'The L Word' recap: Heat wave

Lword_l"It’s a scorcher out there folks!"

You have to admire the subtle thematic forecasting (not!) with which theL Word writers began this soft-core steamer, but why make fun when thiswas such a sassy return to form after last week’s doldrums?

Let’s start with Jenny’s fabulous public meltdown while watching Nikienjoy "for-the-camera" hetero sex with her "actor boy" costar. Jenny — looking loonier than ever in giant dangling hoops (pictured) like Madonna circa1988 — figures out that Niki’s been secretly doing "actor boy," andsends him packing with one of the episode’s finest lines: "It’sunprofessional… it’s a vile and despicable act. You’re fired."

A vile and despicable act. That’s the kind of high camp gem that keeps The L Word crisp and amusing for all the sodden storylines that have come and gone. (Joyce is always good for zingers likethese, as when she coos about Phyllis’ "sweet little slip of afrock." Love, love, love the Joyce. Wish she sauntered through the showmore regularly.)

Meanwhile, Shane’s "straight girl crush that will not go away," doesn’tgo away. After a visit from her dud boyfriend — another in the longline of male stooges written into the plot — Molly fortifies herselfwith a goblet of burgundy and takes Shane to her pillowy girlhood bed. Herreluctance to acquaint herself with Shane’s nether regions suggestlingering doubts, but she seems to have a pretty nice time. Onceagain — can’t they ever push the story forward without someone bargingin on a sex scene?

As for Max: I’m no Alice, but I have to confess to some uneasiness about wherehe’s going. The reappearance of Jodi’s flirty interpreter, this time inreally tiny running shorts, deepened my anxiety. Is this the rightdirection? Or is Max heading off a cliff? I’m not sure what I’msupposed to wish for him. Clarity? Love? But with whom? If I’ve writtensomething politically incorrect here, like Alice, I will publicly andcheerfully recant.

But the climax of the evening, so to speak, was the sultry Bette andTina elevator reunion, with Jennifer Beals sweating even more than she did inFlashdance. Bette explains how much their common values mean toher —she loves Tina’s "attention to beauty" and how she surrounds herselfwith tasteful things. Does their epic love story all boil down toliking the same spreads in Domino? I thought Tina, one of the show’ssaner characters, might roll her eyes. But she seemed to melt; oralpleasure soon followed.

In fact, the whole last quarter of this show was one slow-mo advertisement for girl-on-girl oral pleasure.

So, Tasha and Alice: on the shelf for now, happily playing with icecubes and useful for an occasional boob shot. I think they’ll staythere for a while.

Shane and Molly — doomed! C’mon, isn’t Molly just a spoiled straight girl having a Sherri Jaffe moment?

Bette and Tina are apparently together again, though Bette still has totell Jodi. And fast. I was cringing for Jodi as she slithered allover a wincing Bette early in show. In fact I was cringing for both ofthem.

I’m looking forward to seeing more of saucy Dawn and Cindy, as thathilarious little "sitdown" practically guaranteed. I’m also panting tolearn what skinny, nasty little Adele is cooking up in that twisted brain of hers. But even without herevil machinations, don’t you think the affair between Jenny and Niki — two of the mostvolatile, self-centered women in Los Angeles — has the lifespan of apeeled potato?

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  • Melissa

    I completely agree with you on the whole Max thing…I don’t really get it…I thought Max liked women and I thought the interpreter liked men…I am curious to see where the Molly thing will go, I dont think her and Shane will work but I wonder if she come out as a lesbian…I mean the scene with her and shane was awkward but its something that she has never done before which many times leads to much awkwardness and nervousness…I am so sick of Bette and Tina…Get over it! They will just fall back into their fighting and unhappiness…And I also cant wait to see more Dawn and Cindy…Especially Cindy because I have a feeling one of these episodes she will finally stand up for herself and break it off with Dawn and something will happen again with Shane and Cindy…

  • jes

    I thought this episode rocked! Not really edge-of-your-seat exciting, just consistently good all the way through. The “four families” meeting was great!! Bette the Enforcer. I hope they have more of them! Not lovin’ Lover Cindy’s new ‘do. That WAS a wig…right!??!?
    And I agree. I’d love to see a Shane/Dawn Denbo shakedown over Cindy.
    It was nice seeing Tasha with her hair down. Literally. Now let’s see her do it more figuratively.
    I need a Tasha that compliments my quirky, free spirited Alice.
    Even my least favorite character, Jenny, entertained me. Her calling someone else unprofessional. Classic! And ya’ know she’s gonna get her’s soon! Go, Adele.
    And my faves, Bette & Tina. They could get back together & break up 20 times…I’d still lov’em! They’re my Ross & Rachel. The heart of the show. Meant to be together but sometimes have a hard time finding each other. I think JB & LH have great chemistry. Their nonsexual moments can be just as intimate as their sexual ones!

  • lol

    I decided I kind of hate double D and her lover Cindy. The Godfather enactment scene just did not do it for me. But I did like the elevator scene and when Bette described her reconnection with Tina as ‘coming home’ That said, what a crap job Bette’s doing on Jodi! And Molly, what a whiny spoiled brat, Shane’s going to get hurt. Nothing good will come out of that relationship. And nothing good will come out of Niki/Jenny, although Niki is so fabulously gorgeous and Jenny so cluelessly sel-centered I’m halfway cheering for the both of them. Just no Fallon, please.

  • lol

    I decided I kind of hate double D and her lover Cindy. The Godfather enactment scene just did not do it for me. But I did like the elevator scene and when Bette described her reconnection with Tina as ‘coming home’ That said, what a crap job Bette’s doing on Jodi! And Molly, what a whiny spoiled brat, Shane’s going to get hurt. Nothing good will come out of that relationship. And nothing good will come out of Niki/Jenny, although Niki is so fabulously gorgeous and Jenny so cluelessly sel-centered I’m halfway cheering for the both of them. Just no Fallon, please.

  • Anonymous

    Poor Jodi…i hate that bette is cheating. but i love her with tina. i thought the elevator scene was clever and tender at the same time. the two of them have such great chemistry. i just hope they keep jodi around, i really enjoy her character.
    and i want more of quirky alice, i kinda like the shane/molly thing….and Dawn denbo and lover cindy serious make me giggle. I think maybe Double D might be going down!

  • Becca

    Last night’s episode was so hot, my girlfrind & I started making real love well before the show ended. I had to laugh at Molly not wanting to go down on Shane. I once had my own reservations, but lesbians don’t have the odor problems some straight women do.
    I hate Bette & Tina together, but the show will keep putting them together then breaking them up. So boring.

  • Becca

    Max, Max, Max. What the? My girlfriend and I had a long discussion about where the interpreter put his gloved member, front door or back? Even though the sex scene with Max showed a man and woman making love, it was one of the more disturbing love scene I’ve ever witnessed. I’m Bi and I’m totally confused about Max.

  • Watching

    MY GF and I sat there watching Max, and just said “what is he doing”, I dont get it either..I guess we aren’t supposed to. He is very confused as to what he wants, I guess.
    Loved the whole “one slow-mo advertisement for girl-on-girl oral pleasure.” That was well done…
    The shane-molly twosome is another big ??
    Double D= Love them and hate them, but it is fun to watch!
    Great season so far!

  • jes

    Uh, yeah. Completely agree about Max/Tom (is that his name?). Buh-LECCCHHH! Maybe if either one had any acting chops whatsoever, it might be SLIGHTLY less, well, unblechy.

  • surfergirl577

    I loved this episode! I thought it was so funny. Especially the “mob” scene. And I laughed everytime Jenny called that guy “actor boy”. Max and Tom hooking up is weird for me but oh well, I don’t watch for them. It was nice to see Alice and Tasha just taking it easy and not being so stressed out all the time like before. I loved when Shane was taping the podcast of Max and Alice, I thought it was hilarious. And last but not least, I love Bette and Tina. I agree with a previous poster who said they are the Ross and Rachel of the L Word. No matter what they are meant to be. I’m really looking forward to next week’s episode.

  • Belle

    I am confused about the Max storyline too. I am not an expert on the gay/lesbian community & completely understand that gender has nothing to do w/sexual orientation(I have a friend who is MTF). Born a male, always felt you were a woman, had the surgery but still attracted to women. I get it, you were a lesbian trapped in a male body & vice versa but Max thing does not compute. Moira was a lesbian who felt she was born with the wrong body. Max was still attractive to Jenny & not to men. But now Max thinks he is a gay male & the interpreter is attracted to Max even though he is missing a certain male equipment. So the interpreter is attracted to the person not the gender. I get that but do not get Moira being a lesbian being Max not being a gay male. It is like Who is on First. Is this called bi-curious? I can relate to that. I understand Molly attraction to Shane too(she is curious)but I hate the way she described Shane to her mom. I felt Shane pain when she heard this thru the door.

  • not a max fan

    I’ve never been a fan of Max and I think he is a totally peripheral character. I just didn’t get that scene…Id actually prefer it if Max just disappeared. I enjoy Bette, Tina, Alice, Shane, and Jodi much more.

  • Hip_Hop_Says

    i think those who are a little miffed by the max hook-up are thinking a little to parochially. max is not a boy (or a girl) at this point more accurately he’s a queer boi (he innately aligns with the male but sexually is versatile – thus why he looks like a boy but has girl parts in tact). interpreter boy likes boys and can be attracted to boi max because he’s a top and he knowns boi max is a bottom – which is what that whole hookup scene was about). i think the max character is less going for a representation of a transgender person (this season) but more of a queer representation. unfortunately the show treats the max character as an after thought so the audience can never get a chance to ‘dig’ him. while i am not a max fan, i do see the possibility of a genuine storyline and wish half the innane time spent developing jenny’s storyline could go to max.

  • ecjb

    Well said Hip_Hop! I find Max’s character fascinating. I remember the line he said in one of the beginning episodes about some study saying the gay gene is same-sex oriented. So if he is identifying as male, he could suddenly find himself attracted to men. Anyway, it’s a fresh and interesting storyline that I feel deserves more screen time. That said… loved the elevator scene. So sweet and I always love when Bette opens up to Tina. Lover Cindy was hilarious in the Four Families. LOL when she ticked off Double D by being impressed with Tasha’s military title. Nice.

  • Belle

    Thanks Hip Hop says. Am I still confused? Yep, but not as much as before. I sort of get it.

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