Boob(s On Your) Tube: All The Lesbians Are Psycho Clowns on “American Horror Story: Cult” Now!

We’re working out the best day to bring Boob(s On Your) Tube to you, my friends. It looks like that day is going to be Saturday for the time being (except today which is Sunday because I had to do about 20 hours of adulting — real estate office, bank, calling people for quotes, bank again — yesterday and it wore me out!). I watched Once Upon a Time and the gay thing isn’t worth writing about yet; it’s just three seconds of Alice hinting she’s got girl feelings for another girl. I was going to write about Facebook Watch’s Strangers, which I mainlined on Friday because it’s gaaaaaay, but I think it deserves a standalone review, so look for that this week. And also I’m going to take over Jane the Virgin here in Boobs because Yvonne is overloaded doing brilliant longform original reporting and that beloved show comes on Friday nights now. Until then, allow me to remind you that picture of Sara Ramirez was real, Valerie recapped Supergirl, and Riese reviewed the first season of Harlots.

Here’s what else!


American Horror Story: Cult 708 “Winter of Our Discontent”

Written by Riese

This week on American Horror Story a number of things occurred that drove the story forward toward no real end, including additional murders, some gruesome flashbacks, and a moment of strained quasi-sexual physical contact between Winter and Ivy, who I think we’re supposed to believe are actively engaged in a carnal relationship. Furthermore, we acquired additional Kai Origin Stories, which thus far have come together to paint an uneven and inconsistent portrait of a man and/or movement. Kai is getting merciless and sloppy, and the women are getting angry and resistant, quoting Valerie Solanas and calling men “turds,” but ultimately not managing to amass any real power. Bodies are dropping like the boxelder bugs I slaughtered last week on my porch!

“Your bang-ability would go way up if you just smiled,” an inane Aryan man in double-denim tells Ivy at the Butchery, where she’s been asked to force the troops to eat healthier. Winter steps in and grabs Ivy’s arm before she can stab him with a fork.

See, Kai’s cult has transformed into a band of inane Aryan men in double-denim who want women to stay in the kitchen and feed them, a practice which the ladies note is some serious “Handmaid Shit.” But the wining and dining situation is hardly the most egregious Handmaid Shit we’ll be treated to this particular week, my friends!

Winter insists to Ivy and Beverly that her brother has simply lost his way, that once upon a time he was good and clear. We flashback to a new hackneyed history, to a time when Winter and Kai trolled social justice warriors online for sport, a practice which led them to accept an invitation to the local Judgement House, overseen by Pastor Charles, a religious lunatic who’s turned a run-down house into a horrorshow with live horrors.

Luckily, I visited the very disturbing Museum of Death this past weekend so I was oddly nonplussed.

Exhibits include a bloody-thighed woman chained into stirrups for an eternal abortion, a man strapped to a table and hooked up to myriad IVs pushing opiates and heroin through his veins, slowly killing him physically while his mind goes on endless journeys and a gay man who’s about to get stabbed through the chest when he’s rescued by Winter and Kai. Kai saves the prisoners and kills the preacher, and Winter refers to this incident as “Kai saving her life” but also — what?

Winter says this is when Kai lost his way and got addicted to amphetamines and the Dark Web. But when Winter attempts to have a heart-to-heart with Kai about how women are treated, she ends up cornered conversationally into, somehow, creating cult babies!

Kai: “You will be the mother of our messiah baby.”
Winter: “Kai, we can’t have a baby. That’s incest.”
Kai: “No no no. I’m not suggesting that at all. Samuels.”
Winter: “Samuels?”
Kai: “He’s beautiful, don’t you think? He will be the instrument of our union.”
Winter: “Our union?”
Kai: “Yes. As he enters you, I will enter him. That way, I will be the father, but you will remain pure and unsoiled. You cool with that?”

Thus we find Winter and Samuels, dressed in living history nightgowns, awaiting The Ceremony. Samuels, a certified dumbshit, notes “This is important work we’re doing. maybe the most important thing we’ll ever do,” and Winter is like, “I guess, I can’t believe I was a the Women’s March three months ago.” Me too girl, me too.

For sure a highlight of this week’s episode, dare I say the only highlight, was that Kai picked All-4-One’s “I Swear” as the messiah baby soundtrack for now and forevermore. “This is a holy space now, and this is a holy song now,” Kai says, playing All-4-One’s “I Swear.” I had All-4-One’s “I Swear” on cassette single, we’d listen to it at sleepovers while crying, which was a thing we did for fun in middle school. We cried. It was a weird time. What a song! I Swear! By All-4-One!

But Samuels can’t get it up. Winter hates the whole scenario and says it feels like rape. Kai yells, “It has to be done like this! It’s the only way!” and Winter is like “You literally made it up this afternoon, bye.”

It turns out that Samuels and Kai became bros 4 life when Samuels caught Kai selling prescriptions (by stealing his brother’s RX pads) and rather than arrest him, asked for a cut of the profits. Before long Kai was visiting Samuels’ extensive Nazi antique collection and engaging in sweet, sweet buttsex. Basically — Samuels can’t get hard for women except sometimes he can if he can also strangle them. Maybe he needs to find someone who shares his kink, listen I don’t know, but Kai tells Samuels his impotence problem is due to Samuels not leaning into his masculinity, which is “like electricity” because “with a man, there’s no energy drain, you’re building on one another exponentially.” Samuels insists he’s not gay, and Kai insists that there’s no such thing as gay or straight, and then they’re off to the races!

Winter’s picking up trash in an orange jumpsuit and a dunce hat when Samuels pulls up to serve gruel and then try to rape her, and I was like NOT TODAY SATAN I will NOT be watching a Ryan Murphy Show Rape Scene today I will not. Luckily Winter saves herself and all of us by murdering Samuels with a gun.

Over in Allyworld, Dr. Vincent visits Ally to say he’s scared about Kai, believes her about the cult, plans to get his brother institutionalized and will get her reunited with Oz if it’s the last thing he does. So Vincent hasn’t been in on it — Kai’s been stealing his files, and his prescription pad — and now Ally knows that Winter is Kai’s sister, too.

So Ally responds to Vincent’s promise to help by inviting Kai & Clones over for some Sloppy Joes and Secrets: she tells Kai that Vince wants him institutionalized in exchange for Kai’s word that he’ll reunite Ally with Oz. I mean sidenote though; where the fuck is Oz? Maybe he’s with Angelica.

Ally’s strong and mean now. “After months of you terrorizing me, forcing me to face my phobias,” she tells Kai, “You did the one thing my wife or your brother or all the meds in the world couldn’t do. You cured me. I’m not afraid of anything anymore.”

Which brings me to our final scene, in which Beverly and Vincent are brought before a jury of their peers wearing creepy masks and tied to chairs. Winter’s horrified by Kai’s intent to murder Vincent, but not so horrified that she won’t pitch in a little. Besides, she sold Beverly out, too — told Kai it was Beverly who offed Samuels, not her. Kai sends Beverly to the “isolation chamber,” a situation I absolutely CAN wait to see. He brutally kills his brother. And then Kai introduces the newest member of their little cult.

It’s Ally!

“Surprise Bitch!”

“You thought you’d seen the last of me.”


Grey’s Anatomy

Written by Carmen

I can’t believe I’m wasting my gayest outfit on you!

We’re now five episodes into Grey’s Anatomy. We have roughly 17 more hours to spend with each other, so it’s important that you know this about me right now, before we go any further: I do not like Owen Hunt. I have not liked Owen Hunt since he bellowed to Cristina Yang, “You Killed Our Baby” in a house full of their closest friends following her abortion in season eight and nothing in the following seven years has changed that. When I saw the commercials promoting Thursday’s episode as a hour-long Owen centric flashback to his time serving in Iraq, I groaned every single time. I was not looking forward to this. At all.

Yes, this episode had faaaaaar too much Owen Hunt (or Nathan Riggs for that matter) than anyone really needs in their life. It barely had enough Teddy Altman, Megan Hunt, or sweet little Farouk and his adorable doe-like eyelashes to make up for Owen’s perpetual sulk. Still, I found myself surprisingly endeared by the final credits roll. Thursday night’s Grey’s Anatomy was an elegant “fix-it”. It not only found a way for Owen and Amelia to maturely end their mess of a marriage on their own terms, but also for Nathan Riggs to leave us, and for Megan Hunt to get the happy ending that I desperately wanted for her, despite only knowing her for such a short time.

We begin with ceiling fans twirling. Ceiling fans have traditionally been significant to Owen. They remind him of helicopters and Iraq, which we first learned as he began his battle against PTSD in season five. Now we know the final missing piece of that puzzle, helicopters trigger him in part because he put his sister on one in 2007 and she ended up kidnapped.

Megan is leaving for her new life in LA with Farouk and Nathan. She promises Owen that they will visit each other up and down the coast, but he’s doubtful. He impromptu jumps in the car with her for a sibling road trip and that opens the way for our flashback.

This episode struggles under the weight of all its exposition as it tries to fill in the remaining holes of Megan Hunt’s mystery. To keep it simple, let’s go with this:

Megan Hunt was up for a promotion the day she ultimately goes missing, but Owen purposefully tanked her recommendations because he thought the job was too dangerous (absolutely none of his business, by the way). She goes to Riggs’ barracks and finds a necklace underneath some furniture. The necklace belongs to another woman. Riggs panics and uses it to propose marriage instead. Megan gleefully accepts the proposal. Later, Riggs comes clean to Megan about his one night stand, but it turns out that she cheated on him first. Still, she’s upset with the revelation and mad at Owen. So, she decides to take the medical helicopter back to base with an Iraqi woman she’s been treating, rather than travel with the rest of her team. The Iraqi woman turned out to be a terrorist fighter and that is how Megan gets kidnapped. The end.

Oh, and Lt. Teddy Altman looks hot in Army camo.

With that out of the way, I want to talk a bit more about Megan Hunt’s dreams for herself. When Megan and Owen were children, a family vacation went astray and ended with the Hunts tired, frustrated and seeking emotional refuge on a quiet stretch of beach in California. They splashed in the water, squealing and cheering until the sun went down. It’s her happiest, purest memory. It’s the memory that got her through the worst days of her kidnapping. She would pretend the the dessert sand was beach, that the bombs and yelling were the joyful noise of her family. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t fake the water. And so she promised herself, if she ever made it out, she was going to move to California and live on the Pacific Ocean.

Every single day for the rest of her life would begin with Megan sinking her toes into the cold water. It’s a promise that she is going to keep. No one is going to stop her.

Megan Hunt is tough as nails, with a smile that lights up any room. She’s funny as all get out, good at her job, and she doesn’t take shit from Owen ever- not for his love of Kenny Loggins, and not for his need to control her life. She tells her brother that her California plan makes her so happy that she can feel it in the tips of her fingers. The way she talks about it, tears spring to my eyes. She wants that kind of happiness for him, but first he is going to have to finally get out of his own way.

Owen returns to Seattle and Amelia. She knows what’s about to happen almost immediately after he walks in the door. He says that he’s sorry, but she understands. They don’t know each other (I’ve been screaming that at my TV since before they got married!). They both want something more. They take off their rings, together. They hug through tears and smile and breathe relief. It’s over.

For the first time in years, I find myself maybe feeling charitable towards Owen. I hope that he runs with this new beginning. I hope he finds his own happiness as opposed to continuing as a pit of toxicity for every woman that he encounters. I wish for his growth; I believe everybody deserves that much.

This Army-centric episode was the solo debut of Shondaland writer Jalysa Conway, a black female Air Force veteran. Congratulations Jalysa, and thank you for your service.

Post-Op Thoughts:

+ Nearly 40,00 veterans across the United States are homeless. Please visit here or call (877)-4-AID-VET to find out ways you can help.


Queen Sugar

Written by Carmen

There’s an interesting trend brewing for the Bordelon women. Up to this point we have dealt with the lasting influence of Ernest Bordelon on their lives; now we’re pivoting to explore the relationship between them and their mothers.

Charley and Darla have both had their moms recently visit St. Josephine’s. The reemergence of Charley’s mother, Lorna, forces Nova to face the looming specter of her own mother, Trudy. Trudy passed away when she was teenager. Nova still hasn’t forgiven Lorna for her role in the dissolution Trudy and Ernest’s marriage before she was born.

Confronted by an adult Nova, Lorna finally has the opportunity to tell her truth. She did not “steal” Ernest from his family; Trudy sent him away. She wanted to live her life freely, on her own terms and outside the traditional confines of marriage. Even after Nova was born and Ernest tried to come back, Trudy refused him again. Lorna was in awe, she knew that she didn’t have that same courage or self-determination. She stayed with Ernest, knowing he loved someone else.

Charley and Nova listen silently, twin tears streaming down their faces. Nova realizes that she can’t remember her mother ever badmouthing Lorna directly. Her resentment stems from someone else’s telling; Aunt Vi has kindled this particular flame.

We know that eventually Trudy and Ernest reunite, having Ralph Angel and completing their family. Nova looks back on these stories of her mother and takes the wrong lessons away from them. She thinks that Trudy regretted turning Ernest away. Nova decides to make a serious effort in her relationship with Dr. DuBois, a man that she can’t help but notice reminds her of her father.

It’s a decision that doesn’t last long. DuBois finally shows his true intentions while giving a national television interview with Nova. Disappointed that the first half of their segment together is not creating buzz online, he changes tactics and verbally attacks Nova on air. She’s betrayed. Later, in his attempted apology, DuBois reveals that he views Nova as an opportunity. He imagines them together as “the face of a movement”. DuBois is more interested in the potential of their fame than the unthankful work of community activism. He believes that Nova only remains in the Ninth Ward out of guilt. The minute he said it, I knew this man’s credit had run out. He fundamentally doesn’t understand Nova, and now she knows it too.

Nova lives in the Ninth because she sees its beauty and its strength. She revels in its blackness, its history. She isn’t held back there- she is free. In a quiet corner of her sister’s sugar mill, Nova ends her relationship with DuBois once and for all.

Then, Calvin returns to her life. Calvin was Nova’s other major love interest during Queen Sugar’s first season, a white married police officer. Calvin asks that Nova give him another chance. He tells her that she is his freedom. She’s the one part of his life, otherwise dictated by family and societal obligations, that is just for him. For what it’s worth, I genuinely believe that he is sincere.

This seems to be the moment when Nova finally get it. She finally understands the lesson she was was meant to take from her mother’s life, a woman whose legacy she carries on not only through their shared physical resemblance, but through their shared spirit. Nova may represent “freedom” to Calvin, but he will never be freedom for her. She can never be her full self around him. If they continue, he will become her prison. Trudy and Ernest came back together because Trudy realized that she felt freer with him than she did without him. She didn’t resign herself to live smaller; she didn’t compromise.

Nova lets Calvin go. In three episodes, she has released herself from two of her central love interests.

Perhaps I’m reading too much into what I’m going to say next. In fact given Nova’s second season arc so far, I am almost certainly reading too much into it. Still, I can’t help but wonder, when was the last time Nova felt free on her own terms? There is only one person on the show so far that Nova has said she felt free around:

And that person is Chantal Williams. The morning after the first time they had sex. I’m just saying, let’s keep a pin in this, yes? Let’s mark it here for future reference.

Chantal aside, Nova is slowly finding her way out of the woods. She’s grappling with the fact that she’s truly her mother’s child. She’s at a crossroads and I’m rooting for her.

We also must talk about Darla. Her parents have come to visit, after six years of silence. Michael Michelle and Roger Guenveur Smith give quiet, but devastating performances as parents of a recovering addict and a family dealing with the emotional scars her addiction has left behind. In particular the scenes between Bianca Lawson and Michelle are honest and heartbreaking. The real heartbreak, however, comes at the end of the episode.

With the encouragement of her parents, Darla realizes that she has not completed her amends to Ralph Angel. She has one secret left, and her continued sobriety depends on her coming forth with it. She takes him outside, so they can be alone among the family’s sugar cane fields, and tells him the hardest truth I have seen on the show so far: He may not be Blue’s father.

Yep. That happened. I have no idea where we go from here. We’ll check back in three weeks after Queen Sugar wraps its second season. Also, I’d like to shout out black queer director Cheryl Dunye for her work on episode 2.11 “Fruit of the Flower”.


How to Get Away With Murder

Written by Natalie

Bonnie arrives at Isaac’s office, desperate, drenched and enraged. She’s just come from a run-in with “Mae,” who we know right away is Annalise because few people could provoke this kind of response from Bonnie. She admits that she didn’t come to therapy to get better, she came to Isaac to hurt Annalise.

Bonnie wonders if she imagined the connection she had with Annalise or if their shared experiences both drew them together and doomed them from the start. She admits to trying to be what Annalise wanted — but that ultimately, their relationship was all about Annalise’s guilt.

The show’s hinted how Annalise and Bonnie’s mentorship/relationship began, but this week, we get to see its beginning, with a flashback to 2002. Annalise is an ambitious attorney, whose job hangs in the balance, as she defends the city councilman accused of raping a 14-year old Bonnie Winterbottom.

In an gut-wrenching performance from Liza Weil, Bonnie stoically recounts how her father, a janitor at City Hall, would take her with him to work and leave her in his basement office to be raped by the Councilman. The sexual assault only stopped because Bonnie got pregnant, though she can’t say for sure who the baby’s father was because she was being raped by several men, including her father, at the time.

Annalise doesn’t hide her discomfort well during Bonnie’s testimony and later, as she pours over the discovery, she tears up at the idea of cross-examining her. Annalise is reticent, but she can’t say no, for fear of looking weak. Her husband, Tom, wonders about the emotional cost doing the cross-examination and an emotional Annalise answers, “You know, not everything is about what he did to me.”

Everything may not be, but the emotions consuming Annalise, certainly are.

Still, Annalise does it — more forcefully after her job is threatened — and it is, without a doubt, the most chilling thing that HTGAWM has ever showcased.

I get why the show wanted us to see this. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), out of every 1000 rapes committed in this country, 994 perpetrators will walk free. Only 310 of them are ever reported to the police, just 57 of those reports lead to arrest and only 11 will be referred to a prosecutor. And, at every stage of the process, survivors see what HTGAWM showcased this week: unrelenting victim-blaming and the continued re-traumatizing of survivors.

I get that the show wanted to show us the way that victims are treated by the judicial system. They wanted us to be disgusted by it. Mission accomplished!

That said, I don’t understand is why they made Annalise do it. Why force a rape survivor to victim blame another survivor? It, like the repeated mentions that Bonnie was raped by several men, felt unnecessarily gratuitous and cruel.

Annalise wins the case and, despite being promised a promotion to named partner, she quits. Her own cowardice has broken her — the warmth between her and Tom is gone and she sips on vodka, despite undergoing expensive hormone treatment. Still, though, Annalise reaches out to Bonnie and offers her help — she thinks Bonnie would be a great lawyer — and so begins their toxic relationship.

Back in the present, Annalise is busy trying to scrape together 40 plaintiffs for her class action suit against the state. Nate warns her that Bonnie’s on her tail — combing through the same set of case files and tracking every one of Virginia Cross’ past clients as the system updates their attorney status — but Annalise is being discreet, offering bribes to the guards and not signing the regular visitors’ logs.

She finally gets to 40+ plaintiffs and Annalise allows herself a moment of celebration. There’s pure joy on Annalise’s face as she does a little victory dance..and then, it all comes crashing down. Bonnie’s managed to track Annalise’s moves using the security cameras, and, one by one, picks off Annalise’s would-be plaintiffs, destroying her class-action lawsuit.

When Bonnie returns to her car, after a day of deal making, Annalise waits for her. The conversation quickly turns to their origin story. The belief that Annalise only helped her out of guilt consumes Bonnie and she accuses her former mentor of throwing her out when she failed to live up to her expectations. Annalise tries to persuade Bonnie that her actions weren’t motivated by guilt and that she never viewed Bonnie as trash.

It’s a deeply uncomfortable scene that ends with no real insight into who’s right and who’s wrong, but Bonnie is deeply affected and the confrontation sends her straight to Isaac’s couch.

Bonnie wants Issac’s affirmation — that she’s right to hate Annalise, that she’s right to hurt her by destroying her class-action suit — but he refuses to give it. Instead, he counsels her that the first step in moving on from Mae is for Julie to admit that she loves her, despite her flaws. Again, this feels cruel to me — particularly since Bonnie described Annalise as an abuser — but Bonnie does as she’s told, repeating “I love her” over and over again until it hurts.

Her face wet with tears, her emotions raw, Bonnie slips up…she mentions wanting to work on the class-action suit and Isaac starts to put together the pieces. Mae is Annalise, June is Bonnie and Isaac looks petrified.

Meanwhile, Michaela is kicking ass and taking names at her internship at Caplan & Gold, even managing to finagle a job in the firm’s IT department for Oliver. To celebrate her success, her new mentor, Tegan, rewards her with a new pair of Louboutins. As Michaela slips on the studded blue heels, I notice the red soles and Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” starts playing in my head, “These expensive, these is red bottoms, these is bloody shoes..” Those shoes feel like a really bad omen.

Apparently, giving someone a thousand dollar pair of shoes, doesn’t buy you much loyalty because after Tegan leaves for dinner, Michaela and Oliver use her log-in to access the Antares files. They barely get a peak at a cease-and-desist letter about Trent Stockton before the firm’s second layer of security kicks in and they’re forced to log-off. Still, though, Laurel, Oliver and Micheala are able to figure out that the C&D letter was sent a week before Stockton was killed.

While his boyfriend’s plotting with Michaela and Laurel, Connor’s trying to suppress his own vices, resisting the urge to hook-up with some guy off Humpr. But instead of going to hook-up, he runs to the last place you’d expect: Annalise’s hotel room. He still blames Annalise for everything that’s wrong in his life — because she picked him to be part of the Keating 5 — and wishes that he could trade places with Wes so he wouldn’t have to live with the guilt of what they’ve done. Annalise assures him that he’s stronger than he thinks and invites him to work with her on her class-action suit. It’s the most interesting Connor’s been to me all season long.

And then there’s Asher, sulking around, waiting for Frank to finish the LSAT or Michaela to get off work. He overhears a late-night phone conversation between Laurel and Michaela and gets suspicious. Whatever suspicions he has lead him way down the wrong road, as the show fast-forwards two weeks, and Asher is sitting alone in a jail, sobbing, the prime suspect in this season’s mystery.

Take that John Bennett…that’s what you get for leaving Daya.


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Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Heather has written 599 articles for us.

29 Comments

  1. @c-p I co-sign everything you said about Grey’s Anatomy and Owen Hunt. As you know, I too am not an Owen fan, and when this ep started with his voice over, I just groaned. But while he annoyed me SO MUCH through the episode (Did you even tell Amelia you we’re going to LA?! “Are there any women in you life you don’t lie too?” You do not get to control Megan’s life! You are a cheater too you hypocrite!) I was really happy with the ending. Riggs gone, Megan happy, Farouk happy, Meredith happy, Owen and Amelia separated, and the possibility left open for the return of Teddy!? All good things in my book.

    • Yes! These are my exact thoughts. If I have to sit through an hour of Owen Hunt, at least it ended with so many positive changes for the show dynamic moving forward. I cannot tell you how happy I am to have Owen and Amelia separated for good and to no longer have to look at Riggs on my television screen!

      The only downside was losing Farouk. He could have had a nice spot among the “Adorable Children of Grey’s Anatomy” hit list. Hopefully, Megan and Farouk can visit back at some point.

  2. Re: Queen Sugar,

    Good lord, that last scene was such a gut punch, I did NOT see that coming. I really hope this doesn’t send Ra (or Darla) into a spiral, and mostly importantly, I really, really REALLY hope Blue never finds out.

    I have really loved the look at all the mothers on Queen Sugar this season, though I still don’t really understand why they had to keep Lorna such a mystery for so long. That big long speech she gave to Nova was great, but it was such an exposition dump! Why haven’t we been getting info about Lorna, Trudy, and Earnest’s history all this time?

    I’m really glad Nova turned Calvin away, though Carmen I agree with you that I think he was sincere. I do think though that DuBois’ turn was a little quick. Him turning on her in that interview, and more importantly, him not understanding why that upset her so much, seemed really out of character for him? I don’t think they have different goals, only different methods and motivations. Regarding Chantal, I have no idea if you’re right or not, but I really appreciate that flashback you provided – I’d forgotten about that moment, but I agree with you that the use of the concept of “freedom” doesn’t feel accidental. I guess we’ll see.

    • I was absolutely shocked when Darla reveled that to Ra, but I am sincerely hoping that he uses this as an opportunity to rise to the occasion. Blue is still his son, and blood doesn’t matter. That’s the lesson I * hope * he takes from this. But, Ralph Angel has certainly disappointed me before. So we will see…

      I was also surprised that the show really “cleaned house” when it comes to Nova’s major love interests the last few weeks! When Calvin showed up directly after Nova broke up with DuBois, I thought for sure that meant they were getting back together. Now that she’s ended them with both of them, I am intrigued to see where we go next. Obviously I’d love to see her with Chantal (of course, of course) but I am also invested in seeing Nova spend some time alone for a while. Re-discover her work and her community and invest in her family. That would be good for her, I think.

      I don’t know if I am taking the “freedom” talk to where the writers are intending, but the direct parallel with Chantal was just to ripe for me to ignore. There’ only like three episodes left this season? I’ll be surprised if Nova has another love interest in that time span, so we are probably looking at season 3 before some of these threads bear fruit!

  3. Not sure if this was already discussed, but Gail and Erica from The Last Man on Earth are a couple. At the end of season 3 they kissed but since then their relationship has been a bit ambiguous. In last Sunday’s episode though they kissed again and live together.

  4. I find Owens character quite confusing- hes an arse a lot of the time whilst simultaneously being a fundamentaly decent person, and he also somehow manages to be incredibly melodramatic most of the time whilst simulataneously being really boring. Mostly I just need him to have a happy ending with Teddy so he can finally smile for once in his life. And in fairness to him, I dont think he’s toxic to his women, I think he consistently chooses the wrong women and then lets it slowly destroy him instead of just getting the hell out because he has some kind of need to stay with them forever no matter what. (Which Im now gonna pin on the loss of his sister because I love me some armchair psychoanalysis.)

  5. Riese, I can’t watch AHS because I can be real scaredy cat sometimes, but I always read and love your recaps.

    I just realized I hadn’t told you that directly- so here we are! Thank you for always making me laugh. I have no idea what’s really happening and what’s exaggeration and if it’s all as loopy as it sounds, but man what a ride it has been so far!

    • Same here, not sure what’s real about the recaps and what we can attribute to your sheer awesome writing chops Riese but hell I ain’t going to watch that show no way no how. I glimpsed less than three minutes of one episode with Kathy Bates and had nightmares for weeks. Ugh ! Grand Guignol.

  6. Another excellent recap Natalie! Thank you for bringing so much desperately needed context to Bonnie’s flashback and Annalise’s role in her trial. That helped me rethink the episode and what lessons I took away from it.

    But also, I had THIS EXACT SAME REACTION: “As Michaela slips on the studded blue heels, I notice the red soles and Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” starts playing in my head, “These expensive, these is red bottoms, these is bloody shoes..” Those shoes feel like a really bad omen.” <– Yep! If I could highlight in red marker and bold, I would.

    And I snorted at the Daya shout out. So, thanks for that too.

  7. Grey’s Anatomy—-Y’all are my people because I have also hated Owen since he yelled at Christina about the abortion. Maybe even before that if I’m being honest. He keeps choosing women who clearly are not right for them and then guilt-trips them the entire relationship because they won’t live their lives the way he wants them to.

    HTGAWM—-I can’t stand Connor. He never be likable to me. And Annalise is NOT to blame for all his problems. Nobody forced him to do any of the shit he’s done. Oliver deserves so much better. As for Bonnie and Annalise, their relationship has always been the most interesting to me. It’s the one I care the most about. They had hinted at Bonnie’s past in a previous season so I knew what this episode was going to be about going into it. It still didn’t make it any more heartbreaking though.

    Queen Sugar—-I’m glad they’ve finally gotten rid of Nova’s love interests. Fans seemed to really love Dubois for some reason. I never thought he was a good match for her. And based on various comments I’ve read about their relationship from fans, I wonder if their enthusiastic insistence that Dubois is “the one” has something to do with the fact that they don’t want her with a white man and especially not a woman. Just an observation. I was no big fan of Calvin either. I wouldn’t mind seeing Chantal again simply because I like Reagan Gomez but I also think they should maybe not throw Nova right back into a relationship with anybody so soon. Maybe for the rest of the season.

  8. Greys: Not an Owen fan either and this episode was annoying me just for the sheer idea it would be Owen centric. I was surprised though that the episode wasn’t that bad being about Megan but from Owen’s POV and it also showed how much of an asshole Owen really is.
    Riggs never bothered me but he never made an impression either. Now if they only trim a little more fat from the heavy cast they can get to telling better stories for people I actually like.

    On a side note, while the PSA about homeless vets was a good idea in theory I found the wording to be off. If a vet is homeless how would they be seeing this PSA? How would they call for help without a home or phone?

  9. Disney’s ‘Andi Mack’ has [SPOILER AHEAD] just begun Disney’s ‘first gay storyline’, which, to be clear, means a main character who has appeared in every episode comes out (to one person plus himself so far) as gay and deals with gay problems. A male character, so not the focus of this site, but an exciting development regardless, and the door is open…

  10. @pecola Great recap Natalie!

    I really hate it when episode titles give away the episode. In this case, the episode was titled “I Love Her”, which like, way to ruin the biggest moment! Before I watched it, I was running through the list in my head, who could say that, about who, and I came up with 1) Asher about Michaela; 2) Frank about Bonnie or Laurel; or 3) Bonnie about Annalise. Within seconds of Bonnie talking about “Mae” I obviously figured out that Mae was Annalise and Bonnie said the episode title about her. I’m suddenly a lot more interest in Isaac!

    I was really happy to get a Bonnie and Annalise backstory, I feel like we’ve been waiting for this since season 1. But like you, I also thought that much of the additional backstory we get about Bonnie in this episode was gratuitous. Wasn’t the fact that she was raped by her father enough? Why was it necessary to add all of that?

    However, I do think it was important to see Annalise specifically be the lawyer to cross Bonnie. In the present, Bonnie says Annalise does nothing for herself. It’s true, we don’t yet know AK’s true motivation behind the class action suit, but I think showing us her past in this episode was important to demonstrate what kind of lawyer she is, and has been. It was also a good reminder, while we’re all drooling over Tegan Price, about what big shiny powerful rich law firms like Caplan & Gold actually do. But yeah, I agree with you about how hard that was to watch.

    On a lighter note, I think it’s hilarious that you forgot Annalise’s husband was named Sam, and called him Tom instead. Like AK said to Bonnie, it’s easy to mix up all these terrible, generic white dudes 😛

    • @arvan12, doh! In my defense, I didn’t forget, so much as invert the name of the actor (Tom Verica) with the character he plays (Sam). That’ll teach me not to recap stuff after a certain hour…

      We’re in total agreement about the gratuitous nature of some of Bonnie’s backstory–it’s as if the writers felt they needed to subject the character to more cruelty in order to make her deserving of the audience’s sympathy. It was gross.

    • To be fair, the writers did hint at the fact that Bonnie had been raped multiple times back in S1 or S2 and that her loyalty to Annalise had something to do with her involvement in the case. They are just now going into more detail about it. So, I was prepared for the shocking details because I remembered what they implied about her in previous seasons.

    • Nobody should name a child Sam and not expect him to get mixed up with all the Dans, Toms, Nicks, Pauls, Kyles, and Daves. My roommate has parties of the same 12 gay men every month and I can’t keep the one-syllable-named white dudes straight.

  11. I don’t want to pre-empt Heather’s forthcoming Jane the Virgin recap but I adored everything about that episode…and I’m grateful that, even though he’s gone, JTV continues to remind me that I was right for being on #TeamMichael.

    I don’t watch Once Upon a Time but it looks like the storyline is going to be a thing.

    Grey’s Anatomy: I wish was as convinced as y’all seem to be that the end of Owen and Amelia’s marriage means the end of their relationship. I loathe Owen (storylines aside, the actor does this weird thing when he kisses women–like he’s going to swallow their entire head–that grosses me out every time I see it). Unfortunately, though, this break-up felt like a comma and not a period, so I fear we’ll eventually see them back together. UGH.

    Queen Sugar: Listen, I have been in love with Bianca Lawson since Nikki took a swing at Sara and told her “it ain’t over bitch” in Save the Last Dance…and I’ve been waiting for years to see her in this kind of role. Darla’s storyline and Lawson’s performance have been a highlight of what, for me, has been a pretty disappointing season.

    (Also? I do not understand why Michael Michelle is not in all of the things.)

    Early in the series, I wondered if Blue wasn’t Ralph Angel’s child–casting someone as light as Ethan Hutchison to play opposite Kofi Siriboe couldn’t be coincidental, I thought–but as I watched the pair’s kinship grow, I totally forgot all about it. I was completely stunned when Darla dropped the news…and I fear for what comes next for Ralph Angel.

    (I’m actually a little surprised, in hindsight, that Vi never investigated the possibility that Blue wasn’t RA’s child, given how she felt about Darla.)

  12. I appreciated the recap of HTGAWM, and agree with everyone that admires the phenomenal acting in the Bonnie-Annalise dynamic. I find it profound, believable, and tragic, and at the same time I want Eve to come back and fuck Annalise back to happiness.

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