This is the clever way the first episode of And Just Like That deals with Samantha’s absence

The first episode of the Sex And The City revival reveals the reasons for Samantha’s absence. Warning: this story contains spoilers for And Just Like That.

It’s been a major talking point ever since the news that the beloved HBO comedy drama Sex And The City would be returning for a revival. And now that said revival has finally landed on our TV screens, we’re getting to see how the new series And Just Like That deals with the absence of one quarter of the famous bunch, Samantha Jones.

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It’s a story that has been fraught with tension and toxicity ever since rumours of a bitter feud between Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall began circulating in 2018. Earlier this week, in fact, Chris Noth, who reprises his role as Mr. Big in the reboot, put paid to that narrative when he spoke about the importance of new beginnings.

And by all accounts, the narrative of change is very much apparent in the first episode of the revival, Hello It’s Me, which directly addresses Samantha’s absence. Be warned: there are spoilers ahead.

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In the opening scene, Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte are waiting to be seated at a restaurant for brunch, when an old acquaintance spots the group and makes her way over.

“Where’s the fourth musketeer? Where’s Samantha?” she asks, directly addressing the elephant in the room.

“Oh she’s no longer with us,” says Charlotte, to the stricken look of the acquaintance, who assumes Samantha has passed away.

It’s a funny, sad and awkward moment that aptly mirrors the feelings that of many of the SATC actors have expressed when discussing the subject that one of the most well-loved and well-recognised characters from the franchise is no longer around.

Miranda then steps in to clarify matters, in the standard Miranda way.

“No no no, she didn’t die,” she says. Charlotte also pipes up, explaining that Samantha is “no longer with us.”

Carrie and Miranda then round off by explaining that Samantha has moved to London for work. Judging by the looks exchanged between the three best friends, though, there’s much more to the story than what they’re letting on – and after Carrie and Miranda leave brunch, the pair have a far more frank conversation.

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“You know, it is kind of like she’s dead” says Miranda to Carrie as they walk outside. We never even talk about her”.

“Well, what is there to say,” Carrie replies sadly. “I told her that, because of, you know, what the book business is now it just didn’t make sense for me to keep her on as a publicist. She said ‘fine’ and then fired me as a friend.”

Miranda then steps in to offer some perspective. “She didn’t fire you,” she says.

“OK,” Carrie concedes, “she stopped returning my calls.”

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Miranda proceeds to give her interpretation of events: that Samantha’s “pride got damaged”. Carrie looks more and more agitated.

“I kept leaving her voicemails asking her to please call me back so we could talk about this and fix it. Look, I understand that she was upset but I thought I was more to her than an ATM.”

Miranda persists in soothing Carrie, explaining that she believes that she was embarrassed about the fallout, and reassures Carrie that neither she nor Charlotte have heard word from Samantha.

“I mean we texted and called but we never heard back,” she says sadly, before asking Carrie if she’d thought about reaching out once more. Carrie is adamant, though, that that ship has sailed.

“I did,” she replies, shrugging. “Multiple texts. And nothing.”

“OK, well, I guess that’s all we can.. you know, do,” says Miranda simply.

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Then comes a line that is guaranteed put a lump in your throat.

“I always thought the four of us would be friends forever,” says Carrie, looking heartbroken.

There’s no attempt to mask the pain and sadness that is evidently a reality for both the characters and the actors in Sex And The City. Much like the breakdown of a romantic relationship, the loss of a close friend can be heart-wrenchingly difficult to process, especially when they’ve been in your life for a long period, and passed with you through many different phases of your evolution. 

But as Miranda so aptly explains, the only way through it is to endeavour to move to a place of acceptance, which allows you to acknowledge the reality that the person who departed your life is onto a new beginning, while quietly honouring the relationship you once shared.

The first three episodes of And Just Like That are available to watch now on Sky and NowTV. New episodes will be released every Thursday thereafter.

Images: Sky/HBO

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