In the Sandbox
The girls (Daphne and Harper) and the guys (Cameron and Ethan) agree to uphold gender codes and promise not to say anything about their nights during episode 4 of The White Lotus season 2.
Lucia and Mia are sent away by Cam and the girls have a hangover from the drugs. They decide to lie “somewhere” and then take it from there. Valentina sees Isabella in a new light after her sudden burst into an admiration speech for the manager. In conversation, Isabella guides Dominic to a local jewelry store. He wants something to gift to his wife. Valentina tells Isabella to come to her in case of any difficulties she faces at work or otherwise.
At breakfast, Portia halfheartedly apologizes to Albie for ditching him the other night. She promises to hang out at lunch, though. Tanya opens up to Portia about Greg’s infidelity. Quentin, the guy from the previous episode, meets Taya in the hallway and invites her and Portia to the Beach Club for lunch. Tanya accepts and has a warm feeling about Quentin. Lucia is suddenly thrown into an existential crisis. She feels she cannot continue to sin by selling her body and apologizes to Mia for pushing her into it. She fears judgment when her time ends and cannot bear to face the executor.
The girls decide to use Bert’s room, to which they still have a key after they spot him leaving. Bert accidentally walks in on Mia half-naked as they leave his room, amusing him. Quentin and his band of “gays” are very welcoming to the girls. It turns out that the guy from last night is Jack, an Englishman. He is Quentin’s nephew and recognizes Portia from the pool. They talk about Essex and the exchanges turn flirtatious soon enough. Quentin is staying in Palermo with Matteo and is showing some of his other friends around.
Quentin tells Tanya about the story of the island of Isola Bella. An old matriarch lived there and refused to sell the house on the island to investors. She was murdered under mysterious circumstances. Post this, Tanya begins narrating her own story to Quentin, who listens with bated breath. Harper starts to dish as soon as she reaches her room. But her bitchy mood is spoiled when she notices the wrapper of condoms Cam left on the couch. She assumes the worst and shuts down from there on in, wondering what Ethan did.
The moment of reckoning has come for their relationship. At lunch, Albie houses himself right down below from where he can see Portia and Jack flirting with each other. He even refuses Lucia and Mia the seat next to his chair waiting for Portia. Albie decides to go up to them but Portia shoots him down.
He then proceeds to join Dom and Bert for lunch but is frustrated when Dom tries to manipulate him into putting a good word for Dom to his mother. Harper is still behaving skittishly, putting the other three in an uneasy position. Mia has an epiphany where she says she is going to sleep with Giuseppe to get a push in her career.
Lucia tries to stop her but Mia has already made her mind up. She laments what a “monster” she has made. Quentin encourages Tanya to have a good time and invites her to see his boat and house in Palermo. Lucia sits with Albie after Portia ditches him. They start talking and it is difficult to tell f she is being genuine or is out on “business”.
Mia agrees to have sex with Giuseppe and the singer takes her to an abandoned church in the resort. It is a funny sequence as he isn’t able to “get it up”. Mia fetches Viagra pills from Lucia’s purse but is unsure which is which. Lucia and Albie are out in the water and she isn’t able to help Mia when she asks about the pills.
Mia does not know what she is giving Giuseppe but proceeds to do so. They aren’t able to have sex but Giuseppe promises to help Mia anyway. Harper is still struggling with what she found on the couch but is not able to confront Ethan about it. She tries but is unsuccessful. They still go out for dinner that night, together. Giuseppe has a heart attack and an ambulance is called. Jack and Portia have drinks at the bar, where they spot Albie and Lucia. Bert spots Lucia and Albie talking and Dominic looks the other way. Lucia helps Albie “win” over Portia and kisses him to make her jealous.
Valentina gives away her feelings for Isabella when she brings a starfish pendant for her from the jewelry store. The Sullivan’s sleep peacefully, unlike the Spillers (or at least Harper). Lucia and Albie go to his room together but it seems like money is not involved. Portia and Jack have a night to themselves too, showing that Albie and Portia have gone their separate ways.
The Episode Review
With half the season gone, things were bound to heat up in episode 4. Quite subtly, the writers have steered the story towards its conclusion and a tectonic shift in character dynamics. Harper cut an isolated figure after discovering the condom wrapper Cam left on Ethan’s couch.
On many occasions, the lack of communication between the pair despite their claimed moral superiority over the Sullivans in their relationship was exposed. It was quite ironic how the tables have turned and the huge mismatch between the truth and the fiction Harper created for themselves.
She seems likely to be in the danger zone for now. Another change we saw was in Lucia and Mia, especially the latter. She defied the odds and the entire confines of her character by acting out and selling herself.
The most heartbreaking thing was how easily she slipped into her new reality chasing the big dream. Lucia turned upright, somehow, and this role reversal does not look good for either. The underlying tension in episode 4 was somewhat offset by the cheery outcome for Tanya.
Her meeting the “gays” was perhaps the only redeeming takeaway for us in this episode. Coolidge is so effortlessly funny and sad at the same time, that you can’t really tell the difference.