Big's return to Carrie is a flop. But while most of the ''Sex'' gang is stuck in a dead end, Charlotte just gets sexier and funnier, says Jessica Shaw
Chris Noth, Sarah Jessica Parker, ...
Credit: Sex and the City: Craig Blakenhorn/HBO

Big’s return to Carrie is a flop

Well, at least Carrie finally realizes this week what some of us have been saying all season: that she needs some action of the bedroom variety. She’s been so busy with chick-bonding trips to Atlantic City, economy-boosting shopping sprees, and her book — which means we never get to hear the post-coital wrap-up that can be the highlight of the show. Not that sex with Mr.Big is going to take up much time, if any, next week. He turns out to be every bit as neurotic and insecure as we all knew he was. His whole unavailable, noncommittal, too-cool veneer is instantly squashed as soon as he reads some slightly unflattering things about himself. Had he just said ”I didn’t realize how much I hurt you” once, it would have been gentlemanly — putting the emphasis on Carrie. Instead, he repeats it a million times so you know he doesn’t care about whose heart he’s bulldozing; it’s all about maintaining his own self-image, trying to distance himself from his own unchivalrous behavior. Ah, Big. You had so much potential.

As for potential, how much do we love the whole match between Charlotte and Harry the divorce lawyer? When the sweat is dripping off Harry’s shiny bald head as Charlotte’s trying to sign her divorce papers, you can feel the pull between good breeding and the desire to throw him out her Park Ave. window. But somehow she forgets her breeding in the next scene and jumps his bones. Though this relationship is just sex now, I have a feeling that — much to Charlotte’s dismay — she may end up falling in love with the oaf. What if he takes her to some firm function, and she sees her first dashing divorce lawyer? And what if he asks her out? That would be interesting.

By the way, Charlotte has become the best character again. Samantha is getting a little pathetic, between that chemical peel and basically throwing herself at a train car full of ugly single men. She needs something to do with her life. She’s too fabulous to be able to drop everything for a week to head out on some rail-bound road trip. She’s supposed to be the best publicist in New York City. Let’s see that side of her life. As for Miranda, I wonder if the writers are stuck with what to do with a single mom. Let’s see her join a single parents’ group and meet some hot single dads. The woman deserves to shoot some scenes that don’t involve a screaming baby. But Charlotte? Whether bonding with her brilliantly bitchy buddy Anthony (who is the perfect foil to Char, as he calls her) or fighting the horrible now-ex-mother-in-law Bunny, she is showing the kind of subtle comic timing that better get her an Emmy nomination next year.

Alas, just one more episode until this too-too-short season ends. It would be nice to see Ron Livingston dump whatever girlfriend he’s with and ask Carrie out, giving us something to hope for next season. From the preview clips of next week’s show, it looks as if Sam is going to throw a huge Hamptons party. Who knows? Maybe a certain male dancer will come and sweep Ms. Bradshaw off her feet? A little art imitating life imitating art imitating life?

What do you want to see in the season finale?

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