L Word Generation Q Episode 208 Recap: Launch My Party and I’ll Scream If I Want To

Welcome to the eighth recap of the second season of The L Word: Generation Q, brought to you by the same network that brought you the original L Word, a show about a very tall and very snarky writing teacher who holds classes in a room with jaundiced lighting, lifts weights during one-on-ones with students, is sleeping with her star pupil, and eventually destroys and then elevates the ego of notoriously mediocre writer and “compulsive picker of her own navel lint,” Jennifer Schecter, leading her to explore both paper crafts and carnival metaphors and eventually get fired from a ghostwriting gig for a closeted Western Cinema star played by Fitz from Scandal.

Wow, Episode 208 of The L Word Generation Q really managed to excavate everything I hate about this fucking franchise! What happened in the writers room this week?!?! Everything had been going so well!!! This was like, Season Six quality bad. Here we go!

We open this week’s lengthy journey into despair with Sophie picking Finley up from jail, where she’s spent the evening and emerged with some insights — e.g., jail sucks — and new tasks for her to-do list: taking DUI classes, getting a point on her license and owing a fuck-ton of money. Sophie’s glad that Finley is okay but also seems concerned that Finley is actually not okay at all. The Finley who clutched her steering wheel in fear as the cop approached has been replaced with an oblivious, casual who-cares Finley who just wants a hot shower?

Finley walking with Sophie, disheveled after her night in jail

I couldn’t figure out why everyone in jail kept calling me “Chapman,” though, like, I told them my name was Finley??

Finley says she’ll go halfsies on the $1k Sophie paid the impound lot to retrieve her car, a proposal that clearly shocks Sophie, who emits in a daze of disappointment: “You got in the drivers seat and I thought that you were good, so—”

I’m sorry, what?!!

Listen I have picked up a person or two from jail the next morning and I cannot figure out why Sophie starts out compassionate but then immediately shifts into bewildered frustration — we’ve seen how ready she is to hold people she loves when they’re in trouble, but she seems profoundly disappointed that Finley hasn’t emerged from jail as an entirely different person while also entirely certain that she did not even play the smallest of roles in what happened. This approach isn’t a fault of Sophie’s character, but of the storytelling. And I think it would’ve been pretty easy to tell it better!

Don’t worry I’m not gonna do this for the entire recap (but we sure do do it on the podcast episode you can hear on Monday!), but for this story specifically (which features my fave character Sophie and my fave ship Sinley), I will be offering some light editorial suggestions. Feel free to skip my editorializing for you know, jokes.

Clearly the show has decided that “Misdemeanor DUI” is gonna be the turning point for Finley’s addiction issues, which is its own choice but whatever. There are two places to go from here:

Option A: Tell a story about two people with unhealthy relationships to alcohol figuring out what that means for each of them, respectively, in the wake of this DUI. Who got behind the wheel is incidental. Finley is physically and mentally addicted to alcohol. Sophie isn’t, but like so many of us (including me) she has some level of Alcohol Use Disorder, and she’s been going through a lot of emotional turmoil that has amped up her binge drinking habit. To tell this story, the show could keep last week’s driving scene, which implies a degree of shared responsibility for what happened, intact. Sophie could actually insist on going halfsies on the impound fee because Finley is struggling financially and they both made poor decisions that night. Then, from this position of shared accountability, they have to look forward at how what comes next might be different for each of them — like Sophie actually verbalizes that she’s taking a break from drinking to re-assess the role it plays in her life and relationships but Finley finds herself unable to do so. More on this later in the recap when we get to the relevant parts.

Option B: Tell a story about Finley’s alcoholism, with Sophie as the girlfriend who is trying to help Finley get help while also still struggling to take care of herself and not fall into codependence. Adjust last week’s driving scene — options include any or some of the following alone or in combination: Before the event, Finley says she’ll be DD, but gets wasted anyhow. After the event, Sophie suggests a Lyft and Finley insists, repeatedly, that she’s okay to drive, she’s not drunk at all, even though she clearly is. Establish at some point a dynamic in which Sophie might be scared to question a drunk Finley about her driving abilities, which’s why she doesn’t. (Finley’s not an angry drunk, but she could get so down on herself when challenged on her drinking that Sophie still hesitates to challenge her.) Throughout the evening, show Finley drinking more than Sophie, or doing so secretly, thus making it so Sophie genuinely wouldn’t be plainly aware that Finley couldn’t drive. Do not have Sophie initiate sex while they’re driving, or have Finley be the one to do it. Have Finley be chill about the approaching cop but Sophie is stressed because she knows it’s serious and, because she is Afro-Latinx, is a lot more scared of the cops than Finley is. I could go on.

But instead we get Option C, which is… a foggy situation in which mistakes were made on both sides leading to a DUI, nobody spending even three seconds to deliver Finley’s breathalyzer results (which are not inconsequential!), Finley joking around about jail and continuing to drink and Sophie reacting with vague distrust while Rosanny Zayas does her best to tell an entire story with her face, in the absence of, you know, actual lines. 

Cut to the legendary California Arts Center, where Dani has brought her Very Good Friend Bette Porter to show her that Nuñez Inc, a company Bette Porter openly loathes due to its investments in pharmaceutical companies that produced the opioids that killed her sister, has purchased seemingly the frontmost wing of the CAC, where Pippa’s work will shortly be displayed in the context of a Black Lives Matter Art Show.

Dani and Bette walking towards the CAC

I can’t believe they’re doing Impressionists in Winter AGAIN

Dani: Well, first I just wanna say that you mean so much to me.
Bette: Dani—
Dani: No, you really do, I really value our friendship.
Bette: So do I.
Dani: I wanted to talk to you about Gigi —
[Bette sees the Nuñez wing sign up inside the CAC]
Bette: What the fuck?!
Dani: I-uh-uh-I thought the breakup was mutual —
Bette: I don’t give a shit about Gigi. What the hell am I looking at?

Dani vs Bette

Lesbian Squabble #27: Provocation!

In the Ring: Bette vs. Dani

Content: Bette, who struggled mightily to secure funding for the CAC during her tenure, is enraged at Dani for funding the CAC, due to the specific nature of evil practiced by the companies her father invested in.

Dani’s shocked and hurt by Bette’s ire and insists Bette should know who she is and what she stands for, regardless of her father’s business choices. Perhaps also she is a bit shocked that Bette is going straight to the top instead of trying to reason with Dani first.

“If you think I’m gonna stand by and let you cleanse your father’s sins on the blood, sweat and tears of the Black community, you are sorely mistaken,” says Bette Porter, leaving Dani in the dust as she marches towards the CAC to give them a piece of her mind. 

Who Wins? Leo McGarry

Were I to make a list of all the reasons Dani should knock on Gigi’s door, take her clothes off, and stick her face between Gigi’s thighs, “she’s mad at Bette Porter” would not be anywhere on that list! But here we are! It’s TIME FOR DINI SEX. And you better savor every moment of this scene like Gigi savors Dani’s bottom lip because it is one of a handful of opportunities for joy this week!

Gigi an Dani sex scene collage

Lesbian Sexy Moment #12: Afternoon Delight

The Pick Up?

Gigi: How’d it go with Bette?
Dani: Fuck Bette Porter.

Hot or Not? They tear each other’s clothes off and crawl and bite and kiss (Gigi is a great kisser, A++ for all scenes involving Gigi’s mouth and tongue) and it’s hungry and there is laughing and switching and light from big expensive windows and it is indeed everything we want from an L Word sex scene.

Meanwhile, Bette’s gotten herself into quite a pickle with Pippa, because despite being instructed to take the utmost care with Pippa’s work, Bette instead used Pippa’s work as a bargaining chip to get the CAC to refuse the Nuñez endowment, and Pippa is not happy!

Bette vs Pippa graphic

Lesbian Squabble #28: This Business of Art

In the Ring: Bette vs. Pippa

Content: Bette argues that Nan Goldin did this with the National Portrait Gallery regarding their endowment from the Sacklers (who actually manufactured the opioids, so it’s not a perfect parallel to Dani’s company) and Pippa argues that in fact she does not give a fuck about Nan Goldin.

Bette insists that this strategy is obviously a bluff, the CAC would simply never prefer millions of dollars over showcasing the work of an important Black Queer female artist!

Pippa reminds Bette, who recently had to convince Pippa to set her ethics aside and sign with a gallery owned by a noted racist person, that museums need large endowments to show work like hers. Bette says the CAC is still the museum that showed Provocations, although as I recall, Bette was the sole member of the CAC board who thought that was a good idea, and she no longer works there.

“They know they’re supposed to take a stand, I just gave them permission,” Bette says. An assistant knocks on the door to deliver the news that the CAC has taken Bette’s permission to eliminate all of her artists from the show. Pippa is understandably furious. Bette says it’s not over! She could still call Peggy Peabody! (Narrator: she did not call Peggy Peabody.)

Pippa, on her way out: “You gave me your word, I told you that I could not go through this again!”

Bette, alone in her office: “FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!!!!!”

Who Wins? Nan Goldin

But like…. who was right? Pippa

Next up in the Fight Parade is Micah and our first out trans woman character on the entire show!

Claudia vs Micah

Squabble #29: Doctor’s Orders

In the Ring: Micah vs. Claudia

My friends, it is not every night that we have the chance to witness what we will be witnessing here this very evening: a newcomer to the ring, starting her brief tenure on this program with a celebratory battle! She’s a doctor, her name is Claudia, and she’s played by Isis King (Isis was the first trans model on America’s Next Top Model and she also appeared in When They See Us and Equal).

Micah storms into Claudia’s office furious that his client Joaquín was told by Claudia that he should start taking hormones — apparently his parents are not ‘anywhere close’ to signing off on that, and therefore the doc is giving him false hope. Claudia says that she is a doctor with a medical degree and she always has her patients best interests at heart.

Micah: I don’t disagree with you—
Claudia: I honestly wouldn’t care if you did. [gestures towards the door]

Who Wins? Claudia! A valiant debut!

Elsewhere in the heart of this pulsing city in an underground lounge lit up like a Virgin Airlines express flight from JFK to LAX in 2007, we find a young blonde ingenue who has just released a book in record time and is now hosting a launch party for said book. All her pals are there!

Bette and Shane at a table in a bar

Server said they’re not doing Endless Apps tonight, I don’t know what happened!

Bette’s having trouble focusing on Alice because she’s compulsively re-dialing the CAC and Pippa, just like my toxic ex-boyfriend who also thought that maybe if I didn’t pick up the first 1-14 times, #15 would absolutely inspire a change of heart!

Shane says that Tess isn’t there ’cause she’s in Vegas, and they lightly tease Shane about finally sealing the deal with her crush. Alice adds, “She’s loved that girl since the moment she saw her. Unfortunately she fucked her ex-girlfriend, which sent the wrong message.”

Alice and Shane drinking champagne

You know that’s poison, right?

Hark! What light through yonder window breaks? It is Tom, Alice’s book editor!

Somehow, his relationship with Alice is serious enough that Alice is worried he’ll care that she slept with Nat while he was in New York… yet unserious enough that they seemingly have not spoken the entire time he’s been in New York and they haven’t established the parameters of their relationship?

Despite the setting (her book launch party) and plans for the evening (speaking on stage, her editor speaking about her on stage), Alice is considering “ASAP” as the best time to tell Tom she slept with Nat.

Tom’s happy to see his lukewarm lover and presents her with a hotel key for the allegedly swanky room the publishers have granted him. Tom tells Alice that he likes his beds like he likes his candy bars: king size. I agree because I also have a king size bed, but furthermore, I disagree because I prefer to eat 100 mini-candy bars rather than one king-size candy bar, and between bars I like to say “this is the last one!” until they are all gone.

Alice is so lukewarm in response to this offer that I want to scream. Specifically I want to scream WHAT’S GOING ON?

Tom talking to Alice

And maybe later we could sneak into the hotel pool and chicken fight?

Alice talking to Tom

Only if we can do it naked

Alice tells him that she has something to tell him but! They’re interrupted by the arrival of Sophie and Sarah “Misdemeanor” Finley. Finley and Tom share a delightful and extravagantly complicated handshake.

Gif of handshake between Finley and tom

Sophie grows increasingly uncomfortable as Finley jokes about her DUI and the intensity of “jail people” to Alice and Tom, who are also vaguely uncomfortable.

Back in Gigi’s spacious and tasteful loft, Dani and Gigi have concluded the sexual part of the afternoon and now Dani is on the “very stressful work phone call” part of the afternoon. Apparently, Bette Porter has thrust Nuñez Inc into “crisis mode.” Gigi wraps her legs around Dani and attempts to canoodle, but Dani’s gotta go meet with legal. Gigi continues to push for a canoodle.

Gigi holding on to Dani's legs as she tries to leave the apartment

Yes Daddy tell me what a bad girl I’ve been

Gigi coos “do you ever say no to [your Dad]?” and honestly, she needs to save that question for the couples therapy they will inevitably one day participate in. Dani insists that in fact, she simply has a job, and now must go to do that job immediately!

EXTERIOR: LGBTQIA+ Center, where Micah’s trotting up to Claudia to apologize for their rocky introduction. Micah says he related to his client — he was once a kid with a well-meaning physician who said he could start taking blockers, and then his parents blocked him from the blockers — so the issue became overly emotional for him.

Micah in a purple hoodie outside the LGBT Center

Speaking of the word “blockers,” have you ever seen the classic teen comedy Blockers?

Claudia in a grey blazer outside the LGBT Center, talking to Micah

Obviously I have seen everything on Riese’s Top Ten LGBTQ+ Movies List, I’m not a monster

Claudia’s gotta bounce but would love to talk more — Micah invites her to dinner and she asks if he could cook said dinner at his actual home and wow this escalated, de-escalated, and then re-escalated in a different direction quickly!!! Good for them.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, 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. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3223 articles for us.


  1. Thank goodness I’m not the only one who cried “WHAT?!” most of the episode. I honestly have no idea what I just watched but I am grateful – as always – to get to read your review afterwards. And grateful for that Gigi-Dani scene.

      • Seriously. Same here.

        Even that powerful line that Sophie says at the end (and it actually goes even further and more painful than how you relayed it, Riese, as she says “It’s like your light goes out and nobody’s home and it’s the scariest, loneliest feeling”) doesn’t ring true. Eg., bro night S1 was the spark of their connection.

        It reminds me of Dani’s line from last episode about no one ever holding her. A great line (and I understand it may feel that way to her) but it also just is not true. If anyone got held amid the events of S1-2, it was Dani (or people tried to hold her). Finley was the one who was basically on her own amid the fallout (outside of some very fleeting intimate moments with Sophie), except for minimal support from Shane and Tess in one of the few instances where they aren’t treating her as an endearing but also tedious and distracting annoyance.

        It’s like the writers sometimes get to caught up with these one-off punchy lines or where they want the dramatic arc to lead to, but don’t do the work in between to get us from a to z. As Drew often comments on the pod, it can feel like this show requires a lot of individual projection and rationalization to make it work.

        • YES i agree 100% “It reminds me of Dani’s line from last episode about no one ever holding her.”

          Bc when I heard it I was so touched that just like when Dani said what she said, I forgot that it didn’t really make sense until I’d had a few hours to process it.

          Sophie has been partying with Finely this whole time and suddenly Finley is a scary drunk? How??!! She’s a sad drunk sometimes, but she’s not an angry drunk or a scary drunk. I do feel like the show coddles Finley a little — aside from what she said to Rebecca about not being a real priest, they are hesitant to have there be any real hurt or pain caused by Finley when she’s drunk, and this DUI (for which i think sophie and finley are equally at fault) feels like another cop-out. Like they couldn’t figure out how to have Finley reach a drinking-related rock bottom while maintaining her puppy personality so they had to get the LAPD involved. as much as i would’ve hated for this to happen, it would’ve been a better choice if Finley had driven Sophie’s car into a tree rather than just getting pulled over for swerving.

          like, i personally have appreciated that they coddle finley because i hate seeing characters i love do mean things, but story-wise… it’s not really working. finley *can* be a not-scary drunk and still have a drinking problem, but instead she’s a not-scary drunk who they are suddenly pretending is a scary drunk. and now it’s making sophie, who i also love, seem insane.

          Finley was sober when she interrupted the wedding, which’s the thing most people hold against her!

          • 100% agree. As you suggested in your recap, I think the “scary drunk” dynamic would have made a whole lot more (any?) sense if they had tweaked the storytelling a bit – eg., if we saw Sophie and Finely agree not to drink at the launch party in light of the DUI events, but then we also saw Finley sneaking alcohol because she’s an alcoholic and doesn’t perceive it as an issue. That I could see being destabilizing for Sophie. I don’t want to see Finely transform into a scary/angry/violent drunk because that doesn’t align with what we’ve seen of her, but the scenario you suggest WOULD be scary to Sophie because it would be a breach of trust, and would be a big red flag. Because Sophie has been so complicit and even enabling from S1 up to the DUI (asking F to drive, inciting the car sex, etc.; with the exception of times where she might have been like “woah buddy slow down” when Finley was drinking in S1), it just doesn’t make sense.

            I’d much rather have them be harder on Finley in this way because it would just double-down on the shame/denial dynamic they’ve already laid out AND more importantly it would make both Finely and Sophie and this tension between them make sense and feeling meaningful or like a progression rather than just me feeling angry that the writers have wronged these characters and actors.

          • I need to go back and re-watch these scene, but my first take wasn’t that Sophie thinks Finley is a scary drunk, but what makes Finley uniquely Finley is extinguished. That sweet goodness becomes more numb and detached, maybe? And I guess that makes Sophie sad, which scares her? Of course, once again, we have to guess because like you guys point out, we don’t actually get to see the consequences of Finley’s drinking or what she’s like other than a little sad and sloppy.

            I thought Sophie’s line about how Finley’s light going out, while a great line, also really freaking sad for someone to hear. If I had heard that I would wonder if Sophie thought I was some kind of sociopath. And Finley has such low self esteem and self-loathing, I could see how that would cut incredibly deep. I thought it was a bit of a jump for Sophie to go from “Lets get drunk” all the time to “the light inside you goes out”.

          • I agree with Gal above — “my first take wasn’t that Sophie thinks Finley is a scary drunk, but what makes Finley uniquely Finley is extinguished.” It’s not so much “I’m afraid you’ll do something” but “it’s scary that you disappear.”

            It’s all just semantics but I remember one time an ex-girlfriend told me my drinking was a “red flag,” and it just sounded irrational to me. A red flag that I was going to get groggy and a little messy, a thing we both did often? Because I wasn’t a mean or angry drunk. But now that I’m years distanced from that and have been on the other side of things, I realize the “danger” was that there were going to be a lifetime of nights ahead where she felt very alone with Drunk Me. And that’s scary as hell. That Finley looked at her DUI as a funny story and nothing more only pointed to “this will only get worse instead of just the occasional lost night.”

            Of course I’m projecting my own stuff on it, but I did understand why Sophie said what she said AND why Finley didn’t get it.

  2. Maybe it’s just me, but I would have had some follow-up questions for Dani on the whole opioid money dealio: Are these reparations or are there stipulations? That kind of makes a difference! Because while it’s totally in character for Bette to unilaterally make that decision, perhaps some of her lesser-known artists are willing to go along with Núñez, Inc. Not everyone’s in a position to turn stuff down. I think that would be an interesting tension to explore with Bette and where she fits into the whole activism scene (what with her reputation + economic privilege), given that her go-to claim to ~disruption~ is “Provocations” lol.

    Also: Isis King is hot.

    Additionally: I agree that they haven’t shown the darker side of Finley’s alcoholism to fully warrant that line from Sophie. Because up until now, it’s kind of been this gray area that’s kind of fun when convenient? But it’s still unhealthy, nonetheless.

    • right, i feel like for this boring-ass situation with the company to be coming up YET AGAIN it would be great to have some more details on what exactly is the company’s relationship to big pharma, because it’s a little foggy, and also what the intention of the endowment is w/r/t that.

  3. Sophie was insufferable in this episode, honestly. I’m sorry to the Sophie lovers! But her whole dealing of the DUI/that drunken night was not at all fair in my opinion.

  4. A great recap, as always. I had successfully forgotten about Betty at the music studio and “cris-pay” until reading this.

    Still rooting for Sophie and Finley as a couple but wow are the writers ever making that difficult right now! At least we have Gigi and Dani – does this show have a strict cap on the number of exciting and compelling relationships they’re willing to keep afloat at one time?

    I also wish there was more care (and quality, let’s be real) behind the writing about alcohol use disorders on this show. The bond last season between Tess and Finley relating to their struggles with alcohol fizzled out quickly, and I would really love it if they could both not be employed as bartenders at the Dana Fairbanks Memorial Tavern anymore, especially now that Tess is dating her boss. There’s so much that could be said, thoughtfully, about disordered drinking and how prevalent it is in LGBTQ+ communities but instead we’re getting post-DUI jokes about dropping the soap in prison, some fleeting references to AA meetings from Tess, and Carrie’s breakdown.

    After this much frustrating and scattered writing, I feel like we’re owed a really fucking enjoyable episode akin to the original show’s basketball episode. Is that too much to ask???

    • Agree with your paragraph about alcohol above, and forgot to add in my previous comment that I’m disappointed Finley’s previous recognition of her problematic drinking appears to have been retconned out within the span of a few episodes. She got sober in Kansas City! What happened to that? Why did we not get to see that, or the fallout of her reaching for a beer again once she returned to LA? So many missed opportunities and I hate how this DUI storyline is playing out.

    • i also think they kinda wanna have their cake and eat it too with the alcohol use disorder content — like they literally have tess WORKING AT A BAR and now finley also working at a bar, like they are not going to make a single adjustment that might suggest being a sober person in this social circle and the lesbian universe of LA might have its challenges or even just its conversations.

      like the only aspect of sobriety they are interested in is its potential for relapse and having addicts say they wish they could have a drink when they’re having a rough day.

  5. In the better universe where you are writing the show, I’d like to imagine Dani saying “I financed the hell out of this unit.”

    • BETTY omg i can’t believe i didn’t think of making a reference to this iconic line from Autostraddle 2008 in this recap, but i must thank you of course for being as advertised, ON IT

  6. “I’m unclear how Dani is actually able to function and construct not only words but entire sentences and often paragraphs when faced with the absolute stunning perfection of Gigi but ok!” The truest of true facts.

    They’ve really glammed Gigi up this season and I’m not complaining at all but I can’t be the only one who misses her in the non-abstract blazers, v neck tees or tanks, and less zhooshed up hair.

    Is anyone clocking how much Bette is becoming her dad? I know she’s always been a rude, judgemental, argumentative, selfish asshole but before there was a softness to her that allayed a lot of that abrasiveness. Now she’s just a big ol’ brillo pad ass bitch and it’s really hard to get invested in her and Pippa because of it.

    Lastly, I think this show suffers from really bad editing. There are potentially meaty stories that start being told then things almost abruptly veer into some weird multiverse where the plot stops making sense; sometimes within an episode. The writers can’t be that bad…can they?

    • Yes, the editing was so choppy! It felt like 12 completely unrelated scenes happened within the first 10 minutes of the episode and I had no time to process anything that was going on.

      Also, I copied that exact sentence re: Gigi’s absolute perfection with the intention of pasting it into my own comment, but you beat me to it so I’ll just second that. She’s so perfect.

    • I too miss Gigi’s perfectly messily tosseled hair and blazers. But I’m not complaining because Gigi would look great in anything.

      Also speaking of blazers, it seemed like Dani had on a different blazer when she left Gigi’s place than what she entered in. So she either borrowed one of Gigi’s or they had a multiple day sexathon. I’m not a stickler for the timeline of this show and just assume here lesbians are on a different time zone, but damn the editing just seems all over the place.

    • This show makes me feel like an alien, because I cannot *stand* Bette Porter, nor do I give a good goddamn about her Descent Into Blackness this season. I’ve sprained my eyes from rolling them so hard whenever she’s on screen.

      • I read “nor do I give a good goddamn” in my great grandmother’s gravely southern drawl. I miss her so much. You’ve made my day and it’s only just begun. Thank you!

        I’ve been hot and cold with Bette since OG but this season, I’m with you. She comes onscreen or is spoken about and this Pavlovian response of sucking my teeth and rolling my eyes begins. I also love that you used the word “descent” to describe Bette’s entrance into blackness. She’s becoming almost Hotepian to make up for living a vastly different life, by choice, for 50+ years.

        • There’s something so strange about how Bette seems to be most interested in using her Blackness as a sword and shield against critique this season. Like the show clearly wants us to feel some type of way about her and Pippa speaking in vague terms about burning down institutions, but wants us to gloss over the ways in which Bette is also a powerful and ill-tempered person who very conveniently seems to only connect with Black people who are either in her own family or her dating pool. If Kit hadn’t canonically OD’d, would Bette give a shit about big pharma?

          It’s also very weird that she gets all these pithy one-liners about non-Black people being thoughtless in how they indirectly affect the Black community when she herself is so relentlessly classist and snobby and forgets that money/endowments might actually have a material impact on Black artists who haven’t been so seamlessly allowed to benefit from capitalism.

          Why go to the trouble of writing a character who says “of course I’m aware that colorism has benefitted me” only to never have her realize that racism and colorism have boxed other more recognizably Black people out of making money in her world and that they might be able to stomach an unsavory endorsement for their literal livelihood? One speck of self-awareness for Bette could do wonders.

          Bette could be exploring how her lightskin privilege, wealth, and years of access allow her to do wild shit like spit in the face of big pharma bucks, and how sometimes acting in solidarity with other Black artists means securing capital for them instead of being too moralistic to acknowledge their need.

          But whatever, I guess she can just smile an icy smile and bully people with less power than she has and then respond to their objections with “I used to get called the n word at soccer camp,” and strut away in a lovely coat. Whatever this show thinks it’s doing with Blackness peaked at Angie’s monologue about needing to connect to other Black people and it’s been disintegrating since.

          • Mina I just wanted to say that I saw part of this comment on our sidebar and immediately clicked over to read it! I’ve been thinking about this exact thing for the last 2 weeks and I think you’re dead on. Anyway, back to more thinking for me!

          • I couldn’t agree with this more. I first saw here on Autostraddle that Bette would have a relationship with a black woman other than Kit and Angie who she had/has considerable control over, I posted several comments expressing hope that the writers would explore Bette’s privilege through a relationship that she couldn’t have the same control over. Read: it would be harder for her to use her “otherness” as a weapon or to her advantage not that dissimilar to what occurred between her and Jodie initially, given Jodie’s deafness. Enter Pippa and nothing’s changed. Actually, it might be worse because Pippa has an axe to grind and Bette wants to be Angela Davis for some reason.

            It doesn’t surprise me that she uses a “vulnerability” to deflect and flip the narrative; she’s done it so many times that it’s commonplace. What is surprising (maybe it shouldn’t be given this show) is just how sudden and vitriolic it is. It would’ve made sense if maybe in S1 or even the early parts of this season they showed hints of this building. Maybe if we heard anything about how Kit’s opiate addiction impacted her and what she experienced during that time. Maybe (and I’m assuming the timelines are right…this show is weird) if we got a glimpse into how Kit’s addiction coincided with BLM protests which touched heavily on the predatory practices of corporations including big pharma on POCs. Anything along those lines would make me believe that her righteous anger stems from something tangible but nah.

            Also, Bette has sacrificed herself to suckle the teat of corporations to get her projects funded. Peggy Peabody (2x) anyone? Ep1 of this season she joined a rich misogynistic racist’s art dealership just so she could use his money to bring in artists and she did so despite

            – hating Zakarian
            – Knowing Zakarian is still a racist misogynistic asshole
            – Knowing that she’s being used for her ability to pass in white circles and also being able to walk in black circles because she’s biracial.
            – Knowing the entire venture is a predatory hunt of black artists to raise Zakarian’s profile and line his pockets.

            So it’s okay for her to use the wealth and influence of the rich to her advantage but it’s not okay to use it to advance black artists who don’t have the same privileges especially if it’s not under her control or done with her say so? Got it.

          • I agree with a lot of this and have had an uneasy time with how Bette’s racial identity is treated (or not treated). She talks a lot how no one knows about her life and experiences but the show doesn’t explore any of it. Her racial identity is definitely a sword and shield.

            I may be the only person that disagrees about Pippa’s reaction to the Nunez Corp sponsorship. Based on what we know of Pippa, I think she would have agreed with Bette that the sponsorship is inappropriate. I also think that if the gallery had pulled Bette’s artists from the show, it would be a PR nightmare (given the political climate) and Bette would emerge victorious. Instead, the narrative implicitly communicated that Bette’s attempts to “fight the power” (or whatever) are misguided and ill-advised. I think that storyline says more about the writers than it does about Bette, Pippa, or reality.

    • I cannot be the only person who would like a T shirt baring the phrase ‘a big ol’ brillo pad ass bitch’

  7. 1. According to the *timeline* of this show, which is pure chaos, Finley was actively care taking for a drunk Sophie but 24 hours ago. A drunk Sophie who realized exactly none of the seriousness/consequences of letting (asking) her drunk girlfriend to drive across LA in 2021 whilst requesting road fingers. YET, somehow Finley is now an absolute drunk slop monster for reversing the roles? Glass houses? Also sub-note, Sophie acts like she hasn’t been witnessing Finley’s behavior and relationship with alcohol in tough times and this is a New Revelation and Pure Shock. Chaos. It’s all CHAOS.

    2. Gigi is the only thing that makes Dani a tolerable character. To be fair, Gigi would make just about anything tolerable. I’d get a root canal if Gigi was present. She is the best lay anyone on this show has ever had and is without question the most emotionally mature. Her and Angie could likely have a real solid chat about the insanity that surrounds them.

    3. SUPER support incorporating a myriad of trans actors and actual robust story lines, but for fucks sake, can they find anyone who can act!? Tess and Claudia deliver lines like Mandy Moore playing Mandy Moore Trying To Act In Whatever This Is That She Is In. Over exaggerated, totally unnatural, stilted. It is BRUTAL. Didn’t think Tess’s awkward delivery could be topped, but Claudia went for gold. So much second hand cringe and embarrassment.

  8. I love Sophie too much to not give her the benefit of the doubt here, but whaaat was up with Micabel? Like, she rejected him and then he had to reject the one out trans woman on the show to go back to maribel again with no relevant discussion about why she’d suddenly want to be with him? I meant, I’ve been rooting so hard – but I thought the slow burn friends to lovers thing was gonna have more plot to it, esp when she was acting so weird and kinda mean last time! Would love scenes for Micabel that actually make sense! Also, this was the first episode where I wasn’t obsessed with Gigi – which to me seems like SOME sort of litmus test. As someone who’s not a writer, I couldn’t point to anything specific about how scenes could have been better – so ready for Monday’s podcast – but just kept feeling like things were almost gonna be good and then none of the chemistry quite made sense this episode. Oh well, at least I get to stay somewhat detachedly invested in the l word as opposed to evangelizing about its greatness this season, which I was getting dangerously close to after love shack

    • right like i still have no idea what happened with them in the karaoke episode — why maribel acted like that, why she’d ignored him…. and why whatever happened there was resolved by him texting her this week and telling her that he loves her??

  9. Absolutely agreed on hating the opening scene for a variety of reasons, but also because Sophie is radiating discomfort and Finley is uncharacteristically oblivious to it. I wish if the show were going to commit to this drama train they’d commit and give me some narratively timely backstory to show us more about Sophie and Finley and why they’re in the confusing pain they’re in instead of making me sit through an Alice sort of cheated but immediately resolves it miniplot. I think audiences would be responding better to Sophie and Finley if the show TRIED to portray them with sympathy and understanding instead of leaving me to project on them.

    As someone for who Sophie is my favorite character, this episode was on track for her. Disappointingly in character. There were scenes of her being uncomfortable about Finley’s drinking s1, but that was ages ago and acting like Finley’s drinking is not her problem is on par with how Sophie acted as a friend. Love Shack was only as cute as it was concerning to me because she and Finley got together without addressing their individual issues and Sophie admitted to being terrified of the relationship and I expected that. Even if you know what someone’s issues are going in, the day to day of caring about someone self destructive can be terrifying beyond imagination. I’m not surprised Sophie is pulling away, and it hurt but in true Sophie fashion she was on her worst communication skills the moment a relationship made her feel uncomfortable. Now that they’re dating it’s becoming more obvious that Sophie doesn’t want to be a support figure for Finley the way Finley tries to be for her. Imo Sophie wants to be someone’s party date more than their partner, and that would be morally neutral if she dated casually, but she’s out to prove she’s not her father and keeps trying to commit for the sake of commiting. But again her fumbling did not surprise me personally.

    As much pain as this episode caused me I think this is the most boring direction they could have taken Finley’s character. . . If Finley was talking to Tess or Micah or even Shane there would be no writing excuse for her to disconnect like this but we have to be dramatic. I actually don’t think the episode “agreed” with Sophie-Finley pretty clearly left because she felt unwanted.

    • I agree with a lot of your take on the dynamic, and wanted to add that the only part of that opening scene that made logic narrative sense to me with Sophie’s character was her refusal to accept any responsibility or culpability in the DUI. This 100% tracks – eg., with the way that she wanted to play the victim and not take responsibility for being the one in a committee relationship who was cheating, the wedding blow-up, etc.

      Adding to Riese’s desperately imagined alternate opening scene scripts, I can imagine a scenario in which Finely might have called Sophie out on this (as we know Finley will do, with care but also honesty), and then we could have actually seen the two of them grapple with a more complex set of individual and interpersonal issues.

      eg,. Finley not accepting that her addiction/dependence is a problem (which seems reasonable to me, but also doesn’t totally track with how receptive she is to really hearing and internalizing Sophie’s super intense critique of her in the closing scene), but also Sophie not seeing her own self for who she is/her decisions and actions and how that is also problematic particularly given this relationship dynamic.

      Basically what Riese said – if the show had better writing and took greater care and insight into these storylines/characters they’ve established (because it feels like the groundwork for this exchange has all been laid!), we could have gotten a nuanced, very *real* conflict about their different relationships to alcohol and their ramifications that would have felt important, meaningful, coherent, etc.

      Taking that tact might also have helped crystallize some of the murkiness that Analyssa mentioned in last week’s podcast surrounding how the show seems to conflate Finley not having her shit together and having an addiction, in ways that feel lazy and easy.

      • Agreed with both of you. This does track with Sophie’s character but it’s not being called out and that really bothers me. I think this whole storyline just hits way too close to home and I selfishly wish they’d handle it better for my own comfort!

        • haha i agree! there are a lot of elements of this story that hit close to home for me and so i found myself screaming into a lot of pillows this week. i wasn’t expecting them to handle it in the way i wanted them to handle it, but i was expecting them to Handle It, period. and they’re not.

          this show also has a bad habit of truly not seeming to realize that their characters have conversations off-screen as well. like what were finley and sophie talking about on the way home from jail? on the lyft to alice’s party?

          • Haha, Riese, I have had the same thought regarding time warps and expository dialogue, most recently: I started rewatching the first episode of Gen Q tonight to remember why I enjoyed this show in the first place, and noticed how somehow Finley and Sophie somehow get ready for work and drive to Alice’s together, pick up coffee, etc., and it is not until they are in the golf cart, arriving at work, that Finley fills Sophie in one why she didn’t have a car to drive them to work on her day. A small incident but ??

  10. I have been awaiting your recap all day, Riese, because I too have been in physical/emotional discomfort since watching this episode. Best summarized by your observation: “Watching this episode I feel like I’m in a high school writing workshop scribbling things in the margins.”

    The narrative progression and character work (or non-work) felt so pained, brittle, incomprehensible, and all like the speed was all over the place.

    They have done nothing for instance to bridge the bewildering Maribel/Micah tension from 206 to get us to how it unfolds here. I’m sorry but riffing a line from a shared favorite movie does not show us the characters’ interior landscape. And why focus on Micah exclusively in this regard, since he is the one we’ve always followed closely thus far and never had any doubt as to his feelings, whereas Maribel has felt like the cipher.

    Side note: I miss the convivial atmosphere of friendship of S1 Gen Q house. I know a lot of relationship shit has gone down in the approximately 4 months/14 years since S1 (feels like it) took place but it’s a curious choice that they seem to use the house largely as a setting for these individual storylines to play out separately.

    I think beyond the offensively opaque, inconsistent, and/or incomprehensible story/character development in this episode, it just felt so stripped of joy or verve.

    Even the moments that were supposed to feel satisfying (Gigi/Dani, Shane/Tess) felt sort of strained and perfunctory in this particular episode (especially the latter, which I am genuinely very into; the former is salvaged by Sepideh). Wah.

    L Word writers, these characters and stories (and editing?) can do/be better. Not to mention the actors. Poor Rosanny. Do you think she asked 13k times on set “So… what is my motivation in this scene?” because her responses are so all over the place. Her willful discomfort with confronting Finley’s issues directly (cf: S1 bro night) checks out, but the way it plays out here makes no sense in relation to what has been set up for her character or her connection to Finley. I would much prefer to watch either of the scenarios you sketched in the opening, Riese. (Hint, hint, Marja).

    The sequence of the last 3 episodes gives me whiplash (not only for Sophie/Finley – I feel this way about Bette’s arc too). Based on what they’ve shown us in 207 and 208, I feel like the karaoke scene needs a disclaimer caption:
    “It’s not just all physical” *Um, or maybe it is actually? What are we supposed to think??
    “I’m not the kind who’ll get oh so critical” *LOLLOL

    • I like this show more than you but that last part’s just off base. There’s a difference between caring about someone and not knowing what to do vs not caring. Sophie’s been a friend to Finley, but she isn’t equipped to support her+as a friend isn’t in a position to pull a Rebecca and walk away+is aware that Finley doesn’t want advice on how to stop drinking. One day of being confused and lashing out doesn’t cancel out the rest of their relationship

      • Except that Sophie has actively encouraged Finley’s drinking throughout their friendship and relationship. She looks to Finley as a person to get wasted with when she wants to party/forget her own strife. She wanted Finley to fuck her while driving wasted. Blaming Finley 110% for the DUI is utterly unfair when she enabled it, and has enabled her drinking for (probably) years.

        The idea that Finley wouldn’t want advice about her drinking also doesn’t track with what we’ve seen of her. She literally went and got sober between seasons. I’m still mad we didn’t see more of that, or any character expressing concern that she picked up a beer immediately afterwards.

        Finley is the number one person responsible for her choices in relation to alcohol, but it’s not like anyone else is actively supporting her to make better choices, either.

        • You might want to rewatch 1×04, because sophie does discourage it and finley ignores her, and there was at least one other scene around early s1 where sophie blatantly doesn’t want to go drinking w her. It’s NOT canon that Sophie has been enabling Finley for years.

          Sophie wouldn’t know finley got sober in Kansas City if finley didn’t tell her, and if finley did tell her she might not assume one night of light drinking last episode to be an issue. Naturally none of THAT has been established. But whether or not Sophie knows what’s right for Finley, what I meant is Sophie is someone who spends time with Finley for fun, frequently without alcohol, and that company means a lot to them. Sophie spent s1 encouraging Finley to be braver and more honest, too. Finley and Sophie have always been friends and the karaoke scene was genuine.

          • I hear you, and believe me, despite its many faults, I love this show. I would not be putting my kids to bed and then spending my evening posting way too much on AS if I weren’t way more invested than I should be. Sophie, Finley, and Tess are probably my favorite characters, and my frustration is not with Sophie – I totally agree that there were moments where she didn’t take Finley up on drinking in S1 or seemed a put off by the drinking (I recall a scene with Finley doing shots in Dana’s as part of the Rebecca storyline) – but rather with how the writers wrote the narrative in this episode.

            In my personal experience (obv anecdotal), when someone you love has an addiction, it seems a lot more common to feel helpless to know how to help them, or to even feel a sense of responsibility, or that you should be able to do more. I also empathize with Sophie perhaps feeling “is this a problem? Am I blowing out out proportion? A lot of people drink a lot, etc” – the kind of denial of how bad it is. Especially if the person you love has been hiding their behavior. But Finley has never really done that (beyond clumsily putting a beer can underneath a box in their recycling or whatever). Maybe some of these feelings underlie Sophie’s responses here in 208… mostly she just seems embarrassed and pissed.

            Finally: I was just being facetious about the karaoke song and lyrics. I’ve watched that scene, affectionately, about 14000 times. I 100% believe Sophie means the sentiments.

            But having loved people (including a sibling) struggling with addiction, this is just the beginning. And it feels like she’s already giving up?

    • yes i truly feel like rosanny was like “how the fuck am i gonna make this work” and was trying her hardest with the weakest script of all time

      and yeah it is interesting that they haven’t really used the house as a location for storylines to intersect this season but rather as a place for things to play out individually. especially since that was the spirit in which the show literally began — all these queers in one house being chaotic!

    • Spot on!! Love everything you wrote down!!! Totally on the same page here!!!
      That the writers of the show realize that they’ve got to do better!!

  11. The wonderful screenshot of a disappointed Claudia and your “ Keep an eye on your phone, I WILL be sending you a venmo request for harms done”, pretty much describes my reaction at the end of this episode. What the hell did I just watch and can Showtime pay ME for my time back?

    I’ve been thinking this since s1, but Finley has some crappy friends. They treat her like the pesky child or fun party girl to get wasted with but not actually connect with.

    Shane and Tess, the majority of the time treat her like the annoying neighbor kid that you just don’t want to deal with.

    And I’m confused on her relationship with Sophie. In s1 I thought they had been friends for years but last weeks ep made it seem like they barely knew each other. How do they not know basic things about one another? And last year when Finley was going through her mini-self crisis Sophie mostly brushed her off and just offered to get drunk with her. How does she not know Finley has some deep emotional issues on top of alcoholic issues? I’m trying to figure out Sophie’s reaction this episode. Was it annoyed? Cold? Detached? It’s so poorly written, I’m not sure what they were going for or even how I interpreted it.

    Finley isn’t innocent in this and Sophie isn’t completely in the wrong. Finley obviously needs to take some responsibility and get herself help. The only person who I felt like didn’t just look the other way or treat finley like the pesky kid was “the priest”, Rebecca. She truly tried to push Finley to self-reflect about her past trauma, self loathing, and coping mechanisms.

    And as for that reading of the Dana chapter excerpt, at the beginning of that scene I was like, ok here comes the water works! This is going to be a beautiful, funny, sweet gut punch. But by the end of that scene I was like… wait, that’s it? That wasn’t even written well! Like hearing it would not make me want to buy that book.

    • I agree everyone is generally so mean to Finley! Even Rebecca to an extent – she obviously was overall very amazing and helpful, but in the context of their relationship, she had her condescending moments. I was excited about her relationship with Sophie because I felt like Sophie was someone who actually valued Finley as a person (which has always made sense to me, as someone who really values Finley as a character!), but now they seem to be going in the same direction with her too?

  12. “Gigi coos ‘do you ever say no to [your Dad]?’ and honestly, she needs to save that question for the couples therapy they will inevitably one day participate in.”


  13. I really wish the timeline in this season would be somewhat consistent. I feel like I question it every episode!

    While I am happy for Alice and Tom to make up, the writers made unnecessary drama when they are early in their relationship. Ugh. I do relate to the first relationship with a guy in years thing but like many things in this show, it needs to be more than a throwaway line.

    I get Sophie’s concern with Finley but the writers definitely went the wrong direction with it. Here’s hoping it gets better.

    Definitely happy with the Shane/Tess in this episode. Although Riese, it’s only like 4 hours to LA from Vegas. Or maybe when I lived in Vegas, i just hit low traffic times. Regardless, what was with the picture of the Strip? And why would Tess stay near the Strip when helping her mom? This is the problem with living in Vegas for any amount of time; I judge TV and movies for it.

    Here’s hoping next week is closer to the high of the season (maybe of all of Gen Q) of Love Shack!

    • omg you’re right, i literally do this every time i drive there is overestimate low long it takes! (I edited to change) the most recent time i drove to LV from LA I was like “wow i’m doing great on time i’m going to stop at ulta.” but also i recently met someone halfway between and i feel like our combined drive times was like 4.5 or 5, but maybe that was traffic

    • I’ve never been to Vegas but I too questioned the realism of Tess having the swankiest possible room given her repeatedly implied money issues due to mum’s medical bills?

      • you can get pretty good hotel rooms in vegas for like $50 actually, especially if you are booking day-of. they like to give you a cheap room in hopes that you will spend all your money drinking and gambling

  14. Man, the Finley stuff was really difficult to watch because it hit so close to home. Her behaviour in the bedroom later in the episode was very real. I’ve known Finleys. I’ve loved Finleys. I’ve had Finleys deflect with “god I’m such a shit person” rather than address the issue at hand.

    BUT. Riese I agree with all of the above. This conflict with Sophie makes zero sense. I’ve been complaining all season that one of my biggest issues with this pairing is Sophie being oblivious to/not caring about Finley’s drinking, to the point of actively encouraging it. I didn’t like her doing so in s1 and I don’t like it now. And I *especially* dislike her now placing all of the blame for the DUI on Finley as if she was an innocent bystander because girl guess what? YOU FUCKING ASKED HER TO FUCK YOU WHILST DRIVING. Like, you literally grabbed her hand and shoved it down your pants. Even if she was sober, that falls into the category of “driving that is not safe”.

    I liked Sophie last season (and I have a MASSIVE crush on Rosanny Zayas) but I feel like she’s been a dick to Finley all season. I can’t tell if this is meant to be character development or if it’s a Jenny Schecter situation where the writers genuinely have no idea how unlikeable they’ve made someone and then, when they realise, double down with “lol she murdered a dog oops she’s dead”.

    Elsewhere, I liked the Gigi-Dani resolution (and the sex, obvs). I worried it was going to be a Bette Porter repeat but I appreciated that with Gigi, Dani is learning to articulate her emotions and grow. I also appreciated Tom calling Alice out. He doesn’t want games. That’s reasonable. And on a show where meeting someone at a party once qualifies as dating, having slept together and been referenced in a subsequent episode as being happy with each other, that’s practically marriage. I get it.

    So… is Shane gonna talk to Tess about the fact that she’s poly?

    • ChaoticUnicorn — exactly. Even if Sophie expressed once or twice in other episodes that she didn’t love Finley’s drinking…she has blatantly encouraged it and enabled it countless times. Including insisting Finley drive that night, handing her the flask of booze before getting in the car, and drunkenly trying to get Finley to fool around with her while she was driving. Then suddenly after the arrest she’s this innocent and incredibly judgmental bystander…it just doesn’t add up. The whole episode was tainted by Sophie in my opinion.

  15. Watching this disaster of an episode all the way to the end was such a chore. What the hell happened in the writers & editing room? I don’t even know where to start explaining how bad it was, it was just an hour of me going ‘WHAT??!?’. But here is my top 5:
    1. Sophie is suprised and annoyed that Finley is drinking.
    2. Even tho I am a huge Gigi x Dani fan is thought their first (?) time was rushed and the editing of that scene was all over the place.
    3. Why did Alice tell Tom of her rendez vous just before going on stage, and why was it such a big deal?
    4. Where did Claudia come from? Why did she have such a big part? The acting was so wooden and them ‘fanning’ at the fire alarm gave me massive anxiety. Open a window, turn off the alarm by pressing the button please. And then Micah rejecting this co-worker he just met and calling Maribel, who came immediately?? I thought they’re relationship was in low water?
    5. why was the sex scene between shane x tess filmed with a lens with vaseline on it and shot like a semi professional music vid? Why was that Vegas backdrop so fake? why did they film in a mirror and made it look like there was someone else in the room? It scared the crap out of me.

    and my last point, which I am sort of hesitant to make: Alice reading the Dana chapter was not doing it for me at all. It felt like tragedy porn. Was it a sort of wiedergutmachung for Ilene Chaiken killing off the Dana character. On top of that the chapter was badly written, but I guess we could blame Tom for that…

    Anyway this episode was a trainwreck.

  16. I simply can’t accept that Maribel and Micah go full Hallmark on some horses, then have a bad double date, then hook up, then go a week without speaking, then have a messy public confrontation, then go another week/fortnight/month without speaking, then he texts her and she shows up with a hopeful smile and by the power of Gina Prince Bythewood they’re both instantly aglow with forgiveness and love. Literally every progression since their hook-up has baffled me, and of all the couples, these two really got done the dirtiest in the editing.

    Alice skipping any mention of Ton Ton murdering Mr. Piddles for being Dana’s sunshine was a glaring oversight.

    Shane and Tess? Great. Shane and Tess with nary a mention of poker? FIRE. I like being able to see Shane quietly shifting into wanting partnership and feeling devotion when neither have been asked of her even though she’s definitely neglecting that dog isn’t she?

    Anyway, the Gigi and Dani of it all was the best part of this episode for me so I’m just gonna be brave and admit that I really liked Dani in S1 because being emotionally withholding is not a dealbreaker for me, and I wish I could say I anticipated that her character would grow and learn with time but nope I was like “big brown eyes, low voice, and a little mean is squarely within my type, thanks” and I feel both shocked and catered to by seeing Dani really blossom into a person who does not choke back bile at the thought of being vulnerable with Gigi.

    Their sex scene was very hot, and Gigi’s pout slash palpable frustration at Dani being dismissive had me ready to sacrifice Dani on an alter or something, but their scene in the office was actually my favorite part even though I’m so bored of the company storyline that forces me to remember that Dani is probs cashing big pharma checks every week.

    Dani and Gigi navigating each others’ boundaries and needs and mustering up the courage to share a little more of themselves even though their most recent romantic experiences have not treated them well and talking stuff through was a nice break from other people suddenly fighting about things that made not one bit of sense.

    • 100% yes on all of this and especially dani and gigi — they had sex, they had a conflict, they had a conversation in which they resolved that conflict and grew as people and in a relationship. refreshing!!!! what a nice little story smashed into this episode of utter nonsense!!

    • Totally agree with all this. My favorite surprise of s2 is how much I’ve enjoyed seeing Dani’s character shift and reflect and deepen (or the writers have given us more of that) and the Dani/Gigi scenes in this episode were the only part that worked for me or saved it (the company subplot aside).

    • Of all the Q characters, Micah’s storylines get edited the most and it makes his relationships beyond illogical. His relationship with Maribel is almost identically edited to that of the one he had with Jose. The only differences between Micah and Jose and Micah and Maribel so far are that Micah and Maribel have spoken slightly more words to one another and Maribel isn’t married.

  17. Who writes this show? Did they get their jobs through nepotism?

    I don’t understand how it can be so bad?

    Specifically who writes the inane, non-specific dialogue and thinks they’ve nailed it?

    And WHY does none of it make sense!! I can’t believe Sophie’s reaction to Finley’s drinking. And I cannot believe that Micah tells Maribel he loves her and he’s sure she loves him too when the last time they saw each other she COMPLETELY rejected him and then scolded him?!


    • I also desperately wanna know what goes on the writing room…It makes me furious that storyines can be this non-sensical and insane and it makes it to a tv show on a big network. Like if my intern writes something this bad, it wouldn’t get published on our website, that gets around 10.000 views a month.

        • Yes, I am a writer too. And my editor is ruthless, rightfully so. Maybe they have too many writers in the GenQ room which makes it harder to come up with something that makes sense? And then execs all get a say in it and they have to compromise? I am just trying to comprehend it all…

          • right like there are a lot of very bad episodes of tv shows out there, but usually those are shows that have like 25 episode seasons and are chaotic and all over the place. it shouldn’t be that hard to write ten good episodes of a show on its sophomore season, even when you consider the limitations implied by covid

    • The worst dialogue for me was Bette and Shane’s faux-profound “you really captured her spirit blah blah your love was so special”. Meaningless platitudes and both characters could have said something far more meaningful in the hands of better writers.

      • right! again, it feels like zero thought went into that. she did not! write! one! word! about! dana!!!!!!!!!! wtf

    • AND another thing. Micah literally had a whole thing where he was excited to work as a family therapist (or grief therapist? Something that wasn’t about being trans, anyways) and was then gutted to find out he was basically the token trans hire and explicitly said to Nat he didn’t want to just work with trans kids. Now he’s bonding with Isis King over how he apparently applied for the job specifically as a trans therapist because he was excited to work specifically with his community? Do the writers actually speak to each other between episodes??

    • i know this entire season was written in zoom because it was written during the height of the pandemic, and working on group projects in zoom is the worst and i wonder if sometimes everybody was like “ok that’s fine” about things that were not actually fine because their kids were screaming and their eyeballs hurt? they weren’t the only show written in zoom though so idk!

      • This is the kinder version of my theory, which is that GenQ decided to write this season via a kind of exquisite corpse exercise, where each writer only knows approximately what’s been happening all season long. Finley got a DUI? Oh, surely the other writers have been foreshadowing Sophie’s growing discomfort with her alcohol use, this’ll be great!

  18. What does this show need to be better? I think it probably needs more money right? Like it needs more money so it can a) pay more experienced/better writers? and b) get a longer episode run. They simply cannot tell the stories they want to tell in ten episodes? We need 24 eps Grey’s Anatomy style.

    • I’m laughing so hard that you left two comments in a row that I wholeheartedly agree with. I think the unfortunate elephant in the room is that the showrunner does not have the experience to do this series justice. It’s soapy in the worst ways. There’s almost no humor whatsoever, there’s no…lightness or even, like, realism. Essentially every scene felt like a bot had watched every bad soap opera and then spit out a script. Help me understand why Pippa, a principled artist, would get mad at Bette for refusing opioid money?

      I’m sorry, y’all, it’s gotten out of hand. This show has become Terrible way too quickly.

  19. Thank you for this Riese I love your recaps!!

    Honestly Micah was such a tool to Claudia that Micabel has now lost all its charm to mee.

  20. I’m not surprised we saw Dani and Gigi together this episode, but I kiiind of would have liked if the ‘not ready’ phase lasted a bit longer? But this isn’t a matter of this storyline, as much as the whole show, that had, uh, some problems this episode. In old school soap operas, at least you had a million episodes and plenty of time for characters to go through everything. Sometimes that meant 10 episodes worth of, I don’t know, being trapped in ice, but at least you know the situation was thoroughly explored. lol I wasn’t so frustrated with this episode as much as just confused in an ‘okay then’ way. The recap is brilliant, though!

  21. I agree with all of this recap and you made some really good points, but I am stuck on the fact that you’re telling me Micah and Maribel weren’t quoting from Love and Basketball!!?!?!

    I haven’t seen the film, so I just assumed that was what they HAD to be doing, because that scene makes no sense otherwise.

    I’m stunned at how bad the writing was for this episode. Oof.

    • Hahah I thought the same thing! I literally turned to my gf to be like “…are they quoting the movie? they have to be…right??”

    • that’s how i felt when we were recording the podcast and i was like, they were quoting from love and basketball, right? and drew was like… no. i think she said some of it may have been quoting, but not all of it, but then i looked up the screenplay for love and basketball and searched it and nope! there’s a one-on-one game where Monica plays Quincy “for his heart” so i think that’s the inspo, but nothing like this dialogue appears in it

  22. RIESE FOR THE WIN! Can’t believe I stayed up extra late last night to catch this episode which had me feeling like ?#%{£<! Also I can’t see the chemistry between Bette & Pippa — it feels forced 😑

  23. I so appreciate this recap and the comments discussing all of the truly strange writing choices this episode! I hope one day we get a tell all from the folks behind the scenes who can explain what went on in the writer’s room.

    On another note: is the Micah/Claudia story maybe the first commercial TV representation of a T4T romance? I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a trans man and trans woman go on a date together on TV! I could be wrong, but it’s pretty rare for a show to have both trans men and women characters in general (usually its one or the other). I really wish they would give these characters more time to explore it! Obviously representational firsts are complicated but I feel like movies and TV shows often ignore that trans people have relationships with each other, and in a show that’s all about LGBTQ people, it would have been a cool (and potentially groundbreaking) story to explore. Instead they sped through it… :/

  24. “—that it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty” is one of your finest ever.

    This episode was the worst. I don’t understand how the steaks spontaneously combusted into flames on what looked like a medium low heat, and this bothers me. I’m still sad about the lobsters with rubber bands and then they went and did that.

    Pippa, too, is the most inconsistently written character of all time on tlw? Who is she? I have no idea.

    • HAHA — thank you. The nonsensical burning of the steaks and the poor lobsters have been weighing heavily on my mind.

  25. not that I’m complaining lol but it is SENDING me that Tess, while on an emergency visit to her ailing mother, booked a presidential suite on the Las Vegas strip and packed her best lingerie

  26. I’m with y’all re: the writing this episode. I said “WHAT?!” so many times.

    A couple of thoughts:

    1.) I was pleasantly surprised when Finley brought up the dog (“Maybe Shane will let me walk him”) at the launch party, because tbh I figured the writers had just forgotten about him completely.

    2.) Was the Dana chapter reading what we’re supposed to think triggered Shane to jet over to Tess and declare her devotion? That’s how it seemed to me but I was also three sheets to the wind when I watched, so IDK.

    3.) Speaking of Tess and Shane, someone on reddit commented that the music during their sex scene sounds like it belongs in an iPad commercial, which is correct.

    3a.) The sex scene between Tess and Shane was great, but when Shane kissed her forehead in the morning I legitimately squealed. I will go down with this ship!

    4.) Am I the only one who thinks Bette and Pippa’s relationship is fucking weird? It started as a textbook parasocial relationship, with Bette believing that she knows and understands Pippa as a person simply because she feels she understands her art. Bette’s behavior in the beginning was straight-up stalker vibes – I get it, Bette Porter is HOT but I’m honestly shocked that Pippa would be so quick to hop into bed with and become emotionally invested in a person who acts so obsessed. Freaky.

    5.) I won’t talk about Sinley because I don’t have much to add that hasn’t already been said, but I was wondering: is there any chance Fin’s DUI is going to fuck up her job refereeing the kids soccer? Seems like it would. I think if she were to lose this job, which she apparently is really fond of, it could be her “rock bottom” moment (I mean, ideally the DUI would be the rock bottom but clearly her priorities are a little out of whack).

  27. This terrible episode does, however, deviate from the original series in one way: it acknowledges a day of a year! Although, in true L Word fashion, that day makes no sense.

    In the scene in Gigi’s office, there’s a calendar on her desk which intermittently comes into focus, and when it does, you can see it reads May 10th.

    Which…what? Sophie and Dani’s failed wedding occurred right after the first episode of the Al-lips-ce Show following the summer hiatus, so even if that was late September, they’re saying that wedding crashed and burned over six months ago?! And we yet again time warped right on over Christmas and Valentine’s Day and the queer favorite of Halloween?

    I have feelings.

    • Oh, and then Sophie’s phone at the end says it’s May 16, which at least confirms Sinley is on a different timeline than the other characters.

  28. This episode was so bad I can’t even get into it. We all saw it. It all happened to each of us. Take a moment of silence that we can’t get that 57 minutes back.

    I’ll leave what may be an informative and helpful tidbit for other AS readers: when there is a fire you should *not* open a window. Oxygen feeds fires. Fires need to be smothered. Keep the windows closed.

  29. Delighted for Gigi and Dani affirming to one another that ‘this is real’ and licking each others’ bodies and tackling their daddy issues head on etc, but at some stage are they maybe going to discuss Gigi’s two living children?

    Dani is like 28? Fresh out of being altar dumped and newly CEOing the evil pharma company … so idk is she also ready to step-parent two breathing humans who also have just said goodbye to stepmom Alice after 3yrs? Feels like a recipe for disaster.

    • At this point Dani would be in her early 30s as per the pilot script, but yes, this is a good point. Dani is mature but dating a parent of young children is a lot. Plus, is Gigi polyamorous or was that just a one-time thing when the throuple happened last season? I’d love to see that detail clarified.

  30. We seemed to have jumped the shark in this episode. Finding it hard to get into any of the storylines.

    Hopefully Sophie continues to realize she made a huge mistake with the affair. Sophie downgraded. Dani leveled up. Karma seems to be working it’s magic.

    Loved that Sophie called a spade a spade with Finley. She spoke haunting words that were so right on, including the fact that Sophie feels like she is babysitting Finley as Finley is not “adulting.” Finley is unstable and the thin veneer of superficial “charm” Finley fronts with is just a cover. Again, nothing to root for in two affair partners. Do hope Finley gets help, but it’s not Sophie’s responsibility.

    • Sophie has regularly encouraged and enabled Finley’s drinking, including on the night of the DUI…where she shoved Finley’s hand down her pants while Finley was trying to focus on driving in the pouring rain at night. I’m sorry, I do NOT buy this idea that Sophie is justified or fair in her sudden self-righteous attitude towards Finley. It’s absolutely horrible writing.

  31. Of all the baffling writing choices in this episode, the one that made me the most viscerally angry was the way the writers used Claudia. Here we have the first openly trans woman on the show—a trans woman of color, no less. She’s introduced in a completely random way, but okay, sure, whatever; she and Micah were cute enough together that I was willing to see where it all went. But then the fact that she was used as a plot device to make Micah realize the full force of his feelings for Maribel? Claudia is right to be pissed by how Micah treated her, but I’m incensed at the writers for using their first trans woman character of color as a plot device and then throwing her away. This from a show that has already neglected to feature trans women—or at least openly trans women?—despite having two trans actresses. Instead, it has just replicated the original series’s tradition of aligning trans men solely with lesbian communities and completely failing to imagine the existence of trans lesbians. I should know better than to expect any incarnation of the L Word to do right by its trans characters, but I still expected better than this.

    • I definitely agree. I also think that the writing makes what went down that much worse. No, I don’t think a working professional woman would storm out in a huff if a person they met, like, that day, said they had some kind of situationship happening. Yes, it might hurt, but the response was immature and didn’t make sense given they hadn’t built any relationship whatsoever. Isis deserves better and so does Leo and so do we.

    • Very good points. We ordered a trans woman character with a decent arc and received an absolute mess of a plot.

  32. Wow!I thought it was just me, but this episode WAS truly TERRIBLE! The original series was so well done, this is such a let down.

  33. In addition to all the story-related points you raised, the continuity issues are also kind of mind boggling. I saw one vlogger joke it was the Gen Q multiverse because there doesn’t seem to be a single timeline for everyone. So when the blood slowly returned to my brain (Gini’s scenes, um, distracted me lol), I was left with massive amounts of confusion around character and time. First Dani had a whole different jacket and hairstyle so I realised belatedly it was probably a different day when she and Gigi had their tiff. (I’d initially thought it was the same day they hooked up) But then I got really confused because Alice’s launch was….in the day? In the night? Across two days (since people keep changing clothes and transitioning from day to night)? It looks like Micah lives two different days during Alice’s launch alone? And then Tom actually has hair when Alice goes to the hotel room (after being bald at the event)? It was…a lot.

    • Finley also has an entirely different haircut at the launch party than when coming home drunk. Obviously there were WAY bigger issues with this episode but it is surprising to see such blatant continuity errors!

  34. What in Hayley Kiyoko’s name was Micah even doing inviting a coworker on a date when he already knew he had feelings for Maribel? And then a declaration of love?

  35. “Our intel tells us that Bette is formidable at best and destructive at worst” was a fantastic line. This should be the IMDB summary of every episode of this series.

    Do we think Alice wrote a chapter about Jenny Schecter? No mention of the saga that was Lez Girls or the time Jenny stole her writing ideas?

  36. It’s funny that Gigi said that she doesn’t do well with hot and coldness bc like that’s what this season has been!!!

    Can we please go back to karaoke?

    I wish for a lot of things but mostly for the writers to give an explanation for Maribel ghosting Micah and then backtracking. Like it could be self-sabotage, or being scared of how deep her feelings were, or maybe she didn’t know if she was ready for something serious, but literally anything would be better than what we have currently which is nothing. I think the actors are doing a great job selling me on this relationship but the writing is failing them.

    Sinley are just making me sad this week, I signed up for best friends to lovers, not lovers to strangers. If that “You’re my Dana” line had been in a better written episode though, I would’ve swooned.

  37. First off, imagine you have Isis King in front of you (both in general and playing a character on your show) and THIS is what you do? Come the fuck on? Why are you having her come on with her fine self, play a fine ass character, have chemistry with another character (who has an established situationship with someone else), GO ON A DATE WITH THAT CHARACTER, and then…dassit? You just send her on her way? Disrespectful.

    And that’s separate from the fact that this is the first time this show has had a trans woman play a trans woman and this is how they handle it? And there’s still no trans lesbian representation? Disrespectful doesn’t even begin to cover that.

    On another note, how much does the show think its audience also loves the movie Love and Basketball that it was gonna follow a vague reference made to a scene that happens in it that is actually one of two bets that happens in that movie? Or maybe it’s the opposite and no one in the writer’s room has actually seen Love and Basketball? I would bet my whole heart.

    • Extremely! good! points!!!

      The one trans woman isn’t a lesbian on a show about (mainly) lesbians?
      It’s ridiculous. Trans dykes are out here!!! Why aren’t they a thing in gen q?!

      The way they treated Claudia is fucked.

  38. This episode was kinda-maybe-terrible, but I love how this recap tore it to pieces and gave some levity to it all.

  39. there’s so many wrong things with this episode but one thing i’m so confused about was how micah realized his feelings for maribel immediately before kissing claudia? it felt like even if they wanted to go down that road again (which why would they when they left us so thoroughly confused after karaoke night) then it would have made more sense for claudia and micah to fully hook up, maybe even date for a while, and have micah miss maribel.

    also many things in this episode felt on brand for sophie but i don’t understand how she felt she shouldn’t have to split the fees for the impound lot. sophie drove her car to the bar, which i would normally think means she is expecting to drive it home. which means that sophie was designated driver and then got too drunk to drive, and passed her keys off to someone who prior to beginning drinking did not think they were going to be behind a wheel. did finley fuck up? yes, but i don’t understand how sophie thinks she has no responsibility

  40. I’m so scared to ask this so lordie, please be gentle with me but I’m surprised to see Claudia referenced as the first out transwoman on the show. What about Tess? Does she not count as out because there hasn’t been an explicit conversation about it? Or is she supposed to be playing a cis character for some reason? I love Tess and have read her character as an out transwoman since the beginning. 🤷‍♀️ Also loved Claudia this week and hate that they did her like that. Get her a better love interest. Find a way to integrate her into the cast. We need her.

    • If I remember right, Jaime wanted the opportunity to play a cis character and considers that an important step forward for trans actors. I always find myself wishing they’d have made Tess trans though, it seems so goofy that they don’t have any trans lesbians on this show.

      • I did not know that! I can see where she would think it is an important step forward, obviously, but here I was thinking it was so great and amazing that Shane had a trans partner and that no one even blinked an eye over it.

  41. Thank you for perfectly crystallizing what was so horrible about this episode!! Usually I rewatch every episode multiple times, but this one will be like season six of the orig where I zone out while watching and never return to it again.

    It’s weird because the line “your light goes out and it’s the scariest and loneliest feeling in the world” also made me cry / is perhaps one of the most moving lines in the series and such an accurate and heartbreaking description of how it feels to love someone who deals with addiction that I was like wait who wrote that line?? Were they out sick for the rest of the writing of this episode??

    I will say, Sophie suddenly noticing the severity of Finley’s drinking did actually make some sense to me. I feel like I’ve been in similar positions in my own life, where there’s people I’ve spent a lot of time having fun and getting wasted with, and then something big happened, and I realized they actually might have a serious problem and felt fear and concern and didn’t know what to do.

    HOWEVER, Riese as you pointed, I’ve always also reflected on my own drinking as a result in these circumstances. And even if they didn’t have Sophie do that, I feel like they could’ve played out a much more realistic scenario where maybe Finley didn’t change her behavior at all in the face of real consequences, or even double down on her drinking out of shame, and have that behavior signal to Sophie that Finley’s drinking is much more compulsive than she realized.

    I do think that concern can manifest as anger in some people, but I think it would’ve been much more within Sophie’s character to try to talk to Finley and point out how her behavior was worrying her and generally approach her with love, rather than silent resentment and passive aggression. And it would’ve been interesting to see Finley’s response to an actual conversation. Dialogue giving us insight into characters’ behavior and mindsets! What a concept!

    I know a lot of people are saying they’re not a good match in the face of all this (which obviously I disagree with because Sinley became my favorite ship in all L Word history back in the days of “what are you doing buddy”), but something I felt like was a sign of the writing rather than the actual characters was that what these two generally communicate pretty openly. It’s something I’ve always particularly liked about them. Even if that communication is flawed and they fight, I feel like they can usually say what’s on their minds, as that was how they were in their friendship. For me, it’s always been the big difference between their relationship and Sophie’s relationship with Dani. But from the promo is just looks like Finley will be on a wild bender in the wake of this? So I guess there goes that?

    I’m trying to hold out hope that there’s time for them to actually handle this addiction storyline well, but the fact we only have two episodes left is definitely worrisome!!

    Also, this is not as important, but I thought part of Alice reading the Dana chapter was that they were trying to show a parallel with Sophie and Finley, and how part of Sophie’s concern is that she doesn’t want to lose Finley the way Alice lost Dana, but they literally didn’t cut to the two of them once when she was reading!

    • Also, I’m listening to the podcast now and have to agree with everyone that Finley’s comments about “jail people” were so offensive, and I’d also thought we’d evolved past them as a society, AND I felt were very out of character for Finley!! Finley is a lot of things but she’s very friendly and down to earth, and doesn’t seem to ever look down on anyone.

  42. as always reise, you really hit the bullseye. this episode was a mess, and it felt like it. maybe they should have named the episode “mercury retrograde” since no one seemed to know how to talk to other people… oddly, the maybe poorest communicator on the show, Bette “I Don’t Have to Cry” Porter was the most effective communicator on the episode, which is saying something for sure. Why the heck would Alice say that THEN??? What WAS the problem like as far as we know they’ve hooked up ONCE. What is the world is Micah thinking when he decides to “let Claudia down easy” by essentially dropping her off of a horny cliff… it’s just a mess of a show. And where was Angie??! All in all the only part that was worth it for me was Shess <3 <3 <3 #endgame as always reise you're literally a genius and I'm obsessed with you.

  43. “Rosanny Zayas does her best to tell an entire story with her face, in the absence of, you know, actual lines.” Seriously!

    I’m happy to see more appreciation for Rosanny this week on here. She stays the best actress of the Gen W cast. Her facial expression are putting in that overtime with the lack in writing. I also just have a huge crush on her, so I’m naturally team Sophie, but WTF?!? I’m gonna hop on that theory made last week by someone here about writing Sophie terribly, because writers know Rosanny can carry it.

    Everyone said what needed to be said about Finley, Dani & Gigi, Isis King(!), and Micahbel.

    For the worst episode, this is one of my favorite recap. Thank you again as always for your service, Riese. This episode really needed some break downs.

    • Rosanny is a great actor, but I gotta say…Jordan Hull has impressed me the most! And Rosie but I know she’s not considered a main character 😌

  44. loe love love ur reviews so good but do you think you can say it louder about it to marja i think shes lost her marbles and thinks alice is straight lol

  45. The statement that sharing information about a patient with a psychologist treating your patient would be a hipaa violation is utter nonsense! Doctors and psychologists work as an interdisciplinary team and would absolutely be sharing such information as introducing a new medication with each other. Knowledge like that would be essential for Micah to be able to do his work.

    • I was really wondering why Micah and Claudia hadn’t a) already met and b) chatted about plans in the most recent MDT (multidisciplinary team) meeting, which they SURELY have at this magical LGBTQ+ center!

  46. Oh my god…shirtless Shane! I almost screamed when it happened. I have missed her so much! Love her now just as much as I did then!!

  47. As is so often the case, once again your review was Much Better Than The Episode. Your dissection eviscerated several tumors with exquisite humor. Dang.
    Ah Peggy Peabody, remember her stroll through the jail corridor on her way to visit Helena? “family style” ? ooh.

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