AJLT Did Wrong by So Many Characters This Season. We Ranked Them

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Spoiler alert: This article discusses details of the And Just Like That Season 2 finale

In the And Just Like That season 2 finale, things seem to be turning around for just about everyone. Carrie and Aidan may be taking a five-year hiatus, but she still gets to go on vacation with Seema who upgraded their Hamptons share house for Santorini with a side of Cosmos. Miranda gets to be the hero at her new job and find amicable closure with both of her exes. Charlotte gets a new phone after demanding some work-life balance. And Samantha is spared the delusional madness her friends have endured over the past two seasons, while making a brief appearance in the AJLT universe.

But one episode can’t right a season of a thousand wrongs. Lisa Todd Wexley isn’t allowed to utter the word ‘abortion,’ and spends the season clomping around on foot in lieu of hailing cabs; Nya spends a thousand dollars on her ex-husband’s baby-to-be; and Miranda is sleeping in a twin bed. Here, we reflect on the chaos that is And Just Like That to determine who had the most unfortunate arc in season 2.

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<span class="copyright">Max/Warner Bros. Discovery</span>
Max/Warner Bros. Discovery

Samantha Jones walks away this season a winner. For her barely minute-long scene, Kim Cattrall is styled in signature Samantha fashion, dressed by original Sex and the City costume designer Patricia Field, and oozes utter fabulousness, even from across the pond. Her phone call cameo is quick—innuendo intended—but a few seconds is all Samantha needs: She drops a few F-bombs, holds her head high, and is on her way. The only way she’s mistreated? A flight delay, and honestly, honey, that’s a blessing in disguise. An overnight flight is below Samantha Jones’ pay grade.—Meg Zukin


Katerina Tannenbaum as Lisette<span class="copyright">Craig Blankenhorn—Max</span>
Katerina Tannenbaum as LisetteCraig Blankenhorn—Max

Oh to be Lisette! After she learns the“mean gay guys” she sublets her apartment from are kicking her out, Lisette gets the chance to purchase Carrie Bradshaw’s beloved iconic apartment at a deeply discounted rate. Glamorous Lisette runs a jewelry business and saw one hiccup early in season 2, when everything she created was robbed at a jewelry showing. But it doesn’t seem to affect her all that much, given the moment is never mentioned again, and Lisette continues to live an idyllic New York City life made even better by a great real estate deal via Carrie. The only thing mistreating Lisette are the homeowning homosexuals.—Moises Mendez II


Kristin Davis as Charlotte<span class="copyright">Craig Blankenhorn—Max</span>
Kristin Davis as CharlotteCraig Blankenhorn—Max

Che Diaz aside, Charlotte York-Goldenblatt was the most annoying character of AJLT’s debut season. She scolded her girlfriends for their vices, micromanaged her kids, and, worst of all, forced everyone she knew to come to Lily’s piano recital. (Did her insistence that Carrie attend make her partially culpable for Big’s death by Peloton? Discuss!) But in season 2 she has become the show’s most lovable character. A warmer, more caring mom than ever, even after returning to her career in the art world, she’s living it up with her young co-workers at the gallery. But she doesn’t just get the most flattering story lines; she also gets the funniest ones, and Kristin Davis fully commits to every bit. From Charlotte’s obsession with The Americans (“This show is brilliant! Everyone is insane!”) to the meltdown she has when Lily sells her designer clothes to a Real Real clone, no performance this season has been more entertaining.—Judy Berman


Alexa Swinton as Rock<span class="copyright">Craig Blankenhorn—Max</span>
Alexa Swinton as RockCraig Blankenhorn—Max

Rock is neither mistreated nor maltreated, but simply, treated. Not much is going on for Rock this season aside from their Ralph Lauren campaign that launches their short-lived modeling career. After telling momager Charlotte that they no longer want to model, the only things of interest that happen to Rock are ordering GrubHub and forgetting their earth science notebook at home. At least they’re styled well!—MZ


Evan Handler as Harry<span class="copyright">Craig Blankenhorn—Max</span>
Evan Handler as HarryCraig Blankenhorn—Max

Harry is a baldy, but he’s our baldy. And he’s had a pretty good season considering his kids have relegated him to the official York Goldenblatt ATM. He almost gets a blow job in the bathroom, almost goes to the Met Gala, and almost gets to stay on set for Rock’s Ralph Lauren photoshoot. But despite all his near-misses, he is awarded a full-frontal shot where he’s shown packing and has a wife who is so horny for him that she creates a Kegel exercise jingle just to help his “dust balls.” Not bad. In return, he buys her a new iPhone after she drunkenly chucks hers in a pitcher of margaritas, and even helps her set it up. We should all be so lucky.—MZ


Mario Cantone as Anthony<span class="copyright">Craig Blankenhorn—Max</span>
Mario Cantone as AnthonyCraig Blankenhorn—Max

Bottoming is not a new concept, but Anthony’s tired hangups certainly make it seem like And Just Like That is just now hearing about it. But it is great that Anthony’s storyline has turned a corner after not getting much in the first season: We get to see how much Anthony gets in his own way when it comes to finding love, happiness, or support outside of Charlotte, who recognizes how much of herself she gives to others including her gay best friend. How mistreated can you be when you have a gorgeous (and emphasis on the goregous) Italian man practically begging to have sex with you?—MM


Cathy Ang as Lily<span class="copyright">Craig Blankenhorn—Max</span>
Cathy Ang as LilyCraig Blankenhorn—Max

Lily wasn’t mistreated this season as much as she was the one mistreating. Charlotte York Goldenblatt graciously ventures out in a snow storm to buy and bring her daughter condoms, throws her a top-notch “F The Boys” Valentine’s Day party, and lets that purple streak exist without (external) judgment. And how does Lily repay her? By selling off perfect pink Chanel—Lagerfeld’s last collection—and accidentally drugging her with a pot brownie. The producers didn’t do Lily Eilish dirty by making her sing that cringe-worthy ‘Power of Privilege’ ballad, they simply punished her for her war crimes against her mother. And she still got laid! Twice!—MZ


Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie<span class="copyright">Craig Blankenhorn—Max</span>
Sarah Jessica Parker as CarrieCraig Blankenhorn—Max

On one hand, Carrie Bradshaw has suffered more than anyone in AJLT. A character would have to be fully evil to earn the sudden death of their beloved spouse. But that was last season. This season, America’s favorite self-dramatizing subclinical narcissist has been given a pretty fair shake. OK, her career is precarious now that the podcast bubble has burst—but people seem to be reading her new memoir, and Big’s will has left her independently wealthy anyway. Yes, her shot at love with Aidan ultimately got shot down, or at least kicked down the road five years—but she was lucky to even see him again, after breaking his heart twice in Sex and the City. Sure, he could’ve told her he was having doubts about leaving his troublemaker son Wyatt behind in Virginia before she sold her beloved bachelorette pad and bought a $5 million apartment—but it’s not like she couldn’t afford the new place. To be really petty about it, karma should prevent Carrie, who blanked on her and Seema’s Hamptons plans when Aidan came back into the picture, from ending the season in Greece with a better friend than she deserves.—JB


John Corbett as Aidan<span class="copyright">Craig Blankenhorn—Max</span>
John Corbett as AidanCraig Blankenhorn—Max

Let’s just say it: Aidan should never have given Carrie another chance. She lied, she cheated, she broke his heart twice. He has a whole life waiting for him on a farm in Virginia, complete with eccentrically named sons and chickens. In other words, his very presence in AJLT—to say nothing of how quickly he allows Carrie to sink her manicured claws back into him—qualifies as mistreatment. Why would such a successful, eligible, uncomplicated man make such pathetic choices? Sure, he gets points for influencing her to leave the bachelorette apartment and buy a veritable palace. But they’re canceled out by that terrible jacket he keeps wearing. I don’t care that John Corbett suggested the garment himself; it has nothing to do with the Aidan we know.—JB


Niall Cunningham as Brady<span class="copyright">Craig Blankenhorn—Max</span>
Niall Cunningham as BradyCraig Blankenhorn—Max

Miranda and Steve’s son has had a tough time. First, his girlfriend dumps him while they’re in Europe. Then, he returns to a home where his parents are walking on eggshells around each other. And in family therapy, he’s the one who has to force them to finally come to terms with the end of their marriage. His life is not so terrible, though. He gets to work at his dad’s bar and maybe has a thing going on with Lily—a thread that hopefully is picked up again in season three, so we get more of Miranda and Charlotte together. Brady does get to see his parents reconcile at the end of the season, which is nice, but the family should probably keep going to therapy. They have a lot to work through.—Annabel Gutterman


Sarita Choudhury as Seema <span class="copyright">Craig Blankenhorn—Max</span>
Sarita Choudhury as Seema Craig Blankenhorn—Max

Of all the new additions to AJLT, Seema, with her feline wardrobe, high-powered job and take-no-sh-t attitude may be the only character that comes close to filling the Samantha-shaped hole left in our hearts and the captivating Sarita Choudhury ensures that Seema shines all on her own. This was evident in one of the most poignant and substantive scenes of the entire second season, when Seema, who’s been avoiding Carrie after her friend re-ignites a heady, whirlwind romance with Aidan, tells her during a run-in at the hair salon that she doesn’t want to spend her summer being the third wheel, after Carrie admits to forgetting about their plans to share a summer home in the Hamptons. The moment was one of the realest on the show, one that hearkened back to the original DNA of SATC, whose emotional heart always resided with the deep and complex female friendships of the main cast rather than their romantic dalliances with men. However, AJLT didn’t bother to explore this real moment of tension, countering it instead by having Seema conveniently and unsatisfyingly fall in love with Ravi, a powerful film director who can’t stay off his phone long enough to have a full conversation with anyone, including Seema. For Seema, a fiercely independent woman, to suddenly simp over a man like this after critiquing her friend for the same fate, goes against the very essence of her being and does a disservice to a character that could have had the most potential in AJLT.—CL


Sara Ramirez as Che<span class="copyright">Craig Blankenhorn—Max</span>
Sara Ramirez as CheCraig Blankenhorn—Max

Che Diaz has been immortalized as a meme. You either love or hate them. While Che’s arc in season 1 was almost unbearable, things seemed to be looking up for the comedian as the second season began: they’d moved to California and got to film a pilot for a show about them with none other than America’s dad, Tony Danza! How could anything go wrong? Oh, but it does. Che’s show is canceled and their comedy career comes to a screeching halt. Their relationship with Miranda crumbles. After floundering for a bit, Che starts a job at an animal shelter and even meets someone new. Inspired to get back into comedy, Che ends up trashing Miranda in a new set. Their searing “I was confused why I was f-cking her” line is now all we’ll ever think about when we see their face. Yes, Che had some unfortunate events happen in their life but it’s no excuse for treating Miranda like she was a mistake or that they never actually loved her—especially when Miranda is one of the few people that put up with their bullsh-t.—MM


Rosemarie Dewitt as Kathy<span class="copyright">Craig Blankenhorn—Max</span>
Rosemarie Dewitt as KathyCraig Blankenhorn—Max

You know what? Kathy is great. It’s usually not advisable for an ex to insert themselves into their former partner’s love life, but in this case, her kids are part of the equation and she’s the only character to really call Carrie on her fickleness. AJLT didn’t wrong Kathy; it did a disservice to the wonderful actor who plays her, Rosemarie DeWitt, who barely got any screen time outside of that one tense scene. (Two fun facts: DeWitt appeared as a completely different character in season 6 of SATC and is, in real life, married to the show’s own Berger, Ron Livingston.) Want to do her justice? Watch some of her most substantive and memorable performances, in Rachel Getting Married, Your Sister’s Sister, and United States of Tara.—JB


David Eigenberg as Steve<span class="copyright">Craig Blankenhorn—Max</span>
David Eigenberg as SteveCraig Blankenhorn—Max

Oh, poor Steve. He had a good life before all of this. He got to eat ice cream with little toppings every night while he watched TV with the love of his life. That is all over now. Miranda might be Steve’s one—but he’s not hers (sob). At least he finally got some closure when Miranda met up with him in Coney Island and finally admitted that not everything about their marriage was a failure. Plus, Steve gets to keep their Brooklyn brownstone and just opened a new bar. And he’s ripped now—turns out rage workouts after your wife leaves you really work! But that final look he gives Miranda after she tells him that he wasn’t right about them is heartbreaking. He will never get over this.—AG


Nicole Ari Parker as LTW<span class="copyright">Craig Blankenhorn—Max</span>
Nicole Ari Parker as LTWCraig Blankenhorn—Max

Theoretically, Charlotte’s glamorous pal Lisa Todd Wexley is making a 10-part documentary series about groundbreaking Black women for PBS. But what that looks like on AJLT is a measly few scenes per episode in which an exhausted LTW struggles to keep it together while juggling her work, her kids, and Herbert’s campaign for comptroller—which is only happening because Lisa needed to save face in front of her judgmental mother-in-law. Later in the season she realized, to her horror, that she was pregnant. In a choice that felt especially cowardly on the show’s part a year after the Supreme Court struck down Roe, she and Herbert didn’t even say the word abortion while discussing their options. The story line was soon mooted by the world’s most convenient miscarriage. Meanwhile, to add insult to injury, LTW always seems to have to walk to fancy events in her heels. I mean, who hoofs it to the Met Gala?—JB


Karen Pittman as Nya<span class="copyright">Craig Blankenhorn—Max</span>
Karen Pittman as NyaCraig Blankenhorn—Max

Here’s a reminder that Dr. Nya Wallace is a tenured and beloved professor at Columbia Law, because if you relied on the writer’s room of AJLT season 2, you would hardly remember Nya’s impressive career accomplishments, let alone who the character is. No new character was done as dirty as Nya this season. She had an almost laughable dearth of screentime (according to actor Karen Pittman, who plays Nya, this was because of scheduling conflict that she had as part of the cast of The Morning Show), and in the few moments she did appear on the show, she was often put in humiliating and unrealistic scenarios. It is unfair and cruel to have to watch Nya content herself with making a chocolate soufflé on Valentine’s Day while Carrie canoodles in a banquette with Aidan. It is equally egregious and unbelievable that Nya would find satisfaction in buying an expensive stroller for her ex, Andre and the backup singer with whom he's having a child. When the show does give her a love interest, in the season finale, it has her, in an unrealistic move, lob out–of-character innuendos at him in full view of a dinner party. Like Miranda, Nya seems to get the most embarrassing storylines because she’s accomplished, educated, and ambitious, while Carrie, a selfish and wholly unserious person, remains (mostly) unscathed. Justice for Nya! She deserves much more than a storyline that reduces her to the sad and lonely career woman trope.—CL


Cynthia Nixon as Miranda<span class="copyright">Craig Blankenhorn—Max</span>
Cynthia Nixon as MirandaCraig Blankenhorn—Max

Yes, Miranda is at a turning point at the end of season 2: she’s killing it at her job, she’s had important and overdue conversations with her exes, and it looks like she’s got a promising romance on the horizon. But all of that happened in one episode—and it certainly doesn’t erase how AJLT consistently gave Miranda the short end of the stick this season. Let’s not forget that she blew up her entire life for a person who actually seemed to not really like her at all. Remember when Brady called Miranda in distress while she was in California and Che was… annoyed by that? Their relationship ended—and turned into fodder for Che’s very cruel new standup set. Miranda’s first romantic prospect post-Che turned out to be a complete mess. And now that she’s let Steve keep their Brooklyn house, she’s a 50-something woman sleeping in a twin-sized bed, waiting on her roommate to free up the only bathroom! Miranda was always subject to the most embarrassing storylines in SATC, but it was clear that she was nobody’s fool. In AJLT, she’s clowning herself, willingly—and it makes no sense for what was once a highly-motivated, career-oriented, and hilarious character. —AG

Write to Annabel Gutterman at annabel.gutterman@time.com, Cady Lang at cady.lang@timemagazine.com and Moises Mendez II at moises.mendez@time.com.