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

Welcome to the first recap of the second season of The L Word: Generation Q, brought to you by the same network that brought you The L Word, a show about a sociopathic aspiring lesbian club mogul with a Lover named Cindy who moves to Los Angeles to destroy every lesbian eatery and bar that interferes with her dreams, orchestrates a backroom threesome with the town ladykiller on opening night, ruins a very fun party after said ladykiller has sex with aforementioned Lover (who is naked except for her kitten heels) on their white couch, hosts a scandalous oil wrestling event where young starlets rip each other’s hair out, unleashes a cage of wild rats in a local coffeehouse and then hosts a mafia-style showdown with her rivals in a scorching hot conference room during a city-wide power outage, after which time she is bested by a rich heiress who steals her club and her girlfriend, the afore-aforementioned Lover Cindy, who loves pastries and silk tank tops.

It’s finally time for this absolutely ridiculous adventure into Season Two of this show. Do you remember Season One? Back before so many of us had stared into the dark void of our own humanity for a series of terrifying months? Ah were we ever so young. We will never be young again! LOL!

Question for Everybody: When do you plan to watch the episodes? Friday mornings? Friday nights? Saturday? Sunday? Lemme know so I know the ideal time to drop this recap!


We open at the Tower Of Babel, which Sophie Suarez is ascending, wearing a sharp tailored suit and a tentative facial expression. As the music swells around us, I think to myself “hmmm, this definitely isn’t the Hollywood Burbank Airport aka the Bob Hope Airport, a public airport three miles northwest of downtown Burbank in Los Angeles County.” As you may recall, last we saw our young charges, Sophie was running through the airport in her Wildfang outfit, Dani was wearing Gucci high-tops and Finley was boarding an airplane while listening to my favorite podcast, To L and Back. But my friends, time has passed, as it so often does. And at the top of the stairs, Sophie finds her dearly betrothed Dani looking very hot.

Sophie and Dani looking at each other

Sorry the only spot I could find was a meter so we have like 45 minutes before I gotta bounce and also, I fucked Finley in the green room

It turns out that Sophie did visit the Aloha State with Dani, but they didn’t marry there. Instead, they intend to marry right here, in sunny Los Angeles California!!! Inside a very large building!!!!

Dani’s father is now 100% on board with the union, citing Sophie’s integrity and generosity. Furthermore, he has never seen his daughter as happy as she is right now in this moment, probably because he has never seen her look at art with Bette Porter.

Dani's Dad giving a toast at the rehearsal dinner

To the brides! (To the brides, to the brides, to the brides)
From your father (Rodolfo, Rodolfo, Rodolfo)
Who is sometimes by your side


We leap back in time an entire 15 hours to find Shane in a skinny tie (classic) and shoes I deeply covet (sure), walking her new dog friend, who I will call Sounder III, through an underground tunnel. Here, my friends, we stumble upon the Lost Butches of Los Angeles, hidden behind a vending machine that appears to be delivering candy bars and Cups-o-Noodles but is actually a door. And who is behind that door??!!

Lena Waithe as Eddie

You knew it was only a matter of time before I showed up here, yeah?

It’s Eddy (Lena Waithe), who has allegedly been eager to meet Shane, as allegedly they are the “white and Black versions of each other” because every masculine person of color in L.A. is just an [ethnicity] version of Shane. Turns out Tess is an employee of both Dana’s and Cup o Noodles Secret Texas Hold Em Club and she will be dealing this evening with no limits.

Eddy looking across the table

She’s just a skinny little white girl.

Tess at in a dress smiling

Told you so

A hot femme in a hot pink dress flirts with Shane while Eddy looks on. DANGER!!!!


We then travel over the 405 and into the woods over to the annals of education, where Alice and Nat are dropping off the kids and Alice is re-reading a draft of her upcoming memoir, in which there’ll be a chapter called “Boobs, Tubes and Pubes” that will not be about the Autostraddle column Boobs on Your Tube but in fact about Alice’s ovarian cysts. This is important for ovarian cyst visibility!

Alice reading an iPad

Wow, Zan is really coming into his own on these videos! He says YES now every time!

Stuck in line behind a hetero soccer Mom, Nat suggests a quick tryst in the backseat but Alice has only begun to scale the median when who should pop in but Gigi!!! Gigi is here to give Eli his class cupcakes, inform us that Nat’s always been into public sex, chew two pieces of Alice’s gum, and give me false hope that they might one day have another threesome.

Gigi in the backseat of Nat and Alice's car putting gum in her mouth

How would you say this compares to Wonka’s Magic Chewing Gum?

Alice suggests they find Gigi a girlfriend and Nat is like, “that is why I love you, you have all the best ideas.” Hopefully Alice is gonna just shake the lesbian phone tree and see if maybe Pink falls out and then wants to raise her glass with Bette.


We then shoot across town to Chez Bette, where our Lady of Porter is gamely pulling off some bold taupe leisurewear and speaking to a potential employer as Tina and Carrie show up and my friends the class war starts at home!!!!!

Bette on the phone

Good god you don’t ENTER with your entire hand in a balled-up fist, you have to start out more like this until you are all the way in

Yes the legendary Rosie O’Donnell is playing Carrie and I would take a bullet for her. A classic silver fox in a practical shirt about to die of shame over kinda nicking Bette’s mailbox? Who then offers to fix it up real fast no problem if Bette perhaps has some housepaint? Who had a Groupon for a Vietnamese bakery and got them all some giant meat buns? Who hasn’t heard of the internationally renowned art guy who wants to hire Bette? Welcome to Los Angeles, Carrie, we are so very happy to have you!

Carrie walking in Bette's house with a bag of groceries

I’m so sorry they were out of Junior Mints but I got Mint M’n’Ms, York Peppermint Patties, a handful of Andes Mints and also kidnapped Mr. Mint from Candyland and stuffed him in the bottom of the bag for good measure

Basically Carrie is the polar opposite of Bette. While Carrie’s clearly eager to impress her forerunner, Bette cannot tolerate the simple fact of Carrie’s existence, let alone anything she actually dares to say out loud. It’s a big shift for Tina, too.

Oddly enough, it was from Rosie that I first heard this idea that “in every couple, one person is the flower and the other is the gardener.” The gardener is steady, reliable, calm, controlled. She waters the plants and picks the right soil. The flower blooms. I don’t think that’s true about every couple, I think that’s actually a very specific kind of relationship — one that’s probably especially common amongst celebrities with non-famous partners. But it was absolutely true about Bette and Tina. And maybe now… Tina has a gardener of her own?

Angie bounds in to the kitchen to be a normal teenager not involved in this tense love triangle of intergenerational lesbian romance and to eat some breakfast. She says it’s cool that Tina and Carrie wanna get married this summer in Palm Springs, which is honestly a terrible idea because it will be at LEAST 120 degrees and everybody will melt and die faster than my dreams in March 2020.

Carrie and Tina in the kitchen

Whaddya say we rent a white van and go T.P. Elisabeth Hassleback’s mansion?

Angie in the kitchen

More pressing to Angie is that she’s got no idea who her donor is, unlike me and all other viewers of Season One of The L Word, who remember illustrious artist Marcus Allenwood. Unfortunately, her Moms squash that potential journey of discovery immediately, explaining she can’t meet her donor ’cause they’d agreed he would stay anonymous until she turned 18.

Carrie quite adorably begins rambling about how she did one of those genetics tests you can get in the mail and found out she was 100% IRISH and had family in West Palm Beach in the jet ski industry! Unfortunately, Mama B and Mama T don’t like the idea of Angie doing a genealogy test either.

Bette is… sad.


Back at DaSoMi’s chateau, Dani’s eyeing a table of tiny paper tents upon which the seating-related fate of their wedding guests is at stake.

Dani looking at table tents

The maverick should be able to trade lumber for agricultural credits. How have I not thought of this before?

Sophie implores her betrothed to stop obsessing over the seating at their wedding.

Dani: Do you think my Dad can just sit at a table in the corner by himself?
Sophie: Whatever Nuñez, it’s gonna be perfect because after we’re gonna go to your family’s house in Ojai and be naked all day.
Dani: Maybe we should just run away now.
Sophie: No no no no no. I wanna make these people cry. (Slaps her ass) So don’t fuck it up.

Sophie holding Dani while she points at the table

Actually… lemme tell you more about the trivia cards because you’re gonna need to know about the roadblocks first!


Dani texts Micah who’s allegedly at the gym but is NOT actually at the gym because he is putting his clothes back on after doing SEXUALS with JOSE who is MARRIED.

Jose and Micah talking

C’mon why are you leaving me to help out with somebody else’s doomed marriage when I have my own doomed marriage right here?

Exposition time!!!!!!!!!

  1. Jose can’t go to the wedding with Micah.
  2. Jose moved back in with his husband so they can break up their marriage?

It’s time to give this man the boot!


IT’S THE ALOCE SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!! Big news: Margaret Cho keeps calling, and thus I anticipate she will appear on a future episode. Alice explains to Sophie that she is SWAMPED these days with writing her book and doing the show and holding a water bottle and on top of all that, they want her to launch a new segment!

Alice and Sophie chatting on their walk off the set of the Aloce Show

And then I was like, “but Smartwater has SO many electrolytes, why would I switch to TAP?”

Alice: The network wants me to do a new segment on the show this season, like a carpool karaoke but with more gravitas? So like Carpool Karaoke meets—
Sophie: Intervention?
Alice: No, like Ellen’s Teacher Giveaways meets Oprah 2.0 meets the viral nature of carpool karaoke?
Sophie: So uplifting, but not silly, but interesting enough for people to watch and share?
Alice: Right. But through the Alice lens.
Sophie: Alright, I didn’t think I had to say QUEER.

Guess what: Alice needs to hire a producer for the segment and she’s got her eye on our very own Sophie Suarez, which’s great ’cause Sophie was craving a production job back in Season One, which aired 150 years ago. However Sophie’s reaction to this news does not seem to reflect expected enthusiasm levels, perhaps because her heart is heavy. Why is that? We will find out very soon!

Also, the assistant Alice hired to replace Finley is really bad at coffee.

Alice in The Planet with coffee

Alice feels lost without Finley! Finley made great coffee. Finley gave her encouraging finger-guns to pump Alice up and make her feel jazzed up with the eye of the tiger.

But, it turns out the reason Sophie and Dani’s intended marriage has proceeded at an alarming clip is not ’cause Sophie resolved her dilemma with either party. It’s because she has banished Finley from the Los Angeles metro area.

Alice: You don’t think Finley’s coming back? There’s not a chance or anything.
Sophie: NO. She’s not coming back. She’s staying in Kansas City forever.
Alice: Well, I’m gonna have to switch to tea if that’s the case.

Alice asks her inadequate assistant to get Sarah Finley on the horn.


Jordie and Angie are being REALLY FUCKING CUTE. Angie’s chomping on a sandwich, and Jordie’s hair is waving in the wind, and they are clearly deeply in love but also respect and value each other for who they are as people!?!?!

Angie and Jordi walking together

And then I was sitting in Kit’s office hanging out waiting for Mama T and Mama B to come get me and I found a gun and I was like hm, I wonder how this would feel in my tiny baby hands

ANYHOW Jordie suggests that Angie try the genetics test if meeting the donor is totally off the table. Angie fears Bette won’t go for that ’cause it was Carrie’s idea. In fact, just this morning, Angie noticed that Bette was horrified by Carrie’s inalienable right to exist. Jordi says Carrie is the best and Angie agrees. Gen Z rules!!!!!!!


Meanwhile, Mom’s at Dana’s with her best buds, Alice and Shane, acting like she was not aggressively meat-tagged at The Planet in 2007 and is at risk of Dying Alone.

Bette at restaurant

The giant Bette Porter murals were just so beautiful I simply saw no good reason to remove them from view

Bette: I think it’s because their togetherness just highlights the fact that I’m alone, and Tina has Carrie and she makes her laugh and she’s all JOKEY and I have… oh yeah that’s right! I have no one and I’m gonna die alone.
Shane: No no no no, you know why that’s not gonna happen? Because you always have Angie.
Bette: (scoffs)
Shane: What’s wrong with that?
Alice: Yeah, you two could be like, the Grey Gardens of this generation. But I mean in a much nicer house. Less racoons.
Shane: Cleaner, for sure.

This reminds me of when I was like, I’m going to die alone because nobody will ever love me, and Heather was like, that’s not true, Carol loves you so much!

Bette at lunch holding up her hand

How many fingers am I holding up?

Alice and Shane at lunch

I dunno, 8??!

Bette’s questioning the likelihood that she’ll ever meet someone who meets all of her criteria. Considering she’s one of the most beloved lesbians in the history of the sport, I’d say her chances of meeting someone criteria-approved is in the 100% range. This, by the way, is her criteria:

  1. Has kids of her own
  2. Isn’t married
  3. Isn’t straight
  4. Has a job
  5. No, not a job, a career
  6. And must be passionate about her work

Alice and Shane are skeptical that she truly wants a lady with a career instead of a wifey wife who will do the dry-cleaning and iron her yoga shirts and make balsamic reductions for her to eat when she comes home from her passionate job. Then Alice is like OMG, I know the perfect person to set you up with!

Shane: Don’t let her set you up, that’s how I ended up spending my 30th with eight hippies in a fucking yurt.
Alice: Okay, you loved it.

For anybody following along at home, this anecdote means that the unaired spin-off in which Alice went to jail for Jenny’s murder is officially not cannon, ’cause she would’ve been in jail for Shane’s 30th!


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.

Micah

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

No.

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.

tina

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

carrie

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.

Back in the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles’s indie lesbian gambling scene, Shane arrives with a cheerful Tess for a poker game to find an empty room and low bisexual lighting.

Shane and Tess looking confused

So awkward situation but the vending machine door is like, out of Corn Nuts?

Eddy asks Shane to take a seat, and explains that she started this game to give Black lesbians a place to kick it because white people take up a lot of space in WeHo, which is an objective fact. And then….

Eddy vs Shane

Lesbian Squabble #2: Wife Swap
In the Ring: Eddy vs. Shane

Content:

Eddy: That Dinah Shore shit is not for us, and I don’t fuck with your music. It’s whack. What I wanted to do was sort of bring our worlds together. So by allowing you to come into our space, I assumed you’d be respectful of my house.
Shane: Um, okay, I think you lost me —
Eddy: You tried to fuck my wife.

Shane didn’t know Chloe was Eddy’s wife, but Eddy says that doesn’t matter — Chloe can fuck whomever she wants to, but she’d asked Shane to behave herself and not colonize their game night and now Shane needs to LEAVE FOREVER!

Who Wins? Eddy, because when Shane asks for her $10k back, Eddy says she’s keeping it and “let’s call it reparations.” Shane has no choice but to bow to the superior competitor and vacate the premises.

eddie in the poker room

Did I want to be on this show? Yes. Did I want to spend more than one episode on this show? Honestly not really.

Back out in the tunnels, Shane insists she was unaware of Chloe’s marital status and Tess believes her. This is nothing like when Shane slept with Tess’s girlfriend who she definitely KNEW was Tess’s girlfriend LOL! Tess and Shane tease each other in the Los Angeles Tunnels with the energy of teenagers in an ’80s movie. Friends, I am SHIPPING IT.


Cut to The Club, where Dani and Sophie are riding the shots shots shots train to Wedding Hangover City. The lighting’s sexy, the music is blasting and maybe, just maybe, Sophie might tell Dani that she cheated on her with Finley? Nah! Instead she brings up her potential promotion. It’s a quick convo during which I had a number of pressing questions.

The scenario is: They wanna start a family. Sophie’s gonna carry the hypothetical baby. Also, Sophie doesn’t wanna be a working Mom. Therefore, she shouldn’t take the promotion. They both agree that Sophie will not in fact take the promotion.

The thing is: one simply cannot become pregnant! One must do her tests and see her doctor and pick a donor and then try every cycle until you get pregnant and it could take months, maybe even years for this to happen! Luckily she’s young so I bet her antral follicle count is epic but still, there is but one thing to do in this scenario: take the promotion! Get that higher paycheck locked in before you go on maternity leave!!!

Dani doing a shot

Mmmmmm sperm

Anyhow, Dani’s got a sordid confession: along with all of us, she had a dream about Bette Porter last night. Unlike all of us, she thinks that’s a sign to confess to Sophie that she had a wee crush on Bette when they worked together but don’t worry, nothing happened! She didn’t cheat! Of course not! She would never! Because, as Dani says quite explicitly: “That’s like, dealbreaker shit! That’d be it. We’d be done. Like there’s no coming back from that.” So now of course Sophie absolutely cannot confess to Dani that she cheated on her with Finley, she’s just gonna marry her with that secret tucked away in her back pocket.

At last, FINALLY, we get the season’s very first sexual scene, and it is between the two young women who brought us Season One’s first sexual scene: Dani and Sophie.

sophie and dani having sexxxxx

LESBIAN SEXY MOMENT #1: One More Night, The End Should Be a Good One
The Players: Dani and Sophie
The Pick Up? “Let’s get out of here”
Hot or Not? Raw, drunk-in-love abandon. There’s this moment that’s like when you know somebody’s body so well but it never stops amazing you with hot it is and how hot you are together. Dani’s already forgotten everything that doesn’t fit between their legs and for this hour, Sophie forgets it too.


And now it’s time for our two young guns to go to the Venue and get M-A-R-R-I-E-D! Bette is once again doing the most and by doing the most I mean “wearing the most fabric.”

Alice and Nat want all the deets on her date with Gigi. Bette attests that it was “a disaster” until Carrie and Tina showed up with their opinions about scallops and the Yankees, at which point Bette stopped being a jerk and appreciated the goddess seated beside her. Furthermore, Bette admits, they did indeed kiss.

Alice and Nat astounded by Bette

You went to Target this morning and spent less than $25??? HOW??!

Initially, Nat and Alice are delighted by this information but upon further pondering, Alice determines that perhaps this is kind of awkward now that they “share something in common.” I guess this “something” is Gigi. But um, I think they share something far more intimate in common than Gigi? Like… each other? Did they forget that Bette FINGERBANGED ALICE AT THE OPERA?!!? What could they ever “share in common” that would be more intense than THE DUET FROM THE OPERA “LAKME”?!!

Meanwhile, Tess tells Shane she’s pretty sure she lost the Cup O Noodles Poker Game gig which blows cause she needs money to live, like for food and shelter. Shane says she’ll help any way she can and Tess says “you don’t owe me anything” which isn’t true, she absolutely does!

jamie and shane at the wedding

Yes, this is the same outfit I wore every day at my all-girls boarding school, next question

Alice gets a 911 text from Sophie and dips out to rendez-vous in the corridor, where Sophie looks amazing and is also dying inside. Listen I love television. Somehow this is going to go off the rails, and the only way this will end well is if Dani admits that she’s actually been dating Melissa Rivers this whole time.

Sophie tells Alice she never confessed her sins to Dani, and makes Alice promise she’ll never tell a soul. Alice is VERY good at secrets so this will absolutely work. Then, Sophie brings up her resistance to Leaning In by declining Alice’s job offer because her and Dani wanna start a family. 

sophie

What about like, half a Xanax? Can you spare half a Xanax?

alice

I gave you two Klonopins an hour ago

Sophie

Please

Alice returns to the wedding mainstage and is horrified to spot her very own girlfriend speaking to another woman and possibly (!?!?!) enjoying herself doing so! Alice trots over to interrupt the gabfest, and Nat explains that her new friend Marissa (played by trans Latina actress Carolina Gutierrez) was just telling her about her husband and her girlfriend. 

Alice and Nat

Yeah! She used to date kd Lang! Like in the ’90s!!

Marissa

You are so fucking cool

Alice recalls that her and Nat also once had a throuple, and it didn’t go well. Nat says it had ups and downs. Alice reiterates that it ended poorly. I appear suddenly and announce that in fact the throuple was a highlight of Season One and I am offended that they chose not to maintain it indefinitely for my specific entertainment. Furthermore, it went VERY well! Also, Alice seems to have forgotten that she loved it until Nat and Gigi broke a rule that had never actually been set. AHEM.

As Alice and Nat make their way back to their assigned seats, Nat begins, “She was actually kind of bringing up something kinda interesting —” and Alice immediately shoots her down. Yikes!

There are like 50 people at this wedding which i guess means that Daddy did not in fact invite all of his evil associates to come drip money all over the cobblestones. Anyhow, the orchestra starts playing an instrumental version of the classic wedding march, “Show Me Love” by Robyn. The wedding procession begins!

Jenny Schecter with flowers

Oooop sorry wrong picture! Here it is:

Dani walking down the aisle

One of the flowers in my bouquet contains deadly poison but I won’t tell you which one it is!!!!

Forces outside of my control compel me to cry even though I do not believe these two women should marry. Micah’s on one side of the arena and Maribel’s on the other, both of them radiating “why didn’t you tell her that you fucked Finley in the green room” vibes in Sophie’s direction, which are somewhat overpowered by everybody’s belief in the power of Lesbian Love.

Micah with flowers at the wedding

Do you think Sophie told Dani that she took a trip to pound town with Finley?

Maribel with flowers in the wedding room

Oh she ABSOLUTELY did not

Sophie’s like, wow my wife is hot!!!!! Dani’s like…. wow, MY WIFE is hot!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dani and Sophie at the altar

Wow you’re so pretty and also I kinda did the horizontal mambo with Finley at the end of Season One

“When I look around—” the lesbian in the I Marry People Robe begins.

And then. Before another word can be spoken, before another vow can be made and never unbroken, before anybody promises to see anybody else through sickness, health, loving, cherishing, etc — we have a late arrival to the party. Her name is Finley. And she just got off a motherf*cking plane.

Finley standing at the other side of the wedding room with her duffel bag

Excuse me, but do you know where the Bryant St Theatre is?

Finley — likely smelling of pretzels, recycled air and Bloody Mary mix — drops the carry-on duffel bag hanging dutifully from her tender gay hand. She walks down the aisle while the audience gasps in horror and disbelief.

Dani and Sophie at the altar

Finley just sit in the back row like an ordinary late person you don’t need to make a big thing of it

Before we continue let me just say that this is truly bananas and a bit out of character, but I will allow it.

Finley at the altar in a backwards hat

Also I saved half of my plane sammie for you

Sophie is confused

We got catering, Finley

Finley: “I love you. I think I’ve always loved you. And I just didn’t want you to get married without all that information. And if you don’t feel the same way I’ll leave right now and you know, this would be a great story to tell or something but um, I do love you. So. And I’m pretty sure you love me too.”
Dani: “Sophie, what’s going on? Sophie, what is she talking about?”
Sophie: “I -“

AND CUT!!!!

I tell you what this is an interesting parallel to the original series, in which Season One ended with Tina discovering Bette had cheated and Season Two ushered us into the painful aftermath.


In summary:

Lesbian Sexy Moments: 1, 1 all season
Squabbles: 2, 2 all season
Quote of the Week: I CANNOT DECIDE, I am accepting nominations.

Pages: 1 2 3See entire article on one page

Before you go! 99.9% of our readers don't support Autostraddle. Still, it takes funding to keep this indie queer publication running every day. And the majority of our funding comes from readers like you. That's less than 1% of our readers who keep Autostraddle around for EVERYBODY. Will you join them?

Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com 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 2885 articles for us.

102 Comments

    • 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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