Oh baby, the boys are back in town! And of course by “the boys” I mean “Cherrie Jaffe” and by “back in town” I mean “standing in front of Shane, causing chaos.” Yes, it turns out that Tess’s new girlfriend of one week that prevented her from kissing Shane back last episode is none other than Cherie “rank little love nest” Peroni (nee Jaffe). She was summoned by all that remembering of the past that our friends were engaging in last week, and she’s here to keep Tess and Shane from kissing any time in the near future!
Speaking of affairs, Finley is attempting to get over Sophie this week by getting under someone else. Also getting under each other are Micah and Maribel! Riese is thrilled. Not getting any action this week is Alice, who is busy crying over Nat and then bonding with Tom over lobsters. And finally, let’s all start the Jordan Hull Emmy campaign right now, everybody in?
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- Riese’s recap for Episode 205
- I just think this headline is very funny: Is a Pony a Baby Horse? A Physical and Emotional Comparison
- Max told us what he knew about lobsters in The L Word 3×03
- If Bette Porter ever decided to go to solo therapy, we think CORE is an important thing to bring up.
- I can’t find the first instance of Autostraddle using “Parking Lot of No Return” to describe the end of Erica Hahn’s time on Grey’s Anatomy, but here’s a list of best gay moments from Grey’s anyway.
- I skimmed this medical paper, and it looks like actually in California, donors as young as 15 can donate a kidney with parental permission! Best of luck to Angie with that.
- Every Cherie Jaffe sex scene can be revisited in this list, and the vampire episode too!
- I won’t link it because the quality is terrible but if anyone wants a link to a cut of all the When Harry Met Sally couple interviews….hmu
Drew: Hi, I’m Drew!
Analyssa: And I’m Analyssa!
Riese: And I’m Riese!
Drew: And this is…
Drew, Analyssa, and Riese: To L and Back: Generation Q edition!
Drew: Yay! We all did it.
Riese: We all did it.
Analyssa: We all said the right words, but I don’t know that we did them at the right time.
Riese: I don’t know that I said the right words.
Analyssa: I think you did say the right words.
Riese: Oh, yeah? Well, we’re off to a great start, then.
Drew: I think we are. We’re all just hanging in there, in this big gay world.
Riese: Sorry, Carol.
Drew: Let out a scream, wherever you’re listening.
Riese: Can you see Carol’s tiny little paws?
Drew: Aww, hi Carol.
Analyssa: Carol wants in the podcast so bad.
Riese: Carol, what do you think about Cherie Jaffe?
Drew: This episode is 2.05, Lobsters, comma, Too. As you’ll remember, Lobsters was an episode in the original series.
Riese: Yes, it was the only episode in the original series that dealt with the class conflict.
Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative). This is directed by Sarah Pia Anderson, who you may remember from last week, “Lake House,” she also directed, and it’s written by Nancy C. Mejía, who wrote on the first season, as well as Vida, the objectively best show of all time. So, exciting stuff there.
Analyssa: Is “Lobsters” the one where Max argues with them at dinner?
Riese: Yeah. Where Max is like…
Max: I know something interesting about lobsters.
The rest of the group: What?
Max: And you don’t have to put a lid on the pot when you cook female lobsters.
Drew: Yeah. I was, I think, going into this episode expecting…
Drew: No, I was maybe… I don’t know what I was expecting, maybe something more… I mean, maybe we can get into it, but I’m wondering why this episode was called “Lobsters, Too.” I mean, I know why it was called Lobsters, but—
Riese: Right. I got really nervous there for a second, that you had watched the wrong episode, and that I was going to have set up this mic stand all over again.
Analyssa: A pretty clear reason why it’s called Lobsters, but I…
Drew: No, no, no. No, no, no. I know that. I mean, in keeping… I mean we’ve discussed that, potentially, a lot of the writing staff has not recently seen the original series and would not remember the names of earlier episodes, but I was expecting there to be a call-back to that episode of The L Word, and instead it was just like, “Oh, there are lobsters in this episode.”
Riese: Right, yeah. They should have lobsters in every episode, just little lobsters crawling into the screen, like, “I’m a lobster,” you know what I mean? Just for fun. Because they don’t have a lot of animals. They could probably use some more animals. A few lobsters, maybe a giraffe or something.
Drew: Ooh, that’d be fun.
Riese: These are, again, free ideas, free ideas that I just generate here, and I’m giving them out.
Analyssa: And as we know from Riese’s free ideas, these will be incorporated into next season.
Analyssa: She’s got a good track record.
Riese: They’re joining the circus.
Drew: Yeah, Maybe Micah and Maribel can—
Drew: …ride some giraffes, or adopt a giraffe. Yeah, adopt a giraffe.
Riese: Or a dragon.
Drew: Ooh, a dragon?
Riese: Yeah. People love dragons. There’s that song, “Puff the Magic Dragon.”
Analyssa: Great point. I, and everyone, loved Game of Thrones, which famously had dragons in it.
Analyssa: I didn’t know until two days ago that a pony is not just a baby horse.
Riese: What is it?
Analyssa: It’s like a type of horse. Did you guys know that?
Drew: I think I did know that.
Analyssa: I was at a friend’s birthday barbecue outside, and I don’t know how we got talking about this, but someone said something about a pony, and I was like, “Yeah, but then it grows up to be a horse,” and they were like, “No, that’s not what a pony is.” And everyone in the circle, except me, knew this, and I was like, “I don’t think Drew and Riese know this,” and I felt like I would be among my people here.
Riese: What do you call a baby horse?
Analyssa: A foal. F-O-A-L.
Riese: I thought that was what you called a baby… Oh no, that’s a fawn. So ponies are like, small horses?
Analyssa: The way I understand it is like, how a Collie is a type of dog, a pony is a type of horse.
Riese: Oh. So maybe Carol’s a pony.
Drew: The pony of the dog world. Yeah. Should we get into this episode?
Riese: Yeah, sure.
Analyssa: Now that everyone knows…
Riese: … what a pony is?
Analyssa: … the nouns for baby animals, let’s get into the episode.
Drew: Well, we start with Finley puking, which I think we all could have predicted.
Drew: Then she drinks a beer, which I think we also could have predicted.
Riese: Yeah. That’s a sad state of affairs.
Analyssa: Yeah. It’s not my favorite thing to open on. I think Finley’s sobriety is coming and going, and it makes me nervous for her.
Riese: Yeah. I agree. It makes me nervous for her.
Analyssa: And Sophie would agree with us also.
Riese: Yeah. And Sophie’s like, “I’m sorry for being dishonest, I actually…” Or like, “I was dishonest with you. I actually went there to see Dani,” and Finley’s like…
Finley: I know.
Riese: And Sophie, for some reason, buys it, that Finley’s okay with it.
Drew: Yeah. I think she wants to. I think we’ve learned this about Sophie, that if she wants to believe something, she can believe it.
Analyssa: Then she also says that Finley is a good friend, which is complicated to say at this moment.
Riese: I felt like she didn’t mean to emphasize, like, “You’re my friend, not someone I’m dating.” Probably in like an hour, she’ll be like, “Oh, fuck, that probably sounded like this,” but by then, it will be too late, and Finley will already be eight beers deep.
Analyssa: Did either of you see that TikTok where it’s a girl going back and forth, pretending that she’s asking someone out on a date, but it’s really oblique, and it’s like, “Well maybe if you… If… If…” And it finally gets to them being like, “Yes, we are flirting,” and then at the end, the girl goes, “Okay, bye, bestie.”
Drew: Yes, I did see that.
Riese: I didn’t. I’m stuck on school lunch TikTok.
Analyssa: School lunch TikTok?
Riese: Or not school lunch, mothers packing lunches for their children.
Analyssa: Oh. Those are kind of satisfying, though.
Riese: Yeah, it is. They have these little compartments, and I’m just like, “Wow. I haven’t put this much care into making a meal for myself, maybe ever.”
Analyssa: I get a lot of Disney adult content—
Riese: Oh, I get that too.
Analyssa: … which is not really what I want, but I kind of watch them, so I guess they got me.
Riese: Yeah. They’re like, “Myths about being a Disney adult.” And I’m like, “Tell me more.”
Analyssa: And you’re like, “Yeah, I will listen to what the myths are. I don’t know. Go ahead. Sure.” Okay.
Drew: Speaking of Disney adults, Bette has Gigi. Can you imagine if that was…? I have forgiven Bette for a lot, but—
Riese: Oh my God, what if Gigi was a Disney adult?
Analyssa: Who do we think in The L Word cast is a Disney adult?
Riese: Ooh, good question.
Drew: Wait, the character or the cast member?
Riese: Character. Micah.
Riese: I think Micah could be a secret Disney adult.
Drew: I think Nat.
Riese: Oh, Nat could. Yeah.
Analyssa: I could see Alice really turning up for gay days at Disney. Don’t you think?
Analyssa: A perfect time to wear an insanely-colored jumpsuit. Okay. We’re off topic. Sorry.
Drew: Yeah. Gigi is still in her bed, and Bette is there, and is just out of bed working, and I feel like if I was at Gigi’s place, I… I might be working, but I would work in bed next to beautiful Gigi.
Analyssa: Bette is so over this, though.
Drew: So over it.
Riese: Yeah. Gigi is like, “Do you want to talk about our fight?” And Bette’s like…
Bette: Not unless you need to.
Riese: Then she’s like, “By the way, I’m hanging out with someone later.” And this part I was very grateful for, because in the preview, in the trailer, they have it cut weird, so she’s like, “I want to let you know that later today I’m hanging out… I’m seeing Dani,” but the way it’s cut in the trailer, I was like, “This is not a full sentence. They obviously spliced it together.” And I confirmed in this scene that indeed it was not a full sentence. She said, “I’m seeing someone later,” and then Bette was like…
Bette: That was fast.
Drew: And she’s like, “No, I’m just seeing Dani,” which I’m like, “Oh, just? Okay.” But then Gigi whispers in Bette’s ear…
Gigi: Because you can tell me how you really feel.
Bette: I just did.
Riese: Ooh. This reminded me of the worst part of me in past relationships. I saw myself in this picture and I didn’t like it.
Drew: Yeah. I feel like I also have a hard time showing my feelings, but if Gigi whispered that in my ear, I’d become a Cancer. I think it’d be pretty immediate.
Riese: I’m fine sharing my feelings. I just… I’ve had past relationships where I was criticized for my intense focus on the laptop and disinterest in anyone attempting to distract me from the work I was engaged in. But I have grown past that now.
Drew: I think being focused on your work is one thing. It’s the using it as an excuse to not actually talk about the fight you had…
Analyssa: I also think Bette doesn’t ever want anyone to be like, “Hey, this happened. Should we talk about this?” She wants to only talk about things when she wants to talk about it, and I also think that she’s in the stage of a relationship…. This is something I reckon — this was my, “I’m in this photo and I don’t like it,” where she has already decided that she doesn’t want to be doing this anymore. So literally anything Gigi does, like… Drew, I agree that I would be like, “Ooh, fun,” but that’s because I’m not at the point that Bette is in a relationship with Gigi, and she has just… Anything Gigi said, she would have been like, “No, get out of my face. Don’t even come near me. This is not what I want to be doing.” And more importantly, she has two shiny new toys, which are, number one, Tina’s back in town, and number two, Pippa Pascal is being mean to her at dinner. Both of those are way more exciting to her than Gigi.
Riese: Yeah. Even though Gigi’s wearing a red silk robe.
Analyssa: And they’re in this beautiful loft. Just get back into bed. Whatever.
Drew: Speaking of people who aren’t dating the right person, we go over to Tess and Shane, and we learn that Tess started dating this person, or Tess met the person who she’s dating, last week? What?
Riese: Yeah. At a party, she met… What? She can’t… That’s… What? You’re not seeing someone.
Drew: Like, what? I just like… and also, yeah, kiss Shane. Why are you being like, “Oh, I can’t kiss you. I’m in a relationship.” Like, no, you’re not. You met an older woman at a party last weekend. Who among us hasn’t? Take it easy.
Drew: And then she’s bringing the person to meet Shane. We can stop saying “This person.” It’s Cherie Jaffe.
Tess: So, Cherie, this is Shane. Shane, this is Cherie.
Cherie: We’ve actually met before.
Tess: Of course you have.
Riese: It’s Cherie fucking Jaffe!
Drew: You all watched the episode. You know.
Analyssa: It’s Cherie Jaffe.
Riese: First of all, wow. Second of all, oh my God. Third of all, fuck.
Drew: Yeah. Pretty much. Pretty much.
Riese: Is there anyone…? Actually, I was about to be like, “Is there anyone that would be more of a stab in Shane’s heart than Cherie Jaffe?” Then I realized, yes there is, and that would be Carmen, probably followed by Molly, and then Cherie Jaffe.
Drew: Yeah, I screamed, and I’m currently staying with a friend, and their roommates were here, and my friend was not here, and I screamed, and I heard them laugh. I was laughed at because of this.
Riese: And Tess introduces them, and Cherie’s like, “Oh, we’ve met.” Mm-hmm (affirmative). And then Tess is like, “Oh, of course you have,” because the last thing she wants is to be directly connected on the chart through her new Hollywood Hills girlfriend.
Drew: So goofy, so goofy.
Analyssa: Her date of one week.
Riese: Yeah. Her one-week relationship might be spoiled by whatever history Cherie might have with Shane.
Drew: Yeah. My favorite part of this was when Finley introduced herself. Just great clueless Finley moment.
Analyssa: Finley just being in the background of all of these conversations furthers my theory of this being the most insane workplace.
Analyssa: Never any schedule, and you will always be hearing gossip about Shane and Tess, just anytime you’re on shift.
Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Riese: Her reintroduction means a lot to me personally, since it was Shane and Cherie Jaffe’s relationship that made me the queer person than I am today.
Drew: That’s really beautiful.
Analyssa: That is beautiful.
Riese: Thank you so much.
Drew: Speaking of older blonde women that could ruin my life, Alice is talking to Tom. He’s congratulating her, and gives her a pen, because her book is adored by the publisher.
Analyssa: She wrote a book in like two days.
Analyssa: He buys her a fancy pen. She writes him a sweet note and they’re going to hang out.
Drew: It’s really nice. I like these two together.
Riese: Yeah. They want to keep hanging out even though their editorial relationship is over. I wonder why. Maybe they want to bone.
Drew: I think that might be it.
Riese: Speaking of men, it’s time to go to jail.
Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative). One of The L Word’s favorite places.
Riese: No one’s jumping in to talk about this scene, because no one cares.
Drew: Yeah. Dani’s like, “Am I here as your daughter? As your spin doctor?” And then Dani is the CEO now, because some of the paperwork she signed… I don’t know. If my dad was that guy, I would read the things before I signed them.
Analyssa: I feel like it’s a personality trait of Dani’s to read…
Drew: Yeah, I don’t buy this.
Analyssa: She’s like, “Oh my God, you tricked me. You put a paper that said I would be CEO in front of me to sign.” It’s like, “Yeah, weren’t you reading all those documents? What was happening when he was handing them to you?”
Drew: Here’s the thing. I’m going to give a little tip to the listener out there. Read things before you sign them. Like, okay, do you have to read all the Apple terms and services before you click on it? No, I think that’s fine. But if you’re going to sign a document, you should read it, unless you have a lawyer who you deeply trust to… But you still should probably read it, honestly.
Analyssa: And Dani’s lawyer would have worked for her dad. Anyway, the whole point is, she has to be CEO of Evil Corporation, Los Angeles.
Riese: Evil Incorporated.
Analyssa: Yeah. Or she gets cut off, she doesn’t have any money, and they just bought her this apartment. It’s a whole thing.
Drew: Yeah. I mean, sometimes you just end up being CEO, and you’re like, “Whoops, I’m the CEO of a major corporation.”
Riese: Relatable. This is so relatable to me personally, where I’m like, “I wasn’t prepared for this.”
Analyssa: They’re in jail currently, and she’s like, “Okay, I will be CEO, but you must tell me every bad crime you’ve done, right here, right now.” It’s like, he can’t talk about that here. At least have him write it down. This is such a horrible move. Whatever. It’s fine. Okay. And also, Gigi drove her here.
Drew: Yeah. She’s thrilled about it though. She’s like, “You’re CEO? Hot.”
Riese: “Girl boss!” I mean, if you’re going to have a difficult conversation with your father in jail, you want Gigi to pick you up. I think we can all agree on that.
Drew: Yeah, for sure.
Analyssa: Gigi didn’t park while she was at the jail. She was just sitting idly in the front. There’s no way that they allow that. They hardly allow that at LAX.
Riese: They definitely don’t allow that at LAX. You have to be constantly on the go.
Analyssa: Gigi’s just been driving loops for the 35 minutes that Dani has been berating her dad. Speaking of functioning family dynamics, it’s family therapy time.
Drew: Oh boy.
Riese: Rosie’s back!
Drew: Yeah. So Carrie and Tina are there with Angie. They’re all waiting on Bette, of course. No surprise there.
Riese: Bette’s always late to therapy.
Drew: Yeah. Sort of her thing.
Analyssa: Bette thinks so little of therapy, it’s stunning that anyone asks her to go to it.
Riese: Can you imagine being Bette’s therapist, though? After she was done with her story, you’d be like, “Wow. And this is your first solo therapy session? How old are you?”
Analyssa: “This is just where we are?”
Riese: “We just got…? Okay. All right.”
Drew: “You keep saying that the only time you cheated was on Tina once 17 years ago, but in your story about getting back together with Tina, I feel like you cheated on a few people.”
Riese: “We also do have video from an art installation called ‘Core,’ which we did get at the…” Anyway, Carrie is not excited about seeing Bette, because she doesn’t like Bette at all.
Drew: Yeah. That’s fair.
Analyssa: I feel like that is fair. She also thinks Bette is still in love with Tina, which is also fair.
Drew: Also fair.
Riese: Yeah. Tina’s like, “No she isn’t.”
Analyssa: Angie also is FaceTiming Jordi from therapy, right?
Analyssa: Or from waiting.
Drew: And it’s very cute.
Analyssa: It’s really cute. And Jordi is afraid of Bette also, as she should be.
Drew: Yeah. She calls her Ms. Porter, and then when Bette walks in, Jordi says…
Jordi: Love the blazer, Ms. Porter.
Drew: Which I would like on a T-shirt. I would love that on a T-shirt.
Riese: Speaking of blazers, have you noticed that Sophie… This is not speaking of blazers, but we go to a scene with Alice and Sophie. Have you noticed that Sophie is just wearing different types of dark purple plaid flannel shirts? This is like her third… I was trying to make a graphic for the podcast today, and I was like, “Wait, it looks too much like last week’s graphic, because Sophie’s wearing…” It’s not the same shirt, but a very similar shirt, and now today she’s wearing yet another similar shirt.
Drew: Look, sometimes your soon-to-be-marriage falls apart and you just get lazy with fashion. I think that makes sense.
Analyssa: I was just about to say, you know when you break up and you cling to one strong aesthetic, just so you don’t have to think about who you are as a person?
Drew: Yeah, you’re a cartoon character.
Analyssa: Is that relatable to anyone? Riese, I really thought you were going to go from “speaking of blazers” to trailblazers, which is what Sophie wants to do her segment on.
Drew: Oh, wow.
Analyssa: Thank you, guys. She’s pitching this “Everyday queer heroes,” but documentary-style. I don’t know if it will fit into the style of The Alice Show, but I’m excited to see it nonetheless.
Riese: Yeah. This will not be a hit, I can say from the experience of running a website where we all also are charmed and excited and delighted by highlighting real queer heroes and our elders and stuff. It’s not a big…
Drew: Not a big moneymaker.
Riese: Not a big traffic driver, I will say.
Analyssa: In a just world, it would be.
Riese: In a just world, it would be.
Analyssa: As a segment producer for The Alice Show, I feel… Perhaps a different pitch? Okay.
Riese: What I did enjoy was the slide show. I think she got the best of stock photos possible, and those women did look like they could be lesbians, I think.
Analyssa: And they did important jobs.
Drew: Yeah. They definitely have someone from the military on the slide show. The L Word continues to be really pro-imperialism.
Analyssa: The thing is that LGBTQ equality is doing bad things too.
Drew: That’s a great point. Yeah.
Analyssa: That’s The L Word’s whole thing, is like, “Cheating, imperialism, whatever. We should be able to do it all.”
Riese: Yeah, exactly.
Drew: That’s a really beautiful, really beautiful idea. The one also important thing here is that Alice says that Nat keeps texting her to get back together, and I don’t love that for Nat. I mean, we don’t know, because we don’t get to spend any time with Nat now that she’s not in Alice’s life. She’s just banned to poly island, where…
Analyssa: Yeah, literally the poly parking lot of no return. She just disappeared.
Drew: Yeah, yep. Just cast her out with all the other sluts, you know?
Analyssa: Okay. So back in family therapy, this is a whole thing. Okay. First of all, Kayla told Angie about her donor being sick yesterday. The wheels are turning extremely fast. Fine. Okay.
Riese: Well, it wasn’t yesterday, because in that time — somehow Sophie hasn’t seen Finley for a few days, and Alice wrote an entire book.
Analyssa: Right. But then I think in therapy, they say, “yesterday.”
Riese: Oh really?
Analyssa: So you do have to—
Analyssa: You do just have to let go of the bounds of time and space in this world and…
Riese: Of course, of course.
Drew: It’s somewhere between a day and six weeks.
Riese: Yeah. I would say I would agree with that. But actually I do feel like what they have been sticking to really well this season is that they seem to make — every episode takes place in a day, but the distance of time for each individual storyline from the last time we saw a day is wildly different. Everyone is on a completely different time space continuum.
Analyssa: We’re kind of in a Westworld situation where all the characters are in different timelines. And sometimes they link up, but not always.
Riese: Exactly. Exactly.
Analyssa: Okay. So Angie clearly wants to find out if she’s a match because Marcus has kidney failure. And something I thought was absurd and also hilarious is Bette is like, “Sure, how do you want to help?” And she’s clearly thinking Angie’s going to run a bake sale at school or something.
Riese: Or send flowers, send an Edible Arrangement, get a Cookies By Design.
Analyssa: Yeah. She’s like, “We could get one of the poker games to donate the pot to his medical treatment.” And Angie’s like, “No.”
Riese: And then Tina’s like, “I think she wants to give a kidney.” And Bette’s like, “A kidney bean soup?” No, Bette’s like, “Absolutely not!! There’ll be no kidneys!!”
Analyssa: Immediately freaks out.
Drew: When Angie’s talking, Micah’s like, “You’re doing a great job.” And I would like to say that every time I have a difficult conversation with my family, if Leo could just be like, “You’re doing a great job,” I think that’d be really nice, so.
Riese: Right. Yeah. Michah’s very good at staying level despite the absolute insanity of this family.
Drew: The chaos, chaos. I was like, “Hey Micah, bet you wish you were working with trans kids now, huh?”
Riese: After this, he’s like, “No more cis women, please.” So Carrie starts to talk and she’s like, “I was adopted,” and Bette loses her mind over that. And she’s like, “Angie’s not adopted. She’s our daughter.” Even as though people who are adopted, whatever, aren’t their daughters? Technically also, Angie was adopted by Bette, but I don’t know. Obviously that wasn’t Carrie meant, which is what we discovered, because Angie quickly removes herself from the situation.
Drew: Yeah. Good for Angie.
Analyssa: And Tina follows her and then the world’s most chaotic combo of Bette, Carrie, and Micah are left in the therapy room.
Riese: Bette switches couches.
Analyssa: She has to get up and pace around, she’s doing a lot of blocking. Micah asks so innocently with the knowledge of someone who hasn’t watched six seasons of The L Word, what Bette’s relationship is to her family, and I cackled. I’ve never experienced a reaction like that. I thought it was absurd.
Riese: Yeah, because she’s so defensive. Carrie is like, “What I meant to say was I was happy to meet my biological mother,” or whatever, “and I would help her.” And then Bette’s like, “Well, not every family is the same,” or something. And then Micah wants the info. And I have to say that until this scene, I didn’t realize that Bette’s mom had left. I had thought she was dead.
Drew: Well, it’s nice that she’s not dead, I guess. A little bit of a different type of trauma thrown in, you know?
Analyssa: Is that like a reveal, do you think?
Riese: I went back and watched this morning, the scenes in which Bette discussed her mother with her father when he was dying. And I realized that they’re actually, they did not say that she died. They said that she left because he cheated on Kit’s mom with Bette’s mom, and then cheated on Bette’s mom with someone else, so Bette’s mom left and was never seen or heard from again, apparently, which is pretty brutal.
Drew: It’s incredibly brutal.
Analyssa: I guess I should be considering that more when I talk about Bette and what she does as a human.
Drew: Yeah, but Bette’s in her fifties. I’m sorry, but yeah, I’m all for being kind to people because of the things they’ve been through. But at a certain point, I mean, look, when Bette said, I don’t remember what this was in response to, but I wrote down this one quote. She says…
Bette: Same way you know you don’t like fucking scallops, Carrie. I tried it once and it wasn’t for me.
Drew: No one can deliver a line like her. It’s still… But this scene was, and I was like, “Oh, wow. I’m really turning on Bette. Bette’s been, this season, has been just really brutal. She’s falling apart.” It reminds me of season… There’s a season of the original series where Bette’s just kind of a nightmare. Is it the one where she’s dating Jodi? Probably, yeah. And I’m like, “It’s like season five.” Season five Bette, yeah, season five Bette is no good.
Riese: What’s funny, so my girlfriend is watching this season of Generation Q. She has no desire to watch season one of Generation Q or one episode of the original series.
Riese: So therefore, all of her perspectives are based solely on this season of television.
Riese: And she’s like, “Bette is awful and mean. I don’t understand what the thing is with her. Why are people obsessed with her? What’s her deal?” And I’m like, “I guess you’re right.” Has Bette done anything this season that was not kind of, at best, inappropriate?
Drew: No, I don’t think so. She’s sort of having a rough year. Yeah. I don’t know. It’s pretty rough, but Tina’s very nice with Angie. And the only thing is, is that I looked it up and you can’t donate a kidney until you’re 18 anyway, unless you go to Canada. So what’s Angie’s plan here? To go to Canada? Is Marcus Allenwood, the actor, still in Vancouver and she can go to Vancouver because the character’s there are too? What’s the idea here?
Riese: He’s not an actor.
Drew: No, I know. But the original L Word was shot in Vancouver.
Riese: Yeah, but the actor who played him wasn’t an actor.
Riese: He’s a house painter.
Drew: Oh, well, I mean he was an actor because he acted.
Riese: Yeah, this was his one acting role, because they couldn’t find the right guy, and then the AD was like, “This guy’s painting my house…”
Riese: “And he seems like the…”
Drew: That’s wild.
Analyssa: What do you—?
Riese: “And he seems like he would be good,” and so they literally got their AD’s house painter to play this one role in The L Word, and that…
Drew: So, is he coming back to the new series?
Riese: I don’t know, because his name is Mark Gibson, which how the fuck are you going to find someone named Mark Gibson?
Drew: No, no.
Riese: There’s a million probably, I’m sure. So I don’t know, I’m like, “Are they going to find this guy?” Is he going to be like, “Really guys, again? I’m really just busy painting houses, get off my back.”
Drew: Wow. That’s so interesting.
Analyssa: But maybe he’s retired from painting houses now. That’s an arduous job.
Riese: Oh yeah, it is an arduous job.
Analyssa: Maybe he wants to make a one day guest star paycheck and be back.
Riese: Yeah, that’s true, that would be nice. Maybe they’re going to cast someone else as him.
Analyssa: Imagine. The only other thing is that — besides Drew, your thing about Angie is definitely not old enough to donate a kidney — that wasn’t brought up in therapy was I wish that someone, not even necessarily Micah, but someone had said like, “Maybe it would be healing for Angie to just try.” And I don’t feel like anyone says that at all. It may not work out, but it might be helpful for Angie to follow this down the line. They just keep kind of being like, “But she wants to.” And it’s like, that’s not really… I don’t know, anyway. I just, I don’t know why it bothered me, but I just thought there’s a logical thing to say here, which is, “Yes.” But Angie had just found out something massive about where she comes from and then found out that she could lose him and she might want to try to help. And it might just feel good and not actually be a big deal.
Drew: Right. Yeah. I mean, I think they’re just wanting, I mean, Bette’s just wanting to shut it down because she’s just being anxious and controlling.
Analyssa: Shocking. Okay. So back at Dana’s, AKA Shane’s, AKA Tess’s, Finley is just doing everything she can to make sure Shane gets to spend time with Cherie Jaffe.
Riese: And Shane’s like, “Really, it’s okay.”
Drew: But also, why is Tess encouraging her to sit there, eat? I’m just, the whole thing…
Riese: I think Tess wants to know.
Riese: Tess is like, “What is the deal with you guys? What is this? What’s the story here?”
Drew: Yeah. She’s like, “I’ve been dating this person for a whole week and I’m in love and this is devastating to me.”
Riese: I’ll tell you what though, Shane is Cherie’s root. So it’s kind of, I mean, this story was probably, if they were really dating, which I don’t really think they are, then this story was going to come up within a week or two. You know what I mean?
Drew: Yeah, for sure.
Riese: But she’s like, “How do you know each other?” And Cherie’s like, “She did my hair.” And I was like, “Oh God, really?” But luckily, thank God, Shane was like…
Shane: Come on. We had an affair. An intense, destructive affair. She was married. It did not end well, did it?
Cherie: She was a notorious, irresistible homewrecker.
Riese: One thing that did bother me a little bit about this is that they were kind of acting as though they had not seen each other since their affair ended badly, which is very much not true. Obviously we all remember the pool sex scene from season three. And then also she went to her beach mansion where there was that wild party with crazy extras playing terrible music and cocaine and she couldn’t find her keys and then she crashed a car. You know? Although I guess, probably Cherie doesn’t remember a goddamn minute of that.
Drew: Yeah. There were a lot of drugs.
Riese: But the pool sex, I believe we all remember. And they should also probably remember it. And should have added that to the story they told Tess, because what are you talking about here? You know?
Drew: Yeah. The whole dynamic was very weird.
Riese: Yeah. Because then she’s like, “Now I’m divorced and out,” which she already said. She told Shane that in season three when she came to the salon. Oh right, she’s not Cherie Jaffe anymore, she’s Cherie Peroni.
Analyssa: But now she says she’s aggressively gloriously out of the closet, which I was like, “Okay, great.”
Riese: I was mostly thinking about how she was one of the first people to speak out against Harvey Weinstein and then feels like he tanked her career.
Drew: Mm. Well, I’m glad she’s back on the show. I mean, I’m always happy to see Roseanne Arquette and it’s a joy to see Cherie.
Riese: It is.
Analyssa: All these scenes are really fun and dramatic.
Analyssa: And there’s more to come because Shane invites Cherie to the poker game.
Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Drew: And then Tess goes into the back room and is freaking out and then starts talking to Finley. And Finley’s freaking out about Sophie so Tess pivots to talk about those problems. And she tells Finley to find someone that knows her worth and to sort of move on. And look, as a Sinley shipper, I don’t agree with this. But if Finley was my friend, I probably would also give that same advice. I do generally think that when things start messy, they stay messy. Not always, but…
Riese: I thought it was bad advice.
Analyssa: I thought it was bad advice, but here’s why. It’s because Tess is thinking about Shane when she’s giving Finley this advice.
Drew: Yeah, that’s true. That’s fair. That’s fair.
Analyssa: So it has nothing to do with Finley’s situation absolutely at all. And that’s not even a knock against Tess. Finley should have minded her own business because if you walked into the back room and one of your coworkers was screaming “fuck” into an empty room, why on earth would you go, “Okay, so my thing actually…”
Drew: Right, right, right. Totally.
Riese: Right, because Tess wasn’t even listening because Finley was like, “She referred to me as her friend this morning and blah, blah, blah.” And then Tess is like, “Well, she said she just wants to be friends, so listen to her.” And that’s not what Finley said. Finley didn’t say that Sophie said she wanted to be friends, but whatever.
Drew: Right. None of that’s true.
Riese: Back to therapy.
Analyssa: Back to therapy, everyone’s favorite place.
Riese: This would be a great time to give Jordan Hull an Emmy, I think would be.
Drew: She’s great.
Analyssa: I agree. She was acting her butt off.
Drew: Yeah, she’s so good.
Analyssa: She wants a connection to people who look more like her, she says. Angie talks about not looking the same as her mom. And I got really choked up when she said that she did look the same as Kit, or looked more similar to Kit, and doesn’t have Kit anymore. And I feel like they’re making great progress in this therapy session. They’re really getting to the root of why Angie, again, why this might be soothing and healing for Angie or something she wants to do.
Riese: Yeah. I felt like it was also great progress for the show to acknowledge a lot of these things, you know? And also Bette’s response was so Bette. She’s like, “Just because other people might mistake me for white doesn’t mean I don’t know who I am inside.” And Angie’s like, “Right, but the fact that other people mistake you for white and people, when they look at me or they look at Kayla or they look at Kit or they look at Marcus, they’re not going to mistake us for white. It’s a very different way of moving through the world.” And I thought it was really great that they actually addressed that and drew attention to it because I feel like they kind of have shied away from that in the past since season one when there was the girl in the support group that kind of challenged Bette about that as well.
Drew: Yeah. And the way that was framed was that Bette was right. That was how that was framed, so.
Riese: Yeah, and she was wrong.
Drew: Yeah, right, totally. I still just cut — every time they bring up the Kit though. I just, I’m still so not over it.
Riese: Yeah. But it was also great to hear that Angie has found that connection with Kayla, and that it’s been really good for her. So regardless of what happens, it seems like at least they should be able to stay friends, you know?
Analyssa: The other big update is that while I was crying, so were Bette and Tina and Carrie. And Bette holds Tina’s hand and Carrie sees and makes a face. And then in the parking lot afterwards, Carrie and Tina get into a fight about it. And I think Carrie’s right, I don’t know.
Riese: Yeah. She’s like, “I could be number two to Angie, but I’m not going to be number three to Angie and Bette.”
Carrie: Am I always going to be third?
Tina: I have to put Angie first.
Carrie: I know that. You know I know that. I love Angie and I’m fine with second, but third? Is this the way it’s always going to be? Because Tina, I don’t know if you realize it, but you’re always my number one.
Riese: She just doesn’t like Bette, you know? And I can relate to that because my girlfriend doesn’t like Bette either.
Drew: Yeah. I do think that this wasn’t really the time that Carrie needed to be going in on Bette, but I do think that — I agree with Carrie in the sense that what her ultimate point is, but the fact that Tina gets mad at her for being insulting towards Bette in this moment… It’s just like, the thing is, is that part of making Angie number one is reducing tension with Bette. And so I do think that given the seriousness of the conversation that was just happening… is now the time to be like, “Oh, well, your ex-wife’s a real piece of work.” Is that really the time? Could you just have taken a deep breath and called your… Just sometimes I’m like, people need to… I feel this way in my life too, where I’m like, sometimes you just need to call other people. So can Carrie call — who’s Carrie’s best friend? Can Carrie call her best friend and be like, “Oh.”
Drew: “Tina’s ex-wife is such a nightmare.” It’s like, you don’t say it to the person. I don’t know. It’s like if later it needs to be a longer discussion with your soon-to-be wife about her ex and about the dynamic, have that discussion when tensions aren’t as high. But I don’t think that this was really setting them up for success to be having this conversation right now.
Analyssa: I don’t either, but I don’t think it’s fair that Carrie has to just mediate tension and Bette gets to say whatever she wants. She was mean.
Riese: Yeah, Bette was an asshole.
Drew: No, I know.
Riese: We’re so used to seeing Bette be mean, but if we think about if this is real life, which of course we can’t really think about, when she was like, “Your opinion doesn’t matter.” She was so fucking mean.
Drew: No, she was awful, but Carrie’s not… I just think that it’s not a matter of whether Carrie’s right or Bette’s right. It’s about sometimes even when you’re right, it’s not the time to create a thing. And so it’s like, why do you need to take a Lyft? Just get in the car and people throw little tantrums and I’m just like, “Even when you’re right, don’t throw a tantrum. You’re an adult person. Take a deep breath and deal with the problem later.” I don’t know. That’s my stance.
Analyssa: I’m pro-tantrum.
Riese: I’m also pro-tantrum because I think sometimes things are really upsetting and it’s hard to just wait for a better time.
Drew: I guess.
Riese: And also, I do think Tina should have defended Carrie to Bette and should have stood up for her and not just let Bette walk all over her. And I know that I don’t like Tina, but…
Drew: Yeah. Again, I also think that’s true. I just, I don’t know. I don’t really, I don’t disagree. I just, I do think it’s true that she’s marrying into this family and part of that is having to figure out the dynamics and especially when they’re not around Bette all the time. But I don’t know.
Analyssa: The Bette apologist has logged on.
Drew: I’m not doing that, but I’m not apologizing for Bette. I’m absolutely, it’s more about the fact that I don’t think Angie should have to be the only one in this family unit who’s dealing with everyone’s emotions and managing everyone’s emotions. And so a way that Carrie could help is by not creating conflict and understanding that the reason why Tina’s trying to be a good mom to Angie and that’s taking away from her energy and focus on defending Carrie to Bette. She’s defending Angie from Bette. That’s where her focus is and that’s where it should be. And I think Bette’s obviously in the wrong in all of this and is being horrible, but sometimes your fiance’s ex-wife is horrible and you need to pick your battles and pick when you confront that and talk about that.
Riese: Justice for Carrie.
Analyssa: Same. We’re going to work justice for some character into every single one. Drew, I think that’s logical. I just think
Riese: They’ll all be victims of Bette.
Analyssa: They’re literally every single one has been a Bette victim.
Analyssa: We’ve done justice for Gigi, Jodi, and Carrie. Also something we haven’t talked about enough I think, are all of the names on this season that end in I.
Riese: Oh yeah. That is a little bit inappropriate.
Analyssa: There’s a lot of them, I feel like.
Riese: Yeah, it’s—
Analyssa: Gigi, Finley, Sophie, Dani.
Drew: Yeah, sometimes that happens though. I don’t know. All three people I hooked up with in Cincinnati whose names started with B-R, so sometimes name shit is weird. So you never know. Okay. So Sophie’s interviewing some lesbians, some real lesbians. Actually, are they real? Do we know this? Are these two, are they actors, in the sense that — obviously they’re real in the world of the show, but did they find two older lesbians to…
Riese: Tell their true story?
Drew: Tell their real story?
Riese: I feel like they probably did. I’d be surprised—
Drew: You’re probably right.
Riese: I could have looked this up and didn’t, but I do feel like they probably are real.
Drew: Yeah. It’s very corny, but I will allow it.
Analyssa: It’s a little When Harry Met Sally interview, which is sweet. Hilariously, these two women are talking about falling in love during a time when you couldn’t be out and also when their race played a really big role, and the jobs that they could get, and how they lost jobs because they were together and people were talking about it. And Alice and Sophie are just sitting there thinking about Nat and Finley.
Riese: They’re thinking about their white friends. Their girlfriends.
Analyssa: Yeah. They’re like, “Oh my God, this is just like me and my girlfriend who broke up because she wanted to be polyamorous in Los Angeles in 2021.” Like, no. And Sophie’s sitting there like, “Oh my God, love prevails. Maybe Finley and I should try.” It’s unhinged. I mean, good for them but I just was watching their faces being like, “You guys, be more respectful please.”
Drew: I know. So funny.
Riese: Speaking of two people falling in love under challenging circumstances, we go to Dani’s new penthouse apartment where she and Gigi are chatting it up like two people who should have sex and get married.
Analyssa: They should smash faces soon.
Analyssa: Also, not to be extremely thirsty, but Dani has really good hands. She’s sitting and her hands are on her legs and I was just like, good for you.
Analyssa: It looks great.
Drew: It’s just like a really good white wine and trauma sesh, you know?
Analyssa: Yeah. They’re just talking, they seem to understand each other. Gigi’s like, “God, aren’t you exhausted doing PR spin all the time?” And Dani’s like, “Yeah. Except when I don’t, I’m evil and I hurt people.” It’s like they’re really getting into who they are as people.
Riese: Yeah. They seem to really understand each other implicitly.
Drew: Yeah. They talk about — Dani says that she always knew Sophie wasn’t right for her on some level. And Gigi’s like, “I used to love like that. But now I’m more interested in learning” from who she’s with. And it’s not really clear. I feel like what I’m getting at is that Gigi is saying basically that she looks for people that are good on paper more than people who make her feel a spark?
Analyssa: I feel like she’s kind of saying “Yes, sort of.” But I don’t think that’s how she would say it. I think she’s, what she means is, “I’ve had that ‘intense, head over heels, give my whole self to it even when I knew parts of it weren’t right’ thing. And now, it’s more important to me to have something that I understand and they understand me and we grow and work together than it is to be like, ‘Oh my God, I have to be devolving into this relationship'” is kind of what it sounded like.
Drew: Yeah. But then Gigi says that she gets bored and moves on and so it does not really… so I think that the vibe that… what’s important is the vibe is like, “Yeah, but the thing I’m doing, isn’t that great. And maybe you are what I should be doing. And by what I should be doing, I mean, who I should be doing.”
Riese: Yeah. Hot.
Drew: And then Dani’s like, “You’re so easy to talk to.” And also is wearing this sort of just wearing a flannel. It’s very adorable. I’m really just watching these two and just like, “Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss.”
Riese: Yeah. Speaking of two people who don’t know where they stand with each other and are talking about other things, but are they really talking about themselves? We go to Dana’s Memorial Tavern where Shane and Tess are having an awkward conversation because Tess gave Finley advice and now Finley met someone who she apparently immediately knew deserved her and would like to skip her shift.
Finley: Check them out. I’m moving on.
Tess: Good. I’m happy for you.
Finley: Right? So you mind if I skip out on my shift? I just want to see where this goes.
Finley’s hook-up: Finley, come on.
Shane: Get the hell out of here. Go.
Finley: Oh, you’re the best. Thank you.
Riese: This is so gay. But also this is bananas. And also at a bar you can’t just go home, you need somebody there.
Analyssa: And there’s only three people who work at this bar, famously. And two of them have potential to hook up with Cherie Jaffe tonight. So, the numbers are low.
Riese: And they spend half their shift in the back room talking to themselves.
Analyssa: It’s a wonder that anything happens here.
Drew: Dana’s is this Italian restaurant in the Lower East Side that I used to go to called Gaia. I think that was like—
Riese: It was called Gay?
Drew: Gaia? But I guess it was basically just Gay. And it had the best paninis ever, but they just opened. It was just this old Italian woman who just opened when she wanted to be open. And so you would go there and usually they wouldn’t be open. And that’s how I feel Dana’s probably is. Like you never know when it’s going to be open.
Riese: Right. But chances are good it’s not.
Analyssa: Or you might get turned away at the door for a private event. Never know.
Riese: But Shane’s basically like, “Did you give Finley advice?” And then Tess is like, “This is the advice I gave Finley.” And so they’re fighting about it, but they’re actually fighting about their own relationship, I believe.
Drew: Yeah, I think that might be.
Analyssa: I would agree.
Drew: That’s pretty intuitive there, Riese.
Riese: And why not just, I don’t know—
Riese: Have a threesome?
Drew: That seems like the obvious, obvious choice.
Riese: Right. Like just do it, you know?
Drew: Though, here’s the thing, I don’t think that Shane should have sex with Cherie Jaffe. I think that will bring up a lot of stuff. I don’t think she should start off her relationship with Tess with a threesome with this person who traumatized her. That feels like, I think it’d be better to be like, “Tess, have your relationship with Cherie. Let that be. Let that happen. It won’t last. I don’t see it lasting. And then when you’re done, we can be in love.” And that seems like the long game move, as opposed to the immediate satisfaction of a threesome.
Riese: I’m just curious where this fits in to your desire to have things be messy and exciting on the TV show?
Drew: Oh no. Obviously I want them to have a threesome on the TV show. I’m talking about the difference between — no, no, no. When I’m talking about what the characters should do, I hope they don’t do what I’m giving them advice to do, you know?
Drew: No, obviously Tess, Shane, and Cherie should have a threesome if I’m talking to the writers. If I’m talking to the real human being Shane McCutcheon, I would say, “Friend. Don’t do this.” You know? Important distinction. Micah’s tired. Micah is very tired after that whirlwind of a therapy session. I mean, did he have other clients today? Who can say?
Riese: I sure hope not. I would have had to clear my schedule for just—
Analyssa: I feel like you have to clear a couple days after. You’re just like, “You know what? I’m just sitting in my office quietly thinking about that.”
Drew: Yeah. So he texts Maribel.
Analyssa: He does say mild emergency, which is insane.
Drew: An insane thing to text. Terrible.
Analyssa: First of all, there’s not really any such thing as a mild emergency. The definition of emergent means it’s an emergency or it’s not, but fine. Whatever.
Riese: It just reminds me of my ex who would be like, “mild emergency” and I knew for sure it was like that she burned a loaf of bread or something. You know?
Analyssa: I had to have a very serious conversation with my mother who would text, “call me ASAP.” All caps. All caps “ASAP.”
Riese: My mom does that too.
Analyssa: And I would call her and she’d be like, “Hi, I haven’t talked to you in a while.” And I’d be like—
Riese: Exactly. Yeah.
Analyssa: That’s literally not what ASAP means. She was like, “I just mean when you can next.”
Riese: Right. She’d be like, “Please give me a call when you have a chance.” Period. And I was like, “Okay, who’s sick?”
Analyssa: Okay, someone is ill. Yeah. I need to start thinking about flying home every time I get one of those texts. And then it’s my mom being like, “What’d you eat for lunch today?” Just text me. Anyway.
Riese: Speaking of people who are in rooms that have tables and chairs in them, Alice is at home and I guess she was going to have Nat over for dinner? And then Nat calls and cancels the dinner? And then Alice breaks a vase and then she starts crying.
Riese: And asks Tom to come over.
Drew: Yeah because Tom sends a nice little text. And so she cries. That is what happens in that scene. I don’t feel there’s that much to discuss.
Analyssa: Except that it’s proof of what I said, which is that Alice watched those two lesbians talk about their life story and was like, “I must hang out with my ex, Nat.”
Riese: Yeah and make it work and then she couldn’t. Also, I thought the colors of Alice’s outfit with the colors in her apartment, it was exciting visually. It was a lot of color, which I enjoy.
Drew: Speaking of people who cancel plans, we go back to Micah’s and discover that Maribel canceled a date to be there. And she’s looking very hot. And that is because she was date ready. And maybe this could turn into a date.
Riese: Yeah. And he starts talking. He feels really bad that she skipped a date to be with him right now because it wasn’t… as aforementioned, there’s no such thing as a mild emergency. What he meant to say was, “I spent the day with Bette Porter.” And then he just keeps talking and keeps talking and then Maribel just comes right up to him and they kiss.
Analyssa: And they smooched. They did it.
Riese: And I was like, “Woooooo!” And then he picks her up and takes her upstairs.
Drew: Yeah. It’s a cute… he’s like giving this little very rom com little speech of like “I just needed you here to talk to you about nothing and eat spicy food.” And then kiss. Yeah, it’s a good little moment.
Riese: Yeah. So again, you’re welcome, world.
Analyssa: Next season on The L Word, the giraffes and whatever that Riese suggested in this very episode.
Riese: Speaking of people coming over under certain situations… guises of… and people who are upset and other people are coming over to the home of the upset person, Tom comes over to clean up her little mess and says that she should make a mosaic out of the glass. And she is upset and then he sees the lobsters and he screams.
Alice: There are lobsters.
Tom: I know what they are, but what are they doing in your sink?
Alice: Because I was going to surprise Nat with a fancy dinner!
Alice: She called and canceled on me. She was leaving Brenda’s house. Who’s Brenda, by the way? Oh my God. It really is over. Anyway, I called you because I thought maybe you and I could eat them.
Tom: Alice, I’m deathly allergic to shellfish. There’s no way I’m going to eat these.
Alice: Come on.
Tom: There’s no way. I’m sorry. Especially after all they’ve been through today with you, I feel like they’re emotional support animals. I feel weird eating them.
Alice: Well, if we’re not going to eat them, what are we going to do with them?
Riese: I wanted him to be like, “You know what I learned about lobsters? That when male lobsters are in a styrofoam bucket in Alice’s sink…” You know? But no, they didn’t go there.
Drew: I could go for a lobster roll right now. I feel like I have a lobster roll once every two years. Because they’re just a little too expensive, but they’re very delicious. But they’re very small.
Analyssa: I was at a wedding in Maine two weekends ago and ate so much lobster, it was a little—
Riese: Wow. I was going to say I had a lobster roll in Maine in 2008. But I think that was the most recent.
Drew: I don’t have enough lobster. Lobster’s delicious. Maybe I will.
Analyssa: Yeah, I wish. I was like, “Maybe I should move to Portland, Maine so I can just eat seafood all day.” There’s also a lot of lesbians in Portland, Maine.
Drew: I have heard that.
Analyssa: I don’t know why, but it’s like a spot for us as lesbians.
Riese: For us as lesbians?
Analyssa: Portland, Maine.
Riese: Oh yeah.
Drew: Okay. This is my least favorite scene in this episode.
Analyssa: I knew last week when we recorded the other one, Riese and I knew that you were not going to like this scene because of what you said in the 204 episode, but we’d already seen 205.
Riese: Yeah, did I give you a look when she was talking about it?
Analyssa: Yeah, we both were like, “Well…”
Drew: Yeah. But then when there was that really cute scene on FaceTime earlier, I was like, “Oh, maybe they were giving each other a look because they were like, ‘Drew is going to be so happy next episode’ because they make up for it.” But nope, it’s just inconsistent. Basically Jordi’s talking about being nominated for prom queen and Angie, I just…ugh. It doesn’t check out with their relationship and I mean, I know Jordi is a teenage girl and all that, but even earlier in this episode she’s being supportive and nice. And I just don’t get her being this selfish and this fixated on her phone. The only justification is that she gets really excited because her English teacher likes her posts. And if any of my English teachers ever liked my post, I would also have that reaction, so it’s the only justification I can think of. But I still just… it just feels out of character and feels unnecessary because so easily — I said this last episode — Jordi could just not get it because these are very adult, very serious things that Angie’s going through, so it could easily just be a thing where Jordi just doesn’t quite get it.
Riese: Or know what to say.
Drew: And maybe Angie also, given Angie’s character, it would make sense to be sort of like, “Let’s not talk…” to push Jordi to talk about prom when obviously there’s stuff going on for Angie. But Angie doesn’t want to talk about it. There’s all these other ways that this could’ve gone that would have just made more sense with Jordi’s character. But oh, well.
Analyssa: I did have one read on it, which I guess maybe is a little bit too charitable. That’s always my mantle, my cross to bear.
Drew: Please. Give it to me.
Analyssa: Which is, again, they’re teenagers, but I still do this as an adult sometimes. Where a friend is going through something and Angie has gone to therapy and is clearly feeling about it and Jordi is like, “Okay, but let’s talk about fun stuff,” which does sound kind of callous when you watch it. But I can see a version where you are “the fun friend.” And I know that, Drew you’re right, that they have a lot built up where Angie’s not going to Jordi just for fun. But I can see this attack of like, “What if we just talked about something silly and goofy and got your mind off of it?” Was she that explicit about it? No, but there is a world where that is kind of the thing. But in combo with last episode, Angie being like, “Jordi can’t understand because she’s running for prom court.” It’s not ideal.
Riese: I have a read on the episode, which is that Jordi wants both of Angie’s kidneys for herself.
Drew: Oh no.
Riese: For a spell.
Analyssa: To win prom court, do you think?
Riese: Exactly. Thank you. Exactly. Yeah.
Drew: That sounds like a Buffy plot.
Analyssa: That would be an exciting plot line for Jordi. I would love for that to happen actually.
Drew: Can you imagine if all of a sudden there just was like… Jordi’s a witch and…
Riese: Black market, Oregon.
Analyssa: “She started trying to take some of my organs, we’re kind of on the outs. We’ll get back to it.”
Drew: Kind of like the vampire episode. Ugh, what a great episode.
Analyssa: Okay. So, Tom and Alice are on the beach at the lobster release party. LA’s hottest event. I don’t know what he says exactly, but basically Tom is just like, “I wish that I could help you with this, but unfortunately I’m a monogamous man.”
Riese: Oh yeah, he was like, “I’m not a lesbian and I’ve never been in a poly relationship. So I wish that I could give you better advice.” That I have better, whatever. And the whole time I was thinking, “This is so funny.” Because Tina and Henry’s, one of their first dates that we saw was they’re both sitting on the beach and the ocean waves were lapping and they were talking about their feelings, you know? And I was like, “Are they trying to soft launch men into The L Word?” Like a man having a relationship with a bisexual character, but doing it on the beach so we’re all soothed by the ocean waves or whatever?
Analyssa: Yeah. It is soft lighting, everything is very gentle, there’s some ASMR in the background.
Riese: “This is going to be fine guys.”
Drew: I like Tom. And this is really cute and I’m all for it. I will say that I think — obviously plenty of bisexual women who are very involved in lesbian community date all sorts of cis men. But I do think that something that is pretty common is dating bisexual men, dating men who have queerness in their life who are surrounded by other queer people. And I think The L Word likes to find this tension of the straightest guy in town and our queer woman. And it’s like, yeah, okay. That happens, and that’s fine. But it would be nice to like… I mean look, it creates conflict because there’s contrast. And I get that, but I also would love to see some more examples of bisexual male representation other than Angus maybe being bi. I mean, I’ve decided that’s canon, but I don’t know if it really is.
Riese: Angus is bi.
Drew: It’s sort of played as a joke in the original, but I decided I’d take it as canon, but I don’t know. You know what I’m saying though? That just, again I don’t have any issue with this storyline specifically. I just, I think it’s interesting that the instinct is always to be like, “Ah, cis men are so different.” And it’s like, “Sort of. Sometimes.” Sometimes they’re also like, oh—
Riese: Not that different.
Drew: Yeah, the reason why this cis man is drawn to this very famous queer woman is because a bunch of his friends are lesbians or because his sister’s trans. I don’t know, you know what I mean? I just find that when cis men are around the community, I don’t think it’s as often where it’s like, “And wow! Queerness is this whole brand new thing to them.” Because I don’t know it just hasn’t been my personal experience of my friends and stuff.
Analyssa: The L Word posits that you, if you are a woman in a mostly lesbian and queer community who wants to date a cis man, you will only meet him at work. So that is part of the problem.
Drew: Right. Or through your kids.
Analyssa: Oh I guess it was through your kids. Yeah. I was thinking of who’s that movie producer that she—?
Drew: Oh yeah.
Riese: Josh, Josh Becker. Josh Becker.
Drew: Who gets her the movie poster for Catch 22?
Riese: Yeah, their favorite movie.
Drew: Which, I’m still so hung up on that Tina Kennard’s favorite movie is the Mike Nichols adaptation of Catch 22. I think about it. Sometimes I just wake up in the middle of the night and I think, “Tina Kennard’s favorite movie of all time is Catch 22, the 1970 film adaptation.”
Riese: Yeah. I do like though that he is a softy, he’s not like a Tim, you know what I mean?
Drew: Yeah, I like Tom a lot.
Riese: He’s a books guy, you know?
Drew: Yeah I love a books guy.
Analyssa: And he’s goofy.
Riese: Yeah. He’s goofy. I wish… I remember they had him and Finley just get along immediately. And I think having more of that would be cute. Because I think it would be cool if he turned, at least if he fit into the group in a way. That it was like those guys that have the lesbian friends, you know?
Drew: Yeah. And that could still happen. I mean this could be Tom’s entry point and then everyone can be like, “You’re nice. You’re cool. Hang out with us.” I’d love that.
Analyssa: The one other thing in this scene is that Alice is like, “I don’t know where it all went wrong.” And Tom says the nice, sort of friend, but sort of flirty thing of like, “Nat’s crazy for not trying to work it out.” And not to be the one Nat defender of The L Word: Gen Q, Nat did try to work it out a little bit, in Nat’s defense. Anyway, these two dodos put the lobsters in the ocean, but they didn’t clip the little rubber bands on their claws.
Alice: Did you take the rubber band thingies off their um…?
Tom: No. Did you? They’re going to die. They’re going to die.
Alice: Oh my God, we have to save them!
Tom: They’re going to die!
Alice: Okay, are they going to be in this area?
Tom: It’s too cold! Can you imagine having your life dependent on the strength of some piece of rubber?
Alice: Isn’t that like the whole idea with condoms?
Tom: Oh yeah, I guess so.
Analyssa: Already these lobsters were doomed, because they were not living in the ocean, whatever. You can’t release… whatever.
Riese: Justice for lobsters.
Analyssa: Already they were doomed, but now they’re extra doomed.
Drew: At this point in my notes, I was like, okay, there’s only 10 minutes left, we better do a sex scene montage. We better do a sex scene montage. But we’re not there yet. But that was what I was thinking about in my notes. But …
Riese: Dani’s apartment.
Analyssa: Yeah, we kind of get the precursor to a sex scene montage with these two, which is like, they’re still at Dani’s apartment, they’re still hitting it off. Dani is like…
Dani: Are you hitting on me?
Gigi: No, I mean, I don’t think so.
Dani: Okay, but you’re not sure.
Gigi: I like your energy.
Dani: I don’t know what that means.
Gigi: Sure you do. It’s what you’re feeling right now.
Analyssa: My notes say, “Gigi says, ‘Not yet baby.’” Which is kind of the tone.
Riese: Right. I don’t understand that because I was like, you are, aren’t you?
Analyssa: Aren’t you?
Riese: Like, how are you not? Your body language is flirting.
Drew: Gigi’s a fucking nightmare and I love it. But the fact that Dani was very direct and being like, “Are you hitting on me?” And she was like, “No, I don’t think so.” Her exact words were, “No, I don’t think so.” And it’s like…
Analyssa: Okay, so what are we doing?
Drew: Yeah, you are obviously hitting on her. Like you might not be hitting on her with intention, but like come on, Gigi.
Riese: Although to be fair, I remember when Gigi was first introduced, we were like, “Is she hitting on Alice?” Like has Gigi talked to anyone where we didn’t feel like she was?
Drew: Yeah, that’s true. That’s a good point.
Riese: I think she might just be one of those people, but also this very specifically is …
Analyssa: Right. She has that energy generally, but now they’ve gone on dinner dates. She’s helped Dani unpack her apartment. She’s sat on Dani’s—
Riese: Picked her up from jail.
Analyssa: Picked her up from jail, think you, circled the parking lot for an hour to pick her up from jail. She sat on Dani’s countertop in a way that I think of as very familiar at least if not flirty. So like, what are we doing if not?
Drew: Okay, but what I did like is that, so Gigi says, “I like your energy.” And Dani says, “I don’t know what that means.” So Dani’s really doing a good job at being like… not just asking for clarification one time, but continuing to be like, “No, I want to have an actual conversation about what this dynamic is.” And I’m just like Dani… I predicted this at the start of the season, but Dani without the Sophie relationship, I like. I like Dani. Like I did not like Dani all last season and I’ve liked Dani most of the season. It’s really exciting stuff for me and Dani and our relationship.
Analyssa: This is also a funny thing that I’ve experienced in real life too, where Gigi thinks of herself as talking about feelings and knowing how to talk and communicate. And then as soon as someone else presses her to do it, she’s sort of like, “What do you mean?” She’s used to being in… I guess Nat is maybe an exception to this, but it seems like she’s used to being around people like Bette, where she’s like, “Don’t you have something you want to talk about? Maybe we should talk about it.” And then as soon as someone else is like, “Hey, Gigi, that thing you said was kind of confusing.” She’s like, “What do you mean? I have no idea.”
Drew: Oh, I wrote in my notes, “Obsessed with these queers pretending to do direct communication.”
Riese: Right, exactly.
Drew: Gigi rejects Bette — Bette asks to hang and she says, “No, I can’t.” Which I would like to know that the only reason why Bette texted Gigi is because of the therapy session and Bette wants an emotional support fuck. And good for Gigi… I mean, Gigi doesn’t know that specifically, but good for Gigi for not seeing her because that’s so shitty. God, that’s a real… but yes.
Riese: Speaking of May/December relationships, we then transition back to Dana’s Memorial Tavern where Cherie’s kind of hitting on Shane, like they’re being… I think the thing is with Cherie and Shane is that Cherie was the first person to really break Shane’s heart and to really also get into her heart. So I don’t think that Shane has… I think she would have more self control around Carmen or Molly than she would around Cherie. I feel like they have this sort of weird power imbalance in their relationship and Shane is just not very good at resisting, not falling into the same dynamic they’ve always had. Like it’s very difficult for her to have a different dynamic with Cherie, even though it seems like she was trying really hard earlier. But it seems like she’s trying a little bit less hard now? I can’t tell.
Analyssa: It does seem like she’s still trying to resist, but also it’s very clear from the way Cherie talks to her and to Tess, I think, that the game is afoot. The way that it felt was even if I don’t think this is true, or whatever, Cherie and Tess both are like, “Well, they’re going to bone.” So Tess gets kind of mad, tries to leave, extract herself from the situation. And she goes back to the back room and Cherie follows her and then they have sex in the back room.
Drew: Yeah. And then we cut to Micah and Maribel, and I really enjoy that she’s sort of making fun of him and it felt like their verbal dynamic continued sexually.
Riese: Yeah. Orally.
Drew: Yes, exactly, orally. I don’t like that this was tacked onto the Cherie… it felt a little bit like a weird… because it wasn’t a full sex scene montage. The only people having sex are these two couples. And so I sort of wished that it had just been two separate sex scenes and that the Micah and Maribel scene had happened earlier, like when we were there with them. I don’t know if that hit anyone else weird? It just was like…
Riese: Beggars can’t be choosers.
Drew: No. I maybe wanted it to be longer.
Riese: Yeah. I thought Tess should have stood her ground with Cherie, so I was a little bit thrown off by that. Although then I did like… because I can’t remember specifically, I remember really liking Tess’ bra, skirt situation, whatever it was. And we wouldn’t have gotten to see that otherwise. And I was also like, wow, Cherie is a top now I guess.
Analyssa: That’s what being aggressively and gloriously out will do for you.
Riese: Yeah, exactly. That’s the spirit. But yeah, no, I mean, I see what you mean. But I thought it was just so nice.
Drew: No, it was really nice.
Riese: I hate myself.
Drew: No, it’s good. It’s good. It’s nice for things to be nice. I just… the sex scenes are so intricate and well choreographed. And I wanted just a little bit more time with this one. I did like that it wasn’t made into a whole thing, both from transness or disability, that it wasn’t made into like a whole point of drama. It was just cute and sweet. But also could have a little bit more length to it. I mean look, some sexual experiences don’t last as long as you want them to. And that’s just how it is though. So maybe we’ll get more sex scenes. Maybe these two are going to keep dating and then we’ll get another sex scene. That’s my hope.
Riese: Maybe the next episode will just be them having sex.
Analyssa: Bottle up.
Drew: Love a high concept episode of television.
Analyssa: So back at Bette’s, Bette apologizes, is what my notes say. Does she apologize to Angie or Tina? I don’t remember.
Riese: Her and Tina are there together. Her and Tina are there together so I’m sure Bette is dying of excitement that she’s with her little… she’s with Tina, tiny Tina, her little love Tina.
Analyssa: And they’ve made the decision together that Angie can meet Marcus, which is not exactly what Angie asked for, but okay. Baby steps. We’re taking our wins as we can get them.
Riese: Yeah. And meanwhile, Marcus is like, “I really kind of need the kidney, like pretty soon.”
Analyssa: Yeah, Marcus is like, “It’s really nice to meet you, but what’s the deal with the blood situation?” It’s a lot of tests that you have to go through. My mom gave her kidney to my ex-stepdad when I was in the fifth grade. It’s a lot of stuff. And again, crucially, they wouldn’t do it to a 16-year-old, but that’s okay. Sophie returns home with sushi as a peacemaking offer, grand gesture, somewhere on that spectrum. And everyone in this house is fucking. Finley’s having sex in her room, which is what Sophie hears and sees. No good. But also Micah’s having sex with Sophie’s sister in the same house. Everyone is boning next door to each other and Sophie’s by herself. Like this is just…
Riese: I don’t remember the scene very well, but does she see Maribel’s chair in the living room?
Drew: I don’t think they make a thing of that.
Riese: They don’t? So she doesn’t know that she’s listening to her sister? That sucks.
Analyssa: I do remember… oh, she’s going to know… she’s going to see Mari’s shoes or her chair, or her bag. I thought that that was going to be a point of drama and it’s not yet. But maybe the next episode will open with Sophie waking up the next day and everyone’s just in the kitchen, and she’s like, “What the fuck?”
Riese: And she’s like, “This is … Okay, so what? Last night I was listening to my sister have sex. And also the girl that I like have sex and all of the sushi was just there.” And she looked so excited that she brought home the sushi. But also I was expecting her to see the Finley thing and then also lose it in the same way that Finley lost it thinking about her and Dani. But it seems like she’s just sort of like, “Okay. Right. Of course.”
Drew: I mean, Finley should really close her door, but also Sophie should text ahead of time.
Riese: Exactly, yeah. Sophie should have been like, “Hey, are you going to be home tonight?”
Drew: Yeah, especially if you’re going to buy sushi. But I guess worst case scenario, you just eat more sushi and that’s never a bad thing. And so we end the episode with Cherie coming back to Dana’s after dropping off Tess, to see Shane. Messy, messy, messy person, Cherie Jaffe, now known as Cherie—
Riese: Peroni, I think. I can’t remember exactly.
Analyssa: The heiress to the Peroni beer fortune?
Riese: I can’t remember what her last… I just remember that it was different. Like when she signed up for her haircut at Wax. But yeah, she’s like, “Are you going to let me in?” Or whatever. And Shane’s like, “Do you think that’s a good idea?” And she’s like, “Don’t make me beg.” And I’m like, oh fuck. Because then Shane has sex with Cherie, which… is that what’s going to happen? I guess Cherie is going to… she’s going to have a big day. Then Shane and Tess are never going to have sex, right?
Drew: Well, I don’t…
Analyssa: What’s Cherie’s game here?
Drew: Yeah, I don’t know. I have no idea, but it’s chaotic and I love it.
Riese: I don’t know what her game is. Tess gave her an out.
Drew: Yeah. I don’t know.
Riese: If she really wanted Shane, she could have not gone down on Tess in the back office.
Drew: Yeah. Well, that’s the episode.
Analyssa: That’s the episode.
Drew: How do we feel?
Riese: I actually… I don’t know if I sounded enthusiastic during this recap, but I thought when I was watching this episode, I was like, yeah, they’re playing with fire now.
Drew: Yeah, I enjoyed this one a lot.
Riese: Where I’m like, they’re really getting a lot of things going that are a little bit chaotic and fun and I just really enjoy… I’m really enjoying this season, I think.
Drew: Yeah. I liked this episode.
Analyssa: Yeah. I felt like… I don’t remember if we talked about it last week because Riese and I had seen 204 and 205 together, and Drew, you hadn’t, but they went together in a cool way. And yeah, Riese, like you said, I felt like it was like, okay, it’s time to do some stuff with the things we set up.
Riese: Yeah. It feels like a lot of things are on the brink of happening or not. And I can’t remember any point of last season where I felt that way. Like everything is getting really messy and complicated and interesting. And I mean, bringing back Cherie is a move.
Drew: Yeah, it’s really fun.
Riese: But I liked it. And, I mean, I think that the stuff with Angie and her family was really interesting and good. It was good to see Micah at work, trying… and yeah. I mean obviously, as you know, I really wish Sinley was happening, but I’m waiting.
Drew: All in good time. How many episodes is this season?
Riese: 10. So we’re halfway. This is halfway.
Drew: We’re halfway. I think the season’s going to end with Sinley.
Analyssa: I think so too.
Riese: Was it … who has said that their prediction was that the season’s going to end with Bette Finley-ing Carrie and Tina’s wedding?
Analyssa: I don’t… was that either of us?
Drew: I hope not.
Analyssa: That is wild.
Drew: Oh lord. I hope not.
Riese: And then Bette would still be like, “I’ve never done anything bad in my entire life.”
Analyssa: “I’ve never done anything selfish, ever.”
Drew: I’m so sorry, Bettina shippers, but I want so badly for us to just move on.
Analyssa: I, for one, am looking forward to 206. Not to move us on so fast, but the karaoke stills are important to me.
Riese: Oh right, that’s true. The karaoke stills. I’ve seen a lot of the pictures. And as we discussed in our little chat in our group text, Gigi has made a fashion choice for next week’s episode that I’m very curious to know more about.
Analyssa: I can’t wait to discuss that fashion choice once I’ve seen it moving around.
Riese: In action.
Drew: Okay, well…
Analyssa: All right, well, another one in the books, friends.
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. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 971-217-6130! We also have merch! Head over to store.autostraddle.com. There are “Bette Porter For President” t-shirts, there are To L and Back stickers, and lots of other simply iconic Autostraddle merchandise. Our theme song is by the talented Be Steadwell. Our brand new To L and Back: Generation Q logo is by the incredible Jacqi Ko! Jacqi is so, so talented and you should definitely go check out her work, I’ve linked her website and 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 @draw_gregory. That’s “Drew” in the present tense. You can follow Analyssa on Instragram @analocaa, with two As, and on Twitter @analoca_, with one A and an underscore. And you can follow our in-house L Word savant and living legend, Riese Bernard, everywhere @autowin. Autostraddle is @autostraddle. And of course, the reason we are all here…. Autostraddle.com. Okay. So sticking with the trend of last week with our now full-of-intention L words, we are going to end this episode with an L word that describes what we thought of this episode. So Drew, Riese, Analyssa, what are your L words?
Riese: Okay. I’ll go first. My word is Lorna Doones because they’re a good cookie that I think everybody could enjoy today if you wanted too. You can buy them at any gas station.
Drew: How does that… are we not doing relevant L words anymore?
Riese: Well, I think anyone in the show who wanted to have…
Drew: Oh, sure, sure.
Riese: …a Lorna Doone, could do that as well.
Analyssa: Okay, I’ll go. Mine is Looney Tunes, which I feel like should be self explanatory of how it relates.
Riese: Yeah, that was a really good one.
Drew: Wow, I can’t think of anything.
Analyssa: Oh God, Drew, you might have to just take the free space and say lesbian.
Drew: My brain is broken.
Riese: I’ll take the space to say that I have now watched Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL and I loved them both.
Drew: I love that.
Analyssa: This is only going to distract Drew from coming up with an L word.
Riese: Just say “Le Magic Mike.”
Drew: Love, love, love Magic Mike. And I don’t know why I… I just think that some days…
Riese: Lobster roll.
Analyssa: Oh yeah.
Drew: I can’t… no, see that’s the thing, I kept thinking lobster roll and I couldn’t get that out of my brain, but I can’t do it because it’s part of the episode title. But I’m just going to go for it and maybe I should go have dinner and that’ll give me some brain food and then I’ll be back.
Riese: Yeah, get some lentils.
Analyssa: Love it.
Drew: Lentils, great.
Analyssa: Eat some lettuce while you’re at it.
Drew: Great. Great, great.
Riese: Yeah, you got a whole meal and then top it off with a Lorna Doone. And that, my friends, that is dinner. And we’ll see you next week.
Analyssa: That’s dinner.
Drew: That’s beautiful.
Riese: Bye, everyone.
My favorite part of the podcast was hearing that Riese’s girlfriend doesn’t like Bette: I am completely mystified why people don’t see her as the controlling, abusive person she is. Yes, I watched all six seasons of the show, and season one of generation q. But I watched them as an adult— at fifty— as an out queer— and there is just nothing sexy or appealing about this terrible human being.
Pretend that you know about a man who does the same things Bette does. Here are just a few:
* As Dean, he fucks a twenty years younger woman who is also her student and employee, then discards her. The young woman transfers to another university— afraid to file a complaint lest her boss destroy her career.
* He then fucks a professor in his program, manages to convince this honest polyamorist to be monogamous with him, cheats on and gaslights her, then breaks up with a condescending speech about how the honest polyamorist just doesn’t share his values.
* He then tries to fire the professor.
* He then tries to get sole custody of his child from her mother, then literally kidnaps the child. Note: abusers often weaponize children against partners who leave them. He doesn’t seem to have provided any childcare in the past— we see him on the road with the kid, completely incompetent at very basic care— screaming in a restaurant about a sippy cup. (Would this be funny to a lesbian audience if a man kidnapped a child he didn’t know how to care for?)
Those are all from the first iteration of the show. In generation q, we discover that she is still fucking employees. We also see that she expects her teenage daughter to take care of her; snipes at her ex wife’s new partner; is nasty and neglectful to her new girlfriend— she hasn’t changed, she is still the abusive shithead she’s been the entire time.
Can you name a single person Bette has dated where the other person comes out of it unharmed? I can’t.
Why do you think Tina was so boring in the first season? She’s been in an abusive relationship for seven years. Having all your personality bullied out of you over seven years does tend to make a person boring.
I’m with Riese’s girlfriend. Why does anybody like this terrible, terrible person? She’s just another #metoo asshole, fucking the people she has power over, firing them after breakups, gaslighting her lovers, treating them like shit. Charismatic, sure— a lot of abusive men are also quite charismatic to people who are their victims.
Nabil, you are 100% correct. Bette does terrible things, especially the professional line-crossing and kidnapping, that the audience would not accept from a man.
My theory is that the fans excuse and minimize this behaviour because:
1) Jennifer Beals is a goddess among mortals and everyone wants her to top them, and,
2) Bette gets a lot of righteous moments where she tells off horrible people in a really satisfying way, she IS the lesbian Julia Sugarbaker.
Still, I totally agree with you, Jennifer Beals is amazing but it’s too hard to root for Bette as a character.
Thank you so much! I often find it really hard to read about the l word on Autostraddle- hearing all the writers talk about how great this abuser is kind of freaks me out. I wind up feeling crazy.
Agreed on Jennifer Beals being a goddess though. I do wish she was playing a character I could root for. As it is, I wish she wasn’t in generation q.
I feel a bit abashed for using this comment thread to dump my feelings, skip this if you’re sick of it but—
The way that Bette is written as a mixed race queer person is really fucking weird! I’m mixed race Arab and look white, and I’ve been around other queer Arab community for thirty years, and _nobody_ acts like Bette. She doesn’t have a single Black friend! She has a brief affair with another Black queer woman, and they never talk about being Black and queer! For me, and for other queer Arab folks, dating each other is really intense and something that we definitely talk about. That affair is handled differently than her other affairs on the show— it’s weird that I just think of her as “the carpenter.” I can remember the name of Bette’s student, but not of her only Black lover. But after the affair is over, nobody ever refers to her by her name. To me, the way this character is treated differently from Bette’s other exes adds another level of gross to Bette’s abusiveness.
Also— again, as a mixed race person who looks white— it’s bizarre that Bette seems so comfortable passing as white. We see a lot of scenes where a stranger, colleague, etc assumes she’s straight and she corrects them. But we don’t see scenes where she comes out to a stranger, colleague, etc as Black. My coworkers and colleagues all know I’m Arab because I talk about it— I don’t let folks assume that I’m white anymore then I let them assume I’m straight. I know being Arab is different than being Black, but I just don’t buy Bette as a mixed race person, the way passing is handled is too weird. I am glad that they refer to passing in this last episode with Angie, but it’s gross that Angie had to be the one to bring it up.
(Bette is an absolute nightmare as a mother, I’ve had friends and lovers who were raised by women like her and I feel really sad for Angie. I’m thinking of an old boyfriend who grew up in a family centered around soothing his mother and dealing with her rages and it leaves a lot of scars. The scene where Bette blew up in therapy was heart-breaking. Thank God for Carrie, the rest of them have so normalized Bette’s blow-ups that she’s the only one who can see how wrong it is.)
I’m spending way too much time analyzing a badly-written character, obviously a lot of this weirdness is because she was written by white people! The thing is, her character is actually really consistent. She’s not like Jenny who gets horrible in the last season. She’s consistently awful through the first six seasons, and awful in the same ways in generation q.
Okay, I’m going to go look at adorable cat pictures on the internet now. Apologies for the rant.
Oof looking at her history all out there at once it really is bad! In general I try (try!) not to map the l word characters onto what my reactions to real people would be, or even my reactions to characters on better-written shows that felt more like realistic people. Because at some point they’re all ridiculous and quite often terrible. I don’t generally have an issue with people liking characters I don’t on this show because of all of this.
But at the same time, it does baffle me when it comes to Bette! So it’s really validating to see I’m not the only one who doesn’t like her and doesn’t see the appeal! I never watched the original series, but even with that limited information I can’t stand her. She’s controlling and mean and sometimes cruel, and also just plain irritating. And, to your point, mapped onto a real person or male character (or just onto a better-written show!) it’s hard to imagine that all being excused just because she’s hot (on a show stacked with hot people). Something to think about for sure.
Is there a place I can nominate this team for best scene-to-scene segues?
I have a theory about Jordi! I feel like Gen Q has forgotten that Jordi’s parents are absent in some way – I wonder if she was feeling some kind of way listening to Angie feel frustrated by her 3 moms while Jordi’s parents would never show up for family therapy? That could be an interesting angle that would actually give us more information about her and flesh out the character.
Very good point re Jordi. That might also have to do with why she’s throwing herself into prom court. As a distraction from her home life, or to get attention she’s craving, or all of the above. Maybe she was used to getting all the attention/affection she needed from Angie (if I remember correctly they were basically joined at the hip last season) but since Angie has a lot going on rn, she might feel like she needs to find it through other means.