The L Word Opening Credits (Season Four)

Kate Moennig

This is part four of a series of posts that recap The L Word based solely on what you learn by watching the opening credits. We are ready to take on Season 4.

The L Word season 4
Mia Kirshner, Katherine Moennig, Marlee Matlin, Janika Gavankar, Cybill Shepherd, Rachel Shelley, Jennifer Beals, Lauren Holloman, Leisha Hailey, Pam Grier, Daniela Sea

The regular cast for season 4, in most 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
  • Daniela Sea: Max Sweeney
  • Dallas Roberts: Angus Partridge
  • Marlee Matlin: Jodi Lerner
  • Rose Rollins: Tasha Williams
  • Janina Gavankar: Papi

Legend in the Making (S4, E1)

  • Water, seaweed, bubbles. Shane submerged in the water, dressed in long pants and a white shirt.
  • The music starts with palm trees and the familiar listing of cast. There are some changes this season. I’m just going to mention the things that changed.
  • We are no longer seeing the random hookups that contributed links to the chart. That is gone. But don’t forget about those folks, because you never know when you might run into someone you last saw in 1974.
  • Alice is on the motorcycle alone.
  • There’s some kind of huge metal TinkerToy looking construction that flashes by with the faces.
  • Alice and Helena are in the lounge chairs by the pool.
  • In the group scene by the art we see the backs of two women. They do not turn to face the camera.
  • Elodie Bouchez guest stars.
  • It’s a resort in the mountains. Kit enters Alice’s room.
  • Jane Lynch guest stars.
  • Alice says it’s worth a try, it hasn’t even been 24 hours.
  • Kit asks where Lara is. Alice replies that she left that morning. Kit talks about a chef job Lara is taking.
  • Steven Eckholdt is a guest.
  • Special guest star Rosanna Arquette.
  • Alice and Kit talk about “the Lara thing” re Dana. Alice calls it incestuous.
  • Jenny and Max come into Alice room. Everyone is packing or has their luggage.
  • Helena arrives. She mentions the bill. Max says, “Should we all pitch in,” and Helena says no, it was all prepaid.
  • They dial the phone. Max says maybe he should leave but Kit says, “This is an intervention. We need everyone.”
  • We hear Bette’s voice mail greeting on the speaker phone. They record a message saying they love Bette, stand by her, understand why she did what she did. They say Bette has to bring Angelica home, and they will support her claim to Angelica. Tina bursts into the room and says she’ll have Bette’s ass thrown in jail. Alice cuts the phone off and Tina shouts, “Where is she?” No one knows where Bette has taken Angelica. Tina tells everyone that if Angelica isn’t in L.A. by the time she gets back she will call the police and take Angelica away from Bette. She marches out angrily.
  • Directed by Bronwen Hughes at 7:46 minutes in.

Livin’ La Vida Loca (S4, E2)

  • Latin music, a woman with a rose in her hair. Ah, it’s Alice, giving everyone in a club full of happy dancers the once over. Several revelers approach her, claiming to be Papi. (Which Alice mispronounces as poppy.) Alice ain’t buying it, especially since some of those claiming to be Papi are men in drag. Someone explains to her that papi means daddy.
  • The theme song starts and the credits begin to roll.
  • Janina Gavankar’s name is listed in the regular cast.
  • Cybill Shepherd’s face flashes by a couple of times.
  • The two women in the group scene who were facing away from the camera last time are still facing away.
  • At Shane and Jenny’s place: Shane is marking names off a long list of names and phone numbers. She’s looking for Gabe McCutcheon, AKA dear old dad. Her hand is wrapped up in a big bandage and her face is scratched.
  • Heather Matarazzo guest stars.
  • Jessica Capshaw guest starts.
  • Cybill Shepherd is special guest star. She’s the first guest star who has been in the flashing photos of the regular cast members. It bothers me every week that she shows up in the montage with the regulars but gets listed as a special guest star. Is this something about contracts, money, star power – mysteries of the biz?
  • Shane is striking out in the hunt for dear old dad. Max offers to do a computer search for both Gabe and Carla.
  • Jenny says, “I hope it works.” She’s a little flip and way too girlish in her attitude. (Oh, jeeze, did Jenny get another new personality this season?) She says Shane has been hiding from her friends and distracting herself by trying to get the kid off her hands.
  • A kid walks in the back door, gives Jenny a hurt look and goes back outside. Jenny apologizes, Shane looks defeated.
  • We hear two women talking as they walk across a college campus. A student says, “Good morning, Chancellor Kroll.” Others address her, both students and faculty. The camera angle changes and we see Bette walking with Phyllis Kroll. Bette is carrying a briefcase.
  • Directed by Marleen Gorris at 5:39 minutes in.

Lassoed (S4, E3)

  • A set that looks straight out of A Streetcar Named Desire. It’s shot in black and white. A saxophone plays. Jenny appears in a white tee shirt with the sleeves rolled up. She screams out “Stella!” No, that’s not right. She’s yelling, “Stacy!” No one appears so she shouts it again. Marlon Brando himself couldn’t sound more desperate.
  • The big metal construction that we saw flash by in the first two episodes now has a woman in front of it. She’s a brunette. We know this because her back is to the camera. All these women with their backs to the camera. The suspense is killing me.
  • When we see the whole cast walking toward us, Papi is among them. So is Phyllis.
  • In the group scene by the art, one of the two women who have been facing away finally turn around. It’s Papi. Phyllis is in this art-side gathering, too.
  • Bette’s office. Bette looks with lust at Nadia’s oh-so-long display of bare leg as she bends over a file cabinet in Bette’s office.
  • Steven Eckholdt guests.
  • Jessica Capshaw guests. Long legs and all.
  • Nadia finds the file in question, tries to give it to Bette. Bette rubs at some tension in her shoulder.
  • Special guest star Cybill Shepherd.
  • Bette is talking about work as Nadia goes around to “unlock” the knot in Bette’s shoulder. Danger. Danger. Touching. Bette attempts to deflect the touching. That’s a non-starter.
  • Nadia perches right beside Bette on the edge of Bette’s desk. Remember those bare legs? Yeah. Right there. The conversation appears to be about body workers who can unloosen knots. Here’s how Bette is looking at Nadia:

    Bette looks at Nadia
    Jennifer Beals
  • For some reason, Nadia seems encouraged by this look. I can’t imagine why, can you?
  • Bette gets a bit flustered, tries to steer the conversation to work matters. Nadia mentions hickeys from TA’s on a professor they both know. Bette expresses shock that a professor would sleep with a TA. Nadia says it’s inevitable. And those bare legs. Still right there. Then Nadia mentions that she knows at least one TA would would love to sleep with Bette. Bette seems to be getting a bit warm under her gorgeous turtleneck blouse. Bette says, “That’s very flattering,” hands the file to Nadia and Nadia finally removes her very bare skin from Bette’s vicinity. If the title of this episode refers to Nadia lassoing Bette, we just saw her do it.
  • Directed by Tricia Brock at 4:44 minutes in.

Layup (S4, E4)

  • Alice is in bed, saying “left” and “circles” and “think about what you like” and a whole lot of very loud instructions until she finally has an orgasm. She relaxes and up from between the sheets crawls Phyllis.
  • The person in front of the metal construction turns around. It’s Marlee Matlin, who we haven’t learned yet is playing Jodi.
  • Marlee Matlin is listed in the regular cast listing. She appears several more times as the cast photos flash by and in the group shots by the art at the end.
  • Also in the group shots, Papi has turned around but the other woman still mysteriously faces away from the camera.
  • Back to Alice and Phyllis in bed. Phyllis says, “I can’t believe how wonderful this is. It is the most amazing feeling. To make a woman come.”
  • Shay is off to school. He gives Shane a note about back to school night.
  • Kristanna Loken is a guest star.
  • Jessica Capshaw is a guest.
  • Special guest star Cybill Shepherd.
  • Shane is freaking out over the idea of back to school night.
  • A kennel or dog shelter. A woman brings a dog out and says, “Debbie.” Jenny doesn’t recognize her fake name and the woman has to say it again. Jenny finally remembers her she’s supposed to be Debbie. She meets the dog, Sounder. The woman lists Sounder’s ailments, which are many. (A parenthetical interjection about the dog playing Sounder. He was very good at acting old and sick on The L Word. I saw the same dog in an episode of Eureka, the SyFy series, and he was in fine, frisky form. Acting props to the dog.)
  • Directed by Jessica Sharzer at 6:15 minutes in.

 Lez Girls (S4, E5)

  • Max is undressing in front of a mirror. His expression is one of unhappiness and pain. Despite the facial hair and muscle definition, he has to face the fact that what he sees in the mirror is a female body.
  • Alice is on her motorcycle with a woman in a soldier’s uniform. They kiss.
  • Rose Rollins name is listed in the regular cast.
  • The woman next to Papi finally turns around. It’s the soldier we just saw Alice kiss.
  • The group shot in front of the art at the end contains Phyllis, Papi, Tina, Tasha, Alice, Helena, Jodi, Bette, Kit, Jenny and Shane. We don’t see Angus in these group shots, but Dallas Roberts is a regular all season, too. The cast for season 4 is now complete.
  • Henry and Tina’s nanny answers the door. It’s Angus with Angelica.
  • Kristanna Loken guests.
  • Steven Eckholdt guests.
  • The nanny sends Angelica back to find Mikey.
  • Heather Matarazzo guests.
  • Bruce Davison guests.
  • Cybill Shepherd is back.
  • Angus is complaining to the nanny about how his band is treating him. She wants guitar lessons. The way she’s standing and speaking, it sounds more like she wants sex, but she actually says she wants guitar lessons. Can Angus resist foreplay disguised as guitar instruction?
  • On campus. Jodi’s interpreter, Tom, is hanging onto the back pack straps of a cute guy, telling him to call sometime. Bette walks by and says hello.
  • Bette greets Jodi by saying she’s happy to see that Tom is getting acquainted. Jodi asks Bette if she’s still sleeping with Nadia. Bette says, “Excuse me.” So innocent.
  • Jodi signs the same question, which Tom interprets. Bette still claims innocence.
  • Directed by John Stockwell at 4:42 minutes in.

Luck Be a Lady (S4, E6)

  • We see Shane’s ad for Boss underwear. Yep, she’s looking very Shane today.
  • The Boss people are overexcited about how great the ad is. Shane is dying of embarrassment. They talk about the “Roll the Dice” premier tomorrow night and how they expect Shane to be there looking very Shane. Shane mentions babysitter problems but they aren’t letting her off the hook.
  • Tasha in her dress uniform is among the regular faces flashing by.
  • Kristanna Loken is back.
  • Shane is walking down the street.
  • Heather Matarazzo is back.
  • On the street, Shane’s phone rings. It’s Alice on a split screen. Alice is yammering on about Phyllis, who won’t leave her alone.
  • Sandrine Holt guests.
  • Shane is complaining about the Hollywood party she has to go to. Alice’s ears perk up. Alice wants to be her date and to invite everybody. Shane says yes to the date but no to the inviting everybody. (This is Alice you’re talking to Shane. Adjust your expectations.)
  • Alice puts Shane on hold to talk to Bette. Now there are 3 faces on the split screen. Bette tells Alice she has to do something about Phyllis, who is driving Bette crazy over the break-up with Alice.
  • Thus endeth in midstream the multiscreen phone call part of this episode, which was hilarious, so I’m sorry to stop it by saying: directed by Angela Robinson at 4:02 minutes in.

Lesson Number One (S4, E7)

  • Tasha dons her camo uniform. She flashes back to the fighting in Iraq. It leaves her sweating and breathless, struggling to hold herself together.
  • Kristanna Loken is back.
  • Jodi is sketching Bette as she sleeps.
  • Sandrine Holt guests.
  • Bette wakes up. Signs good morning. Notices the time and groans.
  • Cybill Shepherd is still a special guest star.
  • Bette complains that Jodi is exhausting her. Jodi plays a tiny fake violin. She shows Bette the sketch and says it is in the style of Sendak. The alarm goes off and Bette signs she has to go to work. Jodi  moves onto the bed and says, “You’re the boss.”
  • Directed by Moisés Kaufman at 4:41 minutes in.

Lexington and Concord (S4, E8)

  • Jenny is dreaming. Her hair is curly and she carries flowers. She takes the flowers to a rock in the garden. The rock has a Star of David and RIP Sounder painted on it. She asks Sounder if she’s going to rot in hell. She puts the flowers on the ground and Sounder’s foot comes shooting up out of the dirt, horror movie style. And . . .  we’re awake.
  • Bette serves tea to Tina as Angelica sits nearby in a high chair.
  • Kristanna Loken is back. So is Sandrine Holt.
  • Eric Roberts is a guest.
  • Tina talks about Jenny’s book and how everyone was portrayed by Jenny. They are making a movie of the book. Bette blows it off by saying Jenny is a fiction writer. (Nope, Bette hasn’t read the book yet.) Tina counters by pointing out that Bette really did say some of the things Jenny wrote. “In pain and anger,” Bette answers. “I know our relationship was real. I know you loved me and it wasn’t some trivial experiment to you.”

    tina confesses
    Laurel Holloman and Jennifer Beals
  • Tina screws up her courage and says, “I still love you.” Bette responds, “I love you, too.” Tina talks about how much she misses Bette and their life.
  • Directed by Jamie Babbit at 4:41 minutes in.

Lacy Lilting Lyrics (S4, E9)

  • Drumroll. Marina is in a circle of scantily clad women talking about ladies and love and lez girls. She sings and they dance around her.
  • Jenny and Tina walk among movie trailers and people who look like they are working on a movie.
  • Kristanna Loken is back. Eric Roberts is back.
  • Tina tells Jenny about a director’s credits as they walk.
  • Karina Lombard is a guest.
  • Deanne Bray is a guest.
  • Bruce Davison is a guest. Cybill Shepherd is still a special guest.
  • Jenny and Tina still talk director. They finally reach said director. He talks about exploring sensual worlds with ultra close up shots, tells Jenny she created a vivid world.
  • Directed by Bronwen Hughes at 4:02 minutes in.

Little Boy Blue (S4, E10)

  • Catherine draws race tracks on Helena’s bare body with lipstick. They talk about poker and horse races and making money. Helena is in. Helena mentions she’s promised Alice 50 grand for her website. Catherine mentions Helena’s dark, twisted friend. (No need to explain who that is.)
  • Kristanna Loken is a guest.
  • Grace and Max are walking up to Max’s childhood home talking about kissing a mouse.
  • Annabella Sciorra guests.
  • Deanne Bray, Sandrine Holt, and Winston Rekert are guests.
  • Max describes how his siblings used to torture each other. Max is reluctant to ring the doorbell and confesses he hasn’t seen his family in years.
  • Bette describes dinner party plans to Jodi. A cook and a caterer are involved.
  • Directed by Karyn Kusama at 4:47 minutes in.

Literary License to Kill (S4, E11)

  • Heavy breathing from Kit on a bed. The camera circles above her head. She might be in pain, except we see a hand caressing her face. Finally Kit says, “Just stop.” We see that the hand belongs to Papi, who has never suffered a failure like this before. Kit says, “It’s not you, you know.” She reassures Papi and says, “I guess I’m not a lesbian.” Magic circles just don’t work on everyone.
  • Kristanna Loken is a guest. Steven Eckholdt is back, too.
  • Tasha gives motorcycle driving lessons to Alice.
  • Annabella Sciorra is a guest.
  • Alice wants compliments on her motorcycle skills and she wants to take Tasha to Mexico on a vacation.
  • Bruce Davison guests. Cybill Shepherd is here.
  • Tasha thinks vacations in Mexico are expensive and Alice says don’t worry about the money. She wants to go on the first of May when her website is finished. A car comes up fast and Tasha knocks Alice to the ground and safety. Tasha flashes back to Iraq again while Alice is yelling, “Fuck you!” at the driver, who shouts, “Fuck you, dykes,” back.
  • Angus is in The Planet reading when Papi and an obviously hung over Kit enter. He waves his reading material and says, “Bette’s gonna be pissed.” Kit doesn’t care, all she wants is aspirin and everyone out of her business.
  • Directed by John Stockwell at 5:35 minutes in.

Long Time Coming (S4, E12)

  • A busy street. A woman with a guitar sings the blues, busking. (It’s Toshi Reagon. The woman can sing, people.) Bette wanders by, drops some money in the guitar case on the ground. Bette looks up and sees a sign atop a building that says “17 Reasons Why.” Bette and the sign share a moment.
  • Jenny orders coffee at The Planet.
  • Kristanna Loken is a guest. Annabella Sciorra is a guest.
  • Tina comes into the coffee shop and says she’s glad she found Jenny. Tina wants Jenny to look at something but Jenny blows her off so she can go pick up her new puppy. Jenny says something about a meeting and Tina tells her it was called off. Puppy talk ensues and Tina looks utterly insincere with every word she speaks. As soon as Jenny leaves, Tina changes to a look of relief.
  • Jane Lynch is back.
  • Shane and Paige make out but get interrupted by Paige’s son.
  • Heather Matarazzo is back.
  • Erin Daniels is back. Did you see that? ERIN DANIELS IS BACK. Like, what is she, a ghost or something? Maybe she’s a time traveler like H.G. Wells. Is this Syfy?
  • Paige says she can’t stand hiding her relationship with Shane from her kid.
  • Sandrine Holt is back.
  • Paige says she loves being with Shane in cars and other uncomfortable places, but she wants to wake up with her in a bed every morning. Shane thinks about it, says they’ll talk to the kid.
  • Alice is going somewhere in her Mini Cooper when Tasha drives up on her motorcycle. Tasha has to tell Alice to get out of the car twice before she does it. Then Alice heads up the stairs and away from Tasha. Tasha chases after her. Tasha tells Alice she’s sorry and that she handled it badly. Tasha says, “I should have told you sooner.” She asks Alice to come to her going away party and hands her an invitation. Alice hands back the invite and walks off again. Tasha chases her again. Alice turns around and says, “So what happens now? You orders came down. You’re deployed.” Tasha gives her some military jargon about what happens next.

    tasha and alice
    Rose Rollins and Leisha Hailey
  • Directed by Ilene Chaiken at 7:21 minutes in.

See also: Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 5, Season 6.

Images: ©Showtime

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