“To L and Back” L Word Podcast Episode 401: Legend In The Making

Hey Oh My God Have You Heard of OurChart??? (Which you can read more about in this piece) It’s so much fun!!! Have you been on it? You should get on it!!! Also, Season Four kicks off with complete mayhem — Shane becomes a sea otter and crashes a car, Bette’s on the lam with Angelica, Tina’s screaming at everybody, Joyce Wyshia is back and perfect, Helena’s poor and has to carry her own luggage, Jenny’s getting a visit from Claude and our favorite shape-shifter, Marina, is making a scene-stealing cameo at Jenny’s Book Party! Join Carly and Riese as they socially distance themselves through this real riot of an episode!!!

“To L and Back” Episode 401 Transcript

Riese: Hi, I’m Riese.
Carly: And I’m Carly.
Riese: And this is —
Riese and Carly: To L and Back.
Riese: I don’t know if we did it at the same time since there’s delay. We’ll never know again, since-
Carly: Who knows.
Riese: We’re just going to be pod people forever.
Carly: Hi.
Riese: Oh yeah, so this is an Autostraddle Podcast where we recap episodes of The L Word one at a time, forever and ever. Me and Carly talking about L Word which you could watch on Hulu. Hi, everyone.
Carly: We’re pod people now. Hi welcome to To L and Back in the time of COVID-19.
Riese: We are again recording on video chat, because we’re socially isolated.
Carly: We are socially distancing from each other and from everyone else, because that is what you should be doing. But we could not possibly imagine leaving all of our beautiful listeners hanging in such an important time as the beginning of season four. Look-
Riese: Right. It’s so important.
Carly: … we all got through Season Three and the reward is now we get Season Four.
Riese: Which is already bananas.
Carly: Yeah. Today, we are triumphantly starting season four. Congratulations to everyone who made it through season three, but especially me and Riese.
Riese: Just a big round of applause for us.
Carly: I’m going to clap for us.
Riese: We did it.
Carly: We did it.
Riese: We did it.
Carly: I’m patting myself on the back.
Riese: It was funny.
Carly: I thought it was pretty funny.
Riese: I thought it was hilarious.
Carly: Yeah. Today we’ve got Episode 401 which is called “Legend in the Making.” It was written by Ilene Chaiken, directed by Bronwen Hughes. Bronwen previously directed the Lobster dinner episode, you might recall. This originally aired on January 7th, 2007.
Riese: Do you remember where you watched this premiere? I do. Do you want me to go first?
Carly: Yes please do.
Riese: Okay. There was a party, a premiere party by, I think it was probably Go Magazine was involved in some way? And Showtime, and so me and all my friends went. The costume of the day was “Red and Black,” because remember how we used to always do like a costume of the day for parties and stuff. We all wore red and black and Jennifer Beals was there and Ilene Chaiken and Marlee Matlin were there also, and I guess we got drunk. I don’t really remember it very well. But that’s where I first saw this piece of shit episode, yeah.
Carly: 2007, beginning of the year, I was still living in Florida so I probably went to The L Word season four premiere party, which was probably sponsored by HRC and was probably at Pulse. Was Pulse open in 2007? I think it was open. This might have been held at Pulse if I remember correctly. I honestly probably figure it out if I go deep dive. But in Orlando at Pulse I think is probably where I watched this episode with my friends. January 7th, 2007 is the date in question.
Riese: It sure is.
Carly: Riese are you ready to get into this?
Riese: Oh my god I’m so ready.
Carly: I’m so ready. Here we go.
Riese: We open with the seascape. We’re in the sea. We’re under the sea.
Carly: Or we’re in like an aquarium. It could be either.
Riese: Yeah, it’s like there’s sea life, there’s leaves, sea leaves.
Carly: Seal leaves? Seaweed.
Riese: Sea leaves? Seal-weed?
Carly: Maybe seaweed or kelp.
Riese: Then, oh my god who’s under the sea? It’s not—.
Riese and Carly: Ariel The Little Mermaid.
Riese: it’s Shane!
Carly: Holy shit, Shane, fully clothed in the outfit she will be wearing this entire episode.
Riese: Also, who knew Shane could hold her breath underwater forever?
Carly: Years.
Riese: She’s the secret Olympic swimmer of this. She should have been on Tim’s swim team. This could have been a completely different story.
Carly: I feel like her form would be very sloppy.
Riese: Yeah. Another thing about this opening is that we immediately see one of her nipples.
Carly: Oh, wow, I didn’t even catch that. Good job.
Riese: Thank you.
Carly: Yeah, Excellent work.
Riese: I have a gift for the world coming up now, which is so the opening theme song begins and there are some changes.
Carly: Oh are there ever!
Riese: The season four … It looks like the direction they took with season four is — there’s going to be three new main characters that will be introduced this season. But none of them were introduced this episode.
Carly: But they’re all hinted at in the opening, which is interesting.
Riese: Sooo, in the very … There’s 15 changes between last season’s opening and this episode’s opening and these are the changes.
Carly: Oh my God, oh wait. I’m obsessed with this.
Riese: There’s a close up of Dana’s face that now becomes a close up of Bette’s face. Dana jumping rope is now Shane seducing Jenny’s ear. You know that shot?
Carly: Legendary shot.
Riese: Motorcycle scene is completely new. Last season Alice was wearing a black leather thing and these little hot shorts. Her hair was slicked back. There’s a close up of her wearing this blue ring and obviously Dana was on the back. Now she has long hair. The motorcycle is blue now. It was yellow before and it looks like it’s like maybe a smaller bike, I can’t tell, and she’s wearing like, she has different boots. She’s wearing a red and black plaid shirt and her hair is longer. In the original one, she kisses Dana on the cheek, which I hadn’t even really caught, because I hadn’t paused every single frame of the theme song, because I feel like life is spiraling out of control and this is all I have left. So as you recall, Shane seducing Jenny’s ear was moved to the top to get rid of Dana jumping rope. Now Shane in Jenny’s ear is Jodi’s art studio, but no Jodi yet.
Carly: No Jodi yet.
Riese: Dana and Carmen in the pool chairs has been replaced with Alice and Helena in the pool chairs. Tina’s face, thank God, Replaced with Alice’s face. Shane and Carmen in a the back and forth is now Bette sitting in a chair looking important. Obviously the assemblage of people all at once. There’s a group scene that changes completely. Shane in a Muscle T pawing at Carmen is now Shane in a blazer, with a key necklace? That never goes anywhere. Although we could tie it back later in this episode. Carmen playing with a pearl necklace is now Shane with her hands together. Picture of Dana, picture of Shane. Carmen spinning is now the backs of Tasha and Papi looking at the art but we don’t see their front.
Carly: We don’t see their faces, yet.
Riese: Dana and Alice cocking their heads at the art is now just Alice cocking her head. Then the group shot at the end is different, and instead of it being Jenny, Shane, Carmen on the couch with Carmen between them, Jenny is laying on Shane’s lap. The end.
Carly: Then who’s in the fountain with the umbrellas?
Riese: That would be Ross, Rachel, Monica, Lisa Kudrow and…
Carly: Chandler.
Riese: Did I say Joey? Chandler?
Carly: Joey, did we say Joey?
Riese: Joey.
Carly: Anyway, that is really good recap. All I wrote was “hinting at Jodi, Papi and Tasha” and I’m really glad that you did the work here, because I didn’t.
whooshing sound
Riese: So then we are opening in Whistler.
Carly: Yeah, we’re still in Whistler.
Riese: It’s like the next day.
Carly: I guess so. Given what they’re about to do, I’m assuming it’s the next … Bette leaves in the middle of the night with Angie.
Riese: Yeah in a mysterious car.
Carly: In a car that she hot-wired and stole. Is this just like the next morning? Afternoon? Or do we think another day has … I guess it doesn’t really matter.
Riese: Yeah, a lot has happened though, and we are going to find out about all of it because this is an exposition scene.
Carly: Welcome to extreme exposition.
Riese: They came there to do extreme snowboarding but instead they’re doing extreme exposition.
Carly: Alice is packing to leave. They’re in Alice’s room.
Riese: We find out that Lara took a job in San Francisco.
Carly: Yes, Kit’s like, “I can’t find Bette.”
Riese: Right, Dana told Alice on her deathbed to make friends outside of “their little orbit,” which she somehow connects to Lara. But also like, that’s the definition of “having friends” is having friends in an orbit. Apparently, what they’re about to do, they’re going to call it an Intervention.
Carly: I wrote down it should be a Bette-tervention.
Riese: That’s better than saying it’s an intervention because it’s not. It’s just calling someone on the phone.
Carly: It’s leaving a voicemail is what it is.
Riese: It’s just leaving a voicemail. The scene is bad. Everyone in it is doing a bad job, and the writing is bad.
Carly: The scene is bad. Max is the only smart one here because he tries to get out of this before it even starts and is like, “I’m going to go. You don’t need me for this.” They’re like, “You sit your ass down, Max. We are all going to leave a voicemail for Bette together. It’s the only way to get her to come to her senses.”
Riese: Gets like, “She needs to know that we’re behind her all the way.” So then there seems to be like some discord, basically that they’re all saying they would support her, they support her having Angie as a baby? Kid? Child? Then who comes in to this little intervention — which is, again, them leaving a voicemail — but Tina!!
Carly: Capital T, Tina.
Riese: Tina-
Carly: Tina …
Riese: … is mad.
Carly: … runs into the room screaming and it’s honestly so good.
Riese: She’s got a scarf. She’s very mad. She yells —

Tina: ... call the police and have your ass thrown in jail and ruin your brand new goddamn career, not to mention the rest of your fucking life.

Riese: Which is not a great punishment because Bette loves jail. I think we all remember that. And then she asks—

Tina: What, did she take Angelica to fucking Timbuktu?

Tina, wearing a green scarf and a purple v-neck, has barged into the hotel room and is asking her friends if Bette took Angelica to Timbuktu

Carly: How could she have gotten to Timbuktu-
Riese: Listen …
Carly: … that quickly? It’s been five minutes since she left.
Riese: Yeah. She should have been like, “Did she take her to Seattle?”
Carly: Another part of Canada? Northern California?
Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Then we cut to where Bette is right now. She is in … Okay, she’s in like a restaurant. She’s with Angie, and she’s talking to Joyce Wischnia, greatest lawyer of all time on the phone. She is talking to Joyce, talking to Joyce and then — call waiting! Guess who it is? It’s Bette’s new boss, Phyllis who we don’t get to see yet but we will very soon and oh boy.
Riese: Bette is so excited for her new job.
Carly: She says that she’s in Northern California on a road trip with her daughter. Do we take this at face value? Is she in Northern California? I think so. It does seem like that’s where she is.
Riese: Yeah, maybe they’re going to do a wine tour.
Carly: Oh Angie would love that. Angie would love that.
Riese: For some reason in my memory this took place in Mexico. I think she drove to Mexico, but I guess it’s because she mentions Mexico. She says like, she has friends who took their whole family to Mexico.
Carly: Yeah, her friend who’s like an artist.
Riese: Yeah. Is that where she asked for the sippy cup?
Carly: Yeah, she’s insufferably rude to the waitstaff at this restaurant.

Bette: Can I get a sippy cup? Does anybody have a sippy cup? Jesus.

Bette Porter in a large empty cafe with her baby, on her cell phone.

Carly: Terrible, I bet she left a shitty tip. She’s just, come on Bette, get it together. Get it together. Don’t do this.
Riese: Then we cut to a completely different television show where …
Carly: Completely different.
Riese: The waves are rolling in on the shore, and Shane dramatically trudges out of the ocean. Notices, “oh my phone died because I’ve been …
Carly: Under water.
Riese: … under water” and throws her phone in the ocean dramatically.
Carly: The phone’s already dead. That’s— okay. You’ve already swam with it but sure.
Riese: She should have put it in a bag of rice in the freezer.
Carly: So she crawls out of the water, gets onto the sand and we’re revealed that she is right outside Cherie Jaffe’s beach house.
Riese: And she has legs.
Carly: Yes, unlike the last time someone crawled out of the ocean confused, she is not a mermaid. She does have her voice, although she hardly uses it in this episode. You could get confused there. It is very similar-
Riese: You could, yeah.
Carly: … to the Little Mermaid.
Riese: You could think Ursula took it.
Carly: She does have that crab who keeps following her around and talking to her in a Jamaican accent. But other than that, it’s very, very, very different.
Riese: Yeah, Cherie is like, calls her a “little freak,” keeps calling her “little freak,” because … She’s at Cherie’s beach house, and she’s like, “When are you going to fuck me?” Then they do lines of coke.

Cherie: You crazy little freak.

A blonde woman is trying to take a glass of white wine away from Shane. She says, "You crazy little freak."

Carly: So clearly, Shane has been staying with Cherie Jaffe, and they have … In the like several hours since she, I don’t know swam out of Whistler? What happened?
Riese: Yeah, she swam.
Carly: Yeah. So Shane is really going through it. For all the reasons we can assume from the finale of season three, and it seems like Cherie’s getting kind of tired of her shit and just wants her like a little play thing. Shane is going through some big stuff and this is just obviously headed for a complete disaster. Yeah, she keeps calling Shane a crazy little freak. Then she also makes fun of Carmen and is super racist about it.
Riese: Yeah, she sure is.
Carly: That was fun. That was super fun.
Riese: There’s a lot of racism in this episode—
Carly: Yeah.
Riese: … in like really insidious ways.

Carly: Yeah. No. Okay, so I guess we’ve all left Whistler now. We’re at LAX, and Alice is trying to teach Helena how to be a normal person.
Riese: Right, Helena’s confused about where her driver is, confused about carrying her own luggage.
Carly: She insists that she is a practical person, but I have to tell you, I don’t think she is.
Riese: No, she doesn’t know how to do anything it turns out. It’s going to be a rough road for Helena. Even though I hate this whole thing, it makes me nervous. I still feel like she should have gotten a small allowance.
Carly: Yeah. Now we’re at Shenny’s and we’re in the shed.
Riese: Tool shed time! And Carmen’s left all of her very expensive, probably deejaying equipment in there where she was doing some hot mixes.
Carly: Oh, yeah, that’s expensive stuff.
Riese: Yeah.
Carly: I hope she gets that back real soon.
Riese: Jenny is really mad at Shane, doesn’t care how she feels. Max defends Shane, but we’re not really sure why. Max doesn’t have a reason for why Max is defending Shane.
Carly: No, he just like, “You should have compassion for Shane,” and then he’s like, “I mean, I forgave you.”
Riese: She’s like, “For what? I haven’t changed who I am, Max.”
Carly: Very pointed.
Riese: Which … WHAT?
Carly: Is she upset about him transitioning or upset that he’s been mean to her? I hope it’s that he’s been mean to her.
Riese: Right. Yeah, it seems like that she could be like, “I don’t have to forgive you for anything. You’re the one who’s been abusive,” but instead it becomes about his transition. She says like, she supports him, but she doesn’t think they fit together because he identifies as a straight man and she identifies as a lesbian who likes to fuck girls, and he’s not a girl. Which seems like a good reason to break up.
Carly: That’s a great reason to break up. Also, I would argue that they have zero in common outside of that as well. They as human beings are just not very compatible.

Close-up of Jenny saying "I identify as a lesbian"

Close-up of Jenny saying "who likes to fuck girls"

Riese: Correct.
Carly: … and he apologizes for freaking out on T, which is also something that happens in the scene, which I mean, we’ve already discussed how we feel about that storyline. But anyway, then we go to Tina, who is someplace with Henry, and she’s having a complete breakdown and he thinks it’s time to call the police.

Riese: Right. She’s like at Bette’s. It seems like she was trying to get into Bette’s house? Because she’s like, “She changed the locks,” or something which is such a power move to have someone go change your locks while you’re in Canada.
Carly: Yeah, like, did she … It’s like, unless she changed them before she left Which is so funny if that’s what happened. I’m sure that’s not what happened, but that would be much funnier.
Riese: Did you notice that the music this episode was really bad, except for the one song they used, like the background music was-
Carly: Yeah, it felt really different.
Riese: … like Garage Band.
Carly: Yeah, it felt really different than what we’re used to.
Riese: Yeah, it felt like the things you … the sounds you get for free with your video editing thing including in this scene. Tina’s like, “I want my baby.” Henry needs to leave, then Bette is staying at a Motel, like the Timberland Motel? and Kit is banging at the door. How did Kit find Bette at the Timberland Motel? I don’t know.
Carly: Do you think Bette just told her where she was because she’s her sister?
Riese: Maybe we called her and was like, “Hey, I’m at the Timberland motel,” and she’s like, “Oh, I know the one.”
Carly: Yeah, the one in Northern, maybe even Northernish California?
Riese: Yeah, she’s like, “The one next to the vineyard.”
Carly: The one by the Timberlake Motel.
Riese: Yeah, Timberlake Motel 2.
Carly: Then Helena is back at her beach mansion, which girl enjoy that while you can. Who’s that guy again? Her business manager, her lawyer, who is this British man?
Riese: He’s a jack of all rich people trades.
Carly: Rich people trades.
Riese: Yeah, he’s probably also like a surgeon and a chef.
Carly: Absolutely, and he could definitely provide her with tests for Coronavirus.
Riese: For sure, yeah.
Carly: So he somehow found someone to take over her lease of the beach mansion, and she doesn’t actually have a salary as it turns out at her movie studio job. She also probably doesn’t have a movie studio job anymore.
Riese: I think the sum total of her accomplishments at the movie studio, I think, were overfunding a documentary.
Carly: And getting sued for sexual harassment. So she definitely doesn’t have a job anymore. Peggy Peabody, her loving, wonderful mother sold it before she left for a private island with Marilyn. First of all very happy for those two.
Riese: I wish them so much wellness.
Carly: Me too. I want them to just thrive and never ever come back to Los Angeles for their own sake.
Riese: Yeah, but they will.
Carly: Oh yeah. At this point, I don’t even know if Tina has a job, but it looks like the studio has been sold and we don’t know what’s going on with that. Anyway, Helena is screwed.

Helena sitting at her infinity pool talking to her business manager. She says "no phones, very romantic."

Riese: Then we go back to the Timberlake Motel, where Kit has morning sickness. Bette is watching things through the window, and we find out that Angus made Kit an abortion appointment.
Carly: Yes. One thing to note is that she throws up and then he is totally fine with kissing her after that.
Riese: Oh, yeah.
Carly: But she’s not happy about it and I was very unhappy about it as well.
Riese: Yeah, it’s gross. Then we go to The Planet. Alice has new hair and we find out that Helena’s only thing that she has for money is a credit card with a $3.5 thousand limit. She says …

Helena: You can’t even buy a pair of shoes with $3,500!

Alice and Helena in the planet. Alice saying to Helena "wow, she really does want to bring you down." Helena looks stressed.
Riese: Then we find out that her shoes that she’s wearing in that moment cost $14,000, so I don’t know, sell your shoes Helena. How much expensive designer clothes do you think she has? She could sell all of it.
Carly: She should just sell all of it. This is actually very simple.
Riese: That’s the thing about if you’re a rich person gets disinherited, sell your rich stuff. I’ve seen plenty of films, it’s easy. Become a gold star seller on eBay. However, she can’t sell her car because her mom repossessed it.
Carly: Yeah, she also cannot pronounce the word Hyundai. Then Alice is like, “Look, you were so generous with me in the past. Please move in with me and we’ll figure it out.” Helena gets all teary eyed and says the first of many incredible lines of dialogue in this episode which is …

Helena: I had no idea it could feel this warm and fuzzy being poor.

Carly: Bravo.
Riese: Back to the sea ocean. Shane’s drowning herself again. What is this? What’s happening? That’s it right?
Carly: I feel like every scene with Shane starts with her waking up either on the sand or in Cherie’s house. Every time we don’t see her, she’s unconscious or under the water and then every time we cut back she wakes up.
Riese: She’s got a lot of sea salt in her hair I bet. Then we go back to the planet. There’s a poster for Jenny’s book, “Some of Our Parts” and I think that now …
Carly: I have a question.
Riese: Yes?
Carly: How the fuck … Last time we saw Jenny she had not turned in her draft.
Riese: Well, remember there were six … Oh, wait. There were six weeks between Dana’s funeral and the Whistler wedding?
Carly: Oh yeah.
Riese: … not enough time still.
Carly: Jenny finished writing the book, she did all the notes, and they were able to get it published and marketed in the time, in the six weeks and one day that it has been, six weeks and maybe a seventh week. We’ll give them a seventh week. That’s impossible. Okay.
Riese: I think that we should just take a moment to discuss Our Chart.
Carly: Yes, I think it’s a very important time to pause what we’re doing and discuss a very important internet cultural phenomenon, Our Chart.
Riese: In 2007, The L Word and Showtime decided that they were going to capitalize on the success of The L Word by creating their very own lesbian website, which was an immediate competition with like AfterEllen? And what else existed? I guess it was just AfterEllen at that time.
Carly: I guess so, yeah.
Riese: I believe that like, Jennifer and Leisha were partners or something in it.
Carly: I think so, yes.
Riese: They had like — everyone who ran it was named Beth for some reason. They had a Girltrash web series on there, right?
Carly: I think so. I remember that.
Riese: Some workout stuff, but the main feature of Our Chart Dot Com —
Carly: Was that it didn’t work!
Riese: Correct.
Carly: The site was broken 100% of the time, it never worked.
Riese: Never, never! And half of the homepage was always taken up with this big orange, like ad for Our Chart, like over Our Chart. You know what I’m talking about? And like so you could join it. We all joined it, obviously.
Carly: Obviously.
Riese: But, also, no one actually was going to ask someone to verify that you had hooked up with them to be, to share that information with lesbians on the internet. No one wanted…
Carly: The concept was so flawed.
Riese: It was such a … We bought it in the show, but it is also ridiculous in the show, like no one would ever do that. That’s terrible.
Carly: It was ridiculous as a radio show. The fact that Alice was just going on a live broadcast on KCRW and just talking about who’s fucking who in Los Angeles, is crazy.
Riese: Yeah. So we all joined it and then we just connected with our friends I think, which in reality your friends are the people you’ve hooked up with. So in that sense, it accomplished something.
Carly: It was supposed to be … I think it wanted to be almost like a dating site, and then it was like kind of settle for being like a tiny bit of content plus some social networking. But what happened was, the site was so wonky and always broken and they start — they launched it with a bunch of content, like blogs and videos and stuff, and then they just never added more? If I remember correctly. At some point, it just tapered off.
Riese: It like slowed down. I wrote for them a few times. Laneia wrote for them a few times. Anyway, so in addition to the fact that we all had to suffer through the existence of this website, the entirety of Season Four is an infomercial for-
Carly: This website.
Riese: … Our Chart. This scene, I think, is actually one of the most egregious ones of all.
Carly: I wrote down so much of this scene, I almost transcribed the whole thing because it is bonkers. This is the craziest dialogue I’ve ever seen.
Riese: Jenny says that they got it … They put an ad for her book on MySpace, and then she put an ad on Our Chart and Helena’s like-

Helena: How does it work this chart? It feels … I’ve never actually been in …

Carly: She’s like …

Jenny: You’ve never been on Our Chart? Oh my god, it’s so much fun. You don’t know what you’re missing.

Carly: Yeah, Jenny knows about it.
Riese: You can tell Mia Kirshner’s like, “I’m just going to be a girl in a commercial right now. Jenny is obviously not part of the scene. I’m buying into whatever this is. I’m doing it for the …”
Carly: I’m Mia Kirshner and I’m starring in this commercial and I’m just going to do it and get paid.
Riese: Then they explained how Our Chart works.

Close-up of Alice asking her friends "You've never been on Our Chart?"

Jenny: Yeah, I know, it’s like a social networking site ….
Alice: For lesbians?
Jenny: Yeah.
Helena: Do you have to sleep with someone first?
Alice: Well, I mean, when I first put it up, that was the core concept. Jenny slept with Tina, who slept with Annie.
Helena: You slept with Tine?
Jenny: Hypothetically! No. I would never sleep with Tina.
Alice: But like lesbians being lesbians. They started logging on and talking about themselves. But for me it’s always about the hook up page.

Riese: Which again, gave people at home the false impression that Our Chart itself would work like that, which it didn’t. Also, again, but the most important thing about seeing these hubs that Alice explains in excruciating detail, is that we get to see everyone’s astrological signs.
Carly: The key takeaway from the scene is that we get three characters astrological signs, Alice, Shane and Papi. I’ll get to that in a second. Alice gets into explaining this in the most excruciating detail as if we didn’t just spend an entire season with, over an entire season of her having a radio show with the same concept. So that’s fun.

A visual of Shane's place on OurChart. Alice, off screen, says, "You can then see how many people Shane's hooked up with." On the screen it says that Shane has hooked up with 963 people.

Riese: She says, “Once you’ve slept with over 50 people, you become a hub.” Again, nobody would want to participate in this type of activity on the internet.
Carly: Never.
Riese: This is so insane. Shane wouldn’t even have an account.
Carly: No Shane of all people would not have ever signed up for this.
Riese: Shane is a Gemini.
Carly: Yes.
Riese: Shane has slept with like we know over 1000 people, right? Jenny says-
Jenny: Yeah, look, do you remember that Japanese girl that Shane slept with?
Riese: Shane has hooked up with over 1,000 people and only one of them was Japanese?
Carly: Oh god, where do we even start? Then Jenny says …

Jenny: Well, now the Japanese girl in Kyoto has her whole new solar system out there. Yeah.

Riese: I hate it.
Carly: I hate this.
Riese: I hate it.
Carly: I hate it. Oh, wait, we skipped over when Alice talks about how there’s like a constellation and then there’s a hub. Then if you want to add someone to your constellation, you have to email the webmaster. Who is it? Who is the person that they are emailing? It’s not Alice. Then they get to Carmen.
Riese: Also, by the way, don’t call … No one should ever refer to somebody as “that Japanese girl.” Then we have Carmen is on here and her … She has her whole solar system in East LA. Then they name like, give two names that are like Latinx names.
Carly: Yes. This is the first I’m hearing of Carmen having any social life outside of this group of assholes. This is really interesting. She’s, “Okay, great.” I wish we could have seen any of that. Also, where were they when she was buying a wedding dress? I’m just saying.
Riese: Yeah, where were they when she was at the wedding in Whistler?
Carly: Exactly.
Riese: They could have all gone skiing for free!
Carly: Yeah, exactly. Alice says they need to upgrade their servers because of so much traffic.
Riese: I wish they’d upgraded the servers for their actual website.
Carly: Yeah, I feel like they put that line in there to make up, to let us know that the website was never going to work. They’re like, “It’s just like on the show. It’s crashing because of Papi.”
Riese: Right, because they know there’s a girl in Carmen’s solar system who has more hits than Shane.
Carly: Oh-oh, controversy.
Riese: Her name is Papi except that Alice says Pappy, right?
Carly: Alice will keep saying Pappy for a really long time and every time she says it, part of me dies.
Riese: So if there’s any cell in your body that still is functioning after that little advertisement …
Carly: Congratulations, you’re doing better than-
Riese: … congratulations.
Carly: Wait, so wait Shane is a Gemini, Alice is a cancer and Poppy is an Aries and that is what we learned from this scene. That’s really the only things we need to know from this scene.
Riese: Right, that is … I buy it. Shane is a Gemini I buy.
Carly: Papi is an Aries I buy and then I don’t know enough about Cancers to know if Alice is a Cancer. SoMax is at work at INTECH MODE. His office looks like a room in someone’s house. It looks like a den.
Riese: You have to call it that. You have to do that voice every time we go to Intech now.
Carly: Okay, let’s go to INTECH MODE.
Riese: He’s in a supply closet.
Carly: That is not anyone’s office. That is not even in an office building. That is a room in a home.
Riese: They’re like oh wait, we have a Max scene in this episode. Where are we going to film it? Do we want to just film it in that room over there? Yeah, let’s just do that.
Carly: It’s like the Showtime production office where they produce the show out of and they’re like, “Yeah, we can just take all the tables out of this room real quick.”
Riese: Yeah, they moved everything right behind where the camera is. It’s still in the room.
Carly: The room goes, is a little bit bigger than what you’re seeing. His boss comes in and he tells him something and he goes-

Max: Thanks, boss.

Carly: Which is … No one’s ever said … I love it. It’s so good.
Riese: Max reveals that he has broken up with Jenny and the boss is like, “Yeah, you seem like a really straight ahead person and Jenny seems complicated.”
Carly: Complicated.

Max looks skeptical in this close-up while his boss is saying that "Jenny seemed a little complicated"

Riese: Sure, and then he does an incredibly inappropriate thing for a boss to do to his employee, which is that he says his daughter Brooke is coming home from Mount Lesbyoake and should go on a date with Max.
Carly: Oh dear. That’s inappropriate. You can’t pimp your daughter out to one of your employees. Both sides of that are wildly inappropriate.

Riese: They sure are. Speaking of inappropriate, we go back to the office of the best lawyer of all time, Joyce Wischnia.
Carly: I would say the only lawyer in West Hollywood, Joyce Wischnia, much like Carmen was the only DJ in West Hollywood.
Riese: Yeah, she is. She’s the only one. Good luck finding your own, Tina. Bette is returning Angie to Tina. Bette’s crying. We’re going to come back to that because first we’re going to go to The L Word being like, “Look, we have trans actors for five, I don’t know three minutes.”

Bette crying in Joyce's office. Caption reads: [Tina Cooing]

Carly: At most three minutes, yeah. It’s Max at a support group for trans guys. Which I’m really happy to see Max meeting other trans guys. All we’ve seen is him interacting with these rich cis white women for the most part. Obviously not the whole cast as white, but they’re all … not like Max. I feel like it’s nice for him to have community, so this is good.
Riese: Yeah. It’s too bad it’s the beginning and end of it.
Carly: Yeah, we’ll never see this again.
Riese: Never again. He’s like, “Do you know where I could get more information,” and admits he’s been getting his T on the black market and that his dose is 200 milligrams, and they’re all like, “Oh my god.”
Carly: They’re like, “Whoa, dude, do you have any friends left?” He’s like, “It’s funny, you should ask that, I hardly do.”
Riese: “But to be honest, I didn’t really have any to begin with, soooo”
Carly: “No, I actually just moved here and I fell in with the absolute worst group of people.”
Riese: I think that this scene is The L Word realizing that they really messed up last season by making Max too aggressive, and they’re trying to walk it back.Max sits in a room for a trans guy group. A guy off screen asks Max, "Do you got any friends left, man?"Carly: I agree with you. I think this is an attempt to write the course of things. But the only way to do that would be to make season three completely disappear and we can’t do that.
Riese: No, we’ve just lived through it.
Carly: Yep.
Riese: Oh my god, and then we go, maybe … This is definitely my favorite scene of the episode. I think.

Tina is holding Angelica and yelling at Bette "I'm sorry, but who was it that kidnapped our daughter?"

Carly: This is a great scene. This is some masterful Joyce Wischnia nonsense.
Riese: They’re fighting and Joyce is just chill as hell about all of it. She’s ready for the case.
Carly: She’s ready. They’re like, “She’s the one who did this and she’s the one who did this.” At one point Bette says, “She’s the one who went scampering back to the safety of white heterosexual privilege.” Tina’s like …

Tina: This is about the bravest thing I’ve ever done. I stand to lose all my friends who view me as some turncoat.

Riese: Excuse me. Excuse me.
Carly: I have just so many questions for Tina.
Riese: Tina, the brave little toaster over here dating Henry.
Carly: Is Henry, like the vacuum cleaner that might eat them all up?
Riese: Yeah, I guess so.
Carly: I guess so. Of course, we know that biphobia is a huge problem on the show.
Riese: Yes.
Carly: But the fact that Tina is saying that going and dating Henry right now is the bravest thing she’s ever done is utterly ridiculous.
Riese: Unless that is actually the bravest thing she’s ever done in which case-
Carly: Sorry.
Riese: … yikes, sorry. I don’t know. I feel like having a baby by herself, it was braver.
Carly: I feel like escaping Joyce’s guestroom was braver.
Riese: I feel like her making a little seashell button castle on the beach was braver.
Carly: That was very brave.
Riese: Because she’s not an architect!
Carly: Yeah, her art is brave.
Riese: I think when she wore blankets as shirts for an entire season, that’s brave.
Carly: incredibly brave.
Riese: Joyce doesn’t care. She’s excited this case will be a media bonanza. Then there’s the wonderful exchange …

Joyce: Because as you know, we’re going to be playing the race card.
Bette: It’s not a card. It’s something I know to be firmly and intrinsically true. Tina’s not qualified to parent a biracial child.
Tina: Yeah, and I was qualified to live and sleep with one for eight years?
Bette: Obviously you weren’t qualified for that either.

Riese: That is incredible. It is.
Carly: Points were made.
Riese: It is.

Joyce Wyshnia says "It's a shame Johnnie Cochran's Dead." Behind her is a big tapestry of a vulva, and also a headshot of herself

Carly: Everyone made some points there. We realize, they go to a wide shot and we realize that Angelica is just sitting in the middle of this screaming toxic argument, which is so upsetting. Like, “oh remember there’s a child here” and Tina’s like, grabs, Angie tries to leave. Joyce physically blocks her from the door and goes into this incredible speech about how … “Okay, great. We’re going to trial. This is going to be a media circus. You’re going to need a better lawyer Tina. I wish Johnnie Cochran was still alive,” and just goes on and on and basically is trying to scare them into getting the fuck over whatever this is and just going, trying to be civil with each other, realizing that what this is going to turn into and what it’s going to do to Angelica.
Riese: It’s funny.
Carly: It’s pretty funny, and I think actually a decent tactic to use against the two of them because I don’t know what else would have worked.
Riese: Then we go back to Shenny’s and Max is talking to Jenny about how he found a doctor and found out he’s been on too much T. But Jenny doesn’t really care because there’s someone at the door.
Carly: It’s Claude.
Riese: It’s Claude. Her little sushi smoke friend from the ski place is there for some laby loves.
Carly: They start making out immediately right in front of Max. I thought it was hilarious. Also, there’s a moment when Max goes to open the door and when Jenny runs upstairs, and you see that his pants are crazy. They’re these like, crazy, like wide leg khakis. They’re the craziest pants.
Riese: Wait, are they the ones with all the pockets?
Carly: No, no, no. Maybe, I didn’t notice any pockets. It just looked like khaki pants like the, when you’re in like a medium shot, they look normal and then when you go to the full length, full body shot, there’s like almost a bell bottom happening at the bottom. It’s totally unexpected.
Riese: I feel like Max’s fashion is business on top, Vans Warped Tour on the bottom.
Carly: Wow, that is perfect description. They might have been JNCOs. Maybe they were JNCOs.
Riese: They probably were. Then we go to Bettina’s. Although I guess it’s just Bette’s now.
Carly: Go to Bette’s house I guess.
Riese: Again, let’s just reiterate. Tina has been dating Henry for two months. Tina and Henry are picking up Angelica and-
Carly: Kit and Angus are there and they’re like packing up all her stuff, and basically what we come to find out is the current arrangement is that, Angie will spend a few days with Mama T and then a few days with Mama B and on and on until she’s old enough to murder them both in their sleep.
Riese: Yep! And that Angus will not be providing his services to the Henry-Kennard family, just to the Porter family, because his band just released a demo on Myspace so he’s …
Carly: He’s really busy with record exec meetings.
Riese: He’s really busy. He can’t…
Carly: He’s really busy.
Riese: Yeah, he can’t do that. But luckily Hazel, Henry’s sitter, will babysit for both of them.
Carly: Which means that Tina assumed that there would be two nannies with each? One nanny per child at their house.
Riese: That is a tight one to one ratio of nanny to child, that is luxury.
Carly: That is so unnecessary.
Riese: It is.
Carly: She assumed that they would have two nannies like, “What bitch? What are you doing?”
Riese: Yeah, two mommies two nannies. That’s the way that we live. Also there is the weirdest part of this scene is at the end when Bette’s like, “Are you still using iCal?”
Carly: YES! This is my favorite. I wrote it down. Bette offers to type up a schedule, and she says, …

Bette: Are you still using iCal?

Bette asks Tina, "are you still using iCal?"

Carly: Tina says …

Tina: Yeah.

Carly: Bette says …

Bette: Okay, well then I’ll do it in iCal.

Carly: And that is the fucking dialogue!!!
Riese: Like what?
Carly: I hope she’s moved to Google Calendar in Gen Q. I really think we need some clarity on this.
Riese: I know, right. Yeah.
Carly: Oh my god. [Sighs]
Riese: Let me go to KCRW.
Carly: Because Alice is still employed.
Riese: Somehow. She says that 1,377 people have linked themselves to Papi and that crashed their server, and she doesn’t know where Papi is. Here we have a white person asking this, putting it out in the world, “There’s a person of color out there I’d like to meet if they could just do the work and find me, I would just appreciate it?
Carly: “If they could just identify themselves and contact me via email or phone?” And the whole time she calls her Pappy and I just, I’m a ghost at this point.
Riese: She says, “How do you do that thing you do?” and I hate it. Then you can kind of see Leisha’s soul crumble into her body when she has to put her hands on the glass and go, “Where’s Pappy?” It’s brutal.
Carly: No one deserved that.

Alice plants her palms on the clear glass wall between her and the editors of her radio show, and says "Where's Papi?"

Riese: No one deserved that. Back to Cherie’s.
Carly: Back to Cherie’s Malibu beach house, and there is the worst party happening at their house. Every person there looks insufferable.
Riese: It looks like Shane has a headache.
Carly: At the very least, yes.
Riese: Yeah. There’s more free, “comes with Final Cut” music here.
Carly: Yeah. Yeah, like Garage Band originals.
Riese: It truly feels as though their budget for background music was cut by 90%. There were some crazy music in all of these things.
Carly: She keeps calling Shane a little freak. The whole thing is shot handheld, so it’s really chaotic to try to, you know, get you into Shane’s, where Shane is in her head, but it’s also just hard to watch. There is both a DJ and a band. The band involves a very goth looking girl playing an electric guitar with a bow.
Riese: I was like, “Is she hallucinating?”
Carly: I actually thought she might be because if I ever hallucinated a party it would probably look like that. I would be like, “Get me out of here.”
Riese: It’s like a battle of the bands where it’s a band battling a DJ,.And Cherie brings Shane some coke for another pick me up.
Carly: She’s like, “You got to wake up dude. Do the coke, wake up.”
Riese: Then someone should be like, “Shane, you smell like dead whales.”
Carly: and the ocean and BO and death.
Riese: Yeah. You smell like someone who fled their wedding and then tried to drown themselves 10 times, did a bunch of coke, fucked Cherie Jaffe and hasn’t changed her outfit since last season.
Carly: Is that the outfit she was supposed to get married in are we to assume?
Riese: Absolutely, yes.
Carly: Yeah. Absolutely, it is. A girl comes up and hits on Shane and then Cherie is super mean and Shane leaves the scene at least.

Malibu beach party filled with people. Cherie is cajoling Shane "Hey Little Freak"

Cherie screams "WE'RE HAVING A PARTY." She's wearing sunglasses, the beach is behind her, she looks bananas

A confused Shane works her way through the party. Subtitles read, "[Music speeds up, distorts.]"

Riese: Then we go to Shenny’s, where Jenny is looking in the refrigerator for a little snack … Like she’s wrapped the sheet because they’ve obviously just been making love, making French love all afternoon.
Carly: Yes, and appropriately Claude is wearing an oversized white men’s buttoned up shirt, which is the official outfit of the scene of course. Ones wrapped in a sheet and one is wearing the men’s work shirt, that’s just how it works.
Riese: Also that’s really hot when a girl is just wearing a men’s buttoned up white shirt and nothing else
Carly: Yes. Yes, it is. Yes.
Riese: I approve. Jenny’s like, “All I have is caviar and cream freche. ” Ohhhh-kay.
Carly: All right, relax.
Riese: Relax.
Carly: We get it you went to a Whole Foods once. Calm down.
Riese: The option to calm down exists at all times.
Carly: Don’t tell the show they have no idea.
Riese: Then they make out on the floor with cream.

Claude licks the lid of a yogurt, subtitle says "Caviar and Creme Fraiche"

Carly: Sure. Maybe some stale crackers are involved, I don’t know. Quick cut to Angus and Kit going to get an abortion. The lady, receptionist lady keeps looking at them in a very weird way as she hands them the clipboard to fill out their forms. I don’t know about you, but I could already tell where this was going.
Riese: Yep, we go back to Cherie’s. Shane cannot locate her keys. Cherie points out that she—
Carly: Because she …
Riese: … came in a cab from the airport. That’s probably why she can’t find her car keys.
Carly: She’s like, “What Car?” Then Shane swipes the keys to Cherie’s BMW and peaces out.
Riese: Yeah, she finds them in the citrus bowl, which is a normal place to keep your keys.
Carly: That’s a normal place for keys.

Cheri stands next to a topless guy wearing a cowboy hat and lighting a bong. Cheri says to Shane, who is off screen, "I don't know what your fucking problem is"

Riese: Then we cut right to the main streets of LA where Shane is just joy riding in Cherie’s car.
Carly: Yeah, Just cruising.
Riese: Swerving, it’s bananas.
Carly: Then we go back to Kit, oh boy.
Riese: Angus is bad at his job of being a boyfriend who made the abortion appointment. Angus, have you ever heard of Planned Parenthood because everyone has?
Carly: Angus, have you heard of Google search? Oh my god.
Riese: What? This is 100% Angus’s fault.
Carly: Yes.
Riese: He can’t be trusted making doctor’s appointments for anybody. Next time she has a skin rash, he’s going to send her to a dentist.
Carly: She’ll be like, “I said dermatologist,” and he’ll be like, “They both started with a D.”
Riese: “They all went to med school.”
Carly: Kit’s at one of those terrible fake abortion clinics where they yell at women who come in for abortions and show them horrible imagery, and try to get them to pray and it’s terrible and she freaks out appropriately and escapes, and it’s unenjoyable to watch.
Riese: Yeah, it’s unnecessary, it’s weird.
Carly: It’s also racist.
Riese: She’s like, “I got to get out.” She’s yelling at them. She doesn’t even want to get her clothes, but like they’re not … They’re actually, the whole thing is they are not doing anything to her. That’s been established. They’re not doing anything to her. I don’t know why she’s like going to just leave her clothes and shoes behind and run out in a hospital gown. No one is touching her, no one is trying to … They’re saying upsetting things, obviously.
Carly: Right.
Riese: But there’s no … They are very specifically denying to do any medical procedures on her.
Carly: I don’t know. I get it. I’d be like, “Get me the fuck out of here. You guys are crazy. This is very traumatic and I need to leave.”
Riese: We all got to see an Anti-Choice Abortion Presentation.
Carly: Which was really great.
Riese: Thanks.
Carly: Could have been an email. This meeting—.
Riese and Carly: —could have been an email.
Riese: Yeah.
Carly: Then with more good decisions Shane pulls up outside of Carmen’s house looking for Carmen, and her big strong cousins throw her the fuck out. Of course Shane, what are you doing? Get the fuck out of there. No one wants to talk to you. You’re lucky, you didn’t get the shit kicked out of you at this point.
Riese: Correct. Then we go to Shenny’s where Max is just walking around aimlessly because he has no interests. Then he walks by Jenny’s room where she’s tied to the bed and Claude is on top of her with a whip.
Carly: They’re both in lingerie and I remember this image very well. It’s very good.
Riese: I do too. I think it’s a nice image. I think it’s a little rough on Max. They broke up yesterday.
Carly: Yeah and they didn’t even have the door shut! He just walked by and the door was just already open.
Riese: That was actually very bizarre, like why in the world would the door be open?
Carly: Because it’s Jenny … They don’t give a shit. Jenny has like completely changed personalities in the last, like since the very end of the last episode. There’s something about Jenny that is different.
Riese: Yeah, there is and we’ll see it.
Carly: Oh, will we.

Jenny's bedroom. Jenny and Claude in sexy lingerie. Claude's sitting on top of Jenny, who is tied to the bed with a leather strap. They're kissing.

Riese: This is when she starts going really off the rails in a way that’s sometimes entertaining and sometimes a little bit extra. Then we go back to the mean streets.
Carly: My god, so Shane stops at a liquor store, gets back in the car, she’s drinking in the car. The only good song of the episode starts playing. It’s Le Disko by this band Shiny Toy Guns which, watching this today reminded me that I used to love the band Shiny Toy Guns and now I’m going to have to listen to them again.
Riese: You did.
Carly: She’s speeding and she’s driving erratically on the 101.
Riese: Swerving and honking.
Carly: I want to say I’m glad they actually shot this in LA. That was good of them to actually travel to LA for this episode, all the stuff in like East LA
Riese: I think they shot some Cherie’s scenes in LA to or in Malibu.
Carly: Yeah and the stuff at Carmen’s house is obviously LA, so yay! Then of course, she crashes. She’s in shock. She’s covered in blood, trying to hobble away from the scene. A crowd of people gather. They’re all worried about her. A man’s calling 911 and she’s just like in shock and walks away.
Riese: Yeah.
Carly: It’s wild.
Riese: That man’s like, “She left her BMW here.” This is inexcusable behavior from Shane to drink and drive. It’s like-
Carly: Really bad. No not cool, not cool at all.
Riese: It’s really fucking bad and also, is she just got to walk across the highway? I guess.
Carly: Yeah, this is … What are you doing?
Riese: None of this makes sense.
Carly: I guess what we are to believe is that she walks off the 101 and then takes the rest of the episode to walk back to West Hollywood to her house. We know this because we will, as the rest of the episode plays out, we will continue to cut back to her as it gets later and later in the night, still covered in blood, still smoking the cigarette, limping down the street, no one saying a word.
Riese: Something that drives me nuts. It drives me bananas in TV shows and movies when somebody gets bloody from something, and then they don’t wipe it up for the entire episode.
Carly: That makes me upset as well.
Riese: I find it irritating.
Carly: Me too.
Riese: Again now she probably, now she smells like oil and liquor too. She’s probably really rank.
Carly: She really does not smell good.
Riese: Yeah, probably her friends will be able to start smelling her and will see she gets within 100 miles.
Carly: Yeah, once she’s in the neighborhood, they’ll smell her. They’ll be like, “Something strange is happening,” and then she’ll get home and they’ll be like, “Oh, she’s [crosstalk 00:50:38].”
Riese: She’s also absolutely going to be going to get a yeast infection.

Shane, in a white button-up shirt with blood all over her face and her hair all over her face is walking away from a car crashed she caused. in the background a dude is on the phone saying "She's walking away."
Riese: Then we go to, I guess they’re setting up for Jenny’s book party. Jenny is reading her Publishers Weekly Review which that’s realistic because that’s a big Publishers Weekly Review of your book is very important for its success.
Carly: I love that she’s gathered her friends to read it out loud and she’s like … The look on her face, she’s feeling it, feeling herself and then the last part of it is that the reviewer calls her …

Jenny: Shamelessly self indulgent portrait of herself.

Carly: Then her face falls and it’s, “Why would you cold read your own book review out loud?”
Riese: Also, it was all positive except for that.
Carly: Yeah!
Riese: Jenny, she is self indulgent. If someone reviewed a book of mine and said all those nice things then ended by saying it’s self indulgent I’d be like, “Accurate. Thank you for your positive review.”
Carly: Yeah, Jenny, you are a very self indulgent person as a general thing. The fact that your book about your life is self indulgent should not be that shocking, and don’t take it as an insult because the rest of the review was wonderful.
Riese: Yeah. So- [SIGH]
Carly: So … [SIGH] Okay. Now we get to …Close up of Jenny reading publisher's weekly. She is reading "if shamelessly self-indulgent"

Riese: What? WHAT?
Carly: I don’t know, one of the greatest moments in television history, would you agree?
Riese: I would absolutely agree. I think about it at least once a week.
Carly: Alice in bed are helping Kit move some chairs around and they’re talking about the sham clinic that Kit went to. Then Riese, I’m going to let you have this. Go for it.
Riese: I think, I believe Kit says she wants to burn it down. Then Bette Porter apropos of something but really nothing.
Carly: But nothing.
Riese: Pounds a folding chair on the ground and goes …

Bette: Arson, arson.
Alice: All right all right —

In The Planet, Kit is distraught, Bette is behind her. Caption: "[Thumping Chair on Floor] Arson! Arson!"

Riese: Bette Porter …
Carly: Bette Porter who would later run for mayor of Los Angeles.
Riese: Bette Porter slams a cheap folding chair on the ground and screams ARSON, ARSON. I remember highlighting it because this is the season I started recapping, I remember highlighting it in my recap as, even then I could recognize that this moment like many moments in this episode — this episode is like 10 different bad movies kind of crammed into one episode, and a commercial.
Carly: Yeah. And most bonkers dialogue I’ve ever heard on screen.
Riese: Yeah, absolutely. Someone says, “Why? You should just do a Planned Parenthood benefit,” Which seems like a good idea.
Carly: Yeah, and then I don’t remember anyone ever in the rest of this episode finishing that conversation
Riese: No. Once about Bette screamed arson, arson it was over.
Carly: Yeah. Then we go to the bar, Helena’s ordering water because she’s poor now and Tina and Henry are standing there with this look on their faces and Tina’s like, “Oh, you’re just going to like ignore us and move away from us? What, do we have a cootie?” I was like, “Okay, ‘cooties’ can only be used in the plural. It’s illegal to use cootie in the singular.” Therefore, Tina should be arrested.
Riese: Tina should be arrested and I don’t think Helena was ignoring them, she physically did not see them.
Carly: I didn’t see them. Did you see them?
Riese: I didn’t see them.
Carly: I didn’t see them. Helena didn’t see them either and also Helen’s kind of in her own head about what’s happening in her own life, and I don’t think she gives two shits about what’s happening with Tina and Henry and how they feel super excluded.
Riese: Yeah, I also … I don’t recall Helena saying anything biphobic ever?
Carly: Uhhh… nothing’s coming to mind. I don’t think of her when I think of the very biphobic characters on the show.
Riese: She says she doesn’t care. She hugs and kisses them and I think genuinely doesn’t care.
Carly: No, I don’t think she cares at all and also they’re ex-lovers and co-workers and they seem to have become good friends, so the fact that Tina is turning on someone who actually might be maybe her only ally in the group is … inspired. Then Helen is like, “Did you get the call?” Tina’s like, “Yeah, I got the call.” This man Aaron Kornbluth is about to become their new boss at the studio, and then Helena as she grabs her eight waters and leaves and goes, “A fellow Irishman no doubt.” Then Tina and Henry are like, “Was that anti-semitic? I think that might have been anti-semitic. I hope that wasn’t anti-semitic.” Okay, what the fuck is going on?
Riese: First of all, who’s Jewish? Is Henry Jewish?
Carly: I love that Tina cares. Does Tina care about anti-semitism all of a sudden? Does she care about things? Maybe Henry is Jewish? We don’t know that he’s Jewish. I actually tried to do some research on this to see if there was something here. The only thing I could find was that like, historically Brits hate the Irish. That is the only thing I could find.
Riese: It would be so random for Helena to suddenly become someone who did anti-semitic microaggressions towards anyone.
Carly: Anyone, let alone someone who’s not Jewish and someone who might be Jewish.
Riese: Right.
Carly: This is the most … I don’t know what was happening here, truly.
Riese: I feel like if Helena did, if she was, if by “a fellow Irishman” she meant like “a fellow Jewish person,” I don’t think she would have meant it as like a dig. I think she doesn’t have any awareness of what’s okay to say and not because she’s lived in a bubble.
Carly: I think it was some weird British thing. This was so completely confusing. I had completely forgotten about this too. This was …
Riese: Yeah, me too.

Tina looks at Helena aghast with Henry looking like a real asshole behind her. Tina is saying "Like we have some sort of heterosexual cootie."
Carly: I was like, “This was in here? What?” Anyway, yeah, more Shane covered in blood limping down the streets of Los Angeles. Okay, then another insane thing happens at this book event.
Riese: Kit gets on stage she’s introducing Jenny and she’s giving her really glowing words about the book and what a wonderful person Jenny is. But then the crowd, there’s a little wrestle in the crowd. There’s a little unrest in the crowd.

On the stage for her reading. Kit in an all-black ensemble is on the mic, Jenny in a flowing dress is next to her. Kit is holding Jenny's hands. Jenny looks like she just saw a ghost. Caption reads: [faint murmuring]

Carly: There’s a little unrest because there’s a tall lady wearing a fedora skulking through the crowd, pulling focus from Jenny.
Riese: Then Kit looks up to see. “who is the dark stranger who’s weaving her way through the crowd attracting attention?” It’s Marina.
Carly: Oh, yeah, it is. Kit says …

Kit: Oh, my god. Girl, where you been?

Riese: Kit abandons the stage and goes to Hug Marina?

Marina shows up at Jenny's reading. Tina is standing behind her holding a drink. Subtitles read, "[Cheering]"
Carly: As if everyone at this event knows who that is, and wouldn’t be utterly confused.
Riese: Yeah.
Carly: Also constantly just upstaging Jenny’s moment and her face is priceless.
Riese: Yeah. Then she answers some questions, Marina answers some questions about her activities.
Carly: She does a Q&A with the crowd. She does a Q&A with the crowd.
Riese: We’re doing a pre show Q&A for somebody who this event has nothing to do with, except that she’s probably in the book.
Carly: Oh, for sure. Also, the whole main cast of characters seem to have all this affinity towards Marina when I don’t remember that being a real thing.
Riese: Yeah, so we learn that Marina is there on a work trip and she’s staying at the Bel Air so she can face her demons.
Carly: Of course.
Riese: Because allegedly that’s where she tried to kill herself last season, I guess.
Carly: Sure.
Riese: Also, I would like to say that Sex in the City did this better.
Carly: Well done. Well played. Yes.
Riese: They did.
Carly: They did, yeah.
Riese: When Mr. Big came to Carrie’s reading. If you want to see how to do that plot correctly, that’s how you do it, okay?
Carly: I think it would have been so much more interesting to just have a moment where Jenny’s like up there getting all this praise, and then she actually starts her own event where she says a few words and looks out in the crowd, and suddenly realizes that this person who dismantled her is in the room. That would have been so much more effective.
Riese: Because she asked a question, because Mr. Big asked a question about his character in the book and Marina could ask a question about her character, and then that would be interesting. But Jenny looks like season one Jenny. Her face is like, “Oh my god.”
Carly: Emmy for Mia.
Riese: Yeah.
Carly: Then this is so weird, Marina’s like, “I feel like I’m interrupting something. Ladies and gentlemen Jenny Schecter. Everybody’s like, “Wait what? Who are you?”
Riese: Like … She’s also in full shape shifting mode.
Carly: Wait, is this the scene … Yeah, Kit twice in the scene says ladies, ladies, ladies and gentlemen. She says that twice. What? What? Okay, sure.
Riese: When you skip on past the reading to get to the after.
Carly: Right, we get a shot of Shane limping and we come back. This is the scene where I wrote, “I know Riese will have notes on this so I am skipping it,” so have at it.
Riese: Okay, so Claude has some questions about Marina. Jenny doesn’t really want to answer them. But she does say that Marina was her first. Then Marina gets to the front of the line. Marina is such a smarmy bitch, and she says, again — criminal! illegal action! Illegal speech! What she’s about to say is not protected by the First Amendment! And she should get a citizen’s arrest for saying …

Marina: Your story’s wonderful, beautifully written and it reminds me of Dorothy Allison with a chic of Mary Gaitskill.

Riese: These are two of my favorite authors. This is the second time she’s been compared to Mary Gaitskill. Burr Connors did it before. I believe this is a second time she’s spent compared to Dorothy Allison. This is unfair and wrong and also every single fucking time they compare her to an author, it’s always one of my favorite authors, always!
Carly: This is specifically a direct attack at you.
Riese: Yes. You guys … I’ve never met anyone who loves Mary … Oh, wait I’ve met one person who loves Mary Gaitskill as much as I do. I fucking like love her. And Dorothy Allison! Then Marina’s like that review compared to you to Truman Capote and is it Claude that-
Carly: Yes.
Riese: … corrects her? Is like, no, they compared her to Holly Golightly. That’s different and Marina’s like, “Better, don’t you think?” And it’s not. Marina says that she’s proud of Jenny and ask if she’s well. She’s being so cocky and like, I know that I’m upsetting you. I know that I’m ruining your event. I know that I’m dismantling you and I’m relishing in this experience..

At the table at her book-signing, Jenny and Claude are looking up (at Marina, who is out of the frame.) Jenny has a stack of books in front of her and is looking at claude confused as Claude says 'They compared her to Holly Golightly"
Carly: She is in Jenny’s head and just like when your dog comes in from being out in the rain and just rolls around on everything and just like fucks it up, that is what Marina is doing inside of Jenny’s brain.
Riese: Then we find out that Marina has a perfectly normal job at this time, which is that she is-
Marina: I’m touring with a group of dancers and their benefactor. I raise money and find the theaters and they’re very unusual.
Riese: Okay, we’re going to get back to that later in the season.
Carly: Is it Cirque du solei?
Riese: Yeah, just someone should’ve been like “Is it Riverdance, be honest?” Come on. Come on.
Carly: Is it Celtic Woman, remember them?
Riese: “Is it the Nutcracker, be honest?” Then Claude asked Jenny if she could ask Marina if they could have sex with her.
Carly: She turns to Jenny and goes, “Do you think she’ll have sex with us? Could you ask?” That was my really good French impression?
Riese: Yeah, no, I believed it. I believe you studied in Paris even—
Carly: I didddddd….. Not.
Riese: Then more Shane. Shane’s walking around.
Carly: Limping around. Shane’s walk of shame. Then I guess we’re at the Bel Air.
Riese: Yeah, somehow? I think that they didn’t show us how this happened because they didn’t know how in the world this would happen.
Carly: They were like, “We need this to be the final scene. However, we do not know how to get there. Therefore, we just will just show nothing.
Riese: We’ll just be there.
Carly: Sure.
Riese: They’re going into Marina’s hotel and it seems Jenny’s like medium on it? And Claude is DTF,
Carly: Raring to go.
Riese: Marina, I think so then she starts hooking up with Marina. Marina is talking in French?
Carly: Oh, yeah. There’s a lot of French. The subtitle said it was French I think.
Riese: Okay, she’s talking in French.
Carly: Everyone’s talking in French. Jenny looks like she wants to die a little bit. She looks miserable. I legitimately had a moment here in this scene where I actually felt for Jenny. I thought you’d be proud of me for that.
Riese: I am proud of you. I do think it’s a rare moment this season when we actually see her as a real emotionally full person.
Carly: Yeah, that’s going to be few and far between. Then she says, “Well, my New York Times review goes up at midnight, so I got to go. You should stay Claude. Okay, bye.”
Riese: Marina, like puts her hand on Jenny’s face and Jenny is like, “No.”
Carly: Is that the last we see of Claude?
Riese: Yeah. She leaves Claude with her. I hope she goes home and like steals Claude’s clothes from her suitcase.
Carly: Yeah, she should steal some clothes.
Riese: She has to go home because her New York Times review will be posted at midnight. But it’s obviously more that having a threesome with this woman who destroyed her is a terrible idea. She could just masturbate at home.
Carly: I’m proud of Jenny for realizing that.
Riese: Yeah, not everyone would.

In a hotel room with wallpaper that looks like a forest. Marina is lying on the bed. Dim lighting. Claude and Jenny are standing up, making out.

Carly: I’m proud of her for realizing it was a terrible idea, yeah. All right, so here’s where things get even more ridiculous. Shane, having walked all the way to West Hollywood from wherever she was on the 101 and her car accident, finally gets home. She’s looking for her spare key. We see that someone is lurking on the porch. It’s none other than Karla, Shane’s stepmother that we’ve only seen one time previously in the finale of season three.
Riese: Shane says, “I’m sorry that Gabe let you down and made you think you could change him?” Carla’s just been lying on the floor. Carla is very upset because Gabe left her for the floozy. None of this makes sense. Then Carla says she left Shane a gift on the back porch. Here’s what the gift could be,:A giant teddy bear. A box of meat, different kinds of meats, like Bette had when she came home.
Carly: Okay, yeah could be.
Riese: It could be a mobile for a nursery.
Carly: It could be.
Riese: It could be some books. Some used books.
Carly: It could be like maybe she went to wax and got some of Shane’s hair product for Shane as a fun gag gift. It could be a vest that you could gig in. It could be, I’m sorry, did I say Wax and not do the guitar riff? You know what? We’re going to leave that, let’s leave that in season three.
Riese: Everyone loves it.
Carly: All right, fine. [DOES WAX GUITAR RIFF]
Riese: It could be like an Amazon box that just has a toothbrush in it, but they sent it in a really big box.
Carly: Yes, they do that.

It's dark out, Shane is dirty. She's looking at Carla (off-screen) who is saying, "I try to eat, I puke my guts up."

Riese: It could be all kinds of things. But unfortunately, it’s not any of those things. Shane first walks through the house where there’s like a sex mess everywhere.
Carly: Sex mess. That’s funny.
Riese: She gets a beer from the fridge, opens up the back door and the present is a human child.
Carly: Not a baby either. Like… how old was Shay?
Riese: I don’t know… eight?
Carly: 10, eight? Like a full child.
Riese: A full grown child with their whole … He has a whole life experiences and I don’t understand … I don’t understand this to the degree that I thought this whole time I remembered it as Gabe leaving Shay not Carla.
Carly: Yeah, I didn’t I didn’t really remember how Shay showed up honestly.
Riese: I know that they did this storyline because Kate Moennig told Ilene Chaiken she wanted to do something like this. She wanted to have Shane have to raise a child for some reason, because she wanted to do like a more, something with her role that went beyond like the romantic and sexual stuff. I’m not sure how specific she got about that. But I know that was the impetus. But I do think they could have set it up a little better.
Carly: What parents would do this? What the fuck is Carla doing? What is Carla’s life like outside of what’s his face, Gabe? Is that it? Yeah.
Riese: Yeah.
Carly: She doesn’t have any family, any friends, anything. She had to come to see Shane, who she just met for two seconds and went to her, saw what a mess she was when she didn’t show up to her own wedding. This was her idea.
Riese: Yes, so ridiculous and weird. It will be an interesting journey for Shane. But it’s still so random. It doesn’t really make sense because it doesn’t … why anything? Then Shane — who by the way still has blood on her face — If I was going to leave my kid with someone, first of all I wouldn’t. Second of all, I wouldn’t describe the human child as a gift.

A young boy in a hoodie looks into a house. He is on the porch, where he has been left by his mother. He looks confused, obviously

Carly: Second of all I’d make sure they weren’t covered in blood.
Riese: Third, if they came home reeking of alcohol, seawater, mommi sex, cocaine, citrus keys, car accident and had blood all over their face or wearing the same outfit I saw them in when I last saw them three days ago, I would not leave a child with that person. Then Shane’s reaction to this is to run out onto the Sunset Boulevard, which is a little bit of a trek from her home and yell.

Shane: Carla!

Carly: It’s a very streetcar named Shane situation.
Riese: Oh, Carla had called it turns out but Shane’s phone was in the sea.
Carly: The ocean. Yeah, and that’s the episode.


Carly: Season four really is like, “Hey, what’s up? I’m season four. I’m here and I’m going to fuck you up.” That’s season four coming in hot.
Riese: I was shocked to learn that my friend Kayla, this is her favorite season. It was definitely not my favorite season.
Carly: It might be my favorite season.
Riese: Really?
Carly: It’s possible. I look back on season four as like having a lot of episodes that I like in it, like at least two episodes that I can … I think I just … I don’t think I have a favorite season is the problem, because I don’t think there’s one season of show that is worthy of being called a favorite, so that’s the problem.
Riese: I would say season one. For me, it’d be season one, season five … season two, season four, season three, season six.
Carly: I think I liked season four more than you did for sure. But also I’m about to rewatch it and it’s very possible that I’m going to hate it, so let’s go on this journey together.
Riese: Yeah, because I’m also not sure if part of my feelings about it were affected by the fact that this is when I started recapping, which involved a lot of like really analyzing it a lot, but it was ages ago so I don’t really remember what I said. Also that it became a huge part of my life and I was annoyed, because I had so much to say about the earlier episodes, and I was like … I think it was like they add so many people to the cast this season, and it gets a little …
Carly: In one fell swoop to they don’t like gradually, really. Tasha comes later, but they are just like, “Yo, what’s up? Here’s Phyllis. Here’s Jodi, here’s Papi and Shay,” and then—
Riese: Yeah, Paige! I love her. They do bring, they bring in a few. I love Kristanna Loken, who’s going to be in the season. I love Tasha who starts this season. I love Jodi.
Carly: Love Tasha, love Jodi.
Riese: Papi is incredibly problematic. I guess we’ll get into that.
Carly: We sure will.
Riese: Is there anything that you remembered about this differently than when you first saw it or felt differently about this season? I don’t remember seeing this.
Carly: I don’t remember. I remember moments from this episode, but I don’t remember a feeling about the premiere episode really.
Riese: Yeah.
Carly: In retrospect, I’m like, “Wow,” it was really setting it up to be crazy.
Riese: Yeah, it had no sex scenes unless you count Jenny and Claude. But probably everyone was really excited to see Marina.
Carly: That’s true people seem to like Marina a lot.

Riese: We did it!
Carly: Here we are. We did it.
Riese: We did it on the internet.
Carly: We did it. We did it and this is how we’ll be doing this for the foreseeable future.
Riese: Yes, what a time-
Carly: What a time.
Riese: … we’re all having.
Carly: All right, so if you want to connect with us and with the show, you could follow the show. It’s to L and Back. You could follow Autostraddle, which is Autostraddle. You could follow Riese who’s @autowin. You could follow me I’m Carlytron. We also have an email address to [email protected]. We’ve got a hotline 971-217-6130. We’ve got merch, store.autostraddle.com. We’ve got shirts, stickers, cute stuff.
Riese: You really should follow us on Instagram, because we’re like really, really close to 5,000 followers, so close.
Carly: Oh man. Once we get to 10,000 we get the swipe up on stories.
Riese: Yeah you should follow us-
Carly: So step it up.
Riese: … since we’re all pod people now anyway, and that’s how we exist.
Carly: We want that swipe.
Riese: We’re heading for that sweet, sweet swipe spot.
Carly: Our theme song is by Be Steadwell. Our logo is by Cara Sykes and this podcast was produced and edited by Lauren Klein. Time for the first L WORDS of season four!
Riese: One, two, three: lemon keys.
Carly: Los Angeles. What did you say?
Riese: I said lemon keys because that’s … Shane’s key smelled like lemons, so they are lemon keys.
Carly: I love it.
Riese: I said lemon.
Carly: I said Los Angeles.
Riese: Yeah, that’s good. That’s where it’s set. That’s where the show’s set so that’s like, that’s cute, I like it.
Carly: They actually shot some of it in Los Angeles and I’m in Los Angeles right now which is also-
Riese: I’m in Los Angeles.
Carly: … where I’ve been for every episode, but I felt talking about it right now.
Riese: Yeah, now we’re really in Los Angeles because we’re really just in our homes, really in it, we’re just really inside.
Carly: That’s the real Los Angeles experience.
Riese: Yeah, it sure is. Athleisure indoors.
Carly: Oh, yeah, I’m wearing a flannel shirt but I’m also wearing joggers.
Riese: Yeah, I normally work from home, but during this I have gone off the rails in terms of work from home behavior.
Carly: Yeah.
Riese: I haven’t worn jeans in two weeks.
Carly: I only wear jeans when I leave the house. And then when I’m in the house, I put my sweats back on.
Riese: Yeah.
Carly: Yeah. It’s weird. Okay, bye.
Riese: Bye, guys. Stay safe out there inside if you can.
Carly: Yeah, shelter in place.
Riese: Shelter in place is the cool thing to do.

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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 3213 articles for us.


  1. If she just yelled “arson arson” in speeches instead of saying vague stuff about education Bette would be Governor of California by now.

  2. Wait, Shane is a Gemini? Don’t we know Shane’s birthday is in the beginning of the year?

      • i asked marja about that in our interview actually because you know, iT’S V IMPORTANT!

        Riese: There were no holidays on the original series! Besides Angelica’s six month birthday.

        Marja: We do Shane’s birthday. Shane’s fortieth. that’s it. In the first eight. It’s because the air dates don’t—

        Riese: Are you sticking with Shane being a Gemini?

        Marja: Is Shane a Gemini? Not on this show! Election day is March 15th. (Ed: This means Shane is a Pisces.) You can write a whole piece about that. I’m sure someone will.

  3. As always, I’m grateful for this podcast and the beautiful bananas nonsense that is TLW season 4.

  4. I started rewatching season 1 thanks to *2020* and noticed Kit dj-ing in a scene and not even wearing a vest.

    Thanks for making every Monday better btw with the podcast!

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