This And Just Like That recap contains spoilers for season two, episode four, “ALIVE.”
This is like the old days when I used to recap Glee and Pretty Little Liars and could never figure out which bananapants storyline to start with. Is it Carrie receiving a dick pic and eager thumbs up from Bitsy von Muffling during Gloria Steinem’s rousing speech on feminism in publishing? Or is it Miranda and Che almost having an accidental threesome with Che’s ex-husband because Miranda has learned nothing from the Great Diet Peach Snapple Debacle of 2022? I guess let’s go with that one because what in the literal world!
Che’s back in New York, in a fancy new apartment, with a whole bunch of unassembled IKEA furniture. And just in time, too, because Miranda’s been sleeping on the couch at her old place while Brady sulks in his bedroom and Steve takes off his shirt and does a bunch of punching bag exercises in their bedroom. They’re in family therapy for Brady’s breakup, for some reason, and even Brady realizes this is self-indulgent New York Lonely Boy business, and probably the actual thing they should be in therapy for is Steve and Miranda’s pending divorce. Brady’s trying to get Miranda to say something, anything, but she’s just smiling and nodding and agreeing with Steve. Brady tells the therapist this is absolutely NOT his mother, and to prove it he says he won’t be starting college in the fall. When Miranda keeps grinning and nodding her head, he’s like, “Okay if I’d suggested SKIPPING COLLEGE six months ago, her whole brain would have exploded.”
So of course Miranda is relieved to see Che after three weeks of waking up to Steve doing his breakup-abs workout directly above her head. She is surprised, though, that Che’s ex-ish husband Lyle is there. Che says he drove them across the country and weathered the Brooklyn IKEA; the least they can do is let him crash on the couch. Lyle and Che regale Miranda and Carrie with stories of their misspent youth. They were “poly pioneers,” Lyle says, and it wasn’t even his idea! He just loved Che and Che wanted to be wild and free, so he went along for the ride! You can tell Miranda imprints herself onto Lyle’s story like a baby gay duck, and probably it’s one of the reasons why she almost gets herself into this surprise threesome.
It starts with Miranda and Che simply hooking up six inches from Lyle, while he sleeps next to them in bed. Truly, these two could use some stern advice on casually fucking in front of other people without their consent! But when Lyle wakes up, he has the exact opposite reaction than what Carrie had when they pulled this stunt in her kitchen. He just joins right in. It’s, uh, uncomfortable? Che and Miranda never even discussed it? Che’s all heavy breathing, like, “Are you okay with this?” and Miranda monologues herself into being okay with it, but then physically has a hard time getting involved in it — watching Che and Lyle kiss and ping-ponging her head back and forth to try to get in on the action — before ultimately tapping out due to a Charlie horse in her calf. She tells them to carry on and she’ll just go to the couch, but, mercifully, Che follows her into the living room and they sleep on the broken furniture together. (Metaphor alert!)
Still, though: Yikes?
Also, Miranda has put in too much work as a partner at a high-powered New York City law firm to spend her late 50s sleeping on a couch! Miranda, if you’re not going to have some self-respect, at least respect your poor middle-age back!
Carrie’s awkward encounter is much better, just in terms of sheer wackiness. She runs into her old Vogue editor Enid Frick, who has been unceremoniously aged out of big time publishing — but her newsletter is thriving and she’s decided to start an online magazine called Vivante. It means ALIVE. She asks Carrie to come to the launch party, since they’re the same age and all. Carrie’s thrown by this declaration because Enid is 20 years older than her, but Seema tells her to go anyway, and work out some kind of trade where Carrie writes for Vivante and Enid plugs Carrie’s new book. Seema tells Carrie to just not get caught in any photos with women using walkers because it will destroy her personal brand.
So Carrie spends the first half of the Vivante launch party ducking and dodging mobility aids, and the second half ducking and dodging Bitsy von Muffling, who’s been trying to hook her up with some older gentleman known as “The Tripod.” You don’t need me to explain that nickname to you the way Bitsy von Muffling felt the need to explain it to Carrie. Bitsy just wants Carrie to be as happy as a straight woman married to a gay man who works extra hard in bed to make up for not wanting to actually have sex with his wife!
Enid has, of course, invited Gloria Steinem to this thing, and when she stands up to give a speech, she compares the launch of Vivante to the launch of Ms. Magazine, which is — you know, I was going to say that feminism’s got a lot of stuff to grapple with before we can declare aging to be the great final frontier of gender equality, but Steinem famously shafted Shirley Chisholm in favor of Wonder Woman for Ms. Magazine’s first cover, so yeah, I guess this whole scene is just about right. (Don’t you love having an old lesbian wood witch recapping television for you, lol.) The important thing is that while Gloria Steinem is giving her pep talk, Bitsy von Muffling texts Carrie a photo of The Tripod’s dick and gives her the goofiest thumbs up about it. It’s a miracle she didn’t also stage whisper, “You go, girl!” over the whole crowd. Never change, Bitsy!
As the party’s winding down, Carrie takes a selfie with Enid and Gloria, and works up the courage to ask Enid to plug her book in exchange for some content. But Enid doesn’t want Carrie’s writing! Enid wants Carrie’s Mr. Big money! She wants Carrie to write her a check for $100,000 for Vivante! Carrie waffles while Enid checks out the selfie of her and Gloria on Carrie’s phone. Enid is shocked to discover The Tripod’s dick pic — because The Tripod is her boyfriend! She tells Carrie to just PayPal her the hundred grand. (Can you really PayPal a HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS?!)
In other dick news, Charlotte and Harry have sent their kids off to summer camp and are having a whole lot of sex about it. Unfortunately, Harry’s shooting dust balls, which bums out Charlotte because she likes the fireworks. (Again, I am assuming you don’t need me to explain all these mixed metaphors to you, but let me know if I’m wrong. Charlotte elaborates, extensively, over brunch.) Charlotte takes Harry to the doctor and then gets down to the business of helping him strengthen his pelvic floor muscles with some kegels. She says she does three sets three times a day (“you’re welcome!”) and she’ll be happy to personally train him in this fine art.
Lisa Todd Wexley and Herbert are using their kid-free time to just work more, which is why they both forget to do important things for their 20th anniversary party, such as ordering the cake and sending the invitations. The in-laws squabble. Victor Garber arrives to offer Charlotte a job. And at some point, to ease the bickering, LTW decides to grandly announce that her husband husband will be running for NYC Comptroller! Everyone’s shocked. Not “surprise threesome” shocked, but we’re not all living life as wide open as Miranda Hobbes, Esq.