Season 2 Gini analysis
Going to include this moment here because besides being hilarious in that Gigi weird sense of humor way that some people on the show (cough Alice cough Bette) don’t get, it shows that Gigi, after getting the closure she needed with Nat, has moved on. There’s no resentment, no hard feelings over the Throuple.
I don’t know if I’m giving the writers too much credit here, but since they’re usually pretty heavy-handed in their approach to storylines, I’m going to assume a lot of things were on purpose. Specifically, as much as the Bette/Gigi relationship was set probably mainly cause it was hot, I think they did purposefully use it to establish and contrast how good Dani is for Gigi. Like from small, seemingly insignificant things to bigger character traits.
For example, Gigi loves sharing food and asks Bette on her date if she is down to share the scallops. Bette says yes but looks horrified at the idea. With Dani, they shared food naturally from the first day.
Then we see Gini being her usual animated self. Telling a story with all the expressiveness she usually has and Bette being visibly turned off by this, struggling to let out a fake chuckle.
Then we have Bette talking about how she finds the concept of dating sad while Gigi answers she “Finds it a useful step in the process of getting to know someone you would like to spend more time with.” And I’m pointing this out because later we will have the Gini non-date where Dani is more than happy to spend the night getting to know more about Gigi and sharing things about herself, inadvertedly giving Gigi something she enjoys and even if at that point it wasn’t anything romantic is another small thing that shows how suited they are for each other.
We also have Gigi relate to Bette on the break-up from a long-time partner when she says “You make a life with someone and when it’s over, it’s like you are spinning in the dark.” Again, this reinforces what we already know. Gigi loved Nat a lot and their divorce was pretty hard for her. This will be relevant later, both in the way Gigi is patient with Dani because she knows what she is going through and in why I think her feelings for Dani are so strong.
This is another character moment that establishes things we will see later reflected in Gini’s relationship. It’s pretty obvious by now that Dani’s defense mechanism when she is sad/upset is to put up walls and push people away, focus on the anger to keep the sadness from taking over. We also see how even when she was people offering to be there for her, she usually pushes them away at first. Like she does here with Bette.
At this point Gigi is still with Bette, but we start seeing glimpses of what makes her such a great girlfriend, for whoever lucky enough to appreciate her. She is attentive, listens to the person she is with and even if she doesn’t fully understands the topic, she is always on their side, offering support.
This episode we have a great example of how Dani process things. She leads with anger, like right after she found out and was pretty harsh with Sophie, pretty understable giving the circumstances and shutting out Bette. Then we see her process and lean into the pain, allow herself to feel it. Probably blame herself too, she seems to have a tendency to do that. And finally, once she’s had the time to process, she is very straightforward and honest about her feelings and boundaries.
Gini goodness starting on Episode 3
Now we are finally at the point we all actually wanted to talk about. All the Gini moments, starting on episode 3 of Season 2. Just for the record, and for the sake of accuracy or as a curious fact. There were actually 2 episodes in Season 1 where Dani and Gigi could have technically meet, even if just briefly, but apparently didn’t. That’s fine. It wasn’t their time yet.
Those moments are in Episode 3. Alice takes Gigi and Nat to attend Bette’s mayoral debate, where Dani is working. And Episode 4 at Shane’s birthday party at Dana’s.
Now, after watching the whole season again, I’m convinced there’s only one reason Bette calls Gigi her girlfriend here. Because she never does in front of anyone else. It’s to put a wrench in the eventual Dani/Gigi pairing because their connection from the start was so strong I don’t think they would have lasted as friends as much as they did if they didn’t have that obstacle. Their chemistry was just too strong, but Gigi was still dealing with Bette and Dani would never try something with a friend’s girlfriend.
Only including this picture because we need to memorialize the moment when these two SOULMATES and future wives meet. And look, maybe I’m reaching, but who cares you haven’t read this far if you didn’t have an unhealthy obsession with these two as I do, but Gigi always greets people with two kisses and everyone is always uncomfortable/weird about it. Alice and Bette come to mind as two people we’ve seen Gigi greet like this and them being weird.
Dani was surprised too, but look at that smile. From the first moment, she liked Gigi’s personality. Imponent, secure, a little brash. She loved it.
Look, this may be Gigi simply being a great realtor but the way that with only one sentence she put Dani at ease and endeared herself to Rodolfo, famously know for not being the easiest to please?
In one breath she agrees with Rodolfo, winning him over (and getting the sale) but she also shows Dani that she understands what she has to deal with by saying her parents are the same way (and this later will become a recurring theme for them, boding over their shared family experiences.)
Then we have the iconic speaking farsi scene. I could watch an entire episode of them only speaking Farsi to each other. That moment establishes even more their shared background, Something I think it’s important to them and Dani in particular. She has shown us that family is really important to her and it’s no coincidence that she is half latina half Persian and her previous partner was Latina. I’m sure that shared background also played a role when they initially got together.
Then we have this moment when we see the foundation of what will be their relationship. This is no realtor Gigi, this is human Gigi who is always trying to make the people around her feel comfortable. This is her showing Dani that she values her opinion. It’s a moment born out of kindness, I believe, but that probably meant a lot to Dani, who is probably used to people taking Rodolfo’s opinion over her own. And with that comment, Gigi also won Dani’s trust.
Look, this show is not subtle and by this point I think most of us saw they were aiming at something happening between Dani and Gigi. Using her dad to put the thought in our minds, is not subtle, but I’ll take it. Rodolfo has been notorious for opposing Dani’s relationship with Sophie. It was their main source of conflict in Season 1, so having him say this is huge.
I tend to believe Rodolfo is probably judgemental of most of Dani’s relationships. He seems to get along well enough with Micah, but that’s probably the exception to the rule and we also know how important her dad’s approval is for Dani, even if she tries to not let it dictate her decision, she craves his approval. So having him like Gigi, even goes as far as saying she would like to see Dani with someone like her, it’s huge. I’ll take Rodolfo Núñez as a Gini shipper, may be his one redeeming quality.
Here we have Gigi trying to help Bette with her kid related crisis. And look, this is just how Gigi is. She is loving and supporting. She is always ready to step up and try to help you in any way she can. She always tries to relate to what the other person is going through and comes from a place of empathy. The difference is that Bette because of her, I don’t know, ego, doesn’t take help easily.
And now a direct look at the beggining of the end for Gibette. Gigi doesn’t take shit from anyone. The second you do something she doesn’t like, she’ll call you out of it. I don’t think she cared if Bette called her her girlfriend or not, what she didn’t like was the hot and cold thing, the lack of direct conversation.
And something interesting about Gigi and why I headcanon she’s had a lot of short flings/relationships but no long-term relationship since Nat is that she is really fast to check out of a relationship. One thing you do wrong and she starts to distance herself. She may let it run its course and not outright end things, but she starts to distance herself and check out from the relationship.
She won’t take someone’s lack of respect and disdain for her feelings.
I love how Gigi volunteers to show Dani around because she did this with no ulterior motive, that’s just Gigi. She saw someone she knew was having a hard time, and she wanted to make it better, even if only with something as simple as showing them around.
We know this show it’s as subtle as a ton of bricks, but I’m still going to point out how they choose this scene to make a symbolic transition from Dani. From her old life to her new possibilities. She spent the first 2 episodes dealing with the aftermath of the wedding and now, at this moment, she starts to move on.
The way Dani is laughing on this non-date just warms my heart. After days/weeks of being sad, she is smiling again. And that doesn’t mean the pain is gone, but is a start and is all thanks to Gigi.
And what to say about the conversation. They are both so interested in what the other wants to say in learning about each other. It flows naturally and in this moment; I go back to what Gigi said about enjoying dates as a part of getting to know more about someone you may want to spend more time with. That’s exactly what she is doing with Dani. It’s a date, even if it officially isn’t one.
Really, I think we could dissect every single second of this non-date scene. The easy way Dani opens up to Gigi. Maybe because there is no pressure, she is not afraid of being judged or having to please her like she would with someone she is actually dating.
The sharing food. Again, this is something that Gigi clearly loves to do and that Dani accepts without problem. A small detail, but it shows how easily they fall in sync with each other.
Dani asking about Gigi’s family, because family is so important to her she needs to know this fact about the other woman and opening up about her own family. It’s a packed scene.
This moment about Gigi’s dad. The way she talks about being close to him, but how they fell out and implies they have no contact at the moment. Dani, we all know, has a complicated relationship with her own dad, and eventually it may end up with Dani cutting ties with him. So that’s interesting.
And this moment, it’s a simple example of how Gigi gets Dani to open up without pressuring her. She offers insight from her own life and doesn’t ask Dani directly; she implies. She tells her what she perceives and lets Dani fill in the blanks. And most important, Gigi is highly perceptive and usually what she says it’s right, so Dani feels seen and understood. Making it easier for her to open up.
Now this moment right here. They both were feeling the tension. There was an instant right before Dani brings up Bette that they are just staring into each other’s eyes, Dani checks Gigi out and I swear Gigi actually glanced at Dani’s lips for a second. And I’m convinced the reason Dani mentioned being happy for Bette was to remind herself that this woman in front of her was taken, that she was dating one of her friends. She needed to remind herself of it because she was feeling something.
And not only does she mention being happy for them, but she goes on about how amazing Gigi is. She calls her smart and funny and was going to keep going if it wasn’t for Gigi’s expression stopping her. She has known this woman for a full what, 2 days? And she has already made an impression on her. Look, all I’m saying is they were meant to be from the start.
We also have Gigi saying she doesn’t think Bette and her are going to work out. I don’t think this is related to Dani directly. As I said, Gigi simply is someone who doesn’t dwell on relationships and if she feels they aren’t working, she checks out for them and lets them end.
Does she have her eye on Dani already? It’s hard to know. The “I want to know more about you” it’s flirty as hell, but Gigi is also a natural flirty person. I think she is always open to learn more about the people she meets and it’s open to it maybe leading to something more but she is not actively pursuing or thinking about pursuing Dani at this point.
Then we have Gigi ignoring Bette’s call. Again showing us the pattern of checking out/removing herself from a relationship when things don’t work out. Dani and Gigi still laughing and connecting over their shared culture. Dani keeps laughing. I don’t think we’ve seen her this happy in a long while. Like even in Season 1, I don’t think we ever saw her this happy and light.
She is so happy she makes a point of thanking Gigi, of telling her she had the best time and “it came out of nowhere”. In that moment Dani realizes she can be happy again. After a breakup is easy to feel like you won’t love again, you won’t be happy again, but that night with Gigi she was capable of being happy and lighthearted and she realized that maybe with time she will be happy again.
Small detour from Gini land to highlight this moment. Micah is right Dani needs someone… Why not him? Like step up, you’re supposed to be her best friend. But okay we will ignore that for the sake of plot. She needed someone and until Gigi later steps up to the plate nobody else was there for Dani except maybe for brief periods of time, but she didn’t have someone that was there consistently, unconditionally for her while Gigi is just so willing to be that support she needs simply because that’s just how she is and because she cares for Dani.
5 thoughts on “Dani and Gigi: A Look at The Best The L Word Ship”
Amazing analysis. It must have taken such a long time to do this deep dive so thank you. I know I’ll come back to this for reference many times. Dani and Gigi really are a special ship and I hope we get to see much more of them.
Thank you! Yeah, it took a long time but that was exactly what I wanted, to have a permanent place on the internet we could use to reference when they come back to us in Season 3 and even years after the show has ended.
So I gather from this that Gigi is a great partner, and is a great partner to Dani. But what is Dani giving to Gigi? I get she has a lot going on and needs support, but relationships aren’t a one way street. She needs to give as much as she’s given. It’s why I feel like maybe she shouldn’t be in a relationship. And, not for anything, while Sophie is obviously a bad communicator in a lot of ways, a big problem in their relationship was that Dani never really listened to her, saw her. Everything needed to be on Dani’s terms, even when she was being sweet like holding her when she was crying, she just went ahead and assumed why Sophie was crying instead of asking her and listening. And I don’t know we witnessed enough growth in her that she won’t do the same to Gigi.
Tl;dr I just love Gigi and want the best for her and fear she’s in another relationship where she won’t be getting what she deserves!!
It’s true that in Season 2 the show focused more on having Gigi as support for Dani, I personally think we’ve seen how Dani can be a great partner and how she is different from the relationships we’ve seen for Gigi in the past. For one, Dani has been shown to be willing and capable of changing and wanting to break from her patterns. I think she is more aware than anyone about her own shortcomings and makes a conscious effort to avoid de same mistakes even if she sometimes fails.
She is also the only one we’ve seen that actively listens to Gigi and meets her halfway. She admits communication is hard for her, but she doesn’t shun Gigi. She is also so actively enthusiast about how great she thinks Gigi is and loving all the parts of her we’ve seen other characters dismiss or treat as annoying.
Despite the issues she had with Sophie if there’s something about Dani is that she is always aiming to please and give the people in her life what she thinks they want from her (Her dad, Sophie, even Bette) and she is very supportive too.
We can only guess what will happen in Season 3, but the foundations to make them both equal and a great couple are there.
Thanks for the response! Hm, it’s interesting you say that about Dani always aiming to please, because I didn’t see that at all. With her dad for sure, but with Bette she was always freaking out about stuff when she should’ve been the one to keep a cool head, and completely dismissed Bette’s very valid concerns about the Nunez company’s ties to Big Pharma. And with Sophie, she never seemed interested in meeting her halfway (I understand their communication styles were different, but Sophie seemed to be spend a lot of time trying to figure Dani out but never vice versa.) And I don’t see Dani as very supportive, I can’t actually think of a time she offered support to anyone.
And she did shun Gigi, multiple times. Luckily Gigi was very patient with her and was able to explain to her how she was hurtful and they came to mutual understanding, but it’s clearly a pattern that hasn’t been fully broken.
That being said, you’re totally correct that we don’t know what’s to come in season 3, and I really hope I’m wrong!! I’m a big proponent of letting characters make mistakes and grow rather than writing them off completely, so while I’m obviously a bit critical of Dani’s behavior, I hope she can get it together. It makes no sense that the best human in L Word history shouldn’t be in a mutually loving and respectful relationship!
And, should’ve said initially, but I love the deep dive in general! Glad someone else is as invested in this show that is so mediocre yet has completely drawn me in