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Carrie and Big should live happily ever after

Carrie's old boyfriend has matured and changed
/ Source: msnbc.com contributor

As the final episode of "Sex & The City" approaches, three out of the four main characters seem to have settled into new lives. But that leaves one of the Fab Four, main character Carrie Bradshaw directionless. Are viewers ready for a Big ending?

Throughout the series, Carrie has had an on-again, off-again relationship with the character known only as Mr. Big. Their relationship has been through highs and lows, make-ups and break-ups, but the one constant is that they are drawn to each other, no matter what else is going on in their lives.

When Carrie was dating the eternally patient Aidan, she saw Big behind his back. When she was dating insecure writer Berger, she had phone sex with Big. When Big was married to Natasha, he realized that the woman he really wanted was Carrie.

Some of the most romantic moments on the show have been between Carrie and Big. The two have an indescribable chemistry, and they know how to have fun together. Big took Carrie to his favorite Italian restaurant, and even got up in front of the crowd and sang a song to her. And who can forget the night before he left for Napa, when Carrie and Big danced in his empty apartment to the tune of "Moon River"? It was tender, yet bittersweet.

As with any relationship, Big and Carrie have had their problems, and they are usually Big's fault. He has shied away from any hint of monogamy or commitment. He didn't invite her to go to Paris with him. That last point offers up the difference between Big and Carrie's current beau, Aleksandr Petrovsky, who practically bullied Carrie into accompanying him to France.

Big didn't ask Carrie to join him, explaining that the trip was just about his work, and yet Carrie insisted on making the trip symbolic of their relationship.

That points to the real reason why Carrie belongs with Big, despite his flaws. He gets her. He calls her on her ridiculous flights of fancy, where Aidan ignored them and Aleksandr encourages them. He forces Carrie to be real, without forcing her to change her entire personality.

That said, the Big of the first five seasons was not always good for Carrie, and he stubbornly refused to meet her emotional needs.

Big has changed for the better
But in the first half of the current season, Big came to New York for an angioplasty, and Carrie nursed him back to health. At his most vulnerable both physically and emotionally, Big suggested that he and Carrie should grow old together. The next morning, fully recovered, Big ran scared. It's clear that he has great love for Carrie, but can he change enough to allow himself to express that in the way that she needs?

The show has proven that people can change, particularly in the female counterpart to Big, Samantha. She was unabashedly promiscuous, and lived only for pleasure in the earlier seasons. But when she fell hard for Richard, the hotel magnate, something in Samantha changed.

In the current season, Samantha has gradually come to appreciate monogamy, despite her repeated efforts to push her younger boyfriend, Smith, away. As the series wraps, it looks like Samantha has found a true partner. Samantha didn’t always treat Smith well, but she seems to have realized what a fantastic catch he is, largely due to a health scare that forced her to discover what was truly important in her life. Can’t Big do the same?

Many longtime fans of the show have been rooting for a Carrie and Big reunion. The episodes with Big, even when he's acting like a jerk, are more interesting than those featuring any of Carrie's other boyfriends.

After disappearing for multiple episodes, the emergence of Big brings light and freshness to an episode, largely due to the tremendous, easy chemistry of Sarah Jessica Parker and Chris Noth. While the show has always been about four single women in the city, the recurring subplot has been the relationship of Carrie and Big.

If Carrie were a friend in real life, hardly anyone could recommend that she continue to pursue a relationship with Big, given his historic commitment phobia. But in the Manhattan fantasyland where a freelance writer can afford an apartment, haute couture, and daily restaurant meals, the only satisfying ending to the series would include Carrie and Big living happily ever after.

What did you think of the "Sex and the City" series finale? and we'll publish a selection in MSNBC's Test Pattern Weblog