“The L Word” Recaps: Episode 5.3 “Lady of the Lake”


Still asking and telling — Tasha is defending herself. She’s explaining her reasoning for promoting Specialist Martinez, with whom she was not having an affair. Beech just stares at her as she talks. Tasha explains that she once comforted Martinez when she had to leave her little boy because their unit was redeployed.

Beech: When you comforted her, did you hug her?

Tasha: Is that grounds for separation?
Beech: Probably wouldn’t be if you hadn’t been seen holdin’ hands with some girl at the racetrack.

Tasha is steadfast in her commitment to her country and the Army, and it’s very admirable. Too bad the camera isn’t as steadfast; what’s with the shaky handheld in this scene? Anyway, Beech says Tasha should have thought about her wish to stay in the service before she “decided to be a lesbian.”

Tasha: Let me clarify to you, Beech. I never “decided” to become a lesbian. But I decided to join the service. I graduated second in my ROTC class. I have a bronze star, with V for valor, for saving the lives of three American and two Iraqi soldiers after an IED attack in Tal Afar. I watched my staff sergeant, Robert Ganz, get his stomach blown open after a mortar attack, and held him in my arms as he died. Which, by the way, was not a romantic embrace either. I believe in American democracy, and I’m willing to risk my life for my country. Do you really think I don’t belong in this Army?

Beech softens a little. Well, not softens, exactly, but he gives her a strategy. He says he hopes that the lady in the parking lot (she of the “lovers’ quarrel”) turns out to be Tasha’s cousin, and that they were arguing about whether to put their grandmother in a nursing home. Beech, you’re still a jerk.

Tasha just marches out, looking like she’s about to cry.

Others have praised Rose Rollins for the commitment and research she brings to this role, and I’ll happily jump on that bandwagon. On the last recap, a couple of commenters who have served in the military offered their thoughts on the Tasha story line. AfterEllen.com reader HotHandle put it very well:

I have been in the Army for almost 12 years now, and I too live in fear that someone in my unit might find out that I am a lesbian, and whoops, there goes 12 years of my life and my military pension. … There are thousands of gays and lesbians serving in the military today. Don’t we deserve to serve our country and be who we are? I think so.

I think so, too. I know so.

Another outcast — At the Planet, Max wants to talk to Alice.

Alice: Oh, no, not right now. Sorry.

Max: I made a podcast.
Alice: [snootily] What do you mean, you made a podcast?

Alice, this makes three episodes in a row that you’ve been mean to Max! Stop it. Or maybe you’re genuinely asking the question, because you just aren’t sure what he or anyone else means by podcast. He could be talking about a batch job on an IBM 360, for all you know.

Before Max can explain exactly what he has made and what he wants, Alice gets a phone call and rudely walks away.

Easing on down the road — Bette and Jodi are on their way to Big Bear. But Bette is still futzing with her phone, so Jodi tells her to stop working. They talk about the other people who will be there, including Michelangelo, Jodi’s “best friend in the whole world.” He is many things — a “brilliant dilettante,” says Jodi. He’s a chef, house-builder, journalist, curator.

Bette: Oh, he’s a curator?

Jodi: Not of your caliber, dear. You wouldn’t give him the time of day.
Bette: Don’t make me out to be such a snob.
Jodi: Oh, you’re a snob.
Bette: No, I’m not.
Jodi: Oh, yes.

It’s OK, Bette. Shane and Alice know another snob you could hang out with.

Jodi is driving, and when she signs (and when she moves to kiss Bette), she swerves all over the road. Bette gets all jumpy about it, but Jodi waves her off.

It reminds me of that SUV commercial a few years back — something about staying inside the lines. Jodi is not a stay-inside-the-lines type, and Bette most definitely is. In fact, she probably drew the lines.

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