Hello there! Valerie here! I’m covering Boob(s on Your) Tube while Heather is out, and boi oh boi do we have a lot to talk about today! Fall TV is back in full swing and it’s actually a bit more queer than I expected. Then again, my expectations were pretty low.
This week marked the return of blonde bisexual badass bird Sara Lance aka the White Canary on Legends of Tomorrow. I recapped Supergirl‘s return for you, which came with Alex and Maggie’s wedding planning in full swing. We talked to Elise Bauman and Natasha Negovanlis about Carmilla. Mey told us why Seth MacFarlane shouldn’t write about trans people, and Gal Gadot made out with Kate McKinnon on Saturday Night Live. Jasika Nicole has been cute as a button on The Good Doctor, and Fresh Off the Boat had their newly out teenager say, “If I wasn’t sure I liked girls before,” which is a very cute joke that I myself made as a baby gay and I’m glad it seems like they’re not making her queer a one-episode story.
Oh and rumor has it SEAL Team is teasing a potential wlw relationship but I watched the pilot and despite having loved David Boreanaz for 2/3 of my life and the presence of Lost & Delirious star Jessica Paré, the show simply wasn’t for me, so I’m going to have someone else report back on that one.
Okay, there’s a lot to cover this week, so let’s move gaily forward, shall we?
Ten Days in the Valley
Are you watching this show yet? You should be watching this show. Ali Liebert is swaggering around like a modern day Betty McRae, and the second episode had two ladies on a date/kissing. A writer on the show-within-the-show (Mackenzie) and a woman who appears to be working for the police commander (Amira) are dating, but it seems like Amira might be using Mackenzie to steal scripts of the show. When asked how she got the scripts, Amira said it was complicated but that she wasn’t complaining, which is probably exactly how I’ll be describing this subplot in the weeks to come.
It’s Canada, so I’m inclined to trust that this is not the last we’ll see of Mackenzie and Amira.
The Shannara Chronicles
I’ll be honest, I was worried about what this season would bring for our bisexual rover, but so far, so good. The first episode of the second season flashes us forward a year, Wil is hiding out with the gnomes, Amberle is still a tree, and Eretria is hanging around with her new girlfriend, Lyria. Who is a little concerned about how Eretria had visions of Amberle while she was near drowning and blushes a little when she says her name, and says Wil’s name in her sleep, but all in all is really into her precious murder bb.
Lyria is a bit of a mystery, even to Eretria, but IMDb says she’ll be around all season, so if the internet is to be trusted, we’ll have two lovely little queer babies on this show all season, even if they don’t stay together.
American Horror Story Episode 706 “Mid-Western Assassin”
Written by Riese
This week on American Horror Story, a woman with a gun shot a lot of people in a public place! The scene actually happened twice, before the opening credits and once more at the end for good measure, but from a different angle, and with new information. Apparently the episode was lightly edited for broadcast following the Vegas tragedy but remains in full splendor on On-Demand. Remember when American Horror Story was about a circus sideshow and Sarah Paulson had two heads and Jessica Lange wore a suit and sang “Ziggy Stardust?” Those were the days.
Everything is unraveling or ramping up now — Ally “rescues” Meadow and gets the full scoop on the cult and her wife’s involvement. “Why would my own wife want to make me crazy?” Ally wants to know. Meadow’s not sure. Well, she’s got a guess: “She wasn’t too thrilled about you voting for Jill Stein.” Turns out those creepy green trucks were just truck-sized essential oil diffusers, but with water instead of essential oil, so like an essential oil diffuser if you’ve run out of essential oil and the smoke turns green when it spews forth. Mine does that, like it has multi-colored lights so the vapor sometimes looks like it has color. Anyhow, back to this wonderful show — the cult took care of killing the crows all on their own.
At a town hall, Kai’s challenged for his seat on the city council by Sallie Keffler (a splendid one-episode appearance by Mare Winningham), a lifelong Republican who endears public support by telling Kai he’s not a Traditional Values Man, he’s just a fearmonger. “My parents were Reaganites,” she declares. “I interviewed Barry Goldwater for my high school paper, I’ve seen conservatives up close. You’re not a conservative, you’re a reactionary. You use fear and the fantasy of a time there never was when people left their doors unlocked. People like Mr. Anderson and Trump are not the garbage, they are the flies that the garbage has drawn. It’s time that we stop worrying about the flies and we start hauling away the garbage!” THANK YOU SENATOR CORKER.
Sallie earns a standing ovation from the townspeople (except Chaz Bono there in the front row, I see you Chaz Bono) and this triumph vexes Kai, who requires things to move forward, constantly, in a clear direction of his own design.
Ally for some g-dforsaken reason leaves Meadow with Dr. Vincent, who she still trusts somehow despite her awareness that literally everybody else in her life and everybody with power in this town is either dead or part of a killer cult, and tracks Sallie down, having seen her on TV. Sallie delivers an impressive set of sentences (while rolling herself a joint, I see you Sallie) before getting slaughtered by the creepy mask cult. Ally’s surprised that Sallie believes her at all, but of course she does; Sallie knows her history and knowing our history is a crucial element of surviving the present moment and we’ve got that because you know who doesn’t know any history is Donald Trump. Sallie knows about how cults always rise up when the patriarchy feels threatened, how David Koresh came to be because of Janet Reno, how Charles Manson and Jim Jones were a response to women’s lib and the pill, and how “men are told their whole lives who they’re supposed to be so they never learn who they really are.” But then, like I said, the assholes in masks show up, and Kai takes his off and posts a suicide note on her Facebook before shooting her. Ally’s been hiding in the bathroom since they showed up and nobody sees her, I guess, until one masked human opens the door a crack and sees her cowering, crying. “Ivy?” Ally asks. The person closes the door, and walks away. Yeah I think that was Ivy.
Speaking of Ivy, she reveals to Kai in her confession session flashback that she’s been sour on Ally literally since Oz’s birth. Ivy’s got endometriosis so she couldn’t be the preggers one and Ally wanted Oz to be breastfeeding all the damn time instead of letting Ivy feed Oz with a bottle so she could feel more involved, and sometimes Ally would call Oz “my child,” maybe on accident or maybe not. Lesbians and their babies, LOLOLUGH!
Ivy ends up in Kai’s lair in the first place ’cause she’s terrified of getting in trouble for hurting Chaz Bono, which clearly lead to Chaz Bono getting his arm sawed off in order to vote, a situation she was made aware of when Chaz Bono showed up to vote with a sawed-off arm. Winter assures Ivy that her brother Kai will protect her and fix everything, before sending her underground to be initiated.
I think the main issue here is that Ally is high-strung and annoying and Ivy, as I believe I’ve mentioned in the past, suffers from No Personality Disorder. Why did they fall in love in the first place, one might wonder. “There is so much more,” Ivy tells Kai, flat-voiced, like “her entitled bullshit phobias” and, of course, “the last straw was this election when she voted for Jill Stein.”
Kai: “I see before me an empty carcass devoid of happiness. She has sucked every bit of it out of your marrow. But there’s hope. Would my young hot sister make you happy?”
Ivy: “Only if I could have Oz as well. He’s the only reason I’m staying in my marriage, but I’d never get full custody if I were to leave Ally.”
Kai: “Have you thought about murder?”
Ivy: “No! No, that’s insane.”
Kai: “But you’ve wished her dead.”
Ivy: “I never want Oz to go through that trauma.”
Kai: “Well then, we’ll just have to make sure no court ever grants her custody.”
Right, so that shooting—Kai felt they really needed something more traumatic than locking claustrophobes in coffins ’til they died, stabbing an anchorwoman to death on national television, nail-gunning a cameraman to death in a dirty basement, hanging a restaurant employee from a meat-hook in a locker surrounded by pig carcasses, or any of the other various committed crimes committed to really get people invested in his campaign. Turns out Meadow didn’t “escape” at all—the story Meadow told Ally about her escape was mostly true, like about her being in love with Kai, about her jealous wrath when she saw him feeding Ivy the same lines he’d fed her, about packing up to leave the cult. She just skipped the part where Kai told the all-tied-up Meadow that she was still his, and told her that she should escape and that he would help her make the escape look like a rescue, and that she should tell Ally everything, and that then she should stage a mass shooting in which some people would die and Kai would get shot but not die, because everybody loves a resurrection.
Why would Kai want Ally to know everything about the cult? “Then the truth will lie in plain sight,” he explains. “Nobody will trust what a crazy woman says.”
But when Ally returns from her really productive trip to Sallie’s place, she discovers Meadow didn’t hang out with Dr. Vincent all afternoon as she prescribed and also didn’t tell him a damn thing about the cult as she hoped she would. Ally rushes to find Meadow and does, at Kai’s political rally. She finds her, you know, shooting people! And then Meadow puts the gun in her own mouth after Ally tries to wrestle it away from her, which is how the gun ends up in Ally’s hands when the police finally arrive.
This will definitely turn out well for everybody! Tune in next week for more trauma!
Written by Riese
This week on Broad City, Ilana and Abby drop mushrooms and turn into cartoons and then Abby gets an emergency call from her boss Wanda Sykes, who assumed her wife would want a carrot cake for her birthday party but was very wrong: “So I know it’s the weekend but I really need this stupid inedible dessert,” Wanda tells Abby, sending the girls on a trip to a fantastical French bakery for macaroons and then, at last, to the party itself, where we transition out of cartoon trip into regular trip. At the party, Ilana is immediately enchanted by a stunning woman oozing sex played by Fig from Orange is the New Black—who, along with her hot smart husband, are “always looking for a good time.” Ilana is very here for this but also her serotonin is dropping hard and so is Abby’s and so they take a toke break in Wanda Sykes’ bedroom and Ilana is elated like, “I’m about to fuck two of the hottest people I’ve ever seen. And the WOMAN is older! And THEY wooed ME!” But shortly thereafter she’s less elated ’cause this drug combo is fucking shit up and she’s kinda like me after I’ve had 1.5 drinks, which is just enough to make me sleepy and bored like I want to lie down but not enough to make me drunk.
Back at the hotel room, Ilana makes the astute observation that “wowow you guys are like hard-bodied Greek statues, I hope you’re into a soft, Russian peasant body,” but she’s not responding sexually to what is essentially her ideal sexual situation—Fig wants her to peg Dean while Dean fucks Fig. Alas, Ilana is distracted by a Lincoln cartoon popping up in a nearby suitcase. Her golden opportunity to pound a man in the asshole while his hot wife gets cunnilingus is passed right over. Fig and Dean drink tea in their bathrobes. Ilana has to go home and smoke a lot of weed and look at all of Lincoln’s social media and then delete him on every platform in order to go forward into the good night.
Ilana’s sexual fluidity becomes a more consistent and kickass element of her character with every new season and I continue to be VERY here for that. I hope she gets to do somebody in the butt with a strap-on soon because I think it’d be good self-care for her.
Written by Carmen Phillips
After three relatively funny and pleasurable episodes, I was lured into a sense of safety. I forgot what it feels like to have Shonda Rhimes pull my heart from my chest and play it like the Oboe she played in high school. I reveled in witty banter and sexy lesbian hookups. I forgot pain. I forgot tears.
But then, in the first 5 minutes of last night’s episode, Amelia shaves her own head while Meredith and Maggie look on and leads her entire OR team in her signature Wonder Woman power pose before they operate on her tumor. Her face stricken, but no less defiantly brave. It took roughly 3 hours, 6 minutes, but Grey’s Anatomy finally extracted my first tears of the season.
I still have a lot of mixed feelings about Amelia’s tumor plot, so I won’t force us through spending a lot of time on it. I’m happy that they decided to get through Amelia’s surgery and recovery quickly, rather than the drag out until November like I expected. But if it is all over so quick, I can’t help but wonder what was the point of the tumor in the first place? I loved seeing Meredith at Amelia’s bedside throughout the recovery, but I hate that Amelia decided to go home with Owen. I’m taking solace in the fact that her closing monologue tells us that Amelia’s as uncertain about her decision to stay with Owen as I am.
Megan Hunt and Farouk have been reunited!! (I apologize for using an alternative spelling of the kiddo’s name in my review of the season premiere.) Riggs hasn’t been around lately. It turns out that he’s been in Iraq faking a health emergency so that Farouk can receive a medical exemption visa. His plan is revealed to us slowly. First, Megan’s panicked that Farouk has been sent to the hospital without any detail being given to her. Then, Meredith won’t pick up Riggs’ multiple phone calls.
Bringing Farouk to Seattle is supposed to be a big romantic gesture for Riggs and Megan, but I’m still far more invested in the love story of Megan and her son. Her smile beams to Jupiter when Farouk enters the room. She hugs him as tight as she can from her hospital bed; blood rushes to her face as she picks over him, asking if he is hungry or tired. They fawn over each other in Arabic. Megan Hunt’s world—all 4 feet, 10 years, long eyelashes and deep dimples of him—is finally by her side.
Speaking of family reunions, April misses Harriet on the nights the baby is with Jackson. Arizona knows that pain all too well; she lives her life without Sofia every day. Arizona has hot Italian sex waiting for her, but she crawls into the ER gurney with her best friend and holds her hand instead. The overhead shot of both women laughing together was so warming and loving.
It looks like Arizona won’t have to live with that knowing ache in her heart for much longer. Sofia texts her at the end of episode, while her mom is wrapped up in sheets with Carina, and asks if she can come home!!
It’s perhaps Jo’s arc this episode that quietly packs the biggest emotional punch. Meredith’s surgery on Megan Hunt might be eligible for a Harper Avery award, but Jo has to take her name off of the work. She can’t risk having her picture published in medical journals. Ben laughs when Jo tells him that if she publishes her photo, her abusive husband might see it and come to kill her. So often men are stubbornly oblivious to the ways that women are forced to navigate violence and abuse.
Later that night, Jo cries to Alex in their bed, “I hate him. I hate that he still has power. I hate that he’s still taking things away from me.” That’s when I clutched my gut. Abuse isn’t over after the bad act is done. It stays. It festers. Every day can become about waiting, on some level, for another shoe to drop.
+ Much of the levity in Thursday’s episode came from Bailey and Webber interviewing a new crop of interns, each one more socially inept than the one before. I’m always wary of “millennials are awful” jokes, but this threaded the needle for me. These are the interns that made the final cut and will be joining us this year. Of special note for Straddler interest includes Bunheads alum Jeanine Mason as Sam, Sophia Taylor Ali as Dahlia (you may remember her as Amy’s girlfriend Sabrina from Faking It) and Alex Blue Davis as Casey, a new queer character joining our Grey’s Anatomy family.
+ Jackson is going to inherit a quarter of a BILLION dollars from the late Harper Avery. Hot damn.
+ Callbacks: the doctors laughing through the pain of Amelia’s tumor reminded me of the original cast laughing together at O’Malley’s funeral in season six. Finding healing humor in inappropriate moments is such a Shonda Rhimes calling card. Also, let us never forget that Meredith kidnapped Zola in season eight.
+ I never liked Minnick, but Arizona calling her a “tumor” definitely hit hard. Don’t get me wrong, I still deep belly laughed. But, it stung.
+ Nothing else to add here, just behold: Catherine “Kit-Cat” Avery.
How to Get Away with Murder
Written by Natalie
One of the steps of recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous is to make a list of the people you’ve harmed and become willing to make amends with them. Step nine encourages addicts to make direct amends to those people whenever possible.
In her own way, that’s what Annalise is doing now—making amends, in person, to those who she can, and making amends, in absentia, to those who she cannot. She takes Jasmine’s case last week and Ben Carter’s case this week to make amends with those she can’t… Wes, his mother and Annalise’s child. This is Annalise becoming a better person and, despite Dr. Isaac’s mystifying inability to recognize it, saving her clients is saving Annalise’s sobriety.
Unsurprisingly, the people around Annalise aren’t particularly keen on seeing her get better. Nate and Bonnie huddle for another meeting of the “I Hate Annalise” Club, determined to make themselves feel better at their former lover/boss’ expense. It doesn’t register with Nate that he’s resorting to same tactics that he’s criticized Annalise for—including condemning an innocent man—but this was never really about that anyway.
The dynamic duo recruits Oliver to join their nefarious plot to get revenge on Annalise. It breaks my heart a little bit because I love Oliver, but the day he deleted Connor’s Stanford acceptance e-mail, he became addicted to the rush of being a bad boy and he relishes the opportunity to recapture that feeling. Oliver breaks into Annalise’s phone and retrieves a deleted voice memo that reveals that her client had plenty of motive to shove his then-fiancee out of their apartment window. Bonnie and Nate pass the information on to the prosecuting DA and torpedo Annalise’s case in the process.
Annalise spots Bonnie and Nate huddling in the parking deck and she realizes they colluded to sandbag her case. Annalise confronts them, willing to forgive Nate for what he’d done, but chastising Bonnie for not being able to separate her emotions from her job (#FACTS). They nearly come to blows (I am, of course, sitting on my couch yelling, “swing on her, Annalise!” at my TV), but Nate manages to pry them apart.
When she gets back to her car, Annalise is called to the Medical Examiners’ office to identify a body. I run through the mental rolodex of which of the Keating 5’s victims are still outstanding so I’m caught off guard when the coroner reveals Jasmine Bromell under the sheet. Damn, damn, damn.
Annalise knew this would happen, she says, when she opts for Dr. Isaac’s office, instead of heading to a bar, but she didn’t. She expected Jasmine to call her, asking her to bail her out whatever pickle she’d gotten herself into; she didn’t expect that Jasmine would end up dead. It’s a reminder that her attempts to make amends are woefully insufficient—that even if she saves them, if she manages to find redemption for herself, it’s going to be too late. For them and for her.
She redoubles her efforts to prove Ben Carter’s innocence, even reaching out to Frank for help in tracking down the person who left evidence on her doorstep. It turns out that, like Jasmine, Ben was failed by the system—by cops that couldn’t overlook his past gang ties, by a jury that wouldn’t overlook the tattooed reminders of that past and by a public defender who was so overworked it took nine years to discover that she already possessed evidence that would’ve freed him.
Annalise excoriates the public defender on the stand, as she is wont to do, and establishes, on the record, that cuts to the public defenders’ office have deprived people of constitutional rights. She wins Ben’s freedom and the basis for a class action lawsuit against the state. Lest you think this is some horror concocted in the warped minds in the Shondaland writers’ room, think again. Earlier this year, the ACLU and its Missouri branch, among others, are currently suing Missouri for this very thing.
Meanwhile, Laurel presses Michaela to join her in her quest to avenge Wes’ death, but Michaela is having absolutely none of it. I don’t often find myself siding with Snooty Huxtable, but she’s got a point here: why would she put herself in the line of fire of a suspected killer, especially without any concrete evidence to tie him to the crime? Laurel pleads her case but gets ignored by Michaela, who hops into an Uber.
Later, Laurel pushes Bonnie (and Frank) for an internship in the DAs office. I forget for a moment that Laurel’s on an unending quest to avenge her baby daddy’s death and imagine that she’s being a responsible human being, but, no. Instead, Laurel wants access to information about her father—information that she can easily obtain from her new perch in the DA’s office. At her first opportunity, she gets information from the FAA about the day Wes was killed and rushes to show it to Michaela.
Michaela’s getting ready to compete in the final round of Hell Bowl, a trivia competition about her new law firm, when Laurel hands her the information and urges her to win for Wes. She doesn’t agree right away, but when the final question of Hell Bowl is one she can only answer because of Laurel’s help, the die is cast. Michaela wins and she gets a bottle of champagne bigger than a small child and her choice of partners to work with. She chooses to work with Tegan Price, whose portfolio includes Laurel’s father’s company. I’m thrilled because that means we’ll get get spend more time with Amirah Vann, but I’m disappointed because this means that we’re doomed to watch this “avenge Wes’ death” storyline that I don’t care about continue to play out.
Or maybe I do, because when we fast forward to two months from now, Dr. Isaac mistakes a blood-covered Michaela for Annalise, which seems like some heavy-handed foreshadowing.