THIS WEEK’S L WORD VOCABULARY:
Transformative: Leisha Hailey’s facial expressions — they turn garbage into comedy gold.
Laughter: Definitely the best medicine, especially when the laugher is Bette.
Jobs: Even deans and talk show hosts can lose them.
Eww: The standard response to Shenny.
THIS WEEK’S GUESTBIANS: Cybill Shepherd pulls rank; Roger Cross twirls Kit; Mei Melançon gives Alice a purpose.
Shaolin Studios — Tina has just arrived at work. Hear those drums in the background? It’s the corporate jungle! She gets a text message: Her boss, Aaron, wants to see her right away. Actually, what he really wants is to scream at her for aiming to destroy Lez Girls — er, The Girls. Tina doesn’t know what he’s squalling about.
Tina: I would never do anything to sabotage this film, OK? I put my life into this film.
Your whole life? Yow; I guess so, but I also hope not. I am reminded of Rosie O’Donnell throwing her heart and moola into a little show called Taboo — and we all know how that turned out.
Somewhere in all the ranting, Aaron reveals the source of his concern: the negative was stolen from the lab last night. He simmers down long enough to say something sensible.
Aaron: I don’t actually think that you were the one who stole the negative, Tina, because you are not a complete and total raving lunatic. Like, for example, Jennifer Schecter.
The guy is a first-class schmuck, but apparently he’s also a keen judge of character.
Tina: And you think Jenny did it?
Aaron: I cannot, in my wildest dreams, imagine anyone else on the planet being that devious or insane. But Jenny Schecter? Piece of cake. And since she’s your friend, Tina, I am holding you personally responsible.
He storms out. He always storms out, so I think it’s losing its dramatic impact.
But wait: He’s holding Tina personally responsible? Because she’s Jenny’s friend? That’s like holding me personally responsible when my dog barfs. He can’t help it, and I can’t do anything about it except clean it up. Oh — OK, maybe that’s exactly the right approach to this situation.
Tina doesn’t seem half as upset as Aaron, but she’s sufficiently moved to utter a threat:
Tina: F—ing Jenny. I’m gonna f—ing kill you.
Oh, boy. Isn’t it fun to collect suspects like this? But I don’t understand why Niki and Tina delivered their murderous lines so flatly. I’m tempted to fault the acting in Niki’s case, but not in Tina’s — maybe they’re being told to be cold and calculating so we can’t guess who the killer is. Or maybe they’re just unable to believe they actually have to participate in this little parlor game. Hey, I’ll bet that’s how Season 6 came about: somebody gave Chaiken one of those stupid murder mystery dinner party hosting kits!
Before moving on from this scene, I have to note that I giggled when Aaron said that Tina didn’t want to “let the girls be released.” Hee. Release your girls, Tina! I guess that would take this show beyond TV-MA-LSV and right into TV-MA-LSVXXXYUM.
Morning (or mourning, depending on your proclivities) — Jenny and Shane are curled up in bed. Shane wakes up to find yippy little Sounder II right next to her on the bed. Sounder! Where ya been? Whatcha been up to? Peed on any conference tables lately?
Shane unceremoniously pushes the pup off the bed. Aww. I don’t know, Shane; that may be the surest sign yet (well, that and Jenny’s eventual expiration) that this dalliance is doomed. Love Jenny, love her dog. Um, unless the dog is pawn in a twisted game of revenge, like the first Sounder was. Maybe it’s better that you don’t get too attached.
Shane gets her bearings, as much as she can in this wackadoo, topsy-turvy world. Somebody should have warned her that when you step through the looking glass into Jennyland, you get sort of twisted up on the way through — fun-house mirrors have a different coefficient of lucidity. I think it’s something like -7734 or -666 or -8675309 . Jenny, Jenny, who can I turn to?
Shane: S—. [looking around, chuckling] I don’t know what to say.
You were right on the mark with that first word you uttered, actually.
Jenny: I’m happy we f—ed.
Shane: Are you sure?
Who can be sure of anything? In this world of pregnant men, vengeful Jodi and hatless Papi, even death and taxes are unreliable.
But Jenny is sure she’s happy. She expresses this by instigating another round of hanky-panky. Sounder, please come back and pull up the sheets, will you? And could you also do hospital corners so we can keep these two under wraps for a while? But the pup is too smart to return to this den of illogicality. At last, the remaining shreds of our retinas are saved by the doorbell.
The bell ringer is Alice. She’s there to get notes on her film treatment. Yes, even Alice has lost the ability to protect herself. She’s like the blithely clueless girl in the horror movie — the one who cheerfully knocks on the serial killer’s door, somehow oblivious to the chainsawed bodies strewn all over the front lawn.
As Alice continues to mash the doorbell the way Max mashes his Xbox controller buttons (um, that sounds wrong somehow), Shane scrambles for her shirt. Jenny, so recently sure about last night, asks Shane whether they’ve made a mistake.
Shane: [shrugging] You know as much as I do.
What? Is that supposed to be reassuring? You’re telling us that for comfort and clarity, we must turn to the Möbius strip that is Jenny’s gray matter? We’ll never get out alive!