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5 surprises and highlights from the 'Sex and the City' reboot ‘And Just Like That...’

Warning: Spoilers ahead for the HBO Max show, which debuted on Thursday.
Image: Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis
Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kristin Davis in 'And Just Like That...'Craig Blankenhorn / HBO Max

Warning: This article contains some major spoilers.

And just like that ... the "Sex and the City" revival is back.

The highly-anticipated spinoff, based on the original HBO series from 1998 to 2004, debuted its first two episodes on the streaming service Thursday (many die-hard fans tuned in right at midnight).

"And Just Like That..." picks up where the cast members left off from the 2010 film, "Sex and the City 2," following Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her group of girlfriends as they navigate New York City in their 50s.

Here are 5 highlights, including some surprises, from the reboot's premiere.

Samantha is ‘no longer with us’

The first time we see Carrie and her girlfriends, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis), the group is waiting to be seated at a restaurant. Notably absent from the mix is Samantha (Kim Cattrall).

While fans have long known about Cattrall's absence on the reboot (and her feud with Parker), the reason for the character's absence was unclear until the first episode of the reboot.

Within the first few moments, aging socialite Bitsy Von Muffling (Julie Halston) sees Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte and asks, "And where's the fourth musketeer? Where's Samantha?"

"Oh, um," Charlotte says, "She's no longer with us."

Miranda quickly clarifies: "No, no, no, no, she didn't die."

"She's in London," Carrie says, with Charlotte adding how their friend moved to the U.K. for work.

Later, while walking with Carrie, Miranda remarks, "you know, it is kind of like she's dead, Samantha. We never even talk about her."

"Well, what is there to say?" Carrie responds, elaborating on how the two had a falling out. "I told her that because of you know, what the book business is now, it just doesn't make sense for me to keep her on as a publicist. She said fine and then fired me as a friend...she stopped returning my calls."

Miranda says she and Charlotte also hadn't heard from Samantha since her overseas move. "It's so weird," Miranda says.

"I know, I always thought the four of us would be friends forever," Carrie replies.

The ladies lived through the pandemic, too

Carrie references the pandemic, without naming it, the moment she appears onscreen.

After a group of patrons brush her aside at a restaurant, Carrie promptly asks the original cast members: "Remember when we had to legally stand six feet apart?"

"Yeah, I miss it," Miranda quickly responds.

Bitsy also references the pandemic when she asked about Samantha's whereabouts, expressing relief after Charlotte said she was gone and Miranda clarified that she wasn't dead.

"After the horror show we've been through, I just assume anyone I haven't seen in a while has passed on," Bitsy says. "Or... gave up and moved to Palm Beach."

Carrie is an influencer now (kind of)

During the girls' outing at the restaurant, a man — clad in an "I Love Nueva York" shirt and a hat that Carrie says "looks like a light fixture" — struts casually by the group's table.

"Wow, I've gotta get him," Carrie says as she holds up her phone. "For my Instagram."

When Miranda asks the fashionista about the Instagram, Carrie responds: "When I first started doing it, it was really just for me, you know, just for fun, posting strangers who have interesting style, but now... that I'm on that podcast, it's kind of growing into a thing."

"Wow, Instagram, podcast," Miranda says in response. "I guess you're passing as younger, too."

There’s no sex (so far, that we know of)

For a show that originally followed four single women in New York City and their relationships and flings, the reboot is largely devoid of the sex from the "Sex and the City."

The only person seemingly having sex is Miranda's horny teenage son, Brady. Early in the season's premiere, Miranda reveals she stepped on her son's condom filled with his semen, much to her horror.

And later in the episode, during the piano recital of Charlotte's daughter Lily, Brady can be seen passionately making out with his girlfriend while sitting behind Miranda and her husband, Steve.

"Tell your son to stop. They're making out," Miranda says to Steve. "It's your turn, I can't always be the bad guy."

Overhearing his mom's comments, Brady, wide-eyed, responds: "Mom, we will not be sex-shamed."

A big death

For fans, the biggest surprise may have come at the end of the first episode.

The final moments of the episode intercut scenes between Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda listening to Lily's piano recital. Meanwhile, Big (Chris Noth), Carrie's husband, is working out on his Peloton bike.

When Lily concludes her performance, Big is seen hopping off the bike and into the shower.

After he sends a brief text to Carrie, Big, visibly distraught, falls to the ground and clutches his chest, appearing to suffer from a heart attack.

Carrie returns home to find his body propped up against the shower wall.

As she cradles his motionless body in her arms, the episode ends with Carrie's iconic voiceover: "And just like that... Big died."