Kim Cattrall's Absence as Samantha Jones Explained in 'And Just Like That' Premiere Episode
By Rachel McRady
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Fans didn't have to wait long to discover the fate of Samantha Jones on the new Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That. HBO Max dropped the highly anticipated series at midnight on Thursday, and within minutes, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), and Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) address the elephant in the room -- the absence of the fourth member of their group, Samantha (Kim Cattrall).
The show opens with a guest star that fans will remember, Bitsy Von Muffling (Julie Halston) is at the restaurant where the three ladies are looking to lunch, their first outing together since the COVID-19 pandemic.
"And where's the fourth Musketeer? Where's Samantha?" Bitsy asks.
"Oh, she's no longer with us," Charlotte replies.
When Bitsy looks shocked and horrified, Miranda quickly adds, "Oh, she didn't die."
"Oh, no, I'm so sorry, I just meant, she's not, with us," Charlotte tries to explain.
"She's in London," Carrie clarifies.
"Oh, thank god. After the horror show we've been through, I assume anyone I haven't seen in a while has passed on or moved to Palm Beach," Bitsy says.
The ladies have lunch and Carrie and Miranda later get into the nitty gritty of why Samantha really isn't there with them.
"You know, it is kind of like she's dead, Samantha. We never even talk about her," Miranda says.
"Well, what is there to say? I told her that, you know, because of what the book business is now, it just didn't make sense for me to keep her on as a publicist. She said 'fine,' and then fired me as a friend," Carrie replies, looking somber.
The New York writer notes that her PR pro pal stopped taking her calls after being let go. "You know Samantha. Her pride got damaged," Miranda says.
"Which is why I kept leaving her voicemails, asking her to please call me back so we could talk about this and fix it. Look, I understand that she was upset, but I thought I was more to her than an ATM," Carrie says, bitterly.
"You are. She was embarrassed," Miranda replies.
"So embarrassed she took a job and moved to London?" Carrie asks.
Miranda then confirms that neither she nor Charlotte have heard from Samantha either, despite, attempting to get in touch. Carrie says she too tried to text their former friend.
"OK, well then, I guess that's all we can do. So weird," Miranda replies.
"I know. I always thought the four of us would be friends forever," Carrie says.
In the show's second episode, Samantha makes a touching gesture to Carrie during a difficult time, showing that she is still very much a part of the storyline.
The plot points come after Cattrall was very vocal about not continuing with the franchise. The 65-year-old actress told Piers Morgan in 2017 that she and the cast have "never been friends." She also told ET that she would not participate in what was then thought to be a third film installment of the franchise.
At the New York City premiere of And Just Like That on Wednesday, ET's Rachel Smith spoke with both Parker, Davis and Nixon about Samantha's storyline and whether the door was open for Cattrall to return to the series.
"That wasn't something that we ever talked about," Parker told ET of bringing Samantha back. "I mean, I think what's wonderful is we have a writer and actors who love that character, who loved telling stories and being in situations and environments with Samantha. We're really lucky we have those memories and that experience."
Davis told ET she was proud of how the Samantha storyline was handled in the reboot.
"I personally feel very pleased with how we handled it," the 56-year-old actress said. "I think [showrunner] Michael Patrick [King] cares deeply about handling it with respect, and we have. I feel like it's very real, and I relate to it just from being alive for as long as I have been."
Nixon added that she didn't anticipate Cattrall returning to the series.
"I’m not the person to ask. I think Kim has made it really clear that she’s done, and we've heard her," Nixon shared. "I think that we deal with it really well and really creatively. Sometimes people say 'Who will be the new Samantha?' We will never try to replace Samantha any more than we would try to replace Stanford now that Willie Garson is gone."
King also addressed Sam's absence. "You should know we conceived it just like that we conceived it, with just Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte. We knew Kim didn’t, wasn’t going to do the series," he explained. "She has her reasons for being finished playing Samantha. Then it was the beginning point -- to rather than ignore it, make it part of the story. We did everything we could to honor Samantha, who we love - the character, who we know the fans love. No one could be another Samantha."
As for Cattrall, she's in Rome, Italy, and sharing videos and photos from her time abroad.