Many apologies for my unfashionable tardiness with writing this Real World recap. Usually, when I post these late (which has been the case for the past two weeks), I start off by saying something like “Let this not reflect how much I enjoy this season,” and while I really do like Key West a lot, this week, the delay was sorely deserved. This episode was like one big televised version of Nytol. There were no fights, no crying fits, no drunken rampages, no hookups, and no hyperventilating tantrums. Instead, what we had was Zach debating his future with plaything Crystal, and Svetlana booking a flight back to Philly. Just about the only thing that could have been worse would have been watching Janelle file her nails for thirty minutes. And for all we know, that could still be on the horizon.This week’s episode started off at the Lazy Gecko, a Key West bar we haven’t seen much of this season — at least not compared to Austin’s similarly titled Dizzy Rooster. Anyway, we knew we were in for an intense and exciting (read: slow and boring) episode when we found Zach hanging out with his main squeeze, Crystal. The producers labeled this blonde gal “Zach’s Crush,” which may have been sarcastic because the next thing we knew, Crystal was looking for a ride home and Zach wasn’t about to give it to her. Instead, he pawned his girl off on someone named Jess, therefore denying Crystal the pleasure of sloppy, drunken sex that night.
“I care about her, and I don’t want to hook up with her when she’s drunk,” Zach said. Translation: I’m bored and want a new girl.
Well, obviously Crystal was upset. Zach had basically just left her with a case of female blue balls (what would that be? Purple vag?). Still, he felt badly about the whole thing, but Janelle reassured him that he had done the right thing. “It’s sooo okay,” she said. “It’s so respectable, Zach.” Some say respectable. Some say lame. Hey, it’s all part of the beauty we call life.
Zach then further explained why he wasn’t in Crystal’s love den, receiving an inebriated blow job with The Cranberries playing in the background. He noted that he just really didn’t want to go pass out with her at 1 AM since that would just be a meaningless, drunken hookup. It’s okay, Zach. Just admit that you’re bored with her. Heck, we’re bored with her. It’s alright!
The next day, Zach rode in the car with Tyler and continued to babble away about his non-predicament. “I really adore Crystal. I’m really bummed that I am–” he started, but then Tyler interrupted him with, “You’re being a dick.” Ouch! The sting of RED GOD! But Tyler was kind of right. I mean, Zach kept saying how he didn’t want to hurt Crystal, but we all knew that deep down, he was just ready to move onto another piece of ass. Rather than being honest with her about that, he kept stringing her along, saying Nice Guy things about not wanting to be hurtful and whatnot. Just dump her and move on.
Nevertheless, the sad music played, and Zach then bared his soul to Tyler: “When I was turning the age of being interested in girls and all that, like, I was the fat kid, and all my friends that were girls were like my sisters, and I hated guys that just used them, and I’d always say that I would never be like that.” Aww. How thoughtful, in a lame, boring sort of way. Even Oprah would be like “Seriously, just shut up.”
With all these touchy-feely / dumb issues circling Zach and his Emotions, Tyler finally concluded, “I am glad I’m gay!” He then channeled his gay pride into an amateurish painting of trees by a river. And that painting was henceforth known as “MYSTIC REBIRTH!”
Okay, no such painting was ever created (but I certainly would have liked an update on RED GOD after that food fight two episodes ago). Anyway, back at the salon, we found Svetlana answering a call from Martin, and we already knew this was going to be bad news. Basically, anytime Martin calls, something bad’s about to go down, and this time was no different. However, Martin’s call was actually legitimately serious. His dad, who’d been suffering from lung cancer, was in the hospital, clinging onto life with a breathing tube. So in other words, this episode was HILARIOUS!!! Keep in mind, btw, that this aired just a night after Diem revealed that she had cancer on Fresh Meat. What’s going on with this, MTV? Is this your way of protecting your characters from asshole bloggers like us — by throwing cancer out there and making it nearly impossible to write anything funny/scathing/mean? Damn you! Next thing we know, we’re gonna hear that Cheyenne has come down with a brain tumor.
Anyway, this was serious stuff, and soon Svetlana began to bawl. Luckily, the producers augmented the gravity of the situation by playing… a toy piano in the background? Okay, I didn’t get it either, but I oddly enjoyed it; so I guess they knew what they were doing. Later, Paula talked to Svetlana about the situation, asking if Martin’s dad had “a thing? Like do not… [trailing off mumbles]?” I believe she was asking about a DNR, and just when I was going to make a tasteless joke about Paula sending Keith to the hospital to administer some euthanasia in the form of a few punches to the face, Svetlana then revealed that Martin would essentially be orphaned once his dad died. Okay, now this was getting really sad. I’m talking really, really sad… which is why it was so jarring when the show suddenly zipped off to the Hard Rock Café where Jose, Tyler, and Zach were watching the Miss Hawaiian Tropic 2005 pageant. Who cares about cancer when you’ve got bikinis! Yay!
Well, the sight of all those girls in skimpy bathing suits certainly had Zach’s tongue wagging. I’m sure Crystal was farther from his mind than the concept of a comb. After the pageant, the guys hung out at the bar amidst all the other leering spectators, and Zach admitted that he didn’t feel like he looked like a douchebag there. After all, everyone else was gawking at the beauties. Why not him? Another astounding revelation!
Of course, Zach had to convince himself he wasn’t a douchebag so that he wouldn’t feel badly about hitting on Natalie, a.k.a. the third place winner from Miss Hawaiian Tropic 2005. The two hit it off immediately, especially after Zach boasted about his lofty station at the Mystic Tanning salon. “I’m the manager,” he said proudly, surely bowling Natalie over with awe. She acted all impressed, but I chalk that up to the MTV cameras lingering nearby. What hot babe wouldn’t want to pass up a chance to be on The Real World?
By the way, as all this was going on, Jose was getting down with the ladies on the side. I was shocked to see so much passion coming from him on the dance floor. I’ve just grown so accustomed to his wildest move being a the “light chuckle in the chair.”
Anyway, Natalie was totally into Zach (and the cameras) and even gave him her website so that he could see all the hot photos of her. In general, that’s usually not such a good sign — I sense a stint on Flavor of Love for Natalie (not to mention a possible VD). Meanwhile, off in the corner, Tyler and his friend Stephanie totally snickered at this burgeoning courtship. “It’s raining Hawaii Tropics tonight for the roommates,” Stephanie said. You know, it sounded like it should have been a funnier comment, but when you actually listen to it, it didn’t make much sense. Sorry, Steph. Better luck next time. Perhaps you should try the more direct approach, like Tyler who then told us, “It’s a lustful interaction. So lustful, it makes me want to vomit.” And judging by the color of Tyler’s tongue, that vomit would have been bright, bright fuchsia.
After the commercial break, we found Zach reminiscing on the wild times he had with Miss Hawaiian Tropics (Runner’s Up The Second). It was all fun and everything, but, “I just don’t want to get involved,” he said. YES, WE KNOW. You’ve only been saying that for the past ten minutes of airtime. Before we could get too annoyed with Zach, however, we suddenly heard sad music. This meant one thing. Either a fish had died (unlikely) or Svetlana’s story was returning. Sure enough, it was the latter. Svetty was on the phone with Martin, complaining about her travel arrangements. You see, she was gonna go up to Philly for the weekend to be with her boyfriend and stare mournfully at his father in the hospital bed. Unfortunately, she wanted to fly from Key West (which would be expensive), but Martin wanted her to take a bus to Ft. Lauderdale and then fly from there (which would be cheap, but inconvenient).
Well, Martin’s father may have been dying, but Svetlana was not about to inconvenience herself! She absolutely would not take a bus. “Don’t let the snob come out,” Svetlana warned her boy. You know, his poor dad was dying. Did she really need to bankrupt him too?
As fascinating as it was to watch Svetlana prepare travel arrangements for the weekend, we somehow pulled ourselves away from this subplot and returned to that other gripping story: Zach. Oooh. No! I was wrong! Zach came on the screen, but instead of babbling about all his heartache and confusion, he instead talked about Svetty. He and John discussed her impending trip and voiced their concerns about the logistics of everything. Was she going to stay up there indefinitely? Was she going to make a second trip if Martin’s dad died? And if she did go back to Philly, would she want to come back to Key West? Yes, all the pressing issues that no one cares about.
On the plus side, John did note that maybe seeing a guy on his deathbed might make Svetlana realize that things in the Real World house weren’t really that bad. Yes, death has a way of doing that (unless you’re Danny from Austin, but I digress). John then noted that if Svetlana didn’t return, that would mean a new female roommate! PARTAY!!! Maybe it could be a fat girl that Paula could bond/battle with. Yes! Hyperventilation, here we come!
Later, Zach went upstairs to check his email, and you might want to sit down for this. He learned that his ex-girlfriend — the love of his life — had contacted his parents. OH MY GOD. Another stunning development in this emotionally involving episode! As expected, this news served as a launching pad for Zach to drone on about his ex, Allison. “I believe that you’re always going to have a special place in your heart for your first love,” he said, “And I still have that place for Allison.” Yes, that very, very boring place.
Anyway, Zach then called up Allison, but alas, she wasn’t there! So instead he called up Crystal to see what she was up to that night (he doesn’t want to hurt her. He just wants to toy with her emotions). Crystal was busy that night (haha! DENIED!), but she said she’d come over the next day for a BBQ (ooh, we knew she couldn’t hold out long). With that out of the way, Zach tried Allison again, and this time, she actually answered, causing our man to cheese ultra big. The happiness was short-lived, however, when Allison simply said, “Oh. Hi.” This was what I like to call a frosty phone call. Turns out Allison had called Zach’s parents to see if he was okay in Hurricane Rita (which he was, minus some errant debris becoming lodged in the bird’s nest atop his head). She had not, as previously hoped, called to reconcile and get back together. In fact, I’m sure she highly regretted calling Zach’s parents in the first place because she did not seem thrilled to be stuck on the phone with him. Next time, Allison, just use Google.
We then went to commercial again, and when we returned, Svetlana was getting into bed early for her flight to Philly. “There’s nothing exciting about going home and seeing someone that’s so ill,” she said, and we could not have agreed more. There literally was nothing exciting about this. Seriously, Svetlana’s entire arc this episode was that she booked a flight to Philly (which her dad ultimately bought for her) and that was it. Next week, maybe we can watch her bid on something on eBay!
Well, Svetlana went to sleep, and then, a few hours later, her alarm went off, and she woke up! And then she carried her suitcase downstairs! And then she got into a cab! My heart was racing from all the drama!
“I’m hoping for a miracle in my head that I’ll get home, and he’ll get better,” she told us. Sorry, Svet. As far as we can tell, you don’t seem to have any mystical healing abilities. Which reminds me: you might want to cancel that trip to the leper colony.
While Svetlana flew off to cancer-land, the kids threw a BBQ that everyone came to — including Crystal! We soon saw her hanging out with Zach, you know, gettin’ attached and stuff. Later, they stretched out on the dock and talked about things. Zach mentioned that his ex girlfriend called, causing Crystal to say, “That’s so weird because my ex-boyfriend called me too!” Oh Crystal. Don’t try to compete. I half expected her to then look around nervously and say, “Yes, my ex-boyfriend. His name is… Dock. Dock Oceanwater.”
We then cut back to the BBQ where a massive bun shortage was threatening to undermine the entire event. Yes, there were no buns left and all too many beef patties! What to do??? Sadly, this was the most exciting part of the entire episode.
I don’t know how this bun issue resolved itself because we then headed up to Zach’s room where he and Crystal were now lying on the bed, talking about her ex. Zach was saying something, and honestly I don’t remember what it was, but I do know that in my notes, I had written, “Shut up, Zach. Seriously. Just stop.” Good enough for me!
I think what was happening was that Crystal was maybe thinking of going back to her old boyfriend? Or maybe not? Next thing we knew, it looked like Zach and Crystal were… breaking up? I think? But they weren’t really dating in the first place. I don’t know. It was all dumb, and she left crying, which meant that it was over, I think.
Ultimately, John later piped up with the best strategy for getting a non-committal relationship: they should stop dealing with the locals and just “start hanging out with tourists.” Hey, I’ve heard crazier ideas. And with that, the episode finally ended. The Tivo cut off before I could see what was brewing for the next episode, but whatever happens, let’s just hope it’s more exciting than this past half hour.
What did you think?