Welcome back to Boob(s On Your) Tube! I’m sorry we didn’t publish this column for you last week; I was on vacation and the time just got away from me! So many things have happened in these last 14 days! Scandal and HTGAWM finally crossed over, and Natalie and Carmen broke it down. Anebi binged Living Single on Hulu. Cheryl Blossom has officially been revealed as bisexual and you know Kayla was all over that beat. Carmen brought you a brilliant recap of a legitimately shocking Black Lightning. Natalie reviewed the Good Girls pilot. Riese and I were flabbergasted by how bad the Heathers reboot is. Raquel remembered when Black Panther‘s Letitia Wright played gay on Banana. Valerie revisited Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s bisexual developments. And Riese and I l-o-v-e-d Everything Sucks!
And now it is time for the AvaLance content you’ve been clambering for.
Legends of Tomorrow 311: “Here I Go Again”
Written by Valerie Anne
This week’s Legends of Tomorrow was one of my all-time favorites of the series to date. It put the newest Legend, Zari, at the forefront and she really rose to the occasion. Plus, it was a classic time-loop episode, which is one of my favorite sci-fi tropes. And it also happened to have great Sara/Ava content.
During one of the time loops, we follow Sara into a jump ship, where she is seeking some privacy so she can call Ava. They have this really adorable conversation that involves dorky flirting and great Sara-struggling-with-being-a-good-leader dialogue. Toward the end of their conversation, Ava asks if Sara wants her to come over, but Sara panics and says she doesn’t want to interrupt Ava’s busy day. Ava says she’s never too busy for Sara, but gets the hint and tells Sara to just let her know if she changes her mind.
Zari overheard this entire exchange and looks to Ray, asking why Sara seems totally oblivious to Ava’s major crush, but Ray assures her Sara “knows how to close.”
Eventually Zari breaks out of the time loop, and it seems like there’s nothing she can do to save the ship, so she makes a goodbye speech. It’s beautiful and bittersweet, since Zari finally feels like part of the team just as they’re all about to meet their untimely death. In the part of the speech where she addresses Sara, she implores her to extend the same fearlessness she uses to be the best captain she can be to her own personal life. Specifically, she wants Sara to just ask Ava out already.
But when the bomb Zari’s holding goes off, it’s revealed that the time loop was a simulation by Gideon, the timeship’s AI, to help Zari understand how important the team is to her mission of saving her brother. And sure enough, when Zari re-enters the real timeline and approaches Sara like a teammate instead of a warden, Sara is more open to helping her change Zari’s past, as it is technically Sara’s future.
For a moment I was afraid all the AvaLance content in this episode was doomed to live in an alternate timeline in a simulation, but Zari wasn’t about to leave it there. She says again, for real this time, that Sara should ask Ava out. Sara is honest about her hesitation; she doesn’t have the best track record with relationships. But Zari tells her the lesson she learned from this ordeal: opening yourself up to other people is worth the risk, because no one can do this waves arm grandly alone.
And so, as the episode ends, we see Sara calling Ava again, smiling the Sara Lance smile that could fuel a timeship, and Ava is delighted beyond measure to hear from her.
Y’all…this is really happening. I’ve wanted it from the moment I heard Jes Macallan was cast, but I thought it was always going to be just a dream, a crack ship, a red herring, at best a quick romp for Sara. But this slow burn is making my heart flutter and every time someone on the show speaks the truth of it out loud I have to pinch myself to see if I’m hallucinating. But it’s real and it’s true. No rainbow-tinted glasses necessary: Sara Lance and Ava Sharpe are A Thing™.
Legends of Tomorrow 312: “The Curse of the Earth Totem”
Written by Valerie Anne
This week, on Legends of Tomorrow, we didn’t have to wait to see a) if Sara really followed through on Zari’s advice to ask Ava out or b) what Ava’s response was. Because almost immediately someone mentioned that Sara was unavailable because of a date, and almost immediately after that we go to said date. Both ladies are dressed to the nines and hoo boy is it wonderful.
At first, it’s a little weird, the two women are laughing nervously and doing weird hand moves, and they try to not talk about work and be normal, but it’s kind of new for both of them. Ava thought Sara was her enemy until a few weeks ago, and Sara hasn’t properly dated anyone in years. But eventually their date is interrupted because Gary shows up to tell Ava there’s also trouble at the Time Bureau. She excuses herself to go to the bathroom, and while she’s NOT NOW-ing Gary, Sara sees the Waverider fall from the sky and realizes her crew can’t be without her for so much as two hours without ruining the very fabric of time.
Later, Ava confronts Sara about bailing, but Sara says she bailed because of work too. They fight, and Sara finally shouts that she should have known she could never be in a normal relationship because she’s not normal. At which time Ava shouts back that she wouldn’t want Sara to be this “normal” she speaks of. And then the tension bubble in the room bursts and Sara looks at Ava, bewildered, and asks, “You don’t?” and Ava responds, “Hell no,” and the music swells and they rush into each other’s arms and they kiss like it’s the end of a black and white movie and the screen is shrinking all around them.
And just when you think it can’t get any more perfect, pirates interrupt their kiss so they take up weapons and get ready to fight side by side.
After the fight, they have a drink together on the ship and decide to stop faking it and trying date like normal people who aren’t time-traveling badasses date, and just sate like Sara Lance and Ava Sharpe would date. They end by heading off to Sara’s room and it’s beautiful and wonderful and I can’t wait to see what’s next for these two.
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m going to be doing a longer review of this season when it ends, and I can’t wait, because Sara’s arc is one of my favorite in history, and Sara and Ava’s slow burn coming to fruition has been one of the most satisfying things to watch. Especially since they’re not even the only awesome thing happening on this show – last week was Zari’s week to shine, this week Amaya took the spotlight. I’m just so in love with how far this show has come and while I wish I could have both Legends and Supergirl in the same week, I can’t think of a better show to fill Supergirl’s shoes while its on hiatus.
The Mick 312: “The Juice”
Written by Valerie Anne
On this week’s episode of The Mick, one of my go-to happy places, Sabrina Pemberton got a girlfriend. If I’m not mistaken, Sabrina has made brief mention of being not-straight before (or maybe I’m mixing her up with the actress’s role of Tea on the US Skins) but this week she kisses a girl named Alexis full on the mouth and calls her her girlfriend.
Mick calls her a lez, which Sabrina is offended by, not because of what it stands for, but because Mick assumed if she wasn’t straight she must be a lesbian just because she has a girlfriend. And when Mick asks for a better word to describe her niece, Sabrina says my new favorite line, “Stop trying to label me, you ancient bag of sand.”
And listen, I think labels can be very useful, and use lesbian and queer myself, but I laughed out loud at the indignation in her voice, the look on everyone’s face, and the phrase “ancient bag of sand.”
Throughout the episode, Jimmy messes with Sabrina and Alexis’s relationship because of sports, and Mick tries to fix it because of betting, but when it comes down to it, no one cares about the relationship at all, which is kind of beautiful, in a very The Mick kind of way.
Wait that’s a lie, someone does care about the relationship, and it’s Alexis. That is, she realizes she cares about it more than Sabrina. She calls Sabrina hot, but also shallow and mean, and says that Sabrina’s life is a collection of things she thinks will make her seem interesting, and Alexis doesn’t want to be just another one of those things. Sabrina looks surprised that someone called her out on her shit, and a little hurt before her shield went back up, but only time will tell if she took that dose of reality to heart.
9-1-1 311: “Full Moon (Creepy AF)”
Written by Natalie
If you tuned into 9-1-1 early in its run, you were likely surprised to discover that the show lacked all the hallmarks of Ryan Murphy productions. Turns out, all that time spent looking like your basic TV procedural was just a trick to lure in unsuspecting viewers (and earn the show an early renewal) before Murphy hit you with the queer and the crazy. And on this week’s episode, aptly titled “Full Moon (Creepy AF),” Murphy overwhelms with both.
The episode starts innocently enough: with Henrietta “Hen” Wilson (Aisha Hinds) and her wife, Karen (Tracie Thoms), getting ready for bed. Karen suggests they cue up an episode of Ray Donovan but Hen wants to turn in early since she’s anticipating the next day being a busy one at work. Thoughtfully, Karen suggests the greatest sleep aide ever but, again, Hen demurs. Karen laments that they’ve succumbed to lesbian bed death and Hen tries to protest, but even her protestation — “don’t you feel the magic when we’re cuddling?” — sounds like confirmation.
“I’ve just been in relationships that have been more like sisterhoods before,” Karen admits. “If we’re not having sex, then what exactly is it that makes us a couple?”
Again, Hen pushes back on Karen’s characterization, promising to bring the full moon craziness into their bedroom tomorrow, but it’s clear that Karen doesn’t believe her and neither do I.
The next day at work, Hen, her partner, Chimney (Kenneth Choi) and her BFF, Athena (Angela Bassett) are called to respond to a non-responsive homeless man, but when screams echo from across the park, Hen and Athena run towards the danger. They find a kid atop another homeless man eating his face…LITERALLY EATING HIS FACE. Hen speculates that the kid’s probably on bath salts and Athena calls out to the kid to step away from the man whose FACE HE IS EATING. The kid looks up from his dinner, recognizes Athena as a demon and moves in her direction. First she tries to stop him with a taser but the possessed kid seems impervious. He pulls the electrodes from his chest and continues to move in Athena and Hen’s direction. Athena draws her gun, puts two bullets in kid’s chest and, when he continues to step forward, another right in the forehead. Later we learn that the kid wasn’t even on bath salts, he, apparently, just liked EATING PEOPLE’S FACES.
While Hen waits to give her statement about the incident, she gets a phone call. Her ex, Eva (Abby Brammell), is out of prison, with a new job and is looking for someone to celebrate with…it’s a booty call, basically, and Eva is anything but subtle (“I want to show you my new place. It’s not much, but, uh, it’s got a bed”). Hen quickly ends the call, as Athena approaches, but the one thing missing from her talk with Eva is a firm, “oh hell no,” so we can all see where this is going.
And sure enough, Hen shows up at Eva’s door. After some initial reluctance, Hen pulls Eva into a kiss and as the passion sparks, Eva tugs her into the apartment. Frustratingly, we get to see absolutely none of their dalliance, but we are treated to an extended scene of Cougar Connie Britton underdressing her young boy toy. Listen, I’m happy to see another black lesbian on television, especially one played by Aisha Hinds, but the disparity between how straight relationships and same-sex relationships are treated is still vast, even by folks like Ryan Murphy who should know better.
After doing the deed, Hen doesn’t go home, she heads to the beach and cries, the guilt readily visible on her face.
Once Upon a Time 710: “The Eighth Witch”
Written by Carmen
I would like for you all to meet Alice of Wonderland, and her girlfriend, Robin Hood!
Yes, after seven seasons of having an intense queer female fanbase, but no real queer female representation (aside from a one-off season five episode between Ruby, Little Red Riding Hood, and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz) Once Upon a Time has finally given us the gift of a central queer couple in its final season.
If you are an old fan of Once Upon a Time who has lost their way with the show, I’m here to catch you up. The most important thing to know is that season seven of Once Upon a Time is a complete break from the previous six years. If you had a beloved character from the earlier seasons who is not a direct member of the Mills family (Regina, Henry, or Zelena) or Rumplestilskin — I am sorry, but they are no longer on the show. Captain Hook is still around, but he’s a entirely new Captain Hook (with the same face) from a new realm and the complicated details of why don’t really matter. In place of the rest of the old characters are new central fairytale characters from a entirely NEW storybook! So a new version of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Alice, etc. The show also hired three new central women of color and cut out almost all the men. Happy times all around!
If you are completely new to this twisty fairy tale, you won’t have to worry about any of those details. Regina Mills, the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves has a son named Henry and sister named Zelena, otherwise known as The Wizard of Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West. Zelena had a baby girl with the original Robin Hood a few seasons ago, and then that Robin died in an act of bravery, so Zelena named their baby “Robin” in his honor. Yes, it was all as messy as it sounds. But now baby Robin has grown up! She’s early 20s Robin! She shoots a perfect arrow shot like her Dad! And she is very much gay for Alice (from Wonderland, but she hates it when you call her that, ok? She’s more than where she happens to come from!).
Alice is the long lost daughter of the new Captain Hook. The entire complicated, magical family tree was swept up in an evil curse (there is always an evil curse on this show) and dropped into Seattle, WA with no memories of who they really are. But before the curse hit, Alice and Robin got to make out real good with romantic music swelling around them!
The show runners have promoted Alice and Robin’s romance as a primary focus in Once Upon a Time’s final stretch of episodes, but their record is thus far terrible, so we will hope for the best! Once Upon a Time is my longest held secret-pleasure show, and I’m so happy to be here and keep you up to date as developments unfold. Now that you’re all caught up, I can tell you that the show comes back TONIGHT! This very Friday! On ABC at 8pm.
The Chi Episode 107: “The Whistle”
We haven’t had much opportunity to talk about Lena Waithe’s The Chi yet, which is a tragedy because of how much we love Lena Waithe. The Chi primarily a coming of age story that focuses on four central male characters, which doesn’t give it a lot of “Boobs Tube” room, however the youngest lead— Kevin— has two lesbian moms, Nina and Karen. Kevin’s a middle schooler who was invited by the girl he has a crush on to go roller skating. His very adorable lesbian moms wouldn’t let him go without taking them along as chaperone. I wish there was more direct plot to share, but there was lots of fun teasing and love shared and television trope of parents embarrassing their kids, except this time centered on two black lesbians living in the inner city. That’s a rare gem worth noting all by itself. —Carmen Phillips