After last week’s lusty steambath, this week “L” stands for… lousy, lame, lamentable. I skipped the all-time finale of The Wire to watch panoramicshots of helmeted women riding bikes and unfunny tent-pitchingpratfalls?

The ladies have all flown up to the Pacific Northwest for abenefit bike-athon, the purpose of which, Alice chirps, is “curing cancer and onenight stands.” “Go boobs!” shrieks Molly (Clementine Ford, pictured), like she’s cheering for USC at theRose Bowl, possibly the ickiest line of the evening. Other candidates: “My p—yis so sore!” spoken by ever-classy Jenny as she dismounts her bike. Or Shane’s”Breathe through your mouth.” Were these really cringe-inducing, or am I just ina crummy mood?

addCredit(“The L Word: Paul Michaud”)

Let’s start with my least favorite storyline, the romancebetween Shane and Molly. They begin the episode estranged as Shane,understandably, tries to escape the straight girl (I still think Molly’s justdabbling) who, after disappointing her in bed, made some spectacularly ruderemarks about her intelligence. Molly pedals after her, shouts her love, andpromises to start reciprocating in the sack, likening the learning curve of”riding a girl” to that of riding a bike — the awful double entendre we wereall waiting for. Proving Molly’s point about her intelligence, Shane succumbs.The two are now riding partners, though not for long, I predict.

Farmore intriguing: the ever trickier machinations of enigmatic Adele.Unlike the other women, who seem incapable of hammering a stake in theearth without falling over, Adele erects a huge, elaborate salmon-pinktent as a trap for Jenny and Niki. It is a pleasure palace so rosy-huedand irresistible that the feckless lovebirds promptly strap on a purpledildo, turn on the videocam, and make a dirty movie while spider-girlAdele waits outside, smoking and plotting. I can see where this isgoing, and while I feel a little sorry for ditzy Niki, I’ll relishwatching Jenny absorb whatever humiliation and disgrace her treacherousassistant has planned.

But the Big Moment of the evening wasunquestionably the twist in the Bette-Tina saga. The whole crew is sittingaround the campfire discussing infidelity, Bette and Tina exchange meaningfulglances, Alice runs on at the mouth, Niki giggles. Business asusual, no? Except tonight, Jodi finally twigs that Bette has been somehow untrue, storms off,and zips her out of the tent. Cue to beautiful Bette sobbing on the shore of alake. I don’t know what she’s so sad about. She appears to have executed apainful, necessary break-up without having to say, or sign, a word. We shouldall be so lucky. Is there anything now keeping her now from (boring) bliss withher true love Tina?

So, PopWatchers, how do you think this season’s plotswill resolve themselves as the show pedals toward the finale in twoweeks? And what do you think of today’s news that The L Word is coming back next winter for a sixth and final season of just eight episodes?

The L Word
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