I often think about Rashomon, Akira Kurosawa’s film where you get the retelling of the same events from vastly different perspectives. This episode of Summer House was a bit similar, but no matter who is telling the story, they’re right. Carl’s right, Kyle’s right, Paige is right, and Sam is right. Everyone is right. Well … except Danielle.
This makes me sad because I have always loved Danielle. She seemed almost too good for reality TV and immune to the Faustian bargain one makes to be successful at it. She was reasonable, low-key, fun, driven, and cool. Well, after she went ham like Sherri Shepherd on 30 Rock, that is all washed away.
It starts when Kyle gathers the crew to tell them that Carl is asking Lindsay to marry him. Sam notices that, hmmm, she was wearing an epic dress to look for firewood on the beach. Paige really wins on the speculation about what Lindsay knew. In her confessional, she says, “She wore shoulder pads to the beach. She knew she was getting proposed to. Nobody wears shoulder pads to the ocean.” Yes, a little bitchy, but she saves it by saying she is proud of Lindz. “If you know it’s happening, pick out your best outfit, curl your hair, get your nails done. Be prepared, girl.”
But no one was prepared for Danielle’s freak-out when she heard the news. She sarcastically says it’s cool that Carl told her what was happening. She’s pissed that she was going to go to an engagement party in dungarees — which isn’t British for jeans, but British for overalls. Danielle starts raging, saying they’re assholes for not including her, that she probably won’t be invited to the wedding, and then she says she’s “cut out of the engagement.” Last I heard, an engagement is for two people. Kyle tries to talk her off the ledge, but she jumps straight down and splats on the sidewalk, her last words being, “There is nothing left. There is nothing left. This is the final straw.” What, it’s the final straw for her not to be a part of an engagement she didn’t think should happen?
As Danielle is doing her best impression of a Tasmanian devil with extensions, we hear several reactions from around the house. Ciara says if she and Paige were in the biggest fight of their life and Craig didn’t tell her he was going to propose, she would be pissed. As I said above, she is right. I don’t think it’s unheard of for a girl’s BFF to get a heads-up. My girl Anna made sure that her bestie approved the ring before her now-husband plopped down a credit card. I get it. I do.
Paige says to Chris, “Carl’s known you for two months and he told you, but he didn’t tell Danielle?” Like Ciara, she says you still have to tell her even if they’re fighting. Of course, the Bed Sore Sisters (which I say as a term of endearment) are on Danielle’s side because they’re so anti-Lindsay that I don’t think they can see straight. But Paige, like Ciara, is right.
Then Sam says Danielle’s reaction blows her away and she doesn’t feel like she can be happy for the couple because her reaction is so outsize. While she has the opposite view of the BSS, she is still right. How can these contradictions be true? First of all, Danielle’s reaction is more over-the-top than mine after I get off. (This is a gay-sex joke and not a very good one. I apologize.) She shouldn’t be doing this. She shouldn’t be making something that is about another couple about her. Even worse is that she’s hindering people from being truly happy for Lindsay and Carl, something that may even extend to the audience. I’m Team Larl all the way!
But, yes, Carl should have told her. I think she should have gotten a heads-up considering she was so close to Lindsay and Carl. If Carl already shared it with Kyle, why not also clue Danielle in? But Carl is also right. Later in the episode, he says it was hard to share anything with Danielle because she was critical of their relationship. Danielle had valid questions and concerns with how quickly they were moving, but let’s flash back to the conversation that Danielle and Carl had a few episodes back. When Carl says he’s ring shopping, Danielle doesn’t show concern or ask if he knows he’s sure. Instead, she screams into a pillow like he is an absolute crazy person and she is the only sane one for thinking they’re moving too fast. Why would you tell this woman that you would propose so that she can shit all over it?
Danielle is selling this as “I’m the only one who wasn’t overjoyed about the two of them getting together.” Well, Kyle wasn’t either, but he eventually came around. Or he at least decided to acknowledge that whatever Carl and Lindsay think is best for them is what Carl and Lindsay think is best for them. He has the perfect reaction at the party after the engagement party. (This is not an engagement party. You know Lindsay will have a separate one of those, a bachelorette party, a hen do, a shower for friends, a shower for family, a pre-wedding brunch, a rehearsal dinner, 17 ceremonies for various groups of friends around the country, and a vow renewal three months later.) Kyle says, “It’s just phenomenal to see how happy you guys are … I know we’ve been through a lot this summer, but I don’t want you to think this clouds my excitement or happiness because I know you well enough to know you think this is the real deal.”
I know I think everything that Kyle does is perfect, but this really is perfect. Also excellent: Amanda, who has had her issues with Lindsay and questions about the relationship, is mysteriously absent this weekend to “stay” “home” “with” “the” “dogs.” You can say a lot about Amanda, but she ain’t stupid.
As bad as all of this is, where Danielle lost me was at the party at Beachers or Sliders or Duners or whatever the fuck that beach bar is called. Since she and Lindsay are close off-camera as well as on, she knows all of Lindsay’s friends and family that Carl gathered to surprise his bride-to-be. Danielle goes around the party asking everyone when they knew and telling them she was mad that she didn’t know until now. When Lindsay’s bestie Dania says she found out three days ago, Danielle gets into a huff until Dania points out that she had to make arrangements to be at this party. Yeah, this shit was on a need-to-know basis, and getting from D.C. to the Hamptons in three days is like a “train to a taxi to a Jitney to another taxi” kind of situation. Then Dania, perhaps the rightest of everyone in the whole episode, says, “This is the best day of Lindsay’s life. You have to snap out of it.” Cue Cher shouting at Nicolas Cage, “Schnap out of it!”
Even Mya, who has never been in the Hub House, says that Danielle is being unfair to the happy couple. I think that Danielle’s behavior at the party is really what ended her and Lindsay’s friendship. As she says at the beginning of the next weekend, she then heard from her other friends and family who attended the party what a jerk Danielle was being. Here is Lindsay, floating as high as her shoulder pads will allow, and Danielle is going around the party talking shit like she’s the heiress to a porta-potty fortune.
I’m sorry, that is just wrong. I don’t think that Danielle is wrong to be upset. They are her feelings and she should feel her feelings. What is wrong is how public she’s making them, especially at the party. She should have gone to her room for a cry — possibly to Nathan, the hot producer doing his job to create drama by telling her she doesn’t have to go to the party — and then just been nothing but smiles while she looked at the ring and everyone toasted and Lindsay got to have her happily ever after. Then, when it’s all calmed down, she should have sat Carl down and said, “Hey, man, I was hurt,” and heard his explanation.
Instead, the whole thing spirals out of control. After a few interludes about Sam and Kory getting closer (love), Amanda finding out she has low estrogen (hate), and Gabby going on a blind date with some weird fruit obsessive (indifferent), we’re all back in the house for Labor Day weekend. Neither Carl nor Lindsay even wants to talk to Danielle because they’re pissed at how she reacted at the party. Oh, wait until you see the episode, guys!
Carl, who is mostly blameless in this scenario, says that he loves Danielle and that she has seen him at his worst and always been there for him. He wants to make it better, but her reaction also hurts him and Lindsay, so maybe everyone just needs some time. He and Kyle have a chat about it, and Kyle says this is possibly a breaking point for their friendship. Yet again, someone who is right, but can my Kyle McGill Cooke really do any wrong? Yes, and we have seen it for many years.
The only one who wants to dip their toes in this acid pit of toxicity is Robert, Danielle’s then-boyfriend. He sits Carl down for a man-chat (can such a thing even happen when Luke isn’t in the house?) and says Danielle is hurt she wasn’t included and he’s hurt by it too. Carl says he didn’t tell “any of the girls in the house,” and Robert says that Danielle is not just one of the girls in the house. He’s right. She is the closest both of them have. He is also right when he says that Danielle “took a glass to the chest” defending Lindsay last season. Danielle has always been there. She does deserve some consideration in Lindsay’s romantic happiness since she got her through so much of her romantic tumult.
But Carl is also right that Danielle has been vocal about their relationship, and she made it hard for him to be candid with her. He’s right, Robert’s right, Kyle and Sam and Paige and Ciara are all right. Danielle, we established, is wrong. But the one person we haven’t talked about, the one person who we don’t even get to mention is Lindsay, blissed out with a heavy rock on her finger and a man by her side. This was her engagement. (I won’t say this is her big day because if you think this is big, just wait until the fuss at her wedding.) I give Lindsay a lot of shit, but she deserves this happiness. She deserves to have everything she ever wanted, to set that fake-ass firewood ablaze if she really wants to. What she deserves is for all of this to be about her, including this recap, but it’s not; it’s about Danielle. And that just ain’t right.