“The L Word” recap (3.12): “Left Hand of the Goddess”




  • Post-predictable: The episode. Not only did you see it coming: you’re already over it and filing your nails.
  • Joni Mitchell: Better than everyone, and perfect for Bette.
  • Genetics: There’s a reason they call it a twisted pair, especially in the McCutcheon family.
  • Prefrenchious: Jenny and her new flame. Make that “flamme.”

THIS WEEK’S GUEST-BIANS: Jane Lynch chews; Eric Roberts smirks; Élodie Bouchez stares; Steven Eckholdt annoys; Holland Taylor sizzles; Irene Lopez hugs.

Before I forget — I want to thank you all for the many many nice e-mails (all season long, and especially the last few weeks). They truly kept me going during this season of crap. (525,600 minutes… how do you measure a season of crap?)

Back to the beginning — Alice has a new (but much more tasteful) Dana shrine, and is hitting the bottle again: the pill bottle, but this time it’s Dana’s pill bottle. What the hell is the music trying to do to me? It’s all happy loungey bigbandy, and it’s not right for what’s happening.

Alice answers the door to an expectant (and rather cute) Lara; they immediately take off their shirts and go at it. To me, this still makes a lot of sense: they’re both missing Dana and needing comfort. And, well, they’re kinda hot together. If Dana were watching from above (or, hmm, from that waterfall, since she appears to be trapped there), she’d be shocked for about two seconds, but then she’d say something dorky like “Ooooh yeah, sharin’ the Dana luv.”

Alice: “Scratch me. No, harder.”
Lara: “I don’t want to hurt you.”
Alice: “It’s okay. I just wanna feel something. I want you to make me bleed. Please. Make me bleed.”

Lara hesitates, and then complies. It might have made more sense for Alice to make that request of Uta the vampire, but I kinda like it this way. And I still absolutely love the way Leisha kisses and the way she makes those little noises and the way she moves her hands. Umm. Pardon me.

Six weeks later — Yes, six weeks later. As you’ll no doubt recall, the first episode of the season was six months later. Why? Because the writers can’t manage six months or six weeks or six freakin’ minutes that don’t involve a death or a meltdown or a revelation or a Betty song. Remember Linus’s pumpkin patch, and how the Great Pumpkin wouldn’t come if the patch wasn’t sincere? This is kinda like that; the Great Pumpkin (Great Pimpkin?) never shows up because the writing isn’t sincere, so we end up missing Halloween or six months or six years.

Anyway, at least it brings us an ensemble scene.

Everyone’s talking about the wedding, wondering if Shane’s really gonna go through with it. Bette says she’s a little surprised Shane’s gotten this far. Helena says Shane had better go through with it because she’s booked fifteen rooms at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and has spent money on all kinds of other things too.

Helena: “The lay minister, the chapel…”
Bette: “The fondue…”
Helena: “The fondue.”

Perhaps Bette and Helena might like to share some fondue. Perhaps I might like to watch.

Alice: “It’s great to have rich friends.”

By the way, Lara is sitting as far away from Alice as she possibly can while still sitting next to her. Guess this is kind of under wraps then.

Helena says she’s happy to do it because Shane doesn’t have any family, and Carmen’s family is shunning her. Alice and Jenny reveal that actually, Shane’s meeting her dad, Gabriel, tomorrow; his wife saw an article (written by Alice) about Shane in a magazine, and, long story short, it’s time for a reunion.

Somewhere in the midst of all this, Lara rubs Alice’s shoulder and says “Am I seeing you later?” — but you can barely hear it, and Lara’s off camera, and the only way you know something has happened is that Alice suddenly gets up to leave. She and Lara say goodbye in a really announcey way, but Lara’s looking at her in that coy soup chef way.

Bette follows Alice and asks if she’s okay, and gives her a big hug. I think a hug from Bette must make you temporarily feel like absolutely everything is okay and always has been and always will be.

The bridal shop — Carmen’s trying to figure out whether to go “total femme” or “butch it up in some way.” Alice mutters “femme” in a kind of sad way.

Helena asks whether Shane is wearing a traditional tux; Jenny mumbles, condescendingly, “No, it’s Shane, so she’s not gonna do anything traditional.”

Bette: “You know what? It doesn’t matter. You should just do whatever feels good for you.”

Carmen pauses and asks them whether she’s really trying to marry “the most unobtainable person on the face of this planet.” I dunno, sometimes I think Shane feels pretty obtained.

A diner — Shane is doing her thing, standing around, looking cool, dangling a cigarette from her lip. There’s a guy nearby who looks almost as cool, but also kinda sinister. Yep, it’s Shane’s dad (Eric Roberts), and he stops her as she tries to walk away.

They go inside the diner, and Daddy-o tries to make chit-chat, but Shane’s not really playing. Daddy-O says he doesn’t like answering questions either, so he tells Shane to ask him some instead. She asks why he wanted to meet her; he says he didn’t — his wife made him do it. They bond over their tendency to ditch people. Ah, families.

The bridal shop — Alice is doing that cat’s cradle thing with a string of pearls. I don’t think I remember how to do that. Does that mean my manual dexterity is in question? What a bad lesbian I am.

But anyway, yeah, cat’s cradle. Vonnegut? Is this show really that deep? Right, left hand of the goddess, feminine energy, cat’s cradle, meaninglessness. Who needs those six weeks of missing character development when you have vague references to fall back on?

Anyway, Carmen doesn’t like the dress that Jenny’s helping her with.

Alice: “Jenny, what did you wear when you got married?”
Helena: “You were married?”
Jenny: “Oh yes. I wore a beautiful pair of black Converse, a great pair of ripped tights with dirt on them, and then I wore a jean skirt, and then I wore this beautiful old ripped, stained, pink sweatshirt. It was awesome.”

Look what happens when Max isn’t around: Mia actually gets to act. It’s funny and great, and you can tell that everyone else thinks so too.

Bette says it probably wasn’t exactly the wedding dress of her childhood dreams, but Jenny says she didn’t really have that “childhood thing that all little girls are supposed to have.” Me neither. Alice says little gay girls weren’t supposed to have that anyway.

Jenny tries on a dress too. Bette remembers that when she and Tina were talking about getting married, they were both going to wear fabulous dresses.

Jenny: “How come you guys didn’t get married?”
Bette: “Tina thought it would be too conventional. She didn’t wanna cleave to the heterosexual paradigm.”
Alice: “Now it’s cleavin’ all over her.”
Carmen: “Oh god. Come back to us, Tina, come back on our side.”
Bette: “Fuck that, they can have her.”

Not only was that alpha-licious, but the whole scene was rather reminiscent of a conversation I once had about my ex. It’s always the ones who seem the most “feminist” who go back to the boys, isn’t it? They protest too much. However, of all the “stories” one might want to tell about “the way that we live,” this is not necessarily the one we want to hear. And you can’t just get one story right and fuck up all the rest of them. And you still can’t expect us to believe that anybody would actually leave Bette! Do you see her hair and how fan-fucking-tastic she looks in black? I need a moment.

Helena tries to get Bette to try a dress on, but Bette says no thanks. Perhaps if you were to mention the fondue again, Helena. Bette seems to be interested in that.

Carmen: “I mean, I knew I was gay since I was 12, but, I dunno, I just always kinda dreamed of something like this.”

I didn’t type that out because it’s profound in some way; I just wanted the opportunity to say that Carmen is looking exceptionally gorgeous.

The diner — Daddy-O is talking about his work history and his drug abuse history. One of his friends OD’ed, and that woke him up. Shane says she recently lost one of her close friends too. Daddy-O is all caring and stuff. He invites her back to his house for dinner, to meet Carla and Shay. Yes, Shay. Daddy-O tells Shane that he’s the one who chose her name. And Shane looks touched, but I would be thinking “Dude, couldn’t you be a little more creative with the second one?”

The Planet — Bette and Joyce are having lunch. Bette doesn’t wanna fly on the same plane to Canada as Tina; she says she just can’t be in close quarters with her. Joyce tells her to be genial and civil. Look at Joyce chomp. There’s a carnivore theme here, as well as a serious love of mastication.

Bette says she’s probably going to take that job.

Joyce: “Excellent. That will play very well in court. Dean of a prestigious art school. And it can’t hurt when it comes to pullin’ in chicks.”
Bette: “Excuse me?”
Joyce: “Lotsa pretty young art students. You’ll be like a kid in a candy store.”
Bette: “God, Joyce. That’s completely unethical. I would never do anything like that.”

Unethical. That’s like telling Jenny that something is completely self-involved and thus shouldn’t be done. Joyce’s face registers no comprehension.

Kit interrupts to pull Bette into the bathroom and show her a lot of pregnancy test sticks. Bette is a little slow on the uptake, and then doesn’t believe it’s possible, and then just laughs and says “Fuck.” Well, exactly!

Dinner at Max’s boss’s house — Oh fer fuck’s sake. Must I listen to this pseudo-geek speak again? I’ll type it out this time, just so you can see how ridiculous it is.

Max’s boss: “My quantum photon chip is gonna blow everything else out of the water.”
Some other guy: “The methodware’s totally becoming a regular feature of my toolkit.”
Max: “I wanna develop a program that navigates documentation for IT process best practices.”
Boss: “I like the way you think, Max. Original thinkers are our most valuable pieces of manpower.”
Max: “I’ve always been really interested in technological innovation.”

Yeah, maybe nobody cares, but it’s just stupid: how much work would it take to try to make this make sense? Very little. Not that they get the law or anything else right on this show, but they seem to actually try with other things, but not with the geek speak — even though I’d guess that a high percentage of the viewers are quite computer literate. I’m going to give up and assume it’s deliberate. I mean, “quantum photon chip?” They might as well talk about a PU-36 space modulator. And Max claiming an interest in “technological innovation” is like if Bette were to say she’s always been interested in arts and crafts. Shut. Up.

Jenny says it better than I ever could: she’s spelling out FUCK with her food.

Max’s boss jokes that his wife always glazes over too.

Jenny: “Oh, I’m sorry. Do I appear a little spaced out?”
Boss’s wife: “I think about all kinds of things when I’m out with these guys. I think about my pedicure, my kids’ homework, my charity auction…”
Jenny: “I’m thinking about this story that I’m working on, about how when I was 12, I used to masturbate like 20 times a day, and I’m not sure whether I should make it like, fiction, or like a New Yorker style essay piece.”

I know you never thought I’d say this in reference to Jenny, but that rocked. I feel a little bit sorry for Max, but not sorry enough to stop laughing.

Dinner at Daddy-O’s — Gabe McCutcheon’s wife, Carla, is not quite sure what to make of Shane. But the kid, Shay, likes her just fine. They talk about the usual stuff, and then Shane tells them she’s getting married next week. Carla talks about the fact that it took Gabe 45 years to settle down: “Everywhere we went, women just threw themselves at him.” Shane smiles knowingly.

Daddy-O: “So what’s he do, your guy?”
Shane: “She’s a DJ. Her name’s Carmen.”
[pauses all around]
Carla: “Well, see, I told you. I looked at your picture and I said ‘I bet she’s gay.'”
Daddy-O: “She did, she nailed that.”

That’s not a bad reaction, really. And then Carla says they should go to the wedding, and Shane says yes, they’re invited, and it’s tentative but sorta okay. Except for the way Daddy-O can’t seem to smile without smirking.

Alice’s radio show — Alice still has a job?? That’s the most shocking thing that’s happened all season. She’s still doing the cat’s cradle as she talks.

Alice: “I want to believe, my friends. Believe me, I do. ‘Cause my friend Shane is getting married this weekend, and I wanna believe for Shane, and I wanna believe for all the rest of us who are flailing around in this abyss, trying to feel what we’re supposed to feel in order to connect in meaningful ways. I wanna believe that real, true connection among human beings is actually possible. And supposedly, marriage connects us. I mean, supposedly it improves our moral fiber and all. Which begs the question: why do these crazy, creepy, defending-the-family crusaders think it’s a bad thing for gays? I mean, why can’t they just wish us well? Hypocrites. Because we’re goin’ to Canada, people, whether you like it or not, to take our best shot at this connection. And if we fail, it is not because we are less wholesome than you are. Please. I mean, you guys have been failing at this miserably since the beginning of recorded history. And if we succeed, and our love connections actually flourish, and there’s a little less loneliness in the world, then even I might start believing in miracles.”

Go right ahead, Alice. But as you stare at the cat’s cradle you’re playing with, ask yourself: who’s pulling the strings? It ain’t god or love or anything miraculous: it’s a bunch of misguided producers and writers who have lost the plot and can only hope that you keep saving their asses every week with your wit and skill.

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler — Nice place. Oh, and nice guest! There’s Peggy Peabody; apparently she and her daughter have become buddies now. Speaking of guests, guess who’s in the lobby? Carmen’s familia. Carmen and Peggy are confused, but for different reasons.

Peggy: “They’re all dressed in the same clothes.”
Alice: “She didn’t think they were coming though. I think Helena might have had something to do with it.”

I’m with Peggy, though: exactly why are they all dressed like that? I guess we’re supposed to think they’re not used to travelling and are making a big touristy event of it. Or perhaps it’s that they want to be able to go up into the mountains, and this way when the guards stop them, they can say their travelling clothes are “our costumes, naturally,” and then beat the pants off the von Trapps in the singing competition.

Carmen just steps forward in disbelief, and breaks into a grin as her mama gives her a big hug. Her mom apologizes and says she couldn’t miss it: “My baby’s getting married.”

One of Carmen’s sisters (?) introduces everyone to Helena, and says that Helena’s the one who got in touch with her and paid for everyone’s tickets and hotel rooms. Peggy gives Alice a look and says “I guess it grows on trees.” Oops.

Carmen’s family swarms around Helena. It’s cute.

Mama says she needs to check Carmen’s dress and jewelry, and tells Chane she will make “such a handsome bride… groom” and is not allowed to see Carmen until the wedding.

Recreation — Max hits the slopes, but Jenny’s not interested. I’m surprised Max is still calling Jenny “baby,” after she kind of kicked him to the curb at that dinner.

Jenny sits and watches the people playing in the snow. A woman (Élodie Bouchez) nearby begins to speak. Probably because she’s reading a book, and so is Jenny, and they both look so unapproachable: if that’s not enough reason to strike up a conversation, what is? The woman has a French accent.

Femme: “Do you hate skiing also?”
Jenny: “I just hate all the bullshit that you have to go through with all the equipment.”
Femme: “Me too. I don’t do any leisure activities that require me to use more than one piece of equipment. Except sex.”
Jenny: “Sex isn’t a leisure activity.”
Femme: “What is sex then?”
Jenny: “Sometimes it’s a revelation. Sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes it’s scary. Sometimes it’s tepid.”
Femme: “Which is it with your friend? I’m interested. I’ve never been with a transsexual.”
Jenny: “That’s a personal question.”
Femme: “I only ask questions that are personal. Questions that are not can be answered by a textbook.”

Remind you of anyone? The accent, the clever replies: it’s Marina all over again, except this woman is about half as tall and half as gorgeous. She’s also a writer; she writes for a gay travel magazine. She tells Jenny that all destinations should be gay destinations.

Femme: “We limit ourselves with these stupid …”
Jenny: “Labels.”
Femme: “Labels.”

The captions sorta disappeared for a minute there, so I hope I’ve deciphered the femme’s accent properly. It’s quite thick, and I think it’s sexy, and I think Jenny agrees.

Next thing you know, they’re in bed, enjoying a postcoital cigarette and talking about whether Jenny should be labeled as a gay writer.

Jenny: “Ce n’est pas juste.”
Femme: “Pourquoi ce n’est pas juste?”
Jenny: “Parce que… because you said that you didn’t like labels.”

She may not like labels, but she likes Jenny. They lick champagne off each other and it’s quite tasty looking. I think I might prefer fondue though.

But really: this woman is the French version of Jenny, and what could be better than that? Pretentious and prefrenchious, sitting in a tree. Un arbre. Merde.

A sleigh ride — Bette and Tina and Angelica have just taken a sleigh ride. Angelica is wearing the most adorable fuzzy bear hat with ears.

Tina: “That was almost as good as her first step.”
Bette: “I wouldn’t know.”

Zap, pow. But Bette plays nice when Tina says she’s glad they were there together.

Chane’s bachelor party — Peggy wants to know where Carmen is. Alice says she’s not allowed at Shane’s bachelor party.

Peggy: “Oh my goodness, I had no idea you were such role-playing lesbians.”
Shane: “Come on, we’re not. Actually, I’d like for her to be here, but her family’s so traditional, you know, so I stepped back.”
Max: “I think that’s nice.”
Jenny: “I think that’s regressive.”
Helena: “Well… we’re pretty traditional in our family too, aren’t we Mummy?”

Peggy has never looked more incredulous or more amused.

Bette and Tina arrive, so it’s time for dinner. Helena takes Peggy’s hand and says “Let me bury my head in your ample bosom if I get a little too emotional.”

Um. Where am I supposed to bury my head if I get a little too distracted by wildly inappropriate thoughts?

Elsewhere, Kit is chowing down, and Angus teases her about her appetite. “I’m pregnant,” she blurts, and Angus is beside himself. Kit doesn’t want him to be that excited.

Angus: “Okay, okay, um… let me try this again. I don’t know what you’re planning, but it’s certainly your decision, completely and totally.”
Kit: “You got that right.”
Angus: “Yeah, okay, but I just want you to know that I’m with you. I’ll support you in whatever decision you make. Specifically, I’ll take you to the doctor, and I’ll hold your hand during the procedure, and I’ll drive you home and put you to bed with a hot water bottle. Or, you know, if you decide to… go through with it, I’ll be your Bradley coach and I’ll bust my ass to save enough money to put our kid through college.”

He can’t really hide the excitement on his face when he says that, and they laugh. You’re all right, Mange.

The toast — Jenny and Alice make a toast.

Jenny: “Shane, the thing that you’ve taught us about friendship is about being fearless. So thank you very much for convincing me to cut off my lustrous, mink-like, long long mane as short as humanly possible. And Shane, thank you very much for not making it look like yours.”
Alice: “It’s really… grown back fast.”
Jenny: “Yes, it has.”


And then they toast/roast Shane in other little ways, but they don’t have a lot to draw on because we don’t really know that much about Shane. Or anyone else. “Shane, only you could make a two-piece pleatherette ensemble look good at 7:30 in the morning, drunk, after a one-night stand.”

But they’re right when they say she’s a loyal friend and has “taught the whole group that people’s rough edges are beautiful.”

And then Peggy brings it home:

Peggy: “So my dear Shane. Although I don’t understand why you would embrace an institution that breeds conformity and restricts free will, that said, if you give one another children, I only hope that they’re as generous and kind and lovely as the one my good-for-nothing Brit gave me.”

Aww. Never mind that last season Helena was the opposite of all of that, except for the British part.

Angus makes Shane answer the kid question. Shane says she thinks she might want kids. Bette says she thinks Shane would make a wonderful parent.

Max: “Carmen would be really beautiful pregnant.”

I think there was a global incident of eyeroll-induced eyeball strain after that line. Jenny’s wince is hilarious.

Shane: “In any event, I think kids are such a beautiful gift. I mean, I don’t know, I look at that little one [looking at Angelica] and I see the love that you have for her, and the love that you [looking at Bette and Tina] actually have for each other, despite the things you’re going through, and it just seems that sometimes love just doesn’t last the way you hope it will, but if you get through that pain, it just could last in ways that are more precious. Maybe. Possibly.”
Alice: “Wow. Hi, I’m Alice. It’s nice to meet you.”

Bette and Tina were kind of sadly eyeing each other during that little speech, and it’s nice to see them smiling together again. God, I’m such an idiot.

As the “best man,” Alice presents the gift from the bride-to-be. The gift is a… show, I guess you could call it. Certainly a spectacle. It’s a hip-hop duo, God-des and She, and they are sharing the “prescription to a happy marriage.” The song is called “Pussy 101,” and it’s mildly amusing at first, but it quickly becomes ha-ha, very funny, aren’t you clever.

Well, they’re all kind of enjoying it, I guess. Peggy tries to get into it a little. Helena makes a face when they explain what to do when your jaw locks, and Bette puts a hand over her eyes at one point. Angus looks like he’s thinking “I already know all of this.”

After the spectacle, Bette and Tina go back to their rooms, and as they talk, there are a few looks on Tina’s face that suggest she hasn’t forgotten how good it can be to be with Bette.

Bette: “Tina, it was a really nice night. It felt really good to be together and getting along. She really loved the sleigh ride… so did I.”
Tina: “That’s what I hope for us, Bette. We’re a family. And I hope we can do family things together. I think that’s what would be best for Angelica. And maybe one day, when we’re ready, we can take vacations together.”
Bette: “I’d really like that.”

Bette pulls Tina into a good night hug, and Tina seems to breathe Bette in. Bette and Angelica go into their room, but not before Bette casts a wondering look at Tina. But Tina is afraid to look back. She might turn into a pillar of salt, or perhaps into the character we used to know and love.

Inside the room, Bette calls Joyce. She leaves her a voice mail: she’s had a change of heart and doesn’t want to pursue sole custody. The ominous music says DOOM DOOM DOOM (at least the poltergeist isn’t there to actually say it).

Elsewhere in the doom hotel, Alice knocks on Lara’s door. One thing I know about the soup chef: she does know how to answer a door. They kiss, and I like it. But then it gets tricky.

Alice: [whispering cutely] “Can I come in?”
Lara: “Yeah. But… um… I think we should talk.”
Alice: “What do you want to talk about?”
Lara: “What’s happening between us. How you’re feeling. How I’m feeling.”
Alice: “I don’t… I don’t wanna talk. I don’t wanna talk.”

So she leaves.

Somebody else doesn’t wanna talk either: Shane knocks on Carmen’s door, wanting to show her everything she learned from the Pussy 101 song. But Carmen says it’s against the rules.

Daddy-O and Carla saunter down the hall in time to see Shane and Carmen making out in the hotel doorway. “I hope that’s Carmen,” jokes Daddy-O. Ha, ha. They all introduce themselves, and Gabe is very nice to Carmen. Carla and Carmen (hmm, what a coincidence) say they want to get some sleep, so Shane and Daddy-O decide to have a drink. They kiss their women goodnight, and then hold hands as they walk down the hall. Look, I know Shane has been feeling the lack of a family for a while now, but this is just weird. She doesn’t know thing one about Daddy-O, really, and she’s acting like a little kid.

The great outdoors — Gabe and Carla don’t want to go skiing. Helena makes a big show of telling them that if there’s anything they need, they should just talk to her. Gabe seems impressed.

Somewhere up in the mountains, at the launching point for a zip line, Alice talks to the lay minister — make that “marriage commissioner” — who will be marrying Shane and Carmen. Turns out this minister has a past: her name is Marilyn, a.k.a. Overwhelmed Girl in the recap for episode 3.01. But the woman at the Palo Alto encounter group wasn’t the first woman Marilyn slept with: that honor went to a “fabulous, beautiful, arrogant” heiress who later flew off to London and married a man. Sound like someone we know and love?

True colors — Back at the hotel, Henry whines to Tina about the fact that he won’t be able to be Angelica’s dad if Tina goes through with the co-parent thing with Bette. Tina stands her ground, for once.

Henry: “It’s an irrevocable decision, Tina. If you allow Bette to legally adopt Angelica, she’ll be tied to you for the rest of your life.”
Tina: “That’s what happens when two people have a baby and then they split up.”

But just as Tina demands that Henry understand and respect her life and her decisions, a document arrives from Joyce the carnivorous counselor, who obviously hasn’t picked up Bette’s voice mail yet. Crap.

The ski lift of swearing — Bette and Helena are sitting close enough to share some fondue, but Bette’s cell phone rings. It’s Joyce, giving her the bad news about the letter.

Bette: “Shit. You’re fucking kidding me. Well can you get it back? Fuck! Okay, tell him not to open it. Well, then tell him not to send it to Tina. Joyce? Shit! Shit shit shit! Fuck![hanging up and turning to Helena] I’ve gotta get off the mountain. I’ve gotta go find Tina. Shit! Dammit. What’s the fastest way?”
Helena: “The fastest way is going to be the black diamond run, but there are moguls. Do you ski moguls?”
Bette: “No, I cannot ski fucking moguls.”

Never mind that you’ve had to ski moguls all season, and without any gentle warnings from a reformed British viper.

So Bette calls Tina instead, and leaves her a voice mail, telling her to “disregard” the letter. Yes, please ignore the fact that I’ve just stabbed you in the back. You don’t really mind, do you?

Helena tries to sort of pat Bette’s arm, but this is no time for consolation:

Bette: “Fuck. [screaming] FUCK!!!”

The zip line launch pad — Alice is getting ready to take the plunge. She’s not so sure, but Marilyn tells her “You don’t fall into the abyss; you take it on.”

They’ve each made some post-abyss plans: Marilyn vows that she’ll stop marrying other people and find someone to marry her instead, even if she is 56. Alice vows to stop medicating herself with sex and drugs and “you know, let myself feel again. And, yeah, I’ll talk to Lara about how I feel. And I’ll ask her how she feels about me. It’s easy.”

And then she zips down, screaming “holy shit” all the way. That looks like a hell of a lot of fun, but my sense of fun might be a bit warped now, considering what I’ve been doing with my Sunday nights.

The hotel bar — Shane finds Daddy-O; he’s found himself a blonde. He tries to talk his way out of it, but Shane’s not listening. Or maybe she is.

Daddy-O: “I’m sorry. I’m not proud of this. It’s just who I am. Okay? I know you know what I’m talkin’ about.”

And I know you know what’s coming next.

The wedding — Marilyn’s getting ready to do her job. But there’s a fabulous, beautiful, arrogant heiress who wants to talk to her.

Peggy: “I think we know one another.”
Marilyn: “Oh. My. God.”
Peggy: “1974.”


Bette finds Tina and says she’s been looking for her all day.

Tina: “Why? So you can take my daughter away from me?”
Bette: “Tina, I didn’t mean it that way. I tried to stop it, but I couldn’t get a hold of my lawyer in time.”
Tina: “Oh, your lawyer. Joyce Wischnia? That’s nice.”
Bette: “Tina, please try to understand. I —”
Tina: “I think I understand everything I need to understand, Bette.”
Henry: “You’re gonna lose everything. You don’t have a leg to stand on.”
Bette: “What, does he speak for you now?”
Tina: “No, he doesn’t. Henry, don’t.”
Bette: “Please believe me, Tina.”
Tina: “Look, I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want you to adopt my daughter. Henry and I are thinking about starting a family, and we want Angelica to be a full part of that.”
Bette: “Don’t do this. I’m warning you.”

Okay. First, Bette, you were wrong to ever create this situation in the first place. Second, Henry, shut up. Third, Tina, you’re evil: not only are you writing Bette off without at least trying to work it out, but you’re just using stupid Henry. First you tell him to shut up, and then you say you’re going to start a family with him? It’s the Tina show, and Bette and I are pretty damn tired of living in it.

Also, if the Great Northern Porter says she’s warning you, you should back the hell down.

Carmen and her Mama make their entrance. Mama looks amazing in her fuzzy hat, and Carmen could melt all the snow in Canada with that smile.

But Alice stops them. Yes, it’s the worst news you could get. Marilyn interrupts to say she’s just heard from Shane.

Alice: [to Carmen] “She said that she doesn’t expect you to forgive her, she, um… she’s not proud of this, it’s just who she is.”

Marilyn continues, saying that Shane apologizes to everyone and hopes they’ll all forgive her someday.

Some of them will. Some of them won’t. I know I won’t forgive the writers for giving Shane a soul and then snatching it away again.

Everybody gathers around Carmen, but it just generally sucks and everybody hates it. After they’ve all gone, Carmen says she just wants to go home and be with her family. Mama nods.

At the hotel bar, Jenny tells the Femme (do we know her name yet? have I been dozing off again?) that she wants to get really drunk and then dance and dance. Max tells them they’ll make everyone uncomfortable.

Femme: “Then they deserve to feel uncomfortable, don’t you think?”
Max: “No. I don’t think anyone deserves to feel uncomfortable.”
Femme: “Max, I don’t understand why you want to be like these people. You seem so much more interesting as who you are.”
Max: “How do you know who I am? You don’t know who the fuck I am.”

Point of order: neither do you. Or if you do, you certainly haven’t conveyed it adequately, but I realize that’s another discussion entirely.

Max: “How do you know I’m not like these people?”
Jenny: “Max. You’re great the way you are. And the way you were. And you know what happens when you walk into this room?”
Max: “What?”
Jenny: “People start watching you. They’re looking at you closely, and at first they think that you’re one of them. But then they look a little more closely and they begin to feel uneasy because they realize that you’re not. You’re always gonna be one of the others. You’re like us.”
Max: “You don’t know that.”

I’m surprised he didn’t say “I know you are, but what am I?” Jenny and her Femme (whose name is apparently Claude) just decide to dance, rather closely.

Outside, Lara and Alice play with string (you know, the cat’s cradle thing). Lara says her little sister was always good at it, and Alice says she didn’t know Lara had a little sister. They talk about Lara’s family and it seems good for a few fleeting moments.

Alice: “I’m really glad that we’re, you know, finally, kinda —”
Lara: “Alice?”
Alice: “What. What?”
Lara: “I need to tell you something.”

Right on cue, meddlesome Tina interrupts. She asks what they’re doing out there; Alice says they’re just playing and “trying to get over the debacle of the evening.” Save a seat for me.

Tina wonders what happened to Shane; Alice says Shane’s father found $10,000, left his wife, and ran off with some floozy. So of course Tina wonders where Shane’s dad got 10,000 dollars. Meanwhile, Peggy and Helena have arrived.

Helena: “Oh my god. Is that what happened? Well, he has no money. He wanted to buy her a wedding gift. It was heartbreaking.”

The valet calls for Peggy, but she has something to say before she takes her leave.

Peggy: “My darling, I have cherished the time we have spent together. It has reaffirmed all of my recent convictions. And now, because I love you so very much, I’m going to do something truly radical. “
Helena: “Mummy, he told me —”
Peggy: “Sweetheart. I’m cutting you off financially. From this moment forth, you are going to have to make relationships with people who love you for yourself, not your money.”
Helena: “You’re not serious.”
Peggy: “This is going to turn your life around, darling. You’re such a wonderful girl, such a beautiful girl, you have such a surprisingly kind heart. You need to know that people love you even if you are penniless.”

Alice looks like she’s thinking “I can’t believe Peggy is doing this in front of everyone” and also “Oh my god, Helena’s going to be crashing on my couch, and just when Lara and I were about to get real.”

Peggy goes to the waiting car, where Marilyn is also waiting. Peggy hops in, and she and Marilyn share a big fat kiss. I never thought I’d want to swap places with a 56-year-old Canadian marriage commissioner.

Alice: “Wow. Go Marilyn.”

Helena looks like she’s about to burst into tears. Alice tells her it’s okay.

She warned you — Tina and Henry can’t find Angelica. That’s because Bette has her, and is hurtling off into the night, to the bittersweet sound of Joni Mitchell’s All I Want.

NEXT SEASON ON THE L WORD: Oh, right, like I have any idea. I don’t even know which century it will be set in. I think I’ll be recapping, though, if I can recover from this season of crap. Bonsoir et bonne chance.

More you may like