The L Word Generation Q Episode 310 Recap: Looking Full Steam Ahead I Guess

Welcome to the tenth recap of the third season of The L Word: Generation Q, brought to you by the same network that brought you the original L Word, a show about speaking the language of the manatees, high-stakes lesbian poker, pounding painkillers while your boss does a chemical peel, having sex with vampires, the bitter rivalry between a queer cafe noted for its Pear Polenta Tart and a nightclub with bubble chairs, brownies that might be gay, horse girls, a hybrid skate park/hair salon that also sold vests to gig in, men named Tom, installation art about core values, a philandering self-help guru peddling T.O.E., Eros the Bittersweet, the Lez Girls negative and the world’s most iconic garbage bag dress.

My friends, we have at last come to this Generation Q recap of Episode 310, “Looking Ahead,” the final episode of the season but also possibly the final episode of the entire series if the show is cancelled. “Looking Ahead” marked Leisha Hailey’s directorial debut and she killed it — you could feel her touch in so many of the more subtle cute friendship moments and comedic beats throughout the episode.

I did enjoy so much of this episode! But there were two storylines in this episode that I HATED and I bet you can guess what they were!

Usually I write these recaps beat by beat, not spoiling what comes next in my descriptions of what came first. Today I’m gonna be doing things a little differently — my recap of each scene will take into account what I already know from seeing the whole thing. Because I can’t figure out how to say what I need to say if I save every piece of commentary I possess until the entire storyline has played out!


We open on the most important moment in a young woman’s life: Bette and Tina’s wedding day. Faced with an artificial time constraint of one (1) week in which to coordinate the whole kit and kaboodle, our affluent couple has elected to make their dreams work through teamwork! Also, someone hired a crew of dapper gay minions right out of the Hedley & Bennet catalog. Luckily Alice totally knows what she’s doing:

Alice saying "I don't know about weddings"

Pull up Season Two Episode One of this show and you’ll get a rough idea of the kinds of weddings I usually attend

Currently, Alice is unable to locate the wedding planner! This is because Shane located Kimmy the wedding planner and then located her clitoris and yep, Shane and Kimmy are delivering Lesbian Sexy Moment #7 because let’s not waste any time we’re all gonna die one day and what’s a little bumper.

Shane fucking the wedding planner

Ok ok I’m breathing deeply now just pull on the stem off the cup with your forefinger and thumb

Honestly pleased to have any sex scene at all, but it would’ve been a much richer story if Shane’s sex scene this episode had been with a former flame who’d been invited to the wedding — a narrative could’ve been quickly concocted to justify the invitation of someone like Molly or Quiara or Ivy or even Nikki Stevens (who perhaps is currently starring in Tina’s show Murdoch Mysteries).

Other sex scenes that could’ve happened this episode with already-present characters to provide heat as well as story:

  • Dani and Roxy
  • Sophie and Finley
  • Sophie and Pippa
  • Alice and Tasha
  • Bette and Tina, because after all it is their actual wedding day

Elsewhere in this expansive wedding estate, Bette Porter is improbably applying her own makeup for a special event while Tina boils beneath her silk shirt like a slab of fresh meat on a charcoal grill. Bette suggests Tina could possibly be having a hot flash but Tina disagrees!

Bette looking at Tina

You know, Brittany and Santana got married in a barn in Indiana that didn’t even have air conditioning

Tina uncomfortable on the porch in a green silk shirt

Who?

Alice drops in to announce that the cake is here and therefore her job is done and also to receive compliments on her dress which I would like to personally echo:

Alice checking out her dress in the mirror

“See it’s got two sides, one for cancelled and one for renewed.”

But Bette and Tina remind Alice that getting alcohol was also Alice’s job and while Tina continues obsessing about the temperature, Alice and Bette lip sync for their lives about whether or not Alice was ever truly assigned alcohol and the importance of her acquiring some regardless.

Bette angry at Alice

I wanna see your best Tyrannosaurus Rex impression and I want to see it now!!!!

Alice gesticulating at Bette

Thus Alice finds Shane roaming the festival grounds while re-dressing herself and says the only solution to this alcohol problem  — despite all of us living in a world dotted with BevMos and Costcos and Hi-Los — is for Shane to call Tess. Also, Shane’s only duty for the wedding was “doing their hair” but Alice quickly observes that Alice not only did their hair but also very clearly did the wedding planner.

Alice and SHane talking

Okay well if I’m the Antoni of this wedding and you’re the Jonathan then where the fuck is our Bobby Berk


So we cut to hungover Tess in her shades with her Gatorade, creeping into the Dana Fairbanks Memorial Tavern like a celebrity on a downward spiral.

Tess in sunglasses slumbering in to work

Don’t talk to me ’til I’ve had my coffee

Finley bops in and announces that she’s moved into a roach-infested sublet with a non-functional stove, which inspires Tess to realize she’s gotta get all new furniture for her apartment, a realization which sends her into an immediate tizzy.

Finley sitting on the couch thinking

I mean now that you mention there is a vague gassy smell coming from the broken oven and I have been getting headaches but probs it’s no biggie

Finley embraces Tess and is like fuck shane and Tess is like you don’t have to say that, I know that you love her and Finley is like no i love you and then ring-a-ling it’s Shane on the horn!


Back at Bette and Tina: Endgame Infinity War, Dani and Sophie are looking absolutely smashing and Sophie questions Dani’s choice to “ghost” Dre following Dre’s Love Confession, which’s confusing ’cause Dre was the one who told Dani they wanted to call it off? Was that just a move or am I simply failing to understand this order of events ’cause Dre severing the relationship on account of Dani not being ready to say “I love you” after two weeks didn’t make sense to begin with?

Anyhow! It turns out this extraordinary venue has been brought to you by the apparently wealthy family of Roxy! I’m pleased to see Roxy ’cause she’s hot and also it’s always thrilling when something from a prior episode remains relevant in a later episode. However, I’m displeased to hear the nickname “D-Bag” uttered aloud again, as linguistically it resides far too close to “douchebag” for my comfort.

Sophie, Roxy and Dani talking at the wedding

Both of you ought to know that douching upsets your vagina’s delicate Ph and can cause a yeast infection!

We lay the seeds for the night’s chaos: Sophie’s looking to get laid and hasn’t spoken to Alice since pulling off the finale coup. Roxy’s got molly for Dani who claims molly “doesn’t work on her.” So it’s definitely gonna work on her. So excited for the love triangle between Roxy, Dani and Molly!


Elsewhere on Roxy’s Prodigious Family Estate, Bette’s found a solution to Tina turning into a one-woman space heater: the walk-in fridge! We then receive the reckoning with the past I’ve personally been craving — they were indeed previously married, just as I noted in last week’s recap despite it not being mentioned all season! Anyhow, I guess their first wedding was a City Hall affair. This time’s different. It’s for their friends and by “their friends” they mean “us.’

Tina: “They have been on this very long journey with us and I want them to see us happy, like this.”
Bette: “Okay, when you put it that way — okay yes. I want that for them too.”

Bette with her hands up

So what I’m envisioning for over the fireplace is a oil portrait of you when you were pregnant with Angie and were always wearing blankets as shirts—

Tina holding her hands to her chest

Okay so far I love this!

Now that Tina’s cooled off and is ready to exit, they reach for the door only to have it break off in their hands, just like hope itself. Now they’re stuck, so


Back on the festival grounds, Alice is thanking G-d for Tess while I am preemptively cursing G-d for putting Tess in this episode at all if they were gonna do her so dirty! Sophie approaches Alice for a little chat and it’s pretty funny and cute — Alice is a little irked but the network loved the finale and they wanna promote Sophie! Sophie nudges her, “are we good?” and Alice nudges back and I love this for them.

Sophie nudging Alice

C’mon admit it you’ve always been a little bit curious about what it would be like if we kissed

Alice spots someone she knows and dashes while Sophie keeps talking until she realizes she’s simply talking to herself but it turns out someone at this party was listening, and it’s not the U.S. government:

Pippa smiling at Sophie

Hello stranger

Sophie looking back at Pippa

Good golly I’m glad I’m not on molly

It’s Pippa! She’s back, I’m so surprised and excited!!! Pippa tells Sophie that her goal of getting laid at a wedding is achievable but before we can get into why that goal will be achieved with Pippa specifically, Finley rolls up with a box of alcohol and an interest in getting her toaster back, although ownership of the toaster is contentious.

Sophie and Finley are low-level flirty with each other in that way you can’t help being when you’ve never been any other way for so long — but it feels here and throughout the episode like there’s more distance between them than there ought to be, and while I’m proud of Finley for moving on it feels a little too easy. I adore the Pippa/Sophie ship, but I also wish we’d gotten more time with these two and I don’t think their story is over unless of course this show is cancelled.

Finley talking to Sophie about her toaster

Actually I did watch “Fleishman is in Trouble” and that is how I got the idea to claim this toaster as my own so thank you for the recommendation and for your Hulu login


We then return to SoMiMar’s where a vat of sperm has arrived. “Can you believe that? It goes from a canister to a baby in nine months?” Micah asks.

“I cannot,” I yell at the skies. “Because with at at-home insemination there is only a 10%-15% chance of this sperm becoming an actual fetus, let alone an actual baby!”

Micah carrying a tank

Wanna suck all the helium out of this tank and sing Christmas Carols like Alvin and the Chipmunks

Maribel looking at Micah

Do I ever

Maribel and Micah are fantasizing about their future with the un-conceived baby they are 100% certain will be hatched out of this sperm no problem, and Micah extracts the sperm from the tank like it’s a bottle of sunscreen they just ordered from Amazon Prime. Is Maribel ovulating? Are they doing this right here right now in the dining room? 

All of that aside, the warmth and humor between these two in this scene is so delightful, especially considering what comes next.

Micah opens the insemination kit with wonder and confusion, an emotion I relate to because I am confused why they haven’t been briefed on this process prior to the kit’s arrival and gone over it with their doctor.

Micah unpacking the insemination kit

Wow this HEMNES cabinet looks like a much more complicated build than the BILLYs we just got rid of


We then return to the resplendent grounds of this magical vista hosting Bette and Tina: The Fate of the Furious. Tess is smoldering around the bar dressed like Jessica Rabbit in winter. Shane apologizes for calling her in last minute. Tess says she’s happy to help. Sexual tension simmers. Tess smiles. Shane tentatively compliments her.

Tess cocking her head coyly at SHane

Whaddya say we skip out on this little bruhaha and drive east until we hit our first Skyline Chili and then just settle in for the night

Shane looking at Tess

I would really enjoy a sour cream potato

“You clean up nice,” Tess tells her.

“You always clean up nice,” Shane says. Okay Scrub Daddy!

Once Shane’s a safe distance away, Tess dips beneath the bar to chug a mini-bottle of wine, catching the attention of a man I can best describe as Clark Kent’s body double from The CW’s Smallville.

man looking at Tess

Hi, I’m a man

Tess sizing up this man

I am going to use you for drugs so hard you will forget your own shoe size

Tess seduces this former Abercombie & Fitch model into taking her to his car to consume a truly wild amount of cocaine. Apparently a cute Alice/Shane scene was cut from the episode and yet this scene for some reason exists! Furthermore, episode stills suggest a Finley/Dani/Roxy scene was also filmed but eliminated from the final cut! And yet!

Unfortunately I am once again finding myself praying for a merciful release from my mortal coils.


Back at Walk in Fridge: Escape Room Edition, I’m having flashbacks to pounding cannolli cream from a tube in the walk-in at the Macaroni Grill while waiting for the sweat in the armpits of my white oxford uniform shirt to dry. Was I ever so young??? 

Tina wrapping a cardigan around her body in the cold

Ohhh look at me I’m just a little old lady stuck in the fridge oohhh I’m so cold

Bette’s prepared Tina a small charcuterie board but Tina’s not excited about this opportunity to explore the world’s mot valuable culinary art. (Charcuterie boards.) Bette’s posi vibes are bringing Tina down! But before we can dive to deeply into that, look who’s here: it’s Shane and Alice!

Alice and Shane looking into the windo

Okay what weird sex game are you guys playing in here

Tina and Bette leaning out the freezer window

TINA JUST FIT THIS WHOLE ENTIRE THING UP MY ASSHOLE

But when Shane and Alice try to open the door, they somehow break the outside door handle? This is not how walk-in freezer handles work but regardless, they disregard the idea to break the window with a mallet, like Thor of Asgard or simply a handy dyke would’ve done in a heartbeat, and instead they’re gonna call this season’s hottest number: 911.

“Fire department” is absolutely not the correct fix here and there’s a 0% chance the fire department would intervene in this case, but am allowing it because Tasha is in the fire department.

Meanwhile, Tina’s at a breaking point with The New Bette Porter — and what ensues feels so real and touching:

Tina: “I just hate your positivity! Don’t be so positive right now.”
Bette: “Do you want me to say it’s a disaster? Of course it’s a disaster. We’re stuck in a fridge on our wedding day. But you know what I’m not gonna do? I’m not gonna start yelling about it.”
Tina: “Well why not? That would be a perfectly reasonable thing to do!”
Bette: “Because I have tried really hard to quiet those parts of me so I wouldn’t hurt you and I am afraid that if I let them out and then I won’t be able to shut them back inside.”

Tina assures Bette that just like all of us at home, she loves the part of Bette that yells at motorists and board members and senators and Jenny Schecter! She loves the part of Bette who famously screams her very own name (Tina) into the void! Because she loves every part of Bette!

Tina talking to Bette

Remember that time you called me for emotional support but then went off on a tangent about “my buddy” Helena Peabody and how she was a ‘fucking dragon” who made your life “a living hell”

Bette talking to Tina out of the corner of her mouth

Uh-huh but I’m not sure where you’re going with this…

So, when the fire department delivers a vague timeline on when they can make it to the Resplendent Wedding Venue, Bette reaches deep inside herself and lets it rip:

Bette: ALICE! CALL TASHA RIGHT NOW AND GET US THE FUCK OUT OF HERE BECAUSE I AM GOING TO MARRY THE LOVE OF MY LIFE TODAY IF IT’S THE LAST FUCKING THING I DO!

Tina is smitten. I tear up. I love this for everyone involved, but especially me because I also want Alice to call Tasha right now! Except for different reasons. (So they can be together forever)


Pages: 1 2 3See entire article on one page


Before you go! It costs money to make indie queer media, and frankly, we need more members to survive 2023As thanks for LITERALLY keeping us alive, A+ members get access to bonus content, extra Saturday puzzles, and more! Will you join? Cancel anytime.

Join A+!

Riese

Riese is the 40-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in California. 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 3003 articles for us.

131 Comments

  1. Some thoughts that came up during the finale:

    Bette and Tina stuck in the walk in: why on earth would the hundred people at their wedding not band together to get them out? At least break the walk in window? You mean to say there are countless dykes and no one with skills to break into the fridge? Also, no 911 operator would say they didn’t know when they could get there when people could literally die.

    How many locked out/locked in story lines do we need?

    Wedding: how did they get that venue with two week’s notice? Why did Pippa fly in from South Africa on two week’s notice? Why did Roxy fly in from Costa Rica? Why are the people at the wedding mostly people that Bette and Tina don’t know? Why didn’t more L Word original characters show up to celebrate? Why would Hendrix show his face at a wedding when the brides could sue him? How are they drinking before the wedding before the booze shows up?

    How did Tess get from Silverlake to the Santa Monica mountains, get her eyebrows done, and dress to the 9s in 15 minutes?

    Why did Pippa and Sophie not kiss after the cow mooed? Does the cow really ruin the moment?

    What was the purpose of Micah and Mirabel not knowing anything about the procedure they were about to do?

    Why had Micah and Mirabel not talked about the details of her disability as it relates to pregnancy? Why did Mirabel say, “if I die then I’ll take you with me?” On what planet is that sane?

    Which of them has $700 to throw on the floor on a non profit worker and social worker salary?

    Why do couples breaking up (especially those who live together) never have adult convos and instead just yell, pack bags, and peace?

    Why were Tess and Finley not invited to the wedding?

    Why would Hendrix, as an author, need to move to where his publishing house is?

    Why would Alice not talk to her employee Sophie for two weeks, especially when Sophie saved her show?

    Why would Dre show up at the wedding after Dani ghosted her for twice the amount of time that they knew each other instead of, oh, calling?

    Why would Roxy buy a condo in Echo Park, and how are they all so rich?

    Is this the first person Shane’s has met for whom non-monogamy is working???

    Why would they leave a cliffhanger of Tess potentially dying, Micah and Mirabel splitting, and a Dani love triangle? Do they really think this show is getting renewed and this is what we all want to think about?

    Why are there always so many hijinks that ruin perfectly normal things (locked in fridge, cow mooing, Tess in cake)? It’s not funny or interesting.

    Why does no one have any expertise on addiction, and what are they trying to say about drug use and addiction and sobriety? Is it that funny that Dani and Roxy are tripping when other characters’ whole story lines are about recovery and relapse?

    Why was Jenny left out entirely?

    Why wasn’t Kit mentioned at the wedding?

    What was that line about Tess accusing Shane of killing her mother?

    Why would Tasha and the crew show up at the wedding when they were actively fighting a fire? How many precincts does Tasha cover? This was clearly Malibu Hills/Santa Monica mountains/somewhere on Mulholland, and the kitten incident was very far from here.

    Tasha and crew presumably arrived on a fire truck. How is Tasha getting home? Is she stuck at this venue forever, like the rest of the characters who do nothing when not on screen?

    • absolutely there would’ve been a handy dyke at the wedding who would’ve gotten into that fridge! or like, a handyman? idk, who’s operating the kitchen? i allow it cuz i wanted tasha to return somehow but absolutely a bananas solution to this problem.

      “Why does no one have any expertise on addiction, and what are they trying to say about drug use and addiction and sobriety?
      i think at this point we can safely say “nothing.” they have no coherence on this topic at all and i wish they hadn’t even tried to address it because i think what they did end up doing has done more harm than good.

    • “How did Tess get from Silverlake to the Santa Monica mountains, get her eyebrows done, and dress to the 9s in 15 minutes?”

      Somone asking the real questions here, but this was the most unbelievable part to me. Even from West LA it would take me more than that to get to any part of the Santa Monica’s with a venue like this in the hills.

    • Your comment also made me realize this is like, the third “someone almost dies” cliffhanger they’ve done this season! Does someone in the writing room have a kink we need to talk about?

    • “how did they get that venue with two week’s notice?”
      Dani asked to use Roxy’s family place. That’s why she was there, Dani called her. Their families were/are friends, so you can imagine they are similarly rich.

      “Why were Tess and Finley not invited to the wedding?”
      Why would they be? Most of the invited are already a stretch, in my opinion.

      “Why would Dre show up at the wedding after Dani ghosted her for twice the amount of time that they knew each other instead of, oh, calling? ”
      Because Dani called them. I would ask how they knew where to go, and why did they think it was reasonable to go to a stranger’s wedding instead of waiting for Dani at her place. But the cliffhanger would remain the same for them either way.

      “Why would Tasha and the crew show up at the wedding when they were actively fighting a fire? ”
      I understood calling Tasha in particular meant calling in a favor so as to not wait the other firefighters.

    • Aha, the way my inner Capricorn said “that’s $700 that you have just dropped onto the floor” – I couldn’t relate!

      – Why would Hendrix, as an author, need to move to where his publishing house is? –

      As an actual publisher, one of my favourite pastimes is seeing wildly inaccurate portrayals of the industry. It’s the only way to avoid a spiral but for a brief moment, I almost lost that fight when watching this episode. MOVING because one major publisher MIGHT be interested in your proposal? No actual offers? No contract? No bids at an auction? With a lacklustre debut (either self-published or his original publisher lost interest) and writing what I can only *assume* is literary fiction, how much does he think he is getting? The dude is so impulsive, he just acts.

      I agree with Drew from the recent podcast. Even with so many questions, sometimes it’s ok to let things go. A show shouldn’t be this baffling or upsetting. But it’s also rare and a part of me wants season 4 simply hoping that there will be justice for Tess and more of Tasha.

      Another question: how long will it take for Gigi’s departure to make sense? Something tells me that it never will!

  2. Wow, the writing in this episode…what in the hell. I have to laugh. Surely this means we actually are getting another season, right? Surely they wouldn’t have ended things like that for Tess, Shane, Finley, Dani, Dre, Sophie, Micah, and Maribel, right? Surely the story of our beloved Gigi will not finish with a silly Selling Sunset link-up and Dani’s gum epiphany?

    Ultimately I’m grateful for these recaps and for the comment sections which are starting to feel like group therapy. Thank you Riese as always for your excellent commentary and A+ captions – it is now law that Micah and Maribel’s baby must be named Jenny! Either that or PJ gets rebranded from Piddles Junior to Piddles Jenny.

  3. ty for your service and your sacrifice and the laughs!

    i left you a little jenny/garbage dress shaped something on twitter if you’re looking for some joy!

    i hope this is not the end of these stories but if it is (even if it isn’t?) i vote we decide what happens next and consider it canon

  4. Riese, thank you so much for this recap! I know it’s a lot of work under any circumstances and I’m sure it was extra tough this week given the delay with the screeners. I just wanted to express how much I enjoy reading them even when I don’t watch the actual episodes, and how grateful I am for that privilege. Hopefully this isn’t the last Gen Q episode recap ever, but if it is, thanks for three seasons-worth of excellent recaps!

  5. Soooo, the episode before this, Carrie was stretched out on the floor having a heart attack and Findley was doing CPR. Did she die. Survive?!? What?!!! Unbelievable no one seems to wonder about this or did I just missed an episode where the fate of Rosie’s character was explained. And did anyone notice that was White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre there with Ilene C?! Sigh. Come on folks! That’s HUGE!

    • At this point, the writers have entirely ruined the show. Almost no character decisions make sense and only drive maximal chaos/suffering. Shane would absolutely not have turned her back on Tess-in-distress. Why introduce Tess at all when they were going to do her so dirty with absolute nonsense character turns. Same goes for our steady stable couple of Micah/Maribel.

      Throw in the compulsory monogamy, “the one”, everyone needs a pair partnership to be fulfilled while also removing sex from the show and well, I don’t care if they are renewed or not. It been a hate watch for a while and this episode burned all the bridges.

      • That was one of the few parts of the episode that actually made a little sense to me – in the first episode they showed Bette talking to Pippa on the phone in front of Tina- she said something about them being on good terms. Carrie or Tina made it clear at some point that it was much less amicable. What I did find weird is how Pippa seemed like she slightly didn’t want to be there? Which I would understand if the above aforementioned hasn’t happened.

  6. Thanks for the recaps Riese they are terrific. In fact, I prefer them to the show.

    I wonder if you could please continue and just write the Christmas episode for Autostraddle readers?
    Please consider it. And feel free to include an update episode to get everyone where you need them to be and then let the Christmas episode be the best, and final, word and end this horror story.

    Hearing Tasha’s laugh made me realise what a lack of fun there has been about all of it.

    I’m a Carrie aged queer and honestly, Carrie, Misty and Finley were the best in episodes 8 and 9, and Tasha brought some reality back to this LA crowd. Some lesbian people who have jobs in industries other than entertainment, publicity and arts and film production are actually interesting, warm, self depreciating, loving and hilarious. They are deserving of our viewing time. The writing team might like to consider this demographic for their next attempt…unless this whole reboot was 3 seasons of a dream Shane had the day before before Jenny died after finding her jacket in the attic.

    The current writers need to take heed of Tasha and get their heads out of their own bums. They need to either hire you, Riese as head writer or write a heck of a lot better! This finale was epically bad.

    PS, How come no one in this show has Furbabys! ( Except Alice for 2 EPs) I mean come on! Is that why they are all so ungrounded and frankly mad!

  7. Oh, Riese, thank you for this read.

    “Huhh?!” moments and all, sat through the episode as we did all episodes because, why ever not? (You do, too, and I suspect it’s not only because of or for the priceless recaps.)

    Anyhow, and rather off-topic: can’t wait for your guesting on Kate and Leisha’s Pants podcast. Well deserved, Riese, beyond all the reasons both Pants hosts mentioned. (Leisha’s directorial debut was very good, might I add.)

    Back to topic and I wish there weren’t the early spoilers (and the lot of vitriol and nihilistic reactions to perceived, assumed and/or unconfirmed BTS goings-on flying out and landing on Internet pages so easily from behind aliases), but at the end of this overall hilarious-funny-sad-face palming Season Finalé, I actually felt sad knowing the next 50 weeks of 2023 will be bereft of LW.

    I am an idealist by heart and that despite the show’s shortcomings (which are aplenty), I am very grateful to everyone in the production—from actors to gophers—for their involvement (for that matter, Autostraddle’s existence) and hope that the show is given another chance.

    TLW-GQ came with new characters who we’d love for them to hang around next time: the GQ cast, the OG-EPs and all “special guest” / returning characters.

    It still does feel like my group of friends have yet left again with no idea whether they’ll ever be back this time.

    Looking forward to the audio recap.

    Stay well; wishing everyone at Autostraddle good health, cheers, proper recognition for great writing, and longevity :D

    • Wow can anyone here be honest about the episode. Bette and Tina got less than 15 minutes of screen time. Many OG Tibette fans are so mad and dissatisfied. Inviting ppl they didn’t know, the drug use, Sophie and Pippa got unnecessary screen time. Sorry the gen q characters got more time. The camera even cut away from Bette’s vows and even their kiss.

      They and their fans deserved better. Thanks for the laughs. If there is s4 I’m done. Can’t wait to hear you on Pants.

  8. I’m so done with this show. It’s a bummer because there are these little glimmers of interesting stories but those are the ones ignored or forgotten, then so much time is given to these boring or nonsensical stories. It’s maddening!!

    Give me an hour of Roxy and Dani being adorable. Give me an hour of Finley navigating friendships and relationships. Give me an hour of Alice and Tasha reuniting. Give me an hour of Shane having sex with hilarious wedding planners.

    But no, instead we spent yet another whole episode on Tina and Bette sharing boring, cheesy dialogue. I fast forwarded through their vows tbh.

    And Tess. I’m so tired of Tess. When her face appears on screen I want to simply turn this show off. Is a single soul on the planet interested in that character arc? It’s sooo annoying and cliche, and for what? To what end? She just shows up to ruin a wedding she wadd as not invited to? Why include her at all? We get it, you and Shane shouldn’t be together. Why did they tell that same story like five ways the last few eps? Tess is like Jenny 2.0 but with 300% less depth of character.

    Also on the note of Tess and Sophie being sloppy drunks, Tess ripping coke, and Dani and Roxy doing molly–this show sure has a weird relationship with substance abuse. Finley has a few beers because she’s upset and she’s an alleged mess and MUST go to rehab for a year. But everyone else can get as shit faced as they please and it’s just part of the story?

    Then we get the absolutely out of left field and highly contrived Sophie/Pippa thing? Like huh? You met four seconds ago, sober, and you’re just enamored? Baffling choice. And truly out of character for both parties.

    And honestly had Micah and Mari’s fertility story started with where it ended, it would have been far more compelling. But instead, by placing it at the end, it suddenly turns Maribel into a toxic monster. Would have been so much better had they shown the real struggles of fertility for this couple. Kind of a huge disservice there I think.

    Overall, I’m just uninterested in sitting through anymore of this show. At this point let’s skip season 4 and put this baby to bed. Open some space for other, better queer content. It’s just hard to watch in the worst way. It makes no sense. I don’t feel like I have a horse in the race with them hopping around from ship to ship. Hell Dani was with three people in whatever this timeframe was, like a month? A month and a half? How is the audience supposed to get invested? And then when we do get invested, like with Sophie and Finley they blow it up for no reason at all? WHAT IS GOING ON.

    • I feel like I think this every week, but yes this show does not seem able to delineate between problematic substance use, and non problematic substance use! In the same episode, we cut between Dani rolling and it’s supposed to be funny even though she technically is also embarrassing herself, and everything going on with Tess. Is it just supposed to be that when sober people relapse it’s bad, but with other people who haven’t interrogate their own relationships to substances it’s fine? The same goes for Sophie’s main objective being to get drunk – how is that really any different than how Finley has typically viewed alcohol?

      • Agreed. Like in the Thanksgiving episode how Micah is super high as a funny schtick but Tess is relapsojg for serious drama / to show a downward spiral.

        Or even the drug-retreat-with-employees of the musical episode. It felt like the show didn’t recognize the fraught power dynamics of that scenario (showrunner with her staff), even as they were fixated in (poorly) playing out the Angie/Prof power dynamic storyline.

        It just baffles me, and I don’t think I would feel as frustrated by it if they hadn’t made alcoholism/addiction/sobriety/relapse such a central force across all three season’s of the show’s narrative (and even given certain characters temporary or inconsistent personality transplants/behaviors to make that plot happen). But it’s like, only when it’s Finley or Tess or Carrie. Everyone else is just cute and funny, maybe a touch embarrassing, but it’s all cast as charming.

        • The sober characters also never get a chance to address this tension/contradiction at all — unless you count Tess saying “I don’t want to be sober, I just want to have fun with my friends” this episode, which the show just wanted us to see as a throwaway line revealing the extent of Tess’s spiral.

          It’s that same thing where the show wants addiction and recovery to be a central storyline for many characters but also wants one of the primary sets to be a bar and needs other characters to use drugs socially for laughs and to advance the plot. I was thinking about that during the Thanksgiving episode when there was a Finley/Carrie scene at Dana’s (with Tess relapsing secretly in the background) and it’s like…why do all these sober characters have to be at a bar?

          Also, for all of the time we spent this season fighting over the second bar and Tess saying it was her dream, it feels like such a missed opportunity to never in all of this time let Tess articulate why working in or owning a bar specifically is important to her. Seasons 1 and 2 Tess (though the writers seem to have forgotten about her) seemed to be there more out of financial necessity. In the fight with Tess and Shane last episode she could easily have that for so long, bars were the place she was just trying to get by, feeling out of control because of money and her addiction…but now getting to be part of creating a lesbian bar where she feels comfortable and safe and like she belongs ever though she’s sober has been meaningful. Or something like that. Any shred of interiority and nuance for Tess.

          • Cris, you articulated much better than I did in a comment on last week’s recap how I feel about Tess: “… how now getting to be part of creating a lesbian bar where she feels comfortable and safe and like she belongs ever though she’s sober has been meaningful. Or something like that. Any shred of interiority and nuance for Tess.”

            That would have been such a powerful moment in last week’s episode, with Shane speaking her truth about what she wants with the salon, and Tess speaking this truth (which feels consistent or true with her character as we met her in season 1, up to now).

            Instead, we got Tess hurling accusation at Shane that aren’t even true. I remember on the pod, I think it was Riese, discussing the final break-up scene between Qiara and Shane, where Q leveled similar heightened accusations against Shane that are not at all substantiated by how we have seen Shane be for 9 seasons now, and as Riese said, obviously in real life people say things they don’t really mean in fights, but if you only have 3 lines, you need to at least make them true.

            What you suggested Cris would have felt so true to Tess. And as I indicated on last week’s recap, Tess more than perhaps any of the other characters lacks a sense of interiority.

          • This is such a good point and something I so wish was addressed! From the beginning of the show I’ve wondered why a sober person would want to work in a bar, but your understanding makes a ton of sense – wish we got that actually from the writing

            And agreed about them not getting to discuss the tension – I did actually think that line from Tess was interesting, though I was so mad at everything else happening. But I think that’s an experience a lot of my sober friends have had, that frustration of “ugh it’s so annoying everyone else just gets to have fun but I can’t.” I thought there was an interesting conversation about this in One Day at a Time (unfortch they also then made that character relapse – these shows just can’t help themselves!!)

  9. I liked this episode a lot! Funny, chaotic. There were some poorly written moments that have been outlined but overall still very fun. I watched at the bar last night with a bunch of other lesbians and it was so joyous! I would hate for the show to not get renewed just because the community is so good. Pippa and Sophie were funny. Alice slayed. I liked Hendrix getting kicked to the curb. Roxy and Dani are cute.

  10. I also didn’t get why the cow moo’ing interrupted the kiss and killed the moment. Was the cow homophobic and that moo was slur in bovine language?

    I really liked the wedding planner. She was funny and a breath of fresh air after all the frustrating relationship drama. I’d be okay if she returned with her sassy quips.

    This show does not do relationships very well. Honestly, I’d be okay if Tess/Shane and Finley/Sophie did not get back together. The show does better when they have the characters dating around and can bring in unique, sometimes funny, sometimes quirky or dramatic, side characters for the main characters to connect with. Coupling everyone up for so long so that the only thing we see is their constant drama is boring and frustrating.

    Sadly, at this point I wish Tess would just drive herself to rehab and never return so she can focus on herself offscreen. She has been nothing but drama and a bad presence for both Shane and Finley. I use to think about the missed opportunity of Tess being a trans character, but now I’m glad they didn’t subject that characterization onto a trans character.

    The Micha and Meribel storyline is just ugh. Like the Tess character, they really missed an opportunity to tell a story about the complexities and heartening experience with a disabled person going through fertility treatment, relationships with partners, friendships, and family, etc. Instead they made the character mean without fairly fleshing out the reasons for that behavior. I gasped when she threw the vile down and broke it. I can only imagine what people who have struggled and spent life savings on fertility treatments, and know the anguish of the failures and the highs of the triumphs felt when she just slammed it to the floor during a fight without much care.

    Even though the show has some frustrating storylines, I still love the characters and see such potential with them. I hope it’s renewed. With how the networks are in their cancel your gays phase, I doubt we’ll get a fully queer experience like TLW anytime soon. It’s a rare, beautiful thing and even though we complain and feel frustrated by the storylines sometimes, they still feel like my people who I want to root for.

    • Questioning whether the “moo” was a bovine slur had me cackling.

      I’m right there with you on so much of this, but especially your points about Tess and Micah & Maribel. It would’ve been great, in a different version of this show, to see Tess as a trans character who was loved and valued and well-integrated into this group of queers that we feel like we know and love.

      But barring that, I’d rather she be allowed to safely get back on track toward sobriety and processing her grief offscreen than to see her be humiliated over and over to advance the plot/give Shane and her friends something to react to.

      I was really into Micah and Maribel when they were mostly just flirting in early S2, but almost every other time we’ve seen them since then has been marked by Maribel being mean in ways that are vaguely related to the emotional distress that she refuses to address with therapy, so they haven’t made sense as a match to me since.

      I really wish the show didn’t make such a villain of Maribel in so many conflicts, because there’s a real valid critique to be made about Micah making assumptions about her disability, but it’s harder to get into it when we’ve watched her flat out refuse to engage him in the realities of their plan every step of the way.

  11. Dude. You nail it EVERY SINGLE TIME with these recaps. Honestly, I feel like I enjoyed the season so much more looking forward to your hilarious commentary. Gen Q is my guilty pleasure and I hope we get another season despite all the confusing writing choices. Thank you for being generally hilarious and spot on. I, too, ship #sinley so hard, but yes… Pippa was a nice surprise!

  12. We deserved so much better!!! I loved Bette and Tinas, the OGs, Tashalice, Dani/Roxy, Pippa/Sophie, etc., but he scenes with Tess were so painful to watch!!! I wish someone had stopped them from shooting / including them. I would give anything to see Leisha’s cut. And Micah and Maribel’s discussion made me so angry!! but thank you so much for these recaps, Riese! Where do I sign the a petition for the Christmas special? and to give this show another shot?

  13. It’s a dumpster fire over on Marja Lewis Ryan’s IG, and honestly, while I haven’t jumped in… I can relate to the frustration. So many missed opportunities for both the OG and Gen Q storylines.

    • Can you though? I also understand frustration with the show but the way people are reacting you wouldn’t think that what were talking about is a gay hook up show. When I told friends about what was going down they were so confused, like “have these people never seen a bad tv show before?” Especially because they’ve watched the series with me and largely thought it was fine

      • Yeah, I have to agree with this. It’s a lot. Like, we need to know the difference between criticism and critique. Yes, Marja is not a good writer. Her “it’s always going to be a white lesbian show” comment and comments about how she’s the bus driver just leave me baffled; she clearly needs enough humility to grow in her craft, some media training and there’s a bit of narcissistic defensiveness riling the fans up. That explains the comment section but it does not excuse how bad it gets. I’m a Tibette fan but the stan vibe is too much; it’s giving mob mentality.

        • Yeah, I get people having issues with the storylines, and honestly the level of ire would even make sense to me if it was about the elements of the show that are straight up offensive – like the Micah and Maribel storylines, or anything dealing with addiction. But hurling death threats at someone because Tina and Bette didn’t get enough screen time, or Gigi isn’t on the show anymore (which seems purely a result of the actor having other jobs) is a bit over the top. There’s this weird sense of entitlement I don’t think I see in other fanbases, at least to this degree

          • Omg what?! The anger isn’t even about the truly offensive things? Maybe shouldn’t be shocked, but that bums me out.
            Also, as a former Bettina shipper, I LOVED this episode for them. Like, finally having Bette’s full self show up while ALSO treating Tina well? Amazing!

          • Oh yeah the stan anger is mostly about being upset that characters besides bette and Tina got screentime. They don’t want Micah and Maribel or Sophie or Pippa or Dani or Tess to exist at all and find it offensive that they do.

          • I think it’s an unfair characterization of bette and Tina fans to say we don’t want Micah and Maribel and Finley and Tess etc to exist. I love so many of the gen q characters especially Micah and Carrie and Finley . But I’m also upset about how this episode treated Tibette’s wedding and cut to the gen q characters during the vows, had no Angie/tibette wedding scene. Marja shouldn’t get hate but those are valid criticisms. Please don’t characterize all tibette fans as thinking other characters shouldn’t exist, we just wanted a better goodbye that honored them and their family better

          • Laura, I totally see where you’re coming from but I don’t think the characterisation is necessarily untrue. Many things can be true at once, right? I think that’s why Riese said “mostly”. From Marja’s comment section, the critique isn’t really about writing from a place of nuance, character development and opportunity – it’s about B&T and how no one really cares about the other characters. I’m with you because I actually care a lot and I also wanted a better send-off for Bette and Tina but there has to be a line between critique, criticism and vitriol. Some of the comments are leaning towards the latter in such a concerning way. I don’t even understand how someone can actively go on another person’s profile and tell them to sleep with one eye open only because we didn’t get enough of Tibette.

            And I get it, I love Tibette so much that I found a way to catch up with this shit from the UK (and can probably tell you the season, episode and a bit of the dialogue based on a picture alone – not a brag, I’m deeply ashamed but an indicator of my Tibette love). However, something about seeing the way a fair majority of the fans have articulated themselves online makes it so hard to stand with them. Leo Sheng’s most recent tweets are really heartbreaking and a response to how ruthless some of the people in the fandom are becoming.

        • Dani- I completely agree with your comment! People should absolutely not be this ruthless in Maria’s comments section on her Instagram. If anything, I think it’s valid to criticize her more openly on her Instagram comments about the racism and lack of care for her own show that she displayed in the interview with Jess, but I know people are going to differ me on that opinion.

          What I was trying to say is that if you think about the Venn diagram of people who are Tibette fans who are upset about the finale and people commenting on Marja’s Instagram with me: Yes, the circle of people commenting on Marja’s. Instagram is mostly contained in the Tibette circle. However, that intersection is a very small part of the Tibette fans circle. Ie most of us know where to draw the line. What I was saying is that those comments do not represent many of us and a portion of upset fans’ behavior should be called out, but doesn’t represent the entire Fanbase. This also doesn’t mean that their criticisms motivating the inappropriate and cruel comments are invalid. Yes, there have been many comments that cross the line but they have also been many comments that simply say that people are very disappointed in the episode because of the lack of bette and Tina at their own wedding or them not knowing their guets or about the cutting away in the vows etc. etc.

          Tldr I think they absolutely shouldn’t be commenting those things on Marja’s Instagram and should be emailing Showtime or something. But poor behavior from some fans doesn’t take away from the valid criticisms motivating them to make bad decisions and other fans who have those same criticisms shouldn’t be lumped together with the commenters bc there are a much larger portion of fans who are upset and behaving appropriately.

  14. After 10 weeks I’m too tired to list out the plethora of critiques that are rattling around my brain. I will just focus on what I found pleasant, which was Dani being high and happy, Tasha’s face/laugh and that Man getting kicked to the curb and his literary output being dissed by Angie.

  15. When we were watching the ep, a friend turned to me and went “werent they the most toxic couple in existence?” And I was like “yah” and they were like “why are we acting like their marriage is this big exciting event?” And I kept thinking about that the whole time, especially when Tina says she actually wanted Bette to lose her mind in the fridge. Personally, I would not like that reaction during what is already a stressful situation, but these two want different things out of a relationship than me and I just need to accept that. But it was annoying to me we kept having to act like this was a landmark occasion when it’s happened already.

    I also could not get past the fact there are 100 other solutions before “call fire department” but I’m happy Tasha is back! I always found Tasha and Alice to be an objectively bad couple but I love Tasha so dearly (their dynamic unfortunately made me often dislike Alice. Maybe with Gen Q Alice it would be different?)

    Having a gas leak and not realizing is my biggest fear so I too am worried about that for our girl Finley

    I am so bummed they cut the Alice/Shane and Dani/Roxy/Finley scenes!! Screw Tibette Stans complaining they didn’t get a sex scene, THIS is the deleted footage I want!

    I agree that Sinley does not seem done and I don’t buy either of them moving on even though I’m happy for them – if we get cancelled they will be endgame in my forthcoming fan fiction! Sophie and Pippa are also cute, so they can be a nice stop that ends in an amicable break up where they remain friends like Sophie and Dani. As I think you said on the pod Riese, Sophie and Finley don’t seem like they can be friends so this seems like the perfect solution to me!

    I also really appreciated the convo with Pippa giving us some clear backstory on what Sophie’s journey has been up until this point, career wise. Would love to have learned this info earlier in the series, but much like with Finley and her mom, better late than never I suppose!

    I cannot believe the writers hate me so much that they’d have Hendrix in this ep instead of Bella but at least he’s fully villain status now

    Agreed that Shane would never hook up with a rando instead of helping Tess, another thing I found so hard to get past! But I loved Shane and Finley dancing together, honestly best part of the ep in my opinion.

    I could not even put my frustration with the Micah and Maribel storyline into words when I watched, so thank you for doing it for me. It was insane to me on a plot level (why haven’t they talked about this before right now???) and as you summarized, deeply harmful and hurtful to these characters and the communities they are tasked with representing because there aren’t other trans or disabled characters. I give this show the benefit of the doubt in short changing other storylines (like Dani and Roxy have been in one ep but they’re soulmates? Sure) but I feel like if there’s somewhere you want to put the time and energy in to make sure you do it right, it would be Micah and Maribel’s storyline in this case. And that’s on a writing level, a directorial level, an editing level. Why do it if you’re not going to do it right? Just have them have messy fun at the wedding like everyone else if you’re not going to actually do the work and research it would take to tell this story well. As always, Riese I wish you were in this writers’ room because your writing for them is incredible, but I also think the actual staff could reach the same level if they tried just a wee bit harder!

    The same goes for this show’s portrayal of sobriety – I was a bit more primed since they did what they did to Tess last season to Finley already, but it still made me so angry. The way that the non-“addict” characters are able to do drugs for funny story purposes, but the characters who are sober have to be publicly humiliated really makes me feel like the show hates people who deal with addiction. Like, while I also thought Dani on molly was so funny, and Sophie saying “all I want to do is get drunk” is not an uncommon thing for a person to say, The Show does not seem interested in looking at why it’s fine when those characters say and do that, but not fine for Tess to get drunk and do coke without publicly humiliating Tess and not the others.

    All this being said, I do hope this show gets renewed because I love these recaps and I love reading and engaging with everyone’s comments so dearly! I felt the same way as your Riese, where I was counting down like “wait there’s not enough time for Sophie to realize she misses Finley and to drive off into the sunset or at least have a sex scene?? How are we gonna be able to see Bella admitting her feelings??” If this gets cancelled, I hope there’s another lesbian show sometime so we can do this all again.

    • I too kept pausing to check the timestamp, realizing how little time there was left.

      I loved the surprise Pippa cameo — they had said she was in South Africa to install a show at the start of the season so it makes sense that she would be back in LA/attending — and even though I loved her dynamic with Sophie, I didn’t feel romantic chemistry between them? If the show gets renewed I would much rather have her return as a regular fixture to be Sophie’s cool, ambitious, successful, hot older friend (if she is supposed to be older than Bette, they have like a 20+ year age gap, no?) who encourages her to take risks with her filmmaking and pursue her creative work alongside her Aloce job. That kind of inter generational friendship (akin to Carrie/Finley’s chosen family narrative or Bette/Dani’s mentoring from season 1 to now) would be so much more interesting and rich to watch than them just hooking up. Plus their relationship would probably have longevity more than 2 episodes that way!

      • I agree, and I’m glad to have back up on this fact as proof it’s not just my Sinley bias, haha. I definitely feel like Sophie could use a mentor in her doc career – I love her relationship with Alice, but they clearly have different passions. I’d love to see that person be Pippa, and I’m with you that this would also definitely mean their relationship would last longer based on how this show treats friendships vs. romantic relationships!

        Finley can be her gf who supports her in everything she does, but with whom she can also let loose and have fun with, and Pippa can be her mentor who helps keep her focused on her career goals! Sounds perfect to me

    • I’ve decided that I ship Bette and Tina in the exact way that I ship Heathcliff and Catherine in Wuthering Heights.

      Are they independently a mess? Usually. Have they brought each other immeasurable pain? Absolutely! Would being together fix either of them? Of course not! But the world at large is safer and calmer when they’re being weird together than when they’re resigning themselves to be apart.

    • You make a lot of great points here, but I want to zero in on your observation that the show keeps humiliating characters who are singled out as addicts. Weirdly enough, I think the clearest throughline connecting the three seasons of Gen Q is a deep resentment for people whose substance use stops being fun.

      Like I think the audience is meant to interpret the show’s handling of substance use disorders in some specific way, maybe as many cautionary tales about how embarrassing it can be to feel out of control, or a message to the audience about how substance abuse really hurts the people around you. I’ve never understood because the messaging has been so muddled tbh! But the actual scenes that we’re given, and the throwaway lines that fill in gaps we never see, almost only ever happen to either serve someone’s storyline, or to humiliate these people for killing the vibe.

      In S1, we get a couple of sympathetic opioid deaths, but I cynically think they’re only sympathetic because they advanced plot with minimal inconvenience. First, the son of a man who works for Dani’s big evil corporation ODs. His dad is distraught and Dani, in her villain days, convinces him not to make a fuss, but her guilt pushes her to leave Evil Corp to join Bette’s campaign and sets up big tension with her dad and the company.

      Then, Kit’s offscreen overdose is revealed later as motivation Bette’s campaign and her inadvisable affair with Felicity, who was there for her in the aftermath, and also even later to rehash plenty of tension between Bette and Tina (who refused to come back for the funeral of a woman she’d known for almost 20 years).

      Meanwhile, Tess is in recovery until her gf cheats on her with the new boss at the job they both desperately need and is messy at work (missing shipments, dancing on shift like a manic pixie dream girl circa 2007, sleeping in the back room) and considers hooking up with Finley at work her rock bottom. She gets yelled at a little by Shane, then sobers up offscreen in time to drive Shane’s S2 storylines.

      S2’s approach was more strictly about humiliation, with Carrie being belittled and made fun of at some point during most social gatherings and made to feel like she was losing a competition to Bette and unwelcome around a bunch of thin, rich femmes, and then we get a scene of her suggesting that she’s in Overeaters Anon, rather than AA because she’sthe only fat person in a ten block radius, but then we circle back to her drunkenly causing a public scene and sobbing all over Shane and Tess, who quickly declare that she should be in AA.

      Meanwhile Finley somehow stops being excusably silly drunk Finley and starts being inconvenient Finley, mindlessly pissing in hallways and getting a DUI that leads to all her friends agreeing not to talk to her individually, but instead to surround her with ultimatums and force her to rehab so their lives can know peace.

      And now in S3 Sophie resents Finley for needing to rebuild her life in recovery, and every time someone in recovery calls their sponsor or phones a friend (save for Finley calling Carrie), it’s treated like an inconvenience for the person they’re calling. And all attempts at amends happen at odd times, and therefore characters act as though any reminder of bad behavior brought on by substance use is a vibe killer. Plus Tess, who suffered tremendously over the last several episodes, is off the wagon and forced to essentially step on rakes over and over.

      A kinder show would be more interested in exploring what it takes to knowingly integrate someone whose addiction hurt you meaningfully back into your community after they’ve made amends, or explored what it’s like for a group of friends to change their own behavior to create a safer space for a friend in recovery, or even just let Tess, Finley, and Carrie find a sober lgbtq bowling league to signal that changing your relationship to substances might not make your friends change their behavior, but requires deliberate work to connect with people who get it and support you fully.

      I’m sorry that this is book-length, but someone in the writer’s room really hates sober queers and few things across 3 season of Gen Q are as consistent as that. And also Sophie and Pippa read to me as friends who could have bad sex once and parlay that into a lifetime of artsy friendship.

      • Yes yes yes. Thank you for this. Wow, reading it all laid out is making me so angry all again.

        As you pointed out, I feel like there is a really interesting story to tell about how a sober person reintegrates back into life after rehab/sober living. But the show took such an oddly punitive approach to this? I just keep thinking of when Maribel was like “you lose herself in her! REMEMBER SHE PEED IN THE HALLWAY!!!” And Sophie pointing out that Finley apologized and went to rehab for over a year was meant to be a weak excuse. That coupled with Sophie breaking up with her despite her not really being shown to affected by Finley’s sobriety at all, it does really feel like the writers are like “loll doesn’t matter how much work you do on yourself! A mess is always a mess!”

        Like, of course Finley should be accountable for her mistakes and the way she hurt people. But constantly bringing up her embarrassing behavior, as either a way to mock her or criticize her character, doesn’t seem the most empathetic or productive way to do it? And the same goes for Tess

      • I think I sort of replied to this thread accidentally on another comment of yours, but yes, all this. It sucks to feel like we care about these characters more than the writers room. It also suspends disbelief to a bananas degree – like really, no one noticed Tess seemed bereft, was acting erratically, or smelled like booze?

        I much prefer how a show like Vida handled a storyline like this, where Nico is secretly drinking at work (at a bar) but immediately the cause of her heartbreak smells the liquor in her coffee cup and calls her out, and they go on to have a conversation in that same episode about “falling into old patterns” and holding each other accountable, etc. Why did none of this happen over the 4 episode build-up to Tess being in a car accident/dying?

      • All of this. I’m rewatching the OG right now and being painfully reminded of how Kit’s off-screen death *less than a year before the start of Gen Q season 1* makes the treatment of the addiction storylines even worse. Kit’s death is basically just used for shock value and to move along the plot in early season 1 and there is almost no follow up about how any of the characters grieve her death. You’re telling me that the way that Shane and Alice interact with Finley, Tess, and even Carrie is not influenced at all by the long, loving relationship they had with Kit and her recent tragic loss? (Probably not because the writers don’t seem to engage in this at all and probably don’t remember it.) Even if all these characters drifted apart in the last 10 years you would think that relationship could add a layer of nuance to the characters’ and the show’s attitude towards addiction and recovery. It would be fittingly despicable (harsh words but when you really look at it it’s just SO BAD) for Gen Q to start and end with off screen deaths for major characters by addiction/relapse.

  16. In case this is the last chance I ever have to wax way too poetic about this delightful, ridiculous show (I feel like the tenor of all the actors/producers is very ‘this might be the end forever…’) I’m going to channel therapy-Bette and focus on the positive:

    So many storyline were still gearing up even in episodes 8 and 9, it felt impossible for a finale to make good on any of it (I had hoped we might get a 90 minute episode for the finale, and was extra wary when I pressed play and saw it was only like 52 minutes), but they actually pulled this off better than I had dared to hope. Even the way they got most of the characters to the wedding didn’t feel totally contrived (although Tess probably would have had an easier time of it if she had let Shane open that salon – she could have stopped there on her way! And if Tess fully got made-up, why didn’t Finley change out what basically amounts to a referee jersey? But I digress).

    As ever, the friendships were where this episode shined, both with the OGs and the Gen Q characters.

    Leisha did a fabulous job. I really wish we could see her director’s cut (she indicated on Pants that the showrunner makes the final cut, and scenes she really wanted in where cut, etc.).

    I too will allow the massaging of the Alice/Dana/Tasha history to allow for this reunion. Even if they don’t get back together, can we at least keep Tasha if there’s another season? She can join Misty’s bowling league, and/or co-manage Dana’s with Finley while Shane opens her salon next door. (A lot of firefighters work a second gig because of the way their shifts work, at least according to my firefighter family member).

    The Dani/Dre/Roxy triangle actually felt believable to me – someone you have a ton of history with but aren’t quite sure to what extent you can trust them, vs. a really new thing where you feel super drawn to them but aren’t fully sure where it’s going. Even though Dre’s face could break my heart!

    I would watch Shane, Angie, Finley, and many other configurations of these couples dance for exactly the duration of the Tess-doing-coke scenes and all of Hendrix’s screen time.

    I had hoped they might have a few more past characters at the wedding, beyond Pippa. I realize it’s probably a scheduling nightmare but it was funny to have this sea of strangers, and Bette and Tina didn’t like talk to anyone else at all? I thought at least Marcus’ wife and Kayla would be there. Or what’s the butch speech writer from Bette’s mayoral run up to now?

    I’ve never been particularly invested in Tibette one way or another, but if the show/actors want to send them off with this particular ‘happy ending,’ I found their individual evolutions and partnered dynamic to be convincing and pleasant enough. I wish them well, and hope that we DO get a fourth season and that them living their happy lives in Toronto (and popping up for a cameo or two) means more time and space for these other characters’ stories to unfold.

    Since I can’t help myself: Riese, everything you said about the Micah/Mari storyline: yes. The plot you propose in this recap would have made SO MUCH MORE sense and deepened our understanding of these two characters independently and together. I understand they had backed themselves into a corner having so little time and so much to resolve, but if this argument had just been re-written (or if the whole storyline had been tweaked all along), it could have worked. Also, as people who are a lawyer and an anxious therapist/social work, I DO NOT BELIEVE that they would not have researched what the home IUI process would be like. Micah researched “ART” writ large to go to gallery opening with Jose in season 1 – you’re telling me he didn’t even google how a home insemination works??

    They did Tess so dirty. All of it. Plus the slapstick on top: first the turkey, now the cake? I also can’t believe this was the third “is someone dead” cliffhanger in 10 episodes. Or that Finley’s primary role from the end of episode 8 through now has been to try to save/be freaked the fuck out about Carrie almost dying on her and now trying to support/save Tess. If the show wanted to talk about how hard it is to care about a person with addiction, to want to help them without enabling, but also how you have to recognize that you can’t make decisions for them/can’t keep them sober, why didn’t they do that? Instead it’s this heightened drama of holding onto the car door handle as they peel out and Tess cackles.

    There is no universe in which SHANE is not familiar with the concept of polyamory/ethical non-monogamy/open relationships. What is happening?!?

    In closing: I will quietly be over here mourning the absence of a hot Sinley reunion, but most of all THANK YOU Riese for the sheer amount of time, care, and thoughtful attention you put into these recaps and the podcast. Truly, perhaps more time, care, and thoughtful attention than went into the writing of this show (much as I love it, against all odds).

    • I love your comments and agree with all of this. I think I am going to detach myself from the Micah and Maribel ending from this season and I will be swapping it with Riese’s storyline. The OG season 6 taught me to disregard shit that makes no sense. Perhaps it was preparing us for Gen Q!

      And you’re right – Dre’s face broke my heart:(

    • I hope this isn’t the end of the road for this sometimes nonsensical little romp of a show, but in my heart, no matter what happens, Tasha’s always back in the fold.

      I think you mentioned weeks ago that the show would benefit from focusing more on connection, after I’d said something about wanting more joy onscreen, and I’ve been thinking about how right you are since then. The show is always at it’s best, in easy times and in hard times, when characters are moving toward/within community, and can get so silly when characters seek out or are forced into isolation.

      Angie’s season of isolation from family and grown up queers meant never hearing a bad thing about bad power dynamics with that man until ep 8. Tess’s isolation has meant that Finley is the only character that seems to be her friend, and all her grief and heartache has no vent, and nobody who we care about even notices that she’s flailing even though she probably smells like a distillery.

      It’s not very interesting or rewarding to see characters have huge, personally impactful stories when they feel so wildly disconnected from everyone else and their bad choices ultimately don’t affect other characters meaningfully.

  17. SO many recycled storytelling devices and plot beats this episode:

    -Micah, usually the consummate professional, takes edibles before a big event for comedic effect.
    -Dani, usually the consummate professional, does molly before a big event for comedic effect.

    -A big blowup at Thanksgiving is undercut by Tess dropping the turkey.
    -A big blowup at the wedding is undercut by Tess knocking over the wedding cake.

    -An episode ends with the cliffhanger that Gigi might die in a car crash.
    -An episode ends with the cliffhanger that Carrie might die from a heart attack.
    -An episode ends with the cliffhanger that Tess might die in a car crash/from an overdose/at the hands of some random dirtbag/or wherever tf the writers were going with that.

    -Angie has sex with Hendrix only for him to leave her.
    -Angie has sex with Hendrix only for him to leave her.

    And others I’m sure I’m forgetting. 😪 Just incredibly uninspired storytelling. It really felt like the writers just wanted it over with. All the most impactful moments — Tibette’s vows, Alice’s confession to Tasha, Shane/Alice/Bette’s friendship — relied on the work done by the original series, while all the moments that should have been big turning points for the new characters — Micah/Maribel’s fight, Tess’s rock bottom/Finley’s failed attempts to reach her, Angie/Hendrix’s breakup — handled their subject matter SO irresponsibly that they just left a terrible taste in my mouth.

    ANYWAY! Thank you so much, Riese, for providing these recaps, which have made it all worth it. In addition to being hilarious, they’ve also been deeply insightful and show such a real love for these characters that the actual writers’ room clearly lacks. I really hope we get your Christmas special one day. 😭

    • I also thought the OG beats were weird – the Tibette cows sounded like they were from a greeting card, Alice’s convo w Tasha made no sense, and the run down of all their faux pas left out some of their biggest!

      But I also don’t have the nostalgia for the original show that others do so maybe that’s it, haha

  18. I’m incredibly disappointed. From the alcoholism/addiction storyline (Finley, Carrie and Tess relapse now wtf?) to the issues with the micabel storyline, it’s like they learned nothing. But also, and it appears no one at autostraddle agrees with me, I’m disappointed in the tibette wedding. They were barely in their own wedding and many of their scenes were cut or focused on gen q characters. Their vows were cut. And during the vows, they panned to characters who have never even interacted with Bette or Tina let alone be their friends. I didn’t expect the whole episode to be about them, but not cutting away from their post vows kiss, spending more time with the couple getting married, maybe a short sex scene, the uncut vows, and a scene with Angie at the actual wedding isn’t much to ask. Incredibly disappointed with Marja, not with Leisha to be clear. Her recent interview makes it clear how little effort she puts into the show and how her ego has gotten in the way of good writing.

    I also cannot get over her “this is a white lesbian show” comment

    I want the show to get renewed so the cast and crew can keep their jobs but I understand why Jennifer (and Laurel) left to preserve their characters’ legacy

  19. Like so much of the season, I enjoyed large parts of this episode (I’ve never been a Dani fan, but she’s completely won be over this season, Alice and Tasha are great, I enjoyed Shane and the wedding planner) and then got thrown out of it by one of the awful storylines.

    The show’s handling of drugs and alcohol use is so entirely inconsistent I think the only explanation is that each character is written by a different writer who doesn’t talk to anyone else?

    Riese – thank you so much for these recaps. I know they’re a lot of work (made worse if you don’t get the episode on time), but I cackled so hard at ‘Someone on this show has to name something after Jenny!!!!!’ and I’ll be staring at the gif of Tasha laughing for a while.

    I don’t know if I’m actually rooting for another season of this show. On the one hand,I don’t trust them to find a better ending after another 10 episodes. On the other, I feel like I need one to sort out some of the mess (and I really do love this cast).

  20. My wife and I were arguing about whether Alice was canonically/obviously still in love with Dana while dating Tasha (wife’s position) or whether it wasn’t obvious that she was, but it would have made sense so that’s why you’re remembering it wrong (me). Thrilled to be vindicated by this recap, also willing to massage history to allow Alice/Tasha to be cute together. And damn has Rose Rollins aged very well.

  21. I won’t pile on with more commentary on what’s clearly wrong with this show. That’s been well covered and acknowledged to be sure. But I will say that I think a critical eye is REALLY important here. If this were any old poorly written and produced show, it would be easy to simply ignore. But, because this is not only a queer show by and for the queer community, but also THE queer show that broke ground in its very existence, it’s really important that it’s carefully executed so as not to do more harm than good. If it’s going to exist at all.

    If this show was just uninteresting that would be one thing, I could get over that. But the show is SO careless with the way it portrays marginalized people and issues that face these communities (fertility, substance abuse etc) particularly in seasons 2 and 3. It’s almost an insult to the queer community, to people of color, to disabled people etc. Rather than tell stories that humanize these communities, it seems hellbent on playing into harmful stereotypes and ideas that drag us all down. I mean just look at the commentary, the show has bred so much negativity and collective disappointment. Each week we all come together here and elsewhere not to laugh and relate over the content and our shared experience, but to commiserate about how bad it’s made us feel, about ourselves and our community. (Which is no insult to you, Riese. This discourse is VERY appreciated and needed, and the light and humor you endeavor to bring to the discussion is much appreciated.)

    As I think about this show, I keep coming back to Schitt’s Creek. Schitt’s Creek didn’t set out to be a show about queerness, but it did humanize queer people and frankly all kinds of people, by being built on an undercurrent of love and good-heartedness. It was funny, it had cutting humor and imperfect characters, but it handled them with care and purpose. And as a result the show is beloved by the queer community. And it loves the queer community back.

    This reboot could have done that too. With care this show could have brought characters we know and love into a new world, with renewed perspective. This show could have shown us a world where queerness in all its forms is embraced and normalized and then set that aside to tell entertaining stories. Those stories could even be about tough topics, it doesn’t need to be all rainbows and light, but it does need to handle those stories with care rather than throw them on the page for cheap thrills.

    I really feel for these actors. I’m certain they are all, as people of color, as queer people, as disabled people, trying to make the most of what is given to them from the writers and what is asked of them as talent, in representing their communities. I have to imagine they too are grappling with a lot of what we are feeling as viewers. Who I don’t feel for at all is the show runner and writers room. As much as I’d love to see these characters live and breathe in the future, I simply cannot support the continued production of this show under the guidance of the current writers and Marja. They’ve done s huge disservice here and frankly it feels like a navel gazing exercise for Marja more than anything else.

    • Wow okay, I just watched that Marja interview and I actually think all my confusion about why this show is the way it is has been solved by hearing her speak. What a delusional human being. I’m actually surprised more actors haven’t bailed on her.

      • You put all of this so well, thank you for sharing! I also watched the Marja interview after the finale and everything I felt watching a Gen Q episode this season, I felt 1000x worse while listening to her speak. Sigh.

      • 100%! Listening to the interview just completely crystallised why everything is the way that it is. It made me sad cos I realised that if she’s in charge it will literally never change. The woman’s head is so far up her own butt I’m surprised she can breathe. I wrote this in another comment elsewhere on the site but did anyone else really strongly react to the way she talked about people of colour? It couldn’t be more patronising and objectifying. Like we’re things to collect and that we should be soooo grateful to her for deigning to remember and include and “make” us. UghhhhhhHHHH.

        • Absolutely. I keep coming back to her comment about some of her characters not having clear traits that make them stand out and those clearly being her characters of color, trans characters, disabled characters. It’s like she’s patting herself on the back for having them, but won’t do the work to write them with the care they deserve.

          • Yes to all this, but MLR also has said previously that Sophie is the closest she has to an avatar on the show, which is somewhat baffling, giving the lack of consistency with how Sophie has been written at times. And also, even for a character like Shane who IS one of the white wealthy cis lesbians on the show, MLR said that it’s too bad that Shane’s one trait is basically that all her trauma/stuff gets channeled sexually. Which, sure, maybe that’s how Gen Q has characterized her. But not on the OG!

  22. Is it possible these captions are even better than usual? Ever single Bette caption starting with “You know, Brittany and Santana got married in a barn in Indiana that didn’t even have air conditioning…” made me giggle. And you always get Finleys face asking the perfect questions. Micah and maribel’s fights being re-captioned was also perfect! Thank you thank you for uniting us in entertainment and also just putting words to what’s wrong. What a public service.

    The fun parts of this episode were SO FUN. Dani’s dancing made me giggle – I love getting to see more sides of her and how Roxy makes her happy. And Dani’s friend-love for Sophie! Tina supporting Bette in yelling was beautiful and felt like the closure their relationship needed. And agree, all the comedic timing felt good. Even the ret-conning felt just great to see Tasha dance with Alice. As y’all talked about on the podcast last week, that’s the type of thing we signed up for!

    For the Micabel ending, I thought that Micah was just having a panic attack bc he wasn’t ready to be a dad, and he shoulda called it that instead of pretending that feeling was grounded in logic and then throwing in a dump truck of ableism to justify his fear. But your rewrite is BETTER because it actually acknowledges maribels disability AND lets her have a nuanced, complex, happy life. And builds depth into their partnership. Yes, that’s what I want for these characters. So, thank you for that. And damn in just two days.

    Also yes, sent money to autostraddle for this occasion.

  23. Also, just another shoutout to the actors and they ways they portrayed characters that I was rooting for so hard! I hope online vitriol isn’t hurting them too much.
    Thanks AS editors for moderating comments in such a way where we can be debate-y, but this also isn’t a space for targeted attacks on the individuals just doing their best on a really hard task of being on THE representational show that was formative for so many of us.

  24. Deeply bothered by what they’ve done to Tess </3

    That being said I greatly enjoyed witnessing the matrimony of Mamas B and T amongst all those women they don't know (and Ilene!!)

    My Pieszbody dreams sadly weren't realised but I did gasp out loud like an idiot when Tasha said "in a way" lol.

    I really hope this isn't the end for these characters but hoo boy who knows…

    Riese, thank you for the recaps (and the podcast!!), I look forward to reading them after every episode. The tyrannosaurus rex caption on the Bette/Alice screenshots this week made me cackle out loud :)

  25. this was an INCREDIBLE recap, thank you so much for your work riese and for ALWAYS bringing up jenny and telling the funniest jokes and giving the greatest references to the original series. i truly hope this isn’t the last time we all gather around for a new episode of the L word!

    i also want to say that i personally had BIG PLANS for helena to attend this wedding! i kept looking at the timestamp to check my chances, and i was crossing my fingers HARD when there were five minutes left and shane was waiting to dance with someone, every cell in my body was screaming ‘helena! helena! helena!’, i was SO ready for those two to continue the kiss shane started behind the planet oh so many years ago! i think we were all robbed for that (or for a molly/nikki wedding appearance), but i would be remiss if i didn’t bring up shelena at least once this season!

  26. How likely do you think the show could be renewed with a new writing team? I hope it is. I saw Marja’s interview and yikes.

    I enjoyed seeing Roxy with Dani, I’d love to see that explored if season 4 happens, and Tasha and Alice too! I’ll say it again, Roxy is so damn hot!!

    My absolute favourite parts of the season are the storylines between Carrie, Misty & Finley, and Alice & Dana’s moment. I’m glad that we got that.

  27. For a show that’s all about the drama, they really undercut the absolute injustice that is the price of sperm. $700 for a vial is a STEAL! (I just checked and a vial at California Cryobank is $1,195 plus $250 shipping). That said, my wife and I did get our daughter’s sperm on a Black Friday BOGO sale, so maybe Micah and Maribel did too.

    And because I want to keep nitpicking: sperm prepared for IUI is a lovely millennial pink color. No idea what blue stuff M+M had… maybe the blue liquid in menstrual pad commercials?

  28. Wow can anyone here be honest about the episode. Bette and Tina got less than 15 minutes of screen time. Many OG Tibette fans are so mad and dissatisfied. Inviting ppl they didn’t know, the drug use, Sophie and Pippa got unnecessary screen time. Sorry the gen q characters got more time. The camera even cut away from Bette’s vows and even their kiss.

    They and their fans deserved better. Thanks for the laughs. If there is s4 I’m done. Can’t wait to hear you on Pants.

    • How was Sophie’s screentime unnecessary? She is a main character, and deserves as much time in the spotlight as anyone else. In fact, I thought it was nice to see Pippa again as well.

      I am sorry that they cut away from Bette and Tina’s vows, but the new characters are not to blame for that.

      • Yes Sophie is a main character. I think Deb is just saying it doesn’t make sense for Sophie to be at Tibette’s wedding and the Sophie/Pippa storyline could have been developed in another episode. Tibette is leaving the show, it would have been nice to have them a kiss as long as the Sophie/pippa kiss in their own wedding episode.

        Who’s to blame other than the new characters for the focus on them during the vows? Marja. I agreee don’t blame the actors but I think it’s okay to criticize the presence of characters at the wedding or the screen time they got during the vows.

        • The cutting to other characters is a pretty common device, I think I’ve seen it employed in pretty much tv wedding and every movie with multiple love stories that I’ve ever watched

  29. Not an episode goes by that I don’t marvel over how huge of an undertaking this is for you, Riese. I’m very grateful, and I hope this isn’t the last we see of these characters or your potential to realize your L Word Christmas special dream. Selfishly, I hope the show goes on long enough to warrant a very special murder mystery episode like Boy Meets World or Legends of Tomorrow, in which quips are quipped and people die without much gore, and ultimately a few fraught relationship dynamics are put on entertaining display.

    The fun parts of this episode were so fun! In this episode and in this season, the friendships really sing. Bette and Alice silently arguing about the alcohol, and Alice instantly clocking that Shane had hooked up with the wedding planner, Dani fully crying about how much she loves having a friendship with Sophie, and the og characters staring at the cake and reminiscing on the wild stuff they used to get up to was all funny and sweet.

    Second to the friendships for me, the guest stars that we’d known previously all really landed. Some of them could’ve had a larger role for my taste, but I loved catching up with people like Max and Tom and Nat specifically when she was drinking champagne through a reusable straw and delegating $20 worth of oranges and when I didn’t understand that she would be taking Gigi offscreen forevermore. Kehlani and Joey Lauren Adams set the very special guest star bar too high I fear, so I wasn’t very moved by many of the drop ins from new famous people.

    Having Tasha and Pippa Pascal in this episode was very special to me. I’m coming to terms with being a simp for certain characters, so there’s really no canon that I won’t conveniently forget if it means keeping Tasha, much in the way that I simply forgot for two years that Dani was introduced as a hell demon who told a father not to get too mad about his son’s company-sponsored OD. I’m forgetting again right now, in fact, because Molly Dani was such a treat!

    Sophie and Pippa flirting through the wedding was very fun for me but I don’t quite get why Pippa would be so fascinated by Sophie when Sophie is sort of between artistic interests and not pursuing her passions. Attracted to? Yes. Intrigued by? Idk! I love Pippa and Sophie knowing each other directly, I love Sophie having fun, but I liked that Pippa was so bent on being with someone who felt the sort of single-minded determination that she feels about her art, and idk if the show would ever really commit to writing Sophie that way for more than a couple eps.

    Glad we got a little more Roxy and a sprinkling of Dre, but my naive brain was holding out hope that Dani had left that message for Gigi and that, against all odds and reason, she’d show up and throw Dani into the coolest and hottest predicament of really liking three hot people who connect to her in ways she didn’t expect and maybe trying to navigate dating each of them. I was embarrassingly hopeful.

    I hate everything that happened to and with Tess this whole season, and it has unfortunately helped me to pinpoint exactly what’s been bugging me for a while. This show that I love and am slightly obsessed with sometimes feels incredibly mean.

    Like obviously Dana’s cancer death speedrun and Shay’s abandonment and then forced separation from Shane, and I guess Peppermint Patty’s MS and dementia and death and Carrie’s heart attack were meant to be “real world” mean, and…sure this gay hookup show can dip into the cruelty of being alive in an unkind world sometimes, as a (usually unsatisfying) treat.

    But sometimes it’s mean in the exact way that forcing poor Max to attend a lobster dinner with a mean gaggle of mostly white and rich transphobic lesbians, and then making the breast cancer patient tell him he should be grateful for his healthy breasts was mean. Mean for the sake of meanness.

    Tess never fully being integrated into the friend group beyond Shane and Finley, while we get to know almost nothing personal about her that doesn’t drive a moment of emotional upheaval for Shane or Finley, and while see diminishing returns on how all her many hurts and losses affect her unless she can be humiliated by them…it’s all so mean. And for what? Just for the sake of seeing her suffering in isolation? Because we certainly learned nothing during this return to the relapse rodeo.

    Overall, this season had some hits and some misses, but if it doesn’t come back I think I’ll be saddest about how, instead of consistently exploring a sprawling queer community that was very messy but ultimately brimming with the care and connection that is so unique to queer people who choose at least parts of their families, we instead often spun our wheels watching people have a bad time in improbable and inexplicable isolation that made their stories feel as though they happened in a series of vacuums.

    I swear I had lots of fun here!! But if this is the last time we get to talk about the program once fondly known as a queer hookup show, then I might as well be insufferably long-winded once more for the road.

    Fingers crossed for a season four w/ a time jump featuring Maribel going through Bette’s therapy process for overcoming anger issues and parental abandonment, and maybe Micah only hanging out with his well-adjusted trans friends, and Angie and Bella never talking about that man again.

    • I couldn’t agree more with this comment!

      Seeing Tess humiliate herself due to drugs/booze was so unnecessary, especially because Finley already had a v similar story (hello pissing in the hallway!!). Do the writers hate addicts and want to see them suffer? Because they’re certainly not writing Tess in a way that’s sympathetic to the fact she is a) grieving and b) having a relapse of her sickness. The writers seem to blame Tess deeply for her alcoholism. Like Finley’s comment about how she “didn’t realise what was going on” with Tess. Like Tess’ alcoholism is a fine and worthy excuse for cheating on her?!

    • Mina, I always look for your name in the comment threads because I appreciate your perspective and your read on this show!

      Seeing you lay out in detailed beats how this show has handled addiction/sobriety crystallizes for me why their treatment of these stories/characters has made me so deeply uncomfortable and upset. I remembered all this, but seeing it listed out, beat by beat: yikes.

      The thing is, my sense from Marja and the writers room is that they don’t see it that way (as cruel, mean, out of touch): they think of it as grappling with “important issues” that impact the queer community. Which just makes it almost cut more in a way. Like, is the writers room populated with people who have been negatively impacted by the experiences of friends/partners/family dealing with addiction? Because the way they write both the “designated” struggling characters (Finley, Tess, Carrie) AND the way they write the people who supposedly love them (basically all the other characters on the show) is infused with such a profound disconnect from at least my experience of loving/being hurt by someone cycling through addiction, and also hearing from others in Al-Anon/Nar-Anon.

  30. ok so honestly, the ‘fandom’ (trolls?) need to take some responsibility for two things on this show. generally, I loved this finale. they FRIDGED tibette. bc they are an atrocious couple. and they did this entire bizarre storyline, making tina show up to get back with bette after…the person she cheated on bette with dumped her, ok…to please a segment of the fans who are being disrespectful to the showrunner, calling for her job in an organized online attack as I type this. like I get it, it’s not Golden Globe worthy writing, but calling for a person’s job and constantly harassing Ilene C. to fire her, is horrid. the transphobia I kept reading, in the comments, from potential trolls, also horrid. Not a lot, mind you, I mean I didn’t see massive numbers, but it wasn’t great what I did see. and now they’re setting two trans characters up to be hated–one is now a coke-sniffing (dead?) person hurling bottles, the other deeply and suddenly ableist.
    HONESTLY though, even with this terrible wedding, and aside from extremely problematic writing that just did not need to be there (re the trans actors) I loved this episode. it was a return to the humour they’re capable of, both the actors and writers. the Pippa/Sophie pairing is a parallel of the Bette/Dani ship that people were interested in when the show started, but even better, no weird awful muddled storyline about a corporation (do they know how Dani’s family’s corporation works, like was it a nod to Supergirl’s Lena or something, I’ll never know). AND TASHA IS BACK! but yes what they did to Tess. why. not ok. why.

  31. I feel that there should have been a love scene between Bette and Tina especially that this will be the final season that they will be part of the show. Were the writers afraid to show middle aged women making love? Or maybe Jennifer and Laurel did not want to do a love scene. If there is a 4th season I won’t be watching. It won’t be the same without Bette and Tina having a substantial starring role

      • which is truly so silly! there are so many! jennifer is like 57? so her mom could be between 80 and 90. when i’m 57 my mom will be 81. for example jane fonda, or ellen burstyn. she mentioned maggie smith but it’s silly to say she’s the only actress who exists over 80. people are hired to play the parents of grown adults every day on this planet!

        • exactly! I’ve thought Jane Fonda, although a very unlikely get, would have been perfect – in the right age range, believable wrt Bette’s mom looking vaguely like her, and holy moly would it be amazing to see Jane and Jennifer play off each other. I’m wondering if potentially Marja and the writers were doing the math on Bette’s mother’s age assuming she was also Kit’s mother… because that would change the age range to what Marja was saying and we know not all the writers watched the OG.

          • but we know that Bette and Kit had different mothers, so that’s not a factor.

            I think they just didn’t want to actually have to dig into that relationship, history, and what it would actually mean for Bette (or for Angie, hello!).

            It’s so much easier for the writers to just give Bette 2 sentences explaining how it granted her insight into herself, catharsis with her past, and helped her move on and change in ways that allow her to be the person she needs to be for things to work with Tina, basically.

            But perhaps I’m just being cynical. Based on what Marja said in that interview, it sounded like recasting Bette’s mother from “dead” to “left” may have been a plot idea that Jennifer Beals suggested, and that had some personal resonance for her/with this character.

          • @caitrw

            unfortunately, I think there’s a good chance Marja + team didn’t know that Bette and Kit have different mothers. That’s what I was trying to imply.

  32. btw, taking you seriously on the donation front for realz! this has been an important recap of a show that, love it or get all grr at it, has meant a lot to a lot of queer folks. thank you for these entertaining but also quite analytical and smart recaps.

  33. Like I swear, This show should have been two different shows or one or the other

    Like, for example an original OG reboot show focused on the original characters. Given these characters closure, where are they now and closure for the audience to like you know making up for season 6 Etc.

    And the other show Should have been focused on the new characters, new generation, new storylines, new adventures. Like, it would have been so cool for the Gen Q characters to get character growth, and character depth and like character backgrounds. It would have been so interesting to see Who is Danis mom? a flashback of Younger Dani and her mom would have been everything or another flashback about Sophie‘s dad was the tea with him? Why is Sophie always being compared to him? And knowing more about Finley’s entire family dynamic also Wasn’t Finley an Olympic style swimmer what happened to that? That was so interesting. Also, I want to know all about Micah who is Micah who is he? I wanna know more about his parents. Is Micah third generation Asian American?

    GEN Q should have been a show focusing on this young friend group in the main relationship should have been their friendship not hooking up with one another. Not trying to make these two new characters, the bette and Tina of the show that has already been done. This show will have been better if the characters were dating around and bringing in different funny, weird dramatic side characters for the main characters to interact with and hook up with you know a proper young fun, gay hook up show.

    It seems like The show runner and writers room could not handle writing for TheOGs and the new characters at the same time. So we ended up getting a jumbled up mess of a show where Story lines That go nowhere and no One is happy And you get to warring factions.

    Some things I liked about this episode was Dani and Roxy. They were super cute and Tasha and Alice there are also super cute.

    Reese, your recaps are always Super funny

  34. A piece of what brings me back to GQ is the fashion, and I got to see what I like to see in this episode! Bette Porter in (what I suspect is) another stellar Mcqueen suit, and honestly the Bette/Mcqueen pairing is deserving of its own tangent but not right now, Pippa’s dressy yet effortless patterned dress and updo, Tess and her pink sequins (ignoring her story line which was beneath her and that outfit), Alice forgoing her series-long penchant for Gucci in lieu of a fun Christopher John Rogers moment, Sophie and Dani in those amazing jewel-toned silks, and even Dre with a tailored powder blue suit in their back pocket, clearly sitting on ready in case of impromptu phone calls and professions of love!

    The wardrobe department of this show gives me what I want, even if no one else does. Thank you to them for impeccable taste, Riese for hilarious recaps, and Rose Rollins for Tasha.

  35. Thank you again Riese, for these perfect recaps. I wish they’d hired you to write this show.

    Glad we got more Tasha, I’ve missed her voice.

    I know Hendrix is an idiot but I don’t believe he would show up to the wedding of a woman who yelled at him in front of an auditorium full of people. He didn’t need any more screen time. Bella should have been there instead. We could have seen her and Angie hanging out together, hinting at something to come.

    There was something a bit campy about Tess declaring ‘Happy Thanksgiving everyone!’ before dropping the turkey on Finley’s villainous mother, which was more embarrassing for her than Tess. But having her drunkenly fall into the wedding cake just robbed her of her dignity. Did they ever Jennify Tess! She was introduced as a relatable non-wealthy sober person supporting her mom, now she’s just a caricature to be mined for drama. She and Jamie Clayton deserved better.

    • Yes, this: “She was introduced as a relatable non-wealthy sober person supporting her mom, now she’s just a caricature to be mined for drama. She and Jamie Clayton deserved better.” There are so many painful and quietly devastating ways that struggling with addiction, loss, grief can manifest. Particularly for a character like Tess, who as established seems to have no support network beyond her relationship with Shane, particularly now that her mom is gone. To go for these slapstick moments really does seem cruel to the character.

  36. I haven’t seen anyone else talking about this so I must ask: Why was Dani like “gum! Oh no, Gigi loved gum! *throws gum* now I’m over Gigi!” ? Besides this just being bad storytelling, what does it mean??? Was I supposed to remember about Gigi and gum? Why does the gum cause this kind of realization? Why did the writers give gum a more nuanced backstory than many of the characters? @riese help me out with your encyclopedic knowledge!

    Also so excited to hear you soon on Pants, I had always wondered if they were aware of your voice re: the show and now I realize they see you as the person who can say every truth they’re thinking but probably shouldn’t say. I sincerely hope your Pants episode is revealed as a job interview and ends with Mia Kirschner coming out to say “congrats, you’re the new showrunner! Please centre the Christmas Special around my “surprise, I’m not dead” reveal!”

  37. The raison d’etre of the show are Riese’s recaps!

    The show is a silly romp with fab fashions one never sees IRL unless one is a member of the cliteratti.

    My coping mechanism for the finale is that it’s like dying, and one sees Gen Q’s whole tv life before it’s eyes.

    Now we can turn to a truly superior show, Euphoria.

  38. Okay, as a child of divorce, I would like to ask if we can point out how ABSURD it is that all these divorced people are getting back together? Like okay for Tibette it’s like whatever, sure okay, but the Gigi and Nat thing was the last straw for me. People who are so sure they cannot repair their relationship that they are willing to go through the expensive and torturous process of getting divorced probably shouldn’t get back together, but to not only get remarried but also get ENGAGED again is crazy. It’s just the laziest writing ever to just toss that in as a throwaway to “wrap up” the Gigi/Nat characters’ storylines.

    • I thought the same thing with the throwaway Nat/Gigi line. Even the framing of them being engaged as the bombshell for Dani (when she and the audience last saw them driving off together to reunite anyway) was silly. The “engaged” detail is not the big one here! In the end I did really love the Nat/Gigi chemistry but every new detail we learned about them and their treatment season by season made less and less sense. Gigi’s cheating was an immediate dealbreaker for Nat, but actually Nat is polyamorous? (Not that those two things couldn’t coexist, just that it was treated poorly by the writers.) Nat and Gigi actually met when they were 18? So they were together for decades, broke up, Nat immediately starts dating Alice, two years later the throuple and the breakups/makeups ensue? Such weird inconsistent writing!

  39. My eternal gratitude to Riese for putting so many things into words (everything wrong w the Micah/Maribel storyline this ep, for example), for the screenshot captions, and for these recaps being a real highlight, no matter how the episode went.

    I mostly liked this episode but boy did I hate the Tess and the Micah & Maribel storyline. So bad, so over the top, and totally without payoff!

    At least Angie finally broke it off with that man. And a couple people got to kiss. Small mercies.

    I hope it gets renewed, because I love to hate it, and I love to talk about it, and I really love these actors and a lot of the characters! Plus there’s so much to do; Shane _just_ heard about nonmonogamy! But considering with how positively I feel about this season as a whole, I’d understand if this is the end, and I’m not holding my breath. I am choosing to believe that Tess is fine, though.

  40. Can we talk about the only truly hilarious scene in the finale? When the fire fighters broke through the refrigerator door, did you see the usually perfectly dressed Bette wrapped in Saran Wrap because she gave her sweater to Tina?

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!