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 an out of touch cat mom that leaves the window wide open, I will be talking about every key moment and giving you all a chance to chat about it in the comments.
Welcome to the penultimate episode of The L Word: Generation Q Season 3— a season of chaos and bad choices made in pursuit of finding The One. I apologize for my very late recap today, (figurative) fires at work meant that “choose your own hours” became “fix this before eating breakfast” and thus it isn’t until 12:44pm that I am eating my first meal of the day and watching the episode.
This episode was filled with so many great pieces, especially the return of Bette and Tina as over-involved parents and Alice’s numerous rants! I think this episode was made better by the fact that there was no “big event”. Everyone just lived their separate and somewhat intertwined lives, without a party where everyone was forced to be in the same room. This way, at least there were only a few minutes of insufferable plot instead of a whole episode of it! I could go on and on up top, but at the end of the day that’s what the recap is for so let’s just dive right into it.
We open in a hospital with the sounds of someone’s heartbeat nearly flatlining before Carrie’s voice cuts in and says “see, she’s not dead” and we find out she’s watching Grey’s Anatomy. The whole heart attack scare last episode? That’s all resolved and over. Now, Carrie and Misty are sitting on the couch watching (rewatching, in Carrie’s case) TV together while Finley flits around in an oversized t-shirt and backwards baseball cap.
Finley is committed to making sure Carrie eats healthy and exercises, meaning she bought her a tofu scramble and green juice for breakfast before their quarter mile run that afternoon. Carrie is unamused.
At California University, Angie (or “G”, according to Bella) is hiding in bed as she mourns the loss of her definitely toxic power-dynamic filled relationship. Bella informs us that today’s the day of her big semester ending reading, but Angie plans on skipping it despite the fact that she’ll likely fail if she does. Before Angie can get any further into her feelings, someone knocks on the door and it’s Bette and Tina!
Despite leaving their daughter alone for Thanksgiving, they wouldn’t miss the Big Reading for the world. They bustle into Angie’s dorm with all the excitement of two lesbian parents, cleaning up the tissues on Angie’s floor and suggesting she take a shower, or at least a quick wipe of the pits and bits. In the words of Bella, they’re “lowkey iconic”.
After a bit of LA b-roll, we head to Shane’s apartment where Tess apparently spent the night. Tess was planning on sneaking out before Shane even woke up, but her plan is foiled when Shane rolls over and decides to actually express emotions. Shane was happy that Tess spent the night, and she wants them to go see a therapist when Tess is ready. Unfortunately, Tess is ready to sleep with Shane and start a second business together, but she’s not ready to talk about their relationship. She heads out to meet the tile guy at Baby Bar and Shane looks exhausted.
The Alice Show is enjoying the Quiet Before the Storm, or so the episode title would lead us to believe. Alice is showing Sophie hundreds of pictures of her kitten and preparing questions for their interview with Rachel Maddow later that day. Unfortunately, the storm hits all too quickly. Sophie’s DMs are blowing up because James Cordon retweeted the video of Alice yelling at Taylor in the theater with the hashtag #NOTALLHOSTS #AliceSoEntitled.
Now, everyone is bringing up all the other times Alice acted entitled in her life, including the time she outed Daryl Brewer. Original L Word fans may remember that Brewer was an athlete who attended a secret gay party one night and then called his teammate a fag on-air the next morning. I’m not really sure how this is just coming out (no pun intended) considering it made big news at the time, but I guess the only social media in 2005 was The Chart so word didn’t really get around!
Finley is still dressed in the world’s most incredible outfit. She’s brought Carrie and Misty to the running trail, where she’s going to sprint up ahead and measure out a quarter mile and then wait for Carrie and Misty to catch up. It’s all very adorable, and I hope that if this show gets renewed Rosie O’Donnell agrees to be a regular, because the Finley/Carrie relationship is truly one of the best on the show. And I say that despite not even loving either character as individuals!
Finley and Misty promised Carrie sex (with just Misty) in exchange for the run earlier, which I thought was funny and implied off-screen consumption, but we find out now that’s not the case! These two still haven’t had sex and Finley was pushing them to. This is just a reminder that it’s okay to be on the ace-spectrum and just… not have sex. It feels like an odd bit of representation to have Carrie’s demisexuality framed something to “overcome”.
Carrie tells Misty that she’s feeling “all these feelings” that she didn’t expect, and Misty feels the same way. Misty’s good taking it as slow as Carrie wants to, but also Carrie should probably know that Misty is very very good at sex, so it’d be a real shame if she missed out.
We now head into the Quite Loud Eye of the Storm, which made its way from Chicago to Alice’s office over the course of the week. Barry, a voice on the phone who is presumably Alice’s boss, is demanding to know what happened with Daryl Brewer. Alice explains that she outed him to expose him for being a hypocrite, and that she doesn’t regret anything. Barry wants to cancel the show unless Alice will apologize, but Alice refuses to cancel on Rachel Maddow, her queer icon.
What are Sophie and Alice going to do? If only there was a party planner / publicist / PR expert they could call!
Speaking of party planner / publicist / PR experts, our favorite hottie Dani Nùñez is laying in bed with Dre as she scrolls on her phone and Dre works on writing their song. They start to make out, and for an instant I think we’re going to get our first real sex scene in WEEKS but then Dre says
"I love you. I mean, I love what you're doing. Is what I meant. Not, like, you."
and it’s over. Dani stares down in silence at them for what feels like an hour, and I scream for her to say it back, but alas her phone rings with a call from Sophie.
It’s time for the CU website-renowned Reading of the Intro the Creative Writing Class! Up on the auditorium balcony, Angie is fearfully venting about the likelihood of her parents “sniffing out” that she was “banging the professor”. Bella reassures Angie that she’s the only one who knows, and I wish Angie had shown just a touch of this level of stress during al of last week’s episode with Shane! Because exactly 7 days ago, I didn’t think Angie cared if anyone knew her ex was her professor.
Tina and Bette are filing into their seats, and Tina encourages Bella to come join them. Before she heads down, Bella hypes up Angie with a series of sweet, earnest phrases while fixing her collar. There’s been a lot of debate as to whether Bella is bi and if her and Angie are going to become a thing, and for the first time ever I truly see it. She’s into her roomie! Angie clearly doesn’t realize this, because she dismisses Bella’s comments in the tone of an angsty teen whose heart is broken and they head off to their separate seats.
Alice has been taking advice from other semi-famous groundbreaking white women and thinks that rather than apologize, she should take the opportunity to Lean In. Sophie rather correctly points out that leaning in is the opposite of laying low, and Dani is there with an apology template ready to be hand-crafted to Alice’s needs. To be honest, I’m conflicted on this because while outing people is wrong, I think the one exception is if they are being homophobic in a position of power! If you don’t want to be outed, stop hurting the community.
Apparently, Jimmy Kimmel would make a bit out of being out of touch, so Alice wants to do that too, but Sophie is against it. Alice is a queer woman, and that means the standards are different for her. Alice understands that too, of course, but she thinks that’s all the more reason for her to do it. What Daryl Brewer said was considered acceptable back then, and that’s something Sophie and Dani just couldn’t understand.
At this point in the episode, Dani says that you have to say “gay f-word” instead of “fag” nowadays because nobody says “fag”, a statement which I think is 100% untrue. Most of the queer men and nonbinary people I knew have described themselves that way at some point relatively recently, and I am confused where the writer’s room is getting their information. Despite this semantical confusion, Sophie appeals to Alice’s desire to keep the show on television, and Alice finally agrees, reluctantly, to apologize.
At The Reading (which Hendrix is presumably grading), Hendrix has taken the opportunity to talk to Angie about his car being broken into. She feigns ignorance, but Hendrix keeps going, determined that the $250 he spent on a window replacement rather than filing an insurance claim won’t be in vain.
Hendrix: "I almost reported a theft, until I realized only one thing was missing" Angie: "What was that?" Hendrix: "It was that chapbook you made me." Angie: "A criminal with good taste"
From there, he proceeds to call Angie immature, which honestly what do you expect when you’re dating an 18 year old. This is too much for our darling daughter Angie, because she spits back that she had an extremely valid reason. I wish these two would just stop talking and we never had to see Hendrix on our screens again!
Elsewhere in the auditorium, Bette is giving Bella these lollipop candies that she stocked up on at Duty Free, a character trait that seems off brand for Bette but that Tina finds very hot. Shane slips into the row and Bella calls her the “hot aunt”, which is all the proof I need to be sure that Bella and Angie are being set up to fuck next episode (well, not fuck, since this show HATES sex scenes, but confess their feelings and exchange a single chaste kiss). Shane says that Tess couldn’t make it, and while Bette gives some reassurance Hendrix introduces Angie to the stage. Shane clocks him as the guy Angie said she’d been dating last episode, but before she can get the words out Bette shushes her and whips out her iPhone camera.
It’s time for Angie’s big reading!
On the set of the Alice show, Dani has come up with a draft apology note and Sophie is bustling around making sure everything is ready. Meanwhile, Alice zips about on a mini scooter in a very fun outfit as she plans for the show. When Sophie enters the rehearsal area looking upset, we already know exactly what’s going to happen and it’s confirmed one second later.
Rachel Maddow pulled out of the show. This is too much for a very devastated Alice, and she cancels the finale and gives a big speech before marching off. She doesn’t understand the point of giving a voice to the queers if they’re going to turn on her. Sophie takes a second to pull herself together, and announces that she’s going to make the show regardless of whether Alice is there or not!
Angie is giving her reading with her head down in a way that fully confirms either her anxiety about Hendrix or the fact that she should stick to being on stage crew. Bella, on the other hand, is watching Angie with an intensity that Tina instantly clocks. Angie walks off the stage to scattered applause, and when Hendrix greets Angie at the side of the stage, Shane decides to inform everyone that he’s Angie’s ex.
Tina informs Shane that what she’s saying couldn’t possibly be true; Hendrix is Angie’s professor. This culminates, in all three adults whirling on Bella and asking her whether he’s her professor or her ex. Bella’s stuttering tells Tina all she needs to know, and she stands up and screams
Tina: "Hey! Get away from my daughter! I'm talking to you, professor!"
Angie is understandably upset, given how big of a scene her mother is making and also that now everyone will know she slept with the professor, thus creating a reputation that will earn her condescension and ridicule from her peers for the next 3.5 years, but Tina doesn’t want to hear it. This woman is angry and will NOT wait for an appropriate time to have her reaction.
Sophie has gotten Margaret Cho to cover Alice’s opening monologue, and the rest of the show is all figured out except for the 4-5 minutes where Maddow was supposed to be. Dani, taking off her PR hat and putting on her Publicist hat, instantly suggests Dre. Sophie loves that idea! She’s been wanting to make the show a place to feature up and coming queer talent, and this is her chance.
The music in the back of this scene is incredibly inspirational, to the point where it almost makes me less excited about the moment. I think this season of The L Word: Generation Q wants us to be excited for Sophie taking control of her own life “for once”, so okay, color me excited.
We’re only halfway through the episode, but Carrie is in the home stretch of her run. Finley and Misty have finished already and are cheering Carrie on the last two steps to the finish. They celebrate when she hits the top, and Finley hands her a water bottle which is filled with… green juice. Carrie spits it out and honestly, I would too if I just finished a hard workout and didn’t even have any cold water to drink at the end.
Carrie comes at Finley for being too much, and Finley apologizes. She thought she lost her, and that was “really fucking scary”. Finley tells Carrie she loves her, and Carrie says she loves her too, and I’m so happy for Finley for finally finding someone who will call her out on her bullshit without cutting her off for it. All Finley needs is someone who loves her unconditionally! As the trio head back down the hill, Finley admits that she made Carrie run a half mile instead of a quarter, “to see the view”.
Outside of the big Reading, Angie is laying into her moms for humiliating her in front of the entire class. Tina wants to put Hendrix in jail, but Bette and Shane just want to know why she didn’t tell them. Angie says that she doesn’t owe any of them anything and it’s her life, an emotion which I would have related to so incredibly strongly when I was 18 and now think is hilariously juvenile, yet another reason why I (23) would never date an 18 year old.
Despite living across the country from her daughter for most of her childhood, mamma bear Tina has now decided that the only reasonable course of action is to purchase a condo right across from Angie’s dorm and keep an eye on her every move. Bette does her best to remind everyone that they aren’t blaming Angie, they’re blaming Hendrix. Thank the gods someone is finally aware that it’s creepy for a 27 year old to be dating his 18 year old student! I hate that we had to sit through 7 episodes of pure stomach-revolting horror to get to this!
Angie doesn’t understand why anyone thinks that her love with Hendrix is wrong. All of them have fallen in love with someone they shouldn’t! At this, Bette gives a sideways glance to Tina and I wonder if they’re both thinking of Nadia, the grad student who Bette may not have loved but most certainly had an affair with, or perhaps Helena, the woman who gave Tina thousands of dollars and slept with her. Whatever she was thinking, Bette takes the moment to calm everyone down and suggesting they all head off to dinner.
Angie says fuck everyone, she doesn’t want to be around that, and storms away as Bella runs out of the building to catch up to her.
As Angie yells about everyone misjudging the situation and treating her like a kid, Bella shares that she sort of thinks the adults are right. Whether it’s because she’s been hiding her true feelings to mask her love of Angie, or because Hot Shane and Hot Bette and Hot Tina changed her mind, I don’t know, but I do wish she had told Angie this earlier! Bella says it’s weird on Hendrix’ side, not Angie’s, but Angie doesn’t get that. She was the one that kissed him and told him it was okay, so if it wasn’t okay where does that leave her?
Bella says she’s on Angie’s side, but Angie isn’t hearing it. She takes her bag back and storms away from Bella as well.
It’s been a long, hard day for Alice, and she’s excited to go home to the comfort of her kitty. Unfortunately, Piddles Jr. is nowhere to be found. The reason? He must have crawled right out of the window Alice left open earlier.
It’s been an equally long, hard day for Tess, who is apparently a fun drunk who loves a good white water bottle. She’s drinking happily at the unfinished Baby Bar when Shane shows up, prompting her to hide the mug and spray mint in her mouth. It turns out Shane is there because she took Bette’s earlier words about radical honesty to heart. She tells Tess that she doesn’t want the second bar, she wants to build a hair salon that she can work in while Tess is at Dana’s.
I think this is an incredible idea, but Tess is completely shocked and appalled. Shane gives the same speech she once gave to Cheri Jaffe, and I hope for Shane’s sake this salon startup goes better than that one did. It’s off to a rough start, though, because Tess thinks the whole thing is total bullshit. She’s over Shane making up all of the rules, especially when Baby Bar #2 was Tess’s dream.
It’s all too much for Shane, and as Tess fumbles around in her alcohol filled bag, Shane says that she can’t do “this” anymore. I’m truly sad that they’re breaking up because I enjoyed them together, but I do very much love the “Fuck you” that Tess spits at Shane before throwing a bottle of alcohol at the wall and marching out.
I would like to take this moment to point out that sober Tess would have behaved this exact same way, minus the fun little sassy hair twirl she did before Shane showed up, so I still don’t understand why we have another relapse storyline!
The Alice Show must go on, and Sophie is fully in charge. In fact, she’s “turnin’ it up” according to the inspirational background music.
Things are going less well for Dre and Dani. Dre wants to talk about the morning, but Dani, despite dating the most communicative person to ever grace this show for an entire year (rip Gigi), doesn’t want to talk about it. Dani says that this moment is about Dre and their music career, and before the conversation goes any further Sophie appears to summon Dre.
Angie cancelling on dinner apparently meant that none of them could go to the fancy restaurant, because our dear friends Bette and Tina find themselves at a to-go burgers and fries stand. Tina wants to know why Bette is so calm, but Bette shares that she’s in fact “vibrating at a very high frequency internally right now”, a phrase a quite like and intend on using next time I’m having an internal panic attack. Tina wants to find the professor immediately, but Bette wants to eat some food and hope that Angie will tell them things in the future.
I don’t know how I feel about calm Bette and angry Tina! It’s a weird dynamic switch-up that I’m not prepared for. Either way, the two woman are incredibly in love, and they order two #3s and a Coke to share so touchily that I feel myself tense up just in case the cashier decides to hate crime them. There’s one difference between me watching the original series and me watching the show now— I am actually out as gay and as a result I would never touch my partner like that in public! But those are my issues moving on to…
Alice’s issue! She’s on the street hunting for kitty PJ, holding her favorite chicken sandwich and a long toy on a string. She hears a loud rustling from in the bushes and assumes it’s Piddles, which was very brave and she pays for by touching a rat.
“Okay I get it” she tells the sky while standing in the middle of the street. This is her karmic payment for not apologizing, but “karma shouldn’t hurt cats”. Haven’t they heard Taylor Swift when she said that karma is a cat. Just when it appears that all hope is lost, Alice hears the small meowing of her beloved kitten and finds him very high up in a tree.
She decides she needs to call someone, and for an instant I think she’s going to get Taylor to help her, but instead she calls 911. I need this show to stop encouraging 911 calls at the slightest inconvenience! You should never call 911 unless there is truly no other option whatsoever, because all too often 911 responders hurt innocent Black people and people of color. Ugh.
When Angie ran away from Bella and everyone else in her life, she ran right into Hendrix’ office. He resigned, and is choosing to look at it optimistically as a chance to work full time on his book. All Angie hears is that he no longer works at CU, and she closes the door and tells him to stop talking. I. HATE. THIS.
It is in this moment that I have fully confirmed that the Watching My Parents Have Sex energy that I felt when Bette and Tina hooked up earlier in the season is not due to the age gap but due to my relationship to them as people, because I’m into Misty and Carrie hooking up! They’re laying in bed and Carrie initiates a make out before moving Misty’s hand down, and it’s hot… and then Carrie is crying.
She just didn’t expect “to feel this much”, both about her near death experience and Misty as a human being. Misty reassures Carrie that she’s not going anywhere and neither is Carrie, and they start to make out again, so of course we cut away. Yay love!
Out on the street, Tina and Bette are chatting about what the future has in store for them. Tina doesn’t miss LA at all, and Bette feels the same way. In fact, Tina wants to spend the rest of her life with Bette so badly that she thinks they should get married! Bette is delighted to hear this, and reaches in her bag to pull out a ring box. She’d been planning to propose at the fancy dinner, but this burger stand will have to do.
Bette slides the ring on Tina’s finger, and I feel so happy that my moms are getting their happy ending!
Tina: I want it on record that I asked you first. Bette: Oh, okay. But one could argue that ring is proof that I had the idea first. Tina: Okay. One could argue. But one wouldn't Bette: No, one most certainly would not.
I LOVE THEM.
We then get our almost-end-of-episode montage to check in with everyone in the beloved cast, backgrounded by Dre’s singing.
Dani is staring up at Dre on stage as though she’s in love.
Finley is heading home taking her headphones out to hear Carrie and Misty having sex, which is truly the funniest thing to have ever happened on this show. Oh, and she’s also searching for apartments in LA.
Bette and Tina are watching fireworks happily in love.
Angie is watching Hendrix put his belt back on (ew)
Tess is spinning around an empty Dana’s and drinking (ugh)
Shane is smelling Tess’ clothes and looking sad.
We then do our final scenes, all of which (I think) have been dedicated to the pursuit of finding The One so far this season. Dre and Dani are getting home after the performance, and Dre instantly packs up their clothes to head out. When Dani asks where they’re going, Dre says that they’re heading home. They’re so incredibly happy, but they are falling for Dani and if Dani doesn’t feel the same way they have to protect their heart. Good for them for setting boundaries! Boo for Dani for not instantly cracking and saying she loves them back.
Dre says “where you at?” and Dani looks unsure, and then we cut away.
Alice is being reunited with her ostensible One, the kitten Mr. Piddles Jr. Someone puts the cat into her arms, and then we hear
and when I tell you I screamed. IT’S TASHA. TASHA. THE TASHA MOST INCREDIBLE BEAUTIFUL HUMAN BEING ALICE EVER DATED.
I knew Dana and Max were coming back before it happened, but this took me totally off guard and I could not be more excited about it. It turns out that Tasha gave up on her dream of being a cop to become a firefighter, which I love because ACAB.
Alice: "Oh, my God. That is so annoying."
In this moment, Dove Cameron’s song starts to play and I love that we’re not just getting the house band! Alice starts to walk away, but Tasha says “nice to see you too” and Alice says she doesn’t feel the same way. Alice says that she’s been having an extraordinarily bad day, which she assumes Tasha knows since she’s been on the news for the last 24 hours. Tasha, being Tasha, doesn’t actually know anything about this, because she “hates celebrity culture”.
Alice mocks Tasha’s hate for celebrities, and Tasha laughs at the fact that Alice never changes. As Alice walks around to thank the firefighters for saving her kitten (“present company excluded”), Tasha just laughs.
Tasha: "Alice, wait" Alice: *pauses and turns* Tasha: "There's paperwork"
and that’s the episode!
Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / SHOWTIME.