This L Word recap was originally published on Riese’s personal L Word recap blog in early 2009, before the Autostraddle YOU know and love got invented! It has been republished here for your viewing delight, but there may be messed up formatting and missing pictures.
Episode 606 of The L Word, titled “Lactose Intolerant,” is the worst thing I’ve seen on television since Episode 604 of The L Word. Howevs; whereas 604 was calmly terrible — bumbling softly along its housework-heavy path of mediocrity — 606 was outrageously, actively, aggressively terrible.
Watching this episode was like watching an elephant bleed from the eyes. It was like watching a Woolly Wally waddle awkwardly amongst green-eyed villains and homosexuals at a candy-fetish themed baby shower; making uncomfortable gynecological-themed conversation and licking melted chocolate bars from the crotches of baby diapers. Oh wait! That HAPPENED!
It’s nuts, isn’t it? This show’s passionate following. Can you imagine how intense our online show-related communities would be if this show was actually GOOD? Though IFC is convinced we love to hate it, that’s not true — we wouldn’t still be watching if Seasons One and Six swapped air dates. But ’cause Season One was good, we got sucked in, and now we’re stuck in this queer quicksand, waiting for something like Season One to happen again.
If you missed it, I made you a five-minute podcast covering the The L Word Episode 606 – all the story in 1/10th the time! I made it using an L Word DVD, a tin can, a MacBook Pro, a ball of rope, and a rubber band, and though I don’t know how to use Garage Band yet, I’m um, trying to learn.
I’m considering checking out this film Barb Wire I just read about. Produced in 1996, this Pamela Anderson vehicle was nominated for 6 “Razzie” Awards, including Worst Screenplay. Guess who wrote it? C’mon. Just guess. Look it up. Anyhoooo ….
This week’s viewing party was attended by mememe, A;ex, Carlytron, Robin , Caitlin (not pictured) and Esmerelda Fitzmonster, Carly’s new muppet. Esmerelda is a lezzie muppet, even though Carly often accidentally calls Esmerelda “him,” like Jenny does to Max.
The first time I saw this show — devouring all of Season One in about three days — was with the (not pictured) Krista, who also joined our fine 606 viewing party. Back then, watching Season One in the winter of our discontent, we had a lot of feelings about Shane. We sat very close to the television. Now we sit far away and shield our eyes.
We open at Willy Wonka’s world-famous chocolate factory, where all the Oompa Loompas are making special balloons and singing their special death march. Then! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Han Solo! It’s DYLENA!
Carly: “Look! Dylan’s wearing black and Helena’s wearing white, that’s symbolic of good and evil. Everyone got it? Up to speed on the symbolic associations? Black — white –”
Riese: “Omg, like the white is angelic and the black is devilish!”
Robin [not listening]: “Yeah, Ellen really upgraded.”
Lesbian Squabble #23:My Lollipop Scares All The Girls From the Yard
In the Ring: Jenny vs. Helena vs. Dylan
Content: For some ungodly reason, Jenny spills the beans about Dylan’s “test,” exclaiming that Dylan passed with “flying colors,” which is exactly what I said, and also it’s the theme of this baby shower. For some ungodly other reason, Dylan — who oh-so-recently declared she’d returned to LA specifically to woo Helena — flips out. UM!! When you fuck up someone’s life that royally, you better believe you’re gonna be tested before you’re let back in. That Jenny! What a RASCAL! Someone should KILL HER!
Jenny tells Helena that she will fix this, and then informs Dylan that “you must start a relationship with a clean slate.” For example: Helena. She began this season, and every season, with a clean slate, upon which Ilene drew a brand new personality. Dylan doesn’t buy Jenny’s little maxims for success, she’s going to the bus station. Or she’s using the Jenny fight as an excuse to ditch this party. Maybe it’s Helena’s secret cue to meet her in the car for sex.
As Dylan leaves, please note her limited range of muted facial expressions. “Shock” looks a lot like “I’m gonna stick my claw up your vagina.”
Hey Dylan, remember when you made a sexy video to extort your beloved for bajillions of dollars and break her little heart? Isn’t this the pot calling the kettle sneaky?I want to Oompa Loompa Ilene Chaiken in the eyeball.
Helena, before she runs out the door, has one thing to say to Jenny —
You Say “Kill” I Say “Love.”
Kill ‘Em With Kindness. Kill ‘Em With Kittens. At this point, Jenny’s about as over the death threats as we are. “Oh! Helena wants to kill me! Another day in the life of Jennifer Schecter, The Lollipop Guild Co-Founder and President.” Henceforth Jenny will require a more nuanced intimidation tactic.
Who Wins? Jenny, because now everyone loves her even more.
Riese: “But they all just like take it from Jenny. They just hold a grudge. They never do anything about it.”
Carly: “It’s not like anyone actually KILLS her … or do they?”
All our pictures look a lot like this one.
FIRST! A postcard from Max.
Carly: “We’re going to call Max the Quicker Picker Upper from now on.”
Caitlin: “They made her be Willy Wonka?”
I feel like you didn’t get my letter. Things keep getting worse, you know? That’s not cool. But I wanna clarify something though to address some questions I’ve gotten on my new rogue OurChart 3.0 website:
I wasn’t upset about this storyline ’til I learned it’d be an unwanted and medically impossible pregnancy. Though crazy-ass unlikely things happen on this show — murder, for example — they are possible things. Our anger at the Dana-death comes from a similar, though not identical, place; because her demise was almost impossible as well. If my storyline was like Thomas Beatie’s, that’d be a super-sweet story about a trans man choosing to get pregnant that could explore our inter-community prejudices and beliefs. But an unwanted pregnancy storyline is one that even the best teevee characters rarely emerge from untarnished.
Usually, unwanted-pregnancy storylines have heavyhanded morals, e.g., use a condom! “No sex before marriage!” But ’cause my situation is impossible, that’s not the case, leading me to believe that (much like Dana) it’s not the process you care about so much as it is The Result (in my case, that means my boyfriend leaves me, my surgery is delayed, my friends refuse to adopt my baby and I’m forced to attend humiliating baby showers). In fact, you’re ignoring the unwanted pregnancy issue — A BIG ONE — in favor of congratulating yourself for faux-boundary-breaking.
Also Willy Wonka is not my favorite movie. My favorite movie is Barb Wire, obvs.
No Love, No Love At All,
The baby shower scene is the kind of scene you don’t want to be watching when an L Word virgin enters the room. How do you explain this nonsense?
I’d rather watch Hiro slay the great warrior in ancient Tunesiakawisawa or whatever that nonsense was. Why’s Max keeping the baby? He’d give it up for adoption, obvs. Is there a secret Pro-Life agenda happening here, and motherhood will transform his soul? In a good way?
The soundtrack here comes to us directly from what Satan plays in Hell. Hell is not other people, Hell is other people singing “Three Blind Mice” with backup vocals by Alvin & The Chipmunks.
Bette! The Pirates of Penzance called, they said never mind, KEEP IT.
Carly: “Are there words written on Bette’s sleeves?”
Riese: “It’s the scripture.”
Carly: “It’s like a scroll.”
Robin: “It’s her trademark now.”
Riese: “It looks like Talbots threw up in there in 1993 and let it ferment.”
Alice says Jenny is manipulative and evil, Bette agrees, Tina eventually comes around and also agrees.
When Helena leaves, Shane says: “That was so inappropriate.” I think she’s talking about Tina’s dress. Come on this isn’t Andrea Zuckerman’s garage sale.
After about five minutes of searching within a two-block radius of Casa Shenny, Helena has returned to declare Dylan GONE! But wasn’t Dylan’s exit apathetic, and isn’t this situation complicated enough to warrant at least a conversation? Well, I guess it’s not about Dylan & Helena. It’s about how all the characters can put themselves in a situation to be abused by Jenny so that she can get killed without too much crying.
The Writing is On the Wall, SO TO SPEAK.
If Jenny was my friend and she didn’t even apologize for the allegedly unintended results of her actions, I’d bust that baby shower stat, even if said shower was celebrating the first unicorn-to-human (UTH) pregnancy ever. Anyhow, Jenny does have the chance to call Helena “Miss Crankypants,” which is precious and makes me smile.
But Have You Ever Seen a Baby Shower … On WEED?
Shane & Jamie are gonna go do what any sane person would do in this situation (this is foreshadowing) — they’re sneaking off to the kitchen to get high. See, this is the sexy thing about Shane — it’s how she moves her body. She curls & contracts & expands & retracts elegantly into any given space, like the world moves to fit her into it. Jamie’s telling Shane that she’s glad to hang out with her cause Alice says Shane’s weirdly awesome. I mean just “awesome,” I added that “weirdly” to see if you were paying attention. Shane seems happy to hear that Alice still likes her.
Yeah if I Took Her Upstairs I could Get Her Off in Six Minutes Tops …
Before Jamie & Shane an undress and eat peanut butter off each other’s butts, Jenny sneaks in to tell Jamie that it’s her turn. If Jamie misses her big chance to identify a Snickers bar, all hell will break loose.
Jenny: “No come on you were flirting with her.”
Shane: “Okay, well, maybe I was.”
Jenny: [obvs cares]” Yeah, well, so what if you were, I don’t care.”
Shane: “Really? I thought you were giving me a weird look over there though.” [redrum]
Jenny: “Because I was just coming to tell you that it was your turn.”
Although Shane’s slightly annoyed that Jenny broke up her smokey party, she’s also high now and therefore better able to handle this convo. Shane quickly turns that frown upside down when Jenny says she got Shane a present ’cause Jenny loves Shane. I’m not really sure if even Kate knows what’s going on anymore. All we know about the present is that it’s not a lobotomy. The calm before the storm. The eagle plans her attack. I AM CAPTAIN PLANET!
I Can’t Believe These Bitches Just Bought Max an $800 Stroller But Won’t Even Pay For Him to Get One Tit Chopped Off
The ladies begin to discuss, for no apparent reason, various birthing methods. This engaging discussion follows a brief infomercial for Bugaboos, starring Bette & Tina, who just stole their costumes from the Scooby Doo ride at Universal Studios. The episiotomy discussion prompts me to exclaim: “Raise your hand if you want to talk about epistiotomies!”
I’ll give you a hint whose hand shot up — she’s a muppet and she’s got a hole large enough to squeeze out a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk, no C-section necessary. Esmerelda stops me from changing the channel to something a little lighter, like my favorite show Intervention.
I Have No Words For This Particular Aspect of the Gift Exchange.
The enthusiasm radiating from these party-goers is contagious.
Carly: “What is going on, are we on drugs?”
Caitlin: “What’s HAPPENING?”
Riese: “This … is so … terrible.”
Robin: “I can’t believe this is happening.”
Esmerelda Fitzmonster: “WHY DO YOU GUYS HATE THIS SHOW?! IT’S SO GOOD! THERE’S NO OTHER LESBIANS ON TEEVEE TO TELL MY STORIES! THAT SHANE LOOKS LIKE A TOTAL PUPPET — I MEAN!!! – MUPPET! I LOVE THE L WORD!!”
Cait: “Carly, is everything okay?”
Carly: “What’s the point of having a muppet if it can’t speak its mind?”
Carly: “Are there pig’s feet in that jar?”
Riese: “That is not my kind of party.”
Cait: “I feel so uncomfortable for everyone.”
Krista: “I feel like we’re on acid!”
[Seriously if you close your eyes and pretend Alice is at someone else’s baby shower, the scene’s way more fun]
Some golden moments I should mention: When Max opens the onesie with a devil decal and Alice says: “it looks like Jenny.” When Max starts hyperventilating and Tina commands “Xanax. Get him a Xanax, it’s in our room.” That one is prefect for many reasons, most notably the fact that the lesbian power couple has Xanax on hand (and that Alice offers some Lexapro she’s got lying around).
After three days in Michigan my brother and I have been offered so much Xanax by our Two Moms that we’re plumb out of betas to block. Xanax is the secret fuel of the lesbian lifestyle. This is the way that we live.
Or there’s the drink.
Alice Getting Baby-Showered
Alice: “You being ALONE is better because you don’t have to go through all that bullshit you know. Of like figuring it all out with someone else like, ‘Let’s circumcise or no we can’t circumcise!’ or you know; ‘Let ’em stay up late! I want ’em to go to bed,’ and it’s like much better just you, you and the kid, huh?”
Jamie [aside to Tasha] “What is she doing?”
Tasha: “Doin’ what she always does. Just watch her, she’s on a roll.”
Alice, Not Interrupted: “I can only hope that this child will turn out to be a child who has values. Who knows the real meaning of honesty, the real meaning of trust, and real friendship, someone who will stand up to her girlfriend when they know she’s wrong –“
Alice, Not Interrupted, Continued: “We can all only hope that this child will not grow up to be a thief, someone who would steal people’s ideas, and lives, and things like that,
so I pray Max for your child that they won’t grow up to be malicious and manipulative and fucked up.”
That’s an Oscar Worthy Performance if I ever saw one, yeah?
Dos Dos Equis = Quatro Dos Equis
Helena “hear hears!” to Alice’s little monologue like a drunken Irish seaman, what the hell is happening. Actually … this scene seems better now that I’m writing about it than it did while I was watching it.
If you know the history of TFS (This Fucking Show) it’s almost embarrassing to be witnessing this particular episode, like it’s 1941 and we’re watching Song of the South. Can I get a manipulative psychotic bisexual in the house? Oh — not anymore, right.
By the 17:19 mark, we cannot take it any longer. Despite what the buttons say, we do not in fact totes heart rock bottom. We pause. We consider our options. Esmerelda is getting suicidal.
At this point we decide we cannot go on without first getting high — all of us, even those of us who never smoke. You hear that Ilene? You’ve driven us to drugs. No pictures, we can’t afford to lose our sponsorship deal with Frosted Flakes.
Caitlin: “17 minutes and 19 seconds. Write that down.”
Riese: “We’re still in the same scene! This scene is almost the length of an entire sitcom!”
Krista: “If this was a sitcom, we would’ve already had a set-up, conflict and rising action and we’d be two minutes away from the resolution.”
Carly [to Riese]: “We need to write a teevee show.”
Riese: “I wanna write the aforementioned Crazy Jenny Show.”
Chaiken Gives Out Barf Bags on Arrival Just In Case Your Storyline Sucks
Coincidentally, when we choose to pause the DVD to get high, the frame we froze on features Max huffing glue out of a paper bag. I saw a documentary about kids sniffing glue so basically I’m an expert.
Now that we’re all oblivious to the pain, we turn the show back on. Max begs TiBette to adopt his baby, and they say they can’t, they’ve already got this easy-peasy situation set up with a random trashy girl from the other side of the homophobic tracks, Nevada, where gay adoption is illegal. This makes me feel icky, like obvs they’d say yes if it was Alice or something, don’t you think? I hate this. Take Max’s baby! He’s got great eyes!
Then some other stuff happens, including a full frontal of the Worst Pregnancy Suit EVER. I think pregnancies work best when the actress or actor is actually pregnant.
Anyhow, this is us on Splash Mountain:
Riese: “OH MY GOD”
Carly: “Make it Stop! Make it STOP!”
Robin: “That one moment just canceled out all of the good moments of hot girls ever on this show.”
Carly: “Oh my god LOOK LOOK LOOK LOOK!”
Riese: “He’s shaving his beard!”
I’ve Got More For the World Than This Beard
We-Ho may seem glamorous, but it’s a One-Lawyer One-Therapist Town. Thusly, TiBette are at Joyce’s, talking about really interesting things. Joyce is obvs texting Ilene to let Ilene know she needs to edit this episode a little more. JK, she’s texting Phyllis so that Phyllis can masturbate thinking about Joyce and Bette in the room together. JK Joyce is telling Bettina
a how she bagged the babe and how now they’re gonna tie the knot.
Joyce: “Gavin Newsom the mayor of San Francisco, he’s officiating –”
Carly doing an amazing Jane Lynch Voice: “I was naked when I offered and — Bette, you were there –”
[Alex & Caitlin, momentarily unaware that it’s Carly talking and not The Lynch, almost die laughing. ALMOST]
Riese: “It’s a good thing that we’re here to make this show better.”
Carly: “Dialogue supplemented and enhanced by Carly.”
When Bette & Tina mention Nevada, Joyce rains all over their adopted baby parade by telling them homos can’t adopt there. But you can get a damn good buffet for $8.99 or less. Joyce suggests they adopt as a single mother in Nevada and then add the other mother once they get back to California. Bette presents a stunningly hollow argument about how they cannot begin their baby’s life with untruthiness and Tina defers to Bette’s better judgment, just like TOE told Bette to do back in Season Two.
This’d be a good point for them to agree to adopt Max’s baby instead. But it’d be sillier for Marcie to come to California and give birth right there on the Golden Gate Bridge, and Silly is the Name of the Game. Gavin Newsom will be the midwife. You know. Gavin Newsom. The mayor. Of San Francisco.
Jamie, You’ve Got Me Running, JAMMMIEEEE, You’ve Got Me Tired.
The sweaty threesome returns to the Alice Palace after a hot Tasha training session to cutely joke with one another about Alice’s relative physical un-endurance and how hot Jamie is. Jamie says she’s gonna go home and take a shower and meet them at the restaurant.
Carly: “Why don’t you just shower here?”Alice: “Why don’t you just shower here?”
Esmerelda Fitzmonster: “SHOWER HERE!”
The ‘shower here’ deal is sealed when Tasha offers clothes ’cause they’re about the same size — and then Tasha adds the obligatory Next Line for Girls Sharing Clothes : “you’re a little bit smaller but –” Jamie’s all “Nah!” Aw. The point is you can see Jamie’s boobs, and everyone is in a good mood.
Lesbian Sexy Moment #8: If You’re Gonna Get Off, You Might As Well Get Off With Me
The Players: Tasha and Alice … and, in spirit, the showering Jamie.
Alice: “What are you doing?”
Hot or Not? Very! Tasha, all charged up from their communal lust for Jamie, basically sticks her hand down Alice’s pants … and she likes it. I hope their third-wheel-crush don’t mind it. Then, Alice & Tasha’s whispers climb over the couch, through the wall and across two rooms all the way to the bathroom, where even with the shower water on, Jamie can hear them having sexy time.
If These Walls Could Orgasm
Jamie cutely tip-toes down the hallway as Tasha & Alice wrap up the sexy-time/whisper sweet nothings. Jamie totally knows that she’s a part of this sex scene somehow, but I have no clue what (or who) Jamie wants, exactly.
Alice: “That was crazy.”
Jamie: “Oh that was a really nice shower!”
Alice & Tasha dash to shower together, leaving Jamie alone on the couch. We’re worried she’s about to masturbate which would make us feel weird. But she doesn’t. And so the beat goes on.
Unfortunately, WoozieWhatzit, the Men Actually ARE Gay
Tina & Bette have apparently decided to move Marcie in to their house [worst idea EVER – srsly, adopt foster child! There are so many that need homes!] and so they go home to check on the construction. Maybe Marcie will hook up with Helena, Helena needs a girlfriend again and she likes pregnant chicks. I’m sure Marcie is stoked, ’cause she loved the photos of Bettina’s home.
This woman, possibly named Weezy something but who I will henceforth refer to as “The Beaver” because she looks beaverish, says annoying things that all reference boning dudes. After the Beave leaves the scene, Bette does a fabulous imitation of The Beave’s laugh and the girls share a hearty chuckle, I wish they could share a sex scene instead.
Riese: “Look, it’s a real dyke! She’s got a chainsaw!”
Carly: “Hey look at that lesbian! Is that the key grip playing a cameo?”
Riese: “They overwork that girl, she’s always being tossed in to represent.”
Carly: “Did she win one of those fan walk on contests? MY NAME’S GWEN AND I’M HERE TO WASH YOUR VAGINA!”
Robin: “She’s like this happens to me allllll the time …”
I think The Beave was in my middle school class making crass jokes about churning butter and blowing glass at Greenfield Village while the rest of us were trying to learn more about the pioneers so we could kick ass on Oregon Trail and avoid cholera.
I Was Kinda … Hoping … for a Puppy?
Apparently after Cherie Jaffe’s husband ixnaye’d the Shane Salon, the space went unsold. Until this moment, this very moment when Jenny leads Shane into her new photo studio — Shane’s very own place to work. Hint hint — Jenny’s revving up to convert that bedroom back into her Psycho HQ Office. Hey Jenny I know a great carpenter — she looks gay but apparently enjoys the hot beef injection, so you don’t have to worry about her stealin’ your special lady.
Shane seems overwhelmed but moreso she seems muted. Maybe she figures “my life is already a living hell, it may as well be a living hell with a photo studio.” What’s wrong with Shane being a hairdresser, Jenny? Maybe Jenny’s a snob who prefers M.F.A.s to Trade Certificates, but um, that’s silly, ’cause at least Shane is always employed, kinda.
“I don’t deserve this,” Shane says. Also, the only photos she ever took were of Molly, and now Molly is gone. Just like Lassie! And the farm! When Sal’s burned down! Jenny thinks Shane does deserve it, ’cause she’s “talented.” Or ’cause Molly’s pretty. Anyone can take a good photo of a sunset. Shane is no Robin Roemer, that’s for sure.
Natalie [has just walked in to the room]: “This is intense.”
Carly: “If by “intense” you mean “terrible.”
I Lay Awake And Miss You When You Go
Tina’s leavin’ on a jet-plane for New York City for a movie thing and therefore won’t be around for the Gallery Opening. Tina feels bad about this, but Bette insists that she go to NYC because it’s important for her career. This means they’ve evolved from Season One, when Bette blithely encouraged Tina to drop her career in favor of motherhood/wifehood.
Howevs we know Tina’s gonna be in trouble — she’s leaving Bette all alone with closeted straight girl THE BEAVE, and we know what happens to closeted straights on this show. They’re only straight until they’re not. Also we know Bette has a construction tool fetish.
ZOMG RAT TAIL!
For reasons that defy everything I’ve ever known about human beings, The Beave has mistaken Tina for Bette’s sister. Then she leaves us in a stormcloud of UmEw, never to return again.
Robin: “Bette’s going to fuck the carpenter!”
Carly: “You know how she’s into those building types.”
“I’m sorry but I am really trying my best to read these terrible lines and believe in my character,
and this little charade is not helping one bit. Please leave. You ARE the weakest link.”
This Would Be a Better Moment for the “Leaving Los Angeles” Concept
I know what you’re thinking. Only 20 minutes have passed since Helena chugged two Dos Equis in a row, like a frat boy on his underage girlfriend’s prom night. Well, alcoholism is like that. One minute you’re a responsible drinker, and before you know it, you’re on a one-way road to a Ken Seely Intervention. Luckily, Kit is here to express her concern, but when she leaves Helena to talk to Sunset, Helena goes and starts a fight on the other side of the bar. How could anyone hit a face like that.
Kit is generally willing to endorse anyone as “belonging together.” In this case, it’s Dylan & Helena. As Kit bemoans the Dylena breakup, Sunset finally realizes that Helena is not Kit’s girlfriend and furthermore Sunset is informed by Kit that her “body, it don’t respond to its own kind.” She feels his muscles, makes some noises, and tells him, “this is what I’m talkin’ about right here.”
You know, I think Kit is a little queer. She’s not necessarily gay or bisexual, but she’s just kinda queer. You know? She’s flexible about what gender means. Which is interesting/cool.
Time to set up the big gallery show! James is here! Bette & Kelly are gabbing about all the cool people that are coming, and Kelly’s ex texts to say he wants to buy something-something. YES! Now we can afford THREE BABIES and a new POOL. Maybe even an “idea well” out back with some tropical birds.
Bette borrowed her shoes from Nomi Malone.
Even JAMES! cannot outshine the glare of terrible radiating from Jessie Spano. Every word she says is like another hamster bite to the nipple. I understand that not every character on every show needs to be cool — we need antagonists, obvs — but there are a LOT of irritating people on this show. If Kelly sat next to me on the subway, I’d switch cars at the next stop. If Kelly was in front of me in line at Pinkberry, I’d get Red Mango.
Tina calls Bette — Tina loves NYC ’cause “no-one here cares about the mystery of the stolen Lez Girls negative.” Unlike in LA, where it’s all anyone can talk about. Kelly, clearly concerned that Bette is speaking to another woman, demands Bette get off the phone for an “emergency.”
The “emergency”? With all these last minute RSVPS, they aren’t gonna have enough oysters! I’m worried that there won’t be enough arsenic for everyone who wants to die after seeing Kelly’s face.
Lesbian Squabble #24: I’m One Third Passion and I’m Two Thirds Pride
In the Ring: Bette vs. Kelly
Bette: “Are you kidding me?”
Kelly: “No, no, it’s just we’re expecting 250 people –”
Bette: “You got me off the phone with Tina to talk to me about oysters?”
Kelly: “I don’t know it’s just — the call — it seemed like it wasn’t that important. It seemed like you she was — checking up on you –”
Bette: “We don’t do that to one another. We support each other.”
Kelly: “Well, then what’s up with tonight, I mean, I don’t think that’s very supportive.”
Bette: “She would be here if she could, she has business in New York.”
This is our special message to Kelly.
Someone needs to print this Bettism onto a bumper sticker for Haviland to put on her journal: “My partner’s work is just as important to me as mine is to her, and that’s a good thing.”
Kelly’s surprised, ’cause Tina seemed like more of a “wife.” Bette says Tina’s “not a wife.” I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean, and think at this point, I may as well look for meaning in a bowl of pudding. But the girls — they’re prettttty!
Those are eyes that cannot ever shed a tear, no matter how sad the left side of her face is.
I love Jamie & I love her apartment & cute little doggie, I wish she’d been on this show from the start! In this scene, she changes her outfit while Tasha and Alice survey the premises.
Tasha & Alice admire the decor and the family photos — many of their closest friends don’t have families, let alone family photos, so this is a Big Deal. Alice helps Jamie zip up her dress. I can’t figure out who digs who. Is Tasha getting testy at the end? I feel more chemistry between Tasha & Jamie, but I’d be surprised if TFS took that turn.
It’s like come on, come on to me. And it goes …
It’s like come on …
… come on to me.
Bette & Kelly are talking nonsensically like, “watermelon watermelon art art watermelon donor watermelon showgirls watermelon” when Kit & Helena arrive.
This Business of Art
Kelly is like the Michael Scott of this team, except not funny and with less forehead-moving possibilities. Bette’s like,”Let’s get down to business,” and Kelly’s like, “Let’s talk about bras and eyeballs and fish food!” Kelly loves taking pictures with everyone, I think she should be wearing sunglasses at night like Andy Warhol.
Obvs Kelly wants full-lengths so she can turn ’em into somethin’ a little like this:
Better Get the Shoes!
Kit’s worried when Helena dashes for a drink, but settles to shift her attention to digging a truly quite rad painting. “Girl what are you DOING,” Kit says silently to the painting, as Sunset Boulevard — out of drag — comes to stand next to her. Kit doesn’t recognize him ’cause she is blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night. Also she’s holding a glass of wine. Sidenote.
This Bizness of Art
“Wow,” Sunset says. “Those are two beautiful art dealers.” If I didn’t already know that he’s got the hots for Kit Porter, I’d say his admiration is protegè-related and not about fucking. Regardless, Kit Bitter Party Of One says he’s here to look at art, not at women, and storms off in a huff. Someone needs to give Ilene Chaiken the memo on that one. STAT. Let’s get a winged messenger, I vote for Hermes. Who’s with me! Yay!
Who Wants to Be in My Will? Anyone? Anyone?
Jenny gives a fabulous hello to a passerby, behavior which apparently Shane identifies as flirting and says it’s not fair for Jenny to give her shit but then flirt with every dirty old man who walks by with his wife. Jenny flicks Shane, which is perfect and exactly what I would do. “They do make a very beautiful couple,” Jenny says, admiring Kelly and Bette, “I mean they’re not a couple but they look like a couple. They’re just both … tall.” That’s pretty much the most rational argument anyone’s gonna get for any particular coupling on this show ever. You know who else is “both tall”? Shane & Molly.
Want some SEAFOOD? See! FOOD!
Jenny: “I don’t know how you can eat those things.”
Shane: “You don’t like them?”
Jenny: “I don’t like them because it reminds me of a guy coming in your mouth. I’m just saying.”
Shane: “Why- why would you try to do that to me?”
Jenny: “I just wanted to say that that’s why I don’t like them, you asked me why I don’t like them so I said — ”
Shane: “Well if that’s the case then you can kiss me ’cause you know what that tastes like.”
Jamie, Alice and Tasha arrive and look blithely around the room. They quickly realize they find one another way more attractive than the pictures and the sculptures. Then Alice blesses us with a perfect line that also describes this show sometimes. Alice is cute & I Love Her.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK – Alice: “Wow, looks like a giant cat threw up, huh? Whew. So, what do you think?”
Tasha: “I don’t get it.”
Alice: “Well, it’s art.
Tasha gives Alice the look of death in response to that zinger. It’s probs about a “15” on an Amazing Scale from 1-10.
OH MY GOD LOOK WHO’S HERE IT’S NIKKI STEVENS THE STAR OF THE STOLEN NEGATIVE MOVIE! It’s Nikki Stevens, the fabulous star of “One Night on the Pink Ride,” a special DVD starring Nikki & Jennifer Schecter.
This One’s For You, The Smoking Cocktail
Nikki Stevens has arrived! Where’s SamRo? Never mind all that. Shane’s giving Nikki the look-over. They’ve got googly eyes for each other. Shane looks hot when she wants someone. Nikki looks hot because she is hot. Kelly gets photos with Nikki and Bette and generally Kelly acts like a publicity whore. Nikki approaches Shane and says “Hey, Sexy Shane,” and Shane says, “What’s up Nick,” in her “Let’s bone” voice. Shane, Shane, Shane. Shane. Ilene. Shane!
Ah. My Escape Route Has Arrived.
The coast is … eh, never gonna be clear, let’s go out the front, no one’ll see us or photograph us that way
Here we are in broad daylight and rather than talk it out like a lady, Shane’s just gonna ditch Jenny to go have a meaningless fuck for no reason at all. I mean, she’s not even drunk. The sun’s still out. Shane! SHANEEE!
This won’t look good for the art gallery people. “Nikki Stevens came, said she’d had enough of the art, jetted out with that girl from the underwear ads. Yeah, the one that looks like a boy. Paltrow’s cousin. But did you see those two beautiful women? They’re so … tall.”
This show used to have a great respect for contemporary visual art. It even introduced us to many new artists. That respect has diminished considerably from prior seasons, which sucks, ’cause I liked that too.
Helena’s double-fisting it at the bar and Kit strides over for another shot at delivering wisdom. Rather than get sloshed in public, Helena’s gonna go home and pop an ambien. I hope they’re trying to give Helena a one-ep drinking problem. Then it’d be like Saved by the Bell and it would make sense that Elizabeth Berkley is all up in our grill.
Riese: “It’s like a lifetime movie.”
Krista: “It totally is a lifetime movie.”
Robin: “It’s like 10 lifetime movies at once.”
You Want a Lifetime Movie? We Got Your After-School Special Right Here.
You Better Wash Your Feet First Boy
Kit says love sucks. Sunset disagrees, and furthermore has some dark whispers about wanting Kit’s legs around his neck in the morning. Kit throws water in his face — awesome fight move. In case you’re blind like Kit, Sunset clarifies his identity by telling a stranger he works with Kit but that she only sees him as “a girlfriend.” That might be because he wears women’s clothing, who’s to say.
Kit better be careful, if she tells him that she likes donkeys he’s gonna come back in a donkey outfit, and then Sancho will need a new donkey.
I Prefer Splash Mountain But Thanks
Three Pretty Girls Are Sitting on a Bench. Neat.
Jenny is lost and can’t find Shane. Poor puppy. Meanwhile, the Three Musketeers are crowd-watching, and Jamie says Jenny seems damaged and she feels sorry for her. She adds that Bette & Kelly look like the ultimate power couple “finishing each other’s sentences.” I think Kelly just interrupts Bette a lot.
Why the FUCK Didn’t We Have This Conversation Two Years Ago?
Then they get into a really compelling discussion about their childhoods. I would’ve loved to have seen this convo a few years ago. Now it feels more like Elizabeth Rohm’s last Law & Order episode when she gets fired and she’s like, “Is it ’cause I’m a lesbian?” and you’re like, oh, excellent, walk out the door now, perfect, anyone want an abortion, if so we can arrange for a car to hit you on the way out.
Riese: “Alice looks really bored.”
Carly: “Alice is as bored as we are.”
Robin: “This is so bad. Oh my God.”
Carly: “Alice is like — oh poor Alice. what a horrible scene.”
Tasha’s Dad was an asshole. He pulled macho military shit. So did Jamie’s Dad. Tasha’s Dad didn’t knock her around but he did to her brothers. The only time he paid attention to Tasha was when she got discharged and then he told her that she was a disgrace to her country. Every character in this show either has Daddy Issues or no Dad at all. Blergh, this is really interesting backstory, I wish we had the time for it. Jamie tells Tasha that she’s amazing. Alice looks like she just saw a Klingon.
Alice says she’s gotta thank Jamie, ’cause Tasha’s never opened up like that before. I guess it’s ’cause your a counselor, Alice says. Anything I can do to help, Jamie says. I think we all know how we’d like Jamie to help.
How Many Brian Kinneys Does it Take To Screw in a Lightbulb?
Apparently Nikki asked for a demonstration of photo development, ’cause Shane’s taking her to the darkroom for a step-by-step. This type of scene only works when one person walks in on another person working, not if you go to the workplace together and then the artist pretends to be working on something for your educational benefit.
Like if someone came in here with me and was like, hey turn on your computer and put on the l word, i wanna see you recap. like do you LOL as you write, or do you just laugh on the inside? To which I would answer: “Bring me some ice cream.” Actually it’s quite the opposite. In the past, whenever I’ve been involved with someone during recap season, they have done nothing but complain while I recap. Girls.
Krista: “Of course. The darkroom sex scene.”
Riese: “You know in real life it’s generally a little bit darker than that.”
Robin: “Oh my G-d. This is killing me!!”
Carly: “It’s like High Art, Robin’s favorite movie.”
Robin: “I HATE that movie.”
Carly: “Shane’s the only person on earth who doesn’t use digital in real life.”
Riese: “It’s just such a bad place to make out. There’s chemicals everywhere, usually there’s no-place to sit or lean–“
I’ve Been Looking So Long at These Pictures of You
Nikki’s so impressed by all these complicated photo-making procedures. She doesn’t even care that Shane’s printing a photo of Molly. Shane cracks that Nikki was born in 2001, which is hot. Nikki calls Shane “grandpa,” which is less hot, and also foreshadowing for when Shane gets dementia. Nikki asks Shane when she took that photo of Molly. Shane doesn’t even remember. That was like last season. Everyone had a totally different personality then.
The music is softly sweetly singing something nicely as Nikki starts to kiss Shane. It’s kinda sexy …
Lesbian Sexy Moment
The Players: Shane and Nikki
The Pick Up:
Shane: “What are you doing?”
Nikki: “You know what I’m doing.”
Hot or Not? Really Shane? Really??!!!!
But before it gets too hot, Shane gets sick. She starts hurling.
Shane’s Cheating Intolerant now. Jenny put a spell on Shane, that little witch. Shane’s barfing on Molly’s photo, and Nikki’s horrified & asking if Shane’s contagious. Shane tells Nikki to shut up. Wow. It’s sort of an ugly moment, the moment when two people who were just about to fuck admit that they don’t actually care about one another as people, or respect each other, at all. Nikki dashes. Shane keeps vomiting. Shane should turn her vomit into a work of art.
Look I Babysat Her So Well She Barely Even Exists
Bette’s paying the babysitter. Babysitting sure is expensive these days. Then guess who shows up, Kelly, who appears to have walked there in a mumu, ’cause she’s just so excited about the big night that she needs to continue to celebrate. She sort of doesn’t listen to Bette ever, and Bette is clearly not happy about this surprise houseguest.
Carly: “This is horrifying.”
Krista: “She’s so 90s! She embodies the 90s!”
Robin: “Get her out of this show!”
I’ll see you in rehab, Peabody.
That night you leaned over and threw up into your hair and I held you there
thinking I would offer you my pulse if I thought it would be useful
Jenny’s been looking everywhere for Shane – Truck Stop, Santa Monica — she asked every sex worker on Santa Monica if they’d seen a gender-confused under-nourished teenage boy anywhere … but then Shane calls back to tell Jenny she’s sick and Jenny rushes to her aid, and then, we see maybe what Shane needs from Jenny — Shane needs someone who will never leave, no matter what. She thought Jenny was that kind of friend, and maybe she’s hoping Jenny will be that kind of girlfriend. She doesn’t know that Jenny has been retconned.
It’s a lot like a box. But you’ll never have to go at it alone again. Jenny will love Shane 4evs and evs.
Then things take a turn for the even worse, as we return to Casa Bettina and Spano’s surprise party.
This scene made my eyes and ears bleed. Kelly talks crazy. For a moment she engages Bette in an awkward dance, I think it’s called the Stomach Turn. Kelly spills her drink. Kelly cannot speak normally for more than one second without breaking into a bizarre animalistic high-pitched wail.
I Learned this Dance From AC Slater, Hot Mama
Kelly wants to cash in a rain check for their special love-makin’ from college. Kelly canceled her Bette Loveathon ’cause of the rain? That’s so lame. Blame it on the rain. Kelly tries to kiss Bette, and Bette says no. “That expired 15 years ago,” Bette says brilliantly, and when Kelly keeps pushing, Bette adds: “Read it closely.” Kelly keeps going, she can’t help herself, and I can’t help myself, I have to say it, I just have to, I’m sorry, but it’s just so fucking perfect, I can’t stop it …
Carly: “Fuck me right me in the ear. Just fuck me in the ear.”
When Kelly keeps pushing and then goes in for the makeout, Bette goes for the takeout.
Wentworth knocks over the champagne. “Nice work, Wentworth,” Bette says. She doesn’t mean it, she means “bad work.”See you guys I told you that Bette would never cheat again. Also, she’s pretty smooth with Kelly. Shane & Bette win awards for acting stoically in the faces of insanity this season, I guess.
On the Night I Die I Swear I’ll Sleep Outside Your Window
Then, just across the barricades, Jenny says goodnight to Shane. Shane thanks her and Jenny says she’ll always take care of Shane. Unless she dies or whatever. Jenny begins to tiptoe back to somewhere (the kitchen for a Pop Tart probs) and what does she see —
Jenny sees something across the way and by the look on her face I’m pretty sure she doesn’t see what we see … I mean … all I see is Bette cleaning up a broken glass from the floor while Kelly sits on the table.
This scene is very “cheap sitcom noir,” it reminds me of something Screech and Zach might pull. TFS would never do that. I’m gonna give Ilene the benefit of the doubt and assume that Jenny must see something we don’t see, e.g., dead people. Or um …
Is it her imaginary friend Teen Angel played by Jason Priestly? You know, that mini-show within The Mickey Mouse Club?
My imaginary friend Drop Dead Fred?
BeetleJuice! THAT DUDE IS FREAKY!!
Perhaps a Friendlier Ghost?
Oh! I know!
DANA! OBVS! I’d take a picture of that, wouldn’t you?
I’m guessing that this’ll be what Jenny holds against Bette so somehow from Jenny’s angle apparently this looks like a very bizarre game of muffdiving, but only barely, and jeez how long does it take Bette to clean up that glass. Maybe she IS eating Kelly out.
Anyhow this is how we feel about that. Esmerelda Fitzmonster is in agreement on this one:
Carly: “That’s 57 minutes of my life I’m not getting back.”
Riese: “– and when this thing goes up on YouTube I’m gonna go on there and comment YOU JUST WASTED 57 MINS OF MY LIFE. WHERE’S THE TITS?!!!”
Lesbian Squabbles: 2 this ep, 24 total
Lesbian Sexy Moments: 2 this ep, 8 total
Quote of the Week: Alice
On a Scale of One to Ten: IT SUCKED. I have weird moments now where I actually think it wasn’t that bad. I’m losing my headskull. It was really well directed, I think. Some good one-liners. Straws. That’s what I’m grasping for. Straws. Little lesbian straws.
Close your eyes and think about puppets — I mean — muppets!
Also if you don’t already know this, you’ve been missing out — you can follow the United States of Autostraddle’s twitter feeds: @thusspokejenny, @call_me_max, @alicethechart, @betteporter, @nikki_stevens, @mama_ti, @itsjustshane. Oh and also my Alpha Personality, @autowin.