The Importance of Feeling Seen in Episode 8 of ‘And Just Like That…’
This is a recap for “And Just Like That…” Season 1 Episode 8. There will be spoilers beyond this point. Please proceed with caution (because we don’t want to be the ones who spoil you!)
Miranda is about to blow up her entire life… but at what cost?
Before we continue, just another reminder that there will be spoilers beyond this point for “And Just Like That…” Season 1 Episode 8. Not up to date? Read Season 1 Episode 7’s recap.
This episode basically has three plot lines: Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda. They overlap somewhat but are pretty independent, so I’ll cover them as such.
Carrie is cataloguing her wardrobe with the help of Lily to be put into storage. She has a new young neighbor who tends to party late into the night, causing Carrie to lose sleep. She fears asking her neighbor to knock it off because she doesn’t want to be perceived as not “cool.” As it turns out, she worries for nothing. When she witnesses the neighbor break up with her boyfriend and reacts casually, she wins over the neighbor who tells her she’s “cool.” In a way, the neighbor is reminiscent of a young Carrie, so she can empathize with her.
Charlotte is having a parental crisis because Lily accidentally witnesses Charlotte about to perform oral sex on Harry in the bathroom. In an attempt to reframe the situation she takes Lily out for lunch where she discovers Lily has a private Instagram profile that she uses to share provocative photos of herself in workout gear. Carrie comes to the rescue by reinforcing to Charlotte that Lily is simply trying to figure out who she is, a normal part of a teenager growing up. Charlotte ends up having a conversation with Lily telling her she’s glad Lily feels confident in her body and in a slightly awkward way normalizing sex to her daughter.
Miranda attends a Pride event that Che is headlining where she spots her son Brady and skulks off before he sees her. Che notices and confronts her, which results in Miranda confessing that she isn’t in an open marriage and nobody knows about their relationship. Che tells her they are not interested in breaking up a marriage and tells Miranda that they are out until she figures her life out. Miranda decides to ask Steve for a divorce after confirming with Che that they are in fact in love with her, although Che says clearly that they aren’t interested in a committed relationship. Steve is blindsided but wants Miranda to be happy, so he agrees to the divorce. Miranda hops on a plane to surprise Che in Ohio to tell them that she is getting a divorce… ending the episode on quite the cliffhanger.
Let’s break down some major themes in this episode:
Being an LGBTQIA+ ally is about showing up
Che is understandably shaken by Miranda skulking off at a Pride event where they are literally giving a speech about how important it is for allies to show up for their LGBTQIA+ friends and family. While I understand that the reason Miranda responds the way she does has to do with her son not knowing she’s in a relationship with Che, she missed a huge opportunity to connect with her son in a meaningful bonding moment. She could easily have simply said Che was a friend and she was there supporting her friend, thereby reinforcing Brady’s presence there as an ally. Instead she reacted in a way that betrayed both Che and Brady.
Age appropriate sex education for children
While it was somewhat clunky, I applaud Charlotte wanting to normalize sex in a positive way for Lily. Charlotte notes growing up with lots of shame about her body and having no sex education or discussion with her parents, which left her on her own to figure it out. She states that she always vowed to be more open and approachable to her own children so that they don’t develop toxic shame over their bodies or sex. As an advocate for age appropriate sex education as a means of helping to not only prevent child sexual abuse but to increase the awareness of consent amongst our youth, I found this incredibly moving. The situation itself was understandably awkward, but her heart was in the right place.
Relationships require communication (and communication requires active listening)
This episode was basically one big example of how not to communicate in a relationship. The fact that Che and Miranda have been involved for weeks and it never came up that Miranda was married and not in an open relationship is the first example. And frankly, Che expresses something that many of my LGBTQIA+ friends find frustrating, the idea that not being heterosexual means you are inherently promiscuous. As Che puts it, they know who they are and a home wrecker isn’t it.
The fact that Steve is completely surprised by Miranda asking for a divorce because she never mentioned how unhappy and unfulfilled she was is another example. Steve notes that this was the first time in their relationship that he has felt content and like he and Miranda had settled into a comfortable routine. He clearly loves Miranda and I am pretty sure if Miranda had communicated her dissatisfaction in their relationship sooner they could have addressed it head on. Maybe it still wouldn’t have worked out, but at least he would have had the opportunity to try to meet Miranda’s needs.
Miranda’s conversation with Che asking if Che feels the same way she does about their relationship is a disaster waiting to happen. Che admits that they are in love with Miranda, but is very clear that they are not interested in or able to offer anything traditional. I don’t think Miranda registered what Che said. All she heard was that Che was in love with her. Also, Miranda doesn’t clearly state that she’s going to ask Steve for a divorce, instead she just says “I’m going to fix it,” which is very ambiguous. My fear is that in her desperation to recapture some kind of excitement in her life Miranda is about to get her heart broken by Che’s unavailability to be more than just a friend with benefits so to speak. She stands to lose all stability and blow up her life because she wasn’t listening.
Yay for Aunties: I’ve written a lot about being childless and the criticism that often comes with this. It was great to see Carrie be the voice of reason with Charlotte in terms of how to communicate with Lily. As the cool childless auntie she was able to remind Charlotte what being 15 and curious about your identity is like. She was able to view the situation from a more objective perspective and bridge the gap between Lily and Charlotte. My own relationship as the auntie to several spectacular young people I love made me feel super happy to see this depicted.
Will Miranda realize Che can’t give her what she wants? Will she get back together with Steve? Stay tuned.
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