Jennifer Beals, Laurel Holloman, ...
Credit: Paul Michaud

Nicholas is away for the next few weeks, so I’ll be filling in for him on these L Word recaps. My first comment: He took off at the perfect time. This week’s low-energy episode was all about mopping up various little messes from earlier, spicier, shows and stringing along some tired storylines.

First came the predictable overreaction to the Turkish oil leak: Niki’s handlers were outraged, prompting one of the several terrifically campy lines of the evening: “Niki Stevens doesn’t like d—? Zit-faced teen boys will flip!” And so instead of taking Jenny and her honkin’ big hickey to the Liquid Heat premiere, weepy Niki — who miraculously perked up for the red carpet — was forced to attend with someone who possessed a penis. I’ll admit that I sort of enjoyed watching Jenny wait on the sidewalk after she was blackballed, all dressed up and ready to party, desperately trying to text her way in. The waifish neurotic, who once peered hungrily through the slats of Bette and Tina’s fence, has metamorphosed into such an egotistical diva that I want to see her taken down a notch. Fortunately, I think a comedown for Ms. Jenny may be in the works!

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The Tasha trial ground to a stilted close. Did any one notice how stiffly old fashioned that whole storyline felt? Even kooky Alice wore a demure flip hairdo last popular in 1948. PopWatchers were shocked last week that Nicholas hadn’t spotted Kelly McGillis as butch prosecutor Col. Gillian Davis — and I say, wow, good eyes, people. (My husband recognized her instantly from his soft-core memories of Witness, but I just saw Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal.) Unfortunately, Davis only started to interest me as a character when she said goodbye post-trial. Tasha and Alice were smooching when she suddenly appeared in those weird, fabulous sunglasses suggestive of a fascinating extra-military life.

And Bette and Tina, sigh — the saga continues. They’re the den mothers of the show, and I know they belong together, but I just don’t feel their passion anymore. Jodi threw what appeared to be the most boring dinner party ever, then everyone went out to look at the stars except Bette and Tina, who stayed inside to clear the table, mournfully discuss their non-relationship, and kiss. I do love that about the show — how secret paramours always make out in places where they’re going to be caught, then skitter apart like roaches when the door opens. What I don’t love is Bette and Tina. If they can’t keep it together this time, I think both characters — the most appealing, intelligent, and soulful people on the show — deserve to move on for real.

Oh, and I almost forgot, perhaps because the storyline is… lame? Shane (“not a serious person”) advanced her unhot flirtation with straight-but-curious Molly, though wisely worries she’ll be left with only the memory of “mediocre sex.” Will they get in the sack? Will it indeed be mediocre? Has anyone cared about Shane’s love life since she ditched Carmen? PopWatchers, what’s your take on this episode?

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