I was the “house mother” for a Fire Island house for the better part of a decade and there were only two rules: no high heels in the pool and no kai kai in the house. The first was resolutely ignored (and got us kicked out of at least one house for puncturing the pool liner). The second, however, was always observed. “Kai kai” is when two drag queens hook up with each other, but the spirit of our rule was not to sleep with any of the house members, or even the guests that they might bring for the weekend. It always ends in drama and heartbreak and, frankly, no one’s summer has enough time for all of that discord in the house.
Just look at what happens after the quick breakup of the short-lived institution known as Larl. After their breakup talk, Carl tells everyone downstairs that they’re now just friends. As he lingers to explain it to the boys, Amanda, Hannah, and Jules rush upstairs to console Lindsay. “Bring the rosé,” Amanda says. “It’s an emergency.” It’s already boys versus girls in the world series of love. Lindsay is so busy upstairs processing her emotions that she can’t even make her caprese salad for the group potluck. That’s right, she couldn’t even take a ball of cheese and several tomatoes, slice them up, add some basil leaves, drizzle it with olive oil and salt, and serve it to the group. Lindsay was so broken up it rendered her five-minute prep time totally unattainable.
Carl partners his heartache with copious amounts of Fireball right from the bottle and plenty of wine at dinner, exploding on several people. Luke mentions his date with Hannah and Carl scream-asks if Luke knows she’s already dating someone. Why does Carl think he needs to be the one who polices the key to Hannah’s chastity belt? (Hannah’s chastity belt is actually a pair of crotchless panties with the words “open for business” printed on the front.) Then Carl turns his cruelty on his “best friend” Lindsay, who says, “Don’t activate me, because you have not seen me activated.” Oh, I beg to differ. She is like an Energizer bunny fueled by grievance and anger. Elon Musk has a patent for a battery that stores the power of Lindsay’s rage.
Carl tells Lindsay he doesn’t give a shit about her, so Lindsay goes upstairs and locks herself in the closet to cry. Ironically, Locked in the Closet Crying is also the name of Aaron Shock’s upcoming memoir. Eventually Jules cares enough about Lindsay’s whereabouts to interrupt her in her Cave of Sorrows and tries to get her to go out with the group. Lindsay says she’d rather stay home, and when Jules leaves, Lindsay crawls out of the closet in her fluorescent orange waffle crop top and animal-print fanny pack to collapse in bed. It was the most Lynchian moment I have ever seen on reality TV.
Aside from the residual shouting and quick apologies the next morning when Carl admits that he doesn’t remember what he said to Lindsay, it looks like Larl is over forever. In other house news, Luke and Hannah (Huke?) as a couple is just getting started. I have to admit, Luke’s cheesy flirting with Hannah is so incessant that it’s starting to get grating. If I were her, I would insist that he at least find some other things to say to me rather than just saying he wants me in various different puns. (That said, one sex pun from Luke and I would show him my crotchless panties that have “open for business” printed on the front.)
They go to Slate, a Chelsea bar with a giant slide in the entrance that is full of carnival games for adults. Hannah beats Luke at Ping Pong. Hannah beats Luke at Skee-Ball. Hannah beats Luke at shooting hoops. Hannah beats Luke at everything and that is just one of the million reasons that I love Hannah and would to go see a sing-along version of the Cats movie with her after eating just a little too much of an edible. After the date, Luke goes in to kiss her as she’s propped against a lamppost on the sidewalk, and I got weak in the knees. Nothing is hotter than making out on the sidewalk in Manhattan when the summer heat is closing around you like a wet bathing suit. Then she swerves at the last minute and tells him they can’t kiss quite yet. Hannah, your “open for business” underwear has been revoked!
However, we find out shortly thereafter that Hannah and Armand have broken up and she is unattached for this summer. “I don’t want to be tied down,” she says. “I think making out with male models is more on brand for me.” Her “open for business” underwear are immediately returned. I do need a bit more background on the breakup with Armand, though. She told Luke that with guys she usually gets too in control and then breaks up with them. It seemed like she wasn’t in control with Armand and maybe that’s what she liked. So did she dump him as a way to exercise control, or did it just become apparent that they were after two different things after he mentioned how “casual” they are to Lindsay?
Things with Jules and Jordan really seem to be taking off. Wait. Hold on. Are Jordan and Danielle on this season or what? So far I think Danielle has been out as many weekends as Paige and has been a little bit more central to the plot. Why don’t they have a full share? What is even going on?
I’m as confused about their status as castmates as I am about what happens between Jules and Jordan in bed. When they get back from the club after the Larl breakup, Jordan gets into bed with her and says he just wants to cuddle. She tells him that she’s sexually greedy and just wants to get off. After making out for awhile, he tells her it is too hot in there and gives up. Um, Jordan, you know this house has central AC, just crank that shit and get your clothes off and bone. Unless … there is a problem.
We still don’t know exactly what that problem is or why Jordan can’t perform, but Jules says that she does want to give Jordan a hug and tell him that it’s all going to be okay. She knows something she’s not saying. Jordan’s problems are also on full display the next weekend when the girls stay in for girls’ night and the boys go out for boys’ night. I don’t know which one I would rather go to, because both sitting around in PJs playing truth or dare with the girls and going out to the batting cages to get drunk with the boys seem equally appealing. Then Kyle orders chicken tenders at the batting cages and my mind is made up. Always go where there are fried chicken strips. But then Danielle arrives and the girls tell her that they ordered chicken strips for her. DAMN YOU, CHICKEN TENDERS! How will I make up my mind now?
Amanda gets a truth question during truth or dare asking if everyone were in a burning building who would she not save, and she says Jules because she can’t trust her because she’s getting close with Jordan. Jules counters that Amanda is back with Kyle even though he cheated. Amanda says that is one thing Kyle did, whereas Jordan is lying about his life in general. What does everyone think Jordan is lying about? Is it that he’s more in the closet than Lindsay after a breakup? Is it that he and Aaron Schock are in a long-term relationship? I don’t know.
What I do know is that when they’re at the batting cages and Kyle whiffs on a few balls, Jordan yells, “If you don’t hit any balls you have to run around naked.” He doesn’t shout it just once, but twice, to make sure Kyle heard. First of all, Kyle would totally do it. Second of all, Jordan seems to really want to get Kyle naked, which, I don’t know, doesn’t seem to jibe with the illusion of being a ladies’ man that Jordan has been trying to cast for two consecutive seasons.
There’s plenty of drama at girls’ night — which is abated when Lindsay, of all people, comes to Jules’ defense against Amanda — but there’s even more drama at guys’ night when a drunk Carl and a drunk Luke got into a fight over Sara, the Barry’s Bootcamp instructor. Apparently, Luke asked her to go rock climbing with him and Carl is taking umbrage to this because he says a guy should not go after a girl his friend is interested in. There are some murky things about the timeline, including when Luke knew, precisely, that Carl was into her, when Luke asked her to go rock climbing, and if his intentions in that invitation were platonic or romantic.
What we do know is that Carl starts acting like a dick by making fun of Luke’s clothes and how he asked out Sara. We also know that Luke was being a dick by trying to take on Carl and challenge him about how he’s going to sleep with Sara while they wiped the chalk off their hands at the rock-climbing gym. So, yeah, it’s just a bunch of dicks at the batting cages. Just Jordan and a bunch of dicks … just Jordan and a bunch … just Jordan … Just …