Almost as immediately as news broke that 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 the pilot.
Michah and José
Somehow, Micah Lee (Leo Sheng) and José García (Freddy Miyares)'s first date is even more painfully awkward than the fact that Micah asked José out after smashing one of his windows while caught up in his enthusiasm to make small talk about Silver Lake. "Look, I don't think I can make it all the way through dinner without telling you something first," Micah says as they take a seat. "I know. You're trans. I saw you on Grindr," José replies, before Micah can clarify that he's chose the restaurant because he has a gift card. (To be clear, we'll take this type of discomfort over that surrounding the original series's treatment of Max, a trans man portrayed by a cis actor, any day.)
Cut to the pool, where they're enjoying a bit of late night swimming until José raises the topic once again: "How long ago did you transition? Were you always with guys?" Micah answers—five years, and no—but only up to a point: "I don't really talk about before." Once again, José apologizes—quite successfully. Whether or not it'll get any less awkward, with Micah establishing his boundaries and José respecting them, it seems this is a couple that's here to stay.
Dani and Sophie
Almost as soon as Dani proposed to an ecstatic Sophie in the pilot, warning signs about their relationship started to show. One would have thought that Sophie, who's much more politically minded than Dani, would be thrilled that her fiancée was turning her back on corporate life in favor of campaigning for Bette Porter, the first openly gay candidate to run for mayor of Los Angeles. Suffice to say, that isn't the case. (Then again, it might be that Sophie doesn't even know about Dani's family company ties to the opioid industry, since they don't seem to discuss Dani's work life much in the first place.) Instead, Sophie is angry Dani didn't consult her before making a major life change—especially one that might interfere with her plans for them to "settle down," which Dani doesn't seem to have been all too aware of in the first place.
Dani's decision doesn't disrupt their engagement party, as Sophie had worried, though it does mean that Dani's father (and only living parent) declines to attend. It's unclear if Sophie even notices, since the pair keeps their distance throughout the entire party, not even exchanging a word until the very end. Meanwhile, Sophie seems to be closer than ever with her family, who are fully aware she's having doubts. "You can always get divorced!," her simultaneously reassured her. If she even gets married in the first place, anyway.
Alice and Nat
What Alice and Nat (Stephanie Allynne)'s relationship lacks in chemistry, it (sort of) makes up for adding a bit of amusement to the plot. Alice's shtick of having no idea how to take care of Nat's kids is already getting a little old, though we're not complaining if it means we'll get to see more of the OGs interacting—in this case, Alice and Shane. Naturally, Shane takes care of the whole thing, making sure Nat's son pukes into a crock pot and gently reminding Alice that kids are people, too. Alice, on the other hand, puts the puke-filled crock out onto the curb and throws a tantrum when Nat pleads her to tell her what's wrong. Turns out she's mad that feels like a babysitter—and also mad that Nat called her ex-wife, Gigi, to help out so that she wouldn't have to babysit. Ignoring Alice's jabs that she's launched into therapist mode, Nat asks if she wants her to tell Gigi that Alice would prefer to take care of their son. "No, but thank you for asking," Alice responds haughtily. "Can I tell you about my shitty day?" By the episode's end, the only thing remotely interesting about their relationship is that Alice and Gigi, oddly enough, seem to have a much easier rapport than Alice and Nat.
Shane and Finley
Who would have thought that two full episodes into the series, Shane's only sex scene would be a flashback? That might have something to do with the fact that so far, she's been spending most of her time with Finley (Jacqueline Toboni)—one of the only people in The L Word history she hasn't had a bit of chemistry with (at least yet). Then again, she doesn't have much choice in the matter. Refusing to take a hint, Finley has moved in, and even took the liberty to sign for the divorce papers Shane had been doing her best to ignore.
Under the impression that she'd done Shane a favor, Finley tags along as Shane heads out to drown her sorrows at a lesbian bar, which turns out to have converted into a sports bar at some point during her absence from L.A. Once again, she goes into parent mode, grabbing Finley's phone to make her stop swiping on Tinder and check out her options IRL. "Mama's buying," Finley tells the bartender as she heeds Shane's orders, after ordering and downing two tequila shots.) They both spend the night flirting, though only Finley ends up going home with someone. Unfortunately, the sex almost makes her puke—but more on that next episode.
Related: The L Word Generation Q Episode 1 Recap: Shane Has a Wife?!
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