Ah, Regret.

“The L Word” 6×05: Cats Do It Better


Looking back on this week’s offering, I’m finding myself somewhat at a loss for words.  “Cringeworthy” just isn’t doing this show justice anymore.  I need a better way to describe it.  I mean, my physical reaction to a scene involving something like, say, Helena and Dylan gnawing on each other’s lips, cannot accurately be described as “cringing”.  A cringe is a fleeting little wince.  The sensation I’m getting is more like… broken glass in my stomach.

What’s that, Madge?  Those sound like the classical symptoms of a Showtime-Original-Series-induced stomach ulcer?  Oh crap.  How much time do I have left?  I just hope I live until the evening of March 8–the series finale.  I can’t die in peace without knowing who killed–oh.  Right.  We’re not going to find that out.  Why won’t the lord just take me now!!

(Dykes?  Dramatic?  Nah.)

6×05: “Litmus Test”

We kick things off at The Planet, for either “breakfast” or “dinner with incorrect lighting”.  Power Lesbians Bette and Tina are both yapping on their cell phones to different people at the same time.  They must be fun friends to dine with.  Hmm, now what’s missing from this scene?  Ah yes, Jenny ruining people’s lives.  But don’t worry–Alice finds out that Jenny has basically stolen her “treatment” idea, passed it off as her own, and sold it for a huge chunk of money.  The nerve.

For some reason Alice is shocked/upset.  Alice, Jenny killed a dog once.  Is this really the type of person you should trust with a screenplay idea?  Alice:  “Shechter is fucking dead!”  (Yeah yeah, everyone wants to kill Jenny, *yawn*.  But I do love it when people (Merkin!) call Jenny “Schechter”, usually in a fit of rage.)

Alice rushes over to Jenny’s house and, inexplicably, does not punch her in the face.  (Could she be storing it up for some sort of… murderous rampage?  Well, her and everyone else I suppose.)  Jenny calmly tells Alice a load of bullshit about “the idea well” and how she would not define what she did as “stealing”, etc.  Alice shrieks at Jenny that she is “so fucking full of shit!”, storms out of the house, gets in her car, slams the door shut, and noisily speeds away.  (Erin: “The Mini Cooper does NOT peel out like that!”)  Shane: “Jen, what was that?”  Wait, so now Shane calls Jenny “Jen”?  Ew.  No.

Back at The Planet, the gang mulls over Jenny’s latest misdeed.  Bette:  “Does Joyce do copyright infringement?”  (Erin: “Is there only one lawyer in town?”  Well, if it means more Joyce Wischnia action, I’ll go with it.)  Alice, who has apparently time-traveled back to The Planet, tries to takes her mind off the injustice by talking about her and Tasha’s new crush, Jamie.  Bette matter-of-factly informs her that Jamie is their  “third wheel crush”.  Alice:  “We love her as a friend–there’s friend love!”  Ah, lesbian “friend love”.  Complicated, ambiguous, risky… this sounds like a job for Team Slippery Slope!

Bette smugly lectures Alice about how this sort of thing tends to happen in long-term relationships that have grown stale over time.  For example, Tina and Bette went through the same thing with Candace the carpenter.  Except Bette was the only one with the crush on Candace.  And their threesome was more of a… twosome.  But other than that, it was pretty much the same thing!

Kit: “This is dangerous biznass!  Uh huh… mmm hmm.”  Right.  Kit’s single Kit-eqsue line for the episode: check!

Helena is going on her dinner date with Dylan soon, so naturally it’s time for the whole gang to weigh in on the situation.  Because Helena–you know, the former prisoner–probably isn’t capable of looking after herself.

Helena:  “She’s colonized my thoughts.”  (Well Erin, looks like you can shank another inmate, but you can’t shank your feelings.  Maybe Helena really does need Alice to protect her fragile heart!)  Everyone is outraged/dismayed.  It seems that the whole “she’s in love with me” thing has managed to trump the whole “she manipulated me so that she could sue me for all my money” thing.  (You can’t say I’m not trying–I’ve suspended my disbelief to the point of physical pain.  Or is that the ulcers?  Is disbelief located in the stomach lining?  Madge?)

Luckily the gang comes up with a harebrained scheme, Scooby-Doo style, to “test” Dylan’s true intentions and figure out whether she should be allowed to sleep with poor defenseless Helena.  It’s easy:  they’ll get someone to meet up with Dylan at Hit and try to seduce her, and they’ll videotape the whole thing so that they can see whether or not she succumbs.  That way they can figure out whether to allow Helena to date (or at least have hot casual sex with) Dylan.  Plus, it’ll be so fun!  Yay gay!

Now then, who is both hot and clever enough to pull off the role of “seducer”?  Bette:  “Niki Stevens.”  Well, she’s got that first part down pat… good enough!  Looks like The Test is a go!  Everyone gives each other high-fives.  Bette must be thrilled–finally everyone is on board for something slippery slope-y.

*Cue Lesbian Scheming montage* Jenny, pretending to be Niki’s agent, calls Dylan to set up the meeting.  (Oh great, get Schechter involved!  I’m sure that won’t end up ruining everything!)  Shane visits Niki on the set of her new movie to ask her to play the seducer.  Niki responds by letting Shane know that, for her, she’d play seducer anytime.  Shane makes a mental note of that.

Dylan calls Helena and mentions Niki’s sudden interest in working with her; Helena ever-so-reluctantly plays dumb.  Helena, what does Bette do when she faces a moral dilemma?  Does she feel all guilty about it, or does she bust out her rationale and start slipping?  Listen, there’s the right thing, and there’s the “right” thing.  Always go with the quote marks!

Back to Shenny’s house.  Shane is participating in her favorite household activity (besides sex): brushing her teeth.  Jenny starts yapping about The Scheme and comes to realize that Shane was also involved in it; specifically, in the Niki-related part.  She is outraged that Shane has any sort of contact with Jenny’s ex-showmantic partner.  Jenny:  “I forbid it.”  Shane:  “Jen, come on.”  (Stop calling her ‘Jen’, god damn it.)

Spano time!  Tina and Bette are on what is sure to be an awkward double date with Kelly and her man-friend Caleb.  (Kelly is sporting the “raccoon” eyeliner look, Little J style–the difference being that Taylor Momsen’s smooth skin doesn’t come from Botox injections [yet].  She is also wearing a leopard print shirt that, quite frankly, she could have stolen from Bette’s closet.)  Kelly cuts right to the chase:  “Bette was in love with me.”  Tina: *death glare*  Caleb’s phone rings.  He has to take it–because you can’t have a straight man on “The L Word” for more than ten seconds.

Kelly:  “She’s… the one that got away.”  Is she seriously saying this right to Tina’s face?  (Ow!  The stomach lining.)  Kelly:  “Tina, does it bother you that I flirt shamelessly with your girlfriend?”  Tina:  “If she cheated with me, that would be the end of us… ”  Well, not the end end.  A few months, maybe.  But she’d never cheat again after that!

Then the d-bag movie producers all happen to show up for dinner.  Bette sees them and gets that wild look in her eyes.  She gets up.  Kelly:  “What are you doing?”  Bette:  *determined face*  “What needs to be done.”  (Audience:  “OHHHH!”  We’re so fired up right now!)  

Bette marches over to the d-bag table and starts telling people off.  Tina says she doesn’t need Bette to defend her.  Aaron:  “I am so happy to be done with dykes.”  Tina:  “Shut your pie hole, Aaron.”  (Question: Do people in LA really use that phrase?)  Bette:  *Kit-esque mmm hmm face*  OK I’ll admit it, that face made the whole scene worth it.  Bette should really stop trying to repress her stereotypical black lady sass.  It’s in the Porter blood.

Everyone else is in Hit’s camera room–command central.  They even have popcorn.  (See?  I told you it would be fun!)  So inapprops.  Anyway, to make a long story short, Dylan passes the test.  But instead of being happy, Helena seems to be… fretting.  Helena, if you don’t stop feeling bad about things that most people would consider morally questionable, you’re off the team!

Helena goes downstairs to talk to Dylan.  [Fun fact:  During this scene, if you look carefully, you can see a guy in the background–maybe a crew member?–who accidentally walks onto the set, notices that he’s in the shot, and then darts back behind the curtains.  WEIRD!  Anyway, props to Bondy for somehow noticing that one.  Who says those old eyes are deteriorating?)  They soon decide that they need to go somewhere quiet so that they can have sex.  I mean, “talk”.  Meanwhile, out on the dance floor, Niki is doing her “I just did a bunch of coke” dance, Kit is doing her “mmm hmm” dance, and Tasha, Alice, and Jamie are doing their “let’s have a threesome” dance.  It’s a hit!

Dylena (I’ll just go ahead and start calling them that since they’re about to seal the deal) heads back to Dylan’s place.  2 AM, tea time!  Yes, Dylan actually busts out a tea set.  She must be trying to impress Helena with her knowledge of British culture.  Soon enough they start kissing, and–wait a minute.  That’s not really kissing.  It’s more like–what is that?  Cat-grooming?!  They’re just kind of nibbling and each other’s lips with their teeth.  Something cat-like.  Wtf!  This was supposed to be hot!  Only Tina and Bette are supposed to do “weird”!  Ugh.  Gross.  They roll around on the floor.  (Madge:  “Now comes the hairball!”)

Shane and Niki (Shiki?  HA!  I sure hope they start dating.)  go outside the club and smoke.  Niki tries to put the moves on, but Shane is still managing to hold off.  Niki:  “I’m stupid.”  What?  No way, you’re not… “stupid”, I mean… no, you’re so not.  You’re so hot.  But stupid?  No…

Shane goes back inside and has another little spat with Crazy Jenny.  Shane: “If had to choose today between this relationship and our friendship, I’d have to choose the friendship.”  Jenny:   “The only thing that’s gonna get in the way of our friendship is if something gets in the way of our romantic relationship.”  HA!  This should end well.  Jenny:  “I love you.”  Shane:  “… me too.”  Oof.  Not quiiite the desired response there.

Dylan and Helena are lying on the floor, post-cat-sex.  Helena is crying.  Dylan:  “What’s wrong?”  Helena:  “I’m so… scared…”  WHY WASN’T THAT ELIZABETH BERKLEY’S LINE.  KTHXBYE.

Next week:  Shockingly, Jenny opens up her pie hole and blabs to Dylan about The Test.  Jamie and Alice are undressing, while Tasha… watches from afar?  Kelly gets a fresh shot of Botox?  Kelly and Bette kiss?  Jenny witnesses it?  (I’m putting question marks because at this point I’d had so many beers that my handwriting was starting to get a little sloppy.  The beers help with the ulcers.)


1 Comment so far
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The more I got to thinking about the hairball, the more I realized that there probably wasn’t a hairball. I mean, if Helena doesn’t have a Brazilian, I don’t know who would on the show.

Since Shane never showers but always brushes her teeth, I guess laundry isn’t ruled out and her shirt with the bra sling must be in the wash. I don’t think she wears underwear so hopefully she washes her jeans a lot.

Call me unfashionable but Kelly’s makeup was absurd. It looked like someone used their thumbs to draw black circles around her eyes…and they got the black goo from an NFL surplus sale.

I hope Tasha can stay on her morally righteous path. She is my last, great black hope. I think at the end of the season, we should create our own ending where everyone combined, at the same time, comes unhinged and kills Jenny, each in a manner appropriate to their personality (e.g., Shane would use scissors, Niki would electrocute her with her cell phone, Bette would kill her with her eyes, Tina would shake her head and fist until Jenny had a seizure, Alice would run over her with her cooter, Tasha would shoot her with an M16, and so on. Then, it should end in sort of a Reservoir Dogs style…the circle of friends, sliding further down the slippery slope, weapons pointed at each other…

Comment by Bondy

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