The family that brawls together stays together. Yes, I’m quite certain I heard a holy man whisper those words once. (Full disclosure: it’s a definite possibility I hallucinated that it was a holy man speaking when actually it was a Real Housewife from New Jersey.) But whoever it was who uttered that plastic philosophy, one thing I know is it’s now fully applicable to the world of our Floribama Shore friends who have bonded like Super Glue after collectively throwing punches outside a bar to protect whatever is left of Nilsa’s honor. Kortni and Aimee swung their fists. Gus tried to block even more violence from going down. Kirk, Codi, and Candace barged right into the thick of it. Jeremiah watched the proceedings from a safe distance so he wouldn’t harm his dabbing arm. And Nilsa? She was stunned that strangers got in her face for seemingly no reason whatsoever. But what nobody here is saying is there is a reason random people approached and then provoked her. The girl is SURROUNDED BY A CAMERA CREW and a vast – and very sad – majority of our society is drawn to whatever instant and forever gratification a camera can offer and if that means throwing down on a weekday night during the height of summer, so f*cking be it.
Back at the house, the fight just a hair-torn-directly-from-the-root memory, the roommates realize they feel closer to one another than ever before. They have stared into the bullsh*t abyss of what’s waiting for them and they realize the future involves countless dive bars populated by wannabe MTV stars, so they swear a loyalty oath that whatever nonsense may transpire between them, they are still a unit when it comes to dealing with the outside world. But now that the lovey dovey sh*t is done, Jeremiah has a very fair question about why Nilsa was impacted by what a drunken stranger said to her at a bar. “Does it matter what other people think?” he asks. “Does it really?” Now, a normal person would listen to what Jeremiah is saying and perhaps contemplate why the opinion of a nobody impacted her on an emotional level, but since Nilsa is not a fully normal person and she’s sometimes as allergic to self-reflection as I am to whatever the f*ck is in the hair of cats, she decides Jeremiah’s home schooling must really have robbed him of social graces. That said, she does reflect later about how she cakes on makeup and gets procedures so she will finally feel beautiful and I can only hope that she will eventually realize her worth, even if it doesn’t happen until she finally limps to the terribly tragic age of twenty-six.
The next day, Kortni calls her mother and tells her that she’d love to bring everyone over to meet her and the absolute sickest part of my brain stood up and cheered because who at this point isn’t dying to meet the person who birthed Kortni? Will her mother also be an everywhere-pisser or will she be the most sedate woman on the planet and therefore cause conspiracy theorists around the world to debate how easy it must be to quickly switch babies from hospitals near the border of Florida and Alabama? What we learn from Kortni is she tells her mother “absolutely everything,” and so however this woman turns out, we should give her props simply for the fact that her head has not yet spun off and landed clear across the county after listening to the drunken and violent moments her daughter must recount for her in a typical bonding session. If I was the religious sort, there’s a chance in Hell I’d start praying for the woman.
Downstairs, everyone is once again reliving the excitement from the fight. As they chew over each minute again and again, Kirk realizes Jeremiah would never take a bullet for him – and that’s a nugget of information he will not lose sight of anytime soon. I’d mention how I find it distressing that the one person who remained calm and nonviolent in a crisis is now the one who is seen as suspect, but since this is all going down in the context of a reality TV show where you get cast because you’re belligerent and reactionary, I suppose Jeremiah should be classified as the weird one here. And if he doesn’t much care for that distinction, I’d suggest he slither away from the reel world and come out and play in the real world. I’d also suggest he torch the shirt adorned with printed pineapples, but that’s really another matter altogether.
The plan for the evening is to go to the Cajun Cafe so Jeremiah alerts Kayla Jo of his plans because not only is a “mature woman” – you guys, she is twenty-f*cking-six – fun in bed, but she’s also someone he can talk to just in case all his roomies jump knuckle-first into another fight. It’s so boring to sit on the sidelines alone! They sit down to dinner and share their wonderment about how they haven’t fought with each other all day – and I have to wonder if it’s just me who hears the creepy studio scoring in the distance because it just seems way too early in the night to already congratulate one another on not calling someone at the table a desperate-attention-seeking-psychotic-assh*le. I mean, the sun has barely f*cking set. And right at that moment, Kayla Jo enters. In Nilsa’s mind, Kayla Jo is like a rash or that bout with herpes Kortni will eventually tell her mother about – she will not go away – and just like that, the possibility of a drama-free night goes up in Cajun-flavored flames.
It’s completely hilarious (you know, in a totally pathetic way) when Nilsa tells us her plan for the night is to get to know Kayla Jo and “kill her with kindness” because we all know that the demon who rents out space inside of Nilsa’s ego really wanted to end the sentence after the word “her.” I get that listening to some hanger-on chide you for the wrinkles you’ll one day accumulate due to smoking or taking just one measly bite of the pizza you made her before leaving it uneaten next to your shoes can make you want to toss her lank hair into a cauldron, but Nilsa is on the warpath for this person and it seems sort of unwarranted. Oh, and speaking of cauldrons, it’ll eventually come out that Kayla Jo is a practicing Wiccan and the information will be all Nilsa believes she needs to prove to the universe at large that Kayla Jo is evil and witches should be trusted way less than a unicorn-onesie-wearing girl who foolishly thinks her passive aggression is slick as can be even though it’s so blatant that just watching it through a screen legitimately makes me embarrassed for her.
We’ll have to return later to what I expect will be Nilsa screaming, “I saw Goody Kayla Jo with the devil!” because now it’s time for everyone to head to Kortni’s house. Nilsa tells those in her car about the dastardly moment when Kayla Jo DID NOT FINISH THE PIZZA and she makes this insignificant story seem so devious that Aimee hears it and instantly agrees that the bitch is dead to her. Her job to make Jeremiah’s lady a leper complete, Nilsa and the rest of the gang pull up to Kortni’s mother’s house where they meet a woman who has not appeared several hundred times on The Maury Povich Show, but instead a soft-spoken blonde who likes to hang crucifixes on her wall. “Where the real momma at?” wonders Candace – and the girl seriously has a point. As some of the group gets comfortable inside, Aimee, Codi, and Nilsa chill outside with Kortni’s pet parrot. Aimee gets it to agree she’s pretty, Codi stands back so the thing can’t smell his abject fear of birds, and Nilsa tries to get it to repeat after her “Kayla Jo is a ho” because that’s just the sort of thing a very rational person does on a Tuesday afternoon.
Also: It’s incredibly sweet when Kortni’s mom whips out albums filled with her baby pictures.
Also: Kortni’s mother swears she potty-trained her child, but she does apologize if her teachings didn’t quite take and her saying such a thing really makes me wonder if perhaps Kortni is known city-wide for her proclivity to pee in, shall we say, unconventional locations.