“To L and Back” L Word Podcast Episode 508: “Lay Down The Law” with Ari Monts!

This week on To L and Back, legendary Autostraddle writer and A-Camp band singer Ari joins us as Tasha goes on trial for being just another soldier in the army of love, Jodi prepares a Moroccon Feast for three days so Shane won’t have to take Molly to the theater, Nikki makes the cover of Celebrity Star Power Today as potentially being gay on the eve of the big premiere of terrible action film, Jenny hates that guy’s purple tie, Jenny cries in a fancy dress, Bette and Tina grapple with sexual tension and so much more!

The usual:

Riese: Before we get into today’s episode, we have such a very special announcement! You might remember, a million million years ago, this past Spring, we did a fundraiser. And one of the things we said we were gonna do if we hit a certain milestone was a live episode of To L and Back! And guess what? It’s been a lot of time, and now we’re doing it! We’re doing it! We’re really doing it!

Carly: We sure are! We’re going to be recapping Episode 509, “Liquid Heat,” live. And you can attend!

Riese: Uh huh!

Carly: And yes, this is the episode with a lot of sex scenes.

Riese: Yeah, you know, the power goes out, the rolling black outs, everyone’s…you know the episode.

Carly: It’s a classic. It is a classic episode.

Riese: Classic.

Carly: It’s going to be great. So, you can join us for this special live recording Monday, October 5 at 6pm West Coast time, which is 9pm on the East Coast. And then the recording of that live episode will air a week later, Monday, October 12 as our regular episode — which means there’s no new episode next week, October 5. But you will be able to join us for our live episode!

Riese: However, the event is limited to the first 250 attendees [update: we’ve changed the capacity to be unlimited] so you should RSVP as soon as you can if you want to come. You can find the RSVP link in our episode description and also on all of our socials. And, big news! It’s not going to be just us, is it, Carly?

Carly: It’s sure not! We’ve got some incredible special guests lined up!

Riese: We sure do! Longtime friends of the pod—

Carly: Gaby Dunn, Mal Blum…

Riese: Brittani Nichols and Cerise Castle!

Carly: You’re not going to want to miss this. We’re going to have so much fun talking about this ridiculous episode. And again, if you miss the live recording, the episode will be up as regularly scheduled, October 12, in our usual feed here. And we will have a transcript of that episode on Autostraddle.com posted on the same day.

Riese: Carol will also be there, won’t you be?

[Robotic Voice] Bark bark bark. I can’t fucking wait.

Riese: Carol’s going to come too.

Carly: Oh my god.

Riese: So, you’ll get to see Carol, which is like, wow.

Carly: That’s amazing.

Riese: You know, that’s so exciting. And you know what? I think it’s gonna be really great!

Carly: It is! It’s gonna be really fun. Maybe one of my dogs will be a surprise guest. Maybe some of our friends’ dogs will be surprise guests!

Riese: Whoaaaa.

Carly: I think everyone should have their dogs join. We’ll have to talk to them about that. We’ll see if their dogs are free, if they don’t have plans.

Riese: Yeah, I was trying to do a Carol and Beans celesbian wedding.

Carly: Oh my god.

Riese: I was trying to push for it.

Carly: I would love that.

Riese: But so far it’s been… Carol has been pretty lukewarm on it.

Carly: Wow, I hope we really get a dog roundtable moment that’s like, Carol and Beans and Shilo and Johnny, and maybe Arthur if he feels like deeming us with his presence. So once again, we are doing a live recording, Monday, October 5—

Riese: LIVE!!

Carly: 6pm on the West Coast, 9pm on the East Coast.

Riese: 6pm!

Carly: It’s on Crowdcast. You can get the information to RSVP in this episode description and also on all of our socials. And again, it is limited to the first 250 attendees, so if you think you want to do it, you should RSVP now.

Riese: If you aren’t following us on Instagram @tolandback, you should be. But also on Autostraddle.com there will be a post about it and a link there to RSVP.

Carly: Yes, so all the places you might think there might be a link, there will be a link.

Riese: There will be a link, yeah. I’ll also just have one on a piece of paper at my house, but that’s just for me.

Carly: That’s helpful!

Riese: Yeah, it’s just for me though. It’s like a little reminder, like a rubber band.

Carly: Oh, I love that. I do that rubber band thing sometimes.

Riese: That’s cute.

Carly: Yeah. So anyway, we are super excited and we hope to see you there!

Riese: We sure do!

Carly: Ok, now onto the show.

[Theme song plays]

Riese: Hi, I’m Riese!

Carly: And I’m Carly!

Riese: And this is—

Carly and Riese: To L and Back!

Riese: A podcast!

Carly: A podcast! It’s an Autostraddle podcast, where we recap The L Word, one episode at a time.

Riese: Every week we do it.

Carly: For the rest of our lives.

Riese: For the rest of our lives, which are gonna be short.

Carly: Well, that’s the thing, we’re going to run out of episodes, but I also think we’re running out of oxygen, so… anyway.

Riese: All of our intros lately have just been depressing.

Carly: I feel like if you just go through and listen to the intros for every episode of Season 5, they’re just getting more and more deranged and depressing.

Riese: Maudlin.

Carly: Yeah, very maudlin.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: It’s upsetting. Um… hi Riese!

Riese: Hi, Carly!

Carly: Great to be back together once again with you, back on The L Word train, and we’re—

Riese: You too!

Carly: We’re gonna continue Season 5, the best season.

Riese: Of The L Word

Carly: Yeah, yeah.

Riese: I’d say on a scale of 1 to 10, The L Word maintains a solid 4.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: And I think that this season is the brightest 4 of them all.

Carly: Exactly, that’s a really good way to describe it.

Riese: Thank you so much. I’ve been alone with my thoughts a lot.

Carly: That’s incredible.

Riese: Recently.

Carly: Yeah no, I get it, I totally get it. So, we’ve got a very special guest joining us today!

Riese: Oh my god we do!

Carly: Oh my god.

Riese: Such a special guest!

Carly: Oh my god, I’m so excited. The only way this could be more exciting would be if we were all in the room together, but alas.

Riese: Yeah, that would be great.

Carly: All in the studio, A.K.A. Riese’s kitchen, which is where Riese is! I’m in my office.

Riese: Yeah, I’m in my kitchen.

Carly: But, you know, if we could all be together, it would be more exciting, and it would remind me of past times when we’ve all been together that have been very fun! But our special guest today, please welcome to the pod, Ari Monts!

Riese: Woooo!

Ari: Thank you! I’m happy to be here!

Carly: Tell our listeners a little about yourself!

Ari: Well I’m in my late 20s…

Carly: Yeah, let’s get into it!

Ari: Yeah, you know. I write for Autostraddle, I live in Austin right now, I do identify as a lesbian, and also I have cats, who you might hear, as much as I tried to prevent that by feeding them right before this so that hopefully they would take a nap. But, that may not happen.

Carly: Well, we are thrilled to have you here to discuss this episode with us today. But first, a quick interview. What is your L Word origin story?

Riese: When did you first watch it…

Carly: Yeah, what was going on in your life?

Ari: Somehow, I watched it when it was still on television… but I started watching Season 1 during Season 6.

Carly: Mmm.

Ari: And I’m pretty sure I was in my first year of college—so I took a gap year, so I was 19, not 18 like everyone else. So I was 19, and I had this perfect roommate where neither of us spoke to each other, and we would just silently sit on our separate beds wearing headphones—

Riese: Nice.

Ari: Watching television, and every once in a while we would laugh and look over and be like, “hey, what are you watching?” So, it was—

Riese: That’s what marriage is like, I think?

Ari: Yeah, I mean I kind of—

Carly: Sometimes…

Ari: I kind of think that’s what marriage is like.

Carly: I can confirm that sometimes that is what marriage is like, and it’s really pleasant and it’s really nice.

Ari: Yeah it sounds great. It was great when I was 19, so, you know. But I absolutely remember seeing the finale—not quite live, but we torrented it immediately after—and being disappointed.

Riese: Yeah, it was bad.

Ari: It was terrible, yeah.

Carly: Yeah, so bad.

Riese: Yeah, some of the worst hours of episodes — worst hours of episodes [laughs] — it was one of the worst hours of television I’ve ever seen in my life.

Carly: 100% correct.

Ari: Yeah.

Riese: Did you have any favorite characters?

Ari: Tasha, 100%, which is also why I picked this episode, it’s very—

Carly: Hell yeah!

Ari: Tasha-centric.

Riese: Tasha-centric.

Carly: That was very exciting, all of the Tasha stuff in this episode, I’m excited to talk about it.

Ari: Yeah.

Riese: Me too.

Ari: She got me really hot for women in uniform. My politics, unfortunately, no longer dream of that, but…

Riese: Yeah…

Ari: Yeah.

Riese: That’s been an interesting situation for us to navigate as we discuss this season of television.

Ari: Yes.

Riese: And also last season of television.

Carly: Indeed. Today’s episode is 508 entitled “Lay Down the Law.” That’s 2 L words in one title!

Riese: It’s a double score on Scattergories.

Carly: Yes, and I think it’s pretty obvious why the title is what the title is. This episode was written by Alexandra Kondracke. It was directed by Leslie Libman, who is actually a big music video director from the 80s, who then went on to become kind of like a prolific one-hour episodic drama director. This episode originally aired on February 24, 2008. Alright, should we get into it?

Ari: Yeah.

Riese: Let’s get into it!

Carly: Let’s do it!

Riese: Nee nur nee nur nee nur.

Carly: Vroom vroom!

Riese: Music, vroom vroom vroom!

Carly: That was the sound effect of a motorcycle. Go, Riese!

Riese: We open on the mean streets.

Carly: Of someplace.

Riese: Where a person in, like, a fetish leather outfit is climbing up the world’s tallest fire escape.

Ari: So — it was so tall!

Riese: It was!

Carly: It was. That went on for a very long time. I was like, I hope they had a stunt person doing this.

Riese: It was like that movie that was like the Englishman who went up the mountain, and then down the mountain… you know what I’m talking about?

Carly: I do not.

Riese: With Hugh Grant?

Carly: But that sounds like something that Hugh Grant would be in.

Riese: It was like that.

Carly: Mhm, ok.

Riese: It was very similar. I didn’t see the film. I just remember the title, because I was like, that’s a long title, just like this is a long fire escape.

Carly: Incredible.

Riese: I’m already killing it.

Carly: You’re crushing it. So this is the scene from Nikki’s new action movie called Liquid Heat, which is so funny. Let’s all just take a moment and think about how funny that is.

Ari: Liquid Heat.

Carly: This is really funny. She’s watching the movie with her manager and her agent and they’re like—

Riese: They’re delighted.

Carly: Fucking loving it.

Ari: Somehow also — like, their acting as the characters in this show is as bad as Nikki’s acting as the character in the movie.

Carly: Yes, exactly, perfect.

Riese: Yeah, because everyone is committed to the actual bit, and then also the bit that’s happening on the other bit.

Ari: Mhmm.

Riese: Everyone is bad, bad.

Carly: Meta.

Riese: Everyone’s doing really bad.

Carly: A lot of meta badness.

Ari: Yes.

Riese: Yeah. Nikki shoots someone with a gun…

Carly: Wild.

Riese: They love this bad movie… they love it so much.

Carly: They love it so much.

Riese: Also, they’re laughing. It’s an action film, it’s a serious film with guns, with a woman taking off an outfit, and then underneath are her boobs, and then there’s sexual encounters in a room.

Carly: Heterosexual sexual encounters.

Riese: Heterosexual sexual encounters, yeah, in a heterosexual situation. All of that, but they’re laughing like it’s a comedy, like it’s a common comedy.

Carly: I thought they were laughing because they were so excited about how much money they’re all going to be making very soon.

Ari: That’s what I thought.

Carly: That’s how I read it, they were like, “Oh shit! We did it! Victory!” And then they start talking about Brett Ratner, and then I kind of checked out for a second. But they’re just like, “Oh man, you’re gonna be in all the action movies, and your rate is going up, it’s 12 million now.”

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: It went up in the conversation they were having, it was like—

Riese: Yeah, from 8 to 12.

Ari: It was adjusted fast.

Carly: It was like one of those — yeah, it’s like one of those scenes — when people think of the gross stereotypes of Hollywood agents, it’s exactly this scene.

Ari: Was the agent the guy or the girl?

Riese: Both?

Ari: Mmmm.

Carly: Yeah, she said, “You’re the best.”

Riese: She requires both, for both sides of her personality.

Carly: It was very confusing who actually is her manager.

Riese: Who was who, yeah.

Carly: And who was actually her agent. My gut tells me, based on how they’re portrayed, that the woman was the manager and the man was the agent, but we don’t know for sure.

Ari: So the manager says, “I have a call into Stuff and I think we have the cover. What does that mean!?

Riese and Carly: Stuff Magazine!

Carly: It was like a Maxim…

Riese: During the lad mag boom of 2002.

Carly: Yeah, it was like, it was like a Maxim.

Riese: Maxim…Stuff…… Like F… FHM or something….

Carly: FHM, oh god, remember that era?

Riese: Yeah. I feel like there are other ones…

Carly: There are, but I honestly, I can’t remember the other ones. Those are the three that I remember.

Riese: Anyway, honestly, Kate French — the actress who plays Nikki — has been on the cover of all those magazines.

Carly: Truly, yeah.

Riese: In her underwear. So, I’m so excited for her to be on the cover.

Niki sits in the movie theater watching "Liquid Heat" next to her agent while an off-screen agent says "in his wet dreams"

Carly: You guys can’t see this at home, but Riese rolled her eyes when she said that in a way that was really really great.

Riese: I can’t wait, I’m gonna buy it.

Carly: You’re gonna get in a time machine?

Riese: Yeah, I’m gonna create a time machine. Not to escape the current moment, because I love the current moment, but just because I want to get a copy of that fucking magazine.

Carly: And then just head right back to 2020.

Riese: I want the centerfold, you know? I want her kneeling in a bed, in Calico underwear, with her hair kind of wavy, being like, “Oooo, I love it when a man makes me pancakes,” or something, you know? Whatever. But I also love that this is what some lesbians decided was an action movie.

Carly: I know, that was the best part.

Riese: Like a big Blockbuster film!

Carly: It was a pretty small action scene for what these movies are. Normally everything’s just on fire.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: And blowing up all the time.

Ari: Yep.

Carly: So, it was clearly written by lesbians, because she drives up in fetish gear on a motorcycle, gets off it, and starts sneaking around on a fire escape. And you’re like, this is awesome, is this what action movies are? They’re not.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: This is not really what action movies are.

Riese: No…

Carly: Which was very funny.

Riese: Anyways, so you would think — honestly, we already got a full film.

Carly: I’ve seen all I need to see.

Riese: But it keeps going!

Carly: Yeah, it does. It just goes forever. This is a very long cold open, for it being one very brief moment.

Riese: And for being honestly low-key boring.

Carly: Super boring.

Riese: I had pulled out my Scattergories app. Then we go to the wilds…

Carly: The wilds of Vancouver?

Ari: The wilds!

Riese: The wilds of Vancouver, where Jodi and Shane are on a little bike trip together! But they’re gonna stop on a bench and talk about life. One thing that I like about this scene is that they actually had Shane looking at Jodi when she talked.

Carly: So that was something.

Riese: And trying to sign the few words that she knew. So that was like, that was great. That was a big improvement from when, in the pitch dark of night, drunk Tina was saying that she didn’t want to drive home. And somehow Jodi, looking in the opposite direction, knew that she had to get in the way.

Carly: Knew what was going on, yeah.

Riese: Yeah, I thought that was a really nice choice.

Carly: They actually seem to shoot this scene and not shoot it through a hearing person’s view of a scene.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Which is what they do so frequently on the show, but this felt much more like not that, which was nice! It was nice for a change.

Riese: So I guess we should discuss Molly?

Carly: The American Girl doll?

Riese: Molly, formerly the eldest American Girl doll, who is now—

Ari: Now she’s someone’s Grandma.

Carly: Yeah, basically.

Riese: She is!

Carly: Fuck!

Riese: She is!

Carly: Jesus. So they talk about Molly, and Jodi says that Molly is playing her, but Shane likes it. And then Shane says that maybe she’ll take her to the theatre. She does not specify if this is a live theater or a movie theater, but she does say that she hates the theater, so I think its a — it’s just in principle, all theater.

Riese: All theater. She probably wanted to take her to see Oklahoma.

Carly: She’s gonna take her to see Annie Get Your Gun, but instead of that, Jodi’s gonna throw a dinner party!

Riese: Yeah, there’s only one way to get a little drama…

Carly: There’s only way to get drama on this show, and it’s a dinner party.

Ari: Yeah, a couple’s dinner party.

Carly: Especially a couples dinner party.

Riese: Yeah, a couples dinner party, that later is described as not a couples dinner party.

Ari: Yep.

Shane talking to Jodi on a bench after a bike ride

Carly: Even though, in this scene, they literally say, “We need one more couple.”

Riese: We need to invite another couple, yeah. I felt left out when they were doing that. I was like, that’s not fair, you should invite your friends who are not in couples.

Carly: I know!

Riese: And then I was distracted by Jodi saying that Molly is maybe a spaghetti girl.

Ari: A spaghetti girl!

Carly: Oh my god…

Riese: Straight until wet.

Ari: Is that the first time that we heard straight until wet, perhaps on television?

Riese: It is. It was for me, that was my first time.

Carly: I think so, yeah.

Riese: Which is surprising, because I did work at the Olive Garden and the Macaroni Grill — at both, and it never came up at either location.

Carly: That’s incredible that it never came up!

Ari: It seems like it would have come up.

Riese: Yeah, but it didn’t. So this was the first time, and I think I thought, hmm…

Carly: That was your only thought, was “hmm?” I had heard it in real life, but I had never heard it on TV.

Riese: Oh, you have?

Carly: Well, I hung out almost exclusively with drag queens for several years, so I think that had a lot to do with it.

Riese: Oh, sure. Shane suggests inviting Sam and Tina, as sort of a couple but they’re not a couple, so…

Carly: Not at all.

Riese: I don’t know.

Carly: We didn’t even know who Sam was until last episode, right?

Riese: No.

Carly: It’s not like she’s been a part of the storyline, she popped up for one scene.

Riese: I know. Maybe she has a deleted scene.

Carly: Ugh, she’s in like 17 deleted scenes that we’ll never get to see. So then Shane asks Jodi if Bette is pressuring her to do the Subaru Pink Ride. What?!

Riese: Subaru Pink Ride?

Carly: The Subaru Pink Ride!

Riese: Who’s sponsoring the Pink Ride?

Carly: I believe it’s Subaru!

Riese: Subaru!

Carly: Subaru!

Riese: The Subaru Pink Ride.

Carly: It’s the Pink Ride, sponsored by Subaru.

Riese: Subaru, ok. I wasn’t sure. I wasn’t sure if it was Subaru, or what the sponsor was.

Carly: I used to drive a Subaru!

Riese: It’s Subaru, ok. So Subaru, so yeah. Subaru Pink Ride. Jodi is doing it of her own free will.

Carly: Yes. Also, when has Bette ever said anything about athletics, or a Pink Ride, or Dana, or cancer, ever on this show?

Ari: Never heard it, no.

Carly: Exactly, exactly! It was a weird way to bring Bette into the conversation.

Ari: Really weird…

Riese: It sure was.

Carly: And it reminds us that it’s the Subaru Pink Ride coming up, but whatever.

Riese: The Subaru — yeah — Subaru Pink Ride.

Ari: Brought to you by Subaru.

Riese: Sponsored by Subaru.

Carly: Subaru, the car manufacturer.

Riese: Exactly, yeah. They make cars, Subaru. But this is a bike race, it’s not a car race.

Carly: Oh, well, that’s a little confusing, a little bit.

Riese: It is, it is. But that’s Subaru for you.

Carly: Bold. Bold. Bold bold bold.

Ari: It’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru.

Riese: Exactly! Exactly.

Carly: Well played. So, we go from this beautiful moment in the woods back to set, where Nikki’s agent is screaming at Tina.

Agent: Is Nikki a lez girl? Have you seen this?
Tina: Oh shit.
Agent: She has a $100 million dollar career-making Blockbuster premiering tomorrow night, and all anyone wants to talk about this morning is what she’s doing in your little perv of a movie!

Riese: Did you…

Carly: What?

Riese: Freeze frame this magazine cover?

Carly: I didn’t have to, because you did and texted it to me.

The cover of "Starbeat" magazine reads "Is Niki a Lez Girl?"

Ari: Tell me about the magazine cover!

Carly: Oh my god, Riese, tell us!

Riese: It’s like, Star Magazine or something? I have a few edits, actually, that I want to offer them, just a few ideas I had about it. Ok, so this is an issue of Star Beat Magazine, which I don’t know if it’s more popular than Stuff, or less popular than Stuff.

Carly: Hard to say…

Riese: But we’re going with it.

Carly: Different audience?

Riese: Exclusive, exclusive. Big photo. Nikki oil wrestling with lover Cindi. And it says over it, “Exclusive: Is Nikki a Lez Girl?” Big yellow letters.

Carly: For real.

Riese: Yeah. Below it is a smaller picture of Nikki, also oil wrestling. Just her, in that one.

Carly: These are all screen grabs of the last episode.

Ari: Of course, right.

Riese: And then in the corner, the right hand corner, another screen grab from that. And then we also find — there’s a few other stories in the issue. Those are: Brad’s burning man, Jen’s worst fears, and Lindsay’s back in rehab. Yikes. So…

Carly: Is Nikki a lez girl for real? What’s Nikki’s next move? It says all that on the cover.

Ari: Wow.

Riese: Yeah, so my feedback for this photographer is that Nikki fully made out and basically had lesbian sex with Jenny in the ring, and they chose these photos?

Carly: They chose these much tamer photos.

Riese: I think they could have run with “Nikki Is a Lez Girl.”

Ari: And used an exclamation point.

Riese: Exactly, they could have saved print. So anyway, they’re very mad about this, because apparently this will be very bad for Nikki’s popularity with boys with pimples “who want a girl who likes dicks.”

Carly: Wow.

Ari: They say dicks so much in this trailer.

Carly: So many times.

Riese: They sure do.

Ari: So many times.

Riese: So many times.

Carly: I would say unnecessary.

Ari: Yeah. They also talk about teen boys creaming themselves, which is just…

Riese: Again, that’s not what I’m — I’m here for my lesbian television, and I don’t want to hear about boys creaming themselves, and I don’t want to hear gender essentialism!

Ari: Mhmm!

Riese: So, genius Tina… get this. What if Nikki went out with a man?!

Carly: You mean in public?!

Riese: Uh huh!

Carly: Whoa. That would stop all the problems they’re having!

Ari: No one would think she’s a lesbian then!

Carly: Well look — I mean, the other storyline in this episode is that Tasha was once seen in public with a known lesbian, and then became known as a lesbian at army because of that, so clearly the same logic applies here.

Ari: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah, two sides of the same coin. And they say that they need someone who is hot in a High School Musical, Jane Magazine sort of way. Which… totally different things.

Carly: Completely.

Riese: We’re getting a lot of vintage magazines in this, and I like that.

Carly: Yes, we do.

Riese: But Jane Magazine was alternative, and High School Musical was like, Disney mainstream.

Carly: All-American .

Riese: We also find out that she should not go out with Paris Hilton’s sloppy seconds — which again, they’ve used this term before, and when they used it before I hated it, and I still do.

Carly: Still hate it.

Riese: And then what do you know, who walks into the trailer…

Ari: Greg…

Carly: Fucking Greg.

Ari: Oh Greg…

Carly: Oh god, he’s the worst.

Riese: And someone points at him and says, “A dick that everybody likes?”

Ari: Oh my god.

Carly: What?! I didn’t understand. I don’t understand that at all. I have two thoughts.

Riese: Ok.

Carly: First thought — ok, when they were describing the type of guy she should be seen with, I kept thinking they were just going to be like, “Oh, Max,” because they were just describing Max. But also, they forgot that Max is on the show, because he hasn’t been on the show in like three episodes now.

Riese: Right, which is actually a blessing for him because every time he’s on the show, something terrible happens.

Carly: Well, it’s great because — right, any time he’s around, they’re mean to him, or transphobic to him, so.

Riese: Yeah, usually both.

Carly: Usually both. It’s great that that’s not happening, but you know what, it’s probably happening off camera, is the thing. My second thing is that I think it’s really interesting how Tina, as a big Hollywood producer, kind of has to like — you could say she chooses to do this, but I think it’s also a function of her job— it’s like, the way she has to talk in front of these other execs and agents and stuff, it’s not how she would ever talk, that we’ve ever seen her talk outside of that.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: And it’s really interesting to watch her navigating her real life and her work life in this weird way, especially on this project because they’re intersecting in this horrible way.

Riese: Yeah, that is interesting.

Carly: She says the most hideous things when she’s in conversations with her boss or these agents.

Riese: And she just has to roll with it.

Carly: And then there’s moments where she even says hideous things to Jenny, which like — we’ll get to that, but it’s just kinda, it’s interesting, is what I will say.

Riese: It is. it’s true, yeah. I feel like we’ve all had to do that in some regard, you know?

Carly: Yeah.

Ari: You gotta pass sometimes, just to survive.

Riese: Yep.

Ari: But the way she says—

Tina: Someone whose dick she might like.

Ari: Is just honestly — it’s a little, it’s grating. That’s what I would say.

Riese: Yeah, it is.

Carly: Grading, yeah, it’s a good way to describe that.

Riese: Yeah, I feel like she could have played to the crowd in a different way.

Ari: Mhmm.

Riese: She could have said, “a man everybody likes,” because I think that’s what she actually meant.

Ari: I do think that’s what she meant.

Riese: Not what she was saying…

Carly: I’m going to have to agree on that, yeah.

Riese: Yeah.

Ari: Yeah.

Carly: So anyway, Greg plays the Tim character in the movie, so this is basically the Jenny character and the Tim character getting set up together, which is on a 17th different level hilarious.

Ari: So meta.

Carly: I would say too meta. I think this show has become too meta at this point. It’s too much.

Riese: Yeah. Then we go to the boxing gym?

Carly: Yeah!

Riese: Where Colonel Davis is, I guess, like a serial killer? She’s wearing a full abominable snowman sweatsuit, hiding in a corner, hitting, going “woo woo woo woo,” hitting a tiny ball over and over again. And like, I felt like she was gonna turn around and pull five knives out of her pants, but that’s not what happened.

Carly: No, it’s not.

Ari: It also, very clearly, felt like a scene setting up a lesbian competition between her and Tasha.

Carly: Yes!

Ari: So, not to say foreshadowing, but foreshadowing.

Riese: That’s true!

Carly: Yes!

Riese: And Tasha wins.

Carly: Tasha wins everything, any competition, Tasha will win it.

Ari: Mhmm.

Carly: The scene started and I was like, yay Tasha! Because I was just like, yay, she’s here and she’s punching stuff and that’s great.

Riese: Yep, good for her.

Carly: Good for her! I’m glad that she has an outlet.

Riese: Punch something! I wanted to punch something today around 1 o’clock, I really wanted to.

Carly: Yeah?

Riese: But I didn’t because I don’t have anything to punch.

Carly: We should get you a little punching bag.

Ari: One of those little tonsils.

Riese: Oh, a little punching bag!

Carly: Yeah, those little hang-y things!

Riese: So, good news, she is done with her bag, and now Tasha can punch it. So that’s resolved.

Carly: Yeah, they have this stare-down for a brief second, where it’s like, “we’re both in the gym, somethings gonna happen,” and then it does not.

Riese: Correct.

Carly: I was like, Tasha, punch her in the faaace.

Ari: Yep!

Riese: Then we go to the wardrobe trailer, where they’re talking about how Nikki wants to wear the designer clothes, but Jessie wouldn’t wear designer clothes, but Jenny would like to see Karina in the exact same outfit that Marina wore in Season 1, which is a snake neck situation and a gardenia in her hair.

Jenny talks about how she'd like a "fresh gardenia" on Karina's costume, while Tina stands behind her unimpressed

Carly: This was so random. I was like, what is the budget of this film?

Riese: A million trillion dollars.

Carly: I really don’t understand, because they keep talking about how it’s this big studio film, but then they talk about how they don’t have money, and then they do have it — I don’t know, I’m very confused about the scale of the film, the budget of the film, but whatever.

Riese: Movie magic.

Carly: The point is that Tina needs to talk to Jenny right now, it is very important.

Riese: Yep, she sure does. My other point is that Jennifer Schecter has a hickey right in the center of her neck, which… what was… how? Ok…

Carly: How?

Riese: She has a little Adam’s apple…

Carly: Smack dab in the center of her neck.

Riese: Yeah, she was probably trying to suck her whole Adam’s apple in her mouth.

Carly: Hot.

Ari: I mean, that’s what I go for when I give people hickeys.

Riese: Is it?

Ari: Yeah, just the whole Adam’s apple.

Riese: So this is good for a presentation?

Ari: Yeah, great.

Riese: We really saw your desires.

Ari: I think it’s also important to note that Jenny is in a meeting.

Riese: Oh, that’s true. Jenny is in a meeting.

Carly: Jenny’s in a meeting, guys.

Riese: A clothing meeting. She’s in a clothing meeting.

Carly: Jenny’s in a meeting.

Riese: And Nikki needs her now, but she’s in a meeting, and eventually that gets resolved by Jenny and Tina both being upset. But they speak to one another and we find out that the managers would like Nikki to take a boy with her to her little premiere.

Carly: And Tina pitches this as if it was her agent’s idea, even though it was Tina’s idea, which we didn’t even talk about this. How was that not the agent’s idea?

Riese: I support her doing this, because it was, basically.

Carly: I think it was crazy that Tina had to suggest that. That just strikes me as the first obvious thing that somebody would have suggested. “Oh, she has a premiere tomorrow? Take a boy. I don’t know, it just seems so stupid.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: That tina had to pull it out of her ass and the guy was like, “Whoa, I love you, you’re a genius!”

Riese: Right. Nikki needs a new manager.

Carly: Yeah, I think she should fire her management.

Riese: Yeah, Jenny’s unhappy because she wanted to go to the movie. She wanted to go to the film with Nikki. I don’t know why anyone wants to go to this film, it looks terrible.

Ari: Yeah, it does.

Riese: I hate it. It looks really bad.

Ari: It looks real bad.

Carly: It’s not a good film. So Jenny goes into Nikki’s trailer, who — Nikki is just sobbing.

Riese: SOBBING. Like someone died.

Carly: Like a death of a relative.

Riese: She is destroyed.

Ari: So upset!

Carly: Because she has to take a boy to the premiere.

Nikki: And they’re making me take fucking Greg! They’re making me take cheeseball Greg!

Niki crying in her trailer

Carly: They’re not even telling her that she has to break up with Jenny. And they’ve already told her to be more discrete, which she failed at when she went oil wrestling.

Ari: Yeah.

Carly: Ugh. This is so funny. She’s crying.

Riese: It’s kind of a funny scene though. The agent comes in and Jenny is like, “Do you think this is fucking 1952 where you can give her a beard and pretend that she’s straight?” And yes, obviously, they do. Also honestly the first — I remember the first time that I watched this scene, I didn’t know what “beard” meant.

Carly: Ohhhh!

Ari: Wow!

Riese: And I was so profoundly confused.

Carly: Did this blow open your whole world? Did you go down a research wormhole after that?

Riese: I mean, I’m hoping — I don’t remember, but what I’m hoping is that I found it out before I wrote my recap. Because it’s very possible that I was like, “Hahaha, give her a beard,’ like I thought it was facial hair or something. And then everyone was like, “Riese.” You know? “You idiot.” Which happened a lot in the recaps.

Carly: [Sarcastically] Why do they want her to just put on a disguise? She’s the star of the film, they’re gonna notice.

Riese: Yeah, come on, guys. Anyway, fun fact for readers at home, everyone knows now that a beard makes you look straight. And it started not in the 50s, but you know, in the 30s, in the 40s, and was very popular in the 50s. But it worked in the 50s, and you know why? Because it was a lot harder to take photographs of stars in their natural habitats.

Carly: People didn’t have Instagram, also.

Ari: Mhm mhm.

Riese: Correct. Well, no one had Instagram here yet.

Carly: That’s true.

Riese: Did they?

Carly: No.

Ari: I don’t think so.

Riese: But the paps got just one cell phone call and they were at the oil wrestling shenanigans.

Carly: Exactly.

Riese: And Jenny hates his tie. He does make one really good point, I think, that no one has made to her yet, which is that it is a little bit problematic already that she is screwing the underage star of the film.

Ari: This is — I wanted to bring that up!

Carly: Yes!

Ari: I was wondering if this was the first time we officially find out that Nikki is underage?

Riese: We found out last week.

Carly: Last episode, they said she was underage because she was at SheBar.

Riese: She’s 20.

Ari: Mmmm.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: She’s under the age of 21.

Carly: Yes.

Ari: Ok, ok.

Carly: They’re also throwing the word “underage” around a lot, in this episode and the previous episode, in a way that like — what they mean is that she’s under 21.

Ari: Right, and not 17.

Carly: Right, because when people are saying “underage,” in the context of a relationship, that’s what you think. You don’t think she’s 20.

Ari: Right.

Riese: She’s 20, they’re all so stressed out, and they hate this film so much. And they want to drink so badly, that’s all they can think about. And so they’re thinking about everything in relation to drinking.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: And Nikki can’t drink, so yeah. But he’s the first guy to note that this is a little bit inappropriate for her to be doing this in general.

Carly: Yes, yes it is. It’s incredible that it’s taken this long and this moment for someone to actually say that out loud.

Ari: Yeah. I also hate that I agree with the man on a show about lesbians!

Carly: I know, right?!

Ari: Like, why is the man right?

Carly: Yeah, he shouldn’t get to say that line.

Ari: Uh uh.

Riese: Such a bummer.

Carly: Tina should have said it weeks ago.

Riese: Yeah, it really sets up the people at home to think differently about these things. Anyway, Jenny says he’s not even a human being, he’s an agent, which I think is funny?

Carly: Sure. Jenny’s really sassy with him about his tie and his nose, and it’s sort of funny, but it’s really just a weird Jenny distraction from what is actually happening, which is that Nikki is sobbing.

Ari: Sobbing on the couch. No one has tried to comfort her!

Carly: No one’s comforting her! Jenny’s probably like, “She cries all the time, I mean what are we gonna do?”

Riese: Right.

Carly: She’s just gonna cry again.

Riese: Nikki is baby.

Carly: She’s baby. But there is one moment where you kind of get it a little in the beginning of the scene, because she’s like, “My agent basically told me my career will be over if people think I’m gay.”

Riese: Which was true at the time.

Carly: Which I guess was kinda true at the time. So there is that little moment.

Riese: Mildly true.

Carly: Mildly true, yeah. It’s like, what kind of career do you want to have? Do you want to be in Brett Ratner and Michael Bay movies and on the cover of men’s magazines, or do you want to do other things? And it’s clear that Nikki wants to do a lot of different things.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: But her team seems to be more into the idea that they have for her, of what her career’s going to be and how much money they want to make off of her.

Riese: Anyway, so who knows what would have happened to Nikki, who again, is based on Lindsay Lohan. And then we go to the showers.

Carly: This show loves a locker room with naked women walking around lockers and showers.

Ari: Fully nude.

Riese: Yeah, and also she has a landing strip, but it’s like a teeny tiny plane. It’s like, just like a—

Carly: “Zoop!”

Riese: A one finger of a landing strip. And I think what this scene made me think of is that there’s this idea that like, you don’t want to have lesbians on your sports team, because then in the locker room, they’ll check you out and they’ll make you feel uncomfortable, because lesbians cannot resist the urge to look at every naked woman who walks by. And what we see in this scene is that that’s true.

Ari: Yeah, we do.

Colonel Davis checks out a naked woman in the locker room at Army

Riese: Yeah, it’s true. Tasha, who has incredible self control as a person, somehow can’t resist looking at this woman?

Carly: And neither can Colonel Davis!

Riese: Neither can Colonel Davis!

Carly: And Colonel Davis looks in the most obvious and over-the-top way. And it’s very funny.

Ari: And she also is four feet away from her.

Carly: She’s so close to her!

Riese: Yeah, and her face kind of vacillates from “Huh?” to “How dare you?” over the course of her 45 second stare. Tasha’s glance is minimal, but I think it’s believable with Davis, because obviously she’s repressed, you know?

Carly: Mhm mhm.

Ari: Clearly.

Riese: But Tasha isn’t, so, the point of that scene is that — I wonder how much that girl got paid to be naked for 45 seconds?

Carly: Probably not…

Riese: Probably like 200 bucks.

Carly: Yeah, probably not very much. It’s bullshit.

Ari: Damn.

Carly: So we go back to set. We’re back in the hair trailer.

Riese: Hair!

Carly: With Shane, Shane’s chilling. And then, this is the girl that plays Shane in the movie, right? That comes in?

Ari: Yes, it has to be.

Carly: Yeah, I figured.

Ari: She looks just like her.

Carly: I just wish that Shane could have given her more of a Shane haircut, because they didn’t really — or like a Shane wig.

Riese: Yeah, you could tell that they tried to style her hair a little Shane-y.

Carly: I was like, this is supposed to be the Shane, I think?

Riese: She is a hot hot mess. She comes in, she’s got wine or liquor or something. And she wants them both to get drunk, and she wants to have sex with Shane, because she’s really bad at her part and Shane will teach her how. And again, this is yet again, yet another scene in which consent is just not even a thing, that anybody ever needs or wants.

Carly: Oh, god.

Riese: Ever, ever. Shane says no, and she’s like, “You sleep with everyone, so you must want to sleep with me!” And then she takes her shirt off.

Carly: Fully takes her shirt off and it is just boobs in the trailer.

Ari: Just boobs in the trailer!

Carly: What is happening?!

Riese: And then she’s like, “Is it me, do you not want to have sex with me because I’m repulsive?” And then Shane feels bad that she doesn’t realize that she’s beautiful, which she already knows, she’s a fucking actress.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: And she is objectively, like, whatever, traditionally hot, so.

Carly: Yep.

Riese: Anyway, Begoña walks in and she’s horrified!

Carly: She’s horrified, but at the tail end of her looking at them she almost looks like—

Riese: Delighted?

Carly: A little bit! Like it’s horrified, then it slightly changes right at the end before she leaves, to like, a “niiiice.”

Riese: Shane-on-Shane action. We love to see it!

Shane sitting in the makeup/hair trailer dealing with Cammie coming onto her

Carly: This movie is too meta. They need to shut this production down before it creates some sort of vortex in the space-time continuum.

Riese: We’ve had some Jenny-on-Jessie scenes, now we’re gonna get some Shane-on-Shaun.

Carly: Ugh, god. Yeah, this is like another one of those moments where, when I was younger and watching this, this was really skewing my concept of consent. And I think it was probably doing that to many of the audience members!

Ari: Yes.

Carly: It’s really fucked up, it’s really really fucked up. Shane at one point says that this is not professional, which is something I wish everybody would be saying a lot more on this film set. Nothing that happens on this set is professional.

Ari: No, not at all.

Carly: Nary a thing.

Riese: Oh, and also, you know what?

Carly: Hmm?

Riese: If there had been consent, this could have been a really funny scene! Like Shane actually being like, “Yeah, let me teach you how to fuck like Shane.” Like that would have been funny, you know?

Carly: Yeah, that’s a missed opportunity. Well, remember a few episodes ago, when Jenny was in rehearsals with Bev and Nina, and she was like, “We need to get a lesbian sex coach here.” And like, how is that not a storyline that they explored?

Riese: How did they not hire Shane to be the lesbian sex expert?

Carly: That’s what they should have — that would have been ridiculous, but at least it would have been funny.

Ari: Yeah.

Carly: Or like, just anyone on set to help teach all these straight women what they’re supposed to be doing. This is some weird continuous thing that clearly hasn’t been resolved since they started production, however the fuck long this has been going on now, I couldn’t tell you. But it’s… blah! Everything is stupid, I don’t know.

Ari: Yeah.

Riese: But I will say that even though all I have done is complain so far, that I did enjoy this episode.

Ari: It’s not a bad episode!

Riese: It’s not!

Carly: It’s decent. It’s a decent episode.

Riese: Yeah. So then we swing on over to Jodi’s funky apartment, where she is prepping — I think 24 hours ahead of time? — for the big Moroccan feast that she is throwing so that Shane doesn’t have to take Molly to Oklahoma.

Carly: The guest list for this dinner party soiree—

Riese: Is terrible.

Carly: Is very bad. Bette and Jodi, Amy and Melinda, Shane and Molly, and Tina and Sam question mark?

Ari: Yeah.

Carly: Yeah, this is a logical group that wants to hang out together.

Ari: They definitely all really like each other.

Carly: Yeah, they have so much that they want to talk about!

Riese: Best best friends.

Carly: And they want to definitely just party together, and hang out, and this is so not weird or awkward or anything. And then…

Riese: Bette is very upset that Tina, who she is actively cheating on Jodi with, has been invited to the party. And that Jodi, furthermore, did not think to consult her before inviting Tina to the party. But my favorite part of this is that she’s like—

Bette: Did it ever occur to you to maybe ask me first before you invited Tina?
Jodi: No.

Ari: It’s very much, like “No, heart emoji.”

Carly: Yes!

Riese: Yeah!

Bette talks to Jodi about the dinner party

Carly: I think Jodi invented that, back in 2008.

Riese: She did, yeah. Bette thinks it sounds like a nightmare lesbian dinner party with too many exes, but every lesbian dinner party is a nightmare, and there’s always too many exes, you know?

Carly: And then Jodi’s like, “Ok, don’t come then!”

Riese: I loved it!

Carly: Jodi’s amazing. I love Jodi so much.

Ari: And Bette’s like, “Of course, I’m coming.”

Riese: Yeah. And then she’s like, “Can I help?”

Carly: And she’s like, “Here, chop an onion.”

Riese: Do you chop — ok, you make extravagant dinners — would you chop an onion the night before a party? Before a dinner? Before a big dinner you’re preparing?

Ari: I would not cook the night before a dinner. I guess unless everything was room temperature, it was supposed to be cold?

Riese: Right.

Ari: I’m super confused as to why she was cooking everything the night before.

Riese: Yeah!

Carly: Maybe she had a really busy day the next day?

Riese: So you have to pre-chop your onions? I mean, for me, chopping an onion is an affair.

Ari: Just throw it all in the oven.

Riese: Maybe she was doing a crockpot dish? And then we get a little musical introduction!

Carly: Yes. Tasha is putting on her finest military suit.

Riese: Outfit?

Carly: I don’t know any military terminology of any sort.

Ari: The dress uniform.

Carly: There we go, thank you. She looks amazing.

Ari: She looks amazing!

Carly: I was barely writing notes in this part, I was just kind of staring at the screen. I was just like, whaaaaaat.

Ari: My one note is, “God, I wish she was a firefighter, so I didn’t have to feel conflicted about her.”

Carly: Oh my god.

Ari: Right?!

Carly: Yep, there it is.

Riese: That would honestly make me and Carly’s life easier, if she was a firefighter.

Ari: Yeah.

Carly: And it’s really about us, 12 years later. That’s what it’s about.

Riese: Yeah, it is. So, “What’s Going On?” is playing. We got a little pacifist anthem.

Tasha dresses for court

Carly: Yes. I was blown away that they had the budget to get a Marvin Gaye song on the show.

Ari: True…

Riese: And then Alice is there.

Carly: We see everyone arriving at military court.

Ari: She’s wearing — like her hair’s in a victory roll. It’s very, “Let’s go support our troops!”

Carly: Yeah, she totally was cosplaying as an army wife or something.

Ari: Yes.

Riese: She was.

Carly: That’s exactly what Alice would do though!

Riese: Yeah, uh huh. Yeah, she’s brought them tomatoes from her victory garden, and she’s gonna bring everyone a potato salad, and then they’re gonna be like, “It’s fine! It’s fine!”

Carly: She’s dressed to wave at a ship as it pulls away from a dock.

Ari: That is absolutely how she’s dressed!

Carly: From a port.

Riese: And then dab her eyes with a dish towel that she carries around in case she needs to take something out of the oven.

Carly: That’s perfect.

Riese: So, the trial starts and the army guy says, “Blah, army, blah blah,” and then Beech stands up and, once again, lists all of Tasha’s accomplishments, so we hear once again, in case you missed it before, that Tasha has a “V for Valor.”

Ari: “V for Valor.”

Carly: Tasha is a decorated soldier? Is that what we would say?

Ari: Sure.

Riese: Army.

Carly: Army. She got all the awards from army.

Ari: She served abroad in Iraq.

Riese: Yeah, she did. She was overseas with army doing armies.

Ari: Yep.

Carly: And this is, of course, in contrast to both of the lawyers that are grandstanding throughout this episode who have seen zero combat.

Ari: Zero!

Riese: Yeah, they have not personally killed any innocent civilians themselves, they have just participated in this system.

Ari: Also they say her name so weird, the army men.

Carly: Yes!

Ari: They call her [with a short A sound] “Taaasha,” which I found incredibly offensive.

Carly: I’m like, who is Taaaasha?

Riese: I feel like that’s the idea, right?

Carly: I was like, do they only ever call each other by last names, so that this is the first time they’ve ever even had to say the name Tasha out loud? They’re like, “Taaa…”

Riese: They’ve never known a Tasha.

Carly: “Taaaaasha.” Yeah, it was stupid.

Riese: “Taaaaasha.”

Carly: So we take a brief moment to go away from the trial, to go to The Planet. Remember The Planet?! The Planet’s back, it’s up and running again!

Riese: It’s back in business!

Carly: Thank god.

Ari: Love that place.

Riese: But, what the fuck is Kit gonna do about those She Bitches?

Carly: I don’t know! Are they still in jail? Do we know where they are? Last time we saw them they were getting arrested and lover Cindi was trying to bribe a cop.

Riese: Correct.

Carly: We don’t know where they are, but—

Riese: But we also low-key don’t care.

Carly: No.

Riese: And Shane suggests murdering them, which… ok!

Ari: Why not?

In The Planet, Shane looks at a magazine and Kit asks "what am I gonna do with these she-bitches?"

Riese: Yeah, why not? Why not? Then we kind of zoom on over to another part of The Planet, where Molly is having lunch with her mom.

Carly: Yes.

Riese: The point of the lunch is that Molly is rebelling, she is a rebelling youth.

Riese: Yeah. She is not going to be a lawyer and have 2.5 kids. She dumped Richard because he’s boring and he loves golf, and then her mom, Phyllis, says that she needs to get an education so that she doesn’t end up in a service profession like Shane…

Carly: Oooooooh.

Ari: Oooooooh.

Carly: And Molly rightly calls her mother elitist. I would say it’s also classist and a couple other things, but we don’t spend a lot of time on that.

Riese: Does she know that people with professional degrees still end up in service professions?

Carly: I don’t think she’s thought of anything aside from herself.

Riese: Secondly, does she know that Shane did have to go to school to be a hairstylist?

Carly: She probably considers that a trade school.

Ari: Right, not a real. Unless it’s a 4 year Ivy, honestly.

Carly: Exactly, exactly.

Riese: Correct.

Ari: I highly doubt that she considers that degree worth anything.

Carly: Exactly, I agree. Molly is bored and grossed out by her mother.

Ari: Yes.

Carly: And Phyllis is like, “Shane is not a serious person,” and now Molly is hardcore defending Shane.

Ari: Which, who would have thought?

Carly: Who would have thought? Last episode, “You know I’m not gay, I’m very straight.” Now she’s like, “Shane’s a great person who does great things with hair,” I guess? I don’t know. “I’m gonna go be gay for Shane.” That’s literally what she says, and then she goes up to Shane—

Riese: That’s not all she says!

Carly: No, please tell us what all she says.

Riese: She says—

Molly: I’m gonna go gay for Shane, we’re gonna adopt Chinese babies and live in a trailer park.

Ari: Right.

Carly: Great. It’s funny, I only wrote down that she was gonna be gay for Shane. I just blocked the rest of it out. I completely forgot that that’s what she said.

Ari: Chinese babies and live in a trailer park?

Molly having lunch with her mother at The Planet

Riese: She is mixing metaphors.

Ari: One cannot adopt Chinese babies and then need to live in a trailer — international adoption is very expensive!

Carly: It is!

Riese: It is very expensive!

Ari: Incredibly expensive.

Riese: I mean, they have a cute little interaction.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: She hasn’t called, they’re kind of flirty, Shane is clever, Molly is clever.

Carly: They’re just so clever.

Riese: I don’t know… they’re just so clever, they have a little banter, they obviously have a connection of some kind. Wow, ok, then we go to trials. Army trials.

Carly: This is Officer Martinez. Officer Martinez has taken the stand and she’s giving a testimony about — really just about how great Tasha is.

Ari: And how she would serve under her at any time.

Carly: At any time.

Riese: Under her…

Ari: Under her…

Riese: She would serve… under her.

Carly: That’s what I heard.

Riese: At any time.

Ari: But she’s not gay.

Riese: She’s not gay.

Carly: She is not gay.

Ari: Not at all.

Riese: No. So, Tasha did a good job.

Witness interrogated at Tasha's trial

Carly: She was a good commanding officer, a good job.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: We go back to the film set… Bette is now on the set. There’s no security on the set! How is Bette here?!

Riese: None.

Carly: Also, doesn’t Bette have other things to do? She couldn’t call? She couldn’t text Tina? They’re both busy, whatever. Bette’s mad at Tina for accepting the invitation to Jodi’s dinner party, and Tina’s like, “What are you talking about? I assume that it came from the both of you?” And she’s like, “I don’t want to break you guys up, you’re dating her.” Like… what… ugh! And I was like, man, Tina made at least one or two valid points in this conversation.

Riese: Ari, what are your feelings about the Bette and Tina situation?

Ari: Oy vey.

Riese: Not just in this, but you know, in general the whole Bette and Tina—

Carly: The cannon.

Riese: The Bette and Tina verse.

Ari: I mean, here’s the thing. I’m absolutely a Tina, which is one of my worst traits. And I recognize that the two of them should not be together. They should not have had a baby, they should not have dated, they should not be cheating on their significant others, or people who they’re trying to make their significant others with one another. And I don’t understand how someone who I align with so much can’t seem to see that, so… it’s a mess.

Carly: It’s such a mess.

Ari:It’s a mess!

Carly: They’ve been a mess since the pilot. This is just—

Ari: From the moment we meet them.

Carly: Yes, they are always a mess, it’s just always a — it’s an ever-shifting type of a mess. Every few episodes the type of mess they are is a little different, which keeps us as viewers on our toes and is still maddening most of the time.

Riese: What I love to think about in this scene is that earlier, Bette tried to get mad at Jodi about Tina coming to dinner, and Jodi just blocked her.

Ari: Yep.

Riese: And so she’s like, “Hm, what am I gonna do now? I’m gonna go get mad at Tina about it!” But it doesn’t work either.

Carly: Nope. It’s like, “How dare you invite her!” And then it’s like, “How dare you be invited by her!”

Riese: They’re like, “We should stop, we should stop and get some clarity,” and they say that in the way that they’re like, “We’re not gonna really stop.”

Carly: “We’re definitely not going to stop,” yeah.

Ari: No.

Riese: Back to army trial!

Carly: Army trial. Man, this stuff is brutal. So, Colonel Davis is cross-examining Officer Martinez, and everything she says is terrible, like she’s twisting the most innocuous stuff into a scandal, and it’s very irritating!

Riese: She asked if Tasha ever put her arm around her, which as we know, is the universal symbol of a lesbian relationship.

Carly: It is, yes.

Riese: And Martinez admits that there were rumors about Tasha being a lesbian, and Davis is like, “Did you feel ever uncomfortable about getting special treatment from her?” And she was like, “Kinda.”

Carly: She’s like, “I didn’t want people to also think I was gay so… yes, then, I guess then by the transitive property, I would also have to have been uncomfortable in that situation.” Agh, it sucks. It sucks.

Ari: And to me, that seems more like a problem with the army, than with lesbianism?

Riese: Yeah!

Ari: It’s an indictment of the military industrial complex.

Carly: Oh my god, you’re right! It absolutely is.

Riese: That is exactly what it is.

Ari: That one cannot be comforted by their commanding officer without becoming a lesbian?

Riese: Right!

Carly: Yeah, this part is such a reach, it’s so — we know the Alice stuff is more of the obvious accusation, especially because there was no relationship between Martinez and Tasha.

Riese: Right.

Carly: But this is such bullshit. It’s so obvious that the guy that reported this was just pissy that he didn’t get a promotion.

Ari: Yep.

Carly: It’s just, you can see through it so obviously and they’re trying so hard to make it into a thing. It’s just ridiculous.

Riese: It’s also irrelevant. So you felt uncomfortable because people thought you might be gay with Tasha? Who cares. You’re also killing people, right? I don’t know, there’s much more uncomfortable things involved in your job than a lesbian touching your shoulder.

Carly: Yeah, that’s pretty real. There’s so many other parts of military that should make you much more uncomfortable.

Riese: Yeah, every job has weird uncomfortable stuff. Life isn’t comfortable.

Carly: It’s true.

Riese: The end. Oh, I was just thinking about how Tasha talked about all these people dying in her arms, so obviously she puts her arms around people in a non-sexual way all the time.

Ari: All the time!

Riese: For example, in death.

Carly: They can’t interview the ones that died, because they’re dead.

Riese: They should have subpoenaed a ghost.

Ari: Right.

Carly: I think having a ghost testify at this army trial would have been incredible.

Riese: I think so, too. Spooky!

Ari: It really would have brought this episode up a notch, which it’s already a good episode, so.

Carly: It’s already good!

Riese: It’s already a good episode!

Carly: It would have made it great, you know what I mean?

Ari: It would have made it great.

Carly: So then, it’s now the end of the day. They ran out of time for Alice to testify, so she has to come back tomorrow. And Tasha fills her in on how Martinez kind of folded.

Ari: Yep.

Carly: And they have this awkward bit of like — Alice is the witness for the prosecution, you know, she’s on the other side, but she doesn’t want to be there, she just has to be there. It’s super awkward, but you just want them to get back together.

Ari: Ugh, more than anything.

Carly: I’m just like, make out! Make out in the hallway! I don’t care!

Ari: Make out right now!

Carly: Do it!

Riese: Hallway sex!

Carly: Kiss!

Tasha sees Alice in the hallway outside of the trial

Riese: Speaking of people not having sex — then we go to Jodi’s funky loft for the dinner!

Ari: Oh my god.

Riese: Jodi’s got a dress on…

Ari: She did not just make Moroccan food, it was a Moroccan-themed evening.

Carly: Everything in the scene is Moroccan inspired.

Ari: They sat on the floor.

Riese: They sat on the floor.

Ari: That killed me.

Riese: It’s sort of like in third grade when they’re like, “Ok, you have to make a feast from a country and then wear a costume.” Jodi’s like, “I don’t want that spirit to end! I want to do it now as a grown up!”

Carly: That’s so funny.

Riese: Oh wait, I skipped something, I skipped something!

Carly: You did, you skipped the beginning of the premiere!

Riese: I skipped the Hot Rod show premiere!

Ari: Yes, where Jenny gets banned!

Carly: Yeah!

Ari: Jenny gets banned!

Riese: Jenny gets banned from the premiere.

Carly: [Announcer voice] “It’s the biiiiig Hollywood premiere of Liquid Heat! Pew pew pew pew pew!” Nikki and Greg are on the red carpet! “Nikki, over here! Who are you wearing?!” Oh my god, who is that? No one cares! Jenny and Adele walk up, they’re dressed and ready, and you know what? They can’t come in because Jenny’s agent spots her and tells the security guard that Jenny specifically is banned. He doesn’t say both of them, he says Jenny. This will be important later.

Ari: Very.

Jenny and Adele talk to security outside of the "Liquid Heat" premiere.

Carly: Jenny does not yet know that she is banned, but she’s gonna find out in a second. Then we go to this dinner party.

Riese: The feast, which we already talked about.

Carly: Right.

Riese: Sam says that she doesn’t drink while she’s shooting?

Ari: Right.

Carly: Yeah. I mean, it’s not that weird.

Ari: She has to wake up early.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Oh, is that why?

Carly: Yeah, she’s in production, so she was saying that — she’s obviously not like shooting in this scene, but she’s in the midst of a production, and so I think she doesn’t drink during active production probably?

Ari: Riese, I think it’s just weird because she has boundaries, and none of the others do. I think that’s maybe what’s confusing you.

Carly: That is true. That is exactly what it is.

Riese: Well it’s also sort of a first date.

Ari: Yeah…

Carly: Yeah. I kept writing “this is an awkward dinner party” and then I realized that every dinner party on this show has been an awkward dinner party. There’s never been a not-awkward dinner party.

Riese: It’s true, back to the hot rod show premiere. They won’t let Jenny inside.

Carly: Nope.

Riese: And she texts Nikki, and Adele’s like, “I’m gonna go, I’ll get you in the show, Jenny.” But of course she’s not because she’s a schemer. Adele tries to do the red carpet…

Carly: Adele is totally posing on the red carpet!

Riese: No one cares.

Carly: It’s very funny.

Ari: No one cares. I also really appreciate — it’s very 2008, that Jenny signs her text “J.”

Carly: Yes!

Riese: Yeah!

Carly: Ugh, that was thrilling.

Ari: Blast into the past!

Carly: Truly. So, we go back to the very awkward dinner party…

Ari: Mhmm.

Carly: And Amy asks Sam if it’s unusual for a woman to be the cinematographer of a film, and yes, it is. It still actually is. It shouldn’t be, but it is. We have not come very much further in this area since 12 years ago. I am sad to report.

Ari: 12 years ago.

Carly: But don’t worry, we keep doing studies and surveys and multiple times a year we are getting numbers. We are doing surveys and literally nothing is changing ever, and I think it’s great that we keep doing studies.

Riese: The numbers!

Carly: And we do them, we gotta crunch the numbers, we’re always crunching, nothing is ever actually happening.

Ari: Well, if we keep crunching those numbers, maybe one day.

Carly: Maybe one day the numbers will be like, “Please do something about us!”

Riese: Yeah, it hits a tipping point. Once you crunch a certain number of numbers, you have to take out the trash.

Carly: Ohh, is that how excel works?

Riese: Yes.

Carly: Ok, I get it now.

Riese: Molly and Shane are having a private convo.

Carly: A fully private conversation.

Molly and Shane having a private conversation at the dinner party

Riese: At the table, which honestly seems appropriate. This diner party is going nowhere fast, everyone should just stay in their small groups.

Carly: It’s also very dimly lit. You can’t even see across — or halfway across the table.

Riese: Yeah, as an elder lesbian, I struggled.

Carly: I was adjusting the brightness on the screen, I was like, what the fuck? Like a proper old person.

Ari: And it’s funny because it’s not a couples dinner, but that lighting was for a couples dinner.

Carly: Absolutely.

Ari: No one’s there to make friends.

Riese: Yeah, that’s a romance—

Carly: That is sexy lighting.

Ari: Yeah.

Riese: That’s a romantic mood they were setting. And then — so Molly and Shane go outside for a cigarette, and then Amy and Jodi and Bette are signing to each other?

Ari: Mhmm.

Riese: They’re having a conversation, and then Tina’s like, “What’s happening?!”

Carly: Tina… fucking…


Carly: She’s waving, like, “Hello?!?!” Like, “Hello?! Hello?! She wants the teacher to call on her. And then she does that thing where she loudly and slowly says to Jodi—

Tina: This is delicious! What’s it called?

Carly: I was like, oh no! This could not possibly get any worse! And then it does. Bette’s like, “Oh, I’m sorry, we didn’t mean to exclude you.” And then Tina’s like—

Tina: Yes, you did.

Carly: And Bette’s like, “No, no we didn’t.” And Tina again says—

Tina: Yes, you did.

Riese: I loved this moment for Tina. I also would like to say that Jodi is excluded from 75% of the conversations that have happened around her on this show.

Carly: Truly.

Riese: So maybe just let her have this one?

Carly: Let her have one?

Ari: One. And honestly, 75% is generous. It’s closer to 90.

Riese: Yeah, it’s like 99% of the conversations.

Carly: And then they talk about Indian food.

Ari: Yep, and how Bette doesn’t like it because she got sick.

Carly: In India.

Ari: In India, oh my god.

Carly: Ughhhhh. This whole scene, I’m just like, oh god.

Riese: If I stopped eating every cuisine that had ever made me sick, I would never eat. I would certainly stop drinking, which I basically have, but, I could knock a few back once a month.

Carly: I just don’t like how I feel anymore. I get hungover instantly.

Riese: It is a whole affair. Like, the next day is—

Ari: It’s like a whole thing, yeah.

Carly: I get a headache within an hour of having one drink now.

Riese: Yeah. I get the hangover before I even go to bed!

Carly: Yes! I get the hangover while I’m still having a second drink.

Ari: Yeah. Aging really fucks you up. It’s no good.

Carly: It literally sucks. I try to think about the person I was in my early 20s. Sometimes I think about the amount of alcohol I was able to drink in one sitting and I’m truly shocked that I survived.

Ari: Shocked.

Riese: And then I look at pictures of myself and I’m like, my skin is still radiant, and I look so healthy. Like 10,000 times better than I do now, so like, what the fuck?

Carly: I look like I was drinking only water, but I never drank water in college! Or after!

Riese: Uh uh. Speaking of young people, Molly and Shane are outside and Molly is still very much into telling Shane that she wants to sleep with her.

Ari: Yep.

Molly and Shane sitting outside of Jodi's apartment

Carly: Yeah. This is starting to get annoying. It’s also reminding me of a lot of straight girls I knew in my early 20s and in college. I’m like, oh god, whomst among us has not been in this situation?

Riese: Yeah.

Ari: Sitting outside with a bottle of wine you stole from a dinner party, sharing a cigarette.

Carly: With a straight girl.

Ari: Trying to convince the straight girl that she does want to sleep with you. Ugh.

Carly: Oh my god.

Shane: To L and Back! Well, to be honest, I thought about it. But I came to the conclusion that if it was to happen, you would probably freak out afterwards, and then you’d most likely go running back to your boyfriend in Vermont. And then I’d be stuck in the cold with nothing but the distant memory of mediocre sex, and I’d be out of cigarettes.

Molly: Just one cigarette, and I’m not mediocre in bed.

Riese: I think this represents great character development for Shane. She’s growing.

Carly: Yeah. We’re so proud of Shane.

Riese: She’s like, “By the way, this would be bad.”

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: So also, no.

Carly: But instead, they kiss.

Riese: Yeah, Molly then kisses her.

Carly: Molly!

Riese: Classic straight girl move! “I’m not gay…” kisses you.

Carly: “I’m not gay, I’m not gay, stop looking at me,” and then they put their face on your face.

Riese: Yeah.

Ari: And then she asks to be taken home.

Riese: Yikes.

Ari: Like a 13-year-old at a sleepover.

Carly: She literally says, “Take me back to my mom’s house.”

Riese: And Shane is like, “See?”

Carly: “Told ya!”

Riese: Told you.

Ari: It’s also like, how did we exist before Lyft? Like, I cannot imagine making a bad decision and then asking the person I made a bad decision with to take me home?

Carly: To take me home.

Riese: To drive me home, yeah.

Ari: How did we exist?

Carly: I don’t know how we existed. I think — and again, this was college…

Riese: Well, and we were in New York…

Carly: Well before — I was in New York after college. In college I was in Florida, and we just drove everywhere.

Ari: Ugh.

Carly: Oh my god, Jenny is still waiting outside of the premiere.

Riese: She’s sad.

Carly: This is sad. And we see Adele schmoozing it up with Nikki’s agents and shit.

Riese: Scheming.

Carly: Just full scheme/scam mode. She’s such a scammer.

Ari: Such a scammer!

Carly: Jenny texts Adele like, “What the hell?” She’s like, “Oh my god, it’s like, there’s photographers everywhere, and I can’t get close to her, but don’t leave!”

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Oh my god.

Riese: I feel bad for Jenny because I feel like there’s this special humiliation I’m really thinking of, when we’re like — when we used to do red carpet for things but they wouldn’t give us tickets to the actual event.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: But I’d have a friend in the event who was like, “I can probably get you in,” and then I’d feel stupid, like, I should be cool enough that I’m already in the event and instead I’m standing out here, outside of the event, wasted, and in a really fancy outfit and makeup and feeling like a loser.

Carly: Vulnerable?

Riese: Vulnerable!

Ari: It is a vulnerable moment for her. See, you’re making me second guess myself. My note is “lol at Jenny sitting on the cement, sorry, I hate her.” But also, she’s incredibly vulnerable.

Carly: I normally — this season, I hate Jenny, but this brief little moment I was kind of like, “Ohhh, but — ohhhh, ughhh,” but also, I was also laughing.

Riese: I would say the majority of watchers of this program thought, “lol look at Jenny.” You know?

Carly: We go back to Jodi’s place, where Bette is now cleaning up after dinner and Tina comes in — no idea where Tina was — and it’s just the two of them.

Riese: We see Tina’s full outfit now, which involves very high boots that I didn’t like.

Carly: I truly didn’t even notice her outfit.

Ari: Neither did I! Was she wearing purple?

Riese: Yeah, she was wearing a purple shirt dress and then brown boots that went up to her knee, which I guess was sort of the times. I didn’t feel like the boot dress—

Carly: The proportions were off.

Riese: The proportions were off!

Ari: Sure.

Carly: I get it. So Tina’s like, “Where is everybody?” And everyone’s on the roof looking at a sculpture.

Riese: Jodi built a sculpture on the fucking roof, which, cheers to Jodi for that.

Ari: It’s what she does.

Carly: I’m so excited that she is able to do that, otherwise what else would she be doing?

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: So Bette tells Tina—

Bette: This is really one of the most excruciating things I’ve been through.

Carly: And I was like, wow Bette, your life has been pretty chill, huh?

Riese: Yeah, it’s like, they have a lot of sexual tension, I guess? And then they get really close to each other. And then Bette says the most unsexiest thing anyone has ever said in the history of anybody ever trying to get laid, or kiss, or think about sex, or think about kissing, or think about romance, or think about love, or think about bodies, or what they could do, or making out, or necking, or Adam’s apple sucking, or anything like that, which is—

Bette: I think we should go see Dan.
Tina: Dan Foxworthy?

Carly: The only therapist.

Riese: “He knows us better than anyone!”

Carly: Tina should have just slapped her. Like, that is the most outrageous thing to say to somebody. Dan Foxworthy was a terrible therapist. I hate him, they need to find a new therapist if they’re going to go to a therapist.

Ari: But he knows them better than anybody!

Carly: He knows them.

Riese: Than anyone!

Carly: Anyone!

Riese: This white man knows them.

Carly: Lesbians. He knows the queer women better than they seemingly know anyone else.

Bette and Tina experience sexual tension

Riese: Than anyone. Better than Jodi — that’s a big insult to Jodi.

Ari: It’s an insult to themselves, honestly.

Carly: Truly.

Riese: It is. First and foremost—

Carly: First and foremost, that this is their chosen therapist.

Riese: They’re dragging themselves.

Carly: And it’s such a self own.

Riese: Back to the premiere….

Ari: Where Adele…

Carly: Oh my god. So it is now — the movie has ended, Jenny’s been outside for, like, a solid two hours.

Ari: Two hours…

Riese: I would be out of there.

Carly: Oh, I would have absolutely left. I would have been like, this is stupid. I would have gone home for sure.

Riese: I probably would have secretly been a little bit happy, because I didn’t want to see the movie, and I also probably wanted to go home.

Carly: Same. Big same.

Riese: I would have been like, “Oh well…”

Carly: Oh darn, I missed the movie…

Riese: Darn, I guess I can’t see it… Catch up with you guys tomorrow… And then I’d go home and watch Glee videos, in my gown.

Carly: So, we see Adele walking with Nikki and Greg. And as they’re walking out into all the photographers, Adele suggests to Nikki that she should kiss Greg in front of them and they’re gonna love it. And she does, and Jenny watches.

Niki and Greg kiss outside of a movie premiere

Riese: And they do.

Carly: Everyone loves it except Jenny. Obviously Jenny is very sad. The manager and the agent are just so thrilled with their lives.

Ari: So thrilled!

Carly: And with Adele — our little scammer is really doing some amazing work.

Riese: Yeah, they know the next issue of Star Beat is gonna be like, “Nikki is not a lez girl.”

Carly: It’s going to be like, “JK.”

Riese: JK. Nikki is not a lez girl, and it’s gonna have a picture of her making out with Greg, who I referred to as Tim in my notes throughout.

Carly: And it will have a little arrow that says “man” next to Greg, so that people know, they’re not confused. Like, not a lez girl.

Ari: Yep.

Carly: And then Adele is like, “Oh my god, they probably made her kiss him, it’s fine. Don’t worry!”

Ari: I love that she asks like, “Oh, did you see that?” Adele!

Carly: She is… ugh, if it was anyone other than Jenny, this would not be working, I feel like.

Ari: Exactly, it only works because it’s Jenny.

Riese: Yeah, because she’s so wrapped up in her own ego that she doesn’t notice—

Carly: Anything.

Riese: And she’s obviously never seen All About Eve, because this is the exact everything.

Ari: The exact thing, yeah.

Riese: And honestly All About Eve feels like a film that Jenny would have seen?

Carly: It does.

Riese: I guess it wasn’t in French. I was pulling up, for this next scene, a screenshot I took.

Carly: I also took a screenshot!

"Our Chart" website pulled up on a laptop at trial

Riese: So we’re back at army.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: And so, they’re opening the scene with a screenshot of our favorite website, OurChart.com. In the screenshot we see the only stock photo of lesbians that existed in 2008.

Ari: Mhmm.

Riese: Which is two white lesbians, one in a teal bra, one in a pink bra, and they are not kissing, they are sort of—

Carly: They’re like, kind of smushed together.

Riese: Yeah, their faces are kind of smushed together. They have long blonde hair. The headline of the item is “For Women Only,” and I will now be reading its content.

Carly: Thank you.

Riese: “I am excited to move my post from guestbian to this column. As you can see from this gallery of images, I am in good company, and any of my faithful readers knows what I mean when I say that it only makes sense that I put in my two cents. The long and short of it: we’re here to connect, that’s what OurChart is for. So with all the attention other sites give to the unclad and the scantily clad, the bar has been set, expectations are what the web is all about. And we are not here to disappoint, but to fulfill. Speaking of which, it looks like someone is getting a…

Carly: That’s where it ends!

Ari: And that’s where it ends.

Riese: Yeah, we also — there’s a blogroll on the left side. The blogs on it are “No Regrets Alive;” “2 Loose” — that’s a numeral 2, loose — “Blind Faith;” “Long View, Narrow Focus;” “Francer’s Parabies”… I don’t know what that says. Sound… Sound Butch? And “Inside Scoop.” And also, there are some comments on the right from “Conditioned Belly,” “Brigadoo,” “Lemur Yellow,” “Witch Hunt,” and “Calm Smashr.”

Ari: Calm Smashr…

Riese: Yeah, but there’s no “e” at the end, it’s like “smashr.”

Ari: Like “Tumblr.”

Carly: But Calm Smashr’s comment is, “Nobody with a hint of skill needs a knife to open a clam.” There you go!

Riese: Oh wait, I forgot — the post actually continues, because they scroll.

Carly: Yes.

Riese: So then we see the other image that was on the cover of every lesbian book that was published in the 2000s, which is the butt of the girl in the teal. Butt grab. So, “expectations is what the web is all about, and we are not here to disappoint but to fulfill. Speaking of butch, looks like somebody is getting a full feel at least,” butt picture. “Of course, in the interest of journalistic, not to mention artistic integrity, it is important to take a closer view of the action, as long as they’re in living color, just waiting for views to be taken, for the benefits of sheer exposure.”

Ari: What?!

Carly: That’s it. And then there’s a silhouette of Shane made from a promo image from Season 1, I think, or Season 2.

Riese: That was everyone’s fake — that was everyone’s silhouette.

Carly: Right, before you upload a photo, as a new user.

Riese: Right before you upload a photo, you have the Shane — everyone has a Shane haircut.

Carly: I remember the press photo that they used to make that silhouette, and I don’t like that that takes up space in my head. What are the other things I could have learned in my life that could have replaced that? So many things. That sounds like it was written by an algorithm, like, what human wrote that?

Riese: I’m gonna publish that on Autostraddle tomorrow, I’m just going to copy/paste that.

Carly: Just copy/paste.

Ari: Honestly, I think you should.

Carly: I think it’s a great idea.

Ari: Yeah.

Riese: Be like, who recognizes this prose? Nobody.

Carly: I liked “unclad or scantily clad.”

Ari: I like “journalistic and artistic.”

Riese: Yeah. It just like — they should pick something — like they do the weirdest things with dummy text. They had Max’s “Transgender” blog…

Ari: Oh god.

Riese: That was just weird stuff about male and female gonads.

Carly: It was very weird.

Riese: So bizarre. Then, when they had Jenny’s short story in The New Yorker, they had two paragraphs of the short story, followed by a ton of things about Israel and Russia.

Carly: Israel and Russia.

Riese: Like, they just pasted over one column of a New Yorker article, and then left the rest intact.

Ari: Oh my god.

Carly: Yeah, it’s very confusing.

Riese: Come on, ladies.

Carly: What’s happening, what are we doing?

Riese: Lorem Ipsum is free.

Ari: Lorem Ipsum is free!

Riese: Free for all, and that option exists at all times.

Carly: But if they didn’t do, we wouldn’t have these wonderful things to freeze frame and screenshot 12 years later, Riese.

Ari: You’re right…

Carly: Think about it.

Riese: That’s true. Anyways, this next little scene is a true delight. Basically, the army is pitching OurChart to the audience.

Carly: This was like an episode of Shark Tank, right?

Ari: Yep.

Riese: Yeah. They’re like, “So there is a podcast where she interviews other lesbians about their sex life and talks about her own sex life. And this is the chart of women who have had sex with one another,” and they’re all like, “What?!” And, same. Like, what?

Carly: I just want someone to tell them that not all queer people have made a website about who they’ve slept with, and that many of us know what a podcast is.

Riese: Yeah. I have, but—

Carly: And I just think that it’s not fair. These straight army men are getting a very skewed picture of what being a lesbian is. They don’t — these are the only lesbians they’ve ever heard of and now they’re like, “Oh, lesbians all have websites of charts.”

Ari: Yep. I mean, I did make a website for a final project last year that had a chart on it, but.

Riese: What was the chart?

Ari: It was places that I’ve cried in public in Austin, Texas.

Carly: That’s so much more useful!

Riese: That’s similar… yeah.

Carly: Yeah, because if someone needed a place to cry, they could look at it and be like, “Oh, this is a good spot.”

Ari: Absolutely.

Riese: They could be like, “This won’t be the first time the barista has seen someone cry in this coffee shop.”

Ari: Yeah, right.

Carly: “This feels safe.”

Ari: They’re used to it, they’ve seen me.

Riese: Yeah, exactly.

Carly: Exactly.

Riese: I love it.

Ari: Yeah.

Riese: Anyway, someone said—

Major Dorough: It’s not my chart, Colonel, if you know what I mean.

Carly: Yeah, yeah, that was great.

Riese: Anyway, Davis saw The Look.

Carly: Yes, Davis saw The Look. Not The View, The Look. And she was like, “Wow, you are self-identified lesbian, you have a lesbian website, you were on TV being a lesbian, and you are friends with people sometimes.”

Riese: Yeah, she’s like, “So you’re a lesbian Ms. Pieszecki?” And I wanted her to be like, “Actually no, I’m bisexual.”

Alice testifies at Tasha's trial

Ari: I was really surprised she didn’t.

Riese: And then just try to explain that to the army.

Carly: That would have been great.

Riese: I wanted that. That’s what I wanted.

Ari: Yeah.

Carly: That would have been really great. This scene does go in a really wonderful direction, but that is not the direction it goes in.

Ari: Unfortunately.

Carly: And so Colonel Davis is like, “Do you know a lot of people in the military? Because how on earth did you meet Tasha?” And I was like, oh no, the only answer to that is being gay! Everyone knows that! She, as a gay person, was trying to set her up to say that the only reason she knows her is because of being gay.

Riese: She should have been like, “Let me pull up the chart again. As you can see, Papi right here has slept with—”

Carly: “See right here? This is Papi.”

Riese: 4,000 women.

Ari: Mhmm.

Carly: “I’m one of them, but Tasha is not, and Tasha is not on the chart.” And that would be the end, and she would be like, “I rest my case.” And you’d be like, what?

Ari: She did say Tasha’s not on the chart.

Carly: Yes, she did. She also then asks Alice straight up if she’s ever had sex with Tasha.

Riese: I love this trial.

Carly: And instead of Alice answering quickly, she starts to just kind of look around and look confused. And for a second I forgot what happened — I haven’t seen this in so long, so I forgot what was about to happen. And I was just like, Alice, what the fuck are you doing?

Ari: Just say no!

Carly: What the fuck are you doing?!

Riese: No!

Carly: And then she fucking flips the whole thing around!

Alice: You know what? This whole thing, this whole thing is a crock. It’s a fricken witch hunt. I mean, you’re trying to say that Tasha is a lesbian because of her association with me? With lame, trumped up evidence? I’m sorry, but I could just as easily say that I think you’re a lesbian, Colonel Davis, with the propensity to engage in homosexual conduct, because of the way you looked at me in the hallway yesterday.
Colonel Davis: The Look. That is enough, Ms. Pieszecki.
Alice: If all I have to do is establish that you know a lesbian — one lesbian — and maybe you had lunch with her once? I bet there aren’t a lot of women who wear that uniform who haven’t eaten out with a lesbian in their time.
Colonel Davis: I would like to request a recess at this time to allow Ms. Pieszecki to collect herself.
Judge: Yes, we’ll take a 15 minute recess. [bangs gavel]
Alice: I’m ok, I mean if you want to keep…

Riese: Bananas bullshit that would never — it’s a bananas Law and Order final scene. Wild insane bullshit, loved every minute of it.

Carly: It was wonderful, it was like in Legally Blonde when she’s talking about getting a perm.

Ari: Yes.

Carly: It’s just perfect. And then all Colonel Davis can do is suggest they take a recess.

Ari: And I love that Alice sort of stays there after everyone else is gone and is like, “I’m fine!”

Riese: “We can keep going! I don’t need a break! I’m fine, I already had a banana!”

Carly: Oh my god, and then the next scene is incredible. So Alice goes in that little room, and then Davis just fucking throws the door open and is like, “Rawr,” Kool-Aid man right in there. She’s like, “We’re not fuckking playing games, Alice.” And then basically kind of comes out? And is like, basically, “You can’t out me, you’re about to out me, please don’t ruin my career, just tell Tasha to say the stuff she’s supposed to say when I cross-examine her and she can be fine.”

Ari: Yep.

Riese: She can be in army.

Carly: She can stay in army and I would recommend that she is in army. And Alice is like, “Huh?!”

Riese: “What?!”

Ari: “Ok!”

Riese: But I love this coming around for her, you know? Because I did not approve of her previous outing, and now here she is.

Carly: That’s true.

Riese: It’s working.

Carly: This near-outing was appropriate.

Ari: Yeah. I mean, if it fucks with the military, I’m ok with it.

Riese: Right.

Carly: Exactly. So she runs outside to find Tasha and tell her what the fuck just happened.

Riese: Yeah. She’s like, “She’s afraid I’m gonna out her!” Which by the way, I think she would.

Carly: Yeah. I think she knows what Alice is capable of because she saw her on television.

Riese: Yeah. “What army Colonel Counsel Davis is—”

Carly: No, she wouldn’t say Davis, she would say everything else.

Riese: “She was checking out women in the locker room after punching a bag. Wink wink.”

Carly: I like how she said she saw how Davis looked at her.

Ari: Yep.

Riese: Right.

Carly: I was like, ok Alice, can we not have this be all about you? Like, for one second?

Riese: Yeah. How do you even know that you’re her type?

Carly: What is her type? We should find out.

Riese: I don’t know.

Carly: Have her on your little video podcast.

Riese: Yeah, have her on your “podcast” that’s a video show. So finally — this is a big moment!

Carly: Ugh, huge!

Ari: The biggest moment.

Carly: Huge. Such a good moment.

Riese: This is a huge moment because we have been asking this question over and over again on this podcast, haven’t we?

Carly: Yes, we have.

Riese: The question is, why the fuck is this beautiful wonderful person in the goddamn military?!

Ari: Why?!

Carly: Why? We have not gotten an explanation from Tasha at any point, last season or this season, as to why she’s in the military and why she cares about staying in the military.

Ari: Mhmm. And here we find out!

Riese: Her family. It’s her family, which is usually, I think, the answer to these questions.

Tasha testifies at her trial, saying "I come from a military family"

Carly: She’s from a military family, she has a strong sense of duty to continue the family being a military family.

Ari: Ugh.

Carly: That’s the answer, I guess.

Riese: I don’t buy it.

Carly: Ugh, well, that’s what happens when you don’t give a character a backstory, when you write them into a show. And we enjoyed this scene and we enjoyed this episode and it was pretty awesome what’s about to happen, but at the same time, there was very little substance behind any of it, which was unfortunate.

Ari: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah, she should have accidentally come out in that moment and be like, “Honestly, I wanted to hang out with my dad, because I was a lesbian, and I wanted to do run-around-in-the-mud things, and he was in the army, so now I’m in the army, too.”

Ari: That’s a better backstory than “my dad and my grandpa were in the military and I care about America.”

Riese: Why?!

Carly: I’m like, that’s a lie, no one cares. So Colonel Davis questions her about — what’s the guy’s name that — did you write down the guy’s name? Anyone know the guy’s name? The boy, the guy…

Riese: The boy…

Carly: Davis questions her about the dude who initially accused her of showing preferential treatment, and Tasha is saying all the right things that she’s supposed to say, like, “He wasn’t qualified for the job, I’m not showing preferential treatment aside from preferring people who are qualified for a job get the job,” and then she completely goes and veers right off script into an absolutely incredible moment.

Davis: Do you agree that the military codes of conduct be strictly adhered to at all times?
Tasha: I always have, until now.
Davis: I’m sorry?
Tasha: One of the things that is asked of us when we go to the front lines is that we be prepared to be separated from the people that we love. And we ask it of them, too. We ask them to go and let us fight for their freedom, maybe to never come home. And when we do come home, we feel blessed. It seems so wrong, now, to have my personal freedom denied to me within my own country. It seems wrong to watch the person that I love be interrogated like a criminal when she did nothing wrong.
Davis: The person you love? To whom are you referring, Captain Williams?
Tasha: Alice Pieszecki, Colonel.

Carly: I was cheering, I was watching it, I was like, “Yeah!!” I was applauding her.

Ari: I know, so good.

Carly: Even though I’ve seen it before, and this is 12 years old.

Ari: Yep.

Carly: Didn’t matter.

Ari: “The person I love…” Ugh! And they were like, “Wait a second, who do you love?!”

Carly: Because they were totally convinced by her testimony!

Ari: So convinced!

Riese: Yeah, they were like, “Wait, Greg?”

Carly: Greg from the movie?!

Riese: Greg from the movie?!

Carly: No, not Greg. Colonel Beech? Did you mean Beech? Captain Beech, whatever his name is?

Riese: Yeah, and then her and Beech make out and everyone’s like, “Wow! Wow!”

Carly: Everyone’s like, “This is weird!” No, instead, she basically kicks herself out of the army, runs outside to find Alice. She’s like, “Alice, I won!” And Alice is like, “Cool.”

Riese: What?

Carly: What? “That’s great, what does that mean?” And she’s like, “I told them I love you!” And then everyone comes up in a very kind of like, “Well, we all tried,” kind of the end of the game, you know? Like, good game! That kind of moment. Beech is like, “You’ll be missed, goodbye.” And Colonel Davis is like, “You’re not as noble as you think you are, but…”

Riese: Yeah, and Davis is like, “Freedom is great, but sacrificing so that other Americans can be free is better.” And I was like, that’s a good point, because Tasha’s Black and therefore she is also sacrificing her life for people other than her to be free because she’s not really free. Anyway, so that was my thought about Davis’ little speech.

Ari: Super gaslight-y.

Carly: Yeah!

Ari: Like, such a gaslighter to be like “You know, if you’re as good of a lesbian as I am, you’d just stay closeted.”

Riese: Absolutely.

Ari: “And protect your country…”

Carly: Seriously!

Riese: Yeah, she’s just trying to validate her own choices because she’s about to go home and do a marathon masturbating session to army porn.

Ari: Yep, mhmm.

Riese: Out there on the fields, holding each other in their arms as they die, and like, “mahhhhh,” she’s like, “I’m never ever going to have sex or experience love ever in my whole life, and it’s really lame that you are going to.” And she hates it.

Carly: And then they salute each other on that.

Ari: Yeah, they do salute each other.

Riese: The lesbian salute.

Carly: And then Alice and Tasha finally kiss! Ugh! It’s wonderful, and all the men gawk, and then one random army lady gives them a double thumbs up!

Tasha and Alice kiss!

Soldier gives two thumbs up to Tasha and Alice

Riese: Yes!

Carly: That was the best, that lady giving the double thumbs up was the best part of the episode.

Riese: That’s one of my favorite screenshots I’ve ever taken in the history of this program. It’s right up there with the insane Cherie Jaffe being like “Let’s have a party!” It was that girl, she was full-on—

Carly: She was like, I am in this episode for four seconds, I am gonna fucking sell this thumbs up.

Riese: nN small parts, only small actors. She killed it.

Ari: Yes.

Carly: I bet she improvised the double thumbs up.

Riese: So, tune back in next week, for probably Tasha and Alice having a fight.

Ari: Yeah.

Carly: That’s the episode!

Riese: That’s the episode!

Carly: We did it!

Riese: We did it!

Carly: Ok, what did we think? Do we like this episode? I think we do.

Ari: Yes. I liked this episode.

Riese: Tell us why!

Ari: It takes me on a journey! You know? For a moment I feel bad for Jenny, which is a new experience. It starts out incredibly misogynistic, just dick dick dick dick dick. There’s a dinner party.

Riese: On the floor.

Ari: Right, and then it ends like a good episode of Law and Order, like you said. Where it’s just like, a courtroom scene—

Riese: Bananas.

Ari: And some running, and kissing, and it’s a good episode!

Carly: Yeah!

Ari: They fit a lot into this hour.

Carly: They do. They take us through a real journey with the movie. I mean, like a little bit of a journey with the movie, but we do spend some time on set, but then we go through an entire military trial and the conclusion of it in one episode, which I think was good. I don’t think we needed to see that play out any longer than it did, necessarily.

Ari: Right.

Riese: I was grateful.

Carly: Yeah, I was grateful it was just one episode.

Riese: Yeah, they wrapped it up.

Carly: But it was good. And we got to see Tasha and Alice get back together, which was very good.

Ari: So good.

Carly: It was needed!

Riese: And also, this marks our third episode in a row in which nobody is mean to Max!

Carly: Oh my god, yay!

Ari: Didn’t you also say that this was the third episode without Max?

Carly: Yes… well wait, wasn’t one of those — he was in one and they weren’t mean to him.

Riese: He was briefly in it.

Carly: And no one was mean to him. And then this is the second now in a row that he is not in it at all. So it’s the third episode in a row where no one is mean to Max.

Riese: Is mean to Max, yeah. So I think that it was good. And everyone was very pretty, very pretty. There were some laughs, and good luck to Molly and Shane with whatever happens there for them! I wish them all the best! I wish — I can’t wait for the Liquid Heat premiere. Is that what it’s called because that’s the name of a future episode?

Carly: Yeah, the movie is called Liquid Heat.

Riese: Because that’s the name of the — isn’t that the name of the episode, the blackout episode?

Carly: Yes, it is.

Riese: Interesting!

Ari: Foreshadowing!

Carly: I guess, yeah. Or just somebody got confused about something.

Ari: There are only so many L words, is probably what it actually is.

Riese: That’s what we learn every week.

Carly: Yeah, that’s an ongoing saga.

Ari: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah, so good for them — the film is coming out, it’s gonna be a big hit, looking forward to the cover of Stuff magazine. Looking forward to Jodi’s leftovers, looking forward to whatever the fuck she is doing on the roof, and looking forward to seeing what happens — I wonder what career Tasha is going to pick next? I bet it will be a good one. And I think that also Nikki — I hope she gets to wear what she wants to wear, you know? Because a woman should get to wear what she wants to wear on her program. And we’ll see what happens with the She Bitches next time.

Carly: Ari, thank you so much for joining us this week!

Riese: Thank you so much for joining us!

Carly: This was wonderful!

Ari: Thank you so much for having me! This is amazing.

Carly: Is there anything you would like to plug, or perhaps tell everyone your social medias, etc.

Ari: Yes, you can follow me on social media, Twitter specifically, @alaraemonts.

Riese: Awesome!

Carly: Awesome!

Carly: Thank you so much for listening to To L and Back. You can find us on social media over on Instagram and Twitter. We are @tolandback. You can also email us at: [email protected]. And don’t forget, we have a hotline! You can give us a call and leave a message, it’s 971-217-6130. We’ve also got merch, which you can find at store.autostraddle.com. There’s stickers, there’s shirts, including a Bette Porter 2020 shirt, which is pretty excellent. Our theme song is by Be Steadwell, our logo is by Carra Sykes. And this podcast was produced, edited, and mixed by Lauren Klein. You can find me on social, I am @carlytron. Riese is @autowin. Autostraddle is @autostraddle. And of course, Autostraddle.com, the reason we are all here today.

Riese: Autostraddle dot com!

Carly: Alright, and finally, it’s time for our L words. This is the segment of the show where we end things by simultaneously shouting out a random L word. Usually these have little-to-no relevance to anything we recapped. Ok, Riese, are you ready?

Riese: Ok. One, two, three. Liquid heat.

Carly: Betnijah Laney.

Ari: Lothario.

Carly: Ari, what did you say?

Ari: Lothario.

Carly: Oooh! Riese?

Riese: That’s like Shane?

Ari: Yes, Shane. Like Shane.

Riese: I said, I said liquid heat.

Carly: Wow. Incredible.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: And I said Betnijah Laney. Betnijah Laney is a WNBA player, she plays for the Atlanta Dream. Every episode of Season 5, my L word has been in some way related to the WNBA, so that was today’s. By the time people are actually hearing this episode, she was probably named — she has hopefully been voted the league’s Most Improved Player. She just had an incredible breakout season and is just the frontrunner for that award. And I think by the time this airs, they probably will have announced it and she probably will have won it, so, she’s awesome.

Ari: I’m proud of her! Most improved player is — I think honestly better than the MVP.

Riese: Yeah, I got Most Improved Player in soccer once and I was like, thanks guys.

Ari: I got that a lot in basketball. I never wanted to play at the beginning of the season, and by the end I was like, yeah ok, I’ll play.

Carly: By the end of the season you were like, fine.

Ari: Yeah.

Carly: And then the season ended.

Ari: Yeah, and then it was over.

Carly: And you were like, oh well.

Riese: They were like, “Well, at the beginning you didn’t talk to anyone, so we forgot you were here. And then you did, and now we know you’re here, and now every time you open your mouth you say something terrible.” So that’s kind of like the trade-off I guess.

Carly: Thank you aaaalll!

Riese: Ok yeah, because I have to pee.

Carly: Yeah. Thank you all so much for listening. We will see you next time, byeee!

Riese: Yes, thank you guys so much, love you!

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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 3228 articles for us.

1 Comment

  1. I’ve been a fan of the podcast for a while, but I have a comment on today’s episode.

    As a former Army officer (90s/2000s), I can tell you that the depictions of the Army on the show were clearly written by someone who didn’t know much about it. It was sort of an anti military caricature which given the show’s POV is to be expected. Judging why someone would join the military based on that representation isn’t really useful.

    The struggle for equality and even harder, respect, for women and gays in the military has been long and hard but definitely worth it. It is fundamental to our society that U.S. military represents all types of Americans. Military service can also provide training and credentials that are very useful as a civilian. All Americans should have access to that.

    My experience was vastly more positive than negative and I’m convinced that wearing a common uniform and having a common goal helps integrate parts of society that are unlikely to interact much with each other otherwise. Those bonds remain after the service member returns to civilian life.

    Thanks for all the fun with the podcast. I look forward to your future episodes!

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