Alex pretty much asks for someone's hand in marriage (not even kidding) and there are a bunch of cliffhangers that we're really upset about.
The final episode of "Siesta Key" for the summer ended in — predictably — disappointment. What was undoubtedly the most scripted episode so far left nothing resolved, and opened the door to the next eight episodes (which MTV announced this week) with thinly veiled cliffhangers that hung on longer-than-usual pauses between sentences in the last 90 seconds. What an innovative strategy to keep the audience interested.
I’ve honestly never been so relieved that a show is taking a break. Did we tell you guys that we consistently have stress dreams about this show — that we’re going to miss it and can’t write the review, or that we have to interact with cast members and like, turn Alex down for a date? Not to mention that it’s a show with a terrible narrative, a dull cast and its only redeeming factor is that both Siesta Key and the cast members are so freaking beautiful.
Anyway though: episode 10. It opens with a conversation between Kelsey and her mom, where Kelsey explains that last episode Garrett was flirting with and kissing Juliette right in front of Kelsey. Kelsey’s mom tells her that she thinks Kelsey still has feelings for him, which has been obvious for a while, and is hilarious since this was the “fun mom” who kept telling Kelsey to end things with Garrett earlier in the season.
Next, Alex takes Madisson on a boat in a scene that I am arguing had to be re-taped after the shark-dragging and shark-shooting video controversies. In addition to talking about how raising a family in Siesta Key is ideal (debatable) and that they’re both worried about their futures, Alex gives Madisson, and by extension the audience, a lecture on how important environment and conservation is. He mentions the mangroves and manatees, yells at another boat on the water to slow down and tells her how marine life is his passion. OK, MTV. We’re still not sold, but nice try.
Juliette confers poolside with her hoard of blonde friends about how she thinks she actually likes Garrett now and “does it look like we’re getting together out of spite?” Obviously, yes it does, because they did.
Pauly tries to apologize to Chloe for his out-of-line behavior at his show at Beach Club, when he got drunk and told her… I don’t even know what he told her because honestly it’s very easy to tune out Pauly’s whiny, man-child voice. But anyway this time, Chloe let Pauly know that his apology didn’t change anything for her, and Pauly got a little pissy. He started mansplaining to her that “every single day I look to better myself,” (apparently by crying outside of the Beach Club and going to court in a charge of having drugs in your car), and then blaming his behavior on his parents’ deaths five years earlier???
“I concentrate on drinking and drugs to take me out of the reality that I really do live in,” he told her.
Fortunately, Chloe stood her ground against that pile of poo.
Next, Alex and his mother have a conversation in her closet, which is bigger than my entire apartment, by the way. She basically encourages him to tell Madisson how he feels, and suddenly we find out that Alex is head over heels for her??? Which is news to us, since just recently he was pseudo-dating Kelsey and also flirting with other girls everywhere they went.
Finally we’re at the Fourth of July pool party, which turns out to be mostly the main cast and a few members of their crew — not the huge rager we anticipated.
Kelsey finds out that Juliette invited Garrett and is worried but plans to talk to him. Garrett rolls up with his friends and Kelsey leaves the area. Then, they talk and Kelsey tosses in a poorly placed line about how she, too, is worried about her future, and then they decide to just have fun and talk later — although I actually have no idea why they’re talking later, since they broke up and screamed at each other at their last meeting.
Later, when Amanda arrives, Pauly calls Chloe — I cannot make this stuff up — a “beached whale,” which Chloe obviously hears. She leaves. Later, everyone is speculating about why she left and Pauly calls her “not the brightest bulb,” makes another fat joke and says she’s just trying to make a statement. All the girls roll their eyes and scowl at him, and Alex vaguely stands up for her by telling everyone she’s going to therapy and is trying to separate herself from the group.
Cut to a scene of Alex and Kelsey on the beach, where Alex tries to break up with her even though they weren’t together. Thankfully, Kelsey reminds him of that.
After some quick shots of fireworks and crowds on the beach, Madisson and Alex are on the beach the next day (presumably) cleaning up litter — another point in the “Alex cares about the environment!” rhetoric that’s just now making an appearance in the show, two months after it was a problem.
“There’s so much trash,” he said, morphing into the spokesperson for conserving the environment right before our eyes.
In the biggest curveball of the entire series, Alex then sits Madisson down and tells her, in no uncertain terms, that he wants to spend the rest of his live with her.
“This might come off as weird,” he said, “but I’d like to spend the rest of my life with you.” He goes on to say that he was young and dumb but is now more mature, and he likes her being around and planning parties together.
Madisson, predictably, is astounded, and tells him he’s only feeling that way because she and Brandon are together and things didn’t work with him and Kelsey, not to mention he’s been worse this summer in his “young and dumb” ways and after eight years and 10 episodes of a reality show, she’s learned better.
“I’m saying no,” she said — a victory for every woman within a 100-mile radius.
Next is a weirdly familiar scene where Garrett is lounging on the beach and Juliette comes out of the water and walks toward him. They talk, and Garrett basically breaks things off with her, but I’m not convinced that Juliette really understood him.
“I love hanging out with you, and we have a lot in common with fitness and everything,” Garrett said, “But I feel like I kind of need the time and space.”
In response, Juliette plays the understanding and supporting soon-to-be-maybe girlfriend.
“I think you and I need to stop worrying about other people and focus on us,” she said. Then it ended and I'm pretty sure Juliette is not clear on what happened.
Brandon plays Madisson Shawn Mendes’ 2016 hit song “Treat You Better,” before she tells him that Alex essentially asked for her hand in marriage. Then she said she sees a future with Brandon, and we all collectively gagged. They are casually dating, not signing papers for a mortgage and shopping for pre-schools. Jeez!
The final scene of the episode is Kelsey and Garrett meeting to talk. They walk in slow motion to a bench and the producers framed it like it was about to be a good old-fashioned western shootout. Instead, they both kind of apologized for their wrongdoings and they both admitted to still loving each other.
“Is it worth it for us to give it another shot?” Garrett asked. Then the show started it’s close-up slow-motion shots and I started screaming at the TV because it was 11 p.m. and of COURSE they weren’t going to give me an answer to the freaking question! It’s not like I’ve put in hours upon hours of my life watching and writing about this show or anything. They couldn’t do me this solid and just TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS WITH GARRETT AND KELSEY.
Before finally putting me out of my misery, the episode does a final check-up on each of the cast members. Chloe declines a call from Pauly, who finishes a drink and slams it on a bar. Juliette floats by herself in a pool. Madisson and Brandon weirdly stand in the ocean and look at each other. Alex stands on the balcony at his home — the “king” surveying his kingdom. Garrett and his "abs for days" run down the beach. Kelsey plays a weird game of peek-a-boo under the boardwalk. It fades to black.
BUT WAIT! It’s never that easy. We get a sense of deja vu when “two months later” flashes across the screen, and Madisson answers a call from Alex. She gasps and says “oh my god” before Alex appears on FaceTime, with his jaw bandaged, clearly in rough shape. He either got his wisdom teeth taken out or someone broke his jaw. Not sure which is more likely.
Madisson asks what happened, and the show is finally, blissfully, over.
Until winter 2018, of course. See you guys then.
— Cassidy Alexander