Recap: Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda are waiting to get a table at an upscale Midtown eatery named Clee when they spot Bitsy Von Muffling, who scampers over to greet them and concernedly ask about the whereabouts of "the fourth musketeer". Charlotte solemnly tells her that Samantha is "no longer with us", and when Bitsy all, "Ack! Did she die?", Miranda hastily explains that since Kim Cattrall made it clear she'd rather jump off a cliff than reprise her SATC role and/or ever be on a set with SJP again, the writers decided it was entirely plausible that Samantha Jones relocated her New York-centric PR firm to London. Bitsy lets out a long sigh of relief and quips about how she assumes that whoever is no longer in her orbit has either died of Covid or moved to Palm Beach, then air-kisses the three of them and flounces off - just as the hostess chirps, "Carrie, party of three."
Over lunch, Miranda shares that she stepped on a used condom in (her son) Brady's room this morning...and Charlotte lets out double ewwwws when Miranda adds that she was barefoot at the time. She further explains that, for some insane reason, she and Steve decided it was a good idea to let Brady's girlfriend Luisa stay overnight at their house, which they now regret 'cause his bedroom floor has become a minefield of used, discarded condoms that he's apparently too much of a slob to pick up and throw in the garbage can. Carrie's like, "I couldn't give the tiniest rat's ass about your semen problems" and asks if either of them would like to split the croquet-madame...and mercifully the conversation shifts to the topic of Miranda's plans to return to university to earn a Master's of Human Rights that she's pairing with her law degree. Charlotte gently asks her if she's planning on coloring her hair, then comes right out and says the grey ages her...and Miranda says she has no plans to visit a hair salon anytime soon and chides Charlotte for not wanting to hang out with a grey-haired friend [even though, to me, her grey looks fairly blondish] 'cause of how much harder it is for her to keep pretending to be whatever age she's pretending to be. Charlotte argues that she's totes OK with admitting she's fifty-five and that she really really misses Miranda's sassy red 'do of yore, which might be a fun change for her imminent return to the classroom. Miranda says she doesn't need to be a spicy redhead to study for a Master's degree and that there are more important issues in the world besides desperately clinging to one's youth. Charlotte scrunches her face perplexedly at that notion, then points out that Ruth Bader Ginsberg used to dye her hair...to which Carrie retorts, "Mic drop."
Carrie uses her phone to film a guy who walks past their table wearing a strange bowl hat, then explains to Miranda that she's been posting videos of unwitting strangers who have "interesting style" on her Instagram account, which has vastly grown in popularity now that she's podcasting. Sure, yeah...that seems entirely plausible. Miranda tells Carrie she loves her to death, but that she draws the line at podcasts...which seems like a random thing to draw the line at, given that podcasts have been around for over twenty years. TikTok, on the other hand, I could more see a fifty-something drawing the line at. Charlotte rushes back to the table to excitedly report that she just ran into her new friend Lisa Todd Wexley in the ladies room, explains that she and Lisa (who everyone calls LTW for short) are on the parent's school board together, and that she's soooooo cool. She adds that Lisa's son Henry is studying with the same piano teacher Lily studies with...then chides Carrie for not yet RSPVing to Lily's upcoming piano recital. Carrie tells her it's doubtful she'll go 'cause she and Big have plans to drive to the Hamptons that night...and Charlotte poutishly points out that they can go to the Hamptons anytime and that Lily's recital is a once-in-a-lifetime melodic extravaganza that's being held at the ritzy Manhattan School of Music. Carrie promises to talk it over with Big - just as Lisa ambles over to say hey to Charlotte again and meet her gal pals. Carrie and Miranda exchange polite chit-chat with Charlotte's new bestie, share a couple of fries with her, then head out so that Carrie can make it to her podcast taping on time.
Charlotte unzips a garment bag to show Lisa the floral dresses she got for Lily and Rose to wear for the recital, and Lisa frets that Henry is going to screw the pooch on his performance 'cause she started him with his lessons way too late - plus he really hates practicing. Charlotte assures her that the other parents will understand he's just a kid who's starting out - but Lisa says that her mother-in-law isn't likely to be understanding at all 'cause she's an accomplished concert pianist, as well as a malevolent pain-in-the-ass.
While strolling to Podcast Headquarters, Miranda tells Carrie not to stress about skipping Lily's recital, 'cause it's an 'every kid gets a trophy' kind of event. Carrie says she should probably go, not least 'cause Charlotte is a supportive friend who listens to her podcast. Miranda chortles sheepishly at that, then brings up the subject of Samantha and says that since they never speak of her, it does kinda feel like she's dead. Carrie shrugs and retorts that she has nothing further to say on the matter...except to explain to viewers that when she told Samantha it no longer made sense to keep her on as a publicist, given the state of the publishing world, Samantha responded by snarking, "Fine!" and firing her as a friend. Seems like an implausibly over-dramatic reaction, given that most of Samantha's PR business seemed to be center around corporate branding and event planning and less around the promotion of obscure publications like Carrie's 'I couldn't help but wonder' musings, but OK. Carrie sadly says she left Samantha many texts and voicemails, all of which have gone unanswered...and Miranda's like, "Same" about the many messages she and Charlotte have sent. A few seconds later, the two arrive at Podcast Headquarters, and Carrie thanks Miranda for walking with her and assures her that her blondish-grey hair looks fab.
Charlotte arrives home and shows Lily the floral dress she got her for the recital, and an amiable Lily tells her she loooooves it. A few seconds later, Harry and Rose return home from an afternoon of skateboarding...and when Charlotte shows Rose her floral dress, she shrugs disinterestedly and saunters off to her room.
Carrie returns home, where Big is in the kitchen cooking dinner. The two exchange banal chit-chat before Carrie puts on a vinyl record (a tradition they started under the Covid lockdown) so that Big can roll out the full cheese of his schmaltz schtick and croon to her while she gazes back at him adoringly. When the two head back into the kitchen to prepare their fish dinner, Big gives his OK to driving to the Hamptons a day later so that Carrie can attend Lily's piano recital...but says he has zero desire to tag along 'cause he has a date to spin with his Barcelona-born Peloton instructor, Allegra.
Miranda arrives in Manhattan for the first day of class...and gets into the city early so she figures 'why not go into the nearest bar and guzzle some booze first?' The bartender gives her a funny look and tells her they don't open until 11:00am, so she seats herself on a barstool and tells him she'll wait.
A toasted Miranda enters a classroom filled with students decades younger and accidentally sits in the professor's chair. She hastily takes another seat, then similarly warns a black woman sporting long braids who enters the classroom a few seconds later. The woman shoots her the stink-eye and identifies herself as Professor Nya Wallace...and then she and Miranda get into a cringey back-and-forth about whether or not Miranda thinks a university professor should/can have long braided hair. Miranda motions at the greyish mop that is her hair and cites it as proof of what little importance she places on peoples' hairdos, then wanks Nya about how excited she is to take her course not just 'cause she's black, but 'cause she's "such a force in academia". She then apologizes to the class for taking up everyone's time before finally shutting her yap...and Nya introduces the course, Policies and Principles of Humanitarian Law, and acknowledges that, yep, the photo of her on the university's website has her rockin' more of a sassy Halle Berry 'do as opposed to the long braids she's currently sporting.
Carrie is podcasting with raunch devotee Jackie Nee and host Che Diaz, who self-identifies as a "queer, non-binary, Mexican-Irish diva". Jackie sets the topic du jour - why women don't buff the muff in subways more - and Che shares that they like to do it while in Yankee Stadium, while Jackie boasts that there isn't a public place in which he hasn't spanked his monkey [and hopefully been amply arrested for public indecency]. When Che asks Carrie to add her two cents to the inane banter, she stammers uncomfortably and quips, "I would like to buy a vowel please" ... and when Jackie and Che continue to stare at her expectantly, she jokes that she hasn't masturbated publicly since Barney's closed. Jackie scrunches his face confusedly and asks what Barney's is, and Carrie sighs and retorts, "OK, now that's offensive."
Nya enters the subway station chatting on the phone with her husband, then winces when she spots Miranda waiting for the train a few feet away. She abruptly ends the call when Miranda waves and then ambles over to introduce herself in a "non-manic, non crazy lady way" and gush about how much it means to her to be in her class. She natters about how she quit corporate law after feeling a sudden, burning passion to help the hapless folk who were stuck in limbo at JFK airport after Trump's "muslim ban" was decreed - just as a random subway musician drowns her out with the noise of his electric guitar. Nya's all, "Wha-a-at? I didn't catch a lot of that" - LOL - and avoids getting into the same train car as Miranda, who looks mortified that this is now the second time she's made a total arse of herself in front of her new professor.
Che tells Carrie she's going to have to engage a lot more while taping the podcast and that she can't just sit there and uselessly giggle. Carrie explains that the conversation got raunchier than she's comfortable with, so Che warns that she's going to have to roll with it or risk being labelled uptight by judgemental online trolls. Egads! Che wanks Carrie about how groundbreaking her '90s Sex and the City column was - but makes clear that she's going to have to step her pussy up, get out of her played out 'I couldn't help but wonder' comfort zone, and start chiming in with a more acceptable level of raunch whenever it's called for.
Carrie is sitting in front of her laptop, doing her best to tackle the ticklish topic of masturbation. She heads over to the bedroom, where Big is laying atop the bed reading, and asks him if he likes to spank the monkey from time to time...hastily adding that she's only asking 'cause it's part of her research for the podcast. Big admits that he does, so Carrie asks if he wouldn't mind putting on a little masturbatory show for her. He decides 'sure, why the hell not?' and lubes one of his hands and slides it under the bedsheet. He then moans, "Oooooh my, Carrie!" and pulls her towards him, and the two giggle and smooch amorously.
The next evening, Carrie enters her ginormous walk-in closet and stares at the endless shelves of glittery stilettos and coos, "Hello, lovers." She selects the heels she wore during her/Big's City Hall wedding, then heads over to the living room, where Big is contemplatively staring out the window and smoking a cigar. She makes sure he notices that she's wearing her wedding shoes, then asks if he thinks he might be up for the drive to the Hamptons after Lily's piano recital,..and he says it all depends how tired he is from his Peloton workout and promises to text her later. He then gazes at Carrie lovingly as she snarks, "Tell that whore Allegra I said bye" while flouncing out the door.
Charlotte is imploring Rose to wear the non-poofy Oscar de la Renta floral dress she bought for her...and when that proves fruitless, tries to get Harry in on the pressure campaign. Rose capitulates, but insists on wearing a fugly tuxedo t-shirt overtop the dress, and topping off the unsightly get-up along with a silly hat.
As everyone congregates at the Manhattan School of Music, Harry greets Steve, who laments being a deaf and glum old-timer. A few seconds later, Stanford arrives, and he and Anthony bicker back and forth about how Anthony departed for the recital and left Stanny behind 'cause he was taking far too long to get ready, blah blah..
While in a long line to use the ladies room, Miranda tells Carrie what a ginormous ass she made of herself on her first day of class, then whines that she really has to pee...and decides that since she's fifty-five, she's entitled to be able to do her business in the adjacent and totally vacant men's room.
While seated in the auditorium, Anthony tells Carrie that Stanny is mad at him for scrolling hot guys on his phone, which he admits he's doing 'cause he's looking to hire hot delivery guys for his sourdough business. Miranda, meanwhile, pulls a bottle of wine out of her purse...and when Charlotte gasps disapprovingly, Miranda growls about the rough day she just had and to let it go. Lisa arrives with her bitchy mother-in-law in tow...and when she sees that Miranda is guzzling wine, she asks if she can her own paper cup to get through what's sure to be a rough night.
Recital! Lisa's son, Henry, is first up...and his poor practicing regimen quickly shines through with his subpar performance. Lisa's husband looks dismayed by his son's lack of musical talent and asks Lisa if he can swiftly guzzle her small cup of red wine...and elsewhere in the row, Steve removes his hearing aid, much to the amusement of Miranda.
Big starts his Peloton workout with his virtual trainer, Allegra, at the same time Brady and his girlfriend start sucking face at the recital. Miranda barks at Steve to tell their son to cool it with the PDA 'cause she doesn't always want to be the bad guy, and Brady overhears the conversation and poutishly tells his mother that he and Luisa won't be sex-shamed...or shamed into behaving appropriately while at a kids' piano recital.
After Henry's substandard performance, Lily takes the stage and plays Beethoven's Presto Agitato with more skillful gusto than everyone (save for Charlotte and Harry) were expecting. While that's happening, Mr. Big finishes what looks like a strenuous workout, texts Carrie about wanting to drive to the Hamptons tonight, then turns on the shower. In the process, he suffers a sudden chest pain, drops his phone, and slinks onto the wet floor as he clutches his chest and stares despondently into space. Lily, meanwhile, has finished her performance and gets some well-earned, enthusiastic applause.
Carrie tells Stanny she can't go out for a drink with him 'cause she and Big have plans to drive to the Hamptons this evening.
Carrie arrives home and finds Big slumped against the shower, his face contorted into a weak 'help me' expression. She responds by standing across the room and staring at him in horror for what seems like a very loooong time in lieu of racing over to her phone and calling 911...then finally kicks herself into motion and shrieks, "Johhhhhhn!!" while running over to him and tightly cradling him in her arms as he quietly suffocates on her hair and succumbs to the sweet release of death.
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