Last night, The L Word finished its six year run on Showtime. It was announced 12 months ago that the series was coming to an end so many viewers were expecting the series finale to be well-crafted and satisfying. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be what they got.
The L Word revolves around the loves and lives of a group of gay, bisexual, and transgender friends who live in Southern California. Over the years, the series has featured a large ensemble cast that includes Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey, Laurel Holloman, Mia Kirshner, Katherine Moennig, Pam Grier, Rachel Shelley, Daniela Sea, Erin Daniels, Marlee Matlin, Rose Rollins, Sarah Shahi, Dallas Roberts, Preston Cook, Lauren Lee Smith, Jon Wolfe Nelson, and Cybill Shepherd.
Debuting on January 18, 2004, L Word proved very successful for the pay-per-view channel. In 2007, Robert Greenblatt, Showtime’s President of Entertainment, called it “a signature franchise for us and one of our most popular series.” The final season was announced in March 2008 and, unlike previous seasons, only eight installments were ordered, bringing the series total to 70 episodes.
The sixth season began with the death of Jenny Schecter (Kirshner), one of the series’ central characters. After a short introduction, the story shifts to three months prior and moves forward in time from there. As the episodes progress, several people become upset with Jenny and appear to be possible suspects in her murder.
Showtime promoted that the murder mystery would be resolved by the end of the series finale. Unfortunately, viewers weren’t given an answer. What we do know is that apparently Jenny fell through a missing railing on Bette and Tina’s stairwell. Was it a simple accident, a suicide, or a murder? We may never know. There were no alternate scenes or endings filmed.
Frustrating as this ending is, it doesn’t come as a total surprise. In January, after the episode had already completed, series creator Ilene Chaiken told the LA Times, “There are ways I could still answer [the mystery] if the need were to arise. But I don’t actually feel compelled to answer it. The show is about character and relationships, and I used this story to deeply explore those relationships. It’s a risk not to solve a mystery, admittedly.”
The open-ended mystery may be part of a bigger plan. A pilot has been shot for a spin-off series called The Farm. It stars Leisha Hailey as Alice and takes place in a women’s penitentiary. It would seem that Alice has been charged and convicted of Jenny’s murder. But, did she really do the deed?
According to EW, Chaiken created the murder-mystery storyline before the spin-off was conceived. She said, “If the new show goes on the air, it will be connected to the Who-Killed-Jenny? storyline, and I would say that that’s what Alice is in prison for. I don’t know that she actually killed Jenny…”
What we do know is that actresses Melissa Leo, Laurie Metcalf, and Famke Janssen all filmed roles for the potential series. Leo and Metcalf play prison officials, while Janssen plays a fellow prisoner. There’s no word if any or all of them would be series regulars if The Farm goes forward as a series.
Showtime has yet to decide if the spin-off will get a greenlight. If the spin-off series does get made, hopefully Chaiken will come to her senses and reveal who or what caused the death of Jenny Schecter before it ends.
Image courtesy Showtime.