L Word Generation Q Episode 209 Recap: Last Dance For Buried Pain

Back at the Artists Revolution at the CAC, Mister CAC tells Dani the board is in a tizzy and that Bette Porter turned all of the artists against them and now nary a painting is willing to be hung in the Núñez Wing.

Dani and the CAC guy walking past the protest

I mean I don’t know if you know this but Bette Porter is notorious for engaging in sexual intercourse atop art exhibits

“You’re not thinking long term here,” Dani insists. “This is one show. It’ll be up six months and it’ll be gone. Our donation will last generations.” He says that he’s very grateful but Bette has put him in a tough spot. Dani pleads with him, claiming the removal of her family name will ruin them. The thing is that ………….. I don’t care

The number of subscribers to the print edition of The Los Angeles Times continues to amaze as we transition back to Porter’s Pre-Prom Party of a Lifetime, where Bette’s gazing at herself on the front page of the paper and telling Alice how powerful it was to protest with Pippa and that she wants Angie to meet her. (Was that a tongue twister or is Gigi just happy to see me?) Alice continues agonizing over whether or not to reveal Tom’s cis male identity to the hoards of literature reporters knocking down her door for personal relationship information.

Bette handing Alice a beer

Be careful, it’s poison

Alice laments the Lesbians who don’t believe that bisexuals are real, simply “bi now, gay later.” I think biphobia in the community is actually quite a bit more nuanced than that, but why value something real and complicated over something that took ten seconds to write? Alice says if she brings a man into this world, it changes everything. I say, “show don’t tell!” but before anybody can get back to me on that, Angie arrives to deliver the episode’s best three seconds:

Alice: Angie, you’ll know. Should I tell the world I’m dating a man?
Angie: Nobody cares.
Alice: Oh! Okay. Straightforward, I can appreciate that.

Angie attempts to escape the elder lesbian dramz but is intercepted by Shane, who wants Angie to meet Tess, who wants to tell Angie — in a tone of voice one would use with a very small child in a very large room — that her suit looks great on her. This is true and I’m glad it was addressed.

Tess, Shane and Tina sitting at the snacks area

Are you sure it’s okay that a masked man in a black cloak is roaming your house with a giant machete?

Tina thanks Tess and Shane for getting Carrie home the other night, explaining that she seemed “really down” when Tina got back. Tess really just thinks that Carrie had too much to drink and wants Tina to know that for what it’s worth, she really liked her. Did she? Tess continues that Carrie seems like a sweet girl who just need a little bit of help being happy sometimes, similar to legendary lesbian misanthrope Eeyore. Furthermore, Tess feels that Shane is also an Eeyore. Tina’s curious if Bette said anything to Carrie ’cause she’s getting vibes that something went down.

We then cut to the laundry room where Tess implores Shane to tell Tina that Carrie told her she was having doubts. Shane refuses, insisting Carrie was simply drunk and having a bad night. I agree that Shane shouldn’t relay this specific scoop to Tina, but she really ought to tell her that Carrie seems to be struggling a bit with fitting in to L.A. and had an unsatisfactory encounter with Bette!

Tess and Shane in the laundry room

I’m not saying you HAVE to be with your dog 24-7, just that like, it’d be good to walk him twice a day or whatever

Furthermore, it’s cute that Shane is Eeyore ’cause that means Tess is Tigger and when Tigger and Eeyore get together you know what happens? LESBIAN FINGERBLASTING!!!!

Tess and Shane face to face

I sure do like this new tail

Tess and Shane start making out but are immediately interrupted by a teenage boy opening the wrong door into the wrong room.

Tess: Do you think we traumatized him?
Shane: No, this was the best day of his life.

I laughed!

But an additional distraction appears: it’s Sophie, giving Tess a ring-a-ling. And then another call. And then once again a call — so Tess takes it as Alice, Shane and Bette gather in the living room to take as many cell phone pictures of these strange children from as many angles as possible, indoors, in front of a large picture window.

Shane and Alice taking cell phone pictures

Hmmm I’m thinking for the best shot we should maybe ask them to like, open the door and go outside?

Tess saddles up to Shane to inform her she’s gotta decamp for the bar ASAP just to see if perhaps our young Finley is passed out in the backroom? Meanwhile Jordi and Angie are In Conflict because Angie’s too in her feelings to focus on the monumental event taking place that evening. (Prom)

the teens posing for prom

School rules Boys Drool

My friends, it is time for Jordi and Angie to take this squabble to the mat.

Jordi vs Angie

Lesbian Squabble #33: Strike a Pose
In the Ring: Jordi vs Angie

Content: Angie mutters that she’ll die if she’s forced to take a photograph with her beautiful Moms. Jordi just wants Angie to have fun! Angie’s like I don’t give a shit about prom yet here I am for you! Jordi says that she shouldn’t be mad at her Moms, she should be mad at her donor because he’s the real asshole here! Not your Moms, not me, not Ron, not Hermione, YOUR DONOR. Angie starts to feel dizzy and panicked and thus she flees this terrible photoshoot for her room where she can cry in peace.

Who Wins? 23andme

Back at the Suarez Family Birthday, Mom is lamenting the lack of Finley at this table, because Finley likes to eat food and there is so much food here to eat! Sophie says she’ll bring food home for Finley, who is simply busy reffing a soccer game. Maribel, for reasons unbeknownst to me and perhaps also to the actors in this scene, will not abide this lie, despite harboring many of her own, and pushes Sophie to tell the truth, which’s that she cannot in fact locate Finley ’cause they got into a fight and Finley vanished into the ether.

Sophie and Maribel at the lunch table

If you don’t mind I just wanna help myself to a bowl of poison

Sophie sets a firm boundary regarding “talking about the fight” but Virginia, sitting at a table of drinks, tilts her head, delivers a look of pity and disappointment, and asks “is she drinking?” Maribel interjects — “yeah, after getting a DUI!”

Virginia scowling at her daughter

You were doing WHAT in the car when you got pulled over?

Virginia has actually never seen Finley exhibit problematic drinking behavior — Finley was sober at the wedding and was sober at the hospital — so it’s unclear why she’d even ask this question with that level of concern, unless Sophie has confided in her previously, which wouldn’t really make sense for Sophie to do that while also being the one to pull out a post-work bottle of wine and consistently get wasted with Finley.

It feels like this show is still asking the cultural concept of “DUI” to do all the work instead of deliberate storytelling, even deliberate storytelling about the DUI. As discussed last week, the DUI wasn’t written in a way that highlighted Finley’s problematic drinking behavior or enabled Sophie’s reaction to it the next day. Because yes, Finley does have a drinking problem and sure, getting pulled over and charged with a DUI very often does indicate that the driver has a drinking problem, for example because some drunk drivers are driving drunk because they do everything drunk. But it doesn’t automatically mean that, and it’s framed here and last week as though it does, as though the incident-as-written was the inevitable climax of the journey Finley’s been taking all this time, as though this situation should stand on its own without needing any additional emotional realism or contextual development around it. Many of us need only consume two drinks to put ourselves at risk of exceeding the legal limit of a .08 were we to get pulled over, and non-alcoholics in have been known to drink 2+ drinks and then drive (which is bad, to be clear!) quite often. Non-alcoholics have been known to have many more drinks than that and then drive! In fact, it happens on this very show all the time! It happened with Gigi a few episodes ago. It’s happening in this episode with Alice and Shane, who are drinking and will shortly be also driving. They also both brought alcohol to a party for actual teenagers, so???

But we know Finley has a problem that those characters don’t have, right?  And it simply doesn’t feel like the work was done in the past two episodes or in this one to draw a clear line between her problems —> this criminal charge —> a catalyst for Sophie to reach a breaking point. Unless the show’s take is that the best way to know who has a problem and who doesn’t is to see who gets arrested.

We know Finley has a drinking problem because we’ve seen her drink to soothe her anxiety or depression — we’ve seen her do this alone and with friends. We’ve seen her use alcohol as an escape, and to keep drinking more even when it makes her feel worse. We’ve sensed a vibe that is, essentially “constantly on the lookout for another opportunity to drink.” We’ve seen her wake up, throw up from drinking, and then open another beer. We saw her tell Shane she’d never had sober sex and also get too sick mid-sex with Rebecca to continue having it, and then declare a desire to be “drunk, but not dizzy drunk” before their next sex date. (But we also did eventually see her having sober sex with Sophie!) In Episode 104, Sophie questioned the sheer volume of alcohol Finley was drinking at Shane’s birthday party, because their bosses were also at the party, and Sophie suggested she try water or slow down — advice Finley did not take — and we all saw Finley consequently take her drunk ass to Rebecca’s to ruin their relationship. We’ve seen Finley squirm while hearing about Tess’s sobriety and then we saw her get wasted with Tess later that night despite knowing Tess was relapsing — because she is always exactly that desperate for a drinking buddy. We’ve seen her, while drinking a beer and processing what went down at the wedding, tell her bosses that she’d gotten sober in Missouri, which means she knew drinking was a problem.

When this happened — when it became clear the DUI was gonna be The Thing — I’d assumed it was ’cause the DUI would require Finley to attend meetings, or counseling, or classes; and through those experiences she’d have to confront all of those reasons and attempt sobriety. Or maybe it would be a wake-up call for Sophie, who’d nudge Finley towards one of her own. Or maybe it would inspire someone to say TO Finley, instead of ABOUT Finley, “why are you drinking the day after getting a DUI.” It could do what I suggested it do in last week’s recap by providing all of these opportunities for Sophie and Finley to talk about what happened.

But nope. “DUI” it seems is just a symbol, just three letters the show has chosen to stand in as a thing that is culturally a commonly accepted form of Rock Bottom. They’ve been planting all these seeds that could’ve spiraled out of control and consumed the garden. But then when the time came to harvest it, they sent Sophie to Ralph’s for some pre-packaged basil.  

Anyhow, here we go….

Sophie vs Maribel

Squabble #34: Sister, Sister

In the Ring: Sophie vs Maribel vs the Family 

Suddenly Nana hates Finley and doesn’t get why Sophie’s still with her, and Sophie’s like, this is why I didn’t want to tell you! “It sounds like she has a problem,” says Virginia, but as discussed previously, why?

Sophie says to her fam “You’re so judgmental!” Maribel says they’re just being honest. Sophie says that’s hilarious coming from Maribel. Nana hates when they fight!

I have to be honest that I actually love it when they fight because they are both so fucking SHARP and I love authentic sibling wars!!! Unfortunately the content of this convo is objectively bad.

Sophie: Why don’t you tell them why Micah’s really here?
Maribel: I’m going to kill you.
Sophie: No go ahead, tell them, say it —
Maribel: No —
Sophie: No it’s totally fine — Alrighty, I got you. They’re dating. Micah is her boyfriend!

Maribel and her family start fighting in Spanish — they wanna know if it’s serious and if she has real feelings for him. Then Virginia asks if he’s gay, and Maribel requests they cease speaking of him if he is not here. Nana goes for it anyway, asking if he is “a trans.” “Don’t say A TRANS!” Maribel and Sophie scream, which I believe is something all of us have likely screamed at our parents at some point and so I will allow it as a line of dialogue while refusing it as a person who does not understand why this is happening or what the objective is here, besides to ensure that a family we have known to be loving and accepting is now also somehow low-key ableist and transphobic? Okay great!!!!!

Maribel says she loves him. Then she pauses as if this is her first revelation of this love and it was not in fact discussed YESTERDAY.

Micah is like, “thanks for having me.”

Who wins? I was gonna give this one to the translation app I downloaded to better understand this conversation but I did remember to delete the app before the free trial expired so ultimately, nobody

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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. I feel like Jamie Clayton’s beautiful face and soothing voice makes it seem like Tess gives good advice, but if you really think about it all the advice has made absolutely no sense for the situation at hand.

    I also kind of want Bette and Pippa to stay together so Angie can have more black people in her life. It’s a weird reason but it’s what I want.

    I’m rooting for Micah and Maribel but nothing about their storyline makes sense. Why are we acting like it was new information they loved each other when they just declared their love? Why was maribel keeping it a secret from her family like it was a scandal on par with Sophie’s alcoholic girlfriend? Why did Micah have to realize he had feelings for her after going on a date with thee Isis King even though he knew had a crush on her all season? Why did maribel freak out at karaoke even tho she turned Micah down? I was excited for them at first because I though it meant more development and interesting storylines for these characters but now I’m just confused. They look cute together tho.

    • 1. i think that’s a totally legit reason to want bette and pippa to be together! i hope kayla stays in her life even after this, too

      2. yes hard agree with everything about micah and maribel. i’m happy they’re together, but we’re still not getting any advanced character development. what happened on karaoke night was super weird and so was what happened this episode, but the show has sort of treated those things as normal instead of explaining why these people would do such strange things, which means i’m not sure if those things are really part of their characters that just haven’t been explained yet or if we’re not supposed to see them as strange at all?

      • I’m not so sure what the writers intend? Tess was the one who told Finley that finding the right person would just end the patterns of behavior we get stuck in and now she’s gone in the exact opposite direction of being wrong about a situation. And there was Tess blatantly misinterpreteding Finley without listening and claiming Sophie meant they should be friends when Sophie hadn’t meant that at all.

        I’d love to be optimistic and believe they’re going somewhere with the bad advice, because older women telling the new generation things they need to question seems to be a trend on genq that Sophie’s grandma started.

    • Hi I do love all characters on the show each one is great in their own individual place I love the idea of Tina coming back to at least be a mother to Angie but I’d rather see Pippa stay with Bette for many reasons one is so Angie can have someone of color around. Also Tina has left Bette so many times for every reason we can think of men, woman, job there has really been no loyalty on Tina’s behalf by no means is Bette perfect she has had her share of mess ups but she has always stayed loyal to Tina. And I feel everytime Bette falls for someone Tina wants her back, it reminds me of people like that, they really don’t fully want you but they don’t want anyone else with you either. I believe Pippa will love Bette the way she deserved to be loved condition, had Bette play games with Tina’s Art work she would have saud her, had everyone black ball Bette than left her, she has done such before, but Pippa forgave her, stood by her and helped her get done what she wanted done, and still showing her much Love, I would Love to see Bette and Pippa in a long term relationship, Bette has been fascinated with pippa’s work for every, since she was younger, so I’m sure she could love her!!!!!!!!!! Just my thoughts,BettPi❤❤❤❤ forever

  2. Junior Mint-themed photo captions continue to elevate these recaps from 10/10s to 9,000/10s tbh!

  3. “Sophie tells Tess when she stops by to deliver what I thought would be great advice but turns out to be abjectly terrible advice!

    Tess tells Sophie that Finley’s not gonna get the help she really needs if she’s got Sophie there to pick up the pieces and make it better. What Finley apparently really needs is to feel totally unloved and unsupported! Which I’m pretty sure is how she already feels! It’s unclear if Sophie can or will take this advice. 
    Furthermore, Sophie has yet to pick up a single piece of Finley’s thus far — not because Sophie’s neglected her or anything, but because Finley, the affable party lesbian everybody has done shots with for two seasons, has not dropped any! Because a person does not actually need to fall into pieces to be an alcoholic or need help.”

    THANK YOU!!!

    Whole review was great as usual but this piece was very important!!

    Also, my fav lol line in the review: “Sophie dips out to call her ditch guy”

    • I think there is a difference between being unloved and having someone willing to put up with everything. If Sophie were to continue to support Finley with no reservations I could see how that could put off Finley really realizing there is a problem. That being said it doesn’t really matter-nothing will change until Finley wants to change.

      • I think the problem isn’t so much Sophie supporting Finley, as Sophie supporting Finley’s alcohol problem? Sophie supporting Finley in this case would be more about them talking together about Finley having an issue, and Sophie being supportive of her as she figures it out and goes to AA and tries to deal with it.

        Right now, Sophie is supporting her by getting trashed with her on the regular and then suddenly basically going “you drink too much and you’re the worst”, even though half the time she’s the one putting shots into Finley’s hand. I don’t know. I don’t really understand Sophie here. The whole thing with the DUI just seemed so off – she didn’t take any accountability there, even though she was definitely partially responsible for the whole situation.

        I guess she didn’t take much accountability for cheating on Dani either so I suppose at least the character is consistent. But man. This is not good.

  4. Honestly the only thing making these last episodes bearable is knowing the recaps will make up for them. They are a disaster.

  5. Truly why did the episode have the end that way….ugh. I feel so sad for Angie.

    Re: the advice Tess gave Sophie in that scene: I understand where the writers are coming from, even if it didn’t make sense without more context. In 12 step groups, and particularly in the Al-Anon Family Groups which provide support to the loved ones of alcoholics and addicts, one of the big takeaways is that you can’t control, change, or cure someone else’s drinking. Only the alcoholic person can stop drinking when they are ready and willing to do so on their own time. In the process of watching a loved one go through that self-destruction, lots of people unintentionally manage and enable their loved one’s drinking/using in a variety of ways: counting/restricting their drinks, checking up on where they are, making sure they get home safe, being consumed with worry and focusing all your attention on them, etc. This becomes enabling when you start doing things for others that they should be doing for themselves. Basically, if you take care of someone else and try to prevent them from going into crisis, you don’t allow them to opportunity and the dignity to make mistakes and learn and grow from that on their own. So Tess was saying: you can’t help Finley if she won’t help herself, and if you keep trying to save her, she won’t have the opportunity to save herself. When you have the knowledge/info about Al-Anon it makes sense — without that context I would see why its confusing.

    • The problem is Tess assumes Sophie has been trying to save Finley when Sophie has not done anything of the sort? In context of the show it is the third time this season that Tess has given wild advice without understanding the situation Finley and Sophie are in.

      It also just hit me in the gut that Sophie wanted to yell at Finley after that being what sent Finley out her door in the first place. I’m more concerned about Sophie being unupporyive

      • Sorry, last word is *unsupportive. I really do appreciate hearing more about AA, just not appreciating how the show tries to apply this storyline

      • Lauren, I too appreciate the context you offer.

        Again, writers: wouldn’t it have been a natural context for Tess to provide to Sophie, since she is intimate with the approaches offered by AA (and to some extent surely in Al-Anon?) – just one line!

        I am intimately familiar with the untenable dynamic of trying to protect someone you love / inadvertently enabling / feeling at a loss to know what the alternative is. But as I suggested in my comment below, it still doesn’t feel appropriate in this context. They never even had a conversation about her drinking really. It went from 16 episodes of gradual build-up to the implosion of the DUI (which as Riese points out is narratively super messy the way it was done anyway, since the writing positions Sophie as very complicit) and Sophie’s out-of-nowhere “you scare me/your light goes out” speech. There is so much more that could have been said and shown to get us to that scene in a later episode… and then to Tess’ advice… at a time when both would actually resonate and feel commensurate with what we know of the characters.

        I feel like these seasons should be like 14 episodes, but they should handle the same number of dramatic turns and storylines as they’ve been doing in 8 / 10 episodes, but just actually give the stories time to breathe and develop slowly. Everything this season feels like it’s happening in fast forward.

    • yeah, for sure! i’m a codependent and due to a bunch of other experiences / relationships etc in my life, i’m familiar with the Al-Anon context (although also thank you, i appreciate you explaining it so well)… but this felt so entirely robbed of that context that I wasn’t even sure it was meant to have it, if you know what i mean? i couldn’t tell if that’s what they were going for and did it clumsily, or if that wasn’t what they were going for at all. it was confusing! i also thought of the AA rule that like you shouldn’t start a new relationship your first year of recovery etc

      i think also because that’s probably the kind of advice you would give to somebody who you can see is clearly losing their own way in an attempt to help somebody else find theirs — it’s advice people have given me a lot. but that didn’t seem to be where sophie was at in this scene — she’s been stressed for one day, but she still went to work and the birthday party. and there’s no history of her falling into those patterns with finley

    • As an alcoholic in recovery for the past 8 years, I understand exactly why Tess gave that advice. Many of us never get sober until we lose everything; three weeks before I got sober, my mother told me to stop calling the house. Not saying it’s the right path for everyone, but it is the right path for many of us.

      • I think the way the writers have presented the storyline of Finley’s alcoholism is the problem. It hasn’t unfolded in a way that shows us the depth of Finley’s rock bottom or how her friends have reacted to her behavior over the years (?). So while I understand the AA-concept of allowing someone the room to seek help for themselves, we as an audience are not there yet. The show has put so little effort into showing us if her friends have tried to help her or how much they even know and understand Finley’s issues. Even in this episode, Sophie was able to go to work and go to a bday party, which would have been hard to do after being told I should start checking hospitals. And, if it weren’t for Sophie’s relationship with Finely and them having a fight, would any of Finely’s friends or family even have known she was missing and on a bender for the last 48 hours? Last year, Finely was out of control and also showing up on drunk and sad on Rebecca’s door and no one even blinked over it.

        So at the moment, Tess comment comes off cold and too soon because Finley hasn’t had the proper support system and her friends are just now realizing the depth of issues Finley is facing.

        • Yup, completely agree with this! I feel like the show is trying to tell a recovery storyline, using the tenets of AA, but without actually showing the characters arriving at those steps in an organic way. For example, I think Sophie trying to find Finley is just like what any partner would do in this situation, but from Tess’ conversation, they’re making it seem like Sophie just trying to make sure Finley is alive is enabling her.

          • right, i think that making sure your girlfriend isn’t dead is probably a safe level of investment — it’s honestly mind-boggling to me that sophie is the only one putting any effort into this search. if a friend of mine went missing for 36 hours we would be canvassing the city!

      • Thanks for sharing this! I think based on my own recovery experiences this is also how I feel but didn’t explain that well in my comment above. My divorce was my wake up moment and it wasn’t until that year and all the fall out that I finally saw my life as it actually was.

    • Also, let’s not forget Tess has *a lot* of historical context about Finley’s situation (see their joint season 1 bender, preceded by a long restaurant talk about Finley’s relationship with alcohol). She probably realised the scale of the problem before anyone else did, Finley included.

    • When I was much younger I went to a rehab that was 12 step based, so it was pretty clear to me that this is the angle the writers are approaching the reaction from. However, because they haven’t written the relationship and Finley’s experience along the lines of that angle, it comes across like Tess is one of those people in recovery who is a hammer and everything looks like a nail. I’ve met many people in recovery who understand that not everyone who is experiencing trouble with alcohol is in need of the full AA treatment, but there are always people like Tess who don’t hear anything you say about the situation and just launch into a bunch of assumptions and projecting their experience on to yours. I can’t tell if the writers are intentionally making Tess out to be that way, or if someone on the staff is themselves that person. Either way it’s honestly one of the grossest things.

      • “it comes across like Tess is one of those people in recovery who is a hammer and everything looks like a nail.” YES THIS!

        AND ALSO THIS —> “there are always people like Tess who don’t hear anything you say about the situation and just launch into a bunch of assumptions and projecting their experience on to yours.”

        yep. yep yep yep. you actually did hit the nail on the head!

    • Thanks for your words of wisdom here. As a recovering alcoholic, I had people try to keep me from hitting bottom. It was not until they stopped, I hit bottom, surrendered and got sober! I agree whole heartedly with your words!

  6. I feel like we synced wavelengths while watching this episode, Riese, on so many points. (My immediate thought assumption with Angie finding Jordi in the hallway: aha, avoiding covid protocols with a bunch of 16 year olds!).

    I too am perplexed by the Micah and Maribel writing. I want to like them as a couple, but the show has made Maribel so prickly and often unkind to the people around her (from all the way back at the start of this season, and even into S1). I understand this might be a defense mechanism, but I wish we saw more of the chemistry and affection between her and Micah. I feel like the writers never narratively resolved the baffling choices made in the karaoke episode, and last week’s equally bewildering (and seemingly out of character for them both?) turn of events.

    I 100% agree with all your points about how they dropped the ball on the addiction storyline with Finley. What happened between S1 and 2? (Was writing collaboratively on Zoom really that awful?) As you lay out here, Riese, they drew a real, painful, but also recognizable portrait in S1, but now it just feels untrue (to the characters and their arc as they have been established) in so many ways (not only for Sophie and Finley but also, as you say, for Sophie’s family). And it feels so facile and it doesn’t ring true.

    As you’ve pointed out over the past few recaps, there were so many slightly different writing/narrative opportunities that would have made the storyline make sense and feel gut-wrenching but in a way that feels imbued with empathy and realism and complexity. Watch the last couple of episodes just feels like a frustrating (in the cognitive dissonance of the narrative) and grim march.

    I started rewatching S1 (self-soothing, baby) after last week’s episode and was reminded how joyful and fun and funny that season generally was, even with the foibles and painful moments and excruciating choices. If next week is the end of the L Word for good I am going to be so upset.

    Also: I adore Tess but that advice makes no sense. No one has ever really called Finley on her drinking, or tried to help her explore her relationship to alcohol or hold her accountable. Tess’ advice to Sophie would make sense in, like, 6 months or a year from now, when maybe these events have made Sophie (and others! hey Tess, you’re Finley’s friend and colleague, too, and you know these cycles of dependence intimately: you could say something! She never even pushed back with Finley on the “see, I don’t want to feel all that” kind of comment about sobriety from S1) grapple with their own relationships to alcohol and try to work with Finley to expose and explore that together. But to more or less say “don’t try to find her, it’s just enabling her” makes ZERO SENSE with anything we’ve been shown of any of these people.

    Angie and Alice’s exchange wins the episode. I wish we would see the Tom entering lesbian LA life ripples, rather than just hear Alice assert that. It would be so much more interesting to see that play out among different characters, even those of the same generation, like the writers have already drawn a distinction between Sophie’s response and that of Finley or Bette.

    • yes!!! finding finley is not the same thing as enabling finley. it’s just about… being a human being who cares about whether or not somebody you care about is alive and okay? it’s been two days since sophie or anybody has seen or heard from her, they really downplayed how that would actually feel to people. especially since fin doesn’t have a pattern of disappearing, so nobody has any idea where she is or what she’s doing, it’s unprecedented.

      like sophie didn’t even offer to go halfsies on the impound fee that she had some part in and seemed appalled when Fin suggested it — i am a person who has absolutely been the codependent and the enabler in relationships and i would’ve offered to pay for the entire thing even if it’d happened to finley on a night we weren’t even together, just because i’d know it’d be a huge blow to her financially and i wouldn’t want her to deal with that. (i have done this MANY times in similar situations) sophie is nowhere near that realm of behavior at this point. if anything she’s doing a pretty good job with boundaries so far, even just letting finley leave that night is more than i would do.

  7. “like Harper did with Kristen Stewart” goshdarnit Reise, I just choked a little on my wine XD

    RE Alice’s bisexuality: I like that the show is being serious about it, and showing how hard it is to be bi (or pan or queer), dating a man, and still be part of the queer community. I think it has gotten better over the years, as more people have come out as not-straight, but there’s always room for improvement. But I hope they don’t try to explain too much…this show really just goes for the dramatic lines, so the odds aren’t great that they’re actually correct or helpful haha (see Nat’s line incorrectly comparing polyamory to bisexuality).

    Ugh poor Finley! I don’t believe this is how it would really happen either. I wonder if there’s better fan fiction about Sophie & Finley, and then Finley’s relationship to alcohol in a more realistic way.

  8. There were no sex scenes this week to distract us from how bad it was! 😬

    I’m also uncomfortable that after the character growth they had Dani enjoy last season (re her father’s blood money) and this season as she opens up to Gigi, they’re tanking it by making her ostensibly cool about it now and insensitive to what she knows are Bette’s issues with it…and have Gigi just roll along for the ride. Speaking of which — Sepideh Moafi is chronically under-utilised in this series. Good lord!

    Also…Angie’s Black aunt, and Black father, have now been sacrificed in this show…for no good reason. Quiara came and went as a recurring character. Pippa is in as recurring and looks vulnerable to getting the Jodi treatment in service of this endless TiBette loop. Tasha is nowhere to be found. I’m genuinely uncomfortable with the show’s treatment of Black characters, and it’s getting worse by the week. But I also sent y’all a whole pitch about this a couple of weeks ago so… 🙃😅

  9. These recaps are truly what I look forward to at the end of each episode. These last few episodes have just been so sloppily written it’s maddening – it’s so helpful to have you articulate my feelings!

    I have a bit of a prediction as to how they’re going to wrap the Angie stuff. I think that they’re going to have her be angry about it for a bit because Bette will of course stick her own foot in her mouth by saying, “he agreed to meet you!!” and make things worse. But at the end they’ll take her to his LACMA show with some line that’s like, “if you couldn’t know him while he was alive… know him through his art…” – which like, they didn’t have to kill him to get That Moment but this show is already losing braincells every single episode so why try to have any rational thought now?

  10. I just have to highlight some of your other brilliant points:

    “Virginia has actually never seen Finley exhibit problematic drinking behavior — Finley was sober at the wedding and was sober at the hospital — so it’s unclear why she’d even ask this question with that level of concern, unless Sophie has confided in her previously, which wouldn’t really make sense for Sophie to do that while also being the one to pull out a post-work bottle of wine and consistently get wasted with Finley.
    It feels like this show is still asking the cultural concept of “DUI” to do all the work instead of deliberate storytelling, even deliberate storytelling about the DUI. As discussed last week, the DUI wasn’t written in a way that highlighted Finley’s problematic drinking behavior or enabled Sophie’s reaction to it the next day.”

    “I think biphobia in the community is actually quite a bit more nuanced than that, but why value something real and complicated over something that took ten seconds to write?”

    “But we must, apparently, drive this story home with as much raw malice as possible and therefore it is time to meet a new side of Finley that did not exist until this very day: she’s sloppy, rank, stumbling through an unidentified hallway of a building that definitely has a doorman that would not have let our young friend through these doors without verbal confirmation from a resident.”

    “Finley says the look Dani is giving her is the look that Sophie gives her, although I cannot recall Sophie ever giving Finley that look ’cause usually when Finley is drunk, Sophie is also drunk, and the looks they are giving one another are looks of sloppy sexual tension.”

    All excellent points that had to be made because this show is becoming increasingly irresponsible in its portrayal of so many important issues… ugh! Also, it doesn’t even make sense within the context of its own world and characters. That’s the most frustrating part. GenQ out here giving the original a run for its money on that front.

    I also want to add that in the preview Finley is rejecting the idea of rehab, which I think is out of character for someone who last season went back to KC and got sober after taking the advice of Rebecca…

    • (JIC this was an accident, please know I am being completely genuine/not an a#%hole regardless)…. I will now forever spell it “Frarajaca,” that is absolutely my favorite thing

      Thanks for the therapeutic read(s)… +1 to the commenter who said the recaps make up for the cringeyness of late!

    • I also found it so out of character that Finley would turn down help! I found her conversation with Rebecca at the end of last season so powerful, and really thought in the wake of that, this season would focus on her relationship to alcohol and working through her trauma – more than shoehorning it into the last three episodes.

      I’m holding out hope that maybe there’s other reasons, or it’s taken out of context, her saying in the promo “I’m not going.” But honestly, who knows at this point.

    • Taking a page from your book and quoting you back, “this show is becoming increasingly irresponsible in its portrayal of so many important issues.” Yes!!

      I feel like with Gen Q they set out to try to be more responsible by correcting issues like racism, addiction, transphobia, class/wealth, etc that the original series has been criticized for. Which, great! But instead of doing this by intentionally avoiding racist/transphobic/classist/etc tropes and having a more diverse cast they’re trying to talk about these issues directly, while also trying to be soapy and dramatic and not worrying too much about internal consistency. so we’ve ended up with the worst of both worlds instead. It’s really frustrating and often super upsetting!

  11. I feel like I have so much to say, but for now I’m just gonna commend Riese on the chosen “Winners” of the squabbles. I almost did a spit-take when the answer was Henry honestly

  12. Here’s my dream: Bette acknowledges she still loves Tina BUT she can love multiple people at once, and Pippa’s the one who she’s pursuing a relationship with – thus averting a Jodi treatment. And Tina somehow also makes peace with this and can fiiiiinally move on with Carrie. And tibette is finally over forever bc bette and Tina are the worst versions of themselves when dating each other.

    Also, yes to everything above re Jamie Clayton being so great it seems like her advice makes sense, though it never does

    But most of all, wtf with the Micabel scenes? I loved their banter early this season, but why must the plot be so contradictory and redundant at the same time? as yall pointed out, an arc where Micah gets together with Claudia would have been great and also make So Much More Sense re Maribel getting jealous. Like, really seems like there was a (relatable) group project accident in task distribution where the first writer got Maribel saying no, the second person got assigned jealousy, another got love confession. Buuuut then they went out of order and overlapped and were like “oops – due date’s coming up; this’ll do”. Maybe I’ve been on too many zoom teams, but it reallllly seems like a miscommunication between writers, and the Micabel puzzle could have fit great if things went in the right order.
    Anyhow, appreciated the shoutout here to the lesbian we love to hate – dear Harper is the worst, but the happiest season plot made a weeeee bit more sense than Micabel.
    Alsoooo the teens continue to be great actors and have plot lines that make more sense than the adults’. Not what I’d expect, but cool! And love the cool aunt vibes. Plus, tibette coparenting is great, as long as they don’t get together. And I’m someone who was verrrrry invested in that ship 10 years ago – oh how the times change! At least when 2011 isn’t calling…

    • Everything you said 100% agree. I can’t stand Bette and Tina together and agree that they are the worst versions of themselves when they are. I also love Tina and Carrie as a couple. I don’t really hope much, especially based on the writing this season but it be nice if Bette realized she is poly and feelings about partners are complex.

  13. In what universe does Finley 1) somehow know exactly where Dani lives? and 2) decide in her drunken state to go there, of ALL of the places she knows?! This does not seem like something Dani would tell Finley, considering what has happened between them this season and just a mere two episodes ago, she just told Finley off. And I don’t believe she would tell Sophie either, and yet we as the audience are just supposed to believe this as something that would happen. The only reason for this would be the writers, for reasons unbeknownst to me, need to have Sophie and Finley’s storyline tied in with Dani again, which at that why?? As terrible as this sounds, it would be a whole lot more believable for Finley to end up in a ditch somewhere than at Dani’s. And where has Finley been wandering for close to 48 hours (I’m assuming since it was nighttime when she showed up at Dani’s)? Idk how the writers thought that would make any sense, much like these last few choices in recent episodes. The way that Finley’s alcoholism storyline has been executed this season, but especially in these last few episodes, has been at best disappointing, at worst terrible and irresponsible. I do not have high hopes for where they go with this in the finale, and if this show gets renewed, in future episodes.

    • Hehe! I think I’m the only one who liked this episode. Anyway, I thought it actually made sense. It is a way of showing how bad her decision making is, shows her ongoing guilt about how she hurt and Dani and perhaps her original intention was to go apologize. I’ve done many questionable things when high and tried to fix things in those moments when I’m not in a state to do so. And I think there is a chance that Dani really liking Gigi has helped her heal a bit. In this moment she sees someone in so much chaos that as mad as she is, she does the kinder thing. I’ve been there. Someone is so hurt that it’s just not the time to make things worse for them.

    • ALSO HER PHONE WAS DEAD! So we’re supposed to believe that she has memorized Dani’s address, knows the way there without a map and can get there without taking a lyft (which would require a phone)? what is happening

  14. I think one of the problems is that there are so many characters and storylines that a lot is getting skimmed over and never going deeper than surface level. Finley’s alcoholism is suffering the worst from this. We don’t get to see the lead up to her alcoholism and her friends reactions. We don’t get to see what happened to her the last 48 hours or what all was said with Finley, Dani, GiGi, and Sophie. The writers just skim the surface of it all and it’s such a shame.

    Props to the actors for working their damndest with what they’ve been given. Last season Finley broke my heart when she showed up drunk at Rebecca’s and this season she does it again showing up at Dani’s. I would love to see more interaction between Dani and Finley. Their dynamic is fascinating to me.

    Okay, so did anyone else think it was weird writing when Marcus, while on his death bed as it turns out, made the sad comment about his art being worth more now that he was about to die and Tina made the cheery reply of “We’re just so happy for you!” The man just said he’s dying and “we’re just so happy for you” are the words you choose to say.. out loud.. like I would’ve felt awkward as hell if I or the person standing next to me had said that.

  15. Okay I will be honest and say I cried harder when Marcus Allenwood died at the end of this TV episode than I have at any TV episode before. I’ve had a rough week okay?

    Some thoughts.

    1) As other people have said, how the hell did Finley get to Dani’s apartment? My building is not nearly as fancy as Dani’s but I still need to swipe my fob in the elevator to go up to my floor, so random people can’t just walk in.

    2) Maribel keeping her relationship with Micah a secret is a weird choice. Why even bring him to your family thing if you’re gonna lie to everyone about your relationship?

    3) As someone who’s done AA I get where Tess is coming from, but Sophie’s literally just doing the bare minimum of making sure Finley is not dead in a ditch. What anyone would do. Agreed that the writers have done an awful job of dealing with Finley’s addiction.

    4) Marcus Allenwood dying right before meeting Angie is like the worst, soap-iest thing they could have done. I don’t know if I should’ve expected more. What a horrible way to end this plotline. Like, what was the point of any of that? To leave Angie traumatized?

    5) I generally really like Gigi, but I’ve noticed that she never gets her own storylines. She’s gone from being Nat and Alice’s gf to Bette’s gf to Dani’s gf, with no real storyline of her own. She’s just kinda there to be someone’s gf/ex. Correct me if I’m forgetting something but I feel like this is the case and the writers are not giving her the material she deserves.

    6) I understand that they’re trying to show the biphobia that Alice faces, which is unfortunately very common when a bi woman dates a cis man, but I have a really hard time believing that in 2021 a journalist would actually be so shocked by this that they would be speechless/hang up. Or maybe I just live in a pomosexual fantasy world, I don’t know.

    I haven’t seen anywhere if this show is cancelled or renewed but I really hope it doesn’t get cancelled, just so it doesn’t end this way.

    • I love Gigi, but she has been forced to be the emotional support girlfriend for so long and I’m really disappointed that we only ever get glimpses of her when other people are horny or sad or bored in her vicinity.

      • This!! It’s fascinating to me that people ship Gigi and Dani so much – I get that Dani’s been through a lot, but I truly don’t understand what Gigi is getting out of the relationship. I feel like she’s just had to be all of her girlfriends’ unpaid therapist, and in return she just gets them lashing out at her, or being cruel in other ways (Dani just so flippantly not showing up to a family event, and then lying about it? So wild!)

  16. If the last episode came from the seventh circle of hell, this one came from the…fifth? It was quite bad, as opposed to completely wretched. A crowd of mostly people of color are going to turn out to protest a wing at an art gallery that, let’s be honest, is not inclusive and has no connection to their communities? Angie has some deep attachment to a man she’s never met to the point that she nearly has a panic attack? There’s no Wikipedia on the L Word’s timeline, which would clearly state that Alice is bisexual, something any halfway-decent journalist would read prior to an interview?

    Boo! Hated this one. (Except anytime Gigi was on-screen, naturally.)

    • but this recap made it a lot better!!! I loved “Bev Sporter” and “Harper with Kristen Stewart”, but what made me lose it was “Stuart?!!? At that time of day? It would’ve been jammed?!! Are you crazy?!!” THANK YOU, RIESE! I feel seen. Also, the Finley storyline was bugging me but I didn’t quite know why, but what you wrote made a lot of sense to me.

  17. We flew so close to the sun with the karaoke episode that I fully ignored the wax dripping all around us. I miss the beginning of the season when everything was brimming with potential and my biggest concern was which og season Helena personality would be resurrected.

    I hate how obvious their plans were for Marcus from like ep 2, and it’s honestly so incomprehensibly cruel to me to make us watch a season of Angie having legit emotional upheaval that she puts on the backburner for multiple people’s comfort, to make her apologize over and over for being a literal teen in an awful scenario, only to saddle her with loads of grief at the end of the season. What was the point?

    I’m desperately curious about who’s in the writer’s room and who’s editing this show, because it’s harder every ep to grit my teeth through this veneer of investment in Black characters or stories.

    I can count on one hand the non-Angie Black characters with speaking roles and names on this series who aren’t introduced exclusively to lend credence to the idea that Bette’s some great defender of the Black community at large, and I believe that new Marcus Allenwood wasn’t even meant to be brought in for Angie, but for Bette, so a figure from her past could say she was on the right side of this CAC stuff.

    In the BP vs BP fight, they needed more Black people to verbally go “big pharma bad, Bette Porter good, CAC funding unnecessary” so that we wouldn’t be allowed to consider the material harm of a bunch of Black artists suddenly losing funding over Bette’s personal moral hard line.

    This show is so afraid of nuance that it would rather make characters change personality overnight than invite the audience to hold like two ideas at once.

    I also hate that Pippa is canonically so hot and talented and yet we know nothing of her except that she checks Bette’s boxes and has less interest in a legacy of her own than in furthering Bette’s. Visually, I’m so into them. Narratively, I hate that Bette is a black hole, spaghetti-fying every single one of her partners until they’re engulfed in her.

    • ALL OF THIS.

      I wish there was a way that we could get Pippa and her story without attaching her to some kind of Bette Porter redemption arc. Their parasocial to professional to romantic relationship already makes no sense to me (they’re hot together, sure, but NOTHING about Bette in that situation seems like a line worth crossing and Pippa seems wise enough to know that), and I’d much rather learn about HER than 90% of the storylines currently happening on this show.

      • In order for Bette to have a redemption arc, she’d need to have something to be redeemed from. The writers seem (I guess) to be leaning that way but they have no idea what it is or what that should look like.

        As I’ve said in past comments, I was really looking forward to the writers exploring the Bette/Pippa relationship because of how they walk differently through the world but we got the Okie-Doke instead. To piggyback off what Mina said, they presented Pippa as this powerhouse independent woman whose surety in herself meant she could stand on her own apart from Bette but then through terrible writing and/or, she became a totem-like accessory for blackness for Bette.

  18. I can’t stop thinking about how last season, I was so wholly bought into the outcomes of these characters by the penultimate episode. And how this season, I have simply suffered through, cackling occasionally at the rare, well placed piece of writing or physical comedy from Leisha but mostly just yelled at the screen. What. Has. Happened!!! Where did the fun go?! This season is all capital S Sads.

    Thank you for pointing out that Finnley has, in what one can only assume was three to a business week’s worth of days, gone from “has a little too much to drink sometimes but is a blast” to a full, painfully self-destructive, rock bottom, sweaty cis white boomer man from a 1950’s film drunk? How?! Just, HOW?! And more importantly, WHY? Why is this the vehicle for addressing alcohol in society and amongst youthful generations in this show? And why are we doing this at all? I believe we all signed up for attractive lesbian identifying humans of all kinds doing exceptional tongue acting. I don’t need this. And spot on observation that almost every character in this show uses alcohol as a calming salve at best and an unhealthy self-medication at worst. Moreover, in this VERY episode Shane brings an 18 pack of *sponsored* Heineken to a teen gathering to be throttled by just five adults, in addition to the vodka brought by Alice. Not to be confused with the *sponsored* Kevita Alice prefers to gingerly caress for scenes and scenes and scenes.

    Also, as a person who has also been a drink your friends under the table in college kind of lesbian, I can assuredly say, pissing in the hallway of a $3500/mo condo in the sky feels egregious. One can, in fact, be a very unhealthy drunk and also get yourself successfully home to bed to quietly live in shame alone tomorrow while you binge watch Netflix and order a $40 Postmates burrito, and never pee in the fluorescent lighting of a communal, likely video monitored, hallway. Just saying. Have these writers lived at all orrrr are they taking all their cues from cautionary films about the dangers of alcoholism from 1954? Truly unclear.

    • Also. On the note of sweaty old white men having alcohol issues in the 50’s. Even Don Draper had a more nuanced relationship with alcohol. I think we’d all correctly argue the writing was a weeee bit (exceptionally) better on that series, but still. There was an option to show a deft understanding of modern behavior and it was not taken.

      • THIS!! “a full, painfully self-destructive, rock bottom, sweaty cis white boomer man from a 1950’s film drunk” —> the writing in that scene made me cringe for this reason! “But I’m fun Finley, everybody loves fun Finley”… just ?? What ??? That whole scene just seemed so forced, and like canned writing you could have lifted from any heavy handed tv episode or movie about drinking. Seriously WHO is writing this show? Sometimes I’ll finish the Gen Q episode and then switch over to watch this week’s ep of Work in Progress and I’m like “ok yeah it *is* possible to write good gay tv!” It’s wild how much they’ve fumbled this season, and over easy shit like having a coherent timeline and dialogue. 🙄

  19. Also, Angie is right and nobody cares, but Alice should absolutely be capitalizing on reboot culture and teasing out a new segment called Alice in Bi Boulevard based on her own Alice in Lesboland where can be an even messier oversharer than she used to be in front of her live studio audience.

  20. Riese, something that is kinda funny about all this is that the show actually accidentally kinda gets it right by depicting a group of overly politically correct upper middle class queer friends with a lot of relationship drama being terrible at supporting a friend struggling with addiction. This group exists! They don’t understand human relationships and are bad friends! It doesn’t make very good TV though.

  21. “The thing is that ………… I don’t care”


    This sums up my feelings for almost any story line. Jeez, 209 was a tad bit better than the previous episode, but not a whole lot. Also the bar was below the ground so…there’s that. Gigi is the reason I keep watching and of course, these recaps and the L Chat podcast.

  22. I am not a native Spanish speaker so I may be wrong, but what I heard Mirabel say was “Yo la amo” which from what I understand means “I love her.” So the reason it was a big deal she said that is she misgendered Micah and that’s why everyone went silent and she was later saying “but you didn’t understand everything I said, right?”

    • No, she definitely said “yo lo amo,” pretty sure everyone went silent because she had just declared her love for a boyfriend they didn’t know she was dating and who they thought was gay

  23. It’s so difficult to bring back Tasha??
    Alice’s story is awful…
    The only good thing in Gigi and Dani. They are the best!

  24. I started watching OG TLW several years after it ended and gave up watching midway through S3 because many of the storylines made minus zero sense. Took me 6 – 7 years and a very persistent ex to watch the whole thing.

    I actually enjoyed S1 of Q despite some of the unevenness and it is better in terms of its approach to trans people and race but then came S2 and its daggum storylines. They’re like those dreams you have where you’re a track star at the Olympics but as soon as you start your race you turn into a black unicorn pegasus but then someone tries to ride you and they smack you with a wand because you won’t let them but the wand turns you into a slug who instantly has to try and out scoot a crow who looks suspiciously like that one girl who semi-stalked you 5 years ago (that may or may not have been a real dream). Gross exaggeration but you know what I mean…no exposition of key plot points and reckless lack of continuity or logic. I’m here for Gigi and Dani and Shane and Tess because their relationships actually make sense; however, a woman cannot live on bread alone (though I’d like to) so watching S3 seems unlikely if it’s been renewed (has it?).

    I will still religiously read the recaps though because they are funny and provide substance and cohesion that I can’t get from the show.

  25. hahahaha I have to say part of me loves these terrible episodes because your recaps are pure gold!!

    I cannot believe how dirty they did my beloved Suarez family. I was like um Nana, maybe Sophie is with Finley because she was with her the whole time you were in surgery?? Remember that?? I am choosing to forget any of the scenes with them in this episode happened.

    • I know! I was so annoyed at the family stuff too, like the joke there is obviously about Sophie and Maribel both dating their friends, not let’s make the family exclusionary, judgy, and transphobic!??

      • Seriously! Both of these couples have more than enough other drama going on that the family could be commenting on!!!

  26. Just dropping in to say THANK YOU for the Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead reference!!! Well played.

  27. I find it interesting people’s reactions to Dani’s family drama.

    It seems everyone wants Dani to go back to season 1 where she was rebellious against her family and company even though that all failed and Dani relationships and friend circle imploded afterwards

    This season she is trying to reconciliate with her dad and rehabilitate the company and people don’t even want to see that.

    Like, what is she suppsed to do then?

    • No one wants to confront Dani’s social position for what it is, but that’s typical L Word class politics. Dani’s family has a mansion with servants and yet viewers barely reacted when she had the gall to lecture the acquaintance who was kicked out of her (presumably non-millionaire) parents’ home about having an easy life.

      I’m torn about her CAC plot. On the one hand, rich people always assume they can solve any problem by throwing money at it, so I totally buy that Dani would surprise Bette instead of actually running the idea by her. On the other hand, isn’t Dani in PR? Wouldn’t that give her some awareness of the political climate?

  28. I would love to see some show take on addiction outside of the AA paradigm and go with something more evidence-based.

    • i don’t think people even realize how much of the common adages and assumptions that inform the cultural conversation around alcoholism and addiction come directly from AA (which is a great program for so many people and has saved or improved the lives of so many people including many people i love but is not the right fit for everybody) and not from doctors or science or medical research

  29. Wait. Sorry. I feel the urgency to comment only minutes into watching this episode. I’m so baffled. Why did the writers of this show write themselves into such a corner of timeline inconsistencies? We see the protest scene. We see Alice and Sophie talking about how Finley and Sophie got in a fight last night (indicating yesterday was the book launch and the night Finley walked out), and then in the next scene Dani looks at a paper that discusses the protest and says “I can’t believe this happened yesterday.” So YESTERDAY (the endless day with a book launch that seemingly happened both in the daytime and at nighttime during last week’s mess of an episode with 40 other concurrent plot lines also happening in parallel during impossible timelining) also included Bette and Pippa post-coital deciding to “burn it down,” organizing a massive anti-Nunez protest, and gathering everyone at the CAC during daylight hours so that Pippa could attribute collective organizing to singular hero figure Bette Porter. The only think holding the timeline to the “EVERYTHING HAPPENED YESTERDAY” constraint is Finley’s disappearance, which…like…maybe that’s an indication that you need to give that Sophie/Finley plotline a little more in-storyworld time to get where you’re trying to get it so that not everything is muddled by totally impossible timelines and baffling character decisions.

    SHOW ME THE TIMETURNER. That has to be where this season is going, right? And the thing that might redeem it all? Grown up Hermione Granger shows up at Dana’s with a Timeturner and is like, “hey, you guys want this?” And then she leads Gigi into the back room, but not before casting a spell that has all of the Dos Equis bottles from The L Word season 1 replaced with poker games.

    (number of times I have seen lesbians drink Dos Equis in real life:number of times featured on the L Word::number of times I have seen lesbians play poker in real life:number of times featured on the L Word: Generation Q)

    First time commenter. Billionth time “baffled by this show.” Always appreciate the recaps.

    • you will not be surprised to learn that i have mapped out the entire timeline of this season and it is bananas and i will be sharing my research shortly

      • I was – in fact – ready to go down a wormhole to make that timeline myself and had half a mind to block off a weekend to make one (painstakingly rewatching and mapping each individual plotline) if not. Thank you for your work and for the impending research share.

  30. My kingdom for a screenshot caption about the legendary graduation of infamous prom disturber Donna Martin! Bless you, Riese.

    Once again, they’ve set up a series of plot points no one would ever believe:
    As if Finley would even know where Dani’s new apartment is! As if she would go there!
    As if Sophie would call the cops before she thought to call hospitals!
    As if That Bitch Yesenia would ever take Jordi’s crown! (Biggest letdown of the season, TBH)

      • Thank you! It was brilliantly deployed and totally made my day.

        Fun fact: eons ago when I registered to comment on Autostraddle I couldn’t think of a username and then my friend and his boyfriend were watching the Donna Martin Graduates episode on their pirated 90210 DVDs and one thing led to another.


  31. When Finley is one of the only central characters to be on the show who presents as masc/androgynous, I hate that she is given this personification and storyline. Nobody has shown her real compassion other than Rebecca, especially not the writers. For watchers who identify with her the most (raises hand), it hurts that this is what they choose to do to her character. I can’t help but believe that if she had long hair, dressed differently, i.e. overall presented more femme or according to normative societal standards of beauty, other characters would be treating her with much more kindness and understanding. Obviously I am projecting, but she is the closest we get to a non-binary character, and it’s not a good look that the writers are this cruel to her.

    • Three things:

      1. Non-binary is a gender identity (or orientation to gender), it is not a gender presentation. “She’s the closest we get to a non-binary character” is such a silly thing to say. Identity is not presentation.

      2. Shane’s presentation is just as masc/andro and she’s not treated poorly at all by the narrative.

      3. Sophie’s presentation is also arguably as masc/androgynous, and the narrative treats her poorly, so Finley isn’t being singled out. How are the writers “cruel to her” when episode 2 had every person she came across telling her how she fucked up but she’s forgiven? Wasn’t she called a baby deer? Didn’t someone say that she’s hard not to love? Let me be clear that the writing on this show is atrocious, but there’s no evidence that Finley is getting a particularly shitty end of the stick.

      Y’all see a blonde white queer and lose your minds.

      • Thanks for saying that. Non-binary people can be AFAB and femme, or AMAB and masc and it doesn’t make them not non-binary. And butch women are still just as much women as feminine women.

      • Amen. It’s honestly just kinda racist to see Sophie RIGHT THERE and imply she’s not also masc. She wore a fucking suit to her wedding, we never see her wear dresses, heels or noticeable make up. She favours button downs and the occasional jumpsuit. Just because she wears her Afro long instead of buzzed she’s femme? Just because she’s curvy and not built like slim white Finley she’s femme? Come oooon man.

        • Your point and the one by “Identity is not presentation” is well taken. However, Sophie has been wearing make-up on several occasions. And to me, personally, rather tight clothing (as Sophie’s character usually wears) does not register as masc.
          Shane is more androgynous than butch, which is what has been stated by the writing team and in this instance, I agree with that.

        • I am not sure I understand what is racist in Sage’s comment. Because Sophie wears her afro long? Some white butches also have long hair. For what it is worth, I am not here to pick a fight, I am genuinely interested in understanding your point.

    • Sage, thank you for this important point. I agree with you wholeheartedly and you expressed it really well. Happy to see your comment in this section :)

  32. Ok first off someone needs to give Dani Lena Luther’s number ASAP, she can help with this whole company/family legacy mess 😂

    Bette is a real anti-hero this year isn’t she? I totally get that she’s the most self involved, self important person in the show but I like that they’re just embracing this now, like she’s completely making Pippas life, art and achievements centred around her and they’ve been together for two seconds. It’s good because it relates back to her checklist and exactly what Alice and Shane said earlier in the season and what Tina has been saying all along, you just get swallowed up in Bettes orbit.

    Also can we just LOL for a second at Tina?!? Bickering in the kitchen, asking Bette that RIDIC question about fighting MAs wife, and then the way she answered the door to Pippa in Bettes/her old house right?!! WHAT?!? And then being like, OH HI! Bette took me on a date to one of your shows 😂

    Also Bette and Tina just standing there watching the CPR was so gross and unrealistic.

  33. I’m confused, was Alice not an out bisexual?? I thought that was well-known amongst her friends and coworkers, and I would have thought that Alice would have been open about that with regards to her career. Did the press just assume she was a lesbian because she’s only really dated women for a while and because she talks a lot about queer women on her show? Did she not say she was bisexual in her book?

    • Who writes this show? Who hired the writers? The show lacks any coherence. There is no substance, life, humor, comedy or believable emotions. There is no maturity and growth. Characters that do not have a normative beauty standard are shown in the worst possible way. “Hey if you’re not a femme you sucks”. What do they do with couples? They make up anything stupid to break them up and get them to have sex with other people. Also, this show managed to objectify Bette and I think: Did Jennifer Beals accept that? How does this dialogue with Bette from season one and Bette from OG season six? What was the story of Bette having sex with her twin sister (Gigi) other than a fetish? Gigi is a sexual device for the other characters. Let’s talk about fetishizing lesbians and queers?

    • when tom was working on book edits he asked her about being bisexual, which would indeed suggest this topic would be covered in her book. but idk, she says she wrote a chapter about Dana and the chapter about Dana is really just like one of those greeting cards with the sunsets and the really long poems that say the same thing over and over again and the title of it is like “In Grief, We Survive”

  34. Surely somewhere in her autobiography Alice mentioned that she’s bisexual?

    I also wasn’t a huge fan of Gigi in the first season, but now I just need her to find a girlfriend that actually wants to be in a relationship with her and not just use her.

    I also can’t tell if we’re meant to think that Angie and Jordi are a good fit, but they’ve completely ruined that relationship with Jordi’s obsession with prom. Jordan Hull is an incredible actress though.

    The Finley storyline feels so mismanaged that I can’t bring myself to actually try to grapple with it.

  35. I did not find the Suarez’s reaction surprising. Just because they are supportive of Sophie does not mean that they’re magically also not transphobes. The one doesn’t really have to do with the other, I know of a lot of transphobic queer people.

  36. I was starting to think the unpleasant plot developments were in my head these past episodes. Lots of crucial moments to move the plot forward and missed opportunities to pursue interesting storylines. Not to speak of the underutilised characters and unhelpfully prolonged plot points! With just two episodes left, I’m worried there can be no redemption.

  37. Tina immediately asking Bette if she’s still in love with her once it dawned on her was BOLD. I was actually impressed. She feels more on the same level as Bette now, which makes me reluctantly accept them getting back together (so clear it’s happening).

  38. The incredibly mishandled Finley addiction storyline happening in the same episode where NUMEROUS ADULT PEOPLE bring alcohol to give to TEENAGERS with zero qualms is just… a lot

  39. A mighty fiiiine life! Carryin the banner tru it all.

    Oh lord, I could have stopped at that first caption. Dayenu.

  40. For some inexplicable reason, Gen Q has moved to Monday nights in Canada so I had to wait extra long to watch! Not worth the wait, jfc. The plotlines are spinning so fast and out of control–give us some space and time! Let things breathe! As you say Riese, show don’t tell! All my favs are up in nonsensical flames.

  41. Tina to Bette: “Why do you have a problem with Carrie?”
    My butch partner, in Bette voice: “Because I HATE BUTCHES!!!”

    Also I’m starting to wonder why Micah is into Maribel. She’s so mean all the time :(

  42. Sophie is not doing the bare minimum.. she doing the most for a loser. She’s fucking housing and feeding moocher ass Finley. Finley uses everyone around her because they’re charmed by her. Who the hell just moves into someones house for free and volunteers on the side. Like when she went to live with Shane despite Shane protesting that. Finley may be “nice” but she is not kind.

    • Wow. Tell us how you really feel about people with mental health and substance abuse issues… you’re neither nice nor kind. Go find some basic empathy somewhere please. You’re clearly not into mutual aid or anti capitalism… that’s really my major problem with this show, the people behind the scenes and the majority of its viewers. Where are all the radical queers?! Queer liberation not rainbow capitalism!!

  43. What a poor intervention, Jeff and Candy would not be impressed at all! (This was not a good season for Micah’s professional skills.)

    So Shane didn’t want to tell Tina about Carrie’s cold feet but she was willing to tell Bette? Really?

    I’m glad Pippa clocked Bette’s Tina torch before she got too invested. Bette has come to remind me of the children on Transparent, I always rooted for their romantic prospects to escape.

    I hope the Jordi doubters are taking several seats. It’s too bad this 16 year old girl is doing more to support Angie than her chaotic moms…

    I still want them to renew the show so we can spend more time with Gigi’s lips.

    Thank you Riese for a season of magnificent recaps. Whenever an episode is terrible (so most of them) I feel very bad specifically for you and your fellow podcast hosts. We should all donate to the fundraiser as a consolation.

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