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Season 2, episode 02
Season 202
1st release (U.S.): 02/27/05
Production number: 202
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
Katherine Moennig - Shane McCutcheon
Sarah Shahi - Carmen de la Pica

Fabrice Grover (Aaron Engleberg)
Marsha Regis (Maria)
Kirsten Williamson (Dawn)
Meredith McGeachie (Tonya)
Jane Lynch (Barbara Lynch)
Sandra Bernhard (Charlotte Birch)
Graeme Duffy .... Counter Clerk


Showtime, Sunday, 10pm


This synopsis is by Marissa Robillard-Meli.

Our interlude this time involves a very familiar character: Robin is getting married! As she rushes out of the ceremony in a charming white tux, she notices that she is without spouse. We then see a random act of sex between a beautiful woman and someone with short, blonde hair-a man, a woman? The woman refers to the blonde as (and please pardon the spelling if it's incorrect, but my first instinct was to defer to Liz Claiborne on this one having no other source-we're the first to publish an episode guide on this one, as far as I know!) Claybourne. One of these two people was Robin's spouse. How she hadn't realized that her spouse was missing until now, giving him/her enough time to run away to another room and start having sex, is a mystery. Perhaps someone's fallen off the flying trapeze one too many times.

Tina is at a meeting with a balls-to-the-wall female lawyer, Joyce Wischnia (played by Jane Lynch, who is not related to Kelly Lynch, who plays Ivan) who uses the female reproductive system as a dartboard. We see photographs of her with famous people, including Bill Clinton. She's trying to encourage Tina to go after some of Bette's possessions.

Shane and Alice are on their way to The Planet, when they see a sign on the window that says it's closed until further notice.

Joyce tells Tina that she should've put her name on some of the things she and Bette shared. Joyce whips out a pipe (as if this woman were not dykey enough) to smoke even though Tina is clearly pregnant (what kind of feminist is this who would smoke in front of a pregnant woman?). Tina asks her not to. She tells Joyce that Bette doesn't know she is pregnant. She doesn't want to tell Bette, either, until she's sure it won't end up as a miscarriage. So exactly how did this all happen? Lord, someone explain this to me in the next episode. Joyce keeps telling Tina that she needs her autonomy, and Tina finally admits that she wants it. Allow me to go on a tangent here. The only way that Tina can ever have a healthy relationship with anyone is for her to be independent, and I am so happy that she's making steps towards that. It is made apparent to us that both Bette and Tina miss each other very much, and that both are independently making the personal changes they need to make so that a Bette and Tina relationship can really be healthy. At this point-if nothing catastrophic happens-I promise you right now that if by the end of the season Bette and Tina have not at least tried to get back together, I will wear a skirt every day for the rest of my life, wallpaper my house with glittery unicorns, and trade in my Mustang for a pink VW Beetle with fuzzy pink seats and a fuzzy pink steering wheel-or whatever you straight girls like besides talking about penises.

Shane and Alice go into another coffee shop called Nirvana Bean, which is a hyperbolic Starbucks parody. Shane is attempting to figure out the ordering system-baffled by flavored coffee in the process-while a huge line forms behind her. Tanya and Dana bust in (Tanya is leading, of course), skipping the entire line, because Tanya is better than everyone else in the entire world ever. So much, in fact, that she orders for herself and Dana-because "she likes what I like, and always wants what I want more than what she wants." No one has said anything to her face at this point, but I am pushing for Shane to shake her head in Tanya's direction and drown her in hair product.

Kit shows up at the garage looking for Ivan, who has yet to call her back. Dax, one of the mechanics, hesitates to give her information but eventually lets her know that Ivan's at his cabin in Ottawa. Who knew that being a mechanic was so lucrative? Dax says that when Kit walked in on Ivan and saw his boobies (my words, not Dax's), Ivan was so upset he might not be able to get over it. Dax tells Kit to just chill for a few days, but Kit says she can't wait for a few days, and demands the address of the cabin.

Bette is working at her office, and there is a new painting behind her. It has the very powerful, very sad background of the color blue, and we can see "So Very Sorry" in large letters on the bottom part of the painting. How insulting to viewers! Okay, if they wanted to make clear to us that Bette chose a painting for her office based on her overwhelming guilt, couldn't they have made it a little bit subtler for us? Part of what is nice about Bette being an art curator is that it teaches viewers who might not get an art education a little bit about art, so let's keep it up, eh? James the assistant is looking for apartments for Tina to stay in so she doesn't have to stay with Alice-Bette implies that it won't be a permanent situation. The CAC's lawyer (the same one who helped with the Faye Buckley situation in the first season) gets a call from Joyce, Tina's lawyer. Bette recognizers her as a famous gay civil rights lawyer, but also knows that she does separation and divorce cases. Bette had no idea that Tina was meeting with a lawyer.

Madame Charlotte Birch (played by the fabulous Madame Sandra Bernhard) is teaching a writing class that Jenny's attending. She brings up Jenny's story, "Thus Spake Sarah Schuster." Jenny says that the title might be arrogant-here's a bit of background on that: Thus Spake Zarathustra, by Friedrich Nietzsche, was a tremendously influential novel that greatly affected the arts and philosophy in the 19th century. By titling her story with a reference to that novel, she puts herself on a level with Nietzsche. If you happen to care about writing and/or philosophy and want to learn more about the ideals of Nietzsche, which might shine a little light on Jenny for you, Walter A. Kaufmann's Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist is superb. However, don't be surprised that after you learn about Nietzsche and keep in mind that Jenny is trying to portray herself as an existentialist figure of his particular breed, you think she's as stupid as I do. Either Ilene Chaiken has no real grasp on Nietzsche and really screwed up trying to portray Jenny in that light, or she is a genius and is portraying Jenny as one of those ridiculous writers who have no grasp of the concept but feel that it make their writing more credible if they attach it to a great figure or great ideal. Can you tell that I'm an English major and occasional horrible bitch?

Enough with my ranting: that's not why you're here. You want to hear that Madame Birch shirks off Jenny's comment about the arrogance of her title and tells her that she uses "hubristic, overly-precious, bad puns." WORD. Thank you, Sandra Bernhard, for doing what I've wanted to do since I first encountered Jenny. Jenny should watch it, she warns, if she wants to make it into her class-this is a sort of audition, apparently. The class begins a writing test, with a prompt that reads only "The Hunter and The Hunted." Jenny writes and we see her thinking about a little girl running around in an unclear, black-and-white scene. She keeps writing after time stops, and our wonderful teacher walks right over to her desk and stares her down.

Some punks are sitting around watching a monitor, and as the camera zooms out, we see that a music video for the band The Organ is being filmed. Shane shows up at the set-which is a church (delightful!)-to find Carmen. Carmen's mom told Shane where she was. Shane apologizes to Carmen for the other night (when she made out with the other girl in front of her at the club) and says she was an a**hole. I knew Shane liked her! Will this be the woman to tie her down, finally? Or at least slow her down, in a Brian Kinney and Justin in Queer as Folk way?

Kit and her sweet new ride roll up at Ivan's cabin. He's working on a car, and not appearing in drag this time. He is very upset that someone told Kit where he is.

Carmen says it's cool that Shane doesn't want to get involved with anyone. The always charming Shane woos her with, "But it doesn't mean that we can't f***." "You want to f*** me?" Carmen is clearly delighted that although Shane will never buy the cow she still wants some free milk. They definitely start making out and feeling each other up in the church. Question: Which church volunteered to let this show film there? Answer: The Church of Awesome. Unfortunately, Carmen receives a call on her walkie-talkie and she has to go. They try to make plans, but Shane says she has a lap dance tomorrow. Candace says that she will do that lap dance for her, but Shane says she's going with her friends and whatnot. They part without making plans.

Ivan sits down with a non-alcoholic (LH from Dallas, you are my new girlfriend) beer and offers one to Kit. She declines. Kit asks Ivan for $50,000 to cover The Planet's expenses, as she has to meet Marina's father the next day and needs the money. Way to win your way back into his heart. Ivan says he'll look at the business plan.

We're back at writing class, and we learn that Jenny set her story in a carnival-and that it was a true story. Madame Birch tells her that it lacks creativity-although it is a true story, she had to make that leap to fiction and completely missed it. Everyone will find out whether or not they make the class in ten days, which Jenny probably will because she will a.) sleep with the professor, b.) cry, or c.) threaten to throw a bottle of fine wine at her.

Dana and Tanya are talking over their wedding. Tanya is pushing her to get her parents' blessing, which if you saw the first season you know is not going to be an easy thing for Dana to do. Dana doesn't want to do it, but Tanya doesn't care, nor will Dana stand up for herself. Tanya orders her to put her hair in a ponytail and get ready.

Bette storms into Alice's, reeking of that familiar testosterone. "Where the f*** is Tina?" she demands of Alice, who has surprisingly not brought out mace. Tina is with Oscar, Alice tells her, and Bette complains to Alice that Tina's seeing an attorney. Alice says that she suggested it because Tina really doesn't have anything of her own. Bette gives Alice a "f*** you" as smoke whooshes out of her nostrils. "I'm still your friend," Alice replies calmly, "but sometimes you can be a little cruel." Not one to disappoint, Bette tells her that she and Alice dated for six weeks and that it was never going anywhere so she did them both a favor. She storms out after warning Alice never to get involved in her business again.

Dana and Tanya are at Dana's parents' house. Tanya is playing the charming a**-kisser, and wipes the s*** off of her mouth before telling Dana's parents that they have something to ask them. They've set a date for the wedding and want their blessing. Dana's father doesn't know what difference it would make if they gave them their blessing, and Dana insists that it would mean a lot. Dana's mom doesn't understand: they're both such pretty girls, and neither of them would have any trouble finding a man. Dana rises from her chair in frustration, just as I've done after receiving the exact same speech from my mother. Tanya draws the attention of the family to herself, and appeases Dana's parents momentarily by telling them that she was once engaged to a man. Every night, however, she would wake up crying. One night, he woke up and found her and got down on one knee. "Tanya, will you not marry me?" he pleas. "Because I know what's in your heart, and I love you too much to make you unhappy. Be true to yourself, Tanya. Follow your heart." Dana's mother breaks down in tears and beckons them both over to share a hug. Has it ever been any clearer that Tanya is a master manipulator? This story is such bulls***, but I'm not surprised that Dana didn't stop her from telling it. It can't possibly be true. But does Dana know that?

Alice, Shane, and Tina are back at Nirvana Bean. Alice still doesn't trust Tanya, and hopes that Dana gets a pre-nup. Alice tells them that Bette reamed her for encouraging Tina to get a lawyer. "Poor Bette," Shane replies. At first, I was pissed at Shane for defending Bette's attacking Alice. However, I suppose that Bette does deserve some sympathy at a certain level, as this is quite difficult for her as well. Tina affirms that they need to be on equal footing before they can work anything out. See? Tina so wants to get back with her.

Jenny is with Robin, telling her about Madame Birch and how she doesn't like her. Robin says she's jealous of Jenny. No one is jealous of Jenny in any way, except for the fact that she got to sleep with Marina. Jenny is practicing the names of Robin's friends as she prepares to meet them, and Robin says that her friends were great in supporting her after she and Claiborne (or whatever) broke up.

Dana and Alice are sharing some delightful sexual tension over coffee. PLEASE just have sex already.

Jenny and Robin have gathered with Robin's friends, who are all mothers. They ask Jenny if she wants kids, and one friend says that Robin should get pregnant first because she's older and the clock is tickin'. Did Jenny know, they wonder, about Claiborne cheating on Robin at the wedding? Robin says she didn't even know that Claiborne didn't believe in monogamy until the wedding. Um, this is probably something you should talk about before you get married. By the way, Claiborne is the blonde with the short hair.

Jenny and Robin return home (Jenny is staying with Robin), and Jenny says that they need to talk. She's not ready to get married yet, and that's obvious that's what Robin wants. She accuses Robin of setting her up when she brought her to meet her friends. Robin denies that she did, insisting that her friends made the comments they did entirely on their own. Jenny needs time alone, and Robin is fine with that, agreeing that they don't need to be together every second of the day. Jenny means that she needs to try and be self-sufficient. She hasn't been on her own ever, and she's terrified of taking that step. So, what? She wants sympathy from Robin after dumping her? Ugh. "I promise you," she assures Robin, "you do not want to get sucked into my bulls***." Robin tells her not to decide what Robin wants and doesn't want. But, Jenny says, this is what she wants. Robin can't go through this again. Jenny says that's why they should stop this now, before they "actually go through anything." Robin hopes she didn't blow it by bringing Jenny to meet her friends today. No, Jenny says, they seem like good people who are "very mature and settled in their life." "You just want to sleep with people," cries Robin, "make them fall in love with you so you can f*** with their heads?" Jenny insists they end it now before she disappoints Robin anymore. Obviously, what Francesca did to Marina turned Marina into what she is, and what Marina did to Jenny has turned Jenny into the same thing.

Outside the Mandarette Chinese Café Bette receives a phone call. Shane, Tanya, Dana, Alice, and Tina are inside eating. Trouble is ahead! Shane admits that she's never had a lap dance before (yet she's the female Wilt Chamberlain in the sack), and Dana hasn't either. Tanya assures Dana that she doesn't want one. At this point, Bette is walking inside. Tanya says that they have to get Tina a lapdance, though, because Bette's the only woman she's ever been with. Bette, who is waiting for her takeout, makes eye contact with the girls and runs out with her food. Shane chases her down and offers her sympathy. Bette thanks her, and gets ready to drive away. Shane stops her to tell her "this sucks." Bette agrees, and with tears in her eyes she drives away.

The girls show up at the strip club, as it's Tanya and Dana's bachelorette party. Tanya puts money in between a stripper's boobies and encourages Dana to do the same. Dana takes money from Tanya and tucks it into the side of the stripper's thong, averting her eyes.

Bette is talking to Kit at The Planet, encouraging her about the business venture and offering her her help.

A waitress at the strip club calls Shane "good-lookin'" and offers her a drink. Shane declines, and the waitress asks "can I offer you anything else? I've got a lot to offer." Shane says no, as she's with her friends. The waitress starts to walk away, and turns back. "You're a player, right?" Shane laughs. "Right, yeah." She walks away and Shane shakes her head.

Alice is in the bathroom, fuming into the mirror. Dana walks in and Alice says that she needs to get out, as it's against the rules they've set for themselves in an effort to control their attraction to each other. Dana heads to the stall anyway. Alice turns around, they look into each other's eyes, and lean into kiss. Who has to pop in but Tanya? She pulls Dana into the stall. Tanya drops her jeans and tells Dana to be quick. Alice, please rescue Dana!

Ivan rolls up to The Planet on his bike with a cashier's check for fifty grand. He says that he'll be Kit's silent partner, solely because he likes The Planet. He doesn't want any contact with her, however. She protests, but accepts the check. He wishes her luck and walks out.

Back at the strip club, Shane asks Alice privately about what's going on with her and Dana. "Are you guys getting it on yet, or what?" Alice begins to deny, but finally admits that they've kissed and asks if anyone else knows. Shane doubts it. Tina is getting a lapdance from a stripper, and looks uncomfortable. Alice and Shane point out that the stripper looks a little bit like Bette. The stripper unclasps her bra, and Tina relaxes and begins to watch her more intently. The stripper leans in to kiss Tina, who raises her head to kiss her. At the last minute, the stripper backs away without kissing Tina, who is left looking disappointed yet pensive.

Marina's father walks in. Kit had referred to him as Count Dracula before, and this is quite appropriate. They discuss money as he delights himself with a fan made of black feathers. He accuses Bette of being extremely judgmental about Marina, and points out that that's the American way. She asks about his daughter, and-get ready-he says that she's his wife!!! WHAT?!?! This dude is totally old and Marina is totally hot and into girls and lived in AMERICA. They've been married for TWELVE years…from what I had gathered, Marina was in her late twenties, super-early thirties at most. That is so disgusting. Just another example of the crazy lengths this show is going to to explain Karina Lombard's disappearance. Next episode, I hear that they are going to reveal that she was actually a robot sent back through time to protect John Conner but then decided to live out her last robotic days in the Mariana Trench.

A woman is show masturbating, and as the camera pans upward to her face we notice that it's Tina. She is very much into it, until she hears Bette's laughter in her head. She begins to cry.

Bette is sitting down on her porch at home, surrounded by empty Chinese take-out cartons and drinking Dos Equis beer. See previous episode guides for how pissed I get at this show for this particular product placement.

Kit is alone at The Planet, and we witness her in an intense moment of introspection.

Shane approaches Bette on her porch, sits down and shares a cigarette with Bette-who has possibly not smoked since she was twelve (see Season One, Episode 13). She asks Shane exactly how she let things get so "f***ed up." Shane lets on that she learned early on to keep things simple-obviously, Shane's been seriously hurt before and can't risk being hurt again. This is why she has sex without commitment. Her lifestyle doesn't apply to Bette, though, Shane says. Bette admits that she might like to study at Shane's feet! No WAY she'll really go through with this. Jenny pulls up next door at Tim's old place and comes to the porch. Jenny agrees that sex without emotional entanglement just might be for her. She mentions that she's looking for roommates, and has even put up a notice on Craig's List (craigslist.com). Shane says that they "should talk." Shane and Jenny as roommates-now I can't enjoy my Shane without being brought down by my hatred for Jenny. Bette laughs and drinks some more s***ty beer.

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