“To L and Back” L Word Podcast Episode 602: “Least Likely” With Christina Tucker!

Join Autostraddle’s very dearest own Christina Tucker, best known for her Pulitzer Prize winning work with Generation Q star Mercedes Mason, as we dig into the meat and marrow of Episode 602, an episode in which everybody is writing a treatment, Alice and Tasha visit L.A.’s most incompetent couple’s therapist, Nikki thinks Jenny should be dead meat, Bette runs into Jessie Spano at an art gallery and so much more!

The usual:

Riese: Hi, I’m Riese!

Carly: And I’m Carly!

Riese: And this is—

Carly and Riese: To L and Back!

Carly: That was not our best intro, but hi, we’re back again.

Riese: It’s a podcast about The L Word, where every week we talk about it.

Carly: “It” being The L Word.

Riese: The L Word,, yeah. Yeah, The L Word. Every other week currently, but it used to be every week. Now it’s every other week.

Carly: Also, it’s because we want these to be the best episodes we’ve done yet. Season six really deserves our all.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: So today we will be talking about episode 602 entitled, “Least Likely.” This episode was…

Riese: They really set a low bar for themselves with that title.

Carly: They really did. Like what? This one was…

Riese: And again, what does it have to do with anything?

Carly: I don’t know. Maybe Max is the least likely person to be pregnant on the show. Is that what it has to do with?

Riese: Some might say almost unlikely, but we can get to that.

Carly: Yeah. This was written and directed by Rose Troche, who is amazing.

Riese: Oh wow.

Carly: We love her. And it originally aired on January 25th, 2009. Remember 2009?

Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Carly: Barely.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: That’s a long time.

Riese: When my hair was to here.

Carly: Which is so different from how it is right now, where it’s to here.

Riese: Yeah. Now, it’s to here, yeah. So it’s been… My hair has grown a lot since 2009 actually.

Carly: Wow, incredible.

Riese: That’s the fun thing about me.

Carly: That’s great.

Riese: I also wore more eyeliner in 2009.

Carly: Yeah, that’s fair. We also got to go places in 2009.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: We are so excited because we have a very special guest today. Oh my God. Guest, please introduce yourself.

Christina: Oh my God. Hi. I’m Christina. I’m so thrilled to be here.

Riese: Hi. We’re so thrilled to have you.

Carly: We’re so excited.

Riese: I’m just generally so excited to talk about this straight-up disaster episode from this straight-up disaster season.

Carly: Yeah. Couldn’t have said it better than that. That’s accurate. Yeah.

Riese: Christina, tell us about yourself. What do you do with your life?

Christina: Oh, what do I do with my life? I’m a contributing writer at Autostraddle, the website, that you might’ve heard of.

Riese: Wow.

Carly: I am familiar.

Riese: I’ve heard of it.

Christina: Yeah. I thought you might. You guys might have a little bit of knowledge about it.

Carly: A little. Yeah.
Riese: Yeah.

Christina: I’m also a writer for Netflix’s queer social media channel, The Most. And I kind of just spent a lot of time running my mouth on the internet about usually women over 50, who I would like to hit me with a Mack truck. You have a brand, you stick to it.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: I mean, that’s a great brand to have.

Christina: Thank you. It’s been a really lovely road to get here.

Carly: Incredible.

Riese: I think your tweets are really funny.

Carly: Same.

Christina: Thank you. I love to hear that.

Carly: Yeah. Big fan of your Twitter presence.

Christina: I’m so happy to be here with both of you, two legends who I truly adore.

Riese: Thank you so much.

Carly: Oh my God. I mean, thank you. Obviously it’s an honor to be a legend. I just also want to mention, because you didn’t mention this, that you are one of the hosts of A Simple Podcast.

Christina: True.

Riese: Yeah. There is another podcast.

Christina: Yeah.

Carly: There are other podcasts other than ours, Riese.

Christina: Yeah. If you’re going to listen to two podcasts, I would recommend it would be this one, and then you could listen to A Simple Pod, which me and Jordan Crucchiola and Alanna Bennett, talk deeply in depth about the film, A Simple Favor from 2018.

Carly: Which is famously one of Riese and my’s, favorite films.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: And the podcast is so good and goes so in depth. And then I love that it’s — I don’t want to gush too much, but I love that your podcast clearly started as three friends wanting to talk about a movie they liked and then turned into you guys getting these crazy interviews with everybody.

Christina: Yeah. The guest part really took us by surprise, I will say that. It was really thrilling to get to talk to so many of the folks who were involved with the film, but it was just like, “Wait, we just kind of started this because famously, it’s a pandemic and no one’s really doing anything and we thought it’d be fun to talk about this movie. And suddenly, here I am on a Zoom call with Blake Lively. What’s going on here?”

Carly: That’s wild.

Christina: It was wild.

Carly: Truly wild.

Riese: I should listen to it.

Carly: You should, Riese. I think you will quite like it. I got through at least two full episodes while I was in, a few months ago, in the line at Dodger Stadium to get a COVID test. And it was great, it really just kept me from falling asleep at the wheel in a very slow-moving line.

Christina: That’s exactly the scenario that we envisioned when we started the pod, so I’m really happy.

Carly: Christina, will you please tell us your L Word origin story?

Christina: I discovered The L Word, I have to assume it was late high school, one of those days where you’re just flipping through channels, maybe my parents weren’t around. I have a very clear memory of being worried that it was going to be the last thing on the remote. You remember when the remotes had that last button?

Carly: Oh, yeah.

Christina: And you spent a weird amount of time being like, “Oh, if my parents check the last button when they get home and they see I was watching, I don’t know MTV, they’re going to be like, “You’re grounded.”

Carly: Yeah. I was going to say MTV.

Christina: I don’t know what I thought they were going to do. They left me home alone for three hours, of course I watched TV, but I wanted them to be thinking I was only watching, I don’t know, PBS or whatever. I wasn’t, spoiler. I have just such a clear memory of seeing it and being, “Those are two ladies and they seem to be doing it. Go on, show. Go on.”

Carly: Continue.

Riese: So was it on the air at the time?

Christina: It was on the air at the time. Who’s to say what time that was because famously, what is time?

Riese: Exactly.

Christina: It was sometime in the mid-aughts I’m going to guess, based on how I know the show ran. And then I really did a proper watch of it in college and was like, “Yes, good. This.” I will say I hadn’t seen the sixth season probably since that rewatch, because if I’m rewatching it now, I’m going to hit, probably one through four and then I’m going to say, I’m all set.

Riese: Yeah.

Christina: On nude ladies, who I love, but my God at what cost?

Carly: But… Yeah, exactly. There’s only so much any of us can handle.

Christina: Right. And it turns out I was right about season six, it is as bad as I remembered.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Yeah. It just gets worse every episode too.

Christina: Yeah.

Carly: So this is only the second one, and it’s already pretty terrible.

Riese: Even this one, I was like, “Well, this is better than I expected.” Because my memory of it is like the bottom of the barrel, that’s inside another barrel, that’s inside another barrel, that’s in the bottom of the ocean, that’s in the core of the earth, but before the big bang so it’s actually in space. So this was like, “Well, this is fine compared to that.”

Carly: Whoa. That’s incredible. Wow.

Christina: I’m always saying that. I’m always saying that about things.

Riese: Right.

Carly: Absolutely.

Riese: Did you have any favorite characters?

Christina: Oh yeah, I am trashed for Bette. Even now as a somewhat, emotionally healthy person, I watch her make terrible decisions and I’m like, “Good. Great choice. Awesome. It rocks that you did that. It rocks that you’re cheating, yet again. I love this.” I know that it’s wrong, but I look at that woman’s face and I’m like, “Give her everything on earth. I don’t understand why she doesn’t have everything. Give her whatever she wants.”

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: That’s true.

Christina: Yeah.

Riese: Whatever sleeves she wants.

Christina: The things I wrote about the sleeves.

Carly: I have a lot to say about the sleeves.

Christina: A lot to say about the sleeves.

Carly: We will get to the sleeves.

Christina: We will have a sleeve… Please pay close attention for my spinoff podcast, Sleeves, just all about her sleeves in this one episode.

Carly: I cannot wait to listen to Sleeves.

Riese: Yeah. Maybe you’ll get Jennifer Beals on it.

Christina: Fingers and crossed on that one.

Carly: Oh my God.

Christina: Yeah. Bette was always the fav. Carmen, obviously. Huge fan of Kit. Who’s not out here supporting Pam Grier and the work that she does?

Riese: Right.

Christina: Famously naming her bar Hit. Fine.

Riese: It’s a hit!

Christina: It’s a hit!

Carly: But don’t fight anyone at this club, even though altercations have occurred now two episodes in a row since they changed the name. Oh my God. Okay. So should we get into this disaster of an episode?

Christina: We really should.

Carly: Yeah. Okay. It’s time. Well, I know we don’t normally talk about the previouslies, but there is something very important in the previouslies this week and that is, fucking Dylan.

Christina: Yep.

Riese: Oh really? They put her in the previouslies?

Carly: They sure did.

Christina: They put her in the previouslies. And I was, “Wait, I haven’t watched this season in a while, but I don’t… what?”

Riese: I don’t think that happened last week.

Christina: “Oh, hold up. That didn’t happen in the last episode, did it?” And then I of course, had to go through and just do a quick scrub of episode one. And I was, “No, because famously we did other things in this episode, like discover Jenny’s dead body.”

Riese: Yeah. Right.

Carly: And have it wheeled into a living room uncovered.

Christina: We didn’t have time for Dylan.

Riese: No. Mm-mm (negative).

Carly: Unless Dylan is one of the Schecter seven and that’s going to be a real twist.

Christina: Whoa.

Riese: Actually, isn’t she?

Carly: I’m trying to make that happen. I’m trying to make Schecter seven happen.

Christina: No, Schecter seven is happening and I am bulk-ordering t-shirts.

Carly: Awesome. Yes. Okay. If Christina says it’s happening, that means it is actually happening. Yeah. So they totally shoved a clip of Dylan into the previouslies and I also have not seen season six — I haven’t seen season six since it aired originally.

Riese: Yeah. Same.

Carly: So I had completely forgotten she ever comes back—

Riese: Oh, really?

Carly: … And was truly shocked to see her in the previouslies and I was, “Oh God, here we go. She’s coming back.” Completely forgot about the storyline entirely, just gone for my head.

Riese: But later in season six, Dylan pulls a kitchen knife out of a butcher’s block and then puts it next to Helena’s face. You don’t remember that?

Carly: Riese, when I tell you that I don’t remember any of season six, I really mean that I don’t. Aside from the dance contest, I don’t remember any of season six.

Christina: No. The light knife play is ringing some bells for me.

Riese: Okay. Yeah. A faint bell.

Christina: A faint, perhaps formative bell, maybe we can… I’ll just jot that down to discuss later offline.

Carly: Note to self. Will look at that scene for later. Yeah, so that was a little foreshadowing in our previouslies. So the cold open…

Christina: The cold open is legendary, I do want to say.

Carly: It is so good.

Riese: First all, Nikki’s hair, I love it. I love the feathered thing, and the whole feel is very 70s sort of, you’re a porn star in your flat with your bikini friends or whatever.

Christina: Yeah. If 2009 did the 70s.

Carly: Exactly. Is this supposed to be her suite at the Chateau, I’m assuming? Is that where she is? Or is this supposed to be her new house?

Christina: That’s what I thought?

Carly: I was getting a hotel-ish vibe, but then as they moved the camera through the space, they just kept revealing more space and more people, to the point where I was, “How big is the room? How many… What is going on?” But I’m not a rich person, I wouldn’t know about suites.

Riese: I always think that rich people live in really big apartments that are somehow always really clean and you can’t see any of their normal pedestrian possessions, all their lotion is hidden away. But their vase is out.

Christina: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah. We should say that, so the cold opens for the entire season are going to be people saying that they want to kill Jenny, but in using a phrase that people use where they’re not really talking about murder.

Christina: It was so subtle, which I thought was nice. Then Nikki says, “I want her dead, like dead.” And I was like, “Wow, I love subtlety in writing and in acting, this is beautiful to watch.”

Nikki: Jenny Schecter is a liar and a user. And trust me, you are not going to get away with this. You are dead meat, Schecter, dead.

Christina: Yeah. That brought me right back to Revenge, the TV show, Revenge, the classic of the genre.

Riese: Right. So basically, Nikki is yelling at all of her friends about how Jenny fucks her all night long and then said it was a showmance. And who’s going to take her best friend out of her top five because she’s mad. And that’s what you do when your mad. You take someone out of your top five, so then it costs more money to call them.

Carly: Exactly.

Riese: As I recall.

Carly: This was a fun T-Mobile promotion in the mid-to-late-aughts.

Riese: Yeah. I think it started in ’07.

Carly: Yeah. And in my research today — because I was this sounds like a T-Mobile thing from back years ago, and it was. But I found an old commercial that was Dwayne Wade and Charles Barkley for T-Mobile faves. But yeah, you basically get unlimited free calling to your top five faves and she’s removing her best friend from her top five. It’s going to be much more expensive to talk to her now. So…

Christina: That actually makes a lot of sense.

Carly: She’s not going to be in the loop.

Christina: Because I was thinking that it was a T-Mobile thing and I was like, “Well, why wasn’t I familiar with T-Mobile?” But if Catherine Zeta Jones was no longer doing their promo ads, I wouldn’t have cared.

Carly: Exactly.

Christina: So that makes sense. That’s good to know.

Riese: I guess I’ve had cutouts, Catherine Zeta John cutouts at the store, at the T-Mobile store.

Christina: I tried to buy one once, in a thrilling show of what I was still calling heterosexuality.

Riese: Oh my God.

Christina: Really good stuff. Yeah. My notes do say “Nikki, the legend.” So kind of take that as you will, I suppose.

Riese: You could tell she had freckles. I didn’t know that before.

Christina: I don’t know that I clocked that, but I’m thrilled that you are here to do so.

Nikki at her beach house saying Jenny is dead meat

Carly: It’s a good thing your eagle eyes are here with us always. Then we get our theme song. Christina, do you have any particular thoughts on the incredible theme song for this television show?

Christina: Every time I think I’m out, it pulls me back in. I’m just like, “Oh, I still know every single word to this, that’s mortifying.”

Carly: It’s impossible to erase it from your memory.

Christina: What things could I know in the space that The L Word theme song is taking up in my brain?

Riese: The L Word is taking up a lot of space in my brain that I think could be filled with things like my EIN number.

Christina: Sure.

Carly: Good luck ever remembering that.

Riese: My address, which I’ve still been giving to people incorrectly.

Carly: Great.

Riese: Cooking.

Christina: Yeah. Cooking, kind of all of it, cooking.

Carly: I’m going to say that I’m not a person who cooks solely, because L Word is taking up all this space that could be used for cooking, but it’s not because L Word’s there and that’s why I’m not into cooking and not good at it and don’t do it. That sounds… we’ll go with that.

Christina: Yeah. That’s what science is, I think. So…

Carly: That is…

Riese: That is science.

Carly: That is super science.

Riese: And we are experts.

Christina: I thought this was a scientific podcast about science.

Riese: It is.

Carly: This is a science podcast, science show.

Christina: Cool.

Carly: We talk about science.

Christina: Great.

Carly: Last week, we got into a lot of science and I’m sure it will come up again this week.

Christina: Really looking forward to that.

Riese: I’m positive it will as well. So then we go to the Hit Club where we meet this drag queen named Sunset Boulevard, who’s going to spin at the Hit Club and Kit really likes Sunset Boulevard. But also, another thing I want to talk about is do we really think that Helena and Kit’s favorite film is Casablanca?

Christina: Absolutely not.

Carly: Absolutely, absolutely not.

Riese: In what fucking universe is Kit Porter creaming for fucking Casablanca<e\/em> or whatever, however you pronounce that?

Christina: No.

Riese: It’s a super boring movie.

Christina: Helena’s favorite movie is Basic Instinct, I’m certain of it.

Carly: Definitely.

Riese: Helena would love A Simple Favor.

Christina: Helena would love it.

Carly: Oh my God. She would.

Christina: And to be clear, I also wrote “Helena, the legend” in my notes. Lot of that happening in my notes for this episode.

Carly: I did a quick Goog and the actor playing Sunset Boulevard is not a drag queen.

Riese: Well, there aren’t any.

Christina: Right.

Riese: So how would they find a real one?

Christina: How could they find a drag queen in 2009?

Riese: Right.

Carly: They really could not have found a drag queen to play a drag queen.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Okay. Sure.

Riese: It was Canada.

Carly: Sure.

Riese: So…

Carly: You’re right. Famously, no drag Queens north of California.

Christina: Right. Because once it gets too cold, you got to shut it down.

Riese: Yeah. You need temperate for brunch.

Christina: Right.

Carly: Exactly. For brunch.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: But Sunset Boulevard is a big Kit Porter fan so she is down, she’s like, “I will be here to…” They’re giving her a preview, almost, a little tour. They’re like, “This is where this is going to go.” And I’m like, “Okay.” Also, interestingly to note here, Kit and Helena have both “sworn off men.”

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Now, as far as I recall, Helena is not bisexual. She is a lesbian, I believe. Right?

Christina: Brotherly, a famous lesbian. I would…

Carly: Famous. Yes.

Riese: Yeah. Legendary, some might say.

Christina: Some.

Carly: Yes.

Christina: Could be me.

Carly: So that’s just a fun thing to…

Riese: She was like, “I did a long time ago.” Or something like that. Something about how she’s sworn off men.

Christina: What if I just stopped describing myself as a lesbian and just started saying, I swore off men a long time ago, that’s my sexuality now.

Carly: Yes. I think you should definitely start doing that.

Christina: Cool.

Riese: Yeah.

Christina: Thank you.

Carly: I love that. So we go to The Planet where, wouldn’t you know it, Alice and Jenny are type-type-typing away on their Macs.

Riese: Having to type off.

Carly: Tasha is reading out of a large binder, because she has Police Academy to go to.

Riese: Yeah. Womp womp.

Carly: And, last week, they did this really big thing where they split the group into two tables at The Planet. And this week, wouldn’t you know it, they are continuing—

Riese: That split.

Carly: … That separation of the group. Bette and Tina refer to this as martyrs and cheaters, which I think is a bit reductive, but whatever.

Riese: Oh, I thought it was cute.

Christina: Really? You think Bette and Tina were being reductive when they talked about their friends’ problems? I am shocked to hear it.

Carly: Hmm. Interesting.

Christina: Weird.

Riese: So Shane, apparently… Shane has room in her brain for cooking, because she went back into the kitchen of The Planet and made waffles, which is really hard.

Carly: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Riese: Made waffles for Jenny and had them delivered to Jenny. But Jenny doesn’t want her waffles, but she has Alice communicate that to Shane that she doesn’t want her waffles. And then she throws away her waffles —

Carly: Right in the trash.

Riese: … Which is wasteful and absurd. There’s other people there, there’s probably people right outside who she could give her waffles to.

Carly: For sure.

Christina: Alice would have eaten the waffles. I don’t understand.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Alice definitely was eyeing the waffles. And then Tina was like, “Ooh, waffles.”

Christina: Right.

Carly: And Jenny just moves the plate under her nose so she can sniff it and then dumps it right in the trash. I was like, “Wow, rude.”

Christina: Two things really jumped out of me about that scene. One, that she takes the time to explain that she doesn’t… That she makes Alice explain that she doesn’t want the waffles and then just gets up and throws them away. You could have just gotten up and throw them away. It was a pretty clear action.

Riese: Yeah.

Waitress delivering food to Alice at The Planet

Christina: And also, why was that garbage can so far away? She walked for so long. I was like, “Still no garbage?” Just a note for Hit.

Riese: She had to walk to the entrance.

Carly: Because Bette and Tina were walking—

Riese: They need to have more garbage cans. Yeah.

Carly: … In the door. They also said, “Man, how about that new valet service? Oh, I know. Helena is really changing this place.”

Riese: There’s nothing I hate more than pulling up to a restaurant and seeing that they have fucking valet service because then you know…

Carly: It’s my least favorite thing.

Riese: … You can’t park there.

Christina: This is so LA culture. I’m just going to nod like I understand, but I’m like, this is nonsense.

Carly: This is very LA culture right now.

Riese: Yeah. It’s going to cost… Then you know, it’s going to cost a million dollars to park there and you can’t afford it because you’re already stressed out about affording the restaurant. And then you’re going to have to find street parking, which is going to be hard. So in conclusion of my report, somebody adding valet parking is not a valuable service. It is an annoyance and a problem.

Carly: I would also just wanted to point out that Bette’s being a really shitty sister to Kit, because she’s essentially saying that Kit was doing a bad job at running The Planet because now that Helena is here, they have valet and thank God. And I think that’s really unsupportive of her. And I know that’s so out of character for Bette to be really unsupportive.

Christina: I was going to say that’s — wow. Shocking stuff.

Riese: Sometimes I forget that they’re sisters.

Christina: Yeah.

Carly: Yeah. They don’t act like it. But there is that moment where Bette and Tina have to do rock paper scissors to see who’s going to sit at which table, and that’s cute.

Christina: I did have a chuckle that Bette was, “I’m always rock?” Yeah.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: That was cute. And now we’re into some murky water here because Jenny and Alice appear to both be writing treatments. Oh-oh.

Christina: Another word that the show clearly invented, treatments.

Carly: They also were showing close-ups of the laptop and those were scene headings and…

Christina: Yeah.

Carly: Those were screenplays.

Riese: Those weren’t treatments.

Christina: Those weren’t treatments.

Carly: Those were not treatments. They were screenplays written in the wrong font in the wrong application, but sure. If only the writers of this show could find some writers to tell them how to write scenes about writing, I guess. I don’t know. Whatever.

Riese: Well, Alice thinks it’s going to be easy to write a screenplay and then you become rich and then you move to Malibu, but Tasha hates Malibu. So…

Christina: Right. This is continuing our theme of y’all have famously nothing in common?

Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Right.

Carly: Every moment of the last episode and this episode is trying to… Any moment with Alice and Tasha on screen together is trying to underscore, as much as possible, how little they have in common.

Christina: And they’re doing it with a trademark L Word subtlety, which I appreciate.

Carly: Exactly.

Riese: Tina says that Jenny’s a great screenwriter and that Alice should show her the treatment, which is bananas. And then we find out that it’s Tasha’s first day at Police Academy.

Carly: It sure is.

Riese: Tina says she looks great. And you know what? She does. She looks incredible.

Carly: She does look great.

Christina: I do believe my note for this is, “Tasha… I’m so sorry.”

Carly: And then Tina makes a comment about, “When are you guys going to couple’s therapy?” And Tasha gets very upset because Alice cannot keep her mouth shut. I do see where Tasha is coming from, but also Tina and Alice are very close friends. And I feel like you tell your friends everything. So, I don’t know.

Christina: Yeah.

Carly: I think you could go either way on this one. But again, this is the show kind of clobbering us over the head with, “They see different. They’ve different opinions on things.”

Riese: I would tell everyone we are going to therapy and no one that she was going to the Police Academy.

Christina: Yes.

Carly: Same.

Christina: Her only thing today: therapy.

Riese: Yeah. She’s like, “It’s my first day.” “No, it’s our first day at couples therapy today!”

Carly: I dressed her for therapy.

Riese: I dressed for couples therapy, I thought it would be a fun thing we could do!

Christina: Police Academy is actually the name of my therapist group. So…

Carly: Exactly, yeah.

Christina: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Carly: Police Academy is the name of the building we go to for group therapy.

Christina: Yes.

Riese: It’s also the name of the treatment for my film that I’m currently writing as a screenplay. And so she just has the binder for it, but she’s still unemployed, but it’s all fine. It’s totally fine. I have a feeling she’s going to be the best dressed.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Young cadet.

Carly: I would think so. They get into a little argument about Alice wanting Tasha to dress differently and that was…

Riese: And Alice is wrong.

Carly: Yeah.

Christina: It seems like Alice picked… Read the room. Why this moment?

Carly: Yeah. Right.

Riese: Also, honestly aside from last week when Tasha did the vest with the tank top and the baggy jeans, but that was cool at the time.

Christina: Again, it was 2009.

Carly: Exactly.

Riese: Tasha has made a minimum, compared to everyone else, I would say she’s probably made the least amount of fashion mistakes of anyone in this cast.

Christina: I will say, it’s real bold for Alice to come in hot at Tasha for fashion mistakes.

Riese: Alice. I can’t think of anything where I’ve been, “What is Tasha wearing?”

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Helena is Switzerland.

Carly: Helena Switzerland, she will not be getting involved.

Christina: Legendary.

Carly: Also, they mentioned that they’re going to Dan Foxworthy.

Christina: Yes.

Carly: So that once again, the only therapist that any of these people have ever heard of in West Hollywood, where there are no therapists, is this white man, which is very disappointing and we know he is very bad at his job.

Christina: And he continues to be bad at his job in this therapy session.

Carly: He sure does, ooh, man.

Riese: He does.

Bette reading her phone

Carly: Alice has this great moment where she talks about how the vibes are really bad, because Shane and Jenny are not speaking. And she’s just, “Guys, the vibes.” And I thought that was very funny.

Christina: It was funny.

Carly: And then Bette and Tina were, “Well, we have an announcement, which no one asked for, but we’re going to say it.” And we’re going…

Christina: Classic Bette and Tina.

Carly: Classic, making it all about them. They want to adopt a baby.

Riese: Yeah. They’re going to adopt a baby within the next six months and build a second floor to their house. Which I’d be like, “Ughhhh.”

Christina: I mean, I knew they were back together in this season, but I was like, “Oh, right.” They’re back together in the season, this again, these fights again, these conversations all over again. That’s their whole deal. They’re like, “We’re fighting, but we’re back together. And actually, jokes on you, we’re perfect. Just kidding, we broke up again.”

Carly: While we were telling you how perfect we are together, we broke up twice.

Christina: And the time it took Tina to say, we’re perfect, but did fuck somebody else so we do have to…

Carly: We’re going to redact that, but we’ll get back to you on how great we are together.

Riese: I do think they were trying, I think they were trying this season and it’s evident in this episode and I think the last episode too, to really show Bette and Tina, as a cute, married couple that had their little married couple things. And that was, I think that spoke to viewers who are in similar relationships, who are fans of the Bette and Tina dynamic. I could feel them being, we’re settling into this relationship and they’re going to be doing… They’re going to have their cute little couple conversations and it’s not going to be, whatever.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: So I felt like that’s… And I felt like I really felt that in this scene with the rock paper scissors.

Carly: That was nice. I did enjoy that. That was cute. It feels like — to really kind of really solidify the central relationship of the show in the final season of the show is incredible. What an incredible decision and great timing.

Christina: Really groundbreaking stuff.

Carly: Yeah. I mean just, no one’s ever thought to do that before. And so Jenny’s pissed.

Riese: Jenny’s… She’s like —

Jenny: When were you going to tell me about construction?

Christina: And Tina’s, “We’re telling you right now.” So funny, I did laugh out loud.

Riese: And she’s like, “How am I supposed to write?” And it’s like, that’s not their problem. And also no one asked me how I would find time to write when they decided to retrofit my apartment for earthquakes. And now I can’t even park anywhere, let alone write.

Christina: Yeah. No one ever asked me how I feel about writing on a day when someone — when my housemates want to do something or like make a single sound around me. I’m like, “Whoa, how am I supposed to write you guys? I’m writing a treatment.”

Riese: I don’t think there’s anywhere you could live in West Hollywood that wouldn’t be next to construction. She’s lucky that it’s just a second floor on their house. And not like, like high rise condos that were erected where there used to be individual family homes.

Carly: Yeah. That’s all the time.

Riese: So Shane wants to be forgiven…

Carly: Shane wants to be forgiven. Jenny doesn’t want to do that. Yeah, hard pass. She’s like, “You create a trail of destruction and you don’t take responsibility for it,” to which I say she’s got a point.

Christina: Glasshouses babes.

Carly: Yeah. Once again, I would suggest for Jenny to perhaps purchase a mirror and then go stand in front of it and really think about some stuff. Just some ideas.

Riese: Mirrors are expensive.

Carly: Well, you can get those $5 mirrors at Target or whatever. Those like the little flimsy ones we had in college.

Christina: Right, you didn’t look at your phone as your phone couldn’t do that for you then, because it’s 2009.

Carly: Exactly. No, 2009, there was no way.

Christina: You just had your five and that was it.

Carly: That was it. You got your five friends, and then you’re on your own.

Christina: Also, is this a moment to talk about the ruffles on Bette’s shirt? Is she wearing the shirt?

Riese: Yeah, I have been wondering, do we start talking about it? When do we want to start talking about it?

Carly: Right. Despite this scene being 4,000 times longer than it needed to be. I think this is the right time to talk about the sleeves, because this is where the sleeves are introduced to us.

Christina: They are… I would say they are aggressed upon us as a viewing audience. I feel like they were thrown into my face. I was given no time to accept them. I was given no time to think about what they could mean in a larger sense. I couldn’t really take the time to puzzle out the larger ramifications of these ruffles.

Riese: Yeah. It’s sort of like if you were making cupcakes or muffins, but jumbo muffins.

Carly: Okay.

Riese: But the muffin containers were made out of silk and then you smash them all together and then you put them on a shirt.

Carly: Oh my God, that’s…

Christina: That’s evocative and beautiful.

Carly: Wow. It is beautiful.

Riese: I’m also open to other descriptions and actually eager to hear them.

Christina: Yeah. I was thinking of a pirate that got drunk and lost and somehow the only thing that managed to stay intact, perhaps after their ships sunk, was the ruffles on shirt, because I couldn’t quite tell what else was happening. Like, was it a vest? What’s going on there?

Carly: We don’t know…

Riese: Was the vest part of the shirt?

Carly: We’ll never know.

Christina: Yeah, I paused and squinted for a really long time and then said, that’s actually beyond me. I’m going to have to move on.

Carly: Yes. The sleeves — I thought maybe there was some sort of future mop technology that could be perhaps created based on the architecture of the sleeves, because the density of the ruffles is pretty extreme. And I feel like maybe they’re very absorbent if made with the right material. I don’t know, who can say, but I definitely got a pirate vibe as well. Definitely was feeling pirate energy and just deeply disturbed by all of it.

Christina: Right, just really upset to see.

Riese: Yeah. it’s almost like she was cursed by that butterfly to never wear anything cute.

Carly: Do you think, Riese, maybe when she put the butterfly dress back in the closet with presumably the rest of her clothing that this shirt was in there and wait, hear me out. Maybe the shirt had normal sleeves. Yeah.

Christina: What hath the butterfly wrought?

Carly: Let that marinate for a sec. What if that was a normal button up and when she took it out of the closet to wear it the next day, it had the most ruffles per square sleeve inch of all time.

Christina: This makes me wonder how cursed that was by the butterfly because did she just not notice? Did she just say, “I assume that’s what my shirt always looked like and I will be putting it on again.” That’s harrowing to contemplate.

Riese: Oh my God.

Riese: It’s like her clothes are gaslighting her, but she doesn’t even know it.

Carly: If it’s changing her reality so she doesn’t see it as ruffles, she just sees regular sleeves.

Riese: Right? Like in quantum leap. Yeah.

Carly: What if the gaslighting abilities of the butterfly dress are actually changing Bette’s reality, but no one else’s.

Christina: Wow. This is something I’m going to have to sit with for quite some time.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: As we said, this is a science podcast and we’re just here to posit some scientific theories about what’s happening this season because a lot is happening, and I think that it’s so strange a lot of what’s happening that maybe this is the only explanation for it.

Riese: Yeah.

Christina: Yeah. I think when scholars look back, they will point to the butterfly as the beginning of the end for both the show and also perhaps humanity.

Carly: Perhaps, you can trace the downfall of society to the airing of the season five finale, because that’s when we were introduced to the dress.

Riese: Introduced to the butterfly shirt. Yeah.

Carly: Yeah, flippy flapping. And then I think when they re-aired those scenes at the top of season six, there was some sort of compounding effect that happened, perhaps. I don’t know, but I think it’s all really good that we’re really talking about this. I think it’s important.

Christina: I think it’s good that we’re working through it. Yeah. I think it’s really important for the community and for humanity at large.

Riese: And those scholars that you mentioned before, the scholars.

Christina: Yeah, we love scholars, we love scholarly work.

Carly: Big fan of scholars.

Riese: Yeah. Speaking of things that start with S…

Carly: Wow.

Christina: Wow. Professional.

Carly: You’re so good at that, Riese.

Riese: Thank you so much. So let me go to Shenny’s. Shane is planting some flowers and Max and Tom are like, “What are you doing? Weird.” That’s the whole scene.

Christina: It’s such a weird scene.

Carly: It’s so weird. Max is like debuting his full beard.

Christina: It is full. I’ll say that about that beard.

Carly: I’m not going to get into my Max and Tom rant right now. I will save it for later, but just know that it’s coming.

Christina: Yep. I do think this is also where I wrote “Max, I am so sorry.”

Carly: Yeah. We have so many things we need to apologize to Max about. We will get to those later. Then Jenny comes outside with all of her entitlement asking Max to fix her computer, and he can’t because he’s going to his final consult and everyone acts like they all know what’s going on except for us. And that’s great writing.

Christina: I love a show that has taken such pains to explain like the word showmance, treatment, the waffles being thrown out. But this genuinely important moment of character development, they’re like, “You guys get it, right? Cool. Let’s move on.”

Carly: Yeah. “Anyway, flower boxes.” Anyway, we can’t spend too much time here because we have to go to a marketing meeting for the worst film poster I’ve ever seen. This is like…

Christina: It’s bad, but I do want to wallpaper my house in it also. So that’s kind of something I’m working through on my own, I’m on my own journey, but it is terrible.

Riese: It’s called The Girls now, it’s not called Lez Girls or Les Girls anymore. Now it’s just The Girls. There’s a man and a woman, which is the guy and Nikki, and they’re making out. And it says, “Behind every woman is a man who wants her back.” Which, while true, is not important to the movie and Tina is upset about it. Honestly, I felt like this was a classic example of a woman being shut out of the major decisions that are happening in the media.

Carly: You are so right, Riese.

Christina: You are so right. This is a moment where Tina does not get to be a SHE-EO and it is a shame. I will say The Girls is a better title, the poster sucks, but again I do want it everywhere in my house. So again, just duality. We’re working with that. It is a much better title, just like for a movie, I will say.

The new "The Girls" poster

Carly: Yeah. And American audiences famously don’t know French. So I feel that it’s good to have changed it.

Riese: Yeah. They had test screenings without Tina. And of course the test screenings, they love the new ending because the test screenings were probably full of straight people, or maybe it was just Aaron and the other guy and the whatever, I don’t know. Anyway, this movie is going to suck. It was already going to suck and now it’s going to really suck. But you want to know what else, my friends, that I have learned recently as somebody who’s writing a fictional book that has characters based on real people? All of these people could have sued. This book never would have been published with how close all of these things were to reality ever.

Christina: But she changed the names, she hid the identities so well.

Riese: That would not have gotten past legal.

Christina: It would not, absolutely it would not.

Carly: Interesting. I think it’s just really brave to posit that anything that Jenny ever wrote could get published, I guess.

Christina: I think that’s like another really brave, groundbreaking moment coming from the program, The L Word.

Carly: So, sorry, I need to ask a question. So the premiere episode of season six picked up exactly where season five ended. At the end of season five, they were saying they had just decided to change the end of the movie and they were going to do reshoots. So how much time has passed since episode one and episode two, where they have already done the reshoots and have already tested them and come up with a new title and an entire marketing campaign?

Riese: Especially since Nikki was just in bikinis, she wasn’t working. And also, where is Shane? If it’s over a week, where has Shane been living?

Christina: I think it’s really brave to bring the concept of time into The L Word universe because…

Carly: Absolutely brave. Yeah.

Christina: Famously not a universe that handles that concept well, or with any kind of internal logic.

Carly: One might argue that time does not exist in this universe.

Christina: Certainly a flat circle here. Certainly.

Carly: For sure, but I don’t know. It struck me as a little odd, but you know what? Everything else is a little odd.

Riese: Yeah, the sleeves.

Christina: Yeah, and we’re right back to the sleeves.

Carly: We’re not going to be getting very far away from the sleeves because they are coming for us.

Riese: The sleeves are not getting very far away from anyone whose anywhere to bat. And now we go to Carly University.

Carly: Yeah. Carly University, my university, the university of me.

Riese: Yeah. Everyone is coming all over Jodie’s roast of Bette Porter, which was raved about in an art journal. And they’re really excited because this great art piece, which by the way was terrible, it’s going to be really good for Carly University. They’re going to get so many more applications — because that’s what art schools want is even more applications.

Christina: That’s the problem with art schools that they have not enough applications.

Riese: No one wants to do it.

Christina: There’s a dearth of 20-somethings who wanted to go to art school.

Riese: So many spots and it’s just so little people to fill them up. That’s why they end up with people making Barbara Bush Iraq art in their program.

Carly: What Jodi did wasn’t art. I just don’t understand why we’re carrying on like it was. It was a revenge piece.

Christina: Well, when you think about it, what is art? When you take the time to think about it in — famously, as we love to do — a scholarly way, it’s like, what is art? And art is, it seems, whatever the hell you want it to be. So in that way, Jodi did want to do this. And thus, perhaps it is art. And again, I just want to be clear, I wrote Jodi and then I circled it in a heart on my notes.

Riese: And yeah, by the way, Jodi looks fantastic.

Carly: Incredible.

Christina: She looks redacted, just redacted.

Carly: She knew she was coming to a meeting and that Bette would be at the meeting, clearly.

Riese: Yeah and that Bette was going to be in those sleeves and she was going to be a —

Christina: She said, “I’m going to one up those sleeves with just what I look like.”

Jodi's art review

Riese: I would also like to say that Bette could have… this also would not have gotten past legal, this artwork.

Christina: A lot of things on the show might not have gotten past legal.

Riese: It’s technically also…It’s Bette’s voice, it’s Bette’s words. And it’s not under fair use.

Carly: No. Also Bette couldn’t have known she was being recorded. Also when was Jodi recording, we’ve never even…

Christina: Never once.

Riese: They were trying to do a spin-off of the show, where they were going to do a prison spinoff. Which by the way, I was thinking, since I have like some sides from it, we should do a reading of all the sides that we have of The Farm.

Christina: Well, I’m glad I’m here so I can call shotgun on that project.

Carly: Yeah. Oh my God.

Riese: Yes. So they’re trying to create this spinoff of prison shows. So they’re killing Jenny so they can have a prison show. Which didn’t work because it was terrible, but they could have done a legal spin off that’s just Bette suing all of these people that she could have been suing this whole fucking time. Most legal shows are centered on a lawyer or centered on a case, you know what I mean? But this one will be just centered on one woman with a lot of lawsuits to file.

Carly: And maybe her lawyer is Christine Baranski, I don’t know, I’m just spitballing here.

Christina: So I am close to tears, there are a lot of things I love in the world. I can’t explain to you how much one of my favorite genres is legal, comma, all. I just… The concept is brilliant, it’s perfect and I obviously tonight will be starting my treatment for the show…

Carly: Famously written in Final Draft.

Christina: Right. That’s how you do it.

Carly: That’s how you write a treatment.

Christina: That is so brilliant, I’m going to have to take some time to think about that.

Carly: Riese, that is such a good idea.

Riese: Thank you.

Carly: I think there’s so many lawsuits that could happen just from Bette alone.

Riese: My only other note for this scene is Bette’s sleeves.

Carly: Yeah. She’s still wearing the sleeves. Weirdly, Jodi doesn’t say anything about the sleeves, which is shocking because she should have, she should have told her that they were…

Riese: Yeah. She’s allegedly an artist with a vision.

Christina: We know she’s very petty. Come on, low hanging fruit, Jodi.

Carly: Come on. Yeah.

Riese: Then we go to the doctor, first of all, there’s two Leslie Feinberg books sitting on the desk, just randomly at this desk. One of them is a novel, the other is Stone Butch Blues, which is a novel based on a true story. But it’s just really this doctor would just have Stone Butch Blues sitting on…

Carly: Because the doctor was learning what trans is.

Riese: Which is a Butch lesbian. Right.

Carly: The doctor was learning about trans and butch right before Max got there.

Christina: Like, “Oh, you caught me studying.”

Riese: Reading all three books at once. Me and all my books.

Christina: This is actually not an open note final. This is your profession.

Riese: Yeah. You should know what you’re doing. So Max would like the doctor to feel his pecks.

Carly: Okay. Can I just interject really quickly?

Riese: Absolutely.

Carly: As we are two days away from my one year of top surgery anniversary…

Riese: Oh my God, it’s already been a year?

Carly: Dude. I can’t handle it. My brain shut down when I realized that I’ve been on quarantine now for a year because I went inside after surgery and then never came out again, because the timing…it was like six weeks later was Corona lockdown. So it was like I was re-emerging as my new… whatever. It’s truly tragic for me and on me alone. But the other day I got some weights and I’ve been doing little chest presses. And the other day I made Robin feel my pecks. And when Max did that I was like “Oh no.”

Christina: Well, sometimes art does pull out truth, even when it’s so wrong.

Carly: Yeah. Oh God, sorry. Please continue.

Riese: Okay. So Max, as we all are aware this was going to happen, is pregnant. And I have a few comments on this topic. The first one is how can somebody who is meticulously noting the development of their pecs and their body in general, fully not notice for four months that they are pregnant? Max is paying very close attention to his body, it is not likely in general for a person to be four months pregnant without noticing. It certainly happens, we’ve all seen it happen with various people.

Christina: I’ve seen TLC.

Riese: Yeah. I was about to say we’ve seen TLC, but then I felt like I was saying too much about myself and the past week I had.

Christina: Nope, I’m with you.

Riese: So that’s possible, it’s not likely. Speaking of things that are possible and not likely, Max has been on testosterone now for two or three years? Yeah. So usually if a trans man wants to get pregnant, he will usually stop taking testosterone for a few months. It takes a few months for ovulation to return. And it is possible for a trans man who is taking testosterone regularly to get pregnant but it is very, very, very, very uncommon. And they do not present that like this here, because the whole point of this is for Max to be as uncomfortable in his body as possible so that Ilene Chaiken can frame him as a freak and a sideshow of this show and not treat him like a real human being, and make his character suffer as much as he possibly can for being a man.

Carly: Yeah. That sounds pretty accurate.

Christina: That sounds… And I do hate to say it, but it does sound like this whole scenario is something that one might call the least likely scenario, which famously is the title of this episode.

Carly: Wow!

Riese: Ohhh! Wow!

Christina: While I can’t agree with any decision that is made regarding Max, I see what they did there and I’m not proud. I’m not happy about it, but I do recognize that it happened.

Carly: It did happen. Right.

Riese: That’s what happened.

Carly: I love that you connected those dots for us. Thank you, that was crucial.

Riese: At the time that the storyline happened, obviously Ilene Chaiken saw Thomas Beatie on Oprah, and was like, “Oh, let’s do that.” But he stopped taking testosterone four months prior to getting pregnant…

Carly: Because he was trying to get pregnant deliberately.

Christina: Right. Because his goal was to get pregnant.

Riese: Yes.

Riese: And at this time… So obviously I spent some time reading a lot of studies today to be sure that I was correct about all of this…

Christina: Scholarly.

Carly: Because science, because it’s a science podcast.

Riese: I did spend a lot of time reading studies then, too, and I can say with relative confidence that most of these studies have happened since that time. I don’t think at that time… And still right now, there are still so many questions that they don’t know the answer to. There’s a lot of… They’re not entirely sure about how a lot of these things are connected and what levels of testosterone prevent pregnancy or don’t. It’s very clear that it’s not birth control or whatever.

Riese: But at the time, I feel like it was not really known if this was something that — if you could get pregnant while on testosterone, it hadn’t been discussed. It wasn’t in the literature and that just makes it… Which is fine, it just makes it even more frustrating that this is how desperately they wanted to make Max just a figure to further transphobia.

Christina: Yeah.

Carly: This is such a sensationalized story too. Literally later in the episode he shouts, “doesn’t anybody read the tabloids?” Like it’s so transparently obvious…

Max yellss "Don't you read the fucking tabloids?"

Christina: I was always shouting that, to be fair.

Carly: Everywhere I go, I’m asking people if they’re reading the tabloids. I’m not reading them, but I’m asking who is.

Christina: I just wanted to… I just did a quick temperature check. I want to know.

Carly: Yeah. I just want to gage general interest. So what you’re saying then Riese, is that this is a work of science fiction.

Riese: Yeah. It’s a work of science fiction and it’s also a classic fucking trope with trans people all the fucking time, especially this happens with storylines with trans women on medical shows and stuff. They love to have a storyline where some medical thing befalls a trans person and they’re unable to have their top surgery, to keep taking hormones, to have a different surgery, to live openly as they want to live. That is a fucking trope, it’s done all the fucking time. It’s exhausting and it’s stupid. And here it is again, because Max is what, three days away from fucking top surgery and he’s probably thrilled about this finally happening. And no, “now you can’t do it because you’re improbably pregnant.”

Christina: Yeah. It’s another injustice and a character who was treated like absolute garbage from the second they were introduced until now, will continue to be treated like garbage throughout this season. It’s bad, and I personally hate it. I’m going to go on the record and bravely say that I don’t like it. I think it’s bad.

Riese: Yeah. That’s important.

Carly: I agree with everything you’ve both said, this is garbage. I am on the record, hating it. I’m right now, going on the record, consider it recorded. And I also wanted to talk about how with the previous scene and this scene, all of this incredibly important character development is happening for Max and for his relationship with Tom. And none of it has happened on camera and that is once again a huge problem. If they had actually let us see their relationship at all, that would have been really groundbreaking, like a cis gay man dating a trans man, I had never seen that before when this aired. That would be incredible to see, but it would require them actually giving either of those characters, real personalities and flushing them out further and spending screen time on them when we can just see Bette and Tina fight for the 800th time. Max was supposed to get top surgery in San Francisco when he was dating Grace, he decided not to. He’s now dating Tom and he is three days away from getting surgery, which means he planned this appointment months ago and this is the first we’re hearing of it. And it’s just so fucked. There’s so much we could have seen.

Riese: We just have season five, none of this was there.

Carly: He was never on season five. All this was going on off camera. It’s ridiculous.

Christina: I couldn’t tell if it was because I famously hadn’t watched this season in a long time. And I was like, maybe there was something that I was missing in the development of this relationship. And then I took just a single second and I thought about The L Word and I thought about the notable history of dealing with Max’s character. And I said, “Oh well simply no, that can’t be what happened.” Obviously they’ve just thrown this storyline in and said, “Let’s go with it.”

Carly: There’s a line later that I will highlight that made me so angry about whatever was not happening on screen, but we will get to it. So yeah, the doctor tells him his surgery is postponed and then we just end the scene with this absolutely crushing look on Max’s face. It sucks. Back to Carly University though. I didn’t know how to segue us out of that, it was very depressing.

Christina: There’s no way to segue out. That did suck and we hate it, but now back to the fun trash.

Carly: Yeah, exactly. There’s two types of trash on the show, fun trash which we love and it’s kind of soapy and campy, and then there’s actual trash, which is generally all the transphobia and a couple other related things and is very bad.

Riese: Well back at Carly University, the meeting is just wrapping up and someone would like to know if Bette liked the work. And Bette’s response to that is basically like that emoji with the flat mouth regarding whether or not she likes the work.

Jodi at the CU meeting looking hot and smug

Carly: I like that, that man stage whispered to Jodi who is deaf. And she didn’t know he was talking to her, what a fucking asshole.

Carly: That guy sucked… it was really great that she could just ignore him.

Riese: And Tom’s not there.

Carly: Yeah. He had to go call Max.

Riese: Yeah. We’re not going to see that call though. That would be so…

Carly: Why would we?

Christina: Why would we see that call?

Riese: There’s another relationship we care about so much happening because Bette is going with Phyllis to her office to talk to her about something. But, oh! It’s Jane Lynch.

Christina: Joyce is here, hi Joyce.

Riese: It’s Jane Lynch.

Christina: Joyce is completely naked.

Riese: Yeah. At first I remember this scene with her being in a barrel, which I realized I made up in my head.

Christina: No, but she’s bringing a barrel energy to the performance of her nudity.

Riese: Right?!

Christina: She’s bringing big “I just got dunked in a barrel on a game show” energy, with her being naked. I understand that totally. Absolutely.

Carly: I get it.

Riese: Why is she naked?

Christina: I don’t know. I wrote, “Well, that’s Jane Lynch and she’s naked.”

Carly: Well, she’s asking her to marry her and naturally you would take all your clothes off to ask someone to marry you in their place of business during business hours.

Riese: I would want to be fully covered. I would want to have all of my clothes on for a proposal.

Carly: I would put on extra clothes probably. Yeah. I’d be like, “Is there a coat I could add to this?”

Christina: I love outerwear. So I’d love to toss a coat on.

Carly: Yeah.

Joyce is naked in Phyllis's office saying "this is all i have to offer you"

Riese: That’s how Shane proposed, in a winter coat, to Carmen leaning over the bridge.

Christina: Which worked perfectly as we all know.

Carly: Yeah, exactly. That was great.

Riese: Yeah, that turned out great for everybody. Phyllis doesn’t want to get married. Also, this was filmed during this sliver of time when same-sex marriage was legal in California. However, this was filmed obviously prior to Prop 8 passing. And by the time it aired, Prop 8 had really passed.

Christina: That’s what they say about Prop 8, it really passed.

Riese: It passed. So — but the good news is that we got a Gavin Newsom name drop.

Christina: My next note after, “That’s Jane Lynch and she’s naked” is, “Yikes, Gavin Newsom reference!”

Joyce: We’ll go to San Francisco. We’ll get married on the steps of city hall. Gavin said he’d marry us.
Phyllis: Gavin Newsom, the mayor of San Francisco?
Joyce: That’s right. Raised a lot of money for that guy.

Carly: Wouldn’t you know, Joyce Wishnia has donated tons of money to his campaign.

Riese: Of course, she has.

Carly: What a surprise.

Riese: Yeah. It was a real moment. And then Phyllis, I think, is into it.

Christina: Yeah. I mean, who wouldn’t be into getting married by Gavin Newsom?

Carly: And that really seems to be the thing that changes Phyllis’ mind. She’s like, “I don’t want to be married again. Oh, Gavin Newsom in San Francisco, you say? Well in that case, yes.”

Christina: So that scene just happens for literally no reason, right? Like there’s… nothing comes from it.

Carly: Yeah.

Christina: Nothing comes of this.

Carly: It seem come that way, yes. No, it’s never mentioned again in this episode.

Christina: Okay. I mean, I guess if you can call Jane Lynch and say, “Hey, do you want to be naked and bring a real, “I’m in a barrel energy” to the scene? And she says, “yes,” how are you going to not?

Carly: She would be like, “Hell the fuck yeah.”

Riese: You can’t not.

Carly: Jane Lynch says yes to everything, I think. At that time, I feel like Jane Lynch was filming like 75 projects a year. Jane Lynch. Yes. Jane Lynch. Yes. Yes, yes. Yes.

Riese: Guest star, guest star, host of a game show, guest star.

Christina: With Jane Lynch. With Jane Lynch.

Riese: Ask Jane Lynch. Then we go to the world’s worst couples therapist, Dan Foxworthy, for a tune-up. It is Alice and Tasha, but you wouldn’t know it because Alice is answering all of the couples questions for Tasha.

Carly: Ooh, is she ever?

Christina: Oh boy, there was a half a second where I was like, “Okay, I see what he’s doing. But he’s going to, very quickly, interrupt and say, “It’s interesting that Alice is answering every question.” He chooses not to do that. And instead he says…

Dan Foxworthy: Now, Tasha, this process works much more effectively if you participate.

Christina: Which is just a harrowing misread of what is occurring in that scene.

Carly: A thousand percent a misread. What a terrible therapist.

Christina: So bad.

Carly: Oh my God. We thought he was bad previously, and now we know he’s even worse than we thought.

Riese: Right. But he also — he let Bette do this to Tina too. This is… He just sits there and watches it play out.

Carly: “No, Tina, you don’t need to talk this week.”

Christina: Wow. I understand letting Bette talk over Tina. I don’t understand letting Alice talk over Tasha.

Riese: No.

Christina: Can’t.

Riese: However, when Alice talks about the cheating thing, and wanting credit for not cheating. And then Tasha reads her like a book in her very first line in couples therapy, she just… Ooh.

Carly: With this completely calm exterior, just unleashes a series of truths about Alice.

Christina: It was disturbingly erotic to me. But I have been in a quarantined pandemic zone for a long time, so things are getting weird.

Riese: It’s fair.

Carly: But she’s wearing her little suit. It worked. It really worked.

Riese: She still looks hot.

Carly: It was great.

Riese: It’s almost like she’s not even in Police Academy.

Carly: We can just forget all about police.

Riese: Well, now, there’s another scene that I hate. This is maybe one of my least favorite scenes in the whole series, I think.

Carly: Yeah, that tracks.

Christina: Yeah, I didn’t care about it, or to look at it.

Carly: It does give us that great line, “Don’t you read the tabloids?” What a great line.

Riese: Max goes to the doctor. The receptionist is like, “You’re playing a prank. You can’t possibly be here because you’re a man.” And then Max… Daniela Sea, by the way, giving the least to these reads, these line reads, in this scene. Which I respect.

Christina: Deeply respect.

Riese: Deeply. Everyone in the receptionist’s office is… Suddenly they’re all friends. They’re all gossiping to each other about, “Oh my God, there’s this man here. There’s a man here. And he’s pretending like he’s pregnant and he can’t be pregnant because he’s a man.” And then he turns around and yells at everyone in the waiting room, “Look at me, I’m a man and I’m pregnant. Ha ha. Don’t you read the tabloids?”

Carly: Some might say that that is Ilene Chaiken really showing her hand. But she really didn’t think this storyline through and purely just ripped it from a headline. But who’s to say?

Christina: Some might say I deserve a Presidential medal of freedom for watching that scene and not throwing my computer across the room.

Carly: I agree. I think all three of us are extremely brave for sitting through that scene today.

Christina: Yeah. That’s the theme of our episode, is bravery.

Carly: Bravery.

Christina: And scholarship.

Riese: Realistically, I think Daniela Sea should get payouts, just periodically. Every time someone watches this scene, someone Venmos them a couple of bucks just like, “Thank you for…”

Christina: I want Seinfeld-level, residual money to go to them every single time someone sees a single one of these scenes from this season. Just, “You do earn a smooth billion dollars here. Here you are.”

Carly: Just a nice direct deposit right into Daniela Sea’s account. Just easy breezy. No one else gets a penny. Just Daniela.

Christina: It sucks. It sucks.

Riese: Ooh, that was bad.

Carly: Oh, it’s very bad. It’s very, very bad.

Riese: Then we go to Shenny’s.

Carly: Yeah. We’re at Shenny’s, Jenny is working on her treatment, which, again, is a script, despite the show defining the word “treatment” for us. And Shane is outside washing Jenny’s Porsche because Shane is just going to keep doing nice things for Jenny until she talks to her, I guess? That’s the end result, the goal, that Shane is going for here.

Christina: I can’t imagine doing anything in service of Jenny talking to me. So this really lost me.

Carly: Yeah. It would be great to never have to talk to you again. So actually I’m going to go.

Christina: Yep. And Shane’s listening to music too loud.

Carly: Right. Oh yes. Well Jenny is writing, right?

Christina: She’s writing.

Carly: She can’t have the music too loud. Yeah.

Riese: All she’s written so far is Shane begging her to forgive her. So she’s really getting some stuff done.

Carly: She’s really working through her issues really great. She’s working out on the page.

Christina: Right. And who am I to judge a draft? I’ve seen the things I write. Yikes. But also, Jenny.

Carly: We go back to the world’s worst therapist, and Alice Tasha are now… It’s a completely… A full 180 of their moods from before. They are now sitting, holding hands, facing each other. And they have these goofy grins on their faces. And they’re making promises to each other. And Alice promises that she’s going to make room in the apartment for Tasha’s things, which I really don’t think you should need a therapist to tell you to do, but that just feels like a basic courtesy. And then Tasha promises to try and see things from Alice’s perspective and to talk to her with less judgment, and that she’s going to make her breakfast tomorrow. And, first of all, that’s three things to Alice’s one thing.

Tasha and Alice at couples therapy

Christina: Right. And Alice’s one thing, again, is just something you should do normally.

Carly: Exactly. So it really feels like, once again, this is very one-sided still. But they are really giggly and cute for a moment, which is cute because they’re cute. And that’s cute. And I’ll say “cute” a few more times. But then we cut to Dan’s face and he has the… I wanted to slap him. That weird grin, or whatever, that was on his… I just —

Riese: He looked like he was leading the next cult. He had that like, “Oh my God.”

Christina: Yeah, he was going to ask them to play volleyball at midnight.

Carly: Oh my God. He’s totally going to invite them to Albany next.

Christina: God, not Albany.

Carly: Anywhere but Albany. They’re like, “Do you have any homework for us? What do we… What’s the next sesh?” He’s like, “Oh, you don’t need therapy at all.” And they’re like, “Well, we knew it. We’re great.” And he’s like, “You have nothing in common and you need to break up.”

Christina: I will say, in his favor, he is right.

Carly: Yes.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Yes, he is.

Riese: It was also a neat little thing, because hearing that from him… First of all then they immediately have something in common, which is they were both mad at Dan Foxworthy.

Christina: Right.

Carly: Which is a great place to be, emotionally, mad at Dan Foxworthy.

Christina: Right, it’s a great starting place.

Carly: Yes.

Riese: Yeah. If you have a relationship that’s about to deteriorate, you can suck a few extra weeks out of it by finding a mutual enemy. It could be a coworker of your partners. It could be a mutual friend who has wronged somebody. You can really wring that out, but eventually it’s going to end up in the same place, and that place is you breaking up and realizing you were kind of unfair to that person that you were dragging for two weeks.

Carly: Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Riese: Although, in this case, they wouldn’t be unfair because Dan Foxworthy is a terrible person.

Christina: Dan Foxworthy is terrible.

Riese: And a terrible therapist. And he should be fired.

Carly: He is trash. Right.

Christina: He’s bad. He’s a bad man. But I do like them uniting in this moment. I think it’s funny. It’s also, yeah, of course this is what you guys are going to do. It’d be like, “No, how dare you.”

Riese: Yeah.

Christina: “We’re going to have sex in our car.”

Carly: Yeah. Which is what they go to do. They go have sex in a well-lit parking garage with the door open to the car. Good for them.

Christina: I mean, it’s the only thing they can do convincingly well together as a couple, is have sex.

Carly: They have two things in common: sex with each other, hating Dan Foxworthy.

Christina: The big two, as we call them.

Carly: Exactly. It’s in a scholarly fashion, that’s what we would call those. Yeah, I feel like uniting people with a common enemy is the fastest way to get people to agree. But it also burns out the fastest.

Christina: It does.

Carly: Because there’s no substance there. So… can’t wait to see what happens here.

Riese: But first we have to go back to the doctor’s office where Max is being a total asshole to Tom. Yells at Tom, blames him for getting him pregnant, calls him a faggot. Pushes him against the wall and says, “You got me pregnant, faggot, it was you.”

Christina: Right. So everything about this — I’m going to boldly put transphobia aside for a second, because I was like, what is this fight about? I don’t necessarily understand anything that Max is screaming at Tom right now. Doesn’t necessarily… Again, we’ve never seen their relationship, so who’s to say if it tracks with what their relationship is.

Max yells at Tom in the hallway at the doctor's office

Carly: There’s no way of knowing.

Christina: But it doesn’t seem to make a ton of sense based on the time that they said, “what’s gardening about?” So I was just like, even as a fight, this makes no sense. And again, just the virulent transphobia of it all. I was like, “Uh-uh (negative).” Not for me.

Carly: I have a theory.

Riese: Okay.

Christina: Go on, we love theories.

Riese: We love science. Science is invented theories.

Carly: Exactly. Famously. My theory is that they saw a headline about a trans man getting pregnant. They looked at it and said, “Let’s do that.” The same way they saw Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and said, “Let’s do that.” And that’s how they invented Tasha, who does not have a storyline outside of that, because they gave her no personality or backstory. So that happened again with this, clearly. And in trying to somehow find a way to make it make sense, the writers went back to their favorite Max thing, which is that testosterone makes you crazy and mean to people and violent.

Riese: Violent, yeah. And abusive.

Carly: So he assaults his boyfriend because he can’t get an abortion because he’s already four months along. Which, again, how did he not know? But whatever, that aside. He physically assaulted his boyfriend because of it.

Riese: Right.

Carly: What is going on here?

Christina: Yeah, and what I really liked is that they gave us actually what happens in their relationship and how they get back together. “Just kidding. They’re just fine.” Some scenes later it seems okay.

Riese: Yeah. Tom says he’s not ready. The ending to this scene is Tom saying he’s not ready. I’m like, that’s well and good, and that’s an important conversation for you to have. But I feel like the more immediate issue is that your boyfriend just—

Christina: Just assaulted you.

Riese: Yelled at you and assaulted you in the hallway of a doctor’s office.

Carly: Yeah. Just maybe that’s maybe slightly more of the issue in this moment?

Christina: Right.

Carly: But, I mean, again, there’s no way of knowing where their heads are at, really, because we don’t know.

Riese: No.

Christina: We don’t know who they are, really.

Carly: Exactly.

Riese: No, because the whole point of this is just to say that trans people are bad.

Christina: Right.

Riese: And they’re doing it. They’re committed.

Carly: They’re succeeding with that messaging.

Christina: In that way they nailed it, I guess.

Carly: I know, because there’s also a part of me where I’m like, “Oh, I wish we could see more of their relationship so we would understand things. Or see more of Max’s journey so we would understand things.” And I’m like, “Maybe it’s better we didn’t because they would have fucked it up real bad.”

Christina: There’s no way it would’ve been better had we seen any more.

Carly: No, it would have been so much worse.

Riese: Also the only thing they can think about, when they think about Max, is that Max has a body. How does the body feel? How does Max feel about the body?

Christina: Max have a beard? What’s going on?

Riese: That’s it.

Carly: Yeah. What’s the body look like today? How does the body feel?

Riese: Yeah, how’s the body developing?

Carly: What can we do to the body to make it painful for Max?

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: So we go back to Alice and Tasha’s. And now they are fully motivated to save their relationship.

Riese: This is cute.

Carly: They’re both on the same team and the team is, “We should be together.” Which, again, united with a common enemy. We’re making a pros and cons list. Love a pros and cons list. Don’t know that I would use a pros and cons list for something as important as, “Do I stay in a relationship?” That’s more like… For me, it’s more a, “Do I decide to do this thing or that thing?” But my experience, of course, is not universal.

Riese: Yeah. I thought it was funny and cute. I enjoyed it.

Carly: Yeah, it was. It was funny and cute.

Christina: It was funny and cute and I did laugh when Tasha was like…

Tasha: Hold up. Why does ‘con’ gotta be Black though?

Christina: What’s up with that? I was like, that is funny and that is some trolling I would do. If I had a white girlfriend I would also do that same thing.

Alice and Tasha are making a list of pros and cons of their relationship. Tasha asks, "why does 'con' have to be black though?"

Carly: That was great. And then Alice is like, “Red. Red is good. Red is color. Red is…” Sorry. “Red is love.” And whatever. And Tasha’s like…

Tasha: No, red represents the devil.

Riese: The devil. I was going to pull up — Oh, we’re going to get to it later and I can read some of the items.

Carly: Oh, yes, yes, yes.

Riese: Okay. First we have to go to the gallery.

Carly: First we must go to the gallery.

Christina: Okay. So I want to be clear, here are my notes for the gallery. “Bette… My God… I just… Bette. Tina, I hate you. Okay, I would like to leave this gallery now.” Those are my notes.

Riese: Fair.

Christina: For this scene.

Riese: Big, big, get for The L Word this season was that Elizabeth Berkley, of Saved by the Bell fame and, more importantly, Showgirls fame—

Christina: More importantly.

Riese: Took some time to be in this program. And her role is that she is a wealthy divorcee named Kelly Wentworth.

Christina: I’m interested.

Riese: Uh-huh (affirmative).

Carly: You’re like, “I’m sorry, did you say divorcee?”

Riese: Excuse me? And it turns out that she attended college, with Bette, under the name Juicy fucking Fremont. And they…

Christina: Sure.

Riese: She is clearly just super into Bette. Bette does use the word, “Biatch” in a way that was uncomfortable for me, and I think also for Jennifer Beals. I could feel just a lot of discomfort there.

Bette complements Kelly by saying "Biyatch, the blonde looks so good on you"

Carly: Yeah. I certainly felt it.

Christina: I didn’t like to see it.

Carly: Did not.

Riese: Their whole exchange felt like torture for both them. And then, as they’re like, “Oh my God, I know you, blah, blah, blah. Your body looks great. Oh my God.” Tina’s hovering like—

Carly: Hi!

Riese: “Introduce me.”

Christina: Hello? Hi. Hello. Hello? Hello. I’m Tina.

Riese: And Bette is just —

Carly: “Remember me? Tina, your partner. Remember last episode when you sat in the car and told me that you’d never cheat on me again? Tina, that’s me. Tina.”

Riese: “With the butterfly. Remember me? We’re adopting a baby. We’re making a second floor?”

Carly: But, again, the butterfly has shifted Bette’s reality. Bette does not remember, I’m going to guess, that she told Tina she would never cheat on her again. Just something to think about, she might not recall that conversation.

Christina: And I was thinking… Obviously I was thinking about the butterfly. I was thinking about the ruffles, and I was thinking her outfit is actually incredible in this scene.

Carly: It is.

Christina: So I was like, “What has shifted? And what hasn’t shifted? What two truths came together for this one very good outfit to exist here in this moment? Was it that we had to put Tina in a wide waist belt? Or was it just 2009?” It’s hard to say.

Carly: Wow, that is really hard to unpack, which it is.

Christina: Right.

Riese: Yeah. What we learn next is that Tina actually has heard of this woman because —

Carly: This is Kelly V Fremont.

Christina: Kelly V, yes.

Riese: Tina’s heard of her because they kissed in college. And then Kelly moved out of the dorm because she had homosexual panic.

Carly: Which is a super normal thing to happen.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: I feel like if I confusedly kissed Jennifer Beals, I would also have to move away.

Christina: I would have to join WITSEC. I would be like, “Listen, get me on a USA cable drama because I got to go. I’m losing it.”

Carly: “I got to go. Give me a wacky sidekick, we can go fight crime together, or whatever. Maybe we’re lawyers. We’re going to wear suits and my name is not Carly anymore.”

Christina: I can’t be Christina anymore because my mouth has been on Jennifer Beals’ mouth.

Carly: That name is gone. It’s dead to all of us. Bette and Tina walk away, and Kelly checks her out aggressively. An aggressive look.

Christina: Yep. Yep.

Carly: The only way I can describe it.

Christina: Yeah.

Riese: Because you know those straight girls, they just have a little bit of entitlement. It’s a lesbian body.

Carly: Just a little.

Christina: And Bette is still running, or whatever, so.

Riese: Yeah. Yeah.

Carly: She just read it to someone she hadn’t seen since college and she goes…

Kelly Fremont: Look at your body. Are you still a runner?

Riese: Yeah.

Christina: It’s also just one of those things that’s, yeah, that’s a very common thing to say to a person. Like, “Oh my God, you still look so great.” But no one would ever say, “Your body!”

Carly: Your body!

Christina: End of sentence.

Carly: That’s not a sentence.

Riese: Never. No.

Carly: That is a fragment, at best. It’s really just two words next to each other. So we go back to Alice and Tasha with their pros and cons list. And they have way more cons than pros, which is not a good sign.

Christina: Not a good sign.

Carly: Until Tasha has an amazing idea, “We’re going to rank the items based on a point system, so that silly, insignificant things don’t weigh as much as very important things.” Which I think is a great idea.

Christina: I do think she is right. It is harrowing how many cons they have. But when you look at them, you’re like, “Well, guys, let’s use some judgment while we’re writing things down.”

Riese: Yeah, I know they could have handled this on the front end.

Carly: Yeah, the cons feel like things that they could have just told each other in passing.

Christina: Right. Like, “Hey, could you not next time?”

Carly: Yeah. That’s most of the cons.

Riese: Would you like me to read some of them to you?

Christina: We are begging.

Carly: That would be amazing.

Riese: Okay. So here’s some good things, is that “Tasha had a mani-pedi with Alice once and is open to going again.”

Carly: I love the construction of that sentence.

Christina: That’s actually such a thing I would do.

Riese: Yeah. I know that is…

Christina: That’s really relatable.

Riese: I have also taken reluctant people to mani-pedis and been like, “Oh, she’s open to going again. I don’t know.” And then they’re always just like, “I don’t need to spend money on that.” And I’m like, “Oh fine, I’ll pay for it if you just come with me.” Anyway, “we listened to each other’s work stories.”

Carly: Okay.

Riese: Tasha calls Alice cute, and Alice likes it.

Carly: I mean, some of these are just things you would do in a relationship, period.

Christina: Yeah.

Riese: This is my favorite one, obviously, and I want this on a t-shirt. “Tasha makes Alice’s bed nice and tight.”

Alice and Tasha's "Pros and Cons" list

Christina: Wow. That’s incredible.

Carly: Wow. I’m guessing that’s an army reference.

Christina: Yes.

Riese: Oh.

Carly: Wait, did you not think that, that that’s what that was?

Christina: Oh yeah, that’s a 100% what that was. Of course that’s what that was. Bed checks.

Riese: Oh, that’s cute.

Christina: Famously a thing they do.

Riese: You can take the army out of the girl, but you can’t… No, take… Okay. So “Alice always has a cold beer in the fridge for Tasha.” That’s nice.

Carly: Just one? That’s rude.

Riese: I know, right?

Christina: She buys single beers.

Carly: Individual beer.

Christina: Just a 32 ounce Miller High Life.

Riese: Maybe it’s a big… What are the big ones called?

Christina: A 40.

Riese: Forties? Yeah. 40.

Carly: She just has one of those in the fridge at all times.

Riese: Did you drink those in college? I don’t know. Anyway, so, okay. “They like to ride motorcycles together.”

Carly: That’s cute.

Riese: “Alice brings out the best in Tasha.”

Christina: That’s too general, sorry.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: “Alice loves Tasha’s buns.” “Tasha makes Alice feel safe and stable,” which is true. “Tasha has not met anyone like Alice.” Okay.

Carly: That’s the end of that statement.

Christina: To me, that is just like Tasha has not dated a white woman before. That’s all I’m hearing in that sentence. That’s all I hear when I hear that.

Riese: That sentence has a little red arrow that goes from the con side to the pro side, where it then says, “But for some reason, Tasha resents those things too.”

Christina: Yeah. So, right. Okay. I feel even more solidified in what I said there. Great. I feel really good about that.

Carly: That’s so funny.

Christina: That’s amazing.

Riese: “Alice wants Tasha to be someone she’s not.” True.

Carly: That’s a pretty big con.

Riese: Yeah.

Christina: Huge.

Riese: “We don’t say, “I love you,” anymore,” which I don’t even think that’s true. I feel like someone’s a lazy writer there. “Alice appears neat, but has packrat tendencies.”

Carly: That’s very funny.

Riese: And I do buy that that is something that could be true, that Tasha would be constantly annoyed by.

Christina: Oh, that would drive Tasha up the wall, no doubt.

Carly: Oh, yeah. Big time, yeah.

Riese: I’ve obviously been Alice in that situation.

Carly: Also, at what point has Alice ever appeared neat?

Christina: Good. File not found, 404 error.

Carly: Yeah. Okay, cool. Just making sure.

Riese: “We go to bed mad.” And Tasha needs to loosen up.

Christina: Okay. So some of those are just wildly different on a scale. And which is why, again, I do think it’s great that Tasha is like, “Why don’t we rank these?” But some of them are un-rank-able, Like “You don’t like me.” Like…guys.

Carly: You want me to be a person I am not.

Christina: We go to bed mad.

Carly: You can’t be in a relationship. Yeah, these are not things you can build a relationship on. No, no. That pros and cons list could have just been like pros: sex. And then cons: a bunch of stuff that all was very bad.

Christina: Who you are at your very core.

Carly: Is offensive to me as a person.

Christina: I don’t like… Yup. Yup.

Carly: So we go back to this art gallery. Bette and Tina are about to leave. And Kelly does that thing that people do where they’re like, “Oh my God, let’s make plans.” Remember when people, when you would go places and you run into people, and then you have to pretend that you want to hang out with them for a beer?

Christina: “We have got to catch up.” Yes.

Carly: Got to get a coffee, get lunch.

Christina: Yeah.

Riese: Or, even worse, what she says, which is, “I would like to pick your brain.”

Christina: A chill just ran down my spine.

Riese: People say that to me all the time.

Carly: It’s the worst thing to say.

Riese: It’s the worst. They’re like, “Can I take you for a coffee? I want to pick your brain.” And I’m like for $125 an hour you can pick my brain.

Christina: Also, don’t use the word, “Pick.”

Carly: Not for a coffee.

Christina: I don’t like the word, “Pick.” It’s bringing ice pick imagery into my head. I don’t like that.

Carly: Yeah. What do you do? Lobotomize me over a shrimp salad or something. Get away from me.

Christina: Get away from me.

Riese: Is anyone ever like, “Oh my God, yes. I’d love to have my brain picked.” Or like, “Yeah, you’re a super wealthy woman who just said that she dropped $9 billion on bad art. But, yeah, I’d love to share my expertise with you.”

Christina: And a car that matches that bad art?

Carly: Yeah, that’s interesting.

Christina: That’s a baffling character detail.

Carly: Right? Okay.

Christina: Okay.

Riese: Then Jodi shows up.

Carly: Yeah. Jodi shows up before they can have that awkward dance of like, “Oh, let me get your number.” That doesn’t even happen.

Christina: Nope.

Carly: That doesn’t even happen, because Jodi’s here. And Bette, very rudely, goes right up to Jodi, who is talking to a bunch of people who seem to think that she’s great, and she definitely is there with a cute date. And Bette just walks her whole self right into that moment, and is like, “I need to talk to you right now.”

Christina: Again, Bette being a nightmare. But I said, Bette rocks.

Riese: It’s also — she’s leaving Tina.

Christina: Yes.

Riese: She’s leaving Tina with Kelly—

Carly: Yeah. Which is a great idea. It’s one of those things that only Bette can get away with doing, and even then, can she? But, yes she can.

Christina: Yes, she can.

Carly: So Bette is really upset because after their disastrous meeting at Carly University, Jodi said she’s too busy to talk to her and she should have James reach out to schedule a meeting. And you know what? She did have James reach out to schedule that meeting. And Jodi has not responded. “How dare you Jodi,” that’s what Bette is saying here. And she’s like, “I don’t know. I’m busy. What? It’s not that serious.”

Riese: Doing what?

Carly: Bette’s losing her mind over this.

Riese: Yeah.

Christina: Also, where are they located in the gallery at this point? It looks like they’re standing in a window display. I was like, “Where are you?”

Interesting angle at the gallery: you can see Tina, Bette, Jodi and Kelly and a colored window

Riese: It was shot really weird.

Carly: Yeah. That’s so… I was wondering the same thing. They’re fully in a window.

Christina: Yeah. It’s like, “Okay.”

Riese: That’s art though, I think. That’s just art.

Carly: So they become the art.

Christina: Got it. Jodi, once again, using Bette for art.

Carly: Once again.

Riese: Yeah, exactly. She’s amused.

Christina: She’s good. She’s good, that Jodi.

Carly: Incredible.

Riese: Then we go to Porter Peabody’s Pleasure Palace, where we learn that Helena and Kit are both sober and not having sex for work. Which I obviously relate to. And because they want to have all business and no attachments.

Christina: Speaking of attachments…

Riese: Helena’s not entirely sober, she’s just a little bit sober. And she does have sex with random people.

Carly: No attachments, that’s the key here.

Riese: No attachments.

Christina: Right.

Carly: As luck would have it, do you know who is at Hit Club at this very moment?

Riese: Oh my God. Last week it was liverwurst, this week, it’s Dylan-worst.

Carly: Dylan is the worst.

Christina: Wow.

Carly: Wow. Dylan’s here.

Christina: Yep. Dylan’s here. Dylan Stanson.

Alice gestures towards Dylan saying "the filling in the lesbo sandwich"

Carly: Yeah. Alice is really… There’s a glimpse of old chaotic Alice for a brief moment in the scene. Where she’s like, “Why aren’t you freaking out?” Alice is really funny in this whole scene.

Christina: This is the Alice I know and love and respect. Just, “Ooh, there’s some weird drama I could stir up and just spin everybody into a tizzy, then go home and do my own thing?” Sick.

Carly: Yeah. This is the Alice we fell in love with years ago, which is the one who wants to start shit with drama with the group. And then that is wonderful. And that’s what we love her for. But before anything else is going to happen here, we go to see Max, who was playing video games.

Riese: Oh, I do want to mention that she does say, “Of all the gin joints in all the world,” which I think is a Casablanca reference, right?

Carly: Oh yeah. That’s a good one. Yes. I glazed right over that.

Riese: Well done. Okay. And then we go, as you were saying…

Carly: Max is playing video games. Tom is here.

Riese: The video games literally roar, by the way. You’d go to the video games and it’s like, “Roar.” And it’s like, Yeah, we get it. Okay. We get what you’re going for with this character.

Christina: We do get it. He’s a boy and he’s playing video games because he doesn’t know how to deal with his feelings.

Carly: Are you sure you get it? Because he’s so angry that he smashed his phone. And I think that’s also very important. And make sure you really understand.

Christina: Again, it’s that trademark subtlety that I come to The L Word for.

Carly: Exactly. So Tom shows up and apologizes, which I frankly don’t think he needed to do.

Christina: My whole head, like a dog. I was just like, “Woof.”

Carly: Max is really rude when he… He doesn’t want to look at him. And he’s like, “I’m sorry, but what if we have a baby and become West Hollywood fag dads?” And I’m like, “This man assaulted you a mere amount of hours ago. And he’s currently not even making eye contact with you as you’re trying to apologize for something that wasn’t your fault, so.”

Christina: I do love a mere amount of hours ago, because again, it’s hard to say how long it’s been.

Carly: There’s no way of knowing.

Christina: It could be a different day, but I don’t think it is.

Riese: I’m pretty sure it’s been a few hours.

Carly: Yeah.

Christina: Yeah.

Carly: There’s no way of knowing.

Riese: You know what this reminded me of?

Carly: What?

Riese: In the classic cinemas of yore, when they used to portray lesbians together, they would portray them as below the rest of society. They were mean and abusive and violent towards each other, but it didn’t matter, because they’re lesbians. They’re like animals. And who cares? Yeah, and lesbian should abuse another lesbian because who gives a shit? And they won’t have to apologize because that’s what they deserve anyway for being lesbians to begin with. Anyway, that’s what this reminded me of.

Carly: Incredible.

Christina: And that’s: “this is what this reminds me of.”

Carly: A new segment of To L and Back, starring Riese.

Riese: Thank you.

Carly: So, Max says he’s not sure that he could handle being a dad and you know what? I think that’s a great jumping-off point. I agree.

Christina: I agree kind of wholeheartedly on every point.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Then Tom says a line of dialogue that enraged me. It triggered some sort of rage in me that I did not entirely understand at first and then I realized why. He says, “Come on, we both make a good living. We said we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.” And I was like, “Hold on, hold on. Pause. Pause, pause, pause, pause, pause. You what? How on earth?”

Riese: When?

Carly: First of all, I thought Max worked for OurChart. Last we heard, Max’s job was working for Alice and he was a glorified volunteer, basically.

Riese: Well they’re raking it in now, as you can tell by the fact that I don’t think the website’s mentioned for the entire season. Well, who knows? It probably is.

Carly: So they both make a good living, which, that’s news to me.

Riese: I love though, by the way, that Jodi is paying Tom handsomely for his services, I do love that.

Christina: That does track, yeah.

Carly: That tracks and I love it so much. And then they said they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. Can you imagine what a conversation about their relationship would even look like? I can’t, because I literally have no point of reference. This is enraging.

Christina: I don’t know.

Riese: Well they had sex during the blackout. But that was their first date.

Carly: And that was the last time they had screen time together.

Riese: Well they were on the pink ride with all those dramas.

Christina: Oh, sure. And then Max assaulted Tom in a hallway. Cool.

Carly: Of course. And now they want to have a baby.

Carly: Yeah. Okay. Sure. Cool. Max is like, “Hey, I need to think about it. Sorry for kicking you in the balls.” And Tom’s like, “I’m sorry for knocking you up.” And then they hug.

Christina: Again, sucks.

Carly: What the fuck? I don’t know what I’m expecting, truly. I don’t know why I get so upset with these scenes because I know what we’re dealing with and how shitty the writing is for this character. But it’s still terrible every time.

Christina: It is kind of staggering to revisit and be like, “Oh right. It was this bad. Got it.”

Carly: It’s surprising every time there’s another scene. I’m like, “Oh God, what are they going to do this time?”

Riese: I mean, we’ve had a lot of trans men on the show and it impacts people, this character impacted people and how they thought about themselves and how they thought about their place in queer community.

Carly: This feels like a great place for us to, once again, plug the incredible documentary Disclosure, streaming on Netflix. There’s a whole segment in it. If you haven’t watched it, highly recommend it because it’s awesome. But also there’s a great segment about Max and about trans men talking about the effect that this character had on them. And it is really incredible to watch. Anyway, we go back to Bette and Tina’s.

Christina: Where again, I wrote, “I literally cannot believe I’m listening to Bette and Tina have this conversation again.”

Carly: Oh my God.

Christina: Did you know that people flirt with Bette, and Tina doesn’t like it? So if you came into season six, kind of wondering where they were at, it’s about there. Right about there.

Carly: It’s still the same place.

Christina: Yep, yep.

Carly: Speaking of people who are with someone, but want them to be a completely different person than they are.

Riese: Well, Tina is basically saying she accepts it. She’s like, “I know that that’s how you are and that’s what you’re doing. You like to flirt and that’s fine. That’s just you.”

Carly: That was some nice growth on the part of Tina for her to just be like, “Look, this is you and it’s fine.”

Christina: Yeah. It was shocking to see.

Carly: Truly shocking to see. But Bette is still refusing to acknowledge this about herself, which is…

Riese: Bette is doing what Bette does best which is, “But what if I just have sex with you and then you stopped talking?”

Carly: And that’s exactly what happens.

Riese: Right. Which I think is fun because it’s the nice little sexuals and we love the sexuals.

Christina: We do.

Carly: We do.

Riese: I do think also that it was nice that I hated Tina and I feel like I’ve only even said maybe nice things about Tina. I guess she changes in season five and I start to hate her less.

Carly: Yeah.

Christina: I hate her with a fire of a thousand suns forever, so…

Riese: I think that’s fair. That’s science.

Carly: I’m being completely objective in a scientific way.

Christina: Which we do.

Carly: Which is again, very important to this show. I would say that, yes, it does seem like I was a lot nicer to Tina starting in season five. And I think it’s perhaps because the people she was primarily interacting with were Jenny and Bette who were constantly doing kind of shitty things to her. So kind of like, she didn’t really change. Although it does seem like she’s maybe getting a little better at dealing with both of those personalities without just kind of being mad at them all the time. She’s kind of just dealing with them in a way that she hadn’t really in the past. But other than that, it’s just that everyone around her looks worse in comparison. Yeah. So she’s still terrible. Just give her, give her an opportunity to be terrible. She’ll take it.

Riese: Yeah. Also, Tina stands up for her when Bette’s like, “Well, why didn’t you tell Kelly that I wasn’t available?” and Tina’s like, “That’s not my job.” But they almost suggest in the scene that they are aware that non-monogamy exists, which I thought was fascinating.

Carly: They came so close to acknowledging it.

Christina: So close, and yet so very far.

Carly: Nope. It’s all this flirting in the guise of cheating, which is like, oh God, I don’t know. They have too much free time.

Christina: 2009. What a time to think about how you interact with people. It’s like, wow. Okay, cool.

Carly: What is interacting with people? I don’t even remember that.

Christina: Couldn’t be me.

Carly: So we go back to Hit Club or as we —

Riese: Porter Peabody’s Pleasure Plush Palace.

Carly: Thank you. Yep. There it is.

Christina: What I love about that is that it rolls off the tongue. That’s what I love about that phrase.

Carly: So honestly, at the beginning of the scene, the lighting was so dark that I couldn’t really tell what was going on. But Alice was watching Dylan from across the room, is the jist, I think what I gathered despite the terrible lighting. And then she looks at Tasha and she’s like, “Do you have my back?” and then just marches over to Dylan. And Tasha goes with her fully on board for this, which I loved. I really loved the energy of this.

Dylan: Alice.
Alice: Hi, Dylan. Really?
Dylan: Excuse me?
Alice: I mean come on, the hair — the hair and the documentaries? It’s like I’m not gay!
Helena: Hello, Dylan.
Alice: Good one, good one. I got this.
Helena: Alice.
Tasha: She’s got it.

Riese: The hair and the documentaries. Oh my God. It was good. Someone had to address the hair.

Carly: This is great. They’re really working together. Dan Foxworthy’s treatments are obviously working. That’s what we can see here. Alice fully shoves Dylan. So now this is the second hit that has happened at Hit Club.

Riese: That was pretty violent.

Christina: Is there a hit list? Do we have a hit list of hits that happened at Hit Club?

Riese: That would be a cute little branding thing for them. If you’re on the list to get in, it’s called the Hit List.

Carly: The Hit List! That’s cute.

Christina: Oh, that’s cute. And I think that Casablanca really ties into that really well.

Riese: The beat occurrence gave me a solid cut. Why can’t I pronounce the word Casablanca?

Christina: I think it’s just because you’ve decided to do it differently every time. I think you’ve just got to pick one.

Carly: Yeah. I think if you just commit to one version of it, then you’ll be okay.

Christina: Yeah. You just got to choose.

Carly: But maybe what you’re really doing here is channeling Alice’s moment where she is completely unable to form a sentence to Dylan, which is really funny.

Christina: Which is really funny. And I did feel very seen by that because while I am not a particularly confrontational person, I can see myself being like, “You know what? I’ve had one extra tequila and I’m going to do something.” And then getting there and being like, “I regret this immensely.”

Carly: I feel that in my bones.

Riese: Helena intervenes and is just like, “Hi.” And Dylan’s like, “You look amazing.” What she should have been like was, “Your body!”

Christina: Your body! Your body! Are you still running?

Carly: Your body!

Riese: Are you still running from the law?

Christina: But it’s also funny that Alice would feel that she needs to go defend Helena. Who on earth doesn’t need someone else to defend them? She’s ready to fight. And that’s again, why she’s a legend and why I love her. She wants to play somebody she’s going to do it. I’ve seen it.

Carly: Yes, for sure. So Alice starts catching Tasha up on what the Dylan story is. We’ll come back to that because there’s a really confusing part of that. Helena was like, “Did you know this was my club? Because this is my club, by the way.”

Christina: “If you didn’t know, this is my name.”

Carly: “This is my club, my name. The H up there, that’s my H.”

Riese: Yeah. It’s Porter Peabody’s Pleasure Palace. The P in Peabody is mine.

Carly: And she was like, “Oh, I just got back in town and I heard this was the best girl club in LA.”

Christina: I’m always saying that.

Helena says "and you were looking for a girl club?"

Carly: I’m like, “Well, it was probably one of the only girl clubs in LA.” So she’s kind of like, “So you were looking for a girl club, where you?”

Christina: Famous heterosexual.

Carly: Yeah. She’s like, “I finally figured it out.”

Riese: Just in time. Just after I ruined your life.

Carly: Yeah, she fully ruined Helena’s life.

Christina: Oops.

Riese: A lot of mistakes from the past were discussed this episode. So this is great. It’s great when somebody goes through their whole coming out to themselves process at your expense, I think it’s nice.

Carly: We love to see that.

Christina: This is again, I think I just got bored in my notes, writing about Dylan. Because I wrote, “Dylan I guess, like if you, whatever.” So don’t even really know what I was going for there, but…

Carly: I actually think that’s the most accurate thing you could say about Dylan.

Riese: Is she dating Jodie Foster yet at this time?

Carly: Oh, I don’t know. Are you looking it up? Well, while you’re looking it up, I’m going to continue with what happens, which is we see Alice continuing to tell Tasha this whole story. I have a couple of questions. Number one, especially with a couple that doesn’t have a lot in common. Why would they not be telling each other, other people’s drama as part of their ways to connect with each other? This story should have been told months ago. Second problem.

Riese: They weren’t dating yet.

Christina: Okay.

Carly: My second problem is that she’s filling her in on the parts of the story about Catherine and the gambling and all that. But Catherine’s beach house hosted Tasha’s going away party. Did it not?

Christina: Yes.

Carly: So Tasha knows at least some of this story. So this whole thing, while I found it to be hilarious, watching Alice spill this whole story because who doesn’t love that? And it’s such an Alice thing to do.

Christina: Yeah, Alice the gossip.

Carly: And gossip fuels my bones, so I love anything with gossip, but Tasha would know all of this already, but whatever.

Riese: Absolutely. Yeah.

Carly: Tasha offers to kick her ass which I thought was nice.

Riese: That’s cute.

Christina: I liked it.

Carly: I loved when she was like, “That girl was not gay.” and Tasha was like, “Her? That girl?”

Christina: Are we talking about the same person?

Riese: Right. It reminded me of having just Tom on our podcast who was like, “What?”

Carly: We were like, that is the gayest looking person on this show.

Christina: No doubt.

Carly: I think Dylan looks worse here than she did previously. I think her hair is not as good as it was before. I’m just going to say it.

Christina: Her hair is bad. I also was like, “Is this the lighting?” Because we refuse to put her in light. So I…

Carly: True. There is also that. It’s hard to know.

Christina: Hard to say.

Riese: Yeah, they’re really bad at lighting. So then Helena thinks it over. For some reason I wrote Alice is really goosing up this story. I’ve never used that phrase before in my life. I don’t know what I was going through. So Helena follows Dylan outside.

Helena: I don’t give a fuck whose idea it was. You took part, you manipulated my emotions, you used me and you humiliated me! And you got to be fucking insane, thinking you can just prance in here act as if nothing ever happened. Tell me that you’re happy. Tell me that you’re out of the closet. Tell that you’re oh so sorry for destroying my fucking life! Fuck you!
Dylan: Thank you. Now I know you care.

Carly: Shoves her into a car, also.

Riese: Shoves her into a car. Yeah, a lot of shoving in this episode, this is warranted and appreciated.

Christina: And frankly, it was hot. Sorry.

Carly: I was waiting for them to make out. I was fully just like, “Oh God, they’re going to make out.”

Riese: I remember when she marched out, I was like, “Oh my God, they’re just going to make out.” And then I was like, “Oh, she’s yelling. That’s better.” And she was yelling and then shoves her and then walks away. And then Dylan says, “Thank you. Now I know that you care.”

Christina: Again. Care that I guess, I guess Dylan, I guess.

Riese: You sued her for sexual harassment for a consensual relationship.

Christina: You sued her for money for your documentary that was already shot.

Riese: Yeah. Which was a bad documentary that was a white savior documentary to begin with and should never have been made.

Christina: Should never have been made.

Carly: And they wanted a wide release of a feature length documentary, even in 2009 that wasn’t happening.

Christina: Okay. That’s funny.

Carly: Yeah, cute.

Riese: It’s not finding fucking Nemo.

Carly: That’s like Alice thinking that it’s easy to write a screenplay.

Riese: So yeah. Dylan still sucks.

Carly: It is now the next day.

Riese: It’s time for one of my favorite scenes of all time.

Carly: Riese is so happy right now. Riese do you want to just tell it? I’m just going to let you tell it. Just go for it. Just do it.

Christina: Yeah Riese, I want to hear it from you. I want to hear it from you.

Riese: Okay. So this is like a really meaningful scene for those of us who have been waiting for some time for this to occur. And obviously this is an ideal situation for it to occur, because Jenny’s obviously had some problems throughout the series, but has really turned into a really evil cunt, fully, a hundred percent in this season. And that’s hard for me. But anyway, so Shane is just like, “Whatever, I’m done, I’m going to move out. I can’t keep groveling to you because you’re never going to forgive me.” Because she’s just relishing in it. And so Shane goes upstairs to pack up. She probably has some more Whole Foods bags and probably has a toothbrush or maybe she has a backup toothbrush also and a little thing of hair.

Christina: One hair dryer.

Riese: Yeah, she has a mini hairdryer she stole from hotel. And Jenny is like — Oh, I didn’t take any notes. I just wrote, “You have this scene memorized.” Jenny’s like —

Jenny: Shane, you know that it was you, right? When I said that you broke my heart. I was talking about you. You know, when I said it, I felt like my heart was breaking.

Riese: And Shane doesn’t get it at first. She gets that she broke Jenny’s heart, but she doesn’t get why she broke down his heart. But she’s willing to roll with it anyway. I think she’s used to not understanding. So she just kind of rolls with it. And then Jenny’s like —

Jenny: I also realized that I’m in love with you. That I’m like all those stupid girls.

Jenny in the hallways telling Shane "I also realized that Im in love with you"

Riese: Which is just a very vulnerable moment for her because all this time, she’s watching all these girls fall for Shane stupidly, and she’s like, “Now I’m just another one of those girls who’s falling for Shane. I’m a cliché.” As opposed to before, when she was really breaking the mold, by falling for Carmen or whatever.

Christina: Or Jenny falling for the actress playing her in her film, it’s just really groundbreaking stuff.

Riese: Yeah. But falling for Shane, that’s like, you don’t do that. This is like in middle school when I had a crush on David B****n and I was like, “It’s so cliche, everyone has a crush on David B****n.” You know what I mean? I probably said this exact line. And then they hug. But then they separate just a little bit. And then Shane takes Jenny’s face in her hands and then they stick their tongues down each other’s throats. And they go all inside each other’s mouth.

Christina: Did not know we were going to get a sound effect for that.

Carly: Damn.

Riese: Because they have immediate instant chemistry, because what is happening here is love that came out of a deep friendship. And it’s beautiful, and the music is beautiful, and the lighting is beautiful, and their outfits are beautiful. Because there’s one thing The L Word can do, which is light white people in the morning, which I think is what they’re doing here.

Christina: And I always say, that’s a great time for white people, the morning.

Carly: Historically it’s when we look our best.

Christina: Really good stuff.

Carly: Yeah. It’s great. It’s important.

Christina: Wow. Thank you so much for that Riese.

Riese: I thought when I saw the scene the first time I died. I never thought they were going to do it. I just didn’t think they were ever going to do it because no one wanted it to happen. No one. Except me.

Carly: Except Riese.

Christina: Except for, I’m going to guess you.

Riese: An oddly significant percentage of the senior staff at Autostraddle, for some reason. Sarah’s onboard with it. Laneia, big fan of it.

Christina: I just assumed it was a qualification to be senior staff at Autostraddle.

Carly: You have to be a Shenny stan.

Riese: Rachel refuses to watch The L Word, which I think is a cute bit that we’re doing.

Christina: Oh, that’s a great bit. I love a good bit.

Carly: I love that.

Riese: So yeah, this just was a really meaningful moment for me and for all of my Shenny fans out there, which according to the population of the Shenny message board at the time, it was at least a hundred people. I think.

Christina: A strong community.

Carly: Yeah. That’s great for you guys.

Riese: But they didn’t even like me because I was sometimes critical of Jenny. And so I would go on and try to like be it. And they would be like, “We hate you.”

Carly: Shunned by your own community.

Christina: That’s tough stuff.

Riese: I was, they were so mean to me. And I was honestly genuinely upset. I was like, “Here’s my Shenny people.”

Christina: Look, message boards. They were hard. They were hard back in the day.

Riese: Right?

Carly: This was the birthplace of cancel culture, clearly. You were being canceled.

Riese: I know. I started sharing screenshots with them from future episodes, as a hope that maybe…

Carly: That they would accept you as one of their own. Like an offering.

Riese: No you have to be completely uncritical. Which honestly that’s the internet for you. You can’t acknowledge that people have faults. You have to be just a fan of all of it. And I wasn’t, but I was a fan of the scene. It was beautiful and that’s love, but it’s not going to go very well.

Carly: Well, we already know that Jenny’s going to die soon.

Christina: I guess if you define not-very-well as one of them will be dead. Sure. Sure.

Carly: I guess you can describe that as not great.

Christina: What I was thinking about, during this again, pivotal moment was just how did the butterfly shirt bring this into effect?

Carly: I was also trying to think about that.

Christina: Because clearly that’s what happened.

Carly: I think we can all agree that’s what changed.

Christina: We never thought it would happen and then we saw the butterfly shirt and then it happened. So…

Carly: Exactly. And the butterfly dress was present at Yamashiro when Jenny said the line, “You broke my heart.” Therefore I think it is absolutely a safe bet here to hypothesize that the butterfly had a lot to do with these two people coming together. Also Bette lives next door. The butterfly is next door.

Christina: The butterfly is coming from inside the other house.

Riese: Yeah. First floor.

Carly: And we already know what it did to the shirt that was right next to it. Can you imagine? I’m sure its powers are very strong up close, but I think even in the house next door, you’re still going to feel the effects. The butterfly effects.

Christina: Honestly, there’s got to be international ramifications from this.

Carly: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Riese: I’m curious, how did you guys feel about this scene? You can be honest.

Christina: I said, “Oh yeah, that happens.”

Carly: Yeah. It’s hard to remember how I felt when the season originally aired, because again, I had blocked it all out, but I think I hated Jenny so much and was kind of mad at Shane and kind of just didn’t care about either of them at that point. But really when you look at the entirety of the cast at this point, who is there to care about? I cared about Kit. And Helena? Everybody is making bad decisions. I don’t know. Everybody was kind of fucking off. I don’t know. It was weird. But now I go back, I watch it, I have new eyes and much older wiser eyes and you know, I still didn’t really care.

Christina: It was just like, “Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.” I didn’t take a note. So I guess I didn’t care that much, but I was just kind of like, “Oh right. This is when that occurs.”

Carly: Is this earned for these characters? I think, yes. I think they did a good job of spending five seasons building the foundation for that.

Riese: There’s actually a video on YouTube that kind of covers that.

Carly: Oh of course, did you edit it yourself?

Christina: Did you edit it yourself? Is it set to “My Immortal?” Just wondering.

Riese: I didn’t personally do it, but I do watch it every now and then as a refresher, so I’ll share the link.

Christina: I’ll pull that up as a secondary source for this.

Riese: Because the seeds have been planted and I’ve been talking about every seed that has been planted this whole time.

Carly: As we’ve been doing this podcast, knowing that this is where the show is going, I think we were able to kind of talk about it with that lens. And especially for me famously not caring about any of this, but knowing that you, my co-host and friend, care deeply, I was paying more attention as well.

Christina: I was not paying that close of attention because again, this episode is very harrowing and by this point I was like, “Y’all don’t deserve my eyeballs on this anymore.”

Carly: And that is accurate. That is extremely correct.

Christina: So that’s kind of where I was. Scholarship and bravery.

Carly: Again, bravery, I would say is the theme here. Scholarship, bravery and of course the chaos that is set upon us by the butterfly. And that’s the episode.

Riese: That’s the episode!

Carly: We did it. Wow. Well, what did we think? Did we like this episode? Not great. Not a great episode.

Christina: Not great.

Riese: I loved it. Just kidding. I loved the last scene.

Carly: You just loved the last scene, right?

Riese: Yeah. Again, it was another one where I remembered it being worse than it was. However, the Max stuff is so bad.

Christina: The Max stuff is really tough.

Carly: That was very hard to watch.

Riese: Yeah. So it was a real mixed bag.

Carly: Yeah. You could say that.

Christina: Yeah, Riese I am going to need you to drop the link to the specific Jenny/Shane video you were talking about because there are quite a few. I’m just seeing in my Google search. Well, there’s a lot of just, “What’s up with The L Word” videos. Like, ok, where we left off, I guess. There’s a first kiss HD updated version, which is the first result that comes up, which is nice. I’d love to take the scholarly journey that you have taken in your life.

Riese: Well, actually believe it or not, I know where to find it because Laniea did a stand-alone post about it.

Christina: Sure. Sure.

Carly: Of course.

Christina: And it’s one of those times where I realized that, truly the call was coming from inside the house.

Carly: It has been for years.

Christina: Yep. Could’ve just checked the website that I write for.

Carly: That’s our episode. Christina, thank you so much for being here. This was so wonderful to have you on the show with us. If people loved you, hearing you today, where can they find you? What can you tell us? What are you up to?

Christina: They can come find me on twitter.com, the website, where I am literally constantly tweeting @c_gracet. Come for hot takes about hot moms and honestly musicals a lot of the time. And also you can find my writing on autostraddle.com, the website that you might’ve heard of.

Carly: And I want to, again, plug your incredible podcasts.

Christina: Thank you for continually doing that, because I do keep forgetting.

Carly: It just really brightened my quarantine this past fall when I actually was like, “Oh, I forgot.” I remember you’d posted about it. And then I didn’t listen to it right away for whatever reason. And then at some point in this past fall, I was like, “That’s what I’m going to do today.” And it was wonderful.

Christina: Well thank you, pal. And again, it was so delightful to be here revisiting what I can only describe as a garbage season of a TV show that was only ever mediocre. So that’s a journey.

Carly: Just a pile of trash.

Christina: But it was really fun to do with you guys.

Carly: It was so fun. And thank you again for your bravery and your appreciation of scholarship.

Riese: It was so fun.

Christina: And thank you both for your scholarship.

Riese: Thank you. Thank you.

Carly: Always, I always am just welcoming people and thanking them for their scholarship. And this is no exception.

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, 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 socials, I am at @carlytron. Riese is @autowin. Autostraddle is @Autostraddle, and of course, autostraddle.com. The reason we are all here today.

Riese: Autostraddle.com.

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 ready?

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

Christina: Leaf.

Carly: Christina you said leaf? That’s beautiful. What a beautiful image. Riese, what was yours?

Riese: Little.

Carly: My lips are chapped and I put on some lip balm. And now here it is, it says lip balm right on it.

Christina: I was looking at a plant to be clear.

Riese: I was looking at a book called A Little Princess.

Christina: Oh, so we are really pulling from life.

Carly: Really just ripped from the headlines of the root spaces we are in physically. Incredible. Thank you all for listening. As you might’ve figured out, we are doing an episode every two weeks right now. So we will be back here with 603 in two weeks. Bye!

Riese: Bye! We 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 3211 articles for us.


  1. I started to listen to A Simple Pod after this episode and I absolutely adore it! Christina, your podcast presence is – famously – delightful and brilliant.

  2. Hi! i just finished listening to the episode today. Where can I find that Shenny video?

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