The White Lotus season 2 episode 5 recap: That’s Amore

The White Lotus season 2
The White Lotus season 2 /

On season 2 episode 5 of the multi-awarded HBO series The White Lotus, the American guests staying at the five-star resort are in for some forced confessions and sudden, often upsetting, revelations. Lucia and Albie are having early morning sex.

Which is especially enjoyable under Lucia’s expert ministration. Portia wakes up beside a naked and dead-as-a-doornail Jack.

Tanya calls her to say that Quentin and the gays have invited them to Palermo. They’re staying for two nights with a party squeezed in somewhere in that duration.

Portia better bring some cute things. And does she have cute things to wear?

Yeah, she does. Harper gets tired about all the dodging and finally confronts Ethan by leaving the condom wrapper she found on their bathroom sink.

Ethan stutteringly explains what happened. It sounds awful and he sounds like he’s lying but Harper reluctantly accepts his apology.

They shelf everything since there’s a scheduled wine-tasting that morning.

The White Lotus season 2
The White Lotus season 2 /

The White Lotus season 2 episode 5 recap: Harper gets brutal

Lucia is about to leave and Albie’s pretty sentimental about seeing her go, so he proposes they meet again tonight. Lucia enthusiastically agrees but says she needs the 2,000 Euros he still owes her.

That’s the cost of an overnight with her. Albie is floored…the American dude had no idea.

He promises to pay her later. At breakfast, the two local girls see Valentina coming into the resort.

Mia ambushes her and pitches herself as a replacement to the lecherous lounge singer Giuseppe. But Valentina shoots Mia down, saying the guy isn’t dead and will be back Thursday.

At the wine-tasting, Harper drinks entirely too much and drops so many innuendos to what happened with the boys’ night out with the whores. It gets brutal the more she gets sloshed.

She embarrasses Ethan a lot. But they hit up another winery to get even more drunk.

Walking through the second vineyard, Ethan is forced to tell Cameron that Harper found his condom wrapper. And she still doesn’t believe him fully, that he didn’t partake of the prostitute buffet.

The White Lotus season 2 episode 5 recap: Going high-end in Palermo

On the Ionian Sea, the party with the gays astounds goes into full swing. The yacht itself is super upscale and premium, it even has an on-board Jacuzzi.

Portia and Jack waste no time with the hanky panky. When they arrive in Palermo though, they’re in for an even bigger shock.

Quentin’s palazzo is sprawling, full of baroque antiques, and rustically gorgeous. They truly are “some high-end gays” as Tanya grinningly tells Portia.

So, while Quentin and his entourage take Tanya to the opera to a night of Madama Butterfly at the Teatro Massimo, Jack and Portia go to their own night out, eating out and clubbing around Palermo. As Jack and Portia sample some arancini at a famous resto, they do a dine and dash, not paying for their meal.

Back at the resort, Dom is disappointed that Albie is having dinner with Lucia. Kissing, too.

Bert accuses Dom of normalizing being with hookers for his son. This sets off a tense moment about generational blame and cheating between Dom and his father.

A lots of real talk and truths come out. But mostly Bert just scoffs and says he had a great marriage.


Theo James as Cameron Babcock, Meghann Fahy as Daphne Babcock on The White Lotus season 2 on HBO.
Theo James as Cameron Babcock, Meghann Fahy as Daphne Babcock on The White Lotus season 2 on HBO. /

The White Lotus season 2 episode 5 recap: Tanya’s discovery

At the table of the Spillers and Sullivans, Cameron puts the spotlight on Harper, saying that it’s her turn to be grilled about her sexual adventures. As she recounts a college threesome, Cameron puts his hand on her leg under the table.

Emboldened by free liquor, Mia susses out that Valentina is a lesbian. She shoots her pitch: give me the lounge singer job and I will sleep with you.

Valentina is shocked and reluctant, but she eventually relents to a two-day trial until Giuseppe gets back on Thursday. While Lucia and Albie settle in for another passionate evening, Mia starts her set with a pretty damn good version of “That’s Amore.”

Hence our episode title. At the palazzo in Palermo, Tanya can’t sleep and gets to wandering.

She discovers Jack doggie-styling his “uncle” in one of the gorgeously decorated rooms.

The White Lotus season 2 episode 5 recap: Review

There are two hilariously funny scenes on this episode. One is that Tanya discovers that Quentin and his entourage are legit rich and that their claim of a palazzo isn’t bullshit.

The other is how Albie discovers that Lucia is a prostitute and that, in the end, he’s not so different from his dad and grandad. There’s plenty of twists and discoveries to be had on this episode.

How Harper finally confronted Ethan about the condom wrapper, is a great plot device rife for so many kinds of potential meltdowns and breakups. Also, how Valentina is given hope for a girlfriend by—of all people—the young and ambitious Mia, is a pretty heartwarming moment for me.

Sabrina Impacciatore’s gamut of emotions when Mia proposes she take the lounge seat in exchange for some good time, is a something to behold. Of course, in retrospect, Meghann Fahy’s understated performance of Daphne dropping hints that lead up to her valedictory moment in the finale, starts here.

It’s something that will wallop you when creator Mike White ties it all up. The big reveal that Jack is servicing his alleged uncle and that Tanya is the one to chance on it, is just some kind of genius tragicomic move.

Ah, the mystery! So juicy!

Next. The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 2 Review: Infected. dark

You can stream The White Lotus on HBO Go.