It’s October! Riese has released your monthly streaming guide; don’t miss that spooky treasure. Kayla is here and queer to tell you how to dress like a Rockford Peach for Halloween. Derry Girls finally has landed on Netflix US. It looks like we’re heading for a major time jump on The L Word: Generation Q. Valerie Anne revisited the scary movie sleepovers of her youth. Velma finally got for really real canonically gay. Drew bestowed another Slow Takes upon us. And Carmen did a little digging into the hopefully forthcoming lesbian shenanigans in Wakanda Forever.
Notes from the TV Team:
+ On Home Economics this week, Sarah and Denis really lean into the show’s title as they discover the difficulties of keeping up with their daughter’s new, rich, private school lifestyle. (They buy a vase off of their daughter’s friend’s mom, only to discover it cost $1.8k! Ouch.) — Carmen
+ This is technically not gay, but I just wanted to say that I’m really into the Grey’s Anatomy reboot so far? It’s like a Grey’s spin-off, “Grey’s Anatomy: The New Class” that’s just still nestled within the original? Which is, admittedly, a choice. But a choice that’s working for me thus far! And I loved all the callbacks to the original pilot. However! Where is Hot Doctor Kai??? The people demand to know! — Carmen
+ Im going to write up a full piece on it next week, but! I watched the new Nickelodeon Monster High movie — which you can watch on Nick or the Paramount+ app — and not only is there a main nonbinary character named Frankie, who steals the show, but also the whole thing is cute a a haunted button and another great magical allegory for being in the closet. Only this time, trans kids are welcomed at magic school! — Heather
NCIS: Hawai’i 203: “Stolen Valor”
Written by Natalie
Kate and Lucy start their day, as all loving couples do I presume, sparring with each other. Sensing that her girlfriend’s holding back, Lucy urges Kate to give their one-on-one combat training all she’s got. Kate worries that she’ll hurt Lucy — a legit concern, given their size difference — but the small wonder is cocky and convinced she’ll be fine. One battle cry and hip-toss later, Lucy’s on her back …an easy takedown of the more experienced field agent. A call from NCIS HQ interrupts their training session so Kate will just have to top Lucy some other time.
The team’s called to the scene of wreck where they find Lieutenant Commander Audrey Garrett, wearing her Navy dress whites, dead from the accident’s impact. Only thing? It turns out not to be LCDR Garrett and the wreck wasn’t an accident at all. The team tracks down the victim’s true identity — a Bulgarian immigrant named Vessela Toska — and connects her to a local cleaning service. Whistler downloads the team on the suspected criminal history of the service’s Bulgarian owner. Fearing that the crew might still be looking to leverage Garrett’s identity to get what they’re after, the team decides to send in an undercover agent who might be able to pass for Garrett…someone fair-skinned, athletic, tall. All eyes settle on Kate (hilariously, it takes Lucy the longest to see the resemblance).
Soon after accepting the assignment (and dying her hair brown), the newly minted field agent starts to doubt whether she can pull it off. Lucy assures Kate that she’ll do great and encourages her not to underestimate herself. Kate thanks Lucy with a kiss but before Lucy can follow-up with another, Kate turns and pulls out a massive FBI manual on going undercover.
Though Kate makes a few missteps in her first time undercover, she does manage to get a trial run with the other housekeepers. She initiates conversation with the other two cleaners in an effort to suss out information. When their attention turns to her, Kate follows Kai and Jesse’s advice to make her story more personal. She explains that she’s all alone: left without a family following the death of her brother overseas in Iraq.
“I stopped going to school, seeing friends, making any connections really. I figured at some point, I’d find my way to open up again but I never did,” Kate confesses. The admission catches Lucy — who’s listening in a nearby surveillance van — off-guard: she knew about Kate’s brother but the other revelations were a surprise. At home, Lucy tries to get more from Kate but the exhausted agent eschews the conversation.
Kate’s undercover performance earns her a spot in the inner circle: she’s recruited to pose as LCDR Garrett and accept a shipment of cargo. As she’s changing into Garret’s dress uniform, Kate’s forced to kill her wire. The move worries Lucy who wants to go in, immediately, and get Whistler out, but everyone else urges patience. Once the team (with help from the actual LCDR Garrett) confirm what the Bulgarians are after — a radioactive energy source — the team moves in to extract Whistler and recover the WMD. But unfortunately, they’re too late: the Bulgarians are on their way out to sea.
Things go awry on the ship and Kate is forced to take on the Bulgarians on her own. Her combat training comes in handy as she’s able to subdue them in before the team arrives. At home, Lucy ices Kate’s injuries and Kate plots a future return to combat training and to the field. Given how well Kate handled herself, Lucy doubts she has anything left to teach Kate but her girlfriend assures her that’s untrue.
“You know, what I said yesterday about my brother dying was true. It did close me off and I thought I’d never recover,” Kate admits. “But being with you, it’s changed everything…so thank you, Lucy Tara.”
Raising Kanan 207: “No Love Lost”
Written by Carmen
On Raising Kanan, Jukebox went to visit Nicole’s grave, which I’m sure is supposed to be emotional, but really is a reminder of one of last season’s truly silly deaths and low points — Nicole, Jukebox’s first girlfriend, abruptly died of an overdose from drugs that she stole out of Jukebox’s backpack. I don’t fully understand a need for us to go back there. It seems like the writers can’t figure out what else to do with Juke? And yes, I’m sure in real life a teen lesbian who’s girlfriend OD’d on drugs that her own cousin cooked would cause a lot of trauma and grief, but this is television and I’d rather not be reminded of a terrible storytelling choice in an otherwise really good show.
While visiting Nicole, Jukebox runs into Nicole’s father. He promises that he isn’t a racist homophobe like Nicole’s mother, a fact that I absolutely do not believe for a second. He also promises that he’s not looking to get Jukebox in trouble (mind you, Nicole’s mother still wants Juke brought up on murder charges for drugs that, again, Nicole stole without Jukebox’s knowledge) — he just wants to know if Jukebox knows whatever happened to that incredibly sweet tape of Nicole and Jukebox singing together at the mall? What happened to that tape is that Jukebox broke into their house last season after Nicole died and stole it. Luckily, she has the presence of mind to lie and say “I don’t know.”
Unfortunately I think Jukebox gets caught up in her grief, and decides to have the tape restored (Marvin, Juke’s father, destroyed it last season in their fight) so that she can leave it at Nicole’s doorstep for her father. Maybe it’s just a nice gesture! Maybe it’s just about giving closure between two people who loved Nicole! But I’m not buying it. That tape is coming back around, and when it does, it’s not going to be good.
Jukebox’s other big plot this week involves her parents. Namely, that she is still not ready to forgive Marvin for last season, but also she keeps getting closer to her mother, at the cost of her relationship to her true self. A boy at her mother’s (extremely homophobic) church her keeps flirting with Juke, and in an effort to keep winning her mother’s approval, Jukebox agrees to go on a date with him. Just like Jukebox agreed to let her mother buy her femme-y clothes that she would never wear. And then Jukebox agrees to let this boy kiss her. All these little things, these little ways, that’s losing herself more and more. I’m not even sure if she’s realizing it? But whew chile, that bill soon come due.
Station 19 601: “Twist and Shout”
Written by Carmen
I have to be honest with you, I really struggled with last night’s Station 19 premiere.
On one hand, Maya and Carina are still trying to have a baby which opens the season with a fairly sweet and adorable scene of Carina having to get inseminated in the fire house bathroom because Maya was in the middle of a shift (we’re six months in the future from last season’s finale, they are on their fifth round, nothing has taken yet, so time is of the essence). Carina’s sweaty from taking the Station 19’s self defense class, and Maya — after getting the sense knocked back into her, she’s so distracted lately — calls her wife, “my lovewp_postsand offers that if they’re gonna do this, they should do it right. Andy keeps guard at the bathroom door while Maya and Carina shower together before the insemination starts. By shower together, I assume they had sex. It’s not said they had sex but multiple queer couples getting pregnant on television have taught me that sperm takes to the body best after an orgasm, and that’s why Bette went down on Tina at the doctor’s office in The L Word’s pilot episode, so! They had sex.
On the other hand, I really hate how they are writing Maya this season? Ok yes, Maya threatening to blackmail Sullivan and the new Fire Chief in order to get reinstated as captain of Station 19 and that was… a bad call, blackmail is never good. But also Maya lost her job as captain to begin with because of some really fucked up sexism and homophobia, if you ask me, along with the fact that Maya was using her white privilege to support her Black firefighters in a season-long standoff with the Seattle PD. Or did we all just forget that? She’s earned her right to be pissed.
Instead this season seems to recast Maya as someone who prefers to live in chaos, always ready for the next tornado to blow up her life (that’s not a metaphor, a literal tornado is the star of this week’s season premiere). And yes, I do think that’s a fair characterization of Maya overall, she’s been drawn to terrible impulses in her personal life in the past, I don’t feel like that’s been true since she finally settled down with Carina? Part of what has made them so sensational together is how good they’ve been for each other’s growth. It’s a little upsetting to see that get upchucked — especially over a storytelling decision that started with white allyship to begin with. It just feels like an ill-advised swerve left to me.
We do get a spectacular fight scene out of it! Carina finds out about Maya blackmailing Sullivan from the current asshat chief of Station 19 (I never learned his name, I keep wishing for him to go away) and she’s upset. For six months Maya has been angry, and she’s never been honest about why! Also — as has been previously stated — blackmailing is wrong. While cleaning up the roof of the firehouse post-tornado, the wives spin each other around again and again. Carina declares that Maya thrives in chaos, Maya reminds Carina that the hormones haven’t made her easy to live with these last few months either.
Carina softens, calling Maya “my love” (bringing us full circle to the episode’s opener). The hormones have made Carina’s highs even higher and her lows even lower, it’s true. But what is Maya’s excuse for running away from happiness at every chance she gets? Carina grew up in chaos with a father who had mental illness. She cannot live her adult life this way. She will not raise a child with Maya this way.
Maya stops — a record scratch in the crescendo of their argument. After all, Carina might already be pregnant. Right now.
And, yes she might be. So maybe it’s time for Maya to get her shit together.