Boobs on Your Tube: Criminal Minds Tackles The Gold Star Problem

Are you ready for the Big Game this weekend? By which I obviously mean South Carolina vs. LSU, the last two remaining undefeated teams in women’s college basketball? I know we are! Sunday on ESPN at 2pm EST, see you there!

What else is going on in the wide world of LGBTQ TV? Well, Quantum Leap did a trans girl basketball story this week! Harley Quinn dropped its Valentine’s Day episode! Pinecone & Pony came back with even more queer and nonbinary love! Valerie Anne reviewed Freeform’s The Watchful Eye. Valerie Anne and Nic recapped The Last of Us. Sai interviewed Jerrie Johnson and Meagan Good about Harlem. And Drew recapped Drag Race. On the movie front, we’ve got Erin’s Guide to Kissing Girls, Your Place or Mine, Attachment, and Knock at the Cabin.

Notes from the TV Team:

+ Are we one step closer to getting Lucy Tara back on dry land (and into her girlfriend’s arms)? I certainly hope so but until then, NCIS: Hawai’i gave us a glimpse of what her life is like as the Special Agent Afloat aboard the USS Ronald Reagan. This week, Lucy tracked down the culprit behind an assault and earned the respect of the ship’s brass in the process. — Natalie

+ A Million Little Things returned for its fifth and final season this week. Katherine spends most of the episode with Maggie, helping her prepare for impending motherhood. While setting up the baby registry, Katherine admits that she hasn’t integrated Greta fully into her world yet. That’ll be news to her son, Theo, who, in a preview for next week’s episode, says he’d be open to Katherine and Greta getting married one day. — Natalie

Criminal Minds Episode 1610: “Dead End”

Written by Valerie Anne

Tara and Rebecca talk seriously in the hallway

“Hey did you know this is the season finale?” “No what the fuck, what was that cliffhanger then?!”

Things are getting tense at the BAU as they narrow in on Sicarius and Rossi’s time is running out. Emily asks the Attorney General for more time and she resists at first, then Rebecca steps in and bridges the gap between them, helping the BAU out once again.

But then she’s asked to stay behind, and Rebecca is looped in on a secret project called Gold Star. We didn’t get to see the first part of the conversation but I like to imagine it went like this:

Attorney General: I need to talk to you about Gold Star.
Rebecca: Actually that term is outdated and problematic, lesbians shouldn’t really use–
Attorney General: I… am not talking about lesbians.
Rebecca: Oh. Right. Carry on.

As it turns out the top secret Gold Star program is problematic, too, and the Attorney General outright admits that Rebecca will end up being the scapegoat if things go sideways and Rossi and Sicarius’s family dies.

Later, Tara walks by her in the hall and Rebecca tries to brush her off but when Tara says that Doug is dead, she stops in her tracks. Tara asks what Gold Star is, and Rebeca starts to panic. She insists she can’t and won’t talk about it. Tara tries to use Rossi’s life as a bargaining chip, but Rebecca snaps about that. “Don’t put that on me,” she insists. “I didn’t ask for any of this.”

I’m hoping the BAU blows up whatever this Gold Star project is so Rebecca can stay at Quantico and get back together with Tara, but it seems to go all the way to the top of the DOJ. The episode ends with someone entering Sicarius’s interrogation room, but we won’t find out who’s behind the door until next time. (My best guess is Reid, that he’s Gold Star, the gooddest boi.)

Harlem 203 & 204: “An Assist from the Sidelines” & “Baby and the Bath Water”

Written by Shelli Nicole

Quinn in the show "Harlem" standing in a jewel toned ball gown in her lavender hued living room.

We open up with Tye on the phone to her lawyer because her absentee husband just decided to move back into her apartment — and this nigga is just ordering food while he sits on her bed! So remember last week when she bought a plant and killed it immediately, well she bought it from Aimee’s plant shop (played by THEE Rachel True), and now she wants her money back. Aimee basically is like, “No, it’s not my fault that you killed your plant but I will give you another one.” She then tries to give her a book about plant care but Tye leaves instead with just the plant and an epiphany! I don’t think they are flirting and I hope they aren’t ‘cos why can’t dykes just be friends? Anyway, Tye is going to sleep on her homie’s couch, Evan and Alicia — a queer couple — until her husband leaves. She is also going to use them for relationship advice, they seem hella happy and so she wants to learn how to be happy in her own future partnerships. Never compare your relationships to your friends or anyone, just a suggestion.

So Tye is at Evan and Alicia’s house to crash and get her lesson in lesbian love. She is literally observing her friend’s relationship and they are just doing regular-degular couple shit. Cooking, cleaning, watching TV, and Tye is bored. Once again they are showing lesbian couples and our relationships as though they are uneventful and boring, but when straight couples are portrayed doing the exact same thing it’s written as something to strive for — like, what? Later the couple falls asleep on the couch and Tye texts Brad (her assistant?) to get her a room at a hotel because she is “dying of boredom” (Like, sorry the animals at the zoo aren’t performing for you ::insert eye roll here::) But then she looks over at them as she is leaving, smiles, and leaves them a note saying they are perfect teachers.

Quinn’s mum set her up on a date during her dad’s birthday golf outing, and she seems like she digs him, or at least likes talking to him. She is about to tell him about her breakups — neither of which her mum knows about —  including her recent one with Isabella. But she is interrupted by her mum setting them up on ANOTHER date before this one even ends. Her dad does know about Isabella though and they have a cute moment on the golf course talking about it and it was VV adorable. She later comes out to her mum who kinda makes it about her but is receptive (somewhat/whatever that means) to her coming out.

Also, Angie is visiting her family and having the cutest time and getting some love and advice from her mum, played by Sherri Shepard! The soundtrack to this show is bangin’ btw!

In the next episode, we open up with Camille doing a voiceover talking about legacy. Saying that many folks of African origin can only trace their generations back a few generations due to the Transatlantic Slave Trade. I think about that so much because that is so true to me, even less so because my father was adopted. That was more of a Shelli Side Note, that intro hit me pretty hard.

Tye is having a transfusion, if you don’t remember she has uterine fibroids and polyps. An ovarian cyst bursting put her in the hospital last season. They recommended a hysterectomy and during this most recent treatment, they recommend it again. I’ve been in a study about Black women and fibroids for about 12 years, I also have ovarian cysts and PCOS and I think it’s pretty dope that the show is putting a light on it without making it deeply depressing or fear mongery. She ends up going with Camille to her doctor (her NuvaRing fell out whilst fucking), and that doctor tells Tye that a hysterectomy may not be the only route to go (second opinions are always great y’all — I’m telling you). Tye and Camille both opt in for egg testing, for different reasons, and it’s also very dope that they are showing Black women in their 30s getting all kinds of med stuff done! Tye has a high egg count, while Camille learns that it may not be possible for her to have children.

Quinn is terrified to film her 73 Q’s with Vogue, and when it happens the questions don’t help to ease her nerves. They ask her if she is happy and she breaks down, she also has trouble listing 3 things that make her happy. She talks about the breakup with Isabelle to the interviewer and ultimately ends the interview. Later we see her sitting in a bathtub crying where she is having a breakdown. She may have been there for a few hours and she is missing her parent’s vow renewal where all her friends and family are.

Tye is having a very tough legal mediation with her husband — he wants half of everything even though they haven’t seen each other in a decade. He’s bitter and like, yeah, she went about some things in an ill way but nigga HALF?! No. She goes home and starts logging everything she has so that the lawyers know all her assets. Her cousin Nikki (PEPPERMINTTTTT!!) is helping her, they bond over pieces of jewelry given to them by their grandmother. They wonder if she singled them out because she knew they were different (queer) and needed a little extra loving, and think she might have been queer too! The topic switches to children, Nikki says she thinks about having them all the time while Tye says only recently, did she. She thought it was off the table for her cos’ of queerness, age, and safety,  but Nikki says queer and trans folks are now having kids all the time. Family hasn’t been a particularly safe space for Tye, but Nikki says that maybe through their kids they could have an actual queer and inclusive legacy.

I really enjoyed this episode because legacy is important to me, as is shining a light on health and Black women! See you next week in Harlem!!!

Truth Be Told 304: “Never Take Your Eyes Off Her”

Written by Natalie

Truth Be Told: When Eva discovers that Finney purchased the gold chains, she stares at him with recognition. Gabrielle Union's Eva has her hair tightly pulled back into a bun. She's wearing a red one shoulder dress with ruffles on her right shoulder and left hip. She also has on matching red lipstick. She is carrying her phone.

Last week’s episode of Truth Be Told did a lot to answer questions I had about Eva Pierre. The parallels between her life and Drea Spivey’s — the persistent feeling of “but for the grace of God, go I” haunts many survivors — made her intensity and dogged commitment make sense. But for someone who moves with such intention, Eva’s dalliances with Alicia — no matter how thrilled I was to see Gabrielle Union make out with a woman on my TV screen — didn’t really fit. What does the deputy campaign manager of a mayoral campaign have to do with any of this? Why would Eva be investing time and energy into that relationship right now?

This week, we got the answer to those questions — and the introduction of some new questions — but I guess that’s how these true crime shows roll.

Another girl (Trini) from Oak Creek High School has gone missing. Poppy suspects that Trini’s boyfriend, Aubrey, has been grooming her and now she’s on the verge of being lured into the same trafficking ring that ensnared Drea. The news spurs Eva into action and she and Poppy search Aubrey’s locker for clues. Inside, they find a pair of expensive shoes and a gold chain with a crown pendant. Later, while scouring Aubrey’s Instagram account, they find him pictured with another boy…both wearing the same gold chain with a crown pendant. Eva recognizes him as a former student named Cooper and tracks him down at a local basketball court.

While searching for Trini, it’s clear how triggering this has all been for Eva. It becomes a way for Poppy to better understand Drea and Trini — fodder for Poppy’s podcast — which, while I know that’s sort of the whole purpose of this show, will never not strike me as callous. Eva admits that she doesn’t know what happened to her trafficker. She’s tried to block out memories of her experience but details continue to seep into her subconscious. Eva remembers the smell of the room and the ascot he used to wear (one that she used imagine strangling him with). Poppy tries to push Eva to seek her own measure of justice but Eva dismisses the idea.

“I don’t really entertain those thoughts anymore,” Eva responds unconvincingly.

At the court, Poppy and Eva interrogate Cooper about his connection to Aubrey and the suspected ringleader of the trafficking ring, Trey. After some prodding, he gives up what he knows but when he suggests that Trey reports to someone else, Eva grows increasingly rattled. Later, Poppy’s contact on the police force tracks down the store where the gold chains were purchased. Turns out, Trey didn’t buy the chains, they were traced back to Alicia Rodriguez. Upon hearing this plot twist (!!), Eva abruptly excuses herself to go get ready for the night’s fundraiser.

Eva arrives at the fundraiser and tries to find Alicia but she’s skipped out on the event because she’s not feeling well. Growing even more erratic, Eva drops the pretense and asks Alicia directly (via text) about the gold chains. Alicia’s perplexed by the question but admits that she bought them for her boss, Andrew Finney, at his request for some donors. Eva spots Finney across the room and they exchange glances. She knows exactly who he is and, I fear, that he knows exactly who she is now too.

Meanwhile, Poppy does some research on Alicia Rodriguez…which leads her to Andrew Finney…which leads her to his campaign website…which leads her to a picture of him wearing the exact blue ascot with orange polka dots that Eva described. Poppy tries to call Eva but, instead, the principal shows up on her doorstep…completely shellshocked.

“He’s still doing it,” she confesses, completely exasperated. “He’s still fuckin’ doing it.”

Eva buried the memories of her experience deep enough that even when she crossed paths with Finney, she was fine. But when Drea disappeared, Eva admits, she began her quest for the truth. Now it has to end with Finney paying for what he’s done.

How I Met Your Father Episode 203: “The Reset Button”

Written by Valerie Anne

Ellen and Rachel laugh on their date

Rachel must be a Taurus.

This week’s episode of HIMYF was all over the place. One storyline involved a men’s right’s activist, but we’re not going to talk about that, because it wasn’t related to the gay arc. However, Sophie is maybe on the queer spectrum because Future Sophie admitted to her kids that by the time she was 40, she’d kissed everyone in her friend group, including “Aunt Ellen” and while I kissed many a drunk “straight” girl in my 20s (and the way she was proud of this fact is a bit on the hetero side, especially since it seemed to be news to her children) it’s possible she’s one of those late-in-life bisexuals who realizes that just because most of her relationships have been with men, that doesn’t devalue her bisexuality at all. But we’ll see!

ANYWAY the currently out queer character, Ellen and her new gal pal Rachel goes on a double date with Valentina and a man they literally call Rando and sub in emojis for his facial expressions which I found hilarious. Then came the part that made me wonder if there were any queer people in the writers room because Valentina says something about astrology and Rachel scoffs and they fight about it because Rachel is going to be a psychologist. Which is bonkers to me because while not all queer people buy into astrology, I’ve never met a gay who would fight someone about it? In my experience, most queer people are very live-and-let-live about astrology if they’re not incredibly into it. Most of them will either play along or keep their mouth shut. So I wish they had picked one of Valentina’s many other quirks – like that she sees a psychic – vs fighting about astrology.

Anyway they eventually bond over their shared love of Ellen (the one they’re having dinner with, not the defamed ex-talk show host) and that everyone should have a therapist. All’s well that ends well.

Fantasy Island Episode 205: “The Urn”

Written by Valerie Anne

Ruby and Isla post-coital on clean white sheets.

I think Ruby shouldn’t look a gift girlfriend in the mouth, personally.

This week’s guest is actually in an urn, and it turns out to be one of Elena’s good friends and her first guest. Her name is “Joy Summers” which sounded like Joyce Summers at first so I felt personally attacked by her being in an urn. But no, it was Joy, and she was, in fact, a joyful person. And her first fantasy was to find her joy! Funny how that works.

But now, Joy has sadly passed, and her final fantasy was for her kids to spread her ashes together, here on Fantasy Island. It takes them a while but they eventually do it, and I’ll be honest, the video the found for her made me cry. Especially the part where she told her daughter, “Keep telling your truth, even when it’s hard.”

Elsewhere on the island, Ruby and Isla are rolling around in bed together. Ruby says Isla knows how to push all her buttons, but she hardly knows anything about Isla. She wants to go on a proper date and asks Isla to meet her for drinks; Isla says no, or at least not yet, but Ruby still goes to the bar later and waits for her.

When she doesn’t show, she confides in Javier, admitting she’s afraid Elena will tell her to call it off (which is frustrating because I’m SO SURE Isla is a manifestation of the island and Elena would know that and I just want to find out if I’m right!!) but Javier can’t help her, because he’s never met anyone named Isla. He does warn her to be careful, saying not everything is what it seems on the island.

Ruby walks alone on the beach when Isla appears, seemingly out of nowhere, and asks if Ruby is mad she didn’t show. But Ruby forgives her after a few kisses so they keep making out on the beach. I have to say, for a show whose target audience, or so I thought, was my parents’ generation, aka the people who were fans of the original series, this sure is a gay-ass show. And I, for one, approve wholeheartedly.

The Watchful Eye Episode 103: “The Nanny Who Knew Too Much”

Written by Valerie Anne

Ginny and Kim exchange their favorite tropes.

“Have you read Stay the Night?”

As it turns out, The Watchful Eye’s main character, Elena, has found a rare gem, but it’s not the ruby she’s after. It’s a ring of queer nannies! All of them are queer! Jury’s still out on the teens but that doesn’t even matter anymore because Kim and Alex come over to help Elena cleanse her space with some woo-woo nonsense as they are definitely not trained to perform actual spiritual cleanses. The queer nanny brigade ends up having a more important mission than failing at clearing ghosts from Elena’s apartment anyway, and that’s because they have to clear drunk teenagers from Tory’s apartment before she gets home early from her trip.

Elena watches her new friends, Alex flirting with James, Kim and Ginny making eyes at each other, and doesn’t seem to care much that she’s a fifth wheel. Seventh, if you count Eliot and Darcy downstairs. (Maybe she doesn’t feel like an extra wheel because she has a boyfriend, but her boyfriend is terrible.) At one point, when Elena goes to get Ginny and Kim, they’re talking about tropes, which is hilarious and perfect, and while they could have been talking about TV shows or romance novels, I’m choosing to believe they were talking about fanfic.

Elena uncovers more clues that don’t involve the queer nanny brigade, including finding a hidden key in a picture frame that opens the secret safe in the basement that’s full of old timey letters. It’s hard to watch other people live out your dreams. It turns out her nanny ghost may have been having an affair with Allistair Greybourne, and while Elena thinks she found a clue about the ruby when she reads the words “precious jewel” I think she was a bit distracted while she was reading them, because I’m pretty sure Jossylyn was talking about a baby.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


A black biracial, bisexual girl raised in the South, working hard to restore North Carolina's good name. Lover of sports, politics, good TV and Sonia Sotomayor. You can follow her latest rants on Twitter.

Natalie has written 401 articles for us.

Valerie Anne

Just a TV-loving, Twitter-addicted nerd who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 560 articles for us.


  1. Enjoyed the latest two eps of Harlem. I’m glad they’re exploring gynecological health issues such as polyps, cysts, fibroids, etc in women as that is something that is hardly touched upon in other shows or movies.

    Loved seeing Angie with her family. Such a fun dynamic. Also loved Tye’s cousin! She was so fun and has the most beautiful eyes! Hope it’s not the last we see of her or of Angie’s family.

    One of the great things about this show are the amazing side characters. They have so many side characters that could easily be main characters because of their charm.

    I felt so sad for Quinn. I hope her friends realize why she’s not at the VOW renewals and all sweep in to take care of their girl. I just want to give her a hug.

  2. I tried to watch Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches because witches be kinda gay and also Alexandra Daddario, but unfortunately it’s not only vv straight but also vv boring.

    Same about The Watchful Eye, saw the first two episodes and while it is so creepy it kinda is really freaking me out, all the characters so far are annoying (except weed kid and maybe Root) and the plot is still just *something*. Like seriously, I know the big-picture plotwise but nothing seriously ever happens in those 45 except creepy stuff and that is not plot-relevant. I also think I need a chart and maybe a family tree with all those characters. To whom is Ginny the nanny again? Have we met them?

    I had high hopes but it’s kinda a disappointment.

    BUT! My highlight of this tv season so far is Not Dead Yet. Even though not explicitly gay (yet? one never knows?), the first two episodes have been a joy and are the definition of a cast of well-written characters who round each other out. And also Poker Face! so good!

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!