The L Word Generation Q season 3 episode 6 recap: Shane has an epiphany in a musical episode

Kate Moennig in The L Word: Generation Q
Kate Moennig in The L Word: Generation Q (Image credit: Nicole Wilder/SHOWTIME)

NOTE: this post contains spoilers for The L Word: Generation Q season 3 episode 6, "Questions for the Universe."

Even though this wasn't a holiday-themed episode (though it was a Christmas Day treat for fans), The L Word: Generation Q season 3 episode 6 saw a ghost from the past make a very special and emotional return.

Alice (Leisha Hailey) takes her staff to a desert retreat to drink ayahuasca, a plant-based hallucinogenic substance that can induce hallucinations that are supposed to open up the mind to insights from the universe. Alice convinces Shane (Kate Moennig) to go too, after calling Shane out for being a total mess in the aftermath of her breakup with Tess (Jamie Clayton). Alice is also a mess, though, after her recent unlucky streak in love. Sophie (Rosanny Zayas) is also on the retreat, making Finley (Jacqueline Toboni) upset because Sophie won’t be able to help buy a car.

All three of them have some big questions about love and relationships and they are hoping to get those questions answered by the universe when they’re under the influence of the ayahuasca.

At the retreat they all experience vivid hallucinations, which incorporate songs, dances and the kitsch you'd expect from a musical episode. But their visions aren't all songs and dances.

Shane jumps

Shane's vision is a fun '40s era adventure, where she's a sailor in town who visits Dana's to see a glamorous singer, Tess. There's a rousing dance number and Shane must confront her identity as a commitment-phobic lothario.

At the end of her vision she is being chased by several women and she either has to jump off a roof to join Tess in a waiting car or choose to return to the identity she's always had. Just as she is coming out of the influence of the ayahuasca, she jumps. 

Back in LA, she immediately goes to Tess to tell her she's ready to let go of her identity and build a life with Tess. Tess starts crying and drops the bombshell that her mom, former showgirl Betty, has died. Trying to help Tess through her grief will be a real test of Shane's new commitment.

Sophie finds her voice

Jacqueline Toboni in The L Word: Generation Q

Jacqueline Toboni in The L Word: Generation Q (Image credit: Nicole Wilder/SHOWTIME)

In Sophie's vision, she's a '50s housewife in a black and white sitcom called Finley’s Home. Through the course of the vision Finley, playing the stereotypical domineering male of that era, continually finds ways to shut Sophie up.

When Finley's boss and his wife, who in the vision are Micah (Leo Sheng) and Maribel (Jillian Mercado), come over for dinner, Finley tells them Sophie has laryngitis and can't speak. There's a series of running gags that all result in Sophie being unable to speak.

Through her vision Sophia realizes she is feeling suffocated by her relationship with Finley. Sitcom Sophie finally breaks free and finds her voice with a song. When she finishes the song the vision shifts from black and white to color, as a visual representation for her transformation after she finds her authentic voice.

When she returns to LA, she breaks up with Finley, who is blindsided by Sophie's declaration that she needs to be fully herself and she can't be that with Finley.

Alice confronts her great loss

Alice's vision starts off with her as a contestant on a Price Is Right style game show. But in the game she needs to find the flaw of each person pictured. As photos of her ex-partners pop up, she reels off their flaws. But the last photo is of her, forcing her to confront her own flaw keeping her from finding "the one."

When she correctly answers that she pushes people away she wins the game and wins her dream life with her dream partner. In a surprisingly emotional moment, Erin Daniels, who played original The L Word character Dana Fairbanks, appears (reminder, Dana died of breast cancer in the original series). Dana tells Alice that part of her prize is that they get to grow old together.

There is a sweet duet from the two about a life that never could have been, the two soulmates living their best life together. But in a bittersweet conversation that induced real tears, Dana tells Alice that Alice's "the one" is still out there for her but Alice has to let Dana go to find them. Alice has never really confronted her grief at losing Dana or her grief for the life she and Dana had planned. Dana also implies Alice has already met the person who is "the one," but she has pushed that person away.

Back in LA, Alice goes through her box of Dana's things and finds the sunflower she bought in the gift shop at the hospital the day Dana died. In The L Word, Alice sank to the floor sobbing after Dana was gone, holding the little dancing mechanical flower that played "You Are My Sunshine." Alice finally is able to let go of the ideal future with Dana she had been clinging to.

At the end of the episode, she sends a mysterious text to someone that isn't named, the person she thinks Dana was referring to as being her "the one." Is it really the one for Alice? Hopefully her hallucinogen-induced conversation with Dana was enough to free her to find real love again.

New episodes of The L Word: Generation Q air on Showtime on Sundays.

Sonya Iryna

Sonya has been writing professionally for more than a decade and has degrees in New Media and Philosophy. Her work has appeared in a diverse array of sites including ReGen, The Washington Post, Culturess, Undead Walking and Final Girl. As a lifelong nerd she loves sci-fi, fantasy and horror TV and movies, as well as cultural documentaries. She is particularly interested in representation of marginalized groups in nerd culture and writes reviews and analysis with an intersectional POV. Some of her favorite shows include Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Sandman.