Dana's Death Is The L Word's Most Heartbreaking Moment

the l word dana fairbanks

With The L Word sequel series set to premiere soon, let’s take a look back at one of the saddest moments from the original series - Dana’s heartbreaking death. Showtime drama The L Word ran for six seasons between 2004 and 2009 and followed a group of LGBT women living in West Hollywood, California. The show was groundbreaking in its female LGBT focus and was a frequent nominee and two-time winner at the GLAAD Media Awards before it was canceled in its sixth season.

Beyond its cancellation, The L Word had plenty of heartbreaking moments during its six-season run. Tears were shed in season 1 when long-term couple Bette (Jennifer Beals, The Chicago Code) and Tina’s (Laurel Holloman) attempts to get pregnant via artificial insemination ended in a miscarriage. Another tearjerker moment came in season 3 when the soon-to-married Shane (Katherine Moennig) jilted her bride-to-be Carmen (Sarah Shahi) at the altar, leaving her crushed.

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But the saddest moment on The L Word was undoubtedly Dana’s (Erin Daniels) death in the third season. Professional tennis player Dana hailed from a conservative background and started The L Word still in the closet but by the end of the first season, she was out and proud and living her best life. Dana quickly became one of The L Word’s best-loved characters so it was a shock when she discovered she had an aggressive form of breast cancer in season 3.

Dana went through chemotherapy but her condition worsened throughout the season and she ended up in hospital after an infection, with her friend and ex Alice (Leisha Hailey) keeping a bedside vigil. In the episode “Losing The Light," Dana lost her battle and passed away while Alice was momentarily absent, leaving her friend crushed and The L Word fandom devastated. The heartbreak didn’t end with Dana’s death either. The following episode “Last Dance” focused on her funeral and saw her still in denial parents do Dana and her friends a disservice by making them sit at the back of the church. The L Word girls say goodbye in their own way, however, after Alice steals some of Dana’s ashes and her friends spread them at the summer camp where she first realized she was gay while reminiscing about their pal in a series of tearjerker flashbacks.

Although the sequel series will see the return of some original The L Word characters, Dana obviously won’t be among them. There is a nice nod to the fan-favorite in The L Word: Generation Q, however, in the form of returning character Shane’s new hair salon which is named Dana’s after her late friend.

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