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'The L Word': Best Bette

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Beals_l_1Here’s what we learned from last night’s episode of The L Word: in the span of a single workday, the unsinkable Bette Porter is capable of fielding phone calls from her lovelorn boss, confronting her sister’s cheating boyfriend with threats of exposure, telling her ex-girlfriend and mother of her child that a Montessori school is beneath their educational standards, screaming expletives at her long-suffering assistant, and seducing a hot, deaf woman whom she hired as her arts school’s artist-in-residence. In said artist’s workshop.

Oh, and she can also mend the ear of a stuffed bunny while she’s hooting and hollering at people on the phone.

So now, Bette has made me feel completely inept, despite the fact that I can drink coffee, read a newspaper, shuffle songs on my iPod, and hold myself steady without the help of a handrail or pole on the subway most mornings. But I’m not sure this makes her a better person; in fact, another thing we learned last night is that, despite her penchant for multitasking, Bette Porter’s got a mess of a life, and it’s one that I’m not certain I’d want. (Her house, on the other hand? Yes, please.) The L Word has always done an unusually good job of piling its ostensible heroine under a load of dookie on a weekly basis; this season, Bette’s just plain gone for broke, sleeping with both her TA and a co-worker.

addCredit(“The L Word: Paul Michaud”)

And she introduced her boss to the fantastic world of lesbians! Isthat worth a few points… or was that her biggest foul yet? I vote forthe latter; now that Alice has hit it off with Papi’s quiet pal Tasha(who’s played by the increasingly intriguing Rose Rollins), it’s clearthat Phyllis needs to go. But Phyllis? Oh… Phyllis isn’t goinganywhere. No way, no how. Phyllis wants Alice. Bad. And I want tochange the channel every time she comes groveling back, because I’mgrowing too embarrassed to look.

Jenny’s big plan to ruin the Vagina Wig fell apart in aspectacularly Jenny kinda way, though I have to admit that StaceyMerkin’s reaction when she learned that “Debbie” was really Jenny (andthat that poor, poor dog was a big pawn in Jenny’s sick mind games) wasa trifle dull. I’m hoping this isn’t the last we’ve seen of the CrazyJenny/Weiner Dog bout, since Mia Kirshner and Heather Matarazzo (NSFW!)are two actresses who can give nutty a new name. (Now let’s throw — oh, Idon’t know — Christina Ricci into the mix, and we’ll have a full-onparty!)

Lessee… what else? Are you feeling very Shane today? I just spentthe entire weekend in Chicago for an old friend’s wedding, so the onlything I’m feeling right now would be my slowly healing toes, whicharen’t numb for the first time in hours. So I’m certainly not feelingvery Shane, but you know what I am feeling, to my great surprise? JodiLerner. Last week I dissed Marlee Matlin and her addition to the show;this week, I’m changing my tune. Not only has homegirl now baggedBette, but she did it in the middle of her studio — all while wearing awork jumpsuit that was accentuated by an artfully placed designer belt.And then she wormed her way into my heart when she talked about howmuch she hated kids during her dinner date with Bette. Why, just lastnight, I found myself seated in front of two small children — a toddlerand a baby — on my return flight from Chicago. Look, I know that I wasonce a kid and I also recognize that kids bring great joy to many. Theydo nothing for me. And so, when Jodi Lerner called them a hassle andsaid that they get in the way of work and sex, I felt both my toes ANDmy heart starting to thaw.

What do you think? Can Jodi learn to love kids — and moreimportantly, should she have to? Will Angus keep his promises and stopfooling around on Kit? Will Kit ever call anybody by any name otherthan “girl” or “boo”? And what in the world does Katherine Rothberghave in store for poor, pathetic, money-hungry Helena?