Sorry for the lateness, Bombshells. I have three jobs: Two of them are in customer service, and the other one is being a professional Internet presence/consumer of cheesy lesbian media. Can you guess which one I’d like to do full-time? Ha ha ha! Ha. Ha ha. Ha. Anyway, I combined the last two episodes into one gigantic amazing gooey ball of lesbian fun as a way to make it up to you.
Let’s start with Episode 2×08! In this episode, Lorna tried to get all her girls into a top preschool, Betty started a fight club, and Gladys became the Bond Girl she was born to be. Actually, none of these things specifically happened, but if you’re an English major working in retail who has a lot of extra time to embellish the truth, you could say these things did, in some way, happen. In other matters of almost but not quite, apparently I misspelled Teresa’s name last week. Maybe if we knew more about her as a character beyond the fact that she enjoys scissoring with Betty and is in the army, I’d know how to spell her name. #SHOTSFIRED
The episode starts at the Jewel Box, where all the girls are making out with each other and then crying about it in the bathroom. Oops, sorry, that’s just every lesbian party I’ve been to ever. On this particular Episodic Jewel Box Outing, Betty and Gladys are dancing with each other in an adorable way. I’m gonna continue to be the only one in the room saying it but gosh darn it, I ship it. I gosh darn ship it.
Gladys is still on her emo kick, though, and really wishes the band would play some “deeper cuts,” so she goes to sit down and drown her sorrows in alcohol and the memory of Conor Oberst’s better tracks. Teresa takes her place, and she and Betty do some jazz hands-type movement that I believe is a 1940s lesbian mating ritual. Then Betty reveals she learned to dance on a refrigerator door which is an image that only took me a good ten minutes to sort out in my head.
A mysterious dude buys a drink for Gladys because these things are always happening to Gladys. She doesn’t accept because feminism.
Gladys heads to the ladies’ room where she is accosted by the worst spy of all time.
Gladys comes to the obvious conclusion that something is fishy and not in the lesbian joke way.
Vera and Gladys are going to go to the movies and see the Hitchcock version of exactly what Gladys is dealing with in her weekly storyline. It’s a heavy plot device but at least it allows us to see yet another adorable friendship on this show. I am running out of friendships to adore, guys. It’s all too much.
Since Bob got his pay day and needed shade and a vacay, Lorna is home alone and into Sheila’s suggestion of community service at the hospital. She thinks she is gonna enlist the factory girls because they are going to need way more community service on their resumes if they’re ever gonna get into the right schools. She tells the girls that dudes are dying for their right to party and they should feel bad about it. I’ve decided Lorna is the factory’s resident Catholic Mother, as she seems to employ a lot of intense guilt in both motivation and discipline.
Betty has decided that her community service will be servicing Teresa’s vagina. The icy tension between her and Kate continues to solidify into a thick enough layer that you could probably safely ice fish on it. Maybe for perch, or trout. I don’t know. What would be considered the most lesbianish fish? Someone get on Wikipedia and brainstorm this out with me.
Reggie is sick of her racist landlady and her bullshit policies, and is generally the most overlooked character on the show. Reggie! Where have you been? Please tell me that we didn’t see you in these last episodes because you were too busy forming a girl gang and making zines about intersectional feminism. Anyway, Lorna’s maternal instincts are all over this situation.
Down on Ye Olde Factory Floor, Gladys is mindin’ her own beeswax just makin’ bombs when she spots the Worst Spy Ever on the factory floor! What even, girl? Gladys goes over to confront her, but girl pretends she is not even that lady and puts up some major cold fronts. Worst Spy Ever, what is your deal? This is like that time my ex saw me making out with her ex at a party and I told her it wasn’t me even though we totally made eye contact and had a conversation at the time. Same thing.
Gladys takes this to Akins who tells her they have new security at the factory. Security is Mysterious Drink Buyin’ Dude Who Was Tryna! He has the worst British accent I have heard in a long time. The last time I heard that bad of an accent was coming from my own mouth when I was trippin’ balls at a La Roux show and thought I could pretend to be Elly’s back-up dancer. Ha, those were the days!
They want Gladys to point out the worker on the factory floor, but of course Worst Spy Ever is nowhere in sight. Akins once again chalks this up to women and their menses cycles, and Worst British Accent decides to ask Gladys out because boy is still tryna! Gladys accepts because third wave feminism.
Over at the only wing this hospital seems to have, Lorna is working especially hard at her Helicopter Mom impression. She literally brought Sheila’s childhood stuffed animal today. Sheila is like, totally embarrassed, because now all the popular nurses are gonna see and they’re never gonna let her sit with them at lunch! Thanks a lot, Mom!
Kate gets fixated on a non-responsive patient because this is all an impressive metaphor for seemingly impossible situations, am I right? He’s probably representative of the McAndrews fandom following most of the events of season 2.
Over at the movies, Betty and Teresa are nudging each other with their fingers and then finger-clasping which is just about the gayest thing ever, good for them. Gladys and Vera are also holding hands, which is such an interesting commentary on female sexuality and the way women are socialized to be desexualized in their affection with each other, thus the “invisible lesbian.” In less academic jargon, Lorna is sad and can’t believe she ditched stalking her daughter for this depressing sitch.
Teresa and Betty walk home from the movies. They have the conversation we have all had with our first girlfriend, the one who had actually done this whole lesbian relationship thing before, while we were the young eager puppy with no idea our hearts were about to be stomped to all oblivion by something called reality. This conversation is prompted by some drunk guys being rude and trying to get up on them. The guys call them bull daggers and reach for Teresa, which causes Betty to punch them in the fuckin’ face. Betty fuckin’ McRae, ladies and gentlemen.
Teresa: I have a lot at stake and you have a lot to learn. I keep my head down and I keep my business to myself.
Kate decides the best way to connect with the McAndrews fandom is to sing to him. It’s super effective! That’s because Kate is actually a Disney princess and I refuse to believe anything else.
Gladys goes out with Fake Brit Worst Attempt At Accent Ever and it’s not going super well. First of all, they go to the Jewel Box because apparently there are no other night spots in Toronto. Now all their work friends and lesbian buddies could walk in at any time and spot this truly awful trainwreck of a date taking place. This is like my first and only date with a boy where we ended up going to a Chinese restaurant where the entire JV girls’ soccer team was seated next to us and watched the 16 year old awkward go down. In this case, we’re running the gamut from dead ex-boyfriends to ridiculous sounding British childhoods. Bond he is not, ladies and gentlemen.
Betty and Teresa have another “talk” that makes me more than a little sad inside.
Teresa: I will not risk my career. Not even for you.
It’s such an interesting turn to see Betty dealing with all of Teresa’s boundaries, especially when Betty was all about chivalry and self-sacrifice when her romantic energy was focused on Kate. To have that type of love and infatuation not returned twice seems like the worst kind of torture for someone who is a walking ball of emotions. Ah, Betty. You and I have that experience in common ten times over. Call me when you wanna get matching “Tender Butch” tattoos, boo.
Not Actually Brit takes Gladys for a drive to a dark and super foggy bridge. Seems like a good idea. Bad Accent Fake Brit tells Gladys to get out of the car and follow him onto this unlit bridge where he will definitely not murder her. Like, definitely!
Turns out Bad Accent and Worst Spy Ever are spies who want to recruit Gladys to also be a spy. Is this seriously how they are doing the whole spy recruitment program in Canada? Kinda unprofesh, guys. Feel like their Spy Headquarters is actually a treehouse where the redhead turns bottlecap knobs on a cardboard box control panel and sends everyone on top secret missions to annoy each other’s brothers.
Back at the hospital, Lorna learns from Dr. Patel that he is actually engaged to an Indian lady via an arranged marriage and this whole thing with Sheila is just kind of an “in between thingy” that they’re both totally down with. Obviously this is a super modern idea for Lorna, and for television in general (a relationship we cannot call endgame????? what????????) so everyone is a little shocked and appalled. This was not what Lorna was expecting when she packed Sheila a lunch with the sandwiches cut into hearts and a note that said “LOVE YOU SO MUCH DONT SLEEP WITH DR PATEL XOXO MOMMY”.
At the Jewel Box, bad shit is about to go down. And by bad shit, I mean the men from earlier come back and beat the shit out of Betty. It is exactly as heart in your throat tears down your cheeks bad as you think it is. I was a straight up mess. They are trying to drag her into their car for whatever dark purpose I would rather not consider, when Vera shows up and saves the day. Vera, I didn’t think I could love you more, but I do. I really, truly do.
Inside, Teresa and Betty have a moment. It might be the first moment where Teresa “gets” what this relationship means to Betty and what her pride and determination have to do with her identity. It’s pretty lovely.
Betty: What’s that for?
Teresa: Being a hero.
Betty: I’m not trying to be a hero. I’m trying to live my life.
Baby girl, you are perfect.
Lorna thinks Sheila shouldn’t be in a situation where marriage is not the endgame. Think of the fanfiction, Lorna pleads, but Sheila tries to explain that doomed ships are typically the most popular in the fandom. It doesn’t go well.
Betty shows up to work with a shiner and Lorna stands up for her. Everyone gives her a round of applause because feminism. Betty makes a lot of faces that will take out your heart and smash it with a million silver hammers of emotional justice.
Lorna invites Reggie to move in with her which I’m pretty sure already happened, right? Like wasn’t girl eating breakfast there in 2×02, that one where I was making a lot of L Word jokes? Writers, what you smokin’? You get lost in the spy storyline, too? Y’all still working on that whole Teresa character fleshing out thing? I hope y’all get your shit together for the next episode.
And guess what? They do! Because didn’t I tell you this would be a double feature? I did. And as Jay-Z says and as I say when I pregame and rap over Jay-Z, on to the next one.