The third season of The L Word: Generation Q is upon us, and I’m here recapping every single episode. Whether it be the epic rekindling of everyone’s favorite (or least favorite) romance, the return of The One, or a relapse plot that makes me want to claw my eyes out, I will be talking about every key moment and giving you all a chance to chat about it in the comments.
It’s January 6th, AKA the anniversary of one of the most shocking and terrifying events in American history during my lifetime, AKA the date of The L Word: Generation Q: Thanksgiving Episode: Quality Family Time! While there is plenty to be grateful for in episode 308 of our rebooted lesbian drama, there is also plenty to despise, and we’ll be getting into all of that right here.
We open the episode at Dana’s, where Carrie is getting a coffee from Finley as she talks about the Turkey Trot she signed up to run that day. As we know, Carrie doesn’t run, so this is an interesting choice from her, but she’s running it with Misty and that’s enough to make me happy.
Carrie and Finley have adorable banter, where Carrie calls out that Finley is “sexting” Sophie and Finley acknowledges that Carrie is falling for Misty. While both are sort of right, unfortunately Misty and Carrie haven’t had sex yet. Carrie is demisexual, which means it takes a true connection for her to want to have sex, but I feel like Carrie was already there before Misty even arrived on her front porch at the end of last episode! It feels very on brand for The L Word to finally put two butch characters together— characters who aren’t size 2s— and then share that they’re not getting it on like every other person in the show’s entire history. Let the butch women fuck!
Finley finishes making the coffees and hands one to Carrie and one to Misty, looking proud of herself. Carrie and Misty are wearing identical adorable Turkey Trot shirts, and I love them!
Through the door to the back room, Finley spots Tess and heads back to say sorry about her mom. Tess says that she’s still processing, and in fact hasn’t even been home or seen Shane yet. She also didn’t bury her mother’s ashes at the funeral, because they’re right there on the shelf between the Campari and the Skyy Vodka, which, according to Tess, are the “good booze”. Whatever you say babe!
Finley tells Tess that she has things under control if she needs the day off, but Tess wants to be there and Finley takes a page out of Carrie’s book. She says that she’s the perfect holiday companion, so of course it makes sense that Tess wants to spend the day with her. Tess seems impressed by how in-charge Finley is around the bar, and to that I would love to know who she thinks is going to be running Baby Bar.
All appears to be going well when we hear “Happy Thanksgiving Sarah” and see that Finley’s mom has arrived at Dana’s!
Cut to the opening credits!
We land back at Dani’s place, where she’s curled in bed as Dre packs a suitcase. I’m so excited to see that these two are still together! If this show gets renewed, we’d better see Dre back as a regular character because they are to Gen Q as Helena Peabody was to season 2 of the original series— absolutely necessary and saving the show.
Dre is headed home for Thanksgiving, and their whole family is going to be there, including their girl who’s not their girl. Dre says that their granny makes stuffing with Saltines, and the two make out in a way that I think is going to lead to sex, but then Dre’s Lyft arrives. Dani incourages them to stay for 5 more minutes, and they agree before their phone goes off a dozen more times. Dre’s flight got canceled. They’re devastated, but this is a huge win for me and hot people on my television screen!
Over on the other side of town, Angie is hanging out with Shane and chatting to Alice on speakerphone. Apparently, we’re doing this fun new thing where each member of the original cast is given an episode that they can only be present in via voiceover. I don’t love it. File that under thing #2 that I dislike about this episode.
We find out that Alice is spending Thanksgiving with Lenore while Angie and Shane are going to work at a food bank. The second they hang up with Alice, Angie spots Hendrix across the way (with a woman!) and points him out to Shane. There’s an adorable moment where Shane asks whether Angie means the guy or the girl, and then the two of them sprint away to hide.
Back at the bar, Finley and Tess are debriefing in the back room. Tess offers to tell Mamma Finley to leave, but like a person who’s just lost their very kind and accepting mother, she thinks that Finley should try to make the most of this chance to rekindle the relationship. This is enough to convince Finley, and she says that she’ll be ready to talk to her mom as soon as she goes outside to get some air.
As Finley leaves, Tess heads over to her desk to pull out a giant water bottle and an (already half empty) screw top bottle of wine. She dumps the wine into her bottle, and I don’t even know what to say about the rest of this scene except fuck the relapse storyline, and make that 3 terrible things about this episode so far. Tess raises a toast to her mother’s ashes, tears in her eyes, and takes a drink.
On the street, Finley is pacing and debating whether to call her ex, filed in her phone as Sophie heart emoji. She does end up calling, mostly because she didn’t have anyone else to call, and tells Sophie that her mom has arrived. She needs Sophie to come be with her, and Sophie, of course, says yes.
At the bungalow, Sophie’s entire family is there and she tells them that they will be headed down to Dana’s. All the food that they’ve already been painstakingly preparing can wait until tomorrow! They argue, especially Maribel, who doesn’t understand why Sophie is even talking to Finley.
In the background, Sophie’s abuela bets her mother $20 that Sophie and Finley will get back together, and her mom takes the bet.
This scene is a very cute example of family and sisterhood, and I love every second of it. Micah agrees to go first, as long as he can get something to take the edge off. Sophie tosses him a container of weed gummies, and he pops 3 despite her clear recommendation to stick with just one.
As Sophie pulls the family out of the kitchen, Maribel takes the moment alone with her abuela to show her the real reason she was so adamant about not going to Dana’s. She was going to propose to Micah! She pulls a ring (which is not in an oddly shaped box but is in fact floating loose, something which legitimately took me the 2nd watch to realize) out of her pocket to show to her abuela. Nana is excited, and in a HUGE win for me and the rest of the L Word fans who require subtitles to understand words people say on TV, they’ve decided to write out the Spanish subtitles this year rather than just saying “[speaking spanish]”.
Nana asks if Micah knows yet, and Maribel says no just as Micah walks back into the kitchen. In an effort to hide the ring, Nana loses it! The two decide that she probably threw it into the mashed potatoes, and they ultimately decide to bring the entire bowl with them to Dana’s.
Dre is still determined to get home, and Dani is on her laptop searching for alternative flights. As badly as Dre wants to get to Cleveland, it just doesn’t seem like it’s going to be possible. They decide to go to the airport and get on standby, but Dani refuses to let them spend Thanksgiving at LAX. She finds Saltines in her cabinet, and offers to make Dre’s granny’s stuffing right there in the city of Los Angeles.
Apparently, Dani had been going to spend Thanksgiving with Sophie and her family, but upon hearing that they were all going to “spend Thanksgiving with a bigot”, she decided she’d rather hang out with Dre instead. I am so fully on board this ship!
With the Suarez family safely on their way, Finley has gotten up the courage to go back inside and talk to her mom. It’s instantly clear that her mom is a piece of shit in a way that is honestly difficult for me to even recap without dying a bit on the inside. Her mom blames Finley for not answering the phone with an aggressive “how is that supposed to make me feel?”. Well, mom, it’s not all about you!
We head over to the Turkey Trot where Buck, Carrie’s boss who she was hoping to avoid, jogs up to Misty and Carrie. Buck assumes that the woman with Carrie is Tina, and Carrie says no actually Tina left her and now she’s here with Misty, her girlfriend. Misty makes a face and once Buck jogs off, Misty announces that she too would like to pick up the pace and fast walks off. Carrie does her best to run as well, despite hating it, and I admire the effort.
Similarly to Thanksgivings across the country, the Thanksgiving episode of The L Word refuses to give us a break from toxic family members, and we head right back to Dana’s. Finley introduces her mom to the Suarez family, and her mom instantly condemns the shaved part of Sophie’s hair. I hate her!
Tess heads around with a puff pastry, a very high Micah eats it like it’s the best food he’s ever seen in his life, and Sophie stares at Finley longingly. Maribel is not having it! The sisters argue about whether Sophie is here to sleep with Finley, and also whether they should allow their abuela to keep their homemade mashed potatoes on the table. They’re still bantering when Micah gets an email— he has a cryobank donor match! Without so much as opening the email or checking the (likely very high) cost of said match, Micah says “oh shit” and continues about his day.
It’s the 15th annual Community Thanksgiving at California University, and Angie is catching Shane up on her dating life while they scoop food into to-go containers for a population of people who have not yet arrived. It’s unclear to me if Angie told him that he’s her teacher, but Shane doesn’t seem all that bothered by it if so. Despite that part driving me up the wall, Shane being the voice of reason for Angie is truly adorable. Angie wants to fast forward to what Shane and Tess or her moms have, which is an absolutely batshit thing to say if she was paying any attention to their relationship for the past 18 years of her life.
Shane is reassuring, and then shares that Tess is in fact in LA this Thanksgiving, she just doesn’t want to see Shane. It looks like they might go into this further, but at that moment Hendrix walks in with the woman, and it’s pretty clear that they’re dating. Angie ducks under the table and pulls Shane down as well, absolutely confident that she does not want to see or speak to him.
So much happens in this next scene at Dana’s.
Micah tries to take some mashed potatoes and Nana steals it to mash it down and check for the ring first, ostensibly to “wake up the flavors”, a fact which Micah accepts willingly.
Sophie announces a tradition to write down things they are grateful for and read them aloud anonymously.
Sophie’s mom pays her abuela $20 as Sophie and Finley get close to each other.
Finley’s mom says she’s grateful for “her daughter Sarah” and Finley is shocked to hear these words for the very first time in her entire life.
It turns out that her mom has an alternative motive, because she’s getting a divorce and needs Finley to give her reassurance about it. When Finley gets upset, her mom yells at her for her “tone”. I hate her and will be adopting Finley immediately.
Finley’s rattled, and heads to the back room to vent, followed closely by Sophie. Tess is still wandering around drinking out of her wine water bottle, and I want to scream. She asks what Finley wants to do, and then they decide it’s a good opportunity to say her amends. Sophie thinks this is a terrible idea, but Tess encourages it. It’s unclear to me whether we’re supposed to see Tess as making bad decisions because she’s drunk or Sophie being overly protective of Finley, but either way these women just need to let Finley make her own choices!
Over at CU, Angie and Shane are still hiding behind the table. Shane’s just about had enough of this, and brainstorms a way to get Angie out of there. Angie asks what they’re going to do about “the hungry”, and Shane says she’ll write them a check. Although entertainingly reminiscent of Bette telling Candace the same thing about abortion clinics, I don’t really think a check is going to comfort the rest of the now-short-staffed volunteers today!
Shane sticks Angie on the bottom of a wheely cart covered by a tablecloth, and pushes her right on out of there. On the way, Hendrix asks if he can take one of the cakes that are on the cart, and Shane says “they’re for charity” in a way that humbles him and makes me laugh. Go Uncle Shane!
The Turkey Trot is still in full swing, and Carrie just needs Misty to stop running away. She’s very sorry for calling Misty her girlfriend, it was just that Buck the Boss overwhelmed her and she had to come up with something. It’s not the girlfriend thing that’s bothering Misty, though. She needs a bathroom immediately. She’s normally a tea person, and Finley gave her an entire large pumpkin coffee to drink right before a run.
We enter back into the couch of Dani, where Dre is saying “okay, so family is hard” as they take bites of the stuffing set out between them.
They ask if Dani has a Brie, to which she says sort of, but it’s absolutely not Sophie. It’s Roxy, our favorite masc girlie who was in one whole episode a while back and is now in Costa Rica. Dani shares that her mom was best friends with Roxy’s mom, which leads Dre to ask about Dani’s mom and we find out that despite them knowing “family is hard”, they don’t actually know anything about Dani’s family!
I am confused what their opening scene sentence meant, but nonetheless we take the opportunity to find out that Dani’s mom died of cancer and her dad is in prison. Dre is the absolute sweetest. Dani clearly thinks so too, because when Dre says their Thanksgivings are normally far louder, Dani decides that she can fix that and they head out.
In the back room of Dana’s, Finley is doing her best to write down her amends to her mother, but it’s not going well. She has so much to say and no idea of where to start, but eventually she ends up writing down an entire page. To be honest, it seems like her mother should be apologizing to her, and I respect the amount of strength it’s taking Finley to write all of this down and share it.
After doing a few deep breathing exercises into the mirror, Finley heads back out to the party.
There, Sophie is saying grace and acknowledging the Native American people who died on the land they are currently on. Finley’s mom doesn’t understand what happened to the Mayflower, because she’s a piece of shit and we’re making this as clear as possible.
Mamma Suarez takes some potatoes, and Nana proceeds to smash it as Micah says this is a tradition he will pass on. High Micah is so cute and I wish we could live in the fun family love for a bit longer. Alas, we head across the table to Finley and her mother, where Finley has decided to take this opportunity to read her amends.
Right from the start, her mother doesn’t want to talk about it. Still, Finley perseveres until her mother announces “what is the point of apologizing for one thing when she just can’t remember all the others” and then requests salt for the potatoes.
My heart is breaking for Finley, she deserves so much better. At that moment, Dani and Dre walk into the bar and Finley storms out with Sophie close behind her.
In the parking lot of the overfunded understaffed Thanksgiving food kitchen, Angie and Shane see Hendrix’s car. In the backseat is the chapbook that Angie put hours of her time and effort into. Shane is impressed, and they try to break into the car and get it back.
It seems like Angie is going to make the mature decision to walk away, but Shane says she would have smashed the window when she was 18. Angie is grateful to have Uncle Shane hanging out with her when her moms somehow didn’t even invite her to Toronto for the holidays, and she whirls around and smashes the car window. At that moment, we hear Hendrix’s voice coming down the stairs and they grab the chapbook and run away.
Hendrix is obviously upset that his car is broken, but when he sees that the chapbook is the only thing missing, he tells the woman he’s with to hold off on calling the police. I hope he does call them and then gets fired.
Just as wrecked as Hendrix’s back window is Finley’s relationship with her mother. She’s devastated, and Sophie is being supportive, and suddenly she’s kissing Sophie. Guess who sees! Carrie! She knew those crazy kids were sexting!
Misty is right behind her, desperate for the bathroom.
To give Misty some space, the other three head back out to the dinner party. All of this dinner party drama gets even more entertaining once you remember that this is not, in fact, a private event. There are lots of other family-less queers spending Thanksgiving all around them!
It appears that in the interim, everyone has gotten back into the swing of things, doing their best to block out the awkwardness. Unfortunately Nana sees Sophie holding Finley and says “see, I knew they were getting back together”, something that Sophie instantly protests.
Finley’s mom protests as well; Sophie’s so pretty, how could she be gay! Finley asks why her mom had to say that, and Carrie says “yeah, kinda brutal mom”. I love Carrie, and I love Carrie for Finley. The fight continues:
Mom: “Who are you?” Carrie: “I’m Carrie. I’ve been filling in, in your absence” Mom: “Oh, thank you Carrie, well I hope you like cleaning up messes, ‘cause she’s really good at making ‘em” Carrie: “Well, now I know where she fucking learned it.”
Emboldened by the fact that at least one adult in the room has her back, Finley says that it’s kinda hard when her mom kicks her out at 17 years old, a fact which her mother says is an “exaggeration”, before stating that she needs to be on “medication”.
Apparently deaf to the sound of yelling, Tess comes out of the back with a delighted “Happy Thanksgiving!” and then trips and drops the turkey on Finley’s mom. This is clearly supposed to remind us that Tess, the alcoholic, is drinking again. It also gives Carrie a great opportunity to stand up for Finley once again.
Carrie: “I think you’ve gotta get that dry cleaned right away” Mom: “It was a mistake coming here.” Carrie: “You know what? I think it’s time for you to go.” Mom: “I was really hoping you had changed” Finley: “I have”
I’m so proud of Finley and I’m so glad that she has Carrie to be there for her. As the music swells into a reminder that Finley is, in fact, a different person, Carrie pulls Finley into a hug and makes everyone else stand up to join in. I’m crying, and so is Finley.
Carrie asks if it’s okay if she takes Finley’s mom’s seat, and they sit down for dinner.
Dinner has clearly been going well, and it’s time for pie, a fact which delights the still high Micah. Nana points out that Micah ate all of the mashed potatoes and the ring has still not emerged. Sophie states that she wants to just be friends, and Finley says “no dice” because she’s still in love. Good for her for setting clear boundaries! I would also like to know why Sophie has absolutely incredible chemistry with both Dani and Finley when they’re friends, and then is a mess in relationships. Girlie needs to go to therapy.
Carrie tells Finley that she’s proud of her, and Dani raises a toast to Finley, which is a very cute moment of forgiveness on her part. Finley says that she loves everyone, even Dre, and asks that Tess sit down to dinner. Tess refuses and heads to the back, something that Finley looks suspicious of but doesn’t follow up on.
It’s time for the reading of the Thanksgiving gratitude statements! Sophie says that “new guy” picks first, and Dre pulls a card that Sophie and Maribel manage to join in on and recite by heart. Apparently, their mom says the exact same thing every year, and it’s very cute and entertaining to see.
Next, Nana draws a card that says: “I am grateful for my donor”
Everyone’s confused, and then they realize it was Micah who wrote it. Carrie needs to know: “organ or baby?”
When he says baby, the entire table erupts into joyous applause. It’s so heartwarming, and the episode should have ended here. It was the perfect feel-good ending to an episode that was filled with heart wrenching moments.
We head back to Carrie’s house, where Finley is unpacking the leftovers and having witty banter with Carrie. Suddenly, Carrie’s arm begins hurting and she passes out on the floor. After watching this episode I did a bit of research, because I thought heart attacks caused left arm pain for men only, and Carrie, a woman, grabbed her right arm.
I have since learned that for women, “pain can be much more subtle. It may travel to the left or right arm, up to the chin, shoulder blades and upper back — or to abdomen”. So I guess maybe this is realistic. Know the signs people!
We then cut to Tess, who is still drinking. She texts Shane “miss you.”, which is not much but is a significant improvement to her text before that, “K.”
She then decides that it’s time to drive around drunk, as alcoholics do on this show, and dump her mother’s ashes. We hear a voiceover of Tess talking about how grateful she is for her mom as we check in with the rest of our cast.
Angie and Shane are happily walking through Angie’s dorm eating pizza.
The Suarez family is cleaning up the kitchen as Maribel finds the ring and proposes to Micah. They kiss and it’s a very cute moment for them and the family!
Dre and Dani are kissing before Dre gets into a car, most likely to go home to their family.
Tess dumps a single handful of her mom’s ashes off an overlook.
Finley screams into her phone for 911 to hurry up while pumping Carrie’s chest in an effort to give CPR. Why are they doing this to Finley! She deserves better! Tess deserves better. Fuck, even Carrie deserves better!
That’s the episode! We end with me, broken and sad. Only two more episodes left to remedy all of our plot lines before we leave these characters, most likely forever, and next week Tina and Bette are back. This episode had so many good elements that I absolutely adored, and so many that made me want to scream. I truly do think this show can do something good, and that this season is far better than the last. It needs another chance, and these last two episodes need to be amazing for that to happen.