Season 2, Episode 11: ‘The Last Supper Part Two: Entrée’
This sophomore season of “And Just Like That …” finishes almost exactly as it started: with everyone getting laid. We have “you love me too” sex, “moving on from my ex” sex, “giving up control” sex and “I’ll love you forever but might not see you for five years” sex. But the experiences between the lovers in the season finale are deeper, more meaningful and more evolved, much like this season — and in some ways, like this whole franchise.
We know this because we were all flies on the wall at “The Last Supper” — Carrie’s final hurrah in her walk-up apartment near Barneys — where, between drink clinks and olive tastings, we got some major, albeit concise, self-reflection out of every single character. As Che puts it to Lisette during some impromptu heavy chitchat, Che is transitioning “emotionally.” But it’s clear Che isn’t the only one.
Carrie did, in fact, despite my doubts, sell that apartment for good to Lisette and move to a four-bedroom Gramercy Park palace, which, at least for now, will house just her and her teeny kitty, Shoe.
Aidan won’t be there, as was the plan. As we learned in last week’s episode, Aidan’s almost 15-year-old son, Wyatt, is in dire straits, and Aidan believes Wyatt needs his “constant” father nearby, in Norfolk, Va., and not in New York.
But he and Carrie aren’t breaking up. They are simply entering a five-year holding pattern that Aidan promises will go by in a silent snap.
This is, if you’re looking at it realistically, kind of bull. Yes, Wyatt needs steady, present parents right now, but this idea that his recovery will take precisely five years, and that they couldn’t still visit each other during that time, is contrived. Still, we know already that Season 3 is a go, and Carrie and Aidan — as much as many of us are rooting for them — need to be pried apart somehow if Carrie is to keep having new romantic adventures.
It isn’t public knowledge how early the “And Just Like That …” team got the greenlight for Season 3, but it’s fair to speculate that it happened well before the renewal was announced this week. The Season 2 finale doesn’t feel final at all. Instead, it feels as if each character were on the verge of becoming richer, more seasoned versions of themselves.
First and foremost, Woke Charlotte is in full effect, and I couldn’t be happier for her. Who would have imagined 25 years ago that the traditionalist Charlotte would become the most vocal feminist of them all? Taking down the patriarchy in her own home, Charlotte once again speaks for women across America in telling Harry that doing a few things around the house does not mean he is doing “it all.”
In fact, he is doing the “bare minimum,” she says, of what has been expected of her and pretty much every wife and mother of the modern era (in heterosexual marriages). He deserves no applause. But she does. They say not all heroes wear capes, and in this case, our hero is wearing a disheveled gallerina dress that probably smells like booze and slaying, and that’s just fine.
Miranda is taking on a new mind-set as well, addressing finally her pattern of discarding past loves and instead choosing to face that pain head-on. Carrie’s dinner party, which Carrie forced Miranda to attend (a decision I disagreed with!), turns out for the best in terms of Miranda and Che, who land on being a “good train wreck” and end up on at least amicable terms.
Miranda was in a relationship with Steve far longer. She was married to him, had a child with him, shared a life and home with him. With Steve, she wants more than niceties, so she goes out to Coney Island to ask for it. Steve’s demeanor lets us know she will likely get it.
But even more exciting is the fact that Miranda, too, is stepping up professionally. She is rapidly ascending at Human Rights Watch, enough to be trusted with an impromptu interview on the BBC. She is, well into middle age, finally doing work that matters to her, and I, for one, can’t wait to see more of that in Season 3.
Nya’s star is rising quickly as well, with a fast and unanimous vote to elect her into the American Law Institute. She is dismayed that she doesn’t have a man to share that joy with, and it’s easy to feel dismayed in hearing Nya say such a thing. This show is supposed to be about empowerment, right? These women don’t need men around, do they? But her lament, considering she is still grieving a divorce from a longtime love, is honest, and of course wanting a partner isn’t something to apologize for. Happily for Nya, sparks fly by the end of the episode with a Michelin-star chef (Gary Dourdan) who seems, rightly, very, very into her.
Lisa, having miscarried her pregnancy in the previous episode, is free from the worry that a baby will derail all that she has worked toward. But more important, she resolves to free herself from the guilt of not having wanted it. Lisa is ready for “her time,” and she is dedicated to pursuing it. (Herbert better get that vasectomy this time.) Che, too, is moving toward whatever new version of themself is yet to come. Che is in, as Lisette calls it, a “cocoon stage.”
Which is probably the best way to describe Carrie as well. Her next step is the most mysterious of all. Will this next phase of her life involve Aidan, who is technically still her boyfriend? Will she write another book? Will she become editor-at-large at Enid’s Vivante? Will she take up feeding pigeons every day in Gramercy Park? We don’t know. But we do know, as Carrie tells it, that she will be trying to move forward without expectations.
Admittedly, my expectations for Season 2 were relatively low. I was hoping for a more fun, less grief-stricken story, and I got that. But over the past 11 episodes, I’m pleasantly surprised to say I got a lot more. It has been rocky along the way, but I think the show has taken meaningful steps toward inclusivity, achieving richer story lines for the newer characters while also allowing the whole cast, especially its original characters, to mature appropriately.
Sure, this series is a little less fancy-free than the original. But it is challenging the ways in which we dismiss women of a certain age, forcing us instead to consider that, maybe, if we let them, women can step more and more into their power with each passing year. And as Carrie would say, that’s just fabulous.
Things still taking up space in my brain
I think we were all hoping Samantha (Kim Cattrall) would be more than a footnote, but the rumors were that her appearance would be only a cameo, and it was. Considering the bad blood Cattrall has said exists between her and Sarah Jessica Parker, and her insistence that she wanted nothing to do with this series, it is surprising that Cattrall appeared at all. But if this is a setup for Samantha to be more formally incorporated into Season 3, I would truly be thrilled.
Aidan says he has provided a sense of normalcy and constancy for his boys over the years, but frankly, I want to hear Kathy’s side of this story. She was always jaunting off to China, but wasn’t Aidan on a work trip in Abu Dhabi the last time he bumped into Carrie? Kathy was the one who had the wherewithal to ask Carrie keep their sons out of her writing. Her protective instinct is very much there. Justice for Kathy in Season 3, please.