Well friends, it’s time for the inevitable and infamous Season Six here on your favorite L Word Podcast, To L and Back. We kick off this week with 6×01, in which Bette Porter impacts the fate of civilization with a dangerous butterfly shirt, Shane creeps around Los Angeles with all her t-shirts in a Whole Foods bag, Jenny throws a lamp, Tasha and Alice try to figure out if they have anything in common and Papi returns from the vortex to make us all liverwurst sandwiches!!! Oh and also, somebody killed Jenny?
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Riese: Hi, I’m Riese!
Carly: And I’m Carly!
Riese: And this is—
Riese and Carly: To L and Back!
Carly: And we’re back.
Riese: And we’re back. We say that a lot too.
Carly: I know, but we really are back. We’re really back this time.
Riese: We really are back.
Carly: We took, is this like the longest break we’ve ever taken? I think it might be.
Riese: Yeah, I think so. And if you don’t count the holiday special, then, I mean, it’s definitely the longest break we’ve taken from watching The L Word.
Carly: Since we began this intrepid project.
Riese: The original series. Since we began. Yeah. We took a little timeout from all of our friends in West Hollywood.
Carly: Yeah, but you know what? It’s time to let them back into our hearts and our minds.
Riese: It’s time to think about them all the time.
Carly: We are about to embark on a recapping journey of perhaps the worst season of television ever produced in the history of television.
Riese: I agree.
Carly: I feel like that’s safe to say.
Riese: I mean, not counting shows that are so bad I don’t watch them. I can’t think of any other show I’ve seen that failed so profoundly in their final season, as The L Word.
Carly: So spectacularly, it’s kind of impressive.
Riese: Epic. Yeah, it is, because it’s like, they had a lot of relatively good things set out for them. They had compelling characters, they had lesbian sex.
Carly: That might be all they had. They had the backing of Showtime and all—
Riese: Showtime. An esteemed network.
Carly: And by the time you get to the sixth season of your show, you get money. You had a budget at this point.
Riese: They had a budget.
Carly: And they just…
Carly: Sure. Tunes. They had some good tunes.
Riese: Some good tunes. But I think the most important thing they had going for them was that I personally was recapping their television show, with all of my heart.
Carly: For sure.
Riese: And they profoundly betrayed me, personally, with this pile of terrible-ness. I don’t know why I was trying not to swear.
Carly: I know. We don’t swear on this podcast anymore. New Season Six rule.
Riese: Yeah. We’re going PG this season, all the sex scenes we’re just going to go beep beep beep beep.
Carly: And then Jenny bleeps, and yeah. Yeah. I feel like that’s something that’s really often lost in the conversation about Season Six is, how—
Riese: Is me?
Carly: Yeah. How that was a real personal affront to you specifically.
Riese: Yeah, it definitely was.
Carly: I don’t think we talk about that enough. No, one’s talking about that.
Riese: No, we don’t. Yeah. Because I think honestly talking about me in general is always a good idea, and not everyone realizes that. But I’m glad that we’re taking the time right now. Also, you should introduce the episode.
Carly: Okay. Here I go. Today—
Riese: Speaking of journeys.
Carly: An aptly-named episode, this is season six, episode one, entitled, “Long Nights Journey into Day,” because the whole episode basically takes place over the course of one night.
Riese: One wild night in an imaginary Los Angeles, where everything’s open 24 hours, including bars.
Carly: Yeah, I know, right? Like what? This was written and directed by Ilene Chaiken, and originally aired January 18th, 2009.
Riese: We probably watched it maybe a week before then, I want to say.
Carly: That seems likely. Yeah.
Riese: Because I had screeners. So we all got together at the new apartment Natalie and I had moved into. And Robin — that’s when Robin took tons of pictures of us.
Carly: Yes. I remember that. I remember that very — And I brought my Muppet. Svetlana Monsoon, my customized Muppet I got at FAO Schwartz. She’s a real, real winner.
Riese: Yeah. So Robin took really good pictures and we watched the first episode and then we all changed our clothes and watched the second episode.
Carly: So that the pictures would look like we were on a different day.
Riese: Because, I was starting to think, how could I do this with more expedience? Because I was becoming a professional woman of the world, in a business, and I was about to start my business pretty soon.
Carly: A businesswoman, one might say.
Riese: I was becoming a businesswoman. Yeah. And I was there for the special, and the special was—
Carly: Two burgers, two fries, and a diet coke.
Riese: Yes, exactly.
Carly: That’s what Romy and Michele reference for some of our younger listeners who might not know who they are. They’re brilliant. And it’s a really good movie.
Riese: You know, what’s funny is that like, when I go back to watch old episodes of The L word, often they’re sort of, like, midway for some reason, like when I press play, it’s in the middle. Usually, because like I’ve gone back and watched it or I’ve gone back to like get screenshots from it for a post for Autostraddle, usually most of the time. And the place where this episode was paused, and I know why it was paused there, had been paused there since a post I wrote, I want to say in 2015 or something, which honestly is quite some time for me to be out of touch with any particular episode of this program. But I think what that really speaks to is that after recapping this episode, I never watched it again, ever.
Carly: Until now.
Riese: Until now.
Carly: I similarly never re-watched any of season six, and have actually blocked much of season six out in my mind. So it’s almost like — for me, at least — I’m watching these for the first time in a way, because I’ve forgotten so much of it.
Riese: So yeah, we’re really coming to this with fresh eyeballs.
Carly: Fresh eyeballs that have been indoors for 11 months. So yeah, we’re really coming at it from a healthy place.
Riese: All right, should we get into it?
Carly: Let’s get into it.
Riese: The opening clip. We were just speaking about how we hadn’t seen this episode very many times, but this specific clip, I feel I was forced to watch like Clockwork Orange style, 20,000 times prior to the beginning of the season. Like they released this scene early and it is… So basically we’re starting at the end, right? It’s like a prologue to a novel, except bad. And it’s a crime scene, ladies and gentlemen and otherwise identified people. It’s a crime scene. A crime has occurred.
Carly: A crime has occurred.
Riese: A death in the family.
Carly: A death in the family. The family being, what I want to call, the Schechter Seven. Sergeant Lucy Lawless is here. She’s reporting for duty. And the officer that is at the crime scene tells her that seven ladies were having a party, and there was a little girl who was asleep. We already know the little girl is Angelica, because we are good at knowing who people are, that are on the show already.
Riese: Side note. She’s not asleep. Continue.
Carly: No. Once we go inside, we see that she is awake. And then they mentioned that they found a woman in the swimming pool.
Riese: Dun dun dun.
Carly: I would like to point out that when they say that there were seven women in the house, they meant six women and Max, because we then go inside the house, and see who’s in there. And we’ve got Shane who is soaking wet, draped in a towel.
Riese: Yeah. She just did a soak. Probably like a salt water soak at the sauna.
Carly: Yeah. Like a mineral treatment, maybe. Bette’s in a robe, to continue the spa theme. Looks like a very lux spa-like robe.
Riese: Yes, it is. It’s basically bliss.
Carly: Literally, Bliss spa, obviously. And then we’ve got Tina, we’ve got Alice, we’ve got Helena, we’ve got Shane, we’ve got Kit. That’s six people. And then there is a quick shot, where we see Max.
Riese: Sort of. I feel like I saw his mustache.
Carly: Yes! I saw his mustache, and I was like, oh that must be Max. It was very quick. But Tasha’s not there.
Riese: It’s just the side of his mustache?
Carly: They don’t show Tasha.
Riese: Tasha ended up being there that night. But she had yet to arrive at the time of this particular event.
Carly: So the seven women are six women and Max, way to mis-gender Max, once again LAPD, way to go. And I think we should call them the Schechter seven.
Riese: Also, it is beyond anyone’s … Like, no one can mis-gender Max at this point.
Carly: Full mustache.
Riese: I saw his mustache, but not him. Like that’s how much facial hair he has acquired at this point in the series.
Carly: Like he resembled the guy on the Pringles can with that mustache. That is a man.
Riese: And there’s also a dead woman.
Carly: That’s important. There’s a dead woman in the pool. That’s significant.
Riese: And we all knew who it was going to be, because they had teased us with it for a bazillion promos ahead of time. And we, as aforementioned in our holiday special, which hopefully you listened to, Carly and I appeared in a special promo for Showtime sharing our theories about who had killed Jenny, because it’s Jenny. And for some reason, they wheel her dead ass body through the living room with her face exposed.
Carly: And then take the sheet off.
Riese: Like Madam Tussaud is unveiling her wax figure at an opening night party. Like, excuse me?
Carly: I don’t think this is normal operating cop procedure. I don’t know. I’m not a cop, but like I’ve watched some Law and Order, and I’ve watched some other procedurals, and I’ve never seen somebody wheel the body into the room where everyone is. And then be like, “Hey, check this out, check out what we found.” And like Tina is covering Angie’s eyes.
Riese: Yeah. Because ignorance is bliss at Bliss Spa.
Carly: We’re at Bliss Spa. I clocked immediately that Bette had Ikea window treatments, which really goes against everything we know about her. Which I thought was kind of sus.
Riese: Maybe when Showtime saw the script for the season, they’re like “Maybe we’ll give you 10, 20 bucks for this,” and they had to make do.
Carly: This is bad, but we already renewed it. I guess we should just let you do it, but like you’re going to get like $4. Oh, and Sergeant Lucy Lawless, her name is Sergeant—
MaryBeth Duffy: MaryBeth Duffy.
Carly: Which is like a name. Like that is a name. That name is doing a lot.
Riese: Isn’t that the name of the beer in The Simpsons?
Carly: Duff is the beer in The Simpsons, I believe. Duff beer?
Riese: Oh, and if you’re unaware of this, Lucy Lawless was there, because she’s Xena the warrior princess and the idea was that it would make all the lesbians cum in their pants to see her in a blazer, wheeling Jenny’s dead body through a living room in front of a small, allegedly asleep child who was wide awake.
Carly: Wide awake. Wide awake child.
Riese: And of her friends, who by the way, are not sad or upset enough—
Carly: They look annoyed!
Riese: Or disturbed enough. They look sort of like, “Oh, like someone knocked the nachos over, and Shane’s kind of cold.” Like no one … what?
Carly: They look a little stressed out, but mostly tired and annoyed. No one seems to be grieving Jenny at all.
Riese: Yeah. And nervous. [crosstalk 00:11:27] all going to get arrested.
Carly: Yeah, they’re nervous that they’re all going to get arrested.
Riese: Right. So the first scene, I have several notes. It sucked, we hated it.
Carly: We hated it. And no one even fangirls when Xena Warrior Princess walks in. I’m like have they never seen Xena?
Riese: Yeah, no one was like, “Wait a second.”
Carly: That’s so weird.
Riese: Anyway, we have the opening credits. They’re the same.
Carly: They’re the same, right? I was trying to pay attention. They seem to be the same as the end of season five.
Riese: You know, what they should have done? They should have had, you know the part of the credits where Jenny is naked and she has the blood creeping out of her mouth? They should have had the blood creeping out of her mouth, and then her head just snaps off, and then blood pours out of her neck all over. And then she slowly collapses into a pool of blood in the opening credits.
Carly: They should have just like fully … Like that shot of what’s her face in the pool. It should have actually just been Jenny dead.
Carly: Jenny’s dead body in the pool.
Carly: They could have just replaced a bunch of shots with dead Jenny. That would have been amazing.
Riese: I know.
Carly: It’s not like it was a surprise. Can you imagine? Can you imagine? Hang on a second. Can you imagine, if they had never told us in the promotional materials for season six, that Jenny was to be dead? Like literally the tagline of season six was, “Who killed Jenny?” Which is not a tagline, but it was. And can you imagine what would have happened, if we were like, “Okay, we got the screeners, time to sit down and watch it. I wonder what wacky misadventures this gang’s going to get into today?” And it opens with Jenny being wheeled into … We would’ve lost our minds.
Riese: I’ll tell you what would have happened. You would have been thrilled.
Carly: Yeah. That’s fair.
Riese: Me and Alex would have been devastated. Robin would have taken a picture, I guess. I don’t know if she would have felt strongly either way.
Carly: She probably would have laughed. She probably would have been like, “What the fuck?”
Riese: Yeah. But Alex and I would be so mad and so upset. And you would have been so happy.
Carly: I feel like it was such a crazy decision on the part of the writers that they had tease it ahead of time, or people would have just like not watched after the first episode probably.
Riese: They had to tease it, because they definitely didn’t sell it.
Carly: No, and we’re going to get into that, over the next several weeks, as we get deeper into the season, more episodes, things like that. But for now, all we know is that Jenny is dead, and now we’re going to jump three months earlier and try to figure out how we got into this situation.
Riese: We open where we closed, at the end of season five, at Yamashiro.
Carly: We actually see a whole lot of shit we’ve already seen.
Riese: Correct. They did cut out, in the original — in the end of season five — Jenny gets up there, she starts saying her speech. She talks about how the movie’s out of her control. She hopes they care for it. They cut all of that out. And it wasn’t like a cut, like they were acknowledging something had been cut out of it. They just made it seem like her whole speech was just the part about her friends. I think what was important about re-showing this to us, is that we had another chance to hear—
Actress playing “Shawn”: I saw her outside, by the little pagoda.
Riese: The little pagoda!
Carly: That is so important. That line is such an important line of dialogue.
Riese: Iconic. So she gives her speech, they go outside, they’re yelling at Aaron about the movie. They’re going to change it. Everyone’s upset. Then also, you know what else they cut out? They cut out Jenny thanking the crew.
Carly: That’s rude.
Riese: It’s rude, because they crew, they worked fucking hard on Lez Girls. And it was a tough set, it was a complicated set. They had—
Carly: It was a complicated set. They had people showing up with flyers for parties. No security.
Riese: They had actresses coated in olive oil, just ready to fry.
Carly: All over the place. They had a set that looked like it was out of the seventies. I mean they had a lot to deal with.
Riese: Yeah. They were trying to shoot a 2007 story on a 70’s set.
Carly: It doesn’t make sense. They had so many hurdles to overcome.
Riese: They did, and they’d don’t even get a thank you.
Carly: So, we’re now finally caught up. Like we are where we saw in the end of season five, and now we get to go to something that the show loves more than anything, a car chase through the streets of Los Angeles.
Riese: Which is so realistic. I mean, who hasn’t?
Carly: Who hasn’t been involved in a car chase with an ex of some kind? I mean, everyone on this show has.
Riese: So, Shane is chasing Jenny.
Riese: Nikki is chasing Shane and Jenny.
Riese: The most important thing about this is that when Shane calls Jenny on Jenny’s phone, the picture that Jenny has for Shane is the publicity still from season four. And I just think it’s nice that they gave that to her. She didn’t have to take her own pic, because it was low-res. Our picks were very low-res at the time.
Carly: Yeah. I mean, these are flip phones, is the kind of situation we’re talking about. This is 2009.
Riese: Yeah. It’s 2009. It’s a million years ago.
Carly: And again, if you forgot, Jenny does now own a Porsche. They make sure we remember that. And also Nikki is being driven by a driver, in the car chase, which is very funny.
Riese: By Aaron, right?
Carly: No, I don’t think it was Aaron. I think it was just like her driving for the night. Her car.
Riese: Well, men. You know, they all kind of—
Carly: I can’t tell them apart.
Riese: They all kind of blend together.
Carly: This is really dangerous.
Riese: Yeah. This is very dangerous. Shane gets to her own house and pounds on the door. Jenny won’t let her in. And then we cut to Alice’s, where I guess Tasha and Alice are in a fight.
Carly: They’re in a flight, and I immediately was like, “What are they fighting about? I don’t remember what happened here.” Did Alice try to break up with her or tell her what was going on with Melanie Lynskey? Whose character’s name I cannot remember now.
Riese: I think her name was Zoey or something?
Carly: No, I don’t think that’s it.
Riese: Okay. Let’s give her a name. I’m going to call her—
Carly: I could look up our name, but I don’t want to.
Riese: Call her Bart. Bart Simpson. Yeah. So, I don’t remember either. Oh, here’s what happened: Alice told Shane that how she was feeling. And Shane had given her terrible advice, because Shane was in the middle of her own shit. Remember that?
Carly: Yes. I remember that.
Riese: And the lighting was really nice.
Carly: It was beautiful. Okay. I remember that. But how did we get here?
Riese: I think what happened was, Tasha decided to wear really baggy flare pants, a tank top and a vest. I just wanted to mention that, and somehow she pulls it off!
Carly: It was a different time, where outfit proportions were just really different. And again, somehow only Tasha can pull this off. It would be illegal on anyone else.
Riese: So, they go back to Alice’s house, and Tasha is like packing up her stuff, because she’s like going to leave. And Alice takes a call from Helena.
Carly: Yeah. Helena calls, and then Alice tells her all the scenes we just watched for the second time. Which I thought was a great use of everyone’s time. I don’t think that was necessary at all.
Riese: Well, it’s about Tasha being annoyed that Alice is always taken calls in her presence, and not focusing on her as a person. And Alice is like, “You can’t blame me, because I know that we’ve both been unhappy,” and Alice doesn’t want to break up. Then, it comes out that Alice took Shane’s advice, and Tasha is like, “I can’t believe you took Shane’s advice,” which is fair. Although Shane usually does give good advice, but in this case, Shane gave terrible advice. So get your shit together, ladies.
Carly: I just need everyone to get — across the board, a get your together situation, for everyone.
Riese: We go back to Shenny’s. Jenny will not let Shane in. And she calls Shane a pathetic piece of shit.
Carly: That’s the whole scene. We go back to Bette and Tina’s, where—
Riese: Yes. Bette has gotten a haircut since … On the way home from Yamashiro, Bette was like, “I’m done with bangs,” apparently.
Carly: Done with them.
Riese: Yeah. She got extensions, or I don’t know how you do that. I don’t know how you get rid of bangs between a restaurant and a house.
Carly: They couldn’t have just clipped bangs in, even though she got her hair … Oh, whatever. No continuity.
Riese: Here’s the thing. They got rid of her bangs, but they kept that goddam butterfly shirt.
Carly: So Bette’s butterfly appliqué writes a check for the babysitter, and Tina is like, “Angie is congested.”
Riese: This is our B plot.
Carly: And the babysitter is like, “I gave her Advil a half hour ago.” And there’s your problem right there, because Advil’s not a decongestant. It’s a pain reliever, and a fever reducer.
Riese: Dr. Carly over here, with the real medical advice, that needs to be—
Carly: I really think they should consult an actual physician, and not this babysitter, who looks like she is 13 years old.
Riese: Yeah. She also seemed like not an actress. I wasn’t sure what was happening with her.
Carly: She seems like someone who just happened to be on set that day, and they forgot to cast the role, and they were like, “Oh you, girl.”
Riese: Yeah. She was bringing in wraps from the sandwich store.
Carly: She’s like, “Hey, I’m here to deliver the wraps from the sandwich store.” And they’re like, “She’s perfect! You can be the babysitter.” She was like, “Where am I?”
Riese: Get the wrap lady!
Carly: Wrap lady.
Riese: I smell like lettuce. So they can hear that Shane is like banging on Jenny’s house.
Riese: So they can hear that Shane is banging on Jenny’s house, and then Bette and Tina, there’s this sort of runner for the episode where they’re kind of disagreeing about what should be done between Shane and Jenny and Nikki about what was done and who’s at fault.
Carly: And who’s at fault, yeah. And naturally, I’m sure you could have all seen this coming, Bette sides with Shane and Tina sides with Jenny. I do love that they’re just watching this drama outside and they do not do anything about it. They’re not like, “Hey Shane, are you okay?” Nothing. They’re just like, “Oh shit, drama,” and then they just go back to their business. And that was relatable for me.
Riese: Because that’s what you would do?
Carly: When I see people with drama, I’m like, “Ooh, interesting. Okay bye, I don’t want to get involved.”
Riese: I would’ve been like, “I could go help, I’m going to go help,” and then I would’ve made it worse. But they agree to disagree. However, I will say that I felt their little conversation here was super realistic, because I feel like in conversations like this, in couples where you have an unresolved incident, like something that has happened between you that both of you feel differently about and is a continued source of tension, when anything similar comes up, it’s always about you. The argument is always about you, it really has nothing to do with the person who you’re actually talking about. It’s always about your own shit and defending your own past, or prosecuting your other own past or whatever. So that felt real.
Carly: So this whole episode takes place over the course of one very late night, and it involves all of the couples hashing out a lot of shit. And I have to say a lot of the dialogue and the performances felt real, like they felt realistic for a lot of the… I just thought it was well done in terms of all of these conversations. Because a lot of them are conversations — we’ll get to Alice and Tasha — but a lot of that is stuff that should have been brought up a long time ago, like how they have nothing in common. So anyway, but I totally thought that when they were both like, “We shouldn’t be discussing this right now.” And I was like, look at them. Growth. Good job.
Riese: Way to go, that marriage. They’re not married, but in my head they’re still married. I feel like we just talk about them like they’re married.
Carly: They are, and, spiritually. I don’t know. So we’re back in Jenny’s house, and suddenly Nikki is inside of the house, because she had keys, which was very funny. And then she’s like, “Ha ha, I’m going to let Shane in.” So then Shane comes in, and Jenny’s like, “Goddamn it.” She wants them to leave.
Riese: And then Nikki gets a phone notification and she’s like-
Nikki: Oh my God. Oh, poor Tiffy.
Riese: Nikki, by the way, is golden in this whole episode.
Carly: Nikki is so funny in this episode.
Riese: She’s so funny.
Carly: And I love… Shane’s reaction to Nikki in this episode is so good. Everything she’s doing is so stupid and it’s just not helping. She can’t shut up, she can’t help herself, and Shane and Jenny both are just so over her, and it’s very entertaining.
Riese: Yeah. And Shane also seems to… She’s immediately accepting responsibility, she’s like, “I know I fucked up, but also I do want to say that you told me that she was dead to you, but also I recognize that still it was fucked up for me to hook up with her, even though that was the truth.” And you can tell that Jenny is not only upset, but frustrated with herself for being upset. I felt like Mia was, again, doing her Emmy best right here.
Carly: Emmy for Mia.
Riese: And then they get to this weird thing where Shane’s like, “I will eat dirt, I will walk on glass,” and Nikki’s like, “I’ll eat spirulina.” And I’m like, what would that do to help Jenny’s emotional situation here, for you to eat dirt?
Carly: She’s like, “I’ll be your slave.” I was like, oh god, this is so stupid and just weird.
Riese: Is she going to be like, “Yeah, if you walk on glass, I’ll forgive you.” What?
Carly: That would actually be it. I was thinking if you could do something, like a physical challenge, that would show that you’re sorry.
Riese: Yes, exactly, exactly. I was thinking about walking over hot coals, but now that you bring up the walking on glass option… First of all, there’s a song about it, and we love the song “Walking On Broken Glass.”
Carly: And we could play the song while you walk on the glass, and I feel like that’s beautiful. Plus where are we going to get hot coals on such short notice? We’ve got plenty of glass.
Riese: Exactly. But who has glass? Everyone.
Carly: We have glass because Jenny’s going to start throwing things in a second.
Riese: Yeah, she sure is.
Carly: But before that happens, Shane is like, “This is all because of Molly, who inspired me.” And Jenny and I have the same reaction to that, which is, what the fuck are you talking about?
Riese: She’s like, “Molly?!”
Jenny: What? She inspired you to fuck my girlfriend on the balustrade of Yamashiro?
Carly: Greatest line of dialogue of all time.
Riese: Uh-huh (affirmative). Then Shane’s like, “I didn’t fuck her.” I think she’s like-
Nikki: Jenny, she only ate me out.
Carly: I wrote in my notes that this is high art.
Riese: Yes, this is a brilliant scene.
Carly: Not to be confused with the film High Art — this is art, like you are watching art. High brow art.
Riese: Actual high art, yeah. Emmy for everyone involved in the scene, especially for the lamp who then did a little… The lamp, big moment for the lamp.
Carly: Yeah. Big moment for the lamp. You know what? It’s crazy, because they had multiple lamps, you know? I’m sure they had several lamps so they could get the lamp breaking a couple times, and that’s like stunt doubles for the lamp and that’s huge.
Riese: Yeah, that is huge. And honestly, I haven’t seen lamps take center stage like that since The Breakfast Club.
Carly: I was going to say since The Brave Little Toaster, but yeah, you’re right.
Riese: Oh yeah, good point, good point. And the lamp does a great job, it breaks.
Carly: The lamp, I’m going to say… The lamp really crushes it, really smashes it. Yeah, bah dum bum! Nikki is just completely out of her league. The type of chaotic energy that Jenny and Shane bring, Nikki is just so nowhere near this. Like, aw, sweet little bird. You don’t even stand a chance with these two. It’s very funny.
Riese: And you know that Shane is really not helping my case, you know?
Carly: No. She’s like, “Why is Nikki here?”
Riese: Yeah. So then we go back to Alice’s, where Tasha points out that they have nothing in common.
Carly: This is something that I think we should have talked about a really long time ago, and I think something that Riese and I’ve talked about on this podcast.
Riese: Yeah, we have.
Carly: Which is that these characters have nothing in common.
Riese: They have one thing in common, which is the first thing that Alice brings up, and that is that they are both allosexual people. Which means they’re people who have sex drives, and that they enjoy doing the sexes with each other.
Carly: They’re attracted to each other and they have great sex, that is what they have in common. That’s it.
Riese: The end.
Carly: The end of this relationship, question mark? We’ll see.
Riese: It seems like it’s enough for Alice though. Tasha is the only one who’s upset about them having nothing in common.
Carly: Yeah. Alice is like, “But you’re hot, what’s—?”
Riese: “But sex.”
Carly: “But sex, question mark? But your face… I don’t know, your face is perfect. What is wrong with that?” And you might be wondering, when you’re watching the beginning of this scene, why is Alice’s laptop open and facing the camera? Well, it’s there because Max is about to send her an instant message, and she’s like, “Oh, it’s Max.” And then Tasha doesn’t like that, there’s this running theme. Alice is just distracted and not paying enough attention, so she shuts the laptop. And again, kind of an unnecessary thing, but whatever.
Riese: Max almost had a line there, you know?
Carly: Yeah. So we have a quick Max mustache, and the mention of Max sending a message to Alice.
Riese: On the internet.
Carly: That is the extent of the Max stuff in this episode. But I was going to say no one was transphobic, but actually the LAPD said that there were seven women in the house, when they were six and one Max. So actually…
Riese: And one mustache.
Carly: There was transphobia in this episode. Way to go, didn’t even get any screen time.
Riese: And also, I know what everyone’s thinking, about why they thought Max was a lady, but I reject it.
Riese: Then we go back to Shenny’s where Shane and Nikki have been removed from the home.
Carly: Exiled, they’ve been extracted.
Riese: And Nikki’s like, “Let’s go to the Chateau Marmont,” or whatever.
Carly: Nikki is fully like, “Well, we tried.” She’s already given up.
Riese: Oh well. And Shane is devastated.
Carly: She’s like, “I bought a house, but I have to stay at the Chateau until the house is ready.” Again, we don’t need to know any of this. Just like, “Come stay with me at the Chateau,” was all you needed to say.
Riese: The vibe is like, “You are a body, I have a body, our bodies came together. There was nothing else.”
Carly: That’s all it was.
Riese: That’s all it was, stop talking. And then Jenny opens the door and throws a bunch of stuff at Shane.
Carly: Yes, that is exactly what she does. And then that, much like the episode where Jenny carried around the trash bag, from many seasons ago, Shane will spend the rest of the episode carrying around whichever belongings Jenny chose to throw at her in a paper Whole Foods bag for the rest of the episode. It’s pretty funny.
Riese: Yeah, it’s… First of all, Whole Foods probably gave them at least 40, 50 bucks for that.
Carly: Which is the cost of one head of lettuce at Whole Foods.
Carly: So we’re back at Bette and Tina’s next door, and they are very worried about Angie. They say she has a fever and a cold. But before they can deal with that, Shane knocks on the door and they’re like, “Shut up. This is a sleeping baby. We are adults with a baby, what are you doing? Why are you carrying a Whole Foods bag?” And so Bette goes and talks to her in the living room, and Shane catches Bette up on all of the terrible Phyllis Molly things that have happened, and Shane is like, “I love Molly, I’m in love with Molly.”
Riese: “And I was faithful to her.”
Carly: “I was faithful,” and Bette laughs in her face, which was great, fully great. I really appreciated that.
Riese: And then Tina. Tina comes out and it’s like, “How hard is it for you to be faithful to someone you’re in love with?” And I’m like, “Okay, Lindsay 76, out here with your fucking…”
Riese: Okay, okay.
Carly: All right, brought Henry to Whistler, we see you. Crazy bitch.
Riese: All right, had sex with Henry in the house that you shared with Bette while she was… What was she doing? I don’t remember that story.
Carly: Yoga retreat? Who knows.
Riese: With a stack of towels.
Carly: Caftans, no idea.
Riese: But it is also a funny little point, it just shows how different they are. And Bette has decided that Tina should call inconceivable.
Carly: Yeah. Bette has decided that, despite it being like 1:30, 2:00 in the morning, that Tina needs to call William and really tell him how passionate she is about them not changing the ending of the film. And Bette’s gassing her up and getting her riled up and ready to go, and then Tina is like, “You know what? I’m going to go call him, I’m going to go call him right now.”
Carly: And then she’s like, “I’m going to call him right here in this room, I’m not going to go into another room.” And I was like, Oh, that’s an interesting choice, okay. I usually go in another room, but sure. So anyway, Tina’s call goes really badly, like really, really badly. She tries to plead her case, he’s kind of like, “Are you insinuating that I’m bad at my job and a pushover to the marketing guys? And also, do you have any idea what time it is?” And you can tell he’s getting condescending with her, because she’s like, “You’re right. I should have cooled off and thought about it for a while.” And she gets off the phone, and Bette has this incredible, “Oh my God” reaction.
Riese: Like, “Oops.”
Carly: I was like, Bette, in this scene, has some really good reactions. Like A plus Bette reaction moments.
Riese: Yeah. And also, while Tina’s on the phone with William, Bette fills Shane in on all the movie drama.
Carly: Exactly, because Shane missed all that.
Riese: I think that obviously Bette gave really bad advice to Tina, but also we can’t forget the butterfly, and the butterfly’s role in this.
Carly: We cannot just make excuses for the sequin appliqué butterfly, because it’s not right.
Riese: It has powers. It’s already made Angie sick.
Carly: Yeah, I think it’s a curse.
Riese: It’s a curse.
Carly: It’s a curse on the whole group, and really is probably the reason that Shenny died. Shenny died? That Jenny died.
Riese: Well, Shenny died with Jenny, if you know what I mean, and you do.
Carly: And I do.
Riese: Then we cut to—
Carly: Oh my God. This scene is—
Riese: Is so bad.
Carly: So bad, and therefore, awesome.
Riese: It is 2:15 in the morning, at this bar where Kit and Helena are brainstorming names for their bar.
Carly: For the bar formerly known as SheBar.
Riese: First they suggest Porter Peabody’s, and so I would just like to suggest for us here that from now forward, we refer to the bar as Porter Peabody’s Pleasure Palace.
Carly: I second that motion.
Riese: Thank you.
Riese: However, it’s not what they actually choose.
Carly: I’m going to call it Porter Peabody’s, for short.
Riese: Okay. I’m going to do the whole thing every time. I’m going to mess up, especially when I have my Invisalign in, like right now.
Carly: Perfect. They were like, “No, that’s not it. But I love the idea of combining our names into another name.” It’s like, okay, yes, we are on the right track. Never before has this concept of naming ever failed anyone. And they come up with Hit, like the “H” from Helena and the “it” from Kit.
Riese: “The it from Kit.” That sounds like a children’s book.
Carly: The it from Kit!
Riese: Yeah. And then they say it over and over again.
Carly: They say it so many times. At no point, does it become a good idea to anyone watching, but they are into it.
Kit: Hit. Hit.
Kit: Hit. Hit.
Kit: The Hit Club!
Helena: It’s a great name for a club!
Kit: It’s a Hit. It’s a hit me. Girl!.
Helena: The Hit Club! That’s it!
Carly: So Kit wants to call it The Hit Club.
Carly: Terrible. It sounds like a fight club. It just doesn’t make any sense. What about that says “nightclub in West Hollywood?” The Hit Club? That doesn’t track.
Riese: Yeah. And also you’re sort of manifesting fights and hits.
Carly: Which is literally what happens a few minutes later.
Riese: Yeah, right.
Carly: So back to Bette’s. Bette’s and Tina’s, I guess, at this point. Did Tina moved back? I guess Tina moved back in, I don’t remember where we’re at with this relationship. And Tina is berating Shane. Tina is back to berating Shane, she’s telling her to think before she acts, because actions have consequences. This is a really important lesson for everybody on this show to really internalize.
Riese: Just so we’re all on the same page, Tina and Bette are still litigating their own relationship messiness, and Shane is just sort of the cardboard box that they’re throwing all of that into.
Carly: Some might say the paper bag. The paper Whole Foods bag that they’re throwing all their shit into.
Riese: Some might say the paper Whole Foods bag.
Carly: They’re just doing a lot of projection, there’s a lot of projection happening.
Riese: A lot of projections, yeah.
Bette: Well I think that we all have to take in account a lot of things before we can judge anyone else’s behavior.
Tina: I think your unwillingness to judge has a lot more to do with your own history than any accommodation that you might make for Shane.
Riese: Which I thought was a very pointed line.
Carly: And then Angie starts to cry. Not because she’s sick, but because everyone’s fighting.
Riese: And also because of the butterfly.
Carly: It’s definitely because she’s sick, but it’s also because everyone’s fighting.
Riese: Mm-hmm. And Shane’s like, “Okay, I’ll go.”
Carly: Bette goes to check on her and Tina apologizes to Shane. Wow, growth all around.
Riese: They were really determined this season to be like, “Okay. Nice, married, lesbian couples at home, who have nice normal relationships, we’re going to make you feel seen this season with Bette and Tina.”
Carly: Yeah. Unfortunately, it was too little too late.
Riese: Back to Talice’s, where Alice is talking about Bart Simpson and making a very poor case for herself.
Carly: She wants credit for not cheating on Tasha. I was just watching something the other day where a character was like, “I could have cheated, but I didn’t. And you’re welcome.” And I was just like, why does no one understand that that is not an argument? That’s not an argument. You don’t get a medal for that.
Riese: Right. Which is actually what Tasha says, and Tasha knows about medals, because Tasha was in army.
Carly: Yeah, and she got metals at army.
Riese: Many medals in army.
Carly: So this whole thing is not going great right now, and then the doorbell rings. Again, it is after two in the morning and neither of them look shocked that the doorbell is ringing at like 2:30 in the morning. I think that should come with some concern.
Riese: Isn’t anyone tired?
Riese: I want to see the cocaine lines that they’re doing to make this all possible.
Carly: They all are very awake. I would be so sleepy throughout all of this.
Riese: Yeah. I’d be asleep. I’d be like, “Maybe we should break up, and maybe I’m still mad that you cheated on me, and maybe our baby is sick, but also I’m supes tired.”
Carly: Can we have this fight in the morning please? I’m so tie-tie. So of course it’s Shane and the Whole Foods bag at the door.
Riese: And Tasha’s like, “Bye.”
Carly: Yeah. Tasha uses this moment of confusion to duck out of there, which I thought was very smart. Shane is looking for a couch to sleep on, and Alice is like, “No,” but also Alice leaves. So like she totally could have just stayed there, that was shitty.
Riese: Yeah. I wrote that down, I was like, “Come on. You’re leaving.” Because Alice is going to chase Tasha on her motorcycle with her car, so just let Shane take a nap.
Carly: She, in a mini Cooper, is going to chase a motorcycle, first of all. Second of all, second car chase of the episode.
Riese: Wow, it’s like an action movie, suddenly. Whew, it’s hard to keep up.
Carly: Except this car chase, we don’t get to see at all.
Riese: We don’t. Because instead, we’re going back to Bettina’s, where Tina is calling the doctor.
Carly: And Bette cannot work a digital thermometer.
Riese: Yeah. It’s probably thrown off by the magnets on her butterfly shirt.
Carly: Yeah, exactly. So this is… Okay.
Carly: If I just get kind of like science for a second?
Riese: Yeah, please do.
Carly: So all the people that are like, “I’m not getting the COVID vaccine because it’s going to implant a chip,” and like, “I don’t want to be tracked by the government,” despite having smartphones that do that already, I think that that concern should have been more so about the butterfly, because I think that—
Riese: Yeah, because what’s the butterfly doing?
Carly: The butterfly is recording everything that they’re doing. Everything. And has mystical abilities, so it’s also influencing what’s happening. It’s what made Angie sick, it’s what made everyone get in a fight, it’s what made Jenny die, eventually, three months or weeks later. Three months later.
Riese: It’s what made Shane eat Nikki out on the balustrade of Yamashiro.
Carly: It’s all because of the butterfly. And I think that if we’re going to have conspiracies, they need to include that.
Riese: They do. And I also would like a personal apology from Ilene Chaiken to us, and also to the world, for bringing the butterfly into our lives — not one, but two entire fucking episodes of this cursed beast.
Carly: Two whole episodes, including several scenes we had to watch twice.
Carly: Two times. Not once, but twice. What outrageous.
Riese: It’s a cruel, cruel mistress.
Carly: But somehow Bette gets a reading of a fever of 104, which reminded me of the time I had a fever of 104 when I was a little toddler. And it is one of my earliest memories.
Riese: But you lived.
Carly: I did. I did live, I’m so brave. But my parents took me to the hospital in the middle of the night. I have this… It’s the only memory of being that young that I have of being in this hospital. And I just remember that I had my security blankie that I brought and they were putting cold on me and then warm and then… They were cold because I was burning up and then I had my blanket, which was warming me up. I just really remember that. And then I remember my parents carrying me out of there when it was over and putting me in the car. And that’s all I remember.
Riese: Just real quick. Do you remember any sort of insects, any shiny objects, maybe a shiny butterfly?
Carly: Like a flying insect?
Riese: If you really close your eyes and just really put yourself back in that living room, do you see it? Do you see a butterfly?
Carly: Hang on. Let me close my eyes. I’m closing them.
Riese: Okay. You’re sick. You’re getting hot. You’re getting cold. Your parents are very concerned. You have a fever of 104. What do you see? Carly, what do you see?!
Carly: I see a sparkly butterfly.
Riese: Yeah. It’s…
Carly: You were right. This is huge.
Riese: You guys… You guys, this shit has been around for a while.
Carly: This is ancient.
Riese: Yeah. This is ancient. This is we’re in Warehouse 13 now, which is a TV show that no one watched except me and Heather.
Carly: I literally never watched it. And now I’m regretting it because maybe I could have learned about my past.
Riese: Yeah, you would have learned about this so much earlier.
Carly: Oh, my God.
Riese: All right. All right. All right. Back in the present, but in the past, we’re at Jenny’s. Molly has arrived.
Carly: And guess who’s here? It’s Molly.
Riese: It’s Molly in her FREE CITY shirt.
Carly: Was that a FREE CITY shirt, because that looked like a shirt that was made by a child? This shirt is so, so offensive to me. It has cartoon L’s drawn all over it in random places. No rhyme or reason to anything that is happening on the shirt.
Riese: But that shirt cost $150. So you better get with it.
Carly: I was so distracted by the shirt. I could barely follow the scene.
Riese: Well, listen. Molly is like, “I’m not going to let Shane get away because of my stupid mom and what my stupid mom says.” And Jenny is like, “This is Shane’s MO, and girls always want to control her.” And Molly is like, “I don’t want to control her. I love her for who she is.” And Jenny’s like, “Well, she’s with Nikki and they were hooking up on the pink ride.” I have two things to say about this. The first thing is that on some level that still makes sense to me as a human person. Jenny is in pain and upset and she wants to outsource it. She wants to be able to share that pain with someone and here’s Molly and so she’s going to exaggerate the situation with Shane and Nikki so that Molly will be in pain with her and she won’t have to hold it by herself and she can be angry with someone else. However, she is also lying and this is evil and fucked up, and this is the first example. This is the beginning of the new Jenny that they are creating in season six so they can justify murdering her, is this very pathological, manipulative psychopathy basically.
Carly: Yeah. This is the first moment of that. There will be another moment later in this episode where you’re just like, “What are you doing?” And there’s no answer really.
Riese: She is just wearing a bra. That’s one thing she’s doing.
Carly: She’s just wearing… I wrote that down as well. I love that she just answered the door to her house just wearing a bra. Good for her. She’s had it rough.
Riese: Yeah. Good for her. She has had a rough night. And then Molly gives her Shane’s jacket, which has a note in it for Shane. And my friends, do not ever give your note to an intermediary. Do not. You got to deliver that straight to the source.
Carly: You got to hand that off into the person’s hand, the intended recipient. You must see with your eyes that they are holding the note, because no one can be trusted with a note.
Riese: Correct. And also ask yourself, “Could this have been an email?”
Carly: I want to say yes. I think yes, it could have been an email.
Riese: Jenny sits down. She unfolds the note.
Carly: Because of course… Come on. If you were Jenny, you would read the note. You might not read it out loud, which was a choice, but here we are, TV show.
Riese: Molly’s note is about touching… That’s like, “I touch you and cherish our moments,” or whatever. There’s no entrails in here. No sweetmeats. No kidneys. No nothing. None of that real raw emotional stuff that connects with Jenny.
Carly: And that’s why Jenny does what she does, which is the second sociopathic moment of the episode, where she takes the jacket and stows it away in the attic that I did not know existed in this house.
Riese: What if Shane gets cold?
Carly: Because you know she only owns one jacket.
Riese: She’s going to make herself a jacket out of that Whole Foods bag?
Carly: Yeah, she’s going to wear the bag.
Riese: Like in elementary school when people would try to be objects for Halloween and it would just be a cardboard box. You’d just be standing inside a cardboard box. That’ll be her, her cardboard jacket sustainability, it’s important.
Carly: It’s for the planet actually, not the cafe. The Earth. The actual Earth.
Riese: Right. Yeah.
Carly: So then we go back to the hospital and… I’m sorry. Then we go to the hospital where Bette just snaps and goes into an incredible classic Bette Porter monologue where she is screaming at the lady working the desk about paperwork.
Riese: Yeah. The butch lesbian working the desk. She is yelling at her about her not acknowledging Bette as the mother of the child, because this is 2009 … But no one’s paying attention again to the real issue, which is the butterfly, which she is now exposing an entire hospital.
Carly: An entire emergency room is now exposed to the butterfly, which means that they are all now cursed as well. You know what this is, Riese, if I may?
Riese: You may.
Carly: I think this is the butterfly effect.
Riese: Oh! Carly.
Carly: Yeah. We cracked it. This is the butterfly effect. We’ve all heard of the butterfly effect.
Riese: We have.
Carly: But we’ve never seen it.
Riese: We’ve not seen it.
Carly: It’s theoretical. It’s something that you can witness the effects of, but you cannot see the actual butterfly effect.
Riese: You can’t. You can’t.
Carly: Until now.
Riese: But we are see it in this season of The L Word.
Carly: We are seeing it.
Riese: This season, The L Word is so profoundly mediocre-to-terrible that we have imagined it to be something else entirely. And we’re right.
Carly: The only reason that this season is what it is, the only thing I can possibly think of to explain it, is the butterfly effect. Bette wore a butterfly on her dress and that led to a series of consequences, which reverberated throughout the whole season and truly made for very bad television. And I think that is what we need to talk about.
Riese: It is. So you’re welcome, everybody. Then we go to a restaurant, I guess?
Carly: When Shane is standing in the front by the counter, for a second it looked like The Planet, and I was like, “What time is it? What is going on?” And then we realized it’s a diner.
Riese: It’s at least three. Yeah. Shane’s there and somehow Nikki and all of her terrible friends come in and they have the munchies and…
Carly: And they absorb Shane into the group as like an amoeba.
Riese: Yeah. And Nikki kind of treats Shane like a… Yeah, like an object, like a prop kind of. She’s like, “Oh, look at Shane.” And then she’s like, “Isn’t she sexy, you guys?”
Carly: And the friends are not paying attention at all. They’re all just really high and just want to eat some cheese fries, which is something I understand.
Riese: Yeah. I could relate to that motivation. And then Jenny texts Nikki to say that she should come over and Shane always puts the needs of others before herself, and so she’s like, “Yeah, yeah. You should go over. Oh, well. I guess I lost and Nikki won. She gets to be with Jenny and I don’t. Blah, blah, blah.”
Carly: I also think Shane wants to be away from Nikki so badly right now that any reason to get her away would be great and she’s just over.
Riese: But she also doesn’t lie to her. When Nikki’s like, “Do you think she loves me?” I thought Shane was going to say yes, and she’s like, “I don’t know,” which is true.
Carly: Yeah. She goes…
Shane: I don’t know. Sure.
Riese: Yeah. Yeah. “I don’t know. Sure.”
Carly: That was great.
Riese: And then Nikki leaves and all of Nikki’s friends leave too. What? Are they going to order grilled cheeses?
Carly: Are they all going to Jenny’s house?
Carly: Did they not probably send an order yet? Maybe they’re going to In-N-Out and they’re going to sit in that drive-thru line.
Riese: Oh, yeah. Line. That goes right past my house.
Carly: Right past your house.
Riese: Back in the car.
Carly: Okay. So whoops, Bette made a little error somehow. “This is so crazy. You guys aren’t even going to believe it. “I thought my daughter had a fever of 104 and it was just 99.5. I know. I’m so mortified.”
Riese: “Whoops. No.”
Carly: That actually is what happened.
Riese: But it’s okay because Bette and Tina love each other.
Riese: Speaking of love…
Carly: Oh, my God. Speaking.
Riese: Alice has followed Tasha all the way to, I don’t know, the east side of LA?
Carly: I guess so.
Riese: We never really find out where they’re going.
Carly: Where Papi actually lives.
Riese: Where Papi lives. Papi could live literally anywhere.
Carly: We would never know, because they never developed this character at all.
Riese: Right. And so that’s where Tasha is going, and Papi leans over her balcony like Juliet, and Alice is like, “Oh my God. I thought you fell off the face of the Earth.” And it’s like, yeah, because you just started ignoring her after season four because she was never there at all.
Carly: Yeah. And you’re kind of insular with your community, your little, white lady, West Hollywood world. Come on.
Riese: Yeah. And meanwhile all this time, Papi is obviously very wealthy. Look at this fucking apartment!
Carly: I know. It was super nice.
Riese: It’s nicer than anyone else’s. She goes in…
Carly: Nicer than Alice’s…
Carly: Yeah. That’s right, Alice. Suck it.
Riese: They go in and Papi makes stupid Papi sex jokes and opens the door. And who is in Papi’s bed?
Carly: You’re never going to believe it.
Riese: You’re never going to believe it.
Carly: Blast from the past.
Riese: But you better believe it.
Carly: Alice’s ex.
Alice: Fucking Gabby Deveaux.
Carly: Wow, wow, wow.
Riese: Wow. So now Alice is in the middle of her own chart. Just all around her are people she’s had sex with.
Carly: Just in hell.
Riese: In hell. And they are in Papi’s house. And thank you to the show for playing some Latin music in the background, just so that we’d know.
Carly: Because we wouldn’t have known we were at Papi’s house otherwise. Yes. Good job. Good job.
Riese: Great, everybody.
Carly: Yep. There’s a moment where Papi rolls her eyes at Alice because Alice is just going to follow Tasha into her apartment even though no one wants her there. Papi’s eye-roll was so good, such a good eye roll, this over-the-top eye roll.
Riese: Would you give the eye roll an Emmy?
Carly: I would give it a Golden Globe, because it’s kind of international. Hollywood Foreign Press. You know what I mean?
Riese: Yeah. That’s fair. We go back to Jenny’s.
Carly: We’re back at Jenny’s. Sexy time. So Nikki’s here and she opens the door and they just start going at it. And Nikki can’t shut up. Everything she says is terrible. Keeps apologizing… And Jenny just wants her to shut up so badly and she’s rough with her and it’s hot. And she won’t shut up. “Shut up. Shut the fuck up.” That’s the whole scene. Then we cut to Shane leaving the diner. That’s the whole scene. Wow.
Riese: Well, first she’s sitting with her Whole Foods bag and then she takes her Whole Foods bag.
Carly: Then she and her Whole Foods bag leave the diner.
Riese: Leave the diner. So womp, womp.
Carly: And like a sad trombone plays as she exits.
Riese: Yeah. A guy with a trombone sitting in a booth. Womp, womp.
Carly: Womp, womp, womp. It’s the new Shane theme song. It used to be a gnarly guitar riff and now it’s a sad trombone.
Riese: It’s a journey. It’s a long nights journey into day.
Carly: Yeah. Then we go back to Papi’s for some casual racism.
Riese: Yeah. Alice is picking up some of the things that Papi has out as decor or whatever. And Alice’s like, “Ooh, look at these little dolls, blah, blah, blah.” And Tasha’s like, “Come on.” And Alice is like, “You got to admit. It’s a little tacky.” And Tasha’s like, “It’s her culture, Alice.” And she’s like… It was so bad.
Carly: It’s so bad. I just want Tasha to kick her out at this moment. Tasha has been trying to break up with her all night and can’t seem to shake her and it’s like, “Just please leave, Alice. Go away.”
Riese: But you know what I appreciated, though, is that this is a moment where Alice says something fucked up and it is acknowledged as fucked up, which is a big step for the show, because in the past people just say fucked up things and it would exist as though it was fine to say those things. And now they’re actually naming them, and so growth and change for everybody here. Great job.
Carly: Incredible work.
Riese: Speaking of growth and change, Gabby and Papi come in as Tasha is telling Alice that she was a snob. She’s a snob but she wasn’t a snob when Tasha met her. And Gabby was like, “No, she was a wannabe. And now she’s a wannabe with money.” And this, actually — I thought this scene was very well done because it sort of showed Alice’s vulnerability and Gabby just sort of pushes her buttons and Tasha stands up for her. And…
Tasha: You weren’t like this when I first met you.
Gabby: Actually, she was a wannabe. And now she’s a wannabe with money. Ever think about investing in a stylist with all that money, Alice?
Tasha: You need to watch your mouth.
Gabby: Ooh. Alice has a big butch daddy to protect her. Can you give me the liverwurst one?
Papi: Yeah. Yeah.
Alice: You sure that’s liverwurst I smell?
Gabby: I wonder if your friend knows that her girlfriend used to be nicknamed Crash, because she used to show up at parties she wasn’t invited to.
Carly: Also, Gabby’s not entirely wrong. But Gabby made some points. Sorry about it. She did. I’m just kind of on a not liking Alice vibe right now. So…
Riese: I wrote down that I am both annoyed with Alice and feel sorry for her.
Carly: Yeah. Yeah. Fully.
Riese: She was very vulnerable with Gabby. But also Papi is making liverwurst sandwiches? What’s liverwurst, even? I know I’ve heard the term a million times, mostly when I was younger, since I feel like it’s a ’70s food. But what is it?
Carly: I don’t really know. But she shoves a full sandwich into Gabby’s mouth to shut her up, which was pretty funny. Physical comedy.
Riese: And then once they leave, Alice is like, “That’s who I was before you,” and says that Tasha is the best person she’s ever met.
Carly: And she’s not ready to lose her.
Riese: And that can be true, but Tasha doesn’t owe her a relationship just because Alice thinks she’s the best person she’s ever met.
Carly: No, that’s not how that works at all. So we go to a self-fulfilling prophecy. We go to Hit Club where some girls are fighting.
Riese: A.K.A. Porter Peabody’s Pleasure Palace.
Carly: So when the party-goers showed up that night to go to the bar, the sign outside said Girl Bar.
Carly: It said SheBar. Whoops. Yikes. And so Helena fully breaks up a fight, puts a girl in a headlock. And she’s like, “No one fights at Hit Club,” which is funny for several reasons. Number one, no one knows that this club is called Hit Club, so they’re like, “What the fuck are you talking about?” Number two…
Riese: No one hits at Hit Club? Come on, guys.
Carly: Come on. That’s ridiculous. What a ridiculous name. This is so stupid.
Riese: Yeah. No one fights a Fight Club? Come on.
Carly: Yeah. Exactly. “First rule of Hit Club, don’t talk about Hit Club.”
Riese: They’re breaking every rule.
Carly: They’re breaking all the rules. And again, I think this could be traced back to the butterfly. Then Shane and her Whole Foods bag roll up into the club, sit at the bar and would like a shot of Patron.
Riese: Patron. Tequila. And…
Carly: Oh, God.
Riese: Helena says that women are poison.
Carly: Women are poison.
Riese: Which we all know from lesbian covers of Taylor Swift’s song “Blank Space,” where we find out that women are poison.
Riese: Famously. And now we’re back to the car and Bette is apologizing to Tina for defending Shane and says she doesn’t want to be casual about the promises she’s making to Tina and that she shares her values of family and faithfulness and that she won’t ever cheat. Like, okay. Good job. Good job?
Carly: Tina looks at her with this deep sincerity and she goes, “Wow.” And I’m like, I’m sorry. Did that work? Do you feel like this is a changed person who’s just a totally different person now?
Riese: Congratulations. I mean, first of all, this is obviously just meant to be some sort of foreshadowing to the stupid thing they’re going to try to build up later, which doesn’t actually… Whatever. We’ll all witness this catastrophe as it plays out. But it’s pretty stupid. I would say when you’re getting back together with someone and moving back in with them and you know that you are both wanting to be in a monogamous relationship that that’s kind of a given.
Carly: Sure. I also would like to once again point out to the people that make this show that monogamy is not the only option. And I think that if any of the couples in this episode that have drama could have in any way acknowledge that, then that might’ve been a little different, but whatever.
Riese: We are who we are.
Carly: It’s not my show. It’s not my show.
Riese: We go back to Papi’s, where now the subtitles are doing the work for us in this. The captions are doing the work for us here. They are describing the grunts and groans in all of their grunty, groany glory. The grunts and… The glows and grunts blah blah blah that’s happening with blah blah blah. Papi and Gabby in the sex rooms and laugh, laugh, laugh. Alice and Tasha are laughing. Ha ha ha ha ha.
Carly: There is something lovely about this moment because it’s that thing when you’ve been with someone for a while and you can make fun of stuff together, almost with a shorthand. They’re not talking. They just start laughing. And I thought that was really cute and relatable. And then somehow Alice convinces Tasha to come home with her. Good job, Alice. Wow. Didn’t see that coming.
Riese: Yeah. Nice.
Carly: Really didn’t think it was going to end well.
Riese: A real win.
Carly: Huge. Huge victory.
Riese: And Tasha’s like, “Yeah, but I’m going to sleep on the couch.” And it’s like, “All right.”
Carly: Alice is like, “Sure you will.” But she does.
Riese: Then we go back to Jenny’s where they are having more sexuals. Jenny is topping. They both have a lot of rings on. And I’m not entirely sure what’s happening here, but it’s sexuals. There’s sex being happening. It is passionate.
Carly: It is sexual in nature. It is passionate, fiery.
Riese: Yeah. It was a scene of—
Carly: Intense sexual nature.
Riese: Yeah. There’s real passion between these women, a real explosion of fire.
Carly: Like a fireball.
Riese: Like a fireball. Yeah. Or like a firework.
Riese: Do you ever feel like a paper bag in Shane’s arm?
Carly: I sometimes do you feel like a paper bag and then I get very drowsy. So much so that I could fall asleep at the club. We go to Hit Club where Shane is asleep at the club.
Riese: At the Porter Peabody Pleasure Palace.
Carly: It’s closing time.
Riese: Shane has fallen asleep in a tiny bubble chair. Closing time.
Carly: Which is great. The implication here is that she drank a lot more tequila than we saw. I think that she is so drunk that she has passed out again with her Whole Foods bag. No one has stolen it from her because it probably didn’t look like it contained anything of value. And no one has stolen it from her, because it probably didn’t look like it contained anything of value.
Riese: Just a few ratty T-shirts.
Carly: Yeah. They play “Closing Time” by Semisonic, so that she knows it’s time to leave, as everyone traditionally understands that that’s what that song is for.
Riese: I have a question.
Riese: Don’t bars here close at 2:00?
Carly: Yeah. So that was going to be something I wanted to mention, is that they’re treating Los Angeles like New York City in this episode. Bars are not open this late. I mean, back when we had bars and things in the evenings.
Riese: Bars are not open, full stop.
Carly: But when they were, they were open till 2:00 at the dot, on the dot. You were gone by 2:00. You were out of there, unless you were going to some sort of after hours thing, which is not really my scene. So I wouldn’t be able to speak to that, but I know they exist.
Riese: It does seem like there must be … You can’t serve alcohol after 2:00, right? Or something?
Carly: I believe so. Yeah. Usually, they cut you off before that if you’re out someplace. By 1:30, they’re done serving, I feel like.
Riese: So this is obviously an underground establishment, that’s breaking all the rules.
Carly: All of them.
Riese: This is never addressed, for some reason. So don’t hold your horses for that. And then we go to Alice’s. I didn’t know that Alice’s sofa pulled out.
Carly: I didn’t either. We’re learning so much. Alice is learning so much, because she’s never been—
Riese: She’s got a full sofa bed!
Carly: She’s never even sat on her sofa bed. So she…
Riese: She hasn’t.
Carly: …pops up, pops down right next to Tasha on the sofa bed. And she’s like, “Oh, this is comfy.” And then she’s trying to cuddle and it’s cute.
Riese: Yeah. They both look really cute. Tasha, she has her hair down. She has a bandana on. And then Alice has her little glasses on, and her little hairs. And they both just look so adorable.
Carly: Yeah. And Tasha is like, “You are not a serious person.” And Alice is like, “I can be serious. Watch.” And she tries to not laugh or smile for like five seconds, and then breaks. And I thought that was really relatable. Because I’m also not a serious person.
Riese: Yeah. I, in this moment, related to them, because it reminded me of a relationship, I was somewhere. I felt like what we had with each other was a very cute dynamic, wherein we were very different, and I was sort of silly and squirmy, and she was a little bit more serious. And so we enjoyed our each other’s presence and banter and sexual chemistry. But what did we have in common? Not that many things.
Carly: Not much?
Riese: More than Tasha and Alice have in common though, I would say. We had a lot more to work with. So I related to this, maybe 20% related to this.
Riese: I would like to suggest that they go to therapy.
Carly: I would like to suggest that they don’t go to Dan Foxworthy.
Riese: Guess what? You guys are going to go to Dan Foxworthy! We go to Kit’s house, where Kit is putting Shane to bed. And Shane is sad. She’s like, “I totally fucked it up. And it wasn’t even worth it.” And she’s just so devastated losing Jenny’s friendship. Because Jenny was her best friend in the whole world. And they talked about how Jenny’s life has been really hard, and that she’s too delicate and fragile. And Shane was the last person she expected to betray her.
Riese: And then Kit is like, “You know what, Shane? You need to fight for Jenny. You let all of your women go, and you need to fight for this friendship.” And Kit is correct. Shane folds like a chair every time that anything… Even with Phyllis, she’s just like, “Okay.” She immediately went and pushed Molly away within five minutes.
Carly: She does not fight for anyone.
Riese: Nothing. No.
Carly: She is the most passive person in all of her relationships, of any kind.
Riese: Well, I guess she went to Cherie Jaffe’s. But that was more about explaining herself, and making sure that Cherie didn’t think she had slept with her daughter, because that would have been really fucked up. I guess she did go to Shane’s — or Carmen’s cousin’s house? But…
Carly: That’s too little too late at that point.
Riese: Yeah. Anyway, yeah, Shane has an inconsistent record. A lot of the time, Shane just gives up.
Carly: And Kit tells her, “Go fight to the death.” Foreshadowing, perhaps?
Riese: Dun dun dun…
Carly: Just a thought.
Carly: So this whole episode, up until this point, has been one night, and not just only a couple hours. Finally, it is morning. This scene is incredible.
Riese: Morning time. All the birds are in the trees, hearing them chirping, and everyone is in lights. Carly’s doing a big yawn.
Carly: I just yawned so dramatically. So Nikki wakes up next to Jenny and they both look so happy. And Nikki tells her she loves her. And it was so romantic when Jenny said, “You’ve broken my heart.” Oh, Nikki, you’re so dumb.
Riese: Yeah. Yikes.
Carly: So then Jenny …
Jenny: You didn’t break my heart. You’re nothing but a self-absorbed, self-indulgent little brat. And our affair on set was nothing but a showmance. And when I said that you broke my heart, I wasn’t talking about you, darling. It’s time for you to go.
Riese: And I liked it.
Carly: This is, again, kind of psychotic, but also deserved. Nikki earned this. Well, did she? I mean, is that terrible for me to say? I don’t know. I feel like Jenny’s not entirely wrong, although they were kind of—
Riese: No. Yeah, they—
Carly: She was acting like she was in love with her for awhile.
Riese: Well, I mean, they’re retconning so many things with Jenny this season, one of them is that they didn’t have a real relationship. And they did have a real relationship.
Carly: They fully did.
Riese: Yeah. And also, honestly, Nikki wasn’t this stupid last season either as she is now. I love this character.
Carly: No, she wasn’t. They’re making her out to be a real idiot.
Riese: Yeah. And I like this version of Nikki, because it’s funny, but it’s also not super consistent with last season. And they definitely had genuine feelings for each other.
Carly: Yeah. We saw that over many episodes last season.
Riese: Yeah. But Nikki, this episode, has shown herself completely willing. When Jenny is mad, then she’s just willing to go, “Oh, well. Let’s go be together,” to Shane. So, yeah, she deserves this.
Carly: So Jenny kicks her out. Bye, Nikki.
Riese: Yep. Bye, Nikki. We’ll see you later, if you want to talk about Jenny at some other point in this.
Carly: So now we’re at The Planet, and everybody’s there.
Riese: All the gang is here!
Carly: Except I didn’t see Max, but is he part of the gang?
Carly: Kind of inconsistent. We don’t know. Kit and Helen try to keep Shane and Jenny apart. But Shane is like, “No, I’m going to talk to her.” And Jenny’s like, “If she sits at this table, I am going to leave.” And then Jenny fractures the group and creates a new table. This is huge. A second table.
Riese: There’s the thinking-it’s-cheating table, versus the don’t-judge-a-cheater table.
Carly: Yeah. So, at one table, we’ve got Tasha, Tina, and Jenny, which I can’t imagine what that group is chatting about. What a fun group together.
Riese: What on this planet are they going to talk about in The Planet at their table? They have nothing in common. And also this is a TV show. So at the anti-bad behavior table, we have Jenny, who had a full affair with Marina, while marrying Tim. And I can’t remember what happened after that. And, obviously, that had some context or whatever. But, I mean, okay. And she did love and care about Tim. Whatever. Anyway, so we have Jenny, who cheated on Tim with Marina, which I understand, but it still exists. It’s still there.
Carly: And we have Tina, aka Lindsay76.
Riese: 76. Yeah. We have Lindsay fucking 76 herself over there, waiting for the pre-cum to squirt out in high judgment, in high judgment.
Carly: And Tasha—
Riese: And, Tasha, who indeed is perfect, in this regard.
Carly: Exactly. Actually perfect. It is the only one that should be at the anti-cheaters table.
Riese: Yes. Yes. Although, she did say that she cheated on somebody once. Remember, when they were at the campfire?
Carly: Oh, I completely forgot about that.
Riese: She said she cheated on that girl that they ran into on the pink ride. Yeah.
Carly: Oh, shit.
Riese: But she’s reformed.
Carly: Reformed cheater. There you go.
Riese: And then, at the other table, we have serial cheater, Bette Porter. Never found a relationship that she couldn’t cheat on. And we have Shane. We all know Shane’s evil.
Carly: We all know about Shane. And Alice, who’s just all over the place.
Riese: Yeah. Alice, who’s all over the place. And then what we have here is a little eye play, some deep, deep, deep lesbian conflict.
Carly: Oh yeah.
Riese: Eye contact.
Carly: Said only through glances, the eyes.
Riese: Yeah. The hills have eyes. And by the hills, I mean the characters on this show, and they are gazing.
Carly: Exactly. On the show, The Hills, which is also in California.
Riese: Correct. So it’s all connected. And don’t forget, again, the butterfly.
Riese: Kit is like, “Come on guys, are you kidding me?” They’re not kidding. They’re dead fucking serious.
Carly: Just shouting in the middle of the restaurant, which I loved. Also, it seems like Helena also works at The Planet. And I was like, “Okay, whatever. I guess you guys are just business partners now. I’m not going to question that.”
Riese: I love it.
Carly: It’s great. It’s really great.
Riese: And, yeah, so we end with some stares. We’ve got Jenny staring at Shane. Tasha, I’ll tell you what, loves to take a side.
Carly: Ah, loves it.
Riese: Loves to take a side. And Alice hates it. And so Alice keeps looking at … Alice is communicating a lot with her eyes. Everyone else is sort of communicating a steady emotion. Shane says, “Please forgive me.” And Jenny says “No.” But Alice is going through, like, “Could you please, maybe if you came and sat over here, we just ordered waffles.” She’s really trying to say a lot over there. And Jenny thinks it’s too hot. It’s like, “Oh, it’s so hot in here.”
Carly: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. It’s a real issue.
Riese: And she’s waving. I’m waving now. I’m waving like a fan, right now.
Carly: You at home can’t see it. But Riese is kind of wafting air around.
Riese: Well, and I believe that was the end of this little piece. That’s it.
Carly: Yep. We do not go back to three months later in the present. We just stay in this past thing, where it’s now just the morning after the season five finale. That’s as far as we’ve gotten, chronologically at this point.
Riese: And I feel like we’re going to get about three months farther by the end of the season.
Carly: That’s a great theory. I think you’re right.
Riese: If the butterfly has anything to do with it, we will.
Carly: Carol, wake up!
Riese: And that’s the episode.
Carly: That’s the episode!
Carly: Well, one down, a bunch more to go. What’d you think of this episode, Riese?
Riese: It wasn’t as bad as I remembered it being.
Carly: Yeah, this is not the worst of season six, for sure. And there’s some decent acting and nice writing in this episode.
Riese: Yeah. Some fun cameos with Papi.
Carly: And Xena Warrior Princess.
Riese: And we get a major supernatural conspiracy theory that has haunted us for generations.
Carly: Which is huge. And are they going to explore that in the rest of the season? It remains to be seen. And I can tell you that they do not. But we will. We are not going to let this go unnoticed. We’re going to uncover the truth about this wretched, cursed, butterfly.
Riese: Yeah. We have a lot of mysteries to solve this season.
Carly: We sure do.
Riese: First of all, pear polenta tart, what’s going on with it? Second of all—
Carly: Well, how much does it cost, at this point? Is it still on the menu?
Riese: After the casualty in the pool, is it still kind of open for business? Could other people, maybe people who aren’t spooked by the fact that someone died in the pool, could they go to the pool if they wanted to?
Carly: Did she drown? Or did she die and then fall into the pool? These are questions we need answered.
Riese: Right. Or did she walk in like Virginia Woolf?
Carly: Were there rocks in her pockets? Something you should check.
Riese: Were there rocks in her pockets? Ever heard of Ophelia from <emHamlet? Look it up. Think about it.
Carly: Another thing to look up, it would be some sort of crime scene procedure, and whether or not you’re allowed to just wheel an uncovered body through a house where there’s an awake child sitting there. And also all the friends of the deceased person. And they just stopped.
Riese: Yeah. Who all smell like spa.
Carly: They just stopped in the middle of the living room.
Riese: Yeah, a little display.
Carly: As if to be like, “Look what we found.”
Riese: Yeah, yeah. Just like on a walk.
Carly: Check it out, like, “Hey, guys, is this your friend? That’s so weird.”
Carly: Totally fucked up.
Riese: So I would say this episode was fine. I’d give it a medium.
Carly: Yeah. This is a medium. We’ve got a real road ahead of us though.
Riese: Oh, we do. So this season of To L And Back, we’re going to be doing every other week, every other Monday, instead of every Monday. Because—
Carly: Because we just really want to draw this out.
Riese: We really want to dry it out forever! No, it’s just been harder to keep up with this with the every week schedule, with our lives at this moment.
Riese: But we’re really committed to it, and we’re really committed to you. And we have missed all of our listeners dearly.
Carly: Yes, we have missed you all so, so much. We hope everyone is doing okay. If you want to post any comments on our socials, and tell us how happy you are that we’re back, that would be totally okay.
Riese: That would be affirming for us.
Carly: Do you want to comment or review, like rate or review the show on your particular podcast app of choice? That’s not a bad thing. None of these are bad things, unless—
Carly: Well, if you have a negative opinion, I would say keep it to yourself. But if you have a positive one, I would say share it with the world. And that’s kind of how I feel about how you might feel about us on the show.
Riese: Yeah. Correct. And we’re going to have other guests on the show, as the show proceeds. And as we dig into, as aforementioned, some of the worst television writing in the history of the medium.
Carly: By far. Yeah.
Riese: And I personally am just already dreading that eventually I’m going to have to watch 608 again.
Carly: Yeah. I know. It’s not fair to either of us. But you know what? We’ve committed to this and we have to see it through.
Riese: I guess that’s all. I guess that’s all we have to say about this. Can’t wait to find out what happens next week on this program. But, I’ll tell you what, I hope someone burns the butterfly.
Carly: That’s the only way to destroy it. As long as it lives in Bette’s closet on a hanger, even if it’s in a garment bag, it still holds immense power, which is what the prophecy foretold.
Riese: Yes. And we’ll be getting into that, as you know, as the season proceeds.
Carly: Of course.
Riese: And I guess, in conclusion, the end. And in case you’re wondering, yes, I do live right across the street from a Ross Dress For Less now.
Carly: Are you really close to the Wendy’s?
Riese: I am very close to the Wendy’s.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. And don’t forget, we have a hotline! You can give us a call, 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 at @autowin. Autostraddle is @autostraddle. And, of course, autostraddle.com, the reason we are all here today.
Carly: All right. 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 just recapped. Okay. Riese, you ready?
Riese: Okay. One, two, three. Luxembourg.
Carly: Latifah, Queen.
Riese: That was a really good one!
Carly: What was yours? Luxembourg?
Riese: Yeah, it’s a country in Europe.
Carly: I’ve heard of it. I’ve heard of it.
Riese: It’s very small. It’s a tiny little country. It’s the teeny, tiny—
Carly: If it had a voice, it’d be a very little, quiet voice.
Riese: If Luxembourg had a voice, it’d be like, “I’m so little. I’m like the smallest carrot.”
Carly: “I’m Luxembourg. I’m so tiny. Don’t step on me.”
Riese: If you have any listeners in Luxembourg…
Carly: I said Latifah, Queen. Queen Latifah. I’ve been-
Riese: A big star.
Carly: A huge star. I’ve been non-stop, basically, rewatching …
Riese: Living Single?
Carly: … multiple times, Living Single, which also starts with it an L. I don’t know if I used it last season, but I will use it this season …
Riese: Oh, maybe.
Carly: … if I haven’t, that’s a preview. But all I can think about really is Queen Latifah, and the rest of the cast. So that’s kind of where my head’s at, which is a pretty great place to be, if I’m being honest.
Riese: Yeah, it is a pretty great place to be. I am, once again, playing geography games on my phone.
Carly: What do you play?
Riese: Geography games.
Carly: Oh, there are two games I play on my phone that have taken over my life. One is Nanograms, and the other is Water Connect, where you have to connect pipes so that different colored water can flow in them. And these are the things that are calming to me, these mindless games, and the dulcet tones of Queen Latifah’s voice.
Riese: Well, you’ve got to find your calm where you can find it.
Carly: Exactly. You have to find that peace.
Riese: And, on that note, if we have any listeners from Luxembourg, please let us know in the comments. And we’ll see you next week.
Carly: And if you are Queen Latifah, and you’re listening to this, please get back to me immediately.
Riese: Yeah. Please listen to the comments. We would like to have you on any episode after your choice. We’ll re-recap your favorite episode, if you’ve seen any of them.
Carly: Any season, anything, we would do.
Riese: Any show, we would do. Or we could just talk about life.
Carly: Just talk about life.
Riese: Yeah. We could talk about Set It Off.
Carly: We could talk about how you live in New Jersey, when my mom used to see you a lot out at places, because she lives in the same county you live in.
Riese: Yeah. You could come on our podcast.
Carly: And that’s important. One time my mom said, “Dana came into the store today.”
Riese: And you were like, “But she’s dead.”
Carly: And she was referring to Queen Latifah.
Carly: Yeah, exactly. L Word joke.
Riese: Okay. Bye.
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