All good things…
For season 3 of The L Word, showrunner Marja Lewis-Ryan had the option to choose either of the two endings to this saying: “all good things come to those who wait” or “all good things must come to an end”. However, she decided she’s not the choosing type and, much to the dismay and rage of all the loyal fans, she ran with both options.
As everybody long suspected after last season’s ending with Tina showing up on Bette’s doorstep, and Showtime’s promotional Tibette billboards and S3 trailer, Bette, even though a little reluctantly, voices what all beating Tibette hearts around the world have been waiting for: “yes”, in reply to Tina demanding to know whether she’s still in love with her. Tina’s response comes as a bit of a surprise: “that’s not how you love someone”. After a little back and forth we learn what we’ve known from both of them since we started watching the OG all these years ago. T: “I’ve loved you my whole life”. B: “and I’ve loved you all of mine”.
Perfect! We can finally erase all season 1 and 2 struggles from our memories and go back to where the OG season 6 left off: Tibette sharing the rest of their lives in a loving relationship together. But wait, no, not that fast. It shouldn’t be that easy. It is drama, after all. Let’s throw a little “I just wish that you were fucking better at it” from Tina in there. Just to spice things up. Just because we can. And then do a 1 year time-lapse, yeah, that’s a good idea. A nice time-lapse in which we can hide pretty much everything that’s too complicated, inconvenient, or just too unrealistic to go into detail about. Brilliant!
So, we return to our beloved L Word characters after a year has passed and find that nothing makes sense anymore. We’re teleported into some alternate L Word universe. Alice is just randomly fucking a guy, dumps him, celebrates her 100th show (I guess she has 1 show a day, at least!), and seems to fall for contestant #3 in “Alice’s” blind dating show. I guess we’ll find out more about that attraction in upcoming episodes, because so far all I see is a rather clueless person with the sense of humor of a 10-year-old.
Tess and Shane have her demented mother (played by famous actress Joanna Cassidy) living with them, who gets about two lines and a small dance-down-memory-lane-scene (what a waste of a great guest star!). Shane gets a bad case of “the itch” and allows herself to be susceptible to Ivy’s charms.
And the gen Q characters are exposed to every possible bad storyline you could possibly come up with.
Gini, the one gen Q couple we were all rooting for, as their love was so authentic, heartwarming and beautiful, is now nothing more but a shell of what we saw in season 2. They’re distant, they don’t communicate, there is hardly any lovingness, and Gigi’s ex-partner, and mother of her 2 children, turns out to become the iceberg that ultimately sinks this ship. The Twitter explosion caused by this is heard around the world. Tibette is endgame! Gini is endgame!! What the fuck are they trying to do to us?
Oh wait, there’s a consolation prize: after Finley successfully leaves rehab, we get Sophie and Finley back as a couple. Dare I say, who cares?! Oh, and there’s also Micah and Maribel, with a little discord over whether or not to have a baby, but they’ll overcome that no doubt. Again, who cares?! Whereas in episode 1 we still see Dani being angry beyond measure with Finley for screwing up things for her in last season’s events, in episode 2, after no longer wishing to put up with Gigi’s confusion about her feelings for Nat, Dani decides it may be ok to call for truce and spend the evening with Sophie and Finley after all.
Carrie resurfaces, still recovering from the heartbreak by Tina, to have a good heart-to-heart with Finley and to accidentally run into a plumber who is like a mirror of herself and the absolute opposite of Tina. Yet sparks are flying. Blood spatters too, from a door accidentally slammed in her face. And so naturally the plumber comes bearing tampons to save the day. Can you hear the violins yet?
And, after that 1 year time-lapse, Bette turns up to see Angie off to college, being a completely “new” person. The girl bumping into the rear end of her car gets a comforting hug and peptalk, rather than the tirade everyone would expect from the “old” Bette. And Tina falls for it. This is all the change she’s been wanting for so long. All she needed to see to be open to Bette’s irresistible charms again. We hold our breaths in heartfelt anticipation, as they finally kiss and find each other again. The gentleness, the softness, the familiarity. It all fits. Poor Angie walking in on them, after having been dumped by Jordi on her first college day, stops them in their tracks only briefly. They quickly agree that it’s better to give her some time, and they get back to “business”. And the crowd cheered. Tibette endgame!! Not before there’s one more little issue to tackle though. After an endearing enactment of their very first encounter, where Tina loses her earring at the gallery and Bette hands it back to her before they kiss, Bette now asks her to stay, instead of going back to Canada tonight. Tina takes it as Bette being back to her career-oriented self and takes off to the airport. Bette loses it, but is desperate not to lose the love of her life again, and welcomes Alice’s suggestion to go after her with a “my god, you’re so fucking smart”, and the OG’s, together with Tess in the back and Angie at the steering wheel, chase after Tina’s car. Bette running to get through the traffic jam to finally be able to tell her that all she wants is to be with her, to spend the rest of her life with her, is more than the fans had hoped for. It is everything. The writers listened. They gave us what we wanted. What we have been fighting for all these years. This is our endgame!
But at what cost? Parallel to all the show’s events, we learned that Jennifer will be taking “a step back” from her lead role, to make place for other stories. She is also no longer listed as an EP, which is saying a lot! We are to see Bette and Tina in the last two episodes, but not before that. Gini broken up. Shess broken up? Bette and Tina gone from the show (or at least for the most part). And Sophie and Finley projected to be among the main characters that the show will focus on from now on?
I guess in addition to “all good things come to those who wait” and “all good things must come to an end”, we now see ourselves confronted with the painful reality that all good things come at a price too! And I’m afraid that the value Showtime is giving us for paying that price is far below par.
I will still be watching, and writing. But I won’t hold my breath for anybody being interested in reading anymore.