On this chapter of The Queerest Things I Watched Last Week, Legends of Tomorrow gives us a perfect episode of television featuring Mini Avalance, while Riverdale tosses us Choni crumbs.
- Legends of Tomorrow – Season 4 Episode 5 “Wet Hot American Bummer” [Live]
For today’s Legends of Tomorrow recap, I would like to build the case that “Wet Hot American Bummer” is a perfect episode of television for queer fans, because it includes so many things we love.
Thing one – Domestic Avalance
We are a people so starved of seeing ourselves doing every day things on TV that we absolutely LOVE it when we get to see queer couples being domestic. In the first scene of this episode, we got to see Sara and Ava watching a cheesy horror movie in bed together.
Ava looks it up and finds out the movie is based on a real life tragic events that happened at a Summer Camp in Maine in 1995. This sounds suspicious to Sara and she instinctively calls out for Gideon.
Sara forgetting she can’t summon Gideon when she’s not on the Waverider is such a cute moment. Ava’s smile and calling Sara “Babe” is fandom-pleasing perfection.
Gideon does call Sara up on her phone and confirms the kids disappearing from camp is suspicious timeline magical monster activity, and the Legends need to go back to 1995 to fix it.
Thing two – Avalance adventure
Sara needs to end their date and go find the monster in 1995 which prompts Ava to mention how they almost got to spend uninterrupted time together. Instead of leaving Ava in 2018, she invites her along.
I love when Sara and Ava get to work on a time-fixing mission together.
Not only do we get a fun monster-battling-girlfriends adventure, we also get some interesting drama related to the fact Ava never had a childhood and therefore never experienced Summer Camp.
Sara needs to teach her things you learn as a kid like pinkie swears.
Thing three – Serious vs. fun Avalance
As outlined in Mika’s things we love post, fans love a Grumpy/Cheerful paring. Sara and Ava go undercover as camp counselors in order to find the swamp monster, and the two of them have very different approaches to interacting with the campers.
I think many show writers believe they can’t have a happy couple on a show and keep things interesting at the same time — you have to have constant conflict to be entertaining. However on Legends, Sara and Ava’s relationship has evolved to Serious Girlfriends level, but they still maintain their individual personalities. Ava has not turned into only Sara’s girlfriend with no life or plot of her own.
Their opposing personality types are what keep things interesting and really funny as well. I do believe opposites compliment each other, and watching Sara and Ava deal with these girls in their own ways is very enjoyable to watch.
Thing three – Sweet Avalance moments
Even though Sara and Ava are on a mission to kill a swamp monster, they still manage to have some sweet moments hanging out and talking. We learn some Sara backstory about loving Summer Camp when she was a kid.
Sneakily drinking and sharing stories, in addition to Ava throwing in a “my love” — it’s sweet moment perfection.
Thing four – Mini Avalance
Sara tells Ava the only way they can get real information from the girls is to infiltrate their clique, and Constantine gave her a potion that will temporarily turn them into kids so they can do that.
This potion gives us a supernatural moment for Avalance and some conflict, because a little bit of conflict can be interesting.
Ava walks off, hurt by the fact that Sara didn’t take her cloneness into consideration regarding the potion, but later she gives her an “I’m sorry” bracelet to make up for it.
I love how Sara and Ava resolve their conflict. Usually on the Arrowverse any conflict is a relationship-ending event. Here Ava told Sara how it made her feel, and Sara apologized for not realizing sooner. I love good girlfriend modeling!
Sara convinces Ava to take the potion, but she’s worried it’s not going to work on her since she was created as a fully formed adult.
I love the circle back to the pinkie swear!
They take the potion and, hooray, it works for both of them.
While mini Avalance meet the girls for the first time, the campers are complaining about how bad the counselors are, especially “Lake Beast,” the nickname they’ve given Ava. Mini Sara is trying to get Mini Ava to join in on the dissing in order to win the girls’ trust.
The kid actors playing Sara and Ava do an amazing job of keeping their personalities while portraying them as tweens.
Thing five – Avalance battling a Big Bad
After Mini Avalance finally discovers the real bad guy (the handsome young counselor), they have a big, Buffy-style battle scene where they defeat him.
Mini Avalance saves the day!
Thing six – Big finale Avalance kiss
At the end of the episode, we are given the gift of a super sweet scene of Mini Avalance walking and talking before they transform back to their grown up selves.
It’s a perfect ending to a perfect episode!
Most of us never got a queer childhood. We didn’t get to do the usual things our straight friends did when they first experienced having romantic feelings. In fact, we usually spent our childhoods suppressing our thoughts, feeling shameful about the feelings we did allow ourselves to have, or trying to force ourselves to be straight.
Seeing queer childhood scenes is beautiful. I already regret how corny this sounds, but to be honest, it’s healing. When Ava says, “I’m happiest with you,” I imagine it dissolving some of her clone shame, and you can see on Sara’s face she’s proud to be the person Ava is happiest with.
Other shows take note, this is how you do it! This is how you create a perfect episode of queer positive television!
- Black Lightning – Season 2 Episode 5 “The Book of Blood: Chapter One” [Live]
This episode opens with Gambi appearing to be ambushed and murdered. Inspector Henderson tells the Lightning family he’s been killed, but Jefferson refuses to believe it until he sees a dead Gambi with his own eyes. I’m with Jefferson, I think Gambi is still alive, too.
However, Anissa believes it and makes an unannounced grief booty call to Grace at her apartment.
Oh, my goodness, y’all! I am so used to queer women’s sex scenes being so tame on TV I forgot the bar Black Lightning set last season with Anissa. I LOVE that Anissa’s scenes get equal treatment to the straight ones (Riverdale, take note).
Post-bang, Grace is still not feeling confident about Anissa’s intentions.
Grace tells Anissa she can’t just drop by her apartment for comfort sex when she’s feeling sad.
Grace goes on to tell her she’s learned to depend on only herself and not let others in because of how her parents were. If Grace lets Anissa in and she ghosts her again, she could do her real harm.
I was literally yelling, “Just tell her you wont hurt her again!” at my TV. How can you say, “no” to those eyes and tattoos?
While Grace is in the other room, she has some kind of episode where her skin starts to move and a leopard-like pattern emerges.
I guess Grace is hesitant to start dating Anissa from a combination of not 100% trusting her and dealing with whatever supernatural thing is happening to her.
Does Grace know who she is and what her powers are? Or does she not know what’s happening to her and found a drug to suppress it?
I want so bad to fast-forward Thundergrace to happy, bad guy catching, superhero girlfriends, but I am also enjoying this evolution of their relationship. Let’s just not spend many more episodes in Relationship Conflict Land.
- Riverdale – Season 3 Episode 5 “Chapter Forty: The Great Escape” [Live]
Meanwhile, on the other end of The CW spectrum, Riverdale is getting Choni so wrong.
Both Cheryl and Toni used to be interesting characters with a decent amount of screen time, but since they’ve started going out, they have little screen time and little personality.
In this episode Cheryl uses an euphemism when referring to off-screen sex.
Really, Riverdale? Why wont you just show the scene? It’s not like this show is tame with their sex scenes, in this very episode we saw Veronica and Archie bang against a locker.
The show did toss us this crumb of a 1.8 second long kiss.
I really do not understand why they are doing this. It feels like a show from 8 years ago the way they are treating Cheryl and Toni. Insult to injury is the fact they cut a bunch of Choni scenes from the show last season.
#ChoniDeservesBetter, Riverdale. Get it together!
- BoJack Horseman – Season 5 Episode 7 “INT. SUB” [Binge-Watch]
I’ve been on-again, off-again binging BoJack Horseman (I’m forever grateful to Laura Markus for encouraging me to watch this show), and I was so happy to make it to the episode where Issa Rae plays a lesbian!
Issa plays Indra, Diane’s therapist who makes it too obvious who she’s talking about when she gossips about her other famous Hollywoo patients.
In this episode she has dinner with her wife Mary-Beth (played by Wanda Sykes), and their conversation provides narration for the entire episode as they both talk about their clients.
It’s so cute seeing Issa play a queer character, even if it is just her voice.
- The Bisexual – Season 1 Episode 1 “Episode One” [Streaming]
It’s about a woman named Leila who takes a break with her long-term girlfriend to discover her sexuality. After moving in with a straight male roommate, Leila takes him out to hang with her queer friends at a club.
I thought that scene was so hilarious and ACCURATE!
I’ve only seen a couple episodes, but I am enjoying it so far. The show goes where we are usually too scared to, but in a good way.
- Charmed – Season 1 Episode 6 “Kappa Spirit” [Live]
Last week the sisters cast the spell to erase Mel and Niko’s meeting from history, and Mel is depressed and not leaving the house.
The sisters eventually get her out of bed, and she helps them fight an evil sorority ghost from the 80. At the end Mel is still sad and tells Maggie how much she misses Niko.
I hope we don’t have too many Niko-free episodes. My prediction is she is going to randomly run into her, and I can’t wait to see what happens.
It looks like someone else misses Niko, too.
It’s Thanksgiving week here in the US, but all that eating will not keep me from watching TV! To those who celebrate, Happy Thanksgiving! May all of your homophobic family members keep their mouths shut at the dinner table. See you next week.