“To L and Back” Generation Q Podcast Episode 208: Launch Party

So is this is how season 2 implodes – not with a bang, but with a deeply confusing whimper? Welcome to this week’s episode of To L and Back where, honestly, we have some notes! We spend quite a bit of time talking about the writing of this episode of Gen Q, rather than the actual events that transpire, which as Riese says is….not always a great sign.

But among the needless conflicts (Dani thinking Bette would want to see the Nunez name on the CAC, and gambling Pippa’s show for leverage), the baffling conversations (Micah telling Claudia he has feeling for someone else to her FACE), and the upsetting events (Sophie and Finley’s whole deal), there were still some treats! Micah’s jawline, for one, and Gigi’s tongue, for two. Throw in a sex scene backlit by the soft neon lights of the Las Vegas strip and you still have a tough episode — but one that had a sex scene backlit by the soft neon lights of the Las Vegas strip.


  • Riese’s recap of the episode, the comments of which are heartening to me
  • Candace the Carpenter draws Bette the Project Management Triangle in The L Word 1×12 “Looking Back” aka the Dinah Shore episode
  • Perhaps you, too, would have liked to spend more time with Isis King in this episode, and I would invite you to spend more time with her Instagram
  • Britni de la Cretaz wrote this insightful essay about how Gen Q struggled with sobriety storylines LAST SEASON and here we are again
  • A quick reminder that the Sackler family was not just “blacklisted,” they were actively bad!
  • Roxane Gay recently wrote the Criterion essay for Love & Basketball!

Drew: Hi, I’m Drew.

Analyssa: And I’m Annalyssa.

Riese: And I’m Riese.

All: And this is To L and Back, Generation Q edition.

Drew: Yay! We’re still together, but-

Analyssa: We are still together.

Drew: … the mood is-

Analyssa: The mood has shifted.

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: Dampened. Morale is low.

Riese: Morale is low. I’m not just saying that because I took two beta blockers today. My morale would’ve been low anyway.

Analyssa: Well, well, well, well, well, well. That’s how I feel.

Riese: Well.

Drew: I will say that sometimes the mood has been low in recording this podcast because of things going on in the world, and not that the world’s great. We are still in a pandemic.

Riese: Yeah, the world’s not great.

Drew: And there’s a lot of other things that are bad, but our mood is low today because of our topic of conversation.

Riese: Because we watched this episode today.

Drew: Yeah. So, this episode, that is episode 2.08, Launch Party, it’s directed by Haifaa al-Mansour who I actually really, really like. I’ve seen two of her movies: Wadjda and Mary Shelley. I really liked both of them. She’s directed a few other movies and she also directed an episode of The Wilds. I thought this episode was-

Analyssa: I like The Wilds.

Drew: Yeah. I thought this episode was very well-directed. That was not one of my problems with it.

Riese: I also liked The Wilds.

Drew: It was written by Melody Derloshon who wrote on Cougar Town and Future Man and wrote last season’s episode, LA Times.

Riese: Oh, I loved that one.

Analyssa: Which one was that one?

Riese: The threesome.

Drew: That’s the threesome.

Analyssa: Oh, great ep.

Drew: Yeah. But I think we might as well just get into it.

Transition Music…

Analyssa: Well, well, well.

Riese: We open at jail.

Analyssa: Well, so one thing I thought it just immediately was the color of Los Angeles in the open is so different than it has ever been in The L Word: Generation Q. It’s usually pinks and blues and this is gray and yellow: very Steven Soderbergh’s Los Angeles. and that’s how you know we’re going into a serious episode.

Drew: Yes.

Analyssa: Because as Riese said, yes, we’re in jail. Well, we’re not in jail. We’re at the steps of—

Riese: Yeah, we’re famously not in jail. Finley has emerged from her evening in jail. She did not have a nice time.

Drew: No. So we start with my first of many things that I have a problem with in this episode, which is that Finley makes a drop-the-soap joke, which I just thought culturally we’d understood that—

Riese: They made one in the original series!

Drew: In the original? Well yeah, of course they made-

Riese: They made like, two!

Drew: Of course they made one in the original series-

Riese: They love dropping the soap!

Drew: … 2004. But it’s just like, “Jesus.” I think prison rape jokes were just like we’ve all collectively decided that that’s not a thing we do anymore, but-

Riese: Surprise!

Drew: Nope. They’re still doing it.

Riese: It turns out that it is. Isn’t that the first line?

Drew: Yeah, but really, really-

Analyssa: Basically, yes.

Riese: I’m already in a bad mood.

Analyssa: Basically, Finley’s like, “Did you bring me pizza?” And then, “I didn’t drop the soap. Don’t worry.” And then, launches into all of the various details both of her night, which I found a little bit distasteful, her retelling of it, and then all the things that now she has to do. It sounds like she owes Sophie money. This whole thing was just a mess of details that I felt maybe this was not the time to share them or talk about them, but-

Riese: Okay. I would’ve liked to actually have rewritten the scene that led to this where they’re outside the car, and so I would love for that scene… Sophie realizes, “We’re both wasted,” like always because whenever they go out together they get wasted and it’s like, “We need to get a lift.” And Finley’s like, “No, no. I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine. I’m totally fine. Drive. I insist on driving. I’m definitely driving. I am the driver.” You know?

Analyssa: Right.

Riese: Just a little bit more of that. It would take two extra lines to make it hit a little harder I think.

Analyssa: Because as it is, sort of what we were talking about last episode, they both feel at fault quote unquote. Yes, Finley was the driver, but they both knew that they were both drinking. It just seems…

Riese: Yeah. They should have… First of all, when you go out, especially for them, they always get trashed, so always. And obviously, they’re both also… I mean, Finley’s always drinking a lot, but Sophie is going through a lot of shit right now, so she’s definitely going to be wasted. So why do they even drive there in the first place? But since they did, they would’ve talked about that at the beginning of the night like who’s going to drive, which they didn’t do either. Sophie was with Finley all night, so it’s not a surprise to her that Finley’s had several drinks. She actually saw her. I’m not saying that Sophie’s at fault for this, but they both made that decision about the driving. You know what I mean? So I think they should go halfsies on the impound.

Analyssa: Well it just-

Riese: But most of it’s on Finley.

Drew: Once again, I’m just constantly trying to figure out what these writers are doing. I’m just like, so if this is supposed to be Finley’s rock bottom, then I just am like, why are we muddling that unless it’s also…? I think as the episode goes on it’s also a wake-up call for Sophie, but I’m not sold on it. Just, Sophie’s journey does not feel clear to me.

Analyssa: And what I wish for Sophie’s journey is that you get the sense in this, that she is annoyed and peeved mostly at Finley’s just joking through it. It seems pretty evident that she wants Finley to take it seriously, which I think is totally fair. And I wish that, like you said, there’s two lines that could have been added where I’d be totally on Sophie’s side and I really wanted to be because I think I feel —

Riese: It doesn’t hit.

Analyssa: … it doesn’t land because I feel like we’ve seen her, especially to Finley, be so empathetic and so understanding. Drunk driving is bad, but this is a big deal for Finley too, and she’s clearly using humor to not talk about all the things that are actually going to happen. That is very annoying when you’re the person on the other side of it. But there was no line that said like, “Hey man, I’m trying to talk about a big night that you just had and you keep making jokes about your cellmate drooling on you. Can we like talk? Can we chat?” That never happened and I just felt bummed that Sophie didn’t get that chance, I think.

Drew: We’ll get into this later, but I think what’s hard is that I think they’re out this episode. What I think the issue is, and a lot of throughout this season, is trying to have a lot of fun moments and a lot of dramatic moments. Sometimes they are canceling each other out instead of living side by side in the sense that this season when we’ve seen Sophie and Finley out together, them getting drunk together has been framed as fun—

Riese: Funsies.

Drew: … and has been the basis of their relationship, which doesn’t feel unrealistic, but it’s just then all of a sudden Sophie being like, “You scare…” We’ll, save that for later, but it just… I don’t know. So, we can move on to the next scene, which is another winner.

Riese: Oh, my God.

Analyssa: Also baffling to me.

Drew: Speaking of scenes that make us want to claw our eyes out…

Riese: Do you think people are even going to listen to this podcast episode?

Drew: I don’t know. I think they watch the same episode, but people are maybe more of apologists than we are sometimes. I don’t know.

Analyssa: I honestly could talk about that first scene for half an hour.

Drew: I know.

Riese: Me too.

Analyssa: And let me tell you it returns. That scene comes back, so we can talk more later. Bette and Dani are at the CAC and first Bette says, “She doesn’t give about Gigi,” and I was like, “As we’ve all been saying.” Because she has seen that Dani has bought a wing of the CAC. I’m going to say front I’m famously stupid. I don’t really think I followed all the mechanics of what was at stake in this situation.

Riese: Good news. I re-watched all the relevant parts this morning.

Analyssa: Great. But I do understand that Bette is upset about this because Dani’s family money is basically dirty money. Right?

Riese: So her father’s company, they have investments. They have a portfolio of investments and one of their investments makes opioids.

Analyssa: Sorry. What I meant when I said dirty money, I don’t mean crime money. I mean it comes from immoral businesses.

Riese: Yeah. Some of it comes from… yeah … as opposed to every other company, which I think as we all know in this capitalist society, most companies…

Analyssa: Famously good.

Riese: Famously good, famously great portfolios.

Drew: I think what mainly confused me was just what have been the conversations between Bette and Dani about her relationship to her father, her involvement in this company. I think I’m more just was like, “Wait, well what’s their relationship?” Like if they’re close, have they covered this before? Wouldn’t Bette be more aware of Dani’s relationship with her father and her involvement in the company and be okay with that; and/or wouldn’t Dani be more like, “Oh, I know that this is a thing that Bette would not like.” Or, “This is something that I should maybe talk to Bette about it ahead of time to be like, ‘Hey, I want to use this money in this good way. Is this actually a good thing?” But she didn’t do that. She just was like, “Surprise! My last name is on.” They wanted to turn into this thing where it’s like, “That’s your father’s last name,” and it’s like, “It’s my last name too.” And it’s like, “But that’s not… But why didn’t you say anything?”

Riese: Also, it’s very common last name.

Drew: It’s a very common last name. I very much understand where Bette’s coming from. I also am just very confused how we got to this conflict. It feels so manufactured and so just like…

Riese: Right. The rules of surprises, I would say one of the main ones is if you’ve ever had a conflict about the thing you’re surprising someone with, you have to check in with them first. It is bananas that Dani did not check in with Bette about this. But it was also difficult for me because Bette this whole season’s been trying to get people to sign into her gallery owned by this racist, rich guy. And it’s like, “We’re all making compromises.” You know?

Drew: Yeah, excellent point.

Riese: And Dani’s trying to turn… I don’t know. Can Dani turn around? Can Dani move their money around? What’s happening? I don’t even really understand what their stake is in this, what their complicity is like if they actually are a company that was aware of all the things that the Sacklers were aware of and just kept pouring money in? You know what I mean? I have no idea. None.

Analyssa: I do understand, like you said Drew, where Bette is coming from and I wish that… I guess I don’t wish because I think it’s apparent, but that it also has so much to do with Kit. Like you can tell that that is the driving thing, which later comes up with Pippa I think although, again, very obliquely. I don’t know. Anyway.

Drew: It’s just not clear from either a detail standpoint or Dani and Bette’s relationship standpoint. It’s all just so muddled in a way and it’s so serious. This topic is so heavy and serious and also is about Kit, which is… It’s emotionally heavy and serious. It’s politically heavy and serious and they take the same care with it as they do a soapy cheating storyline that also doesn’t make any sense, but it’s like this isn’t fun. If it’s like a soapy cheating story line and it doesn’t really make any sense, I’m like, “I’m on board. Let’s watch hot people have sex.” But-

Riese: Don’t do issues. Stop it. If anyone’s listening, we don’t want you to do political issues.

Drew: You’re not good at it.

Riese: So just stop it. That’s my opinion.

Drew: I think this specific show has shown themselves to not particularly to be good when trying to get serious and get political. And then going into Dani, going to Gigi and being like…

Dani: Fuck Bette Porter.

Drew: … and them having sex and it’s like, “I’m not enjoying this. These very hot people are having a very good sex scene and I am not enjoying this because-”

Riese: You weren’t enjoying the sex scene? That’s bad. Wow!

Drew: I know and I was so excited to watch these two people have sex, and I was like, “I’m not going to-”

Riese: You were still like, “Wait, what?”

Drew: I was like, “No, I’m not excited to watch.” The passion of this scene is being motivated by Dani being like, “I want to defend my evil father against black artists.” I’m like, “I’m not going to be able to enjoy that sex scene.” And so I’m like, this is the thing where they’re undercutting what they do well by doing these other things poorly and I just… Also, why did her name have to be on the wing? Couldn’t they just…? I don’t know.

Analyssa: Because it’s a rehabilitation for her right dad’s name, which is… The other thing I think that actually might be interesting, but is totally lost, is how Dani, even in thinking that she’s doing good, is really still just doing PR for her dad’s company by this thing. And later we’ll talk about, she says like, “Well, we’ll just double the end dominant and they won’t be able to say no,” and I was like, “That’s also kind of stressful.” It doesn’t feel good either. There’s just… I’m not coming to The L Word for this type of plot line and I wish that it worked so integral to characters that I wish I were getting to know personally and not to their… I don’t know. I hate to be, “TV shouldn’t care about social issues,” because-

Riese: This TV show shouldn’t.

Analyssa: But this TV show maybe shouldn’t. And moreso I think maybe we should be thinking about how much we care about social issues when we write characters, so then we don’t do needlessly shitty and harmful things to our characters. But I don’t think we need our characters to be talking about social issues and how good they’re doing or how bad they’re doing at those.

Drew: Unless-

Riese: Yeah, exactly.

Drew: Unless you do it and you actually are thinking about it all the time. I think what bothers me about this show is that they’re like, “Oh, we’re going to have this conversation happen,” and you’re like, “Okay, but do you see how having this then impacts these other things?” and they don’t seem to…? I don’t know. It’s frustrating when it’s a thing where you’re like, “Oh, do they realize that this cute moment between Sophie and Finley is very negatively affecting Dani in this way that sort of ruins this moment.” That’s like, “Whatever.” I can get over that. When it’s like, “Oh, it’s that sort of problem of not thinking how things affect other things,” and it then turns Dani into like this really terrible person, it’s just… That can be her journey. Right? She can be imperfect, but the journey of the episode was not that she goes to Bette and goes like, “I realized that I was trying to do good, but I still was doing what my dad wanted me to do.” It’s her going to Gigi and being like, “Thanks for giving me the courage.” And so it’s like it could have been a really interesting thing where Dani’s like, “But I did good,” and then Bette’s like, “No, you didn’t.” That could have been a very interesting storyline, but they don’t want that because they want Dani and Gigi to be together; they want Ben and Pippa to be together. And so then, they’re not actually thinking about what they’re doing politically. They’re just saying politics.

Riese: Right, yeah. They’re just saying words.

Analyssa: One thing about the sex scene though that I did enjoy-

Drew: Yeah. We could talk about that. I don’t need… Yeah.

Analyssa: So Sepideh Moafi deserves an Emmy for her tongue work.

Riese: Yes, she does.

Analyssa: Her tongue is acting. Her tongue has more compelling storylines this season than many of the core characters, I will argue.

Riese: Absolutely.

Analyssa: I also — Justice for Gigi oen more time. I’m making a T-shirt that says it — because everyone uses having sex with Gigi as like-

Riese: I KNOW!

Analyssa: … as a release valve for all their other emotions, which is like…

Riese: Also like, is she free? They just come on… I mean that’s TV. That’s TV. That’s fine, but-

Analyssa: But it’s always… Gigi is always just-

Riese: A reaction.

Analyssa: … sitting on a sofa waiting for Bette or Dani, or Nat and Alice, or Nat to storm through the door ready to have sex because something else is going on. And I just want to say that’s not a nice way to treat people.

Drew: No, it isn’t. Now that I’ve watch this episode, we’re going to discuss it. I think I’m going to re-watch the sex scene later because these two actors didn’t do anything wrong. So, I’m just going to watch-

Riese: That’s art. That’s the kind of art that I want to see at the California Art Center sponsored by some…

Analyssa: Evil Corp Los Angeles.

Riese: The Peabodys.

Analyssa: When Bette said…

Bette Porter: It’s not over. I can call Peggy.

Analyssa: I was like, “Will you?”

Drew: I was like, “Wait, this could take a good turn?”

Riese: “Could you? Could you? Could you?

Analyssa: Is it going to happen?

Riese: “Could you, please?” But also, I can’t believe that this… It’s so… Sorry. It’s just dumb that it has gotten this far where their name is literally already up.

Drew: Yeah. What? How do things get [inaudible 00:17:30]? How does it get so good?

Riese: And why is it right at the front of the fucking museum?

Analyssa: It’s on the front door of the CAC, an institution that has been around for decades. There’s no way. And secondly, it happens so quickly.

Riese: I learned something from that carpenter, which is the triangle: time, money… You know?

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: Uh-huh (affirmative).

Riese: And what hap…?

Analyssa: Yeah. What did we sacrifice?

Riese: Exactly.

Analyssa: Well, we did sacrifice money because Dani has enough of it, I’ve learned.

Drew: It’s going to rub right off. Just going to be like when you get into a little car accident and you’re like, “Oh no, is this going to…?” And you rub it off and you go, “Oh, thank God.” That’s her last name. It could rub right out.

Analyssa: When Bette got mad, I wished Dani had been like, “Okay, hold on,” and just held out a little bit of Windex and scrubbed it—

Riese: “No-one will know!”

Analyssa: And we could have moved on from this storyline, but-

Riese: They should have just called it The Dani Wing.

Drew: Yeah. Well again, you’re right, Ana, that it is like they’re trying to… That’s the whole thing is that they want to rehabilitate the image and blah, blah, blah.

Analyssa: And Dani, I think, she’s doing it for good reasons, but the tangible reality of it is that she’s not — okay, we have to-

Drew: Wait. No, wait. Sorry. I have one more thing, which is that given the way that Dani thinks about Bette Porter, I do not believe that when Bette got mad at her that she wouldn’t immediately have stuck her tail between her legs and been like, “Oh my God, I’m so sorry. I was trying to…” You know what I mean?

Riese: That’s what I thought was going to happen.

Drew: I’m so confused by her reaction being like, “Fuck Bette Porter.”

Analyssa: Also, Bette is pretty firmly in the right, so to have Dani storm off and be like, “Fuck her,” is like…

Drew: What does the show want us to think?

Analyssa: Well, we’re still in this plot line for a while.

Riese: Yeah, we are.

Drew: Yeah, right. Because Bette goes to talk to… Yeah.

Analyssa: Bette is in her office talking to Pippa. And in another example of people-

Riese: Baffling.

Analyssa: … saying that they are doing the thing for the right reason, but ultimately harming people in the process, Bette is using Pippa’s work in the show as a bargaining chip with CAC to turn down the Núñez endowment. If you note that I’m talking slow because, again, famously stupid. Actually, I don’t think that’s true. I think that I would understand this if it were more sensical.

Riese: And Pippa’s like, “Well, art museums need money from somewhere,” whatever, which is I think a solid point. But also, what…? I remember the original series and it’s hard to get funding at the CAC. You know what I mean?

Analyssa: I’ve heard that. Yeah.

Riese: So it doesn’t seem like this is a very smart move for Bette at all.

Drew: No.

Riese: I don’t think this is going to work and it’s so shitty. Pippa almost cried in her office about all of her work and how much it means to her. And Bette cried about how it means so much to her and then she fucking went to the board and was like, “I’m going to withdraw this artist.” That’s so selfish and dumb.

Analyssa: Yeah. And again, I really think that Dani and Bette parallels here are so present. Because what I believe is that Bette does really believe in the move that she has made as a chess move and in the same way that Dani thinks of the move that she has made for putting the name on the gallery of a good move, it will work. It will do the things she wants it to do. But it feels very in character for Bette to be a champion of the art and the causes that she’s a champion of. It feels out of character after this season with her journey with Pippa and what they’ve talked about together that she would even put this at risk, which is what Pippa’s saying. Like, “Why would you do that?”

Riese: Obviously, I think, it’s motivated out of her feelings about Kit and driven by that, which was a shitty decision that the show made to be begin with. And so, that’s why she’s so passionate about it, but I also think it’s complicated because she just spent so long trying to convince Pippa to make compromises to sign with her gallery and now she’s like…

Drew: These two characters have been on the opposite side of this conversation, and also… Okay, I have a few things. One is the two of them are dating now. And while you shouldn’t date people who you work with, one thing that does happen if you date people who you work with is things that would be work conversations, become personal life conversations as well. So she’s not just her artist that she’s representing, she’s also her girlfriend or maybe no labels yet, but something. And so, then the question becomes, in what context would they not have talked about it? So then the other thing that that brings me to…They not have talked about it. So then the other thing that brings me to is why would it not have been a situation of like, if they wanted this storyline of like, Dani wants this wing and it’s complicated because of like, I just am confused why Pippa wouldn’t have been on the side of like, I don’t want to work with this person. That’s exactly why I didn’t want to make these sacrifices. Like that would be more in line with the character of Pippa.

Riese: Right.

Drew: Who’s been introduced that, like, she didn’t want to work with Zacharian and now she wouldn’t want to work with Dani’s dad or like take or be like represent, whatever connected with Dani’s dad. Again, like it’s… There are these deeper issues that bother me. And then there’s just the character motivation stuff where I’m like, some of these things in other characters voices would actually make more sense and would work more. And I’m just confused why the… Okay and again, it feels like, oh, we needed Bette and Pippa to be in a fight. We needed that to be the… A conflict as well. And it’s like—

Riese: And I mean, I do think that they kind of redeem it, one of the only things that happens in this episode, that kind of makes sense, it does seem like that is a “she fucked up”. Like she did do something out of carelesssness—

Analyssa: Yes. And there’s like a-

Riese: An acknowledgement of it

Analyssa: Yes.

Drew: Yes.

Analyssa: … And talking, communicating about it.

Drew: Absolutely.

Analyssa: But before that, we do find out that… That Bette has lost Pippa of the show. She takes a call outside of her office. Like clearly this did not go well. And then we get Jennifer Beals yelling “fuck” in her office –

Riese: Right.

Analyssa: … which is always to me, very pleasing.

Bette: Fuck! Fuck!

Riese: I think we should have followed Pippa at that point, you know?

Analyssa: Yes.

Riese: Honestly that’s…

Anaylssa: Yes. I wish we had seen Pippa’s reaction-

Riese: Yes.

Analyssa: … And what was going on there. But again, a moment most pleasing to me is when Jennifer Beals is yelling curse words in this show.

Drew: I also did enjoy that she brought up Provocations. Love that. And I think with her relationship with Pippa, I think there’s like some really interesting things that the show could be exploring.

Ries: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Drew: And is maybe trying to explore and maybe will explore or is exploring. I just don’t trust them. I think that’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot is just like, oh, there are like really interesting things that could be happening. And usually when I’m watching a TV show, if I’m like in the middle of the season, I will feel a level of, let’s see where this is going. Because I think that sometimes viewers get mad at characters or get mad at where storylines are going. And it’s like, no, no, no, this is… It’s serialized storytelling, we’re getting there, this character’s on a journey. This character’s getting to a certain place and they could land the plane.

Riese: Yes.

Drew: And maybe I will be like I… We said that last time then we talked about flight, then… Now we’re going to have to do it again. But… Or we don’t, I can… I can use a different metaphor.

Riese: They definitely… They turned the plane upside down time, but it didn’t land.

Drew: But-

Riese: It still hasn’t landed.

Drew: … Also, it’s just a question of like, I’m realizing that for myself after, two seasons into the show, I just don’t really trust them. So when something feels complicated or bad, I’m not like, “oh, well let’s see where this goes.”

Riese: Right.

Drew: I’m like, “why are they having that character do that? Why is this what the storyline is?”

Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative) .

Drew: And I’d love to be proven wrong, but…

Analyssa: It’s not going to happen in this episode.

Drew: No it isn’t.

Analyssa: One other thing though about bringing up provocations that I just remembered is famously it was hard to get Provocations at CAC.

Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative) .

Analyssa: She’s like “CAC my beloved CAC!”

Drew: Wasn’t she fired from CAC?

Riese: Yes.

Analyssa: Where Provocations was— like this is the gallery that shows Provocations, they will obviously—

Drew: Yes.

Riese: But like, that was because you shoved it down their throats! No one wanted it but you—

Drew: Yes.

Riese: …They wanted impressionists in winter!

Drew: Yes.

Analyssa: They really wanted Impressionists in Winter and like again, good on Bette for getting Provocations through and continuing to talk about it. Great career when… But I was like… But do you remember that it was really tough to get Provocations there? –

Riese: Yes..

Analyssa: … Like this might…This gambit of gambling this gambit of gambling.

Riese: Exactly.

Anaylssa: Pippa’s chances-.. on the endowment. Okay.

Drew: Okay.

Analyssa: Let’s get into the last storyline that is… [crosstalk 00:26:03].

Drew: Moving on to the storyline, that there was a period of time where I was watching this episode and I went, “this episode is frustrating to me, but this is one of two storylines I’m really liking!” And then they ruined it. Anyways, not that yet. So it’s Isis King who I love, who’s such a talented actor and… Well first… Okay. So Micah basically burst in this persons office and is mad because a doctor at the center recommended that one of Micah’s clients go on puberty blockers, and Micah is mad because Micah is… His parents, aren’t going to sign off on this and you’re giving him false hope and he’s like very mad. And he just starts like bursts into the office.

Analyssa: Comes in very hot.

Drew: But the doctor is played by Isis King who is just phenomenal, was so good in When They See Us and is just-

Analyssa: Yes.

Drew: … A great actor.

Riese: She was the first trans model in America’s Next Top Model.

Analyssa: I didn’t know that. In my head cannon they cast her and then Micah and Isis got in the room together and they were fun and had… And they were like, oh, let’s do something with this, instead of just a fight about a client, which I think is probably what it all started as—

Drew: Well… Cause she like says…

Claudia: With as much professionalism as I can muster, which is considerably more than you manage to gather before baring into my office. I want to remind you that I am a doctor with a medical degree. I always have my patients best interest at heart.
Micah: I don’t disagree with you.
Claudia: I honestly wouldn’t care if you did.

Drew: I immediately loved her and was like, I want to watch a show all about you. But so that’s where that scene ends. Well we’ll return to that. But for now we’re going to Alice’s book launch.

Riese: Alrighty. Alice’s book is coming out in an underground bunker and everybody’s there in a land with no time. It is only Alice’s book. And we learned the following: nobody at the CAC will talk to Bette. Surprise, no one at the CAC wanted to talk to Bette when she worked there! Tess and Shane they’re dating, but Tess in Vegas.

Drew: And Alice says that Shane loves Tess-

Riese: Yes.

Drew: … From the moment she met her, which is a little bit of rewriting history, but I love it. I’m on board. That’s Shane… Shane and Tess, I love this.

Riese: Yes. That she apparently has loved Tess from the moment she saw her, which okay.

Analyssa: Alice hasn’t talked to Tom about Nat, she doesn’t want to…

Riese: What? Sorry I need to start complaining about this already. Why would you do it right now? It’s your fucking book launch party! It makes no sense. Makes no sense.

Analyssa: Makes no sense.

Riese: When she’s like, “should I tell him” — the obvious answer is, “yeah, LATER!”

Analyssa: Yes. When he has a hotel room to go have a conversation in… you could have just been like, yes, I will stay the night after this party, but we do have something to talk about. Nope. Okay. I do relate to Alice in many ways, as I’ve said, I think on the very podcast, but I do relate to being like, “‘I have something big to talk about” and it has to happen before a certain time. And so then you put it off and put it off and put it off. And you have about 30 seconds to say it—

Riese: That’s when I just don’t say it.

Analyssa: … I used to have conversations like this with my parents when we were in the car driving somewhere because they were trapped. But then I would only do it when we were about to pull up to the next thing. Like that’s what Alice feels like she’s doing. But it is nonsensical. I have mostly grown out of it cause I’m grown up now.

Riese: Finley and Sophie and show up, Finley and Tom have an incredible-

Analyssa: When did they come up with it?

Riese: … handshake. Well, probably in a scene that we didn’t see.

Analyssa: I love that for them.

Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative) .

Riese: Yes. I love this for them

Analyssa: I thought you would like him because I remembered you saying you wanted them to spend time together.

Riese: Yes. And Finley is making jokes about jail.

Drew: Yeah. So Finley says, “I’ve met a lot of people in my life, but jail people are way different.” and is also like “bad night great story!” I hate it. I hate it so much. I just… I just like… What??!! I’m aware that the writers of The L Word have different politics than I do. I just am confused how some of these things… It just feel it’s just so callous and so… I don’t know, just like jokes that feel they’d be made 10 years ago and they wouldn’t have been good 10 years ago either. But I just thought that culturally we moved forward in our understanding of jails and prisons. And it’s not that Finley necessarily… I guess it makes sense for Finley but I also am like, “okay, I don’t like you.”

Analyssa: But a joke that would also make sense for Finley that reminds everyone that she was in jail is if she was talking about pooping into a metal can… Like that is also really on brand for her and doesn’t involve any of the other people that she was in jail with, any of the other people who might be going through something in their life who are imprisoned in an unjust system. We don’t need to get super deep into it, but I just… There are different ways to write that, to make it the same kind of thing, which is actually, like as a person of drinking experience — or as a person of now sober experience, I should say, the jokes about a really bad night actually feel very realistic to me.

Riese: Yes. For sure.

Analyssa: Sort of like Tess being like, she hasn’t broken a bone or broken a dish.

Riese: Yes.

Analyssa: Like, ha ha, that kind of thing is like when you’re in… At least in my experience, I should say, in like active alcoholism  — there is a desire to do that because it’s like “I have everything under control, that’s just a silly, goofy thing that happened. Ha ha!”

Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative) .

Rise: Yes.

Analyssa: And so that all felt really real but then the other stuff felt really like mean at the expense of other people-

Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative) .

Analyssa: … who don’t have anything to do with this and just happened to be in the jail the same night as Finley. And it just felt unnecessary. Again because it could be like, “I puked my guts out on the floor of a cell, isn’t that embarrassing? Or like, “I had to sleep in my clothes on a metal bench, that sucks.” You know, but there are just so many other on brand jokes.

Drew: Yes.

Riese: Yes.

Analyssa: Which Drew like… like you said…  Sometimes they put stuff right next to each other where I’m like, that actually is really enlightening about Finley’s character that she would say, ha ha a Dewey or “horrible night great story. Am I right?” That stuff, I was like great character building. And then she’s like, but jail people, blah, blah, blah.

Drew: And the L Word audience is going to like Finley. Like obviously some people don’t like Finley, but for the most part, your average L Word viewer, Finley is made in a laboratory for the lesbian community at large to love her. That is the person who just has the easiest time skating through. I mean there are things we know about Finley and Finley’s life. And obviously Finley has issues and has trauma, et cetera, et cetera, but like—

Analyssa: But people hold Finley, the way that Dani said last episode.

Drew: …Yes. So when Finley makes a joke, I think there are a lot of people out there who are on board and it doesn’t mean that she can’t be flawed, but again, you just illustrated how that could be done not at other people’s expense. Okay.

Riese: Then we go back to Gigi’s and Dani has a phone call because now everyone’s in crisis because of…

Analyssa: Because Bette didn’t like the surprise.

Riesee: Because Bette hated her surprise and Gigi is-

Analyssa: Which again, bad surprise. It’s Dani’s fault that Bette didn’t like the surprise!

Riese: … Yes. And Gigi is like, it’s not working for me—

Analyssa: Okay.

Riese: But like, Dani has to go to work!

Analyssa: I understand the thing that’s happening here. And they talk about it later and good. They’re all communicating — and again, as a person, I’m going to keep saying this-

Riese: As a person of human experience.

Analyssa: … A person of human experience, but also as a person of very demanding job experience sometimes, and this is a little bit of a character flaw as it is here in Dani too. I hate when people are like, “but what if you just set a boundary this time?”

Riese: Yes!

Drew: Right.

Analyssa: “But do you always jump for your boss?”

Riese: Yes.

Analyssa: Like? Yeah, I do! Because I work at my job and I know the level of demanding that my job and I’m really sorry that it’s impeding on what you think I should be doing.

Riese: Yes.

Analyssa: And I agree with Gigi later. Dani is not kind to Gigi-

Riese: Yes.

Analyssa: … And that is something to discuss. But what is not really something that’s fun to discuss, especially if you’re a person who, like Dani, and like me don’t tell anyone-

Riese: And like me.

Drew: Me too.

Analyssa: … doesn’t always love how demanding your job is? Nobody’s like, “Yeah, fuck yeah! I lose days of my life to this. I can’t have a real life.”

Riese: “If this phone call had come in the middle of sex, I still would’ve had to answer it. Yes, this is my terrible life.”

Analyssa: Dani has thought about this, and Dani is a grown up and has come to the conclusion —
“if this phone call came during sex, I would have to take it and I’m sorry, but that’s just the matter of it.” And when people do that—

Riese: It’s the middle of the day, also.

Drew: Yes.

Analyssa: … When people do that little cloying-

Riese: I hate it.

Analyssa: … And like touchy of like, what if you just like, oh, but isn’t it like. No, I have to work. I’m sorry. I also don’t love it.

Drew: What this episode eventually wants us to get is that in this moment, Gigi is suggesting boundaries with Dani’s father in a way that’s really positive. What this scene communicates is that Gigi is not respectful to Dani’s work and her desire to work. And she’s always… That’s a big part of her personality is that she like is that work is important to her regardless of what her work is. So this scene does not accomplish what it’s supposed to be accomplishing in the arc of this episode.

Analyssa: Right.

Drew: And it ultimately, yes. I’m like, oh God-

Analyssa: It’s always just like…

Drew: … The first time that I haven’t wanted to date Gigi.

Analyssa: I was just like, “yes babe, I would ignore this call from my boss if I could. That’s just simply right-”

Riese: That’s the thing, people will be like, “the internet can wait” And I’m like, actually it really can’t. Unfortunately it moves pretty fast!

Drew: And she just could have instead, had framed it, not from a place of “you shouldn’t work,” but from a place of “your dad is doing the thing that you’ve told me your dad does.”

Riese: But now it’s not the time for her to do that.

Drew: No. But I’m just saying that would’ve accomplished more of what going for then her just being like, what if you just didn’t work right now?

Analyssa: Right.

Drew: It’s like, what? No. Okay. So going back to Micah. Micah runs after Claudia to apologize to her and…

Riese: Ends up aking her on a date?

Drew: Yes. So…

Analyssa: He’s jawline asks her out on a date. I’m sorry. Let’s just take one second. There’s a lot of stuff going on in this episode. And I think we should acknowledge the little treats for us, the viewers that exist. And one of them is Micah’s jawline in this scene.

Drew: Yes. So he’s… He basically is like, look…

Micah: I need to apologize for lashing out at you.
Claudia: Yes. You really came in hot.
Micah: I know, I know. It’s just, you know, with Joaquin…
Claudia: You care. Me too.
Micah: But also I was Joaquin. I had a one meeting, pediatrician, who said I could start blockers and a mom who disagreed. I fell into a really deep depression after that.
Claudia: It took me 30 years to screw up the courage and go to a doctor and ask for HRT. I wish more than anything, I could have started sooner.

Drew: Yes. I don’t know how old she’s supposed to be. I guess I was like, is she 30? Like did she transition at 30? How old is she?

Analyssa: It felt like “I wasted 30 years of my life total,” which is just…

Drew: But still I would like to say that maybe… I mean, as I’ve said, I love Isis King. I’m so glad she’s in this. But also, it reminds me a little bit, of unposed whenever they’re talking about how like clocky MJ is. And I’m like, okay, that’s a bit of a stretch. What if any show ever cast someone who was trans and looked like a little bit gender nonconforming? What would happen? But yes… So I don’t know when she was supposed to have transitioned, but I don’t even know but I did enjoy the flirting. And so at this point in this moment, I was just really enjoying this. She asks if he can cook and then he’s like, yes, sort of. And she’s like, what’s your address? And then she’s like, “cute I’ll be over later.” I mean it’s crazy how quickly this happens with like a… They work together. Like it is a no. It’s a no, but it’s a kind of no that on The L Word I’m like, I can live with this no. This… These hot people are flirting. These hot trans people are flirting. I was like, I am so excited about this. Finally I was —

Riese: I’m so sorry.

Drew: … So excited.

Analyssa: Yes. As a person of dating in Los Angeles experience, I’m going to say — now I’ve done it so times that I have to make it a bit for this episode, I’m sorry —

Drew: Great. Keep going.

Analyssa: I’ve never in my experience scheduled a date day of…

Riese: I’ve never scheduled anything day of besides recording this podcast—

Anaylssa: —which happened today.

Drew: Well I’ve never scheduled a date. I guess I scheduled a hook-up.

Analyssa: I was going to say, I’ve definitely texted someone, been like, “what are you doing later tonight? Let’s roll around.” For sure. But like, we’re going to go on a first date and we talked today and now it’s tonight?

Drew: No, no.

Analyssa: It’s also friends time for us, for me to discuss—

Drew: The song?

Analyssa: … The music choices.  In this here series. I don’t think one single song queue has made sense since Driver’s License.

Drew: Have you considered?

Riese: I know that’s what they peaked. And then from there it’s been-

Drew: Have you considered?

Riese: … An in house band?

Drew: It is. Yes. It’s like a Greek chorus of sorts.

Analyssa: It literally is.

Drew: And that it’s a choice. It’s an artistic choice.

Analyssa: Okay. That’s fine. I disagree with it.

Drew: I would like to say that. Yes, I do not like the artistic choice.

Analyssa: There were some really big ones in this episode. So Micah is going to go on a date with this hot doctor and the song says “you the man” over and over. There’s one later that also, I was just like…

Riese: Yes, there’s one during a sex scene that I was like, I can’t believe this is happening.

Drew: I keep searching the songs and a lot of them don’t come up on Shazam so…

Analyssa: I genuinely think we’re in a situation like we were in the original L Word

Riese: I think they have in house-

Analyssa: With who? Who was it?

Drew: Fucking, fucking…

Riese: EZ Girl.

Analyssa: EZ Girl. Yes.

Riese: Shane Shane Shane Shane

Analyssa: Carmen Carmen Carmen

Riese: Okay. So then we go to the legal department, I guess, which is in a stately building. Dad’s out of jail. Okay.

Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative) .

Riese: He’s mad at Dani for trying to do something good. He’s trying to blame on her. And she’s like, no, this is on you. Which is true. He’s the one who… She has to clean up his, whatever. And Bette is described as…

Legal: Formidable at best and destructive at worst.

Analyssa: I do like that Bette has all these fancy lawyers scared. That’s fun. I don’t like that all these fancy lawyers are worried that the thing that happened to the Sacklers is going to happen to them. That’s how you know.

Drew: What this has done. I mean, this is the Bette that I love. This is Bette….  what it’s doing is making me not care about Dani anymore and not care about Dani and Gigi, but the idea of Bette being up against Dani’s dad and these like evil lawyer people I’m like, yes, let’s see that. I like want to see her destroy them. So …

Analyssa: Again, we jump through a time loop.

Riese: And we’re back at the book party.

Analyssa: Back at the launch party.

Riese: And Alice has decided to pick the worst moment of all time for some god damn reason. Because Tom gives her a book and she signs a copy of his book and she… And he gives her a key to his hotel room.

Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative) .

Riese: Because he likes his beds king sized, like his candy bars. And then she’s like, oh, “I have to tell you that I hooked up with Nat.” But here’s the thing: like how — their relationship is serious enough that her hooking up with Nat would be a problem, but not serious enough that they literally haven’t spoken in over a week?

Drew: Yes. It doesn’t make any sense.

Riese: They established nothing.

Drew: If the… What has been established on screen makes it, so this is like… Tom sucks, this sucks. And it’s like, I don’t understand how…

Riese: I didn’t feel like he sucked. I just felt like this didn’t make sense. Like I was just confused.

Drew: No, because it’s like masculine bullshit of being like controlling before you have any right to even be controlling.

Riese: I didn’t see it like that at all.

Analyssa: I didn’t think that. I thought Alice-

Drew: Really?

Analyssa: … I thought Alice thought she did something wrong.

Riese: Yes. I thought so too.

Analyssa: Very much.

Drew: But she didn’t.

Riese: But she thinks she did.

Drew: Right. To us.

Analyssa: No, we’ve seen them have sex one time, but I just… in the world of the show she seems …

Drew: Okay. So I took the side of: Alice knows that this guy might have an issue and he does have an issue. And so then she’s very apologetic, but that…

Analyssa: I thought that—

Riese: No.

Analyssa: … she was genuinely like, “I’ve done a bad thing.”

Drew: No. It reminded me of… There’s like a whole storyline in Ted Lasso where they just start hooking up and then the character hooks up with her ex and then the whole point of that episode is like, he has to get over his shit and realized that they had nothing established and like whatever… I was like… I was thinking about that and I was like, why does Ted Lasso have better gender politics than The L Word?

Analyssa: That might stand but I don’t think in this storyline, that’s what was happening. Like I think she felt…

Riese: Yes, she felt like she did something bad.

Analyssa: She did something wrong.

Drew: But she didn’t!

Riese: Right. But in the world of the show for… I mean, we don’t know why, but for some reason it is.

Analyssa: Like if I said to you, Drew, a girl I’ve been dating for two weeks, now I’ve hooked up with my ex, I feel really bad. You’d be like, “you didn’t do anything wrong-”

Drew: Right.

Analyssa: … But if that, if I feel like I did something bad and that girl feels like I did something bad, then something bad has happened.

Drew: You’re both wrong. I don’t agree.

Analyssa: Anyway, she does it right before he has to introduce her.

Drew: Yes.

Analyssa: And he’s like pretty upset. He is struggling to-

Riese: Yes.

Analyssa: … Adjust to his new reality.

Tom: I think we all know who Alice is or at least who she wants us to think she is. She’s honest. She’s caring. Wickedly funny. She’s caring, wickedly funny, but there’s another side to Alice. A side, that’s emotional and empathetic. I mean, she can’t watch an episode of Dr. Pimple Popper without crying and who can blame her?

Riese: I just thought this was stupid.

Drew: Yeah. So stupid

Riese: It didn’t make sense.

Analyssa: He gets really close to giving a not nice… Like every line they’re like, is he going to go off? And he doesn’t.

Riese: He doesn’t. I think he’s a standup guy.

Analyssa: I do too.

Drew: Yeah, I think so. It’s just very poorly written.

Riese: Yeah. And I really didn’t understand why they wrote it like that either. Like, why not have… It was sort of like the thing with like, make the Finley-Sophie thing a little bit more clear. It would have taken two lines!

Analyssa: Right.

Riese: To make it a genuine conflict. Or Alice to be like, yeah, we’ve been talking every night, but I’ve left this out of the story. Or like, we haven’t talked all week. So it shouldn’t be a big deal.

Analyssa: Or Alice saying to Tom, like I know we haven’t had this conversation, but I’ve been feeling really guilty. Can we discuss?

Riese: Yeah but instead she presents it like she cheated on him.

Analyssa: Yeah.

Riese: And then he rolls with it.

Analyssa: And he reacts in the way that she presents it, which I agree Drew, is out-sized but he reacts in the way that she presents it, which is again, not really how you would do that. You’d be like, it’s really early with this and I’m coming off this other thing. And she sort of says “it’s complicated,” but it falls sort of-

Drew: No, Alice definitely does not frame it correctly.

Analyssa: Right. But then she reads part of the Dana chapter. He gives her a brisk handshake.

Drew: The only thing is that like, in the middle of all this happening, like Finley gets cocktails for herself and Sophie.

Analyssa: Right. Oh, and Tess can’t come to the event because she’s in Vegas. That will be important later, I guess.

Drew: Yeah. So Alice reads from the Dana chapter.

Riese: After it, when they were like, “you painted Dana so perfectly!” — she didn’t say anything about Dana.

Drew: She didn’t say anything about Dana.

Analyssa: Not one thing about Dana’s personality in that reading!

Riese: She didn’t say anything about their story together. She went straight from engagement party, love confession, to deathbed. Literally to deathbed. I mean it’s a show but.

Drew: I did get emotional, but this is a terrible personal essay.

Riese: Yeah, I cried but I hated myself.

Analyssa: Against my will. Every tear I’ve shed in this show has been against my will.

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: “You really capture her spirit.”

Riese: No you didn’t! You said nothing about her! Besides that her favorite song was “You Are My Sunshine.” Cause also no, it wasn’t.

Analyssa: That’s not exactly true. But what this chapter serves to do, as many things in this show serve to do is get three people to realize they all need to go talk to the person they’re actually in love with. So Shane is like, I have to go talk to Tess don’t I? And everyone’s like, duh. And then Bette’s like, I have to go call Pippa for the 1000 time. And I was like, maybe don’t. And then Alice was like, I got to go find Tom.

Drew: Yes.

Riese: And in a confounding turn of events, Finley — who very recently brought two drinks for her and Sophie to drink that they sat next to each other, drinking — Sophie asks

Sophie: Are you drinking?

Riese: Yeah. Yeah. Like who wrote this? Like…. what?

Drew: Melody —

Analyssa: Yeah, it doesn’t… It confounds-

Riese: I was like, was that supposed to be water?

Analyssa: But also it’s just a thing of like, nobody’s actually talking about the thing that happened really. And again, Riese you’re right, that’s really hard. But like maybe they would have had a conversation in the car before they came of like, Hey, are you good? Maybe we should both not drink tonight. We had a rough time.

Riese: Yeah. Because it seems like Sophie’s decided not to drink for awhile. And it seems like Finley would really benefit from doing that as well.

Drew: Do you know what would’ve been so easy? Is that if Finley, I’d like to know, after Alice is done speaking, Finley says “that was sad.”

Riese: You know what else is sad?

Drew: Do you know what she could have said is “that was sad, I need a drink.” And then Sophie could have said, “Hey, what if we don’t drink tonight?” And then Finley could be like, no.

Analyssa: Or some conversation about that.

Riese: And then also that’s another way. Cause there’s obviously a distinction between Sophie’s drinking and Finley’s drinking. And like, Sophie’s like a binge drinker, which is its own thing. But I don’t know what to say. They’re not doing a good job. Like there’s ways that they could show it. And I think that kind of thing would be perfect. Like her being like, this is sad, I need a drink. That would be a good way to start a conversation. And also to find out how Sophie feels about her drinking. How Finley— like, Finley’s last relationship ended because of her drinking!

Analyssa: Right. And again, there’s stuff in here that I do think actually is realistic, but all of the entry points into the conversation are not. And so then the things they’re saying-

Riese: And it so easily could have been.

Analyssa: Yes, exactly. And so the things they’re saying don’t seem like they make sense. And honestly, if I were Finley, and Sophie said the things that Sophie says to me in this episode, I’d be like, what the fuck are you talking about dude? And vice versa. Like if I were Sophie and I was with someone like Finley, you’d be like, Hey, a lot of stuff is going on. Are we good? They both don’t talk in the way that you feel like a normal human person would talk. And again, that’s totally down to a script level and what the ideas are. It’s not about really even the characters anymore. It’s like, none of this makes sense to me, I feel lost.

Riese: Rosanny is trying her hardest to tell a story with just her face and no lines.

Analyssa: I was going to say, the eyeball acting? She’s crushing.

Drew: Yeah. I really like all the actors and I really like all the, I mean, this is how I felt about the original L Word where I’d be like, oh, I love these characters. And then sometimes people will be like, “yeah, but Alice did this thing that was really transphobic.” And I was like, oh, when I say I love these characters, I don’t take all of the episodes as canon. I love this character when I love them. But all of the characters on The L Word, in the original series, and now in this series, there’s constant stuff that’s just wildly out of character.

Riese: Yeah. Wait, how many lines do they even have with each other? Four?

Drew: It doesn’t make any sense. Okay. So Micah and Claudia are like, Micah is cooking dinner, and they’re flirting. And they bond over work stuff. We learned that Micah’s a Virgo, which is a fun little thing.

Analyssa: Surprising, but okay. We’ve learned It.

Drew: Yeah. And so then the fire alarm starts going off.

Riese: Why didn’t they just take it apart?!

Analyssa: Why didn’t they open the door or the window? There’s a massive door next to me.

Drew: Yes, it makes no sense. It makes zero sense. But one thing that I want to say is that I absolutely loved the tea for tea energy of the woman being the one who like, “I’m taller, I can reach it.” Like I loved that detail, but I was like open the door.

Analyssa: I thought that detail was fun. There’s a door right there.

Riese: I was like, as I did to my smoke alarm. Remove it from the wall.

Drew: That’s a felony, so.

Analyssa: It’s dangerous.

Riese: A felony?

Analyssa: You could burn to death!

Drew: I think it says on it it’s a felony. Or maybe it’s, I don’t know if it’s a felony, but I don’t know if you should say that publicly.

Analyssa: I don’t think it’s a felony. Isn’t smoking on an airplane a felony?

Drew: I don’t know. I don’t.

Analyssa: Okay.

Drew: So, but then they don’t kiss. That’s the part of this that I did not understand. I was like, kiss! Why aren’t you kissing yet? Your faces are so close to each other.

Analyssa: They did the Shane and Tess special, which is stand really close and breathe each other’s air, but not, kiss. Okay. So then back at the CAC, Bette is negotiating with the guy in charge. She’s come to be like, you guys called my bluff and I thought you were going to counter offer me.

Riese: And it does feel like maybe this is the culmination of a lot of the stuff that’s been happening with her this whole season. Where she’s like:

Bette: I made a mistake. That is something you will rarely hear me say, but Pippa Pascal. Her work means everything to me. Do you understand? Everything?
Speaker 2: What would you do if you were in my position?
Bette: I would throw me under the bus. I’m perfectly prepared to be publicly humiliated, but don’t punish her and don’t punish the people who need to see her work.

Analyssa: And Pippa is there.

Riese: Pippa is creeping.

Analyssa: And can hear her and hears Bette say like genuinely very nice and meaningful things about what she’ll do for Pippa. Like she says that Pippa’s work means everything and she’ll do anything if the CAC will forgive her for this.

Drew: Yeah. This definitely was the moment that was like, oh, okay. I think I see what they’re going for. And I’m excited hopefully for this to be where it’s going.

Analyssa: Right.

Drew: And again, my trust in writers isn’t super strong, but this scene was good.

Riese: Yeah. And this is also when she says she realizes that her legacy is one of revenge and stuff. That was good.

Drew: That was really good.

Riese: And then her and Pippa hugged and it’s nice. And she kind of like folds into Pippa, which is not her style. And I thought that was really nice too.

Analyssa: Yeah. It’s nice to see her finally get the opportunity to say that. And like that that’s what has been happening. To see that feels cathartic in a good way. And I like that it’s with Pippa. Again, we’ve talked about how Bette has not been able to date in a long-term way another Black woman. Or like the way she talks about what Pippa’s art means to her because she hasn’t done that in her own life. And that this might be like a good, solid step for both of them is very… I just thought it was really nice. But I do want to say all of their dialogue, very abstracted. I wish they were speaking in like real concrete details about feelings, but instead they’re sort of-

Riese: It’s very broad.

Analyssa: I mean, they’re artists, I guess. Speaking of reconciliations, you can tell that we didn’t adore this episode because that’s the first, speaking of, all episode.

Riese: Oh my God you’re right! Speaking of communication, two women are about to try it.

Analyssa: They’re going to try. Dani has come to Gigi’s with Chinese food to sort of make up for the morning. And they bond about their dads and how they got in the way of former relationships. And I had just one aside about this is “my dad always wanted what was best for me” is a weird way to say “Dani’s dad was really classist about Sophie.” Okay. But I did like the line, again as a person of demanding job experience, Dani’s line that was like, I was really embarrassed that you saw how he treats me, or something like that? Which is, I think often with my very long hours and stuff, I don’t mind doing the demanding work myself. I can keep it going. It’s when a loved one is like, wait, let’s go. And you have to see that I’m submissive to this thing. That is when it starts to become stressful. And that’s why then the reaction of but babe, what if you just put boundaries in place?, is more off putting to me. Cause it feels humiliating.

Drew: So we learned that Bette backed off, so Dani’s like I won. Which again, I thought the whole thing was that Dani had, her morals had changed and she’d left her dad behind. I’m just, I’m like what?

Riese: I mean, she’s has to run the company. Right?

Drew: I mean no. No, she actually doesn’t. Yes she is officially the CEO because she signed that document. No sense. But she does not have to run the company well. She does not have to do things that are morally objectionable.

Riese: You think Dani’s going to lead the class revolution?

Drew: No! But there’s a difference between leading the class revolution and being like, oh, I defeated Bette Porter and all these black artists.

Analyssa: Yeah. What I was going to say is that I didn’t love that it again, pinned in Bette as the adversary in this episode as though Bette’s point was not a good one.

Drew: I mean, who knows what the next episode will do and maybe Dani will like, they’ll have a… Cause she’s like, I’m going to give Bette a few days to cool off. And it’s like, I really hope that that is words coming out of Dani’s mouth. But the show knows that that’s not what’s going to happen. And in the future episode, actually what will happen is Dani realizes that she’s wrong.

Riese: They hint at it at the end. What’s going to happen. I think. Don’t they?

Drew: Yes they do. But I mean, they don’t hint at whether Dani is like… Is Dani going to be on team Bette and Pippa? Or with her dad? Okay. So, but then when Gigi was like, I sure do like you, I was like, oh my God, I love that so much. I wish that was in any other episode or any other, whatever. Speaking of, I’m just going to read my notes for the scene, but not the last one, because it’s actually a thing to get into. But my notes in the beginning are Micah and Claudia! Ugh, dude. No. Ugh. Why?! And so basically what happens is Micah and Claudia kiss and then Micah’s like, Oh my God, I can’t do this because I’m in love with someone else.

Riese: What is wrong with you?

Analyssa: Why would you say it to someone?

Riese: Did he have carbon monoxide poisoning? Why is he saying this?

Drew: Like, I didn’t, I just, yeah.

Analyssa: All the steak fumes have gone to his head.

Riese: Someone who he works with-

Analyssa: Who he has to see so soon.

Drew: I don’t even.

Riese: Tomorrow morning he has to see her.

Drew: Okay, this is the thing that really bothers me. So Micah wasn’t in the last episode and this could have been a two episode storyline. Actually this could have been a several episode storyline because if you needed drama at the night where like the drama was that Maribel was like, you’re talking to someone. If instead it was that Micah… There’s just could have been a whole-

Riese: He could’ve been talking to her.

Drew: Yeah! It could have been a whole three episode arc with Isis King and this lovely flirtation these two have. They could have had sex. And I just think it all could have been… Instead because they want Micah on the poster and want to be able to say that one of their leads is a trans guy, but they don’t actually want to put them in every episode. We get this very rushed, very confusing, I don’t know. They had so much chemistry. Why would this not go on for several episodes? And like we know where I stand as far as the Micah shipping goes. We know where I stand. But, why couldn’t this fling or whatever have been something that was actually substantial. And actually given these two actors more time to do this.

Riese: And Micah’s kind.

Analyssa: And like fine instead of… So many times on this podcast I’ve been like, this feels mean. It feels unnecessary to kiss someone and then to their face be like, I can’t kiss you because I have feelings for someone else. Like it’s just not.

Riese: Yeah. And I think what’s interesting also is, I noticed this a lot in when I’m writing and talking about TV and stuff, when we’re shifting from talking about, why would the character do this to, why did the writers do this? Which I feel like happens on the show. Cause it’s not like I’m like, why would Micah do this? Cause he wouldn’t.

Drew: Right, exactly.

Riese: So I’m just like, why was it written this way?

Drew: I feel about so many of the things in this episode.

Analyssa: So many storylines.

Riese: Right. And honestly this show, for all of its faults, has inspired that in me so much less than the original series. But this episode is just such a disaster and it has such good sex scenes in it.

Analyssa: It really has good sex scenes in it.

Riese: Like what the fuck!

Drew: So then we go back to Alice and Tom’s storyline, which is another one where I’m like, I think Tom’s a great guy. I’ve loved his character. None of this has felt realistic to his character because I feel like what would have been more accurate is he would have been like, okay, so you want to be with that? And Alice would have to be like, no, I really do want to be with you. And prove that instead of him getting upset and we’re like, oh no, is he going to say something bad in the speech? No, of course he wasn’t ever going to say anything. It’s not his character. Anyways. Alice walks in on him as he’s taking tiny shampoos and toiletries and stuff from a hotel, which is the move always.

Analyssa: One quick reminder that Tom is not a rich LA lesbian. Someone in the comments, I think of the last post or maybe your recap, were like, I wish that there was episodes where Carrie and Tom got to bond about not being LA. Like being the weirdos on the outside of this group. And I just feel like that would be very fun for both of them.

Riese: I agree. I think that’d be really nice. You need to have a buddy when you’re the outsider. You need to have a buddy.

Analyssa: Yeah, Tom is close to having Finley as a buddy. But now they’ve spun Finley off in a whole different direction.

Drew: So Alice apologizes and they work it out and it’s nice. I’m glad they’re back together because that’s what I wanted.

Riese: And now they’re official.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: Speaking of people who are going to become official.

Analyssa: I mean the next handful of scenes is really just people getting official back-to-back-to-back.

Drew: So Maribel comes over and Micah’s like:

Micah: I’ve watched Love & Basketball six times since I last saw you. And I think we’re as good as them.
Maribel: No, we’re not. Nobody is.

Drew: And then-

Analyssa: This was wild.

Drew: He takes-

Riese: Are these quotes from Love & Basketball?

Drew: Okay. Eventually. But first he says:

Micah: Maribel, I love you. And I know you love me too.
Maribel: Would you bet on it?
Micah: I would bet my whole heart.

Analyssa: Wild.

Riese: I thought That was a quote from Love & Basketball.

Drew: I’m sure in Love & Basketball. They say, I love you. The part that is a quote is that when… There’s a scene in Love & Basketball, if you haven’t seen Love & Basketball you really should see Love & Basketball, they’re playing one-on-one and it’s like a bet for her heart.

Speaker 1: I’ll play you.
Speaker 2: What?
Speaker 1: One game, one-on-one.
Speaker 2: For what?
Speaker 1: Your heart.

Drew: That is a reference. But, the I love you? It’s just him saying, I love you. He’s like, I love you, I know you love me too? Okay.

Riese: That wasn’t a quote?

Drew: No.

Analyssa: That is Micah.

Riese: That’s bananas!

Drew: I don’t think it’s a quote. But it’d be bananas even if it was a quote! I really don’t think it’s a quote.

Riese: I feel like, what?! But you’re right, even if it is a quote, it’s still wild. It’s a pretty common phrase. I love you. How forward. Like Micah-

Analyssa: My notes say, I love you? Skipped some steps there, my guy.

Riese: My notes say, they love each other?

Analyssa: As a person of watching Grey’s Anatomy experienced, those bitches say, I’m in love with you because I love you because I’m in love with you, to people they’ve never even gone on a date with.

Riese: This show does that too.

Analyssa: They do that shit all the time. So I felt like I was primed for that. And I was just like, this is bananas.

Drew: I do it in the privacy of my own brain. But let’s keep it where it belongs.

Riese: Why do they have to always be doing like, are you in love with her? Like Tasha and Alice and Jamie when they were having their talk in the final episode. And she was like, are you in love with Tasha? Or like, are you in love with Jamie? And I was like, how could they be?

Analyssa: I mean, even-

Riese: They’re not dating yet!

Analyssa: Even Shane and Tess. This episode, Alice is like, Shane has loved Tess since the moment she laid eyes on her.

Riese: Yeah I was like, what?

Analyssa: Has she?

Drew: My issue is not that it’s about saying I love you too soon. My issue is that they hooked up. They were friends, they hooked up, then they got into a fight. They didn’t talk. I missed the week where they were not speaking. Then they got into a fight and they haven’t talked for another week or some period of time. So that’s more like where I’m confused. If it was, oh, they spent, whatever it was. It doesn’t matter. Whatever. I’m happy they’re together and that’s lovely. And now they’re together and whatever. Okay. So then going to people who are in love Tess is on the phone in Vegas.

Riese: She’s on the phone with her sponsor. And just really quickly, I want to say, that for all the not great alcoholic representation in this show. This reluctant-ass call to her sponsor? I was like, yes, thank you so much. She’s like kind of perfunctorily like, yes, I’m doing this. Yes, I went to a meeting. And then I called my sponsees. I was like, I know that phone call, I’ve been on that phone call, I will be on that phone call probably this week. Like baby. Thank you. That was great.

Analyssa: Yeah. Another great thing I think was we really saw Vegas.

Drew: We sure did through that window. We were like, we are in Vegas.

Riese: It’s Vegas.

Analyssa: And you know what? When they start smooching, there’s words about lights in the song, which are behind them in Vegas.

Drew: Shane arrives. Also, I want to note for people who are like, oh, Tess’ mom lives in Vegas? Because I think a lot of people are always like, oh wow, when they live in Vegas, they live on the strip. Most of the time, that is not true. Plenty of people live in Vegas and don’t live on the strip. But I guess Tess’ mom does live on the strip.

Riese: No Tess’ mom is in a home. So she was just saying in a hotel.

Drew: Why would she say on the strip?

Riese: Because it’s cheap.

Drew: So, Shane arrives at the hotel and she tells Tess that she wants to be her partner.

Riese: And she’s like, I want to be here with you. She’s like looking at her feet. I want to be your partner.

Analyssa: And that’s really scary for me to say.

Riese: She hates having feelings.

Drew: That’s really nice. What we’ve learned from this episode of television is that trans women can find love as long as you’re stealth. And that’s really nice. I mean, I do appreciate that we got two T4T storylines here with Micah and Claudia.

Analyssa: Yeah.

Drew: And now Tess and trans woman Shane.

Analyssa: Yeah. They have sex.

Drew: They do.

Riese: They do.

Drew: It’s extremely hot.

Analyssa: Yeah.

Drew: This is an untainted sex scene. This is really the only one. What other sex scenes happened in this episode?

Riese: Aren’t Pippa and Bette? They wake up together with their bras on.

Drew: That’s not a sex scene.

Riese: We will get to that.

Drew: We’ll get there.

Riese: Everyone takes their clothes off here.

Drew: Anyways, this is very good. Like when Shane was kissing down her back. I really thought that she was about to eat her ass! And then I was disappointed it stopped. I was lie, go for it Shane! Nope? Okay.

Riese: Yeah I did too. But wasn’t,

Analyssa: I watched twice and missed the turnaround to get Tess onto all fours. And I was like, what have I? And I, I still don’t know where I missed it, but anyway, I also thought we were going to get ass eating representation.

Drew: It was good.

Riese: Wasn’t Sophie eating Finley’s ass at the beginning of last week’s? In the rug?

Analyssa: Oh, I know we you’re talking about.

Riese: She could have been fucking her from behind though.

Anaylssa: Yeah.

Drew: Unclear,

Analyssa: Unclear.

Riese: Or sucking on her toes. There’s so many things she could have been. That was like the thing they’re really into. You know, Nat loves public sex, but Finley and Sophie are really into feet.

Drew: I want everyone’s sun sign then I want everyone’s kinks. Please.

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: Okay.

Analyssa: So the only other thing I want to say about the sex scene is it was very good. I wish that I’d seen their faces being excited more.

Riese: Mm-hmm yeah.

Analyssa: Like it seemed like a really fun pay off to some things.

Drew: That’s true.

Analyssa: And I just would’ve loved to see Jamie play it at being a little light the way that she is.

Riese: I would’ve liked that too, because what I try to make a screenshot for my recap. It’s incredibly difficult.

Analyssa: You’re just getting hair and limbs basically.

Riese: For a lot of the sex, it’s nearly impossible. Cause either they’re in motion.

Drew: Right.

Riese: Or you can’t see a face.

Drew: Right.

Riese: And so then I’m taking a screenshot of bodies. Then I feel like I’m disembodying women. You know?

Analyssa: And that’s what makes Sophie and Finley’s sex scenes so fun. It’s because they’re having fun and they feel, realistic in the way that sometimes sex is very hot, but also sometimes you bump heads and you laugh about it.

Drew: Yeah. Yes.

Analyssa: And then it’s back to being really hot. Yes. And then,

Drew: Yes.

Analyssa: And I feel like I missed some of that in these.

Drew: That’s true.

Analyssa: In the sex scenes, this episode.

Riese: Shane always has serious sex. I feel.

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: That’s true.

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: She takes it very seriously. That’s why she does it so frequently.

Riese: Okay, Finley comes home wasted.

Analyssa: And crawls into bed with Sophie and tries to do a drunk cuddling thing. And Sophie doesn’t want to do it.

Riese: She says that she feels like she’s been babysitting her all day.

Analyssa: Yeah.

Riese: There is a line here where she’s talking about when Finley is like completely trashed and she’s like,

Sophie: It’s like your light goes out and nobody’s home and it’s the scariest, loneliest feeling.

Riese: And I was like, that’s good. That’s a good line.

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: I agree that’s a good line. This felt like it came out of nowhere. I think, I think you said something earlier that I thought was I would bring up later. But which I’m bringing up now. It does feel like it’s a crystallization of some thoughts that maybe Sophie has had before.

Riese: Yeah.

Analyssa: But it feels really like zero to a hundred in the intensity of it. Which I was surprised by. Because I, again, I think Drew said this a lot of their relationship has been fun partying. We, that’s our vibe.

Riese: They were both were drinking a lot.

Drew: Which like, because Sophie’s gone through a lot recently.

Riese: Yeah.

Analyssa: For sure.

Drew: And so it could easily have been played in a way where it’s like. And by played, I mean written because Rosanny Zayas is doing whatever she can with this writing. It could have been written in a way that was clear about the fact that, yes, Sophie and Finley’s relationship has been largely based ongoing out and being drunk. This experience was a wakeup call for Sophie. And she’s confused by it. But not a wakeup call for Finley and that’s starting to scare her.

Riese: Right.

Drew: And that, isn’t how it’s written.

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: It just written as this like zero to 60. And, and then what it does is undercut Sophie’s stance in this.

Analyssa: Right.

Drew: Which shouldn’t be undercut.

Riese: Well, it’s also relying on us, I guess, to fill in a lot of the gaps. Cause all, I mean this whole fucking season. In Sophie’s karaoke episode, we were all having a fun time, so I wasn’t going to talk about it. But like when she walks into the back room to find Finley. Finley’s back there chugging a beer — like there’s all of these moments where she sees Finley has a certain relationship to alcohol that’s unhealthy and no one ever says anything.

Analyssa: That, and that’s what I mean is like, it doesn’t feel like a gentle: Hey, that was like a pretty rough night. Or what if we talk? It’s just. And again,Sophie, as a character has gone through a lot of stuff, so it’s like a pile on. But yeah, it just feels like there were so many other again entry points to this conversation.

Riese: Right.

Analyssa: Where I would be totally on Sophie’s side and be like, yes, this is the right way of handling it. And instead I was like, I just feel like this is going to put Finley off and she’s going to be like, you’re insane. What are you talking about? Which is sort of what happened?

Drew: She could have, she, this could have been the way that this scene happened. If throughout the season there were little things building up to this moment.

Riese: Finley came home and said I’ve been sober all summer and then started drinking and everyone was like, LaDeDaDeDa . No-one was like, do you want to talk about that?

Drew: And with the drunk driving moment. If and when they were getting into the car. Sophie had been like, are you sure you’re okay? Instead, Finley chugged from a flask before they got in the car. So instead of having to treat the audience like were stupid. And that we need to see Finley chugging from a flask to know that Finley, who we clearly have seen as an alcoholic, is gonna be drunk while getting into this car. If instead she was like yeah, I haven’t had a drink since the one, an hour ago. Or whatever. And then Sophie would be like, okay, and then when they get pulled over, like Sophie looks, doesn’t like giggling and Finley looks serious.

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: But swap that.

Riese: Right.

Analyssa: Right.

Drew: And then, or have them both look serious. Like what it is that it just there’s no buildup to it. So then it makes you feel like, oh, well this feels out of nowhere or this feels harsh. And it’s like, no, that’s not narratively and character wise. That’s not how this should feel.

Analyssa: Right. Exactly.

Riese: And it’s also they don’t even address what just happened. Which is Sophie wanted to go home and Finley didn’t go home with her because she needed to keep drinking.

Drew: Right.

Analyssa: Right.

Riese: They don’t even address that.

Drew: Right.

Analyssa: Right.

Riese: Like what,

Analyssa: Or even again, you just had this insane thing happen. You couldn’t take one night off.

Drew: Right.

Riese: Right.

Analyssa: Totally reasonable.

Riese: Like yeah.

Analyssa: Still a little bit harsh thing to hear, but like totally reasonable entry point to, this conversation.

Drew: It’s just, it’s just such a poorly written scene.

Riese: Yeah. And that line saying you know, we just had this happen. Like, do you think you could take the night off and then having Finley be like yeah, sure. And then coming home drunk? Like that would’ve been a very easy edit and it would’ve really crystallized this situation.

Analyssa: And then coming home drunk, sure.

Drew: Right.

Riese: It’s so frustrating. Cause It’s the worst writing of the series.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: Because also there’s been all this buildup towards it and, there’s stills from the next episode where you see Sophie sitting with Tess looking serious.

Analyssa: So I think she’s probably going to talk to her about talking to Finley, which I just, I think watching what we’ve watched all season where it doesn’t seem like people have been super concerned with Finley’s drinking or behavior. And then to go from that. Skip the entire step of concern and have Sophie, who again has always been really supportive and loving and like jump to, I felt like I was babysitting you. You can’t like, it just felt very punitive in a way that was surprising to me because I think the Sophie that I know who sat next to her grandma’s bed, for two episodes is would’ve been like, I’m really worried about you. You just had this big thing happen and it doesn’t seem to have affected you at all. And it’s really scary to me. And the other thing that’s really scary is sometimes your light goes out behind your eyes when we’re out together. And I don’t even know when that’s going to happen and that’s really terrifying. That’s a conversation. Anyways, so, Finley leaves.

Riese: Yeah. Finley fucking leaves.

Analyssa: And is walking around wasted in Los Angeles.

Riese: The only authentic thing about this conversation was that Sophie said, I don’t want to talk about this right now. And then they immediately talked about it. That’s authentic lesbian processing. That’s exactly how that happens. But, and even that like Finley left. Where?

Analyssa: Walking.

Riese: Where she decided to go could have been an interesting detail. You know what I mean?

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: So she’s walking. And then.

Riese: She’s going to fall asleep on a bench for sure.

Analyssa: And then it’s the next day, right? Or everyone’s in bed basically. I don’t know if everyone’s waking up yet or falling asleep now, but.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: Finley’s probably asleep on the bench.

Drew: Yeah, we go to Pippa and Bette naked in bed.

Analyssa: Bras, in bras please. Well, okay.

Drew: Yes.

Analyssa: As you do, yes, please. I wake up and I immediately put my brassiere on.

Drew: It’s interesting that they don’t just like have them in like some sort of you know, sheets. I mean, this is, I feel about TV in general. Not even sheets.

Analyssa: They might have them in sheets. They might not really be in bras. My memory might be wrong.

Riese: I thought it was bras.

Drew: No, there were, it was. Yeah.

Analyssa: You mean like a pajama top?

Drew: Yeah. Yeah. Of some sort.

Analyssa: Even just like a tank top or a little Teddy.

Riese: She’s like I got the bag.

Drew: Yeah. But Pippa asks Bette if she’s considered that, sometimes you can burn down and still leave standing. Right. And it’s, I mean, I’m excited to see where that goes.

Riese: Oh yeah. Because they’re going to burn down Wax.

Analyssa: They say that they’re going to do it together again. Yeah. I love this for them.

Riese: Yeah. I love it. When people over 50 burn shit down.

Analyssa: Very metaphorical conversation. But okay. Again, I guess I prefer that to some of the other conversations that have been had in this episode. Yeah.

Drew: I’m just, again, interested to see if this is framed as like Bette versus Dani or if it’s going to be framed with like the seriousness and heaviness that it deserves

Analyssa: Feels like it’s going towards like feud instead of actual.

Drew: Where it’s like, but I’m thrilled to see like Bette back into like burnt down politics mode, but with like maybe more tact and Pippa, like being on like there with her I’m on board for that storyline. If it means having to like go back to season one, hating Dani, I guess I’ll do that.

Analyssa: A storyline that I’m in on is Tess and Shane are in bed and they’re sweet. And these two are the only, what I wrote is these two are the only people I understand. These are my moms, this is my home.

Drew: So, it’s possible.

Analyssa: Pippa and Bette end up in a place where I understand them. Shane and Tess were my rock this whole episode.

Drew: Yeah. I’m going, I don’t know if I’ve just like, am in a bad mood because of the rest of this episode. But I do have one note on this scene mm-hmm which is that Shane asks if it’s going to be a problem at work and Tess is like yeah, we should tell HR. And Shane says that she is HR and they kiss and it’s all jokey you know, like I think it’s fine morally that Tess and Shane are hooking up, but like be L Word’s relationship towards people fucking their coworkers and how it, and I think it’s pro.

Analyssa: I think it’s pro. And also like, not just coworkers, but people who work under you technically it’s very, pro.

Riese: And then they work under you.

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: The like the like’s a little dicey.

Drew: I would just, I’m just wanting to like, it is a soap opera it’s going to happen. I’d rather they not address it than address it and be like, haha. And we don’t care about this. I just you know, don’t learn about life from the L word is a pretty good lesson, always, but I’m just going to reiterate that one more time with this in particular. But yes, they’re very hot and cute together. I love it. Happy to see it. ETC, ETC

Analyssa: Not happy to see Finley never came home last night and there’s an egregious music cue. That’s like did I step too far? Did I push us too hard? And Sophie’s walking around like looking for Finley it’s 10:30 in the morning. So she’s been gone for hours at this point.

Drew: Okay. So that’s how it ends with Finley missing.

Riese: I thought they were going to at least show us Finley somewhere like on maybe Tess’ porch or something. Yeah. You know?

Analyssa: Or Shane’s porch. She used to live there. She could find her way there.

Riese: Yeah. Well I think they lost that set because have you noticed we have not been in Shane’s apartment at all? I think they lost that set.

Drew: And that’s the episode.

[music transition]

Drew: Did we like it? I hated it. It’s like one of my least favorite episodes of The L word in both series. Yeah.

Analyssa: Yeah, that one was rough.

Riese: That was really rough. And could have so easily been so much better. I honestly feel like something happened that week that they were writing this. It’s like inexcusably bad. There’s all of these opportunities where very easily things could have been made just a little bit more sense and they just didn’t do it.

Drew: It’s honestly just like, it’s like pretty disrespectful to the cast and like, and to the characters and to like what’s been built, like I just like it’s, it’s just, there’s all the elements are there and it’s so frustrating. Yeah, maybe next week will be better. I mean it has to be right.

Riese: I feel like it’s not going to be.

Analyssa: I’m hopeful, but nervous.

Drew: I at least feel more optimistic that Bette and Pippa are going to actually be together and we’re going to get to like explore that in a way that’s exciting rather than Bette getting back with Tina. Cause Allen, when Carrie last episode was like, I don’t think I could be with Tina. I was like, no fucking way are they going to get Bette and Tina back together?

Riese: I feel like they’re going to do a last a cliffhanger.

Analyssa: I do think so too.

Drew: I know. I, I will be. So if that’s where like, I don’t know, I just, oh

Riese: God, I just hope Carrie doesn’t leave Tina at the altar. They love to do that on this show.

Analyssa: So many of that in each iteration of the um.

Drew: I’m so tired. I’m like a few episodes ago. Remember how happy I was. Yeah know I’m that was two episodes ago.

Riese: Remember how I like, wanted Finley and Sophie to get together. And it was like, no, we have to wait till the end. I wish that we had waited to the end because I feel like it’s going to fall apart.

Drew: I don’t even. I just, do I like any of the characters anymore?

Riese: I would love to see their relationship progress as Finley comes to grip with this, Sophie comes to grip with whatever she, she has going on, like all that stuff. And I feel like we’re not going to

Analyssa: Which doesn’t feel again fair to the characters or to the actors who like can carry that storyline. Like it would be different if it was a cast that I didn’t trust to pull off that sort of nuance or complicated story. I think they could all do it let them try.

Riese: But again, like Emmy for Rosanny, she spoke so many words with her face.

Analyssa: Really did it.

Riese: She really gave it her all and whatever happened in the writer’s room that week. I’m so sorry for everyone’s loss. Which was our loss. And that is my L word loss.

Analyssa: Mine was going to be lousy.

Drew: I don’t, doesn’t Lauren need us to pause in between us doing our L words

Riese: This week will be different.

Drew: I, oh you, you guys said L words lousy and mine is I’m going to get there. My L word is lead, because instead of watching this episode, I wish I had guzzled a gallon of lead paint.

Analyssa: I thought you were going to say like misled or you know, they led me astray.

Drew: Nope.

Riese: My follow up L word is lactose intolerant. Because that’s how this episode made me feel. And you guys realize I still have probably 12, 13 hours ahead of me recapping this motherfucking episode. So that’s really brutal.

Drew: That’s really brutal. It’s incredibly brutal. I’m very sorry.

Lauren: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of, To L and Back generation Q 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 protected]. Don’t forget. We also have a hotline. Yes, it still exists. Give us a call, leave us a message. Or just give us a piece of your mind. You can reach us at 9 7 1 2 1 7 6 1 3 0. We also have merch! Head over to store at autostraddle.com. There are Bette Porter for president t-shirts. There are To L and Back stickers and lots of other simply iconic autostraddle.com merchandise. Our theme song is by the talented be said, well, our brand new to L and back generation Q logo is by the incredible Jackie Cho. Jackie is so, so talented and you should definitely go check out her work. I’ve linked her website in socials in the show notes. And definitely let us know if you want us to make stickers of the new logo because I think those would look pretty sick. This episode was produced, edited and mixed by me. Lauren Klein. You can find me on Instagram @LaurenTaylorKlein and on Twitter @LTKlein. You can follow drew everywhere @drawGregory that’s drew in the present tense. You can follow Annalisa on Instagram @Analokaa with two A’s and on Twitter @Analoka_ with one a in an underscore, you can follow our in-house L word savant and living legend Reise Bernard everywhere @autowin auto straddle is @autostraddle. And of course the reason why we are all here, autostraddle.com.

Exit Music: Laughing, moving fisting, fighting, crying, drinking, squirting, judging, ranting, camping, riding thinking. This is the way it’s the way, the way and okay.

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Analyssa is a co-host of the To L and Back podcast: Gen Q edition. She lives in LA, works at a TV studio, and can often be found binge-watching an ABC drama from 2008. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, or her social media of choice, Letterboxd.

Analyssa has written 58 articles for us.


  1. Such a good commentary on the episode as usual. Sad to hear my fav sinley shippers losing hope 😭. I hope they prove us wrong!

    • Honestly; this is the last time I listened to this podcast. I know the show is not perfect, but it was sooooo depressing listening to this. These people pick on every single thing; don’t have anything nice to say, and are clearly having a very sad time doing the recaps. And that would be fine if it was a random podcast, but surely autostraddle can find wlw that can recap these shows without throwing everyone into a depression episode.

      • On a different C.A.C. related note, “for us as…” queer art historians/museum professionals the idea that they would already have received and then be shipping out Pippa’s work like, a week? or two? maybe?, after Bette convinced them to organize the show around her is complete fantasy. I understand it’s one of the less egregious instances of Gen Q’s storyline time warps, but considering that most shows are planned 1 (if it’s a smaller and more nimble gallery setting) to 4 years (for bigger museums) in advance made me laugh.

  2. A resounding UGH is correct. Specifically, it’s SO interesting to me that the writers were so masterful in getting us invested in Finley and Sophie (a pair we didn’t even know we wanted) in Season 1 and yet have so mishandled that storyline this season. It was the cliff hanger for f**ks sake and this is the payoff!? Literally no Sinnley shipper would have asked for anything other than a nice, fun, fairly mundane progression of that, but NOPE they had to make them miserable. Which honestly feels like a hate crime. Can we stop making young gays miserable in TV and film? Can we let people be happy and content in secure healthy relationships?! Like if not on OUR OWN SHOW then where else are we gonna get it?! ARGH!

    Also it’s clear based on the future episode photos this is heading towards a Finley intervention, which I hate already. First it is going to be insane that Finley’s intervention crew consists of her gf, one other young friend and then a bunch of random much older adults from her various work lives, as though she doesn’t have a friend group who would be much more appropriate here. Second, often times on this show, it feels like a gen x-er or boomer is trying to write young people with little knowledge of current culture/behavior. Like hmm…how do we write a complicated relationship with alcohol? Well there is only one story here which is drunk driving, DUI, instantly very worried friends, and an intervention! Like ugh. In reality younger people have much more nuanced and yet still toxic relationships with alcohol. I’d love to see harm reduction discussed, or sober curiosity, or, as mentioned, the way two people with different relationships with alcohol discussing that, literally ANYTHING more nuanced than the tired 90’s version of alcoholism that’s so black and white and just unrealistic.

    • ALL OF THIS!!! I cannot thank you enough for putting my thoughts into words, especially in the first paragraph! I would like to believe that they are having different writers writing their story this season, because it does not feel like the same relationship from last season. Their communication is a mess, and they never seem to be on the same page. It sort of feels like this is supposed to be a punishment of sorts for shipping them in the first place. Their story did not need to be written with the care and layers that it had in the relationship during the first season if this was their intended outcome.

      I figured with the showing of Tess going to her AA meeting and her calling her sponsor in this last episode, they would have Finley go down that same path, which is weird considering last season when Tess and Finley were having breakfast, she was very uncomfortable with the idea of sober, at least with herself. I think something like what you mentioned would be great for Finley (and Sophie too, since her relationship with alcohol isn’t that great either), but it seems as though there is only one way to treat addiction/issues with drugs on tv. I truly wish there was a lot more care and thought put into this storyline, especially considering how important it is.

    • YES THIS all of this but also very much THIS:

      “In reality younger people have much more nuanced and yet still toxic relationships with alcohol. I’d love to see harm reduction discussed, or sober curiosity, or, as mentioned, the way two people with different relationships with alcohol discussing that, literally ANYTHING more nuanced than the tired 90’s version of alcoholism that’s so black and white and just unrealistic.”

      TV loves a black/white all/nothing view of alcoholism, there’s no such thing as harm reduction, either somebody is a terrible rock bottom alcoholic or they are a saint with no problems, it’s just so UGH

  3. Thank you Drew, Riese, and Analyssa for your public service in grappling with this episode to make all of us feel less alone.

    I also appreciated the acknowledgement of the heavy-handed musical accompaniment (100% Greek chorus style, Drew is correct) on this show. At least it’s not Betty?

    I do have to contend that the Tess/Shane sex scene was marred for me by the cinematography and direction. I agree that we lost the intimacy of seeing their faces (which I wasn’t consciously aware of until you all pointed it out, but yes, that is one of the elements that makes the most authentic and hot sex scenes on this show feel so real, in a good way), but also what was with the shaky, jarring camera work, the soft lens (I think someone on Riese’s recap described it as a film of vaseline), on top of the hokey Vegas strip Microsoft Paint job and the Apple ad song? Tess and Shane deserved so much better.

    • Definitely had a music video (maybe for the Lights Up song) vibe to the whole thing – I agree some of that wasn’t as fun, but some of it worked for me! Maybe just relative to all the rest of the episode though

  4. So, I am a public defender and let me just say…the dui storyline makes zero sense. First of all, are we to believe Finley pleaded guilty the very next am or in the middle of the night? There is NO night court. Plus, it would have made much more sense to draw out the dui consequences. Carrie could have been appointed to represent Finley! Carrie could have had a very real convo with Finley about consequences. It was just not realistic.

    • lmao I’m also a public defender and I literally yelled “did she plea?!?” in the middle of the watch party. We have night court where I practice but there is n e v e r an offer on a DWI at arraignments. Glad (?) I’m not the only one who can’t turn off PD Brain watching this bonkers show.

  5. The line about the Sacklers in the episode had me checked out SO FAST. WHICH Sackler kid is in the writers room like wtf

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