Happy Yellowjackets Day, friends! Kayla’s recap is ready for you! Lots of other good TV stuff this week, too! Kayla checked on Riverdale’s new gay biker, Lizzo, and also with Riverdale’s whole crew more generally. Valerie Anne reviewed The Power, which they are liking an awful lot! Drew reviewed Tiny Beautiful Things, which she wishes had been a little more fully realized. Kayla reviewed Beef, which stressed her out a little but which she also loved. Carmen wrote about how she’ll watch anything where Black girls kiss. Heather wrote about the BIG BISEXUAL REVEAL on Ted Lasso. She also wrote about The Owl House’s beautiful series finale and made a list of other cartoons you might enjoy. HBO dropped Jodie Foster’s True Detective trailer. And Amazon announced A League of Their Own really is ending with four final episodes.
Notes from the TV Team:
+ Food Network’s Tournament of Champions wrapped up its fourth season this week by crowning a new champion. Unfortunately, Chefbian Britt Rescigno fell just short of taking her Cinderella run in the tournament all the way ’til the end. But while Rescigno didn’t win, there was something really heart-warming about the New Jersey chef’s finish: she won effusive praise from her opponent, Maneet Chauhan, and TOC host, Guy Fieri. Even Rescigno teared up as the judging panel, which included Iron Chef (and noted Chefbian) Cat Cora and Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud, celebrated her food. I can’t wait to see what Chef Britt does next. — Natalie
+ The second season of Single Drunk Female kicked off this week on Freeform and while I’m still loving the show, it’s getting decidedly less gay in its second season. Sam’s sponsor, Olivia, is decamping to Maine to stay with her sister. Mercifully, this means we won’t have to see her annoying wife again, but still… that means this show is less gay and that Sam will be without the person that’s most contributed to her sobriety. The entire second season of Single Drunk Female is available to stream on Hulu but I’ll be watching week to week on Freeform and will update you with any gay happenings. — Natalie
+ Gotham Knights had a brief sweet scene where Harper and Cullen talk about how Harper took a risky mob job to earn enough money for Cullen’s top surgery because even after they escaped their abusive home, Harper could tell her brother was still trapped. Nothing else interesting to report on that show’s front. — Valerie Anne
Fantasy Island 209: “Gwenivere of Glendale”
Written by Valerie Anne
Ruby wakes up with a song in her head, a tune she’s whistling on the way to work. Elena asks her what it is, but Ruby isn’t sure, it’s just been bouncing around her head. She’s also been sleepwalking, but happy wandering. She feels…joyful; Elena posits she might be in love, and Ruby can’t disagree.
The guest of the week is Tiny Jane from The Bold Type as a woman named Gwen, and her fantasy is to be a princess because she dropped out of med school and can’t decide what to do next. She ends up in a medieval time and in situations where she has to rely on her medical training. She almost bails at one point, explaining to Elena that a professor told her she couldn’t hack it. Elena says, “You let one man’s opinion determine your reality?” so Gwen gets her shit together and saves the day.
But on to the gay stuff!
Ruby walks the beach at night, and almost walks directly into the ocean, but Isla runs up to her and wakes her up and brings her inside to safety. The next day, they opt for the pool instead, much to Isla’s dismay. But Ruby is wary of the ocean; she says she felt like she was looking for Isla. Changing the subject, Ruby tries to define the relationship but Isla says not to overcomplicate things, to just enjoy what they have without labels. Isla tries to show her how much fun it can be even without a title by having an underwater kiss about it.
Later, Ruby and Elena have one of those conversations where they’re both talking and neither of them are listening. Elena is overthinking a conversation she had with Javier, while Ruby is wondering aloud if her girlfriend can hold her breath a little longer than is normal, if the song stuck in her head was not unlike a siren song…if mermaids exist. Elena’s face briefly twinges at the word “mermaid” but she’s quick to dismiss Ruby’s concerns, saying mermaids aren’t real, even on Fantasy Island.
However, we later see Elena oceanside, and Isla emerges from the water. Elena tells Isla that she won’t let her take Ruby, that Ruby is too important to the island. Isla protests, saying the island needs them, but Elena says that they need the island more, and repeats her demand: stay away from Ruby. Isla huffs and swims off, a pink tail splashing as she goes.
Now, until a commenter mentioned the mermaid theory last time I wrote about this show, I was 200% convinced Isla was a manifestation of the island. Her name was a red herring (or a pink herring?) and for some reason I never considered that there could be fantasy creatures on fantasy island, which is ridiculous considering the character I write about the most is a 20-something lesbian who was elderly when she landed on the island. But of course Isla is a mermaid, of course she is. Because in my experience, all roads lead to me being #HornyForMermaids.
That night, Elena finds Ruby waiting on the beach but Isla doesn’t show. So Elena invites Ruby for a girls’ night, and Ruby drowns her sorrow in the suite of endless cheese. The next morning, the song in Ruby’s head is gone and Elena is pleased with herself, but if she stole my lesbian romance from me, I will riot.
Survivor 4407: “Let’s Not Be Cute About It”
Written by Anya
This episode kicks into gear at the challenge — which is a (somewhat convoluted) immunity and reward challenge. In this challenge, the tribe is split into two teams of five, meaning there will be not one but two individual immunity winners (one from each team). On top of that, who survives the longest, their entire group gets immunity. So, yes, at the end of this challenge, out of the eleven contestants remaining, only four will actually be able to be voted for. On top of all that, the only people allowed to vote are those in the group whose individual immunity winner did not last the longest. So, out of eleven people, only five will be able to vote, and only four will be eligible for receiving votes.
It has to be said. I think this is getting a little silly. It’s hard to keep all these advantages and twists and turns straight! It used to feel like a twist felt like a sharp turn in the road — now there are so many that it’s just like we’re on the Long and Winding Road.
Anyway, there were some fun parts of this episode! Last episode, we saw Frannie scale a seemingly vertical wall like it was nothing, which was our first clue that she would be, as we say in the industry, a challenge beast. And sure enough, she was! She won individual immunity, and what’s more, she stood on the beam holding another beam with a ball on it for the longest amount of time (beating the other group’s winner, Brandon), winning immunity for her entire tribe.
So the only people eligible to receive votes are lover boy Matt, Yam Yam, Jaime, and Lauren. Only after winning immunity for her group does Frannie realize that she may have endangered the very presence she seeks to protect — her guy Matt!
After yet another twist that I’m not even gonna go into because it ends up not really making a difference, we get to tribal. In a surprisingly emotional tribal, Matt ends up going home. Frannie is absolutely devastated, and at this point I have to admit that I have really come around to Fratt/Mannie — they seem pretty in love! But sadly, Matt is now gone, which I’m hoping ushers Frannie into her ruthless, no holds barred, villain era.
9-1-1 613: “Mixed Feelings”
Written by Natalie
While on shift, Hen and the Station 118 crew are called to a local hair salon where the stylist wields fire, instead of scissors, to give clients their “fire cut” (which, as it turns out, is a real thing). But when the stylist’s would-be client, Cherie, gets frazzled by the approaching flame, she knocks the torch over, starting a fire. But it’s not the fire that causes Cherie’s injuries, it’s the water from the overhead sprinklers: she’s allergic to water (also, an actual thing). As Cherie’s loaded into the ambulance, her mother looks on, exasperated. She laments not having a candid relationship with her daughter but Hen urges her not to be too hard on herself.
“Kids are utterly unpredictable when they’re trying to figure out who they are. The best we can do is show up for them when they need us,” Hen tells her. Unbeknownst to Hen in that moment, she’ll spend the rest of the episode struggling to take her own advice.
After dropping Cherie off at the hospital, Hen and Chimney are heading back to the ambulance when Karen calls, worried when Denny doesn’t arrive home on the school bus. According to his friends, Denny hasn’t been taking the bus home for months. Before the worry can truly set in, Denny appears in front of Hen, accompanied by another paramedic, following a car accident he was in with his biological father, Nathaniel. Unbeknownst to his moms, Denny’s been meeting with his bio dad for months…and when they confront him about his choices, he has the audacity to get mad at them.
Thankfully, Hen’s mother, Toni, is there to act as an intermediary. She helps Denny to recognize that his mothers’ anger and disappointment is justifiable and, if he wanted to build a relationship with his biological father, he had to go about it the right way. But Toni defends Denny’s desire to have a relationship with his biological father to his parents. She reminds Hen about how she was the same at Denny’s age: longing for a relationship with a father that wasn’t there. Toni assuages their greatest concern — that Denny’s actions are a response to some failing on their part — assuring them that they are great parents and their son’s love continues unabated. Denny just needs this, Toni notes…and so, as the great parents they are, Hen and Karen decide to give him what he needs.
They approach Nathaniel at the hospital — he’s still recovering from his accident injuries — and he quickly jumps in with the apology. He admits that he never expected things to go this far but that he grew ennamored with having a son and allowed that to cloud his judgment. Nathaniel’s girding himself for Hen and Karen to announce that he can never see Denny again but they surprise him: for Denny, they’ll find a path forward. They remind him, though, that he has lost their trust and will have to work to earn it back.
As Denny, accompanied by his grandma, steps in to visit his bio dad, Karen turns to her wife and asks, “Are we ready?”
“Not even a little bit,” Hen answers, grasping her wife’s hand as they watch their son embrace Nathaniel.
A Million Little Things 510: “The Salesman”
Written by Natalie
The wedding day is almost here! Invitations have been sent out, RSVPs are rolling in and now, all that’s left, is for Katherine to finalize the seating arrangements for the big day. Greta’s of no help — she takes more joy in sowing chaos (and annoying Katherine) than helping plan everything — so Katherine’s mom volunteers Greta to take her shopping while her daughter works. The invitation comes as a surprise to Greta, Katherine and me…since the last time we saw Katherine’s mom, she wasn’t exactly warmly embracing her future daughter-in-law. But who needs conflict on an hour-long drama, right?
Before Greta leaves, Katherine offers a warning about her small, but scrappy, mother. She advises, “There are a few items on the grocery list that are for my mom’s place. She will try to pay. Do not let her. She’s on a fixed income, and she’s really stubborn about money, okay?”
The warning doesn’t prepare Greta for what comes next. As she’s loading their parcels into the trunk, Katherine’s mom hands Greta a check. Per her fiancée’s instructions, Greta demurs, insisting that the groceries are on them. But no, Mrs. Kim gives the couple money for their wedding: $5,000. Greta thanks Mrs. Kim for the generous offer but acknowledges that Katherine wouldn’t take her mother’s money. Of course, that’s why the small, but scrappy grandmother chose to give it to Greta instead. The two play push-pull with the check until a stranger intervenes on Mrs. Kim’s behalf. Knowing she’s won, she assures the stranger she’s okay and says that they can go home now. Well played, Mrs. Kim, well played.
Meanwhile, Katherine searches for a new dry-erase marker for the seating chart in Theo’s backpack and happens upon an unsent invitation for Delilah Dixon. Theo admits that he doesn’t want the woman who broke up his parents’ marriage and caused his mother so much pain at the wedding. Katherine admits that she used to carry around the same anger but she encourages him to stop keeping his anger pent up inside. She picks up the phone to call Delilah and explain the mishap but Theo volunteers to do it instead, in person. Delilah applauds Theo’s honesty and assures him that if her not being at the wedding makes his mother’s wedding day better, then she won’t go. Ultimately, Theo relents and insists that he and his mother both want her there.
Later, Greta tells Katherine about her mother’s gift. Katherine insists that Greta give the money back but Greta assures her, she tried. Katherine calls her mother into the room and tries to return the check herself but encounters the same resistance. Her mother stands firm: she’ll decide how to spend her own money.
“I thought you would never be happy again,” she explains. “But you have made my daughter the happiest I’ve ever seen. That is why I want to help pay for wedding.”
It’s cute, I suppose…and it’d be a far more emotional scene if the show had devoted any time to showing how Mrs. Kim went from running out of the room at the mere sight of her daughter with Greta to asking Greta to call her 장모 (jang-mo or “mother-in-law”). But, hey…this show is clearly not invested in affording this couple the depth they give to Gary and Maggie…and there are only three episodes left so… 🤷🏾♀️
Good Trouble 505: “I Gotta Feeling”
Written by Natalie
Since season one of Good Trouble, one of my absolute favorite things about the show has been the friendship between Malika and Alice. And, for most of last season, I’ve been lamenting its absence, particularly when their storylines — Alice’s re-emerging feelings for Sumi and Malika’s embrace of her queerness — would’ve benefitted from the interaction. But this week, we finally got it…they’re finally back together and hanging out…and it makes for my favorite episode of Good Trouble in a very long time (the Mariana/Evan stuff notwithstanding).
Leaning into her promise to reconnect with family and friends, Malika invites Alice out for drinks. Alice assumes the invitation is for her and Sumi but Malika clarifies: she just wants some one-on-one time to catch-up with her bestie. Alice seems thrown by this and tentatively asks Sumi for permission to go out. Of course, Sumi is unbothered: she insists that spending solo time with their friends is a good thing. She encourages Alice to go out and have a fun girls’ night out.
But soon, one-on-one time turns into something else. Malika spots Gael, with only a NannyCam video of his daughter to keep him entertained, and invites him to join her anId Alice on their night out. Am I a little bummed that I won’t get the conversation between Alice and Malika that I’ve been longing for? Yes…but also: all the Coterie Queers together for a night out?! This is great. And then, when they show up at Duoro for drinks, it turns out the bar is hosting Queer Night! Just when I thought I couldn’t love this episode more, they give me what I want: more gays.
But there might be one too many gays for Malika because, of course, Angelica is at Duoro. You can tell right away that Malika’s undone by Angelica’s presence — she 100% called to make sure Angelica wasn’t working tonight before going there for drinks — and so Malika doesn’t pay attention to Alice’s request not to post pictures of their night out. Later, Angelica tracks Malika down and asks if she’s having a good time. Malika admits that it’s her first queer party as a queer person and Angelica volunteers to be her wing-woman. I understand that this is meant to build the romantic tension between Malika and Angelica but this is exactly what Alice should be doing…it’s her right, as the lesbian best friend, to scope out women for her newly single, newly out hot best friend. It’s Rule #451 of the Gay Agenda.
That said, Angelica does appreciate the dual role of a good wing-woman: first, to find potential suitors for your friend and second (and often underappreciated), to rescue said friend when things go awry. When she spots Malika’s eyes starting to glaze over when she’s talking to another woman, Angelica swoops in and pretends to be Malika’s girlfriend to pull her away. The moment feels real (and sobering) for Malika who points out that she’s out with her friends, instead of working. Angelica admits that she’s noticed and Malika adds, “no job is worth…losing you.” But before Angelica can respond, a drunk Alice intercedes, allowing Angelica to make her escape.
From the moment that Malika invited her to drinks, Alice has been frazzled by the prospect of being without Sumi…and, as the night goes on, it becomes clear why. Alice is still carrying the scars of their last break-up — Sumi cheating on her with her friend, Meera — and spends the entire time worried that history will repeat itself. If they stay close, Alice has reasoned, Sumi can’t find someone else. So, at first, she’s constantly checking in with Sumi…but then, when she learns Sumi also opted to go out with her friends, Alice drowns her sorrows in tequila. She returns to the Coterie, drunk, and searches Sumi’s loft for someone else. Sumi refuses to have a fight while Alice is drunk but promises that they’ll continue this conversation in the morning.
(Sidenote: I’d forgotten how much I love drunken/stoned Alice but, my goodness, do I love her. So fun.)
True to her word, Sumi confronts Alice the next morning and Alice admits that she doesn’t trust Sumi when she goes out with her friends. Sumi notes that she’s apologized for her mistakes already and, at some point, Alice is going to have to genuinely forgive her. She promises to check in with Alice when she’s out with her friends and Alice, happily, accepts that compromise.
The Power 105: “Scarlet Minnow”
Written by Valerie Anne
Of course the day after I review the first four episodes of this show and applaud it’s multiple LGBTQ+ storylines and characters, we have our first episode without any of them. This week focuses mostly on Tatiana and Margot, though other characters intertwine in their stories. (Including Jos who I’m not counting out as potentially being bi just yet, because she’s Gen Z and played by a queer actor.)
We learn Tatiana was married off to her now-husband when she was still a teenager, and she thought it was going to be in exchange for a fast track to the Olympics, so she agrees, but instead the man decides he doesn’t want his wife in the Olympics and her dream is crushed. Her mother is unsympathetic so Tatiana storms out of the house, screaming at her mother and telling her little sister Zoia she hates her, even though she doesn’t mean it, just so this whole situation will maybe hurt a little less.
In the present-day, Tatiana’s husband has banished all the young women from the house, but she has managed to keep her assistant. She finds her assistant secretly playing with her sparks and corners her, demanding she give her the spark, and so her assistant does just that.
At the same time she receives hers, her sister Zoia gets hers too, in a very different way. She has been sex trafficked and she’s being held, pregnant, with other women; they manage to get the spark from the girl who delivers them snacks, and so they pass the spark around and fight their way out of captivity.
Also receiving her spark today is Margot; after a day of interviews – including one with Tunde – she has a bonding chat with her daughter Jos, who explains that her mother doesn’t understand what it’s like. That sometimes it’s scary but also in a lot of ways it’s the opposite; she can go for a run with both earbuds in, walk in the dark without holding her keys between her fingers, not have to worry about what she wears to a party. She feels empowered, she has let go of so much tension and stress she hadn’t even realized she had been carrying and she’s thrilled her sister might be able to grow up in a world where she never knows that constant fear.
Margot decides she wants the spark, so Jos presses her hands on her collarbone and passes the gift, from daughter to mother. And now maybe Margot will not only be the face of this movement to stop horrifying legislation like forcing people with the spark to register themselves as a weapon, she’ll be able to fully embody the movement.
Station 19 614: “Get It All Out”
Written by Carmen
This week on Station 19 it is Carina and Maya’s first date. And yes, Carina and Maya are wives. But as you’ll recall, they are taking it slow to rebuild their foundation, so today they are on a first date and Maya cannot seem to get her name right (when she called Carina, “Karenwp_postsI laughed). In the middle of giving Karen/Carina a tour around the firehouse to meet her friends, Carina gets a phone call that a patient is both stuck to a vending machine and simultaneously also in labor, so they take Ben Warren and an ambulance and off they go.
The trapped patient is the same woman who was flirting with Carina a few episodes back and invited her out for drinks. Now just for a very quick moment I do have to say that at the time, I erroneously noted in my recap that Carina accepted this woman’s invitation — at the time, she had not, at least not on camera. But this week we learn that in fact she did accept this woman’s invitation off camera, so please excuse me while I give myself a pat on the back.
Ok this woman is in labor and also her hand is stuck inside a vending machine. The whole time Carina is tending to her, Maya is picking up vibes and mostly tries to play it cool but the whole time her eyes are darting and she’s slyly asking follow up questions about these “drinkswp_poststhey had — because she swore she knew all of Carina’s “friends.wp_postsBut it mostly goes well, the woman both survives and also delivers her baby, and everyone goes home to the fire house.
At the fire house, Maya tells Carina the big secret we all know she’s been carrying — that last week she received intel that the Chief is sleeping with Boris Kodjoe, in hopes that she will pass it along to the Union, setting off a set of dominoes that ends in her being given her job as Captain back by nefarious means. The thing is, Maya so wants to be Captain again. But as she tells Carina, “not like that.”
Carina is so grateful for this moment of intimacy between them, this moment of growth for Maya, that she smiles so bright it lights up a dark firehouse. And they say a lot of very sweet things to each other after that! Words of trust, and partnership, but to be honest with you I couldn’t keep track. I was too busy watching how they look at each other. How their bodies move together as if they are two sides of one coin. In moments like this, it’s hard to argue that there is any better couple on television. They are so sweet, so gentle, (so hot), and so, so perfect.
Grey’s Anatomy 1914-15: “Show Your Love” & “Mama Who Bore Me”
Written by Carmen
OK so I have to say, I’m a little mad at the writers of Grey’s Anatomy right now. There was once a time this season when things were looking up and more importantly, they were looking gloriously gay. Even though Helm was working at Joe’s Bar now, we were seeing her more regularly than we ever did when she was a Surgical Resident. We had a new sapphic intern in Yasuda. And yes, we were slow walking Amelia and Kai’s relationship a bit, even back then — but it seemed promising! After all, they had reunited the couple the season before, even though by pretty much every measure they should have broken up for good (Kai doesn’t want kids in their life, and Amelia has Scout). I could handle a little slow walking, I assumed that once Meredith was gone for good, we’d circle back around and gain momentum on all the other storylines.
Well my friends, it is almost May and there’s only a handful of episodes left this season, And still it feels like very little has gotten done! Yes, Helm and Yasuda have shared some flirtations, but we’ve really not moved past a Dance It Out at the intern house party. And Kai and Amelia have been long distance dating for an entire season. Until this week, when Kai shows up at Amelia’s door.
First of all, and we obviously need to get this out the way now — but Kai? Akfdajflakfdja. Never been finer. E.R. Fightmaster is a gem of a person, so I hope they don’t mind a little thirsty objectification, but my god. I just. Whew. You know? Ok. OK. Okay.
So Hot Doctor Kai shows up at Amelia’s door, and adorable Amelia’s first thought is that Meredith sent them. Because Maggie is leaving Seattle, and obviously Meredith just left Seattle, which means Amelia is going to be left alone, triggering all of her abandonment issues. I thought they were going to more directly tie all of this to Amelia’s sobriety, but I appreciated the graceful and elegant hand they took here. Anyway, Kai and Amelia spend the next 24 hours in bed — only leaving to get food — because, of course they do. Hot queer people have sex. And we love that for them. (I’m not joking here! There’s a long history of forced celibacy on queer characters on network TV. I love that if nothing else, Kai and Amelia will always be hot for each other.)
In bed together, Amelia’s crying because she’s obviously sad, but also she’s grateful for how she’s never felt this free and open in a relationship, like someone knows all of her inside and out. That she doesn’t have to hide what’s dark, and trust me there’s a lot of dark. Kai holds her and E.R. Fightmaster better be acting because as the camera zooms in, you can see a little tear as they wrinkle their nose and look away.
Of course we can see where this is going, Kai is going to be the latest person to leave Amelia. They’ve been offered a chance to lead a research lab in London, and they cannot turn it down. The next day Amelia and Kai work on a case together at Seattle Grace and Amelia decides to fight for their relationship. She asks Teddy if Kai could have a lab in Seattle, and Teddy says yes! But Kai? Kai says No. Amelia and Kai work right now, precisely because they are long distance (not London long distance, but still!). They are part time. And the other half of the time, Amelia gets to be with Scout. Kai still doesn’t want kids in their life.
And cue my frustration! Because… did we not quite literally just do this last year?? Why reunite Kai and Amelia, and put them through a year of long distance, only for them to be in the exact same position they were a year ago? It makes no sense.
(Maybe all is not lost? E.R. did post this adorable photo? But I’m having a hard time with hope.)