The L Word Recaps 4.11 “Literary License to Kill”

Getting some answers — It’s the next morning. Alice is on the base and is confronting Tasha about her disappearing act.

Tasha: I can’t get into this right now.
Alice: Well, could you maybe return one of my f—ing phone calls?

Tasha has bigger worries: She tells Alice that she’s on thin ice and could get chaptered out.

Alice: For what?
Tasha: For homosexual conduct. You ever heard of that?

Alice apologizes but still doesn’t leave. Sigh. When did you get so thick-headed, Alice? Right on cue, Major Dixon drives by. He’s definitely seeing what he didn’t want to see ever again.

Since Alice won’t leave, Tasha walks away instead. Forget Major Dixon; this is some major doom.

A break (up) room — Jodi is getting a snack. Bette walks in and makes herself some tea. They stand with their backs to each other. It’s like all the tension from that dinner party scene has been condensed and plunked down in the middle of this little tiny room.

Jodi takes a jug of milk from the fridge. It says "Dean Porter" on it. She signs to Bette, asking Bette if she wants some milk, presumably for her tea. Bette, however, has had her back to Jodi (and her heart in a walled fortress) and is slow on the uptake. She thinks Jodi’s asking for some milk.

Bette: Oh, anybody can use it. Feel free.

Then why did you put your name on it, Dean Porter? Because you wanted everyone to know you were contributing to the milk stash? Or because you just like to write your title as often as you can? Hmm. Mysterious activities involving dairy products: There’s probably a whole chapter about this in Lez Girls.

Anyway, Jodi’s not happy that Bette has misinterpreted her question — or, more precisely, simply wasn’t listening. And even worse, Bette has just counted Jodi among the many "anybodys" who can use her milk but can’t get her attention. Jodi scowls, then puts the milk back and leaves without a word. Bette seems to know she caused that somehow, but she also seems to be at a complete loss. Next time, Bette, just write "I heart Jodi" on the milk.

Familial blackmail — Phyllis’ daughter, Molly, has joined forces with Leonard. Or, more precisely, Leonard has told Molly what her mother’s up to, in an underhanded effort to get his wife back. Molly is played by Phyllis’ real-life daughter, Clementine Shepherd-Ford. More meta marvelousness!

Molly says all Phyllis ever thinks about is herself. Phyllis says she loves Molly and her sister more than anything else in the world, but she now that she’s figured out who she is, it would be deadly to ignore that.

Leonard: Deadly? Is that what our life together has been? Deadly?
Phyllis: Yes, Leonard.

Heh. Way to bring the snark during a family crisis, Phyllis. She says she hopes Molly will someday be able to wish for her happiness, but Molly doesn’t seem inclined to do that anytime soon. Sigh. Every breakup in this episode seems so inevitable, there’s just no drama. Discomfort, yes, but drama, no. Just more proof that milk and eggs and academia simply do not foster epic emotional scenes.

Speaking of fostering — Or, well, just speaking of mothering, I guess. Paige is picking Jared up from his violin lesson. She asks him if he wants to go out to dinner with her; after all, it is her birthday.

Jared: Oh, I’m sorry, Mom. I forgot.
Paige: That’s OK, sweetie.
Jared: Did Shane call you and wish you a happy birthday?

Oh, Jared, you scamp. Such a concerned, curious kid. Whatever can you be plotting? But Paige thinks his question is perfectly normal and says no, Shane didn’t call, but that’s OK. She asks Jared where he wants to go for dinner. He votes for the Planet on account of their good fries.

Paige knits her brows a little. Yeah, that’s a teeny bit suspicious, isn’t it, Paige? But hey, take the kid to the Planet: purely for him, of course. Just in the interest of being a cool mom.

Sitting on the steps — Am I just really nostalgic today? Bette and Tina are sitting on the steps at Bette’s house, and it once again reminds me of that time they were sitting on the steps in the very first episode. You know, when Shane walked by and thought they were an encouraging picture of blissful couplehood. Dammit.

Bette is asking Tina for advice. And she’s crying. Tina says it’s OK for Bette to cry with her.

Bette: What do I do wrong, T? What do I do wrong?
Tina: You don’t do anything wrong.
Bette: No, really, I mean it. Why is it so f—ing hard to be in a relationship with me? Look, just tell me. Tell me everything that I did to make you run from me. I’m begging you. Please.
Tina: You’re a control freak.
Bette: [laughing]
Tina: You are!
Bette: So? That’s fucking ridiculous. Everybody’s a control freak sometimes. That’s what you have to do to get things done.
Tina: Yeah, but you think your things are more important than everyone else’s, and that’s really, really hard in a relationship. When your work, your needs, your ideas are always right, always on a higher plane. You’re more enlightened, you’re more more informed, you’re more intuitive —

Well, yeah. Tell her something she doesn’t know. But Bette acknowledges that it must have been "hideous" and apologizes.

Tina: I’ll take it over the safe, boring man I’ve been seeing any day.
Bette: You would?

She said she will, not she would! This is not a hypothetical, Bette: Look at the woman’s face.

But Tina reels herself in and says Bette has met her match in Jodi: She’s finally found someone who’s as strong as she is. Bette changes the subject and asks about Kate Arden. Tina gets all goofy and embarrassed and finally admits that she’s attracted to Kate, who is hot and smart.

Tina: She’s not interested in me.
Bette: She’s interested.
Tina: She’s not even thinking about me.
Bette: She’s interested!

I still don’t know what I want these two to be, but whatever they do or don’t do together, I think they’ll always be soul mates of a sort. Also, how amazing are Beals and Holloman together? The shot keeps tightening — just like us, the camera longs to be close to them.

Tina says she’s not ready and wants to be on her own. Besides, it’s messy; it’s unprofessional, and now it’s going to get even messier because she has to fire Jenny.

Bette: F— Jenny. Just f— Jenny. Please. She deserves to be fired. I’ll f—ing fire her for you.

I’m tempted to press "stop" and "erase" right now, because it’s never going to get better than that.

They bond over their anti-Jenny virulence, but then Bette gets serious again. She says she was just starting to do so well on her own when Jodi showed up.

Tina: I’m not surprised that you’re running from her. You finally met someone who won’t put up with your s—.

Bette: You never put up with my s—.
Tina: Whaaat? [laughing] Right. OK.

Tina insists that Jodi scares Bette, because Jodi is as accomplished, as opinionated and as powerful. And they have an incredible energy between them.

Tina: I could feel it from ten feet away. It sucked. It was really hard for me.

Bette reaches an arm around Tina’s shoulders. Tina accepts the comfort, though that’s probably really hard for her too. And really, really easy.

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