“To L and Back” L Word Podcast Episode 404: Layup With Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

TV Critic and Season 4 Enthusiast Kayla Kumari who you already know from THIS WEBSITE RIGHT HERE joins us for THE BASKETBALL EPISODE! This week, Phyllis gets a little oral sex education, Bette meets Famous Sculptor Jodi Lerner for the first time and it goes TERRIBLY, Nadia’s dreams get dashed, Hazel the Nanny ruins our lives, certified goddess Paige meets Shane at School of Rock Night and everybody gathers for one of the best scenes in L Word History: Bougie Bitches vs. Papi’s Team in a basketball game to remember. Don’t throw it to Jenny!!!

Close up of Alice's sweaty face as she lays in bed while Phyllis goes down on her. Her eyes are slightly rolled back as she says, "Okay, bigger circles."

Jenny in a white top and red lipstick standing outside at the dog adoption place. She says, "Oh, yeah, I've dealt with, uh, incontinence a lot."

Papi is wearing a fedora and hoop earrings. She says, "She was one fucking hot-ass old lady."

Phyllis (wearing a white sparkly blazer) says to Bette (whose back is to the camera), "He and George W. grew up playing GI Joes together."

Shay (wearing a yellow tank top that reads, "Don't blame me, blame my parents!") has handed Shane a green flyer from school. Shane is sitting at the kitchen table. Shane looks at it and says, "Back to school night?"

Alice is wearing a brown top and sitting on the toilet, talking on her cell phone. She says, "Yes, I'm peeing."

Overhead shot of Bette standing on a dark concrete floor as she enters Jodi's studio. Subtitles read, "[Metallic grinding]"

Jodi is holding a giant drill and has a shocked look on her face as she sees Bette (whose back is to the camera). Jodi yells, "Oh, God!"

Bette looks at Jodi. Bette looks apprehensive, says, "Uh, there's a radical sculpture in the studio that's crude, and brilliant, and enormous."

Tom wearing an orange button up. He says to Bette, "She's the parasitic twin of Valerie Solanas."

Jenny (wearing a yellow cardigan and a gingham bandana on her head) is driving a convertible with Sounder sitting in her lap. She says, "I am so allergic to you."

A piece of art in which George W. Bush's head is on a baby doll's body, floating in a see-through sphere. He is holding two missiles that read "US Air Force" on them in each of his tiny babydoll hands.

Two dudes in the waiting room of a vet's office. One of them is holding a small dog and says to the receptionist, "She's eaten a quarter-pound of Kona coffee."

A veterinarian with a short blonde gay haircut is wearing scrubs and a stethoscope around her neck. She says to Jenny, "Most kids played doctor when they were kids, I played vet."

Helena and Alice in their apartment hallway. Alice is in a white t-shirt and her back is to the camera. Helena is in a green t-shirt and holding a small basketball. Helena says, "I'm knackered."

Angus looks over his shoulder at Mikey's nanny, a woman with a short blonde pixie cut. She says to Angus, "You're way too hot to be a papa."

Helena, Shane, and Jenny are shopping for basketball shoes. There is a wall of shoes on display behind them. Jenny says, "She'll think it's very, very sexy."

Kit is in a shoe store and looks at Jenny (who is off camera) looking concerned. Kit says to Jenny, "You smelling like an old dog today."

Bette is wearing a bright white blazer and pacing around the classroom giving a lecture. She says, "In fact, Jeanette Winterson..."

Shane (wearing a red t-shirt under a black blazer) leans against a green chalkboard in Shay's classroom. There is a smiley face and a house drawn on it.

Paige (wearing a tie dye cardigan) is flirting with Shane and says that they should do a play date with her kid and Shay at Wax.

A drawing that Shay drew of his family. In the picture, Shane has a skateboard and is holding hands with Shay. Off in the corner are Shay's mom and dad.

Bette is outside at night holding two plastic bowling pins, one red and one yellow. Alice is trying to convince Bette to play on their basketball team, saying that she's going to have Phyllis made Bette play. Alice says, "Oh, it's so clever, I can't believe myself."

The whole crew (Alice, Jenny, Helena, Kit, Bette, and Shane) are wearing purple jerseys and walking onto the basketball court, looking way more confident than they probably should be.

Papi and her basketball team look and smile condescendingly at Alice and her team.

Kit, Alice, Bette, Jenny, Shane, Helena, and Tina are huddling on the basketball court. Tina has just showed up to play. Jenny doesn't want Tina to play, saying, "But it's a lesbian game, Tina."

Bette blocking Papi on the basketball court.

Alice and Bette on the basketball court. Alice yells at Jenny (who is off screen), "Put the fucking coffee down!"

Alice right in the middle of slapping someone in the face while playing basketball.

Alice staring down and standing VERY close to one of her opponents on the basketball court.

Alice (in a purple basketball jersey) mid-scream on the basketball court. Tina (in a white polo shirt) is running behind her.

Jenny, Shane, Bette, Tina, and one of their opponents on the basketball court. Jenny has just grabbed the ball and says, "Don't touch me!"

Jenny is hugging the ball close to her chest on the basketball court. One of her opponents has her hands raised in the air.

Jenny sitting on some concrete steps with her legs crossed, smoking a cigarette.

Papi looks competitively at Helena on the basketball court. Papi says, "Two from the line for my British bombshell."

Helena and Alice stand face-to-face looking seriously at each other. Alice says to her, "Do that thing" right before Helena takes a free throw shot.

Helena, Alice, Bette, and Jenny sit around a round table at The Planet after the basketball game. Bette raises her glass for a toast and says, "Well, here's to the bougie asses."

Shane stands in white brief underwear and topless for a photoshoot. Her hands are covering her boobs, as two people prep her for a photoshoot.

Shane is topless and wearing white brief underwear for her underwear photoshoot. Her hands are covering her boobs as she looks seriously at the camera.

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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. For some reason my memory of this episode was affected by years of rewatching Friday Night Lights and I thought the Bougie Ass Babes or Whatever had improbably won this game and watching it again I kept thinking I can’t believe they expect us to believe they could win. Relieved to be wrong, what a glorious third act of television. Bravo.

  2. I hope you guys talked about Alice using a loooooot of toilet paper while she was on the phone and peeing. I get it, I do. You do need to wipe the back too but do you really need THAT much toilet paper? Does Alice have a big pussy or something? Like what the fuck is going on there Lol

    Anyway, I love the part when Jenny is drinking a latte (or whatever it is) during the game.
    Then she’s on the phone and then pretending to freak out while protecting the ball in her arms lol

  3. I’ve been looking forward to this episode ever since I heard Kayla mention on an A-Camp panel that Season 4 was her favorite :)
    Also, so glad the Helena/Lagaan connection was discussed–I was so surprised when I saw her in a Bollywood movie! What a career. (Please let Helena be in Gen Q Season 2, I want to see what toppiness hijinks she’s up to now)

  4. I have been waiting for this!

    This was my first ever L word episode. I had been avoiding the show for a long time, knowing it would make me gay (spoiler: it did!)

    But then I found myself alone in a hotel room and it was on and suddenly I was paying very close attention.

    What an incredible episode of television…somehow I saw this at the time and thought, yes, I need more of this in my life. Miraculous

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