This L Word recap was originally published on Riese’s personal L Word recap blog in early 2009, before the Autostraddle YOU know and love got invented! It has been republished here for your viewing delight, but there may be messed up formatting and missing pictures.
Remember last week when I said that I wanted 603 to be the finale because it was so lovely and ended with dancing? I bet you do, ’cause this was one of the worst L Word episodes ever!! Possibly one of the worst episodes of any television show ever, ranked somewhere between the Homeboys in Outer Space pilot and Taradise. About 15 minutes in, I literally started slamming my head against the wall. Chelsey left to do work, Natalie left for the gym. Carly & A;ex had their iPhones out, occasionally looking up to moan. It went a lot like this:
Riese: “Oh my God they aren’t!”
Carly: “Oh my God L Word I’m going to kill the fucking L Word!”
A;ex: “What the F*CK?”
This recap will ideally be funnier than the show, but be prepared for a serious waterfall of Haterade. Look, I wanna be positive whenever possible, but sometimes I have no choice. I must speak the truth!!
Firstly — I’m not recapping any of Max’s scenes because I find his portrayal offensive and counterproductive to anyone seeking increased media visibility for peoples of all genders and sexualities. I go into this in depth here: A Letter From Computer Search Champion Max Sweeney. Also, his scenes made us all really upset and I can’t go through that again, I just can’t.
[Wanna see a great episode of something? Watch me & Hav on Alexi’s Closet Episode #17!]
1. Sitting around and eating, unknown time of day (seemingly endless series of meals/beverages over the course of several hours, both Bette and Tina were actively taking meetings, the lighting changed, guests in and out).
2. One side of a boring telephone conversation making dinner plans. (twice)
3. Cleaning out a closet of unwanted clothing. (twice)
4. Waiting in line for a taxi at the airport.
5. Chopping vegetables.
6. Choosing between Scrabble or Monopoly.
7. Washing dishes.
9. Standing around at work and talking.
10. Lying in bed, holding hands.
In conclusion, any of this week’s “scenes” (conversations) could’ve taken place at any of this week’s locations/activities. That’s a BIG teleplay-writing no-no — don’t miss the opportunity to enhance your story by making both dialogue and setting pertinent to the plot. Up the stakes whenever you can.
To anyone who’s ever condemned lesbians to hell: tonight you have won. Tonight we have been condemned to hell for nearly an entire hour and it was all we could bear. We didn’t even change our clothes to pretend like we saw it on a different day than 603. ‘Cause we were too depressed to take pictures, except for the intro pic and the one below, I’ve just recycled some old ones here and there.
It was the night before Monday and all through the land
Lesbians gathered ’round teevees wearing trendy wristbands
They wanted to see Bette & Tina naked but instead got this over-flowered “shirt”
They would’ve seen more action during a bubble bath scene with Ernie and Bert …
Angelica Made This Shirt For Me. She Also Made me a Macaroni Necklace.
Bette, Bette, Bette. Can’t you just wear a Free City t-shirt or something? Why must you constantly turn cake-decorating concepts into shirts? I already read The Secret Garden, I don’t need a visual aid. You make your OWN scene, Bette! Bette & Tina are going to Nevada to meet a potential birth mother. They should adopt a foster child instead, there are many in need of homes. I’m serious.
Well What Else Could We Be Forgetting? KEVIN!
Jenny just had an epiphany! This happens to me a lot too, I’m like “You guys! I know who killed Jenny!” But Jenny doesn’t seem to know who killed Jenny, she knows who stole the negative. She overheard William talking about burning down his building for insurance reasons. That’s really special/used. That sounds like a lie, yet I still don’t know if Jenny took it. Hey, look how pretty Alice and Tasha are!
Good Job, Grasshopper.
Alice tells Tasha she’s “doing so well” at being social. That’s condescending. If I were Tasha, I’d smack Alice in the face. Nothing halts your effortless flow of friendly conversation like a little bit of public congratulation. Alice should just stick a medal on her or give her a certificate for the Most Improved Socializer. Then Tasha would be like, I don’t get medals for socializing, I get medals for killing people. OBVS.
Ohhhh I thought that was Kelly KAPOWSKI!
Bette’s meeting up with Kelly the Bug-Eyed Monster from Showgirls, and when Kit sees Bette over there shooting the shit with Kelly Wentworth, she’s like what the fuck that Wentworth-fucking motherfucker, she needs to back the fuck off from my sister. Apparently Bette almost killed herself over Kelly, which means Jenny and Bette have something in common, attempted suicide. They should hook up. Why not, you know? I mean, let’s just tempt Bette ’till she caves.
In Episode 606, Bette will come home to a house completely filled with naked women. Like her top Celebrity Crush and all time favorite sculptor will be there and everything. There’ll be a moat and on the other side Tina will be standing with Angelica, mis-reading a thermometer and crying.
KITTISM: “My sister almost killed herself over that B-I-T-C-H.”
“Hey! I Thought SHE WAS IN THE VORTEX!”
Then Dylan shows up! She’s hoodwinked Tina into a meeting at The Planet by claiming to be a filmmaker with a different name. It’s like Office Hours in college, this is the clearing house/waiting room for meetings.
“What is going on in here today?” Kit exclaims as Tina dashes to her meeting. Oh, it’s an Ilene Chaiken episode. That means everyone sits around waiting for their turn to share exposition.
Personally, I’m waiting for Godot. Aren’t we all.
But they’re not focused on what they’re eating …
No, not vagina, this show isn’t like that
I’d rather be reading LOL Cats
and I don’t even like cats, or rats.
Firstly, this convo isn’t fair, ’cause “Kelly” always looks so excited and enchanted by everything anyone ever says ’cause she can’t close her eyes or wrinkle her forehead anymore. Luckily Bette’s evening out the playing field by turning Rite Aid’s Easter-themed clearance rack candles into inspiration for a collarbone sheath.
If you take Kelly’s statements out of context, they’re really weird, like this one: “It’s amazing to me that you’ve had this passion, and you just stay true to it. It’s something that I’ve always dreamed of being a part of.” (That’s what she said) Isn’t that the point of life? Bette must really be into this chick ’cause typically she’d call a sister out for talking so much stupid.
Kelly’s been in love with contemporary art ever since Bette TA’ed her class, that’s why she wants to start a gallery. That’s how I feel about reading but you don’t see me getting Mrs. Doman from Eberwhite Elementary School on speed-dial and asking her to start a used Bookstore. Also I learned how to read before I started school, so really I’d be calling myself, not Mrs. Doman, also I suspect Mrs. Doman is dead, like Dana, Mr. Piddles and eventually Jenny.
Kelly’s got a lot of money, Bette’s got no job, Kelly owns a gallery, OMG! I just had an epiphany! Bette should work for Kelly! But Bette is too superfly for that nonsense, she’ll be Kelly’s PARTNER or nothing. They just throw the word “partner” around here like it’s nothing. Remember “Buddy Checks”? Like in the pool at summer camp? We should have those for life. You never know when someone could fall in the pool and drown.
Here’s my idea of how this writer’s meeting went:
Writer #1: Well, I feel like they’ve been through a lot together, maybe this season should focus on the problems within a long-term relationship, rather than the problems threatening a relationship. Like Mad About You, but gay.
Ilene: So I want you to think about the one person in the world that could still force Bette to cheat after all this.
W #1: Well I think at this point Bette & Tina will be faithful, you know, that’s what we’re saying. Let’s get into parenting decisions.
Ilene: A-ha! I know! The straight girl from college you could never have comes back! With money, a job and an art gallery! That’d do it.
W #1: But why?
[Ilene presses the red button, writer disappears into an underground holding cell]
‘”Helena is the love of my life, and I’d give anything for another chance to be with her.”
Look at this point, okey-doke. I mean obvs we’ll swallow anything. Who’s the love of who’s life? We’re on board. No one has conversations these days anyhow. Too busy with murder mysteries and the Bedazzler. Dylan asks Tina for help getting Helena back in her head but Tina won’t. Holler.
This scene’s so long, we can watch them think …
The Planet-a-Thon Continues!
I am so confused about this day. Like the light has changed, time is moving, no one seems to have anywhere to go, there’ve been several meals served in different locations. Helena wants the deets on Dylan and Tina is forced to divulge that now Dylan’s successfully running “Do Ask, Do Tell Productions.” I can’t say it any better than Alice did: “Oh that’s RICH, so she’s a gay filmmaker now?” Tasha rips up the business card.
Carly: “That business card was made at the kiosk in the mall.”
Riese: “The graphics include a small flower and a cross.”
Let’s hook Helena up with someone, Alice says. Jenny suggests Jodi. Well, Jenny means well — she wants to incorporate another cast member, as we’ve only got four more episodes left, surely it’s too late to get a newbie involved. But everyone knows that Bette’s the only one evolved enough to handle Jodi Now everyone has to start thinking. Sometimes it seems like Kate and Leisha are making fun of the script while acting in it. They do a Scooby Doo-ish “hmm, let’s think,” followed by a “GUESS WHO” chin stroke of thinking.
I can hear the paint drying on Bettina’s new second floor addition that’s ruining Jenny’s hearing. Before long Jenny will be just like Jodi and then they can date. Unless Jenny dies or something. Well, I hope she didn’t die ’cause she couldn’t scream for help. Jeez. Someone needs Free Hugs and Breakfast I’m guessing.
Alice and Tasha have AN IDEA! – Jamie! She’s rad! They went bowling. She’s the director of Youth & Family Services at the Gay And Lesbian Center. They fight over who gets to call — and at this moment, I’m expecting them to cut away to the next scene. But instead we’re actually gonna watch both Tasha and Alice have phone convos that involve repeating “we have a good feeling about this” over & over until the thesaurus kills itself.
Carly: “It’s one in the afternoon, they’re drinking vodka?”
Natalie: “They’ve been there all day, as Chelsey so acutely pointed out.”
How many horses died to make this next scene? They’re having a horse buffet!! Horse cocktail, horse kebabs …
This One Reminds me of Jail
Jenny just saw Oprah or some other mid-afternoon teevee program and she learned a special fancy word called “clutter cleaning” (as opposed to other kinds of cleaning, which rarely address the clutter issue) — “it’s a good thing when you’re starting a new project or a new relationship!” So then we watch Shane & Jenny try to clean out the closet as a way of discussing all their past relationships. Jenny won’t let go of Marina (her “first love”) or her art supplies, which she might use some day. I hope not, remember her last art project? It involved her naked torso and a black Sharpie.
Shane says, “I don’t believe in changing people!” Write that down, Jenny. WRITE THAT DOWN. Why are they fuddling around with all these clothes when they could be removing each other’s clothes and making out? I dunno.
Lesbian Squabble #17: I’m Not Unfaithful But I’ll Stray
In the Ring: Bette vs. Tina
Content: Tina’s not okay with Bette working with Kelly, as a partner, and with not talking to Tina about it first. Good call Tina. Bette has done a total personality retcon since last episode, won’t be “on probation her whole life” and now is being haughty: “This is a business decision and if you don’t believe that than I suggest you come up with a better solution.” I think Bette has a good point because in reality, a woman in Bette’s situation would never cheat! She just wouldn’t!
But Bette on this show — who knows?
Who Wins? Bette, ’cause Tina apologized and took it back. So that means Bette won, even though I think Tina has a point and they should communicate better.Also she’s pretty:
Watching people pack is intriguing. I wonder if anyone’s interested in mowing the lawn or grocery shopping. I really would like to see some bricks get laid. I’d like to see SOMEONE get laid.
I clean, you clean, we all clean to lick ice cream
off each other’s bodies, but not today, Ilene is mean …
Take it! Take Whatever You Want! Take My Soul! Take the Goldfish!
Now it’s onto Shane’s closet! This has potential to be cute, but is wrapped in terrible, like an Oreo where the sandwich cookies are actually cardboard. It’s like episode 311 where the lovely flashbacks from Dana’s past were sandwiched by outtakes from the Hike on Witch Mountain. I’m glad that Shane’s standing up to Jenny, though she mostly seems impartial — I think that’s why Shane gets along so well with domineering women, she really is pretty chill to just go with the flow, whatever the flow may be.
Shane won’t get rid of the shirts that remind her of Carmen. Good, that red shirt was hot, I remember it.
Back in the Days of Glory and Light …
“That’s the old Shane,” Jenny says. “The one that couldn’t honor her commitments.”
But Shane says, “I’m not throwing [Carmen] away.”
Then they look at each other really cutely.
This is the most action anyone gets this episode
Did they take that gigantic motorcade of luggage on the plane? I could live in that thing, it’s bigger than my apartment. Also Bette — that shirt you’re wearing? LOVE IT! Do more like that! Also, Angie is sooooooo cute I could die. She has to alert them to the Taxi, ’cause they’re too busy talking about Kelly. I wonder what they talked about on the plane. Sometimes I feel like they only speak when we’re watching.
If Shay could choke down those milkshakes, Shane can handle a taco soon
Let’s eat, let’s clean, let’s talk on the phone,
let’s stand around, do the dishes, and moan moan moan
Now Shane’s gonna meet Alice for another meal and along with the audience, Shane will witness Alice’s phone conversation. That’s a total social no-no, ALICE! Put your phone away! “Jamie’s like weirdly perfect,” Alice says. Really Alice? I haven’t heard you say that a million times.
Note to Max’s Costume Designer: this is the only situation in which plaid works.
In order to demonstrate Jamie’s honesty and self-sacrifice, Alice divulges that they’re gonna eat at home instead of eating out, ’cause they’re all broke and Jamie’s not a gold digger like Dylan. That’s a leap! Really? Do we get medals for not eating out now? Speaking of eating someone out! Let’s get naked! But before anyone can eat anyone or anything, the angel of darkness descends … Jenny’s done writing and has decided to join the crew for some rice and beans. Jenny’s Personality Ret-Con is in FULL EFFECT. Bring on the Clingy! Bring on the Manipulative!
Shane doesn’t seem too upset, and even takes Jenny’s “have you been smoking” inquisition pretty lightly, this is interesting, and confusing. Maybe this is supposed to be “ga ga in love” instead of ‘being clingy.’ Like how EZ Girl came with Ilene to this show. But if any of my girlfriends did this to me, I feel like Haviland would be raising an eyebrow of concern.
I Am Going to Make You an Offer You Cannot Refuse Because You Have No Choice KAZAAM!
Cutest. Family. EVER.
Here we are in a suburban cul-de-sac. An attack dog barks outside to indicate that White Trash lies beyond ye doors. “I’m really sorry if he scared you,” Winnie says. She’s so Canada! I’m still waiting for her to apologize for this outfit. I’m calling her Winnie ’cause she reminds me of Winnie from The Wonder Years, but slutty. I secretly love slutty girls, btw, bring it on.
The Dog’s Not the Father Guys Don’t Worry!
Now that I know her name is Marci, not Winnie, I’ll respect that. Marci’s already got two kids and her parents don’t want her to keep the other, she can’t afford it. They don’t even know she’s still fucking the dude who got her preggo this time. SKETCHY! Hello, I’d like to suggest Ortho Tri-Cyclen or Trojan Condoms.
Winnie’s impressed that Tina just did a movie with Nikki Stevens, Nikki Stevens is SO RAD! Did Bette just say Beverly Hills Chihuahua? Marci’s parents come in, they are white trash from Central Casting, probs also they are Max’s parents. They are a little confus
ed as to why such beautiful ladies are sitting in their living room.
Bette: “No, he was just a donor, I adopted Angelica from birth.”
Mom: “But you’re married?”
Bette: “You know it’s funny, we’d always said we wouldn’t even consider getting married until there were full & complete equal rights under the law, it should be a federal law, but in some ways having said that we’re getting closer to it you know if and when this latest ballot measure is overturned, we would probably think about it –”
Tina’s trying to give Bette the “ixnay on the agy-ights-ray” look but it’s not working.
Tina: “I think she’s asking if you’re married to a man?”
Bette & Tina are kicked to the curb once Marci’s Fam confirms that they are Lebanese. Poor Winnie. I mean Marci. Luckily Angelica is still cute.
Now we’re going to watch Alice and Jamie cut vegetables and talk about work. Jamie was almost a police officer, it’s in her family, but she could only last a few weeks. Alice gushes about how what Jamie does is really important, and she’s serving in her own way. That’s sweet. Just wait ’til she tells Tasha about the cop thing! Now Jamie is going to teach Alice a trick for cutting vegetables, excellent. If you watch this on mute and listen to Tegan & Sara’s “Underwater” over it, it’s much better.
Jamie thinks Alice should work at the Center, but Alice doubts herself — she should! Alice could do much more with her life. Anyhow if she won’t take the job, I will. I need a job.
They make eyes at each other a lot.
she changes her personality so much you’ll never be sure what you’ve got
a pregnancy fetish, a killer poker game, queen of the jailyard
she’ll be whomever you want her to be, and she’s totally got the best arms.
Chock Full O’Nuts!
Helena shows up just as Jamie’s talking about how much she loves Runyan Canyon. Coincidentally, Helena’s telling Alice how she hates it. This’ll be like that scene in When Harry Met Sally when they try to set up their friends with each other and end up chatting just the two of ’em, except with three instead of two. Alice made a nut-loaf, like meatloaf but with nuts. Neat. Fascinating. It becomes increasingly clear that Tasha & Alice love Jamie and Helena is the fourth wheel. Some may say that four wheels make a car, I say everyone just have sex with everyone.
Rarely does Tasha light up like this … Jamie brings out the best in both of them. Tasha is so pretty. Alice is so pretty. Jamie is so pretty. So so pretty. Everyone is so pretty.
Now they’re gonna look at baby pictures. Leisha was a little tomboy and now she’s a girly girl, adorable then = adorable now. The girls chat about how they’d like kids (really? Talice haven’t already discussed this?) Bringing up Helena’s kids is a tricky subject — Helena doesn’t have custody, her ex took the children to the South of France. Jamie’s clearly uninterested in Helena and her hot mess of a storyline.
Oh Just Wait ‘Til I Tell You About PRISON!
Helena knows she looks bad as a potential date (though she looks good as a work of human being) and is thinking about jetting to find the woman who accepts her for all her flaws ’cause it’s Dylan’s fault this all happened in the first place. (Also – Helena used to LOVE her kids! What happened?! She seems totally over it now. RETCON alert.) She decides to split when they start bringing out the board games, and Jamie & Tasha have a cute moment about how it’s not gonna work between Jamie & Helena, so everyone stop thinking about if it’d be Jelena or Helenie.
NOW I Know You Still Care FOR SURE!
Helena runs to Dylan’s and asks her to have dinner. Then she runs away like she’s just warned her about The Ring. Helena’s so cute when she’s nervous. And haven’t we all been there? Your friends are trying to do the right thing and get you involved with someone good, but instead you’re running over to the enemy’s territory late at night and demanding a dinner date. Old habits die hard. Just like Jenny. Who I love.
I’m Having an Old Friend For Dinner …
but they aren’t, because Ilene stole all of Jenny’s Depakote.
Jenny turned Shane’s bedroom into an office and thinks Shane is going to love it. Does she really think that? If I were Shane, I would kill Jenny right then and there, that is SO not okay. Now the pressure’s really on for them to be 2gether 4ever, there’s only one bed now!
I Can’t Believe I’ve Let You In
Obvs Shane doesn’t think this is cool, and she — thank G-d — calls Jenny out and asks if she’s just “putting on the Crazy Jenny Show” to see how far she can push Shane. Jenny gets all sullen and passive-aggressively says she can put it back, obviously they are at different places in their lives.
Clearly. Shane is at that place where she wants to have a room with a bed to sleep in and etc., and Jenny is in a place where she turns Shane’s bedroom into an office.
Also Jenny’s been doing a lot of bizarre housecleaning projects. Perhaps she is preparing her Tomb for her suicide. She’s gonna have a big one like King Tut.
And Now Here I Am Telling You That I’m Suffocating in Here.
Shane quite maturely asks Jenny to do her a favor and not get melodramatic, says next time just ask before redecorating. Jenny says okay, and then she keeps being melodramatic.
Jenny: “Do you hate me?”
Jenny: “Do you love me?”
Shane: “I do. I love you.”
Cue EZ Girl’s Jenny Murder Remix.
This isn’t who Jenny is anymore. This makes me sad. I wanted this thing to have a chance.
Talice & Jamie are talking about how much they hate organising fundraising things and Alice slyly mentions that she was on Dance Marathon for Act UP in college. Of course she was. Tasha seems somewhat impressed by this, and Jamie is downright inspired! She’s like the little sprite of energy who brings happiness into the room! Threesome time!
Jamie spreads the flirt around. It’s an interesting story that could maybe have taken place last season when there was more time left. Also obvs a successful three-way relationship is pretty much impossible, but I’d like to see them try. Why? No reason. It might look nice on my teevee. La-la-la.
The good news is that they’re gonna have a dance party fundraiser! YAY!
With a dance party in the future, I can finally relax
something to look forward to — but still, no talking about Max.
Angie travels with a lot of technology. She’s got cute hair. She’s so cute.
Bette: “I’m just stunned by the ignorance.”
Tina: “Well, welcome to the rest of America.”
Do You Think I’ll Make it to the Morning If It’s Written?
Winnie: “My parents don’t approve of lots of stuff.”
Tina: “We understand.”
Bette: “These things happen.”
Winnie: “Yeah, but I really don’t care. this is my body, and my baby, and my decision, and you’re the family that I want my baby to go to.”
These Earrings Were Also My Decision, And I Don’t Know How to Defend Myself On That Point
Winnie wants her baby to have an interesting life. Well this show will certainly make it interesting. “This world needs boys who are gonna do things different, and I really want my baby to have a chance at that. Making this world you know, just a little better.” They get all teary-eyed. It’s somewhat moving, like as moving as this episode can get.
Is she gonna hook up with Shane or something? This girl is bad news bears, I can tell.
I’d Spend All Night Losing Sleep
I’d Spend the Night And I Lose My Mind
We are going to watch people sleep. Oh, now they’re talking about the baby again, basically re-hashing previous convos but more slowly. This is perfect, this is just what society wants of us. They want us lesbos to lie in bed, stare into each other’s eyes, and talk about our feelings. Our boring, boring feelings.
OH! And hold hands. They’d like us to hold hands too.
Riese: “Wtf am I gonna say about this?”
A;ex: “No one’s gonna say ‘I can’t believe you skipped that part where Max took all his clothes off’!”
Carly: “We all know this was the worst episode ever.”
Lesbian Sexy Moments: No
Lesbain Squabbles: One I think
Quote of the Week: Your Mom
Close your eyes and think about Angelica’s headphones.