“The L Word” Recaps: Episode 5.4 “Let’s Get This Party Started”

A meeting with the dean — Jodi knocks on Bette’s door and sweetly asks, “You wanted to see me, Dean Porter?” It’s cute, and Jodi looks good in that T-shirt, but Bette isn’t really paying attention.

While Bette finishes up a phone call, Jodi eats the grapes on Bette’s desk. That seems unwise. After all, Bette labels the food she stashes in the communal faculty fridge — remember the “Dean Porter” milk last season?

I’m sure you’ll be surprised to hear that Jodi and Bette have very different views of soapstone gun art:

Bette: Lani Shipman has been traumatized by it.

Jodi: Lani Shipman’s traumatized by her shadow.

Bette tries to get her message through: In the climate of Columbine and Virginia Tech, freedom of expression sometimes has to be reined in.

Bette: I want you to be just a little bit more thoughtful sometimes.

Wow, what a loaded statement.

Jodi: I think about my students all the time.

Bette’s being far too parental with Jodi, even though I do tend to agree that a circumspect approach is only reasonable in these trying times. Case in point: Cloverfield. Do I really want to see a movie in which New York City is attacked and the head flies off the Statue of Liberty? Not so fictional = not so fun.

Bette eventually apologizes, and Jodi goes off to find some more food. Bette asks for a goodnight kiss first.

I still love the way Beals commits to kissing, even when others don’t meet her halfway.

Just before she goes out the door, Jodi makes some signs that seem quite obscene.

Bette: I think I’m gonna be working late tonight. Maybe tomorrow?

Jodi: If you’re lucky.

She’s totally going to SheBar without you!

Shell-shocked — Tasha arrives at Alice’s apartment to find Alice madly erasing the big whiteboard with the original Chart on it. (As we know from the new issue of Wired, this is why whiteboards suck — they degrade and never erase properly.)

Tasha tries to stop her, but Alice is frantic and insists on “degayifying.” I used to call that “de-dyke-orating,” before I came out to my parents. Alice has a bag of gay things to toss out, but I can’t quite see what’s in the bag — The Whole Lesbian Sex Book, I think, and a pink something that defies my imagination and my own toy collection.

There’s also a picture of Tasha and Alice.

Alice: You should keep this somewhere safe.

Sigh. Alice, stop this! Not just the erasing of the Chart, though that’s bad enough. I could make a comment about how it symbolizes a painful contemporary phenomenon: One boneheaded government policy can destroy everything you’ve been building for the last five years. But I don’t need a sobering metaphor when the thing itself is so sad.

Anyway, I’m more concerned about the notion that Alice can somehow be scared back into the closet. I know she’s doing all this for Tasha, but, well, I’m not sure it’s ever worth it. For anyone or anything.

But Alice is sorta funny when she’s freaking. I half expect her to check the back of her neck for an X-Files–esque microchip.

Tasha tries to calm her down.

But who will protect the soldier from her own Army?

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