Happy Friday! Anya has your recap of your latest episode of Traitors, the reality show that everyone can’t stop talking about. Drew is keeping you up to date on Drag Race! Vanderpump Rules is back, and Kayla is wondering: Is Katie Maloney in Her Bisexual Era or Just Wearing Cargo Pants?
This week we wrapped our annual Sundance coverage with a banger review of Kristen Stewart’s queer, carnal Neo-noir western Love Lies Bleeding. Carol & The End of the World (no, not that Carol) teaches us how to survive the apocalypse.
Griselda on Netflix has Sofía Vergara starring as the real life bisexual queenpin, but Carmen left wondering if its worth it? This deep dive into who’s to blame for the onset conditions behind the scenes of The Color Purple is a necessary read. Fitting In is now in theaters and its a queer and heartfelt coming-of-age movie about body diversity. How to Have Sex is also now in theaters, so it’s a great time to revisit Drew’s review! And calling all Sapphics of New York, there is a film festival going on at the Film Forum that you absolutely MUST go see!
It’s February, and that means its time for a new streaming guide! Here’s what’s gay and on your screens this month!
And here’s what else!
Death and Other Details Episode 104: “Hidden”
Written by Valerie Anne
On the good ship murderpop, things are escalating. Anna and Eleanor are waiting for the business meeting to start but Eleanor’s grandfather never shows. Anna gives up and starts to leave, but the ship is under lockdown while they look for Jules, so they are stuck in the room together, which aggravates Anna but Eleanor doesn’t seem to mind and tries to get Anna to relax. They talk a little about the murder but we see a glimpse into Anna’s mind… she thinks it might be her wife. She’s seen her sneak off with knives before. But she lies to Eleanor about it.
Meanwhile the manhunt for Jules is on, who Sunil met when he saved him from muggers, which he now realizes was probably a setup. But even though Jules lied about a lot of things, it seems he wasn’t the killer, just smuggling some Ukraine refugees. One of which is a little girl who has some info that helps them narrow down suspects for the real killer. They realize it can’t be Teddy or the lawyer because they were…otherwise occupied. But this means Winnie lied about being with her sister all night.
So they do a classic bait and switch and arrest Teddy for the murder, forcing Winnie to come forward. When they ask her why she says simply that he was a dick. Typically one doesn’t hide in a bar cart for hours and kill someone just because they didn’t tip you, but she confesses. But while she’s talking to the detectives, the governor gets blackmail photos, and also is still sick (I suspect from the vitamin IVs) so there’s clearly still more to the story.
Meanwhile back in the room, Eleanor and Anna chat more about what happened after they separated. Eleanor says she left London to make history but ended up mostly just painting. Eleanor asks about Leila but Anna doesn’t want to talk about her wife right now, so changes the subject back to Eleanor’s art. Eleanor admits she often sketched Anna, and so Anna kisses her about it. There’s a moment of hesitation where it seems like maybe Anna will stop things before they go too far… but then she leans in and they really go for it.
Meanwhile, Rufus finds Leila in the bowels of the ship hiding in a closet. He tells her they caught the killer but she doesn’t think they did. Just one cog in a bigger machine. One of “his” followers. Rufus asks who she’s talking about and she’s surprised he doesn’t know; she doesn’t like saying his name but she does for his sake: Victor Sams, the name linked with Imogen’s mother’s murder.
Good Trouble 515: “It’s My Party, I Can Die if I Want To”
Written by Natalie
One thing I’ll miss about Good Trouble is that their writing team isn’t afraid to take a big swing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t — this episode definitely fell into the latter category — but, given how reticent shows are to push boundaries, I respect the effort. This week, the show’s big swing comes in the form of a party: it’s Kelly’s birthday and, as part of the celebration, her guests are tasked with finding her “murderer,” while dressed as classic movie characters. Usually I love a Coterie party but this? This is just too much.
(Seriously, how much overlap does Good Trouble think there is between their audience and people who’ve watched The Thin Man series? C’mon.)
But if there is a silver lining to this whole mess, it’s that the party brings Angelica back to the Coterie (as the hired barkeep). It’s a bit awkward at first: when Angelica delivers drinks, Malika introduces her to Isaac and, without saying so directly, stresses that they’re relationship is platonic, despite being dressed as star-crossed lovers Rick and Ilsa from Casablanca. From the outset, Isaac seems less interested in solving the mystery and more interested in indulging in the night’s libations. But even he can’t help but notice the way the energy shifts when Angelica comes into the room. Malika recaps their relationship and pivots back to the search for their clue in Mariana’s loft. She finds the clue and rushes off, oblivious to Isaac pocketing some of Mariana’s Xanax.
As they reach their next clue, Isaac reaches for another drink and Malika expresses concern about his drinking. While alcohol wasn’t his vice, she worries about its triggering effects. Insulted, Isaac yells at Malika to back off. She approaches him later and apologizes and he responds by admitting that he stopped taking his anti-depressants. Unsure how to help, Isaac asks her to explain what happened in Casablanca. After explaining how Rick and Isla’s relationship ended, Malika offers an apology for how their relationship ended. I worry for a moment that they’re about to revisit the possibility of romance between Isaac and Malika — something I’ve been dreading since they reconnected — but instead, he pushes her in Angelica’s direction.
Later, while everyone else is focused on Kelly, Malika approaches Angelica and shoots her shot. Malika confesses that she’s still in love with Angelica and wonders if the reason they’re not together is Angelica’s afraid to actually have the love she’s always wanted. That’s not at all what Angelica said when they broke up but I guess this is what we’re doing now. Angelica admits Malika could be right and promises to think about it further.
Meanwhile, Alice and Sumi come to the party dressed as escaped tethered prisoners. The costumes must be Alice’s worst nightmare, Sumi surmises, since recent discussions about them moving into together have left Alice unusually laconic. Alice doesn’t even bother to argue the point, looking instead for anything else to talk about instead. While searching for their clues, Sumi presses the issue — she could make space for Alice in her loft — but Alice insists that the loft is too dark and depressing and redirects them to the search. Their next clue takes them to Alice’s loft where Sumi suggests that it’ll need to be redecorated first. She looks ahead to when they’ll buy their first house together and “combine and compromise” their styles. Alice resists so Sumi gives up trying to convince her, focusing instead on their next clue.
(Are we really quoting The Asphalt Jungle on a Freeform show? For what?!)
Later, after the party wraps, Alice insists that she’s not opposed to living together. All the talk of buying a house got her thinking about having to leave the Coterie and she’s not ready to do that yet. The words hit different knowing we actually are one step closer to it all ending and, admittedly, I got a little choked up. Sumi calms Alice’s worries by assuring her that it’ll be a long time before they can afford LA real estate so they wouldn’t be moving anytime soon. Alice agrees to move into together and they celebrate by putting the handcuffs that are tethering them to good use.
Hightown 302: “I Said No, No, No”
Written by Natalie
Jackie arrives at Petey’s house and he greets her with a bayonet. She brushes off his eccentric welcome and invites herself inside…this time, not to score drugs but to get information about the girl she can’t remember. All Jackie has of this mystery girl are the pictures on her phone and the bloody shirt she found in the back of her car. Petey recognizes the girl and is surprised that Jackie doesn’t, given how close they got. She presses him for more information but he resists.
“Why should I give you what you want when you never give me what I want?” Petey asks.
“C’mon, dude, I’m never going to fuck you,” Jackie retorts, finally answering the looming suggestion from last season’s finale. Petey identifies the mystery girl as Veronica, a working girl who he met through another dealer. He points her to the site where Veronica advertises and Jackie thanks him for the information before heading out to follow the lead. But, of course, Jackie being Jackie, she doubles back to score a little something for after work.
But it looks like Jackie’s going to have time for all her extra-curriculars, as she pops positive for drugs in one of her regular drug tests. She’d been cheating the drug testing by acquiring samples from the office receptionist — in exchange for Target gift cards — but an inadvertently ingested gummy gets Jackie fired. Ray promises to try and smooth things over but, for the moment, Jackie’s forced to turn in her gun and badge. She returns home and refocuses her energy on finding Veronica. Her search is interrupted by Ed who comes bearing banana bread and the knowledge that Jackie’s been let go. He urges her to go to meetings but she refuses, insisting that she’s too busy. Jackie swears that there’s someone who needs saving and she has to be the one to do it. Ed pushes her again to go to just one meeting but they’re interrupted by a call from Veronica’s friend, Emma. Jackie arranges a meeting for later and pushes her AA visit to tomorrow.
Later, Jackie heads to the rundown motel where she’s slated to meet Emma but, instead, gets stonewalled by her pimp. Between Jackie’s questions about Veronica and the drugs that he’s doing, the pimp gets paranoid and tosses Jackie out of the hotel room. She reaches out to Petey for information about Veronica’s pimp and he warns her to stay away from him. Of course, Jackie doesn’t listen and, instead, takes a bump of coke and camps out in her car until she can trail Emma home.
As she approaches Emma’s apartment, Ray calls with news: Jackie can reclaim her job if she goes to treatment. She tries to brush him off but Ray insists that she forget whatever she’s doing and come into the office ASAP. But when Jackie spots Emma passed out with a needle in her arm, she hangs up and rushes to save her. Jackie breaks in, finds some Narcan and uses it to rouse Emma…but Emma assures her she doesn’t need saving. Jackie convinces Emma to let her stay as she injects another shot of drope into her arm. As Emma drifts into her drug-induced sleep, she mumurs about “poor Veronica” and laments that it’s all so sad. The words jolt Jackie awake and she’s left, again, wondering what happened to Veronica.
Raising Kanan 308: “Reckonings”
Written by Carmen
There’s this story that, when I was a kid, my family used to tell me about my aunt growing up in Brooklyn. When she was a teenager, there was this other girl in her high school who (for some reason or another) was jealous of her. My aunt was studious and a little mousey, she kept to herself. But one day on the subway, coming home from school, this girl and her friends tried to jump her — beat her up. The legend has it that my until-then incredibly shy aunt? She wiped the floor with them.
The purpose of this story is that on Raising Kanan this week, Jukebox — who has been newly designated as the lead singer of her girls group — gets jumped by some friends of Crystal, the previous lead singer. When the subway door opens and all the patrons, seeing a group of teen girls fighting on the subway platform, run in the other direction?? That’s the realest New York City shit I’ve ever seen in my life.
Juke, of course, wins the fight. And she still makes rehearsal on time, albeit a little bruised and bloody. And the look on Crystal’s face when she walks through the door??? Priceless.
Unfortunately, Crystal is not done making the lives of her groupmates living hell. Last week, Kanan and Iesha (who is also Jukebox’s crush) broke up and this week Kanan is now dating Crystal, who does not miss a moment to rub it in Iesha’s face. It’s pretty typical teen drama, but when Juke goes to comfort Iesha over the betrayal, it turns out she’s deeply unbothered. After all, to paraphrase Iesha’s words, why would she need Kanan when she has Juke? Cue more batted eyelashes in Jukebox’s direction.
Iesha is doing pretty much everything she can to get this girl to ask her out! To kiss her! To do literally anything!!! Unfortunately, Jukebox is still skittish, so instead she laughs off Iesha’s attempted come on. I screamed at the TV, but that’s me personally.
Successful take down of teen bullies and continued advances on behalf of her crush aside, Jukebox’s episode definitely ended with some bad news. Remember the army recruitment that’s been swirling around at the edges of Juke’s storyline? Well, that bill is coming due. Jukebox originally applied when she was depressed, but now that her life is going better she’d like to know if she can get out of it? Her recruitment officer was not about that life, so it’s looking like Jukebox might be getting shipped off soon. And no, I am not ready to talk about it.
In the preview for the next episode, teenage Jukebox is wearing adult Jukebox’s famous braided hairstyle, so whatever is coming next, Raising Kanan is trying to signal for us… it’s not going to be great…