The L Word Recaps 4.12 “Long Time Coming”

A gray dawn — It’s early. Bette and Max are at Shane’s house, chatting and loading equipment into a van. Max has loaned Bette his dolly along with a power-drill set and an extra rope. Well then. Shane wanders out and says good morning, and soon Alice shows up too, yawning and grumbling.

Before we can figure out what all of this is about, there’s something else to discuss. They all wish Max good luck in San Francisco, where he is scheduled to have surgery. But he’s not sure he’s going to go through with it.

Max: I might. I just … it’s an irreversible decision, you know?

Um, yeah. Should this maybe have occurred to you before now? Sigh. You should do what feels right to you, of course, and I know Grace kind of threw you for a loop. I hope somehow your story line gets put back together in Season 5, Max, but it’s possible that Humpty Dumpty has just fallen off the wall. Where were the therapy sessions? Where was your inner struggle? Where, oh where, is Grace? (I just sorta wanted to see her again.)

Anyway, Alice and Shane and Bette are ready to go wherever they’re going in that van. As they pull away, the camera gets so close to Max that we can almost see the expressionless Sea between his ears.

Three troublemakers — Bette, Alice and Shane (it’s great to see these three in a scene together) chat about Tasha’s going-away party. Alice says she’s not going.

Alice: I’m not going to a party to celebrate that the person I care for is about to leave for the most dangerous place on Earth. You know, to fight in a morally bankrupt war … and may be coming home in a body bag. It would be insane.
Shane: You’re wrong, Alice.
Bette: Well, she’s not totally wrong.
Shane: Why?
Bette: It is a morally bankrupt war.

Well, OK. Thanks for the political aside. Whatever your commander in chief might do to you, Tasha, you’ve already been discarded by the dialogue.

They’re now parked next to the building that boasts the “17 reasons why!” sign. It seems Jodi wants to use it in a sculpture. Oh. That’s definitely a lot less generic than flowers.

Bette is, as usual, extremely prepared. She has done all the necessary research about the building and its security, and she has all the right tools (after all, she’s the one who told Phyllis to get familiar with the toolkit).

Bette: OK. So. We have the dolly. We have the rope. We have the toolkit. We have the wire cutters. We have steaks.
Alice: [to Shane] Steaks? For lunch?
Shane: That’d be nice.

Bette snips the barbed wire (oh, by the way, Chaiken wrote that stellar film Barb Wire) at the top of the chain-link fence that’s surrounding the grounds, and they all fumble their way over. They pause on the way, though, to talk about Tina. Alice is sure she wants to get back together with Bette, but Bette says that makes no sense because Tina’s helping her get back together with Jodi. Does anything make sense when you’re perched atop a chain-link fence?

Once they’re on the ground, Bette takes the steaks out of the cooler. Before Alice can finish asking what they’re for, two snarling dogs appear. Alice emits the girliest shriek you’ve ever heard, and she and Shane cling to the fence as Bette locks the dogs in a cage with the steaks.

It’s ridiculous. It’s awesome.

As they continue their caper, Shane asks whether they’ve heard about a suburb called Valley Village, where you can get a three-bedroom house and the kids can ride their bikes to school. She trails off because the door Bette’s yanking on is locked. They see an open window.

Alice: [to Shane] Let’s go, fatty. Come on.

She gives Shane a boost and then pretty much tosses her through the window.

Bette: [to Alice] Why is she talking about kids and bikes and family rooms?
Alice: I don’t think that’s Shane. I think that’s a pod person in Shane’s body pretending to be Shane.

And then Bette tosses Alice through the window, too. These three can do slapstick, and I’m so glad they’re getting the chance!

When they finally get up to the roof, Alice and Shane can’t believe how big the sign is.

Alice: This isn’t realistic. This is f—ing insane.
Bette: I know.
Shane: But it’s romantic. It is.

They climb up on the sign, pausing for a photo because Alice has (of course) brought her camera.

Alice: OK. Say, “This is f—ing crazy!”

They get right to work with socket wrenches and a great tune in the background: Mr. Airplane Man’s “Commit a Crime.”

Party preparations — Kit, Papi, Helena and Catherine are getting ready for Tasha’s going-away party, which will be held at Catherine’s beach house. Papi is working the Dyson. Nice of them to make you the cleaning lady, Pops, especially while you’re wearing that shirt that says “Latina.”

Kit is rambling about the “Planet cookies” she’s made. Papi makes her simmer down for a minute.

Papi: [nodding toward Angus] Are you guys back together?
Kit: Papi, I’m really working on getting myself back together first before I can go back with anyone.
Papi: I wish you both happiness.

That’s nice of you, Eva Torres. Could you maybe look up Carmen, since you have to let Kit go?

When I said Catherine was helping them get ready for the party, I couldn’t have been more wrong. She is, in fact, trying to ruin it by making Helena go to another poker game. But this time Helena ain’t playin’. She walks out onto the beach in a huff, accompanied by a variety of pretentious camera angles.