The next morning dawns idyllic and lovely. Codi and the Gatorade he’s spooning are still upstairs asleep, as are Gus, Gus’ hair, and the girl who thought it an excellent idea to spend the evening in a house outfitted with night vision cameras. Downstairs, however, things are less serene. As Kirk is trying to sleep on the couch, Kayla Jo bangs every pan in sight in her attempt to make omelets. “Why is she here?” asks Kirk – and his deadpan delivery of the question zips him to the tippy top of my current rankings of FLORIBAMA SHORE CASTMATES I’D LEAST LIKE TO KILL. Kayla Jo eventually brings the omelets upstairs to Jeremiah, Gus, and Ellen – because those who writhe under the covers in the same room at the same time should celebrate their new closeness with eggs and spinach – but Gus is having a tough time eating his breakfast. He’s sad. Ellen is going back to Nashville and now he must start all over, but since there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that she’s The Right One, he pinky promises her that he’ll come visit. Jeremiah watches this emotional exchange with his mouth open. It is his staunch belief that men “catching feelings” is so much worse than men catching something else that will cause their balls to itch uncontrollably for the next seven to ten days.
Once Kayla Jo finally leaves and the house is down one nemesis, Nilsa decides to clear the air with Jeremiah. She swears she totally will not spend the entire summer c*ck-blocking him, but as he stares at the very girl who just spent the last few hours doing everything she possibly could to block his c*ck from having any sort of excitement, he decides to take her declaration with several hundred bushels of salt. Another person who cannot believe what he is hearing is Kirk. He listens as Gus calls Ellen about ten minutes after the girl walked out the door to say he loved spending time with her and that he’ll definitely be making a Nashville road trip soon. “You’re gonna meet a hundred Ellens,” Kirk groans, and I have to wonder if being kept up all night by a question-posing lunatic, getting woken by an omelet-making non-roommate, and then stumbling upon a mountain of hair waxing poetic to a relative stranger has finally been enough to do this guy in.
Now that he’s sober, Codi apologizes to Nilsa for his comments the night before. She listens to what he says, gives him a hug, and sweetly refrains from burning him with the flatiron she’s wielding, but she also thinks Codi acts one way around the girls and then another way around the guys and since apparently this shore house is divided based on the inclusion or exclusion of a Y chromosome, Nilsa would like Codi to eventually pick a f*cking side. In a battle of the sexes, she’s looking for a majority.
If this gender battle ever gets commemorated with a poster, maybe Aimee, the goddess-mermaid-princess, shouldn’t appear on it to represent all of womankind. Her life’s goal is to become a trophy wife so she’ll never have to work again. There’s a really good chance, however, that even before she meets the foolish man who will sweep her off her fins that her days of working will have already ended. The girl is the single worst employee anyone has ever seen – and that includes the Amazon delivery driver who recently found it all kinds of necessary to take a sh*t on some guy’s driveway. Need a few Aimee-is-the-f*cking-worst-at-having-a-job-ever examples? Well, as Kortni and Gus set out chars on the beach and pick up trash, Aimee attempts to feed a flying seagull some Cheetos, smokes a cigarette, and then requests a massage from an exhausted co-worker. That Kirk and Kortni don’t end up burying her head-first in a sand marsh is a miracle and my guess is the only reason such a thing doesn’t happen is because they are too weary from working their own asses off as the needy mermaid reclined languidly across a lounge chair.
Back at the house, it’s looking like the gender battle doesn’t only exist in Nilsa’s mind. Just about everyone sees the division – and it’s starting to get contentious. The guys are sick of cooking food only to have the girls expect to be served without doing a bit of the preparation and the girls (and, oh, I so hate having to say this about my own tribe!) see absolutely nothing wrong with any of their actions and cannot comprehend why the boys they live with are such “bitches.” Seriously: when Nilsa actually says the words, “I haven’t done anything wrong,” I couldn’t decide if a better sound cue to accompany the asinine moment would have been a group of people laughing hysterically or some studio scoring similar to the kind you’d hear as Michael Myers treads slowly down a narrow hallway, butcher knife at the ready. There is an eventual happy ending here, however. Kirk apologizes for raising his voice at Aimee about how she just expects food to be made for her and Aimee decides to remedy her actions by making dinner for everyone. It made me sad that she was nervous to serve them her tortilla soup. It made me even sadder to hear her say she was raised poor and therefore doesn’t know how to cook “fancy” meals. Maybe it’s my hormones. Maybe it’s that I’m writing this recap from a hotel room in a strange city. Maybe it’s that I haven’t had nearly enough coffee today, but f*ck me if I didn’t actually tear up when everyone congratulated her on the meal, told her how much they liked it, and a wide grin caused by sheer pride spread slowly across her face. And sure, that tortilla soup basically ended up causing every person in the house to require medication to treat dysentery, but still…it was a lovely moment.
But we all know Floribama Shore never would’ve earned its huge viewership if each episode was filled with heartwarming examples of roommates scarfing down tortilla soup and declaring one another future groomsmen, so now it’s time to talk about the brawl captured on camera that hopefully earned this show’s producers a hefty raise. See, there are fights and then there are fights, and the one that ended this episode had all the bells, whistles, and bellowed “mother*ckers!” one would ever need to classify it as noteworthy in Reality TV Land.
Let’s ease into it, shall we?
After everyone has explosive diarrhea, they decide to go out to a place that serves dollar drafts. It’s looking like the night will be pretty low key, but a quick flash of crazy appears when Nilsa politely declines a shot given to her by a stranger. It’s a wise move on her part, one made purely from caution, but the guy in question finds her refusal rude. Oddly, he doesn’t find it at all rude to then announce to her face that her real problem is she strives too hard to get attention and perhaps she should just shut her mouth. This absolutely unnecessary opinion stated by a true assh*le is the impetus that gets the fists flying. Aimee sees how hurt Nilsa is so she tells Kirk that some person “is treating Nilsa bad” and he goes outside to comfort her. Right about then is when some girl wanders by (her face is not blurred; she gave consent to be shown to the world this way) and she calls Nilsa a “princess” and tells her to just leave.
“Get the f*ck out of here, bitch!” Kirk says to this very nasty person who probably saw cameras and decided any sort of exposure is worthy, even the kind in which you are exposed as a humongous assh*le. The humungous assh*le’s response is to try to punch Kirk while Jeremiah and Gus use their bodies to block her from reaching their friend. Meanwhile, this repulsive person’s husband comes outside. Rather than quietly removing his hammered beloved from a situation she started and then escalated, he decides it would be way more fun to try to punch Kirk instead.
Then Kortni wanders outside. She sees a ruckus, looks scarily thrilled, screams out, “Who are we hitting?” and begins swinging wildly and indiscriminately.
Aimee joins Kortni and eventually needs to be restrained from killing someone on a dirty sidewalk.
Nilsa looks shocked – but on a happy note, her lipstick hasn’t smeared even a little from being in this fray.
Gus is still trying to pull people off of one another and load his roommates into a cab before anyone can seriously get hurt for almost no real reason whatsoever.
And Jeremiah? He stands against the bar watching this darkness go down and contemplates if maybe he should’ve just applied to be on The Bachelor instead.
Nell Kalter teaches Film and Media at a school in New York. She is the author of the books THAT YEAR and STUDENT, both available on amazon.com in paperback and for your Kindle. Also be sure to check out her website at nellkalter.com. Her twitter is @nell_kalter.