The last episode EVER of The L Word! What do we want? Denouement, bitches! When will we get it? Uh … never.
We knew there was no way things would be tied up by the series finale, but we weren’t quite prepared for how much would be left hanging. It could have been worse: They could have run us through a flash-forward of every character’s life, complete with awful aging makeup, like they did on Six Feet Under. Or, they could have thrown everyone in jail, like they did on Seinfeld. (Hey, wait a minute …)
But like most of the six seasons of The L Word, too much was not enough.
What we do get in this episode, titled “Last Word,” because we don’t get anything about Jenny’s killer: Bette and Tina prepare to move to New York City to begin a new life without the Planet and palm trees. Jenny creates a “tribute” video to the couple, stitching together random characters from years past to say their farewells (well hello again, Carmen). And yeah, Jenny dies somehow at the good-bye party. Then, the gang’s brought down to the station house for questioning.
Everybody has a reason to kill Jenny — even, it seems, the yikesy contractor who didn’t finish the railing on the upstairs porch. Shane discovers both the undelivered letter from Molly and the lost Lez Girls negatives hidden in Jenny’s secret attic. Shane and Tina: pissed. Bette finds out about Jenny’s purported evidence showing her getting down with Kelly. Bette: pissed. Helena learns that Jenny leaked the details of the Nikki Stevens stakeout to Dylan before it happened, so the test wasn’t accurate. Helena: pissed. Everyone’s pissed, but then again, everyone’s seemingly too entranced by this good-bye video to notice that Jenny has gone missing (we’ll say it again: hello, Carmen).
The whole thing is fucked from the get-go. In the scenario laid out before us, Bette and Tina are the heart of The L Word and this video is some sort of wake for both them and the show itself. But really, Chaiken and Co. had it right in their fist: Jenny Schecter is The L Word, and the death of her is the death of the show.
Like Jenny, The L Word was, at any given moment, capricious, obnoxious, patronizing, fabulous, fun, sexy, non sequitur, overreaching, underreaching, annoying, and yes, unforgettable. Not one other character besides Jenny embodied the whole character of the show.
As cliché as it may sound, it would have made a much better ending had the last episode been Jenny’s funeral and the tributes made to her, rather than Bette and Tina. Then, this groundbreaking show would have had its proper send-off.
What did the finale get right? Instead of playing that dastardly theme song at the top of the show, they tack a Latin-Klezmerish instrumental version of it to the end as The L Word ladies walk slo-mo, all David LaChapelle–like gorgeous, heading toward the camera as if taking a bow. And you know what? It sounded okay just then.