The L Word Opening Credits (Season Three)

carmen

Nothing but the credits recapped here, right up to the moment when we see the director’s name. Then we stop. It’s really all you need to know.

The regular cast for season 3, in all episodes:

  • Jennifer Beals: Bette Porter
  • Leisha Hailey: Alice Pieszecki
  • Laurel Holloman: Tina Kennard
  • Mia Kirshner: Jenny Schecter
  • Katherine Moennig: Shane McCutcheon
  • Pam Grier: Kit Porter
  • Rachel Shelley: Helena Peabody
  • Erin Daniels: Dana Fairbanks
  • Eric Mabius: Tim Haspeth
  • Sarah Shahi: Carmen de la Pica Morales
  • Daniela Sea: Max Sweeney
  • Dallas Roberts: Angus Partridge

Labia Majora (S3, E1)

  • Lots of recaps from seasons 1 & 2. Previously on The L Word: it’s all you really need to know. Wait, that’s not right.
  • There’s a baby.
    bette & kit
    Jennifer Beals and Pam Grier
  • Palo Alto, CA, 1973: Women in a group looking at their vaginas with mirrors. Remember those days? We were electrified by the thought of equality then.
  • One woman cozies up to another in a very friendly way. Makes the object of her attention so nervous she bolts for the kitchen. Miss Friendly follows, gets even more touchy-feely. We see the name Marilyn on the screen as it is slowly connected by a line to the name Teri. Looks like the chart. By now Teri has her hand in Marilyn’s nether parts and Marilyn likes it.
  • A woman in a vest and fedora is in the sequence of faces in the credits. We see the same face again later.
  • A man playing guitar is in the sequence of faces. We see the same face again later.
  • Daniela Sea is listed in the cast.
  • Dallas Roberts is listed in the cast.
  • Alice is on the radio. Talking. Oh, Alice has a radio show.
  • Margot Kidder guest stars.
  • Cynthia Stevenson will steal scenes – I mean, she’s guest starring.
  • Lauren Lee-Smith guest stars – why isn’t she a regular?
  • Kate Clinton and Irene Lopez guest star.
  • Alice talks about firing synapses because the girl of your dreams touches you. Dana walks around her apartment while Alice spouts on about physical jolts from glances. Dana finally makes it to the kitchen where she gives Lara a kiss just as Alice concludes with “boom, she’s touching someone else.”
  • Alice talks about lovers leaving.
  • Directed by Rose Troche at 5:45 minutes in.

Lost Weekend (S3, E2)

  • San Francisco, The Castro – 1979: Guys, lots of guys, lots of sex.
  • A woman approaches, says she’s looking for girls. The fellas tell her where to find one.
  • The woman is Teri, and a chart-like line connects her to Toni who wants to be fucked so she’ll forget about who she is. Who she is has something to do with the very large crucifix dangling from her neck. Oh, Sister, Sister.
  • Alan Cumming is a guest star.
  • Jenny and Moira drive in Moira’s big-ass pickup truck.
  • Cynthia Stevenson is back.
  • Lauren Lee-Smith is listed as a guest star along with Ann-Marie MacDonald.
  • Jenny finds a stun gun in Moira’s glove box. Moira explains that she keeps it around because she gets a lot of grief. Her sexually ambiguous appearance bothers people.
  • Irene Lopez is back.
  • Maggie Moore guests.
  • Next Jenny finds a box with some drugs in Moira’s glove compartment. That’s nice, but the thing that really triggers her longing is a razor blade. Dissonant music. Temptation is everywhere. Moira suggests waiting to get closer to LA before breaking out the drugs and Jenny gives her one of those masterful expressions that only Mia Kirshner is capable of making that tells a whole backstory about cutting in one look. She puts away the box and the razor blade.
  • Directed by Billie Eltringham at 4:59 minutes in.

Lobsters (S3, E3)

  • Sublimity, Oregon – 1984: A bus full of nuns. One sings while others eat, pray or peruse “Lesbian Nuns.” Could our avid reader be Toni from The Castro? Why, yes it is. And she’s about to be charted to a very willing Sister Agatha as the bus barrels through the darkness. It’s “Eat, Pray, Love” before Elizabeth Gilbert even wrote it. I’ll bet those two sit together every time they ride the bus from now on.
  • Alice still has Dana on the back of her motorcycle. Aren’t they, like, so over?
  • Alan Cumming is back.
  • Shane and Carmen walk together to a skateboard shop.
  • Lauren Lee Smith and Keram Malicki-Sanchez guest.
  • Shane and Carmen go into the skateboard shop. They seem to know people.
  • Directed by Bronwen Hughes at 5:34 minutes in.

Light My Fire (S3, E4)

  • Billings, Montana – 1984: People in a circle talking about God’s will. It’s one of those homosexuals who find Jesus meetings. The male leader takes home two of the female members and tells them Jesus hates the sin between two men more than between two women, then hops in bed with the two of them. Sister Agatha, who has gone to him for help, is a bit skeptical about being in bed charting connections with Frank and an unnamed woman. Skeptical but willing. And the fires of hell begin to burn.
  • Oh wait, the fire is Jenny burning “Some of Her Parts” in the backyard barbecue. Moira arrives and has to explain where she’s been.
  • Alan Cumming is here.
  • Russell Simmons guests.
  • Lauren Lee Smith is a guest.
  • Alexandra Hedison guests.
  • Billie Jean King guests. W00t! It’s Billie Jean King.
  • Keram Malicki-Sanchez guests.
  • Dana Delany guests.  (Spoiler alert: apparently, there are some people on planet Earth who can resist Dana Delany.)
  • Jenny complains about her success as a writer to Moira and says she’s reduced to being a waitress at The Planet.
  • Directed by Lynne Stopkewich at 4:53 minutes in.

Lifeline (S3, E5)

  • Fairfax, Virginia 1985: Dude with a flat tire and one of those humongous 80’s car phones I used to carry in my 1984 VW pulls into a tire place. Driver is talking about saving people from homosexuality with Jesus. Look out, old Frank is spreading the word down south now. Hunky tire guy in cowboy hat comes out of tire shop to offer help. Tire talk foreplay soon has Frank drawing a chart line toward Mr. Hunkalicious, aka Coleman.
  • We see a hospital. Dana is inside talking to a doctor.
  • Alan Cumming guests again.
  • Lauren Lee Smith and Alexandra Hedison guest again.
  • Dana hears biopsy results that are not good. Cancer. Well, shit.
  • Anne-Marie MacDonald and Keram Malicki-Sanchez are back.
  • Rosanna Arquette is a special guest star.
  • The doctor says Dana needs a lumpectomy and maybe a mastectomy. He tells her it’s not a death sentence. Dana goes to the window. We see her reflected against a thick canopy of trees and leaves in a wonderful soft light that makes Erin Daniels look amazing as we get her reaction to the diagnosis.
  • Directed by Kimberly Peirce at 5:16 minutes in.

Lifesize (S3, E6)

  • New Haven, Connecticut – 1985. Dorm room where a girl with lots of dark curly hair and Jennifer Beals’ exact vocal signature is looking at a Robert Mapplethorpe book with a guy. They both get turned on and charting begins. Heavens, it’s Coleman. He’s not selling tires now – he’s at Yale. With Bette! Well, it’s a young version of Bette played by someone who doesn’t have contract stipulations about her bare lower half being photographed. A version of Bette who is wearing an off-the-shoulder sweat shirt.  Flashdance was released in 1983. It works for me. They screw away until he admits he likes the Mapplethorpe better than the girl he’s with and she admits she’s been thinking about a female professor.
  • Shane and Jenny’s house: Carmen sleeps on the couch.
  • Alan Cumming. Lauren Lee Smith. They’re both back.
  • Shane tries to sneak in – honey, it’s already light outside and you’re just getting home.
  • Alexandra Hedison. Callum Keith Rennie. (They’re coming to get you, Helena. Be very careful. Spoiler alert: won’t happen.)
  • Carmen wakes up and says, “Did you fuck her?” Shane looks very, very, very, guilty. Yes indeedy.
  • Bette is on one side of the king sized bed. Tina is way, way, way over on the other. There are miles between them. Bette says, “Have you fucked him yet?” Tina tries to play innocent, then she says no. Then she admits to having cybersex with a guy in a chat room. She thought the curiosity would go away. It didn’t. They both look utterly miserable about the feelings they are discussing. Just as Bette is asking if there’s a real man anywhere in the picture we see the director’s credit. Sheesh, Bette and Tina so seldom drive the opening credits you could have waited just a bit longer to announce the director’s name.
  • Directed by Tricia Brock at 5:56 minutes in.
  • (An unnecessary parenthetical remark: in a show where the first thing people say when they wake up is “fuck,” someone should count the number of times Jennifer Beals says that word in all the episodes. The first project she did after The L Word ended was The Night Before the Night Before Christmas. I always assumed she did it as verbal rehab.)

Lone Star (S3, E7)

  • Los Angeles Opera – 1996: Two women sing a beautiful aria as Bette forms lines in the chart by doing Alice right there in her opera seat. It was that kind of song. Operatic fun for Alice and for the lady in the box seats who watched the whole thing.
  • Alan Cumming, yo. (Yet another parenthetical remark . . .  I love Alan Cumming in a suit and all in shows like The Good Wife, but he is so wonderful at these gender-bendy parts that I wish he would never do anything else.)
  • Eve Ensler is a guest. First Gloria Steinem, now Eve Ensler. Feminist leaders and The L Word just go together, ya’ know.
  • A life size cut out of Dana that Alice finally threw away is awaiting the garbage pickup.
  • Lauren Lee Smith and Alexandra Hedison are guests.
  • Jenny shoots testosterone into Max’s behind. She starts talking like she’s the one going through all this, not Max. Next thing you know she’ll be writing about it. They talk about Jenny going to New York while Max gets aggressively horny.
  • Directed by Frank Pierson at 5:48 minutes in.

Late Comer (S3, E8)

  • Los Angeles, 7 and 1/2 months ago: Alice and Dana break up while a woman in a nearby apartment plays a sad song on the piano. Alice begs and cries but Dana leaves anyway. A chart line extends from Alice to Dana. Then the line going from Alice to Dana erases itself.
  • Angus and Kit are on his motorcycle. Kit asks him to pull over.
  • Cynthia Stevenson guests.
  • Alexandra Hedison guests.
  • Kit talks about being nervous about meeting Nona (Nona? As in Hendryx? Yowza!) and the Betty girls. Kit is getting produced. She’s going back to her singing roots. Angus is supportive, encouraging. Off they go.
  • Directed by Angela Robinson at 5:39 minutes in.

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way (S3, E9)

  • Los Angeles – 7 months ago (we lost 2 weeks somewhere): The sad sounding piano player is back outside Alice’s window. Dana walks out Alice’s door crying after the break up.  Again we see the chart line going from Alice to Dana. Then we see Dana’s name on the screen alone for about 2 seconds until she gets in the car with Lara. And . . .  there goes a chart line to Lara. Dana hates breaking someone’s heart, which puts a damper on the smooching Lara tries to initiate. Lara then says she can wait because they have all the time in the world. Spoiler alert: not so much, Lara.
  • Steven Eckholdt guest stars.
  • A wooded area by a lake. Robed people are doing meditation walking in a circle.
  • Lauren Lee Smith and Alexandra Hedison are in this episode.
  • Irene Lopez and Callum Keith Rennie are in this episode.
  • Bette is flunking meditation walking and looks troubled and upset rather than zoned out on Zen.
  • Dylan is having breakfast with Helena and her two kids. They are talking about going to Sea World. Helena touches Dylan’s shoulder. Dylan asks Helena not to touch her in public. Oh, Helena, why are you not seeing the warning signs?

    dylan and helena
    Alexandra Hedison and Rachel Shelley
  • Alice and Dana are walking down the street shopping. Dana has her head wrapped up in a scarf from losing her hair.
  • Directed by Moises Kaufman at 5:46 minutes in.

Losing the Light (S3, E10)

  • Mosque de Paris, Paris, France – 2006: Lara is getting a mud bath. A chart line goes from Lara to nowhere.
  • Lara cleans up and calls Dana, leaving a message on the phone in Dana’s empty apartment saying she wants to come back.
  • There’s a pile of mail on the floor inside Dana’s door. She’s been away from home a long time.
  • In Dana’s hospital room, Tina offers to take home some clothes for Alice and wash them. Alice has apparently been staying there full time. Dana looks weak and pale.
  • Eric Mabius is back as a guest star.
  • Holland Taylor is back.
  • Tina talks to an unresponsive Dana.
  • Steven Eckholdt guests.
  • Lauren Lee Smith and Meredith McGeachie are in this episode.
  • Tina checks with Alice on who is coming to visit and if anyone is bringing dinner.
  • Alexandra Hedison and Callum Keith Rennie are in this episode.
  • Tina wants to know how she looks. Alice says she looks good. When Tina leaves, Alice leans over to Dana and says, “You were right. Bisexuality is gross. I see it now.” Bisexuals everywhere are slapping their heads at this remark from a supposed bisexual character.
  • Tina gets in the car with Henry, his blond haired son, and Angelica.
  • Bette is wrapped up in coats and scarves at the Buddhist meditation retreat. There’s snow on the ground and it’s raining. She looks upset. The retreat leader notices that Bette is still flunking Zen. She is concerned.
  • Directed by Rose Troche at 6:37 minutes in.

season 3

Last Dance (S3, E11)

  • The opening scenes are all a tribute to Dana. Showing her in various past scenes with various characters. Somber music plays. Between each moment, we fade to black.
  • We see an urn, flowers, Alice at the front of a church.
  • Jane Lynch guest stars.
  • Dana’s parents sit in a pew in tears.
  • Steven Eckholdt is in this episode.
  • Carmen comes up to Alice. They look at Dana’s photos, tennis rackets. Talk about the ashes.
  • Lauren Lee Smith and Alexandra Hedison are in this episode.
  • Shane and Dana’s brother join Alice and Carmen at the front of the church. Dana’s brother is upset because his parents are trying to deny who Dana is and because of what they intend to do with her ashes.
  • The whole crowd of Dana’s friends are seated way in the back. The front rows are reserved for family and “close friends.” Tina doesn’t like it, Bette argues with her about it just ’cause she’s still pissed about Henry more than because of where Dana would want her friends. Kit tries to keep everyone calm.
  • Directed by Allison Anders at 3:33 minutes.

Left Hand of the Goddess (S3, E 12)

  • Alice is taking pills. Slow music with brushes on a snare drum dragging the beat. Mournful singing.
  • Lara is at the door. She comes in and they start to undress. They kiss, writhe about a bit standing up. Alice asks Lara to scratch her. Hard. She wants to feel something, even if it’s pain. She begs, “make me bleed.” Lara does it. Of all the ways people in this show have dealt with grief, this one seems the strangest.
  • Dana is still in the opening sequence, still jumping rope, still on the motorcycle, still in the lounge chair by the pool, still in the group photo at the end.
  • Six weeks later. At The Planet. Helena is talking about 15 rooms she booked at a hotel in Canada. The friends are eating together. Lara apparently cooked it all.
  • Eric Roberts guest stars.
  • Holland Taylor is here.
  • Steven Eckholdt is here.
  • Elodie Bouchez is a guest.
  • Helena is talking about how she’s happy to be doing what she is for Shane.
  • Irene Lopez is a guest.
  • Jane Lynch too.
  • Alice mentions that Shane’s bringing her dad.
  • Isabella Hofmann is a guest.
  • Lauren Lee Smith is a guest.
  • Alice gets up to leave. Bette follows her out and asks how she’s doing. Alice says she is fine and that there’s a lot to do for the wedding. Bette gives her a very sweet hug and a melt your heart sweet smile. (Jennifer Beals is such a great smiler.)
  • In someplace fancy, Helena is on the phone talking about not letting Carmen know about something that is a surprise. Oh, it’s a bridal shop. Carmen is trying on wedding dresses. Bette is in a chair observing from afar. (When you are pregnant in real life but your character is not, you have to go to mountains and wear heavy coats, or sit in chairs when everyone else is clustered around the bride. Or you have to stand behind everyone else in the scene. It’s not as easy hiding that baby bump as it used to be when pink ponchos were in style.)
  • Directed by Ilene Chaiken at 6:12 minutes in.

See Also: Season 1, Season 2, Season 4, Season 5, Season 6.

 

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