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S02.E03: Bull Elephants


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  • 4 weeks later...

This season, outside of the beautiful location, is a dud for me. The comedy is barely existent and the characters just aren’t as interesting as season 1. 
 

Tanya was the weakest link from season 1 and seeing her bring her new age shit into this season is a bore. 
 

The couples are painful to watch. Alexandra Daddario and her husband in season 1 hooked me in, but these 4 are all just one note. 
 

Michael Imperioli is great as expected but F Murray needs to tone down the cliche horny grandpa schtick while the son and his self righteous woke politics is an eyeroll. 

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Im not sure why I was shocked when Cam said he cheats a lot and proceeded to make out with Lucia in the pool and then have sex with her with Ethan there but I was! It seems unrealistic that Harper would agree to spend the night away from Ethan. I get she wanted to be more friendly to Daphne but it seems too far fetched to just go along with the plan to spend the night at the palazzo. 

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25 minutes ago, SoWindsor said:

Im not sure why I was shocked when Cam said he cheats a lot and proceeded to make out with Lucia in the pool and then have sex with her with Ethan there but I was! It seems unrealistic that Harper would agree to spend the night away from Ethan. I get she wanted to be more friendly to Daphne but it seems too far fetched to just go along with the plan to spend the night at the palazzo. 

I’d be kind of pissed if staying overnight was sprung on me like that since I wouldn’t have anything with me I’d need, starting with a change of clothes!

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I picked up on... something... in the first episode of the season when Cameron called Ethan the original incel, then turned it around and called Ethan a handsome guy, saying "I'd do you" with a grin. I chalked it up as an alpha move by Cameron to throw Ethan off balance, but after this episode, it feels like there's more to it. When the guys are partying with Lucia and Mia in the bar, Cameron feeds Ethan an olive on a toothpick, then puts his arm around Ethan, followed by him pushing Ethan into the pool and giving him a show by making out with Lucia. Then, when Cameron, Lucia and Mia enter Ethan's room, Cameron kisses Ethan on the cheek, and as the drinking continues, appears to pull Ethan onto his lap and kiss him on the neck. After which, Ethan turns down Mia's advances, then proceeds to watch shirtless Cameron slide his pants down and get ridden by Lucia. I'm not sure what sort of power/dominance thing Cameron is running on Ethan yet, but there's an added sexual component to it that I'm interested to watch play out between two guys.

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Harper trying to be fun was hilarious.  Just on the right side of dry. And to her credit Daphne saw through it. 

I think Daphne's approach to dealing with her husband is a practical one. She has small children, a lifestyle she likes, and husband she seems to mostly enjoy. I appreciate her directness with Harper about it. It wouldn't be my choice but I also can't afford to rent a palazzo on the spur of the moment just to mess with my husband a bit. Heh.

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9 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

I'll admit that my favorite scene was Valentina enjoying lunch by herself while feeding those adorable kittens. 

That and bluntly turning that guy down at the coffee place. Harper needs some of that don't eff with me energy or I will cut you. 

Edited by jeansheridan
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6 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

I'll admit that my favorite scene was Valentina enjoying lunch by herself while feeding those adorable kittens. 

Yes, the sexual aspect between Cameron and Ethan is interesting.  Though given how much Cameron seems to want Ethan to invest with him, I wouldn't put it past him to be doing all this simply to get Ethan's money. 

I loved the scene with the kittens! Between this and telling off the guy at the coffee shop, she’s definitely growing on me. Anyone else think the coworker who said she admired her has a crush on her?

I also think Cameron is after Ethan’s money, especially after Daphne’s comment to Harper that his coworkers all have dark triad traits.

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1 hour ago, CarpeFelis said:

I’m starting to think Cameron will be one of the dead bodies.

Yeah.  In fact, when he and Ethan were heading right at one another on their jet skis, I wondered if there'd be a crash in the final episode. 

1 hour ago, SoWindsor said:

 I get she wanted to be more friendly to Daphne but it seems too far fetched to just go along with the plan to spend the night at the palazzo. 

I'm guessing the logistics might have felt like too much and too aggressive...almost like she's running.

I did laugh at all the men staring at her on the street.  I remember getting that feeling in Italy and Spain and I really wasn't something to write home about when I was there--just 20-something and blonde.

18 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

Yes, the sexual aspect between Cameron and Ethan is interesting.  Though given how much Cameron seems to want Ethan to invest with him, I wouldn't put it past him to be doing all this simply to get Ethan's money. 

Yep.  I also wonder if Daphne is on this and she and her husband planned to separate the two for the night.

For those looking for Tom Hollander, we got a glimpse of him in the restaurant.  He was at the table of guys staring at Tanya.

Edited by Irlandesa
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This was a weird episode. The overnight-as-a-surprise thing didn't make sense because Daphne had an overnight bag with her when she got in the car. Both Harper and Cameron saw it. Harper should have figured out immediately what was happening and shut it down if she didn't want that. But maybe Harper also wanted to "punish" Ethan because he completely ignored her in her cute lingerie that morning.

I'm not at all surprised that Cameron cheats on Daphne, but somewhat impressed with Ethan for refusing to cheat. I thought Cameron may have gotten into his head with his speech earlier that day.

Tanya was particularly tiresome in this episode. Trying to make a scene at breakfast, treating Portia like crap, the stupid tarot reading. And then poor Portia gets cock-blocked by Albie while trying to flirt with the tattooed bro at the pool.

17 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

I'll admit that my favorite scene was Valentina enjoying lunch by herself while feeding those adorable kittens. 

That was so sweet that she brought food for them, and it looked like the expensive kind. Not what I would have expected from her at all. And then she even managed to be nice to one of the hotel employees after she paid her a compliment.

1 hour ago, CarpeFelis said:

I’m starting to think Cameron will be one of the dead bodies.

Since there were multiple dead bodies, I'm starting to think that it will be all the men who had sex with Lucia that week.

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This has been my favorite episode of the season so far. My favorite scene was Daphne talking about how men can't be friends with each other (since that is said about women all the time and isn't true). I do feel kind of bad for her, but she made her choices and we all make compromises in life. I'm glad they've added some depth to her. But Cameron still has no redeeming qualities.

I was wondering if the fortune teller was messing with Tanya because she seemed put off by how she treated Portia.

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There's absolutely no one to root for this season. I hate the sullen assistant. Working for Tanya is a nightmare but dude you took the job...quit or stfu. When the olds talk about working their way up or paying dues it's not always about the harassment we faced; sometimes it was just shitty temperamental, unhinged bosses like Tanya. 

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7 hours ago, jeansheridan said:

I think Daphne's approach to dealing with her husband is a practical one. She has small children, a lifestyle she likes, and husband she seems to mostly enjoy. I appreciate her directness with Harper about it. It wouldn't be my choice but I also can't afford to rent a palazzo on the spur of the moment just to mess with my husband a bit. Heh.

Daphne's approach to dealing with Cameron won't seem so smart when he goes to prison for insider trading and they lose everything. 
Daphne will be lucky if Cameron is one of the dead bodies, so long as she doesn't remarry another guy of the same type.

7 hours ago, LilaFowler said:

I'm starting to wonder if Greg left for two days because he's trying to have Tanya killed and he needs a rock solid alibi. That might be the only way that he's getting her money, and why he was so upset that Portia was invited along even after he said no.

Yeah, I've been thinking since the first episode when Greg tried to get rid of Portia that he plans to have Tanya offed while he gone for "just 2 days." 
Hey, maybe Daphne has plans to get rid of Cameron too?

The one bit of character development I'd like to see is Portia finding an ounce of compassion for Tanya. Yes Tanya has a boatload of money, that seems to only buy her misery, but maybe an assistant who showed Tanya compassion might give her something to emulate? Nah. Who'm I kidding. 

I'm kind of looking for an excuse to quit this show. Maybe my son-in-law's access to HBO will run out.

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I think Cameron and Daphne purposely split the two up so that Cameron could work on Ethan.  I think Cameron wants Ethan's money and Harper is too smart and perceptive to allow her to see him working on Ethan. And I also think the insistence on Ethan joining in fun with prostitutes was Cameron's way of creating compromat on Ethan and splitting up Harper and Ethan for good. He cheated!!!  He is not the man you think you married!! Etc. I don't trust that couple at all. Too much talk about all their money and how they take marvellous trips around the world.  They either never had the money or blew their money. But they both seem like schemers and sociopaths.

Somebody needs to put Tanya out of her misery. It's a wonder no one has offed her yet. It is possible that Greg is trying to kill her for her money. She has already offered to do away with the prenup in order to keep him.

Sick of the prostitutes. Don't care about the mens' trip to Italy. Portia is dull and hang dog. We need better plotlines.

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F. Murray Abraham silently mouthing "prostitutes" made me laugh way harder than I expected.  Don't know why that particular moment cracked me up like that, but it was so hilarious!

So, it looks like Cameron and Daphne's facade is starting to fade away and we are seeing their truth selves.  It's really no surprise that not only does Cameron cheat on her but is so blatant about it and thinks it's just "natural" for guys to do that.  But it's also honestly not that surprising that Daphne suspects it and is just willingly to let it happen, while getting her victories elsewhere.  I think it's just a case of Daphne wanting this lifestyle and; being generous; wanting her kids to have a good life, so she's made peace with being married to a philander as long as she's provided for.  And can get to do things like stay at a plaza in Noto with no warning and know that he'll just have to deal with it.  That said, what I'm curious about now is their intentions for both Ethan and Harper.  Cameron was pretty blatant with his questioning with Ethan and "going into business" together, so I have to think this was his plan all along for the "vacation."  I also definitely noticed some sexual tension/moments between the two as well.  Meanwhile, I'm wondering if there was a particular reason Daphne told Harper that she really does think Cameron's other friends are actual sociopaths.  Knowing what Harper does, I wonder if she actually wants Harper to look more into that.  Or maybe just make her be more suspicious of Ethan.  I imagine all of this will come to ahead soon.

Sadly, it really looks like Albie's need to not be like his father could end up making him go too far in the opposite direction.  I just don't think Portia is really into him that way and I worry that he's not going to handle it well at all.

Finally got our first glimpse of Tom Hollander!

Have to think something else is in store for the Mia and Lucia characters besides partying with different guests each episode.

Valentina is becoming even more awesome: especially with the "feeding the stray cats" bit.  Yeah, compared to most of the humans she has to deal with, cats are even more superior companions than normal!

This show is still really wanting me visit Sicily: as long as I don't have to interact with any of these types of people!

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I thought the scene with Valentina eating alone and feeding the kitties was sweet but sad.  It feels like she has no one in her life.

Jennifer Coolidge needs a crash course on crying!!!  That was a pitiful attempt at acting like you are crying.  And why are her eyes usually nearly closed when she talks?  I could really do with a whole lot less of her.  I hope if there is another season she is not in it!!

I wonder about Ethan's refusal of the hooker.  Is he really that principled about being faithful, or is he impotent except when watching porn?  Or did he just not want to perform in front of Cam? Or not want to give Cam something to hold over him? Harper was so right about Cam.

Edited by MBayGal
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8 hours ago, CarpeFelis said:

I’m starting to think Cameron will be one of the dead bodies.

I'm starting to think that Daphne is planning to kill them all and then pretend she found the bodies. She's playing too many mind games for someone as innocent as she pretends to be. 

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Based on the first season, Mike White doesn't do murder mysteries much, despite the multiple dead bodies referenced. Cameron has an angle but it's just money. I think Daphne is just chatting. Maybe Cameron asked her to help split them up.

I don't love Jennifer Coolidge but many women like her go through life and the more even-keeled around them put up with her. I wish Portia was less whiney but she may have depression.  I love her random offer to Venmo money for the lunch. Just a nice character detail.

6 minutes ago, SnazzyDaisy said:

The creepy scene where men in the town surrounded Harper, it's a reference to this movie - L'Avventura (1960)

Thank you! It felt like a horror film. Mike White recreated it perfectly. 

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6 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

Sadly, it really looks like Albie's need to not be like his father could end up making him go too far in the opposite direction.  I just don't think Portia is really into him that way and I worry that he's not going to handle it well at all.

Interesting that the episode had so much dialog about the glorification of violence in The Godfather as part of the whole Toxic Masculinity of the Geezers.

  • [ALBIE TO DAD AND NONNO/BERT] "Men love The Godfather because they feel emasculated by modern society. It's a fantasy about a time when they could go out and solve all their problems with violence and sleep with every woman and then come home to their wife who doesn't ask them any questions and makes them pasta."

Now I'm wondering if the dead bodies in the first episode could be the result of Albie mistakenly thinking Portia wants to saved from the hot pool dude bro, resulting in Albie being the male in the family to go to prison for killing someone over a woman he desired.
And now I'm wondering, if that happens, will his grandfather boast about it? Probably not.
Creator Mike White probably wants to demonstrate that The Godfather (and film and art in general) does not, as Albie claims: "socialize men into having that fantasy."


 

24 minutes ago, SnazzyDaisy said:

The creepy scene where men in the town surrounded Harper, it's a reference to this movie - L'Avventura (1960).

 😟😨

20 minutes ago, jeansheridan said:

Thank you! It felt like a horror film. Mike White recreated it perfectly. 

Yes Mike White did indeed recreate that scene perfectly!   😟😨
I'm assuming it was shot in the same location?
Are we to suppose to know that Harper has seen Monica Vitti's L'Avventura?
Given that Tanya wanted to reenact Monica Vitti film adventures in the previous episode, I guess this is the Female Gaze version of what Albie was dissing?

Edited by shapeshifter
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32 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

And now I'm wondering, if that happens, will his grandfather boast about it? Probably not.
Creator Mike White probably wants to demonstrate that The Godfather (and film and art in general) does not, as Albie claims: "socialize men into having that fantasy."

Cameron is also making that argument too this ep. Not the violence but the permission to cheat when you have means and money. The guys simulated violence on the jet-skis too. "Nerdy" Ethan was into it on the water, not so much for the sex part. 

I like how the Italian dad is a different kind of alpha. He uses his money gently to smooth things over with Lucia and Mia. He is almost always clear with her about the situation. Whereas Cameron is an ass. Waving them over like waitresses? Rude.

Also when Harper and Daphne are swimming in what I thought was a private pool the men in uniforms are ogling them overtly. They can't even pay for privacy. There's not one female character who hasn't been ogled actually. 

It's interesting that Portia said she wanted a caveman but that dude in the pool looked like a WASP bro. With sensitive nips. So caveman! But maybe she likes tattoos.

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I'm actually enjoying this season more than the first. I didn't like or identify with any of the guests in the first, but here, I identify with parts of Harper, Ethan, and Albie. I'm just as awkward and fake as Harper when pretending to be nice lol. Valentina is over everything, and it makes me laugh. Tanya's storyline is the weakest, but I do think it was the natural conclusion of her storyline in the first. 

I thought Ethan and Cameron's scenes were interesting. When Ethan was alone in the hotel room before letting Cameron, Lucia and Mia in, he looked angry and then plastered on his own fake smile. I think Harper was right about everything she said about Cameron and Daphne and Cameron and Ethan. The sexual stuff was definitely a power play on Cameron's part, and I have no doubt he pulled the same shit in college. Ethan hates the guy and hates himself around him but feels competitive too. 

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8 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

The one bit of character development I'd like to see is Portia finding an ounce of compassion for Tanya. Yes Tanya has a boatload of money, that seems to only buy her misery, but maybe an assistant who showed Tanya compassion might give her something to emulate? Nah. Who'm I kidding. 

Eh, Tanya's erratic behavior and weird demands (telling Portia that she has to go sit on the couch while Tanya tries to nap) probably erode whatever compassion Portia may have for Tanya. 

39 minutes ago, jeansheridan said:

I like how the Italian dad is a different kind of alpha. He uses his money gently to smooth things over with Lucia and Mia. He is almost always clear with her about the situation. Whereas Cameron is an ass. Waving them over like waitresses? Rude.

My impression was more that Michael Imperioli's character was just a lot more experienced in dealing with prostitutes. 

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I don’t think Cam and Daphne are broke. I think for finance people every person is potentially an investor.  I think Cam is who he appears to be an entitled, rich, bored person who is looking for thrills.  I don’t think he’s excited by his job or his wife. So he does stuff out of bounds to feel something.  He plays a role of the wife guy with Daphne but it’s just a role.  I also think he likes bringing Ethan to his level.  Harper for him is part competition and part he likes the challenge. 
 

As for Daphne there is nothing sadder than when a victim doesn’t know they are victim.  I bet Harper has these talks a lot with clients explaining bad behavior away while saying they aren’t a victim. This is the illusion of control over a bad situation.

Ethan…is the mystery to me.  My instinct is he’s just a solitary person and likes doing stuff alone.  The porn was female porn he was watching.    I think he has a hard time connecting. But he’s also a dick.  He’s knew his wife well enough to know she would hate and feel uncomfortable on this trip.  He also knew she didn’t want to go with Daphne and egged it on. 
 

Harper is sexualizing everyone because the fact she’s not getting sex has made everything sexual to her.  

Albie:  not liking the Godfather is not endearing you to anyone.

Tanya:  I love how women always turn to tarot and horoscope when life is unsettling.  I have done this too lol.  The cards say I would find love today lol. 

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10 hours ago, chocolatine said:

This was a weird episode.

I thought it was the best one so far. Beautiful as always, but with lots of different view points, with many having at least some germs of truth, even if in conflict with each other. Albie is, at least in Portia's view, too earnest and too nice. He's so accommodating that he's even willing to change his persona to please her. He's a perfect vessel to deliver the positive side of being a sensitive, woke male. But, as his father and grandfather respond, there are inherent problems with that mindset too - manifested at least by Portia's disinterest, and as they assert, contradicting the "nature" of men. That "nature" was also on full display in the L'Avventura homage. 

The debate regarding whether men are inherently manwhores is further echoed by Cameron's and Ethan's differing approaches to their respective marriages. Cameron is all in with the "nature" of men being unchangeable and not worth fighting. Ethan, like Albie, thinks otherwise, and sees honesty and monogamy as foundational for any good relationship. Ethan may contest Cameron's "every guy cheats" point, but he's just as in and determined to "win" the jetski "duel" as Cameron. Even "nerdy" Ethan can't suppress his "nature" completely. I don't know what to make of Cameron's "handsiness," if not flirtation, with Ethan, but suspect that buttresses how sexually adventurous and confident Cameron is. Most men would worry about misconstrued appearances, but Cameron seems to have evolved beyond that, maybe. He's also an exhibitionist. He does seem to enjoy exposing himself, first in front of Harper, and now even more so before Ethan.

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I don’t think I like Portia. She is probably making a great salary, has plenty of time to hang out with Albie and his family and she seems really annoyed when Tanya expects her to do something. I could easily sit on a couch and read a book if I were being paid, were in Sicily and could go hang by the pool and have free time later.

I’m curious about Daphne. She came across as shallow and not too smart initially but her conversations after they ate the gummies seemed intelligent and unexpected. I did like the manager more this episode. I find Lucia and Mia annoying and I imagine a lot of wealthy people wouldn’t like sex workers hanging out in the resort restaurant trying to hit up every guy they see.

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I'm just glad Ethan didn't cheat because I want to like him. And I want things to work out with him and Harper. 

I, too, noticed how handsy Cameron was with Ethan but I'm not sure if it means anything.

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This season, outside of the beautiful location, is a dud for me. The comedy is barely existent and the characters just aren’t as interesting as season 1. 

I'm curious to know what about Season 1 you found comedic. I sincerely have no idea why people kept saying it was "funny." Every story was tragic and depressing. I don't know that White Lotus is meant to be a comedy or even a dramedy. 

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12 hours ago, CarpeFelis said:

I loved the scene with the kittens! Between this and telling off the guy at the coffee shop, she’s definitely growing on me. Anyone else think the coworker who said she admired her has a crush on her?

I also think Cameron is after Ethan’s money, especially after Daphne’s comment to Harper that his coworkers all have dark triad traits.

Daphne mentioned that they are like Bernie Madoff.  So, I am thinking like con-men.

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5 hours ago, Madding crowd said:

I don’t think I like Portia. She is probably making a great salary, has plenty of time to hang out with Albie and his family and she seems really annoyed when Tanya expects her to do something. I could easily sit on a couch and read a book if I were being paid, were in Sicily and could go hang by the pool and have free time later.

I’m curious about Daphne. She came across as shallow and not too smart initially but her conversations after they ate the gummies seemed intelligent and unexpected. I did like the manager more this episode. I find Lucia and Mia annoying and I imagine a lot of wealthy people wouldn’t like sex workers hanging out in the resort restaurant trying to hit up every guy they see.

Portia is OK to me but her clothing is hideous.  Like every time I see her I notice how hideous it is.  It’s aggressively hideous, and it must mean something.  

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1 hour ago, Evie said:

I thought Ethan and Cameron's scenes were interesting. When Ethan was alone in the hotel room before letting Cameron, Lucia and Mia in, he looked angry and then plastered on his own fake smile. I think Harper was right about everything she said about Cameron and Daphne and Cameron and Ethan. The sexual stuff was definitely a power play on Cameron's part, and I have no doubt he pulled the same shit in college. Ethan hates the guy and hates himself around him but feels competitive too. 

I think there's a lot that happened in college that is unresolved between them, and that's why their scenes intrigue me. Cameron is far too physical with Ethan, and Ethan doesn't seem particularly surprised, so something likely occurred back in the day, or was perceived at least.

  Harper was in a bind. It was rude for Daphne to kidnap her, and she had every right to go back on her own, but then the rest of the trip is awkward. This way, she gets to pick Daphne's brain about her marriage a bit, and the Palazzo seemed a nice enough diversion.

  Too bad that when the guys were discussing the Godafather films, Albie didn't bring up the more contemporary "Sopranos". I could see the Imperioli's character saying he'd seen it, but couldn't relate to any of the characters.

   Tanya is still a mess, and I await an answer as to what Greg's up to. I DO wish there was an actual subplot involving the staff. That perspective would be welcome.

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2 hours ago, txhorns79 said:

My impression was more that Michael Imperioli's character was just a lot more experienced in dealing with prostitutes. 

I think he is also more innately polite. Yes he would not introduce his female family members to these two young woman but he speaks to them with a level of respect for their service I appreciate. 

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I think the conversation between Ethan and Cameron about Cameron investing Ethan's money is 100% why Cameron set up this trip up. He's pretending to be Ethan's friend so he invited Ethan and the wives to make it look like a vacation but for Cameron, it is all about getting some of Ethan's windfall. He's so entitled about it too. He wanted insider information about Ethan selling his company! I don't think we know enough about Ethan yet, but I hope he is smart enough not to give Cameron a dime. I think Ethan is intelligent but smart people do dumb things all of the time. He did say he'd sit down with Cameron and "the guys" to talk about it but maybe that was just to appease Cameron in that moment. Or maybe something will happen on this trip to make the whole deal blow up anyway. That's what I'm leaning toward.

Daphne is obviously not an idiot either but I do think she's fooling herself. All her "punishment" to Cameron did was give him time and space to party with and cheat on her with a prostitute. He did not have any "FOMO" about missing the palazzo and it's pool. I liked the juxtaposition between the scenes of Cameron, Ethan, Lucia and Mia partying with the scenes of Daphne and Harper in the quiet palazzo. Not that I wouldn't love to chill in a palazzo with an edible, but they were very different vibes.

We still don't know what Greg's deal is unless the tarot card reader was right. Tanya is so full of it, saying that she's looking for an "authentic, old world" experience and then getting angry when she gets one! She's infuriating--making you feel bad for her when she crawls into bed for a nap after her husband leaves her and the tarot card reader tells her her husband is love with a beautiful woman who is not her--and then the next minute telling Portia to sit on the couch and read a magazine or to go wait in the bathroom. I was right about Portia being her emotional support animal.

I shouldn't be but I'm kind of impressed that Dominic told Lucia and Mia not to come around for the rest of the week. Is he really trying to change? Can he? I guess they had to free up Lucia and Mia so that Cameron could be his sleazy self.

I'm curious how Albie is going to handle the disappointment of Portia ultimately rejecting him. I think that's where this is headed. Albie has learned and can articulate all the right things but what happens when he actually experiences a woman making a different choice than what he wants.

I think this show is much more straight forward than people are speculating. I am amused by the wild speculations though, so keep them coming... I guess?

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1 hour ago, dmc said:

Albie:  not liking the Godfather is not endearing you to anyone.

I last saw parts 1 and 2 when I was 15, more than 30 years ago. I read the book too. I liked it, I think. I wasn't the audience for it but the good performances are undeniable.  Al Pacino was masculine beauty corrupted by power. It's a tragedy though. Do people forget that?

Americans do have some weird love affair with the mafia. The Sopranos and many of Scorsese's films. Breaking Bad without the Italian aspect. It is a fantasy of male dominance. Wise guys and brute strength. 

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3 minutes ago, WatcherUatl10 said:

I think there's a lot that happened in college that is unresolved between them, and that's why their scenes intrigue me. Cameron is far too physical with Ethan, and Ethan doesn't seem particularly surprised, so something likely occurred back in the day, or was perceived at least.

  Harper was in a bind. It was rude for Daphne to kidnap her, and she had every right to go back on her own, but then the rest of the trip is awkward. This way, she gets to pick Daphne's brain about her marriage a bit, and the Palazzo seemed a nice enough diversion.

I'm suspecting a college affair between Ethan & Cameron and Ethan still has unresolved feelings about it. Cameron is using sexuality to get into Ethan's head and he knew Ethan was watching him have sex with the prostitute. Otherwise, I can't see any other reason why Ethan would want anything to do with Cameron & his wife. They are not friends.

I have a feeling that the business friends he wants Ethan to meet back in the U.S. are probably close by and they will be meeting them soon at the resort. Cameron is probably into some shady dealings and needs Ethan's money to bail him out. Maybe this will lead to the deaths discovered in the water.

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4 minutes ago, DoubleUTeeEff said:

I think this show is much more straight forward than people are speculating.

Ditto. But speculation is fun. White seems much more interested in father/son relationships and nuances between men then crime plots.

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14 minutes ago, jeansheridan said:

I last saw parts 1 and 2 when I was 15, more than 30 years ago. I read the book too. I liked it, I think. I wasn't the audience for it but the good performances are undeniable.  Al Pacino was masculine beauty corrupted by power. It's a tragedy though. Do people forget that?

Americans do have some weird love affair with the mafia. The Sopranos and many of Scorsese's films. Breaking Bad without the Italian aspect. It is a fantasy of male dominance. Wise guys and brute strength. 

I read the book too.  My mother actually saw this film with her mother and grandmother in the movies when it came out.  I watched as a kid with her recommendation.  I still get excited when Michael goes to bathroom to get the gun.

Yes we love mob movies in America...I also love Casino and the Untouchables.  

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3 hours ago, Madding crowd said:

I don’t think I like Portia. She is probably making a great salary, has plenty of time to hang out with Albie and his family and she seems really annoyed when Tanya expects her to do something. I could easily sit on a couch and read a book if I were being paid, were in Sicily and could go hang by the pool and have free time later.

I’m curious about Daphne. She came across as shallow and not too smart initially but her conversations after they ate the gummies seemed intelligent and unexpected. I did like the manager more this episode. I find Lucia and Mia annoying and I imagine a lot of wealthy people wouldn’t like sex workers hanging out in the resort restaurant trying to hit up every guy they see.

Given how petty and demanding Tanya is, I wouldn't doubt that she's barely paying Portia above minimum wage. Really rich people often hate to part with their money,  and pay employees a bullshit wage. Part of me does think Portia could have it a lot worse than her own room at a luxe Italian villa and most of her time to do what she wants, at least while Tanya is 'hiding' her from her creepy husband, but the way Tanya treats her is abominable and grotesque. As is Tanya, at this point. I'm so very tired of her. 

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15 hours ago, SoWindsor said:

 It seems unrealistic that Harper would agree to spend the night away from Ethan. I get she wanted to be more friendly to Daphne but it seems too far fetched to just go along with the plan to spend the night at the palazzo. 

She was really strong-armed into agreeing to go off with Daphne. And I 100% think that was part of Cameron and Daphne's plan. Seduce people, grab their money, and then mock them. I don't think anything sexual went down in college between Cameron and Ethan. I think Cameron was a douche to him then, and he's a douche to him now...covered up with a smarmy bromance. As I thought, Cameron is a creepy, insider-trading, douchecanoe criminal. He and Daphne are definitely running a scam on Harper and Ethan. Daphne's less vapid than I thought. I think she definitely likes playing the role of Cameron's lure.

12 hours ago, Andyourlittledog2 said:

I think Cameron and Daphne purposely split the two up so that Cameron could work on Ethan. 

This.

I like Mia, but Lucia is getting on my last nerve. And Mia was smart enough to see through icky piano player.

The three paisanos are just filler for me. I can't care too much about any of them.

Valentina's growing on me. Sometimes a woman just wants to drink her coffee in peace.

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47 minutes ago, luna1122again said:

Given how petty and demanding Tanya is, I wouldn't doubt that she's barely paying Portia above minimum wage. Really rich people often hate to part with their money,  and pay employees a bullshit wage. Part of me does think Portia could have it a lot worse than her own room at a luxe Italian villa and most of her time to do what she wants, at least while Tanya is 'hiding' her from her creepy husband, but the way Tanya treats her is abominable and grotesque. As is Tanya, at this point. I'm so very tired of her. 

We haven’t seen anything to suggest Tanya is cheap that I can recall. When people take jobs as assistants to rich people it always comes with crazy demands. Portia wasn’t forced into the job and I would have put up with Tanya’s craziness to get a trip to Sicily. 

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3 hours ago, dmc said:

Portia is OK to me but her clothing is hideous.  Like every time I see her I notice how hideous it is.  It’s aggressively hideous, and it must means something.  

I think Portia’s clothing is appropriate for the role of Tanya’s young, off-duty, vacation assistant. 
As far as meaning, I thought it was was supposed to demonstrate Portia trying to demonstrate gender fluidity, although maybe just because it's socially acceptable among her peer group to appear gender fluid. I'm not sure yet.
But I floved this top Portia/Haley Lu Richardson wore in this episode.  
1904CE61-A3F1-46CB-A5E6-6BB51DCC35B7.thumb.jpeg.91c173130489e99a66c911254e29845d.jpeg
But I am inclined to agree with this assessment of Portia not appreciating her cushy job:

4 hours ago, Madding crowd said:

I don’t think I like Portia. She is probably making a great salary, has plenty of time to hang out with Albie and his family and she seems really annoyed when Tanya expects her to do something. I could easily sit on a couch and read a book if I were being paid, were in Sicily and could go hang by the pool and have free time later.

Of course, maybe she hasn't had to work any fast food or waitress jobs, or *any* jobs previously?
Do we know how old she is?
Even if her parents aren't "rich," they may be solidly middle class enough that she spent her summers and outside-the-classroom time doing sports or engaged in other activities designed to build a résumé without earning anything.

Edited by shapeshifter
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Nothing about Portia feels gender fluid to me. But that's me. I think it's an interesting idea to explore in a place that has strong gender stereotypes (Whether true or not. I don't know the real Italy). I would say the hotel director in her elegant suits defies some stereotypes but she has those bloody heels on. Plus she seems tough but feminine...the hair and makeup. That actress is 54! She looks gorgeous. 

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@jeansheridan   I agree about Portia. Especially the sundress of crocheted granny squares with crocheted straps was about as non-gender-fluid as you can get.  Most of the time she just looks poorly dressed for the setting.

I don't think Valentina is defying any stereotypes.  Her elegant suits aren't masculine looking, and her heels, hair, and makeup are thoroughly feminine.  To me she presents as a professional woman.  

Edited by MBayGal
typos
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