A few weeks ago, I was criticized for characterizing an argument between Hannah Berner, Kyle Cooke and Amanda Batula as a “knockdown, drag out fight.” And sure, while a wine glass was thrown, maybe I was being a tad hyperbolic at the time. Or perhaps I was just a few episodes early. Because the end of this week’s Summer House certainly crescendoed into an all-out brawl between the house’s trio of alpha males. A pub crawl hasn’t ended this explosively in the history of Bravo since the Real Housewives of Orange County got kicked out of an Irish department store back in 2016. But let’s rewind and back up a bit.
It all started the night before, when the roommates separated along gender lines for their annual Guys’/Girls’ Night. And yes, I understand the ritual’s become something of a tradition in the Summer House over the last few seasons. But it’s one of the very rare times the show really doesn’t do it for me. It’s a totally subjective personal thing, but I’m just resistant to the whole idea of antiquated gender roles in general. And I hate seeing the guys devolve into drunken neanderthals in the name of toxic masculinity. Shouldn’t the boys be above chugging Guinness and sinking to the crudities of locker room talk by now? Trust me, a little spa night never hurt anyone. So somebody get Carl Radke a unicorn face mask, STAT! And put Kyle in a fluffy robe while you’re at it…
While the guys are busy taking their shirts off and challenging each other to naked push-ups, (I’m sorry, is this something straight guys do that I just don’t know about??), the ladies are engaging in some sleepover-appropriate girl talk. Namely which of the guys they’d repopulate the planet with if the roommates were the last people on Earth. You know, totally normal apocalyptic pandemic chat. To pretty much no one’s surprise, Paige DeSorbo and Ciara Miller both choose Carl. Because, obviously. Hannah admits she’d have angry hate-sex with Kyle, much to Amanda‘s horror. Danielle Olivera can’t choose between Kyle or Carl. To which I say, same, girl. I empathize with the dilemma. And then there’s Lindsay Hubbard, who’s the only one to choose Luke Gulbranson. Hmm…interesting.
Given the scandalous rumor at the end of last week’s episode (you know, that Luke and Lindsay slept together), this admission prompts a series of knowing looks and raised eyebrows. And as Lindsay continued to defend Luke’s honor and, uh, “overlooked attributes” to the rest of the girls, I have to admit it became kind of surreal to watch. I don’t really believe Luke and Lindsay have slept together. I mean, need I remind you that that information was conjured out of thin air by a psychic. And an Instagram psychic at that. So consider the source. But it’s like Lindsay is playing right into the hands of the storyline without even knowing it.
Meanwhile, Kyle and Carl question Luke about the situation he’s gotten himself into with Ciara. Luke claims everything platonic and fine, but Carl rightly points out that the two don’t even seem friendly, much less a potential summer hook-up. Which, let’s be honest, is the whole reason Luke brought Ciara into the house. Instead, she’s not giving him the time of day, and isn’t shy about calling out his complete lack of boundaries with her. Via confessional, Luke blames Ciara’s attitude on Hannah‘s summer-long “gaslighting campaign” against him. Instead of, you know, taking accountability for being the textbook f–kboy that he is.
Taking a break from Guys’/Girls’ Night, Paige and Amanda decide to go straight to the source and ask Luke if he’s ever had sex with Lindsay. Casual, right? And his response is…not the flat-out denial you’d expect. He’s clearly incredulous, but also stammers, stutters and stares at the floor. Instead of dismissing the question out of hand, he grins and wants to know why they’re asking. Paige and Amanda feign innocence and retreat. But now Luke knows something’s being stirred up behind is back about him and Lindsay…
And Lindsay? She’s out by the pool, in her spa night robe, activated over sticking up for Luke. She’s ready to confront the other girls, and that’s when Paige decides to let slip about the DM from the psychic. Now Lindsay’s activated. Predictably, she gets all riled up denying that she’s ever had sex with Luke. She even pulls a big, bad, “Do you honestly know who the f–k I am?” during her diatribe. Which Amanda hilariously shoots down with a “Yes, we know you’re Lindsay Hubbard. Sit down.” Though to Lindsay’s credit, she hits it out of the park with the jab that she slept with Luke just as much as Hannah did. Oof, consider Berner burned.
While Hannah and Paige sit idly by the pool with Ciara watching the pot they stirred boil over, Hurricane Hubbard whips through the house in a rage. The night ends on a sour note for everyone. Except Danielle, who’s in bed FaceTiming her cute chef love interest. And Kyle, who winds up drunk and unconscious on the couch. In Lindsay‘s defense, she feels the need to stand up for herself because the rumor is basically making her out to be a cheater. But mostly I feel validated that this is why we shouldn’t do Guys’/Girls’ Night. (Another side note: bonus points to Amanda for singing “Friday” by Rebecca Black! Don’t think I didn’t catch that as you went to eat your pork fried, girl.)
And the next morning, it’s like…nothing happened. Lindsay‘s still bothering, calling the rumor “the most imaginative story” she’s ever heard, and Luke‘s taking his frustrations by attempting to chop a pile of wood. But mostly, everyone’s busy readying their rooms for the night’s planned inter-house pub crawl. Except Hannah, who’s trying to have FaceTime sex with Des Bishop while Paige is literally taking a nap beside her in their bed. Getting caught up on the drama she missed, Danielle puts the whole ordeal best by asking, “Why are we getting into fights over what a psychic said? That’s f–king insane.”
Whoever came up with the idea for this pub crawl deserves a raise. Because it’s honestly a genius way to turn a Saturday night in quarantine into a full-blown event. Each of the housemates is responsible for decorating their bedroom according to a different theme. Lindsay is a Florida retirement community, Ciara is Atlanta, golden couple Kyle and Amanda are California, Luke is (surprise, surprise) Minnesota, and so forth. Best of all is Carl, who transforms his room into Lancaster, Pennsylvania, complete with an Amish beard, hay bales and water bucket service.
During an intermission from the drinking, Luke pulls Ciara aside for yet another heart-to-heart about the state of their fractured friendship. Under the blue strobe lights of Minnesota, Ciara once again explains to Luke that she’s giving him the cold shoulder so as not to send any mixed signals. She knows if she gives him an inch, he’ll take a Minnesota mile. Ciara also expresses that she doesn’t feel comfortable with Luke constantly texting her late at night. Which is one of his textbook moves. But he insists he’s just trying to be friends, and not getting any friendship reciprocated. When he won’t respect her boundaries, Ciara suggests maybe they just shouldn’t even be friends.
As the pub crawl continues, sparks start to fly between Ciara and Carl. Meanwhile, Lindsay and Luke head to the backyard to commiserate about their hookup rumor. Lindsay points out that Luke does flirt with her — intentionally or not — and flat out admits to undressing him with her eyes. But they still insist they’ve never slept together. They’re just friends, OK? Carl’s sick of the whole thing, and as he’s venting to Kyle about Luke’s inability to take accountability for the way he treats women, Luke walks right into the middle of the conversation. Carl points out all the ways he’s been dragged through mud on national television over the last five years. From his family issues and dating history to his sexuality and literal body parts, he’s taken ownership of everything. In his eyes, Luke is incapable of doing the same.
Ciara joins the conversation and basically validates Carl‘s view of her one-time love interest. Voices start being raised. Profanities are hurled. And eventually, a drunk Kyle jumps in, accusing Luke of leading girls on. He’s seen it time and again in Luke’s two summers in the house. It’s actually kind of funny to see Kyle inadvertently take his nemesis Hannah‘s side for once, but the facts are the facts. Kyle angrily calls out Luke’s manipulative tactics and relentless “quest for power over females.” At this point, Luke walks away from the conversation. All while Amanda literally holds Kyle back by the waistband of his swim trunks as he screams for Luke to admit he loves controlling women’s emotions.
It could have ended there. But Luke gets ramped up outside as he vents to production. And now he’s ready for a fight. Throwing a beer, he storms back into the house and starts screaming at the top of his lungs at Kyle. Hearing the commotion from their rooms, all the housemates converge on the entryway and everything suddenly turns into a melee. Carl runs out in his underwear, ready to throw down as producers try to hold him back. Kyle charges down the stairs before Lindsay literally body slams him into the door to stop him from going at Luke. The other girls either try to intervene or look on in horror. And just like that, the screen cuts to black with an ominous “To Be Continued…”
TELL US – DO YOU BELIEVE LUKE AND LINDSAY HAVE EVER HOOKED UP BEFORE? HAS HANNAH POISONED CIARA AGAINST LUKE? IS KYLE RIGHT THAT LUKE LOVES CONTROLLING WOMEN? ARE YOU SURPRISED LUKE SNAPPED?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]