The L Word Series Finale

Last night, Showtime aired the series finale of The L Word. What a goddamned disappointment. (A lengthy rant follows…)

All season long, the show’s über-manipulative promotional hook has been, “Who killed Jenny Schecter?” (For the uninitiated, Jenny is a hateful character who deserved to die. I’ve wanted to see her character snuffed for years. In fact, for most of the show’s six seasons, my refrain has been, “Die, Jenny Schecter! Die!”)

The season-opener showed Jenny being dragged from a swimming pool. A police detective played by Lucy Lawless came in and questioned our assembled cast. The rest of the season has been a flashback building up to that moment. In classic murder-mystery fashion, in every episode Jenny wrongs another one of her friends, who exclaims, “I’m going to kill her!”

Everyone has a motive: check.

In the final episode’s opening minutes, we are reminded repeatedly that a railing on a second-floor deck overlooking the pool was not installed properly and that only a piece of construction tape is there, marking the railing’s intended location.

“Gun on the wall” established: check.

We go through the whole freakin’ episode with frequent non-linear cutaways to the police station interview room, where one by one our series regulars talk about the deceased Jenny Schecter.

But you know what we never get? An answer to what the hell happened. The episode ends on the characters agreeing to come down to the police precinct to be interviewed.

No cause of death is ever stated. Sure, Jenny’s body was taken from the pool. But no one said she’d drowned. We were never shown if the tape-railing had been broken. We were never shown an assault. We didn’t get to witness Jenny’s demise.

She could have taken pills and committed suicide. She could have slipped and fallen in an accidental death. One of the other characters might have done her in. To be honest, I didn’t care which resolution the producers selected. As long as Jenny died and stayed dead, I would have been satisfied with their in-story explanation.

But no explanation at all? That’s just lazy writing. One of the conceits of the series has been that all of its episode titles began with “L” (excluding articles such as A, An, or The). The finale was titled “The Last Word.” They should have simply called it “Lame.”

Ever since the series finale of The Sopranos, why is it suddenly considered hip and cool to have unresolved endings to series? Whatever happened to wrapping up a story with a some measure of closure?

I harbor a deep dread that we’re in for the same kind of lame non-ending on Battlestar Galactica in a few weeks. Let us all hope that I’m wrong.

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