The third season of The L Word: Generation Q began with a bold premise: finding The One. From promotional billboards on highways, to social media, to an in-show ayahuasca-induced journey, the writers of this season were insistent that everyone has one person that was meant for them. I, personally, as a maybe potentially polyamorous person, do not believe in this premise whatsoever. There are so many people out there who are “right” for you, and to make one single person “right” for your entire life takes work.
I thought The One premise sounded enjoyable going into the series because it meant that the relationships each character experienced would be deeper and less surface level. How could there be cheating in The L Word if all of the lesbians are with their one true love? Boy, was I wrong. There was so much cheating and even more surface level characterization. For those of you who simply cannot get through any more relapse storylines, surface-level trans and disabled characters, or queer people who pretend to have never heard of ethical non-monogamy, I have decided to sum up who The One is for each of our major characters and share my opinions, because I have a lot.
Obviously, spoilers abound.
Bette & Tina
Let us start with the obvious. If trying to get #TibetteIsEndgame trending for months wasn’t enough of a clue, Marja-Lewis Ryan and associates were getting Bette and Tina together regardless of the cost. I honestly support this. Bette and Tina feel like my moms in a lot of ways, and everyone always wants their moms to get back together. These two women were toxic as hell, but we spent 6 seasons watching Tina grow into a human being with a backbone and Bette grow into someone who loved Tina for more reasons than just the fact that she did her wife’s dry cleaning. And if that’s not love, then what is!
The season ended with their wedding (we’ll dive into how that was ruined for me later), and it’s incredible to finally see a real L Word wedding on-screen that ends with the two people getting married. Ultimately, this 10 episode season would have been better if these two leading ladies had been in more than just the first two and last two episodes. If we wanted Bette and Tina back together but didn’t care about seeing their domestic bliss actually play out, we would have been happy reading all of the fanfiction that had been written since the original show ended in 2009.
Despite being two straight actresses, Jennifer Beals and Laurel Holloman have true chemistry together, and their scenes are some of the show’s strongest! It felt to me like the show intentionally cut their scenes due to some form of petty grudge, especially given the lack of promotion the normally L Word obsessed Beals did for the season.
Did these two belong together? Yes. Am I happy about how it played out on-screen? Not really.
My girl Alice Pieszecki was well and truly committed to finding her One this season. She put more work into it than anyone else, and I truly think this season could have been stronger if we’d seen even more of her. There’s never enough Leisha Haley in a show lacking the levity and camp that made us all fall in love with it in the first place.
Part of what made Alice’s storyline so interesting was that she had a variety of love interests this season that all felt on-brand for her. From the NXIVM member to the Gen-Z boi, Alice’s failed conquests were reminiscent of the time she dated the vampire. Then there was Taylor and Tom. Both of these people were solid, adult choices who brought out positive parts of Alice’s personality. I think that on another show, where the writers were not obsessed with rehashing the past, Taylor could have been The One.
She was not though, and I’m not complaining because The One for me is Tasha and I will take any excuse for her to be on my television screen! The rekindling of their relationship could have been done much more successfully, in my opinion, if Tasha was introduced in Episode 7 and given a bit more time with Alice. Plus, maybe then we would have gotten a sex scene on a show that for some reason decided not to give us any sex scenes this year! As it stands, I do love the Talice banter and if this show gets renewed I pray Rose Rollins agrees to come back as a regular.
I love Tasha, I just wish we had more of her.
Shane & Tess
And now we reach the point of this post that well and truly makes me want to stab my eyes out with a fork. WHAT happened to Shane and Tess this season? Why was there no growth for either of them? I do not understand what happened but will attempt to briefly recap it here in order to further explain my hatred of their storyline.
The couple, which had gotten together a year before the start of this third season, lives together with Tess’s mom. Tess immediately changes personality, forcing Shane to purchase a second bar and generally acting like her feelings don’t matter. Shane goes back to 2008 Shane and cheats on her. When Tess finds out, they’re forced to have an extraordinarily long conversation in which Tess asks about Ethical Non-Monogamy. I truly thought this was going somewhere at this point. Despite the weird Baby Bar stuff, the conversation they had on the porch felt real.
But Shane did not want ENM, and then we later find out that she doesn’t want Tess at all, because Tess has “changed”. The “change” is poor writing. Going into Gen Q, Kate Moennig wanted to show that Shane had grown. She’s married and been in an open relationship between the two shows. Why in the world did they not take this as an opportunity to grow the character of Shane?
And don’t even get me started on Tess’s relapse! I cannot stand this. It’s so unnecessary and poorly done, not to mention it’s harming the character played by the only trans woman actor on this entire show. I do think the sweetness of Shess at the end of season 2 was something that could have become a The One situation, but they ruined it and made all of Tess’s scenes (previously my favorite character) impossible to watch without dying inside.
What in the world was this character retcon.
Carrie came back into the show for a couple of episodes in the middle of the season and gave an absolutely flawless performance. Her friends to lovers relationship with Misty was adorable and I loved watching it grow. The butch for butch representation is something that this show needs more of.
The only complaints I have with this storyline was that Carrie, the only character that’s not a size 4 or less on this entire show, suffered from a heart attack and was told she needed to become “healthier”. There’s nothing with this storyline in and of itself, but given the lack of fat representation on the show it felt a bit icky.
Regardless, I love Carrie and Misty together and I hope to see them more in the future.
Yes, please make these people full time cast members.
We started off this season with Sophie and Finley diving full force back into their relationship despite spending the past year in an open relationship where they never once saw each other. It became pretty obvious pretty quickly that this show did not want these two women to stay together. During the musical episode, their entire relationship, which was built upon a silly little friendship, was retconned to make Finley stifle Sophie.
It turns out, Sophie wants to direct documentaries and she needed to do that single.
The upside of this situation is that we got to see friend-Sophie, who has top tier chemistry with all of her friends. Her friendship flirting with Dani and even her post-breakup flirting with Finley brought me immense joy. In the last episode, Sophie ended up making out with Pippa Pascale, renowned artist who was not in a single other episode this season. I loved their witty banter, and just hope they’ll be able to keep it up once they’re actually in a relationship.
Sophie is everyone’s friend soulmate, but maybe Pippa can change that.
I thought about putting Sophie and Finley in the same header, but at the end of the day I have too much to say about Finley as an individual. Let’s be honest, Finley’s The One is an adult that’s going to be there for her. Even if that Sinley ship didn’t sink, Finley wouldn’t have found her One yet.
She did her best to find that in Tess as her sponsor, but the woman did not have what it took. Tess consistently gave terrible advice and at the end of the day needed Finley more than Finley needed her. Her own mother, as we learned during the Thanksgiving episode, is a horrible terrible very bad person. It’s always been clear that Finley didn’t trust anyone to stay in her corner because she had lived experiences that taught her not to.
Carrie was that person for Finley. No matter how many times Finley messed up or stuck her foot in her mouth, Carrie stuck by her. I need more of just the two of them hanging out.
Her soulmate is a mother who will never leave her. #BringCarrieBackSeason4
Dani started the season in the only relationship to come close to rivaling Bette and Tina: Dani and Gigi. But alas! For reasons unbeknownst to the general public (and likely to do with Sepideh Moafi’s relationship with the showrunner) Gigi was written out of the show with nary any explanation of her absense.
I was heartbroken, but my sadness was assuaged slightly by the presence of Dre, the absolute hottie musician who fell for Dani. However, when they told Dani that they loved her, Dani did not say it back, and then the relationship fell apart? I was under the assumption that Dre just wanted to slow things down, but then episode 10 made it seem like they’d fully broken up. I am unsure!
Regardless, in episode 10 Roxy, Dani’s long time best friend and maybe crush, comes back into the picture and Dani ends up both calling Dre and saying she loves them AND kissing Roxy and being happy that their relationship is real. At the end of the episode, Dre sees Dani and Roxy kissing and is shattered. I’m also shattered, because Dre is one of my favorite people to ever exist on this show.
If Drani isn’t endgame I’m going to cry.
Like I said, she was written out of the show for unknown reasons. We did learn in episode 10 (courtesy of G-Flip and Chrishell) that she is re-engaged to Nat. As we know, Nat and Alice broke up because Nat realized she is polyamorous. I’m not sure what that means for the future of these two ex-lovers, but I wish we’d find out on-screen!
We stan a poly queen, if only she was in the episode.
Micah & Maribel
UGHHHHHHH. I was a die hard Micabel shipper for most of The L Word: Generation Q‘s three season run. They have the potential to be truly adorable together. I, in fact, still ship them. But the way they broke up their relationship in episode 10 was truly the most painful and devastating thing to watch.
Micah, who has been dating Maribel for over a year and is now engaged to her, the same man who is hyper-anxious about everything, the very man who ostensibly attended doctor appointments with Maribel to learn how to have a child with her, decides that he wants to discuss (while the sperm is off ice in their kitchen) the likelihood of her dying during childbirth. I am fairly certain that Maribel has muscular dystrophy, and according to the abstract of this study I found for free on NLM, while there are complications, dying during childbirth is not one of them! The way this conversation went down in the episode was the definition of poor disability representation.
I’m also very sad they weren’t at the wedding when everyone else was! Let the Black, Hispanic, trans, Asian, disabled characters be happy too!
Fire the whole writers room and then get these two back together.
I could write an entire essay on the way we wasted far too much of this season’s time and energy on Angie and Hendrix. Hendrix is a creepy adult man dating an 18 year old girl, and while maybe someone in the writer’s room thought it was important to tell that story, it could have been done in far fewer episodes. Setting that aside, Bella and Angie’s growth from strangers and into friends and maybe something more was very cute to watch. I would have loved to see more from Bella, learn about how she defines her sexuality, and see how Angie influenced that!
Alas! What we saw was just creepy adult hitting on a child content that made me physically cringe.
Fuck this season, but love where it ended up.
I don’t think I missed anyone, but if I did please let me know in the comments! Who is your favorite ship? Who do you wish ended up together that didn’t?