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How ‘And Just Like That’ wrote off Willie Garson’s character

Willie Garson, who appeared as Stanford Blatch in the first three episodes of the "Sex and the City" sequel series, died in September at 57.
A bald man in round glasses and a bright blue suit looks dead on at the camera in front of a yellow taxi cab
Willie Garson as Stanford Blatch in the new HBO series "And Just Like That..."HBO Max
/ Source: TODAY

Warning: This post contains spoilers for the HBO Max series "And Just Like That..."

And just like that, Stanford Blatch was gone.

Actor Willie Garson died in September 2021, leaving the producers and writers of the “Sex and the City” revival series, “And Just Like That…”, to determine how to write off his character, Stanford Blatch.

Blatch was the male best friend to Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw. He appeared in nearly 30 “SATC” episodes and both feature films. He also reprised his role as Blatch in the first three episodes of “And Just Like That...”

Sarah Jessica Parker and Willie Garson filming a scene for the first "Sex and The City" movie in New York in 2007. Marcel Thomas / FilmMagic

In the fourth episode, which premiered Thursday, the new HBO Max show dealt with Blatch’s sudden exit.

In the episode, Bradshaw is in the process of selling the apartment she shared with her late husband, John Preston (aka Mr. Big), played by Chris Noth. She returns to her original apartment with Preston’s ashes and stores them in her closet.

As she walks out into her bedroom, she notices a note sitting on her landline phone.

She opens it to find a letter on Stanford’s yellow stationery that begins with “Dearest Carrie.”

“By the time you read this, I’ll be in Tokyo,” the letter reads. “I couldn’t tell you — not without crying. And you have had enough crying.”

The rest of the note is cut off, though there’s a partial sentence indicating Blatch’s husband, Anthony Marentino, had more details.

Marentino, played by Mario Cantone, arrives and explains that Blatch was managing a teen TikTok star from New Jersey who asked Blatch to go on tour.

“I do not get her, but then I’m old, gay and not Japanese,” he quips.

“Well, fine, good, sayonara, are but why the dramatic note?” Bradshaw replies. "'By the time you read this, I’ll be in Tokyo,' I mean, who is he, the last Brontë sister?”

She sarcastically adds that a “note is so much more compassionate” than him telling her about his departure face-to-face.

Mario Cantone, right, as Anthony Marentino, with Garson in a scene from "And Just Like That..." HBO Max

Marentino then reveals that Blatch also left him a note. In it, Blatch asked for a divorce.

The yellow letter could be seen as a subtle homage to another man’s departure on “Sex and the City” — Bradshaw’s ex, writer Jack Berger, portrayed by Ron Livingston. Berger, who appeared in seasons five and six of the show, infamously left Bradshaw a single yellow Post-It note in the middle of the night after they’d just agreed to make things work.

“I’m sorry, I can’t, don’t hate me,” the note read.

Blatch's departure, of course, isn't exactly a breakup, but it was yet another friend of Bradshaw's leaving her to live abroad.

The show has previously explained that Samantha Jones, played by Kim Cattrall, moved to London and stopped responding to the remaining character's calls.

Samantha Jones, portrayed by Kim Cattrall, does not appear in the new series.TODAY Illustration / Getty Images

Later in the series, Jones kindly sends Bradshaw a large flower display for Preston's funeral.