Hello and welcome to the fourth recap of the first season of The L Word: Generation Q, brought to you by the same network that brought you The L Word, an invigorating show about female small business owners and the rise of the Pear Polenta Tart!
Just a heads-up that I co-hosted the “To L and Back: Generation Q” podcast this week ’cause Analyssa is Home for the Holigays, so you can listen to all my thoughts there!
This week’s episode took some journeys into the valley of What Is Happening but also featured a sex scene that inspired me to text AV Club L Word reviewer Kayla “wowowowowowowowowow,” to which she replied, “YEAH.” It’s my favorite episode of the series thus far!
We open with a collection of Big Tall Fancy Buildings B-roll before zooming in on a tall glass of BETTE PORTER NAKED IN BED WITH FELICITY HAVING ROOM SERVICE BREAKFAST..
It’s just a lazy eternal morning for two women having a clandestine affair. Felicity wishes she’d met Bette 20 years ago, back when she was a Musical Theater minor at Howard and dating a boy named Leonard. This reminds me of yet another Leonard who dated a queer woman…
Bette says she’d never wanna be 20 again. Probs ’cause that’d mean she’d have to go back in time to when she was having mediocre sex with Coleman at Yale and then relive the whole meditation storyline, eventually bang a chair into the ground at The Planet while yelling ARSON ARSON and ultimately do a weird dance in her kitchen while chanting “Shake it, don’t bake it” with Jessie Spano from Saved by the Bell. Lez be honest, aren’t we glad those days are behind us? Anyhow, Felicity would like to know what Bette would like now, here, today.
Felicity: What do you want?
Bette: Mmm… a better cup of coffee and a fruit bowl would be great.
Felicity: No, what do you want for us?
Bette: Right now? All I want is this.
It’s unlike Bette to deny emotional processing in favor of Distraction Action unless she’s cheating on someone and thus trying to avoid confrontation, but bless our emotional growth/regression — Felicity bends over. Bette reaches up, reaches into Felicity’s robe, lets it fall off as her breasts fall out, and with her hand firm on the back of Felicity’s neck, pulls her in for another kiss. Okay, GET IT GIRLS.
Then we cut right over to Shane’s subconscious for consummated sexual intercourse!
Lesbian Sexy Moment #10: It Was All a Dream, I Used To Read LA Magazine
The Players: Shane and Quiara
The Pick Up: Probably conscious Shane taking an ambien or smoking three joints.
Hot or Not? Shane’s fucking Quiara and Quiara says “you’re so beautiful” and Shane says “I love you” and it is very hot, this is Sex Lighting but then BUT THEN it is over as soon as it began.
Shane wakes up from her hot sex dream and roots around for her cell phone, which lucky for us! Is chock-full of birthday wishes revealing key pieces of information:
1. Angie calls Shane “Uncle Shane”
2. Helena is in England for some reason [Throwback #15: Helena exists]
3. Alice goes by Aloce in on all platforms now
4. Tina and Shane are still friends and Tina is still corny
5. Shane is friends with someone named “Floyd”
6. Quiara has NOT texted Shane back yet to re-invigorate the “I miss you” “this is hard” “I can’t” “I don’t know how to do this” “I’m so sad” “I can’t stop crying” post-breakup cycle.
It’s Shane’s 40th birthday!
Elsewhere in this fine home, Rebecca and Finley are also making the most of television’s Morning XL time to make out. Rebecca invites Finley to dinner that evening with her buddies and Finley says she’s got a party thing to go to. Finley joke-asks if Rebecca’s inviting two priests and a rabbi and Rebecca’s like “kinda.”
Rebecca’s developing Real Feelings for Finley and is curious if she’s ever gonna get over this religion-related hangup but luckily, Finley’s saved by the (door)bell!
Cut to Shane’s bedroom — Finley charges in carrying a wooden box of generic Gourmet Foodstuffs that a mother might send her daughter in college OR that two of Shane’s best friends might ship Shane on the morning of her 40th birthday. When someone asks “what do you get for a millionaire you’ve known for 10+ years who can buy whatever she wants for herself?” I always say, “a bottle of your finest Harry & David™ 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon!”
Finley, despite having plans to attend Shane’s birthday party that very evening — plans she just shared with her holy lover Rebecca — didn’t know that it was Shane’s birthday. “Are you really forty?” she asks, and Shane acknowledges that yes, this is 40. It’s a fun, goofy scene — starting with Shane’s annoyance at how loud Finley is to her request that Finley bring the box anywhere but here to Shane’s consent to Finley’s request to “sample a little summer sausage.”
And then we come to DaSoMi’s Home!
Where Dani, a dear, a female dear!
Wants to sprint out in the sun!
Finley’s heading in
for some orange juice
’cause that summer sausage was such fun!
They’re out, but almond milk will do!
They’re out, but now my song is through!
Sophie, wearing very cute very small shorts and enjoying a morning coffee, says Dani’s doing her “weird distant thing.” Finley’s got no input, so Sophie switches topics: how’s Finley’s “lovah-priest”? Finley reports that it’s good and the sex is great, despite some lingering post-sex guilt.
Finley describes a “swirly feeling” in her torso inspired by Rebecca that I’m pretty sure is acid reflux, but Sophie’s got another diagnosis: LOVE.
Cut to a VERY cool coffee shop (Filmed at Kettle Black on Sunset Boulevard) where Alice and Shane are meeting up with Bette to order items and not consume them.
Shane: “Is there a reason why you’re dressed like an Easter Peep?”
Alice: “Shane, I chose this color so it would pop. This LA Times reporter is following me around all day for this profile and I would like it to say “Alice Pieszecki is KILLING IT,” like in all capitals.”
This is THRILLING news ’cause that means it’s ROBIN’S EPISODE! My friend Robin who has done 45 different jobs for this website including A-Camp Co-Director, Photographer and Event Planner, has a cameo in this very episode! (Also, Robin is married to my “To L and Back” co-host, Carly Usdin!)
Bette shows up a little late because AHEM. She informs Shane that 40 is a fantastic and transformative time. Alice adds that your body starts falling off your body, like for example her ass is sliding from her hips to the earth like the Tower of Terror. Bette says “none of us has anything to worry about.” (Because they are all rich and have tighter skin and bodies than they did ten years ago because this is Los Angeles and everybody sticks needles and/or microneedles into their faces here, it’s just what people do here!) Shane refuses a birthday party, but consents to drinks with Alice and Bette.
Bette lies when Alice asks why she looks “all glowy,” then communicates with Shane via Vulcan mind-meld that she fucked Felicity. Alice asks how long it’s been since Bette had sex, suggesting “a year” as a potential answer as if Bette wasn’t recently busted for a very notable affair. Furthermore, according to Mandy-Munch, Bette fucked the whole school board. Shane’s taking the ladies on a field trip, but briefly shames Alice’s backpack, which’s unacceptable ’cause backpacks rule.
Shane leads her two pals, who stumble around like gerbils, to the bar to unveil the new sign reading “DANA’S.”
“Open your eyes,” says Shane, but everybody’s wearing sunglasses so lord knows if they followed directions or not. Subsequently, everybody cried including me! [Throwback #16: Dana died]
Inside Dana’s Watering Hole for Thirsty-ass Lesbians, we’ve got a hottie delivering alcohol and Tess telling Lena she over-ordered.
Shane strides in and Lena pounces like a tiger on the prowl, cajoling her way into the back room via demands for checks and nonsense.
Shane is dying inside. Tess watches them walk off together like someone who knows what’s going on and is DEFINITELY not aware that Lena would be describing their relationship as “already over.” This is sad!
Is there…. anything more humbling and humiliating than putting one of your employees in a position to smooth over an absurd situation you, a professional grown-up woman, have created despite definitely “knowing better”? There is not! And that is where Bette Porter finds herself this morning at a campaign photoshoot when she realizes she’s taken Felicity’s phone with her, and thus Felicity must have Bette’s phone.
Dani strikes the appropriate tone here, which’s nice to remember when things take a sharp turn pretty shortly thereafter. She’s not scolding, but offering firm dedication. “You know — Sophie and I accidentally took each other’s laptops to work once. Do you think something like that may have happened to you?” She offers.
Bette eventually concedes and Dani says she’ll sort it out and Bette says “you don’t need to do that.” Dani goes, “would you prefer I send a volunteer?” and Bette is like [clenched teeth] “fine.” YIKES.
Cut to the offices of The Aloce Show, where OUR VERY OWN ROBIN ROEMER IS PHOTOGRAPHING ALICE FOR THE MAGAZINE!!!!
Nat and the kids are in the hallway, waiting for their big moment in the spotlight!
Gigi pops in with a wardrobe change for the kiddos and to tell Alice she looks great. The L.A. Times writer, just like this writer (me), notes Alice and Gigi’s chemistry and starts asking her questions about their relationship. They’re like OH LOL no the rule of this show is you can only have chemistry with people you’re not dating, Nat’s over there! “I’m sorry, I assumed she was the nanny,” the writer says.
“How do you and Alice maintain a healthy work-life balance?” the writer asks.
“Oh whoah I’m not sure that we do,” Nat responds. They eventually agree that it’s a “joyful hard” which the writer doesn’t believe.
GOOD JOB ROBIN!!!!
Elsewhere in a roomy Los Angeles parking lot, Dani is meeting up with her drug dealer in a parked car to talk about drugs and stuff. Just kidding it’s Felicity and they’re gonna switch phones!
And then. And then!!!!
Lesbian Squabble #9: Wha-wha-what Did You Say?
In the Ring: Dani v. Felicity
Content: Dani hops into the car, hands Felicity the phone, and then proceeds to, as they say, “go off.” This affair could end Bette! Felicity manages to squeeze in that by the way, she sill works at the Department for Cultural Affairs and everybody in that Department can’t stop talking about her Actual Affair. She’s still married to that terrible man in her phone background! Dani cannot hold back! Felicity is like, how many marriages have you failed at, my dear young friend? Well, none… YET. “I love her,” Felicity says. “I wish the world were different,” says stone cold Dani. “But it’s not.” Okay.
Who Wins? Felicity’s husband.
[ETA: Natalie, who knows 10000x more about politics than I do, has a very different take on Dani’s behavior which you can read in the comments!]
Back at the offices of The Aloce Show, Sophie’s got an idea for Mayoral Contestant Mister White Man, who apparently is guesting on the program because municipal mayoral candidates who haven’t engaged in any newsworthy sex scandals are EXACTLY who middle America is dying to see on their television screens. Sophie says Alice should ask him abut the lack of diversity on his campaign staff! Drew’s got a different idea — ask him about his high school superlatives!
Drew: Milner wants to be seen as a real guy, he wants what you did with Bette Porter.
Alice: Okay Drew, I would love that. Because Bette and I talked about her scandal and about feminism and sexism and what it’s like to be queer. I wonder which one of those he really identifies with.
Sophie: You know what? I bet it’s feminism? A good guy like him?
Alice: Oh yeah I bet he’s like, balls deep in feminism.
Throughout this exchange, Alice and Sophie insist upon keeping their smiles real big ’cause the LA Times reporter is right outside, watching it all go down, so all this happens with teeth clenched up tight, which’s a successful humorous device. Finley stops in with coffee for everyone except Drew, but Drew doesn’t really count, so.
Drew gets that Alice wants to “do her feminism” and stuff, but also he’d like to do stuff to make the show not get cancelled.
Drew: “Look I’ve been down this road before, and I’ve learned the hard way. The only way to deviate is through incremental change.”
Alice: “Fine. I’ll ask him about his fucking horse.”
Drew: “It’s a pony, but deal.”
As Drew leaves the office to go compare his personality to a styrofoam plate and then hopefully dispose of it in an earth-friendly manner, Sophie’s like Alice, don’t forget — it’s your show. I love how they’re exploring specific workplace dynamics this season, and I appreciate how Sophie pushes Alice to be better. I also just… love Sophie?