Boobs on Your Tube: Teddy Altman Is Haunted by Ghosts of Girlfriends Past on “Grey’s Anatomy”

Well it’s Friday and somehow we made it, so let’s talk about Boobs On Your Tube shall we?

On RuPaul’s Drag Race, things really were A BEAST if you know what we mean. On Wynonna Earp it’s trivia night in purgatory. Batwoman has brought back a familiar name (in a new way) and we certainly had some thoughts about that! Betty Cooper has entered chaos mode on Riverdale! Good Trouble’s episode about painful Asian stereotypes in comedy couldn’t have pierced us more deeply in the wake of last week’s hate crimes in Atlanta. Demi Lovato’s struggle with addiction is laid bare (and will break your heart!) in her new documentary, Dancing with the Devil. Riese watched Deadly Illusions on Netflix and has proclaimed it a homoerotic girl-meets-nanny thriller that will leave you asking “what” (CANNOT WAIT). And just when you think there can’t be anymore Generation Q breaking news… there is always more Generation Q breaking news!

March Madness is well underway, did you vote in the first round yet? We have the Classics Region, the Grown Region, and the Baby Gay Region (which is still open for voting! Let’s go Elena and Syd!)

PS — We have a new quiz: Which Tropey TV Lesbian or Bisexual Death Are You?

Notes from the TV Team:

I almost forgot it in my recap, but LEXIE GREY IS RETURNING TO GREY’S ANATOMY NEXT WEEK! So glad that Supergirl could give Alex Danvers the time off to visit her original family for bit. — Carmen

Nancy Drew 209: “The Bargain of the Blood Shroud”

Written by Valerie Anne

Bess is snuggled in a blanket and trying to reach a bag of chips with a pair of tongs so she doesn't have to get up.

I don’t know why she had tongs in her nest of sadness but I appreciate this snack-grabbing efficiency.

On this week’s episode of Nancy Drew, Bess decided to do a me-during-quarantine impression and nest in some blankets and sadness on Nancy’s couch while the rest of the Drew Crew went off to steal back the shroud they stole that was stolen from them by the Bobbsey twins. Mr. Carson ends up distracting her and cheering her up with a made up lawyerly task and it’s actually very, very sweet.

Meanwhile George is losing more and more control to the angsty lesbian ghost inside her, and Odette doesn’t want to be stuck sharing a body any more than George does and decides she wants to join her lover Mary in the afterlife, for real this time. She takes George’s body up to a cliff and it ends up being Bess who uses her lesbianism and new lawyerly skills to convince Odette not to jump. And listen Lisbeth is fine but little would delight me more than if somehow Bess and Odette found a way to be together. Sapphic spectres deserve love, too!

Legacies 308: “Landon Landon, Landon Landon”

Written by Valerie Anne

Josie and Finch exchange flirty glances in front of an open high school locker.

“When I said we should go on a Ditch Date, I didn’t mean you should ditch our date for some cute yet intimidating girl you obviously have a thing for.”

On this week’s episode of Landon Ruins Everything, Hope remains obsessed with getting her boyfriend back and doesn’t care who or what she ruins to get her way. Including but not limited to other people’s relationships or magical sobriety. When Lizzie refuses to go along with her wildly dangerous plan to rescue a tub of expired sour cream, Hope goes to the Regular School and interrupts a blossoming Ditch Date between Josie and Finch, knowing full well that Josie would drop anything to help her, not caring what that would look like to Finch. Hope brought Josie’s magic coin to the party, and tells her that she needs Josie to tap into the dark magic that almost destroyed her, all to save her boyfriend, not knowing or caring that Kaleb already had it handled. Either way, Landon is back now, so Hope has her beau back, and doesn’t seem all that interested in helping Josie get hers.

Genera+ion 106: “The Wheels On the Bussy” and 107: “Desert Island”

Written by Drew

Greta and Riley lean their heads together listening to music on the bus

Genera+ion is my new “shout at the TV” show. Just constant squealing at cuteness and screaming at characters doing stupid things — some authentically teen stupid, some annoying screenwriter stupid.

The two episodes this week find the GSA going on their road trip to San Francisco. The first episode takes place on the bus trip and the second at a motel where they’re forced to stay after the bus breaks down.

After a talk with her mom, Greta is feeling hopeless about Riley. Even if things work out now, when her mom comes back her social life and what is acceptable will completely change. “Do not let your mother get in your head,” Ana insists. “How? Just, like, how?” Greta replies defeated. Not sure how the Genera+ion writers got transcripts from my therapy sessions.

Ana says that Greta can choose to be happy or unhappy and she chooses to be unhappy. She’s quiet and distant and doesn’t sit next to Riley on the bus. Meanwhile, Chester is telling Riley she has to hook up with Greta. We find out Riley is a Libra which is exciting for me because I spent much of last year crushing on a Libra and am currently crushing even harder on a different Libra.

They stop for lunch and Riley takes a picture of Greta. She texts her and says she knows it’s stalkery but the picture was too beautiful not to send. The girls smile at each other and when they get back on the bus they sit together! Riley plays Greta “Door” by Caroline Polachek and they lean their heads next to each other and hold hands and it is VERY CUTE.

Unfortunately their night together does not go as planned. But first the scenes of the kids hanging out together at the motel are so fucking adorable and reveal the magic the show can have when it’s not spending time on mall births and silly wedding speeches. I could just hang out with them for hours.

Riley is truth-or-dared to buy a bottle of wine from the front desk with her fake ID. She takes Greta with her and steals one instead — Greta then drops it in the pool by accident. They decide to just go back to their room where they lie next to each other eating candy and watching videos.

The dreamy close ups as the girls glance at each other perfectly capture their longing. Finally, THEY KISS. Riley quickly starts to get undressed and Greta freaks out. She says she’s not like Riley and this offends Riley who storms off. Riley finds her way to Lucia’s room and she hooks up with her instead.

I get that this is a teen soap opera, but I think what’s frustrating for me is I think it would work better as a teen dramedy. Riley hooking up with Lucia was expected and makes sense. But the drama also feels manufactured in a way that undercuts the show’s delights. Imagine how much more interesting it would’ve been to live in the discomfort of Greta not being ready to have sex and Riley feeling rejected.

The ending of the episode with Chester and Sam works because the explosive scene was a necessary response to the conflict itself. But not everything needs to go wrong in the biggest way. Sometimes it’s more interesting to explore the quieter struggles and I think that would’ve better suited Greta and Riley’s story. It’s okay to let some of the conflicts stay grounded. Even if teens are a bunch of drama queens.

Grey’s Anatomy 1709: “In My Life”

Written by Carmen

Dr. Teddy Altman sits on a bench with her ex-girlfriend in Central Park. The bench is blue, the grass is green, and the girlfriends rest their heads on each other's shoulders in love.

I wish I knew how to explain last night’s Grey’s Anatomy to you! There is nothing I could say that will make sense or bring clarity, so pour one out for me — I’m going to try anyway!

When we last checked in on Dr. Teddy Altman (for this column, at least) she had confessed to Owen that her best friend Alison — their daughter’s namesake — was actually the love of Teddy’s life, before she died on 9/11. Watching Teddy continue to sort through what up until now has been a secret past, but one that nonetheless wreaks surprisingly organic and authentic havoc on the Teddy Altman we already know, has been absolutely riveting. Owen, of course, has continued to be the self-important ass that I’ve always known him to be, so rather than extend any grace or empathy to the woman he once loved enough to marry, the woman that supposedly was his best friend for a decade — he laughed at her and said that Teddy named their daughter “after a lie.”

Then Dr. DeLuca (not his sister, the other one!) died on Teddy’s watch. And that was the straw that broke her.

This week, Teddy is laying in bed. She won’t eat. She won’t sleep. She isn’t even here with us, not really. She’s far away in her mind’s eye trying to sort through what went wrong with her life. Was it when DeLuca died? No, go back. Was it when Meredith went into a coma? No, go back. Was it cheating on Owen with Karasik? No, keep going back. It was Alison. It was Alison.

(Side note from me: Isn’t it strange that the one reappearance we didn’t get this episode, in a season full of comebacks, was Henry — Teddy’s actual ex husband? I assume Scott Foley couldn’t be found, but still!)

The scenes between Teddy and Alison, though baffling and confusing cloaked in her memory, were sweet enough. Sherri Saum (hey Mama Foster!! We miss you!) still has a smile that lights up any room and the most soothing coo to her voice. I will still always love watching Teddy with a woman, that hasn’t changed. I just wish that literally anything around them made sense. We’ve been building to this specific episode, Teddy unpacking her past, for almost exactly a year to the date. How disappointing that in end, our grand conclusion ended up more an anti-climatic chaotic mass!

While Teddy is lost in her memories, Amelia comes to the house to help with Owen and the kids. I don’t know why I’m bringing this up, because I absolutely hate that so much time of last night’s episode was dedicated to what Owen feels about Teddy’s past (they aren’t his feelings to have!) — but it’s worth noting that Caterina Scorsone absolutely COMES THROUGH as Amelia this week! She gives Owen the brutal reality he’s been missing. That he, of all people, should understand PTSD (never forget what he put Cristina through!).

Which is just so well-timed (eye roll) because Teddy comes to the conclusion that Alison’s death wasn’t her fault, there was nothing she could do to save her. And that realization gives her the healing she needs to get out of bed and take care of her daughter.

It seems that our time with Alison has come to an end, and that ending leads us back to where we were a year ago, as if no time has passed: Owen and Teddy, back together.

Station 19 408: “Make No Mistake, He’s Mine”

Written by Carmen

Carina holds Maya's face in her hands and brings her in for a passionate kiss in the nighttime parking lot of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital

Maya is still trying to tend to Carina’s grieving heart, which apparently involves a lot of making bad coffee that makes her Italian girlfriend grimace. Then at the door there’s a knock — and that knock is Gabriella. Gabriella, a near carbon copy of Carina, with her perfect wavy brown hair and her boundless energy and her perfect Italian and and her perfect coffee making skills. Carina tells Maya that the two are friends, until Gabrielle cuts her off to add in Italian, “with lots of sex.” (Maya — who’s Italian is far from perfect, caught that part).

Gabriella has stormed into town because she heard about Andrew’s death and she wanted to be there for Carina to lean on. Maya knows it’s immature and wrong, but she can’t help but feel jealous, it seems like everything about Gabriella only serves to highlight how different Maya and Carina are. She thought they were building a life together! Maya doesn’t build lives with people. And now? It turns out that Carina has done this before. She’s been here before. It’s hard for Maya not to lick her wounds.

So Maya turns to Jack, and confesses the whole thing. Jack suggests being honest with Carina (I think? I’ll be honest, I got a little lost here for a moment) and then later that night, when Jack is doing a little family rescue mission of his own — Maya invites Carina along. Alone in the parking lot of Grey Sloan Memorial, Maya tells Carina how insecure she’s feeling, a real moment of vulnerability for a woman whom I spent most of last year calling a robot.

Carina tells Maya that what they are building together is special, a past with Gabriella is no different that Maya’s past with Jack (fair point!) and then she gathers her girlfriend up in her arms and gives her a massive kiss, just for good measure.

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The TV Team

The Autostraddle TV Team is made up of Riese Bernard, Carmen Phillips, Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, Valerie Anne, Natalie, Drew Burnett Gregory, and Nic. Follow them on Twitter!

The TV has written 232 articles for us.


  1. I honestly don’t like Owen and while Teddy clears that bar, it’s also a very low one.
    Her coping mechanism being cheating/being cheated with is very unhealthy and naming your child after a big romantic partner without your coparent’s informed approval is a big asshole move in my book. And while I do think whether or not she should have disclosed her relationship with Allison to Owen is complicated because of her queerness, in the end not sharing something like that with someone you want to marry is not a good sign.

    On totally unrelated news, Chloe and Nicolette on Aussie soap “Neighbours” just got together officially and the paring was a very slowburn, so its good to finally see it. “Neighbours” in general is very good when it comes to LGBTQ+ representation with them having two gay, one lesbian, one bisexual and one transgender character (played by transperson) on there and all of them are pretty involved in the day-to-day of the soap and having their own storylines, though Mackenzie, the transgirl/woman, abit less so because of her age.
    It’s also the only good queer lady soap right now as far as I am aware, though I have given up on quite a few with how bad the genre in general is about the quality of the storylines and how much screentime queer ladies get compared to other characters, Kristina of “General Hospital” being a prome example, she has been seen in what less than 20 minutes for the last year and a half and that is with her living in town and her father recently supposedly dying.

    Also, what is up with Lisbeth and Bess on “Nancy Drew”, can we get some screentime or explanation from the show?

    Also also, I don’t like that Josie being less involved with the school also means we get to see less of her, atleast give us those dates you monsters, after you make us sit through whole episodes, nay, seasons of Hope pinnig after and obsessing over Landon it’s the least you can do!

    Also also also, “The Good Doctor” quietly snuffed out my queer aspirations for Doctor Reznick and on “New Amsterdam” Doctor Bloom’s white feminism/privilege moment last episode – even when she resolved and learned from it – really had me questioninng whether I should put energy into her vibes with a new character that may just be wishful thinking on my part.

    And yeah, after all the chatter about “Generation”, I really gotta get on it and give it atleast the first episode a watch.

      • I am also very much on this Dr. Bloom bus (though agree with the original comment that last weeks episode made it harder to root for), I do hope this other beautiful human sticks around though.

    • @avasommer I’ll have to check back into Neighbours to see the latest developments with Chloe and Nicolette. I’d have to disagree with you a bit about the show’s history, though. Part of the reason I checked out on Neighbours is how inconsistent they’ve been with Chloe’s story, dating back to Melissa and Elly. Every time it looked like something promising would happen, Neighbours would abruptly change course and leave me disappointed. I’ll check back in to see what’s happening in Erinsborough.

      But, based on what I’ve heard, you’re probably right about it being the best WLW storyline on soaps right now (though Iqra’s got a new love interest on Eastenders). Kristina is non-existent on General Hospital, Vanessa’s still MIA on Emmerdale and Mariah’s jumped headfirst into surrogacy on Y&R without much consideration about her relationship with Tessa. I liked what Coronation Street was building with Asha and Nina but that seems to have gone in a different direction. I’m not even sure what’s going on with Willow on Home and Away.

      And I’m with you on Bloom but with Reynolds coming back as a single guy, I wonder if it’s just a matter of time until they reunite. Personally, I think if they’re going to have Freema Agyeman play the straightest woman on the planet, they owe us a queer pairing.

      • @pecola:
        Yeah, I guess I meant since then I feel they have become a whole lot better, though they did flirt with the “predatory lesbian” trope again when Nicolette first came into town. It just feel like when it comes to Mackenzies storylines and her involvement in other stories and the show not forgetting about Chloe’s bisexuality – which soaps have a nasty history of doing as we are all sadly aware of – that it has reached a very solid ground. I also make a conscious effort to ban the Elly period out of my mind since that whole thing was just queerbaity and messy as hell^^

        I will have too check out Eastender’s then, but British/UK soaps have me a bit traumatized and British soaps also don’t seem to fit my sensibilites in what I enjoy in a soap, so when WLW couples wrap up and the characters don’t seem to get new storylines I drop the soaps like hot stones^^
        Y&R just has too few Mariah sighting per episodes watched, so I dropped that show before they even got to the surrogacy.
        As for Home and Away, someone correct me if I am wrong, but I think Willow got basically run out of town, because she testified against one of her friends at a trial to save another friend and everyone was mad at her.

        On one hand they do owe us a queer pairing for that, but on the other hand after seeing Freema Agyeman and Jamie Clayton together, it would be seriously hard for anyone other lady to compete, so it might be for the best^^
        I feel Bloom and Reynolds getting back together would be disappointing since not only are they such good platonic friends, it would also be a stepback since Reynolds very clearly said he wanted a black woman as his life partner, I don’t really see why he would have changed his mind on that. Also, I just need my queer Ice Queen fix from somewhere and after the development with Dr. Reznik on “The Good Doctor” Dr.Bloom seems like my best chance ìn the current TV landscape. On that note: where are all my queer Ice Queens on TV at?

  2. i know i’m in the minority because i love teddy so much that last night’s ep felt good! like yes owen sucks and always has but it felt nice to see some exploration of the truly enormous amount of trauma theodora grace altman has faced

    also! amelia should yell at owen all the time! until he moves to a farm in iowa! ‘her trauma response is different than yours’ was such a good line. (i’m not saying she should date teddy and they should raise their kids together in a complicated polygon with link and koracick,,,but i’m not NOT saying that)

    and finally when the promo started with ‘breathe’ i Knew lexie was coming and still i hollered

  3. As nice as the actress and writing try to make Lisbeth (and her intro scene with the car repair *fans self*), at the end of the day she’s an undercover state police officer who lied about her identity to get with Bess so that’s a big yikes from me. I am 100% on board the Odette x Bess ship at this point and can’t wait to see where this deeply weird storyline goes.

    “But Odette’s a literal murder ghost and Lisbeth was actually doing her job and going after corrupt old money wheelings and dealings!”

    Shhhh…let me have this.

    Side note, it’s pretty hilarious that this is probably the only CW show where the straight pairings have any real romantic chemistry.

    • Yeah, but remember when we all had these well-founded problem with Wonder Woman 84’s handling of Steve’s bodysnatching? Odette is pretty much the same, so I can’t get onboard with Odette x Bess solely on those grounds, even when the lesbian ghost lover in me wants to^^

  4. I have always detested Owen on Grey’s Anatomy so echo your remarks about him in your review. You wrote: “I don’t know why I’m bringing this up, because I absolutely hate that so much time of last night’s episode was dedicated to what Owen feels about Teddy’s past (they aren’t his feelings to have!)” So true. I believe the reason that the episode was so dedicated to what Owen feels was because Kevin McKidd, the actor who plays Owen, directed it. I always find the episodes he directs to be way to ‘heavy-handed’ and too focused on his character. It would have been much more interesting to have seen this episode directed by Chandra Wilson or Debbie Allen (far better directors). Totally agree with all of your remarks about Sheri Saum and also that Caterina Scorsone absolutely COMES THROUGH as Amelia this week.

    • I think this is switching cause and effect. In TV, it’s really the writers who determine focus on characters – especially so for network television, where the writers have much more power than episode directors. It’s not that there was a focus on Owen because Kevin McKidd directed the episode, it’s that the show assigns him episodes in which Owen is a focus. (It’s not a surprise given Teddy’s storyline and her relationships that Owen had a big role in this episode.) Chances are the show and McKidd feel that’s a way to reduce his workload, because he obviously knows Owen and he’s most familiar with the actors who are in Owen’s sphere, so directing scenes involving him and/or his regular scene partners is a more streamlined process.

      • I do not totally agree regarding the switching cause and effect remark. I believe Kevin McKidd tends to intertwine his creative acting choices with his creative directing choices. I am not a fan of his skills in either creative area – acting or directing. I also think with a show that has been in existence for this long, writer’s decisions often reflect the pattern of creative decisions that the actor has made for what is written for his character. It is part of the collaborative process. Also, I do not think episodes that Chandra Wilson and Debbie Allen direct are always episodes that focus on their individual characters. I consider both Chandra Wilson and Debbie Allen to be far more versatile directors in creating episodes with the vast variety of characters on Grey’s Anatomy than Kevin Kidd is.

  5. I’ve really been liking genera+ion, tho I think I’m too old to be able to tell what is authentic and what is screenwritery as drew said. I did think it was somehow extra he way it played out between Greta and Riley this episode tho. I can see where Greta’s slut shaming type of attitude came from even tho I think it was unkind to go that far when what she wanted to say was just, can we slow down? Maybe it’s authentic for Riley to have run to luz right away but I didn’t like it. I want R and G to work it out so bad but I don’t know how possible that is now😕

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