‘And Just Like That’ Episode 9 Recap: A Challenging Period

Season 1, Episode 9

“If they make Charlotte pregnant at 55 …,” I winced to myself as she gabbed to Carrie and Miranda that she hadn’t gotten her period in four months. But as soon as I saw her arrive to paint the women’s shelter in a stark white limo and a stark white get-up, I knew what was coming.

This week’s episode spent a headscratch-inducing amount of time on menstrual drama. First there was Charlotte, teetering on the edge of menopause and ending up with a giant red stain on her pants. And then there was her daughter Lily, and all the brouhaha surrounding her first use of a tampon. Charlotte runs a clinic in their bathroom, showing Lily a multitude of insertion methods, only to have all that training go to pieces when Lily determines that she can’t get it out on her own, yelling to her mother for help from inside a Port-o-Potty.

It was a lot. It seemed like an attempt, though, to lighten an episode focused almost entirely on our heroines’ various attempts to lighten up themselves.

If anyone needs to take a giant chill, it’s Miranda — and that’s according to Miranda. She and Che are now dating (or as Che defines it, “getting to know each other”), but Miranda is all in. She’s deep in the honeymoon phase, but she’s on her own there, casually dropping the “girlfriend” label in front of strangers, eliciting a chilly reaction from Che, and showing up unexpectedly with cookies and kisses at Che’s door, only to be rebuffed.

Miranda suddenly feels like a fool, or as she puts it, like a dopey Meg Ryan. She is doing all the whimsical, romantic, fluffy stuff she used to scold her friends for — Carrie especially.

The ‘Sex and the City’ Universe

The sprawling franchise revolutionized how women were portrayed on the screen. And the show isn’t over yet.

  •  A New Series: Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte return for another strut down the premium cable runway in “And Just Like That,” streaming on HBO.
  •  Off Broadway: Candace Bushnell, whose writing gave birth to the “Sex and the City” universe, stars in her one-woman show based on her life.
  •  In Carrie’s Footsteps: “Sex and the City” painted a seductive vision of Manhattan, inspiring many young women to move to the city.
  •  The Origins: For the show’s 20th anniversary in 2018, Bushnell shared how a collection of essays turned into a pathbreaking series.

Remember in Season 3 of “Sex and the City” when Miranda chastised Carrie for turning into “this pathetic, needy, insecure victim” anytime she got near Big? Or in Season 6 when she yelled at Carrie in the middle of the street that Carrie was “living in a fantasy” when she decided to abscond to Paris with the Russian? Carrie wasn’t smart when it came to love, and now, neither is Miranda. And she doesn’t like it.

So she tries to play coy, not answering when Che calls her phone, only to become frazzled when Che doesn’t leave a voice mail message. “Oh so you’re doing ‘The Rules’ now?” Carrie chides.

And yes, all of this is ill-fitted to no-nonsense Miranda, and to some viewers, that seems like a betrayal of her character. But I disagree. Miranda always had the luxury of pragmatism when it came to love because, looking back, it doesn’t seem as if she ever really felt it. Neither the cutie Skipper Johnston (Ben Weber) nor the sexy Dr. Robert Leeds (Blair Underwood) nor our beloved, steadfast Steve ever got under her skin the way Che has. This is Miranda in love, and it turns out she’s no better at it than the rest of us.

So now, for the first time ever, Miranda is leading with her heart instead of her head, and it’s making her a completely different person. Che has awaked something in her that she never knew existed, and if that doesn’t shift something inside, what does? The only sad thing about it is that while Miranda’s heart is suddenly opening up, Steve’s heart is being demolished.

As Steve and Carrie dutifully pitch in at Nya’s shelter-painting event — a scene during which I wanted to jump through the screen and give Steve a big hug — Steve asks the uncomfortable questions he has every right to ask: Did Carrie know about Miranda and Che? Did she introduce them? How long did their affair go on?

Carrie stumbles, over her words and over her paint tray, and ends up in the bathroom washing off her completely-inappropriate-for-painting (but completely-appropriate-for-Carrie-painting) shoes. In the process, Big’s wedding ring — which Carrie has been wearing since she canceled date No. 2 with Peter earlier in the episode — slips off her finger and goes down the drain.

Steve comes to the rescue, employing some rudimentary plumbing skills to help Carrie get the ring back. When it falls out of the pipe, she is overwhelmed with relief. She can hold on at least to that little scrap of her marriage.

It turns out Steve is doing the same thing. He points to his own wedding ring and announces to Carrie that it’s never coming off. “You are such a wonderful, wonderful person,” Carrie sighs. “Don’t you maybe want to find someone, at some point?”

“Never coming off,” he reiterates.

Although the circumstances surrounding the ends of their marriages are completely different, both Carrie and Steve are hanging on to spouses who are never coming back.

But by the time Carrie returns home, she realizes she doesn’t actually want to be like Steve. She takes off Big’s wedding ring and her own, and she tucks them away in a drawer. Perhaps she, too, could lighten up a bit. At the episode’s end, she texts Peter to see if he’s up for giving a date one more go.

And just like that … it’s almost over. Will this chapter wrap up in happy endings or broken hearts? Or maybe something else entirely? We’ll all find out next week.

Things I Can’t Stop Thinking About:

  • There is precisely one thing living rent free in my head, which I actually want to evict: The moment when Anthony’s new beau casually states that the Holocaust is a hoax within seconds of entering the Goldenblatt home. It’s hard to imagine that fringe conspiracy theory would be 1) embraced by and 2) brought up by any member of a marginalized community in a Jewish home in the middle of Manhattan in 2022.

  • Still, I will be making a GIF of Anthony screaming, “Get out!” and using it routinely on Twitter going forward. (Just kidding, I don’t know how to make GIFs. But if any of you readers do, please share.)

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