Sex and the City spinoff And Just Like That has officially farewelled beloved gay character Stanford Blatch to a mixed response from fans in the season’s penultimate episode.
Stanford’s actor Willie Garson tragically died in 2021 from pancreatic cancer. He’d filmed just three episode of And Just Like That.
But the show chose to keep Stanford alive despite Willie’s real-life death. Last season, Stanford abruptly left New York for Japan. His estranged husband Anthony (Mario Cantone) was left behind.
Now with And Just Like That second season almost done, Willie received a proper ending. In the second-last episode, Carrie sits Anthony down during a tender scene to tell him that Willie is staying in Japan for good after becoming a Shinto monk.
Carrie breaks the news to her friend as the pair read out a letter Stanford had mailed to her.
“Carrie, for the first time in my life, I felt peace, real peace,” Stanford said.
She explains that Stanford had also mailed legal documents, leaving absolutely everything he owned to Anthony.
“The apartment and all of my belongings are now his. I want no attachments,” Stanford wrote in the letter.
“I have let go of all things that no longer serve me and I let it all go with love.”
Carrie then showed Anthony a photo of Stanford dressed in a monk’s robe.
Reaction to the scene was mixed among And Just Like That viewers.
— Victoria Vérité (@VictoriaVerite) August 17, 2023
The most offensive thing about #AndJustLikeThat is the Stanford plot line…especially in this weeks episode. So disrespectful to his character. Disappointed.
— hi gay (@devinmartin96) August 17, 2023
The explanation for Stanford’s disappearance on this week’s And Just Like That… pic.twitter.com/vBmOQsJcBu
— Jon (@prasejeebus) August 17, 2023
This entire series is shocking but I must say, the scene about Stanford was written beautifully and you could really see how hard it was for the actors. #AndJustLikeThat
— Abbey 🌈 (@abbeylouuu) August 17, 2023
Stanford Blatch is a… Shinto monk? This show is WILD. pic.twitter.com/XJGRKob5Tm
— Ξvan Ross Katz (@evanrosskatz) August 17, 2023
And Just Like That finally addressed Stanford’s absence in the series after Willie Garson’s death… I don’t know how it will be received by others… but I loved it and found it moving.
Instead of yet another bleak death or disappearance. They made the character find inner…
— Gabriel Divina (@GabrielDivina2) August 17, 2023
— Shelton Boyd-Griffith (@flyrebel) August 17, 2023
‘We wanted Willie to be alive as Stanford’
And Just Like That showrunner Michael Patrick King explained the show’s decision. He said ultimately, the team “didn’t want Stanford to die.”
“We wanted Willie to be alive as Stanford somewhere in the world,” he said on the show’s official podcast.
“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.”
And Just Like That is streaming in Australia on Binge. A third season of the Sex and the City spinoff is yet to be confirmed, with speculation rife the show may finish for good next week.
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.