The L Word: Generation Q showrunner and stars break down that wedding shocker
Warning: This article contains spoilers for the season 2 premiere of The L Word: Generation Q.
Finley made quite the entrance in the season 2 premiere of The L Word: Generation Q.
Viewers quickly learned that Sophie Suarez (Rosanny Zayas) chose Dani Núñez (Arienne Mandi) over Finley (Jacqueline Toboni), resolving the cliffhanger from the season 1 finale. And much of the episode was spent with the couple preparing for their big wedding day, but during the ceremony Finley walked in and professed her love for Sophie as a confused Dani watched.
"As Sophie rises up in her career, she kind of needs Dani less in some ways that she needed her more in her early 20s, and to me that's what growth looks like," showrunner Marja-Lewis Ryan tells EW. "You change, and therefore what you need changes, and it's exciting that [Sophie and Finley] come into each other's lives in this very specific moment."
The arc of this messy love triangle is wish fulfillment for Ryan, who is queering the big error we've seen in rom-coms about straight people for years. "We've seen the guy crash the wedding, so the idea that we have a queer brown girl at the center of this love triangle and she has to make a choice — again there's some wish fulfillment inside of these big love stories, and that they are ours just as much as they are anybody's else's," Ryan says.
Below, we chat with Generation Q stars Zayas and Mandi about what went down on their characters' big day, what's next, and more.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can you tease about what happens next, right after Finley's shocking entrance?
ROSANNY ZAYAS: We're going to see a different side of Dani for a split second there. That's going to be exciting, to see her reaction to what happens, and Ari nails it. That's what I'm most excited for.
What was your reaction to the season 1 cliffhanger?
ARIENNE MANDI: Truthfully, I didn't even know who Sophie was going to pick. I remember we had a [gathering] for the cast and some of the crew and talking about the finale. I was like "Well, who's she going to pick? Obviously me, right?" And Jacqueline was like, "No, she's totally going to pick me." I was definitely on just as much of a cliffhanger as Dani was.
ZAYAS: I remember at the table read for the episode, it was pretty crazy. When we hit the last page, all you hear was me saying, "Oh my God." It was a total shock, it was a huge surprise to everyone, and that was super-fun.
What was your reaction to finding out the wedding would play out like that?
MANDI: I was in shock that it went down like this. I don't know why I thought for some reason that she was going to choose Finley. They really depicted their friendship so beautifully in the first season, and I know what it's like to have a really close friend and fall for them and you don't really know what's happening. I had a soft spot for them, but before Finley's entrance we have what looks like a beautiful wedding. For Dani, it's pure bliss because she's about to marry the person she loves and she finally stood up to her father when deciding to make her own decision to be with Sophie regardless of what he thought. She's riding that excitement, so what makes it so much harder is going from euphoria to as low as you can get when you hear something like that being said. It's heart-shattering, and in that moment I felt just awful.
ZAYAS: I definitely did a "Oh hell no." It was definitely one of those moments. It's a shocker, and it reminded of the last episode running in the airport. I didn't know who I was choosing, but for some reasons I saw Dani in my head. I was running toward Dani. For me it was the shocker of all shockers, but it reminded me that these two people are so specific and so different, but both just as lovely and filled with some really heartfelt moments for Sophie.
What makes the Sophie-Finley dynamic work?
ZAYAS: It's about how much fun they have together. It's always so nice when you feel like you're not being judged by the person you're with. When you feel loved unconditionally by someone and that you can be yourself. That's something Sophie gravitates towards when it comes to her relationship with Finley. Just how lighthearted it can be because Sophie, Finley, and Dani all go through their lives with some sort of heaviness, but with Finley, Sophie can really find those moments of levity.
Dani admits to having had a crush on Bette [Jennifer Beals]. Do you think she's repressing stronger feelings?
MANDI: There have always been a lot of feelings towards Bette, she's all of the things. Dani wants to be like her, be her friend, and be a professional like she is. Dani finds her very attractive as well. When she says to Sophie that she had a crush on Bette, it was a moment in time in season 1 where she was confusing one thing for another. The one thing that was definitely always true for Dani is her commitment to and love for Sophie.
In the premiere, Sophie gets a great new work opportunity from Alice [Leisha Hailey]. What can you share about we'll see from her professional life this season?
ZAYAS: I'm personally excited about that! Also, Sophie is continuing to develop this relationship with Alice and being part of a story that connects the two generations. It's cool to see Dani and Bette do it, and Finley and Shane [Katherine Moennig]. There's so much more to find when it comes to Alice and Sophie, who are two people that do have similarities but come from two different sides of the world and have such different perspectives on what it means to be queer today. Sophie is learning from Alice, but also reminding her of important things like being a person of color in the queer world. Alice really helps facilitate that and wants to help tell those stories. I'm super-excited for that because I don't know if there's enough of that on TV.
What do you think each of your characters have to learn coming out of this situation?
MANDI: Everything is a blur for Dani after finding out that the person she loves has been sleeping with one of their mutual friends. Season 2 for Dani is all about honoring herself and what she wants this time around. Season 1 was about appeasing her father and Sophie; just doing everything for other people rather than listening to what she wanted. This season is about finding her footing and where it is she wants to be and who she wants to be with. She's asserting herself in a different way than we saw last season.
ZAYAS: Sophie has to learn that her life is not going to always play out the way she thinks it will, especially having made the decisions she's made in the past. Life has a way of slapping you in the face.
The L Word: Generation Q airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.