Lip Service Episode 104 Recap: On The Razor’s Edge

While most stateside Autostraddlers were glued to their TV sets and TweetDecks having lots of HULKSMASH!-type feelings about the election, we expats living in the British Isles were able to console ourselves by watching the latest installment of Lip Service, because there’s nothing that will make you—at least, temporarily — feel better about the Religious Right taking power than watching hot Scottish ladies hook up with each other.

Exhibit A


Picking up from last week: Cat and Sam were a bit rocky because Cat still cares about Frankie, but they’re both still adorable anyway and do it on Sam’s office desk. Lou and Tess have a teary, awkward breakup, and Ed punched Lou’s douchey co-host in the face, and it was awesome. Frankie is still seeing Sketchy Sadie and now might also be dead/not really Frankie. Oh and apparently Republicans took the House.

Moving day arrives for Frankie and Tess, but in order to get Frankie back into the house alone with Cat, Tess left her mascara inside and so Frankie’s gotta be the butch and go fetch the thing. Then she’s gotta accidentally walk in on Sam in the shower. The verdict is in: this is the most awkward possible way that this could’ve happened.

This isn’t awkward for me at all. Because I’m a cop and could take you in a fight with a left hook and two cheeseburgers


Frankie, undeterred, decides to try Cat’s room where Cat’s in her bra, putting on makeup. Is it the mascara? No.  Frankie is smirking. They shakily reconcile. Sam interrupts and borrows Cat’s leopard-print bra. The existence of said bra seems rather out of character for Cat — perhaps a throwback to her wilder days when she was still dating Frankie? Perhaps a gift from someone who gives really tacky gifts? Regardless, IT’S A SIGN, Y’ALL.

Adorable professional couple heads to their respective big days at the office in smashing coats and matching briefcases. Awwww/barf.

Executive Lesbian Briefcase Cuteness.


They’re kissing in the alley when they spy a heterosexual creeping around (as heterosexuals are wont to do when they prey on innocents) and quickly disengage. It’s Cat’s boss, and he looks perturbed. This plotline is the first instance of issues surrounding homophobia and workplace discrimination we’ve seen on the show (other than Uncle Cameron).

At the office, Bossman confronts Cat about the intern/Ketamine incident. Like a bad ex-boyfriend, he’s found a way to take an unrelated but concrete problem and project it onto his abstract emotional discomfort about some aspect of Cat’s behavior or personality to seem legitimate and deserving of your ear. Why didn’t Cat notice that the Intern was a drug addict?!, he wants to know.

Alistair: And which of the noble Sapphic professions does sam belong to? Social worker, PE teacher, Freelance Yogurt-Maker?

Cat: She’s a detective sergeant.


Then he asks Cat about Sam. Alistair’s subtle discomfort/Cat’s struggle to be out at work while Jay tries to bang the intern certainly feels more realistic than other Gay Witch Hunt workplace TV scenarios. I’m interested to see where the show takes things with it, and to what degree it will carry any kind of anti-discrimination message.

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled Tess & Frankie and some really bad windblown hair.

There’s Something About Frankie.


They move into the new flat, which Shady Sadie found for them, and it is posh as hell. There’s even a set of bongos, which aren’t particularly posh, but could be fun/irritating for house parties.

A desperate Tess, at Frankie’s urging, attempts to start Internet dating on a site where you can look for “Friendship,” “Fun” or “Fisting.” Obviously anyone in their right mind is saying “FISTING” right now, amirite?

Subtle product placement is subtle.


Back at the office, Jay wants Cat to take the fall for the intern’s foray into drugs, and Frankie just DOESN’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT. She’s got this death certificate thing she can’t get over.

Cat, sensing something is awry, goes with Frankie to The Planet UK Trans-Europe Café to get the problem out of her.

Cat: Frank, fuck. This is — so — you’re not who they said? who they told you you were. It’s a total mindfuck.

Frank: Yeah yeah it is. But you know what, I’m not surprised.

Cat: Why’s that?

Frankie: I always knew that there was something they weren’t telling me. Some secret. Conversations would stop when I walked into room, closed doors and whisperings–

Cat: I’m just trying to make sense of it. This, and the photo album. So who is she? Your aunt wanted her to have the photos. Do you think she could be your mother? Your real mother?

So Frankie might not really be Frankie. Which means Frankie might actually be… wait for it…


Shit is getting real.

Anyhow, Cat asks Frankie if she wants Sam to do some “detective work” for Frankie because she’s a “detective.” Cat says Sam is her first “real adult relationship” which hurts Frankie’s feelings but actually should make her feel good because it means her skin is very taut and she’s maintaining her youthful vigor.



Aaaand another serious moment diffused by KNITTING! Tess’ attempts to get “back on the scene” aren’t going much better than Frankie’s attempt to “discover her true identity.” But after a day of panning for gold in the sea of sketchballs and fauxmosexuals, she settles (because nothing makes you appreciate a tasty microbrew like weeks of drinking Miller High Life) with the first non-threatening, semi-attractive (by which we mean Cyndi Lauper-meets-Alice-from-the-Brady-Bunch) lesbian who isn’t on the site for attention, to ‘experiment’ or please her man.

So Tess goes on this date and everything seems hunky dory (especially the hot girl at the bar who hits on Tess and tells her she looks familiar)…

I See You baby. Shaking that ass. Shaking that ass.


She returns to the home of the lady to make out instead of that girl up there what is confusing.

… until she gets home and undressed to find her date’s husband, Dougie, sitting there and eager to watch. Ick.

If I Hear the Term “She’s not bisexual, she’s bi-curious” one more time I’m going to get bi-furious


So not only does Tess fail to have a meaningful joyless hookup, but she ends up having to provide couples therapy on her way out.  RELATIONSHIP ADVICE on the way out. Oh, Tess. Will you ever win?

Actually, she might, because later on A CHALLENGER APPEARS and catches her eye. Why hello there new girl in wifebeater from the bar earlier.

Oh I’m just over here in my wifebeater with my breasts lookin’ hot


Although she and Hanes Herway are clearly going to hook up because when you shoot a close-up that mimics the Hungry Lesbian Longing Gaze, it’s totes foreshadowing.

Meanwhile, Ed is on a date with a girl in his creative writing class. They both love Philip Roth. This would be adorable if they weren’t both so painfully awkward. Ed also brings up Tess at least twice. Someone has unrequited feeeeelings (and isn’t it usually crushing on the gay guy on TV? This is an exciting twist, sort of. Not really. But Ed is still adorable.).

Also back at the office, the straight guy has a bill he can’t pay for something and Frankie’s hair looks as it usually does.


Coffee, Tea or Me? (Answer: Yes Please.)


Breakfast in bed! Not only is this another instance of Sam and Cat Being Adorbz, but it’s Cat’s way of acting on her guilty conscience for having lied to Sam about who she was gathering intelligence for (by “a secretary,” she meant “Frankie.”). Turns out the name from the address Frankie had been creeping on was an alias for Alma Carter, a small-time criminal and possibly Frankie’s real mother. Cat is really stressed. Also, IT’S LUNCH WITH THE FAMILY DAY SHE JUST REMEMBERED! The opportunities for stress are boundless!



We meet the folks at Cliché Posh Restaurant and discover that, among other things, Cat’s mom seems to totally favor Ed — the struggling, barely-employed writer is a “free spirit,” while Cat is put down for needing years of expensive training for her degree. She also says some pretty spectacular things about thinking Cat is autistic. She also mentions that Tess and Ed would make the perfect couple. Ed brings this up to Tess later. Awkward.

Later on, eaten alive by The Guilt!, Cat finally confesses to Sam that the information she wanted was for Frankie. Sam already knew, obvs. And then they make out in a cab (see first image). All is well in Sam and Cat Land. Sam tells Cat to be careful because the driver “reads the Daily Mail.” Cat don’t care.


Yes, in fact I DO feel that I can handle the truth


Frankie goes to confront Uncle Cameron, who obviously knows too much. He refuses to tell her anything, tells her to stop asking questions and also he is greeted by his new lady-friend who is wearing a lavender bathrobe. Dude. Dude.

Damn, Frankie. Shane’s got nothing on your emotional turmoil. Also, is Uncle Cameron’s sole purpose on the show to just be totally awful and an old-man foil for Frankie? Will we see any other character development with him at all? Signs point to ‘No.’

This was supposed to be screenshot of Frankie doing lines of coke but I couldn’t get it right


A now totally distraught Frankie meets up with Sadie, who has the keys to a client’s posh apartment for the night. Bottles begin popping, powders are snorted. Oh, Sadie, your life is a never-ending game of ‘Illegal, Or Just Frowned Upon?’

Frankie is still distraught (as one could imagine) and for a moment, ponders jumping off the balcony (at which point you could hear the entire lesbian population of Glasgow screaming ‘NOOOOOOO!’ at their telly sets).

Don’t Step Off From That Ledge My Friend


Sadie stops her, and then they get naked. In someone else’s bathtub. How the hell is Sadie a successful realtor when she keeps pulling stunts like this? I don’t even. So Frankie and Shady Sadie start canoodling in the bathtub and, based on the strap-on bit two episodes back, you know things are about to get a little bit freakier.

Tell Me Frankie Have You Ever Been Toed?

Like, you know, shaving. Yup, Frankie asks Sadie to shave in front of her. Sadie suggests that she keep a landing strip but Frankie wants to go for the whole enchilada. Then Frankie pulls out the camera. Frankie isn’t going to be the Annie Lebowitz of architecture, however, she’s gonna be the Annie Lebowitz of Shick.

This is a thing that happens. Behold, Gillette’s new marketing campaign!

I’m Your Venus, I’m Your Fire


As one can imagine, this does not end well. The neighbor comes by to feed the fish and our razor-happy duo gets caught.

Shane For Wax


So Frankie is wasted, Ed is heartbroken and Jay didn’t get his mortgage. The dejected retinue are then left to take comfort in one another. And also more booze. And drugs.

So basically it’s like Friends, but with hallucinogens.


And then, this happens:

Well then. Goodnight.

This ending leaves us with a whole lot of unanswered questions, like:

+ What’s gonna happen with Jay and Becky (or, conversely, Frankie and Sadie/Frankie and anyone)?
+ When are Tess and that girl gonna hook up?
+ Will Ed ever find twue wuv?
+ Will Frankie uncover the truth about her past?
+ Does anyone actually do any work at the architectural firm?

Tune in next week for the answers to these questions, and hopefully so much more.

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Lindsay Eanet

Lindsay Eanet (@lindsayeanet) is a Chicago-based writer, editor and performer. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, Paste, Howler, Chicago Magazine and others. She is the host & producer of I’ll Be There for You, a biweekly podcast about pop culture and coping. But enough about her, let’s talk about you.

Lindsay has written 34 articles for us.


  1. “So Frankie is wasted, Ed is heartbroken and Jay didn’t get his mortgage.”

    Yes, yes, and no. I’m 99% certain that Jay and Becky DO get the mortgage. Frankie asks if they didn’t get it and he corrects her, which is why he’s all commitment-phobic because now he’s locked in for thirty years and all he wants to do is coke and pretty young interns (and apparently his best friend?).

  2. What does it mean to be a Daily Mail reader? Also it’s kinda gross
    that Sadie’s using someone else’s razor.

    • Assuming you’re an American, the best way to describe a ‘Daily Mail reader’ to say it represents a physical version of Fox News. Think fuddy-duddy, right-wing, sexist, homophobic, racist, fat-phobic, thin-phobic, narrow-minded fucker… and you’ll have a Daily Mail reader.

      • Don’t forget the bad puns. Oh, the bad puns. Especially for things like women’s asses, breasts and bodies. They always use awful puns.

  3. Can I just say that the shaving thing made me super uncomfortable? Because I am pretty sure that Sadie was too busy making sexy face to really pay attention to what she was doing down there and that is a mighty sensitive area. One wrong slip and Frankie would have been the Robert Capa of pubic areas.

    • Massively agree. All the way through the shaving bit I thought it was leading up to a horrific accident…the music didn’t help with this either, but that might just be me.

      • I was highly relieved that the music seemed to be prefacing a police intervention and not reconstructive surgery.

  4. detective sergeant sam is with your shit re: shave-gate/sadie stunts/neighbour watch, frankie. UNIMPRESSED.


  5. So I think Sadie is prolly the hottest girl on this show (besides the whole shaving thing which made me twitchy thinking about her accidentally slipping or something). I love her, she’s absolutely crazy….maybe a bit like crazy Jenny?

  6. The shaving thing was icky… but it seems that the modus operandi of Lip Service is to cram in as many different sexual fantasies as possible. In Ep. 4 we got the taxi cab sex, the shaving/photography thing, and, of course, a lesbian-fucking-a-guy scenario.

    Lip Service makes the L Word look positively Emmy-award winning. Alas… I’m still watching it :)

  7. “I’m interested to see where the show takes things with it, and to what degree it will carry any kind of anti-discrimination message.”

    I think we can expect quite far – this is the BB “we love the gays, we’ve done tests to prove it and even though the tests were positive we’re still trying to prove it” C we’re talking about. (I know they didn’t write the script, but… ~trailing off because I don’t really have any more support for my own argument~)

  8. Just weighing in to add:
    1) yes, the problem (as defined by the show/writers) was definitely that Jay DID get the mortgage, not that he didn’t
    2) is it wrong that I never found Sadie attractive UNTIL the Shavegate scene? (tho in my defense it was not the shaving that did it but rather the damp hair and runny make-up being about 10 million times better than the super polished wig-like monstrosity she normally has on her head)
    3) I lol’d for a long time over your “Frankie is really Shane” joke….predictable, but oh so true.

  9. Am I the only one here who thinks Sadie is not hot? Too much makeup and she looks like a mannequin! This is a stupid question but I guess I’m gonna ask…. Don’t women use shaving cream when they shave down there?! Not using any shaving cream at all really scare me… Imagine all kinds of bumps, redness she is gonna get afterward… yikes.

  10. Now, the roof scene is practically identical to the one in the first(or second I don’t remember)episode of Queer as Folk. Also Frankie might look like Shane, but she acts exactly like Brian Kinney (see f*cks everything that moves,addicted to alchool an drugs,loves her best friend and punctually leaves to her the cleaning up of her sh..I mean messes).

    Am I the only one that when Frankie said “shave” taught “but WTF she has a wig on her head hasn’t she?”Ok, Guess it’s just me.

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