Could Carrie Bradshaw hack it as a Southern girl? If And Just Like That keeps pushing her and her ex Aidan Shaw together like this, we might soon find out.

John Corbett returned last week as the hot furniture designer for a sexy Valentine’s Day date with Carrie. And while he might’ve shown up in a truly heinous jacket, things seem to have gone extraordinarily well since then. A month has passed and Carrie and Aidan have apparently spent most of it having sex in hotels. (All the better to avoid Carrie’s apartment, where she broke Aidan’s heart with that literal and metaphorical wall he could never pierce.)

Now, Carrie has decided to fly down to Norfolk, Virginia, where Aidan owns a classic red-brick farmhouse, to meet his three sons. Bless these hopeless romantics’ hearts—do they really, really think this is a good idea?

Carrie rarely leaves the state of New York, unless she’s traveling internationally. She went to Connecticut for that one baby shower, and she flew to L.A. when Matthew McConaughey wanted to turn her book into a movie, and she and her friends did Atlantic City once… and that’s about it. And now, Virginia?

As an unmarried 32-year-old whose longest relationship so far is with her dog, perhaps I should keep these stones in my pocket. But I simply cannot help but wonder: How is this supposed to work? Is Aidan going to move himself and his two youngest sons to Manhattan, away from their mother? Or is Carrie Bradshaw, the mistress of Manhattan, really willing to leave New York—and for a city without Acela access at that? (You simply will not convince me that Carrie doesn’t favor the posh vibes of train travel over the nightmare that is JFK.) Also, do Aidan’s kids even know he’s dating his most traumatic ex?

Miranda, ever the brunch-time buzzkill, can’t help but point out that Carrie and Aidan seem to be moving a little fast. But as Carrie puts it, “If it feels right—and it does—then why slow it down?”

In the past, a moment like this might’ve turned into an explosive fight for Carrie and Miranda—the latter of whom sometimes can’t resist scolding her friends for making mistakes she believes she never would’ve made. But after the rough couple years she’s had, it seems Miranda’s judgmental side has softened, and Carrie is now self assured enough not to implode when a friend questions her decisions. So this week, instead of blowing up at her BFF, she admits to Miranda that she’s been asking herself a pretty scary question: “Was Big a big mistake?”

It’s understandable that And Just Like That would want to continue distancing itself from Chris Noth, but this feels like a false-dichotomy kind of question. Carrie might’ve cheated with Big in the past, and obviously (as she’s said before) that was a mistake. But it also feels odd to frame Big as the reason she and Aidan haven’t been together for all this time. When Carrie and Aidan got back together the first time, they ultimately split because Carrie wasn’t ready for marriage and Aidan wasn’t willing to wait. So what does Big have to do with any of it?

Either way, it’s clear that Carrie and Aidan are racing toward commitment station. They’re now subletting Che’s apartment as a love nest, and they even stopped off to buy upscale kitchen supplies. Nothing says “in it for the long haul” quite like a $47 garlic press—so let’s just hope that Aidan’s boys are cool with this blast from the past. (And that Carrie likes Aidan’s farmhouse better than his upstate cabin.)

Miranda might also be taking it easy on Carrie because she still has her own problems to worry about. The good news is that she’s finally starting work at the prestigious legal internship she initially turned down to sit around Los Angeles and be with Che. On the flipside, her fellow interns also immediately resent the way her 30 years of experience allow her to leapfrog over them in the office. While they’re still stuck writing endless citations, their boss asks Miranda to sit in on a big meeting and take notes on her first day. How will they feel, I wonder, once they find out their boss is now planning to promote Miranda to oversee them when she steps out on maternity leave?

Charlotte’s also making her grand return to the workplace this week, as she starts her new job at an art gallery. At first, she’s nervous: Her family seems apathetic to her starting a new job, and her teens in particular mostly just seem excited to have her out of the house. Meanwhile, her first-day-of-work outfit doesn’t fit the way she wants, and menopause has destroyed her ability to lose weight as quickly as she once did.

In reality, of course, Charlotte looks marvelous already—and that’s really the point. While she’s initially scared of how she’ll look next to the other younger, slimmer “gallerinas,” Charlotte seems relieved to see that her boss is a hot, stylish plus-sized woman rocking a crop top.

A picture of Kristin Davis, John Corbett, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Cynthia Nixon in 'And Just Like That'

This could’ve been a meaningful moment within a series that doesn’t exactly scream “body positivity.” Unfortunately, And Just Like That goes the trite route: The moment Charlotte sees her coworker, she dumps her Spanx in the trash without a word. Apparently, her confidence issues have been instantly fixed. Whether or not we return to Charlotte’s body-image anxieties, the story’s execution felt a little tokenizing—as though the show’s writers really believe that a woman above a size 4 in a crop top is some kind of inspirational unicorn, whose mere presence can heal the psyches of anxious, thin women around her. Here’s hoping she at least gets some real lines next week.

And Just Like That often tries to juggle more side plots than it can handle, but this week you could really feel the impact of all that narrative clutter. Anthony’s Hot Fellas story line still feels like filler material, as does his workplace crush on his employee Giuseppe—about whom we know basically nothing, apart from the size of his bulge in tight shorts. Charlotte’s body-image story, meanwhile, feels rushed.

In a refreshing change of pace, however, Sarita Choudhury’s Seema Patel—And Just Like That’s saucy de facto replacement for Kim Cattrall’s Samantha Jones—does get a moment of real humanity this week.

Too often, the side characters And Just Like That has added—your Nya Wallaces and Lisa Todd Wexleys—can feel like set decoration. Are they really characters, or is their often superficial presence a response to Sex and the City reappraisals that have critiqued the original show’s unabashed whiteness? Seema has always felt a little more central to And Just Like That’s broader story—likely because of her position as a surrogate “Samantha.” But this week might be the first one in which she really feels like one of the girls—because nothing says “real friendship” quite like falling into an awkward, very human funk.

It’s unclear at first why Seema keeps ghosting Carrie’s invitation to have dinner with her and Aidan. Once Carrie corners her outside a beauty salon, however, Seema’s hesitance becomes more understandable: In an admittedly less-than-stellar friendship move, she’s canceled the deposit she and Carrie made on a summer home in the Hamptons. She didn’t want to feel like a third wheel on her own vacation, and she doesn’t know how to handle the envy she feels over the fact that Carrie has had two great loves while she’s had none.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Choudhury perform this conversation wonderfully; their characters’ love for one another is clear, as is their struggle to communicate honestly and thoughtfully in the moment. Carrie seems devastated when Seema asks for space. But in the end, when she shows up for dinner anyway, their friendship feels a lot deeper than it did before.

That said, Seema does have a promising new client at work—a demanding, good-looking actor who just might give her some personal drama worth talking about at brunch. Here’s hoping Carrie is still living in the city if and when she seals the deal.

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