Summer is officially over, Good Vibe Tribe. That’s right, we’ve reached the end of the road for Season 5 of Summer House. And frankly, I can’t believe it’s time for this chapter to close. The season truly flew by and I want more! Good thing we have Winter House, or whatever Bravo plans on calling it, to look forward to sooner rather than later. And also one last reunion episode to dissect and dig into. Because summer should be fun, and there’s nothing more fun than a reunion. Let’s do it!
Of course, Part 2 kicks off in the wake of Kyle Cooke storming off the reunion set. But really, do you blame him? Imagine if someone you considered a friend said the only reason she delivered such an overblown, ridiculous apology to you was because she knew all you cared about was feeling good about yourself. (That’s called Projecting 101 for all of you at home.) It takes a pep talk from Lindsay Hubbard to get him calmed down and back in his seat. Meanwhile, Paige DeSorbo is doling out some tough love to a crying Hannah Berner on the opposite couch. Get. It. Together. Girl.
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?
Well, Good Vibe Tribe. We’ve finally arrived at the end of summer. It’s here, and after 12 weeks, Season 5 of Summer House is drawing to a close. And to be honest, I’m feeling a little shortchanged. The cast was quarantined together for six weeks straight, and all we got was a dozen episodes out of it? That’s two less than last season. And the season before it, actually. Could production not squeeze just a little more drama out of 42 days of filming? I’m not actually mad about it, I’m just sad because I’m not ready for the season to be over yet.
The finale kicks off with Hannah Berner continue to rage about the fight she picked with the other girls about Des Bishop. Hannah wasn’t being defensive, she was simply defending herself, mmmk? She claims Amanda Batula came at her about her boyfriend (she didn’t) and that Paige DeSorbo didn’t defend her (her behavior was indefensible). Add in the fact that everyone likes Danielle Olivera‘s boyfriend more than hers and Hannah is seething. But the only person giving her tantrum the time of day is Ciara Miller. So how about we just let her spiral in her room and stop giving her the attention she so badly craves. Deal?
If I have to listen to Hannah Berner brag for one more second about all the sex she had with Des Bishop in the Summer House, I’m going to vomit. But that’s right where this week’s episode begins. With Des bragging about going down on Hannah in Kyle Cooke and Amanda Batula‘s bathroom. As if we could’ve scrubbed that particular detail from our collective brains in the last seven days. Even Paige DeSorbo, who is very, very drunk, is bound to remember. She promises not to tell Kyle. But we all know he’s bound to flip his lid come reunion time. And rightfully so.
But let’s try to move on. Because I can’t think about it anymore. The roommates move out of the hot tub and into the house for the night. And there are couples everywhere. While Danielle Olivera and Robert Sieber fight for the last stale peach ring, a drunk Lindsay Hubbard finally gives in and makes up with Stephen Traversie. As in, they’re officially back together. Boyfriend and girlfriend. And immediately Stravy wants to get engaged and have babies. But first, Lindsay allows him to unpack his bags and move back into the house. Small victories for Stravy, I guess.
There’s been a shift in the Summer House. After nine episodes largely centered on the drama between Hannah Berner, Luke Gulbranson and Ciara Miller, everything came to an explosive head in last week’s fight between the guys and the immediate fallout. After crying it out over family dinner, the Good Vibe Tribe has closed the book on that drama. And it definitely feels like we’ve entered the back half of the season with a fresh start and a clean slate. No Instagram psychics allowed.
It’s also the perfect time to add some new personalities to the mix. After weeks in quarantine, we’re livening things up and breaking the “no outsiders” rule with the arrival of the boyfriends. Because if Stephen Traversie can come and go (and still not get a confessional), why not have a more open door policy? So let’s just bring in literally every single male love interest we can find from outside the house, shall we? Well, not every one…poor Paige DeSorbo. But we’ll get to that in a second.
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…
Psychics have a long and storied history on Bravo. They puff on e-cigs while fueling dinner parties from hell. They stir the pot in elephant rooms. And they’ve even been known to kickstart the uncovering of a cancer scam. Psychics do the Lord’s work on Bravo. And usually it’s pretty easy to go along with them. Especially when, like in the case of the fake cancer, they happen to be correct. But this particular episode of Summer House is requiring a suspension of disbelief heretofore not required in the Bravoverse.
I mean, what happened this week was a little different. The said psychic was completely off-camera, providing a storyline for the house free of charge. We don’t know their identity. Just that they apparently operate through Instagram. It’s not as simple or straightforward as, “He will never emotionally fulfill you, ever. Know that.” It was a lot to take in and I’m not sure how much I’m buying it. But I’m, as always, getting ahead of myself.