We see and hear many disturbing things in your average episode of Summer House, like Kyle peeing into the woods in the middle of a raging party, Hannah and her sorta-boyfriend Armand getting nasty in the shower, and the horrible act of Jules just trying to fit in. However, I have never seen or heard anything as shocking and disturbing as what Hannah tells us while she and Luke are driving to the liquor store before the party: She let her license expire.
Yes, the DMV sucks. Yes, adulting is hard. Yes, most New Yorkers drive a car about as frequently as they get on the subway and don’t see a rat. But this is no reason to ever let your license expire, and I will tell you why. Renewing your license is easy. In New York, you can do it online and they will mail you a new one. They’ll even let you use the same photo. My husband’s license photo is from the mid-’90s and is now so out of date that it should constitute fraud. Know what is not easy? Getting a new license after it has expired. Then you have to go to the actual DMV, the only earthly experience worse than having genital warts frozen off or getting your MacBook fixed at the Genius Bar. You might even have to take the test again. This, like sunburns and becoming a fan of the Dave Matthews Band, is utterly preventable, and if you allow this to happen, you deserve all the torture that will surely be heaped upon you.
After that public service announcement, I guess we should talk a little bit about this episode, which I found to be extremely fun and gratifying. In fact, it was almost as gratifying as seeing that Paige got the hot dog stain off of the white bikini top that she wore to the last shindig. Because it’s their annual Fourth of July party, we get to see Party Kyle, who is my most favorite Kyle. Yes, his drunken shenanigans will eventually destroy his relationship with Amanda, but what is more endearing than looking across a party to see Kyle in his ridiculous mullet humping the air just to get a reaction out of Lindsay and Carl, who are clearly having a serious conversation? What is more fun than seeing Kyle dancing alone under a sprinkler coming out of the Great Grape Ape? Very little.
The most fun Kyle has at the party, however, is making out with Carl while dousing themselves with Loverboy hard sparkling iced tea beverage. The bromance is strong between these two, and it is almost approaching Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz level of sexual tension. (Sorry guys, no slash fiction at the end of this recap quite yet.) Not only do they make out at the party, when they’re out at the club, Carl is rubbing Kyle’s nipples, showing Kyle that he is not the only one who is the master of the areola. When Carl is complaining that Lindsay hasn’t even touched his nether regions yet, Kyle says, “She doesn’t even know how small your dick is yet.” Which raises the question, how does Kyle know? He did practically volunteer to touch it if Lindsay doesn’t. #NoHomo
There isn’t much penis touching going on at the party, but someone is getting up close and personal with a young lady’s vagina on Paige and Hannah’s bed. The two of them go upstairs (presumably to use their private bathroom, and not the one people had been drunkenly peeing all over most of the afternoon) and hear moaning going on in the room. Paige opens the door and sees a woman’s legs akimbo with a friend right in the middle doing tongue gymnastics. (Sadly it was not a finger bang.) They are suitably grossed out and immediately throw their comforter in the washing machine.
I was just about to say, “Who does that?” but then I remembered that in my 20s when I was a guest of a guest at a housewarming party in D.C., I removed myself from the living room with a nice gentleman and was caught in an act of oral intimacy by the owner of said house giving a tour. So, yeah. I am bitches, I guess.
The party goes off without a hitch, except for Luke dressing up like a pirate. What even prompted this? He says that every year, he spends July Fourth in his hometown in Minnesota, but that is as far away from the sea as just about anywhere I can imagine. A Viking I would understand, but what about this holiday screams yo-ho-ho-and-a-bottle-of-rum to you? Instead he wanders around the party, mostly solitary and sweaty under his pleather outfit, just scaring people away. When he goes to try to intimidate Armand, Hannah’s paramour is not scared of his romantic rival. “I don’t feel threatened by Jack Sparrow,” he says. That is the only thing I have seen of Armand that would recommend him over Luke.
It seems like Hannah feels the same way. At the party, she is hoping that Armand will make them officially boyfriend-girlfriend, which is the only phrase I used regularly in eighth grade that we are still allowed to use in public discourse. Since that doesn’t happen, she’s free to flirt with Luke. They take it back to the city, and Hannah stops by Luke’s workshop to film some content of him making jewelry. Yes, Luke is the sort of straight man who designs jewelry. His work sort of looks like class rings but for ogres. That said, it is still better than the necklaces Sean Burke wears on The Real Housewives of Orange County. After filming, Luke asks her out on a date and she says yes. I haven’t been this excited for a date since I booked my last erotic massage.
They seem to be the only couple hitting it off, however. After the party, Carl decides he wants to go out to the clurb with Kyle, Jules, Hannah, Luke, and the others. Paige and Amanda stay home and watch a movie surrounded by various and assorted snacks, which is the exact way I hope to die when the day finally comes. Lindsay, however, wants to stay home with Carl, but he says it’s Saturday night in the Hamptons and he wants to have fun. She asks him if he’s holding back, as if his wanting to go out is somehow hurting their burgeoning relationship. When she touches him, he says, “Don’t touch me ever,” which leads Lindsay to scream that she needs consistency and Carl to say, “We’re not boyfriend-girlfriend,” because Carl and I went to the same eighth grade.
This is just one of those drunken fights that the couples always have on this show, or at least the kind Lindsay has on this show, where she ends up crying on Danielle’s shoulder in the kitchen, talking about how all of her relationships are a “bait and switch” and how Carl didn’t put her first. Carl’s problem is that he and Lindsay just went on one date and she’s acting like they’re a couple and he wants to take it slow. I think they’re both kinda wrong here. If Carl wants to go out, Lindsay should be secure enough to let him go out. However, Carl also needs to realize that this is not like other girls he’s dated. They were already “best friends,” so now that they’ve added a romantic element to their dynamic, it is naturally going to turbocharge things. If he didn’t want that, he should have kept things platonic.
The next morning, blurry eyed and regretful, they talk and Carl is questioning if they should still pursue something romantic. Lindsay says she’s following his lead. He relents and tells her to kiss him (a move we are reminded he used with That Wirkus Girl back in season two), and all is forgiven. But he says they need to get over this stupid fighting. Hello. If that is what he wants, why is he with Lindsay? He saw how she was in her previous relationship, and she is exactly the same. As I said last week, her love language is conflict, and whomever she is with for the long term has to be a sparring partner as well as a lover. If that is not what Carl wants, he needs to pack his stuff in the Suburban production is paying for and move on now.
That sentiment is echoed by Amanda, who says, “I just don’t want to live with what happened last night all summer.” To which Paige astutely replies, “I think that is a really intense wish that you are not going to get.” None of us will get that. This show will eventually be called Carl Vs. Lindsay: Round 300 Billion.
Things aren’t that great for Amanda either, because her relationship with Kyle is more strained than zero-fat Greek yogurt. We see them at the end of the episode having dinner outside in a suitably stormy New York. Amanda is tired of Kyle making her feel like she’s a loser because she doesn’t wake up early enough, doesn’t work hard enough, and won’t clean up the guest bedroom. Kyle is sick of not getting laid and Amanda seeming to be ambivalent about their relationship. It’s pretty clear that they are over each other at this point and, I don’t know, maybe just end it? If this is what the future looks like, it looks grim. But they stare at each other over the flickering light of the votive candle on the table, the mist from the rainstorm hitting their bare forearms, and they both feel, in that moment, like the storm is never going to end and maybe the only shelter they have is each other.