The L Word, Episode 2 🦋
"Why is it whenever dykes want to have sex with a man, it’s only so they can steal his sperm?!"
Hello women who long, love, lust and women who give. Hello Jenny apologists with chunky highlights and 90s tattoos that look like skin stamps. It’s Friday! That means a new recap of The L Word, a show about early 2000s lesbians who are tense and horny. If you missed my recap of episode one, read it here. If you like this newsletter and want to receive it more often, consider going paid. It costs less than an oat milk latte and makes this work possible :)
It’s episode 2! Jenny has a new job as a cashier at a grocery store. She’s 30 seconds into her first shift when Marina walks up and says, “I want to see you check me out.“ These two are so horned for each other, it’s out of control. They need to stop showing up at each other’s workplaces.
Later, Jenny and Tim go to dinner with another couple. The door to the restaurant opens and in walks a startling number of white lesbians, including Marina. The straight people discuss the lesbians in hushed, sexualizing tones. Jenny feels torn between her role as Tim’s girlfriend and her budding identification with queer women. She follows Marina to the bathroom. Marina goes in for a hug. Jenny pushes her away, but in the horniest way possible.
Bette finds a positive ovulation test in the trash, meaning Tina is fertile and didn’t tell her. Their relationship is on thin ice. When they’re around each other, Tina seems annoyed and Bette is extra huffy.
Bette shows up late to couples therapy. She bursts through the door and interrupts what has become Tina’s therapy session with some big news—she found a sperm donor! His name is Marcus Allenwood and he’s an artist. Tina wants to meet him and possibly express doubts about having a baby in the first place, but Bette shuts her down. Their therapist is watching them in a creepy way. It’s like he’s delighted at their messed-up dynamic and Bette’s belief that a baby will fix their relationship.
This next part is yikkkes. Marcus shows up to the house. Tina freaks out because she didn’t know Marcus was Black. The way it’s shot emphasizes Marcus’s big, hulking body and Tina’s tininess. At one point, Tina reaches for the doorknob and he reaches around her and pulls it open. The visual implication is that Tina is in danger, or doing something unnatural and taboo. The receptionist at the cryobank turns to Tina and tells her that “really big men like that” create big babies and she’ll probably need a C-section. It’s like the receptionist is horny for Marcus, but also afraid of him? It’s racist!!
Tina and Bette have a big fight about Marcus. Bette leaves to talk to Kit, her sister. Kit says that since Bette passes as white, her life has been a lot easier. Tina, for one, doesn’t actually perceive her as Black. Bette gets angry and tries to leave, but breaks down in tears at the door. They hug and it seems like they’re healing the rift between them.
Next, Bette is facilitating an artist’s talk at the CAC. The topic is art vs. pornography. Tina is in the audience. A man wearing a linen blouse nudges her and says, “Your girlfriend is totally amazing.“ I would be scared if a strange man knew about my relationship, but Tina is actually flattered.
After the talk, Linen Blouse lays it on thick. He tells Bette and Tina that they are super sexy. They’re like, “Aw shucks, mista. You think we’re sexy?“ They want this man for his baby batter, but they also seem kinda into him? They go back to the house and start to threesome. Linen Blouse grabs a condom from his wallet and tears it open, but Bette tells him he doesn’t need it. She continues to insist and he gets real suspicious.
“Why is it whenever dykes want to have sex with a man, it’s only so they can steal his sperm. It ain’t happening guys,“ says Linen Blouse, pulling on his pants and leaving.
Does this happen to him a lot? I would watch an entire show about a man who loves museum programming and long, passionate threesomes, but wealthy lesbian couples only want him for his sperm. I also don’t see Bette and Tina doing something this desperate? There’s a big legal risk. It’s also wrong to conceive a child without someone’s consent and full knowledge?! This baby/conception plot is sexualized in such an unnecessary, weird way.
Jenny is writing a new short story. She lets Tim read it. We only get to hear the lines that he reads aloud, but they’re bad. Tim is like, “Now I understand why you’re so mean and distant sometimes. It’s because you’re so good at writing.” Jenny cries. She knows she’s about to break this man.
A few hours later, she has sex with Marina. There is heavy European breathing and face touching. The song playing is just the words “trust me“ over and over again.
Jenny cries some more.
Meanwhile, Alice, Dana, and Shane are hanging out at a queer bar called Milk. Alice complains about how small the lesbian dating pool is in LA. She and Dana go back to her apartment to be sad and single together. Alice unveils a project she’s been working on—a big chart that shows who’s had sex with who. Her plan is to take this speculative and deeply personal information and put it ONLINE. Um, did Alice invent social media?
Bette and Tina decide to keep having sex, even though they lost Linen Blouse. It’s a very breathy scene that ends with simultaneous orgasms. Tina agrees to use Marcus’s sperm.
In the morning, they sit on the porch and drink coffee. Shane comes by dressed like a sex goblin in a leather vest and very tight pants. She’s making her way home after a night of debauchery and fornication. She tells Bette and Tina that they give her hope that, “…two people can be together for a long time and still make each other happy.“ Bette cries because she knows this isn’t actually true—she and Tina don’t make each other happy :/
Jenny wakes up feeling guilty. She goes into the kitchen where Tim presents her with eggs, toast, and an ENGAGEMENT RING? How is she supposed to respond to that? She’s gay now.
Other Stuff That Came Up for Me:
What is this scene where Tina goes to the gym and has a topless moment in the locker room with her spinning instructor??
It’s weird that Gen Q brought Marcus back and instead of giving him more agency and depth, he just dies of cancer? This episode also states that he already has a child, so it’s weird for the reboot to make his kid younger than Angie?? Just all-around wacky writing.
I love all these moody interiors and matte blues and grays. Now everyone’s entire house is white, white, white. Thanks, Magnolia Home.
Dana is coughing from Alice’s weed smoke, but she still wants to hang out. Aw I love seeing this relationship start :’)
Would you have a threesome with Bette and Tina?