‘The White Lotus’ Season 2 Episode 5 Recap: “That’s Amore”


‘The White Lotus’ Season 2 Episode 5 Recap: “That’s Amore” +2023

My emotional journey with Season 2 of The White Lotus continues to take unexpected twists and turns. I was entertained, bored, slightly scornful, but as of this week’s episode (“That’s Amore”), I am worried. What if Mike White is right? What if that’s really how people are – greedy, self-deceiving, hypocritical assholes all of them? What if my friends and loved ones are secretly like this? What happened if I am secretly like that? How can I ever have a healthy, trusting relationship of any kind again? How can society survive???

Let’s take the case of Ethan and Harper as an example. After a day of hemming and hawings, Harper finally sends the message he wants to Ethan by leaving the condom sleeve she found on her couch on the bathroom sink, where he discovers it. He correctly denies that he did anything wrong (given what he suspects, I think we can give him a chance to give Mia a quick kiss) and, again correctly, insists that the condom isn’t his.

But Harper doesn’t believe him. She spends the rest of the day emphatically not believing him. She asks him and Cameron about their sex life, apart and together, to make it even clearer that she doesn’t believe him. Cameron finds out all this, begins comes up to herand you quiet don’t believe him.

The only conclusion we can come to, aside from Cam being a sociopath who keeps Harper from telling Daphne (who doesn’t care anyway) about him by trying to make her complicit, is that Harper Already disliking Ethan so much she’s willing to believe horrible things about him or just use that as an excuse to get into whether he’s telling the truth or not. Meanwhile, instead of arguing, Ethan just sits and scowls and absorbs the mood between Cam and Harper and does nothing; You can tell that kind of purposeful inaction is a big part of what made Harper hate him so much. Are these our options in life? Strange misplaced aggression or helpless, pathetic passivity?


Then there’s the matter of poor, mildly self-righteous Albie. After a great time with Lucí (marred by a ghastly crash cut by director White from his orgasm to the breaking waves), he defends the dignity of escorts to his grandfather and father (who is increasingly unhappy with his own loneliness and with Albie’s proximity to one of the sex workers he himself patronized), then spends the day with her. What he doesn’t realize is that she’s accusing him of some kind of fraud by inventing a pimp to blame him for… what exactly? He had already made it clear that he would pay her if she let him. To get him to punch Cam for the money Cam owes her? Is that even necessary?

Mia, meanwhile, successfully proposes to Valentina that she let her play the bar’s piano in exchange for sex. This comes shortly after Valentina demotes her work crush Isabella’s colleague to get him out of the way. Everything about these people’s romantic milieu is depressingly transactional, depressingly lopsided in terms of personal power.


Even the relative bright spot of Tanya’s whirlwind bromance with Quentin and his pack of fantastic international gay men is ruined. Quentin takes Tanya to the opera, chuckling a little at her ignorance but ultimately sharing a heartfelt, hand-holding moment as the music brings them both to tears. He delivers a moving monologue about how he has only once been in love with a straight man and instead dedicated his life to the pursuit of beauty.

I will say he has. At the end of the night, Tanya hears a, um, commotion and comes in to discover that Quentin has been killed by his nephew – “nephew”? – Jack gets fucked. For his part, Jack had spent the day romance Portia, from fucking on a yacht to a dine and dash adventure in the streets of Palermo. Another pair of lying liars!


The “happy” relationships involved in the story are hardly an improvement. Daphne and Cam have obviously implemented a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that works well enough for them, but only because Daphne hits back when she feels betrayed to make herself feel better. (She relays that advice to Harper, much to her own detriment, I suspect.) Bert insists his relationship with his late wife was happy, only for Dom to insist she knew of Bert’s every relationship and that she it was died a bitter woman; Bert blithely insists he loved her, she loved him, and it really is that simple.

After watching this bunch of villains at work, I hoped Bert was right! Though his idea of ​​his marriage is both self-serving and utterly delusional, it’s at least a happy delusion based on the idea that love conquers all. It seems like everyone else on the show is much closer to Quentin after giving up on love entirely, no matter what kind of lip service they pay to the idea or to its presence in their life with their significant other, if they have one.

And again I am unsure. What if we had The White Lotus all the time wrong? What if it is Not about how rich people are assholes? What if rich people were just a sci-fi like metaphor for real people? What happened if was the assholes?

Sean T.Collins (@theseantcollins) writes about TV for Rolling Stone, vulture, The New York Timesand anywhere that will have him, Yes, really. He and his family live on Long Island.

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