“To L and Back” L Word Podcast Episode 503: Lady of the Lake

Let’s go lesbians! Get your gaydar guns, feather your hair and pick up the phone, Shane hasn’t had sex for three entire days and WOW her mind is clean as a whistle, so. Meanwhile, Jodi and Bette are heading to Big Bear for Bette to read a novel at a picnic table while everybody plays football and has morning mojitos! Tasha gets an info packet on her homosexual behavior, Tina goes on a date with a heart surgeon who collects art, Max loves his new video camera, and we’re gonna find out who’s on top and who’s on bottom now.

The usual:

Riese: Hi everyone. I’m Riese.

Carly: Hi, I’m Carly.

Riese and Carly: And this is… To L And Back!

Carly: Wow, yeah, all right. Look, sometimes that’s just how it is.

Riese: Yeah, we are who we are, everyone is who they are. And we’re doing a bunch of recordings early because we’re trying to work in a new transcription schedule. So it’s just me and Carly again for the third week in a row.

Carly: We are trying to get ahead of the game here so we can get all those hot and fresh transcripts out there with this podcast.

Riese: Piping hot transcripts which by the way-

Carly: Just scalding hot transcripts.

Riese: Are on autostraddle.com.

Carly: Autostraddle.com is really the reason we’re both here today.

Riese: It is, yeah. And the reason Autostraddle.com is here today is The L Word.

Carly: Exactly. It’s all coming back around.

Riese: Oh, wait. I had an important note for this episode.

Carly: Oh my God, what?

Riese: That I saw, I looked at the beginning of my recap, I didn’t look at the rest of it. That in the beginning of my recap for this episode that I wrote in 2008, I had some pre-show notes or whatever, which were mostly like, “I’m going through a rough time. I’m sorry if this isn’t funny.”

Carly: Oh God.

Riese: This was like two days after the Nevis thing, you know what I’m talking about.

Carly: Oh my goddddd

Riese: Again, it’ll be in the book! So the note I had at the beginning of my recap was, “Carly says we didn’t invite her to watch the show this week, which isn’t true. We texted her at about two o’clock twice to see if she wanted to hang out and got no response. Then, when we decided to watch the show on Saturday night, we somehow miscommunicated that Alex had reached out once again and told Carly about her plans. Alex has since confirmed that she did not do that. Still, though, I’ve got her opinion and I will be sharing it with you in a little bit, also we love her, et cetera.” So just for the record, we did not watch this episode together.

Carly: Wow, it sounds like 2008 me was really insecure.

Riese: I think it was just a really bad week in our lives.

Carly: It was a bad week in our lives, a truly, very, very bad week in our lives, which is so funny because now we’re living through a terrible year in our lives, which is great, just 12 years later, 12 years and many months later.

Riese: That’s what life, is you get older and more bad things happen.

Carly: Exactly.

Riese: But if you go to sleep at 11:00 and wake up at 8:00 that’s like nine hours that you don’t even have to think about any of that stuff.

Carly: Riese, last night, I looked at Robin and I said, “I can’t keep my eyes open. What is too early to go to bed?” I looked at the time it was 9:15, and we were both were like, we’re going to bed,” and we did.

Riese: Oh my God, what time did you wake up?

Carly: Like 8:00? It’s fucking beautiful, I slept a million hours.

Riese: I’ve been moving it up a little earlier. But for me, that means 11:00.

Carly: I got up because I had a doctor’s appointment this morning so I had to get up earlier. Otherwise, I would probably be in bed well past 8:00, well, well past 8:00. I’m really more of a night person than a morning person.

Riese: Me too, but I’m trying to be a morning person because…. Why? I mean, I don’t know why.

Carly: I don’t know why I’m sharing-

Riese: It’s because everyone, people are on the East Coast and it’s really stressful when I wake up and I open Slack and there’s 20,000 notifications for me and then the first thing I feel every day is anxiety, which is probably relatable to many of you.

Carly: Yeah, whenever I wake up and I’m doing anything that involves people on the East coast, I am stressed out immediately. Because if I just decide to sleep in, which is frequently, given our current situation.

Riese: And it’s also a hundred percent legal.

Carly: Totally legal, not doing anything that could get me thrown in prison with Helena and Dusty. Then it’s like, “Hey, Carly it’s 2:00 PM here.” And I’m like, “Oh, whose fault is that?” Oh, it’s mine.

Riese: All right guys.

Carly: Today in lesbian history, we’ve got Episode 503 called Lady of the Lake written by Ilene Chaiken and directed by the prolific Tricia Brock. I think this is her fourth and final episode of directing The L Word. She directed episodes in previous seasons and is like a hugely popular episodic TV director, directs all the time, super talented.

Riese: Tell me more about Ilene Chaiken.

Carly: More about Ilene Chaiken. I hear she’s into birds and that she created the show, can you believe that?

Riese: I mean, that’s amazing.

Carly: I mean good for her.

Riese: That’s the dream, right?

Carly: Yes! This episode aired, January 20th, 2008.

Riese: Every time that I think of this title, I think for some reason of Land O’Lakes margarine, is it margarine?

Carly: Is it technically butter? I don’t know.

Riese: I mean, maybe it’s not. I can’t believe that it’s not.

Carly: I don’t remember. I was just looking up the “Lady of the Lake” reference.

Riese: Maybe they just made it up.

Carly: I mean, no, it’s a real thing, she’s an enchantress and pops up in King Arthur times.

Riese: And episode 503 of the—

Carly: The title of the episode of The L Word that we’re talking about today.

Riese: Yeah, I’m like a little bit less excited about this episode than I was last week because I think that this is not the best of the season for sure.

Carly: It is not, no, there’s some moments.

Riese: Yeah, it has some moments.

Carly: The opening this moment is pretty spectacular.

Riese: The opening is fun.

Carly: Should we get into it?

Riese: Yeah, let’s get into it.


Riese: Okay, we open, Alice has had a dream about the film, but in the film they’re Charlie’s Angels.

Carly: Exactly.

Riese: I don’t actually know, I haven’t even seen any of the Charlie’s Angels movie. So Carly, take it from here.

Carly: I don’t know. Oh, you just assume I know shit about Charlie’s Angels? There’s three of them, they have that kind of Farrah Fawcett blowout going and they fight bad guys. And there’s Charlie, who’s sort of this voice that comes from a phone, a speakerphone, and tells them their missions and then… that’s truly all I could tell you about them. And the movies starring Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore are great.

Riese: In this film dream sequence, Alice has feathered hair and Shane has long hair and they’re all very 70s. Everyone looks great, everybody looks great.

Carly: Kate Moennig is doing like a [tries to do it] high-pitched voice.

Shane:Well, of course you’re in, but are you sure this gaydar guns are really going to work?

Riese: Kate is doing this like as a reading in her friend’s living room? Where she’s like, “I’m not going to really do this part.” Every line she does, I’m like come on.

Carly: Everything is in slow motion or fake slow motion. My favorite bit is fake slow motion, I’ve done it many times and it always makes me laugh. So Tina is the boss and she is in drag.

Riese: Tina looks like a tiny boy who’s drowning in her little suit, she looks like little cartoon character.

Carly: Yeah, they have gaydar guns and she keeps referring to them as, “Okay, lesbians,” Which made me think of like the Billy Eichner, “let’s go lesbians” thing but this was way before then!

Riese: I know! It’s like this was like foreshadowing for that.

Carly: Yeah, and I guess, for the reboot of Charlie’s Angels that starred what’s her face, the lesbian.

Riese: Kristen Stewart.

Carly: Kristen Stewart. “What’s her name? You know the gay one.”

Riese: Maybe she wants to be on the podcast. You know what? I bet you a million dollars that if you were like, “Hey Kristen Stewart, have you seen The L Word?” She’d be like, “Uhhh, I mean, no…… no.”

Carly: Yeah, that would be her exact response.

Riese: You guys can’t see my face, but just close your eyes.

Carly: No, it’s accurate, it’s like you’re channeling her whole energy.

Riese: Anyway, it was a big day for wigs.

Alice, Helena and Shane dressed in 70s outfits as Charlie's Angels. Tina in an oversized suit. Caption says "Okay Lesbians, What Do You Think?"

Carly: It was a big day for wigs, it was a big day for Leisha Hailey doing the most, I mean she shines.

Riese: She was giving it her all as aforementioned, Kate was giving a solid three, Helena was just letting her body speak for herself and then Jenny walks in wearing that same outfit that she wore in the pilot episode, that she wore in the beginning episode of her rewriting of the pilot episode, they put the gun on Alice and she’s still bisexual guys!

Carly: Yeah, which is so funny because the show doesn’t acknowledge it outside of this dream that Alice had, which must mean that only Alice knows that she’s bisexual anymore.

Riese: It’s just a private, personal thing for herself, and she doesn’t need to share everything with everybody because she’s a private person.

Carly: Even though Tina keeps calling them lesbians and right … Alice is SO private.

Riese: Lesbians is a really fun word.

Carly: It is a fun word. It’s a fun word just like you said. Oh, also we didn’t say that Bette is Charlie, she’s like the voice from the speakerphone.

Riese: But as Bev.

Carly: But as Bev, of course, because obviously, and then Helena is, of course, Helen, because that is very convincing, just really brilliant work. Helen. So they run in slow motion. Also, this whole scene is set at The Planet, which adds a layer of silliness to it. They’re like, “Wow, we’re spending all the money on this sequence on wigs and these three plastic guns, we can’t do a cool like a shootout with a car or something, let’s just do it at The Planet.”

Riese: Yeah, everyone loves The Planet.

Carly: That’s where people hang out.

Riese: Yeah, it’s like where all the cool kids hang out and where they make a lot of money, anyway.

Carly: So Shane hits Jenny with a gaydar gun and it just starts like cycling between the different options and then we just go to the theme song.

Riese: This was just fanservice. There was absolutely nothing that happened in that.

Carly: I love the cold opens of Season Five so much so far.

Riese: It was fun though, it was very fun.

Carly: They’re just so silly and fun and seem just specifically for the fans, which is great. They don’t really make any sense with the episodes because it’s them kind of talking about the movie, but none of the things they’re talking about are actually in the movie.

Riese: Yeah, we’re getting a little break because after this, it’s just moving movie, movie, movie, movie, movie! But first let’s go to the gym, which honestly made me think about the gym.

Carly: I really miss going to the gym.

Riese: And how much I missed going to the gym.

Carly: I try to work out at home and as it turns out, I truly hate working out at home.

Riese: Well, the thing is I’m really easy on myself at home, I’m like, “Probably three bicep curls was enough.”

Carly: Well, yeah, my home workouts are like, “What can I do in 15 minutes with two hand weights and limited imagination and energy.”

Riese: Maybe Shane can tell you because Shane’s at the gym right now. Shane has been at the gym since 5:30 AM because Shane isn’t having sex, Shane’s just lifting weights. A bridesmaid threw a rock through her window, I bet Jenny didn’t care for that. And Alice and Tina pop in, just hop on the bikes and start pedaling away into nowhere and talking to Shane about her cleanse.

Carly: She’s like, “I’m freakishly clear-headed, I’m highly energized.” I have a question, and again, it’s about timeline because this is The L Word. How long has she sworn off sex? Is this like day one, day two? Because she’s acting like it’s been going on forever.

Riese: (weird voice) This is DAY THREE.

Carly: Day three, wow, okay, huge, changes in her life.

Riese: Whaaaaaaaaaaat?!!! Does this mean she was having sex every day?

Carly: I think so. I mean at the wedding she had sex three times and that’s in one day.

Riese: Yeah I guess if you’re looking at an average and she did three people that day then, maybe if the next day she took a day off, your average for the week would still be seven times or whatever.

Carly: Right exactly.

Riese: If she’s sleeping with someone every night, where are those girls?

Shane doing push-ups at the gym. The caption reads, "thereby eliminating the main cause of insanity in my life."

Carly: Where are those scenes, who are these women? I can’t believe we’re being robbed of all of this because she’s acting as if sex had taken over her life. In a way that must mean that she… Well, look, she doesn’t have a job anymore because her job burned down. So I guess she has a lot of free time, although she is going to be doing hair on the movie, but that hasn’t started yet. Anyway, Jenny and Adele are also at the gym.

Riese: Yes, and they’re just amazed that first of all that, first of all, Adele is in the gym in jeans, and second of all, that Adele is serving Jenny, which of course she is, you know?

Carly: She is her little butler.

Riese: Right, and they’re like, Tina, you need to date someone else and Tina doesn’t know what to date and then we get a little advertisement for-

Carly: For OurChart, OurChart.

Riese: Ourchart.com.

Carly: “We should go to OurChart and look at some member profiles!”

Riese: [high pitched deranged commercial voice] “doo doo doo doo doo! It’s so much fun, that’s where all the lesbians are!”

Carly: They keep cutting back to Jenny and Adele and everything they’re doing is-

Riese: Three days!!!!

Carly: Fucking crazy it’s-

Riese: Three days!!!

Carly: Three days, it’s just ridiculous. Alice and Shane acknowledge that Tina is a snob in this scene, which I think is relevant to a scene that’s going to come up later, so I just want to just state that.

Riese: Oh my God you’re right.

Carly: I know and we will come back around to that later on.

Riese: Yeah, we will. First, we’re going to go to The Planet.

Carly: The Planet.

Riese: Tom is oogling Max. Grace is here…. In a shirt.

Carly: Grace is here. I really never thought we were going to see Grace again. I completely forgot she was going to show up again.

Grace talking to Max, saying "the last trans guy I dated wasn't into men at all."

Riese: Wow I wonder how we forget about her?

Carly: They don’t explain what happened with her when Max left Illinois.

Riese: Because no one cares.

Carly: They don’t explain where she’s been this whole time, we don’t even know if they’re actually dating anymore.

Riese: They went up to San Francisco, they’re not dating anymore, I don’t know why they broke up.

Carly: We don’t know why they broke up. Yeah, that’s right, they went to San Francisco. Max didn’t have surgery. Came back. Because she’s from the Bay, like Grace is from San Francisco.

Riese: Yeah, because she says that’s where all the butch women are —

Carly: Exactly, they don’t have those in that LA, we’re all sold out.

Riese: Speaking of butch women, oh my God. So Max knows that Tom is checking him out. And he’s like, “I don’t like guys.” And then Grace is like, “Sometimes after transition, you change like who you’re attracted to.” And then she talks about the last trans man she dated, Jake. But when she talks about Jake in past tense, she uses female pronouns.

Carly: Yeah, great job Grace, so close to not fucking it up. Also, if you had previously dated a trans man, the fact that you were so shitty to Max, when you guys first started dating, you said some really fucked up shit to Max last season that I would like to think if you had dated a trans man, maybe you wouldn’t do, but what do I know?

Riese: She’s just a mirage.

Carly: She’s just in a mystery.

Riese: Anyway, so Jake used to be a “gold star butch lesbian,” in case you wanted to hear your “gold star” again today.


Riese: And then Max says, “I read somewhere that same sex attraction is what’s encoded to us from birth.” But I mean like Max says that when we’re born; we’re born gay, basically and then we become straight, which I don’t think is true… But yeah, changing who you’re attracted to after transition, I feel is common, right?

Carly: I think it is. I don’t obviously have the data to support that, but it feels like it’s pretty common. Anyway, I like this for Max, I want him to talk to Tom, so let’s we’ll see what happens.

Riese: Yeah, we’ll see what happens. Then we go to the locker room where everyone wants to touch Shane.

Carly: Oh my God. A woman straight up starts touching Shane’s bare stomach. I lost my mind at that point.

Riese: “Oh great abs can I touch them?” WHAT?! Absolutely not!!

Carly: Abbbbbbbbsolutely not??? Hooooo.

Riese: Heheheheh…. But seriously, what the fuck? Have you ever asked a stranger if you can touch their abs?

Carly: Have you ever asked a stranger if you could touch a part of their body?

Riese: No, I mean, I’ve had strangers touch my body parts because I used to live in New York.

Carly: Right, exactly, same.

Riese: Which was a delight every time.

Carly: Yeah, I loved it.

Riese: Shane’s not going to last because, apparently, women just randomly want to touch her body or something, she’s like, “Don’t touch me.” Which is I think a fair way to feel all the time.

Carly: I don’t ever want any person to touch me, a stranger. I don’t want it like a stranger, a random person to touch me.

Riese: Anyway, they have Alice lose her keys so that she can turn and face a poster.

Carly: That was very stupid.

Riese: For The Pink Ride because-

Carly: Sponsored by the Subaru!

Riese: The Subaru Pink Ride, it’s for breast cancer, Jenny’s doing it.

Carly: She’s already training for it actually.

Riese: She’s training for it.

Jenny: I’m doing it, I’ve been training for it!
Alice: You are?
Jenny: Yeah.
Tina: Well, maybe we should all do it.
Shane: Do what?
Jenny: It’s called the Subaru Pink Ride and it’s for breast cancer research.

Riese: And they’re like, “Well, we should do it, we could be Team Dana.” And then someone’s like, “you have to invite Jodi” and Tina’s like UGGGHHHH.

Carly: (imitating Tina but in a very deep voice) “But she didn’t even know Dana.”

Jenny: Yeah, but she has breasts, right?
Tina: Good point.

Tina and Alice doing their makeup. Tina says, "yeah, but she has breasts, right?"

Carly: So they do all remember who Dana is, which I know we were confused about last week, but they do remember her. And Jenny really reiterates how crucial it is to train for this or you will not make it.

Jenny: You guys you have to train for this, it’s so hard. If you don’t, you’re not going to finish it.

Riese: Whatever. And then Alice has to lie about Tasha still being in town, that’s the whole reason she said Tasha should train them, was to lead into that. Yes, speaking of, Carly’s favorite character, Dusty.

Carly: It’s my favorite character. Really steals all of season five.

Riese: We go to jail.

Carly: Back to jail, we’re out in the yard.

Riese: Yeah, and Helena looks incredible.

Carly: Helena looks amazing. Helena is totally feeling herself and is feeling prison, she’s super into prison now. Remember last week when she was freaking out and Kit explained what the words are and the week before she was super panicked? Now she’s rolled up the sleeves on her jumpsuit, she has a toothpick in her mouth-

Riese: She has a fucking toothpick in her mouth.

Carly: And that is how you know that she is into prison now.

Helena in the yard at jail with a toothpick in her mouth, looking confident. The caption says "Feeling Good?"

Riese: Exactly, it’s sort of like when Piper became — whatever, you know — except that Piper was sort of like a psychopath so it was a little bit different. And then she walks over to Dusty, says all the money has been collected and then they exchange a kiss on the mouth.

Carly: A little mouth kissing, right in front of everybody.

Riese: Right on the plucker!

Carly: Oh God, so we go back to The Planet where Bette joins Tom and Jodi to tell them that she has to cancel on Big Bear this weekend because she has to go to a David Hockney reception at The Hammer and if she doesn’t attend, she’s going to fucking kill herself.

Riese: I love David Hockney.

Carly: I don’t really have an opinion because I guess I could google—.

Riese: I would love to see David Hockney but I also love Big Bear so I would have a… But you know what? Jodi, doesn’t let her get away with that shit.

Carly: No, she’s like “my friends and I have been doing this for 11 years.” This was the first time I was going to bring someone with me so you can’t cancel. Good for her.

Riese: And Bette’s like, okay! Yeah, good for her.

Carly: Good for you, Jodi, don’t let Bette get away with her Bette shit.

Riese: And now it’s time for a word from our sponsor, OurChart. Let’s pull up the webbernet and find the little girlie girlie for TiTi. They explain how to look at people’s profiles.

Carly: They explain search filters.

Riese: They show us a white woman with dreadlocks.

Carly: Could have done without that.

Computer screen with an OurChart profile pulled up.

Riese: They talk about books. Nancy Drew: good or bad? I would say good.

Carly: I would also say good.

Riese: I feel like it’s like you’re in touch with yourself. Also, Alice says, “there’s nothing wrong with meeting someone on the internet,” just so you know. My first laugh of this day was Tom saying something to Max and Max responding with —

Max: Yes, it’s a Panasonic DVX 100, it’s amazing.
Tom: Are you going to hook it up to the computer?
Shane: We’re recording over firewire.
Max: Yeah, it makes it possible for us to record onto the computer’s hard drive at the same time as we’re recording onto the video camera.
Tom: I don’t have the fucking slightest idea what you’re talking about, but sounds awesome.

Riese: I don’t know why I just died. It’s very romantic.

Carly: Anyway, it’s also a very good way to, I think, if you’re… I would not recommend doing that in the middle of a cafe, I just feel like you’re just asking for trouble, that’s not the most fool proof situation.

Riese: Yeah good luck editing that. Good luck, back to our date hunters. They’re scrolling through some profiles and they land on one who they think is good. And then Shane’s like, “No, not her.” Because-

Carly: Shane has slept with everybody on OurChart.

Riese: Yeah, Shane’s like, “she’s just a little crazy in bed if you know what I mean”… and I don’t?

Carly: No, I don’t either, that could mean any number of things and also nothing, it means nothing.

Riese: Maybe Tina wants someone who’s crazy in bed. Anyway, this comes back around in Gen Q in the finale when they’re looking on the dating app and Dani has already slept with the girl with the birds.

Carly: I was thinking that too. I was like, that’s a cute moment, yeah.

Riese: It was funny, I mean, it’s part of the whole conceit of the episode, which is like, “Shane is really horny.” So good luck to everybody on the internet.

Carly: Man, I’m just reminiscing about the Panasonic DVX 100. It really was the gold standard of DV cameras at the time. But man, in retrospect, piece of shit, no, I mean, at the time it was incredible. Anyway, nobody cares about this. So we go to the military.

Riese: Yeah, it’s like someone put together a little packet about all the cool things that Tasha has done in her life and then handed it to this asshole dude who’s so pissed that he has to represent Tasha in her homosexual conduct case.

Carly: Yes, it’s the same captain from last week who clearly does not want to represent her, he’s being real pissy.

Beech in his office at the military base reading from a package of papers, "with a group of women who were openly lesbian"

Riese: Beech is a real bitch. These are Tasha’s offenses: Number one, at the horse races, was hanging out with visible lesbians.

Carly: Visible known lesbians.

Riese: Known lesbians.

Carly: Openly lesbian women at a horse track.

Riese: Yeah, and you all know about lesbians and horses and also Madison the bride from last time and horses and also horses in general, which are, they’re an animal. And she had an arm — there was an arm around Tasha shoulder, which everybody knows is sex.

Carly: Everyone knows that that is clearly gay behavior.

Riese: Yeah no straight person puts their arm on someone’s shoulder.

Carly: That is publicly gay behavior. And then her second allegation was that she was seen having a ‘lover’s quarrel’, one of my personal favorite phrases — right after “canoodling” — with the same woman who was the woman attached to the arm that was draped on her shoulder, right outside the base.

Riese: Yeah, and then we have a real curve ball.

Carly: Yeah, didn’t see this coming.

Riese: She allegedly gave preferential treatment towards this woman, which — a man made this complaint, right? He’s upset that a woman got promoted over him? Oh yeah, she gets into that later. But I’d already assumed it here because-

Carly: Because, of course.

Riese: Listen, anyway, Tasha’s fucked.

Carly: Yeah, the accusation is that she showed preferential treatment to this soldier because they were dating and she’s like, “That’s not true.”

Riese: Was that her friend?

Carly: Yeah, I think so.

Riese: Yeah, it was her friend.

Carly: Yeah, that we saw, yes. So she’s like-

Riese: That’s a cold piece of shit. This is just… yeah.

Carly: The whole thing is just rude. But the onus will be on her in this upcoming trial to prove that all of these things are lies, which is very difficult to do because two of them are true.

Riese: Right, she’ll just be like, “it was a fake arm. It wasn’t a real arm. It was a pretend arm. We were testing out fake arms for an artist show, because Bette’s an artist, a known artist.”

Carly: Yeah, Jodi always has parts lying around, mannequin parts.

Riese: Or they could say what every fucking straight celebrity says about their very, very gay Instagram feeds, which is that those are just their friends, Taylor Swift, and also every fucking celebrity on Instagram. I feel like female celebrities these days want everyone to wonder if they’re having gay sex with their friends.

Carly: I think so. I think it’s all on purpose.

Riese: Yeah, I wouldn’t know this, but it’s part of my job. So I have to look into it. There are several celebrities specifically who I think are really fucking with me.

Carly: [hoarse whisper] We always know.

Riese: Yeah, we always know, if you’re gay, heads up we know. We don’t even need a [gaydar] gun or an outfit or a wig to know, even sitting here.

Carly: Yeah, we don’t even need to know you, we know.

Riese: Yeah, fun fact, everyone is born gay. Max said it earlier in this episode, he read it somewhere. Grace said, “there you go” and now it’s the same to all of you.

Carly: It’s true, fact.

Riese: Read a facts.

Carly: Get the facts, read the facts, the facts contain facts.

Riese: I love the facty facts.

Carly: The only kind of facts I’ll take. So we’re back at The Planet. Jodi and Alice are shooting Alice’s video podcast in a crowded cafe mid day, once again, and they’re talking about sex. And Alice is learning all sorts of American sign language for various terms like “lesbian,” and “fucking” and whatever.

Riese: And cunnilingus.

Carly: Cunnilingus and like- That’s funny, great!

Riese: And we find out that Jodi is very… I mean, we already knew this, but Jodi’s like very sexual and like is, would never have lesbian by death EVER. And is just-

Carly: That’s so funny that she thinks she has control over something like that!!! That chooses you, my friend. And also I hate the phrase lesbian by death more than I hate —

Riese: (interrupts like a rabid monster) ME TOO!

Carly: I want that phrase abolished, that phrase should be illegal. But this scene gives us Tom and Max kind of making little heart eyes at each other, which I loved. And then there’s a moment where Alice tries to get Jodi to kind of settle the top off once and for all. And she does not take the bait. Kit’s like, “Ugh, gross,” which is really funny. But she implies switchiness.

Riese: Yeah, she said last night Bette was the one who said it to her that she wanted to fuck her last night. [these next few lines were said with deep attention to hyperbole and sarcasm. We use sarcasm throughout this transcript and don’t indicate that we’ve done so because it’s obvious, but we want to be explicitly clear here that what we are saying is deliberately hyperbolic and sarcastitc] Because just so you know, lesbian couples have sex every day.

Carly: Every single night, every single day and every single night.

Riese: And if you don’t want to have sex every day, there’s something really wrong with you.

Carly: Profoundly deeply troubled and wrong with you and you should probably never leave your house. (/sarcasm)

Jodi is trying to teach sign language to Alice, who is trying to do the sign for "cunnilingus." They're in The Planet, filming a video podcast.

Riese: So my note is “Alice wants to know who’s on top, who’s on bottom now.” Oh, from the Christopher Guest movie Parker Posey? She’s like, “Who’s on top, who’s on bottom now?” In her little Dairy Queen outfit. You know what I’m talking about?

Carly: Oh my God. Oh my God. I just re-watched that recently. It’s on Hulu, Waiting for Guffman is on Hulu, actually all-

Riese: They added all the Christopher Guest-

Carly: All Christopher Guest movies are on Hulu, public service announcement, very important. If you want-

Riese: More Jane Lynch, right?

Carly: Yeah, if you want some time to just forget about the world and escape into a very silly universe, highly recommend; very white, very extremely white universe. So take that, take that for what it is.

Riese: Back to the army office where Tasha is still being like, “No, I did not promote that girl because we were dating.” Basically, she’s telling, she like tells the whole story. Because he says like she, I guess before letting someone touch her lower back, she should have thought about that. He’s like, “You should’ve thought about that before you decided to become a lesbian.”

Carly: And then she says.

Tasha: Let me clarify to you, Beech. I never decided to become a lesbian, but I decided to join the service. I graduated second in my ROTC class, I have a bronze star with V for Valor, for saving the lives of three American and two Iraqi soldiers after an IED attack in Tal Afar. I watched my staff sergeant, Robert Gantz, get his stomach blown open after a mortar attack and held him in my arms as he died, which by the way, was not a romantic embrace either. And I believe in American democracy and I’m willing to risk my life for my country. Do you really think I don’t belong in this army?

Carly: And I got excited because I was like, “Oh, is she going to explain why she wants to be in the military in the scene?” Not really.

Riese: She says, “I believe in American democracy. And I’m willing to give my life for this country.”

Carly: That is exactly what she says. That’s the closest we get to learning about the inner workings of Tasha’s mind and why she’s doing what she’s doing.

Riese: I’m just profoundly curious how Tasha has grown up in a world where she feels like American democracy is working in her favor. I mean, clearly, it’s not!!!

Tasha is annoyed in her meeting with her counsel, who is saying "I'm going to assume you're not a lesbian."

Carly: She’s literally about to be kicked out of the army, the thing that she seems to care about very much, because of, in fact, her identity.

Riese: Right, but also I mean, this is if we divorce all of our feelings about this politically, which is hard, but let’s just go for it. She’s worked really hard in this field of work. And she has made a lot of achievements in it and she’s not going to give those up.

Carly: She listed all of those accomplishments, all of her awards from army, she list all the people that she’s watched die, which I feel like is really sticking it to that guy because that captain, didn’t she say in the last episode that he’s never even been out? He’s never seen any action? So she’s just kind of reminding him of like some real shit that she’s been through. And then he’s like, “I hope that girl that is constantly around you is your cousin” —.

Riese: Which…?

Carly: And I just want to take a moment to congratulate Alice for pretty much being the reason that Tasha is in this situation, just really want to congratulate her once again on all of the great judgments she has shown.

Riese: But also as we learned from our guest, there’s no universe in which Alice ever could have gotten into that base to have a lovers quarrel to begin with. So it’s really the security guards’ fault and it’s actually really Ilene Chaiken’s fault if you think about it. Who also still, as of this moment, has yet to invite either of us to her pool.

Carly: What if I had been invited and didn’t tell you—.

Riese: I honestly would be SO MAD at you.

Carly: —and like right now we were on FaceTime and like you just saw my eyes kind of get like wide and I’d be like, “Yeah, she hasn’t invited either of us.”

Riese: I would be mad at you like you were mad at me in 2008 for allegedly not inviting you to watch episode 503 with us.

Carly: I just want you to know that I don’t even want to go to Ilene Chaiken’s pool, but I want that for you so badly. I would die for your right to go to Ilene Chaiken pool.

Riese: Thank you so much.

Carly: You’re so welcome.

Riese: I believe in — I don’t know what I believe in anymore. It’s been really weird month.

Carly: It’s been a tough go of it for most of rest of the show-

Riese: America sucks, America blows. And Tasha is upset. She’s fucked.

Carly: She’s super fucked.

Riese: What’s she going to do?

Carly: She’s fucked and she knows it.

Riese: Also, still very attractive.

Carly: Oh, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

Riese: Every time they zoom in on her face, I’m just like, “This is such a nice face.”

Carly: “Look at your perfect face!’

Riese: Back at The Planet—

Carly: I wrote “back at The Planet” in my notes!

Riese: “She’s from Slovakia” is the first line we hear.

Carly: That’s a great way to cut to fucking scene. They’re still poking around on OurChart for Tina, sad, lonely Tina. And then, okay, this was hard to watch, honestly. Max walks up to the girls and he’s like, “Hey Alice, I made a podcast and I really want to talk to you about it.” And like-

Riese: Just so you know, he’s handing her a laptop.

Carly: He’s like physically handing her an entire computer, which is hilarious. But also, Alice’s response is the rudest that she’s like, “Oh, I’m busy, not right now.” And she’s busy fucking around on OurChart with her dumb friends. And she’s like a huge asshole to him and super dismissive. And I was just like-

Riese: She’s mad! She’s like, “You made a podcast? You? You?”

Carly: Like, what the fuck?

Riese: And also Alice doesn’t even know what a podcast is. She doesn’t even have a podcast. She has a video show on OurChart.com.

Carly: She has a vlog, she has like a YouTube internet.

Riese: I know this because I used to have vlogs and I never called them podcasts, ever.

Carly: You could call it a vodcast and then you’d have to let me punch you in the face.

Riese: Well, now, it’s time for another commercial. And this one is actually going to sell me, unlike OurChart. I wouldn’t mind having that Lexus that Bette and Jodi are whisking themselves away into, I wouldn’t mind driving that right up to Ilene Chaiken’s pool tomorrow.

Carly: Or right up to Big Bear. I would be thrilled to drive up to the mountains.

Riese: Jodi keeps signing while she’s driving, which makes Bette nervous. Jodi is just explaining her friends who apparently they’ve never spoken about before.

Carly: Ever. She also takes Bette’s phone from her and hides it, which I thought was wonderful.

Riese: I loved that, yeah.

Carly: Oh, but this is the scene — in this scene, Jodi calls Bette a snob, which is true. And there’s a whole lot of snobbishness happening in this episode that really makes you think these two are kind of perfect for each other in like a “you deserve each other” sort of way.

Riese: It’s okay to be a snob, just date another stob and you can be snobs together. Have little snobship. That’s a real word. Try it in the spelling game, it won’t work. Then we go to Alice’s.

Carly: She gets home. Tasha catches her up on everything and tells her that she’s going to have to lie in order to win to which Alice very rightly points out, “Doesn’t that go against the entire code of whatever honor or whatever it is that you took, the oath you gave whatever when you joined the military?” Yeah, that’s the conundrum, isn’t it, Alice?

Riese: Also, Alice looks at the little info packet about all of Tasha’s problems and dalliances, and it’s like, “Oh my name’s not in here.” And Tasha is like, “Trust me, Alice, they know where you are.” And Alice’s like, “Oh, it’s the military.” And I’m like, “Okay.”

Carly: No, it’s because you’re loud and around all the time.

Riese: Or because her phones are tapped and there’s a drone.

Carly: Either way, Alice is-

Riese: Or cameras, have you seen Scandal?

Carly: Yes, of course, I’ve seen Scandal. I love Scandal.

Riese: Remember when he put cameras in her house?

Carly: Oh my God, yes.

Riese: The only show on which anyone’s ever put cameras at anyone’s house?

Carly: No, it’s only happened on Scandal.

Riese: Yeah, it’s just happened on this one show, Scandal. So I know it’s possible definitely. Cameras everywhere. Yeah, and they’re just watching Alice pick her nose and draw names on the Chart. She’s getting a few days off from the chart because Shane hasn’t slept with anyone in three days.

Tasha and Alice sitting on Alice's couch, Alice reading the report on Tasha'a homosexual conduct. Caption says "believe me, Alice, they know who you are."

Carly: Shane’s dying. Alice is like, “Do you need me to disappear? I can do it. I can be discreet. I can disappear for a while.” And I’m just like, “Alice, where the fuck was this when Tasha was asking you to respect her boundaries?” This is driving me insane.

Riese: Shit’s getting real now.

Carly: I’m losing my mind watching these scenes. I’m just like, “Alice, wake up.”

Riese: I guess it’s like…the thing is that Tasha is gay. So it is Alice’s behavior that illuminated her gayness. But probably it might’ve happened anyway with someone else?

Carly: Of course, it’s not like this is completely fabricated, these accusations or whatever. And I’m not sitting here like advocating for someone to stay in the closet for their job, but given what the show has allowed us to know about both of them and their relationship up until this point, it makes me feel really insane watching these scenes where she’s like, “Oh, I can be discrete now.” What the fuck? Tasha asked you for that in the past and you could not do it, so.

Riese: Well, shit’s getting real. Then we have a scene that’s like basically in pitch darkness, I could barely see it.

Carly: I was like, “what is going? Why are we even seeing this scene?”

Riese: I’m too old for this scene!

Carly: I like had to put on my glasses like a boob.

Riese: Jodi and Bette have arrived late at the Lake house. It is dark, very dark. So I don’t know what the fuck happened. I couldn’t see anything.

Carly: Couldn’t see anything. We go-

Riese: Back in jail.

Carly: Back to jail, and Helena and Dusty are doing everyone’s favorite quarantine activity, puzzling!

Riese: Puzzling in the dark. And they’re looking at Bora Bora and talking about — Dusty has an island, it sounds like? Probably Helena has an island too.

Carly: I’m sure the Peabodys have multiple islands.

Riese: She’s looking at a map of Bora Bora and all these other islands. I don’t know if they made this puzzle themselves, but it’s very cute. But! Special delivery for Helena Peabody! She has a visitor.

Carly: But it’s 10:00 PM! Well, she’s got friends in high places and I think we all know who this is going to be because her name was in the opening credits of the episode.

Riese: Barack Obama.

Carly: Yeah, exactly.

Riese: Thought he’d just stop by and get a Peabody out of prison, but it’s not him. It’s Peggy Peabody.

Carly: Peggy Peabody!!! We love Peggy Peabody here at To L and Back, though there’s some stuff she says in this episode that is deeply upsetting.

Riese: This was not the Peggy that I love.

Carly: No, it wasn’t.

Riese: But people are multifaceted and I don’t understand the conversation that she had with the young woman in the jail runway.

Carly: Nope.

Inmate: Ooh, let me eat your pussy.
Peggy: Were I receptive to such a proposition, it would first require a full booty check. And where are you to pass muster, baby, I’d give it to your family style.

Peggy Peabody is walking by jail cells, says to an inmate "Baby, I'd give it to you family style."

Riese: Okay, this is my understanding of “family style.”

Carly: Like a buffet?

Riese: Dinner at a table and there’s like big dishes like, here, all the spaghetti is on one plate and then everyone takes a bit of the spaghetti or like a big thing of salad, everyone takes it from that, so-

Carly: That’s totally my understanding of family style as well.

Riese: What does that have to do with oral sexuals?

Carly: Oralsexuals? Some people are homosexuals, some people are heterosexual, some people are oralsexuals.

Riese: You’d be surprised how many words are out there.

Carly: I don’t know, Riese. I don’t know what this has to do with anything in this scene.

Riese: Well, but I hope we get 10000 comments about it.

Carly: Yes, please.

Riese: Everybody tell us what it means or what you think it means and then also a moment to remember The Olive Garden.

Carly: I would like to request that no one tell us what they think this means or what this means. I’d prefer to just continue to exist without that information.

Riese: But you know this inmate — she knew what she wanted and she wasn’t afraid to say it.

Carly: She went for it.

Riese: She went for it, you know she —

Riese and Carly: She shot her shot!

Riese: “I would like to eat your pussy.” She just said it.

Carly: And Peggy had a fine retort ready to go. And it was great. Except for the part that didn’t really make any sense. But like-

Riese: We don’t know what it means.

Carly: But the spirit behind it was wonderful.

Riese: Yeah, it was very like… Yeah, it was great. She says that she was out of touch because she was on a treasure hunt.

Carly: On a great random Greek island. I wrote down “no idea, rich people stuff, illegal shit.”

Riese: Here’s a funny story, Carly.

Carly: Tell me.

Riese: Merely two hours ago on this very day, Carmen was asking for help with the headline to a post. And the headline was going to reference an article that it was an interview of Holland Taylor in the interview with Holland Taylor, which is on Vulture, Holland Taylor says that a lot of this specific part, the thing she’s talking about, like the little birds or whatever, like bones or something that they found, That was something she improvised because a friend of hers was an archeologist or something. And I was like, I just watched that scene today.

Carly: That is so weird. Oh my God. I’m going to go read that when we’re done recording this.

Riese: Yeah, it’s a good interview.

Carly: Nice, she walks and he goes, (Fake snobby accent) “Don’t worry, darling, mummy’s here.” Which I love.

Riese: I did love that. That’s the kind of family style that I like. I really hope it doesn’t mean something gross. I’m going to be embarrassed. But also Helena, you guys, the prison system in this country? It’s bad. The idea that Helena is like basically saying she’s going to stay in prison to like be with Dusty? No, no, she wouldn’t do that. She has options. She has a world; prison is bad, it’s really bad. All of the prisons in this country are terrible, terrible places that are — everything about the way that the prison system in this country is run is inhumane and I don’t know, a curse upon everybody who’s a part of it.

Carly: Yes, agreed profusely. So really what-

Riese: This kind of annoyed me.

Carly: But yeah, I mean, I don’t think you should be fighting to stay in prison. I think you should be fighting to get out and then get Dusty out.

Riese: Yeah, help, do something. Get out and write a book called “Orange is the New Black.”

Carly: Or just become an advocate for prison abolition, that could have been her new storyline.

Riese: Yeah, it could have been.

Carly: But it’s not.

Riese: Helena Peabody.

Carly: Helen Peabody?

Riese: Helen Peabody. She says she’s there and she’s happy to pay her debt. And her mummy says.

Peggy: Pull yourself together. For God’s sake, you’re a Peabody.
Helena: What difference does that make?
Peggy: Peabodys don’t have debts, darling, not to anyone and certainly, not to society.

Riese: Do you think the Peabodys have money tied up in private prisons?

Carly: I think the Peabodys probably have money tied up in some real fucked up shit. I definitely would like to point out that in episode 501, Helena wanted nothing more than for her mother to come and get her out of prison. She mentioned it many times. Alice was trying to get in touch with her and now she finally shows up and that was two episodes ago and she’s like, “No, I’m good, thanks. I’m in love now.”

Riese: “I’m really popular here, so.”

Carly: “I hated prison two episodes ago, but like I love it now so you can go.”

Riese: She does because she met a girl who she likes, but also here’s the thing about Helena that I think we all have to understand. She’s not that bright.

Carly: She’s really not, it’s a real bummer.

Riese: When she gets into somebody like she’s into Dusty right now — when she’s into someone, she has complete tunnel vision, literally nothing else in the world matters. She barely can even see the person, she’s so obsessed with the person. There’s very little that’s consistent about her character, but making really bad romantic decisions is very Helena.

Carly: Bad romantic decisions or life decisions based on whoever she’s into at the moment. Yeah, you’re right. Being British and that are the only things about her character that have remained consistent on the show.

Riese: And she has nice abs, but I would not touch them unless she wanted me to in a situation.

Carly: Unless she’s like, “Please touch,” She’s like, “Oh, please touch my abdominals.” And then you’d be like-

Riese: “Okay, fine. Does it tickle?” Big Bear!

Carly: Big Bear, time for some morning mojitos.

Riese: They didn’t film this in Big Bear.

Carly: No, of course not. Morning mojitos, that’s a fun way to start a day.

Riese: You know how I know they didn’t film it in Big Bear?

Carly: How?

Riese: Because this cabin is CHOCK FULL OF CANADIANS!

Carly: Oh yeah, every last person in there is Canadian.

Riese: The clipboard girl is fucking there. The girl from the pride thing who Alice said, “Put that on your fucking clipboard.” And she was standing with the clipboard. She is back and she is making morning mojitos.

Carly: Making morning mojitos.

Riese: There’s a few Battlestar people in there, it’s a whole thing.

Carly: Bette and Jodi come downstairs. Everyone’s excited for morning mojitos but Bette’s like, “Oh, it’s too early.” She is clearly not in vacation mode, which is where she needs to be and she needs to get on the same page. They also then make fun of them for having very loud sex last night, which I guess is why they had to show that scene of them arriving so that-

Riese: In the dark.

Carly: Because that was kind of like a random.

Riese: Yeah, that makes sense. Because she’s like, “I’ll have you all to myself tonight.” Anyway, you know Bette, she loves to have sex and also make bad decisions around sex and pursue sex but she doesn’t want to talk about it.

Carly: Never.

Riese: She’s really uncomfortable. And the story is like, I mean, it definitely felt real, kind of actually in terms of like these sorts of things, but I don’t think that’s really trying very hard at all.

Carly: She could not be making less of an effort.

Two of Jodi's friends are telling Bette and Jodi that their sex last night sounded good. In the kitchen of the Big Bear cabin.

Riese: Even if you don’t like these people who you just met.

Carly: You just met them.

Riese: Just pretend!

Carly: Just try harder! This person you love, this is like their best friends in the world, so make some kind of an effort.

Riese: Drink a mojito.

Carly: Drink a goddamn mojito Bette, Jesus fucking Christ.

Riese: Mostly I was like, everyone’s so close together. And they’re like making a big group breakfast and I’m jealous.

Carly: Oh, yeah, I was like, “Oh, remember any of this?” We go back to the gym where, what is it? Day four of Shane celibacy.

Riese: Yeah, Shane’s now gone FOUR ENTIRE DAYS!

Carly: Can you call to see if it’s celibacy if it’s just only been for four days?

Riese: No, that’s like just isn’t… I mean, I don’t know, what do I know?

Carly: Yeah, what do we know? We’re not Shane, okay?

Riese: I’m not Shane. I thought I was Shane for a little while and-

Carly: I had the hair for a period of time, but-

Riese: I got the jeans Shane has been very accomplished.

Carly: In four days.

Riese: Yeah, I mean, this is a joke. This is a heightened, it’s inflated, it’s blown out because we all know we’ve all seen Shane, it’s not like having sex is taking up her whole life. And it never really has. Yeah, she likes to fuck and it’s led to some bad situations, but it hasn’t prevented her from having a career or anything.

Carly: No, she’s completely had a career this whole time.

Riese: She sounds like someone in quarantine, honestly.

Shane: So last night, I finally filled out an insurance paperwork to claim for the fire. I’m telling you, it’s been sitting on my desk for three weeks untouched, last night I do it start to finish.
Tina: Good for you Shane.
Shane: And then I went into my closet, got rid of all my old converse, all those low ass jeans that you always see me in, I started prioritizing my life.
Tina: What do you mean?
Shane: Setting goals for myself. I want to see Shay every three weeks and I want to quit smoking for sure. I’m telling you Tina, this celibacy thing is like a master cleanse to my body, you got to try it.

Carly: What is happening?

Riese: I was like, “Stop.”

Carly: I was like,” Calm down a bit. Calm down.”

Riese: That boy never had another acting job in his life including returning to this program.

Carly: Yeah, Tina teaches her a new word, salubrious.

Riese: I don’t know that word.

Carly: Shane says she’s memorizing 10 dictionary words a day. Basically in this scene, Shane becomes the Max Bloom of this show. Yes, that is a Happy Endings reference. A person who completely does not have their shit together all of a sudden trying to have their shit together but in a way that is very silly.

Riese: When Shane says like “going without sex is this big life master cleanse” then Tina’s like, “Oh God, I’ve gone without sex for way longer than that. And it definitely didn’t make me want to clean my closet.”

Carly: Yeah, it’s really very funny. I love Shane’s just like kind of manic energy here because it makes me think of me doing… Anything.

Riese: Back to Big Bear.

Carly: Back to Big Bear. Everyone’s outside playing football, Bette is sitting at a table, working?

Riese: I looked up the book because I was so fucking confused. She’s sitting there reading a book. She has a bunch of papers out like work papers. And like, am I a person who has had to do work when I’m with my girlfriend and her family or friends at something?

Carly: Yes, I am.

Riese: I am. However. Not to this degree.

Carly: No!

Riese: And also she’s reading a novel, a novel about like these twin brothers in Australia or something like that. This is not work. It’s not work. She’s literally reading a book because she doesn’t want to-

Carly: And taking notes on it?

Riese: I have no idea, none.

Carly: I’ve been in that situation where I’ve been at my wife’s home with her family and a work thing has come up and I’ve handled it in a way that I feel is appropriate and the opposite of what Bette did where I was deeply apologetic, let everyone know what was happening. Try to confine my work to one very specific amount of time on a specific day so that I could then rejoin them at a later moment.

Riese: But you know what’s better, even better than that though? Is just not doing the work.

Carly: Not doing work! I think going on vacation and actually being on vacation, which is something I always struggle with but-

Riese: I do too.

Carly: I think we’re both pretty similar in that regard.

Riese: Yep.

Carly: But when you’re actually able to set aside the time for a trip and make it a point not to work, it’s really wonderful. And then when you have to go back to real life, it’s sucks.

Riese: I’m much better at it now actually.

Carly: Me too.

Riese: But still, Bette’s is wrong.

Carly: Full stop.

Riese: Yeah, this is shitty. She should just play football or whatever. Or if she doesn’t want to play football, be a cheerleader.

Carly: At least participate, be a part of the activity, make a fucking effort.

Riese: Be the water girl.

Carly: Something, you could literally do anything.

Riese: And a guy is trying with her, he’s like, “Michelangelo built the Sistine chapel.” She like, “He actually just painted the ceiling,” which was funny. But he’s talking about their friend Michelangelo who’s a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. And he built the cabin, which they call “the Sistine chapel” for some inane reason. Michelangelo is, honestly, insufferable, as a person.

Carly: I did find him to be terribly annoying.

A man in a hoodie tells Bette, who is sitting at a picnic table reading a novel and taking notes, that they don't allow work here.

Riese: So Michelangelo, the insufferable friend over and is like.

Michelangelo: Bette hi, we need to recruit you onto our team.
Bette: I don’t really want to play.
Michelangelo: Yeah, it’s the lake or the game.
Bette: I’d like to stay here, thank you.
Michelangelo: Don’t make me do it, lake or the game.
Bette: Really, look.
Michelangelo: Okay, no problem, come on.
Bette: Hey, you asshole, let go—

Carly: He did warn her.

Riese: He did warn her, but Oh my God.

Carly: If anyone ever threw me in the lake, I would never speak to them again.

Riese: I wouldn’t never, and also like her hair is done, she’s wearing fancy clothes. You cannot just throw a woman in the lake and think that it’s going to be chill for them.

Carly: Oh my God, the title. Lady of the lake.

Riese: That’s Bette, she’s in the lake.

Carly: That’s the lady of the lake, I just got it.

Riese: I do wish I had an animated GIF of Bette being tossed the lake. Because Jodi, when she sees it, she’s like, “Oh my God.”

A terrible man carries Bette on his shoulder, about to throw her into the lake

Carly: She’s like, Oh, shit.”

Riese: Has anyone ever been like, “Oh, I’m so glad I got thrown in the lake.”?

Carly: No, no, no, no.

Riese: Do not put a woman who has done her hair and put on nice clothes into a lake, especially when it’s cold. Everything about that was really terrible and I hated it. First, Bette was an asshole and then Michelangelo was an asshole. So then who’s an asshole? Everyone.

Carly: I’m like, “Wow, just an asshole contest. I thought this was a vacation with mojitos.”

Riese: And Bette walks out and she’s furious, Jody reaches for her and she pushes her away, which honestly, I understand, I would be so mad.

Carly: I would be fuming mad.

Riese: Back to Shenny’s.

Carly: Shane has lit several candles and is trying to meditate another extremely dark scene where I was like, what is happening?

Riese: Shane has a Free City shirt.

Carly: Yes, so she can do anything.

Riese: She’s got some teal lights blazing. She’s trying to meditate.

Carly: Trying to relax.

Riese: Poor Max, Max just wants someone, anyone —

Carly: Max just wants someone to pay attention to him in his podcast! Poor, poor Max.

Riese: You know who would love… I bet Tom would watch it.

Carly: I bet Tom would love to watch the fucking podcast.

Riese: So Jenny is like, “I can’t, I have to go to a screening.” Max is like, “Someone watch my Podcast!!!” You know who will look at Max’s podcast?

Carly: Shane.

Riese: Shane. Shane will look at the fucking podcast, Shane’s mind is clear. It’s probably been five days.

Max, shoulders up shot, saying "I made this podcast"

Carly: But, you know what? We’re never going to know this week anything about this because that’s the last we see of this scene.

Riese: You know who wants to see Max’s podcast? Me.

Carly: Yeah, me too.

Riese: Show it, show it to me, even though you can’t actually show anyone at podcast.

Carly: You can point out where you can stream it, anywhere.

Riese: Or maybe he transcribes it, like we do now.

Carly: We go back to Big Bear, everyone’s hanging out and it appears they are preparing dinner.

Riese: Yeah, and they’ve really split up all the tasks between 10 different people. That’s not a kitchen, I would be able to thrive in, with the space.

Carly: This is stressful, I’m like a “set the table at the most” kind of guy. Pour some drinks, set a table, I can’t do anything. But I would definitely do that. So anyway, Bette wanders in and it’s super awkward, clearly, no one has seen her since the lake incident.

Riese: Because also being thrown in the lake is embarrassing.

Carly: Oh yeah.

Riese: So it’s like, she’s been humiliated.

Carly: Yeah, she knows that they all have an opinion of her now. That she didn’t really do much to avoid them having a negative opinion of her because she was making zero effort. But now this whole incident has happened. So now everything’s very awkward. Someone’s like, “Oh, make some food.” She’s like,” I don’t know how to do that.”

Riese: Oh, make the roux.

Carly: Make the roux.

Riese: She doesn’t have any fucking idea how to—

Carly: She doesn’t know how to make anything.

Riese: I don’t know how to make a roux either, so.

Carly: I don’t know how to make anything. I can make pasta, and frozen items and sandwiches, that’s all I can do.

Riese: And then there’s this really weird conversation that there’s really no right way to have, where Michelangelo — again, total asshole.

Michelangelo: So, Bette what are you doing to help restore some equanimity in this fucking ridiculous overpriced art market?
Bette: What am I doing?
Michelangelo: Well, you’re a big mover and a shaker, aren’t you? You could be doing something.
Bette: Actually, I’m the Dean of a University Art department.
Michelangelo: Okay, but you’re a big collector, right? So let me tell you about the show that I curated last month at the Jackson Hole Arts Center. I mean, there were at least 10 paintings that were every bit as good as the Eric Fishel that you have in your collection.

Carly: This is a very like antagonistic way to start a conversation with someone that you’re already on very shaky ground with.

Riese: You just threw her in the fucking lake, maybe ask her what her favorite color is.

Bette in a red cardigan looking at a man and she is not happy about this man

Carly: Maybe get to know each other. All you know of her is what Jodi has told you about her. So you threw her in a lake and now you’re going to talk about the overpriced inaccessibility of art, which is a valid topic, but what on earth is she going to do about it?

Riese: No one’s ever going to do anything about it, just so everyone knows. Yhat’s nothing, that’s never going to change, it’s just is what it is.

Carly: The art world has always been like this.

Riese: Yeah, I also don’t care, but he cares because he had a stupid little fucking art show in Wyoming and there were at least 10 paintings there that were better than one of Bette’s pictures or whatever.

Carly: In her collection that he assumed she owns.

Riese: Yeah, and Bette is like,” I don’t think so.”

Carly: She becomes super snobby about art, but he’s also kind of antagonizing her.

Riese: And I kind of liked it.

Carly: So I didn’t really mind it, it’s not helping her win any points here. Neither of them are doing a very good job of making this cool.

Riese: Also, as a small business owner who is in a line of work that most straight parents and stuff, don’t really know about or anything like that. I get a lot of unsolicited opinions from strangers all the time, often strangers who are friends or family of someone I’m dating and there’s ways to handle it.

Carly: Yeah, there’s definitely ways that Bette could have handled this.

Riese: Do I have to even say, yeah.

Carly: But she-

Riese: I mean, she eventually does.

Carly: She eventually gets there, but she starts off by just being like, “I’m so sure. None of that art is anywhere near as good and also you were right, I did have that artist work in my personal collection.” And then she admits though that she has not seen a community art show in a very long time and she would love to see the pieces that he’s excited about. And he loses his entire mind over that.

Riese: Yeah, that was gross.

Carly: He was like, “I fucking love you, you’re the fucking best, oh my God, yeah.” He’s high fiving, he’s losing it. I was like, “What, how, what? We’re not best friends.” I don’t like people that get really, really, really, way too familiar when you don’t know them at all. Nope, I don’t have time for that.

Riese: Tina is having a date.

Carly: Oh my God, Tina’s on a date with a cardiologist whose name I don’t think we ever get to learn.

Riese: Well, let’s call her Brenda because she looks like a Brenda.

Carly: There’s one character, there’s one actress in the IMDb for this episode listed as Brenda and there’s no photo for her and it’s the only person that could be this actress because I looked through every other female actress’s name in this episode that I didn’t know what they already look like. So actually her name might be Brenda, cardiologist.

Riese: So Tina and Brenda are going… it’s a short scene. They’re back at Brenda’s home. Tina apologizes for talking about her ex, they’re going to have some wine.

Carly: And she realizes that, hey, Brenda’s an art collector as well.

Riese: Yeah, so they might both be snobs, who knows?

Carly: And that’s what we’ve learned is that snobs should date snobs.

Riese: Exactly. We go back to The Planet and as you guys know, The Planet sells pear polenta tarts for $8 or $9 million each. So there’s a lot of cash.

Carly: And that’s going to attract some attention.

Riese: It’s going to attract some attention, it’s basically like a diamond store or like a diamond gold store.

Carly: It’s a jeweler, basically, an upscale jewelry place. And basically, those have all sorts of crazy security measures and The Planet has none of them.

Riese: No, they’re just putting money in a bag but then two guys come in with guns and hold Kit up and she has to give them her money which is really sad. And Kit’s obviously really scared.

Carly: I hated that scene.

Riese: I want to give you a moment to process that… with some random cityscape footage!

Carly: Oh my God, so many shots. Aerial shots of LA at night.

Riese: Is this just so we can decompress before we go back to the sex tape?

Carly: Which is exactly what we do. We go back to the date, with Tina and the cardiologists.

Riese: Yeah, it’s a date, they’re talking about their boobs.

Carly: Talking about boobs.

Riese: They’re talking about boobs. And the cardiologist has had hers augmented. Someone says “nice tits” to someone else.

Tina and Brenda are hooking up. Caption reads "You have really great tits"

Carly: I think she says it to Tina, and then Tina is like blown away by the augmentation.

Riese: Right, well, Bette never took her bra off so this is the first time Tina’s seeing boobs.

Carly: This is big, because she’s never seen boobs.

Riese: Oh wait, she saw Helena’s boobs.

Carly: Right, so this is only the second pair of breasts she’s seen that aren’t hers.

Riese: Yeah, so big day for Tina.

Carly: Good for you, Tina.

Riese: Anyway, this woman is very assertive about her desires, and good for her and good for them. They seem to be having a good time.

Carly: Yeah, good for everybody.

Riese: My prediction is this is going to be a one-nighter.

Carly: Oh, for sure.

Riese: And yes, I have already seen the entire series several times. Okay, then back to Big Bear, where Jodi is maniacally swinging in the tire swing, she’s trying to jet off and fly to Bora Bora.

Carly: That’d be great.

Riese: And then Bette is like, “I have to go and I’ve already packed your suitcase.”

Carly: The “I’ve already packed your suitcase” thing-

Riese: I would go without Jodi.

Carly: Absolutely.

Riese: She’s here with her friends!

Carly: I’d be like, “Well, I have an emergency, I have to go. Stay with your friends. You never get to see them, clearly. I’m going to go.” And Michelangelo even like offers like, “Oh, I could drive you back.” It’s Big Bear, it’s really close to LA, this is like not a crisis at all, you did not need to upend everything, of course, you want to go home and be there for Kit, totally understood. But you did not need to be all controlling, Bette, and pack Jodi’s suitcase!

Riese: No one can pack my suitcase because I’m not going to trust that you got everything in there, if we’re being honest with ourselves.

Carly: No, and it wouldn’t be organized correctly. I’m very specific about how I pack a suitcase.

Riese: I have packing cubes and there are different cubes for different occasions. And then I have a lot of little smaller bags for other things because I have to bring my entire house with me every time I travel just in case, I never know who I’m going to be when I arrive where I am-

Carly: You never know, there’s no way of knowing.

Riese: Yeah, I have no idea how I’m going to feel about myself and what I want to wear just, there’s a lot of possibilities. So anyway, don’t pack my suitcase, potential girlfriends listening to this.

Carly: And the moral of the story is don’t pack someone’s suitcase for them unless they say, “I would love nothing more than if you would pack my suitcase for me.” And even then I would be like, “I have a full questionnaire that I need you to fill out first.” And then they’d be like, “Cool, I’m just going to do it.”

Riese: The dude still sucks, Michelangelo, he sucks. She’s like, “I want to go back before Kit starts drinking. He’s like, “Oh, she just got held up at gunpoint, let her have a drink.”

Carly: “I think she can have a drink.”

Riese: And Bette’s like, “she’s alcoholic you motherfucker.” Yikes. And then he’s like, “You’re lying, right?” You just want to get out of here—

Carly: Oh yeah, he totally is like- She’s like, “Yeah, I made it up, idiot.”

Riese: The other reason I would go home alone is because I’d be pretty sure we were about to break up.

Carly: Oh my God, I would be like, “I’m going to leave and you’re definitely going to dump me when you get back.” That totally would be my read on how this weekend had gone.

Riese: Yeah, I don’t think you can really be with somebody if you don’t get along with their friends.

Carly: Yeah, I think I’ve made that mistake in the past. I’ve allowed a relationship with someone to progress even though they didn’t like my friends or I didn’t like their friends. And that is, I think of a really good indicator of longterm compatibility with somebody.

Riese: Yeah. Back at Bette’s house, Kit is really sad.

Carly: Yeah, Kit’s on the couch and she’s crying and is scared and traumatized which is like, of course you are, that’s sucks. That’s so sad that happened and they decided to do that. And then Bette and Jodi are looking all couple and cute as they walk out of the room with their arms around each other. And I’m like, I was assuming we were about to get a scene where Jodi was like, “What the fuck was that with my friends?” But instead, they just seem fine for a moment and I don’t remember what happens next with them. So I really hope that this is addressed.

Riese: I think Jodi is just being supportive-

Carly: Supportive in the moment, which is great because she has enough sense unlike Bette to not be selfish all the time. We go to Alice’s and she and Tasha in bed and they’re cuddling. Tasha is really sad and she says, “They’re taking my whole fucking life away from me.”

Riese: Which is weird because Kit just said they took my whole week away. So I feel like they were kind of like belittling it, but yeah. So Alice and Tasha are sad, everyone is sad. Cut to The Planet. It’s a period of time later and there is a lot of foods on a lot of trays that I was interested in eating when I was watching and I was like, “No one’s eating it,” there’s drinks and everyone is radiant.

Carly: Wonderful.

Riese: No one has any lines.

Carly: No one’s talking.

Riese: So basically Peggy is like,

Peggy: Our family doesn’t go on trial, we generally go to Europe.

Riese: So like they’re just basically going to-

Carly: They are wealthy and connected enough where they’re above the law.

Riese: Yeah, and that’s nice, accurate representation-

Carly: Of rich white people.

Riese: Yeah, and then she says something really terrible.

Peggy: “But I can assure you that any future rehabilitation of Helena’s character will be imposed under a more rigorous program than the Los Angeles lesbian lifestyle can provide. At least Paris, when she was in the clink, didn’t get involved with some big butch prison daddy dyke.”

Riese: What?

Carly: Peggy, what happened? Her character changed.

Peggy Peabody addresses the girls at The Planet for Helena's going away party

Riese: Yeah, she got real mean and real stuck up in a way that I don’t think was accurate, I don’t think it accurate.

Carly: In a way that we haven’t really seen her do before.

Riese: Also, the food is being served family-style. So maybe she is getting what she wants in the end.

Carly: Zing!

Riese: And then Alice is like, “Where are you going?” And also all of us at home watching the show, we’re like, “Wait, where are you going? Is Helena not in this season?” Which she isn’t until the very end. She comes back at the end. So maybe Rachel Shelley got a different job. But that’s very weirdly handled because then Helena goes outside, Shane’s outside smoking a cigarette and then my favorite band—.

Carly: YES.

Riese: Begins to play—.


Riese: I hear it—.

Carly: Uh Huh Her. Uh Huh Her!

Riese: Oh my God, I just feel it in my whole body, I want you to shake my head around. I want to go to the concert, I want to be high!!!

Carly: I want to be high at the concert.

Riese: And sweating, yeah.

Carly: Just swaying with all the queers.

Riese: Uh Huh Her. Uh-huh.

Carly: Uh-huh.

Riese: Her?

Carly: Her.

Riese: Uh Huh?


Riese: Our favorite band, Uh Huh Her, favorite band!
Carly: We love Uh Huh Her here at To L and Back.

Riese: We love Uh Huh Her and I’m glad that this song is playing. It’s a great band, it involves Leisha Hailey and Camila Grey. They don’t make music anymore but every song they ever released was perfect. And I’ve probably seen them in concert like 20 times.

Carly: Any time they played, we were there. They toured a lot for a very brief period of time, I also saw them-

Riese: Yeah, and they only had six songs so there’s always like a short little night.

Carly: It was great, it was always like, I know exactly what I’m getting when I go to this show. I’m not going to be out too late and I’m going to know all the songs and that’s great. For an old person like me, that’s what I cared about, five years ago, old then, old now.

Riese: So she tells Shane the truth. Helena is not going to Europe with her mom. Helena is going to get Dusty out of jail, not clear on how but-

Carly: Well, she hid the money, the money she stole from Katherine she hid and she’s going to go unhide it and use it to get Dusty out, I guess?

Riese: Right?

Carly: Okay, sure.

Riese: And then they’re going to run off to some little love nest in probably a Greek island or whatever.

Carly: Something, Bora Bora?

Riese: Yeah, and she tells Shane to keep it a secret and then they hug and Shane, again, already we’re probably here on maybe even a whole week that Shane has not had sexual intercourse? She holds Helena with all her might. And then when they separate, she just kisses her? And she’s like, “Oh God,” it’s funny.

Carly: It was really funny. And Helena was like, “What the fuck?” And then Shane is like trying to explain and Helena’s like, “I have to leave.” She does not even care.

Riese: Yeah, she doesn’t care. She’s like, “It’s fine, whatever, I’m leaving, bye.” Bye, and so that’s the episode.

Carly: That’s the episode.


Riese: Well, I don’t know if I liked it, it was fine.

Carly: It was fine. Yeah, it was a fine episode. The cold open was spectacular.

Riese: Beautiful.

Carly: So fucking weird and wonderful. And yeah, it was fine.

Riese: If you want to see something fine, pull up Lady of the Lake.

Carly: Which is Bette, that’s the lady of the lake.

Riese: Bette is Lady of the Lake… Lady in the Lake.

Carly: Lady in the Lake.

Riese: For the lake. Yeah, Lady in the Lake and try OurChart, buy a Lexus, do a puzzle.

Carly: Totally do a puzzle, try morning mojitos.

Riese: Morning mojitos!

Carly: That’s a labor-intensive drink. A lot of work goes into making a mojito. I’m not trying to make mojitos for like eight, 10 people.

Riese: Yeah, just make mimosas.

Carly: It’s so much easier.

Riese: Here’s how you make mimosa. Orange juice and champagne.

Carly: Easy, easy breezy.

Riese: The end. Do we have anything else to say about this episode? I don’t think I do.

Carly: I don’t think I do. Thank you so much for listening once again to us talk about this show. You can follow the show on Twitter and Instagram @tolandback and you can email us to [email protected]. We have a hotline 971-217-6130, call us, leave us a message. We have merch at store.autostraddle.com, go get it. Our theme song is by Be Steadwell, our logo is by Cara Sykes and this podcast is produced and edited by Lauren Klein. You can find me on the socials @CarlyTron, Riese is @autowin, autostraddle is @autostraddle, and of course, autostraddle.comt

Riese: Autostraddle.com. Well, Carol’s come to join us.

Carly: Oh, Hey Carol. I gotta think of an L-word.

Riese: Okay. One, two, three, Looser.

Carly: Lisa Leslie.

Riese: I said loser.

Carly: Like the Beck song?

Riese: No like, Michelangelo.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: The ninja turtle.

Carly: Yes, exactly. No, Michaelangelo was the coolest ninja turtle.

Riese: Okay, I believe you. I meant Michelangelo, the man.

Carly: Yeah, he’s a loser.

Riese: Not the one who painted the Sistine Chapel. The one who built the Sistine Chapel.

Carly: I don’t know, he seems okay. Maybe he’s problematic, I don’t know. I said Lisa Leslie, who is a legendary women’s basketball player. And we’ll continue talking about women’s basketball this whole season of this show.

Riese: This whole season long. Well, thanks for joining us. I am starving to death.

Carly: Thank you so much. I’m going to go eat dinner, bye.

Riese: Bye guys!

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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 3197 articles for us.


  1. I think what Max says in the scene with Grace in the beginning is that there’s a theory that what’s genetic is “same sex attraction” rather than attraction to a specific gender. I had to go watch the scene because even for the L Word it seemed weird to be having him say there is a theory that everyone is born gay. I love this podcast!!!

  2. Did anyone else find Max’s comments describing essentialist ideas about sexual orientation and gender during his and Grace’s conversation weird? Hearing “I heard this theory that what’s genetically encoded in us isn’t attraction to men or attraction to women, it’s same sex attraction” just really struck me. It’s an interesting idea, especially for the time, but as someone who has always been weary of biological determinism even back in 2008 (whether talking about orientation or gender, and I do mean gender, obviously not morphological sex, I assume anyone reading this knows that there is no determinant between genetic or morphological sex and gender/s), it felt especially weird to hear this.

    Like does the “genetic encoding” that somehow drives you to be attracted to this or that gendered person know what your gender is? And Max has said that he always knew that he was a man. I know that this experience of lifelong gender dysphoria isn’t universal, but wouldn’t an idea like this imply that someone like Max used to be a woman and his brain/mind knew that he was a woman then and so was attracted to women and now that he has affirmed his gender to the outside world and himself that only now is he a man and now this mechanism leads him to men? I know that in Max’s case he’s not even into Tom yet and has scoffed at the idea of being into guys, but doesn’t the idea sort of run counter to the very understanding of gender and orientation that we as a community need to have in order to exist?

    I tried thinking about this for like 20 minutes getting lost in my own thoughts and couldn’t really understand how this would work. I get the theory, and it’s just an idea, a way of exploring the changes that many people find surprising, and we as queer people I think do need to be open to all sorts of positive, affirming ideas and theories on gender and sexuality (while not necessarily adopting them or believing them) but still. This kind of thing seemed counter-intuitive. Obviously gender and orientation, and their intersection, isn’t complicated on a practical level, but it can feel complicated to people experiencing certain intersections, and it can definitely be complicated when trying to understand or create “theories” or schema, and there’s plenty out there, so maybe someone who is more well versed can explain it (I, like Carly, never got my Gender Studies minor).

    P.S.- “Family style” = All you can eat! (like, you don’t have to order or ask for more rice, you can just help yourself from the bowl). I was so excited to hear the recap for this episode, the Peggy Peabody moment is one of my top moments from the entire series, and I loved watching the rest of the episode (the late 2000s song playing as Helena jail yard stroll is bangin’), Bette being challenged on her snobbey and elitism and being asked “what are you doing to build equity in the already insanely overheated art market?. I guess besides that it was kind of boring though.

  3. I started rewatching l word this past month in order to catch up with the podcast. I am now watching ahead so I’m ready for the rest of the podcast to be released (at whatever pace is safest and healthiest [physically and mentally]. I’m at episode 6.04; as an Asian American, cis_woman who is a transnational (international) adoptee. My experience is just that- mine. One story in millions.

    The first time I watched the L Word, I wasn’t as deep into therapy as I am now so I don’t remember having any response to any adoption or Asian references on the show. However now, I am enraged. From Anne Ramsay’s friends with the fetishising of adopting a Chinese baby to Molly adopting a Chinese baby to prove a point.

    Their approach to adoption is horrendous. In every season.

    The treatment of an industry that is already so fraught with corruption, lack of infrastructure, and propaganda. I mean, for starters. The United States is the only country in the UN that has not ratified the CRC.
    Also known as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. You know, the ones that Nickelodeon f#cking broadcasted for 8 min. 46 sec. earlier this year because ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER.

    And of course this issue disproportionately affects families and children of color and those in lower socioeconomic situations. Be it domestic or transnational/transracial.

    I love this podcast so much and am eager to hear your take as we near these different plot points. (so sorry if there are typos, I am writing this on my phone).

    Hope that youse guys are well and staying as healthy and safe as you can. (yes that includes you, carol)

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