THIS WEEK'S L WORD VOCABULARY:
The animal kingdom: The latest canvas for Jenny's tortured art.
Cobb salad: A misty bacon-flavored memory of the way they were.
THIS WEEK'S GUEST-BIANS: Kristanna Loken wants to play; Marlee Matlin gets smoke in Bette's eyes; Heather Matarazzo boogies; Cybill Shepherd goes off the deep end.
Guess I won't do a screen shot of this scene — Max is standing in front of a mirror. He takes off his pants, revealing quite a bulge in his briefs, and then takes out the packer that's causing that bulge. He continues to undress until he's naked in front of the mirror, and it's startling — not the nudity but the incongruity of his face and body.
I think maybe this is the key to making Max a sympathetic character: Fewer lines. There's some considerable drama going on in that face when there's no dialogue to worry about.
Nannygate — I presume we're at Henry's house or Tina's house or some combination of the two. Hazel is answering the door. Angstus is at the door. I feel sorry for the door: No matter which way it turns, ugliness abounds — with the unbelievably cute exception of Angelica.
Angus is dropping Angelica off, and Hazel wants to know how Angus' day was — and how she can make it better. I really don't know how to recap this stuff. Maybe I didn't read enough Harlequin novels in my youth. Or Harlot/Mannequin.
California University — Tom is chatting up a student. (A male student.) My, but this campus is rife with inappropriate romances. But never mind: If Tom is hanging around, there's a good chance Jodi's nearby, and if Jodi's around … yep, here comes Bette, right on cue.
Bette comments on Tom's flirtations. Jodi seizes the opportunity to make a few comments of her own:
Jodi: What about you? Are you still sleeping with Nadia?
Bette: Excuse me?
Jodi: [signing something that looks pretty lewd]
Tom: [jogging up] She said are you still f—ing Nadia?
Bette: Thank you, I got the gist of it. I don't know what you're talking about.
Jodi: Just a friendly question out of curiosity. Maybe a little concern. I mean, Nadia's not a poker face, you know.
Bette: Well, don't believe everything you hear.
Jodi: Well, I see a lot more than I hear.
Bette: I'm sorry. I didn't … [sighing] … I fell into that one.
Jodi: I made a few mistakes when I taught at Columbia. But, you know, following the rules is not always my thing.
Tom: [interrupting] Um, excuse me? Brittany girl was a big, big mistake.
Bette: Brittany. I see.
Jodi: She was a Columbia graduate student, and I made a mistake with her.
Bette: [innocently] Mmm hmmm.
Jodi: She turned her senior thesis into a life-size sculpture of me — naked. It was pretty good. But she should have made my breasts bigger.
Bette laughs sort of condescendingly and tries to keep her gaze higher than Jodi's hands (which are on Jodi's breasts). Bette goes into professional mode and says she's glad there were no serious repercussions from the little dalliance. Did you hear the way she said reh-percussions, not ree-percussions? Swoon.
Bette also says she'll try to be more careful herself, but Jodi tells her, "Don't be too careful. That's dreary."
This is worse than when Mr. P died — Jenny (as Debbie) is at the vet's office. Sounder is in kidney failure and is in a lot of pain, so the vet (Stacey Merkin's girlfriend Lindsey) is putting the dog to sleep. Right here in front of me. On my TV. I can't watch.
I get that the dog was going to die anyway, but I can't believe Jenny is essentially participating in euthanasia just so she can get revenge on a reviewer. And just when I was starting to like her.
I'm not quite sure whether Jenny gets the gravity of the moment:
Lindsey: You gave her a wonderful life, Debbie.
Jenny: No, I didn't.
Lindsey: Yes, you did.
Jenny: No, I didn't.
Lindsey: Hey, listen, uh, why don't you let me take you out to dinner. We'll celebrate Sounder and we'll have a drink in her honor, huh?
Jenny: [shaking her head] OK.
That's right, Jenny. Celebrate Sounder. Celebrate the egomania that has driven you to kill a dog in the service of your so-called art.
I suppose Sounder might represent innocence or trust or weakness or whatever else Jenny has traded in for crazy, but you know what she also represents? A dog. Dying. On my TV.