The L Word: Know when to hold 'em

Did anybody else notice that last night’s episode of The L Word — which just happened to air against the Oscars and probably garnered a total viewership of 12 — managed to get in a few sly movie references? You know what I’m talking about; anybody who watched that bizarro opening sequence with Jenny and that damn dog had to be reminded of the final scene in Carrie. And anybody who’s not fast-forwarding the supremely discordant Helena’s-a-gambler! scenes (hey, isn’t the poker craze so 2004?) was probably in the midst of an Indecent Proposal flashback last night, at least until Catherine started screaming the most famous line from Jerry Maguire — "Show me the money!!" — before burying her head in Helena’s crotch and leaving me to ponder aloud, "What in the…?" Is anybody else discombobulated by Catherine? Doesn’t she seem to have wandered onto the set from a David Lynch movie… or a Twin Peaks rerun… or that orgy scene from Eyes Wide Shut? What’s her point? Why are we here? I’m having a James Stockdale moment. (Fast-forward to 07:14 for a good time.)

This was a confusing episode. Suddenly, Tina’s cozying up to Bette again, presumably because she’s jealous of Jodi Lerner. Or because she’s not getting any from Henry. Or because she realizes that she’s been in a bitter mood for the better part of the last two seasons. I’m not sure what’s up with that, or what’s up with Bette’s strange, invasive demands that Jenny sell the film rights to "Lez Girls" to Tina’s company alone because they’re friends. That’s all fine and well  — tit-for-tat is what keeps Hollywood running — but is this even any of Bette’s business?

Pam Grier finally got a chance to chirp more than the single"Sistergirlfriend, you my boo child!" she gets thrown each week. Thatwas nice, huh? The angry person over in wardrobe could stand to stopdressing her like a bag lady each week, but at least we got a goodold-fashioned blowout from Kit, who finally confronted Angus. Wellplayed, screaming at him right in the middle of your performance at ThePlanet and then following up with a tongue-lashing at Bette. Not sowell played: Getting tanked on mojitos and letting Papi lick yourbosom. Messy!

Oooh, speaking of wet bosoms: damn! Everyone was going to town lastnight. Shane and that chick played by Kristanna Loken (please tell meI’m not the only one having trouble remembering Paige’s name) spentmost of the hour screwing in a car outside The Planet. Fine. Hot. But Ihave a big ol’ bone to pick with the person who shot the much-awaitedconsummation of Tasha and Alice’s pretty little tango. Why, friend, whydid the whole entire scene look like it had been shot in a tomb? Thesong was great, the dialogue was funny, the steamy factor wasoff-the-charts. But I was looking at a blank screen and hearing nothingbut slurping and moaning. I felt like a pervert.

All this silliness aside, though, I’d be remiss if I didn’t commend The L Word for casting such a strong group of actresses this season. Year 4 is a strange time for any show; it’s when the actors — and the characters they portray — haveinsinuated themselves into viewers’ lives, so any new additions have towork that much harder to make an impression. I was initially lukewarmon Marlee Matlin’s Jodi, but she’s proven to be a fascinating study ofa strong, proud woman, and last night’s breakup discussion with Bettewas heartbreaking. Cybill Shepherd has been reliably loopy as poor,troubled Phyllis, Kristanna Loken is bringing a steady energy to herrole as a love interest for our newly tame Shane, and Javina Gavankaris camping it up nicely as Papi. But I am besotted with Rose Rollins’fine, understated work as Tasha, and am so pleased to see LeishaHailey’s Alice with a new partner as equally perect for her as the lateDana. Writers, keep doing big things with Tasha. Rollins is more thanup to the task.

What about you? Do you love Tasha? Was Papi preying on Kit —or justdoing what came naturally? Should Jenny sell her rights to Tina’s filmcompany? Will Bette be able to stay away from Jodi? And shouldn’t Kitjust work through her man troubles by figuring out where Ivan is andbringing him home to play house?


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  • Ed

    I’m loving the L Word.
    Last night’s episode is pretty much the set up for the season finale. I’m so sad that it’s almost over! Looks like next week Shane gets her brother taken away. There went that.
    Jenny continues to be the biggest b*tch ever; her friends need to disown her.
    I hate to be a hater but doesn’t it look like Kit gained some weight? What’s up with that?!
    I loved the honest dialogue between Alice and her soldier girlfriend about the war, very honest.
    I do have to agree though, the car scene was hot hot hot – and I’m a queen.
    To be fair, the L-Word needs to introduce a gay male character, a strong one, not the one they had last season. Queer as Folk had a power lesbian couple, why can’t the L?

  • Anonymous

    Tasha is so hot and likeable

  • Deluxx

    While we’re discussing issues with the sex scenes in the L-word, can we please have a word with the editor of last week’s aborted kitchen romp of Shane and Paige? Paige’s jeans came on and off no less than 5 times (on, then off, then on, then Shane pulling them off, then they’re on again!). She was wearing red underwear, no less, so it’s not like it was subtle. It was completely distracting. A+ for the scene-ending move on Shane’s part though (scripted or ad-libbed by Kate M?) when she hears the toilet flush: the hand covering Paige’s boob was hilarious.
    As for this week, yes, absolutely: Kit should just go find Ivan and get busy.

  • JC

    was I the only one horrified that Papi was going to take advantage of Kit in her situation? I mean, if Papi was a dude, people would be freaking out!

  • Ed

    JC, I understand your quandry but remember Papi is a womanizer. And just like a man, she’ll sleep with anything that has two legs.

  • Nell

    Just when i was starting to wonder what happend to Helena’s kids.. there they are! Sometimes, tho I think the writers forget story lines that aren’t working or aren’t what the audience wants.. like.. how come no one is still upset that Dana died? If she was such a strong part of their circle and such a love interest for Alice, wouldn’t there still at least be talk of her? And yes, Nicholas, I, too am having trouble remembering Paige’s name.. she’s hot Terminator Girl to me. :)

  • Michelle

    I love Jodi – I too was iffy at first but she is great and Bette needs to get over it and keep that woman. Please tell me she is not going to take Tina back!!! I think Papi showed a much more human side last night not taking advantage of Kit when she was down. I suspect she will turn out to be a diamond in the rough. Jenny needs to go away – I have disliked her from the start. Not sure what is going on with Helene that is just odd all the way around but I will trust the writers have a point to it all. I hope Marleen Matlin will be around for a while I really love that character. It is the first one on the show that I see as a real person.

  • Stin

    How hot was Shane last nite? Mmmmmm. I disagree with everyone, I cannot stand Papi. And I could go without Jodi. But Phyllis I like, she brings a different emotion to the show, almost… needy?

  • Todd

    Good ep. Can I just say that Tasha is the sexiest woman on TV right now! Helena needs to go! Her stories have allways stretched credibilit and been “off” get rid of her. I love crazy Jenny and am I wrong but are they so setting her up for a fall. Shane and Paige have great chemistry (as do Alice and Tasha). I agree though were are the gay men? Bette would certainly have some gay men friends and of course Shane would too being a hairdresser.

  • Jean Arthur

    As far as I can guess, Bette and Tina are bound to be in trouble because of Kit. Bette will find out that Tina talked to Kit and trouble will come back to the two of them. Alice and Tasha seem ok but still Tasha is quite plain to me and has no sparkle at all (apart from having a wonderful body) Shane and Paige look great to me but I find Paige a little too big for Shane? Bette and Jodi’s plot should continue but Bette should follow more her instincts and relax a little bit. What ever happened to the Vet Lady? Will she come back to Jenny’s life again? Where’s that crush she had?

  • Lyn

    I have enjoyed the last three episodes of “The L Word,” mainly due to the presence of Rose Rollins as Tasha. I think she brings a fresh presence and perspective to the show. And I think she and Alice make an intriguing couple. At first glance, one would think they were as different as night and day. But they both have a passion for what they believe and what they stand for. And both are very attractive and appear to have great chemistry, so it works all around. I hope Rose’s character continues into the 5th season. I find her performance very real and believeable.
    of the

  • jolie

    I loved that there’s been virtually no sex this season until this week’s explosion – it made it so much better, like when you wait in a relationship, finally do the deed and then cannot stop for, like, days and wind up christening every surface in your home. (Gosh, who’s the pervert now?!) And MY LORD is Tasha ever beautiful! Love Paige, love Papi no matter who she’s doing, love Jodi more every week (but are we really to believe that Bette learned sign language that quickly? I know she’s brilliant and all, but come on!) I even *whispers* sort of liked Max.
    My only real gripe with this ep was the reappearance of Shane’s dad. It’s such an obvious choice to make, and I’d prefer to see Shane and Shay’s relationship evolve. We’ve got Papi now to fulfill our slutting about needs, it’d be more interesting to see Shane get stronger and happier, rather than be pitched right back into self-destructive behavior. It’s been done already, move on.

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