“To L and Back” L Word Podcast Episode 309: Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way

This week, writer and breast cancer survivor Kim Hoffman joins Riese and Carly for this massive downer of an episode which includes Max’s Top Surgery Prom, Bette struggling with the sounds of silence, Helena and Dylan engaging in some sex tape nonsense, Tina falling for HENRY and giving him her CHILD in a POOL, Carmen shocking her parents with her devious lesbian behavior, Alice going on one (1) date with a character we forgot ever existed, Dana taking a turn for the worse and so much more!

Dana and Alice are looking in a storefront window at a bald mannequin (whose back is to the camera). Dana says, "It's like looking into a mirror."

Kit (wearing a purple top) looks intently at Max (whose back is to the camera). She says, "Why can't you be the butchest butch in the world?"

Carmen (wearing white jeans and a pink top) sits next to Jenny (wearing blue jeans and a black top) in a modern-looking apartment. Carmen says, "And she taught me how to 69" referring to her prom date, Eva Torres.

Tina is holding Angelica in the pool. She says to Henry (whose back is to the camera), "Maybe after you've finished, you can give Angelica a ride."

Henry is holding one of his blonde-haired sons in the pool during the kids' swim lesson. They are both wet and Henry has a goofy smile on his face.

Carmen (wearing a pink top) and Shane (wearing a red t-shirt) are sitting on the floor at Carmen's family's house looking at records. Carmen says to Shane, "Back when I used to go down on you."

A person with long blonde hair is dancing at the queer prom event. They are wearing a white tank top that says "Tranny Prom" in black letters.

Alice, wearing an 80s-inspired Prom outfit, says "Ze doesn't like my new genitals," explaining on how she just learned about gender neutral pronouns.

Dana is at Queer Prom wearing a short blonde wig, a pink prom dress, and white lace gloves. She says, "I used to thank God for my boobs."

Shane (wearing a classic black tee under a black blazer) is standing next to Carmen (wearing a black dress, pink lace gloves, pearls, and a white bow in her hair) at the Queer Prom. Shane tells Carmen that Carmen's mom told her about how when Carmen was little and has a teddy bear that she would "rub its tummy and then take a piss on it."

Henry (wearing a green shirt) and Tina (wearing a brown top) are sitting on the beach. Tina says, "I don't want Bette to be on the floor for the next two years," referring to how she doesn't want to hurt Bette by breaking up with her.

Dylan is sitting in an editing studio holding a video camera. She is looking at dual monitors, both with a close-up of Helena's face.

Shane (wearing a blue button-up and a skinny black tie) sits next to Carmen (wearing jean overalls) at a picnic table where they're having dinner with Carmen's family. Carmen says to her mom, "You're pimping out Shane. Go right ahead."

Bette is meditating on her meditation retreat. She looks to be on the verge of tears. Off camera, a retreat leader says, "May I find a practice that helps me to know."

Helena stands on the beach in front of her mansion. She has just opened an envelope delivered to her, looks at the paper, and says, "Sexual harassment..."

A dimly lit restaurant in which Alice is on a date with a woman with long wavy hair and wearing a v-neck dress. Alice's date tells her, "My ex and I are renting a house in the north of Spain"

Bette is calling Tina on her cell phone in a dark forest at night. She says, "I'm supposed to be on this silent retreat."

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com 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 3183 articles for us.


  1. Since TLW is leaving Netflix on 3/20 I had the fortune…nay the privilege to completely skip the rest of Season 3 during my rewatch. Something Riese and Carly cannot do at all for obvious reasons. Season 4 is just around the corner! I know you both will make it beyond TLW S3 and be stronger for it.

  2. Just wanted to say that a) I love the queer Jewish representation on the podcast, guests included, and b) y’all are doing a Mitzvah by recapping these episodes so that I never ever have to watch them myself again. How does season 3 get so grim so fast?!?

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