Welcome to the fourth recap of the third 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 super-fan of a lesbian tennis star who aggressively pursued a romantic relationship with said tennis star, moved into her apartment, killed her cat, got engaged to her, began planning their wedding as the world’s first corporate sponsored lesbian wedding and then left her for Melissa Rivers.
This week’s episode brought us the best of times and it also brought us the worst of times. It was mostly really really wonderful but there were some scenes I didn’t love so I would like to warn you off the bat that in this L Word: Generation Q Episode 304 Recap, “Last To Know,” I have a LOT OF OPINIONS! Fortunately, I no longer have covid, although my girlfriend still does have covid. Laughing loving coughing breathing coughing dreaming. You know the drill.
Well, it’s spooky season in Los Angeles, which we know because the lyrics to the episode’s opening track are “it’s spooky season.” We see skeletons baking in front yards, doors decked out with pumpkin lanterns and, finally, at the Dana Fairbanks Memorial Tavern, some seasonal decor in the background of what appears to be a brunch date between Sophie, Finley and Dani. Before Dani arrives, Sophie warns Finley that Dani’s likely in a delicate spiral of depression.
But the Dani that walks through the door to Dana’s is in no such dark place. She is radiant, her eyebrows are full, her pants are high-waisted, her midriff is exposed, her separates are coordinated and she’s jazzed that her friend Roxy’s coming to town any minute now to join her in “going hard” for Halloween.
Sophie explains to Finley that Roxy is Dani’s “bad friend.” You know the bad friend!
Sophie: Last time [Roxy] was here you guys ended up in an orgy in San Luis Obispo.
Dani: That was actually a leather party in the valley and it was fun!
I love this for Dani. While Finley, who’s nailed a few jokes in this convo already, is describing how she herself is generally the “fun friend,” Roxy arrives earlier than anticipated. Dani screams. Roxy calls Dani “D-Bag”? I’m calling security.
Roxy’s played by Paula Andrea Placido, a queer actor you may recognize from playing Hannah’s hot subletter in Hacks and Debbie’s hot bartender in Shameless.
The sweet buzz of an electric toothbrush ushers us into Alice’s boudoir, where my favorite Alice outfit of the season thus far is so cute that Taylor — in a gauzy Aerosmith tee and joggers with adorable bedhead — is immediately intimidated by Alice’s seemingly effortless togetherness, referring to herself as a “Walking Dead extra.”
Apparently Taylor and Alice have been doing the horizontal mambo for three days and now Alice wants to decorate her house for Halloween on the day of Halloween so they can stay inside and watch horror movies.
Alice dashes to the kitchen to make Taylor some coffee. “Do you have any —” Taylor begins before letting the final words “contact solution” fade into the ether. Taylor, Alice wears glasses so therefore Alice must also wear contacts and therefore definitely has contact solution!
Meanwhile at the Shess Shack, Shane has transformed Peppermint Patty into Dolly Parton and she looks fantastic. Also Shane made breakfast. Unfortunately, Shane did not give Patty a spoon!!! How is she supposed to eat without her spoon?????!!!
Tess is unmoved by Shane’s costuming skills and ignores her questions about their dinner date that evening because she’s too absorbed with her own business — such as a meeting with the contractor for ill-advised Bar #2, taking her Mom for a walk around the reservoir and remembering what her Mom wore for Halloween last year.
Maribel is an avocado! Micah is not an avocado, even though Maribel wanted him to be an avocado. They’re gonna go meet the “only trans and non-binary parents that [they] know” and Micah thinks he won’t be able to ask serious questions about raising and birthing children if he is dressed like an avocado.
We then return to the sullied unhallowed halls of California University, where we’re meeting Angie’s roommate, Bella, not to be confused with Bella Swan or The Bellas from Pitch Perfect. Bella has a big announcement: she just got her first ever paid gig as an actor and she needs Angie to attend her performance that very evening! Angie lies that she’s gotta study and can’t make it, which means she’s obviously hanging out with her teacher/boyfriend.
Indeed, we are then treated to some kind of academic situation where Angie’s pitching a project and then the class ends and she approaches Hendrix Hendrix with remarkable confidence and yanks on his shirt. “How do you always smell so good?” he says to my daughter Angie while I ride a scooter into a lake used as a dumping site for toxic chemicals and whisper as I drown, it was my time to go.
We cut to a Halloween party chock-full of tiny humans, aka children, where Maribel and Micah have arrived. They’ve barely crossed the threshold when a child vomits on Micah’s shoe and is immediately swept up into the arms of Maribel’s work friend, Reese (played by non-binary actor Armand Fields, who you may recognize from Queer as Folk and/or Work in Progress), and they are both in dinosaur onesies which is really cute! Also I have never heard someone speak my own name in a scripted television program before and it’s very strange!
…and then AND THEN AND THEN AND THEN AND THEN AND THEN we meet Reese’s partner. Max.
For those of you who are new to the program, Max Sweeny (played by Daniel Sea) is a character from the original series:
Max served as an introduction to trans masculinity for a huge swath of mid-aughts queers, which was good in some ways but also bad in many ways because the stories they wrote for him often perpetuated dangerous and insidious stereotypes about trans people and also were very othering and sad!
Daniel spoke to Drew at length about their experience on the show in 2021, and I’m just so grateful that a space was made for his character to come back and exist and be held and honored and treated with respect and dignity and given a full life and a happy ending, to be a trans elder for Micah. I teared up for all of that! (Also, Drew interviewed Daniel about this episode and you can read her interview with Daniel Sea right here!)
Um so, Angie and her teacher are in costumes and that makes Angie think nobody will recognize either of them and therefore they can hold hands.
He says his novel was a flop and nobody read it but of course Angie has been listening to it on audiobook when she could be reading something else, like Sisterhood is Powerful. They happen upon a haunted house and Angie’s dying to head in and convinces this man to come with her. Hopefully a ghoul will leap out at him and whisper in his ear “don’t date your student” and then a witch will cackle like “hahaha you think your novel’s bad wait for your disciplinary hearing hahahahaha”
Well, the Dana Fairbanks Memorial Tavern is full of celebrants in resplendent Halloween costumes. But Dani, despite claiming earlier that she intended to “go hard” for Halloween, has opted for the world’s most basic Halloween costume: a sexy cat. Roxy is dressed as a person in a white muscle tee with a bunch of white makeup on her face. (I think she’s a vampire, I noted fangs later in the episode.) Despite their collective failures to summon suitable costumes, they will be shortly tearing into Sophie’s very creative hand-made costume! But first, Roxy comments on Shane being very hot, Dani says Shane’s got a serious girlfriend, and Sophie mutters “she’d probably sleep with you anyhow.”
Finley says no way, Shane and Tess are basically married, as if cheating is not a very popular activity for married people. Sophie leans in closer to her bartender beau and says she “kinda saw something” the other day and Finley brushes her off as absolutely bananas. Finley, by the way, is looking fantastic in what I am going to assume is a James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause” costume:
Dani and Roxy get sent drinks from a stranger and Sophie’s curious why she’s been overlooked for free beverages — yes she has a girlfriend but strangers don’t know that — which her friends blame on her costume.
“Come on,” Sophie says. “Are you kidding me right now? Look at this shit right here. Look at this gangsta shit. I am raining cats and dogs! Come on, it’s funny!”
Sophie spent all day at Ross making that costume but her alleged friends say that “less is more” as they lead her into the back of the bar to ruin what I think is a masterful work of design that belongs in the display case of a local 4-H art show.
We then return to the Kids Halloween Party with Reese and Max and TBH I have known about Daniel Sea returning to this program for MONTHS and it has been KILLING ME to keep it a secret so I’m just really glad we are all here together finally.
So, in Daniel Sea’s 2021 interview with us, they did talk specifically about the pregnancy storyline in Season Six, and the show’s election “to leave Max pregnant and abandoned and never to have the resolution, comfort, and joy that could have been.”
Later on in the interview, they elaborate:
I didn’t even realize the joke was on me, because I just kept being so earnest like “oh my God how cool he’s going to be pregnant! He’s going to have a baby! That’s so cool! He will have a bountiful life!” Then all of a sudden they have him dressed up like Willy Wonka and everyone’s making fun of him. It felt extremely confusing and awful. I didn’t expect it to go this way. I kept being hopeful. I was still naïve about that world.
Now, Max does have a bountiful life: he notes the “gay cis guy” who left him pregnant and alone who turned out to be “the worst,” and they explain that two of their other kids were Reese’s from their first marriage and then they adopted Phoenix from foster care. Micah asks about the names they use for themselves as parents — Reese is Damba, Max is Nibby, and:
Max: Yeah we just sort of figured — Dad’s just a sound? I mean the meaning is just made up.
Maribel: That’s really funny because for the longest time I thought “Dad” was just a person my Mom made up, so!
Reese: Same, honey… but girl you gotta get rid of that shit before the baby comes. Trust me, it’ll hit you when you least expect it.
Reese and Max talk about how helpful therapy was for them as individuals and as parents in a relationship, how it helped them get on the same page and ensure they had similar values. Micah is on board for this line of thinking but Maribel immediately withdraws.