The L Word Generation Q Episode 210 Recap: Last Call For Wherewithal

Welcome to the final recap of the second season of The L Word Generation Q, brought to you by the same network as The L Word, a show about Dos Equis beer and all the reasons a lesbian might be driven to drink one.

As we come to the final episode of this season I just want to say that it has been an honor and a privilege to dissect this show with y’all every week and even though the past three episodes have been pretty rough (and yes, I am including the finale in that number), I will be devastated if Showtime does not renew it!  (Speaking of things that will devastate me if they are not renewed: WE’RE DOING A FUNDRAISER FOR OUR FUTURE HAVE YOU HEARD?) I read all your insightful and hilarious comments and remain pleased that this franchise continues to be a point of connection and community for us as lesbians but also for us as bisexuals, queers and otherwise-identified people. I love this cast and these characters and these actors and want to see them continuing to live their messy problematic lives!

I would also like to inform you that unfortunately I have indeed written an entire post tracing the bizarre and inconsistent timeline of this season of television, it is 40 million words long.

As we say on the pod…. let’s get into it!


We open in what Finley will eventually accurately refer to as “a surprise party with really bad vibes,” where all of Finley’s fans have assembled to stage an intervention, a very logical next step following all of the preceding steps they’ve leapt right over with the gusto of Olympic long jumpers.

Sophie sitting on her couch penisvely

Goddess, grant me the serenity to accept the plot holes I cannot change, courage to change the inconsistencies I can, and wisdom to know the difference

Sophie seems hesitant, perhaps because she knows Finley better than the rest of these yahoos and knows she’s not gonna respond well to a group confrontational approach! “It seems fast,” Sophie accurately points out. “I don’t wanna scare her and I don’t wanna force her to go if she’s not ready.”

Shane insists there’s never a good time to do this, and Tess says not to worry, Finley for sure will go to rehab. Has anybody tried like, talking to her one-on-one? First? Before um, rehab?

Tess leaning over towards Sophie

Look, my cousins did this for my uncle Bill and he hasn’t had a drop to drink since they put him in the straightjacket and hauled him off to rehab. I swear.

Thus Finley arrives home from soccer, flushed and sober and bitten, to find all her friends in earth tones humming around her living room like paternalistic flies.

Before Finley enters the room, Micah pulls her aside and says, “I’m a social worker so I have an actual educational background on this topic and I’ve made you an appointment with a therapist at the LGBTQIA+ center who specializes in addiction and is trained in CBT and MET, wanna shower up and when you’re ready we can swing by Trejos on our way?”

JUST KIDDING MICAH DOESN’T SAY THAT LOLOLOLOLOL

Here’s what actually happens: everybody sits down, tells Finley they love her and are worried about her, and invite her to attend an Alice-financed rehab at a beautiful oceanside vista, replete with pool and a Top Chef runner-up concocting delicious meals! Alice is ready to drop around 40 grand on this kid okay. Finley says she doesn’t need to drink spa water by a pool to get her shit together, which is one way in which Finley and I are different.

Shane: Okay then what do you need?
Finley: Nothing, I had a bad night. Okay?
Micah: It wasn’t one night.
Finley: I’m in my twenties, I fuck up like somebody in their twenties. I mean what the fuck were your twenties like?
Shane: No no don’t do that—
Alice: My twenties were amazing.
[Shane swats Alice]

Honestly, she’s not wrong! Like so many of us, Shane was actually drunk and/or on drugs for a significant chunk of her twenties, and, like Finley, went straight for alcohol at the slightest sign of emotional upheaval. Upset that she told Carmen she didn’t want a relationship so now Carmen is in a different relationship? Get this woman a beer and some pills!

Mark carrying Shane out of a street fight

Upset that she left Carmen at the altar? Time for cocaine and vodka and literally crashing a car into a cement wall beneath a highway overpass!

Shane snorting drugs

Upset that she fucked Nikki on the balustrade of Yamashiro and now Jenny’s mad at her? Drink up and pass out on a weird chair!

Shane being dragged out of Hit Club drunk

But Shane didn’t get a DUI or pee in Dani’s hallway, and that’s all that matters obviously. Anyhow, nobody’s gonna share any new information that might illuminate for Finley why they’re so troubled by her drinking, even though I personally shared many examples of her problematic drinking behavior in prior recaps.

Shane talking to Finley

We love you so much. And that’s why it pains us so much to see you in this downward spiral. I mean, Tina? Look at your feet.

Filey in her jersey talking to Shane

What?

Sophie feeling stressed out

Ok um, right here it says, “True/False, right now I am wearing fuzzy-wuzzy slippers.”

Generally an intervention is an absolute last resort, when all prior avenues have been exhausted and the addict has failed at multiple sobriety attempts. Furthermore, an intervention serves as an opportunity for the addict’s friends to share specific, detailed reports of how the addiction has impacted them and the repercussions for the addict if they refuse the offer of help. So: even in a scene centered on a type of meeting devoted entirely to providing a rich, multi-layered portrait of the subject’s addiction, we don’t get it!

Finley says thanks but no thanks, and Sophie sadly watches her go.


We cut to Pippa’s Topanga Canyon retreat, where Bette and Pippa are lying in bed for a little morning tongue kissing and to discuss the impending CAC opening. “I love it when we step out together all fly,” Pippa says. Bette asks if Pippa would like to attend the going away party Alice is throwing herself tomorrow evening but they’re interrupted by a phone call from the one and only Tina!

Bette on the phone

I’m so glad you called I was just about to get into a healthy relationship

Pippa asks if Tina’s coming to Alice’s party and how Bette feels about that, and Bette says she feels fine and then makes the grave personal error of adding, “I’d feel a lot better if you came with me.” She means it affectionately but the delivery reveals a paradigm Pippa finds alarming — is she merely a prop to enable Bette to feel like she’s over Tina?

Pippa putting her hair up with an oversized flannel on

All the cozy cabin feels! Our soft flannel you know and love now $34.99 at American Eagle

The gulf between how Pippa and Bette handle relationships is well-lit here. Pippa plays with chaos and uncertainty in her work and prefers stability and clear outlines in her personal life. Bette finds order and power in her work — even her unrestrained emotional response to the art she loves is reigned in by plugging that artist into the familiar structure enabled by the Art Business — and revels in mess, impulsivity and uncertainty in her emotional life. She constantly charges head-first into relationships she’s plainly unready to show up for, and she’s never prioritized “getting over Tina” as a pre-condition to make commitments to others.

“I’m nervous about you two,” says Pippa, who looks distractingly hot as she pulls on an oversized flannel and shares her chapstick with Bette. Pippa’s dialed in to her instincts and her instincts tell her she’s flirting with danger regarding the inevitable draw of Bette’s moth to Tina’s flame.

Bette and Pippa share a chapstick

It’s chapstick for chapstick lesbians! There’s an article about it!


Back at Bette’s very own home, her teenage daughter is obsessing over preparations for perhaps a school trip of some kind and her girlfriend is like, hey babe are you okay about this show introducing Marcus Allenwood as a season-long arc only to simply murder him

Jordi putting her hands on Angie's shoulders

It’s okay, nobody’s plot has made sense after episode 207

Jordi’s curious if Angie wants to attend Marcus’s funeral, but Angie refuses, saying she’s not his daughter, she’s not anything to him, and she could’ve saved him but did not.

Angie sitting on the bed

Do the writers of this show not care about my kidney donation?

Jordi looking down at Angie

It kind of confuses me, because I thought we were in a community of service-oriented people

Jordi tells her that it’s not her fault and they embrace. I love supportive teen love!


We cut to an important building, where Gigi’s distracting Dani from the impending trial by prepping Dani for an upcoming meeting with her family, full of delightful characters including her favored brother. Also, Dani shouldn’t tell Gigi’s family that they’ve slept together.

Gigi and Dani in fancy outfits in the building

Wanna try my cup of poison?

A heckler tells Dani that her Dad is guilty, typical city hall stuff. The most important thing about this scene is how hot they look together in their outfits. Dani says she’s fine and will do great in court today because she has been PREPPED within an inch of her life. I wonder what the trial is about


Shane and Tess banging

Lesbian Sexy Moment #12: Morning Os

The Players: Shane and Tess

It’s the cool clear light of day and two hot happy naked lesbians are in bed fucking and eating each other out! Tess lifting her leg up to put her ankle on Shane’s shoulder so Shane can fuck her deeper is like real good stuff right there and everybody’s having a very good time and then for some godforsaken reason Tess interrupts this bang session to say that they should fire Finley because otherwise they’re enabling her.

Shane thinks Tess should be the one to do the firing because she’s nicer. They giggle and fuck about it before Tess has gotta take a call from her Mom. Tess reminds Shane they’ve gotta hire a new GM because (surprise!) Tess is planning to move to Vegas to be with her Mom.

Tess Van De Berg, wanton sex goddess, with a very bad woman between her thighs… Mum… Hi.

Shane seems open to Tess’s proposal of a long-distance relationship but then Tess plows further forward, with a leap towards commitment that feels unearned — Shane, who’s struggled all her life with finding a place that feels like home but has made one for herself in L.A., could move to Las Vegas with Tess.


Back to The Aloce Show, where our favorite Bisexual Talk Show host has dressed up like Julia Child for an undoubtedly exciting segment with Paul Hollywood. Alice tells Sophie she’s welcome to stay at her luxury apartment if necessary, but Sophie declines. “I’m not doing that to her, she doesn’t deserve it,” Sophie says, perhaps mired in guilt from the unsuccessful intervention.

Alice volunteers to speak to Sophie further on this topic if necessary but is then interrupted by the arrival of Tom, who announces, full throated: SAY HELLO TO A CIS MAN NAMED TOM! I laughed!

Tom walking into the office carrying a magazine article open

Just a straight cis man out here supporting queer media!

Tom: “I can’t wait to explain to my momma what cis means. You see that elbow right there? That elbow is the elbow of a man who is officially in a power couple.”

Sophie asks if they’re gonna celebrate the article and Tom announces that yes indeed, they are doing the swan boats! I’m thrilled to hear this news because I know someone who had full lesbian sex in a swan boat and now I’ve had an opportunity to share this news with all of you here!

Tom and Alice

I can’t wait to find parking at Echo Park Lake

Alice doesn’t wanna go but Tom’s stoked to get Alice away from her Google Alerts and on that note, Alice passes her phone over, only for Tom to be immediately alerted of a very bad review in The New York Times that suggests Alice should’ve “stayed in her lane.” Alice immediately lashes out.

Alice vs Tom

Squabble #36: Read It and Wept

In the Ring: Tom vs. Alice

Alice is blaming Tom for the bad review that inspired her to deviate from her lane, and Tom is responding exactly as I would respond — by not realizing that Alice is seriously actually getting mad at him about this.

Alice: It says I should stay in my lane, that’s what it says. You know who pushed me out of my lane, Tom?
Tom: That would be me!
Alice: I didn’t want to veer out of my lane, Tom, no, because I have a very successful talk show that is very firmly in my lane.
Tom: Absolutely, but in the grand scheme of things—
Alice: I’m gonna go.
Tom: But what about the swan boats?
Alice: Fuck the swan boats! Fuck the swans, fuck their friends!

Who Wins? Not the swans!

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Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2883 articles for us.

100 Comments

  1. The Tess Van De Berg caption really threw me because I didn’t know Tess had a last name.

    Likely because we’ve never heard Shane try to cheer her up/inspire her with little more than the words “You’re Tess fucking Van De Berg,” which frankly disappoints me.

    • No matter how bad the writing can be, I love this show and pray that it comes back. With all of that said, I will call this for what it is. I’m a die hard tina/bette fan and would have loved to them sail off into the sunset. If we saw bette and tina happy and in love and getting married the last episode of the original series, then why couldn’t they leave it that way. Why must they continue to screw this couple to no return. I mean bette has her shit sometimes, but why must people see her as a villain, when clearly most of the time she’s not if you actually look at it. I’m so tired of Tina’s shit. If you look at them from jump, Tina Is the sole reason why Bette can never fully mo e on. The minute she gets comfortable and accept her fate with that relationship, Tina comes and play these mind games. If this show comes back, I hope and pray that it’s picked back up with tina at bettes door to confess her love, and this time bette tells her that she’s found her equal and her partner, and she loves her, but she’s already moved on
      I think it’s time for tina to feel the wraith now. I’m over them and I. O longer want to see them together..

  2. Just a brief essay of my initial thoughts:

    “It seems fast,” Sophie accurately points out – is she speaking about the German bad vibes surprise party or perhaps every breakneck-speed plot of this entire season? I thought the writers were having a meta moment for a second there.

    Riese, I agree with all of your comments both here and on the podcast (as well as Drew and Analyssa’s) regarding the mishandling of Finley’s storyline. The most frustrating thing is there are glimpses in these scenes of moments that are so fucking real and familiar – they’re just in the wrong context. I’m glad Sophie called Finley out on the whole “I’m a fuck-up” fallback because that’s a very real thing I’ve experienced from addicts and whether they recognise it or not in that moment, it’s goddamn manipulative. But it didn’t feel earned because nowhere in this story has there been a moment of Sophie realising how much she’s enabled this behaviour, and acknowledging that, and deciding she wants things to change. Nowhere in the intervention did Finley bring this up, either – which could have been an opportunity for all of those characters to both reflect on how they missed the problems, but also highlight that enabling is not the same as being responsible for. Not once did anyone bring up how Finley GOT SOBER A FEW MONTHS AGO or ask her how she did that. This could have been a really interesting discussion, because addiction does not ALWAYS mean medically dependent. It covers a whole spectrum of problematic relationships to alcohol. There are addicts who stop for a while, and for that brief while you have hope, because if they’ve stopped it means they have control over it, right? They can turn things around. It’s not that bad. And then it comes crashing down again, and you realise (even if they don’t) that this isn’t enough. This could have played nicely into Finley’s “I can do it my way” statement if anyone had bothered to bring it up.

    Dani meeting Gigi’s family is sweet, but her comments about not knowing if she can meet a family because she’s never had one like this is a whole new experience for her… okay I get that the writers frequently forget key details of the original series, but can they not even remember last season when Dani was close with Sophie’s relatives??

    I love Tom and I love this pairing for Alice but fuck me there’d better be a fucking great explanation for that ring that doesn’t involve yet another tired trope of somebody wanting to propose way too fucking soon. (To be honest I was also scared of this with Shane and Tess for a minute there) (Speaking of which, when was Shane enchanted by Tess? When they crossed paths briefly and then Shane fucked her girlfriend? When Shane threatened to fire Tess for relapsing in the aftermath of discovering that Shane had fucked her girlfriend? Enquiring minds need to know)

    I hope and pray that Tibette is a fake-out. That the end of Bette’s sentence at the party was going to be “I realised that I would say no, that I’ve been holding onto this bitterness and resentment for far too long and I don’t like what it’s turned me into. That I would like to experience a healthy relationship and storylines that are both enriching and thought-provoking with an actual black character who for possibly the first time in this show’s history will exist for something other than a tragedy or lesson for the white and white-passing characters. Who will teach me to explore my blackness and queerness in ways I haven’t even begun to unpack.” And that Tina has turned up at her door to give her shit for the way she treated Carrie. And then Tina finds Carrie and they have at least one scene with some hint of intimacy.

    I love Gigi. I love her love of open communication. I love how she has brought Dani out of herself this season. More Gigi, less cartoon villain father, please.

    • Also, I finally signed up to A+. This website, and the various podcasts I’ve discovered through it, have been so significant in my two-year coming out journey I don’t have the words for it. I’m sorry it isn’t more but I hope it helps all the same.

    • I also read the interaction with Bette and Tina heading squarely toward, “It made me realize I’m not in love with you” territory. Bette’s apparent discomfort when Tina does show up at the end, to me, signals the same. This just seems like a case of every character’s confirmation bias leading them to make choices before any actual dialogue happens :)

    • I was also confused about Dani being acting like she’d never met a family before. I feel like the Suarezes have that same big, loud, loving energy so it shouldn’t have been that much of a shock. But I guess meeting your goddess girlfriend’s family is scary no matter how many times you’ve done it before.

      I interpreted not being able to “act normal” because of all the shits she’s been through these past how many months in the l word time vortex. Dealing with finding out her fiancé cheated on her at the altar and her dad’s maybe super serious maybe meh opioid schemes maybe through her off her A-game.

    • No Tibette can’t be a fake out because is the best thing of L word many people admire this couple gay or straight and there is something so strong between these two women that only death can separate them…..and guess who said that one day….Jennifer Beals….

    • I desperately want you to be right about Tibette. I get that their OG series relationship was important to some people, but this new series has made the two of them impossible to root for or even enjoy.

      Tina said last season that she had to leave California to be her own person outside of Bette and meant it so deeply that she skipped Kit’s funeral, and Bette seems pathologically incapable of not trying to control Tina so like…Carrie and Pippa, despite each being too good for them, are better and more fun to watch as partners for them.

      Chaos and destruction are fine and fun sometimes, but growth after 10 years of investment in characters can be even more dramatically satisfying.

      • Oh god yes, I’d much prefer them to show growth a majority of the time. Surely they could compromise with some chaotic messy drama but then follow it up with growth? Look how satisfying Gigi and Dani’s storyline has been. Open communication is so rare in tv and film and this pairing proved it doesn’t have to be stale.

        • Totally agree (as usual) with you both, Mina and ChaoticUnicorn, regarding how refreshing the open communication is between Gigi and Dani (well, and everyone!), particularly because their pairing opens up or allows us to see sides of Dani that were previously opaque or closed off.

          As for Tibette, I disliked the way Tina’s speech to Angie about leaving to find herself seemed to be compromised by being engaged to someone new with a year. BUT it does seem like the dynamic in her relationship with Carrie is so different with Bette… Tina can be herself and explore herself and pursue interests while still sustaining a relationship with Carrie, because Carrie doesn’t eclipse everything else the way Bette can tend to.

          I understand Carrie’s sense that she can’t deal with the full context of Tina’s history/the LA circle – which probably feels way more acute now that they’re living in LA vs. far away in Toronto, as distance really can make some of those intense ex dynamics more manageable I imagine – but it also seems too easy to have her just walk away/the relationship end for reasons that are not principally related to her actual direct relationship with Tina?

    • Re: Tom/Alice I will accept any stupid reason like Tom grabbed someone’s jacket by accident or he’s going to be the best man in a wedding as soon as they touch down. My assumption for the show is Tom’s not going to be in season three and this is the way to send him off but can’t any of these assholes break up for a normal reason? I’d completely buy it if Alice came back and was like oh it didn’t work out because he snores or whatever.

    • Wow I really hope they go this direction. I loved Bette and Tina together, but Bette and Pippa is magical. I really hope they don’t go back and put them back together. The reality is that Tina can’t handle Bette. I mean Bette is a firecracker and she needs someone who can go head to head with her.

      Dani and Gigi, yes a thousand times!

  3. Thank you! The Finley/Sophie stuff was especially on point as usual. This whole Finley alcoholic storyline has been so mishandled while also being rushed through at light speed and it all makes me so angry. This whole show this season has been so freaking frustrating and most of it makes little to no sense. I pretty much hated the whole season aside from karaoke ep… and yet I still want it to be renewed… mostly because I love Finley… and I loved her and Sophie’s friendship dynamic that lead to their realistic and sweet romantic entanglement, which somehow was ruined for me this season by the choices made by the powers that be.

    I might have to blame this whole shitshow season on production not retaining perhaps the best writer and executive story editor from season 1 – Francesca Butler. Who wrote my favourite episode of season 1 (1.07) and clearly had an affinity for the true Sophie / Finley dynamic that has been woefully cast aside in season two in favour of unnecessary drama and bs, which started with the bonkers decision of Sophie apparently choosing to go to Hawaii with Dani and then attempting to go through with the wedding months after. Also, I blame the pandemic. The pandemic has screwed up literally everything including this show.

    Also, why on earth did they show flashbacks to Sophie and Finley drunk together during Finley’s spiraling montage? Lol. They really chose the drunken shenanigans to somehow inspire her towards sobriety? Wtf kind of idea was that… could have gone with a number of other scenes but okay. Like my favourite scene ever – the hospital waiting room. But I guess they wanted something more frenetic and chose the drunken dancing? I don’t know… I just hate basically all the choices made this season. The choice of Dani/Gigi pairing was perhaps the only thing they got right this season. Everything else was unreasonably tarnished in some inexplicable way… I still hate the character of Dani though.

    Thanks for all your recaps this season. They always made me have a good little laugh to myself as I sit here all alone and somehow again in lockdown after 19 months of the pandy…

  4. Showtime better hurry up and renew this underwhelming show that I complain so much about!!! Despite the occasionally jarring and/or boring storytelling this season, I really like the cast and I’m not ready for it to be over.

  5. I don’t have anything sensible to say about the finale itself.

    These last few episodes have been rough, so I’m glad to have these recaps (and the podcast) to come to afterwards and know I’m not alone.

    I am very excited to read your breakdown of the timeline of this season, however, so I bought some perks to vaguely say thank you – good luck with the fundraiser.

  6. Though this episode made me feel like I lost multiple brain cells, I am going to miss this season so much! It’s going to be so sad not having these recaps and the podcast to look forward to every week!

    Thank you Riese, for offering your infinitely wise and funny analysis of this show that often does not deserve it! And, of course, thank you for always being a safe haven for Sinley shippers!!

  7. As someone who has a lot of the same drinking problems that Finley seems to (although i have never peed in dani’s hallway), i’m so upset with the way the writers portrayed finley’s arc this season. I feel like she had a legitimate problem with alcohol but then everyone randomly showed up at this intervention for her so quickly and it seemed so bizarre, almost moreso than the last couple episodes have. if sophie had just told her that she needed to get a grip for her to be okay in that relationship, i think finley would have pulled it together (since finley legit has proven that she’s capable of at least part-time sobriety on her own aka in the space between seasons). it was nice of alice to offer to pay for rehab but why did everyone need to be in this intervention? it seemed to undermine any possible alcoholism storyline they were telling. are they just trying to write out jacqueline toboni for next season?

    speaking of characters they’re trying to write out, Pippa and Tess are my absolute favorite / the hottest characters in this show. If they disappear next sesason, I’m going to be SO upset. words cannot describe. I’d also love to know where Nat went, because I feel like she brought a level of comedy to the show that has been missing since she discovered polyamory / was written off the show.

    I’m going to be devastated if this show isn’t renewed, because as much as I hated it it’s also my favorite show on tv

    • Good season. Hope the show comes back. I love Dani and Gigi and I love Tibette but I do feel their time has passed. Pipa grew on me and Alice deserves better. Alice, Shane and Bette have all aged very well. Sophie had better love scenes with Dani and Finley is a lovable lost soul. Good luck with the recaps.I looked forward to them every week even though I seldom agreed with anything that was said.

  8. I suspect either we will see an episode of Finley in the rehab facility, or we’ll time jump & she’ll be returning home. I’m not sure which I’d prefer; I certainly don’t trust this writing team to write Finley in rehab, even for one episode.

    I am a big Finley/Sophie fan so I want them ending up together.

        • Beyond the general reality of how horribly they’ve mishandled this entire alcohol storyline, I’ll also be interested (read: holding my breath) to see how they write Finley’s return from rehab, for several reasons:

          1. I have little faith that they will explore with any subtlety (or even address at all) what it would be like to be Finley, to have a certain way of moving through the world and connecting with people, and particularly this circle of queer women in LA, and to suddenly be doing so sober (seemingly with no support, if the other characters’ actions up to this point carry over). It would be really hard to be anyone in this circle and be sober, much less to be someone who is/relates to others in the way Finley does.

          2. In light of how inconsistently they’ve dealt with Tess’s sobriety storyline (including in this finale, when Finley mentions that Tess is – at least allegedly – drinking again).

          3. The fact that they’ve demonstrated this season they’re not actually interested in exploring realistic or complex or nuanced stories around coping, dependency, addiction, or sobriety, but seem intent on hitting the big dramatic notes (why? they all ring false! I am so confused as to the motivation to even introduce these storylines at all.)

          4. Maybe her alcohol issues will go the way of her religious hang-ups, and just disappear between seasons like so much dust in the wind?

  9. I’m sorry, this show is such a fucking bummer. Stop doing issues. Ya just gotta stop doing issues if you get a season 3. I was hoping, since it is in fact called “The L Word”, that it would have the same tone, even if it was committed to fixing the problematic stuff. And that tone is drama with a rather LARGE helping of mischievous humor. There was a LOT of humor in the OG series. This is just… soggy meatloaf with a note attached carrying depressing news. Add clunky writing and you have to wonder what went wrong.

    • I love your wording, but I have to say I’m a little confused at the various comments I’ve seen since this season started about how the OG L Word wasn’t as dramatic…WUT?! The storylines from the original series were absolutely drenched in drama, and were so often ridiculously far-fetched. I think both series are guilty of this?! But still watch them thirstily…XD

  10. Wow this was a ride of a final episode. I hope Bette stays with Pippa I love the two of them together. I was sad over the lack of Maribel and Micah in this episode, but there was so much jammed in I think trying to fit them in would have been overkill. Hoping we have Pippa’s son make an appearance in Season 3. So many cliffhangers, but I am taking bets that when Finley walks out of rehab next season, Sophie has a new girl waiting in the car with her when she picks Finley up. Also, get Rose Rollins as a guest next season! We need to know what down between Alice and Tasha!

  11. It’s been an honor and a privilege to read these recaps (as well as everyone’s comments). I also will be devastated if Showtime doesn’t renew, so if any Showtime execs are reading this–we want szn 3!

    I enjoyed this finale and thought it was a definite improvement on the last couple of eps. I love the moments when Alice, Bette, and Shane are just hanging out together and there were a few in there today. Also, I guess I am a Tibette shipper because I SCREAMED when Tina showed up on Bette’s doorstep. That said, I will be upset if they write out Pippa Pascal because the energy she brings to this show is just so fucking good. Finally, tg Dani has Gigi to support her through this absolute shitshow. I hate this opioid trial storyline (also I feel like we haven’t talked enough about how fucked up it is that a Latinx man is being portrayed as this drug kingpin…like really?) and the way it came to a head in this episode made me feel viscerally bad. Next season, I hope we get more Gigi! As others have noted, Gigi has brought Dani out of her shell and made her into a character that I really care about. I hope that Gigi herself can become a more fleshed out character–she deserves more screentime and more of her own storylines!

    :)

    • Totally agree about the friendship dynamic with Alice, Bette, and Shane. On the occasions when this show gets friendships right, it gets them really really really right. It also doesn’t hurt that Leisha is a great comedic actress.

  12. Love the recaps and the accompanying comments/rants.

    About the (poorly written) alcoholism storyline…During my drinking days, I had a very problematic relationship with alcohol, but I never admitted to being an alcoholic because I could always sober up for a few weeks/months when things were getting out of hand. I would justify my disordered drinking as related to some “bad patch” in my life (break-up, work stress, etc.). My alcoholism only became obvious to me when I continued to drink heavily in spite of a loving partner and a job I liked. So I do think that Finley falling back into drinking when things are going well can be a wake-up call for both alcoholics and their loved ones. Of course, this storyline could have benefitted from other characters indicating a modicum of discomfort with Finley’s drinking before now.

    My favorite couple this season was Shane and Tess, but I feel like the weird cliffhanger for their relationship probably has to do with whether or not Jamie Clayton returns for Season 3. If she does, this conflict will disappear into the ether by the end of episode 1. If she doesn’t, it will be Tess that disappears into the ether.

    • well on the bright side wrt tess, jamie clayton was on Pants podcast earlier this year and both her and kate moennig said they wanted her back for season 3 so if she gets cut it’s showrunners being stupid like they were with erin daniels

  13. What a poor intervention, Jeff and Candy would not be impressed at all! (This was not a good season for Micah’s professional skills.)

    So Shane didn’t want to tell Tina about Carrie’s cold feet but she was willing to tell Bette? Really?

    I’m glad Pippa clocked Bette’s Tina torch before she got too invested. Bette has come to remind me of the children on Transparent, I always rooted for their romantic prospects to escape.

    I hope the Jordi doubters are taking several seats. It’s too bad this 16 year old girl is doing more to support Angie than her chaotic moms…

    I still want them to renew the show so we can spend more time with Gigi’s lips.

    Thank you Riese for a season of magnificent recaps. Whenever an episode is terrible (so most of them) I feel very bad specifically for you and your fellow podcast hosts. We should all donate to the fundraiser as a consolation.

    • I really appreciated Jordi’s return to form this episode but she’s one of the characters (Maribel being another) where I feel like they pulled a Helena Peabody on us and just changed her personality between seasons. And her entire look as well. I get that teens do reinvent themselves along the way but s1 Jordi had this edgy grunge vibe going on (is grunge the right word? Probably not, I’m old) and wouldn’t have given a shit about prom. S2 Jordi looked entirely different and had all-new priorities. I feel like we only saw the OG Jordi’s personality in her first and last episodes this season.

  14. Riese, you declared me a winner as a Tibette shipper, but then why am I still sad????? I didn’t love the past episodes for us as lesbians. But I do have hope for Tibette and for this show so I guess I’ll hold on to that.

  15. Thanks for cranking out gold every week, Riese! I truly cannot fathom how you tracked this timeline without a tardis or something, but I wouldn’t wish the task on an enemy. I’ve ordered one of those neat ok gay stickers partially in your honor.

    I don’t know how he pulled it off, but Tom might be my favorite character? He always makes me laugh and he’s blissfully untouched by evil corporations and weird politics and Black death and Bette Porter. Love that for him.

    The things I liked about this episode were the joyful moments (Shess banging in the mid-morning light, Kayla bringing Angie little glimpses of the donor she never got to meet from the people who knew him best, Dani finally showing up for Gigi and Gigi’s big family welcoming her in).

    All the heavy stuff was a drag at best and nonsensical at worst. I’ve given up on waiting for characters to remember their own cheating or disordered substance use or an implosion of a romance with a best friend when they advise/lecture others, but I’d love to see the show stop casually invoking big pharma, substance abuse, and racial trauma and other big issues so that I don’t have to get mad about it and mutter to myself about nuance for hours on end.

    My fingers are crossed for a renewal even though almost every single storyline ended somewhere just beyond the point of an acceptable retcon. I want season 3 if only to get more of these recaps that make laugh even when the show makes me furrow my brow until it’s physically uncomfortable. And also for the Gigi/Dani conjugal visit scene.

    Lastly, #justiceforcarrie

    • 100% here for all of this. I always appreciate your comments, Mina. The moments of joy you listed were mine too, and I think what made this episode feel more salvageable for me than 208 and 209. But maybe I was just setting my bar so low to avoid feeling bereft after, that the comparative coherence of this episode made me feel more hopeful for a third season (although “a drag at best and nonsensical at worst” would indeed be my episode promo tagline).

  16. I actually sputtered laughing when Sophie commented “It seems fast,” which indeed would be my note for literally every plot-line this season. Including this entire episode, which felt like almost every scene was happening in fast forward.

    The intervention being perhaps the most egregious – but Riese has already covered everything I came here to say – except to amplify what was already noted that ALL of the characters gathered could have spoken one-on-one with Finley (probably a better place to start, no?) or at the very least individually as to their specific observations, concerns, personal experiences, etc. For instance:
    SOPHIE: Sharing how she has been reflecting on her own relationship to alcohol (I’m gifting her this observation since the writers never acknowledge this at all), the ways in which she hasn’t encouraged a healthy dynamic throughout her friendship/relationship with F, maybe accepting some responsibility (eg. the DUI situation), articulating what it was about the DUI that was such a turning point for her, double-down not just on “I love you” but actually using words to tell Finley why she loves her and wants to be with her (but don’t take notes from Dani’s proposal speech please)
    SHANE: Actually sharing how she did struggle in her 20s in a real way. She and Finley both come from homes where they felt adrift and on their own, right? Ok, so maybe talk about that? Don’t just say “don’t do that” like Finley’s only being manipulative or avoidant.

    TESS: Share more about your journey? (We don’t really know anything about her decision to get sober etc.) Take her to a meeting? Do SOMETHING other than staging a half-hearted uber dramatic intervention and then firing her? Maybe you could share how hard it is for you to be the GM of a bar/nightclub and stay sober, or open that up as a conversation? Or how hard it is to be friends and in a social circle that revolves a lot around drinking/drinks/going out? As it seems to me would be the case with this circle of friends. Like, literally anything with more substance?

    MICAH: What Riese said, plus also his expertise in grief therapy -I know grappling with rejection/trauma from religion isn’t death, but it is a kind of loss, as well as being rejected by your family and kicked out – it’s a more amorphous and unresolved kind of grief. And based on conversations in S1 with Rebecca, Tess, Sophie, etc., I get the sense that Finley could benefit from seeing a great lgbtqia+ therapist (not Dan Foxworthy please god) to process all the trauma and avoidance and “not wanting to feel all that” that she has very clearly and openly expressed in words at different times to the various characters on this show so maybe SOMEONE could follow up and respond?

    ALICE: Alice and Finley both use humor (in different ways) and being the “fun” one as a deflection tactic, but maybe Alice could speak to that as a way to actually ask Finley if she’s ok and try to draw her out? Just maybe?

    That’s fascinating that the pilot originally wrote the Nunez arc stronger. It would have been so much more compelling if they had been more specific and clear from S1 about their active role/complicity. It’s so vague throughout, it doesn’t pack and weight and just feels belabored. If they were Sackler level, wouldn’t Dani have had some inkling, as the head of PR/child-heir/acting CEO? Which makes her “investments in a diverse portfolio” line to Bette in S1 feel even more insidious.

    It’s clear the writers wanted to preserve Dani as a “good” character, but also wanted to retain the family conflict/ethical decision/loyalty dramatic tension. I’m just not sure you can have it both ways? Or at least I wish it had been handled with a bit more complexity and ambiguity… like real life!

    I also personally support not vilifying Dani, as I’ve grown very fond of her after this season, largely thanks to Gigi as well as actual character growth for Dani. It almost feels like she and Sophie swapped roles insofar as in S1 Dani was much more one-note and we didn’t get much of a sense of her interiority, and in S2 I felt like Sophie was more that way – Rosanny (fucking wonderful) Zayas instead had to carry lots of anxious, furrowed brow, I-am-holding-a-lot-of-unresolved-stress-and-emotion-in-this-very-stiff-posture to convey her discomfort about the Dani/Finley situation and decision which then almost immediately (after 2/3 of an episode of hot sex montage and, of course, poker) returned because “suddenly this person I’ve known and loved and lived with is an unstable alcoholic and I don’t know what to do even though literally I have not yet done anything besides drink heavily with her, invite her to drive while drunk, and physically initiate drunk driving sex.”

    And I love Sophie. (Just like Finley!) I just wanted the writers to give her a bit more … depth, interiority, specificity. Compare how she is in this season (especially the last 3 episodes) to how she’s trying to open Dani up and talking friends through difficult situations. But this season there was a lot of “But I love her” “I love you” thrown around as short-hand without actually showing us, or even talking in more specific ways about everything. The “I was going to come to Kansas City but then I got scared” was about as specific and revealing as we got.

    And it’s not just the character of Sophie. I completely agree, Riese: the vagueness of the dialogue baffles me. Why is it so pervasive even in instances when there is a wealth of character and narrative history that the writers could easily include specificity and nuance (the Bette/Tina exchange for instance)?

    Finally: what is with the weird mantras about “a love that’s once in a lifetime” that have floated to the surface throughout this season. Shane, Tess, and Bette have the most wildly inconsistent and weirdly romantic (but in a bonkers romantic, not a real-world romantic) advice.

    My desire for a third season is in an inverse relation to how frustrating these last few episodes (and generally this season as a whole) were.

    • Rosanny Zayas being relegated to sex scenes and silent face journeys for most of the season is so sad. She’s talented enough to make those moments seem bigger than they are, but it’s so strange how little she was allowed to do.

      She has like five one-liners where she alludes to a character detail that I want to know more about and then pivots to a girlfriend crisis and I can only assume it’s because of this show’s allergy to nuance.

      They don’t trust their audience to be interested in Sophie exploring that cheating twice (on Dani and the gf she was with when she met her) makes her worry that she’s somehow inherited her father’s infidelity. They don’t want her verbally say whether she really wanted to be Dani’s stay at home baby mama or whether it felt like a price of admission for a secure life with Dani. We can’t explore why Sophie tabled her ambition with one partner, then leaned all the way into it with the next, whether it about having support or being pushed from her comfort zone or just stepping out from under the weight of Dani’s ambition.

      And god forbid we get into why Sophie seems embarrassed to be seen with Finley, which is either a good time to explore that Sophie does indeed have ideas about financial and career stability/respectability or to build her slowly realizing that she and Finley deal with alcohol differently and she has hang-ups about Fun Finley showing up less often than messy Finley.

      I was a Dani apologist in S1 but I still managed a lot of love for Sophie, and I really wish she was allowed to be a full character this season instead of mostly joining Gigi in the ranks of emotional support gf.

      • I would like to see you write for Gen Q!! All of these were exactly what I wanted to explore with Sophie this season, I feel like leaving the stable life with the person you “should” be with for the person who your friends are like “uh what” but that you actually want to be with is such an interesting and relatable story, and they just didn’t delve into it at all!

        And yet we still have people on Twitter saying she gets too much screen time. *shakes head disappointedly*

      • Petition for Mina, Riese and Caitrw to write s3 please. And along with all of the above character development for Sophie, perhaps we could also circle back to Finley’s religious trauma and internalised homophobia that was shelved entirely for this season in favour of pissing in halways of inexplicably unlocked apartment buildings?

        • I’m holding out hope that they’ll acknowledge Finley’s upbringing and overall sense of shame in correlation with her drinking since, ya know, substance abuse and trauma are directly linked and all. But I’ve also accepted that me and the other wise commenters here might be the only people who actually remember such character details!

      • Thank you, Mina, for articulating so thoughtfully (and far more succinctly than I have/could) all the things about Sophie that I spend time thinking about and yet clearly the writers either don’t, or don’t think the audience will care?

        When they plant these seeds of character complexity, history, and motivations I honestly don’t understand why they wouldn’t WANT to tease them out over time to allow a fuller representation of that character to evolve… right? isn’t that how fiction works?

        I would much rather have spent time this season delving into any/all of the points you raise than having the show tackle “issues.”

        Same goes for many other characters, including:

        -Let’s actually see Bette start to grapple with her Blackness and her queerness instead of just ping-ponging from one “hot button issue” to another, so that we can watch character development rather than just dramatic plot-points

        -Give us more time before you implode a new relationship, eg. to allow for insight into the Angie and Bette/Pippa dynamic, particularly in light of the questions Angie raised earlier about moving through the world as a darker-skinned Black woman (more like Pippa)

        -Dani grappling with her potential complicity or willful ignorance of what(ever it was) the Nunez corporation did, rather than solely vilifying her father;
        etc.

    • caitrw, I will miss agreeing with your insightful comments every week! (Mine also began with “it’s all just so fast… YES IT IS GEN Q, ALL OF IT IS TOO FAST”) I’ve been too frustrated to fully articulate everything wrong with the intervention/alcohol storyline but I appreciate the thought you’ve put into considering how each character might realistically have approached the situation. A shame you took more care writing one speculative comment than the showrunners did for the entire season

    • I’m new here and so glad that I stumbled upon this forum. The recaps are absolutely fantastic and hilarious.
      I figured that I would comment on the show as a whole since, it is over now.
      Like most, I’m just confused about a lot, so I may just ask questions.
      I know that Dani said that she missed Micah, but why do they not talk anymore? I know that he still lives with Sophie, but Micah and Dani are best friends, so I’m confused as to why he wouldn’t still talk to her.
      Exes have usually not stuck around on this show, so how are both Dani and Sophie still on the show together?
      What was the plot purpose of bringing Sophie/Dani/Finley/Gigi all together at Dani’s? Before it happened I asked my girl what she thought would happen for them all to be in the same room, well I got my answer. Definitely, not what I expected.

      I have more questions but there just isn’t enough time in the world to ask them all lol.

      Comments now, I have reached the conclusion that if Bette and Tina didn’t last, then the rest of these couples can forget it. I am an OG viewer and were for them this season until Carrie and Pippa came along.
      I want Bette and Pippa together for some black love, they could definitely be a power couple. It is nice to see somebody that actually makes the amazing Bette Porter fall to her knees in a sense.

      I love this forum and hope to see a Season 3 so that we can have more recaps!

      Godspeed

  17. This episode was better than the past two, but there were still so many issues. If/when it gets renewed, can we just have some consistency? And not so much unnecessary drama?

    Like why is there a ring? Let Alice and Tom grow! I really loved Bette and Shane giving their approval because he’s just such a great character and works so well with Alice.

    It was so weird to talk about long distance for Shane and Tess and then be like no that can’t happen?! And in the same episode! Also, 4-5 hours is definitely doable for long distance.

    I was so excited to see Gigi’s family! But why did that have to get ruined, too?

    Ugh, damn you show and my love/hate of you. But at least your recaps, Riese, have always been on point! Thank you!

  18. Squabble #37
    In the ring: Riese (to paraphrase Bette Porter “[She] is all of [us]” vs. Gen Q Season 2 Writers

    Riese, these recaps are I’m sure a labor of love, and are such a treat perhaps especially for those of us who are watching the show solo and having all these thoughts but with no one to turn to and just say them. The recaps turned this reader into a commenter, and I just donated as a small gesture of thanks for all those hours of pulverized Sinley verve. (Do you rewatch S1 seasons, or is it just me?)

    I can’t wait to read your timeline post. I can only imagine it is going to be BANANAS. These storylines often seem to be happening simultaneously but on different timelines, and the OG characters have selective amnesia about huge swathes of their pasts. (Is this where I put my philosophy degree to use and wax poetic about the present being the invisible advance of the past gnawing into the future?)

    Winning caption: “I’m so glad you called I was just about to get into a healthy relationship”

    In the promo for 210 made me think “Finley will refuse to go in the context of the group intervention but will eventually go to rehab for the episode ends” because the writers seem to want these big dramatic (if unearned) arcs and resolution, whereas I felt the inverse about the close of the finale: I think the Tibette carrot as perhaps a means to rally support to get a third season but I shared others’ impression that Bette was going to say she realized she and Tina should and could be happy apart. (Even if that’s the case: run, Pippa, run!)

  19. This season was frankly hard to watch. At least I had Gigi, Dani, Alice and Tom, so they made it worthy overall. But I had a lot of trouble with everything else. Nothing makes sense, and conflicts are constantly fabricated for the sake of (too much) drama. I really wish we had more character consistency and well developed stories.

    But worse of all, for me, was the whole Bette-Pippa-Tina-Carrie. I feel a kind of parasocial vibe from Bette and Pippa’s relationship, as if Bette knows Pippa because she knows her work. They’ve only just met, and out of nowhere they are really serious and Pippa is willing to risk her one-time opportunity to have a major exhibition (which was described as deeply important for her and opened up lifelong wounds) for Bette’s personal crusade. And after Bette used her work as a bargaining chip without her consent. The fact that all the artists just joined in on her boycott like that felt equally far-fetched.

    As for Tina and Carrie, they suddenly breakup (and I don’t like how the show chose to handle Carrie’s story), and then we are thrown again in the whole will-they-won’t-they with Bette and Tina.

    I loved them in the OG show, so I hate the position Generation Q has put me in: no matter what, it’s gonna be bad. If they get back together, it won’t make sense – Tina left Bette because she was losing her identity and Bette was too self-absorbed (which was a really repetitive script decision, since we’ve seen that already and they were working on it), but both her and Bette are still the same people. The show decided to erase their OG development, and now the problem is un-solved. So obviously the on/off thing and the lack of communication and progress are not healthy. On the other hand, if they don’t get back together, why did the show make us go through all of that? The whole mystery involving Laurel Holloman’s participation, the cliffhangers… All that drama for nothing? It seems cruel to the fans who have been watching and cheering them on since the beginning.

  20. thank you for this great recap!!! I need to walk my dog so I only have time to write a short comment but: I hope the show gets renewed for another season, Sinley 4eva, I hate the Tibette storyline, thank you bye!!!

  21. I finally feel vindicated after watching Shane meet Tess in season 1 and thinking “woah there, Shane has NEVER reacted that way to anyone befor!”. I mean — she literally bought Tess a bar and begged her (not her asshole of a girlfriend, just her!) to run it after knowing her for all of five minutes…!

    Then Quiara showed up and I thought to myself ” oh, okay, I guess I misread that one then.” But now I know I hadn’t!

    …just me, then? Did nobody else think the same?

  22. What this show does very well are the lighter, loving, and/or affectionate moments. It was the frequency and quantity of those moments that made S1 far more likable. What it doesn’t do well, even going back to OG, is entangled, delicate, or god forbid heavy drama which unfortunately seems to be what it wants to do most of the time. I do appreciate the finale giving us a heartwarming, though very brief, mother/daughter scene with Angie and Bette (took all season) and the affectionate and fun moments with Shess, Gini but the rest ranged from meh to HA-WHAT? Don’t even get me started on the potential for another ride on the toxic hamster wheel that is TiBette.

    Gigi continues to be all things so that’s good. Pippa has the potential to be co-owner of all things IMO (extremely sexy this ep btw) but I doubt they keep her around for anything other than being Bette’s human phone charger (important enough when needed but forgotten when not). The show did manage to endear me to Tom who I only just realized has an energy that is similar to Dana.

    Thank you Riese for yet another stellar recap season. These Friday gems and the comments are what made the season for me.

    • Você acredita em fantasma?,pois ela está lá.a Gigi é manipuladora e acredito que a Dani vai ter sérios problemas.o problema da Dani (acho) e que ela não tem inteligência emocional, daí a origem de seus problemas.acho que a verdadeira bisexual e a bette.the l word tinha um casal principal e os outros personagens contaram a história dele.(bette and Jenny)Ok

  23. It seemed to me that Bette was going to tell Tina it’s time to move on. But Carrie has major unsolved insecurities and projecting them on Bette. There’s no way she heard anything in the full room with loud music, but just finally found reason to break up with Tina. The only mistake which Bette did here was probably bad timing. I hope that they’ll show her relationship with Pipa without drama as there are not many couples like that in the series.
    I’m sorry, I know that you like Carrie, but I don’t. But I hope that they’ll write better butch lesbian character in this not really well written series.
    And I’ve sent money of course ;)

    • I don’t know if I see it that way with Carrie. I think Carrie sensed the tension and resentment from the second they walked into Bette’s house the first time. I don’t blame her for her feelings towards Bette, but at the same time, I don’t think that Tina really gave Carrie reason to doubt her love for her. I think Carrie just couldn’t cope with Bette, regardless.

  24. I love these recaps so much! And everyone always has the best comments! I only have one thing to add. I’ve been operating under the assumption that Jenny Schecter faked her own death and is living on a circus themed goat farm in the hills and occasionally writing book reviews under a pen name. This theory was ONE HUNDRED PERCENT CONFIRMED TO BE CANNON IN THIS EPISODE – who else would have written that negative review of Alice’s book in the times?!!!!! Literary revenge! Jenny is alive no further questions!

  25. I finally googled the Sackler family, and lo, there was Dani’s family’s whole plot. An artist threatened to pull her work to convince an art museum to refuse donations? Check. That same woman organizing a small group of artists protesting in front of an art museum to get the Sackler name taken down, and succeeding? Also check.
    Bonus points for the artist in question, the photographer Nan Goldin, being bisexual.

  26. This season was like Cliff Notes or fast forward. I may give up my L Word watching after this. It was toxic. Most people were in the wrong relationships or looking to destroy good ones. The alcoholism took over every scene. Like can’t we have sex without talking about her drinking? Some characters gotta go. Make room for actual conversations!!

  27. I will miss these recaps (and the podcast) every week. This episode – in line with the two prior – was rough but a real highlight was seeing Dani and Gigi share that lime.

    On another note, in some one of the promo photos for this episode that Showtime provided Alice is on the plane talking to a red (?) haired woman who appears to be Nat? Am I missing something? Did anyone else catch this?

  28. You know, I never once questioned the timeline or felt compelled to criticize the first season. There was SO much to enjoy even when dialog was messy (Tess talking about sandwiches) or plots were annoying (anything related to Dani’s father). The comedic bits were sharp and plentiful, the sex scenes delivered every time, and the younger generation, specifically, felt real and relatable. Sure, there were some heavy topics, but they were secondary to the heart and fun of the show.

    All of which is why I am utterly baffled by the second season. Aside from the karaoke episode and the many times Finley appears to deliver delightfully out of place comments, this season lost the fun and certainly lost the heart. Everyone was sad and subdued and it was exhausting as a viewer. Sophie sulking around when she was otherwise such a fun character the first season, Finley robbed of her charm, even Shane became an eeyore. And for whatever reason even the moments that were supposed to have us cheering for characters felt bad. Like Sophie singing to Finley (yay!!) in front of Dani (ehh..okay yikes). Or Micah finally acting on a big ol’ crush on Maribel (yay!!) and then ghosting each other (huh?)

    I don’t want to hate watch this show. I want to indulgently watch this show. It doesn’t have to be critically acclaimed or even without flaws—it can be a silly soapy mess! But this season was just a regular old mess which I think is how we (us as lesbians) have started nitpicking the timeline and writing decisions of The L Word: The Show That Could Get Away With Anything and Yet Has Still Managed Betray Us

  29. Part of this season didn’t feel authentic to me & had me thinking what are the writers thinking. Yet they somehow got the scene where Gigi brings Dani right. I wonder if they have an Iranian in the writers room or does Sepideh Moafi have some input here?

  30. The focus on Finley’s DUI as the reason she needs to go to rehab is so stupid I can’t even with that entire storyline. When Sophie screamed at her about it? Oh hell no. I’m not some big Finley stan or anything, but the way everyone is treating her over that DUI is terrible. SOPHIE WAS DRUNK TOO AND INITIATING DRUNK CAR SEX WHEN THEY GOT PULLED OVER. If Sophie had been driving, she’d be the one with the DUI. They are both at fault there and the way everyone keeps throwing it back in Finley’s face makes me mad on her behalf.

    I also really hope they don’t plan on getting Bette & Tina back together. Sorry Tibette shippers, that’s just way too much drama for this show to handle in any kind of decent way. Plus I really like Pippa for Bette, I love seeing another Black woman on this show, and I hope she sticks around.

    The shining light of this entire shit show continues to be Gigi. Please give her more to do than be Dani’s emotional support girlfriend (although she is very good at that), and also let her speak Farsi more because it is very hot. Thank you.

    (Riese I’m going to miss these weekly recaps, even though I’m slow and don’t usually have time to read them until Sunday.)

  31. I’m so over Bette & Tina! Can Bette just kick it with somebody cool for once. Her and Pippa got good vibes. Also, I’m hoping in the next season Dani and Gigi come back stronger than ever. Gigi is so good for Dani. Ugh, and Alice and Tom are cool too. Verdict is still out for the other characters :)

  32. You know when this episode ended, I wasn’t absolutely furious as I have been with the last few episodes and I thought it was because the episode was good, but after sitting with it for a while and thinking about the story lines and how they ended, I think it was more me being relieved the season was finally over. I do not remember being this stressed out with this show last season, and certainly not this frustrated.

    The nuance and care that was needed to execute Finley’s alcoholism story line was just not there and it frustrated me the entire season. The first sign this story wouldn’t be great was probably the fact that Finley had spent a good amount of time back home (I’m assuming a couple of months), the place where she was kicked out when she was 18, does not have the best relationship with her family considering that her sister didn’t even tell her she was engaged and she is only speaking to her father (who seemed like he isn’t even supposed to do that), and where the source of her religious trauma comes from, and yet all that was mentioned, in passing at that, was that she got sober there??! How was her being home not a possible trigger for her drinking at ALL?? She didn’t even go to her grandpa’s funeral. And the fact that the whole religion plot line was dropped this season is just wild, considering it was majority of Finley’s backstory last season. And the way her drinking was amped up to the max for her to hit rock bottom, why did it have to get that point to show she really has a problem? They could have pointed out this problem last season and explained how she needed help then as well, and spent this season trying to get to root of the problem. And a big problem I had with the finale was Finley’s clarity moment in the club. With the flashbacks with her and Sophie, it sort of gave off the vibe she was getting sober because she didn’t want to lose Sophie, not because she actually wanted to get sober for herself. That isn’t really a good reason to stay sober because if that relationship fails, what’s to stop her from drinking again? And idk what that cliffhanger was with Finley stopping before she went into the rehab center, because if Finley decides not to go what was the point of her entire plot line?

    The whole relationship between Finley and Sophie got butchered so bad, and at the sake of the characters themselves. It’s as though season 1 existed in a bubble or just something. In the beginning of the season, Sophie refers to her affair as “the sex was amazing” and when they finally get together, the relationship is painted as though the sex is the only thing they are good at. Sophie somehow doesn’t know Finley well enough, even though they have been friends for a while, and Finley has told practically all of her relationship drama to Sophie throughout last season, so I don’t see how Sophie wouldn’t even have an idea of what dating Finley would be like. It makes the scenes in episode 7 where Sophie says that Finley loves her better than anyone feel out of place, we haven’t seen that evidenced by this season. I was under the impression that Sophie cheated on Dani because of how they seemed to be on different pages all the time, and that Sophie and Finley were more connected, plus the fact that Finley was with her during the time Sophie’s grandma was in the hospital and Dani wasn’t was the last straw for Sophie. And it seemed like honestly Sophie in season 2 would have been fine with Dani in season 1. Sophie & Finley were friends first, and we barely got to see that friendship (the best aspect of their relationship) this season which sucked. The fact that both people who liked them as a couple and people who hated them were not fans of the storyline is not a good sign. I hope that they get whoever wrote their relationship in season 1 back next season.

    The whole love square with Carrie/Tina/Bette/Pippa was not something that needed to happen. If the show’s plan is to get Tibette back together again, I hate that this was the way they went about doing it. We finally get butch representation on this show and then she’s sort of set up as a joke, and then we have Pippa who just seems to a vessel for Bette to explore her Blackness (which she barely did this season) and does not have any plot of substance outside of Bette. And sort of in the same vein what was the entire point of Angie and the whole donor story line if Marcus was going to die at the end of the season, without even meeting Angie once? I hate that Jordan Hull got bumped up into a series regular just for her arc this season to have no payoff. The whole identity plot and the tying her plot line with BLM just seemed to miss the mark. Many people have explained the problems with this whole story line, and in a better way that I could explain, so I won’t go too much further into it.

    I’m just going to do what I’ve been doing for a lot of my shows this year and last year and chalk it up to COVID and its affect. I really do hope that next season we can go back to the energy of season 1, and that there is a lot more consistency within the show. 


    • Thank you! You nailed exactly what bothered me about Finley and Sophie’s storyline this season, but haven’t been able to articulate for myself!

      Finley and Sophie are two of my favorite characters on the show, and their relationship is by far the one on The L Word past + present that I’ve been most invested in, for the reasons you pointed out – they started off as best friends, so their romantic pairing came as a surprise to me but also made so much sense. It made sense that Sophie was able to connect to Finley in a way she never was with Dani – that Finley was always down to communicate, that she was always there for Sophie (shoutout to Cutest Episode Ever, 107!), and that the two of them had fun together instead of fighting all the time.

      Obviously I wanted Sophie to run to Finley at the airport, but I thought one upside to her choosing Dani would be that we could get some insights into Finley’s character from seeing her family dynamic in action when she went home.

      But instead we kind of got neither option?? Sophie chose Dani, and also we got no info about Finley’s time in Missouri? It baffled me that one of the only references we got to it at all was that she stopped drinking when she was there, which like you said, made no sense to me because I got the sense her problematic relationship with alcohol was directly related to her familiar trauma, and spending a concentrated amount of time with her family while already going through a tough time (what with developing feelings for her engaged best friend and all) would, I think, trigger that!

      And then, by having Finley interrupt the wedding, I felt like the show set up this dynamic where it was like Sophie and Finley did this Bad Thing to Poor Innocent Dani – especially because so many episodes were focused around Sophie insisting that her hook-up with Finley was a one-time thing and her trying to win Dani back – rather than Sophie and Finley found a genuine connection but under messy and complicated circumstances (which, to me, is more interesting from a narrative standpoint and also much more in line with what was set up in season one!)

      I feel like I was the only person who didn’t really clock that Dani was even at karaoke, just because I was like “Yes! Finally Sophie is acknowledging her real feelings and actively choosing Finley!” And then that feeling turned out to be quite fleeting, because as you pointed out – they then acted like they were total strangers and that Sophie was dating some random man-child, when I thought they were best friends and thus Sophie had a clear picture of who Finley was and loved her for the things other might consider flaws?

      And I won’t even get into the alcoholism storyline, as everyone else has pointed out how horribly that was handled, but I will say I think that could be an interesting opportunity for conflict if, again, they had handled it well or at least in line with the characters.

      I’m still ride or die for Sinley, because Jacqueline and Rosanny have some of the strongest chemistry I have seen on this here program and therefore I feel the love between them even with my issues, but I second you and would like back whoever is the person responsible for creating the dynamic I fell in love with in season one!

  33. One a more positive note,

    One thing I believe the show excelled in this season was the music! There were so many moments where the lyrics were able to fill in bits in the show that the dialogue didn’t provide or give more context, plus they were just good songs overall. So kudos to that department, I genuinely enjoyed adding to my playlist every episode.

    I did not expect Gigi and Dani to get paired together, and honestly I enjoyed them! I like that they have shared heritage and that in a sort of way it helps Dani connect to her mom, and I love that Gigi gets Dani to show a different side that I don’t think we got to see much of in season 1. I am really hoping we’ll get to see more of a backstory for Gigi (honestly just more Gigi would be great) and that she gets to developed outside of “hot sexy girlfriend who only serves to help other characters realize something”

    I think as always any scenes with the OG trio are good, I really love their friendship, which seems to be the one thing the show doesn’t drop the ball on.

    And Riese, your recaps continued to be the saving grace for me on Fridays, thank you for your commentary. Always looked forward to reading your thoughts on things happening on the show, especially in the later ones.

  34. “Sophie asks if they’re gonna celebrate the article and Tom announces that yes indeed, they are doing the swan boats! I’m thrilled to hear this news because I know someone who had full lesbian sex in a swan boat and now I’ve had an opportunity to share this news with all of you here!”

    I really appreciate this news, thanks :D

  35. Você acredita em fantasma?,pois ela está lá.a Gigi é manipuladora e acredito que a Dani vai ter sérios problemas.o problema da Dani (acho) e que ela não tem inteligência emocional, daí a origem de seus problemas.acho que a verdadeira bisexual e a bette.the l word tinha um casal principal e os outros personagens contaram a história dele.(bette and Jenny)

  36. OK SO YES when you said “Honestly, she’s not wrong!” to Finley saying the thing about being in her 20s and drinking a lot and fucking up and then you showing receipts for all the times 20something Shane drank and dig drugs and fucked up!! In addition to most of the characters on this show then and now!!

    Not that any of these actions are healthy for people of whatever age to do! And there is a more real, nuanced, honest story to be told about queer people’s alcohol and drug use (that has been told by other shows, movies, books etc., which I almost wish this show had just footnoted instead of trying to address itself in such a bumbling way). BUT the mishandling of the whole thing basically made me think that probably the whole Finley alcoholism storyline is basically an attempt by the show to almost “atone” for its past representations of queer women’s alcohol and drug use, but in the most limited and reductive way possible. Tbh it seems more like marketing than storytelling, which is so sad because it shortchanges these great characters and the actors that portray them, AND it once again tells queer stories without the depth they deserve.

    Instead of building a nuanced and complex storyline about alcohol and drugs in this specific community, they basically decided to “outsource” all of it onto one character: Finley, the Addict—with characters like Tess in the background, and a nod to the time Carrie gets too drunk, but overall the burden of Queer Addiction falls on Finley this season, a storyline that the character is not developed enough to shoulder singlehandedly, and that the narrative is not developed enough to distribute among her friends and loved ones (hence, skipping right to An Intervention when it seems like Finley and her actual girlfriend Sophie, never mind F and any of her friends, have not had one single honest conversation about alcohol!!). It feels like someone on the show was like “addiction in the queer community is a problem, and also oh no we have alcohol companies among our funders, ummm we should probably include a storyline about why alcohol is bad” and then decided to offload that to one character in the most infuriating way possible!! I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS ABOUT THIS

  37. Thank you for these recaps, they’re an absolute delight!

    I feel like the show this season touches on themes that would’ve been interesting to explore and then they just get swept away for bigger, more dramatic storylines that feel kinda cliche and uninteresting?

    Why couldn’t they just have Angie trying to figure out what role her donor should have in her life and Bette really confronting her anxieties around that, instead of throwing that aside for the whole “Marcus is dying”-story?

    I would’ve loved to actually see Alice “come out as a bisexual again” and deal with bi erasure in the community. Instead, it seems like they’re gonna throw in a “way too soon proposal” story instead?

    Could we have even one broken-up couple who actually just move on from each other? If you don’t count Dani and Micah, everyone seems to just be sleeping with/raging at/trying to win back their exes.

    And I would’ve been much more interested to see Finley actually dealing with her alcohol abuse instead of suddenly both spiraling out of control and also refusing to see the problem at all, despite having a much more nuanced view last season. Instead, they just check all the “alcoholism and recovery on TV” boxes and tell a story we’ve seen a million times before.

  38. Bless you all for your hard work. You have been the best thing about Mondays.

    Also, I might have imagined this but didn’t someone from The L Word say something about a Helena appearance? I might have forgiven one of their crimes for that.

    If this show doesn’t get renewed I propose a reboot called The L Word Generation P, the P stands for Peabody and it’s just Holland Taylor doing things.

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