02x07 - Luminous

Just tell me. What appeals to you?

I don't know, Henri, it's never been one of my abiding fantasies.

Why don't you make the decision?

Well, do you like sleek?

Hm. Brown and wiry?

Tall? Tall's good.



What about her? She looks like she could be wild and crazy.

She's not a she, Madelaine.

Okay, now this is just what we are looking for.

Which is exactly what?

She looks sweet... a little gamine, but you can see she's nasty.

This girl has tricks up her sleeve.

Bonsoir mademoiselle. Est-ce que vous êtes libre?

Ça dépend, qu'est-ce que vous avez en tête?

Nous deux. Et vous. Notre hôtel. Pas de limite dans le temps.

L'argent, c'est pas un problème.

Où est votre hôtel, vice, personne sale, riche Américain?

Saint Germain des Prés. Hôtel Montalambert.

Et votre copine? Vous êtes sûr qu'elle me veut?

Est-ce que je vais lui donner du plaisir?


We have to do it.

We did it all night long.

We just went to sleep hours ago, Alice.

I'm beginning to think you're a s*x maniac.

Not that, no. Sounds great, though.

We have to tell our friends.

Mmph, God.

I know. They're gonna freak.

It's a lesbian curse, ya know?

Whenever two people in a group of friends become girlfriends.


Throws off the whole balance.

They should be happy for us.

I know. It's just... I dunno. It messes things up.

It's like, one minute we're their friends individually, and the next minute it's like, "Okay, well, if I wanna hang out with Alice, does that mean I have to invite Dana, too?"

Thanks, Al.

I didn't mean it like that.


Okay. Thanks.


Good morning.

How are you? Are you okay?


Sit down.


Yeah, it is nice. What do you suppose it is about Shane that...

Period! Question mark! C'mon!

Um, I think it's, I dunno, the unattainable, right?

'Cause, I think that most people want what they can't have.

I mean, do you think it's... she's fantastic in bed?

No. I have no idea.

That's such an oversimplification of things.

No, I have no idea.

Well, aren't you at all curious?

No. Shane is my good friend.


What about Carmen?

Oh, Carmen.

Has she... ever mentioned anything about what Shane was like to -

Oh, my God. Stop. Mark, you're weird!
You're weird, you're weirder than me.

You're - okay.

Stop it!

Mm, this is a nice way to wake up.


Mommy, mommy, mommy! Wake up!

Morning, babies!

It's all right.

No, no. It's not.

I promise you they have a very healthy attitude towards...

It's not all right. They shouldn't be seeing this.

Babies. Why don't you go wake up Nu Nu and get her to take you down to the restaurant for croissants and chocolat chaud , hmmm?

I wanna examine Tina's tummy again.

No, no. Not right now, Wilson. Maybe later.

Darling, do as mummy says. Go on.

I wanna listen to the baby's heart's beating.

Go and wake up Nu Nu right now.

Later on you can listen to Tina's baby's heartbeat.

And if you're a good boy, I have a super special treat in store for you.

Can you close the door on the way out?

That freaked me out.

Children... are sexual creatures. It's totally natural for them...

It's not natural for them to see their mother f*cking someone they barely know.

You're not a parent yet. I've been doing this for a while.

And if you're good...

I'll let you know what I have in store for us this weekend.

I have to work this weekend.

I'm doing a youth arts outreach program for K through at Venice Beach. I...

Pat and Hilma can handle it.

We're going to San Diego, you and me.

We're taking the children to Sea World.

I can't, Helena.

Yes, you can. I spoke to them.

They're completely capable of running that workshop on their own.

You spoke to Pat and Hilma?


Mind if I come in for a minute?

I just wanted to say welcome.

Bette Porter.

We've met. Barbara Gladstone's dinner for Matthew Barney.

Okay, never mind. Leo Herrera.

Nice to meet you.

Well, you seem to be making yourself at home.

Come. Sit down for a minute, can you?

Uh, well actually I have a...
Oh, just for a minute.

There's something I want to get out of the way.

I just wanted to reassure you that I am totally respectful of your position at CAC.

Actually, I'm in awe of the work you've done here.

That's nice, thank you.

I know this could be awkward, but I don't think it has to be.

Well, there's no reason it should be.

I have two years left on my contract.

They would be silly to let me go.

I'm here to raise money, Bette, not take your job.

We should work together.

I could help secure the Aaron Noble show and the Julia Scher.

I mean, those are challenging projects to fund.

You know, I've been managing very well on my own, Leo.

Apart from Helena Peabody, which I really don't think was through any failure on my part, so...

Helena can be an important friend to this museum.

We need to cultivate that relationship.

It seems like you've been cultivating it already.

I met your ex the other night with Helena.

God, they're so excited about the baby.

Hi, it's Bette. And I'd really love it if you could return some of my phone calls.

Listen, I know that uh, you don't really wanna deal with this right now, but I...

I need to have some kind of resolution before the baby is born. Okay?

So, um... please call me. Bye.

Um, hey, this -

Please shut the door.

Um... it's mostly travel memos and shipping receipts.

There's a breakdown of the cost of the Erin Noble, but, uh, Mr. Herrera is reviewing that.

Well, that's not gonna work.

I want everything to come to me first.

Sure, okay. Um... and Alice called.

She was wondering if you could meet her at The Planet tonight?

I'm already going. Why?

Well, she didn't say, she just said it was some kind of, uh, emergency meeting?

Oh, and the, uh, the catalog from the sculpture from the Michael Kohn gallery. Leigh Ostin.

Would you call Michael Kohn and get me a studio visit today?

Yeah, uh, absolutely.



f*cking f*ck, f*ck, f*ck! He gave me his f*cking useless word!

The air hostess is producing it?


Marty just dropped out of the project.

Let me give you some advice!

No. You listen to me, Richard.

If you want to keep Marty as a client, you will pull him off this deal now, because a year from now he is gonna fire your sorry ass for blowing off Veronica Bloom in favor of the air hostess, who's sucking his cock!!

That's his wife. The project is going to fall apart without Marty.

She's taking it especially hard because they used to be married, you know.

Veronica calls his new wife the air hostess.

No, Richard, you and your client...

better get a f*cking grip!

Uh, maybe we should go to Night.

He's apparently looking to do a period drama, and you know...

You want me to go from Marty to M. Night-fucking-Shyamalan?

Where were you educated?

Do you even know the difference between War and Peace and a Marvel f*cking comic book?!

Get out! Unless you have something to say, get out!

You're all f*cking useless! Just leave me alone!

Not you!

You stay.

Can I get you something?

Why do people always let you down?

No matter how much you have done for them.

Don't you find that to be true?

That's why I... try not to need anything from anyone.

I want you to teach me how to do that.

Come on. Sit down.

Let's go out.

Let's go make ourselves feel better.



Hello. I'm looking for the fabulous Venus de Mylar?

Yeah, so?

I was told she lived here.

I'm her, girly.

That better?

So. What's your name, little girl?

Dee Dee. Dee Dee Steinberg.

Victor Bernstein! Huh.

It wouldn't fly in Peoria.

Come on, have a seat.

So, I take it you want to join the circus.

Yeah, how did you know?

Venus can sense these things, girly. So.

What's your story?

I don't belong anywhere else.

Everybody in my family thinks I'm a freak because...

Yeah yeah, but do you have any talent?

Any special circus skills, hm?

Holy Bejeezus, that is special! But it'll never fly in Peoria.

That is special. But. It'll never fly in Peoria.

Well, well. Who'd like to start?

I thought it was extraordinary. It was really extraordinary.

It calls to mind Rick Moody.

Have you ever read Demonology?

No, sorry.

Um... what about Jenny's story "Luminous" evoked Rick Moody for you?

Well, first of all, there's that story called "The Carnival Tradition".

Uh, it's fairly obvious, I know, but it's more than just the time...

That's very good.

So, it wasn't just the carnival illusion that reminded you of Moody.

Isn't it more that... that Moody and Jenny both write about and... and reveal the grotesque that's hidden underneath the mundane?


I feel that Jenny is to the Midwest as Carson McCullers is to the south.

It's, uh, it's gothic, it's grotesque, and yet always delivered with self-deprecating humor.

Well, that's very generous of you.

It's not every day that a writer in the bloom of youth is compared to Carson McCullers.

It's very generous, don't you think, Jenny?

Yes, I do. Thank you, Hunter.

Charlotte do you have any questions or comments for me?

If I were you I'd leave, uh, well enough alone.

I think Hunter has acquitted you admirably.

Thank you... Charlotte.

So, why shouldn't I become a lesbian?

Uhh. Because women are intense.

They're a lot of work that can suck you dry.

You sure you don't want to try this Shane?

The results are amazing.


What you don't know about me is that I like intensity.

When things aren't intense I get bored.

And when I am bored I want to kill myself!

Well, watch out.


You know what, you have potential.

You stick with me, kid, and I'm going to help you realize it.

Oh, f*ck...



They must take forever to assemble.

I work on each piece for almost a year.

I'm usually working on two or three pieces at a time.

But as you can imagine, I'm not exactly prolific.

Why haven't I seen this work before?

I actually think Michael has been trying to get you in here for ages.

Well, I'm glad I finally came to my senses.

Me, too.

This work I don't normally show.

These are all straight up copies of classic renaissance paintings.


I'm usually working on two at a time.

I didn't think anybody does this anymore.

It's thrilling, isn't it?

Leigh, do you know my sister's club, The Planet?

It, uh, used to be a cafe?

Yeah, it... it still is during the day, but uh, Kit's hiring a chef and she's looking for musicians a couple of nights a week,

and Sharon Isbin is performing there tonight.

I saw her play with the New York Phil last June at Avery Fisher Hall.

Look, the CD actually just came out.


Hm. Well, this will be a bit more intimate.

Do you wanna join me?

Actually, it's, um, Valerie who's a classical music aficionado.

Would it be all right if she came, too?


Hey, sweetie.

Um... yeah, sure.

I did Jenny, Shane, and Carmen.

Oh, Carmen's already going to be working there, but I thought it'd be nice if I called her and officially asked her.

Right, and I did Bette and Tina.

And Tina wanted to invite Helena and I was like, "Tina, that's so not cool to Bette."


You're so smart and so thoughtful.

Yeah. But you didn't tell anybody what it... what it was about, did you?


Okay. I just, you know, I just...

I think it's really important that we tell everyone at the same time 'cause someone's gonna feel less important than somebody else.

But Shane already knows.

Yeah, but Shane didn't tell anybody.

She's like the only person on earth who can actually keep a secret.

You guys, it's a beautiful sunny afternoon.

What are you doing inside watching television?

We're watching cartoons!

Well, I brought you something that is going to be much more fun than staying inside and getting cross-eyed.

Yay, Tina! Popsicle sticks!

Will you build a fort with me?


Wilson? Nu Nu will build a fort with you, darling.

Tina has to come and spend a little time with Mama.



Your children are just inside.

Ahh. But they're completely engaged in brilliantly wholesome art-making activities.

Thank you very much.

Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!

I didn't know you were coming! How did you get here!

Well, I flew!

Look what Tina brought us!


Will you build a fort with me?

Yes, I will, sweetheart, very soon, but first, where's mummy?

Tina, meet my ex.

Winnie Mann.

This is my sister, Kit.

Kit, this is Leigh, and this is Valerie.

Hi. Nice to meet you.

What a coup to have Sharon Isbin.

My friend Benjamin hooked it up.

He thought she'd be perfect for the kind of music we do in here.

And you should see the flowers he sent me.


You are not actually above the law, Helena.

I know you think you are.

Don't be so absurd, Winnie, I haven't broken any laws.

They were due back with me this morning at am!

I had something special planned for them this weekend.

I don't see why they should miss out just because you're rigid and small-minded and you don't...

I'm sorry, I'll be out of here in a minute.

You don't have to leave, Tina.

Oh yes, you do.

Tina, you know that I had something special planned for the children this weekend at San Diego.

This is between me and Helena.

You'd be well-advised not to get involved.

I need you as a witness.

Their other mother is prepared to deprive them of that enriching experience out of pure petty selfish pique.

She violated a court order!

Tina, I need you here!

I really have to go.

I remember Alice is having this... gathering at The Planet. I should go.

Don't be intimidated by her.

No. Do.

Because when it comes to my children, even Helena Peabody can't make me roll over and play dead.

I will not beg for scraps.

And all the money in the world is not going to keep me in my place!

I'll talk to you tomorrow. Okay?

You're a lying scumbag, and I'm never getting married again...


So I can collect alimony 'til the day you f*cking die!

You listen to me you piece of sh1t.

Don't you come crawling back to me the next time you need something produced, because I'm going to tell you to shove it up your ass!

f*ck you, Marty! f*ck you!

That's your sister?

The one who just broke up with her partner?


She's beautiful.

Introduce me to her in... six months.

Ah! You're a smart woman.

Bette. Allison Palmer from Betty.

We performed here a couple weeks ago.

Oh, right, right, and I saw... I saw the show.

You guys were great.

This is so not a feminist thing to say, but there is a group of women over at the bar who have you meat-tagged like nobody's business.

I'm sorry?

Meat-tagged. It means they've marked you as a hot item.

Those girls are lining up around the block to get on your dance card.

Great. My neighbors will love that.


Meat-tagged. Eww.

Bette. Hi, Meryl Rothman.

Hi. We met when I was an executive at Disney.



I'm a therapist now. In private practice.


But, uh, I would rather date you than analyze you.

Call me.


You've been meat-tagged.

Well that would seem to be my new identity.

Ugh. Yeah...

That son of a bitch Marty, ruining my movie...


Never gonna forgive him.


Here you go. These should make you feel better in a little while.

Why don't you take one.

No. I'm not... into Xanax.

But you had some Oxy in there. Would you mind?

Go ahead, take whatever you want.


Take the whole bottle, I can get more.

All right.

When you come back, get into bed with me.

We'll get f*cked up and watch Funny Girl.

Barbra Streisand movies have always been my tonic when I feel like sh1t.

Look, um... thanks, but I think I'm gonna go.

No, you're not.

Yes, I am.

My - my friends need me tonight.

No, they don't.

Yes, they do.

Look I can stay here until you...

I'm f*cking paying you.

You will stay here until I tell you you can go.

f*ck that.

You will do what I tell you to do!

You will f*cking watch a movie with me if I tell you to!

You'll tickle my back if I tell you to tickle my back!

You'll f*ck me if I tell you to f*ck me.

Come back here!

You know, Sharon Isbin, she thinks you're all that!

Then how come she didn't even talk to me?

Well, she said she heard some of the girls say that you were... what do you call it?


Yeah, well what is that?

Well that's...

Hi! My friend wants to know if you're ready to start dating?

Um, she says she could be your rebound girlfriend.

Hey. That's not a bad offer.

Does it have an expiry date, because I think I really might need to think about it.

I'll go ask her.

You're being pimped!


What do you think we should say?

I don't know. That...

I don't know! Nothing much has changed, you know?

We're still hanging out every day and night, it's just that now we're having...incredible, mind-blowing, earth-shattering s*x.

What time is it?

We're early.




Oh, god!


Oh, god.

Oh, f*ck...

These guys I heard them at the Troubadour and they're f*cking amazing.

They're f*cking amazing?

Yes. They are f*cking. Amazing.

You know what I think's f*cking amazing?

Watching all those people on the dance floor, and then you can feel them getting really, really hot.

Mmm. I like that, too. Yeah.

They get hot and sweaty, and...

I love it 'cause you can just feel the crowd and...

And you just feel their energy.

Hey! Hi, mama.

Go on over there! She's gettin' rid of 'em.

What do they want?

Filet mignon.


Sorry I didn't call back.

Can we talk after this weekend?


CD player two, which corresponds with the sliding button, channel two.

Should we do it?

You want to?

I do.


Whoa. Shane. Where you going?

Look, um... I gotta go but everyone's inside so go for it. Go for it.


Alright everyone! If I can have your attention, please, there is a happy new couple in the house!
Give it up for Alice and Danaaa!

This one's for you.

Aww! They're so cute together!

Thanks, Carmen.

Oh, congratulations!

They're so gorgeous together.


Hey, what about beer, do you have any beer?


Maybe we should get some pizza.

No. f*ck the food. No way. How's this?




Come on.

What was that?

I don't... I don't really think I wanna know. You know?

Maybe we should call it a night.

Let's just take a breather.

And we can... visit it again, in... the cool... clear light of day.

I understand.

C'mon! Play with us!

C'mon! Play with us, Shawn!

It's Shane.

Shane, come here!


Let's take them out onto the beach to collect seashells or beach glass, or anything that they feel inspires them.

And then after that we'll break up into individual groups, and then we'll start to workshop.


Excuse me.

Come in.


Would you say that this is the... cool, clear... light of day?

Do you wanna come in?

Um... I've been trying to figure this out.


I don't know why... I left last night. I really wish I hadn't.

I think because you like Shane.

I'm not someone... who falls for... fucked-up, unavailable people.

I don't think that we really have a choice in the people that we fall for, Carmen.


Hey. How are you?

I'm surprised to see you.

Why would you be surprised?

I don't know. I thought you would be mad at me for walking out on you last night.

I just thought it was between you and Winnie.

Yeah, well, uh... I'm sorry you had to see that.

But then again, you know,

I'm not sorry, because at least then you get to see just how completely mad she is.

Well, she was angry.

But, she wasn't completely without reason.

I know I shouldn't have kept them beyond my curfew.

I just get so... carried away, you know?

I want to give them something wonderful to take back to New York, something they can think about when they get sad, knowing their mummies are splitting up.

You know, when they're in New York, they sleep on a mattress on the floor and they eat food that comes out of a can.

Okay. Maybe you should just... talk to her.

I've offered.

You know, Winnie won't take anything from me 'til we've gone through this whole barrage of lawyers and custody hearings... she's trying to cut me off from them.


I mean, I stand a chance with Jun Ying, but... she's Wilson's birth mother, so...

You can't separate them. They're too close.

I wouldn't do that.

You know... Winnie and I have always said that even though she gave birth to Wilson, we both equally conceived of him.

I mean, for years we talked about it... we planned it...

I helped dream this family into existence.

Well, I hope you and Winnie work it out.

We will.

Do you wanna come help?



You know, I did have some other plans...

f*ck, f*ck, I'm so late for school! f*ck!


Yeah, hang on a sec!

Shane! It's for you!

It's Veronica Bloom!

Tell her she can kiss my ass!

Um! She's not around right now, can I take a message?!

Okay! Bye!

Shane! She would like you to please call her back!


She can kiss

your ass!

You wanna know something?

You've been getting away with this sh1t for far too long.

I don't know what that poor, ass-kissing woman did to piss you off... you know, maybe you guys were walking down the street one day and she smiled at you too sweetly by accident!

Okay, but maybe... maybe she bought you a gift to let you know that... that you're kinda special to her!

Or just maybe... maybe she really liked you.

I think that - that that's something...that you just don't know how to handle right now.

And, uh...

and I also think that... that we sweet, simple folk...

will not go around kissing your ass forever.

"Watch my cock, Madelaine, watch me beat it again while Miss Jasmine fathoms your pussy for the twenty seventh time this morning. The sky... was chartreuse."

"Wretchedly beautiful and poisonous.

And Henri paid the prostitute handsomely for her services."

Okay. Who wants to start?


Yeah. Um, I'm just wondering what was the significance of the Brazilian cross dresser?

Oh, she wasn't a cross dresser, she was a full-on transsexual and, uh...

I guess I put her in there for local color.

Color's good.

Sometimes a detail is... an end of itself. Jenny?

Yes! I think that your story, um, evokes Henry Miller.

Well, I think I did have Henry Miller in mind, just a little bit.

Yeah. Yeah, with your Paris setting, and, you know, the younger man, older woman relationship, and the fixation on prostitutes, right?

Well, those are all Henry Miller themes. But...what else about Hunter's story calls to mind Henry Miller for you?

I actually think that it's Henry-Miller-lite.

No, but seriously, seriously. Because in your story, all your women, you basically turn them into these nameless, faceless, body part whores.

That is not true. I... I honor my woman characters.

I imbue them with sexual agency.

Your main character, Jasmine, she, like, opens up Madelaine's world by giving her the best f*cking orgasm she's ever had... which, I don't know if you know this, is the primary s*x act that two women can actually have!

And then you go ahead, and you belittle it by turning it into pornography, and I think that the reason why you're doing this is because men can't handle it the fact that these women can have this amazing,f*cking, beautiful, mind-blowing orgasm, without a f*cking cock!

Hm. Sounds like you know what you're talking about, Jenny.


Hey! How you doing? I didn't recognize your number.

Um... you know, I think she left. But um...

Yeah, no, she's not back.

Is everything alright?

Hol - hold on, slow down, slow down. I can't hear you. Say it again?

I... um... listen, it's... that's totally normal.

Just... just... be cool. Tell me exactly where you are, okay?

Uh-huh. Yeah, of course, but... but where, specifically?

On Venice. On Washington. Okay.

On the Washington side. So... the... the phone booth right by the alley.

Okay. I want you to just sit down, right there, and I'm gonna be there in like twenty minutes, alright?

And just - just be cool, and um... just... just... just don't move from there, okay?

Um, you're not drinking too much water, are you?

'Cause I heard this thing about this guy who was, uh, at the Burning Man festival,

od'ing on X, and, uh, he wound up drinking all this water...

you know what, just... I'm gonna be there in, like, twenty minutes.

Just... don't drink a lot of water.


That was totally unnecessary.

And you know better.


But I... but I... I spoke my mind.

I mean, the thing is, I've been subject to some really harsh criticism in this class and I've been able to take it because I think that's your job as a writer to be able to take that kind of criticism.

My job is to make sure that everyone becomes the best writer he or she can be.

There isn't one standard; there are many.

And I think it's time that you step up to the plate and start living according to the standard I've set for you.

Okay, but what is your standard?

Because, the thing is, I don't know what you think of me, or you think of my writing, because...

I have an assignment for you.

What? Do you want me to... blindfold myself and walk into a busy intersection so I can feel more with my writing?

I want you to call my friend Burr Connor.

Do you know who he is?

Um... yes. Isn't he, like, that old school movie star?

It's not exactly the silent era.

He was an action star in the mid- s.

But he's an interesting man and he's writing his memoirs for Dutton.

Why do you want me to call him?

Because he needs help.

He needs someone to redact his stories, someone to give structure, and he needs someone to... push him to dig a little deeper, to tell the truths that are harder to find.

And... I told him you were my most gifted student.

Take the card. Call him.


It's staying.

I know, because you're so good at it.

Do you wanna do some more glue right here?


Okay, see if you can do that.

Yeah. That's looks good.

This one's gonna be hard because it's, like, tilted.

Do you think more glue, like, on the ends?

Just keep on gluing.

I'm gonna make a quick phone call, okay?

Bette, it's Tina.

I know we're getting together next Wednesday, but I thought...

Just wanted to let you know that I've been, uh... thinking about... our baby.

No more, f*cking crazy bitch!
f*ck you, Mel!

Get out of here, you little freak!

f*cking lay off!

Little freak!
Eat sh1t!

Get off, man!

f*ck you! Get off me!

You f*cking piece of sh1t!

She don't look like no f*cking girl!

Hold on! Hold on, man!
f*ck you! f*cking c**t!

No more.

f*ck you, Mel!
f*ck off!

Alright, alright! C'mon.
Piece of sh1t!

You're alright.

Alright. You're okay. I got you now.


Jeeze, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you.

I was just looking for Tina.

Tina doesn't live here anymore.

Uh, I'm Sandy.

She used to buy frozen meat and fish from me, usually stocked up a couple times a year?

Yeah, I... remember you.

Do you think you might want something?

Um - well, I don't really do that much cooking on my own, so...

Well, let me give you a box of New York steaks on me.

Maybe I could come by and cook 'em for you sometime.

Oh, Christ.

You have one unheard message.

Bette, it's Tina. I know we're getting together next Wednesday, but, uh...

I just wanted to let you know that I've been, uh... thinking about... our baby.

We conceived of this baby together and you should... absolutely... be part of... her life.

I think she'll like this.