Almost as immediately as news broke that a reboot of The L Word was finally, actually happening, it reignited the conversation about how the series could “atone for the sins” of its past. (Among them: its treatment of transgender and bisexual individuals, class, and race.) Thankfully, the cast of The L Word: Generation Q is devoid of cis actors playing characters who are trans. It’s also notably more diverse, thanks to a whole crew of younger, fresh faces who’ve joined the familiar ones of Bette Porter (Jennifer Beals), Alice Pieszecki (Leisha Hailey) and Shane McCutcheon (Kate Moennig).
But there is still plenty of sex, and the show’s interpersonal intimacies still drive it. Which is why these recaps will take the form of snippets of Alice’s legendary OurChart, tracking how each of their storylines intersect. (And not just sexually—no offense, Alice.) Here are the relationships that defined episode 4.
Bette and Felicity
Bette kicks off the episode with a sweet, illicit round of breakfast in bed with Felicity, who’s waxing poetic about how she would have written about Bette if she knew her at Howard. Suddenly, she asks Bette what she wants, bringing their vacation from reality to an abrupt end. “Another cup of coffee and another fruit bowl would be great,” Bette responds. Of course, that’s not what Felicity meant, but she doesn’t seem to mind that Bette deflected. They carry on making out, then go on their separate ways, none the wiser that they’ve accidentally swapped phones. After glimpsing Bette’s background—now a smiling photo of Felicity and her husband—Dani jumps into action, begrudgingly setting off on a mission to retrieve the phone herself. (And to give Felicity, like Bette, a stern talking-to.)
Incapable of understanding that their relationship might be more than just an ill-advised fling, Dani eventually explodes. She asks Bette what she seems to think of as a rhetorical question—why she’s running for mayor in the first place. To her shock, Bette has a very real response: She’s running because her sister, the legendary Kit Porter, died of a heroin overdose. “I’m running to change the broken system that failed her,” Bette says. Felicity, she continues, was there for her, and “you don’t just turn your back on someone like that.” But according to Dani, if you’re running a campaign, you do. “You can be with her. Or you can stay in this race and fight for what you believe in. but you can’t have it both ways,” Dani says.
Thanks to some “really fucking strong pot,” Bette later loosens up enough for Shane to surmise that she and Felicity have yet to call it off. Together, they recite the advice they know Kit would have given her: “Giiirl, giiiiirl, you gotta love the life you live, and live the life you love.” Bette later tells Dani that she’s decided to end it, though who knows if that’ll hold up; tactless as ever, Dani demanded her response in the middle of Shane’s 40th birthday party.
Dani and Sophie
After surprising Sophie by inviting herself into her bath, Dani sheds some insight into why Bette’s infidelity has her so rattled: She can’t stop thinking about how Sophie might one day leave her, just like she left the girlfriend she was with when she and Dani first met. Sophie responds to her admission by making a cold, naked run from the tub to her dresser to fetch a ring, which she then offers to Dani. “This was my great grandma’s. And this is a reminder that I will never leave you. Because you’re my person.” It’s rather touching, and the first time that the fact they’re dating—not to mention engaged—seems to make sense. In fact, they’re pretty much the only ones still going strong by the end of the episode, let alone Shane’s rager.
Shane and Quiara
Shane wakes up to a flood of texts from Tina, Angie, Bette, Alice, and Helena (who’s apparently in England), all congratulating her on the big “four-oh.” After double-checking that her wife, Quiara, didn’t send one, though, Shane sets down her phone. Thanks to the sex dream she just woke up from, we finally have visual confirmation: Quiara is very, very hot. And thanks to the weed she smokes with Bette, we finally know a bit more about Shane’s relationship status: She really, really loves Quiara, but she doesn’t want kids, nor does she want to raise kids while Quiara is on tour. Admitting as much to Bette prompts Shane to finally sign the divorce papers. “I got divorced on my birthday,” Shane reflects, and suddenly, she and Bette can’t stop laughing. They laugh for almost the entirety of the night, too—right up until the last minute, when Quiara crashes Shane’s birthday. (A cliffhanger if there ever was one.)
Finley and Rebecca
Like Bette and Felicity, Finley and Rebecca share a moment of real talk in bed. “Are you gonna be able to get over this?,” Rebecca asks Finley when she makes yet another joke about her being a hot priest. “Because I’m starting to have real feelings for you.” Pulling a Bette, Finley deflects. Secretly, though, she seems thrilled, to the point of barely protesting when Sophie suggests she’s in love. And then, before Finley knows it, everything comes crashing down. Wasted from the open bar at Shane’s birthday, Finley interrupts Sophie’s dinner with a rabbi to profess her love—prefaced with the explanation that she’s finally accepted her feelings because she realized Rebecca isn’t a “real priest.” “That’s really hurtful,” Rebecca says, asking a nonplussed Finley to leave. A spiritual heart-to-heart seems all but guaranteed for the next episode—assuming Finley will have recovered from her hangover by then.
Alice, Nat, and Gigi
With an L.A. Times reporter trailing her for a profile, Alice’s life is temporarily derailed. “I would like it to say ‘Alice Pieszecki Is Killing It,’ maybe in caps,” she tells Shane. (Hence why she’s dressed like what Shane describes as an “Easter Peep,” and later forces herself to smile for the entirety of a staff argument about feminism.) But Alice needn’t have worried: the L.A. Times crowns her “the Queen of Queer Life,” and refers to both Nat and Gigi as her “family.” Elated, Alice and Nat start gushing over Gigi at Shane’s party. A threesome soon follows, and Alice and Gigi have the time of their lives. Nat, of course, does not. The aftermath feels ominous—especially after the reporter mistook Gigi for Alice’s partner, and Nat for “the nanny.”