Prior to this episode, I had only considered myself a casual viewer of Mike White‘s The White Lotus. There were certain characters (the Spillers and the Sullivans) who I found much more interesting than others. There were plotlines that I though were more engaging than others. Overall, the reason why I considered The White Lotus to be a good – but not great – show is because of these factors.

Yet somehow, this episode manages to dispense with most of the issues I previously had with this series because as all the characters start to interact with each other more and more, the bigger the web of sex, deceit, morality and tension begins to grow and starts snaring everyone. Characters who previously had no reason to interact with each other start interacting, the most-shocking one being Albie and Lucia start seeing each other, and possibly falling in love with each other.

After a night of passion, Lucia (Simona Tabasco) reveals to Albie (Adam DiMarco) that she is an escort, and while technically Albie has to pay Lucia for her “services,” she tells him not to worry about it. Lucia tells him that she actually likes him and wants to see him again, something that she never would have dreamed of saying to Albie’s father Dominic (Michael Imperioli) and Cameron (Theo James). However, Albie insists on paying her, and this mutual attraction starts causing conflict for both Dominic and his father Bert (F. Murray Abraham), two characters who I didn’t particularly find interesting until now.

In Episodes 1 and 2, Dominic hired Lucia and Mia (Beatrice Grannò) due to his ongoing issues with sex addiction, and in his path of trying to break free from his addiction, he accidentally set the stage for the romance between Lucia and his son. He is worried about what Albie might think if he finds out that Lucia had sex with his father only days before they met. He is concerned that Bert might accidentally blab about Dominic’s secret relationship with Lucia and Mia. But worst of all, Dominic is worried that he has become too much like his father.

However, these characters are not the only ones that I found much more interesting as the character of Quentin (Tom Hollander) and Jack (Leo Woodall) who accompany Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) and Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) have also become quite close with each other. Portia is seemingly head over heels for Jack, as she has now officially abandoned Albie for her new British companion. She revels in the misadventures she has with Jack, feeling that moment of “being alive” that she so desperately wanted in the first 2 episodes.

Tanya also seems to have gotten what she wanted with Quentin: someone she can connect with, someone who can appreciate her for who she is, something that her husband couldn’t and wouldn’t provide. The two connect over their love of the arts, opera specifically, and all things of beauty. They both desire love, and yet they can’t seem to find it, either because they once had it and lost it or just simply never had it to begin with.

Tanya and Portia seem to finally be living their Italian fantasy, that is until the end of the episode where Tanya finds Quentin having sex with Jack, his own nephew. Tanya is obviously horrified about this, but what’s more terrifying are the implications of this reveal. How will Tanya’s relationship with Quentin change? Will she have the heart to tell Portia, and if so, how will her relationship with Jack change? I don’t have the answers to any of these questions. All I know though, is that the next episode of The White Lotus couldn’t come any sooner.

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