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Summer House Recap: Having a Ball

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Photo: Bravo

I have a question for you. It is non-rhetorical and extremely important. What would Jesse Solomon (always both names!) do? He wouldn’t make me cry two weeks in a row, that’s for damn sure, because we get the exciting news at the very top of the episode that he is officially cancer free, and the lumps he found on his ball were just calcium deposits. Thank the Catholic Jesus and St. Artemios, the patron saint of testicles. (It’s a thing.) It’s wild that we went through this whole escapade and Carl didn’t offer to donate a ball to this man even once. Carl has three. What is he doing over here bogarting all the nuts like a fat squirrel in the autumn?

We learn Jesse’s big news at the launch of CEO and Founder (derogatory) Danielle’s launch for her app Donne. It’s not pronounced like “done”. It’s pronounced like “Don,” as in Draper. She described the app both at the party and in confessional, and I have no idea what it’s supposed to do. Then a producer asks, “So it’s like Cher’s closet in Clueless?” and Danielle says yes. Girl, that is your logline; that is your elevator pitch. Use that everywhere. I immediately got it and wanted to download it. I want Cher’s closet, but I don’t want whatever a Donne is. (Sounds like someone who was bad on The Challenge.)

When everyone arrives at the beach for their final weekend, well, that’s when I cried. This season has to end? Why? It’s been so wonderful, so perfect, so fun. Can’t Summer House just stay on all year? Can’t we lock them in the house again like we did during COVID? It’s what we deserve. Sorry, I digress. I meant to say when they all arrive, they go out to dinner, but it’s secretly a surprise Jesse Solomon Is Cancer Free party, complete with a bunch of flesh-colored balloons I hope they got for free from Joe the Balloon Guy. West holds two of the balls up in front of Ciara and says, “Me, but blue.” Funny and also accurate.

Jesse gets up at the dinner, and he says he has a song to sing. The editors gifted us with a little record scratch because not a single person wants to hear this. Of all the ideas I’ve heard this season — and that includes Carl’s sober sports bar — this seemed like it would be the worst. But then Jesse Solomon’s song, called “What Would Jesse Solomon Do?” was actually funny and well constructed. No wonder Kyle had it stuck in his head the whole next day. Just when I think we can’t love these newbies more, they go and do this. The only thing that made me happier was when Kyle crawled into bed with West and Jesse, and they were all in their undies. Kyle said, “Wouldn’t it be awkward if I got hard right now?” Okay, now he is just pandering to me by creating this Men dot com scene. (Straights, do not go to Men dot com, especially in front of your salad.)

The boys talk a little bit about West and Ciara, and simultaneously, Amanda, Paige, and Ciara lie in bed talking about the same thing. West says they had a nice conversation, and he tried to define the situation, but he ended up looking like an idiot. Ciara tells the girls that West is a jokester, and she can’t tell what is serious and what is not because everything is just cool and chill and loose and easy. Everything is a joke. “You’re the biggest joke,” Amanda tells her, and whoo-boy, did that hit close to home. That’s just what Ciara is afraid of, and you could hear every cell in her body dry up right there. Ciara is now a walking piece of sandpaper, and no one wants to rub up on that in the middle of the night.

The final party is a West Wilson joint, and the theme is, fittingly for Lindsay and Carl, the end of the world. They really deck out the house, and everyone kills it on the outfits, especially Ciara, who gives herself a half-burned-off face. I wish that for just one day, I could be so hot that all of my costumes could be just me but an ugly version. If only ugly were a choice for most of us. But it seems like Wiara isn’t going to make it past the summer, especially when West says he would like to integrate Ciara more into his friend circle and she needs to be able to spend a full day watching football with him. (Just when Kyle Cooke was in danger of me imaginarily divorcing him, West said that and saved our great union.) The other red flag is when West introduces Ciara to a group of his friends from home, and they’re just all really hot girls.

While everyone is setting up for the party, Carl and Kyle think it’s the perfect time for a business meeting. Sure. Great. This is going to be productive. Kyle offers Carl a monthly retainer for his services as a marketing person for “non-alc” Loverboy (can we please call it anything else?) and a 10 percent commission on all sales and equity in the new mocktini company. (There. Fixed it.) It seems like a good meeting for the cameras, the start of something that will be fleshed out later when Kyle isn’t worried about his makeup for a party.

Carl goes upstairs to talk to Lindsay about it; rightfully, she has questions. When will it start? How much equity is he getting? Did he clarify that he doesn’t want to be a Loverboy employee? Carl doesn’t really want to answer any of this because he’s big mad for no reason. “Do you want to talk to him?” he asks her facetiously. Carl says that when she asks him this, it feels like she is interrogating him, but she just wants the full picture. She wants the deets and I think she’s right to ask. You need your partner to be your best advisor, and if she doesn’t have all the information, she can’t advise on anything other than his outfits.

That’s not what Carl wants. He writes a script for her: “That’s awesome. I’m here to help in any way I can.” But what if it’s not awesome? What if the terms are terrible? What if the start date conflicts with something else Lindsay has going on? She needs to know before just rubber-stamping whatever just happened. Lindsay sums it up quite neatly when she says, “What am I supposed to be, ‘Yay!’ about? Nothing has been done.” Exactly. Lindz can tell him it’s a good start, it sounds promising, that she hopes it works out, but she isn’t going to celebrate until that first check hits their checking account.

At the party, Lindsay goes inside and talks to Ciara a little bit about it. Lindsay is mad that Carl doesn’t want her to ask questions or try to figure out what he has going on. “If I’m going to be in a position to not ask questions and not have opinions, then that is a Stepford Wife, and you better make a lot of money to support my ass.” Amen to that, sister. Pray to St. Gengulphus, the patron saint of difficult marriages. (It’s a thing.)

Lindsay decides she needs to continue the conversation with Carl at the party, and I would say it went south, but you could not go as south as this conversation without falling off the damn planet and landing on Venus. Lindsay says she asks questions because she wants to help him, but if she does, then she’s interrogating him. Carl then falls back on his old chestnut of needing “softness and tenderness” from her. This is such bullshit. Yes, Lindsay can be a little harsh in her delivery, but I haven’t seen her be anything but soft and tender to Carl this whole season. Remember how she treated Stravvy or whatever the hell that guy’s name is? That was like cuddling a brick. Compared to that, Lindsay is like the red Teletubby on molly and mushrooms. Carl is getting plenty of softness and tenderness.

Carl tells her that she’s being offensive, and then she tells him that being “soft and tender” is offensive to her. Lindsay starts to get heated and then wants to get up and leave before it gets worse, and Carl accuses her of always leaving hard discussions. Well, that’s cause she’s about to get the opposite of soft and tender, and she sure as hell doesn’t want this. Carl then gets upset at her because she’s getting activated. He’s holding his tone over her, believing that because he’s being calm and controlled, she’s the one being unreasonable. “Can you put down your sword?” he asks her.

All season, I have been of the opinion that this all worked out for the best, that no one is to blame, and that they were both at fault. But, dude, Carl is not coming across well here, especially because all season Lindsay has been the nicest and kindest we’ve ever seen. She’s even getting along with Paige, someone she hates more than Clarence Thomas hates paying for his own luxury vacations. Lindsay finally tells Carl that he’s asking her to be something she’s not. She sat there on her chaise and looked up at the house, covered in KEEP OUT decorations with cobwebs and graffiti everywhere. She looked at the carnage of the guests in their dark makeup and jewelry made out of baby doll parts. She looked up, and she saw her very near future of being stuck in a relationship that was straight out of the Thunderdome. That was the moment it ended, though it would limp along for a few more sad weeks; that was the moment when Lindsay looked at the end of the world and realized that her relationship was even worse.

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Brian Moylan , 2024-05-24 04:00:29

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