The L Word Recaps: Episode 4.3 “Lassoed”


Alice asks Helena whether she has any rules of her own. Helena starts to mumble something about her sheets that can't be put in the washing machine, but Alice is saved by the ringing phone. It's Bette, apparently asking Alice about her activities for the evening.

Alice: Well, what about Tina and Henry's cocktail party?
Bette: Tina and Henry's cocktail party? Uh, no, I don't believe I was invited.

When Alice describes the shindig, Bette laughs in a pitying way: "She did not say 'a mixer for our gay and our straight friends.'" Oh, I'm sure she did, Bette, but I'll bet she said it with a Valley Girl accent, a supercilious royal "we" and a heaping serving of self-congratulation.

Bette wants to talk about another imminent event: a party at the Planet, courtesy of an event planner who does "these crazy, hot women's parties." Enter Phyllis, whose virgin ears are definitely pricked up. Bette hangs up the phone and gives her attention to her Botoxed boss.

Phyllis: I thought you'd like to know the committee approved your budget to start researching the cost of creating that media lab.
Bette: So you're telling me that I have a budget to develop a budget?
Phyllis: Welcome to academia.
Bette: Oh, did you hear that Jodi Lerner requested to come a week late? I couldn't say no. She's been short-listed for the Rome Prize.

Bette seems quite interested in Jodi Lerner, but Phyllis's mind is elsewhere:

Phyllis: Bette, did you just say something about a "crazy, hot women's party"?
Bette: Uh … yeah, my sister Kit, she owns the Planet in West Hollywood. They're doing this party called Rancho Notorious.
Phyllis: And it's all women?
Bette: Only Thursdays; Thursday is girls' night at the Planet.
Phyllis: Would it be too much of an imposition if I asked to join you?

Before Bette can reply, James interrupts to say that Tina is on the phone for Bette. Phyllis says she'll come back later for the details.

Via the phone call with Tina, Beals gives a master class in How to Act on the Phone. (I hope Laurel Holloman is paying attention.) Tina is apparently inviting Bette to the aforementioned cocktail party. Bette is by turns cautious, exasperated, infuriated and affectionate. It's a microcosm of everything she feels about her ex. And it all comes down to one thing for Bette: "We have a child together, Tina. I mean, we're gonna have to learn how to get along." Well, maybe it goes a little further than that; it seems Tina didn't know whether to invite Bette because she was concerned that Bette would make a scene:

Bette: You know something? You know, you've made quite a scene or two in your time too. So don't get on your high — [pausing to listen] No, OK, I don't wanna fight with you either. I'm just making a point that I've moved on, I've found closure, and there's nothing between us anymore that would cause me to want to make a scene.

But Bette declines the invitation anyway. When she hangs up the phone, she just looks sad.

The Cowpoke Planet — The party planners have turned the place into a saloon. Kit is thrilled, but before she can say too much, Angus makes a screeching entrance. And by that I mean that he's screeching "Yee haw!" and also that he's making me scream in a primal way that is going to land me in the looney bin he broke out of.

Kit introduces him as her "boyfriend," but Angus corrects her, calling himself "your just been offered a hundred thousand dollar record deal with Thrill City Records boyfriend."

Kit: Nah ahhh. Nah ahhhh!

I can't really represent that sound with mere letters.

Shop class — Max is showing Shay how to do neat things with a car, like change the air filter. (Max is wearing coveralls that I bemoan in the podcast: Let's just say that the term grease monkey is appropriate only if you leave out the word grease.) He looks more like he's ready to go pick up gum wrappers on the side of the 405.

Shane sidles up and asks Shay if he's ready to go to Tina and Henry's party. Shay isn't exactly excited about the idea. Max says it's fine if Shay stays with him. They can work on the car and then go get some burgers and do other guy stuff.

Shane: That means you're not going to Tina and Henry's?
Max: I wasn't invited. It's cool; I mean, I don't even really know Tina that well, and I'd rather not have to deal anyway, so …

Max is wiping off the dipstick as he says this. I have no comment.

Shane makes sure Shay is OK with the idea of staying with Max and then ruffles Shay's hair as she goes. Shay smiles after her. They're kinda cute, as forced-together half-siblings go.

Tina and Henry's cocktail party — Henry's friends — who are so obviously straight, it qualifies as heterophobic costuming — are treating this whole event like a mixer with mutants. Not that Kit, Helena and Alice are being any less standoffish.

One of the straight guys suddenly says, "Wow. Who is that?" Tina spins around and takes a deep breath. It's Bette; she changed her mind. And as Bette stands and talks to Tina, smiling slightly, hands on her hips, she's undoubtedly changing the mind of every woman there who considers herself 100 percent straight.

Bette says it's a nice house:

Tina: Yeah, it's fine. I'd remodel it, but I don't live here.
Bette: Yet.

Tina just sort of blinks after her as she walks away. I can't tell whether she's thinking, "That bitch," or "How did I ever let that get away?"

Bette goes over to the lesbian side of the room.

Alice: Thank God you're here. We're totally outnumbered.
Bette: Whaddya mean?
Alice: Straight people.
Bette: Oh, Jesus.

Jenny strolls up, sort of presenting herself as if she is a duchess and this is her party:

Jenny: Bette.
Bette: [chuckling] Jenny.
Jenny: Hello.
Bette: Hello.

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