The L Word Generation Q Episode 201 Recap: Late To The Party Foul

Cut to The Zakarian Gallery where Bette’s wearing 45 coats and a man dressed like Professor Plum is commenting on her extraordinary work at the CAC, where she mixed politics and art and also fucked the carpenter in multiple locations.

Bette and the gallery owner

I’m sorry but I do not want to be perceived by straight cis white men, get out of my sightline

He’s like, if you work here with me you could champion the work of so many artists of color and marginalized voices!! But she’s like, excuse me, what about Impressionists in Winter?!?!

Bette: “You know I could be a little irritated that in your myopic vision you’ve somehow solely associated me with BIPOC artists when in fact I’ve worked with pretty much every major artist of the last two decades but instead I will simply point out that you represent exactly THREE artists of color.”
Professor Plum: “Which is another reason I need you. I mean those marginalized artists are suddenly the hottest commodity in the art world and I have found for the first time I am behind the curve.”

This man has given us nothing and would like to continue giving us nothing by instead hiring Bette Porter to give us everything. I’m in favor of this plan, because he also wants to meet her salary demands, pay off her campaign debt, and give a signing bonus to all her BIPOC artists but Bette wants them for EVERYBODY lest any white people be left out in the cold of an impressionist winter which is so…. Bette. He agrees to this and further stipulations and then shows Bette to her office where she may or may not have liaisons with passionate women.

Alice’s book is moving along significantly faster than my book, and I have only one job and one girlfriend and zero children. HOW DOES SHE MANAGE TO DO IT ALL? Her publishers wanna move up the publishing date and also give Alice an editor. She thinks this means they adore the book but I suspect she’s getting an “editor” ’cause what she really needs is a ghostwriter.

Alice and Sophie in the office

Alice, Alice, don’t forget I want extra dressing on the side please! And no dried cranberries!

So, big news for Sophie and me: Finley’s totally down to come back!!! Sophie’s unhappy about this which brings is straight into….

Alice vs Sophie

Lesbian Squabble #1: Somewhere Between The Moon and Kansas City
In the Ring: Alice vs Sophie
Content: Sophie says Finley’s supposed to stay in Kansas City and is horrified to learn that Alice told Finley that they both missed her. “You gotta tell her that she can’t come back,” Sophie insists. “She can’t come back here.” Sophie’s saying all this at an alarming volume, thus alerting the entire office to her situation. Thus, Alice yanks her into her private office where everybody can still see them, but not hear them. Within the office walls, Sophie confesses that her and Finley boned after The Aloce Show wrapped its Roxane Gay episode. Alice is distressed to hear that this happened on her couch.

Alice in her office

Definitely NOT the black blazer

Sophie: And look it was — it was a one time thing, and it didn’t mean anything. I mean… it was fucking amazing —
Alice: Well I don’t need the—
Sophie: But she’s gone and Dani doesn’t know and now I think that I should’ve told her. do you think that I should tell her?

Who Wins? Alice because Sophie forfeits by immediately pivoting the fight into a confession session.

Alice suggests leaving the past in the past and moving gamely forward. Sophie thanks her for those wise words and announces her intention to tell Dani tonight! At the rehearsal dinner! No better moment than far after the checks have been signed, the mixers have been wrapped, the venue has been booked and the love has been declared not a lie.

We return to the Wedding Venue Location where we began the episode. Will everybody build a tower high enough to hit heaven? Will they rehearse a dinner? Well, Sophie is quietly hyperventilating. Micah and Maribel are lurking in the immediate corner like the first exhibit on a dark ride at Disneyworld, where they’re singing Did you tell her? Did you tell her? The next thing that will happen on this ride is that the music will start and we will careen into a grim land of horrors in which Sophie will tell Dani about smacking the salmon with Finley and then there will be a steep drop into a thicket of thorns.


If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
Except maybe for Dani to be cool that you had sex with Finley
When you wish upon a star
as dreamers do

As Sophie stands at the front of the room with Dani’s family, freaking out internally, we get a fun little erotic voiceover that on par with the legendary EZ Girl hit “Shane and Carmen Fucking.” We hear Finley: don’t do that, you’re getting married tomorrow. We hear a lot of deep breathing. SEX BREATHING.

Back in the hallway, Micah once again implores his friend Sophie to tell Dani the truth, and Maribel agrees wholeheartedly. Real quick I would just like to remind everybody of something I said in 2019: “Since everybody else is offering free ideas to the Gen Q Writer’s room, here’s mine (besides my #1 idea which is “put me in the Gen Q Writers Room”): Maribel and Micah! I love both of these characters and the actors who play them SO MUCH and I’m excited just THINKING about what they could accomplish together. “

I am getting very strong VIBES here that my dream might come true!

Anyhow, Sophie tells them of COURSE she’s gonna tell her and OF COURSE Dani shows up at exactly that moment to ask, “Tell me what?” But before Sophie can answer, Dani bulldozes her with an uninterrupted monologue that begins with “is it the place?” and ends with a confirmation that tonight they’ll go out dancing and get drunk and do the horizontal hula. Dani promises to make it up to her, whatever “it” is. The place. The place? What’s wrong with the place?

Dani in a hot dress

Is it the cheese plates? Should the cheese plates be bigger? Should I add a fig jam?

Nah babe the cheese plates are perfect but I kinda did bang Finley and it was actually really great

I guess an advantage to marrying very young is that you can go out the night before a photoshoot (a wedding is a photoshoot, don’t @ me) and not worry that you will wake up the next morning looking like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas just got rescued from a coal mine.

Regardless; that’s always been the thing with these two: they don’t really see each other, but they’re long past the moment in their relationship where that failure had any hope of getting corrected. They’ve got incredible physical chemistry. They love love — love being in love, love loving each other, are electrified by the rush of taking each “next step” in their relationship. Sophie admires Dani’s ambition and conviction and she knows Dani will always take care of her. Dani needs Sophie’s playfulness to keep her from getting too serious. Both of them are convinced they are ready to settle down.

But a long time ago Dani decided who Sophie was and what Sophie wanted, and since then, to Dani, Sophie’s always been 50% actual Sophie and 50% Dani’s idea of her. When they fight, Sophie’s angling to bring her real self to the surface, to be seen, and when they make up, Sophie doesn’t necessarily feel self-actualized, but she does seem to feel safe and honored. Those are good feelings to feel, although they’re not necessarily feelings that engender a sustainable relationship.

But whatever has happened between this season and last season, Sophie’s got more on the line than ever to be seen how Dani sees her, because who she really is — what she really did — Dani can’t ever see that. Now they’re both invested in maintaining the image and obscuring the reality. A dangerous place to be right before you get married!

Back at Chez Bette, Angie’s pondering the genealogy kit but thrusts it into her backpack when Bette arrives in the kitchen looking amazing. She explains that she’s just going out on a little date and “it’ll probably be a disaster.” Clearly “having to go on an arranged date” is the ultimate low point in Bette Poterland. She’s used to just being able to seduce the power-drill-wielding visiting artist who just joined her department or, you know, her T.A.. Or Tina, again! I love this humbling journey for our queen!

Bette putting her shoes on

I mean, most of the apples in the bowls are real. The ones on the top, at least. Why do you ask? Are you looking for your keys?

Angie, an exemplary mature child, wants Bette to know she doesn’t think the donor is her real Dad, she’s just curious about where she came from and it won’t make Bettina any less her Moms. Bette says it’s not that, it’s that the contract they established with her donor included a clause that he’d stay anon ’til she turned 18, because he gave Bette & Tina his sperm during a time when it was really difficult for “us as lesbians” to have a child. Also she doesn’t want Angie giving her DNA to the deep state, sorry!!!!!!

Shane on the phone

What the hell is the panagram?!!

Meanwhile on the mean streets, Shane got Tess a sandwich and Chloe is blowing up her phone with erotic desires for later that very evening at Cup o Noodles Door Poker Night.

At the restaurant, Bette’s feeling very nervous about her date when in strolls Gigi, all smiles and laughs and absolute utter radiance. Gigi’s amused that Nat and Alice orchestrated this date between two unsuspecting hotties. She complements Bette on her dress and asks if it’s Tom Ford. Bette looks at her with unforgivable contempt.

Gigi looking radiant

I just did poppers!

Bette looking hesitant

I don’t know what that means

Over at Natalice’s, Nat’s watching Law & Order SVU on her laptop like a lesbian sophomore trying not to obsess over why her crush hasn’t texted her back. Alice arrives and declares that she has had “a day of lesbian sex and scandal.” Also, Alice says she’s never seen SVU before.

alice looking at the laptop nat is watching

Wait so you’re telling me that when a woman is sexually assaulted, this detective “Olivia Benson” actually *listens to them* and *believes them* and then *investigates the crime*?? What fantasyland are we looking at here

Alice: Does she always wear a leather jacket?
Nat: Of course.
Alice: She’s serious.

Alice gives SVU about 30 seconds before turning immediately to her girlfriend’s hot bod, which she mounts and begins to kiss. Unfortunately, Nat gives Alice about ten seconds before falling asleep, and then Alice wants to die!

Nat: “I wasn’t asleep I was just resting my eyes! I have heavy lids!”

The weirdest thing about this is that it is almost definitely impossible for Nat to have fallen asleep that quickly so if I were Alice, I’d be convinced Nat was making it up, and then I’d develop like yet another carousel of baggage all about it. Being alive is fun.

Back on Dating Around, Gigi’s doing 95% of the work for this date while Bette gives it about as much attention as Mark Zuckerberg gives opposing counsel in that deposition scene in The Social Network.

Gigi at the bar

Ms Porter, do I have your full attention?

Bette at the bar


Gigi in the bar

Do you think I deserve your full attention?

Bette at the bar

I had to swear an oath before we began this deposition and I don’t want to perjure myself so I have a legal obligation to say no.

Bette actually TELLS GIGI that she finds DATES “a little sad” and to be honest, I understand where she’s coming from and I too find myself fundamentally uncomfortable with the concept of a date but listen lady, you gotta do what you gotta do to find love. Gigi is like, “Oh, I don’t know, I think it’s a useful step in getting to know somebody.” Bette gets defensive in response because she is hellbent on blowing this date.

But then SURPRISE! Guess who else is dining here tonight???

Carrie and Tina

“Huh, so it WAS you two kissing in the 20 second teaser, wasn’t it?”

Gigi: Nice to meet you! And you must be Carrie. I’ve heard so much about you!
Carrie: Oh really? Anything Bette’s told you about me is subject to cross examination!! (laughter) I’m kidding, I know we’re all part of the same team.
Gigi: And what team is that?
Carrie: Yankees. All the way. Yankees or die.

Bette wincing

I hate this

Tina and Carrie smiling

I hate this too!!!

Tina: Well I hear this place is great.
Gigi: It is. Get the scallops! They are perfectly seasoned.
Carrie (to Tina): Ahhh honey I can’t, I’ve got a texture thing with the scallops, no can do.
Gigi: Well, save em for the grown-ups, right?

Everybody stands still in awkward hell and I’m truly unclear regarding what Gigi was trying to communicate here but I think I hate it. The two couples separate to talk about each other in peace. Finally, Bette turns to Gigi and is like, “I’d say I love you but I don’t know you that well” and I breathe a sigh of sweet relief that perhaps Bette will not blow this date after all.

Gigi asks Bette if it’s hard to see Carrie and Tina together, like it was for her with Nat and Alice. Bette says nothing for a long time, ’cause she struggles with you know, vulnerability, and then:

Gigi: You make a life with someone and when it’s over … it’s like you’re spinning in the dark.
Bette: I… just really thought that I…  well at first when she left, I thought “Tina just needs some space, she spent her entire adult life in my orbit, she probably just needs to be front and center for a while.”
Gigi: You thought she’d come back to you?

As we all know and can see, Bette did indeed expect Tina’s return and Tina did not in fact return. Instead, she’s sitting with Carrie, who’s a bit anxious about the menu font being too tiny for her to see the ingredients. What if she orders the wrong thing and gets reflux??????

Tina: Do you think Bette’s okay?
Carrie: No, I don’t think Bette’s okay. I think she’s in love with you.
Tina: No she’s not.
Carrie: Yes, she is. I mean, she’s sitting with that beautiful woman and all she can do is sit over there and stare at you.

Carrie says she’ll try the scallops if Tina wants to try the scallops! (She should really try the scallops, scallops are great.) Also Tina tells Carrie that she’s beautiful and Carrie and I both tear up.


If you put all those haikus you used to write on your blog into a book, I would buy them


You would?

Meanwhile, over at Love at First Date, Bette remains unable to focus on aforementioned beautiful woman as she blinks back tears while casting excruciating glances in Carrie and Tina’s direction. “Come here,” Gigi demands. Bette leans in, asks, “you’re really doing this?” She is. We are. LADIES AND GENETLEPEOPLE WE ARE REALLY DOING THIS !!!!!!!

bette and gigi kiss

I have no notes

“You’re naughty,” Bette says under her breath. Okay Dean Porter.

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Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2886 articles for us.


    • istg i knew full well that finley was gonna interrupt that wedding, true to the age-old soap opera trope, but i still freaked the fuck out. i also yelled about 5 times that if you are about to profess your love to a woman whilst she is at the altar you might want to take the fucking backwards snapback cap off your head, i would thoroughly enjoy if this is sophie’s first response next episode.

  1. loved the l&o reference because ilene chaiken is now doing l&o: organized crime, meaning she’s in charge of olivia benson whenever she crosses over to it. it all feels very full circle. also your recaps regularly make me laugh out loud and seeing as i don’t actually watch Gen Q and i’m only absorbing it through your recaps i’d like to thank you for doing them <3

  2. Riese i blushed and getting very naughty images in my head at your bette ” Fisting” Caption…😚😁- a classic. You are killing me.. The poppers caption also very funny but the first mentioned one.. Oh m….oh my .. OMG. I Shared it on FB as well as that article , great work as always. Im from germany so i cant view the show legally so we non US citizen will be dependent on your recaps….

  3. I already adore Carrie and I’m therefore dreading where the rest of this season is going to inevitably go.
    Loved the recap – your captured the Sophie / Dani relationship dynamic so well. I’m so glad we have another season just as I finished all of To L and Back, so I’m not yet done reading/hearing you talk about this show.

  4. No shade to any of the other Autostraddle recappers but I was really hoping you (Riese) would be the one recapping this season. Yes! Hilarious as always.

    So I’ve basically been celibate since COVID started (shh…I’m vaccinated but I have vulnerable people in my circle who I love deeply) and I did not realize just how deprived I was until I felt feelings long since felt when I saw Bette and Gigi kiss. Whew…yes ma’am!

    This season looks like it’s going to be good and extra messy and I’m here for it and all things Gigi (and Chloe too…I mean…you saw her right?)

    P.S. Is it my lack of physical intimacy or does everyone look really good this season?

  5. I had kind of a shitty week, so I was absolutely thrilled when I realized that this episode was out today, and then doubly thrilled to see your recap was already up.
    Carrie is everything. I loved the cast’s chemistry. The ending was bonkers.
    Riece, I live for your recaps.

  6. Please, please, please, let there be a scene where Gigi has to drive Bette somewhere. With the wild driving scene we got in S1, I’m dying to see Bette’s reaction to Gigi’s driving emotions. Like is Bette a, better grab the oh, shit handles while we ride or die passenger, or will she use her gay superpowers to commandeer the car??

    So glad that Gigi broke up the public sex while in the car riders line at school. Apparently I’ve hit the age that that thought sounds horrifying. Is there an age where that wouldn’t be the worst idea? Like having sex in front of an elementary school with all the kids around sounds like a great way to get yourself on a perv list somewhere.

    Oh Finley, how I love thee, but oh how you have the worst timing ever. As soon as that wedding started, I had my blanket up to my eyeballs, ready to duck under like I was watching some horror movie play out. Public humiliation and second hand embarrassment will get me every time.

    As always your recap is much appreciated. Love the screen cap captions, callbacks to OG series, and everything in between.

  7. “To the brides! (To the brides, to the brides, to the brides)” HONESTLY Riese thank you for this caption! I needed it today (because I need hamilton references every day)

    • “Who is SOMETIMES by your side” I’m living for this version (sorry I hadn’t clocked the entire caption when I started my comment but anyway I give 10/10 to this entire recap I haven’t finished yet). How lucky we are to be alive right now and be able to watch this season and read this recap #blessed after the year we had

  8. LOL at Finley’s speech at the end – the writers totally ripped off Grey’s Anatomy, when Jackson interrupted April and Matthew’s wedding and said much the same. “I love you blah blah and I think you love me too.” End on cliffhanger…all that’s missing is Arizona as the bridesmaid and Callie among the guests.

  9. As a Tibette shipper, I think I’m supposed to be resistant towards Carrie but I actually love her!! I love how unhappy she makes Bette. And I almost teared up when Tina said she was beautiful, too. I hope Bette and Tina will find their way to each other once again but until then I’m glad Tina has Carrie who makes her laugh and we have Carrie too. And Bette with Gigi, yes please and I want more!! I just have a problem with the way Gen Q writes Tina as having spent her life “in Bette’s orbit” and been entirely dependent on Bette before leaving to get some space, when I am pretty sure we saw Tina’s development into her own being in the original show (with her relationships, her career, her volunteering project to help the children, etc).

    Anyway, thank you, Riese! you’re doing the goddess’ work and we are grateful!

    • Actually this is a good point, you’re right! I think we have sort of attached ourselves to this narrative that Tina is in bette’s orbit being overshadowed by Bette, but like starting in Season 3, Tina very much has her own thing going on! And in Seasons 4-5 is producing an entire film! And a lot of this is happening when much less is happening for Bette.

  10. So phenomenal – def the most entertaining thing I’ve read in weeks with such excellent captions. Looking forward to the podcast continuing. And no pref on the time – tbh I read recaps before watching anyhow bc it makes the cringy moments palatable

  11. I screamed when Finley showed up!! I agree it definitely feels out of character. I guess the writers were going for maximum drama (when are they not).

    I’m shipping Shane and Tess harddd. I want it and I really hope they go in that direction.

    The best part about the show being back are these recaps! Excited for the rest of the season :)

  12. I’m so grateful to have one of the great L Word scholars recapping this season. This whole recap is so fun and hilarious, but those captions really had me cackling in a way that my neighbors couldn’t have appreciated.

    Can I just say as a longtime Bette Porter skeptic in this relatively safe space (that is home to many a Bette apologist, which I do intellectually and eyeball-istically understand but emotionally can’t vibe with) that it makes a lot of sense to me that Bette would not be a fun date. Snobbery aside, she wants the world to revolve around her, and she’s a bully when it doesn’t. Like she’s very very hot and I love that for her, but maybe she could be kind one day?

    Gigi, on the other hand, seems so goddamn charming and warm and perceptive that I cannot handle it even though I didn’t like the scallops line. Cannot believe Nat and Alice keep ragging on her as though her presence is not a gift.

    This episode felt jam-packed in the best way and I liked so much of it but most especially the teaser where Gigi knows Dani for whatever reason, and so the hope exists that Gigi will also flit around Dani with her hot, benevolent, sharp energy, probably lifting Dani from a fog of betrayal and heartache into…idk something sexier and less sad and more fun, and I will enjoy that.

    Also wardrobe is already crushing it pretty much across the, but Sophie in these suits is crushing crushing.

  13. Thanks for the AMAZING recap (as always!) 10/10 LOLs 😂

    As soon as we finished watching I rushed to check if it was posted yet, as they are often more entertaining than the actual episode!!

    I got serious Max flashbacks with Bette (and Gigi’s) treatment of Carrie… I am so glad other characters affirm her awesomeness(the kids are all right y’all!)

    I also got serious Papi crossed with Dawn Denbo vibes from Eddie, and I so wish they had used the amazing Lena Waithe’s talent on a more interesting character/arc.

    Excited for this hot mess of a season!! What a start!

  14. Glad to have the L Word back, and equally glad to have Riese’s recaps back!

    I just read this out loud to my girlfriend (who never made it to seasons 5 and 6 of the original), and had to explain several of the throwback references, not least of which being all those things with Dawn Denbo and her lover Cindy really did happen.

  15. The whole Bette/Tina/Carrie brunch scene (!!) had me screaming in delight and horror. The nicked mailbox, the repeated mention of the Groupon, the buns, “Do you have another knife? This one is kind of dull.” 😵Everyone besides Angie was annoying me in that scene and yet I loved every minute of it! Also loved the little side convo in the restaurant between Carrie and Tina (“I think you’re beautiful.” 🥲)

  16. This recap was gold. I literally screamed during that last scene. Finley showing up like that? It’s giving sociopath.
    Also, I really didn’t like that Eddie storyline. It made Eddie seem petty and immature and immediately painted her as the antagonist because of her treatment of Shane. The subtext was “Black lesbians don’t like white lesbians or how sexy they are.” Disappointing.

    • Yeah that was wild. I was like okay, I think this show tries really hard to be woke and with it and that can sometimes lead to being actually kinda racist when the people doing it don’t know what they’re doing. I was like what are we supposed to read from this? That black people will just take you for 10K when they’re mad at you for a mistake? Alright then.

    • Agreed. This whole bit recycled the Dawn Denbo plot except Eddie looked even worse because Shane didn’t know Chloe was married to her. It sets Shane up as an innocent white person who really didn’t know better.

      Also, are there no better, more substantial ways to engage with Shane/Alice/Tina/Weho’s whiteness than to have a Black character come critique them and then disappear?

    • Educate yourself on what a sociopath actually is. Throwing words like that around when a character does something you don’t agree with is very irresponsible. Just saying.

      I agree with the stuff about Eddie and that whole storyline though.

  17. I just want to let it be known that if you show up to my wedding on some bullshit like this(in front of whole family!!!) we are absolutely BOXING IT OUT. And no, it will not be a cute story we laugh about later.

    It makes it very hard to root for Sophie/Finlay given how this relationship is starting out. Then again, there are very few people on this show that I actually like or even enjoy watching. I had the same problem with the original L Word which was even worse.

    • It’s also worth noting that finding attractive bras in larger cup sizes that also provide the necessary back support/structure for larger breasts and are also cute is hard! And the ones that do are often more femme and ornate for Sophie’s style. They could have put her in a sports bra, but that doesn’t give the right silhouette in every outfit (like the one she was wearing on date night).

      The bra they put her in was plain and in a neutral color that matched her skin tone (not to be taken lightly because most nudes don’t match brown skin!). All in all, I could see why they made that choice/why a hypothetical Sophie would make that choice. And as someone with large breasts who has had to wear the ocasional “grandma bra” because there were no better options, I appreciated the representation. Just another point of view to consider.

      • yeah usually sophie doesn’t wear a bra so i was like, either this was a perplexing choice OR they were actually going for authenticity by picking one that did a certain job under her rehearsal dinner suit rather than one that was supposed to be sexy

      • You know what Carmen, you’re totally right! I had a breast reduction and had almost forgotten the various monstrosities I used to put on my boobs, which clashed soooo bad with my gender presentation and outfits.

  18. Rosie O’Donnell absolutely destroyed it as Carrie. Loved that whole dynamic with Bette so much! I didn’t think it made sense her at all with Tina but then they had that exchange at the table and it was so genuinely sweet.

    Riese if you are struggling to understand why Sophie couldn’t take the promotion, remember that she will need to quit her job entirely to prepare her body for pregnancy.

    Also forever and always here for the junior mint screencaps.

    Also, regarding when we watch episodes, I think the correct answer is “directly before reading the recap, thus I shan’t tarry watching the show because I want to read the recap.”

    • ah yes, the noted Tina Way to Get Pregnant.

      which i suppose could be an actual thing amongst people who can afford to do so?

      also same; i wasn’t sure about tina and carrie’s relationship until the dinner scene. honestly tina barely spoke this entire episode, as far as i can recall

      • Honestly there are so many doctors appointments involved in getting pregnant using any kind of fertility treatment (including when there are no fertility issues and you just need to use donor sperm) that it can be hard to hide it from a boss or coworkers, especially if they are the nosy type. My wife was working as a nanny while trying to get pregnant with our first child and she ended up having to take the baby she was nannying for with her to some of her appointments and just not tell the parents, because there was no other way to do them all at the times they needed to be done.

  19. When I first heard Rosie was cast as Tina’s GF, I was like really? Rosie? OK. I settled in to watch and the second, and I mean the absolute second I saw Rosie as Carrie, I said, “Oh I’m down with this, I’m so down.” I literally forgot how much I loved Rosie. Carrie is awesome and I dread what’s coming. This is The L Word (the Gen Q addition aside) and the parallels to the original…this will not end well and I fear it.

  20. The photo comment game was weak, but the review was fire.
    Happy that Finley was back – but poor Dani man.

    Also my favorite was Finley (I keep typing Finely) telling Tess they “might” need a right home.

  21. I’m planning to watch it Friday nights as I had no idea that it released in the mornings lol Saturday morning cartoon energy. also I’m choosing to believe that Finley had a hell of a time in Kansas City and spun out to the point that she thought showing up to Sophie’s wedding unannounced and uninvited fresh off the plane was a good idea

  22. Riese – the world does not deserve your talent. I enjoyed that episode so much but this recap was even better!!

    I’ll assume the final episode will be Tina and Carrie’s wedding and Bette pulls a…Finley?

  23. I desperately want the episode where Shane had sex with 8 hippies in a yurt on her 30th birthday

    But the hill I will die on is that Bette and Angie have absolutely have steamed buns before! I can see Bette being dismissive of them but Angie doesn’t seem like she would go along with that game. They’re not an uncommon food!

    • right! i ate steamed buns twice last week and I live in los angeles, so based on my own personal study of this sample I agree with you entirely. i thought actually that they were gonna have it be a thing where carrie didn’t know what they were but Angie did or Bette did and that would be another like conflict moment

  24. I wish the writers had created a storyline in which Carrie is more self-confident about how she looks like and knows that she is beautiful. It would have been amazing to see an older butch lesbian whose looks don’t conform to normative beauty standards being sure of herself and her looks, knowing that she is sexy. I get that many found her exchange with Tina touching, but it was framed in a way that the normative beautiful Tina said to Carrie “I think you’re beautiful” (implicitly: even though you are not “objectively”). It made Tina look like a benefactress, and Carrie reacted like she should be grateful that Tina gave her that compliment and is in a relationship with her in the first place. It was not on eye-level. The story line is played on Carrie’s expense and on Rosie O’Donnell’s. I hate how many horrible comments Carrie is getting on numerous sites (e.g. “Why is Tina together with her if she looks ‘ugly’”… ugh…) and I hate how the writers position Carrie as vulnerable to shitty treatment by the thin characters in the upcoming episodes (my assumption). The way it is set up is that the normative beautiful characters in the show look at Carrie condescendingly which is mirrored in the way many viewers look at her and repeat this very notions.
    Having said that, this particular storyline (Carrie’s insecurity regarding her looks) would be not as bad if there were more butches in the series whose beauty do not conform to normative beauty ideals and who are more confident about their looks and bodies.

    • I have to say I was more bummed by the bumbling-ness they’ve written as her hallmark than this piece. Totally agree that I feel like they’re doing this character dirty – because, like, why can’t we have a more “traditional” butch (as opposed to Shane’s “L.A. butch / butch-wearing-eyeliner” look) who also gets to have swagger? – but I saw it more in the way her schtick seems to be being clumsy/unclassed in comparison to Bette.

      I found the exchange where Tina called Carrie beautiful very sweet and authentic. Everything else – the goofiness about the mailbox, the groupon, the scallops, etc – felt like they really undercut the hotness of a classic working class butch, which is partially conveyed through how much they know how to HANDLE themselves and are supremely capable in spite of society wanting to dismiss them as schlubby.

      I get that they have to play up Bette being super cultured and wealthy, but that doesn’t mean working class people need to be “dumbed down” in comparison…and Carrie’s not even technically working class; she’s a lawyer!

  25. I cackled the entire way through this recap, and I am so so so glad they’re back!!

    The back to back Cones of Dunshire captions had me absolutely howling, so yes, I am your exact target audience, Riese. Also lmao yes a wedding is 10000% a photoshoot!! Thank you for being so public about this bold stance!!!

    PS I watched this episode on Sunday night, but going forward I’m going to watch on Friday nights I think!

  26. Thank you for this quote that summed up the last lesbian wedding I went to: “Forces outside of my control compel me to cry even though I do not believe these two women should marry.”

  27. K just felt the need to get this out there…just rewatched and my main takeaway is that Carrie is the best, Bette is not a good person, and that’s that. I’m just gonna put it out there — I want Tina to stay with Carrie. No more TiBette.

  28. Great and hilarious recap! Love the analysis of Dani and Sophie’s relationship. Very much on point.

    Anyone else super confused by this Lena Waithe as Eddie thing? Back in season one ep2 Sophie said the Alice show got a call from Lena Waithe about wanting to be on… how can Eddie and Lena Waithe exist in the same universe??

    FYI, I think my fav line of the episode was Nat with “I have heavy lids” lol.

  29. I enjoyed this article so completely. The wit, the panache, the deep knowledge of the original show sprinkled throughout via parenthetical thoughts and asides. The photo captions in particular had me chortling. Bravo, Riese. I will be back for more, and am immediately making a $100 donation to AS out of sheer appreciation for you and your craft.

  30. I am finally caught up on this show and my notes are:

    +OH MY GOD DO NOT HAVE SEX IN AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PARKING LOT, Nat and Alice, that’s got to be a crime of some sort! Cars! Have! Windows!

    +We are all team Carrie, love this for us

    +Angie has the maturity of an ANGEL and her mothers should listen to her

  31. Riese I love what you wrote above: “Regardless; that’s always been the thing with these two: they don’t really see each other, but they’re long past the moment in their relationship where that failure had any hope of getting corrected. They’ve got incredible physical chemistry. They love love — love being in love, love loving each other, are electrified by the rush of taking each “next step” in their relationship. Sophie admires Dani’s ambition and conviction and she knows Dani will always take care of her. Dani needs Sophie’s playfulness to keep her from getting too serious. Both of them are convinced they are ready to settle down.

    But a long time ago Dani decided who Sophie was and what Sophie wanted, and since then, to Dani, Sophie’s always been 50% actual Sophie and 50% Dani’s idea of her. When they fight, Sophie’s angling to bring her real self to the surface, to be seen, and when they make up, Sophie doesn’t necessarily feel self-actualized, but she does seem to feel safe and honored. Those are good feelings to feel, although they’re not necessarily feelings that engender a sustainable relationship.”

    I had mixed feelings about this episode. I binge-rewatched the first season the previous week and was so excited for s2 (I had a BIG wish list for things I’d like to see) but this episode left me kind of… disappointed? And guilty for feeling disappointed.

    I’m not a massive fan of “time-jump” season openers. I get why they’re used but it sometimes feels like a lazy way to skip the storytelling and expect the audience to fill in the gaps. I’m not entirely sure how much time is meant to have passed, either – did anyone catch this?

    One of my big wishes for s2 was for Dani and Sophie to work through their issues. Not necessarily stay together for the long haul, but at least address some of the shit that went down last year. I wanted to see this because I felt they were a bit inconsistently written the previous season, with the writers piling one manufactured drama after another at them each episode – some of those conflicts were realistic and valid, others felt tacked on to raise the stakes, and were often forgotten by the next episode. I also desperately wanted Dani’s dad to be wrong about Sophie. About her running when things get difficult. So initially I was relieved to see them together in the cold open. However this quickly turned to disappointment when I realised they were doing a by-the-numbers “one partner has a big secret, can’t find a way to share it and then BOOM it comes out at the worst possible moment” storyline. I know it’s a soap opera so a lot of my wish list was unlikely to happen, but as someone who watches primarily to fall in love with and care about the characters, and less so for soapy drama, I just wanted to see Sophie come clean at the earliest possible opportunity (way before this episode started!), the fallout from that and then watch them find a way to move forward, in whatever direction that may be.

    The other reason I wanted to see more of them was for the class conflict issues raised last season, but it feels like these have been ditched in favour of the wedding crasher drama. We never got to see the resolution of Rudolfo accepting Sophie into the family, or the two families embracing both their shared values and their differences. This was such a potentially rich storyline and it feels like it’s just been tossed aside.

    Not a fan of the lesbian poker game, it didn’t feel fresh or new and was a weird situation to throw Shane and Tess into. We’ve seen poker, we’ve seen Dawn Denbo and her Lover Cindy, we’ve seen other women comparing themselves to Shane. It felt like an awkward throwback to the original series. The “white women colonising black lesbian spaces” part also felt off to me; however as a white woman myself I am more interested in how WOC found these lines.

    So Tess, an addict, worked first as a bar manager and now as a dealer at a casino? I don’t know if I’m overreacting here but these just don’t seem like particularly healthy or advisable situations to throw her into? I could just about buy her working in a bar but continuing to work into addictive situations so soon after a relapse felt irresponsible. I hope we get some more info about why she ‘needs’ a second job – did she quit Dana’s to work on her recovery? Is Dana’s still open? Enquiring minds need to know.

    I do NOT ship Tess and Shane, though I suspect very strongly they are going to end up together this season. I love Shane but I haven’t forgiven her for sleeping with Tess’s girlfriend last season and contributing to her tailspin. Tess deserves so, so much better. I could maybe accept a scenario where they have a casual thing if Tess is calling all of the shots. I just don’t want to see her hurt again.

    I too would die for Carrie – hooray for butch representation! I’m struggling to believe her and Tina as a thing so far, but I’m only one episode in. I do see what they’re trying to convey with Carrie making space for Tina in a way that Bette struggled to. Again I have a feeling she might exist purely to be a brief foil to Bette before she and Tina inevitably end up together once more.

    Last rant about the Dani/Sophie/Finley drama – it doesn’t ring true for either Sophie or Finley’s characters. Rudolfo has accused Sophie of being somebody who runs when things get hard, but we haven’t seen anything to back this up until now. I’m not sure I buy Sophie ordering Finley to stay in Kansas, nor her deciding everything is fine and to plough ahead with marriage on the basis of Finley not being around. (And what happened to her friendships with Micah and Dani? Are we meant to believe she simply cut contact with them all?) And it cheapens Finley’s character to have her burst into the ceremony at the last minute like that. She’d started on a journey towards personal growth right at the end of last season and I really wanted to see her get into therapy this season to process her trauma and start healing. Not wait until the worst possible moment to do something that ultimately is unbelievably selfish.

    Things I did enjoy:
    – this recap, obvs
    – Carrie
    – Angie
    – Gigi, the agent of chaos (minus the cheap shot at Carrie)
    – Sophie and Dani’s night out (minus the context)
    – Alice treating Sophie with a little more respect
    – Sophie’s suit at the rehearsal dinner
    – Bette’s criteria for a partner
    – Maribel’s wedding look

    Sorry this is so long! Hoping I’ll have a more positive ramble after episode 2 :-)

  32. ALSO, don’t know if there are any other Wedding Industry Queers in the audience . . . but as a florist’s assistant, I can 1000% confirm that Dani and Micah are holding Dani’s bouquet BACKWARDS for the entirety of the wedding. This fact distracted me for the whole final scene, and continues to haunt me.

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