Spooky scary skeletons, it’s a Halloween episode! We’ve got thrills, chills, and parties galore. One of the more realistic things that’s ever happened in The L Word universe is the endless list of Halloween options for our Gen Q friends.
Alice and Taylor are getting cozy at home, in the time honored tradition of three-straight days of gay sex. Sophie, Finley and Dani hit Dana’s for a costume party, while Shane is hitting on Ivy. And in search of more parenting advice from queer elders, Micah and Maribel meet none other than very special guest and original The L Word icon, Max. Max has been off living his own happily ever after far, far away (spiritually, I mean, he’s still in LA) from all of these messy weirdos, and that is perhaps the biggest win of them all.
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+ Riese’s recap for The L Word Generation Q Episode 304!
+ The band LA Exes, whose concert almost introduced me to a new Bad Friend
+ Drew’s original interview with Daniel Sea
+ Drew’s new interview with Daniel Sea about returning to The L Word Generation Q is up now!
+ We published this guide to alternative to calling the cops, or you can visit this website for community-based alternatives in your city!
Drew: Hi, I’m Drew.
Analyssa: And I’m Analyssa.
Riese: And I’m Riese.
Drew: And this is…
All: To L and Back: Generation Q Edition.
Drew: The last time you heard us, I was leaving to get on a flight. And even though— It’s interesting how time works is I guess what I’m saying because I—
Analyssa: It’s been a week since they’ve heard the podcast episode, but now you’re back and you’ve gone to Toronto.
Drew: For two weeks.
Analyssa: For two weeks.
Riese: Did you see Tina?
Drew: I did, we hung out.
Analyssa: Oh, wow. Are they doing well?
Drew: Yeah, they seem to be really working on their relationship in a way that feels really healthy and really—
Analyssa: That’s good, yeah.
Drew: It’s one of those things where I’m like, “Oh, wow, I feel like my friends are growing up.” And it’s like, yeah, they’re in their 50s, but…
Analyssa: It has to happen at some point for us all.
Drew: I’m proud of them.
Analyssa: Did either of you see the commenter that was like, “I’ve narrowed it down and I think Tina’s working on Paw Patrol”? I thought it was so funny.
Riese: Oh my God.
Analyssa: They listed a bunch of shows that have more than nine seasons that film in Toronto and Paw Patrol was the only one that logically made sense, which really made me laugh.
Drew: That is very funny. Tina working on a show that spreads police propaganda to children, honestly checks out with her.
Analyssa: That’s literally what the commenter said. That was the nail in the coffin like, “This is the show.”
Riese: We have a lot to discuss.
Analyssa: So much to discuss.
Drew: We’re recording during the day, which is something we don’t usually do.
Analyssa: The sun is shining while we’re recording this.
Riese: The sun is brilliantly shining.
Analyssa: It’s bringing a different energy to this recording.
Riese: Yeah, I’m also recovering from the coronavirus, which I would not recommend.
Drew: You’re not a fan?
Riese: No, I didn’t like it. I think the government should try to do something about it.
Analyssa: That’s an interesting take. We should be talking about that more maybe.
Riese: Because yeah, it’s very unpleasant, and I just don’t recommend it. I can’t endorse it.
Drew: Well, then should we just jump into it?
Riese: Let’s leap into it.
Drew: Okay, well, this is episode 304 Last to Know. It’s directed by Em Weinstein, who directed the previous episode, and it is written by Nova Cypress Black, and this is their first television episode which is super exciting.
Drew: That also means that this episode of The L Word is written and directed by nonbinary people.
Riese: That’s fantastic.
Drew: Yeah. It is exciting that there are trans people behind the camera. It’s also exciting that it’s spooky season.
Riese: Yeah, it’s our first-ever holiday since Angie’s half-birthday celebration.
Drew: It’s incredible.
Riese: I’m so excited to see because it’s an acknowledgment that time passes, and certain things happen during certain times of year. And that’s a big area of growth for this show, I think.
Analyssa: Yeah, putting stakes in the ground of any calendar dates at all.
Riese: Absolutely, yes. Yeah, mm-hmm.
Drew: It does scare me a little bit because now we have that as a reference point when we’re trying to logically grasp things, but that’s more your pet project than mine.
Riese: Yeah, that’s my issue. I am a little nervous that they might actually get to Christmas, and that would blow my opportunity as a writer, which is to live my dream, which is writing an L Word Christmas episode.
Drew: See, I’m more worried that all of a sudden, it’s going to be Valentine’s Day and we’re going to be like, “Wait, when did Christmas happen?”
Riese: Right, that’s true. Fair.
Drew: So, Sophie’s telling Finley that Dani’s going to be a mess and to prepare for it. But then Dani walks in perfect.
Riese: Devil may care.
Drew: Yes, over the breakup. Doesn’t care and I believe her.
Analyssa: She says I don’t care the perfect number of times to convince you that she really doesn’t care. But she does look great.
Drew: Mm-hmm, she really does.
Analyssa: And she has a fun friend named Roxy coming into town who Sophie says is her bad friend.
Riese: Yeah, Sophie says last time Roxy was in town, they ended up going to an orgy in San Luis Obispo. And I cannot think of a time when Sophie would have known Dani and Dani was single.
Analyssa: And going to that kind of party. Maybe it’s just that she knows the story.
Drew: Well, Dani says that it was actually a leather party in the Valley, so there’s also a chance that it wasn’t… Maybe she didn’t—
Analyssa: Dani wasn’t having sex at the party.
Drew: Yeah, and also, I don’t know, were they always monogamous? Who knows what their journey was as a relationship?
Analyssa: I think sometimes you do have to pick a detail to nitpick to start the podcast. It’s just like, “Ooh, we’re getting into it.”
Drew: If I were to be like, “Who’s your bad friend?” Do either of you have a go-to person.
Riese: Oh, I mean I used to.
Analyssa: Yeah, I feel like I used to. I also feel like at times I have been the bad friend.
Riese: Yeah, I also feel like I’ve been the bad friend for sure.
Analyssa: Yeah, but this is really recently, actually, this very year. I went to a concert at some bar in Silver Lake. The band L.A. Exes, have you guys heard of them? They’re very fun, they’re all queer.
Analyssa: I met this random person on the patio who was already pretty drunk and was like, “You should come with me to this next thing. You should come with me to this next thing.” And I did not end up doing it, but then the next day she was like, “Yeah, I ended up at a nun-themed sex party.”
Drew: I do like people like that.
Analyssa: She could have been my bad friend.
Riese: Yeah, my bad friend is sober now.
Analyssa: That happens to the bad friends.
Drew: I love that for the bad friends.
Analyssa: Sometimes the bad friends say, “Actually, it’s time for a change.”
Drew: But Dani is like, “I’m going hard this Halloween.”
Riese: Which almost leads you to believe she might be planning a real costume.
Drew: You would think.
Riese: And you would be wrong.
Drew: You would be wrong, yeah. We’re going to get to that.
Riese: We’ll get to that. We’ll get to that.
Drew: We do meet Roxy, and one thing I’ll say about Roxy: hot.
Riese: Hot, yeah. Also, she was the subletter in Hacks that Hannah slept with, remember?
Riese: Have you seen Hacks?
Drew: I haven’t.
Riese: Oh my God.
Drew: I know. I will watch it.
Riese: You’ve seen Hacks?
Analyssa: I’ve seen this first season.
Riese: So, you just nodded in recognition even though you didn’t know what I was talking about. I appreciate that affirmation.
Analyssa: I nodded in recognition, number one, of the television show that you were referencing, and number two, that there is queer sex on that television program, which I know about.
Riese: Yes. Well, for anyone at home who watched Hacks, she was in it. She was also in Shameless.
Drew: I love when there’s just a queer person who all of a sudden starts popping up in queer shows and in a year or two will be the lead of a queer show. And you’re just like, “Oh, that’s fun.”
Riese: Yeah, yeah, like Roberta Colindrez, just like that.
Drew: Speaking of queer people, Taylor is in Alice’s bed and is clearly having feelings about Alice being Alice. And when I say Alice being Alice, I mean Alice being Aloce.
Riese: Yes, exactly. Yeah, she’s intimidated by how wonderful Alice looks. While she thinks she looks like—
Taylor: Halfway to Walking Dead extra. Just missing blood here, some dirt.
Riese: I think she looks fantastic, but also, Alice’s outfit I love so much.
Analyssa: Yeah, really good outfit.
Riese: Yeah, I would be intimidated by that outfit.
Analyssa: She’s always wearing very pressed pants, which would intimidate me.
Riese: Yeah, she does look amazing.
Drew: Yeah, I think you can get pressed pants when you’re rich.
Analyssa: Yeah, and then you just have fancier hangers and fancy people to do your fancy laundry and stuff.
Drew: Exactly, exactly.
Analyssa: Anyway, they’re talking about their Halloween plans, and Alice wants to watch movies at home. She doesn’t want to go to—
Drew: Excuse me, she wants to do a scary movie marathon, which feels like a really clear specific thing and I was like yeah.
Analyssa: You would think that. That was very Drew.
Riese: And they’ve been having sex for three days, I guess.
Analyssa: They haven’t left the home.
Riese: Which is fantastic.
Drew: I love that.
Analyssa: A queer ritual.
Drew: One thing I’ll say is, not to nitpick, but I wish we could have seen it. We’ll get through this, but there’s some conflict, and I was… Luckily, it gets resolved in a cute way. Sorry, spoiler alert if you haven’t watched the episode, you just like to follow the plots with our podcasting. I’d love to have just… I wanted to see the first date, the first kiss. I love that shit, but it’s fine.
Riese: I mean on the upside, it is finally… Because I feel like a big problem this show has is that it seems like the characters don’t exist when we’re not watching them.
Drew: That’s true.
Riese: So, it’s a rare example of them acknowledging that characters do exist when we’re not watching them. But I would have loved to see them wake up together and kiss. I feel like that would have been cute.
Drew: Yeah, but I like them together, I’m excited to see… Maybe when you find the one, you don’t have first kisses and first dates. You have third days. Speaking of committed relationships— I don’t think that really works.
Riese: That doesn’t really work, no.
Drew: Yeah, no.
Riese: Speaking of people.
Drew: Speaking of Halloween, Shane is dressing Tess’s mom up as Dolly Parton.
Analyssa: Very cute, and Tess is just vaguely bustling around the room, ignoring Shane, only really talking to her mom, being rude to Shane. Which is rude on its own, but also because Shane’s arms look really good this morning.
Riese: I know the muscle T.
Analyssa: I just think we could have noticed that maybe a little bit.
Drew: I don’t understand what’s happening. I don’t understand who Tess is. There’s a person… Obviously, if your mom’s sick, you’re going through a lot, but the show doesn’t seem to engage with that specifically. And so, I’m just very confused how Tess went from, “I love you so much I want to open a second baby,” to, “I hate you.”
Analyssa: “I want to carry your second bar actually inside me.”
Riese: Yeah, are we supposed to think it’s just because she’s stressed out about, again, bar number two, which we all agree is ill-advised.
Drew: But she wanted it, she begged. It just feels like justifying Shane cheating with Kehlani. And it’s like, once again, you don’t have to justify that.
Analyssa: Which is annoying because Shane has already cheated with… Now it’s just this weird torpedo into any goodwill I have towards Tess. The bad thing has already been done. I don’t need more information about why Tess is being bad.
Drew: Is this a hot take? Am I about to say something true or is it just a feeling I’m having right now? The L Word past and present is bad at breaking up their couples. When they have couples break up, it’s done in a way that feels a little bit rushed and a little bit like… Yes, I get that people cheat, but this just feels like you’re creating drama.
Riese: I don’t know.
Drew: That’s feeling right to me in this moment, and if next week it’s not feeling right, I’ll make a correction.
Riese: I mean I do feel like I needed to see more of Tess. I felt like this was a good scene in terms of pushing Shane farther away from Tess. I feel like I actually needed more of it than we got, you know what I mean? To be built up a little bit because I don’t know. Because now it’s like I misremembered. I misremembered that Tess was the one who wanted to start poker.
So, for some reason, in this season, my whole concept of who this character is because everything she’s doing I’m like, “This is consistent with this person who I no longer like,” but was it always like this?
Drew: Yeah, what’s going on?
Riese: I do feel like she does make things harder than they have to be, and she does martyr herself even though no one wants her to, and that’s irritating. And we see that continuing to happen in the episode. But Shane just wants to eat an apple like Johnny Appleseed and to make dinner plans.
Analyssa: Shane is just like, “We have a reservation, are you still good for that?” The level that it turns me off is the snapping and being like, “I can’t deal with you right now.” That feels really out of nowhere, whereas I think you’re right the actions are all actually pretty consistent and would be fine. It’s how people engage with each other.
Drew: Also, because Shane just cheated, it so easily could have been done in a way where Tess is like, “Are you still good with dinner plans?” And then Shane is being like, “I don’t know, I’m brooding, I’m hot.” And then Tess could snap. And then you’d be like, “Okay, yes, is Tess a little bit on edge and whatever?” But at least you’d feel justified in a way that this just feels like-
Riese: But maybe this has been happening all along and that’s how we got here, to begin with. Maybe that’s-
Drew: Right, not in the scenes like when Alice and Taylor were having their first kiss.
Riese: Right, maybe this feeling of Tess brushing Shane off or whatever has been happening for a while, I don’t know. But isn’t Shane the one who got her mom into that costume and did all her makeup and stuff?
Riese: Isn’t she at least going to be like, “Wow, you did a really good job”?
Drew: I know, right.
Riese: I would be so impressed if my partner did that with my mom, with my sick mom. I’d be like, “Oh my God, nice.”
Analyssa: Yeah, that’s the thing is I think it’s showing Shane actually being really good and committed to Tess in their life together.
Riese: Yeah, and making her breakfast.
Analyssa: And then Shane getting shut down, which is a weird thing to wrap your head around when you know that Shane has just had sex with Kehlani, and in fact, might be on her way to do it again.
Riese: But aren’t we all?
Analyssa: I wish.
Drew: Speaking of breakfast, Maribel is dressed as an avocado. You can have avocados for breakfast.
Riese: You can, avocado toast.
Drew: Yeah, it’s not something I eat for breakfast very often, but-
Analyssa: I love an avocado toast.
Drew: Me too.
Analyssa: You just can’t keep avocados in the house.
Drew: Right, this is my feeling. Okay, Micah doesn’t want to dress as the other half of the avocado because-
Drew: I was a little confused about this because eventually, we see this isn’t the case. Does he think that he’s going to be the only trans parent there or is the whole point of going to the thing because they’re a trans parent pair?
Riese: That’s the whole point of going.
Analyssa: The whole point of going is they’re going to meet trans parents. I thought he was like, “I don’t want to look silly in front of them.” But then they arrive at the party and every single person’s wearing a costume such that Micah actually looks silly for not wearing a costume.
Drew: It is always better to be the person who goes too much with the costume at a costume party than goes too little, in my opinion.
Analyssa: I like to do something right in the middle.
Drew: Well, sure.
Analyssa: I did a Kim Possible. If no one else was dressed up, I still look hot.
Drew: Yeah, I mean obviously right in the middle is ideal, but I’m just saying if we have to pick whatever.
Analyssa: One extreme or the other.
Riese: I think he should have dressed up as a tomato, and then together they would have been a little salad.
Drew: That’s nice.
Analyssa: Ew, he could have dressed up as a little piece of bread.
Drew: Oh, yeah.
Analyssa: Also, the avocado is really easily removable, so he could have just worn it.
Drew: Yeah, that’s true. It feels like… Anyways.
Riese: Yeah, big issue. Big issue in the episode, avocado costume.
Analyssa: Speaking of dressing up, Angie’s roommate is going to be an actor tonight in something. She’s finally gotten her first paid gig.
Drew: I know, I was like, “Ooh.” And then she’s like, “It’s for one night only.” And I was like, “You’re in a haunted house, aren’t you?”
Analyssa: I was like, “And it’s tonight, interesting.” I’m famously dumb, so I did not piece together that it was a haunted house until later, but that’s a great call. And Angie can’t do it obviously because she’s got studying to lie about, so-
Riese: Which is how we know she’s still involved with her teacher. And so, we did get a little bit more information about teacher-student relations in the university, and I think it is strictly forbidden if they’re in your class at every university. And now there’s more universities that are also forbidding it even if they’re not in your class.
Drew: Yeah, I don’t enjoy watching this, I don’t know where they’re going with it.
Drew: Maybe they’re going somewhere interesting, but all I’m writing in my notes are, “She’s 18. Leave her alone.”
Analyssa: Yeah, it’s very weird. It’s weird that she also goes to see him at a public location. There are students running around and she’s trying to kiss him.
Drew: It’s bad.
Analyssa: It’s weird.
Drew: Also, she’s bailing on plans and always studying. She’s missing out on a college experience. This older man is taking this from her, which, look, happens plenty, but it’s sad. It makes me sad for Angie.
Riese: It’s also not connected to anything else happening in the series, and I wish they had found a way to keep her connected to someone or to something. I don’t know.
Drew: My biggest issue is I don’t need her to be… If she’s not going to be connected to the series, why is she spending time with another adult? The opportunity that we could have is, “Oh, we’re going to see Gen Z queers beyond just these two teenagers in high school. We’re going to see some teenagers and 20-somethings at college and what is the queer scene like there?” A bisexual girl hooking up with her older male professor is not a new Gen Z phenomenon. It’s truly the oldest-
Riese: They probably do it less, much less than previous generations have done it.
Drew: Yeah, it’s the oldest thing ever. And so, I’m just like-
Riese: Yeah, it’s been covered. Literature, film, television, this topic has been covered. But yeah, exactly, I hadn’t thought of it that way. But if she’s going to be involved with an adult, why?
Analyssa: If we’re going to follow her at college, why not let her be a college? And if she’s going to hook up with an adult, why are we following her at college?
Drew: Yeah, just pick an adult from the cast to be evil. Not evil, I’m being whatever, but-
Analyssa: This guy literally is Dani and Sophie and Finley’s age. It’s odd. Anyway.
Drew: Speaking of vomiting, which is what this makes me want to do, a cute little dinosaur runs up and… To clarify, a child dressed up like a dinosaur runs up to Micah and-
Riese: It wasn’t an actual dinosaur.
Drew: It wasn’t an actual dinosaur.
Riese: That would have been a really fun twist though.
Analyssa: They’re trying something really new for this Halloween episode. Oh my gosh, they did try something really new in the title card. The little O of The L Word has a little jack-o’-lantern, that was fun.
Riese: Oh, yeah. Oh, really?
Drew: That was fun, yeah.
Riese: Oh, like Google.
Analyssa: It was cute. Yeah, like Google.
Analyssa: Yes, I was going to say speaking of child and adult relationships, a child pukes on Micah’s shoes, and then do one of you want to talk about the big reveal?
Drew: Yes. So, first, Armand Fields, who’s an actor on Work in Progress and the new Queer as Folk shows up, which I was excited about.
Riese: Their character is named Reese, but that’s also my name, so that’s going to be happening.
Drew: Yeah. So, Reese, at least this… When I got a Drew, Drew sucked. At least this character is cool. This character is probably only going to be in one episode and is cool, so-
Riese: That’s true, I did get a good one. I got a good Reese.
Analyssa: I have never heard a character with my name on television.
Drew: Wow, that’s-
Analyssa: Keep your ears peeled.
Riese: I haven’t either until right now.
Drew: Would you want me to name a character Analyssa or would you feel weird [inaudible 00:17:55]?
Analyssa: Yeah, that’d be fun.
Analyssa: Yes, I’d like that, Drew.
Drew: I’ll make them good.
Riese: My Scattergories app doesn’t even recognize that your name is real.
Drew: Wow, that sucks.
Riese: It says it’s not a name.
Drew: Brutal. But the big reveal is that Reese’s partner is Max. If you don’t know Max, Max was on the original show played by Daniel Sea. And the way that Max was treated in the later seasons of the original show was-
Drew: Let’s say not ideal.
Analyssa: You mean horrible?
Drew: And the way that Daniel was treated on set was, I’m going to say not great. And so, this is really special. I mean the music gets all twinkly when Micah doesn’t know who this person is, and I think the justification is it’s just exciting to see another trans father and that’s beautiful. But I was like, Micah’s like, “Oh my God, it’s Max from the original L Word.”
Riese: Right, yeah, and it’s so nice because everyone needs to read Drew’s interview with Daniel that we have on our website. It’s one of the best things we ever published.
Analyssa: It’s so good.
Riese: I read it again yesterday just to prepare. I also when I was showing this episode to Gretchen, as soon as Max walked out, I just paused it and was like, “Okay, so this is all the background you need to know about this person.” But yeah, the way their storyline ended was so awful.
They were pregnant, they were alone, they had just been left by their psychopath boyfriend who changed his number so that Max could not… Even though, whatever, legally I think he would have some responsibility for this child, whatever the fuck. And now, finally, unlike all the other characters from the old show that have been referenced in the new one, Max is getting a happy ending.
Drew: Yeah, it’s really nice.
Riese: No one deserves it more.
Drew: It made me… I knew that this was coming, but it made me emotional.
Riese: Yeah, I teared up.
Drew: It’s one of those things where it’s like it’s not everything, but it is something and you realize how meaningful that little something actually can be. Speaking of transitioning, I don’t have a good one for getting us back to the professor and Angie.
Analyssa: They’re out on the town, they’re wearing masks. Angie-
Riese: Well, Angie’s not.
Analyssa: Oh, yeah, Angie’s not. He’s wearing a mask.
Riese: What’s his costume?
Drew: I don’t know.
Analyssa: I don’t know.
Riese: Well, it’s bad. He should be-
Drew: It’s not even a good mask. It doesn’t cover his face enough. If the whole thing is like, “Oh, it’s Halloween, we can go out just the two of us,” then-
Analyssa: Wear a full mask.
Drew: Be fucking Jason or one of the other creepy killers.
Analyssa: Yeah, be Ghostface, obviously, yeah. And so, he is both a) nervous that people will recognize them. He flinches when Angie takes his hand, and then he’s also nervous to go into the haunted house, which to me, why bring this man?
Riese: Yeah, why bring this man?
Analyssa: Among other sins, why bring this man?
Drew: Yeah, it’s just… I mean it also doesn’t make me feel good about… Obviously, the relationship is not good because of the power dynamic and age gap and et cetera, but the fact that she doesn’t even want to go to one thing without him is also a very huge red flag to me even if he was not her professor. I don’t know, it’s a thing on top of a thing that makes me feel-
Analyssa: The hat on a hat-
Drew: Also, she’s listening to his audiobook and that cannot be a good book.
Drew: That book cannot be good.
Riese: No, mm-mm.
Drew: What vibe do we think that audiobook has?
Riese: He did it himself, I think. Yeah, he recorded his own audiobook.
Analyssa: Back at the bar, Roxy makes a joke about wanting to hook up with Shane. And Finley’s like Shane is basically married, and Sophie’s like, “Well…” And Finley pushes back pretty hard.
Riese: Like there’s no possible way that that could ever be true, which this whole thing just annoyed the living daylights out of me.
Analyssa: The fight later I was like-
Riese: The fight later was-
Analyssa: “What are we talking about?”
Riese: Well, we’ll get there, we’ll get there, but it was the first time this season where I was like, “I hate this.”
Drew: I think Sophie has the best costume of anyone at the party.
Riese: Yes, thank you. Her costume rules.
Riese: What is Roxy’s costume?
Analyssa: What is Roxy’s costume? That’s my number one question.
Drew: Like a-
Riese: A vampire?
Drew: A dead zombie.
Riese: I noticed in a still from the episode that she has little fangs though, so I guess she’s a vampire, but that’s not evident in the show.
Analyssa: That’s not a costume, sorry.
Riese: No, you just put white powder on your face and you’re wearing a white T-shirt, and you have the nerve to tell Sophie who hand-sewed her own raincoat with dogs, come on. Also, Sophie looks adorable.
Analyssa: Sophie’s so cute.
Drew: Yes, and the idea of, one, it happens because Sophie’s wanting to get… It’s like, “Oh, why wasn’t I hit on? Even though I’m in a committed relationship, I still want to feel whatever.” If you’re in a monogamous… Yeah, your ego whatever, but it doesn’t need to be like-
Riese: Yeah, it’s not an emergency.
Drew: It’s not an emergency, and two, they could figure out a way to keep the conceit and still slut it up a bit. I’m a firm believer that you can both be slutty and be high-concept.
Riese: Absolutely. That’s an important thing to know for life.
Drew: Yeah, I did laugh at-
Sophie: I made this.
Dani: Yeah, I can tell.
Sophie: Oh, fuck.
Drew: I do really like the Dani, Sophie friendship now where you feel the history, you feel that they know each other, you feel like there’s still a little bit of bad blood, but in a fun way where there’s a little bit of teasing, but they-
Analyssa: We’re going to rib, but yeah.
Riese: Yeah, I also think Finley’s dressed as James Dean, Rebel Without a Cause. Is that what-
Drew: Wow, I didn’t even-
Analyssa: I knew it was a reference to something.
Drew: Was she wearing a red jacket?
Drew: Oh, I didn’t even-
Analyssa: Did Finley have a little stubble?
Analyssa: I thought that was very interesting just because I heard that comment two episodes ago when she said she’s on her gender training.
Drew: Something fun about James Dean is that if you’re right before… If Finley’s on a gender journey, James Dean can appeal to both sides of the… Because the first reason I shaved my beard six months before I came out was to dress up as James Dean for a dead celebrities party.
Riese: Oh, wow.
Drew: So, it’s interesting how you can either add a beard or shave your beard depending on-
Analyssa: A little gateway to wherever you want your destination to be.
Analyssa: So, back at the parents’ party, Max and Reese and Micah and Maribel are talking about how Reese and Max’s family came to be. They have kids from former marriages, their-
Analyssa: There’s a foster kid that they adopted and they’re talking about things you need to handle within yourself before you can become a parent. So, they ask-
Drew: One thing that I like is that Max says that-
Max: I was dating this gay cis guy and he turned out to be the worst.
Drew: And then Micah’s like-
Micah: Yeah. No, I dated one of those too.
Drew: I really enjoyed that moment.
Analyssa: That was fun.
Drew: Also, an acknowledgement of how awful… What’s his name in the original show?
Drew: Tom. Fuck Tom.
Riese: I mean they named them Tom, Joe, Tim. That was it.
Drew: Then yes, then they’re talking about basically, it’s just that Maribel go to therapy.
Riese: Yeah, which I think is a really valid suggestion, and she gets so offended.
Drew: So offended.
Riese: Because they’re talking about how they use the nicknames that they use for themselves and they’re like because basically… I mean dad is just a sound or whatever. And then Maribel’s like, “Oh, that’s funny. We thought that dad was also just a made-up word. Something my mom made up,” which was funny. But then when Reese is like, “Oh, you need to work that out,” Maribel totally bristles that they said that.
Analyssa: And shuts down. You can see her be like—
Riese: Yeah, and is acting like it was a ridiculous thing for them to say and it really wasn’t.
Drew: It wasn’t. I mean, look, I get if you’re just meeting people to suggest… But they are asking for parenting advice.
Analyssa: This is my thing, later-
Drew: So, it’s like-
Riese: That’s intimate information.
Analyssa: We can, I guess, talk about it later, but again, it’s in all these mini-scenes. But later she’s like, “They were being so nosy.” And I was like, you guys came to their house to ask them questions about their lives as parents. This is what the conversation is going to be at some point.
Riese: Yeah, and if you want them to give you information, you have to be open to the advice they’re going to give, and also, to giving something of yourself as well. It’s not a one-way street.
Drew: Yeah, also this is a T4T couple who has four kids from different… What are you expecting to get here as far as vibes and energies? A suggestion that you go to therapy, you don’t think that’s-
Riese: Of course.
Drew: The only reason you wouldn’t get that is if they were explaining to you that therapy is actually problematic because not everyone can afford it, et cetera, et cetera. You’re getting some brand of that probably if you’re going to this parenting party. Come on now.
Analyssa: Back at the haunted house, I’m not wasting my transitions on these little, tiny things, but the professor has taken his mask off. As soon as that happened, I was like, “Oh no, they’re going to get seen.” They kiss, Angie’s roommate emerges from the haunted house, which was her paid acting gig because Drew’s a genius and is like, “Who is that?” And Angie is lying.
And then he’s like, “Ha-ha, is it weird that I’m your professor?” Which I was like, “Haven’t you guys been dating for a minute? This is the first time this has come up? That’s so bizarre.”
Riese: Yeah, of course, it’s weird.
Analyssa: Of course, it’s weird and why are you asking now weeks… it’s the end of October.
Riese: I mean last episode was September 22nd.
Analyssa: How do you know that?
Riese: Ivy texted Shane on September 22nd…
Drew: I love you.
Riese: … which would have been in the second episode.
Analyssa: This has been going on a month-ish, and it seems like they’re spending a-
Riese: Right, if school starts the beginning of September, she’s been in this class for a minute.
Analyssa: And it seems like they’ve been seeing each other. What a weird question to just be asking. Okay.
Drew: I’m glad you took all those notes because I just wrote, “Stay away from her.”
Analyssa: So, we’re back at the bar. There is a League of Their Own costume, which is very realistic. I was at a Halloween party where I saw League of Their Own costumes with my own eyes.
Drew: So many, so many.
Riese: So many.
Drew: The costume of the year.
Analyssa: I liked that. That felt very like-
Riese: Yeah, yeah.
Analyssa: A queer show for queer people.
Riese: Right, would have been even better if maybe, I don’t know, Dani had been dressed as Greta.
Riese: Just an idea.
Drew: I think that’s too basic for Dani, no offense. If you’ve dressed as A League of Their Own I’m not calling you basic, I’m just… It was the common costume this year, and I just think that-
Drew: But she should have had-
Riese: Yeah, it should have been a more unique route with being a sexy cat.
Analyssa: Dani dressed as a cat.
Drew: No, it’s worse. No, no, no, I’m just saying that if we’re making notes here, I want Dani to be dressed as something very specific.
Drew: Also, if we wanted Roxy to be dressed in that sort of aesthetic, why not just be like Angelina Jolie from Foxfire?
Analyssa: Or they reference Bound. Why not be like-
Drew: Right, right.
Analyssa: Whatever, okay.
Drew: Also, how fun would it have been if they had gone as a friendship couple’s costume? A friendship couples costume as Bound–
Analyssa: And everyone was like-
Drew: And it was like, “What are you doing?” And like, “We’re old friends.” And then we’re making out as Bound. Oh, that would have been so fun, like oh.
Analyssa: And they do have a real… They have the vibe… Well, anyway.
Drew: Yeah, it would have been really fun.
Analyssa: So, yeah, Tess has called Shane or Shane has called Tess, doesn’t really matter. The point of the conversation is for them to fight, but Tess’s mom has a new nurse, which Tess is like, “I can’t just leave her here with this new nurse. It’s a stranger.”
Riese: Why not?
Drew: Also, if Tess’s mom was already living with them and sick, why would you get… If you don’t have time to take care of a second bar, let alone your first bar, why’d you want a second bar? I just don’t understand the second bar thing. Is it just to get the plumber in because the first bar could have had a toilet clog or something? The second bar makes no sense to me because it just causes-
Riese: I mean I accepted it might in the future lead to something, but if you are the kind of person who literally has to cancel your dinner date that night with your partner who you’re obviously feeling some disconnection with because the agency that you trust who has sent a nurse sends a substitution nurse. Which sometimes I assume they do because your nurse isn’t available every single fucking day.
If you’re the kind of person who can’t deal with that who then feels like she has to be there with her mom because there’s a new nurse, you are not the kind of person who should be buying a second bar. Because you obviously, for some reason, need to be involved in things that you don’t need to really be involved in.
Drew: Obviously, not to be this person, but it is proof that if your game plan to have a better-written character is tell the showrunner to make you cis, it still might not work out. I say that with love, but in the end, how much someone sees your humanity might not change just because of the character’s backstory.
Analyssa: Speaking of being seen, Sophie’s friends, Dani and Roxy, drag Sophie to the backroom to fix her costume.
Riese: And they destroy it.
Analyssa: And they destroy it. It’s no longer a costume. What is she dressed as now?
Riese: A girl with a sleeveless raincoat?
Analyssa: The thing is they could have just-
Drew: Kept the animals.
Analyssa: … ripped off the sleeves, unzipped it, and belted it in the middle with the little dogs and cats on it-
Riese: This is a crime.
Analyssa: And she would have been slutty raining cats and dogs. Perfect.
Drew: Yeah, I also was mad that we didn’t get a wide shot, where I was like… And I think it’s probably because I don’t know, so I’m making assumptions, but I’m assuming that it was like this plot point won’t work because it’s not that much sluttier. Because I am like, “Wait, the whole point was to slut her up,” and I’m getting a hot… I want to see.
Analyssa: Yeah, I wanted her to do a little twirl or a pose. Yeah, I agree.
Drew: Let’s see some titties.
Riese: I wanted to tear Roxy’s costume off and be like, this is not even a real costume, so why are you judging? Don’t. Glass houses throw stones.
Analyssa: Nailed that.
Riese: Thank you so much.
Drew: What is fun is that Sophie makes a comment about how Roxy’s into her. And then Dani, love this, this is what should be modeled for the community is just like-
Dani: Do you want to come home with me?
Drew: And then Roxy is like-
Roxy: To watch reruns of One Tree Hill or–
Drew: Which forces Dani to explicitly be like, “No.”
Riese: To bang.
Analyssa: To hook up.
Drew: And Roxy’s like, “I have one foot out the door.”
Riese: Yeah, thrilled. I’m so happy for them.
Drew: Speaking of people who are going to bang, Shane gets a text from Ivy and then Finley walks in on Shane taking a shot because Shane seems to have the weight of the world on her well-sculpted shoulders.
Riese: She sure does. I wonder who will relieve her of all of this stress.
Analyssa: It’s so hard having to have sex with Kehlani in the back alley, no.
Analyssa: So, then later Mari wants to leave the parent-kid Halloween party because she is feeling interrogated and being nosy. And again, this is the Tess and Shane bar thing from a couple of episodes ago.
Riese: This is her idea.
Analyssa: Maribel wants Micah to want to have a kid, and now Micah is excited about this, and Mari’s like, “I want to leave.”
Riese: Yeah, bad dynamic.
Analyssa: But then she does watch Micah with a cute little dalmatian kid getting a cupcake.
Riese: In a way, I thought that was her thinking that’s what parenthood is. Little kids getting cupcakes and not stuff like making sure that she’s in a good place to do it. But Micah wants to stay, and I was proud of him for being like, “I’m staying, I have more questions to ask.”
Analyssa: Yeah, I have more questions to ask, which I think one of you may be able to answer. What movie are Alice-
Drew: Night of the Living Dead.
Analyssa: Thank you.
Riese: No idea.
Analyssa: I said, “This is for Drew and not for me.”
Drew: And probably the reason they chose it is because I’m pretty sure that it’s been in the public domain for a while, so it’s a-
Riese: Yeah, they’re always watching black-and-white movies.
Drew: It’s a recognizable movie, it’s a classic, and it also didn’t cost them anything, so we love that. But the criterion collection did recently restore it, so because it was in the public domain, it was available in all these shitty bootleg versions. And now, the version that you can find in probably streaming is actually good, so that’s nice.
Analyssa: Cool. Well, glad for them and the quality of their watch party.
Riese: Unfortunately, Taylor has lost her eyeballs and I do not… I’m sorry, but Alice also wears glasses, so she also has contacts, so why hasn’t Taylor asked for contact solution?
Drew: Why didn’t you bring your glasses? If you’re like-
Analyssa: You can just Postmates contact solution. It’s a very easy-
Riese: Or just look in Alice’s cabinet for contact solution if for some reason you don’t want to ask, it’s there.
Analyssa: I would immediately be rifling through Alice’s bathroom cabinets even if I weren’t looking for contact solution.
Riese: Exactly, I’d be like, “I wonder if she has any Xanax.” Just kidding.
Analyssa: I’m in the fanciest… Presumably. The way that they show Taylor engaging with Alice’s space is like this is the fanciest home she’s been in. Start opening those drawers, baby. See what’s in there. See what’s going on.
Riese: Right. Also, the contacts glasses thing comes… I don’t wear glasses, but it comes up immediately with everyone I have ever dated who has contact glasses like, “Can you sleep over?” “Oh, I can’t because my contacts.” “Okay.” I used to have contact solution at home because people would always need it to sleep over.
Analyssa: Okay, another brag.
Drew: You’re like, “I hook up with a lot of people, and also, they’re smart, they wear glasses.”
Analyssa: “And also, I have perfect eyesight.”
Riese: Yes, I have perfect eyesight, so I don’t need it, but I like to help out my less fortunate friends.
Drew: That’s how I carry a tampon in my purse the whole time-
Riese: Right, exactly. You have to-
Drew: Someone might need one.
Riese: Yeah, you have to be prepared for these things. So, there’s no universe in which this wouldn’t have already come up.
Analyssa: Three days is so long. My eyes hurt-
Riese: Are your eyes bloodshot to death?
Analyssa: … after 12 hours, just a regular long day.
Drew: I’ve been dealing with eye problems for a couple of years now. The amount of eye doctor… I know the people who work at my eye doctor’s office better than I know some of my friends and I hate it. And I’m like, “Taylor’s going to get styes. It’s bad for you, you can’t. What is she doing?” Anyways.
Analyssa: Okay, so anyway, Taylor is clearly having a hard time with how perfect Alice’s life seems. It’s the same thing as when they met, and Taylor didn’t believe that Alice would actually want to go on a date with her. That’s where we’re at. And then there are noises outside, spooky.
Riese: And they’re scared. This whole thing was very fun I thought.
Drew: This was fun.
Analyssa: This was fun and silly.
Drew: I do think nothing’s scarier than deep insecurity or dating someone with deep insecurity, but the noises are a more fun type of scary.
Analyssa: This is also just how I feel every time I’m home alone. I hear anything and I’m like, “Oh my God, it’s over. It’s over.”
Drew: What I would say is that if someone’s living in your home or if someone is stealing your things, it’s probably not really at risk to you. You’re probably fine. Ivy shows up and she and Shane making out.
Riese: It’s hot.
Analyssa: She’s sitting in a very cool car in a very hot costume. She’s basically a Batman villain, and she also has brought Shane scissors, she bought her a gift, which okay.
Drew: It’s one of those things where it’s like, okay, so Shane gave you all these hair products, so that makes sense. But also, if I hooked up with someone and then they immediately got me a gift, I would have… That’s at least a yellow flag.
Riese: Maybe she was just trying to tell Shane she wanted to scissor.
Drew: Hmm, that’s a really good point.
Analyssa: I just wouldn’t go to the trouble of getting the scissors engraved with Shane’s initials.
Drew: That’s the part of it.
Analyssa: That’s the actual spooky part.
Riese: I get… all my scissors are engraved with Shane’s initials.
Drew: Sure, sure, sure.
Analyssa: They actually just make them like that.
Riese: They make them like that.
Analyssa: It’s so ironic that they make them like that.
Riese: Yeah, I mean it is her own line of clippers.
Drew: I mean it is SM. It is SM, so that’s a fun little-
Riese: Yeah, it is. See, exactly. Everyone’s having a great time. Is this when they start boning?
Analyssa: Yeah, they’re making out and they’re hooking up.
Riese: And when she’s looking at her ass? Beautiful.
Analyssa: And then Ivy has to go move her car seat. So, then Shane just is looking at her butt, which is pretty fun.
Riese: Yeah, it’s hot.
Drew: Oh, God. I just… she’s so hot.
Riese: Sorry, Tess, but it’s hot.
Analyssa: Yeah, she’s just so hot.
Drew: Speaking of people needing to grow and change, Alice calls 911. And just a reminder, you should never call 911. There is always an alternative thing to do. We don’t really have time to get into that, but we’ll put in the show notes some guides to that. Taylor, choosing one of those alternative things, goes outside to see what’s going on because it’s probably fine.
Riese: And it is.
Drew: And it is.
Riese: It’s just a spooky decoration. That’s what happens in spooky season.
Analyssa: That is what happens.
Riese: Your decorations can spook you, and Alice is like, “You’re my hero.” And it’s cute.
Drew: Yes, and then they decide to be serious enough to, I don’t know, I guess not leave your contacts in for three days.
Analyssa: I would never ever let someone else take my contact out of my eye.
Drew: No, that’s-
Analyssa: That’s the spookiest part of this whole little plot is that Alice goes, “Are you ready to let me take that contact out of your eye?” No. No.
Riese: But she says it’s in her brain, so probably Alice had to drill into the brain, and you can’t drill into your own brain. You have to do.
Analyssa: Yeah, if she had to enter from a space that’s not the eyeball, okay, maybe I would let someone else do that.
Riese: Yeah, with a scalpel and a knife, and some scissors with Shane’s name engraved in them.
Drew: Just from a hygiene standpoint, Taylor’s not good with eye hygiene. Optical hygiene.
Analyssa: Yeah, obviously, someone else’s fingers in your eye-
Riese: Taylor needs a new eye doctor to just, a come-to-Jesus moment with her eye doctor. I’m worried.
Analyssa: Oh, speaking of caring for others, Tess is with her mom and is trying to get her mom to go to the bathroom. Tess’s mom is really fighting her and basically ends up saying at one point, “I don’t want to be your patient anymore.” She’s asking for the new nurse, even though Tess is like, “I can do it.”
Riese: Which she obviously can’t.
Analyssa: Which she can’t really, and Tess’s mom is like, “I want to be in a home. I don’t want to be taken care of here anymore.” All this is very sad and made me more annoyed that Tess was mean for no reason earlier in the episode because I just wanted to be sad that she’s having a sad time with her mom and be understanding of, “Oh yeah, this has taken up a lot of your life. This is a huge drain on your situation.” But because she was just snappy earlier, I’m like, “Well…” I don’t know, it’s just more conflicting information.
Riese: I think she’s allowed to be frustrated, and obviously, this is a devastating experience for her to be having, and I want to acknowledge that. But at the same time, I think here I’m just like, “This isn’t even what your man wants, so what are you doing? This man is here, she doesn’t want you. Why are you doing…” It feels like at this point it’s more about something within Tess than it is about figuring out what her mom actually needs and wants.
Analyssa: What is all this for?
Drew: Which if explored is interesting, just not on my gay hookup show. It just is this thing where it’s like the first season Tess was relapsing. This season she’s dealing with her sick mom in this very heavy, complicated way and being cheated on, which she was cheated on in the first season too. So, second season we had some fun poker stuff I think, but-
Riese: And she dated Cherie Jaffe for 24 hours and-
Analyssa: Oh, yeah.
Drew: Oh, yeah. Oh, God. I just… Tess deserves better, and by that, I mean Jamie.
Analyssa: So, the next thing that happens is at the bar, Sophie sneaks up on Finley, and then-
Riese: It’s cute at first.
Analyssa: It is sweet at first. Finley says, “By the way, totally talked to Shane, she says everything is totally fine,” which absolutely didn’t happen.
Analyssa: She mentioned Shane’s shot, and Shane was like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
Drew: Also, is Finley just running this bar by herself now?
Riese: Yeah, I have no… The bar is chaos. They need one of those little delivery robots in the bar. They’re probably being run by delivery robots.
Drew: But then Finley tells Sophie that she has a pattern of cheating, which we get more context that Sophie… And maybe we already knew this, that Sophie cheated before Dani.
Riese: Yeah, we knew that.
Drew: Okay, but it still is like-
Riese: They were on a break.
Drew: They were on a break. Finley was the cheated… So, it’d be one thing if Finley was like, “That’s how our relationship started.” Instead of being like, “And then when I was gone for a year, you hooked up with someone else.”
Riese: “After I explicitly told you it was fine to do it.” They were on a break. I don’t know, I feel like they’re trying to do something here where they’re trying to parallel Shane’s situation to Sophie’s, but it’s not working because it doesn’t make sense. And also, Finley doesn’t seem to know anything about Shane suddenly, so I have no idea what they’re doing here, and I don’t care for it. But I do feel like it is showing at least that Finley’s trying to work through her feelings instead of just numbing them.
Drew: That’s true.
Riese: We are seeing two adults try to talk through issues, and that is nice, I guess.
Drew: Yeah, and then someone hits on Sophie, and Sophie says, “No.”
Riese: “I have a girlfriend.”
Riese: So, now we know Sophie’s a changed woman, and she’s not going to cheat.
Drew: Wow, incredible.
Riese: But of course, she’s not going to cheat openly. Anyway, but they were cute for one second before they started fighting and I really enjoyed that because I love them still so much.
Analyssa: Me too. Yeah, I’m hopeful that like you just said, that the fights of this season are leading towards them just showing out and being cute together and having a good time.
Drew: We then go to people making different decisions, which is Shane and Ivy fucking to a fun cover of “Psychokiller” by the Talking Heads.
Riese: The music was so intense.
Drew: So, it was a real intense choice, but into it. It’s hot, I’m going to say it.
Analyssa: So hot.
Drew: I’m going to be brave and say it’s hot. They’re making out, Shane puts her fingers in-
Analyssa: Fingers in the mouth while kissing.
Drew: It’s always going to get me. And then Kehlani does a little Titanic, which means putting her hand on this fogged-up glass-
Riese: It means causing a ship to hit an iceberg and then sink.
Drew: Which metaphorically you could argue.
Analyssa: And then Finley taking out the trash sees that this is Shane and Ivy, dun dun dun.
Drew: Which once again, why is Finley on her high horse?
Riese: But also, it’s Finley in costume. It just makes it seem more dramatic because it’s like she’s in this brooding little costume like-
Analyssa: Yeah, and the car is really far away. It’s very noiry, it’s like clouds are outside because they’re not. It’s pretty funny. And then back at the little party, Micah and Max have a conversation. Micah’s just like, “It’s so cool.” I mean some of the stuff that you said earlier but saying it’s so cool to talk to someone who is trans about parenting and to see this life that you guys have built.
There’s just a real… I don’t know, it was very sweet, and they decide to go get drinks to talk about it more because Micah has a bunch more questions. And then Micah starts to help clean up when Max leaves the kitchen. I thought it was so sweet.
Drew: That’s a really nice… I mean I also really liked the moment when Max is like, “It’s special because I get to be the one to tell you how great it’s going to be.” And to just think about how alone and scared Max was when pregnant and how it seemed doomed. And to now be like Max has four kids and also gets to pass along to this new generation of being like, “This is going to be great.”
Analyssa: Queer parenting is possible and you’re going to really love it if that’s what you want.
Drew: It’s really meaningful. It’s really nice.
Analyssa: Well, and from that tender moment, we cut back to Finley and Shane having a conversation.
Riese: I hated this scene.
Drew: It’s so bad, I don’t know.
Riese: Shane did not cheat on Finley.
Drew: It’s wild.
Analyssa: It’s bizarre.
Riese: It is so wild. I feel like they’re trying to push along Shane feeling guilty, but they’re also doing it at the expense of Finley has been in AA for a year now, and it feels like one of the things that is a big part of that is realizing that all people are flawed, that you should not be judging others, you should be focusing on yourself.
And it seems like if Finley really… This could be an opportunity for Finley to live those values and be like, “Yes, this person is also damaged, and this person is also fucking up because we all do. No one is perfect.” Don’t idealize people. I feel like it just doesn’t track.
Drew: Yeah, something that would be interesting to me is, okay, so let’s say Finley has Shane on this pedestal. She realizes, okay, Shane’s human and has… Maybe comforts Shane or becomes the mentor. Was the mentee, becomes more the mentor, and then that leads her to feeling more empathy for Sophie to be like, “We’re all people, we’re all-”
Riese: Right, exactly.
Drew: There’s a way to do it where you’re tweaking slightly things and it’s so much better and it takes so little tweaking.
Analyssa: Right, because clearly, this isn’t really about Shane at all.
Analyssa: It’s a thing about Sophie and Finley’s relationship and what it means that Finley believes in Shane who’s going to cheat. And if she chooses to believe in Sophie, does that mean something? And it’s like, yes, part of AA is realizing all people are flawed, but also, part of AA is realizing all people are very different. Every situation is very different, and Shane isn’t Sophie, Sophie isn’t Shane. They’re different people. And Finley doesn’t have a relationship with Shane. Finley’s not dating Shane, so reacting in that way, I just-
Drew: We probably all have had friends who have been cheating on someone and have talked to us about it, and it is an uncomfortable position to be in. Depending on the situation, you might have various feelings about it, but usually, I don’t know, it’s just so weird to take it so personally.
Riese: Yeah, you shouldn’t be idolizing… Shane would be the first person to be like, “Don’t idolize me. Don’t idolize my relationship. Never.” And the other thing about it is that there’s nothing for Shane to do in this scene. Shane doesn’t even say anything.
Drew: No, she’s just like, “Well-”
Riese: She’s there trying to react, but it’s like I don’t think this scene was necessary. I think if they wanted to move Shane forward, they could have just with what happens with Max later. And I don’t really see how this at all parallels to Sophie. I feel like if they weren’t going to make this an opportunity to have Finley show that she’s grown and be like, “Hey, man, what’s going on? How are you?” Flipping that script, then why even have this at all? It just seems so… I can’t imagine any universe in which someone would react like this.
Drew: No. Going from a scene I hated to a scene I loved, Dani and Roxy are making out, it’s very hot, and then Roxy sits on Gigi’s earring and-
Riese: Remember when she lost the earring before and I was like, “Don’t forget that, guys.”
Drew: Now, that’s some good writing. And then Dani starts to cry and then Roxy hugs her and it just feels very much like, “This is queer friendship.” I just really liked this scene.
Riese: Yeah, I loved it. I loved it.
Analyssa: I did too. I really like them together. It was really fun.
Drew: Yeah, me too.
Riese: Yeah, it was a fun dynamic.
Drew: Alice puts her mouthguard on.
Analyssa: Oh yeah, this is a big step in a relationship. I can remember basically every time a partner of mine has been like, “Okay, tonight’s the night that I have to wear my mouthguard. We’ve gone long enough that I can’t no longer wear my mouthguard.”
Drew: It is the thing of it’s whatever your things are that are-
Riese: Yeah, I wish the other thing she said had been some more-
Analyssa: I agree.
Riese: I’m like you wear earplugs because your neighbor is loud. What does that have to do with you?
Analyssa: Earplugs for sleep is not a flaw.
Riese: No, uh-uh. And then Taylor offhandedly is like, “I don’t have a driver’s license.” “Okay.”
Drew: Yeah, those aren’t the same types of things. It’s like the ways in which you’re gross and you’re whatever, that’s-
Riese: Right. I wanted her to be like, “I get really gassy after I have dairy,” or something.
Analyssa: Right, the Mean Girls thing where she’s like, “I have really bad breath in the morning.” That kind of thing.
Riese: Yeah, or like, “I have psoriasis, and my scalp flakes off in my sleep.” I don’t know, man, something. Queer people all have things.
Drew: Bodies are gross.
Riese: Bodies are disgusting.
Analyssa: Yeah, bodies are so nasty.
Riese: They are constantly malfunctioning. But anyway, I still love these two and I’m shipping it.
Drew: Yeah, me too.
Riese: And they’re really cute together. Also, they’re both really good actors, and so, the scene sings.
Analyssa: Yeah, they’re really charming. It’s very sparkly when they’re going.
Drew: Ivy texts Shane that she’s out front, but then the place that Max and Mike have gone to for drinks is Dana’s, and so, there’s a little interaction between Max and Shane. They’re trying to find a way to both have it move Shane’s storyline forward as far as Max being like, “Oh, he’s settled down and he’s still being Shane,” and these sorts of things.
But there’s also a moment where Shane apologizes to Max for the way that they all treated Max back in the day, and it obviously feels like an apology to, yes, the character of Max, but also to Daniel, and also to trans people in general maybe. To me, the bigger apology is the moment earlier when Max says to Micah, “I’m so excited to get to tell you how special this is going to be,” or whatever that line was. That to me is the apology.
This is like, okay, it is what it is, but is also there is a difference between a nonbinary writer and a nonbinary director putting this line in this fictional character’s mouth versus an actual atonement from people involved in the original series who maybe were not supportive or who created that storyline.
And it’s tricky because of the way that the internet works, queer community works. It is easier to not own up to things. We don’t know who on that set was most at fault for some of these things, and by we, I mean the general public. I know. But it’s one of those things where if an actor, a writer, a director, show creator named Ilene Chaiken, or whatever were to actually reckon with that original storyline in a more public way, I think that would be more meaningful than a fictional character once again being written by a nonbinary person, but it’s still nice. It’s not nothing.
Riese: Yeah, it’s nice that… I liked that Max was able to be… Because on the one hand, I was like, “You’re forgiving them very quickly.” But it also wasn’t really forgiveness so much as it was, “You know what? Well, I’m thriving, I have so much joy in my life and all of your bullshit…” And it’s interesting because Shane was actually the only one of anyone who was actually nice to Max and didn’t misgender him and all of these things. So, I guess, of course, it’s Shane who’s apologizing on everybody’s behalf.
Drew: Well, right, that’s what-
Riese: I mean Bette owes them a pretty significant apology.
Drew: I mean it would have been more interesting to me if Shane had apologized and Max had been like, “You’re the only one who looked out for me.” And then if Shane was like, “Me not being awful is not the same as me looking out for you.”
Riese: Right, because also I should have stood up for you more with my friends and made them-
Analyssa: There was more that I could have done if you… Even you saying that I was on your side, I really wasn’t as much as I could have been, and I want to apologize for that even.
Riese: Right, yeah.
Drew: A little bit more specificity, but it is what it is, and it is just this meta moment that’s meant to be whatever.
Riese: Yeah, and I’m really glad that they did this. I felt like probably because of what’s happened, Daniel probably had some input on what happened.
Drew: I have an interview that maybe is coming out the day this podcast comes out. A follow-up interview with Daniel where we talk about the episode.
Analyssa: Oh, wow.
Drew: So, check that out.
Analyssa: Okay, a little plot-
Riese: I’m really excited for that.
Analyssa: But I really did like the thing you just pointed out, which is like Max being like, “This is not my life anymore. I really don’t care.” It’s not the tone that it’s set in, but it’s like, “I found a whole other world and life.” I don’t know, I think that just feels really nice that there is so much joy.
Honestly, maybe this sounds shitty, but that juxtaposed with the fact that Shane is still making the same mistakes and has the same haircut. But just that this character, you know what I mean? There’s an interesting character… You always think, “I wish I could tell my worst friends how good I’m doing and see that they’re doing bad.” That’s not Max’s tone either, but it was a cool thing to see.
Riese: Yeah, because he did have certain values that he was living by that have led him to having a life that is maybe not as economically bountiful as these people but is filled with love and joy and happiness, and that is really sweet. And then we transition into a piece that I found absolutely maddening.
Analyssa: Which was?
Riese: So, Micah comes back and is like, “Oh, you know Shane,” right?
Drew: Yeah. Yeah, but first, I want to say that Shane does say that Max can drink for free at the bar, which I think all trans people should get to drink for free at lesbian bars. That feels like a real-
Riese: Yeah, I think you’re right.
Drew: I don’t know. I mean not that lesbian bars are thriving financially. They honestly need our dollars.
Riese: Then Micah comes and he’s like, “Oh my God, you know Shane.” And it’s like, “Yeah, small world.” And then Micah’s like, “I still have some questions.” And then the question that he asks-
Micah: So, with the diapers, how do you know when to change them? Just when they smell or-
Riese: It’s just like when you’re going to have someone say something in a show, why not have them say something meaningful or important?
Riese: Interesting. How do you know when to change a dirty diaper? When it’s dirty! That is easy to Google. I want to know the specific questions you have about being a trans parent because your whole storyline has to be about being trans, but isn’t that what this conversation is?
Drew: Yes, yes.
Analyssa: Or even just about parenting generally like how does it feel to-
Analyssa: I don’t know, how do you deal with being responsible for so many people or how do you whatever? Do you get to go out anymore? What’s that look like?
Riese: Yeah, is it normal that Reese would be cool with you just going out on a whim? Anything, anything. Why write a line that means nothing that is a complete throwaway that’s useless? That doesn’t even make sense because earlier Micah was like, “I can’t google these questions.” That’s a question you can google, it’s also common sense.
Analyssa: Or ask literally anyone.
Riese: Ask anyone.
Analyssa: It’s not that Micah doesn’t know any parents.
Riese: Ask Shane, ask Finley.
Analyssa: It’s just that Micah doesn’t know trans or queer parents.
Riese: I’m sure he’s babysat. We’ve all babysat, everyone babysits.
Drew: Yeah, it did make me laugh that the next question was what if the kid is weird?
Analyssa: That’s actually a better question.
Riese: Yeah, and it reveals something about Micah’s personality then.
Analyssa: And what he’s worried about, you know what I mean? That’s actually interesting.
Drew: Okay, so then Maribel gets home and there’s a really nice sister moment between Sophie and Mari where they talk about their dad. And it’s a good moment.
Analyssa: Yeah, it’s cute. I do want to pick a fight about the offhand comment about sweet tarts because that’s candy, that’s my favorite candy.
Drew: I do know that about you.
Riese: I love sweet tarts.
Analyssa: I often have just a box of sweet tarts in my passenger seat. There’s always candy.
Drew: You like the big ones, right?
Analyssa: Yeah, I do.
Riese: Oh, interesting.
Drew: Then Angie confesses to her roommate that she’s hooking up with her professor, which it did feel realistic to me that her roommate is like, “Ooh,” and not like, “Um.”
Analyssa: Yeah, totally.
Drew: My question is that, I guess… Again, one of the things I really wanted was them to explore what’s different with Gen Z. So, it would be interesting if the roommate had been like, “That’s not good.”
Riese: “That’s fucked up,” right.
Drew: I do think that there are plenty of 18-year-old college freshmen who have been aware of the world enough the past nine years that they’re like, “Oh, actually, power dynamics. Actually, I read an infograph on…” or, “I saw a TikTok about…” Whatever. I sound very old right now, but-
Riese: No, but they know this stuff. Gen Z knows this stuff.
Drew: Yeah, I did like that there was an Olivia Rodrigo poster on the wall [inaudible 00:57:34]. I did enjoy that. And then we go back to Dani and Roxy, and Dani’s like, “Why won’t you stay in LA?” And Roxy’s like-
Roxy: Because you’re not ready to be my wife yet.
Dani: Okay, really though.
Roxy: No, I’m being real. Call me when that heart heals, I’ll come running.
Analyssa: I would fold immediately. I’d be like, “Oh, you want to do this? Great. Who is my ex-girlfriend.” Even though my ex-girlfriend is Gigi, I’m like, “Okay, let’s explore this right now.”
Drew: It was really… I don’t know. I hope Roxy comes back.
Riese: Yeah, I do think that the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else, even though I do think Dani was going to be the top in this situation. I think Roxy’s power bottom.
Analyssa: And then they put on a song that they both know and have a little dance to and it’s very cute.
Drew: Yeah, that’s great.
Riese: I love it when young people dance in large, oversized cardigans. I’m being serious.
Drew: So, then Finley gets home and tells Sophie that she was right, and Finley basically is like, “I want to trust you, but I’m struggling.”
Riese: Yeah, and says she can’t stop thinking about it and maybe she just needs to find out what happened. And even though that’s not something I personally can relate to, I do feel like it’s a common experience where people are just like they tell these stories in their head, and maybe knowing the truth would help. So, that seems promising for them, and eventually, they’ll have a nice time, and we could see my favorite ship sail the seven seas like a cruise where no one gets sick but has a lot of food and enjoys themselves in the pool.
Drew: That’s nice. We learn why Micah didn’t want to wear the avocado costume because he had the pit which gave him a pregnant belly. Why wouldn’t Maribel be wearing the-
Riese: The pit, yeah.
Drew: I think I understand why this… Obviously, every trans person’s different, but based on what we know about Micah, I understand why he wouldn’t want to go to this parenting thing with a belly. I was so confused by that. Anyways, Maribel apologizes for being difficult-
Drew: … and Micah’s like, “It should be fun,” which is a nice lesson to take from Max. Especially because Micah’s such an anxious Andy over here. It’s nice to have-
Riese: Those anxious Andys.
Drew: And so, have him be the one to be like, “This should be fun.”
Riese: Yeah, yeah, because that’s what Max told him.
Drew: Oh, boy. Kehlani looks so hot.
Riese: Devastatingly hot.
Drew: And Shane’s like, “We have to end this.” And Kehlani also, which this is so hot, is so not other people of Shane’s past who have been needy and like, “No, don’t break up with me. I’m going to burn your place down,” whatever.
Analyssa: She’s just like, “All right.”
Drew: It’s like, “Let’s call this an awakening for both of us.” And I’m like, “Now, I want you even more.”
Riese: Right. I also like that Shane’s actually speaking to her about this and not just blowing her off or whatever. I know that we’re seeing Shane do the same things over and over again, but there are these tiny little things that are being done differently that I think show some growth or whatever. Did you guys, when I was watching it and I was like, “Oh my God, is that Tess in the background?” Were we supposed to notice that?
Analyssa: I think so. It’s pretty… She has a distinct face, I know what she looks like, you know what I mean?
Drew: Yeah. Well, so Tess is behind her, says-
Tess: Fuck you, Shane.
Drew: Go to credits.
Riese: Tess’s boobs looked great though.
Drew: So, who’s winning really?
Riese: It’s also like there’s this much water in the glass. I’m glad that at least Tess found out immediately. I was like you don’t want to drag out an extended whatever.
Drew: I do think that if I saw… I’m just different, it’s fine. People are allowed to have their relationships, the monogamy that they have. I’m just like if I saw my partner talking to Kehlani, I just would be like, “Hey, who’s that?”
Analyssa: What’s going on there?
Drew: And if Shane was like, “Nobody,” I’d be like, “It doesn’t have to be nobody.”
Riese: Yeah, I would be like, “Why didn’t you ask them for a threesome?” I would be really hurt for that reason.
Analyssa: The first thing you do is call me.
Riese: Yeah, yeah, bring me in on this deal, you know what I mean? Cc me.
Analyssa: Yeah, the rudest part-
Drew: This threesome can be our third baby.
Riese: Yeah, or bcc me, I don’t care.
Analyssa: A really big rude part about this is you save Kehlani only for yourself?
Riese: Right, yeah, exactly. It’s fucked up. Anyway, I hope Victor’s doing a good job, and that’s the episode.
Drew: Did we like this episode?
Riese: I loved so much of it, and I also hated so much of it. Yeah.
Drew: Mm-hmm. Yep, mm-hmm. That is also how I feel. I do think that I’m so glad that Daniel was brought back.
Drew: It’s really lovely. I’m also glad that they brought Daniel back on their own terms, which you’ll read about in this interview, but just that it was a collaboration and that feels very special. And that there was a nonbinary director and nonbinary writer is really cool.
Yeah, I mean I think my feelings about Gen Q and my feelings about the original series are often aligned, which is like there is so much talent in these rooms and so much care in some ways. And so, then it’s very frustrating when it feels like the overall machine is just faulty. And that is frustrating. It’s also part of most television. I think it’s really hard to make television. But yeah, I don’t know. It was definitely a best of times worst of times situation for me of episodes.
Riese: Yeah, I agree. This was the first episode where there was something that annoyed me to the point of distraction where I just felt… Because I’ve been trying really to take the characters, the stories on their own terms, and try to figure out how to make them work. But for some reason, that scene with Finley getting mad at Shane just pushed me over the edge.
Drew: It’s just it also could have been like, “I thought you’d changed.” There’s just slight things that even if you want to do this thing of just things that acknowledge somewhat the universe, somewhat… I think it’s just frustrating because, I don’t know, it makes me feel like Showtime’s not giving them enough money to have enough time in the writer’s room. It’s like these little things where it’s like all the moving pieces.
Riese: Yeah, but I’ve been thinking about that because I’ve been thinking, the work we publish every day isn’t perfect. There are points, I imagine, where they’re like, “We’re out of time to write this episode, so we’re just going to have to let this shitty scene be shitty.” It’s just for some reason because it’s filmed and involves so many people getting it to the final product, you’re just like, “How? How?”
Drew: I mean and that also sometimes is how is that, okay, so you write a scene, it’s good. Then it goes through the showrunner pass, and the execs, all these things. You know about this. Not that you would ever be an exec who would make something worse, but sometimes it happens.
Analyssa: Yeah, or you film it and the one line that would have scaffolded the whole thing gets dropped or you don’t have good coverage on that-
Analyssa: There are so many points in the process where it can break down that it’s hard to say why some of these things don’t feel internally consistent, but it is really frustrating to be like the fun stuff all really hit for me.
Riese: Yeah, absolutely.
Analyssa: Anytime it got into the fighting or the more drama stuff, I was like, “I just am not quite there.” So, I don’t know, I thought this was really fun. I loved the Halloween of it all.
Riese: Yep, I loved Alice and Taylor’s little spooky scary moments.
Drew: And I hope we see Roxy again.
Riese: I hope so too.
Analyssa: I do too.
Lauren Klein: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of To L and Back: Generation Q Edition, one of two podcasts brought to you by Autostraddle.com. You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @tolandback, and you can also email us at email@example.com.
Our theme song is by the talented Be Steadwell, and our Gen Q logo is by Jax Ko. This episode was produced, edited, and mixed by me, Lauren Klein. You can find me on Instagram @laurentaylorklein.
You can follow Drew everywhere @draw_gregory. You can follow Analyssa on Instagram @analocaa with two As and on Twitter @analoca_ with one A and underscore. You can follow the legendary Riese Bernard everywhere @autowin. Autostraddle is @autostraddle, and of course, the reason why we’re all here, autostraddle.com. And finally, to end this ep, let’s hear some Q words from our girlies.
Riese: One, two, three.
Analyssa: What’d you say?
Riese: What’s that you may ask?
Drew: A query?
Analyssa: No, like a rock quarry.
Riese: Like the rock quarry, yeah, because that’s where I wanted to jump into when Angie was hooking up with her teacher.
Drew: I see. We both said quippy or quip. Wow.
Analyssa: Yeah, I said quippy, and Drew said quip.
Drew: How fun.
Riese: Like the toothbrush?
Drew: I don’t know about this toothbrush.
Riese: Well, I do because for some reason they won’t stop texting me. I’ve never owned a Quip, or maybe it’s called something else.
Analyssa: No, I think they’re called Quips. Quippy, Quip-
Riese: Yeah, every time I’m like block this caller, black this caller. I’m like, “How did you get my number? I don’t know, I’ve never used your toothbrush. Leave me alone. Leave me alone, I have four toothbrushes.”
Analyssa: Are those the wooden toothbrushes?
Riese: I don’t know what they are, but they need to leave me the fuck alone.
Drew: Anyways, I thought that there were some good quips this episode.
Analyssa: Yeah, I was going to say. I love the show when it’s quippy and bouncy.
Drew: Wow. Well, we did it.
Riese: We did it.
Drew: And we’re only 15 minutes late.
Drew: See you next time.
Riese: See you next time.
Riese: Stay sweet. See you in December.
Drew: Happy Halloween
Riese: Happy Halloween.
Analyssa: Happy Halloween in December.