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They go to work, raise children, look forward to the weekend - and have a healthy interest in sex.
Based on the groundbreaking British series, this brave, funny and sometimes graphic portrayal of a world not usually seen on television provides an intimate look at a group of gay men and women unapologetically celebrating life. Relationships, careers, loves and ambitions unfold in a remarkable tapestry of everyday contemporary life set against the lively urban backdrop of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Realistic and frank, Queer As Folk, a one-hour adult drama, shows that, despite their differences, all people share a common bond - their humanity - and that's what really counts.
01 - episode01
Justin (series star RANDY HARRISON) moves in with Ethan (recurring guest star FAB FILIPPO), despite being flooded with memories when he returns to Brian's (series star GALE HAROLD) loft to retrieve his clothes and other possessions. The collaboration between Michael (series star HAL SPARKS) and Justin on the comic book "Rage" effectively ends when an infuriated Michael confronts Justin outside the diner and tells him that, since he's no longer with Brian, he should disappear from everyone's lives. Justin quits his job at the diner and leaves without saying good-bye to Debbie (series star SHARON GLESS).
Later, Debbie flies into a rage when Michael reveals what he said to Justin, while Melanie (series star MICHELLE CLUNIE) and Lindsay (series star THEA GILL) reassure Justin that they love him and consider him a friend. At a party celebrating Melanie and Lindsay's eight years together, Debbie tells Justin that he is a part of the family and that she expects to see him at work the next day. Brian punches Michael in the eye when Michael launches into another tirade against Justin, who attends the party with Ethan. Brian encourages Michael to make amends with Justin in order to continue working on "Rage." Brian, who loves Justin and misses him but cannot admit his true feelings, hires a male prostitute who looks just like Justin.
Meanwhile, Michael's boyfriend, Ben (series star ROBERT GANT), who had sublet his residence before changing his plans to relocate to Tibet for six months, moves into the apartment Michael shares with Emmett (series star PETER PAIGE). Ted (series star SCOTT LOWELL) and Emmett contemplate having sex but worry about remaining best friends if the sexual aspect of their relationship fizzles out.
02 - episode02
Without Brian, Justin has no way of paying his college tuition and faces dropping out of school. Justin's mother (recurring guest star SHERRY MILLER) recommends that he ask his father (recurring guest star JOHN FUREY) for the money, but his dad refuses. After imploring a financial aid officer to defer tuition until after he graduates, Justin learns that it has already been paid. Ethan thinks Justin's dad changed his mind, but Justin knows the truth. He stops by the loft to thank Brian, who again urges him to work with Michael on the comic book.
Meanwhile, Brian interrupts a quiet evening at home for Ben and Michael, who end up accompanying him to Babylon. Brian's continuing need for Michael's companionship since Justin left puts a strain on Michael's relationship with Ben, who suggests that he find his own apartment.
Ted and Emmett's first sexual experience proves extremely satisfying for both. Emmett's sexual rendezvous with a flight attendant, with whom he had made a date prior to becoming involved with Ted, severely tests Ted and Emmett's newfound romance.
Meanwhile, Melanie and Lindsay argue about having a second child. Lindsay does not want to be pregnant again and tells Melanie to bear the child herself, if she wants it so desperately. Melanie confides her fears about motherhood to Debbie, who offers reassurance.
03 - episode03
Brian tells Lindsay that he will help with the Gay and Lesbian Center's "Carnivale" fund-raiser - for 20 percent of the take. After the center's board members learn that Brian has lined up corporate sponsors to match the proceeds up to $100,000, they agree to his price. For $500, Brian hires Justin to create a poster, and Ethan expresses concern about Brian's motive to Justin. Brian's ""Carnivale,"" an exotic, erotic assortment of outrageous sideshow performances and games, scandalizes Melanie and Lindsay, as well as the rest of the board, but is a huge financial success. Brian buys a Corvette with his earnings.
Meanwhile, Debbie joins the boys' gym, much to Michael's consternation, and starts to diet in order to make herself desirable to her beau, Detective Carl Horvath (recurring guest star Peter MacNeill). She confides to Ted and Emmett that, being out of practice, she fears she will disappoint him in bed. To guarantee Horvath's satisfaction, Ted and Emmett proceed to teach her how to perform oral sex. Debbie succeeds so well that Horvath makes an offhand comment about how much practice she must have had in the past to be so accomplished, making Debbie feel like a whore. She angrily tells him to leave. Ted and Emmett try to repair the damage by telling Horvath the truth. He is so touched that Debbie has made such an effort to please him that he goes to Debbie to apologize - but not before getting some pointers on pleasing a woman from two lesbian cops.
Her endometriosis cured with a simple outpatient procedure, Melanie can now bear a child. She and Lindsay ask Brian to donate sperm again so that Gus and their second child will be related by blood. After first refusing, Brian later relents, but Melanie changes her mind about having Brian father her child. Ben's ex-lover, Paul, dies in an AIDS hospice. Paul is the person who infected Ben with HIV. In a panic, Ben becomes obsessed with his gym workouts, finally turning to steroids to pack on muscle as a hedge against the potential wasting effects of the disease.
04 - episode04
While reluctantly taking care of his obnoxious nephew as a favor to his sister, Brian finds the boy, John (GAGE KNOX), stealing money from his wallet. Not only is John unrepentant, he berates Brian with a barrage of antigay slurs. Brian takes John to the bathroom, sticks the boy's head in the toilet and flushes. Infuriated, John vows revenge. John accuses Brian of molesting him, and the police take Brian to the station for questioning. Justin tracks down John at an arcade and notices that he's wearing Brian's trademark seashell bracelet. Detective Horvath, Debbie and Justin go to see Brian's sister to confront her son about the bracelet. John finally admits the truth, and the charges against Brian are dropped. Justin returns the bracelet to Brian and tenderly ties it around Brian's wrist.
Melanie and Lindsay ask Michael to be the father of their second child, and he agrees. But when they ask him to sign a document whereby he surrenders all parental rights, Michael refuses. Later, Melanie tears up the document, and Michael, Melanie and Lindsay begin planning for the baby's conception.
Meanwhile, obsessively neat Ted asks messy Emmett to move in with him, and disaster results. They decide to look for a bigger place - a house - so that they will have plenty of space to be themselves. Ben boosts his workouts...and his steroid use.
05 - episode05
On Liberty Avenue, Debbie tries hard to sign up new gay voters to defeat antigay Police Chief Jim Stockwell (recurring guest star DAVID GIANOPOULOS), who's running for mayor. Brian wins the chief's campaign as an advertising account, telling the candidate that he needs to find an issue to make the second-place contender "pop" in the minds of the voters. Stockwell agrees to introduce Brian to some of his rich and powerful friends if the chief triumphs. After some teenage Babylon patrons die from drugs, Stockwell tells Brian he's found his issue.
Although Ethan loses the Heifetz competition, a talent agent offers to represent him, but only if he leaves Justin and his gay identity behind. Ethan refuses at first, but Brian tells him that there's nothing noble about being poor and suggests that Ethan find a way to make the situation work.
Ted and Emmett cannot agree on a house to purchase. Ted likes a new, modern house, while Emmett falls in love with a charming older house that needs many repairs. They argue back and forth until a frustrated Emmett tells Ted to make the decision. Ted surprises Emmett by buying the fixer-upper.
After suffering much anxiety and guilt over his failure to produce sperm to father Melanie and Lindsay's second child, Michael finally succeeds. Steroids are making Ben extremely short-tempered. Michael finally catches Ben injecting steroids.
07 - episode07
Ted faces a prison sentence if convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Free on bail, Ted begs Brian to intercede with Stockwell, but Brian says he can do nothing. Emmett tearfully appeals for Brian's help, and Brian convinces Stockwell that the opposition in the mayoral election will characterize Ted's prosecution as inconsequential. As part of a plea bargain, Ted pleads guilty to the charge but avoids jail time. He must also pay a hefty fine that forces him and Emmett to give up their new house. Ted shuts down his pornographic Web site permanently.
Justin confronts Ethan about the young man Justin saw Ethan with after the Harrisburg concert. Ethan says he is a music student who simply wanted to chat. But when the teen appears at the apartment with roses, Ethan's lie is exposed. Justin breaks up with Ethan.
Michael toys with the idea of contracting HIV so that he can experience what life is like for Ben. He threatens to infect himself with one of Ben's used steroid syringes, but Ben dissuades him. Ben also vows that he has stopped using drugs and apologizes for his recent rages.
Meanwhile, Melanie is pregnant. Uncle Vic has a new boyfriend, Rodney (GARY BRENNAN), and officially introduces him to the family at a special dinner.
08 - episode08
Police Chief Stockwell's cleanup of Liberty Avenue forces young street hustlers to find a new hangout, and they congregate in Ben and Michael's neighborhood. When the rowdy teens keep Ben and Michael awake at night, Ben asks them to disperse. One of them offers to have unsafe sex with Ben for a price. The next morning, Ben and Michael find the same boy asleep in their hallway and take him to breakfast at the diner. Later, the teenager is beaten up in front of Ben and Michael's apartment building, and Ben brings the youth inside to stay overnight, much to Michael's dismay. When the kid leaves the next day, Ben gives him $100, but wants to do more to help him.
Justin becomes Daphne's roommate. Daphne attributes Justin's depression to his recent breakup with Ethan and is surprised when Justin tells her he made a horrible mistake leaving Brian. At Daphne's suggestion, Justin schemes to get back into Brian's life by showing up wherever Brian is. Justin applies for an internship at Vanguard, the advertising agency where Brian works. Reluctant at first, Brian finally approves Justin's internship, but later fires him when he interferes during a presentation to a client. Justin asks for a second chance, and he and Brian make love in Brian's office.
Lindsay takes a job at an art gallery and hires Emmett as a party planner for the opening of an exhibition of Impressionist paintings. The event is a success, but mother-to-be Melanie and the unemployed Ted, previously the successful careerists in their respective relationships, experience a strange role reversal as they watch their mates triumph in their new occupations.
09 - episode09
At Woody's bar, Debbie emcees a charity strip contest during which one of the contestants goes too far and exposes himself to the crowd. A plainclothes policeman in the audience orders the patrons to leave, and the bar is closed. Debbie organizes a protest and publicly condemns Stockwell as a homophobe, putting her beau, Detective Horvath, in an awkward situation. Stockwell maintains that illegal activity at Woody's caused its closing and mentions Brian as proof that he is not a homophobe.
Michael arranges a job interview for Ted with Tracy (recurring guest star LINDSAY CONNELL), now the manager of the Q Mart. Overqualified for the position of assistant bookkeeper, Ted is stunned and angry when the regional manager hires another "more qualified" applicant. Later, bartending for party planner boyfriend Emmett, Ted experiences further humiliation after overhearing Garth Racine (DAN LETT), "the doyen of Pittsburgh gay culture" (Episode #212), refer to him as "nobody." Out shopping for wine for a get-together with all their friends at his and Emmett's apartment, Ted returns extremely drunk and ruins the evening when he inadvertently shoves Emmett in the kitchen.
Melanie wants to work on an appeal for a woman who lost child custody rights to her abusive, drunken spouse due to her lesbianism. Knowing a career-making, landmark decision will be rendered in the case, Melanie tries to renege on an earlier promise to Lindsay to lighten her workload in preparation for motherhood.
10 - episode10
Stockwell's crackdown on Liberty Avenue's sex-related businesses continues with the closing of all bathhouses and the back room at Babylon. Justin responds by defacing Stockwell campaign posters, painting a Hitler moustache on the mayoral candidate's face and adding the slogan "Heil to the Chief". As Justin prepares his own poster with Stockwell sporting a clown nose and labeled "Laughing Stock", Brian tells him to stop, but Justin refuses. Later Brian capitulates and helps Justin paste the posters up on Liberty Avenue.
Ben receives a call from Allegheny General Hospital regarding Hunter (recurring guest star HARRIS ALLAN), the teenage hustler whom Ben previously tried to help (Episode #308) and who has named Ben as his legal guardian on the hospital's admissions form. Hunter had been admitted for a kidney infection, but tests reveal that he also has HIV. Having ordered Ben to avoid further involvement with the youth, Michael softens his hard-line stance with the revelation of Hunter's HIV status.
Exhausted from work, Melanie collapses and is taken to the hospital by Michael, who has been keeping a watchful eye on her wherever she goes. Although Melanie is fine, the incident scares her into making her pregnancy her highest priority. And Ted takes a dangerous detour on his way to a weekend getaway at a country inn and instead rents a room at the sleazy Paradise Motel, where he snorts cocaine and participates in an orgy.
11 - episode11
With polls indicating a close mayoral race, Brian urges Police Chief Stockwell to court additional voters by making an appearance at the Gay and Lesbian Center. There, Justin, Jennifer, Melanie, Lindsay and Debbie confront Stockwell on the issue of police indifference to gay victims of crime. Seething after what he brands an "ambush", Stockwell remembers seeing Justin at Vanguard, the advertising agency where Brian works. Stockwell tells Brian's boss, Gardner Vance (recurring guest star CARLO ROTA), that he believes someone on his campaign team is secretly working against him. Vance accompanies Stockwell to Brian's loft, where they find Brian and Justin - along with Justin's latest anti-Stockwell poster. Gardner has no choice but to fire Brian.
At Melanie and Lindsay's request, Ted agrees to manage Gus' college trust fund. Ted lies to Emmett about joining Michael and Ben for a drink at Woody's and meets up with one of his Paradise Motel orgy partners (recurring guest star VINCENT GALE) instead. Ted smokes crack cocaine, engages in another group-sex session and goes to Palm Springs, California, for the annual White Party without telling Emmett. Emmett's anxiety over Ted's whereabouts intensifies when he learns that $5,000 - all the money in Gus' college fund--has been withdrawn.
Informed of his HIV-positive status by Ben, an angry Hunter spurns Ben's offer of help, but the teen hustler later accepts an invitation to stay temporarily at Ben and Michael's apartment.
12 - episode12
Despite his initial reluctance, Michael relents and gives an apartment key to Hunter, whom Michael and Ben return home to find having sex for money with an older man. At a makeshift shrine in the diner, Hunter recognizes a picture of Jason Kemp, the young gay man whose dead body Debbie had previously found in a Dumpster (Episode #210). Hunter claims he saw Kemp leave a hustler bar with a cop on the night of his murder. Debbie confronts Detective Horvath with the news, but he is unwilling to help, forcing Debbie to appeal to Brian. At the hustler bar, Hunter points out the cop to Brian, who has a conversation with the officer. Later, Brian meets with Horvath, who tells Brian that more evidence, such as a sample of the policeman's DNA, would be needed to proceed. Brian and Justin concoct a dangerous plan for Justin to pretend to be a male prostitute, seduce the killer cop and collect the necessary DNA. As a professional, Hunter demands to play Justin's part in the scheme. When Brian and Justin refuse to allow him to participate, Hunter ignores them and leaves the bar with the suspected killer. That night, Hunter fails to return to Ben and Michael's apartment by his midnight curfew.
When Melanie and Lindsay visit Emmett to inform him that the missing $5,000 has mysteriously reappeared in Gus' trust fund, Emmett breaks down and admits that he has not heard from Ted in days. Unshaven and disheveled, Ted finally returns from his trip to Palm Springs and promises to make things right with Emmett, as well as Melanie and Lindsay. Ted makes a formal apology to the women, but Melanie's reluctance to fully accept it prompts some ugly name-calling, during which Melanie informs Emmett that Ted is still using drugs. Later, Ted proves Melanie's assertion correct when he produces a tiny vial of white powder, takes a snort of it and offers some to a hesitant Emmett, who ultimately succumbs.
13 - episode13
Hunter appears at Brian's loft with a condom used during sex with the suspected killer cop, Ken Rikert (recurring guest star WAYNE BEST). Michael and Ben reprimand Hunter for his foolish and dangerous stunt, and he leaves angry. Later, after eavesdropping on a conversation in which Ben and Michael agree not to continue helping the teenager, Hunter amazes them by cleaning himself up and consenting to return to high school. Registering Hunter for school, Ben and Michael learn that his full name is James Hunter Montgomery and that he recently turned a year older. Hunter is moved by the surprise birthday party held for him by Ben and Michael and also attended by Debbie, Uncle Vic, Melanie, Lindsay and baby Gus.
Meanwhile, the DNA from Rikert's condom matches evidence found in Jason Kemp's corpse, but Horvath refuses to reopen the investigation into the young man's death because Rikert was Stockwell's partner for 15 years, and Rikert's resignation from the police force indicates that Stockwell knows about the murder. Brian confronts Reikert in the hustler bar, showing him a photo of Jason Kemp. Later, Horvath tells Brian that Rikert has committed suicide. Stockwell apologizes to Brian for firing him and offers the unemployed advertising executive enough clients to start his own agency.
Emmett regrets taking drugs with Ted and tells him he will never do so again. Still high on drugs, an infuriated Ted insists that Emmett stage a party for him and six friends. Emmett agrees, but sneaks out of the event when he realizes that Ted has invited his drug buddies over for an orgy. Later, Emmett and Ted argue, and Ted orders Emmett to leave. Melanie and Lindsay offer to let Emmett stay with them.
Justin must go before his college's disciplinary committee and apologize for his behavior as an intern at Vanguard. But when the dean insists that Justin also make amends with Stockwell, Justin refuses and is suspended.
14 - episode14
Vowing to bring down Police Chief Stockwell on the eve of the mayoral election, Brian sells his home furnishings to pay $100,000 for a television ad exposing the candidate's connection to the murder of Jason Kemp by Stockwell's former partner, Ken Rikert. The political commercial spurs a large last-minute turnout of gay voters, and Stockwell goes down in defeat.
Hunter's mother, Rita, tracks down Ben and Michael to tell them she wants her son, whom she calls Jimmy, to live with her. Ben and Michael agree to return Hunter to Rita until he tells them that his mother forced him into prostitution to supplement her income. After Ben and Michael decide to fight for custody of Hunter, Michael flees with the teen when Rita arrives with cops to reclaim Hunter. Brian lets Michael borrow the Corvette to take Hunter away to safety.
Ted appears at Melanie and Lindsay's house to plead with Emmett to take him back. Emmett refuses, but feels guilty. At another drug orgy, Ted passes out and is gang-raped by Doctor Mark and others, who videotape their escapades. After regaining consciousness, Ted is appalled. He realizes he has hit bottom and checks into rehab, where he encounters his former addict boyfriend, Blake (recurring guest star DEAN ARMSTRONG), who is now a drug counselor.
Due to her mother's miscarriage of a child near the end of the first trimester, Melanie is superstitious about an early gift from Lindsay for their unborn child. But when Melanie passes the first trimester milestone, her fear gives way to joy.