Drew just finished up her second year at Sundance, and she’s got reviews galore and also a recap of all the gayness; don’t miss ’em! Also, this week, Valerie Anne reviewed The Legend of Vox Machina and recapped an all new Legends of Tomorrow. Heather recapped a truly unhinged episode of And Just Like That. Nic took a trip to Lesbos with the queers of Batwoman. Kayla reviewed Archive 81. Analyssa reviewed Single Drunk Female. Drew recapped Euphoria and Drag Race. Riese ran down 18 shows to watch if you’re missing Yellowjackets. And Carmen wrote the most quickly popular post in the history of our website, about Golden Girls.
Notes from the TV Team:
+ Even when a special assignment forces them to work together this week, it’s clear: easy reunion is not in the cards for Lucy Tara and Kate Whitsler on NCIS: Hawai’i . Apologies are dismissed and boundaries reasserted. That said, the impact of the heartbreak is evident…with Tara taking out her hurt on little ol’ ladies in the coffee line and Kate being a bit more helpful to the team than usual. — Natalie
+ grown-ish returned from its midseason hiatus this week and the Cal U crew are counting down the days until graduation. But first, Nomi has to contend with the fact that her baby’s father is back in LA area and maybe, possibly might want a relationship with Luna. — Natalie
+ Last weeek on The Young and the Restless, Tessa got down on one knee and proposed to her longtime (in soap years) girlfriend, Mariah. This week, Mariah returned the favor, getting down on one knee and proposing to Tessa. As beautiful as the moment was, I was annoyed that it recalled a past that the audience had never been privy too. Plus, Mariah just carried another woman’s baby for nine months, now she has to deal with her crybaby brother? C’mon. — Natalie
+ I’m still slowly making my way through Letterkenny (trying to hoard the joy) and Tannis is pretty into her girlfriend, even asking Wayne to cover Zamboni duty so she can zam-bone her. Also Mrs. McMurray aka Melanie Scrofano returned to try to get Gail to flinch at her tales of a threesome with her husband and a woman they met once but Gail’s only qualms are with the third wheel wearing her socks during sex. I appreciate the random bits of queerness they sprinkle into this silly little Canadian show. — Valerie Anne
Claws 408: “Chapter Eight: Reckoning”
Written by Natalie
The walls are closing in on Desna Sims: she’s promised $100k — that she still has to scrape together — to Quiet Ann and discovered that her boyfriend — the guy who she brought into the fold — is DEA and he’s already arrested one of her Claws Up consultants. But just when Desna thinks things can’t get any worse, it does.
First, her boyfriend tries to lure her into a scheme to sell large qualities of oxy and heroin to a friend of his who works on the dark web. Thankfully Desna susses out that the meeting’s a set-up — the “friend” is also a DEA agent — and she doesn’t commit to anything. Then, her second in command, Jen, overdoses on oxy in the salon bathroom.
Meanwhile, Ann’s not-so-patiently waiting for her money. Cherry tries to make space in Ann’s new life for herself but Ann puts the kibosh on that: she has to do this on her own. In the grand lesbian tradition, Ann offers to stay friends but Cherry just walks away. Now, while I appreciate seeing queer romance on my screen as much as anyone but, honestly, I’m not sure why Ann’s relationship with Cherry (or Dr. Ken’s relationship with Selena) needed to take up valuable screentime during Claws‘ final season if it was going to end so abruptly.
But you know does want to stay friends with Ann? Uncle Daddy. The Palmetto gangster arrives as Cherry’s leaving with an apology for his behavior. He urges Ann not to believe the lunatic rantings of her kidnapper. He admits that he’s had ill intentions towards others but never her and invites her to rejoin their partnership. But Ann stays firm: she’s packing up all her stuff and leaving town tomorrow. He begrudgingly accepts Ann’s response but when he’s visited again by his dead wife’s ghost, it’s clear that Uncle Daddy’s obsession with Ann’s fetus isn’t quite over yet.
Jen’s overdose leads to a reunion of the original Nail Artisans crew and, suffice to say, it does not go well. It is, however, hilarious because as Jen starts to regain consciousness, she imagines the girls as puppets. Puppet Ann telling Puppet Desna that “your ego is as big as those felt titties” had me laughing so hard, I cried. Once Jen fully wakes up, everything returns to normal and the girls start to turn on each other: Jen (and Virginia) want out of the game and out of their toxic friendships.
Ann leaves with Desna to collect her $100k and, as they’re driving from bank to bank, Desna admits that she lost sight of what was important. Ann acknowledges that Desna’s driving force has always been protecting and taking care of everyone else. In that vein, Desna alerts Ann to the DEA’s investigation. The news means that everything Ann’s done to escape has been for naught and Ann walks away (literally) with nothing.
Well, not nothing…she’s still got information which she takes straight to Tony and the DEA for an immunity deal.
Naomi 103: “Zero to Sixty”
Written by Natalie
Naomi stands out among the CW’s other slate of comic book superhero shows. Through three episodes, there’s no badass supersuit, the show’s most menacing “villains” are the town’s used car salesman and the military stationed and there have been no elaborate, beautifully choreographed, fight scenes. Instead, the show hems close to the first season of the comics: focusing on Naomi uncovering the details of her existence and grappling with the realization that almost everything she thought she knew was a lie. She’s starting to train with Dee — it has a very Daniel/Mr. Miyagi vibe — so that she can learn to harness her powers but the show hasn’t even really shown us what those powers are (the result of her bridge jump from the second episode, for example, is never shown).
Which is all to say that watching Naomi — at least right now — means adjusting your expectations for what a superhero show should be…and enjoying the Scooby Doo gang mystery solving. This isn’t a superhero show, yet, it’s an origin story.
This week’s episode did bring two interesting developments: first, we learn more about Lourdes. After a random accident while on tour overseas, Lourdes was forced to drop out of school and help support her family. She’s still working towards her GED, though, and her old counselor at Port Oswego High urges her to keep college on the radar. So this week, when Naomi and her classmates skip out on a college tour to analyze the disk Naomi swiped from the aforementioned used car salesman, Lourdes is there to join them…to Naomi’s great delight and to Nathan’s consternation.
The disk turns out to be a fake — a transmutation, conjured from nothing — and explodes the college’s lab. The stunt gets Naomi in trouble with her parents who insist that she be home by 6PM. Of course, Naomi devotes her time to tracking down more information about the disk and misses her curfew. Her parents confront her when she gets home and she pretends she was with Lourdes getting help with her college essay. Only thing? She makes the rookie mistake of not telling Lourdes to cover for her and gets caught in a lie.
Later, Lourdes climbs through Naomi’s window with an apology (however unnecessary), some help with her college and some Zatanna comic books. She points out a storyline from the comic where Zatanna used a fire to conceal the artifact and wonders if the same thing happened with Naomi’s disk. Lourdes’ insight proves to be spot on so, instead of worrying about the disk she lost, Naomi focuses on decoding the disk she had by tracking down the translation key and comparing it to the picture.
The second interesting that happens in this episode? The debut of Akira AKA Stephanie March AKA ADA Alex Cabot. I know I said there weren’t any badass supersuits in Naomi yet but, on second thought, maybe the leather dress Akira’s wearing when we first meet her should qualify.
So far, we’re only getting small pieces of Akira’s story: she had a partnership with the aforementioned used car salesman, Zumbado, but he betrayed her. Now, though, he wants her help to harness Naomi’s powers and take back their planet.
New Amsterdam 414: “…Unto the Breach”
Written by Natalie
The title of this week’s episode is a reference to that famed soliloquy from Henry V as the King beseeches his troops to fight back against the French…”Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.” But for Lauren Bloom, the willingness to fight…the strength to head back into the breach…is waning. In the light of a new day, last week’s offer to resign — so that Leyla might continue her residency at New Amsterdam — seems less like a gift to her ex and more like Lauren’s gift to herself.
The pressure on Dr. Bloom amps up this week: with the memorial service for Dr. Kapoor, with the return of familiar faces to New Amsterdam — Casey, Max and Helen, most notably — and with the admittance of an overdose patient into the ED: Rohan, Dr. Kapoor’s son. Realizing that Rohan won’t survive another episode, Bloom induces a coma to buy herself some time to come up with a treatment solution.
Lauren escapes outside to get a coffee and some fresh air and Leyla finds her. In the time since we saw Leyla last, she’s gone from, “I can’t work with you, Lauren” to “I can handle you being here, us working together”…or at least, that’s what she says in an effort to make Lauren stay at New Amsterdam. Understandably, Leyla doesn’t want to be the reason Lauren leaves New Amsterdam but she doesn’t recognize how fragile Lauren is in this moment so, everything Leyla says — the ED depends on her, her patients will suffer without her, etc. — pushes Bloom closer to her breaking point.
She returns to Rohan’s bedside and Leyla updates her on his prognosis. Bloom orders a treatment and Leyla rushes out to get it, leaving Lauren alone with Rohan. She recognizes his symptoms and digs through his belongings and fishes out the pills she knew would be there. She pauses a minute, to consider what to do, then slips the pills into her pocket. When Rohan’s blood pressure spikes, she stops Leyla from delivering a potential deadly dose of beta blockers. Rohan’s tox screen what Lauren already knows: he overdosed on amphetamines.
Later, Lauren finally has a quiet moment and Helen asks how she is. Lauren fishes the pills out of her pocket and hands them to Helen. She admits that the hospital is threatening her sobriety and her sanity and confesses that she wants to leave…that she needs to leave…but, seemingly, everyone else needs her to stay. Helen notes that putting everyone’s needs above her own doesn’t seem fair but Lauren doesn’t think she deserves fairness. Helen urges her to stop punishing herself for whatever she did and just forgive herself.
“If you need to leave for your sobriety and for your sanity, then you go. Do you understand?” Helen beseeches. “Because nothing is more important.”
The message feels like it penetrates but when Fuentes confronts her about her resignation, Bloom relents and opts to stay. But since Fuentes is determined to punish Lauren for her involvement in “the resistance” — thanks, Floyd, for outing her — she accepts the resignation anyway.
Nancy Drew 312: “The Witch Tree Symbol”
Written by Valerie Anne
The trouble with Temperance is growing as we approach the Season 3 finale, and she’s doing her best to keep the Drew Crew at bay. For example, hexing the children at the youth center to keep Nick from telling Nancy what she’s up to.
Bess eventually figures it out because she’s clever but it makes the hex worse so they call Nancy for help. Now that they know Temperance’s reasons for wanting to find all the pieces of her daughter’s soul isn’t as motivated by motherly love as they thought, they have to play catch-up to stop her. They realize that she’s been up to no good for a long time, including sending people to the liminal space all willy nilly.
But they also know that Nancy is valuable to her, as a living descendant, so when they realize the hex can only be transferred, and that only Temperance can end it, Nancy tells Bess to transfer all the kids’ hexes to her. Sure enough, as soon as Temperance senses the shift, she undoes the hex, but she’s feeling pretty damn confident about her plan since she was on her way to use the Copperhead to collect another heart aka another piece of her daughter’s soul.
Later, when Bess is doing research about Temperance’s endgame and not loving what she sees, Nick calls her and asks her to tell Addy to take over the youth center. He’s crying and says he needs to rethink everything and frankly I am worried about him! Maybe the Drew Crew should all move into a house together to keep an eye on each other.
This feeling is solidified by the fact that the next descendent of Charity’s lover, the next keeper of Charity’s soul, is Ace. Which also begs the question; is it kismet or something more powerful that is drawing Ace and Nancy together? Only time will tell!
4400 110: “Give Up The Ghost”
Written by Shelli Nicole
We open on Jharrel being held in an interrogation room (and lowkey being tortured because they are playing a bunch of noises at high volumes) by Jessica, who confesses that his brother isn’t missing but that they have him.
Keisha meets up with Soraya but not for another date, she’s seeking help to find out exactly where the government has been keeping Jharrel. Soraya pretends she doesn’t know and offers to put her tech expert skills to use. Later on, Jharrel has figured out that they in fact don’t have Manny. Soraya interviews him and he officially learns she is a double agent. She pulls a move to show that maybe he can trust her and in the end they let him go. Turns out Jharrel was right all along, and it was his brother leaving him signs at the hotel, and technically — he is one of the 4400. In a flashback we see them having a conversation, Manny steps out, and while Jharrel is looking away a green light flashes behind him.
Elsewhere, Claudette is worried about the safety of the 4400 and Mildred is back — she’s a wanted woman since her stunt on the TV and has been in hiding ever since! Claudette takes her in and is surprised to learn that her powers are gone and that The Rev was the one who “took” them. Claudette thinks a makeover will help her blend while she’s on the run, but it causes Mildred to have a traumatic response as it triggers her thinking about being tested on in Ypsi Med, and it seems like she was also tested on in her time period too. Later on, Claudette shares her own story about fighting back and Mildred lets her give her the makeover after all. They then decide to make her the face of the 4400 who they want to inspire to fight back against those who are harming them.
Shanice and Doc are in bed, where she is spiraling because she wants to do right by everyone left in the hotel now that they are no longer under the government’s watch (well, you know). Then they have a tender moment where she talks about being thankful that her powers are gone, which is interrupted by a call from her daughter who sees the two of them in bed. She doesn’t seem to take issue with the two of them dating, and confesses to having a crush herself — on Mildred! They have a cute lil’ mom and daughter moment that made me pretty happy. She also offers to help set up a go fund me style page for the 4400 to help with the upkeep of the hotel and everyone in it.
There is a big storm outside and the government uses it as an opportunity to screw with the folks inside the hotel and cut their power, causing Keisha to be locked in an elevator with The Rev. After she calms him from a panic attack using skills she learned from her ex-girlfriend, Rev asks if she’s gay. Before he starts preaching to her (he literally says he has a problem not with the sinner but the sin) she cuts him off. He confesses he hasn’t reached out to his son because he’s gay and Keisha basically tells him to stop letting an old book get in the way of a relationship. Then with the help of Doc & Shanice’s ex-husband (who have a cute little bromance going on), they are rescued. Perfect timing too cause Keisha was not having any of The Rev’s chat about being gay.
We end the episode with Jharrel using all the clues Manny has left him, which lead to a room in the hotel. Manny suddenly appears (perhaps he has the power of invisibility?) and we get another nod to Detroit when Jharrel asks his long-lost brother with a smile —“What up doe lil’ bro?”