Jeff and Will’s deep dive discussions on the sexy supernatural series Dante’s Cove continue as they talk about season 3, episode 2, “Blood Sugar Sex Magik.” Before they get to the recap though, the guys talk about some other shows they’ve been watching this summer including Our Flag Means Death on HBO Max, The Lake on Amazon Prime Video, Fire Island on Hulu, Love, Victor on Hulu and Disney+, and the documentary Baloney.
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Here are the things we talk about in this episode. Please note, these links include affiliate links for which we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase. These links are current at the time the episode premieres, however links are subject to change.
- Our Flag Means Death on HBO Max
- Episode 383 – Fiction Fest Panel Discussion: Historical Romance with Merry Farmer, Annabelle Greene and Cat Sebastian on Big Gay Fiction Podcast
- The Lake on Amazon Prime Video
- Big Eden on Amazon Prime Video
- Schitt’s Creek on Netflix
- Fire Island on Hulu
- Little Shop of Horrors: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert on YouTube
- Love, Victor on Hulu | Disney+
- Baloney: An Under-the-Covers Look at Queer Male Burlesque website
- Dante’s Cove Recap
- Big Gay Fiction Podcast Links
- Rainbow Romance Reader Report Subscription Sign Up
- Big Gay Fiction Podcast on Patreon.com
- Libro.fm website (use this link to receive your Big Gay Fiction Podcast special offer)
- Frolic Podcast Network website
This transcript was made possible by our community on Patreon. You can get information on how to join them at patreon.com/biggayfictionpodcast.
Will: Coming up on this episode, sexy supernatural summer continues as we recap an episode of “Dante’s Cove” that happens to share a name with a classic album from 1991.
Jeff: Welcome to episode 394 of the Big Gay Fiction Podcast, the show for avid readers and passionate fans of gay romance fiction. I’m Jeff, and with me as always is my co-host, and husband, and the guy I love to talk about “Dante’s Cove” with. It’s Will.
Will: Hello, rainbow romance reader. We are so glad you could join us for another episode of the show.
Before we hop onto the “Dante’s Cove” love train Jeff and I want to quickly discuss some of the things that we’ve been watching recently. There has been so much amazing queer content to watch in the first half of 2022, we want to quickly talk about some of the things that we’ve loved before we get any farther into the summer and you miss out on the opportunity to catch some of these great shows.
Our Flag Means Death
Will: First off way back in the spring, “Our Flag Means Death” hit HBO Max and the world automatically fell in love with it. Now, admittedly, at first I didn’t quite get it what all the fuss was about. I mean, what’s the big deal about this stupid pirate show. But thankfully since then I have gotten over myself and we’ve watched it all the way through, twice.
Jeff: I blame Cat Sebastian on the, for this. When we interviewed her as part of our historical panel in the Big Gay Fiction fest. She was all about Our Flag Means Death. And I came back to you and said, I think maybe we should be checking this out. And then we did. And it was like, oh my God.
Will: Yeah, it’s not just a silly pirate show. It is “the” silly pirate show.
Jeff: That you didn’t even know you needed.
Will: So “Our Flag Means Death” follows Stede Bonnet, a gentleman who’s taken to the high seas to live out his dream of being a swashbuckling pirate. The fantasy doesn’t quite live up to real life on the high seas, but things take an interesting turn when Stede and his crew encounter Ed, otherwise known as Blackbeard.
Yeah, without a doubt, this show is very silly, but it also wears its heart on its sleeve. It is funny and dramatic and very romantic as the relationships grow and evolve between not only Steed and Ed, but they’re goofy crew member pals as well.
Jeff: You will laugh. You will cry. Yes, bring tissues to some of these episodes folks, cause it gets a little emotional at various points in the season. I was just amazed that this little pirate show, which is based auto real pirate. Stede Bonnet is a real person.
Hopefully his shenanigans were as interesting as what goes on on-screen. I was just amazed at the writers and how they were able to do all this, at times, crazy broad comedy, but then also have these real intimate moments as well, which I’m not gonna spoil for you here. If you haven’t, you need to experience it for yourself. But if you have seen it, you’re like, mm-hmm, I know what moments you’re talking about.
I really can’t wait to see how they take their concepts and go forward with them in season two, which was recently announced by HBO. So, we get more pirate shenanigans on the highest seas coming up next year.
Will: Yeah, this show is charming from beginning to end. You can check it out on HBO Max. Don’t be late to the party like we were.
Jeff: I do think we were among the last people possible to watch that show.
Will: Go watch “Our Flag Means Death.” Just go do it right now.
In addition to that, an Amazon series that I don’t think is getting nearly enough attention is the Canadian show “The Lake.” It’s about Justin, whose life has hit a couple of speed bumps lately. But he’ll be spending the summer with his biological teenage daughter, a girl who gave up for adoption several years prior. And they’ve rented a cabin on the lake and they’re going to have lots of catching up to do. One day while they’re canoeing, they sailed past the house Justin’s family used to spend their summers at. And he was under the impression that it had been sold. But he finds out that it was left to his arch nemesis, his stepsister played by Julia Stiles.
And the rest of the series is about their increasingly ludicrous attempts to one up each other and regain ownership of the family lake house. This show is silly and it’s snarky and I just loved it to pieces. Justin ends up falling for a nice local guy. And his daughter gets her chance at summer romance with a cute boy as well. There is lots of comedy to be had not only from the ridiculous situations our main characters find themselves in, but all of the lovable weirdos that also have houses on the lake.
Jeff: I didn’t know what to expect when we started watching it, but I very quickly just fell head over heels for this show. And I have to admit, over the years I have not really been the biggest Julia Stiles fan. She won me over in this show. I don’t know what it was about this character and her, but now I’m like, okay, maybe I need to revisit Julia Stiles and see what I didn’t catch before.
And these people around the lake, this show reminded me of like a little bit “Northern Exposure” because of the kookiness of some of the people who live around this lake and the community that they form. But also the movie “Big Eden” which is a queer movie that is set in a wilderness community. A lot of quirky personalities there too, but just the vibe of “Big Eden,” which is always just kind of like this warm blanket, was kind of in “The Lake” as well. It was such a delight. And it went by so fast. It’s like eight half hour episodes or something. And it’s just like, boom, and then you’re done.
But luckily, despite the fact that as Will said it hasn’t seemed to have a lot of momentum and it’s not obvious that everybody’s watching it like some of the other shows that we’ve discussed on the podcast, it has luckily been picked up for a season two. So hooray, because I’d like to see what another summer at the lake can look like for these people.
Will: Yeah, I think the show is really special. I think it has a very specific Canadian vibe. I don’t necessarily want to compare it to “Schitt’s Creek” because they’re so completely different. But I do think they kind of share a very specific strand of comedy DNA, because in each episode the characters find themselves in situations that are so patently absurd. But the characters, they’re also incredibly sincere. You’re like immediately won over by them. And you’re like on their side, no matter, you know, what stupid shenanigans they get up to. You’re like rooting for them.
Jeff: And that’s even true for the stepsister for Julia Stiles’s character. She’s got motivations, you can completely understand what she’s doing. I mean, the “Schitt’s Creek” analogy is not misplaced, cause you could certainly see similar scenarios cropping up on that show as well. Yeah.
Will: Hopefully our love for “The Lake” has convinced you to give it a chance. You can check it out on Amazon Prime Video.
Will: At the beginning of the summer during pride month, Hulu premiered “Fire Island.” And now this is the queer romcom retelling of “Pride and Prejudice” that’s so fabulous we’ve already watched it multiple times. And in this movie, a group of friends, as per tradition, come to fire island to spend a week filled with sun and sand and sex.
Of course, the two friends that we’re going to be focusing on here are Noah and Howie, played by Joel Kim Booster and Bowen Yang. Howie is getting over a break-up so it’s imperative they find him a hot rebound. He meets and likes nice guy Charlie, while Noah keeps finding himself in close proximity to Charlie’s insufferable pal Will, this movie’s irresistible version of Mr. Darcy.
All of the flowers go to Conrad Ricamora. He’s so amazing. Romantic entanglements and hijinks ensue. Joel Kim Booster also wrote the script and he’s taken the classic romance blueprint, and he has made it current and queer and diverse. And God, this movie is just so fucking perfect. I love it so much.
Jeff: In a summer that’s been filled with so many good things…
Will: So many good things.
Jeff: …I think this might be the crown jewel for me because you’ve got the friends and the found family and that they’re there for each other. Even if they’re bickering about something or if things aren’t going quite right, push come to shove they are there for each other. The romance that plays out, both of those primary romances that you mentioned, are so sweet and so nice. Mmmm.
And I’m a big Conrad Ricamora fan now. We need to find more things that he’s in. If you wanna see a whole other side of him, I will put in the show notes, a concert that was done for NPR. Conrad actually played in the off-Broadway revival of “Little Shop of Horrors” earlier this year as Seymour. Not only can this guy, you know, play Mr. Darcy, but he can play dweeby Seymour and sing up a storm. So if you wanna check out that side of things, that’ll be in the show notes too.
Will: “Fire Island” is currently streaming on Hulu.
And another show that you can stream on Hulu or Disney+ is the third and final season of “Love, Victor.”
Jeff: Yes. Pride month brought the entire “Love, Victor” crew back for one last go round at Creekwood. It turns out the whole series has played out over the course of a year. In season one, of course, Victor and his family moved into the neighborhood, started going to Creekwood High. And as we wrap up season three, we are right back at the winter carnival where everything essentially began in that first season.
I have been very, very happy with where both season two and season three went because the show opened itself up beyond what season one was mostly about, which was Victor finding himself and coming out to his family. And then in season two and three, it’s been much more opened up to the entire friend group which has been really amazing to watch as people get into relationships, fall out of relationships while all at the same time we’re watching Victor continue to evolve and figure out who he is
And in particular through season three, it’s been is it gonna be Benji or is it gonna be Rahim or maybe even is it gonna be nobody at the moment. And I really loved that kind of trajectory for him, figuring out which guy was right for him but also the guys figuring out if they were right for Victor, because both Rahim and Benji have things going on.
We know from season two that Benji’s in recovery because he is an alcoholic and we find out through Rahim that while his immediate family excepts him as being out his more traditional family does not. So that makes for some interesting drama as well. And then there’s all of the side characters who are all getting really their moment in the spotlight. And when you think about that this was only eight 30 minute episodes, they really did a good job of splitting the stories.
There was some really great stuff between Mia and Andrew, as Mia tries to figure out if she’s gonna go to California or if she’s gonna finish schooling Creekwood because her dad ends up moving.
And ultimately Victor’s sister falling in love with Felix, that was so cute. Oh my, God. I loved it so much. So I really enjoyed how this show evolved over time from taking the basic premise of essentially retelling “Simon Versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda” with another character, but then expanding that a lot.
And I would wish… I know this probably will never happen, but I would love to see them make a spinoff for Rahim of some kind. His character was so interesting and it’s not representation that we see… we don’t really see it at all on TV. We’ve started to see more of it in YA literature having a queer Muslim character. And I would really love to see that play itself out on TV a little bit more.
But yeah, I was really happy with the way that “Love, Victor” ended. The whole series is a great part of the Simonverse and fingers crossed that maybe we can see a little bit more expansion on that at some point in the future.
Will: And lastly, I want to mention a terrific little documentary called “Baloney,” which is about a queer male burlesque troop in San Francisco. It takes us behind the scenes with Michael and Rory, the gay couple who act as the director and choreographer for the troop, as well as the rag tag group of fellow artists and performers as they create the various numbers in the show that run the gamut from silly to sexy and just about everything in between.
The movie is about art for art’s sake and about what it takes to make it when you’re a creative type living in one of the most expensive cities on the planet. I thought “Baloney” was fun and inspiring. And I really hope that you get an opportunity to check it out.
Jeff: I enjoyed that a whole bunch. And, you’re right, it is so very inspiring watching what these people do to perform, to put these shows together and even to survive as a troop through the pandemic. I’m so glad you found that for us to watch.
Will: You can rent or purchase “Baloney” on most streaming platforms.
Dante’s Cove: Season 3, Episode 2 – “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”
Will: Are we ready to dive back into the love lives of those who live at the Hotel Dante?
Jeff: Yes, indeed we are. This was a particularly strange and bizarre episode to me. I know I always feel like that, but I think I swear these things get stranger and bizarrer the more deep we get into the series. I have a lot of questions.
Will: Well, I don’t know if I can answer all of them, but we’ll give it a shot. We’re gonna be talking about Season 3, Episode 2, “Blood Sugar Sex Magik,” which is of course, a riff on the classic Red Hot Chili Peppers album title.
Jeff: Yes. There was even a song in there. It was the first song that actually cropped up in the episode that I swear they were going after a Chili Peppers vibe with that particular backing track. Yeah, it was an interesting like, crossover moment there with pop culture at the time.
Will: Before we begin, previously in the season premiere, we were introduced to a lot of new faces and a few familiar characters played by new faces. But the most important thing to remember is that Michelle, who came back from the dead, has returned to the cove and she is possessed by a demon. And she killed poor Marco because he suspected her secret.
Jeff: Like I said last time, don’t bring people back from the dead. It never ever turns out well. That’s a horror movie trope that always happens.
Will: So at the top of Episode 2, Griffin is flirting with Grace at an outdoor market.
Jeff: The looks that she gives him.
Will: Yeah. She would rather go home and kill centipedes than have anything to do with the head of the high Tresum Council.
Jeff: She got a couple of just priceless Tracy Scoggins moments. It’s a very tiny scene. I think the whole thing plays out less than a minute, but he’s being all flirty and she just looks at him, and just like, “No.”
Will: Kevin and Ambrosius are making suggestive sexy faces over a bottle of beer before getting their freaks on in the kitchen. And as we know, Kevin has been magically bound to Ambrosius against his will. But it doesn’t seem like a particular hardship for Kevin in this case. He seems to be having a pretty good time, but there’s definitely something going on here.
Jeff: Yeah. I’ll have more questions on this a little later as we go through this, but yeah, there’s something going on. Ambrosius is like, “Oh, I’m tired, I’m tired. Stop. I’m tired.” Like, “Who are you? You’re always the one going around like, wanting Kevin and sometimes wanting other people.” And just an example of some of the weird things that I caught in this episode that have nothing to do with anything, Ambrosius opened his bottle of beer and promptly put the bottle cap inside the refrigerator, and closed the door. Like, what are you doing? And don’t ask me why I caught that particular thing. But he did it almost so deliberately, I half expected it to come back later in the episode that he’d done that.
Will: Well, more characters have more interactions over beverages as Michelle pays a visit to Diana and they have a discussion over tea. The beginning of this scene has an awful lot of heavy lifting to do.
Jeff: Yes, indeed it does.
Will: Which I thought was rather amusing and good on these actors for just, you know, what plowing through getting the work done because the character of Michelle has previously had no interaction at all with Diana. So Michelle just waltzes in to Diana’s house and is like, “Hey, I’m Michelle. Remember me?” Van…
Jeff: “The door was open. I’ve just walked in.”
Will: “Van brought me back from the dead. I know everything. I’m looking for answers.” And Diana is like, “Sure. Have some tea.” Just roll with it, which is another thing I’m a little unclear about. Up to this point Michelle has sort of been making a welcome back tour to all of the characters in “Dante’s Cove,” kind of reintroducing herself and every single time mentioning that, “My parents were horribly murdered.”
Will: “And I’m back here looking for answers.” And I’m not 100% sure what her endgame is. As I was watching this particular scene, I wasn’t 100% sure Michelle is aware that she’s possessed by a demon like an old-school Sally Field “Sybil” situation that the demon only comes out at certain times. But I think as we move through this episode, it becomes pretty clear that the demon itself is in charge at all times in his scheming and planning. What those plans are necessarily at this point, I don’t know.
Jeff: Yeah, it was definitely played in the last episode as if she didn’t know she was the demon. Like, I don’t know who killed my parents. I don’t know if killing Marco was like, a turning point for Michelle, but she was like, “Oh, I did that,” or if she still doesn’t realize that she killed her parents even as it becomes more clearly that the demon is in control. So yeah, there are questions here that aren’t answerable within this episode for sure.
Will: So like we said, Michelle is looking for answers, but Diana doesn’t have them. The Tresum Council took her powers away for what she did at the Libra Solstice and that, in her opinion, that was too high a price to pay.
Jeff: It was interesting here…some of the things that Diana said, I wasn’t clear if they were trying to rewrite some of what they’ve done. Was Van never ever, ever, ever supposed to have the power of the Libra Solstice? Was it only supposed to be Grace or Diana, or maybe Ambrosius.
Will: I think what’s going on here is that Diana regrets her choices because she’s had her powers taken away and demon Michelle is putting up a front. She’s offended by that. She’s like, “What? I wasn’t supposed to be brought back from the dead? Thanks.”
Jeff: Because the other thing too is, are there rules about bringing people back? Or can you do anything, because the whole thing was you could go back in time, and fix one thing if you’ve got the power of the Libra Solstice? But is it an unwritten rule you shouldn’t bring people back from the dead? There’s a lot of mishmash here going on in the plot. And like you’ve told me before, perhaps I’m overthinking it.
Will: We’ll return to that topic in just a second. Next, Grace is taking a casual walk on the beach when she finds what’s left of Marco.
Jeff: Don’t touch that. Seriously.
Will: There is this disembodied hand laying in the sand, so she, like, digs it out and picks it up. And it’s just like, “Eew.” So now Grace is in possession of the magical mood ring. And now that Marco is gone, they had a make-shift memorial H2Eau. I love it when they have funerals on this show because that means everyone has the opportunity to get out their black club gear, dress up.
Jeff: Except for Grace.
Will: Oh, wait. Well, no. We’re gonna get there in a second. But everyone is wearing their most sexy black ensembles like they just ordered everything from the 1999 International Male Catalog.
Jeff: Oh, my God. Yes, International Male.
Will: Oh, the looks are gorgeous. Love them, love them. So at the memorial, demon Michelle comes up to Brit. She’s like, “I’m so sad. Marco was like a mentor to me.” And she’s all sniffle, sniffle, “Please comfort me.” All the while Elena is standing right there and like, oh, my God, giving her these…she’s shooting daggers. She’s just like… It’s really hilarious because, obviously, Michelle is trying to make a play for Brit and Elena knows exactly what’s going on. She’s like, girl, I’m not falling for it.
Jeff: But, you know, Demon Michelle shoots the daggers right back.
Will: It’s really good.
Jeff: Which to me means Elena won’t be much longer for this role, but nothing happened with that in this particular episode.
Will: So Grace and her cleavage arrives at the memorial. And we have to take a second to discuss this whole look Tracy Scoggins has got going on.
Jeff: Which is, we know comes from her closet.
Will: Yes, it does. She saunters in wearing this flaming red dress. The front is like practically cut down to her navel. She’s giving you body. It’s like, it’s tight, it’s sexy. She’s got the jewels and the accessories. It’s an entire look.
Jeff: Which does not mesh with the look of this funeral at all.
Will: And she goes up to Ambrosius and she says that, “Oh, my gosh. Marco was actually right, something bad is going down on the Cove.” She’s like, “There’s some sort of evil force and we need to take this seriously.” And Ambrosius is like, “Pish posh, I don’t care.”
Jeff: Didn’t Marco call Ambrosius and at least leave a voicemail. Am I not remembering that right from the last episode? Bro shouldn’t only know it because Grace is telling him, but there should be that voicemail too, right? Because he was going to see Bro when he was murdered.
Will: Yeah, I believe you’re correct. He reached out to Grace and she ignored him, and he was trying to do the same with Ambrosius before he got attacked.
Jeff: Maybe Bro hasn’t checked his voicemail yet.
Will: But he doesn’t care. He takes this opportunity to make the grand announcement that he is the new owner of H2Eau.
Jeff: It was a really weird funeral speech. He went from trying to be sorta kinda sad, but then the whole tone of his speech changed midway through. Even Kevin shoots him this look like, “What is happening here?”
Will: I think this is a good time to talk about what the actor William Gregory Lee is doing in this particular episode. Let’s just say he is making some choices that heretofore don’t jive with what has come before. I thought it was very strange and, frankly, for me as a viewer, a little off-putting because suddenly he’s playing these scenes for laughs. And personally as a viewer, there’s nothing more annoying than an actor who’s acting funny. Like I said, contextually for Ambrosius as a character, I don’t think this makes any sense at all, but it’s what he’s doing. So we’re just gonna have to roll with it.
Jeff: Blame it on whatever is going on that’s making him so tired. It’s messing with him overall.
Will: Diana pays a visit to Michelle. In their earlier discussion, Michelle took out a picture of her dead parents. It’s like, “Look at my dead parents. I’m so sad.” And she left the picture behind. So now Diana is returning it and they have a conversation, and Diana is like, “I’m sorry. I was so insensitive earlier.” My dad was murdered too.” And they kinda bond over that. And she decides that now she’s gonna try and help her find some answers. Grace meanwhile is using Marco’s ring to attempt a spell, but it doesn’t work.
Jeff: It’s so funny when any of them find that their magic doesn’t work. It’s like legit a personal affront to them. Diana had it earlier before Michelle showed up at her place because she was trying to I think get a candle to light or grow a plant, or some-such, and it didn’t work. And, you know, Grace has had her broken magic for a little bit now. It’s kinda funny.
Will: So she’s going to find answers to whatever dark force is at work and killed Marco. She thinks she needs some star flower to help give her a magical recharge and as we know from last season, star flower is the primary ingredient in saint. At H2Eau everyone is having a good time dancing around, having fun.
Jeff: Ambrosius can actually tell the DJ what to play now because it’s all his, all his.
Will: There are some twinks who are smoking some saint and they blow it in Adam’s face. And he has a very intense contact high. He starts tripping immediately and then has a seizure on the dance floor.
Jeff: Poor Adam. He’s been through so much and apparently, he’s left on the dance floor.
Will: Well, here’s the thing about this scene. It’s another Dante’s Cove that makes very, very little sense. Adam’s reaction to just a whiff of essence of saint is so severe and bizarre. I think they later tried to explain it away that because he’s in recovery and has off of saint that even like a bare minimum is going to have a very strong effect on him. But what’s really funny is he passes out on the dance floor and we cut to Toby who’s like, cradling him in his arms. And everyone has left. The club is totally empty. So presumably he’s had a medical emergency and everyone was just like, “Eh,” and left. I don’t understand.
Jeff: For a little bit, everybody was acting and probably like, “Oh, my God. Are you okay?” And he passes out. It’s like, I think somebody said maybe call 911 or call a doctor, and get some water, and stuff. But then there’s like, I don’t know if it’s just a jump to later in that scene or if there’s a scene in between when he hits the floor and when Toby’s cradling him. But still it’s clear, everybody left, Toby kept him cradled, no medical assistance arrived. It was very, very strange.
Will: Adam described some of the visions that he was having during his bad trip, but Toby is awfully suspicious. And he suspects that he might be using again. Meanwhile back at Ambrosius’s house, Kevin breaks into Bro’s magic footlocker and continues to use the Book of Tresum casting spells and drawing energy from Ambrosius. Here’s what I think is going on, I don’t think it’s stated implicitly, but I believe what Kevin is trying to do is he’s very slowly draining power from Ambrosius as a way to break the spell so he can go back to Toby. That’s kind of a very big leap because I don’t think in this particular season that’s ever stated, but I think that’s what’s going on.
Jeff: I’ll have more to say after you get us a little more through this scene.
Will: Okay. So Kevin is, like, casting this spell and trying to get some more power. And oops, he actually kills Ambrosius for a hot second.
Jeff: And then freaks out. It’s like, “This is what you want.”
Will: Well, I have thoughts about this too. Kevin has an oversized reaction to briefly killing Ambrosius. He’s like, really upset and really sad and immediately tries to reverse the spell. And there’s two things at play here. I think inherently Kevin is a good person and he doesn’t want to kill anybody. So I think he’s maybe a little freaked out about that.
Will: Also, there’s the story thread that during his sexual captivity with Ambrosius, Kevin is perhaps starting to have feelings for him.
Jeff: I suppose that could thread through here a little bit. He certainly acts like he does, like what was going on in the kitchen earlier. But I kinda wonder if Kevin realizes all the ways that he’s getting energy from Ambrosius. But yeah, I really had a hard time with the fact…okay, you killed him, fantastic. Now go back to Toby because here’s your opportunity like, “Oops, he died. I don’t know what happened. Not my fault.” But then like, I could have bought it more if it wasn’t the, “Oh, my God, I killed my lover,” reaction. It’s, “Oh, I killed him. This may not be the best time to kill him. Maybe I should bring him back.” There were different ways you could have done that to make me believe that you still cared about Toby too.
Will: At any rate, Ambrosius lives to annoy people for another day. Speaking of, the next day at H2Eau, he tries to cast a spell on Toby, but his magic is on the fritz just like everybody else.
Jeff: Again, funny the reaction when the spell doesn’t work.
Will: So he goes running to Diana’s surf shop and he’s explaining what’s going on or what’s not going on. And he has a complete meltdown because he tries to cast a spell to make this hula lamp dance, but when it doesn’t work, he has a complete conniption.
Jeff: And that was funny.
Will: Like I said, it’s a choice. Diane is like, “Dude, I don’t know what’s going on. The one person who might have answers is Griff. Go find him.” And Griffin is taking a leisurely walk on the beach.
Jeff: As one does in Dante’s Cove.
Will: Jensen Atwood, he is like face and body, and hair. He is looking fine. Ambrosius goes up to him and like, tries to attack him, but Griffin is having none of it. He takes him down almost immediately.
Jeff: In the worst fight choreography ever.
Will: I thought it was sort of cute.
Jeff: I thought… We had the big, you know, brawl between Grace and Diana an episode or two ago, and I felt like those actresses, you know, probably talked about it, thought about it, “We’re gonna do this and this, and this, and this to end up over here.” I wasn’t sure if these guys talked about their choreography or if Jensen just kind of decided to just totally manhandle it, but the whole pick up and throw down thing was kind of a hoot.
Will: And because Griffin is a giver, he shows Ambrosius what magic sex powers are all about in he gives him one of those magic orgasms right there on the beach. And Ambrosius is like, “Well, what the hell was that about?” And the scene continues in a locker room. Now contextually, we don’t know where this locker room is supposed to be. Is it at a beach club? Are they at the gym? Is this the where you store your clothes when you go to the Lair? We don’t know. All that we do know is there are a ton of naked guys walking around.
Jeff: Yes, indeed there are. My thought on the locker room is that it is in fact a locker room at the Lair because there’s a scene in the coming next sequence where we’re back in kind of a red space, which I think is supposed to be the Lair, although it looks a little different than the Lair that we saw in Season 2. This is just my guess. We’ll see how that plays out in the coming episodes.
Will: So Bro asks him what the magic orgasm is all about and Griffin is like, “Duh, sex replenishes your power.” And Ambrosius says like, “But I had tons of sex with Kevin.” And Griffin is like, “With one guy. How’s that working out for you?”
Jeff: Yeah. Apparently you’re not supposed to be monogamous and be a Tresum witch at the same time maybe.
Will: Griffin suggests that Ambrosius try a couple of different flavors to see what he’s missing.
Jeff: Which goes back to the question of, is Kevin feeling more powerful in his magic because of what he’s leeching off of Bro? Is that why he can read the Tresum Books? That’s kind of where my head went with that too. Because it’s never been discussed why he could suddenly magically read the book that other people can’t.
Will: Michelle is over at Diana’s house and they’re having tea yet again.
Jeff: It’s a very tea-filled episode for them.
Will: And once again they’re bonding over their shared trauma. And Michelle distracts her with the sexy soul kiss before spiking her tea with some demon blood.
Jeff: Clearly the demon is in control because why would Michelle know to slit her hand open and bleed in the tea which to me was that thought out well because now you’ve got this big gash in your hand, how are you just not bleeding everywhere?
Will: Grace comes knocking and Michelle slips out. And of course, there’s no love lost between the sisters. But Grace tries to explain that something dark and dangerous is afoot. That’s the actual line. And she wants to borrow some star flower and Diana is like, “Go get your own.”
Jeff: Nobody wants to help Grace figure out the dark and danger.
Will: I think this is the case, if you want something done right, do it yourself. Meanwhile Adam is H2Eau’s newest bartender. Ambrosius is a complete bitch about it and is very mean to Toby.
Jeff: But that’s nothing new. He’s always mean to Toby.
Will: And as we move closer to the conclusion of this particular episode, there are several short sexy sequences, the first of which is Brit and Elena having some super hot lesbian sex, but all Brit can think about is Michelle.
Jeff: Such a misplaced affection there.
Will: Grace and Trevor go to the spring, previously the site of the Libra Solstice, but all of the star flower has been destroyed by Michelle in demon mode.
Jeff: Yeah. She does not want to be discovered.
Will: But Trevor finds one last sprig and that’s going to be more than enough for Grace.
Jeff: It was interesting, and I mentioned this while we were watching the episode, that the spring has moved. I mean, I know everything moved at the beginning of Season 3 because of, you know, new locations that had to be be on the island. But we’ve seen the spring in Episode 1 of Season 3 and it looked very much like it had before. There was ground in front of it because Diana and Griff had their moment when Diana was trying to make everything right. But now suddenly there’s like, a moat thing around the spring. And then like, “What? I don’t understand.” I could have understood it more if it’ve been that way in Episode 1 of Season 3, but now it has a new look again. I’m confused and it probably doesn’t matter, but I’m still confused.
Will: We get a little bit more information about Adam and his new bartending gig. It seems that he needs the job because he is broke. His parents have cut him off. He was given an ultimatum, either he needs to return to New York and be part of the family business or he loses all his money. And Adam made the decision to stay in the Cove to be with Toby.
Jeff: Oh. I’m curious to see where this particular plot point is going to play out because we don’t make a big deal very often at all about him being a trust-fund kid. I can’t even remember the last time it’s been discussed throughout the seasons, you know, unless you track all the way back to the first season. So it’ll be interesting to see why him not having no money is such a big plot point of why he had to get this job.
Will: I think it’s an important plot point because if there was a choice to be made over love or money, he chose Toby, which is more than enough reason for Toby to finally have sex with Adam. They have a sexy montage. There’s a cute little pop song playing.
Will: Because if Kevin is getting some on the side, Toby should be able to have some fun too. And in the final scene of this episode, Grace is finally able to use the Saint to perform a ritual and she is able to confirm her suspicions are true. The House of Shadows have arrived in the cove.
Jeff: Oh, my.
Will: And that brings us the end of this episode.
Jeff: If you’d like to check out “Dante’s Cove” for the first time, or maybe you’re just revisiting it now, the episodes can’t be found streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Will: This episode’s transcript has been brought to you by our community on Patreon. If you’d like to read the conversation for yourself, simply head on over to the show notes page for this episode at biggayfictionpodcast.com.
Jeff: And if you’ve watched “Dante’s Cove” in the past, or you’re checking it out now for the very first time, we so much want to know what you think of it. Drop us a comment on the show notes page so we can know what you’re thinking.
And one last quick reminder for you as well. If you haven’t signed up for our weekly newsletter yet you are missing out on more gay fiction recommendations coming from us. We have put together “Happily Ever After,” which is a free ebook full of reviews and suggested romance reads. We’ve got you covered if you want something contemporary, something historical, maybe some holiday romance, it’s all there. To learn more and to get your free ebook, as well as the weekly Rainbow Romance Reader Report, go to biggayfictionpodcast.com/report and subscribe today.
Will: All right, I think that’ll do it for now. Coming up next in episode 395, we’ll be talking about two episodes of “Dante’s Cove.”
Jeff: That’s right. The House of Shadows [Jeff makes spooky sound] are officially in the Cove, and that is not a good thing for our heroes.
Will: On behalf of Jeff and myself, we want to thank you so much for listening, and we hope that you’ll join us again soon for more discussions about the kinds of stories we all love, the big gay fiction kind. Until then keep turning those pages and keep reading.
Big Gay Fiction Podcast is part of the Frolic Podcast Network. Find more shows you’ll love at frolic.media/podcasts. Production assistance by Tyson Greenan. Original theme music by Daryl Banner.