The L Word Epsiode 404 Recap: Layup

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 It has been reposted on in all its messy, outdated, poorly formatted glory.

This week’s episode, Layup, was like a sandwich where the bread is really good overpriced 7-grain whole wheat and the meat is like, Kung Pao Chicken from the dumpster behind Empire Corner and the lettuce is actually from our last fresh direct order, which was in 2006. If that metaphor is confusing to you because you don’t eat sandwiches (which is fine because I don’t either, they don’t make sandwiches at Empire Corner), then I will explain it to you like this: the beginning (Alice in bed) and the end (basketball) of this episode were brilliant high-fiber goodness and the middle was basically E Coli.


This week I watched the program in Nyack with Haviland and our number one PL, Karen. (“PL” is “Power Lesbian” in Mavinglish, and probably a lot of other languages too). This means we were in Karen’s beautiful house in our bathrobes, watching “The L Word” and drinking those mini-bottles of Poland Spring after a lovely dinner. Who could ask for anything more?

At one point in this ep, I LOLed more than I have ever LOLed before.

First I would like to share this photograph with you:
Who are those girls? They are not Alice Piesecki of the Chart Piesecki. They are not Nadia, Brooke, or any of the other 7 bazillion random characters being introduced in Season Four. They are not my friends, who always are like “Riese, can we come over and put on wifebeaters and play in your shower and get all wet then you can take photos of us?” They are not even characters on “The L Word,” though they probably watch “The L Word,” and if they are reading this right now, that would maybe be the most awesome thing to ever happen to me in my whole life. Also if they are I want you to know that I will take you on a date for Valentines Day. I will take you to Long John Silvers. Do you like hush puppies?

Good, me neither. Who are these girls?

They are students at Mount Holyoke, the alleged University attended by Brooke, Max’s lady-love. If you go to the Mt. Holyoke webpage, you can see a slideshow from their sailing trip, which includes a lot more females being drenched in water while wearing minimal clothing, e.g. bikinis. It looked like a lot of fun, very educational.

According to, Mount Holyoke is “lesbian/bisexual heaven.” Furthermore, “it’s taken for granted that no one will graduate without at least some same-sex interaction–at least a kiss.” I just want you all to keep that in mind……

Can I just say that every time I see this empty motorcycle seat, and then Alice’s sort of “I wish I was running over EZ GIRL in this motorcycle” smile, it’s like someone is hitting me in the stomach with a tennis ball, but not an actual tennis ball, like, a ghost of a tennis ball? Do you know what I mean? I wish they would just get rid of the motorcycle scene altogether, because it’s so obvious something is missing. This isn’t Six Feet Under. If it was, it would have much better character development. Just sayin’.

Dear Ilene Chaiken,Thank You for this opening scene. It was lovely, like whole wheat bread.Love, Riese.

My Friend Karen: Wouldn’t it be funny if Bruce–Bruce whats-his-name? From Moonlighting? Popped up right now. Just lookin’ at Cybill’s ass?

Alice: Welcome to the Wonderful World of Disney!

Lesbian Sex Moment #2: The Circle of L’ife
The Players: Alice and Phyllis
The Pick-Up: I have no idea…maybe like, “I’ve never been with a woman before, I just wouldn’t know what on earth to do!” and then Alice, because she is smart, thinks: “A-ha! This is what they taught me in the Gay Agenda. I must give her the skills to be a firm and supple warrior. OK Grasshopper, put your mouth on my clitoris–” Or whatevs.
Hot or Not?: Alice is actually the new star of “The L Word,” P.S. Which means this is Jesus Starfuckin’ A’ Christ Just Like That yeah that’s good okay okay okay teeth are good HOT!

Karen: She’s playin’ with her Minnie Mouse….til she gets Goofy?

Also Dear I.C,
Thank You Also For This.

Love and Other Indoor Sports,

Shay is the new Sharon Glass!!! His shirt says “Don’t Blame Me, Blame my Parents.” That will be good to wear to his first therapy session. Because you know, ultimately, he will obtain some of the psychological problems he said he didn’t have last episode. (Yet)

Jenny looks cute here. Like Little Debbie. She’s like “Don’t worry Marina, I’m bringing you a big box of Oatmeal Creme Pies and your favorite Zebra Cakes and then you can lick them off my breasts, which you used to be able to see every Sunday night in the opening credits.” Or: “I’d like to make a vet appointment.” Whatevs.

Haviland: Wait–why is she getting a dog?
Karen: For sex.

Alice is interviewing Papi at The Planet. I put that ribbon on Papi’s hat. I bought the ribbon and the hat at Michael’s Craft Store, it was on clearance. I also made her a lanyard, she can keep her lip gloss on it. And some glitter for her beeper.

The idea of all the girls playing basketball is really exciting. When Papi starts talking about how the girls get sweaty, it reminds me of someone. I’m not gonna say who. Yeah I am, Dana. It reminds me of Dana.

Alice takes the challenge because it’s hard to take Papi seriously because Papi is wearing a doo-rag and a tattooed bodysuit. And because Papi called Shane “Vanilla Spice,” and then called her “Shame,” which would have been a killer moment for Alice to go “Really? Really Papi?” I mean, SHAME? Actually, that might have been a better moment for “I am rubber and you are glue, everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you.”

So Alice is totally like, gonna put together a team.

Karen: Oh so you make a little team? Like, you mix it up and shit?

Kit: That beat up there brings your mojo back!

Karen (squirming): Brings your Mojo back?
Haviland: Like….Really Papi?

(Karen is fully narrating the amount of toilet paper that Alice is using while talking on the phone. “There goes roll number two–“)

Karen: Like…she’s not paying for that toilet paper!

Phyllis is gliding through the hallways, music is playing, and she is realizing–as many of us do after our first few experiences with other women—that the world is full of women who want to make out with other women.

(Side Note: Cybill Shepard is on point with this character. She’s a great actress. If you disagree, go douche yourselves with some Razzleberry Haterade)

After the Haterade, you can have a drink of water with this girl who is literally wearing a flower in her hair, because this is actually a commercial for “Love’s Baby Soft,” which I would buy if this girl was selling it. Hell, I’ll buy that flower. Or that dress.

Bette and Phyllis are cute in this scene, like two girls in a locker room. Except without the part where Bette removes her clothing and takes a nice long shower, naked.

There’s a scene here with Bette and Jody, but the most entertaining thing happening in this scene is the Brokeback Rodeo on the Interpreter’s shirt.

This is Brooke:

Karen: Why does she look like a Country Western singer? Am I right?

Brooke goes to Mount Holyoke with these girls, the girls I was talking about earlier?:

That’s right. I mean, IC, couldn’t you have said that Brooke goes to like — I don’t know, pretty much any other school in the universe besides Mount Holyoke, Smith, Wellsley, Hampshire, Sarah Lawrence or Bryn Mawr? I mean, I have no clue who on earth Brooke could be hanging out with up there. She definitely has lesbian friends and they definitely have trans friends. If not, she must be really lonely, listening to Leanne Rimes and reading “Chicken Soup for the College Student’s Soul.”

Lesbian Squabble #6: Freak NASTY!
In the Ring: Brooke and Max
Content/Result: Brooke is super-happy that Max isn’t trying to get her into bed, which is what most of the other characters on this show would have done. Also, Max has never even worn shorts or taken off his shirt. He has never worn anything that would not be considered proper attire for a cubicle. He tells that her he doesn’t have a “man’s body,” and she acts like a total bitch. Max sits there like he has no feelings, thus really driving home the point that Max is a boy.

Here’s an outtake:

Brooke: You’re a freak. I don’t date freaks. How dare you? Liar. What do you think I am? Jesus. Fuck. Fucking freak!

If Brooke was on my sailboat and we were doing an “independent study” at Mount Holyoke, I would probably throw her into the water, even though she’s foxy. I guess if I changed my mind I could go in after her and make out with her underwater, because underwater sex scenes are hot, just ask Shane or Kelly Taylor or The Little Mermaid.

Who wins this fight? Max! Because Brooke is HEARTLESS. I mean, it’s tough. What Max is going through is tough. Especially since he has to walk around with that soul patch.

And then, speaking of photoshopping? Heather and I were surfin’ the internet last week, mostly because we love Jesus but we drink a little, and we found some amazing ideas for the L-Word t-shirt contest, which I would like to share with you now. If you want to know where you can buy these t-shirts, please go to, and then type in “really papi” and click on “images.” You will be lead right to the tender open arms of Jesus herself.

So you can throw away that TiBette Tribute Collage. We basically just won you a trip to Los Angeles, and yes, you can take me:

I have no idea why this scene even like, exists.

Hi, do you want to hear a story about Bette’s sister’s boyfriend’s possible affair? You don’t? Why not? Is it because Bette is the star of this lesbian show and she is a lesbian, and Kit is her straight sister who wears shirts made out of pillowcases? I could NOT EVER POSSIBLY care less about ANYTHING I could possibly see then a SECONDARY STORYLINE between Angus and this crazy woman who is like, just–just dumb.

Karen: She does kinda look like if Mia Farrow and ET had a baby.
Haviland: She looks good in those jeans.

Lesbian Squabble #7: Once we’re done here, whaddya say we take that American flag off of Barbara’s eyes, wrap them around your eyes, and let me fuck you from behind while you’re pressing your firm body against a more sturdy art installation?
In the Ring: Bette Vs. Jodi
Content/Result: Bette thought that they had an understanding: don’t show the money man the scary art. Obviously, Jodi pulls out the “you can’t stop me, I’m an Art Crusader” shit (like, hello!?!! Bette is so all over that stuff! She like, yelled in the Supreme Court and went to JAIL and all of this!!! If she’s asking Jodi to do something that involves a bit of censorship, she’s probably right?!!!), Bette says what I totally agree with, which is that it’s better to take this guy’s money so that he can fund art and not bombs. I used to go to FOOD NOT BOMBS parties in Ann Arbor. We felt super alternative. Anyhow. Then Jodi pulls out some crap about Paris and the impressionists. And Bette basically is like, OO, Snap. Signed, Sealed and Delivered.

This is The Greatest Day Ever For the T-Shirt!!

Cotton. The Fabric of Our Lives.

Oh, Cottonnn…the fabric of our livessssss!

Haviland: “Can this just be a show about Helena and Alice? … I think Helena looks like one of my first crushes. I think that’s why I’m so obsessed with her. I mean, I don’t even want to have sex with her. I just want to look at her. She’s so pretty.”

Jeanette Winterson Shout-Out Moment

In Bette’s lecture, Nadia is essentially acting like the most annoying girl in class. You know, the kiss-ass. This basically means everyone in the lecture will either: 1. think she is a kiss-ass. 2. think she is kissing bette’s ass LITERALLY, which, as we know, would be “very wrong” but nevertheless has happened.

As someone who’s had about 10,000 secret affairs, I can say that there are plenty of other ways to go about this. The best way, Nadia, is to: 1. shut the fuck up. The second best way is: 2. write about it on your “livejournal.” that works best if you’re between the ages of 16-20, and you have a friends-only livejournal. Like I did. Or maybe I didn’t.

If I was in that class I would probably throw something sharp and wet at her neck. Hmm … something sharp and wet … at Nadia … (she looks foxy in red!)

I’ll just quote murmur, who mentioned in the comments that I forgot to include the scene where: “Bette denied the blushing giggling flirting nadia who really needs to be bent over her desk and spanked for being such a dumb ass in lecture. ever heard of playing it a liiiiiitle bit cool? i mean come on nadia pull it together!”, thus my late addition to the recap of this scene, and these photos.

Ask and ye shall receive. Who deserves a spanking now?
(Ilene, I’m setting a good example for you here.)

In her lecture, Bette quotes Jeanette Winterson, who wrote Oranges are Not the Only Fruit and Written on the Body, among other books you should have read if you haven’t already.

“What art does is coax us away from the mechanical and towards the miraculous.”

Um…..I am basically SUFFOCATING in an air-tight container of IRONY.



Shane: our sentiments exactly.

Have I already mentioned how excited I am about her appearance on this show?

From “The Advocate” :
(I don’t consider this a “spoiler” because it’s like, in a magazine interview, but some of you might, so, be warned. I really don’t think it is though, and I’m psycho about spoilers, like I fucking hate them so much I will cry if you spoil it for me.)“I don’t think on-screen Kate’s ever had a lover who a) has been in same-sex relationships in real life and b) has been physically bigger than her,” says Loken. “She’s fairly tall but she’s very skinny, while I’m almost a 6 foot, 150-pound woman. so there was a little bit of this back-and-forth thing before the first love scene–we can chuckle about it now–like, ‘Who’s gonna be on top?’ I relented and was like, ‘You know what? Just try it. Just go for it.’ You’ll have to watch to see how that ended.”

Also though, that nice shot of Paige’s breasts reminded me of this conversation:

Alice: “So what were you sayin’ about me?”
Dana: “About your great tits–”
Alice: “You noticed my tits?”
Dana: “Right away! Oh come on, they were like H ELLO THERE!”
Alice: “They were talking to you? I mean, that’s crazy–”
Dana: “Yeah, whole conversation!”

Paige’s breasts are having a whole conversation with Shane.

This is a really good picture. It looks just like them! Shay should go to grad school at CU. I bet the wealthy donor guy would totally support CU if this kind of art was happening there.

OK, Rank This on a Scale of 1-10. (Personally, I would give it an 8):

Then rank THIS on a scale of 1-10.

I mean, c’mon. The second one is political–but if you think about it, the first one is too. Because it’s about how families are different now. Like how sometimes your Mom is really your lesbian sister, your Dad is a thief and your real-Mom is a drunk.

Also … Shane. When was the last time Shane had sex? She mysteriously, just like … doesn’t have a sex drive anymore AT ALL.

K.C and Elka from The Planet Podcast Pointed Out that this season is more fun because all the girls are single. I think that’s true. They are all like, fun and giggly. Like in this scene.

Bette: “I cannot believe you fucked my boss. Do you understand the consequences of this?”
Alice: “Um, really intense great orgasms?”

Alice: “I’m gonna call Phyllis and tell her to ORDER you to play. She’ll do anything I want right now. ANYTHING. Oh, I’m so clever I can hardly believe myself.”

Me too. I mean, your lines are so clever I can hardly believe Elizabeth Ziff wrote this scene. Or the next one.

(Wet) Hoop Dreams
This is when I started laughing so hard I could barely breathe.

Lesbian Squabble #8: There’s No Politics in Basketball.
In the Ring: Tina vs. Jenny and sort of everyone else
Content/Result: Jenny doesn’t think Tina should be able to play (p.s., who else JUST noticed that Tina hadn’t been in the episode so far?) because “It’s a lesbian game, Tina.” I was basically peeing in my pants by this point. They are talking about lesbian identities while these girls are like “can we just play basketball?” And Tina says that she thinks that “lesbian” is a “political identity,” which is um…convenient. Tina, you lose. You just lose. Because you know what? Can’t you be a bisexual? Because you are. And that’s okay. I am too. But I’m not a cunt.

“Yeah but when you walk down the street with your boyfriend holding your boyfriend’s hand enjoying all the heterosexual privileges you stop being a lesbian.”

Why is this is so amazing?

1. Shane is fully wearing cargo pants.
2. Bette is fully ON HER CELL PHONE:

3. Jenny is fully wearing SHADES.
4. MAX is fully THERE–and he is the only one NOT PLAYING. He’s babysitting. Ha! Gender Roles, Shmender Roles.
5. Helena is so cute and clueless, and wearing a little hat.
6. Alice is BADASS in her gangsta b-ball shorts.


Quote 1:
Papi: Whatcha doin’, Rodeo drive?
Bette: Shopping, BITCH!

Quote 2:

Put your coffee down.
Alice : What is this, the Planet?
Jenny: I don’t think so, but I told you not to throw it to me!

Quote 3:
Nice job, Rodeo. But I will still kick your white-girl ass.
Shane: Yeah, okay DAD.

Just wanted to share this with you. Vintage Riese. We’re talking 94 here:

Really, Papi?


A photographer once told me that modeling is all about seducing the camera. (To which I said: “Oh My God, you know what else I heard today? Walking is all about putting one foot in front of the other. Just take the picture, these shoes hurt.” Actually I didn’t.)

Which is why Shane is such a natural at this gig. Which is hot, and almost foreplay. For her and me.

I know that the re-cap was late this week. But we’ve been out and about with Karen, getting mani-pedis and massages. That sounds like a joke. But I’m serious, see, look how cute my nails are!

The lady was like ‘You like black?’ and I was like “Yeah, is that weird?” and she gave me the you’re-crazy look that I get all the time, and then I was like “Lindsay Lohan has black fingernails.” She goes: “I know.”

Remember. All lesbian/bisexual girls from Mount Holyoke who might be reading this: if you ARE reading this, and you are hot and single, then we can go sailing together on Valentines Day. And I will write all about it on this blog. So you better be nice, and hot, and funny. And SINGLE. Like Helena, I decided not to sleep with any more married women. I will call it “The R Word, Season One, Episode One: Queer is the Label that Brooke Really Should Be if She Goes to Mount Holyoke, FREAKS!!!”

The Round-Up:
Lesbian Sex Moments: 1 this episode, 2 total
Lesbian Foreplay Moments: 0 this episode, 5 total
Lesbian Squabbles: 3 this episode, 8 total
Quote of the Week: Bette, Shane, Alice

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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 3198 articles for us.


  1. this is a funny re-cap. i do like how this show is has started fully making fun of itself. i do enjoy that.

    i also think it’s funny that virtually everything you quote me as saying makes me sound like a complete moron.

    nice, riese, nice.


  2. i’m all about jenny with the shades, coffee, and the smoke break. basketball at it’s finest. :)

    love your recaps btw.

  3. thanks dopedupdawl! jenny made me LOL the most in that scene.

    and my dearest haviland, it is hard to say smart things about a silly show. i mean, seriously.

    plus “wait, why is she getting a dog?” wasn’t moronic. i also didn’t know why she was getting a dog at first either.

  4. Any person that can work “love’s baby soft” into a blog deserves a gaggle of wet, wife-beater-t-shirt-wearing girls thanking her.

  5. ok so why IS she getting a dog? i think i missed that.

    and riese i think you forgot to talk about the fact that Bette denied the blushing giggling flirting nadia who really needs to be bent over her desk and spanked for being such a dumb ass in lecture. ever heard of playing it a liiiiiitle bit cool? i mean come on nadia pull it together! riese re-cap pics of that wouldn’t be the worst thing, she was practically changing colors.

    also why the F did max do that in a public place? looking back now, i think college girl could have caused an even bigger scene!! (water throwing, titty twisters, etc)

    and you’re right about shane without the sex drive. she should be banging random hot bitches in every episode! i mean shit why not step it up showtime? papi gets laid like 3 times a day (even though we’ve only witnessed one really) so mathematically shane should be getting laid like every other day. but at least there’s a spark with ur new girlfriend and her lovely breastesses. that’s gonna be HOT!

    oh side note, back to the opening scene. i was also thankful for a sex scene but for some reason pyllis nauseates me to the point i almost couldn’t watch. am i the only one not only not turned on by that scene but appalled? i feel like a FREAK and that makes me sad because she’s probably going to be getting tons of ass and i’d love to have appreciated that more.

    ok phew long ass comment, my first one i think i’m getting a little carried away, like phyllis….

  6. Murmur i totally put in some nadia for you.

    I’m not into Phyllis either, but eh, you know, i guess we gotta take what we can get? Plus I think of her as being sexy in general, since I’ve seen her in so many amazing roles.

    thank you kat, please feel free to arrange. we can email about the details. i’d like 4-5 girls please, and I don’t do sleepovers.

  7. riese;

    great recap again. I was about to pee in my pants and if not go to the bathroom and call my friends while doing it :))

  8. LOVED, loved the part about Nadia writing what she’d done in her Livejournal – her ‘friends only’ livejournal! I literally laughed out loud. Thanks!

  9. riese, I’m completely with you on the Brooke thing. Why couldn’t they have her go to Notre Dame or Brigham Young or something? It makes no sense for her to be a MoHo girl.

    Hey – if you continue being this funny for the rest of the season, I will totally hook you up with some hot women’s college ass. Is it a deal?

  10. how come nobody mentioned the fact that jenny’s driving 80 mph down the 405 with a fucking dog in her face?!? i was scared for her. and the dog.

    the michael’s comment: genius.

    i half expected shane to start eating the chalk at back-to-school night.

    aaaaand, i would like to request an entire collage of screencaps from the hugo boss photoshoot. please. pretty fucking please. i am begging you. i neeeeed it.


  11. shit. i forgot something.

    looooved the ellen quote! :) no matter how many times i hear that or even think it, it never gets old. like, ever.

    i almost made it my signature on the forum. then i realized that i really don’t love jesus. so yeah.

    peace in your crease,

  12. Remember when you used to see actual human female nipples on The L Word? 4 eps in and if memory serves, not a one has been spotted, am I right? I call this bullshit. Those Mt Holyoke gals need to initiate a protest, ASAP!


  13. Yea, I want Shane’s underpants – that’s all –
    Mmm…I loved the basketball scene, but…Hei…I would have done that if I would have been able to shoot 15 episodes, not 12! Where is the drama? (and sex?) Time is running…
    -I am coufused-

  14. I’m all for the Helena & Alice tv show. It’d totally be the best tv show ever – maybe even better than TLW.

    Love your recaps girl. :)

  15. I totally noticed how much tp alice was using as well, and was all like ‘there goes another acre of rainforest’

    “Can’t you be a bisexual? Because you are. And that’s okay. I am too. But I’m not a cunt.”

    Had me rolling in the aisles

  16. I will make you a collage, green. Eventually. Because it might be the best way for me to show you how much I love you, and how much you mean to me. And because I love Jesus but I….

    And I totally want that Hugo underwear too, I need to buy 10 pairs.

    And I find that “cunt” is the perfect way to end any sentence in order to produce maximum LOLitude.

    I know. We need more nipples and more sex ASAP. I have the press kit with the next two eps but I’m trying really hard not to watch them before L Word Party night. Mostly because I’m afraid of disappointment/depression.

    Brigham Young for Brooke would have been an amazing choice.

  17. Brilliant recap.

    And no nudity or sexy moments. Why not play strip basketball?
    The losing team takes off one clothing item for each point. Before the end of the game the bourgie asses would’ve been completely nude.:)

    Thank you for all the laughs.

  18. Ok, I can die happy now, I found your actual blog :D

    I see our dear Green is here ;)

    Keep them coming Riese!


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