On this chapter of The Queerest Things I Watched Last Week, it was a week of relationship processing! Sara and Ava worked on their relationship in Ava’s Purgatory; Petra and JR dealt with trust issues, and Rosa and Jocelyn took on work-life balance.
- Legends of Tomorrow – Season 4 Episode 12 “The Eggplant, The Witch & The Wardrobe” [Live]
I love it when TV characters do what we want them to do which is really rare. Usually, I’m yelling something at the TV like, “Tell her you’re sorry!” Instead, they turn around and leave. This episode opens up with Sara doing something I wanted her to do; she’s at Ava’s door checking in on her and trying to get her to talk about their fight. Yes, Sara, go after your girl!
Sara has a key and walks in to discover Ava’s not just avoiding her, she’s missing.
Sara brings Constantine and Nora back to Ava’s place to figure out what’s going on. Nora has a vision of Ava in a creepy Motel room and takes them there to find her alive, but only partially conscious.
Sara takes her back to the Waverider. Constantine explains Neuron is preparing to take possession of her body, but in order to make her willing, he sent her to Purgatory. Sara demands that Constantine send her to Ava’s Purgatory so she can bring her back. He does it, and we find out Ava’s personal nightmare is…Ikea.
This is hilarious and perfect, and I think it means Ava and Sara are perfect for each other because I think Sara would have a similar purgatory.
Sara finds Ava quickly, thank goodness, and quickly explains the situation she’s in. Ava asks if Neuron got Sara too, and she says no; she’s come here to rescue her.
Meanwhile, back on the Waverider, there’s annoying, Nate and Zari stuff going on, but Mick and Charlie are also making fun of Zari’s wind powers.
Woah! There’s been so much Zari and Nate stuff happening lately I was completely surprised by Charlie asking Zari if she was straight! I slowed down the looks they gave each other after that ask for science.
These two have way more chemistry than Zari and Nate. I really try to keep my lesbian-colored glasses in check, but that ship seems so artificially thrown together out of nowhere.
Back to our canon queer couple trapped in Purgatory. Ava and Sara are put to a set of challenges in order to escape.
Challenge number one: Putting together a piece of furniture. We quickly figure out all of the challenges they face are about their relationship issues, and resolving them is how they’re going to escape Ava’s Purgatory.
Predictably Sara starts putting it together while Ava tries to get her to read the instructions first. As the wardrobe falls apart Ava says, “What a surprise. You followed none of the instructions and it didn’t work.” The conversation quickly transitions to the big fight that put their relationship on pause.
It makes sense Sara will stick to whatever she feels is right even if her girlfriend disagrees because she’s never had to navigate a relationship this serious before. In her mind, she’s working to save history, and Ava should just be on board with whatever she believes at the time. Ava confesses when they fight, she gets scared, goes into a corner and feels the need to defend herself. At the heart of this conflict is Sara needing to show Ava she’s still on her side even when they have a conflict.
I usually hate episodes where we “go to therapy” with characters, but these girlfriend discussions feel pretty real. I’m down with people working through and resolving issues in an entertaining Ikea Purgatory kind of way.
Challenge number two: The Choose a Mattress challenge otherwise know as “Being in a Long-term Relationship with Sara Lance Anxiety.” Ava is worried about Sara not wanting to commit to one person for the long haul. Sara says it’s not the one person thing, it’s the fact that she never considered having a future let alone a person to share it with. She convinced herself that was her fate and how she preferred to live.
I love the line, “Let’s be honest, neither of us needs anybody.” They are both extremely independent women with intense, saving-the-world level jobs who could probably go the rest of their lives without a long-term romantic partner. However, they have found each other, and their lives are more enjoyable together. They are a pretty perfect combo.
Challenge number three: Every Day Domesticity. They’re in one of those fake Ikea apartments, and there’s a pile of dishes in the sink.
This would be one of my wife’s fantasies, too. I’m a terrible dish doer.
The trash falls over, lights go out, mail starts to pile up and the real issue behind this challenge emerges — Sara not being ready to move in with Ava.
“Just tell me what you want me to say and I’ll say it” really stung. I hate it when people say that, because they don’t really want to understand why you’re upset, they just want the argument to end.
Does Sara really not get why Ava is upset by her lack of a commitment plan? I imagine in Sara’s mind she thinks she is doing her best by being in a love relationship at all — that was never on the table for her. For Ava, no plan means this could go away at any moment given Sara’s past relationship history. I feel like queer TV fandom has the same trust issues.
After Sara looks up and finds Ava gone, the door opens up and leads her to a warehouse filled with life-sized Ava Barbies.
It must have been so much fun to create all of the different Avas.
Challenge number four: Choose an Ava. This challenge taps into Ava’s internalized Clonephobia and Sara’s commitmentphobia. Creepy purgatory Gary is there encouraging Sara to pick an Ava, but Sara wants the real Ava.
With the store closing in 2 minutes, Sara runs into the As-Is room where she finds her Ava sitting on the floor.
Gary is all of us.
Sara and Ava dealing with all of their issues and getting back together brought Ava back from Purgatory. Queer love saves the day!
Now, can this PLEASE be the last time Sara and Ava have a breakup? Can they just be in a relationship with typical ups and downs? That would be very appreciated.
PS. Here are some great BTS videos from Jes’ Instagram.
- Gentleman Jack – Season 1 Episode 1 “I Was Just Passing” [Live]
I’m probably the least qualified person to recap a British period series, but I will get past my aversion to costumes and oldy-time accents for quality queer content.
Gentleman Jack is inspired by the real life diaries of Anne Lister — 1800s female land owner and traveler with OG Big Dyke Energy™
Anne is back at home to escape lady trouble after a long period of traveling in Europe, and even though it’s 1832, she wants to find a wife. She refuses to marry a man and see women on the DL like her bang hangs are willing to.
“Have we met?” made me laugh.
Even though it’s not my genre, I’m going to keep watching for queer history lessons.
- Boomerang – Season 1 Episode 4 “Call a Spade” [Catch Up]
Simone gets a surprise call from her God-sister Tay Tay who is stuck in a drunk tank 90 minutes away. She bursts into Tia’s room and interrupts her and her new girlfriend of three weeks, Rocky. Rocky’s annoyed, but Tia launches into action to get Tay Tay out of jail. The only problem is they need a car, so Rocky volunteers hers.
Rocky’s car becomes a running joke throughout the episode.
After they pull into a gas station to fuel up, Rocky can’t get the car started again. Simone assumes Rocky can fix it herself.
I can relate to this so much. I’m the Least Handiest Lesbian on the Planet ™.
This show is really good, everyone! If you’re not already watching you should start.
- Shrill – Season 1 Episode 1 “Annie” [Streaming]
Shrill is based on the book Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West that stars Aidy Bryant as Annie, a journalist who learns to find herself and her voice with the help of the fat pride movement.
The show is funny, often sad, and so well done. I binged the whole thing in a day and was crushed when I realized there were only 6 episodes in the first season.
A bonus is Annie’s lesbian roommate, Fran, who gives off big Shane vibes.
Shrill has been renewed for a season two and we’ll get 8 episodes instead of just 6. Look for it in 2020.
- Jane the
VirginSad, Graying, 30-Year-Old Who Lives With Her Grandma and is $40,000 in Debt and is Spending her 30th Birthday in a Ditch – Season 5 Episode 5 “Chapter Eighty-Six” [Live]
JR and Petra are back together, but not without trust issues. It is fair — Petra lied to JR about killing her sister, causing her to lose her job and pick up bartending to make ends meet. Anyone would need some time to regain trust after that, even on a telenovela.
JR is thrown into doubting Petra’s vow to never lie to her again when she sees an email to Milos on Petra’s phone saying she won’t testify against him if he gives her his share of the Marbella. Petra swears she didn’t write the email and is being set up.
Petra vows to prove to JR that she didn’t lie and spends the rest of the episode trying to find evidence that she didn’t write the email.
Petra is able to find video surveillance footage of her firing an employee during the timestamp on the email. Jane was there, too, and she corroborates Petra’s story.
Petra brings the evidence to JR, and she does finally believe her. After that Petra says she can’t run around finding supporting evidence for everything she does. JR has to be able to trust her.
It’s another case of a character doing what I want them to do. When JR says “It’s hard to feel safe with you.” I fully expected Petra to angrily say something then turn away and leave. But instead, she says, “I’ll have to work harder then. To make you feel safe.” I was so glad she said that because when you have violated someone’s trust you do have to work to make them trust you again. It doesn’t happen overnight and with zero effort.
That being said, I do hope we don’t spend too many episodes with Petramos processing their relationship because it’s the last season and time’s ticking!
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Season 6 Episode 14 “Ticking Clocks” [Live]
There’s trouble in Rosa and Jocelynland. Rosa is having a problem obtaining work-life balance and Jocelyn is over playing second to her job. On the way out of town for a 2-week trip, Jocelyn springs a breakup on Rosa.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine packs so many jokes into each scene, it’s almost hard to keep up. I love everything in that 53 seconds, from the college friends to Rosa’s voice.
Rosa is trying to carve out time to talk to Jocelyn while running around with Jake, but it’s not for good reasons. She tells Jake she’s going to get back together with her, fix all the things in her relationship, and then dump her because she is always the one to do the breaking up, not the other way around.
I agree with Jake, that is not a good plan. Also, I love the Killing Eve reference. I enjoy being pandered to sometimes
Of course, it comes out later that Rosa does want to get back together with Jocelyn for love reasons. She didn’t want to admit it because, “it’s weak and humiliating to love someone.” Oh, Rosa, way to stay on brand.
Rosa runs after Jocelyn as she’s leaving to go to the airport and makes an impassioned plea for her to stay and promises she will try to change.
That worked, Jocelyn misses her flight and decides to stay.
I dunno, to me it felt like they tossed a too easily resolved conflict in there just to give Rosa and Jocelyn something to do. Cameron Esposito is such a funny comedian and I think they could do really hilarious things with her on this show. I hope she gets more interesting screen time in future episodes.
- Supergirl – Season 4 Episode 19 “American Dreamer” [Live]
Nia is my favorite on Supergirl right now, and I love watching her pick up superhero duty while Supergirl takes a break.
This scene was amazing!
It’s been many episodes of humans vs. aliens, and Kara feels like they’re not getting anywhere by fighting. She gets the idea to put a face behind human/alien unity by interviewing Dreamer who is half human and half alien. Her interview is great and parallels a lot of what is happening in real life in the US.
Will this be the thing that stops the persecution of aliens? I’m not sure, but I love seeing Dreamer come into her own as a superhero.
- Charmed – Season 1 Episode 19 “Source Material” [Live]
I love living in a post-Niko knowing Mel’s a witch world. Niko is into learning all about magic and investigating the disappearance of the Sarcana with Mel. Mel begrudgingly lets her ride along.
Niko is getting a crash course in magic and magic lingo. I love Niko’s persistence and Mel’s feigned annoyance.
How long do you think it’s going to take for this working relationship to cross over into the danger zone? Niko left Greta for Mel once before, will she do it again?
At one point Mel does leave Niko in a closet (ha) to go do dangerous witch stuff. At the end of the episode, they meet up again, and Mel tries to tell her they can’t hang out anymore. Niko then makes a confession. She says she didn’t just change careers two years ago, she had a nervous breakdown.
Mel then gives her a ring that makes her immune to spells. She demos this by freezing everyone in the room while Niko remains unaffected.
I love Niko being in on the supernatural stuff, but where is this going?
- Option 1: Niko figures out Mel put a spell on her, gets mad, marries Greta, and remains a detective on the edges of the show.
- Option 2: Niko figures out Mel’s spell or Mel confesses, they fall in love again, Niko leaves Greta (again), and they become a team of demon-battling girlfriends.
I vote for something that looks like option 2, sorry Greta!
This week I will be at the Vida Season Two screening at the Tribecca Film Festival! I can’t wait to see a sneak peek of season 2 of one of my favorite shows. It’s not too late to get tickets if you live in the NYC area.