The second episode of And Just Like That has a beautiful message about the nature of grief

The second episode of And Just Like That has a beautiful message about the nature of grief

The second episode of the Sex And The City reboot, And Just Like That, has a beautiful message about the nature of grief. Warning: major spoilers ahead. 

At the tail end of the first episode of the new Sex And The City series, And Just Like That, we’re dealt a shocking plot twist by way of a beloved OG character’s death. Be warned if you haven’t yet watched the premiere and the second episodes, because there are major spoilers ahead.

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The unexpected ending doesn’t revolve around Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) or Charlotte York (Kristin Davis), but Carrie’s husband Mr. Big, played by Chris Noth.

After completing a workout on his Peloton, Big suffers a fatal heart attack in the shower. Carrie, meanwhile, is out at Lily’s piano recital, but she arrives home at the very moment he lays dying, ending the episode with the utterly heartbreaking line, “And just like that, Big died.”

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Naturally, Big’s passing completely disrupts the narrative of ‘happily ever after’, and in the second episode of the reboot, Little Black Dress, we see Carrie and her close circle learning to navigate this painful new reality.

The episode is viewed entirely through the lens of grief: we see Miranda and Charlotte struggle to offer solace to their best friend, bear witness to the horrible and necessary complexities of arranging a funeral, and watch as Carrie begins to embark on a new path in this unimaginably trying time.

And Little Black Dress certainly captures the pain of grief in vivid, truthful ways. In one scene, as Carrie lays awake in the aftermath of Big’s death, her mind is flooded with old memories of her husband, accurately depicting the way the past resurfaces in a tidal wave after one experiences a loss. 

And Just Like That

In another scene, while getting ready for Big’s funeral, Carrie buries her face into Big’s old blazers, still neatly hanging in a row in the closet, realising the lingering scent is now the closest she can get to her loved one.

Then there’s the agonising moment when she’s walking down the street and spots a man at a restaurant who bears a passing resemblance to Big. Carrie’s startled double take so brilliantly captures how grief inspires you to look for a loved one’s face everywhere you go.

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Yes, nothing will bring Big back to life, not for saddened fans nor our beloved fictional characters. But, as Charlotte so wisely explains, it’s entirely possible to transcend the physical boundaries of death in the mind.

In one particularly moving scene in the second episode, Charlotte is preparing for the funeral with the help of her daughters, Lily and Rose. After Rose expresses that she feels sad, Charlotte sits both of the girls down to have a difficult conversation about death.

Considering that many adults struggle to talk about death, you might well assume that such a heavy topic might not go down well with the children, especially given Charlotte’s tendency to be somewhat overwhelmed by her emotions.

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But actually, Charlotte proceeds to reframe the narrative of death and grief in a beautiful way.

“Death: it’s a part of life,” she begins. “It’s the saddest part, but it’s also a really important part, because it gives us a chance to remember how much our loved ones mean to us. 

“So while it’s sad, it still can be beautiful, right?”

Charlotte’s message goes on to bear greater resonance during Big’s funeral, as the service captures both the acute sadness of its attendants, alongside the beauty of remembrance.

“How lucky. How lucky we all are to have known this amazing man, John James Preston,” Miranda says during her speech.

“How lovely to have shared dinner, drinks, deals, and for some of us, cigars, with this one-of-a-kind. How long it seems that we have known him, how very long. 

“And yet, not near long enough. How large he was, in all of our lives. He will leave a big hole. And how sad. How very, very sad. 

“But for today, let us remember, how lucky.”

Images: Sky/HBO

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