This article contains spoilers for Episode 5 of the second season of “And Just Like That …”
As “And Just Like That …” nears its halfway point, its creators have sprinkled a series of self-referential winks into the new episode.
For a Halloween charity benefit, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) dresses up as Helen Gurley Brown, the former editor of Cosmopolitan and, in some ways, the spiritual predecessor to Bradshaw. After a test screening, Che (Sara Ramirez) is torn down with critiques similar to those made of the Che character in “And Just Like That …” In a bedroom scene, Herbert Wexley (Christopher Jackson) appears as a pantsless George Washington, seemingly a nod to the role he played in “Hamilton” on Broadway.
Ahead of Episode 5, members of The New York Times’s Styles desk discussed the looks, brands and wigs on display in the latest installment of the series.
Louis Lucero II From a costuming perspective, this episode was a little front-loaded, wasn’t it? Charlotte’s Halloween benefit for the fictitious City Parks Conservancy showed us all three ways you can phone in a costume.
There’s the cheap route (Miranda, in a clown nose); the easy route (Charlotte, raiding her own wardrobe to portray Keri Russell’s character from “The Americans”); and the self-congratulatory (Carrie, as Helen Gurley Brown, which Miranda rightly points out looks like regular-degular Carrie cosplay).
Callie Holtermann The Helen Gurley Brown costume was a classic example of an overly subtle Halloween costume that you have to explain to everyone all night. Points for her magenta blazer with shoulder pads and slight bouffant, though.
LL But once it’s explained: “Ohhhh! Yeah, for sure! I see it!”
Katie Van Syckle Which of those costumes would you copy?
Madison Malone Kircher Gimme the clown nose.
LL I’m afraid Lisa Todd Wexley’s bride of Frankenstein was something of a serve. It was giving Heidi Klum levels of spare-no-expense.
MMK Frankly, Charlotte not going all out with Klum-like worm prosthetics kind of surprised me. A woman who loves to commit to a bit wearing a cowl neck and a side part and calling it a costume?
CH I liked Nya’s Eartha-Kitt-as-Catwoman costume, though I also laughed when Seema called it a “complete waste of Lycra.”
KVS I enjoyed Harry as Philip Jennings in “The Americans.” I think my favorite line from this episode was, “I thought you were returning that hair.”
LL Agreed, but for sheer utility, I have to give the best line award to: “I should probably take my tiny wrists and go.” (I know how I’ll be excusing myself from every party for the rest of the year.)
CH Later in the episode, Charlotte’s teenager Rock gets scouted at the skate park for a Ralph Lauren campaign. What did you think of the choice of brand?
Lauren did collaborate with Palace Skateboards in 2018, and has been tapping the skater-slash-model Evan Mock to host events.
LL The quintessential Americana of Ralph Lauren is somewhat at odds with the Anglophilia Charlotte has been draping herself in all season, considering how Burberry print has become a sort of second skin for her.
KVS But it does feel like a brand that, somewhat uniquely, Charlotte and Rock could connect through.
LL Charlotte was also playing up a sense of safety in Ralph Lauren when trying to sell Harry on the idea, right? There’s a conservatism there that, to Katie’s point, creates a space of overlap for mother and child.
KVS Do we expect a long-term modeling career for Rock?
MMK I think, much like Lily’s music career, we should expect a one-episode modeling arc for Rock.
LL I’d be remiss if I didn’t shout out the extremely strong sweater game of Miranda Hobbes, Esq., the series’s favorite punching bag.
The breakfast-for-Brady look screamed domestic bliss … almost loud enough to drown out Steve doing battle with a literal punching bag.
KVS I was also happy to see Christopher Jackson get a nod to his role as George Washington in “Hamilton” when he is wearing a powdered wig and knee socks in the bedroom.
CH Knee socks that are visible, of course, because of his lack of pants.
LL This was quite the meta episode, wasn’t it? In addition to Christopher Jackson as Washington, Sara Ramirez as Che watches focus-group critiques of the unlikability of Che!
CH As our self-appointed bucket hat correspondent, it gives me no joy to report that this was the first episode of the season without a single buckie. That pulls our rate down to an alarming 0.8 bucket hats per episode.
MMK You’re telling me Rock wasn’t wearing one during that shoot? This is my new Fruit of the Loom logo.
CH Nope — mini beanies in that scene. Plus a really nice Todd Snyder Yankees hat made of camel hair ($98).
KVS I also noticed Seema seemed to depart from the animal prints in this episode.
CH Seema’s all-white look was my favorite of the episode, right down to her white pointy-toe heels and trench coat. As we said last week, there’s a restraint to her wardrobe that is a breath of fresh air on this show.
KVS What are your predictions for next week’s episode?
MMK We will skip two months to the holiday season. Carrie hosts an ugly sweater party.
LL If there’s any justice in the world, we haven’t seen the last of Harry’s wig. Maybe we’ll have a “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” situation? I’d love to see it on Steve eventually.
CH Miranda and Che will tearfully reunite in front of the Vessel in Hudson Yards.
KVS Maybe next week, Aiden? Finally?
MMK We can only hope.
Louis Lucero II, Katie Van Syckle, Madison Malone Kircher and Callie Holtermann contributed reporting.