Boob(s On Your) Tube: ABC Family Gets Even Gayer, Hannibal’s Lesbian Sex Happens Inside a Kaleidoscope

Hello, cinnamon biscuits, and welcome back to Boob(s On Your) Tube, your weekly queer TV round-up! You’re in for a double-doozy today! I was flying back from our senior staff retreat in Big Bear last Monday and intended to get this column done on the six-hour flight from Los Angeles to New York, but the seats behind me, on both sides, were occupied by the worst behaved children in the universe. Actually, I don’t know. That’s not fair. New Horizons only just passed Pluto. Maybe there are worse children in the universe and we just don’t know about them yet. For accuracy’s sake, let’s just say these were the worst children from here to Charon. They screamed and screamed and cried and kicked everyone, including the flight attendants, while their parents watched Jet Blue TV.

But we’re here together now at last and so let’s do this thing. (I don’t have screencaps for you this week, but I’ll be back to full speed with them next week!)


Chasing Life

Mondays on ABC Family at 9:00 p.m.

201: “A View from the Ledge”

I am a firm believer that ABC Family shows succeed in direct proportion to the number of queer characters on them, so it was a smart move of Chasing Life to have Brenna come out as bi last season (even though the love of her life, Greer, had to move away to go to school). And the show is building on that momentum. In last week’s episode, they introduced a whole new queer lady! (And dude.)

First, though, in the season two premiere, Brenna has joined a film club to get her mind off of Greer and is writing/directing a movie about two teenage guys who fall in love, with Ford playing the accidental beard of one of them. Her guy friends are worried about people seeing them making out on-screen and thinking they’re gay, but she tells them to get the fuck over it because it’s 2015 and modern sexuality is fluid and also it’s going to look good on their college applications.

The new film club sponsor, a recent college grad named Margo, is impressed with Brenna’s style. They make eyes at each other.

202: “The Age of Consent”

So, Margo’s queer. Brenna and Ford find this out when they run into her at a solo-girl-with-guitar concert and she tells them she’s there with her dude buddy because they’re gay best friends. Brenna is quietly into it. Ford is super mega hardcore into it. In fact, she wants Brenna to go after Margo and make out with her face so it’ll be like Ford herself is making out with Margo’s face. (You’re going to have to make out with Greer’s face first, for that plan to make sense, Ford, just FYI.)

I’m going to tell you what’s going to make this whole thing even better: Leisha Hailey is coming to town, and she is going to play Margo’s “crazy ex.”

YOUR MOVE, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS.


Complications

Thursdays on USA at 9:00 p.m.

105: “Outbreak”

Ugh, I am so in love with Gretchen, how did this happen? When I was binging these last two week’s episodes, I realized that Gretchen is kind of like if Marceline the Vampire Queen became a nurse in real life. Like she’s just so curmudgeonly and ready to beat people’s brains in if they cross her, like just in a nanosecond she’s ready for that, but also her heart is like a unicorn’s, so pure and heroic.

In “Outbreak,” she treats the shooter who started off the series of events that make this show a thing. She can tell the shooter is in serious pain, but the shooter won’t say so. Finally, the shooter confesses she needs to just get arrested and get to the police station so she can call and check in on her brother. Gretchen gets pulled away to do other things, and by the time she gets back, the shooter has coded. So Gretchen asks to do the paperwork so she can remove this girl’s bracelet. It’s a gift from her brother. Gretchen is going to find this little Elio and keep him safe.

106: “Diagnosis”

Obviously Gretchen doesn’t call the Department of Family and Children Services to report the Elio thing. She takes the bracelet and gets in her car and drives to what seems like a pretty dodgy part of town, only to find that Elio has been taken in by a neighbor. The neighbor is a creep. Like a pedo creep. Gretchen lies and says she needs to give Elio an exam. Once she sequesters him, she asks him what the heck is going on with the pedo neighbor and Elio confirms that his now-dead sister urged him to stay away from this fucker.

Again, Gretchen decides not to call for backup, but instead wallops this guy in the nuts and grabs Elio and makes a run for it. He chases her with a gun, and then a whole other guy with a gun shows up and Elio has to explain about the pedo-ness of his neighbor. The second guy shoots the pedo guy and promises to help Elio find his family. Gretchen allows this.

Next week, she’s going to save a cat!


Defiance

Fridays on Syfy at 8:00 p.m.

306: “Where the Apples Fell”

I was so psyched after the first episode of Defiance this season because I thought the show was finally stitching together the elements of the post-apocolyptic space western theme that I like the most, namely: character development, character development, character development. What I love about Defiance is learning all the things that make these humans and aliens — with their different cultures and religions and planets of origin — come together and make the living, breathing organism of their town work. And Stahma Tarr’s “fuck the patriarchy” trajectory over two seasons was so satisfying I can hardly sit still when I talk about it.

This season, though, y’all? What the heck? It’s like some kind of Game of Thrones video game where the main thing is leveling up your avatar in the bloodiest way possible so they can join the fight against the Big Bad at the end of the game. I don’t like it very much. Stahma is spending the whole season at the mercy of every man, fucking that giant purple guy over and over, and getting to do exactly zero schemes. I don’t like that very much either.

“Where the Apples Fell” follows Stahma and Datak as they try to make an escape from Defiance after Alak returns and dimes out his parents for being Votanis Collective spies. Datak hits up Doc Yewll’s office for some help, because she’s the most competent person in town besides Stahama, and the only one besides her who gives as good as she gets with ol’ Datak Tarr. She agrees to help him escape — after chiding him for covering her mouth with his unwashed hands during flu season — but their plans are foiled by Nolan standing in the middle of the street giving some giant HURRAH speech or whatever Matthew Mcconaughey thing. Datak is arrested.

307: “The Beauty of Our Weapons”

Datak is sentenced to death for treason by the Defiance town council. The vote is unanimous; even Yewll casts her black marble for him to be executed. When she comes to examine him in his jail cell, to make sure he’s “fit to die,” she tells him she did it because she’s a pragmatist. He was going to hang anyway, and she’s got to keep living in this town after he’s dead. She squeezes his shoulder and tells him she’ll miss him, which is the most emotional thing she’s ever done, outside of hallucinating her ex-wife for half a season one time. Datak does get trapped in that Castithan torture machine, and everyone throws their rocks onto it while Amanda and Nolan watch.

He’s probably not dead, though, right? The episode ends before he gets stretched to death.

In other queer character news, Amanda once again invokes Kenya’s name in front of Stahma, and it sets Stahma’s blood on fire. They’re in a one-on-one face-off while the manhunt is on for her and Datak, and Stahma says she doesn’t want to have to kill Amanda, but that just makes the good mayor laugh and laugh and shout about, “Just like you didn’t want to kill my sister/your lesbian lover but you did it anyway!?!?” Stahma doesn’t murder Amanda, though. She says she’s going to leave her alive so she can wonder why.


The Fosters

Mondays on ABC Family at 8:00 p.m.

305: “Going South”

Stef and Lena have finally decided to get some therapy, thanks to their plumber who tells Stef at the end of “Going South” that he’s pretty sure they’re headed for divorce. Sadly, going south isn’t about going south to Scissortown. It’s about Callie and Brandon making a day trip to Mexico to go hang gliding and also about Brandon’s ego going down when Callie verbally thraxes him for blaming every one of his stupid man tears on the women in his life. He agrees that she — and the entirety of the lesbian internet, who have been saying this to him for two years — is right.

But for Stef and Lena, the days starts out rough and gets rougher and rougher. They fight about Stef hiring a plumber without running it past Lena, they fight about how Stef gets a little slut-shamey with Mariana when she finds out she had sex with Wyatt and took a precautionary pregnancy test, they fight about what Brandon and Callie are doing in Mexico and how to solve that problem. Lena wants to go to a couples counselor, but Stef has a hard enough time communicating with her best friend/wife; adding a third person into the feelings roundtable makes her want to vomit. But she agrees to it, in the end, because if a random handyman in the house thinks it’s broken, maybe they could use a tune-up.

306: “It’s My Party”

Stef handles therapy exactly how you think she would. When the therapist tells her and Lena to make a list of all the things they love about each other, and all the things that drive them crazy, she keeps calling it The Hate List, and every time she does something she knows pisses off Lena, she’s like, “Put it on The Hate List!” (By the way, is that Monty/Lena kiss gonna come up in therapy? I need them to deal with that and get on with it; every week, it’s a heart attack for me, waiting for that information to come out!)

Jude throws Callie a big birthday bash and everyone who loves her comes to it, including Rosie; the ladies from Girls United; handsome Cole, who is over his broken prom heart; Robert, who buys her a car; Sophie, who inexplicably schemes with Brandon the whole time; and Wyatt, who yells at her about how he and Mariana had sex and deal with it dot gif.

Lena finally convinces Stef that her list of things she loves about Stef is a million miles long, and the things that annoy her, those things are rooted in Stef’s goodness and loyalty and mama bearness. They smooch and they jump in the bouncy castle.

They still need to keep going to therapy, though.


Clipped

Tuesdays on TBS at 10:00 p.m.

Sigh. Charmaine’s queerness still isn’t being mentioned or explored. I’ll keep watching for you, though.


Scream

Tuesdays on MTV at 10:00 p.m.

Wellllll, Audrey’s gal pal, Rachel, got murdered in the first two minutes of the second episode of Scream, slashing the queer population of MTV’s new horror drama in half. Audrey is really upset about the whole thing, obviously, in large part because A murdered Rachel by luring her out onto the balcony and slipping a noose around her neck, and then making it look like a suicide. Audrey doesn’t believe it. She doesn’t believe it so much that she wraps a belt around her throat at Rachel’s wake to see if it’s possible she really hanged herself from the ceiling fan.

On the upside, it looks like Audrey and Emma have a Big Lesbian Past, which is kind of like if Regina George and Janis Ian had a Big Lesbian Past, so I’m excited to see where that goes.

(Probably nowhere. Probably death.)


Hannibal

Saturdays on NBC at 10:00 p.m.

306: “Dolce”

As you know, I cannot watch Hannibal, but the promised lesbian shenanigans did happen, and this is how Stacy told it to me via email when I was at Big Bear:

So Margot and Alana had a lot of business this week.

Margot and Alana discuss with Mason (Margot’s brother) how Hannibal disemboweled/hung Mason’s Italian hired-to-capture-Hannibal-so-Mason-can-eat-him detective, and Alana makes eyes at Margot while simultaneously schooling Mason on how his ego is going to fuck him over. If you’re wondering why Alana and Margot are somehow party to Mason’s scheme, for Margot it’s because she’s basically Mason’s prisoner and also probably because Hannibal used her for numerous psychological games last season. And for Alana, she got shoved out of a window, practically breaking all of her bones, and then was stuck lying on the ground while Hannibal stabbed and slashed all of her friends.

I won’t even tell you what Hannibal did to Mason to get him all riled up because you would literally never forgive me.

Later on, Margot has a scene with Mason where they acknowledge that he fucking straight-up cut out her uterus last season. His reasoning being that she weaponized it and shouldn’t have “waved it around like a loaded pistol.” He kind of said it like he was joking, but he wasn’t.

As a refresher, last season Margot slept with Will in an attempt to get pregnant because the only way she can inherit Verger family money and escape Mason and his abuse is through producing a male heir. Mason found out (thanks, Hannibal) and decided removing her uterus would be the most reasonable solution.

Okay, so Mason talks about how he wants a baby — specifically with her, his sister, and could she please figure something out? What a shame he cut out her uterus. They could be a family again. I guess he’s been getting into Game of Thrones.

And then Margot and Alana have sex inside of a kaleidoscope. (That’s a real thing. The director and editor put some crazy psychedelic effects throughout the scene. It’s like their skin and faces and limbs were merging and sometimes it looks like Margot is making out with herself??? It’s a very Hannibal sex scene.)

Afterwards, Alana helps Margot get dressed, which is kinda sensual and hot until Margot asks Alana if she knows anything about sperm farming.

I fear for Alana. It seems like her womb is on the market now. :/

At the end of the episode, it seems like Mason has captured Hannibal and Will — it’s a bit confusing because Hannibal was about to cut into Will’s skull but then suddenly they’re tied up in front of Mason? Who ever knows with this show.

307: “Digestivo”

This week I was home from Big Bear and so as soon as I woke up on Sunday, Stacy had watched the new episode and gently explained to me (#PillowTalk) how Margot discovered that Mason was incubating a baby he’d made with her eggs and his sperm inside of a pig?  And so Margot and Alana — who kept dressing each other sensually, by the way, implied post-coitally — cut the dead fetus out of the pig? And then they used a cattle prod to harvest Mason’s sperm? And then they fed him to an eel? Like an eel that lived inside his floor? I’m pretty sure that’s what happened. I think Mason doesn’t have a face, but Stacy says she can’t tell me why, and that’s for the best. It doesn’t matter anyway now because faceless Mason is dead.

It seems less and less likely that Hannibal is going to get picked up by a streaming platform now that NBC has pulled the plug. Apparently Margot isn’t in the rest of the season, so maybe she makes it out of this show alive, after all!

Update: Stef says Margot is maybe coming back for one more episode and that she wants to tell you why Mason doesn’t have a face, but I can’t listen to that second part, so.


Team TV coverage you may have missed

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Renee Montoya and Kate Kane, Peggy Carter and Angie Martinelli, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy!

Orange Is The New Black Episode 308 Recap: Fear and Loathing in Panty Town
Ruby Rose, the results are in and you are NOT THE FATHER!

The 2015 Emmy Nominations Include More Queer and Black Women Than Ever!
It’s like the opposite of the Oscars.

Pretty Little Liars Episode 606 Recap: How You Get The Girl
Emily and Sara make out with their faces while the rest of the Liars are attacked by woodland creatures in the night.

Orange is The New Black Episode 307 Recap: Some Kind Of Fetish Fangirl
Strong brews for everybody!

Fan Fiction Friday: 10 Historical Femslash Stories Full of Cowgirls and Knights and Nuns and Scissoring
Santana and Btittany join the circus! Paige and Emily traverse the Wild West! Carmilla and Laura are princesses!

Orange Is the New Black Episode 306 Recap: All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter
Chang has a lot of secrets. The main one is she’s a total badass!


P.S. I heard a lesbian character came out on UNreal, so I’ll try to catch up with that this week!

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle managing editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 823 articles for us.

47 Comments

    • I think what Heather Hogan is referencing is how Mason had a heck of a lot of scar tissue for a face because of that thing Hannibal did last season that I’m quite sure Heather doesn’t want to read about. And then at the end of this episode I’m pretty sure Hannibal left his scar-tissue-face and just put Mason’s chef/surgeon’s face on top of it but left Mason otherwise in tact…which…maybe Hannibal was just in a hurry?

        • anybody else catch mason’s little shout-out to hannibal in silence of the lambs when he was talking about alana’s birthing hips and asked margot if they were “rrrroomy?”

          • @Stef & Ray: I have a confession to make…I’ve not actually seen Silence of the Lambs. So I totally failed to catch either of those references.

          • i’m here to tell you it’s streaming on netflix RIGHT NOW and that anthony hopkins’ hannibal is very different, but completely genius. i actually watched ‘manhunter,’ the horrible movie based on red dragon that precedes all the anthony hopkins hannibal movies, and that hannibal is british, smug and boring. silence of the lambs is important.

  1. UnREAL episodes that are explicitly related to the lesbian character: 101 (the pilot) and 105 (“Truth”). She actually came out about 2-3 weeks ago, but the last few weeks have moved to a different “A” plot, so she hasn’t been as involved. That said the last few episodes were important to the show’s plot as a whole- just not gay specific?

    Faith, the queer character, has been moved into place to be a bigger role as the show wraps up the season. I’m happy we might get some Boobs coverage for it! Faith is so interesting! She’s southern, from a small town, christian, and queer. There really isn’t anyone else like her that I think of on tv right now!

  2. I heard a lesbian character came out on UNreal, so I’ll try to catch up with that this week!

    yess! I just started watching this today and had no idea. Something more to look forward to.

  3. It just seems to me on “Scream” that Emma and Audrey’s relationship is the central one on the show. And I just about died when Audrey says, “Come on Emma, you just did your hair twirl thing.”

  4. Jeez Louise. Was I the only person who thought that Margot/Alana sex scene was the most ridiculous thing ever? Everyone I complain about it to thinks it was so “beautiful” and “sensual”, but it honestly just gave me vertigo. And where was the kaleidoscope treatment when Will and Margot had sex, or Hannibal and Alana?!??

    Oh, well. At least neither of them turned into a stag halfway through.

    I was so there for that brutal murder of Mason, though. I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of an eel.

    • I thought it was ridiculous too. Bryan Fuller was hyping it up like this was going to be the wildest lesbian sex scene on network television. He was patting himself on the back for it before it even aired. When I finally saw it I just rolled my eyes.

    • The het scenes were trippy and weird and arty too though and the Margot/Alana one seemed basically on par for that. Also I’m pretty sure they were trying to deal with what sex acts can and can’t be shown on broadcast tv. (Generally filmed from the waist up) PIV is common on tv these days, but how often do you see oral or manual action, even with m/f couples? (See also why I tend to roll my eyes at #isthishowlesbianshavesex grumbling.)

      Some screencappers on Tumbler managed to catch frames of the ladies taking turns going down on each other and a possible 69, which was pleasant surprise given what I’ve come to expect from f/f scenes. So obviously mileages vary, but I’m not even a little mad.

      • I guess my main problem with it was that I couldn’t even tell that it WAS a sex scene for a while – with all those disembodied limbs twisting around into various diamond shapes, it almost felt more like a fever dream than a sex scene.

        I’m not on tumblr, so I didn’t know that people had found frames of Margot and Alana going down on one another – I guess that’s pretty cool, especially if that’s what it takes for a clear depiction of lesbian sex to exist on television. It’s a bummer that it has to basically be watered down to subliminal messaging, though, you know?

        Over all it just struck me as another hokey attempt to depict lesbian sex as ~mystical~ and ~ethereal~ that just ended up being (for me, anyways) tepid and kind of alienating. I’m personally totally with Stacy on how Alana helping Margot get dressed was the hottest part of the whole thing.

        • See I feel like pretty much everything in this show is so fantastical that the psychedelic nature of the scene didn’t bother me. Plus, I prefer the trippy scene we got to something that was all male-gazey.

          • That’s a good point!! It really wasn’t male gaze-y at all, was it?

            I guess if anything it was house fly gaze-y.
            (Ba dum, tss! Compound eye humor! Yikes.)

    • Welp, at least Alana’s hot now. I couldn’t stand her in the first two seasons. She just seemed kinda willfully stupid (ALOT of NBC chicks have that same face and that same stupid thing going at first). She’s got some swag now with that pimp cane. Yeeyuh. I am SOOO not happy Hannibals on the heap. I friggin love that show somebody’s gotta pick it up on cable or something.

  5. – so it was a problem for Jude to get accepted into Anchor Beach but AJ waltzed right in. How come?
    – what the hell was Stef wearing to the party? For real!?
    – so Brandon gets accepted back into Idlewild. Once again no consequences for his actions.
    – really? They didn’t know they needed passports? Really? Really?
    – i’ve always liked Wyatt and then he decides to start being an asshole
    – I love the fact that Callie told Brandon off. It’s been a long time coming.
    – Stef and Lena in the bouncy house aaaawww
    – I don’t miss Jesus at all. They haven’t mentioned him in forever, I sort of forgotten that he even exists.
    – what kind of teenager turns down a car? Callie could’ve just given Jack McPhee the money that her and Marianna saved… Oy vey.
    – Brandon and AJ fightzZZzzzZZz

    • I don’t miss Jesus either but he’s apparently been recast so he’s coming back at some point. I’m not surprised though. It had to happen. I still want to know the true tea as to why Jake T. Austin isn’t on the show anymore and not the PR version of events.

      I still don’t get why we need yet another foster kid on the show taking up time and falling in love with Callie. This show already has a big enough cast as it is. Especially when they remember to give screentime to Callie’s other family plus her friends from the group home. And then their are all these other love interests each kid has to have. I am worn out from all these characters and would rather have more Stef/Lena screentime.

      • I would love to lose all the kids except for Jude and Connor (and maybe Mariana) and make the show all Stef and Lena all the time.
        About Jake T. Austin I’ve read something about being difficult on set and the DUI but nothing more than rumours
        Also don’t get why we need another love interest for Callie… Let the girl be, plus Wyatt was perfect for her and his hair is so pretty

  6. wait, so i haven’t seen any of this season of hannibal, but how does mason die in the show and then be alive so he can be played by gary oldman in the movie hannibal? are they just totally departing from the movie canon?

    • It was never made to line up with the films. The ideal plan Fuller had was 6-7 seasons, if memory serves. It got compounded as it went on, as Red Dragon was once said to be season 4 but is now the second half of season 3. Then he wanted to do Silence of the Lambs with Ellen Page as Clarice (there is nothing I wouldn’t give for this now that it’s in my head) and so on. This season though did take a lot from the novel/film Hannibal though (done better) to the point where anything following Silence of the Lambs would likely be very different.

  7. I’ve been enjoying scream so far. It’s way different from the original. Annoyed they fell into the lesbian tv death trope. Hannibal lately has been quite interesting. Mason is vile.

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