Cheating and Lies and Deception, Oh My!


DEK: Everyone does it baby!

By Maggie Chirdo and Sophia Santaniello

With it being confirmed that Showtime’s The L Word is coming back to television in a reboot debuting later this year, we decided to go back and watch the lesbian classic for all of you gays who never got around to it.

Episode 4: “Lies, Lies, Lies”

True equality is the recognition that gay girls can be trash too, and this is quite clear in the amount of lies old and new in this episode, if the title wasn’t clear enough for you. The opening scene (set in Greenwich Village!), where a woman unknowingly worries about her missing girlfriend to the woman who her girlfriend spent the night with, is just one of many strange things that have us asking what was really happening in the L Word writers room. But with that aside, we see Jenny announce that she’s going to The Planet to write wearing an outfit that is definitely intended for something other than writing. Tim spoils whatever she had planned by deciding to tag along to get some work done with her; yet Jenny, with her utter lack of basic common sense, decides that she really can’t wait to hook up with Marina again even with Tim right there, and the two women rendezvous in the bathroom right under Tim’s nose.

Elsewhere, Dana and Lara are shown cuddling post-coital, and Tina and Bette start their morning with Tina eating some weird food combination, the show’s writers truly brilliant and original way of letting us know that she’s probably pregnant. Her pregnancy is confirmed when Alice brings over a test, but Bette is in Business Bitch mode as everyone else finds out about Tina’s pregnancy. She’s initially ecstatic at the news when Tina is finally able to tell her, and they share a really sweet moment, but then when they go to break the news to their friends the next day Bette realizes that she was one of the last to know, which she isn’t too happy about.

Shane is barely in this episode except to introduce her friend Lisa, the “lesbian identified” man (read: a cishet man trying to insert himself into the queer community). Regardless, Alice is totally into him, but some more casual biphobia is dropped into the mix when Shane warns Lisa away from Alice since she’s “decided not to be lesbian anymore.” Alice’s mom is also introduced when she involves her daughter in an elaborate string of lies that really only serve to reinforce the theme of the episode. And after Bette’s overconfidence in her ability to get “Provocations” for the CAC it seems that her job is on the line, until the utterly iconic Holland Taylor as Peggy Peabody reappears to threaten Bette’s bosses and let them know that she has decided on “Provocations” showing at the CAC as long as Bette remains employed there.

This episode is really just a string of situations where Tim comes painfully close to catching Jenny and Marina in the act with a bit of side plot thrown in. Tim walks into the bathroom that Marina and Jenny are hooking up in, because this cafe conveniently has all gender restrooms, and somehow Jenny is able to slip out of the stall without Tim suspecting a thing. Jenny continues to be her confusing self and initiates sex with Tim later at their house, only to imagine Marina’s face in the midst of it. Later we’re introduced to Jenny’s pretentious writer friend Nick, and the two of them discuss Jenny’s writing over dinner where his comments about how commitment is not her thing hit too close to home. At Nick’s encouragement she goes to The Planet to find Marina, yet, driven by his mounting suspicions, Tim has gone looking for Jenny there and Alice has to sneak Jenny out.

Back at the house, Jenny seems to have a literal fever dream as the events of the day culminate in her imagining Nick as a demon of lies and deceit. While she writes, he analyzes a party happening in Bette and Tina’s backyard, pointing out the ways in which people lie to each other. Tim comes home after his search to find her there writing, and for now it seems that Jenny has gotten away with her lies.

Episode Rating: 2 out of 5 low-rise jeans circa 2004

Ok, we get it — everybody lies!! But really, could they please stop making cheating seem sexy? This episode is saved by the excitement of Bette and Tina’s pregnancy and the badass Peggy Peabody, yet we don’t know how much longer we can handle the prolonged Jenny/Marina/Tim drama, especially with almost every other character complacent in it at this point. We just want some wholesome gay content preferably focused on our favs Dana and Lara, is that too much to ask?!

Also! This weeks episode of The L Word comes at perfect timing with the current college admissions scandal, as we see Tim (who is a swimming coach at an LA university) encouraged to help a student athlete by getting her upcoming test from the professor and then tutoring her based on that. So we aren’t saying that all of those parents were inspired by The L Word when they cheated their kids into those universities, except we are.

Check back next week for our recap of Episode 5, “Lawfully”!

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