The L Word Opening Credits (Season Five)

season 5

Recapping season 5 of The L Word using nothing to tell the story but the opening credits. That’s what’s happening right here.

The regulars for this season are:

  • 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
  • Rose Rollins: Tasha Williams
  • Daniela Sea: Max Sweeney
  • Marlee Matlin: Jodi Learner

LGB Tease (S5, E1)

  • It takes over 3 minutes to show the “what happened previously on The L Word scenes for the beginning of the new season. The previously on The L Word parts of each episode are completely ignored in this recap extravaganza. All you get are the credits.
  • A computer. Someone types a screenplay. It is Jenny’s screenplay of Lez Girls. She tends to rewrite history. Oh, right, she’s a fiction writer. In this version, Tina – er, Nina – is lecherous toward Jenny – er, Jessie. Jessie runs for her boyfriend while Bev and Shaun admire her butt and the three of them fight over who gets her. Bev suggests they share.
  • Cut to Jenny’s self-satisfied look as she finishes typing the scene.
  • The theme song begins and the credits start to roll. There are no new names in the cast list this year and nothing in the flying montage of faces and scenes that rush by has changed since last season. That’s a first.
  • A school office. Bette and Tina are singing Angelica’s praises to the pre-school admissions person. Bette and Tina sit very close together on a couch, just lovey as can be.
  • Guest starring Kristanna Loken.
  • Jane Lynch is a guest star.
  • Lucia Rijker is a guest.
  • A pre-school worker brings Angelica into the office. The conversation veers toward puzzles.
  • Wallace Shawn is a guest.
  • Bette asks Angelica something about an artist who made her a special puzzle and Angelica blows her off by signing that she’s playing. Bette interprets the sign. This impresses the pre-school lady who wants to know if they have a deaf family member. Bette and Tina both look gobsmacked by the question.
  • Special guest star is Cybill Shepherd.
  • Bette awkwardly explains about the friend who is deaf. Tina says they think Angelica has a gift for languages.
  • The school exit doors. Bette and Tina with Angelica between them, discussing the implications of the deaf friend slip up. Tina says they get diversity points for being a lesbian family, but she doesn’t think it works that it’s a divorced lesbian family. Angelica is holding both their hands and swinging. They decide letting the school think they are together is a lie told for the greater good.

    Bette and Tina outside the preschool
    Bette and Tina outside the preschool
  • Gay dads approach with their son. Oh, shit, says Bette. The guys want to know how the pre-school interview went. Great say the ladies. Look how diverse we are, the guys say. Muslim, Christian, adopted kid whose half Jewish, a quarter Latino and a quarter Chinese. Bette gets competitive with Angelica’s diversity qualifications. Guys reveal that they know Rowena, who is apparently the all powerful admissions decider. Yikes, gulp the women. Everyone says good luck, but Bette and Tina don’t look happy in the face of all that diversity AND Rowena, too.
  • Jail. Helena stands in front of a height chart holding a prisoner number and is photographed. Helena looks a bit green around the gills over being where she is. She removes all her jewelry, gets fingerprinted. Has to strip for a search. Big butchy gal in a cop’s uniform is lubing up her rubber gloves. Helena is not having a good day.
  • Directed by Angela Robinson at 9:05 minutes in.

Look Out, Here They Come! (S5, E2)

  • Hollywood. A male voice demands more lesbian sex. Bald guy with his boots on his desk slaps a manuscript of Lez Girls and again demands more sex. Tina and Jenny are his audience. He suggests that on page 31 Bev and the makeup artist should hook up. Jenny and Tina answer simultaneously, “That would never happen.” As he continues to talk, we see fantasy scenes. First it’s Bette and Shane making out on a casting couch. Tina points out that Bev and Nina are together, which means no-no-no to making out with Shaun. Wait, Jenny likes the idea of Bev as serial cheater. We see more Bette and Shane making out. Dude suggests Nina and Shaun. The two making out on the casting couch are suddenly Tina and Shane. Jenny shouts, “No. No. No one ever wants to see Nina having sex.” Tina looks at her like bitch. Tina says Nina wouldn’t cheat. How easily one overlooks Henry. The fantasy goes back to Bette and Shane. Bette is ripping off her shirt. Jenny says, no – how about Bev and Helen? Dude says that’s hot. Helena appears in Shane’s place. Bette and Helena, stripped down to identical black slacks and black bras, have a struggle for dominance wrestling match on the casting couch while Tina says that would never work. Honestly, I could watch Bette and Helena pushing and shoving and trying to be the one on top 100 times and still be laughing.
  • More sex is hard to find. Jenny, Tina, and the dude all throw up their hands in dismay. The dude is played by Brian Markinson who never makes it into the guest stars list in the opening credits but has an important part.
  • Here comes the theme song and the super speedy montage of faces and names.
  • Jeep drives into a fancy estate. We hear Shane’s voice.
  • Malaya Rivera Drew is a guest.
  • Jane Lynch is back.
  • Shane carries two duffle bags through a garden being organized for what looks like a wedding.
  • Lucia Rijker guests.
  • Wallace Shawn is back. Cybill Shepherd is special guest star.
  • Shane rings a doorbell. Woman in a kimono answers. She thanks Shane for coming on short notice. Shane compliments her house in such a way that we aren’t sure whether Shane likes the house or the woman in the kimono. Woman leads her upstairs to 3 women surrounded by wedding gear and in need of hairdos. All three of the women look at Shane like she’s dessert. The woman in the kimono wants her hair done, too. Sounds like a busy day for Shane.
  • Directed by Jamie Babbit at 5:19 minutes in.

Lady of the Lake (S5, E3)

  • Alice describes her dream about Jenny’s movie. Alice, Shane and Helena were Charlie’s Angels. Bette is Charlie and Tina is Bosley. Leisha Hailey, Kate Moennig and Rachel Shelley seize this opportunity to ham it up. They are hilarious as perfect imitations of Charlie’s Angels. Their mission is to aim gaydar guns and people to test them on a gayness scale. Jenny walks in with wind in her hair. Bosley says, “Go get ‘er.” Running, flouncing, and gaydar gun pointing follows.  There’s an exact replica of the Charlie’s Angels poster performed right in The Planet. And, wow, there’s a lot of flowing hair around here.
  • The theme song and regular credits roll.
  • A gym. Bouncy music.
  • Holland Taylor guest stars.
  • Lucia Rijker guest stars.
  • Tina and Alice walk to the gym equipment.
  • John Pyper-Ferguson guests.
  • Tina and Alice comment on how hard Shane is working out.
  • Malaya Rivera Drew guests.
  • Shane has been at the gym since 5:30 AM because she’s sworn off sex and the drama that goes with it. Seems the bridesmaids from the wedding got a bit rowdy. Shane busily does pushups and lifts weights while explaining how “freakishly clear and highly energized” she is sans sex. Speaking of freakish, Tina points out Jenny’s workout which is totally bogus because her new assistant is doing all the working out. They gossip a bit about the assistant and Tina’s efforts to start dating again. Tina has gone back to women after the Henry debacle broke up her relationship with Bette again. Tina is picky, picky, picky on account of, well, Bette is sort of perfect. How you gonna match that? Alice suggests looking at member profiles on Our Chart.
  • Directed by Tricia Brock at 6:44 minutes in.

Let’s Get This Party Started (S5, E4)

  • Casting auditions. Women read for Jessie in Lez Girls. One named Niki Stevens is extra good in Tina’s eyes, but Jenny likes the one who actually slapped someone instead of pretending to slap her. Does Jenny really have a grasp of what actors do?
  • The theme song and regular credits roll.
  • Another gym: all the women are there getting self-defense training. Kit is Foxy Browning the shit out of everybody with kicks and punches. Everyone applauds Kit’s moves.
  • Malaya Rivera Drew is back.
  • Bette and Jodi are talking about going to a new club called She Bar. Bette thinks it would be boring. Jodi wants to go.
  • Alicia Leigh Willis is a guest.
  • Shane hasn’t decided if she will attend the club opening. Alice says she won’t because Tasha can’t be seen in a Lezzie bar. Anyway, Alice is excited about an invite to a private party where all the guests are closeted.
  • Kate French and Elizabeth Keener are guests.
  • Jodi continues to bug Bette about going to the new club. Bette says she doesn’t want to go to a bar that is in competition with Kit. Kit says there’s enough room for everybody and it’s important to support women. (Oh, Kit, goddess of all womankind, are you in for an unpleasant surprise.) Everyone lines up for a self-defense exercise which requires screaming and punching. Alice, who knows everything always, says the owner of the new club is named Dawn Denbo. Alice points out the trainer’s abs to Shane, who in spite of the fact that she’s on a cleanse from sex, doesn’t need to be reminded to notice the trainer’s attributes. Jenny, who punches like a three-year-old, says something about Natalie Portman having the part of Jessie in Lez Girls. Tina says, “Natalie passed. We’re going with Niki Stevens.” Jenny does not like this news. Jodi asks Tina if she’s going to She Bar. Tina may go to meet Brenda there. Bette’s ears perk up at the mention of Tina with another woman. When Bette learns that Brenda talks dirty in bed, Bette gets a bit hot under the tank top and lands an extra hard punch on Jodi. The trainer breaks up the punching session and asks Shane to help demo something with her. This brings Shane mighty close to the aforementioned abs of steel and the sports bra of heavenly cleavage.  Shane notices, even without encouragement from Alice.

    shane and trainer
    Shane eyes the trainer
  • Directed by John Stockwell at 7:44 minutes in.

Lookin’ at You, Kid (S5, E5)

  • Table read: The actresses and actor who will be in Lez Girls introduce themselves. Tina and Jenny explain who they are. Mia channels Ilene Chaiken.
  • The theme song and regular credits roll.
  • Malaya Rivera Drew is back.
  • The Planet. Tina and Bette are both there. Tina acts a bit awkward.
  • Alicia Leigh Willis is back.
  • Bette says, “You’ve been avoiding me.” Tina denies it, then Bette looks at her like I know when you’re lying. Tina admits, yeah, she has been.
  • Patricia Velasquez guests.
  • Bette says, “Do you think we should talk about it?” Tina says okay.
  • Kate French and Elizabeth Keener are back.
  • Tina suggests a time to talk about “it” but Bette has to meet Jodi.
  • Wendy Glenn and Angela Gots guest.
  • Bette suggests a time but Tina has a party at Jenny’s for all the actors. Bette says she doesn’t want to make it difficult. She says she’s sorry. Tina says don’t be sorry. Bette and Jodi are together, says Tina, and she doesn’t want to get into a fucked up push-me-pull-me thing with Bette. Finally Tina says, “Let’s just talk when we talk.” Bette agrees. The nuance that each of these actresses can convey with their eyes and expressions add a lot of dimension to this scene, which I haven’t described anywhere close to adequately. It’s one of my favorite Bette and Tina scenes.
  • Alice’s apartment. Tasha is looking at papers. Alice is watching TV and talking about the cast party at Jenny’s. Alice sees “basketball guy from the other night” on the TV. He’s gay bashing.
  • Directed by Angela Robinson at 6:45 minutes in.

Lights, Camera, Action! (S5, E6)

  • Filming Lez Girls. The Nina and Bev actresses are rehearsing their first scene, the “I’m ovulating” scene. (Okay, how could Jenny have written this scene? She wasn’t even in L.A. yet when this happened. Sheesh.) Nina and Bev are terrible at being gay for pay and don’t know how girls do girls. Jenny hands off her coffee, explains about passion, and kissing with tongue and finger fucking, and takes back her coffee. Bev says, “Oh, you mean with my hand.” Jenny answers, “Yeah, unless you have some other apparati that I don’t know about.”

    nina and bev
    Linnea Sharples and Wendy Glenn as Nina and Bev
  • Jenny tells the two actresses to step away from each other because they are so lame at passion and manual dexterity. Jenny tells Adele to schedule at time for the actresses who have sex scenes to get instruction from a lesbian sex coach. The actors loooove this idea.
  • Theme song time. Even though Cybill Shepherd is not in every episode this season, she’s still in the opening credits montage every week.
  • She Bar. Shane wants to talk to Dawn Denbo and her lover Cindy.
  • Malaya Rivera Drew is back. Jane Lynch is back. Alicia Leigh Willis is back.
  • Shane suggests getting a table, but Dawn says no. They talk standing up.
  • Clementine Ford is a guest. She’s here to play Molly Kroll, Phyllis’ daughter. Amazing how much they look alike, isn’t it?
  • Kate French is back. Elizabeth Keener is back.
  • Shane apologizes to Dawn Denbo and her lover Cindy. She says she didn’t mean any disrespect toward them or their relationship. Plus, she’s sorry for the way she treated them when they came into her house.
  • Wendy Glenn is back. Angela Gots is back.
  • Wallace Shawn is back. Cybill Shepherd is special guest star.
  • Shane wants to make peace. Dawn Denbo says she will make peace if Jenny makes She Bar a location in her big Hollywood lesbo movie. Shane says she’ll ask. They shake hands and Shane starts to leave. Dawn says, one more thing. It has to be called She Bar in the movie. She talks about how it is so much better than The Planet. Shane says that’s too much, she can’t do it. Denbo says, “What can you do, besides make my girlfriend come?” Shane says, “If you have problems with me, stick with me. Don’t kick over my friends.” Denbo walks off.
  • Directed by Ilene Chaiken at 7:29 minutes in.

Lesbians Gone Wild (S5, E7)

  • News reporter talks to camera about Jennifer Schecter’s groundbreaking movie. She invites viewers to take a look behind the scenes with her. We see Jenny, still channeling Ilene Chaiken. They are shooting a scene between Jessie and Karina. Niki can’t remember her lines and giggles when Karina says “a big coffee drinker.” Begonia explodes and says she can’t work like this. Niki and Begonia scream at each other. The TV reporter is recording. Tina tells the reporter to come back another time and asks her to cut. She’s still recording when Jenny turns and says, “Who the fuck are you.” Tina and Adele have to explain about behind the scenes filming to her, further proof that Jenny doesn’t have a clue about directing a movie.

    Jenny notices the filming while Niki and Begonia yell at each other in the background.
  • Here comes the theme song and regular credits.
  • Lesbian Hot Oil Wrestling flyers are handed out on the Lez Girls set.
  • Malaya Rivera Drew is back. Patricia Velasquez is back.
  • Tina tells Adele to make sure Niki stays focused and to confiscate all the hot oil wresting flyers.
  • Kate French is here.
  • Elizabeth Keener is here.
  • Deanne Bray is back and so is Clementine Ford.
  • Adele takes away all the flyers. Sort of.
  • Kelly McGillis is a guest star. Just seeing her name makes me want to sing “Take My Breath Away.”
  • Jenny and Niki wander among the studio trailers arm in arm. They discuss the argument and Jenny asks Niki to be nice to Begonia on the set. It takes a lot of touching to ask this. Niki finally says she will do it, but only for Jenny. They kiss. I am unable to report on the passion or the tongue. Niki heads for her trailer and promises to make it worth while if Jenny comes to visit her later. They blow each other kisses.
  • Directed by Angela Robinson at 6:00 minutes in.

Lay Down the Law (S5, E8)

  • Hot chick in black leather on big black motorcycle. She climbs an outdoor stairway, goes into a factory or some industrial building and kicks butt. She kicks butt like Lucia Rijker may have been her boxing coach. James Bond-like music plays. Cut to Niki and her agents in a theater, watching this and giggling. Back to hot chick in black leather as she enters an office, takes off her face covering and, surprise, it’s Niki, there to make out with a hot guy just like James Bond would do it. If James Bond was a woman. Which totally should happen, by the way. Niki’s agents rejoice and talk about how many millions Niki is worth. Lez Girls isn’t Niki’s only movie, y’all. She’s big and getting bigger.
  • Roll the regular credits.
  • Malaya Rivera Drew is back.
  • Shane and Jodi are riding bikes on a trail in the woods.
  • Patricia Velasquez is back. Kate French is back. Clementine Ford is back.
  • Shane and Jodi stop for a rest and some water.
  • Angela Gots and Deanne Bray are here.
  • Kelly McGillis is back.
  • Cybill Shepherd is back.
  • Shane has learned some sign language, which she uses to tell Jodi about her crush on a straight girl. Jodi says maybe she’s a spaghetti girl – straight until wet.
  • Directed by Leslie Libman at 6:21 minutes in.

Liquid Heat (S5, E9)

  • Radio announcer’s voice talking about how hot it is and rolling blackouts. On the Lez Girls set, everyone is working hard. Turns out the guy playing Jim has a tattoo of Elmo on his butt. They discuss how long this took to cover. They’re shooting a scene with Jim and Jessie in bed. The minute Jenny says action, the set goes dark. Tina appears and delivers her most famous line, “Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!”
  • Roll the regular credits.
  • Back on the set, the power comes back.
  • Malaya Rivera Drew is a guest.
  • Jane Lynch is here. Alicia Leigh Willis is here. So is Elizabeth Keener.
  • Kate French and Clementine Ford are both back.
  • Cybill Shepherd is back.
  • Everyone scurries around getting ready to shoot the scene that was interrupted earlier. Jenny calls action. Jim climbs on Jessie – Elmo is nowhere to be seen – and they simulate sex. Jenny calls cut. She complains to Niki that she’s liking it too much. She wants it to feel obligatory. Niki says, he’s been my boyfriend for 3 years, why would I hate having sex with him now? Niki says just because I like women doesn’t mean I hate men. Jenny is not taking well to this whole exchange and there’s tension between Jenny and Niki.
  • Directed by Rose Troche at 5:54 minutes in.

Lifecycle (S5, E10)

  • The pink ride. There are speeches about survivors and lost friends and family. The whole gang is there in Team Dana shirts, ready to ride.

    pink ride
    The Subaru Pink Ride
  • The regular credits go flashing by.
  • Malaya Rivera Drew is a guest.
  • Kate French and Clementine Ford are here.
  • Old friends of Tasha’s are there and say hello. They talk about how they knew each other and plans for the ride. Alice is a little jealous.
  • Directed by Angela Robinson at 4:10 minutes in. A record speed for this season.

Lunar Cycle (S5, E11)

  • Editing Lez Girls. Jenny is rewriting history again by having Bev and Nina make up after the table throwing scene. They talk about working on their relationship and how they belong together. Everyone goes on about how wonderful it is and Nina reveals her pregnancy. Jenny tells the editor it still needs a bit of work and they continue.
  • Roll ’em.
  • The Planet. Everyone is in a somber mood. Bette and Tina sit side by side at the table.
  • Malaya Rivera Drew is still here.
  • Max talks about being in touch with Jodi and that she’s staying with a friend.
  • Alicia Leigh Willis is here. So is Elizabeth Keener.
  • Bette asks which friend Jodi is with. Max says maybe Amy.
  • Patricia Valasquez is here.
  • Bette says Jodi won’t return any of her messages. Kit and Alice say, do you blame her?!?
  • Melanie Lynskey is a guest.
  • Kate French is here.
  • Tasha and Alice are bitchy, each accuses the other of PMSing.
  • Wendy Glenn and Angela Gots are back.
  • Actually, everyone is a little bitchy. Just when things couldn’t be any more tense, Dawn Denbo and her lover Cindy show up to announce that they bought 51% of The Planet from Ivan Aycock. Bette jumps up ready to fight, Tasha jumps up and says get the fuck out of here, Kit jumps up and throws over a table. She heads for her office. If table throwing started with the letter L, it would be the title of this episode.
  • Directed by Bob Aschmann at 6:50 minutes in.

Loyal and True (S5, E12)

  • At the studio, Adele is now in charge directing of Lez Girls. Jenny is nowhere to be seen. At a meeting of several bigwigs, Tina talks about a platform release. One guys says the ending won’t test. They want the girl to go back to the boy in the end. Tina says no way. He says think about it.
  • The credits do roll.
  • LA traffic. Bette and Tina stuck in a massive traffic jam. Angelica sits in back in her car seat. They are talking about where to live. Angelica is now too old to do every scene with a pacifier in her mouth, so she actually chatters a bit. Laurel and Jennifer ad-lib around it .
  • Holland Taylor guests. Jane Lynch is back.
  • Alicia Leigh Willis is here. Patricia Valasquez is here.
  • Melanie Lynskey is back again.
  • Clementine Ford is back.
  • Still stalled in traffic, Bette stutters around on the question of whether or not she and Tina are officially back together and need to choose housing for their new situation. Tina deflects by asking Bette to practice a speech Bette has to give about Jodi at an art opening. Bette still hasn’t talked to Jodi, but says the curator of the show says Jodi is doing amazing things. (A parenthetical editorial here. The art work of Jodi’s with recordings of Bette’s voice as part of the piece always made me crazy. Not because of the Jodi getting revenge part, but because of the Jodi is freaking deaf part. Why would she record Bette’s voice?) Bette and Tina see a bus with Alice’s photo on the side from her new TV gig.
  • Wendy Glenn and Angela Gots are back.
  • Overhead, a helicopter lands atop a building. Inside on a stretcher is Peggy Peabody.
  • Wallace Shawn is here.
  • Peggy is shouting orders about foundations and money as they roll her toward the door. She asks for Helena, who is right there already. Helena is in some sort of peasant blouse and Peggy raises up off the stretcher to say, “What on earth are you wearing?” Helena backs away and grabs a big duffle bag.
  • Malaya Rivera Drew is back. Cybill Shepherd is back.
  • A bedroom. Shane photographs Molly while she’s sleeping. She crawls back into bed and wakes Molly with kisses. Somewhere along the line, Molly progressed beyond lesbian sex 101.
  • Directed by Ilene Chaiken at 7:25 minutes in.

See Also: Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, Season 6

All images ©Showtime


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