Photo: Fabio Lovino/HBO
We have reached this point in one white lotus Weather where the sheet hits the fan, and it’s fair to assume that most of our guests have probably checked Expedia once or twice before for their flight home. Questions are finally answered and our characters’ secrets are revealed, not only to us but to each other. And at this resort, information is yet another form of power, so with each disturbing secret revealed, we see the power dynamics escalate more and more.
Our morning begins with Ethan finally seeing the condom wrapper that Harper left to find him last night. “Harper, what is it?” she asks, as she lies wide awake in bed. “you tell me.” Finally, after an entire episode of not talking about the rapper or how it got there, Ethan has a chance to explain that it’s Cameron’s, telling her all about Molly and the hackers. Of course, it doesn’t open up the way he thinks it should, and Harper is upset that he lied to her all yesterday when she repeatedly asked him what happened that night. The result of this revelation is a serious rift in their relationship, but Harper also walks away with a wealth of new information.
Harper now knows all the secrets of his travel companions, and thus holds all the cards of this tour. But what will he do with this new profit? When Cameron suggested getting drunk, Harper quickly jumped on board and said, “Let’s get drunk. Maybe we can get some molly and get really angry,” tapping her newly acquired intel and Creating Cameron Swarm. We can see him with wonder, If he knows about Molly, what else does he know?
But Harper isn’t the only one who knows Cameron’s secrets; Lucia is still roaming around the resort, demanding the money she still owes. All this season we’ve heard about how rich and successful Cameron is, so why does it even matter? Either he is not as rich as we are led to believe, or he is so rich because he rips people off. However, Daphne told us she works with Bernie Madoff types. But of all the people you care about, it doesn’t seem right to upset someone you want to keep your secrets from. Then again, I don’t think anyone would ever describe Cameron as “smart”.
Speaking of money, it turns out that Lucia was really on the clock when she spent last night with Albie, to his surprise the next morning when she asked for money. I can’t understand Lucia’s motive here. Yesterday it seemed that she was dissatisfied with her work, instead moving towards Albi, which I also did not describe as business. But now, in the cold morning light, it really does show was Business Did Lucia change her mind at some point, or was this always her plan? Maybe rich, innocent Albie was just incredibly easy prey.
From Albee’s point of view, it’s a real catch-22. He’s definitely bummed that Portia has paid him back, but even worse, he now finds himself walking firmly in his father’s footsteps. A place he never wanted to be. So what is his next move? The wheels turn as he tries to figure out what a “good guy” is. What’s worse, paying for sex or leaving the bill? We’ve seen Albie put on a push all week, and that’s definitely not going to change now, so she definitely promises to get her money’s worth.
When he signals to his family that he has to go to the bank, Dominique sees what is happening. He approaches Lucia, brings her room expenses and demands that in return she stay away from her son. “Whatever you do, please don’t tell him about me and you,” she pleads. This secret gives Lucia a great deal of power, more than she previously had access to Dominic Tab. If she’s in a blackmail situation, Lucia can clean up, because she’s got this guy by the balls (both verbal and figurative).
Later, Dominic urges his son to stay away from her, but he can’t explain why without giving himself up. Less tactful is Bert, who comes right out and says they’re on guard. Of course this leads to a whole conversation about sex work, in which no one seems to be as important as they think. When Albie wakes up, Dominique wants to know what happened to his father, who almost revealed his secret to Lucia. Hitting his head at the beginning of the episode, Burt delivers the best line of the episode, “I’m not responsible for anything I say, I’m distracted!”
After some much-deserved heavy milking in the wine glasses, Harper appeared in some good old-fashioned shit-mouthing, asking if Cameron and Ethan had ever slept with the same girl. “Be real!” He’s joking. When Kim brushes it off by saying they have different dating pools, Ethan says that whenever he likes a girl, Cameron will have sex with her. “You have a bad case of something called mimetic desire. When someone has a higher status, it means they’re more likely to want you too. This is a new aspect for Ethan, but what Is it the fact that he has dirt on Kim from the other night, or is he angry that keeping this dirt a secret has now driven distance between him and Harper?
Harper doubles down on the game, asking if they’ve ever seen each other have sex. Sharing a room in college, Cameron says maybe. “So I guess old habits die hard, huh?” he says “What the hell? Did you tell him?” Cameron asked, pulling Ethan aside. Now he knows his week-long opponent has dirt on him, so what is he going to do about it?
While secrets are being kept and revealed back at the resort, a mystery is still brewing in Palermo, where Quentin has invited Tanya and Portia to spend two days on a cruise. “You should bring some nice things. Do you have any nice things?” Tanya instructs Portia, as she reads tweets about her ugly clothes. But before they travel, Tanya thinks about her failed marriage, wondering how she will lose all traces of it. But as she goes out blindly with this new group of men, it’s tempting to wonder if she’s missing all the clues again, because something seems off about her new friends. Tanya is relieved that they are rich, which means she at least doesn’t have to worry about them using her for money – but then why? have They collected him?
Quentin, who compares Tanya to a sad figure, insists on taking her to see the opera. Madam Butterfly, which practically acts as an analogy for Tanya’s own life. Meanwhile, Jack shows Portia town, feasting on rice balls but ends up dashing because he forgot his wallet. Griff seems to be starting to show through the cracks, but Portia is having a good time. Before they retire to Portia’s room, Jack must do something for his uncle.
Speaking of family, Dominique and Bert watch while Albie has dinner with Lucia, who now claims she doesn’t want to pay for the second night. “You can’t be surprised,” Burt says, accusing Dominic of normalizing for him. “You know I am what I am because of you,” Dominic says to his father, and once again they make the case for the generational effects of their infidelity.
Across the restaurant, Cameron decides to turn the tables on Harper, asking her about her sexuality for a change. While this is happening, Cameron puts his hand under the table on her knee, which hurts her when she removes it. Remember what Ethan was saying about the mythic request? But beyond simply wanting what Ethan has, this seems like a calculated attempt to disarm Harper. If Cameron succeeds in persuading Harper, he will take away all the power he currently has, because then he will turn on her.
When the boys go to buy cigarettes, Harper tells Daphne that she thinks something happened last night. But when it comes to infidelity, Daphne is a seasoned veteran and Harper is a rookie, and she assures Harper that it probably wasn’t a big deal. “And if anything ever happens, just do what you have to do to feel better about yourself.” There’s an awkward pause before Daphne starts telling Harper about her blond, blue-eyed, handsome trainer—singing his praises and suggesting that Harper get one of her own. But when she shows her picture, it’s her blond, blue-eyed, beautiful baby. “Whoopsie,” he says, like it was a mistake.
It feels like some kind of psychological thriller and I don’t know what’s going to happen. What is Daphne trying to say with this gesture? That her son is really the child of her trainer? That Harper should have a child to deal with infidelity? Has her camera roll really gone unregulated? For every question answered and every secret revealed, new ones seem to bubble up at double the rate.
All this chaos needs a good soundtrack, and since she accidentally drugged the resort’s pianist, Mia turns a very resistant Valentina into letting her take over the keys. In another example of the power of knowledge, Mia picks up on the fact that Valentina is gay and is able to charmingly convince her to give her the gig. Ah, so that’s why we see so much of Valentina’s fling with Isabella.
As Mia sweetly (and adorably) sings “It’s an Affair,” we’re thrown into the murky lives of our guests: Harper and Cameron flirtatiously smoking each other, Dominic making phone calls. And he gets his wife’s voicemail (so bad!), and Albie has sex with Lucia. . But when the music stops, we return to Palermo, where Tania wakes up in the night and wanders through the haunted manor following the sounds of sex. He opens a set of doors, and finds Quentin being teased by his “nephew” Jack. Another remarkable secret was revealed – a above A secret, if you will. And this is only her first night in Palermo! I can’t wait for breakfast.