Season 2, Episode 5: Four Women and a Funeral

“If you own and he still rents, then the power structure is all off – it’s emasculating” – Charlotte

funeralA FRIEND recently asked me how I reckoned men viewed single women who owned their own homes. Might they find it off-putting?

Who cares! Do these men waste time worrying that women might judge then for renting? If a man is intimidated by a mortgage, he’s hardly a catch.

It’s interesting to hear Charlotte’s naive pronouncements on The Way Things Should Be knowing how things turn out for her, marriage-wise.

This episode about mortality weaves together strands tackling fear of isolation, social death, emotional blackmail and … um … resuscitating a relationship. No prizes for guessing which characters are involved in that last one. Zzzz.

Miranda is at the centre here, and Cynthia Nixon gives a top-drawer performance as her character is knocked down several pegs from excited first-time buyer to panic-stricken wreck after ticking one “single woman” box too many and being told the corpse of her home’s previous owner lay undiscovered for so long that her cat started feasting on her face.

Director Allen Coulter marries visual chuckles – an overflowing cat food bowl – with genuine poignancy as Miranda tells Carrie: “I’m all alone. The first people on my ‘Call in case of emergency’ list are my parents, and I don’t like them, and they live in Pennsylvania”. It’s a simple, touching statement that helps explain the central place of these women in each other’s lives.

Charlotte’s story about a widower playing on his wife’s death to reel in dates is another to file under “things that in real life would be legitimately quite traumatising but that Charlotte takes on the chin”, although we do get a foreshadowing of *that* bouquet-battering scene when the penny drops and blooms are the only weapons to hand.

Samantha finds herself frozen out of the New York social scene after a sexual indiscretion too many, which is a potentially very interesting turn of events given her PR position, but the plotline ends up with nowhere to go and the decidedly shonky device of a “Leonardo DiCaprio ex machina” (represented by a shadow due to budgetary restraints) is employed to ensure no lasting damage is done.

Carrie’s column: Can relationships bring you back to life?

Fashion: Miranda’s troubled state of mind is well reflected in some appalling wardrobe choices. More positively, Carrie wears a beautiful blue chambray playsuit with white buttons.

Puns: None, but some good lines.