The season finale of 'Siesta Key' season 2 did not disappoint.
Well, well well. Here we are.
We made it. After 12 episodes I still question why I invest time and energy into this show, but then I remember that it’s just too damn priceless not to enjoy (not nearly as great as “The Hills” episodes that came on TV afterwards, however, but we all know nothing can top that show).
I was recently talking to a loyal reader who summed up the appeal of “Siesta Key” perfectly: “Watching it makes me feel better about my own life,” she said.
I couldn’t agree more. These kids (LOL they’re only a couple years younger than me) don’t have their shiz together, but then again we love them for it — right?
I’ll let you ponder that while we review this very predictable finale.
The episode opens on Cara and Juliette discussing what we learned at the end of the last episode — that there’s now proof that Alex is a s***head because someone from law school sent Chloe a video of him kissing a girl at some club. Chloe also received screenshots of a text conversation between Alex and one of his (several) exes in which he said “I still love you.”
Alex is not worthy of our commentary, so we’re going to skim over this and leave you with this great quote from that scene:
“She’s a cool-ass girl without Alex,” Cara said about Juliette. Word.
Next is a getting-ready-without-actually-getting-ready scene with Juliette and Amanda that’s mostly uneventful except Juliette mentions that Alex has been her best friend for a long time so it’s not easy to cut him out of her life, and I’d like to formally agree and say her feelings are 100% valid. This hasn’t happened to me with romantic relationships but it’s happened with a hell of a lot of friends, and I often wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self it’s OK to Marie Kondo people out of your life if they don’t bring you joy.
In the meantime, Pauly rolls up to the Kompo Castle in a brand-new car that Grandma Bev has apparently bought for him because he’s been “good” (a relative term) lately and has his trust fund privileges back.
This scene reeks of toxic masculinity that I don’t need to explain but I bring it up mostly to share this Pauly quote (directed at Chloe) that continues to make me laugh:
“She lies like a persian rug.” Other than The Band Perry in “You Lie, who the hell uses this phrase?
Anyway Alex also says during that conversation that Juliette will definitely go back to him when she’s back at school away from Amanda and Chloe’s influence, and I think I gagged a little bit.
The next hella quick shot is of Carson, and I’m not sure what he and Brandon talk about to be honest because I was distracted by his Greek Godlike looks.
Before we know it, it’s time for Cara’s party — which Alex doesn’t show up to, thankfully — and I just have to give a shoutout to Kelsey for walking in like an absolute queen who freaking owns the place (that sidewalk IS her runway and never forget it).
Here’s a quick rundown of the less interesting stuff that happens at this party:
- Kelsey encourages Brandon to tell Madisson he has feelings for her.
- An actual comment I wrote in my notes from this scene: “Can we take a second to talk about Amanda’s hot (maybe still) long-distance boyfriend?”
- We learn Chloe is about to take her real estate exam and hopes she won’t be an intern for much longer.
- Amanda and Chloe note that Cara’s party is shockingly drama-free until Chloe admits she has some dirt on Alex (i.e. the video and text screenshots).
- She shares them with Amanda (who says “which one?” when asked if she’s knows Alex’s ex LOL) and she encourages Chloe to show them to Juliette.
- Kelsey and Garrett have what’s actually a super nice adult conversation about how they’d like to mend their friendship — Kelsey even cries, admitting her mom might have cancer.
- Cara storms off onto the beach to brood because apparently no boyfriend of hers is allowed to have a five-minute conversation with their ex about a loved one’s chronic illness.
- We learn Jared is volunteering with SRQ Vets, and we all clap furiously like proud mothers.
- Garrett follows his angry GF and she goes OFF on him and completely slams Kelsey, calling her an ugly Spongebob Squarepants at one point? (Don’t ask, we don’t get it either).
- Garrett makes the excellent point of comparing this to her little nighttime rendezvous with Alex — how can she get mad at him for talking to Kelsey at a party when she went to Alex’s house to console him?
- Garrett almost calls Cara Kelsey (“Kel … Cara”) and mouths all over the U.S. drop out of shock.
The rest of this scene gave me whiplash and made me scream at my roommate’s television. Basically Cara freaks out and starts spitting out awful comments about Kelsey, saying she has fake lips, she’s ugly, trashy, etc. etc. and that she BRINGS UP HER MOM’S ILLNESS AS A PLOY.
Um, since when is Cara Class-A Savage? And how the hell do they go from this to kissing and making up after Cara says “I love you and I want to make this work?” Garrett makes the great point of saying he doesn’t know if they can do long distance if he can’t even have a quick conversation with his ex without Cara getting jealous, but I guess her dropping the L word was enough to make him trust her suddenly?
I don’t know, guys, I smell trouble in paradise.
The next scene with Madisson and Brandon on the roof is much calmer, but I still found it confusing. Brandon confesses that he still has feelings for her, and Madisson replies by saying feelings have been coming back for her too, but she can’t forget what he did to her in the past (cheat, for those who forgot).
But then he asks her if she wants to give them a shot again and she sort of says yes? Something like “I guess”? And then the camera moves to the most awkward of angles directly behind her head and we don’t know if they actually kiss or just get uncomfortably close? Who knows — all I know is I’m over this stupid couple that the producers are pushing together. We all know Madisson can do much better. Let’s not forget she has an ENGINEERING DEGREE.
Oh crap, I almost forgot the best part of this party. Pauly runs his mouth again, essentially blaming Chloe for Alex and Juliette’s breakup, and Chloe SMUSHES HER FROZEN DRINK IN HIS FACE WITH A SMILE ON HER FACE. (Lana got coned, anyone?) God, it was amazing.
He then pours water on her, but she retaliates by pouring her WHOLE drink on him, and in a single moment Chloe regained the spot of best cast member for me. She also should probably move and take her rightful place on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”
Anyway, of course Chloe (with Amanda) later shows Juliette the recent video of Alex making out with some girl at a club, and she immediately starts crying. Fair.
What happens next is what’s really interesting, though, because Juliette gets mad at Chloe and Amanda and says she “just doesn’t care anymore” and that the girls don’t get it because she “doesn’t have a big family” or “a ton of people in her life.” Alex is “like family” to her.
These are totally fair points by Juliette. Nobody ever said breakups are easy, and of course part of her will always (or at least for a long time) love and care about Alex because he filled that void for her. But I was disappointed to see her get mad at her friends for trying to help her. I’m a big believer that our loved ones shouldn’t shield us from the truth just to protect our feelings, and Chloe was just trying to be transparent.
(They all hug it out a minute later though, don’t worry.)
I’m glad Juliette saw the video because it caused her to decide not to get back with Alex — but more on that in a minute.
There’s a sort of cute, sort of cringey scene in the middle of all of this where Alex is on the Kompo boat with his parents and siblings to celebrate Beth and Gary’s wedding anniversary, and the parents sort of back him up while also giving him some good advice.
This might sound shocking, but I have to give props to Gary for how he handled this discussion about Juliette. He asked Alex if he learned from his mistakes and encouraged him to see that as a positive when he replies “yes.” That was a solid fatherly moment.
In one of the last scenes Juliette and her mom, Fabienne, have dinner together and of course it turns into a cryfest. Fabienne is a queen though, and thank God for her wonderful motherly advice:
“You’re not happy and you’re using all your energy ... Is that the way you want to live? It distracts you from who you are and your goals.”
YAS, Fabienne! Her daughter seems to take her advice well because the final scene is Alex deciding ever-so-casually (it totally never would have been planned by MTV) to swing by her house RIGHT before she’s leaving for Tallahassee to start her senior year of college.
They argue a little about how they’ve each handled this breakup, he says he still loves her and then Juliette sets the record straight, saying “I didn’t want to break up — I’m breaking up with you because you hurt me and because I don’t trust you. Stop saying I wanted this because I didn’t.”
YES. Finally, this girl is seeing the light and I’m proud. She tells him that she doesn't want to see him for a while, and he says he thinks they’ll “both regret” this whole thing but doesn’t argue further. We see him watching her leave in the rear-view mirror as she drives away and I forget for a minute that I wasn’t watching a romantic comedy.
The actual ending is a compilation of what everyone else is up to:
- Cara and Garrett say a dramatic goodbye at the airport as if she’s moving to Italy and not just going on vacation (but I get it, the start of a long-distance relationship is hard, and I’ve been there).
- Jared has a SRQ Vets meeting on the beach, and I gleefully beamed with happiness for him.
- Pauly parties with a bunch of middle-aged women LOL.
- Canvas Skypes with her mom and looks happy — and we’re happy for her.
- Kelsey asks her mom how she feels and Deb says she hurts quite a bit, but Kelsey responds sweetly with “That’s what pie is for!”
- Chloe walks over and slaps a “sold” sticker on a for-sale sign.
- Madisson and Brandon act all couple-y on the beach.
- Our “king,” Alex, sulks while staring off into the sky — all while floating on a raft that ironically says "fun boy" in a pool of his melancholy thoughts.
Well, we couldn't ask for much more closure than that, folks.
What are your thoughts on the ending? I’d love to know.
Until next time, loyal readers.