Samantha Jones’ And Just Like That Cameo Showed Us What The Show Is Desperately Missing

This story contains spoilers for the season two finale of And Just Like That.
Two minutes into the season two finale of And Just Like That, Samantha Jones finally makes an appearance.
Sitting in the back of a cab in London traffic, she's wearing a glittery gold blazer, holding a lime green clutch and flashing her trademark smirk. It's the Samantha we know and love — only a little bit older, perhaps a little bit wiser, and 5,000 kilometres away from her best friends.
Samantha's time on screen is brief. She calls Carrie from the back of the cab and tells her she was planning to surprise her at 'The Last Supper', but her flight has been delayed for three hours, so she won't make it in time. When Carrie suggests they catch up the following day, Samantha tells her she's already on her way home from Heathrow Airport. She was planning to fly into New York overnight, just to spend a few brief hours farewelling Carrie's famous apartment with her friends.

Sex and the City, at its heart and under all the rabbit vibrators, was a show about female friendship.

After they end the call, Samantha clutches her phone to her chest for a few seconds and with misty eyes, she smiles into the distance. It's a surprisingly earnest moment for a character who is known for making quips about penis sizes and triple orgasms. But that brief scene shows us so much; that the rift in Carrie and Samantha's friendship has healed to the point where they are excited to see each other in person.
But it also shows us what was missing from this series.
Sex and the City, at its heart and under all the rabbit vibrators, was a show about female friendship. It followed four friends in their 30s and 40s as they navigated their careers, the New York City dating scene, pregnancy, parenting, grief and regrets. While the idea four close friends, who all live in the same city and can spend every Sunday morning together sipping mimosas and making clever quips about their sex lives over brunch, always seemed a little bit unrealistic, the women's devotion to each other didn't.
In a way, they were each other's great loves. They cheered one another on through all their successes and never looked away during the dark moments. One truth in their friendships that was echoed in every season of the original series was that when something went wrong, they dropped everything to show up for each other.
We saw this in the 2008 Sex and the City movie, when, after being jilted at the altar by Big, Carrie is spending New Year's Eve alone, watching Meet Me in St. Louis. When she receives a call from Miranda, who has recently separated from Steve and is sad that she's also spending New Year's Eve alone, eating Chinese food, Carrie doesn't hesitate. She throws on a fur coat and a pair of impractical shoes, then races downtown to Miranda's place just so neither of them have to be alone at midnight.
It's a scene that would slide nicely into a romantic comedy.

Seeing Samantha drop everything for the pure reason that the apartment is important to Carrie was a reminder of what this new series has been missing.

Samantha's brief cameo in this episode felt the same. A last minute dash to the airport. A grand, public gesture. Always showing up for the important people in your life, especially in these big moments, even when it's inconvenient.
Seeing Samantha drop everything for the pure reason that the apartment is important to Carrie was a reminder of what this new series has been missing.
While And Just Like That has also been about female friendship — the circle has expanded and we're seeing different friendships explored — the friendships don't seem to run as deep. They feel more transactional, even amongst the remaining three original characters.
Take Miranda for example. She went through a lot this season. Her separation from Steve became more official, her relationship with Che Diaz ended, Brady wasn't coping with his parents' split, and she ended up living in her college professor-turned-friend's spare bedroom, listening to her having loud sex at all hours of the day and night.
Miranda needed her friends more than ever, but they just weren't there in the same way they would have been in Sex and the City.
This only becomes clearer when Miranda joins Carrie and Aidan at Che's standup gig in episode 10, only to find out the entire show at her expense. As she rushes out into the street, humiliated, Carrie doesn't even follow her, even though she's clearly upset. She doesn't even call her afterwards to see whether she's okay. Instead, Miranda calls Carrie to try to wiggle out of 'The Last Supper' as both her exes are attending — and Carrie refuses to be understanding.
In this season, we also see Carrie get so wrapped up in her new relationship with Aidan that she completely forgets she's agreed to spend the summer in the Hamptons with Seema. In fact, Seema is forced to remind Carrie that she has left her alone, navigating New York City's dating scene for the over-50s on her own, without even a backward glance. Carrie, of all people, should know you need your friends more than ever when you're single.
Of course, there has been the welcomed introduction of new friends into the SATC universe, in Lisa Todd Wexley, Seema, Nya and Che, but even their friendships seem less deeply rooted. In the finale, L.T.W., who has become fast friends with Charlotte throughout the last two seasons, miscarries and has to deal with her complicated feelings about considering an abortion without a single friend (old or new) to be seen.
In And Just Like That, it seems like the women's lives and their female friendships are more separated, and perhaps that's to be expected as they get older and have more responsibilities outside of their friendships. But it's a huge reason we all watched and loved the original series, where the highs and lows of the women's lives were deeply enmeshed in their friend's daily lives. At the end of the day, the women always came first. No matter what.
Samantha's brief — yet brilliant — cameo reminded us of that. And perhaps that's what has been missing from this series that we've struggled to pinpoint until now.

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