The season finale of Billions ended with Bobby Axelrod standing at a very unexpected door and then — even more unexpectedly — being invited inside by a person who was (REALLY unexpectedly) quite pleased to see him. That ending was a shocker. Know what’s never a shocker? When an episode of Floribama Shore ends in a brawl outside of a bar or with two unappealing human beings fucking in a shower that they’ll probably then piss in during a moment of postcoital bonding.
The beginnings of these episodes are never all that shocking either. We’re usually treated to a montage of shots of limp false eyelashes stuck to a dresser and a series of glasses containing a mixture of backwash and broken dreams. At least this episode gives us the treat of watching Jeremiah flex first thing in the morning – so yeah…there’s that. Once he’s able to get Gus and Kirk out of bed so he doesn’t have to flex alone, he ushers them out the door for their first day of work at the hot dog stand, which I’m certain was not arranged by producers AT ALL. These people organically came by this job, you guys, and if you believe that, you probably also believed when the President of the United States swore that you now need photo ID to purchase Frosted Flakes.
Back at the house, Candace gets on the crocodile phone to call her numbered-and-hyphenated Boo-Thang to let him know the good news: she gyrated so successfully in a bikini for the masses the night before that she won a prize! Now, while I’m not a dance-in-a-bikini-while-strangers-leer-at-me sort of girl, I do not judge those who have opposite proclivities. What I do judge is Candace’s taste in men, because Gator-fucking-whatever seems like sort of a dick. And speaking of weiners, the hot dog crew arrives at Shore Dogs to meet their new bosses. Their first task is to choose shirts to wear while on duty and Gus picks a girl’s shirt because he likes to rock the sleeveless look. The bosses appear to be nice people and I can only hope – for their sake – that it will be these three who work there every single day because God only knows what mayhem someone like Kortni can inflict on a restaurant. It appears, however, that it may be Nilsa who will have the biggest problem working there because when the guys come home (after the shortest working day ever recorded in the annals of history), they reveal that this job will be actual work and Nilsa sits up straight and immediately announces that she will not deign to do anything like wash a plate because that’s the sort of activity that is beyond someone who didn’t place in a bikini contest she’s sure was rigged anyway.
And just like that, it’s night again. While Jeremiah sits on the couch so he can study the menu of Shore Dogs and therefore actually do a decent job, the rest of the group downs another set of shots. Kortni misses the first round and I know you’re thinking that it’s odd for her to miss any chance of raising her blood alcohol level, but she is on the phone and she’s having a VERY important conversation with her he’ll-definitely-be-on-Dateline-one-day boyfriend who cautions her not to get too wild and not to dance with any boys and she agrees with his directives before whining that she really needs to get off the phone so she can go poop. Ah, romance. Eventually the group heads out to the bar for another night they will not be able to recall with any detail, but they’re down one roommate tonight. Aimee has decided to stay home and have herself a bit of quiet and relaxation – and knowing what we do about how most of these bar nights turn out, it’s looking like the mermaid-goddess-princess made the wisest choice. The rest of the group arrives at Newby’s, where they quickly get shitfaced, and Codi takes the opportunity to grind against Candace in an effort to prove his devotion. But it might not just be him feeling this, because Candace backs her ass straight into his crotch on that dance floor and she bends right over and I am frankly stunned, but these two could actually end up banging at some point.
Recognizing that not one of them has yet to get in a fight that evening, Jeremiah decides the best move is to see if he can actually get everyone home without even the hint of bloodshed – and he actually manages to do it! Their loud arrival wakes Aimee, but she very sweetly gets out of bed, pulls Nilsa’s pants off, and tucks her incredibly drunk friend in for the night. (At this point, Aimee is far and away my favorite. Fine, I hear she assaults someone later this season, but for right now she is looking relatively stable, so just allow me to revel in what passes on this network for normalcy, okay?) In another part of the house, Codi is making sure Candace knows he is exactly what she is looking for in a guy in the oddest form of game I have maybe ever seen, but you know what? IT IS FUCKING WORKING. Because, my friends, it turns out that Codi has all the attributes Candace looks for in a man and those attributes are as follows:
A round tummy
That roundness must be coated in hair
That’s about all Candace needs in her life, and yes, I agree she can get those things by adopting a shelter pet, but she manages to disengage from Codi’s not-at-all-suave advances by telling him that she loves hard and he is her roommate and she is not about to do anything stupid. I think she’s making a good choice here, even though it’s a bit hard to say that about a person who is actually into a man who proudly calls himself Gator, but Candace’s reticence isn’t just about Codi being her roommate. Part of the issue is how Codi rubs his Dad Bod over every chick in every club and that kind of, I don’t know, indiscriminate rubbing doesn’t make Candace feel special so she has a hard time buying anything Codi is so desperate to sell her.
Also: As Codi pours his heart out to Candace, Jeremiah and Gus eat snacks and watch the entire thing go down while Kortni dons a squid hat and does interpretive dance to a song only she can hear. Does Newby’s serve mescaline?
At some point, Codi stops his verbal pleading and drops to his knee proposal-style and asks Candace out on a date for the following evening. She tells him that if he makes reservations, she will be ready to go and this entire sequence is a visual testament to the possibilities that can exist when one person perseveres enough and finally and fully wears another human being down completely.
Also: Once Candace goes to sleep, we see a precious image of Kortni hocking up some phlegm into a glass. It’s nice to see new bodily fluids emerge from her, no?
When the sun rises on Date Day, Codi is up and ready to go. He puts on a crop top and heads to the gym and you just know he’s pumping iron to the blended image of Candace’s face and his white pants dancing in his head like drunken sugarplums. Gus has appointed himself Codi’s trainer, and he lets us know that working out like he does is not easy, but it’s worth it, and as someone who recently started working out six days a week, I have to agree with Gus. That’s not to say I wouldn’t potentially headbutt Gus if he stood between me and a slice of layer cake, but I respect the guy’s beliefs and his dedication to fitness and the way he’s trying to help out a friend. Less excited about their date is Candace. She’s worried. How will Gator react to her going out to dinner with Codi? Well, Gator basically threatens her and says that if she goes out with someone, he will too and besides, he’s been so chivalrous by not going to strip clubs in her absence. Yes, Gator is a strip-club-abstaining prince, and that means Candace heads right downstairs after hanging up the crocodile to shatter Codi’s heart into an amalgam of smithereens by letting him know their date is kaput because the possibility she could lose the affections of a felon named Gator is too horrifying a notion to even entertain.
Codi manages to take the news of his broken date well. He stays respectful and calm and he tells Canadace he just wants her to be happy -- so keep that swirl of relative stability in your mind as we head into the next scene because you’ll need it. See, the next scene is Kortni calling Logan and Logan is just fucking scary, but not in any sort of quirky way. I mean, he’s not scary but also funny and he’s not scary but also charming. He’s basically Patrick Bateman without the suit and Kortni has to call him while she feels sick to try to contain the fury he could clearly spout out like hot bile on a fraction of a second’s notice because she forgot to call him last night. For a moment, he almost sounds calm. Then something switches over in his head and he begins screaming that if he is on the phone, she is not permitted to speak to anyone who could possibly enter the room. Then he hangs up on her. Upset, Kortni pulls Nilsa aside and Nilsa gives her good advice. She lets her know that a good relationship requires communication, so when both she and Logan calm down, they should talk about the issue. And if that doesn’t work, perhaps the rest of the roommates can hide in the back room of Shore Dogs while Logan and Kortni beat the hell out of one another.
Before they all head out, Candace rings up her Boo-Thang to let him know she declined Codi’s date and Gator is so pleased that he chortles, “You really do love me!” and makes plans to come see her. Nilsa takes stock of the proceedings and realizes she needs to practice the guy’s name before he shows up. Codi takes stock of the same proceedings and decides he will spend the night lavishing attention on some random girl to illustrate to Candace everything she could have had that she now will never have and perhaps her smoldering jealousy will incite her to fling this Gator Guy back into the ocean and ride Codi into the waves like a hairy surfboard. The other option that could occur is that Candace will watch Codi -- who just declared his undying adoration for her -- hitting hard on someone else and she will perceive him as a total fucking liar, thereby derailing any future possibility of him getting with her, but some men just don’t think that far in advance. I think maybe it’s a side-effect of having all that testosterone.
The truth is that Codi doesn’t have much swagger and the only one he’ll probably end up hurting is himself. I’m actually more worried about Kortni. She’s staying in and Logan is coming by so they can talk. She stayed really calm when he called her back and he seemed apologetic, but we are only in episode five and we've seen him scream at her three times now and this relationship feels scary to watch in high-definition.
Also: Turns out that when Gus gets seriously drunk, his hair crumbles from the highest of the heights. It also appears that not only can Gus not lift his hair when he’s hammered, but he has a hard time lifting his eyelids as well.
Also: Gus actually got himself so drunk at the house, that he first fell asleep in the van on the way to the bar and then puked before even walking into the bar. The guy never makes it out of the van, and Jeremiah decides he’ll bring Gus back home so the rest of them can stay there, giving Codi ample time to make Candace jealous once she’s able to concentrate on anything besides cleaning Gus’ vomit spatter off her shoes.
But back to Kortni. I have given Kortni a hard time because part of my job writing these recaps is to report what actually happens and the girl has threatened to beat up anything with a face she’s encountered -- and she’s peed on everything else -- but I’m pleased to hear her say that she will not be disrespected by a man and I hope she means it. That said, I don’t feel all that comforted when Logan announces that they have been together for two whole months and this was their first fight, but he just doesn’t react all that well to stressful situations. Kortni? Life is fucking messy and mess begets stress, so pick out a pair of shoes you can run in now. I’d lend you a pair of my own, but I only wear heels and I’m sort of afraid you’ll piss in one of them. And Kortni? When a guy decides not to discuss that time he screamed at you and requests you just forget it ever happened? That’s not good either. Still, Kortni is hanging tough. She doesn’t let him get away with everything, not completely. “How are things gonna change? What steps are we gonna take?” she asks, and these questions are direct and they are fair and he basically apologizes to her, but not a piece of me believes that there is a shot in the fiery depths of hell that this is the last time these two will have this particular conversation.
And now that Logan has left the house without punching a mirror, it’s clear the violence will occur in another manner because this show almost always ends in a brawl and we all know Bobby Axelrod wouldn’t show up at this house in a million fucking years. The drama, therefore, happens with what I will from this point forward call The Codi Situation, because it is indeed a Situation when a guy is so desperate to make another girl jealous that he makes out with a bunch of random girls, humps someone else on the dance floor, and announces that nobody in this or any other hemisphere is better at getting a girl to rue the day she let a man like him get away. He is so blissfully ignorant at how spectacularly this plan will backfire. Candace now realizes how entirely full of shit he is -- and how childish to boot -- and she is done. She gets into a van with Nilsa and Aimee and tells them that Codi claimed he flirted with Aimee all last summer simply as a way to make Candace jealous and now Aimee feels needlessly used by someone she thought was her friend. When they all get home, Aimee enters the house in tears and Nilsa lets Codi know what just went down and that he should go apologize. But Codi seems to have a problem with what’s real and with remembering all the things he did and did not say and he flatly denies ever saying such a thing about Aimee. As the editors of this show are not and will never be his friend, we get a flashback of him saying exactly that, but Codi prefers to double-down on his ridiculousness rather than actually admit to being wrong, so he reiterates how very not wrong he is several thousand more times and then tells Candace that she will eventually come running his way and he will answer that desperation-fueled phone call of hers and then he will hang that phone right up because she had her chance to have it all -- a sloppy drunk, a messy kisser, a man who works out in a crop top -- and she allowed that ship to sail...and now she must deal with the consequences.
Nell Kalter teaches Film and Media at a school in New York. She is the author of the books THAT YEAR and STUDENT, both available on amazon.com in paperback and for your Kindle. Her Twitter is @nell_kalter