Dani and Gigi: A Look at The Best The L Word Ship

EPISODE 8

On episode 8, we start with a bang but before we dive in; I want to highlight how happy Gigi was to see the person at her door was Dani. That’s so freaking cute. Look at that grin.

And then the absolute hunger in Dani’s eyes, in the way she grabs Gigi and pulls her closer. She’s been holding herself back for so long and she finally can let go.

I probably could post every single frame of this scene. That’s how good it is. You really can see how much they want each other, but at the same time they are savoring every moment.

And that pause. Gigi slowing Dani down just a little, telling her without words to focus on her. Gigi loves the emotional connection. I am 100% convinced it makes the sex so much better for her. The scene with Nat in season 1 it’s evidence of that. And she wants Dani, she wants her body, but she also wants more. They’ve already developed too much of a connection for her to not want some of it on their sex, too. We’ve also seen that she likes to tease and play a little, so this is no surprise. But the best part is that Dani matches her beat by beat.

If she slows down, she slows down. If Gigi teases, she teases. They are so in sync without talking, they just follow each other and respond to each other without effort. There is a start contrast to Gigi’s sex scenes with Bette, where it was a push and pull game with each one trying to win and get the upper hand. But Gigi and Dani is a dance with two partners who are happy to meet each other in the middle.

I think the reason for Gigi’s willingness to let Dani lead despite the fact we’ve seen her trying to take a lead with other partners, is because the first instance of Gigi trying to dictate, even if subtly, Dani immediately responded and matched her. She can let Dani lead because she knows Dani will listen to her and her cues.

Right now, I’m honestly just going to post a gallery of screenshots from this scene because what really can I say? It’s amazing. Sexy, sensual. It’s everything.

Now, the timeline of The L Word is a mess, but it’s never bothered me more than with this scene. Dani is wearing different clothes, and we had several scenes in the middle of the sex scene and this one that shows maybe at least one day has passed. So are we supposed to assume this is a different day, and either Dani had different clothes in her car or at Gigi’s house or at some point she left, changed clothes, came back and had sex with Gigi again and is now dressing up after that. I just don’t know. It’s besides the point, but drives me crazy a little.

But anyway. First, Gigi is so affectionate, I love it. She always wants to be touching the person she likes and I think normally Dani finds that reassuring, except here she is already stressed about work and her dad’s stuff. We know stuff with her dad is Dani’s weakness.

Gigi doesn’t have any bad intentions with the questions she makes, but it’s understable that Dani feels attacked because this has been a pattern in the past that her issues with her dad end up interfering with her personal life, and after all the conflicts she had with Sophie about it, she automatically gets defensive.

As soon as Gigi realizes she touched a sore subject, she backs off, which again is a contrast to how it usually was with Sophie, who always kept pushing and evidence of how perceptive she is. Sadly, Dani is already in alert mode and retreats a little. To be fair, despite everything, I think Dani’s reaction was pretty tame. She wasn’t mean. She retreated a little and ran away, a little of her MO but she even tried to soften the blow with a quick peck before leaving.

Nobody can blame Gigi either for having flashbacks to her last relationship. She doesn’t enjoy distant people that put up unsummonable walls. She even said it in their lunch conversation “A throw it in the closet and throw away the key type, my favorite.” She doesn’t like being shut off and at this point she is wondering if Dani will be like that, too.

From the scene with her dad, I’m just going to highlight that moment. It’s clear he has ingrained in Dani the idea that it’s wrong to express emotions, so there’s no wonder she has a hard time being vulnerable in front of people and tries to mask it with anger.

And now we are off to probably one of the best Gini scenes of the entire season. There’s so much relationship development packed into this scene.

We saw how Gigi reacted when she had fights with Bette. She distanced herself. She stopped taking her calls, at least for the day, and put distance, both physically and emotionally. But she wasn’t counting on Dani noticing and caring.

If there’s one thing we’ve seen about Dani is that even if at the moment she needs space or is angry, she always, once she’s calmed down and processes, recognizes what she did wrong and apologizes. But Gigi didn’t know that about her yet. So of course, later in the day, Dani feels bad about dismissing Gigi and when she doesn’t show up as they’d agreed, she worries and attempts to apologize.

We also have another instance of Dani being blunt and direct. As different as their communication styles are, they have that in common and I think that’s good for them. She doesn’t let Gigi hide behind an excuse. If she is upset, Dani wants to know. Of course, Gigi takes the opportunity. She sees an opening to talk about what happened and she takes it. And Dani has already showed her she is different. She not only sought her out but started the conversation about what happened.

And I had that sequence of pictures because Dani is freaking adorable. She hears when Gigi says she didn’t want her to snap at her again. She admits she was wrong; she is ready to apologize and is thinking about what to do, so Gigi forgives her cause she doesn’t want her mad at her.

Gigi tries to stay mad at first, but it’s a losing battle. Literally one second later, Dani is making her laugh.

We’ve seen that Gini checks out from relationship easily, even if she doesn’t outright ends them, cause she is happy to go with the flow. We saw with Bette how at the first sign that Bette wasn’t what she wanted. She avoided her calls and told Dani she didn’t think it would work.

Now, we’ve talked about how this situation parallels that fight with Bette and how the way Dani does apologizes and talks about it shows the differences between them. She didn’t show up at Dani’s apartment like they had agreed. She probably ignored Dani’s calls and texts too, like she did with Bette. But she wasn’t counting on Dani being all cute and vulnerable and opening to her.

When Dani shows up at her office, Gigi doesn’t give Dani a pass right away, even asking if that was her way of apologizing. But when Dani looks at her with those puppy eyes and makes a little joke, Gigi is a goner. She can’t help but smile and she knew then, just as we did, that she was going to forgive Dani.

And I think that was a surprise to Gigi. I don’t think she is one to hold grudges, but she guards her heart. She is open and communicative, but she is also quick to protect herself. The only person I think she allowed herself in the past to be fully vulnerable with was Nat.

Hence her comment about “not loving like that again” she hasn’t fully given her heart to anyone since Nat. But Dani has gotten into her heart without her even realizing. With anyone else, I think this could have been the beginning of the end for Gigi. But not with Dani. You can see in Gigi’s face how she melts the minute Dani says I’m sorry.

Gigi, queen of healthy communication, establishes her boundaries without attacking or making Dani feel bad. She frames it about herself “I don’t do well with the cold and hot thing.” She already forgave her, but she doesn’t let her off the hook. They need to talk about it. And Dani does, because she wants this to work out.

Dani tells her all bout how stuff with her dad is a sensitive topic for her, about being embarrassed Gigi saw how he treated her and Gigi, unlike everyone else in her life (Sophie, Bette) doesn’t judge her for it. She understands. She even tells her she lived the same with her own dad. They’d already bonded a little over their dads in their not date, but here again it shows how important it is to have those shared experiences that help them understand the other.

And here is again, that little smile Gigi gives Dani. Because she understands her and because she sees how soft and vulnerable Dani is being and it warms her heart and because she can’t help it.

And then she closes the distance between them. The final sign she won’t check out from this relationship, she won’t distance herself. She understands Dani. She sees they are both on the same page so she moves closer. And this is so comforting for Dani, too.

That takes me to the “I sure do like you.” That wasn’t for Dani’s benefit. It was a verbalization of an internal realization. Dani is different. With her, Gigi doesn’t want to check out after the first obstacle. She is realizing that with Dani she is loving like that again.

And a final kissing picture, just because I can.

And I’m also going to include this shot of Dani looking at Gigi. Tell me that’s not the look of someone in love.

EPISODE 9

Nothing to see here, just girlfriends being adorable together and sharing food. Move along. I mean, I love the fact they are making time to spend time together, even something as simple as meeting to have breakfast. It just shows they’re both happy to make an effort, no matter how busy their lives are. It’s so domestic. It warms my heart.

Then the easy humor between them. Like even though Dani is pissed, she is clearly not pissed at Gigi just venting to her and it does not intimidate Gigi at all because she knows this, so she has no trouble joking with her. She listens, offers her advice and support, even tries to help her see things from another angle. I love it. In such a short time, they already have this natural rapport, this domesticity, this understanding.

And oh my god. The fact Dani is already invited to Eli’s concerts and school activities. That she has already met Gigi’s kids has me at the edge of mental breakdown. You don’t introduce your kids to just anyone. And yes, it feels fast and I wish we had gotten to see that first meeting, the entire process of asking Dani and telling Nat about it. Nat teasing Gigi about the fact she hasn’t introduced anyone to their kids before (that’s my headcanon and I’ll stick to it) but telling her she is happy for them. I wish we’d seen all that. We didn’t, but I’ll take this little moment. Because it’s been obvious that things between them are serious from the start, but things like this confirm it.

How freaking cute is that hand hold? The way Gigi wiggles her hand at Dani so adorable and of course Dani takes her. No matter how pissed off she is, she won’t reject Gigi. And it’s clear by now Gigi is a really physical person. She expresses love and care using touch. From greeting with two kisses, to a hand on Dani’s arm or rubbing her thighs or kissing her cheeks on the couch after sex. And then she knows exactly what to say to help Dani calm down a little. When most people blame Dani, demand she fix things, Gigi simply reminds her she’s got this.

Also, side note, but I’m pretty sure this is supposed to be Dani’s dad house (going from the overhead showing luxurious houses before this scene and the fact Dani has trail prep there later in the day) so my headcanon is that they briefly said hi to Rodolfo and he was actually decent to Gigi even if he raised and eyebrow at Dani at the development.

You can see how much her heart isn’t into this. From the start, she’s been conflicted about supporting her dad and this answer it’s her PR self. A trained answer, she’s said a hundred times. “He’s an amazing father. He took care of me after my mom died.” It’s something she wants to believe because it hurts too much to admit he hasn’t been the best dad at times. But we also know from that scene in Season 1 that at times she hates him. She hates how he meddles in her life, how he treats her, but he is all she has and she clings to it even when it affects her like this.

But in this scene I already saw a change. She seemed more annoyed than hurt by his words. Like she is already shaking his influence.

Again, her dad only has one mode. Demanding things from Dani. Expecting her to always be perfect, to never make mistakes. He never offers her one ounce of understanding and support. It goes back to what she told Finley about people never being inclined to hug her, and how could she not think that when the person who should support you the most, your parent, has never been one to offer that kind of support. He never gives Dani room to make mistakes without recriminating her or helping her fix them. He never offers a simple hug. And Dani has had years of being used to that, expecting that. Of course, it’s hard for her to open up, to let herself be held. Doesn’t mean she doesn’t want it. Only that she doesn’t expect it and has been taught to pretend she doesn’t need it.

Also, I hate this CAC plot. It was a waste of time in my opinion, but the one thing I hate the most is that if there was something we learned about Dani in season 1 is that she is fantastic at her PR job. So I can’t believe they showed her begging like a lost puppy to the CAC guy to not take their name down. The Dani I know would have spun it somehow.

Dani forgot about Eli’s concert. She got absorbed by the drama and stress of her work and company problems and totally forgot. I think she felt bad as soon as she got the call and remembered, but she was exhausted and lying seemed like the easy way out. She shouldn’t have lied, but she has years of being used to people getting upset with her and demanding things from her, so subconsciously she still expects Gigi to react that way even if she has done nothing to make her thing that she will. She probably got used to lying to avoid confrontation with Sophie and it’s hard to break patterns even when you know they are not healthy.

What broke my heart was Gigi’s soft “oh, okay.” She was so clearly disappointed, but she tried to shake it off and not make a big deal about it. I wanted to cry and force Dani to go hug her.

I also think Dani felt bad/guilty immediately. I don’t think later at night she slipped up. I think she wanted to come clean and did it on purpose. Maybe didn’t expect Gigi to feel so hurt by it though.

The familairity and domesticity of this. A calm night in. The candles, the wine. I just love how even thought they only recently started dating there’s this ease between them already.

As I said, I don’t think Dan slipped or forgot she had lied. She did this consciously. She lied in the moment to avoid a fight she misguidedly expected, but she didn’t want to keep lying to Gigi so at the first chance she got she came clean even though she tried to low-key avoid responsibility for the lie by simply slipping the truth without acknowledging her mistake.

Gigi was hurt by the lie, but I think she was more hurt by Dani’s dismissal of her feelings and the way Dani was trying to downplay it. But instead of festering on it, she was direct and honest with Dani and again established her boundaries. They are only starting dating; they are getting to know each other so there will be missteps, but so far they’ve both handled them well and grew from them in their knowledge of each other as individuals and as a couple. Dani responds well to honesty when it’s done with care and respect and not demands and she always wants to do better and acknowledges when she makes a mistake. Communication is key and so far they are doing well, but more importantly, as they know each other better, they’ll get even better at it.

We also get the detail of Gigi saying she has told Dani “many times” that she is happy to support her. And that’s so important because someone like Dani doesn’t accept help easily. She’s been conditioned to believe she shouldn’t need it, so saying it time and again until she finally understands it is the way to go. Thankfully, Gigi has the patience for it. And slowly Dani will learn to believe it.

Who can stay mad at that face? Gigi certainly can’t. But for real, the thing about Dani is that when she says I’m sorry to Gigi, you know she means it, that she does feel bad and understands why what she did was a problem and even if breaking patterns is hard, she will do her best to not mess up again. It’s why she used to avoid Sophie, to try to not hurt her.

And I think Gigi knows that and that’s why once they’ve cleared the air she goes to her. To show her that one disagreement won’t change the fact Gigi is there for her.

And the way Dani melts into the hug. The way she sighs into it, like finally accepting this is all she needed for a long time now. And it’s great how she actually admits that she has claimed nobody holds her when she is sad, when actually sometimes she is the one who pushes them away.

And I loved Gigi’s answer. It’s true, Dani is prickly when she is sad. She tries to mask that sadness with anger and pushes people away to pretend she is okay. Gigi has seen past this. She really sees Dani for who she is, just as Dani sees Gigi for who she is.

And the fact Dani actually says “yeah” when Gigi calls her prickly is so funny. It’s true, and she accepts it.

No words. Only tears. They are so cute.

And look at Dani. Saing exactly what she is feeling and thinking. Gigi has given her a safe space to do that, and she is using it. And her explanation makes so much sense.

Of course, all the strong feelings she has for Gigi so soon are scary. And she is not wrong in saying Gigi is the only person she has. I mean, Bette tried to support her and help her at the start, but then got wrapped in her own stuff. Micah made a small effort but at the end of the day he still lives with the people that hurt her and, in a way, by not choosing a side, choose one. Not Dani’s.

The one person who has been there consistently, even before they started dating, has been Gigi.

I can’t gush about this enough. “You’re it” It says so much in so little words. I’m obsessed with the way Dani and Gigi have said things very closely or that imply the strength of their feelings. How close they are to saying I Love You even if they are not ready yet. First Gigi with the “I sure do like you” and now Dani with “You’re it.” It could be interpreted only as you are the only person I have, but I think it’s supposed to mean more. Like “You are it for me” you are real, you are who I want.

It sure seems like that’s how Gigi interprets it, too. Look at those eyes and tell me she doesn’t look in love.

And then the “How do you do that?” Like it surprises even Dani how easy things are with Gigi, how easy she finds talking to her. But it’s only because she has given Dani a space of trust and understanding that she never had before. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to open up is that she never had someone that made it easy.

And the way they go from serious conversation to banter and teasing with the “I was married to a therapist” ugh my heart.

And a picture of them kissing because I’ll never get tired of them kissing.

Now, there are a lot of things I could say about Finley’s weird obsession with Dani and comparing herself to her, but this is a post about Gini, so we are just going to skip that part. Her saying that they fit and make sense is the only thing that made sense coming from Finley’s lips in the last few episodes.

I love that Gigi was there, and this is probably the only scene we have of Dani and Gigi being integrated with the rest of the cast except for karaoke night. As strange as this scene was, I want them to be part of the group if only so they can have more screen time. And I’m happy they get to see my girl Dani thrive with the nice condo and the hot girlfriend after they hurt her so badly.

It just shows how nice Dani actually is that she even asked Finley if she was okay and looked worried. Also, that small moment of Gigi being protective.

EPISODE 10

We start with Dani once again being adorable and not believing Gig is not her mother’s favorite. They have shown consistently this from the start how Dani thinks the world of Gigi and it’s so freaking cute and endearing and also what Gigi deserves. As a side note, Dani looks freaking amazing in this outfit. Best look of the season probably.

If you look closely at Dani as she walks, you can see how there’re moments when she tenses up at being at the court but Gigi’s talking makes her smile again.

And the fact that Dani is meeting Gigi’s family? Love it. Not only is Dani meeting them, but Gigi has clearly talked to them about Dani a lot, so they are excited to meet Dani too. We don’t know enough about Gigi to know how often she introduces people she is dating to her kids and her mom and brothers but i have to assume is very very rare. Again, my headcanon Dani is probably the only one she has introduced to her mom after Nat.

This is so funny and I can totally see Gigi’s seven brothers teasing her and Dani and asking stuff like this just to mess with them, but in a loving way. It’s going to be so different for Dani to be in an environment like that and with relationships so different from the one she has with her only family member, but I can see her fitting right in and embracing it after a while.

Of course this is Dani, and her happy and lighthearted moment couldn’t last long. Gigi asks her if she is okay and Dani assures her she is. Dani, in that moment, honestly thinks she is. She has been trained to face things head on and she thinks she will be able to handle it. The great thing about this interaction is that even though Gigi is worried and probably doesn’t fully believe Dani is okay, she doesn’t push. She recognizes that at this moment Dani doesn’t need her pushing for more information about her feelings; she needs her to be there while she tries to get through this and that’s what she offers.

And the fact Dani goes out of her way to tell Gigi she will ask if she needs anything, acknowledging that she knows Gigi worries about her and she wants her to know she is not dismissing her worries, that she will accept her help but also a sign she is not lying or shutting Gigi out. She really thinks she is okay, but she will let Gigi support her like she has offered so many times.

Gigi’s hand being on Dani’s leg all the time, silently offering her support and the way Dani reaches for comfort by grabbing Gigi’s hand. Like Gigi is the tether that will keep her grounded.

And then Dani unravels at the realization her dad is guilty and lied to her. Honestly, Dani is the only one surprised at this development, but I’ll give her some slack. Of course, her dad, despite everything, means everything to her and she wanted to believe he was innocent.

And then Dani says “I’m not fine”. It reminds me of the karaoke scene when she admits to Gigi she is not fine either. Except this time she says it softly, barely gets it out from how overwhelmed she is. And then she literally says, for the first time that we’ve seen what she needs. She not only vocalizes what she needs but fulfills her promise to Gigi. We see Dani has actually learned, or is learning, to open up. That all the love and patience Gigi has shown her allowed her to trust Gigi enough to change her pattern.

It breaks my heart to see Dani wrestling with her urge to be there for her father, even to the detriment of her own wellbeing. Putting him first in a way he has never done for her. I don’t think Dani intended to leave indefinitely and not testify at all, she just needed time away but the lack of empathy and care from her father ends up pushing her away for good.

Love protective Gigi. She looks so happy and satisfied at finally being able to tell the lawyer that has been making Dani’s life miserable for months now to go fuck herself. And then walking away holding hands. I love them.

The fact that is probably Dani’s own father’s lawyers, the one to blame for what happens at the end of the episode.

We already know this about Dani. Her father has always shown her his affection by taking care of her financially, but he has also thrown it in her face several times. And Dani only cares about having his love and support.

His love has always been conditioned by what she can give in return, too. Work for the company, follow his instructions, testify for him. He never stops to ask what Dani needs. Again, so far, we only have seen Gigi worrying about what Dani needs instead of demanding things from her.

Rodolfo never gave Dani space to be vulnerable. She always pushed her and Dani got used to that, but for the first time she is allowing herself to say no and think about herself first. A huge step from her.

She tried in season 1 to put distance between them by quitting and not coming back to the company even after Bette lost. But is easy to fall back on old patterns and Rodolf always finds away to pull Dani back. This time, though, it feels like Dani really understood the harm of that pattern and it’s cutting ties for real.

And now we arrive at the best scene of the entire show! Okay, I’m exaggerating, but it just made me so happy. I live for these domestic milestones. And how cute is Dani trying to remember the name of Dani’s seven brothers? It’s obvious how important this night is for Dani, how much she wants to impress Gigi’s family. And we can’t forget when Dani told Gigi on their first non-date that after her mom died she used to sleep over at friends only to be around people. This has to mean the word to her, to share time and space with Gigi’s family and become a part of them a little.

The way when she sees them, her face goes from surprised at the amount of people to absolutely happy and delighted.

And can you believe the way it comes naturally for Dani now to tell Gigi what she wants, what she is thinking. The minute she felt a little overwhelmed, immediately she told Gigi about it. No fear, no hesitation. The growth, my god.

In this case, Gigi knows this is a normal case of being a little nervous and nothing else, but even if it was something small, I love how Dani felt she could share it with Gigi.

The way Dani says “Salam Homa joon” in the softest voice. I bet Dani was taught to always be super respectful of parents and I have this theory that all her mother’s in law loved her. Like she is the epitome of stability and someone you take home to meet your parents. We saw in Season 1 that she got along with Sophie’s family and Micah’s mom seemed delighted to see her, so I think this is true.

And the way Gigi’s mom immediately embraces her, starts talking to her, tells her she saved a seat for her next to her and favorite soon Javaher. From minute one, they embrace Dani and that makes me so happy for her. I’m sure Gigi has talked Dani up to her mom for weeks now and they are just so excited and welcoming. It’s beautiful.

How great it is to finish the season on a positive note. With Dani being happy and relaxed after suffering all season. I love how they are just enjoying the family dinner, kissing, being happy and nothing bad happens. There’s no stupid twist for shock value. Something ridiculous, like a fight or, I don’t know, Dani getting arrested. So glad that didn’t happen.

4 thoughts on “Dani and Gigi: A Look at The Best The L Word Ship

  1. 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.

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  2. 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!!

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    • 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.

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