Hey we made it to Official Spooky Season! Way to go, queers! Starting next week, it’s gonna be so many monsters and vampires and Rockford Peaches costumes! But first — Kayla’s got another ALOTO Style Thief for you; this time, it’s butch icons Lupe and Jesss. Shelli rounded up a bunch of queers eating wings on Hot Ones. Riese got us caught up on all the latest Gen Q rumors and news. Heather reviewed the shockingly gay Reboot. And Drew had plenty of laughs about Billy Eichner’s new gay rom-com, Bros.
Notes from the TV Team
+ We didn’t get to see much of Nova this week on Queen Sugar but we do get a return appearance from Brian Michael Smith as Ralph Angel’s childhood friend, Toine. A lot’s changed since we last saw him: he’s married, he’s left the police force, he’s co-directing an LGBT center and he’s a brand new daddy. An actual daddy not just a daddy daddy. It was very cute. — Natalie
+ Niecy Nash’s new show, The Rookie: Feds, premiered this week. In it, Nash plays Simone Clark, a high school guidance counselor who becomes the FBI’s oldest rookie…and while there wasn’t much time spent on her personal life, we know Simone’s bisexuality will be part of this show in the future. The show strains credulity at points but it’s salvaged by Nash’s unrelenting charm.
One unexpected moment from the debut? The introduction of another queer character. Elena, the tech support for Simone’s FBI team. I’m excited for Simone to have her own Baby Gay to mentor/corrupt. — Natalie
+ New/Returning shows over the next week: Queer for Fear (Shudder), The Equalizer (CBS), Station 19 (ABC) and Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) — Natalie
+ Not much to report from Big Sky episode 302: The Woods Are Lovely, Dark and Deep. I never watched Supernatural so I’m not necessarily a Jensen Ackles girlie but when Beau was sitting around chatting with Jenny and Cassie, I couldn’t help but recite one of my favorite TV mantras: When in doubt, throuple it out! — Valerie Anne
+ She-Hulk 107: The Retreat was a dating episode but alas we still don’t know who Nikki has been going on dates with. The vibe of the episode was very, “If you don’t like me at my Jen, you don’t deserve me at my She-Hulk,” and I’m starting to think no man is worthy of She-Hulk. — Valerie Anne
+ This week on Star Trek: Lower Decks, Beckett meets Jennifer’s friends and it goes exactly as well as you think it will. It’s perfect and hilarious and I am just loving these two together. — Heather
NCIS: Hawai’i 202: “Blind Curves”
Written by Natalie
The last time Kate Whistler and Lucy Tara tried to make a relationship work, Kate didn’t want anyone to know. She’d never been the most expressive person anyway and, besides, she had her career to consider. But this is a different Kate — a Kate that’s truly in love — and all she wants to do now is tell the world about it, starting with her boss.
The admission catches Lucy completely off-guard but when Kate tells her there’s an FBI barbecue coming up that she wants to bring her along to, Lucy’s sold. There is one catch, though, Kate admits: she could be removed from her role as NCIS liaison if her boss feels like it could be a conflict of interest. Before they can talk more about it, Lucy’s called away on a case. She leaves Kate with a kiss and an assurance that she’s doing the right thing.
Or at least that’s what she tells Kate…because, inside, she’s freaking out a little. As she explains the situation to Jesse, Lucy begins to ponder all the what ifs — what if Kate can’t be the NCIS liaison, what if not working together drives them apart — but Jesse persuades her that they’ll adjust, whatever happens. He’s not surprised to hear that Kate’s worried too: even though she went “full Adele in front of [their] entire team but she wasn’t always that person.”
Later Kate stops by the NCIS office to drop off some information about a suspect and Jesse takes her presence as proof that her work with the team will continue. She acknowledges that her boss found no conflict — she just has fill out a form to disclose the relationship — but laments that her boss assumed the NCIS Special Agent she was dating was a man and she didn’t correct him. Jesse assures Kate that the bad assumption was her boss’ fault, not hers, and she shouldn’t worry about it. Apparently, Jesse’s making a play for Ernie’s spot as captain of the Kacy ship. I approve.
Before they head to the FBI barbecue, Kate explains what happened with her boss, including his expectation that Kate will be showing up with a man. Lucy’s surprised but she assures Kate that everything will be fine. Kate remains unconvinced. But it’s just her nerves talking — Kate’s never introduced a girlfriend to her co-workers before — and Lucy promises to be by her side throughout every awkward moment.
9-1-1 602: “Crash & Learn”
Written by Natalie
On her first day at Station 118, Henrietta Wilson’s then-captain introduced her to the firefighters as a “diversity hire.” They hadn’t even bothered to take to the ping pong table out of the makeshift woman’s locker room but, if she lasted a week, they assured her they’d move it. Over time, Hen would prove that she belonged but when Bobby gives her a shot to temporarily sit in the Captain’s chair — the same chair from which her then-captain was ousted because of his abuse — Hen can’t pass it up.
But should she? Absolutely. With her regular shifts, medical school, and her family all demanding her attention, Hen should absolutely say no to a thing that promises her more work. But she doesn’t; instead, she assures Chimney that she’s got this: utilizing her insane time management skills, she can find a way to balance it all.
Hen leads the team on calls, she splits her downtime between filling out paperwork and studying her notecards. She sets reminders to alert her of when to focus on another subject. She eats and grabs sleep whenever and wherever she can. For a while, it seems like it works — maybe Henrietta Wilson really can have it all — but then it doesn’t. She struggles through her neurology exam and on the drive home afterwards, she falls asleep at the wheel. She narrowly avoids an accident and while that should spark a realization in Hen, she just keeps trudging forward.
At the next call, though, things start to fall apart, literally and figuratively. The collapse of a walkway at a Happiness convention (oh, the irony) forces the interim captain to redirect resources from a dying man to a young convention staffer with a greater chance of survival. The man’s death weighs heavily on Buck and Hen…and when he can’t figure out the dying man’s declaration, Buck turns to Hen for the answers. She always has the answers, he notes. But Hen doesn’t…not this time and not lately…including, unfortunately, on that neurology exam. Hen returns home and realizes that she forgot to pick up her son for his robotics meet. Karen was there to pick up the slack but for Hen, it’s just another thing she’s failed at. Finally, the dam breaks and Hen dissolves into tears in front of her wife.
After a nap, Hen tells Karen the truth: she can’t do this anymore. Her failed neurology final means she might have to repeat her second year in med school. She admits that these last few weeks have almost killed her. Karen assumes she’s being hyperbolic but when Hen explains about the near accident, she puts her foot down: Hen has to chose between being a doctor and being a firefighter.
New Amsterdam 502: “Hook, Line, and Sinker”
Written by Natalie
A few minutes into this week’s episode of New Amsterdam, Lauren Bloom runs into Mark Walsh in the hall. Not today, he says. Casey’s out of town and he won’t take his place as Lauren’s gossip buddy. He urges her to talk to literally anyone else in the Emergency Department. But, of course, Lauren is undeterred and shares her gossip anyway.
“Speaking of our department, Leyla’s visa finally got approved which means — drumroll please — she’s finally moving out of my apartment and into her own place,” Lauren explains. She says it with zero affectation in her voice. No sadness, no anger, no emotion at all really…she just says it, as if it’s just an ordinary thing. And just like that, Leyla and Lauren’s relationship — both personal and professional, presumably — is over.
It’s not a surprise that it’s over: I concluded as much last week and New Amsterdam‘s showrunner, David Schulner, confirmed it in an interview with TV Line. He said, “We told their story for two seasons, and they changed each other in such profound ways.”
Profound? Really? What about the way that this show ended their relationship felt profound? You wouldn’t know, watching this episode, that Lauren and Leyla were once deeply in love. You wouldn’t know, watching this episode, that Leyla brought another woman into Lauren’s home. You wouldn’t know, watching this episode, that Leyla owes Lauren a substantial amount of money (ah, the old white savior trope). Lauren’s not given any space to have feelings about any of it; their relationship was treated like something that didn’t matter. It was not profound, it was cheapened.
And, in a great bit of television irony, Lauren’s journey to collect her things to move back into her Leyla-free apartment takes her to her sister’s apartment…a sister played by Kathryn Prescott AKA Emily Fitch AKA the Queen of queer storylines cheapened by showrunners who thought they were doing something profound. Maybe the actresses can commiserate together.
(Note: To be clear, I’m not objecting to the break-up. They should’ve broken up and I’ve said as much. I’m objecting to the how of it all.)
Vampire Academy 106: “Molnija”
Written by Valerie Anne
In the wake of the training exercise gone wrong, the overall mood of the titular vampire academy is bleak, despite the fact that they’re getting ready for a Royal Tour which is basically another excuse for rich fancy vampires to show off how rich and fancy they are. As Mia gets ready to leave, Sonya encourages Mia to spend as much time with Meredith as she can before it’s too late. But then Meredith gets in trouble for unauthorized use of magic and can’t go on the tour at all. Instead she gets an archaic punishment and gets her hands branded. Yikes!
It’s probably for the best she didn’t go, because on the way back from one party, Lissa and Meredith’s caravan gets trapped in a tunnel by strigoi. The Royals have worked hard to paint these vamps as wild animals with no critical thinking skills and no pack mentality, but I think what we’ve learned here is that they can plan and cooperate and target their attacks, so they better stop underestimating them.
During the attack, Meredith gets slashed and Lissa tries to single-handedly save us from a Bury Your Gays trope but is pulled away before she can heal her. When Mia hears Meredith was hurt, she drops her magic lesson in a heartbeat to be by her side. And luckily, Meredith’s injuries weren’t life-threatening, so she can gaze softly into Mia’s eyes as she says any punishment is worth it if it means protecting Meredith.
And taking her sister’s advice, Mia wastes no more time and kisses Meredith, who happily kisses her back. It’s very sweet and cute and even though Mia wasn’t my favorite in the first few episodes, I’ve grown rather fond of this lost little wannabe princess and her knight in shining tactical gear.
Monarch 103: “Show Them Who You Are, Baby”
Written by Heather
Hahahaha! Okay. Oh, man, okay. So. This week Gigi sees Nicky clomping around in a pair of Dottie’s old cowboy boots at, like, Tanya Tucker’s costume shop? I don’t know, it’s unclear where they are. Some kind of Country Queen warehouse where I guess Tanya and Reba and Dolly and Martina and Dottie keep their old clothes? Gigi demands that Nicky take those things right off her feet right this second, so she can take them home and flash back to the time she was clomping around in them as a child and Dottie demanded she take them off because YOU ARE NOTHING LIKE ME NOTHING LIKE ME, etc. Gigi punctuates the flashback by hurling the boots at the wall, where they shatter and reveal A THUMB DRIVE THAT WAS STASHED IN THE BOOT HEEL. (Too PLL to function.) She pops it into her laptop and uncovers a song about how Alibe cheated on Dottie, which Nicky simply cannot believe. Their marriage was perfect! Perfect! Gigi says that everyone besides her beloved wife cheats, so she’s not too surprised.
Nicky invites Kayla (said beloved wife) out to lunch to tell her she knows she’s sleeping with Luke. Kayla has absolutely zero chill about this. She keeps saying she loves Gigi, doesn’t want to hurt her, values their marriage above everything, please don’t tell, oh please. While she’s doing this pleading, she’s not: eating sushi, or: drinking sake. Nicky correctly surmises that her sister’s wife is pregnant with her brother’s baby and if you ever thought you’d live to see this day on a country music soap, no you did not. Nicky says she’ll handle it. I have no idea what that means, and honestly neither does she at this point, but Nicky’s clearly going to be following in her mama’s flame-throwing footsteps any day now.
Luckily Gigi remains blissfully unaware of her wife’s infidelity, which means she has the time and energy to make an absolute meal out of Lizzo’s “Juice” and Willie Nelson’s “Always On My Mind.” Beth Ditto remains 100% the best part of this show and my own personal (fictional) queen of country music. I especially loved this week how she said, with a straight face, “Well. Mama made you kill her.”