Carmen de la Pica Morales is a fictional character on the Showtime television network series The L Word, shown nationally in the United States. She is played by Sarah Shahi. Carmen first appears during the first episode of the second season, Life, Loss, Leaving. Carmen is a Mexican-American who works as a DJ, and is involved in relationships with Shane McCutcheon and Jenny Schecter.

Character Storyline

Back Story

Carmen's father, a Mayan medicine man, was killed in a motorcycling accident before she was born. She has a Mayan tattoo encircling her hips and lower back to commemorate him. She first discovered her sexuality when she was 16, and fell in love with Lucía Torres, a girl at her high school. Lucía eventually cheated on her boyfriend Pablo Fuentes with Carmen. Carmen implies that this was a dangerous move at her high school, as "you didn't fuck with Pablo's girl, but I did." Carmen prides herself in being a gold star, or a lesbian who has never slept with a man. In high school, Carmen was involved with Eva Torres, and in the fourth season finale, it is revealed that Eva Torres is Papi. [1]

Season two

Carmen is a production assistant at the TV station where Shane McCutcheon is hired to be hairdresser for Arianna Huffington. At Shane and Carmen's first meeting, Carmen speaks of her job as a PA and of her passion for music and reveals that she regularly moonlights as a DJ. The two then begin a sexual relationship. Outwardly, Shane regards Carmen as a casual hook-up; however, her continued pursuit of Carmen shows otherwise. It is also clear that Carmen's feelings toward Shane are more than superficial.

Carmen becomes full-time DJ at The Planet after Shane recommends her to long-time personal friend Kit Porter, club owner. Working at The Planet, Carmen sees that Shane is pulled onstage during a concert and kisses the lead singer, leaving Carmen feeling dejected. As she turns away from the spectacle, Carmen shares a drink with Shane's roommate Jenny Schecter, marking the beginning of a casual relationship between the two women. Jenny's affections toward Carmen are great although not reciprocated; Carmen maintains an openly informal outlook on their relationship, even encouraging Jenny, at one point, to pursue her writing instructor. Although Shane repeatedly claims she has no trouble with Carmen's relationship with Jenny, she turns to drugs and unfulfilling promiscuity to avoid their relationship. Noticing Shane's destructive behavior, Carmen confronts Shane, where they acknowledge that they have strong feelings for each other, and Shane reveals her fear of getting close to another person (this is brought on by abandonment issues in Shane's childhood). Jenny and Carmen end their relationship when Jenny views a videotape of Carmen and Shane's "love confession." In the second season finale, Lacuna, Shane finally declares her love for Carmen; it is the first time on the show that Shane says "I love you" to another woman.

Season three

In the six months that pass between the second and third season, Carmen moves in with Shane and Jenny. She introduces Shane to her traditional family, although Carmen's family does not acknowledge their relationship, opting instead to actively ignore the signs of Carmen's sexuality. Immediately, Shane is welcomed as familia ("family") by Carmen's mother, Mercedes, and Shane becomes close to Carmen's family, having never had one of her own. When Shane and Carmen get matching tattoos, Carmen's grandmother notices the likeness, remarking that they are like engagement rings, which Mercedes overhears. After Carmen's mother tries to set Shane up with a carpet cleaning businessman, Carmen becomes greatly insulted and finally outs herself to her family, confronting Mercedes for refusing to accept her sexuality and recognize her relationship with Shane. Carmen's mother reacts in anger and effectively disowns her, stating that she rather Carmen be a whore, than a lesbian.

Meanwhile, Carmen's DJing career flourishes greatly, and she is requested to DJ at a high-profile party held by Russell Simmons. When Shane's ex, Cherie Jaffe (Rosanna Arquette), gets back in touch with Shane, Carmen becomes angry at the proximity of the ex-lovers and confronts Shane, who then reveals that she had no knowledge of Cherie's intentions to get back in touch. Later, Carmen seeks to charm and woo a group of Def Jam record executives (a label owned by Russell Simmons) during a party. Seeing this, Shane is hurt and jealous and reacts by cheating on Carmen with Cherie in the episode 3.05 Lifeline. Carmen finds out about the infidelity the following morning and, after a couple arguments, she and Shane seek to mend the rift when Shane confesses that although she, herself, is bound to make mistakes, Carmen is the only person with whom Shane has wanted to have a monogamous relationship - another 'first' for Shane. Carmen later admits to Shane that she cheated on her with a woman named Robin after Shane's own infidelity with Cherie Jaffe (some speculate that Carmen did not, in fact, cheat on Shane and only wanted to gauge Shane's reaction to being the person on the other end of the infidelity; however, this is only speculation).

After the death and funeral of one of Shane's best friends, Dana Fairbanks, (episode 3.11, Last Dance) a grief-stricken Shane asks Carmen to marry her. Sensing the imprudence of the proposal, Carmen does not respond at first, but later accepts in effort to comfort and protect a seemingly inconsolable Shane.

The third season finale takes place on Shane and Carmen's wedding day, which is financed by Helena Peabody and is meant to take place in Whistler, British Columbia where same-sex marriage is legal. Carmen's family shows up to the wedding; Mercedes, Carmen's mother, apologizes for not accepting her sexuality, and comes to embrace the marriage between Carmen and Shane. Meanwhile, Shane witnesses her once-estranged, married father, Gabriel McCutcheon (Eric Roberts), stealing $10,000.00 of Helena Peabody's money and abandoning his wife and young son to be with a young woman he met that evening. He says to Shane, "I'm not proud of this, it's just who I am. You know what I'm talking about." This scares Shane into thinking she, too, will abandon her future family with Carmen, causing Shane to leave Carmen at the altar in an ill-considered attempt to spare her greater heartbreak. Carmen waits under the tent where she and Shane were to marry, long after all the guests leave, but then gives up and goes home to live with her mother.

Season four

Carmen is briefly mentioned (but does not appear) in the opening episode while Jenny and Max attempt to straighten up the DJing equipment Carmen left behind in Jenny's house. Jenny expresses her feeling that what Shane did to Carmen was terrible and that she harmed many people in the process. After a heavy drug binge, a bereft and intoxicated Shane drives to Carmen's house to try to talk with her but is forcefully evicted from the house by an angry cousin of Carmen.

Carmen's departure from the show is explained by Sarah Shahi not renewing her contract with the producers, resulting in Carmen being written out.


  • Kera Bolonik, The L Word: Welcome to Our Planet. New York: Fireside. 2006: 58 - 63…

Template:The L Word