“The L Word” recap (1.7): “L’Ennui”



  • Boring: Is in the eyes of the beholder.
  • What Counts as Sex: Is also in the eyes of the beholder, especially when too many people are watching.
  • Spirit: Flowing in all the wrong directions.
  • Tit: Proof that Shane is (or thinks she is) cooler than everyone.
  • Get Out and Stay Out: What several people do, in several different ways.
  • Reiki: It’s better than the other thing Lisa has in mind.
  • Stride: What this show might finally be hitting.

THIS WEEK’S GUEST-BIANS: Devon Gummersall is still back as Lisa the Lesbian-Identified Man; Lolita Davidovich out-cools Marina.

The Prelude — Ribbons! Oh, good: girls like ribbons, and after all, this is a show about girls. Oh, and look: we’re in Rome. It’s all so romantic and dramatic! Hmm, there’s Lolita Davidovich: yeah, she really is romantic and dramatic. And much to everyone’s surprise (and especially compared to last week’s nightmare of a prelude), this little film school project doesn’t suck. At all. It’s mostly visual, but here’s the rundown: Lolita Davidovich is a costumer with a lovely client who’s come to her for a fitting. Ms. Davidovich tells said client the story of The Gift of the Magi, and occasionally speaks Italian, all while making adjustments that require her to “pin it from underneath.” Yeah. There are some slow, sensual caresses and some short, sharp gasps, and everyone leaves happy. Even the viewers.

Marina’s hair — Marina is singing in Spanish while sweeping her hair up and catching it with a lovely comb. Oh, get it? We’re already referencing the prelude — there were combs in The Gift of the Magi! There’s no way that would have made any sense later on in the show — good thing they linked it up now, before the drooling starts.

Tim’s house — Tim is dragging a body bag. Oops, no, it’s a garbage bag full of Jenny’s clothes. But hey, it probably doesn’t weigh much less than it would if Jenny’s body were actually in it. Instead, her body is at the door, and is looking rather unwashed. Jenny rambles on about meeting the weird kids with the shrooms, and climbing a mountain. Tim is nonplussed. Tim tells Jenny that he got her letter, and that he never meant for her to eviscerate herself; he just wanted her to be honest. She nods and gives him a gift: a chain for his stopwatch. Wait, what was that story we were talking about earlier? The one with the combs? Did it have something to do with a watch? Never mind, nobody expects to think while watching television. Anyway, of course Tim broke his stopwatch on “that day.” He asks Jenny to confirm that “that day” was indeed her first time with Marina. She says yes. He tells her, forcefully, to get out of his house. Hey, Jenny? Lying when you’ve been given a second chance to be honest: well, that’s stupid even for you. I can’t believe I feel a little bit sorry for you as you shuffle out to pick up all the crap that’s on Tim’s front lawn.

The Planet — Marina’s looking pleased with her hair and the world in general. Shane is telling Alice and Dana that she met “short, tiny” Madonna at Harry The Sugar Daddy’s party. “So, did she want you?” asks Alice. Shane gives her a look like, “what do you think?” and then reveals that she’s doing Madonna’s hair next week, and that Harry has given her his yacht for a day, and so of course she’s having a party. This episode is called “L’Ennui” because Shane is going to bore me to death.

Bette and Tina arrive. Shane asks Tina how she’s doing. Alice and Dana give Shane some hilarious looks that seem to say “why the fuck did you have to ask her that?” Tina proceeds to regale them with the details of her hormones and heartburn and hurling; Bette grins and plays along. Dana and Alice and Shane end up slack-jawed and drooling — see, it really is a good thing we got the literary references out of the way. Tina and Bette tell the crew about the “ceremony in spirit flow” that they’re having to mark the day the baby’s soul enters its body. It’s a yoga thing — well, an extreme yoga thing. I know all about up dog, down dog, and even the standing bow, but this is the first I’ve heard of a spirit flow thing. Obviously my yoga knowledge isn’t quite trendy enough. Anyway, Alice, Dana, and Shane pretend to be excited.

Tim’s front lawn — Jenny sits, surrounded by all her crap, and wishes for happier, more eviscerated times.

The spirit flow ceremony — There’s some chanting and singing, and Alice, Dana, and Shane are not enjoying themselves, but I don’t care, because there’s Kit, looking all cute and trying to be interested. She even tries to sway with the song. Kit! Namaste!

The Planet — Marina is still strutting around with that comb in her hair, when she sees unkempt Jenny staring at her from a table in the corner. Jenny says, “I know you don’t want to talk to me after what I said to you,” and Marina says this great thing: “What do you need, Jenny?” Jenny needs a bath, and some understanding, and Marina reluctantly agrees to supply both, but not before showing Jenny what Tim did when he came to prove how much he loves Jenny. It takes me a few tries, but I finally figure out that Marina isn’t showing off her pale arms or her manicure, but the bruises around her wrists and forearms from where Tim grabbed her.

Marina: “But don’t worry, I’m not going to press charges.”

Jenny: “Am I just a coward… and a liar… and a cheater?

Yes! Well, that, plus dirty and stinky.

Outside — Shane is telling everyone how great her party on the yacht will be. She says it could be “tit.” Okay, Shane, last week it was “beast,” and this week it’s “tit,” and next week you should try polysyllabic slang.

Bette says the “tit”-ness is the reason she and Tina won’t be going to the party. Tina starts rambling on again, about how she’s nesting and retreating and hen-like. Bette seems happy about all of it; she and Tina walk off hand in hand. Alice says “it’s so desperate.” See, Shane? Sometimes polysyllabic words are “tit.” Alice and Dana and Shane agree to do something about the desperation.

Marina’s bathtub — There’s some sort of… hmm, I guess it’s a wig or something, floating in the water. Suddenly it moves — oh, it’s Jenny! I couldn’t see the skin and bones attached to the hair.

Bette and Tina’s house — Shane, Alice, and Dana are there to perform an intervention. They gently inform Bette and Tina that the baby-making stuff has made them boring. Alice is adorable with her glasses and clipboard. The intervenors have prepared a list of incidents of boring-ness, as well as a multiple-choice test that will help Bette and Tina do some self-assessment. Erin Daniels shows off her comedic gifts again. Bette and Tina are accused of various terrible things, like wearing fuzzy slippers. Awww!

Kit’s house — Kit is gettin’ her groove on, and gettin’ her drink on, when the phone rings. It’s her son, David the future doctor, asking if she can meet with him while he’s in town interviewing for internships. Kit’s quietly thrilled, of course. David worries about putting her in a stressful situation while she’s in recovery. Kit assures him that she’ll be fine. David, what’s wrong with you? You have the coolest mommy in the world!

Dana’s agent’s office — The Asshole Agent is telling Dana that there’s a “lifestyle clause”in her contract with Subaru, which means she’ll have to be careful about her image. Dana asks about Martina — finally! I’ve been wondering about that for weeks! But the Asshole Agent says no, that was different: Martina is a superstar, so of course she’s allowed to be out. Dana, on the other hand, must seize her Anna Kournikova-ness while she can. God, is this guy an asshole.

Conrad the Asshole Agent: “Your Anna Kournikova days are numbered.”

Dana: “Fuck you, Conrad.”

CtAA: “Hey, I’ve offered. Oh, lighten up, Fairbanks, c’mon. You can be a lez when you retire. Right now, you’re an ass-kickin’, but dick-lovin’, athlete, who’s gettin’ a big fat paycheck. All you have to do is smile pretty for the camera. Capiche?”

No, she doesn’t. Or at least she shouldn’t.

The yacht party — Bette and Tina are the first two to arrive. They laugh at how boring they are, and then enjoy the peaceful light on the water, which is quickly supplanted by a scene change: we see the front of the yacht, which is called the “Sea Man” (thanks); the music is loud, the women are hot, and everybody’s drunk or high. Shane’s in the hot tub, gettin’ naked with anyone who feels like joining in. Alice sees Bette and Tina standing off by themselves and reminds them that they’re boring, so they start dancing. Yeah, so maybe they are boring, but they’re also kind of cute.

A restaurant — Lara seems to have a thing for making Dana blush in public:

Lara: “So you still haven’t told me: what do you think counts as sex?”

Dana: “I don’t know; if you have an orgasm?”

Lara: “Well, if that was the case, that would mean thousands of women who are married and have children have never had sex… but either way, you and I definitely have had sex. You are so sexy, Dana… you make me come so hard…”

[Dana pulls away from Lara’s attempt to kiss her]

Lara: “Oh, did I offend you or something?”

Dana: “No, everything’s fine.” [she pulls away from another attempted kiss]

Lara: “Dana, what’s up?”

Dana: “I just… I need you to stop.”

Lara: “Stop what?”

Dana: “Touching me. Kissing me. I can’t do this, okay? I’m not ready for all this.”

Lara: “I don’t believe you. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone more ready in my entire life.”

Dana: “I know, I’m gay. And when I hide that, I hide the best part of me. But you don’t understand what it means to be me. My clock is ticking, Lara, and you want to have sex in the street.”

Lara: “What?”

Dana: “And I don’t want to parade around making sure everybody knows our business. I am not like you. I care what they think.”

Lara: “Look, is this about the ad campaign or something? Did your agent scare the shit out of you?”

Dana: “It’s just, I can’t stand to be judged by you all the time. You’re a bigger, better person than me, and every time I look at you I am reminded of that.”

Lara: “I’m sorry. I’ve been putting too much pressure on you, and I’m moving too fast. Maybe we should just–“

Dana: “No.”

Lara: “No?”

Dana: “I just… I just can’t. Okay? Just forget it. I can’t. This is too hard. I don’t want to be with you.”

Yeah, I typed up the whole thing, but that’s all the Dana/Lara we get this time, so it seemed worth the effort. Dana walks out, leaving Lara standing there. Lara, go after her! No, don’t: she’s giving up too easily and you deserve someone better. But no, you’re so cute together! And she makes you… um, anyway. We all knew it was going to happen, but… just forget it. I can’t. This is too hard.

The yacht party — Lisa the Lesbian Guy wants to know whether Alice felt him “sending her reiki” at 9:15 the night before. Alice, he’s just trying to get into your pants. Bette and Tina are laughing and rolling their eyes and making gagging motions in the background. Ha ha!

Dana shows up; Shane asks her where “her woman” is. Dana avoids the question and downs a glass of wine. Dammit, Dana.

Down below (well, that’s what it’s called on a ship, isn’t it?), Lisa the Full of Crap Lesbian-Identified Man convinces Alice to take her shirt off. Dude, she obviously digs you, so just stop being so pretentious and make your move already.

Up above, Bette, Shane, and Dana are doing tequila shots, licking the salt off their respective objects of affection. Bette wisely tosses one of the shots — not the salt — over her shoulder.

Marina and Jenny show up and start dancing. Hmm. Jenny looks happy. And cleaner.

Lisa and Alice are mostly unclothed now. Lisa says “wait” and pulls it out — a dildo, that is. Alice laughs and says he doesn’t need to do that because he’s “got the real thing.” But Lisa says that the real thing goes against who he is, and is not how he wants to make love to her. Alice says, “Listen, you’re a man. You’re a man named Lisa, but you’re definitely a man.” That’s right, Alice, you show him how smart you are! Oh, but not too smart, because you have sex with him anyway.

Tina is watching Dana get down with her bad self. Bette brings Tina some tea; Tina then confesses that she’s addicted to domesticity, so she and Bette sneak out. Bette says, “Here, quick, slip under my cloak of boringness and no one will even notice we’re gone.” See, they’re still kind of cute.

Lisa the Lesbian-Identified Man leaves — he’s disgusted. Yeah, you’re not the only one, buddy. Alice looks kind of sated though, and can’t believe he’s storming off. Dump him!

Marina and Jenny are still dancing, and although it’s hard for me to admit this, it’s kind of sexy.

Shane is snorting something again. Oh, what, she’s going to develop an oxy habit? God.

Dana’s heaving over the side of the boat. Dana, Dana, Dana: what the hell are you thinking? You should be at Lara’s door, begging her to forgive you.

Bette and Tina’s house — Bette tucks Tina in; Tina tells her she’s exciting, but Bette doesn’t look too sure. Okay, now’s a good time to mention that I saw Flashdance over the weekend (yeah, for the first time ever), and the only resemblance between this Jennifer Beals and that Jennifer Beals — other than general hotness — is the soulful, sorrowful look she gets sometimes. Bette, since Alice is interested in lesbian-identified men and Dana is freaking out about everything, you wanna go out with me? Oh, that’s right, you can’t: you’re the Queen of Monogamy, Marriage, and Domesticity.

Morning on the yacht — Dana, and Alice wonder where Bette and Tina went, and then decide that Bette and Tina are still just boring.

Shane: “I don’t know. You know, when you think about it, what’s more boring, right? You make endless lists; and you bawl your head off and puke over the side of the boat, or you get to go home and go to sleep with the same person you’ve been in love with for seven years. I don’t know.”

Shane proceeds to hop up on the side of the boat and behave dangerously.

Marina’s house— Jenny and Marina are having sex. Have I lost my mind, or is this pretty hot too? I think it’s Marina’s expressions… she seems to be in that hyper-sensitive sensual state, feeling everything around her, taking the very air in through her teeth and tasting it.

Dana’s house — Oh, look at that! Dana’s pajamas have hearts and cute things on them. That’s so adorable. Conrad the Asshole Agent shows up to remind Dana that she has a photo shoot; he smells her breath and says “tell what’s-her-name to do you sober the night before a photo shoot.” He then tells Dana that the makeup artists can work wonders: “remember Gia?” Yeah, fuck you, Conrad.

Bette and Tina’s house — Kit asks Bette to go with her to meet David. Bette agrees, but what these words don’t capture is how much better the show is when these two are in a scene together, without everybody else around to distract us from their impressive silences.

Marina’s house — Jenny’s happy. She wants to store some things at Marina’s house. Marina starts talking about how great it would be if Jenny could write there, in the sunlight, but then points out she doesn’t live in fantasy-land. Ha ha! Jenny gets all sad and pouty. Marina reminds her that Francesca is coming back. Who? Jenny doesn’t know. Marina says sure, she’s told Jenny about Francesca. Oops. Apparently Francesca travels 4 or 5 months out of the year and is a costumer. Does anyone still remember the little film school project prelude at this point? Jenny gets pissed off and starts to leave. On her way out, she looks at the pictures on the wall and sees Lolita Davidovich. A-ha!

Marina tries to explain that things are good:

Jenny: “Who are you?”

Marina: “Someone who cares about you. You’ll find that your life is richer, more full of possibilities and choices. I’ve opened up your world.”

Jenny: “Fuck you.”

I may never say this again, but Jenny, I agree with you 150 percent.

The country club — Dana is in fine form, until she sees Lara walking along beside the tennis court. Wah! Go after her, dummy!

A hotel — Kit and Bette sit at the bar, even though Bette thinks that’s a bad idea. Kit orders a seltzer, feeling rather proud of herself, and explains that she hasn’t had a drink since David called, and that she really is trying. She asks Bette how she does it — keeps it all together, meaning career, love, family. Bette sort of avoids the question. Kit tells her she has the “daddy blues” and is worried about the responsibilities and the risk-averse life she’ll have to live. Bette mumbles that she’s sure that’s all it is. Kit says, “Yeah, because you and Tina are solid. You’ve got a marriage like God chose you two to find each other. And that’s a love you never want to let go.” Awww. Kit knows everything! But Bette just excuses herself. What’s up, Queen of Monogamy?

David shows up and sees Kit drinking her shaken seltzer from a martini glass, and assumes it’s a martini. Wait; if it’s seltzer, would the bartender really have shaken it up like that? Anyway, David gets all judgmental and leaves.

The country club — The Subaru rep shows Dana and her agent the mockups. One of them says “Get Out. And Stay Out.” The rep explains, “See, our concept is: we want to position you as the gay Anna Kournikova.” Conrad the Asshole Agent starts to argue, but Dana approves — “I love it. I love it. I want to be the gay Anna Kournikova.” She takes a shallow, happy breath and then fires her agent. Wheeeee! Conrad doesn’t get the message at first, so Dana has to fire him twice, which makes it even more fun. Dana, we can only hope it’s not too late to get the soup chef back in your bed.

The hotel — Bette and Kit ask the desk clerk about David; it turns out he checked out 45 minutes ago. Well, if he can’t figure out that his mommy is so cool, let him get out and stay out.

Tim’s house — Jenny is back, asking to stay in the studio for a night or two. She tells Tim she wishes none of it had ever happened. Tim says, “Jenny, the things you say have absolutely no meaning to me.” Um, geez. That’s kind of harsh. Jenny looks broken, and there I go feeling sorry for her again. Tim says she can stay for one night. Cue Lucinda Williams.

NEXT WEEK ON THE L WORD: Jenny and someone else decide to spy on Marina and Francesca; Bette and Tina are in some sort of encounter group; Dana’s parents wonder what “Get Out and Stay Out” could possibly mean.

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