The White Lotus season 2 episode 7 recap: Arrivederci

The White Lotus season 2
The White Lotus season 2 /

On season 1 episode 7 of The White Lotus, the stray threads of this best-worst vacation ever get wrapped up for the American tourists. We discover just whose body it is that washed up on the shore of the White Lotus beach, too.

It’s all coming to a head, like it or not. This is the end, lovely tourist friends.

As the sun rises on their penultimate day in Italy, Ethan lies awake in bed torturing himself with images of his wife cheating on him with Cameron. In their rooms, each American tourist confronts what he is possibly leaving in Italy or going back to in the US.

The White Lotus season 2
The White Lotus season 2 /

The White Lotus season 2 episode 7 recap: Quentin’s Kerouac dude ranch days

While Tanya finds out that Portia is missing, exaggeratedly lamenting that her assistants eventually become her boss, Portia is still down in town in a hotel with Jack waking up to her missing phone. Before Tanya and the high-end gays push off from the palazzo back to the White Lotus on Taormina, she goes back to Quentin’s room.

Quentin finds her examining the photo of a guy who looks uncannily like a young Greg, Tanya’s husband. Quentin claims that it’s Steve, one of his old American buddies from when he worked at a dude ranch, dropping acid and aspiring to be a Kerouac dharma bum.

Tanya finds it all weird but thinks nothing further of it, since they need to leave for the docks. Portia still can’t find her phone but then Jack leaves his on the table when he goes to take a dump.

She uses it to call Tanya and inform her of her suspicions, that Jack likely took her “missing” phone. Boss and assistant report to each other about what’s happened to them.

They both conclude that, though they don’t exactly know what’s happening, they both feel weird about the situation and must get the heck out of Dodge. The conspiracy idea that Tanya is going with is that, since Greg insisted they vacation in Italy, (and their prenup states that the husband doesn’t get anything if they divorce), that he has an agreement with the gays to kill her.

This way Greg will inherit all of Tanya’s money. Jack discovers Portia before they can conclude their conversation and yanks the phone from her hand.

The White Lotus season 2 episode 7 recap: Paying karmic debt

Albie approaches his dad Dom for 50,000 Euros to give to Lucia. He’s clearly fallen for the working girl and wants to rescue her from the evil clutches of her supposed pimp.

Dominic scoffs and piles on the snark. But then he starts to consider the deal, when Albie offers to help him out with Albie’s mother, so they can get back together.

Bert arrives, interrupting their negotiation and leaving it unresolved. Valentina wakes up to find that the cleaning lady has come in without knocking, seeing her and a sleeping Mia together in bed.

And wow, it’s so late in the morning so she rushes off to the front desk sans her underwear, because she can’t find it. Once at her station, Valentina is approached by Isabella to follow up on her considering bringing back Rocco, her fiancé, back to reception again.

Because she’s in such a good mood Valentina accedes and throws out Salvatore, sending him back to the beach office. The reason?

Valentina claims, Salvatore’s been hitting on Isabella, a girl half his age who could be her daughter.

The White Lotus season 2
The White Lotus season 2 /

The White Lotus season 2 episode 7 recap: Tech bros fight!

Ethan confronts Harper again about her sleeping with Cameron. He’s just so furious that he believes nothing she says.

So, Harper admits that Cameron kissed her, for like two seconds. And just because she was drunk.

Ethan hunts down Cameron, finds him at the beach and then furiously hurls accusations then attacks him. The fight escalates until another tourist intervenes.

Ethan does get one good punch in, though. Walking around the beach in an angry daze, Daphne calls out to him.

Ethan shares his suspicions with her that Harper and Cameron have slept together, and he doesn’t know what to do about it. As Daphne goes through a range of emotions, she eventually lands back on her carefree persona.

She bids Ethan do the same: “Do what you have to do to not feel like you’re a victim of life.” She then invites him to walk with her over to Isola Bella, the small island with an old palazzo that’s been turned to a public museum.

We fade out on them, as Ethan follows Daphne into the trees. At dinner, Cameron spots Lucia sitting at the bar.

He quietly slips her an envelope with the money he owes her. At the dinner table of the Sullivans and Spillers, Cameron and Daphne act like nothing bad has happened during their stay.

They even raise a toast to good friends. All this, despite, the very visible bruise on Cam’s temple, form where Ethan punched him.

Later that night, Ethan makes passionate love to his wife. Breathing new life into his marriage.

The White Lotus season 2 episode 7 recap: Like a Greek curse

Dom also tells Albie that he’s already transferred the money to the bank account that Lucia gave him. He considers his karmic debt to his son paid.

Mia stops to thank Bert. She tells him she got the job singing at the lounge because he told Valentina that she was better than the other singer.

She hugs Bert with genuine gratitude. At the table with his son and grandson, Bert tells them that Mia is a sweet girl that’s way too young for him but that he got a hard-on just the same, “Like a Greek curse.”

At the boat, Tanya tries to get help by talking to the captain, confessing that she thinks she will be killed when Niccolo arrives to “escort” her back to the hotel tonight after dinner. Sadly, he doesn’t speak a lick of English.

Jack eventually drops off Portia near Catania–Fontanarossa Airport. He warns her not to return to the White Lotus and that she doesn’t want to mess with the people holding Tanya.

They’re powerful and best avoided for her own safety. When they’re urged to go by Quentin, Tanya panics and excuses herself.

She grabs Niccolo’s bag as she heads for the restroom. It’s when she finds duct tape, rope, and a gun in in the bag that she really goes bonkers.

She takes Niccolo’s gun and shoots him when he forces open the door. She continues to shoot wildly as she walks through the corridor.

When she looks up, she has shot and killed Niccolo, as well as all the high-end gays. This includes Quentin as well as Didier.

But apparently Hugo is still alive and unscathed. He jumps off the boat even as Tanya tries to shoot him in the back.

Fortunately, she is out of bullets. Unsure how to get back to shore, Tanya attempts to board Niccolo’s dinghy.

However, she botches her footing wildly, slips, and hits her head. Unconscious in the water, she eventually drowns.

The White Lotus season 2
The White Lotus season 2 /

The White Lotus season 2 episode 7 recap: Dead body reveal

The next day her body washes ashore. That’s curtains for Tanya McQuoid-Hunt.

So, Tanya is the body that Daphne discovered back in episode one. And the other bodies on the bloody, shot-up yacht are found soon afterwards by the authorities.

Albie and Portia are reunited at the airport. Albie tells her about the drowned body and the dead bodies on a yacht.

Portia is quiet, but she realizes that this is what Jack was talking about and knows that it was but for the grace of God that she wasn’t on that boat. She admits that Jack was crazy.

Albie admits that Lucia played him. They commit to calling each other once they’re back in the states.

Back in Sicily, Mia and Lucia walk the tourist-filled streets of Taormina with wide smiles. When they encounter Alessio, Lucia’s alleged pimp, we see him dressed as a hotel greeter.

They greet him warmly and kiss him like a close, treasured friend.

The White Lotus season 2 episode 7 recap: Review

To be clear, yeah Albie got played. Looking at the arc of the whole season, the only folks who really got the best out of the vacation were the locals.

Whether it’s Valentina finally getting her cherry popped by Mia, or the two young best friends; Mia bagging a singing job and Lucia with the biggest payout of her young uhm career. Lucia, particularly, truly got a big score.

From her services rendered at the party with Cam and Ethan, then to her nights with Dom DiGrasso, and finally to swindling the son Albie into her woe-is-me victimized prostitute shtick. Sadly, Dom was right about his son.

Albie was indeed an “obvious mark” and Lucia saw right through his craving for love and sex, turning them against him into a flawless con. Plus, his unrealized need for danger, as a white knight to the rescue.

I applaud Lucia’s modus. It was elegant and well-crafted.

Working so well that by the middle of it, it is the mark that begs to pay you. The most common complaint is that the second season of this black comedy series, is way slower paced and has less obvious big laughs, than the one set in Maui.

I can’t fault them as their “complaints” are all arguably valid. Still, I can appreciate series creator and head writer Mike White, trying to see if his signature comedy on a less frantic pace can still hold up.

He fails in some instances yet shines in many. Valentina’s arc was super slow to develop and didn’t have that much of a satisfying payoff.

Even if I did like the denouement. Seeing her genuinely happy and smiling at the end was a nice reward and development for her character.

The whole tech bros and dueling couples fight of the Sullivans and Spillers was a good setup. But it really didn’t have much meat to it in the end.

The White Lotus
The White Lotus season 2 /

What I loved the most among the individual arcs are Tanya’s tragicomic fate and, surprisingly, Daphne’s. For Tanya, it was her slow realization that the high-end gays weren’t all that they seemed.

The show left the real reason for Niccolo having the duct tape and rope in his bag. I mean he IS a drug dealer, so the gun is pretty normal in his line of work.

Was he really going to use the rope and tape on Tanya to kill her? Was he really in cahoots with the gays?

Was Quentin and his gang connected in any way to Tanya’s husband Greg? None of that makes sense actually.

Plus, there is no proof except in Tanya’s conspiratorial mind. Still, her body getting revealed as the one floating in the sea in the first episode was both funny and aptly wretched.

While the rest of the ensemble, especially Aubrey Plaza’s Harper and F. Murray Abraham’s Bert Di Grasso, are great on their own, it was Meghann Fahy’s Daphne that was a surprise left hook in the outstanding performance department. That moment when Ethan was telling Daphne that Cam and Harper likely slept together, and her face went through a whirlwind of emotional conflict and turbulence, was worthy of a standing ovation.

And certainly, an Emmy nom, at least.

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Yet, despite my feelings I look forward to a season 3 of this outstanding series. I mean, poor Tanya.

But bravo, Mike White.

You can stream The White Lotus season 2 on HBO Go.