Spoilers ahead for the Sex and the City reboot And Just Like That. What’s Sex and the City without Samantha Jones? Though Carrie is clearly meant as the main character of the show, Samantha regularly stole the spotlight. She’s always had a way of being both brash and nurturing; chaotic and somehow totally put together. So in the SATC reboot And Just Like That, her absence feels glaring.
Fans have known for a while that actor Kim Cattrall would not reprise her role as Samantha for the new series, but it’s been a mystery how exactly she would be written out. Now, we finally know. Samantha is in London! Though Charlotte (Kristin Davis) did give us a good scare by opening the series with “she’s no longer with us,” thankfully, Samantha is very much alive. It turns out that she moved to the UK for work — though unfortunately, she did not leave on great terms with the girls.
The story goes: Carrie dropped Samantha as her publicist. Samantha stopped speaking to her. Then Samantha stopped speaking to everyone. Then she left the country. According to Carrie, dropping Samantha was nothing personal; it simply didn’t make sense for her to have a publicist amid a flailing book industry. But Samantha didn’t see it the same way, so she took here bruised ego and moved across the pond. Miranda, Carrie and Charlotte have all texted and called many times. None of them have heard back. Samantha does, however, send a huge bouquet of flowers for (major spoiler!) Big’s funeral after he dies of a sudden heart attack, a gesture that touches Carrie deeply.
The explanation for Samantha’s absence showcases the reality of long-term friendships: they require genuine effort and work, and people often drift apart — especially when you’re living across the ocean from one another. "Just as in real life, people come into your life, people leave ... Friendships fade, and new friendships start,” showrunner Michael Patrick King told TV Line of Samantha’s absence in February. “So I think it is all very indicative of the real stages, the actual stages of life … it should all feel somewhat organic [that] the friends that you have when you’re 30, you may not have when you’re 50."
Though there was rumored to be drama between Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker behind the scenes, it wasn’t related to Cattrall’s decision not to return to the show. In a December 2020 interview on the Women's Prize for Fiction podcast, she said that she feels “lucky” to be able to choose to move on from the character. “I'm very protective of [that]. I wouldn't be any good doing something that I really didn't want to do," she said.
Parker has insisted that there is no feud between her and Cattrall, but the two have been the subject of many toxic headlines in the past. Regardless, it seems like And Just Like That is leaving the door open to a Samantha return. The girls clearly miss her.