And Just Like That … said “goodbye” to Willie Garson’s beloved character Stanford Blatch with a sweet and surprising twist.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for season two, episode 10 of And Just Like That…
The Sex and the City sequel hasn’t felt the same without Stanford, the best friend and close confidant of Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker). The character appeared in cameos throughout season one, but Garson tragically passed away in September 2021 – months before the show’s premiere.
However, season two’s penultimate episode, which premiered Thursday (17 August), gave the fan-favourite character a loving and shocking farewell.
Stanford abruptly decided to travel to Japan to manage a TikTok star at the end of season one, and it’s revealed in the new episode that he’s kept in contact with his close friend, Carrie.
In a tender scene, Carrie shows a photo that Stanford recently sent her alongside a letter to his estranged husband Anthony (Mario Cantone). She explains that Stanford, who is dressed in a monk’s robe in the pic, decided to become a Shinto monk and moved to Kyoto.
Like the audience, Anthony is shocked by the news and exclaims: “Get the f**k out of here!”
But Carrie says Stanford travelled to Kyoto after a fight with the TikToker to “see the geishas” and eventually visited a temple in the city. According to his letter, Stanford felt “peace, real peace” for the “first time in [his] life” when he entered the spiritual space.
Carrie then explains that Stanford didn’t want to share the news with Anthony directly because he knew his former husband would “make fun of it”. She tells Anthony that Stanford also sent legal documents giving him the apartment and all of his belongings.
“I want no attachments,” Stanford writes in the letter. “I have let go of all things that no longer serve me, and I let it all go with love.”
The scene closes with the pair raising a toast to “Stanny” before Carrie tells Anthony that she is keeping the photo of Stanford in his robes because she’s “very attached” to it.
In the penultimate episode of And Just Like That, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) reveals that Stanford Blatch (Willie Garson) now lives in Kyoto, Japan as a monk. (HBO Max)
Showrunner Michael Patrick King said the plot point was a “Band-Aid” to compensate for the loss of Stanford’s story after Willie Garson’s death on the And Just Like That… The Writers Room podcast.
“It was a fast fix,” King said. “It was a little bit, it was like thin ice.”
“We skated over it ‘cause we had to cause he wasn’t in the show suddenly and we didn’t want Stanford to die.
“We wanted Willie to be alive as Stanford somewhere in the world.”
King wanted to pay tribute to Garson by putting Stanford “someplace where it was gold and filled with light” because he hoped the actor was “someplace that’s golden and filled with light”.
“And it was poetic, and it’s very emotional,” King added.