Boobs on Your Tube: Grey’s Anatomy’s 400th Episode Is Classic Shondaland Gay

Ah friends, it has been a week. It’s so weird to talk about TV right now when there’s so much else going on in the world that’s more pressing and harrowing, but if you need a brain and heart break, here’s where to get it. We’re very glad you’re here.

This week, Heather wrote about Clare’s wee lesbian storyline on the final season of Derry Girls. Natalie led the whole team in a discussion about the latest season of The Circle. And Heather recapped Gentleman Jack.

Notes from the TV Team:

+ It’s a wrap for Lina Esco’s run as Chris Alonso on S.W.A.T., as the actress announced her departure from the series to pursue other creative opportunities. A few seasons ago, I would’ve been more disappointed by this news but it felt like the writers lost sight of what made Chris Alonso a standout among female characters in procedurals: she never needed a man to save her. Watching Chris be rescued or lectured by the men around her over these last few seasons grew tiring and I’m almost relieved by this exit. Here’s hoping for better (gayer!) things for the bisexual actress in the future! — Natalie

+ I don’t know if it’ll pay dividends at some point but the “bisexual chaos” energy flowing off Zhilan Zhang this season on Kung Fu has become too great for me to not acknowledge. It’s giving me Petra Solano vibes honestly…only, you know, with the occasional death and a lot more ass kickin’. I know you’re not supposed to cheer for the bad guy — Zhilan was season one’s “big bad” — but…#SorryNotSorry. — Natalie

+ I keep forgetting to tell yall the the Home Economics finale was excellent! Denise and Sarah won’t be having a baby, but Sasheer Zamata really deserves ALL the awards. Her timing? Impeccable. (Based on how she played Denise receiving the news, I’d be curious to see more dramatic work from her in the future!) — Carmen

+ Hi hello I cannot recap Legacies this week because I’m in New Orleans visiting Gay Aunt Freya but I’ll double up next week! — Valerie Anne

+ Mmm hmm, I sure have seen that episode of The Owl House and I’ve got a post coming your way about it tomorrow. — Heather


Grey’s Anatomy 1819-1820: “Out for Blood” and “You are the Blood”

Written by Carmen

In a still from Grey's Anatomy, in a dark parking lot at nightfall, Amelia and Kai kiss. Kai's hands are on Amelia's waist.

There’s a lot that happened in the two hour Grey’s Anatomy season finale (that also doubled as its 400th episode! At the end of ends, when all has ceased to exist, all that shall be left is Ellen Pompeo and the dirt from which we all came, Amen). My biggest question is DOES ANYONE STILL WORK AT GREY SLOAN MEMORIAL!?!?

Like what, is everyone still in contract negotiations with ABC? By my count we have plausible goodbyes and never see you again’s for: Bailey (she retired!!), Richard (going on sabbatical!), and Teddy and — if we are lucky, praise be! — Owen, who are… wait for it… running from the law!!! With first class tickets on a flight, not even coach! Yes, that feels plausible and good. It also looks like we said goodbye to Glasses and Hellmouth, who are going to be reclassified into other programs now that… drumroll.. the Grey Sloan Residency Program HAS BEEN SHUT DOWN.

When I said in the end there would only be Ellen Pompeo and the literal dust, I wasn’t joking after all.

(Side note to my side note, then we will move on to Amelia and Hot Doctor Kai, I promise — but why do they always have Hellmouth hint at being a lesbian but never not once in over four years give her a girlfriend!? I know that she’s mostly a supporting player to Glasses’ coming out, and last night only mentioned “what about gay women” as an aside during the Big Plot about the homophobic laws that deny sexually active gay men from giving blood. But it reminded me that my girl has really gotten no play! And it’s unfair! JUSTICE FOR HELLMOUTH!)

(Oh and there was an off-screen Carina DeLuca mention last night as well! And Leo is safe and happy, with still the best curls in child acting. OK just doing a headcount of everyone relevant to our interests! Now on to Amelia!)

Amelia is very heartbroken over her break up with Hot Doctor Kai, and if I was Amelia I would also be in mourning… because have you seen them??? Anyway, Hot Doctor Kai doesn’t want kids and Amelia has Scout, so those are the breaks. But it doesn’t stop her from moping around scene-to-scene, making sad puppy eyes to anyone who will look her way, for the entire first 118 minutes of last night’s episode.

But what happens at the 119th minute, you ask? WELL. As Amelia is leaving the hospital, fiddling for her keys in what was once known in our broader gay community as The Parking Lot of No Return (RIP Erica Hahn, you will always be famous)… just as the iconic Grey’s romance song “Chasing Cars” begins to play… guess who walks in like it’s 1997 and they are George Clooney.

HOT DOCTOR KAI.

Rain pouring around them, perfect McDreamy hair dissolved, they tell Amelia that they haven’t slept. They can’t sleep because they love Amelia so much and — and —

Perfect rainfall kiss, covered in the blanket of night, with Shondaland’s classic music swelling.

Damn when this show does it, they do it right.

And just like that, the curse of The Parking Lot of No Return was broken.

(Should Amelia and Kai be together when Amelia has a kid and Kai hates kids? No, they should not. But hey, that’s next year’s problem.)


All American 421: “Champagne Glasses”

Written by Natalie

Coop leans against a pillar at the boys' beach house and explains to Patience why they shouldn't go on their planned getaway.

This week’s episode of All American picks up where last week’s left off: with Coop and her friends forced to the ground by a swarm of SWAT officers, who loom over everyone with machine guns. The police received an anonymous tip that someone at the party was threatening people with a knife. When an officer signals the all clear, Coop recognizes the sign and asserts their rights. The cops relent and Coop urges them to call their boss because she’s definitely going to call hers. Later, after the police clear out, the group recounts what happened — they were swatted, presumably by someone with a vendetta against Olivia — for the Bakers and Grace. Everyone’s grateful for Coop’s effort to intercede, it’s clear that she’s learned a lot in her time working with Laura.

At the suggest of Spencer and Coach Baker, the girls spend the night at the boys’ beach house and quickly fall back into a couple’s routine. They share breakfast together and Coop wonders aloud what they’re doing. Patience admits that she doesn’t know but, clearly, she’s happy with the way things are progressing. She links their hands together and Coop suggests that they go away for a couple of days to try and figure things out.

But before she can go, Coop has to admit the truth to Skye. She interrupts Skye’s fantasy about a future date and admits that she slept with Patience. Skye handles the news reasonably well — I definitely thought Coop’s smoothie was going to end up on her head — but is puzzled by why Coop would rather go back to something that she knows doesn’t work than figure out what’s going on between them. She acknowledges that Coop still loves Patience but questions whether she’s still in love with her. It’s not a question with an easy answer for Coop.

When she returns to the beach house after the Homecoming game, Patience is waiting for her with her bag packed but it’s clear from Coop’s posture that their trip is off. Coop admits that a lot of things are changing in her life and she wants to stay focused on the future. Even though it’s scary, Coop wants to look forward and she can’t do that with Patience.

“I’m sorry but I just…I don’t think that us falling back on what’s familiar is the right move for either of us,” Coop admits. And, honestly, it feels like that’s the smartest, most responsible thing that Coop has said in four seasons of this show. Will her resolve be as strong when Patience is dating other women? We’ll have to wait until next season to see.


NCIS: Hawai’i 121: “Switchback”

Written by Natalie

Kate and Lucy reunite with a kiss.

Last week, Lucy’s NCIS tracked down two murderers, seemingly attempting to thwart a prisoner exchange with the Russians (#FreeBrittneyGriner), only to witness them getting blown up by an IED. Meanwhile, Jane joined a Joe Milius in negotiating a successful prisoner swap, only to have both prisoners end up dead. They connect all the murders to Alexi Babin, a former member of the Russian special forces, and the team suspects that he might already be on the island. Kate tries to marshal the FBI’s resources to get more information on Babin but her efforts prove fruitless. But when Ernie uncovers Babin’s financial records, Kate calls on a friend to help untangle the shell companies behind Babin’s finances.

While they wait, Ernie questions Kate about her relationship with Lucy. Kate explains that she and Lucy are friends now and acknowledges that Lucy’s moved on…with a girl named Skylar who Kate has clearly stalked on social media, like anyone still hung up on their ex would. Ernie pushes back: maybe Lucy’s moved on, maybe she hasn’t, but Skylar is definitely out of the picture. Kate’s perplexed by Ernie’s decision to share this information — apparently, not realizing that Kacy is clearly his OTP — and realizes that he thinks that she still has a chance. Ernie denies interfering in others’ relationships but notes that Kate pushed Lucy away and treated her life an afterthought. If she wants to win Lucy back, Ernie insists, Kate’s going to need to make a grand gesture.

Kate’s contact is able to untangle Babin’s financial records, connecting the charter plane that brought him to the island with a boat purchase that’s locally docked. The team goes to scoop up their suspect but they’re stopped by Alina Nikitin, a Russian FSB agent. In interrogation, Alina doesn’t offer much information but she assures Jesse and Lucy that she and Babin are not working together. Instead, she insists that Babin’s running a “false flag” operation to foment tensions between Russia and the United States. Later, as the team tries to figure out Babin’s next target, Whistler admits that whatever’s coming is big: the FSB wouldn’t have sent someone as talented as Alina into the danger zone otherwise. Kate’s a little too effusive about the Russian agent and Lucy’s jealousy flashes. Clearly, Kate’s not the only one still hung up on their ex.

Lucy’s team realizes that the backchannel talks — meant to calm the tensions between the two countries — are Babin’s next target. They rush to the scene of the meeting to stop Babin before he can set off a bomb. Meanwhile, Kate tries to figure out who’s bankrolling Babin’s terrorism campaign and goes to Alina to ask for help. The Russian FSB agent is dismissive, at first, but Kate keeps pushing for answers. Alina realizes that the answer is personal for Kate and assumes that she’s uncovered Whistler’s weakness. But caring for Lucy isn’t a weakness for Kate, it gives her strength…and she pushes Alina to realize how much they have in common. Alina relents and they realize that the true culprit is a member of the backchannel group.

The team gathers at Jane’s, with their respective families, to celebrate their success. Lucy’s alone but stares longingly at the door waiting for Kate to arrive. When Ernie confronts her about it, Lucy insists that she’s fine. Ernie begs Lucy to get out of her own way and stop denying herself what that she wants. But before she can say anything else, Kate interrupts with that grand gesture: with a crowd of people watching, she sings “Make You Feel My Love” to Lucy. Now, me, myself, personally…I find grand gestures of this sort positively mortifying…but I recognize what this meant for Kate Whistler. To have gone from the woman who wanted to hide their relationship in the beginning, worried about the impact that fraternization would have on her career, to professing her love for Lucy in front of everyone…that’s growth…and I do love to see it.

Kate admits that she can’t go another day without Lucy and she promises that she’ll do their relationship right this time. Lucy begs her to shut up and then silences her with a kiss…and everyone cheers the couple’s reunion.


New Amsterdam 422: “I’ll Be Your Shelter”

Written by Natalie

After their shift, Leyla cries as she listens to Lauren explain why they can no longer be together.

Still caught up in the post-coital bliss, Lauren finds Leyla at work and delivers her a cup of coffee — made precisely the way she likes it — and the couple shares a kiss. It’s the episode’s most calm moment: afterwards, they learn that the trajectory of a hurricane has shifted and New York City is now in its path. The Emergency Department is about to be overrun and Lauren sets out to prepare, as best she can. She, unwittingly, goads Iggy into leading the hospital’s response to the storm and his first goal is to get everything that’s not nailed down out of the ED.

As her team scrambles to move patients, Drs. Bloom and Shinwari receive a patient who’s experiencing stomach pains. For a moment, it seems like the patient and her boyfriend are just a normal couple, dealing with the heartbreak of an ectopic pregnancy, but when Bloom spots a barcode tattooed on the patient’s neck, she realizes something more sinister is going on. Their patient, April, is a victim of sex trafficking. While April and her boyfriend move to higher ground, Bloom and Shinwari debate what to do next. Leyla pushes back on Lauren’s desire to rush to April’s rescue: what if she doesn’t want to be rescued? What if attempting to rescue April only makes her situation worse? Bloom insists that they have to do something and orders Dr. Shinwari to keep an eye on the patient.

Later, they try to pull April away to get a urine sample but her “boyfriend” clings to her side. Bloom assures him he can wait just outside the bathroom door and he relents enough to allow April to go. Inside the bathroom, there’s a note from the doctors, asking April to signal for help using a red marker. She emerges from the bathroom and hands Bloom the sample, labelled with red ink. Bloom tries to keep the couple there, insisting that surgery is the best treatment, but after hearing from a nurse that a pill could resolve April’s issue, the “boyfriend” gets suspicious and tries to escape with April.

Dr. Shinwari chases after him and offers the “boyfriend” the pills. She lists some potential side effects to look out for and he turns back to listen. While he isn’t looking, they switch out the wheelchairs — replacing his with another one with a brunette in it — and the police are there to intercept him. April is, understandably, shaken by her experience but Bloom ensures her that she’ll get the help she needs. Unfortunately, that help comes with a promise that she won’t contact any of her friends, for any reason, or she’ll risk being found. Freedom, Bloom notes, comes at a costs.

Once everything’s settled down, Leyla touts what a good team she and Lauren make and Bloom agrees. She tries to draw Lauren closer…a prelude to showing off their teamwork skills in other areas…but Lauren pushes her away. Earlier, when she handed Leyla the coffee, Lauren noticed worry flash across Leyla’s face. She insists that Leyla was wondering whether she’d have to pay her back for the coffee which, admittedly, feels like an improbable and stupid thing to initiate this conversation (however necessary it might be).

“You need money, and you need my apartment, and you need your immigration to go through…and you need all those things more than you need me,” Lauren explains.

Leyla tries to push back but she has no answer for when Lauren asks what happens when they fight or if Leyla wants to break up. The power imbalance between them is just too great. She offers Leyla her apartment but maintains that she can’t stay there with her. Leyla wonders where Lauren will go and she assures her that it’ll be someplace safe.

Before the season started, New Amsterdam‘s EP, David Schulner promised “more joy all around, more happiness, more love,” and, given that Season 4’s finale ended every relationship on the canvas, it’s safe to say that definitely did not happen (“never trust TV writers” – Jane “JR” Ramos). That said, while I’d quibble with some of the choices, once Lauren gave Leyla that money, this outcome felt inevitable. I hope that they’ll find their way back to each other next season — much will hinge on Shiva Kalaiselvan’s contract status, I’d imagine — but for now, I’m just hoping Lauren doesn’t agree to share an apartment with Iggy.


Charmed 410: “Hashing it out”

Written by Valerie Anne

Roxy and Mel making out

This week, we open in a silent movie style flashback of Roxy and Camellia, opening the bar, getting married, saying goodbye and helly in seven year cycles.It goes on like that for years, until one day when Roxy wakes up, she finds the bar destroyed, and no trace of Camellia except a bloody scarf.

And today when she wakes up, it’s not from a seven year slumber, but from seven minutes in heaven with…Mel?? Seems a little rude of them to have them hook up for the first time off-screen but fine. I even rewatched the end of last week’s episode and I’m PRETTY sure I didn’t miss it, but honestly timey is wimey on this show so maybe I did.

Anyway, as Mel gets up, Roxy blows her off and tells her it was a one-time thing and Mel pretends she’s cool with that and leaves. On the way out she sees Harry, who is there to help Roxy get closure with Camellia. But when he goes into the veil, he realizes that the blood on Camellia’s scarf is from a banshee. Harry eventually learns that Camellia isn’t dead. Duncan told Roxy that because it felt kinder than explaining to Roxy that Camellia was just too exhausted and sad and lonely living the way they did. He didn’t want Roxy to close down the bar, the only safe haven most demons have. The only safe haven he has.

While all this is happening, the Charmed Ones are attacked by the rebel group called The Unseen, which results in Dev dying to save Kaela, and Kaela killing Sunny in return. Taking away all four of her final lives, in fact.

Harry goes to find Roxy to tell her the bad news, but she heard. She’s sad, and she’ll have to grieve her wife in a whole new way now, but she’s not going to punish Duncan; he’s her family. Later, Mel goes to check on Roxy and Roxy thinks being with her is too hard to be worth it. Mel says that people say that about dating a Charmed One too, so maybe they’re a perfect match. And so, they make love in this club.

Next week, we’ll find out why the hot mom from one of my OTHER favorite witch shows, The Secret Circle, bonked Harry on the head in the Blockbuster in the sky.


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Natalie

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 244 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 382 articles for us.

17 Comments

  1. truly trying to explain last night’s finale to friends who are seasons behind on grey’s is what i imagine a stroke feels like! ‘oh owen and teddy are on the lam with their two young children’ ‘bailey is quitting i guess?’ ‘we have no residents’ ‘kepner is there for some reason’

    justice for helm! what a consistently underutilized character!

  2. On Charmed, I wasn’t expecting Duncan to suddenly be revealed as Roxie and Camellia’s adoptive son, who had been covering up what happened to Camellia this whole time. Also I guess even if the show had been renewed Roxie wasn’t sticking around, She has a box to go into!

    As far as the main plot goes, it hit me that something I was worried about had come true, that the damage was done and this show couldn’t recover. Why? Because even with the new showrunners and the new direction, The Charmed Ones still have their characterization of the last few seasons of being oblivious fools. They were oblivious to the smear campaign against them, oblivious to the state the supernatural community was in, and when confronted about their failures to protect people they responded with “You’re right, we have dropped the ball!” And that’s the end of the thought.

    Having the main plot of season be that The Charmed Ones have been failures is fine but only if you’re using this to show them course correcting into a better position and trying to actually help the people they’re supposed to be protecting instead of waiting around for trouble to come to them. It should not be them going “Boy we sure are awful!” And that’s the end of it, no actual effort to try and fix it. It stands outs quite a bit too when Kaela does it because she didn’t exist prior to this season and she’s also acting the same way Mel and Maggie are.

    Also that was a wimpy episode 400 for Grey’s. They only got Jackson and April back and they did nothing and the whole thing felt like the bitter goodbye for Meredith, except she’s not going anywhere. What a weird ending.

  3. I’ve melt with joy with that Kacy reconciliation scene. What a happy and shiny moment that was.
    I was a sucker for their angst, they nail the ex lovers at work, and that ending paid off.

    Now that the season is over, kudos to NCIS, they hit all the marks there and can’t say it was something I expected. A great surprise.

    • Totally agree, @analeo. Especially after how little NCIS: New Orleans showcased Tammy’s personal life, I didn’t expect Lucy and Kate to be so central to the Hawai’i spin-off but I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

      And it’s been good? All that angst…it felt like really good fanfic (and I mean that in the best possible way).

      • Oh, but just last week I was telling a friend how Kacy are living all my favourite moments in fanfics. And in the very best way.

        Starting with on/off sexual encounters and down to the way they met, passing through angst at work, co-workers all noticing it, interrogation where they are talking about their own feelings, one is bubbly other is button up… you name it.

  4. Greys was good but I expected more drama for 400! It was rly nice to see April. I hope she comes back. Seems like she’s needed?!

    It can’t be true that Bailey is just…gone. But I watched a bunch of season 6 episodes yday cos I was in a greys mood and it reminded me that Bailey has every right to just fucking leave. That woman has BEEN through it over the years!

  5. Maybe now would be a good time to drop recapping copaganda shows. Since actual swat can’t be bothered to try to save actual children. Autostraddle cpild take a principled stance in line with its (our) anti-racist values and refuse to give more screentime to copaganda. It’s beyond time.

    • Hi adunlap,

      I know it’s been a really hard horrible unfathomable week — after a really hard unfathomable month — after really hard unfathomable years. And all of us are rubbed raw right now.

      But we let writers choose what shows they watch and write about, especially because doing so over the course of an entire series (which is what’s required for this column in particular) is a lot hours and work.

      I am not saying that we won’t revisit our editorial policy about how we cover police procedurals (and your objection to them is noted) — but that’s also something that can and should be discussed at length in a place other than the comment section of an author’s work, on a post that they took hours to put together.

      We are definitely not uncritical of police procedurals and the roles that they play in shaping cultural conversations and perceptions. We’ve done two full length standalone pieces about it in the last two years:

      Yes All Cops, Even Olivia Benson: https://www.autostraddle.com/yes-all-cops-even-svus-olivia-benson/

      And

      “Clarice” Proves There’s No Such Thing As a Progressive Procedural: https://www.autostraddle.com/clarice-trans-storyline/

      There’s a lot of ways to engage in abolitionist work. We also expect that our readers are also engaging critically in the media they consume — or they wouldn’t be reading our website — and can make their own educated decisions about what shows they do or do not give their time to. We respect those choices.

      I have a lot more thoughts about police procedurals. If you’d like to talk more about it, I really hope you’ll send a comment into the A+ advice box, so that we can talk at more length in the next Some Answers to “Some Questions You’ve Been Asking,” because discussing the nuances of editorial policy really isn’t something that can be easily done within the confines of our comment section — and in this case, is unfair to our writers.

      Like I said, it’s really rough out there, this week harder than most, and I know we are all doing our best. Thank you.

  6. Ever since Cory Monteith died, I’ve associated that song (Make you feel my love) to his death because of Lea Michele’s rendition in Glee.
    Now I have a nicer memory to attach it to. So thanks to NCIS Hawai’i for giving us a big old gay serenade after a season of deliciously gay angst.

  7. I just need Richard to FUCKING RETIRE ALREADY! Hopefully there will be a lot of new blood next season on Greys Anatomy, I’m kind of sick of Owen, Richard, Bailly, Teddy, Addison…

    re: adunlap … there are a lot of lesbians/queer women who work as police officers, law enforcement.. blacklisting everyone is insane..

    re:Kristana I noticed that and was like ‘sigh, guess I’m watching ten hours of fantasy television for 5 minutes of sapphic romance.’ I’ll never learn.

    Charmed, Batwoman, Legends has been cancelled, New Amsterdam will end after a 12 episode final season. We’re gonna need some more sapphic content.

    Home Economics was renewed which feels like a miracle,

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