Ah, summer. A time for White Claws, lobster rolls, body anxiety, regrettable hookups, and awful parties where you sweat through your seersucker and hope that no one notices. Luckily for us we get to live all of the vicarious thrills and defeats through our coterie of young people (and Kyle) with vague jobs and hardly any responsibilities as they sully a house in Montauk for yet another summer. I couldn’t be more excited.
As they arrive at the titular summer house they see that it’s had a bit of a face lift. The kitchen has a shiny new backsplash and a lovely new island. More importantly, the bedrooms all have totally new duvets because Carl sullied all of the old ones with various blondes over the past four years. Also, according to what Paige and Carl told fans at BravoCon, the pantry where they made out last summer has now been outfitted with cameras so that there is literally no place in the house for surreptitious hookups.
Not like they’re going to catch engaged couple Kyle and Amanda doing anything. Though he says he has all the “vitamin D” she needs, Amanda would much rather lie in the sun than get it from Kyle. It seems that living together has put something of a strain on their relationship. As Amanda says, it’s like living with her dad, and no one wants to sleep with the dude who is making her do her chores. If sleeping with Kyle is one of her chores, I volunteer to do it for her. Just TaskRabbit me that shit.
It also seems like their wedding planning isn’t going that well. At the group’s first dinner, Amanda tells everyone they had a venue picked out but it fell through so now they’re at square one. As Kyle is talking about the wedding planning , Paige and Hannah start their comedy duo routine in the corner, upsetting Kyle, who starts yelling at them. To us viewers it seems innocuous, but maybe it’s much louder to Kyle, their snickers echoing off the satellite dishes that Paige is wearing as sleeves.
This is the first nonsense fight of the summer, because it seems like Kyle is irrationally mad about something that most would consider a small slight. Also, the slightly slurring Kyle does himself no favors. As Hannah, Paige, and Amanda are decompressing in the kitchen, he comes in with his mansplaining wand and tries to cast a spell on all of them so that they’ll think that he’s brilliant and correct. Always beware of Greeks bearing gifts and men saying, “Can I just say one thing?”
Kyle then heads upstairs with Carl, who tells him he’s coming on too strong. Carl then points out two things that are remarkable. The first is that Kyle is a 38-year-old man who should not be having ludicrous fights with young women (or anyone) at his age. The second is that the girls are all in their late 20s, which just means that they see the world differently. (It also means that they know what a VSCO Girl is, which Kyle thinks is a girl who works at a disco, because old people also can’t hear.)
This is what creates the most interesting dynamic in the house, that Kyle and Amanda are a couple and her allegiance should be to him, but she has more in common with Paige and Hannah, so her allegiance is often to them. That also means that Paige and Hannah are always #TeamAmanda, so they’re just waiting for Kyle to fuck up and derail their relationship again which, come on, is about as inevitable as Lindsay Lohan getting more lip fillers.
(On a side note, I love Paige and Hannah so much. I love that they still share a bed, I love that they have different but contrasting styles, I love that they can make each other laugh over anything. I just want to be around them all the time, and when we can’t be around each other, I want to be in a group chat where we just share cat memes and in-jokes. These two are just like a Lisa Frank folder I want to enclose myself in forever.)
The Amanda/Paige/Hannah dynamic also comes into play with the big drama in the house so far: that Carl finger-banged Lindsay when they were on a trip together in the Hamptons the week before. Kyle gets the news from Carl, then tells Amanda because that gossip is too good to hold on to. Amanda then tells Paige and Hannah, not caring if Kyle gets in trouble because, honestly, that gossip is too good to hold on to. When they ask what is going on with those two, Amanda just croaks out “finger bang” and everyone falls into a fit of giggles and rage, which, how else do you react to that?
Amanda sharing the news of a finger-bang like this is 10th grade all over again wouldn’t be a problem in a circle of mature friends. Mature people would do the rational, grown-up thing, which is talk about it behind Carl and Lindsay’s backs while pretending to their faces like nothing is going on. Hannah, being overtaken by a mischievous demon spirit, goes and tells Carl right to his face that she knows, which just points a finger back at Kyle.
When the boys go to the store and the girls go ahead to the beach (isn’t it nice that they’re getting out of the house for a change?), Carl is explaining the situation to new guy Luke, who is a model/hockey coach. Luke just sort of grimaces and smolders in a dumb way that is uninteresting for reality television but is very interesting for what is happening in my underwear. Luke, of course, knows that Kyle broke some sort of bro code but doesn’t care because he is staring off into the middle distance wondering how, exactly, he ended up here in the first place.
When they join the girls at the beach, Carl has to pull Lindsay aside and let her know that everyone knows about the finger-bang. While there has been lots of talk about the finger-bang, I think that there has not been enough discussion of it, honestly. Carl told Kyle that he just slid a digit in there while they were in bed together, but they weren’t even making out, and I haven’t had more questions since Katie Maloney fell through a skylight playing Monopoly during a photo shoot. First of all, if they were sharing a bed together, what did they think was going to happen? Secondly, how do you just slide it in there? Was this a dry entry? Did anyone find that pleasurable? And if it wasn’t in the context of making out, how did Carl even have access to that particular area? Also, if there was no talking about it or making out, did Carl even have consent? So, he slips her a finger and then what? Nothing? She just rolls over and falls asleep? No one says anything and he just slinks away to his side of the bed and they act for a week like nothing happened? What sort of alien romance novel are these two living in?
Lindsay doesn’t care that everyone knows, however, and this may actually be a good thing because it gets them to talk about their friendship and the “boundaries that were crossed.” That night the whole group goes out to dinner and just as Paige and Hannah are asking more about new girl Jules, Carl and Lindsay get up from the table for a chat. Oh poor Jules! She shows promise (though her taste in eyewear is questionable), but so far the only thing anyone seems interested in her doing is falling out of her chair, a stunt she might have pulled just to derail the fight between Kyle, Paige, and Hannah. It looks like we’ll never get to know poor Jules.
Carl and Lindsay are off having their chat and he admits that he has feelings for her and she says she has something to say to him, and it’s looking very romantic, like they’re about to make out, and then it cuts away. There is no suspense in this at all. I knew this was coming because I was in Sag Harbor last Fourth of July weekend (which is the weekend after this premiere episode was filmed) and saw Carl and Lindsay making out at a restaurant with no cameras around. It looked like she had been crying, so I can’t wait for the next episode.
But for the general public, them making out and hooking up was the centerpiece of the trailer that, you know, was aired at the very beginning of the episode. Why be all like, “Will they or won’t they” when they spoilered all over us like we were the one woman in a bukkake video? Well, that is one load to the face I am willing to take, because summer just started in the middle of February and I couldn’t be happier. Someone pass me a White Claw and tell me I don’t look fat in my Speedo.