And Just Like That … Carrie Is Smoking Again

Photo: HBO

Welcome to the Cut’s recap series for And Just Like That …, from the brains behind the pop-culture museum THNK1994. Spoilers ahead.

Dear Samantha,

As we write to you, the Rockettes have canceled performances for the second Christmas in a row, this time because of the latest coronavirus variant that is spreading rapidly. Many people in present-day New York City and around the country are understandably going in and out of bouts of collective hysteria. But at least we have episode four of And Just Like That … The ladies — who exist in an endless summer of 2021 — continue to provide moments of great comfort, and we are thankful for them. This episode was a fun one.

Samantha, we have some questions. Is Carrie’s name actually Caroline? Have you ever dated a guy with a motorcycle in his living room? Why do your friends call comedy shows “comedy concerts”? Here’s what we do know: Charlotte is yelling about colonoscopies in coffee shops, Miranda apparently reeks of weed, and Carrie is smoking again.

Carrie wakes up in her old apartment with no coffee, so she throws on a modesty tutu and heads to her corner bodega where she is gifted a buttered roll as she is now a widow. It’s so New York. Haunted by the memories and grief wallpapered all over the home she shared with Big, she decides to sell the apartment and meets a fabulous real-estate agent named Seema. (Seema is played by Sarita Choudhury, who, fun fact, starred in a thrilling SVU episode earlier this year as a woman who held Detective Benson at gunpoint after being driven to insanity because of the coronavirus pandemic.) Seema and Carrie’s friendship is fast but forged on cigarettes, so it is solid (though Carrie does scream at her later). Samantha, if you were around, and please know that extradition laws between the U.S. and the U.K. make that very possible should it come to that, you would be giving Carrie what she is getting from Seema. You are not here, though; you are in London where there is now talk of a possible government-mandated curfew.

What is still here is the Peloton bike. Please note: We will soon be pursuing legal action against Peloton for forcing itself so deeply into this narrative. It even showed up on a recent episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm when Larry said he injured his testicles on one — enough is enough! Anyway, after Carrie gifts the death bike to a doorman, Seema adds a new one to Carrie and Big’s former home as part of the staging for an open house after scrubbing the apartment of any signs of their love. Well, almost. Carrie leaves out Big’s framed bedside picture of them, which Seema accidentally breaks while causing a fight in this Upper East Side apartment. The women learn they are both insensitive (Seema didn’t think the frame was a big deal; Carrie accidentally implied Seema was too old to find love), but they make up over takeout sushi.

Meanwhile, Charlotte is focused on her home too — on making it less white. She has found a kindred spirit in Lisa Todd Wexley, who comes to her aid when her group of society moms isn’t as impressed as it should be with Charlotte’s securing a famous deaf botanist for a field trip. When LTW invites herself to Charlotte’s for a dinner party, Charlotte realizes she has no other Black friends to invite and reacts predictably, i.e., she tries to bully her neighbors into coming. She becomes so consumed with impressing LTW that she abruptly cancels her husband’s colonoscopy since it would be a potential scheduling conflict. Colonoscopies are important, but so are new friends. (Speaking of Harry, he still walks around completely bare-ass naked, pissing and shitting even when Charlotte is in the bathroom on the phone.) Unfortunately, LTW can’t actually make the last-minute dinner party after all and instead invites Charlotte and Harry to celebrate her husband’s birthday. It turns out LTW was experiencing a “reverse Charlotte,” so the Goldenblatts are the only white couple at the party, which begins with Charlotte mistaking one Black woman for another. Despite this, and Harry’s profuse sweating and shouting about how much he loved Michelle Obama’s book, Charlotte ends up dazzling everyone by talking about art. As you know, she used to run a gallery.

Speaking of parties, Miranda is trying to get the women to order a bottle of wine at lunch, but Charlotte swiftly shuts it down. Carrie is, again, completely ignoring this bender. She even complains to a visibly blacked-out Miranda about how weird it is that her apartment is beige now. At a dinner with Professor Nya Wallace, who is opening up to Miranda because of her fertility hormones, Miranda shares that she sometimes wishes she could go home to an empty house, which seems to be a theme in this episode.

Empty houses. Miranda wants one. Anthony comes home to one, along with a note that Stanford has left for Tokyo to manage a teenage TikTok star’s international tour and wants a divorce. Seema has always had one and is still putting herself out there not to have one. Nya is doubting the decision to let hers go. Carrie is reckoning with her newly empty one. And New York is still just one big empty house until you return, Samantha. Much like Motel 6, we’ll leave the light on for you.

And Just Like That … Carrie Is Smoking Again