It’s election night on the season finale of The L Word sequel and it’s time to find out if Bette will be the next mayor of Los Angeles.
The finale, “Lapse In Judgement,” opens as everyone is at Bette’s campaign watch party (naturally held at Dana’s), anxiously awaiting the results of the mayoral election. The polls are spiking in Bette’s favor, the booze is flowing, and everyone’s divided between watching the news and handling their personal problems. Alice has gone from “the greatest girlfriend, to two girlfriends, to no girlfriends” and is trying to get back in the game by swiping on dating apps with no real luck. Finley and Sophie are having the awkward Talk about their spontaneous kiss in the last episode, both unconvincingly agreeing that they should basically ignore it as not to ruin Sophie and Dani’s relationship. Shane gets called away from the party to deal with Quiara’s medical emergency. And Dani is being Dani, rushing around, obsessing over the polls, and putting her fiancée on the backburner to the election.
But then, Bette loses the election.
It’s a blow to Bette, particularly because of her reasons for running and because it all seemed so hopeful at the beginning. At first, she seems a bit optimistic since her opponent asks her to spearhead a task force related to Los Angeles’ opioid crisis … but then, after learning that he’s just using her, it isn’t long before she’s crying on the couch. Fortunately, Angie is around to cheer her up.
Alice’s storyline revolves mostly around trying to save her show and mourning her relationship — two things that converge toward the end of the episode. She gives an impassioned speech to her crew about how they have to do it her way, rallying them together, and even getting Roxane Gay to make a guest appearance. (“Can I call her that?” asks Drew, the clueless straight man.) During her conversation with Gay, they talk about the notion of being a bad queer (a nod to the Bad Feminist book) and how Alice feels like one because she desires the typical hallmarks of heteronormativity. She thought she could do the radical, beyond-the-norm approach by experimenting with polyamory — and including her girlfriend’s ex-wife! — but it turns out that she doesn’t want that. She just wants Nat, and only Nat. Fortunately, Nat just happens to be in the audience and boldly approaches the stage so the two can reconcile and be honest about their feelings. They get back together — just the two of them. (And the cameras are rolling, so I imagine that’ll do well for the ratings!)
There are a few other plots running throughout the episode, such as Shane’s not-exactly-ideal reaction to Quiara’s miscarriage and how Micah (and viewers!) are surprised to learn that Jose has a husband. But the biggest one is, of course, the Finley/Dani/Sophie love triangle.
Last week’s surprise kiss — mostly born out of Sophie’s grief over her grandmother and feeling neglected by Dani — was a strange move for the show. Sophie and Finley are likable and believable as friends, and their friendship has been one of the best relationships in the show. Moving that friendship quickly to a romantic stage without much build-up in previous episodes felt unnatural. And though their giggly sex scene in the finale does show their chemistry together, it all feels very out of place and rushed. Sophie hasn’t told Dani about the kiss and Dani, finally free from the business of the election, suddenly wants the two of them to fly to Hawaii to elope without their families.
Needless to say, this puts Sophie in a bind. She spends much of the episode quietly longing after Finley, both before and after the two have sex, although it’s hard to see why. Finley is a fun character, a sometimes-endearing mess who, as she puts it, “can be kind of a shitstorm for people.” But The L Word hasn’t given her much more depth beyond that — sure, she has problems with religion and alcohol but even that is only half-baked at best — so it’s a stretch that Sophie is willing to fuck up her impending marriage for Finley. But the original L Word didn’t care much to make sense when pairing characters together, either.
At the end, Sophie finds herself caught between the two women. At the airport, Dani nervously waits for Sophie to show up during the final boarding call to Hawaii while Finley waits for the plane taking her back home to her sister’s wedding. Sophie rushes into the airport, up the escalator, through the terminal. But we don’t see who she’s rushing toward. The finale ends on this cliffhanger, this image of Sophie standing there, leaving us to guess who she’s meeting.