The Queerest Thing I Watched Last Week – Bonus Ten Days in the Valley Finale Edition

The Ten Days in the Valley Finale was so good that I didn’t want it to be buried at the bottom of my weekly Queerest Things post. I had so many things to say, I decided to dedicate an entire post to it.

Ten Days in the Valley Finale – Season 1 Episode 9 “Day 9: Re-Cast” and Episode 10 “Day 10: Fade Out” [Live]

Oh my goodness, y’all, this two-episode finale was epic! We were finally going to find out who kidnapped Lake, who killed Gus, who Red is, who the Big Bad is, and why detective Nickole got this bloody nose.

The episode starts with Lake safe and being questioned by Bird. Bird shows her a collection of photos including Gus and asks her if any of them was the person who took her. She evades the question, and the woman from child protective services stops the interview. During the break, Lake sees Commander Gomez through the glass window and tells Jane, “Mama, he was there I saw him.” Jane freaks out, makes irrational decision number 8234, grabs Lake and runs out of the building.

I thought Gomez was the big bad, but then I second guessed it. They made it look too obvious that he and his brother were corrupt. But, ok, one mystery down: Gomez had Lake kidnapped. He also told Amira to feed more information to Jane’s TV crew via her relationship with Mackenzie.

This scene passes some kind of Bechdel test: two queer characters having a conversation about another queer character on a show with mostly straight characters.

What do you all think of Amira? Is she being conditionally queer and only in a relationship with Mackenzie so she can do her corrupt boss’ dirty work? I was thinking you couldn’t keep up a relationship that long faking it — Mackenzie referred to her as her “girlfriend” in episode 8. But really, it’s only been 8 days. They started dating in episode 2 and this scene happened in episode 9. I like to think she is a mole but still likes Kenzie.

Meanwhile, Jane makes bad decision number 8235 and takes Lake to Skid Row instead of the beach. Then she makes bad decision 8236 and takes her to her drug dealer’s apartment. This poor kid is going to need some serious therapy.

The detectives catch on to the fact that Jane ran off with the kid, and Gomez orders them to go after her.

Detective Nickole is on the case!

Ohai, detective Nickole! Where have you been the last couple episodes? I guess you were busy doing…stuff.

Detective Nickole and crew make it to the drug dealer’s apartment and frees Lake. Jane had her locked in a wine storage room where she was giving her lessons from the Jane Sadler School of Lying.

Because Jane ran off with the kid, detective Nickole had to arrest her.

I tried to live tweet about detective Nickole and handcuffs without sounding like a creep, but I gave up.

At this point, Nickole is driving with Jane in her car, and I’m thinking to myself, “Wow, we’re getting a lot of Ali Liebert time, cool! Maybe Jane escapes and that’s how Nickole gets the bloody nose.”

They are driving and talking then Nickole says this:

Wife! She said “WIFE!” Now I’m thanking Ali Liebert in my head for convincing the show producers to make her character queer. I thought it was only going to be a thing fans knew. I didn’t think it was going to be canon on the show.

Then this happened:

End of episode 9.

Wait, WHAT?? NICKOLE IS THE KIDNAPPER!!

I did not see that coming at all. And I loved it. Ali gets to be a bad guy. I like my characters complicated. I’m thinking about how Ali felt getting to play the character everyone at home is trying to figure out. Then my wife says to me, “You know she could get killed.” Oh no, please no BYQ on this show.

On to episode 10 – the 10th and final day in the Valley.

The episode starts, and we’re still in the car with Nickole and Jane. Through a series of flashbacks we see Nickole right after she kidnapped Lake and killed Casey. Nickole delivers an unconscious Lake to detective Bezic. During a stop at home to clean the blood off herself, we get to meet the wife.

Hi, honey, just showering up after a quick kidnap/murder.

After all that killing and kidnapping detective Nickole needs a cigarette.

Omg, detective Nickole is “Red,” the allusive boss of the “Lick Crew” — the group of dealer-robbing narcotics agents who were also the subject of Jane’s show.

Still driving in the car, Jane tells Nickole about Lake seeing her kidnapper at the police station. She brushes it off as “kids get these details wrong all the time” and calls it paranoia.

More flashbacks:

  • Nickole was at the bar when Quinn O’Farrell was killed.
  • She put Lake in the trunk of the car the night Gus was shot.
  • Commander Gomez was behind it.

Nickole stops to buy cigarettes even though Jane found a full pack of “Red Luxe” in the car. When Nickole gets back in the car, and tosses another pack of Red Luxe on the dashboard, Jane starts to catch on.

At this point they are obviously not driving to the police station. Jane is all “where are we going?” Back at the station, Bird is getting suspicious. Bird turns Nickole’s tracker on and goes after them.

Nickole takes Jane to a lovely ocean view where she proceeds to tell her everything: she’s Red, she took Lake, she locked her up in a house full of rats, and she’s the reason Gus is dead. Then they get in a fist fight and the mystery of the bloody nose is solved!

Nickole tells Jane her plan to make it look like Jane attacked her forcing her to shoot her. Just after Nickole pulls out her gun, Jane throws dirt in her face and jumps down the hill.

Bird catches up to them and confronts Nickole.

He gets her to fess up about Rosa Garcia and the Gomez brothers. She explains how Commander Gomez found out about the Lick Crew and made them do all his dirty work. Bird arrests her after she says she will never testify against Gomez for fear of what he would do to her and her wife. Arrested, but not dead – whew!

Bird then finds Jane down the hill and gets her to a hospital. At the hospital, Ali gives Jane a tell-all cassette tape from Quinn.

Bird and Jane come up with a plan to take Gomez down. The one brother turns on the other, and Elliott Gomez gets arrested.

The series ends tied in a nice little bow which feels too nice and out of character for the show. My theory is they re-shot the last 5 minutes during the hiatus when they found out the show would probably be ending.

Why are these episodes so important?

While I love and appreciate the great straight allies who play queer characters, these episodes show how important out queer actors are to LGBT representation on TV. Ali Liebert wants to play queer characters and advocated for her character to be queer on this show. Even as a bad guy, her character was treated respectfully. She didn’t get killed. And while I don’t need my bad guys to be sympathetic, they gave her a backstory showing why she was in the Lick Crew and later one of Gomez’s soldiers. She wanted to protect her wife.

Also, how amazing was it to see our girl Ali in this role? I can’t imagine what it’s like to act out a fist fight with Kyra Sedgwick.

Thank you, Ali, for bringing more queer rep to our screens.

Surprise! I’m the bad guy.

I loved the show overall, it was creative and clever with great LGBT representation (6 queer characters total). I’m sad it wont continue, but as a stand-alone series it was pretty great.

About Tracy Levesque

America's favorite biracial, TV obsessed lesbian. Tracy will watch almost any show with queer female characters and has a lot to say about it. She is happy to have joined queer WordPress superpowers with Mika to build this site. She lives with her wife and kid in Philly.
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