The L Word Episode 605 Recap: Litmus Test

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 is a LOT OF MESSED UP FORMATTING and missing pictures.

Hi-Ho the Dairy-O! Welcome to the recap of Episode 605: “Litmus Test.” Yeah, we saw it. Yeah it was mad long, yeah I just went to Hit club and Nikki Stevens hit on me, I was like back off bitch ’cause I can’t go anywhere, and I’m pregnant, and my house has two stories, well not yet but it’s gonna, yeah I killed Jenny, how you like me now, yeah? Have you voted for This Girl Called Automatic Win for Best Personal Blog for The Lezzies yet? Voting ends Wednesday night, and if I don’t win then I am pulling a J.D. Salinger on everyone.

album cover

Today’s viewing party included Robin, mememe, A;ex and Carlytron, otherwise known as LITMUS TEST, the hot new girl band straight out of SAN DIMAS CALIFORNIA! Caitlin and Natalie also participated but are not pictured.

Angela Robinson wrote & directed this week’s episode, so we knew that although many things would happen, none of these things would be terrible. I wonder if AR requests not to write any of the Max episodes. Maybe Ilene just wants them all to herself so she can unleash her full transphobic fury upon him.

Let’s start this episode out at The Planet for a change, where Tibette — unable to function at home w/all the construction noise [yes, the same noise that Jenny so ridiculously complained about — not so ridiculous now, huh?] and unable to ply the house-bangers with free hugs & breakfast — have moved their office & plentiful stock of office supplies to a centrally located table. Alice and Helena, confused about why they chose to sit at the Staples Clearance Table to read silently, look on; annoyed.

My Table Looks Into Your Living Room, Apparently

My Table Looks Into Your Living Room, Apparently

Carly: “Someone’s about to hate Jenny and want to kill her … oh wow, they brought the entire office there.”
Riese: “There was a sale at Office Max on highlighters okay?”
Carly: “Every color is represented.”
Riese: “They have staplers there you guys in case anyone wants to print out a longer document –”
Carly: “If anyone wants to collate anything just uh, take the stapler …”
Riese: “Where’s MILTON ?”

Oh! Here he is!!


I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time …

“Yes, 411? I’d like some information about what happened to this show?
Yeah, yeah, the last time it was good was maybe … oh jeez, two years ago?”

Tina learns that Jenny has just sold her screenplay, which apparently no-one knew she was writing, for half a million dollars. Never fear, there’s a lesson to be learned here:

Tina: “Goes to show ya — she was depressed, someone stole her movie right out from under her, and she just sat back down and banged out another script, just cranked it out.”

She’s right about that. Everyone get that? It just goes to show ya’ — next time you move to LA to be with your swim coach boyfriend, uncover lifelong lesbian longings via a literary-minded French seductress, get caught by your boyfriend, get married to your boyfriend in Vegas, road-trip back home on ‘shrooms, discover your French lover’s Sugar Mama’s back in town, break up with the boyf and the girlf, move into your ex-husband’s vacated home, get lady-lover Shane to move in and consequently date her cast-off DJ Carmen though you’ve got nothing in common, find out Carmen still wants Shane via an accidental viewing of your other roommate’s hidden camera videos, have childhood sexual abuse flashbacks, take up stripping, take up cutting, go to a mental institution for six months, go home to Illinois, fight with parents, meet a still-closeted trans guy who was presenting as a butch lesbian and take him back to LA, get yelled at a lot while he freaks out on testosterone, break up because you don’t want to date a man, write two novels, get one bad review, get revenge on bad reviewer by psychologically manipulating her veterinarian girlfriend by killing a dying dog, get caught, get a movie deal and consequently get embroiled in conflicts about said movie deal, disappear on a raft with your dog, come back rich with an assistant, hook up with your film’s Rising Starlette and consequently get kicked off the film when your duplicitous assistant leaks a sex tape to the production team and your girlfriend doesn’t go with you so you break up with her only to find her fucking your best friend (who you’re now in love with) at the film’s wrap party —

— if that ever happens to you, ladies — just sit back down and bang out another script. Just CRANK THAT SHIT OUT. Let me graphic that out for ya:


Hey That's My Life -- I Mean -- IDEA!

Hey That’s My Life — I Mean — IDEA!

Tina explains the plot — surprise! — it’s Alice’s plot. Look — I gotta hand it to Jenny — stealing that concept and transforming it into a bidding-war-worthy screenplay within a week? Pretty awesome. Maybe Alice could’ve done a little more writing and a little less Jamie-ing. HOWEVS, Jenny should’ve either given Alice story credit or a slice of the payout. She wouldn’t be legally required to do so, but it’d be the ethical thing to do for a friend.

But um, I actually have a play on my computer that I wrote in 2005 called “You’re So Good,” and it’s a crime story/comedy about a cop who’s dating an actress who gets embroiled in a crime plot relating to her other job … etc etc … well, you know. Weird, right? Well, I like to take my morning swim in the Idea Well.

Tina, apparently also completely unawares that this idea is not simply Alice’s idea, but also Alice’s LIFE, describes the movie as: “sort of like Mr. and Mrs. Smith — except that this is gonna be huge!” Unlike Mr. and Mrs. Smith, that little indie film no-one saw. Alice takes this pretty well. She could’ve threatened to kill Jenny, but instead she calmly finishes reading the paper, drinks some tea, and paints everyone’s toenails blue. Oh wait NM. She says Jenny is “so fucking dead.” Interesting.

us_watch out jenny


Scream Bloody Murder

Scream Bloody Murder

Riese: “Oh my G-d you guys! There’s blood coming out of Jenny’s mouth in the opening credits! I just realized!”
Carly: “We should have seen this coming. All the signs were there.”

[Editor’s Note: I now realize upon closer inspection that it’s not blood coming out of her mouth but a beaded red necklace which I can only conclude is supposed to look a lot like blood.]

2_SQUAB_alice vs jenny
Lesbian Squabble #18: Repeat, Repeat The Words I Know You Totally Said

In the Ring: Jenny vs. Alice.

Content: Alice reminds Jenny that she described Alice’s treatment as “boring” and “unsellable” but has now apparently “sold” it. At the 4:42 mark, the word “contrived” doesn’t match up with Alice’s lip movements — probs “contrived” was dubbed over “a lot like something Ilene Fucking Chaiken would do.” Jenny doesn’t think Alice’s “mish-mash of ideas” counts as an idea, and if the screenplay Jenny’s toiled over for many months bears a “resemblance” to Alice’s idea, it’s a coincidence.

Alice’s reaction to Ilene’s latest “Let’s make people hate Jenny” idea bears a “resemblance” to ours, but that’s probs just a coincidence. We all drink from the same well of loathing and loneliness:
2_alice aghast
Bob is always all up in my screenshots at pivotal moments.
I guess as the director of photography he can do that.

2_jenny hair
“It’s something called the idea well. There is a well. All of the writers drink from the same fountain, okay? But, it takes genius, talent, craftsmanship, to take a tiny kernel of an idea and turn it into — da-da! — a sellable screenplay!”

[I’m gonna take that as the QUOTE OF THE WEEK, because it’s so ironic!]

Certainly there’s worse things you could get from drinking at the same fountain, like scurvy or dysentery. Just saying.

Robin: “I just can’t get over Jenny’s hair, it’s distracting.”
Carly: “It’s like three different lengths at once.”
Alex: “I love it.”

Apparently Shane — who is no longer a friend of Alice’s if Shane continues to ‘shack up’ with this “conniving snake” — purchased this unflattering tank top in every color:

2_shane bewildered
Shane is torn between Alice and Jenny an I am torn between Shane being unconditionally hot and Shane wearing this shirt.

Who Wins? No-one! If I were Judge Judy, and sometimes I believe that I am, I’d order Jenny to take Alice out to dinner. They could talk about similar interests — e.g., cops, talk shows, and screenplays.

Alice returns post-field-trip to The Planet, where Tina & Bette have still not started eating those little cups of fresh fruit sitting RIGHT ON THE TABLE that look delicious to me ’cause I’m poor and can’t afford fresh fruit.


Ah, now it’s time to open up the “Big Book of Lesbian Lingo IFC Wants to Invent.” Surprisingly enough “third wheel crush” ranks with “nipple confidence” as something I’ll probably never say again. [Sidenote: Remember how we decided — after hearing it said — that we’d make “Really Papi? Really?” into a popular element of the lesbian lexicon? In fact, it’s now so ubiquitous that I bet most of y’all are getting all Alicey on me, thinking “no way, you egotistical maniac, you are NOT the one who spun that IFC straw into gold, it is NOT because of you. You did not do that it was NOT your idea.” Also. Kittisms? Holler. But it was me (and Haviland) I totes promise, research it. For fun. What am I TALKING ABOUT? I’m just saying that the terms that stick are never the ones she WANTS to stick.]

Alex: “I would like to point out Bette’s nice shirt. Do more like that one.”
Carly: “I would like to point out Alice’s disturbing — dress?”
Riese: “That thing looks like a potholder I made at the JCC.”

3_jamie is perfect

Though Alice oh-so-adorably denies that she and Tasha are feeling anything deeper than ‘friend love” for Jamie (who’s “AWESOME”), Bette & Tina press on, probs speaking from experience after Tina fell for Candace Bette fell for Henry Tina fell for Jodi okay I don’t know where they got this idea from. OH! The Idea Well.

So THAT'S why Dan Foxworthy Kept Making That Hand Gesture!

So THAT’S why Dan Foxworthy Kept Making That Hand Gesture!

JK! Bette & Tina have experienced this themselves with Sallie [Mae probs] and “Go-Go Lisa,” whom they met at the Little Bratz Convention. Apparently this syndrome strikes bored & fighting couples in need of [vaginal] rejuvenation and is ruined when one person falls in love. On second thought I’ve been in these situations before in my twilight youthful days, always boy-girl-girl though, not girl-girl-girl. Perhaps I will use this term again thank you Ms. Robinson.

Bette advises: “You better check yourself before you wreck yourself” just in time for Kit to show up. What’s happening


Now that the Judging Party is done critiquing Alice, they move on to Helena and her impending dinner with Dylan. Much like us, they’re probs concerned that Helena & Dylan will have nothing to talk about ’cause Dylan has no personality and Helena’s personality has changed completely since the affair.

Helena says that ever since she’s learned that Dylan thinks Helena is the love of her life, Dylan has colonized her brain. It’s not what you’re like, it’s what you like, a wise person once wrote, and when “what you like” is “memememememe!!!!” — well, that’s the best interest of all, isn’t it? There’s nothing more attractive than the look on someone’s face when they think you’re the best thing ever. Especially when it’s someone who once made you feel precisely the opposite. Always better to think it was too much love that hurt you rather than not enough.

Basically this is what Helena’s dealing with:

Option A: 100% Certainty of Broken-Heart Forever Pain
Option B: 50% chance of heart transplant, 50% chance of super-sized-additional broken-heart-forever pain, 100% chance of hot sex.

You guys listen, pilates is really fun!

You guys listen, pilates is really fun!

Alice: “You guys, what if we thought of a test that would prove once and for all if Dylan was a sleazy, gold digging opportunist, or — is she this misunderstood reformed filmmaker who just happened to get wrapped up with the wrong guy who made her steal all that money?”

Carly: “… And now we are setting up for the montage.”
Riese: “I want like, a girl with a notebook like Harriet the Spy –”
Carly: ” ..and then all their heads pop up out of the door–”
Riese: “What’s going on the camera is being weird.”
Natalie: “I’m dizzy.”

So GIRLS, LISTEN UP! They’re gonna find out if Dylan is just a money-grubbing asshole [C’mon, give Helena a little credit, girls!] by putting Nikki on her & promising great opportunities for career success. Anyhow if some smokin’ hot girl got all up on my grill offering me a huge advance on my special literary novel and all I had to do was flirt back to cinch the deal and I was really into Helena but we weren’t back together yet — you’d basically have to be a Zen Master to turn that shit down. But you know. The Recession.

Someone told me this headband would keep my personality intact.

Someone told me this headband would keep my personality intact.

“Don’t you just really wanna know who you’re dealing with?” Tina says. “Once and for all?” Eh, given the choice between mastering the art of French Cooking and finding out more about Stonehenge Moreland … yah! Let’s do this thing! It has to be tonight!! Cue Team Plotting Music!!

us_go team!

Go Team Montage!

Alice voiceovers the plan from here on out, obvs practicing for the cartoon voiceover career Jenny suggested.

Gonna Be a Formal Dress Down Hey-Day

Gonna Be a Formal Dress Down Hey-Day

Shane pays Nikki a visit at her new job in Colonial Williamsburg on the set of Felicity: An American Girl Story to rope her into the plan. Nikki wants to know what’s in it for her. Will she get her old personality back? A magical mystery tour of Shane’s tonsils? Unlimited Tanning at Sunset Tan for the rest of the summer?

Nah. Just the knowledge she’s “helping a friend.” Have Helena & Nikki ever spoken? Nikki can think of more fun ways to help Shane. That’s the old Shane, Nikki. She already threw out the t-shirt she was wearing that night, you guys are over, she’s with the Princess of Darkness now. Over Jenny’s Dead Body you’ll get Shane — OMG!

6_jenny as manager

This is Jenny at her bestest — imitating Nikki’s manager with trademark psychotic charm: “Nikki Stevens is hot hot hot she is turbo hot she is so hot I’m getting hot flashes!” while Tina oh-so-cutely coaches Jenny to tell Dylan about meeting at Hit, all the money involved, and that Nikki “fuckin’ loves” Dylan’s documentaries.” I have a feeling Tina’s little “Nikki is a whippersnapper” dance is gonna make it onto a few avatars this week.

But .. I mean ... I can barely even act, you know?

But .. I mean … I can barely even act, you know?

Dylan passes Stage One with flying colors. When money’s brought up, she deflects and after making the date with Nikki, she calls Helena to make sure it’s okay and confirms that they’re still on for dinner. “Unless you get a better offer,” Helena says, and then hangs up. Is there a better offer than Helena’s arms, torso, face, legs, feet, hands and from time to time her brain? Not really. So I think dinner is a Go.

Jenny’s lying in bed with her … planner? Probs counting down all the shit she’s gotta do before she dies next week.

Napping with the Enemy

Napping with the Enemy

Shane interrupts Jenny’s Too Much To Do List party and Jenny’s glad to see her. Shane slides right on top of Jenny … they kiss, they’re cute, Jenny’s legs go up, Shane’s hips press in … and a few minutes of small talk reveal that Shane has SEEN NIKKI! Jenny’s all like; “huh.” Shane then dashes immediately to the bathroom to brush her teeth [Shane’s like a Toothbrushing Zendo], an act she apparently prefers to do post-, rather than pre-, coitus/makeout.

Jenny follows her into the bathroom to um … brush her bangs … you know, whatever she needs to do to justify being in the bathroom. Next she’ll just wash her hands … floss … cut her cuticles …

8_shane vs jenny SQUAB Lesbian Squabble #19: I Think You’re Mistaking Me For Problems With You

In the Ring: Shane vs. Jenny

Content: Jenny forbids Shane to see Nikki. “I’m with you,” Shane insists, and furthermore she’s not 12 (that’s the default age for immaturity) and will do what she wants. You can kinda hear Jenny’s voice break when she says that obviously Shane can do whatever she wants [what she means by that is: “But I want you to want to do what I want you to do”] “Oh Can I?” Shane asks, doubting. YEAH! You CAN! Jenny says, hitting the notes over-the-top to stop herself from doing what she clearly wants to do, which is curl up into a tiny ball and cry.

Jenny: “That girl betrayed us in the most fundamental of ways. She threatened to destroy the foundation of our relationship that we have created over so many hears and I hate her. I hate her so much for that. And … out of loyalty to me, you should hate her too.”

Urm, I have a feeling that much like the writers and 75% of The L Word‘s fan base … Shane had no idea that she and Jenny had been building a foundation for a relationship over the years. [Personally I think there were many moments & plenty of promise & suggestion, but that it didn’t fully tip in Jenny’s mind from friends to lovers ’til last season.]

"But Shane, I'm trying to convince you to kill me."

“But Shane, I’m trying to convince you to kill me.”

Shane points out that Nikki was “profoundly in love” with Jenny, and if anyone is wrong here, it’s Shane. Shane loves taking the blame, she’s got a Blame Fetish. Man, Dan Foxworthy could go to town on this relationship. In his wet dreams.

Finally, Shane asks us the half-a-million dollar question: “What is WRONG with you?” (Unfortunately only one person can answer that question, I.F.C.). Well, it makes Jenny “uncomfortable” and she doesn’t think she’s being unreasonable to think Nikki’s trying to seduce Shane. I guess it’s always easier to blame the one you’re not still hoping to sleep with. Jenny does the RedRum voice to say Shane needs to make changes so this relationship will be different. Shane thinks Jenny needs to back off.

7_ what is wrong with jennyJust when even the most devoted Jenny Fan is about to fucking throw in the towel, Jenny does something magical. She emerges, cups her hands around her mouth and shouts: “OKAY! I WAS WRONG! I’m wrong! I’m wrong and I need to learn how to trust you!”

jenny yelling

Us_Jenny Apologizes

… followed by, when Shane returns, a behind-the-door peek: “Shane? Hi.” See guys, she’s just insecure. Shane also says that “I have to trust you” is all she wanted to hear. Shane’s often kinda casual about being in a relationship she’s not totally into. Shane rarely outright suggests a breakup, she just rolls unhappily along, waiting to cheat and mess shit up.

8_shane peeking
Unfortunately, although two young women stand here before you tonight, one will be eliminated. She will have to pack her bags immediately and leave Vancouver. Episode 609: Leaving Vancouver. They should make a movie about Van Couver vs. Van Wilder vs. My Mom’s Mini Van vs. Your Mom’s Mini-Van. That would be a good show.

Us_jenny i love you

"'Kelly's Having a One Wa-ay Cru-ushhhh!"

“‘Kelly’s Having a One Wa-ay Cru-ushhhh!”

If this scene is anything besides a 20/20 Investigative Report with Diane Sawyer about the dangers of botox injections, then I will feel completely exploited.

Oh. It’s still The L Word. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track. Zomg, I cannot stand to hear Kelly speak!! This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do for The L Word. Close second to the oft-mentioned Hike on Dana Mountain and Angus fucking the Nanny.

This whole scene, this woman, it’s just stupid. You know, it’s possible to write a show that contains less than 64 plot lines per episode. Sometimes people can just be quiet, or …. naked!!! La la LA!!!!!

“Bette, you never told me your partner was such a firecracker!” the male artist says. Kelly says something about Bette being the one that got away. Okay I have to watch this on mute. Oh good, it looks like Kelly annoys Bette too, Bette’s telling her new partner to take it down a notch. If only Bette had been in the room for the forehead procedure, then she could’ve given that same advice and saved us all the treachery.

I’m taking screenshots of Kelly’s eyes! They’re freaking me out! I think she’s the Poltergeist:

I eat babies for breakfast.

I eat babies for breakfast.


I don't care whose baby it is, I told you I will eat that baby for. fucking. breakfast.

I don’t care whose baby it is, I told you I will eat that baby for. fucking. breakfast.

I guess she’s saying omg, Bette’s so hot, she can do anything, anything you can do she can do better, she can do anything better than you. I can pick this up on mute, I have superpowers. Hm. Spano is being an idiot, obvs. The theme of the evening is NO BORES.

Riese: “That is NOT a theme. That is NOT cowboy night.”
Carly: “That does not count, we need a theme like Pirates, or Gay Pride.”

Kelly missed her big opportunity with Bette and now Bette’s with the “lovely Tina Kennard.” Everything about this conversation is hurting the very threads that hold my soul together. Bette is Kelly’s “one that got away.” Kelly actually asks Tina if it bothers her that she flirts shamelessly with her girlfriend. Tina totally trashes her with cool, clever charm. If I wasn’t morally opposed to this storyline, Tina’s rebuttal would be a strong contender for quote of the week.

See! Tina’s annoyed, just like us:

Tina says that Bette knows if she ever cheated on Tina, it would be THE END. Because if she did that, everyone on would die, and all the crying emoticons would flood the world, and it’d be like Noah’s Ark, but with lesbians.

Spano looks like she’s going to marinate Tina in barbeque sauce and feed her to her fried chicken babies before she eats them.

Just Wait ‘Til the Dance Contest, Beeotch. Me & AC WILL SMOKE YOU ON THE DANCE FLOOR.
Did someone say AC Slater?

Spano says she’s wet for Bette, Tina says Spano leave us alone go to the backroom at Hit, Spano says “I suckle pickled goldfish in my car!” and then, lighting flashes! The room sets on fire! From backstage, The Hot DJ Carmen emerges with her bodyguard, played by Marcus Allenwood, Sperm Donator Extraordinaire. Who’s that? It’s Jodi! She starts dancing. Max’s baby is born and it is a real unicorn, and Dana comes back, marries Alice, and they have babies who play with Angelica, and Angelica’s two mommies are in love forevs, and everyone becomes really good singers, then forms a girl-band called LITMUS TEST and they all make millions, and then the sky explodes! TA DAAAAA!!!!!!!!

That’s it. See you next week!

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Just kidding. I jest. Blergh. Aaron & William are at dinner and Tina freaks out ’cause she wasn’t invited. This used to happen to me all the time in elementary school with birthday parties. It’s just ’cause you’re so smart everyone is intimidated by you, Tina, that’s what my Mom always told me. That’s how people in Hollywood know that they’re fired, Tina says. OOO that’s sneaky. She shouldn’t have gone to the restaurant, if she hadn’t gone she wouldn’t have gotten fired.

Inconceivable, Party of Five.

I’ve noticed that sometimes in Season Six, these people annoy me the same way that Scrubs annoys me. Sometimes I just feel like … there’s no more art in it. Rarely. It used to be … honest. Now, even though it knows that we know, and that we’re watching — it lies to itself sometimes.

However — visually, this episode is dead-on. It looks really good.

Lesbian Squabble #20: News Broke Today So We’re Not Talking
In the Ring: Jenny vs. Alice, with Shane apparently implicated by association.
Content: Alice is still mad at Jenny about the screenplay, Shane is in trouble for not revolting against Emily the Strange.

They’re twins!

Jenny Moment
: “Alice please, please just stop acting like a child. I did not steal your idea, Alice was it your idea when the terrorist has a nuclear weapon and blew up the building, was it your idea when the hero of the romantic comedy has to rush to the wedding to have to stop his beloved from getting married, oh was Beverly Hills Cop your idea too?”

Alice should be like; “No it wasn’t, but Troop Beverly Hills TOTALLY WAS. Cuntface.”

Alice says that even though Shane is buying into Jenny’s act, she isn’t. She says to stay away before she fucking kills her.

And there … ladies and gentlemen … we have EXHIBIT A. Audiotape from the Big Brother Studio, Alice is declaring intent and motive!!

Oh! But now it’s time for the spy mission. Dylan has arrived. This won’t be like the last time Helena watched a secret Dylan video.

We’ve gone from Where’s my Willy …

… to Where’s Waldo?

[I’d like to turn this into a graphic like “The Mentalist,” but I only have so much time.]

Nikki reports for duty, exchanges a cute smile with Shane because she psychically knows where the cameras are, thus is the depth of their connection, Jenny’s peeved that Nikki’s got Shane’s number and Shane is like whatevs. Oh, relationships! The lovely dynamic between the “Controlling Girl Who Will Never Leave You” and the “I’m Gonna Do What I Want Anyway Girl Who Will Leave in a Minute” = eternal fighting. Shane’s pretty good at handling Jenny. It’d be even sweeter if Shane was handling this Undercover Mission like she did with Lara in Season One. That moment changed my life. Seriously. It did. When she talked about the berries? zomg.

Anyhow, no more Shane. Now we have lovely li-lo lipstick lesbian with her goldilocks. She’s off to discover The Truth About Dylan. I hope it’s more exciting than what we know already.

“You’re gonna have to come here and FIGHT me!”

I love the way this shot is set up. Visually.

Dylan’s frankly so surprised that Nikki’s here to talk to her. Dylan resists Nikki’s icebreaker topic — “Nikki made out with a beautiful woman on this very couch.” Nikki’s probs referring to Aiden from South of Nowhere, they had a thing.

Back at Sam Shady’s Jazz Lounge, Bette & Tina are wearing stunning outfits and yelling at Aaron, who’s now evolved from being your standard-issue douchebag into being your standard-issue Chaikenbaked Homophobe. Bette is gonna do what needs to be done. That’s right! She’s going to show us her boobs! I mean, her balls!

Aaron: “Bette! “It’s Bette, right?”
Bette: “It’s Aaron, right? The bald impotent worm we’ve all been talking about? It is fucking stupifying to me how you can sit here with Martine, Susan — Tina’s writers, right?”
Tina: [appropriately employing the jaw clench for the first time ever] “What are you doing?”

Tina: “I do not need you to defend me. I’m perfectly capable of speaking for myself.”
Bette: “I know. I’m sorry.”
Aaron: [from his little perch on hell hill] “I am so happy to be done with dykes.”
Tina: “What did you say?”
Aaron: “I said I am so happy. To be done. With dykes.”

Oh not so fast, Aaron …

Tina: “You stupid fucking cocksucker. How dare you sit there with that smug little smile on your face and wine and dine with my writers on a project that it took me three years to put together. As if you had anything — anything! to do with it. He said you [looks at writers] were talentless hacks and I begged him — I begged him! — to hire you. I have put everything into this film, I put my heart and my soul and my talent into making you both look good time and time again and how do you repay me? By stealing my contacts, and icing me.”
Aaron: “Tina, keep your voice down.”
Tina: “Shut your PIEHOLE Aaron, I have never in all my life worked for such a idiotic mindless cruel pathetic loser of a human being such as you. You are soulless. and you are everything about fucking Hollywood that I hate.”


Carly: “Who is that? Why Tina she talking like that?”
Riese: “That’s Bette. Everyone’s scripts got mixed up this episode and Tina started reading Bette’s lines.”

Then Tina accuses William of stealing the negative — Tina loses a point for using a Jenny theory against a powerful man. Before their grand exit, Bette gives them the send-off glance of success:

Let’s recap. Just to show Aaron how low-drama dykes are, Bette has yelled at him during dinner, was interrupted by Tina who had feelings about expressing her own feelings and wanted to do it herself and then she did, and then Bette knocked back a head toss of glory and well, dykes, they sure can yell and they sure do look pretty in those outfits.

Do Bette’s conflict management methods work for anyone besides us? I mean, we love a good Bette-on-fire, but um … she keeps getting fired. For someone so brill and on top of her shit, she sure does butt heads with upper-management quite frequently.

Back at The Stakeout, Dylan’s still holding up, even when Nikki starts talking nonsense about Attonement and how bad this girl looked in a “Cold Dry Place” or something, I don’t remember, probs it’s what Dylan has nicknamed her vadge.

Dylan: “She let herself look awful because that’s what the character required. I mean she was real and compelling and riveting.”
Nikki: “Oh my God you are so right, I mean that’s brilliant. If you think about it, if you wanna win an Oscar, you have to either play ugly, retarded or a lesbian — and I’ve already played a lesbian. SO!”

Alice: “I’ve totally said that before.”
Shane: “It’s true.”

[so cute! Alice & Shane’s interactions here are all very cute.]

Shane’s admiring Nikki’s moves like Micheal Jordan observing a young Allen Iverson. Shane says Nikki’s about to go in for it. How does she know? “Rope-a-Dope”! You know, like how Nikki just hung back and let Dylan punch her until she got exhausted, and now she’s gonna retaliate and fly like a butterfly sting like a bee! I’m actually not sure how Rope-a-Dope applies to this situation, Nikki’s primary technique appears to be “being sexy.”

You Know Ellen Once Made Me a Similar Offer …

“I tend to always be attracted to older women,” says Nikki. Me too! We have so much in common. Jenny exclaims: “Awwh — fuck you, fuck you, fuck you!” Alas, Dylan rebuffs her — it’s “unethical” for an actor and a director to get involved. Alice to Jenny: “bet you didn’t get that memo, huh?” Jenny to Alice: “Fuck off!

Dylan is IN THE CLEAR! The girls clap, and Helena is absolutely petrified. This means she has to creak open the little latch to her heart, and let someone in. And that “someone” has very, very strange hair.

We have mixed feelings about this.

When I Say You Sucked my Brain Out, The English Translation is
I Am In Love With You And It Is No Fun

Our damsel heads to the dance floor to ask Dylan if they’d like to go somewhere quiet to talk. E.g., between Dylan’s thighs! If she presses her thighs together, Helena’s ears will get smushed and that’ll be so much quieter. Dylan says she came back to LA ’cause she’s madly in love with Helena. That’s crazy talk. I don’t even know what to do with that.

Tasha’s wearing that Free City tank top she wore yesterday. Well, hell, if I spent $130 dollars on a tank top, I guess I’d wear it every day too. I like it when Leisha dances. Tasha’s really cute about not being a great dancer. Yay! Let’s dance! I love pretty girls! Go Go Gadget Threesome!

The laughter! The smiling! The smooth radiant sexiness!

She won’t be left dancing alone to songs from the past. Or will she?

Thats $.10 a TEXT JENNY. I Don’t HAVE THAT KIND OF MONEY. I Never Go to WORK!

Jenny is looking very Emily the Strange watching all the happy girls dance and is also totally open about her complete psychosis when Shane snatches her phone back from Jenny’s prying thumbs. What were you doing, reading my texts? Shane asks. Yes, Jenny responds. Nikki has your digits now, woman, so who knows what she could be saying. She could be updating you about Tiffy like every five seconds.

I’m pretty sure Shane’s number is printed under LOOKING FOR A GOOD TIME? CALL — in a few stalls of a few girl bars in a few areas of West Hollywood, it’s not exactly private information.

Shane tells Alice that Jenny is driving her crazy and she wants Alice to keep Jenny busy so she can go outside and smoke. Jenny has a little panic attack that there won’t be anyone nearby who she can bestow the crazy upon without getting scolded/called out. “Five minutes Jen. Five,” Shane says, looking like if a bus offered to take her to Tarrytown in five minutes, she’d probs get on it and never come back, just like my first wife.


Helena Attempts to Summon the Spirits of Her Pre-Retconned Self

Why did Dylan & Helena have such a passionate affair again? If there was any doubt about Dylan’s lesbionic tendencies they have now been confirmed because as soon as Dylena descend upon Dylan’s freshly-IKEA’D palace, she suggests they just talk about their feelings.

Helena’s gonna do that thing that she so often does where instead of developing a personality, she simmers in pensive silence, dismisses the superficial content of your backstory-related conversation and consequently lays one on the smacker. How mean when Dyan’s trying to tell you all about her feeeelings! About rubber monkeys! Don’t you want to KNOW HER or do you just want her for HER BODY? I think I like Dylan & Helena both better when they’re power-hungry, conflicted and dangerous.

Helena: “I don’t really know what I’m doing here.”

And When I Get Out for Good Behavior …

Riese: “Me neither, because we didn’t see the car ride –”
Caitlin: “–or how you got there!”
Carly: “We do not know the logisitics.”

This is the part that happens right before they start nibbling at each other like goldfish.

Carly: “Helena’s like ABORT ABORT!”

Carly: “They’re gonna do it!”
Riese: “I hope so. ‘Cause this is boring.”
Carly: “We tried following the plot –”
Riese: “– but there wasn’t one!”
Alex: “Where’d that light come from? What happened?”
Carly: “Are we shooting through a gauzy curtain again? WHY?!”
Natalie: “It’s like search lights from a helicopter or something.”
Robin: “There’s the bus soundtrack –”
Cait: “Oh! There’s the motorcycle noise.”
Carly: “Oh my God OHMYGOD I just figured out what’s happening with the search lights! There’s gonna be an arrest ’cause the cops were looking for Helena and they finally figured out where she is and they’re gonna come get her!”
Riese: “The search for the stolen booty is OVER!”

As Dylan & Helena make out, we are treated to a full soundtrack of urban and jungle noises. Helicopters, motorcyces, traffic, police sirens. Children dying, waterfalls, monkeys chirping in the sage brush, buildings exploding, Jenny falling in the pool …

Riese: “Maybe it’s just our copy and in the final airing it’ll have the new song by EZ Girl, “Dylan and Helena fucking.”
Carly: “The Dylan and Helena having sex after not seeing each other for a long time –”
Caitlin: “– on the couch Re-Mix.”

You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby.

Outside in the alley, Shane runs into rising star Nikki Stevens, looking lovely in the moonlight. They share a cig, and Shane thanks her for her work with Dylan. Nikki says it was “fun” and Shane responds wistfully, “I can imagine.” It reminds me of her reaction to the Papi Showdown of ’07 — Oh My Pimptaculous Youth/I’m a Big Girl Now/Damn I Wish I Was Everyone’s Lover. It would’ve been funny to see Shane try and seduce Dylan. Hopefully she’d start out by offering her a haircut.

When Nikki says she thought Shane’s AM set-visit meant she was interested in finishing what she started at Yamashiro, Shane apologizes for accidentally leading her on and adds that, “if Jenny wasn’t in the picture, maybe things would be different.” How did Nikki not already know Shane & Jenny were together? She’s on Twitter and Facebook. Just saying.

Nikki: “Hey if it uh doesn’t work out between the two of you — you know where to find me.”

Nikki’s just gonna stay right there and wait, with her glowy perfect skin and Pantene-clean hair.

Little Girl-on-Girl Lost

Robin: “Are girls really this hung up on Shane?”
Riese: “It’s the nipple confidence.”

Since when is she legitimately interested in Shane for more than a fuck? Since when is Shane interested in Nikki? Hasn’t she slept with enough pretty girls already? I imagine Nikki’s heart is breaking in all kinds of directions. I think she wanted to be a better person — a smarter person, a deeper person — but instead her upwardly-intellectually-mobile affair with Jenny became quite Sisyphean. Nikki always wanted more, I think. Like from life or whatever.

I kinda think Jenny is so socially undeveloped that she honestly thinks it’s okay for friends to treat each other like assholes in business and still be friends. Um, except for when it’s time to storm off the set of Lez Girls, when friendship comes before business. Oh G-d, I’m trying to understand why Jenny does what she does. What am I thinking? Speaking of Sisyphean tasks.

Lesbian Squabble #21: You Were So Hard on Me, You’re so Tragedy, and You Were Hard on Me, You Might Be Dead

In the Ring: Jenny vs. “The Three Musketeers” (Tasha, Jamie, Alice)
Content: Jamie & Tasha yell at Jenny ’cause Jenny stole their chickens & pigs and sold them on the black market for gold. Jenny says it’s a chicken-eat-cow business and what can you do? How dare she steal Alice’s idea! Well, it’s not an original idea says Jenny! Oh! There’s Shane! Let’s get Shane embroiled in this little mess, shall we? Pick a side Shane!
Who Wins: Jamie, for infusing the Battling Duo with the energy and enthusiasm they need to dance all night long regardless of who stole the cookie from the cookie jar.

Lesbian Squabble #22: You Plead With Me, Shout Scream, Tell Me I’m Staying

In the Ring: Jenny vs. Shane
Content: Let me tell you, NOTHING compares to a public fight at a girl-bar!
How could you leave me there with them! Jenny exclaims. Were you fucking Nikki Stevens? Shane says stop being paranoid! You’re putting me in a box! Fuck you! No, fuck you! Waaa! Blerrgggh! Phooey! Asshole! RAAAAHHH! Shane doesn’t want Jenny to do that thing she does when she gets controlling and judgy! Christ! Fuck you! I hate you! I love you! Fine! Don’t put me in a box! Look at me in my box! It makes me wanna act out! I’m like cereal or a present from Santa! Jenny turns to go! Shane apologizes!
[Shane! You can’t let Jenny be the victim! That’s where she thrives! See, if only she’d had therapy to deal with the situations in her life where she truly was a victim and her pain was not acknowledged, she wouldn’t be seeking validation in inappropriate situations like this one!]
Shane: “We’ve been friends way before any of this shit happened.”
Jenny: “You’re my best [only!] friend.”
Shane: “And I gotta say if I had to choose today between this relationship and our friendship, I’d have to choose the friendship.”
[This is a HUGE surprise, seeing how much fun their relationship has been so far.]
Jenny: “The only thing that’s gonna get in the way of our friendship is if something gets in the way of our romantic relationship.”

Oh boy.

Lesbian Sexy Moment #7: I Let Myself Finally Feel Taken, Like I Was Yours
The Players: Dylan and Helena. Also I think there are dead people nearby ’cause Helena looks like she sees them.
Hot or Not?:
I … don’t … know.

Dylan: “What’s wrong?”
Helena: “I’m scared.”
Dylan: “I know. Me too.”

Alex: “Can we talk about how she’s crying right now?”
Robin: “That is a dealbreaker.”

Oh my God. Helena is a human being! Helena has a real personality! She’s crying and fucking and everything is too much. Oh she is so lovely and so sad. She says she’s scared. Dylan says she’s scared too. Well, um, not as scared as Helena probably is!

Back at Hit, there are slow silent glances and movements of the eyes and lips between everyone … the music is beautiful, and the girls and the lights ..

Robin: “It looks like a Garnier Fructis commercial.”

Shane walks out, looking numb/bored, like either she needs to run away
all “fuck this shit,”
or she is, indeed, a masochist.

Shane sees Nikki …

But Nikki sees Jenny.

Jenny sees Nikki and sees that Nikki still loves Jenny

Shane sees … I don’t know. I don’t know what Shane sees.

The Ghost of Wax?
A Lost Kitten?
Dave Thomas from Wendy’s?

Stay tuned for next week’s episode, in which all of these questions and more will not be answered.

The Round-Up
Lesbian Squabbles: 4 this episode, 22 total

Lesbian Sexy Moments: one this episode, 7 total

Quote of the Week: Jenny

On a Scale of One to Ten: 6.

ETA: Best During-the-Episode Comment on TWOP: “Candace the carpenter is on Desperate Housewives right now looking good.” (MickeyDs)

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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 3223 articles for us.


  1. So my laptop screen was only at the picture of Jenny calling out “OK I WAS WRONG,” and then I scrolled down and saw the pic of you guys screaming with your hands on your faces. It cracked me up.
    I also laughed at Robin’s “it’s like a Garnier Fructis commercial” comment.
    I wonder who came up with the “she’s colonized my thoughts” comment. It was a strange mental image for me. Thanks for a funny recap, as usual!

  2. 1.) I am so confused regarding the Jenny-Shane-Nikki triangle. I wish Nikki would’ve been thoroughly dumbed down in season five, instead of suddenly at the start of season sux. I was actually convinced (especially in 5.10) that she and Jenny had a shot. And now, with the wistful glances. *brain explodes*

    2.) The 64 plotlines comment made me LMAO. These past few seasons have been L Word on speed.

    3.) I liked the surveillance booth scene, not because of the writing, but because I like cheerful group scenes. Good acting trumps somehow manages to trump bad concept 99% of the time with this show.

  3. It really does hurt to talk/think about this show anymore. But it did seem like Tina, Bette and Kit played shuffle the scripts for a little while there. And I was defo wearing my Wallace Shawn ‘Inconceivable’ tshirt last night and that caption made me happy :)

  4. – My friends and I were watching some season 5 eps on Friday and someone pointed out that there was blood coming out of Jenny’s mouth in the opening credits. Then there’s the whole thing where Jenny is falling into what I guess is supposed to be water.

    – This line right here: “I suckle pickled goldfish in my car!” had my rah-ful-mao’ing and droppin’ hilaribombs all over the place.

    – Also, I just have to say this, I don’t think Ilene knows what a litmus test is she just needed a name of a test that starts with the letter L. For Ilene: Titling Episodes – You’re doing it wrong.

  5. 1- my high school assistant principle looked exactly like Milton. During my sophomore year he was arrested for trying to pick up a prostitute who turned out to be an undercover cop.

    2- in the surveillance scene, at one point Alice drops a bowl of popcorn on a keyboard and someone has to fix the computer- was that Kit? and in what world could someone who can’t check text messages be able to fix a computer?

  6. Sorry I didn’t read last week’s recap, I didn’t want to re-live that episode again :S

    But this week’s wasn’t so bad, I mean it was, but thanks to Angela Robinson it was “good”, thank the unicorn for her. The great thing about her is that she makes everyone look hot :D

    In the words of the all mighty Kelka: “I need to see a threesome!” lol

    It takes me like half an hour to read these recaps…you must take forever to write them.

  8. Fab, as per ush.

    … I can’t really think of anything else to say about this episode, wow.

    If I don’t see Shane and Jenny have sex at least once this season, I think I’ll shit a brick. A really big, golden one.

    What IS with Dylan’s hair? Srs, Alexandra, that shit is bad.

  9. Ahh I see what you did there, Angela Robinson….

    Niki Stevens: “Oh my God you are so right, I mean that’s brilliant. If you think about it, if you wanna win an Oscar, you have to either play ugly, retarded or a lesbian — and I’ve already played a lesbian. SO!”

    Lindsay Lohan (2005 – note: she may have been high)
    “With movies now, it’s very easy for a girl to dumb herself down or look ugly or be naked or be a lesbian or gain weight.
    “Those are the ones that win Oscars,” she added, warming to her theme.

    Just a coincidence? I think not.

  10. LOL
    Robin: “It looks like a Garnier Fructis commercial.”
    that made me giggle
    i love the little south reference about aiden

  11. Loved this:

    ”Shane sees … I don’t know.
    I don’t know what Shane sees…

    A Churro Cart?…
    Dave Thomas from Wendy’s? (lol)

    Stay tuned for next week’s episode, in which all of these questions and more will –not– be answered.”

    So great, and so true!

  12. I think Marina’s origins are supposed to be a little murky, right? Her dad was French (I think?) but she was a mix of Europe, hence the accent and the multilingualism. Or maybe she had a “sexy” accent that isn’t specific to anywhere, like one of my snobby college professors who had an unplaced “Academic” accent.

  13. I’d definitely be lost without your blogs, as I’ve said before it actually gives me something to look forward to. The Dylan/Helena crap was boring.

  14. Marina speaks Italian in Season 1. She was married to that Italian “Conte” from Milan, wasn’t she? Or was he her brother. Anyway, she speaks Italian.

  15. Btw, I am the 56867th person to thank you for your recaps, repeating for the 56867th time that usually they are way more entertaining than the actual episodes. I don’t like it when people obsess over Ilene or overcriticize her, but for the rest, you rock! Cheers. Oh, and good luck for the elections ;-) (I VOTED)

  16. if Sylar showed up at the Hit club, things would be a LOT more interesting.

    also, I totally freaked out when I was watching Housewives and candace the carpenter was looking all fancy. she was a hot mess. bette would not like her anymore.

    only 3 more episodes, guys!!

  17. Does it annoy anyone else that EZGirl NEVER puts music on the show that's sung by a male?
    I recall good music (ie. Iron & Wine, Joseph Arthur, Rufus Wainwright) actually being played on the show before she showed up as music superviser. Betty is the worst.

  18. All I can say is you are probably so excited to not have to recap this show anymore. I mean it’s probably sorta bittersweet, right?

    If I had any will power at all I would not be watching this show every Sunday. But alas, I do not.

    Jessie Spano is looks like a mutant.
    Why doesn’t Alice have sex anymore?

  19. My girlfriend yelled at me for reading your recap while we were watching the episode (on Monday). I told her that your recap was more interesting than the show, and she conceded.

    I really hated the whole Dylan trap thing, mainly because it was trying to be the Laura the Sous Chef mission. But it could never be like it for the simple reason that Helena was not at all invested in the mission, unlike Dana. Plus, it was shitty and there was no way it wasn’t going to blow up in someones face (as made evident in the preview for next week).

  20. i’d just like to take a moment to say that i have really, really enjoyed the badass new fonts on your screencaps. i mean, seriously.

  21. I’m guessing those awful tops Shane’s suddenly sporting were the only clothes Jenny let her keep. You know she didn’t get laid wearing those bad boys!

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