WARNING: Extreme spoilers for Episode 126 of Critical Role afoot!
When we first met Beauregard Lionett, she was a womanizing jock who loved to flirt with any lady she met, laugh with her pals, and pop pop a bad guy in the jaw whenever she could. She was a former rebellious teen, a reckless young adult, and was just here to have a good time. The first time Yasha met Beau, the small human dramatically played up an injury so the hulking barbarian would carry her in her perfectly sculpted arms. But somewhere along the line things changed. They evolved from joking flirtations to gentle conversations. Beau went from a twinge of distrust when Yasha was in Obann’s control, to sympathy for the guilt Yasha carries. To forgiveness. And Beau went from one-night stands to planning an elaborate, thoughtful date for the girl she liked.
Somewhere between when Beau and Yasha realized they had feelings for each other and last week’s date, each of them had conversations with other members of the Mighty Nein. Jester helped Yasha write a poem for Beau, Beau confided in Fjord. But Yasha lacked the self-confidence to feel like she’s earned the right to make the first move on the woman she has hurt before (albeit not of her own accord), and Beau didn’t want to rush Yasha into moving on from her dead wife too quickly. Since both of them told Jester where they stood but not each other, Jester intervened juuuust a little and told Beau that even though she wanted to leave it to Yasha to make the first move, Beau had to at least make it clear she was open for that move. So eventually, amidst the chaos of their tasks to stop the Tomb Takers, Beau asked Yasha on a date.
Beau had Caleb change up the look of their wizard tower for the night to her specifications, designed specifically to follow the trajectory of Beau and Yasha’s history, complete with a fight against some dachshund ninjas. They finally got time to be alone and talk and it was so great and so gay.
Yasha explained a little about why she’s been moving so slowly when it comes to Beau. She knows the risk of loving someone when you have enemies after you. She knows how showing she cares about Beau could put a target on her back. But I think maybe she’s also starting to know that Beau can handle it. That, together, they can handle it.
— Anna Nguyen (@thezenanna) February 21, 2021
Yasha said she fell in love with Beau when they went to her hometown and Yasha saw where Beau came from, met her parents, saw how she was raised, got a better understanding of how she grew up. Yasha got a glimpse into some of the shit Beau has been through, and looked again at the badass, strong, hilarious woman Beau grew up to be, and she started to fall in love. And it makes sense to me that Yasha, someone who has been through so much and is struggling with figuring out what the things she’s done mean about who she is, would admire Beau’s strength and determination to be her own person. Yasha looked at Beau and saw that maybe it’s possible that your past doesn’t have to define you.
And even though Beau reiterated to Yasha that she has zero expectations, that she will move as slowly as Yasha needs, Jester proved to be right and just opening herself up to the possibility gave Yasha the push she needed to make the first move.
— ARSEQUEEF (@ArseQueef) February 19, 2021
So they finally kissed, and everyone at the table cheered. Beau and Yasha fought side by side and they kissed some more and there was even a throwback to the mirrored bed in Beau’s room. I was feeling very “everything is gay and nothing hurts” by the end of it.
Last time I wrote about Critical Role, I had only played a few one-shots of D&D. Two years later, I’ve been part of three campaigns, all of them exclusively with queer women and non-binary people. Queerness is embedded in the games, just like its embedded in our lives, and because we rule this fictional world we’ve created, everyone is assumed queer (even the NPCs) unless they state otherwise. No one has to come out in our games, we can just live our best queer lives in our fictional safe space because we’ve created a literal safe space. We explore our characters’ pasts and presents, their relationships with each other, and work out our motivations together week after week. We have some games where we’re laughing so hard we cry, we have some games that require more serious or intense conversations. We are open and generous and just so, so queer. It had brought me closer to friends I’ve known for years and made people I barely knew two years ago some of the best friends I’ve ever had, and, not to be dramatic, but it’s one of the only reasons I survived 2020.
— Vic Iddstar Hill – The Doodle-Pip Panda (@Iddstar) February 20, 2021
Playing D&D, especially in a way that’s role-play heavy the way Critical Role is, requires both emotional intimacy and trust. It’s clear to me that Ashley and Marisha trust each other, and trust the rest of the table, too, and it’s so wonderful to witness. Ashley is a quieter player in general, not one to speak up too much during group conversations unless addressed directly, but this episode showed more than ever that just because she’s often quiet doesn’t mean Ashley isn’t thinking deeply about Yasha’s feelings and relationships. It was so lovely for Marisha to give her this space to be able to share them with all of us. Because it was as much fun to watch them go on this date as it was to watch my queer friends react to it one by one as we all watched. It felt so much like how my friends and I play the game, with story and inter-player dynamics being as important as any battle or baddie, if not more. It was such a beautiful, fun, emotional, hilarious, exciting hour of Critical Role, and it was all about two lesbians in love.
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