The summer may be over, but it’s time to get the Good Vibe Tribe back together for the Summer House Season 5 reunion! And it’s extra exciting because after five seasons, it’s the first proper reunion the gang has ever gotten from Bravo. During Season 2, they were all crammed onto chairs in the WWHL Clubhouse. (Remember how newbie Amit Neuman said all of five words during the whole day? Good times. Honestly the best thing that came out of that reunion was Kyle Cooke‘s legendary 17-page email.) And Season 4’s sit-down, in the early days of the pandemic, was virtual. Personally, I’ll never forgive the Bravo gods for not gifting us a reunion following Season 3. Mostly because we never got the pleasure of seeing Jordan Verroi in the hot seat.
So yes, after five seasons, the housemates have finally graduated to a well-deserved reunion set. And I could not be more here for it. The cascading flowers. The Hamptons-chic vibe. It’s all perfect. But before we dive into the drama, can we talk about this seating chart for a second? Because I’m confused. If the cast can sit together in twos and threes, doesn’t that…violate…the social distancing guidelines set forth by Bravo? At every other reunion in a post-COVID world, cast members have been required to stay six feet apart. In separate seats. With no touching. But I guess that rule doesn’t apply to the Summer House crew?
It also makes absolutely no sense why Hannah Berner would be second to the end when the majority of the season’s drama revolved around her. At the very least, she should have switched places with Ciara Miller. But something tells me Hannah may have required some coddling, being protected on both sides by her only allies on the show. (Insert eye roll here.) And honestly, the seating arrangement must have been admittedly tricky for production, with Kyle, Hannah and Luke Gulbranson all needing to be separate but as close to the center of the action as possible. So maybe Hannah’s just the one who drew the short straw…
Luke & Hannah’s Revisionist History
After a few softball questions to get everyone warmed up (shout-out to Carl Radke for being named the hottest male Bravolebrity of 2021!), Andy Cohen gets down to business. The first topic of conversation? Hannah and Luke‘s non-relationship from hell. The entire subject makes Kyle want to jump off a cliff, and at this point, I have to say I agree. Hannah claims Luke refused to put a label on whatever they were before heading into the house. Luke, meanwhile, remembers exactly where he was the day he told Hannah they should just be friends. Their stories conflict. The timeline makes no sense. Especially when you factor in Hannah’s relationship with Des Bishop.
Paige DeSorbo concedes that yes, Hannah obviously liked Luke. A lot. We all know this. But everyone seems to be forgetting that Luke also had feelings for Hannah last season. Which is also true. He takes accountability for how his actions could possibly have led Hannah on. But at this point, it’s really a matter of whose side you believe. And considering Hannah’s story is chock full of revisionist history and too many contradictions to count, I’m officially siding with Luke.
It’s actually crazy how much of a 180 I’ve done on this over the course of the season. Early in the summer, I truly felt for Hannah and understood why she felt gaslit. But that was before everyone found about her relationship with Des. Which started before she went into the house. Yes, even if it was just sex on the second date, there was more going on than the one-sided narrative she presented to the cameras.
There’s Something About Ciara
Of course, the one factor no one is bringing up in this love triangle (quadrangle?) is Ciara. The resident newbie of the group arrived in the Hamptons after months of fighting on the front lines of the pandemic as a critical care nurse. And also as Luke‘s one-time hook-up/potential love interest. As we all know by now, this was news to Hannah. But the podcaster stands by her decision to welcome Ciara with open arms. Even if it was more than a little cringe-y and over-the-top. All I have to say is clearly Hannah’s strategy worked, considering Ciara is firmly entrenched on Hannah’s side of the chasm-sized cast divide.
Ciara‘s also come to the reunion ready to spill the tea on her past with Luke. Both agree that they were using the other to rebound back when they were an item. But Ciara reveals that after the last time they hooked up, she was voluntarily abstinent for nearly a year and a half. Even though it had nothing to do with him, that can’t do much to stroke Luke’s ego. She also drops the bombshell that after her second trip to Minnesota, Luke totally ghosted her and blocked her on every social media platform for eight months. Because he’d gotten back together with hiss ex. Oof, not a good look Lucas. It makes you wonder why Ciara even agreed to go to the Hamptons with him in the first place. Especially since these days, the two are passively cordial, but certainly not friendly.
The Timeline of Hurricane Hubbard
We finally move on from the love triangle that wasn’t to the other romantic nightmare of the season: Lindsay Hubbard‘s relationship with Stephen Traversie. After some time, Lindsay can finally admit she asked Stravy to move into the Summer House with her in an attempt to fix their problems. Because everything would be better in a $5 million mansion with all her friends and a camera crew, right? (Let’s face it, not even her bestie Danielle Olivera thought this was a wise course of action. But when Lindsay has a timeline to follow, there’s no stopping her.)
Lindsay swears Stravy was fully on board with the aforementioned timeline, but Stravy’s not there to speak for himself. Much like he didn’t get confessionals during the season so we could hear his side of the story. Do you think Bravo even invited him to the reunion? While she admits she feels “a little” bad for how she treated him on her birthday, Hubb House also thinks Stravy’s constant hiding behind his computer was juts another way for him to run away from the relationship. Danielle jumps in to defend her BFF, saying that Stravy pulled a bait and switch on her. But again, I wonder what Stravy himself thinks of that accusation. On a more positive note, at least Lindsay looks incredible in her neon yellow jumpsuit? Work on your abandonment issues before next season, girl.
The Battle of Kymanda vs. Hannah
When Kyle‘s relationship with Amanda Batula gets brought up, you know drama’s about to go down. When questioned by Andy, Hannah denies ever talking badly about the house’s power couple. Well, this summer, anyway. In fact, she insists she’s “always been there” for Amanda. Which is complete and utter delusion. Or more revisionist history from her. Then the tension ratchets up when Hannah’s fight with Kyle and Amanda over taking out the trash gets dragged into the discussion.
When Hannah plays the victim, Amanda fires back with a completely valid point. Hannah’s always the first one to cry foul when anyone in the house — though mainly Kyle — “yells” her. So why was it OK for her to scream at Amanda when she tried to talk things out? Caught in a glaring double standard, Hannah has no other move but to turn on the waterworks. Claiming she’s “triggered” by Kyle “yelling at” (read: confronting) her, she promptly bursts into the fakest crocodile tears we’ve possibly ever witnessed on Bravo. I mean, c’mon. Hannah just doesn’t like getting called out for her terrible behavior. Thankfully, virtually everyone is unmoved by the display, with several of the roommates calling B.S. on her bad acting.
Trying to get Hannah to take accountability bring up a really fascinating issue. Namely her penchant for throwing out trendy buzzwords like “toxic masculinity,” “triggered” and “misogynist” whenever she’s on the losing end of a confrontation in the house. When she has no genuine rebuttal to Kyle, he’s being a “toxic man.” When Amanda doesn’t agree with her, it’s suddenly a “toxic friendship.” As Andy asks, where’s the line between toxic masculinity and an individual disagreement between a man and a woman? As Lindsay points out, she’s gotten into plenty of fights with all the men in the house and has never pulled that card. Partially because I don’t think any of the Summer House guys demonstrate toxic masculinity. If anything, they’ve grown a lot over the years and are the kinds of straight guys I’d actually want to be friends with.
Gossip on the Podcasts
Thankfully, Danielle holds Hannah‘s feet to the fire, pointing out that often the problem, as well as the single most toxic person in the house. This leads even deeper down the Hannah rabbit hole to everything she’s said about her cast mates in the press lately. First it was that she’s only Kyle‘s friend because she gets paid to be. And that Kyle allegedly said that everything she has in her career is because of him. It’s all tit for tat, but Lindsay lays down the gauntlet by breaking the fourth wall. She points out that the entire premise of this show started as friends sharing a house in the Hamptons every summer. Friends. Real friends. That’s the key. So if you’re faking your friendships, maybe you don’t belong on this show?
There’s one more low blow to cover: apparently Hannah spread rumors on a podcast that Carl had a drug problem. Which is so defamatory and unacceptable. Even if it was just a “joke about Adderall.” Don’t come for my Carlito. And when she denies it, that’s when the powder keg finally blows. Poor Carl’s only using that as an example to try to show her how the things she says are hurtful. Further, no one thinks Hannah’s overblown apology to Kyle in the house (“like, you’re the man!”) was genuine. And Hannah admits she was only trying to pander to his ego in saying she was sorry. The conversation just goes in circles, with Hannah deflecting and showing no remorse. So much so that Kyle gets up and storms off the stage, in the first but not the last walk-off of the reunion, calling Hannah the “most self-absorbed person [he’s] ever met in [his] entire life.” Now who can’t wait for Part 2?
TELL US – IS THERE HOPE FOR HANNAH’S FRIENDSHIPS WITH THE GROUP? SHOULD STRAVY HAVE BEEN AT THE REUNION? ARE YOU TEAM KYLE OR TEAM HANNAH?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]