Episode 2 – Lean on Me Recap
The episode starts with Dani tossing her veil on the hotel suite floor and shouting at Sophie. Which means we did NOT get a dramatic running-from-the-altar scene which reminds me of how we did NOT get a dramatic airport running reunion scene. If people are running on this show, they’re running out of frame.
Dani: Did everyone know but me?
Sophie: Oh ya 100%
In the abandoned altar aftermath– my God, the BEST– we have Alice calling Finley a kitten on the highway. Uh…okay? Bette turns to Shane and says, “I think that was THE MOST selfish thing I’ve ever seen”. And in the past, Shane would have done what Shane does best: pass up a perfectly good opportunity for a good roast. But not today. No sir. Shane leans over and whispers, Thanks for making me your plus one. Magnificent.
Tess: Is she drunk???
No, Tess, she’s a kitten on a highway.
Dani wants to know if Sophie fucked Finley on their bed. Sophie may be a cheater, a liar, a two-timer, but cheating on her fiance on their BED?! She would nEver dO tHAT. She has morals! Come on, Dani! How could you even ask something like that?
Dani NEVER wants to see Sophie again. They’re lesbians who live in the same state, so it seems unlikely. But it’s a nice touch!
And now, for the highlight of the episode:
That’s for stealing my orange juice. And my wife.
Maribel tells Sophie she’s just like her dad. Ouch! Okay, that reminds me, the thing I hate most about this scenario is undoubtedly the fact that Dani’s Dad was right about Sophie. All the drama about Dani’s Dad not approving of Sophie seemed like it had to be some racist/classist yucky garbage, but then his exact words were “When things get hard, she’s going to leave” which is kind of what happened. His basis? Her home life was “unstable”. From what we’ve seen, Sophie’s home life doesn’t seem any more “unstable” than Dani’s. Cuz like, where the hell is Dani’s mom? She’s either got mommy issues or dead mommy issues. Plus a snobby dad. SOOOOO let’s not blame Sophie’s assholery on familial drama.
Sophie yells at Maribel which is fair.
Maribel: I’m emotionally involved!!!
Sophie: This is literally not helpful in any way!!!
Then Sophie tells her mom that she loves Dani but what she DOESN’T say is that she doesn’t love Finley.
In bed, Nat asks Alice what she thinks of non monogamy and Alice says she thinks it’s for assholes and bad people and then Nat goes to puke-cry in the bathroom and Alice says “K goodnight babe!” Sigh. I really don’t know what to think about these two anymore. I just don’t.
Nat: What would you say if I said I wanted to sleep with other people?
Alice: You have hummus breath.
Sophie is blowing up Dani’s phone just like she blew up her life. Also, her depression aesthetic is kind of cute. Look at all those curls!
Dani is going to start doing things that are unhinged and legendary, like filming herself flushing her engagement ring down the toilet. If this isn’t enough of a reminder that Dani is very rich we also have a…personal butler, apparently? I guess she’s at her dad’s.
Bette Porter stops by to drop off a tartine and to make intimate eye contact. If Dani needs anything, Bette’s here for her. Always. Ooh la la.
Season 1 Dani would have fangirl fainted. Season 2 Dani is like, don’t let the door hit you on the way out! She glares at Bette with squinty-eye spite that suggests that fresh-baked tartine is going to be the next thing flushed down the toilet.
Also, what the hell is a tartine?
Shane is working away in her massive office in her immaculately decorated, clean, and well-stocked bar. How? Who the hell is even working there?
Tess marches in and announces that Eddie blackballed her from “every game in town”. She finds poker chips on a Dana’s table. She’s surprised. I’m not. Shane already pissed off the mysterious boss stud lesbian by trying to sleep with her wife, and now she thinks it’s a good idea to jump in on the poker market that Eddie clearly runs. The whole “white lesbians are taking up too much space in this town” chat did not resonate.
I thought Tess might be poising to point to a flaw in Shane’s master plan, but nah. She just calls Shane a hot mess and says she can’t work for someone like that.
Is there some kind of law on this show that only 1 character can have a cool outfit in any given scene? Tess is holy denim perfection and Shane’s fit here ranks a solid meh on a scale of one to meh. Is that a button up or a blouse? With a wife beater? What is happening? That jacket would be really stylish on someone else, like…Obama?
Maribel asks Micah if Micah’s boyfriend is still married. Ah! Yes! An excellent point, Maribel. What was it you told Sophie, Micah? That she had to tell Dani she was cheating on her? HMMMM.
Maribel and Micah have already begun using Finley’s name as a slur, forgetting, perhaps, that she is in the room. Because of course she is.
Finley’s back at the Alips studio rocking a carabiner, a little backpack, and some mascara stains that I suppose evolved on her face as a result of Dani’s fist.
Alice is so happy that Finley is back because Finley knows what the soup of the day is! Alice stares down at her coffee cup, which I think is her way of saying, bring me new coffee! Which Finley probably understands because Finley understands what stares mean! Unlike Alice’s new assistant, who did NOT understand that Alice’s stare meant go find out what the soup of the day is. He’s fired, probably! And Finley is getting a raise, probably! Probably? Probably?!?!?!
Sophie asks for the promotion that Alice already offered her. Alice says she’ll consider it. Huh?
Alice: I re-hired the chick that just filibustered your wedding. Is that a problem? She knows how to make my coffee.
Sophie: That’s fine. 🙂
Alice: Phew! I thought I was gonna have to let you go.
After Micah’s chat with Maribel, he needs to prove that he’s no Finley. So he shows up at his cheating lover’s house unannounced to loudly confront him even though the husband is home and Jose is like shhh!! Cuz again, that’s not what Finley would do.
Alice’s publisher-selected book “editor” shows up to greet Alice at the studio. They shake hands and this scene makes me uncomfortable because he just looks like somebody who has sweaty hands. He announces that he has onion breath. Alice is ready to search far and wide for her faithful servant: no need! Finley is barreling by with a giant styrofoam baby bottle. Tom confides in Alice that this is very odd! And intimidating! He’s not odd! Well, he can be odd. Now my palms are sweaty. Am I projecting?
Part of Alice and Tom’s meeting takes place in Alice’s wardrobe department, where she breezes in and an assistant wordlessly removes and hangs her suit jacket. Okay, that is odd and intimidating. We get another hint of Alice’s book content: Alice’s mom stealing Alice’s ID to get hired on a dating show. Tom thinks it’s hilarious! I think it’s hilarious! I forgot about Alice’s mom. She was fun. I’m glad she’s in the book along with the bladder issues.
Alice and Tom continue gliding through the studio, with Tom babbling senselessly and Alice decisively pointing at wardrobe options that flustered employees fling in her path. They pause in the kitchen, where a bucket of gum awaits them, because in the time it took from them to walk from the showroom to the kitchen Finley stopped dropped and rolled, stole a golf cart, merged it onto the freeway, and made it back in LA traffic with every flavor of gum at the grocery store stuffed in her Jansport.
Tom stuffs his pockets with juicy fruit and tells Alice her writing is hilarious, but could she maybe talk about how her Dad left?
Tom: The book is great, but maybe you could write more about men?
Alice: You have onion breath.
Also, I would like to process my feelings about the background decor in this scene. We have a rainbow sign that says “You” and “Loved” which would be nice if it said “You are loved”. But it doesn’t. It says Are you loved. Artsy, but disturbing. Like, if there were a queer Home Goods, that would be in the “triggering” section.
And then we have the bi pride flag on Alice’s desk. Cute! Was that there before? Is that foreshadowing?
Bette Porter meets with a talented black artist who expresses interest in working with her but reservations about her weird racist boss. And then her weird racist boss busts in and acts weird and racist. He admits he wishes he could sign a now-famous black artist who he compares Kismet to, but also expresses zero remorse about passing up the opportunity in the past. What a dumb thing to admit. Wouldn’t his whole career theoretically rest on his ability to recognize talent before artists become too famous to afford? Why would he admit to such a big mistake?
Is he just going to pay Bette hoards of money to attract diverse artists so he can sweep in the room and sabotage her by being a racist/classist/ignorant old man?
I hope this is leading up to one of Bette’s famous smackdowns. Those are always fun.
Finley and Sophie are working late. Finley tells Sophie she just tasted all the expired yogurts in Alice’s fridge to make sure they were expired and Sophie calls Finley by the ol’ pet name: Stupid. Finley makes as asshole joke about how she got her mascara stains by “defending Sophie’s honor”. Uhm, okay. Sophie flips out.
Alice breaks up the fight and gives Sophie and Finley a talk about being “professional”. Really, Alice?
It’s so hard to call Alice out on being an asshole because she just looks so good in her matching henley/slacks situation. Finley voluntarily quits, to which Alice sputters, “What?!” but doesn’t protest. Really, Alice?
Bette is discussing her work day with Gigi– eep! Love that for them! Bette complains about her racist boss and selling her soul and Gigi encourages Bette to sell her soul but “be clear about what she wants in return”.
Bette: I want to sign Kismet but he won’t want to work with my boss.
GiGi: Can’t you just sign him and guarantee he’ll work with only you?
Bette: Yeah but I hate my boss 🙁
I love this dynamic for Bette and I love the way Gigi seamlessly pivots the conversation into Sexy Talk. And then Bette tries to kiss Gigi but Gigi is all, “Wait.” Gigi isn’t done building sexual tension with prolonged eye contact and boob touching. Bette lunges to take Gigi’s sweater off but Gigi pushes Bette back and laughs- laughs!- at Bette. And then Gigi starts doing Sexy Things (unpictured) to Bette.
Lots of dominant energy in this scene and it doesn’t seem awkward or forced. I can’t help but think of the most memorable “top on top” sex scene in the original show wherein a “top” tries to have sex with Shane on the lesbian cruise and they can’t figure it out so they just laugh and go to sleep instead. I hate it when people say this Generation Q is exactly like the old show because it isn’t. There’s a lot more diversity in the types of sex scenes and relationship dynamics that are depicted.
I think the closest thing to Bette and Gigi’s dynamic in the original show may have been Bette’s relationship with Jodi and I really liked them together. Jodi was hotheaded and intense and liked to be in control. But Gigi…man, I love Gigi. Her aggressive energy is balanced out with a lot of silliness and humor which I think is so good for Bette. Bette and Tina were both so serious all the time! Tina definitely found someone who can help her lighten up and I guess I want the same for Bette.
Alice gets home late again to find Nat asleep on the couch with Law & Order SVU still playing on the laptop. Alice uses Nat’s sleeping face to unlock her phone which 100% would not work because face ID needs your eyeballs, silly! Then when Nat wakes up Alice panics and says she wanted to play Farmville! And Nat says her code is Alice’s birthday.
The code is Alice’s birthday.
Really?! I can’t.
Shane, Tess, and Finley are at Dana’s talking about Finley’s sordid love life.
Shane: Well, what happened with me and Quiara, is that I tried to change her and she tried to change me and it didn’t work and things will get better. Or they won’t. I dunno.
Shane attempts to say Helpful Things and it’s cute that she tries. Finley reveals that she thinks she’s loved Sophie for a really long time. Aw! Really??? Cuz I did not catch that at all. And then she insists that she and Sophie do make sense! When they’re together, it does make sense!
I think I would agree with this. Sophie and Finley get along, have fun together, and they both make each other laugh. Sex was bomb according to Sophie. And most importantly, they actually communicate. Sophie and Dani never really seem to verbally communicate their feelings with each other. And while it would be easy to blame Dani for this since she’s so dismissive of Sophie, maybe it’s a chemistry thing. Sophie is a capable communicator (as seen with Finley) and Dani is a capable communicator (as seen with Bette). They just don’t seem capable of communicating with each other.
Okay but pause. Finley follows “We do make sense” with “when we hooked up, it did make sense”. I’m going to try not to read too much into this but she better not be saying she wrecked Sophie’s marriage because sex was bomb. Come on, Finley!
Finley also reveals that Alice’s phone call gave her the impression that she still had a shot with Sophie. Ugh!!! Then she proclaims that when she busted into Sophie and Dani’s wedding, she didn’t know she was busting into the actual wedding. WHATEVERRR, FINLEY. This literally does not matter at all. She could have taken a look around, taken in the fact that there was an ACTUAL WEDDING taking place, and taken a seat instead of marching up to the podium. Or better yet, turned around and left. Cuz yeah, she was wearing a hat! A hat!!!
Shane says she’s proud of Finley for speaking her truth. Tess says, that was sweet. I agree. It’s good that she spoke her truth instead of running away, and the way she did it was so obviously reckless and harmful but she already knows that. And she’s already paying the price. Shane always does a good job of supporting her friends after they fuck up instead of being judgmental and rude like SOME PEOPLE. Because really, when you mess up, you already know that you messed up and you don’t need your friends to tell you.
Oh yeah, and Shane offers to hire Finley which is great, because again, who the heck is working here?
Finley heads home to crack a cold one and ice her mascara stains and asks Micah if anyone will ever forgive her. Cuz her friends are all assholes. Micah just says, “You’re really hard not to love.” Aw!
Dani has Sophie flashbacks on her run and pukes on a tree. For a moment I wonder if they could ever get back together, but I don’t see how they could. Not because of the lying or bad communication or even the cheating, but because of the disaster wedding. For all of Dani’s relationship issues with her Dad, they seem pretty close. And I don’t see how he could ever accept Sophie after he found out that she cheated. Plus, 100% of her closest friends saw her get humiliated at the altar. How could she get back together with Sophie after that? It’s just embarrassing.
Tess and Shane have an intimate conversation at the bar. Tess opens up about her mom being a smoking bingo player in the nursing home, which is funny. And about her mom having MS, which is sad. Shane opens up about Quiara taking half her money in the divorce, which is crazy town. Say WHAT?! I’m a little lost. Isn’t Quiara supposed to be some bigshot popstar? Why is she taking Shane’s money? Wasn’t it her idea to divorce anyway? And wasn’t it kind of her FAULT?! Shane was 100% open about not wanting kids and Quiara married her anyways and then got mad about it, right?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Shane being mega-rich makes no sense. Every financial decision we’ve seen her make on this show has been terrible. In this particular scene, Shane seems resigned to Quiara taking her money in the divorce. “She deserves it.” Does she?! How about no. How about hiring a lawyer? Why doesn’t anyone ever give Shane good advice?
This conversation sells Tess on being Shane’s poker girl, at least for a trial period. And then Tess gets a little flirty by calling Shane a feral cat who is blushing. Ooh la la.
Sophie is working late because she’s super dedicated to her job that pays shit to prove to her boss that she deserves the promotion that also pays shit. Alice offers her the promotion and then invites her to poker.
Dani is back at the house where Micah packed up a bag of her stuff to take back to her Dad’s. Dani is sassy with Micah since she’s still mad at him for not telling her about Sophie. I’m not mad at Micah for not telling Dani about Sophie- not his business!- but I am confused as to why Dani is sleeping at her dad’s while the wedding crasher is lounging it up at the house. First, I thought this was Dani’s house?* And second, weren’t Dani and Micah friends first? They dated before Micah transitioned, so I thought they were close. Then again, is Dani close with anyone? She seems kind of…chilly. I can’t figure her out.
Micah suggests considering forgiving Sophie and pulling Sophie’s casserole out of the trash. Do it for the dish, he says. It’s her mom’s dish, he says. Do it for the casserole, I say. Sophie’s an asshole but you don’t gotta waste food like that. Damn. I’m hungry.
The poker game is a dazzling array of lovers and ex-lovers and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Bette needs to watch it with her judgmental-ass eye contact but she might have the best poker outfit. The blazer with the asymmetrical red color? Come on now. Does she have a “poker outfit” section in her closet?
Did Shane have to close the bar for poker night? Does an entire night of beverage sales make more money than a poker game? Probably not but we’ll let that slide.
Bette decides that this boozy game night with friends is the perfect time to be a judgy judge about Sophie cheating on Dani. REALLY, BETTE?!?! Fortunately, Shane jumps in to softly keep Bette in check.
Really, bitch? And you’re gonna come for me like that?
This would be a good opportunity for Bette to remember, wow yeah, I should stop judging because I am the worst character on this show. I cheated on my wife after she HAD A MISCARRIAGE and then proceeded to bang half the town! I’m such an asshole that I might even be currently sitting at a table with someone I cheated on! Because I cheated on so many people! Ha-ha!
But no. Bette gets all mopey and sad because wah wah, cheating on Tina was the worst mistake of her life. Boo hoo. Get over it, Bette! You don’t get to act like Tina was the one that got away! She was the one that marathon ran away with people cheering at the sidelines! You were a shitbag! You were a shitbag!
We don’t talk enough about Bette being a shitbag because she’s super hot. But yeah, Bette is a shitbag. Some would say that Shane is the biggest shitbag on the show because she did things like cheat on a single mom with their real estate agent in their new apartment and abandon Carmen at the altar, but nah. I stan Shane as the second most-offensive shitbag on the show because at least she admits to it. Frequently. And often warns people about her shitbaggery nature before they get in too deep.
Speaking of shitbags, this conversation leads to a lovely bonding moment between Gigi and Bette when Gigi realizes that Bette is shitty just like her! They’re both emotionally abusive cheaters! Aw! How sweet!
Alice jumps in to say oh yeah, Gigi! You did cheat! On Nat…er…with Nat! (Actually both)
And then Tess breaks the ice by informing everyone that Shane slept with her girlfriend, but now they’re friends! Definitely just…friends! No romantic or sexual chemistry here!
Tess: I hated Shane for sleeping with my girlfriend…but look at us now 🙂
Sophie: I’m looking.
That’s it. There it is.
Alice is in a good mood after winning poker and ready to talk to Nat about the elephant in the room, which is the fact that Nat is unhappy with their relationship.
Nat comes out to Alice as polyamorous. She says it’s no different than Alice being bi. And then she says that this is always going to be a problem between them if they don’t find a way to work through it.
It kind of sounds like Nat is saying that their relationship isn’t going to work unless Nat is given the freedom to sleep with/date other people. If that’s the case, I don’t think it’s fair to compare being poly to being bi. Even though Alice is bi, she’s not interested in pursuing men, because she’s with Nat. I think a lot of people in monogamous relationships are polyamorous. It’s hard to only love one person if that’s not your nature. But isn’t it also hard to bring polyamory into a stable relationship?
Also, I’m a little surprised that Alice still identifies as bi. I don’t think it’s been brought up since the early seasons of the original show. I don’t know if Alice ever explicitly IDed as a lesbian, but at one point in the later seasons I distinctly remember Alice saying she didn’t identify as bi anymore. There were a lot of biphobic comments made towards Alice in the early seasons and I know the writers got a lot of shit for that. There should be positive bi representation on the show. But it’s also really normal for lesbians to identify as bi before identifying as lesbian. The fact that this is being brought up makes me think they’re going to put Alice with a man. I wonder how that will play out because I can’t picture Alice with a man!
Maybe because every scene with Alice and a man…
Dani and Sophie finally talk. Dani aptly asks if she was holding Sophie the night she cheated. Y’know…the night before they were supposed to elope? Sophie says YEP.
Sophie asks Dani to come home with her, and she reiterates that she can never do that. Because she’s humiliated, because she’s hurt, because Sophie embarrassed her in front of all of her friends. All of that is true and valid. But I hate that it’s looking like this awful situation is going to excuse Dani from ever taking accountability for what SHE did. Let’s not forget Sophie’s Grandma was literally dying in the hospital and where was Dani?! Oh, yeah. Running around town with Bette Porter.
Sophie goes home to cry on her mom’s shoulder, and Dani goes to Bette Porter’s house to cry on Bette Porter’s shoulder.
Sophie then goes back to Micah’s house to find Finley, who sleeps there and probably doesn’t pay rent…even after she ruined Micah’s roommate’s wedding. Ugh! Whatever…
Sophie is still furious with Finley, but when Finley says she’s moving out, Sophie coolly states that she wants Finley to stay. And good night.
Because of course. Finley can’t un-fuck up Sophie’s life. The damage is done. And if Finley has a redeeming quality, it’s that she’s always there. Dani hasn’t been. And Dani likely won’t be there for her ever again. There’s got to be a part of Sophie that accepts or even feels relieved about what happened. Because as angry as she deserves to be at Finley right now, they’ve already shared some smiles and even laughs. Because Finley makes things easy. And even if Sophie loved her life with Dani, Dani never did that.
Do I like them together? I don’t know. But I’m glad I get to find out.
Until next time..