'The L Word': Marina sings!

Marina_lSo my all-time favorite L Word character, Marina (Karina Lombard, pictured), is back, and… I get her singing a wildly off-key song in some sort of Pussycat Dolls-meet-Busby Berkeley-meets-21st Century Vegas Strip milieu? Um, okay. I’m game for this. The "pre-opening" gimmick on this show is a definitive staple and I don’t think I’ve ever missed it, but aside from that odd shot of Max’s hoo-ha a few weeks ago, damned if I can remember one of them. And they’re always making me feel a little dumb. They’ve never added up to any one thing, and they run the gamut from completely obvious to totally inscrutable; ergo, they always leave me asking, "Were we just having fun there, or was I supposed to be jotting notes for the final?" But this was just plain weird. It gave me a heartburn. It left me unsettled.

We got our explanation by the end of a very long and moody hour. Marina was there as a guest of Lawrence Bender (side note: Hollywood’s got major love for The L Word, which is why you saw Bender, Garry Marshall, and John Stockwell self-promoting/self-flagellating in last night’s very LA-lovin’ episode). Marina has been eyed to play, yup, Karina in the hoped-for film version (a musical!) of "Lez Girls." As wonderfully bitchy as this development may prove to be, it’s incredibly preposterous and also corny. Marina was being billed as the must-have star of the film, but her episode-ending performance was completely overshadowed by a huge, whirring lineup of women, gyrating in lycra. Strange. And Jenny’s reaction? I know she’s been her usual bobble-headed self during this entire story-to-film process, but I kind of expected a massive blowout when she saw Marina’s face last night. (Maybe a bottle of wine, Jenny? You always liked to hurl those.)

addCredit(“The L Word: Paul Michaud”)

The Phyllis arc came to a satisfying, albeit odd, close. BruceDavison gave a touching turn as poor, befuddled Leonard, who ended upspending nearly the entire episode lying in bed with Tasha, Papi,Helena, and Alice. I hardly think a man who’s been married for 23 yearsonly to find out that his wife likes the ladies would need just onequick verbal ass-whuppin’ from an Army girl, but then, I don’t write The L Word.That bed scene was fun; it again proved that Leisha Hailey’s Alice isthe show’s unofficial mascot, and it also found a way to give theladies something fun and fizzy. Consider it the DInah Shore tournament,only in Alice’s king-sized!

I’m actually pleased with the way that things were wrapped upbetween Shane, Shae, and their father. Dude’s a creep and he bulliedShane into giving up the fight, but there was something about thatfight that would have felt really ludicrous and exploitative on a showlike The L Word. I bear the scars of Angelica’s season 3 "kidnapping,"and child custody battles are just one thing that I don’t ever need tosee played out on this show again. Still, great acting work fromKatherine Moennig last night — and besides, Shane can bond withKristanna Loken’s kid. J.R.? D.J.? B.T.? Guys, why can’t I rememberanything about those two?!

Poor Max. Can’t anything ever go right for the tranny? First he’sbeing pushed out of his job at work (do you think Brooke finally toldDaddy what went down?), then he finds out that his own mother has diedand he’s not even wanted at the funeral. It’ll be interesting to see ifthe show pursues Max’s trip home to the Midwest — there always seemed tobe a great backstory there.

I thought Bette acted like a bit of a toolwith Jodi, playing the jealousy card right after she dumped her. Bettewas confused and confusing all night. She made my head spin! Byepisode’s end, you just knew she’d be back with Jodi, didn’t you? So Iwant to make a prediction: Season 5 will be the last of the series. Idon’t have any backstage proof on any of this, I just feel it. Fiveyears feels about right for a cable series with a loving and devotedfan base. But what I want to know is this: Will Bette return to Tina?Will she and Jodi still be sparring and screwing? Or will she havefound an entirely new girlfriend?

Also, why did Helena have a humongous sombrero on her head… afterreturning from Majorca? That monstrosity on her head was straight outof a souvenir shop at Epcot Center’s Mexican section.

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  • Sharlin

    I prefer her in The 4400.

  • Jennifer

    Hey Nicolas, get a TV Watch!

  • Dan

    Yes, TV Watch is where this stuff belongs. Seriously, every week with the recap?

  • jolie

    Since grandma here feel asleep during The Dark Ages, I cheated and read this before watching the newest ep., which I’m tinkling over – MARINA!
    Question for you: Didn’t Max out himself at work? When the female co-worker got passed over, I thought Max fessed up to the boss that the same guy who discriminated against the female co-worker refused to hire him when he was still Moira. Did I dream that?

  • Stin

    Good episode. I thought Katherine Moenning did a GREAT job last nite. Shane rad through almost every emotion last nite from depression to the final happiness that Alice helped get her to.

  • Ed

    I really like how these last couple of episodes have targeted key issues and discussed them thoroughly. When Alice and the girls were in bed with Leonard and discussing the whole lesbian issue, it really explained the whole gay experience.
    I l-l-l-love Jenny’s rendition of Pretty Woman – VERY FUNNY!
    The person I feel bad for the most was Max/Moira. Not so much the character but for the actress; you can tell they’re going to write her off at the end of this season. Her plot line is stale and just hanging. Also, IMDB says she’s going to go to San Francisco to have her operation that singals a good bye Max/Moira.
    P.S. I would LOVE to see an actual play version of Lez Girls, I think it could be the next PussyCat Dolls.

  • Seattlelez

    Loved the show. The Shane/Shae interaction was really heartfelt. Nice to see shane’s soft side…! Love the bed scene..You just know that Alice would be the most fun to hang out with IRL…she is so damn funny..Yeah..what WAS that cheap sombrero..stupid..! When will Helena figure out that Catherine is a compulsive gambler and probably comes from poverty, and been hustling her whole life! Loved seeing Papi have to stop and THINK for a bit about herself. Love to see that armour coming off and the more real side of her without the bravado. All that fake hollywood BS with the directors and “agents” ….way over the top..if people act like that, thank God I live in Seattle! Bette was pretty quick to get over her jealously and jump back “in” with Marlee..overall I loved it!

  • Nell

    did NOT like the bed scene. Can’t put my finger on why exactly.. but it just seems like the writers are trying too hard. Gotta give the actors credit for doing the best they can with the material they are given.. I DO think Kate Moennig’s acting has improved greatly from the first few seasons.. Overall I just wish this show had a better sense of direction.

  • Leigh

    I loved the bed sequence. Leonard held the quartet emotionally hostage as he processed what it means to realize his marriage of 23 years was not what he thought it was. And I liked how the four – Alice, Helena, Tasha and Papi – went from incredibly uncomfortable upon seeing Leonard to feeling sorry for him and trying to help him come to terms with his present situation. Didn’t give a hoot about Bette and Jodi; I don’t like seeing Bette be that much of a wimp to anyone other than Tina. Shane’s situation and its resolution were well handled and well acted by all involved. I really thought I was going to hate the whole Shane/Shay coupling but they did a good job. I think the casting of the kid who plays Shay helped since he came across as a natural, normal boy and wasn’t at all cloying as so many child actors tend to be. And, can I mention again how much I love Alice? Well, I will. Leisha Hailey makes the show for me. She should get a spin-off!

  • Jon88

    Jolie nailed it. Max outed “himself” to the boss.
    I was liking pretty much everybody last night, but for one. If we ever find out which island the Jessica Capshaw character was banished to, can we send Jenny there?

  • newbie

    does anyone know where i can find bars that show the l word in san francisco?
    thx!

  • newbie

    does anyone know where i can find bars that show the l word in san francisco?
    thx!

  • gus

    “Can’t anything ever go right for the tranny?”
    isn’t exactly the most sensitive language you can use, friend.

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