Micah’s taken Jose to a nice restaurant and he’s impressed ’cause Garage Pizza would’ve been okay. But Micah loves forks!
Micah: I don’t think I can make it all the way through dinner without telling you something first.
Jose: I know. You’re trans. I saw you on grindr.
Micah: I have a gift card.
Welp! Micah plows forward, not acknowledging the statement about being trans in favor of really worrying about this gift card. Jose is down for fun with menu math and suggests they get all they can for $80, which’ll probs be a bottle of wine, a plate of calamari and a side salad. Micah’s like it’s cool we can ditch this fancy restaurant where we’re about to consume free food and get coffee instead, which’s a bold move to make so late in the evening, and Jose’s like, you can get me coffee tomorrow morning. DAMN OK
Shane and Finley are SURROUNDED BY HETEROSEXUALS at a Sportsball Brewski Bro Bar and Finley’s telling Shane that even if Shane doesn’t wanna divulge the contents of that manilla envelope, Finley would definitely help her hide a body. Shane tells the tender young millennial to put Tinder away and look around. Fair enough — she shouldn’t be swiping, she should be asking Shane if the envelope contained proof that Shane once owned a hamster — but also… as aforementioned, they’re surrounded by heterosexuals.
Behind the bar, however, we’ve got at least one queer reporting for duty. It’s Lena (Mercedes Mason), who saddles over when Finley orders two shots of “your cheapest tequila,” and attempts and fails to seduce Lena with eye contact. Finley concludes Lena is out of her league and announces she’s gonna “go scout some local talent.” She tells Shane to “watch and learn.” This is like a human telling God to go watch them create the heavens and the earth.
“Mama’s buying,” Finley tells Lena before skirting away from the bar. “Kids,” Shane shakes her head. Lena can barely keep her clothes on.
So here we have two types of people: we have Finley, literally introducing herself to every girl in the room and asking if she can buy them a drink even though she’ll absolutely under no condition actually buy the drink. (Finley’s financial situation is baffling and I’m not sure if it’s a “let’s suspend our disbelief because it’s TV” situation or an “establishing clues building to an eventual explanation” situation.)
Meanwhile a girl who remembers Shane from Ye Olde Shane Days saddles up to the bar with a syrupy “Hey Shane” and asks if Shane still does [whispers sweet nothings into her earhole]. Shane’s response is “not tonight.”
Across the room, we see Tess (played by trans actress Jamie Clayton!!!!!!) weaving through the tables pretending to care about men before landing back at the bar. Although Shane doesn’t know Tess, Tess knows all about Shane, announcing, “girl I know who you are everyone in this city knows who you are, you’re like a living legend.” (Throwback #11) Tess ribs Shane on behalf of every girl who is skeptical of Shane.
Tess tells Shane she’s glad she’s here and wishes “the whole bar was filled with girls like us.” “Girls Like Us” is the name of a queer magazine from the U.K. that’s been out for a while (I have an issue labeled Volume 2 – Issue 1 dated 2010), but in recent years the term is pretty exclusively associated with the #girlslikeus hashtag started by Janet Mock that’s specifically about trans women. It’s odd to have Jamie Clayton, a trans woman, say this line to Shane, who is not a trans woman. She clearly doesn’t mean “girls who are trans,” despite that being the saying, she means “girls who are queer” (which can include trans women, but not exclusively.) This is a weird choice!
Lena tells Shane that Tess is her girlfriend who’s really good with the customers but not so much with her. Lena you just met this person why are you telling her this!
Over at Alice and Nat’s, Eli the half-human is curled up sick and Nat’s assuring Alice, who points out she had to leave a big meeting to help Nat’s son ruin a kitchen appliance, that tomorrow will be better ’cause Gigi’s gonna take care of him. Which inexplicably leads to….
Lesbian Squabble #6: Don’t Tell Mommi She’s The Babysitter
In The Ring: Alice vs. Nat
Content: Alice feels like a babysitter! Nat says that’s not a feeling! Alice says she wants to help and not have Gigi called in to help. Nat asks if Alice wants to watch Eli tomorrow! Alice says she does not! Alice says “you can’t have it both ways, you can’t want me to be in their lives and then call in Gigi when you can’t handle something!”
Who Wins? Um, Eli? Popular kid!
Back at The Sportsball Bar of The Big Game, Finley’s Round Robin has finally landed her on a successful prospect. We know this ’cause it’s Olivia Thirlby, playing a recurring role this season on Generation Q!
Finley: Hi, I’m Finley.
Rebecca: I just saw you walk up to like five other women and introduce yourself in this bar.
Finley: I am VERY friendly.
Rebecca: Is that what it is?
She consents to a drink. Finley asks for her wallet. Finley’s a P.A after all and she bets Rebecca has a job! Rebecca is charmed. I understand. I had an entire relationship that was just this over and over again. It ended poorly on multiple levels.
Back at the bar, a patron’s getting rowdy with Lena over her denial of an additional serving of whiskey. Luckily, Shane’s been punching bags etc for some time now and pushes him off Lena with her super-strength Captain planet power and I’ll tell you what, Lena is smitten as hell.
Tess returns to thank Shane and apologize because that’s what women do; we apologize for things that aren’t our fault. Lena blatantly shuns Tess’s affection to smile in Shane’s direction. I hate this for them! Shane points out that this bar sucks.
Shane: This used to be a gay bar yeah, right?
Lena: Yeah, eight years ago.
Shane: Damn, times have changed.
Lena: Yeah, Tess is always trying to buy out the owners and turn it back into a gay bar.
Well SOMEONE should buy this bar and let them run it, Shane says, which means Shane is definitely going to buy this bar and let them run it. It’s a good idea to get an on-the-rocks couple to run a business together! Has nobody here seen Gimme Sugar.
Micah and Jose are swimming and talking about math. “That’s not my first gift card,” says Jose. Yikes!
Jose really wants to talk about Micah being trans and Micah really does not want to talk about being trans! Jose asks if Micah was with guys pre-transition and when he transitioned and Micah gently pushes this interrogation into the “let’s circle back to this next year” territory, explaining, “I want to tell you everything about my whole life, I do. It’s just I haven’t met a lot of people who don’t squint and try to imagine what I used to look like, so I just don’t talk about it.” Which brings us to…
Queer Sexy Moment #5: Eyes Wide Open
The Players: Jose and Micah
The Pick-Up: “You can look. I’m not squinting.”
Hot or Not? POOL SEX POOL SEX POOL SEX! Shit gets sultry and wet and the music’s good (“Love is a Bitch” by Two Feet) and the breathing is too. I believe this is the first-evert television sex scene between two men of color in which one of them is transgender!
Dani gets home to find Sophie asleep on the couch next to empty wine glasses and half-eaten plates of cold food and she covers Sophie with a blanket.
Meanwhile Finley is definitely NOT asleep…
Lesbian Sexy Moment #6: You Spin Me Right Round Baby Right Round
The Players: Finley and Rebecca
The Pick Up: Seems like it may’ve been “can I use your wallet to buy myself a drink” but at some point between then and now we are in a room with a bed and there is pawing and the careful/urgent unbuttoning of a shirt and stumbling onto the bed. Rebecca says “you’re so beautiful” and Finley says “nahh.”
Hot or Not? It is until the room starts spinning past what Finley can hold onto and she’s gotta get out of there and into a crock pot before she blows chunks all over Olivia Thirlby!
It’s the next morning. Dawn is breaking, the wind is blowing, my dog is hungry and Bette Porter’s doing a scheduled campaign appearance at the Los Angeles LGBTQIA Center, where she’ll commune with LGBTQIA youth who all have crushes on Bette Porter and are willing to pretend like she’s running for mayor just to bask in her radiant glow. Dani’s called off the press, which alarms Pierce — Dani insists it’ll be better this way ’cause someone’ll definitely film it on their mobile telephone and then it’ll be organic press. Lesbians love organic things!
Surprise: Jordi’s here!
Angelica must’ve tipped her off. This means she’s gay right because that’s what happens to people at the Gay Center? Jordi says she’s sorry for having Angie cut school. It’s just that her parents are a little different than Bette’s and she knows better now. Jordi’s implying that her parents are in fact the type of parents who are okay with cutting school and smoking dope. I can’t wait to meet them I hope they live in Laurel Canyon and have a yurt out back for sex parties. Also, Jordi adds that Bette has a really wonderful daughter and she loves spending time with her. I NEED THEM TO GO TO THE PROM TOGETHER.
Bette allows Jordi to chill with Angie for Bette’s event. At the event, Bette tells a group of LGBTQ youth who have likely experienced some housing insecurity that the LGBTQ youth population is disproportionately affected by homelessness. “When I’m elected I will be the first lesbian mayor of Los Angeles and the first woman,” Bette tells them. “But in order to be effective I need to know what matters to you.”
A youth tells Bette that “it’d be cool to have a lesbian and a real trans ally with actual power.” Haha is anybody gonna leak to the press that Bette consistently misgendered Max throughout the entire run of the original series? I’m confident Max either lives on a farm in Southern Oregon or is making six figures working for Google in Palo Alto. Anyhow, we’ve all grown and changed and learned a lot in the past ten years, including apparently Bette! I love this for her.
A youth tells Bette that their Mother disowned them for being queer and Bette’s like listen, we aren’t the same but also, we are, because Bette’s father was also very homophobic and refused to acknowledge that Tina was her girlfriend. (Throwback 12: S1-S2). Also he had the most incredible zingers of anybody on this show and Bette called him “Daddy” even though everybody was like, “please stop calling him Daddy.”
Everybody claps for the idea that “our love is not less than” and then everybody cries and holds hands and Bette gives The Youth a hug and Jordi tells Angie that her Mom is pretty cool and Angie’s like, “yeah, she’s not that bad.” The youths have their phones out so this for sure is gonna headline the Also Also Also this week.
Dani tells Pierce that this is what Bette needs more of — getting into the weeds with the people. But vulnerability’s hard for her, says Pierce, adding, “you still don’t know why she’s running, do you?” YEAH PIERCE NONE OF US DO PLZ TELL US IF KIT IS DEAD OR ALIVE!!!!
Back at Natalice’s, Gigi’s reading to Eli. Alice peeks in on the event and smiles like she’s watching a nice commercial about breakfast cereal.
Eli’s gotten Alice sick. “Kids are like walking germs,” says Gigi. Gigi makes Alice some tea, and there’s no poison in it or a laxative, and after some light Sick Kiddos Discourse, Alice transitions into mining for details on Nat and Gigi’s breakup. Somehow Alice has been with Nat for two years and didn’t know until this moment that Gigi cheated on Nat and was outed by Eli, who called out for Gigi’s mistress. Gigi says kids force you to be honest about who you are and how you hurt people.
They reminisce about the Night of The Hammer and The Nail and The Ring, Alice recalling that she’d thought Gigi had lost her mind. “I thought I’d lost my family,” Gigi explains. She asks Alice if she’s got any embarrassing breakup stories and boy howdy does she, but where will she begin? To tell the story of how great a love can be? A sweet love story that is older than the sea?
“You make Nat really happy,” Gigi says. I can’t wait til we get to see that in action!
It’s time for the engagement party! Sophie’s family has turned out in droves, tables are piled high with food, music is playing, everybody’s happy about how love is love. Dani’s a bit withdrawn — things remain tense with Sophie, who responds to her sideways glance with a downwards pivot. She lets go a bit when Sophie’s Mom and Maribel and Virginia find her. They ask where her Dad is and she says he couldn’t make it. “You’re our family now,” Virginia says. AWWWWWWW.
Sophie’s Mom brings her daughter upstairs to deliver the ring her great grandmother wore from the day she got engaged until the day she died. She was supposed to give it to her first grandson but also, Sophie looks great in a button-up shirt, so it’s close enough. “But if you give it to her, make sure you mean it,” Mom kindly suggests.
Sophie’s family is truly the best — they’re supportive of her happiness, making lots of room for her to explore and learn and love and grow and change, too. “You’e not your father. We raised you to be strong, and you’re strong enough to leave if you need to, we know that,” Mom says. “But it takes a lot of strength to stay.”
Back at the party, Finley’s taking advantage of this open bar by having a strategic number of shots and is surprised when Rebecca texts, despite Finley’s failure to remain sober enough for sex the night prior. Micah spots Jose walking through the party to his apartment, and feels instant guilt for not inviting him. Seems like the party is raging pretty loudly right in what is basically Jose’s front yard, so on the other hand, even if Jose was alone in his apartment he’ll probably feel like he’s at the party! This is why dating your neighbor is hard!
Anyhow, Micah’s ready to MAKE A TOAST to his two favorite people by reading a poem by queer spoken-word artist and activist Alix Olson! I wish he was doing performance art.
As he reads the poem, we are treated to a little montage. First, Sophie and Dani, surrounded by people who love them separately and together, step forward but stand apart. Dani looks right at Sophie and mouths, “I love you.”
Meanwhile, Shane’s teary-eyed while hanging out with her Petition for Divorce.
Lesbian Sexy Moment #7: Living, We’ve Learned, Can Be Both Sloppy and Precise
The Players: Nat + Alice // Finley + Rebecca
The Pick-Up: Nat (big spoon) rouses Alice (little spoon) from slumber, and without a word Alice rolls over and Nat settles in up top and their mouths meet // Finley’s behind Rebecca, her hands pressing urgently underneath her bralette, her mouth on Rebecca’s back, and Rebecca turns to kiss her and then we cut again —
Hot or Not? Yes
Back at the engagement party, the power of poetry has made Dani and Sophie love each other again!!! Now they can dance to “Ojos del Sol” by Y La Bamba and they can kiss, and Sophie can mouth “I love you” back. The kiss is a hit. Everybody here loves girls kissing! Just like we do!
It’s so important to have a Latinx lesbian couples like this on television. Until recently, it was very rare for a qpoc female character to date another qpoc female character, let alone a qpoc character of the same race. Often in these cases the qpoc character’s story can have almost an assimilationist tone, conflating queer culture with white-centric queer culture. Things have changed a lot over the past two years specifically and we’re seeing more non-white couples now (and we have Vida now!), but not nearly enough. So this is fucking rad. As Carmen wrote in her review of the series, “Dani and Sophie’s relationship together deftly digs into class conflict and racism internal to Latinx communities that are almost never explored on screen.”
Bette’s sitting on a bench looking out over the city, hopefully thinking about what an ideal location this would be for a MURDER and ensuring she’s prepared to escape the Zodiac Killer, should he arrive. Then guess who shows up!! IT’S FELICITY ADAMS!
Felicity thanks Bette for meeting her. Bette says she’s glad Felicity called. They both sigh. Felicity shrugs, turns to Bette.
Felicity: I miss you.
Bette: I miss you too.
And that’s the show, my friends!
The Round Up:
Sexy Moments: 4 this episode, 7 total
Squabbles: 3 this episode, 6 total
Throwbacks: 6 this episode, 12 total
Quote of the Week:
“Judy Chicago loaned it to me” – Bette Porter
— dani | janae (@figwidow) December 15, 2019