So, remember how I couldn’t remember anything that happened to Charlotte in Season 2? Well, I have since recalled how she once tried to queer-bait all these power lesbians! God, this show! Rest assured, however, that that just popped into my head for no reason. I swear, I haven’t gone back and checked any of this. I still haven’t watched an episode of Sex and the City in about a decade. I’m still recapping the show’s entire original six-season run entirely from memory. Think you could do better? Let me know what I’ve left out or gotten wrong.
Here we go, Season 4: Everyone is single, pretty much, except for Charlotte, who is now sleeping with Trey even though they’re estranged. But they manage to work things out and she moves back in and redecorates his apartment and they start trying to have a baby.
Carrie is hanging out with Mr. Big sometimes, but like as for-real platonic friends now. She dates a jazz musician with ADHD and then Margaret Cho and Alan Cumming put her in a charity fashion show with Ed Koch. But then, she and Miranda get invited to Steve’s new bar which he is opening with Aidan, and Carrie decides she misses Aidan and wants to get back together. So they do get back together, but obviously there are still trust issues. He’s jealous that she still sees Big, and suddenly the tables are turned and Carrie is the one who is hesitant about really committing to Aidan. They fight kind of a lot and spend time at his house in the country which Carrie hates. But then he asks her to marry him and all her uncertainty evaporates and she says yes!
Somewhere in all this Samantha briefly dates a woman for the first time ever. And Miranda’s mother dies, and then later she randomly sleeps with Steve and gets pregnant and decides to keep the baby. Meanwhile, Charlotte is having trouble conceiving and so Trey wants to stop trying to have a baby, and that’s pretty much the end for them. They fight a lot too and then he moves out.
Around this time, Samantha starts sleeping with and then falls in love with this very, very rich guy who kinda looks like Willem Dafoe. He’s her Mr. Big kinda! But then he cheats on her and they break up.
So, Carrie and Aidan are living together in her apartment now, and she’s starting to get kind of anxious about the wedding. She’d rather go out to gay clubs with the guy from White Lotus than settle into domesticity. She won’t even wear her engagement ring, which they fight about, and then they break up. And then suddenly we discover that Carrie has no savings and no other gigs other than her one newspaper column and can’t afford to buy her apartment from Aidan and might have to move. But luckily all of Carrie’s friends have money to burn, so Charlotte just gives Carrie her engagement ring to sell and just like that Carrie is a homeowner. And she starts writing for Vogue. Oh, and we also learn that Carrie’s dad walked out on her mom when she was little.
The season ends with Miranda having her baby and Mr. Big moving to California. And, once again, I honestly cannot remember how things wrap up for Charlotte…
Ah, the abbreviated fifth season. This was the year when both SJP and Cynthia Nixon were pregnant in real life, so the season was cut down to six kinda somber episodes. Also, this was post-9/11, and Carrie had this haircut that really did not work for her.
Samantha briefly gets back together with Richard, the Willem Dafoe look-alike, but they break up because she can’t trust him. Charlotte, meanwhile, finalizes her divorce from Trey, and starts sleeping with her lawyer Harry, who she thinks is kinda gross because he’s bald and has a hairy back. And Miranda…I think she just pretty much struggles with how much she hates her baby. The whole gang goes to Atlantic City at one point, which is kinda fun?
As for Carrie, I don’t think she hooks up with a single guy all season, except, that is, for Mr. Big. See, this is the season when Carrie publishes a collection of her columns, and on her book tour she meets up with Big in…I want to say San Francisco? And they have good old no-strings sex. But also, she meets this guy Jack Berger who is also an author, and they flirt at her book party, but he’s already dating someone, so that goes nowhere. Except that then they run into each other again in the Hamptons at a mutual friend’s wedding and he’s single now, and they have a slow dance and that’s the end of Season 5.
Perhaps to make up for Season 5, the final season was super-sized and split into two parts that more-or-less revolve around Carrie’s relationships with two men: Berger and Aleksandr Petrovsky.
In the first half, Carrie is dating Berger, who is super fun and funny and down-to-earth. But slowly we begin to realize that he’s kind of a mess. He’s super insecure, particularly about what he perceives as the failure of his own book compared to the success of Carrie’s. Ultimately, he sneaks out of her apartment one night leaving behind an infamous Post-It note which reads: “I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me.” And that’s the last we see of him! This is all followed by a pretty fun girls’ night out, which almost ends in Carrie being arrested for smoking pot on the street. Oh, also, at some point she runs into Aidan on the street and he has a baby now, so everything worked out for him, I guess.
While all this is going on, Samantha is pursuing this sexy young waiter, an aspiring actor whom she literally renames! Smith Jared—that’s what she re-christens him, and you kinda have to wonder if this is showrunner Michael Patrick King once again naming a character after a gay porn star. She starts doing PR for him and also starts catching feelings. There’s a brief moment when she considers dumping him and hooking up with Richard—a.k.a. Willem Dafaux—again, but Smith takes her back.
Meanwhile, Charlotte converts to Judaism in an effort to get Harry to marry her, but she’s so psychotic about it that he very sensibly breaks up with her. This is also when she develops an obsession with Elizabeth Taylor. And Miranda starts dating her gorgeous new neighbor (played by Blair Underwood), before realizing she’s still in love with Steve. The two of them get back together because fan service!
Ok, so coming in for the home stretch: In the second half of Season 6, Carrie meets a much older Russian artist named Aleksander Petrovsky. He romances her and she starts to reconsider what she wants the rest of her life to look like. He doesn’t want kids (already has an adult daughter), and that’s no sacrifice for Carrie. But when he invites her to come and live with him in Paris she’s torn between her life in New York and the future she could have with him. This all plays out at a crazy party where her Vogue editor (Candace Bergen) tries to hit on The Russian and another aging party girl (Kristen Johnston) literally falls out a window to her death! This is the moment when Carrie realizes that if she stays in New York she’s going to end up either old and alone or dead. The twin images of death and desperation inspire her to get the hell out of Dodge.
Miranda also leaves Manhattan. After marrying Steve in a simple ceremony, they move to a lovely brownstone in Brooklyn—which is played like a Greek tragedy on this insane show. But, who knows, maybe Park Slope was a much more wild and untamed frontier in 2004. Also, Charlotte and Harry get back together and get married—which actually, I think happens in Part 1, because Carrie has bad sex with one of Harry’s groomsmen and throws out her back. Oh, and she also hooks up with her high school boyfriend (David Duchovny) who then checks himself into a mental hospital, and Big has a heart attack or something. All of this happens in Part 1, before she meets The Russian—at a Marina Abramović installation no less!
Back to Part 2: Samantha finds out she has cancer and goes on a whole journey with chemo and lots of wigs. Smith sticks by her the whole time, which is sweet. But, god, the way whoever wrote that Miranda-moving storyline felt about Brooklyn is how I felt about Smith cutting off all his gorgeous blond Tarzan tresses in solidarity with Samantha: displeased!
Ok, so final two episodes: Carrie is in Paris and right away starts to feel a little neglected by The Russian. He’s doing his thing because he has a life in Paris. But she’s given up her job and doesn’t know anyone and starts to realize she may have made a huge mistake. Meanwhile, back in New York, Mr. Big has realized that he loves Carrie, and the girls tell him to go find her and bring her home. Which he does, because she’s sick of Paris and of The Russian—who accidentally hits her!
So, Carrie and Big both move back to New York, and Charlotte and Harry adopt a baby from China, and we learn that Mr. Big’s name is John and as Carrie disappears into a crowded street looking like someone’s insane great aunt in this mangy fur coat she’s had since Season 1, the credits roll for the last time.
Also, oh my god, poor Stanford! I know he hooked up with a guy with a creepy doll collection once and got rejected by Charlotte’s friend Mario [Ed note: the character Anthony was played by Mario Cantone] and then finally ended up with this hot younger dancer/maybe-sex-worker. But in much the same way in which Carrie compartmentalized her relationship with Stanford, I seem to have compartmentalized his meager storylines and can’t remember when any of that happened.