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The L Word - Launch Party- Review

2 Oct 2021

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This week´s recap of The L Word Generation Q has everything, hook ups, jail, alcohol issues and Bette Porter´s (Jennifer Beals) favorite catchphrase. There were some things that i loved and absolutely hated from this episode. We open this week’s lengthy journey into despair with Sophie (Rosanny Zayas) picking Finley (Jacqueline Toboni) up from jail, where she’s spent the evening and emerged with some new tasks for her to-do list: taking DUI classes, getting a point on her license and making a lot of money. Sophie’s glad that Finley is okay but also seems concerned that Finley is actually not okay at all. However, i cannot figure out why Sophie starts out compassionate but then immediately shifts into bewildered frustration — we’ve seen how ready she is to hold people she loves when they’re in trouble, but she seems profoundly disappointed that Finley hasn’t emerged from jail as an entirely different person while also entirely certain that she did not even play the smallest of roles in what happened. This approach isn’t a fault of Sophie’s character, but of the storytelling. And I think it would’ve been pretty easy to tell it better! But that´s as much as i want to see of them right now.

Let´s go to The California Arts Center, where Dani (Arienne Mandi) has brought Bette to show her that Nuñez Inc, a company Bette Porter openly loathes due to its investments in pharmaceutical companies that produced the opioids that killed her sister, has purchased seemingly the frontmost wing of the CAC, where Pippa’s (Vanessa Williams) work will shortly be displayed in the context of a Black Lives Matter Art Show. I have so much love for Bette Porter i´m not gonna lie, however i´ve always felt like as soon as she´s not getting what she wants out of a conversation, a person, or a situation she has this really selfish acting mode that is not sitting well with me so far and hopefully somebody calls her out before the season is over, i will admit that what completely threw me off was her saying that she didn´t care about Gigi (Sepideh Moafi). Not cool. Dani’s shocked and hurt by Bette’s anger and insists Bette should know who she is and what she stands for, regardless of her father’s business choices. Perhaps also she is a bit shocked that Bette is going straight to the top instead of trying to reason with Dani first. Which takes us to the scene we´ve all been waiting for, Gigi and Dani´s sex scene, finally. While i don´t love the context and the fact that it was right after her fight with Bette, specially because of how everyone has treated Gigi lately, i´m choosing to believe that Dani means well and cares for Gigi very much.
Meanwhile, Bette’s gotten herself into quite a pickle with Pippa, because despite being instructed to take the utmost care with Pippa’s work, Bette instead used Pippa’s work as a bargaining chip to get the CAC to refuse the Nuñez endowment, and Pippa is not happy! Bette insists that this strategy is obviously a bluff, the CAC would simply never prefer millions of dollars over showcasing the work of an important Black Queer female artist! Pippa reminds Bette, who recently had to convince Pippa to set her ethics aside and sign with a gallery owned by a noted racist person, that museums need large endowments to show work like hers. Bette says the CAC is still the museum that showed Provocations, although as I recall, Bette was the sole member of the CAC board who thought that was a good idea, and she no longer works there.

Next up in the Fight Parade is Micah (Leo Sheng) and our first out trans woman character on the entire show, Dr. Claudia (Isis King) Micah storms into Claudia’s office furious that his client Joaquín was told by Claudia that he should start taking hormones — apparently his parents are not ‘anywhere close’ to signing off on that, and therefore the doc is giving him false hope. Claudia says that she is a doctor with a medical degree and she always has her patients best interests at heart. This is so not realistic guys, the way i would have been fired if i had done that at work. Micah is not his best self this episode but we´ll get back to that. For now, let´s go to Alice´s (Leisha Hailey) book launch party. Shane (Katherine Moennig) says that Tess (Jamie Clayton) isn’t there ’cause she’s in Vegas, and they lightly tease Shane about finally sealing the deal with her crush. Right when Alice spots Tom (Donald Faison) Somehow, his relationship with Alice is serious enough that Alice is worried he’ll care that she slept with Nat while he was in New York, yet unserious enough that they seemingly have not spoken the entire time he’s been in New York and they haven’t established the parameters of their relationship? Alice tells him that she has something to tell him but! They’re interrupted by the arrival of Sophie and Sarah “Misdemeanor” Finley. Finley and Tom share a delightful and extravagantly complicated handshake.Enough of that.

Back in Gigi’s spacious and tasteful loft, Dani and Gigi have concluded the sexual part of the afternoon and now Dani is on the “very stressful work phone call” part of the afternoon. Apparently, Bette Porter has thrust Nuñez Inc into “crisis mode.” Gigi wraps her legs around Dani and attempts to canoodle, but Dani’s gotta go meet with legal. Gigi continues to push for a canoodle. Micah’s trotting up to Claudia to apologize for their rocky introduction. Micah says he related to his client — he was once a kid with a well-meaning physician who said he could start taking blockers, and then his parents blocked him from the blockers — so the issue became overly emotional for him. Claudia’s gotta bounce but would love to talk more — Micah invites her to dinner and she asks if he could cook said dinner at his actual home and wow this escalated, de-escalated, and then re-escalated in a different direction quickly!!! Good for them.
We zoom back to the legendary Launch Party where Alice is fumbling around backstage regarding the truth and whether or not to tell it to Tom at the most inopportune moment in the history of moments. And well folks — she is going for it! Alice doesn’t want Tom to go on angry, despite angering him prior to him going onstage. Tom saddles up to the mic and begins with, “I think we all know who Alice is. Or at least who she wants us to think she is.” This is a bluff, don’t worry, he then pulls out a whole list of positive adjectives: honest, caring, wickedly funny, emotional, empathetic and amazing. It’s Alice’s big moment to read from her book. First she thanks her friends and collaborators for pushing her to go further and realize that “if I tell my truth, maybe I could help someone out there not feel so lonely in the world. Because if there is something crazy or stupid to do, I have done it.” Bette, Shane and Alice rendez-vous backstage for some celebratory hugs and to tell Alice what a great job she did capturing Dana perfectly even though she did not write or read a single word about Dana’s character or personality. But who cares there’s no time and everybody is made of stars! Bette Porter could not get a soul on the phone so Bette Porter will simply go to the CAC her own self and talk to a man face-to-face. When she arrives, they are literally removing Pippa’s art from the building, and Pippa hides to listen to Bette do something Bette never does: admit she made a mistake. The man asks what she’d do in his position and she says she’d throw herself right under the bus. He’s welcome to trash her this way to Tuesday but she pleads for him not to rob the world of Pippa’s art! He will see what he can do. Bette sighs just as Pippa emerges from her hiding spot to face her face-to-face.

We now relocate our attention to Gigi’s office, when Dani arrives with a bucket of noodles and a small container of apologies for snapping at her earlier, and folks what happens next is the whole reason i ship these two besides the fact that they are hot together, They talk. “I don’t do well with the whole hot and cold thing,” Gigi says. Dani takes a seat in her office for some straightforward communication about their wants and needs! I’m unclear how Dani is actually able to function and construct not only words but entire sentences and often paragraphs when faced with the absolute stunning perfection of Gigi but ok! Look at them being the most healthy relationship of this entire show.

Back at Micah´s, him and Claudia are engaging in witty banter related to the appearance of their teeth during childhood. “I had a really good time tonight,” says Claudia. Micah agrees. Everybody had a nice time, and they kiss. But Micah stops the kiss. He withdraws. He says he cannot do this. Why not? Well, Claudia is about to find out because like so many things done by various characters this week, Micah will be combining “the worst thing I could ever possibly say” with “the worst moment to say it” and “the worst person to say it to.” Micah apologizes and says that’s not what he meant and she storms out of there. This is gonna be real awkward at work. Alice arrives at Tom’s little hotel room to find him squirreling away all the free shampoos and soaps to add to his collection of free mini toiletries he keeps in a basket under the sink in my imagination and they make up. Four hours from Los Angeles, in sinful Las Vegas Nevada, Tess is checking in with her sponsor while basking in the glow of a giant picture of Las Vegas plastered to the window of this set. She hears a knock on the door and it´s Shane, so they finally hook up, which made me start singing this is what dreams are made of for real. We then fade gently into the good night to arise the next morning in steamy Las Vegas, Nevada, where Shane and Tess are waking up in bed together, full of joy, affection and residual thirst.