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S02.E06: Abductions


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O.k. I just watched L'Avventura. First, Monica Vitti and Jennifer Coolidge definitely have a bit of a resemblance. I hadn't seen Monica Vitti in ages, and I'd forgotten exactly how she looked. It's not a stretch that Tanya has her as a model.

Next, this movie and Antonioni's next two (with Vitti) are called his Trilogy of Ennui. And let me tell you that's not an exaggeration. Be warned.

Lastly, the penultimate scene was in front of a gateway, and I thought it looked very familiar. There was a plaque on the wall that said San Domenico Palace -- the site of the White Lotus! It was interesting seeing it from over 60 years ago. In black & white.

ETA: I forgot I wanted to mention Harper's wardrobe. I'd imagine as an attorney and especially one litigating sexual harassment cases, she'd want to be as buttoned up and conservative in her dress as possible. Maybe it carries over to her resort wear?

Edited by carrps
Forgot I wanted to mention this.
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4 hours ago, aghst said:

Google Translate can help.  You can download languages so you can use it without a connection.

Good to know. 

This Tuscany trip, however, was one year before the invention of the smart phone! 😂

You don't know how many times I've wished in retrospect that phones with GPS had existed then.

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4 hours ago, chocolatine said:

I don't know, but that's what Valentina asked. She seemed to only care about how many of the bodies were guests, not how many bodies there were in total.

That, and where the dead body was found. She was saying something like, “well, as long as it’s in the ocean, it’s fine because the ocean is not part of the hotel.” That’s when Rocco told her that they found more dead bodies in the hotel area itself.

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37 minutes ago, slowpoked said:

That, and where the dead body was found. She was saying something like, “well, as long as it’s in the ocean, it’s fine because the ocean is not part of the hotel.” That’s when Rocco told her that they found more dead bodies in the hotel area itself.

Not exactly what Rocco said. But could be. 
I assumed the other bodies were also in the water, but, yeah, Rocco doesn't specify, and since Salvatore is the one who told Rocco about the other bodies, they very well might be in the hotel on at least on the grounds.

Here is my transcription from the English captioning on screen for the Italian spoken between Rocco and Valentina at the beginning of the first episode——1 week before the events shown in the rest of that episode, and just after the events of this week's episode:

  • [ROCCO] Valentina!
  • [VALENTINA] Why is your face like that?
  • [ROCCO] One of the guests has drowned.
  • [VALENTINA] What? . . . It's fine, the ocean is not hotel property. We can't be liable for what happens in the Ionian sea!
  • [ROCCO] No. You don't get it. Salvatore says other bodies have been found.
  • [VALENTINA] What other bodies? What the fuck are you saying Rocco, what do you mean other bodies?
  • [ROCCO] Other guests have been killed.
  • [VALENTINA] Rocco, how many dead guests are there?
  • [ROCCO] I don't know . . . a few?
  • [VALENTINA] Fuck.
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The show definitely works better if nothing happened between Harper and Cameron because that particular foursome us about suspicions and jealousy and it just works better if Ethan who hasn’t been attracted to Harper in a long time gets jealous because he thinks she is cheating on him. 

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Re dining at the hotel restaurant: the 5* people that I know are extremely spoiled in how they are spoken to and how and what they are served. I know someone who will only fly on American owned airlines (ie United) and stay at American owned hotels (ie four seasons) because of the level and familiarity of service they provide.  The “rules” are familiar and comforting - they can verbally snap at the staff, send food back, ask for random items to be procured and sent to their room, etc and know they will be attended to. Then, as shown, they take day trips with hotel staff as their guide/driver.

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9 hours ago, snarts said:

I have to weigh in on the dining on property vs. off.  I'd argue that most of the guests are well traveled and this is not their first time in Italy. White Lotus is a luxury all-inclusive beachside resort so it makes sense to me that many of them would want to stay on property and relax.  If they wanted to explore Sicily, they'd likely have stayed at a different hotel.

When I go somewhere new, I want to explore but when I just want to get away & relax, I tend to book an all-inclusive in the Caribbean/Mexico and yes, rarely leave the property (snorkeling aside). For the rich, their Sicily is my Cancun :)

I found & watched the Ep7 previews, my DVR cut them off.  I can never remember if preview discussion is allowed in episode threads so putting this in spoilers

  Reveal spoiler

Tanya makes it back on the boat and we see her staring at something in the water.

I just went and watched -- she waves to somebody -- single hand -- like a goodbye, thanks kind of wave, so she's not gazing down into the water at something. (I just watched the preview hitting pause every second trying to see as much as I could!) :-D 

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22 minutes ago, julia1130 said:

Re dining at the hotel restaurant: the 5* people that I know are extremely spoiled in how they are spoken to and how and what they are served. I know someone who will only fly on American owned airlines (ie United) and stay at American owned hotels (ie four seasons) because of the level and familiarity of service they provide.  The “rules” are familiar and comforting - they can verbally snap at the staff, send food back, ask for random items to be procured and sent to their room, etc and know they will be attended to. Then, as shown, they take day trips with hotel staff as their guide/driver.

They might want a fine dining experience to go with staying at a 5-star hotel.

Many hotels have highly rated restaurants because they hired some famous chef.

So food's probably good and the ambience -- expensively decorated dining space -- probably is all that some of these rich guests want.

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46 minutes ago, Sailorgirl26 said:

I just went and watched -- she waves to somebody -- single hand -- like a goodbye, thanks kind of wave, so she's not gazing down into the water at something. (I just watched the preview hitting pause every second trying to see as much as I could!) :-D 

There’s also what looks like an argument with some physical struggle between Ethan and Cameron in the water in the preview. 

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1 hour ago, Verovee said:

There’s also what looks like an argument with some physical struggle between Ethan and Cameron in the water in the preview. 

I saw that too. But I consider that more as a red herring because I would think White wouldn’t be that obvious.

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37 minutes ago, maggiemae said:

When the menu becomes boring at a 5 star resort/restaurants it is time to venture out - at the very least for different scenery and atmosphere, imo.

Agreed. I always find hotel food super bland. I have not eaten at a Four Seasons in a long time but I remember their vegetarian options were paltry. Resort food never looks appealing. 

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I used to live on a smaller island in Hwaii and worked at a Five Star Resort very similar to the White Lotus and I worked at the front desk of this resort so I checked out the guests and saw their hotel bill.  Many spend their week and often two weeks mainly dining in the hotel's four restaurants and bill their room.

At this hotel the same celebrity guests who almost anyone would recognize were I to drop their names  came yearly for Thanksgiving and Christmas, they stay the entire month of December into New Year and they take most of their meals at the hotel.  I'm sure a few times they venture out and eat other places but it's just convenient and enjoyable to  them I think, to know the menu and have the staff know them.  Sometimes when you're traveling, you want some adventure but also want familiarity.

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I am a bit cranky about this season.  Last season, few of the characters were likeable (2, 3, or 4?), but it didn't matter because you wanted to see how the interactions went and see what even the dreadful people (the vast majority) did.  This season had interminable pacing, and I don't care what happens to anyone.  Except possibly Albie, I hope he survives to be older and - not cynical, just more insightful.  And Valentina - she is incredibly relatable but I don't like having a second LGBTQ concierge who is a terrible supervisor!  Cringe.

This is a season in which the analysis on this board is much better than the show itself.  So many interesting comments about content I didn't identify at the time because I was not compelled to pay attention.  DawnGame had a really great analysis of the 3 crones, and there were many others.  jeansheridan commented on the mockery of Jennifer Coolidge's character, which is honestly both repellant and boring at this point.  Another commentator, and I'm sorry I can't find it, quoted the talk that Harper had with Ethan - we're not attracted to each other and aren't you too young to give up your sex life?  That was one scene I thought was acted so well by Aubrey Plaza - she was saying the truth even if it killed her.

I don't know - I'm a big Mike White fan but this is not great.  At all.

I will say I've been in Europe only a few times and not recently.  Every time I was the least multilingual person in the room.  The worst was Amsterdam, when I was on my own for a couple of days and I would say "I'm sorry I don't speak Dutch," and every single other person spoke English. Ugh.  The Italians in particular- my daughter and I had to take this train trip on their confusing train system -- were very kind and helpful.  We had consecutive seat numbers but they were actually far apart, and she was only about 7 at the time.  They rearranged everyone so that we sat across from each other with a little table in the middle.  We both fell asleep with jet lag and when we woke up we each had every juice box and treat from the coffee cart sitting on our table for us.  A few people helped us carry our luggage- not voluminous but very awkward duffel bags -- off the train.  Very happy memory that had nothing to do with scenery or history, only the people.

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1 hour ago, maggiemae said:

When the menu becomes boring at a 5 star resort/restaurants it is time to venture out - at the very least for different scenery and atmosphere, imo.

Sure but this is Cameron.  I highly doubt the menu is actually boring.  He just wanted to bitch about something.  It's easier than putting out an effort.

I also don't think this is an all-inclusive resort.  A luxury resort likely does not want to leave money on the table by lumping all extras into an overall fee. 

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14 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Here is my transcription from the English captioning on screen for the Italian spoken between Rocco and Valentina at the beginning of the first episode——1 week before the events shown in the rest of that episode, and just after the events of this week's episode:

Thanks for this. You're right, he didn't explicitly say hotel, but more implied since it's an employee who found the other dead bodies.

8 hours ago, chocolatine said:

It's not all-inclusive because Dominic asked Lucia if she was charging food and drinks to his room.

Good catch. 

It seems like guests eat breakfast and dinner at the hotel, which are the most convenient times of the days to do so. They venture out during the day, have lunch where they end up, and then come back to the hotel tired, freshen up a bit, and just go down for dinner instead of going out again. Typical, ordinary vacationers behavior.

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3 hours ago, slowpoked said:

Thanks for this. You're right, he didn't explicitly say hotel, but more implied since it's an employee who found the other dead bodies.

I am strongly leaning towards your first conclusion:
that the murders of the other hotel guests did not occur in the water because it was Salvatore, who was last seen stationed inside the Hotel, that Rocco tells Valentina informed him about the bodies, and Rocco was supposed to be on the beach.

However, in this episode, when Valentia approaches the concierge desk to invite Isabella to a birthday dinner, Valentina dispatches Salvatore with:

  • Excuse me Salvatore, will you please go to the large lobby? No one is there.
    [to which Salvatore replies: Giovani is there.]
  • Then go see if momma pig has had her piglets!

Perhaps someone familiar with Italian idioms can explain this more, but obviously it is the equivalent of Valentina telling Salvatore to "Get lost!" or "Am-scray!" 

So who knows where Salvatore was when he discovered dead hotel guests? 
Perhaps he was on the beach because Rocco and Isabella were in a broom closet???

So maybe my theory is not totally without merit:
that all were bodies thrown off of Quentin's Yacht, the deaths of which may or may not have been caused by the Chekhovian gun Tanya discovered in the bag full of cocaine belonging to Niccolò, the hot "heterosexual" who, I think it was mentioned had some Mafia connection.
Or was that Alessio who had a Mafia connection?
Heh, maybe they're all connected. 
 

Regardless, some very fine acting by all in this episode.
If I skip season 3, it will be either because I don't have HBO-Max, or because it's a little too dark for me. 
I'm looking forward to the second installment of the Knives Out whodunnit on Netflix airing December 23, which I seem to recall was lighter fare?

Edited by shapeshifter
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4 hours ago, slowpoked said:

It seems like guests eat breakfast and dinner at the hotel, which are the most convenient times of the days to do so. They venture out during the day, have lunch where they end up, and then come back to the hotel tired, freshen up a bit, and just go down for dinner instead of going out again. Typical, ordinary vacationers behavior.

Not all hotels have restaurants and many hotels serve breakfast but not lunch or dinner.

This particular center is below the main drag in Taormina or what they call the centro.  The location provides seclusion for the guests and it's closer to the beach, where they probably have some area exclusive to the hotel guests.

They'd have to walk or maybe get a taxi to go uphill to the town where the restaurants and shops are.  Ethan runs though the town on his morning runs so he's running uphill.

So if you stay at these kinds of resorts, which tend to be separated from the town, you are probably taking most of your meals there.

In a place like Mexico or the Caribbean, it's not a big deal because the towns don't have restaurants which would appeal to hotel guests spending thousands to stay at these resorts.  But Italy is another matter.  There is everything from snack bars to fine dining, because Taormina is very well-known and draws a huge number of tourists.

Edited by aghst
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^ no spoilers please

One opinion I read was that Tanya knows very well what’s going on (or as I think, at least has some v strong suspicions).  Her vanity may be getting in the way, but then again she was really enjoying herself at that party!  The music, the grooving, mr Italian stallion.  She may well have been mocked in earlier episodes - but during the party she appeared to be having a good time, at least.  Compared to arguing with Greg about the number of macaroons missing and his awful and dismissive approach to sex with her (gotta be gay right?). Anyway the party looked more fun than poor Portia stuck with the drunken, bawling Arsenal / United fan in the hotel room.

Edited by DawnGame
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On 12/6/2022 at 9:27 AM, Baltimore Betty said:

all I can say "tak," which means thank you, everyone spoke English, in Copenhagen

My hubby and I still aske for skinke og ost sandwiches together.  Even the TV and movies were in English in Copenhagen, which was great, but I like to stumble through communicating with people while travelling.  It add to the crazy excitement.  

I'm thinking Granpa degrasso is going to die in his sleep.  Then I think English boy.  Although I don't think most people would kill off Albie, Mike White sure would, so I'm kind of expecting to see that as well.  

Edited to add - I can't remember what the hotel staff said about those goofy head ceramics in the room that they keep going back to.  Can one of you help?  I don't really want to rewatch. 

I think I read somewhere that Mike White said he wanted to write a season with no one to cheer for and I think he's done it.  But saying that, I'm really enjoying it. I know some of you don't like the pacing, but i'm cool with it.  I tend to watch it while writing post cards or cooking.  

At the end of the day though, I just wish Armand was still around for us, because he was and will always be my favorite character.  

Edited by hatchetgirl
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3 hours ago, chocolatine said:

The only two White Lotus guests on Quentin's yacht would be Tanya and Portia

Didn’t Tanya meet Quentin and his entourage when they were staying at at the White Lotus?
Portia met Jack at the White Lotus pool.

Edited by shapeshifter
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So, one thing that strikes me about this season, unfortunately, and it’s reflected indirectly in a lot of the comments here, is lazy writing.  Hear me out:  with respect to them eating all the meals at the hotel.  We are tripping over ourselves trying to figure this out, but it’s pretty obvious this is done because he needs all the characters to spend a lot of time in the same place, both for production and story reasons.  That was one of the things that concerned me about setting this one in Italy, which it seems he really wanted to do.  People go to Hawaii and other island beach resorts to just stay there and experience the resort.  There’s not much to do in those places, except the beach.    But people go to Italy and other European destinations to see the sights.  Sure, they might stay in a nice hotel, but during the day they will do excursions, and they certainly will not eat every meal in the hotel restaurant when there are towns and cities full of charming places to experience.  (With the exception of maybe people from elsewhere in Europe who are going to a specific crappy all-inclusive resort in Spain or Greece, just for the beaches, which this one isn’t.).  A lot of hotels in European cities, even some nicer ones, don’t even HAVE dedicated restaurants, except maybe for breakfast. Even if you stay at the Four Seasons in a place like Rome, you don’t eat all your meals there.   It’s not realistic the way these people are doing this Italian vacation, but because this is a show which is about guests at a fancy hotel, this is what Mike White wrote, with them staying there, hanging out at the beach, and eating at the restaurant.  Just like Hawaii.  But that works, for Hawaii.  It doesn’t work for Italy as much.   (It’s especially glaring wit the two couples.  The dad-grandpa-son have an excuse because of their family background, and Tanya has status with the hotel.  But what are these couples doing there?)I rationalize it to myself by making up that these people have been elsewhere in Italy sightseeing and this is the tail end of the vacation, spent at an isolated beach resort where there’s not much to do or see in the town.  Maybe Sicily is like that.  But it’s a problem I have with the writing, and I was concerned about it from the beginning when I heard they were doing it in Italy.  If I went to Sicily, no way would I just treat it like a Sandals in the Bahamas, you know?  Why drag yourself all the way to Europe for that?  

Second lazy writing bit:  the whole plot with Tanya and Greg and the gays.  It’s just soooooo far-fetched that she would happen to marry this guy who would just happen to have an ex boyfriend who just happens to be still in touch with him and living in Sicily, that he would mention he dated a cowboy, that the picture would be there, etc.   It’s too easy to figure out, and yet simultaneously impossible to believe.    It’s just too over the top, drama wise.   This is not good writing.   One thing I liked about the first season was that the people seemed relatable, and the drama came from character.  Now, he seems to be injecting all kinds of sensational elements into the plot, and I’m not sure I like that choice.  It’s like he’s trying to top himself.  This happens with second seasons.  
 

Just my thoughts.  

Edited by Rebecca berkowit
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1 hour ago, DawnGame said:

^ no spoilers please

The S3 renewal and Jennifer Coolidge's return have been reported in mainstream media, so it's not a spoiler.

32 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Didn’t Tanya meet Quentin and his entourage when they were staying at at the White Lotus?
Portia met Jack at the White Lotus pool.

Yes, but Quentin said they were visiting a friend. They were just there for the day and didn't have rooms booked.

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1 hour ago, hatchetgirl said:

I think I read somewhere that Mike White said he wanted to write a season with no one to cheer for and I think he's done it.  

I think he did that in season 1 for sure but I actually cheer for several people this season.

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21 minutes ago, peachmangosteen said:

I think he did that in season 1 for sure but I actually cheer for several people this season.

This. I didn't find anybody in season 1 appealing. Armand was funny, but he was a crap employee. Everybody else was completely annoying or insufferable.

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1 hour ago, Rebecca berkowit said:

S   But people go to Italy and other European destinations to see the sights.  Sure, they might stay in a nice hotel, but during the day they will do excursions, and they certainly will not eat every meal in the hotel restaurant when there are towns and cities full of charming places to experience.  (With the exception of maybe people from elsewhere in Europe who are going to a specific crappy all-inclusive resort in Spain or Greece, just for the beaches, which this one isn’t.).  A lot of hotels in European cities, even some nicer ones, don’t even HAVE dedicated restaurants, except maybe for breakfast. Even if you stay at the Four Seasons in a place like Rome, you don’t eat all your meals there.   It’s not realistic the way these people are doing this Italian vacation, but because this is a show which is about guests at a fancy hotel, this is what Mike White wrote, with them staying there, hanging out at the beach, and eating at the restaurant.  Just like Hawaii.  But that works, for Hawaii.  It doesn’t work for Italy as much.   (It’s especially glaring wit the two couples.  The dad-grandpa-son have an excuse because of their family background, and Tanya has status with the hotel.  But what are these couples doing there?)I rationalize it to myself by making up that these people have been elsewhere in Italy sightseeing and this is the tail end of the vacation, spent at an isolated beach resort where there’s not much to do or see in the town.  Maybe Sicily is like that.  But it’s a problem I have with the writing, and I was concerned about it from the beginning when I heard they were doing it in Italy.  If I went to Sicily, no way would I just treat it like a Sandals in the Bahamas, you know?  Why drag yourself all the way to Europe for that?  

Well, two couples visited some towns, girls had a night out in an amazing villa, and they also went on a vine tasting trip. And believe me, it can be so hot in Sicily during the summer that you just don't want to leave the hotel. 

Edited by skotnikov
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2 hours ago, Rebecca berkowit said:

But what are these couples doing there?)I rationalize it to myself by making up that these people have been elsewhere in Italy sightseeing and this is the tail end of the vacation, spent at an isolated beach resort where there’s not much to do or see in the town.  Maybe Sicily is like that.  But it’s a problem I have with the writing, and I was concerned about it from the beginning when I heard they were doing it in Italy.  If I went to Sicily, no way would I just treat it like a Sandals in the Bahamas, you know?  Why drag yourself all the way to Europe for that?  

Yeah I pointed it out when they first announced it would be set in Sicily.

There aren't Hawaiian style all-inclusive resorts there.

Turns out they filed at Four Seasons in Hawaii and in Sicily but the one in Sicily is a small hotel in the whole FS portfolio.

And it's not all-inclusive style.

But Mike White gave an interview to NPR Fresh Air.  Growing up, the only place his family went to for vacation was Hawaii and it was the only place he saw outside of Pasadena.

So it's wired in his mind as a vacation place, so much that he lives there now.

Presumably he's traveled widely in his life but his first archetype for vacation is Hawaii.

But he's not necessarily trying to convey that this is like a Hawaiian or Caribbean resort, just that these are the types of travelers who'd hang out most of the type at the resort.

If you're paying thousands a night, you might want to use the amenities as much as possible.

The other part of it is that some people stick to comfort food or what they're most familiar with and others want to try anything new.

For some it's also a question of value.  You can get great pasta dishes in Italy for 8-15 Euros and they're just the pasta and sauce, not always accompanied by meat or seafood, which you see in Italian restaurants in the US.

In a fancy hotel restaurant, a simple spaghetti dish is likely to be $20-25 with some pasta dishes with seafood going as high as $50.  The traditional trattoria will offer primi or first courses which are mostly pasta and then secondi or second courses which are meat or seafood.  So they don't have overpriced dishes like hotel restaurants.  Or in the US, I've seen $25 pasta carbonara, whereas in Rome it'd be more around half that.

Not only food, these characters mostly interact with other Americans or at least those who will speak English with them.  The more they leave the resort, the more they'd encounter the natives.  It didn't work so well for the Di Grassos.

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4 hours ago, DawnGame said:

^ no spoilers please

One opinion I read was that Tanya knows very well what’s going on (or as I think, at least has some v strong suspicions).  Her vanity may be getting in the way, but then again she was really enjoying herself at that party!  The music, the grooving, mr Italian stallion.  She may well have been mocked in earlier episodes - but during the party she appeared to be having a good time, at least.  Compared to arguing with Greg about the number of macaroons missing and his awful and dismissive approach to sex with her (gotta be gay right?). Anyway the party looked more fun than poor Portia stuck with the drunken, bawling Arsenal / United fan in the hotel room.

I agree with this....she’s really had a lot of moments that confuse me. I didn’t even know who Monica Vitti is, she definitely recognized Greg in that pic, and her talk with Porsche. We also don’t see her sleep with the man candy....she’s our dark horse! 

ETA AND, she knew what a not rice ball was which I cant even remember the name now and how much they cost!! 

Edited by JD5166
RICE BALL....YUM!
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6 hours ago, Rebecca berkowit said:

So, one thing that strikes me about this season, unfortunately, and it’s reflected indirectly in a lot of the comments here, is lazy writing.  

I agree, and I will add a third example; one that several others have mentioned: The DiGrassos plan this BIG trip to Sicily to "rediscover their roots" but don't do a SINGLE bit of planning. They don't learn Italian, nor do they plan for a translator. They do no genealogy. It apparently never occurred to them to do any internet research. They just traipse off one day "oh la la, we'll go into town and ask around", and then they just show up at somebody's house out of the blue, babbling entirely in English, and expect...what? "We're from America". Well BFD.

I am first generation Italian (my dad was born in Italy) and it would never EVER occur to me to just show up at somebody's house. I've done Ancestry, I've googled, I've Facebooked, and I know there are apparently distant relatives still living in that same small town. Were I to plan a trip, I would, what's the word, oh yeah, PREPARE if I wanted to meet them. Not travel halfway across the world and expect the sea to part for me. 

And then Burt gets all mopey and depressed because he didn't get his "homecoming". I am just flabbergasted. I can only hope that was to illustrate how entitled both he & his son seem to be. Which maybe Albie could have jumped in and had a line of dialogue like "see, I told you that you guys needed to plan this better". I just don't get it, and frankly it pisses me off much more than a "rich people acting stupid" show should, LOL. It's just lazy writing, as you said, to have this storyline proceed like the internet hasn't been invented yet. 

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On 12/5/2022 at 9:09 AM, Baltimore Betty said:

Harper is doing a mind fuck on Ethan about Cameron and her which is a shame because I thought she wanted honesty in their relationship.  

I think she does want honesty, and she knows she isn’t getting honesty from Ethan. So she set up the doors to raise suspicion in his mind to give him a taste of his own medicine, hoping he’ll understand how hurtful it was and think twice before ever doing that again.

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5 minutes ago, CarpeFelis said:

I think she does want honesty, and she knows she isn’t getting honesty from Ethan. So she set up the doors to raise suspicion in his mind to give him a taste of his own medicine, hoping he’ll understand how hurtful it was and think twice before ever doing that again.

If she did, then I have lost all hope for their marriage. I think I may be one of the few people who dislike Plaza's screen presence so honestly Harper has driven me nuts from the get go but I hoped she would have integrity or be smarter. She was set up as an ethical lawyer who does good work but she's just been either uptight or passive aggressive this whole trip. Deeply unpleasant and not for interesting reasons. Steve Zahn last season was wrong headed but he had a point of view and expressed opinions and seemed open to discussion. It's like THIS foursome are the honeymooning husband from last season. Daphne is the only one I kind of respect. She seems to be her authentic self.

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1 hour ago, Superb Owl said:

And then Burt gets all mopey and depressed because he didn't get his "homecoming". I am just flabbergasted. I can only hope that was to illustrate how entitled both he & his son seem to be. Which maybe Albie could have jumped in and had a line of dialogue like "see, I told you that you guys needed to plan this better". I just don't get it, and frankly it pisses me off much more than a "rich people acting stupid" show should, LOL. It's just lazy writing, as you said, to have this storyline proceed like the internet hasn't been invented yet. 

And yet, if the intent was to simply demonstrate a kind of American paternalistic view of “the old country,” it was pretty much perfect. 

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2 hours ago, Superb Owl said:

I agree, and I will add a third example; one that several others have mentioned: The DiGrassos plan this BIG trip to Sicily to "rediscover their roots" but don't do a SINGLE bit of planning. They don't learn Italian, nor do they plan for a translator. They do no genealogy. It apparently never occurred to them to do any internet research. They just traipse off one day "oh la la, we'll go into town and ask around", and then they just show up at somebody's house out of the blue, babbling entirely in English, and expect...what? "We're from America". Well BFD.

My theory is that it's because they just assumed Dominic's wife would take care of it all. If they're anything like my dad, they think "planning a trip" is saying something like "Let's go to Italy to find our distant relatives."  Now, my mom doesn't let my dad get away with that and tells him she should let her know once the tickets are booked.  But there are plenty of families where a partner, often a wife, will go through with the logistics needed to make it happen.

They keep bringing up Dominic's wife and daughter and them not wanting to come along.  It sounds like they were going to be a part of the trip until another of Dominic's indiscretions was discovered and both she and her daughter decided they wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. They have a vague idea of what they want to do which is why they went forward with the trip but they are absolutely directionless.

Edited by Irlandesa
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I was thinking about the theme of illusions and delusions in terms of the White Lotus.

So many of the holidaymakers arrive seemingly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, literally fresh off the boat.  And then, so many of the characters have the illusions of their lives gradually or dramatically challenged.

Tanya starts “paying attention” and before long is speaking to her lawyer about a marriage annulment. Portia who only wants ‘fun” with a “caveman” who “knows nothing about the discourse” finds herself in a hotel room with a drunken football fan mumbling about the dark hole of his previous existence.  The diGrasso grandfather is devastated not to find the “homecoming” he imagined.  Harper thinks her marriage is great, until she doesn’t. Her husband actually starts to have physical delusions, imagining her have sex with Cameron. Re. the world of escorts and porn, all arguably worlds of illusion and delusion, various characters are struggling with that.

Maybe not everyone seems to have illusions, or at least ones that we can see.  Cameron (Mr Gorgeous Himself, actor Theo James) and Daphne.  Daphne knows her husband or at least says she does, and says she just does what is necessary to make herself “feel better”. 

Others don’t quite fit into it so neatly, or else it’s not quite resolved yet e.g. Quentin.  But maybe clearer by the end of the series?  Some of the occasional comic interludes may also be due to bubbles of illusion being burst?  As previously pointed out, Tanya as Monica Vitti but with a bug stuck in her mouth.  Escort Mia’s impatient attempts at “sex” with the piano player was hardly the stuff of his dreams, especially when he ended up in an ambulance, lol.

Finally, perhaps there is also the chance that negative self-illusions can also be swept away. Tanya enjoying herself at the party … ?  Perhaps that’s just wishful thinking on my part.  But one couple left Series 1 loved up and reconciled.  Otherwise it might all be too bleak?  Will the rest go home sadder but wiser? Or just pretend that nothing ever happened? The ‘packing up and going’ might reveal more of this, as in Series 1.

Edited by DawnGame
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16 hours ago, JD5166 said:

AND, she knew what a not rice ball was which I cant even remember the name now and how much they cost!! 

Arancini. And they cost a dollar.

I only remember that because I used to see them in the Williams Sonoma catalog and was curious about them. Never bit the bullet (or the ball, as it were) though.

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11 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

My theory is that it's because they just assumed Dominic's wife would take care of it all. If they're anything like my dad, they think "planning a trip" is saying something like "Let's go to Italy to find our distant relatives."  Now, my mom doesn't let my dad get away with that and tells him she should let her know once the tickets are booked.  But there are plenty of families where a partner, often a wife, will go through with the logistics needed to make it happen.

They keep bringing up Dominic's wife and daughter and them not wanting to come along.  It sounds like they were going to be a part of the trip until another of Dominic's indiscretions was discovered and both she and her daughter decided they wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. They have a vague idea of what they want to do which is why they went forward with the trip but they are absolutely directionless.

That's my impression too, Bert is way more into the reunion than Dominic or Albie.

I don't know if Dominic has been to Europe before but how does he find escorts who would be right near where he's staying?

In any event, he has a different agenda.

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3 hours ago, RedDelicious said:

I like that Tanya’s not so clueless that she doesn’t know how much cafe food is. I’m still giggling over that line.

And this should have been another red flag to Portia already, in hindsight. When they were running away from that server chasing them, it felt exciting, and naughty to do something like that in another country. But in light of a new day and after some sleep, and now knowing that her boy toy ran out on maybe $10 or less of a bill (assuming they had more than one each), it should have given Portia a pause.

I get it - for Portia, when she wanted adventure, she wanted a no-strings attached adventure. I think part of the reason why she wasn’t attracted to Albie among the other reasons already articulated here, is that Albie is American, and they would both go home to the same country after the vacation is over, and depending on where they live, may run into each other, and Portia doesn’t want to deal with all of the possible after-vacation stuff if she were to hook up with Albie. If she hooks up with someone who’s not American instead, she can have a clean separation after the vacation was over, a pure fling, and go on with her life when she goes home. This assuming she survives the vacation.

Edited by slowpoked
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I think Portia just hoped for a fun vacation fling with a guy who made her heartbeat faster.  She was interested in Jack from the minute she saw him at the pool.  While she liked Albie and he was a good distraction from Tanya, she found she wasn't really into him that way.  I don't think it's more complicated than that. 

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I agree.  And that's why I don't love the implication that she might be regretting her choice to go with Jack instead of Albie as if she was only faced with a binary choice. 

It doesn't have to be either/or. It could be neither.  And that's why I don't want to see the implication that she and Albie come back together once Albie realizes he's (likely?) being scammed and Portia realizes they should have kept it at a one night stand. 

Albie seems great but he deserves someone who will have their heart racing because of it instead of the opposite.  Portia isn't that person and that's no one's fault.  It's just the way it is.

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I do blame Portia for inviting Albie to meet her at the beach club and then letting him find her with Jack. It is only polite to cancel one date before having another right in front of the first. I would be angry if a friend asked me out to lunch and I found them at another table and they told me they felt like lunching with someone else.

Further more on some social media sites Albie is being called everything from an incel to an abusive personality because he responded to her invitation and expected them to spend time together. Of course she can be attracted to whoever she wants but she could have handled things better.

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1 hour ago, Madding crowd said:

Of course she can be attracted to whoever she wants but she could have handled things better.

Oh I agree with that.  I'm just saying I don't want there to be a "lesson" for Portia at the end of this related to her not having feelings for Albie.  There are things she should learn but I don't think that's a lesson she needs to learn.

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Did Portia necessarily want to see Albie again after they slept together that night?

She was volunteered to go to Palermo with Tanya and Jack was on the yacht.

She probably didn't mind getting away from the older people.  But did she want to spend more time with Jack or wanted to be done with him after the hookup?

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