Boobs on Your Tube: Station 19’s Two-Part Finale Starts off Hot (In More Ways Than One, Unfortunately)

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Here’s what you missed! Kayla recapped Hacks and how smart it is about characters “getting canceled.” Riese recapped the latest Under the Bridge. Furiosa comes out this weekend and it’s a dazzling blockbuster — is it also a trans allegory?

Breaking News — Drew and Kayla are still not done with Challengers! Drew wants to know Which Pair of Cinematic Boys Should You Bisexually Terrorize? So she wrote you a quiz. Kayla ranked the Top 10 things to do while listening to the Challengers score (are other people doing this? Or is it just the Autostraddle team in this chokehold?) Sa’iyda reviewed Queen of the Deuce, which tells the story of a queer woman who created a porn empire.

Riese has throwback photos of The L Word cast that will rocket you right back to 2005. And speaking of throwbacks, Drew wrote about the very special lesbian episode of Girls in case you forgot it existed. And still on that nostalgia train! The senior editors wished Glee a very happy 15th anniversary by picking out 36 songs we think they’d cover if the show was still around today.

Notes from the TV Team: 

+ Abbott Elementary gave their queer character played by Kimia Behpoornia one last shout out in their season finale, as she goes on to lists all the stages of Kristen Stewart’s fame during a house party hosted by Quinta Brunson’s Janine Teagues. When another character deadpans, “You sure do know a lot about Kristen Stewart,” she responds: “I’m gay.” And let the church say, Amen. — Carmen

+ Despite a return guest appearance from Nomi, grown-ish series finale offered little cause for celebration for the gays. I can’t say I’ll miss the show (particularly what it became), but I’m appreciative of the classic moments that it gave. — Natalie


Station 19 Episode 709: “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You”

Written by Carmen

Carina licks Maya's navel on Station 19

I cannot believe that after seven years, we’ve really made it to the end of Station 19. In so many ways I think this show had longer to give! It’s a solid weekly soap that has become, in its own way, one of the last remaining backbones of Shondaland on network TV. And now Grey’s will be the last remaining fingerprint of Shonda Rhimes next fall on a genre of television that she once helped to revitalize. I’m still working through some of my feelings on that, so we’ll put a pause here until next week, and today let’s talk about what’s really important. Carina and Maya in bed.

As the opening scene of its two-part series finale, Station 19 provides us with a montage of its ‘ships being incredibly sexy, almost as if the writers said to themselves: this is the last time we’re going to have to deal with the FCC, so F*ck It! Did anyone else notice that the couples were M/F (Natasha and Sullivan), M/M (Travis and the cute new gay Latino firefighter who’s name I still don’t know), and F/F (Carina and Maya) — I don’t know, I just thought it was a nice detail! Let everyone get hot and heavy at 9pm on a Thursday. Why not?!

So Carina is stressed about taking a pregnancy test to see if the embryo is sticking, but it’s too early for all that yet, so instead she sticks her tongue across Maya’s abs and into Maya’s belly button, which we can all agree is a better use of her time. Honestly I did clutch my pearls a little because do you remember when after showing .05 seconds of Calzona in a shower together, the camera had to pan away? Look at how far we’ve come!!!

Speaking of coming (sorry, I had to), once Carina is done going down on Maya, they both get dressed for what’s going to be a wild ass work day. There is a five-alarm fire coming through the woods and heading towards Seattle. Maya wants Carina to take it easy, because she could be carrying their bambino, but Carina says pregnant or not it is her duty to serve. Honestly, the whole forest fire setting is just really beautiful and emotional. It’s a dramatic and perfect backdrop to get all of our final goodbyes! We even get to see the entire Station 19 crew piled together, limbs intertwined as they sleep on top of the firetruck one last time. I sincerely just… loved it.

Maya spends the night fighting fires, but back at Grey Sloan Memorial, Carina is too scared to get her pregnancy test results, so in nice little moment of gay solidarity, Helm agrees to look for her. The music starts to swell, and you just know this is going to be a good news/bad news situation because just as Helm fixes her mouth to tell Carina she’s pregnant, just as Carina’s eyes start to crinkle and tear up with unimaginable joy, that’s when learn that Maya is surrounded in a brush fire, desperate, and cannot find her way back out.

Maya cries out to Andy, Andy cries out back to her. But it might be too late.

(I’ll be honest with you, I’m taking all of this with a grain of salt. 100%, I do no believe that Station 19 will end with Maya dying and Carina becoming a widow. Not for their core couple and one of the driving engines of the show. That would be too cruel! But it does make for an effective cliffhanger, and so I will see you all back next week — when we have to say finally goodbye for good. I’m not ready yet.)


Grey’s Anatomy Episode 2009: “I Carry Your Heart”

Written by Carmen

Yasud and Helm mid-break up on Grey's Anatomy

Screenshot

Here’s the thing about Grey’s Anatomy… it has a lot of goodwill, from a lot of gay fans (myself included) based on a long history of it being one of the most progressive and queer-friendly network television shows. It’s the home of the longest-running lesbian character ever on television (Arizona Robbins), the longest-running bisexual characters ever on television (Callie Torres and Amelia Shephard), one of the most watched lesbian weddings in history (Callie and Arizona’s), etc. The bonafides speak for themselves.

It is getting hard to reconcile or compare the present of Grey’s against that storied history. I think we all wanted to love Amelia and Kai, but even their biggest fans would agree — the couple was not given the same opportunities for depth in writing that was granted to past queer relationships. Helm’s queerness was left as a joke for years before she was given a relationship with Yasuda. And now that Amelia is out, they have slow walked every inch of her building relationship with Dr. Natalie Morales Monica Beltrán, to the point of which I’m not sure, at this point, if that relationship will ever lift off at all. Though I hope I’m wrong on that!

With the news of Midori Francis’ Intern Yasuda and Jake Borelli’s Dr. Levi Schmitt  both leaving the show at the end of this season, presumably due to budget restraints, it’s hard not to feel frustrated as a gay fan. And last night’s episode did absolutely nothing to dissuade those frustrations.

First, the good news! We learned bisexual actress Adelaide Kane’s Jules is also bisexual, due to an off-handed “my ex-girlfriend” comment made while doing some Tinder swipes. And that is good news! We love queer actors getting to play queer characters, and for at least the brief moment of these final few episodes Grey’s Anatomy will have six sapphic characters on the show at the same time (Jules, Teddy, Yasuda, Helm, Amelia, and Dr. Beltrán) — which is a series high! And that’s saying a lot, on what’s already a historically gay show.

At the same time, representational quantity does not equal quality in storytelling, and whew boi did Grey’s prove that right last night.

To get the more obvious of the two remaining queer storylines out of the way, Yasuda and Helm broke up. It’s hard not to be annoyed that their “break up” comes after what was barely a launch to their once sexy and promising relationship! And after years on the sidelines, Helm deserves better than this! But alas, Midori Francis is leaving and so break up they must.

What comes next is somehow even worse — despite just last week telling Amelia that she was still reeling from her divorce and not ready for a relationship, this week finds Dr. Beltrán having sex with Winston Ndugu. They bonded over both being divorcés at Joe’s Bar, so sure whatever (it’s worth noting that Amelia is also divorced.

I want to be very clear here, especially when talking about a bisexual character, that I have no problem with Monica Beltrán having sex with a cis man. Carina DeLuca, Teddy Altman, Amelia Shepherd and Callie Torres have a long and happy history having sex with cis men! Including men that I do not like! Because who could ever like Owen Hunt?? But I am deeply bothered that after a season of build up with Amelia, and after just telling her last week that she wasn’t ready for a relationship!!, this week instead found Beltrán in bed with a man in what felt like a pretty regressive and biphobic trope.

Even if this is setting up some kind of love triangle or realization of her feelings with Amelia, this is a storytelling choice that’s simply beneath Grey’s at this point in its lifetime.

Two more episodes until the finale, I guess…


All American Episode 608: “Kids See Ghosts”

Written by Natalie

Coop leans on a desk, while Patience sits across from her, in a chair, participating in witness prep.

With Patience determined to help with the case against Miko, Coop approaches Laura about helping prep the prosecution’s star witness for trial. While Laura acknowledges that witness prep isn’t the District Attorney’s strong suit, she insists that Patience be prepped by a real team who understands what Miko’s team will do. Coop insists that she’s the right person for the job but Laura pushes back: prepping Patience would require interrogating her about the most intimate details of the assault. Coop persists and Laura eventually relents but makes the aspiring lawyer promise to let her watch a run-through when they’re done.

For their prep session, Coop insists that she and Patience get into character: as the prosecutor, she dons a crisp striped button-up with grey colorblock blazer, while Patience wears a navy cardigan with pearls. Patience bemoans her Julie Andrew-esque outfit but Coop contends it will remind the jury that she’s innocent. Patience tries to get flirtatious but Coop urges her to take this prep work seriously. Patience assures Coop that she is — “The bitch stabbed me, Coop. It doesn’t get any more serious than that, OK?” — but she refuses to let Miko steal any more of her joy.

The pair settle in for their first practice run and it goes exactly as Laura expected it would. Coop tosses out one softball question after another and accepts Patience’s answers without pushing back. Laura overhears the entire session and criticizes Coop for not pushing harder. She swears that Miko’s lawyers are going to tear Patience apart on the stand and Coop does Patience a disservice by not properly preparing her.

So, Coop tries again, this time being relentless with her questioning — however nonsensical it is — and once Coop pesters her with questions about the attack, Patience breaks down. Later, Coop reveals to Laura and admits that Patience can’t testify. They have have to find another way, Coop surmises, to put Miko away. I roll my eyes at the prospect of a conviction without any corroborating evidence but I’m sure All American‘s writers will, no doubt, force it audience to suspend disbelief yet again so that Coop can save the day.


9-1-1 Episode 709: “Ashes, Ashes”

Written by Natalie

As Denny looks on, his mamas (Hen and Karen) say a tearful goodbye to Mara. Hen is on one knee, Karen is standing next to Mara, holding the child against her. All three are holding hands.

Earlier this season, while Bobby was away on his ill-fated honeymoon cruise, Henrietta Wilson stepped in as captain. Her tenure was brief but two significant things happened: first, at the scene of a car accident, one of the drivers — the one ultimately responsible for injuring a mother and daughter — refused medical care. Despite Chimney’s repeated attempts to get the driver to reconsider, he stood firm: assuring everyone he was fine. Ultimately, Hen acquiesced but, unbeknownst to her, the driver had a brain bleed and he died at the scene.

The death spawns an Internal Affairs investigation — the driver turned out to be the son of a city councilwoman — and Hen is temporarily relieved of duty. Frustrated and angry, she reached out to talk to Athena but to no avail. Concerned by the radio silence, Hen launched an investigation of her own and, ultimately, figured out that the cruise ship was in trouble. Her superior officer didn’t share Hen’s concerns and, after she’s cleared by IA, he ordered her back to the captaincy. Instead, she disobeyed his order and requisitioned a helicopter to find the cruise ship. Hen and her team from the 118 head out, in a hurricane, and discover the sinking cruise ship.

Which brings us back to this week. Hen and her team each receive medals for their efforts. Not everyone is thrilled to see Hen rewarded for her valor, though: the City Councilwoman remains convinced that Hen didn’t do enough to save her son. She meets Hen, Karen, Denny and the soon-to-be adopted Mara. You can almost see the lightbulb over the Councilwoman’s head come on when she meets the now joyous little girl; the path is clear: their child for her child.

First she gets Hen and Karen’s adoption hearing — which was supposed to be a formality — delayed. Their social worker admits to never having had this happen before but Hen knows the councilwoman’s fingerprints are all over this. Hen confronts her directly but Councilwoman Ortiz insists she was acting in the best interest of the child. She points to past incidents — withholding care from a dying man, the misidentified cheerleaders, the bank robbery and the ambulance accident — to suggest a pattern of negligence on Hen’s part.

“I’ve only ever done my best to save lives,” Hen contends.

But no sooner than the words are out of her mouth, the other shoe drops: Karen calls Hen home, their foster license has been revoked and Child Protective Services is set to remove Mara from their care. The girl wails in protest, Denny attempts to stop the officer from taking his sister, and Karen and Hen offer tearful assurances that they’ll still be a family even if they’re not under the same roof.


The Chi Episode 611: “Saints and Sinners”

Written by Natalie

Jemma leans into Britney's space as she strives to get a bit more intimate with one of her artists

When we first met Jemma St. John on The Chi, she was the apple of her father’s eye: a determined student at a prestigious private school, determined to be phenomenal. No doubt, the goal is still to be phenomenal but the path that she’s on now — the independent music producer/manager — is a far from the one her father imagined for her. After high school, Jemma wanted to forge her own path and her father, begrudgingly, acquiesced…but said she had to do it without his financial support.

This week, Jemma invites her father and his girlfriend, Tierra, over to her apartment for dinner to showcase how she’s managed without him. Glancing around at the tastefully decorated apartment, Jemma’s dad marvels over the life she’s built for herself. The trio’s dinner is interrupted by a visit from Britney who comes bearing the weed Jemma requested. Jemma tries to quickly push Britney out the door but her father interrupts and questions if she’s a dealer. Britney pushes back that she’s the reason Jemma can afford this fancy new apartment…and, thankfully, before things can get more awkward, Tierra intercedes and invites Britney to join them for dinner.

Inside, Britney looks over the spread and wonders if Jemma cooked it all. Her father laughs and admits that Jemma can’t boil water. Britney promises to teach Jemma some things — she had to cook for herself and her brother, Bakari, when they were kids — and the moment of vulnerability causes Jemma to offer her an embrace (which her dad definitely clocks). Nonetheless, Jemma’s father is impressed by Britney, both by her stories of perseverance and her music.

The next day, Jemma’s father questions whether things between her and Britney are purely professional. He assures her that he’s there to listen if she has something to share but Jemma insists that there’s nothing to tell. He doesn’t press Jemma on her denials but he leaves her with some sage advice: “don’t shit where you eat.”

Later, Jemma meets us with Jake and the couple finally have an honest conversation. He admits that he hooked up with someone else. Jemma responds to the news petulantly and Jake reminds her that they’re just 18 years old. He questions whether she’s considered hooking up with Britney and Jemma questions if he’s acting out of jealousy. He assures her he’s not and presses her about if she wants to sleep with Britney. Jemma doesn’t answer but her silence speaks volumes. He suggests opening up their relationship but, instead of answering, Jemma grabs her blazer and walks out.

Hurt over Jake’s betrayal, Jemma returns to the studio, decked out and determined to seduce Britney. She slinks into the vocal booth and dances as Britney writes nearby. Jemma tries to pull her in but Britney resists, claiming she just wants to keep things professional. Jemma scoffs and tries to walk away but Britney pulls her back. She admits that she wants to but she doesn’t want them to lose sight of the goal. If they cross that line, Britney contends, there’s no going back.

“So sex with you is just gon’ change my life?” Jemma questions.

“It would,” Britney answers, drawing Jemma closer.


Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Episode 204: “Chapter Fourteen: When a Stranger Calls Back”

Written by Valerie Anne

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School, Noa and Jen kiss

Let’s hope Jen isn’t another Sara “Showers” Harvey.

We open this week with Mouse debriefing the rest of the NuLiars about her game of hide and seek with Bloody Rose Waters. Mouse toys with the idea that it might be supernatural, that maybe their summoning worked, but the rest of the girls aren’t so convinced. Mouse also thinks it’s her fault this is happening at all, because she’s the one who described A’s mask on Spooky Spaghetti, which is how the lore got out of hand and stories about Archie skinning his mother to make his mask got started. Her friends assure her it’s not her fault, though when they find out Dr. Sullivan had an accident, they have a harder time giving themselves the same grace. I have a working theory that Dr. Sullivan is Bloody Rose Waters, especially since we later learn she was Real Rose Waters’ therapist, but that’s perhaps too obvious at this stage so I’m not putting all my eggs in this bloody basket.

Now that a new threat is afoot, Noa gets freaked out by a “prank call” at work, and when Jen comes to check on her, she suggests they ditch work and go hang out at her dad’s house. They have a really cute, gay montage of raiding the bar, shooting pool, playing dress-up, and just generally being fun and flirty while Untouched by The Veronicas plays. They eventually go swimming and Noa says that if Jen needs cash, she should just steal one of her dad’s many Rolexes and sell it. Unfortunately, this plan goes sideways and Jen’s dad calls the cops on her, landing her back in juvie. Luckily, Noa convinces her boyfriend to pay Jen’s bail and she gets out quickly.

Jen apologizes for getting Noa caught up in her family drama, and Noa apologizes for putting the idea in her head in the first place. Jen tells Noa that with her parents all but abandoning her, she feels so alone. Noa assures her she’s not alone, and proves it by kissing her. Jen pulls back for a moment, searching Noa’s face, and when Noa gives her a reassuring smile, Jen goes in for another kiss. Sorry boyfriend, but this is happening!

Later, Mouse and Adam, on a cute little motorbike date looking for Real Rose Waters, call in the girls because they found her encampment. When they confront her and ask about Archie, terrified at the prospect of him being alive, Real Rose Waters runs and jumps into the nearest river for an expeditious escape. Not exactly the foreboding and highly organized figure that’s been stalking our girls.

What will happen next! Will Imogen or Tabby’s new boyfriends turn out to be evil? Will Faran physically recover from her back-breaking face-off with Bloody Rose Waters? Will Kelly Beasely do a one-woman rendition of Carrie the Musical during Redemption House? Only time will tell!

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

Carmen Phillips

Carmen is Autostraddle's Editor-in-Chief and a Black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 715 articles for us.

Valerie Anne

Just a TV-loving, Twitter-addicted nerd who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 564 articles for us.

Natalie

A black biracial, bisexual girl raised in the South, working hard to restore North Carolina's good name. Lover of sports, politics, good TV and Sonia Sotomayor. You can follow her latest rants on Twitter.

Natalie has written 404 articles for us.

4 Comments

  1. Oh I don’t know, they might kill Maya if they’re planning on moving Carina over to Grey’s next season like they seem to be with Ben. It’s a non zero chance, especially if they don’t want to bring her back or explain her absence.

  2. i’m still soooo sad about losing yasuda! like i’m embarrassed at how sad i am about it. i love watching her every week. i hope midori francis will be playing gay in something else soon.

  3. I don’t think anything’s going to happen to Maya either. I haven’t watched the show in about 3 seasons but hers and Carina’s popularity as a couple pretty much makes their getting a happy ending a guarantee. To me the real cliffhanger is whether or not Carina will somehow find her way back to Greys. She was always so fun on there and Jo as the sole OB leaves much to be desired.

    And I very much agree about Greys current portrayal of LGBT characters. “Representational quantity does not equal quality in storytelling” is an excellent way to put it because the stories have been uneven and underwritten for years now and they only seem to be doubling down—love the bi rep but Monica and Winston was super disappointing, after all that build up with Amelia and that’s the direction they take it in? It’s giving love triangle and I’m already over it.

    Lately their LGBT characters seem more ornamental than functional (everything about Yasuda and Helm’s relationship was lacking and rushed) but I’m still holding out hope that they’ll turn things around. Greys was great with their gays once, and I think they can get good again. The shorter season didn’t do them any favours but with a full season order for s21 hopefully they’ll put in some effort and care into their gay characters/stories once again.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!