“The L Word” Recaps: Episode 6.05 “Litmus Test”


Defending: What Tina doesn’t need.
Loyalty: In Hollywood, it’s in short supply.
Sex: What this show has been missing.

THIS WEEK’S GUESTBIANS: Elizabeth Berkley stakes her claim; Mei Melançon dances; Wallace Shawn protests his innocence; Kate French can’t move on; Alexandra Hedison is scared too.

THREAT COUNT: Thus far, four characters have threatened Jenny’s life: Niki, after Jenny made the “showmance” comment; Tina, when she thought Jenny had stolen the negative; Max, for Jenny’s unrelenting disrespect; and Alice (this episode — read on).

Pick a little, talk a little — Tina and Bette are working at the Planet. No, they’re not plating quiche or perfecting Shane’s recipe for remorse-flavored waffles; rather, they have brought their laptops and their professional demeanors to their usual table in order to do some work. They’ve also brought a tape dispenser, a calculator, a stapler, several highlighters and two mile-a-minute cell-phone conversations that annoy nearby friends.

On the off chance that some viewers might see calculators, staplers, highlighters and tape dispensers as accoutrements of the boudoir rather than the workplace, Alice spells it out:

Alice: Wow, you two just really moved your offices right on in here, huh?

Little does she know that that’s the least of her problems. Bette and Tina have ended their frenetic phone calls. Bette’s conversation was about the construction on the house, and Tina … well, Tina has some news.

Tina: Guess what?
Alice: What?
Tina: Jenny sold her script.

Bette and Alice express their surprise, and claim they didn’t know Jenny was working on a screenplay at all. Huh? Weren’t you both sitting right here — well, on your respective sides of the martyr-cheater divide — when Jenny was working on her treatment? It’s a good thing the WHY-I-I rule can also mean What Happened Yesterday Is Irrelevant.

Tina seems almost proud of Jenny:

Tina: Just goes to show you: she was depressed, and someone stole her movie right out from under her, and she just sat right back down and she just banged out another script.
Alice: She just cranked it out.
Tina: Mm-hmm.
Bette: [without an ounce of sincerity] Good for her.
Tina: Yeah. There was a bidding war. Guess how much it sold for?
Bette: [without an iota of interest] How much.
Tina: Half a million dollars.

Alice can’t believe it. Who can? It’s the best evidence to date that this entire season is a figment of Jenny’s imagination, because who the crap would buy her drivel for that much dough? Hogwash!

Helena voices everyone’s Lez Girls–induced, unspoken fear:

Helena: Wonder what it’s about this time, huh?

Helena, you look sublime in your specs. Please wear them every day.

Tina reassures them all: Jenny’s new movie won’t be anything like Lez Girls. But, gosh, doesn’t it sound awfully familiar?

Tina: It’s an action comedy about a talk show host and a cop. And the talk show host gets embroiled in this, like, murder mystery, but the movie really revolves around the romance between the talk show host and the cop. It’s kinda like a Foul Play meets, um …
Alice: [horrified] Mr. and Mrs. Smith?

During Tina’s summary, the camera has been zooming in on Alice’s face. But it really should back the hell up, because she’s about to fly into a million pieces.

Alice: You guys. That’s my story.
Bette and Tina: What?
Alice: That’s my story! [getting up and leaving] God. Schecter is so f—ing dead.

At last, a real motive! I mean, if plagiarism isn’t a reason to send someone to a watery death, I don’t know what is. Except, uh, the idea of Alice as a murderess is a completely ludicrous notion. Still, this threat is way more believable than the others — possibly because Leisha’s line was way more believable. Funny how that works.