THIS WEEK'S L WORD VOCABULARY:
Stereotypes: Best served with cocktails.
Play: What Shane won't do, where Papi's concerned.
Wrong: Nadia — but Bette doesn't want to be right.
THIS WEEK'S GUEST-BIANS: Jessica Capshaw makes Bette veer off the high road; Cybill Shepherd gets dust on her boots.
Literary stalking — Jenny's screaming. Stay with me here: I know you're thinking, "Oh, God, not another frickin' carnival scene." It's not that, even though it is in black and white. Jenny, sporting a pained look and a plain white T-shirt, is screaming "Stacey!" She's standing in a courtyard, staring up at a door at the top of some stairs.
That's right: She's Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Stacey (in case you've forgotten) is the Curve reviewer who trashed Jenny's book.
That was a nice homage/parody, complete with barking dog and mournful saxophone. I think we know two things now: (1) Jenny's truly obsessed with her reviews and reviewers; and (2) Jenny doesn't make a good butch.
Also? We're in for some seriously high drama, even by Schecter standards. A Streetcar Named Desire touches on all of Jenny's pet issues, including rape, infidelity, rage, nervous breakdowns, class struggle and, well, the kindness of strangers.
A head for Dada and a bod for sin — Nadia, Bette's TA, is rifling through some files. This requires bending over, and Nadia just happens to be wearing a very short skirt today — and probably any other day she's anywhere near Dean Porter. And Bette is very aware of the nearness of Nadia's legs.
Am I the only one who half expects Nadia to break into song at any minute — or rather, a particular song called "Dance: 10; Looks: 3"?
Nadia finally finds the file she was looking for and bounces over to Bette, presenting the folder like a proud cat with a freshly killed bird. Bette reacts accordingly, pushing the file away and telling Nadia to take it with her and make it more digestible.
Bette is rubbing her shoulder, so Nadia takes that as an invitation (not that Nadia wouldn't take the presence of oxygen in the air as an invitation):
Nadia: Do you have a knot? Do you want me to unlock it?
Bette: Uh … it … it's OK. No, really … it's fine.
Nadia: [rubbing Bette's shoulders] Oh, wow. You are really tight. God, do you feel that? It's right there.
Bette: Nadia, please …
Nadia: Do you want me to find you a body worker? Because, oh my gosh, I have the most amazing Ayurvedic healer, and he went so deep —
Bette: I — I'd prefer a woman.
Nadia: Well. That can be arranged, Dean Porter.
I don't think I would ever look twice at Nadia, personally, but Jessica Capshaw is pretty good at giving significant looks. Bette tries to steer the conversation back to business again. She's trying to amass a list of presenters at the various conferences CU has hosted. She mentions the conference on global sustainability:
Nadia: Where Dr. Gorsham sustained multiple hickeys from his two teaching assistants.
Bette: You mean he slept with both of them?
Nadia: Don't be shocked. It happens all the time.
Bette: Well, that doesn't make it acceptable.
Nadia: No, but we're all adults, Bette. I mean, in a cloistered environment like a university, it would be absurd to think that there weren't relationships between faculty and students.
Bette: I hadn't given it much thought, to be honest, Nadia.
Nadia: Well. I know the students in your college have. I know at least 20 who would love to be with you.
Bette: [handing Nadia a file] That's very flattering.
Nadia: I hate that I'm just one of the pack.
Nadia struts out, and Bette watches her go. After Nadia leaves, Bette does a little thing with her mouth and tongue. You know, that little thing that means, "I'd love to be putting these to good use right now," as well as, "I'm Jennifer Beals and I know how to make you rewind this scene eight times and drool all over yourself."
H.P. Jonson Elementary — Shane is finally taking Shay to school. Be careful, Shane: If you go inside, they'll probably try to sign you up for the sixth grade.
As they go up the stairs, Shay takes Shane's hand. Awww. But inside, things aren't quite so friendly: Shane has no birth certificate or any other kind of paperwork. Clearly there's no other way to figure out where Shay came from and whether he's been vaccinated. If only Max were there to do a computer search.
Every time the principal (or whoever) asks Shane something, Shane just relays the question to Shay, which is funny. But then the principal condescends just a little too much:
Principal: Does he have any, uh, any allergies, any learning disabilities, psychological problems?
Shane: [to Shay] Do you? Nah, doubt it.
Principal: [irritated] Listen to me. Over here.
Shane stands up and apologizes for wasting the guy's time. Don't worry about it, Shane: I'm guessing this guy's entire life is a waste of time. But I'm not bitter; I didn't have any run-ins with any school principals. No, I didn't get sent home one day for bringing "pornographic" material to school. It was a stupid Peter Benchley novel, and I hadn't even gotten to that chapter yet!
On the way out, Shane thinks better of her traditional cut-and-run approach and goes back in to talk to Principal Krupke:
Shane: I'm not gonna go let Shay live in some homeless shelter the way I did when I was a kid … I promise you, I'll get you whatever you need. I swear it. But I'm begging you to please just let him go to school here.
Principal Krupke doesn't look very moved. Shay, on the other hand, is watching Shane go to bat for him and knows it's a big deal for her to do so. It's all so treacly, but Kate Moennig is keeping it sincere and fairly low on drama, for which I'm extremely grateful.
Imagine if Tina were making this little speech: "Don't you try to put my kid out on the street, you bureaucratic bastard! Do you see my finger in your face? Do you see my neck getting all webby and twisted like a tree in a forest? Do you know how courageous I am and how much love my kid deserves for being part of a real family with boys named Henry and Mikey?"