Season 3 / Episode 10: LOSING THE LIGHT
by Pam Cole
I'm too depressed to write this episode summary, but I'll try.
Episode 10 opens with no random act. Instead, we see Lara in a Paris
spa, getting a mud treatment. A woman who had a mastectomy walks through
the spa nude, and Lara sees her. Upset, Lara leaves her mud treatment
and gets her cell phone to call Dana. She tells Dana's answering machine
that she can't stop thinking about her and wants to talk about coming
home. Two ominous indicators appear onscreen: 1) The chart draws a line
leading from Lara to nowhere; 2) a time indicator appears briefly at the
bottom of the screen. It reads "11:50:51 p.m. Paris time," which
is 1:50:51 p.m. LA time. This timer appears throughout the episode and
acts as a device to tell us what each member of the gang is doing during
the last 45 minutes of Dana's life. (Almost exactly the length of the
Alice has been at Dana's hospital bedside for the five days Dana has
been there. Tina drops off Alice's mail and clean clothes, and picks up
her dirty clothes. The group is taking turns sitting with Alice at the
hospital. Tina is leaving for a date with Henry and asks Alice if she
is too dressed up for the date. After Tina leaves, Alice leans over to
the barely conscious Dana and tells her that bisexuality is gross, which
makes Dana smile.
At the Buddhist retreat, it is snowing. Bette packs up and leaves. As
she walks away, she lets out a scream, breaking her silence. She walks
to the bus stop, yelling all the way. Bette strikes up a conversation
with a young man waiting at the bus stop. She tells him that she is a
"meditation retreat dropout." There is no cell phone signal,
so she can't call anyone. As they wait for the bus, an older woman joins
them and the three of them talk about life and letting things out instead
of holding them in. They talk about how they handle life's problems and
Bette admits that she buries herself in work to avoid them.
Shane and Carmen are sharing a sweet moment where Shane says that she
didn't know Carmen liked classical music. (Carmen is updating Dana's Ipod
with classical music.) Carmen says that there are lots of things that
Shane doesn't know about her. She then chooses this moment to blurt out
that she cheated on Shane, after Shane had sex with Cherie Jaffee. Shane
is shocked and goes into full withdrawal mode. Carmen has to get up and
stalk her to try and get her attention to discuss it. (Weird
this true or is this Carmen trying to get back at Shane?) Later, Carmen
apologizes for the affair and Shane asks her if she "feels better
now that they are even." Carmen turns to go, but Shane grabs her
and kisses her, and they begin to make love.
Jenny and Max have lunch with Jenny's ex-husband Tim and his new, pregnant
wife. Tim is apparently in town for a swim meet. After introducing Max,
Jenny blurts out that Max is in transition from female to male, which
makes everyone uncomfortable (including Max). Thus, follows an uncomfortable
lunch where Jenny and Tim get ugly toward each other. Predictably, the
lunch ends with Tim and his wife getting up and walking out.
At the hospital, the nurse comes in and urges Alice to get out of the
hospital and take a walk for awhile. Dana's parents are supposed to come
soon. Alice doesn't want to leave, but after a brief exchange with Dana,
she decides she can leave for a few minutes. Dana whispers "I love
you" to Alice--her last words. Alice tells Dana that she loves her,
Alice goes into the hospital gift shop and buys a funny mechanical flower
that sings "You are my Sunshine." It is incredibly tacky, but
it makes Alice smile. On the hospital grounds she runs into Tonya, who
is there for some kind of appointment to try and get pregnant. Tonya and
Alice have a bittersweet conversation where Tonya tells Alice that she
used to be jealous of Alice's friendship with Dana, and that she regrets
leaving Dana. Alice does not tell Tonya that Dana is in the hospital.
Helena goes into a legal mediation with Dylan and Danny about the sexual
harassment lawsuit. Peggy Peabody shows up to save the day. All Helena's
past grievances are brought up and it makes her look really bad. They
watch the video that Dylan shot as evidence. Dylan seems uncomfortable
but says nothing. Turns out that Dylan and Danny were rejected 5 times
in a row for a Peabody grant, which is probably why they set up this sexual
harassment thing. Peggy wants to go to trial rather settle the suit (which
is for $3 million dollars and wide-distribution release of their documentary
film). As Dylan is leaving the room, Helena says that if Dylan will tell
her that she never loved her and never wants to see her again, Helena
will sign the settlement and end the case. Dylan says that she never wants
to see her again, and Helena signs the settlement. She is very upset.
Angus doesn't call Kit when he said he would, and she gets worried sick
about him. She spends several hours imagining the worst and then goes
to Angus' house to look for him, but he isn't there, so she waits. When
he shows up, Kit is angry, but they have a lovey-dovey talk and make up.
Tina goes out with Henry and the kids to have lunch with some of Henry's
friends, a straight couple. Tina and Henry are all smiles and kisses.
A middle-aged couple from another table approaches Tina and Henry to congratulate
them on their beautiful family, and for adopting a needy child (Angelica).
No one corrects their assumption, but everyone feels awkward. Later, Henry
assures a slightly upset Tina that he doesn't have a problem with Tina's
"life or the way she's lived it."
As Dana's life ticks to an end (at 2:35:41 pm):
--Shane and Carmen are making love and reach orgasm.
--Tina and Henry are having lunch and Tina kisses Angelica.
--Peggy Peabody reaches out and touches Helena's arm, comforting her after
Dylan leaves the room.
--Bette is riding the bus home and senses that something is wrong.
--Kit and Angus are lying in bed together, talking and touching each other.
--Max and Jenny are in the car together after their disastrous lunch.
Jenny reaches over and touches Max.
--Alice is returning to Dana's room and arrives just after she is pronounced
The doctor tells Alice that Dana's blood pressure dropped and they couldn't
save her. Alice falls to the floor crying and hysterical and alone (except
for the thousands of viewers around the world who were also crying and
hysterical). The mechanical flower hits the floor beside her and begins
singing "You are my sunshine." Credits roll to this song.
With all due respect, this Rose Troche-written and directed episode was
so well done that I wasn't distracted by any of the usual L Word faux
pas. But that made it all the more devastating. Leisha Hailey delivered
another of those Emmy-deserving performances that will hopefully be noticed
Lauren Lee Smith
Callum Keith Rennie
You Are My Sunshine
Yep...our 1 song this week. And I hate it. Hate it, hate it, hate it now.
If you want a great, upbeat version, I suggest the version that Heaven
Davis did for a compilation called All Aboard, The Beach Boogie Train.
Since there are no other songs to talk about, I'm gonna go on a rant and
let ya know why this scene and the ending of the episode struck me the way
it did. In August, 2001 my Grandma was in the hospital and had been there
for a few months or so, pretty much on her deathbed. The night before she
died, I was there with the family holding vigil and at the time I was
closed to drained. During the Summer of 2001, I had 3 different jobs in 3
different towns, all in different directions from one another. The
hospital was in a completely different town in a completely different
direction. When I wasn't working, or forcing myself to take an hour long
nap, I'd be at the hospital. At this point things are grave and I'm
calling my different bosses, keeping them up to date on what's going on and
not to expect me at work that day/night. At about 5 something AM, my Mom
pretty much forces me to go home and sleep, because I hadn't done so for
close to a week. So, I did and conked out for about 2 and a half hours. I
wake up and call Mom on her cellphone to let her know I'm headed back to
the hospital and she tells me that it won't be necessary. Grandma had died
not long after I left. The feeling Alice has when she's told of Dana's
death is about the same way I felt that morning...the key differences being
that at least the rest of the family was there for Grandma even if I wasn't
when she died...and the fact that I was so drained, emotionally I couldn't
A big thanks to Erin Daniels on a job well done as Dana Fairbanks and
another big thanks to Leisha Hailey for being able to convy on screen, what
I couldn't (not matter how much I wanted to) back in 2001. Let's hope next
week starts leading to a brighter path...except for Jenny. Jenny sucks.
http://mancandy.com - Thursdays, 9
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Creative Consultant ADAM RAPP
Producer ELIZABETH ZIFF
Producer AM HOMES
Co-Executive Producer ROSE TROCHE
Executive Producers ROSE LAM, ILENE CHAIKEN
Casting COREEN MAYRS, CSA & HEIKE BRANDSTATTER, CSA
Edited by LISA JANE ROBINSON
Production Designer RICARDO SPINACE
Director of Photography BOB ASCHMANN
Created by ILENE CHAIKEN, KATHY GREENBERG, MICHELE ABBOTT
Written by ROSE TROCHE
Directed by ROSE TROCHE
SHO.com: Alice steals some of Dana's ashes; Bette thinks about
fighting for sole custody of baby Angelica; Lara arrives home too late;
and, Max finally lands a job where Moira got turned down.
TVGuide.com: Bette considers fighting for sole custody of the
baby; Lara stays out far too late; Max lands a job--one for which Moira
was turned down.
TV.com: After Dana's family treats the girls coldly, Alice is
determined to arrange a special event to commemorate their friend. While
Helena wants to settle, Bette is willing to fight for Angelica's custody.
Max lands a job, giving Jenny something to write about. Dealing with her
grief, Shane is willing to make the ultimate commitment to Carmen. Finally,
Lara arrives from Paris and is comforted by Alice.