On this chapter of The Queerest Things I Watched Last Week, we learn more about Alex’s pre-prison life on Orange Is the New Black, and Yolanda and Arthie process relationship issues on GLOW season three.
- BH90210 – Season 1 Episode 5 “Picture’s Up” [Live]
Y’all know what I’ve been doing? I’ve been watching the OG 90210 so I can get more context for this show. This is not The Straightest Things I Watched Last Week, but I’m 8 episodes in and we already tackled alcoholism, shoplifting, racism, sexual assault, and Brenda’s mom walking in on Kelly’s mom snorting blow in a bathroom.
Back to the new BH90210…
Christine has been distant since she and Gabrielle hooked up. Gabrielle asks if she’s been avoiding her, and she says no she’s just concerned with the HR implications of them being in a relationship. In fact, Christine wants her to sign a consent form.
Christine asking her to backdate it made me laugh. I love how “all business” she is.
Later, Gabrielle goes to Christine’s office to sign the form and figure out what it means.
Is Christine saying, via the form, their romantic relationship is over or will she keep going out with her if she does sign the form?
I don’t like how Christine is not answering any of Gabrielle’s direct questions, and instead, throwing it back at her like she is the one with issues.
If I can decipher this passive-aggressive transaction, Gabrielle thinks signing the form is Christine ending things, and Christine thinks Gabrielle’s hesitation to sign the form means Gabrielle feels regret and shame for having sex with her. It’s like the form is a relationship test. I hate this kind of game playing. Just say what you mean! Also — they had off-screen sex! I thought they just made out.
At the end of the episode, Steve brings up the consent form thing to the rest of the gang, and Gabrielle comes out about being asked to sign one herself.
I love Gabrielle coming out to everyone about being involved with a woman, but even more, I love her sticking to not being ready to pick an orientation.
So many people have a ton of angst over needing to figure out exactly “what” they are as soon as they start questioning their sexuality. YOU DO NOT NEED TO PICK AN ORIENTATION to be a valid queer person. Coming out is scary and stressful, and I wish part of that stress was not over immediately needing to know your exact orientation. I tell people, if they do find an orientation that matches how they feel, that will be obvious in time. Or it can evolve over time. It’s all good, and we’re all valid.
- Orange is the New Black – Season 7 Episode 10 “The Thirteenth” [Streaming]
Every episode of OitNB focuses on the backstory of one inmate’s life before prison, and this time it was Alex’s turn.
CO McCullough is experiencing some PTSD during the lockdown implemented during Lorna’s escape attempt.
You can tell Alex wants to comfort her while she’s silently freaking out, which segues into a pre-prison Alex flashback.
Alex is with her drunk and angry ex-girlfriend, Sylvia, at the Bowery NYC subway station. They’re having a heated argument and drunk and angry GF drops her phone on the train tracks.
Of course when Alex’s back is turned Sylvie jumps down to the tracks to get her phone. And of course, as soon as she does that a train is coming. I hate the “I’m on the train tracks and a train is coming” trope, but here we are! It’s like a cheap way to create tension.
Alex and a bystander pull her up to the platform in time and Sylvia cries with drunken regret.
It looks like Alex has a thing for fixer-uppers.
Meanwhile, back in the ICE kitchen, Nicky is trying to “colonize” Shani’s g-spot, and so far it’s not working out. Nicky emphasizes that Shani needs to be completely honest and not worry about hurting her feelings.
I think this is really sweet, but I also realize this is probably a misguided perception. I know nothing about the realities of life after genital mutilation and OitNB is not the most well-researched show when it comes to accuracy in their storylines. I’m not sure how to feel about what the show is doing here, but I do like how much these two are into each other.
Alex sees CO McCullough for another charger exchange, and McCullough says she’s embarrassed about Alex seeing her freaked out after the lockdown. Alex also sees McCullough has been burning her arms with cigarettes again.
This scene was so sad, but I also know it kicks Alex’s caretaker mode into high gear. It also kicks off another flashback.
We’re 6 months ahead of the previous flashback, and Sylvia has gotten her act together. Alex surprises Sylvie with dinner reservations to celebrate 6 months of sobriety, but she says she has plans with AA friends instead. Alex says she doesn’t feel like she’s a part of Sylvie’s sober life.
Uh oh, Alex is going to lose interest now that Sylvie isn’t relying on her. And to be fair, Sylvie’s also being kind of a jerk.
Alex decides to go out to a bar with her non-sober friends, and look who walks in.
I guess this is the location of their meet-cute.
Back in present-day, Shani gets a terrible letter back in ICE detention.
It says, “FINAL ORDER OF REMOVAL.” Ugh. Also, taking care of Red and Lorna has been dividing Nicky’s time with Shani.
Alex tries calling Piper and it keeps going to voicemail. She then decides to check out the social profile of the new friend Piper’s been spending time with.
Uh, oh, looks like Piper and Zelda are getting close. Time for another flashback!
The scene is Sylvia kicking Piper out of her and Alex’s apartment and yelling at Alex for cheating on her. Alex thought they were on a break after Sylvie disappeared for 3 days after a fight.
Yes, Alex, that is what’s going on. This episode has made it painfully obvious you’re attracted to girls who need rescuing.
Flashback over, Alex gets up, leaves her cell and shoots CO McCullough a, “follow me’ look. McCullough follows her into the shower room and there she asks Alex if she’s stupid to think what they have is a real romantic relationship.
The episode ends with Piper finally seeing the missed calls from Alex after a dinner out with Zelda. She calls Alex back, Alex sees it and hits the red button to send it to voicemail.
This episode shows us:
- Maintaining an in prison / out of prison relationship is hard.
- Now that Alex sees Piper having a life on her own she doesn’t feel needed and is self-sabotaging their relationship by getting involved with McCullough.
- Alex’s attraction to McCullough is strengthened by McCullough’s need to be rescued.
- Emily Tarver is a great actor and I’m so glad we get to see her in this storyline.
I would love another iteration of the show where Piper doesn’t exist and Alex and McCullough are the main ship. I SAID IT and I’m not sorry.
- GLOW – Season 3 Episode 2 “Hot Tub Club” [Streaming]
Y’all, I wasn’t into GLOW season three. I thought it was disjointed and had too many After School Special style “learning moments.” And Ruth and Sam? Really? Can someone come up with an original story line other than cool woman falls for a surly dude 20 years older than her? I think it may have suffered the Jenji Kohan season three slump.
Our queer couple, Yolanda and Arthie, did get some GLOW season three screen time.
The GLOW gang has a multi-month gig in Vegas and they are all staying at the casino hotel. Yolanda and Arthie are gettin’ it on and when it’s Yolanda’s turn to reciprocate, Arthie’s all, “No, I’m good.”
Another Jenji Kohan show with a case of Lesbian Bed Don’t Touch Me syndrome.
Yolanda takes off to get her hair done and complains to the stylist about “boyfriend troubles.” Arthie tracks her down and they both start having this pretend boyfriend conversation. Arthie says her “boyfriend” is acting like a middle schooler because “he” took off without saying why and should learn to communicate instead.
Okay, that line was funny. But Yolanda gets up and leaves the salon saying “she doesn’t need a boyfriend.” Harsh.
Arthie comes back to her and Yolanda’s hotel room (with a brand new haircut) and Yolanda’s finally ready to talk like a regular communicator. Arthie says the reason she won’t let Yolanda go down on her is because she feels too insecure and self-conscious.
Calling your girlfriend crazy after she made such an honest confession is the wrong move, but she does convince her that she thinks she’s hot. Looks like some talking is all it took, and Arthie lets her reciprocate.
Well, that was an easy solve.
I do appreciate the show addressing this issue, but it’s dealt with and resolved in minutes. Not that I want to sit through hours of lesbian processing, but if you’re not going to give decent attention to an issue like this, why go there at all? That is my summary of GLOW season three in general.
- Veep – Season 5 Episode 6 “C*ntgate” [Binge-Watch]
In this episode, Selina’s daughter, Catherine, tries to come out to her but keeps getting interrupted.
And the third time’s the charm.
Clea DuVall’s serious deadpan humor pairs brilliantly with the quick and vulgar jokes constantly flying around on this show. Her being in a relationship with Selina’s daughter is perfection.
Tonight, The Deuce is back with a jump to the mid-80s. We’ll see how VHS tapes affect the NYC porn industry and how the AIDS pandemic causes devastation on the characters.