Is it 2019 or is it 2008, Boobs Tubers? Judging by the amount of The L Word news this summer, it’s hard to say! This week, the cast got together at TCA and Jamie Clayton joined the crew. In other, present news: Nel recapped Pose, Natalie recapped Good Trouble, Carmen and Riese reviewed the final season of Orange Is the New Black. Also, Valerie Anne watched season two of Light as a Feather for you!
Reminders from the TV Team:
+ The second season of Derry Girls dropped on Netflix today! To borrow from a previous Autostraddle headline, “if you’re not watching, you’re robbing yourself of joy.”
+ “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” featuring the comedic stylings of Autostraddle fave, Brittani Nichols, premieres tonight at 10PM on HBO! Here’s the trailer! — Natalie
+ Yeah, if you love me or trust me at all, you’ll watch A Black Lady Sketch Show. I’ve seen the screeners and putting my reputation on it – it’s not at all like your expecting and it’s wonderful, all at once. – Carmen
Here’s what else!
Ackley Bridge 305-307
Written by Natalie
After turning her mother in to the police, Sam’s exiled from the Murgatroyd home. Mr. Evershed secures her a room in a local hostel and, despite the long bus ride to school, she relishes finally having a space of her own. Meanwhile, Nas returns to school and is met with pressure from her teachers to secure her place at Oxford. But when the headteacher visits the Paracha home and sees that Nas is trying, she reminds her that there are more important things in life than Ackley Bridge College.
Nas takes the advice to heart, spending more time with Naveed and reconnecting with Sam. Still hurting from their break-up, Sam’s reluctant to give her heart away again. Nas convinces Sam to sneak out and their first stop is the Murgatroyd house to steal back Sam’s motor bike. Nearly thwarted by a runaway sheep, the girls escape on the motor bike and retreat to an overlook. Sam admits it’s nice to see Nas smile again while Nas confesses that she’s missed Sam these last few weeks. She’s just starting to put her life back together after losing Missy and she wants Sam to be a part of that life. They kiss to cement their reunion.
Later, at a school raffle, Nas wins the most coveted prize of all — a date with Riz Nawaz, courtesy of his girlfriend, Hayley — and Sam and Naveed have a good laugh over it. Chloe reassures Hayley that she doesn’t have to worry about Riz because Nas is gay (a fact that Hayley, of course, already knew) and the gossip spreads like wildfire throughout Ackley Bridge. Worried about how being outed will impact her and her family, Nas’ mother tells her to ask herself: “what would Missy say?” The question provokes Nas to do something audacious: she wears a huge rainbow button to school the next day and then, in front of the entire school, shouts “I AM A LESBIAN!”
Ambitions 107: “Poison and Wine”
Written by Natalie
Given the parallels between the love story of Lori Purifoy and Carly Lancaster to Romeo and Juliet, perhaps it was inevitable, that someone would eventually taste poison but who knew it would be Carly’s mother, Stephanie, that’d take that potentially deadly sip? Her trifling husband, Evan, finds her collapsed on the floor but hesistates before calling 911. Stephanie regains consciousness and urges Evan to call their conceirge doctor rather than an ambulance. Across town, Carly, who spent the night at her grandfather’s place instead of at Lori’s, gets the message about her mother’s condition and rushes back home. Carly apologizes for having left her mother alone the night before but Stephanie, who assumes she just fainted, brushes off her concern.
But when her father steps out of the room to talk to the doctor, Carly tentatively asks how he reacted to the news of her relationship with Lori. Surprisingly, her mother didn’t tell him — Stephanie thinks that news should come from Carly when she’s ready — and reiterates that she loves and accepts her, no matter what. But peace doesn’t last in the Lancaster home for long, because when Stephanie learns her fainting was caused by some obscure designer opiod — the exact kind produced by Purifoy Pharmaceuticals —- Lori is at the top of suspect list. Later, she relays her suspicions to Carly but her daughter dismisses them outright. Stephanie insists this is the Purifoys’ modus operandi and, once again, urges her daughter to stay away from Lori. But, of course, Carly is not having that.
“I will always love you, mom, but I love her too and I won’t give her up, not even for you,” Carly says defiantly, before walking out.
Later Stephanie arrives at Purifoy Pharmaceuticals for a settlement meeting and she crosses paths with Lori in the lobby. It doesn’t take long before the claws come out: Lori threatens to have Stephanie arrested for slapping her, Stephanie accuses Lori of being behind the attempt on her life. The company attorney urges Stephanie to leave before things get really out-of-hand. Unbeknownst to her mother, though, Carly shows up at Purifoy later in the day and confronts Lori about what happened that the summit. Lori denies drugging Stephanie but admits that she may have provoked the slap by talking about how many orgasms she’d given Carly.
It’s enough to get Carly on her side and to earn Lori some payback in the bedroom.
Claws 308: “What is Happening to America”
Written by Natalie
As Arlene’s blood seeps into the carpet, her killer introduces himself to Desna as Benedict Liu, or, as Mac and Melba call him, “The Professor.” He demands the trio return the $3M owed to the Chinese mob, in 24 hours, or Arlene’s fate will become their own. Desna tries to play like, “my name is Bennet and I ain’t in it,” but Quiet Ann’s loose lips have ensured that this is as much Desna’s problem as Mac and Melba’s. They try to come up with a plan to get the mob their money, Arlene’s phone chimes with an incoming text from Ann. Desna responds as Arlene but she calls Ann “honey” and Arlene’s never called her that.
Eventually, Ann gives into exhaustion but Arlene haunts her dreams. She cries out Ann’s name and Ann calls back. When they spot each other across the ether, Ann reaches out but she can never grasp Arlene’s hand. Arlene slips further and further away until she disappears. Ann wakes up with a start; she knows some thing’s wrong. Ann calls Desna — Arlene’s not back yet and it’s unlike her — and asks if she saw Desna at the casino. Fearing that Ann will be out for blood if she saw Arlene at the casino, she lies and urges Ann to stay put. Of course, Ann doesn’t listen.
Ann heads straight for the casino where Dean — who, unbeknownst to Ann, is playing mahjong with Arlene’s killer — tells her he saw Arlene earlier, heading toward Mac and Melba’s office. Unable to reconnect with Desna, Ann calls Polly to ask if she knows where Arlene is. Polly claims she doesn’t know and, when Ann asks if Desna’s lying to her, Polly covers for Desna. Undeterred, Ann heads to the police department and Arlene’s sergeant, one of Benedict’s informants, tells her that Arlene got drafted onto an undercover assignment. That answer still doesn’t sit well with Ann, though.
“You just can’t disappear when we’re having a baby. You need to be there,” Ann says to Arlene’s voicemail. “You don’t understand, Arlene. I can’t do this without you. I need you. I love you.”
Later, Desna returns to her condo, having repaid the debt to the mob, and Ann’s waiting for her. She knows that Desna’s lying and needs to hear the truth. Ann asks where he wife is…they’d eloped at City Hall…and Desna has to admit that Arlene’s dead. As Ann collapses on the floor in tears, Desna tells one more lie: the recently deceased Mac killed Arlene.
Siren 215 & 216: “Sacrifice” & “New World Order”
Written by Valerie Anne
The Merfriends are still having reproduction issues, so Maddie tells Ryn about IVF and let the military fertilize eggs for them, but then steal the eggs and run to the land mermaid colony for help with implantation. Unfortunately, before they can implant, the mermaid truther reporter sneaks in and MERNAPS an unconscious Ryn. But when the reporter almost runs over Ben, Ryn grabs the wheel and sends them into the water.
Ryn swims away, leaving Ben faced with the reporter trapped in the car. Ben hesitates for just a moment, weighing his options. He decides to save him, and this leads us down a road of him going on the news and exposing mermaids, martial law, mermaid hunting, blood tests sending land mermaids into cages by the border, and Canada offering asylum.
Ben, Maddie and Ryn run away to try to cross the border into safety.
On their way to the border, the trio is found thanks to Ben and Maddie’s dads, and in the kerfuffle of trying to escape, Maddie is shot. Ben and Ryn scream and cry as Maddie dies in her father’s arms.
But then time snaps back to the moment Ben hesitated before saving the reporter. In a BOLD MOVE, this entire finale so far has been Ben considering option A. When his conclusion is that it ends in the death of one or both of the loves of his life, he chooses option B, and lets the reporter die.
So instead of being on the run, the trio is safe and together again. They cuddle up in bed together, the girls sleeping soundly, but Ben is haunted by images of the choice he made.
This season’s cliffhanger leaves us with this fact: Ryn’s fertilized eggs were put into one of the land mermaids, who fully intend on keeping this “full blood” for themselves. Siren was renewed for a third season already, so this mermaidy mayhem continue in a few months!
Grand Hotel 107 “Where The Sun Don’t Shine”
Written by Carmen
Gigi is looking for Yoli in the hotel lobby. She’s been trying to find her all day and she thinks her daughter may be avoiding her. “Why?,” Yoli snaps back. “Could it be the stabbing pain of your rejection?” After all, Gigi walked out of the Gala the night before when Yoli came out by bringing her girlfriend onto the dance floor.
Gigi sits down. She was shocked last night, it’s true, but she’s sorry that her initial reaction caused Yoli pain. “You’re my daughter mamí, and I love and accept you completely. I don’t have a problem if your gaaay!” She purposefully stretches out the word with a little smile as playfully rubs Yoli’s arm, trying to lighten the mood. Then this! This is my favorite part! Because you see, Yoli isn’t gay, as she pointedly tells her mother. She’s queer.
I have only seen three women on television say out loud that they are explicitly queer, as opposed to lesbians or bisexuals. All three have been in the last 18 months, and all three have been Latinas. Kat Sandoval on Madam Secretary, Emma Hernandez on Vida and now Yoli on Grand Hotel. She just bolted into some pretty exclusive company.
Gigi tries to understand what Yoli means by queer; does this mean that she might one day fall in love with a man? I truly believe Gigi was asking out of misplaced curiosity, a need to understand – but of course Yoli’s guard goes right up! That’s pretty much the worst thing you can ask someone. She automatically assumes her worst fears are correct, her mother will only ever love her if she’s in a relationship with a man.
Later, Carolina (Yoli’s sister) tricks her into visiting their mother’s room under the guise of a misplaced purse. The reality? GIGI HAS THROWN YOLI A PRIDE PAAAAAARTY!!! Rainbow balloons, rainbow cake, random gay strangers that Yoli has never met (“You remember my trainer Jackie, she’s queer too!”, “This is my hairdresser Greggory and his partner!”). Yoli’s mortified, even if Marisa, her girlfriend thinks its kind of cute.
Then Gigi gets up in front of everyone and gives this speech:
“We’re here to celebrate my incredible daughter, Yolanda. From an early age, I knew she had a spark in her that could never be denied. I remember her dance recital when she was nine, during the group number she felt a different inspiration … so she breaks down into a solo. Soon after, all the other girls were following her lead. I have never been prouder of you… until today”
Enough to bring a tear to anyone’s eyes right? Well, Yoli is crying alright, but for all the reasons you wouldn’t expect. It’s not her in the story. It’s Carolina. She always thought maybe her mom secretly knew she wasn’t straight – maybe that’s why she always felt rejected. Now she knows the truth. It’s her that her mother doesn’t like.
Gigi makes amends, telling Yoli that the problem is that she always reminded her Mom too much of the twins’ father, who left the entire family when the girls were young. They make up, but its Carolina who has the most interesting offer once the two girls are alone – would Yoli like to see their dad after all these years? Carolina knows where to find him.