In the latest episode of Sex and the City revival And Just Like That…, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) starts entertaining the idea of inviting her old flame Aidan (John Corbett) back into her life.
Aidan comes up during a discussion of exes at a dinner party. Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) frets about her fractured relationship with Steve (David Eigenberg). Nya (Karen Pittman) explains she’s trying to have a pleasant divorce. And Charlotte (Kristin Davis) brings up a name the audience hasn’t heard in years.
“I always thought that I would keep in touch with my ex-husband Trey but he did not want that,” Charlotte muses about her former lover, played by Kyle MacLachlan. Much has been made of Corbett’s impending return, but with all due respect to Aidan, that sentence from Charlotte now has me more invested in another ex encore: I want Trey!
Trey is introduced in the third season of Sex and the City as Charlotte’s knight in shining armor. Charlotte, on the hunt for a husband, has just discovered that her friend’s spouse refused to set her up on a date because he was interested. Grossed out, she literally runs away from the situation. While trying to hail a cab she trips and falls into traffic, and that’s when Trey shows up.
Trey, at first, seems perfect, and Charlotte—always the most unhinged of the Sex and the City foursome—falls quickly. Their meetcute is episode seven; by the next episode she’s already decided he’s the one. By the twelfth episode of the season they are married, despite the fact that there are major warning signs from the beginning. (For one, when she suggests they get married he responds, “Alrighty.”) The biggest issue reveals itself when they try to have sex for the first time (!) on the day of their wedding (!) when Charlotte learns that Trey has major erectile dysfunction issues. (Charlotte, in her old fashioned ways, had been saving intercourse until they were married. It wasn’t a great plan.)
You get the initial appeal of Trey. He’s handsome, and his hair is just slightly out of place, but then MacLachlan goes on to play him as a stunted little rich boy who over-emphasizes his words and just can’t help but do the wrong thing at any given moment. When he accidentally cums on Charlotte, he offers her a hankie. When she confronts him about telling his mother about their attempts to adopt, he rips her dress in the middle of a Scottish dance party. He’s a doofus and a mess and so enjoyable to watch.
Trey is an unmitigated disaster of a person. His intimacy issues seem to come from a psychosexual relationship he has with his mother, Bunny (Frances Sternhagen), a nightmare of a WASP who wants to control every aspect of his life, and immediately hates Charlotte for taking away her beautiful boy who calls her “mother.” In the fourth season, Trey’s behavior gets even more surreal as he and Charlotte attempt to have a baby to save their marriage. His most deranged moment? Buying Charlotte a “cardboard baby” he believes is a very funny joke when she can’t conceive.