THIS WEEK’S L WORD VOCABULARY:
Processing: Half of the episode. So gay!
Morbidity: The other half of the episode. So creepy!
Reunion: Not very satisfying when it’s virtual.
Resolution: Not always synonymous with "end."
THIS WEEK’S GUESTBIANS: Alexandra Hedison wields a weapon; Roger Cross just wants to use the facilities; Kate French hides in the bushes; Mei Melançon orders breakfast.
THREAT COUNT: As of last week, six characters had threatened Jenny’s life: Niki, Tina, Max, Alice, Helena, and Bette. But the threat count seems pointless now, because in this episode, everybody wants Jenny to just go away already.
Finale preliminaries — By now, you’ve already done a fair amount of thinking about this episode. You’ve marveled at the Pre-L, you’ve skimmed the live blog, you’ve tried to keep up with the Twitter buzz, you’ve chortled at the Facebook recap, and you’ve analyzed the episode in more than one conversation, chat session and forum thread. So this recap can be little more than an exercise in nostalgia. But maybe that’s not so bad — isn’t it all we have left?
One other note: this recap features something I’m calling the Chorus of Erstwhiles. I’ll explain further when we get to the first one.
Oh, sorry, two final notes: yes, I’m gleefully ignoring the interrogation tapes on sho.com; and yes, this recap is looooong. Luckily, you never have to wade through all this twaddle ever again!
Previously on The L Word — Wow, have you ever seen a "previously" montage that reaches so far back? Back to when Tasha left the army, back to Season 3 when Dylan sued Helena for sexual harassment, and back to all the loose threads of this episode, such as the stolen negative, Max’s pregnancy and the letter jacket in the attic. Oh, so we’ve been reminded of that stuff because we’re actually going to resolve it? All of it? Now? In an hour? Mm-hmm.
An interrogation room — Cast your minds back, if you will, to the first episode of this season. Remember Lucy Lawless’s delicious smirk and the imminence of the investigation into Jenny’s death? We’re back there now: in a sterile interrogation room, taking turns with all the frightened friends who were gathered in Bette and Tina’s living room.
The first witness/suspect/bystander is Shane. She admits that she’s thought about “it” but would never do something like that. Like what — like talk without moving your lips? ‘Cause that’s what you’re doing, in this strange collection of overlapping close-ups and dialogue that weaves in and out. It’s so artsy. Or something.
Shane characterizes herself as someone who likes her freedom. She also notes (while we’re on the topic of likes and dislikes) that she hates it when couples use the word "we," especially to describe their feelings.
Shane: Feeling is a solitary emotion. See, you may feel like you’re falling in love. And I, me, might feel like I’m being caged.
Purely hypothetical, of course. Just to illustrate.
She goes on to describe something that took place just after the "For Sale" sign went up in front of Bette and Tina’s house.
(By the way, a similar sign has also been put up in front of the property known as Television Space Occupied by Lesbian Characters. But in both cases, nobody’s buyin’.)
Just after that sign of doom showed up, Jenny and Shane sat down to record a contribution to the "tribute video" that Jenny has been working on for Bette and Tina. But Shane didn’t really get to speak — the "we" thing strikes again.
Jenny: [on the video] You guys were this supreme, wonderful, beautific [sic] couple, and now we’re gonna take your place because we’re the only ones left. So this is really, really exciting. So I give you my word [looking at Shane] that we’re gonna make it.
You give us your word? Which one, though? A nonword, such as "beautific" (I think she meant "beatific"), or an actual word — such as "flapdoodle"? That’s the perfect word for this vision of Shenny as the supreme couple. Hogwash, horsefeathers, claptrap, poppycock, hooey and flapdoodle!
Bliss — Hear that? No? That’s right: you don’t hear it. That awful, odious, risible, insulting, formless cacophony called the theme song is not assaulting your ears. What bliss!
The Planet — Alice, Tasha and Jamie are sitting at a triangular table. No, I mean I think it’s actually triangular in appearance, as well as in atmosphere.
They’re having a very intimate conversation in a very public place. Alice quietly states her love for Tasha. She doubts that either Jamie or Tasha realizes the depths of that love.
Alice: I guess I’m just asking you guys to be honest about what’s going on.
Jamie swears that nothing has happened between her and Tasha, but that doesn’t matter much to Alice.
Alice: I’m sure you guys haven’t even admitted it to yourselves. [looking at Tasha] ‘Cause I know you think thinking is cheating. [looking at Jamie] I’m sure you think the same thing.
She says that last bit stridently and viciously. I hate to hear pain in Alice’s voice. There’s pain in her eyes, too, and in the set of her jaw and the line of her neck and the bend of her brow, as Jamie and Tasha’s identical orders arrive at the table. (Alice, understandably, couldn’t possibly eat at a time like this.)
Alice tells them they need to be truthful about the feelings that are out of their control.
Tasha: I’m not gonna accept that.
Alice: Well, you have to accept it. You can’t … all the military training in the world doesn’t, you know, help you control feelings. You can’t … [impatiently] I’m giving you a chance here to just be honest with me, just tell me.
So Jamie does.
Jamie: I’m only speaking for myself, but, yeah, I think I have fallen in love with Tasha.
Alice’s reply is the only possible one.
Alice: Thank you. And f— you.
Jamie tries to tell Alice that she didn’t want this to happen and has the utmost respect for Alice and her relationship with Tasha, but Alice tells them they’re free to go.
Jamie: No, no, no. God, no. Please do not break up over me.
Tasha: We’re not. [to Alice] Don’t do this.
Alice: When we have sex, I don’t close my eyes and imagine someone else naked in the shower.
Tasha: F— you.
Eeek. Is this the most uncomfortable scene ever, even for a show that is fond of uncomfortable scenes? Why are they having this conversation at the Planet, anyway? I guess it’s neutral territory, but it’s also so very public. It gets even more tense as Jamie tries to tell them to stay together.
Alice: Will you shut the f— up, please? Just shut the f— up.
Yow! I don’t think I’d want to meet Alice in a dark alley. I mean, I actually totally would like to meet her in a dark alley, but not if she’s using her mean voice.
And then Alice tells them to "give it a try."
Tasha: Try what? What the f— does that mean?
Alice: Just f—ing try it. Just … if you don’t call me by the same time tomorrow, I’ll know you made up your mind about … what it is you want.
Tasha: This is not … this has never happened to me before. Alice, you know that I live a life of honor and duty.
Alice: Well, I don’t want you to stay with me out of a sense of duty. Don’t stay with me because it’s the right thing to do.
On that note, Alice takes her leave. Jamie tries to say one last thing, but Alice barks, "Save it. Shut up." Yes, please save it: save this relationship and save Alice, because I can’t bear to see her so sad and angry.