And Just Like That: Episode 3 ‘When in Rome’ Review

Whilst Miranda embarks on a raucously exciting journey of self-discovery, Mr Big continues to drop yet another bombshell on Carrie even in the wake of his death. A former foe finds herself unwittingly on the receiving end of Carrie’s grief.

After last week’s double-bill set the series up in a promising twist of events, episode 3 delivers a bit of pause in the lives of this New York trio but does mark the beginning of some significant turning points for each of the characters.

Carrying on from the premiere, Charlotte receives a heartfelt declaration from her so-called boundary-pushing daughter, Rose, who confesses that she is struggling with her identity. In true Charlotte fashion, she attempts to rationalise the meaning behind Rose’s words, not quite grasping the importance, and her concern seeps through. Naturally, Charlotte goes to best pal, Anthony, for advice and he offers reassurance in the most abrupt way. Before the episode ends, Charlotte receives an eye-opening epiphany during one of Che’s comedy shows, realising that she doesn’t need to fully understand what Rose is experiencing but simply being there and offering support is all that matters.

The struggle faced by Charlotte feels authentic in its portrayal with her concern laying with saying the wrong thing and not being the mother her children need. It looks to be a strong arc for the foreseeable episodes, perhaps the most realistic and even relatable for many viewers. This progression could be huge for Charlotte’s development in the new season with her focusing on building a stronger relationship with her family opposed to fulfilling the perfectionist’s dream.

Meanwhile, Miranda’s frequent entanglements with booze draws worry from Charlotte. There’s obviously something deeper going on with Miranda other than Grady’s imposing sex life and the stress of being the new student at college. Hinting that her marriage with Steve is nothing more than a necessity for their relationship, the couple are bound to encounter a rough road ahead of them in the form of Che. With neither Miranda nor Steve trying to reignite the passionate spark between them, the former finds herself with an intense connection with the podcast host and even lies to her pals to attend Che’s after party.

During a comedy gig aimed directly at LGBTQ+ relationships, Miranda discovers that she is relating her own life to Che’s words a little too much than she believed she would. One thing leads to another and suddenly, Che’s shotgunning with Miranda’s and the other woman is enjoying the moment of intimacy. Clearly, there’s been a little flirtation back and forth since the series returned and it looks likely that a fling is impeding, especially with the blatant attraction on Che’s end. Could this be the end for Miranda and Steve?

Carrie’s world literally crumbled around her last week. What we’re now seeing is a completely unfamiliar side to her – a life without Big. Only, for all the trouble he caused her before, he’s managing to double down on in death when it’s revealed that Big has actually left ex-wife, Natasha, a fair fortune in his will. And just like that… Carrie is sent spiralling in a woe of money problems, fixating on what else Big could have kept hidden from her.

Reintroducing Natasha to the series doesn’t hold much of an impact in terms of nostalgia. Instead, it comes across as a shoehorned attempt for another character from the original to appear as no conclusion was ever met between she and Carrie – apparently Big just leaves her a lot money and that’s that. The entire arc here plays rather satirically, including an ongoing stalking incident which reiterates that Natasha was the one done wrong in the whole situation – she also refuses the money too, yet again proving that she is the bigger person and wants Carrie to leave her alone.

When in Rome fails to hit its mark with Carrie coming across as exasperating at times. Okay, she has just lost her husband but is that an excuse to stalk his ex despite being rejected several times before? Right now, Charlotte and Miranda appear to be the clear focus for episodes to come – mostly Miranda – and looks like an interesting change in dynamic is headed their way.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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