The following contains spoilers for And Just Like That... Season 2, Episode 9, "There Goes the Neighborhood," which debuted Thursday, Aug. 10, on Max.
Fans of the original Sex and the City series had a lot to deal with when its reboot, And Just Like That…, premiered. Some of the most prominent changes in the popular comedy-drama series included Samantha Jones' poignant absence and Miranda's shocking midlife crisis. But nothing could have prepared the audience for the fact that the new installment that followed Carrie and her friends living in New York in their 50s would also add a huge plot twist as they decided to kill off John Preston, aka Mr. Big.
The rest of the first season, and almost half of the second one, followed Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie trying to navigate life after losing the love of her life. After a tumultuous relationship in the original Sex and the City series (and its subsequent two sequel movies), Carrie and Mr. Big had finally found the recipe for a perfect relationship. But And Just Like That… had other plans, and now it seems it intends to rewrite history and diminish Carrie's love for Big by bringing Aidan back.
Carrie Is Dismissing Her Relationship With Big
Carrie Bradshaw has spent most of her youth dating people and writing about it in her column. While she had her share of romances, flights, short-term relationships and partners, everything changed when she met John Preston, whom she called Mr. Big for the entirety of the series. Their relationship in the original series was filled with drama, and it was dysfunctional and toxic at times, but the audience never doubted that Mr. Big was The One for Carrie, and neither did she.
Come And Just Like That…, the revival series that takes place 17 years after Sex and the City's finale, and the audience finally gets to watch Big and Carrie in a mature and loving relationship. Unfortunately, that does not last, as he dies at the end of the episode. So, in her 50s, Carrie embarks on a new journey of self-discovery after losing the love of her life, giving her a powerful arc about dealing with grief.
But after the Max show decided to bring back one of her most iconic ex-boyfriends, Aidan Shaw, while gushing to Miranda about their rekindled romance, Carrie couldn't help but wonder if Mr. Big was "a big mistake." After spending decades proving to everyone that Carrie and Big belonged together, And Just Like That… seems to decide that her happily ever after does not include Big, but her former fiancé, Aidan, whom she dated on and off over two decades ago.
Does Carrie's Relationship With Aidan Make Sense?
After a couple of failed dates and romances following Mr. Big's death, Carrie seemed to finally show some character growth, learning to put boundaries and honor herself. Plus, she seemed quite comfortable being single, which was a big step forward from the original series. However, And Just Like That... decided to bring back Aidan, with whom she had a short date on Valentine's Day during the seventh episode. It didn't take long for them to get serious, as Episode 8, "A Hundred Years Ago," had them acting like a real couple, having dinner with her friends, buying kitchenware and looking very much in love.
The relationship continued moving too fast as Aidan introduced Carrie to his boys and ex-wife in Virginia, providing more inconsistencies. Episode 9, "There Goes the Neighborhood," has Carrie suddenly deciding to do the unthinkable and give up her Upper East Side apartment, the one thing that has remained a constant between young Carrie and grown, rich Carrie. Fans of the series know how much the apartment meant to Carrie, who has previously declared New York one of the great loves of her life, and her cozy home was a big part of that. And the decision, much like everything about their romance, came very quickly to Carrie, who immediately told Seema to find her a new place. And she found one -- a four-bedroom, three-bath expensive Gramercy Park apartment for her, Aidan and his children, in case they decide to visit. Given that she never got rid of it, even when married to Big, going out on a whim to sell her place now feels completely out of character.
While everything about this newly rekindled romance sounds great on paper, it doesn't make sense at all. And Just Like That... is trying to paint Mr. Big as the only problem between Carrie and Aidan. While that might be a very strong argument, there were many things stopping Carrie from marrying Aidan and living happily ever after. For one thing, they had completely different life goals, with Aidan wanting to settle down, get married and have children, while Carrie wanted to simply enjoy life as it was. For another, Aidan always seemed to want Carrie only if she changed something. He told her he doesn't date smokers prompting Carrie to quit, and that seems to stay true decades later, as Aidan put a very strong boundary in Episode 7, telling her he would never step foot again in her apartment. That continued all the way to Episode 9, prompting Carrie to sell her place. The two are still fundamentally different, as Carrie will forever be a city girl. Meanwhile, Aidan has retired to a farm in Virginia.
And Just Like That… Is Focused on Rewriting Canon
Sex and the City had long divided its audience into Team Big and Team Aidan camps. While Big gave Carrie the passion, lifestyle and drama she desperately needed, Aidan was the complete opposite, providing her with one of the healthiest relationships she's ever had, and there were dedicated fans advocating for both of them. Although Aidan sounded like the ultimate boyfriend to many people, caring, emotionally available and ready for commitment, it was Big that Carrie chose over and over again.
Seeing Aidan in the sequel didn't come out as a shock to anybody -- people have been anticipating that for a while. The two were spotted together on set, and the Season 2 trailer hinted heavily at a reunion between them. What did surprise everyone, however, is how the show is trying to portray Aidan as Carrie's true soulmate. Despite the fact that Aidan was very beloved in the original series, fans have conflicted feelings about having him back. There is no question that both characters have grown and gotten to enjoy the life they wanted. Aidan got married and now has three grown boys, and Carrie got to live the life that she always dreamed of. However, having New York-loving Carrie effortlessly think about commuting to a farm in Virginia proves that And Just Like That… doesn't understand its characters.
The new direction And Just Like That... is taking seems to be to destroy or rewrite all the Sex and the City canon relationships. The show also did that by turning Steve into an old man, giving Miranda a midlife crisis, introducing Che to break them up and replacing Samantha with Seema. Now, it dropped the idea that Aidan is the person Carrie should've been with all along, with no bigger explanation, asking the audience to take it as it is. Regardless that Carrie is impulsive and a hopeless romantic and that she truly loved Aidan once, the show doesn't take the time to wonder if the relationship makes sense. And it's trying to rewrite history, just like a piece of fan fiction. With two more episodes to go in the season, the audience has to wait and see if Aidan and Carrie explain why they deserve to be endgame.
New episodes of And Just Like That... air on Max.