The L Word

Season 3 Episode 10

Losing the Light

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 12, 2006 on Showtime
out of 10
User Rating
124 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

While Lara is vacationing in Paris, oblivious, Dana's condition takes a turn for the worse. Alice runs into Dana's ex, Jenny introduces Max to a man from her past, Carmen evens the score with Shane, and Peggy Peabody flies to town to help her daughter. Frustrated, Bette leaves the Buddhist retreat but receives a dose of life wisdom from an unexpected source.moreless

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  • As good as The L Word is gonna get this season...

    This episode was a breath of fresh air, and some mad props to writer / director Rose Troche. At least someone on the staff over there knows what she's doing.

    All the plotlines are strong and engaging, and there are some priceless little "moments" -

    Kit looking in the mirror at Angus' is probably the best one. It proves that Miss Pam is quite the actress - even when her lines are subpar she manages to make us care. And in this case she captured my heart without saying a word.

    Leisha Hailey is always incredible on screen, this episode was no exception.

    Eric Mabius as Tim was a welcome face, and I'm glad he's happy now. He was a great character, and I tend to agree with everything he said abotu Jenny.

    Bette's release was a joy to watch.

    I'll miss Dana.

    Overall, excellent


    As a long time Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanatic, I have to say this episode kind of wanted to be "The Body". (The lack of background music, the subject matter, the 'stream of conciousnessy direction. yeah..)

    If you've seen "The Body" (which was done years ago, and which is a stronger episode of televsion), you know what I'm talking about. And if you haven't I strongly reccomend it. And the whole series.

  • It wasn\'t painful in a bad way, it was painful in an emotional way. The episode was bloody fantastic but it was a bit too close to home for me.

    To be totally honest, I honestly didn\'t think Dana would be killed off. I tend to avoid reading spoilers about the show because it ruins it for me...but Dana\'s death totally surprised me.

    This really difficult to classify. The technical stuff is easy enough: The acting was at it\'s usual high standard and it was a great episode, like the others...just a lot more emotive.

    I wasn\'t so much surprised they were dealing with breast cancer in the show, more that they killed Dana off and everything happened so fast. When I read the show synopsis the day I watched it I figured everything would be alright at the end of the episode and Dana would be fine in the end, and she\'d get back with Alice etc etc, I really thought that\'s how things would turn out....but she died.

    Not long before I watched the episode a very close friend of mine found out she had cancer (again) and things really aren\'t looking good. I guess watching the episode without knowing what would happen was a bad idea this time, had I known that Dana would die I would\'ve missed the episode because I wasn\'t exactly in the right state of mind to see that happen. Y\'know what? Cancer\'s a b*tch, and this episode proves that...even more so when you have cancer youself or know somebody with it. Dealing with it for real is absolutely horrific, for the person with it and for those around them.

    Needless to say, I cried so much when I saw this episode, I just sat there hurts so much and I know it\'s gonna be 1000 times worse when it happens for real.

    Losing someone you love hurts so bad, and this episode nailed every emotion, it really did, for me anyway. It showed how quick things can go bad and how much it affects everyone. I\'ll give props to the show and everyone involved for that but i\'m not happy Dana got killed off, her acting was first class though. They did well with the storyline though, they dealt with it well and pretty much made it true-to-life...which sucks but it\'s good in it\'s own way.moreless
  • ...

    It's odd, but this is probably one of my least favourite episodes of the season so far. It seemed quite anti-climactic. I was expecting a painful, tearful, dramatic hour-long death of Dana, surrounded by her friends...but instead we had lots of small segments of each of the isolated characters.

    The actual death was painful, of course, but perhaps only because of Alice's superb acting...the juxtapositioning of her reaction and the flower's song worked really well...but even so, my eyes filled with water but I didn't howl the buckets I was expecting to.

    As an episode, we saw a lot, but I think it was mostly filler. None of the parts really correlated to each other except within the wider themes of loneliness and relationships etc etc. I still don't understand why everyone assumed Tina it was a little more understandable, given the people she was with, but when Josh asked her a few episodes ago I thought it was totally stupid - in America, do you not get mixed-race relationships?? I didn't give a damn about the whole Jenny/Moira/Tim/pregnant wife fiasco. It seemed totally pointless. I have no idea why it was even in the episode. e all got the idea already - Max is getting aggressive yada yada yada, we don't need constant reminders of their relationship! The Bette bit was o.k., and a natural final to her weeks of silence...still, I didn't care for it much. It would have worked better in an action-packed noisy episode as a gentle c-side storyline, not in this particular episode.

    Tanya was less annoying than I remembered her. I'm not sure of Alice's motivation in not revealing the truth about Dana's condition.

    Kit was annoying me this episode. And Angus didn't seem as likeable as he normally is. His body language totally put-me off. I'm confused about Shane and Carmen...when did Carmen cheat on Shane? And why did she only reveal it now? we've had so much break-up sex on The L Word, I hope this wasn't another case.

    Helena was totally weak in signing that document. I enjoyed seeing her mother, I expected a really homophobic woman who'd take away Helena's rights, but she was strong and confident. We may have seen her before and I've just forgotten! Anyway, even The Peabody's defence argument didn't work - they were trying to claim that Dylan had a grudge against the Peabody Foundation and was looking for revenge after being denied a grant so many times. Surely the argument is logically more sane that they only now got a grant, after being turned-down so much, once Helena had slept with her. Anyway, that hardly matters anymore. I don't think the Peabodies could have won in court unless they tried to get the couple to admit their own guilt or emotional feelings.

    All in all, I didn't really dislike any bits of the episode (except the Jenny parts). However, I wasn't too keen on it either. And I find it annoying that we didn't see Lara at Dana's death, as we did the other characters.moreless
  • Dana's leaving...

    It's been two days since I watch "Losing the light" and still I can't stop thinking about it.

    Isn't that what a writer wishes for when he creates such an episode?

    I loved it. And hated it.

    How Dana's last words were "I love" to Alice. Then, when Al surprisingly bumped into Dana's ex, she said her friend was already getting better. And when she returned it hit her...

    I cried a lot.

    I agree with those who say it's time for the show to return to its origin. Enough drama. We'd really like some happiness again!moreless
  • ...and so it happened

    Random notes about this very special and crucial episode of The L Word:

    - Okay, they finally did it, they killed Dana. I can't help but being surprised when I read so many times people saying that they didn't expect it. It was obvious Dana was going to die from the very moment Lara finds the little lump in her breast. I wasn't shocked or surprised, and sadly, I wasn't even moved in the way I was expecting to be.

    - This was a very slow, cold episode with no music (which reminded me a lot of "The Body" from Buffy, in which Buffy's mom dies. Could we talk about rip off? I think we can).

    - The counter was not a very good idea. It made the ending so predictable and, again, cold. It was a low trick...

    - I can't help but wonder why they left Dana vanish in that way. I was expecting the writers to sort her inner conflicts out in some manner, but instead they let Dana go without giving her some kind of redemption. Saying "I love you" to Alice as last words was nice, but also unnecessary and made to play again with our emotions. I didn't feel her words to be totally true, I don't know why.

    - Alice crying over the final credits was another low trick. It seems the whole episode was intended to make a huge impact on us, but instead of that, it left me cold.

    - Why do I give this episode an 8.7?. Well, simply because apart from those important issues, it was satisfactory in the way the whole season is being to me: Dialogues were full of melancholy. The actresses were stunning. The cinematography was amazing. These characters are so true that it hurts so much everything that happens to them. It's so sad that they had to ruin that with a "special" episode like this one.

    - Letting the Dana issue apart, the rest of the show was more or less satisfactory as always. However, I can only remember the negative elements in it...

    - Carmen and Shane ZZZzzzZZZ. Why are they making their storylines soo incredibly boring? Can't they come up with something more interesitng and original than "I cheated on you because you cheated on me"?

    - Helena and her legal problems. How many times have we seen this???? Another symptom of exhaustion on behalf of Ilene and the writers?

    - Tim's special appearance served to bring psycho Jenny back (or al least a part of her). I didn't like those scenes at all. However Jenny was not the worst thing about it, it was Max. Okay, I began liking this girl/guy, but now he has become another low point in the show. I gess I know how Jenny and Max' story will end (you just have to pay attention to their talk about married life in the car).

    - That's all I can remember right now, thanks for reading!

    Best: Leisha Hailey, I love her.

    Worst: Many things, but to stress one that I haven't commented above, Bette screaming and "sharing" with those strangers was just a bit embarrassing...

Eric Mabius

Eric Mabius

Tim Haspel

Guest Star

Alexandra Hedison

Alexandra Hedison

Dylan Moreland

Guest Star

Callum Keith Rennie

Callum Keith Rennie

Danny Wilson

Guest Star

Lauren Lee Smith

Lauren Lee Smith

Lara Perkins

Recurring Role

Meredith McGeachie

Meredith McGeachie


Recurring Role

Holland Taylor

Holland Taylor

Peggy Peabody

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • DVD Goof: On the released DVD, the subtitles ascribe the closing dialog to Lara when it is in fact Alice.

    • Goof: When Tonya is saying goodbye to Alice, two men are walking behind her and almost pass her. The scene cuts to Alice, and when it cuts back to Tonya, the same men are just entering the frame and walking towards them.

    • Opening Teaser:
      Mosque de Paris, Paris, France -- 2006: Lara is in a French spa, having a mud treatment. She chats with a French woman lying next to the table beside hers as another woman, who's had mastectomy on her right breast, walks by.
      The Connection: The link between Lara and the French girl begins to crawl across the screen. However, she is distracted by the woman who has had her breast removed. Lara gets up and calls Dana but she doesn't answer her phone. The link between Lara and the French woman never connects them.

    • Goof: The on-screen times in the beginning of the episode suggest that it's a 10-hour difference between Paris and Los Angeles. However, Paris is on the Central European timezone (CET) which is only 9 hours ahead of the Pacific timezone (PST).

    • The events in this episode take place during a period of approximately 45 minutes (the running time of the episode), from 1:50 p.m. to 2:35 p.m. A clock detailing the passage of time, 24 style, is seen periodically on-screen.

    • Highlight for a spoiler:
      It's revealed that Jenny's ex-husband Tim is now married and his wife Becky is 6 months pregnant.

    • Lawyer: In 2005, Dr. Isabel de Obaldia gets a restraining order against Ms. Peabody, claiming she sexually manipulated and stalked her.

      Dr. Isabel de Obaldia (played by Mimi Kuzyk), Helena's psychiatrist, was seen in the opening teaser of episode 2-4: Lynch Pin.

    • It's revealed that Tonya is trying to get inseminated to have a baby.

    • Highlight for a spoiler: Dana's time of death: 2:35:41 p.m.

    • Deleted Scenes:

      Scene #1: Kit at Tina & Bette's front door
      Kit is peering through a door window into the house. She's knocking on the door but no one answers. She walks around the house and as she passes a window, she hears the phone ringing inside. She waits outside the window to see if anyone comes to answer, but the answering machine picks it up. Clearly no one is home. Disappointed, Kit leaves.

      Scene #2: Dana in the hospital
      Highlight for a spoiler:
      This is a brief scene in which Dana is in the hospital. She is unconscious as the doctors are trying to resuscitate her.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Carmen: You seem upset.
      Shane: That's you projecting, Carmen.

    • Tonya: You know I was always a little jealous of you, Alice.
      Alice: Why?
      Tonya: 'Cause Dana loves you so much. It was actually kinda hard to deal with when we were together. I mean, that there was ultimatly this other person that was so much more important than me.

    • Max: (after having lunch with Tim) Do you miss it?
      Jenny: What?
      Max: Being with a man? I mean, that coulda been your life.
      Jenny: I would've killed myself if that were my life.

    • Shane: Did you fuck her more than once?
      Carmen: Why does that matter, Shane?
      Shane: Did you?
      Carmen: Who says that I fucked her?

    • Shane: (to Carmen) Do you feel better now? Do you feel good to know that we're even?

    • Bus Stop Woman: None of us do much in this world alone, except die.

    • Alice: (leaning to Dana, after Tina leaves) You're right: bisexuality is gross. I see it now.

    • Becky: (about Max) Why did you laugh? You made him feel bad.
      Tim: Becky, the next time we see Jenny, she might be with a German Shepherd. Just brace yourself.

    • Bette: I've been silent for almost ten days.
      Bus Stop Guy: Someone have you locked up?
      Bette: Nope, it was entirely voluntary. I just escaped from a silent retreat. I couldn't do it; I could not reach a higher plane no matter how hard I tried. Sometimes I would start to feel like it was gonna happen but then it just never did. So, you know what, I left. I'm a meditation retreat drop-out.

    • Bette: I'm going home to Los Angeles.
      Bus Stop Guy: She just escaped from a silent retreat.
      Bus Stop Woman: Silent? Oh, that's not good.
      Bus Stop Guy: That's what I told her.
      Bus Stop Woman: It's not good to keep things inside. They eat away at you.
      Bette: This was supposed to be more of a, you know, kind of release.
      Bus Stop Woman: How can you release anything if you keep it all inside?

    • Max: Do you miss it?
      Jenny: What?
      Max: I dunno. Being with a man. I mean, that [Tim & Becky] could have been your life.
      Jenny: I would've killed myself if that were my life.

    • Highlight for a spoiler:
      Shane: I didn't know you were into classical music.
      Carmen: Well, there are a lot of little things you don't know about me.
      Shane: Oh yeah? I bet there is. Like what?
      Carmen: Uhh... Like, I shot a gun once. It was my cousin's and it was very loud.
      Shane: I know what you mean. I shot one once, too. Alright, go on! Tell me some more.
      Carmen: I cheated on you.
      (Long, awkward silence.)
      Carmen: I said I ch--
      Shane: (snapping) I heard you.

  • NOTES (7)

    • This episode features three actors from the SyFy series Sanctuary.
      At the cafe the waitress talking to Kit is Agam Darshi, known as Kate Freelander on Sanctuary. Later at the busstop Bette meets Ryan Robbins, the werewolf Henry Foss. Shortly after that in the courtroom with Helena, Whit Strobel, portrayed by Peter Wingfield, is one of the The Five known as James Watson.

    • This episode won the 2007 Leo Award for "Best Overall Sound in a Dramatic Series".

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Latin America: October 15, 2007 on Canal Warner
      Czech Republic: April 15, 2012 on Prima LOVE

    • After this episode, Showtime aired a special 8-minute clip of the cast and crew members talking about the importance of portraying a breast cancer storyline on the show, Erin Daniels' reactions when she heard that her character Dana would get sick, and the other cast members saying goodbye.

    • This episode marks the first appearances of Eric Mabius (Tim) since episode 2-1: Life, Loss, Leaving, Meredith McGeachie (Tonya) since episode 2-6: Lagrimas de Oro, and Holland Taylor (Peggy Peabody) since episode 2-13: Lacuna.

    • In the mediation for the sexual harassment subpoena, the lawyer shows a photograph of Tina, Helena and the kids in the pool during their swimming lesson. In the original version of the episode scripts, there was supposed to be a mysterious man stalking Helena with a camera, but these scenes never made it to the final cut. However, in the closing credits for episode 3-9: Lead, Follow, Or Get Out of the Way, there is a credit for "Mysterious Man", played by Kurt Max Runte.

    • Apart from the opening title song and the song "sung" by the toy flower, this episode doesn't have any music. The song the toy flower plays is the Louisiana state song You Are My Sunshine, written and composed by former Louisiana State Governor Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell, and first recorded in 1940.