Boobs on Your Tube: “Station 19” Continues Shondaland’s Legacy of Hot Gay Sex (And Drama)

Hello and welcome back! Here’s what you missed: On the OG L Word, the ladies played some poker and perhaps it’s actually possible that every episode of Season Four is a classic? Riese and Carly will investigate. Supergirl herself directed this week’s Supergirl and Lena Author wore one helluva suit. Drew, Riese, and Carmen sat down to talk about Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix series Hollywood — spoiler alert: Two of them loved it, and one of them really didn’t, but you’ll have to click the link to find out who. Heather believes that Batwoman has come to the correct conclusion that everyone in Gotham City is gay. Sara woke up from her coma on Legends and somehow that also involves a murder mystery? Drew loved HBO’s Betty and she thinks it will skate right into your heart, too. Kayla promises that the Riverdale  Season 4 finale showcases the show at its best and most bonkers.

We also had some great film coverage this week. Kamala talked with Fatimah Asghar about feeling anxious at queer parties and Autostraddle got to give you all the digital premiere of her new short film, which we all fell immediately in love with! Then we brought together six queer Asian American artists — including The L Word: Generation Q’s Leo Sheng — to talk about Alice Wu’s The Half of It and the future of queer Asian cinema. It’s a long read, but carve out some time this weekend, because it is SO WORTH IT.

Notes from the TV Team: 

+ So, last week, I joked that Hen’s storyline on 9-1-1 felt a bit like a backdoor pilot for a medical show and I was kinda right? This week, Karen gets suspicious: she finds a restaurant receipt, spots texts from another woman on Hen’s phone, finds a list of dates and catches Hen in a lie. Worried that Hen’s cheating on her again, she heads over to Chimney’s for some answers… or, in lieu of that, for a strong drink.

When Hen comes to collect her intoxicated wife, she reveals that the woman she’s been seeing is the doctor from last week. She’s been talking to her about possibly going to med school? But, with no word of a second 9-1-1 spin-off on the horizon, panic started to set in: are we about to be deprived of Aisha Hinds on our TV screens?! — Natalie

+ Judge Brenner didn’t have much of a storyline in this but as we start to contemplate what TV creation looks like in the age of corona, All Rise gave us our first glimpse: an entire episode of scripted TV shot remotely via the actors’ computers and phones. It’s worth a watch. — Natalie

+ Not a great showing for the queer cheftestants this week, as Melissa and Karen both found themselves on the losing team in Restaurant Wars. Their issues weren’t entirely of their making so thankfully they were spared from elimination. The news wasn’t all bad for Karen this week, though, as her restaurant Fox and the Knife was among 2020 James Beard nomineesNatalie


The Baker and the Beauty 104: “I Think She’s Coming Out”

Written by Natalie

Secret's Out!

After having, presumably, apologized profusely for last week’s freak out, Natalie’s rekindled her burgeoning relationship with Amy. The pair make plans to go to the movies later. Amy flirts and Natalie’s reaction vacillates between nervousness and pure excitement. The girls’ movie plans get derailed when Natalie’s brother, Daniel, invites his new celebrity girlfriend, Noa Hamilton, to dinner. Natalie tries to back out of family dinner but Daniel begs her to stay and even allows her to invite Amy. Imagine your first date being dinner with your maybe new girlfriend’s parents and the model you’ve been crushing on for years? Of course, Amy eagerly accepts.

For a while, dinner’s going great — stories, food and wine flow freely — but then Noa makes a misstep. Everyone else has been so busy watching her that Noa’s the only one that’s noticed the flirty glances and lingering hand-holding between the girls. After Natalie’s parents share the story of how they met and fell in love, Noa asks, “And so what about you two lovebirds? How did you guys meet?”

One day, this will make a funny story — “how’d you come out, Natalie? Oh, my brother’s superstar girlfriend outed me” — but today, Natalie greets the revelation with abject horror. The silence lingers until Natalie’s mother, Mari, insists that they’re just friends and looks to Natalie for clarification. She’s answered by a prolonged silence until Amy confirms the story… but Natalie can’t abide the looks or the lie and rushes away from the dinner table. Amy follows her out.

Alone, Amy tries to calms Natalie’s worries. She assures her that her parents are probably just confused and she doesn’t have to come out to anyone until she’s ready. But the way that Amy looks at her, it makes Natalie feel braver than she ever has before and she’s certain that she wants this. To prove it, she leans forward and the girls share their first and their second kisses. Natalie and Amy come out of her room, hand-in-hand, and she announces to her family that she’s gay. Mari does not take it well. She insists that Natalie is too young to make decisions about her sexuality but Natalie’s firm.

“This is who I am,” she insists, “[And] you’ll just have to deal with it.”

Natalie retreats with Amy and an emotional Mari flees to her bedroom. Alone with her husband, Mari seems more bothered that Natalie kept this secret than the substance of the secret itself. She asks, “When did I stop knowing who my daughter was?”

The next morning, Natalie’s dad asks his daughter for a little grace, for a little time to let go the life she’d imagined for her daughter over 15 years. He proclaims, “everything your mother and I do in this life is for you and your brothers. There is nothing that you can do or be that will make us love you any less.”


Tommy 112: “Cause of Death”

Written by Natalie

I'm miss Edie Falco in these suits.

It took 11 episodes for Tommy to finally find its footing and, apparently, it was just too long. I’m a little surprised the network didn’t give a show helmed by a multi-time Emmy winner a bit more latitude but it’s a cutthroat business. It’s a damn shame, though, because these last two episodes of Tommy have been good.

Following her dismissal last week, Tommy’s ready to let it all go, much to the chagrin of everyone around her. Her team knows she got hosed and is eager to prove it. Her ex-husband knows how tied up her entire identity is to being a cop. Her daughter just wants to believe that all those years she and mother were separated by an undying zeal for justice were worth something. Still, though, it’s not until she meets with Donn (the newly appointed interim chief) and gets a glimpse of who’s behind the conspiracy to oust her that Tommy decides to get back in the game.

“I really should thank you… because now I know what I gotta do,” Tommy concedes when she goes to Jonathan Lovell, the real estate developer behind it all. “I’m gonna get my job back so I can put you in jail.

There are only two ways for Tommy to save her job: get the Ethics Commission to overturn their decision or get the Mayor to reinstate her. She manages to make progress on both fronts during a visit with the Mayor. He’s reluctant to share any information at first but then Tommy questions whether he’s running LA or Jonathan Lovell is. It’s enough to get the Mayor’s dander up and, over the objections of his Deputy Mayor, he passes on information that might help with her investigation. Slowly but surely, the pieces of the puzzle start to come together: with the help of a ex-LAPD cop, Len Egan, Lovell had been able to orchestrate a murder cover-up at one of his job sites. He came to depend on Egan to get him out of trouble, including getting the vice commander to lie to the Ethics Commission.

Once the news breaks, Tommy receives a raucous welcome in her return to the job. Lovell’s not going to go quietly, though, promising to share information with the FBI, in exchange for no jail time. But as Lovell steps forward to address questions from the press, shots ring out and the real estate developer falls, dead. Diaz returns fire and takes down the shooter, Santos, the lying vice commander.

With the hubbub behind her, Tommy tries to start her tenure off right, but that’s interrupted by a call from the FBI, alerting her into an investigation into the mayor.


Harley Quinn 206: “All the Best Inmates Have Daddy Issues”

Written by Heather

Well, and here’s a new Gotham narrative: Harley and Joker’s origin story juxtaposed with Harley and Ivy’s origin story! This week’s Harley Quinn opens with a new bartender at Harley and Ivy’s favorite hang, one that reminds Harley of Joker and sends her and Ivy down memory lane trying to answer the age-old question of whether or not people can actually change. Harley remembers when she was Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel, a young and ambitious psychologist who marched into Arkham Asylum determined to heal the Joker, or, at the very least, find out where he planted his latest bomb. She wrote her entire thesis on him, insists she’s the one person who can get through to him, and tries all kinds of ways to help him access his humanity — but of course he is a complete and total sociopath and even the memories of his childhood abuse that he shares with her are just stories he stole from Poison Ivy in group therapy.

‘Cause, yep, Ivy’s there too. She tells Dr. Quinzel her whole misanthropic deal: human’s aren’t worth saving, no one can really change anything or anyone, give up on the Joker, etc. Dr. Quinzel gives Ivy a little plant as a show of good faith, which touches her and makes her feel a real tenderness toward Quinzel, and also provides her with a way to escape Arkham. It’s pretty good timing, because Joker breaks out, too, after planting a bomb in a chef named Little Italy and sending Batman and Commissioner Gordon on a wild goose chase around the Italian district. He of course kidnaps Quinzel in the process and tells her the whole time that this is what she really wanted. The cops show up and take a shot at Joker, even though they know it’ll hit Quinzel, but Ivy’s suddenly there, protecting her with a plant shield.

Back in present day Gotham, Harley says, “See? You changed when I gave you that flower.” Ivy disagrees that she changed fundamentally, but does it agree it changed her feelings about Harley and their relationship forever. And man, these writers weren’t kidding about making this a season-long love story, huh?


How to Get Away With Murder 611: “Annalise Keating is Dead”

Written by Natalie

I’m saving the bulk of my thoughts and feelings about How to Get Away With Murder‘s final run for much larger piece next week… as you can imagine, I have a lot of feelings about it. But since that piece will focus, mostly, on my connection to the enigmatic Annalise Keating, I thought I’d use the occasion of the show’s pentultimate episode to talk about the wonder that is Tegan Price.

There’s a moment, in the 4th season of HTGAWM, where Tegan Price is convinced that Annalise Keating, the legal legend, is a shell of her former self. But even then, she turns to her young intern, Michaela, and says, “[Annalise] is still hot, I’ll give her that.”

It’s the moment that I realized that they (Tegalise?) could be a possibility and I quietly began hoping for it. As the episodes have gone by, it feels like the show’s building towards something between them… something more even than the hook-up, I’d imagine… or is it?

The odd thing about Tegan Price is that almost everyone sees how she feels about Annalise. Emmett saw it. Nate sees it. Robert sees it. Even Tegan’s trifling ex-wife, Cora, saw it. And this week, as they plot out legal strategies over drinks, Bonnie acknowledges that she sees it too.

Tegan: If Annalise were just another client but this is Annalise freaking Keating. She’s no one if not a lawyer.
Bonnie: Or you’re just afraid to lose her.
Tegan: What?
Bonnie: If she signs, she leaves C&G, Philly.
Tegan: (gulps her gin) She makes me feel alive.
Bonnie: Why do you think I stayed all this time?

And while part of me wants to relish Bonnie recognizing Tegan’s feelings for Annalise for what they are, this week also left me feeling a bit disappointed. We have one episode of HTGAWM left and so much to resolve — most importantly, whether or not Annalise will spend the rest of her life in prison for committing every crime ever — and I’m frustrated that they haven’t clarified things, explicitly, between Annalise and Tegan.

Annalise Keating needs someone like Tegan Price as a friend, a true “ride or die” who remains loyal without asking for favors or protection in return. Someone who sees the good in Annalise and won’t let her throw it away, even if doing so would be easier. But, if Tegan’s feelings are more romantic — and it seems that they are — then this dance the show’s doing feels cruel. Why juxtapose Tegan’s connection to Annalise with the one between Bonnie and Annalise, which has always been more co-dependent than romantic? I’m not sure I get it. And I guess we’ll find out next week if Pete Nowalk does.


Roswell, New Mexico 208: “Say it Ain’t So”

Written by Valerie Anne

Isobel didn’t visit her new favorite gay bar this week, but I did want to write to you this very important LGBTQ+ Roswell, New Mexico update: JAMIE CLAYTON GUEST STARRED THIS WEEK!!!

jamie clayton smiles

I audibly squeaked when I was taking this screenshot. HER LIL HALF-SMILE. I CANNOT.

Jamie plays Charlie, Cameron’s mysterious sister. She showed up, was a badass, saved the day, and disappeared into the night again. I do hope we see her again, because I love seeing her, and I didn’t even get to see her interact with my other beloved Riley Voelkel (would I have survived it? I wanted to find out!) — and also because she got abducted by aliens at the end. (I mean, maybe. Who knows. It could also be alien hunters? It doesn’t look good, is all I’m saying.)


Motherland: Fort Salem 108: “Citydrop”

Written by Valerie Anne

This show continues to break my heart in new and unexpected ways. This week, our main trio was fighting because of lies and secrets and whether or not Scylla is Spree and if that makes her inherently evil, but when it came down to it, they still held each other and talked each other down.

Raelle learns the hard way that Scylla is definitely Spree, and that she lied to her, and now she doesn’t know how much she can trust. Did Scylla ever love her, or was she lying about that, too?

One of the Spree takes on Scylla’s face, and Raelle knows it’s probably not her, but either way she knows she has to fight her, and so she does.

raelle gets ready to fight fake scylla

Not the healthiest coping mechanism, but you do you, Raelle.

It doesn’t end up being her, but Raelle is still confused and hurt. All the girls are, especially as they watch their General blatantly lie about their mission. They don’t know who to trust anymore, they don’t know what’s true. All they have is each other.


In the Dark 204: “Deal Me In”

Written by Valerie Anne

Jess and Sterling were supposed to be keeping things casual but they went from 0 to 60 real fast and Sterling is already finding sex toys in Jess’s room to use on her.

Later, when they’re having more sex, Jess admits she caught feelings even though we’ve never seen them have more than that one conversation in the truck. Sterling apparently returns these mysterious feelings.

jess and sterling kiss

Don’t fully know how we got here, but I’m not mad at it.

It’s all very fast which makes me feel like probably Sterling is part of this drug ring Jess, Murphy and Felix have found themselves tied up in, or maybe is an undercover cop or something. But they’re a little left of the typical high-femme, skinny, white, blonde/brunette pairing we usually see (though between the two of them more than a few of those adjectives still apply) so I’m not too mad at seeing it.


Siren 307: Northern Exposure

Written by Valerie Anne

I didn’t write about Siren last week because the closest thing to queerness we had was a naked mermaid cuddle puddle (they are really creative re: these naked mermaid human forms) but this week Rin starts to feel Maddie pulling away from her and Ben and toward the new guy Rob, who turns out is also a mermaid. No wonder Ben is injecting himself with mermaid stem cells, Maddie clearly has a type and is trying to steal my #hornyformermaids crown.

They go to meet Rob’s hot Alaskan mermaid pod and ask them for help, and they will only help if the humans help them first. And here’s where things get… curious. I honestly don’t know what to make of it, so I’ll just present you with some facts. Rob’s pod is a subspecies of mermaid that are all born female, and then they select the most breed-able and put them in this special spring that they can use the properties of to change their sex so they can procreate. Ben points out that this is not an unusual trait in amphibians and reptiles (and plenty of other animals). Rob is worried that finding out he’s a mermaid and also that he was born female will be a lot of information for Maddie, but he’s not her first mermaid and she was just in a triad relationship so clearly gender doesn’t matter to her. She is unfazed by this news. Maddie, Ben, and Rob clear the microplastics and BPA out of the transformation pond, and Yura, the leader of the pack, uses it to transition from female to male. Yura’s human form changes, right down to the hair style and color, which seems… strange, but whatever, it’s mermaids. It should be noted that Yura was played by what I believe to be (based on some light googling) a cis female before the pond, and a cis male after the pond. Rob is also played by a cis male. So I don’t know what to make of it. On one hand, I feel like they weren’t trying to make any kind of statement on transness, or have this count as trans representation, because it’s a mermaid show, and they make up their own rules for the mermaids all the time. On the other hand, I feel like strange choices were made all around. I don’t know! I don’t know the answer. I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts on this. Is anyone else even watching this show? Just me? Cool, cool, cool.

Anyway, Maddie also reassures Rin that what THEY have is special, so at least we haven’t lost this sweet relationship yet.

maddie and rin look up at a man

“Yeah, no, we don’t know what’s going on here either, sir.”


Station 19 315: “Bad Guy”

Written by Carmen

May we all be so lucky to have a Dr. Orgasm in our lives, or between our sheets, you pick.

As we talked about last week, Maya Bishop is really not into processing her Dad’s emotional abuse, ok? She wants no part of it, and she’s even shut out her mother (who left him) because of it. You know when a three-year-old sticks their fingers in their ears and screams at the top of their lungs “LALALALALLAA” to block out the bad things? Maya is doing whatever is the adult version of that.

So, Carina, desperately worried about her girlfriend, switches tactics. If Maya won’t talk to her directly, maybe an orgasm will help coax out her vulnerability. When, after some extremely hot close up moans to the camera, Maya comes up for air and coos that orgasms feel better in the daylight, Carina agrees. She did study them for a living, after all (Damnit Dr. Orgasm, never change). She uses their post-sex glow to approach the topic of Maya’s dad again, but the fire captain shuts her down HARD. Later, over breakfast, in an amazing cut off sweater that shows just enough shoulder to make a girl blush, Carina tries again. And again Maya digs in her heels. If Carina won’t drop the subject of her father’s abuse, then Maya thinks its best she leaves.

Carina won’t leave, however. She knows that Maya is trying her hardest to push her away, but that this relationship is something real and worth it. Instead, Maya goes for a run with Carina waiting for her at home. The run leads her back to Station 19 and eventually, into Jack’s arms. Of course they sleep together, because Maya is on a warpath to destruct her own life.

When Maya finally returns, the sun has already set and Carina’s still there. Maya’s surprised she waited (I’m not) and when Carina says that she doesn’t want to be mad, Maya counters by telling her about the affair before storming away in a cloud of anger towards their bedroom.

Carina’s face breaks, gasping for air. But so far, at least for now, she stays.

Here’s the thing, to paraphrase Shondaland’s greatest mothership — the more “dark and twisty” Maya gets, the more I fall for her. Based on her small role in the early seasons, I never expected that Maya Bishop would become the reason I watched Station 19 week after week, but here we are. I love that they have rebooted Carina DeLuca within this little fire show, I love that she shines here when she otherwise fights for screen time on Grey’s, and I love that she’s determined to fight for Maya.

I love that Maya, even in all her hurt and pain, is someone damn worth fighting for.

The Autostraddle TV Team is made up of Riese Bernard, Carmen Phillips, Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, Valerie Anne, Natalie, Drew Gregory, and Heather Hogan. Follow them on Twitter!

The TV has written 147 articles for us.

15 Comments

  1. ah i love a good recap round up!

    heather, it looks like a few of your ivys became harleys! which probably is like, a niche thing they’re into that will be extensively covered in fanfic, but editorially speaking isn’t quite it

  2. The new season of Dead To Me on Netflix has an adorable queer romance, involving the delightful Natalie Morales! It inevitably gets very complicated because of the nature of the show, but still made my heart hurt good.

  3. I haven’t watched Baker & Beauty and I want to put it on my list but I have to say that this “Natalie’s dad asks his daughter for a little grace, for a little time to let go the life she’d imagined for her daughter over 15 years” is a sentence I’ve heard so many version of this in the last 15 years and I am a bit tired of having the straights pov be put before the queer in a queer story(line). And ultimately that goes for anything whether it’s telling a queer story but from a cishet point of view, or a latinx story told from a white point of view (Even though I know I wouldn’t be able to really tell the untruth of it, and that’s exactly why you need the concerned party to properly tell the story and just always have the decency to just know when you can’t tell a story on your own, and I am rambling now ) etc…

    The point of view of the story and who tells the story are different things but they are dependent, something is told from a cishet pov because it’s told by cishets. And am I not against plural pov, I just read Drew’s article on Better Things, and parent’s story matter too.
    But as far as I can recall there’s only one show where I’ve seen parents not burdening their kid with their inner turmoil is One day at a time. Even Lydia who, god knows (Sorry Lydia), treats her girls and boys differently didn’t put that on Elena. I love this show so much.

    And yeah, you do humor people in your life a lot, sometimes rightfully, sometimes you wish you hadn’t and had said something. I think anyone part of a discriminated against group or at the intersection of several, even more so the people at the intersection of several, are the king of humoring. We humor so hard. But dang, I am tired of seing kids being asked to humor their parents. Like the kid didn’t have themself a stressful evening, or days or weeks or months or year. or years.

  4. I was bitterly disappointed to see Station 19 go down the cheating bisexual trope route – I’ve grown to expect a bit better from Shondaland shows, and it hurt. I was a wee bit surprised to see that not mentioned in the recap, as came straight to AS to see what had been written after watching the ep (I’m a couple weeks behind).

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