There’s been so much Janelle and Jose drama the past few weeks that we almost forgot about our old dysfunctional friends, Paula and Svetlana. Well, fear not. The girls were back with a slight vengeance last night on the penultimate episode of The Real World: Key West. Overall, it was a rather tame show with nary a catfight or marathon controversy in sight; however, Tyler still managed to be an arrogant prick, thankfully saving this half hour from the late-season doldrums.Last night’s episode began with stirring news: Svetlana’s boyfriend Martin would be coming to town. Finally, we’d get to meet the boy who puts up with this babushka’s drama day in and day out. The excitement was palpable. I apologize. Sarcasm doesn’t always translate.
Anyway, Svetty was all nervous for Martin to come to the house. “I don’t want anyone to talk to him,” she said. Now why would she say that? Just because everyone in the house seems to harp on her ceaselessly, I’m sure they’d be most delightful to Martin! Especially Tyler! Nevertheless, Janelle quickly changed the topic from Martin to more important things: “So what are you doing for your birthday?” she asked, adding, “I need to know so Tyler and I can ruin it.” Okay, Janelle did not say that. In fact, Janelle had been quite nice to Svetty in the wake of their recent bonding experience. She had even volunteered to bake her a birthday cake. All Svetlana needed to do was tell her what she wanted. Luckily, Fitz was an easy customer. She just wanted a marble cake with fudge on top and white frosting lettering and little flowers on the edge and an ice statue and forty virgins carrying baskets of fruits from the farthest corners of Persia. Just basic stuff. Okay, maybe she didn’t demand those last few things, but she did have explicit instructions for Janelle: “I want some frosting, but I don’t want too much; so if the lettering is in frosting, it’s not too much. It doesn’t overpower the fudge.” Okay, RELAX. Let’s not be a frosting brat (even though there’s a high chance I would probably request the exact same thing). I personally was surprised Tyler didn’t run into the room and yell, “You’ll get whatever cake we damn well make, you low-life cake snob bitch!”
Well, Janelle talked to us a little bit about how she and Svetlana had been growing tighter recently (aww) and how she really wanted to make her birthday party as great as possible (double aww). It all kind of reminded me that throughout this, Svetlana was only a teenage. Not that that excuses her from any sort of behavior, but it just makes Tyler all the more pathetic for picking on her so ruthlessly.
Anyway, we then headed outside where Paula was drifting in the pool, having a very Graduate moment. With “The Sound of Silence” playing in my head, she told us that her time with Dr. Covan was drawing to a close, and he really wanted her to think about something she wanted to accomplish before moving back up to Connecticut. After much thought, she decided the best thing for her would be to open the lines of communication with her parents and let them know that Keith was still in her life. It was a good idea. I mean, they’d find out sooner or later…
“Hello darkness my old friend. I’ve come to KISS MY ASS!!! KISS MY GODDAMN ASS!!!!”
Well, Paula sauntered upstairs and wrote her mom an email, expressing anxiety on how it would be received. “I hope this is gonna turn out okay,” she said. Oh, I’m sure it will be fine. It’ll probably go along the lines of “Hi sweetie! I got your email. So wonderful to hear from you! Now KISS MY ASS! KISS MY GODDAMN MATERNAL ASS!!! Hugs and kisses, Mom.”
Elsewhere in the house, Janelle informed John that Svetlana was all nervous about Martin’s impending visit. Apparently, he “doesn’t talk about like politics and all that stuff.” ‘Tis a shame. Because if there’s anything this season is known for, it’s the lively political discussions. It’s like going to the Algonquin Roundtable without a witty barb!
Svetlana then clarified that she was nervous mostly because Martin is shy and doesn’t like to talk whereas all the roommates talk all the time and like to pick people apart. We then cut to a shot of Jose sitting at the computer. Yes, when it comes to talkative character assassins, Jose is the veritable ringleader! Sometimes I wish he’d just shut up! GOSH JOSE!
Speaking of blabbing, Janelle then cozied up to Tyler and reiterated Svetlana’s fears about Martin not being able to talk about politics and religion. This of course generated an asshole response from Tyler who said, “Awww. So he’s stupid? That’s cute. He’s pudgy and stupid.” Apparently, Martin needed to make some corny observations about the Olympic Stadium before he could be deemed intelligent.
John then laughed that Tyler should act flamboyantly gay around Martin, just to spook him. Of course, this was just joke, but sensing that this was a way to once again prey on Svetlana and her world, Tyler took the ball and ran with it. “How funny would it be if I try to be as gay as possible?” he asked us. “Every gay stereotype that I can think of and try to display all of them at once, just to try to make Martin feel uncomfortable.” I think the word you’re looking for is “unnecessarily rude and mean,” not “funny.” (Actually, to be honest, I can see how this “joke” could be funny in a different context, but knowing all the hatred and resentment Tyler has for Svetlana, the underlying ugliness turns me off, I say!)
The next morning, Paula received excellent news. Mom had written back and said that she trusted her daughter and was happy that she was getting help and just wanted to be close again. It was actually a pretty nice email, and Paula was so excited that she called Keith to share the good news. “It’s a starting point, you know? She’s like ‘I’m mad chill, and I love my daughter.’” Not sure if that was exactly what Paula’s mom said, but it was close enough. For some reason, I don’t think the words “mad chill” truly exist in Paula’s family. Just sayin’:
Mad chill, yo.
Meanwhile, Martin finally arrived in Key West, and the best way to describe him was short, pudgy, and seemingly just hitting his pubescent stride. Basically, he looked like a fourteen-year-old. Nevertheless, as the two headed to the house, Svetlana supplied him with some valuable advice: “Do NOT pay attention to Tyler… just ignore him and be really nice to him.” Kind of sounded like she was talking about a hyperactive dog, which I guess wouldn’t be too far from the truth.
Well, Martin soon met all the roommates, including John who made sure not to ask too many challenging questions beyond what his name was. Svetty then brought her boy outside where Tyler was hanging out, a towel effeminately wrapped around his head. The two guys shook hands; although, Ty-Ty was careful to keep his wrist as limp as possible. “I’m having a fun time with him!” he said. Of course, if anyone were to do the same with Tyler, he would already be screaming at full volume, demanding respect and threatening a flurry of venom-filled burn book entries. Hey Tyler, if you’re reading this and can’t stand all my bashing week after week, don’t worry. I’m just having a fun time with you! That’s all!
“Don’t worry, we always play mean-spirited pranks on all the people we don’t know.”
Anyway, Tyler then registered dismay when Martin wound up being considerably less appetizing than expected. “Svetlana made him out to be some big 6’3″ Russian model, and he’s maybe 5’1″, pudgy, and has a dry sense of humor.” Apparently, having a dry sense of humor is a physical attribute now. Sounds like Tyler was just bummed that he didn’t get to see the second coming of Bhakti.
Later, as Svetlana and her boy hung out on a bed, Tyler re-approached them, dropping his ultra flamboyant facade for his normal, only semi-flamboyant facade. He happily busted out the Royal We and told Martin, “We were playing a joke on you earlier… We were trying to be as gay as possible.” Funny how when Tyler does something great, it’s “I”, but when a joke of his falls flat, it’s “we.”
Well, after the peels of laughter from Tyler’s HI-larious prank subsided, Svetty and Martin (or Svartin… or Martlana?) headed out to a lobster house where they toasted, shared food, and enjoyed a generally romantic evening together. Love certainly sprang eternal for these two… at least until the bill came. Martin wanted to pay for the dinner, but Svetlana would hear nothing of it. She insisted that he take her money, which resulted in an extended bickerfest involving the repeated use of phrases like “Shut up” and “I won’t take your money” and “Take my money.” Ultimately, Martin got his way, and as they left the restaurant, Svetty asked, “Can I pay for a cab?”
“Just shut up!” Martin snapped back. Why do I feel like Tyler will suddenly start liking Martin now?
After the break, while everyone was hanging out in the living room, Tyler asked Martin how he puts up with Svetlana’s antics. “I just don’t pay attention,” he replied, causing Tyler to let out a roaring, passive-aggressive cackle. You know, the kind that’s just a decibel or two too loud, as if to say, “See, Svetlana? Even your boyfriend hates you!” Sure enough, Martin’s comment annoyed Svetlana, and in a move that should surprise nobody, Tyler suddenly revised all his opinions. “I would actually be friends with Martin,” he said. “He’s a really cool guy. He’s really chill.” Yeah, Martin’s a cool guy… when he’s bashing Svetlana. The moment he kisses her lovingly, he’s gonna get a letter from Tyler saying, “You should have stayed in Philadelphia, you low-life Svetlana-loving BITCH!”
Over in Paula World, our troubled roommate headed to Dr. Covan’s office for her last session with him, and thankfully, the cameras were allowed in again. The doc noted that Paula wasn’t picking her scabs anymore, which is always a lovely development. He then asked her if she missed the out-of-control blackouts. Of course, the assumption there was that the out-of-control blackouts had ever left, and I’m pretty sure they hadn’t…
Nevertheless, Paula did seem happier, and she also said that now she eats. Yay! Fastest anorexia recovery ever! Because this was the last time these two would be meeting, Paula then gave Dr. Covan a Thank You gift. Was it a book? No. A piece of art? Seasons one through five of Frasier on DVD with cast commentary? No. It was a shot glass with her name on it. Oh. Okay. To be fair, there was a story behind it. She said that when Dr. Covan asked her to not do shots any more was when she regained control of her life. So I guess this gift was her way of saying, “Any time you do a shot, think of me not being able to do one. And then you know what you can do? You can KISS MY ASS!!! KISS MY GODDAMN ASS!!!!”
Well, the two hugged goodbye in a sweet moment, and later that night, Paula joined Tyler and John at a nice restaurant and talked about how excited she was that Dr. Covan had noticed her progress, especially in the scab department. She looked truly happy and thrilled, and surely everyone was happy and thrilled for her. Well, except maybe Tyler. He looked bored off his ass. I guess that’s what happens when you’re not the center of attention. I’m surprised he didn’t pass her a cocktail napkin with “You should have stayed in Dr. Covan’s office, you low-life therapy-needing BITCH!!” written on it.
“I can’t believe we’re still not talking about my marathon. Assholes.”
Nevertheless, at least John was interested in Paula’s recovery, and he told her, “You were at rock bottom, and there’s only up. There’s no more down, and I think to the point where it is now, I don’ t think there is any way to go back.”
Elsewhere in Key West, Svetlana had dinner with Martin, his hefty sister Flora, and her such-a-stereotype-it-hurts boyfriend, El. He may have been the best guy in the world, but when you see the gold chain lying in a nest of dark chest hair, you can’t help feeling like he’s going to turn to the camera and say, “You want stereo? We got stereo at best prices! And television too! Come down to El’s Electronic Warehouse! First ten people get free digital camera and CD of Zhenya Shevchenko’s Greatest Hits!”
“I am El.”
Anyway, Svetlana told us that she’s learned over the course of these past few months that people are who they are, and you’ve got to learn how to deal with them (unless you’re Tyler. Then you just dis-invite them to marathons). Meanwhile, back at the house, John and Janelle baked the famed marble birthday cake with chocolate fudge and white frosting letters. They then decided to bake a whole other cake that would be the absolute crappiest version of what Svetlana had wanted. Just a simple practical joke. Unlike the whole “Let’s bag on Martin, the new guy” prank that Tyler tried to do, this was actually amusing because a) it came from a place of friendship, and b) it’s sole purpose wasn’t to make someone feel uncomfortable.
Well, the big party soon got underway, and as everyone donned silly birthday caps, Janelle presented Svetlana with her gag cake. To her credit, Svetty smiled politely and didn’t really let on that she was that disappointed, even though inside, she was probably bawling. I half expected her to go storming into the phone room and call up Martin, even though he was right there. Luckily for her, the real cake was waiting for her outside on the deck, and when she saw it, she flipped out with joy — as she should have. That bad boy looked awesome. Yes, it was a grand time, and honestly, what can really beat a cake punking?
Ultimately, Svetlana said it was her best birthday evah, and with that the show came to a close. We then saw some glimpses of next week’s season finale, and it looked like we had good news on the horizon: fantasy fest would be making its triumphant, albeit postponed return! But for every moment of happiness comes sadness too, as evidenced by Paula giving a crying Jose a kiss on the head. Awww. I’m verklemped already.
What did you think about this episode?