Oh well hello and a happy Friday to you! It’s that time of year again, the time when the sunsets at 4pm in the northeast! Which means it’s also time to snuggle down under a pile of blankets with my cats and watch so much gay teevee! Speaking of! This week! Riese brought you great tidings of Kristen Stewart’s forthcoming gay ghost show? I (Heather) wrote about how that dang Netflix Goop sex show actually self-helped me. Sally updated you on JoJo Siwa’s latest routines on DWTS, which got her through to the finals! Valerie Anne is here and queer to tell you about the lesbian on Yellowjackets. She also recapped Legends of Tomorrow! Nic recapped another VERY GAY Batwoman. Carmen recapped another VERY GAY Twenties. And special guest Juan Barquin wrote about the new adaptation of Cowboy Bebop.
Notes from the TV Team:
+ I just wanted to reassure all the CWDCTVLGBTQ+s that Nic and I are all over ARMAGEDDON, keeping an eye on the Flash five-episode event for the arrival of our beloved gays. So far the only non-Flash character is Ray from Legends, none of our ladies yet. But at the end of the episode, they said they were going to call Alex Danvers for her alien expertise so hopefully her and Ryan are on their way to Central City as we speak! We’ll be sure to report back when they show up. — Valerie Anne
+ I’m ALMOST caught up on Dickinson enough to write about it for you! This season is impeccably gay so far, and I remain devastated it will be the last one. — Valerie Anne
+ Few shows have brought me more unexpected joy this fall than The Big Leap (which, of course, means it’s going to be cancelled). Stef Foster, Paulie Oster, my favorite boyfriend from Felicity (IYKYK), a big girl as the romantic lead and dancing montages set to classic Missy Elliott and Whitney Houston? It’s like my own personal catnip. But just in case I needed a reason to love this show more, they gave it to me this week when they revealed Monica Sullivan (the show’s unflinching judge/dance instructor) is bisexual and shares a matching tattoo with her ex-girlfriend, Annie. — Natalie
+ On Station 19, Maya changed exactly one (1!!) diaper and decided that she’s actually ready to have a baby with Carina after all. I debated writing a full blurb about it, because I miss writing about Maya and Carina so much! But honestly? The decision to make them mothers so quickly after marriage is a lazy writing choice, and to have Maya turn around so quickly on it (yes, I get she’s still grieving losing Miller) was bad writing at that. — Carmen
+ Also I know you updates on Home Economics and 4400! I’m in a bit of a content hole that I am digging myself out of rapidly (I owe stuff to everyone), but after Thanksgiving we should be back to normal. I miss y’all! — Carmen
Nancy Drew 306: “The Myth of the Ensnared Hunter”
Written by Valerie Anne
This week, Bess regrets being so adamant about Addy being a one-time thing. She “casually” looks for Addy at the youth center, but when she’s not there, Bess tries to play it like she doesn’t care but she’s barely convincing herself let alone anyone else.
Bess tries to distract herself by helping George with her Odette problem, and while she’s at the Historical Society, she gets a start when Nancy emerges from a secret door in the wall after searching some tunnels for a monster that looks like a Gentleman left underwater too long. The Drew Crew reviews the security footage of the Historical Society to see who else has used that secret door, when they see the exact nature of Bess and Addy’s relationship.
Eventually George gets it out of Bess that the reason she’s trying to keep Addy at arm’s length is because she’s afraid Addy won’t want more. George, who knows the value of not wasting time all too well, tells Bess that she has to take the chance and ask for a second date. And that Addy would be a fool to say no.
Though Bess might be a bit distracted in the coming days, because the rest of the footage reveals that Historical Hannah knew about the secret door to the monster tunnel all along.
Legacies 406: “You’re a Long Way From Home”
Written by Valerie Anne
This week’s episode opens with the Super Squad being brutally murdered by the Tribrid because she’s a force to be reckoned with. As soon as Hope starts murdering her friends I know it must be some kind of nightmare scenario, and even though it DID turn out to be the simulation box, it didn’t make it hurt any less to watch Hope snap sweet Josie’s neck.
Finch and Cleo are trying to help the Squad find Hope, but Hope is managing to uno reverse their spells in her quest to learn more about Triad. Cleo knows there’s a weapon that can kill Hope but she’s hesitant to tell everyone, especially before she has what I assume will be an ancient White Oak stake. (I don’t want Hope to do anything she’ll regret when she turns her humanity back on, which I hope she does before Cleo permakills her, but I’m enjoying Chaotic Neutral Hope while she lasts.)
Josie is freaking out and Finch tries to calm her down but Josie feels guilty about her dad getting hurt while she was…relaxing with Finch so she snaps at her girlfriend. Finch realizes this isn’t the time to dicuss this so she gets out of the way for now.
All the while Lizzie is busy trying to find a way to save her dad, which I feel like personally is a waste of time, especially when Hope’s humanity is at…stake. She finds a spell that could steal life force from someone to put it back in her dad, but ultimately can’t go through with it. Later, Josie feels guilty that she found herself a little disappointed Lizzie hadn’t killed someone to save Alaric. And now dad is still in a coma, Hope is seeming farther (and further) away, and Lizzie’s in the therapy box. Josie has never felt so…on her own.
Finch points out that she’s never NOT been. Josie has had Lizzie since birth and they’ve both lived at the school their dad runs their whole lives. But now Finch is here to have her back so Josie can just be in her feelings, sit in the helplessness for a minute, have a breakdown if she needs to. Just…be.
Hightown 205: “Dot Dot Dot”
Written by Natalie
This week’s Hightown saves its most explosive stories for other characters — Daisy, Frankie, Jorge, Renee and Ray, most notably — but it gives its most relatable story for Jackie Quiñones. And, boy, is it painfully relatable.
Jackie wakes up and reaches across the bed to find the space next to her empty. When she spots Leslie across the room, with far too many clothes on, Jackie tries to lure her back into bed. She praises Leslie’s oral performance from the night before, astounded that it was her first time. Leslie chalks her success up to beginner’s luck and asks if it was a big deal that Jackie let her go down on her.
“Um, I mean, not really….well…kind of,” Jackie admits. “You really wanna have this conversation? The butch conversation?”
And I very much do what them to have that conversation but, instead, Jackie pulls Leslie into a kiss. Eventually, Leslie has to leave for court and Jackie watches her go with a broad smile on her face. Jackie Quiñones, the lesbian lothario of P-Town, is ridiculously in love with a straight girl. Been there, Jackie…been there.
Later, Jackie suits back up for the Fisheries Service and joins an operation with Ed to catch the Scrodfather unloading an illegally caught great white shark. While making the trip up to a processing plant in Brooklyn, Jackie exchanges texts with Leslie and can’t hide how positively giddy she is about it. Ed notices Jackie’s cheshire grin and tells her that he’s glad to see her happy again. When they arrive in Brooklyn, all that’s left to do is wait on the truck so Jackie entertains herself with texts from Leslie.
Jackie: ughhhh ron’s so annoying this sux.
Leslie: anything i can do to help
Jackie: Yes! Send pics! 🙏 🤪
(Jackie sits up straight in her seat as her phone shows that Leslie’s responding back)
Leslie: *sends topless pic*
Jackie: OMG I love you so much
Listen, I get how an “I love you” can slip out after someone sends you (consensual) nudes. The hormones take over — oxytocin makes you feel connected to the sender, dopamine floods your system, impacting your impulse control — and suddenly, you’re professing love that you may not even feel or, in Jackie’s case, do feel but definitely would not admit to under normal circumstances. Been there, Jackie…been there. As soon as Jackie clicked send, I screamed, “OOOH, NOOO!”
Jackie’s message is delivered and read. Bubbles pop up, indicating that Leslie’s about to respond, but then they disappear…and Leslie never returns to the conversation. The longer Jackie goes without a response, the more frantic she gets. She texts. She calls. She freaks out. At some point, she calls Leslie a bitch. She pleads for Leslie to just call her back and let her explain. Of course, Leslie doesn’t and when she can’t fix her misstep, she takes her frustration out on Ed…damaging her relationship with the only person she’s been able to depend on in her life.
All American 404: “A Bird in the Hand”
Written by Natalie
This week, Coop slinks back into the studio just in time to hear Layla’s new artist in the booth performing one of her songs. It stings to hear someone else performing her work so Coop lashes out, accusing Layla of stealing songs just like her father did. Layla refuses to be disrespected in her own studio so she reminds Coop what actually happen: she invested all her time and money into creating tracks that Coop never finished. She’s funneling the tracks to a new artist in hopes of recouping some of her investment. All Coop can hear is someone else delivering the rhymes she wrote and tells Layla, “good luck with your replacement Coop.”
Later, Coop bemoans Layla’s “business as usual” attitude but Patience is more sympathetic. She understands that Layla is just trying to make the best out of a bad situation. Shocked that her girlfriend isn’t on her side, Coop reminds her of when something similar happened between her and JP (aka Layla’s dad). Patience corrects the record: JP pushed her out of the process but Layla would include her, but for Coop’s own pronouncement that she was done with music. She reminds Coop that Layla’s career is on the line too and it’s unfair to expect Layla to give up.
Coop returns to an empty studio later and runs into Asher. They commiserate about their shared fate — both having recently had their dreams snatched away — and each offer advice to the other. He reminds her that if someone else is performing her song that’s just proof that she wrote a damn good song. Asher’s words get through to Coop and later, she apologizes to Layla for her behavior. Coop encourages Layla to use her music but pushes her to allow her new artist to freestyle their own lyrics: using Coop’s experiences takes away from the song’s authenticity. Later, when Layla gets her artist back in the booth, the song pops with the new freestyle lyrics and it’s clear: Coop might not be able to perform anymore but she’s still got an ear for the business.
New Amsterdam 409: “In a Strange Land”
Written by Natalie
When Casey started questioning the how and why behind the creation of a fifth resident slot at the hospital, Lauren should’ve seen that as a sign. If Casey could figure it out, it’d only be a little while before one of her colleagues could piece it together or, worse, Leyla discovered how she earned her New Amsterdam residency. Once Casey figured it out, Lauren Bloom should’ve gone home and told her girlfriend the truth. Maybe, ultimately, it wouldn’t have changed anything but it would’ve given Lauren her best shot at salvaging her relationship.
Of course, Lauren didn’t do any of that. Instead, the couple return to work: with Dr. Bloom managing the ED through a mass casualty event, without her head nurse (Casey) to help her, and Dr. Shinwari joining Dr. Reynolds for a general surgery rotation. A fire at a midtown church sends its residents — mostly undocumented immigrants who were seeking sanctuary there — streaming into New Amsterdam. But the threat the immigrants face isn’t just from their injuries: ICE is camped outside the hospital, waiting for the immigrants to come out so they can be detained.
One of the immigrants has labored breathing but refuses to allow Layla to take off the bandages that are restricting their breathing. Thankfully, one of the ED’s nurses, Kai Brunstetter, intervenes, introducing themselves by revealing their pronouns. They ask if taking off their binder makes them feel unsafe and exposed and the patient nods. Kai explains that between the smoke from the fire and binder, their lungs are struggling so they have to take the binder off. The patient agrees and he introduces himself as Temi.
As Kai and Leyla undo the binder, they notice some discharge on the bandages and send him to Dr. Sharpe in Oncology for a mammogram. Kai accompanies him to the appointment and admits that the screening is “like stepping back into a body that isn’t mine” but insists that its necessary. Temi, clearly carrying the emotional scars of his youth, refuses the mammogram but Helen finds an alternative, an ultrasound on a transducer table. When they find a lump, Sharpe explains that they’ll need to perform a lumpectomy but Temi insists on a double mastectomy. Sharpe explains the difference between a mastectomy and top surgery but Temi acknowledges, “this might be my only chance.”
Temi wakes up from his surgery happy about his new body but Sharpe has bad news: his cancer has spread and he’ll need daily treatment for six weeks to avoid it killing him. But, Temi laments, if the cancer doesn’t kill him, ICE detention or deportation will.
Meanwhile, Dr. Shinwari returns to Reynolds’ side to help save a burn victim. Throughout the treatment, she can’t help but reflect on how lucky she is…how she could’ve easily been one of these immigrants, seeking treatment instead of giving it. In surgery, their patient has a setback and Leyla recognizes it right away, impressing Reynolds. The newly minted Chief of General Surgery is so impressed he offers her a slot in his department when she finishes her residency.
“I see how why they created a fifth slot for you,” Reynolds muses, much to Leyla’s dismay. He recalls the last time the hospital added a fifth resident, it was because of a family’s large donation to New Amsterdam. Leyla starts putting the pieces together and my heart (and hers) sinks.
A Million Little Things 407: “Stay”
Written by Natalie
So, apparently, when Shanice said goodbye to Katherine, she really meant goodbye. It feels like a waste — there was so much potential there and so much chemistry — but at least Shanice’s absence hasn’t meant that Katherine’s retreated back into the closet. Quite the contrary, actually: our girl is single and ready to mingle.
Katherine enlists her assistant, Carter, to help her get ready for her first date. He’s giddy about her joining him in the alphabet mafia and imagines her “leaning into moto style”…which, as someone who’s a sucker for a girl in a moto jacket, I wholeheartedly agree. Katherine admits that she doesn’t know what to wear, much less what to talk about and Carter reminds her that “this is a first date, not confession.” She laments having to go on this awkward first date rather than having something develop organically like with Shanice but Carter pushes her to try.
“This is your first pancake, the one that’s never cooked correctly, but prepares the griddle for the others,” Carter advises. He hands her a sexy black dress and encourages her to eat that pancake…which might be taking this metaphor a step too far.
The date starts out great but, slowly, the wheels start to come off. Katherine admits that it’s her first date with a woman but her date, Heather, assures her that it’s definitely not hers. A little undone by Heather’s flirtation, Katherine rambles a bit and Heather puts her hand over Katherine’s to reassure her that everything’s fine. They’re staring in each other’s eyes when the bartender comes over to refill their glasses and Katherine pulls away.
“Um… do you want to split an order of guac? It says they put in pomegranate. I’m… I’m curious,” Katherine stammers.
“Clearly,” Heather answers back, every hint of flirtation gone from her voice, and it’s obvious what’s about to happen. Heather excuses herself to go to the restroom but never returns, leaving Katherine alone at the bar. At least she was kind enough to pay the tab before she ghosted Katherine.
Back at the office, Katherine drowns her sorrows and tries to figure out where she went wrong. Carter urges her to look at the date as a win, since she was confident enough to put herself out there. Coming out is difficult, no matter when it happens, Carter points out, reflecting on his own coming out story. His tale causes Katherine to reflect on the gay girl she knew in high school — a coming out that she did not handle well — and later, Katherine slides into her Insta DMs.
Riverdale 601: “Welcome to Rivervale”
Written by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
Welcome back to Riverdale, where everyone is HORNY. Veronica and Reggie are horny for power as the town’s new power couple. Alice is horny for Uncle Frank, who shoots down her advances because he is capital-D Damaged, but who isn’t in this town? Betty and Archie are horny to make a baby. I know they’ve known each other their whole lives, so they’re not technically U-Hauling their relationship, but they are kinda U-Hauling their relationship. Betty says at one point “I’ve been dreaming about starting a family with you since sixth grade,” to which I simply have to ask — what? But seriously, these horndogs are going AT IT this episode. Me personally? Horny for the fact that Betty beats Archie in an axe throwing competition. Tabitha and Jughead are decidedly not horny, even though they’ve recently moved in together. It’s hard to be horny when your home is cursed with endless bug infestations. And Cheryl Blossom is horny for doing blood sacrifices in the woods.
Yes, you did indeed read that correctly. And I’m sure if you are a watcher of Riverdale, there’s little I could say or do to shock you. But the writers have taken Riverdale’s absurdity a step further, because you see, we’re no longer in Riverdale at all. This season, we’re in Rivervale, a shadowtown, a different dimension entirely. The players are the same, but the rules are different. We bid adieu to any semblance of reality, and you know what? I love this for Riverdale. Throw continuity and coherency out the damn door and let’s get weird. I don’t necessarily want Riverdale to become Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Sabrina will be making an appearance in Rivervale), but I do think there’s a happy medium. Riverdale has long moved past its roots as a teen drama (I mean, they’re not even teens anymore), and going full Twilight Zone meets Brothers Grimm? Hot! Jughead serves as a full-on Rod Serling, breaking the fourth wall and taking viewers through the fresh horrors that plague Rivervale. The format is working. These writers know how to blow up a concept entirely and then rebuild something even wilder than what came before.
In Rivervale, Cheryl has declared Thornhill a sovereign nation and also has a small army of bow and arrow wielding girls at her disposal. Over the course of the episode, characters need favors from her, and she hands them out with, of course, a price tag. They must bear witness at an unspecified ritual on her grounds. It’s a classic folklore premise, a beautiful witch promising a cure for people’s ailments and then coming to collect.
It’s difficult to choose a favorite Cheryl line from this episode (A couple I wrote down: “My spies tell me that Archie Andrews is trying to steal my maple thunder”; “Tell me, what demons torment you Tab Tab?”). The Rivervale aesthetic and tone absolutely plays to Madelaine Petsch’s strengths. And this exchange between Cheryl and Betty had me, simply, dead:
Cheryl: Cousin, howfore did you get into my house?
Betty: A bobby pin.
Betty and her bobby pins. She’s, dare I say, horny for snooping!
On the subject of quotes, Veronica says she has always wanted to “make it” on a bed of cash. MAKE IT? WHAT YEAR IS IT? (Temporality, temperature, and geography have always been more fluid than fixed on Riverdale, but that seems especially true in Rivervale.)
Cheryl does finally come to collect. She convinces the whole town to participate in a human sacrifice. Specifically, in the killing of Archie Andrews, who she ties to a post and crowns with a set of antlers before using a knife to cut out his heart. It’s like a CW-ified Yellowjackets!!!!!! See, I thought I was going to have to reach to bring up Yellowjackets in basically everything I write about television for the foreseeable future, but Riverdale really came through with the haunting animal imagery and friends violently turning on each other and ritualistic killing. Anyway, Archie’s dead now? Not entirely sure what to do with that information. Because under the new rules of Rivervale, he could easily come back to life anytime.