Wow, this was a fast 8 weeks! We’re about to be on hiatus again as fans. It’ll give us time to go back and re-watch and re-analyze everything :-)
Tensions run high on election night as Bette and Dani await the results, Shane and Quiara go through their most difficult challenge yet, and Alice takes a big swing on her show. Meanwhile, Sophie and Dani consider another big step in their relationship, Finley is forced to stop running from her past and confront her feelings, and Micah is dealt an unexpected bombshell about José. Season finale.
26 January 2020
|Marja-Lewis Ryan||…||(developed by)|
|Ilene Chaiken||…||(created by) and|
|Kathy Greenberg||…||(created by) &|
|Michele Abbott||…||(created by)|
|Thomas Page McBee||…||(story editor)|
|Jacqueline Toboni||…||Sarah Finley|
|Jennifer Beals||…||Bette Porter|
|Katherine Moennig||…||Shane McCutcheon|
|Stephanie Allynne||…||Natalie ‘Nat’ Bailey|
|Arienne Mandi||…||Dani Nunez|
|Leisha Hailey||…||Alice Pieszecki|
|Leo Sheng||…||Micah Lee|
|Rosanny Zayas||…||Sophie Suarez|
|Carlos Leal||…||Rodolfo Nùñez|
|Amanda Joy Erickson||…||Waitress|
|Diane Yang Kirk||…||Helen|
LWordGenQ Season 1 Episode 8 Recap aired 1/26/2020 – Summary by @BAT2012
Lapse in Judgement – Finale
Episode opens with a big watch party at Dana’s (Shane’s Bar) awaiting the results of Bette’s mayoral race. After much anticipation, and surprising wins in unexpected districts Bette Porter loses the race by a very close margin 48% to Milner’s 52%.
However, he’s a good sport and calls the next morning to offer her to spearhead a task force addressing the opioid crisis in the city. Bette is feeling good about the turnout despite her loss because this will give her the platform to make the difference she’d hoped for as mayor. That is until Dani breaks the news that the offer was a setup. Dani’s father has been supporting Milner against Bette. His self-interest being the expansion of his company, which allowed him to negotiate a deal with Milner months before. Milner’s connection to big pharma was still very deep and present. Dani tells Bette that Milner was using her to make himself look like he gave a shit. Bette is heartbroken and questions if any of what she’s been through was worth it. Dani seems to think so, but we don’t find out why.
Bette has held it together throughout but finally breaks down. Angie comes home to find her sleeping on the couch in the middle of day. She’s appears lethargic. Angie recognizes Bette’s depression saying that she knew it would hit her eventually and that it was okay to be sad. This gets Bette’s attention and she rises from her prone position. Angie asks her to get dressed, she wants to take her somewhere.
They arrive at an overlook. “Do you recognize this place?” Angie asks.
“Of course. We spread some of Auntie Kit’s ashes here. I haven’t been up here since then.”
“I come up here with Jordi, a lot.”
“Well yeah, sometimes. Just when I’m feeling sad about … Aunt Kit or Mama T or.”
“Are you sad about her getting married?”
“Yeah, I guess a tiny part of me always hoped that … you two would get back together. I know it sounds stupid but I …”
“No no no it’s not stupid. I’m really sorry that you saw me like that.”
“It’s okay. You never let yourself be sad.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well mom left, and then Aunt Kit died and like I see you. You just …”
“You just kept going.”
“I think … I think that I felt that if I … if I truly let myself grieve then that would mean saying a final goodbye and I wasn’t ready to do that. I guess I just tried to outrun my feelings.”
Bette then tells Angie about the time she went on a silent retreat. Angie laughs asking, “how did that go?” Bette admits it didn’t go well, but she did learn one thing that helped: screaming. She asks Angie to scream with her, but first she must really commit to make it work. Angie agrees and they proceed to scream!!!!
On the way down the path, Bette asks Angie if she and Jordi are having sex. Typical teenager she doesn’t want to talk to her mother about her dating life. Bette proceeds to give her a talk anyway, but Angie soon distracts her when she sees a woman walking a dog. Angie runs up to it and starts petting. Wouldn’t you know it’s a female reporter (Maya) that knows Bette from the campaign. She asks Bette out to dinner on a date. Bette is taken aback but Maya is cool. Just think about it she says, you have my number. Now Angie turns the table on her mother, relentlessly teasing her about the date. She comments that Maya is pretty, and Bette may have found the love of her life. “I see sparks in the air.”
In the closing scene, we see Bette arriving at a restaurant to meet Maya Stevenson for dinner.
In the meantime, Angie is enjoying her new love; she and Jordi share one headset as they are listening to something that makes them giggle.
Shane is at the watch party when she receives an urgent phone call from Quiara. She finds her wife sitting in the hospital emergency room having not yet seen a doctor. Shane goes ballistic against the receptionist who is going by the process while Quiara is bleeding and spotting. They finally get in to see the doctor, only to find out that Quiara has miscarried. Shane tries to take care of her as best as she knows how, but she can’t comfort her. When Bette asks how she’s doing Shane answers she doesn’t know. Of course, Bette can relate having suffered a similar fate when Tina miscarried their first child. The difference was Bette wanted her baby; Shane didn’t want children.
Quiara finds Shane packing up the baby items.
“What’s all this.”
“That’s just some stuff our friends sent over. I thought you wouldn’t want to see it.”
“Why would you think that?”
“I don’t know … um”
“I’m still going to have a baby, Shane. I’m going to try again as soon as I’m ready.”
Shane can’t hide her emotions at the thought of trying again. She half-heartedly agrees but Quiara knows all too well.
“I fucking knew it.”
“You knew what?”
“You were relieved. I lost a baby, and you were relieved.”
Shane protests the accusation. “No no no I was relieved that you were okay.”
“You win. You get whatever you want.”
“Hold on a second. That’s not fair.”
“None of this is fucking fair Shane.
“Hey, you knew that I didn’t want this, but you showed up pregnant anyway, so what was I supposed to do?”
“You could have been honest from the beginning.”
“I was honest with you.”
“Well then why did you agree to this?”
“Because I love you, and I agreed to do this so I could be with you.”
“Do you want to be with me now?”
“So, you’re saying you’d like to try again too?”
“I’m saying that I want to be realistic … and to plan.” Shane is struggling to get the words out and once again Quiara calls her on her bullshit.
“You’re never going to change Shane. No one is ever going to love you because you are incapable of loving anyone but your fucking self”
Quiara walks out after throwing her wedding ring at Shane. The always stoic Shane M. is stunned into silence then crumples to the floor in tears as she holds the ring.
In her final scene Shane is seen driving around in the middle of night. She comes across a stray dog eating garbage. She stops the car and picks him up.
Alice is at the watch party lamenting to Shane about her love life or lack thereof at the beginning of the episode. She went from one great girlfriend to two girlfriends to no girlfriends. She’s on her phone swiping potential hook-ups, trying to move on, but her heart is aching for Nat.
Since Shane has been called away for Quiara’s emergency and Bette and Dani are embroiled in election results Alice is left to keep an eye on Angelica. The teen asks Alice how old she was when she lost her virginity. Alice keeps avoiding answering the question until Angie tells her that she’ll just ask Shane. Apparently, Alice doesn’t think that’s a good idea, so she confides in Angie that she lost it at 17 to a boy who played her mother’s son on a movie of the week. (You will recall Alice’s mother is an actress).
“What’s a movie of the week?” Alice is stunned at Angie’s reaction that the only take-away she got from Alice’s admission was not knowing what a movie of the week was.
Next, we find Alice with Shane and Bette after their devastating losses (Quiara losing the baby and Bette losing the election) each handling it in their own way. In Bette’s attempt to make Shane feel better she comments that they still have each other and would be there to support her. Alice quips that if her show gets canceled and with her current state of homelessness, she would be around a lot more than she realized before that moment.
In further conversation about recovery Bette says something that sparks a fire in Alice. The next morning, she gathers her staff and crew from the Alice Show and gives everyone a pep-talk.
“… two of my best friends suffered horrible losses last night, and it got me thinking… you know none of us know how things are gonna turn out. Maybe the best thing to do is just … stay true to who we are.”
She tells her team that she “set out to change a few people’s minds about a couple of things”. And if they can’t use this platform to do that then she doesn’t want to be there. She makes up her mind to fuck the viral video and network mandate. They are going to make the show that she wants to make starting with booking Roxane Gay as her guest. Everyone goes in knowing the risk that they may not be renewed for a second season, but they stand behind Alice. “Let’s go down swinging.”
During the interview with her guest Alice asked her guest if someone can be a bad queer. Absolutely she answers then goes on to explain. Alice totally identifies. “I think I might be a bad queer.”
“Oh really, how so?”
“Well I’ve been in a relationship with a really wonderful woman for about two years, and we were really happy, and not too long ago we introduced a third person into our couple.”
“Like a poly situation?”
“With her ex-wife.
“Wow. That’s certainly an original way of getting into polyamory?”
“I wouldn’t recommend it.”
“But that is the queerest thing I could ever do. Right?”
“Oh absolutely. On a scale of one to what the fuck that’s way out there.”
Alice admits she is heartbroken and just wants Nat. Suddenly she hears someone in the audience saying, “I’m here.” It’s Nat who had come to the same conclusion. She only wants Alice.
Alice wants them to stop rolling camera, but Sophie tells them to continue. Alice is obviously stunned; this was not the show she wanted for her final episode but nevertheless she’s not in control and
Nat is determined to say her piece. She tells Alice that she lost a marriage because she was afraid to fight for what she wanted, but she’s not going to make the same mistake twice. She’s in love with Alice and wants them to get back together which they do once Alice makes sure that it’s ‘just her’ that Nat wants.
Jose & Micha
Jose premiers his art show which includes a painting of Micha. He’s kept Micha in suspense, so he sees it for the first time with the public showing. Micha confesses his love to Jose, and Jose reciprocates but then Micha is shocked to find out that Jose is married. His husband is also attending the show. In the end we find Micah back home, and Jose banging on his door pleading with Micha to let him in. “I’m sorry, it’s not what you think.”
Dani & Sophie & Finley
Dani decides she wants to elope with Sophie to Hawaii and purchases tickets for them to leave the next day. Since Bette’s race is over Dani is unemployed and Sophie is on hiatus from the Alice show. When Sophie protests about getting married without their families present, Dana says they will have a big party when they get back from Hawaii. ‘My Moms’ gonna kill me’ Sophie says but reluctantly goes along. In the meantime, she and Finley have talked about the kiss and agreed to forget it ever happened, and not let it mess up their friendship. Finley is good but Sophie isn’t really on board, but she agrees.
Dani has a conversation with her father about her plans to marry Sophie and he still is not comfortable with the idea. Dani thinks it’s because of money, but her father says it’s not.
“Then what is it?”
“I taught you to have ambition and pride, her family is …”
“is loving and kind and supportive”
“I don’t want you to take a step backward.”
“Listen. When you are … when you come from a broken family like Sophie that’s the only way you know how to live.”
“She’s not from a broken family.”
“She doesn’t know stability and I’m afraid when things get hard, she’s gonna leave you because that – that’s what she knows.”
“Dad, she’s so much better than that. She’s not gonna leave me. We love each other and we’re good together. I need you to be okay with that.”
Dad says “Okay.” But he’s not onboard.
They change the subject to Dani’s current unemployment status. Dad asks if she wants her old job back. She says she doesn’t need a job, especially after finding out that her father was in bed with Milner to move ahead with their corporate expansion of his pharmaceutical stronghold in Los Angeles. As soon as she hears this, Dani runs to Bette to let her know that Milner’s offer was a set-up.
In the meantime, Sophie acts on her attraction to Finley and they have sex in the Green room on the set of Alice’s show. Later in bed with Dani, Sophie is crying obviously conflicted, but Dani just thinks she’s scared about the wedding and comforts her telling her she will always be there for her.
Finley goes to visit Rebecca (the priest) and confesses that she slept with Sophie. She’s self-recriminating. Rebecca identifies it as shame and tells Finley that she needs to address that.
“How the fuck do you do that?’
“I don’t know. It’s not a cut and dry thing. It is a life-long journey … of cultivating self-worth, self-love.”
When Finley leaves Rebecca’s she returns the bike that she stole in the first episode, and decides she’s going back to Kansas City to attend her sister’s wedding.
It just happened that Finley’s flight is within a few minutes of the flight to Hawaii. Sophie leaves work and heads to the airport. We see Finley boarding her plane and looking back as if she’s expecting someone and we see Dani getting anxious that Sophie has yet to arrive at the gate when their flight is in the final boarding process. The episode ends with Sophie appearing that she’s trying to decide which woman she’s getting on a plane with. Or maybe she’s decided.
That’s the big finally cliff hanger that we are left with.