“They can. But they rarely do.”
So says Tess in the latest episode of “The L Word: Generation Q” when asked by Finley if people can change. Finley was, of course, asking about Sophie. Tess, of course, was answering about Shane.
Her answer captures the doubt and the frustration felt by many of our characters this week as they continue to face trials and tribulations that are so often caused not by their own doing, but by others.
First, the big news (which should definitely have Tess worried): Cherie Jaffe is back!
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The surprise came when Tess — who shared a somewhat awkward kiss with Shane in the previous episode — introduced her new girlfriend, who turned out to be Shane’s first, destructive love from way back in the first season of the original “L Word.” Rosanna Arquette reprises her role as Jaffe, oozing sex and trouble the minute she walks into Dana’s, divorced and now out of the closet. Despite Shane’s insistence that what happened between her and Cherie is in the past, Cherie wastes no time getting all handsy with Shane under the poker table. Her behavior doesn’t go unnoticed by the observant Tess.
Meanwhile, Angie continues to deal with the news about her donor, which includes a family therapy session with both her moms and Carrie. Bette’s already on edge at the inclusion of Carrie in the session, and things don’t improve when Angie drops the big news: her donor is in kidney failure and she wants to be tested to see if she’s a match. Let’s just say things get … bad.
Also dealing with serious family drama is Dani, who visits her dad in prison. Despite her insistence to new BFF Gigi that her dad was innocent of the charges that landed him behind bars, we also learn that he had previously tricked her into taking responsibility for the company when she’d signed what she’d believed to be power of attorney paperwork in a previous episode. The deception might have been enough to turn some offspring away from a parent for good, but, as Dani tells Gigi she can’t lose her father at this juncture in her life. In the subsequent heart-to-heart, she also reveals that she’s relieved her relationship with Sophie has ended — much to Gigi’s obvious delight.
All hope isn’t lost, however. Sometimes, people can change — or, at least, move forward. Alice, who finally let out her feelings over Dana’s loss in last week’s episode, gets closer to Tom. The two bond after freeing a pair of lobsters Alice had purchased for a failed romantic dinner with Nat. It’s starting to look like Tom, with his good sense of humor and comedic timing — qualities he shares with the late Dana — might be Alice’s new love interest.
But the big couples news this week: Micah and Mirabel! The pair got together after Mirabel (finally!) took the initiative, leading to a warm, touching, and ground-breaking sex scene (check out GO’s exclusive with Jillian Mercado).
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On the other end of the romantic spectrum, we have a few couples experiencing more downs than ups in their current relationships. Tina and Carrie have their first on-screen spat after the disastrous family therapy session. Bette, also reeling from the session — and a tough revelation about her feelings toward her own mother, which very much echo Tess’s sentiments about people and change — calls on Gigi for support, only to have Gigi ditch her for Dani. Sophie, who’s decided that maybe she should give Finley a try, returns home only to find Finley in bed with another woman (with the door open, of course). Finley, it seems, has taken Tess’s words to heart.
Sadly, it’s looking like Tess, for all her foresight, will be the one frozen out of the Shane-Tess-Cherie love triangle. Seeing the kinder, softer side of Shane in recent episodes might have allowed Tess to put her guard down just a little, but at heart she suspects Shane can’t change. Her suspicions seem to be confirmed in the episode’s closing minutes when Shane invites Cherie, who’s returned to Dana’s for a late-night rendezvous, into the bar.
Will Shane accept what are surely to be Cherie’s advances, or does she invite her in only to reject her for good? Given that we’re only halfway through the second season, we likely haven’t seen the last of Cherie Jaffe.