Episode 302 of “The L Word: Generation Q” saw Bette Porter (Jennifer Beals) making a bold decision to move to Toronto with Tina despite not being in immediate possession of a suitcase, a passport, a work visa, a 6-ounce clear plastic bottle of Prada cologne or sensible airplane shoes — and Jennifer Beals has now confirmed that while she will appear again in Season Three, she won’t be present in every episode of the season or, seemingly, in every (or any?) episode of any future seasons, should those take place. According to Ash Silver, she’ll be back for Episodes 9 and 10 but out for the rest of the season.
In an interview with UPI, Jennifer Beals revealed that she will be “making space for other stories” because “the whole point of The L Word: Generation Q was to tell these new stories.” Which is true!
According to UPI, Beals will receive the “ninth credit in the ensemble,” thus moving beloved actor/musician/podcaster Leisha Hailey up to Number One. Beals also is pursuing other projects, such as a film set in India inspired by the Tollywood film RRR which Beals says was “a paradigmatic shift for me in terms of what filmmaking can be.”
Bette Porter is definitely the show’s most popular character, which could mean a rough road ahead for a show that already lacks a guaranteed future, despite our collective affection and desire for it. The original series was centered on Bette and Jenny (Ilene Chaiken has sad in interviews that Jenny was an avatar for her younger self, and Bette for her grown-up self), and Jenny is sadly dead. Bette and Tina’s reunion was also an opportunity to explore the nuances of a long-term relationship between two women in their fifties, which has been one of the more relatable elements of the show for many audience members.
“They were introduced as this functional couple that lived in West Hollywood and were having a baby. It was so aspirational for us,wp_postsshowrunner Marja Lewis-Ryan told The Daily Beast. “Maybe that’s why we feel so invested in them, because it was the first time we were able to see a future for ourselves that made sense.”
Although this is definitely a loss, I’m hopeful about the space this opens up for Alice, Shane and the new Generation Q characters and I look forward to getting to spend more time with them. It’s also nice to have Leisha Hailey, a queer actor who’s been out since the jump, hold top billing on an iconic queer television show. As a central character from the original and the reboot, Bette’s story has already been given a lot of time and attention.
The character who seems in the most prime position to fill a Bette-Porter-shaped hole in our hearts is Gigi (Sepideh Moafi), who I’d definitely love to see moved to a more central position in the story. That said, fans are nervous about her future because it appears her and Dani are fighting in the Season 3 trailer, and unlike other couples fighting in the trailer, Gigi is not already connected to other characters through work or living situations. However, despite the end-of-302 car crash, she appears alive and relatively unscathed in already-released photographs from Episode 303.
Presently, imdb still has Beals and Moafi listed as appearing in every episode this season, although it seems clear that Beals will not be appearing in the next two episodes, at least.
I will be responding to the news of Bette Porter leaving me in the only way I know how: creating an art installation called “Core,” about the core values of love, loyalty, honesty and commitment.