The L Word Episode 403 Recap: Lassoed

This recap was originally published on Riese’s personal L Word recap blog, The Road Best Straddled, in 2007. It has been reposted on in all its messy, outdated, poorly formatted glory.

I have one main thing to say about this episode of the Showtime Drama The L Word (p.s. my recapp-ish thing below will be up on “The L Word Online” in a few days, FYI) titled “Lassoed Into Thinking Bette and Nadia were gonna get down with it, or: L’Tease”:


This was like watching a bunch of outtakes from a bad porn movie where they left in all of the ridiculous pre-sex scenes filled with suggestive language but took out all the action. And by “action” I mean that at least one human girl is taking off her clothing. Even like–her bandana. There were moments when I would have settled for just a woman wearing a v-neck.

OK: There were some great moments. Some funny stuff. Some good character moments. Some cute outfits. But 45 minutes, and no sex? 45 minutes!!! Why deny us the pleasure of 15 more minutes?

Dear Showtime,

I set aside one hour of my life–my l’ennui, my own personal Lacuna, my Lost Weekend, my LIVIN LA VIDA FUCKIN’ LOCA!! ( and I mean that y’all, I mean living the crazy goddamn life), and the most sexual action that occurred within this HOUR occurred in the 30,000-year long promo for The Tudors, (in which Jonathan Rhys Myers trots around like a beautiful feminine man who seduced a lot of women with truly terrific breasts, which is more than I can say for MAX, who actually this episode was imported from the set of “GREASE 2,” slashed with a little “ROCKY 4” and hit over the head with a big box of “Tim Taylor’s Tool Time”), not in The L Word which I thought was about THE WAY THAT WE LIVED.

I don’t know about how you live, but the way I live involves 55-minute episodes.
Ugh. I just took a Vicodin and I’m eating a push-pop. Yeah, a push pop. Rainbow sherbert flavor, and there are pictures of Fred Flintstone on the packaging. I ain’t gonna lie.

Look, I don’t wanna be a hater. I mean, I want to be positive! So Haviland (my best friend) and I brainstormed a list of ten good things about this episode, which I will share with you as I proceed. FYI: I viewed this episode with my friends Haviland, Heather, Tara, Lainy and Sarah. Maggie came in for a little while too, but clearly was not totally enraptured by the show. I can’t blame her really.

1. Maviland-Pro #1: “The Tennessee Williams throwback.”
Jenny is all like “STACEY! STACEY!” We all cracked up over this. Mostly because it was funny and encouraging, because I am a big fan of Embracing the Camp.

Heather:This might be better than ARSON ARSON.
Lainy: Is she yelling “Jay-Z”?

When You’re Smiling, The Whole World Smiles With You: Personally, I think Bette has very nice teeth. She would be excellent on a social networking site for people with nice teeth, it could be called Every week there would be a three-minute video of a Dentist in his jammies, explaining why it was necessary for him to remove all your teeth without putting you under which means you have to feel every iota of pain searing through your mouth. We could call it: ‘Come on, Dentist.’
Not a fan of the earrings. But this is coming from the girl who has her bellybutton pierced and not her ears. So obviously I don’t really know what I’m talking about.

Also, why is everyone in this episode dressed like they’re selling frozen bananas in Frontier-Land, or like escorting Davy Crockett or something? I mean…I’m not complaining. Nadia’s thighs are fairly tasty, or as Dana might say, CRIS-PAY!

(Maviland Pro #2: Nadia has nice thighs.)

This is Kinda Understandable, because they are at a cowboy party. Hot, right?

I think Shane looks hot here. No one agreed with me, except Tara a little bit.Maviland Pro #3:
Haviland: “
Bette’s hot silver shoes.
(Me: What? When was THAT? Let’s talk about Shane’s white Hanes t-shirt undershirt! YOW! I don’t need no Blahniks! Gimme 3-for-$9.99 t-shirts from KMART and we are good to GO!)

Sara: She needs a cheeseburger.
Sara: And a milkshake.
Me: You know who needs a milkshake is Shay.

Not YET, Kiddo!
Headmaster: “Does he have any allergies, any learning disabilities, psychological problems?”
Shane (to Shay): “Do you?”
Shay: (shrugs)

Maviland-Pro #4: Jenny’s usage of the word vagina in these scenes is more or less brilliant.
2a: “…which of course is where that vagina wig is gonna live”
2b: “…Yo Stacey, come here and say it to my fucking face you vagina!”

“The thing is that
the vagina’s girlfriend was molested and now she’s like this perfect saint, which is just like, awesome, and I was abused and I’m like this fucked up nitwit but that was my experience, and that’s mine and I don’t know why she’s slamming my own experience though!”

Me and You and Every Lesbian We Know
Alice:“I mean, it’s a tiny magazine, you know? I mean, who reads it?”

Me: “I do.
Sara: “I subscribe.
Haviland:(to me) “I always read yours.
Me: “It’s good.”
Sara: “It is. It’s really good.”

Speaking of magazines, check out “The Advocate” this week, because the cover story alone is hotter than most of this episode, and it’s about the new lady of “The L Word,” Kristanna Loken, who isn’t in this episode.

I feel like this scene was total improvisation. Which is a good thing, because Leisha Hailey is genuis, and so is Mia. Unlike some people who I won’t waste space talking about.

Then Helena walks in after a day of fruitless job interviews, carrying a bottle of Kaluha in a paper bag. You know a girl has had a rough day when they whip out a bottle of Kaluha and start pouring it into a mug like it’s a bottle of Pinot or a fifth of Jack or something that’s meant to be imbibed without a mixer by humans under the age of 100 or over the age of 13, which is when you’ll drink anything you can find in your parent’s liquor cabinet. I mean, she will NOT get drunk off of that stuff unless she drinks all of it, which would be funny. (Full Disclosure: My Mother used to give me Kaluha when I was a little girl so I would go to sleep and stop whining or performing solo ballets on my futon to the soundtrack of ‘Oliver and Company.’ Clearly this is a beverage I have a strong affinity for, and a relatively massive respect for it’s magical powers.)

Maviland Pro #5: The Helena-Alice Roommate Convo is SOOOOO Funny and Cute.

Helena:“I would pretty much do any job right now that doesn’t involve sex or touching insects!”

And  Bette: “Oh my God, that sounds awful. She did not say ‘a mixer for our Gay and our Straight friends.'”

HA! AMAZING! Bette is ON POINT this episode.

Re: Phyllis…

Lainy:Is that Candace Bergen?
Everyone Else: No, it’s Cybil Shepard.
Lainy: What was she in?
Me and Sara and Heather: Um, The Last Picture Show, Moonlighting….
Haviland: Ha! That would be amazing if it WAS actually Murphy Brown!
Me: She’s totally gonna have an abortion. I mean, rather, NOT have an abortion. Have a baby. As a single mother. And then make Shane take care of it.
Heather: Yeah she is.

Okay, as I’m going through this again, I’m realizing this episode was actually not that bad. The problem is that it was only 45 minutes long, and all of this relatively witty dialogue lead to…um….nothing?

Angus looks cute here (not in this screencap, exactly, but in this scene). He’s totally doing the short-sleeve-shirt over long-sleeved shirt thing that I attributed to most of the lesbians at Nation (the bar with girls night on Saturday night, you know, like The Planet but with a lot less elbow room) in a recent blog entry.

Hm. Let me look at that Advocate magazine article again:
Mmmmm. I love a girl in a wifebeater.

“If you really wanna know what I like in a guy, well I’m looking for a dream on a mean machine with hell in his eyes. I need a COOL RIDER…”

Here is our Alpha Male fixin’ up the car and talking about cheeseburgers. Not Shay. Max. Shane asks Max if he’s going to Tina and Henry’s cocktail party:

Max: “That’s okay, I don’t really even know Tina. And I’d rather not have to deal, anyway.”

Ha, Max is suddenly the smartest person in this show.

Extreme Makeover: Strai Edition
Tina: I thought I’d remodel it, but I don’t live here.
Bette: Yet.

Tina is missing Bette like an Atkins dieter misses cake. They both look AMAZING in this scene.

Most girls are straight until they’re not:These girls are extra-interested in all the lesbians. This scene is actually really realistic, I think.

Lainy:There’s totally gonna be a convert.
Heather: It’s about to happen.
Haviland: It’s gonna be the girl with the dark hair.
Lainy: Totally ready to convert.
Tara: Ha, totally.
Haviland:Her haircut is so Haviland circa 2001.
Me: Our point exactly.

(It doesn’t happen. But close your eyes and imagine Shane getting that girl into the closet to make out. I mean that literally about the closet. Like, an actual closet? For coats and stuff? And for three minutes of HEAVEN, which is more than we get all episode?)

Lesbian (and Strai) Squabble #5: “I’m not homophobic, but…”
In the Ring: Bettina vs. Douchebag
Content/Result: One of Henry’s brilliant friends overhears a conversation between Bette and Mrs.Talbots 2007 in which Talbots suggests that Angelica might want to live with her father someday. One of Henry’s frat buddies chimes in by pointing out that kids have minds of their own, which he learned in 9th grade Bio, and to make his point, he says “I’m sure your parents would rather you’re not a lesbian, you know?” and Bette responds with “They’re dead,” which is perfect, and also one of many reasons why she wins this fight. Other reasons include: when Animal House says he’s not a homophobe, he’s just “being honest,” Bette busts out: “An honest homophobe. How nice.”

The others start to notice the convo and slide over for support….

Sara: Uh-oh…here comes the team!

(P.S. See, I like what Angus is doing with his hair. He looks kinda young and sexy here.)
(P.P.S. Way to go with the “mixer for our straight and gay friends,” Tina.)

Tina tells Bette not to get into it. Ew! And I was almost liking her again. Then Douchebag chimes in with those words that we LOATHE to hear: “You know, I’m all for it between women, it’s just that, the idea of two guys–I mean, you understand, right?”


Angus RULES: “It’s not that bad, actually. That whole dick in ass thing, I used to think it was a little creepy–and painful, too–but I found this great lube, it’s called Boy Butter? And once I discovered that…it was like…(Angus does amazing dance to the beat of a Casio electronic keyboard which he impersonates perfectly) lets get this party started.”


Maviland Pro #6: The Game of Celebrity, in Which Everyone in Riese’s Apartment is yelling “LILY TOMLIN! LILY TOMLIN!” and Everyone at Henry’s Place is NOT and Tina is totally missing her Lezzies.

Me: Hey, we played Celebrity on the cruise!
Haviland: Yeah we were totally playing Celebrity with like, Julia Murney and Seth Rodesky and Norm Lewis.
Me: And someone totally put Jonathan Zizmor from the “Now You Can Have Beautiful Skin” ads on the subway as a Celebrity.

(for a moment, I imagine being on the cruise and I feel very peaceful and happy….)
Anyhow! Back to “the way that we live…..”

The fact that after Alice says this:“Major dyke! Major dyke! I mean, she came out like, big time, in 2000. But we SO already knew” …
… they cut straight to a shot of J-Beals and Kate agreeing about “totally knowing” that a lesbian is a lesbian before she comes out … is pretty um … ironic.

When Jenny says “I don’t know who Terrel Owens is,” well, neither do we.

And Tina is sitting there, realizing that her friends are going to a Lesbian Cowboy party, and she is probably going to be watching football, starring the allegedly fabulous Terrel Owens.

Maviland Pro #7: The EMBRACING-the-CAMP STAKEOUT
This would be a good intro to a sex scene. Just sayin’.

Papi: You’re just a skinny little white girl.
Shane: Yeah, I guess I am.
Alice: Shane, this is Papi. Papi.
Shane: So what?
Papi: So, I’m your competition.
Shane: Oh! Oh. Well, I don’t know exactly what we’re competing for. So uh, you win.

Ha! God. Everyone is funny this episode. Shane is funny. Jenny is brilliant. Bette is funny. ANGUS is funny! Alice is always funny. Helena is funny. Now get naked.

Lainy:Papi is like, a 13 year old boy.

That doesn’t say much for my taste in women.


Bette: “Shit shit shit, okay girls, here’s the deal, Phyllis Croll, executive Vice Chancellor of California University, very accomplished, very dignified, very much my boss, I repeat, very much my boss, she’s been married 25 years and now at this relatively late date is convinced she’s a lesbian and is peeking out of the closet as we speak and so please please please be nice to her and try to talk to her and try to make her feel like she’s not the oldest fucking lesbian on the planet.”

Kit is not impressed when Angus’s band members say they need to replace him with someone cute and camera-ready like Jordan Catalano. Then Jordan comes on screen and is all like: “‘The L Word,’ why are you like this? Like, how you are?”

“How long have YOU been waiting? You candy-ass piece of shit you, you’d be nothing without Angus, nothing! You must be out of your motherfucking mind! You must be fucking CRAZY! Get the fuck outta here! Go on, get outta here!”

Now they have to go home and rent “Lesbian Cowboys Gone Wild” instead of just watching the ladies at The Planet.

Then Kit whips a machine gun out of her cleavage and blasts these boys off to the bottom of the charts at Musicland, which, FYI, is that store in the mall that has a whole section of Hanson backstock and not a Le Tigre record to be found.

Me: Kit’s about to have a Foxy Brown moment!!!
Lainy: Foxy Cleopatra!

Maviland Pro #8: When I referenced Foxy Brown, and Lainy referenced Beyonce.

Maviland Pro #9: “Shane looks good in black.” -Haviland
I think Shane looks good in everything, though she would really look the best if she was on top of Carmen, naked. In my bed.

Phyllis is telling Bette that she especially loves Alice, because she’s “so vibrant.” We love Alice too, and some of that is related to things that vibrate, and some of that is related to the way that she talks when she gets her cute lip-glossed lips up to the microphone at the radio station.

Maviland Pro #10: Helena’s hot punky hair and bedroom-eyes eyeliner.

Me: “Wouldn’t you be like, it’s okay that you suck and you’re taking forever, I can just stand here and look at your hot body and your cute hair?”
Haviland: “Riese, you’d totally be freaking out, like you always do at Duane Reade when you’re waiting in line forever and the cashier is incompetent. You’d be fuming.”
Me: “Or stealing a Cliff Bar.”
Haviland: “Or that.”
Me: “Yeah, OBVS. But I meant you. You, specifically, would be okay just to stand there and look at Helena.”
Haviland:“Oh yeah. Obviously.”

It’s a Little Secret, Just a Robinsons Affair
Alice, re Phyllis:“She thinks I was flirting with her, really?”

Really, Papi?

I like this storyline, too. Alice is the perfect foil for Phyllis.

Max is at a pool party dressed like he works at Kinkos or just stepped off the set of “The Office.” They put him in charge of grilling the cheeseburgers, which is perfect, because aside from fixin’ cars, grilling red meat is Max’s new favorite hobby. Next week he’ll bust out the model airplanes and GI Joes. He can play Cops n’ Robbers with Papi. Actually, that might be kinda hot.

The porn-style music starts (bedonk-bow-bow-donk) and we are punished with shots like this one:
And blessed with shots like this one:
Max (in his head): “Damn, this is what I was missing out on by dating a girl who dressed like she was dancing with Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof and often wore bed-shams as skirts or headwear.”

Speaking of musicals/movies, I think they stole this line from “Pool Bang #36: Lesbian LoveFest”:

Brooke: “Max, you’re working too hard. Come on, why don’t you come into the pool?”

Maviland Pro #11:(see, 11?! We aren’t negative, we are overflowing with happiness and light!) The pool party with hot girls in bikinis who actually have substantial bodies, like hips that sway, etc.

I feel really bad for Max here — he’s so new to all this, has no emotional support or trans friends, doesn;’t know what he’s doing yet w/r/t the complications of passing. He’s just figuring it out. He needs some wardrobe lessons, because Daniela Sea is really beautiful in a tank top.

Where’s Kim Stolz when we Need Her?
Hugo Boss Guy: Try them on, I’ll take some snapshots, and I’ll send them over to Hugo Boss himself.
Shane:I’m sorry, I’m not a model.

Please Shane. Please just take off your clothes and try these on. Please?

And Here’s To You, Mrs. Robinson, Heaven Holds a Place For Those Who Pray, Hey-Hey-Hey…
Phyllis: “I do hope you’re taking care of your personal needs, Bette. Academia can be so very suffocating.”

Yeah, Bette. You have 15 minutes left to take care of your needs….

And By That I Mean…TWO MINUTES…because this is the shortest episode EVER.

Lesbian Foreplay Moment
The Players: Bette and Nadia the TA
The Pick-Up: “Would it be wrong if I told you that I have never wanted to kiss someone more than I want to kiss you right now?”
Hot or Not? Hot enough that we were literally all on the edges of our seats, panting in anticipation–and they are putting hands down shirts and between legs and kissing and everything is about to happen and then we go to….


This might be the lowest number of foreplay, squabbles, sex, anything, like, ever.

The Round-Up:
Lesbian Sex Moments: 0 this episode, 1 total
Lesbian Foreplay Moments, 1 this episode, 5 total
Lesbian Squabbles: 1 this episode, 5 total
Quote of the Week: Mangus and Bette
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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3201 articles for us.


  1. that was an amazing review! so funny and soooo true!

    i love how alice seriously says “really” at lest 10 times an episode now lol.

  2. i love reading your reviews .. i haven’t even watched this episode as i am in the uk but i felt like i have with your breakdown.

  3. i love that you point out the irony of kate still being closeted in that scene.

    i loved more than that, but i can’t remember it all now.

    you’re a hip, hip lady, man.


  4. thanks y’all!

    and my hip green; um, yahhhh especially since j-beals was the one who pretty much outed her in the advocate last year. oh, katy-did.


  5. JHC, that’s what, 2 out of 3 episodes with absolutely no hot GOGA (my new favorite acronym-word for girl on girl action)? What gives? I kind of don’t mind that I’m not paying for Showtime to miss what I wouldn’t be seeing anyway on YouTube.

  6. i thought this episode was totally bad. apart from shane v papi, the fact that bette finally has a job again, and the ten seconds of almost sex at the end.

  7. awesome recap, couldn’t stop laughing as i couldn’t stop laughing watching the episode.

    Bette’s explanation about Phillis was priceless and to read what she said made it even funnier…



  8. I’m glad you’re famous now, and also, what is it about your recaps that they are sustenance for my l-word cravings but somehow leave the actual episodes really fresh when I do see them? Like with season 3, I read all your recaps before I watched it, and then I was laughing when I was watching it because I was remembering jokes you’d made and I’d only sort of gotten, and getting them a whole lot more. Interesting.

    This coming from a girl who doesn’t have any cable much less showtime, and doesn’t watch broadcast either. We’re all about our DVDs.

  9. Ri…just cuz I was introvertedly stoned and unexpressive at the time “all” disagreed with you about Shane…one would think u know me better enough to make a more affirmative pitch for our Shane-Looks-Hot-n-Sexy-NO-MATTER-What Club, and should have invoked the hotness of her bruised, coked-out, beater attire in the beginning of the season…. as additional support…

    Did I mention I am really proud of you!!!

    <3 Massages and Mwas <3

  10. Did anyone else notice how Jenny’s streetcar moment looked like it was filmed on the old Melrose Place set outside Amanda’s apartment?

  11. tara, what’s so funny is that when i was writing this, searching the depths of my stoned memory and looking over my totally illegable notes, i was like “fuck, tara must have agreed with me about shane, right?” even though i couldn’t remember you agreeing with me or saying anything, so I was just like ‘well,i’ll just pretend like she did.’ and then ‘well, i’ll just say she did agree with me a little, just in case she didn’t say anything at all in reality.’ ha! and thanx! <3massages and mwas: asap! haha...xxxxxo

    -i love to make y’all laugh! fab!
    -i’m glad someone didn’t like it. i feel like everyone loved this episode but me! i mean, i liked it, but god, i don’t know, the end pissed me off so much i almost forgot how good it was until then.
    -GOGA: I KNOW! i read on planet chat boards that there was something happening with CBS buying showtime and that’s why? if there is no GOGA all week, then I am going to fucking CRY.
    -totally did not notice melrose place thing! but also i never watched that show. i watched 90210 though.
    -rachel all this fame will hopefully turn into money to get married in canada with all our friends dressed in matching red ski jackets.
    it’s kinda funny how the recaps (not just mine, but in general) are like a whole meta-level to the show, you know? it’s weird…theories are forming…hmm

  12. Either that our we could just seduce a hot rich woman like Helena to pay for the whole affair. We’ll promise her that it’ll be worth it this time, since there will be no ditching at the altar. But she won’t know what we’re talking about, because she won’t actually BE Helena, because Helena is both currently broke & fictional.

    But that still made sense, right?

  13. i think a fictional wedding would be even cooler than a real wedding! then we could have a unicorn instead of a priest. it’ll be AWESOME.

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