Welcome back, Boobs Tubers! I hope you remembered to get your half-price heart-shaped candy from Rite Aid today! This week, Riese taught you 68 things you probably didn’t know about The L Word. Carmen reviewed the absolutely FANTASTIC third season of One Day at a Time and recapped an episode of Black Lightning we’ve been waiting on for years. And Natalie wrote a moving, personal recap of this week’s Good Trouble.
Here’s what else.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine 606: “The Crime Scene”
Written by Heather
Brooklyn Nine-Nine hasn’t missed a beat since moving to NBC for season six; every episode has been an absolute gem. A few weeks ago we learned that Rosa was trying to choose between two people she was dating, and so she went to Charles for advice. It was an excellent episode in which only code names were used for Rosa’s partners, and not a single bit of gendered language. In this week’s “Crime Scene,” we find out that Rosa’s got a girlfriend who’s in cosmetology school — which leads to one of the funniest episode-long running gags on the show, as Jake and Rosa spend weeks investigating a murder scene and Rosa’s hair changes in every single scene. “Freshman at an all-girls college” and “Edna from The Incredibles” were my personal favorites.
“Crime Scene” didn’t stop at the gags, though; it reminded viewers that Rosa’s mother didn’t handle her coming out very well. She ultimately said she could deal with it, but only because she assumed Rosa would eventually end up with a man. That wasn’t good enough for Rosa. Jake forks up their investigation by getting over-involved and promising the murder victim’s mom that they’ll catch his killer no matter what. Rosa is furious, because you don’t promise victims’ families anything ever, but Jake says she reminds him of his own mom. Later, when Jake has to tell her they can’t solve her son’s murder, she cries and says she hadn’t spoken to her son in over a year after a big fight, and so then Rosa promises to solve the case because the woman reminds her of her mom.
They do finally solve the crime, and Rosa decides it’s time to give her own mother a call. When she arrives at the Nine-Nine at Rosa’s request, Jake blurts out, “ROSA’S BI!” and her mom goes, “Yes, Jake, I remember.”
She missed Rosa and Rosa missed her too. It seems like they’re going to be okay!
New Yorker nitpicks: You cannot see the Queensboro bridge from an apartment building in Brooklyn! Also, central air? I am so sure.
Siren 204: “Oil & Water”
Written by Valerie Anne
Last night, Siren decided to give this ol’ #hornyformermaids gal the best Valentine’s Day gift I’ve ever received: Throuple, achieved!
It’s what we’ve been building to from the start, it’s been hinted at, that these two humans who are drawn to each other are also drawn to this mermaid who is also drawn to them and their love for each other. This magnetic pull between all three of them, this electricity that runs through them. Most love triangles are actually open on one side, more like a love V, but this is a closed triangle, three dots that each reach toward the other two dots. No jealousy, no competition, just plenty of love (and lust) to go around.
But let’s back up a little. Because last we left off Maddie and Ben were technically broken up and Ben was too addicted to Ryn’s song to sort out his feelings for her. But he’s working on it, taking hits of her song by way of her recording now and then. And we learned last week that Ryn likes singing to Ben too, that it feels as good for her as it does for him, and now she’s dreaming about him and telling Maddie about it. Maddie explains that when you dream about someone it usually means they’re on your mind, but Ryn has never dreamed before. And Ryn and Maddie talk candidly about Ryn’s feelings for Ben, and Maddie is very supportive.
They realize they can’t keep the mermaids cooped up together, so Maddie casually rents a new apartment and they split them up between the shed, the pawn shop, and the apartment, and they set them all up with new IDs and new names. One of the mermaids, called Levi, wants to learn how to be a human man from Ben, so Ben agrees to take him along for the day. Maddie kisses Ben goodbye out of habit, and then Levi follows suit, so Ben uses that as an opportunity to let him know that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with kissing/kissing men, but that consent is important.
Ryn has a daydream where she sees Ben in a random man, and asks Maddie what it means. Maddie says it just means she’s thinking about Ben, so Ryn asks Maddie who SHE thinks about. Maddie says she thinks about Ben, too…but also about Ryn. Then they exchange meaningful looks in an attempt to kill me dead.
Later, everyone is at the bar teaching some of the mermaids about human behavior and Levi dances and kisses a human girl (after getting consent of course), Ben and Maddie dance, then Maddie happily lets Ryn cut in. Ryn tells Ben about how she likes singing to him, and Ben confesses that his feelings for her go beyond the song.
There’s eventually a fight because human males are the real animal here, but they decided to leave before the mermaids showed the humans they shouldn’t start a fight they can’t finish. The rest of the fam goes to dinner and Maddie runs home to check on her mother, but when she gets there, her mom is high because an abusive ex showed back up in her life. Maddie doesn’t know why though, so she leaves, distraught, and meets Ben and Ryn back at her apartment. They hold her and comfort her and she’s so grateful for them. The chemistry in the room becomes palpable and Ryn, as she’s been doing a lot lately, takes the lead. She pop up on her tip toes and gives Maddie a sweet kiss.
Then Maddie kisses Ben, and Ben kisses Ryn, and then Ben and Ryn turn their attention on Maddie, gently touching her to show that they’re all in this together. It’s not overly sexual, it’s not played for laughs, it’s not a spontaneous wild decision. It’s not about a threesome, it’s about a throuple. Just two humans and a mermaid falling in love.
One fun thing about this storyline is that I’ve been able to have a pretty cool discussion with my dad about polyamory. He’s always been the “live and let live” type but I was still somewhat surprised by how chill he was about this whole thing. “It’s kind of funny,” he said, in a way that meant more interesting than weird, “that the mermaid is into both the man and the woman.” (He’s very bad with names.) I think polyamory isn’t something he really thought much of before, but now it’s showing up in two of his shows (this and S.W.A.T.) and we had a good talk about how it’s not a lack of commitment, it just doesn’t look the same as monogamy, etc. I dunno! It feels different than anything I’ve ever seen before, this natural progression into throupledom, and I’m a big fan. And not just because I’m #hornyformermaids.
How to Get Away With Murder 513: “Where Are Your Parents?”
Written by Natalie
Earlier this month, Viola Davis penned a piece for Vanity Fair celebrating the legendary career of Ms. Cicely Tyson and in it, she wrote, “When I think of her, I think of the Stevie Wonder song: ‘Show me how to do like you. Show me how to do it.’” And this week on HTGAWM, I think Annalise Keating was trying to channel a little bit of that spirit — “Show me how to do like you. Show me how to do it” — when she welcomed her mama to Philadelphia for Christmas. Her mother, now caught in the throes of dementia, has been through a lot but she still finds joy and happiness in her life…and, perhaps more than ever, we’re getting to see an Annalise that longs for that, even if she can’t imagine her version of happiness looking anything like her mother’s.
I love when Ophelia Harkness comes to town — Tyson and Davis love playing opposite each other and it shows — but I also hate it a little…mostly because it shows a side of Annalise that most resembles myself and it is uncomfortable. Ophelia wants happiness for her daughter and prescribes the same cure for Annalise that she once found for herself: loving a man. Ophelia Harkness is firmly on #TeamNate, wrapping him tightly in hug when he shows up at Annalise’s house, giving him the letters she exchanged with Nate Sr. after the Supreme Court case and recommending that he and Annalise get married so that they’d have spousal privilege.
But Annalise isn’t where her mama is, “Every man I ever loved has hurt me, Mama, and I’m not you, I can’t forgive and forget. I tried, but…I don’t want to let anyone else in. I just want to be alone.”
Annalise doesn’t know what to do: is she supposed to keep sacrificing for others at her own expense? But then, as only mamas can, Ophelia sums the entirety of Annalise’s life up, “only by saving everyone else – can you save you.” Deep down, Annalise knows this about herself: the class action suit was nothing, if not, an effort to save herself by saving others. It’s what she does, it’s how she copes (it’s how I cope too, TBH) and it’ll be interesting to see how Annalise progresses from here on, now that her mother has made it plain for her.
But the other thing I hate about Ophelia’s visits? They make you forget, for a moment, what kind of show this really is. You get lost in these warm moments between Ophelia and Anna Mae and “Where Are Your Parents?” treats you to a wonderful holiday dinner with the Harkness women, Bonnie, Frank, Tegan and Emmett. It seems nice when Tegan offers her condolences to Bonnie — who is really going through it, y’all — and when Emmett flirts with Annalise as he boxes up the holiday leftovers. You forget for a moment that this is HTGAWM, not some tearjerking family drama.
Before the festivities at Annalise’s, we see that Agent Telesco still has her sights set on getting information out of Tegan. She confronts the young attorney outside of her apartment building, since Tegan hasn’t been returning any of her calls. She knows that Tegan’s set to go to Annalise’s for dinner and all of a sudden, their connection feels less like FBI handler/confidential informant and more like stalker/stalkee. Tegan insists that she doesn’t think Annalise knows anything but Telesco urges her to keep trying to get information.
The pair meet later and, for a second, it looks like Tegan is about to rat Annalise out…but she’s scared and worried the FBI won’t protect her. Telesco relays some of the intimate details of Tegan’s life and instead of freaking about her creepy behavior, Tegan uses the opportunity to ask the agent if she’s single. I think this is the point at which I yell-type “What is even going on right now?” in the TV Team’s slack channel. Tegan reaches down and grabs Telesco’s hand and then invites her to come closer…and then….
Now, usually, I wouldn’t be the one to complain about Amirah Vann making out with another woman — you’ve seen Amirah Vann, presumably, so you understand why — but, after a season’s worth of build-up, it seems unfair that the first woman Tegan Price makes out on this show isn’t Michaela or Annalise. The next day, Tegan goes to the FBI and reports her dalliance.. She wasn’t coerced into sleeping with her handler but just to keep herself safe, she wants to request a new handler. Telesco gets pushed off the Miller case for her antics and, as it turns out, that was Tegan’s plan all along. She wanted to put the FBI off Annalise’s trail for a bit.
“I don’t know what to say,” Annalise says, clearly taken aback that someone in her orbit is doing something for her without wanting something from her in return.
“Then that’s all you need to say,” Tegan answers back.
On another front: turns out — much to Frank’s surprise — that Nate’s attempt to cover-up Miller’s death and make it look like a hit from one of the governor’s donors is going off without a hitch. Aside from Telesco, everyone at the FBI seems to have their attention focused on the governor and Kerry Weaver is starting to feel the heat. She meets AK in a nearby church, clearly exasperated, and Annalise urges her to confess. She assures Annalise that none of the hurricane around her was of her making. She didn’t kill Miller or Nate Lahey, Sr. but she knows who did: Emmett Crawford.
Ugh. White men are trash.
A while back, GH started laying the groundwork for a lesbian love triangle between Kristina Corinthos, her former professor, Parker Forsyth, and her heretofore straight best friend, Valerie Spencer. But because they were never really invested in telling that story, they didn’t offer the actresses full-time contracts and let the characters languish on the canvas…leaving Lexi Ainsworth (Kristina) the opportunity to find work elsewhere which, of course, the Emmy-winning actress did. But do you think that anyone at GH took a lesson from that experience and thought, “hmm, maybe we shouldn’t let that happen again?” OH, OF COURSE NOT.
Because, sure enough, less than 18 months later, we’re in the same position again: the show laying the groundwork for a romance between Kristina and Valerie, only to have one of the actresses — this time, it’s Brytni Sarpy (Valerie) — find work elsewhere. I don’t understand: HOW COULD THEY LET THIS HAPPEN AGAIN?! And if that wasn’t bad enough for GH, Sarpy is headed for a contracted role on a rival soap. I’m thrilled for Sarpy, of course, but sad that the incredible chemistry between her and Ainsworth was wasted at GH. — Natalie
Before you go! It takes funding to keep this publication by and for queer women and trans people of all genders running every day. We will never put our site behind a paywall because we know how important it is to keep Autostraddle free. But that means we rely on the support of our A+ Members. Still, 99.9% of our readers are not members. A+ membership starts at just $4/month. If you’re able to, will you join A+ and keep Autostraddle here and working for everyone?