Camp Getaway: A Wedding, A Read, And A Lot Of Subtext

We pick up where we left off with Glen being escorted back to the cabin. To be honest, I hadn’t even realized last week that he was toga-less and in his underwear. Neely runs up to help out and David gives her explicit instructions that Glen isn’t to leave his cabin. Glen is embarrassed and angry because in his mind he’s fine and David is being ridiculous. That’s the thing about alcohol, it muddles your thinking and convinces you things are more normal than they actually are. I’m sure re-watching how the night progressed through sober eyes, that Glen is cringing just like we are.

As Neely continues to try and calm him down, he breaks out into a wail that broke my heart. I had the same wail walking out of the church at my Dad’s funeral service, albeit minus the alcohol. The pain is so consuming that you have to let it out to keep from shattering. Behavior aside, I can’t help but empathize and feel for Glen in the moment. Neely and Soph finally get him to bed to sleep it off.

A scant four hours later they’re all up again to see the guests off. There’s definitely a pall over the camp as no one knows really how to react. They get back to the business of seeing the guests off, but not before David tells Glen they’re going to need to have a talk. Glen would just as soon have it right then, but David feels like Glen is lucky he wasn’t removed from the premises completely and declares they’re going to meet on David’s time.

Next time might I suggest glamping in a studio with a wooded backdrop?

Teona and her friends head out, but not before adding to their list of complaints. Apparently the coffee sucks and the beds are small, but at least they enjoyed the social coordinators company. All in all I feel like they got what they came for, which is a bunch of selfies showing their horizons are much broader than they actually are in real life. Pretty much like half the social media accounts out there.

Before the coordinators depart Neely stops by David’s office to return a key she found and to put in a good word and stick up for Glen. It was a kindness on her part, one that I wish she would extend to other co-workers, but I’ll get to that later. We’re treated to a montage of moments covering the week to mark the passage of time, including a phone call from David to Glen where he asks him to arrive early on Friday for their talk. If he was going to fire him, I’m sure he wouldn’t make him drive all of the way up there to do it. I feel that Glen may still be in hot water, but at least it’s not scalding.

My thoughts are confirmed when David and Glen have their sit down. David lets Glen know that he was blackout drunk and regales him with some of his antics, none of which Glen even remembers. David said he had decided to terminate their relationship until Neely came in and spoke up for him. Long story short, he gets to keep his job, but there are conditions. Glen isn’t allowed to drink on the property and he’s currently not allowed to interact with guests, so he’ll be working with the full time crew instead. Glen is grateful for the second chance, and I’m glad we get to keep him around.

Remorseful while in the hot seat.

This weekend the entire camp has been bought out by a wedding party. Gary will be taking the lead in making moments that Emily and John (the bride and groom) will treasure for a lifetime. Social coordinators aren’t needed for the weekend, so roles are going to change as the crew helps out with event prep and service instead.

On a break after getting the guests and their luggage to the cabins, Neely, Gavin and Adam are discussing what Adam should do to lock things down with Sophia. Neely suggests maybe a nice picnic on the beach. Monica dances in and asks what they’re talking about. They fill her in and she offers her advice. Advice, I might add, that Adam requested she text to him because he liked the sound of it. Remember the subtext I spoke of in the title? Well this is where it starts to come into play. As Monica continues her thought, Neely breaks in mid-sentence to offer a counter opinion and things immediately go from casual to confrontational.

Neely calls Monica out and says she’s interrupting and belittling. Monica doesn’t see it that way and nor do I. Neither did Adam until his confessional, which makes me think more is going on than is being said. Monica attempts to defend herself and say that having a differing opinion isn’t belittling it’s just different. Neely immediately takes umbrage and through the magic of editing is able to control the narrative through the help of a talking head confessional. This won’t be the only time this episode where I find myself questioning the editing process.

The face I make when someone is trying to explain me TO me.

The next morning Glen continues his penance by having to set up the early morning coffee at 5:30AM, and Sophia joins him. Throughout the weekend Sophia’s event planning skills really shine through. Her attention to the little details remind her though why she doesn’t do weddings in her own business.

Glen is still getting the crap end of the stick (or more aptly the glove) as he’s called on to join Nile in goose poop removal. Nile is less than pleased that he’s still having to pay for his mistakes from early on, but Glen is prepared to show he’s willing to do whatever to get back in David’s good graces and keep his job at the camp.

The wedding is short but sweet, and the guests head off to the reception in the tent. There’s a strange aside with David where he tells Gavin and Monica (with Sophia off to the side) that if any of the guests yell, scream, complain or call them dirty names, not to take it personally. Yet another bit of subtext to unravel here. This is too far into the weekend to be general tips on service and it makes me feel like Gavin or Monica or perhaps both have been subjected to comments that Bravo hasn’t shown. Just a guess on my part, but it seems something led up to this otherwise it’s a senseless non sequitur.

Sealed with a mosquito repellent flavored kiss

Adam goes the extra mile in proving to Soph that he’s all-in by setting up a cupcake and champagne picnic at the big chairs with an assist and permission from Gary. He goes to retrieve Soph and assures her that he’s got her work role covered and a nod and a wink from Gary confirms it. Adam escorts her to his picnic surprise and it’s a really sweet moment where they decide they’re going to give dating a shot. This is a huge step for Adam who has never gone to these lengths before for a woman he was interested in.

Gary regretfully has to break up the love fest so Sophia can decorate the bride and groom’s room with (of all people) the third angle in the triangle Gavin. As they walk off together, the one word Adam can clearly hear is Sophia calling Gavin “babe.” That’s a name I personally reserve for my significant other, so I can see why it gets Adam’s hackles up, especially with the constant flirting that goes on between Sophia and Gavin and the “Mr. Steal Your Girl” comment Gavin made earlier. The kindling is lit and the fire will soon be ablaze.

Before we get to that though, our final moment of subtext rears its head. Monica tries to get Neely to have a discussion to clear their tension. Not sure if you caught the comment, but Monica adds that it was one they should have had the previous night. That speaks to me that this isn’t her first attempt to clear the air and that she’s been met with refusals up to this point. This time starts off no differently as Neely flat out refuses to speak to her saying she wants to get their work done first. Monica offers that they walk alone together to work and Neely still refuses.

Keeping in mind that Monica has already tried to squash whatever imagined beef Nile has with her and been shot down, I get where she’s coming from. In the past few weeks in the real world we’ve seen a vivid display of how black voices get shut down. All she is trying to do is clear the air. First Nile and now Neely are refusing to hear her out. I can only imagine how often she’s had to face this same battle. There are moments in life where enough is enough and Monica begins to say her piece, but not without Nile making a snide comment as he walks out of the room.

Uncomfortable conversations are necessary. That’s how we grow.

As I listen to what Monica is saying and Neely’s rejoinders, I feel like Monica is spot on in her assessment. I think it’s Neely who is projecting because she doesn’t like to be wrong or be seen as anything outside of “pageant perfect.” Neither she nor Nile have given any credit to the fact that Monica has been doing this for two years, and was tasked to be their mentor. They’ve been there a whopping five weekends and think they have nothing to learn and have acted that way since their first week with the cake. The things we all could learn if we listened more and got defensive less could enlighten us beyond measure. Uncomfortable conversations are difficult in the moment, but it passes and often leads to growth and mutual understanding.

When they check in with Gary they find that their duties are done for the night and they get a chance to relax by a small fire. Adam is still feeling frustrated by Soph’s interactions with Gavin and she can feel the tension. He obviously doesn’t want to talk about it in front of everyone at the fire, so she gets up and walks off to the cabin. She vents to Monica about Adam’s jealousy and shares in a confessional that the hot and cold is a real turnoff. Adam was trailing not far behind and as he walks in and Sophia promptly walks out.

Monica asks him what’s going on and he shares that he heard Sophia call Gavin “babe” and he’s feeling like he’s being played. Nobody likes to look like a chump, especially after making themselves more vulnerable than they’re accustomed to. I do think that fear is what’s making Adam behave this way. Mixed signals are hard to interpret. Monica tells him that the two of them should talk it out, but Sophia opts to go to bed instead after hearing part of the conversation through the door. Adam storms out in a whirl of emotion and that’s where they leave us, at least until the finale next week. I hope you’ll join me.

2 thoughts on “Camp Getaway: A Wedding, A Read, And A Lot Of Subtext”

  1. I’m glad you called out this subtext. I wonder why they can’t be more overt. They could have asked Monica about it and showed her responses in the confessional. It’s odd, considering the shakeup at Bravo right now. I keep feeling that the best way to deal with racism (our own and that of others) might be to keep airing it out! As a white person, I feel like I should ask for feedback and ask what I should be paying attention to. I don’t think we should be afraid of candid discussion (if we can all resist the urge to be defensive–that will shut it right down, because it’s saying “I’m not hearing you.”) But most of all, let Black people speak for themselves. No more white people co-opting the narrative. A variety of voices will improve our collective consciousness. Nice job, as always, Jen!

    1. Thank you, my friend. Hopefully the last few weeks and some of the recent firings will mark a change at Bravo. I’m trying to give them the benefit of the doubt that it was edited before the recent discussions. Considering some of these same issues were brought up during Ferguson, I’m not giving them too much latitude. Media needs to use its power to spearhead change not make it more difficult.

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