Makeups and Breakups
If there were an MVP award for this season, it would definitely have to go to the cleaning crew who steamed Ciara’s never-vacuumed bedroom carpet and had to clean out a toilet bowl full of unflushed turds. No, just kidding. The actual MVP would be Danielle.
That is not a joke, either. She earned the title that drunken night when Lindsay freaked out on Stephen and he threatened to leave. Danielle took his suitcase and put it in her room to keep him in the house. But she really earned it the next morning. Before Lindsay had to talk to Stephen about their problems and why he’s always leaving her, Lindsay asked her, “Am I the problem in this relationship?” Without even thinking, Danielle said, “Yes,” and unblinkingly stared down the bottomless chasm of Lindsay’s need and told her what everyone else was afraid to.
There are a lot of great people in this house, people who bring their hot bodies, people who bring the drama, people who bring a limitless supply of sparkling hard iced-tea flavored beverages even though there is a shortage of them worldwide. Danielle might not be any of those people (though she is gorgeous and can serve body), but Danielle brings us the truth. Danielle brings us back to reality, and without her, this whole enterprise would be vibrating on a frequency too high for any of us to tolerate, like when a dog can’t stand the whir of the refrigerator. She also sucked up the spilled espresso martini off the beer-pong court, so, there’s that.
Danielle’s main job, of course, is deactivating Lindsay, and this episode she was as activated as a new credit card when there’s a sale at Nordstrom Rack. After a day at the beach (featured last episode), everyone is drinking and suffering from a severe affliction of Elephantiasis of the Jenga. Lindsay gets PR-girl wasted (which is like white-girl wasted, but meaner) and decides to go downstairs and barrage Stephen with texts about how he needs to come down and hang out with her. Then, when he doesn’t respond, she texts about him ignoring her. The dude is busy bonding with the bros. He’s not even looking at his phone! Eventually, her neglect means she needs to go upstairs and tell him, “If you don’t care about your fucking girl, you can leave right now.”
Stephen takes the bait but stops short of actually leaving the house. (I know. I know. The season is over. I can’t possibly make any more short jokes.) In the morning, Lindsay says that she has abandonment issues and that he can’t keep threatening to leave her, because that is the worst thing he could possibly do. Stephen agrees, but he doesn’t say that if she wants that then she needs to stop drunkenly freaking out on him and screaming about problems of her own creation. We must never forget that Lindsay was abandoned by her mother, so what she does in every relationship is impress her needs upon her partner to such an extent that she drives them away. She’s waiting for the person who will say, “No matter what you do, I’m not leaving like your mother did.”
Stephen, meanwhile, is someone who runs whenever there is trouble or confrontation. We don’t know enough about him, his upbringing, or his psychology to know anything more than that he loves Say Anything and finger-blasting. But that their two sets of neuroses are contradictory rather than complementary does not bode well for the both of them and, honestly, they should break up. Well, lucky for us, they have, so we will never have to navigate these treacherous waters of Stephen and Lindsay again. However, summer will come again, and Lindsay will have a new mate and she’ll be up to her same shenanigans, I’m sure. I will once again crack them open like a Freudian case study, because Lindsay’s pathology is fascinating and I would like to continue slurping it up like it’s a 99-cent ramen packet that never ends.
Now, on to more stable relationships, like Paige and Perry’s. Oh, just kidding. They broke up too. The whole Paige and Perry rupture was a little bit like a shart: out of nowhere, seemingly messy, but dispatched with a surprising swiftness. As quick as a drag queen can peel off a pair of fake lashes, Paige decides she doesn’t want to be in a relationship anymore and breaks up with him, though she didn’t announce it to the world until that fall. According to the internet, they’re still broken up, but the internet also says that the world is flat and Joe Rogan is awesome, so I wouldn’t go believing the internet anytime soon.
It is a little bit shocking that there are only two relationships in the house that are stable: Kyle and Amanda and Luke’s Beavis-like devotion to fire. (Fire! Hehe fire!) While the second of those relationships was celebrated every week, the practice wedding between Kyle and Amanda is something new. I must say, the thing I love most about this crew is their unceasing dedication to a theme — they literally spent the entire day setting up an altar and a reception for a pretend wedding for only ten people. This thing was professional. I wish they had gotten a justice of the peace out there and actually gotten married on TV and then just had a wedding-themed party the next year. I mean, they’re planning to do it in Jersey City; it might as well not even happen.
This celebration might not have even happened without Stephen. How would they have gotten so many tiny LED candles to light the front steps if it weren’t for him and his display of devotion for Lindsay? At least these Amazon addicts upcycled something this season.
Seriously, though, the ceremony was really sweet and brought a little tear to my eye, if only because we saw how much Kyle and Amanda love each other and how much Kyle and Carl love each other. It just buoys my wizened gay heart that there is so much genuine love in this little Biosphere 2 for drunks. When Kyle asks Carl to be his co-best man, that also made me tear up, less so than when Amanda and Paige openly bawl about how much they love each other when she asks Paige to be a bridesmaid. Is that the patriarchy speaking or is it my horniness for Kyle and Carl to make out? (When Kyle had to kiss a member of the same sex during Sexy Jenga and didn’t make out with Carl, I was so devastated that I needed to take an extra Lexapro.)
The only person not sharing in all the love is Hannah, who sits around all day looking like a stale gummy bear that got run over by a bike tire. First of all, she does nothing to get ready for the fake wedding (which, fine, but also Robert, who is not even in the house, did like 18 chores). Then she calls Des and complains about how everyone was mean to her and against her when she was the one who instigated all the fights. Finally, she tries to not be mad when Amanda asks Paige to be a bridesmaid but not her.
Here’s the thing that Hannah doesn’t seem to understand: Either she can suck it up about Kyle and continue to be friends with Amanda, or she needs to pull away from both of them. She says in her confessional that she chose to speak up about Kyle this summer and this is what she got. Paige kept quiet about him and this is her reward. She says this like talking shit about one of your best friend’s fiancés is some sort of moral high ground. We all have friends with partners we hate, but we tolerate them because we love our friends more. But not Hannah. No, she thinks that being open and authentic about her hatred makes her a better person and it makes Amanda shitty for then not wanting to associate with her.
When Hannah said that she didn’t want to be invited to the wedding, I knew it was over. Not just her friendship with Amanda, but maybe Summer House as a whole. What was always great about this show, as opposed to Real Housewives, is that these guys actually all seem to like each other and hang out during the off-season. It was like a little view on an actual group of friends. Even though there was drama, they’d get over it and still party together. That seems like it’s come to an end with Hannah going rogue this season. (I loved when she acknowledged that this season she has not been good at controlling her anger.) With the little preview we got of the reunion, it looks just like shouting and recriminations and Hannah spoiling everything, and I don’t want her back in the house if it’s just going to be shouting and stupidity and people who can’t stand each other forced into the same space. I get enough of that on Housewives.
Let’s go back to Danielle for a minute, shall we. She’s the only real person on this show, after all, and she brought along Robert, a home-brew kit that your father got you for Christmas. He is also normal and nice and seems to fit in perfectly. As the rest of the crew rages on, dancing under the lasers in the fog of a smoke machine, they sit on a little tuffet with the fire raging nearby and glower into each other’s eyes. Danielle tells him that she really enjoys his company and wants to keep what they have going. He tells her that he likes it too and wants her to be his girlfriend. The smoke lifts through the humid air and Danielle smiles the kind of smile usually reserved for blowing out birthday candles or finding out that the new Melissa McCarthy movie wasn’t directed by her husband. The two of them kiss as the crickets roar and the fireflies blink and the clouds roll over the moon in a way that makes both of them more beautiful. They don’t want to pull away, they don’t want this kiss to end, they don’t want this party to end, they don’t want this season of bliss and captivity to end. But eventually it must. All kisses eventually part, all fireflies die, all leaves turn ruddy and fall to the ground. Summer, like Stephen, is always a little too short.