Luckily this week, we have moved on from Craige (or is it Praig?) and Kymanda (or is it Amyle?), and we get to focus on Lindsrasten (or is it Cistensy? Or Auinsdsra?). The episode’s focus — as it should be for a gnawing maw of emptiness — is on Lindsay’s birthday and Austen comes to visit her and that Ciara is all butt-hurt about it. Not butt-hurt enough to pitch in and prep for the party, but butt-hurt nonetheless. This all leads me to one question: If there is a theme party and there was not one visible Amazon box, did the party even happen?
But before we get to new business, we must close out the old business, which is Kyle’s ridiculous speech at his birthday party about how he doesn’t want people talking shit about his relationship. At the end of the speech, Amanda flees the stage and talks about how inappropriate it was and how no one understands what he is talking about. She is correct, but she still has to stand there and support her man. She has to wait until they are off the stage and go, “Kyle, WTF. Did someone not fully dry your mullet wig today?” That is the job of a partner. You have to publicly support them no matter how ridiculous they are because if you don’t, no one will. And if you don’t, it’s splitsville. Just ask footballer Aaron Rodgers and vagina-sunbathing expert Shailene Woodley.
As Kyle hustles away, Mya proves yet again why she is the greatest. She confronts Kyle and says the girls weren’t telling Amanda to call off the wedding; they were checking in to make sure she was okay. Mya says she has been in their position before and wanted to offer her experience, but it came from a place of love for Kyle. He accepts this and does what he probably should have done all along: talk to the girls, explain that he’s committed to Amanda, and politely let them know to butt out. It ends well for everyone, and this is another victory for Mya. Her reward is a superhot man with killer arms named Oliver. I hope she seals this deal if only so I can see him in his underwear the next morning in the beach house.
Craig doesn’t make it to the party, but he must have made it up the next day because he is tooling around Paige’s house in just his shorts, and they are talking about their relationship, and it is the most Refinery29 article of a conversation I have ever seen in my life. Paige is like, “I don’t want to ask what I am to you because that’s loserish … but what am I to you?”
His answer is something like, “Well, we can’t be exclusive because that won’t last, so let’s just keep doing this, and eventually I’ll be in a place where I won’t want to sleep with anyone else. And by then, we’ll be 82 and our fourth child will have just won a gold medal in artistic swimming.” There seem to be some flaws in the logic here, which is not surprising considering that Craig’s IQ is lower than the difficulty of most mazes on Applebee’s children’s menus. He seems to be saying, I care enough about you not to want to screw this up but not enough that I don’t want to fuck other chicks, but eventually I will, so just wait for me to get all the shagging out and then I’m all yours.
As everyone is driving to the house for Lindsay’s birthday weekend (minus Alex, which feels like a relief), Ciara and Lindsay set the stage for a showdown. Ciara says she’s still not over Austen but thinks it’s weird Lindsay is lording over her that Austen is coming for her birthday. Lindsay thinks that after their trip to Vermont for Winter House, she got mad at Austen for catering to Ciara, a girl he just met, rather than Lindsay, a girl he’s been hooking up with for four years off and on. Well, she didn’t say that last part, but she implied it.
The first big drama is about where Austen will sleep, which seems strange considering Alex isn’t there this weekend, so can’t he sleep there? Lindsay assumes Austen is sleeping with her because not only does she want him there for her celebration, it also seems as though she’s trying to steal Ciara’s trip to pound town. I think that there are definitely some premeditated acts of revenge going on in Hub’s House. Ciara tells Austen he can’t stay in Lindsay’s bed, so instead he stays in Andrea’s even though, hello, who is in Alex’s? Paige’s Princess Di Beanie Baby collection?
Austen and Lindsay go out to catch up while everyone else is at dinner, and Austen tells Lindsay about Ciara’s dictum. Lindsay says she isn’t going to walk on eggshells around Ciara. She says this because Lindsay is the original birthday brat, and this is not just her weekend, her week, her month, her summer, her year, it is her life, and Lindsay has never done anything she doesn’t want to do. Austen says Ciara can’t tell him what to do, but he just decided not to sleep in Lindsay’s bed because of her, so maybe she can tell him what to do.
That night at the bar, Austen is flirting, squeezing, and groping on Ciara. That night in his bed, he makes an indecent proposal to her (which I couldn’t decipher despite multiple rewinds) and tells her to “take it off.” “Are you serious?” she asks him. “On camera?” Thank you for having limits, Ciara, and thank you for not giving Austen what he wants.
The next day is Lindsay’s party, and she is up early preparing for it. The theme is a twisted fairy tale, and usually the Summer House crew is really good with a theme. This one is all over the shop, as the English would say. Lindsay has a tequila truck, a cake table, a “nightclub,” a balloon arch, and a make-your-own-sandwich bar so that all day everyone can bellow, “How many sandwiches have you made for me?” None of this makes any sense or is fit for the theme.
Maybe the theme will be in the costumes. Carl dresses like Prince Charming and his girlfriend, MacKenzie, an Instagram filter that tells you which Euphoria teen you are, is Cinderella. Danielle is Alice in Wonderland and Luke is the Johnny Depp Mad Hatter complete with white face makeup and a fully buttoned blazer even though it is 90 American degrees outside. Lindsay, however, is not sticking to the theme; she is sticking butterflies on her nipples and calling it an outfit. She has on a pink toile skirt that can best be described as a backward mullet: party in the front, business in the back, and scary all over. She doesn’t look so much like a fairy tale as she does someone at Burning Man who ran out of molly on day two.
Lindsay is spending most of her time with Austen, who is dressed in a full-on International Male catalogue ensemble. They’re over on the side of the house, and Lindsay scoots up to him, and they just start full-on making out in view of everyone in the house. But no one seems to be clocking them because they’re too busy being worried. They’re worried about Kyle, who is going to pass out in his inflatable unicorn suit. They’re worried about Carl, who is dating someone who is clearly trying to get on another reality show because her lip-filler budget is sky high. They’re worried about Luke because Johnny Depp got canceled and no one told him. They’re worried about Mya, who seems like she might be able to get some with Oliver finally, but she has about as much game as the NFL on Tuesdays. They’re worried about Paige and Craig, though no one should worry about these two, who will be fine, just fine, as long as influencing and pillow stores aren’t victims of the next vibe shift. What they should be worried about is Lindsay, who is always playing the long game, coming and playing the evil fairy when no one is looking.