It was another sweet week of TV with sapphic endgame couple on High School Musical: The Musical: The Series and more people catching up on Isaac’s wonderful aroace story on the second season of Heartstopper. Kayla is in lesbians with the new Scott Pilgrim anime teaser. We also found out Madelaine Petsch and Vanessa Morgan pushed for more Choni sex scenes on Riverdale. And Just Like That destroyed Che Diaz for good. Harlan Coben’s Shelter proved, once again, what we all know: everyone deserves a cool queer aunt. Kayla took a stroll down memory lane to her Black Swan era. And Drew reviewed Bad Things.
The Chi 603: “House Party”
Written by Natalie
Admittedly, not a lot happens in this week’s episode of The Chi and I debated whether or not to recap it. That said, “House Party,” seemingly, draws each of the queers we love — Fatima, Nina, and Dre — and the folks they love — Victor, Lynae, Kiesha — closer to danger and, in anticipation of that, I wanted to make sure the table was set for that discussion. But also? There’s a buncha people having the best time doing the Wobble in this episode…and how could I not celebrate that joy?
(Note to Creators: The Wobble is always — always — a good idea.)
Nina’s daughter, Kiesha, has really pulled her life together, following the harrowing events of Season 3. She’s in a stable relationship with Emmett, her son is healthy, she’s starting a new job as a teacher…and now, they’ve got a new house on Chicago’s West Side. The location of Emmett and Kiesha’s new home is a sore spot: most of their families live over on the South Side and it’s a trek to venture over to the West Side. It’s a small thing but given how that type of derision is generally reserved for Los Angeles and New York (at least on TV), I appreciated hearing it here.
“House Party” is what it sounds like: Kiesha and Emmett inviting their friends and family over for a housewarming party. Natch, the lesbians are the only folks that bring over a thoughtful gift — a dual basket air fryer — which Kiesha reacts to as if she’s not raising four kids (her son + Emmett’s three kids). The ability to make french fries and chicken nuggets at once?! Girl, that is a gift…Kiesha should be far more excited. When they get a moment alone, Nina presses her daughter on how comfortable she is with all the upheaval. She’s worried that Kiesha’s tied herself to Emmett — raising their kids together, sharing a mortgage — without being married. Kiesha urges her mom to just let it go and Nina acquiesces, however begrudgingly.
Once Dre returns to her side, though, it’s clear where Nina’s misgivings stem from: between Kiesha’s move and Kevin’s emancipation, she feels as though her children don’t need her anymore. Dre insists that Nina’s kids will always need her but they’ll need her in a different way. Nina admonishes her wife for therapizing her and wishes that she’d let her be in her feelings about this. Dre doesn’t listen and, instead, pulls her wife onto the dance floor where they reclaim their joy (by doing the Wobble, natch).
I wish that Nina’s misgivings weren’t reduced to “empty nest syndrome” because her concerns about Emmett are wholly warranted. Because, unbeknownst to Nina or Kiesha, Emmett’s financing their new life with a dangerous alliance with Douda. The business owner/former mayor/gangster is financing the growth of Emmett’s personal and professional lives. Douda’s housewarming gift — a gun — is an ominous sign of the danger that Kiesha could soon find herself enmeshed in.
“If someone comes in here to hurt you, they might not always come for you first,” Douda warns.
But Nina’s daughter and grandson aren’t the only ones facing that threat. Douda and Victor are at odds and, unbeknownst to Victor, he’s been implicated in the murder of Quentin Dickinson, in an effort to throw suspicion off of Douda. With Rob out to avenge his uncle’s murder, Victor’s now in someone else’s crosshairs. And, of course, as the danger grows closer, Victor invites Fatima to move into his house…an offer she enthusiastically accepts, as long as she can redecorate the place. Hopefully, we’ll get to see her on some shopping outings with Kiesha, who she befriends at the housewarming party.
Meanwhile, Lynae is drawing closer to her brother, Jamal. I keep worrying about his newly found faith will impact Lynae (and the moms) but for now, his ire is directed solely at his sister’s relationship with Bakari. He warns her about the dangers of falling for someone in the game but Lynae insists that Bakari is just the lookout. Jamal notes that that’s how it starts but, eventually, Bakari will be asked to do more. At the time, Lynae seems to brush off her brother’s concerns but, at the house party, she confronts Bakari about his choices and when he doesn’t relent, she breaks off their relationship. Bakari comes over later, armed with Cheetos, gummies, and an apology.
“I’m not trying to watch you die,” Lynae confesses.
“You’re not going to have to,” Bakari answers…but I’m not sure that’s a promise he — or anyone on this show — can keep.
Nancy Drew Episode 412: “The Heartbreak of Truth”
Written by Valerie Anne
In what is unfortunately the penultimate episode of Nancy Drew ever, we are back on the case of Jane Doe. Nancy is still determined to figure out what happened to her, and what sin she erased, but Ace and Jane Doe aren’t ready to say goodbye, so they don’t want her to solve it.
Meanwhile, Bess is up in arms because she was told she’s not allowed to throw a Beltane celebration because it doesn’t meet “community standards.” She tries to appeal to the sheriff, showing her angry tweets about it, but the sheriff remains unmoved. Bess storms off to complain about it to George and in the middle of her rant, she decides to hold Beltane anyway. She recruits the baby gays to help her and when the sheriff shows up to complain, she shows her that there’s nothing dangerous going on, and that the town deserves joy. Bess promises they’re on the same side of things when it comes to wanting to keep Horseshoe Bay safe.
Despite being told not to, Nancy continues to investigate Jane Doe’s death, and these clues lead Ace begrudgingly to Jane Doe’s apartment. She appears to him there and he knows it’s true: her name is Alice, and she was his captain the night he went fishing with his dad.
Nancy shows up and she and Ace fight about how neither of them have moved on from each other; one is dating a ghost, the other a Sineater. The difference is, Nancy is fully aware she’s not over Ace, and Ace seems to be in denial about it.
After they part ways, Nancy asks Tristan to let her save him, and when he agrees, they get the Drew Crew together to break the masthead, aka the Mother of Monsters. If they can’t make him not a Sineater anymore, they can at least make it so no one can call him to eat any more sins. Bess and George recite an incantation, and Tristan smashes the masthead. The Mother of Monsters screams and…melts. Tristan says she was a prisoner and grateful to be freed. As a thanks, she leaves behind the goop they need to activate the sin-revealing artifact.
Ace and Nancy touch the artifact, and remember the night they forgot. When Ace dropped the artifact into the ocean, a wave rocked the boat, and the cabin caught fire from the inside. Ace tried and failed to open the door to get Alice out, and then he realized his dad fell overboard, so he chose to save his father. He had called Nancy after, and when she saw how utterly broken Ace looked, she decided to erase it from their memories.
Ace is pissed. He didn’t ask her to erase his guilt and grief, didn’t ask her to erase Alice. Nancy knows more than anyone how grief can shape you; which is equal parts why it’s understandable that she did this and also why Ace can’t understand why she would take that away from him.
Ace goes back to the morgue and tells Alice what happened, and she’s upset with him but she does finally go into the light.
When Callie “Club for Undermining Nancy’s Team” Farquad learns that the masthead is destroyed, she retaliates by spraying the Beltane celebration with Sin Water, un-erasing all the sins that have ever been eaten in Horseshoe Bay.
Only Murders in the Building Episode 303: “Grab Your Hankies”
Written by Valerie Anne
This week, Oliver is working hard to turn his play Death Rattle into a musical, while Charles and Mabel are starting a fresh new murderboard.
Step one for Oliver: write a showstopper.
Step one for Charles: find out who doesn’t have the hanky Ben gave them
Step one for Mabel: search Ben’s apartment
On the way up to the Penthouse, Mabel runs into Tobert, who is also on his way to the Penthouse. They both catch each other in their lies, and confess the truth: Mabel doesn’t think the superfan they arrested is the real killer, and Tobert is searching for a USB of video from the night Ben died. They have to hide in an armoire when Ben’s brother shows up, and while saying their goodbyes, Mabel snatches the USB. Alas, she can’t get into it without his password, so she ends up asking him to join forces. They watch the video together, and it’s of Ben talking angrily to someone in his dressing room.
Meanwhile, at musical rehearsal, Loretta tells Oliver to find the heart of his show, so when the producers come to see it, instead of performing his showstopper, he has Loretta perform the lullaby. Kimber joins in, and as a musical theatre nerd, I very much enjoyed seeing this duet between Meryl Streep and Ashley Park.
The producers are moved by this, and agree to green-light the musical, and despite being offered a role on the fictional Shondaland show Grey’s New Orleans Family Burn Unit, Loretta decides to stay in the show. Her and Oliver kiss, which I find highly inappropriate for a director/star, but maybe that’s just me.
At the end of their song, Kimber goes from looking enthralled by Loretta’s voice to practically turning green from jealousy, so let’s hope she doesn’t get wind of that relationship. Also, Kimber doesn’t have her hanky. Dun dun dun!
90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days Episode 611: “St. Elmo’s Fire”
Written by Nic
The thing about reality TV and the 90 Day franchise in particular is that without fail at some point a cast member will cry “but I was given a bad edit!wp_postsand viewers are forced to decide what version of the truth they believe. Now, this is to be a recap of the events of the show, HOW’M’EVER while I have journalistic integrity, I also love mess! So I recently started following both Dempsey and Statler on social media, and this week Statler took to her Instagram stories to insinuate that what we saw on this week’s episode wasn’t the whole truth, but the NDA she signed prevented her from sharing everything. Allegedly she will be going live this weekend (August 19-20) to spill the tea and I am SO CURIOUS what it’s about.
We start off with Dempsey coming home from work and finding the scavenger hunt that Statler left for her. She’s actually really enamored by the whole thing and going on about how no one has ever done anything this romantic for her, and also she hopes that Statler doesn’t plan to propose or anything because well, she can be a bit extra. It’s so funny to me that Dempsey doesn’t understand how Statler could have pulled this off after only being there for a week and spending almost all of her time with Dempsey and to that I say… never underestimate a lesbian in love!
Cut to later that evening where Statler has a fire going and is nervously awaiting Dempsey’s arrival. (Are we supposed to believe the two of them just didn’t see each other in the several hours before it got dark out?? Anyway.) She’s worried that while she’s had an incredible time with Dempsey, what if Dempsey doesn’t think things have been going as well? When Dempsey gets there, she embraces her girlfriend and the two awkwardly cheers the cocktails that Statler brought; the cocktail that Statler then proceeds to chug because she’s so nervous.
Statler launches into a speech about how much she cares about Dempsey and how she was pleasantly surprised that she was even better in person than she could have imagined. She finally gets out those three little words, and when Dempsey reciprocates with “I also love you”, Statler could barely believe it. No really. She actually asks Dempsey if she’s sure.
Now that she has confirmation that they both love each other, Statler figures this is the best time to drop the “hey so my lease is about to be up and also we’re in love so how about I move in with you?wp_postsbomb. Dempsey isn’t quite ready to UHaul yet though; she requests that they slow down a bit. What if Statler moves to England and gets a place of her own before they decide to cohabitate since there’s still so much they don’t know about each other? As an example, Dempsey brings up the fact that she had no idea that Statler had cheated in a previous relationship. She also doesn’t know what happened between Statler and her English ex, so Statler shares that she’s been in contact with that ex who actually offered to pick her up from the airport and then stay together in a hotel for “closure.wp_postsDempsey is heartbroken that this is the first time she’s learning this, and Statler is speechless other than saying she wasn’t keeping anything from her.
So what’s this whole “y’all don’t know the truthwp_postsabout?? Is it about Statler’s ex? Is it that we have a rosier than accurate view of Dempsey?? You can bet I’ll be tuning into Statler’s live to find out for myself.