Well friends, we made it. It’s the season finale. This episode is called “Looking Ahead“ and since the show hasn’t been renewed yet, it’s quite possibly the last ever episode of Gen Q. I’m sorry for getting this out a day late. I had so much to say about this episode (this recap is over 4000 words long) and Showtime didn’t send me the screener until Thursday afternoon and my anniversary with my girlfriend was on Saturday, so I was doing such things as going on an aquarium date and procuring a romantic dinner of gyros and fries from the really good spot in our neighborhood.
If you want to catch up on all my recaps of this season and the last, I’m linking them below.
season 3: episode 1, episode 2, episode 3, episode 4 (Halloween), episode 5 (eugenics), episode 6 (the musical), episode 7, episode 8 (Thanksgiving), and episode 9
season 2: episode 1, episode 2, episode 3, episode 4, episode 5, episode 6, episode 7, episode 8, episode 9, and the season finale
Also I cannot say this sincerely enough—READ THE COMMENTS!! You are all so smart and funny! You notice things that go totally over my head and I appreciate it so much.
Guess what day it is? It’s Bette and Tina’s wedding day!! I know there are diehard Bettina fans in the audience and I’m not saying you can’t love your problematic TV moms, but I resent the trailer and marketing for this episode for using language like “the event we’ve been waiting for“ and making it sound like Gen Q is doing us a huge favor. If Gen Q cared about fans, the writing would be better. The show would make sense!! It never crossed my mind that Bette and Tina should have a wedding. They rekindled their love at the beginning of this season and then left for Toronto, so everything we know about this iteration of their relationship comes from the original series when they were a nightmare couple. Bette literally raped Tina. We also learn that they were legally married and divorced once before, and that Tina left Bette for Carrie, meaning they were married as recently as 3 years ago? This seems like inconsistent writing and not canon, but should you really marry someone you just divorced? Also starting from the very beginning of the original series, I always parsed Bette and Tina as a married couple. Their whole deal is that they’re trying to have a baby—an endeavor that is infinitely more legally and socially binding than marriage. As skeptical as I am of marriage, I love weddings. I’m fascinated by the ritual and the narratives that couples build around themselves. And yet, Bette and Tina’s actual wedding is so generic. It gets 10 minutes of screentime and nothing happens that feels surprising or specific to their relationship. Angie is barely featured. There are no surprise guests from the original series. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. There’s an entire episode to get through first.
Anyways, This Important Wedding is taking place at what appears to be a vineyard or some kind of estate. Alice is directing caterers and delegating wedding tasks while Shane fingerbangs the wedding planner in the bathroom (claaaassic Shane! she hasn’t changed at all since the original series). A lady walks in on them and the wedding planner calmly directs her to another bathroom. Then the wedding planner apologizes to Shane for wearing hippie deodorant. It’s funny! All the Shane and Alice scenes in this episode are great. There’s a genuine, goofy quality to their performances that Gen Q is really missing, but instead of enjoying that, I was hung up on the fact that this wedding is happening 2 weeks after last episode, when Bette and Tina got engaged. It seems like this is an expensive wedding with a lot of guests (they also say over and over again that they’ve waited “so long” to do this?? for their friends??), so why would they hustle to pull it together in only 2 weeks? This episode is filled with plot contrivances, including a door handle breaking two different ways, so it’s weird they didn’t insert a little explainer like, “Tina’s production schedule is so busy, this is the only time in the next two years we have time“ or “Bette needs to get on Tina’s insurance.“
We also learn that Shane was in charge of hair, Alice was on cake/alcohol duty, and Dani found the venue (it’s owned by Roxy’s family, so Roxy is conveniently in attendance.) I know Bette went on a silent retreat and is a completely different person now, but there’s no way she would let her friends plan her wedding without any input.
The brides are getting ready in a large, airy bedroom. Tina asks Bette where she put the wedding favors, as if they don’t have a wedding planner and a crew of indentured friend-laborers to do all this stuff. Tina is freaking out and experiencing a hot flash. Alice walks in wearing a dress that’s half polka dots, half rainbow stripes. Bette calls it a “twofer“ and Alice also makes what I thought was a funny joke about being unable to pick just one dress. Alice realizes that she forgot to arrange for booze, and rushes off to ask Shane for help.
Meanwhile, Tess rolls into Dana’s wearing sunglasses and sipping a blue gatorade. She’s hungover, let’s not forget that she’s an alcoholic. Finley pops in to say hi. She’s totally unaware that anything is “off“ with Tess. They have a little friendship moment where Finley tells Tess that the apartment she’s subletting has roaches and no furniture. Tess realizes she needs all new stuff after her breakup and freaks out. Finley assures Tess that she loves her and is on her side. Suddenly, Tess’s phone rings!! It’s Shane asking for a prompt Svedka delivery plus, we are to learn, a full bar staff, to Bette and Tina’s wedding. Tess is just like, “okay sure.“ What could go wrong?!
Back at the ranch, Bette and Tina are standing in the walk-in fridge. This is important representation for service industry lesbians who have sought safety in the cold quiet of the walk-in. Tina feels better almost instantly. She says that this wedding is meaningful because it’s important for their friends to see them happy. By “friends,“ she is talking about us, the people who watch this show. They try to leave, but the door handle comes loose and they’re trapped! in! the! fridge! (This is a weird callback to the Shane/Tess balcony lockout — they also accidentally broke a door and somehow didn’t have phones with them.)
Dani and Roxy, who we will remember is Dani’s “bad friend,” do molly. Dani, who initially claimed that MDMA doesn’t do anything to her, starts dancing like a fiend. She calls Dre and tells them she loves them while fondling a flower. She also cries and confesses tender feelings to Roxy. She’s a mess and it’s played up for laughs, much like when the Al(i)ce crew did ayahuasca on a work retreat and Micah took three weed gummies at Thanksgiving. The way Gen Q depicts drugs and alcohol is so uneven. Finley’s drinking warrants an intervention and a full year of rehab, but when Sophie gets trashed at Fletcher’s album release or Micah overdoes it on edibles before Thanksgiving, it’s played off as harmless shenanigans. Even within this episode, Tess’s drinking and cocaine usage poses an existential threat while Dani is simply having a nice time. (I do think there’s maybe something smart to be said by comparing these two experiences—some people have intensely destructive relationships to alcohol and drugs, while others can take em or leave em, but the show doesn’t do a good job of establishing why the two experiences are different and what the stakes are for the drug-doing in each situation — like Dani here is fucking up at least one relationship, Sophie’s behavior was way out of line at the release party… so it seems extra cruel and capricious to give Tess such an uncertain and tragic ending when she’s just doing what everyone else is doing).