Boob(s On Your) Tube: The Lesbians on “Hannibal” and “Defiance” Made It Out Alive!

This is the very last week of summer TV, which used to mean that all the reruns were mercifully ending and Real TV was starting back, but that’s not the case at all anymore and the final days of happytime programming coming to an end always bums me out a little bit. Or maybe I’m just feeling morose because USA already pulled the plug on Complications, which means my beloved Gretchen will never return to me again!

It’s not all bad news, though: Faking It returns tonight, and so do Riese’s recaps! And Survivor’s Remorse returned early and is back with us this week, which means so is M-Chuck, one of the most interesting lesbian TV characters from last season and one of the very few black lesbians on half-hour comedies.

Saddle up to say goodbye! Next week’s Boob(s on Your) Tube will be the end of most of these shows for a whole year.


Chasing Life

Mondays on ABC Family at 9:00 p.m.

CHASING LIFE - "The Ghost In You" - Leo’s surprise helps April to move on in “The Ghost In You,” an all-new episode of “Chasing Life,” airing Monday, August 24 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family. (ABC Family/Eric McCandless) PARKER MACK, HALEY RAMM

Just to be clear, when we inevitably fall in love, I AM STILL BISEXUAL.

Well, except for you don’t have to say goodbye to Chasing Life yet. For some reason, it’s running a month behind the other shows on ABC Family. So, April’s brand new husband Leo died, like straight out of a John Green novel or a lesbian trope playbook. They got married and he got dead. This week’s episode focused mostly on April trying to accept it and begin to deal with her grief, but Brenna was around for a little bit, mostly hanging out with Finn, the guy she gave her stem cells to but neither of them know it. He’s recovering from cancer too, and viewing it as just another obstacle in life that he can conquer, a sentiment that inspires Brenna, not only because of her sister having cancer and her new brother-in-law dying of (essentially) cancer but also because it’s hard out here for a bisexual woman whose sexual orientation is consistently erased and maligned.


Scream

Tuesdays on MTV at 10:00 p.m.

scream

I just want to catch this killer and teach Miley Cyrus about intersectional feminism and cultural appropriation.

Audrey is still in the running to make it out of Scream‘s first season with all her limbs and livelihood in tact, something that would have been impossible for a queer character even a few years ago! This week, it’s Halloween. There’s no train with a body bag stuffed into the soda cooler, like on Pretty Little Liars, but it’s still gross and creepy. (Also, unlike PLL, they’re revealing the killer in the finale next week for absolute sure, after only ten episodes.)

Audrey’s main worries at this point are: 1) That Emma keeps kissing people who are not her, and 2) That everyone is ignoring the death of Rachel, the girl Emma opened up the show making out with and who was murdered second out of everyone. Emma grunts and mumbles about the first thing, but sets to work investigating Rachel’s murder hardcore with Noah to deal with the other thing. Firstly, they hack Rachel’s iCloud where she kept the zillion hours worth of video footage she had of her own life. What they find is a video showing Kieran leaving a bar with Nina (who is now dead) and who peeps Rachel (also dead) filming them. He looks pissed.

The problem is that Emma’s basically dating Keiran now, even though Will just got sawed in half a hot second ago. So if Emma accuses him of being the killer, Emma’s just going to think she’s doing it because she’s jealous and wants to kiss her, which seems silly but I one time tried to run over my best friend’s boyfriend in our high school parking lot with my literal car, so, you know, it’s not entirely outside the realm of possibility that a lesbian would accuse a teenage boy of murder to keep him away from her teenage best friend. “Best friend.”

If Audrey makes it out of this week’s finale alive (and not the killer), it’ll be a goddamn miracle.


Rookie Blue

Thursdays on ABC at 10:00 p.m.

rookie

Wait, Snape kills Dumbledore?

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for my precious Gail Peck. Her brother Steve, you’ll remember, was arrested for being a Bad Cop. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but Gail comes from a long line of police people. The Chief of Police is her actual godfather. So she shows up to testify in her brother’s trial, looking so fly, and her dad sweeps her away and tells her to lie on the stand and give her brother an alibi. So while she’s contemplating that impossible thing, the Child Services worker who’s trying to help her adopt Sophie shows up because Gail has missed two meetings since Steve has been arrested.

Gail doesn’t lie on the stand, despite her father literally yelling at her in court about it. Because she’s a good, noble human being who makes hard decisions that aren’t always what make her the most happy, but she does them because they’re right. And in keeping with that theme, at the end of the episode, she tells her social worker that she should allow the other family that wants Sophie to adopt her. It’s a teacher and like a doctor and they already have one really happy foster kid, and Sophie will be better off there. Gail does it because she thinks its right, which means she broke her own twice heart today.

I wonder if I sorted Gail too soon. She’s not really a Slytherin after all, is she?


Defiance

Fridays on Syfy at 8:00 p.m.

defiance

We’ll erase your name from history and attribute all your accomplishments to Nolan. Now you’re a real earthling!

I think we have probably witnessed the very last episode of Defiance, and I’m weirdly okay with that. I wouldn’t have been at the beginning of season three, but this was a really frustrating 13-episode run that took the show in a direction I don’t really care about and didn’t grow any of its awesome female characters even a single bit. At least Yewll was the real hero of the finale!

Her plan is to zip on up to the Omec spaceship and hook her own personal brain up to the ship’s hard drive and blow up all the sleeping aliens who will soon wake up and take over the earth. Datak Tarr takes out Kindzi, so that’s not an issue. Irisa has some problems with Yell’s plan, though; namely that there are thousands of innocent Omec children on this ship who will be murdered preemptively, for doing nothing, if they explode their shup. (She doesn’t mention that wiping out this ship would also, in effect, be a genocide of people of color, but that’s a true thing as well.) Yewll says they could slingshot themselves out into space to get the Omec away from earth, but if they do, they’re probably never coming back. Only she needs to stay and other person to pilot the ship.

Irisa says she’ll do it, but Nolan conks her on the head and sends her back to earth with Datak.

A couple of weeks later, the arch is restored with a holographic light and named after Nolan, even though every plan to save Defiance, including this one, was Yewll’s idea and Yewll continuously sacrificed her body and her life to make it happen. RIP first season of this show that was my favorite season of any sci-fi show ever.


Hannibal

Saturdays on NBC at 10:00 p.m.

hannibal

I’m not mad we’re leaving, it’s just that you promised we’d meet Jodie Foster before we left. 

Firstly and most importantly, I want to thank my girlfriend, Stacy, for making sure y’all knew everything going on with Hannibal this season. I never could ever have watched, so she did and wrote up notes for me for nearly every episode and even did screencaps for me so I wouldn’t have to do them and accidentally stumble onto a photo of an eel eating a man’s face. Here’s what happened in Saturday night’s series finale, according to Stacy:

I love you so fucking much.

Wait, no. That was my email to her. This was her email to me:

Earlier in the episode, Alana visited Dr. Chilton, a fame-hungry psychiatrist who has been tormented repeatedly by Hannibal and basically every other character on the show. DO NOT look up pictures of that scene. He’s in the hospital, face disfigured and his full body burned last week by the Red Dragon. She was somewhat complicit in this, since there was a scheme with Will Graham and the FBI to try to get the Dragon out of hiding — as Chilton reminds her when she tries to pass the blame onto Hannibal.

And now Will and the FBI have a new plan: faking Hannibal’s escape in order to draw the Dragon out of hiding, which is obviously not going to work at all how they plan it. Plus Will is playing the FBI anyway, since he and Hannibal are in love (probably really and not just metaphorically?).

Alana proposes the plan to Hannibal, promising him all of his privileges back if he cooperates with the FBI. He helpfully reminds her yet again that he will escape for real, and that every second she has lived since his first promise to kill her has been borrowed time, and that her, her wife, and their son all belong to him. Fun murder-times on the horizon!

So of course Hannibal really DOES escape (duh), and in a shocking twist of characters using their brains on a show with serial killers, Alana, Margot, and their son get on a helicopter and get the fuuuuck outta there and actually survive!!! …. But clearly only because the series got cancelled. If there was even one more season or a movie, you can count on Hannibal killing Alana — at the very least — in a particularly terrible way.

Other things that happened: Will and Hannibal kill the Red Dragon together (after getting stabbed and shot, but sure) and embrace, covered in blood, for a really long time, and then fall off of a cliff together into the ocean. Hannibal says something like “this is all I ever wanted for you, Will” and Will says “it’s beautiful” — again, they are absolutely covered in blood — and then they hug, and then Will makes them both fall off of this seaside cliff.

I will not tell you what Gillian Anderson’s character did in the end, because it was psychotic.

Oh, and that actress who played Tara on True Blood also survived after much torment.

The end.

YAY! #NoMovie


I Am Cait

Sundays on E! at 8:00 p.m.

boylan

I think the “Kanye following you on Twitter” ship has sailed, honey.

I Am Cait has suffered dismal ratings after the first episode of the summer docu-series. Y’all don’t seem to be enjoying it too much, either. But I’m still intrigued by it, mostly because as Caitlyn learns about the trans community, so does the audience, from people like GLAAD’s Jenny Boylan and the Human Rights Campaign and parents of trans kids and trans women of color who have been victims of so much oppression and hardship. And that feels really important right now. I mean, yes, half the show is that and half the show is vapid entitlement that I can’t even wrap my head around, but if people are coming for that and learning in the process, I think that’s an okay trade-off.

This week, Boylan and Candis Cayne work really hard to help Caitlyn understand that gender and sexuality are two different things, and that Caitlyn should follow her heart when it comes to dating and to love. The tabloids are all speculating that Jenner and Cayne are together, and the recent episodes have hinted that that’s a thing that will happen by the show’s end next week.

Obviously the main Kardashian thing that was happening last night was Kim watching Kanye announce his bid for presidency, so this episode was overshadowed just a little bit.


Survivor’s Remorse

Saturdays on Starz at 9:30 p.m.

surremorse

Remember when M-Chuck made out with her girlfriend in church? That. was. awesome.

If you didn’t watch the six-episode first season of Survivor’s Remorse, here’s a quick rundown: The show follows professional basketball player Cam Calloway as he joins the NBA and brings his family along with him to a new life of luxury. M-Chuck is Cam’s sister. She’s very openly and unapologetically gay, and she and Cam have a very loving but antagonistic relationship. Even though the show is about an NBA player, it actually never shows Cam on the court (or allows the characters to say “NBA” or like “Atlanta Hawks.”) It focuses instead on his relationship with his family, and his family’s relationship with their new lifestyle, and on Cam’s relationship with brands and media and fans and stuff.

After a stellar first season (on the court), Cam gets a crazy bonus and so the first episode of this season (of the show) opens with the Calloway family moving into a palatial home in Atlanta. M-Chuck takes at least a little credit for the move, telling Cam: “If I hadn’t accidentally launched that lawn chair off your roof deck, your condo association would’ve never kicked us out, and we would’ve never moved here to Calloway Castle!”

The episode mostly revolves around Cam learning to deal with all his off-court responsibilities, but the B-story focuses on his sister-in-law’s decision to stop chemically relaxing her hair. This after she awesomely destroys an archaic lawn jockey that came with their new house. She tells Reggie, “I’m sick of forcing myself to accept another ethnicity’s ideal.” And he supports her 100 percent. Teyonah Parris, who plays Missy, was the inspiration for the storyline, after she made the same decision in real life. (If you don’t know her from this show, you might know her as Dawn from Mad Men or Coco in Dear White People.)

This week’s episode focuses on a fight between Cam and M-Chuck that promises to deal with violence against men, so we’ll see how that goes.


Carmilla

Tuesdays and Thursdays on YouTube

carmilla

I don’t care that you’re every fan’s favorite Slytherin! I’m every fan’s favorite newborn puppy! GET OUT.

For starters, the street cats Stacy and I are socializing are super into Carmilla.

On this week’s Carmilla, Mattie reveals everything she knows about Corvae, the corporation her mom wanted her to transfer Silas University to in the event of her death. It’s just a bunch of really old vampires and demigods, whatever, and basically Laura is stuck between handing control over to them or keeping it with Baron Vordenberg (WHICH IS A TERRIBLE IDEA, I’VE READ THE BOOK). Actually, the idea that Laura has any control at all makes Mattie cackle with glee. She explains, once again, that Laura is an impotent pawn in a game of immortals and the only reason she’s still breathing and walking around and being adorable is because Carmilla is in big gay forever love with her. Laura decides probably she should let the vampires deal with the vampires for now, and after they bounce, she tells the secret of how to kill Mattie to Danny, even though Carmilla told that secret to her in the strictest confidence!

In the middle of the night, Carmilla and Mattie try to sneak out to drink a fish god’s blood to either go crazy or hulk out and take out Vordenberg, but Laura wakes up and stops them and gives a season one-style speech about how people always underestimate her and tell her what she can’t do, but she showed them all when she figured out the old Dean was murdering virgins and she’s going to do it again this time! Carmilla is so turned on/reminded why she fell in love with Laura in the first place that she tells Mattie to go on without her to dine on the fish god; she’s gonna stay here and stare longingly at Laura.

Also, Perry gets weird with Danny, using her neverending star-crossed affection for Laura to puppeteer her into a place where she’s ready to so some murders.

Tumblr says Perry is possessed by the Dean. I don’t know. I feel for sure like Danny’s gonna die, though.


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Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior writer who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 1038 articles for us.

30 Comments

    • I’LL TELL YOU RIGHT NOW.

      she prepared herself into a glorious feast for hannibal and will (?), not knowing that they had fallen into a cliff and were probably not going to come after her. then she sat at the table and waited.

      then at the very very end, margot verger was like ‘whoooaa alana i did NOT sign up to be threatened by hannibal for the rest of my life’ and came and picked me up in her helicopter instead, the end.

      • That is definitely one (awesomely fucked up) interpretation, but in interviews Bryan Fuller has confirmed that she did not do this to herself… so who did???? DUN DUN DUN!!!! (also ambiguous as to whether it happens at the same time as the cliff shenanigans, my vote is no)

        I was like NOOOO BEDELIA but also she looked stunning.

        And I was so happy that Margot and Alana just noped on out of there in a helicopter.

        • someone please make a gif of a helicopter leaving behind a trail of NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE. thank you alana and margot for being the only characters who have ever seen any of the movies in the silence of the lambs franchise.

          there are a lot of theories about what happened to bedelia! they made her so awesomely inscrutable. it’s disappointing that we’ll never know, but i do think this was the best way for the show to go out. that bloody dance will and hannibal were doing while they took down dolarhyde was actually more sexual than a million kaleidoscope lesbian sex scenes.

          and oh, that siouxsie song. oh, my heart. i’ve thought a lot of times that the music for hannibal reminded me of the creatures! she was a perfect choice.

  1. Jenny Boylan is the best. Picture 40 college freshmen trooping into a classroom during orientation dreading the pretentious “First Class” lecture on the virtues of our impending liberal arts education… instead getting Professor Boylan and a stats professor requiring a contingent of late-comers with mock severity to stand and sing the school song despite them knowing none of its lyrics then spending the rest of the lecture engaged in an epic lightsaber battle using an app they discovered they both had on their phones.

    Later that fall, I saw her perform an amazing solo show about her life containing the fantastic line, “It was weird being back at [my all-boys prep school], walking around with a glass of wine… and a vagina.”

    I wonder if anyone else found these things as memorable as I clearly did.

  2. Probably wishful thinking but Valerie and Lt. Granderson on The Last Ship had a couple of brief interactions in the last episode that makes it seem like there might be something brewing in the romantic subplot pot.

    I was probably just seeing things, but please, someone tell me I wasn’t seeing things.

  3. I think Danny’s definitely going to die.

    If Perry’s not possessed by the Dean then something else weird is definitely going on. Her wardrobe and attitude have changed completely from the beginning of the season. A lot of people on Tumblr were wondering if it’s the apples Danny brought – one of the theories is that it’s bringing out everyone’s dominant personality trait and shutting the other ones off. Danny’s loyal to a fault, Kirsh is dumb, Perry is obsessively anti supernatural, etc.

      • Yeah! That was one of the theories. The other was that it had some sort of truth serum in it, because Laura immediately told Danny about Mattie’s horcrux after eating them.

        Whatever is up with the apples I don’t think they were casually included. The first thing Vordy said to Laura when he met her was that she reminded him of someone he knew before he voyaged to the Hesperides to look for the golden apples of immortality. Apples have been referenced a few other times throughout this season, and Danny’s symbol in Ellen Simpson’s emoji trolling tweets has become an Apple.

        (Also can’t wait to hear what you thought of Kirsch’s speech this week, because I loved it.)

  4. Mattie’s got it completely backwards. She’s says Laura’s not special and is only alive because Carmilla saves her, when what’s actually happening is that Laura is so special that she can make someone as damaged and nihilistic as Carmilla feel alive and in love and want to save her. Laura is saved by Carm but it’s her specialness that makes that happen. Mattie can’t see this because she’s even colder and deader inside than Carmilla was.

  5. I’m going to miss Hannibal, but that was the perfect damn ending. Loved it to bits, watched it twice so far, #nomovie please.

    And Hannibal’s outfits get all the props, but Alana’s clothes were GLORIOUS. #importantfacts

  6. I stayed with “I Am Cait” all summer and, even though my original surprised enjoyment for the show got killed by all the Khardasian style vapid privilege, I still found it pleasant more or less on average.

    I loved watching both Cait’s new found contentment/ happiness with herself (which reminded me a lot of my first months post-coming out) and I LOVED watching her trans friends school her on her privilege weekly. By far the best part.

    I’ve also spent the summer unintentionally developing a crush on Candis Cane. The NYT did a profile on her a few weeks ago. Did you know she was the coreographer of TLC’s “No Scrubs” video?

    I’m fairly certain that Candis is exclusively attracted to men, and the relationship with Cait is for the cameras/ won’t ever happen, but I’ve enjoyed their chemistry.

    Heather, I also started watching Survivor’s a Remorse this weekend on a whim because I remembered your reviews of it last year. So far, really funny!! Super talented cast. Thanks!

      • “Survivor’s Remorse” and “Younger” are two tv additions in my life that I got from you/ this column. I feel like you serve as a “canary in a coal mine” of lesbian tv- you bravely go forth and tell us which ways to turn for entrainment, which ways to avoid for heartbreak.

        (Related: I’ve also never seen Skins Fire because you said not to, and it’s a decision that I- and my heart- still stand by)

  7. So I’m clinging to my naiveté and hoping Laura told Danny something else because I just can’t and we didn’t see it so it might not have happened.

    Why can’t we have nice things!

    I watched all the episodes twice last week and then read the book.

    Help.

  8. Perry is 100% possessed by the dean and it was confirmed this week (sidenote Annie Briggs is one hell of a talented actress).
    Danny’s betrayal was the final nail in the coffin for Hollence. Danny might be the one to die, but Jordan has said that if “people are only concerned for Danny, they’re not paying close enough attention”. I wouldn’t be upset if she was killed off, however.

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