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‘And Just Like That…’ Season 2, Episode 5 Recap

I’ve kind of been anxiously waiting for this moment to happen. But now, I don’t even know where to begin to dissect the Miranda-Che relationship. (Shoutout to freelancer Emma Flint who talks about Che Diaz here.) Every episode, Che does this push-pull thing with Miranda that really pisses me off. They give Miranda no sense of stability in their relationship. So immediately, I knew that Che’s sitcom getting a bad read from the test group was NOT going to bode well for the Miranda-Che relationship. Like clockwork, Che gets all pissy with Miranda when they have a conversation about the show. Miranda is trying to be the best cheerleader, and Che is so rude about it. I get being upset on a day when you get bad news, but Che took it out on Miranda in a way that was unfair but, quite frankly, unsurprising. I did appreciate how “AJLT” seemed to poke fun at itself with the commentary from the Brooklyn viewer about Che’s persona: “The whole Che character was like a walking Boomer joke that felt so fake to me. Just some phony, sanitized, performative, cheesy-ass, dad-joke bullshit version of what the non-binary experience is. It sucked.” Whoever wrote that line deserves a raise. — Erin

This very meta storyline reminded me that the ongoing discourse about Che as a character has nothing to do with Sara Ramirez’s many talents as an actor. Their speech about feeling confident in their identity, only to have that self-assurance shattered by the focus group experience, gave me chills. Despite Che’s many flaws, I’m glad we’re getting to see a more vulnerable side to them this season. That said, I don’t see how Che and Miranda can salvage their relationship from here. It was literally painful to watch Che take all of their frustrations with the sitcom’s failure out on Miranda, who was doing her best to rally. Frankly, what’s left for Miranda in this very one-sided arrangement at this point? – Curtis

Speaking of self-references, the focus group participant saying that sitcom Che “would not be able to afford an apartment in Bushwick that big!” also felt like a meta-joke. It’s just like all the commentary on the original “SATC,” on how unrealistic it is that Carrie can afford her Upper East Side life while writing one column a week.

We talk about this every week, but Che has continually been written as this parody of what the writers think a character like Che would be like rather than coming across as an actual human. This whole sitcom plotline has only continued that dissonance. I wonder if Che and Miranda’s impending breakup can maybe allow the show to give Che a reset as a character. — Marina