How And Just Like That Gave Stanford Blatch a Final Ending After Willie Garson's Death

Almost two years after Willie Garson's death, Sex and the City sequel series And Just Like That revealed his character's destiny.

By Corinne Heller Aug 18, 2023 3:49 PMTags
Watch: Sarah Jessica Parker Honors Willie Garson in Touching Tribute

And just like that... Stanford Blatch found his destiny.

During the penultimate episode of And Just Like That's second season, the Sex and the City sequel series offered an update on the late Willie Garson's character. The moment came during the Aug. 17 episode when Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie Bradshaw informed her bestie's estranged husband Anthony Marentino, played by Mario Cantone, that Stanford had told her in a letter that he had decided to remain in Japan and become a Shinto monk.

Garcon died of pancreatic cancer at age 57 in September 2021 after filming scenes for the debut season of And Just Like That. Ultimately, the White Collar actor reprised his role in three episodes before stepping back due to his illness, after which it was explained on the show that Stanford moved to Tokyo to manage a TikTok star.

"I would say it was a Band-Aid," And Just Like That creator and executive producer Michael Patrick King said about the storyline on the And Just Like That...The Writers Room podcast Aug. 17. "It was a fast fix. It was like thin ice. We skated over it because we had to, because he wasn't in the show suddenly."

We Ranked All the Sex and the City Relationships

He added, "We didn't want Stanford to die. We wanted Willie to be alive, as Stanford somewhere in the world."

In addition to the explanation about his sudden move to Tokyo on season one, Garson's fan-favorite character was later given a quick mention on the first episode of the newest season—after being complimented on her kimono, Carrie notes that Stanford sent it to her from Japan.

The decision to make him a Shinto monk stemmed from King's personal experience visiting temples in Kyoto with Parker after promoting the Sex and the City 2 movie in Japan in 2010.

Phillip Faraone/WireImage

"I'd light a candle, I'd look at the flowers," he said on the podcast. "And because it was Sarah Jessica and I, it always felt more than just me. It was quietly us. So when I started thinking like, 'Where is Stanford, what do we do?' I somehow tapped into that feeling that Sarah Jessica and I had, because I know Carrie and Stanford had a very deep bond and I'm happy to say Sarah Jessica and I have a very deep, personal bond. So I thought, what if he just stayed there, in that beautiful, blissful temple and became a Shinto monk?"

King continued, "I wanted to somehow tribute Willie and put Stanford some place where it was golden and filled with light because I hope Willie is some place that's golden and filled with light."

Look back at Willie Garson's most iconic Sex and the City moments below:

When Sandford Couldn't Help But Wonder if Carrie Had a Shrink

"How can you not have a shrink? This is Manhattan. Even the shrinks have shrinks. I have three," Stanford told Carrie in the episode "Games People Play," season two, to which she replied, "No, you don't."

But as he put it, "Yes, one for when I want to be cuddled, one for when I want tough love and one for when I want to look at a beautiful man."

"That's sick!" Carrie responded as he interjected, "Which is why I see the other two."

Stanford's Favorite Hobby

Stanford's motto? "We all judge. That's our hobby. Some people do arts and crafts. We judge."

Beauty Sleep Banter

"Oh God, I love Sleeping Beauty! The music, the sets, the costumes! It's so romantic!" Carrie gushed in the episode "The Turtle and the Hare," season one. But Standford brought her back to reality, saying, "You only like it because she gets to sleep for a hundred years and she doesn't age."

No Hotline Bling

Although this landline quote might be outdated, the sentiment still rings true. "Monogamy is on its way out again. It had a brief comeback in the '90s, but as the millennium approaches, everyone's leaving their options open," Standford explained to Carrie in the episode "The Monogamists," season one, to which she responded, "Come on, you wouldn't commit to a nice guy, given the option?"

He replied, "I can't even commit to a long-distance carrier."

Stanford's Love Life

"Puberty is a phase, 15 years of rejection is a lifestyle," he bluntly told Carrie in "The Turtle and the Hare," season one. 

Happily Ever After

Stanford's dating life was just as complicated as everyone else's. However, he also got his own happy ending. In the second Sex and the City film, Stanford married Anthony (Mario Cantone). They are rumored to still be together in the upcoming revival series, And Just Like That.

Big Facts for The Big Apple

As Standard once famously said, "A New Yorker who does not take the subway is not a New Yorker you can trust."

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