Ghosts of the Past
Well, if we didn’t know or suspect so already, this week’s episode “lake house” certainly made it clear that we’re in for quite the rollercoaster ride! In a way it feels like we’re being transported back in time, straight onto Alice’s chart of interconnectedness. Through the various sexual relationships, the way The Chart started out of course, but it’s not a big leap to see how the same model can be applied in general relationships as well. We find ourselves in what could be seen as the perfect merger of the OG and genQ, starting off with our three “torch carriers” during a pancakes & waffles breakfast at Bette’s house. Single-again-Alice needs her house to herself and explains to her friends how her mum, who’s staying with her, is not going to take that well. Shane, always happy to help, kindly offers to talk to Lenore (played by the wonderful Anne Archer). That ghost from the past apparently won’t be shoved under the carpet all too easily, as Shane had referenced to her before, early in season 1 of genQ. Alice’s “we’re very aware of that” and Bette simultaneously falling in line with “that’s very generous of you” effectively obliterate that option.
Angie’s relationship with her newfound sister obviously fans the flames of her curiosity about her donor/father Marcus Allenwood. And thus we are, at least briefly, reminded of the kindhearted, huge black man who scared Tina out of her wits on their first meet, but at the same time this quest after Angie’s roots sets into motion a whole chain of events that tie “old” and “new” together. She confides in Shane and asks her for guidance. Should she meet her donor who is dying? Their little one-on-one is very endearing and heartwarming. Shane is like an older sister, the favorite “uncle” and the experienced adult friend all at the same time. You can see how their bond has grown into something very special when Shane decides to share her own experience meeting her father again after he had abandoned her when she was still a child. We hardly ever see Shane this “naked”, defenseless, and open about her feelings. And it’s the first time, after all these years, that we actually see her get emotional over the realization that he reinforced the worst parts that were within her and that in leaving Carmen at the altar she had lost what may well have been the love of her life. So on the one hand we have both Carmen and Marcus “back” from the OG, and on the other we have Carrie as Tina’s fiancée to look forward to, in the family-therapy meetings that Angie asks momma B to have together. Bette, immediately setting aside her excitement over having finally met her idol artist Pippa, once again proves herself to be that loving and caring mum we’ve come to know ever since Angie was born. Just like she was struggling at the dinner table when Tina told her she wants “the three of them” together to tell Angie about the upcoming marriage, we can now see her struggling with the family-therapy request. But any possible hesitance is abandoned when she says “sure, of course sweetheart. I’d do anything for you.” And we know without a doubt that nothing could be more true or more heartfelt: she would do absolutely anything for Angie, even go head-to-head in front of a therapist with “oh, isn’t that a little bit racist”-Carrie.
Even the drive up to the secluded studio somewhere in the woods shows the deep longing Bette has to meet Pippa Pascal. And when she finally does, it also flawlessly fits in Bette’s long and extensive background in art, a true love she sidestepped from temporarily for a political career she felt was necessary but not necessarily desired. She’s at home in the arts and as we watch her and Pippa get acquainted, even though it is all but smoothly at first, her entire being seems to yearn for someone to share that “home” with her. A kindred spirit, who speaks her language, who understands her mind, who knows what brings a soul to ecstasy. After Pippa turns her down on signing with her as an artist, Bette seems to flee into frustration sex with Gigi. Which in turn had both the newly grown Gigi fanbase and the Tina fanbase fuming on Twitter (more so after she’d uttered the words “you are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen” to Pippa during dinner): “she has a problem, she needs therapy”, thus a few of the comments. Well, guess what, there will be therapy in the very near future… I just hope no one gets killed there!
Alice, in the meantime, experiences how her book-editor Tom quite easily slips into the role of a therapist (“she’s the love of your life! Come on”) and finds herself reluctantly yet heartbreakingly opening up about Dana. I see her when my eyes are closed, but I also see her when my eyes are open. I can hear her laugh. I smell her smell. I… I can feel her. And I miss her so much sometimes, that the emptiness is like… But there’s nothing I can do about it […] And for just a few moments we had Dana back!
Shane and Tess, who are growing closer week by week, share a heart-to-heart about Tess’ mother, who is being taken care of in a special facility in Vegas due to her dementia. In a preview of next week’s episode, we learn that Shane is actually already quite familiar with Tess’ mum…
And so, with the other storylines all shedding more light on the struggles our genQ characters are going through (Dani’s father is in prison for fraud and may have dragged her into his trouble too; Dani still has feelings for Sophie, Finley does too; Sophie in the meantime again cannot seem to make up her mind; Micah faces the fact that he is probably bisexual and Maribel hasn’t noticed his interest yet) and all the glimpses back into the past, everything indeed seems to come full circle, as Bette implied.