‘The White Lotus’ Season 2 Episode 7 Summary: “Arrivederci” +2023

My kids, and by extension my wife and I, were big fans of the Nickelodeon show Sam & Cata crossover between a character iCarly played by Jennette McCurdy and a character from victorious played by Ariana Grande. This show was very funny because McCurdy and Grande are very talented. There was this one scene where Sam, who literally eats everything, creates a kind of grotesque concoction that she calls sauce. Cat tastes it, spits it out extravagantly, then says in a polite Kewpie Doll voice, “That’s no sauce for me.”

The White Lotus is no sauce for me.


But here I am and here you are and we’re all together, so let’s recap the events of the last episode. As predicted, Lucía successfully swindles Albie (via Dom) out of an enormous sum of money to appease her fake pimp, who is just a guy she’s friends with; She leaves Albie out on their last morning together and, despite his invitation to take her to Los Angeles with him, is never seen by him again.

Angry at Harper for admitting that she kissed Cameron and convincing her that something even more unexpected had happened, Ethan fucks Daphne. (I know, I know you don’t see it, but guys, come on.) That night, Ethan rekindles his sexual relationship with Harper, fueled at least as much by Daphne’s words of wisdom about doing what you need to do to being independent, not feeling like a victim, as he is by his actual passion for Harper.


Mia has successfully tricked Valentina into being a halfway decent boss, getting her to put Isabella’s fiancé Rocco back at the front desk, and promising her to go to her club to meet real real lesbians, although she promises to meet one to spend another evening of carnal pleasures with her meanwhile.

And Tanya drowns after banging her head against a boat to escape after murdering several men on Quentin’s yacht after successfully discovering, with the help of her assistant Portia, that these men wanted to murder her so that her husband Greg was able to inherit her fortune and pass the savings on to her to maintain their palatial estates across Europe.

Well, for Jennifer Coolidge, you definitely have to give it up, that’s one thing. A lot of Coolidge fandom is this weird performative thing that all actor fandoms seem to be doing at this point where it’s more like you want that person to be a parent or best friend than a guy who just happens to really is good at acting, but let’s say besides that, because she’s really good at acting! It’s hard to convincingly play a dumb person without ending in a million old jokes, and Coolidge pulled it off time and time again as Tanya. This episode in particular is the no plus ultra of the role as Coolidge portrays Tanya’s ultimate realization that she is surrounded by men intent on murdering her for their money, like a cocker spaniel figuring out calculus.


I also give it to Haley Lu Richardson as Portia, Tanyas, what’s it called, alienated Assistant. As Tanya is escorted to her appointment in Samarra, Portia spends the day being blatantly and blatantly gaslit by Jack, Quentin’s “nephew,” a guy he hired to woo Portia while Quentin busy getting Tanya ready for the big sleep. I’m not sure which is more frightening: the ease with which Jack cuts them off from contact with others, or their willingness to go along with their ideas White are bad for her, a habit no doubt instilled in her over the years working for shitty bosses like Tanya for Peanuts, not to mention the whole patriarchy thing.

And the third trophy goes to MVP of the season, Meghann Fahy as Daphne. There’s a wonderful moment when Ethan comes over to her to discuss his suspicions that Harper and Cameron only got together for a moment where her perfectly even face falls; After that, boom, it’s back to the usual platitudes about how life is what it is and people what they are and ultimately you can only make hay while the sun is out or whatever. In that moment, her unrelenting cheerfulness and optimism is revealed as her own form of Cameron-style sociopathy, in which she really doesn’t care what happens to anyone else, anywhere, as long as she feels she’s overcome her husband over time. This is by far the most complex writing on this goofy show, and Fahy shoulders it effortlessly.


The problem, of course, is that none of this is treated as if it were real. In the end, it’s all played for laughs and the bitter irony of how lousy rich people usually end up doing well. So for the life of me I don’t understand how a viewer on Earth can actually be invested in, say, Tanya’s struggle to the death to escape this boat. So, what if she kills a bunch of funny gay guys and a mafia guy who cheated on her the night before before banging her own head on a (punctual, characterful) escape attempt by jumping right near the dinghy instead of going into the sea first? These are not real people, these are the conveyor belts where jokes are spread! It’s like really wondering about dead henchmen of Dr. Evil upset Austin Powers!

And who cares if the last picture is a triumph for working-class heroes Lucía and Mia? Of course, they’re better off with their money, and honestly deserve more than Albie or Cam or Giuseppe or anyone else who’s cheated them, but they’ve triumphed over ciphers, not people, and their motives are no more or less noble than everyone else the markers they tore off. You might as well cheer for the Whammies Express your luckor for the Noid to defeat Domino’s Pizza.

As much as I wish I could, I don’t see what people see in it The White Lotus. Please check.

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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