I always say this is a show about horrible men and the women who put up with them. A friend recently said which is really a show about the right, and she is not wrong. In this episode, we got to see Shepard Rose, the arch-villain on the right, literally eat food off someone else’s plate. Naomie says, “At least ask now before you eat.” Wait, so he literally takes other people’s food without asking? I have never seen a better metaphor for law in my long socialist life.
I think I found that moment so unsettling because there’s really nothing else to focus on in the whole episode. There were only two fights this whole trip: the one where everyone tells Shep that he’s a horrible boyfriend to Taylor and that he needs to change, and the one where Craig and Naomie made a deal with the devil to stay together in order to get low. level of fame and success in selling pillows. There is a third fight at the end between Venita and Naomie, but it’s really just a fallout from the second fight where Naomie and Craig are mad at each other.
There’s something about this whole trip at a not-so-luxurious-enough resort that made it feel like a conference. This doesn’t feel like friends hanging out having a good time. It feels like work. It seems the choices were this or a ropes course and none of the girls wanted to deal with camel toe, so they’re stuck drinking beers on a boat with the Rape Culture University class of 2002.
Taylor, who is stuck at work on this trip, knows Shep has a right and says that he acts like a 12-year-old when he’s drunk. He insists that she sit next to her on the couch and she says “no”. This is another way he controls her; he is determined to get what he wants, not just because he wants it, but as a way of exerting his control over her. I think Austen is right; Shep feels like this relationship is slipping away from him, so he holds on even tighter.
Shep is on the couch talking about how he always gets punished for his kindness, and I have no idea what he’s talking about. First of all, who is punishing him? Second, have we ever seen him be kind. I bet Shep is so obnoxious that he didn’t even rewound his VHS tapes before returning them to Blockbuster. (Both Shep and I are old, but I don’t think he ever rented first wives club for 12 weeks running around your local video store like someone I know). Meanwhile, Taylor, Olivia and Austen are in the kitchen playing a drinking game where they have to take a drink every time Shep says the words “love”, “happy”. ” or “done”. Dude, even his girlfriend knows it’s a joke. They’re there laughing at him as he rants about how unfair life is while receiving trust fund checks from him and gobbling chunks of meat off someone else’s silverware.
Eventually this turns into a real fight between him and Austen, which makes up for the fake fight between Austen and Craig on the gravel road. (Nothing says luxury accommodations like a driveway that can get stuck in the soles of your sneakers.) This, based on the trailer, seemed like it would be a real tense moment, but instead it’s just Craig’s drunken antics before going back to his room and begging everyone to come hang out with him because he has Cool Ranch Doritos and his Mom said they could order a pay-per-view movie.
Shep goes downstairs and starts whispering in Taylor’s ear about how everyone is attacking him. Dude, no one is attacking you. They just mention, very calmly and kindly, that you treat your girlfriend (and maybe everyone else) like crap. That is the right to see any type of criticism as an attack. They are taking care of both other Taylor, and you can’t appreciate it at all. What happened to the Shep in therapy, the one who was beginning to understand feelings and be an adult? He and Carl from Summer house do a body swap?
Austen and Shep start drunkenly yelling at each other, calling each other fags and saying they’re each an embarrassment. Shep yells that she can’t believe she is sharing oxygen with Austen. Yes, very privileged. Even your air is better than everyone else’s, like you’re drinking Perri Air from space balls. This fight was so stupid, but if Austen, a man who treats women worse than he treats crunchy socks on his floor, can tell you’re bad at relationships, then your shit is severely busted.
We now interrupt this summary to bring you a summary of the program within a program called Leva talks to her son in her kitchen. Today Leva and her son are in the kitchen. She is talking to him. They make chocolate chip cookies, and Leva says she’s not a control freak anymore because she lets her son butter the cookie sheets. That was the whole episode Leva talks to her son in her kitchen. Tune in next week to see how the cookies turned out and what they’ll be talking about.
The next day, Shep, Whitney and Naomie go golfing and the rest of the cast goes shrimp fishing. This is not really an activity. They just sit on a trawler like two other guys fish, and they sit on knitwear and shotgun beers. It actually looks like a fun day, but why are we watching this? What is this?
The ship gives us one of Craig and Austen’s many bromance moments from the episode. We see Craig doing the titanic on the boat with Austen behind him as Craig yells, “We’re on top of the world.” He says that he got his mistrust of women from this movie, but didn’t bother to learn the one quote everyone knows from her.
After eating shrimp, we see them getting ready for dinner and they’re both wearing long-sleeved t-shirts with writing on the sleeves and backwards hoods and baseball caps. It’s like the Sigma Nu uniform or something. They then ride a tandem bike together for dinner. Oh, these two should get married by now. When Craig talks about inviting his girlfriend to the party he’s throwing in the next episode for the season finale (thank God), Olivia says, “You mean Austen.” Okay, good burn, Olivia. That’s all you’ve given us this entire season, so thank you for that.
Dinner is tense because, well, Craig and Naomie shouldn’t be together. In any other universe, you break up with a person so you never have to see or hear them again. I get why Craig is upset that he has yet to hear Naomie condescend to him, which she does, but to her credit, she condescends to everyone. Hello, she is French. She can’t help it, just as Americans can’t help but crave huge appliances and too much ice in her sodas.
At dinner, Naomie is upset that Craig didn’t apologize for snapping at her the night before and “eating and kissing” her to the ground. Again, this should not be a problem because they are not close to each other. However, a reality show is an artificial construct. They have to be close to each other, so maybe Craig should be a little nicer to her and she should avoid him. You know, so they can keep collecting paychecks and we don’t want to dump them in the body of water that Charleston sits on. The Ionian Sea? I don’t know. I’m still thinking about Austen’s butt from the last episode.
As the fight escalates, Venita tries to tell Naomie that she should at least acknowledge that Craig’s feelings are valid. That’s not what Naomie wants to hear and she says, “Shut up, Venita,” which is no way to talk to anyone, especially a friend, and especially the only black member of the cast. Craig storms out saying that he doesn’t like the person he becomes when Naomie is around her, which is a valid point, but it’s not her fault that he’s loud and immature. He says that he doesn’t want to be like Shep and yell at girls, so he goes and puts on his jam and waits for Austen and Shep to bring him dessert and a glass of port.
At dinner, Naomie yells at Venita saying she’s “fake as fuck” for what she said. Not really. People on reality shows have this way of calling other people fake when they say something they don’t want to hear. I think Venita was actually being real like shit. She was saying that even though Naomie doesn’t agree with him, Craig still has feelings and he should respect them. I think it takes a true friend to stand up to you and tell you when you’re wrong. Being loyal does not mean always agreeing with you; It means always looking out for you. I think Venita was trying to do that by de-escalating this fight and Naomie said something to him about it. Loyalty is not blind devotion. Port is not wine. Doritos is not a group of friends hanging out in your hotel room. Shrimp fishing is not just a boat trip. But above all, the right is not great. When will these jamokes learn that?