Back at the house, Lexi and Paulie are f*cking in the bathroom while Chase lets Victoria know that no ex showed up for him so he’s still willing to settle for her. He basically says exactly that and Victoria’s reaction is to decide to jump into this “relationship” with both feet and do her damnedest to pull Chase under the water with her because, if he drowns, then he can never be with anyone else and if that’s the way she has to land her commitment, so f*cking be it. Meanwhile, Joe enters the villa and Alicia takes one look at him and declares that they are in the same position because they both showed up expecting their exes to celebrate their arrivals. Alicia sees some differences between them, of course. According to her, Joe is being all “vanilla” about the situation – which I suppose means he’s not grabbing someone by the hair – and Alicia explains she is the opposite of vanilla, which now explains why I am torn between sending her a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Fairly Nuts or two pints of their Chocolate Therapy.
With insanity hitting her on all sides in the house, Taylor decides she should sit down with Alicia and squash whatever drama still exists between them. This is a lovely idea, but there’s no way in hell any of it will go smoothly, especially when Alicia begins by explaining she still loves Cory and she thinks that – though he is not saying it – he still has a lot of love for her, too. She also lets Taylor know that she will be a fleeting presence in Cory’s life, just a flavor of the week, and now I suppose I have to figure out what flavor of ice cream Taylor is. Are there any Ben and Jerry’s flavors made with flakes of coconut and chunks of spit? In any case, Taylor believes everything Cory has told her so she is positive Alicia is a delusional walking monster with a cleavage tattoo and, as she comes to that understanding, Cory is upstairs calmly combing his beard.
After their conversation yields nothing but even more animosity, Taylor tells Cory that Alicia informed her that he still checks up on her and gives her sweet looks all the time and that kind of thing is going to have to cease immediately if Cory wants to actually move forward in a new relationship. Cory’s response is to take Taylor’s face in his hands and promise her that she is who he wants to be with and he will go talk to Alicia right now. His very rational way of carrying this action out is to pack Alicia’s bag, drag it outside, burst into her interview with a producer I hope is wearing a shield, and tell her to stop f*cking up his life. And while I agree with both Marco and his hair when they compellingly state that the problem here truly lies with Cory, I have to say – random packing aside – that Cory has a legitimate point and Alicia is legitimately crazy. Not for a second do I begrudge her for having these feelings, but every bit of me judges her for entering this psychotic island scenario, not once but twice, and babbling the same points she’s already made over and over again. If she believes the two are soul mates, can she not just fly home and wait until he’s back in the real world to try again? Why must she try to win him back while wearing a microphone?
Cory eventually stalks away from the still muttering Alicia and plants another kiss on Taylor, and it’s around that time when the Shack of Secrets comes calling. It’s Taylor and Friend-Zoned Joe whose presence is requested. Down in their own mini purgatory, they are asked to press play on an iPad and footage of Cory telling Alicia that he doesn’t see real depth between him and Taylor blares forever into her psyche. “I feel like we’re only together because we’re here,” Cory confides to both Alicia and a camera lens, and Taylor is blown away by this information while Joe reacts by softly saying, “What a pig.” Deciding she’s had enough of both the Shack and Joe’s commiserating about her lack of emotional backbone, Taylor heads back upstairs to go confront Cory while Joe lets everyone else know exactly what just went down. Secrets – much like dignity – have a very short shelf life that house. In about three seconds flat, Cory explains to Taylor that he did say those things, but he doesn’t feel that way anymore and suddenly the two of them are just fine again, which means Joe will have to toss the hand crafted rock he found on the shore of the Oregon coast and then had made into a necklace, one he expected would dangle from the neck of his beloved, straight into the ocean. Now, I’m not a wear-a-pebble-around-my-neck kind of girl, but – misguided though it was – Joe’s gesture was really sweet. Unfortunately, Taylor would prefer to continue to cozy up to a guy who has a deranged ex-girlfriend and who was recorded less than a week ago lamenting her lack of depth.
As for the less tumultuous – but just as pathetic – other stuff going on around the house, Victoria decides to promise Chase that if they have sex, she totally will not see things as more serious than he wants them to be. So if you’re keeping track and paying attention, Chase ignored this girl for the first portion of this show, hooked up with her eventually out of desperation and convenience, told her to her face that he wished someone new had shown up for him, and then nodded as she swore that, even if he bangs her, he will owe her exactly nothing. This announcement is a douchebag’s wet dream come true, and Chase is nothing if not a dripping douchebag. Case in point? When looking for another way to say the word “d*ck,” Chase chooses to say the phrase “every inch of the Chaser,” and boom – now I’m a lesbian.
Since one comment from Cory made everything okay, he and Taylor are currently reclining in a bathtub sipping champagne. Cameron is stunned by how easily Taylor forgave Cory, but his musings are upsetting Shanley. She figures the only reason he must have any sort of opinion on the matter is because he still has a thing for the girl upstairs who is submerged in bubbles and deception. Besides that, Shanley doesn’t much care for the way Cameron is talking about Taylor being easy. She sees it as slut shaming and she’s not okay with it. As people yell at Cameron in the kitchen, Lexi runs herself upstairs at the speed of light to let Taylor and Cory know what’s going on, and since these people run towards conflict the way I run towards fluffy Old English Sheepdogs on the street, things ignite spectacularly. Cory heads downstairs, threatens to beat up Cameron, and then goes back upstairs because that’s where the girl he’s currently lying to happens to be. Alicia – you didn’t expect her to stay quiet, did you? – sits in the kitchen and shouts nasty words upstairs. “Shut the fu*k up, bitch!” bellows Taylor back at Alicia, and Alicia (who is very sane, you guys) jumps off the kitchen counter and screams that she’s going to break Taylor’s nose.
Quick aside here: Alicia should not break Taylor’s nose. That girl has a great nose. But she should hold Taylor down – and then hold Victoria and Angela down as well – and scrub that f*cking black winged eyeliner from all of their faces because that style looks borderline insane on girls who are sitting around in swimsuits all day long.
Okay, back to the brawl. It’s escalating quickly.
“Come here!” Taylor screams from the balcony, clapping her hands together like that means something while the others respond thusly:
Cory holds Taylor back. She continues to break free to taunt Alicia to come punch her, a request I think is just f*cking odd, but then again, I think I was maybe raised differently than some of these people and when I’m done writing this recap, I will call my mother to thank her for not mating with a wolf and then raising me in a forest lined with trees and madness.
Shanley shakes her head because she knows the monster Alicia was attempting to suppress has finally been unleashed.
Joe stares at Taylor with his mouth open because he has never seen this girl behave so sickeningly and he knows for sure that she does not deserve any of the rocks that he’s got.
Cameron screams out, “This is embarrassing, honestly!” with a smile painted across his face.
Victoria twirls her ponytail and wonders if she can get Chase to sleep with her that evening if she promises him that he can call her by another chick’s name while he’s banging her.
Chris shouts up to Cory that Alicia is disparaging his d*ck size. Evidently, Cory has way fewer inches going on down there than the Chaser.
Cory screams down that Alicia still wants his d*ck.
And Taylor? She gathers whatever phlegm is rolling around in her mouth and in the back of her throat, forms it into a huge chunky ball, and spits it directly on Alicia’s head.
What about any of this does not scream romance?
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.