So how does one “burn shit down” but still leave something standing? Just ask Bette Porter.
In this week’s episode, aptly titled “The Last Dance,” Bette rebounds from last week’s stunning defeat at the hands of the California Arts Center (CAC) by proving she is formidable even when she backs down. She and Pippa organize a massive demonstration at the museum, with crowds protesting the new Núñez wing. The protest garners enough media attention that the CAC agrees to change the name, despite objections from Dani (but more on that later).
Orchestrating protests is one thing. The real challenge for Bette comes a little closer to home: Angie is getting ready for prom, but also to meet her donor, Marcus, who is dying of kidney failure. It’s the moment Angie’s been waiting for for much of the season, but when she and her moms arrive at the hospital, Bette’s told by Marcus’s wife that they aren’t quite ready to see Angie just yet. Uncharacteristically, Bette doesn’t put up much of a fight, accepting the news calmly before she and Tina escort their heartbroken daughter home.
As Bette, Tina, and Angie deal with the disappointment at the hospital, Alice, on her book tour, is facing a rather daunting task of her own: How does a queer woman talk show host open up about her relationship with a cisgender man? Especially when asked who’s the “lucky lady” in her life?
The problem, she says, is “Lesbians” with a capital L. “They just don’t believe bisexuals are real,” she tells Bette later, after the gang has descended on Bette’s house to help Angie and friends prepare for the prom.
Alice isn’t the only one this week having trouble opening up about her relationship. Both Sophie and Mirabel are keeping a few secrets of their own from their mom and grandma: Sophie, that Finley is still MIA following their fight in the previous episode; and Mirabel, that she is dating Micah. Fed up with the other’s dithering, the sisters each spill the tea on the other while at their grandma’s birthday party. While the revelation doesn’t help Sophie find Finley, it does bring Mirabel and Micah — now officially the series’ cutest couple — closer together.
Meanwhile, Dani and Gigi continue to experience relationship tension following the museum debacle, which Dani’s father continues to blame her for. (Maybe not his wisest move, as we learn this week Dani is preparing to testify on his behalf at the upcoming trial.) The stress causes Dani to skip out on Gigi’s son’s recital, but instead of being honest with Gigi, Dani lies and says she was caught in traffic. (IRL Alert: Arienne Mandi and Sepideh Moafi, who play Dani and Gigi respectively, were at the Stonewall and Henrietta’s this week in NYC!)
Back at Bette’s, Angie, still preoccupied with her earlier disappointment, isn’t exactly in a festive mood about the prom. She fights with Jordan, who tells Angie not to take her anger out on her moms, or on her. A devastated Angie flees to her room, where she immediately breaks down sobbing.
After the other kids head off for the dance, sans Angie, Tina confronts Bette about what went down between her and Carrie at the charity event a few weeks back. She knows Bette had something to do with the bad mood Carrie was in, and that neither Carrie nor Bette are exactly forthcoming about the matter. They’re interrupted by Pippa, who arrives to tell Bette that the museum has agreed to change the name of the Núñez wing. Rather than celebrate, Bette, worn out by the stress of the day, breaks down in Pippa’s arms.
But as we know with Bette, she doesn’t stay broken for long. Neither does Angie who, after a pep talk from Alice and Shane, decides she wants to go to the prom after all. Bette realizes that perhaps she hadn’t fought as hard for Angie as she could have, and she and Tina head back to the hospital — although not before this awkward exchange:
Bette: “I think we should go back.”
Tina: “Back to what?”
Bette: “To the hospital. To see Marcus.”
Why awkward? Because from Tina’s response, she doesn’t know what Bette is suggesting they go back to. A relationship? Couplehood? The matter becomes even foggier when, waiting at the hospital to see Marcus, Tina asks Bette, “Are you still in love with me?”
Bette doesn’t answer the question. She’s still sitting in stunned silence when they’re called in to see Marcus. After speaking with them, Marcus agrees to meet with Angie, and Bette and Tina say they’ll bring her around the next day.
As they’re negotiating Angie’s visitation, a very drunk Finley finally shows up in the most unlikely of places: at Dani and Gigi’s doorstep. She’s in very bad shape (Clue #1: she urinates in the hallway before knocking on the door) but is not too far gone to recognize the look of fear on Dani’s face — the same look, Finley remarks, as she’s seen on Sophie’s face. Why is everyone so afraid of her? she wonders out loud before Dani calls Sophie to come fetch her.
Angie and Jordan have a happier reunion at the prom, where the pair reconcile with a slow dance. And it is the last dance, although not for them. As they laugh together, the scene jumps to the hospital, where a series of alarms from Marcus’s room interrupts Bette and Tina’s departure. They watch as medical teams go to his aid right before he flatlines.
A world away, Angie and Jordan continue dancing.