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

A river in Egypt — Alice goes right over to Jenny’s house. Jenny is calm and happy; she blithely invites Alice to go to dinner with her and Shane to celebrate the sale of the screenplay.

Alice: Jenny! You stole my idea!
Jenny: What are you talking about?
Alice: The treatment that I gave you. The screenplay that I was gonna write.

Jenny is nonplussed.

Jenny: That jumble of ideas that you gave me?

Hey, don’t underestimate a jumble of ideas — that’s all that’s left of this show (well, more like the shards of a single idea), and here we all are. But Jenny dismisses Alice, insisting that her “mish-mash” of ideas wouldn’t be sellable in any universe. Are you sure? Not even the topsy-turvy inverted navel of a universe that you live in? I’m pretty sure anything is possible there.

Jenny: If [my screenplay] happens to bear some resemblance to something that you jotted down, then it’s pure coincidence.

The look on Alice’s face makes it clear that she’d like to jot something right through Jenny’s foggy frontal lobe and out the other side. But Jenny insists that this sort of thing happens all the time in Hollywood.

Alice: Where people steal their friends ideas and they sell them off as their own. Is that what you’re trying to say?
Jenny: No. It’s something called the idea well, OK?
Alice: Oh, my God.
Jenny: There is a well. All of the writers drink from the same fountain.

I think this is one instance in which I’d prefer to be separate but equal, if it means drinking from a different fountain than that whence Jenny sips.

Jenny: But it takes genius, talent, craftsmanship to take a kernel of an idea and turn it into — ta-da! — a sellable screenplay. OK?
Alice: Jenny, you are so f—ing full of s—.

Yeah! Take your genius, talent and craftsmanship and stick them up your kernel of an idea!

Shane hears the ruckus and asks what’s going on. Alice has pretty much lost it by now and doesn’t even bother to give Shane the details. She simply says that Jenny has crossed the line this time.

Alice: If you continue to shack up with this f—ing lying, stealing snake in the f—ing grass, I swear to God I cannot consider you to be my friend anymore.

Alice is almost crying as she says this. She marches out, furious and shaking.

Shane: What … Jen, what’s that?
Jenny: I don’t … I guess she has some misguided idea that I stole the idea for her screenplay. I dunno.
Shane: She’s p—ed off!
Jenny: I guess she’ll just have to get over it.

Wow. It’s one thing for Jenny to be infuriating, but this is beyond even the Jenny shade of pale. Despite her sometimes appalling behavior, I’ve never really thought she was diabolical. But as she shrugs off Alice’s rage, she seems empty and cruel. When did she turn the corner from mess into menace?