Batwoman and Legends of Tomorrow came back to us this week, and of course Nic recapped one and Valerie Anne recapped the other! Drew also recapped Euphoria and Drag Race. Riese wrote about GLAAD’s annual Where We Are on TV report. Valerie delighted in Vox Machina’s casually queer finale. And Em wrote about the Arthur finale confirming Francine’s lesbianism!
Notes from the TV Team:
+ The crew from All American graduated this week and, as the season progresses, we’ll get to see some of them kick-off their freshman year together. But Simone is venturing out on her own: moving across the country to attend a (fictional) Georgia HBCU. To help her navigate her freshman year, far away from her parents, her boyfriend and her baby, are Keisha McCalla — Simone’s single but always looking bisexual RA — and Nathaniel, her fly AF non-binary stylist/friend. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on All American: Homecoming. — Natalie
+ There’s gay happenings on The Kings of Napa, the latest work from Claws showrunner Janine Sherman Barrois, but there aren’t enough details — this show moves at a frenetic pace — for me to suss out what’s happening? In short: Bridgette discovers her cousins are actually her half-siblings and, eventually, she comes to covet her half-brother’s wife, Rose. Now Rose is confused and abandons her husband who, in turn, implicates Bridgette in an extortion plot over the family’s vineyard. Let’s hope I can make sense of it all before Tuesday night’s season finale. — Natalie
+ We got our first BTS look at All Rise‘s new season and, as if OWN heard my question, it confirmed Samantha Ware’s return to the show. Still no sign of her on-screen girlfriend, Audrey Corsa, though. — Natalie
All American 408: “Walk This Way”
Written by Natalie
Last time we visited Crenshaw, Coop and Patience were collecting their crowns at prom but a problem loomed large on the horizon: Amina wanted answers about Auntie Coop’s involvement in her mother’s death. Preach has tried to placate his daughter with assurances about Coop’s innocence but Amina is not buying it. Her frustration has led to her acting out at school — talking back to her teachers, not turning in her homework and getting into fights — and when her father demands answers, Amina refuses.
“If you won’t tell me your business, you need to stay out of mine,” Amina asserts. That girl is definitely her mama’s daughter.
Later, Preach meets up with Patience and Coop and admits that Amina’s behavior has him scared. Patience encourages him to tell Amina the truth and, for a moment, Preach considers it until Coop interjects. She reminds him that telling her the truth means telling Amina exactly how terrible her mama was and it’d do irreparable harm to his relationship with his daughter. Preach wonders if they’re underestimating Amina’s capacity to understand why things had to go down the way they did. Coop assures Preach that Amina’s questions will eventually stop, they just have to wait it out….which…I mean, has Coop ever met a child? When a kid really wants something, they will never, ever let you forget it.
It’s not clear if Coop truly believed what she was saying and changed her mind or just wanted to placate Preach long enough for her to handle it herself, but eventually she decides to give Amina the answers she’s after. Amina hasn’t really been a little girl since the day her mom died, Coop rationalizes, so she deserves to hear the truth. Coop tells Amina the same lie she told the police: she shot Mo. Amina pushes back, based on what her father said, but Coop assures her that was a lie: Preach was just trying to protect her and the relationship she’d built with Amina.
Amina doesn’t bother to ask why Coop shot Mo, despite it having been the question she’s been asking since prom night; instead, she pulls away immediately and proclaims that she never wants to see Coop again.
A Million Little Things 409: “Any Way the Wind Blows”
Written by Natalie
Since realizing that she’s also attracted to women, Katherine’s been doing a lot of processing…about her past, about her present and about a future that looks nothing like she imagined. Even after her first crush absconds to South Beach and her first same-sex date ghosts her, Katherine remains, surprisingly, undeterred. She even asks if her son, Theo, is okay with her dating again and he — still caught in the throws of his own crush — assures his mom that he just wants to see her happy.
Carter interrupts mother and son bonding time to update Katherine on his successful cyberstalking of her former high school best friend, Greta. He’s discovered that Greta is now a highly sought after tattoo artist. Katherine laments that Greta clearly still hates her because she hasn’t responded to any of her DMs. She explains that they were inseparable through middle school but things went awry during their sophomore year. Greta asked Katherine to the homecoming dance but Katherine insisted that she wanted to go with John Hatcher, not with a friend. Greta clarified that she wasn’t asking as a friend. In the moment, Katherine brushed it off but things between them grew awkward. Katherine avoided Greta after that and hasn’t talked to her since.
Carter encourages Katherine to go to Greta’s tattoo parlor and feign interest in getting tatted so that she can apologize to Greta in person. He uses multiple references to One Tree Hill to bolster his case which, given how many queer women I know with that show as their gay root, feels legit. Katherine takes Carter’s advice and stops by the tattoo shop hoping to get some time with Greta. Katherine is so awkward in the space, it feels like a reprieve when Greta’s schedule is too packed for a walk-in client. But just as Katherine’s about to make her retreat, Greta spots her and clears her schedule because “my good friend Katherine wants a tattoo.”
But Katherine can barely keep the ruse going and, instead, admits that she’s there to apologize. Greta brushes off the apology but admits that it was hard to lose her best friend. Then Katherine reveals the depth of her processing: she realizes now that she pushed Greta away because she had feelings for her too but didn’t realize it at the time. Greta scoffs and shows off the art she’s drawn for Katherine’s tattoo. She transfers the stencil onto Katherine’s wrist and Katherine readies herself for her first tattoo… but Greta puts the kibosh on that.
“I get a lot of recently divorced women in here making impulsive decisions,” Greta explains, clearly not talking just about the tattoo. “That stencil will last a week. You owe it to yourself to see if this whole thing is just a phase.”
But Katherine is undeterred. She knows this isn’t a phase and she wants what she wants…and so she gets it: the girl and the tattoo.
Bel-Air 104-105: “Canvass” and “PA to LA”
Written by Natalie
When Peacock announced that it was re-imaging the classic 90s sitcom, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, I wondered, “who asked for this?” Then, after I saw the debut episode of the aforementioned dramatic reimagining, I wondered what the point even was. These stories were already being told on television, albeit without Will Smith’s backing and Bel-Air‘s outsized budget (see: All American and Swagger). But then there was a moment, in the show’s fourth episode, when there was a slight hint of something gay… and so now, Bel-Air has full attention.
We all know the story right? A young Will Smith is “shootin’ some b-ball outside of the school, when a couple of guys, who were up to no good, started making trouble in [his] neighborhood.” He got in one little fight and his mom got scared… so she moved him with his auntie and uncle (and their three kids) in Bel-Air. In this iteration, Uncle Phil’s a wealthy lawyer running for DA, Aunt Viv is an artist turned professor, Hilary is a chef and social media influencer, Carlton is a popular high school lacrosse player and Ashley is a precocious pre-teen who enjoys online gaming. It’s Ashley who catches my eye in that fourth episode.
While canvassing with her older sister, she sneaks away to spend time with a group of friends she made online. But when she arrives, Ashley looks around and realizes Lucia — the person she clearly wanted to see, the person she put on fresh lip gloss for — isn’t there. Masking her disappointment, she settles into the couch and starts gaming alongside everyone else. Later, the group settles in to watch a movie and Romario extends his arm around Ashley. Before things can get too dicey, Geoffrey — who’s less of a butler in this iteration and more of Uncle Phil’s Olivia Pope — arrives and whisks Ashley away.
Ashley asks Geoffrey to keep her trip to South LA a secret from her parents and he agrees, as long as she stops sneaking around. He suspects that her parents would be open to her breaking out of the “Bel Air bubble,” even if it is to spend time with her crush. Later, Geoffrey invites Ashley’s South LA friends to Phil’s fundraiser/skate party and this time, Lucia joins the crew, much to Ashley’s delight.
In “PA to LA,” Hilary hosts a dinner for her family and her new influencer housemates (which is actually a thing?). Ashley gets a little time with Monica, one of the leading sex-positive relationship advice counselors on social media, and asks them about the future of sexuality. Monica suspects that in the future, people won’t torture themselves when they define their behaviors. They encourage Ashley to embrace labels inasmuch as those labels help her. The whole conversation seems a little advanced for a 12 year old but kids these days are hella smart and it’s clear that Ashley’s been thinking about how to define herself for a minute.
After dinner, Ashley approaches her older sister about how to deal with a crush. She avoids pronouns but when Hilary asks if her sister’s crush has a name, Ashley confesses her name is Lucia. She asks her sister if she’s surprised and Hilary admits that she’s more surprised that Ashley has a crush than surprised she’s gay. Ashley jumps in and corrects her: she’s attracted to girls but hasn’t ruled out being attracted to boys too. Ashley admits that she doesn’t have it all figured out yet and that’s why she hasn’t told their parents. Hilary reminds her that she doesn’t have to have everything figured out and is under no obligation to tell anyone anything… though she’s glad Ashley told her.
Legacies 410: “The Story of My Life”
Written by Valerie Anne
We begin at a college, where
Wesley Wyndham Price Professor Rupert Vardemus is teaching about the wonders of the world. A student in the class with posture as slouchy as her beanie is the only one to chime in, and when Prof suggests the existence of the supernatural, a familiar voice chimes in, “I believe.” Tis Hope!
Hope shows Prof the sarcophagus and he uses a magic item to read inscriptions that harken back to gods. Hope says gods aren’t real, and Prof posits neither are vampires, but we know that’s not true. When he realizes Lizzie is INSIDE the sarcophagus, he asks why Hope doesn’t have the Gemini witch siphon its magic, but Hope says a Heretic would be too powerful; she’s just going to let her starve.
Prof claims he has something that will help but it’s a trap, and Hope finds herself in a hallway of doors with floating keys bearing the names of everyone she’s ever loved. She decides to start with Klaus’s key… to no avail.
Back at school, Cleo and MG are doing their best in the absence of their usual leaders, while new kid Ben is attracting monsters like moms to a two-for-one sale. Ben tells Jed his origin story; he’s a demi-god who brought magic to the mortal realm in a failed attempt to save his lover, Ash. They eventually fix his monster magnet problem and then he gets his flirt on with Jed and it’s very sweet.
When Prof returns from trapping Hope, the slouchy student, Jen, is waiting in his office. He recruits her to help him wake Lizzie up, and as soon as she does, she sucks his blood. Lizzie vamp-speeds right into a door as she’s trying to exit; she excuses herself and her bruised pride, telling Jen she’ll be back.
Lizzie returns after a quick visit to Hope’s trap, and gives Prof blood to heal him. Something supernatural is keeping her from hurting Hope, or letting anyone else do it. Hope escapes and together they figure out it’s because the blood that turned Lizzie into a vampire was Hope’s. They’re sire bonded now. (During this scene, Prof says, “I have a theory,” which I decided is a Buffy reference. Also Lizzie calls herself a bibrid which got me good.)
After making Lizzie hop on one foot, they head back to the office to find Jen and the sarcophagus gone. Hope sniffs her out and when Jen leaps so high she essentially flies away, they figure out Jen’s a god. Hope asks for Lizzie’s help because loathe as she is to admit it, her lack of humanity is making her reckless and she keeps walking into traps. Lizzie tries to annoy her way out of this task but Hope promises she’ll set Lizzie free if they succeed, so Lizzie agrees. And off they go to kill Aurora.
Home Economics 214: “Salsa Competition Entry Fee, $45”
Written by Carmen
On Home Economics Denise wants to have a baby and wow Sarah really does not. They already have two kids and a tiny apartment, Sarah dreams of having a bigger apartment and older kids so that she has more free time with her wife. But rather than tell Denise that, she’s doing this creepy Joker smile thing whenever Denise goes all heart-eyes “baby baby baby babyyyyyy.”
Tom clocks what Sarah’s up to and asks his sister right away why she’s acting so strangely and Sarah swears him to secrecy re: the whole “I don’t want a baby thing,” which only works for a few days because Tom has a vasectomy (whew talk about not wanting to have a baby, Marina really said “not on my watch!”) and while his sister/sister-in-law take care of him post-surgery, Tom’s high on meds self lets the beans slip.
So of course, now Denise is mad that Sarah hasn’t been honest with her, which is understandable. But Denise also hadn’t stopped to truly notice how uncomfortable all the baby talk was making her wife!!! That observation isn’t in the show, it’s just me commenting, but I feel it’s important that you know. Ultimately though Denise and Sarah make up while working with their kids to bedazzle outfits for an upcoming salsa competition that Connor entered with Lupe (don’t ask). They realize that they make a great team, and yeah taking care of babies is hard and exhausting — but they sure do make great kids. Plus, the last time they did this, they were on their own. Now they have their entire family beside them to help. Awwwwwww.
I guess they better make room in that tiny apartment then.
Grey’s Anatomy 1809: “No Time to Die”
Written by Carmen
Has a basket of sweet potato fries ever been sexier?
Last time we were all together, Amelia made out with Hot Doctor Kai in the Grey Sloan parking lot and it was perfect. Unfortunately Link, Ameila’s baby daddy/previous long term love interest, saw them making out. And now he’s very much in his feelings about it. He then drags his Big Feelings all up and through the hospital, including Owen’s life saving surgery with Amelia (Owen lived, how sad) instead of just using his words like an adult. At first Amelia can’t figure out what’s wrong, but when Link — MID SURGERY, MIND YOU!! — throws a temper tantrum about having the observation gallery cleared out after Kai shows up to watch Amelia work, she begins to put the puzzle pieces together.
After surgery Amelia tells Link to get his shit together and he has YET ANOTHER PUBLIC MELTDOWN that this is all Amelia’s fault! He’s been pining and waiting for her ever since she turned his proposals (multiple! creepy stalker territory multiple!) for marriage. And my dude — This Is Not Amelia’s Problem!! She broke up with you in episode one, she didn’t start making out with Hot Doctor Kai until episode freaking eight. You had an entire half season to get over yourself. Hand holding your feelings is not in her job requirement.
And yes, I yelled all of that at the television during their fight. Luckily, Amelia held her ground and told Link that making ourselves smaller for the weak egos of fragile men is not on the Shondaland menu, and also please stop gaslighting her that multiple proposals after she repeatedly said no is romantic when all it is is emotionally manipulative, selfish, and abusive (ok abusive is me adding on, but it is!). Correct and correct.
At Joe’s that night, Amelia is still visibly upset when she meets Kai, who’s drinking a whiskey and eating the aforementioned sweet potato fries. Amelia explains her entire messy Seattle love story — the Link of it all, the Owen of it all, operating on her ex-husband, whose life was in the balance, with her jealous baby’s father.
Kai takes in stride and asks if Amelia’s type is hot men with square jaws, Amelia flirts back and says right now her type is, “Hot YOU with a square jaw” which makes Kai smile and offer Amelia a drink. Amelia then discloses the she’s sober. Kai takes that in stride too and slides over their fries instead.
What did I say?? Pure Humphrey Bogart Shit.
I’ve been seeing that — even among queer people — not everyone is into Amelia and Kai’s chemistry!?!? Which, listen ok chemistry is subjective and You Do You, but I cannot fathom not seeing the obvious sparks between them. Everything about this romance has been so steamy to me and I’m already preemptively nervous because what happens when Hot Doctor Kai returns to melt snow in Minnesota, hmmmm? WHAT HAPPENS THEN?!?