The L Word Recaps: Episode 4.5 “Lez Girls”

Facing the music — Max is typing up his resignation letter. His boss knocks on the door and says he spoke to Brooke. Max steels himself for the worst, but it seems all the boss knows is that Brooke dumped Max. He says he's starting to lose hope for his daughter and then assures Max that none of this will have any bearing on his job.

Whew. That's a relief. Or is it? Max must be sort of wishing he could just come out already instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Oh, I've mixed my metaphors. I mean, he wishes he could just escape the subroutine already instead of waiting for it to run. OK, now I've just embarrassed myself.

Speaking of geeky stuff, Max's desktop (with the 3-D model and snippets of code and strings of hex) looks like one of those desktop images you can use to make it look like you're working. Just sayin'.

The playdate — Paige (Kristanna Loken) is primping for Shane. After Shay and Shane arrive, Shay and Jared go off to play video games. Paige invites Shane in for coffee, and Shane pretends to resist for about two seconds.

A lunch best served cold — At the magazine stand, Bette stops traffic — with an actual hand rather than just her stunning looks — and skips across the street. Well, not quite skips, but there's definitely a bounce in her step. And soon we see why: She's meeting Tina for lunch. But the smile runs away from her face when she learns why Tina wanted to meet her: to talk about Angus's infidelity.

Bette doesn't believe it at first, and then tells Tina to stay out of it and keep her mouth shut. Would it be weird if I made a little sound file of Bette saying, "Shut your mouth"? I could put it on the CD I have of Helen Stewart (from Bad Girls) saying, "Sit down!"

I should note that this whole conversation started with "Henry and I were coming home" — which prompts Bette to say, "I knew you'd move in with him." Tina says she hasn't moved in with him; she just spends the night sometimes. "OK," says Bette, with a look that says it so isn't.

For thoughts on Tina's weird head-shaking thing and the looping in this scene, listen to the podcast. Laurel, where did you go? I was a fan during seasons 1 and 2. Come back. Even sharing the screen with Beals doesn't seem to be helping.

I think "come back" is what Bette's thinking during this lunch, or at least some part of her is, especially when she and Tina simultaneously order the Cobb salad and then feel awkward. Awww.

On the subject of Angus, Tina says Kit's gonna find out eventually, "and I can tell you from experience it's much more painful seeing it with your own eyes." Bette tells her not to act like she's the only person who's ever been hurt.

I recapped that all out of order, but the scene was no less disjointed.

Two of lez girls — Helena is still assembling the food for Phyllis' party. Alice shows up, throws a copy of The New Yorker on the stilton-walnut-whatever endive and asks Helena if she's read Jenny's story.

Alice reads aloud about the character "Elyse" (Alise?), who "clung to the bisexual label not out of any genuine affection for men; she clung to it out of sheer fashion desperation." Helena doubts that the character is meant to be Alice but has to admit there's something "a little close to the bone" about "Nina" and "Bev," the lesbian neighbors of "Jessie" and "Todd." Nina is "a bi-curious straight girl, a girl who would waste eight years of someone else's life trying out an identity that was never going to fit her." Helena agrees that that's just plain mean and harsh.

By now, Alice has moved on to snacking on the various treats for the party.

Helena: Your girlfriend's gonna tell me off if you eat all my food.
Alice: Oh, you know what, she's not my girlfriend.

Better confirm that with her, Alice. She totally binaried you earlier.

Still playing and dating — Paige is dusting off coffee mugs and platitudes in an effort to impress Shane. She says Shane's great with Shay, under "really intense circumstances."

Paige reveals that she telemarkets by day and bartends by night, at Beauty Bar. Shane asks, "Isn't that the place with the hair salon chairs?" — perhaps in case she needs a place to go after Wax goes under from lack of attention or is set alight by one of Cherie Jaffe's goons. Not that this show ever drops anvils or anything.

Kristanna Loken is doing a good job with the whole nervous-awkward thing. And the digging-Shane thing. Not to mention the towering-over-her thing. But what is that tramp stamp about? And check out the latch hook wall hanging in the dining room, depicting purple and orange toadstools. My sister had something like that in her bedroom in 1977, next to the poster of a guy eating Alpo dog food.

Paige says Jared's dad is a deadbeat, and adds, "I'd be happy to never f— another man in my life." After Shane just sort of blinks, Paige quickly steers the conversation back to Jared:

Shane: I'm guessing you must have been, what, 16 when you had him?
Paige: Eighteen. But sometimes I feel like I'm a million years old. And before you know it, I will be too old and wretched to pick up the pieces.
Shane: Oh, please, you're beautiful. I don't think you have to worry about that.
Paige: Are you hitting on me?
Shane: Uh … I wasn't, um, but I'm sorry to make you uncomfortable if you think I was.
Paige: No, no, I'm sorry. I was hoping you were.

I don't care how many stars there are in Papi's stupid constellation: Shane is the queen of gettin' some without even trying. But not right now: The boys interrupt, so Shane thanks Paige for the coffee and Paige says she hopes they can do it again. Mmm hmmm.

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