Warning: This article contains spoilers for the season 2 finale of And Just Like That, "The Last Supper Part Two: Entreé."
And just like that... the revived romance between Carrie Bradshaw and Aidan Shaw is on hiatus.
Season 2 of Sex and the City revival And Just Like That saw the return of Carrie's (Sarah Jessica Parker) fan-favorite former lover Aidan (John Corbett), now a divorced father of three boys living in Virginia. The pair quickly rekindled their relationship and, aside from Aidan refusing to step foot in Carrie's apartment ever again, they seemed to have a bright future ahead of them. But all that changed in Thursday's season finale.
Carrie throws a lavish dinner party to bid adieu to her famed brownstone before moving into the lux new abode she bought to share with Aidan as he splits time between his farmhouse and NYC. That night she gets an unexpected visit from Aidan, who had returned home after his youngest son, 14-year-old Wyatt, broke several bones crashing his dad's truck while high on magic mushrooms and beer. Aidan breaks his vow and enters their old shared space to inform his girlfriend that he is no longer willing to divide his commitments.
Craig Blankenhorn/Max Sarah Jessica Parker and John Corbett in the 'And Just Like That' season 2 finale
He tells Carrie he needs to be in Virginia full time to help raise his sons and refuses her offer to come visit him instead, saying he'd only be thinking of her. A distressed Carrie says she "can't believe we're back here again," but Aidan assures her this is not another breakup.
"The only thing that I love more than I love you is my boys. I made a commitment that I won't lose you again and I won't. Just gimme some time," he tells her.
Just how much time? Five years! Aidan says he wants to wait until Wyatt, who turns 15 next week, is out of his teens. He reminds her that their decade-plus apart went by in a snap and so will this.
The couple shares a night of passionate sex and romantic cuddling in Carrie's new solo home and Aidan leaves the next morning. Carrie tells him that "no matter what happens," buying the new apartment and getting back together "was not a mistake." He replies, "Nothing's gonna happen."
Presumably, this means we won't be seeing much of Aidan when And Just Like That returns for another season, although other out-of-town characters have popped up like Stanford (the late Willie Garson) corresponding with Carrie via letter from Japan to inform his old pal he is now a Shinto monk and London-based Samantha (Kim Cattrall) who made a long-awaited appearance in the finale to phone Carrie from a car to say she would not be able to make it to the dinner party because her flight was delayed.
In the latest episode of the And Just Like That...The Writers Room companion podcast, showrunner Michael Patrick King explained that Aidan and Carrie's ending was the only one writers saw fit for the characters based on their history.
"We're bringing Aidan back, she's not going to hurt him because she knows she can't. And we also don't want the fans to think we did that again, so he's going to hurt her," he said of the writers' plan for the couple when bringing Aidan back for season 2.
Craig Blankenhorn/Max Aidan Shaw (John Corbett) and Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) in 'And Just Like That' season 2
"The only way we knew that he would ever pull away from her is if the bigger love — and every parent would assume that this is a bigger love — is the responsibility and love for your children," King, who wrote and directed the season 2 finale, said. He also confirmed the writers knew Aidan asking to pause things for five years until his son was out of his teens would be a "debatable point" for fans.
King noted that he wanted Carrie and Aidan to end on a hopeful note that they would end up back together, saying, "What you all think about what happened and what you all think that what their individual states are, we wanted to end with that moment of believing the truth of they've made this connection and it's going to stay there."
He also hinted that fans should pay special attention to what Carrie says to Seema (Sarita Choudhury) when the besties are sitting on the beach together in Greece in the final scene: "There's a little tiny thread of what we're thinking at the end, which is Seema says, 'Well, we ran at love, and where did that get us?' in Greece. And then she goes, 'I'm waiting five months and you're waiting five years.' And Carrie says, 'Well, I may get some time off for good behavior.' Like, you would only say that if you're already going, 'It's not gonna be five years.' You know, she's very cute, but she does move on to say, 'There will be others.'"
The And Just Like That season 2 finale is streaming now on Max. Listen to the And Just Like That...The Writers Room podcast below.
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.