‘And Just Like That’ Season 2: Our greatest Aidan theories

Fans of “Sex and the City” have needed to climate loads of twists and turns since their beloved present was revived as “And Just Like That” in late 2021.

First there was the demise, through stationary bike, of a sure cigar-loving steak fanatic — and the scandal surrounding the actor who performed him. Then there was Miranda’s transformation from pragmatic profession lady to lovesick dingbat, and the evident absence of Samantha, a personality who now exists solely through textual content message, like a saucy phantom trapped inside Carrie’s telephone. And, lest we overlook, there was the entire Che Diaz factor.

Now, simply in time for Valentine’s Day, one other bombshell has rocked the “Sex”-iverse: Based on images from Season 2, at present in manufacturing in New York City, Carrie and her long-suffering ex-fiancé Aidan are again collectively.

Or, on the very least, sucking face in public.

The information first broke final month, when Sarah Jessica Parker shared footage on Instagram of her and actor John Corbett strolling hand-in-hand down the center of a New York City road. (An almost equivalent put up appeared on the present’s Instagram account.)

In the weeks since, on-location paparazzi pictures have proven Aidan and Carrie engaged in numerous types of PDA: at brunch with the women, flirtatiously wandering the aisles of a kitchen retailer, canoodling exterior her brownstone.

Then in one other photograph dump Thursday night time, Parker upped the ante with photographs of Carrie and Aidan making out in the midst of site visitors at night time. (Seriously, you two, strive the sidewalk.)

She included a caption that learn “This. Is. Not. A. Drill,” as if to reassure followers that Aidan was actually, really coming again to the present, and never simply in a dream sequence or some sneaky B.S. like that.

The photographs have despatched followers — together with this one — right into a speculative frenzy. Could Aidan actually be silly sufficient to get again along with Carrie? Wasn’t he married? Why does Aidan’s jacket have that belt on it? Does he smoke now?

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Perhaps probably the most urgent query of all: Why would HBO Max reveal such a large spoiler — through official channels, no much less — months earlier than the present is more likely to return for Season 2? (No premiere date has been introduced.)

I couldn’t assist however marvel … Was all of it only a well-orchestrated publicity stunt, designed to gin up curiosity in Season 2 — and maybe distract us from an excellent larger plot twist forward?

Join me as I take into account probably the most viable theories in The Case of Aidan and Carrie.

Kristin Davis and John Corbett on the set of “And Just Like That” on Feb. 1, 2023, in New York City.

(Gotham / GC Images through Getty Images)

Theory No. 1: It’s all a dream

When the images of Parker and Corbett first landed final month, many followers brushed them off, figuring Aidan in all probability reveals up in a dream sequence, flashback or different nonliteral context.

This would clarify why Parker and HBO Max breezily divulged what must have been protected like a state secret and prompt that Aidan isn’t actually again in Carrie’s life. He’s simply residing rent-free in her head.

It would additionally clarify one particularly baffling photograph of Aidan, who famously hated Carrie’s smoking behavior, with a cigarette dangling from his mouth, whereas at brunch with the gang. Because it’s not really Aidan however moderately a surreal model of him manifested by Carrie’s unconscious. Duh!

Another little bit of proof that would possibly assist the dream principle: The final time we noticed Carrie in “And Just Like That,” she was embarking on a romance with Cute Podcast Guy, a.okay.a. Franklyn (Ivan Hernandez). Photos from Season 2 present Carrie and Franklyn locked in a young embrace, suggesting she’s taking her new relationship severely and merely fantasizing about her furniture-making ex.

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Besides, would the “AJLT” writers, having killed off Big through Peloton in Season 1, actually be so lazy as to resurrect the different actual love of Carrie’s life in Season 2?

OK, perhaps don’t reply that.

A man and a woman look at a tabletop display in a housewares store.

Are Aidan (John Corbett) and Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) searching for housewares in “And Just Like That”?

(Jose Perez / GC Images through Getty Images)

Theory No. 2: Aidan and Carrie really are again collectively

The dream principle falls aside when you think about the amount and the standard of the scenes Corbett has appeared in over the previous couple of weeks. In late January, he and Parker have been seen shopping home equipment at a midtown kitchen retailer — simply the type of factor an engaged or soon-to-be-cohabitating couple would possibly do. This week, photographers captured the actors as they filmed a romantic kissing scene on Carrie’s stoop.

Even Smoking Aidan could be defined away on this principle: He’s hamming it up in an try to attraction Carrie’s cautious gal friends — not really smoking, merely impersonating somebody who does. (James Dean? Jean-Paul Belmondo? Ethan Hawke in “Reality Bites”? Your guess is nearly as good as mine.)

A rekindled romance additionally is sensible when you think about the present’s total willingness to rehash the identical love pursuits again and again and the circumstances of Carrie and Aidan’s final assembly.

Perhaps you’ve forgotten — or tried to repress all reminiscences of — the film “Sex and the City 2,” through which Carrie bumped into Aidan, now a dad of three, at a souk in Abu Dhabi. (What are the probabilities?!), caught up with him over dinner, then kissed him spontaneously, which she later confessed to Big. These two undoubtedly have unresolved emotions.

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Still, we’re left with questions: How did they wind up crossing paths once more? Did Aidan get divorced? And is Carrie ready to be a stepmom?

A man and a woman kiss on brownstone steps, a movie camera peeking in from the side of the frame

Sarah Jessica Parker and John Corbett actually appear to be getting cozy filming “And Just Like That” in New York in February.

(James Devaney / GC Images through Getty Images)

Theory No. 3: It’s all an elaborate bait-and-switch

If you’re something like me, you may’t fairly quell a nagging suspicion that there’s extra to the story.

The authentic photograph of Carrie and Aidan was posted to Instagram final month, reportedly just some hours after the New York Post reached out to HBO Max for remark relating to a tip about Corbett’s return to the present.

Perhaps the present’s producers and publicists determine the cat was already out of the bag, so they could as effectively leak the information themselves, on their very own phrases, and drum up pleasure in regards to the new season.

Or perhaps, simply perhaps, it’s an much more difficult ruse.

While selling Season 1, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon advised Stephen Colbert they’d filmed faux scenes in view of the paparazzi with a view to throw off followers.

Corbett additionally is understood for playfully fibbing to the media: In 2021, he claimed he was going to seem in “quite a few” episodes in Season 1 of “And Just Like That.” So it looks as if he’d be sport for an excellent grander misdirection.

It appears attainable, even doubtless, that Aidan will return in a restricted capability and a few of the scenes Corbett filmed are faux — decoys to distract the press and the general public from an much more surprising plot twist that may finally be revealed.

So what sort of twist may examine with Big’s loss of life? The prospects are countless: Carrie discovers that Big faked his demise to run off with “Allegra,” his favourite Peloton teacher. Or maybe Che, uninterested in Miranda, pursues a bootleg romance with Charlotte. Or perhaps Samantha triumphantly returns from London however is now performed by Jennifer Coolidge.

Now, in the event you’ll excuse me, I would like to regulate my tinfoil hat.