Monday, March 07, 2005

The L Word - Loneliest Number 

In the opening dream sequence, Alice is having nightmares about Evil Tonya coming on to her. Now I'm going to have nightmares. When Tonya finally goes in for the kiss, it looks like she's going in to suck the life out of Alice, while at the same time injecting her with her particularly virulent type of venom. Dana plays a cameo, then Alice wakes up, clearly terrified.

This was the episode of mini-scenes. We'd see about 20 seconds of one scene, then off to 20 seconds of another, then maybe a lengthy scene, but it likely had a little 10 second blip of something else tossed in. Made it hard to really invest in the dialogue.

Bette, Tina and their lawyers had a settlement conference, which didn't go well. Tina's attorney is incredibly obnoxious, and ended up patronizing Bette, tossing them out and offering Tina use of her guest house, which she claims often houses clients in similar situations. Except I think perhaps this situation is a bit different, and I asked The Girl if she thinks the Awful Attorney is after our little Tina. She thinks perhaps. And Awful Attorney really needs to lose the tie.

Bette, meanwhile is spiraling down, usually with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other, with an unhealthy dose of Poor Me to keep her company. She wanders in to a little informal hangout the rest of the girls are having at Casa di Heartbreakers, and ends up passing out and being dragged back home next door by Shane and Alice.

Kit has decided not only to take over The Planet, but has decided this would be a good time to completely renovate the place, and spends the last few days before the opening fretting over everything being completed on time, and some throwaway anxiety over a live band. She secured a jazz quartet but Alice and Shane nixed that idea, and suggested they shake the lesbian phone tree and find someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows Pink. By opening night, Carmen is DJing and Betty walks in to perform, since Kit is their idol. Of course they invite Kit onstage to join them in Some Kind of Wonderful, and everyone's happy.

Except Carmen, who witnessed Shane being pulled up onstage as a prop and ended up making out with one of the singers during the show. And Jenny, who asks Carmen if she'd like to "get out of here" with her, and is turned down, since Carmen is still working. Carmen gives Jenny a long, lingering kiss as a consolation prize, and says they'll get together another time. Oops, now Shane's not happy either, as she's witnessed Jenny's first occasion of benefiting from her domestic proximity to Shane the Wild Stallion, and is wishing she hadn't booted Carmen out of her own bed earlier. In said earlier bed scene, Carmen was asking all kinds of up close and personal questions, and Shane's face indicated that she was both close to having some real sharing, and paralyzed with fear at the thought of letting anyone in that far.

Alice had stopped by Tina's to accompany her to Planet Kit, but Tina decided to stay home and do some grant work. Alice decides it's time to intervene some more, and shares her concerns about Bette drinking and smoking away her woes, while Tina is apparently drowning her own in food. Tina finally gives up the secret, and reveals The Belly. Alice is stunned, and clearly can't wait to spill the beans. She comes close to spilling to Shane, but doesn't get a chance in this episode.

Of course what would an episode be if it didn't subject us to the visual imagery that is Jenny's crapola writing, which was crappy enough for Sandra Bernhard to sneer her out of a spot in the class. Sadly for us, Jenny has a newfound sense of determination, rewrites her crap carnival piece, stalks Sandra Bernhard in the parking lot and gives her the rewrite, and earns a place in the class after all. Oh well, at least we'll get to see SB slashing her talent up some more, hopefully. I think Sandra Bernhard is sexy-ugly, due in large part to her sparklingly cutting personality. The Girl just thinks she's ugly-ugly and obnoxious.

Back at Planet Kit, Evil Tonya decides to confront Alice about the tension that's been obvious between Alice and Dana. ET has decided that Alice is upset that ET has taken Alice's "best buddy" away from her, and magnanimously informs Alice that no one has to feel left out, and then ET and Dana proceed to pull a very distressing sandwich dance, with Alice in the middle. Dana's clearly relishing this chance at approved massive physical contact with Alice, but Alice freaks and leaves. Oh yeah, and in a secondary storyline we learn that ET has appointed herself Dana's manager, complete with a take of 15% of Dana's earnings. She's also lining up corporate sponsors for their wedding, including Subaru, Wilson, Advocate, Bride Magazine, and Absolut Vodka. Dana, and then Alice, are pissed at ET's gold-digginess, but also impressed at her marketing skills.

While Planet Kit is having its successful opening, Tina goes over to the house to get some more stuff, and inexplicably decides to tidy up a bit. This leads her to Bette's computer, in which she just can't resist poking around, and on which she comes across an e-mail from Candace. Of course she just can't stop there, and goes ahead and opens the attachment, which is a photo of Bette and Candace in bed. Cue storm out, stage left, taking all remaining possessions.

Bette comes home and finds the picture still on screen, sees that Tina's stuff is totally gone, and wanders out back and into the pool. Episode ends with Bette floating face down, eyes open, still holding her breath. Very disturbing, but amazing framing of the shot. Good job!

Next week: I was spot on regarding the Awful Attorney, who will be putting the lip moves on Tina. Ick. Casa di Heartbreakers is in need of a third rent payer, and it may end up being a hot young male filmmaker. And Tonya sets Alice up on a blind date with a man. Camryn Manheim and Charles Dutton guest star, and Holland Taylor returns as the indomitable has-bian, Peggy Peabody. Very cool.
UPDATE (3/8/05, 9:58 am): A couple of questions I've been pondering:

-Why would Bette take a personal call from the aggressive dwarf during a conference with the Board of Directors? If she did take it, why would she take it in the same room?

-Why would Jenny think it was a good idea to come on to Carmen the day after Carmen had been Shane's houseguest, complete with her Supa Lova outfit?

-Kit's experienced in the music biz, and has been the MC for previous events at The Planet. She clearly put lots of effort into her business plan and renovation design. Why would she have decided that a cool jazz quartet would be a good idea for the opening of Planet Kit? And why would she not have bounced the idea around the girls for feedback a little sooner?

-Where did Dana learn to dance?

-How is the Awful Attorney still not only licensed, but considered to be prominent?

-Will the Third Roommate at Casa di Heartbreakers sleep in the former writing studio? Or is this a three-bedroom house? If it's a three-bedroom house (with garage) in West Hollywood, how will they be able to afford it with even three people? Unless Shane is pulling in a lot of cash styling the stars and they're dividing the rent on a sliding scale. And if she's making that much money, why was she for so long sharing what appeared to be a one-bedroom with four other people? How were Tim and Jenny affording it before, on the salaries of an assistant swim coach and grocery cashier?

Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:06 AM