Garson — who passed away in September following a battle with pancreatic cancer — appeared in the first three episodes of “And Just Like That.”
And just like that… Stanford Blatch has said goodbye to New York City forever.
On Episode 4 of the “Sex and the City” revival, “And Just Like That,” the fate of Willie Garson’s character, Stanford, was revealed following the actor’s death from pancreatic cancer back in September.
Towards the end of the episode, which was released on Thursday on HBO Max, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), who had moved back into her old apartment following Mr. Big’s death, discovered a yellow envelope with her name on it.
She opened it to find a letter from Stanford, who revealed he had moved to Japan. “Dearest Carrie, by the time you read this I’ll be in Tokyo. I couldn’t tell you — not without crying,” read the beginning of the letter. “And you have had enough crying.”
A few seconds later, someone knocked at Carrie’s door. It was Stanford’s husband, Anthony Marentino, (Mario Cantone), who immediately pointed out that Carrie had started smoking again as she was holding a lit cigarette.
“You’re smoking?” Anthony asked. Carrie came back with: “Stanford’s in Japan?”
The scene then cut to Anthony showing Carrie a TikTok video on his phone that featured a teenage girl dancing.
Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max
“That’s Ashley,” Anthony told Carrie. “The 17-year-old Long Island TikTok star he manages. She’s huge in Asia. She asked him to go on tour with her. I do not get her, but then I’m old, gay and not Japanese.”
“Well fine, good, sayonara,” Carrie replied, before asking, “But why the dramatic note? ‘By the time you read this, I’ll be in Tokyo.’ I mean, who is he, the lost Bronte sister?”
“He said he couldn’t bring himself to tell you he was leaving face-to-face after Big died,” Anthony explained, to which Carrie said in reply, “Right, and a note is so much more compassionate.”
“Oh you know Stanny, he hates to disappoint people … in person,” Anthony quipped.
Although she had just recently lost her husband, Carrie alluded that she would have liked to have heard about Stanford leaving from him in person instead of in a letter.
“If something good is happening in one of my friends’ lives — and I’m assuming he considers this good — I want to know about it,” she told Anthony. “No matter what is going on in mine. Good news or bad, I want to know.”
In response, Anthony confessed that he also got a letter, revealing that Stanford wants a divorce.
“I don’t get it. We were so happy,” he said, seemingly joking as the two had been arguing in previous episodes.
Garson made his final appearance in Episode 3. He passed away while the show was still filming.
Earlier this month, showrunner Michael Patrick King told The Hollywood Reporter that they’d not filmed everything they wanted with Garson before his tragic death. “We had a whole journey that we weren’t able to do,” he said. “But what he did is fantastic.”
In the wake of Garson’s death back in September, many of the late actor’s “Sex and the City” co-stars honored Garson on social media, including Parker, who posted a heartbreaking tribute on Instagram. The actress shared a series of photos of the pair while lamenting the loss of a “30 + year friendship” with Garson.
“It’s been unbearable,” she began. “Sometimes silence is a statement. Of the gravity. The anguish. The magnitude of the loss of a 30 + year friendship. A real friendship that allowed for secrets, adventure, a shared professional family, truth, concerts, road trips, meals, late night phone calls, a mutual devotion to parenthood and all the heartaches and joy that accompany, triumphs, disappointments, fear, rage and years spent on sets (most especially Carrie’s apartment) and laughing late into the night as both Stanford and Carrie and Willie and SJ.”
She went on to say that she will replay their moments together, re-read every text from his final days and put their last phone conversations to paper.
“Your absence a crater that I will fill with blessing of these memories and all the ones that are still in recesses yet to surface,” she added.
Parker then sent a sweet message to Garson’s son, saying “My love and deepest sympathies and condolences to you dear Nathen. You were and are the light of Willie’s life and his greatest achievement was being your Papa.”
She concluded, “These were his last words to me. ‘Great bangles all around.’ Yes. Godspeed Willie Garson. RIP. X, SJ”