Happy Halloween weekend, you gays! Before you mask up and head out to trick or treat, your favorite TV Team is here with your weekly round-up of queer happenings! But first! This week! Our new Managing Editor Kayla reviewed Girl In The Woods. Sally processed every JoJo Siwa DWTS routine so far. Heather dragged I Know What You Did Last Summer off a cliff and through the mud. Valerie Anne recapped a very gay Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow‘s 100th episode. Nic stirred up the WildMoore Hive with her Batwoman recap. Carmen recapped a gloriously gay Twenties. And we counted down the 25 most fan fic-ed couples of all time.
Notes from the TV Team:
+ On Home Economics, it’s Halloween! Because ABC has never met a Disney product placement they didn’t love, the Hayworth family goes with a superhero theme — Denise goes as Princess Shuri from Black Panther and Sarah goes as the greatest superhero of them all 19th century feminist and suffragist, Lucretia Mott. Oh Sarah, never change. — Carmen
Hightown 202: “Girl Power”
Written by Natalie
After being rattled from her slumber by a nightmare about losing Junior (again), Jackie puts on her most professional outfit and joins her colleagues in the State Police for a “scared straight” assembly at a local high school. The event brings back more memories of Junior but Jackie pushes them out of her head and tries to focus on work. She and her new partner, Leslie Babcock, have tried to lure out “Great White” dealers with controlled buys but to no avail. Leslie leans on Shauna — her “super snitch” who’s 10 days sober — to find a lead on who’s selling the deadly new product on the Cape. Shauna heads into the dealer’s house but doesn’t come back out and stops responding to Leslie’s texts. Jackie convinces Leslie to follow Shauna inside where they discover that Shauna bought some drugs and escaped out the back door. But before the partners can pivot and buy their own drugs, Jackie is recognized: “I know you…yeah…you had your hand up my pussy last week.”
The show pauses just long enough for you to wonder if she’s one of Jackie’s ill-conceived hook-ups, but no…she fingers (pun intended) Jackie as a cop. The dealer tries to escape but Leslie’s able to catch up with him and slap the cuffs on. After a search of the house turns up a few baggies of “Great White,” Leslie threatens to charge the dealer with the deaths of the three suburban kids. Eager to avoid multiple manslaughter charges, he admits to just one: he killed Colin “CoCo” Conner in a drug deal gone wrong and swipe Coco’s supply. The arrest earns the new partners plaudits from their sergeant and Leslie invites Jackie out for a drink to celebrate…an invitation that Jackie accepts after blowing off an AA meeting.
The partners get to know each other over diner food and drinks and talk quickly turns personal. Jackie doesn’t have a girlfriend and Leslie’s not seeing anyone either. Leslie crassly remarks, “I like dick,” as if she’s trying to make herself believe it, and Jackie trails her eyes up and down Leslie’s body, as if she’s biding her time until she can prove Leslie wrong. To borrow from Carmen’s Twenties recaps: amount of times I thought to myself that Jackie Quiñones would be a mistake I’d gladly make: 1.
The next day, the dealer lawyers up but the Narcotics Unit’s sergeant unwittingly gets him to acknowledge a connection between the “Great White” and the Cuevas cousins. Excited that she’s finally one step closer to the guys who killed Junior, Jackie’s excited to get started on a new operations plan with Leslie. But with a few days before their plan is due, the partners take the day off and spend the day drinking on a beach Jackie used to come to with her ex. Amount of times I thought to myself that Jackie Quiñones (in that jacket!) would be a mistake I’d gladly make: 2.
The pair aren’t overtly flirtatious with each other; instead, all their banter is cloaked in euphemisms and subtext. Still, it’s no surprise that the next morning, when their sergeant calls with an update, they’re lying in bed next to each other.
All American 401: “Survival of the Fittest”
Written by Natalie
Last we saw Tamia “Coop” Cooper, she was slumped on the ground, being propped up by Preach, with blood spilling out on the pavement. All American spends most of its season premiere allowing its audience to imagine the worst — Spencer talking to an unseen tombstone and Coop’s absence being a vague topic of conversation — but eventually we learn that Coop’s going to be okay. Well…or alive at least…after this episode, “okay” might be a bit of a stretch.
Spencer leaves his state championship game to rush to hospital and finds a frantic Patience waiting there. Later, as everyone awaits word on Coop’s condition, he sneaks out to update Preach on her condition. Patience follows close behind and lunges at Preach when she sees him, angry at him for having abandoned Coop. With Spencer holding Patience back, Preach explains what happened: Mo shot Coop and he shot (and killed) Mo. When he realized the extent of Coop’s injury, he loaded her into his car and made sure she got to the hospital. He couldn’t stay — he’s a felon, on parole, with Coop’s blood all over his clothes — and fears going back to prison once the truth comes out.
But Coop won’t let that happen. When she wakes up three days after the shooting, she lies to a detective about what happened. She takes responsibility for shooting Mo and pretends she doesn’t know what happened to the gun or how she got to the hospital. It’s clear that the detective doesn’t buy her story — no one who’s seen a single episode of CSI would buy this story — but he leaves until Coop has a lawyer present. Coop seems satisfied with her decision but it pushes Patience to the end of her rope. She’d been blaming herself for downplaying Coop’s skepticism about Mo but now it’s clear: “the person to blame for all the drama that follows Coop around is Coop.” She may have survived Mo’s bullet but Coop’s relationship with Patience might end up the shooting’s true casualty.
A Million Little Things 405: “Crystal Clear”
Written by Natalie
Last we visited with Katherine on All Million Little Things, she was promising herself that she’d stop always doing what she should do and finally start doing what she wants to do. But, of course, saying that is much easier than doing that…particularly when you’ve denied yourself your wants for so long.
To her credit, though, Katherine is trying. When her mother stops by to pick up Theo, she name drops the name of her friend’s very single son who happens to be a doctor dentist. She tells her daughter what she should do but Katherine pushes back: the only thing she should do is what’s right for her. Katherine’s mom assures her that she just doesn’t want Katherine to end up alone but, with a stack of contracts in front of her to review, being alone sounds ideal to Katherine. Later, though, when Shanice calls and invites her to play hooky and have lunch, Katherine becomes a bit more amenable to having some company. Once she realizes that they won’t be able to mask their meeting as a play date for their kids, Katherine gets adorably flustered.
“It’s a date,” she proclaims before realizing her misstep, “I mean, um, I-I’ll… I’ll see you soon.”
Since AMLT debuted, Katherine’s been the serious one — she had to, her then-husband forced her to be — so seeing her enjoying lunch with Shanice, laughing and having fun, feels like such a triumph.* But Katherine’s hard-won happiness is threatened when Shanice reveals that the production for the movie she’s been working on is moving to Miami. Even though Shanice promises to reconnect when she returns to Boston, Katherine can’t mask her disappointment. She admits that she’s sad that Shanice is leaving and Shanice acknowledges that she is too. The moment is charged and it seems like they’re finally going to kiss when Katherine’s mom interrupts.
(* Television has a habit of flattening the cultural identities of characters in interracial relationships such that you think that, culturally, we all exist in the same space. TV will remind you of the characters’ cultural differences to examine trauma (i.e., police brutality, racism or religion-driven homophobia) but otherwise those two characters are, effectively, the same. But AMLT avoids that trap in small ways here — Shanice talks about “black Yelp” and Katherine’s mother communicating with her daughter in Korean — and reaffirms the characters’ cultural identities, without any trauma, even as they (possibly) get together. It’s such smart writing.)
Later, the mood has shifted and all the reminders of what Katherine should be doing fill her head again. Shanice asks about the moment they shared before her mother arrived but Katherine pretends like she wasn’t about to lean in for a kiss. Shanice recalls Theo showing up at her hotel door and revealing his crush on her daughter, Kiana, and asks Katherine to be as brave as her son. Katherine resists, after all, she was married to a man but Shanice points out that that doesn’t mean Katherine can’t have feelings for her.
“I just don’t want you to limit yourself because you think it’s what you should do,” Shanice says.
Katherine tries to shift the blame — drawing a parallel between her reluctance and Shanice’s hesitance to tell anyone that she’s bisexual — but Shanice points out the difference: one is about feelings, the other is about privacy. Unwilling to push any further, Shanice excuses herself but Katherine follows quickly behind and offers an apology. She admits that since Shanice came into her life, she’s been confused…feeling things she never experienced before. Shanice urges Katherine to give herself permission to feel whatever she wants but Katherine confesses that she’s scared.
“I don’t even know h…I don’t even know how to begin,” Katherine admits. “I’ve never even kissed a woman before.”
Thankfully, Shanice is there to take all the guess work out of it: she gently draws Katherine into a kiss. She says goodbye and walks out the door…and it, strangely, feels like forever? But while I’m perplexed by the abrupt end to a relationship that was just getting started, Katherine updates her profile on the dating apps: now she’s interested in both men and women.
Nancy Drew 303: “The Testimony of the Executed Man”
Written by Valerie Anne
This week, Bess is left behind while Nancy, Ace, and George go to DetectiveCon (to see Ruby from Charmed!), and she’s pretty salty about it. She tries to busy herself at the Historical Society but who should walk in but the worst first date she’s been on since Odette left, the woman who judged her for not liking to camp and who rejected her offer of skipping coffee and getting down to business.
This woman, Addy, banters with Bess and calls her shallow and Bess banters back but the thing is, the banter starts to seem a little like flirting, and it throws Bess off just a little. Addy leaves and she thinks she can just shake it off and move on, until she goes to see Nick at his new youth center and finds Addy working there, too.
Bess is eventually called to meet up with the Drew Crew to save their butts from ghosty shenanigans, and later she runs into Addy again. She asks why Addy didn’t take her up on her offer to skip the date and head right to bed, and when the answer is yet another jab about Bess being shallow and boring, Bess snaps. She tells Addy that “not liking camping” isn’t her whole personality, or even part of it; in fact, just today she saved her friends from a ghost and stopped a serial killer. And after a full day of witty banter and this explanation of how interesting she really is, Addy decides to take her up on that original offer and they get to the kissing bit.
I appreciate this show ensuring Bess always has girls to kiss, and I am a fan of Addy so far; can’t wait to see if she’s secretly an ancient ghost or something fun like that!
Legacies 403: “We All Knew This Day Was Coming”
Written by Valerie Anne
This whole episode was great but I’ll highlight the gay stuff for you. Josie tries to get Finch to talk to her again; she understands the Merge is a lot to process, but Finch wants a promise that Josie will at least try to fight. Josie can’t promise she will actively attempt to murder her twin sister, she simply can’t fathom that right now, but she needs someone by her side to support her no matter what. Not someone looking for a reason to run. She deserves to be loved for who she is, and she finally believes that.
And normally this conversation would be the gayest thing to happen but Legacies decided to throw us a gay twist this week. After Hope accidentally killed a human boy Malavore had turned into a monster, she realizes that they are really out of their depth now and she has to do the thing she had been avoiding. She has to become the tribrid.
Since Hope is sacrificing part of herself, part of her future, they give her a living funeral of sorts. She has no idea how becoming a vampire will affect her witch powers, so she does a spell with the twins one last time. Together, they plant a tree, to symbolize a new life. Which seemed pretty gay tbh.
Hope goes to the prison world to see Raf, which you’d think would be the biggest surprise of the episode, until lo and behold, Hope’s Gay Aunt Freya comes in. She gives Hope love from Rebekah, and advice she learned once from Elijah. She tells her that she is the best parts of both of her parents, and she’s already better than all of them ever were. Freya is proud of her niece, and holds her tight as she whispers a death spell into her ear, and Hope peacefully drifts off.
While she’s out, Hope’s body is stolen by Kaleb, who has joined Team Malavore, but Hope doesn’t know that yet, because she’s busy deciding if she does want to become the Tribrid or if she wants to let the Ferryman take her into eternal peace.
Queens 102: “Heart of Queens”
Written by Carmen
After publicly coming out on stage during Queen’s pilot episode, Jill is back at home in Montana getting hot under the sheets. No, but like really hot, Tina starts with caressing Jill’s hair, then kissing her neck, then her arm reaches lower… and… lower.. and I was honestly surprised with how far ABC has come since Callie and Arizona got that .06 seconds shower scene in Season Six of Grey’s Anatomy.
Sadly things in Montana don’t get better from there, Jill’s husband tries to turn her coming out into a biblical call for polyamory (yes, he even writes (!!) a rap (!!) that rhymes “the glamor-ee of polamor-y” (!!!!!!!!!) to prove his point). Then Jill is denied communion at mass. All her neighbors are gossiping. And when Lil Muffin shows up on the lamb from rehab, Jill decides it’s time to head back to LA.
The rest of episode was a little hard to follow; there’s a lot of criss-cross action across the last 20 years. But there are few parts worth pointing out. The first is when the girls are teenagers trying to break into the industry and Valencia, the Puerto Rican rapper, joins the group. Jill asks, “Is our skin too dark to sell records?” — which is really significant for Naturi Naughton in particular to say, considering the long held industry rumors that she was originally kicked out of 3LW because of her skin color.
Next, Jill gets hit on by a lesbian PA working on MTV’s Cribes in the early 2000s. Internalized homophobia sparks big and Jill loses it, with Brandy’s Xplicit Lyrics having to physically hold her back. Lastly, Jill picked up a heavy coke problem during the group’s stardom, probably due to aforementioned… internalized homophobia. You know how it goes.
Back in 2021, Lil Muffin tells Jill that her making such a big deal out of her coming out was “straight out the Stone Age” because “who cares yo, it’s 2021, who isn’t a little gay?”
It hits hard, given what we know about what Jill has survived, and Naturi Naughton sells it, tears streaming down her face. Jill makes a deal — if Lauren (Lil Muffin) goes back to rehab, Jill will also stop running. She’s ready to learn how to live her life, her way.
The episode ends with Jill back in church in Montana, this time with Tina by her side. She walks right up to her Priest and looks him square in the eye: “I’m Black. I’m gay. I rap. I’m also a woman of God, and this is my church. So you can turn me away with your bigotry disguised as holiness, but I will never stop coming. I will not be shamed anymore.”
Did I mention that I love her?