AndJustLikeThat

And Just Like That episode 8: the important message about honesty in Miranda and Steve’s breakup conversation

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In the eighth episode of And Just Like That, Miranda finally resolves to tell Steve that she’s unhappy in their marriage – and their showdown scene contains a vital message about honesty. 

If you’ve been glued to every episode of HBO Max’s Sex And The City revival, And Just Like That, you’ll know that Miranda’s character arc has really gone loop-the-loop. Not only has she quit her high-flying law job and gone back to school to get a master’s degree, but she’s had a queer awakening, struggled with alcohol addiction, hooked up with non-binary comedian Che Diaz, and fallen in love. Not to put too fine a point on it, but she’s also the only person having sex these days.

But while the show has been praised for Miranda’s exploration of freedom, desire and sexuality in the next chapter of her life, the storyline has also attracted heavy criticism for the way Miranda’s evolution has come at the cost of her much-loved (by the viewer, if no longer by Miranda) husband Steve.

You see, although Miranda has admitted that she’s felt trapped and miserable in her marriage, she hasn’t communicated that to Steve. The main breach of trust, though, has been Miranda’s multiple hookups with Che – who also remains oblivious to the fact that Miranda hasn’t been open about the state of her marriage. To some SATC fans, Miranda’s betrayal seems especially hypocritical given how heartbroken she was at Steve’s infidelity in the first Sex And The City movie; and unbelievable, too, seeing as they made a concerted effort to push past their marital issues and rekindle their romance.

Everything comes to a head, though, in episode eight. After spotting her son Brady and his girlfriend Louisa at a Pride rally where Che is giving a speech, Miranda beats a hasty retreat from the crowd. Later, when Che confronts her about why she was sneaking off, Miranda admits that her son doesn’t know about her sexuality or her relationship, and worse still, that she’s not in an open marriage. Che is shocked, and tells Miranda that they won’t continue their relationship any further until Miranda figures out her situation – they’re a lot of things, but they’re not a homewrecker. It’s this ultimatum that gives Miranda the motivation to finally take action.

AndJustLikeThat
And Just Like That: Che (Sara Ramirez) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) in episode 8

Later, at dinner with Carrie and Charlotte, Miranda announces that she’s going to tell Steve that she wants a divorce that evening. It’s not fair to Che or Steve to sneak around any more, she explains – or herself, as Carrie wisely points out. After dinner, Miranda seems confident about telling Steve that they have no future together as a couple. That is, until Carrie asks whether she is going to tell him the truth about Che.

Miranda falters, and we see a flash of fear in her eyes. But in the next breath, she says that she doesn’t intend to tell him. Even if Che hadn’t come along, she explains, she probably would have arrived at the same place where she’d rather be alone. Carrie is sceptical, but Miranda is adamant that this is something she has to do to keep Che.

AndJustLikeThat
And Just Like That: Carrie and Miranda discuss Miranda's plans to ask Steve for a divorce
As a result, Miranda finally sits Steve down that evening to ask for a divorce. She tells Steve that she can’t do this anymore, and that she’s not happy. Steve is understandably confused at the revelation, especially since they’ve finally managed to establish a stable, happy routine after many years of ups and downs.

“Ok, so what does that mean: you’re not happy?” he says, looking bewildered.

“This isn’t enough for me,” Miranda replies. Steve is still confused.

“What isn’t? Me? I’m not enough”?

Miranda then replies that it’s simply about her. But Steve raises a good point: if it’s divorce they’re talking about, then it most definitely concerns him.

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And Just Like That: Cynthia Nixon as Miranda and David Eigenberg as Steve

Steve says that he is happy with their life, and persists in trying to get to the root of the problem. Miranda then tried a different tack: she wants more connection, more energy, more sex, “more me”. 

But Steve continues to look totally perplexed, because he thought they were happy with their life. 

“Miranda, you and me, we’ve been together for a long time, and it’s always like this,” he says. “You don’t think that I’m enough, then I’m kind of enough, and then I’m not enough again, and I’m always there, hanging in there for us.”

“And finally, in the last couple of years, we come to a place where it’s not so goddamn fucking up and down every day, where it’s kind of the same: we get up, and we go do our shit, and we come back here, home, to each other, we sit on the couch, we talk about Brady, eat ice cream and watch some TV. That’s married life, Miranda. That’s life.”

Miranda then replies sadly that that’s not the life she wants anymore, or has indeed ever wanted for herself.

AndJustLikeThat
And Just Like That: David Eigenberg as Steve Brady and Cynthia Nixon as Miranda Hobbes
Steve is still understandably confused, but reasons that this must be about Miranda, because he’s happy with their life. But he adds that he’s too tired to rally for the pair of them again.

In a heartbreaking moment, Steve then says that he just wants Miranda to be happy, although he’s confused as to what Miranda thinks is still out there on the dating scene.

It’s only then, with tears in her eyes, that Miranda decides to come clean to Steve. She confesses that she has, in fact, met someone new.

It’s a powerful moment, and not only for the way Steve’s face crumples with the sting of this vital new information. After weeks of tension building around the issue of Miranda’s infidelity, the revelation is like the pressure being released from a valve. It’s a huge relief to see Miranda finally tell her husband the truth, because it’s what any long-term partner deserves, regardless of whether or not a relationship is in trouble. 

But it’s also important that Miranda finally recognised the need to furnish Steve with the truth. While it’s undoubtedly hard to know sometimes how to handle ending a long-term relationship, it’s always important to be genuine about the reasons for a break-up – in a compassionate way, of course. Without proper context, it’s extremely difficult for the person who’s being rejected to understand why the relationship is ending, and can lead to them languishing in regret, blame and confusion; emotions we see Steve grappling with so movingly in this scene. Granted, the truth may be painful. But living with lies can end up haunting you later down the line.

Images: Sky/HBO

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is Stylist's Entertainment Editor whose specialist interests include pop culture, LGBTQ+ identity and lore.