I’ve always loved Dani Núñez, and I have the receipts to prove it right here and here. I didn’t pay as much attention to Gigi in Season 1 (shame on me) so when I started watching Season 2; I knew I was there for Dani but I never expected how much I would fall in love with Gigi and the buildup of their relationship.
I can say without a doubt the reason I watched the Season 2 of The L Word was to watch Dani and Gigi’s relationship. For once, the show did a slow burn instead of having them sleeping together after 0.2 seconds, and I loved every second. The build up, the anticipation, waiting eagerly every episode to see what happened between them. It was amazing. And after they got together, we got amazing communication and soft moments, along with a couple of steamy ones.
Since I can’t get enough of these two, I’ve been watching their scenes again and freaking out about all the little things that build their relationship. Lucky for you, I also can’t shut up about them and plan on sharing my opinions.
Gigi and Dani Season 1 Important Moments
I started by re-watching Season 1 and noting some important moments that give insight on Dani and Gigi as individual characters and inform some of my theories and headcanons about them in Season 2.
One of the fundamental things we learn about Dani in Season 1 is that she has a complicated love/hate relationship with her father. He is the only family she has after her mom died when she was young and he has a complicated character that has made Dani simultaneously eager to please him and gain his approval while hating him at the same time for his controlling behavior and attitude towards her partner.
Now, about her relationship with Sophie. I know we all agree they weren’t suited for each other. I mean, we spent all of Season 1 and the start of Season 2 watching the demise of that couple. But there’s a lot of interesting information we can infer from watching Dani in that relationship. After all, it was Dani’s long-term and established relationship. That leaves a mark.
And despite the way things ended, I can see a lot of what Dani looks for in a partner from her relationship with Sophie. In episode 1, for example, we see Dani listening to a voice message from Sophie that makes her smile despite the fact she’s had a horrible day at work.
When she wasn’t fighting Dani, Sophie was loud, happy, and fun. She has a fun, loud, big, supportive family too. Dani appreciates that. She needs someone that brings lightness to her life. Someone that helps her forget the stress of her work. As career oriented as she is, that doesn’t mean the stress of it all doesn’t get to her. She craves and needs someone to balance all that, and I’m sure that when they started dating, Sophie did. I mean, even in this scene, Sophie does. Is one of the few glimpses we get in Season 1 of what could have made that relationship work at one point.
Dani also needs someone who helps her carry the weight of her responsibilities, that is there to support her without adding to it. That’s where her relationship with Sophie failed, because on top of her stress at work, she started feeling that same tension at home with Sophie and the way she managed that was to shut out Sophie in an effort, I believe, to protect her. To try to keep her work and her relationship with her dad from affecting their relationship.
Now, as for Gigi. From Season 1 we learned mainly two things about her. First that she is a great mother that adores her children, and second, that she was heartbroken after losing Nat because she cheated. Even two years later, it was obvious how much pain and regret she had over her divorce.
This is one of the first scenes we have from Gigi, and the raw pain from her is incredible. You can feel how much she is suffering.
In episode two, we have the first of many disagreements/fights between Dani and Sophie. Their communication styles just didn’t work well together.
In her relationship with Sophie, every time she tried to be honest about an issue bothering them or tried to ask for time, Sophie was confrontational and berated Dani. Which contributed to her closing up even more.
Next, we have the scene where Gigi tells Alice about her breakup with Nat. And this sentence is just so important “That’s the thing about these kids. They forced me to be honest about who I am and how I hurt people.”
That one sentence tells us so much. It tells us that after the cheating and divorce Gigi accepted she was at fault, accepted she had hurt people and she probably spent the next few years working on it. Working on herself and how to be better. We don’t have a full view of how her marriage with Nat worked, but I think it’s no coincidence the way Gigi treats Dani with so much care and respect. These are things she worked on after she made her own mistakes.
I love this scene of Dani with Sophie’s family at their engagement party. It shows how much Dani values and wants to be part of a big family and how being supported by Sophie’s family means so much to her. You can see how Dani, unconsciously maybe, looks for partners that have big, loving families.
This moment right here is also another subtle way of showing us a lot about Dani. When Sophie tells her it doesn’t feel like Dani thinks about her, Dani is genuinely surprised. She really sometimes doesn’t realize how her shutting out or her hiperfixation on her job can come across. But as soon as Sophie points it out, she recognizes it and apologizes. Or she avoids people because she thinks is what they want or doesn’t want to burden them with her work/daddy issues. But Dani is always willing to learn and listen to her partner if they approach her the right way.
This next scene is so important for Gigi’s character. It makes clear what was built the entire season. Her pain over losing Nat. How important it was for her to not lose her family, to be part of her kids’ life, but also have a good relationship with Nat. At this point, it’s been two years since their divorce, but it’s clear that there still hasn’t been any closure for either of them because their break up was messy. It resulted from cheating and all the hurt that causes and Nat’s immediate reaction was to push Gigi away and soon after she moved on with Alice so there wasn’t much room for them to process what happened and have closure. If it wasn’t because they had kids together, Nat probably would have never seen Gigi ever again.
We also got clues to the fact that Nat and Gigi had known each other for a long time (Gigi makes a joke about Nat’s college boyfriend, implying they knew each other even back then) and that they were best friends before they started dating. So there are a lot of feelings there.
There’s nothing Gigi wants more than to be okay with Nat. She is probably still in love with her at this point, too. Since they divorced, Gigi probably dated around, but she hasn’t fallen in love with anyone because she can’t let go of Nat yet. That’s why she is willing to enter a throuple with her, anything to be close to her, to have a chance to reclaim at least part of their relationship.
One of Dani’s main character traits we are told and show constantly is her inability to open up with Sophie when something is bothering her. This scene is one of the best examples of it, and I’ll talk about how Sophie’s communication style and Gigi’s are so different and how it makes a big difference as to why Dani feels more comfortable opening to Gigi.
In the scene right before this one, we see Dani stand up to her dad because of his fucked up way of meddling in her relationship with Sophie. And we all know that was hard for Dani to do, but it goes to show, again, how she actually is always trying to defend and do right by her partners.
When Sophie tries to ask her about it because she knows how her dad is a sensitive topic for Dani, she asks in a demanding way. “What are you thinking, what are you feeling, etc” and, of course, Dani closes off. She doesn’t think Sophie will understand, she doesn’t find in Sophie a safe and welcoming space to express herself.
We will see it later when we get to the Gigi scenes, but Gigi always leads not with questions but with assumptions. She puts herself out there first, leads the way instead of trying to push Dani out of her comfort zone. She doesn’t ask “What are you thinking”, she makes a statement “Seems like you’ve had to shoulder a lot on your own” for example. It shows Dani that she understands her and makes it easier for her to open up.
Now, I don’t think Gigi had any strong feelings for Alice. She liked her enough to sleep with her and be part of a throuple with her but we all know she was doing it for Nat, not for Alice. However, her soft expression when Alice offers to hold her hand reaffirms my theory that since the divorce from Nat, Gigi hasn’t had any real, meaningful relationships; only casual ones. But she craves to love and be loved again. We will see this in S2 too with Bette. And it’s so interesting to me to see the road from this throuple, her relationship with Bette to get to Dani who can give her the love she needs and was looking for and that she couldn’t get with Nat/Alice or Bette.
Dani breaking down in front of Bette is a clear example of the fact that is not that she wants to bottle up her feelings and hide them, that’s what she has been thaught to do but she longs for someone to take care of her and all she needs is the right approach and she will open up.
I’m highlighting this sentence because I’m a big defender of the fact that Dani actually loves to communicate. They have sold her as someone who shuts people out, and okay, she does it at times, but a lot of the time she simply needs time to process her feelings and then she is in general a very direct and honest person.
She hates passive-aggressive bullshit and if you give her the space for it, she will be direct with you. But if you pressure her, she will shut you out. And most of the time she will do it to spare your feelings.
After this, she tells Sophie she doesn’t want to talk to her because she is pissing her off, and Dani knows that when she gets pissed off, she can be cut throat with what she says. In Season 2 Sophie tells Dani that asking her to talk to her was her way of loving her, but what Sophie never got was that distancing herself, to protect her, was Dani’s way of loving her. She didn’t want to hurt Sophie, and she knew she would if she didn’t take Sophie’s side in the arguments with her dad, if she took out her stress on her, etc. So to protect her, she processed things on her own.
To finish this argument, Dani says, when Sophie insists she wants Dani to talk to her, that “Everybody fucking wants something from me, and it’s exhausting.” This is true. We see time and again how much her dad demands from her. We see Sophie always demanding things from her, we see how much her job demands from her, and we see Dani struggling to try to give everyone what they want from her. But it’s exhausting, like she says.
We will see in Season 2 how Gigi never asks anything from Dani, actually the opposite. She gives to Dani.
And another thing, I want to point is that for all of Sophie’s talk about wanting Dani to open up to her, she sucked at actually communicating too. We saw her complain to Finley or Maribel about her issues and about Dani, but besides demanding Dani open up to her, she never directly told her some of the things she said to other people.
For example, she complains to Finley about Dani no longer calling her pretty, about her leaving at 4 a.m. and not calling her all day, about not showing up to visit her grandma at the hospital. Not one time she went to Dani and said, “Hey babe, I know you’re busy but I’m feeling neglected lately cause you have gone a while without telling me I’m beautiful.” “Hey babe, it would mean a lot to me if you can go to the hospital with me,” etc. Never. And from what we’ve seen from Dani’s personality, if Sophie had made these direct requests to her, Dani would have tried her best to give that to Sophie.
From the brief time we got to see Gigi as part of the throuple, it was easy to see how much of a giver she is. How much she enjoys taking care of others. Here we have Nat and Alice being super happy because Gigi took care of making breakfast, organized their closet, brought them coffee. That’s her love language, to help the people she is with, support them in any way she can.
Next, we have what is probably the best sex scene from The L Word Generation Q so far, between Nat and Gigi. It was part of that necessary process of closure for both Gigi and Nat and it’s so full of feelings and tenderness. You can see in the way Gigi treats Nat, in the way she touches her and looks at her, how much she loved her and how much she needed to close that chapter of her life before being able to move on.
Of course, Alice ruins it by freaking out. I think a lot of her animosity toward Gigi in season 2 comes from her insecurities because Alice can tell how much Nat cares for Gigi too. Even if they eventually are able to move on and are not in love, but just in a really good place as co-parents and friends, Alice can’t help but be insecure. Before this moment she pushed Nat to embrace the throuple and commented several times about how amazing Gigi was.
We also have another scene where Nat and Gigi tell Alice that they were able to talk and resolve all their issues from their divorce. They get to a good place and that closure is fundamental for Gigi’s character.
Eventually, Nat chooses Alice over Gigi because Alice can’t deal with the situation and sharing Nat. We don’t get any insight on that, but we can assume Gigi was understanding and accepted it. We see her act normal around Nat and Alice. She accepts Nat’s decision but now she has the closure she needed from their divorce to be able to really and fully move on.
One thing I want to point from this conversation is when Alice goes off and is mad about the fact Nat and Gigi resolved their issues, ignoring the fact they tell her they want to be with her, Gigi get’s slightly exasperated and says “Oh my god. You are not listening to us.” And I’m pointing that out because Gigi likes to communicate, she likes to be listened to and in S2 we will see how Dani is really good at listening to her and really taking what Gigi says to her to heart.
Also the detail about the tortilla soup with two spoons? Besides being hilarious in the scene’s context, it’s the first hint we have that Gigi loves to share food.
And to finish our look into Dani and Gigi in season one. We have this scene of Dani holding and comforting Sophie. She says two important things here. The first one “I’m going to treat you so good.” Which again reaffirms what I’ve been telling, that Dani strives to take care of her partners. She may fail at times, or let patterns of issues with her dad and her need for space get in the way, but she makes a conscious effort to be good for her partners. And then she says “I’m still learning, but I’ll always be here for you.” Again, Dani recognizes her limitations, her issues and strives to improve and be better for her partners.