The L Word Episode 504 Recap: Let’s Get This Party Started

This L Word recap was originally published on The Road Best Straddled in 2008, before the Autostraddle YOU know and love got invented! It has been republished here for your viewing delight.

Live from Miami … it’s L-WORD NIGHT!
Once upon a time, I wanted to be a Broadway star like Shirley Temple, singing and dancing in sailor outfits on the Good Ship Lollipop. Then I grew up and realised I couldn’t sing, got kicked out of choir, realised I didn’t like other people, and found my true calling: staying indoors, typing away in a cold dark room. This happens to many people: one day you wake up and realise your true calling is not what you’ve always thought it was. EZ Girl/Elizabeth Ziff — I know you think you’re the musical director of The L Word … but you’re actually a writer. Maybe Ilene is the songwriter of your duo? You should switch it up, perhaps she’s got a new vision for the opening theme song or she could call in Peaches or The Monkees to fix it up. Every episode EZ Girl writes is surprisingly not terrible. I mean, she wrote the basketball episode, my favorite.

Also, did your head explode at the end? Like the Uh Huh Her song “Explode”? Well, pick up the pieces, it’s recap time!

This week’s episode viewing was attended by me, Alex, Haviland and Cait. For some reason, Cait remains uninterested in participating in our themed photo shoots, e.g., this week’s shoot on the balcony of our Key Bisquane hotel room. Yes: Cait took us on vaycay in the sunshine, it was perfect. Speaking of perfect, my heart will grow three sizes if y’all stop by the Lesbian Blog of the Year site and nominate me! (Just comment and nominate Riese with my URL–autostraddle and/or autowin) I want to win a lesbian duck, it’s important, Tinkerbell needs a playmate.

Haiku for Ilene Chaiken:

They say love is blind.
I admit, E-Ziff can write.
Love is a flower.

  1. Rue is actually spelled “roux.” Potato, Po-tah-to.
  2. Bette does drink, she just doesn’t drink a lot. I don’t really know why I keep thinking she doesn’t drink. I mean, I know Kit’s the alcoholic, I had this idea Bette also forewent drinking in a show of solidarity. Anyhow I changed it as soon as I read that comment so as to look smarter, probs none of you even noticed.
  3. I am clearly practically a Perfect Supreme Being.
  4. “3” isn’t true.
  5. Late Addition (also adding to the point made in “4”) – I spelled Taloo wrong again. It’s Tulum. Right? Hm.

I Want You To Want Me : Back in Hollywood, Tina and Jenny are auditioning girls for the coveted role of “Jessie” in the action-adventure thriller musical romantic comedy of the summer (probs the biggest comedy of the summer), “Lez Girls.” Nikki, who looks almost exactly like Tish from Tim Haspel’s swim team, is gonna get the part, I remember her from the preview. She really steps it up for her audition by sucking face with the woman who’s reading as “Karina.”

Lesbian Sexy Moment #10: You Kiss Me Like a Lover Then You Sting me Like A Viper

The Players : Nikki and “Karina”

The Pick Up : “I hate you so much Karina, I absolutely hate you, I really …. I love you … I love you.” (sidenote: I love that this scripted pick-up line, read in the context of an audition, is one of the most realistic yet.)

Hot or Not? Hot like Fire baby. I wouldn’t mind being a part of this moment — and Nikki’s a good kisser, going for open-mouth w/tongue on her first shot. I like that in a woman.

Haviland : Ye-yuh!
Riese : [to Hav] Has that ever happened to you in an audition?
Haviland : Um … no.
Alex: It should!

The First Rule Of Fight Club is Always Look Cute at Fight Club : In Season Five of The L Word, the girls suddenly acquire copious amounts of free time to spend all together, which’s fine, that’s how teevee friends always are, and it’s kinda like Season One, a.k.a., when this show was good. Love it! This time last season, the Mannyfucker was giving Mangus a beejer but now: the girls’re all in shorts & tank tops touching each other and expressing their copious amounts of feelings via punching, hair-strokage, and frontal sumo grips. A lot of exposition happens in this scene, I’d like to cover it all but Hav thinks I spend too much time on recaps so I’m resisting the urge to detail every moment. Also, we’re in Miami, I need a tan. I wonder if Shane’s turned on by straddling that thing.

Lesbian Squabble #9: The Best Self-Defense is a Good Offense

In the Ring: Everyone! But primarily we’re dealing with Jenny vs. Tina, Bette vs. Jodi (passive-aggressively) and Shane vs. her raging libido.

Content: Jenny’s bragging about how everyone wants to be in her movie, and Tina tells her that Natalie Portman passed (surprise!) and they’re hiring Nikki Stevens. Jenny freaks out (she hates not getting her way) and reacts indignantly by going “no” “no” and whapping Tina’s punching bag like a brat, it’s precious.

The girls discuss the party at the new L.A. club Shebar, which Bette won’t attend ’cause SheBar competes with The Planet (Kit says Bette should go-oh any-way-AY) but Jodi wants to go, she’s never been to a lesbian bar. That’s a good thing, Jodi. Except Nation on Saturday nights has good music usually. Tina’s going too — with Brenda, who’s hot and Tina likes her. Alice drops not-so-subtly that Tina & Brenda have already ridden the hobby horse. Bette’s surprised and Tina’s cool as a cucumber, and Jodi’s only slightly visibly annoyed. Bette’s clearly full o’jealousy and is ignoring Jodi to be passive/aggressive towards Tina. Alice, though she’s got an opinion on everyone else’s comings and goings, isn’t going to Shebar herself, ’cause Tasha can’t be seen at “out” places. Instead, Alice will attend a “Hollywood gay & lesbian mafia” party for not-out celebs. I hope Paris Hilton and John Travolta are there.

Alice points out to Shane that the trainer’s hot (she is), and Shane’s trying to resist the urge to seduce and penetrate her, which’s especially difficult when the trainer asks Shane if she can “use” her for a demonstration. Alice continues that Shane must’ve lost her vagina, etc.
The girls are expressing their feelings both through words and through physical actions, which’s very dynamic and works brilliantly. Funny lines all around, delightful!

Who Wins?: Women! Who are fighting back! No! No! No! No! (I took self defense in Girl Scouts, it’s true, that’s what they told us to say directly before kneeing our attacker in the nutsack and poking out his eyes with our thumbs) Um, we win, because it’s awesome. Alice wins. Because she’s Alice and we love her even if she can’t keep her mouth shut. Natalie Portman wins for passing on this movie, Shane for her priceless facial expressions and Tina for her cool cathood. Also, the trainer’s hot.

Mama Said Knock You Out, Boy.

Mama Said Knock You Out, Boy.


OurChart, A Place for Friends : Max and Grace are checking out Max’s comments on OurChart. The title of his blog is “Transgender,” which’s very inventive/creative, way to go Max. So Max first of all is wearing a scarf and it’s not flattering on him. That aside … ZOMG: Max … you’ve pushed me to the end of my rope with your technical NOT-know-how. It’s one thing to speak of internet searches & rocket interface designs and claim to proudly direct the aesthetic nightmare that is OurChart, but it’s another thing altogether to be surprised that OurChart commenters are rambling on about bullshit nothing and being mean weirdos for no real reason besides probs boredom. (Except all of you, me, and everyone we know — they’re exceptions to the rule, especially the ones who’ve commented on my stuff, I love you all). Also that’s a blog, not a podcast!!!!

Haviland: Here’s another message for OurChart!
Alex: If I never saw OurChart again in my life, it’d be too soon.

Look Max, This isn’t Short Bus, this is L.A.: Alice’s walking to her apartment, chatting to Max on her cellphone about her being underwhelmed with his opus “Transgender” and her desire to put him in his own box (symbolism, anyone?) rather than with the Guestbians, who’re apparently all lesbians. I don’t think this would happen on real OurChart.

Riese: OMG! I’m a guestbian and I’m bisexual!
Cait: Totally, you told Leisha Hailey.
Alex: I love bisexuals, they’re my favorite.
Riese: OMG this applies to me directly for the first time ever, I can’t wait to talk about it!

= this is true. I did say that when I met Leisha. “I’m a guestbian!” Also, I haven’t written an article in forevs, but I still like saying that I’m a guestbian as it makes me feel cool. I’m not actually cool, but it’s fun to flirt with the feeling sometimes.

They’d Never Get Away With this On Law & Order: Two army people show up at Alice’s to find out about her relationship with Captain Williams. You can feel the blood drain from Alice’s face — you can see her confidence pass through her limbs and crawl out of her skin via confused speech. She’s got no idea what to say until — after they question her about velvetpark magazine (product plug!), the “low-tech” version of the chart on her wall, and the shebar flyer (sidenote: she’s totes not going to shebar, Army Man, is anyone paying attention? hell-O!) — Alice says, at last, “You don’t have a search warrant, so I’d like to ask you to leave.” Go Alice! They ask if the “T” on the chart is for Captain Williams. T IS FOR TEGAN OBVS. I swear, no one pays attention to me ever. The ominous army music begins. Good scene, go EZ Girl.

Art School Confidential: Dean Porter is visited by That Girl. You know — that girl. The one who likes to raise a fuss just to relish in the joy of hearing her own voice out loud, sharing her feelings and imposing her opinion on others. She’d love, probs more than anything, to achieve the greatest honour any That Girl can ever achieve, which’s to get someone punished because of her Opinion. Right now Lonnie Anderson’s got an opinion about a student who pretended to shoot himself with a fake gun in front of her class and called it “art.” Professor Lerner’s really got bizarre ideas about what art is, there’s nothing about her employment I understand.

At the end of their chat, Bette goes “Are you gonna be okay?” and Lonnie sighs all art-school drama, “I don’t know.” Bette — cool as a cucumber: “I think you are, Lonnie.” Done and DONE. Bette says she’ll discuss the matter with Professor Lerner.

Riese: Oh, it’s Jodi’s class. Professor Lerner.
Haviland: Like anyone knows her last name except for you, Riese.

The Only Star Who’s Touched My Heart On: Back in the gigantic boardroom used for every boardroom scene ever, Team Lez Girls is pondering protagonist casting. They’ve apparently foregone casting agents in favor of doing it all themselves, very grassroots. Jenny doesn’t wanna cast Nikki Stevens ’cause Nikki looks like she just walked out of Maxim magazine (true), but Aaron sees nothing wrong with that — they’re taking a “big risk”with this lesbian movie (you’d never think it, considering that bidding war and lighting-fast book-to-movie transition … but … whatevs. That should be my new banner: “But … whatevs. Just whatevs.”) and they need to put asses in seats. Good point. People are much more comfy sitting down. Jenny doesn’t think Nikki looks like a writer and would rather hire a girl Aaron describes as “weird and intense.” Huh. Kinda like Jenny.

Jenny: “Aaron, it doesn’t look like she’s a writer.”
Stanley: “You’re beautiful, you’re a writer, why can’t she play a beautiful writer?”
Jenny: “Because it looks like the last book she read was ten years ago, Are You There God It’s Me Margaret ?”

AH-MAY-ZING! (P.S.: Jenny Schecter, Judy Blume’s writing is actually about ten thousand times better than yours. Glass houses/stones … watch it.) Jenny covers her ears in post-structuralist feminist ire when Tina says Weird&Intense isn’t “fuckable” … Tina’s apparently suffered a stroke and forgotten what the word “actor” means, ’cause she believes they oughtta hire Nikki ’cause Nikki looks like she “truly enjoys” kissing other women. (Read: she’s a gay) In other words, they need to hire an actress who knows how to act, right? Like Jennifer Beals.

William The HedgeFund would rather hire Nikki Stevens than Natalie Portman! OMG! INCONCEIVABLE, fo’reals. No one would rather have anyone than Natalie Portman. Not even the Little Drummer Girl, Adele:

I Started Smoking But The Signals Scared Your Walls Away: Jenny is too upset to participate in the rest of this meeting and spits her Nicorette at Aaron, tells him he’s got a small penis, and storms out. A nervous Adele stammers that Jenny will come around when she feels better, she’s just stressed out ’cause she’s annoying and everyone hates her except Shane, and me. I mean, because she quit smoking. Aaron wants Jenny to love Nikki as if it was her own idea. Aaron’s mean to Tina, he should cut that shit out. Adele’s still carrying her massive bag, I bet that’s where Papi is. And Sounder, RIP.

Scenes From After Going to the Mall: Jodi’s finally wearing the outfit that goes with her crimped hair disaster from Episode 502. She’s got the leggings, the denim mini & the tie-dyed top! Anyhow, she marches into Bette’s office and starts chomping on candy from Bette’s candy bowl — petulance is the official emotion of this episode. (Along with “cool as a cucumber.”)

Lesbian Squabble #10: I Want Power in my Words, I Want Passion in My Eyes

In the Ring: Dean Porter Vs. Professor Lerner, Lover of Candy

Content: Bette knows the gun was carved out of soapstone but it looked very realistic, and now Lonnie’s been traumatized by it. Jodi’s response is actually totally brilliant and I love her for a second — “Lonnie Shipman is traumatized by her own shadow.” Anyone familiar with That Girl (as described above) can Amen to that. (Liberal arts colleges are chock-full, fyi). Jodi pops another candy and asks if Bette wants dinner. She’s going to spoil her appetite at this rate and besides, she’s being immature and unprofessional. Reminds me of something I’d do, but at least I’d know I was being an asshole. Howevs, Jodi loses my affections when — following Bette’s assertion that though obviously she believes in freedom of expression, this’s a bit much in the Columbine/Virginia Tech Climate — Jodi delivers some weepy speech about thinking about bringing out the art in her students. She’s like Michaelangelo, painter of the Sistine Chapel and builder of Big Bear.

Who Wins: Bette. ‘Cause, even though Bette retreats and offers a goodbye kiss, Jodi ruins it by asking Bette something in sign language we can’t translate ’cause we only have a screener but involves rubbing her vag/miniskirt and therefore is likely “wanna bone later?” ‘ Bette says that she’s working late and can’t, maybe tomorrow, and Jodi goes “if you’re lucky.” Really Papi? Oh sorry. I said the P-word.

Haviland: Did I have a dream that Jodi’s not really an artist? That she works for the FBI or something?
Cait & Alex: What?! WTF?
Haviland: I’m pretty sure we had this conversation where you said we’d find out in the middle of the season that she wasn’t really an artist.
Riese: OH! I wrote that in my recap blog of the preview, I was kidding. ‘Cause I didn’t have anything to say, so I just made stuff up.
Haviland: It’s not real?
Riese: I wrote “Jodi turns out to be an undercover cop who’s been investigating Bette for petty larceny fraud possession which’s why all of Jodi’s art sucked and then they all go to jail with Helena and have hours of hot lesbian sex.” With the scene where Bette was blindfolded and stuff.
Haviland: Really? I was waiting for that to come this season! I was looking forward to it!
Cait: You were, seriously?
Alex: Aw, that’s adorable.
Haviland: That would be so much more interesting!
Riese: I know, wouldn’t it? From now on, I’m just gonna take screencaps and tell my own story.
Haviland: Oh my G-d, you should, that would be so much better, everyone would love that.
Riese & Cait: No, they wouldn’t.
Haviland: I would. I’d be way more excited about reading the recaps.

Because They ARE. I Mean, AREN’T: Alice is erasing the chart. Um, once you start censoring yourself for the powers-that-be, the whole movement sinks. Also, that chart’s a big thing, her friends are gonna freak when they see she’s made that sacrifice for a relationship, friends hate that shit. Alice tells Tasha about her surprise visit from GI Joe earlier that day, and Tasha’s clearly frightened, guilty and empathetic. I’m starting to see their relationship a bit better — I think Tasha’s the gardener and Alice is the flower. Alice says she didn’t tell them a thing, but you can tell she’s worried that she did — it’s just a tough situation. Tasha’s sorry this happened to Alice, ’cause Alice is a beautiful little flower who deserves nothing but puppies and cupcakes.

The Real Secret

The Real Secret

Just Wait Til She Discovers Guitar Hero: Kit asks Shane about Helena! Helena’s NOT in the vortex! They’re acknowledging her (former) existence! Whee! Oh wait, JK, yeah she is, she’s never coming back, but. For now: Shane says Helena told everyone not to worry. What me worry? In lieu of sex (or, apparently, employment), Shane’s drinking POM, playing video games, and eating. We approve of the eating ’cause she’s looked a bit scrawny lately. As per ush, I’m getting used to her haircut as the season progresses and once again find her attractive in spite of it. Shane’s sex deprivation is making her imagine the healthily staffed crew of The Planet naked. It’s funny! That blonde, p.s. … hello “augmented” …

Also it looks like Shane is doing coke the whole time, like it looks like my imitation of Shane when Hav and I did the Cherie-Shane scene back in the early young days of our vloghood.

Go Ahead And Tell Me What My Future Looks Like: Tasha’s mad as hell and she’s not gonna take it anymore — she’s paying Beech a late-night visit. This could never happen in NYC, you’d have to get in past the doorman or buzz, which’s awkward. Tasha’s furious that he didn’t warn her that Alice might get searched, and feels he’s not doing his job. Rose Rollins does it all in this scene — she illustrates Tasha’s intense dedication to her job and her loyalty and love for Alice and her desire to protect her — it’s great. Tension is high! My spine tingles! Tasha has a lot of feelings, here’s some of them:

Tasha: Are you on their fucking side? Are you just gonna stand back and let them rip apart my fucking career and destroy my fucking life?
[Beech’s wife emerges, concerned–]
Mrs. Assshat: Curtis, what’s going on? Henry is sleeping.
Asshat: It’s okay.
Tasha: Excuse me ma’am, I’m sorry. I’m sorry to bust into your house like this without any warning. You’re not even a part of this, you’re not even in the service and it was wrong of me to disrupt your home and your family and probably frighten and confuse you. I hope I didn’t wake your son, please forgive me.

I Followed Suit and Lay Down on my Back Imagine That: Alice and Tasha are lying lustfully in bed. They’re both naked & smokin’ hot/cute, Alice hasn’t changed her sheets in years, and I wouldn’t mind licking strawberries from their navels. Tasha’s getting cold feet about going to the secret Hollywood velvet mafia party, which Alice promises her is safe ’cause it’ll be filled with closet cases. I was about to name a few, but then withheld so Haviland doesn’t kill me.

Alice : Oh G-d I am so bored with you and this. No wait. Fine. We’ll stay home and we’ll rent Private Benjamin . [Tasha tries touching her, Alice rolls over, pouty:] Leave me alone.

Alice is speaking in a voice that could melt butter, we can’t stand it, it’s the cutest most crittery thing ever. Actually, Alice is speaking in a voice that is so cute it could probably make its own butter and then melt itself.

I’ve Come For the Podcast: There’s a knock at the door, who could it be? The KGB? No, it’s Beech. He’s come around. He’s bringing it back around. I will stop calling him Asshat, as I’m sure that’s very confusing for everyone. A lot of characters already w/o me giving all of them more than one name.

Sugar Spell it Out : Alice is wearing plaid and serving tea on a serving tray. I’m melting, melting! It seems like Beech had a bit of a turn-around after his wife witnessed Tasha’s anger last night and he’s now here to discuss the case for reals — also, it’s clear that he knows that the allegations are true but he’s going to defend Tasha’s job anyhow, which’s admirable and promising. Alice says — adorably — that she’s sure that Beech’s wife is a good woman ’cause behind every good man is a good woman. I think she’s adapting a bad joke and not being true to her true nature, but I’ll let it fly, she’s making tea. Beech tells Tasha that Alice is a good woman and “a real catch.” It’s a truly beautiful moment.

I just wrote “good woman” ten times. My brain hurts. I need ice cream and the beach.

Dress You Up in My Love: Back at the McCutcheon-Schecter-Sweeny’s, Shane’s helping a petulant Jenny decide what to wear for the party. I’m 95% sure that Shane’s wearing a see-through white turtleneck, but I’ll let if go ’cause this scene feels so honest and cute — speaks truly to the experience of two close friends who’re both gay and attractive but haven’t fucked yet. Whatever that’s like for you people with self control. Jenny’s bossing Adele around like whoa — shooting Adele down when she attempts to assert that Jenny must attend the party regardless of how she feels about Nikki’s casting — an event which Jenny’s informed of via William’s card, which comes w/William’s gift of an expensive watch. Adele’s vacillating between spineless and homo sapien. Shane’s blithely amused by the whole thing.

Jenny: Oh my God! Look at this! [looking at her new watch] Oh my G-d this is so expensive I could buy a house … in Cambodia with this watch!

And then …

Shane: [casually lusty] I want you to come tonight.
Jenny: [petulant] Why?
Shane: [genuine] I beg you as a friend and as a roommate.
Jenny: [wanting to talk about how much she’s wanted] Why? Why?
Shane: [still genuine] Because I love you and I want to hang out with you. [looks lustfully at Jenny’s hot bod]
Jenny: [coy, flirtatious] Why are you looking at me like that? … [likes it] Stop staring. [grabs her tit, laughs] Shane you need to get laid!

The sexual tension between Shane and Jenny could set the room on fire. Alex and I are on the edge of the fluffy bed with anticipation, thinking that Jenny and Shane are possibly about to get it on. No dice.

Haviland: When did Jenny get boobs? She’s like, a woman now, she looks great.
Riese: I love her womanhood. She’s way hotter than she was when she was poking around for a piece of toast.

Then we’ve got two quick scenes. First, Kit goes to the gun range ’cause she’s an American and we’ve got a right to bear arms. She’s like, next time I get robbed, I’m just gonna pull a gun on his ass, and then I’m gonna shoot him, and then, because I’m a Black woman in the allegedly (read: totally not at all) “fair trial”-granting glorious democracy of America and therefore a player in its fucked up legal system — and because I have a record —  I’ll probs get thrown into jail forever and never see my gun or Tinkerbell again! Meanwhile, rich white British Helena can galavant around Europe, looking Foxy!!!

Then another brief scene — Alice and Tasha arrive at the Haunted Mansion, ready for the secret Hollywood mafia party:

What Would Brian Kinney Do?: OMG it’s the opening of the new lesbian bar! Lesbian bars’ve always been super-profitable ’cause lesbians hate being at home and always wanna go out! These women are really onto something! They remind us of a lot of party promoters we know in the city, like SheScape! All the hottest girls in the coolest fashions are lining up to taste the magic and hopefully also the pussy! Kit tells the clipboard Nazi that she’s Kit, from The Planet, and the woman’s like “what planet, weirdo, we don’t even serve coffee.” No actually um, they say she’s not on the list, so Bette wants to leave, which’s also totally what I’d do. I’d be like, let’s bust this popstand pronto, good excuse, no party for me, let’s go home and cuddle. They get let in after all. Game on.

Jodi and Bette walk in like they’re zombies in a trance. Grace is dancing around in her bra. I have no clue what the deal is with Max, Grace and/or Tom, and I’m not really caring enough to find out.

In Here, Everyone is Beautiful! Even the Orchestra Is Beautiful!: Bette, Kit, Jodi and Tom meet Dawn and her “lover” Cindy. “Lover” is the kind of lingo I’d think best suited to, say, hypothetically, a party for closeted Hollywood peoples, how strange for it to be employed here. Dawn and Cindy want Kit to know they’re not looking to take away business from The Planet, they just genuinely love pear polenta tarts and besides! They’re in another league! A league of their own, if you will. Let me just hand the mike over to Dawn, who puts it like so: “It’s all about hot nights and hot girls. We’re creating a whole new scene, L.A hasn’t seen anything like it.” I have a few things to say about that statement:

  1. Really Papi?
  2. Yeah um, actually I think it has.
  3. Dawn, what are you talking about? Are you related to Dawn from “The Baby-Sitters Club”?
  4. Does The Planet have cold nights and ugly girls? I don’t think so. In fact yesterday at The Planet, most of the girls were nekked, that’s how hawt it was in there.
  5. Dawn, your “love-ah” is a little slow. Dawn’s like, “Remember honey, this is Kit? From The Planet?” and Cindy’s like (crickets chirping, thinking about Lance Bass going into outer space) “Oh yeaahhh.”
  6. Also then Dawn says, “Damn Girl, we’re not even gonna serve coffee.” That’s like, a Kittism, and Kit didn’t even say it.


Hey! Hey! You! You! I Don’t Like Your Girlfriend!: Bette & Jodi meet Tina & Brenda and Bette’s so jealous she can’t even work. Dawn continues talking a lot of random nonsense. Her newest boast is that they’ve got the most exclusive VIP lounge in the city. How can you have the most exclusive VIP lounge in the city when you just opened? “It’s soooo exclusive, it’s been totally CLOSED to ANYONE until tonight! Not A SINGLE PERSON has been IMPORTANT enough for our VERY IMPORTANT lounge.” And then the legendary Shane arrives (obvs Dawn & Her Lover are hip to OurChart, therefore probs also wondering: Where is Papi?) and, having surveyed the scene, Shane mutters to her friends ….

Quote of the Week : “Jesus Christ, it’s like South Beach threw up in here. I don’t know what happened.” (Shane)

Once again, Dawn introduces Cindy as her “lover,” and Shane replies, brilliantly: “Lover Cindy, what’s up.” Also, this is the quote of the week ’cause we’re basically in South Beach right now. (UPDATE: now it is Sunday, which means for some depressing reason we’re totes NOT in South Beach right now, but back in New York and New Jersey, where it’s cold.) Also one last thing before moving on: if I told Kit we weren’t serving coffee and she started talking crazy about how we’re all just here to have a good time and followed it up with this facial expression, I wouldn’t necessarily leave my apartment without bearing arms:

I Drive Around the Block And I’m Not Looking to My Right : Alice and Tasha walk into another decade, it’s like Quantum Leap! The party’s populated mainly by Black men and it’s hosted by a hulking man who looks like Old Marlon Brando or that filmmaker Dawson became friends with on Dawson’s Creek. Also, their DJ sucks, he’s playing only Smooth Jazz. He’s got nothing on DJ Carmen. Alice repeats that everyone here’s “on the DL,” which’s sort of a problematic term. You can see Alice trying hard to make the party feel exciting when it’s kinda clearly lame — oooing over the celebs, amping up the secretive fun. It’s cute, I totally forgive her for stealing my grandmother’s couch and turning it into a dress.

Tasha spots a basketball player who’s got a wife and kids, and then the pair chats with Marlon. Marlon says Tasha’s got fabulous cheekbones. We agree. Marlon knows Alice’s podcast, which’s 100% unlikely, and hopes she won’t be doing any podcasting from here. Hm. Obviously not, she can’t make a podcast without her trusty sidekick Max.

The Devil’s Assistant Wears 1987 Glasses: Adele, the most adorable personal assistant since Anne Hathaway, tells a petulant Jenny (happily sitting in her metronap pod , which also reminds me of this movie ) that — surprise! — Nikki Stevens is IN THE HOUSE and currently chatting Jenny up, dropping references about her gayhood whenever possible. Nikki’s probs doing research for a Girl-on-Girl FHM feature. Where’s Papi? Oh, sorry. It turns out that Nikki is beautiful, gay, and an actress! Like Haviland! Tina realizes that Adele set up the Nikki-Jenni meeting and she tells Adele she loves her. Good job, A! I’m interested to see how Adele evolves in this show — ideally it’ll involve her naked with Shane somewhere.

Really Papi Really Award : “My agents would totally freak if they saw me here but fuck ’em. It’s my life and I do what I want, and I’m here to have a good time.” (Nikki Stevens)

America’s Next Top: I think that line about doing what you want and having a good time is the lesbian TV version of the reality TV staple: “I’m not here to make friends, this is a competition.” Jenny’s smacking her Nicorette gum like a princess. Nikki asks if Jenny wants to go talk somewhere else. Hopefully she’s not aiming for the VIP Lounge, it’s really exclusive, no one’s allowed in there and there’s no sex in the champagne room.

I Listen In Yes I’m Guilty of This You Should Know This : Back at the Secrets party, Alice and Tasha are dancing to extremely un-danceable music, spying on the basketball player. He bumps into Alice and apologises, all femmy; “I’m sorry girl, my bad,” and Tasha’s like, “He never sounded like that on teevee interviews!” Alice and Tasha dance and then Alice slyly takes out her cellphone to snap a pic of the dancing couple. Really, they’d let her bring a cellphone in there? Anyhow, can we pretend like that never happened? ‘Cause I don’t think Alice would really do that, y’know? I mean — especially considering her willingness to protect Tasha. I dunno, I believe there was a fascinating debate about this last year.

You Help Me Out I Listened In You Taught Me All Of This and Then : Nikki wants Jenny to know how much this movie means to her and then she tells her long gay story, but Jenny’s like whatevs, I don’t care if you’re gay. Good call Jenny. She knows that all girls are straight until they’re not, like the protagonist Jessie of “Lez Girls.” I love this bar, it’s got all these intimate siderooms! Jenny, never one to back down and let someone else get their way, remains resistant despite Nikki’s intense pleading. Then Nikki admits the studio’s hiring her anyway, she’d just prefer it if Jenny wanted her as much as she wants Jenny. Lest her power be usurped without her consent, Jenny consents. Adele’s watching through the curtain, like the man behind the mirror. Nikki adds that the first time she ever fell for a girl it was “so intense.” Get this girl some lesbian friends STAT, she’s still actually thinking that’s a unique experience. Obvs it was so intense. Weirdo. Also, where’d you get that tan, I want some.

Oops She’s Gonna Do It Again : Dawn — who, P.S., is committing a bra-strap sin — has heard all about Shane and wants to talk to her and make Shane a regular at her club. Good strategy! All the girls who want to sleep with Shane, like Lacey, will come party so they can have feelings and cause drama. But that’s not all this couple wants from Shane. Everyone always wants more from Shane. Gimme gimme. Gimme Gimme MORE.

Dawn and her girlfriend would like to fuck Shane. They kick all the super important exclusive people out of the super VIP room so they can have Shane all alone to pounce on her like a tiger. Shane mentions that she’s been taking a break from the scene and drama in general, but they don’t really care about all that …

Lesbian Sexy Moment #11: And If You Want to Dance And If She Wants to Lead I Won’t Mind

The Players: Shane and SheBar
The Pick-Up:

Cindy: “Girls in L.A. love their drama don’t they?”
“I think girls everywhere love their drama.”
“Well, we took care of that problem a long time ago didn’t we baby?” [smiles coyly at Cindy]
“You two are lucky.”
“We’re lucky … and we’re completely honest. We don’t cheat and we don’t believe in jealousy. We put it all on the line and whatever we do, we do together. Right, baby?”

Hot or Not?: Shane hesitates, bites her lip … but ultimately … can’t resist. Usually women like Cindy and Dawn with this kind of power in the business world have to be beyond drama, lest they display it in public, so I think it’ll be a safe situation for Shane. And so … the spiritual cleanse ends, all dirty and sexy and hot hot hot. Good try, Yoda, but way to lose it up right. You win some, you auto-lose some.

John, I’m Only Dancing: Max and Tom are dancing together. I don’t understand this storyline still, I feel like either they accidentally edited out a scene containing crucial plot points, or I accidentally fast-forwarded through a scene containing crucial plot points. Jodi says she’s happy Tom has a boyfriend. I’m confused. Bette says “girlfriend.” Still confused. Didn’t anyone read Max’s podcast? Where’s Grace and her bra? Hope she didn’t lose it, then she’d be naked.

Jealousy, Such An Evil Thing: Jodi’s ready to go home but Bette stays ’cause she told Shane she wouldn’t leave without her and she’s gotta pick Angelica up in the morning anyhow … though it seems like that’s not the real reason she wants to stay. Jodi’s disappointed but seems unwilling to give Bette the pleasure of her disappointment.

Repeat, Repeat The Words I Know We Both Said: Back in Secret Room Number 500, Tina’s hiding from Brenda and Bette’s looking for Shane and can’t find her. Bette and Tina are both making similar fashion mistakes. This conversation barely even exists on the surface, it’s almost entirely subtext. They should be together forever and be passive aggressive for all of time, it’s romantic. Also, p.s., admitting that you’re not happy in your present relationship to an ex = secret code for “I miss you.” Tina says this just SOOOO isn’t her scene. Aw, you just want them to say, “Let’s get underneath our hood of boring” and walk off the boat together.

Lesbian Sexy Moment #12: Are You Ten Years Ago?

The Players: Bette and Tina

The Pick-Up: Probs their whole lives ’til now.

Hot or Not?: Hot. Tina tells Bette she’s lucky to have Jodi and Bette’s agreement isn’t convincing. Tina gets up to leave and Bette reaches out and stops her, they start kissing, and then Bette starts crying. They kiss, and cry, and this isn’t when we expected this to happen in the season, but we’re certainly not complaining. Hot.

Cait: Oh my God every 40-year-old lesbian in America’s head just exploded!
Alex: Why is Bette crying?
Riese: ‘Cause she knows they’re stuck with each other for life and there’s nothing they can do about it, and that nothing else matters, there’s no one else they can be with, and that’s really scary to realise. I’d totally be crying too. I’ve totally been there.
Cait: I feel like we have a major spoiler you guys! Oh my God!

The Round-Up:
Lesbian Sexy Moments: 3 this episode, 12 total
Lesbian Squabbles: 2 this episode, 10 total
Quote of the Week: Shane
Really Papi Really Award: Nikki Stevens
On a Scale of 1 to 10: We’re in Miami, therefore life is beautiful. Buy yeah, good episode.
The Population of The Vortex is as Follows: Mark, Nadia, Angus, Papi, Sounder, Shay.
Pending Vortex Status: Helena, Phyllis, Angelica.

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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 3228 articles for us.


  1. It is a sad state of affairs in Hollywood when the only natural choice for “Lez Laugh-in” other than Natalie Portman is Nikki Stevens. Not only could she not act in her screen test, but she failed miserably acting out her petulent pleas to Jenny to please please please let her be in her little movie. I mean really. Where are all the good actresses in Hollywood? Sundance?

  2. I laugh when I read your recaps. I quite enjoy them. Sometimes I even laugh out loud. One thing I don’t laugh about though is your use of British english. Why? Have I missed in your blogs that at some point in your life you were captured and taken to the UK, Ireland, Australia, NZ, etc and learned english there? Is this your anti-american slant? Do you not drape yourself in an American flag when you write this? I could learn to embrace it, once I understand it. Also, I think it was a pear polenta tart, but lemon sounds good too. Thanks for a great recap.

  3. bekcat: I know, right? I think it woulda been awesomer if they’d cast Mia Kirshner and then had to do the whole show in a split-screen thing.
    yourealebowski: It’s cause I’m a copywriter for an Australian HR agency, so all my online word processors and my brain are set to UK English. It’s not an attempt to be pretentious, but I do actually prefer it — especially with words like “realise” — the “z” is just so harsh. Also, I totally drape myself in an American Flag when I write this, because I love freedom. Totally pear polenta tart. Good call. I’m gonna fix that right now to look smarter.
    lozo: I LOL’ed my ass off, that’s how big it was.

  4. I think it would be funny–Jenny directing Mia…or herself for that matter. If not just a little bit schitzo. Certaintly would be worthy of a podcast or a blog on the L Word version of OC (if only she were put in her own little box).

  5. things that may have happened:
    i may have watched come on ilene
    she may have said the trainer is going to have her own show on OURCHART.COM
    i might have to tune in to watch it
    i may be be a fan of elizabeth ziff, but i still hate ez girl

    also i love that you say realise, it sounds much nicer. holla. much love to you and tink.

  6. OH wow So tina and bette are back together basically. I’m loving it and lesbians all over the world are thinking back to their first love. I know I am. (my besties just went through a bette and tina moment also. She’s sitting next to me and had to add her opinion) Tibette moment.

    PS Riese and haviland do you have that Shane/Jenny relationship or have you…. tasted the fruit?

  7. I LOVE your recaps!!

    When I saw Jenny waggle her boob at Shane I hit the floor , I’m straight and have done that to girlfriends LOL. Of course now that I’m in my 40s it’s a much more impressive waggle.

    The Tibette kiss was awesome. The first time they’ve kissed in years!! JB’s aggressive wrist catch then the open mouthed sobbing without slobbering was very impressive!

    Next weeks previews look like more Shane drama. DRAMA = laughing my ass off. I’m so twisted.

    Speaking of twisted..I almost want to see Max’s podcast.

  8. I got all excited when I saw the words ‘Guitar Hero’ on this page. Don’t toy with my heart like that. I’ve started watching this show on YouTube, but I still laugh along without really knowing what anything means.

  9. Damn! Great recap! I laughed so hard!
    “Lover Cindy” is really dummy, don’t you think? Before getting into the VIP room, Dawn send everybody out and she was about to leave too! lololol
    Bette & Tina had a great moment… it was indeed intense.. the’re such great actresses! I don’t think Bette sent Jodi home to look for Tina…She just wanted to be away from her!

  10. bekcat – i think jenny’s already totally maniacal, it’d just be one step further into the beyond.

    cait – i’m still stuck on you watching come on ilene. at least she’s not in a collage or anything?

    cheeren: before they get back together, i bet jodi & bette will fight ten more times. just sayin’ … hav loves fruit, apples are her fave, she’s always got one in her bag! we’re not much like shane and jenny, though i am slightly insane.

    rebyj: I am dying to see Max’s podcast.

    crystal: Better pay attention if you want a chance to take over the planet.

    fire: I know right? The VIP room is so exclusive, they’re the only ones allowed in it. And Papi, probs, wherever she may be.

  11. Bette cried because she realizes she’s cheating again. It’s become clear that the only moral dilemma in The L Word playbook is infidelity because that way we get twice as much sex and we get to pretend like we’re going to discuss non-monogamy because once upon a time the Lesbian Nation endorsed non-monogamy and we all thought it was the way to go to beat out the patriarchy, but Ilene couldn’t handle it.

    Still, it was a hot kiss, played long for all it was worth with about 5 conversations going on at once. And then Bette will remember that it’s just boring old Tina. So she’s going to have to go tie up Jodi for a few more rounds and we get to watch how long it takes a deaf person to realize she’s being lied to when Bette could just come out and be non-monogamous since Jodi wanted that in the first place. But no we’re too heteronormal to have that kind of imagination. That we leave to Shane who is actually the flip side of Bette.

  12. Dear Riese, Alex and Haviland,

    With your report this week from Miami, I have to wonder: Do you all live in a parallel universe to the TLW gals, who seem to be forever partying, sipping lattes, Pom juice, etc. We only ever see you on vaycay, watching the tube, vlogging, laughing, loving, crying, oops, sorry I got carried away, but you get the idea. When do you gals have time to go to work? Oh, never mind, can TLW just start cutting you checks? Y’all are so damn entertaining.

  13. angie is with papi, obvs.. papi and gomey got together and started a day care. i can’t believe you didn’t see this one coming a mile away.

  14. Very good depisode indeed…I’m very curious about episode 5 though, it is my favorite episode every season don’t know why (yes I’m weird).

    I love Riese.

    T stands for Tegan.

  15. I have this ridic. crush on Catherine Keener, so to learn that she has a look-a-like sister who was willing to get naked more or less made my life.

    Also, this is the first pop reference to VA Tech that I’ve heard, and it really weirded me out.

  16. Ok, Shane is officially the caricature of a character that used to be on the L word and was called Shane.. Moennig must be really happy that if things don’t work out for her acting career she is so ready to switch to porn.


  17. I noticed shane’s behavior too. There was some of that going on last episode as well. Apparently no sex causes itchy nose syndrome. Now that she’s gettin some, maybe she’ll go back to her cucumber ways.

    Oh, and it looks like Kit is about to feast on some brains in that pic.

  18. shit, you guys are f*n funny! I loved reises comments on why bette was crying when she was kissing tina… hilarious!!! I laughed out loud!!!

    umm… lesbian sexy scene #11 was rather hot… I agree that cindy is not so intelligent… I figure she isnt smart enough to NOT tell dawn about her, yet to come, 2 way with shane next week, judging from the party teasers.

    I am starting to find people that dont enjoy shanes sex scenes probably have very low libidos, and dont actually enjoy sex themselves. when they do have sex it involves rubbing testostrone creme on their inner thighs.

  19. I love the addition of “The Population of the Vortex” at the bottom.

    I count a total of 5 LOLs from me while reading this… therefore it was fully worth the sacrifice of laying out in the sun and bathing in a hot tub to allow you the necessary time to concoct this masterpiece.

  20. Shane flirting with Jenny made my head explode. Maybe I’ve been waiting for something like that to happen. And did Katherine not just look absolutely gorgeous rolling around on the bed in that scene?

    Was that even Jenny’s room? I hope so, because it looks like she redecorated and therefore it is no longer pink all over with giant, distracting breasts on the wall.

    I never thought I would scream, ‘hoshit, YES!’ if Bette and Tina ever kissed again. What’s with season five, messing with my head? How cruel.

    Loving Elizabeth Ziff/still hating EZGirl.

  21. ak – Can I just say. That I love you for always vehemently disagreeing with me. Also I started thinking about how interesting it would be if they explored a non-monogomous relationship between two responsible grown-up mature persons and then my head exploded thinking that’s probs way too nuanced for ilene.

    anonymous – hopefully the tote-a-poke

    jo – you know i wonder the same thing about the l word ladies — when do they go to work? the day the l word starts cutting us checks (or ourchart, for that matter), i expect a flock of lesbian pigs to fly through my window! Mmmm … I do love POM juice though.

    stef – you know, i should’ve known when gomey said that thing to papi about loving children.

    edilma – yes, that’s the one where shane and cherie had pool sex I think, episode 5. I’m curious about episode 5 too, because they haven’t sent me the dvd yet, which is only making me mildly neurotic.

    amy – I am loving I had no idea it was her sister, but I was thinking “omg, that girl reminds me of catherine keener.”

    anonymous – all she needs are augmented breasts.

    ms. jackson – mostly i was worried of how this would play out at the gym, wouldn’t want her to overheat.

    tomboy – what happens when you rub testosterone creme on your inner thighs?

    anonymous – it’s fixed now.

    a;ex – aw, the LOL count is back! thank you for making the sacrifice i know the hot tub is hard for everyone.

    oujikun – Yeah me neither, re: bettina kiss. And good point, re: Jenny’s room. I hadn’t even thought of that. It would’ve been a-MAY-zing if they’d had giant breasts on the wall from season two, that’d be like, bow chicka bowwww

  22. some doctors prescribe it to women with low libidos, and I guess they are suppose to rub it on their thighs… I a friend that had lost interest in sex and the doc recommended prescribing the creme… I never asked her if she started using it, I will have to find out.

  23. two things:

    i had to rewind the TiVo three times to make sure it WAS Kate’s nipples showing through the white turtleneck on Jenny’s bed. not like we haven’t seen her naked enough, but it was a bit weird to have her in a see-through top.

    i am going through a bit of TiBette drama myself, so it was especially gratifying to watch Bette cry, as that totes happens in real life.

    so yeah, *some* of this *is* the life that we lead…

  24. “The party’s populated mainly by African-American men and it’s hosted by a hulking blob of a man who looks like Old Marlon Brando or that filmmaker Dawson became friends with on Dawson’s Creek”

    I couldn’t help but watch this scene several times. I only saw about 6 African Americans in a place of about 100 people. And 2 were women (including Tasha). You are either
    1. Blind
    2. Scared of black people…especially black men

  25. tomboy: I think I’m going to rub it all over my body just for fun.

    anonymous: Agreed — Bette crying = the way that we live. See through turtleneck = not the way that we live.

    cookie monster: If what you say is true about my misrepresentation of the party population, I’m gonna have to go with “1” = blind. This is not simply because “2” doesn’t make sense on about 100 different levels for 1,000 different reasons, but because I think I am a little blind, as I’m always almost getting hit by cars. I should get this checked out.

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