'The L Word' series finale: Who killed Jenny Schecter? And does it even matter?

L_word_dlThe first-ever American TV series about lesbians signed off for good in properly maddening fashion last night. And SPOILER ALERT RIGHT HERE AND NOW its overarching final-season murder mystery remains, from what I can tell, completely unsolved. That’s right, readers: The L Word did not, in fact, reveal which of its principal characters killed Jenny Schecter.

I’d say I’m pissed off, but as a loyal viewer of the six-year-old Showtime drama from day one, I can’t say I expected anything less ludicrous than the series’ final minutes. Just after Alice discovered Jenny’s body outside Bette and Tina’s home–where the girls had gathered for the couple’s bon voyage party–the police arrived, Nikki Stevens jumped out of the bushes (random!), and the girls were called into the cop shop for questioning. Then, the money shot: Cars pull up to the station, and the girls–looking as shiny and luxurious as ever–emerge one-by-one to walk toward the camera (and apparently a wind machine), beaming as the end credits roll. In the background, a retooled version of Betty’s epically obnoxious theme song played, no off-pitch voices or dorky lyrics muddling the moment. I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, or just sigh loudly and take another deep gulp of wine (my usual m.o. while watching the show).

Creator Ilene Chaiken is currently awaiting word from Showtime on whether or not L Word spinoff The Farm is a go. The series’ premise has already been announced: it’s another show about females, this one set in prison. And the main cast member has long been known to be Leisha Hailey, who plays Alice on The L Word. So…in some ways, the question of who killed Jenny has been moot from the start; Chaiken told EW earlier this year that "if the new show goes on the air, it will be connected to theWho-Killed-Jenny? storyline, and I would say that that’s what Alice isin prison for. I don’t know that she actually killed Jenny." In addition, viewers of last night’s episode were beat over the head with the reminder that Bette and Tina’s giggly contractor, Weezie, hadn’t finished the railing on their new second floor landing. This is not a show known for its subtlety…which leads me to believe that Jenny hurled her own damn self over the thing, intentional or not. Really, can you see any of the show’s main characters killing anyone with anything but a stiletto heel to the aorta at a particularly stressful sample sale? Let’s be real here.

As series finales go, this one was a head-scratcher. The tone felt heavy and ominous, and all that moody music was making me wonder when The Log Lady and The Man From Another Place would come sashaying through a scene. Dylan and Helena’s storyline was resolved in particularly sloppy fashion. I’d been expecting Max to give birth before the series ended. And oh yeah, they didn’t solve the mystery. 

But years from now, will it even matter how the show went out in its final hour? It was really the other 69 episodes that made The L Word a TV milestone. As the retrospective that aired beforehand reminded us, its impact expands far beyond its barrier-busting stories: TV’s first deaf lesbian, its first regularly occurring transsexual character, bisexuals of both genders, drag kings, the US military’s don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy, biracial identity, gay parenting, sex/drug/alcohol/gambling addiction, sexual abuse, midlife sexual awakenings, breast cancer…this show took on a lot. Judging by the frequent erraticism of its storytelling, it probably took on too much. In the end, I say, thank goodness it had the guts to take them on at all.

Talk to me about the finale. What did you think of that unresolved ending? Are you surprised? Then talk to me about The L Word. Why did you watch–and what will you miss?

Comments (441 total) Add your comment
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  • DruggyBear

    bisexuality is a crock, all bi men are really gay and all bi women are really straight

    • Rook

      keep telling yourself that

    • lizzy

      you’re ignorant. u can be attracted to both sexes. come talk to me if you’re little brain can’t fathom this

    • eliza

      you are really ignorant.

    • Ave

      Honestly, you’re a fool to believe that there is no such thing as bisexuality… Idiot. You keep telling yourself that DruggyBear.

    • halo

      hold up that is so the other way around…lol

    • heelspain4beauty

      DruggyBear: I wouldn’t bother responding to such an ignorant statement except that I feel like as a bisexual women, I need to say that I am attracted to some men and some women. I can’t of course speak for everyone, but I know I am bi. Obviously I don’t know your sexual orientation but your comment could be compared to me making a statement that your sexuality is really not what you know it is. :) It’s just silly. Peace.

    • RazorRayne

      First off let me just say that I really loved the show, and Alice was my fav! I do think that a person can be attracted to both sexes. when your heart truly loves someone it is irrelevant of their race, what gender they are, age, wealth, or any of that other stuff we tell ourselves that equally doesn’t mean a damn when it comes to making a commitment and truly loving a person for who they are and not who you want them to be. I think that this is what the show really tried to convey, as well as teach tolerance of those that are different and just except that there is more than one way to love. Cause really, as a bisexual woman who has dated more women than men and is currently in a loving relationship with a woman, let me just say that there are already a lot of people who want to hate and vilify us because they fear what they don’t know and are closed hearted and closed minded. Let’s stop the in-fighting about whose what and who’s not really that and just try to live as open and true to ourselves as we possibly can. Don’t fall victim to labels, we are so much more than that!

    • bionca

      Look Druggy Bear YOUR WRONG!!!I used to think that all bi men are most likely gay but it’s not all true. You are playing into a stereo type and you should always give people the benefit of the doubt. You are obviously not bi so you could not possibly understand what a bi person goes through or how they think or feel. I am BISEXUAL and happen to be in a relationship with a girl. I am sexually attracted to both genders but when it comes to men I choose not to be in relationships with them because it just doesn’t work. So don’t tell me it’s a crock.

    • Alia

      And just where do you get off telling other people how they feel and who they are? Cause you’re such an expert on untold numbers of complete strangers’ inner feelings and sexuality?

      I think it’s probably true that there are people who claim to be bisexual when what they’re doing is figuring it out, but I wouldn’t judge them for that if it turns out they’re gay or straight, largely because I could never know what’s going on in their heads as well as they do. It’s something people need to figure out an their own. As for people who really ARE bisexual, I think that’s been covered by other people here.

      People assume that the rest of the world is just like them because it’s so hard to really get into someone else’s head. You can, however, take a step back and realize that others may be completely different from you and may not have the slightest inkling of what’s going on with them. Maybe rather than trying to fit people into neat little boxes that suit your view of the world, you can let them figure where they stand and trust their judgment. If someone tells me that their bisexual, I’m inclined to believe them because I kinda figure it’s up to them to know themselves, not up to me.

    • ashley vanpraag

      i’m a bi woman and i haven’t slept with a man in almost 3 years so you don’ know what your talking about

    • Belynda

      I am bisexual. to say its a crock just shows how fucking stupid and ignorant people can be. I’m truly sad for you that you live in such a monotone life. Open your mind a little.

    • canyoucatchmefalling

      …ignorance disgusts me. Get the hell of the commentary for this show if youre so retarded.

    • GloriuZ

      Red card, duggybear:P

    • sharon

      so bloody true !!

    • angela

      how the hell can u say that… i like both i am bi and by far am i stright.. in fact i sleep with more women the i do guys.. and that part really dont matter.. u cant help who u care for… and no i dont thin all bi guys r gay i have a lot of gay friends that injoy sleeping with women and men..so mayb u should cheekin to things a lil more b4 u try to tell people what they may r may not b

    • adelina

      that is so not true i was bi and now i ONLY like GIRLS

    • Elle C

      Kinsey would say MOST people are bisexual.

    • T

      Honestly and this is coming from someone who is actually a lesbian I don’t say bisexuality is bad but it’s not safe in my eyes and I would personally never date a bisexual woman. To me it makes it easier for diseases to be passed around especially with bisexual men they are killing straight women. How many times have you seen a married man who is a closeted gay or bisexual whatever he wanna be called sleep with another gay man get HIV or aids and then he still screwing his wife and can possibly have given it to her. Me personally bisexuality is just an excuse to be loose. If you like men like men if you like women like women but don’t be greedy it’s just nasty.

      • Nina

        Seriously? You think that bisexuals are the main reason HIV spreads? You are delusional. People who cheat, have multiple partners, have unprotected sex and don’t get tested are what cause the spread of HIV. I am bi and have never cheated on anyone I have been with. I don’t have multiple partners and when I was dating more frequently, I got tested. You are perpetuating a stereotype that bisexuality spreads disease when it is ignorance and invincibility that spreads disease. How would you like if someone started saying that all lesbians were feminist man haters (example, I am in no way insinuating that this is true). Your ignorance spreads hate and fear.

    • Ness

      You are a crock

    • Gali

      So all I can say is that anyone who thinks bi sexuality is a crock should really educate themselves a little more! I have had wonderful meaningful relationships with both men and women! I find both sexes to beautiful and special in there own unique ways, neither more or less than the other!

  • GAPeachy

    It was HORRIBLE. The entire season was spent building up to THIS? The acting was fine – but the script writers performed the true murder of the episode. How sad to end such a great run so badly. They wasted a ton of time on meaningless tripe (Dylan/Helena off-tracked storyline for what purpose?). Disappointed doesn’t even begin to cover it.

    • Dani

      My complete and utter hatred for “Miss Jenny Schector” makes it hard for me to enjoy this last season. It was ahrd for me to watch this knowing it was going to end just because someone finally killer her. If it was up to me, she wouldn’t have made it into the second season. I love the show, watched all 6 season over a molnths worth of time I loved it so much. But to base the ending of this amazing story on such a ashitty character made for a very dissapointing end. :(

      • Chris B

        I just finished watching all the seasons on DVD. The final season was getting unbearable. We know that Jenny ends up dead, so the last season has to come up with a way for her to piss everyone off. I started to hate Jenny early on. I liked that Dylan came back, but then the Dylan/Helena story went really weird (she secretly knew that the Nikki meeting was a set-up because she recognized Jenny’s voice on the phone? come on!). And I like Alice (wish the show had revolved around her more than Jenny) but her insecurities with the other two girls really started driving me crazy. I also thought Max would let Bette/Tina adopt his baby, I never saw the Max character being the parental type. And Tom just wakes up and moves out one day cause Max is pregnant? Thought he was a better guy than that. By the way, did any one else notice that the railing on the 2nd floor balcony over the pool was not finished? I noticed there was red tape across the opening. (Definitely would not have passed final inspection for occupancy, plus how hard is it to nail some 2x4s together?). The red tape was a big tip-off. Plus they mentioned the missing railing like 54 times! I don’t think Jenny killed herself, her ego was too big. She probably just fell. On the season 6 DVD cover photo, Shane is licking Jenny’s neck (spolier alert!?!) but I never thought that Shane and Jenny would end up together. Ick.

      • Mani marmalady

        Hah! So glad someone feels the same as I do about her! (Janny) She was hot when she moved in next door to Bette & Tina but about 3 episodes in I discovered I hated her!

      • Alex

        I also think that Jenny has evolved in the wrong direction, but I also think that it is a matter of writing the book, making a film – being famous makes her think that she can organize others life. It should also be noted that no one had heard during her disappearance – no splash, scream. If someone would try to kill her she would defend herself. I think that conversation with ​​ Beth realized her that there is no one, she destroyed her friends and killed herself.

    • Ari

      I totally agree. Even I liked it when everyone started hating jenny (like I did since the firs season), I was very upset about Shane being with her, Shane and Alice were the best ones there and it was all messed up by jenny, I didn’t like that, it sure was unexpected but still gross for some reason it meant my dislike for Shane. I also agree with Dani in the part that there were such awesome characters and to end it around Jenny was such a waste.
      About the whole season, I liked everything but that insane shane-jenny relationship :S and the end wasn’t very clear for me, did anybody got arrested or something?? I didn’t really get it :S

    • G

      First time watching these types of shows, as a straight man I started to watch basically out of curiosity and found it really fascinating the whole drama. At first, I really liked Jenny; she looked so hot together with Marina, wow! I did really expect so much more from this show, it was well written with an ending that did not give it justice. If the idea was to continue with a second part or a continuation story of the killer in jail, they should at least have put closure to season 6. Very disappointed with SHOW TIME and is the reason I like the productions mad by HBO. Much more professionally done and If I had any idea this would be the ending, I would have not even spend the time watching this show. It really Suxxxd

  • whoneedslight

    It is funny that you make the Twin Peaks reference because when the credits rolled and I stared at the television in disbelief, I thought “even David Lynch told us who killed Laura Palmer!”

  • Jeff

    It was great to see the brief return of side characters from seasons past in Jenny’s tribute video.
    Have to agree though that the episode that was supposed to wrap up six years with these characters I grew to love was a bit disappointing.
    Was hoping for something more emotional and tear-jerking.
    On the plus-note, however, are the rumors swirling around an ‘L Word’ movie following the success of the Sex and the City movie. Crossing my fingers!
    At least we can still watch Alice in her new spin-off. I just hope Tasha is along for the ride.
    Thanks for six wonderful seasons, L Word!

  • superchicken

    Pretty empty stuff really. The whole show had a kind of empty, hallow feeling to it. I suppose if the final message was that these characters have absolutely no idea what they are doing with themselves and why they are living, the show was bang on.

  • jb

    I like how you put a big ol’ SPOILER ALERT in the body of the blog, but the headline makes it quite clear what the spoiler is. Good stuff, EW!

  • Moxie

    You’re right, Nicholas. Although the finale was disappointing…the 69 episodes that came before, more than made up for it. How can I be mad at a show and creator that gave me Bette and Tina. Even though there love waxed and waned over the years, we knew from episode 1 that they were meant to be. How can I hate Ilene for last night when she gave us Alice. One of the quirkiest, most lovable characters on television. She make you laugh even in the most dire situations. In fact, I think Leisha was the one who made the finale tolerable. And Dana. We only had her for 3 seasons, but what an impression she made! I watched this season with my boyfriend who had never seen it before. When the show ended, he was disappointed in it. He said that if he had invested 6 years into it and he got THAT, he’d be mad. My answer? “No, you wouldn’t.” I loved the show for 6 years, one hour couldn’t negate that.

  • SarahBellzz

    We all know Tina was the last person to see jenny Alive, then there was Nikki Steven’s babbleing in the living room and the ladies told her to shut up.. She’s the only one who Lawyer’d up….. BUT, We all know Jenny was a complete psycho. I think she killed herself after the confrontation w/ Bette- BUT, Tina was all paranoid when coming down from upstairs… hmmmmm

    • Jenny Linsky

      I just don’t think Tina could murder someone and then sit and calmly watch her tribute video as if nothing had happened.

      I suspect Jenny just fell off the upstairs balcony, got stunned, and drowned.

      And I have to say that I’m incredibly disappointed at the lack of resolution.

    • FaNoFtHeLwOrD

      I beleive that Bette was shown to be the last person who had seen Jenny before Alice had found her dead or had killed her either way, sorry to say but Tina hadn’t been in contact with Jenny… And I think that every single character except Tasha and Jodie had some sort of a Motive to kill Jenny, but the most likely ones were Bette, Alice, Helena, and Nicky…. But i do not disregard the fact that at the end of the episode Jenny was saying a deep goodbye and thankyou and it didn’t seem to be just Bette and Tina she was talking to…. So it could have been suicide…. Please don’t Judge me for correcting you, i jsut wanted my say…

      • Pookie

        Okay, I totally think Jenny killed herself, and the goodbye at the end of her tribute video just made me more convinced of that! Ever since the beginning, she’s reminded me of Sylvia Plath..especially of her character in The Bell Jar. But if I didn’t kill Jenny, I think she did it herself.

      • Volks

        That was also my resolution to series ending.
        Jennie was “out there” for sure.
        And Seasons 1-3 with ditzy Dana.
        Both had off kilter facial expressions.
        More so, for Dana.
        Unbelievable as to sports figure
        of any real substance.
        Jennie’s evolution as a character
        was like “fingernails on a chalkboard”.

  • Terry

    I LOVED the ending! Way to keep everyone hanging and, more importantly, talking about the show. Sure mistakes were made while doing the show, but thankfully this group of people and Showtime were willing to take the risk and be the first to have such a show. Hopefully, they have established the groundwork and now others will follow. I know my friends and I will miss our weekly Sunday night get-togethers to watch and dissect the show.

  • Kendra

    I’m glad to see that I wasn’t the only one disappointed. They could have done soooo much better on this finale. It was quite boring. I made it a point several times to remind everyone around me that I needed to be home to watch the L word at 8:00. (I usually record it if I am not going to be home and watch it when I settle for the night) But, I wanted to watch it “live”! I sat in front of the TV excitedly waiting to find out who killed Jenny…I must have looked like a disappointed kid on Christmas morning. I even watched ALL the credits to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. I personally think that Jenny killed herself…not sure if on purpose or by accident. I have watched this show since it first aired and have rated it my #1 show for 6 years! I really hate to see it go…I don’t know how I like the spin-off idea, though.

  • Junne Olmo

    Was I the only one to notice the farewell video shot by Jenny with Jenny herself saying goodbye? She planned on leaving this world and I thought it was easy to see that she killed herself. But then all of the ladies were smiling at the end of the show…Good ending ladies, keep us guessing!

    • bobbyq

      well, wasn’t it a farewell to bette and tina? so if she made the video, she would wanna include a part with herself saying goodbye to them. make it more personal.

  • Moxie

    Oh. I WAS mad that the special that was on before the show was called something different than “The L Word”. Although I have my dvr set to record the series, it didn’t pick up the special. And since I wasn’t home…I missed it. BOO!

  • star

    the ending sucked…i wanted Max to have her baby…they should had ending the show in happy settings….still dont know who killed Jenny…but it looked like nikki did…but who cares….i didnt like the ending…all that waiting for nothing….they should has ended the show with Max having her baby….with everyone happy with their own …Shame alone…Tasha came at the end of the show to stray with Alice….i dont know…but i didnt feel happy….left me wanted more…

    • unidentified

      your comment really surprised me… from the moment on, where max had been part of the show, the importance for transgender people to be respected, and their appreciation about people in their enviroment actually making an effort on seeing them as who they feel, had been a huge, important subject, and a beautiful messages . nevertheless, you say repeatedly: ”Max having HER baby…”
      No reproach, but think about it…

      • bobbyq

        just think about the fact that women have babies. it’s what everyone grew up knowing and still knows. One can respect and recognize that max is a “man” but it will still be difficult for people to say “Max having his baby” when they are talking about max giving birth.

    • Sudra

      Max to have HIS baby! Why should it matter if its “hard” for people to use the correct gender when referring to his pregnancy. Trans-gender people have to deal with other people pronoun problems on a daily basis. That’s not easy either.

  • R Rice

    Hey everybody. I’m an Old dike and here to tell you that I could have been at least four of those characters at different stages and ages. Well and bravely done. Kudos to all. The ending was as it should have been, as with all things lesbian, left up in the air for us to only wait and see what happens next.

    • Miche

      But we can’t see what happens next! The show is over. I think there should have been more resolution on almost everyones relationship. What happened with Alice and Tasha? Yeah, she came back, but does that mean she didn’t sleep with Jamies? No, it doesn’t mean that. Or Max’s boyfiend, I half expected him to come back…I am upset that Jenny’s killer wasn’t recognized but it’s also invigorating to think of all the posibilities!

  • aundrea

    man the last show was wild as hell i am just mad cause i want to kno who killed jenny i really think beth killed her or she commited suicied cuz she did say she kno she was not wanted for real but the whole series was hott for real i just wished it could have kept going

    • meggles

      you do mean bette, right? way to watch the show and know the characters.

      • Katie


    • Ashley Gainan

      Alice did it. Go to when Tasha walked in the house after they found Jenny’s body, turn the volume up ALL THE WAY, and listen to what Alice says to Tasha when they hug. She says “I killed her”. There was supposed to be a sequel where Alice was in jail for Jenny’s murder, but it was cancelled. This way why. Alice killed Jenny.

      • Alexandra

        I replayed that part like 5 times and you’re right. She does say “I killed her” but so softly that you would realize it just from watching that part of the last episode. Alice definitely killed Jenny.

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