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Sex and the City's last episode may have been the flattest and most predictable in its entire run -- another string of small humiliations leading up to the biggest non-surprise of all: Mr. Big himself.

Maybe the writers thought they would "swerve" viewers after setting up the ending with Carrie's final "decision" from a few episodes earlier, when she finally told Big she was sick and tired of all the years of being led on. Or maybe the writers were trying to show us what a horrible place Paris really is compared to Manhattan, although you'd think the political climate as of late would have changed the producers' minds. Who knows what they were thinking, but no matter


how you cut it, the last episode was a staggering letdown.

At the beginning of the ep, Carrie meets Aleksander's frigid and foreshadowing ex-wife, then trots off to enjoy her new life in Paris, but it all ends up smelling like one big Marlboro Light smoking pile of merde. Literally! This time around, Carrie steps in dog doo doo while wearing a pink polka


dotted Minnie Mouse costume and eats a pack of cigarettes while feeding croissant to a dog. Now, THAT'S Paris!

Just minutes into the last episode, it's clear that Carrie's going to need a white knight to save her -- and with Big en route, a plot point hammered home last episode -- this show wrote itself ten minutes in. Who didn't call this final scene before the episode even began?

Honestly. Has Carrie *ever* had options this bad? One, she can stay with twinkletoes Aleks in Paris, where she'll always be second fiddle to his Brite Lite. Two, she can return to New York, alone, jobless (why haven't they made her editor at some magazine yet?), and be back drinking her heart out with the girls, who will have serious boyfriends and husbands and new families. Or three, Carrie can go back to Big -- who will undoubtedly give her rides in his limo, but wear down her ego while he flits around with strippers and waffles about his life in Napa.

Not that the other girls have it any better. Everyone else's life falls apart simultaneously. Charlotte and Harry are still having trouble adopting a child, which prompts some of the most ridiculous lines ever -- even for *this* show:

Harry: "I think God's lost our address."

Charlotte: "We're Jews. We've suffered worse things."

Meanwhile, Steve's Mother loses her mind and Miranda finds her eating pizza out of a garbage can. Samantha wears another wig


that's supposed to be her hair re-growth -- or is it? (There's absolutely nothing more distracting in film or television, than a bad wig.) But wait, her problem isn't Samantha's hair: it's the loss of her libido. Ah, but her perfect Smith still doesn't care.

And that's the general problem with all the subplots: Where's the dramatic tension? After all, Smith doesn't care about the sex and Samantha doesn't want to have sex, so is this really a problem in their relationship, compared to the big C? Could that entire cancer storyline be more forced or less heartfelt? And while we're at it, could they even try to make it even a bit realistic?

Even worse, the writers continue to undermine the heartfelt moments with callous grabs for laughs.


Consider the conclusion of Charlotte's six-year character arc, in which she discovers that she's finally going to be a mother.

Charlotte: "I'm sorry, I'm a bad wife, I ordered Chinese."

Harry: "It looks like we got another delivery from China!"

And that's how the bald Jew and the WASPy convert ended up withe a Chinese baby.

Ultimately, in spite of all the "growth" we see from each character -- be it Miranda taking care of Steve's mother, or Charlotte and Harry adopting a Chinese baby, or Samantha relenting to the force of love -- every bit of their growth as characters comes from the men in their lives. It does not come from being single and having sex in the City.

Miranda only reaches a humane sense of selflessness by taking care of Steve's mother, not their baby. Charlotte's first attempt at ordering a baby fails, but the Chinese delivery comes through. And Samantha tells Smith she likes him "more than any other man she's known." Which could be saying a lot, if that single line wasn't the last fucking thing she said in the show's run.

This "growth by way of man" is especially apparent Carrie's case. Sure, Aleks "accidentally" slaps her and "puts her second" at his gallery opening, but it would have been right only if she'd left both him *and* Big. At least Carrie would have won her independence from assholes, heading back to New York to reunite with her friends. Like Big so awkwardly said in the previous episode, these friends "come first through third" in her life and he'd be "lucky to place fourth." Gag.

Indeed, the biggest disappointment of all is Carrie's farewell. There's nothing open-ended about it, nor is it the kind of satisfying "closure" we could have hoped for. Okay, so we didn't need to see her run into

  the bathroom after breaking up with Aleks and smash her forehead into the mirror, a la Twin Peaks, but this just seems all too easy -- she just goes for Big, because he's THERE. He's just a rebound! There isn't anything perfect about them reuniting, especially after Carrie told Big that she can't take him anymore -- you know Big could never really change -- and he hasn't, right down to the tired "Abso-fucking-lutely" he utters    

at the end.

Ultimately, the cynic would conclude this line and the whole show was an attempt to whet our appetite for the Big and Carrie relationship that will form the heart of that movie we keep hearing rumors about. Sigh. The whole point of this show was to be daring and "get people talking" -- and in the last episode, all we got was one boring betrayal of the show's original vision that left audiences with nothing to say.