Much like Pippa Pascal on this here TV program, the hosts of To L and Back have some trust issues! We’ve gone from epic highs (the karaoke episode) to some extreme lows, and so despite our best efforts and despite the number of shindigs in this episode, it’s a little hard to relax into this installment of our much beloved television series.
Because yes, while it’s firmly homecoming season in the real world (or so my Facebook feed tells me, filling as it is with photos of my teenage cousins all dressed up), in The L Word it’s prom night! Angie is wearing a suit and grappling with her feelings about not getting the chance to meet her donor. The adults gather at Bette’s to drink, gossip, and make-out in inappropriate places! Meanwhile, Sophie tries to search for Finley by making phone calls to various law enforcement agencies while also fighting with her family because we only have one episode left so you know things gotta get capital-S Serious…
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- Riese’s recap of Generation Q Episode 209 Last Dance
- Alice’s billboard is supposedly outside this local bookstore in LA!
- Drew’s second interview with Mae Martin
- The book review I just did for Autostraddle that I would have submitted as proof I could cover Alice’s new book
- Alice would maybe like to read this roundtable about choosing visibility as a bi+ person from Autostraddle staff!
- The reason Jordi & Angie were dancing in the hallway is because this was taking place in the gym
- In case you are not like me and don’t think about this Villanelle dress every day of your life
- I am once again linking this essay about how Gen Q has previously mishandled sobriety storylines
- The list of lesbian and bisexual characters who have died on TV that Riese referenced
- We didn’t talk about this roundtable explicitly in the episode, but it’s always a good day to read Autostraddle’s queer writers of color discuss this series, no reason just a fun share!
Drew: Hi, I’m Drew.
Analyssa: And I’m Analyssa.
Riese: Oh, and I’m Riese.
Drew: And this is—
Drew, Analyssa, and Riese: To L and Back: Generation Q edition!
Analyssa: We’ve gotten so much better at that.
Drew: We have.
Riese: I think of all the happiness that now we’re in the same room, and it’s a lot easier.
Analyssa: Why is that?
Riese: Well, there’s a delay.
Drew: On Zoom.
Riese: And I think also just the vibe.
Riese: It’s about vibes.
Analyssa: It’s really like… Did you guys ever play that improv game? I’m coming out as a theater kid, uh-oh, where you all stand in a circle or not, with your eyes closed or not, but then someone says, “One,” and then someone says, “Two.”
Riese: Oh yeah. That you would do before the show.
Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Riese: Because then it showed how well you were vibing or not.
Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Analyssa: That’s kind of what this is.
Riese: Yeah, I get that. I love that. Yeah.
Analyssa: This is like a per episode vibe check.
Drew: We’re all on the same vibe today, I guess, maybe, question mark?
Riese: Maybe. I guess we’ll find out.
Drew: We’ll find out.
Riese: It’s a Monday.
Drew: This episode is episode 209 “Last Dance.” It’s directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour who directed the last episode, which you may remember, may not remember, the last episode. Notorious episode.
Riese: Yeah, the worst episode.
Drew: And it’s written by Allie Romano, who wrote on The Upshaws and on season one of Gen Q. Should we get into it?
Riese: I’m trying to… I want to be enthusiastic for the people at home.
Drew: I want to be harsh and funny for the people at home.
Analyssa: I want to be, as always, somewhere in the middle. I would like to kick us off just by saying that the saga cell, I know I’m always the only person who cares about the saga cell, which is the 30 seconds at the beginning that recaps what has happened in previous weeks—
Riese: Oh, okay.
Analyssa: …and basically tells you what’s important this week to know.
Analyssa: I’m obsessed with them as an art form.
Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Analyssa: Those and credit sequences are so fun for me to watch. That’s not what this is about. This saga cell made me so mad for Carrie all over again. It’s just so…
Riese: Was it really Carrie heavy?
Riese: I don’t remember.
Analyssa: It was really Carrie heavy, and it’s like a super cut of her issues this season, which is just like, we’ve talked about how Carrie has bad boundaries and that’s all well and good, but she’s the only visibly older character, and she’s the only not thin character. And she just… Her driving—
Drew: She’s really the only butch character.
Analyssa: And her driving thing is that she hates herself? It just makes me so annoyed.
Drew: Yeah. Yeah.
Analyssa: She passed the bar in two states!
Analyssa: We’ve already litigated this, but I just wanted say this was an especially egregious—
Analyssa: Thank you.
Riese: Oh my God. I just remembered that after, when we found out that she was playing a defense attorney named Carrie, I don’t know if this is before I made the connection that it was going to be Tina’s fiance or not, but I thought that Bette was going to be going to court—
Riese: … for—
Riese: …pushing that guy on the stairs. God, were we ever so young?!
Analyssa: What if Bette and Carrie were in court, fighting it out for something?
Riese: Oh, man. Yeah, that’s what I thought was going to happen. I didn’t think there would be fighting at poker night.
Analyssa: Yeah, that would be—
Riese: Or the other poker night.
Analyssa: That would be so fun. I wish that it weren’t
Riese: Or another poker night.
Drew: I’d also like to say that Carrie also has not had a sex scene yet. So it’s just—
Riese: That’s true.
Drew: So it is just also like, what role is that kind of person allowed to fill on this show?
Riese: Well, I mean, I think it’s the role Rosie wanted to play.
Analyssa: I do agree. I know that you said this.
Analyssa: I agree that she’s getting some meaty, dramatic acting work, which I can imagine, if you’re a Rosie O’Donnell, that could be fun and interesting, and you might weigh in that that’s an interesting storyline to pursue.
Analyssa: But what if Bette and Carrie were arguing over the best type of food instead of who had it worse growing up, and then Carrie’s really sad?
Drew: I mean, this is also why you can’t have one butch character, one older character, one fat character. This is why.
Drew: Because then you don’t have to limit the storylines as much when there’s a lot more characters.
Analyssa: Okay. I’m sorry for that digression.
Drew: No, that’s okay.
Analyssa: We can talk about the episode now.
Drew: Yeah. The only thing I have to say that’s good is Pippa’s seashell cowboy hat. Obsessed with it.
Analyssa: I also thought Bette’s coat, dress that ties in the front, I didn’t really know what it was. Loved it.
Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, great fashion. I think whenever I go to an impromptu protest that is filled with actors who all have the same handwriting on their signs and it feels so incredibly… Honestly, it felt more fake than the protest at the CAC in the original series.
Analyssa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Riese: In terms of like, this is a protest on television vibe.
Riese: It was so intense. But I think what’s most important, and everyone knows this at a protest, is fashion.
Analyssa: So true.
Riese: And I think that these two women, they’re like, we’re basically on a catwalk. We’re walking through this crowd. They are all up in arms about this situation because Bette Porter, Patron Saint of underprivileged artists, has inspired them all to rise up against Dani’s dad’s company. I want to see fashion.
Drew: Yeah. Absolutely.
Analyssa: They said, “Put on your best fit.”
Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Analyssa: “Grab one of these signs that one person made over here.”
Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
Analyssa: “And then maybe the LA Times will come take pictures of us.” And you know what? They weren’t wrong.
Drew: It was nice of Bette to make all those signs for everybody.
Riese: It was.
Analyssa: So true.
Analyssa: That was like, you know in Catholicism, you have to do a penance? It’s like, you have to say 10 Hail Mary’s.
Analyssa: That’s penance for almost losing Pippa. The gallery was like, “Okay, I’m going to organize a protest because I believe in that. My penance, because I did do something silly, is I will make 15 signs, and then we’ll go.”
Drew: Can I make my first complaint of the episode?
Drew: Okay. So when the last episode ended with Pippa and Bette being like, “We’re going to take them down together.”
Analyssa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Drew: I wanted like… You know how season finales of Mad Men would have a lot of scheming?
Drew: Neither of you watched it?
Analyssa: I don’t.
Analyssa: We’re both shaking our heads vigorously.
Drew: You know how like—
Riese: I mean, “men” was in the title.
Drew: You know how in, basically, like a heist movie, sometimes it’s not a heist where this is done, where it’s like… Sometimes it’s a work takedown or a political takedown or something, and there’s a lot of scheming and it’s quick cuts, fun, whatever.
Riese: Oh yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Drew: I wanted a scheme. I wanted them to take down. And instead, we just start with they’ve already… Even… And I’m not even, it doesn’t have to be super high concept. I just would’ve loved to see them getting these artists together.
Drew: I would’ve loved to see them bond over being political and being into the arts.
Drew: So I would’ve loved to see the two of them making calls, being like, “We need to get this person, this person. Oh, this person.” You know? Something fun and exciting and schemey and political, and whatever.
Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Drew: And instead they just walk up to the protest, and they’re like, “Wow, we organized this protest.” And I was like, “Oh.”
Riese: You know what I would’ve loved is if instead of Pippa being like, “This will be your legacy,” if Bette had been to Pippa… Well, first of all, I mean, I think I’m in the minority here on this podcast, but I think this entire thing is stupid. But if we were going to say that it’s not stupid, then I would like Pippa to be the one at the center of it, not fucking Bette Porter.
Drew: No. I mean, the story line is stupid. I think we—
Drew: I don’t know. I think we agree on that. I just, when it was like, “Oh, they’re going to team up to whatever,” I was like, “Okay, this could maybe be good.” But then it wasn’t.
Riese: Oh, I mean, the ethics of whether or not they should take this money.
Drew: Oh, I see.
Riese: I think they should just take it.
Riese: I mean, they’re not the Sacklers. They didn’t manufacture the opioids.
Drew: I think the show has not been clear about what exactly Dani’s family has done and how bad they are.
Drew: And how bad the company is. So I think, because they brought up the Sacklers, I’m like, “Well, if it was the Sacklers.”
Riese: Right. If it was the Sacklers, sure.
Drew: But I’m confused if that’s actually where they’re at.
Drew: Because that hasn’t been shown to us.
Drew: So if they’re just regular evil, rich people, then that’s who funds most museums.
Drew: That’s how it works.
Drew: So I’m with you on that, I guess, it depends sort of where they are.
Riese: Also, honestly, Núñez is a name to be chanting against doesn’t really hit like Sackler hits.
Riese: It doesn’t have that same impact, in my opinion.
Analyssa: I don’t understand the stakes, which is Bette threatened to pull Pippa’s art, and then almost lost the show. But now, all the artists whose art are in the gallery are protesting the gallery that they are in.
Riese: Against. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Analyssa: And there’s no danger that they will lose their show?
Analyssa: Am I understanding that correctly?
Drew: Yeah. It doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Analyssa: Okay, cool. Okay. Something else that doesn’t make sense, just if we have more on this, we can come back to it, because we can talk about it at many points in this episode. But the Alice billboard, the billboard for Alice’s book is on Sunset Boulevard, by State Social House, which has great nineties nights on Saturdays, I mean, not since March 2020, I assume.
Analyssa: And also by Book Soup, great local bookstore.
Drew: Oh yeah.
Riese: Oh, I love that place.
Analyssa: That is not where this JW Marriot is. The only JW Marriot in Los Angeles is downtown.
Riese: I was like, “Why are they at the fucking Marriot?” I would feel like they would put an Ace Hotel sign on Sunset Boulevard and then film in the Ace Hotel downtown.
Riese: And then be like, “There, she’s at the Ace Hotel.”
Analyssa: I’m like, The W on Sunset is right there.
Riese: Oh yeah. The W is exact… That’s like L Word level of douchey is The W.
Drew: I shot a movie in the W Hotel.
Riese: I fucking love the W.
Drew: I shot my thesis, my NYU thesis at W Hotel.
Riese: There you go.
Analyssa: So that didn’t make sense to me. And more things that didn’t make sense to me in this little scene are, Alice is being interviewed for her book and is somehow surprised that people are going to ask her about her personal life and wasn’t ready for this.
Riese: I actually was surprised. I was like, “Why in the world did they ask her who she’s dating?” I mean, but I was like, “Is it because this person wants to date her?” Because this person is hot.
Analyssa: I did think that. And I was like, “If she’s flirting, then fine.”
Drew: I have only asked one time if someone who I was interviewing was dating someone, and it was Mae Martin. And it was because it was our second interview. And the first interview, we had talked about stuff, and Mae said, “I’m not going to answer that question.” And I said, “That’s perfectly fine.” And we carried on. I don’t think it’s standard, so I was surprised by that.
Riese: I would never ask anyone that.
Drew: No, I would not. I would not ask anyone who I didn’t have previous rapport and an internet friendship with.
Riese: Right. And if I did and they seemed even vaguely uncomfortable, I would immediately retreat into my shell.
Drew: Yes. Yes.
Riese: And I would then have to tell everyone I knew what I had just done and how embarrassing it was, and I would probably talk about it for at least three weeks.
Analyssa: Right. Yeah, same.
Riese: And then I’d bring it up later on this podcast, in this moment, I would be mentioning it.
Analyssa: Well, this interviewer has watched all the seasons of The L Word, and so has forgotten also that Alice is bisexual.
Riese: Right. Well, and also that there’s lots of different pronouns that could be used by the people… Like I thought her even being like, “So who’s the lucky lady?” I was like, “Come on. It’s 2021. Who’s the lucky lady?”
Drew: Yeah. But as we know, non-binary people only exist to have sex with Finley offscreen.
Riese: Right. Oh, and also it turned… Jose, I guess, had an ex, who was a “they/them” in the first season.
Drew: Oh, really?
Riese: Someone commented.
Riese: So another offscreen non-binary person?
Drew: We love — yeah. Also, maybe Finley had sex with… Was that the person that we saw Finley having sex with?
Drew: Okay. But we never—
Riese: Who Finley didn’t refer to as a girl in that episode, but in the next episode, find out that they used different pronouns.
Riese: Thank you.
Drew: Yeah, good stuff.
Riese: Also, there was an interviewer from Out Magazine, and I feel like it could have been an interviewer from Autostraddle.
Drew: Sure could have been.
Riese: In fact, it could have specifically been you.
Drew: I would—
Riese: Actually, you wrote a book piece last week.
Analyssa: I did.
Riese: It could have been either of you.
Analyssa: It could’ve been any of us.
Drew: It could have been you. I think you would’ve been the person who would’ve been cast to do that.
Riese: Right. But I would’ve been like, “Do you think… I could probably get someone else to do this interview.”
Drew: Yeah. I mean, I would’ve loved to. I would’ve done that cameo.
Drew: Like me last week, “I’m done watching The L Word: Generation Q.” Me this week, “If they wanted me to be on it, I’d be on it.”
Analyssa: I think I’ve already made this reference, but the Lindsay Lohan thing, that’s like, “I never said that, Paris is my friend.”
Drew: Yeah, exactly.
Riese: Because I mean, Autostraddle is like a queer women’s website.
Drew: Yeah, that’d be cool to support us.
Riese: Out Magazine is technically men’s.
Analyssa: And we actually wouldn’t have asked Alice who the lucky lady was, probably.
Drew: Maybe they know that.
Analyssa: Journalistic integrity.
Riese: But I would’ve had a lot of questions. It would’ve been like, “Your chapter about Dana. There’s nothing in it about Dana. Tell me about Dana.”
Riese: Yeah. And then I would’ve been like, “So tell me more about the vampire. Do you know what happened to her?”
Drew: I would have explicitly asked about her bisexuality.
Riese: Right. Yeah.
Drew: That would have been my—
Riese: “So you’re bisexual.”
Drew: Yeah, I would’ve been like—
Analyssa: “Say more.”
Drew: I would’ve been like, “So do you feel like the acceptance of your bisexuality within women’s spaces has evolved over the years?”
Riese: Yeah. You would’ve been like—
Drew: And she would’ve been like, “I’m dating a guy named Tom.” No episode plot for her this episode. So that’s the problem.
Riese: You would’ve been like, “So Lisa…”
Drew: Yeah. “So have you talked to Lisa, where is she? How is she doing?”
Riese: God, we would’ve killed this interview.
Analyssa: Okay. So at the hospital—
Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Drew: Oh boy.
Analyssa: …Angie, Bette, and Tina are waiting for Angie’s turn to talk to Marcus.
Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Analyssa: And they’re prepping for prom. Carrie is loaning Angie cufflinks, which Bette, of course, hates with every fiber of her being.
Angie: Carrie said I could borrow some more of her cufflinks. Is she—
Bette: Oh. You know, I have a whole drawer full of cufflinks, if you want to borrow some.
Angie: I know, but she offered.
Tina: I’ll bring them.
Riese: Yeah. Bette has plenty of fucking cufflinks in her goddamn cufflink closet, and if, what the fuck? You know? Carrie probably only has two pairs of cufflinks, and Bette has cufflinks that were given to her by famous artists of the seventies, probably.
Drew: And then the cufflinks. I then made a note that it would’ve been a really funny joke if the episode had gone in a different direction, but instead, we’ll get to that later. But my note was Kayla’s mom comes out and says that they couldn’t get the actor who played Marcus.
Riese: That’s the joke I make in my recap, damn it!
Drew: Oh really?
Drew: I haven’t read it. Later, we’ll learn that they just replaced him.
Drew: So why did any of this have to happen? But we’ll get to that. But yeah. So Marcus doesn’t want to meet Angie. Devastation, all around.
Analyssa: Yeah. We don’t need to get into the weeds of this, but I was confused because Kayla has been hanging out with Angie, and the explanation being presented by Bette, at least, is like, their family is having a tough time adjusting to the reality.
Analyssa: I think later—
Riese: But they’re already there.
Riese: I mean, again…
Analyssa: And Kayla, again, like Marcus knows, presumably, that Kayla and Angie have been spending time together.
Drew: So where is Kayla?
Analyssa: What is the—
Riese: This has been discussed. I mean, she’s not writing those questions for sport.
Riese: It’s been discussed, they’re going to meet. It’s really weird that he would just change his mind on this one day. I thought like, “Oh, he’s literally about to die,” which turned out to be true.
Drew: Have you considered that it’s very poorly written?
Riese: I know. That’s the problem now. Last week, we turned a corner.
Riese: Because before that I was here, I was talking about characters in someone’s story in my recaps too. But now, I don’t trust anyone anymore.
Riese: And now, I have criticisms.
Riese: And one of them is that this doesn’t make any fucking sense.
Riese: Everyone’s going to the Marriott today. Big day for JW. Sophie’s there.
Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Analyssa: She still hasn’t seen Finley.
Analyssa: And she’s asking Alice if Alice has heard from Finley, who’s, by the way, no longer her employee.
Analyssa: So sure.
Riese: Why would Alice have heard from Finley?
Analyssa: I do love that Finley either owns a Bird scooter or is on them so frequently—
Riese: So often.
Analyssa: …that they are part of her brand.
Analyssa: Because Alice is like, “Maybe she took a wrong turn on her little scooter.” And I was like, “Those are everyone’s little scooters.”
Riese: Alice, for sure, doesn’t know that those are everyone’s scooter. She’s like, “Wow. A lot of people in this apartment building must use these scooters.” She doesn’t realize they’re there for everyone.
Analyssa: They’re just all in the corner.
Riese: But also, of course, Finley would be constantly on a fucking Bird.
Drew: Have you guys ever been on Birds?
Analyssa: I refuse to do one.
Riese: I haven’t, but I have driven next to my friends while they were on Birds.
Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Riese: And thought, “That looks interesting.”
Riese: Alice is leaving her show for 12 weeks to go on a book tour, and so they have to have a replacement host. So, that’s fine.
Analyssa: Rachel Maddow is thinking about it. Good for her.
Riese: Yeah. No, she’s not. She’s going to be like, “Kamala Harris will be your substitute host.”
Analyssa: A question for the crowd…
Analyssa: Where are Dani and Gigi eating this breakfast?
Riese: I believe… I mean, it looks like a first floor, right?
Analyssa: It looks like—
Riese: And they both live on higher floors.
Analyssa: It looks like the patio of a hotel. I don’t… Whatever.
Riese: I just want to live a life of strawberries for breakfast. You know what I mean?
Drew: I know.
Analyssa: These bitches are living luxuriously.
Drew: I really wish that they weren’t on the wrong side of this debate so I could enjoy their hotness and their strawberries. But Dani’s upset about Bette’s protest being in the newspaper. Dani’s also going to Eli’s recorder concert later, and Gigi says she’ll bring edibles.
Riese: I love that.
Drew: So Gigi’s fun mom.
Riese: I was like, “This is very authentic.”
Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Riese: “This rings true.”
Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Riese: And Dani is also prepping for her dad’s trial, which is happening incredibly fast.
Riese: We don’t even know what he’s in trouble for.
Drew: I don’t know anything.
Analyssa: In this show—
Riese: But I also don’t care.
Analyssa: Right. I don’t actually wish that the timeline on this was dragged out. But in this show, things you can do overnight. Ready? Go to trial.
Riese: Have an entire relationship.
Analyssa: Organize a poker fundraiser gala for MS.
Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Analyssa: Organize this protest.
Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Riese: Right. It’s been 36 hours. I mean, later in the day, it’s been 36… At this point, it’s been 24 hours since she last saw Finley. So we’re… And Alice said, “I saw Finley last night.”
Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Riese: So this is the next day somehow, this protest.
Analyssa: It’s been 12 hours, max.
Analyssa: I thought of another one. Oh, buy a high-rise condo with your dad’s money.
Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Analyssa: You can do that in one day.
Analyssa: Imagine if all of our days were as productive as the people in The L Word.
Analyssa: We would be cruising through life.
Riese: My days are not this productive, because all I do all day is write about the fucking L Word.
Analyssa: Anyway, speaking of hating your parents the way that Dani hates her dad, Angie is mad at Tina and Bette—
Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Analyssa: Because of not being able to be Marcus.
Riese: Tina and Bette are hosting a lit pre-prom party with a lot of fancy hors d’oeuvres.
Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Analyssa: There are so many little dumb finger foods. And it’s like, nice, but also just give these kids some pizza rolls.
Analyssa: Who gives a shit? Alice brings booze for the teens and for the adults.
Riese: Yeah. And they’re like, “Alice, this is children.” She’s like, “It’s prom.”
Riese: And I’m like, “Right. But you’re not supposed to give them alcohol at prom.”
Drew: They have to get it.
Analyssa: Right. You have to sneak it.
Riese: You have to—
Drew: Or you have to sneak it to them if you’re like cool aunt.
Riese: Yeah. Hello, we all saw — well, you didn’t see because you guys were fetuses at the time — but when Donna Martin in 90210 got drunk at prom, and then she almost didn’t graduate.
Drew: Oh no.
Riese: And you know who gave her alcohol? It was the parents?
Riese: Yeah. Because she hadn’t eaten all day, because it was the nineties so people still had storylines where, “We have to fit into this dress so we’re not going to eat all day.” You know what I mean?
Drew: Right. Yeah.
Riese: And anyway, so she got drunk. It was her first time drinking. And then everyone had to go outside the school and be like, “Donna Martin graduates.” It’s a very important moment of TV history.
Riese: And you guys should watch it sometime.
Drew: Okay. I did just watch Glee for the first time last year. So I’m a little behind.
Riese: Right. Well, you should get it on DVD because all the music is different online.
Drew: Oh, well, then that’s good to know. I do like that Alice says—
Alice: Hey, happy prom, you guys. I love prom, okay? I went all four years.
Drew: That’s a very good character detail.
Drew: I love Leisha’s delivery.
Riese: And it fits right in with her being in a punk band, as we learned in season one.
Drew: Yeah, but it is funny.
Riese: Yeah, it’s funny.
Drew: It fits contemporary Alice.
Analyssa: I went to two proms. I went my sophomore year and my senior year.
Drew: I went to—
Riese: I went junior and senior year.
Drew: I went to zero proms, which I can get into.
Analyssa: Yeah. Wow.
Drew: But yeah. So a little sore spot, but you know, I’m not in high school anymore. Let’s celebrate that.
Riese: Yeah, that’s great.
Analyssa: Speaking of sore spots, Dani is trial prepping.
Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Riese: Yeah. And her dad just storms in, he’s mad about the LA Times story. “How’d you let this happen?” And she’s like, “The CAC won’t let it happen. They won’t be bullied by artists.” And he tells her to make it go away. And I think that everyone should make it go away.
Analyssa: I was—
Riese: I don’t like the story, and I want it to be over. I don’t care for it.
Analyssa: I also want… My note says, “Dani’s dad wants us to go away. I want this to go away, just for different reasons.”
Analyssa: I did think that the line—
Dani: Hi, dad. We were just talking about how good of a father you are.
Analyssa: …was really funny.
Riese: Oh yeah, that was cute. Yeah. I like that.
Analyssa: That’s all I had to say about this.
Drew: Yeah. Okay. Moving on to, back to prom party, Jordi is trying to put on, is it called a corsage on the—
Drew: Boutonnière. Thank you.
Riese: Oh. Boutonnière.
Analyssa: Corsage is on the wrist.
Drew: The wrist. Right. Okay.
Analyssa: If it’s got a pin, it’s a boutonnière.
Riese: Good note for my recap.
Drew: Putting a boutonnière on and—
Riese: Boutonnière. That’s quite a word.
Drew: And Angie’s—
Analyssa: Those are really difficult, by the way.
Drew: Oh yeah?
Analyssa: At my high school, we always made parents do them.
Analyssa: I never pinned a boutonnière on a boy that I was going with. I always had—
Analyssa: There was always some mom or dad or a handful of them who could do it. And that was just the time.
Drew: That’s why you’re gay now.
Analyssa: And that’s why I’m gay. So true.
Drew: Jordi asks if Angie can postpone her pissed offness, which I thought was sweet.
Riese: A fair question.
Analyssa: I was going to say, I’m kind of on Jordi’s side in this whole thing about prom.
Drew: Oh yeah.
Analyssa: I don’t know. It’s a party. I mean, that is not to say that Angie is not so justified in being upset.
Analyssa: It’s just the—
Riese: Well, is she?
Analyssa: I don’t know.
Riese: I can understand that she’s in a bad mood, but she’s mad at Bette and Tina just because she wants to be mad at somebody.
Drew: She’s a teenager.
Riese: Yeah. She’s a teen. And also, you know what would’ve been great character development or something wild like that for this show is that they could have been brought up that maybe part of the reason Jordi is upset about this is because Angie’s both moms are there throwing this amazing party with these incredible hors d’oeuvres, you know?
Analyssa: With these fancy foods.
Riese: While meanwhile, Jordi’s parents don’t even give a shit that she exists.
Drew: Yeah, that would be an interesting thing. I also wish that maybe they could have established that Angie’s mad at her parents because they could have said something more. You know?
Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Drew: Because that’s where we sort of get to eventually, where Tina’s like, “You could have pushed back more.” And what if Angie had said that? So it didn’t feel so much like, “Oh, this upset teenager, upset at the wrong people.”
Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Drew: Obviously, she’s projecting a little bit, which is allowed, she’s a teenager. But also, there is some justification because it is like, “Wait, that happened in five seconds, and you wanted that anyway.” She does say at one point like, “This is what she wanted.” But I could have had a little bit more of that.
Analyssa: Yes. Angie’s really mad, and Tina wants Alice to take Carrie’s cufflinks up to her. Basically, Tina and Bette are like, “She’s going to kill us if we engage with her at all.”
Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Riese: Shane and Tess show up.
Analyssa: Everyone is weird about it, because—
Riese: Yeah. Everyone’s so excited.
Analyssa: …Alice is Alice.
Drew: Tess asks if she can help, and Tina’s like, “Yeah, of course.” Which I so was not expecting though. I was expecting her to be like, “No, no, no we’re good.”
Drew: But Tina was like—
Riese: What did she say, “Bring this plate into the other room”?
Drew: Yeah. I was like, “What?”
Riese: I would have been like, “That’s not a good task. Give me a real task here.”
Analyssa: Also, and then is like, “I love her,” to Shane, she mouths it.
Riese: Right. You just met her.
Analyssa: I was like, “You have said four words to her.”
Riese: So all you mean is that she’s hot and you like her boots, probably. And also, it is funny because Shane has beer, and Bette is like, “They’re teenagers.”
Riese: And she’s like, “It’s prom.”
Drew: Yeah, that was good.
Riese: That was cute. That was one of five second moments in this episode that I didn’t hate.
Analyssa: Sophie in her car?
Riese: Yeah, Sophie in her car.
Drew: Yeah. She’s calling the Sheriff.
Riese: Why would Finley be in jail? Because she was just in jail? She thinks she went back to jail, as a place to sleep?
Analyssa: Finley got a punch card when she went to jail and now she’s back to punch it again.
Riese: Right. Exactly. She wants to get her 10th stay free without — why would Finley be in jail? She doesn’t have a car, famously doesn’t have a car.
Drew: That she calls the Sheriff’s department before hospitals is so baffling and doesn’t feel like that’s something Sophie would do.
Riese: I also feel like, again, the show does not want to address disparities in how people of color versus white people are treated by the police. The chance that Finley was just picked up off the street for public intoxication, pretty fucking slim. Call the hospital.
Analyssa: Yeah. But it’s a family birthday. So we have to go put on a smiley face. Micah is there and helping prep for the party, so there’s a lot of plus ones trying to carry their weight this episode. And then Sophie leaves again, to call more places because she’s distracted. Basically Sophie’s distracted the whole time she’s at this party, she’s like, “No, no, it’s fine. I’m here.” And then she’s like, “Actually, I have to go do something else.” So she’s like, “I can help in the kitchen.” She goes into the kitchen to start helping, and then she’s like, “I have to leave.” And luckily Sophie’s mom is here to botch this convo.
Drew: Yeah. She says to Maribel, “Well at least you don’t have to worry about, I’m so happy you don’t have to worry about all that dating crap.” Which feels like such a forced example of, “Ooh, this mom is ableist.” Where we’re like, Maribel dates a lot. We’ve seen her date a lot. Her mom would know that she dates a lot. This is just such a clumsy attempt to show ableism.
Riese: And also when Maribel’s like, “Oh, my mom thinks that no one will ever date me.” And her Mom’s like “No, no, no, that’s not what I said.” Yeah. That literally is exactly what you just said. What were you saying?
Drew: There’s so many ways in which it could have been subtler and still have hit, but they don’t care about that because it’s—
Analyssa: I just am so… bored of families of color, especially — and I’ll speak from my experience because I’m a white Latina — but sometimes your family does understand you. And people who write TV, especially about characters of color, do not understand that obviously there are parents who are not supportive of any number of identities that their kids have. And sometimes that is a friction point, even in very supportive families, but they’re not always just fucking ableist or transphobic as we see later or homophobic. It’s so boring as a conflict to me.
Drew: It’s also not—
Riese: It’s also inconsistent.
Drew: It’s so inconsistent with—
Riese: Sophie’s family was set up as they’re really accepting of her and Dani’s family isn’t accepting of her.
Analyssa: Right. And like Drew said, they’ve seen Maribel date, a lot presumably, because she’s always talking about going on dates. And she’s very close with them.
Drew: And there are, even in a supportive family, there are smaller microaggressions that happen, and would be great to portray. And instead of doing that, they’re just — it’s so lazy and boring and I hate it.
Riese: Yeah. And also then they’re like, “Oh, Micah, you’ll make some man so happy some day.” And I mean, I guess there’s a better time talking about this. I have no fucking idea why she hasn’t told them she’s dating Micah. I have no idea. Anyway.
Analyssa: Speaking of another thing I don’t really understand, we’re back at the CAC, Dani is there to try to do damage control. And she appeals to the director of CAC’s sentimentality about her family brand. I’m like, “This guy doesn’t care.”
Drew: There’s also just no portrayal of Dani having any grasp on the morality of this, which, I guess that’s fine if that’s what you want her character to be. But it’s just baffling to me that — this could have been more interesting if it was Dani feeling torn between her dad and her morals and her mommy Bette. That could have been so much more interesting and instead, there’s no sign that Dani has any grasp. It’s all of a sudden — I don’t understand. I don’t understand. I don’t know.
Analyssa: There’s also an interesting version — Bette sort of hinted at this last episode — of someone sort of taking Dani to task, and maybe this will happen, but I don’t have high hopes, for being a white Latina and thinking she’s doing good. And actually in the process being anti-Black or working against the interests of Black artists, that is something that happens in communities of color, and is a conversation. That’s also not there. So it’s like they’ve taken both of the—
Riese: Yeah. They will never, ever address differences between people of color or anything.
Analyssa: They put up these scenarios that could be interesting, like with Sophie’s family or with this conflict. And you’re like, “Oh, this could be a cool thing if they dug into, oh, that’s not what they’re going to dig into. Okay. Got it, got it, got it.”
Riese: Let’s make this as empty as possible. We still don’t understand at all what their actual involvement with opioids is. I still have no clue. And also really? There’s not a single artist who would show their work in that wing? I’m pretty sure there’s quite a few who would.
Drew: Well, now we at least get to move on to my favorite moment of the episode, which is when Alice is talking about bi-phobia and she asks Angie if she should tell the world she’s dating a man, and Angie just yells—
Angie: Nobody cares.
Alice: Oh. Straightforward. Okay. I can appreciate that.
Drew: And that is how I felt, and I loved it.
Riese: That was also my favorite moment of the episode. I was like, yes. And Alice is like, “I could appreciate that.” That was a highlight.
Analyssa: Another highlight hilariously is that Alice keeps asking Bette for advice and Bette keeps going. “I can’t answer that.” Bette keeps pleading the fifth.
Riese: Yeah what are you, Elizabeth Holmes? Yeah, fucking answer the question. “I can’t recall. I can’t recall.”
Analyssa: She just won’t weigh in.
Riese: “I can’t recall. I can’t recall.”
Analyssa: I think that’s so funny as a character trait. Your friend is being like, “What do you think I should do?” “Oh, I can’t tell you.” It’s so caring too. It comes from a place of, I don’t know where, but it just makes me laugh every time I kind of love it for her.
Riese: Alice says, “The problem is you, capital L lesbians.” But then she doesn’t actually explain actual biphobia practiced by lesbians. She says some — I didn’t even write it down because I don’t care. Because it was stupid.
Analyssa: She quotes something that I think Bette said on the original. She quotes it, like, Bette made one joke one time that was biphobic, and that’s how biphobia is perpetrated by lesbians. And I was like, well…
Riese: Also, I love all these literature reporters knocking down Alice’s story for personal gossip. Angie meets Tess. And Tina — first of all, I do think everybody’s outfits looked good with everyone else’s outfits this season, in this scene I want to say. And I did like the basic idea of this being a day in Los Angeles where there’s these events and people are coming in and out and they’re bringing — that felt very authentic. I’m literally, I’m really… grasping for straws here.
Drew: I can get on board with liking that there were events in Los Angeles.
Riese: People going to each other’s homes on a Saturday or whatever, fucking who knows goddamn this whole season has been four days long. So Tina thanks Tess and Shane for getting Carrie home and Tess is like, “For what it’s worth, I liked Carrie a lot.” And I’m like, did you?
Analyssa: Tess also calls her Eeyore, which I think is kind of a backhanded compliment. She says it in like a—
Riese: She says Shane is Eeyore, too.
Analyssa: It’s all weird.
Drew: Yeah, it’s a very weird moment.
Riese: But why are they lying to — when Tina was like “Did anything happen with Bette?” They’re like, “No, no, not at all.”
Drew: They say later it’s not our business, cause later—
Analyssa: I think they’re covering for Bette and don’t want to get in the middle of the drama.
Riese: Well, that’s shitty.
Analyssa: Yeah, I agree.
Drew: Yeah, it is. It’s not great.
Riese: I know Tina’s not on the main cast—
Drew: They should just be like, “You have to talk to Bette about that because we don’t want to get in the middle of it.” And actually Shane should say that because Tess is trying to make nice with her friends. So Shane should be like, “We’re not going to actually talk about that, but you should talk to Carrie, your fiance, and Bette, your ex-wife.”
Analyssa: “It seems like Carrie was upset, maybe you should chat with her.” So yeah. Tess does think that Shane should tell Tina, Shane disagrees, but then the two of them start hooking up in the bathroom.
Riese: Well Tess says that Shane should tell Tina that Carrie said she was having doubts, which I actually agree, I don’t think she should tell her that, but she should tell her that she was having a rough time and that she seemed to feel like she didn’t fit in.
Analyssa: Like there was something going on—
Riese: Yeah, that something bad happened with Bette. She felt like she didn’t fit in with all these LA lesbians, and they should maybe talk about it, but not she said, “She didn’t know if she could marry you.”
Analyssa: Especially just saying that one sentence without context is assuredly what the show would have Shane do, and that is egregious.
Riese: I did like it when the teenage boy walked in the room and they were like, “Get out of here.” And then Tess was like, “Oh my God, we scarred him.” And Shane was like.
Shane: It was the best day of his life.
Riese: I thought that was funny. So there we go, a moment to highlight.
Analyssa: I just — Ana speaking for Ana. Sex while 17 teenagers are next door, got to be low on the list in types of sex. Nope. Not in this place. Sophie calls Tess. And so then Tess is going to leave and is like, “I have to go handle this.” This is all happening while prom photos are being taken. And these are the worst stage prom photos I’ve ever seen.
Riese: Yeah, go outside?
Analyssa: First of all, go outside. You’re in Los Angeles. It’s very sunny. I’m sure.
Riese: I’m sure that Bette has a great fucking view.
Analyssa: Secondly, you can’t see half the kids. Back in my day, we all lined up in one row. Angie seems to have a lot of friends over, so okay, maybe two. Talls in the back, smalls in the front. Bette seems to only be taking photos of like Jordi and Angie in a little window — whatever.
Riese: Yeah. But what’s important is that they have three people with phones, all standing in a row taking a picture, because one of those is going to be a winner.
Drew: That’s the thought.
Riese: And then Tess comes in and says that she has to leave because she wants to see if Finley is passed out at the bar because Sophie hasn’t found her. And then Angie is still preoccupied with her drama and Jordi is upset about it.
Drew: And then Angie starts to have a panic attack of sorts, burst into tears. It all feels right for prom, in my opinion, based on my prom experiences.
Riese: Well, she’s also like, “It’s your donor that’s the asshole, not your moms or me.” And I’m like, is it? What is happening?
Analyssa: Speaking of parties where people are fighting, Sophie’s grandma’s birthday is happening.
Drew: Why would Maribel rat out Sophie when she also has this secret that she’s dating Micah, it makes no sense. And also why in general, would she do that? She’s close with Sophie. Why this season where we’re like, “Oh, we’d love if Maribel had more of a character.” And they were like, “So she should stop.”
Riese: She should be really mean. Right?
Drew: She should just be mean. That’s the character. Right?
Riese: She should always pick fights.
Drew: And we’re like, “But, why?”
Riese: I sort of enjoyed Sophie and Mari sparring, that was like fun sibling bullshit, but also what they were sparring about. I agreed. What in the world is happening? What are you doing?
Analyssa: I mean, I think she does not like Finley for Sophie. But again, I mean, we’re getting into the thing that we always do, and Drew does most of all. Which is, in my head, this is how it goes. Yeah, I guess it comes from a place of being worried about Sophie and not liking Finley for Sophie, but it feels—
Drew: It’s once again poorly written, because the show is not communicating to us that Maribel sucks. I said that fliply, but that’s no—
Riese: No, she’s funny.
Drew: Yeah. She’s great. But they keep writing these moments for her that are like, wait, why are you doing that to this character? Why are you making this character unreasonable in this way or illogical in this way? It’s very frustrating. Also very frustrating is then Sophie reveals that Micah and Mari are dating and Sophie’s grandma is like, “Isn’t he a trans?”
Riese: The moment where they were both like, “You can’t say a trans” felt like a very authentic parent talking to children about a trans person moment. But other than that, I was just like, “What the flying fuck is happening here?”
Drew: Also why would she—
Riese: Why was that said at all?
Drew: Yeah. Why would she have an issue with it? There’s just no — Micah’s probably been around because he’s been friends—
Riese: They seem to know him.
Drew: Yeah. It’s just so—
Riese: He used to date Dani.
Drew: I mean, that’s what you were saying earlier. It’s just so fucking annoying. I just hate it so much. It’s so fucking annoying.
Analyssa: Agreed. It’s very funny to me that Micah is just sitting there eating his food trying to ignore the chaos.
Drew: Also they don’t subtitle it, so I don’t speak Spanish—
Riese: I listened to it a million times to try to understand what they were saying.
Analyssa: I mean, basically they’re saying they’re worried, they want to know how serious it is, and then there was something that her mom asked that I couldn’t catch. I listened to it four times. And she’s like, “What do you mean? What do you mean by that?” And her mom’s like, “You know what I mean.” So there’s something going on. I don’t know.
Riese: I downloaded it, Google translate, after listening to it several times and not being able to parse out what it was. I downloaded Google translate app to try to translate it. And that part, whatever it is, her mom said, I couldn’t get anything of it.
Analyssa: Yeah. I wonder if it’s slang. I don’t know what Sophie’s family lineage is, or heritage is in the show, but Rosanny Zayas is Dominican, and I wonder if it’s a more colloquial Spanish, because my family is Mexican and speak Spanish, but I don’t speak Spanish super well. So I could understand them, but only to a certain extent.
Riese: Right. We do understand that Micah understands, that she does say that she loves him.
Riese: However, they, for some inane reason went over this last week.
Drew: Yes, they did already cover this.
Analyssa: Did she not say anything back last week?
Riese: She did, I think.
Drew: Yeah, I don’t know.
Analyssa: Or did they just kiss?
Drew: And then after all this Micah says—
Riese: I think she basically consented that she also loved him because he said, “I think you love me too.” And she was like smooch. I think. Smooch. Speaking of people doing insufferable things for incomprehensible reasons.
Analyssa: Dani is lying to Gigi about going to Eli’s recital. She was like, “There was lots of traffic.” One, the only other note I have about the scene, because I really, I don’t understand why she did it. I don’t care. Dani has changed the settings of her AirPods, so she’s only wearing one. And I would like to know the hack because I think that wearing two at the same time is very annoying if you’re trying to engage with the world around you.
Riese: I have one more thing to add, which is that in LA you can’t really lie about there being traffic, because people tend to know if there’s traffic.
Drew: And there’s always traffic.
Riese: And there’s always traffic.
Drew: Which she says later, but—
Analyssa: So you should just plan for that. It’s a bad excuse.
Drew: Yeah. If someone says there’s traffic, my response is — I saw my parents for the first time in a while yesterday, and my dad was picking me up from, we were meeting somewhere and my dad was, “Ah, there’s traffic.” And I was like, that’s fine. But obviously there’s traffic. It’s the 101.
Riese: Yeah. Like why lie?
Drew: And why lie? It makes no sense.
Riese: Why lie?
Drew: Just literally—
Riese: Just say—
Drew: Just say I’m so swamped with work.
Riese: I’ve had a really terrible—
Drew: And I want to meet your kid when I’m not like—
Riese: In a bad mood.
Drew: In this bad mood, head space. Why’d you say that? Just fucking say that.
Riese: Just say that. Yeah. If you’re going to lie, cover something up. Kill someone, cheat on someone and then lie about it. Don’t just fucking lie about nothing.
Drew: So then back up at the disastrous prom party, Bette tells Jordi to go to prom alone, which I think is bad advice personally. Like I think she should be like—
Analyssa: I think if there’s anything to do, I mean, I don’t have children. I’m not a parent. I should say that up front.
Riese: Well, you are very close to Carol.
Analyssa: It’s so true. Carol is sort of, in this moment, my daughter. And what I would do if my daughter Carol were in her room on prom night crying, I might send Carol’s girlfriend up just to see how it goes. Maybe Jordi goes up like, just to say, “Hey, I’m going to leave.” It feels like Bette is just basically standing in front of the stairs being like, “You must leave.” It feels like everyone is confused about how to handle Angie, because she seems to mostly be a happy and goes-with-the-plans kind of kid. So this is throwing a wrench in it.
Drew: Well Angie’s role in the family is to be the parent, and so this is the first time we’ve ever seen Angie really act like a teenager where she’s not making a detailed list and doing all these things that are really responsible or taking care of Bette while Bette cries. Instead, Angie’s being a little bit irrational and a little bit upset and they cannot handle having an actual child.
Analyssa: Does me categorizing Angie’s behavior — which you just said is being the parent, and I agree — as “she’s just a happy normal kid,” say anything about my own upbringing and what I think—?
Drew: Does the tone of the anger in my voice reflect anything about mine?
Riese: I would say that if this was my house, my mom would go upstairs and open the door and she’d be like, “Get your fucking shit together. That girl is down there.”
Analyssa: There’s someone here.
Riese: “We just spent—” She’d give me an itemized amount of how much was spent on the hors d’oeuvres, and all the pictures they took, and how much the suit costs, and that they got the suit tailored, and I would be out the door. My mom would put concealer over my crying eyes, and send me to fucking prom.
Drew: Well, instead she sends Jordi outside, and then Tina turns on Bette. And Bette’s like “All I said to Carrie was that we didn’t have to be best friends.” Which I guess is a type of truth.
Analyssa: What’s not a type of truth is she says—
Bette: You know what, actually, I was nice. I was nicer than that. Oh Jesus.
Drew: That is not true.
Analyssa: Right, that’s so far from true.
Riese: But also, I really appreciate Tina was like, “Why did you tell Jordi that Angie was going to come to prom,” and she was like, “I didn’t want to ruin her bad time” or make her — bring her down or whatever. And then Tina’s segue is so clumsy. She’s like, “Well obviously speaking of people who had a bad time, what did you say to Carrie?”
Analyssa: Tina’s doing like—
Riese: Tina’s doing a podcast segue—
Analyssa: Tina’s doing a To L and Back transition, right? “Speaking of you making people sad…”
Drew: Okay. So then Pippa arrives, which, was that planned? I was a little confused about this. Was Pippa invited to the party?
Riese: I don’t know but it’s an hour from Topanga?
Analyssa: No, I think it was a surprise because she’s bringing the news that they have been featured in the LA Times, which is so fast. Oh, another thing you can do in one day.
Riese: Right, also. So this means Pippa and Bette, but wasn’t last night their like—
Analyssa: Yeah, last night they were like, “We can burn shit down together.” Then this morning was the protest.
Riese: So they’ve been dating for three days.
Analyssa: Then it was the prom. And then the LA times came out with a photo of their protest. Okay.
Riese: Right. But also Sophie said it had been 36 hours since she saw Finley. So was there a time jump?
Drew: I don’t know.
Analyssa: Once again.
Riese: Maybe there was a time jump between hotel day and prom day.
Drew: Yeah, so it’s been another day.
Riese: Oh, okay. So it’s been one other day,
Analyssa: Alright. Yeah. Fair. I mean not, but, sure.
Riese: But also, I mean, it will never be resolved, but what the fuck is, where is Finley? So yeah Pippa was like, “We did it, we ruined Dani’s life.”
Drew: She also says that Jordi is crying in the driveway. Well, she says a girl, there’s a girl crying in the driveway.
Analyssa: Hilariously, Tina’s like, “Oh my God, you’re Pippa Pascal.” And you know how you see people’s art in galleries? And then you know exactly what they look like for the rest of your life 20 years later, you’re like, “Oh my God, that’s her.”
Drew: My only defense is that—
Riese: I mean, I could, I could spot Basquiat in a room, I’ll tell you that.
Drew: Is that Bette has presented a world where she’s been obsessed with Pippa Pascal for decades. So even though we never saw this on the original series, I’m assuming whenever we weren’t watching, when it was ever off camera, she was going on and on about how much she loved Pippa Pascal.
Riese: I don’t know if I could ID Georgia O’Keeffe in a lineup.
Analyssa: Right. That’s what I’m saying. She was so obsessed that she had a framed photo of Pippa on their mantelpiece for 20 years?
Drew: It’s a good point. It’s a good point.
Analyssa: I believe that—
Riese: What does Edward Hopper look like?
Analyssa: I would believe that—
Riese: Norman Rockwell, I would spot him.
Analyssa: I almost, when I was thinking of this joke to make on the pod, just like coming up with my little bits, I was like, Andy Warhol was the only person I could think of. And I was like, “I could pick that guy for sure.”
Riese: Frida Kahlo.
Analyssa: Frida Kahlo, very recognizable.
Drew: Maybe Pippa’s art has a lot of self portraits. I don’t know. I’m trying here.
Analyssa: I believe that Tina could pick Pippa’s art out of a lineup because she was married to Bette. That I believe.
Riese: I could definitely spot the guy who played Diego Rivera in Frida.
Drew: You mean Alfred Molina?
Analyssa: I could pick Alfred Molina in a lineup.
Riese: Actually I feel like there’s quite a few artists I could spot, but not very many.
Drew: And not one that you were like, “Oh, I saw your show 20 years ago with Bette.”
Riese: Yeah, never.
Drew: Okay. So the CAC is taking down the Nunez wing.
Analyssa: The Nunez wing is no more.
Riese: How are they going to fund the museum now? From some really ethical company?
Analyssa: Don’t ask questions that you don’t want answers to, Riese, because the answer to that question will take up a whole other episode.
Drew: I said, “I once again, wish this was more exciting. And I would like to see artists being called and the coordination of this change happen. If we have to have the storyline at least like make it zoomy, you know.”
Analyssa: What was that intro to The L Word? Was it the wrap party episode where they’re all calling each other being like—
Riese: That’s the poker party.
Drew: Yeah, that’s the poker party. That’s my favorite episode of The L Word ever. That’s what I’m wanting. But with artists.
Analyssa: We did get one win, which was, I think this is a Drew fave, when Jennifer Beals does her crying into laughing situation, or her laughing into crying situation.
Riese: I just hate how they’re…whatever.
Analyssa: Speaking of crying.
Riese: Oh, Alice and Shane have gone and talked to Angie. That was a good move, and they’re like, “It’s his loss if he doesn’t want to meet you.”
Analyssa: Angie’s makeup, I would just want to note, still perfectly intact. Whatever setting spray they used on her face.
Riese: And it wasn’t uUban Decay. Cause that’s an urban myth that that shit works.
Analyssa: That is an urban legend you’re so right. I did love the gay aunts are like shining up here. They’re really supportive. They’re saying all the right things. They’re like, “You should go to prom cause it’ll be fun, or fucking blow off prom if you don’t want to go. Either is fine.”
Drew: Shane’s very anti-prom, which I think is very funny, and fits. Jordan Hull is so good.
Analyssa: Jordan Hull is so good.
Riese: She is really good.
Drew: She’s so good in this scene.
Analyssa: So Tina didn’t know she was dating Pippa, I guess.
Drew: Yeah. And then they kiss in front of Tina, which is a very strange thing to do with like — I just wouldn’t kiss my girlfriend in front of my ex-wife, generally.
Riese: No. Well also, she’s like “How long have you been seeing Pippa.” And Bette’s like, “not long” but she says it in the way that it’s supposed to seem like it has been a long time, but it hasn’t, it has been three days.
Analyssa: And then Bette is like, “Maybe we should go back.” And for one second I saw Tina’s eyes light up, and I heard the eyes of all the Tibette shippers out there, light up. And then Bette goes, “I meant back to the hospital.” Tina was hoping that she meant back to boning while there was stir-fry on the stove.
Analyssa: I think so.
Riese: But Tina is the one who left Bette.
Drew: No, I don’t know.
Analyssa: I’m just telling you what I saw on Laurel Holloman’s face, dude.
Riese: You saw something on her face somehow?
Analyssa: I saw her make that face. She’s hopeful.
Drew: Also, Angie has gone to prom. Angie did decide to go to prom.
Riese: Oh, great.
Drew: That also was established.
Analyssa: Micah and Maribel are cuddled up watching Netflix. If Netflix exists in The L Word universe, are these bitches able to watch the first six seasons of The L Word?
Riese: Apparently not, because no one—
Analyssa: On Netflix?
Riese: …on this team remembers that Alice and Bette dated and finger banged at the opera. I am certain of that.
Drew: Just like Shane. I’ll never forget that.
Analyssa: That’s Micah and Mari’s favorite scene.
Riese: I know. And I’m like, Drew will never forget that. And so, you guys should respect her by remembering it.
Drew: This is when Micah’s like, “I don’t speak Spanish, but I know the word amor.” And again, they said that last episode. I don’t understand what the big deal is. And then he just says that he could see being her “esposo” someday. What the fuck is happening? God.
Analyssa: Really intense. Really, really deep in there.
Riese: I mean, we still don’t even know what happened—
Drew: Have they ever gone out as not friends, like to a restaurant? Anything, on a date?
Riese: Why was he mad that he was talking to a guy at the karaoke bar?
Drew: It’s so rushed and terrible.
Riese: Why did they talk for a week after that?
Analyssa: And again—
Riese: Has the crisis at the border been solved?
Drew: Maybe if Micah—
Riese: No, that’s a new crisis at the CAC.
Drew: Maybe if Micah was in every episode, there would be more time for the storyline to not feel rushed. Said that last week, say it again this week.
Riese: Well, you know who they could come cut out of this whole fucking shebang? Is fucking Dani’s dad. And then we’d all get a bunch of time back. I mean, I get the feeling from on the set photos they like him, the actor, like they’re all friends. Maybe that’s why he keeps being in it.
Drew: That’s nice of them.
Riese: I’ve had enough.
Analyssa: I’ve had enough.
Riese: I’ve had quite enough.
Drew: They were friends with Erin Daniels and they killed her.
Analyssa: What if they did—
Riese: Big regret.
Analyssa: What if they did a real soap opera thing and killed Dani’s dad, but then he came back as her uncle or something and was just there to have fun.
Drew: A very nice uncle.
Analyssa: I don’t know, flirt with Alice or something. Who knows?
Drew: Ooh, fun.
Riese: Yeah. That’s fun.
Analyssa: That could be fun.
Riese: Yeah. Bette and Tina are at the hospital and Bette is on the phone talking about her victory at the CAC.
Analyssa: And Tina hates it because she above all wants Bette to just be nice to Carrie. Then Tina asks Bette—
Tina: Are you still in love with me?
Riese: And then, surprise! Time to see Marcus.
Drew: Yep. And if Bette chooses Tina over Pippa. I don’t even know. I don’t even know. What am I going to do? I’m powerless. I have no control. I have no control in Hollywood. I have no control over the writers from The L Word: Generation Q. What am I going to do?
Analyssa: I have Drew—
Drew: Talk about it on this podcast. That’s what I’m going to do.
Analyssa: I have Drew tied up to the sofa in our living room with eyeballs held open watching this show.
Riese: I just don’t want Carrie to be sad again.
Analyssa: We don’t want Carrie to be sad anymore.
Riese: Also, Pippa obviously has trust issues, and if Bette fucks her over, I do not want Pippa or Carrie to get wronged.
Riese: I’m more concerned about them than I am about Bette and Tina, honestly.
Drew: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.
Analyssa: I was just about to say, something interesting about Gen Q is that they’ve given us all of these new characters. I would take a bullet for most of these people and I don’t want them to be hurt, but Alice, Bette, and Tina, and Shane, I don’t know. Shit happens. Adult life is hard.
Drew: If Tina leaves Carrie, maybe Gigi can fuck her brains out. I would, I would watch a Gigi Rosie O’Donnell sex scene.
Riese: I don’t think Rosie O’Donnell would ever in a million years do a sex scene.
Analyssa: You think?
Drew: I would love it though.
Riese: Yeah. It would be fun.
Analyssa: She could have a really ironclad nudity clause.
Riese: So does Bette.
Analyssa: Jennifer Beals.
Riese: Jennifer Beals, who is never going to let us see her boobs.
Drew: She doesn’t have to show us her boobs. It could just be like—
Analyssa: We sound like teenagers. “Show us your boobs!”
Drew: Show us your boobs, Rosie!
Riese: It’s not so much that she won’t show us her boobs as it is that people keep bras on for so long in these sex scenes. I find that to be unethical.
Drew: No, just get more creative. It’s very silly.
Analyssa: The representation of—
Drew: I don’t even wear bras when I’m not having sex.
Analyssa: I was just about to say, representation fails because I know lesbians, to quote Alice. I know a lot of lesbians. Odds that all of them are wearing a bra in one room at any given point?
Riese: Especially first season, we’ve had lots of no bra representation. Dani didn’t wear a bra. Sophie didn’t wear a bra. I mean, Shane has never worn a bra, so that’s accurate at least. Anyway, the point of this is that Gigi and Dani, is that where we are now?
Drew: We are at Gigi and Dani. And Gigi tells Dani that Eli got a bloody nose. And then Dani’s like, “I didn’t, I wasn’t. I lied.” And then she gets mad.
Analyssa: That’s actually not what happens. What happens is that Dani fucks up her lie. And here’s my thing. If you’re going to lie about, as Riese said earlier, nothing, at least be good at it. If you’re just going to lie to make your life more convenient for the evening so you don’t have to do a whole conversation with Gigi about why you bailed on her kid’s recital, stick to the lie. She goes, “Yeah, sorry I couldn’t make it. I just had such a long day.” And Gigi’s like, “Didn’t you say there was traffic?”
Riese: I think if I was in Gigi’s position at this point, I might just call it off.
Drew: Oh yeah. I’m done.
Analyssa: But this has opened up the door for some of Gigi’s favorite things to do, which is communicate.
Drew: I said, Gigi loves this, LOL.
Riese: Gigi is hot for communication.
Analyssa: She loves to tell people how she’s feeling. And I love that for her. She says that Dani’s being hurtful and that the things that Dani’s doing are hurting her.
Riese: Then she hugs her. And then Dani’s like, “I told Finley no one holds me when I’m sad.” And I’m like, yeah, you’re realizing what I realized after writing the recap is that you get lots of hold offers and you turn them down, like me at the Los Angeles Public Library.
Analyssa: I had the same note, which was Gigi went in for the hug. And I was like, oh, someone’s holding Dani. Well, well, well.
Drew: But Dani says that Gigi’s the only person she has. And I’m like, what about Micah?
Riese: Micah’s learning Spanish on Netflix right now.
Analyssa: You know who also speaks Spanish? Is Dani. So Micah and Dani could be pals. They could talk to each other in Spanish. Micah could learn Spanish separately of Maribel.
Drew: No, we got that one scene of Dani and Micah being friends—
Analyssa: One scene.
Drew: …my favorite scene of The L Word: Generation Q in my favorite episode of The L Word: Generation Q. I was too enthusiastic. I was cursed. And now the show is bad.
Riese: Gigi also tells her that—
Gigi: You’re pretty prickly when you’re sad.
Riese: Which is true and cute.
Analyssa: It is cute. Also, I am in this picture and I don’t like it. That part, I was like, oh no. The idea of no one ever knows when I’m sad and no one ever takes care of me when I’m sad. And then someone being like, “Hey, the thing about that is you push people away when you’re sad.” I was like—
Analyssa: … uh-huh (affirmative), that’s interesting.
Analyssa: Something to take to my therapist when I have one.
Riese: Why are my notes here says, “Gigi is like, yo?”
Analyssa: I mean, I guess she kind of is like that.
Drew: That sums it up.
Riese: Did I want to write something else?
Drew: I’m sure you did.
Analyssa: I think so.
Riese: What did she—
Drew: I don’t know. Sort of like I had a note earlier that was, “Why does this?” And I was like, there was probably more than that or maybe not.
Riese: That’s pretty much a blanket… like “for us as lesbians.” “Why does this?”
Drew: Sophie keeps calling Finley at the bar.
Riese: Why do people keep calling people?
Drew: I don’t know.
Analyssa: And leaving multiple voicemails. By the time I check my voicemail—
Riese: Which will be three months from now.
Analyssa: One will suffice, maybe two.
Drew: Yeah. And then basically Tess tells Sophie, Finley has stuff to work out and she’s not going to be able to do it if you’re there to take care of her.
Riese: I disagree. And I think this is terrible advice.
Analyssa: I also disagree.
Riese: And also, if you’re there to pick up the pieces, I think she’s pretty clearly not picking up the pieces.
Drew: Yeah, that’s fair.
Analyssa: That’s the thing is, I don’t think it’s actually great advice because—
Riese: Finley will need support.
Analyssa: Right. I’m surprised that Tess wasn’t like, look, you can’t handle this all on your own. There are resources for her. She’s going to have to decide that she wants to get better. You can’t pick up all the pieces yourself.
Drew: That would be better advice.
Analyssa: That makes sense to me. But being like—
Riese: Leave her.
Analyssa: “You must stop trying to pick up the pieces.” This gets into the thing that I’m about to be mad about next, but I’ve never seen anyone have to pick up the pieces for Finley’s drinking before. This show is asking me to do this huge logical leap. I linked in the show notes last week, and probably will again this week, the essay about, I think it was Britni de la Cretaz, is that how you say their name?
Riese: I don’t know how to say that.
Analyssa: An essay on how The L Word: Gen Q mishandled Tess’ original storyline. And in reading it, there’s some stuff about Finley’s storyline from the first season. Just the pieces don’t all add up to the thing that they want me to believe they add up to, and it is driving me again as a person of “I quit drinking” experience, insane. Every time I watch it, I’m like, this doesn’t make any sense. Anyway, okay. But before that—
Riese: But when she said this, I was like, fuck, is that what they’re going to do? Because like I fucking hate, hate, hate storylines where somebody tells them, you have to break up with them for this thing to happen. Even like Phyllis telling Shane, “You have to break up with Molly. You’re bad for her.” And then Shane going to do it. And Molly being like, “What the fuck?” Is that what’s going to happen? Because first of all, I fucking hate that. Second of all, I understand that there’s certain ideas around dating someone when you’re in recovery, but Finley is not even there yet. Finley is missing. Sophie never picked up a fucking piece. She has not tried anything. Sophie has not tried a single goddamn thing to help Finley. No one has.
Analyssa: Another thing is I don’t even really want to be mad at Sophie for not trying, because up until now there’s been no need to try anything other than, like you said last episode.
Riese: We haven’t seen Finley—
Analyssa: We saw Finley chugging a beer. In the first season, this essay reminded me, she makes kind of off hand comments like, “I’ve never had sober sex.” Or she had to steal this bike because she woke up hungover. There are things that indicate that her drinking is to an extreme that is A, not healthy, and B, affects her day to day life, which are some markers of alcoholism. What has never been shown to me is that she is a fucking disaster of a drunk and that makes all these messes that people have to clean up, can’t take care of herself. Mostly, she’s like a party girl.
Riese: Seems to be fine.
Analyssa: Does she feel good and whole and worthy inside? Absolutely not. But does she go through most days functional and doing the things that she needs to get done?
Riese: She’s not even late to work. She shows up for what she’s supposed to show up for. Everyone treats her like a party lesbian, which is a whole type of person. And there’s hundreds of them right here in this city.
Analyssa: Right here in this fine city.
Riese: Right. And that’s the thing is, I don’t want to sound like I’m mad at Sophie like she owes Finley something she hasn’t done for her, but they haven’t set up Finley needing pieces picked up and they haven’t set up anyone picking them up.
Drew: No. I mean, we see a little of it with Rebecca, but it’s something that she really only shows a few times.
Analyssa: That’s why the Sophie and Maribel scene earlier was also frustrating to me is because Mari’s like, “I have to talk about this because it’s such a big deal that you’re still dating this person.” Other than your sister’s girlfriend is kind of like a dirt bag, that’s as far as I would give what I’ve seen Maribel see in this series. I think she’s not good enough for you, but that’s fine. It’s not like she’s, I can’t believe you would date this person. You’re still lying for her. You’re still doing all this stuff. Where is this coming from?
Riese: Yeah. And the thing that Finley did that pissed everyone off the most, interrupt the wedding, she was stone cold sober for that. And also, when her and Sophie had sex, which Sophie initiated when they had sex while she was with Dani, she was sober then too. The things that people don’t like about Finley don’t tend to be things that happen while she’s drunk, which obviously, I’m not saying she doesn’t have a problem. She does. This is just out of fucking nowhere. It’s like we’ve talked about before, the only story they really want to tell is a relapse story. They don’t actually want to tell a story about people talking or thinking about their relationship to alcohol.
Analyssa: Right. It feels like, we’ll just go into the next scene because this is all overlapping with it. This is part of the reason I argued against addiction and alcoholism stories on TV because so many writers go for the most dramatic rock bottom that could ever exist. Finley is stumbling around in a hallway, dark, confused.
Riese: How did she get there?
Analyssa: Where is she? We don’t know. She pulls down her pants. She’s peeing in the hallway. She’s falling in her pee. She looks ill.
Riese: Yeah. And we have never seen anything like this from her before, ever.
Analyssa: All of this is so extreme. That’s what I’m mad about is they’ve taken the easiest way to indicate that someone has a problem when up till now they’ve been putting in all these sort of small nuanced, is this? That’s an interesting story. There are many party people, I will include myself in this, people think are charming and fun and exciting and always know the next place to go hang out and always want to drink one more beer and it’s just a kick-ass time, who wake up one morning and are like, “Holy shit. I really don’t have a handle on this actually. It feels out of my control,” for whatever number of reasons. Finley has that moment with Rebecca. Finley goes home to Kansas City and is sober. All of those moments could have been Finley’s bottom. And instead what we’ve done is be like, nothing is a rock bottom unless you’re falling over in your own pee.
Riese: First, they outsource it to the criminal justice system. The other thing is Finley didn’t seem to really care about the DUI, so why would this be prompting her to suddenly be a pee in hallways drunk, who has been missing for 36 fucking hours?
Analyssa: I mean, I guess her fight with Sophie has prompted her to do this. But again, that fight felt rooted in not the reality of what we’ve seen from Finley. And I’m not suggesting—
Riese: Or we’ve seen from Sophie. Who in their right mind would ever let Finley just leave the house like that?
Analyssa: Right. I’m not suggesting at all that Finley is not an alcoholic. What I’m suggesting is that there are many different types of alcoholics, I know a lot of them, in fact, and there are many different types of rock bottom. They’ve chosen the most dramatic version of this for a story with Finley that actually doesn’t feel in line with her character at all or how she experiences-
Riese: There’s no escalation here. There wasn’t last season either. It seemed like it was escalating. It was peaking at Rebecca. And then they had this thing where suddenly the thing with Sophie started and Finley wasn’t drinking, which we all noticed and talked about, but no one said anything about it on the show. We were like, that’s the first time Finley’s had sober sex with someone. We wrote that in. But they didn’t say it.
Riese: And then this season it’s been like she was sober, but there’s been no escalation, just in terms of how to tell a story. They have not built us here.
Analyssa: What I would be less angry about and believe more for the character I’ve seen is Finley getting wasted at some bar, hitting on a bunch of people, kind of being embarrassing to herself. They’re like, “You have to go.” She’s wandering some more. Her outlet is partying. And that is really tied up with drinking obviously. I’ve never seen this girl’s outlet to be drinking so that she looks like she is sick and peeing in a hallway of a fancy building, which I’ll move on now, we find out is Dani’s building.
Analyssa: How did she get in, first of all? Well, actually one step further. How does she know where Dani lives? Because Dani bought this apartment with her dad.
Drew: Makes no sense.
Riese: Like five days ago.
Analyssa: And is not friends with any of them right now.
Riese: Right. I don’t even know where you guys live.
Analyssa: Finley is wandering around. I can give you our address. Finley is wandering around drunk in Los Angeles and either knew the address to Dani’s to put into a Lyft app or Uber or—
Riese: Or a Bird.
Analyssa: Or knew Dani’s address to Bird there. And Dani lives in a high rise. I’ve seen it. It looks very fancy. There is for sure a key code at the door.
Riese: There is no way—
Analyssa: There’s no way you can just walk into that apartment building.
Riese: The people who live in those apartment building do not let drunk people falling over themselves walk into the apartment building.
Analyssa: Riese, we can’t even walk into your apartment building without a code.
Riese: Yeah. Well, people have, but yeah, you can’t walk into my apartment building without the code. That’s true. People found other ways to get in. Why would she go to Dani’s? Why didn’t she go to Tess’, Shane’s? She knows where Shane lives.
Analyssa: Because they lost it outside. We talked about it last week. She also is incapacitated.
Riese: That would’ve been much more moving by the way, is her landing on fucking Shane’s doorstep because Shane used to be the person on the doorstep.
Drew: But they’re not trying to make it moving. They’re trying to make it dramatic.
Riese: They’re trying to make it ugly, suddenly. They’ve been coddling Finley this whole fucking series. And now suddenly they want it to be ugly.
Analyssa: Which feels so incongruous with the character, and also just weirdly mean, not to Finley, but to the idea of alcoholics and how you might find your way to a bottom to get to recovery. I’m certain that there are people in the writer’s room who are sober. Otherwise, that would be truly mind boggling. But I can’t understand this arc.
Riese: I mean, are there? I don’t know.
Analyssa: She’s incapacitated enough to pee in the hallway and fall over and put her hand in it. But she still has the wherewithal to find, not just Dani’s building, but Dani’s door, banging on the correct door.
Riese: They could have had an escalation that peaked today at the family party where maybe she was drinking at the party with Sophie’s family and embarrassed herself. I wouldn’t have wanted to see that because maybe like the writers, I love Finley and Sophie and I want them to be coddled and I don’t want Finley to embarrass herself in front of Sophie’s family. But would that have made more sense?
Analyssa: Okay. We’ve got it all out. I mean, I’m sure we had more.
Drew: I mean, we’re going to—
Riese: I know. We haven’t.
Analyssa: We’ve gotten some stuff.
Drew: We come back.
Riese: Dani calls Sophie and Sophie is at Dana’s and she answers it.
Drew: Yeah. And then we go to—
Analyssa: Speaking of being on the phone.
Drew: Yeah. Alice is on the phone with a reporter who once again is asking Alice about her personal life after saying she’s done so much for lesbians on TV.
Analyssa: A question I have is how did Alice get branded as a capital L Lesbian talk show host? Because this felt like a very easy time to say when the reporter was like, “You’ve done so much for lesbian representation,” to be like, “Ha ha, actually I’m bisexual, but I hope I represent queer women—” or “I’m so glad lesbians relate to me.” There were so many other options. And instead what she does is roll with this reporter calling her a lesbian talk show host, and then say, “Well, I’m dating a man named Tom.” That is opening her up for the thing that she seems deeply afraid of, which is that people will make fun of her on the internet.
Drew: Yeah. And actually she clarifies a cis-man, which I actually really liked because I do think that Alice would date a—
Riese: The assumption would be—
Drew: … would date a trans man and still identify and not be worried about him. That fits with Alice and Alice’s community.
Riese: Do I understand being a bisexual who stops dating men and then you call yourself a lesbian and then everyone starts to call you a lesbian and then you just kind of are a lesbian? Yes.
Drew: But is that what happened with Alice? Is that what we’re led to believe that throughout the last 10 years she hasn’t identified as bisexual publicly?
Analyssa: I don’t think we’ve been led to believe anything.
Riese: I believe that that’s what’s been happening because that’s what happened to me personally.
Drew: No, I know. I know what you were—
Riese: Because that seems possible to me. But I would think she’d be like, “Actually, I’m not a lesbian. I’m bisexual.” And then say, “And I’m dating a man.”
Analyssa: She’s been offered so many opportunities on record this episode even, not even over the last 10 years. I can see how again, the identity or label that gets assigned to you can just kind of get away from you. And you’re like, okay, I’ll just roll with that. But right now specifically, people are always telling her how great it is — Carrie, how great it is that there’s a lesbian on TV.
Drew: Yeah, she never—
Analyssa: She could just be like, “I’m not one.”
Riese: Totally. This is what I would say if I was in her position, which I could be, but I’m not because I have a girlfriend is, “Actually, yeah, I did identify as a lesbian for a long time because that kind of just seemed like the right fit for me. But I actually used to identify as bisexual and I think I identify as bisexual again because I’m actually dating a man.”
Analyssa: That’s all. That’s a side of myself that I’m exploring.
Drew: So we go to Angie’s prom. She and Jordi apologize to each other. Jordi lost prom queen, very sad. But they dance and it’s cute.
Analyssa: It’s sweet.
Drew: I will say—
Riese: Did they not want to hire any extras for this scene?
Drew: I guess not, which I get. That’s fine.
Analyssa: In my head, they’re outside of Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour Prom 45-minute concert. They’re in the—
Drew: So funny. Angie and Jordi feel very chaste to me and very much don’t even really feel like girlfriends. There’s got to be an in-between, between sexualizing teenagers, which I don’t want, and them feeling like—
Riese: I don’t think they’ve even tongue kissed. They hug.
Analyssa: They hug a lot.
Drew: They hug. They hug all the time. It is just a little bit weird. There’s got to be an in-between.
Riese: Is it because the actors are young? Because Sex Education is about high school.
Drew: The actors are a lot older.
Riese: Or like Beverly Hills 90210, as aforementioned
Drew: So is Euphoria. But it is because the actors are actually teenagers here. So it makes sense that they wouldn’t have graphic sex scenes, like in Sex Education. I get that and support that. But I do think there’s an in-between. They don’t even have to make out. There even just is a way of—
Riese: They could just kiss.
Drew: There is also just a way of touching.
Riese: They kiss on Degrassi.
Drew: There’s a way that they could hold each other, touch each other that could just be a little bit more flirtatious. I don’t know.
Riese: Yeah, I agree.
Drew: They just have friend chemistry, not romantic chemistry, which is fine, I guess. I really felt it this episode where I just was like, mm.
Analyssa: Yeah, my note is towards the end when they’re in the little montage dancing, which we’re about to get into, but the climax of their dancing outside of prom is that they do one very intense hug. It’s like, I don’t need to see two 17-year-olds have sex, especially on this show.
Analyssa: Or ever. But Euphoria, or Sex Education, where 20-year-olds are playing 17-year-olds, that’s okay, we’re getting into something different, but the—
Riese: The hugging is—
Analyssa: The hugging needs to stop.
Riese: It’s reminiscent of what all gay people used to do on TV.
Drew: That’s what’s bothering me, I think, about it, is I just am a little bit… And especially, I don’t know, especially because she’s trans. I don’t know if I have an actual specific critique. It’s just hitting me weird.
Riese: Yeah, no. It was super weird because last week… Two weeks ago… When was the Singing in the Rain thing?
Anayssa: Two weeks.
Riese: When they were like, “I’m so glad you…” And then they did the hug, and I’m like, “These…” Come on.
Drew: I mean, maybe the actors don’t feel comfortable, in which case, respect those 17-year-old actors.
Analyssa: But even a kiss on the cheek or an arm around the shoulder can feel very like, “We are a couple who are dating.” And these hugs are very like, “Oh my God, my best friend…” Yeah.
Drew: Yeah, yeah.
Riese: Yeah. They have best friend energy.
Analyssa: Riese and I had more chemistry when we hugged hello at the door than these two have. They have, yeah, best friend… Like, “Oh my God, are we so cute together?”
Riese: Also, Angie she does look great in her suit. I don’t know if we took… cut through that.
Analyssa: And I love that Jordi is wearing basically a Betsy Johnson dress to prom, because that was critical to my prom experience.
Riese: It also had the Villanelle vibes of that.
Riese: Which… classic.
Drew: Okay. So Bette and Tina have made their way—
Analyssa: For some reason I stopped taking notes here.
Drew: So they’ve made their way to Marcus. So they recast him. So why is any of this storyline happening, if he didn’t have to, if he could just live on, why is he saved?
Riese: I have no idea. Also, why did they recast a lighter skinned actor?
Analyssa: That is a bummer. Why do it? And again, why have Angie have another Black relative who dies?
Drew: Well, we’ll get there.
Riese: I don’t know what happens next because I don’t have notes.
Analyssa: Right. Okay. So Bette and Tina are in Marcus’s hospital room.
Riese: Oh yeah. And he’s like, “Congrats on…” So I guess he’s reading the fucking LA times.
Drew: Yeah. Bette gives Marcus Angie’s questions and he’s like, “Oh I didn’t… I guess I can meet her. Sure.” That’s it.
Riese: What? Like, what is ha—
Drew: I don’t… It makes no… none of it makes sense.
Riese: Do their schedules not line up?
Drew: Yeah. I’m not…
Riese: What was going on? I don’t know. But he’s proud of Bette for raising Angie, who’s obviously such a great kid because she has great handwriting or whatever.
Analyssa: Bette and Tina lock eyes because Bette is like, “We did it together.” It’s so cute. Again. I’m telling you, I can hear the people who want Bette and Tina together just thrilled.
Riese: Which is most people I think.
Analyssa: I think it is.
Drew: That’s so…
Analyssa: It’s surprising to me.
Drew: I’m so… I’m just…
Analyssa: Also though, just one quick thing. As a person of LA experience, Marcus has a show going up. He’s still an artist. He has a show going up and Bette calls it Lock-ma. I call it Lack-ma.
Drew: I call it Lack-ma.
Riese: Oh, I call it Lock-ma.
Drew: Oh, wow.
Analyssa: Fascinating. Okay. That’s why I brought it up, because I knew someone would have an opinion.
Riese: I don’t understand how they haven’t crossed paths at all. He’s in LA. He’s in LA, now.
Analyssa: And he has a show at Lack-ma?
Riese: He has a show.
Drew: Doesn’t make any sense.
Riese: It seems like she would’ve literally had to actively avoid him.
Drew: Yeah. That doesn’t make any sense. Okay.
Riese: I keep forgetting that the original series was also set in LA.
Drew: We go back.
Riese: He doesn’t live in Vancouver anymore.
Drew: Yeah. I also have that. So then we’re back with Finley and she asks… She’s like, “Your apartment’s amazing. Why did you live in that with us?”
Riese: That was kind of funny.
Drew: But did Finley live there?
Drew: I thought Finley lived… I thought Finley’s whole thing was that she was living with Shane.
Riese: Right. But then she got kicked out of Shane’s and, and she moved.
Analyssa: At some point…
Riese: Cause Quiara came so she…
Drew: Right. Right. Right. Right.
Riese: And then she and Sophie was like, “Just live with me.”
Drew: Right, right.
Riese: Because they were secretly falling in love with each other.
Drew: Right, right. Sorry. Sorry. Okay.
Riese: I mean the things that Finley says in this are a little bit funny.
Riese: You know, when she’s just like, “Wow, you’re such an adult,” and like Gigi and Dani are like, “What is happening?” But also they have made her look like fucking Macaulay Culkin on a terrible, terrible night, in the late nineties.
Drew: It’s like… It’s so painful to watch, and so unnecessary. And then Finley says to Dani, “That’s the look. You’re giving me the look, the look that Sophie gives me.” When did we see that before? It was talked about. It’s classic show-don’t-tell. Like what? You can’t just be like, “Oh, in the last episode, we invented that there is this look that Sophie gives Finley when she’s scared of her.” Like what? When did…
Riese: Finley’s accidentally stepping in her own pee, but also keenly aware of Dani’s facial expressions.
Analyssa: Yeah. I didn’t take notes. Drew, thank you for doing the heavy lifting. Because Riese stopped notes. I didn’t take notes on this.
Riese: I was upset, I guess.
Analyssa: I don’t know why you stopped, but I didn’t take notes on this scene. My only note says, “Finley, Gigi, Dani scene makes me mad. I don’t know, whatever. We get it. She’s an alcoholic.” It just felt so…
Drew: It’s terrible.
Analyssa: Obvious. Like it’s just, it’s not…
Drew: Well, something that I think has been coming up a lot in these episodes is that oftentimes, we frame things being politically bad or offensive in various ways…
Riese: Bad for representation.
Drew: Yeah. There’s like that. And then there’s bad art. And so often they’re the same. So often it’s lazy writing because it’s not truthful writing and so it’s bad from a narrative perspective and it’s bad from a being shitty to people perspective. I wish that more and more culturally beyond The L Word, we were able to talk more about that and stopped creating this line between stuff being politically sound and being artistically sound. Because usually it’s one. The graph is whatever… How graphs work. Like it’s the same, the pie chart is what… The ven diagram is a circle. That’s what I was trying to say.
Analyssa: The graph is how graphs work.
Drew: So everything that is bothering us, and I say politically, but it’s really just representing people in a way that is inaccurate, and shitty, and untruthful. And that also is just terrible writing and I hate it. And then we go into our final montage, where we’re going to get to the last thing that I hate is…
Riese: So has Sophie already picked her up?
Analyssa: No, that’s at the end.
Drew: Yeah. So Angie and Jordi are dancing and chastely hugging. Tina thanks Bette for making it happen, that Angie’s going to…
Riese: Everyone thanks Bette for everything.
Drew: Yeah. And then the two of them are being all like, “Oh my God, Angie’s so lucky to have a mom like you.” And it’s like a moment where they’re just… It’s just like, fuck already. Get it over with and ruin our lives. And then… Oh! Oh!
Drew: Marcus dies.
Analyssa: We’re coding.
Riese: Yeah. Which also, how many… They love having people coding on this. I know on this show, but also it was so weird because now Tina and Bette were present for his death. His own wife and child weren’t, which is weird.
Drew: Yeah. Yeah.
Analyssa: They were downstairs buying a ‘you are my sunshine’ flower.
Riese: Right? Exactly. I know — Kayla should have come up with little, ‘you are my sunshine flower’ and then everyone could have cried. I was just like, “Really guys?”
Drew: If Tina was the last person to see my husband alive, I would think she killed him. What have you done, Tina Kennard? I just… It makes me so mad. We already talked about it, but it’s just so gross.
Riese: Stop killing Black people on this show, please. And, and then the weird thing is that this, this season, we also found out that, against what we believed, Bette’s mom is actually alive, but she’s the white parent. So the only living family member—
Analyssa: Yeah, yeah. Yep.
Riese: Like, did no one say this is a little bit messed up? Also, they just introduced him.
Analyssa: And again, what is the point of re-introducing him? And re-casting him if they were just going to kill him off? Couldn’t he have been… Unfortunately he died two years ago. Okay. Fine. Then I don’t have to meet a character… invest.
Riese: What happened to the kidney?
Drew: Yeah. We didn’t explain that at all.
Riese: It’s just, what was the point? What was the point of having the storyline at all? What was accomplished by Angie not meeting Marcus? What did that do?
Analyssa: We’ve traumatized Angie.
Drew: Yeah. I don’t know why.
Analyssa: Just killed someone else?
Drew: Yeah. It makes no sense. Again, it’s just lazy. It’s the same thing of what we’re talking about with Finely.
Analyssa: Cause more pain for Black women?
Drew: It’s just that they don’t, they don’t know how to create conflict, unless it’s the most obvious ways of creating conflict. So it’s death, it’s jail. It’s cheating. That’s the only way they know how to create conflict.
Analyssa: I wish there were more cheating.
Drew: I know. I know. Right?
Analyssa: I just, I wish that I didn’t have to be having this conversation. Not with you two. This is lovely. But I just mean, I wish I was just excited about what they were getting up to.
Analyssa: I wish I weren’t thinking about what the writer… I just am having a moment where I’m like, “Are people going to listen to this and think that I’m really angry for no reason?” And maybe, but more importantly, I wish that I didn’t have to be like, “This is why I’m angry.” Instead, I just got to turn my little brain off and enjoy some hot people kissing.
Analyssa: And sometimes cheating on…
Analyssa: Their partner with their ex, and sometimes spending a million dollars on a home. And then I don’t know, throwing a weird party in it or something. I don’t know.
Drew: More karaoke.
Analyssa: Any number of other storylines. And instead, now I have to be mad and I have to be responsible for being mad on this podcast.
Riese: Also one of the things that we talked about a lot, a few years ago, when all that conversation was happening around like lesbians being killed on TV shows at egregious rates or whatever, is that one of the most… Because when we were doing the list, we want to include guest characters who were only there for one episode? Because probably not, because that could be so many procedural stuff like that. But we did include some because there is something so especially egregious about introducing a lesbian character, just to kill her moments later.
Riese: And I think the same, obviously, the same is true for Black characters and that’s exactly what they did here. They introduced him and they killed him three minutes later.
Riese: That’s so profoundly fucked and I don’t know how they’re going to come back from this.
Analyssa: Yeah. I have to watch Angie be sad next episode?
Analyssa: Like I don’t want that.
Riese: No. Why do you think…
Analyssa: I want like a fun… I want like a season finale where people have sex.
Analyssa: And like Angie and Jordi hold hands while they go to meet Marcus at the house that he lives in…
Riese: Or to Disneyland.
Analyssa: And then they all get to go to Disneyland, or something.
Riese: She cuts her kidney right out of her body and gives it to him and he swallows it and then he is fine and they all go to fucking Disneyland.
Analyssa: You know, the way kidney transplants work.
Riese: Exactly. That’s how they work.
Drew: Like eating the placenta.
Riese: Exactly. Yes.
Analyssa: The end of this montage is that Sophie comes to get Finley. Is there a conversation in this? I didn’t take notes on it.
Drew: I don’t know. I think it…
Riese: Are Gigi and Dani still standing there like, “Who is this?”
Drew: I say, Sophie goes to Dani’s. My last note under that is “WTF. Why?” So I don’t know what prompted that. I don’t know if she says anything.
Analyssa: They’re all looking at Finley like, “Oh no.”
Analyssa: And again, we’ve never seen them have to do this. We’ve always seen her wake up in a strange place, which is scary, and again, not a sign that things are going well for her, but…
Analyssa: It’s never… I’m not trying to make a value judgment on Finley’s alcoholism or on anyone’s alcoholism. But Finley has never actually appeared to be a burden to anyone in her life because of her drinking. She’s harming herself and she’s sometimes harming other people, like Rebecca or whatever. I’ve never seen her do this to her friends. I’ve never seen her friends be concerned about her. I’ve only ever see them be like, “Fuck yeah, let’s keep drinking, Finley. Let’s go out. Let’s do more stuff.”
Riese: Bro night!
Analyssa: And for them all to be looking at her with this —
Riese: Pity and disgust.
Analyssa: Pity and disappointment and disgust is what I was trying to poke out with the Sophie conversation. Like where they got into a fight and she’s like, “Your light goes out,” all that stuff. Where is that coming from? Cause I haven’t seen any of it. I genuinely believe that loving people who have alcoholism is hard.
Analyssa: I believe that.
Analyssa: I agree.
Riese: Yes. Having loved people who have alcoholism. I agree. It is hard.
Analyssa: I think it would be hard to love Finley as she is and as we’ve seen her.
Analyssa: I think they’re drawing a parallel here that they’ve always felt like they do in this episode, while they’re staring at her like this and I don’t understand how or why.
Riese: There’s so many small, easy things too, like that could have… She could have just fallen asleep on the bus and had all her stuff stolen.
Analyssa: Anything. Yeah.
Riese: What is she doing at Dani’s? So was it just so she could be like, “your apartment is nice” or I don’t, I think there’s supposed to be some… Sophie was supposed to be embarrassed.
Drew: Yeah. Probably.
Riese: So that Sophie be… Or did they want Sophie to be mad for embarrassing her in some way?
Analyssa: Maybe. There is also something with Finley and Dani. Finley thinks that Dani is the person she should be aspiring to be.
Drew: Doing this whole thing. Yeah.
Riese: Which also doesn’t make sense because Sophie told her otherwise and usually Finley pretty much believes whatever people tell her.
Drew: Yeah. And they’re also just extremely different people.
Riese: The only nice thing was that — it was that I think at least in this episode they made it clear that Sophie really cares about Finley and did seem to regret everything, which I think is more consistent of her character. That she would be preoccupied by it. But other than that, I was like, “This is not an improvement on last week.” I was really like, “Is she not on the cast for this episode?”
Analyssa: I really thought she wasn’t going to be there.
Analyssa: That’s the episode.
Drew: That’s the episode. Okay. Well…
Riese: Honestly, all I want to do is start a podcast called Finley and Sophie, where I talk about all of my feelings about this storyline.
Analyssa: Oh, I thought you were going to say like where I write fanfic and read it.
Riese: Oh no.
Analyssa: Wouldn’t it be nice if every week me, you and Drew got together and we sat in this living room, like we are now. You in this tall chair and us on the floor and you had notes. And you read us a bedtime story, which was like, “This week on The L Word: Generation Q…”
Analyssa: “Sophie and Finley went to Huntington Gardens and they walked around and Finley played soccer with a little boy, because she loves playing soccer.”
Analyssa: “And then Sophie got a call from Alice that she’s getting promoted, and look at that.”
Analyssa: “Everything’s fun and happy.”
Drew: I would like to clarify that it is possible to have high drama, lots of conflict and it isn’t this type of shitty, over the top conflict.
Drew: As much as I would love for Riese’s fanfic to be…
Analyssa: But Riese is reading me bedtime stories.
Drew: I know. I just want to say that The L Word… I feel like that’s how The L Word writers think: “Well, it’s either this or it’s this.” And it’s like, no, there’s a whole world of conflict.
Riese: Right. It’s just, it’s season two. How hard is it to still have ideas?
Drew: I know. And you have a million characters. You have to give three minutes to each character every episode. Come on.
Riese: Right. And I know they were restricted by COVID, in terms of what they could do. But also I feel like they did a great job of that because they were setting up these inter group romances that were really fun for us. And then they just fucking blew it.
Analyssa: There could constantly be conflict. I would think that this show was a vast improvement over the episodes we’ve seen, the last two, if they just sat all of them at the poker table again and had everybody kind of snark at each other, I’d be like, “Sick. Let’s go”
Drew: Great, great.
Analyssa: That’s great.
Drew: Yeah. Well that wasn’t great. So maybe…
Analyssa: I wasn’t as demoralized after this one, as I was after the first one.
Drew: I was more prepared.
Analyssa: I was mad about the Finley storyline. Much more than I had been, but I wasn’t as much like, “What the fuck is going on?”
Drew: Yeah. It’s more competently written.
Riese: Yeah, it was definitely better than last week. But also we also knew, because Lauren had already said that she hated it. So I was already prepared a little bit for that.
Drew: That’s true. I have no idea what to expect next week, but we’ll be here.
Riese: I’m dreading it. I’m not dreading it, but I’m not excited. Because the way every — the direction that everything is going in is a direction that I don’t care for.
Analyssa: Right. Yeah.
Drew: A real shame.
Analyssa: What if everyone had chaperoned Jordi and Angie’s prom?
Riese: That would’ve been a fun little bottle episode.
Analyssa: And I don’t know, Sophie had to do it because she had to do a favor for Alice, or something.
Analyssa: And you could even still have Finley trying really hard not to drink at prom. Sneaking into the bathroom…
Riese: Yeah. And it’s like, “Now you’re drinking with 12-year-old boys. You have a problem.”
Analyssa: There’s something to talk about.
Drew: That sounds like a much better…
Analyssa: Alice has to decide if she should bring Tom or not.
Riese: Remember when Alice was like, it’s weird to just bring a guy into this and it was like, I have an idea. Bring him.
Analyssa: Let’s see what that looks like.
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 email@example.com. 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?
Drew: Mine is lethargic because watching bad television makes me feel lethargic. I’m just so tired. I’m just so tired.
Analyssa: I have a good one.
Analyssa: Mine is lip lock, because I would like to see more kissing.
Riese: Yeah, there was no sex scene in this episode.
Analyssa: I don’t think anybody put their mouths on each other.
Drew: In what context could they have had sex that wouldn’t make me miserable? Well, Shane and Tess had a little bit of kissing, but they’re the only couple who can have sex right now that wouldn’t make me feel a little bit gross. Well, I guess, Bette and Pippa, but they’re not… Are they even a couple still or is it going to be Bette and Tina forever? Oh, okay. So what’s your… Do you want to say lactose intolerant?
Riese: We really lost Drew on that one. Yeah. My L word this week is lactose intolerant, because I think that’s what Finley was suffering from at the end of the episode. Everyone was like, oh you’re drunk. And it’s like, I don’t know. Maybe she had milk.
Drew: I think you’ve put about as much thought into your L-Words this season as the writers have put into the show.
Riese: Thank you. And I want the writers of the show to know that I would put more effort into it if I was hired to work for your show.
Analyssa: Finley’s either suffering from lactose intolerance or that disease on SpongeBob, where everyone gets the suds.
Drew: I would like to say also that I’m critiquing the show, not any individual people. See you later!
Riese: Bye guys, have a nice day!