honestly, deal with all the family guilt trips.
In episode five, the sex was finally injected back into Sex and the City via Miranda and Che in Carrie’s kitchen and as we start to follow new character Dr Nya Wallace beyond her role as Miranda’s professor in episode six, she also starts to pick up some of the spicy slack. So far, her major storyline has been around fertility and the many challenges that come with not only going through IVF but also having to tolerate your extremely fertile friends while doing it.
But while I’d bargained for a thoughtful insight into Nya’s fertility, I hadn’t expected to get the sweetest and, on first impression, healthiest, relationship in the show with Nya and her husband. Love it — more please, HBO.
In the end, this episode was really about acceptance. Carrie accepts that it’s okay to stay in her iconic apartment (and wear the equally iconic Carrie necklace), Charlotte finally accepts that her kid Rock deserves to be who they want to be, and Miranda admits to herself that exploring her sexuality is important. And with an extremely tense scene in the park, they all accept one another.
But the one thing I refuse to accept is the way Steve has been completely left out of the conversation. Presented to us as a bumbling, old, deaf man in the first episode, And Just Like That has continued to do Steve dirty in a way that’s sucked all the vibrancy from him and has largely left one of my favourite characters out of the equation altogether. Because, while I can accept that Miranda deserves to figure out who exactly she is and what she wants, I refuse to accept that she would so blatantly disregard Steve’s feelings and be so callous in tossing him to the side.
I’d also like the record to show that episode six is when I finally decided that I’m really enjoying And Just Like That.