‘The L Word: Generation Q’ Season 2, Episode 8: You are my sunshine

The ghost of Dana Fairbanks is back to haunt our beloved L.A. lesbians

“There she is: the lady of the hour.” —Shane McCutcheon

Did you hear that? It’s the sound of hearts shattering everywhere, to the tune of “You Are My Sunshine.” It’s Episode 8 of The L Word: Generation Q, and everyone’s thinking about Dana after Alice’s book launch. Plus, Bette is angry about art, Dani’s wearing her CEO pants, Micah loves Maribel and Shane wants a real partnership. Xtra‘s senior editor Erica Lenti and managing producer Chelle Turingan host.


Transcript

Erica [00:00:09] Welcome back to ‘Off the Chart.’ We’re here and ready to unpack episode eight of ‘Gen Q: Season 2.’

Chelle [00:00:17] This season, we’re once again watching ‘The L Word:Generation Q’ with you, bringing you our unfiltered take on the new series reboot every Tuesday, because we still can’t get enough of those L.A. lesbians. 

Erica [00:00:28] I’m Erica Lenti, senior editor at Xtra, and I still have a meltdown every time I hear ‘You Are My Sunshine.’ 

Chelle [00:00:34] And I’m Chelle Turingan, managing producer and Xtra, and I think I need to watch ‘Love & Basketball.’ 

Erica [00:00:42] Me too. Like, should we set up an Xtra viewing party, perhaps? 

Chelle [00:00:46] Yeah, let’s do it. 

Clip [00:00:48] There’s something I need to tell you. You told me to trust you. You gave me your word. If you just had listened to me. Listen? I try to do something good. 

Erica [00:00:58] OK Chelle, it was a jam packed episode, as usual. What was the big theme you took away? 

Chelle [00:01:04] Well, I think that Alice said it best at her launch party when she said that she tells the people she loves that she loves them. So the theme to me, this episode seems pretty simple: honesty. With Bette and Pippa, Dani and Gigi, Alice and Tom, Shane and Tess, Micha and Maribel, and even with Sophie and Finley, you know, no matter how hard it can be, just be honest and truthful with the people you love and care about the most. 

Erica [00:01:28] Now, are we surprised it took eight episodes to get here? I guess not. That’s ‘The L Word’ for you. OK, let’s start this recap off with Sophie and Finley. Last episode, Finley was pulled over by the cops. And so this episode Finley is getting bailed out of jail. She’s gotten a DUI, or “dooey” as she called it. Sophie doesn’t think this is so cute anymore and she says as much after Alice’s launch party. She comes home and she’s like, Finley, today felt like baby sitting you, which is not fun. A little yikes for these two, not all sex and romance. So it feels like we’re getting to some core issues here. Chelle, what did you make of all of this? 

 

Chelle [00:02:18] Oh, God, it’s just it’s becoming…it’s very heartbreaking for me because Finley was my favorite last season and she’s been extremely difficult to watch in season two. You know, the writers seem to be really leaning in to to like Finley’s dopey-ness, which for some reason in season one, we found endearing and charming. And I think that it was because it was tempered with these emotional moments and these breakdowns where you see her struggling. Here in season two, it’s just like, she’s just all in on her drinking and we still don’t really understand why. So it’s hard to be empathetic for her. 

Clip [00:03:02] You mad at me? No, I just don’t want to be near you right now. Don’t go. Come on. 

Chelle [00:03:06] How do you feel about watching these two? 

Erica [00:03:09] Yeah, the one thing I sort of noticed in this episode is that we’re really seeing Finley not through Finley’s lens, whereas I think with a lot of the other characters, we kind of get a bit of an inside view of what they’re feeling and thinking. And we don’t get that with Finley at all, which makes her a lot harder to empathize with just because we only see the destructive behavior. We don’t see what’s causing the destructive behavior. I think we’ve been seeing this since season one. We’ve been wondering why she’s acting this way. There seem to be some implication that it’s about her family or her religious upbringing, but we still have no resolution. And two seasons feels like a really long time to drag out someone’s arc around why they’re drinking. So Finley’s character is really being left behind, in my opinion. And I think we just need to, like, understand where she’s coming from and stop just like, throwing her into bed with people, stop, you know, giving her all of these scenes with other people. Let’s focus on what’s going on with her. That’s what makes her a lovable character. Chelle, do you think we’re going to get to the root of that soon? Do you think they’re going to leave us on another cliffhanger? What do you think is going to happen here? 

Chelle [00:04:23] I mean, we’re already at episode eight, so they don’t have a lot of time to address it. I mean, I like that Sophie has finally, you know, that they’re finally talking about it from some other character. Like, at no point has anyone else ever called out Finley’s drinking until now. So I guess that’s progress. But I don’t really know how they’re going to wrap that up in two more episodes. 

Erica [00:04:51] Yeah, I mean, either. All right. Let’s move on to Bette and Pippa. So Bette is dismayed when she finds out that Dani has thrown money behind this art show at the California Art Center where Pippa and some other Black artists are being shown. She’s not happy, angry art Bette is back. So she threatens, she actually threatens to pull Pippa and the artists from the show in an effort to get the Nunez money away from the CAC, but they call her bluff. And they’re like, sure, they don’t have to be in the show anymore. Pippa is rightfully pissed off and then Bette does something she never does. She apologizes. So nice to see. And then she gets Pippa, hopefully back in the show. We’re not too sure just yet, but Pippa’s definitely endeared to that. So, yes, the best scene of the episode, Bette screaming into the ether. All we needed was James back to hand her a call, walk away awkwardly. Chelle, were you loving it as much as I was? 

Chelle [00:05:58] Of course. I love that, you know, that. Bette still found a way to talk about provocations. I think it’s really funny. I think in season one of the podcast, when we were kind of trying to guess what might happen in season two, we were like, maybe that will put on provocations, too? I guess this show is kind of like that a little bit. I think it’s really funny that they’re bringing this CAC back, all these like little throwbacks or nice little pieces of fan service for OG watchers that doesn’t alienate new watchers either, like they’re not left in the dust if they don’t get it. 

Erica [00:06:32] But this isn’t the end, at least I think of this art battle, right? Like I have a feeling, you brought up provocations. I feel like we’re going to be full blown protests, provocations, part two. That’s just my feeling. What do you think, Chelle? 

Chelle [00:06:49] Well, there was the scene near the end of the episode after Bette and Pippa make up and they’re post-coital in bed. And I think Pippa says something like, you know, is there a way to burn it down and still leave something standing? And Bette is like, maybe we can do it together. So what that looks like perhaps, it’s a protest. Maybe they collaborate on a piece together, who knows? But that’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. 

Erica [00:07:18] Yeah. Either Bette will be screaming at art or crying at art. It’ll be one of the other. Do we want to talk briefly about the humility that Bette is finally showing after like five episodes of being a bit of a brat to other people? I thought it was refreshing to finally see her apologize for once. You don’t get that from Bette Porter very often, which means she must truly love Pippa’s work and believe about, believe in her and believe in all the stuff she stands for. I don’t know if you felt the same way, but I was really like, oh, finally, a little less Scorpio Bette. A little more like I don’t know, what’s in astrology sign that’s a little more empathetic? I’m clearly not an astrology gay, but she was definitely a lot nicer. 

Chelle [00:08:06] She was for sure I picked up on that as well. I think, I don’t know, like when things really matter to Bette, that’s when she really comes through, right? Like, when she, if we go back a little bit to the therapy episode, she full on apologizes to to Angie about her behavior after she’s had some time to think about her actions, she’s willing to go back and apologize when it matters. Obviously, Angie is her world, so she would do that for her daughter. And so to see her do that for Pippa, you know, would indicate to me as a viewer that like, well, Pippa then must mean a lot to Bette for her to do something out of character. So I’m actually excited to see what will happen with these two, especially as we’re approaching the penultimate episode with Tina and Carrie about to get married and like, you know, and Bette is now perhaps having this new relationship, like, how is all of this going to play out in the next two episodes? We shall see. 

Erica [00:09:14] I know they’re going to foist Tibette down our throats somehow. They just won’t stop. OK, let’s move on to Alice, who is having a big night in this episode. Her book is finally done, they’re at the launch party, but she’s feeling a little guilty because she slept with Nat a whole bunch in the last episode and didn’t tell Tom. So she finally decides right before Tom goes on stage, of course, to tell him. He’s hurt because she never clarified their relationship status with him. And then she goes on to read the most heart wrenching chapter in her book to the room: Dana’s chapter, God help us all. And then after realizing that, you know, true love doesn’t come along all that often, she goes to find Tom at a hotel room and the pair make up and try to give it another go. So first off, we have to talk about Dana. God, was that ever depressing? You know, I’ve been to a few book launches in my day, and generally they try not to read the most depressing section of the book and let people cry alone in their rooms. But I thought that it was like a really lovely tribute to Dana. What did you make of that? 

Chelle [00:10:34] I have to agree with you there. It was actually really touching to see like Bette and Shane’s reactions, because I would suspect that they haven’t had a chance to read drafts or look at the book at all. So they’re hearing this for the first time and they seem to have a pretty emotional response to it as well. At one point, Bette grabs Shane’s hand in comfort. So, like, you know, it’s just, Dana is beloved to all of them and to all of us. I think it was a really beautiful way for them to include this character that we all loved, that, you know, time and time again, we’ve said should never have been killed off. And so, like, it’s nice that her favorite chapter is the one about Dana’s and that’s the one she read from. 

Erica [00:11:21] But no ghost Dana. We’ve been trying to manifest that. No flashback, no ayahuasca hallucination. I don’t know if it’s ever going to happen. 

Chelle [00:11:31] Maybe season three, who knows? 

Erica [00:11:33] Fingers crossed. But let’s also talk about Alice and her relationships. So it seems like the Nat ship has sailed, which our our viewers are actually pretty mixed on. On Instagram, most of you were like, let’s not see Alice and Nat back together ever again. But on Twitter, it was like actually 50-50, like some folks really wanted to see the pair together again. So we’ll have to see what goes on. But I think that Tom and Alice seem to be the new ship. Chelle, how are you feeling about that? 

Chelle [00:12:07] I mean, I love it. I think Tom Walter Maultsby is adorable. As I’ve said many times, I am a Tom stan. He’s of the right maturity and age, like he’s a well-established editor, he’s got a career, like he’s very smart and funny and witty, as is Alice. Like they it seems like a perfect fit. And I wonder if some of the reluctance to seeing them together is because it’s a male and a female couple, to which I say that, Alice is a bisexual. And, you know, they they they even mention, like, you know, Alice says that she hasn’t been with a man since she’s been in her twenties, which is like twenty years. So it’s actually very interesting to see her navigate this in her mid-40s. Right? Like, I’m loving it. And anyone who isn’t down, like, get over yourselves. She’s bisexual. 

Erica [00:13:03] Yeah. And I liked that they sort of evoked a lot of conversation around Alice’s bisexuality. You know, she’s talking to Tom and she’s like, you know, I haven’t, as you said, I haven’t dated a guy in a really long time. And he’s like, the rules should be the same for dating a woman and dating a man. And she’s like, I guess you’re right about that. And so I think they are definitely opening up a broader conversation on the show about bisexuality, about women who have relationships with both men, women or anyone on the gender spectrum. And I really like it. I find it really refreshing and a lot more inclusive. This is not your mother’s ‘L Word,’ I should say. Are we that old? No. OK, let’s talk about Dani and Gigi. So, of course, as mentioned before, Dani decided to buy this wing at the CAC. She thinks it’s going to help with the public image of her dad’s company, but it backfires. So Bette is pretty pissed off. And what do you do when Bette is mad at you? You go have steamy sex with her ex. So she goes to Gigi’s apartment, but then she gets a call from her dad and their lawyers and she has to take off, and she ends up lashing out at Gigi, which is not fun. Gigi is not about it at all. So Dani decides to apologize with some expensive takeout noodles and it seems to work. So these two are back on OK footing. Chelle, it’s interesting to me. We’ve we’ve talked so much about parallels between Bette and Dani in season one. Dani seems to be pulling a Bette in this episode and going hot and cold on Gigi. I feel bad for Gigi, like everyone keeps lashing out at her. How did you feel about all of it? 

Chelle [00:14:50] I think it’s a I wasn’t surprised, I mean, Dani did the same thing with Sophie when, you know, she would be hot and cold with her, didn’t want to talk about how she was really feeling. But what I love about these two is that, like Gigi calls her on it. And not in a, you know, not in an angry way, like in a very kind of mature and tempered way. And then they talk about it, which is something we never saw Dani do with Sophie. And so it makes sense that, you know, that $27.50 beef noodles worked out as an apology, because that came along with, like a conversation about it. You know, they have a conversation about their fathers and their fathers difficulty accepting their sexualities. And I thought that was really beautiful, that they could have that moment together, that shared experience. So, like, I’m liking this ship because it just, already off the bat, it seems a little more communicative than, you know, Dani’s relationship with Sophie. Like, what do you think? 

Erica [00:16:04] Yeah, I mean, I will say you’re not alone in loving it. I am loving it. So are the viewers. According to our polls, like 88 percent of you all think that they are hot. And I agree. I think that they’re doing great. I totally agree with you, Chelle, on the fact that they are actually talking about things. I think the beauty of Gigi’s character has always been, she’s very open, candid, honest about all of her feelings up front. She doesn’t have time for bullshit. She doesn’t have time for just like pussyfooting around things. And so that forces everyone around her to be upfront about their feelings, about what they think, if they have issues. And I really think Dani needs someone who gives her that bit of a push because Sophie wasn’t that person, you know, that’s not to say that it was Sophie’s job to do that, nor is it Gigi’s. But I think they complement each other in a good way. And that’s part of why I loved Bette with Gigi. But Bette was not into it, Bette was not treating Gigi well. So bye I guess, make room for Dani, I guess. OK Chelle, back to your faves, Shane and Tess. So after hearing Alice read about Dana at the book launch, Shane is like, oh my God, I have to find Tess. She goes to Vegas and finds Tess at her hotel room. And it’s like, I want you to be my partner. And then they have a lovely scene together and they wake up next to each other. Very cute. How dead were you Chelle? Be honest.

Chelle [00:17:42] Dead. Dead. I think you would send me, it wasn’t a spoiler, but you were like, you’re going to like the ending Chelle.

Erica [00:17:48] Was I wrong?

Chelle [00:17:52] No, you are not wrong at all. It was lovely. It’s everything I wanted for these two and more. It’s nice to see Shane like finally like go after Tess after many, many episodes of her pursuing her. Like I know that, we know that Shane is capable of it. So it’s, you know, it’s not impossible. And when she does truly love somebody, like we love to see it, you know, we love to see Shane with Carmen. We loved to see Shane with Kiara, because these were women she truly, truly loved and cared about. And it’s clear to me that she truly loves and cares about Tess. And so, like, I just thought this was really cute. 

Erica [00:18:30] Yeah, I completely agree. My only caveat is like, how is Shane going to screw it up? Because we’ve never actually seen Shane in like a successful relationship, like with with all of her, like, very serious relationships, tt’s like, I don’t know. Carmen, she leaves her at the altar. Kiara, it ends in divorce. There’s still the poker game. 

Chelle [00:18:56] Stop talking about the damn poker game!

Erica [00:18:59] I’m telling you, it’s going to come to something. It’s going to be the cliffhanger. I just know it. All right. We’ll see. OK, let’s talk about Micah, who was absent in the last episode and is now back coming in hot to a colleague’s office to yell at her about a mishandling of one of his patients files. But it turns out that Claudia, this coworker, is a no BS kind of woman and she’s like not having any of it, but they find some common ground. And it turns out that that common ground turns into flirting. And then Claudia is coming over for dinner. They end up cooking together. Things get a little too hot in the kitchen. Then they kiss. And Micha is like, wait, I can’t. Claudia’s pretty pissed off, rightfully. So, like in no time, Micha calls, Maribel, tells her he loves her, she loves him too, the ship has sailed. Chelle, these two seem to be moving at like some serious lesbian speed. I can’t believe that they’ve already exchanged I love you’s, and Micha wasted no time, no time after Claudia to be like, Maribel, come over. Why did you make of the whole scene? 

Chelle [00:20:15] Yeah, I mean, the apartment still smells like smoke at the time Maribel comes over. So, yes, lesbian speed, very accurate. And I will say that, like, I think Claudia is an amazing character and I’m a little saddened that, like, nothing will happen there, but maybe people should stop dating people from work, so that’s OK with me. What do you think is in the future for these two Erica?

Erica [00:20:46] For Maribel and Micha, I think it would be a lovely pairing. I really want to see Sophie interact with the two of them. You know, we know that Micha is Dani’s BFF, Maribel is Sophie’s sister. There’s got to be some awkwardness ensuing there at some point. It should be interesting to see, like Micah hasn’t really interacted very much with Sophie through the course of the season. So I’m curious to see if that plays out in any way. I, too, am really sad that Claudia won’t be around probably. I feel like Maribel and Claudia would make like such a kickass duo. They both are so, no bullshit like, strong women. I love it. I could have seen Micha with Claudia. I think it could have worked. But alas, I think this is the end of Claudia for us for now. OK, time for our favorite part of the podcast, the superlatives round, where we pick our best and sometimes worst, usually me, moments of the episode. Chelle, what was your pick this week? 

Chelle [00:21:47] Well, I don’t have a worst, because the best endgame sex scene goes to Shane and Tess. Finally, you know, I am the captain of that ship. So it was so nice to see those two finally hook up, and it was pretty hot. Erica, what was yours?

Erica [00:22:02] OK, I’m sorry. I have another worst. I promise I’ll bring more bests later on. But worst outfit of the episode goes to Shane’s Count Dracula tet up. I, I don’t know what was going on. It was like, the black blazer over the red like satin shirt with the white collar. She genuinely look like they dressed her at Spirit Halloween. 

Clip [00:22:29] Go see Tom. And I got a couple of them. Let’s go. Come on, guys. You guys wanna do like one, two, three, cheers? No, no. OK we’ll do it next time. 

Erica [00:22:35] I don’t know. We said this earlier in the recording, like off camera, I think Shane might actually be a vampire. Like, I think that’s why she’s always out at night. She’s always in those weird leather get ups. But a vampire of the aughts, as our producer Lito said. But also our top comment of the week goes to Jag from YouTube. Jag said we needed that Alice/Nat hook up only so we could have seen Gigi knock on the window. But they robbed us. They really did rob us. And I don’t know if we’re going to see any more Alice/Nat scenes, but if they do, hopefully they do that for you Jag. 

Chelle [00:23:19] Now, those were our picks from episode eight, but we want to hear yours. We read every single comment and message, guys, so please be sure to sound off in the comments below. 

Erica [00:23:29] OK, that’s it for this episode. Tune in next week for episode nine. It’s the penultimate episode. You know, some shit’s going to go down. I am Erica Lenti.

Chelle [00:23:41] And I’m Chelle Turingan. ‘Off the Chart: Generation Q’ is produced by Chelle Turingan. Our technical producer is Lito Howse Our executive producer is Rachel Giese and our music is by KidKulit.

Erica [00:23:52] Now, if you like what you’re hearing and/or viewing, please do all the things. Subscribe, like the video on YouTube. Leave us a comment. We’re also on Twitter @XtraMagazine. Find us wherever we want to hear what you’re thinking. Until next time, bye! 

Erica [00:24:13] My dog, sorry, Belle just came and is licking my ankle. 

Chelle [00:24:22] Belle, what do you think, what do you think of the episode? 

Erica [00:24:25] This is the straightest dog you’ll ever meet. 

Chelle Turingan is a video journalist and filmmaker based in Toronto, ON. Their work has appeared in Maclean’sChatelaine, and Today’s Parent. They are also co-director / producer / editor of Xtra’s documentary film, Small Town Pride.

Erica Lenti

Erica Lenti is a deputy editor at Chatelaine and a former editor at Xtra.

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