Summer House Scholarly, Ep. 7: A Mile Of Denial With Amanda And Kyle
This episode begins with a moment so beautiful, so pure, that it deserves a moment in the sun. We pick up on the Carl-Luke fight that is brewing at the batting cages—the manliest place in all the land. Carl tells Luke he’s a “5th liner, you’re a bender, you’re bended bud.” For those of you who don’t know hockey, this is a serious insult. A “bender” in hockey is someone who sucks, who never plays, who barely knows how to tape their stick. It’s inside hockey jargon, and I’m really impressed that Carl knows this. I’ve never heard “you’re bended bud,” so maybe he got a little ahead of his toes there. But even so, Carl knows how to go for the damn jugular. This is a deeply personal jab, and Luke, to his credit, plays it pretty cool.
The contrast of Luke against the rest of the cast is stark. There are times where he seems like the only normal, level-headed guy in the house. But then he arrives in the Hamptons on a motorcycle wearing a bandanna around his neck like a St. Bernard puppy at Christmas, and you realize… nope, not normal. Still love him though.
Back at the house, the girls question their sexuality and dress up in drag using the men’s clothes. Now, if I returned from the batting cages, with chaw dribble on my chin and testosterone bubbling out of my nostrils from the brawl I almost had, the last thing I’d want is my comfy pants smelling like eucalyptus and that coconut shit girls put under their butt cheeks for Instagram. But sure, have at it ladies.
Luke comes home early but the rest of the dudes stay out late. Amanda grows increasingly worried because Kyle won’t pick up her 25 phone calls. When he finally gets home, she rips him a new anus and this leads to a big, bad fight. It’s more of the same issues, but when Amanda finally asks him “do you want to be single?” He says, simply, “Yes.”
Then he throws a pillow at her feet.
Something tells me these two are going to talk about this in the morning. That’s a tough answer to come back from, Kyle. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but telling your fiancée you want to be single may result in lost wedding venue deposits. Fortunately… they don’t have a venue…
The next morning, Kyle tells us where his head was at. He says he was super pumped that Loverboy was now on the menu at Southampton Social, a popular bar in town, and that he was just out late “pushing product.” Yeah Kyle, pushing product down your gullet, you thirsty boy! Haha no judgment here, I’ve been drinking more than ever in quarantine.
As Carl walks into the kitchen, Luke and he exchange chilly pleasantries. Carl tells us he doesn’t understand why Luke would pursue a woman that he is also pursuing. As though he’s never watched an episode of Planet Earth in his life. I think I learned this in 7th grade, but there’s no calling dibs on human people. Women aren’t plots of land. And even if they were, they would go to the highest bidder or the first oxen-drawn covered wagon to stake out the plot. Just because Jebediah Woolrich from Lambertsville said he wanted that charming parcel of acreage down by the creek doesn’t mean that Jethro Partridge III has to then back off. What?! Crazy Carl, faithful as ever.
The entire gang then heads to lunch. Hannah hops on the back of Luke’s motorcycle as they continue to preheat their ovens. At lunch, Carl and Kyle brazenly toss around banter about Carl’s intentions with Barry’s instructor Sarah. When Paige learns that Carl intends to invite her to the house, she shares this with Lindsay, who doesn’t take it well.
There are two ways to look at this: first, Lindsay is right to be pissed off. Just a week before, she and Carl were kinda dating. He should respect her space and heart and blah blah blah. But on the other side of this reality prism, you’re on a reality TV show. And it’s season 4 with Carl. And by this point, you know that he moves faster than refried beans through a digestive tract. Are you really surprised?
As Carl tries to pacify Lindsay, she says “Grow a pair of balls.” He replies, “I have three of them.” Then she says “get another one.”
What on earth?
Does Carl have three testicles?
How—wha—are we going to brush past this?
Presuming that Carl actually does have a supplemental testicle, it’s unbelievable that Lindsay would suggest he find a fourth. That’s a basket, at that point. One can juggle three. Literally, that’s the number you need for juggling. But to push for a fourth? Greedy. Like the people who bought 18,000 bottles of hand sanitizer. Save some balls for the rest of us.
Kyle throws on Lindsay’s “Deb” wig in an effort to raise Lindsay’s spirits. You can definitely tell that the cast members who have been around the longest have a deeper bond (sorry Jules). As Kyle tries to talk to Amanda again, the other girls commiserate about how Amanda is deeply unhappy. How she doesn’t want this. How she hates Kyle. How she wants to poison her fiancé with asbestos from the ceiling insulation. Seems like they’re putting a lot of words in her mouth. We don’t know if Amanda feels any of those things.
We finally get the Kyle-Amanda summit that we, and they, needed. They’re able to sort through their differences but Kyle suggests that Amanda should quit her job to work full-time with Loverboy. She balks at this, telling us she’s not ready to throw all her eggs in this basket given that Kyle said he wanted to be single just last night. Good decision, girl! Your future is on the line here. That’s independent thinking. Take note, ladies.
Outside, Luke struggles to play the guitar. Hannah goes out to stop him, as the local bird life is deeply disturbed. And then… BOOM! Hannah and Luke start to make out!! The kiss we’ve all been waiting for!!!! Who knew that all it took was a little toxic musicology from Luke! All his efforts to woo her—fancy dates, motorcycle rides, charming words of affection… useless! He simply needed to suck at instruments to open the floodgates. Unreal.
The crew heads out for another night, this time opting for bottle service at a night club. Confusingly, they return home at 12:52AM. I’ve been to nightclubs before, and that’s usually when people start to arrive. Maybe things are different when you’re in your mid-thirties, as most of the male castmates are. Everyone breaks off to do their own drunken thing: Luke and Hannah head outside, then come back in to dance in the living room, then make out on the couch for a bit. Kyle wanders around looking for food. Carl hits the hay. Jules and Jordan? Out in the pool, naked, trying to make it happen.
This is a mistake. If you’re struggling with erectile dysfunction, the chilly waters of a pool are not your friend. Far better to coax an erection at room temperature, in a supportive environment surrounded by friends and/or family, if that’s your thing. Jules tells us “Jordan still can’t park the car in the garage.” Is that because the car is made of silly putty? Or because he simply can’t find the garage? What the FUCK is happening here?!
And with that, the weekend is finished. Sigh. Back to New York, where Amanda and Kyle have a tense home-cooked dinner and discuss their wedding plans. Kyle actually sounds like he knows weddings really well, and that he has a fun vision for theirs. Amanda sorta shrugs and admits she’s new to the wedding game. Tensions rise as they once again struggle to find middle ground.
Over to Carl, who meets Barry’s Sarah for a date on what looks like a boat. He orders her a glass of sauvignon blanc and pronounces it “sah-vin-yaaaa blaaaaaahhhhnk” like the basic bitch he is. Love you Crazy Carl. Sarah arrives, cute as a button but ready to run hill sprints carrying two children when the village gets invaded. This girl means business, don’t be fooled.
Meanwhile, Lindsay, too, meets a guy for a date. “Stephen” is his name and handsome is his game. Look at the hair on this guy. What a beard, too. Something tells me he’d do quite well in Luke’s jewelry shop. He’s drinking a beer the color of pudding, go figure. Probably tastes like a loaf of super healthy bread. They go to play darts, but it seems like they’re not following any particular rules. It’s not cricket and it’s not 501. So it’s a joke. They’re just aimlessly throwing darts at a dartboard. Stephen predicts he’ll hit a bullseye, and when he does, they kiss. Must be very scratchy on Lindsay’s face. Maybe he uses a beard conditioner though.
Back with Carl and Sarah, things are getting really serious. For whatever reason, they chose their relationship as a topic of conversation. Are we to understand that this is their first date? And they’re laying out the road map for where they’ll be in two months? Guys, stick to basics: what’s your favorite color, do you have any siblings, have you ever eaten human flesh, etc. Watching this, I don’t even blame Carl that much. Sarah is pushing for labels and an understanding of where they’ll be in two months. Next thing you know, she gets up and leaves. Wow. Didn’t see that coming.
As we wrap up a pretty wild episode, I can’t help but wonder how my beloved castmates are doing right now. Are Amanda and Kyle making any progress with wedding planning, given the extra time they have? Is Carl facetiming dates with chicks? Is Luke sitting on his parked motorcycle, indoors, looking like a goddamn snack? Is Jordan’s penis alive?
What a fantastic escape this show is. See you next week!