Warning: The following article contains spoilers about the season finale of And Just Like That…
Sex and the City fans impatiently awaiting the reemergence of Aidan Shaw (John Corbett) on And Just Like That… are about to be disappointed. The 10th and final episode of the HBO Max show’s debut season dropped on Thursday, and it was devoid of the furniture designer and Suffern, New York, cottage owner that fans had been waiting for. “I’m going to do the show,” Corbett said in an interview last April, adding that it was “very exciting” to be reprising the role of Carrie’s ex-fiancé in what he believed would be “quite a few” episodes.
This set off a season-long Aidan Watch once And Just Like That… premiered in December. Would Aidan show up at Big’s funeral? After Big’s post-Peloton death, perhaps he would saunter back into Carrie’s life, divorced and the father of a now teenage Tate but still wearing his trademark necklace? As episodes came and went and Aidan failed to show up—even while Bitsy von Muffling got ample screen time—another hypothesis was floated by exhaustive AJLT recappers Chelsea Fairless and Lauren Garroni on their Every Outfit podcast: After Carrie poured Big’s ashes from “their bridge” in Paris (out of her Timmy Woods Eiffel Tower purse), Aidan would once again materialize.
Alas, no. The season finale ends like the original series finale, with Carrie alone, contemplating her ongoing relationship with herself.
What happened to Corbett—and Aidan? HBO never actually confirmed his involvement, which, in hindsight, should have been a sign—although the streamer was working very hard to keep plot twists under wraps, even devising decoy scenes to throw off prying paparazzi. Did Corbett speak prematurely? Did talks between him and HBO collapse? Did he film scenes that were cut? (This seems very unlikely.) Vogue asked HBO Max and, as of publishing, is still waiting for a reply, but frankly—and with all due respect to the long-suffering Aidan faithful—his absence is for the best.
Aidan was last seen in Sex and the City 2, when Carrie just so happened to bump into him in Abu Dhabi, where they shared an emotionally charged dinner and a kiss while Carrie was in a marital rut with Big. All of this was implausible enough to make yet another reappearance tough to justify. Just how many times can one’s puppy-doggish ex—a father of three still presumably married to fellow furniture designer Kathy—conveniently pop up in international locales and surrender to Carrie’s whims? How long can Aidan, and the audience, be expected to ignore the historical context: that Carrie burned him not once but twice, first cheating on him and smoking a great many postcoital cigarettes with Big, then breaking off their engagement after he’d already started renovating her apartment single-handed?