Fire Island Recap: The Underwear Party

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Photo: VH1
Fire Island

Fire Island

The More the Merrier Season 1 Episode 2
Editor's Rating 2 stars

We open in New York City, where Justin is purchasing ice-cream sandwiches with his boyfriend, Austin. Austin is a cute guy who barely speaks and goes to college in Alabama. He asks what they’ll be doing that weekend on Fire Island and Justin nonchalantly says, “Well, we’re going to the Underwear Party,” as if he’s saying, “Remind me to stop by CVS on the way home to pick up Clorox Wipes and tape.” Austin bristles at the idea of said party, but only because he has no cute underwear left in his suitcase, leaving one to wonder just how uncute the underwear he does have might be. The scene ends and I’ve already forgotten Austin was ever there to begin with.

Meanwhile, Khasan and Jorge stand on a random sidewalk and discuss their return to Fire Island. Khasan is bringing his boyfriend Jason, but he’s worried about juggling both him and Jorge at the same time. Let me quickly remind you that Jorge and Khasan are merely friends … who sleep in the same bed and figure into every decision the other makes. It’s so refreshing to see healthy relationships on television! Khasan says that Jorge will just have to understand that this weekend is time for him to be with Jason. I think it’s safe to assume Jorge is not going to understand.

Meanwhile, Patrick and Bodhi (a.k.a. his dog) enjoy having the Fire Island house to themselves because Patrick never leaves. He tells us it’s been a quiet week on the island seeing as Brandon (his crush with the grilling skills and tattooed angel wings) has been away visiting family. Which we, the audience, know is a lie because Brandon told people in the last episode that he was going to Texas to visit another guy. Patrick and Bodhi’s silent tranquility ends when all the others return. Khasan’s dog Luka is there and even Bodhi thinks she’s a nightmare. We watch as Patrick shaves Bodhi’s balls for no apparent reason, other than the fact that I guess the dog needed his balls shaved. Hey, nobody said Fire Island would be easy on any of us!

Jorge is already being needy with Khasan. Also, for some reason Jorge is wearing the biggest platform shoes I’ve ever seen and you have to wonder what kind of person packs a bag and is like, “Whoops. Can’t forget those!” Khasan’s boyfriend Jason is in way over his head. He looks around the house with the silent panic of an unarmed person walking into a creepy motel room with walls covered in photos of JonBenét Ramsey.

Jason and Khasan decide to stay in for the night while the others go to the aforementioned Underwear Party, then they have the audacity to cut to Patrick explaining what an underwear party is. (Spoiler: It’s what those two nouns mean when you put them together.) Jorge is unhinged as he pretends to cry at the door because Khasan won’t come along. Cheyenne and Brandon (a.k.a. “the crazy little one,” not the caterer with angel wings tattooed on his back) have another one of their heart-to-hearts on the beach, which I guess is going to be their thing and which I guess I’m fine with. Cheyenne is conflicted about going to the Underwear Party because he just got back from seeing a boy in Boston and they decided to be official boyfriends. (These boys love a long-distance relationship.) “That’s a big deal,” Brandon tells him, “The biggest deal,” Cheyenne replies with sociopathic honesty.

They go to the Underwear Party and it’s just as awful as you’d imagine it to be: men wear nothing but their underwear, with the far too frequent addition of functioning rope lights. Add mariachi music and you’ve got my living nightmare. We hear a faceless creep of a doorman tell Cheyenne that he is required to wear only underwear at the party. Legitimately take a moment and imagine someone saying that to you upon arriving literally ANYWHERE, then come back and read the rest of this when you’re done.

Cheyenne is pissed when Patrick brings over a group of random guys, as Cheyenne sits in the corner of the Underwear Party just wanting to be left alone. (A tale as old as time, my friend.) The whole encounter leaves a bad taste in both of their mouths, which I can only imagine would’ve been the first of many varied tastes in many varied mouths at this particular shindig.

The next day, they go on a yacht that belongs to some of Patrick’s friends. The yacht owners are a sweet older gay couple that resemble Barry Manilow and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, who, when you think about it, are basically the archetype of what all gay men end up looking like. The men talk about coming to the island since the ’80s and it’s a genuinely special scene that reflects on how far queer culture has come and how important it is to honor our history.

Back at the house, Justin is wearing an Angela Lansbury tank top, which makes this the second Angela Lansbury reference I’ve made recapping this show, something I am in zero ways surprised by. Justin, Austin, Brandon, and some random dude he brought home from the party all quite literally miss the boat and spend the day letting Brandon take photos of them on the beach instead. These people are adults.

Khasan gets dressed to go meet his boyfriend, Jason, and Jorge flips out. He’s giving us full Annie Wilkes with good arms. When he threatens to jump off a cliff while holding a glass of rosé, however, he momentarily becomes my hero. Eventually, Khasan agrees to stay for a half-hour and they immediately begin wrestling on the bed like silly teenagers or professional gay porn actors.

Things get dicey when an enormous group of Patrick’s friends arrive. Inside, the camera moves through the party, a veritable sea of sun-kissed, shirtless, Caucasian male skin. Cheyenne stands in the kitchen, huffing, puffing, and throwing stuff away. He’s pissed about the noisy crowd and I’m right there with him — minus the throwing stuff away, but that’s something I need to work through on my own time.

Brandon takes Patrick outside to say that Cheyenne is upset that he has once again brought so many strangers over to the house. Patrick is annoyed and then, uh-oh, Cheyenne appears with his suitcases. Girl, she’s had ENOUGH and she’s leaving. Patrick tells Cheyenne the beauty of Fire Island is the chance to meet new people. “You can be at a party with Wall Street investors …” he says, as Cheyenne interrupts with “… or crack dealers,” both of whom sound like pretty exhausting groups of people to me. Cheyenne doesn’t let it go and he disappears into the dark Fire Island night.

The next day, Justin has an art show at a local gallery. Cheyenne was supposed to help set up, but he’s missing and Justin is pissed. Back at the house, Patrick is confronted by Jorge and Brandon about his inability to compromise regarding the “not bringing strangers to the house” thing. Patrick tells them there’s no compromising on said issue. I can’t help but point out that there’s a soothing sense of validation that comes from watching one’s ex-boyfriend be confronted about his issues with compromise on a reality show, but back to the story.

Justin’s art show is packed and people are genuinely impressed with his work. The middle-aged gallery owner voices his passion of discovering new artists: “It’s like seeing a new musical,” he proclaims, and for a fleeting moment, I look head-on into my future.

Austin and Jason have to leave. Khasan tells Jason, “I’m so sad you have to leave,” and he sounds about as convincing as Katherine Heigl claiming she’s easy to work with. They all return to the house to find Cheyenne back — and he’s brought his boyfriend, Kyle. The gang confronts Cheyenne about skipping out on helping Justin. Cheyenne apologizes, but blames it all on his overwhelming need to be with his boyfriend of six minutes. Also, if this show has taught me anything, it’s that 75 percent of the gay community is named Brandon or Kyle.

As Kyle and Cheyenne pack up, Patrick comes in to hash things out one more time. Brandon also comes in and they all argue over who started this feud. Of course, nothing really gets resolved. Cheyenne eventually tells us that just because he’s on vacation with people doesn’t mean he’s going to let them crawl inside his butt. Quite frankly, I think that’s the kind of advice Logo is here to teach us.

Fire Island Recap: The Underwear Party