Fire Island Recap: Meet the Parents

Fire Island

I Love My Boys
Season 1 Episode 5
Editor’s Rating *****

This week’s episode opens with Jorge, Cheyenne, and Khasan boarding a yacht owned by a lady who appears to be Olivia Newton-John and a guy who isn’t that ex of hers who maybe faked his own death a few years back just to, in my humble opinion, get away from Olivia Newton-John. Apparently, Jorge knows this couple because they found his dog Luka after he lost it the previous weekend. My surprise level over Jorge losing his dog is below sea level.

While they ride the yacht — the owners of which disappeared, NOT unlike the aforementioned 2005 disappearance of Olivia Newton-John’s boyfriend — Khasan tells them he’s nervous because his mother is joining them for the weekend. Yes, you read that correctly: Someone decided it’d be a good idea to bring his mother to Fire Island, and no, I checked, his mother is not Chita Rivera. (Although I guarantee she has, at the very least, some investment properties that are Pines adjacent.) Khasan’s boyfriend, Jason, might join, making it the first time Khasan would be introducing his mom to a boyfriend. It is worth mentioning that Khasan’s boyfriend isn’t on Fire Island because he’s in Provincetown, another gay beachside mecca. Do these people just spend all their time bouncing from gay destination spot to gay destination spot? If so, I’d love to tackle the Castro with Brandon and meet up with Cheyenne at the restaurant where Goldie, Bette, and Diane get drunk after Stockard Channing’s funeral in The First Wives Club.

Meanwhile, Patrick and the My Giant guy Brandon was dating — okay, his name is Jaylen — wander through the woods musing on the isolation of Fire Island. In this interlude, we learn Jaylen has gotten really, really into Brandon. He tells us he grew up Mormon (uh, boy) and wants kids and a husband and the whole family thing, so he really wants things to work with Brandon … whom he met four weeks ago? Mmmk.

When Jorge, Cheyenne, and Khasan get to the house, they’re pissed to find Brandon has made a mess. They bitch about it and make him clean it up. Khasan points to the pool where the unicorn pool float is now a heap of deflated plastic and says, “What happened to the unicorn?” Brandon replies, “It was like that when I got here.” The camera lingers on the deflated unicorn for a moment, a visual metaphor for this show as a whole. We cut to the first commercial break, during which the ads always seem to be about men’s underwear, HIV medications, or gum. Priorities.

They go out to dinner and Justin joins them, complaining his way into the scene. He informs us that his parents are also coming for the weekend and I find myself officially stumped at literally every decision any of these people make. Patrick arrives at dinner with Jaylen and everyone is pissed at Patrick’s calculated (a.k.a. skillful-reality-show) move to stir this boiling pot of gay drama. They discuss that the respect level at the house needs to be heightened for the weekend, especially since parents are going to be there. Patrick uses this as an opportunity to bring us back to his feud with Cheyenne and they begin yelling at each other again. Cheyenne laments that “an argument with Brandon about cleaning somehow turned into a pissing contest with Patrick,” and honestly, I think he’s stumbled onto something that would undoubtedly pay more than Logo does.

Out of nowhere, Jorge suddenly starts crying and ends up telling us that today would’ve been his father’s birthday but that his father is dead. Apparently, his father kicked him out for being gay and then eventually accepted him back into his life. It’s clear that this experience strengthened their relationship and I feel for the guy. Do I think it was the best move to burst into hysterics at what appeared to be a mediocre dinner because your roommates are fighting over where to put their Speedos (not on the kitchen counter, by the way, you literal monsters)? No, but we all lose it when our emotions take over so I get it.

Eventually, they all group hug and say they’re sorry. Patrick toasts that they go out and have the best night ever in honor of Jorge’s dad. Which, after hearing the story of him kicking out his son for being gay, seems like a pretty questionable way to memorialize him.

The next day, Justin’s parents arrive. They’re sweet and totally out of their element, but game enough that it’s not too awkward (or interesting for that matter). They take them to the beach and Justin apologizes as he reveals his Speedo to his mom for the first time, but her reaction is pretty much, “Okay,” which is nice to see. Not as nice to see, however, is that Patrick shows up yet again with Brandon’s ex-fling Jaylen, who I swear to God is growing before our very eyes.

Brandon is rightfully annoyed that Patrick can’t seem to get the hint that he doesn’t want the guy around. In a huff, Brandon goes off to take pictures of Jorge (who looks especially good in this episode) and bitch about what Patrick has done. Patrick then begins playing what appears to be straight-up catch with Jaylen a few feet away from Jorge and Brandon. Within minutes, Patrick forces the two groups to meet, but Jorge drags Jaylen to go photograph him in the ocean so that Brandon can confront Patrick and tell him to stop bringing this guy around. I know, gentle reader, I’m tired too.

Brandon and Patrick argue and the latter, losing his cool, cannot seem to understand Brandon’s point. Finally, Brandon takes matters into his own hands and tells Jaylen that he’s great but that he doesn’t want to date anyone. I appreciate Brandon’s openness here: He basically tells the guy that they can bang as much as they want, but he doesn’t want to have to text with him while he’s just trying to enjoy his weekend. Honestly, it’s one of the most honest things anyone on this show has said to date.

Some super-hot guy named Alex is briefly there and Cheyenne drools over him like Winnie the Pooh upon hearing there’s a movie called American Honey. Then the hot guy is gone for the rest of the episode and you wonder, briefly, if he was ever there at all, then you stop thinking about it completely because he made zero impression on you.

Later that night, Justin’s parents cook a big Italian dinner and everyone gathers around a long table to eat it. Khasan’s mom has arrived and joins for dinner before Justin’s parents leave to return home for no explained reason. The guys show up to dinner in tank tops that are more and more low cut, to the point where Patrick arrives in what isn’t even a shirt but more aptly described as a fabric necklace.

The guys gather around the pool and hear about Khasan’s childhood, which was quite intense. From his mom, you can tell that he grew up in a tough environment but with wonderfully supportive people surrounding him. It’s a sweet glimpse at just how different our pasts can be from the people we are today.

The next day, Khasan’s mom makes breakfast for the house. (Smooth move bringing in these parents to cook meals so you don’t have to hire that angel-winged caterer this week, producers.) After breakfast, Khasan’s boyfriend, Jason, arrives and meets Khasan’s mom for the first time. Meanwhile, Cheyenne tells us that all this family stuff over the weekend has gotten him thinking about his own family tragedies and his hangups left over from childhood. He skypes with his boyfriend in L.A., who tells him he’s there for him. Technically, that isn’t true because he’s in L.A., but it’s safe to say this is not a show nor a group of people focused on technicalities.

The episode ends with the guys watching the sunset on the beach and basically verbally circle jerking each other with compliments before we go to yet another “coming up next week” montage that looks pretty much like this week except that people are slightly tanner, moderately louder, and as progressively ready for summer to be over as I am.

Fire Island Recap: Meet the Parents