Real L Word Episode 109 Recap: Dinah or Bust Me in the Face Already

At the end of this week’s educational laugh-a-minute heart-pounding action-packed sizzling-smoking-red-hot-naked-sparkly season finale of The Real L Word, Ilene Chaiken attempted to ensure a Season Two by hypnotizing the audience into a starving zombie trance. Poltergeist/EZ-Girl style musical intonations asked our hungry hearts to crave a Season Two Sandwich-Pack: “I just want you to stay,” the music told us. “Don’t say goodbye,” it said ten times. This week, Whitney saved Nikki’s dog from a burning building, Mikey did a Zach Morris time freeze and everyone did a Riverdance, come on don’t you WANT US TO STAYYYYYYY?

Well, unlike EZ Girl’s classic “Shane and Carmen Fucking,” the I JUST WANT YOU TO STAY track laid over the Saved by the Bell Friends Forever Ending Montage of Love/Future/Sunset did not steal our souls. It was a good song, and actually it was a good episode too, but this is not weheartit dot com. LA Fashion Week is OVER BITCHES. This ain’t no disco. This is Dinah Shore Weekend. Welcome to the future.

Mostly, this episode solidified my mind’s 5,000-word thesis on how this show could’ve been so much better than it was (just like The L Word!), which I will be posting on Autostraddle in under 1,500 words at some point in the next 24 hours. If you’re wondering if it’s hard for me to go through life knowing so much more than everyone else, the answer is yes, it is. Very hard. Difficult to make friends, actually.

I suggest you print out this recap, staple it together, and take it with you somewhere to read. Then it will feel like a magazine, which costs money, and then you’ll feel like, “Oh my god, did I accidentally steal a magazine?!!” and then you’ll come back and pay for it.

Oh right, this show, dunzo. Let’s talk about it. Let’s relive it together, as a family, because not all of you were present when Carly, Jess, Laneia and I lived it together as a family LIVE.

BUT FIRST! Something changed for me this week w/r/t how I feel about The L Word. Yup. The Original.

It started when Rose and Nat were throwing around 3-4 standard key phrases always employed in Nat-Rose scuffles: you’re a bitch, don’t be drama, Rose could fuck all these bitches and/or a bag of chips right now if she wanted, ok then go, ok face the fact that you’re not talking right, la la la, and you know who I missed?

I missed Papi and I nearly called her for a churro, ’til I remembered —

Rose, you’ve made me re-think Papi. See, prior to learning that Rose had inspired the character of Papi, I’d assumed Papi to be a conglomerate of cheap Latina stereotypes Ilene had picked up from watching movies about earnest white teachers who inspire inner-city high school English students to believe in themselves. But no, Papi was based on an actual human being!

I’m grateful for Papi’s existence as Autostraddle’s aggressive promotion of “Really Papi Really” into the internet lexicon will probs be our only true legacy. But I failed to make the obvious connection: Papi was a PUNCHLINE. She was a joke, a parody, and she was fucking hilarious. On a show that had never cared about racial diversity, it was totally irresponsible to make Papi the punchline which, unfortunately, made her less funny than she would’ve been as the comic relief in a more responsibly representative show.

Anyhow, I’ve chosen to share some of Papi’s best lines with you during this recap, which is the best I can do short of writing an article called Crystal Loves Papi, making Really Papi Really t-shirts or writing the recap in Papispeak a la FourFour’s Natashaspeak recap.


It’s time for another round of everybody’s favorite party game, Stuff White Lesbians Like!

This week, the question is HAVE YOU BEEN TO CLUB SKIRTS THE DINAH?

In case you’re wondering AND I KNOW THAT YOU ARE, we have! We were there! You’ll hear more about that, mostly because we find ourselves far more fascinating than anything on the teevee, which is one of 5,000 reasons we’re not on the TV (reason #45 probably relates to me needing teeth whitening/makeup lessons/facelift, reason #1 is that many of us are afraid of cameras). Carly wasn’t at The Dinah this year, but Laneia, Jess and I were.


Tracy’s been to Dinah. It’s like lesbian spring break! Tracy has nice teeth!

Rose LOVES THE DINAH, it’s basically a combination of ALL her favorite things about life: talking loud, tits out boobs in the mouth and large hotel rooms.

No really. Mariah Hanson should hire Rose as Club Skirts Dinah Shore’s official spokesperson as Rose loves Dinah Shore Weekend completely sans irony. Rose IS Dinah Shore. Also, next year we want a big suite with beer, Suicide Girls, and Cheddar Bay Biscuits as a finder’s fee.

Rose suggests, “they probably have a bronze statue of me somewhere,” which is either the one of Rose finger-fucking Billie Jean King while getting sandwiched by Melissa and Tammy Lynn with kd Lang’s tits in her face, or it’s this one (doodle by Taylor as per ushe):

Jill’s never been, will never go, and Nikki’s not gonna take her:

Nikki: It has nothing to do with being gay or straight. I would never attend a weekend like that. You just wanna get me in trouble with the gay community, don’t you?

Nikki: WE FEEL YOU. We went anyhow, despite it being the kind of thing we’d never do gay or straight, because that’s what lesbian media outlets do. And we had fun. We had judgey fun!

Jess: I’m so excited, I’m so scared!
Laneia: THE DINAH!
Riese: Why does everyone keep describing this as “Girls Gone Wild for Gay Girls” like “Girls Gone Wild” is happy fun drunksex time and not opportunistic straight men with cameras taking advantage of intoxicated needy women to further their own capitalist patriarchal agenda?

[nobody cares, here’s Mikey:]


And Sara Makes Three

Sara, Julia and Sara’s cousin have arrived here from San Francisco with their hats on, ready to brave a long winter in West Hollywood!

Beware, Said the Dog. Beware of the Power of the Clam

U-Haul stipulated six name drops and one visual in their product placement contract for TRLW, here is that last one:



Jill:Where are all the coffee mugs?
Nikki: They’re probably in the back of your car!
Jill: No.

WELL CHRIST. Where are the coffee mugs? It happens here, I suspect the fourth roommate is stockpiling them in the basement to throw at my head. Anyhow, Jill says that Nikki is on edge, and the dog is scared. They’re gonna go to the airport to pick up Nikki’s best friend Kathleen.

Laneia: Is Kathleen her ex? Her crush? Her masturbate fantasy?
Carly: Oh dear
Riese: Her first make-out?

Teal Tank Top Crush


It’s Tracy’s roommate, Michele, along with Yin, Yang and the chicklets. You may recognize Michele from Logo’s CURL GIRLS. SHH ILENE DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT CURL GIRLS IT NEVER HAPPENED. This is the first lesbian reality show ever!

If you can’t be the best, just be the first, just ask George Washington. Dude doesn’t even need to make money. GEORGE WASHINGTON IS MONEY.

Tracy & Stamie are gonna have more Rad Mom time with Tracy’s Mom, probably going to Truck Stop or the Dinah.

Stamie: I’ll make a deal with your Mom. She wears flats, and I won’t kiss you in public.


Stamie: Her Mom’s like baby steps, baby steps. I’m like bitch you’re almost 60! How many baby steps you got in you?

Let’s baby-step outside so Michele can wax her board and we can experience a well-done, emotionally resonant scene:

Riese: These scenes are short.
Riese: This is gonna be difficult for recapping.
Riese: I’m already stressed HAY SURFER GIRL!

Michele: I’m amazed that [Tracy’s mom is] out here, visiting and spending time with you because that’s a first.
Stamie: Yeah, that’s nice —
Michele: It’s only taken four or five years!
Stamie: Yeah–
Michele: How are you doing?
Stamie: Oh it’s — I’m glad I met her Mom. It’s a little stressful. Cause you don’t wanna put it in her face, you know —
Michele: Well it’s hard because gay people are so used to sort of aborting their everything and kind of putting it to the side just to make everybody comfortable —
Stamie: Right, maybe that’s it, I haven’t done that in so long —
Michele: That’s the irony of gay people being accused of being “in your face” —
Probably, that’s — that’s the biggest thing — is having to hide it again, you know?

Harriet the Spy: The Case of the Missing Salami

Stamie: Oh Hi!
Tracy: Hide what?
Stamie: Uhhh hide the salami.
Tracy: What are you talking about?
Stamie: We’re hiding the salami.
Tracy: Uh-uh.
Michele: It’s behind the couch.
Tracy: You’re talking about hiding your sexuality!

Jess: I can already tell that Michele is real.
Laneia: My reasoning would be twofold: this is the most valuable convo of the whole season, re: real life.
Riese: I know that was weird. I had to stop drinking for a second.
Laneia: OMG TRACY IS SMELLING THE KIDS FOR POOP DIAPERS I just fell in love with Tracy!

Tracy: I want my Mom to accept me as I am. And accept my life the way that it is.

Just like nature, and the planets, and our bodies, ourselves:

“I Guess The Atmosphere I’ve Tried To Create Here is Bossy Girlfriend First, Actual Boss Second, And Probably an Entertainer Third”

Rose, continually breaking all the rules of ‘having a relationship that works,’ has hired Nat as her assistant, so they can be together all the time except on Bromance night. Rose says Nat did this or that thing wrong and then ROSE STEALS HER PEN!

Carly: Oh this is a terrible idea right here.
Riese: Wait! This is actually like my life, which is overall a terrible idea.
Laneia: It is.
Riese: It is a terrible idea FACT.


Normally Nikki’s basically a boxer-brief clad Jimmy-Buffet-listening Party Animal guzzling Piña Coladas, but today she’s a wee bit tense. It’s so weird!

Nikki: Jill, you can’t leave people stranded in an unfamiliar airport.

Laneia: Alex left me stranded at the airport.
Carly: Jill, you can’t leave people stranded in the airport. There are no signs anywhere.

Papi sees right through Nikki’s “tension”:

The happy couple eagerly waits at the baggage claim for the descent of Kathleen. BUT. WAIT. THAT’S NOT KATHLEEN!

Anyhow guess what, it’s not a friend, it’s Jill’s Mom. I know. IT’S FUCKING ADORABLE AND WE ALL ALMOST CRIED.

Riese: Oh! Nikki is a good girlfriend!
Laneia: I almost want to cry? Am I drunk?
Riese: My eyes are slightly teary.
Carly: This is sweet actually. Snark-free zone.
Jess: Can’t make fun.

You’re kidding about the bronze statue, right?


Rose: Dinah’s definitely a hook-up fest. I mean I go crazy at Dinah. When I’ve been to Dinah in the past, I would’ve been with every girl you could possibly get.

ALL OF THE GIRLS! Nat says it’ll be interesting to go to Dinah “as a couple” though in the back of her mind she’s worried and nervous, because lemme tell you, girls have never looked better than they do trashed and sunburnt at the Dinah! (WHAT?) Before long, the back of Nat’s mind will attack the front of her mind and then explode, like in Paintball and War, and who will be there to clean up the mess? Probs DJ Lezlee.

Rose is taking a different tactic. She learned it from Papi:

Rose: We’re not gonna fight. It’s like lesbian prom.
Nat: No, it’s like Lesbians Gone Wild. You promise not to be bitchy?

Rose’s pants are on fire ’cause she’s a liar liar, it is nothing like lesbian prom. Nice try.

Riese: “Lesbian prom'”? “Lesbians gone wild? Pick a straight trope and stick with it, SHOW!
Laneia: It’s not like lesbian prom, at all. It’s like lesbian spring break gone wild prom without the corsages.

Rose suggests they make rules like not making out with other people. Nat suggests they make rules like not being bitchy and making big deals out of nothing. Rose wants to know if Nat wants to make out with other people. Rose says Nat is confusing her.

Rose: “It’s hard for anybody to have a relationship with like 25,000 lesbians around you. Dinah’s definitely the test for any couple, but definitely for Natalie and I.”

Because Rose is the only woman interested in swapping spit with all 25,000 lesbians, this problem is really serious. Like yeast infection serious.

They probably are anyhow because of homosexuality being an abomination.

Jess: Where is Dinah? I’m ready to see us on the big screen.
Riese: I think we ran away every time we saw cameras. We were scared of being in the background.
Laneia: I love that Nikki is already in our corner re: the Dine.
Riese: I was remembering the other day how I really felt at the time, like TRLW cameras were devil-robots sent by Ilene to kill me, and when I saw them anywhere near us, I literally ran.
Laneia: Yes, we did.
Riese: I thought they would eat me. It could’ve been the drugs.


Later tonight this tattoo will graze your vadgehole as my fist angles in


For Raquel’s birthday, Mikey tattooed Raquel’s name on her giant crowded arm, which is akin to opening a kiosk in the mall to sell tiny lava lamps & ipod accessories and saying HEY BABY I’M THE PRESIDENT OF BLOOMINGDALES.

That’s right, for Raquel’s birthday, Mikey bought herself a tattoo. I’m doing that for my Mom this year with personalized towels with her name on them for me.

Raquel: That’s like my name on your body permanently.
Mikey: Oh shit, I meant to get somebody else’s name.

Papi sees what’s going on here:

Mikey doesn’t know how to give Raquel what she wants emotionally because her emotional growth was stunted by her upbringing seeing people getting shot in the face, like in Menace II Society.

How fascinating! Oh well, last episode. Who killed Jenny? Fashion week.

Riese: Wait. Why is everyone being so like –“real”?
Jess: Because it’s the last week of shooting and they’re over it.


Whitney warmed up for Sara’s vagina at every gas station

Everyone’s packing up for the big journey to Palm Springs! Get your dental dams and bikinis and beer and stuff! Scarlett makes Whitney promise “no drama,” which is a silly thing to ask the chair of Drama Club.

Laneia: #tesselbow
Carly: Why isn’t Alyssa going? #sad

Papi knows why Alyssa isn’t going:

The Closer I Am to FINNEEEEEE…

Guess whose home Rose rented!?!!!! I’ll give you a hint: she’s dead and it’s not Helen Keller. Give up?

Carly: They rented Dinah Shore’s home? Oh Jesus. The ghost of a golf player is going to haunt them
Riese: She’s going to sing to them in their sleep.
Laneia: When I went to New York, I ‘rented’ Riese’s home. So it kinda makes sense.

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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 3225 articles for us.


    • also i guess that isn’t that surprising seeing as how i also wore some kind of massive snake to dinner and appear to be sleeping on the street.

      anyway, THIS IS REALLY FUNNY, SURPRISE. i esp. liked that tuscany shout out and something else but i forgot what but prob later i’ll remember/reread.

  1. Seriously, the biggest surprise of the episode was Raquel, the lesbian migration jokes were absolute win. Other than that, the usual meh.
    But thank God for your recaps, that takes everything to a whole new level! :D

  2. Awesome. So amazing. Where do you get this shit Riese? You are a superhero of the lesbians. Taylor is queen of the doodling. I’m honored to have made the apparent Dinah Shore Hall of Fame and I enjoyed the team’s side-conversation more than usual this time.

    I’m surprised that I really warmed up to this show by the end of this episode. The season/series wasn’t as horrific as I thought it would be. Obvs it could’ve been done so much better (and I can’t wait to hear Riese’s thoughts on that) but still — it was alright, definitely bearable, and sometimes enjoyable.

  3. The finale felt more like an episode of a real television show than the others. It had a beginning, middle and end with a clear resolution of most storylines. It was definitely watchable and even fun, espesh if you’ve sat through allllll the other episodes. Bitch as we may, I commend the show for introducing some real gems into the lesbian pop culture lexicon. I just wish we could’ve been spared the real doozies around the epi 4-6 range that were totally unbearable.

  4. Fisting jokes. Fantastic. Almost died.

    Plus, did you notice all the clubskirtsthedinahclubskirtsthedinahclubskirtsthedinahclubskirtsclubskirtsclubskirts? Guess Girlbar didn’t shell out for promotion. Or is this like, totally normal, and I’m just super innocent when it comes to Dinah Shore.

    Also, I think I realized that part of what makes Natalie and Rose so unbearable to watch is that they never seem to have hatesex. Was there ANY hatesex on this show?

  5. “Why are you drinking beer? You weren’t a fan of beer on Facebook!”

    i um, i love you. can’t wait to see who killed jenny!!

  6. This was my favorite episode of the season, because… at least stuff happened.

    Also, I got one leg, y’all! Loved the reference!

  7. Did anyone else notice that beautiful teeth Tracy and always late Raquel seem to be wearing the same hat this episode? Twinsies.

  8. Brill! The recaps are funhappylaughtimes, keep me from going to bed when I should, and make me appreciate y’all taking one for the team (time wise).

    When I find my wallet I will make a donation. Apparently, today was the day to ask me for money. Equality California already hit me up, sneaky bastards.

    • I noticed! I luled at your reference to the most epic tear-filled finale montage of all time ever.

    • That was weird, karen, you took the words right out of my mouth.

      I guess the only thing I would like to add is that, just in case you want to read recaps that are actually entertaining, with a healthy dose of every human emotion, and just the precise amount of despair and judgey fun, you should just go: here

  9. One of my favourite parts of this post, was the photo of you AS peeps spooning and that blow up shark grinning in the corner! Sneaky shark! Hirarious!

  10. This was too hilarious. I’ve got to give Ilene kudos for having everyone suddenly become lovable (with the exception of Rose, who I wish Natalie had really just dumped). She sure knows how to play with our emotions. I just hope that if there is a Season 2, that she at least stays true to her L Word form and has like, 9 different story lines at one time. This show was more linear than Final Fantasy 13.

    Romi and Sara = epic win. I shall miss Romi’s hotness and her random feather earrings. *sigh*

  11. This was BY FAR the most interesting episode (and that’s not saying much).

    Julie and I need lasik surgery after intensely scouring the background of the paused tivo for shots of anything Autostraddle during the Dinah footage.

    We came up empty and we’re pissed about it.

  12. I actually liked Mikey in this episode, you guys! She seems like a genuinely funny person who was really poorly represented in the other 8 episodes.

  13. I liked the Autostraddle @ Dinah pictures best. Omg, remember when Rachel remotely liveblogged Dinah and it was the coolest weekend of the internet ever?

    Additionally, Taylor, I’m not sure that was a sanitary location for a nap. I hope you made it out disease free.

  14. don’t have showtime so can’t watch this, but PLEASE tell me they included the dinah earthquake in this episode. it was far and away the most entertaining thing that happened that weekend. and it took most of the lesbians a couple minutes to realize what happened because we all just thought we were hammered.

  15. I haven’t seen the episode yet, but I already know I like Autostraddle’s version of Dinah better.

    P.S. The restaurant that Rose and Nat are in looks like Olive Garden. Or a fake Olive Garden. Why is their table the only one without a tablecloth? Weird.

  16. I feel robbed!! Where was the wedding?!?

    9 episode of dresses and freak outs and we don’t even get to see them in their fancy palace??

  17. Reading these recaps together provides my wife and I with real quality time. We will donate. TEAM FUND A.S.!

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