‘The L Word: Generation Q’ Boss Breaks Down the Season 1 Finale & Teases What’s Next
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 1 Finale of The L Word: Generation Q, “Lapse in Judgement.”]
From that airport decision to new beginnings, showrunner Marja-Lewis Ryan who is breaking it all down for us below.
There were so many surprises and cliffhangers in this finale. Did you know Showtime was bringing the show back for Season 2 before this episode was filmed?
Marja-Lewis Ryan: No, we did not. We really risked something big. We shot all the airport stuff pretty early on in the finale shoot and I just remember Rosanny [Zayas] at one point looking at me and she was like, “I just realized that if we don’t get picked up. I’m going to get screamed at in the subway for the rest of my life.” And I was like, “Yeah, totally.”
It was a real risk but one that we were pretty happy to take, but very relieved to get the pickup, honestly. So we were like, “OK, so they won’t kill us. They just have to wait a year to get an answer, which will be painful.”
Of all the revelations made, Jose’s (Freddy Miyares) marital status has to be the most upsetting. Is it too early to be mad at him for lying to Micah (Leo Sheng) about having a husband?
If you feel mad, then you should be mad. I do think that we have laid out a story that is his story that explains why it’s not maybe as bad as it seems when someone just says, “I’m his husband,” out of nowhere, but we always knew that this is where that story was going.
We had laid tracks from the very beginning and I think that part of what we always look for in our episodes are what I call a trash pass or like a garbage pass, which is like I want moments where people can scream at the screen. I want things that give you that jolt of energy. That’s partially the show that we’re making. We are very aware of who we are and how we move in the world. So, I think it’s totally fine for you to be pissed off.
Acclaimed writer Roxane Gay guest starred in an epic episode of Alice’s (Leisha Hailey) talk show – how did that appearance come about?
When the show came back on, she tweeted like, “Hello, I’m available if you need me,” and I saw her tweet. We all got very excited. And so, we reached out to her through her manager, through her agent, and I got to talk to her. I FaceTimed with her on the phone, back in August.
I think originally she was like, “You know, I could write something for you,” and I was like, “No no, I just want you,” and she was like, “What?” and I was like, “You know, I want you to be on the show,” and she was like, “What are you talking about? And I was like, “As yourself,” but she was like, “Okay, sure, yeah I’ll do it,” and I was like “Great.” So she showed up and… I mean everybody just totally geeked out.
Nat (Stephanie Allynne) declared her love for Alice in that scene as well, but have we seen the end of the tensions between them and Gigi (Sepideh Moafi)?
You’ll definitely see things resurface. I mean, that that was one of the saddest parts about the episode was… two of the scenes that were originally in the finale ended up getting pushed up to Episode 7 for runtime purposes. So Gigi’s not even in Episode 8, which was a bummer, but she will be in Season 2 so I don’t want people to be sad about that. I can’t wait to see what happens with Gigi. I’m very excited about her.
Sophie (Zayas) is conflicted between her feelings for Finley (Jacqueline Toboni) and Dani (Arienne Mandi) throughout the episode. What can you say about that airport tease?
We wrote it knowing where she goes. Like I said, we didn’t know if we were going to get a Season 2. So we were partially just prepared to answer people yelling at us on the street. But I think that when I shot it with her, when I was directing her, we did play around where like I would give her different thoughts to think.
When she’s standing at that board and she’s looking at the flights, I was like, “OK, in this shot, go to Honolulu.” And her performance would shift dramatically based on like, “OK, now go to Kansas City.” It was really, really fun to watch on the monitor. But yeah, we know where she goes.
The scenes between Bette (Jennifer Beals) and her daughter Angie (Jordan Hull) are really touching. Can we expect more of those in the future?
Yes, for sure we’ll definitely see more of them. Angie is one character that we really developed for the actor that we ended up casting because she is just phenomenal. We didn’t anticipate getting so lucky as to be able to have a 16-year-old who can act alongside Jennifer Beals.
It’s asking a lot, but she is so good and it is so fun to watch and it is so fun to direct her. She has a really strong understanding of her character and the emotional arc of the relationship between her and her mother. The two of them have great chemistry. They feel like family.
What’s next for Bette now that she’s lost the election? Is there new romance on her horizon?
The idea is that she will meet someone and her life will go on and that she’s open to the possibility of love again. Whether or not it’s this particular person [she’s meeting for dinner] isn’t as relevant as just the idea that in Season 2 we’ll actually get to see more of her personal life and a more open relationship. As opposed to season one where she was basically dating somebody who was closeted and she was dating somebody who she couldn’t be public. I think that all of that has to do with grief and pain of loss.
Shane (Katherine Moennig) and Quiara’s (Lex Scott Davis) relationship seems to dissolve following the miscarriage, is Shane picking up the stray dog a sign of her effort to change and become less “selfish” as Quiara described her?
Yeah, I think so. I mean, I think that there’s another side to it too, but we want to tell stories about how women who don’t want children are valid members of society and it’s okay to not want children. It doesn’t make you cruel or mean or anything. It’s just a human choice, and it’s a choice that a person can make.
So we also wanted to tell that story too, but it doesn’t mean it’s not hard to let go of somebody who does want children. It doesn’t mean that she’s free of pain, but that there are other options out there and it is very important for Shane’s character. I think Kate [Moennig] felt really strongly about her not wanting kids, because she has already tried that and it just doesn’t work for her and I think it’s a really important story to tell, so I was happy to tell it. And the dog is cute.
This season included appearances from original cast members apart from series regulars Beals, Moennig and Hailey. Do you hope to include more in Season 2?
Tina (Laurel Holloman) we always knew was coming back Episode 6, that was something that we had outlined in the room like week two. We felt like it was important because we wanted to establish that this is the way this family operates and that no one has abandoned anybody. That just because you’re divorced, you’re separated, doesn’t mean that you’re not part of somebody’s life.
But for the others, we haven’t found a reason to bring them back yet. I’m not interested in bringing people back for no reason. Even if I love them, I want them to push plot and I want them to have a really meaty role.
What else can you tease about the second season?
I just started back in the room on Monday. I have whiteboards filled up with ideas. I am so excited to get back into it. I’m so excited to explore like who Sophie picked and how that affects friendships and romance and the dynamic inside of these new characters.
I’m also just desperate to see what Bette does next. I think I’m just as excited to see it as anybody else is, I just the one that has to actually make the thing, but I have all the same questions that you do. I just have to answer them.
The L Word: Generation Q, Season 2, TBA, Showtime