L Word Recap 603: Shock and Awe

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L Word Recap 603: Shock and Awe

of them. She flees to the bathroom, where she texts frantically (“OMG!!!!! Shane and Jenny HAD SEX!!!!” … “WITH EACH OTHER!!!!!!!”) to:

• Helena, who screams and falls off her treadmill
• Tina, “What the fuck?!”
• Tasha, who grins and shakes her head
• Bette, who interrupts a staff meeting, laughing out loud in disbelief at the first text, and then again, hysterically, at the second one
• Kit, who has yet to learn how to text and will remain blissfully ignorant, for now…


Now on the phone with Helena, Alice eavesdrops on Shane and Jenny. Jenny says she has no expectations for their relationship and wants to set boundaries since they live together. Jenny appearing to crave healthy relationship parameters? Be afraid, people. Be very afraid!

For posterity’s sake, I am going on record right now stating that I think Jenny is playing Shane with the intent to lure her in and humiliate and destroy her. This is vengeance! This is war! I think she’ll go after Tina and Alice, and all the rest of them (“And your little dog Angie Portard!”), too.

Alice is still freaking out. Helena pulls it together long enough to play the “now, now, they’re grown women” maturity card on Alice, but when informed that Shane just told Jenny she’s “a good kisser,” Helena hops up and down like a little girl confronted with a spider the size of New Jersey, squealing: “Ew! I can’t. That’s disgusting!” Did I mention that I fucking LOVE this episode?!

Jenny asks Alice not to mention to anyone the fact that she’s boinking Shane. Right. Because tact and secrecy are precisely what Alice is known for. Set up, much?!

In a meeting with Jodi — where Tom seems there to 1) insult Bette’s signing abilities, and 2) bear witness — Bette asks Jodi to resign and threatens to fire her when she refuses. Oh, Bette. That was incredibly dumb. Predictable and in-character, but dumb.

Alice’s treatment turns out to be a murder mystery. (Shocking!) Jenny tells Alice her story idea is crap and dismissively suggests a career as a cartoon voice-over artist.

Alice leaves just as Tina arrives to confront Jenny about the stolen negative. Jenny plays dumb, passionately insisting that she needs this movie to come out more than anyone, and would never sabotage its release. (Suuuuure she wouldn’t…)

At The Planet, Shane admits to Alice that the sex was better than she expected. (Gross!) After downplaying

Comments [114]

lucia_2008's picture

All I can say is Tina is

All I can say is Tina is really gorgeous this season!!!! Loving the humor!!!

I still think little Sounder killed Jenny. Remember Jenny buried the original Sounder not to far from the pool, yes on her property, maybe the spirit of the original Sounder possessed little Sounder, who then tripped Jenny who fell, hit her head and rolled into the pool. ust a thought late at night.

Smile...life is good!!!

btfan2's picture

CA this is interesting mainly

CA this is interesting mainly because my friend was interesting. She was one of those people who grab life by the horns and just have at it. Maybe she knew she was going to leave early?? She never wanted to be called "he", even though she looked more like a man then most men.

To be honest we never really talked about labels, we went out raised hell and laughed at everything, like puppies who just don't know what to get into next. She was game for everything. I'm older and settled now but; finding someone who will jump in a car and drive to the grand canyon just because, well I just can't anymore.

Lots of people thought we were lovers. Never occurred to either of us. I think she identified as a lesbian and just had no problem with who she was.

I use the label transvestite because that was how it was explained to me by someone older and I believed wiser.

I know in society we need labels to an extent because we need to know where to place everything in our private worlds. We need this I guess to figure out where we belong.

I honestly didn't know trannie was a slur. I guess we all have different perspectives about the world we live in and the one we would like to live in. I have no problem being called a dike, or lezzbo or what ever. I believe if you let people use language to control you, hurt you or place you in a box that's your choice. I just won't.

I believe political correctness has just gone to far. Yes it is necessary but; fuck man when people are afraid to speak and I see it everywhere then free discussion stops and leaves only fear. IMHO that sucks. I would rather have a heated discussion with a bigot, or skin head, or just someone who sees it differently. Again IMHO the reason there is so much HATE in the world is because no one see's the other side. Yes getting there is hard, painful and sometimes just doesn't happen. Ignoring the elephant just never works. Again IMO.

The difference we're having is melting the world we want with the world we have. No one seems to be understanding that. It's ok. As long as we can have dialog we have opportunity.

Julia Watson's picture

My intention wasn't to throw

My intention wasn't to throw rocks (even thoughtful ones), so if you felt attacked, I apologize. I do think this is an important and productive discussion to be having here, and I appreciate you staying engaged. For the record, I don't think anyone thought you were using the word "trannie" maliciously, but even with the best intentions behind them, certain words just hurt.

Regarding all the other stuff, maybe it's time to just agree that we come at this from different places and have different takes?

By way of an olive branch, Grey's used to by my favorite show (until the writers started smoking unicorn dust and leprechaun leaf) and I pledge to join you in making hecka fun of Mer and Der. On that I think we see eye to eye.

peacekitty's picture

To Grace Down there: Good

To Grace Down there:

Good grief..trust me you look NOTHING like Blagovich. lol

You're cute as hell (and you know I can say that cause I'm all innocent and stuff. Smile

"Fight Prime Time. Read a Book"

Grace Moon's picture

huh? you saying i look like

huh? you saying i look like Blagojevich?

come on guys can we take a breather on this one.

the thought police appreciate it.

tweet tweet @gracemoon

TheInsomniac's picture

Yeah, and you smell like him

Yeah, and you smell like him too!


btfan2's picture

CA This is a great post. I


This is a great post. I want to respond, pushed for time maybe tommorow??

btfan2's picture

Julia This post pissed me


This post pissed me off so much I had to walk away for hours.

I will try to respond as a rational adult. Even though I'm really over all of it.


1) Invoking “political correctness” is code for “I know what I’ve just said is culturally insensitive and reinforces the marginalization of people different from me, but I don’t care.”


This is YOUR opinion period. please don't pretend to know how I feel and what I care or don't care about. My biggest pet peeve in the world are the thought police.

Political correctness to ME : means the use of intimidation, censure, mind games, exclusion and a host of other not so nice behaviors in order to coerce people to shut up and not express their opinions.

Many times this is acceptable, IN MY OPINION most times it's destructive. People have every right to their opinions(especially about a fucking tv show- christ!!), thoughts, feelings etc.

I've been in meetings when subjects that were controversial were brought up and NO ONE would comment. Why because how can you ever know what is ok and what isn't in a world full of bullies.

I am sick of all this dumb ass political correctness. I'd much rather have a conversation. Which i will continue to do. Because you said it., or CA said it or yes I said it doesn't make it true. The whole world is a matter of opinion. If no one is allowed to have one then why don't we climb back in the trees.

Second: if folks cared about the mistreatment of MAx(which I DO) Then why aren't they protesting??

Third: My use of the word trannie was never meant to insult. And I have to problem with the words, dyke, dike,lesbain, lezzbo etc, why would I??

Fourth: Lets put this on the table ok. I get that wearing mens clothes, etc changing a name from mary to Bob and being called Mr. is important to trans gender(even if they can't do it all for what ever reason) because they have been thrust into a world with a mind and a heart that says one thing and a body that betrays who they believe they really are. It's a given, I assumed you knew I know that. My Bad!! But; in the Physical word I can go out side and take the logo off my little Jeep and put a BMW logo on it and - sorry it's still a jeep - in the physical world. There's more then one issue here, more then one perception and no right answer.

I understand exactly what you are saying my oldest friend is a trans gender. I bet i understand a whole lot more then you want to believe. I just see issues like this from more then one perspective and want to explore it from more then one angle.

It pisses me off because your throwing rocks at the wrong person, because you want to be the hero and don't want to see a different perspective.

I also make fun or Mcdeamy and Meridith on greys - I know baby - Mc Grace will have a full head of hair, beat me up for that too.

btfan2's picture

First off I'm offended. You

First off I'm offended. You know damn well i never meant the term trannie as a slur.

If the term offends you - sorry.

Conlite's picture

I think in light of all the

I think in light of all the violence against trans-folk it is appropriate that the only such violent encounter on the L Word was against Moira/Max when Jenny rescued him with a taser.
I am not grossed out by the thought of a pregnant transman. A baby is a precious thing, whoever has it. Society is so geared towards the mom/baby setup though, that I always see the potential for humour when society meets a trans-dad, gay dad, or even a straight stay-at-home dad. Its a crying shame though, that all this violence often turns the joke very sour.

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

Yeah, sorry about the

Yeah, sorry about the over-reaction of sorts. There has been a bit of a hostile undertone to the "Max" character, and trans-men in general, for a while now, on many sites. I'm trying to wrap my head around the reasons for that, while at the same time educating people to the realities for real life people that the media almost never addresses, whether in the news or in fictional portrayals.

It doesn't help that 2008 was a particularly deadly year for trans-folk, both in the US and around the world.

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

While your friend may have

While your friend may have been completely comfortable with that particular label, I can assure you that if I were referred to as a transvestite, I would be seriously offended. Since the 1960's, that particular label has been applied to those who dress as the opposite anatomical gender for purposes of sexual arousal, and for no other purpose. They do not live full time in that role, and they have no desire whatsoever to do so, because they are otherwise quite happy living in the gender they were born into. Most are heterosexual, more than a few bisexual, but very few are homosexual, and I know of none that are asexual (the sexual nature of transvestism mitigates against someone with no sexual interest whatsoever being a transvestite).

Out of necessity, I have to deal with gender issues from a psycho-social medical perspective. If I didn't, there would be no way I could keep it all clear in my mind, and deal with the variety of people I encounter in the most appropriate way to them. This is especially important to me when dealing with such people from a medical perspective, ie as patients, clients, victims, etc.

If your friend had presented to me in an official medical capacity as someone who lived in a cross-gender role full time, had no desire to obtain any sort of gender identity specific medical intervention, and in particular did not live in that role for purposes of sexual arousal, and I had to write up my medical assessment, I would say transgender, or more specifically "Gender Dysphoria - NOS" applied. I would make sure to note she labels herself as a transvestite, but from a medical standpoint, communicating to others in the medical community, I would have to make that particular assessment to avoid any sort of medical misunderstanding.

Having said that, two things I want to point out, from a personal, nonprofessional perspective:

1) People can apply whatever labels to themselves they want to, and I will do my level best to understand how they apply that label, and why, so that I can address them and deal with them the way they wish, even if such labels conflict with my understanding of who and what they are.

2) It sounds like your friend was a very special person, someone I probably would have liked to have met and known. I'm deeply sorry for your loss, because such people in life are very rare. In the half century I've been around, I've met only three such people, all of them gone now, and I miss them terribly to this day.

Hope this clears up my perspective! Laughing out loud

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

Okay, can we please do away

Okay, can we please do away with the term "trannie?" It is seriously offensive to the majority of the trans-population, myself included. It's kind of difficult to have an open discussion on such a touchy topic when slurs like that are being tossed around like it's no big deal.

Thank you.

Not2Taem's picture

Re Rabbit fur bra: It was

Re Rabbit fur bra: It was supposed to be a reply to CA_M_W's querry about the handcuffs. There was no way to reply, so I put it off the one above.

Sorry, to confuse you. I know you've had a hard day being back at work. Wink

Not2Taem's picture

Always glad to bring the

Always glad to bring the jolly. Laughing out loud

conlite's picture

Sorry, absolutely no offence

Sorry, absolutely no offence intended - the levity was probably not appropriate here. My bad.

TheInsomniac's picture

Hey Btfan2, Thanks for

Hey Btfan2,
Thanks for keeping up the dialogue. As Lezbeth and others have said, the most important thing is to keep open the lines of communication about these obviously loaded subjects (especially on a site where we probably agree on a lot more than we disagree!)
My comments were directed much more at your 1st response to Julia because my own wierdogender hackles go up whenever I hear/read someone telling us "this is the way it is" as if they are THE authority. Fifty years ago, transgendered people of all kinds (including masculine women) were nearly always told they were just wrong or crazy or sick. You were either a man or a woman and that was just "the way it is." Now it's different (even for the medical and legal establishment) or I'd like to think so at least in some places. As far as the anti-Max comments, I don't want to speak for everyone else but I think it wasn't THAT you were making fun of the character but HOW. Your comments suggested (and now I don't think you meant this) that Max and whatever his name is would have biologically "unusual" kids in a way that seemed insulting to both transgendered people in general and the kid that would have been born that way. I see you were just trying to have some fun and now I see (because you stuck with this instead of checking out) that you really are also interested in having fun that is not at the expense of a marginalized group. I've certainly made my share of insensitive jokes but am grateful now that others pointed them out to me (even when they weren't that nice about it) so I didn't do it again. That's the reason I made my comments. We can agree to disagree about pregnant men because as you said "nothing is simple and easy" about sexuality and gender. Thanks again for responding.
The Insomniac


peacekitty's picture

I mentioned on another blog

I mentioned on another blog that I didn't understand this season because I thought they wanted our input and it didn't appear at first like that was going to happen.

Well somebody was definitely reading our comments because many of us asked for more humor and we got the funny "LMAO" episode.

We're also getting more Tibette parenting moments and I know people asked for that as well.

I don't think we'll get the cast on a European adventure like I requested (small budget) but I'm interested in seeing what other fan requests will pop up. Smile

"Fight Prime Time. Read a Book"

peacekitty's picture

I have asthma and can totlly

I have asthma and can totlly relate...but I just had to laugh at your comment "dying would kill me." lol Smile

I think dying would kill all of us. lol Wink

"Fight Prime Time. Read a Book"

mysticsmb's picture

Bravo Julia! Not to

Bravo Julia! Not to overstep, but may I add:

2 1/2) saying (or writing) 'the little tyke will be born with a full set of whiskers, great pecs and no pecker - WTF!!' is clearly not about character but about discomfort with those whose physical attributes deviate from the binary norm.

Julia Watson's picture

In the spirit of honest and

In the spirit of honest and civil debate about an important topic, a few points:

1) Invoking "political correctness" is code for "I know what I've just said is culturally insensitive and reinforces the marginalization of people different from me, but I don't care."

2) Max may be a fictional character (and a poorly constructed one at that), but especially on a show where he is the lone representation of a trans character, denigrating his gender identity (much less that of his unborn child) is going to be hurtful to trans folks and those who care about their struggle.

3) Your repeated use of the word "trannie" to describe Max and real life trans folks alike is no different from a straight person posting on this website referring to you or to Bette and Tina as "dikes."

4) You're right; a piece of wood that looks like a piece of marble is still a piece of wood. But a transgendered man who changes his outward appearance and/or his biologically female body to better match his gender identity is a man. Even if he doesn't change his body or outward appearance to match his gender identity? Yeah. Still a dude. You can't logically compare the two.

4 1/2) Trying to compare the wood/marble example and trans identities suggests that you're stuck seeing gender and biological sex as irrevocably linked, and that you think trans folks are ultimately masquerading as something they're not. You're implying that the gender/sex identity assigned at birth is "natural," and that to identify as trans is inherently "unnatural."

Perhaps that is not how you would describe your views, but that is how your comments come across. This viewpoint is transphobic in the same way that folks who think gay and lesbian people are engaging in inherently "unnatural" relationships are homophobic.

btfan2's picture

CA Most of the time I agree


Most of the time I agree with most of what you say. I enjoy your post and find them very enlightening.

Transvestism is a fetish. The individual is generally happy with the gender they belong to (from birth), but for whatever reason (usually sexual gratification) they dress occasionally as the opposite sex. They have no desire to change to the opposite sex, it’s just a role playing thing.

On this one I don't agree. My best friend was a transvestite. She died of breast cancer, bout killed me. She dressed as a man all the time. We had conversations about "Why don't you transition", . She just flat out didn't want to. She just wanted to be herself which was a women that looked like a man. She had more personality then 10 people and somehow everyone accepted her just the way she was.
I live in a metro area so there's lots of "diversity", I may not have seen it all but; I've seen a lot. Many male transvestites that dress and live as women but, never transition or want to.

I agree about absolutisms - this sure isn't one.

btfan2's picture

The Insomniac I appreciate

The Insomniac

I appreciate your post and don't disagree with much of anything that has been said on this thread. I have spoken with many trans gender people both male to female and female to male. Of course "many" is relative. My best friend was a transvestite who died of breast cancer. I know a few tranies who have started the process and then changed their minds. This is not a simple subject. I also know many women who would like to be able to pee standing up and spell their names in the snow(They are not trans gender). gender and sexuality is a tough subject.

I have a friend that works with wood. She can take a slab of wood and transform it into a slab of marble. It is so realistic you completely forget it's wood. But; the fact remains under that beautiful marble is a piece of wood. I sure don't mean to make this simple, the real problem is it isn't.

You can walk around this and approach it from any direction and never get it. It's human sexuality and gender and there is nothing simple or easy.

I was cracking on a character/characters and an alleged story line that I felt was ridicules. This is a character in a story, sorry if any one is offended but; I just don't have to be politically correct concerning a fictional character in a story that's absurd.

That part is simple....

Steph H's picture

Tae - rabbit fur bra?

Tae - rabbit fur bra?

Steph H's picture

Okay okay - so I'm a wimp and

Okay okay - so I'm a wimp and I'm not afraid to admit it!


mysticsmb's picture

Glad you pointed out the

Glad you pointed out the 'open hostility' directed at Max, which seems to transcend character and I think does suggest some latent transphobia. After all, as I discussed somewhere down the thread, Helena's character and storylines have also been ridiculously lame, yet I don't see people bashing the character of Helena the way they do Max.

Not2Taem's picture

Rrrooowl! Black Cherry on the

Black Cherry on the prowl. Laughing out loud

Not2Taem's picture

The little elfies with the

The little elfies with the fudge in the middle?
Love lickin' those elves!

Not2Taem's picture

With my asthma, dying would

With my asthma, dying would kill me. But I love my silver gray and black, especially when freshly cut. There are some people who just seem right in an unusual shade, especially when they are completely comfortable with themselves in the look.

Not2Taem's picture

In the beginning it may have

In the beginning it may have been lack of awareness, but after certain points were brought up in the posts on her site, it became a difference kind of ignorance. There are times when we are obligated to take on the difficult issues. If she didn't think it would carry, working it in as a brief aside with some sensitivity would have been better than what she ultimately put out there.

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

Dunno. For me, my reaction

Dunno. For me, my reaction was mostly "WTF is Jenny up to?" I still remember how she got even in 601 with her now ex, albeit the ex had it coming. Shane has the same sort of thing coming, fracking her best friend's lover, a major sin in both lesbian and straight women circles no matter who you ask, and one that is never forgiven.

Now, having said that, the reactions of the other characters? Totally frackin' hilarious! Laughing out loud

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

You would think she would

You would think she would have asked someone to begin with, or that one of the writers or cast members would have. Perhaps they did, and didn't like the reality they were confronted with, so just made something up that was easier to deal with.

Lezbeth's picture

BTW, Angela Robinson only

BTW, Angela Robinson only directed this episode, someone else wrote it. Alexandra Kronake (or something like that). I'm rewatching the episode now and wanted to point out the Shane/Alice scene over breakfast (yogurt?) mimicking the Yoplait (or whatever it is) commercials that Leisha does.

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

Exactly. While my first


While my first instinct is to just pounce like a large cat on live prey, I have to remember not too many people have ever met someone transgendered, or at least think they haven't. So, I try to educate, at least from my experience, education, and real life perspective. If I paint the right picture, people get it. If I blow my top, they just tune me out and learn nothing.

The thing I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around is all the open hostility about "Max," and the real life counterpart Beatie. I mean, I understand the hostility isn't directed at me, and that most here are very accepting of me. And yet, shades of transphobia always seem to surface when it comes to trans-men, especially ones who get pregnant. After all, Beatie is a bit of an anomaly, especially the attention seeking aspects of him, and "Max" is just a kind of, well, totally unrealistic.

Hell, even I had a problem about Beatie's story, since I know of not one single trans-man who would willingly allow themselves to get pregnant, let alone shout it out to the whole world like he did. But, my problem wasn't about Beatie, it was about how others reacted, and how that would effect my personal safety, as well as that of other trans-persons.

Oh well, I guess this should be a topic for another thread, since it can get pretty deep and confusing sometimes, even for me.

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

I would be like a tigress

I would be like a tigress looking at live prey! :twisted:

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

When I first heard about

When I first heard about "Shenny," I was like, "no frackin way!" But, then I thought it through.

Scenario 1: Jenny is getting revenge on Shane by making Shane fall for her, at which point she will drop Shane like a dead fly.

Scenario 2: What a better fit, total opposites who emotionally destroyed women everywhere they went, going head to head.

And, yeah, Shane is frackin' hot. Jenny had cute down to a science in the first season, before she went down the rabbit hole. I definitely didn't blow chunks seeing them together, but my mind couldn't help but get very suspicious, especially after what Jenny pulled in the season opener. It takes a really twisted need for revenge to hurt someone on that level, although she was justified.

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

Benny? No, at that point I

Benny? No, at that point I would just have to tazer my TV, then gouge my eyes out with a spork! 8O

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

It was at a Keebler Bakery,

It was at a Keebler Bakery, and I got lots of samples! Once in a while, this job does have its perks! Laughing out loud

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

Pic has to wait until I get

Pic has to wait until I get home, lol. All the cameras in the rig are "official use only" film based, or fixed mount digitals.

I went with a color called Black Cherry, which took my gray roots and turned them a very deep purple. It really lights up in the sun or under florescent lighting. When I get home, a friend with a really good camera is going to take the pic, to make sure the purple highlights show up. I absolutely love the color, and it's way better than the silver my hair decided it was going to grow in as.

Not2Taem's picture

Uh, under the rabbit fur bra

Uh, under the rabbit fur bra in the sleeper? How quickly she forgets.


peacekitty's picture

Oh ditto! I'd laugh in her

Oh ditto! I'd laugh in her face too. Snobs don't intimidate me at all.

"Fight Prime Time. Read a Book"

Not2Taem's picture

Benny? :shock: :lol:

Benny? Shock Laughing out loud Shock

Not2Taem's picture

Really? I think if she ever

Really? I think if she ever tried to pull he judgmental superior BS on me I would either laugh in her face or slap her up the side of it.

Laughing out loud

Not2Taem's picture

Purple? Like amethyst?

Purple? Like amethyst? Picture please!

Not2Taem's picture

Well put. Too bad Ilene

Well put. Too bad Ilene didn't have this information handy when she created Max.

Not2Taem's picture

btfan2, There is rood, and


There is rood, and then there is hateful. I feel you covered both with exceptional enthusiasm. My only question is why?

I will gladly acknowledge that the show's handling of transgender issues has been largely dismissive and insulting. To have that compounded by comments like this just heightens my awareness of the sad state of our society.


Lezbeth's picture

Great recap! The episode

Great recap! The episode reminded me of the buzz at the end of last season when OC'ers were gagging on the idea of the coming Shenny hook-up. It's as if all of those reactions were snatched (so to speak) right out of the posts and written into the characters.

I don't really understand the aversion reaction to Shane and Jenny. Maybe it's that Jenny has played the fucked up antagonist so long that fans don't see her as lovable (even though Shane has always seen Jenny as lovable). The tender scenes between the two of them at the end of season 2 showed a genuine intimate bond. From the end of season 1, the two people who have had the most consistent, significant, non-judgmental, steady, long-term commitment have been Shane and Jenny. They seem to "get" each other when no one else does. Why is adding sex into it so revolting for everyone? I've seen weirder match-ups between friends, but haven't had to "throw up in my mouth" over it. What gives with this?

Not2Taem's picture

It had to happen eventually.

It had to happen eventually. Chin up!

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

I'm surprised Alice didn't

I'm surprised Alice didn't rip her face off during that "meeting" they had. Even I wanted to slap Jenny for that!

Lezbeth's picture

I noticed that, too. It's

I noticed that, too. It's sad that IC writes so many of the episodes and they're the ones that have weird time passages and awkward dialog/interactions.