Season 2, Episode 5:
In the final scenes of the original “Sex and the City” series, Carrie describes herself as someone who is looking for love. “Real love,” to be specific. “Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.”
Flash forward to this week, and it’s safe to say this wasn’t that.
In this week’s episode of “And Just Like That …,” Carrie has what I wish I could call a meet-cute with George (Peter Hermann), an urban cyclist and tech entrepreneur, except that it isn’t cute at all. It’s pretty uncomfortable.
On the phone with Seema, who is describing the logistics of her new boyfriend’s penis pump, Carrie pauses in shock right in the middle of a bike lane. George, riding at full speed and making no attempt to brake, crashes nearly into her and directly into the sidewalk.
“You can’t stop in the middle of a bike lane!” George screams at Carrie, his yell rising to a jerky sounding roar.
Understandable? Yes. He is lying broken on the ground because of her. But cute? Charming? Inducing of the romantic warm fuzzies? Not really.
Carrie insists on taking George to at least one Olsen twin’s favorite urgent-care center, where she dutifully helps him fill out forms and waits while he is treated for a broken wrist. I would like to say it gets cute from there, but it never really hits that vibe.
Apparently still guilt-ridden, and armed with his home address from the medical forms, Carrie pops by George’s place the next day with a stack of soups and her laptop, offering to help him with the “app deck” he so desperately needs to finish before his business partner, Paul (Armando Riesco), yells at him again. (A few clues — his partner’s desperation, his declined credit card at the clinic — misled her into believing he was hard-up for money. Boy, did that turn out to be wrong: Was that a Calder sculpture hanging from his ceiling?)
There’s a brush of a wrist. Smiles are exchanged. They kiss — kind of for the heck of it? They seem to lean in not because they’re attracted to each other or feeling some sort of enchantment but because they are both in their mid-50s, single, in a similar tax bracket and might as well.
Twice a dalliance like this occurs, and in both cases, Paul busts it up like a jealous frat bro. He can’t have Carrie messing with George’s head when they have decks to messenger! (When was the last time anyone in the tech world required a pitch to be printed instead of emailed? But OK!)
When an impromptu FaceTime therapy session with Paul interrupts Tryst No. 2, it’s enough to send Carrie packing. She makes a lame, antiquated crack about George’s being “married” to Paul and leaves, never to return.
So what is the point of this short-lived fauxmance? There is no point, which is the point of this episode. The classic Carrie we know was, in fact, always looking for real love. But in her quest for it — as in so many people’s — there are a lot of George-like nothingburgers along the way.
Remember “Power Lad,” who lived with his parents? The “good on paper” Dr. Bradley Meego? The list goes on. This episode serves as a reminder that there are far more Georges out there than Bigs and Aidans.
Conversely, Miranda and Che remain in a very committed place, though it is becoming more apparent that they are two different people from entirely different worlds. Miranda spent decades as a big shot attorney and mom while Che is riding a new wave of fame and fast money. Now that their honeymoon stage in Los Angeles is over, it’s no surprise that their lifestyles are clashing. Between Che’s after-hours parties and Miranda’s pre-dawn alarm bell, neither seems to be getting more than a couple of hours’ sleep each night, which leads Miranda to take up Nya on her offer of a place to stay.
This spare room proves useful when a focus group rips Che’s show — and the authenticity of Che’s character, specifically — to shreds; it seems likely now that Che’s pilot won’t get picked up. Miranda attempts to comfort Che with over-the-top encouragement, but it has the opposite effect. Che wants only a hug and a few days of space. Miranda is out, indefinitely.
Elsewhere, Seema decides that a penis pump isn’t a deal breaker and agrees to keep seeing her new beau, Edward (Daniel Cosgrove). When she breaks out a sex device of her own, though, he balks, taking offense that she would recruit anything battery operated for her own pleasure.
His objections are overtly misogynistic, of course, and Seema calls that out immediately. Edward huffs and puffs and walks out, and as he shouts at her that it’s “not cool,” she simply turns up the speed, drowning him out.
It’s something this franchise has always done well, which is to make insecure men the butt of the joke. If that makes these zeros “disposable,” as a fictional Michiko Kakutani review of Carrie’s book once described her boyfriends, so be it.
Things still taking up space in my brain:
I really, really don’t ever want to see Harry in that wig again.
After the dust that has been kicked up over Jonah Hill’s alleged texts to his ex-girlfriend, which many have characterized as manipulative and controlling, the way in which Herbert criticizes Lisa’s dancing with Anthony hits different.