The first thing we learn about Jeremiah’s brother Josh is that he answers the phone by saying “YOLO.” As it turns out, this is everything we need to know about Josh. “He’s my gym partner and he’s my boy,” Jeremiah enthuses, writing my wedding vows for me. Fortunately for all of us, Josh is coming to visit.
But first, Kirk has reserved the gang — including Candace, who does not “do water” — a couple of pontoon boats. They set out to the dock with armfuls of pool noodles, coolers laden with booze and baloney sandwiches, and at least one inflatable gator. Boat Day! The housemates have a wonderful time snorkeling in greenish-yellow shallows that look like a two-to-one ratio of saltwater to pee. Aimee may have sprayed Codi’s exceptionally pasty chest with enough sunscreen to shield a spacecraft from burning up on reentry, but he still grows progressively pinker over the course of the sunny afternoon. “Reapply!” I shout at my screen, but Codi does not hear me.
After all the drama over Kayla Jo last week, I’m a little surprised by how quickly Jeremiah seems to have moved on. “I am on a mission to find babes,” he explains, sounding like Tom Hanks’s character in Big just downloaded Tinder. Candace, too, is on the hunt, but she’s after a capital-R relationship. She calls up a cute acquaintance named Matthew on the gator phone (duck phones are so 2009) to invite him over to the house. Their date slash one-woman fact-finding mission gets off to a good start, as she learns that he’s never been married, has no kids, has a job (in the military, which is a plus), and is a grown man of 30. Then he proceeds to wax poetic on his fondness for strippers and describe his pubic hair, unprompted, in great detail. It was nice knowing you, Matthew.
What “smush” was to Seaside Heights, “hunch” is to Panama City Beach. Likewise, “barrel-chested freedom fighter” is the new “gorilla juicehead,” the gold standard of the male of the species. And to Nilsa, beefy Marine Josh most definitely qualifies. Josh’s hobbies include dabbing and somehow having an even worse haircut than his brother. Personally, I am inclined to agree with Kortni, on this and all matters: “I don’t think either one of these homeschool freaks are fun.” That night at the club, Nilsa informs Josh that he’ll be sleeping in her bed. and after they pinky swear on that (I promise that’s not a euphemism, they literally pinky swear), these two crazy kids proceed to make out about a foot away from Jeremiah.
On the cab ride home, Codi makes a drunk play for Aimee, predicting that she’ll get jealous of Nilsa and Josh’s “animal noises” and call on him for company. “I’m gonna come in there and I’m gonna scoop you off your feet, and I’mma wear that motherfucker out,” he says. Shockingly, that poetry does not have its desired effect. Aimee, who earlier informed the world that she is so sex-starved she had a dream that someone put a toe in her “cookie,” turns him down. She explains quite diplomatically that she loves all the men in the house as brothers, but has no sexual interest in any of them. From the backseat, Kirk decides that he is now a part of this conversation. He insists that if he wanted to have sex with Aimee, he could. Um, ew.
Nilsa and Josh are happily rolling around on her bed when she asks him, “If I taste like nasty pasta, will you tell me?” Without missing a beat, he answers, “I love pasta.” Maybe all the tequila and blue Gatorade is getting to me, but that exchange strikes me as genuinely romantic. Well, a little. Ever perceptive of social nuance, Jeremiah stands in the entrance to the dark room and tries to talk to his otherwise occupied brother as Nilsa knocks something (her Jesus candle?!) off the nightstand with a pillow. Are doors against Florida state law? Anyway, do Nilsa and Josh, in fact, hunch? I can’t tell you. But I can tell you that I heard more unsettling, unplaceable mouth noises and saw more night-vision shots of feet on the headboard than I reasonably needed to. Thanks for that, MTV.
Downstairs, Kirk (and Codi, too) doubles down on his behavior, announcing that “in a million years with someone else’s dick” he would never have sex with Aimee, a woman who is not only his friend, but who he well knows is already having a rough time moving on from her rando-impregnating ex of ten years. It is gross and depressingly predictable that some kind of toxic insecurity led these men to interpret Aimee’s stated disinterest as a grievous personal affront. You are both better than this, Kirk and Codi.
Who but Jeremiah should rise to challenge their bullshit? He tells them, succinctly and effectively, to chill: “We can all have our personal opinions … but you don’t say that shit out loud.” Wait, do I like Jeremiah now? I think I like Jeremiah now. Codi and Kirk are affronted by the suggestion they’re being jerks, despite the fact that they have absolutely been jerks. Their three-way shouting match escalates into Jeremiah and Codi stepping outside to talk — a development that the editing would clearly like for us to believe means they’re about to fight, but which I am pretty sure just means they’re stepping outside to talk.