This week’s episode of Banana opens with one of the most adorable sequences in the history of ever. (It’s a scientific fact, I’m pretty sure.) Sian works at a shoe store, and Violet comes in one day to buy some new sneakers. As they banter/flirt about shoe horns, sparks fly and Violet tries to extend the conversation. Sian, however, is all business, so she sends Violet on her way. Violet comes back the next day to exchange the shoes for being “too red,” and Sian still doesn’t realize that maybe a cute girl is interested in her. This happens again and again (with the excuses getting less and less plausible), before finally:
Violet asks if she can buy Sian lunch and also try to kiss her, which sounds like a really great afternoon to me. Sian agrees, and off they go to eat sandwiches in a park. Violet can’t believe that Sian didn’t realize all the shoe exchanges were bogus. Sian laughs and tells Violet that the first four times she just thought Violet was “a bit simple,” which is something that almost sounds like a compliment coming from Georgia Henshaw and her amazing voice. After lunch, Sian rambles on a bit about her job, and how she is up for a promotion soon, but Violet is like, “Umm, I’m pretty sure I promised two parts to this date, so I’m going to try to kiss you now.”
Later, (and it’s a bit unclear if it’s later that afternoon or a whole new day—Sian’s clothes and blush make me think same day, but her mom’s reaction makes me think some time has passed) Sian arrives home. Her mom correctly guesses that she has been seeing someone, even though Sian denies it. Sian’s mom is also queer (and adorable and supportive), and she muses about her first girlfriend, all, “I was just so in love! We scissored basically non-stop!” Sian snaps that she is nothing like her mother. Well, well, well, looks like someone struck a nerve.
Another unidentifiable amount of time later, Sian and Violet are together at Violet’s apartment, drinking wine in bed. Sian shares a little bit of her past, telling Violet that her mom is a lesbian who brought home a never-ending stream of women when she was younger. When Violet comments that it must be cool to have a lesbian mom, Sian is, again, adamant in her insistence that she is not like her mom. In fact, she dabbled with guys a bit just to be different. She’s shy as she tells Violet that, though she’s slept with women before, Violet is her first girlfriend. Violet replies that she better try to be the best girlfriend in the world then.
At the grocery store, Sian and Violet get to know each other a little better. Violet has, approximately, a billion siblings and half-siblings, as well as both foster parents and birth parents. Sian just has her mom, but Violet jokes that she can take some of her family because she’s got enough to spare. Violet really wants to meet Sian’s mom, but Sian is still insistent upon keeping these two parts of her life separate.
Violet lets it slip out unexpectedly that she loves Sian, and it’s the first time Sian’s ever heard those words. It’s a sweet moment, but I still find myself perplexed at their timeline. To me, those number-of-siblings type conversations happen so early on in a relationship that it feels jarring for this one to come moments before a declaration of love. It’s a prime example of the format of Banana being interesting, but also problematic. Each week, the writers only have about 22 minutes to introduce and flesh out brand new characters, all while telling a compelling story. Some things feel rushed, but I think it’s actually amazing that they’re able to be successful at all.
After Violet drops the L bomb, Sian finally lets her meet her mom. They get along famously, just gabbing on about murder scenes and how to commit the perfect crime, as you do. As soon as Violet gets up to use the bathroom, however, tensions flare between Sian and her mom. Sian, clearly looking for to pick a fight, tells her mom that she might move in with Violet. Her mom’s like, “Cool, cool, great idea—but are you moving a little bit too fast?” Sian takes that as her cue to rail on her mom for her hypocrisy, citing the many women she brought home throughout her youth. When Violet returns, Sian lets her know that yes, she will be moving in.
Sian moves into the apartment and the two of them continue to be really, really cute until Dean, Violet’s neighbor, comes barging in unannounced asking for lube. (This is actually a thing that has happened to me—it was funny in real life and it’s funny now.) Violet also wants to have some friends over that night, so she can show Sian off. A few friends is actually a full-fledged party (Scotty is there! Hi Scotty! Hope you’re doing okay, girl.), and Violet ends up dancing with Dean most of the night. Sian is content to watch, but a little less content when she wakes up with a raging hangover.
Sian comes home from work the next day, and once again the apartment is filled with music and mostly-strangers dancing. Even Sian’s mom is there! (I would totally throw down with Sian’s mom, she seems fun.) Sian doesn’t really fit in with the bohemian crowd, and she’s obviously over this lifestyle. The next morning, Sian freaks out because she’s late for her interview and she can’t find her iPad, which has some interview-related paperwork on it. Violet tries to help, but Sian just snaps at her.
After the interview, Sian comes home to find Dean and Violet playing with her iPad on the couch. Dean, in all his Dean-ness, apologizes half-heartedly and literally prances off before things get uncomfortable. And they sure do—get uncomfortable, that is. All the little things that have been bubbling under the surface since they got together come to a head. Sian thinks her job is more important than Violet’s, while Violet thinks Sian is too caught up in rigid rules. Sian hates living in a 24 hour party, but Violet just wants to have fun while she’s young. It’s not working out. Violet asks Sian to move out.
Flash forward to some time later, Sian is back living with her mom. She now has someone who will make sure she’s up in time for work and she got her promotion, but she’s not happy. She tells her mom about the promotion, and of course her mom is excited and supportive, but somehow it devolves into Sian complaining about her mom having too many girlfriends. Again. She wants her mom to apologize, because, in Sian’s world, everyone has wronged her and everyone owes her an apology.
Sian’s mom will not apologize for falling in love, even if it didn’t work out. She calls her daughter an idiot and also drops this gem:
“If you got bullied at school for having a gay mom, it’s not my fault for being a gay mom. It’s their fault for being pricks.”
Seriously. I am going to keep that in my pocket for if my future potential children are ever being assholes. Anyway, Sian’s mom tells her that it’s not about being gay, it’s that she has a stick up her ass. She tells her she loves her, but she needs to grow up. The episode closes with Sian coming back to Violet’s apartment to give it another try. It’s not an entirely satisfying ending, but these two are so fucking cute that I’m kind of okay with it.