This episode gave me anxiety. I was hoping that as the season went on, we would move away from black characters teaching white characters how to behave, but unfortunately we leaned even more into that. I was unable to focus on anything interesting that was happening because every single plot line was white people awkwardly becoming friends with black people and committing microaggressions along the way. This episode was directed by a black woman so I’m sure she drew from a lot of her personal experiences to write this! Alas. Here’s the recap.

It’s the morning after the comedy show, and Charlotte and Lisa have a PTO meeting to go to. Charlotte wants to go to a field trip to a botanist shop, but another mother wants to go to an animal shelter. Lisa has Charlotte’s back, and she gets her way! The two women make plans to hang out twice- once at Charlotte’s dinner party, and then later on at Lisa’s husband’s (Herbert’s) birthday party.

Flash forward to Miranda’s apartment, and Miranda’s staring into space as if she’s died on the inside. Brady and his girlfriend come downstairs and accuse her of reeking of week, and Miranda instantly gets defensive, blaming it on all of the “alternative types” as the comedy show. What does that mean, exactly? It’s a great question, and one Brady’s girlfriend (who’s name I don’t know) would also love an answer to. We won’t get one though, because Miranda needs coffee and time to process how close her lips were to Che’s just hours before.

Carrie heads down to the bodega in one of the most insane skirts I have ever seen in my life, and that’s saying something because I saw all of Carrie’s original series outfits. She grabs some coffee, chats with the bodega man, decides to sell her and Big’s apartment, and then goes to dinner with Miranda and Charlotte. It turns out Miranda got invited to dinner with Nya tomorrow night and she’s very excited about it! She’d also love to order some more wine, but Charlotte shuts her down.

“have we considered only letting Che speak?”

In the podcast studio, a manager named Chloe (who’s in a wheelchair!) has come in to complain that nobody is posting enough on social media, especially not Carrie. The podcast isn’t doing well, which makes sense because from the 2 minutes we’ve seen of it so far, it’s pretty terrible. For a show that’s supposed to show varied perspectives, it’s been very “BANG BANG SEX IN PUBLIC” which is… not a very diverse perspective. We find out that Jackie and the Chloe hooked up and she ghosted him the next day. It’s all very funny and normal and scenes like this are where the show is at its best.

Carrie’s adventures continue as she goes to an open house with Seema, her real estate agent. Seema forced Carrie to change her entire house to beige, and is now showing her other people’s apartments. Carrie gets awkwardly hit on and calls the man her worst nightmare before escaping to a bar with Seema. There, the two bond and swipe on Seema’s Tinder briefly. Carrie then says that she’s impressed that Seema is still putting herself out there, and the crestfallen look on Seema’s face really says it all.

Charlotte is highly stressed about her dinner party. She tried to invite a diverse group of people with varying interest, but then she realizes that everyone she invited is “vanilla”. Meaning white. We won’t get into what vanilla actually means, because there is quite simply not enough time. Lisa and her husband would be the only black couple at dinner. Harry suggests that they invite the Jenkins in 4C, an idea which Charlotte loves. I’d like to note that inviting your black acquaintances to dinner so that you have a token black friend is not okay and also not good ally-ship! The Jenkins have other dinner plans, and so Charlotte shows up at her door and begs her to come, even if just for drinks before dinner. This is super weird and Charlotte needs to chill because I hate this.

What Charlotte does not do is chill. Instead, she calls noted out-of-touch vaguely transphobic white guy Anthony to ask if he can invite his black friend to dinner. Anthony calls him the “black guy” (Charlotte: “it’s not all about that”), makes it clear they haven’t spoken in forever, and says no. Next up on the roster: the mom from school who suggested they go to the animal shelter. Unfortunately, right as that is sorted, Lisa announces that she can’t go to dinner anymore because her mother-in-law invited her to the symphony. Charlotte now cancels on the other mother that she just invited. That’s gross. I hate it.

Charlotte and Harry head over to Lisa’s husband’s birthday party. On the way up the elevator, Charlotte reminds him that he has to name drop famous black authors, which is… weird. A great alternative I could recommend would be actually reading diverse books! It would still be weird to name drop the books purely because they were by black authors, but less weird than bringing up people you don’t even know! Charlotte says that it’s unacceptable that they don’t have a more diverse friend group, so they have to “bring their A game”. I agree with the first part, but maybe just make friends naturally? Not cancel on the black mom who seemed so excited to come to her dinner party purely because the “cool” black people couldn’t go?

I think if the writers room had been serious about Charlotte getting a more diverse friend group, they could have gone about it in a legitimate way that would have been a good example for other confused adult white women to follow! Every single white character interacting with a black character doesn’t have to be a learning moment. Black characters can just exist! And white characters can grow and become better people without inconveniencing black people along the way!

Upon immediately entering the party, they realize that they’re the only white people in the room. Charlotte thinks she sees “Gwen”. That’s not Gwen, it’s Shawna. In an attempt to salvage the situation, Harry exclaims, “has anyone read the new Zadie Smith book?”. This is a great time for me to mention that there was a whole room full of black people for Charlotte to become friends with if she’d just looked at them as HUMAN BEINGS instead of potential black friends.

At the dinner portion of the dinner party, Lisa hypes up Charlotte and shares that Charlotte is on the board of directors at the MET! Lisa’s mother-in-law complains about the amount of art that Lisa owns, sending Charlotte into a spiral about how much she loves all of the paintings that Lisa purchased. She knows the names of all of the artists, and the mother-in-law seems impressed by her knowledge. Nearly a great turnaround except for the fact that Charlotte is probably listing all the things she memorized before walking into this house, and Harry screams “I loved Michelle Obama’s book!” in the middle.

At Nya and Miranda’s dinner, Nya’s reservation doesn’t exist in the system and she refuses to back down from the host who’s telling her it doesn’t exist. As Nya fights him, he finds that her reservation was for the wrong location. They head over to a different restaurant, and Nya admits that the IVF drugs are making her feel crazy. Nya tries to bond with Miranda on the joys of motherhood, but Miranda’s really going through it and doesn’t have many positive things to say.

have you read the latest Zadie Smith?

Nya doesn’t even know if she wants to have a child, but she’s worried that she’ll regret it one day if she doesn’t. This is right in Miranda’s wheelhouse. She knows all about regret, and having her child did not make her feel any less of it. In fact, she’s pretty jealous of her Federal Judge friend who goes home to a completely empty house every night, even if Miranda does love her son. Miranda admits that it’s “really fucking hard” to have it all, which we as an audience know because she was the only one who’d achieved it by the end of the original series.

Carrie heads back to her own apartment, and learns that Stanford has flown to Tokyo to go on tour with a TikTok star that he manages. Anthony shows up to discuss the situation and give us more information. Unfortunately, Stanford is not only leaving the US. He’s also leaving Anthony. For those of you who were unaware, Willie Garson (the actor who plays Stanford) actually died in real life during filming. I didn’t realize this until after I watched the episode, but it makes the whole thing a lot more moving and I think they handled the ending of his story well.

I thought we made it through the dinner party unscathed, but now we have a scene of Charlotte and Lisa grabbing coffee. Charlotte confesses that she was worried Lisa and Herbert would be the only black couple at her dinner party. Lisa says that she was worried about Charlotte and Harry being the only white people at her party. Maybe the reason Lisa doesn’t have more white friends is because when she tries they behave like Charlotte! Lisa could tell how nervous the couple was, and tells her that she was doing the wrong thing by stressing and inviting the other mom from school. The fact that that needed to be shared is tragic.

Seema has found 3 potential buyers for Carrie’s home! Unfortunately, she tried to move the photo of Carrie and Big from their wedding day into a drawer, and it shattered. Carrie loses it. Apparently Big touched the photo all of the time, and so the glass is irreplaceable. Carrie accuses Seema of being insensitive about the entire situation, and Seema tries to walk it back. In the process of doing so, she also calls out Carrie for being insensitive about the fact that Seema is “still putting herself out there” in the dating process. The two have a really touching moment and manage to work it out and become real friends.

A wholesome ending to an otherwise stressful episode!