Thursday’s premiere catches us up with old pals Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte as they wait for a table at a crowded restaurant. They run into Bitsy Von Muffling, who asks about Samantha. “She’s no longer with us,” Charlotte says solemnly — but she’s not dead! She just moved to London for work. Miranda is going back to school to get her master’s in human rights, her hair is gray now… and she tells the girls she just stepped on a used condom in her son Brady’s bedroom. Remember baby Brady? Ah, the more things change on this show, the more they stay the same.
Charlotte introduces her pals to Lisa (Nicole Ari Parker), another mom at her kids’ school, and she breathlessly rattles off Lisa’s credentials: documentary filmmaker, fashion icon… (Jeez, we get it, Charlotte, you have a Black friend.) Charlotte’s daughter Lily has a piano recital coming up, and Carrie was planning to head out to the Hamptons with Big that night, but she agrees to reschedule. As she and Miranda leave, Miranda brings up how they never talk about Samantha. Uh-oh. It seems Carrie dropped Sam as her book publicist, and Sam took it hard and now won’t return their calls. “I thought I was more to her than an ATM,” Carrie sniffs. Um, is she talking about Samantha Jones or Kim Cattrall? Either way, it’s hella awkward. (And so unlike Samantha, right?)
When Charlotte gets home, we see she’s still with Harry, and Lily is almost all grown up now. Plus, we meet her daughter Rose, who was a newborn in the first Sex and the City movie, but now she’s old enough to rebel. She doesn’t want to wear the dress Charlotte bought for Lily’s recital — or any dress, really. Meanwhile, Carrie arrives home to Big, who’s just popping open a bottle of wine. They put on a Todd Rundgren vinyl record and Big sings along as Carrie tells him about the recital. He’s cool with her going, but he’ll stay home: He has a date with his Peloton. Carrie is also appearing on a sex-themed podcast hosted by “queer non-binary Mexican Irish diva” Che (Sara Ramirez), but after Carrie gets all giggly and awkward when they talk about masturbating in public, Che warns her she needs to get more involved in the conversation and, um, “step your p—y up.” OK, then.
Miranda has her own awkward moment at her first day in class, marveling at her Black professor Nya’s braids and then falling all over herself not to appear racist. Then when she runs into Nya (Karen Pittman) on a subway platform — hey, did we ever see a subway platform on Sex and the City? — she tries to explain herself by shouting over the train noise… but Nya just avoids her to catch another train. Carrie does a little homework by asking Big to masturbate in front of her while she watches (!), but after a brief effort, he ends up pulling her on top of her for some non-solo action. As she gets ready for the recital — yes, her walk-in closet is still to die for — Big happily smokes a stogie, and she teases him about his Peloton instructor as she walks out the door.
At the recital, Rose agrees to wear the dress Charlotte got her, but with a tuxedo T-shirt over it and a fuzzy owl hat. Anthony is aghast — and Stanford is mad at him for “scrolling hot boys” for his bread delivery service. Steve is there, too… it’s a big old reunion! During the performance, Brady makes out with his girlfriend, informing his mom that “we will not be sex shamed.” Lily’s piano playing is incredible — and we flash back and forth between that and Big pumping away on the Peloton. He finishes up and texts Carrie… but then he drops his phone and collapses, clutching his chest. Carrie gets home to find him on the floor, and as he looks up at her, we see the light go out in his eyes. She runs over to him screaming, clutching his body and sobbing. “And just like that…” she tells us, “Big died.”
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