The L Word Recaps: Episode 4.3 “Lassoed”

Colliding worlds — Dean Porter is finishing up a lecture. Phyllis is there, observing. Nadia raises her hand and says, "You wanted me to remind you to assign everyone topics at the end of the session, Bette — I mean, Dean Porter." You know, Nadia, there's really nothing less attractive than a sense of entitlement, even if the thing you think you're entitled to is sex with the hottest thing on campus.

As the class disperses, Phyllis approaches the teacher's desk and thanks Bette for the fun at the Planet.

Phyllis: I had a lovely time.
Bette: Well, I'm glad you enjoyed yourself.
Phyllis: I especially loved Alice. She's so vibrant.
Bette: Yeah, she's a great girl.
Phyllis: So … do you think she liked me?

Bette just sort of sighs and smiles.

Wax — It's Helena's first day at her new job. Trouble is, Helena has no idea how to be a receptionist or help customers, even though she looks good trying. Before she can even learn to say "Wax" instead of "The Wax," she has a meltdown and tells Shane this just isn't the job for her. She's humiliated and defeated, but she thanks Shane for the opportunity.

Shane offers a little encouragement; she tells Helena that she just needs to figure out what she's good at. Meanwhile, a guy from Hugo Boss is there to tell Shane what she'd be good at: modeling underwear. But Shane says no, even though the guy tells her it's a "lucrative gig."

A great girl indeed — Alice is visiting Bette's office. She's impressed: "Wow, fancy. I like this. This is good. A whole new Bette, huh? Artsy … a little artsy-fartsy going on here."

I think I understand why Angstus is so bland: Alice is a vortex of cuteness and there's none left over in the universe.

Bette closes the door and tells Alice about the "situation" with Phyllis. Alice, of course, is amused rather than worried. Bette says twice, "Alice, this is not funny," but I think even she knows it kinda is.

A pool party — Max is flipping burgers while Brooke and her friends splash around in the pool. Brooke tries to get Max to go in too — and starts to unbutton his shirt — which of course causes him to freak out and make up an excuse about an "ear condition." Brooke forgives him, and Max tells her he's crazy about her. They smooch as Brooke's parents look on affectionately.

This whole thing is so doomed. Clearly there's a big conversation on the horizon, but shouldn't it have taken place before they ever got anywhere near the first kiss? I mean, yeah, in an ideal world people would fall in love with people, not genders, but Brooke might not quite be living in the same world as Max. For example, she probably just Googles things instead of doing "computer searches."

Steppin' out — Bette and some other dean-type people are meeting with Chancellor Kroll. As they wrap up, a decidedly un-dean-like-type arrives: Alice. She smiles sweetly as she enters.

Alice: Phyllis.
Phyllis and Bette: Alice.
Alice: Hello, Professor Porter.
Phyllis: Dean Porter, Alice. You're demoting her.
Alice: I am taking Phyllis to Murakami.
Bette: [nodding] Lesbian sushi.
Phyllis Really? Lesbians have their own special kind of sushi?
Alice: Oh, yeah.

Alice tells Phyllis to order Bette out on a date, but of course what Bette wants to know is whether Phyllis and Alice are on a date. Phyllis and Alice just ignore that question, and Phyllis jokes that she can't really order Bette on a date, "But I do hope you're taking care of your personal needs, Bette. Academia can be so very suffocating." Alice nods in agreement as Phyllis goes on ahead.

Bette snarls, "Have a good date." Alice grins and goes, leaving Bette to shake her head and swear.

Just following the boss's orders — Bette goes to her office. Guess who's there? Nadia, of course. "I seem to remember when you were interviewing TA candidates that you said, 'If I'm working, you're working.'" She shows Bette some designs. Bette tells her she's very talented, which of course means a lot to Nadia.

Next thing you know, they're outside and Bette is offering Nadia a ride home. She does it so nonchalantly: "It's more or less on my way home." Less of a ride home and more of a ride, you mean.

As Bette walks — still aiming for nonchalance and cool — I start to drool. Nadia probably does too. Anyone would, because that skirt fits Bette really, really well.

In the car (which is a sensible, academic-looking thing in keeping with Bette's new career), things take a turn for the sexy:

Nadia: Would it be wrong if I told you that I can't keep my eyes off of you?
Bette: Yes.
Nadia: Would it be wrong if I told you that you are the most intriguing person that I've ever met?
Bette: Yes.
Nadia: Would it be wrong if I told you that I have never wanted to kiss someone more than I want to kiss you right now?

Bette abruptly pulls the car over to the side of the road and gives Nadia a gloriously stern stare. She says "Nadia" in a warning sort of way, but we soon learn that the warning is more "stand back" than "back off."

Seat belts fly off, lips meet and hands dip down — and the credits roll. And I rewind. And rewind. And rewind.

Hear more of Scribe Grrrl's thoughts on the episode in her weekly podcast Talking to Manatees – multiple download options available here, or subscribe through iTunes.

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