THIS WEEK’S L WORD VOCABULARY:
- Predispositions: Something to embrace and celebrate. Sorta.
- Help: What Jenny needs.
- Scourge: Helena’s middle name. That and “petulant.”
- Fucking: Dreary when it’s without art (i.e., when it’s with Helena).
- Sisterhood: If you’re the Wilsons, it’s powerful. If you’re the Ziffs, it’s… um, yeah.
THIS WEEK’S GUEST-BIANS: Holland Taylor reminds us that this show can still be good; Gloria Steinem does a group therapy session; Heart rocks.
Finally, the finale. — Yay! The title is “Lacuna,” which could be a lot of things. Webster’s tells me it’s “a blank space or a missing part,” a “gap, hole, flaw, or defect.” It can also be “one of the follicles in the mucous membrane of the urethra” or “one of the minute cavities in bone or cartilage occupied by the cells.” Good then. Let’s watch and learn, shall we? Or watch and wonder, probably.
Sunset Strip, present day — Jenny’s stripping again. We see the crowd, but we don’t hear them; instead we hear sinister noises, like the lash of a whip or the swoosh of a sword, and we get to see little bits of those carnival scenes/fantasy sequences we’ve been enjoying all year. Oh, all that mysterious misery of Jenny’s past. When will it ever end? Oh that’s right: with this episode! At least for a while.
Outside the strip club, Shane sits on a bench and smokes a cigarette and wears a cute hat. Nice work if you can get it.
Jenny comes out of the strip club — it was more fun when she was just coming out of the closet — and says hello to Shane. They stroll and chat and smoke. Jenny’s hair (sort of a fauxhawk, but not quite) makes her look a bit like Sal Mineo.
Jenny: “What did you think?”
Shane: “You were good.”
Jenny: “No, I wasn’t, I sucked. It doesn’t matter if I’m good.”
Shane: “Why are you doing this?”
Jenny: “Because when I’m in there, it’s my fucking choice when I take off my top, when I wanna show my breasts, and it’s my fucking choice when I take off my pants and I show my pussy, and then I stop when I wanna stop and it makes me feel good because I’m in charge. And it helps me remember all this childhood shit that happens to me.”
What? It helps you remember? Oh no. Ouch. Interesting that you said “happens,” not “happened.” Interesting and sad.
Jenny: “Do you remember what happened to you as a child that makes you not wanna —”
Shane: “Wait wait wait, whaddya mean?”
Jenny: “No, seriously, just hear me out. Do you remember the shit that happened to you as a child that makes you not want to trust people as an adult?”
Shane: “Yeah, I probably do.”
Jenny: “Well, then you’re fuckin’ lucky.”
Shane: “I don’t know how that makes me so lucky.”
Jenny: “Because you’re lucky… because you can get on with your fuckin’ life and you’re not dogged down by these horrible, oppressive childhood memories, and you know, you stand a chance of being a normal, productive person.”
So Shane asks the obvious — whether Jenny remembers what happened to her. Jenny says the memories are blurry and she doesn’t know what’s real and what she’s made up. Shane says “that” (stripping) is not the only way to get to the truth.
Shane: “You have me, you have other people. You don’t have to do this alone.”
But Jenny wants to do it that way. And whatever Jenny wants, Jenny gets — and we get to watch it. Try to keep up, Shane.
Also, I get what Jenny’s saying.
Shane tries to take Jenny home, but Jenny wants to take the bus.
Another day, another story — Bette and Tina are talking about birthing tanks as they make their way to an appointment at the hospital. Guess who’s parked right in front of the door?
Helena: “Tina, I need to talk to you for a minute. [to Bette] Do you mind?”
Bette: “Yes, I do, actually.”
But Helena’s not taking no for an answer; she wants Tina to have lunch with her and the fabulous Peggy Peabody. Bette and Tina want to know how Helena knew where to find them. Helena says James told her where they’d be, which Bette doesn’t believe:
Bette: “James knows not to give out my schedule.”
Helena: “What James knows is that he wants to keep his job. He seemed to have relatively few qualms about it.”
Helena scoots closer to Tina — make that swoops in for the kill — and gives her the details about lunch.
Tina: “I’m not having lunch with you. And I don’t like this.”
Nicely done, Tina — you can be kinda stern when you want to. But Helena follows them as they try to go in; she says it’s important and insists that Tina’s one of the only people who can hold her own with Peggy.
Helena: “Everyone else just fawns all over her. It’s tedious.”
Bette: “Not as tedious as this is becoming. We’re going inside now.”
Helena: “Fine. I’ll make sure they take good care of you in there.”
So Helena just looks over at the hospital sign; it says “the Rupert & Doris Peabody Natal Care Unit.” Ugh. Bette and Tina just give her a look like “You freakin’ psychopath” and go in.
More possessiveness — Dana’s training with the gorgeous Lucia Rijker. And Lucia’s making Dana work hard.
Dana: “Why can’t I just be a second-rate tennis player who’s more famous for being a lesbian?”
Haha! Yeah, there are worse things. Like you could be a clingy, insecure girlfriend. Oh, look, there’s Alice.
Alice has brought Dana her boxing gloves, as well as a guilt trip:
Alice: “You didn’t say goodbye this morning. I woke up, I didn’t know where you were.”
Dana: “You knew I was training.”
Alice: “I know, but you could have woken me up, or said… or left me a note or something… I mean, not like I’m needy, I don’t need you to write me a note, I just, uh…yeah, I was just mentioning it.”
Alice, you’re making me cringe. Even if your hair is cute and you’re actually wearing a shirt that suits you, for possibly the first time this season. Lucia is just sort of listening and smirking. She and Dana want to get back to the training:
Lucia: “You don’t want Mauresmo making her look like a pussy.”
Alice: “I think after you, Lucia, Mauresmo’s gonna look like a pussy.”
Alice tells Dana she’ll see her later at The Planet. Dana says it’s gonna be an hour or so, but Alice says she’ll wait, and she also thinks she deserves a kiss for bringing Dana the gloves. More awkwardness follows, and also a really big grin — on my face, that is, as Lucia crosses her arms and taps her foot and waits with that smirk on her face. Do you SEE those arms?Yow.
Alice finally zips away in her Mini Cooper.
Dana: “She really loves me, you know.”
Lucia: “Oh. Is that what that is?”
Nice arms and a nice brain? Hello.
From the lame to the sublime — Bette and Tina are staring at the “some assembly required” birthing tank. Bette says, “Right this minute, I am hating being a lesbian.” I’m not even going to dignify that with a response. But I don’t have to:
Tina: “Well, I know some lesbians that are really good at putting things together.”
Bette: “Like carpenters?”
Woo hoo! Slam dunk for Tina! Tina says, “Sorry, that was a throwback,” but her sweet smile makes it all okay. How great is it that they might actually be able to tease each other about that?
Bette starts to try to put the tank together “as a matter of pride.” They talk about who’s coming to Melvin’s memorial service; Kit’s son is going to be there. But Kit doesn’t want Benjamin to be there. Good, I didn’t really need to hear about how to channel your grief into your work. Turn pain into profits with T.O.E.!
Bette’s got all of the parts out of the box, and no clue what to do with them. Tina thinks it’s cute too — and then some.
Tina: “Bette… I’m having a home birth.”
Bette: “I think it’s great that Dr. Wilson thinks it’s safe. I mean, the baby’s healthy, and you’re in great shape…”
Tina: “What I meant is, I’m having a home birth. And I want to have it in my home.”
Bette: “You mean you wanna give… birth in your apartment?”
Bette: [not listening] “Are you sure, because I’ve got everything so well-organized, and I just think that — “
Tina: “No. I want… [getting teary] to move back into our house. And I want to have our baby in our home. I want all of us to have a home together.”
Bette does that look — that grateful amazed look like the one she had when she found out Tina was pregnant. She sits on the couch next to Tina. Bette smiles, Tina nods, and we all exhale for the first time all season.
Lunch — Helena arrives at the restaurant to find Peggy playing grandma. Helena’s excited to see her kids, but not her ex. She turns around and tries to leave.
Peggy: “Helena. Stop. Come back. Sit down. Don’t be a petulant child.”
I think that for the first time in my life, I understand what the word “command” means.
Peggy explains that she wanted to see the kids and Winnie, because she’s heard that things are getting ugly, and she won’t have that. Helena tries to argue, but Winnie says Peggy is generous and that Helena should try to see her mother as the world does. Helena says Winnie should try to see Peggy as her children did — “or rather, never saw her.” The waiter interrupts to see if Helena wants a drink.
Peggy: “Have a bellini, darling. We all are. And do please leave the ‘poor damaged child’ nonsense for your psychiatrist. Not the one who’s suing you; the one who’s still taking your phone calls.”
I just clapped my hands so hard, I may never be able to type again. Winnie kind of snickers.
Peggy reveals that she’s going to give Winnie the co-op on Gramercy Park. Wow, nice. It’s almost enough to make me wish I were Peggy’s grandkid too, but then I would feel weird about thinking she’s so hot.
Home — Tina finds Bette in the bedroom. Bette is looking at photos of Melvin. Suddenly we get one of those “great moments of history” slideshows, with black-and-white pictures of Melvin in various poses and with his family. It’s weird. The only good thing about it is that Tracy Chapman is singing Say Hallelujah in the background. Do you hear that, Betty? That’s actual music. Take notes.
Remembering — Now we’re suddenly at the memorial service, and there’s a gospel choir, but they’re not singing what Tracy Chapman is singing (and Tracy Chapman isn’t actually there). And there’s some weird montage-y sort of editing; it’s like a memory of a scene instead of an actual scene. Hmm. Maybe that was intentional.
The whole gang is at the service; there are some funny expressions as the camera scans the room. Carmen looks like she’s thinking “Why am I here? I don’t even know these people!” and Jenny looks like she’s wondering whether anyone there has seen her strip show, and also whether she remembered to turn off the coffee pot this morning. Alice looks like she’s thinking “Look sad look sad look sad” and Dana seems to be reminiscing about how awesome Lucia Rijker’s arms are. Shane looks like her usual expressionless self. Kit does look genuinely sad, and shares a moment with her son. Bette lets us know she’s sad by pretending to wipe away a tear. Tina looks like she’s thinking “He called me Tina. That’s Miss Kennard to you.” And to top it all off, there’s Mark, videotaping the whole thing and wondering whether Jenny remembered to turn off the coffee pot.
Some other notable attendees: Franklin and Leo, from the C.A.C., and Gloria Steinem, from… um, the real world? I dunno.
Pam Grier is just about the only one who knew what to do with this weird scene.
Afterwards, Alice and Dana hug Bette — have we ever seen Dana and Bette that close before? Jenny asks Shane what Gloria Steinem is doing there, and Shane’s face seems to say, “Who’s Gloria Steinem?”
And then Gloria introduces herself to Bette:
Gloria: “I’m Gloria. I was a friend of your father’s.”
Bette: “My father talked about you a lot.”
She’s Gloria Steinem! Wouldn’t you at least say “Of course I know who you are”? Anyway, then we’re back in the Great Moments in History slideshow, but this time Melvin is with Gloria Steinem and President Clinton. Somebody on the set was having a little too much fun with Photoshop.
At the caterer’s station or whatever that spot in the room is called, Dana chats with Lara. Or flirts, actually. And she keeps looking back at Alice while she does it, just to make Alice even more suspicious.
Dana finally goes back to Alice, who decides this is a good time to ask Dana to move in with her.
Dana: “Wait. Are you serious?”
Dana: “Al… I don’t know.”
Alice: “You don’t know? Are you having doubts about us?”
Dana: “No! Oh my g— no! If anything, it’s the opposite. Things are going so good right now.”
Alice: “Do you wanna see other people? Because—”
Dana: “What? Alice, where did you get that from what I just said?”
Ack. I cannot take much more of this.
But this is worse: Bette is talking to Franklin and Leo. Franklin kind of hesitates when Bette says she’ll be back next week. She asks him if there’s something wrong; he tries to say it’s not the time to discuss it, but she insists.
So yeah, they want to buy out her contract, and Leo has already essentially replaced her. Bette collects herself and makes him regret it.
Bette: “I have a baby on the way.”
Franklin: “The settlement is gonna give you a nice cushion. And time for you to figure out what you might want to do next.”
Bette: “I’ll tell you what I’d like to do next. I’d like to fucking murder somebody. You, maybe. Or your friend Helena Peabody. That’s nice, that’s a really… nice thing to do to someone while their father’s dying. You’re a class act, Franklin.”
Twist the knife, Bette. Twist it! More!
But don’t you dare go back to work there, even if Peggy rescues you or something. Franklin’s an ass and you should just go back to doing your own thing.
A meeting of the mindless — One of the Betty members (Alyson, the cute one) is chatting with Mark about “The Gloria Project.” It’s a thing with Betty and Gloria and Heart, and Mark is getting the chance to tape it. Why? They wouldn’t already have all of that arranged? Ugh.
Wouldn’t it have been funny if it had been Betty and Betty Friedan instead? No, not really.
And this isn’t funny either: Our grrrls, minus Bette and Tina, plus Betty, are at a big table with Gloria Steinem.
Ezgirl/Elizabeth Ziff/Lwordemort/Poltergeist proliferater: “Look, Gloria, I’ve been begging you for fifteen years to sleep with me. And it’s because I care about you and I love you. I don’t want you to miss out. And I know, I know — not every feminist is a lesbian.”
Gloria looks like she’s thinking “Oh, you poor thing.” And Kit looks like she’s thinking “You must be some kind of an ass.” What Kit says out loud is “Yeah, you’re right, ’cause I haven’t slept with a woman and I am definitely a feminist.” Alyson says “Ditto for me.” Why are all the cute ones straight?
Gloria: “But, you know, we’re in a country where all feminists are lesbians, right?”
Dana: “And they think that all feminists are man-haters, so naturally they’re lesbians, right?”
Gloria: “It’s really bananas, because in my experience, it’s the women who live with men who hate men. The lesbians can kind of take it or leave it alone; they’re friends with men, right?”
Jenny: “Another big misconception is that if you’re a lesbian, you’re automatically a feminist. Whereas a lot of gay women that I know are absolutely not feminists, right?” [looking at Shane]
Carmen: “Well, that’s for sure.” [looking at Shane]
Shane: “Well, I like women!”
Alice decides to point out that she likes the penis, and Gloria gets this:
Gloria: “I like sex with men too. Let’s just say that I’m predisposed. I bet a lot of you are predisposed, right?”
Carmen: [raising her arms] “Predisposed! Right here!”
Shane: [nodding] “100 percent.”
Dana: “As far back as I can remember, yeah, me too.”
Alice: “Not me. I follow the heart, not the anatomy.”
Dana kind of rubs Alice’s shoulder, and looks honestly proud and supportive, and I want Alice to remember that. But she prob’ly won’t.
Jenny: “It’s always so complicated, isn’t it? Some people have a choice and some people don’t about this thing, right?”
Well, yeah. I agree. So does Gloria. But you know what’s wrong with this scene? This is a TV show, not a group therapy session. You cannot plop Gloria Steinem — who is always very real and always herself — in the middle of a bunch of actors of varying skill, and expect it to work. It’s going to seem stagey. Maybe if it had just been Jenny and Kit, it would have worked — because I think maybe Gloria would really like to chat with Mia and Pam — but this crowd is not comfy.
Carmen raises her glass “to choice” and they all clink. “And to Melvin,” says somebody. Oh right, we forgot about him for a minute there.
The surrealism grows — Jenny is wearing a weird fur and a tiara, and walking into theWiltern, where the marquee says
Now, don’t get me wrong — I love most of these people, quite a lot. With one exception, of course. Anyway, the point is this: is that not the weirdest collection of words you’ve ever seen? They put the “wilt” in Wiltern.
And up on the parking ramp, Shane is finding a spot for her Jeep and telling Carmen, “It’s a benefit for the Ms. Foundation. Gloria Steinem is hosting it.”
The funny part is that Shane pronounces “Ms.” as “miss.” Oh, Shane. It’s okay: you like women.
Anyway, Shane makes Carmen wait; Shane goes around and opens the door for Carmen, and insists on closing it too.
Carmen: “I’m just not used to being treated like such a girl, I guess, so…”
Shane: “What are you talking about, ‘treated like a girl’?”
Carmen: “Oh, okay.”
Shane: “I thought I’d treat you.”
Carmen: “Oh. Okay, right. I get the difference.”
Rather than try to figure out what all of that meant, I’m happy to focus on the macking that’s going on inside the theater. Or, not happy: that’s Helena and the gorgeous Leigh Ostin. (Her real-life name is not pretty though. Cobie Smulders? Really?)
Helena: “Did you ever get a girl pregnant?”
Leigh: “No. Have you?”
Helena: “I think you’d look amazing pregnant. Maybe we should have a baby together.”
Okay, it’s official: Helena is a demon and she’s trying to populate the earth with her spawn.
Or maybe Bette’s right:
Bette: “You really are the fucking scourge of the universe, aren’t you?” [to Leigh]“Hello, Leigh, it’s nice to see you.”
Helena: “I’m sorry, are you talking to me?”
Bette: “I don’t know, did you ever even care about Tina? Because if you did, you wouldn’t have done what you did to me. Because it affects her too. Did you even stop to think about that?”
Helena: “You’re under a misapprehension if you think I had anything to do with that.”
Bette: “That’s bullshit.”
Leigh: “What are you two talking about?”
Peggy arrives to settle it all:
Peggy: “Hello. Why, Bette Porter.”
Bette: [grinning] “Peggy Peabody.”
Peggy: “Are you here by yourself tonight? Because I’m sort of feeling a bit of a gooseberry between these two horny lovebirds.”
Bette: “Actually, I’m here with my partner, Tina.”
Peggy. “Ah, Tina. Tina… [looks at Helena] didn’t you just have a Tina? Or is that the new popular name for lesbians?”
Helena: “Actually, Mummy, it’s, um, it’s the same Tina.”
Peggy: [looks at Helena] [looks at Bette] “Oh dear.”
Peggy: “Did anyone happen to see the surrealist show at the Met a few years back?”
Leigh: “Desire unbound. It was brilliant. Brilliantly curated. The Man Rays were completely brilliant.”
Peggy: “Fuck brilliant. I’m talking about how those people fucked.”
Bette: “Those surrealists certainly fucked a lot, and it’s very well documented.”
Peggy: “Eluard the poet was with the beauteous Gala, and then Gala slipped off and seduced Max Ernst, who thought he was very much in love with Louise at the time. And then Gala ended up with Dali, and that left Eluard and Louise to share another woman, the very strange Denise Levy, who was being courted — and boinked, I believe — at the time by… by…”
Peggy: “Breton, yes, and boinked by Peret, and blabbity-blabbity-blah.”
I love the way Bette’s sort of squirming, as if she can’t believe how sexy Peggy’s brain is.
Peggy: “Well, at least they wrote fabulous, tortured, sick love poems to one another.”
Helena: “Yes, Mummy, ’cause that… that absolutely redeemed them.”
Peggy: “Well, you know, all that fucking… with no art… is really rather dreary. I hope you girls write fabulous, sick, neurotic, tortured love poems to one another.”
Bette: “I’m actually working on several right now.”
Peggy: “Send me one, won’t you, Bette?”
Hahaha. Did you hear that, Helena? Your mummy just called you “fucking with no art.” How dreary.
Carmen interrupts to tell Bette that Tina’s still in the bathroom and needs Bette’s help. Aw, but I was enjoying that Peggy/Bette brilliance. As Bette excuses herself, Peggy watches her go with a look that says “Why couldn’t she have been my daughter?” Or something else.
It’s time — In the bathroom, Tina reports that her water has broken. Or that her water just broke. Why doesn’t anyone ever say that water “has broken”? And why do I feel like singing a Cat Stevens song?
Bette calls Davina, who I think is the birthing coach, and Tina grunts.
In the crowd — Carmen finds Kit and David, and tells Kit what’s going on. Kit starts to get up and go, but David says they should wait, because it could be hours. Carmen, I still kinda like you, and I like that you’re involved in this way. And Kit, I still kinda adore you, and I like that you’re all flustered and beside yourself in that way. And David, you’re kinda cute.
Sorry, I got all mushy for a minute there.
And now for some more surrealism — Gloria’s giving a speech. She starts it with “Remember when Emma Goldman said, ‘If there’s no dancing at the revolution, I’m not coming’?”
First of all, no, I don’t think any (or at least not many) of us were alive when Emma Goldman said that. Second, I don’t think that’s quite what she said. Third, why are we trying to do this weird reality-meets-TV thing again? Gloria’s still just being herself, giving a speech, but there’s this weird whooping and cheering in the audience while she does. I think in the real world, most people just sit and listen when Gloria talks.
The cheering is too loud as Gloria says “There is a guy in the White House who represents all of those religious extremists that people came to this country to escape.” Word. Too bad a lot of the escapers were religious extremists themselves.
But Gloria also says that we wouldn’t now be having a backlash against the “great social justice movements” if we hadn’t first had a frontlash. Yeah. She says some other stuff, but the crowd is too loud, and I think the real point is that we’re all happy and womanly and empowered. Woo.
Kinnie Starr starts to do her spoken word thing, and I actually really dig her, so I hate that she’s not getting a proper forum for this. But this is funny:
Shane: “Do you think you might want to come over after this? For a little while?”
Carmen: [ignoring her]
Carmen: [quickly] “For a little bit.”
Kinnie is saying “he penetrates me with his stare,” which sends Jenny off on another carnival track.
And then, oh god, Betty is singing again. Damn, but that bass player really is cute. Find another band, Alyson!
The sad thing is that the guitar work is totally fine overall; it’s the singing. Stop.Singing.Thanks. Kit is standing in the audience with her “mm hmm, whatever already” face.
Dana and Alice are chatting in the audience; Alice points out that Dana shouldn’t say the thing between them is too fast, because she moved in with Toxic Tonya after like two days. Dana says yeah, that was part of the problem.
Dana: “I like this. I like… I like… I like you, I like us, I like the way—”
Alice: “You like me?”
Dana: “I’m crazy about you. You know that. I’m just, you know.. the other day you freaked me out.”
Dana makes that hilarious bug-eyed whoa face that she has. Erin and Leisha, you’re both so freakin’ woefully underused on this show. Axe Betty and give the actors some damn screen time!!
Alice says “I can’t believe you just said you like me.” Alice, please, for the last time: let her go and get over here. No, truth is I still want these two together. It’s getting deeper and it could be good.
Alice needs clarification; Dana says it’s about that dinner with Lara — “It seemed like it made you a little crazy.”
Crazy — Heart is here to sing Crazy On You, which is one of the best songs ever written or recorded or sung or heard. Do yourself the favor of learning how to play the main lick on the guitar before you die.
Also, if you know nothing about the Wilson sisters, lemme tell you that when they first started out, an asshole reporter said they were really lovers, not (or maybe in addition to) sisters. It was stupid and just a way to undercut two very talented musicians, and the only good thing about it was that it gave birth to the song “Barracuda.” Or maybe that’s all an urban legend, but the point is that Heart Kicks Ass.
Even Jenny knows this, as she gets all caught up in the pure talent onstage and seems to be Mia rather than Jenny. Shane and Carmen are loving it too. It falls apart a bit at the end as Jenny seems to interpret the “crazy” in the song as the crazy in her head, but I’ll overlook it and listen to Ann and Nancy. You should see Nancy leap and kick live, and you should hear Ann wail. Okay, I’ll stop. First can I say that my unrequited college love looked a lot like Ann Wilson? Yeah, I mean the way she looks now, not back in the ’70s… anyway.
I think Nancy Wilson’s t-shirt says “Get Your Kids Off Prozac.” Ack. Not cool in front of Jenny.
The tank — There’s a rubber ducky in the birthing tank. Bette helps Tina get in the tank — and when Bette says “C’mon, I’ve got you,” I get a little light-headed. It’s probably just the wonder of the Wilsons. Bette helps Tina get naked and it’s all very stark and real and… real.
Back at the Wiltern — Alice is telling Dana that she made her feel bad. Dana apologizes profusely. It gets funny and sad:
Alice: “I’m turning into someone I can’t stand.”
Dana: “Who, your mother?”
Alice: “Fuck you. I can’t even fucking talk to you.”
Dana: “Alice, come here. Look, I’m sorry. Okay? That was not even close to funny.”
You’re right, it wasn’t: it went way past funny and right into “fucking hilarious.”
Alice says she didn’t know she was turning into someone smothering and needy and codependent — “I mean, gross, I can’t think of anything worse.” Aw. I can. A world without Alice in it would be worse.
Alice explains that it’s gotten super intense super fast, and she’s never felt this way. Dana smiles and says it’s good. Alice says she feels like Lenny in Of Mice and Men. It’s funny that Alice can’t even remember Lenny’s name, but Dana can. See how well they complement each other?
Alice: “And the worst thing is I can’t even call my best friend and talk to her about it.”
Dana: [pauses and shrugs] “I know.”
Back in the tank — Davina tells Bette to “put her fingers there” and see if she can feel something. And indeed she can: the baby’s head is right there. Wow.
Poltergeist land — Shane pours Carmen some wine. She’s nervous; she says “this should probably breathe.” The wine and the car door and the general chivalry are all too much for Carmen, so she says “I’m gonna go. Okay, bye” and turns to leave. But Lancelot Shane stops her.
Shane: “I don’t want you to go.”
And then the sex starts; they hug and Shane says “I miss the way you smell.” Carmen seems kinda overwhelmed, and Shane, to her credit, is being honest and vulnerable. Get it on.
It would be good, if the poltergeist didn’t have to interrupt. The music is all porny and dumb and the poltergeist is saying “Carmen Carmen Carmen” in Shane’s voice and then “Shane Shane Shane?” in Carmen’s voice. Ugh. I would like to just watch them have sex, thanks — you don’t need to Cinemax it up for me.
Still, I like the kissage. They both seem very much into it, and there’s even a wall involved at one point, briefly.
A rude interruption — It’s weird to go from sex to birth. Or it’s not. Anyway, here we are with Bette and Tina again, but this time it’s a bit tense:
Bette: “What is that?”
Davina: “That’s meconium. It means that the baby is in some distress.”
Time to go to the hospital.
Back to the sex — Finally Shane and Carmen are both naked, and it’s sorta hot except for that damn music.
At the end of it all, Shane says “I love you,” and I believe her. Does Carmen? Stay tuned… in nine months or so, we’ll find out. Or we’ll skip over it entirely.
Riding the bus with myself — Jenny, resplendent in fake tiara and mangy fur, gets on a bus. There’s a girl on the bus; Jenny smiles at her and sits next to her and holds her and cries. Yeah, this is not a girl on a bus; it’s inner child Jenny. And I’m kinda sad for both of them, and I want them to be ok and come back together at some point. In a real way.
The ambulance — Bette holds Tina and they both hold on as they go to the hospital. Bette hollers at the driver to hurry up, but sometimes even the alpha cannot command. The center cannot hold. The alpha cannot scold!
Jenny, on the bus, sees the ambulance go by. Saxifrage.
What? If this whole thing can be called “Lacuna,” I can say “saxifrage.”
The hospital — Tina feels like she’s failing everyone. Bette tries to tell her she’s amazing, but Tina’s kinda crossed over into crying-land. And it is emotional indeed, as the baby arrives, but at the same time it’s kinda uncomfortable. Bette wants to cut the cord, but it’s not allowed for sterility reasons, but Bette and Tina’s doctor says to let Bette do it anyway. Hmm.
Tina says the baby’s name is Angelica, and even though I wouldn’t ordinarily be fond of that, it works.
Tina starts to not do well, so they get her stitched up and take her to the ICU. Gah.
The tub — Jenny’s… well, she’s there. In the tub. And she’s obviously hurting. She gets out and gets her compact, where she keeps (or has been hiding?) a razor blade.
Out in the hallway, Shane is talking to somebody about Bette and Tina, telling them she and Carmen will be right there and “I’m speechless.” Shane and Carmen look happy.
But then they hear a cry and a sob from the bathroom — the kind of sob that stops your blood cold. Shane goes in, to find Jenny on the floor, slicing her thighs. And Shane holds her, and waits, and holds, and says “Honey. Jenny.” And finds a towel to stop the bleeding. And I like Shane a helluva lot right now, and just want to hold Jenny the way that Shane is holding her, and just want us all to hang on however we can.
Shane: “We’re gonna get you help. We’ll get you help. Okay?”
Jenny: “I need help. Don’t I. I’m really fucked up.”
Shane: “We’ll get you help. All right?”
Jenny just shakes her head. Hold on. Just hold.
Shane gives Jenny the good news about the baby, and Jenny laughs and grins in that open broken great Jenny way.
Jenny: “That’s beautiful. That’s great. Oh my god.”
And they hug. I think that about sums up the season, don’t you?
The baby — There’s Bette, holding the baby, sitting in a rocking chair, looking unutterably gorgeous and making me think about the kid thing despite my complete lack of any maternal instinct whatsoever.
Bette tells them all that Tina’s in recovery but is going to be fine. Whew. And dammit for making us worry about that.
Bette introduces them all to Angelica, and passes the lovely kid to her Aunt Kit, who is beside herself again. She kisses her niece and loves her in that full-on Kit way.
Dana is next; she has a maternal streak of her own and shares the love with Alice, who smiles in her sweet way. Carmen is next as Alice and Dana cuddle; Carmen kisses Angelica in a strong steady way and hands her to ready, waiting Jenny.
The moment with Jenny is kinda important… Jenny is open and full and afraid of wonder (so says Heart) and wants this moment. She says “Hi, little one… you are so beautiful.” And she looks around and smiles, and hands the little one to confused, lovable Shane.
Shane says, “You have tiny feet,” and everyone laughs. And then Angelica is back in the arms of her mom and her aunt. And everyone else is smiling and amazed.
Kit: “You are gonna have a very, very interesting life, you know that? Because we are some very, very interesting people.”
Bette takes Angelica and holds her close, and says “This is your family.”
Sweet Honey in the Rock sings us out with a dyke classic (“Testimony“) that might actually represent us L folks. Nice.
Seeya next season. Stay strong, y’all.