Hello and welcome to another episode of To L And Back, where we recap everyone’s beloved lesbian soap opera, The L Word: The Generation Q. In a world where there is a major social event every single weekend, it is now time for an album release party! Fletcher’s album release party, to be exact, which Dani is throwing, Micah and Maribel are cruising (for sperm donors), and Sophie wreaks sapphic chaos upon! And if that’s not enticing enough, there’s also skinny dipping!
Elsewhere, we’re delighted by a Carrie-Finley messaround, and Alice attempts to revisit a different ex this week: Tom! Delightful side plots ensue.
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+ Riese’s recap of Episode 307: Little Boxes
+ Shelli’s ICONIC phone contacts explainer
+ Our most recent piece about Ezra/Aria, which includes more links about this trope in television!
+ I think the reading was filmed at Skylight Books!
+ P-Valley made the TV Team’s list of best shows this year, and you can revisit the Vida love with Carmen’s review!
Drew: Hi, I’m Drew.
Analyssa: And I’m Analyssa.
Riese: And I’m Riese.
Drew: And this is To L and…
Riese: To L And Back: Generation Q Edition.
Analyssa: Generation Q Edition.
Riese: Edition. I said edition twice because I got confused why Ana wasn’t participating.
Analyssa: I always forget if I’m supposed to start on the To L And Back or just the Generation Q?
Riese: No, the whole thing. The whole enchilada.
Analyssa: I realized that half a second too late.
Riese: Yeah, well.
Drew: Yeah. How were your holidays?
Analyssa: I honestly kind of forgot that a holiday happened.
Drew: Yeah, I mean we’re recording this — you know we always record a little bit in advance — the holiday just happened.
Analyssa: Wait, more importantly, Drew, how was your birthday?
Drew: Oh, my birthday was amazing. I had such a good birthday. Maybe the best birthday of my life.
Analyssa: Oh my gosh.
Riese: Wow, really?
Drew: Because I had a birthday once, my 21st birthday. I hooked up with my sister’s friend who I’d had a crush on for years. So the fact that no chaotic things happened, but I was just like with my girlfriend and with friends and watched some good movies and got high and re-watched the musical episode of The L Word. Which I will say, big group of friends, drugs, the musical episode of The L Word was better.
Riese: Yeah, you warmed up to it a little?
Drew: I mean, no, I still don’t like it as a television episode, but the state I was in was better. It was very funny because Elise was also stoned and when it ended — and we were all making fun of it or whatever — Elise with tears in her eyes was like, “I liked that a lot.” How many drugs did you do?? But maybe none. Maybe just the power of sisterhood.
Analyssa: I was going to say, I was so, so sober when I watched it and I loved it.
Riese: Yeah, same.
Analyssa: I know it’s a shock to find out I was sober when I watched an episode of The L Word, but I loved it. Isn’t it nice when you start to have birthdays where you’re like, I just felt loved and included and that made me happy and that was a great birthday.
Analyssa: Isn’t that such a nice feeling?
Drew: Being gay means that I actually have quite a few people who are… Not to, well obviously, family’s… Well, I don’t know. But for most of my life it was even though… Everyone I knew was busy on Christmas Eve. And now I know enough people who are Jewish, or relatively secular, or have complicated issues with their family, that I sort of have, well, a handful of friends who are still in town and that was really nice.
Analyssa: Drew is sweetly talking around the fact that I was not available for her birthday party.
Drew: No, I didn’t see either of you on my actual birthday and that is fine, but I was…
Riese: But I was at your birthday party.
Drew: You were. You were at my surprise birthday party.
Riese: Right. But it wasn’t a surprise.
Drew: Right, but I didn’t plan it.
Drew: Anyway, should we talk about The L Word?
Drew: It is fun to think about though when there is a party, I always think, well this is the big event of the episode. It’s the surprise party episode!
And this week it’s Fletcher’s album release party. So this is episode 307: Little Boxes directed by Em Weinstein, who has directed a lot of this season. Good for them. And was written by María Renée Prudencio, who has written mostly for Mexican TV and film, and then wrote on the Paramount Plus show Coyote, and then is writing for Gen Q. Let’s get into it.
This episode does start with the devastating breakup of last week. Finley gets in her car, is having some memory thoughts about drinking and is like, I need to make different choices. Calls Tess, Tess doesn’t answer. Calls Shane.
Riese: Tess. I swear to God. Tess.
Analyssa: I do know that Tess is going through her own thing. So this one I will give her a pass on. Has Tess answered her phone one time this season? Just out of curiosity.
Riese: Also could she just answer and be like, “I can’t right now.”
Analyssa: Right. Again, this one, super specific. But there’s been many times where you could be like, “Call me back in 15 minutes, I’ll be around.”
Riese: Shane picks up and they’re in the same car.
Drew: Tells Finley that Tess’s mom died and then is like, “But what’s up?” And Finley’s like, “No, no, no.” But I felt like there was maybe one more sentence that Shane could have said to just be like, “No, we’re just driving. Talk to us, bud.” Or I don’t know, something.
Riese: Yeah. I mean everybody deals with grief differently, obviously. I think I would’ve been like, yes, please tell me about your relationship drama because I’m going to be in this car going to Vegas for six hours and I would just really love to hear about something other than my internal monologue, which is absolute devastation and despair.
Analyssa: Right, which by the way, separate from grief, is the AA whole ethos. It’s call other people to get out of your head. So like…
Riese: Oh yeah.
Analyssa: This actually, I wrote in my notes, this is how AA calls do go sometimes. You call someone being like, “I’m having this crisis.” And they’re like, “Cool. Something absolutely devastating is happening to me also.” And then you’re like, “Wait, my problem isn’t as devastating as that. Sorry.” And then you start chatting with them about their stuff and it’s like, the point is not that people can strong-arm you into not drinking. It’s like that they can get you out of your own, for lack of a better word, kind of self-absorption or self-focus for that handful of minutes just to break you out of what you’re thinking about.
Riese: And realize we’re all in pain in some way.
Analyssa: Yeah, and we’re all going through stuff all the time. And yeah, that doesn’t mean that yours doesn’t hurt, but it’s not uniquely special. Which is a really big thing that AA wants you to know, is like you, yourself, and your problems are not entirely unique that you’re the only person who’s ever felt pain.
Analyssa: So anyway, I just actually think it would’ve been nice for Tess and Finley to maybe have a conversation at this juncture. But, I do understand that everyone reacts to grief differently and things are happening in Tess’s life, also.
Riese: Finley’s phone book was a little sad to me.
Analyssa: Really bleak.
Riese: I was like, wow. You have seven numbers in there.
Drew: Or it’s like…
Riese: Or they’re a minimalist.
Drew: Or like Shelli Autostraddle editor and all around cool person who… I think that she wrote an article about her contacts.
Riese: She did. Because when she explained how she does her iPhone contacts, I was like, we were just all stunned and we were like, you have to share this with the world.
Analyssa: Everyone was in awe.
Riese: But there’s a 0% chance that Finley’s brain is similar to Shelli’s brain in that way. I feel like everyone Finley’s ever known, she’s put into her little phone.
Riese: Where she ends up being, it turns out the perfect place for her to end up, for me personally, with respect to my enjoyment of this episode, which is Carrie’s. And Carrie is really nice and says they have a no shoe household.
Drew: Which I support.
Riese: Yeah, everyone take your shoes off.
Analyssa: Yeah, I always take my shoes off. It’s very rare for me, actually, to not take my shoes off in the house.
Riese: Yeah. I feel unsettled when they’re still on.
Analyssa: And then I just love… This actually is the perfect conclusion to that because Carrie is chattering enough to like… It’s totally, she wants to hear about Finley’s stuff, but also is in her own life and it was just very sweet and fun.
Drew: Yeah. Speaking of duos I enjoy, Sophie got her nipples pierced.
Sophie: I got my nipples pierced last night.
Dani: No you didn’t.
Sophie: Yes I did!
Dani: You did not get your nipples pierced!
Sophie: Yes I did!
Riese: Which is a choice that a person could make if they wanted to.
Analyssa: So true.
Riese: So that’s nice.
Drew: I really actually want to get my nipples pierced, but I don’t know if it’s going to happen at any point because I am… It took me so long to just get my cartilage ear piercing healed. And I’m like, if it took so long for that to heal, I don’t know if I’m wanting to risk the nipple piercing healing process.
Analyssa: I actually don’t think they take that long to heal. I would be speaking more certainly because I have one, but I don’t remember. It was a billion years ago. My brain is Swiss cheese at this point, so I have no real concrete evidence for that. I just don’t remember it being as difficult. My ear… I got my cartilage pierced this year, and it hurt way more for longer than I remember. But maybe it’s that thing about really intense pain, or what people say about childbirth, which is like two years after you’re kind of like, “Yeah, that wasn’t that bad.” Even though it was absolutely horrific when you were doing it.
Riese: Right. Excruciating. It’s hard to remember pain.
Drew: The way that the bar is Tess’s child, I do think that my nipple piercings will someday be my children.
Riese: I don’t really like the word “nipples”.
Drew: What? Really?
Riese: And so if every time someone said, “Do you have any piercings?” I had to say nipples, I think I’d be upset about that. But also, I also hate the word belly and I do have to say belly button.
Analyssa: You have your belly button pierced?
Riese: I do. Yeah. And I know I’m at the age where I should take it out, but I just can’t. It’s the only thing on me that’s pierced. I got my ears pierced when I was 15 at a sketchy place that’d pierce a 15-year-old’s ears without their parents’ permission. And I kept them in for, I don’t know, three months, and then it was annoying with soccer to have to put the band-aids on or whatever. Anyway, it’s been now several decades since then, and they still haven’t closed all the way up. So let that be a warning to any 15-year-olds listening to this podcast that not only will your mom get mad at you, and not only will Miami Moon eventually go under, you will be able to get puss out of your ear for the rest of your life.
Riese: And that’s another word I hate. Oh my God. I’m just ruining my own self today.
Drew: I’m so sorry. My God. So basically, Dani’s talking about the Fletcher release party. Micah wants to go because Micah really wants to meet Fletcher, which, okay. Micah?
Drew: Anyways, Dani wants to invite Dre to Fletcher and…
Riese: Is that weird?
Drew: Yeah, we’re setting up the expedition of the episode and the future chaos. And then Dani looks at Sophie’s nipple piercings, which does feel like a next step of… I feel like seeing your ex naked is a next step of ex to friends.
Riese: Yeah, definitely.
Analyssa: I feel like this whole scene was a real graduation of ex to friends. They’re planning their nights together, they’re doing…
Analyssa: It was very deeply friends. And I had a funny moment where I remembered that Micah was also Dani’s ex. So they’re all just…
Riese: Oh yeah.
Riese: That’s queer community. This is the way that we live. I just made up a new melody for that. I made it into a medley.
Drew: I loved it. Speaking of exes, Tom has arrived at the Alice show and runs into the glass door. And I really enjoyed when he said:
Tom: You might want to put a…
Alice: What? It’s a door.
Tom: Out of order sign on that side because I just looked like a bird crashing into a window.
Alice: But a lot of birds fly into a lot of windows. It’s… The stats are pretty dark. Anyway, hi!
Drew: I enjoyed that.
Riese: Yeah. Have you ever run into a glass door?
Drew: All the time.
Analyssa: Thank you so much for asking, Riese. It’s like I set you up for this. I once gave myself a concussion doing this.
Analyssa: I was, in fact, already previously concussed that year, and I just turned so fast and walked right into a door that I was dazed for a day. It was like, yep, sure did bruise my brain again.
Analyssa: But I survived it, and so I laughed when Tom hit his little noggin.
Drew: Yeah, it was pretty funny.
Riese: He is such a light. He’s such a joy. You know what I mean? He’s so fun. He’s got such great energy. Yeah.
Drew: We learned that Tom proposed at the Eiffel Tower. Which, I know I was a jumbotron skeptic before, but compared to the Eiffel Tower, jumbotron is a great proposal. Like the Eiffel Tower? With Alice? You’re in France? You’re in Paris and you choose to propose at the Eiffel Tower to Alice? Like come on.
Riese: Just propose at the top of, I don’t know, the Empire State Building, the CN Tower, I don’t care. The tower in Las Vegas that has the ride on the top that my ex-boyfriend made me go on and it scarred me for life. I don’t know, just propose to her on a bridge. How many other people were proposing at the Eiffel Tower at the exact moment he was proposing to Alice?
Drew: I was thinking less of a skyscraper and more like a beautiful street in Montmartre or something. There’s so many places. Like, you know what I mean?
Riese: Yeah, or like her favorite existential author’s backyard on a literary tour, as if that’s one of Alice’s interests. But you know what I mean. The Eiffel Tower is so generic. A jumbotron at least is campy and funny.
Riese: Like that’s hilarious. Eiffel Tower, that’s not funny. That’s generic. That’s boring. He’s a literary person. He should come up with something better. I’ve never… Oh wait, actually, I have been to Paris, but I don’t remember it very well. So I’ve never been, but I have been. But I’m sure there’s better places.
Analyssa: I was in Paris literally this year and we declined to even go up the Eiffel Tower because it was like, it’s such an ordeal.
Riese: I have a picture of myself outside of it with my thumb up. But we were like, no, we’re not going up.
Analyssa: I looked up at it and I was like, big. They did that and then it was beautiful and then I moved on.
Riese: Yeah. Then my boyfriend was like, “Let’s go to McDonald’s.”
Drew: Proposal on Eiffel Tower, out. Wedding on the Eiffel Tower in Sense8, now that was a choice. That I respected. That was the next level. But anyways, Tom thinks that Alice wants to write book two and immediately starts chatting about writing a second book.
Analyssa: And because why would he think that she wants to get back together with him and she’s invited him to her office to discuss that? She set up an office meeting. What a silly way to go about that.
Riese: I hope he lives in LA. I hope he didn’t come all the way out from New York for this meeting. But I love his suggestions. I think his idea for a tongue in cheek self-help book is solid and she should pursue that line of inquiry.
Drew: I do think it sums up that Taylor was correct, that Alice is disconnected from reality. That she was like, “Well just come to the Alice show, and we’ll have a conversation about our future together as lovers.”
Riese: Yeah, I would definitely do that.
Drew: Yeah. Speaking of ill-fated couples, Angie is going to that man’s reading.
Riese: I would rather die.
Drew: And her roommate gives her a whole box of condoms.
Riese: That makes no sense to me. You need… One night? You need, I don’t know, three absolute max condoms. Yeah. She was like, “You can never be too prepared.” And I was like, actually this is too prepared.
Analyssa: Maybe a little too prepared. I also, Drew, started calling him that man in my notes this week. Just that guy, that man.
Riese: I call him this man.
Analyssa: I think later my notes changed to Mr. Old Man. He’s, to be clear, my age. But compared to Angie, I’m like, get a job, stay away from her. Anyway, my college used to give you 30 free condoms every quarter and I took a whole…
Analyssa: Freshman year, when I went to visit my long-distance boyfriend for a weekend, I took all 30 of them and I don’t remember how many we went through. It’s not important now.
Riese: It is important.
Analyssa: But what is important is kind of is that they did have a bunch of different goofy kinds and we used a glow in the dark one that truly haunts me. It’s like the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s so unsexy.
Riese: Anyway, maybe the box was different flavors, like a variety pack.
Analyssa: I think they bought a bunch of different boxes, and you could go and pick. Which is funny to me because I feel like either I put my hand into just a mix of them and took whatever I could, or I specifically chose a glow in the dark condom for the joke of it. Which, unfortunately, shows you how invested I was in having…
Riese: Meaningful lovemaking?
Analyssa: Like romantic lovemaking at that time of my life.
Riese: You didn’t feel like making love?
Analyssa: No. Anyway, I came back from that trip with the UTI. Very exciting. Really good stuff.
Riese: She should have sent her with a box of cranberry pills.
Analyssa: Absolutely. If she’s handing out that many condoms, she should also be saying, “And make sure you pee right after. Thank you.”
Riese: Yeah. And drink some water.
Analyssa: I do want to say that Angie making this chapbook is the most lesbian gay little event…
Riese: So cute.
Analyssa: I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s so sweet.
Drew: He does not deserve it.
Analyssa: It’s wasted.
Drew: Wasted, wasted, wasted. Speaking of things that are wasted, Finley burns lasagna at Carrie’s and has a meltdown, which was very relatable to me because anytime I mess up any cooking thing, I do break down and decide that I’m not worth being alive on this planet. And I wish Rosie O’Donnell was there to hug me.
Riese: Yeah, when she was like, “May I approach?” And then she came over and hugged Finley and it was so adorable.
Analyssa: When she says, “Just let me approach”, after Finley kind of protests, I was just so heart eyes for her.
Riese: And then there was really accurate rec league sports representation.
Analyssa: I knew that you were going to say this exact phrase. I was like, this is for Riese.
Riese: Where you need a sub. Because if you don’t have enough players, you have to forfeit. And you need a sub, and the sub’s like, “I’m really bad.” Probably you and me had this conversation. The sub’s like, “I’m really bad.” And you’re like, “Well no one can be worse than me.” And then you sub. I think we made you sub for an entire season though.
Analyssa: I think this is, yeah, almost exactly how I started playing kickball occasionally on your kickball team.
Riese: Yeah. Anyway, so I was like this is so real. And that’s all. It was so real. So real. Everyone was being real.
Analyssa: I also think it’s very real that Finley is trying to come up with ways to contact Sophie. She’s like, “Well I can go get my non flip shoes.” And Carrie is like, “Absolutely not. Eyes on me.” It’s so nice to have a friend who will kind of bully you a little bit after a breakup ’cause you do want to do sometimes those things that are bad ideas. And it’s nice to have somebody outside of you being like, “I don’t think so.”
Drew: I definitely related more to Sophie’s handling of the breakup in this episode than I did Finley’s. I’m not a “reaching out to” person. I’m definitely a “make a fool of myself with new people” person.
Riese: Absolutely. Yeah. Definitely by the end of the night, if no one says, “You shouldn’t be single anymore. This isn’t working for the rest of us,” then I didn’t break up properly. I just want to make a real hard mess of literally everything. In the past, would want to do it as drunkly as possible, for maybe even a few weeks.
Analyssa: Hilariously, I’m both. I would be a messy going out rager kind of gal, and also I’m going to send you some messy texts while I’m doing that. So you know that I’m having fun but I kind of miss you. But…
Drew: Because I always think then they win. I have problems. Anyways.
Riese: Oh yeah, they win.
Analyssa: Oh see, in my head actually that’s me winning. That’s me asserting my dominance. I get to do what I want. Anyway, that’s a deeply sick way of viewing it also.
Drew: Wow. Well we’re all sick in our own ways. Tom is still talking about this second book possibility, and then there’s a cat meow, and it becomes this fun little thing we do in this episode where there’s a ghost cat in the wall. And Alice is like, “I said there was a ghost cat. Everyone said there wasn’t a ghost cat.” And Tom’s like, “I hear the ghost cat.” And you’re like, wow is being the one mean you both hear the same ghost cat?
Riese: Yeah. That’s cat power.
Drew: Yeah, exactly.
Analyssa: This was a moment where I was like, okay, a little bit of sparkle between the two of them. They’re so fun together, and this really showed it for the time that they were doing this that I was very delighted.
Riese: They’re also just great comedic actors, both of them.
Analyssa: Yes, exactly.
Drew: I think, okay, I’m just thinking about this now. But I think it would’ve been really fun if in the first time we’re really seeing a proper relationship with a man that Alice has, if Alice had been top-ier, it would’ve been interesting to play with that. I’m just trying to think of what could be sexy between these two people. Because the sex scenes between them never were that sexy. And I’m like, how can queer heterosexuality on this queer show in a way that would’ve felt really hot between them? I don’t know. I just feel like they do have… The show, with all genders, has a very limited idea of what could be sexy, which we’ll get to later with Carrie and I don’t know, we’ll get to it. But I am like, they have a spark. And the fact that I don’t really buy them together as being that whatever is partially because the way that Alice’s sex is shown is so different. I don’t know. I’m just like, these two people could absolutely have hot sex.
Analyssa: And hot silly sex. It doesn’t have to be so serious, either. Yeah.
Drew: Anyways, Maribel’s still looking for a donor, very exhausted by it with hot sex.
Riese: Why haven’t they signed up for a real membership with the sperm bank? Because if you haven’t signed up for a real membership, then you can’t see pictures, and they’re still seeing just ghost people. They would’ve set up for a real membership. That’s all. That’s going to be my only nitpick of this issue, this episode. Thank you.
Drew: Micah’s like, let’s go out, let’s have sloppy sex. Which I was like, yes, I’d love to see you have sloppy sex. And then Sophie comes in and is like, “I’m going to get my hair done.” ‘Cause sometimes nipple Pierce sings aren’t enough? And…
Riese: Well, you always have to get your hair cut or done or something after a breakup.
Drew: Sure. And that’s when Mari’s like, okay, we actually should go to Fletcher to look after Sophie.
Riese: Yeah. Sisterhood is powerful.
Drew: Sisterhood literally is powerful. And then, we go to Dani telling Dre that Sophie is a good contact for them? Which is such an aggressive attempt to be like, this is just professional. And also, I don’t care that you had sex with my ex-fiance. Yeah. Dre’s confused and that seems fair. But they’re flirty and it’s fun.
Riese: Yeah. It’s obvious that they have sexual tension. Dre is open to more, and is trying to figure out why Dani’s acting like she’s open to more while saying that she’s not open to more. So that’s fun.
Analyssa: Yeah. Imagine someone telling you that your relationship is strictly professional and then they do that thing that Dani did to Dre’s chin, like tipping it up. I would be like, so you want to kiss right now?
Analyssa: Professionally you want to kiss? That’s what I’m hearing.
Riese: A professional kiss.
Analyssa: And yeah, there’s just a lot of meaningful eye contact and Dre’s like making jokes about skinny dipping.
Riese: I love this for everyone involved. Even the extras.
Analyssa: Anyone who got to be around.
Riese: I support them.
Analyssa: Speaking of flirting, Misty is adjusting Carrie’s bowling position in a way that is very close, very sensual. Finley wants to text Sophie. Carrie says no.
Riese: That was so funny, when Finley was like, “Here.” Carrie picked up and it was like:
Carrie: “Hi, Soph. Hope you’re well.” Well no, it’s not good. I’m deleting it.
Riese: You know?
Drew: Yeah. I support Carrie in this. And then Finley’s kind of roasting Carrie for not asking Misty out. Once again, all these ee names that they…
Riese: I know.
Drew: Wild, for not asking Misty out. And the Misty bowls a strike because Misty’s a good bowler.
Riese: I really liked Carrie also being like, “This is enough for me. I don’t need to ask her out. This is fine.” Which I think is a valid way to feel.
Riese: I don’t know if she likes me back, but for now, this type of relationship, this is good. I’m happy with this. It doesn’t necessarily need to be escalated.
Riese: Which Finely doesn’t buy.
Analyssa: I don’t have a fun transition for this next scene.
Analyssa: Angie and that man are in the hotel room where he’s pinging around with a lot of anxious energy for his reading, and he talks about how it’s bearing his soul to a bunch of people and everybody’s going to be looking at him. Angie gives him her little book as a trade-off of like, I’ll show you this part of my soul, too. And it’s very…
Drew: First she offers to iron his shirt.
Analyssa: Oh yeah. I didn’t even take notes on that part. I was so excited.
Drew: And was calming him down. It’s so annoying. Anyways, I guess the show is… I don’t know. Anyways, they fuck. And it’s like…
Riese: Do they?
Analyssa: No they don’t.
Riese: No they don’t. At least not… In the scene, do they even kiss? Do they start, do they kiss?
Analyssa: I don’t think they do anything this episode.
Drew: What? What is my notes? Why did I misread that? I totally thought that she gave the chapbook and then… I guess I need to rewatch this. I was so…
Riese: Well, I mean later she does say that she did, but I was going to talk about the time. But I was like, is she lying? Because I didn’t know. I don’t even remember them kissing in this scene.
Analyssa: I thought that was a lie later. Whoa.
Drew: Now I really want to open the scene right now. I feel like I… Wait, can we just, hold on one second.
Drew: This is a To L and Back Breaking News.
Riese: We have to get a replay.
Analyssa: Beep, beep, beep, beep. Alert.
Riese: Coach’s cam. Oh, I see. She leads him to the bed and he says, “Are you sure?” And she says, “I’m sure.”
Hendrix: Are you sure?
Angie: I’m sure.
Riese: Maybe I stopped. I mean, I very well could’ve just been like, I don’t want to see this anymore and stopped watching.
Analyssa: Oh, I very much just tuned out of that. I feel like I’m seeing that for the first time. Well the good news is…
Riese: Me too.
Analyssa: I was still angry about how this whole thing went, anyway, so now I’m just clearer on why I’m angry.
Drew: I’m just glad that I didn’t make that up because that would be a very disturbing thing for my brain to assume.
Riese: Well, I fully just tuned out. But here’s the other thing that I was thinking about. So against all human decency, there’s a huge cohort of fans who loved Aria and Ezra’s run in Pretty Little Liars, even though they started sleeping together when he was her teacher in high school and she was like a sophomore, a junior in high school and he was a full-grown adult. But there’s tons and tons of Aria and Ezra shippers to the point where people are excited that their end game was actually getting married and adopting a baby. And I disagree with all of those people for obvious reasons, but they exist.
This problematic concept exists and thrives because it was a show that gave that relationship enough time and enough space that people, perhaps against their best wishes, but perhaps not, somehow grew endearing. Something about that dynamic became endearing to them in a way that it was more of a complicated choice for the show to make. Or like Pacey and his teacher in Dawson’s Creek, where people saw enough of the relationship that people were like, God, I hate this, but there’s something about this, their chemistry, that’s palpable or interesting to people in a way that makes people feel conflicted and that’s complicated and that’s art or whatever. But we’re not spending enough time with Angie or with this man to feel anything about them. I promise there’s not a single solitary soul on this planet that is rooting for these two. Not one person. No one likes it.
Drew: I get that eventually, I mean we’ll get to this, but I guess it is trying to say something, but it doesn’t do a particularly good job at it or do anything new.
Drew: I mean, I think about a movie like Diary of a Teenage Girl that I think does such a good job at both validating the love and lust of the young girl and also shows the toll it takes and the ways in which it’s wrong. It is possible to do that in art. This isn’t doing really anything, in my opinion.
Drew: And so it just feels weird and annoying. To me, it feels like I can, in my brain, think about first weeks of a writer’s room, going around being what happened to you in college? Let’s talk about our experiences. And someone’s like, I lost my virginity to my professor. And they’re like, Ooh, cool. And then they just run with that. And be like, what was that? And get into it and whatever. But is that the most interesting thing we could do with Angie? Is that the most interesting thing we could do with an entire generation of queer people on this show? It’s really not.
And so it just feels, I don’t know. The TV teacher reference point that I have the most is the Step by Step episode, where the teacher, I don’t remember the names of the characters in that show. But there was an episode where the teacher invites this teenage boy over and then sucks on his ear, and I’d never seen that done before, and it really left a mark on me as an eight-year-old. But he says no. He’s like, “This is bad” and gets up and leaves. And it was very clear in its teachings. But yeah, I don’t know.
Riese: I mean, there’s movies with this trope that people feel close, like Loving Annabelle, that people feel feelings about. But no one feels feelings about these two.
Riese: And maybe, I mean, honestly, maybe people would be feeling more feelings about this, too, if the teacher wasn’t a man.
Analyssa: Well, but the thing that drives me nuts also is not just that he’s a man, but is that he is this specific type of man. Which is they get to this reading, and immediately he does not care about anything except himself. It just feels so icky to me in a way that I don’t understand why they didn’t try to make this a more compelling… I’m already going to be annoyed about it. So to your point, Riese, if it were a more compelling or interesting dynamic where you’re like, okay, I want to be opposed to this, but…
Riese: He’s treating her really well, or.
Analyssa: Something about the way these two interact is like really…
Drew: I do think the show is making a point by having him be this way. I do think it’s not unrealistic that this man who’s immature and is full of himself and all. It’s honestly like I’m glad that it’s not romanticized at all. But then it’s confusing what the beats of this arc have been and why Angie coming into her sexuality has been framed as positive with him.
Drew: I mean, again, it can be complicated, but I don’t think it’s being done well. I get there could be a point, but I’m like, it’s just a boring choice to me.
Riese: Yeah. And also his character is not that interesting or compelling. I don’t even, and we talked before about how Jordan has chemistry with everyone, but they don’t really have chemistry, and he’s never even made a funny joke. He’s so flat. And even in this scene, I’m like, you don’t really seem like you’re into it. He doesn’t seem like he’s into her except for when he says it again, the telling and not showing kind of thing.
Drew: Yeah. Well, going from my least favorite storyline in this episode to my second least favorite storyline in this episode, Micah meets a man at the bar named Michael and they’re like, we ordered the same drink, so you must be the person who should give me sperm.
Riese: That’s what I feel about everyone I’ve ever seen order a tequila shot, which used to be my drink. But now obviously I haven’t had tequila shot in quite some time.
Drew: Because Micah’s bisexual, at first I thought it was going to be a meet cute situation and then it was like, no, no, everyone cheats on this show except not Micah. Which I’m fine with, but I’m just like, no, that’s not the storyline. We’re still sticking with the sperm storyline. So I don’t know, it’s a brief moment. Oh, ’cause now we’re at the Fletcher party, so now it’s a bunch of little scenes like we do at our parties. ‘Cause then Sophie walks in and is blonde.
Riese: She looks amazing.
Analyssa: Looks bangin’.
Analyssa: I do want to say, and more power to her because she’s fresh off a breakup, a little overdressed. But you know what? She looks great. So, what are you going to do.
Drew: I’m still unclear about the time that Sophie and Dre spent together because Dre is like, “You didn’t tell me that you worked at the Alice show.” And Sophie was like, “Well, we didn’t do a lot of talking.” And I’m like, you spend a weekend together? You can’t be fucking, like, what? I’m so confused.
Analyssa: And also Maribel had opinions about them… If they were just fucking and just did it for one weekend, how did Maribel know that? There’s just so… It’s so unclear.
Riese: I think it’s possible. And I don’t like this idea because I love Sophie the character and it annoys me when people don’t like her as a character. It annoys me deeply. But what if she’s kind of a liar? Because she told Dre she was a documentary filmmaker. She chose to present herself in a certain way.
Analyssa: I kind of thought that she was honestly lying to Finley when she said it was just a weekend, just the way that it was delivered. But…
Riese: Well, she didn’t even tell Finley it was a weekend. She said they had sex once and saw each other one other time. She didn’t even tell Finley they spent a whole weekend together.
Analyssa: Right. And then she told Dani that it was a weekend, right?
Analyssa: So even when she said that to Finley and was like, “I don’t know,” twice, I was like, this just feels like when people kind of obscure the truth by talking around something. And then when she said a weekend to Dani, I was like, okay. I feel more bolstered in that. I will say that the documentary filmmaker thing didn’t bug me because I am also famously kind of a liar to people I hook up with. I don’t know, they don’t know me.
Sometimes I’m like, and this is not exactly a lie because I do write in fact for Autostraddle.com, but I will sometimes be like, “Oh yeah, I’m a writer.” And that’s not my full-time job that I do to make a living, which is what people ask when they’re asking “What do you do?” But sometimes it’s kind of aspirational, sometimes it’s kind of fun. So I can see a bunch of reasons that you might say that to someone who you don’t know super well, but there’s no reason given for it. If Sophie had been like, “Oh, I was living out kind of a dream” or “That’s what I want to be, but the Alice show pays the bills.”
Drew: Yeah, that actually didn’t bother me. But yeah, it is interesting. I think what’s bothering me is the way that Dre is talking to Sophie doesn’t feel like it was more than a weekend. I’m having a hard time getting a read on that. I would be like, oh, Sophie’s just lying, but Dre’s not talking to her… I don’t know, like even their exchange of being like, “Sorry, I didn’t text you back.” It makes it feel like the “you up?” text was the only text… I don’t know.
Riese: But isn’t that also a crazy thing for her to say? I’m sorry I didn’t text you back when you texted me “you up?” And I was in bed with my girlfriend who I was in a monogamous relationship with in that moment. I was like, really?
Analyssa: And said what? Yeah.
Riese: The night Finley returned from sober living. I mean, I think it was just a weekend. I think Sophie was telling the truth to Dani about that, and that’s the vibe I get from them. Or the vibe from Dre is that this was just a weekend for them, too. It wasn’t like a big deal.
Drew: Yeah. I mean, I think the biggest problem is that doing a year time jump and not thinking through what that means for all the characters instead of just a handful of characters is challenging. And that’s how it feels. It feels like some of the characters had a year time jump, some of the characters had a month time jump, and it’s sort of made this whole season feel a little bit muddled and confused.
Even just the sense of sometimes Dani’s going through a big breakup because her and Gigi were together for a year and a half. But then other times, it feels like there really wasn’t that much time that we missed. Like what was happening in their relationship? I guess she was going through a lot of dad’s stuff. Sorry to bring him up. It doesn’t ever really feel like… I don’t really know what happened in that year. If I was trying to write fanfic of what happened in that year, I would find it very hard to bridge these seasons.
So Micah’s telling Maribel about Michael. And again, he just met this man. I don’t understand any of this. It’s truly so weird and I don’t understand.
Analyssa: But Mari agrees to meet him. I thought the line, “It’d be kind of like we’re having a baby together” was super bizarre, by the way. They are having a baby together. I don’t know, just the wording of that is not… Who talks like that about the baby you’re going to have with a partner, no matter how it’s conceived? I don’t know. I just was like, what a weird choice.
Riese: I did like at least that Micah was like, “Oh, I don’t know for sure that he’s cis.”
Riese: I thought that was a good sort of note to the watcher, like you can’t be assuming these things about people from either direction or whatever.
Analyssa: I actually think that’s why the “It’d be like we’re having a baby together” line hit me so weirdly. Like those two next to each other, I was like, what are we trying to accomplish? I don’t know. It felt bizarre. But yes, I agree. I really did like that line.
Drew: Sure. We don’t know that he’s cis, we don’t know that he’s fertile, we don’t know that you would want to give his sperm to a stranger. There’s so much…
Analyssa: We don’t critically know him at all.
Riese: Yeah, and he’d have to go through a bunch of tests and stuff before.
Analyssa: I was thinking, Riese, about you talking to us about generally what that process looks like. And I was like, they have such a world ahead of them that they don’t even know about. But I do think that’s kind of sometimes how you feel about any sort of big life decision. Immediately you’re like, okay, well this is it. I figured it out. Yeah, this is what I want to do. And you start going down that path.
Riese: I definitely know people who’ve picked a known donor who reminded them of the non-caring partner or whatever. But usually it’s someone they know and not someone they just met at a bar.
Drew: And also if we were spending more time with these characters and it wasn’t so rushed, it could have been a thing where like sperm’s put on hold for a while, Micah meets a new friend. At a certain point, it becomes the storyline. It’s just so weird to rush it all into this one 10-minute interaction.
Then we go back, we go to Sophie and Dre. Dre’s talking about loving Newsies. I think because Sophie was talking about how the ayahuasca trip was musical.
Riese: I just want to say that I love Newsies, in case I was wondering. But the original film, which I saw in the 90s, I haven’t seen the musical adaptation. But I don’t need to ’cause the original film was perfect. Thank you for listening.
Drew: This is when Sophie’s like, “I should have texted you back.” And then Sophie kisses Dre. And Dre pulled away and is like, “I’m into someone else.” And Sophie leaves. And I got to say, that first rejection when you’re like… Especially when you end something because you’re coming in, you’re like, I need to be single. I need to do my thing. That first time you get rejected after that is so brutal, and I felt very sad for Sophie. And Sophie is drinking way too much. I was just like, oh God, oh God.
Riese: Okay. And then we see Sophie’s healthy and completely unlike Finley’s drinking behavior in action.
Analyssa: Totally different. I will say, to this show’s credit about drinking, one small win. I was like, if Sophie drunk texts Finley, I’m going to be furious.
Riese: I was like, I hope Sophie drunk texts Finley. I was like, text her, tell her, you want to get back together.
Analyssa: Sure, that would’ve been fine. But a sloppy drunk text from your ex when you are sober. It just would’ve felt so cruel writing wise. I would’ve been like, okay, why are we putting her through this?
Analyssa: But okay, at least there’s small mercies in that.
Drew: Yeah. Speaking of Sophie, Finley is speaking of Sophie to Misty, and Misty is finally like…
Misty: I’m going to butt in right there, if you don’t mind.
Finley: Of course, I’d love that.
Misty: I actually know a lot about your entire life because Carrie talks about you all the time.
Drew: I enjoyed that.
Riese: Yeah. She’s like, this conversation’s over basically. And then Finley tries to talk to Misty about Carrie.
Riese: And is like, “Carrie’s into you.” And then Misty’s like, “Well, she’s not really my type.” And I’m like, what?
Drew: Yeah. I don’t understand this in the context of what eventually happens in this episode, which we can, I guess, address when it happens. But I don’t… There were so many other things that Misty could have said. Where Misty could have said nothing and just been like, “Oh, I need to go.” And then Carrie saw that and took it as a rejection. There’s so many other things, but saying.
Analyssa: Specifically, “Carrie’s not my type”, is that what you mean?
Drew: Yeah, like what?
Riese: I guess it was, I mean, my immediate assumption was like, Misty’s butch and she only wants to date femmes. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to think she means?
Analyssa: But then, I mean, we’ll talk about it when it comes back, but then later it doesn’t really get explained. I don’t know, it just, we’ll talk about it later. I just didn’t understand then. If it’s true that Misty thinks Carrie isn’t her type for whatever reason, then I don’t understand the thought change between that scene and when she comes back to Carrie’s house to bring her bowling bag.
Riese: Maybe she thinks they’re both tops.
Drew: Yeah. I wonder what Tina and Carrie’s sex was like. I mean, who knows?
Riese: Yeah. There is some bottom energy from Carrie.
Analyssa: Yeah, definitely.
Drew: They find the ghost cat, Tom and Alice. But then the cat runs away. It’s a real cat, I think, not a ghost at this point. It’s feeling like it’s a real cat. And I don’t know how long the cat has been in the wall or how it got there, but I’m going with it. And then Alice asks Tom if they missed something real.
Analyssa: Simply nothing led to this conversation, but I’m happy for her.
Riese: Alice had to bring it up eventually.
Analyssa: She had to ask.
Riese: And then as soon as Alice is like, “Me and you, did we miss something real?” You see Tom and you know that man is seeing someone else.
Riese: And indeed he is.
Analyssa: And indeed he is. And Alice says, “Is it serious?” And Tom says”
Tom: Kinda, I mean, she is pregnant.
Analyssa: I don’t know the specifics of their relationship, but a pregnancy is a little bit serious.
Riese: Yeah. Pretty serious.
Analyssa: More to me than “kinda” serious.
Riese: Well, I think he was joking, right?
Analyssa: Yeah, sure.
Riese: It was funny when he’s like, “I already got the bods, so I might as well be a dad.” He’s funny. I wish they could just be friends. He’d be great to have around.
Drew: Yeah. And oh God, okay, we go to the reading. We go to the reading where this man is reading his actual writing and…
Riese: No one wants to hear it.
Drew: It makes Jenny Schecter look like Leslie Jamison. It’s just such… It’s bad, terrible writing. I don’t enjoy it.
Analyssa: Remember how all of Jenny’s writing was actually Ilene Chaiken’s personal writing? Whose personal writing do you think this is?
Riese: I mean, Alice’s book also was kind of meddling. And I don’t get it because these are TV writers, there’s writers in the room, you know what I mean?
Analyssa: They’ve definitely written before.
Riese: But maybe they don’t want this man’s stuff to be good. Oh, I guess it has to be since there’s a literary agent at his reading.
Analyssa: Also, I think this was shot in Skylight, which is kind of fun.
Riese: I mean, I have met literary agents at readings, but they were readings with multiple authors, you know what I mean? So it’s like they might be going to see multiple authors read and see if there’s any potential clients there. Anyway.
Drew: Yeah, I don’t know. Yeah, the CAA agent’s there, then the professor man tells the agent that Angie’s the student and it’s like, oh no.
Analyssa: Well, he introduces Angie to the agent and is like, “This is my student, Angie.” Which first of all, just generally in life, I want to remind everyone that you actually never have to introduce someone with your connection to them. You can literally just go, “This is Angie” and people will be like, “So nice to meet you.” Just if you ever want to avoid that particular situation.
Riese: Or you can be like, “This is Angie, she performed at my birthday party.” Or like, “This is Angie, she is my barista.” Or like, “This is Angie, I met her on this side of the road before this.” And then everyone’s like, “Oh, what’s that about?” And then you can have a whole conversation that’s not even real.
Drew: Anyways, from one random man to another. The random man, Michael, has agreed to be Maribel and Micah’s sperm donor.
Analyssa: They’re giving huge, “my wife and I saw you from across the bar and liked your vibe” vibes.
Riese: Yeah. Why not just have him impregnate Mari directly?
Drew: I think that’s legally complicated, also.
Analyssa: I was thinking about, remember in season one of The L Word when Bette and Tina are trying to find a sperm donor? And then they try to have sex with that guy. And he’s like:
Threesome Man: Why is it whenever dykes want to have sex with a guy, it’s only because they’re trying to steal his sperm.
Analyssa: What’s that man’s life story, what’s he got going on?
Riese: Right. I did think about this, thinking about that compared to now, why this felt so weird and that didn’t feel as weird. And some of it maybe is that I didn’t know that much about life, but I also feel like it was just a more perilous moment in time for a queer couple to be trying to obtain a baby in any way. And so it was like the most unorthodox of methods was considered more viable than it is now. But maybe it would’ve seemed ridiculous to me then if I had been older.
Drew: I do think it’s unfortunately indicative of a lot of the worst impulses of contemporary media. That it’s the same storyline written worse, but with one person is trans and one person has a disability, and that’s what people who aren’t trans and don’t have disabilities deem as progress. We’ll recycle our storylines, make them not as well written even when they weren’t even probably that well written to begin with, and plop you in and call it a day.
Sophie is drunk and it’s sad and awkward and she’s talking to this random woman. And the random woman seemed way too sober to be flirting with…. I mean, not to be whatever, but it doesn’t feel like this woman is at Sophie’s level of like, oh, they’re both sloppy and making a mistake. It feels like she’s pretty with it. And Sophie is very, very visibly not in a position where she should be hooking up with anyone.
Riese: Wait, was this one Sophie also took those pictures of herself in the photo booth?
Riese: That was funny.
Analyssa: Yeah, she’s in the photo booth.
Riese: She was posing by herself, and then she wanted them to print really badly.
Riese: Yeah, this other girl is flirting with her. Who had complimented her dress earlier, and Sophie moves right along.
Analyssa: This is until later when it becomes not, I was like, okay, a small wind after getting batted down by Dre. Like, all right. Because yeah, Drew, like you said earlier. Post breakup, you’re like, I want to go out because I know I can be on the town. And then if no one engages, you’re just more sad.
Riese: No one cares that you’re on the town.
Analyssa: You want to be the next eligible bachelor when you break up immediately. So this was a fun… I was glad that she got at least a moment.
Drew: That one episode where Bette is suddenly single and at The Planet and is like everyone’s basically submitting their resume.
Riese: Yeah, when they meat tagged her.
Random Lesbian 1: This is so not a feminist thing to say, but there is a group of women over at the bar who have you meat tagged like nobody’s business.
Bette: I’m sorry?
Random Lesbian 2: Meat tag means that they’ve marked you as a hot item.
Random Lesbian 1: Those girls are lining up around the block to get on your dance card.
Bette: Great. My neighbors will love that.
Random Lesbian 1: FYI.
Riese: That’s what they call it. They said, “You’ve been meat tagged.” Which meant she was the next eligible bachelor. And I was like, no one has ever said that. And if they have, they should be too ashamed of themselves to put it on television.
Analyssa: That shouldn’t be like a capital M meat tagged.
Riese: Yeah, thank you.
Analyssa: So, Carrie and Finley are sort of arguing back at the bowling alley because Carrie overheard the end of Finley’s conversation and is like, “I was happy with how this was, I got to hang out with Misty sometimes and you didn’t have to try to meddle and everything. And now I can’t even be at this bowling league.”
Drew: Which I do think speaks to Carrie’s personality in a certain way where it’s like you didn’t even make a move. You could easily be like, “The kid is getting overzealous and trying to ship us. I’m just here to have fun and bowl. Don’t worry.” You could easily play it off. So I don’t know if she really needs to be like… But I think she’s just, her feelings are hurt and she’s feeling vulnerable and rejected.
Riese: And then she’s like, “Go get your shoes. We’re going to go home” or “it’s time to go home” or whatever. And Finley’s so surprised because Finley assumed that this would be it, Carrie would not want to talk to her anymore. And I thought it was really sweet because someone was showing Finley unconditional love in the way that someone would hope their parents would.
Riese: It was probably my favorite moment of the episode, honestly, was when Finley was like, “Oh my God, I’m still invited.”
Riese: She’s not going to cut me out for this, she’s still here for me.
Analyssa: We had this fight. I did something wrong, but we are still connected. It’s not like an end to something.
Analyssa: Speaking of the end of something, this is the end to the old man story with Angie. I didn’t really understand this breakup. Like I’m happy they broke up, but I didn’t understand the words that were happening, so…
Drew: Yeah, I don’t get it either. I think she’s mad about him introducing her just as his student and he’s like, “But you are my student and I’ve really grappled with this. I grappled with it earlier when we were having sex, maybe.” And then he’s like, “But I am falling in love with you.” And I wasn’t clear if he was like, I want you to drop my class, or if he was being like, let’s reconnect in five years. It was very unclear what was happening. And Angie doesn’t really wait around for an explanation and just, it’s done, I guess?
Riese: I don’t understand why he didn’t mention… ‘Cause he’s saying like, you are my student, so this isn’t the best time for us. Why it didn’t come up at any point that he could say, “And also, I could lose my job and probably never be able to work anywhere again except maybe like a Catholic university.”
Analyssa: I don’t know, it just didn’t add up to anything for me. But honestly, this is the only time in L Word history that I’m like, okay, great. I don’t understand why they did this, but sure.
Riese: I was glad they broke up, but I felt like they were dancing around it and I was like, just get into it. Just talk about it. What does it really mean that she’s your student? What does it mean for you? Why is this inappropriate? Say it, say it!
Analyssa: And also, why is it coming up now?
Analyssa: There’s a bunch of things to discuss here that just didn’t get discussed and instead, it’s like these, again, just platitudes of, I don’t know. It doesn’t add up to anything, but Angie is like, I’m not going to sit around and listen to this. And she leaves.
Drew: Yeah. Then we go back to the Fletcher party. Fletcher is doing shots with Dre.
Analyssa: Not very professional. I’ll say.
Drew: No. And it’s like, “It’s so cool to be a part of the beginning of your ride” or I don’t know, it’s whatever. Dre gives Fletcher a crystal. Fletcher’s on the show, good for Fletcher, happy for you. Then Dre and Dani flirt and keep flirting. And it’s enjoyable to watch these two flirt. I’m going to say it.
Analyssa: I like flustered Dani. I when she’s a little bit frustrated with Dre. And Dre’s joking about how invested Dani is in things that are happening at the party with Dre, especially Sophie kissing Dre and being like, “Are you interested in a professional sense? What’s going on?” And it just really gets Dani out of it. It knocks her off balance in a way that I think is fun to watch.
Riese: And then Fletcher performs, right?
Riese: Yeah. She performs “Becky’s So Hotwp_postswhich is now stuck in my head.
Analyssa: This is the longest of this song I’ve heard. I was just like, when something gets too big, too fast, a personal feeling of mine is that instantly I’m like, absolutely not. I’m divesting from that, actually. So I’ve never heard that full song, and this wasn’t the full song, but it is more of it than I’ve heard previously, which was just the audio being used under other videos popping up on my For You Page, without any input from me.
Riese: I thought it was… I enjoyed the performance. Then Sophie and her new lady of the night are hooking up, and they’re like dancing. They’re dancing right by the pool, which is danger. Everybody knows that. And then it turns out that the girl that Sophie’s been hooking up with is Michael’s wife. And he comes over to yell at them, and Sophie falls in the pool, and Fletcher stops singing.
Drew: Yeah, good for Fletcher. Good for fictional Fletcher.
Riese: Other people just let people literally die at their concerts and they keep singing. But Fletcher was like, wow, someone’s in the pool. Let’s slow this down.
Analyssa: Let’s take a pause.
Riese: Let’s take a pause.
Riese: Really gutsy, I would say, of this woman to be hooking up with Sophie at a party she went to with her husband. Not just hooking up, but pursuing her at this party.
Riese: Interesting choice. Interesting marriage they must be having.
Drew: Yeah, also, I just feel like the man who is very quick to be like, yeah, this is amazing, have my sperm, would actually be like, cool, my wife’s making out with someone hot over there. It was interesting to me that the choice was made, that it was… I don’t know, I just still don’t understand. Is the man going to come back? Is he still going to be the sperm donor? Is this storyline going to continue?
Riese: Oh no.
Drew: So I don’t understand anything happening here. I don’t like it, and I wish it would end.
Riese: I thought it was fine. I had a nice time.
Drew: So stupid. Look, I’m coming off the holidays and the musical episode, so I’m maybe grumpy still. But I’m just like, okay. I did gasp. And the fact that The L Word can still surprise me with their based in reality, not based in reality, twists is something, I suppose.
We then go to Alice basically going through her dating history with Tom to be like, “Okay, so if you’re not the one, who is the one?” Tom brings up Tasha.
Riese: Finally someone brings up Tasha.
Analyssa: Finally someone says it.
Drew: And we find out that Tasha ghosted?
Riese: That doesn’t make any sense. On the show itself, they were together for at least I would say, two or three years. And Alice says they were together for a really long time. So I’m guessing we’re looking at least five years here. I’m also assuming, because this is how things left off, that they are cohabitating.
Analyssa: Living together.
Riese: You don’t just ghost your roommate. You don’t ghost someone of five years because you think they’re getting too successful off of their podcast. Maybe their visions of life didn’t jive, but like what?
Drew: Yeah, I have nothing to add. I truly was just like, are we meant to think that Alice is being dramatic? And that Tasha broke up with her, and then moved out? And then Alice was like, let’s keep talking. And then Tasha stopped responding and then it’s like…
Riese: Right, which is what Tasha would do.
Drew: Yeah, that was sort of my mental justification. I wish I didn’t have to spend so much of these episodes justifying things in my brain that could just have been clearer. But that was my justification.
Riese: Tasha’s definitely the type who would have really firm boundaries. If Alice is like, well, we can still stay friends, Tasha would be like, absolutely not. I need space to move on. That’s how she would’ve been. But I don’t know. Does it mean anything that they’re bringing up, Tasha?
Drew: I don’t know.
Analyssa: I couldn’t tell.
Riese: I couldn’t tell either. Are we supposed to figure out, is Dana saying you’ve already missed the one, I knew them in a way, is this a clue we’re supposed to be decoding? Or is it just a thing that someone said and then it’ll be plowed over?
Drew: It’s also something, Alice’s brain… I mean, no offense if you believe in an afterlife and think ayahuasca’s the window into that, but it’s a thing Alice’s brain said through Dana.
Drew: It’s also like… Yeah, I also don’t know if eventually… I mean, my guess is that eventually Taylor’s coming back. That’s my prediction based in nothing, is that Taylor comes back and we find out Taylor was a big tennis fan or something. And so that I knew you in a way, is that casual coffee cart-owning Taylor who just wanted to take things slow and Alice was going too fast, loved tennis and loved Dana. Or Dana was the reason why she came out, or something like that. That’s my guess. That’s my prediction.
Riese: Oh wow. Or she was Dana’s barista.
Analyssa: Yeah, there’s a ton of different ways to work she knew me in a way back, or they knew me in a way back into anyone’s backstory.
Analyssa: “Oh, you knew Dana? Like I x, y.” You know?
Riese: Well, I hope it’s Lara.
Drew: Or Dana’s being a little bit transphobic, and it’s actually Jen Richards coming onto the show as Lisa, and Dana’s like, “Well, she didn’t know me when she was actually out.” And that could also be the explanation. I don’t know. I don’t know if Jen Richards would want to be Lisa the lesbian man on The L Word: Generation Q. I’m just casting her. Sorry, Jen.
Analyssa: For some reason I was like, what about Melanie Lynskey?
Drew: Oh yeah.
Riese: Remember that?
Analyssa: What happened to that character. Bring her back.
Drew: Oh, I would love that.
Riese: She’s like a little costume designer.
Drew: Melanie Lynskey. God, Alice had a lot of good… Like the vampire, Melanie Lynskey.
Analyssa: Okay, so they save the cat.
Drew: Very cute cat.
Riese: Really cute.
Analyssa: And they’re talking about how to rescue it and set it up in a home. And obviously Alice is going to keep this cat.
Analyssa: It’s too cute to not keep this cat.
Riese: Did she know that usually people don’t put cats in TV shows or movies because they’re not that easy to train. And so they mess up takes by doing different things every time.
Analyssa: By doing cat behaviors.
Riese: By acting like cats. But I noticed in this episode that every time the kitten is in the scene, she’s being held by somebody. So she doesn’t actually have to make any independent movies… An independent film. The cat is not necessarily an independent filmmaker. She does work with major studios. But she’s always being held, right. She’s always being held. She doesn’t ever move on her own volition.
Drew: I really enjoyed that. Then we go back to the Fletcher Party. Dani’s putting Sophie in an Uber and very much trusting this Uber driver to be like, make sure she gets home. Who is this man?
Analyssa: I think it’s a town car.
Drew: Oh, that makes sense.
Analyssa: I had the same thought. I was like, why would you ever tell an Uber driver she might puke in the back of your car? And then I was like, no, this is…
Riese: Yeah, don’t tell them. Just let it be a surprise.
Analyssa: Yeah. Don’t tell them because they’re going to preemptively charge you for the cleaning fee. Which, honestly, don’t ever puke in the back of someone’s car, even if they are Uber. But, I think this is a town car.
Drew: Yeah. I forgot that rich people. But I was also like, why wouldn’t Micah and Maribel leave with her? Aren’t they trying to get out there quick anyways, to avoid their Michael drama?
Riese: Well, Micah still hasn’t met Fletcher.
Analyssa: Probably, good point.
Drew: That’s a really good point.
Riese: But Sophie tells Dani that she should go get it with Dre, thank God. But also it’s cute. I like that Dani’s caring for Sophie, then they say they love each other. She pulls her away and I’m like, I like this. I love this journey for them.
Analyssa: I like this dynamic that they’ve arrived at.
Analyssa: I also did think for one minute that they were going to set up a “may the best gal win” kind of thing. Maybe it was just the blocking, but the way they were looking at each other, I was like, oh my God, is this going to be a contest? And then Sophie is like, “You should go after it.” And I was like, okay. Fun. Growth.
Drew: Yeah. And then Fletcher acts as a sort of, what’s the right, like a…
Drew: Yeah. And tells Dani that “Sometimes messy is better.” Which is definitely the lesson. Everyone in The L Word needs to learn. That’s the thing missing right now is… And speaking of things that are successful, Finley makes the lasagna and it turns out well.
Riese: What does the oven is too hot mean? Doesn’t that just mean you made, did you turn the temperature on too high?
Analyssa: Yes. Definitely.
Riese: Like, the oven, it… Okay. Sorry.
Analyssa: Where does Finley live now?
Riese: With Carrie.
Analyssa: With Carrie?
Riese: Yeah, for sure. Finley has moved in, right?
Drew: I was so confused about this. I didn’t know.
Analyssa: Okay, great.
Riese: I’m pretty sure that Finley has moved in.
Analyssa: But the doorbell rings and it’s Misty.
Analyssa: Who is bringing Carrie’s bowling bag back and yeah, doesn’t at any point offer any explanation for the conversation she had with Finley, which just drove me a little bit nuts.
Drew: If it is a too butch’s thing, which just feels very outdated. But I guess they’re older. But, could she could be like, “I’ve really only dated femmes, but I do like you and I want to see where this goes.” There could have been something where we got, but instead it’s just like, wait, why did you say that earlier? If you are now going to…
Analyssa: Yeah, because what does she say? She says like…
Riese: She said she’s not used to being chased. Which, Carrie’s like…
Carrie: Chased is funny because I don’t run.
Riese: Which I thought, again, was maybe that whole, “I’m the butch and I pursued the femme kind of thing.” Like that was…
Riese: You know, come on, let’s just say how we feel everyone. It’s 2022.
Analyssa: I just wish that Misty had been like, “I realized this about you, and that’s what brought me back to your doorstep.” And instead she just says, “I’m not used to being chased. Here I am.” And I was like, okay. What’s the middle part between those two? What’s the connection between those two?
Drew: Yeah. I don’t really get it. And then speaking of things, I don’t get, Angie returns home. Very sad. Angie’s like, “We broke up” and is like, “We did have sex, but then we broke up.” And I really thought the roommate was going to be like, “Wait, you fucked, and then he broke up with you?” Address it in some way. Be like, “what an asshole” or something.
Drew: Something to point us towards the fact that the show knows what is happening and it doesn’t feel like they do.
Riese: And she cries in her roommate’s arms. And I will say this is the first one where I thought, maybe could make out later.
Analyssa: I just don’t understand why they did this.
Drew: I don’t understand any of it. Alice asks the cat if the cat is the one. I mean, that’s what Dana did say, we have cat. And now look at… So maybe Dana predicted, this is what Dana was talking about. Cat.
Riese: Yeah. And she’s going to name the cat after Mr. Piddles. So in a way, Dana did know the cat because the cat is going to have the same name as Mr. Piddles. It’ll be like Mr. Piddles 2, or whatever.
Analyssa: Do you think that the Piddles 2 reference is a Sounder 2 reference?
Riese: Right, that’s what I was going to say. Which in my mind, is absolutely a hundred percent a throwback reference to Sounder number two.
Drew: I don’t think that’s a very good name. Sorry if you named after The L Word, your cat, Mr. Piddles. But I just feel like Mr. Piddles 2 feels like a really intense name in a way that I don’t enjoy. And I think that cute cat deserves better.
Riese: I love it.
Analyssa: I want Alice to take this cat to the vet immediately. She got it so close to her face. I’m so nervous.
Riese: Yeah. Taylor’s eyes are going to be lighting up like switchboard if she comes over.
Analyssa: Then we go back to Carrie and Misty. Finley is like, “Here’s the lasagna. It’s perfect and beautiful and I’m going to leave you guys to your date.” And then they kiss.
Drew: Yes. And then we get a little sort of montage moment. We get a brief, but cherished moment of Micah and Maribel, I guess, what their definition of sloppy fucking is. It actually is the sexiest. The previous sex scene with them was very tender, which is very nice. We love tender sex. Love it, love it, love it. But this is the first time we’ve been like, oh cool, we’re watching them fuck. But it’s brief. And then we go to Sophie. Is she filling out a grant application while blackout drunk?
Riese: I guess she’s sobered up really fast. First of all, she yells that she could hear them, which is funny. It seems like she maybe started filling this out earlier, I hope? I don’t know. But did you pause and see what her previous…
Riese: Her student film was called Conviction, and it was about the criminal justice system in LA. It was focused on former Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Riese: And also she has a undergrad and a master’s degree, which I didn’t remember.
Riese: She went to USC for grad school. Actually, that probably has been mentioned before and I just forgot it.
Analyssa: Yeah, maybe…
Riese: Anyway, obviously I paused over and over again on this. But her little segment, the segment about the LGBT icons or whatever that she did for the Alice show was also on that resume, there’s something else that I don’t remember off the top of my head, but it was… There’s never a better time to apply for something when you are drunk and just fell in a pool. ‘Cause that’s when you’re really feeling like an artist, I think.
Riese:And that’s authenticity.
Drew: Finley texts Sophie, what does this text say?
Riese: Thinking of you.
Analyssa: Thinking of you.
Drew: Thinking of you. And then Sophie hearts it?
Riese: Yeah, she does.
Drew: Which is… Just don’t respond. My God, that is so brutal. That feels way worse than…
Riese: I was so happy for Finley. That Sophie heart it. It was the perfect response that was not giving her too much hope, but also not sending her on a spiral.
Drew: Wow. People are all so different. I would so much rather someone not respond to that than giving a heart. I would…
Riese: Oh my God, I would so prefer the heart.
Drew: Anyways. Finley’s mom calls. So that’s something we’re going to deal with.
Riese: Yeah. I’m like, they can’t make someone else’s parents sick, right?
Analyssa: I was going to say. I was like, her dad is sick, right?
Analyssa: But they just did that.
Riese: Or Mom is Carrie and she’s calling from downstairs to say, “You can clear the table now.”
Drew: That’s really funny.
Analyssa: “We’re done. Please load the dishwasher. Thank you.”
Analyssa: And then Dre is skinny dipping at the party. There is a pool, the pool that was promised, and they are swimming in it. And then Dani comes and gets in.
Drew: Gets a little naked.
Riese: It turns out that, so Dre still has something with their girlfriend from Ohio and I’m not really sure. Them and their girlfriend were together since high school, right?
Riese: But they’re still single, or they still identify as single.
Drew: It’s always unclear to me when The L Word is introducing something for the sake of…
Riese: Filling space or…
Drew: Yeah. I’m like, is that person going to show up and be played by whatever? Or is it just they just like to say things sometimes. I don’t know. I guess we’ll see. But the exciting thing is that Dani and Dre kiss. And I like these two together. This is fun.
Riese: I do too.
Drew: It doesn’t make me feel better. Look, I could potentially these two more than Dani and Gigi, which I know is controversial to say, but I still want to know where Gigi went and why she’s not on the show anymore. I really actually do Dani and Dre a lot together. It’s a really nice dynamic in a way that… I don’t necessarily know if what Dani needed was another sort of…
Drew: Yeah, I actually think they have a fun balance in a way. I don’t know, it’s a good balance. But I do want to know where Gigi is. I mean, that’s not the point, and I should just enjoy these two hot people kissing, but like…
Riese: No really, where is Gigi? I don’t understand. Are they going to tell us at some point? We all found out that Jennifer Beals was going to be gone for a certain amount of episodes. But are we going to find out what happened with Gigi? And I guess according to angry comments on Showtime’s Instagram, Gigi is an amazing singer. So, it was…
Riese: So it was like you’re do need to do a musical episode, but not with Gigi? How dare you.
Drew: Okay, so they’re kissing. The camera up from above. Beautiful shot. And that’s the episode.
So we have three episodes left in the season.
Drew: Does feel like they’re kind of still setting a lot of stuff up, doesn’t it?
Riese: Yeah, it does. Does feel like a lot of stuff is getting set up, especially because in episode nine, Bette and Tina will be back, and I’m sure taking up a good amount of space. So what’s going to happen next week? I’m not really sure. This is the first episode of The L Word that did not include Shane.
Drew: Oh shit.
Riese: Yeah. I mean, besides her voice when Finley called.
Riese: So, now Alice is the only cast member who’s been in every single episode.
Drew: I can’t believe I totally missed that. Wow.
Riese: Honestly, I’m not a person who cares that much about sex scenes. And sometimes I pretend like I do because it’s fun to make jokes about, even though I don’t really personally care that much. But it is interesting to me that they are not doing any.
Analyssa: Yeah, it’s very noticeable.
Analyssa: Because I’m kind of the same about sex scenes. They’re fun to talk about and exciting to have in a show. They’re always more drama or whatever, but I don’t really feel emotionally or personally attached to them. But it is very noticeable this season that nothing goes on too long, and they’re really rare, and they’re often like…
Drew: I’m watching Gen Q exclusively for the sex scenes, and so I’ve really noticed it. I do think that one of Gen Q‘s strengths was its sex scenes. And I do think that despite the amount of queer characters on TV, outside of Vida and P-Valley. What is it with Starz? Really crushing it. Only one show at a time, but really there aren’t that many good queer sex scenes on screen. There’s a lot of queer media that focuses on teenagers, and a lot of queer media that has a lot of kisses and still is pretty chased. And so I do think there’s a real value and a real loss to the outwards sex scenes, and then now lack of sex scenes. I do think there’s a specificity to showing queer sex and the various things that queer sex can be.
I mean, that’s something that I always loved about Vida was that, I mean, I think that’s what I was getting at with bringing up Tom and Alice sex scenes and what they could have been is like, the straight sex scenes on Vida were always doing something interesting, too. People of all sexualities have sex in all sorts of ways. And I think also, maybe this is an assumption, but I do think queer people, even if they’re dating someone who’s straight, often probably will have more interesting sex. I just think queer people in general have been forced to figure out how to have more interesting sex. And so I just think there’s any character, I don’t know Misty and Carrie kiss, but it’s like…
Riese: Well, I don’t think Rosie wants to do sex scenes.
Drew: I know that. But then why is that still our only butch character then?
Riese: Right. It’s also weird because now, what’s kind of great is that this series, Gen Q, as opposed to the original, it’s mostly queer actors. And the longest sex scene we’ve gotten this season has been the only one that was just straight actors in it, which was Jennifer Beals and Laurel Holloman. Which was great, and they do great sex scenes together. But it’s just interesting that they haven’t… And then also they’ve started them, but then cut away. I wasn’t sure. I felt like if this was season one, we would’ve seen Dani and Dre having sex and we barely did.
Analyssa: Or Micah and Mari for longer. That was the closest to an actual sex scene. But it just didn’t get to breathe in the same way that they used to. I don’t know what’s changed. It’s very interesting to…
Drew: Yeah, we also didn’t get the context of them going from our potential new sperm donor we were excited about, now is too entrenched in the drama of our chaotic people in our lives, to now we’re fucking. I would’ve loved to have something more.
Riese: I guess we had Shane and Ivy, but that also was so brief. And yeah, I do think one thing that they’ve done consistently well is have sex scenes. And so I’m like… I know this happened in The L Word in season four, I want to say, in the beginning of the season four. There were just suddenly no sex scenes, and they were cutting away. It was obviously a Showtime decree of some kind that this was too much. Because this was like 2000 and whatever, 2007. But where is this a new dawn and a new day, and we have all kinds of freedoms and one of them is the sex scenes.
Drew: Yeah. I don’t know. I don’t if I’m just feeling… I think this happened last season. It’s happening this season, where it’s like, I don’t know if this show’s getting worse or anything. I’m just… When the show is not on, I miss its specific brand of whatever. And then as the episodes keep rolling along, I’m like, we’re not doing anything with this. And I just get more and more frustrated. And it’s not that this episode was drastically lower in quality than the first few of the season. It’s more just that I’m like, right, okay. So we have a big event. There’s some sort of mishap and chaos. And I know that’s television and it’s meant to be a comfort of hitting the beats or whatever, but I’m just always, I’m not caring about the characters because of how sort of confusingly written they all are.
Riese: I mean, I still enjoyed this episode. There’s a lot I enjoyed about it, like Sophie’s chaos. And I loved the Finley and Carrie stuff so much. That was such a satisfying next step for Finley when I was really worried that the next step was going to be a fucking relapse storyline. So I really have adored that. And there’s obviously things I don’t like, like the Angie and the professor.
But in general, I enjoyed it. I love Fletcher performing on the show. I love… I’s been a while. The original series always had queer artists performing, and we haven’t had that in a while. And Alice and Tom have great banter. But I am wondering, because I feel like I start every season with, even if the first episode isn’t that good, I still have this excitement about it. And I think maybe what just happens is we start to see where things are going and we get confused and then frustrated.
Riese: But also, I lost my favorite ship last week.
Analyssa: So you’re in mourning a little bit.
Riese: I’m still in mourning, but so is everyone. People are either mourning Bette and Tina’s disappearance, they’re morning Dani and Gigi. There’s, whatever, 17 of us mourning Sophie and Finley. But there’s just, wow.
Analyssa: I enjoyed it. I feel like, again, it always happens that I get to the end of it. I’m like, okay, fun episode. Sometimes watching The L Word feels like hanging out with your friends who are in a relationship and they fight a lot and they talk to you about it and you’re kind of like, “Maybe we shouldn’t be dating.” And then they ask you to hang out again and you’re like, “Okay, yeah, because I love my friends.” And then you do it again. You’re like, maybe I should change my relationship to these people and then they ask you to hang out again. I don’t know. I still show up every time and I just wish that my friends were making choices that made them happier. Do you know what I mean? What at the end of the day, that’s what I want. And I don’t know if in this context, in this metaphor, that’s become really muddled if my friends are The L Word characters themselves or The L Word writers, but somewhere in there I’m like, I’ll keep hanging out.
But you’re right, Riese, that the runway of excitement gets shorter and shorter every week because there’s fewer and fewer episodes to go, so you are running out of time to be like, maybe they’ll do this thing that I really was excited about. Or maybe they’ll follow this storyline that I think is really interesting. ‘Cause I feel like we’ve had fun guest stars and we’ve had fun little flashes of possibility. But you do just get midway through the season and you’re like, okay, what now?
It’s like, sometimes when I go to a movie that I don’t know anything about, and you get a while in and you’re like, okay, these are the plot lines… That these are the balls in the air that have to land before they end, like before the movie ends. And when you don’t know what those are, that’s really hard. But when you feel like they’ve all landed already, like all the guest stars I’ve been promised have showed up pretty much and all, you know what I mean?
Analyssa: All that has happened. I’m like, I don’t know where we go from here.
Riese: Yeah. I’m hoping that there’ll be some end of season twists that we aren’t anticipating in the same way that the Sophie and Finley thing happened at the end of season one, where I’m like, oh, my ears perk up. Who knows what that’ll be.
Analyssa: Group wedding.
Riese: Yes. Everyone marries everyone.
Analyssa: Everyone is married off in one of those big post-gay marriage legalization, like huge.
Riese: Queen Latifah marries everybody. Like in that awards show where she.
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 ToLAndBackCast@gmail.com. Our theme song is by the talented Bee Steadwell, and our Gen Q logo is by Jax Co. 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 A’s and on Twitter @analoca_ with one a and an 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 keywords from our girlies.
Drew: 3, 2, 1.
Riese: Quince meat.
Analyssa: Queasy. I knew you were going to say Quince meat.
Riese: You can just feel it was time for another Quince meat.
Drew: What did you say, Ana?
Analyssa: You weren’t looking around frantically enough for a word. And I was like, I know it. I said queasy because I used that word in a text recently because I got kind of sick on Christmas Day. And I was like, wow, that’s a great Q-word to have locked and loaded. And it’s also how I feel about Angie spending the weekend with that professor.
Drew: Yeah, I said quizzical because that’s how certain storylines on this show make me feel.
Analyssa: That’s a good one.
Drew: I’m going to relax because it’s between Christmas and New Year’s and I don’t have that much work to do and I’m going to enjoy that.
Analyssa: The No Man’s Land of the Year.
Drew: Fun stuff. Okay.
Analyssa: All right, bye.