The screener for this week’s episode of The L Word: Generation Q wasn’t provided until the show’s regular airtime — usually recappers get episodes a bit ahead of time — and I can only guess that’s because Showtime didn’t want us Generation AOL fans to cut loose the goose that Tina Canard is back, with orangish hair, and that Laurel Holloman and Jennifer Beals still vibe like an actual dysfunctional couple, with plenty of eye rolls, smirks, and co-dependent requests for the other to return home, please and for God’s sake.
Tina’s back in L.A. after receiving a call from Angie. (I am assuming Tina lives in New York, because she is still a television executive but also arrives at the Porter household with a rolling bag. Though, honestly, since Bette is supposed to live on L.A.’s east side now, that could mean Tina just lives in Thousand Oaks or back in West Hollywood. That shit’s far.) Yes, Angie called Mama T after last week’s Big Little Lies moment, when Bette portered her recent ex-lover’s husband (ex-husband?) down some stairs outside Angie’s school play. I definitely thought Screaming Husband was dead, but it turns out he’s perhaps not even hurt. Still, it’s big news that a mayoral candidate publicly threw a man to the ground — especially a man whose wife she’s been sleeping with — and Bette spends this episode wondering if she should continue her mayoral campaign.
Of course, her answer is yes.
Her big speech at the end of “Loose Ends” reveals to the press the most-likely-also-available-on-Wikipedia information that her sister, Kit, died of a heroin overdose after surgery left her with a prescription for opiates. We know Kit as an alcoholic who spent time in and out of recovery in this show’s first go round. Bette’s assertion that she’s running for mayor because Kit shouldn’t have been prescribed opiates and that her death could have been prevented if a doctor asked whether she was an addict is so well delivered, well written, and also kind of odd, given that I’m not totally sure what law Bette will advocate for as mayor to solve that situation. Yes, Big Pharma is fucking us all by pumping opiates into every hospital and doctor’s office in America. Yes, this disproportionately affects addicts. And still, personal disclosure at the doctor/patient level is a very specific focus for this issue; it’s like addressing Jenny’s suicide by running against swimming pools. I really hope Bette wins this election so we can see The L Word’s writers’ room come up with a solid policy for combatting the opiate epidemic. Someone has to.
Elsewhere in La La Land, the show’s other original cast members are also re-entangling themselves with various ex-wives: Shane is seemingly back together with Quiara, the woman she divorced a week ago, and Alice and Nat are making it work with Gigi, the woman Alice was never married to, but Nat was. Like Quiara, I love Shane around kids — I’m not a monster — and she’s cute in this episode, taking Angie to her drivers’ test and then to visit, and confess her love for, Jordi. By the end of this episode, Shane has essentially agreed to co-parent the child Quiara arrived back in Shane’s life already carrying, even though Shane doesn’t want kids. I wish you luck, Quiara! And may you never hear the tale of Shay, Paige, and Jared. Bonus points for when Quiara calls Shane Angie’s uncle. Yes, she is.
Meanwhile, at an unnamed outdoor café, Nat and Gigi comfort Alice because Bette lied to her about when her relationship with Mr. Pushed Down the Stairs’ wife ended. Their comforting is so cute it’s remarked on by their server, who then gets a dose of queer reality — queereality — when Gigi says they aren’t friends. Honestly, I hadn’t thought about how adding a third really amps up the tendency to be perceived as buddy cops instead of lovers. There’s no need for a third for this mistake to happen, though. My experience is that lesbians can be actually fucking at the table and still be mistaken for sisters as we are cuffed and led off to jail for publicly indecency.
And where’s our new cast while all this is going down? Well, Dani is on the phone for 90 percent of the episode, managing Bette’s big push while Bette spends her energy trying to get into fights with Tina but also begging Tina to stay. Then, after a long day’s work, she heads home to her own Tina, Sophie, where the two of them fight about Dani being unavailable and too in her own world. A big part of me wants to take Sophie by the hand and introduce her to Tina as a sort of Ghost of Lesbians Future, but Sophie may be prepping her own exit strategy from the engagement, having spent her night out on the town with Finley, whom she repeatedly says she loves more than anyone.
Finley, for her part, wakes up next to newly off-the-wagon Tess and starts drinking again, but not before Tess excuses her for her part in their escapade the evening before. Then Shane excuses her for it. Then Sophie excuses her for it. I bite my nails every time Finley dodges consequences — well, she’s already lost her relationship with Rebecca — because when her drinking finally catches up with her, it’s not going to be great.
Micah isn’t in this episode. Does he live with Sophie and Dani? What is wrong with me that I can’t figure out who lives where on this show?