While the previous episode of The L Word: Generation Q delivered intense drama and steamy sex scenes, episode five was fraught with emotional gut punches that demonstrated the show’s depth. The fifth episode, “Labels,” was a knockout and featured commentary on alternative relationship structures and an unexpected friendship with the potential for growth.
This week’s chapter starts with Shane and her ex-wife Quiara getting it on in bed. For a second, it seemed like a flashback to when the two were married. But Quiara points to Shane’s pendant and says “you kept it,” and we realize they are sleeping together in the present day, even after Shane signed their divorce papers. Then comes the real bombshell: Quiara tells Shane, “I’m pregnant.”
What I liked most about this episode is that instead of turning this moment into a dramatic argument, Quiara speaks honestly about their options. She tells Shane, “I’m not asking you to be a parent … All I’m asking is for you to be my partner.” Quiara comments that the two of them have “never been traditional” because she sees Shane exactly how she is. It was a real and honest conversation, one that nicely explored the wide range of familial relationships.
Likewise, this episode considered what a future might look like for Alice, Gigi, and Nat. After the three ladies wake up naked in bed to knocking from Nat and Gigi’s children and Gigi does her “walk of shame” out the backdoor only to ring the doorbell and collect the kids, the three of them consider the logistics of being a throuple. Who would show up for Alice’s red carpet events? Would they tell the kids? But Alice reminds them they don’t have to figure it all out immediately. By the end of the episode, the three of them see Angie’s school play, and after Nat gushes to Alice about how much she loves her, Alice reaches out for Gigi’s hand, and it doesn’t seem so difficult after all.
This episode also explores the importance of queer women being there for a each other in a platonic way, or so I thought. The morning after Shane’s birthday party, Tess takes an extremely hungover Finley to brunch and talks about the use of alcohol as a coping mechanism for emotional pain. Tess says she’s been sober for two years because she “wanted to start remembering stuff [and] feel again.” The conversation seems to have an impact on Finley, who later apologizes to Rebecca for showing up at her house drunk. I thought this was a great way to show how queer women can help each other through difficult times, but it becomes more complicated later on, when Tess and Finley do shots and have sex.
Other highlights of this episode included Dani finally standing up to her father and telling him that she and Sophie won’t sign a prenup and Shane giving advice to Angie about her crush on a girl. But it’s not the The L Word unless the show ends with a bang, and this time, it was a literal bang. At the end of Angie’s play, Felicity’s ex-husband shows up to yell at Bette, and she pushes him down the stairs.
Sexiest Scene: Micah and Jose doing it after a heartfelt conversation about feelings.
Most OMG-Moment: Quiara is pregnant!
Funniest Moment: Shane and Alice explaining to Bette what a throuple is.
How We Know We’re in 2020: Alice wants to “Postmates some Thai food.”
Who will sleep together next? Even though Bette breaks up with Felicity, I don’t think it’s over.