The dinner party — Here we go. I’m going to try to do this like I’m a sportscaster and spare you most of the commentary. I think it’ll speak for itself.
Papi asks Kit whether she wants red or white wine. Kit opts for sparkling water. I’m pulling for you, Kit.
Alice relays the insanity of Helena and Catherine’s bet at the track. Bette thinks it’s even more insane that they’re gambling again tonight and aren’t at the party with their friends.
Tasha: Well, they obviously get off on it. I mean, what those two were doin’ up in the sky box …
Kit: Whaaaaaaat were they doin’ in that sky box?
Jenny: Kit, they were f—ing. They were.
Kit claps her hand over her mouth in mock horror. Kit, you do rock. Alice asks Shane and Paige where they were. Shane pretends to be confused and says they were reading stories.
Alice: All day?
Paige: Yeah, it was … kind of a whole box set of stories.
Bette: That’s so sweet, that you were reading stories to Paige’s son. [signing to Jodi] They were f—ing all day.
Tina and Kate arrive. Tina gives Bette a kiss that’s really much too close for comfort. Kate gives Bette an uncorked bottle of tequila. Bette smiles and says maybe they’ll get to that later. Don’t you dare uncork anything without Bette’s permission, Kate.
Jenny introduces Kate to Jodi. Kate proceeds to over-enunciate and talk very loudly to Jodi. She tells Jodi to go to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival because they interpret everything there, even the stand-up. Shut up, Kate. Bette and Tina are united in their discomfort.
The actual dinner gets even worse. They talk about what makes people gay. When you inspect your fingernails, do you spread your fingers out in front of you or curl them toward yourself? And did you want a monkey or a horse for a pet when you were a girl?
Jodi misses most of the conversation, so Paige tries to convey the horse/monkey question to her. Bette interprets, but it only annoys Jodi.
Jodi: I didn’t want either. I wanted to drive race cars.
Shane: Ah. Now that’s a bona fide dyke for you.
Kate starts to pitch Tina a movie about women who drive stock cars. She talks about a sex scene in her movie. Bette interrupts and says Tina doesn’t really like sex scenes.
Tina: I don’t?
Bette: Well, you told me that you didn’t. It made you uncomfortable? Remember?
Jenny: [to Kate] I actually like the sex scene in your film.
Just to make it even more awkward, Kate asks whether Bette and Tina used to be lovers. They play it off as something that happened a long time ago. Not to us.
Kate reveals that she Googled Tina and thought her picture was hot. Bette interrupts and makes a toast to Jodi. Everyone cheers and agrees it’s wonderful to meet Jodi.
Shane: [raising a glass] It’s about time.
Bette: I had to make sure she was going to stick.
You had to what? You had to approve her or clear her or something? Before we can parse that comment, Bette asks Kit what she’s doing — meaning why is she drinking?
Kit: Um … minding my own business. What about you?
Bette loses it and shushes everyone in her path in order to scold Papi and Kit for crossing the line.
Bette: Has she been drinking all night?
Papi: Yeah, a little. Why?
Bette: Because my sister’s a f—ing alcoholic, that’s why.
Alice: Papi doesn’t know about that.
And Papi does look stunned.
Kit says it’s not Bette’s place to tell her what to do. She swigs some wine, then tells Jodi it was nice to meet her and asks Papi to take her home.
Everyone sort of freezes. Shane, Paige, Alice and Tasha are the Mount Rushmore of awkwardness.
The aftermath — Everyone has dispersed. Bette tries to blame everything on Kit, but Jodi says Bette should not have interpreted for her. It made things hard; if she’d wanted an interpreter, she would have brought Tom. It all comes down to some very basic stuff:
Jodi: You can’t handle it.
Bette: I can’t handle what?
Jodi: That communication is different with me. That it isn’t exactly how you want it to be.
Bette: Well, no, it’s not exactly how I want it to be. I feel f—ing incompetent at every turn. But you know what? I think that I have worked very hard to learn to communicate with you. And I think that we do pretty well. I just … I didn’t want it to be hard with my friends tonight.
Jodi: Oh. I’m so sorry it was hard for you.
Bette: That’s not what I said.
Jodi: What did you say? Huh?
Bette: [turning around, breathing, turning back around] I want to be in a relationship with someone who works with me.
Jodi: Bette, you want to be in a relationship with someone who works for you.
Bette: What are you trying to say?
Jodi: I saw you tonight. You try to control everything. I mean, you wanted to — you tried to control Tina. You tried to control what she said to the director. You tried to control Kit. And you want to be my interpreter and control how I talk to everyone.
Bette: F— you. F— you. I was just trying to do what’s best for you.
Jodi: Well, how do you know what’s best for me?
Bette: You didn’t know what was going on half the time. You weren’t there. You didn’t even try to be engaged.
Jodi: Oh, really? How the f— do you know? Are you having my experience? Are you f—ing deaf?
Bette: Jesus. I had no idea you felt so f—ing persecuted. It makes me feel really sad for you. I think, though, for one minute, you should just ask yourself, "What am I experiencing? What is my f—in’ experience?"
It doesn’t get harder than that.
Here’s hoping for some healing next week. I don’t think it can get worse.
NEXT WEEK ON THE L WORD: Bette is suddenly infamous; Tasha faces her demons; Goldfrapp is in the house.