I was ready to settle into the afterglow of the fight that erupted last episode, when Ciara finally went toe-to-toe with Lindsay and threw a glass at Danielle’s chest. I was ready for the two of them to be pulled apart, kicking and punching. I was ready for the producers to intervene and some security guards we didn’t know existed to be forced on camera. I was ready for carnage. I did not get that.
Yes, we saw a brief flash of producers as Ciara is put in a room by herself, and Lindsay orders Danielle outside, where she kicks a trash can like it’s Austen’s stupid face. Otherwise, everyone reacted, dare I say it, really well. Ugh, what happened to the good old days of screaming and riots. We’re supposed to be watching a reality-television program, not Degrassi Junior High: 2025.
The first to behave responsibly is Mya, who, in fairness, we have never seen behave any other way. “This is not the way you handle confrontation,” she tells Ciara before saying Lindsay will not take responsibility for her actions because she doesn’t see any issues. “She will never, ever give you the response that you want, and I’m really, really sorry because I know it would make everything better, but you’re not going to get it,” Mya continues. So young and yet so wise. Is she somehow the Benjamin Button version of Yoda?
Amanda also goes right into mommy mode, trying to de-escalate the tension and cleaning up the wine and glass all over the floor. “No one walk in here barefoot,” you can see her yelling like a Jewish mother talking about her kitchen, where someone once dropped a plate during the Carter administration, but she still doesn’t think it’s safe.
Carl and Kyle are mostly shell-shocked, and Luke and Andrea are outside having an emo bro-down about how hard it is to have every woman with a pair of eyes want to get you naked and walk home in one of your mostly worn-out flannels the next day. Luke and Andrea missed all the action like someone at the bar at the Academy Awards when that happened.
When Ciara finally calms down, she finds most of the crew gathered in a bedroom and goes around the room, systematically apologizing to everyone. “Sorry I ruined your dinner, Andrea.” “Sorry I got wine all over your weird pasta shirt, Carl.” “Sorry I only drank three cans of Loverboy on camera this week, Kyle.” “Sorry I borrowed barrettes from you and never gave them back, Amanda.” It was all very sweet and genuine and not the kind of doubling-down and side-drawing we usually see on Housewives. Honestly, that is why Summer House is the best show on Bravo. Yes, we get drama, but we also get people getting along and having fun together. There are explosions, but they are extinguished before they burn everyone down.
But back to the inferno at hand: The only boy to really do what he should be doing was, shockingly, Craig Conover, an Adderall-riddled pillow salesman. After Lindsay and Danielle confirm each other’s feelings inside, Lindsay returns to the kitchen, and Craig gives her the talking to she needs that no one else will give her. He tells her that making out with Austen at a party with Ciara, who was his girl back in Vermont, was “fucked up.” He says he understands why Ciara is upset.
“Well, violence is never acceptable,” Lindsay says. Oh, no. Don’t draw an Oscars Slap parallel, Dame Moylan. Don’t you dare. You have not gone to the Hot-Take Tree for two whole weeks while the rest of the media brandished its branches and roiled its roots. No one needs this. No one. Instead, I will liken it to the Monique and Candiace fight on The Real Housewives of Potomac. Yes, violence is never acceptable, but when you behave like an asshole all the time, you can’t be too shocked when it comes for you. Right, Candiace?
Craig has the right response when Lindsay uses this line on him. He basically says, Yeah, violence is never acceptable, but making out with her man at a party and then bragging about it is also so fucked up that it is essentially psychic violence. What’s also miraculous is that Craig throws his bestie Austen under the bus as well. When Lindsay says Austen told her he ended things with Ciara, Craig flat out says “Austen’s a liar” and had not told her. Finally, maybe this is getting through to Lindsay that she didn’t quite behave appropriately.
Well, maybe not. The next day, Ciara has lots of ’splainin’ to do. She asks Danielle for a chat, and both of them handle the situation well. God, all these reasonable people. It’s absolutely exhausting. Can’t someone just squirt a Capri Sun in someone else’s face already? Ciara apologizes and tells Danielle her emotions got the best of her, and she realizes Danielle had nothing to do with this fight. Danielle says, regardless of what is going on with Lindsay, she’s trying to form a friendship with Ciara, which will make her take a step backward. But she doesn’t close things off. It ends amicably with both of them better understanding each other.
Ciara’s talk with Lindsay doesn’t go quite as well. They sit by the hot tub together, and Ciara finally has a sober conversation about what was going on with her and Austen, a pan of reheated porridge that tastes like nothing and will also burn your mouth. She says he really hurt her, and she felt as though Lindsay was intentionally making out with him to get back at her for what happened in Vermont.
Lindsay, a brick of plastic explosive being handled by a madman, tells Ciara she wasn’t doing it intentionally and takes responsibility for her part in hurting Ciara. And yet. And yet. And yet Lindsay gotta Lindz, so she says she and Austen have “a thing,” and that’s just the way it is, and she’s sorry Ciara got in the way of that, but it’s not really her problem. Just as Mya said, Lindsay will not give her the response she wants and needs. Even her bestie Danielle says, “Lindsay is not going to do a lot of things right.” Ciara was right about one thing before she started throwing totally innocent flatware: Lindsay just behaves however she wants, and everyone deals with it ’cause “Hey, that’s Lindz!” That is an awful characteristic in a friend, and I would be terrified if that was my reputation. However, that is an excellent quality in a practitioner of the reality-television arts and sciences, so well done, Lindsay. I hope someone slaps you while accepting your Best Actress Broscar. (Those are the Bravo Oscars.)
The rest of the episode is just everyone having a great time playing beach volleyball on what had to be the worst beach day of the year. That’s because there is a hurricane coming, and the waves are higher than when Carl was in his 20s doing coke all the time. (I love when someone on Bravo admits to the amount of cocaine they have consumed.) The game is actually very cute with one team of cast members born in the ’80s (Kyle, Carl, Luke, Lindsay, and Danielle) and the other of cast members born in the ’90s (everyone else including Andrea, who somehow reads older. Maybe it’s the abs).
Because this is Summer House and Amazon boxes must be included in every activity, Team ’80s dresses up like Top Gun, which has the most iconic and homoerotic beach volleyball scene of all time. The Gen-Z kids have no idea. Instead, they dress up like their counterparts on the other team, and it’s sort of genius. Paige is Luke, complete with a flannel, abs, bad tattoos, and a motorcycle. Mya and Amanda are both Kyle in a mullet, a printed shirt, and too much booze. Mya wins the battle of the Kyles with her bedazzled stye on one eye. The real MVP, though, is Andrea, who pours all of himself into a one-piece and goes as Lindsay. I never thought my kind was dudes in women’s swimsuits until this episode. Between him and Carl with a mustache, I might have to divorce my one true love, Kyle J. Cooke, for one of the other boys.
After everyone leaves early to avoid the storm, the episode limps to a close. We see Kyle and Amanda once more talking about their prenup, which is dumb. We see Carl and his mom have a nice chat about his sobriety and whether he should be dating. It’s all nice. It’s all wonderful. It’s all like that Friday night in your mid-30s when you realize you can’t be bothered to change your clothes to go meet your friends at the bar when your sweatpants and reruns of Murder, She Wrote are calling your name from a television. It’s about different choices, it’s about responsibility, it’s about growing up. God, I hope these kids don’t find that Friday anytime soon.
An earlier version of this recap stated that Lindsay had dressed as Luke and that Kyle had visited his mom. Both have been corrected.