“White Lotus” - Episode 5 Review

Story posted November 30, 2022 in Arts & Entertainment by Izzy Charboneau.

This week’s episode of “The White Lotus” was the most awkward and uncomfortable yet, while being beautifully shot and wonderfully acted. Writer and director Mike White has seriously outdone himself with this one.

The awkwardness starts when Ethan finds the condom wrapper that Harper left on the counter, and they get into an argument about how he lied before. He reveals that Cameron used it in their room, which she accepts but is extremely skeptical of.

Albie wakes up after his night with Lucia, and is completely surprised when she asks him for money. This is one of the most uncomfortable scenes in this episode, but it really does continue in a similar fashion.

Tanya calls Portia, who woke up next to Jack, and tells her to pack a bag because they’re going with Quentin and his friends to Palermo for a few days. When Portia is leaving her room with her bags, she runs into Albie, and they say a really awkward goodbye.

At breakfast, Cameron reveals that he booked a little trip with a wine tour because Daphne and Harper are upset that the boys had all that fun without them. Harper is standoffish at breakfast, and you can almost see the gears turning in her head about how she’ll start some trouble today.

Across the hotel, Mia is begging Valentina to let her sing in place of Giuseppe while he’s out, and Valentina keeps refusing. At the same time, Dominic tells Lucia he doesn’t want her around his son.

Valentina is also continuing her streak of flirting with her younger employee, Isabella. She moves another employee, Rocco, away from the front desk because he was flirting with Isabella as well, and this made Valentina jealous.

On the wine tour, Harper immediately starts drinking a lot, and Cameron and Daphne are very lovey-dovey. Tensions start to rise when Harper starts asking Ethan and Cameron questions about their time in college that seem to make them annoyed with each other.

After their breakfast, Tanya and Portia leave to go to Palermo with Quentin and Jack, and Quentin tells Tanya they’re going to see an opera. Seeing this opera proves to be a very emotional time for Tanya, while Portia and Jack have fun exploring the city.

Over the course of the day, Dominic argues with his dad and his son both about Lucia, and we later see him attempt to call his daughter, Abby. Maybe Dominic really is trying to be a better person and fix his family, even though Bert says he isn’t trying hard enough.

At dinner, Albie is eating with Lucia when she reminds Cameron about the money he owes her and, in regular Cameron fashion, he dismisses her. Lucia also tells Albie about a man named Alessio, seemingly her handler, who has been harassing her about the money.

On a better note for Albie, Lucia also tells him that she doesn’t want money from him, and she actually likes spending time with him, and they end up spending another night together.

Also at dinner, Mia asks Valentina again if she can sing, and appeals to Valentina’s sexuality as a way of convincing her. Luckily for Mia, this works, and she finally gets to perform.

Perhaps the craziest part of dinner, however, is when Cameron starts to blatantly flirt with a tipsy Harper, asking her about her sexual experiences, grabbing her leg under the table, and eyeing her as if she was prey. Daphne and Ethan seem to be none the wiser, but Daphne may know more than she’s letting on.

After dinner, the boys stepped out to find some cigars and Harper tells Daphne she’s worried about what happened while they were gone. Daphne tells Harper more about the way she deals with Cameron’s issues: doing whatever she has to do to make herself feel better about it.

Daphne also hints to Harper that her dealing with it really means having secret love children with personal trainers and lying to Cameron just as much as he lies to her.

When Jack and Portia get back from their night out, he says he’ll come to bed once he does something for his uncle, Quentin, first. Tanya soon hears some noises, which she quickly realizes are moaning, and walks in on Jack having sex with his uncle. She runs out of the room and the screen goes to black.

This episode leaves the audience wondering so many things about each of the hotel guests, and they are all at varying levels of insanity. Is Albie really the nice guy he makes himself out to be? Is Tanya going to tell Portia what she saw? Is Cameron going to make a move on Harper?

This episode of “The White Lotus” is a masterpiece in awkward television, and truly is the best of the season so far. It almost makes you forget that the season will inevitably end in death while at the same time reminding you just how bad it’ll be when one of the characters eventually snaps.

Rating: 5/5

Izzy Charboneau is a second-year majoring in digital and print journalism. To contact her, email ijc5186@psu.edu.