Photo: Stefano Delia/HBO
It’s a midpoint in the season, which by extension means our guests are halfway through their Sicilian holiday. And for most of them, the journey they find themselves on looks very different from the one they had planned. For some, it even looks different from the journey they were on yesterday. Good holidays have turned bad, and bad ones have turned good. All the while, our characters navigate these unexpected changes in circumstances, and loss of control, with mixed success.
In the case of Cameron and Daphne, they wake up (Cameron alongside Lucia and Mia) after revealing their flawed relationship to their traveling companions, who now all know their secrets. The facade of a perfect, fight-free relationship is gone, but Ethan and Harper promise to honor Bro Code and Girl Code. This vow only lasts until Harper is back from the palazzo and can finally exhale in the safety of her room, where she promptly pours out to Ethan everything she’s been told in secret about infidelity Cameron. But instead of bonding with his wife over this common revelation, Ethan remains mum about what he saw, upholding the Cameron Community Code.
When she gets up to use the bathroom, however, Harper stumbles upon the remnants of last night’s shenanigans when she finds Cameron’s condom wrapper hidden in their couch. Harper naturally assumes it was Ethan’s and begins to spiral inwardly. Moments ago, she was reveling in the fact that Cameron and Daphne were “twisted” and, in comparison, her relationship was fine. But now she quietly puts the wrapping paper in a panic rather than confronting Ethan about it. All week, she’s been determined to prove how good their relationship is based on how bad she was sure Cameron and Daphne’s was, and as soon as that happens, the all disintegrating in one fell swoop.
While Harper’s journey takes a sudden nosedive, things are looking up for the once despondent Tanya. In an example of art imitating life, Jennifer Coolidge’s character finds herself the object of affection of a group of gay men led by Quentin Tom Hollander. Taken by her glamorous, chic style, they invite her to spend the day with them at the beach club, and this new attention proves to be just the serum Tanya needs to get better after being jilted by Greg. She now finds herself on a very different journey than she thought she was going on. Instead of a romantic escape, she is suddenly far from the gay ball. The last situation is where Tanya thrives, and she finally gets her groove back (although I don’t know if she ever really got her groove in the first place).
This is a completely different dynamic to what we are used to seeing with Tanya, who usually collects people like trophies (Belinda, Greg, Portia). But now, she seems to be the one being picked on by this group of gay men, each looking more like Gallagher than the last. But since this The White Lotus and not Under the Tuscan Sun, I’m suspicious of their intentions with Tanya. After all, Quentin is a very clever name. On top of that he tells her a horrible story about a rich matriarch being killed by a group of investors because she wouldn’t sell them her house on a nearby island. “But now the house is open to the public, so it might be worth it,” he said with a laugh.
However, this change in itinerary revitalizes not only Tanya but also the ever boring Portia, who is introduced to Quentin’s nephew Jack (Leo Woodall). Mike White’s answer to Love Island, Jack is exactly the kind of himbo fuckboy Portia was looking for to “throw her around” on this trip. “If you want adventure, stay with me, ’cause I know how to have fun in the sandbox, if you know what I mean,” he said – a line that fellow Love Island a competitor would praise as “a great joke.”
The only problem is, earlier that morning, Portia had apparently come round to Albie, eagerly inviting him to spend the day together and telling Tanya, “I feel like if I win the lottery, we’ll throw the ticket away.” But if Albie is a winning lottery ticket (arguably), he throws it away again a few hours later when he turns up to see her at the beach club and she’s with Jack instead.
Something that’s interesting about this show is that even though the season opener sets us up for a whodunit, I’m never blown away by the mystery while I’m watching. To be honest, I hardly remember the fact that one of these characters could be a murderer – except for now. Seeing Albie seeing Portia with Jack immediately brings that plot point to the forefront of my mind, and I’m ready for it to be a distraction. Albie is a suitcase that contains either a ticking time bomb or a cute Mickey Mouse clock, and it’s impossible to tell which is which.
Meanwhile, Lucia and Mia find themselves on edge after their drug-addled night with Cameron, which seems to have led to angry friday –like role reversal. Lucia suddenly feels down at night while Mia, who was originally hesitant, has a change of heart about the operation. “Having sex isn’t so bad knowing exactly what you’re going to get out of it,” she said, despite Lucia’s new embarrassment. But when it comes to getting something of sex, Mia has a different goal in mind than the money Lucia has been collecting. She decides to sleep with the sly piano player Giuseppe (Federico Scribani), telling Lucia, “He said he would help me with my career. If I want to sing, I have to.”
While Mia tries to have sex with him in a “desecrated” chapel, Lucia abandons her original plan for the week, forgetting rich men like Dominic and Cameron and instead setting her sights on Albie. After being thrown aside by Portia, he is receptive and has a nice afternoon with the sex worker his father hired for the week. “I always wanted to go to Los Angeles. It’s my dream,” he told him, repeating almost verbatim exactly what he had told his father. Albie, of course, is more interested in hearing about her dream than Dominic was.
The first big change to the Di Grassos’ vacation happened before they even left, when Abby and Kara bailed – making it a boys’ trip and making room for Lucia and Mia. But now, Dominic is determined to make things right and shows Abby a present he bought her. Albie shrugs him off as he tries to buy her off but relents when his father suggests that he is the one who could talk to her. “I’m not going to be your advocate in this, Dad. That is so manipulative,” he said before attacking. Once considered the family peacemaker, Albie reaches his breaking point and creates a change in the established family dynamic.
We were told in episode one that the men visit to learn about their Sicilian heritage, but it seems as though the genealogy of this journey only goes back three generations as we continue to compare and contrast the relationships of the men of Di Grasso with women. Or in the case of this episode, one woman in particular: Lucia, whom Bert and Dominic see Albie with across the restaurant during dinner. “Like father, like father, like son,” says Bert.
While her guest’s tours come to fruition, Valentina is in her own world, apparently smitten by one of her employees who brings a warmer and sweeter side to the unsuspecting resort manager. tongue in cheek. This story may come to mind last season, when we saw Valentina’s Hawaiian counterpart, Armond, chasing an employee played by Lukas Gage. It seemed strange at first that both seasons would have such similar plot points, but given that so much of this season is about gender, sexual politics, and power, it feels like this version, which has ‘her exchange between the sexes, almost being a show in conversation with herself, opposite. men and women in the same situation. Valentina buying this woman a pin from a shop she likes feels very different from Armond getting his employee high and eating his ass, for example, although both are nice gestures.
Valentina comes back to the fold at lunchtime after the dining room erupts into chaos when Giuseppe collapses, reacting to the drug Mia mistakenly told him was Viagra. Making lemonade out of a lemon, Mia sees an opportunity as he goes to the ambulance. “If you need a singer for tonight, I can do it. I’m very good,” Mia tells Valentina, who immediately tells her to get lost. Worth a shot!
Fortunately, Lucia has not poisoned her companion, Albie, who rejoins the girls for a drink at the bar. Unfortunately, Portia and Jack are awkward at the other end of the bar too, and even though she claims to feel bad, it doesn’t stop them from attacking Albie. Seeing this play out, and refusing to let them win, Lucia starts making out with Albie in response. “That’s a turn,” said Portia, with almost admiration, before taking Jack to her room. Portia and Albie’s duel of the sexes continues behind closed doors with each of them bonding with their new companion.
After a long day haunted by his discovery, Harper once again asks Ethan what happened last night. He still doesn’t know what she means, instead telling her about Cameron’s investment offer. Not getting the answers she’s looking for, Harper goes to the bathroom, where she removes the condom wrapper and places it on the sink—maybe Ethan found it before his run early morning Is she taking a page out of Daphne’s book and playing games?
While, yes, on one hand this is a silly misunderstanding that should be easily rectified with communication, all that needs to be done is to explain that Cameron’s condom may not be the cure – all it seems. Because then the question becomes why is Ethan keeping Cameron’s secret from Harper? That secret, along with how shaken Harper is by this in the first place, shows the obvious cracks in their relationship, which feels like it’s about to fall apart like a fallen person. teste di moro a vase