And Just Like That … We’re Still Thinking About Che

Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/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,

Simply everyone is talking about Che Diaz. They are, as Ramona Singer once said, a “cool water” moment. (U.N. translators have since confirmed that Singer meant “water cooler” moment, which, as Michael Patrick King pointed out in the And Just Like That … writers’ podcast, are almost impossible to make nowadays.) It is safe to say that Che Diaz has the potential to forever alter history.

That said, there have been reports that this will be the only season of And Just Like That …, which is something that is very dangerous for the stability of the United States. The fate of all of your friends rests in Che’s hands, Samantha — and of course, as always, your own, should you choose to return. This week’s episode was very sci-fi, by the way …

There are Hollowers and there are Saggers, and Carrie is the former. We learn this when Carrie goes to a his-and-his face-lift appointment with Anthony that he had booked before Stanford left for Tokyo. Carrie was wandering around her new sun-oppressed government-UFO-research-facility apartment trying to locate the source of a beeping noise when Anthony invited her along. It is furnished solely with her favorite sun hat, a yellow lamp she got from Conran’s in 1988, and a cast-iron pan she collected from her cavernous storage unit. (This is unconfirmed, but she seems to be a Cube Smart girl. Glamour.) At the appointment, Dr. Paul David (Jonathon Groff) tells Anthony that because of his Italian skin and good muscle tone, he is hot and only needs a bit of Botox. The doctor being loose with compliments prompts Carrie to ask for her own diagnosis. He says she is fabulous but then runs her face through a 3-D-imaging machine to show her how she would appear if she were to receive injectables, laser work, upper-eye surgery, and a full face- and neck-lift. Access to technology like this is not for everyone, and Carrie is left wondering if she wants to delete the last 15 years of her life off her face.

Miranda is also spending time in the past, although hers is a realm beyond space and time — i.e., a cloudy fantasy space in her head where she sees Che fingering her again. She has replaced drinking with masturbating furiously. Over a fosé park picnic they finally tell Charlotte about what happened in Carrie’s apartment post-surgery. It turns out Charlotte had her own sex dream about Che after the comedy concert (hers took place on a ferry), but she doesn’t take the news well. Charlotte yells that Miranda is not progressive enough for this. Miranda tries to storm away but her leg has fallen asleep, and Carrie pulls both the widow card and the “I miss Samantha” card to get her to stay. So even in your absence, Samantha, you are keeping your friends together.

With Che uploaded into her consciousness, Miranda constantly enters an erotic fugue state when thinking of them, even in class at Columbia University. Snapping her out of it, Nya invites her for a coffee to talk. Nya has ended her second round of IVF and while exhausted from teaching and partnering with three banks to fund a shelter in Fort Greene is forced to have dinner with her husband Andre’s (LeRoy McClain) best friend and his constantly pregnant wife. Like Charlotte back in the early 2000s, she doesn’t want to hear about other people having babies. Miranda suggests Nya just control the conversation, which she does by talking about men’s shoes from the 1900s.

Meanwhile, Charlotte feels like she’s lost in space trying to deal with the changes in her home when she starts her day with Rock telling her they want to get rid of the Madame Alexander doll collection (the same dolls Stanford’s season-three hookup, Marty Mendleson, collected, if you’re keeping track) on their mantel. Charlotte insists the dolls are vintage and that they belong to Lily, too. Lily informs her mom that actually they embarrass her —they are culturally insensitive in their little “traditional” outfits. Charlotte insists the dolls are from Spain and Thailand, so they’re allowed to wear the outfits, but Lily knows how to Google and informs her they are actually from New York.

Fellow New Yorker Carrie, while sari shopping with Seema, invites herself to Seema’s family celebration of Diwali, a “celebration of light triumphing over dark,” and asks if she’s allowed to wear a sari too. Seema tells her that would be cultural appreciation, not cultural appropriation, so Carrie picks out a two-piece. At the party Seema’s parents reveal they think Seema is dating a doctor without borders named Dennis, so Carrie has to play along. Going in on this lie cements her friendship with Seema, who gives Carrie a friendship bracelet while they chain-smoke in a Town Car.

In the end, the ladies come back down to Earth. Miranda, turned on by being in the proximity of the vibrations of her laundry machine, sends a DM to Che and brings the fantasy back into reality. Charlotte packs up her Madame Alexander dolls and lets Rock cut their hair and hang up a skateboarding poster. Carrie puts on one of Big’s blazers as she steps out of her old apartment, having decided she will continue to wear the last 15 years as a badge of honor. A bright, white light envelops her body, and the episode ends. There are only four left in this chapter, Samantha; are you feeling the energy? Are you seeing the same stars (Che) that we are?

And Just Like That … We’re Still Thinking About Che