Much has changed over the course of Sex and the City's six seasons, two movies and now its sequel, And Just Like That.

Men have come and gone, wardrobes have evolved (although bird clutches are clearly forever), new relationships – both platonic and romantic – have blossomed while long-standing ones have broken down, and there's also been tragedy, with the Big-gest shock of all arriving in AJLT’s opening episode.

But through it all, there has been one constant: Carrie's apartment.

Even when she finally tied the knot with Big and moved into their Fifth Avenue apartment, she chose not to put her iconic Manhattan brownstone on the market.

More like this

The East 70s pad, which has witnessed elation, heartbreak and enough hookups to write a column about, has always been there, even when her life took on a different shape, as much a part of her as any other detail.

But once Carrie and Big fully committed to one another, her pad became largely unused. She occasionally popped back if she required a quiet, comfortable setting to meet a deadline, but its only real purpose in those later years was to be a glorified storage unit – when your wardrobe is as extensive as Carrie's, even the wondrous cavern Big had constructed in their home together won't cut it, and we all have those items that don't serve us practically anymore, but they still spark joy, and as such, need somewhere to live.

For Carrie, that somewhere was 245 E 73rd Street.

But in season 2 episode 9 of AJLT, the writer-turned-podcaster made a momentous decision: she was selling her beloved one-bedroom apartment.

Hear that? It's the sound of a million hearts breaking. Truly, the end of an era.

Carrie stood in her apartment talking on the phone
Carrie stood in her famous apartment.

The reason for Carrie's change of heart is, of course, Aidan. The writers were not going to reintroduce him on Valentine's Day of all days if their rekindled romance was just going to be a flash in the pan.

And while the pace and ease with which they fell back into one another's arms might have raised eyebrows among some viewers, there are plenty of signs that this is for the long haul, even if they are in the honeymoon phase of this new chapter.

Not only is Carrie not repelled by the idea of a chicken strutting about on Aidan's bed (the old Carrie would have more than a few things to say about that), she's desperate to build a relationship with his sons – even after an uncomfortable conversation with Aidan's ex-wife Kathy, in which she asked that Carrie not use them as "material" for her work, and most strikingly, that she doesn't break Aidan's heart again.

Carrie has her critics, and rightfully so, but even they must admire her restraint during that exchange.

It would send some running in the opposite direction, but instead she is spurred on, so much so that at the end of the episode, she's on the phone to Seema asking her to sell her old apartment – and not because Aidan won't step foot inside, although he really should have found a way to move on given that he's lived a whole lifetime since then, but because she truly has no need for it anymore.

Aidan and Carrie sat next to one another at a restaurant, smiling
Will Aidan Shaw (John Corbett) and Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) get a happy ending? HBO

Carrie keeping hold of her old digs, even during 11 happy years of marriage with Big, could have just been the dizzying spell of nostalgia, or so she could use it as the aforementioned additional storage space. She might have considered renting it out as an extra revenue stream, or keeping it on as a place for friends to stay if needed.

But on a deeper level, either consciously or subconsciously, perhaps the decision not to let her apartment go was tied to the worst aspects of Big's character and their turbulent relationship of old.

The most obvious example of his previous bad behaviour was him ducking out at their first wedding, but there was also his emotional unavailability, the way in which he torpedoed her new relationships, including turning up at Aidan's cabin uninvited, his choosing to marry Natasha after he had refused to commit to Carrie, and the the ease with which he cheated on his second wife.

Any SATC fan could go on and on and on.

Read more

And sure, they found a way to move past that and enjoy a wonderful marriage together, as she tells gallery owner Mark Kasabian in the latest episode. But heartbreak sticks. All of those cuts, big and small, would not only have devastated Carrie at the time, but stayed with her long after, altering her decision-making and how she responds to the world around her.

Carrie found a way to forgive – if you are to move forward, that's essential – as did Big after Carrie's kiss with Aidan in Abu Dhabi, but perhaps keeping her apartment on the books was her version of an emotional safety net just in case the unthinkable happened and he slipped back into his old ways (had she always silently known that Big was a big mistake?).

If their relationship fell apart, she would have a shelter in which to hunker down and heal, a place where she could tune into who she was without him, having lived a life there before he arrived on the scene.

But clearly, that's not a fear when it comes to Aidan. Not only is her decision to sell a sign of her commitment to him, it also highlights a key difference between this iteration of her relationship with him and her marriage to Big: she has no doubt in her mind that this is meant to be.

And Just Like That airs on Sky Comedy and NOW in the UK and on HBO Max in the US. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10, PLUS a £10 John Lewis and Partners voucher delivered to your home – subscribe now.