“It’s not far back to sanity
At least it’s not for me
And when the wind is right you can sail away
And find serenity”
Yes, those are the lyrics bleated out by Christopher Cross in his seminal easy-listening hit, “Sailing.” The song may be an ode to a dinghy (or even a sunfish), but for us masochist viewers of The Real World: San Diego, we like to think of it as a promise: a promise that after the roommates bitch and moan their way through their final day of sailing, they’ll finally shut up and give us a moment of peace and serenity. But in tonight’s penultimate episode, we remembered Real World drama knows no bounds. Whether it be on land, on water, in the air, and I’ll surmise to say in space, these seven strangers will always find a way to stop being polite and start getting real annoying.The episode began on the dreaded sailboat whose workspace of sunshine, the open sea, and casual dress code adds up to the JOB FROM HELL! The only thing worse for these guys would be if they had some strange phobia of nautical vessels that prevented them from working effectively. Oh wait, Frankie conjured up that one too. Ah yes. The Real World work ethic continues to amaze.
The roommates grumbled as they washed the boat, and Robin, the poster child for occupational judiciousness, tossed around the idea of skipping work the next day. Her plan was shot down, however, when Brad reminded her that they’d lose their bonus, and after a season of paying off various bail bonds, all the kids were too impoverished to turn down an extra $50. So the goal for this episode: earn money. I wonder what could possibly go wrong?
Cue lovelorn Charlie. He alerted supervisor Troy (aka the sailboat Hitler, if you ask Cameran) that he may or may not be able to work the following day because his maybe girlfriend Laura might sort of not be coming into town but that could possibly change or not, but who knows. Troy just kept nodding politely while internally counting the amount of money MTV was paying him to put up with this bullshit.
Later, on the ride back to the house, Cameran grilled Charlie about his incoming booty call. Do you love her? Are you boyfriend / girlfriend? Why’re you flying her in? Honing a repressed housewife, Charlie said he didn’t want to talk about it and insisted that they change the subject, a strategy he later employed with Troy and then his girlfriend. Hmmm, I wonder if he’ll have any family demons in thirty years? Ultimately, Charlie fessed up that he just wanted to have some fun with Laura, a suitably naive response which Cameran and Brad instantly mocked. I make fun of them a lot, but I really do enjoy these two.
While Charlie went off to the airport, the roommies all celebrated Cameran’s twentieth birthday. The presence of a little cake was enough to make the Southern Belle emit a series of orgasmic shrieks that sounded like a cross between a squeaking swing set and a hyena having sex. Of course, since this scene was prefaced with offscreen boozing, this simple celebration turned goofy as Cameran stuffed her cake in Brad’s face. The big guy took it in style, ambling around the house with a stunned, frosting-covered expression on his smiling face. Cameran pranced around triumphantly, and for a moment we forgot that silly thing she was saying two minutes ago – something about how excited she was to be 20 and a grown up.
Later that night, Charlie and Laura got down to business in the notorious guest room. Apparently Jacquese was busy repairing his relationship with his dad or something because Brad was relegated to primary giggler/voyeur/prankster. While Charlie and Laura did the thing that infrared cameras were built for, Brad kicked open the door and… fled. Oh Brad. You’re the envy of seventh graders everywhere.
The next day, everyone scurried off to work except Charlie, who opted to skip out and spend the day on a beanbag with Laura. Granted, he could have always taken her along to work, but I guess when it’s November and you’ve just flown down from Portland, the last thing you want to do is bask in the sunshine of San Diego from the deck of a beautiful sailboat. No, the beanbag will be just fine.
Well, Charlie’s shenanigans cost the group their bonus, and chipper Jamie was incensed enough to curse in the confessional. But her anger was nothing compared to snippy Cameran who had lost valuable Mint Julip money. Charlie actually felt pretty badly and tried to clear things up with Troy, but a stuttering phone call to the bossman had no effect on the financial state of the house. Oh well. Charlie and Laura zoomed out of the hostile abode to get some sushi while Cameran decided to do her impersonation of Riverdance – on Charlie’s guitar. Turns out that wood breaks, and even Cameran’s petite foot was too forceful for the brittle, beloved, and not-meant-to-be-stepped-on guitar.
At first Cameran was going to flee the scene of the crime. After all, there were no witnesses, except the cameras recording a permanent record. Once again, Cameran regressed from her newly minted twentysomething age by rationalizing that Charlie cost her fifty dollars, so the broken guitar was a suitable punishment. Yeah, musicians are usually pretty chill about those sort of things.
Truth is that Cameran was being very tongue and cheek. She really did feel badly, and as she confessed to Charlie later, she tried her best to put on her sweet, cute “Who me?” puppy eyes, but Jacquese, roaring out of nowhere, burst onto the scene and scolded first Cameran for being so immature and then Charlie for letting her off the hook. And then as quickly as it had started, Jacquese disappeared back into thin air. I imagine he had some nookie spying to do elsewhere.
The guitar issue never really resolved itself, but Charlie sent Laura home and then scraped some letters off a sailboat the next day to make up for his occupational absence. As the show wrapped up, the roommates attended their last day of work and for once decided to put in a good effort. At least that’s what the producers wanted us to think as they deluged us with stock footage of the cast members hoisting sails and winding cables. These images were no different from those earlier this season, but this time around the music was happy and triumphant, so surely everyone learned something. Well, at least Jacquese did. While everyone chirped about how the boat was actually really fun, Jacquese at least took the opportunity to be introspective and examine how the experience affected his outlook on life and himself. Ja, why the hell are you on this show?
The episode closed with the roommates hugging goodbye to Troy and then staring at a picture perfect sunset over the Pacific. As far as Real World images go, this one was actually pretty nice. Why, just thinking about it takes me to a quiet, serene place. If only Christopher Cross could sing about it…