Last week’s Summer House ended on a tense cliffhanger, to say the least. Luke Gulbranson was screaming from the lobby. Carl Radke was ready to throw down in his underwear. Kyle Cooke was being physically restrained by Lindsay Hubbard. Everyone was involved in the fight. Well except, Paige DeSorbo and Hannah Berner, who stood speechless at the top of the stairs watching the chaos play out. It was easily the most intense moment in the show’s history.
So how does it end? With a bang and a fizzle, essentially. After all that anticipation, it turns out the build-up was the climax. No punches were thrown. No fighting happened at all, really. Carl went back to bed, shaken up and fuming. And Luke turned on his heel and left the house, staying in a hotel after being escorted by producers to get an overnight bag from his room. It was all a giant unleashing of tension and emotion with thankfully no physical violence.
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…
One thing we’ve learned about Lindsay Hubbard over the past five seasons of Summer House? She loves her birthday. More than anything, really. So Stephen Traversie leaving at the end of last week’s episode was pretty much the worst way her birthday could possibly end. And this weekpicks up immediately in the wake of Stravy’s unceremonious exit. Except…Lindsay doesn’t know he’s gone yet. So somehow, it falls on Kyle Cooke to tell her that he just helped her boyfriend pack up an Uber. That is, once she’s done complaining to Danielle Olivera about her terrible, no good, very bad birthday.
A crying Kyle feels terrible as he breaks the news, but Lindsay has quite the opposite reaction. In fact, her exact words are, “OK, well that’s his prerogative. Am I supposed to cry about it?” Stone cold unaffected. She forces most of the roommates into celebrating the closing moments of her birthday with a shot of Fireball and that’s that. That night, Hannah Berner sleeps with her so she isn’t alone, and the next morning we’re hilariously treated to a montage of Lindsay fielding phone calls from Stravy for the several days. They vacillate between groveling apologies, flower deliveries and mini-arguments. Did nothing else important happen in the house over the rest of the week?