The L Word Recaps: Episode 1 “Pilot”


A restaurant frequented by straight people — The other couples tease Tim and Jenny about how cute they are. Oh, apparently the lesbians like this place too, because in walks the whole crowd. Tim sees Marina and points her out; Jenny looks like she’s just seen Elvis. Marina smiles and waves, ever gracious. Randy, the other swim coach, says “Man, that girl is so hot. She doesn’t really look like she’s gay.” Ugh. Randy’s wife says that if she were gay, she’d go for the one who “looks like a rock star,” and by that she means Shane, but I don’t really see the Joan Jett resemblance that everyone’s been commenting on. I mean, I get the Joan Jett thing — my knees literally went weak when I passed her on the street in NYC — but I’m not sure I get the Shane thing. Not yet, anyway.

Marina gets up to go to the loo. After about two seconds of staring, Jenny follows her. Oh, damn, I thought they were going to have more bathroom sex. Instead, Jenny wants to know why Marina is there. To have dinner, maybe? Hmm. Then Jenny tells Marina she’d like to see her again, so Marina pulls Jenny toward her — but Jenny says she has to go. Sigh.

Tim and Jenny’s house — Jenny is writing. Tim decides to read over her shoulder. Not only does he read badly — making Jenny’s writing sound even more pretentious than it already is — but you do not, ever, read over a writer’s shoulder! Never! I don’t care who you are!

Yeah, Jenny doesn’t like it either, and angles her laptop away from Tim. He has an offended look on his face. Go away, Tim.

He does go away, but Jenny finds him and apologizes. Tim wants to know what’s going on. Jenny makes some lame excuses about feeling overwhelmed and directionless and not knowing why she’s in L.A. Tim says he’s not the enemy. That’s not the problem, Tim: the thing is that you’re not Marina.

Speaking of Marina, the phone rings, and it’s her. What an amazing coincidence! She and Jenny arrange to have dinner. Yeah, dinner. Heh. Jenny makes lots of excuses and waffly comments, but Tim isn’t concerned. I guess he likes red flags.

The shrink’s office — Bette is late again. But she has a good excuse: she’s found the perfect donor. Tina’s never met him, so she doesn’t love the idea, but Bette is in full steamroller mode. The shrink just sits there and watches them like they’re penguins at the zoo.

Bette and Tina’s house — The potential donor, Marcus, shows up. He’s black. Tina freaks a little bit. Marcus says “Did Bette not tell you I was black?” Well, no. But I don’t think Tina should really be freaking, because (a) Bette is biracial, and (b) Wouldn’t they have discussed this issue before now?

The Planet, or somewhere similar — Bette shows up, looking for Tina, because Alice has told her something’s up.

Tina: You put me in a fuckin’ awkward position. How could you not tell me that Marcus Allenwood is black?
Bette: God, I … I don’t know. I guess I should have. I just didn’t think it would be a problem for you to use a black donor.
Tina: I didn’t say I didn’t want a black donor. I just think we should have discussed it.
Bette: We absolutely discussed it, Tina. Right at the very beginning. We said that if you were going to be the birth mother, that we should consider finding an African-American donor. That way the child would be more like our child.
Tina: But I wasn’t prepared.
Bette: I don’t understand. Other than being committed to spending the rest of your life with me, what more do you need to do to prepare?
Tina: Look at me, Bette. I don’t feel qualified to be the mother of a child who’s half African-American. I don’t know what it means to be black.
Bette: I think I can make a contribution in that department.
Tina: And don’t you think, on top of everything else, to also have two moms, that is a lot of otherness to put on one child?

That was pretty good. A fairly frank discussion, and Jennifer Beals’ face was heartbreaking. Nice job, the both of you!

The shrink’s office — Bette and Tina try to cope with that conversation. Bette thinks maybe it means they’re not ready to have children together. What was your first clue?

Tim and Jenny’s house — Tim is reading Jenny’s writing again — something about reviling your own craving. Whatever. Tim is apparently very impressed, and says he’s proud to have Jenny in his life. You might want to rethink that, Tim. You seem nice, and you might prefer a woman who’s not interested in being Marina’s puppy. (Good luck with that.)

Bette and Tina’s house — Bette finds a ovulation test stick in the trash. I guess it wasn’t good news. She walks out of the house like a zombie. Tina asks where she’s going; Bette says “I don’t know,” gets in the car, and drives away.

Kit’s house — Oh, Kit has a house! Bette is there seeking advice about the Marcus Allenwood fiasco, but Kit sort of hints that Bette has been “passing” all these years and hasn’t really been embracing her ancestry anyway. This upsets Bette, of course, so she tries to walk out, but Kit stops her.

Kit: There’s only one thing that cuts across all our realities. It’s love. The bridge between all our differences. And you have so much love in your life. Why are you trying to tear down that bridge?

Yeah, it sounds kind of schmaltzy, but it’s not. It’s nice. Bette starts sniffling and Kit holds her close. Awwww. Anyway, now we finally know what today’s L-word is!

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