Well. Aidan's back. Season 2 episode 7.

Somehow, the Return of Aidan Was the Worst Part of the Latest ‘And Just Like That’ Episode

Seven episodes. It took seven episodes for And Just Like That to deliver on their long-awaited seasonal climax: the return of Aidan Shaw, Carrie’s “one who got away.” For seven episodes, we were dragged through plots that meant nothing, carried by characters who stand for nothing. We went through several highs and lows of shock and boredom. All of this was always tipped off at the end with the promise that Aidan’s Big Moment would be chock-full of drama and intrigue.

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And what did we get? We got made out to be fools, that’s what we got, because the payoff was nowhere near worthwhile. Aidan return’s Carrie’s email and says that he’d love to catch up and get dinner, and Carrie somehow ends up going to the wrong restaurant and killing time for nearly an hour. Okay, the reservation was apparently under his name, but bet, whatever. She texts him, he tells her “wrong restaurant, stupid,” and then they reconnect on the street outside.

Aidan Shaw, once a humble country bear, is now, evidently, an evil nutcracker:

Cringe fail ex-boyfriend in his stupid idiot jacket.
(Max)

I mean, yes, John Corbett looks great. But come on. You cannot convince me that a man who once wore denim-on-denim and made a living making furniture would commit to this kind of bit. Who bonked this poor man over the head and convinced him this was a good idea?

Better yet, who bonked him over the head twice and convinced him to get back with Carrie—Carrie, the woman who cheated on him with her ex (Mr. Big), then invited said ex to his country home, then begged him to get back together, only to break up with him again? Jesus Christ, Aidan! I get it; dating’s probably exhausting in your 50s, but your standards are on the floor!

And yet!! This, too, I should have seen coming. They tried to make Aidan “a thing” again in the second Sex And the City movie, which we by and large pretend never existed, because it sucked. So, seeing fan reception to that plot, that movie, that everything, WHY in the HELL would they try to do it again? More to the point: Why did they write it so cavalierly?! Aidan and Carrie talk for literally a couple of hours, tops, before he suddenly decides he can’t pass up this opportunity for nutcracky lovin’. Are you kidding me?! All that build-up, for that?!

It’s unbelievable, so unbelievably trite and braindead that it made heroes out of two characters I never expected to root for this season: Che and Charlotte.

Now that the focus has been taken off of Che and Miranda’s godawful attempt at a relationship, Che’s finally been freed to just be a normal character with their own life. And they’re pretty delightful, honestly! In this episode, we see Che hang out with Carrie, flexing their actually very fun sense of humor, and then we got to see Che rescue a li’l puppy dog. It turns out Che’s been pretty involved in their local shelter, and now they might try to pick up some shifts as a way of supplementing their income. That’s sick! We love that!

As for Charlotte, we see her bozo kids treat her like dirt for the crime of being a doting mother, which makes her realize that she needs to get her own life back. YES, Charlotte, this is what we’ve been waiting for! She decides to call back the Wexley’s bespectacled friend about that gallery job offer—YES, Charlotte!! No more doddering around, watching her bend over backwards for the benign whims of her unbelievably boring kids! We get to see art gallery Charlotte again! Art gallery Charlotte was a fox, a tour de force, an intellectual who knows better than to leer at teenage boys!

If you’d told me at the start of the season that these two, THESE two, would get the best character arcs in And Just Like That, and would ultimately be the standard to which I’d compare Aidan’s return, I would have told you to bite me. But I’m starting to realize that this show has a modus operandi. It takes its time building things up, and the delivery is consistently delayed, to the point where you forget you’re getting a delivery in the first place.

No, this is not a show of writing skill, nor is it something to praise, but it does make me wonder if, in the end, there will be an Aidan payoff. Somehow I doubt it. Somehow, I predict it’ll end the same way it always does with him and Carrie—with a great, big, nasty fart that clears out the entire population of Manhattan—but if this show has been capable of anything, it’s been in its element of surprise.

At least use a condom this time, Carrie, for the love of god.

(featured image: Max)


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Madeline Carpou
Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).