If you’ve been following this bananas drama with the queer Grey’s Anatomy writer who stole her wife’s cancer, great news! Riese wrote about it in her Obsessed column today!
Recaps? We got recaps! Natalie recapped the midseason finale of Good Trouble. Heather recapped Gentleman Jack. And reviews? Yeah we got those too! Heather reviewed the final season of Grace and Frankie. Em reviewed Netflix’s Principles of Pleasure. And Riese dropped your streaming guide for May.
Notes from the TV Team:
+ As promised, I watched the backdoor pilot of Niecy Nash’s forthcoming spin-off of The Rookie and I’m here to share the news: first, Niecy Nash remains as likable as ever. Nash’s appearance pushed the show to a season high in the ratings. More importantly, though: Nash’s character, Simone Clark, is bisexual and her colleague, Special Agent Casey Fox is a lesbian (with a penchant for one-night stands). Fingers crossed that those pieces of the characters’ biographies carry over to the spin-off. — Natalie
+ On All American: Homecoming, Keisha comes to some stark realizations behind her sordid dating history thanks to a run-in with her ex-girlfriend, Lisa. For years, Keisha had attributed her commitment-phobia to the fear of losing someone, like her father lost her mom, but Lisa sees her for what she is: someone who doesn’t believe they’re good enough to be loved. The insight convinces Keisha to recommit to therapy, in hopes that one day she’ll be “one badass girlfriend.” — Natalie
+ It’s another frustrating week for our beloved queer cheftestant, Ashleigh, on Top Chef: Houston. She doesn’t finish her plate for the quickfire challenge, earning her a spot in the bottom three. Her underpoached fish in the elimination challenge dooms her to the same fate in the elimination challenge — one focused on create new space food for NASA — but her creativity saves her and she advances to the Final Five. — Natalie
+ THE WNBA IS BACK TONIGHT, BABY! Here’s how to watch. — Heather and Natalie
Station 19 516: “Death and the Maiden”
Written by Carmen
I have been avoiding writing about Station 19. I genuinely hate having to complain about something, when loving on something is infinitely more fun. I kept pretending that if I ignored this sperm donor plot for Maya and Carina, it would go away. That maybe the show would course correct if I just gave it time.
Then Maya burned the waffles, Carina’s stomach was bruised with injection shots, and y’all — JACK SHOWED UP AT THEIR DOOR WITH FLOWERS and Carina handed him a cup! It was time to accept the inevitable. This was happening, and so much worse, it was going to happen in their house.
To be clear, I think every queer woman who wants to have a baby with their partner, should do just that. And I think they should have absolutely every path available to them — including a known donor who’s a close friend. There are so many ways to make a family! And chosen families, however you define them and whomever you let into your heart, are important! This is not about that.
This is about the lack of creativity to take one of the steamiest sapphic couples on network television and saddle them with a baby plot less than two seconds after they got married, then dragging that plot out with needless bickering and in-fighting. It’s about Maya and Carina choosing a close friend, and then (!!) in a throwback to some vintage 90s or 00s plot that no one asked for, make dumbass lesbian sex jokes as his inspiration to jerk off — again I must say, in their house!! It’s about using what should be a sacred, intimate moment for Carina and Maya, and instead centering it on Jack’s long lost brother that we’ve never heard about before and do not care about at all.
Two queer women decided to make a family and somehow Station 19 found a way to make it about cishet men. It’s enraging, and it quite simply should not have happened.
Ok — my mini rant out of the way, here’s some of the good of what happened: Eventually, after all the long lost brother drama dies down, Maya and Carina eventually do have some fairly hot sex (right up until Jack interrupts them with his cup of sperm). There’s also a very sweet moment between the three of them, right when you least expect it, that reminded me of the best of Calzona and Mark Sloan (which was also a deeply unpopular queer family making in Shondaland when it first aired, but warmed my heart by the time Mark died. HAHAHA Whoops! Sorry! Sad little detour there!)
So there you have it, a Station 19 baby was hopefully made, so that we never have to revisit this plot again.
Grey’s Anatomy 1816: “Should I Stay or Should I Go”
Written by Carmen
Here I am, forced completely against my will, to say an unthinkable sentence: Owen Hunt Is Right.
It gets worse.
Owen Hunt Is Right, and Teddy Altman Is Wrong.
YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH THAT HURTS TO TYPE!!!
This might be the cruelest thing Shondaland has ever done to me, force me to write 300 words about the rightness of Owen fucking Hunt.
If you’ll recall, all the way back in this season’s premiere, four-year-old Leo wore a dress to Owen and Teddy’s wedding. In the next episode, Leo wore a dress to daycare at the hospital. And then we never circled back around to that, but this week while saying goodbye to Owen, Owen complimented Leo on being a dress up “cowboy” — Leo giggled and said “I’m not a cowboy!” So Owen tipped Leo’s pink sparkly hat and said, “Oh I’m sorry a cowgirl.” Leo giggles again, “No just a girl!”
Teddy freaks out. My gorgeous, headstrong, bisexual, forever team favorite Teddy Altman jumps down to meet Leo’s height and corrects her, “no this is just pretend, you’re a boy.” And Owen looks on, confused and horrified. Because WTF TEDDY.
Later, Teddy says that they need to get a therapist for Leo because this is Serious Business, and Owen goes, “Umm Leo’s been wearing dresses forever now… didn’t you see this coming?”
Teddy — who has otherwise been brilliant and observant until this very day — thought they were just raising a kid who loved dress up. The possibility of Leo being trans apparently never occurred to her? I guess. I don’t know. She’s worried about (gasp) what will people think. And isn’t four too young to know who you are? (No Teddy it’s not, and I hate the writers of Shondaland for making me have to explain this to you.)
When the workday is over, Teddy and Owen share a bench cuddled together outside the hospital. Teddy apologizes, she knows her first reaction to Leo wasn’t a good one (thank God for the small things, I guess!). She just doesn’t want to mess this up. And there’s so much they could mess up here! Owen says that they should get a therapist — but for them, the adults, not for Leo.
As far as Owen is concerned, Leo gets to be whomever Leo says she is. And as the parents they need to let her lead and follow with love.
Owen is obviously correct (and I’m ecstatic for Leo’s future with sparky pink hats and a family who loves her!! No matter much “Owen is right” still hurts to type). Teddy agrees to the therapy, but worries about what will happen if she and Owen can’t agree about what comes next. Owen rubs her gently by the knee and says, “I don’t know.”
OK, I am very glad that Grey’s Anatomy is going to take seriously Leo’s gender and what it means to raise a trans kid, because it’s an iconic institution of American television at a time when real life trans kids (Leo’s age and not much older) are under very real, direct attack. This is what Shondaland is supposed to do, and do well. Shonda Rhimes herself credits Norman Lear style of television-making — using the power of storytelling to humanize political talking points, so that they can no longer be weapons — as an inspiration. This is why she made Calzona in the aughts. This is the blueprint.
But damn, did we have to make Owen right to do it?
9-1-1 516: “May Day”
Written by Natalie
Henrietta Wilson was always skeptical of the rotating roster of paramedics who circled in and out of Station 118 — she couldn’t even be bothered to learn their names — during Chimney’s absence but everyone just chalked it to Hen just missing her longtime partner. But this week, on 9-1-1, there’s evidence that that skepticism was highly warranted.
After a fire breaks out at the local 9-1-1 call center, the team rushes to the rescue. When they arrive, they’re joined by the crew from Station 133 which includes Jonah, one of the aforementioned rotating paramedics, who Hen simply dubbed as “Monday.” He volunteers to help Hen set up a triage area at the parking garage next door. The rescue is progressing well until Bobby learns that his step-daughter, May, and her annoying colleague Claudette Collins (AKA Vanessa E. Williams, AKA Pippa Pascal), are still upstairs, just above where the fire started. Bobby hands off command of the scene to the captain of Station 133 and suits up to help in the rescue.
By the time the team gets inside, the fire’s travelled up to the third floor. The team’s able to get Claudette out but the structure collapses, trapping Bobby and May in the rumble. Everyone from the 118, including Hen, drops what they’re doing and rushes to their Captain’s aid. They use their hands to clear the debris and find Bobby shielding May from the worst of the collapse. They carry them both to safety in the triage area. May finds Claudette and, though she’ll have to receive a nebulizer to counteract the smoke she inhaled, it looks like she’ll be fine. But later, when they cross paths at the hospital — May having ridden in with Bobby and Hen having transported an injured victim — Claudette is definitely not fine. She’s dead.
“Her pressure bottomed out. I couldn’t get her rhythm back,” Jonah admits. “It’s weird. I should’ve been able to save her. I usually save them.”
Hen’s stunned by the loss and is taken aback by Jonah’s flippant response to the 9-1-1 operator’s death. Later, she reflects on the situation, wondering if there’s something more sinister at play, and Karen urges her wife to trust her instincts.
All American 417: “Hate Me Now”
Written by Natalie
Coop returns home to find a bouquet on the steps of the Baker mansion and brings them inside for Patience. At first, Patience assumes that the flowers are a gift from Coop but she assures her ex that she didn’t send them. Patience pulls out the card and discovers that they’re from Sabine and scampers off to put the flowers in a vase. The flowers and Patience’s giddy reaction grates on Coop and soon thereafter, she calls Skye to schedule their first date. When Skye arrives, things are uncomfortably awkward between her, Coop and Patience. Oblivious to the tension between them, Skye lets it slip that Coop’s been the holdout when it comes to them dating and her call came out of the blue. Coop offers a half-hearted protest and then ushers Skye out of the house.
Speaking of half-hearted…Coop puts absolutely zero effort in finding an appropriate first date spot for herself and Skye. I mean, there are some girls for whom a food truck would be a completely acceptable first date but Skye? Nah, she’s way too bougie for that. Surprisingly, though, Skye’s willing to make an exception for Coop because she’s special. But then the wheels of this impromptu date start to come off. The food truck operator greets Coop warmly when she approaches the window and immediately sets out to prepare her favorite: “a big dog with the works for [Coop] and a hash puppy dog for Patience.” Coop is mortified and apologizes to Skye as they sit down and wait for their order. Skye accepts her apology but as Coop goes on (and on) about Patience, her enthusiasm wains.
“I know it probably looks weird because we still live together but that’s just a roommate situation,” Coop acknowledges. “I mean, she moved to the room upstairs, real fast. But it’s all good because now we’ve got our own space and she can fill hers with all the flowers she wants from Sabine and whoever else is sending them. I mean, you should’ve seen the tulips that came to the crib last night…”
At this point, Skye realizes that Coop is not special enough to tolerate all this. She calls Coop out for her thoughtless behavior — of talking ad nauseum about her ex, of only calling Skye after Patience’s flowers came — and walks away from their date. When Coop returns home with the date’s leftovers, Patience gets upset at Coop for taking Skye to their favorite food truck. Coop points out that Patience is no better: “[she’s] got Chlorine sending you entire rain forests over to our crib.” Patience corrects Coop — “her name is Sabine” — and insists that the flowers were just a platonic gesture. Coop’s skeptical because red flowers do not scream “platonic” but Patience shows Coop the card which is signed, “your friend, Sabine.”
Patience admits that their relationship meant a lot to her but, if they keep going like this — each just trying to hurt the other — they won’t have a friendship left. The pair sit down and lay out some ground rules for moving on, including dubbing the Baker House neutral territory. But as they come up with new rules to govern their post-break-up period, Coop hands Patience the funnel cake she bought for her, and I don’t think these rules will be applicable for long.
With the rules set, Coop invites Skye to Slausson Cafe to apologize for her behavior. She charms her way back into Skye’s good graces and gets a second chance on that first date.
NCIS: Hawai’i 120: “Nightwatch”
Written by Natalie
Apparently, Lucy’s visit to the Kahuna paid off and the NCIS is ready to test the waters with dating someone new. Skylar and Lucy are having fun playing glow-in-the-dark mini golf when Lucy’s called away for work. She asks for a rain check and it’s clear that this won’t be the last these two see of each other.
Back at HQ, the team’s given the case of a Navy machinist who’s implicated in the murder of US Attorney. When Ernie’s attempts to find out why the prosecutor was in Hawai’i are thwarted, Jane pushes to get the information from Kate. Ernie admits he’s tried but can’t reach Whistler so all eyes fall to Lucy to track down her ex early on a Saturday morning. For a second, Lucy feigns indignation that they’d assume she knows where Whistler is but then she realizes, it’s 6AM on a Saturday, she knows exactly where Kate is. Lucy arrives at the beach just in time to see Kate stride out of the water with her surfboard. Lucy’s so flustered by the sight of her, she stumbles over her words in an attempt to explain why she’s there: there was a murder and the team needs her help. Lucy seems more than a little relieved when Kate rushes off to get her clothes.
Whistler can’t find any cases tying the dead prosecutor to Hawai’i but, according to his phone records, he’s been talking to a colleague of hers at the FBI. She heads to the agent’s house, with Lucy and Jesse on the phone and trailing close behind, but when she hears gunshots, Kate rushes towards the danger. She peeks into the house and sees her colleague dead on the floor, with the Navy machinist standing over his body. Lucy urges Kate to stay put until they arrive but the FBI agent ignores her advice and confronts the machinist on her own. Inside, she’s blindsided by the actual killer and a fight ensues. The killer manages to put Whistler on her back but runs when she hears Jesse and Lucy approach. Kate urges Lucy to chase the killer out the back door but Lucy refuses to leave Whistler.
Bloodied and bruised, Kate tries to recall everything she can about the killer. Lucy scolds Whistler for going in without back-up and for risking her life…and it’s part legitimate NCIS complaint, part “the woman I loved (love?) could’ve died and I’m scared.” But when Kate’s boss — it’s Billy Riggins! — shows up at the scene, Lucy’s more amicable, commending Whistler for stepping in and securing the witness. Billy Riggins and Lucy head back to the FBI to search through the agent’s office and notes. Lucy gets an alert that Whistler’s going to be okay and Billy Riggins is grateful: afterall, getting her from the DIA was a coup. Apparently, the DIA offered Kate a promotion in DC and she turned it down, opting to stay in Hawai’i and move over to the FBI. The revelation rocks Lucy. She knows how ambitious Whistler is and, yet, she gave up a promotion to stay near her?
After the case is solved, Lucy and Kate cross paths in the NCIS bullpen. Lucy apologizes for being hard on her earlier before asking Whistler about passing up the DC job. Kate admits that it’s true and assures Lucy that she was going to tell her before their relationship imploded. But before Whistler can explain anymore, Lucy cuts her off. She can’t take any more heartbreak. Lucy scolds Whistler for ruining the special thing they’d built and admits that she loved her. It’s the first time Lucy’s said that aloud and Kate is stunned by the admission. Lucy leaves Whistler standing in the bullpen, feeling the full weight of what she’s lost. But Lucy rebounds quickly and cashes in that raincheck with Skyler.
New Amsterdam 418: “No Ifs, Ands, or Buts”
Written by Natalie
Lauren knew this was coming. She knew the moment that she handed Leyla the money she needed for an immigration lawyer, their relationship would be forever altered. Their entire relationship would become transactional, she told Casey, and eventually Leyla would grow to resent her for it. And when Leyla slides a brown paper across the lunch table — a cash installment of her loan repayment, to avoid a paper trail — Lauren’s proven right. It feels more like an elicit drug deal than an exchange between two people who once loved each other.
But the thing that Lauren didn’t anticipate is how her new relationship with Leyla would make her feel. The situation is immensely stressful and unlike in the past, she can’t use drugs, sex or alcohol to help her cope. The stress pushes her to lash out at the head of New Amsterdam’s holistic medicine department, Dr. Mia Castries, over a disagreement over a patient’s diagnosis. Lauren becomes so focused on finding the cause of her patient’s pain that she forgets to offer him any relief from it so he reaches out to Dr. Castries on his own. Lauren lashes out at Mia again but ultimately realizes that she’s in the wrong.
“I’ve had a really hard stretch,” Dr. Bloom admits. “And, uh…the things that I used to rely on to get me through, well, they’re…turns out they’re not so sustainable. So I’m lashing out.”
Lauren confesses that she might need to find a new crutch and Mia reminds her that a crutch means that she’s leaning on something, not fixing what’s really wrong. She tells Dr. Bloom that her attempt to avoid feeling her feelings only prolongs them. They step inside to talk to their patient and observe the rashes on his body and Dr. Bloom realizes what’s causing his pain: Celiac Disease. For years, the patient thought that he had MS but, as his symptoms are actually caused by inflammation from the gluten. Mia laments the diagnosis — the patient owns a calzone shop, after all — “because it’s hard to accept when something you love is hurting you.” Lauren feels read by Mia’s declaration and escapes out into the hallway. The holistic medicine doctor follows and Lauren confesses, “something I love is hurting me. I’m just not really sure how to let it out.”
Mia offers to help and Lauren takes her up on it. She persuades Lauren to try cupping therapy to bring her some relief.
A Million Little Things 418: “Slipping”
Written by Natalie
Excitement abounds in the Kim house this week, as Theo prepares to reunite with his girlfriend, Kiana, at the premiere for her mother’s new movie in New York City. Greta shares in Theo’s excitement — she’s a big Shanice Williamson fan — and presses Katherine for the story of how they even met. Katherine explains their backstory, conveniently leaving out the part about Shanice being the person who compelled Katherine to re-examine her life (and sexuality) or the part about Shanice being her first same-sex kiss. I try to offer Katherine some grace in this moment: telling Greta about what happened between her and Shanice would mean outing the movie star so Katherine avoids telling her girlfriend as a kindness.
But when Katherine and Theo get to New York, she doesn’t bother to tell Shanice about Greta either. When they first reunite, Shanice notices the tattoo on Katherine’s wrist and applauds her for doing things that her mother wouldn’t approve of, a hurdle Katherine had been trying to overcome when she met Shanice. It’s a prime opportunity to acknowledge Greta but, instead, Katherine just notes that “a friend” did her tattoo. Shanice holds Katherine’s hand and traces her fingertips across the tattoo and says that she loves it. The move is so seductive that it should eliminate whatever doubt existed about Shanice’s intentions for their reunion…and yet, Katherine still says nothing.
When the foursome return from the premiere, Shanice slips into something a bit more casual and offers Katherine a gift: a gold bracelet. As she slips it onto Katherine’s tattooed wrist, Shanice recalls that she’d first started working on the movie when she first met Katherine in Boston. She notes that Katherine seems like she’s in a better place now and asks if she’s happy. It’s another opportunity for Katherine to mention Greta but, again, she doesn’t. Instead, she just thanks Shanice for forcing her to face some things about herself. Katherine acknowledges that she finally feels like her full self. Shanice is happy to hear that, of course, but laments that she’s still curtailed by the expectations of the people around her. She is, however, “open to whatever comes [her] way.”
Theo interrupts the charged moment and asks if they can sleep over. Shanice urges Katherine to say yes, pointing out that her hotel suite has another wing where she and Theo could stay. Theo begs, explaining that Kiana says the sunrise view from the suite’s “balcony will rock [his] word.” Shanice asks for a verdict, “What do you say, Katherine? You ready to have your world rocked?”
Yeah…that is not subtle.
Staying in that suite, knowing where Shanice’s interests lie…Katherine knows what spending the night means and, still, she agrees to it. She steps into the bathroom and calls Greta to share that she’ll be staying in New York overnight but doesn’t volunteer any other information. Katherine emerges just in time to hear Theo spill the beans about his mom’s girlfriend, Greta. The hurt on Shanice’s face is unmistakable and her gaze falls directly on Katherine. After dinner, the two finally have it out. Katherine promises that she was going to tell her — which, frankly, I’m not sure I believe — but that she got caught up in the moment. Shanice attributes it to all the pomp and circumstance around her fame but Katherine urges her not to diminish what happened between them. Shanice admits that she thought about Katherine and the lucky woman who’d one day sweep her off her feet. She laments that she doesn’t have great timing.
But then, the narrative pivots, away from the fact that Katherine kept Greta a secret and onto the secret that Shanice is keeping. Katherine questions whether, if circumstances were different, Shanice would be ready. Shanice defends her decision to stay closeted, saying she has a responsibility to the black girls who look up to her. Katherine presses her: doesn’t Shanice have a responsibility to herself and her own happiness? Shanice responds dismissively to Katherine’s question and Katherine decides that it’s probably best that she and Theo leave.
The next morning, Greta reminds Katherine about their date night plans: watching The Bachelor and, for Greta at least, being “very glad [she’s] a lesbian.” As Greta and Theo rush off to the pet store, Katherine gets an e-mail from her assistant, Carter, with a link to some breaking news: Shanice Williams came out as bisexual.
Y’all, I gasped…and then nearly sent an apology tweet to Cameron Esposito because Katherine can’t continue to deny her feelings for Shanice now.
Meanwhile, both Rome and Maddox are both riding high from his video submission: Rome’s excited that he created an environment safe enough for Maddox to share his truth and Maddox is so thrilled by Rome’s response that he considers coming out on picture day. That decision worries Rome so he reaches out to Maggie — during her live radio show — to solicit some advice. Maggie pushes “Tom Brady” to see that his worry is rooted, in part, from his own experiences at the school where he now teaches. She encourages him to “not let the past get in the way of the present.” And, sure enough, when Maddox changes into his own clothes for pictures, his fellow students are accepting. But then Maddox goes home and his parents aren’t as supportive…and the next day, Maddox returns, wearing a girl’s uniform, with his eyes brimming with tears.
Charmed 407: “Cats and Camels and Elephants, Oh My”
Written by Valerie Anne
This week, the Charmed Ones realize that no more Tallyman doesn’t mean no more trouble. The bartender babe is still wreaking havoc, including impersonating Kaela’s mom, which luckily she catches onto fairly quickly, but unfortunately not fast enough to save her thumb from being chopped off for the bartender’s nefarious plans.
Meanwhile, Mel runs into Ruby, who asks her to be on her committee, but Mel doesn’t have time…ironic, considering she’s a time witch. But Ruby thinks it’s also because of her and Swan being a thing now and lets Mel off the hook. Eventually Mel goes back and decides she’s going to use her powers to make time for things that matters and agrees to be on Ruby’s staff.
After the gals face the bartender, Maggie learns that she can mimic powers now and kills the bartender with her own claws. But, as it turns out she has nine lives so she pops back to life and answers to her higher power saying, “The lost one will rise.” Surely that’s fine.
Until then, Kaela will use her baby blanket to finally find out how she’s connected to this whole Charmed One business.
Legacies 417:”Into the Woods”
Written by Valerie Anne
This week, Aurora is hanging out with Ken, dressing him like a…well, a Ken Doll and trying to convince him they’re on the same side. They trauma bond and make a plan to kill the Tribrid, together. Back at the school, Ben agrees to help kill Ken, but also they might be out a player because MG and Lizzie are realizing that Ethan might be joining Landon in Limbo soon.
Meanwhile, Hope is down in the underworld with Landon, and she wants to change the rules of Limbo but it turns out even the Tribrid isn’t quite THAT powerful. She sickles the Ferryman and tricks the Necromancer into sending Landon back to the material plane, where he overhears what’s been going on at the school, but then gets dragged back to Limbo by the Ferryman like a kid whose mom caught him out past curfew. Hope really wants to get them both back to the real world, but Landon is realizing they both have their roles, and their destinies don’t intertwine anymore. Landon is fated to stay in Limbo helping souls cross over, and Hope is slated to save the world from a god. She has to be the one who lives, even if it’s harder.
They say goodbye and kiss and my heart really wants it to be the last time. But my brain has seen this show and knows that if anything is true it’s this: there’s always a loophole.
Hope finally wakes up in the real world, her Tribrid body healed, interrupting the chess game of strategy Ben is playing trying to figure out how to stop his father. She points out he’s missing on thing: the queen. And she’s ready to be put back on the board.