“Heading Out” recap (Ep. 5): “Groundhog Gay”


This week’s second-to-last episode of Heading Out involves no vet office (hurrah!), no Eve (boo!), but instead takes place entirely in Toria’s family home, a beautiful, historic manor where Sara is supposed to come out to Toria’s parents as a sort of trial run for her own. Because that’s a normal thing people do.

Toria’s family is, thank God, just as crazy and amazing as she is, and they begin with her mom, played by Dawn French, giving them the standard spiel about the history of the house, of which there’s the local version and then the Version For American Tourists. The local version includes things like facts; the American version involves empty, dramatic statements (“This house has been here…since TIME”), and a nudge towards the gift shop. So, basically, accurate. Jamie and Justine are also along for the visit, of course, and while Jamie and Sara seem mildly interested in the goings on, Justine is SO. EXCITED. about everything, looking about her with a sense of pure and magical wonder. In other words, how Justine is pretty much all the time. Man, I love Justine.

They settle into the sitting room with the extended fam for some alcohol, as one does at rich old houses; at least that’s what the Gilmore Girls taught me. Grandma is old and crazy and can’t hear anything and likes to feel people up, and Mom gets nice and cozy with Sara. Mom says that she’s going to call her Plop, because Sara sounds too formal, and Plop can call her Bumble. Bumble is clearly a way better nickname than Plop, but Plop doesn’t complain.

Yep, still totally normal.

Bumble and Crazy Grandma ask Plop to tell them about herself, immediately followed, of course, with, “Do you have a boyfriend? Are you married?” Toria stares at her wide-eyed: this is your chance!

Go for the gay gold!

Sara fumbles for a moment before going with the easy, avoidant answer of simply, “No, I don’t,” to which Grandma asks, “Why? What’s wrong with you?” As Sara hems and haws in trying to answer, the room soon becomes a cacophony of everyone present asking over and over and over, “Why don’t you have a boyfriend? Why don’t you have a boyfriend? Why don’t you have a boyfriend?” Which is the funniest and most true thing that’s happened on this entire show so far, because man, that’s really what the world sounds like sometimes, isn’t it?

Finally, overwhelmed, Sara shouts, “Because I’M GAY!” And a second later, “Did that just come out of my mouth? Oh, that was awful.”

What have I done.

Toria engulfs her in a congratulatory hug. Bumble stands up and, seeing her daughter embracing Gay Plop, suddenly understands the situation slightly differently than it is. “Oh, my darlings! Oh, I see! Oh, that’s marvelous news! Hurrah! We’re so happy for you both.”


Toria’s dad congratulations her on her lesbianism, saying, “All those decades of indiscriminate sleeping around with men was just a smokescreen. Wonderful! Should I fire the cannon?”

Dad is the best.

Bumble says no, they’ll just have a toast. To Toria and Plop! “To the gays!” Toria, for her part, is taking this all in stride, seemingly having no desire to correct her parents. She just sort of seems happy that everyone’s so happy?

Even grandma!

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