Actress Kim Cattrall didn't return for the Sex and the City revival, but Samantha isn't dead — or forgotten.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for the first episode of And Just Like That.

In the months leading up to the premiere of And Just Like That, devoted fans of Sex and the City speculated desperately about the fate of Samantha Jones in the revival. Was she dead? Was she recast? Had Kim Cattrall secretly filmed some scenes, despite her repeated insistence that she and SATC are never, ever, ever getting back together?  

Well, the show is finally out, and honey, so is the truth: Alive and well, Ms. Jones has left New York and is instead turning up the heat in chilly London, her friendship with Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) having — perhaps irreversibly — cooled.

Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones in 'Sex and the City'
| Credit: Everett Collection

Her whereabouts are first revealed in the first scene of And Just Like That, in which Carrie, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) run into Bitsy von Muffling (Julie Halston), who asks the question on everyone's mind. "She's no longer with us," replies Charlotte, before Miranda clarifies, "She didn't die" — teasing the fans who feared the worst for the character. "She's in London," Carrie finally explains.

In a subsequent scene, Carrie and Miranda discuss the recent history of their erstwhile friend in more detail. "I told her that because of, you know, what the book business is now, it just didn't make sense for me to keep her on as a publicist," reveals Carrie, whose sex column blossomed into a successful career as an author over the course of the original series and subsequent films. "She said fine, and then fired me as a friend."

"She didn't fire you," Miranda says. "You know Samantha — her pride got damaged." She discloses that she and Charlotte have both tried reaching out as well, but Samantha's fallout with Carrie led her to make a clean break with all of them upon moving to England.

"I always thought the four of us would be friends forever," Carrie reflects. Fans of the series did too, and that belief has made Samantha's whereabouts — in light of Cattrall's decision not to appear in the revival — a major concern among viewers who assumed she must be dead if she's not in the other ladies' lives. However, showrunner and executive producer (and director of the first two episodes) Michael Patrick King confirmed shortly ahead of the premiere that he and the creative team did not choose to deal with Cattrall's absence by killing off Samantha in the time between 2010's Sex and the City 2 and And Just Like That. (He in fact confirmed that none of the characters died in the interim.) But her fate was a mystery until the premiere dropped on Thursday.

It remains to be seen how the revival will further address Samantha's new life or the impact her absence has on the other women. For the ever-hopeful fans (the Carries and the Charlottes especially) who long to see the central quartet reunited in its entirety, there's still the tiniest sliver of hope. Should HBO Max greenlight a second season, and should Cattrall reconsider her stance that she's finished with the role, the beloved character is just one transatlantic plane ride away. First class, obviously — this is Samantha Jones we're talking about.

New episodes of And Just Like That drop every Thursday on HBO Max.

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