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Season 1, episode 11
Season 111
1st release (U.S.): 03/21/04
Production number: 111
Last update: 02/28/05

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SYNOPSIS/ANALYSIS by Marissa Robillard-Meli

Jennifer Beals - Bette Porter
Erin Daniels - Dana Fairbanks
Pam Grier - Kit Porter
Leisha Hailey - Alice Pieszecki
Laurel Holloman - Tina Kennard
Mia Kirshner - Jenny Schecter
Karina Lombard - Marina Ferrer
Eric Mabius - Tim Haspel
Katherine Moennig - Shane McCutcheon

Camille Martinez (Alma)
Zak Santiago (Oscar)
Daryl Shuttleworth (Dan Foxworthy)
Nicole McKay (Trish Peverell)
Snoop Dogg (Slim Daddy)
Helen Shaver (Faye Buckley)
Ion Overman (Candace Jewell)
Michael Tomlinson (Franklin)
Kim Hawthorne (Yolanda Watkins)
Rosanna Arquette (Cherie Jaffe)
Lolita Davidovich (Francheska Wolff)
David Berner .... George Parson
Preston Cook .... James
Roger Haskett .... Harley
Barclay Hope .... Bert Gruber
Damon Johnson .... Video Director
Claude Knowlton .... Charlie
Michaela Mann .... China
Joseph Marshall .... Bronc
Samantha McLeod .... Clea Jaffe
Charles Payne .... Triple
James Purcell .... Steve Jaffe
Alfonso Quijada .... Esai
Jade Robertson .... Amber
Jonathan Scarfe .... Matt
Sherry Thoreson .... Karen
Russell Zishiri .... DJ/Emcee

Writer: Ilene Chaiken
Director: Mary Harron and Michelle Abbott

Showtime, Sunday, 10pm


Tina's throws herself into volunteer work; Marina has a fight with Francesca; Bette defends the gallery against a RRR (Radical Religious Right) attack. TVTome.com


This synopsis is by Marissa Robillard-Meli.

We open this time in San Fernando Valley, one year ago. Two girls dressed as schoolgirls check their makeup in the mirror. A film crew records them having sex in the bathroom, and viewers across the country marvel at how hard up for money t.A.T.u. (yes, I did Google them to make sure I got the very rebellious capitalization correctly) has become. The school principal walks into the bathroom-this is supposed to be the girls' bathroom at a private school, I'm guessing, which would mean no intersex bathrooms. What would this guy be doing randomly walking into the girls' bathroom? Porn doesn't even try anymore. One of the schoolgirls gives him a blowjob as the director commands the actor to, um, ejaculate on her face…but in a way a little less polite than that. As if ejaculating on a girl's face can ever be a very polite situation.

Tina is whisking away at some eggs. She is overcome by her depression and crumbles to the kitchen floor, crying. Bette walks in and does what she can to comfort her.

Jenny walks up to Tim's house and sees Trish walking out. Jenny has apparently borrowed Tina's whisk to do her hair. She backs away from Trish, explaining "I'm just on my way to the grocery store…to get some bread…for toast." She realizes that the student-coach relationship with Tim has gotten a little bit inappropriate and obviously regrets witnessing it.

Francesca is on the phone while Marina waits for her to finish her conversation. She's making business plans to be the costumier for Drew Barrymore and needs to go to Virginia. Marina wishes that she would've discussed these plans with her before she committed. Marina was planning a summer holiday for the two of them, and already had booked a house for it. Francesca dismisses her, saying she didn't know that they had made definite plans. Marina reminds her that she's only home six weeks out of the year, and that she (justifiably) wants to spend more time with Francesca. Francesca out-Marinas Marina and beckons her to the bed. Francesca guilt-trips Marina, saying that she can't afford to not take the job, as Marina is in debt to her sexy abs over The Planet. Francesca, having trumped Marina, continues her conquest by getting all up ons Marina, who seems very much not into it.

Alice discusses her relationship with Andrew, which is hot because it's all sex and no lesbian drama. Dana adds that "just because you're riding a big, fat weenie doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the way the rest of us do it." But due to the way Alice did do it, she's late for her period. However, if she is pregnant, it's Lisa's! I am rooting for a false alarm at this point. Lisa as a lesbian is bad, but Lisa as a mother would be a disaster. I can't even imagine what the post-partum depression would bring.

After watching a clip, we see that the Coalition for Concerned Citizens has videotaped the conversation Faye had with Bette and edited it to make Bette seem psycho, at one point stating, point-blank, "I am a pervert." The CAC's attorney says that the political climate is certainly not on their side. Bette, with support from her power suit, wants to challenge Faye to a debate after being warned that Faye is a master debater. And a cunning linguist. Also, I am twelve years old.

Dana says that Alice should get an abortion if she's pregnant, as Shane does her hair. Shane, in a glimmering moment of humanity, suggests that she give the baby to Bette and Tina. She says that all of the girls can be the baby's family. Now, if Tina was concerned that giving the child the last name Portard, a mix of her and Bette's last names, would leave the child vulnerable to ridicule, I really don't think that having six lesbian mothers would make those recesses any easier.

Tina has gathered all of the things she and Bette had purchased for their baby and is putting them away in boxes by herself. Kit shows up, and mentions that Bette should've hired someone to do it, and if she wouldn't do that, Kit would've done it herself. The sagacious Pam Grier brings to light what we were all thinking: why is Bette being so lame about the miscarriage? I know that she is grieving in the Bette way, but she needs to step up and take care of Tina. Ugh. Tina tells Kit that she won't be attending her show tonight, but Kit insists that she needs to get out of the house.

Shane has given Dana a new hairstyle, complete with blonde highlights that have filled the hole in Dana's heart that has been there ever since she lost Lara. Alice agrees that her hair looks awesome, but she needs to do something about the way she dresses. She suggests that they go to Fred Segal, but Dana already buys her clothes there. And then beats them with the boring stick. Here's an interesting bit of information and a lame cross-promotion: have you noticed the t-shirts that the girls wear on the show with the doves on the sleeves? Leisha Hailey's (who plays Alice) girlfriend makes those, and as far as I know, they are only available for purchase at Fred Segal. How I long for the days when one could mention a brand or store in a commercial arena without any ulterior motive. And the days when Leisha Hailey didn't have a girlfriend.

Cherie comes to pick up Shane in a flashy silver Porsche (heck yes, all of us lesbians can recognize cars when given one glimpse). She won't tell Shane where she is taking her. Surprise, it's an empty building with an ugly tile floor! All this money and she won't even pay for a motel. Tsk, tsk. Turns out that this space has been reserved for Shane to open up her own shop. Shane plans on keeping the barbershop look and installing a pool table. Cherie manages to run away and hide in a back room. Shane comes around, and Cherie tells her to "look at this." Fishnets are involved. Shane starts taking off her shirt with an "aww, f***" and Cherie says "yes, please" and the thousand monkeys who are writing the script add fresh pieces of paper to their thousand typewriters.

Back at counseling, Tina says that she was only twelve weeks pregnant but feels like she's lost someone she's been with her whole life. The group members sympathize with her, and the counselor asks Bette if she's cried yet. Flashdance lets her chewing tobacco go into a spittoon and stoically replies, "I don't need to cry." The first thing she does after the meeting is get on her cell phone and make some important business calls. While she continues to neglect poor Tina, one of the group members Tina's been chatting with presents her with an opportunity to volunteer.

Bette is at Kit's show, having left Tina at home alone. I look forward to her overcoming the miscarriage and leaving Bette. Sweet, sweet justice. Yolanda is at the show, too. She had missed today's session, and Bette wastes some air saying the session is less intense without her. Yolanda tells Bette she never pictured her as a Kit Porter fan (recall, Yolanda accuses Bette of not being in touch with her African-American heritage), and Bette takes great pleasure in announcing that Kit is her sister. Yolanda is impressed, and introduces Bette to her ex-girlfriend, Candace Jewell. Then, Bette introduces the two to Slim Daddy. Snoop is charming as usual. Kit steps up to the mike and announces that Slim is in the audience. He gets up and calls her "a real motherf***ing diva." He then sits down and keeps working on that ménage-a-Bette-and-Tina. Kit sings impressively, and after the show Candace informs Bette that she is working near the CAC. Kit walks over, and Bette congratulates her on the show. She then tells Candace to stop by the CAC on her lunch break. Candace checks out her butt as she walks away. I am absolutely dying to see where this ends up.

Francesca is at The Planet shaking her blonde hair around and complaining about the new barista, who is making some mistakes. Because she's new. Marina goes over to help her, and Francesca accuses her of "coddling" the new employee. She then reaches over to the next table and devours a toddler. Dana walks in, and Alice tells her that "if I didn't know it was you, I would've thought someone hot just walked in." Zing! Dana stops Alice from drinking the coffee she has, telling her that Bette and Tina would kill her over it because it harms the baby. Shane lets on to Francesca about the possible pregnancy. Francesca mentions something about love, and Marina makes a stinging comment about wanting to experience that too, and she and Francesca exchange nasty death stares. Francesca tells Marina that there's a line at the counter and basically hits her with a switch to get up there. Help at the counter; don't help at the counter…make up your mind, Fran! Fran stares down Dana: "aren't you late for something?" Dana gets the hell out of there. Francesca accuses Marina of wanting to be the victim after deciding to pick a fight in public. She asks Marina if she wants someone to rescue her. "Maybe," answers the ice queen. Francesca reminds Marina that she already rescued her. She then descends back into Hell. For now.

Shane is with Cherie's husband, on her way to the space that will soon become her shop. He wants her to hang out with his daughter, Clea, who dropped out of college after six months. Shane is slightly hesitant, but eventually agrees.

Tina shows up at the Headquarters for Social Justice, the volunteer opportunity, and tells Oscar (her friend from counseling) that she wants to work with underprivileged kids. Always concerned about Bette who can never find time to be concerned about her, she inquires about Faye Buckley.

Bette finds out that a man has resigned from the CAC board after receiving 62 different letters with his company's credit cards, cut up by angry right-wing customers. Bette is practicing for her debate with Faye with her assistant when Tina calls. She tells Bette that she needs to come down to the headquarters to check out the dirt she dug up about Faye.

Bette tells her that she already knew all of what Tina told her and that she has people to handle this type of information. She is clearly inconvenienced by her partner who was trying to do something nice for her, but didn't totally lose it because she was still happy about being able to wear her sunglasses on the drive over. Oscar hands the fed-up Bette a videotape that she might find interesting.

Steve tells Shane that he won't forget the favor she did for him. He wants Shane to convince Clea to go on this mother-daughter trip to Paris that Cherie planned but Clea wants no part of. Shane tells Clea that she knows this whole thing is lame, but is just trying to comply with what her father asked her to do. Adding to the lameness, they go mini-golfing. Shane misses a putt and swears very loudly in front of a wholesome family. This I enjoy. Shane reveals to Clea that she didn't grow up with her mother. Teaching Clea how to perfect her swing (because mini-golf technique is a life skill), Shane gets dangerously close and puts her hands on Clea's hips.

Bette watches the video, which is the porn we saw part of in the beginning of the show. One of the girls in it is 17, she finds out, and ran away from home at 14. She's Faye Buckley's daughter! What?!

Clea confesses to Shane that she's gay and her parents know but don't want to talk about it. Clea leans in to kiss Shane, but Shane shies away because it's not what Clea's dad had in mind when he asked her to hang out with his daughter. But if he had, that would have been really, really funny. Clea persists and Shane plays the drug addict card.

Oscar tells Tina and Bette that Faye paid off a district court judge to clear the police records of what really happened to her daughter.

Dana and Jenny are both at the same lesbian bar so they sit down together. It's clear they barely know each other. It's the oldest lesbian bar in the area and very, very butch-femme, 50's style. Dana is drinking Dos Equis beer as well. Now I am convinced that this is product placement, too, because a professional tennis player would never, realistically, drink alcoholic horse pee. Dana goes home with her and they talk awkwardly and have some juice. With straws. Then Jenny really randomly just takes her shirt off. They kiss and spill juice. Dana takes her shirt off and Jenny grabs her boob like it is a mouse and she had her hands forcefully replaced with hawk talons by her professor in college so that she can never, ever write again. They have some awkward foreplay and wisely decide to be friends.

Cherie and Shane are hanging out at The Planet. Cherie gives her an expensive bracelet, which she does not want to accept. Shane wants to break it off because she doesn't like getting involved in a marriage, and Cherie threatens her. She accepts the bracelet and we find out Cherie is not wearing underwear. She should have planned her finances more carefully before she bought that Porsche.

Bette and Tina walk onto the Paramount lot. It's almost debate time! Tina is right by her side, helping her practice.

Jenny returns home from the grocery store to find Tim and Trish playing and flirting in the pool. Yikes.

Faye tells Bette that she's been looking forward to the debate, and makes a comment about how hard it must be for Bette to find makeup because her skin is so "in-between." She has obviously been hanging out with Francesca.

Jenny calls Tim from her writing studio even though she is ten feet away from him to tell him that his being involved with Trish is not wise. Tim says it's none of her business and climbs a tree, looking for bananas.

Tina and the lawyer are watching the debate from the green room.

Jenny tells Trish to back off from Tim if she really cares about him, and Tim grunts at her in gorilla language. The rough translation to English is something about no one in his or her right mind believing for a second that Jenny cares about him.

The moderator asks Bette if she's betraying the public trust. She of course says no, and Faye says she's making the lifestyle (the gay lifestyle) appear normal. Bette counters by saying that her art doesn't make anything appear normal; in fact it makes even her uncomfortable.

Marina opens a bottle of wine for her and Francesca as Fran packs for her trip. Francesca threatens to take someone else on this little trip she's planned if Marina doesn't behave. Marina dumps the two glasses of wine in Francesca's suitcase. Now she has something to drink on the plane!

Faye says Bette is trying to convince people that filth isn't filth, etc. Bette begins to introduce the porn and it looks like she's going to make a grand slam, until Faye absolutely immobilizes her with: "The Bible condemns homosexuality. That's why God took your unborn child from your lesbian lover." At this point I am sharpening my pencil to write a very strongly worded letter to a woman I know full well is a fictional character. "And that was a blessing. That baby is with Him now." Tina stands up in the green room, totally shocked. "So he doesn't have to suffer the degradation he would've been subject had he been born into your depraved life." Bette is crying and Faye gets up and leaves, but not before she lays a hand on Bette's shoulder. Bette slaps it away and calls her a monster. The moderator is looking at the tape, and we're all hoping that somehow Bette can get the word out about Faye and her daughter. This is the first time Bette cried over the miscarriage, and believe me, you will feel it. I was planning on recapping this debate word-for-word, but I think it's really important that you watch it. As the credits roll, Rufus Wainwright's cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" plays. Jeff Buckley beautifully covered it before Rufus did it, and this has been pretty much the only song to bring me to tears.


The opening teaser is set in the San Fernando Valley, just last year which features two porn actresses, named China and Amber, getting it on in which China is later revealed to be the runaway teenager daughter of Kay Buckley, the leader of the right-wing group waging war against Bette's art gallery.

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