The L Word Recaps 4.11 “Literary License to Kill”


The Planet — Angus is gross. Er, I mean, Angus is engrossed in a copy of Lez Girls.You can do it, Angus: Just sound out the words and take your time.

So it seems the book has finally been published, after the out-of-nowhere excerpting in The New Yorker. Vast is the disbelief I have willingly suspended in my TV-loving years, but Jenny’s mainstream success has definitely required the most cranes and scaffolding. A small but rabid fan base and a kooky little press would have been not only more believable, but also funnier. Never mind: There are no words scrawling across the screen and no carnival scenes lurching into view, so I should be grateful and let it go.

By the way, just in case the Lez Girls stuff wasn’t already meta enough for you, this episode was directed by John Stockwell. You know, the first guy Jenny and Tina talked to about the movie. He’s a lot better behind the camera than he was in front of it.

Kit and Papi roll in. Kit is sighing and holding her head and saying, "Oh, girl." She ambles behind the bar, which happens to be where Angus is sitting. He takes her proximity as an invitation.

Angus: Have you read this? Bette is gonna be piiiissed.
Kit: F— Bette. She can kiss my black ass.

Kit cracks open a Diet Coke and twists the cap off some Advil. Ah, the breakfast of champions. Angus watches Papi walk by.

Angus: [to Kit] Are you … are you involved with her?
Kit: Why is everybody in my bidness?
Angus: I don’t know what you’re doing, Kit. You’re so not a lesbian.
Kit: What the f— do you know, hmm?

It’s a fair question. But Angus has a fair reply, too: He says he knows Kit is drinking.

Angus: And I know that if she cared half as much about ya as I do, that she wouldn’t let ya.
Kit: Well, you know, you shoulda thought about that before you had the nanny’s lips wrapped around yo’ dick.


The hallway of hearsay — Who is that robotic-looking woman with the weird hair and weird shirt? Oh, it’s Bette. Sometimes when she’s in administrator mode, she looks more like Miss Hathaway.

She’s sensing something; it seems like everyone is staring at her. Some students are tittering behind her. She turns around and gives them a say-that-to-my-face stare, and they shut up. But knowing how to make people shut up doesn’t exactly help you figure out what’s going on, so Bette just sighs and keeps walking, looking confused.

All is revealed when Bette gets to her office: Phyllis is there, poring over Lez Girls.

Phyllis: Is it true that one of the characters in this book is based on you?
Bette: [peering at the cover] Who told you that?
Phyllis: Everyone’s talking about it on campus. It’s a cause celebre. Let’s see, uh … [reading from the book] "the sexually predatory, emotionally abusive Bev" — that’s you — "who uses her professional stature to bed every girl and woman who crosses her path."
Bette: I haven’t even read the f—king thing. But I can’t imagine that it has anything to do with me.

Bette snatches the book from Phyllis’ hands, but before she can read on, Phyllis asks whether the book has upset Jodi and resulted in her imminent departure.

Bette: Who said Jodi’s leaving?
Phyllis: It says it in the memo this morning.

Bette, you’re such a gumshoe. When presented with information that is unfamiliar to you, you don’t say "Huh?" like most of us. In response to both of Phyllis’ questions, you asked for the source of the information. Who said so? Who told you that? Who’s trashing me now and where can I find her so I can tear her apart? Predatory may be appropriate in more than one way. It’s like you’ve been hanging out with Joyce Wischnia or something.

Anyway, it seems Jodi has been selected to create a sculpture at the Forest Refuge Art Center in Mountainville, New York. I didn’t find anything when I Googled "Forest Refuge Art Center," but I’m guessing it’s a fictionalized Storm King Art Center, which appears to be the site of several homages to The Blair Witch Project.

Bette: I don’t know anything about it. Does this mean she’s not finishing out the semester?
Phyllis: You tell me.
Bette: Well, if that’s what she wants. I mean, I guess we should just let her go if she’s not happy here. [looking at the memo] "Origami with Steel." That’s a nice way to describe her work.

Yeah, that’s a good description. The runners-up were "Sex on Scaffolding" and "Girders with Mojo."

Bette is sure Jodi feels very honored, but Phyllis isn’t interested in accolades.

Phyllis: Please don’t tell me you’re splitting up. Remember when you came to my house and the two of you were so much in love?
Bette: Phyllis.
Phyllis: You taught me so much about love.
Bette: Phyllis.
Phyllis: Please don’t tell me you’re splitting up.
Bette: I would rather not talk about it.

Bette gives her a pointed "This conversation is over" look that would silence even Peggy Peabody.

Well, it almost silences Phyllis; at first, she just sighs. But after a brief interruption from James, Phyllis takes her leave and gets the last word:

Phyllis: [taking Lez Girls with her] Well, I just can’t wait to find out what happens with Bev and the plumber.

Bette calls James back in and asks him to get her a copy of "that f—ing book ASAP."

Bette: And make sure you get a comp copy. I don’t want to have to pay for it.

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