Derrick is either too desperate or too stupid to see this as a straight up example of revenge and they start kissing immediately because neither one is a master at forming sentences that aren’t composed of pure insults. Meanwhile, everyone else seems to be intermittingly bursting into tears because of the uncoupling of Angela and Tor’i. Chris is borderline catatonic that two people who met a few days ago and bonded mostly because of how nicely their genitals fit together have parted and I really hope the guy was drugged because if this is his actual reaction, he needs to be removed from that house and placed in therapy. I’ll visit him on my way home from the courthouse.
At a certain point, Derrick realizes that maybe Angela’s kisses aren’t due to her having a “Eureka!” moment about them being soul mates, so he decides he’ll keep his distance from her…while they live in the same house…as they film a show he came on precisely to see her. This sh*t cannot possibly end well. As for the other couples, Chase believes his dreams of true intimacy cannot be realized if he’s with a girl who parties as much as Skyler. Um, Chase? Those dreams of yours will never be realized as long as you pretend your best chances of finding real love will occur via a reality show. Skyler is disappointed to hear that Chase is sort of eliminating her from his future just because she’s not frequently lucid, but she refuses to remain sober for longer intervals to win this guy’s heart and normally I’d ask her to rethink her priorities, but this is Chase-from-The-Bachelorette we’re dealing with here, so down the f*cking hatch, honey.
The next afternoon flags appear on the horizon and summoned to the beach are Victoria, Taylor, and Tor’i. And if you’re thinking the arrival of another of Tor’i’s exes will be the thing that will finally cause Angela’s head to spin completely around like that sweet misunderstood child in The Exorcist, I suggest you apply to be a reality producer immediately. We all know the exes who haven’t yet appeared are holed up somewhere and they are released like hounds in accordance to the crazy within the house. This is strategy, people. “This house has it out for us,” says Cory – and my first response to his statement was this very mature thought: “No f*cking duh, moron. You signed up for an MTV reality show. In what crevice of your mind did you honestly believe the goal of those behind the scenes would be your everlasting joy?” But that reaction seems harsh, so I’ll just share that my second reaction was to stare at the screen blankly and remind myself that we’ll probably be at war soon so none of this will end up mattering anyway.
Instead of heading to the beach, those beckoned are told to go to the waterfalls and the one who ascends from the depths is Cameron. He’s Taylor’s ex, but theirs is not a contentious history. They met on another reality show, hooked up for a few months, and were driven apart by Andre. What we learn immediately about Cameron is threefold:
1. He is voluntarily appearing on yet another MTV reality show.
2. He believes girls are drawn to him because of his very original qualities of being both tall and tan.
3. He can pose Zoolander-style upon command.
Cameron is the only ex to show up – Victoria was only brought along so she could drool and Tor’i was there to be momentarily emotionally tortured. Back at the house, Skyler takes one look at Cameron and is smitten and now this makes two guys she and Victoria are going to battle over while neither guy even breaks a sweat. Before they can brawl, Cameron takes Taylor aside. I will say this: Cameron is seriously cute. If I were given a lobotomy and woke up after the procedure in that house, he’d be the one I’d be into also, though I would insist that he grow out his scruff. Anyhoo, he just wants to ask about Taylor’s connection with Cory and she says she wants to see where things go and the entire thing is so pleasant, I thought I was watching another show. In other news, Derrick thinks he’s into Haley and Chris sees what’s happening so he very calmly asks Haley why she’s there. But then he calls her “Chelsko”, makes her cry, screams at her as she walks away, and, for good measure, accidentally calls her “Chelsko” three more times. And if you’re not thinking that somewhere Chelsko is staring at her television and breaking into song because she believes this proves Chris loves her the most, even though he orchestrated her removal from a f*cking island, you have not been paying attention and that means I sort of envy you. The scene on this Terrace of Terrors – I knew we’d get there! – ends with Haley screaming that she wants to be sent home and slapping Chris across the face.
I’m just kidding. It’s not like anything truly gets resolved on this show. The series is literally built on the construct that something hasn’t been resolved in each of these peoples’ lives and closure should therefore exist on camera. Chris follows Haley around, calls her the wrong name again, and then cries because he wants to be with her. The tears work – bullsh*t vulnerability can be a very powerful thing – so these two are reunited for the moment and we can move back to the Victoria-Skyler issue. Victoria is pissed off because she called shotgun on Cameron and Skyler – a woman who owes her exactly nothing – doesn’t immediately fall back from her plan of also pursuing Cameron. I see Skyler’s point here, but this verbal back and forth is causing Cameron to not want to be with either one of them. He does think Faith is cute, but maybe he’s just attracted to the scent of alcohol still lingering in her ass crack.
The next morning begins with Chris declaring his love for Haley, Tor’i resolving to stay away from Faith and all of her crevices, and Skyler inviting Cameron to go visit the waterfall from which he emerged yesterday. She asks if he has his eye on anyone, and all he can muster is that Victoria talks a lot and that quality kind of sucks. He’s too nice to say it to her face, but he has zero interest in Skyler and they end this sad little discussion with a hug, though I suppose it’s a sign of his chivalry that he doesn’t just toss her into the waterfall and call it a day. And now that everything is pretty calm, a message arrives. Tor’i and Jasmine must head down to the Shack of Secrets. I watch this show closely – I’m paid to do such a thing – and even I have no idea what sort of connection these two share. They head down and are greeted with a puzzle to put together that will reveal what’s being hidden from them and once the extremely large pieces (puzzles are hard!) are assembled, a picture of Angela kissing Derrick in the confessional room is the finished product. Tor’i is hurt, but he knows it happened out of spite. Then he tells Jasmine that this guy is playing her and she needs to get rid of him. His string of logic is rather confusing to Jasmine who can’t quite understand why Tor’i is placing all the blame on Derrick instead of on Angela. As for me, I cannot quite understand why the two of them are not banding together in that subterranean Shack and looking for any sort of instrument that will allow them to start digging through the walls so they can tunnel their way to freedom.
It doesn’t take but a millisecond for Angela to make Tor’i’s pain all about her, and it’s Cory who tells her that they both hurt each other and now her job is to rub the guy’s back and make him feel better. But back rubbing – or rubbing anywhere else – seems unnecessary because Tor’i has already forgiven his girlfriend of five days who already cheated on him after he already sort of cheated on her and once again we have a visual illustration of exactly the kind of relationship you should pray to the heavens that you never ever experience.
Also: Tor’i decides Derrick needs to be voted off the island.
Also: I’ve finally figured out who Skyler looks like! She is the spitting image of Erika from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills had Erika chosen to get a sleeve of tattoos and had she not landed one of the richest men in all the hemisphere.
Realizing there’s a chance Tor’i won’t get his way and she might be the one eliminated, Skyler pulls Chase aside and asks him to keep her in spite of the fact that she can’t guarantee that she wants to work things out with him. When the voting commences, we see he wasn’t swayed by her lukewarm pitch; he votes for her to leave. And now it’s elimination ceremony time and Romeo is back – this time wearing a cheetah print which is (terrifyingly) a vast improvement – and it all comes down to Derrick and Skyler. By a landslide, Skyler is eliminated and she stalks away and hops on a turtle float to head back out towards the horizon. And since I’m so incredibly sweet, should she wash ashore on my desert island, I’ll perform a movie monologue to cheer her up. With all those tattoos, perhaps she’ll appreciate the opening scene of Memento.
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.