and just like that

Here’s to You, Big

Photo: HBO/Courtesy Everett Collection

Before we begin, know that spoiler alerts for And Just Like That … lie ahead. Stop reading now if you don’t want to know.

Now that that’s out of the way: Big’s real name is John Preston!

Just kidding, we already knew that. The fact of the matter is, Big is dead. He died after his 1,000th Peloton class with his favorite Barcelonan instructor, and despite the absolute chaos of this reboot, it was genuinely sad. Even as one of the many viewers who wasn’t nuts about Big, I must confess I felt a stirring of emotion as Carrie cradled him in his last moments, her Manolos getting soaked in the shower stream.

Big was a divisive character, mostly because he is what a lot of people would describe as “toxic” and “manipulative” and “an asshole.” There are long stretches of this show when he’s not very nice to Carrie, though, to be fair, Carrie isn’t so great to the people in her life either. This prompts most of her friends to strongly dislike him, especially Miranda, though everyone at his funeral seems to have forgotten that — everyone, that is, except Carrie’s old friend Susan Sharon, who whispers loudly at the funeral, “Am I the only one who remembers how much of a prick he was to her?” You are, Susan! Well, you and a whole lot of SATC fans. Whatever. Maybe Big made up for being mean in the ten years since we’ve seen these characters, and Susan Sharon doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about.

Either way, Big does have some redeeming qualities, like really good eyebrows that he is constantly wiggling in a suggestive way. There is also something annoyingly charming about his weird old-school vibe and undying commitment to cigars. Whether he’s an asshole or not, you can’t deny he has given us some real moments throughout Sex and the City’s long history. Moments such as:

  • Being compared to a young Donald Trump in the pilot
  • Pushing Carrie off the bed in his sleep
  • Giving Carrie an ugly bedazzled bird purse that makes her say “I love you”
  • Painting one of his walls red. Like, really red.
  • Stalking Carrie and Aidan upstate in his limo to cry about his starlet girlfriend ignoring his calls, then getting in a mud fight with Aidan
  • Moving to Napa and leaving a jazz record and a plane ticket behind in his empty apartment for Carrie. This is actually one of the most romantic moments of the show, though I frankly doubt Carrie has a record player.
  • Leaving Carrie at the altar and then, while being pelted with her wedding bouquet, lamely saying, “I freaked out for a minute, but I’m ready now!” Not his finest hour …
  • Just to end on a more flattering note: the many, many moments when he calls Carrie “kid.” I find this very cute :’)

Here’s to you, Big! Tonight, we’re all smoking cigars.

Here’s to You, Big