The L Word Generation Q Episode 8 Recap: Some Shanes Never Change
Breaking down the reboot’s season 1 finale, Alice-style.
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 story lines intersect. (And not just sexually—no offense, Alice.) Here are the relationships that defined episode 6.
Bette and Angie
The atmosphere is giddy at Bette’s watch party; somehow, against all odds, it seems like a victory in the mayoral race might actually be in the cards. She and an utterly frantic Dani hole up in a back room, where they take turns madly refreshing the election results. They’re stuck at a tie of 48 percent—until they aren’t. “Oh, fuck,” Dani says as the page finally updates: Milner, 52; Porter, 48. Bette is silently losing it, but eventually pulls herself together at the thought of finding Angie. After retying her blouse’s pussy bow, she sets off, repeatedly assuring herself (under the guise of assuring Dani) that “It’s okay.”
Alas, things are far from okay the next time we see Bette—silently lying on the couch doing absolutely nothing, refusing even to watch TV. The sight sends Angie into a panic, but she knows what this shadow of her mom needs right now is a mom. “I knew that it would hit you eventually,” Angie comforts her. “It’s okay, you know. To be sad.” She fetches Bette’s shoes and successfully convinces her to visit the overlook where they spread some of Kit’s ashes. It’s become Angie’s refuge, she tells her mom, for whenever she’s sad about her aunt or Mama T. The “stupid” admission that she always hoped Tina and Bette might get back together brings Bette back to life a bit. Before long, she’s getting more introspective than we’ve ever heard her—and probably more than she’s ever heard herself. “I think I felt if I truly let myself breathe, then that would mean saying a final goodbye. And I wasn’t ready to do that,” Bette says of why she launched herself into the mayoral race after suffering the losses of both Tina and Kit. “I guess I just try to outrun my feelings.”
And then, in a heartwarming throwback to one of the show’s original early-aughts episodes, Bette asks Angie if she wants to scream. Even more than a decade after the failed silent retreat where she picked up the technique, Bette’s a bit nervous. But at Angie’s encouragement, they keep on screaming—enough that they’re soon giggling like everything’s normal on the main trail. It’s there that they run into Maya, a journalist Bette knew on the campaign, who asks Bette if she wants to get dinner off the clock. One last time, Angie proves herself wiser than her teenage years: She refuses to let Bette brush it off. “I see sparks in the air,” she gushes. “You just found the love of your life!” Whether that’s an overstatement remains to be seen, but Maya very well might be a lifesaver. By the end of the episode, Bette is together enough to meet her for dinner, looking back to her usual immaculate self.
Shane and Quiara
Almost as soon as she gets to Bette’s watch party, Shane is bolting out the door. Quiara, it turns out, is in the hospital, and Shane bursts into the waiting room like a hurricane. “Is there a reason you’re making my pregnant wife wait to see a doctor?” she demands of the “lady” at the front desk. Quiara assures her it’s fine—that a bit of spotting is normal. Her rudeness may have been unwarranted, but it turns out Shane wasn’t overreacting. Now that her worries have been justified, though, Shane seems to have no idea what to do. The next time we see them, they’re back at home. Quiara is in bed with her back turned to Shane, who’s worrying about whether or not she wants tea. Shane announces she’ll make some “just in case,” only to hear Quiara, who’d been plainly ignoring her, burst into sobs the second Shane leaves.
Everyone copes with loss in different ways, and Shane, like everyone else would in her position, is just trying not to make Quiara feel worse. But even when it comes to her wife, Shane’s instincts are off. For Quiara, Shane’s move to pack up their friends’ gifts for the baby marks the final straw. “I’m still gonna have a baby, Shane. I’m gonna try again as soon as I’m ready,” Quiara says, then accuses Shane of being relieved that she miscarried. “I was relieved you were okay,” Shane insists. “Bullshit,” Quiara says. Shane confirms that she still wants to be with Quiara, but when Quiara asks if that means she would like to try to have a baby again, Shane stumbles over her words. “I want to be realistic,” she finally says. And Quiara promptly loses it: “You’re never going to change, Shane. No one is ever going to love you because you’re incapable of loving anyone but your fucking self.” She storms off, and Shane picks up the wedding ring she leaves in her wake.
Shane is still staring at the ring hours later, when a noise finally tears her gaze away. She spots a skinny stray dog rummaging through trash, then lets out a deep sigh. The next thing we know, the dog is in Shane’s car, and even Shane seems surprised to see him in her backseat. “Hi. How you doing?” she says, then drives away with her new charge. Change might be on its way after all—even if Shane’s lack of caregiver skills have stayed the same.
Micah and Jose
What Jose and Micah’s relationship lacks in chemistry, it makes up for in stability—especially compared to every other couple on the show. It’s the night of Jose’s art opening, meaning Micah is finally about to see Jose’s portrait of him. “I feel like the eroticism in my work has never been this overt,” an extremely nervous Jose says as he guides him to the painting, which turns out to be massive. Micah surveys it in silence, staring up at his chiseled, naked likeness. “It’s you,” Jose says, but Micah isn’t so sure. “It’s how I see you,” Jose reassures him, and for a moment, it seems like Micah might storm out of the gallery or yell. But he doesn’t; he tells Jose he loves him, and they stare lovingly into each other’s eyes as if they weren’t in the middle of a packed crowd.
Close as Micah and Jose get, we don’t see them kiss. And maybe there’s a reason for that. Micah is taking in the rest of Jose’s work when a man approaches him, remarking on how significantly Jose’s work has changed. “You must be a new fan,” he tells Micah, who introduces himself when the man asks if he’s a friend of Jose’s. “Scott,” the man says as they shake hands. “Jose’s husband.” Micah quickly recovers, but Jose, who’s across the room, is clearly horrified to see his boyfriend and his husband chatting. And, just like that, another couple bites the dust. We don’t see Jose again, but we do hear him; “It’s not what you think,” he yells later, apologizing and banging on Micah’s door. But Micah, it seems, is finally done with giving Jose second chances; he sits still, looking just as emotionless as he feigned to be back at the gallery.
Sophie and Dani
Well, at least there’s one good thing to come out of Bette’s losing the election: Dani finally has time for Sophie again, and it actually seems like their relationship might yet have a chance. Suddenly, Dani is all in. The morning after the election finds her practically unrecognizable, braless and spontaneous enough to propose that they jet off to Hawaii to get married the very next day. At the same time, though, Sophie is starting to pull back. Against her better judgment, she laughingly agrees to the whole eloping thing, but she also clearly can’t get Finley off her mind. In fact, it’s starting to look like Sophie’s flaws, not Dani’s, could be their relationship’s downfall. Though that’s assuming that Dani continues actually paying enough attention to Sophie to realize that she’s cheating on her.
At work, Sophie pulls Finley aside to the deserted green room to tell her about her and Dani’s plans. Unfortunately, this also presents the opportunity for them to hook up. The next day at work, Sophie discovers it may have been for the last time: Finley announces that she’s heading back home home—i.e., all the way back to Missouri—that night. (A brief reunion with the Hot Priest has finally convinced her it’s time to work on herself.) Sophie starts to chase after her, but Drew intervenes; Alice’s show has started, for what also might be the last time.
Once it wraps, Sophie is off to the airport, apparently deep in thought. Finley and Dani are also at the airport; their flights to Kansas City and Honolulu, respectively, are just 10 minutes apart. After inspecting the departures board, Sophie takes off, breaking into a run. Meanwhile, at their respective gates, Finley and Dani are both repeatedly scanning the room, waiting to see if Sophie shows up. We’ll have to wait until season 2 to figure out whom she was heading for—and whom she was thinking about hours earlier backstage, when Nat’s pledging to fight for Alice had her in tears.
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