The L Word Recaps 4.12 “Long Time Coming”

Shaolin Studios — Bette and Tina are strolling on the Shaolin lot. Nice threads, Bette — much better than those poofy, billowy things you were wearing in the last episode.

The sight of them walking like this reminds me of when Bette was preparing to face off with Fae Buckley. She was trying to remember a Kurosawa quote, and Tina just kissed her to calm her down. I suppose that won’t happen this time. But Bette is almost as rattled as she was then; she’s trying to figure out what to do about Jodi. She’s as prickly and stiff as the giant cacti props they’ve just passed. Ah, Bette. So many cues all around you. Maybe you and Tina will pass a bridal shop and have an incredible flash of insight.

Tina scolds Bette for missing Jodi’s opening. You know, as in art show opening. Don’t be so dirty-minded.

Bette: No, I mean, come on, I told you what happened after the dinner party. Really. I mean, and then, then, after she gets the commission and she doesn’t tell me about it? Come on, I have a department to run.
Tina: Bette.
Bette: What?
Tina: Could you be any more self-serving and self-centered?

They stop at a craft services table. Tina must have stopped by one earlier — one that sold truth serum, because she’s completely uncensored as she gives Bette some heartfelt advice. She does so by typing several statements into Bette’s Blackberry: an apology to Jodi.

Tina: [typing] “Dear Jodi: When I am scared, I micromanage. When I am uncertain, I overstate. And when I am challenged, I, uh, belittle and lash out. And when I love someone, I try to put her in a box.”

Bette tells her to go ahead and send the message to Jodi. I know it’s not cool to break up via text message, but maybe it’s OK to apologize via Blackberry.

So, Tina? Why couldn’t you have said all this when you and Bette were breaking up? I know, I know. Bette wasn’t exactly ready to hear it then. On a related note, Laurel, whence cometh the sudden acting ability? I knew you had it in you somewhere, but why did you deprive us for so long?

Tina: Now you have to follow up with something romantic.
Bette: I sent her flowers.
Tina: Flowers? That’s generic. Is Jodi generic?

Bette starts to reveal her crazy idea for romancing not-generic Jodi — it involves a building — but Kate shows up and kills the moment. Actually, Kate looks like she’s ready to kill more than just the moment: She’s wearing a T-shirt with a pentagram on it. I know, I know, the pentagram is a Wicca thing, not a Satan-worshipping thing, but in Kate’s hands, even a freakin’ fuzzy little bunny would be a Satan-worshipping thing. She just comes across as a dour, judgmental jerk. Oh, that’s right: She is.

Bette: [to Tina] So, you’re back with women, then?
Tina: Mmm, ahh, we’re just working together. Do you have a problem with that?
Bette: That you’re back with women? No, of course not.

Say that like you mean it, Bette.

Bette says she just wants Tina to be happy and thanks her for the advice. Look at that smile she’s bestowing on you, Tina! It’s no surprise that you named your daughter Angelica; Mama B. sometimes has an empyreal countenance.

Tina and Bette share a brief goodbye kiss. It’s awkward; Tina gets flustered and giggly and obviously enjoys it a little too much.

A family meeting — Shane and Paige are at the Planet with Jared. They just want him to understand what it means for them to be girlfriends, so they’re plying him with fries. Hey, it’s better than hosting another after-school special. Jared almost gets ketchup on Shane’s tuxedo shirt. Kids are so messy, aren’t they? Especially when they speak their minds.

Jared: I already told you: I don’t want you to be a lez. [to Shane] I already know that you are, but I don’t want my mom to be one.

Jared goes over to the bar to pout. Yeah, that’s a good habit to get into, kid. Be sure to ask Auntie Kit to give you some pointers.

Shane takes the seat next to him and tells him his mom is really special and he should give them a break.

Shane: Do you not want Shay as a brother?
Jared: What do you mean?
Shane: I mean, we could get a house, and we could be like a family. And you and Shay could be like brothers.
Jared: But Shay doesn’t live with you anymore.
Shane: I know.

What? Are you plotting something, Shane? Because it sure didn’t seem like Papa Gabe was interested in giving up his son anytime soon. But I’m sure that’s not the point; we’re supposed to understand that what you really want is a family, and maybe that’s why you’re so keen on Paige.

Speaking of which, Paige is in the background during this scene, and the camera occasionally focuses on her while she emotes. I wouldn’t want her crocodile tears to go to waste, so let’s imagine what’s going on in Paige’s mind:

Paige’s thoughts: Gee, I hope that ketchup didn’t get on Shane’s sexy shirt. Oh, and I hope my kid doesn’t hate me. Ouch, I have a headache. Look sad, look sad! I’ll just try a french fry. Mmm, that’s tasty. Damn this stupid napkin. Gah, I’m so thirsty — hey, here’s the server with my drink, just in time! That’s swell. Oh, look at those two chatting. Shane looks hot, even though she has no ass to hold up those jeans. Speaking of asses, Jared’s such a pain in my ass lately — no, no, look sad, look sad. Think about sad things. Focus on the messy ketchup and your headache. Sad things. Whoa, did I forget to turn off the coffee this morning?

Kate’s marketplace — Tina takes Kate to her new office at Shaolin Studios. Kate is pleased with her digs; she’s an indie filmmaker, after all, so she’s used to setting up shop in bathrooms and such. I guess that explains why she looks like a hobo.

Tina, your flirting skills are barely better than Jenny’s. What you think is coquettish is coming across as constipated. But it doesn’t matter; Kate is in her own world, anyway.

Kate: So, is it Bette?
Tina: Is what Bette?
Kate: The person that you have feelings for. The reason you couldn’t come home with me the other night.
Tina: We’re working together. [pause] It was Bette. It was.
Kate: So why are you helping her get back together with Jodi?
Tina: I don’t know. Maybe I feel guilty that I want her back less than a year after breaking up. I f—ed up. It was f—king bloody. It was bad.
Kate: That’s what breakups are. They’re f—ing bloody.
Tina: I don’t have the right to complicate her life just because she’s met someone else.
Kate: And if it doesn’t work out between them?
Tina: I guess I’m waiting to see about that too.
Kate: Well, girls like me don’t stay on the open market very long. So if you want some of this, you’d better get in there sooner rather than later.

Just let her walk away, Tina. That market (or ego) is so inflated, it’s likely to crash any minute. Oh, and thanks for wearing a hat, Kate — we wouldn’t want the season to end without a few more hats on parade. But I wonder: What do the writers’ hats look like? You know, the ones that morph into blinders every time they face a character inconsistency or a plot deficiency?

Luckily, they must have doffed those hats when they wrote this scene. Again, much to my amazement, Tina is back in fine form. She’s finally letting her feelings for Bette come to the surface, even if she does intend to fight them by flirting with a posturing twit.