Rivers belong where they can ramble. Eagles belong where they can fly. Lindsay Hubbard belongs where she can get into senseless fights with people for no apparent reason. That’s why it should not be at all surprising when, while out on a first date, she snaps and ends up in a verbal altercation right there on her sunset-dappled rooftop.
Before Carl and Lindsay can even go on that date, he has to ask her out. After their talk about wanting to go on a date at the end of the previous episode, we see Carl get on his phone and call Lindsay on her phone to ask her out, even though they’re standing in the same room. If “Okay, Boomer” were to ever be translated into a dating service for the technologically disadvantaged, it would look exactly like this. But later that evening, they’re not too worried about the formalities of dating. Instead, they’re grinding each other and sucking face in the hot tub before returning to Carl’s bed to spend the evening spooning and, we can only assume, finger-blasting to their hearts’ content. Danielle, being a good houseguest, retires to the bed she was supposed to share with Lindsay with everyone’s favorite sad bedmate: a half-consumed bag of SkinnyPop.
Carl tells his bro Kyle all about the hookup when the two convene at the Loverboy bottling factory. It turns out Carl is now the chief sales officer of the sparkling-alcoholic-iced-tea line (whew, that is a lot of descriptors). Kyle is aware that Carl is an awful salesperson. Well, based on his ability to sell himself to the ladies, maybe he is a great salesperson. However, it is undebatable that he has a hard time holding down a sales job, since we’ve seen him get fired in two out of the past three summers. Kyle says if Carl is really energized about something, there is no one better. Well, I have yet to see Loverboy in a package store near me, so what does that say about Carl’s sales ability? I don’t know, ’cause I still haven’t seen Ramona Pinot, either, and that has almost 100 percent market awareness.
The night of the big date comes, and Carl, presumably unable to secure a venue that will allow the cameras access, sets up a “surprise” on Lindsay’s roof terrace. It appears to be merely some cheese, drinks, and a few fairy lights. This is less of a surprise and what most of us would consider adequate preparation. I had a hard time focusing on their date, however, because it appears that Lindsay has an entire wall of sunglasses behind her front door. Though you see only a flash of it, it seems she has built-in shelves for eyewear that span from floor to ceiling and just about enough pairs to fill them all. For the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ and his only son, Warby Parker, how do I get one of those for myself, and who is going to install it?
On their date, Lindsay suggests they play a game that is like The Newlywed Game except it is not at all like The Newlywed Game. In that game, both partners in a couple are posed the same question to see if their answers match. In this game, people just … ask questions. It’s like a date, but they ask about sex positions. So it’s exactly like a date or an episode of Love Island pre–Casa Amour. (If you don’t understand that sentence, just start watching Love Island, already.)
Carl starts talking about his commitment issues and says they stem from his father having been unfaithful to his mother, something he learned about only two years ago. Lindsay says it’s only an excuse, and I will never admit in court that I said this, but I agree with Lindsay. You don’t develop commitment issues over the course of a few summers because your parents divorced. There might have been something about the way his father treated his mom during their marriage that formed Carl in that way, but come on. Then Carl says Lindsay insulted him and demands an apology, then she gets up and starts shrieking about how she doesn’t like to be yelled at, and this date is about as successful as Sonja Morgan’s toaster-oven line.
But that is what you get when you decide to date Lindsay Hubbard. (Remember her conflagrations with her ex Everett?) That is also what you get when you decide to date Carl Radke. They are totally going to be one of those couples that derail group holidays and other functions with their fighting but that last for about a million years because the only language either of them understands as love is conflict.
Their dance continues into the Fourth of July weekend. When Carl and Lindsay kiss in the car and Danielle comments on it, Lindsay yells at her. She again yells at her castmates for asking at dinner if they’re getting serious or not, telling them the pressure is upsetting her. But then she and Carl keep affectionately bumbling into each other and spend the night in Carl’s bed. This time, Danielle (is she a housemate or not?) is stuck on the couch, even though one of their beds is not being used. She was also seen surreptitiously making out with her old lover, a half-eaten bag of SkinnyPop, in the pantry.
We’re in for some interesting couple dynamics from several groups in the house. First of all, there are Paige and Jules, the new girl who is being set up for a Single White Female story line even though she is Jordanian, which is the only interesting fact we learn about her. The other pairing this season seems to be Paige and sleeves that aren’t attached to an actual shirt. What is Paige’s problem with sleeves? Why are they always dangling off her arms, bunching around her shoulders, or somehow levitating in this magical way that Jules has yet to figure out how to steal for herself?
Things are also heating up for Hannah and Luke. After their first pool party, Hannah tells Luke he’s wasting his time and has no chance. Luke, slurry and bleary-eyed, tells Hannah he thinks she has more of a chance than she lets on. Okay, yeah. Whatever. The only real questions this scene leaves us with are how the hell did Luke get an enormous gash on his forehead, and why is no one talking about it? Is it like the stain on Paige’s bikini top? No one will bring it up because they’re afraid they’re going to embarrass the bearer?
By the time the Fourth of July rolls around, we find out Hannah’s boyfriend-not-boyfriend, Armand, is coming out, and she is not sure what that means with Luke. She says Armand is the guy she wants to introduce to her parents, but Luke is the guy who makes her vagina tingle. That’s because there’s a bacterial infection in the hot tub, which is usually where they are the closest. That is not the tingling of love. That is the tingling of microbes slowly consuming your lady parts and should really be addressed by a doctor.
Finally, we are left with our once-and-forever pair, Kyle and Amanda. Amid all of their concerns about planning their wedding, not planning their wedding, Amanda making a mess of the guest room, not getting enough done on Loverboy, and no one understanding that chill time after work is essential, they have another huge problem: They’re not banging. Kyle says if they are “intimate” at least that can paper over some of the other issues going on. Or, as he sees it, at least he’s getting something for all the hassle. I would venture to guess that Amanda doesn’t want to do it because her emotional needs aren’t being met, so she doesn’t feel the desire to be at all physical with her mate.
Kyle decides to bring this up to Amanda right before the Independence Day party, and she is having none of it. Despite her asking him several times not to talk about it, Kyle keeps persisting, driving Amanda to cry in their bathroom, an activity both she and Paige usually reserve for when the party is in full swing. She sits there on the toilet, Kyle handsomely seething outside the door, and thinks about how she can get out. She can burst through the door and run. She can calm herself and walk out with dignity, grabbing a set of car keys on her way to freedom. Or she can just sit there and cry herself away, each tear a drop of her body, a collection of molecules, one by one, like she’s melting, evaporating through the bathroom vent, sailing out into the summer sky, and leaving her whole life and a kiddie pool full of Loverboy behind her.