Welcome to the fourth recap of the second season of The L Word: Generation Q, brought to you by the same network that brought you The L Word, a story about a camisole-and-cargo-shorts adorned computer whiz and dancer from the esteemed Berkeley dance troupe “Homo Erect Us” who moves to Los Angeles to work in music videos, immediately regrets it due to her perception that everybody in LA is “into high fashion” and fails to “celebrate female masculinity,” meets a newly-out trans male OurChart coder with a big group of transphobic friends, starts interning for and dating him, gives him a beejer in the computer room, tags along with him to a poorly lit funeral in Illinois but somehow vanishes for the majority of the storyline, accompanies him on a trip to San Francisco for eventually thwarted top surgery and then is never seen, heard from or discussed ever again. However, her OurChart Bio lives on forever in my mind and, I can only hope, in yours as well.
About 60% of the way through episode 204 of The L Word Generation Q, I texted The Gen Q podcast team “I’m watching 204 and I already cried 4 times.” So that is what I have to say about THAT.
We open on a cool spring evening in the fine city of Los Angeles, where our young friend Dani is returning home with Gigi following a three-hour period in which Dani was not actively devastated about the implosion of her life and relationship. Unfortunately, her joy is immediately thwarted because there are cop cars surrounding Daddy’s Manor!
As you may be aware, people in television programs with a lot of money often find themselves the victim of a home invasion from the FBI. The FBI will enter the office or home with brisk efficiency and emerge with neatly labeled file boxes. If the FBI ever raided my home, they would be like, “how much A-Camp memorabilia do you really need to be holding onto??” and I would be like “Sirs, that is for the Lesbian Herstory Archives!” Anyhow, don’t worry the FBI will never take my A-Camp maps and pigeonhole notes away because I’ve done nothing illegal and have no money to seize.
So, Daddy’s being arrested for Criminal Conspiracy and Fraud. Somehow I am already crying??? For Dani??? HOW MUCH PAIN CAN ONE GIRL HANDLE???!!? (Dani, that is.) (Although it is also worth asking about me.)
Cut to a gorgeous spring day on the verdant streets of Los Angeles, California, where Micah and Maribel are flying in the face of their obvious chemistry by making plans for Micah to allow himself to be set up with Maribel’s co-worker, Harry, a 27-year-old lawyer, and for the two of them to double date with Maribel’s “man-child who doesn’t deserve me.”
Anyhow, this adorable pre-amble to their eventual marriage is interrupted when Rodolfo decides to call Micah from jail.
We then jet some number of blocks in a specific direction to FiSoMi’s (I’m renaming it permanently) where Sophie’s looking at vintage lesbians on her laptop as she researches her new segment, an experience I am intimately familiar with. Finley shows up looking hot to trot in her athletic shorts and grey sweatshirt and announces that she just went on a run and also coached soccer at the LGBTQIA+ Center.
Big development for Finley: she has a life goal! To be coach children’s soccer!! Maybe she can take over for Roy Kent now that he is abandoning the small girls for the large boys. Anyhow: Finley does her Finley things — scrounging for food someone else bought, offering a waffle before realizing there’s just one — and Sophie starts smiling a little bit as she watches Finley and eventually takes a deep breath and asks Finley if she’d like to have dinner that evening. Like at that sushi place on Hyperion at 7?
Finley is truly delighted by this prospect, like a kitten who was found on a highway, nursed back to health, and then placed atop a silk pillow to eat tuna out of a can. I admit that I, too, am delighted.
We then sprint over to Chez Bette, where the Original Cast has gathered for breakfast and emotional processing, as Alice apparently crashed there last night following her breakup with Nat. Unfortunately, Alice is exhausted because she stayed up all night watching videos of soldiers reuniting with their families. I hope she watched my favorite one, in which a lesbian radio hostess named Alice is sitting at home in her glasses watching a news report about Baghdad and crying softly to herself when SURPRISE her hot girlfriend Tasha arrives at her front door in a leather jacket and promptly fucks her right there on the floor!
Now Alice has gotta kick her Mom out of her house so she can move back into it.
Shane: Well I can talk to Lenore for you if you’d like—
Bette: That’s very generous of you ——
Alice: We’re very aware of that, thank you Shane.
Bette says Alice is welcome to stay as long as she’d like, but also EXPOSITION TIME: Bette’s dressed up (“like a million bucks” – Shane) because she’s gotta “hunt down” a prospective client today. Watch out Pippa!
Then we take a group field trip to The Aloce Show, where Micah has tracked down Sophie to demand she find Dani because he cannot find Dani anywhere in this entire city!
Micah: Don’t blow this off.
Sophie: Micah, what do you want from me?
Micah: I want you to find her.
Sophie: I haven’t heard from her in weeks and she wouldn’t want me to find her.
Micah: Okay, maybe she doesn’t want you to find her, but she needs someone. How can you not see that? Just… make sure she’s okay, and have her call me, okay?
It was in this moment that I knew, deeply and entirely, that Sophie would not be, in fact, meeting Finley for dinner tonight at that sushi place on Hyperion, and within me a great sadness took root and began to grow, its branches reaching through my ribs and angling towards the waning moon.
Angie and Kayla are literally taking a walk in the actual park as an activity, chatting about Marcus and also what they want to be when they grow up. Angie wanted to be President or else Snoopy. Kayla wanted to be a dancer. Angie, blissfully unaware of the anxiety I am currently experiencing re: Finley, is BURSTING WITH JOY regarding this conversation, particularly when Kayla says Angie reminds her of her Dad.
However, Kayla says there’s something she’s gotta tell Angie about her Dad but she doesn’t know how. Jesus Christ I hope this man is not already dead?? I have so much anxiety this episode!!!
Crosstown at the Dana Fairbanks Memorial Tavern, Tess and Shane are setting up for Movie Night when Tess gets a phone call revealing she is immediately needed in Vegas. Shane attempts to invite herself to Vegas but Tess insists she cannot before eventually explaining that she’s going to see her Mom, so there will be no Bacchanal Buffets or Whitney Houston hologram shows or other forms of Vegas-induced fun on the menu tonight. Therefore Shane should stay right where she is.
“I’ll be back tonight,” Tess promises. “Don’t try and put the projector together without me.”
Alice returns to her home and OH MY GOD IT’S LENORE
Okay, if they brought back Lenore then all bets are off! Reboots often re-awaken major characters from the past, as this show has with Tina and will be doing with Helena later in the season (according to IMDB) — but bit characters generally remain in the annals of history, especially when your bit characters were largely sourced in Vancouver and you’re shooting the reboot in Los Angeles. But damn! If Lenore is back then who knows, Marcus Allenwood may very well be lurking around the corner. That said, Mark Gibson, who played Marcus, isn’t an actor, he’s a house painter who was working for an A.D of the original series and got asked to be on the show ’cause they somehow could not find an actor “suitable” for the role. So, who knows!
Anyhow! Lenore obviously is up to her elbows in boxes relating to her new career as a Multi-Level Marketing Wizard Super Silver Seller for Swan’s Breath Cosmetics.
Alice: Nat and I broke up.
Lenore: Oh sweetie.
Alice: I know. It ran its course so it’s probably better this way.
Lenore: Is that why you look so terrible?
Alice: That feels unnecessary.
Alice informs her Mom that she’s gotta hit the road, Jack. Mom insists she’s needed right here in Alice’s apartment because Alice does not need to wallow here alone. Alice insists that she very generously rented her mother an entire apartment in Brentwood, replete with a second bedroom for her Swan’s Breath scam boxes. Mom insists once more that in fact she is very needed during Alice’s trying time. Alice says Mom’s gotta be out by Monday, bye!
Gather round the wooden table, my dears, because Angelica has sought out the deep wisdom and advice of Ol Uncle Shane-o. Angie has learned that her donor is dying and wants to know if Shane thinks she should meet him before he kicks the bucket. For crying out loud, this show needs to think long and hard about how many Black relatives of Angie they have already killed and maybe RECONSIDER.
Angie wants to know what Shane would do if she was in Angie’s situation, which Shane struggles to answer due to her own experiences with her father, a noted philanderer and scammer who robbed the Peabodys, disowned his son, re-owned his son and didn’t read Some of Her Parts.
Shane: He left when I was very young. And then I was in and out of foster care. And uh, when I felt like I was ready I tracked him down. And I realized I didn’t like the guy.
Shane: Well, he uh. He reinforced the worst parts that were in me. And I made a very poor decision because of that.
Angie: What did you do?
Shane: I left someone that I loved very much at the altar.
Shane: Yeah. Sometimes I think I would’ve been a lot better off had I never met the guy.
Once again I find myself in tears, while also thrilled to hear the past addressed in a logical context in which to address the past. Shane asks where Jordi’s at and Angie says they’re “on different life tracks” ’cause Jordi is running for Prom Queen. Unclear how that would prevent her from engaging in this storyline, but anyhow, Angie wants to ask her Mom if she can see a therapist. Everybody light a candle and pray she won’t suggest Dan Foxworthy.
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When I tell you I screamed when Tess’s “someone” was revealed in the promo, I mean I screamed to the point that my housemate burst into my room seconds later to check if I was being actively murdered.
I guess after the many glorious callbacks this episode, the bonus in the promo did me in.
I gasped out loud, to myself, like exactly no one ever does in real life. Did not see that coming, but now CANNOT WAIT!
Also, I continue to live for these hilarious recaps. Thank you Riese for your continued service to our people.
The loud ass groan I let out when it was revealed…. My dog looked at me as if something was wrong with me.
I somehow missed it when I first saw the promo. NO. FUCKING. WAY. She is like the official The L Word relationship zombie. She just keeps coming back!
I KNOW. I seriously cannot imagine how this person could be in any way a healthy option for Tess.
omg i am so glad to hear that this was in the promo. i have been aware of this for two weeks now and it has been eating me UP inside
wait!! where can i see the promo?? i want to know!! (but no-one in the comments tell me please)
I watch it on Hulu and it auto-plays after the episode! Which is probably not helpful unless you’re watching the same way!
Furthermore, my gf and I were uhh surprised by that reveal. I’m intrigued but more than a little nervous to see how it plays out!
Espero que traduza
Dez anos e logo saberemos a verdade.
Justiça para Jenny.
Watching Ted Lasso 206 and then Gen Q 204 basically back to back was not my best choice – I’m slighly emotionally wrung out, but I’m so grateful for this recap to cheer me up! Feels like this season is picking up now and the promo made me gasp.
I know Ted Lasso is zero percent gay but I also still wish Autostraddle would review it, because I want to talk to other gays about it
You know when an academic presenter sets up their talk for 45 minutes and then only discusses their findings in the last 15? Or when an abstract sound amazing, but the article itself is underwhelming? Or when a tennis player doesn’t really perform until the second or third set? (Hi, Dana.) I fear that this season has these vibes! Why are we spending so much time on stuff that the show explicitly tells us won’t last? Why keep drawing things out and you could, you know, just get to the good stuff? Don’t get me wrong: I love this show! But! I would like to move forward with some of these characters/plotlines!
I remain optimistic, though. I didn’t *really* enjoy last season until the latter half.
This easily could have been the best episode so far, but… Where the hell was Gigi??
Yeah, sure we love her in sex scenes. But give her a line and she’ll flip our mind with her sexyness! That was the biggest low point of this episode.
I actually don’t care much for the new Q characters, but I really enjoyed them in this episode. Dani and Sophie’s scene was great, I felt for Finley (I’m starting to be more empathic towards her). And Micah’s disappointment is just so real.
I won’t say it was the best episode, because we need Gigi and I really missed her face and looks. It could have been…
To read that Helena will be back made me sooooooo happy! Gigi and Helena? I ship anyone with Gigi
Sinley is breaking my heart. She was honest with Dani but lied to Finley? Girl.
Also, are they bringing back Tasha? The soldier reference made me think so.
Poignant Carmen and Dana mentions, both in one episode… they really should’ve put one of those trigger warnings before the episode. I was not emotionally prepared for this episode.
So Micah is going to have to rein in Bette, Tina, and Carrie during a family therapy session?? Oh, Micah… may the odds be ever in your favor.
Did anyone else think the part of the Dani Sophie sex scene where Sophie said we can’t and Dani kinda kept going was weird?
Yes, definitely agree. It made me feel so sad? Maybe a topic for my therapist.
I also think it was an excellent illustration of why their relationship didn’t work. Sophie has feelings (and a strong moral compass) and Dani never wants to discuss them or any of the issues at hand. It’s so messy.
Totally they’re not communicating in general and in this scene Dani should’ve not pushed ahead without actually talking
Not Bette being lauded for her restraint in a post-Gigi-saying-wait world. Gigi deserves better, but this three days of dating or whatever has done more for Bette than most of her long-term relationships. Love that Pippa hits that sweet spot of calling her on her bullshit and also being an art simp and also wearing overalls.
My friends are going to get so tired of me sending rambling snapchats about the milf count of this season, but Lenore was a very welcome surprise.
I’m very emo for Finley and I long for the day when Sophie gets out of her own way, taps into some Fin-spired willingness to looking like an asshole or a fool if it means being honestly happy, and chooses Finley for real.
In the meantime, Sophie is not even being a good friend to Finley and, yeah, Finley’s…Finley…but she’s earnest and Sophie, queen of asking for what she needs until and unless she thinks what she needs is a lil more complex than she can immediately put into words, should at least be honest with her.
Micah drafting and erasing his text to Maribel did not spark joy. We are asking for what we want this season and I want Micah to tell Maribel how he feels so that they can stop going on double dates unless and until they’re consciously coupled.
Love Angie being the only person in this small universe who thinks to get help if something bothers her rather than letting it fester and then trying to ignore/run/fuck/drink it away. Kids are the future.
Alice (loves Army now) and Tom: I’m into it. Something about him having a good memory for gossip and actually knowing how to get Alice talking without letting her slip and slide or deflect her way out of it. Also he’s funny and I feel like constantly being the funniest person in every relationship you’ve been in is a little exhausting and Alice has held that mantle so tightly for so long. Let her share it for a while.
Shane and Tess were very cute and the moment they kissed was the spiritual equivalent of that slow-mo video where a guy shoots a bouncy ball towards a tall bouncy ball display cage in a walmart and then turns to the camera to celebrate his bucket but the ball misses completely and knocks down a passerby instead.
I don’t know if you missed it, Riese, but Finley stopped at a liquor store and went inside. So now the narrative is that Sophie caused her to relapse? Le sigh. Gen Q is so melodramatic in a way that the original just wasn’t.
That said! This was the best written episode of the season so far and maybe of the sequel series. Everything made sense narratively, lol. Low bar but they cleared it!
I did catch it! It’s noted at the end in my summation of the ending musical montage. I think Finley was drinking last episode too but this seems like… it’s gonna be a bender. Which I do not like!!!
Yep, I remember her having a beer in a scene where she explicitly said she got sober. I don’t like a relapse for Finley either but I hope it develops into her having a storyline of her own rather than merely reacting to Sophie.
Finley is still just very immature, and like many of us a bit damaged. I truly think she’s the catalyst for kid that lives inside Sophie, but she definitely not ready for a commitment.
And definitely not with Sophie. I wish their friendship wasn’t tarnished by their fling last season. It was so genuine & pure. We saw Finley in a very mature & empathetic light until … And who actually shows up at the church? Not sure what we were supposed to believe about her excuse for that one.
But if there was any thought last season of her being a younger version of Shane … I believe Shane was never close to Finley’s childish and uninspired persona.
I like Sophie and Dani and I just wish communication was better between the characters.
I enjoy the drama but not when a simple sentence could resolve an entire issue… it just serves to make something trivial drag on & on while there are so many more interesting aspects we could be engulfed in.
The original wasn’t as melodramatic? I think it was more-so in many ways..
I don’t think I will ever stop cringing at the thought of almost every scene I can’t FORCE myself to forget with the Jenny character.
Talk about melodramatic. From Circus nightmares to Pool Party Drowning … OY!
I do think this season is low and slow on the sexual side. The sex scenes are barely long enough to feel the passion igniting before we’re off to the next scene. The original L Word was wonderful, and the first season of Gen Q had promise.
All in all, I’m so glad they’re back, and grateful for carrying on with the same characters while adding new interesting layers & personalities.
Will there be any sexual encounters onscreen with Tina & Carrie? Maybe I’d believe the relationship is more life partners & less mother/daughter if we saw some sexual passion …
(or tension) … btwn them?
Whaaaa? Am I the only one that thinks the original was INSANELY melodramatic?!
Omg, glad you mentioned Dan Foxworthy, it’s all I could think about with all the talk about therapy and Bette and Tina going together. I guess there are now three therapists in LA – Dan, Nat, and Micah!
Also really appreciate the level of detail in the callbacks – the caption that name dropped CORE killed me.
thank u i love to do a callback!!!!! callbacks are my passion
Yesss! Dan Foxworthy was such a joke. Worst. Therapist. Ever.
We want Tasha back!!!
The biggest discussion topic between wife + I during this episode was trying to piece together Bette’s timeline of artist obsessions. In season 2 of the original series she was all about her obsession with Allen Barnes at Yale, but from the sounds of it, the Pippa obsession must have been before that if it caused her to change majors, but it sounds like it lasted a while so there must have been an overlap?
But surely it’s not possible to be obsessed with two slightly older female artists at the same time!! How would you schedule breaking into multiple artists’ hideouts? Seem implausible to me, in this otherwise continuity-rich production.
Also, so happy for the return of Lenore! I really hope every episode involves some kind of exchange where Alice is trying to keep Shane away from her.
Right, I was like, this is definitely not the first artist she has credited with transforming her entire life forever. College Bette was very busy having her entire life transformed by various underrated artists
BUT THIS LAKE HOUSE HAS NO LAKE
how is this recap perfect from the start?????
Petition for Erin Daniels to play a new character like they suggested in Pants! Dana was the best and we miss her.
What is Pants! ?
kate and leisha’s podcast
i don’t listen to that podcast so idk what they said about it, but that would be so funny, just having someone like…… be played by erin daniels but nobody even points out that she looks just like dana
YES!!! They joked about her showing up as a new love interest for Alice and being the complete opposite of Dana, hating tennis, etc, and Alice wouldn’t see the resemblance (but I guess in their version the other characters would). Anyway, I miss Dana and Erin Daniels and I would take absolutely any scenario in which she got to come back. The Dana Fairbanks Memorial Tavern (I love this) does not fill the void.
You should have a listen, it used to be just random conversations but now they’re recapping the original L word (maybe inspired by you?) and giving some behind the scenes deets
Oh no I would love to hear your thoughts on it!
Did…did I actually almost cry at the call back scenes about Carmen and Dana? Could it be that I have an emotional connection to the OG series? Incredible.
Also, Gigi is so hot. I can’t get over it. I won’t.
Micahbel is all I see, and all I see is Michabel!!
This was my favourite episode of the season so far, because it all made sense!! And it was h o t! The Bette and Pippa dinner really had me.
I think this was my favorite episode of the season so far! It felt a little more internally consistent (timelines notwithstanding) and the drama/setup for drama was *juicy* without making me want to rip my hair out for once
I was a little confused after the Tess/Shane kiss though. It sounded like after Tess said she was seeing someone, she then said her sponsor told her she shouldn’t get into anything right now? Did I mishear her? Because that’s two very different things!
Also good luck with the Porter-Kennard family therapy to Micah, who I’m fairly certain is not trained in family therapy??
Same, I was like which is it?
i also do not understand the grounds of tess’s withdrawal, I am a bit hazy on it tbh
Yep … I had to play that back, too …talk about mixed messages.
Oh and how is it on the same day that Dani asked Sophie if she could make the last couple of months disappear (or go away) …. but in last weeks episode Alice & Nat break up and this morning Alice spent the NIGHT OF THE BREAK UP at Bette’s house …? I don’t get it. Who’s editing this? It’s definitely weeks because Micah said Dani hasn’t been seen or heard from … But the Alice break up part being the same day makes ZERO sense.
Was Finley ever shown to be interested in soccer/coaching last season? That detail really seemed to come out of nowhere but maybe I’ve forgotten a previous reference.
The plot with Shane and Tess and A Certain Someone may be a bridge too far even for this show. (What ever happened to the teen daughter who deluded herself into thinking she was dating Shane?)
If Gigi doesn’t end up with someone worthy of her by the time Jordi is crowned Prom Queen I will be very disappointed.
Loved this episode and recap! And also, just chiming in to say that I’ll never not appreciate a Tegan and Sara reference.
Riese, these recaps are positively delightful. I don’t even watch this show, but your writing is just so full of glee and snark – I love it.
i’ll be honest I do not like sophie very much rn. You know what’s confusing, why so much of the focus is on Finley stopping the wedding and not the fact that SOPHIE CHEATED AND WAS PREPARED TO LIE AND COVER IT UP FOREVER. like that’s fucked up. So i’m very confused why everyone is more upset that the wedding got cancelled than sophie cheating. Last episode i was like oh i still want sinley to happen but now i dont think so. finley deserves better!
I was sooo disappointed that tess is seeing someone. I literally jumped out of my chair when they kissed and was immediately brought to earth.
Lastly, I missed Gigi this episode :(
Just so I’m clear, you don’t like Sophie because she cheated, but you’re fine with Tess and Shane getting together even though Shane fucked Tess’s gf? lol.
Your take aligns with the way the show is written, if it’s any consolation.
Even though I don’t want Sophie and Dani to get back together (so many relationship issues and mismatch), I enjoyed their rekindling in this episode because it felt more real to life… the messy, ambivalent, uncomfortable confronting of people whose lives were enmeshed, who still know each other so well. Even if all those old behaviors are still coming out (like Dani not stopping when Sophie asked to).
On a related note that I haven’t seen remarked on in these (wonderful) recaps (thank you Reice!): In the wake of Sophie’s betrayal (why not just tell Finley the truth? Like she’s not going to find out, especially when they all live together?), I’m hoping future episodes may bring up Finley’s childhood/home context. There were a lot of references in her conversations with Rebecca in S1, but then the fact that she went home (for… a couple months? unclear) and then returned to LA went completely unremarked. I can’t imagine being back at home was easy, given what little details we know. But she presents it like it was neutral (in her conversation with Shane and Tess), when it seems more realistic to me that she would be grappling with that past and her present life in LA simultaneously?
AGREE. Finley has kinda been reduced to just the Sophie drama this season. There is so much potential for depth and nuance (family, religion/spirituality, personal growth) — and I want to see it happen!
@riese is someone plagiarizing these recaps!?
What the heck?!