AJLT Made Up The Weirdest Reason For Stanford’s Absence
And just like that... Stanford Blatch’s story has come to an end — and definitely not in a way that anybody could have expected. After avoiding the subject of Stanford for the bulk of its two seasons, And Just Like That... finally revealed what happened to Carrie’s bestie in the penultimate episode of Season 2. No, the show didn’t pull a Big and kill him off — the reason it gave for his absence from the series is much stranger.
Spoiler alert: This post discusses details from And Just Like That Season 2, Episode 10. Ever since Willie Garson’s death in the fall of 2021, AJLT has had to try to awkwardly deal with its Stanford problem. Stanford was in the first couple of episodes of the Sex and the City sequel series, but following Garson’s death, the show explained away his sudden disappearance by mentioning that he had moved to Japan to manage a TikTok influencer there.
Because the character was still alive in the show’s world despite obviously never being able to show up ever again, AJLT finally came up with a way to send Stanford off forever without having him die. Toward the end of Season 2, Carrie revealed to Stanford’s ex Anthony that she received a letter from him, revealing his decision to stay in Kyoto. After getting fired by his TikTok client there, Stanford was actually able to find peace at a Shinto shrine. Yep, believe it or not — Stanford Blatch is a monk. Carrie even produced a photo to prove Stanford’s unexpected new lifestyle to Anthony.
It’s safe to say nobody saw that curveball coming. Stanford’s bizarre monasterial ending left fans completely confused.
The ending may have been perplexing for viewers, but it was something showrunner Michael Patrick King had a personal connection to. He shared that he found himself inspired by the temples of Kyoto while in a funk over the negative reception Sex and the City 2 received. “I was in some sort of an emotional shockwave and I was going from temple to temple with Sarah Jessica,” King recalled on the Aug. 17 episode of the official And Just Like That recap podcast. “I was sitting there trying to release these complicated feelings and I felt kind of at peace ... I wanted to somehow pay tribute to Willie and put Stanford someplace where it was golden and filled with light because I hope Willie’s someplace that’s golden and filled with light and it was poetic and it’s very emotional.”