Monday, July 15, 2024

All in the Family: Vida’s Penultimate Episode Brings (Some Of) Our Characters Together

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So yeah, last week Lyn had this realization that she can’t hide from her pain behind money, Emma had a panic attack while hooking up with Hot Cruz, Mari was being kicked while she was down because Tlaloc sucks, and Eddy was busy being the best character on this show by bonding with Doña Tita.

just me and you and the tens of praying ladies in the other room

This week, we open on Emma, who is desperately trying to get herself off with a cute purple vibrator that she very responsibly cleaned before using. Unfortunately for her, Doña Tita has brought a bunch of women over to help Eddy through her grieving via saying a lot of prayers with rosaries. I say this a bit facetiously, but actually it’s very touching. Not only does this community really rally around this Queer Butch human who could use the support, but Eddy accepts them into her home and heart despite the fact that she doesn’t necessarily identify with this specific Catholic ritual. She recognizes in herself that she needs help grieving and is willing to let people help her, even when that means trying something new or uncomfortable. She trusts them, they trust her; they see each other and are right there with each other, figuring it out. It reminds me a little of this episode in season 3 of Brooklyn 99 where Rosa and Captain Holt cry together, because they were the characters least likely to share any kind of emotion or vulnerability, yet they were able to be all-in with their feelings together. That a bisexual Latina woman and a gay Black man were able to have this moment on a mainstream show still blows my mind; Brooklyn 99 is so good.

Anyway so is Vida so let’s get back on track. Emma does not appreciate this circle of praying old ladies whose voices are interrupting her masturbation time, and eventually she just gives up to head out the door. Lyn is on her way out too, to yoga class. Eddy tries to get them to join her and the Doñas, but both women refuse. Emma has rent-hike notices to post and Lyn has a sweat to break. But first, our newly financially-conscious Lyn asks Emma an important question: Do you think the tenants can really handle a rent hike? Emma insists that a $20/month rise in rent is nothing and that they’ll be fine. So. Also Emma sees the ghost girl again, crying in the hallway this time. “Where do you come from?” she asks no one, and it seems an essential question in more ways than one.

Women Talking in Front of Walls Vol I

At yoga, which is taught in Spanish (yet another score for not whitewashing this show), Lyn runs into Karla. After class, they have a talk that makes me cringe so hard on behalf of Lyn, who says she doesn’t want to be cruel but like definitely is when she describes her relationship with Johnny as “beyond.” But both women can at least agree that solely blaming Lyn for the 2-way street that is her relationship with Johnny is not the way to go. So Karla just kind of gives in. She says Lyn can have him, and by the time Lyn’s painting her toenails that afternoon, Johnny shows up. Karla’s left him, and apparently he and Lyn are both really happy about it. I still think Johnny kind of sucks because what about his kid and how shitty he’s been with lying etc., but also I’m a little bit of a misandrist, so.

Women Talking In Front of Walls Vol II

On his way up to see Lyn, Eddy grabs Johnny for a talk. At first she’s about to admonish him for carrying on with this drama, but then she reflects on how she pursued her love, Vida, who thought she was straight before Eddy. The melancholy gleam in Eddy’s eyes as she remembers this is heartbreaking, and yet another perfect performance from Ser Anzoategui who I literally can’t get over re: how amazing they are.

So I guess Johnny and Lyn are back together, whatever. Emma is out and about looking for a sublet so she doesn’t have to stay in the pain cave of her dead mother’s apartment (someone isn’t doing the same kind of work Eddy’s doing to move through the grieving process). But first, one of Cruz’s amazing friends from the club last week approaches Emma on the street to ask her when she’ll come out with them again, and then to gently let her know Cruz is worried about her. Emma does her snappy defense mechanism thing and asks why people have such big mouths before going to look at this house to sublet.

Meanwhile, Mari is having her best episode because she is bouncing back. She and her best friend Yoli have this amazing bonding moment over a chamango, and Yoli kindly drops the truth bomb that Mari can’t let Tlaloc keep her from the Vigilantes meetings; that she’s an important badass. A million times yes to women supporting each other thank you. So Mari does show up to the meeting that night, wearing her armor of bandana and black lipstick, and basically calls out Tlaloc’s arrogance in running of these meetings and calls for a vote on their next action. It’s pretty great.

Women Talking in Front of Walls Vol III

And then! Mari walks by the house Emma is looking at to sublet. It’s a fancy craftsman/product of gentrification, and Mari picks a fight with Emma for looking at it and being a “chipster.” It quickly gets physical and both women end up in a jail cell together.

Then. They. Bond. Who would’ve thought?! They’ve been so at each other’s throats, but being in close proximity in such a precarious situation allows them to figure out each other’s perspectives and realize they’re not that different. It’s beautiful to watch. (I mean, except for the jail part, because let’s acknowledge, as Mari does, that the white real estate agent called the cops on them very fast and police are not generally friendly toward people of color). Lyn comes to bail Emma out, and Emma gets her to bail Mari out too. Mari says she’ll pay her back, and Emma says with a smile, “You better.” Look at these women I love them! All of them. Even Lyn though she annoys me the most.

Back at the bar, Eddy is so drunk, but she’s surrounded by Doña Tita and a bunch of other butch and non-butch humans, singing songs and carrying on the grieving process. Emma and Lyn walk into this scene, and Eddy tells Emma that she can’t just raise rents and that her own voice needs to be heard, too. Emma moves to try to get Eddy upstairs, but Doña Tita says that tonight, they’re grieving Vida, and won’t they join them? She holds out two shot glasses to Emma and Lyn. Lyn looks at Emma and takes one; Emma walks away and retreats to her room. Lyn turns to Doña Tita and says, “I don’t know how to do this.” Doña Tita replies, “You pour the tequila, and then you drink it.” She pours a shot for Lyn, who quietly says, “That’s not what I meant.” Eddy hears her, and responds, “I know. Neither do I.”

A toast, to our Vida

I DIE. I love them so much. This whole show.

Emma ends the episode where she started, but with a really long day in between. She’s in bed, trying to masturbate, but there’s another cloud of voices now: the singing voices from the bar. And she can’t find peace. She gives up and cries.


That’s it for this week! There’s only one more episode left of this season! I hope it gets renewed for a million more seasons but in the meantime come back here next week to read about the season finale!

All images courtesy of Starz

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