Casual Recap: Drought Conditions

Michaela Watkins as Valerie. Hulu
Episode Title
The Lake
Editor’s Rating

When Laura and Spencer wake up after spending the night together, it's already clear that their relationship is moving fast. Laura reminds him not to eat or drink before he goes to the hospital, and she jokes about skipping ahead to the nagging stage. Spencer doesn't seem to mind, though. He's focused on ducking out before Alex can find him.

Nevertheless, Alex manages to piece it all together, and asks Laura to stop having sex in his hot tub. It's probably the closest he's ever come to scolding her. She agrees, but there are bigger problems ahead: Sarah has only just moved in, and she's made herself very comfortable. While she's busy poaching eggs, Alex deals with the subpoena that's just been served to him.  

Meanwhile, Valerie is still with Jack, and he convinces her to cancel her afternoon appointments to visit High Trail Lake. Back at the house, Alex wastes no time getting Leon to look over the subpoena. At this point, Leon spends most of his time looking over contracts, and I'm starting to believe he might be a lawyer after all. Leon informs Alex that he's being sued for negligence, and for violating the company's morality clause.

While Valerie is on her way out, she unfortunately runs into Sarah. They share an uncomfortably long hug, and Valerie is deeply confused, as she should be. Sarah is already borrowing her shoes, and Valerie can see she has no sense of boundaries. This infuriates her, of course. Instead of dreaming about High Trail Lake, she's forced to face reality. She knows Leon is ill-equipped to handle the subpoena situation, and immediately wants to take care of everything, but Alex insists that she isn't needed.

At school, Laura runs into Aubrey and still tries to avoid acknowledging their strained relationship. She lies about family night, telling Aubrey she wants to visit Spencer in the hospital, but Aubrey doesn't get the hint. Or, at least, she chooses not to.   

On the way to the lake, Valerie can't stop thinking about Alex's predicament and tries to get in touch with him. Jack believes that Alex should make his own mistakes, but this time, Valerie isn't so easily convinced. She forces Jack to pull over so that she can call, but Sarah has already taken over — she's answering the house phone, enjoying the hot tub, and even redecorating! She's made herself feel at home shockingly fast. It is terrifying, but impressive.

Leon gets his friend to stop by Alex's house, and for once, they actually have a real lawyer present. (Although Leon did a pretty great job on his own.) Leon's friend explains that a morality clause is almost impossible to uphold, but it depends if Paul is onboard or not. This could mean the end of the company, but Alex still doesn't take it too seriously. That is, not at all: He's more distracted by the mere fact that Leon has other friends.  

When Laura gets home from school, Sarah has the nerve to ask why Alex didn't encourage her and Valerie to get their own place. Laura fires back with a question of her own: "Did he encourage you?" Speaking more to herself than anyone else, Sarah responds, "It will all work out as it should."

At the office, Alex tries to approach Paul to win him over to his side. He's disguised himself in a baseball cap and gray sweatshirt, probably inspired by too many viewings of The Bourne Identity. Although Paul tells Alex that he did this to himself, Alex chooses to believe he is the "victim of a series of unfortunate coincidences." And yet, Alex still somehow manages to get Paul on his side.

When they meet with Jordan, Paul tries to act as a mediator, but Jordan offers him $2.5 million (in cash!) for his ownership stake in Snooger. Alex, on the other hand, gets $65,000, which also happens to be Falen's yearly salary. With no other option, Alex signs.

Laura visits Spencer at the hospital, and they share a sweet moment together until Aubrey shows up. It doesn't take long for her to realize what's been going on, and she puts to an end to the awkward small talk by pointedly asking, "When did you guys start fucking behind my back?" Instead of finally accepting their relationship, Laura immediately denies that anything exists between them. Aubrey storms out, and when they're forced to talk, Laura explains that she just wanted to have fun and nothing more. Before Aubrey leaves, she wishes Laura luck with Spencer, telling her, "I hope he dies before you get bored with him, too." On some level, Laura knows that Aubrey is right, and it's one of the few times that she's left speechless.

Valerie and Jack finally arrive at High Trail Lake, and Valerie reveals she's never actually been there. She always wanted to go as a kid, but never got the chance. When they finally set out to find the lake, however, they discover that it dried it up because of the drought. Faced with the remains of a childhood dream, Valerie freaks out. She can't put aside her problems any longer, and addresses the fact that Jack is able to live in a hotel room without any responsibility. But Jack makes a valid point: If Alex depends on her so much, then why hasn't he called? Valerie knows he is right, and for once, she puts herself first.

When Alex gets back home, he's met with a ton of surprises. Sarah completely redecorated the place, and brought in new furniture to "match the new chairs" that he bought to win her back. It looks like they live inside an Anthropologie store. Alex is stunned and says nothing. Instead, he goes into his bedroom and finally begins to panic. He calls Valerie for help, but this time he is too late.