7 Things: Subtext Couples – #1

Lindsay & Cindy (Women’s Murder Club)

Like Birds of Prey, Women’s Murder Club had only thirteen episodes into which to squeeze the subtext. But they wrung so hard, thirteen episodes was all that it took to earn them the top spot on this list of subtext couples. And that’s not even considering the fact that there were serious OTP wars with WMC, like more serious than I’ve seen with any other show.

From episode one, though, it was the Lindsay-Cindy subtext that jumped from the screen. Cindy was so obviously crushing on Lindsay, and, no matter how much she tried to resist, Lindsay’s willpower was simply no match for Cindy’s determination.

How It Started

Lindsay and Cindy meet over a workplace partition, as Lindsay investigates the murder of Cindy’s colleague. It’s innocent enough. By the second meeting, though, the cuffs come out, accompanied by unconcealed flirtation. Then, there’s more flirting, teamwork, and, by the first episode’s end, when Lindsay’s demon returns from the past and she looks out the window to get traction, it’s Cindy that grounds her to the Earth.

When it comes to WMC, it’s not so much a question of which moments are the most subtexty, but which episodes. Because there were episodes of the show where Lindsay and Cindy were damn near canon. Those episodes, counting down, were –

3 – “The Past Comes Back to Haunt You”

2 – “Father’s Day”

1 – “To Drag and To Hold”

Unsurprisingly, three of the top seven subtext moments come from those three episodes. Surprisingly, though, none contain my top subtext moment of the show.

So, without further ado, because I do believe I’ve ado-ed enough, here are my top seven Lindsay and Cindy subtext moments (MAJOR SPOILERS):

7 – Jamie Galvan Jealousy (Episode 1.7 “The Past Comes Back to Haunt You”)

Jamie Galvan quasi-kidnaps Cindy to get her help. Lindsay isn’t having it. She could just be having a cop-like reaction to Cindy’s risks and possibly-dangerous new association. She sounds more like a jealous girlfriend, though. When Jamie tries to run, she even gives him an elbow to the arse. Sure, he did hit her first, but we all know that she only takes that last shot because he’s been mackin’ on her shorty.

6 – Protective Lindsay (Episode 1.3 “Blind Dates and Bleeding Hearts”)

Episode 3 sees the first indicator of how protective Lindsay is of Cindy. When she finds out that Cindy has gotten herself into a possibly dangerous spot, she demands that she not just get out of it, but meet her.

For a spanking, I suspect.

5 – Protective Redux (Episode 1.8 “No Opportunity Necessary”)

Unless it ended with Lindsay and Cindy making out in the morgue, it would have been difficult to make this scene more subtexty. With its sly, side-of-the-eye, not-quite-done-looking-at-you double-take, it’s already got the femslash vibe. And then Lindsay utters a line that is pretty unmistakable.

Note how much Lindsay’s idea of protection is keeping Cindy away from men. As we learned in the previous episode, this applies even more so to cute ones.

4 – Cindy, Honey (Episode 1.12 “And The Truth Will (Sometimes) Set You Free”)

Am I wrong in remembering that Lindsay uses terms of endearment twice in the thirteen episodes of Women’s Murder Club – once when ex-husband Tom, with whom she is supposedly still in love, gets shot, and then again when Cindy does?

3 – I Won’t Leave You (Episode 1.9 “To Drag and To Hold”)

Undoubtedly the subtextiest episode of the series, “To Drag and To Hold” also contains one of the subtextiest scenes. Or possibly two. The line “Who’s ready for a hand and foot fantasy?” leaves little to the imagination. It’s Cindy’s impassioned plea, though, that brings the femslash home.

2 – Double-Stack (Episode 1.11 “Father’s Day”)

Oh, the subtext that carries the last fifteen minutes of this episode. Lindsay going all-in to make things up to Cindy, the way that she reacts when Cindy wants to help, the both-hands-on-Cindy walk to the back of the van. Then, there is the way that Lindsay looks at Cindy as she crosses that street.

And, of course, there is nothing cuter than a terrified pancake.

1 – Self-Sacrifice (Episode 1.13 “Never Tell”)

This scene has such subtlety. Yet, every time I watch it, I think it’s the most revealing moment of the Lindsay-Cindy relationship.

Cindy simply offers her help, as always, and, as always, Lindsay tries to talk her out of doing something risky. This scene is more subdued than their usual exchanges on the subject, though, and more intense. And the subtext in the scene is like actual verbal text, playing subliminally on a hidden audio track.

On that track, when Lindsay says “You can get in a lot of trouble,” she’s actually saying, “Baby, don’t take this risk for me.”

And when Cindy responds, “It’s half the fun,” she actually breaks into an unrestrained, octave-jumping rendition of Bryan Adams’ “Everything I Do (I Do It For You).”

See it for yourself in the video below (but, be forewarned, there are some sound clips that cut off milliseconds early – Movie Maker – What are you gonna do?) –



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  1. I was on the edge of my seat wondering who would be #1. 😉

    (I do believe you have Cindy on the brain, though, because in #4 you have her using terms of end. instead of Lindsay)

  2. There are so many reasons why Lindsay and Cindy own the #1 spot. My love for this show knows no boundaries, obviously, and I’ve always thought what comes first is the friendship AND professional networking between these women that made it special in the first place. That being said, WMC offered something to everyone, including the subtext that some never see. The idea of a relationship between a cop and a reporter is interesting to begin with, because we know they will inevitably clash because of their jobs. I’ve seen from several authors. I was intrigued by the idea in the Patterson books even though I never saw the subtext there before the show. What they have in common —
    For both Lindsay and Cindy, when they meet, it’s a defining moment in their lives. The Kiss Me Not case, to me, always was like a symbol for a decision to be made, to remain in the past, or move on. Lindsay could have gotten together again with Tom, as some fans wanted, but that would have left her in exactly that past. The next time a similar case would have come along, it would have been the same. Cindy shakes up all those old dynamics; she signifies the future. Plus, she is so single-mindedly focused on Lindsay in a way Jill would never be. Jill loves the flirtation and the dating game, Lindsay’s idea of a good time is watching a cop show from DVD with a good glass of wine (and can I ever relate! :)). I see a problem for a longterm relationship there.
    As for Jill/Cindy, you explained it best in Between The Shadow And The Soul. It would be ‘nice’, but that would be all it could ever be. There’s affection, but no fireworks.
    Further evidence is that Lindsay is just so awkward around men whenever there’s potential dating.
    Are we going to talk about post-strike eps and Pete Raynor once more? Let’s not, with the exception of what we made him in the VS, it was all just too painful. Her telling him that ‘no one’s ever called me smart’. Cindy affirming ‘I’m not a feminist’, major glitches that would have never happened with Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain who created the show that we can’t quit. Someday, I would love to be able to ask them, not if they would have gone there, but if they could imagine a relationship between the characters based on what they made them, and what the actresses made them.
    There is something undeniable, it’s in the books, (which they said they read for their roles), it’s in an essay I recently read. The author did an academic essay on Cindy’s character, and while subtext is never mention, she talks about ‘Cindy’s intimate relationship with Lindsay’. And boy, was it ever on the show. The feminist aspect, the slash, all the characters, it all was a dream come true, and nothing will ever replace that.
    In other words. THANK YOU! 🙂

  3. Great job!

    I wanted to write a longer comment. But you demonstrated everything I love about them so well in the post and B stated everything else I feel, I could only agree with both of you and reiterate.

    Still I’ll add my 2 cents by simply saying, they are magical. And discovering that magic, the moment Cindy said “Don’t you need a warrant for that?” changed my life.

    Nutshell explanation:

    Falling in love with the show and with L/C in particular = me watching and re-watching each episode multiple times -> writer’s strike = desperately looking for fanfic -> Finding your blog = delurking -> cancellation treat = going to ABC board = meeting demeter94 who later became my wife.

    Again thank you and L/C for changing my life 😉

  4. Hey B & D –

    So, as for the fact that Lindsay could have gotten back together with Tom… for one episode, she did. One check on the hetero wishlist.

    Then, she got a new dreamy love interest. Check two.

    Then, she had sex with him within two episodes. Check three.

    Then, she left Cindy’s hospital bedside to go meet him. Check four.

    And, finally, she rushed to him at the airport, where he was waiting for her. Awwwww.

    Yes, the post-strike eps were unfortunate. Aside from the Lindsay-Cindy interaction in “Father’s Day,” very little went right. To a point that I was almost glad to see it put out of its misery.

    And I do think it was by chance that I somehow ended up in the midst of your love story, but I’m happy to have been a supporting character. Like, if this were a fantasy tale, I’d want to be like a gnome or fairy or something.

    Or maybe a talking dragon.

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