There are two giant mysteries in the first predictably wonderful episode of this season of Summer House. The first is, Where the hell are the boxes? Every week, the kids arrive and a fort made of Amazon boxes is outside the front door. What is in them? Who can say? I would guess themed party accoutrements, assorted wigs, bags of Hint of Lime Tostitos (the grossest snack food on the planet), even more Loverboy, Kyle’s fiber pills to keep him regular, the mess that will slowly consume Ciara’s bed, and maybe a half-eaten sandwich for Lindsay. Regardless, this time, there are no boxes. Not a one. Did they all just bring everything in their cars? Did production ban the boxes because I complain about them every season? If that is the case, I am going to start complaining about Kyle’s boxer briefs because I want those to disappear as well.
The other big mystery is really two-pronged: How many bedrooms are in this enormous house, and just how many people are in this damn cast? We have our returning champions Kyle, Amanda, Carl, Lindsay, Paige, and Ciara. Danielle is back, too, but she gets a room this year, so does that mean she’s officially full time? Has her demotion been permanently reversed? Also it looks like Luke is in the cast but wasn’t there for the first weekend. Or maybe he just got lost in a knit beanie on the way to the airport. And is this Andrea character from Winter House here for good? I guess his visa says he can’t leave the country, so he’s here to take some American reality hopeful’s jobs. (See, should have built that wall.) There are newbies Mya and Alex, whom we don’t see much of, but are they there all summer? What about Austen and Craig from Southern Charm? We’ve seen a lot of them in the trailer, but are they just coming to visit or are they cast? We need an opening! We need taglines! We need distinctions!
What’s wild about how the relationship between reality TV and the gossip press and social media works is all the tension from the romantic relationships has been sucked out of the show. Those who follow the gossip rags even tangentially know Kyle and Amanda do in fact get married (much to my everlasting chagrin), Paige chooses Craig over Andrea, and Carl and Lindsay — an unfillable sinkhole of need — are officially an item. So as Mya goes around the table at the group’s first dinner asking who is single and who is not, we have already seen into the future and know that even those who claim to be single won’t be soon. It’s like I replaced one of my eyes with a Magic 8 Ball, and now every time I look at my Pop Corners, all I see is “Ask Again Later.”
Just a quick update on everyone, though, starting with Kyle J. Cooke, a man I love so much I literally have a photo of him on my nightstand. He and Amanda are three months from getting married. Okay. Great. Carl is six months sober, working out, meditating every morning, and looking like one of the three boxes of SnackWell’s the girls on Yellowjackets pulled out of the wreckage. Paige and Andrea dated after Winter House, but he wanted to be her boyfriend and she was like, Naw, son! After he dicked her around in Vermont, he got what he deserved. Danielle feels like she met the love of her life, which is sweet. Ciara is single but still talking to Austin, which is dumber than not being able to dial 911 because your phone doesn’t have an 11. And Lindsay, of course, has stayed activated.
Naturally, of the two big dramas that happen this episode, one of them is courtesy of Mx. Hub’s in the House herself. As Mya is asking everyone around the table if they’re single, people start getting curious about whether Lindsay is still dating Jason, the superhot and shockingly sweet model she met in Vermont. I mean, could a normal person be in love with Lindsay? God, I really hope. Lindsay reacts by asking why she is “in the hot seat” when everyone else around the table is also talking about their relationship status. This seemed like, once again, someone tapping Lindsay on the shoulder and her responding by launching a nuclear weapon to explode directly on their taint.
Danielle gives us a cryptic confessional saying if we knew what was going on with Lindsay, we wouldn’t be surprised she reacted that way. What is this show now? Lost? Just spill! The next morning, when Carl goes to apologize for casually asking about her relationship status, she unloads it all on us. Six months earlier, she found out she was pregnant with Jason’s baby. But the next day, she had a miscarriage, and the day after that, she was in the emergency room with complications. I have nothing funny or snarky to say about this. It seems like an awful thing to have to go through particularly because, as she points out, she hadn’t even grappled with the surprise pregnancy before losing it and being in medical danger. Yes, Lindsay is nuts, and I couldn’t imagine ever being in a relationship with her, but we all still love her and want the best for her, right? Maybe Carl, who in the moment is supportive and hotter than a metal water bottle left out on the beach, is just the man she needs. (Good because —spoiler alert — he’s the man she gets!)
The other drama is thanks to Amanda and my lover Kyle, and, ugh, we have seen this pattern before. It was on break last summer, but that was because the kids were penned in the house fighting about someone talking about Hannah’s father. (Honestly, the less said about She Who Will Not Be Named the better.) This season was filmed during the prematurely waxed-and-vaxxed summer, though, so the clurb is open once again. After a night out at Southampton Social (which now has a neon sign reading “Summer = Fun” probably thanks to Kyle himself), the crew comes home at 2 a.m. Kyle decides to stay by himself. When he’s not home at a time suitable for Amanda, she calls his phone about 30 times, has a crying freakout, throws all his toiletries on the bathroom floor, and moves his luggage outside of the house.
As she’s bawling in bed, Ciara and Paige join her to talk about the situation, and Amanda reveals that if Kyle can’t get his drinking under control and she has to call off the wedding, he has to pay her parents back for the wedding planning. Okay, this is all nuts. No, I’m not saying Amanda is crazy, but that the situation is. As Paige said, if you have to have a contract about whether or not you make it to the altar, you shouldn’t be going for dress fittings. The only funny part about the whole scene is all three women fall asleep in Kyle and Amanda’s bed. Kyle comes home at 4 a.m., is defeated by an especially crumbly oatmeal-raisin cookie, and is shocked to see three forms in his bed. As he goes to the bathroom, all three disappear, including Amanda, to the guest bedroom / Luke’s future fart chamber, leaving Kyle to wonder if what he just saw was a mirage.
I can’t believe Amanda slinked off into the night because if I was that mad at my partner, I would stay up to duke it out until all hours while he continues to ignore me, tells me he’s tired, and tries to go to sleep. Oh, if I am angry, there will be no sleep tonight — not for me, him, or any of the people in the lovely London borough of Tower Hamlets.
In the morning, they duke it out, and each party blames the other. Who is right and who is wrong? Clearly they’re both wrong! I want to see Kyle’s point, but if his drinking is an issue with him and Amanda, which it clearly is, and they talked about it in therapy, then he needs to abide by the promises he made to her whether that’s coming home early, not going out as much, or maybe not drinking his body weight in Goldschläger every time he sees a bar. He should still be able to have fun, but he needs to do it in a way that makes them both comfortable.
However, Amanda clearly overreacted. If they agreed he could stay out, she needs to be secure enough in their relationship to know Kyle isn’t going to cheat on her with the disembodied ghost of one of those Wirkus twins, who you know still haunts Montauk waiting for the day she, too, will get to be a beautiful influencer like Paige. What I’m saying is they both need to turn it down several notches — but, you know, not before the end of the season. Even if we know how it ends, we have a reality-television show to watch here, and I don’t need them getting as reasonable as Carl and ruining the whole thing.